It’s not just the past Christmas season that brought these facts to mind, but a consolidation of emotions and thoughts that propel us toward a new year and a hopefully a less ungodly America.
We must, or should, admit that America is unique. Conceived in liberty – Born out of revolution – Based on forethought, reason and freedom. A country whose very essence and form of governance is like no other ever developed.
Forgive me while I digress factually for a moment. The tyrannical oppression of England, the burden of over taxation through the Sugar Act (1764), or the Stamp Act (1765), the controlling monopolistic policies of the Tea Act (1773) and the general concept of taxation without representation (They should see taxation WITH representation) all contributed to the desire for change. More and more regulations and taxes to pay for England’s debt from the French and Indian War (1763)… and the colonists didn’t like it.
These were a spark, the basis for change. It became clear that a separation was needed for many reasons. A new and better country based more on a sense of fairness, good, what’s right, strong religious principles, independence – and a desire for freedom, hence the foundation for our United States.
Our founding fathers were brilliant, thoughtful men of deep religious convictions based in the Bible and their Christian faith in Jesus Christ. Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, nearly half (24) held seminary or Bible school degrees.
Adams and Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton, and many of their colleagues were men of exceptional European learning. They immersed themselves in the Greek and Latin classics, in the history of medieval and modern Europe, in British and French constitutional theory and practice. And they were men of action. They understood mistakes of the past and had a clear, intimate awareness of the special needs for a new America.
While in Turkey (Aug. 2009), President Obama casually rebuked the concept that the United States is a Judeo-Christian nation. “…we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
How wrong and descriptively demeaning can one be? Where do the best, most solid “ideals and set of values” come from if not a foundation of true inner and religious beliefs – not in social justice ideology. And yes, the basis for our country was a belief and dependence on God and his own wisdom and guidance for us.
God has systematically been reduced, slighted and eliminated from our culture more and more over the last few years. The taking of the words “under God” from our pledge to our flag, the daily practice of even pledging allegiance to this flag and the country has been stripped from acceptance. And forget about prayers in school any more.
“In God we trust” offends people who use our money. The mere presence of a nativity scene or “Christ”mas tree drives many to the local courthouse, the Ten Commandments are removed from view, and in 2007 (and with many maneuvering explanations) the monogram of “IHS” was covered from view behind the president during a speech at Georgetown University. When growing up this was predominant in our church standing for “In His Service” – or the service of God – even though it actually comes from the original Greek for Jesus’ name, being the first three letters of “ihsous.”
The following Christian quotes of the founding fathers stand as testament to their strong moral and spiritual convictions which helped form the fundamentals of our nation and our government. And these represent only a small sampling of their views, beliefs and many writings.
George Washington – 1st U.S. President
“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
John Adams – 2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
And Adams wrote in 1813, a letter to Thomas Jefferson, excerpts being:
“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the…general Principles of Christianity.” “Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature…”
Thomas Jefferson – 3rd U.S. President, Drafter & Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
John Hancock – 1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
Benjamin Franklin – Signer of the Declaration of Independence & Unites States Constitution
“Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.”
“As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see.”
Samuel Adams – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Father of the American Revolution
“And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again…and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace.”
James Madison – 4th U.S. President
“A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.”
Rev. John Witherspoon, president of Princeton University when James Madison graduated wrote:
“Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.” [Can you imagine such writings in liberal academia today?]
Add to the above even more words, references and beliefs from:
James Monroe – 5th U.S. President
John Quincy Adams – 6th U.S. President
William Penn – Founder of Pennsylvania
Roger Sherman – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution
Alexander Hamilton – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution
Patrick Henry – Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution
These men, while religious in their core beliefs, also knew that a governing body should have no demands on its citizens to worship a particular way other than to hold principles of value that enhance the lives of all men. Principles we have been losing through the social evolution of more recent time.
The 60’s brought its “social freedoms” of drugs, sex and rock and roll. And the “right” to do as we wish personally without regard to punishment or consequences. These are seen in the basic principles and actions of our current president and his selected team of “social sovereigns” – ideals born in the 60’s with views and actions toward man and not God. Even belittling or denying God.
People believe in many paths to God as is their privilege. So much a civil right that our founders established its steadfastness in the First Amendment to the Constitution: Two rights in fact.
The first part being known as the “Establishment Clause” which prohibits the government from establishing an official religion or showing preference of one over another.
The second is the “Free Exercise Clause” which prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s right to practice his or her religion. Religious freedom is an absolute right guaranteed and without government control, however this has been boldly abused lately and with Constitutional disregard.
My reasoning behind this exercise in history is straightforward. To show that we are drifting knowingly and deliberately, dangerously away from the basis of our foundation and the beliefs of our founding fathers which served us well for nearly 200 years – until modern society decided it knew better.
The concept of being a Christian nation is not limiting, not controlling or demanding of anyone to believe in a common path to heaven. Nowhere is it found that our founders expressed a Christian point of view for this purpose but yet, a set of values which guide our lives and actions toward others and… we are losing them. They talked of these principles in the terms of freedom, charity, law, liberty, kindness and duties of good citizenship.
Many will say that our founders were Deists and not Christians, but Deism is a position that God does not intervene in the “natural world” but allows it to run according to the laws of nature. I think one can clearly appreciate that our founders believed that God held the power and set the rules for a life above and beyond our mere existence.
As we embark on a new year, a future of questionable “retainment” of rights, freedoms and ability to live and enjoy in our personal and yes, our religious lives seems to have been answered. It’s important to recognize the eroding of these rights in the past; One by one – little by little. When government can dictate to and demand of established religions a change in their belief system to fit “changing social values,” can other more diabolical intentions be far behind for the betterment of a society gone askew from God?
As Thomas Jefferson said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?” I sincerely take this not just as Jefferson’s belief, but a warning lest we remove God from our lives and society. And aren’t we daily doing just this?
America is a unique and well founded country that had everyone’s best interest at heart without need for changing its core beliefs. Unlike a recent rant by CNN’s Piers Morgan, it is not “time for an amendment to the Bible” and “the American Constitution is not inherently flawed.”
Whether Protestant, Jew, Hindu, Catholic, Buddhist, or of any organized religion, there are values and a divine guidance, something bigger and better than ourselves that can enhance our lives. I wish you nothing but happiness and success in this New Year and hope that whatever your religious basis, it brings you peace and contributes to the betterment of yourself, your family and the country we all love as conceived by our founders.