America’s Heritage

February 16, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It’s amazing. You hear it all the time now. America wasn’t founded on Christian principles. The Constitution calls for “separation of church and state”. Most, if not all, of the Founding Fathers were atheists, agnostics, or deists. The Founding Fathers supported slavery, etc. so government based on Christian morals is bad…

Most times, these thoughts come from people who have an issue with Christian morals:

Celebrities – Ashton Kutcher, Bill Maher, Tom Hanks

Atheists/agnostics – Michael Newdow, Dan Barker

Liberal media/public schools

Any time that someone talks about America’s Christian foundation, they receive responses like:

<insert your favorite Founding Father> didn’t even believe in Jesus

America was not founded on Christian ideals

Those who promoted Christianity also promoted slavery

The Constitution calls for a separation of church and state

The FFs were against the inclusion of any type of religion in the government

You’re intolerant/a bigot/narrow-minded for thinking that

Go read some history/do some research

It seems that most people don’t understand that the history they quote has actually been revised to remove any and all references to God and Christianity. At various historic sites around our nation, the evidence around the nation is being removed. While many don’t realize this is happening, many do know that it’s going on. On the floor of the Library of Congress, an image of Moses with the Ten Commandments has been covered with a rug. Plaques on various monuments and exhibits have been changed to deny the Christian aspect of the site. Scriptures on the different monuments and buildings are ignored or covered. Those things that the revisionists can’t cover up are explained away as something else. For instance, in the Supreme Court there is an image of Moses with the Ten Commandments above the bench. Because there is a law that the image cannot be covered up or changed, those giving tours tell the tourists that the image is actually showing the first 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights. Three of the stained glass windows that used to be in Christ Church were removed in 1986 under the pretense of being “cleaned”; they’re still cleaning them. Actually, the windows were put into storage and replaced with clear glass. The windows showed the Founding Fathers praying and calling out to God. Christ Church is the church that George Washington and others attended.

So what is the true history of America? First, we have to understand that history is not what we make it. A true historian can only account for what happened. Historians cannot interpret history. The facts are there for them to report. If they interpret the facts instead of telling what happened, then it is not history it’s a fairy tale. This goes for Biblical history as well. If there is a gap between one point in history and another, the historians can express what they believe may have happened, but they cannot fill in the gaps with their theories and say that it’s what really happened.

 

Were the Founding Fathers Christians?

 

It is necessary to determine this because it would quell a lot of the complaints and allow us to understand how they saw their place and their nation. If the Founding Fathers were Christians (not the false converts that many are today), they would have wanted a nation based on what they believed. Many will argue about who believed what, but what did the men say about themselves and other Founding Fathers?

When Jared Sparks was writing his compilation of George Washington’s writings he spent an entire volume (volume 12) focused on Washington’s faith. After spending years compiling and pouring over letters, writings, and correspondences, Sparks concluded:

To say that he [George Washington] was not a Christian would be to impeach his sincerity and honesty. Of all men in the world, Washington was certainly the last whom any one would charge with dissimulation or indirectness [hypocrisies and evasiveness]; and if he was so scrupulous in avoiding even a shadow of these faults in every known act of his life, [regardless of] however unimportant, is it likely, is it credible, that in a matter of the highest and most serious importance [his religious faith, that] he should practice through a long series of years a deliberate deception upon his friends and the public? It is neither credible nor possible.

In the same volume, Sparks also includes a letter from Washington’s granddaughter, Nelly Custis-Lewis. Nelly was more than just Washington’s granddaughter. When her father died, George and Martha Washington adopted both Nelly and her brother George, who were the youngest of the four children John left behind. Nelly and George were already living at Mount Vernon, and Nelly would spend the next 20 years in Washington’s presence. Sparks wrote to Nelly on Washington’s Christianity and received her response within a week. In it, Nelly made it clear that Washington’s faith was vital to him and his character. She ended the letter with a telling thought that condemns all of those who would try to make Washington something other than a devout Christian:

Is it necessary that any one should certify, “General Washington avowed himself to me a believer in Christianity?” As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country. His mottos were, “Deeds, not Words”; and, “For God and my Country.”

With sentiments of esteem,

I am, Nelly Custis-Lewis

Those who would question Washington’s faith also question his patriotism and devotion to his country. To Nelly, they were anchored in his faith. This confession of Washington’s faith comes only second to his own:

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. (George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XI, pp. 342-343, General Orders of May 2, 1778.)I now make it my earnest prayer that God would… most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion. (George Washington, The Last Official Address of His Excellency George Washington to the Legislature of the United States (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1783), p. 12; see also The New Annual Register or General Repository of History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1783 (London: G. Robinson, 1784), p. 150.)

Another founding father that is often touted as a deist or worse is Thomas Jefferson. But what did Jefferson say about himself? Did he say anything that might give us reason to believe he was more than a deist?

The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses. (Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Alberty Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XII, p. 315, to James Fishback, September 27, 1809.)I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others. (Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Grey & Bowen, 1830), Vol. III, p. 506, to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803.)I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ. (Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington, D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIV, p. 385, to Charles Thomson on January 9, 1816.)

So, if Jefferson said these things about himself, why would others say that he wasn’t? It is because if there were godly men in our history, then we do have a Christian heritage and our nation has been founded on Christian principles. It means that the men who were involved in the forging of our nation feared God and knew that He will hold us personally and nationally accountable to Him. But what about other founders?

John Adams

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. (Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.)The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost… There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation. (Letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated December 21, 1809, from the original in our possession.)John Quincy Adams

My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to] . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God. (John Adams and John Quincy Adams, The Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams, Adrienne Koch and William Peden, editors (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946), p. 292, John Quincy Adams to John Adams, January 3, 1817.)In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. (John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.)Samuel Adams

I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins. (From the Last Will & Testament of Samuel Adams, attested December 29, 1790; see also Samuel Adams, Life & Public Services of Samuel Adams, William V. Wells, editor (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1865), Vol. III, p. 379, Last Will and Testament of Samuel Adams.)Josiah Bartlett

Called on the people of New Hampshire . . .

to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord. (Josiah Bartlett, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 17, 1792.)Gunning Bedford

To the triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost – be ascribed all honor and dominion, forevermore – Amen. (Gunning Bedford, Funeral Oration Upon the Death of General George Washington (Wilmington: James Wilson, 1800), p. 18, Evans #36922.)Charles Carroll

On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits, not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts. (From an autograph letter in our possession written by Charles Carroll to Charles W. Wharton, Esq., September 27, 1825.)I, Charles Carroll. . . . give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it, my body to the earth, hoping that through and by the merits, sufferings, and mediation of my only Savior and Jesus Christ, I may be admitted into the Kingdom prepared by God for those who love, fear and truly serve Him. (Kate Mason Rowland, Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890), Vol. II, pp. 373-374, will of Charles Carroll, Dec. 1, 1718 (later replaced by a subsequent will not containing this phrase, although he reexpressed this sentiment on several subsequent occasions, including repeatedly in the latter years of his life).)John Dickinson

Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity. (From the Last Will & Testament of John Dickinson, attested March 25, 1808.)Benjamin Franklin

The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beatiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author. (Benjamin Franklin, Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin (Dublin: P. Wogan, P. Byrne, J. More, and W. Janes, 1793), p. 149.)Patrick Henry

Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. (A. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia (Auburn and Buffalo: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1854), p. 250.)John Jay

By conveying the Bible to people . . . we certainly do them a most interesting act of kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced. The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed – that this Redeemer has made atonement “for the sins of the whole world,” and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy, has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve. The Bible will also [encourage] them with many explicit and consoling assurances of the Divine mercy to our fallen race, and with repeated invitations to accept the offers of pardon and reconciliation. . . . They, therefore, who enlist in His service, have the highest encouragement to fulfill the duties assigned to their respective stations; for most certain it is, that those of His followers who [participate in] His conquests will also participate in the transcendent glories and blessings of His Triumph. (John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York: Burt Franklin, 1890), Vol. IV, pp. 494, 498, from his “Address at the Annual Meeting of the American Bible Society,” May 13, 1824.)

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–Time after time, the founding fathers were unashamed of the faith and trust that they placed solely in the Lord and His Son. It is something that many don’t know. Unfortunately, many do and are trying to keep this from being related.

A Christian Nation

 

Logically, it would make sense to think that if the nation’s founders were Christians, then they would want the nation that they formed to be a Christian one. They would strive to build it upon Christian principles and exhort others to follow those principles. When immigrants first came to America, it was because they wanted a haven for Christians, where they could practice their Christian faith without interference from the king and the government. So what did the founders say about America and her foundation?

John Quincy Adams

Charles Carrollton –

Benjamin Franklin

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. (Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)

Jedediah Morse

Benjamin Rush

Noah Webster

– The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible . . . The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible . . . For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts. (Source: Noah Webster, History of the United States, “Advice to the Young” (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 338-340, par. 51, 53, 56.) – By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published . . . All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself. “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 1:18] (Source: Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951), p. 936, to John Adams, January 23, 1807.) – To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings, which flow from them, must fall with them. (Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.) – I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governments in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments. (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.) – There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy. (Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.) Again, we see that our founding fathers stood tall on the moral foundation of Christianity. These quotes are far from exhaustive of the evidence for this, and yet, it’s something that many don’t know about anymore. They are things that have been removed from our history books but not from our history. Our founders were Christian men who not only placed their personal lives in the hands of the living God, they placed the success of their nation and it’s future into His hands as well.

Slavery

 

Many say that the founders wholeheartedly supported slavery and because of this, our nation couldn’t have possibly been a Christian nation. The issue of slavery has been a blight on the nation since it was born, but does this mean that the founders supported it?

William Livingston

– I would most ardently wish to become a member of it [the anti-slavery society] and . . . I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity . . . May the great and the equal Father of the human race, who has expressly declared His abhorrence of oppression, and that He is no respecter of persons, succeed a design so laudably calculated to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. (William Livingston, The Papers of William Livingston, Carl E. Prince, editor (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988), Vol. V, p. 255)John Quincy Adams

– The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural stepmother country and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves. “Nothing is more certainly written,” said he, “in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free.” (John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their Request, on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), p. 50)James Otis

– “The colonists are by the law of nature freeborn, as indeed all men are, white or black.” (Albert Bushnell Hart, The American Nation: A History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906), vol. 16, Slavery and Abolition, 1831-1841, p. 53)George Washington

– I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]. (Letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786, in George Washington: A Collection, ed. W.B. Allen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988), p. 319)Charles Carroll

– Why keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil. (Kate Mason Rowland, Life and Correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (New York & London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898), Vol. II, p. 321, to Robert Goodloe Harper, April 23, 1820. In Barton, p. 3)Benjamin Rush

– Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity . . . It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men. (Benjamin Rush, Minutes of the Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States Assembled at Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Zachariah Poulson, 1794), p. 24)Noah Webster

– Justice and humanity require it [the end of slavery] – Christianity commands it. Let every benevolent . . . pray for the glorious period when the last slave who fights for freedom shall be restored to the possession of that inestimable right. (Noah Webster, Effect of Slavery on Morals and Industry (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1793), p. 48.)John Adams

– Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States . . . I have, through my whole life, held the practice of slavery in . . . abhorrence. (Adams to Robert J. Evans, June 8, 1819, in Adrienne Koch and William Peden, eds., Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams (New York: Knopf, 1946), p. 209.)
My opinion against it [slavery] has always been known. . . . [N]ever in my life did I own a slave. (John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1854), Vol. IX, pp. 92-93, to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley on January 24, 1801.)Benjamin Franklin

– “Slavery is . . . an atrocious debasement of human nature.” (“An Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery” (1789), in Franklin, Writings (New York: Library of America, 1987), p. 1154)Thomas Jefferson

– He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere . . . Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. (Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, ed. (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore, and Mason, 1839), Vol. VIII, p. 42, to the Rev. Dean Woodward on April 10, 1773)Slavery has been misportrayed more often than not in American history. Many (if not all) states have always had free blacks that voted and took office. Those who fought in the Revolution gained their freedom in every state except South Carolina and Georgia. Many people don’t realize that the founders were ardently against slavery and that it was King George who kept the practice going. While it’s largely unknown, this (along with religious freedom) was a reason for the colonies declaring their independence. While some people would say that the Constitution is pro-slavery because it doesn’t openly mention anti-slavery sentiments. This is not a strong position at all. It must be remembered that the founding fathers believed that the states should retain the majority of the power in making decisions for it’s people.

Separation of church and state

 

The idea of church and state being separated is one that is constantly offered whenever people talk about religion and government. Many, many people who hate God and want nothing to do with Him or His rules say that the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state. This is false. There is nothing in the Constitution that mentions the phrase “separation of church and state”. The courts hold this ideal even though it isn’t in the Constitution. The phrase actually comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Dansbury Baptists on January 1st of 1802:not believe. It was the federal government that the Constitution limited and not the American people. Now, our government and many of those who call themselves “leaders” have turned that idea on it’s ear in order to grab more power from the people. The personal letter that Jefferson wrote has only been appealed to twice before 1947. In the earlier case, the court understood Jefferson’s intent and upheld the Constitution. In the 1947 case of Everson vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court first declared that the First Amendment “erected a wall of separation between church and state”. Ironically, the 1947 case only used Jefferson’s 8 word phrase where the earlier case used the entire letter, including:public expressions of God, public prayer, and use of scriptures. These things were considered traditional religious practices and untouchable by the government. Even more, in the records of the time spent by the founders constructing America’s foundational documents, not once was the idea of “separation of church and state” even mentioned. If it were such a fundamental idea to the founders, why would it be absent from their long discussions?blessing, and protection. They cannot have this and will fight it at any cost. Why? Because to admit that this is true would mean to admit that God is the cause of it and that would mean admitting that God exists. This would then lead to the fact that they would have to be accountable to that God and to His rules. They could no longer live the way that they wanted and they could no longer take the glory and honor for themselves. It would also mean that their actions in removing God from public view would be an attack on God Himself. It would mean that they would be rebels against God (which they already are anyway) and it would mean that they are wrong. It is this last point that may be the biggest reason. If they are wrong, then their pride would be seriously hurt. Their “intellectualism” would be nothing more than fantasies and fairy tales they’ve used to insulate themselves from the truth. Even worse, they would have to admit that Christians who are trying to restore the truth of America’s history are right. They will avoid this at all costs.

Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, and Stephen s. Nelson
A Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut.

Washington, January 1, 1802

Gentlemen–The affectionate sentiment of esteem and approbation, which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802

(Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert E. Bergh, ed. (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, 1904), Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282)

The Baptists were concerned that the federal government would try to create a national denomination and determine what America’s people would have to believe:

Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter, together with the laws made coincident therewith, were adapted as the basis of our government at the time of our revolution. And such has been our laws and usages, and such still are, [so] that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen.

(Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, from the Thomas Jefferson Papers Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)

It must be remembered that these men were all Christians who came to the new country to practice Christianity without interference from the state (which King George did both in England and until the states gained their freedom from England). The founders felt that much of the power in the government belonged to the people and the states. It also must be remembered that this was a personal letter between Jefferson and the Dansbury Baptists. It was not any presidential letter or execution of the presidential office. It was also not written in the context that many use it today. The Baptists were also concerned that the current and future government officials might look at the free practice of religion as favors granted by the federal government instead of inalienable rights provided by God. They were afraid that the federal government would become centralized and make an effort to limit religious expression. The Baptists said that this was only right when it caused a man “to work ill to his neighbor”. Thomas Jefferson felt the same way they did. He made it very clear in many different addresses:

[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. Kentucky Resolution, 1798 (The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, editor (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), p. 977; see also Documents of American History, Henry S. Cummager, editor (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1948), p. 179.)In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805 (Annals of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1852, Eighth Congress, Second Session, p. 78, March 4, 1805; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.)[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 (Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.)I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 (Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, pp. 103-104, to the Rev. Samuel Millar on January 23, 1808.)According to the authors of the Constitution, each man, woman, and child has been given inalienable rights according to what scripture says God has already given to man. They believed, along with many of their contemporaries that the federal government had no place in determining what Americans could or could

Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson’s letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.( Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878).)The Baptists, Jefferson, and many others actually listed many events where the federal government could intervene, but they were specific events and not blanket statements. These events and acts did not include

The reality

 

There is a very simple set of reasons for why there are people who are trying to revise the history of this nation. If our founders believed devoutly in God like their writings indicate they did, then it would mean that this country was based on Christian principles. Not only that, but it would mean that the Christian God would have been responsible for our nation’s birth,

Our nation was founded on Christian principles and it was founded by Christian men who feared God. They prayed daily, clung to the Scriptures for their guidance and subsistence, and often proclaimed national days of fasting and prayer. These men understood that it was nothing they did that made America what it was. God’s providence and protection is what made it what it was. It would do well for our nation today if those who claim to be leaders would take a look at America’s true history and follow the example of those men who helped to birth our nation. If they would repent of their sins and turn to God, this nation would turn around very quickly. All of the things that we call problems (disease, economic problems, defense issues, education problems, family/marital problems, drugs, murder, etc) are not the real problem. Our nation has one problem and that problem is sin. And there is nothing that we can do to fix our problem. It is only through repentance and faith that we can see that problem dealt with. We must repent individually and corporately before God if we are to see our nation truly turn around. And it must start in the church…

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