Revolutionary War Historical Article
Who Do You Believe, the Revisionists or the Founding Fathers?
By Donald N. Moran
Editor's Note: This article was reprinted from the February 2005 Edition of the Liberty Tree Newsletter
With all the attacks on Christmas, the Boys Scouts, on religion in general, etc., and the impact this is having on the world today, we felt we should publish our views. We have no intentions of debating theology, or the lower courts or the Supreme Court's demonstrated inability to read the English language. We will simply defend the Founding Fathers. The antireligious groups continually declare that the Founding Fathers wanted separation of church and state. Simply stated, if the Founding Fathers believed that was necessary they would have said so and put it in our Constitution.
What amazes us, is that no one is making the link between communism/socialism and the attacks on religion. The attacks on our religion started during the height of the cold war! Coincidence? We have all personally seen that socialism opposes religion - - any country that adopted socialism did everything possible to discourage religion. At the same time they also opposed nationalism. In both cases they revised history to support their position. We have also seen that it was religion that played a strong part in bringing down these regimes.
In defense of our Founding Fathers - - were you aware that 52 of the 55 signers of The Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in God, but had not declared for a specific church.
These same delegates legislated the establishment of the American Bible Society.
In 1782, the United States Congress approved a resolution which stated: "The congress of the United I States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools. They purchased and imported 20,000 Bibles to be made available to the American people."
Now, let's take a brief look at the men that founded this great Country. The man history has designated, the firebrand of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry, is still remembered for his famous words, "Give me liberty or give me death." But in our current school textbooks the balance of his 1775 speech has been deleted. "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that. presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir, is not of the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death. "
Did Patrick Henry believe in God? In year 1777 he wrote this: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here." Patrick Henry was trying to influence the thinking of an entire population so why would he continually invoke the name of God, if he wasn't addressing religious people?
On March 9th, 1790 Benjamin Franklin wrote to Ezra Stiles: "You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them. . . . ."
George Washington, the Father of our Country, in his farewell address as our First President, on September 19th, 1796 said: "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
Did George Washington, the President of the Constitutional Convention that wrote our Constitution believe in God? In his personal book of prayer, he penned the following prayer: "Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, 0 Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thy son, Jesus Christ."
John Adams, our second President, served as chairman of the American Bible Society. In an address he said, "We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. "
Our Constitution defined our form of government, and divided it into to three parts, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Our first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay stated that when we select our national leaders, if we are to preserve our Nation, we must select Christians. "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. "
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote on the fly leaf of his personal Bible: "I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also."
James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government;far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments. "
John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was our sixth U.S. President Like his father, he was also the President of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role. On July 4th, 1821, he said: "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. "
Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3). "
For over century, more than fifty percent of all Harvard graduates were ministers! It is clear from history that the Bible and the Christian faith were foundational in our educational and judicial system.
William Holmes McGuffey, the author of the "McGuffey Reader", for over 100 years it was the reader used in all our public schools. It was used until 1963, and over 125 million copies had been printed. President Lincoln called him the "Schoolmaster of the Nation." Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology. "
In 1947, it all changed! The Supreme Court removed the prayer that had been used for over 100 years at the opening of each session of the Court. "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee. We beg Thy blessings upon us and our parents and our teachers and our country. Amen."
How can anyone look at the writings of our Founding Fathers and doubt, let alone question their religious beliefs? From their published remarks, and the total lack of challenges to said remarks, their collective belief was we were under the protection of almighty God.
In 1963, during the height of the Cold War, the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading was outlawed as unconstitutional in the public school system, under a previously unknown clause "Separation of Church and State", which incidentally is not found anywhere in the Constitution. The court offered this justification: "If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could and have been psychologically harmful to children."
Bible reading was now unconstitutional? In 1965, the Court went ever further, trampling the freedom of speech portion of the First Amendment into the mud when it declared that "a public school student could not audibly give his or her prayer before eating in a public school cafeteria."
Today, we are fighting a "religious war". Like it or not, that is what the war on terrorism is all about. Had we lost World War II, today we'd be speaking German and have a totally different form of government, but if we lose today's war, we simply will become extinct.
If we could show the Moslem world that we worship the same God they do, just a bit differently, perhaps today's conflict could have been avoided. But, instead, they view us as being in league with the devil. Why do they have that opinion? In this country it is illegal for our children to pray or even mention God in our public school. We had a ridiculous public debate over our most popular national holiday, Christmas, the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. Our Courts have thrown the Boy Scouts of America off public property and our military bases because they require a belief in God? As a people we may not be in league with the devil, but for an outsider looking in, we certainly must appear that way.
It never occurred to our Founding Fathers that their concern for the government sponsoring a single church, to the exclusion of all others as the crown had done, would lead to the banishment of all references to God and his teachings. They surely would have taken steps to correct it. The first amendment to the Bill of Rights would certainly have been worded differently.