To The Daily Sun,
L.J. Siden and Mr. Cracraft are at it again. In addressing America being founded as a Christian nation, they cite the Constitution.
I'd like to put out the question, does anybody know off the top of their head the date on which the Constitution was ratified? Probably not most. How about the date that the Declaration of Independence was allegedly signed. Most of us know that immediately, the 4th of July. Why? Because it was the official founding of our nation, not the ratification of the Constitution, which starts, "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union." The nation had already been founded at the time that it was written, as the preamble clearly states. Mr. Siden and Mr. Cracraft start there because it serves their purpose, not because they're interested in portraying and accurate presentation of American history.
America has never been a Christian nation by a federal mandate. I don't think anyone who knows anything about history is inferring that. Mr. Sidon and Mr. Cracraft and others go there because thy figure if they make that the straw man, that they can seem to win the argument.
Mr. Siden says in the opening of his letter, "the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. Those who make the claim portray themselves as knowing, but it's more an expression of emotion, not of empirical fact." I would encourage Mr. Siden to look at the Declaration of Independence our actual founding document; and let's be clear, without our winning our independence there would have been no Constitution. Here are some excerpts: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." "We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;" "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
The signing of this Declaration was the actual founding of our nation, and we celebrate it as such. And in it, it clearly expresses a reliance on the Creator in pursuing our independence, or if you will our nationhood. This is a historical fact.
Just who does Mr. Siden and Mr. Cracraft think this God upon whom these were relying upon was? They might examine almost any of the original drafts of our state constitutions to gain a clue. Of course then there's the colonies original charters they might look at. Oh then there's those pesky inscriptions on monuments found around the country. Maybe, Washington's Farewell Address, they might want to read? Perhaps they might read the inscription on the Lincoln memorial? Or maybe they could even examine state laws that were on the books even into the 20th century.
Even the section of Article VI of the Constitution that they allude to, they did not quote it, I will; it requires an oath or affirmation of officers in support of the Constitution. What is the weight of an oath or affirmation if there is no Supreme Judge. Here's the quote, "and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." This but was added because the writers understood the Christian orientation of the people at large and did not want others to be discriminated against, or to establish any one denomination over others.
Were all born-again Christians? No. But the church's many different denominations and splinter groups, some of whom even ceased being "Christian", exercised great influence not only in numbers, though this they did, but by consensus in the population and culture as a whole, and our values were Christian values, to the point that someone coming from America was considered a Christian whether he was one or not because he was from a Christian culture. This was the case though most of the 20th century.
The liberty that we have enjoyed has been a direct consequence of that Christian orientation. Even the checks and balances in our government are the result of a Christian understanding of unregenerated man's corrupt tendencies as opposed to modern progressives' naive optimism toward human nature.
Through public education influenced by humanism and a faithless U.S. Supreme Court our orientation as a nation has changed. And make no mistake about it, America's love for liberty was a direct consequence our Christian orientation. Except in a subculture that still holds to those Christian values you will see it no longer. Anyone who is truly interested in seeing the change that has occurred in our culture should Google the 1892 U.S. Supreme Court case Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States. This letter is already long so I will not quote it. Yet if you will do the diligence to look it up. You will by comparison see to how Christianity is viewed today in America compared to how it was viewed then. The change is enormous.
So to answer Mr. Cracraft. Our government wasn't designed to be antagonistic toward Christianity, but it has become so.
And again to Mr. Cracraft, wasn't it the pluralistic Roman Empire which crucified Christians who would not sacrifice a pinch of incense to the emperor.
And again to Mr. Cracraft. John Locke, was he a deist, sir? It seems I remember he wrote at least one Christian apology. It's funny that the first great awakening should have occurred just before our revolution. And our laws were based on Christian principles.
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