Freedom Doesn’t Change the Founding

“We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. uh uh We consider ourselves uh uh a nation of us citizens.” Barack Obama

 

 

Just wanted to contrast what Obama believes (and sadly, what Christians have even come to believe) with what our founders believed…

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty … of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” (1816) John Jay, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

 

“Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” William Penn 

 

“This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation … We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth … These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” (1892) Justice David Brewer

 

 

You gotta grasp this…written by Earl Warren, who was a liberal, Supreme Court Chief Justice:

 

“I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses … Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia … or to the Charter of New England … or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay … or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut … the same objective is present … a Christian landgoverned by Christian principles.

 

I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people … I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

 

If they weren’t afraid to say it, why are we? No matter what our nation is becoming, shouldn’t we cling to the greatness of the Christian principles which gave her such a noble beginning?

 

 

 

18 Responses to “Freedom Doesn’t Change the Founding”

  1. Quinn says:

    How far we have drifted!

    We aren’t taught this in public schools, so most don’t even recognize our Christian heritage for what it really was.

    I pray for a revival if not for us, for the generation we are rearing. With the help of godly women such as yourself blazing a trail for the rest of us it may be possible.

    God bless you!

  2. Bethany Hudson says:

    Kelly- I’ve been thinking about this all day. You ask if we shouldn’t still cling to the Christian principles that have underlied our nation’s values. To that, I would say, “Yes!” Where I get wary is when it comes to declaring ourselves a Christian nation. Being a Catholic, and having studied the history of my faith, I can say without hesitation that one of the best things to ever happen to the Catholic Church was for it to lose political power! Politcal power corrupted the Church; aligning too closely with the ruling government corrupted the practice and understanding of the faith. I do not want to see that happen again in my own country.

    I believe in clinging to Christian principles, however: the sacred value and dignity of every human life, justice, compassion for the poor, etc. While I hold firmly to these beliefs because I am a Christian, I do not necessarily believe that, as Christians, we can “fight” for those things on the grounds that they are Christian. Rather, we must hold firm to them personally because of our faith and our obedience to God, and “fight for” them in the political realm by showing our nation that they are truly for the best.

    Moreover, I struggle with the viewpoint that a purportedly Christian leader will be more likely to uphold God’s law than a leader who is of another faith or who is more secular. Not to open a can of worms, but for the sake of clarity, let’s consider George W. Bush. I believe that he has a firm belief in Jesus Christ, and that he is a faithful Christian. But, I think he made a lot of decisions that were unjust in that they overstepped the bounds of the executive office, and I believe that many of his foreign policies showed ignorance (rather than godly wisdom) and a lack of compassion and understanding for those of different backgrounds. These things are not godly, Christian values. Yet, a Christian man executed world-altering decisions based upon them.

    I’m not saying that Christian leaders are any MORE likely to act in such a way–and I certainly won’t say that George Bush did nothing GOOD while in office, too. I’m just saying that all leaders are going to make mistakes, and even Christians, on a daily basis, are going to do unChristian things. I believe that we have an obligation to give God reign as we consider our political decision-making, but I just don’t see that having “Christian” leaders or a “Christian” nation is necessarily going to make us a more GODLY nation. How many nations have been Christian in name only? And how many leaders? I mean, Obama is a church-going Christian. I’m not going to debate the state of his salvation or what anyone thinks of his faith; but by his own profession, he is a Christian. Something to consider.

    ~Bethany

  3. Ancient Christian says:

    Dear Kelly and others,

    I hope someone here (whether Kelly or those in agreement with her, Cassandra who voiced concerns similar to mine, or people who seem in the middle like Bethany) can comment on the perspective I offered in the previous post of one who has actually been systematically persecuted by a government, state, and majority because she was a Christian, but who also is strongly in favor of a secular American state.

    I am a U.S. citizen, in case some believe I have no stake in this debate.

    I have found that many Christians within the U.S. who complain of being “persecuted for Christ” seem to have no idea what constitutes religious persecution.

    The potential for persecution is a very real danger and, I believe, one of the major points to be argued in any debate over whether America should become (or remain, whichever you believe) a Christian nation.

    Peace,

    Ancient Christian

  4. Mrs. Taft says:

    Bethany: I resonate with a lot of what you said, and I think it comes back to principles. Obama may claim Christianity, but he and his policies are not in line with Christian principles (this is true of Bush as well). It’s not necessarily a question of profession of faith, but evidence of principles. Because the Christian principles that would guide a nation faithfully aren’t religious per se, but moral and good. In that respect, I think that a leader who is of good principles would, yes, be more likely to govern with those moral principles intact.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Obama may claim Christianity, but he and his policies are not in line with Christian principles…”

    Are you referring just to his policies on abortion and stem cell research or to other policies as well?

    Cassandra

  6. sheena says:

    I cherish our Christian roots. I will strive to teach our children that our county’s early reliance on God for His justice, mercy, freedom, and wisdom is the reason our nation has been so richly blessed among nations.

    As we now verbally denounce any national faith in God or connection to His principles, we are willingly placing ourselves outside of the circle of His blessing. By arrogantly denying any necessary connection to the living God, we place ourselves in an area of grave danger. This pattern of boastful self-reliance of countries and the devastating horrible ends they came to is repeated over and over again in the books of the prophets.

    It’s a scary place to be. But God is merciful and faithfully remembers His own.

    amen?

  7. Mrs. Taft says:

    Other policies as well, but, that really would be enough, basic as they are.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sheena- AMEN!
    I am not a bible scholar but I do read it daily. Isn’t this attitude similar to what we see happen to Israelites in the OT?

    Very scary.

  9. authenticallyme says:

    Does it really matter whether we were founded on christian principles? The plain truth is, somewhere along the line, people claiming they were christians, or a part of this ‘christian nation’, ceased to behave or act christian-like. And now we are left with a less than Godly country in which we live.

    It almost makes a mockery out of us to continue to claim we *are* a christian nation. Founded? yes. But it looks like somewhere along the line some people were just ‘playing the part’ perhaps….

    I do not say we arent a christian nation because we werent founded on those principles. I say it because its embarrassing to see how we live if thats true. You can be founded on something all you like….once the principles are trashed, and generations birthed who dont live by christian principles…..we find ourselves in a mess.

    Does the historical fact that we were foundedly a Christian nation, change the truth and relaity of what *is*, today?

    That being said, I agree with the overall points. I just wonder if Obama is viewing what we *are* today, verses what we were founded on. Not many christians live here anymore, so what else can he say?

  10. Word Warrior says:

    Authentically me,

    You’re absolutely right–we are certainly no longer a Christian nation in practice. But why bring it up that we once were?

    For me, it matters because as a nation founded by Christians to operate from a Christian worldview, that gives us a baseline to work from; in other words, we once were, the foundations were laid, and we have the right to continue fighting to return there.

    If our beginnings were not so strongly established, we could say now, “well, it doesn’t really matter what we are”…but I think it matters greatly. If we would return to our original operating worldview, our nation would prosper again; otherwise, we are headed for a downfall–as predicted by our very founders if we ever turned away from God.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ancient Christian,

    I wanted to respond to what you were asking about religious persecution.

    Personally, I have not experienced religious persecution. I grew up Christian, protected by my parents, and have lived in fairly tolerant areas of the United States (midwest and West). It is only on the internet that I find myself labeled as “not a Christian” “not Christian enough” “misguided” “misled” or just plain “stupid” because I dare to ask questions.

    However, the denomination I belong to has been around for 160 or so years and was started here in the United States. People have been persecuted for following their beliefs in the late 1800s, early 1900s by American Blue Laws. These are various laws passed by different states that prohibit working on Sunday and forced work on the other 6 days of the week. This is a very dangerous law to someone who worships on the Saturday Sabbath. People were beaten, thrown in prison, lost their jobs, ridiculed, chased out of town, etc. These weren’t just stories but documented issues in my denomination’s history.

    What worries me personally about a drive by mainstream Christianity to “return to our Christian roots” is that it is very possible that again my denomination will be persecuted. It has happened in America. It can happen again. Those Sunday Blue Laws were never repealed. They are just inactive laws that aren’t enforced. If the country decided that we need to get back to Sunday worship, encourage people to return to church, and wanted to enforce that… Where does that leave me? I choose to worship on Sabbath. I believe that God never changed the Sabbath day of rest. In that way, I disagree from mainstream Christianity. That makes me a minority exposed to the threat of religious persecution.

    Cassandra

  12. authenticallyme says:

    But Kelly, I wonder how that differs for a Christian living in a country that WASNT founded on Christian principles? Or a country that *was* but just didnt call them ‘christian principles’ by name. How does someone who resides there, live?

    Either way, as a Christian, we are supposed to live a certain way.

    I guess I look at it like I am often a foreigner, just living in this world for the time being.

    In our own way, I think christians everywhere are fighting a war in their countries.

  13. Bethany Hudson says:

    I have to admit, I hold some of the same concerns as Cassandra and Ancient Christian. Being a Catholic, I have been faced with many Christians who considered me a pagan, unsaved, a heretic, or what have you. A study of the immigration waves in the late 19th and early 20th centuries will show that many “Christians” in our country were non too happy to have so many Catholics heading across the Atlantic. I have been exposed to many different Christians denominations, and one thing that astonishes me is how very different they all are. Then, throw Mulsims, Hindus, Buddhists, Deists, Jews, Agnostics, Atheists, Pagans, etc. into the mix, and you’ve got a HUGE range of beliefs and practices. I just don’t see how having a “Christian law” or a “Christian nation” would accommodate those people, even if we say it would. And, like Ancient Christian pointed out, how long will it be before the “Christian leaders” begin to get power-crazed and start to tamper with the teachings of the faith, corrupting them into a mockery of the religion we hold so dear? How long before we would impose a second Inquisition or another Crusade?

    I’m not saying we should abandon Christian principles are throw up our hands and say, “I’m through with politics!” But, I maintain that the best way to achieve our political goals as Christians is to engage in rational, thoughtful dialogue and SHOW our country that God’s principles are the BEST. We cannot rely on saying, “Well, God says,” or “It’s in the Bible” because that means nothing–or even might mean something bad–to so many of our fellow citizens.

    Many commenters have compared the state of the US to that of ancient Israel. But, there is a big difference to me: In the case of Israel, God declared that nation to be holy unto Him. While He has claimed us Christians as His people set apart, too, He has not declared America so. So, when Israel disobeyed God, it was different than when America disobeys God. I’m not saying America won’t still suffer the consequences, but I am saying that the situation in the US is different from that of Ancient Israel. God is jealous for His people, but not for America. Just as He was jealous for Israel, but not for Egypt–under which government they were ruled.

    So, Christian principles: Yes! Good! But, I just feel that it would be arrogant and foolhardy for us to expect that our country will embrace those principles because of what God and our Holy Book says about them. God’s principles are good because God is GOOD, JUST, WISE, and TRUE. I believe that the majority of Americans will recognize these things if they are respectfully shown them. But, to say something is good, just, wise, and true simply because it is Christian is not seen as respectful to many people–it is seen as ignorant. There’s no need for us to deny that God is the primary reason we understand Christian principles to be good or true, etc. But, to expect the rest of the country to jump on the bandwagon is rather far-fetched and, frankly, insulting. How would you all feel if you were in Iran and someone tried to tell you that an Islamic principle of the government was true simply because it was in the Koran? You’d want more proof wouldn’t you? And, wouldn’t you be just a little insulted?

    Again, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to keep Christian principles alive in our systems of law and government. I’m just saying that I think we need to be realistic about the fact that, apart from having a Christian State, I don’t see how we could accomplish that just by claiming those principles as Christian. I hope that makes sense.

    ~Bethany

  14. Bex says:

    Just because you’ve listed quotations from (a few) founding fathers doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t list anti-religious quotations from some others.

    The FFs were a surprisingly diverse bunch (in some respects). Many of them were Unitarians, actually, but I can’t imagine you pleading with us to return to our original Unitarian heritage!

  15. Rachel says:

    What I think many people don’t grasp is the fact that their is freedom in this country BECAUSE of Christianity. Our morals and laws are based on Christian principles. The idea that murder is wrong is not just “good” morals, it is based on God’s laws. If we were founded by muslims we would not hold those same morals. In muslim countries certain murders are acceptable. Husbands are allowed to kill their wives and daughters if they dishonor the family.The killing of infidels (non muslims) is encouraged. That is different from how we believe here in the USA.
    I guess my point is morals don’t just exist, they come from somewhere. Our morals and principles come from the Bible. If we decide to forget our Christian heritage we make room for “morals” that come from other sources. Already we are seeing the effect. Hopefully, we can all agree that abortion is legalized murder, we have taken a step from our Christian principles and let someone else decide what is exceptable killings. Also, look at Terri Shivaglio (sp?).
    If we continue to look the other way and forget our founding principles we let foreign principles and ideas shape the laws of our land and soon it will be full blown persecution of Christians.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A couple thoughts and questions…

    1 – Semantically, our nation was not founded on “Christian” principles, as Christianity has only been around for 2,000 years. In all reality, if you want to claim it was founded religiously, it would have to be said that it was founded strictly on God’s principles.

    2 – Is it really murder for a husband to kill his wife for disrespecting the family? The Jewish people killed members of their society for breaking the Sabbath, for disrespecting their parents, etc. They even killed women for sleeping around outside of marriage (Deuteronomy 22:20-22).

    3 – What is the difference between a husband killing a wife for disrespect in Muslim countries (a crime in their society, based on their religious beliefs) and a court ruling that a man is to be killed for committing murder (a crime in our society, based on religious beliefs)? Why is one considered murder and the other just punishment?

    4 – I’m asking this with the greatest respect. Please believe me when I say I’m not trying to start an argument, but it’s been something I’ve studied and studied and debated and have yet to come to a solid conclusion on. Where in the Bible does it state that to kill an unborn child is murder? Where does the Bible declare that an unborn child is considered a human being? I keep tripping over the verse in Exodus which says that “If men strive [fight] an hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit [fetus] depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine”
    (21:22).

    If anyone cares to tackle any of these questions from the Bible, I would really appreciate it. I have been searching for answers and would like to determine the truth regarding these difficult topics.

    Cassandra

  17. Word Warrior says:

    Cassandra,

    Our nation is only a little over 200 years old (not 2,000) so I’m not sure what you mean by “it can’t be founded on Christianity).

    Though I’m no an expert at apologetics and understanding the old law vs. the new law, I know God’s people were released from many of the old laws under the new covenant, which is why we no longer stone our children or wives for disrespect.

    I don’t have an answer yet for #3 but I’m thinking πŸ˜‰

    As far as “where does the Bible say an unborn child is human?

    The passage you mentioned in Exodus says “if no mischief follows” indicates that she is giving birth to a premature, LIVING baby. The “mischief” would be a loss of life in which case the perpetrator would pay with his life.

    Jeremiah 1:5 says,

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    Psalm 139 says:

    β€œβ€¦All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.”
    – Psalm 139:16

    And the knowledge that if God gives life (this is where we’ve really clouded up our thinking) then it is life, period. There is no place from conception when the life isn’t *living*. It wouldn’t make sense to assume that God didn’t consider an unborn child a human, especially with all the references to “knowing” us before we are born.

  18. Anonymous says:

    re: Our nation is only a little over 200 years old (not 2,000) so I’m not sure what you mean by “it can’t be founded on Christianity.”

    Sorry, wasn’t clear enough. I mean that the laws of God that Christian morals are founded on are even older than Christianity. The laws didn’t originate with Christianity, nor with Judaism. So if you want to be clear, you’d have to say that “the USA was founded on God’s laws.” Period. πŸ™‚

    Still thinking about your other responses. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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