MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

If We’re Not a Christian Nation…

April 14th, 2007 Viewed 2241 times

What is with all the public references to Christian religion?  In reality, those that would argue against the United States being a Christian nation would have a hard time proving it to anyone on the outside.

From the outside, foreigners believe that we have strange, puritanical beliefs compared to the “free” Western societies.

But, one does not have to go to the effort of asking a foreigner– just look at some examples of a society that proclaims that America at least was Christian:

The history of America’s laws, its constitutional system, the reason for the American Revolution, or the basis of its guiding political philosophy cannot accurately be discussed without reference to its biblical roots. Every President, from George Washington to George Bush, has placed his hand on a Bible and asked for the protection of God upon taking office. Both Houses of Congress open each daily session with a prayer. The phrase “In God We Trust” is emblazoned on all U.S. currency. Witnesses are expected to swear on a Bible before testifying in a court of law. The Christian Sabbath is a national day of rest; many states restrict the sale of liquor and the operation of restaurants on the Lord’s Day in order to encourage religious worship and time spent at home. A government official opens each day’s session of the Supreme Court with the plea, “God save the United States and the Honorable Court.” The Ten Commandments appear on the wall above the head of the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court; which is ironic when one considers that it is this very judicial body that declared it unconstitutional for states to do the same in the public schools. These laws and customs all have their origins in America’s Christian past and provide a clue as to the assumptions guiding the creation of America’s form of government, assumptions the founding fathers had about man’s nature, his place in eternity, and the character of the God to whom he is accountable. It is these ultimate concerns that determine the shape of society.

So you see, the argument that we are a secular society must rest squarely on the absence of God in the Constitution, but a quick glance of what was important to the founders and what was ruled into law and practice is more important.

Common Law, the 10 Commandments, and the Constitution

April 7th, 2007 Viewed 2260 times

One of the factors in determining the roots of our current law system necessitates tracing back the roots of our rights.  To find those roots, we need to look at the documents and concepts available to the founders as they prepared them.

On October 14, 1774, the Constitutional Congress of the United States issued its Declaration of Rights.  Among the rights were the following:

Resolved, N.C.D. 5. That the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and more especially to the great and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage, according to the course of that law.

So, at that time, what would have been considered the common law of England?  For that, we have to go back to one of the documents that you’ve heard about, the Magna Carta:

Jefferson’s Creator

March 31st, 2007 Viewed 2273 times

One of the arguments that Christians like to try to use is that the acknowledgement of the Creator is in the Constitution.  It isn’t.  It is in the Declaration of Independence– and regardless of its location it has a lot to tell us about what the founders of this country believed and the framework from which they conceived this great country.

The arguments that people are trying to use today is that the Declaration of Independence can mean any Creator God.  The problem is, Jefferson knew exactly who his audience was.  To quote Benjamin Hart,

There were no Moslems, Buddhists, Confucianists, or Hindus present at either the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or eleven years hence at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  Jefferson was addressing Christians.  His entire argument about people having “unalienable rights” is contingent on the existence of God, and One who cares deeply about each and every individual.

Jefferson is the origin of the logic that I’ve used many times here– if God is not the originator of liberty (if they are not gifts of his) then the state is the highest moral authority and has the rights to determine what is right or wrong based on the whim of those in power.

George Washington

March 24th, 2007 Viewed 2318 times

Are we, or are we not a Christian nation?  It seems to be a question more people are asking as time passes and Christianity is challenged in America.  I’ve had this discussion on this blog in comments, and so I thought we could take some time to delve into this question and see if we can find a good answer.

In the book Faith and Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty, starts out looking at George Washington, and I would like to quote a passage that we need to absorb and understand:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support,” he said.  “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with pious men, ought to respect and cherish them.  A volume could not trace all the connections with private and public felicity.  Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religions obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on the minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”  Washington knew well that a nation’s laws spring from its morals and that its morals spring from its religion.  And the religion of which Washington spoke was clear to all who knew him: “It is impossible to govern rightly without God and the Bible,” he said.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.