A few days ago, I came across this post over at Agent Tim's Blog. It spoke about a letter to the editor that was published in the Daily Record on May 21. The writer of this letter, Jeffrey Huppert, claimed among other things that America was not a Christian nation and that most if not all the Founders were deists. Naturally, I had to set the record straight. I sent the following letter in to the Daily Record, but they truncated it quite a bit when it was actually published. Oh well! I got at least part of the word across.
While surfing the blogosphere, I came across a link to a letter to the editor in the Daily Record titled "America not a Christian Nation". I would appreciate it if certain people would take the time to get their facts straight.
The only accurate statement in the letter was the opening sentence:
"A recent letter claimed that the United States was founded on Christian thought."
Jeffrey H., the reader who penned (or typed) the letter, apparently believes that the thousands of quotes from the Founding Fathers expounding upon the attributes of Jesus Christ are somehow irrelevant to the question of whether any of the Founders were Christian. I suppose that these letters, treatises, and speeches are the result of a massive conspiracy by the incorrigible Republicans to fool all the innocent populace.
Mr. H. states that "References to gods and religions are purposely left out of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as all amendments." This absence of direct reference to God in the articles of governmental arrangement obviously proves something. I'm just not sure what.
I suppose that Mr. H. has never read the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States. It states expressly that the inalienable rights given to men by Creator God form the basis for all government - and especially the United States government!
And it gets worse.
"The founders wanted government to leave religions alone and equally wanted religions to leave government alone. [...] Neither Franklin, Washington nor Jefferson believed in a personal God."
It is becoming increasingly obvious that fewer and fewer people know how to accurately examine source documents. In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for the public schools of Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the necessity of a public religion . . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern." Likewise, Washington claimed on May 12, 1779, that what children needed to learn "above all" was the "religion of Jesus Christ," and that to learn this would make them "greater and happier than they already are". During the winter of 1777 in Valley Forge he charged his soldiers at Valley Forge that "To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian".
Jefferson was another Founder who supposedly lacked belief in God or Christianity. And yet he himself stated "I am a real Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ." The very word "Christ" means Savior or Messiah.
In the words of David Barton of Wallbuilders Ministries:
"Perhaps critics should spend more time reading the writings of the Founders to discover their religious beliefs for themselves rather than making such sweeping accusations which are so easily disproven."
Please get your facts straight.
David S. MacMillan III
You can view the truncated version here, but they left out most of the best part. Phooey.
David S. MacMillan III