What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Revising History Pt 1


By Creg

In a letter to the editor of The Abilene Reporter News two days ago, the writer of the letter says that the founding fathers of this country "mandated religious neutrality in government." You've probably heard others say something similar, usually using the phrase "separation of church and state." I've been studying The Truth Project series for a Bible study and our family has been listening to historian David Barton as part of our homeschool history class, so I have done quite a bit of research on this topic.

If you read article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance of 1784, it says that any state wanting to join the union must have schools that teach religion, morality, and knowledge. Moreover, 11 of the 13 original states (New York and Virginia excluded) had in their original constitutions that you basically had to be a Christian to run for public office in that state. I believe the founders knew that for God's design for the state (Romans 13) to function properly a Christian worldview was essential. I'm not a history expert but I don't think the founders "mandated religious neutrality in government."

When you read what the original documents say sometimes you form a different opinion than from reading a recently written textbook by an author with an agenda. I dusted off my history book from college and read the paragraph on the Mayflower Compact. Then I read the original Mayflower Compact from the internet. The words in bold italics were left out of my textbook. My comment is in parentheses.

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten...Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith...do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; (meaning the advancement of the Christian faith)...to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws...for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.


How could a college textbook leave out the most important reason for them coming to this country? Does someone not want to acknowledge the church relocation project that it really was? So, if you want someone to think that we're not a "Christian" nation all you have to do is omit a few things from the history book.

Who was the first to revise history?

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. The principle of separation of church and state is derived from the Constitution (1) establishing a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office and the First Amendment provisions constraining the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions.

    James Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

    David Barton, by the way, should be taken with a grain of salt. As revealed by the meticulous analysis of Chris Rodda (and many others), zealotry more than fact shapes his work, which is riddled with shoddy scholarship and downright dishonesty. See Chris Rodda, Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History (2006). She presents Barton's claims, reviews the evidence and explanations he offers, and then shines a bright light on the evidence omitted, misinterpreted, or even made up by Barton, all with documentation and references so complete one can readily assess the facts for one's self without the need to take either Barton's or Rodda's word for it. The irony is that, by knowingly resorting to lies, this would-be champion of a religious right version of history reveals his fears that the real facts fall short of making his case.

    Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law (not the history) of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you. http://tiny.cc/6nnnx

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  3. Mr. Indeap, thanks for your well thought out comments.

    You wrote "The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion." And I strongly agree. The founders had no intent to make people choose a certain religion.

    You also wrote "with documentation and references so complete one can readily assess the facts for one's self without the need to take either Barton's or Rodda's word for it." Agreed. Read the original documents mentioned in my blog and then tell me how someone can conclude that the founding fathers of this country "mandated religious neutrality in government."

    You also mentioned omitting evidence. Have you ever seen a history book that hasn't omitted the phrase "Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith."?

    Unless I misread the NW Ordinance of 1784, the Mayflower Compact, and the original constitutions of those 11 states the first "Americans" were sure that a belief in Christianity was the best way to run a country.

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