Yesterday I told you we would take a look at the similarities of the Old Testament Israel and America today and consider whether we are doomed to the same fate.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one. I didn’t realize how difficult this would be or how much research it would require.
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I’m not a real writer. I’m just a woman who loves the Lord and wants to share God in simple terms. I love to take complicated issues and simplify them so that many can understand. My posts are not research papers or writings that could be published. My posts are my opinions and are to be taken as such. If the subject interests you, I do encourage you to do your own research, read books on the topic, and form your own opinions.
Okay, now to get on with it……..Where to begin? Oh, where to begin?
Let me start off by saying that I know and recognize that America is not God’s chosen people. I know God made a covenant with the Israelites and did not make a covenant with Americans. I get that, I really do. However, I do not think it is a far leap to say that America did in fact make a covenant with God when our nation became “One Nation Under God.” Notice that the “G” is capitalized, and notice I did not mention our founding fathers.
All my life I have been taught that the United States was built on the foundation of God. Now, there seems to be much controversy surrounding such a claim. Opponents now say the majority of our forefathers weren’t Christians nor were they even religious. They claim the Right Wing/Conservative Republicans are simply rewriting history.
[ Actually, if you “google” the topic, the first page alone only pulls up stories as to why our founding fathers were not Christians. Once again, I’m reminded how much I hate the biased media. ]
Seriously, we are the ones rewriting history? I mean, we have been taught this for years and years, and now all the sudden there is all this evidence that our country was not founded on religious principles? I don’t buy into all of it, but I will admit, there is some convincing evidence supporting such claims.
So, I have come up with two questions for today:
1.. Was America founded on Christian principles?
Modern historians and people alike now claim that George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, were not Christians and did not want religion to play a part in the new government.
While personal letters do support the fact that many of those mentioned above had trouble with some faucets of Christianity, there is also evidence that, at least publicly, they did support Christianity.
Things that make you go hmmmmm……….
Ben Franklin proposed at the Constitutional Convention that the forefathers pray to God for guidance at the beginning of each session. (Please note this suggestion was not passed, but, to me, it hints that Ben was not totally opposed to God or God in government.)
“Thomas Jefferson issued calls for prayer and fasting as governor of Virginia, and in his revision of Virginia’s statutes, he drafted bills stipulating when the governor could appoint “days of public fasting and humiliation, or thanksgiving” and to punish “Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers.” As a member of the Continental Congress, he proposed that the nation adopt a seal containing the image of Moses “extending his hand over the sea, caus[ing] it to overwhelm Pharaoh,” and the motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” He closed his second inaugural address by encouraging all Americans to join him in seeking “the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old….” And two days after completing his letter to the Danbury Baptists, he attended church services in the U.S. Capitol, where he heard John Leland, the great Baptist minister and opponent of religious establishments, preach” -Did America Have a Christian Founding by Mark David Hall, PhD-http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2011/06/did-america-have-a-christian-founding
Why would someone so against God in the government at all would do this?
“George Washington’s famous 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. The text of his proclamation is worth quoting at some length:
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…
I do recommend…the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be….
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the People”--Did America Have a Christian Founding by Mark David Hall, http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2011/06/did-america-have-a-christian-founding
Once again…God in government..hmmmm……
What about “separation of church and state?”
I will admit that our forefathers held strongly to the notion that there should be no national church. Seeing as our nation was still recuperating from the war with England and considering England’s dominance over the people, including religious affairs, this should come as no surprise. However, you cannot convince me that our founding fathers ever expected that religion would not play apart of our government at all. But rather the constitution is almost “godless” because the constitution was supposed to be a broad authority, while leaving the people’s affairs to the state government. Which would reason why, Thomas Jefferson, as governor of Virginia, called for prayer and fasting (because it was the State government’s role to govern the people’s affairs).
The term “separation of church and state” came from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association. It should be noted that he is known to use this term only once in his life (in this letter) and evidence supports the fact that he was actually in Europe at the time of the writings of the Constitution and Bill of Rights; therefore, the likelihood that Thomas Jefferson’s metaphor had any affect on those writings is far-fetched. Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson’s little metaphor wasn’t really considered until 1947 when Justice Hugo Black seized upon it as the definitive statement of the Founders’ views on church–state relations.- (Ibid., pp. 251, 229, 530; Daniel L. Dreisbach, Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State (New York: New York University Press, 2002), pp. 21–22.)
Once again, I’m not saying that all the founding fathers were Christians, especially practicing Christians. But there is no doubt in my mind that they were all influenced by Christianity. If you think about the very set up of our country, you can see that it too was influenced by the Bible.
1. Kings were not exempt from the Mosaic Law, just as U.S. government officials are not exempt of U.S. laws;
2. There were divisions of power between kings, priests, and prophets, much like the checks and balances of U.S. government (However, there are some differences where Kings could not be overridden by priests or prophets, but history shows that a lot of kings were influenced and controlled by prophets.)
3. The 10 commandment were very basic much like our original Constitution.
Oh, by the way, our Constitution is not “Godless”. Take a look at the date: “In the year of our Lord 1787.”
And one last thing, all the founding fathers were opponents of the people controlling the government and that government officials were to be the voices of the people. Thomas Jefferson wrote “the power of the government is derived from the governed.” ,At the time of the Constitution was written, America was predominantly Christian (I think I read it was like 98%-somewhere in the 90% anyway). Therefore, even if the founding fathers’ (representatives of the people) personal opinions differed, they would have held to the wishes of their people. So, with the majority of early America being Christian, Christianity certainly influenced a lot of decision and law making.
The biggest obstacle or the evidence that gave me the biggest pause was the Treaty of Tripoli, which president Adams signed and the senate unanimously approved:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
There it is in black and white: the United States was not founded in the Christian religion. How then can I say this was to be a nation dedicated to God?
Well, my honest answer: This goes back to the fact that our founding fathers did not want a national church. They did not want the government to have that much control over the people. It had nothing to do with whether or not the founders believed in God, but rather about the role government should play in the people’s lives.
I think God would agree. He doesn’t want us following Him because there is a law that says we have to, but rather because we choose to follow Him.
Which brings me to question #2:
Did America make a covenant with God thus making it possible to draw a comparison between ancient Israel and modern America?
United States is not a “nation under God” because of law, but rather out of choice. The founding fathers did not make this a Christian nation, the people made it a Christian nation by choosing Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become God’s chosen people, and, therefore, we have established a covenant with God. So, if America is indeed repeating the mistakes of the Israelites and doomed to repeat Israel’s fall, it is not the fault of non-Christians or our founding fathers; it is the fault of all of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and then forsaken him.
We will continue on with Israel and the United States tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, stay safe and God bless,