Experience is a continual comment on the worthlessness of the human race; and the few exceptions we find have the greater right to be valued in proportion as they are rare.--Alexander Hamilton to Colonel Richard K. Meade, Albany, August 27, 1782.
The great Deist slayer John Leland echos my point in 1737:
Thus I have considered what this author offers with regard to the proofs or evidences of divine revelation in general, in which his design is plainly to show that there can be no proper proofs or evidences of divine revelation to any but the persons immediately receiving it, and yet at the same time he affects to own the great usefulness of revelation in the present corrupt and degenerate state of mankind.
--DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT ASSERTED. WITH A PARTICULAR VINDICATION OF THE CHARACTER OF MOSES, AND THE PROPHETS, OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, AND HIS APOSTLES. BY JOHN LELAND, D. D. LONDON
PRINTED FOR T. TEGG AND SON, CHEAPSIDE; R. GRIFFIN AND CO., GLASGOW; T. T. AND II. TEGG, DUBLIN: ALK> J. AND 5. A. TEOO, SYDNEY AND WOBART TOWN.
Moreover, in his audio of 2003, Frazer's errors abound, including the framers borrowed from the Enlightenment (the use of reason with education to enlighten society). Alexander Hamilton--who Frazer references in his book--refutes his claim:
This is the real disposition of human nature: It is what, neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortune, that awaits our state constitution, as well as all others..It is a harsh doctrine, that men grow wicked in proportion as they improve and enlighten their minds. Experience has by no means justified us in the supposition, that there is more virtue in one class of men than in another. Look through the rich and the poor of the community; the learned and the ignorant. Where does virtue predominate? The difference indeed consists, not in the quantity but kind of vices, which are incident to the various classes; and here the advantage of character belongs to the wealthy. Their vices are probably more favorable to the prosperity of the state, than those of the indigent; and partake less of moral depravity.--Alexander Hamilton, New York Ratifying Convention 21 June 1788. Papers 5:36--37, 40--43.
The framers believed our founding was based on Scripture, explained through men of the Protestant Reformation--Calvin, Luther, Sidney, Rutherford, Grotius, Hooker, Locke, Puffendorf, Ponet, etc:
The philosophical examination of the foundations of civil society, of human governments, and of the rights and duties of men, is among the consequences of the Protestant Reformation..The principles of Sidney and of Locke, constitute the foundation of the North American Declaration of Independence, and together with the subsequent writings of Montesquieu and Rousseau, that of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the Constitution of the United States.--John Q. Adams, 6th President of the U.S.A, Author of the Monroe Doctrine and our Foreign Policy. A Lecture DELIVERED BEFORE THE FRANKLIN Lyceum AT PROVIDENCE, Ro 10, NOVEMBER 25, 1842.
John Calvin and Martin Luther espoused reasoning into civil government one hundred years before the enlightenment. The promotion of education, science, astronomy, etc,. was exalted due to Reformers: Calvin, Pascal, Kepler, Luther, Erasmus, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, et al.
Furthermore, 18th Century Deists were not theistic rationalists! Deists believed in miracles. Ben Franklin was not a Deist, rather, he believed Moses parted the Red Sea, and the Flood and Sodom and Gommorrah:
[T]he Deity sometimes interferes by his particular Providence, and sets aside the Events which would otherwise have been produc’d in the Course of Nature..If you say he has in the Beginning unchangeably decreed all Things….[but] he has divested himself of all further Power, he has done and has no more to do, he has ty’d up his Hand and has now no greater Power than an Idol of Wood or Stone; nor can there be any more Reason for praying to him or worshipping of him. It is true that if another deluge should happen wherein the windows of heaven are to be opened, such pipes may be unequal to the falling quantity; and if God for our sins should think fit to rain fire upon us, as upon some cities of old, it is not expected that our conductors of whatever size, should secure our houses against a miracle.--Benjamin Franklin, “On the Providence of God in the Government of the World,” in The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963), vol. 1, p. 267-8. "Experiments Supporting the Use of Pointed Lightning Rods" Printed in Benjamin Vaughan, ed., Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces...by Benj. Franklin... (London, 1779), pp. 487-99: French translation in Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, Oeuvres de M. Franklin... (2 vols., Paris, 1773), I, 289-300; ADS (lacking the conclusion of the published version): Bibliothèque de Genève; AD (fragment Of the published conclusion): American Philosophical Society. Aug. 27 [i.e., 18?], 1772.
Was God's destruction of Sodom and Gommorrah reasonable to a Dissenter? Franklin's Deity was Yahweh:
"History will also afford frequent Opportunities of showing the Necessity of a Publick Religion, from its Usefulness to the Publick; the Advantage of a Religious Character among private Persons..and the Excellency of the Christian religion above all others antient or modern. God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights [James 1:17] to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered...I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men..We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel." [bold face mine]
--Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, 1749. and the Const. Convention.
Franklin tells Paine he intimates he believes a specific, personal, Deity (Yahweh), not a general Deity:
By the argument [Age of Reason] it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection.--To Thomas Paine, in 1790. The Works of Franklin. Sparks.
On to Frazer's audio. He says "the founding fathers believed this hybrid." Not just a few, but all of them. "Christian america only read you some of the quotes..they don't show all the evidence..they shared beliefs with Deists..that all religion leads to the same god." Frazer uses the wrong definition of Deism anyway, and not even Franklin shared beliefs with Deists. If all roads lead to God, and being good is the goal, why did they preach the Gospel to the Indians? The Gospel means "good news" not "being good." The founding fathers preached the Gospel to save souls from the penalty of Sin, not to be good people. The Founding Fathers believed everyone was bad--no one was good. No doubt the Indians believed they were good people already. Frazer says they believed "the wicked are punished temporarily..they didn't believe Jesus was God?" They believed in purgatory? Where is the documentation on that? This blog quotes James Madison claiming Jesus is God. Can he quote Madison recanting that?
Frazer continues, "they believed reason determines what was true revelation." But the only written evidence is they believed their reasoning was depraved. Frazer would have a firmer foundation if they did not believe their minds were corrupted. Frazer claims, "they had bad things to say about Calvinism." Where did James Wilson, Hamilton, Madison and Morris write against Calvinism? Continuing on, "Jefferson, Adams and Franklin wrote the Declaration." No. Jefferson wrote the rough draft, which was corrected by the Congress. John Adams wrote its principles were already written. Frazer repeats, "George Washington never took Communion." Yet, on this blog there are eyewitness accounts from Christians, that he did take Communion. Were those Christians lying? Were they too old to be credible witnesses?
Frazer claim's George Washington never called himself a Christian. He does here:
[I] inclose you a copy of Mr. Cary's last Acct. currt. against me, which upon my honr and the faith of a Christian is a true one, and transmitted to me with the additional aggravation of a hint at the largeness of it.--GW to ROBERT STEWART April 27, 1763.
Who's neglecting all the evidence? GW's quote below caught my attention, and might be cause for concern if GW hadn't called himself a Christian, took Communion, was a Vestryman, referred to Jesus as Divine, and believed the Bible was inspired:
Being no bigot myself to any mode of worship, I am disposed to indulge the professors of Christianity in the church, that road to Heaven, which to them shall seem the most direct plainest easiest and least liable to exception. [bold face mine]--To the Marquis de Lafayette, August 15, 1787.
Referring to Christians as "them" is strange, but doesn't prove GW isn't a Christian. Bishop Meade was an eyewitness to Episcopalians sometimes skipping Communion--giving a more valid explanation. Christianity is based on faith. Theoretically, Christianity could be wrong. Frazer then claims GW was a Mason, etc. However, 18th century American Masons were Trinitarians.
At the end of the audio, Frazer asks if the Constitution is based on the Bible, why isn't it quoted? David Barton gives the correct answer in Original Intent. He should read it.
Not to ignore his attack on David Barton. In Frazer's Preface, he writes:
My frustration with the lack of an accurate record grew each time someone passed me a video of Christian America advocate David Barton.Frazer mocks David Barton over an accurate record, and saying he dodged him for a debate? If isn't that the pot calling the kettle black. With all Frazer's inaccuracies, I know someone he would not want to debate. Finally, it is the secularists goal to mis-represent the Founding Fathers with a handful of the least orthodox framers in order to rig the narrative in their favor. In fact, there are no "key founders." The Founding Fathers unanimously believed the Ratifiers were more important than the drafters of the Constitution, and the ratifiers are all equal.