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Friday, May 13, 2011

John Fea's Blog, The Way of Improvement Leads Home

John Fea has a new book out called, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction, where he attempts to discard the Christian Nation Thesis. I say this without reading the book because he uses his blog, and quotes secularists, to attack the thesis any chance he can. The only valid position that can be made for the Christian Nation thesis is a governmental one. And that position is clearly established. From public institutions to State Government, Christianity was endorsed. I have no problem with an alternative view, except when the other side fails to sufficiently rebuke, or even answer, the opposite position.

Fea subsequently has made some allusions to David Barton's interview--seven parts no less--with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. This post he critiques the Treaty of Tripoli--a secularists dream, however a sad example of how to distort a government document. Secularists turn upside down Article 11 of this treaty the same if not more than anything David Barton has done. Here is Article 11:
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; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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.
Fea responds "I think Barton has a point here." Secularists--everywhere you see the quote--purposely discard the semi-colon and subvert the entire meaning of the Article, and Fea retorts, "I think Barton has a pont here?" If secularists distorted the English grammer in the Gettysburg Address or Declaration of Independence would Fea remark, " I think Barton has a point here?" Secularists--minus Fea--distort Article 11 on purpose with the goal to deceive. There should be a firm rebuke when this happens. God forbid I ever give up this fight! This misportrayal is nearly on every secularist website that attacks the Christian Nation thesis.

Fea later on in the post writes "He spends all this time showing how people take the Treaty of Tripoli out of context by not reading the complete Christian nation clause, but when it comes to the John Adams quote mentioned in my previous post, he is guilty of the same charge." But there is a vast difference between Barton's failure to give the proper context of a personal letter that has nothing to do with whether we were formed a Christian Nation, and the butchered context of a government document.

Secularists fight with such fury and passion to uphold their position, the fact that Congress and the State Constitutions endorsed Christianity appear to be a myth. Can't we post the framers referring us a Christian Nation and be done with it?
No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. The American population is entirely Christian; and with us Christianity and religion are identical. It would be strange indeed if, with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it and exhibit relations with it. [bold face mine]
--Chief Justice John Marshall to Jasper Adams, May 9th, 1833
[W]e can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning during the sessions in order to open the meeting with prayer.
--Elias Boudinot, Acting President of the United States 1782-83, Chairman of the House Committee which Drafted the Bill of Rights. Member of the Continental Congress (1778-79, 1781-84). The Life, Public Service, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, LL.D., President of the Continental Congress, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, p. 21, to the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey.
I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect. [bold face mine]
--John Adams, The man who signed the Treaty of Tripoli, Inaugural Address, In the City of Philadelphia, Saturday, March 4, 1797.
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.
--John Jay, Acting President of the United States 1777-78. William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. II, p. 376, to John Murray Jr. on October 12, 1816

Here is the State of Virginia endorsing Christianity in its State Government:
Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical. [bold face mine]
--VA Act for Religious Freedom
DE, NH, NY, MD, CT, NJ, VA, VT, MA, and NC. specifically endorsed Christianity well into the 19th century.


Anonymous said...

You really are just a big dumb animal aren't you.

DiscerningCitizen said...

Hey Anonymous, you're the one who just insults without posting an opinion? Who's really the dumb one?

Our Founding Truth said...

1crosbycat said...

I just stumbled upon this post/blog while doing a little research on John Fea and his book "Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?" There is a course at Penn State New Kensington branch offered this semester which uses this book as the main textbook and I was trying to see what the intent is since it is positioned as an unavoidable class in the honors program.

Our Founding Truth said...

Pretty lame his book is mandatory. It should have a disclaimer that this book contains mostly errors.