Search This Blog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gregg Frazer's New Book

Gregg Frazer teaches up the road at Master's College, and has a new book out, where he claims the Founding Fathers believed in a hybrid religion called "theistic rationalism." He's pushed this for a while now. Frazer believes the Founding Fathers rejected historical Christianity, to cherry pick, according to what is rational, what parts of the Bible were legit and what weren't. On the surface, his premise appears contradictory, and untenable, given the framers believed man's reasoning was depraved by Sin, limiting their ability to determine ultimate truth in the first place. The Founding Fathers always belittled man's reason:
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.


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 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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Most Famous Founding Father From Massachusetts

Dr. Joseph Warren is a name most will not recognize, but to the colonists in the revolution, his name soared above the heavens. Warren was definitely the greatest of the Boston Patriot soldiers, younger than Samuel Adams, however, close friends, who worshipped together at the same church--the orthodox Brattle Street Church--under Rev. Samuel Cooper. Warren is not forgotten for his glorious sacrifice at Bunker Hill in 1775:

Both in civil and military affairs, the most prominent man in New England.

Life of Warren, by Alexander H. Everett, 107.

Major General Joseph Warren

Warren's portrait exudes strength. His life an example of virtue, honor, and faith:

[O]f our truly amiable and worthy friend, Dr. Warren, is greatly afflicting. The language of friendship is, how shall we resign him! But it is our duty to submit to the dispensations of Heaven, 'whose ways are ever gracious, ever just.' He fell in the glorious struggle for public liberty.

--Samuel Adams to his wife, June 27, 1775. S. A. Wells's MS.

Regarding Adams and Warren:

These great men went in perfect harmony together. They shared the same beliefs and purposes, the same hopes and resolves, the same enemies and friends, in common to the end.--Life of Joseph Warren. Richard Frothingham, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1865.

Monday, July 16, 2012

John Jay and God's Judgment

Following Jefferson, Madison, Mason, et al. The Founding Fathers were emphatic. God judges nations:

"Providence sometimes chastises nations with physical epidemics, and sometimes (by "choosing their delusions") with moral epidemics, and after a while removes them. This encourages hope; for if we have arrived at or near the pessimum of this evil, the melitis cannot be far distant."

--Jay to Judge Peters, March 14th, 1815.

Alexander Hamilton wrote John Jay that Thomas Jefferson was an Atheist!

The below quote refutes the notion the public was unaware of Thomas Jefferson's religious beliefs during his mid-life by May, 1799.

The moral certainty, therefore is that there will be an Anti-Federal Majority in the ensuing legislature. and the very high probability is that this will bring Jefferson into the Chief Magistracy, unless it be prevented by the measure which I shall now submit to your consideration, namely the immediate calling together of the existing legislature. They ought not to hinder the taking of a legal and Constitutional step, to prevent an atheist in Religion and a fanatic in politics from getting possession of the helm of the State. [bold face mine]

--Hamilton to Jay, May 7, 1799

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Founder of Our Foreign Policy Was Pro-Life

It's no surprise the Founding Fathers were pro-life--abortion violated Common Law:
The whole people of any given territory consists of all the human beings abiding upon it, men, women, and children, born or in the womb, natives or foreigners, bond or free; but the word people itself, presupposes association...In all the stages of human society, the marriage contract confines the woman exclusively to one man but it is believed that Christianity alone, of all human institutions, confines the man exclusively to one woman. This is one of the most excellent purifications of the law of nature, by the precepts of Christianity--entirely and exclusively favorable to the female sex, and of itself affording in the social compact an ample equivalent for the perogative which necessarily devolves upon the man of contracting for her as well as for himself, and for himself, and for their children under the age of ability to provide for themselves. [bold face mine]

--John Q. Adams, 6th President of the U.S.A, Author of the Monroe Doctrine. A Lecture DELIVERED BEFORE THE FRANKLIN Lyceum AT PROVIDENCE, Ro 10, NOVEMBER 25, 1842.

In this lecture, Adams is talking about American marriage laws and how they are based on Scripture. Moreover, above, Adams equates the law of nature with Christianity, proving my theory the framers used the law of nature interchangeably referrring to reason and revelation. It is indisputable, the Law of Nature contains the Scriptures.

"The covenants of the social compact must then, by the laws of nature, be made by a portion of the people for the whole--by that portion of the people capable of contracting for the whole --and as the compact is formed by a voluntary not only the capacity but the will to contract, must concur to form the whole people who covenant with each citizen..And in the formation of any social compact by the People, we may assume it as a first principle that the individuals covenanting for the whole can never amount tomore than one in five of the whole. 'I'hese remarks may assist us in the solution of certain questions, which have recently been and are mnch controverted, not only within this Commonwealth, but throughout tha Union, and indeed it may be said, throughout the civilized world..There is a law of nature, or in more proper words, a law of God, the author of nature, subjected to which the human being comes into life, and from the power of which he can be released only by death. By this law of God, the human being comes into life, the child of two parents, ruale and female, both of one species, but of different constitutions, adapted to each other for union, but subject to different modifications of the law of nature."

Here, Adams claims, as I have for years, Republican government, civil rights and the foundation of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution was explained by the Reformers--derived from the Scriptures:

"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 Constitntion of the United States.

Adams believed in Original Sin:

"The work, not of eternal justice ruling through the people, but of man,--frail, fallen,imperfect man, following the dictates of his nature and aspiring to perfection."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

English Jurist Sir Matthew Hale 1609-1676

Hale commenting on Christianity and its foundation in the Common and Canon Law.
Again, the growth of Christianity in this kingdom, and the reception of learned men from other parts, especially from Rome, and the credit that they obtained here, might reasonably introduce some new laws; and antiquate or abrogate some old ones, that seem less consistent with the Christian doctrines. And by this means were introduced not only some of the judicial laws of the Jews, but also some points relating to, or bordering upon, or derived from the canon or civil laws; as may be seen in those laws of the ancient kings, Ina, Alfred, Canutus, &c. collected by Mr. Lambard (k)" Volume 2 of 2.
"Among the Grecians (At least among the Athenians-see Blac. Com. 2 v. 213 and Por. Archae. Graeca, l. 4. c. 15.), the laws of descent resemble those of the Jews, and in some things they differed." Vol. 2, p. 78
--CHAP. III, Concerning the Common Law of England, its Use and Excellence, and the Reason of its Denomination; CHAP. IV. Touching the Original of the Common Law of England; CHAP. V. How the Common Law of England Stood at and for Some Time after the Coming of King William I.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Secularist reasoning and Judge William Blackstone

This blog, along with its author, take the typical secularist view of James Wilson and the Founding Fathers with respect to Judge William Blackstone. Rowe writes:

However, Blackstone was an Tory who argued for the doctrine of absolute supremacy of the law of England. Of Parliament's power, he famously noted:
It can, in short, do every thing that is not naturally impossible; and therefore some have not scrupled to call it's power, by a figure rather too bold, the omnipotence of parliament. True it is, that what they do, no authority upon earth can undo.
However, James Wilson never believed what Rowe and Van Dyke--later down the thread--claim about Blackstone. The quote Rowe uses is Blackstone's summation of its practical application, and perhaps only in the context of their nation, "But if the parliament will positively enact a thing to be done, which is unreasonable; I know of no power that can control it" not what Blackstone believed was superior--parliament or Scripture. In fact, there are many earthly authorities that can undo what parliament has ordained. Wilson understood that Blackstone believed Scripture was theoretically supreme to parliament--which was subservient to Divine Law:
Accordingly, Sir William Blackstone, on the principles of his system, expresses himself in the following manner, remarkably guarded and circumspect, as to the extent of the parliamentary power. "If there arise out of acts of parliament, collaterally, any absurd consequences, manifestly contradictory to common reason; they are, with regard to those collateral consequences, void. I lay down the rule with these restrictions; though I know it is generally laid down more largely ― that acts of parliament contrary to reason are void. But if the parliament will positively enact a thing to be done, which is unreasonable; I know of no power that can control it: and the examples usually alleged in support of this sense of the rule do none of them prove, that, where the main object of a statute is unreasonable, the judges are at liberty to reject it: for that were to set the judicial power above that of the legislature, which would be subversive of all government." "No court has power to defeat the intent of the legislature, when couched in such evident and express words, as to leave no doubt concerning its intention."
--Wilson, Works.