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May 17, 2009

America's Religious History

Found an interesting article online today talking about new legislative proposals to "reaffirm" the Christian history of America.  Honestly, I am not super concerned with people viewing us as "Christian" or not because we certainly don't act like it much.  It's just funny to read things like this and talk to people who say that we were never founded as a Christian nation.  I've actually had conversations where people don't believe Christianity shaped anything to do with the founding and/or shaping of America.  I see it all over the pages of history.  Here's the list highlighted in the proposed legislation.  Enjoy.
  • Whereas in 1777, Congress, facing a national shortage of '"Bibles for our schools, and families, and for the public worship of God in our churches," announced that they "desired to have a Bible printed under their care and by their encouragement" and therefore ordered 20,000 copies of the Bible to be imported;

  • Whereas in 1782, Congress pursued a plan to print a Bible that would be "a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools' and therefore approved the production of the first English language Bible printed in America that contained the congressional endorsement that 'the United States in Congress assembled … recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States";

  • Whereas the 1783 Treaty of Paris that officially ended the Revolution and established America as an independent [nation] begins with the appellation "In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity";

  • Whereas in 1795, during construction of the Capitol, a practice was instituted whereby "public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o'clock";

  • Whereas in 1789, Congress, in the midst of framing the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment, passed the first federal law touching education, declaring, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged";

  • Whereas by 1867, the church at the Capitol was the largest church in Washington, D.C., with up to 2,000 people a week attending Sunday service in the Hall of the House;

  • Whereas in 1853, the United States Senate declared that the Founding Fathers "had no fear or jealousy of religion itself, nor did they wish to see us an irreligious people. … They did not intend to spread over all the public authorities and the whole public action of the nation the dead and revolting spectacle of atheistical apathy";

  • Whereas in 1854, the United States House of Representatives declared "It [religion] must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. … Christianity, in its general principles, is the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions";

  • Whereas President John Adams, one of only 2 signers of the Bill of Rights and First Amendment, declared "As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him";

  • Whereas President Andrew Jackson declared that the Bible "is the rock on which our Republic rests";

  • Whereas President Franklin D. Roosevelt not only led the Nation in a six-minute prayer during D-Day on June 6, 1944, but he also declared, "If we will not prepare to give all that we have and all that we are to preserve Christian civilization in our land, we shall go to destruction";

  • Whereas President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared, "Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism. Thus, the Founding Fathers of America saw it, and thus with God's help, it will continue to be," in a declaration later repeated with approval by President Gerald Ford;

  • Whereas the United States Supreme Court has declared throughout the course of our Nation's history that the United States is "a Christian country," "a Christian nation," "a Christian people," "a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being," and that "we cannot read into the Bill of Rights a philosophy of hostility to religion"

2 comments:

Matt Coulter said...

Thanks for posting that text... I thought this bill was silly when I first heard about it, but after reading this it made me rethink how I look at stuff like this.

Also, check out Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech sometime... it's really thought-provoking along these kinds of lines as well.

Matt Coulter said...

Thanks for posting that text... I thought this bill was silly when I first heard about it, but after reading this it made me rethink how I look at stuff like this.

Also, check out Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech sometime... it's really thought-provoking along these kinds of lines as well.