This Independence Day weekend, let’s envision millions of Americans hazarding a peek at the actual history of their nation — original source documents and all. Their jaws might hit the floor like a burnt out firework.
You see, what they’d find is not the fun-house-mirror portraits of our Founders which have been foisted imperiously on the culture for decades: a collection of rigid, prickly secularists who might tolerate the notion of a god, but certainly have little use for him in any official capacity. What they’d discover, instead? A company of philosophical giants composed uniformly of red-blooded Christians or, at least, individuals for whom a thoroughgoingly “Christianized” take on the world was a given.
As Gary Demar succinctly put it recently: “The Constitution was written against the moral background of a religious worldview that was rooted in the Bible.”
These founding luminaries’ explicit statements, the way they lived, the manner in which they formulated our republican system – – all confirm: not only did they NOT demand the U.S. government cultivate sterile neutrality toward “religion”; they consistently hoped conscientious leaders and public institutions would actively fortify faith and piety within American society.
I won’t enumerate elected officials’ specific calls– easily dozens of them — for periods of public prayer, fasting and/or thanksgiving issued during the Revolutionary era. Authorities local, state and Federal regularly rolled out these summons in the run up to “the Contest with Great Britain”, during that protracted and perilous conflict and throughout the newborn United States’ dicey early days. The infant nation was struggling to get on her feet, our Founders recognized the persistent need for Divine Assistance and they plainly said as much. Period.
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