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The Forgotten Faith of Our Fathers
By Ron Sutton
"...Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle" (George Washington)
Our currency still carries the words "In God We Trust." Bible verses are carved in stone on government buildings and national monuments. Our great historical documents are rife with references to God. Expressions of faith and patriotism are mingled in cherished songs -- "The Star Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," "American the Beautiful," etc. Counties, cities, and towns, are called by Bible names. No honest person can deny the evidence: America has a rich Christian heritage.
Several questions come to mind as I reflect on our history: How did we so quickly forget? How can a nation so blessed by God, and so indebted to those who came here seeking freedom to worship Him, now demonstrate such bias against Christianity? Why are educators so bent on hiding the truth of our Christian heritage from students in our public schools? Why are so many working so hard to help us forget?
These are disturbing questions and answers to them are complex. Perhaps the answer is contained in a Bible phrase taken from Ephesians Chapter 6, verse 12: "Wickedness in high places." A sinister conspiracy has targeted Christianity for many years. It has spawned movements which laugh at the Bible, mock morality, and deny our heritage. Its godless conspirators have risen to the highest positions of influence in government and education. Our great institutions of higher learning, once committed to Christian doctrines and principles, now hide, distort, and ignore their history.
Educators in America have not only used creative editing to help us forget the faith of our fathers; they have often deliberately distorted the truth. Every patriotic parent in America should be enraged. From pre-school to graduate school, our children are being subtly brainwashed with evolution and humanism. At the very least, creation and Christianity should be given equal time. The whimpers of protest would soon become shouts, if Christian parents would simply read the history texts studied by their children in public schools -- texts paid for with our tax dollars.
You won't find references to the faith of our fathers in those texts. If there is mention of Christian influence on the New World it will most often be negative. The faith of the Pilgrims, the place of Bible reading, preaching or prayer on the Mayflower will be omitted or undermined. You won't read about Washington praying or Lincoln reading the Bible. You won't see the famous painting of Washington kneeling in the snow at Valley Forge.
These godless educators would cringe at the thought of our children seeing a picture of the father of our country kneeling in prayer! Can you imagine the questions? "Why is he kneeling, teacher?" Is he asking God to help our soldiers?"
What do you think? To whom was General Washington speaking? Was he seeking strength from the great evolutionary "Life Force?" Was he seeking wisdom from the great "Universal Mind?" Was he asking help of a Nebulous Idea" which "uneducated, right-wing fundamentalists" superstitiously call God? All of the above are possible answers in a society that has forgotten the faith of our fathers.
But to whom was General Washington actually speaking? Is it possible that the father of our nation was praying to his Heavenly Father -- to "the Power who hath made and preserved us a nation!"
The preceding line is taken from the fourth stanza of "The Star Spangled Banner." It is followed by this line: "Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; And this be our motto: In God is our trust!"
Did Francis Scott Key know something about early America that modern historians have deliberately forgotten? Indeed he did! And so did other writers of many of our most cherished patriotic songs:
"Our fathers' God, to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing: Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light; Protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King!"
("America," S.F. Smith and Henry Carey).
"America! America! God shed His grace on thee..." ("America the Beautiful," Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward).
"God Bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night, with the light from above..."
Who was this God of whom our forefathers sang?
"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free; while God is marching on. Glory! glory, hallelujah..." ("Battle Hymn of the Republic").
Educators who deny or distort the facts of our Christian heritage should be arrested for intellectual malpractice. Only an agnostic, an educated idiot, or a deceiver would attempt to deny the influence of God on the nation which subscribes to these lines:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The President of the United States raises his right hand and places his left hand on the Bible, when he repeats his oath of office. Why would tradition dictate that presidents do that in a nation without a Christian heritage? Why don't our presidents solemnly swear with their left hand on Darwins Origin of Species?
Space here permits only a few fleeting references to the faith of our fathers. I pray that reading them will help to lift our whimper to a shout!
"You desire to know something of my religion...Here is my creed. I believe in One God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped..."
(Benjamin Franklin, March 9, 1790).1
"(Stephen Douglas) has said to me that I am a poor hand to quote Scripture. I will try it again, however. It is said in one of the admonitions of the Lord, 'As your Father in heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect.' The Savior, I suppose, did not expect that any human creature could be perfect as the Father in Heaven....He set that up as a standard...let it be as nearly reached as we can" (Abraham Lincoln, July 10, 1858).2
An honest look at history leaves no doubt--America has a rich Christian heritage. Denying and ignoring that heritage has produced serious problems in American society. Abortion would not be permitted, homosexuality would not be condoned, violence would not be so widespread, had we not forgotten the faith of our fathers. Failure to honor our godly heritage has left us drifting aimlessly on a troubled sea of bloodshed and immorality. Those of us who remember that greatness and godliness are intertwined, must raise our voices. If this generation fails to hold high the torch of truth, the land we love could be unrecognizable by the turn of the century. Our children and grandchildren will not know the freedom and privileges, we have taken for granted. If you are numbered among those who subscribe to the faith of our fathers, the time has come to take a stand. Your whimper must become a shout!
I close with the following excerpt from George Washington's farewell address, which I discovered in a recently purchased 1896 edition of The National Standard History of the United States.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tributes of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens...Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education...,reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."3
1 Gaustad, Edwin Scott. A Religious History of America. New York: Harper & Row, 1966:271.
2 ibid. p. 193-194.
3 Brown, Everit. The National Standard History of the United States. New York: A.L. Burt, 1886:appendix XXXXII.
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