The United States of America Was Founded As, and Historically Has Been, a Christian Nation.
Heated controversy and debate, filled with deep division between the political right and left, rages across America, over many issues. One of the contentious issues is the claim on one side of the deep divide, adamantly claiming that America is not, nor ever was, a Christian nation. On the opposite side of that great divide, is the declaration that America is, and has always been, a Christian nation. To this writer it is obvious that we Americans are a Christian nation, because the evidence is as clear as water from a mountain spring. Millions of words could be devoted to provide proof of this, but in perhaps a thousand words we can examine America’s Christian heritage and her exceptionalism through the lens of history and some irrefutable facts.
Fleeing Europe for early Colonial America’s Eastern shores in 1620 for personal liberty and religious freedom, the incredibly hardy Puritans and Pilgrims composed and signed the Mayflower Compact. In this document, they recognized our Creator and pledged themselves to plant and grow the Plymouth Colony, “ …..for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith…..”
A century and a half later, in July of 1776, those brave souls who gathered in Philadelphia to compose and sign the “ Declaration of Independence “ pledged “ our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor “, to dare to oppose the King and the nation of Great Britain, and declare the United States of America to be “ free and independent states. “ In this document they declared, “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…….” In another section of the document they declared, “….”in Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions. “
Having stayed the course and fought the good fight to victory under the guiding hand and Grace of God, by the early 1780s the American Colonies were in fact, free and independent American States. Following a few years of inefficiencies of the loose confederation, representatives of the 13 independent American states assembled once again in Philadelphia in the Summer of 1787, to write a new article of faith to be called the Constitution of the United States of America. This document, completed and signed on September 17, 1787, contained in its Preamble, a declaration of the intent “ ….to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,…..” In the specific use of the term “ Blessings “, and capitalizing it, there is clarity in the context of the historic time and use of such language in the late 18th Century, that “ Liberty and other Blessings “ came directly from the Creator, God, as gifts.
The great tragedies of history, well documented in the Holy Bible over millennia as well as in secular accounts, include in American history the dark path of division and strife in the mid-19th Century that led, in 1861, to a civil war between the northern and southern states. President Abraham Lincoln reflected deeply on the horrors of this war and invoked the Biblical scriptures numerous times in his moving Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865. Lincoln was diligently working to help explain to the American people how God worked his Divine Will in spite of ourselves, in having allowed this war to come. Perhaps most notably and most poignant, in his closing remarks of that great address, Lincoln stated, “ With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right …. .”
Anyone in America can “ fast forward “ a full century, to January 20, 1961, and read the words from the Inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy, who closed this speech with, “ With our own conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on Earth God’s work must truly be our own. “
To anyone among us, whether on American soil or in foreign lands, who even questions, let alone denies, the history, heritage, society and culture of the United States of America as being steeped in Christian faith and tradition, should also be mindful of English Common Law. Our American institutions, our laws, both past and present, our mores, traditions and our deepest understandings of basic rule of law and common decency, have been based for more than three centuries on the English Common Law.
Know each one of you among us, in America or elsewhere, that the English Common Law was also, like long-established American laws and jurisprudence, has from its genesis been steeped in the principles of Biblical scriptures and Christian faith. The English Common Law included among its earliest foundations, a grand document known as the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta, or “ Great Charter “, was signed into law by then-King John in the year 1215, is filled literally throughout from beginning to end, with references and language specifically taken from the Holy Bible.
The first paragraph in the Magna Carta reads as follows: “ Know that before God, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honor of God, the exhaltation of the Holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, the Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church……(and numerous other high ranking clergy). “ The second paragraph of the Magna Carta begins as follows: “ First, we have granted to God, and by this present charter we have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. “
While the central purpose of the Magna Carta was to diminish the power and authority of John, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy, and Count of Anjou, and grant increased rights and freedoms to the Church and the people through their local and regional Nobles, the authors declared clearly in this document, that King John held his position and authority, “ by the Grace of God. “
Therefore; not only are we in rightful possession of innumerable mountains of documents in America, alongside the factual history of events and spoken words, the history, heritage, laws, institutions mores, traditions and principles of basic decency, which are clearly based on Christianity and the Holy Bible-but we also have 800 years of English Common Law as a second rock in our Christian foundations. We find ourselves, in the America of the early 21st Century, in a state of continuous conflict with the dark forces of evil which specifically includes attacks on our Christian principles, culture, historical foundations, the Christian Church, and direct attacks on Christian Americans personally. Chief among the arguments being made by the enemies of Liberty and Religious Freedom, is that America “ is not a Christian nation “, and that “ America has never been a Christian nation “.
Know all of you therefore, that these enemies among us who deny the fact of America as a Christian nation, fail in their arguments on two counts: first, their arguments fail on the merits, due to more than three centuries of observed behavior of America and its citizens, clearly demonstrating that our words and actions as a nation, and as individual citizens, have strived to attain Christian ideals and values; second, their arguments fail because they are outright lies and falsehoods. Even the most casual observer or student of basic American history will obtain and know mountains of evidence and facts, collected over nearly four centuries, totally contrary to all who would deny the Christian nature of America.
Let us as Americans, dare to declare the self-evident truths and the same truths bound securely in the testimony and vivid clarity of United States history; that America is, and has always been, a nation founded upon these principles and functioning to this very day, as a Christian nation. We must shout this truth from the mountaintops, or from the top of our great skyscrapers. We must boldly declare this truth from the pulpits of our Churches and from the great halls of our institutions. We must diligently and unceasingly speak up without fear, of this great truth, in each community, each institution, each public or private gathering, in every county and state, across America, that this is, and has always been, a Christian nation, and with God as our witness, we shall make our stand against the dark forces of evil and the enemies of freedom and liberty, witnessing before and on behalf of, the Lord our God.
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