I understand where some people are coming from as I have heard their arguments. However, while I appreciate the enthusiasm of well-meaning people, I know that well meaning or not, many don't have a clue. "This land wasn't founded upon Christian principles," they say - and atheists and belligerent non-believers cry, "Separation of church and state!"
On one hand it is not some people's fault, for they are deceived, being taught false history by so-called educators; however, it does become their fault when they are shown facts, and yet continue to not accept them.
Anyone with common sense can look at history and know that America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, seen in founding fathers' statements, writings of our nation's laws and inscriptions upon national monuments.
Consider a few quotes from our founding fathers showing our Christian influence:
George Washington, "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are indispensable supporters."
John Adams, "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code ... Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments ..."
Patrick Henry, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Franklin, Jefferson and Adams to design "a seal for the United States." What were Franklin's and Jefferson's (the most theologically liberal of the Founders) ideas? Franklin adapted the Biblical parting of the Red Sea, while Jefferson recommended the "Children of Israel in the Wilderness ..." While perhaps limited in personal faith, they showed a deep, reverential respect for God, and honored the Bible to be the very Word of God.
Noah Webster, responsible for Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, said: "The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments."
We see the 10 Commandments and scriptures influencing our laws about rape, theft, murder, and other individual responsibilities in society, and proclamations were made which included Christian values. Congress set a "Fast Day" in 1776, stating a "day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer", and urging citizens to "confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease His righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain His pardon." On December 18, 1777, Congress set a "Day of Thanksgiving" where Americans "may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and . . . join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive . . ." And while the Constitution does not explicitly refer to God, it does end "in the year of our LORD", our motto is "In God we trust", and "One nation under God" is in our pledge.
Considering our schools' beginnings, in 1782 Congress passed a resolution recommending the Bible for use in schools, but we have now removed that which our founding fathers actually encouraged to be there.
Visiting Washington, we see that America continued in Christianity after it's founding. The Supreme Court building has the 10 Commandments carved into it's front wall and above it's courtroom bench. Yet the Supreme Court decides whether those 10 Commandments can be displayed in certain places of our country. Perhaps some Justices need to look above their own front door. Many places in Washington incorporate the 10 Commandments as a reminder of God's impact upon America, including the National Archives building. Across from the Speakers' seat in the House of Representatives is a sculpture of Moses who first carried them.
The Washington Monument includes "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28), "Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39), and "The memory of the just is blessed" (Proverbs 10:7). In our Capitol's rotunda are four paintings portraying two prayer meetings, a Bible study, and a baptism. In the Library of Congress a statue of Moses holds the 10 Commandments, and the ceiling shows a painting of a Jewish woman praying. Scriptures on its walls, include, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork", and two Gutenberg Bibles are displayed in its lobby.
Jefferson's Memorial, mentions Jefferson's statement, "God Who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" In Lincoln's Memorial are words like "Nation Under God", "Bible" and "Pray".
Today we are allowing godless people, practices and policies to offer peace to our troubled nation, but there can be no peace without recognizing the Prince of Peace upon Whom this country was founded. God says "Stand ye in the ways, ask for the old paths and walk therein . . . They said, We will not walk therein. Therefore I will bring evil upon this people because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."
One may ask, "What about our First Amendment which states the separation of church and state?" It actually says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...." Some twist that to mean that Christianity should have no part in our laws, schools and politics, but nothing could be farther from the truth. One needs to remember the context in which this 1st Amendment was written. In 1789, the Northwest Ordinance read: "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government ... and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." What does that have to do with the 1st Amendment? The Northwest Ordinance received final House approval on July 21, 1789, Senate approval on Aug. 4, 1789, and was signed into law by President Washington on Aug. 7, 1789. During this time, Congress was formulating the 1st Amendment (from June 7, 1789, to Sept. 25, 1789). The context shows that the 1st Amendment wasn't meant to give people "freedom from religion" but "freedom of religion," which means that, although we live in a Christian nation, if one chooses not to believe, they will not be forced to do so. And while I force no one in this country to accept God into their life, I resent it when those same people try to coerce us to give up the God-given principles upon which America was founded.
Although we believe many different things about the Bible, I believe the majority of Americans believe that God sent His son on that first Christmas some 2,000 years ago, that Christ died upon the cross and rose again the third day (celebrated as Easter), and that He greatly blessed this country because this country first followed His ways.
It is certainly time for Americans to realize and understand the great Christian heritage which this nation has - whether you are a personal believer of Him or not.
Jeff Baumer is pastor of Twin Rivers Baptist Church.