Friday, July 4, 2014

In God We Trust

I wrote this awhile back for an online class I was taking...thought today a good day to share it.


Our country is founded on religious values. Not many people know that the basis for our constitution and founding documents come from the Bible and religious motivations.  Many school textbooks gloss right over any mention of the roots from which our country grew. Look around and you will see many examples of religion. As close as the dollar bill in your pocket you will see “In God We Trust” on the bill. The Ten Commandments are posted in courthouses. The Commandments are also the basis of many of our laws. The founding fathers wrote documents based on their beliefs and relied on guidance from God as they worked diligently to form our country.
President Woodrow Wilson said:
A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.  We are trying to do a futile thing if we don’t know where we have come from or what we have been about.

Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence signed because they were pursuing religious liberty. The King would not allow them to have a Bible society, a missionary society, or church. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were deeply religious. By looking at what they wrote in correspondence or official business one can see the threads of religion and faith woven in. Many of their activities promoted Christianity. Several signers of the Declaration of Independence started the Sunday School movement, along with Bible and missionary societies.
Ben Franklin, one of the least religious of the founding fathers still recommended teaching Christianity in the public schools in Pennsylvania, and worked to increase church attendance across the country.  In 1800 when the leaders moved into the capital, one of the first things they did was to approve the capital to be used as a church.  Jefferson even had the US Marine core band play at a church service at the capital. It does not appear that the founders had any intention of keeping religion out of public life. John Hancock called for prayer for those to come know Jesus Christ. The founding fathers displayed numerous religious writings and activities promoting Christianity. Ninety-five percent of the signers of the Declaration were strong Christians and have writings to prove it.
American history was taught including this information until about 1900. School children would learn about each of the signers of the Declaration. Children would know who each signer was and what they stood for. In the early days of our country, the Bible was the text school children used to learn to read.  Since the early 1900’s we have been slowly moving away from teaching the religious roots of our country. In the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s we started looking at history in a way that left God out of the picture. By the 1960’s all that was taught was an economic, or money related, history. The reasons our current history books give for the birth of our country are purely economic. If we pay attention to history we know that there were economic reasons for coming to America, but they were not as important as religious freedom. Colonists came to promote the gospel, not to search for gold.
George Bancroft was called the father of American history. He taught that God’s providence in history is as important as the events that happened. Thirty-four quotes the Founders made were taken directly from the Bible. Congress oversaw and approved the first printing of the Bible in America. The Liberty Bell has its name because of the verse inscribed on it; Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.” The New England Primer from 1777 uses Bible stories and examples from the Bible to teach children. Do these sound like examples of a country founded on non-religious beliefs? Or one that seeks to separate itself from any influence of religion?
It’s important to understand where we came from and the intentions that the founders had for our country. Our country is unique to others around the world. We started with a ragtag band of patriots, an army of farmers and merchants, and birthed a country that became a super power.  The founders had good reasons for designing our country the way they did. They knew we needed balance in government as well as a moral compass to guide them. Now, it’s up to the citizens today to honor what they created.

John Adams, second president of the U.S. and co-author of the Declaration, said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other”.

Kaufman, Matt. "Founding Documents: Shaped In and By Faith." Citizen Nov.     2011: 4-5.

The American Heritage Series. Perf. David Barton. Wallbuilders, 2007. DVD.

Independence Day

In spite of the fact our America looks very different than the one our founders built, we still are a free and quite exceptional nation. I know our freedoms are slowly slipping away, but if you look at the core of America and Americans, most of us still believe in the ideals of the founders and hold true to the constitution. The media portrays conservative ideals as a minority when it's more of a majority.  It's sad to see how the minority has become so anti-American, how uninformed people are of basic American history.
When people are offended by things like the flying of the American Flag there is something deeply wrong with the world. Avoiding offending someone seems to take precedence over freedom of speech and expression. We are in America, there's no reason not to fly the flag and be proud of our country. We shouldn't have to accommodate to other cultures to the point of squelching our own American ideals and freedoms.
People think saying America is exceptional means we are cocky or think we are better than the rest of the world. This is far from the case. We are exceptional because of of the type of government we have is unique in the world. The method we were founded is unique in the world. Our past is far from perfect but overall we have sought to make the world a better place.
Despite what many progressives would like to believe, America was founded as a Christian nation. Those leaders put God first and I think that is a main reason that this country works...or worked. Truly what's happening now is a spiritual battle for the hearts of Americans more than any political agenda or politician.  I am seeing a glimmer of hope with more and more people getting fed up with the state of our nation and fighting back. The Bible says in the end times what's good is considered bad and what's bad is considered good. I don't know if it's the end times or not but I do know that's what's happening now. But we need not give up hope because nothing is impossible with God. We can turn this country back to it's roots but it won't be an easy task. It has been a long slow infiltration and it will take diligent persistence to change course.

So today I do celebrate America...what America stands for....her rich history...freedom. At the same time I feel a hint of somber from the struggle we are in now. Our forefathers built America once..we can bring it back again.  We owe it to all those who fought and sacrificed to make America great.