Saturday, August 8, 2009

Revisionist Revisions About Revisionized Religion

I took one of those online quiz/polls about our Founding Fathers and their views on Church state separation. It quickly became apparent that the poll was not to educate about opinions but to bash and discredit the great men who founded this nation.

Provided are responses that basically contradicts the statements of the poll that are so poorly taken out of context:

1. Who said: "When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of”

Benjamin Franklin

To Thomas Paine, Franklin also wrote “though you allow [only] a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection.”

2. Who said: "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

5. Who said: "You judge truly that I am not afraid of the priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering, without being able to give me one moment of pain."

7. Who said: "Question with boldness even the existence of a god."

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson also said: “the relations which exist between man and his Maker – and the duties resulting from those relations – are the most interesting and important to every human being and the most incumbent on his study and investigation.”

3. Who said: "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition”

4. Who said: "What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones”

James Madison

And yet it is Madison who issued a proclamation for ”a day of pubic Humiliation, and Prayer… to offer… their common vows and adorations to Almighty God”

6. Who said: "I mix religion with politics as little as possible."

John Adams

Adams also stated: “[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

8. Who said: "I hope ever to see America in the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality."

George Washington

Washington rarely missed a Sunday morning church service and a likeness of him praying is done in stained glass in the Congressional prayer room at the Capitol. Washington was also very firm in his belief in God as evident in his 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

9. True or False: The Supreme Court has ruled that since the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the United States Constitution, it is not binding on the government.

This is a trick question and cannot be answered in the context it is asked. However, There is plenty of information regarding the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

10. Which document contains the language: "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

The Treaty of Tripoli

That treaty, one of several with Tripoli, was negotiated during the "Barbary Powers Conflict," which began shortly after the Revolutionary War and continued through the Presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. 6 The Muslim Barbary Powers (Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, and Tripoli) were warring against what they claimed to be the "Christian" nations (England, France, Spain, Denmark, and the United States). In 1801, Tripoli even declared war against the United States, 7 thus constituting America's first official war as an established independent nation.

Throughout this long conflict, the four Barbary Powers regularly attacked undefended American merchant ships. Not only were their cargoes easy prey but the Barbary Powers were also capturing and enslaving "Christian" seamen 8 in retaliation for what had been done to them by the "Christians" of previous centuries (e.g., the Crusades and Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of Muslims from Granada 9). In an attempt to secure a release of captured seamen and a guarantee of unmolested shipping in the Mediterranean, President Washington dispatched envoys to negotiate treaties with the Barbary nations.

The American envoys negotiated numerous treaties of "Peace and Amity" with the Muslim Barbary nations to ensure "protection" of American commercial ships sailing in the Mediterranean. However, the terms of the treaty frequently were unfavorable to America, either requiring her to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of "tribute" (i.e., official extortion) to each country to receive a "guarantee" of safety or to offer other "considerations" (e.g., providing a warship as a "gift" to Tripoli, a "gift" frigate to Algiers, paying $525,000 to ransom captured American seamen from Algiers, etc.). The 1797 treaty with Tripoli was one of the many treaties in which each country officially recognized the religion of the other in an attempt to prevent further escalation of a "Holy War" between Christians and Muslims. Consequently, Article XI of that treaty stated:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity [hatred] against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

This article may be read in two manners. It may, as its critics do, be concluded after the clause "Christian religion"; or it may be read in its entirety and concluded when the punctuation so indicates. But even if shortened and cut abruptly ("the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion"), this is not an untrue statement since it is referring to the federal government.

Recall that while the Founders themselves openly described America as a Christian nation, they did include a constitutional prohibition against a federal establishment; religion was a matter left solely to the individual States. Therefore, if the article is read as a declaration that the federal government of the United States was not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, such a statement is not a repudiation of the fact that America was considered a Christian nation.

Reading the clause of the treaty in its entirety also fails to weaken this fact. Article XI simply distinguished America from those historical strains of European Christianity which held an inherent hatred of Muslims; it simply assured the Muslims that the United States was not a Christian nation like those of previous centuries (with whose practices the Muslims were very familiar) and thus would not undertake a religious holy war against them.

This latter reading is, in fact, supported by the attitude prevalent among numerous American leaders. The Christianity practiced in America was described by John Jay as "wise and virtuous," by John Quincy Adams as "civilized," and by John Adams as "rational." A clear distinction was drawn between American Christianity and that of Europe in earlier centuries. As Noah Webster explained:

“The ecclesiastical establishments of Europe which serve to support tyrannical governments are not the Christian religion but abuses and corruptions of it.”

Daniel Webster similarly explained that American Christianity was:

“Christianity to which the sword and the fagot [burning stake or hot branding iron] are unknown – general tolerant Christianity is the law of the land!”

More and more of the TRUTH of our history is getting absconded by those that want to deny God and His Divine Glory in the founding and survival of the United States of America.

This author took the quiz, scored 100% and was rewarded with the following:

“You are 100% church-state separation pundit! My hat is off to you! You are a gentleman (or a lady) and a scholar! You can hold your own in a debate with any Christian revisionist.”

I can get the facts correct. What's more is that I know the truth!

1 comment:

SR said...

Oh yeah? Well, all THAT means is that YOU are NOT a Democrat!