On the relationship between American and Christianity.
This question was approached as part of a radio broadcast. The format of the answer reflects that fact.
Radio Broadcast 17 August 2003 WKNG
Moderator: C.W. Boling
Moderator gives subject of program:
During this program we will discuss a question that arises in the area of attitudes. We will look at the relationship between being a Christian and being an American.
Dr. Ford, I have met people who seemed to think that if you were an American, you were automatically a Christian. What do you think about that?
Yes, I have had people express just such an attitude when I was witnessing to them. Not only that, I have found out that in some countries, particularly Moslem countries, there are people who think that if a person is an American, they are automatically a Christian as well.
Why do you think this happens?
America was founded by people who were interested in Christianity.
The desire that the New World and in particular North America be Christian was so strong that for a time even Jews were not allowed to disembark and remain in the colonies.
The first settlers to the New World in North America were primarily concerned with religious freedom for themselves. They were not always interested in religious freedom for other people. We Baptists spent time in New England jails for our beliefs.
The revisionists want you to believe the Puritans came for economic gain. That is not true. One of my ancestors entered into indentured servitude in order to get here in 1611. In those days that was often the equivalent to being a slave for the period of the indenture. You do not come under those circumstances for economic gain.
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Can you prove what you have been saying?
Certainly, All that is needed is for people to look at the documents of the time. The colonies' charters and constitutions are not lost. They are readily available for anyone who wants to read them. Then you can also read the ledgers, memoirs, and diaries that exist from that time. Some are posted on the Internet.
Well what about the founding fathers? We have been told they were not Christians?
Yes, revisionists would tell you that the founding fathers were deists, that is, people who believed a god set everything in motion then lost interest and went on about his business. If they were deists, they were certainly some strange kind of deists.
Take Benjamin Franklin for example. He was supposed to be the biggest deist. But he had a family pew at Christ Church. (The revisionists have removed the old stained glass windows depicting the faith of the founding fathers at Christ Church by the way.) Franklin made a historic statement in which he noted the evidence of personal interest from Almighty God in the establishment of the new nation.
On one occasion he also said: "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" -that does not sound very much like a deist to me.
I have a copy of a prayer prayed by Franklin which soon shall be posted on my website: jonsquillministries.org.
Then there is Thomas Jefferson who was also supposed to be a deist. Revisers of history like to quote Jefferson out of context. But it was Jefferson who introduced a bill into Congress to have the government pay for the printing of Bibles for free distribution to the frontier. This is some more action for a man who is supposed to believe that God is not involved in His creation isn't it?
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I could go on and talk about others such as George Washington, John Adams and so many more. But then we would run out of program time. The founding fathers contrary to what revisionist would tell you were religious men. Many of the colonies, and after Independence, the new states, had restrictions in their constitutions that made it necessary for a person to be Christian to hold office. The people who want to revise history do not tell that.
The argument is that the founding fathers set about founding a state without religion. What do you have to say to that?
The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are based on Christian ideals. The laws that govern this country are based on Scripture and English Common Law.
In the Supreme Court, the Ten Commandments are etched in a marble relief above the Justices' bench, for they are the moral foundation of American law.
This is one of the reason people in false religions like Islam can never succeed in having a government based in the individual rights of people to self determination. The idea of a democratic republic is based on the free will of men to choose to do good and be accountable.
You can prove the origins of these documents are based in the Bible just by reading them. If that is not enough you can read what the founders said about them.
Okay, but what about this thing concerning separation of church and state? Isn't that what the first amendment to the Constitution establishes?
Not at all. The first amendment says this:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The first thing this amendment does is tell the government that it cannot interfere in religious expression. It does not keep church out of government, it is supposed to keep government out of church.
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People who are talking about separation of church and state are either referring to a statement by Thomas Jefferson made to the
Danbury Baptists, who were concerned with possible government persecution or the term in the Communist Manifesto.
I need only point out what Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has noted previously, he said:
"The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. ... The greatest injury of the 'wall' notion is itsmischievous diversion of judges from the actual intention of the drafters of the Bill of Rights."
Well you seem to be saying that to be a real American is to be a Christian. Is this what you are saying?
Not at all. I am saying America was founded on Christian ideals that are indispensable to its survival as a free nation. There never was a time when everyone in this land was a Christian, but that does not change the place where its foundation rests. Departure from the foundation upon which this nation rests will eventually bring about its destruction.
As the famous Anglican, George Washington, once said, "The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity and...made subservient to the vilest purposes."
I think there are people trying to pervert America to the vilest purposes, and their success will bring the judgement of God down on the land.
So you are saying that the people who are trying to make changes in the United States like the ACLU are not Christian?
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Certainly that is true. I think the ACLU in particular should change its name from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Anti-Christian Liberties Union. They actively target anything having to do with the worship of the true God and support all kinds of evil actions and false religions in the name of civil liberties.
For instance, they started going after a godly judge in Alabama named Roy Moore as far back as 1995. They began targeting him because he openly displayed the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and started his court sessions with prayer. They have come at him repeatedly since though they have most often lost their cases.
I heard Judge Roy Moore was having a rally to support him yesterday in Montgomery. The ACLU is still trying to get him, is that right?
Yes it is. Two years ago, when he was sworn in as Alabama's Chief Justice, he declared, "God's law will be publicly acknowledged in our court. [It is my duty] not only to maintain the honor and integrity of the court system and the judicial branch, but to restore and preserve the moral foundation of our law."
Chief Justice Moore installed a monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Justice Building featuring a relief of the Ten Commandments in 2001. It is engraved with quotes from our Founders. At the dedication of that monument, Justice Moore declared,
"To restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs. From our earliest history in 1776 when we were declared to be the United States of America, our forefathers recognized the sovereignty of God."
You may have noticed that the rally in support of Judge Moore received little or no attention from the media yesterday. That is because the media is tainted with the stain of its own sins. MSNBC put on a special on prostitution, but that was just a smokescreen. They ignored the big story happening in Montgomery. But do you remember the coverage they gave to a homosexual rally against Judge Moore in the same place just a few years ago? They could have covered the "Ten Commandment" rally if they wanted to, but they did not.
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The so-called free press has so prostituted itself to the anti-Christian forces that it will not cover anything positive about the actions of believers, and very little about the activities of patriots. I have one consolation from history to offer. That is, when a free society falls the first targets of the new regime is the media and the liberal institutions that helped bring them into being. The do not allow them go on living to one day work against them. They line them up against a wall and shoot them.
Those are some really strong words. I do not believe that you wish ill upon the people in the press do you?
Certainly not. My hearts desire for them all is that they repent and be saved. But someone said a long time ago that those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
What is going on with Judge Moore should be of utmost interest to any American who is a Christian or a person who supports the true Constitution our country was founded on.
Justice Moore said about the situation he is now facing that, "The basic issue is whether we will still be able to acknowledge God under the First Amendment, or whether we will not be able to acknowledge God."
When U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson and Judge Ed Carnes came against Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, these federal judges violated the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution which says how the Constitution should be interpreted and what limitations the federal government, including judges have upon their powers. In short these liberal judges violated the Constitution of the United States by even listening to the case the ACLU brought against the Ten Commandments. I am very concerned about the attack on the Ten Commandments and the Constitution of the United States.
I can tell you feel these things deeply. Tell me how you came to feel this way?
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Well, first of all I am a Christian. I hate some of the things that are being promoted as Christian, such as materialism. I am a retired service man as well, and I hate what our enemies have done to the services. Each time I took an enlistment of service, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The period of enlistment has an end, but a professional soldier is a soldier no matter how long he lives. That is why the commissions are referred to as "regular" and the rank as "permanent." The oath to support and defend is for a lifetime, not just a few days. We soldiers used to hold a saying about what we did dear. It was for God and Country. I am still serving for God and Country.
America was once the greatest missionary nation in the world. That and the ideals of what we believe are things worth defending. Since the American Civil War almost every state has removed the word sovereign from their Constitutions. But the principles of the individual state's right to govern itself in every matter not expressly given to the federal government says that they are sovereign. This is our best defense against despotism apart from winning every person to a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Personally, I think we should do both.
Moderatos final words.
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