by Dave Miller, Ph.D.
The world of humanity is characterized by irresoluble disagreement. The religious, political, and ideological divisions that exist among the seven billion people on the planet are staggering. These differences are not due simply to misunderstanding, or the need for further education and clarification. Truth may most certainly be known, and every human being has the God-given ability to weigh evidence and conduct himself in a rational matter, arriving at only the truth (cf. Warren, 1982; Miller, 2011). Yet, sadly, most people have arrived at their beliefs for other reasons than a desire to be right and accurate. They have an agenda, ulterior motives, and personal circumstances that mean more to them than truth. Hence, they are not actually interested in coming to correct comprehension or understanding.
THE ATHEIST’S CONTENTION
This state of affairs manifests itself in the matter of the origins of the Republic. Atheists and skeptics, as well as social and political liberals, of the last half century have made it one of their missions in life to indoctrinate the public with the notion that America was not intended to be a “Christian nation,” and that the Founders were deists who advocated religious pluralism and political correctness (see Miller, 2005). They have spouted the party line that our founding documents, especially the Constitution, are strictly secular in nature, and that the God of the Bible and the Christian religion were not formative influences on the Founders’ thinking. One would think that these critics are parroting Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf with its recommendation that “in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation…more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie…. [B]y an able and persistent use of propaganda heaven itself can be presented to the people as if it were hell and, vice versa” (1939, 1.10:185,216).
For example, in an article titled “Our Godless Constitution,” Brooke Allen states: “Our nation was founded not on Christian principles but on Enlightenment ones. God only entered the picture as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuously absent…. The Founding Fathers were not religious men” (2005; cf. Kramnick and Moore, 1996). Such brazen exclamations, though common and widespread, are outrageous, inexcusable, and completely untrue. Such shameless claims might be forgiven if the allusions to Christianity by the Founders were rare, scattered, ambiguous, or subject to alternative interpretations—but they are not.
The Founders’ commitment to the God of the Bible and Christian principles was so pervasive and endemic that indications literally permeate the mass of organic utterances from the founding era. These expressions repeatedly articulate their conviction that Christianity lies at the foundation of the Republic. One simple, but decisive, example is the fact that during the eight tumultuous years of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the Continental Congress, representing more than 200 quintessential Founders of the Republic, issued 15 proclamations to the American population. Those proclamations are literally replete with allusions to God, Christ, Christianity, and the Bible (see Miller, 2009). They provide intimate insight into the very religious character of the vast majority of the Founders, and their absolutely unhesitating willingness to weave their religious convictions into their political expressions. Lest the reader doubt this bold contention, consider a portion of just one of those proclamations, issued by the entire Continental Congress to the American people on March 19, 1782:
Continental Congress Proclamation
March 19, 1782
The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his favor and implore his protection…. The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his acts of kindness and goodness towards us, which we ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the Universe, beseeching Him to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens; and make us a holy, that so we may be an happy people…that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas (Journals of…, 22:137-138, emp. added)….
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