Sunday, August 30, 2009

"A Christian Nation"

Two excellent commentaries in the last week deserve attention. The first is "A Christian Nation" by Jeremy D. Boreing at Big Hollywood. The second is Bill Whittle's video commentary, "The Great Liberal Narrative" at PJTV.

Boreing's post is in response to readers who took exception to his claim that America is a Christian nation. The argument goes like this: America can't be a Christian nation, since our government is not explicitly Christian; in fact, there's a wall between church and state. Boreing points out the flaw in this argument: the government is not the nation, the people are the nation. The people at the time of the founding were overwhelmingly Christian, and the Founding Fathers, irrespective of their individual beliefs, recognized this. We're still largely Christian, despite a claim to the contrary by our ill-informed President.

Boreing goes on to explain the origin and meaning of the oft-cited "wall between church and state," which I excerpt in full to make a point later:

The original European settlers of what would become the United States of the Revolution were almost exclusively British. They were also immensely religious. That’s why they were here. After a millennia of state-religion mandated by Rome, Henry VIII had rejected the authority of the Pope in Britain and created a state-religion of his own. The Church of England made the king not only the ultimate political power in the land, but the ultimate religious authority as well. A violation of Henry’s religious positions was a violation of the law, and a violation of the law was heresy. The punishment was severe: Beheading, hanging, burning at the stake… Terrible things happen when civil and religious authority are mingled together.

The problem for Henry, and for Rome, was that a Reformation was also taking place. Men like Martin Luther and William Tyndale (who Henry had strangled and burned) had begun translating the Bible into common languages, giving the people the opportunity to explore God for themselves. What they discovered surprised them. In the Book of Exodus, God establishes a civil leader for his people in Moses. He also establishes a religious leader in Aaron. Then he does something really interesting: He commands that they remain separate forever. If the king tries to supersede the religious authority of the priesthood, God will destroy him, as he does in 2 Chronicles, cursing a king named Uzziah for conducting a religious rite in the temple. Of course, God was God of the state, as well as the religion. He gave guidance to Moses just as surely as he did to Aaron. He just precluded the civil leader from also being the religious leader. Undoubtedly, God understood that without that distinction, all kings would be like Henry VIII. Separation of church and state, then, is actually a Biblical principle.

When Jefferson’s own American forefathers, the Pilgrims, took sanctuary from religious persecution in this new world, they sought to be true to the Biblical teachings that their former rulers had violated. In America, as in Israel thousands of years before, government and religious authority would be forever separated, though just as in Israel, God would be God of both. God and religion, after all, are not the same thing. One is the Supreme Being over all, and the other is the institution by which he is taught and worshiped. Jefferson understood this distinction, which is why he could assure the Danbury Baptists that there was a “wall of separation between church and state,” ensuring that the government would never dictate or enforce religious decrees, while at the same time he also recognized God though the government, and based the legitimacy of both on him.
And Boreing issues a warning

Since God no longer exists in government, and his history there is no longer taught, is it any wonder that millions upon millions of Americans believe, in utter opposition to the founding philosophy, that our rights come from the government? Where else would they come from? And should it be any surprise if those same Americans desire that the government give them other things as well? After all, if our rights are not by the grace of God but by the grace of government, then whoever controls the government has the ultimate authority over man. Government by definition can do no wrong. This is precisely the kind of thinking our Founders literally warred against. It is also precisely why Americans of all faiths should be proud to own America’s Christian Heritage, and why without it, America is lost.
Now let's put this in context with Bill Whittle's Afterburner commentary, The Great Liberal Narrative. Watch the video.

It is not well known that secular humanists sought and won recognition as a "godless religion" by the Supreme Court of the United States at least as early as the 1950s, and possibly as early as the 1930s when John Dewey issued The Humanist Manifesto. This has been confirmed in later rulings, most notably the 1961 Supreme Court case Torcaso v. Watkins in which Justice Hugo L. Black observes in his decision, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others."

But humanists are sneaky. They are religious when it suits their purposes, as when they seek the first amendment protection of the Constitution or the benefit of tax-exempt status, but they conveniently forget about this when it doesn't suit their purposes. This has allowed humanism to slip under the radar of church/state separation to establish itself as the de facto state religion. It has infiltrated our government, schools, universities, and media. The humanist religion replaces God as the measure of all things with man, i.e. the state, as the measure of all things. Its Bible is the Narrative. The secular humanist religion has many offshoots -- environmentalism, animal rights, feminism, and so on -- differing only in their interpretation and emphasis on certain aspects of the Narrative. However, to deviate significantly from the teachings of the Narrative is heresy, punishable by demonization, harrassment, excommunication, fines, and even imprisonment. Most disturbing is that there is no wall between the secular humanist religion and the state -- they are one and the same -- and we know from the example of Henry VIII what happens when that wall does not exist.

We ought to have learned by now that there is no such thing as a religious vacuum. If an established religion disappears or is killed off, another moves in to fill the void. In the secular parts of the West where God is no longer recognized as the moral authority, the Earth is revered and worshipped under the auspices of the Green movement, even to the degree that violence is committed in the name of Mother Earth. And in places as bleak and godless as North Korea one observes worship of the leader with as much passion and reverence as in any God-centered religion.

It appears to come down to a choice. One can either choose to reclaim the Christian roots of America with its built-in defense of freedom and individual rights or one can abandon it to the godless religion of humanism and a life centered, not on the lessons of the Bible, but on the lessons of the Narrative. We know from the example of Jefferson that one need not be Christian to accept the Christian foundation of this nation and support it. And support it we must or find ourselves in compulsory worship of the state.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


There's something strangely sweet and nice about this.