Monday, November 23, 2009

Founders Men of Faith?

As Christians today we find that we are constantly trying to be minimized, or discredited by the political elite. We are told, and our children are taught that our founders were deists, if not atheists in their beliefs. Look what happens when a politician speaks of their faith in God, and how Jesus is their Saviour, you get total all out attacks as you have seen on George W. Bush and now Sarah Palin.

Are they right, were we founded as a godless nation, or are we truly One Nation Under God?

Let's hear what history professor and author Michael Allen, from the
University of Washington has to say on the subject of our founders and our founding.

"It goes without saying, of course, that most of these men were steeped in
the traditions and teachings of Christianity - almost half the signers of
the Declaration of Independence had some form of seminary training or
degree. John Adams, certainly and somewhat derogatory viewed by his
contemporaries as the most pious of the early Revolutionaries, claimed that
the Revolution "connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil
government with the principles of Christianity." John's cousin Sam cited
passage of the Declaration as the day that the colonists "restored the
Sovereign to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. John Witherspoon's
influence before and after the adoption of the Declaration was obvious, but
other well-known patriots such as John Hancock did not hesitate to echo the
reliance on God. In short, any reading of the American Revolution from a
purely secular viewpoint ignores a fundamentally Christian component of the
Revolutionary ideology."

"One can understand how scholars could be misled on the importance of
religion in daily life and political thought. Data on religious adherence
suggests that on the eve of the Revolution perhaps no more than 20% of the
American colonial population was "churched." That certainly did not mean
they were not God-fearing or religious. It did reflect, however, a dominance
of the three major denominations - Congregationalists, Presbyterian, and
Episcopal- that suddenly found themselves challenged by rapidly rising new
groups, the Baptists and Methodists. Competition from the new denominations
proved so intense that clergy in Connecticut appealed to the assembly for
protection against the intrusions of itinerant ministers.

Self-preservation also induced church authorities to lie about the presence
of other denominations, claiming that "places abounding in Baptists and
Methodists were unchurched." In short, while church membership rolls may
have indicated low levels of religiosity, a thriving competition for the
"religious market" had appeared, and contrary to the claims of many that the
late 1700s constituted an ebb in American Christianity, God was alive and
well, and fairly popular!"

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