One of the big hot button issues on the left these days is any suggestion that America is a Judeo-Christian nation built on Biblical principles. To them, America is all about “diversity,” which means any religion is welcome except that of the majority of Americans since the beginning of our history. They will also argue that the Founders were not Christians, even if it means grabbing the thinnest reed of circumstantial evidence and waving it like a baseball bat. I think this is evidence that they learned even less in history class than they did in economics class.
In my book “The Three C’s That Made America Great,” my co-author Steve Feazel and I compiled a mountain of evidence of the importance of the Bible and Christianity to America’s heritage. Not just in the many Christian sects that came here in the early days seeking religious freedom, but deeply rooted in the culture and the foundations of our government and school system. Here are just a few examples. See if this sounds like the thinking of a group of closet atheists…
Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote that “The Bible…should be read in our schools in preference to all other books from its containing the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public temporal happiness.”
Fellow signer Samuel Adams wrote of the importance of “inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…In short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”
The “Father of American Scholarship and Education,” Noah Webster, wrote, “In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
While the Revolutionary War was raging, it was nearly impossible to import Bibles. Philadelphia Magazine publisher Robert Aitken requested that Bibles be printed in America to be used in schools. So in 1782, the Continental Congress approved the printing of what became known as the Aitken Bible, the first English Bible printed in America. That’s right: CONGRESS…printed the BIBLE…so it could be used in SCHOOLS! I can already hear liberals’ heads exploding at that revelation. The Bibles even included a statement that the US Congress “recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.”
In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, laying the groundwork for Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin to become states. It includes this statement on education: “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Today’s leftists and atheists would dismiss these as the opinions of some early American figures that were somehow swept away by the Constitution and its nonexistent “separation of church and state” clause. However, even after the Constitution was ratified, none of that was rescinded and the Bible continued to be used in public schools.
Among those outside of government, there was little disagreement about the importance of religion, the Bible and Judeo-Christian morality as the bedrock of American culture. In 1831, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville arrived in the US to write his landmark work, “Democracy in America.” He declared that the first thing that struck him was “the religious aspect of the country,” and the longer he stayed, the more he perceived “the great political consequences” resulting from it.
De Tocqueville wrote that “there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America,” and it “must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions,” “for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it.” He said he was certain that Americans “hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”
He further noted the unique importance of Christianity in making freedom the foundation of America’s government: “In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
Maybe that’s why, throughout the 1800s, no legal challenge to the Bible or morality being taught in public schools was ever raised. It took nearly 200 years for liberals to “discover” that the Founders weren’t really Christians, the nation wasn’t really built on Biblical principles of morality and justice, and the writers of the Constitution actually meant to ban Bibles from public schools.
I’ve shown my evidence for my argument. What’s theirs, other than “We feel that’s how it should be, and we found some activist liberal judges who agreed with us”?
(Partially adapted from “The Three C’s That Made America Great” by Mike Huckabee and Steve Feazel: