Lets take a walk through history.
“The United States in Congress assembled … recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States … a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” - United States Congress 1782 (after having 20,000 copies printed for the people)
“The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.” - United States Congress 1782
“The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed” – Patrick Henry
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible” -George Washington
“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people…so great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens in their country and respectful members of society” – John Adams
And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God … and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
- Abraham Lincoln
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation…
- Abraham Lincoln
“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian…This is a Christian nation”
- United States Supreme Court Decision in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892
“The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.” – Calvin Coolidge
“The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul.” – Harry S. Truman
The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. – Ronald Reagan
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” - Ronald Reagan
Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles. This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. -Barack Obama
Oh how far we have fallen. This excerpt was taken from Barack Obama’s keynote address to a Call to Renewal conference on June 28th 2006. (That would be pre-election) The speech was about the role of religion in government. If you think I am taking it out of context, you can read the speech in its entirety on Obama’s own website.
I assure you this passage is not the only disturbing message from the speech, but it was the most obvious. It was clear throughout that he placed progressive values over those of his faith. It was quite interesting (if you read the whole speech) how he talked about the Christian faith in government as an outsider and not as a participant. He talked about working with churches in Chicago again. This is a reference to his time of community organizing, which I discussed in a previous post. The organizations he worked with were not Christian organizations, but rather those aligned with Saul Alinsky. I have also discussed Obama’s professed faith and how it does not align with his policies or his statements. This speech (which was brought to my attention by one of the readers of my blog…thank you for that) takes it to another level.
All excuses aside, as a Christian I find it unacceptable that Obama (who also says he is a Christian) would use atheist arguments as to why we need to distance the government from the Christian religion. Instead of bringing up them up to show the fallacies of the arguments to his progressive friends, he used them to further an anti-Christian progressive agenda.
They are false arguments because as many atheists do, he took parts of the Bible out of context. For example, in no way does the Bible endorse slavery. These arguments were thoroughly rebuked by nineteenth century biblical scholars when they were used by Southern racists during the civil war era…and the continued racism after that. I do not have time to cover everything, but here are some verses to get you started. (Dt 23:16-17; Ex 21:16; Ex 22:2; Lv 25:29; Dt 15:12; Lv 25:39-42…etc) I guess it might be best if I told you to read the 10th Chapter of this book to help you get an understanding of the context of slavery in the Bible or that Christian Europe was the first place to ban it or that it was enlightened liberals who these Christians were fighting against to outlaw slavery. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said, “To read in the Bible, as the word of God himself that, ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,’ and to preach there from that, ‘in the sweat of other man’s faces shalt thou eat bread,’ to my mind, can scarcely be reconciled with honest sincerity.”
The other arguments Obama uses are similarly out of context. And I am not really sure what to say about his joke about the Defense Department and the Sermon on the Mount. (I say joke because if you see the video he is smirking) He essentially badmouthed the teachings of Jesus calling them radical and not in a good way. This is a far cry from the founding fathers views on religion and government. Personally I am worried about the direction of our country; probably more so that the people of this country would elect such a leader.
As a final note, this post is really for Christians. Specifically those who voted for this man. I am always curious how they can reconcile how they vote with their Christian faith. Most progressives use the argument that Obama uses in his speech. That is the separation of Church and State. Of course, this argument is not valid either as the founders never intended to keep the Christian faith or its values out of government. So if you hear that speech, I would say press on…ask why they put progressive agendas ahead of their faith. Should make for an interesting conversation and one that I think is an important step to bring us back to where we belong.
For those interested here is the link where I found most of the quotes above…there are many more I did not use.