Various and Sundry Musings

The thoughts and lack thereof from my head.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

USA, A Christian Nation

I know this is lengthy, but please read on. With the recent 4th of July holiday behind us, my mind has been drawn to the debate concerning our founding fathers, and their spiritual beliefs. Many would have us believe that the men who crafted our Constitution feared religion, and wanted to protect us from it. I have heard that our founders were agnostics, or at best theists. I defer to the founders themselves.

The hardy souls who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 fled from tyranny & oppression. And in the Mayflower Compact which they signed beneath the swinging lantern in the cabin of their ship, they proclaimed that they had come to the new world for "the glorie of God & the advancement of the Christian faith."

In 1643, as more & more people arrived on these shores, they joined together to form “The New England Confederation.” They wrote the first constitution written in the New World. It began with these words: “Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end & aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our lord Jesus Christ, & to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity & peace…"

The first Continental Congress was discussing and debating the Declaration of Independence. One of them suggested they all get on their knees and ask God what should be done. All 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence all went to their knees and began to pray for the wisdom and guidance of God. John Adams, in a letter he wrote to his wife, said, “The most amazing thing occurred. Even the stern old Quakers had tears gushing down their cheeks.”

"A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?...The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a Nation."
Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams-

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, often called the "Father of the Revolution," declared: "We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, & from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."
"The only foundation for...a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty"
Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration

"...this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not by religions, but by the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Patrick Henry

Quote from Delaware's Constitution framed in 1776:
"Everyone appointed to public office must say, I do profess faith in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ his only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God and blessed forevermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration."
"Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God."
Governor Morris, Pennsylvania
delegate to the Constitutional Convention

In 1782 Congressapproved the use of the Bible in our schools, and even paid for them with tax dollars. In 1844, when someone sued to remove them, the Supreme Court ruled: “Why should not the Bible, & especially the New Testament, be read & taught as a divine revelation in the schools? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”

"... the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We've been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel." Benjamin Franklin

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
John Jay - First Supreme Court Chief Justice

In 1892 the Supreme Court declared this about Christianity in America: "Our laws & our institutions must necessarily be based on & must include the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible for it to be otherwise. To this extent, our civilization & our institutions are emphatically Christian."
"And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
George Washington,
Farewell Address to the nation

This prayer was recorded in the personal diary of George Washington, & in his own handwriting: "Let my heart, gracious God, be so affected with Your glory & majesty that I may ... discharge those weighty duties which thou requirest of me ... Again, I have called on thee for pardon & forgiveness of sins ... for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered on the cross for me. Thou gavest thy Son to die for me; & hast given me assurance of my salvation."
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
" is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue."
-John Adams, second President of the United States

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God." -James Madison, Fourth President

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that they are a gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my countrymen, when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."
-Thomas Jefferson

John Quincy Adams - Jubilee of the Constitution, April 30, 1830
"All this is by the laws of nature and of nature's God, and of course presupposes the existence of a God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and of government. It avers, also, that governments are instituted to secure these rights of nature and of nature's God, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it,"

"The citizen is a better business man if he is a Christian gentleman and, surely, business is not the less prosperous and successful if conducted on Christian principles....All must admit that the reception of the teachings of Christ results in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship."
-Grover Cleveland, 22nd & 24th President

"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, 30th President

"The purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of The Bible...(1) to live in freedom (2) to work in a prosperous land and (3) to obey the commandments of God....This Biblical story of the Promised land inspired the founders of America. It continues to inspire us..."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President

"Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience....without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure....If we ever forget that we are one Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."
-Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President

The First Ammendment to the Constitution
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Now, much has been made in the last few years about this so-called "wall of separation" between church & state. I challenge any true student of history to study the background of where that comes from. The so-called "wall of separation" was never intended to insulate our government or our culture from Christian influence. It was originally & always intended to serve to protect the church from governmental influence & interference.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed
on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's
children what is was once like in the United States
where men were free."
-Ronald W. Reagan

The tallest structure in Washington, D.C. Is the Washington Monument. By law, nothing taller than the Washington Monument can be built there. Inscribed at the pinnacle of the Washington Monument? These words: “Laus Deo” translated, “praise to God”

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance
-Psalms 33:12

The men who founded this nation, and many who have governed it looked to God for guidance and direction. It is hardly defensible that thes men, many of which were ordained intended for us to have a society where a bright young girl has her microphone turned off during a commencement address, or one where the mere mention of Christ is an intolerable offense.

You may not believe, and you may not agree with me, but please do not revise history in attempts to prove your cause.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

View of the Afterlife

Recently a fellow poster at a message board that I frequent "passed on". I did not know this poster personally, but was saddened at his demise. I noticed many posts seeking God's blessing on his soul. Oddly enough these wishes were posted by some who had openly admitted little or no faith in God. Many of the posts stated that the departed had gone on to a "better place". It is interesting to me that people are quick to embrace the notion of Heaven while they are often so quick to deny the existence of God and Hell which are derived from the same religious teaching. We like to have a hope for eternity as long as it fits our self derived reality. When it begins to involve a diety that wrests away any of our autonomy, we want to get of the bus. If it means that we must ascribe ourselves to a moral code not of our own choosing we simply want no part.
If heaven is already in existence, it is not a product of our thoughts and imaginations. We can think whatever we want, but our thoughts cannot alter reality. If we did not create heaven, who did? I believe that God created it, and therefore if we hope to attain admission we must do so by his standards?
Are you going to a "better place"?
How do you know?