There is a growing tendency to outright vilify Christianity. Not all Christianity is bad, just any Christianity practiced by those with lighter skin, those who vote on the right side of the political spectrum, and those who worship and honor their country. Also included in this categorical Christian defamation are all self-identified Christians who legally own firearms.
The hypothesis circulating is entering the airwaves – that every white American Christian wants to create Gilead. These are the white evangelical Christians who want to force everyone to have babies, give up their freedom of choice and keep all the women in the kitchen. Then there’s this silly idea that the United States of America was founded on Christian beliefs. If you believe that, well, you sure are one of those crazy impostor Christian nationalists.
A recent CNN article claims that an impostor Christianity is united in the belief that there should be no separation of church and state. CNN reports, “Erasing the line between godliness and politics is a key feature of white Christian nationalism. Many want to reduce or erase the separation of church and state, say those who study the movement.
But wasn’t the purpose of this separation to keep the government out of the church, not to keep the church out of the government? I think maybe too many people are misinterpreting what this principle of separation meant.
CNN writes, “One of the most popular beliefs among white Christian nationalists is that the United States was founded as a Christian nation; the founding fathers were all Orthodox and evangelical Christians; and God has chosen the United States for a special role in history.
“But the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian nation is bad history and bad theology,” says Phillip Gorski, a socialist at Yale University and co-author of “The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy”. .’”
But this is not “bad history” or “bad theology”. The claim is that those who believe in a foundation based on Christian principles simply want a theocracy. But is this an honest reduction of what is happening? Don’t people run away from other countries because they run away from a real theocracy? So why would we assume that the desires of today’s citizens are a theocracy?
All religions and beliefs are welcome here. Always have been, always will be. Do you believe in Allah? Cool. You’re welcome. Believe in nothing? Cool. You’re welcome. The foundation of this nation was built by the influence of Christianity. And until recently, we saw that as a good thing. We certainly live more free than in Iran, which is a theocracy.
The insistence that this nation is not of Christian origin, however, is false. And I fell into the myth once upon a time. I was influenced by Gregory Boyd’s best-selling Myth of a Christian Nation. I too believed that we had it all wrong about the founding of this country, about the Founding Fathers, and I also misunderstood the intent behind the separation of church and state. And while CNN may believe this country was not founded on Christian principles, there are presidents, Supreme Court justices and signers of the Declaration of Independence who may have said otherwise. Perhaps the words of these men can help illuminate this notion.
“America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify this devotion to the elements of justice which derive from the revelations of the Holy Scriptures. Woodrow Wilson
“It is a Christian nation. In this great country of ours, the fundamental unity of Christianity and democracy has been demonstrated. Harry Truman
“For the past 200 years, we have guided the building of our nation and our society by these principles and precepts brought to earth nearly 2,000 years ago on that first Christmas.” Lyndon B. Johnson
Just feelings, right? Nothing important here. No Christian foundation can be seen anywhere in the sentiments of simple presidents of the past, is it?
“I believe that no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the Spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses…whether we look to the early charters of Virginia or to the New England Charter…or to the Massachusetts Bay Charter, or to the Basic Orders of Connecticut…the same goal is present: a Christian land governed by Christian principles.” Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of United States (1954)
He also said, “I believe that the entire Bill of Rights came into being through our ancestors’ knowledge of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of speech, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equality of justice before the law and the reservation of powers to the people. I like to believe that we live today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I also like to believe that as long as we do, no great harm can befall our country.
The founders were deists, so many have claimed, including CNN. “Virtually none of them can be classified as evangelical Christians. They were a collection of atheists, unitarians, deists, liberal protestants and other denominations. But where is the evidence?
What did the Founders say? Is it important? And John Adams? He once wrote,
“The Holy Spirit pervades the entire Christian system on this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered except by the Holy Spirit… There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government except that which is administered by this Holy Spirit. There can be no salvation without it. Without it, all is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox terms, damnation.
What did Samuel Adams have to say about his own beliefs?
“I count on the merits of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of all my sins… I understand that we cannot express ourselves better than by humbly pleading with the supreme sovereign of the world. For the promotion and speedy introduction of the holy and happy period when the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can be established everywhere, and the people willfully bow before the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.
Josiah Bartlett. He signed the Declaration of Independence. Could he explain his beliefs better than CNN?
“Confess before God our aggravated transgressions and… implore his forgiveness and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ… that the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ may be known to all nations.
Another signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carrol, once wrote:
“I rely on the mercy of my redeemer for salvation and on his merits, not on the works that I have done in obedience to his precepts. I, Charles Carroll…hope that through and through the merits, sufferings and mediation of my only Savior and Jesus Christ, I may be admitted into the Kingdom prepared by God for those who love, fear Him. and really serve it.
Alexander Hamilton said,
“I have a tender trust in the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. John Hancock once called on the State of Massachusetts to pray over these words: “Let all nations bow before the scepter of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and may the whole earth be filled with his glory. May the spiritual Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ grow continually until the whole earth is filled with His glory…to confess their sins before God and seek His forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. ”
Why have we never considered the separation of church and state to be to prevent government from influencing or interfering with Christianity? Why is it always assumed that they devised a system to prevent Christian influence from penetrating the government? Perhaps our government would not be run by demonic Pharisees who would obliterate us if more Christianity entered the walls of government.
The Founders believed in humility and forgiveness. When was the last time you heard an elected official say the words, “I’m sorry, I screwed up”? When was the last time you saw one politician pardon another? 99% of elected politicians relish boastful behavior. Humility? At the Capitol? Who would ever design such a thing? Imagine what would happen if a politician actually said the words “I was wrong”. Half the planet would fall from the jaws of everyone falling to the ground.
Perhaps the intent behind founding a country on Christian principles was designed to protect citizens from excessive government. Isn’t that what people wanted when Jesus walked through town? What about why this country was founded in the first place? To escape a great tyrannical monarchy/theocracy?
Historical ignorance and biblical illiteracy are prominent in the CNN article. To assume that no Founder intended to inject Christian beliefs into the law of the land is to deny reality. (We’re getting really good at denying reality in this country, so I can understand why we so easily fall into glamorous myths and fables as presented by the Main Stream Media Machine.) If you’ve ever read the Bible and also read the US Constitution, it’s hard to ignore the obvious parallels. The essence of Holy Scripture is manifestly evident in the Constitution. Almost as if the Founders rewrote Bible verses, expanded them, and printed them for all of us to honor.