America’s Christian Heritage – Why It Matters

Have you ever stated your belief in an idea or ideology you deem central to your views in current events, but have nothing to back up your standpoint?  As a result, you feel a sense of insecurity, that you have no solid foundation to rest upon.  And when confronted, you fall silent, not out of reluctant agreement with the other side’s argument, but out of your lack of sources with which to counter your opposition.

This is especially true amongst Christian conservatives in our culture today.  Especially on one fact not a one desires to willingly concede to liberals or leftists – that America was based on Biblical principles.  That America was, if not is, a Christian nation.

Before the 20th century, very few, if any, challenged this truth.  In fact, those who subscribed to this fact were most public in their free expression of it.  Noah Webster, of whom we think of when consulting his dictionary, once stated, “Our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.  The Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things which all children under a free government ought to be instructed.  No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”  Can we not agree our government has done so?

Additionally, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, often called the “Father of American Jurisprudence,” claimed Biblical principles were intertwined with the law, saying, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law.  There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations.”

Even the Supreme Court affirmed the permeation of Christianity throughout our culture, stating, “If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth.  Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, ‘In the name of God, amen;’ the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe.  These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” – Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States.

Fast forward to the 21st century, where our culture and government have taken a completely different perspective.  No longer is Christianity, or God for that matter, publicly acknowledged in the schoolhouse, the public squares of political office, or even the current trends of civilization.  This absence has led to a moral downgrade in every culture imaginable, as if the once-strong, now-fragile strings of society are quickly weakening, bursting, and tearing right before our eyes.  Perhaps Noah Webster was right when he observed, “All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

The question must then be asked, “Why have we as a nation, as a people, rejected Christ and His teachings?”  The answer is simple, yet hard to believe.

America no longer emphasizes its Christian Heritage.

From the schoolhouse to the home, the church to our government, our especial and uniquely rich history, in which our Founding Fathers often said God divinely moved in, has been criticized, made fun of, and ridiculed in many instances.  Perception of the men who put their only hope in God for their country and its independence, are now seen as atheists whose focus was solely upon their pocketbook.  Does this approach jive well with the revealing quotes mentioned above?

It is because of this apathetic approach to our heritage that we have a confused and indifferent generation that doesn’t care, or is confused, by the actuality of our genuine roots as a nation.

But there are some, like you and I, that have a true burning desire to know the truth of our nation’s founding and our Christian heritage.  It is my hope that, both myself as the author, and, those who read as the audience, be better informed by the following posts of this series to counter this alarming trend, take a firm and informed stand for what is right, and make a difference for God in our country.

Frank

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