June 4, 2004
This article will address, and answer, a question posed by the great champion of American polytheism. Recently, Barry Lynn, the director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, delivered a speech at Virginian Wesleyan College. The question, by its nature, is meant to plunge its hearers into an ocean of relativistic thought. In this sea the waters are murky and mysterious. The quandary it creates for some renders the question altogether unanswerable. Mr. Lynn is certain the question strikes a sensitive nerve; an area of our psyche that has been thoroughly programmed and trained to provide the correct response. Only the most naïve, foolish or arrogant would dare offer a definitive answer. The question raised in the title of Mr. Lynn’s speech is: “One Nation Under Whose God?” If the question were difficult to answer, I might defer to another. But because it can be answered with simple historical truth and reason, I will do so in this article. Yes, I’m aware of the politically correct trap I willingly step into; but hopefully common sense will prevail and untie the net.
The question can be answered in two words: “America’s God.” Not necessarily mine or yours, but the God our nation was founded under. My god could be a tree in my backyard. Yours might be a bronze statue with a plump belly. Regardless of whether an individual personally assents to its faith, every nation has a unifying faith in something or someone. Every nation has its ultimate reality which supplies the basis for its laws and morals and shapes its worldview. In communist countries it is the state itself. In the Arab world, it is the Muslim faith. In post-Christian Europe, they’re having an identity crisis; maybe it’s a wishful hope in secular humanism. The more fragmented the people, the weaker the nation; the more united, the stronger.
So, who is America’s God? He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen. He is the God who has revealed Himself through the Old and New testaments of the Bible. He is the God who has given us specific rules of right and wrong. He is the One to whom all must give an account. He is the sustainer and protector of our great Country. He is the God of every nation who trusts in Him. The astute statesmen who founded our country well understood the words of the psalmist: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
Unlike the former Soviet Union, which crumbled from within, the words, “separation of church and state” are not found in our Constitution. In fact, the phrase originated in a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 explaining that a “wall of separation” keeps the federal government out of the church, not the opposite. The context has since been eviscerated and the words are now used to keep religion out of public sectors.
This effect certainly wasn’t Jefferson’s objective. In fact, it was Jefferson, who, while chairing the charter school board for the District of Columbia, created the first plan of education which included the Bible as part of the curriculum. Jefferson believed that “the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.” Contrary to Lynn, Jefferson posed a question which unites, rather than divides the country: “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 these liberties are of the gift of God?”
When you see the reminder on our currency of Whom we trust in; when you hear the words, “God save this honorable court,” when the tribunal is opened; when you see a witness swear on the Holy Bible to tell the truth “so help me God;” when you join in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance—you need not fall into a modern intellectual dilemma. Your freedom to practice any faith you please does not invalidate the fact of America’s God; rather it testifies to the freedoms birthed from Judeo-Christian thought.
Although we have run far from the God of our fathers, tragedy has a way of drawing us back. Immediately after 9-11 members of Congress were seen on the steps of the Capitol calling out to the God of America. Songs like, “God Bless America,” were sung imploring the comfort and protection of the Almighty. In these moments, there is no question of “whose God” our nation is under. We are under the only God who can actually protect us from our enemies.
If we have slipped away from this blessed station, let’s quickly get back under His care and protection.
|This article originally appeared on OpinionEditorials.com, an educational service of Frontiers of Freedom (FOF). The ideas and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect the thought or positions of FOF or its officers, staff, or directors.|
Copyright © Monte Kuligowski
PCism in America
7 jun 2004