Debate continues to rage over the Christian heritage of America. This present administration is only trying to finish what secularists have been trying to do in our nations schools. At least three generations of Americans have been taught from textbooks that purposely leave out the irrefutable evidence that Christianity has had a singular impact on Americas founding. One elementary school social studies book has thirty pages of material on the Pilgrims, Paul Vitz writes, including the first Thanksgiving. But there is not one word (or image) that referred to religion as even a part of the Pilgrims life. One mother whose son is in a class using this book wrote . . . that he came home and told her that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians. The mother called the principal of this suburban New York City school to point out that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims thanked God. The principal responded by saying that was her opinion— the schools could only teach what was in the books!
I suspect that the teaching of America's Christian history has not improved much since Vitz did his study. In fact, its gotten worse. Now we have a president who is using his office to seal the deal that America needs a different moral starting point. He'll still use the rhetoric of Christianity, but he'll put a secular humanist spin on it.
On August 19th, President Obama conducted an Internet conference with religious leaders. He used familiar biblical phrases to muster support for his government-based healthcare program. We are God's partners in matters of life and death, he said. So while denying America's Christian heritage when speaking to Muslims, he uses religious arguments to increase the power of the State, reduce our freedoms, and take over one-sixth of our economy.
When our founders appealed to God and Scripture to build this nation, they did so to limit civil government, not expand it. They created a document of enumerated powers not an open-ended, one-sided agreement with the people to give unlimited power to the National Government.
One of the ways to combat the denial of America's Christian history and understand the proper role of civil government is through education. America needs to go back to school. To get you started, I've put together an introduction to make The Case for America's Christian Heritage. There is an introductory chapter that clears up the confusion caused by historical revisionists who only look at a small selected group of founders to make a case for a secularized America based solely on their definition of the Enlightenment. What they fail to reveal is that there is a neglected history of a Christian Enlightenment long before people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin came on the scene. The secularists play a game of sleight of hand. While they concentrate on a very small minority of so-called Enlightenment Founders, they divert attention from the majority of Christians who had a direct impact on the founding of America. It's a forgotten part of America's Christian history.
The rest of the book deals with President Obamas claim, Whatever we once were, were no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. I find it interesting that when he speaks to Muslims he denies America's Christian nation status, but when he's trying to sell a big-government program he appeals to America's Christian heritage, something that is not historical. I take you through the arguments and the history to show that to understand America, you must understand its Christian history.
About the Author: Gary DeMar is the President of American Vision. Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. In 2007, he earned his Ph.D. in Christian Intellectual History from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles.
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