In for a penny…
Teaching the importance of Christianity in U.S. history is common sense, asserted several evangelical leaders in defending a new Texas law that requires public schools to incorporate Bible literacy into the curriculum.
Americans can disagree on a personal level with what Christianity claims to be true, wrote Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, but they “cannot question” the “central importance” of those Christian truths to the men who help founded the nation.
“Understand America’s history without any reference to her Christian heritage? You might as well try to tell the story of Huck Finn without mentioning the Mississippi River,” Daly wrote in a column posted in The Washington Post.
Daly was among several prominent evangelical figures who participated in the “On Faith” opinion blog in The Washington Post to discuss the question “Should public schools teach religion?” (You can read the rest here.)
But, before you do…
“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.” – letter to Edward Newenham, 1792
“Gouverneur Morris had often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system (Christianity) than did he himself.” -Thomas Jefferson, in his private journal, Feb. 1800
“As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” -letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816
“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” -letter to Thomas Jefferson
“The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.” – letter to John Taylor
“. . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.” – “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” [1787-1788]
And do we really need to discuss Thomas Jefferson?
I will readily agree what Christians played a large part – and that biblical principles played a large part – in creating this country and indeed, the government of this country; however, this does not make it a Christian nation founded on Christianity.
I post on this because so many have this desperation to hold on to a city made by hands instead of looking to a city made without hands.