“Providence (God) has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty, as well as the privilege of our Christian nation [emphasis mine] to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
These words were uttered by one of our founding fathers, John Jay, on Oct. 12, 1816. He was obviously both deluded and bigoted, when we subject him to today’s superior secular, enlightened, multicultural standards. Certainly Mr. Jay was not a progressive of the elite New York Bloomberg/Patterson mosque-embracing kind as we see clearly from another of his intemperate utterances:
“Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab [‘Shouldst thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?’- 2 Chron. 19:2] affords a lesson.”
But who today would even refer to a prophet (Jehu) or Jehoshaphat, or for that matter, dare reference the Bible for direction and wisdom for our hopey-changy electorate to use in choosing any of its current leaders?
Yet John Jay was not alone in his religious prejudices. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story included this insensitive comment in his landmark 1833 legal treatise Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States:
“I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. 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 laying its foundations.” (You know, the religion that allows freedom of religion, association, assembly, speech, press, firearms, etc.)
May I submit to you, Justice Story, wherever you are, that a majority of Americans in our uncivil society no longer believe this. Our great republic, which has been tenaciously pursuing for decades the removal of all public references to Christ and God, while electing secular humanists or outright leftist libertines to office, is now teetering on its foundations. Even remote, innocuous memorial crosses in the desert, which many of us didn’t even know were there, are now targets of the secularists.
But let’s remember that the foundations of the newly-formed little American constitutional republic were being attacked at that time as well. Our founding fathers had to deal with terrorist states preying upon our newly-won freedoms! Ever heard of the Barbary Pirates? Nineteenth-century Americans did not hesitate to take on North Africa’s slave empire, which was seizing any and all vessels (Europe’s included), and enslaving (with Koranic justification) infidels (non-Muslims). Nothing has changed much! When a ship was taken, those that weren’t killed (especially women), were subjected to subhuman treatment, imprisoned for years, or sold. The pirates would regularly shake down governments for protection money.
The new non-world power, the United States, a Christian nation, refused to pay-up or be intimidated; it called this terrorism what it was — “piracy” — and sent its Marines, who were under the command of Commodore Stephen Decatur, to systematically destroy Tripoli and its slave empire, which they did. It’s hard to imagine a man like Decatur today, who made the comment, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!” recommending that America build a mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero. Our forefathers didn’t equivocate with tyrants: religious ones quoting Mohammed, megalomaniacs at the Alamo, or more recently, Japanese emperors and goose-stepping Germans. Yet today, the strongest and most blessed nation on earth can’t find the national spine to even whisper the words: “terrorist or pirate,” or condemn “Muslim extremism” out of fear of political correctness.
On September 11th and 12th, the Tea Parties will hold two marches in Washington, D.C., celebrating our Christian constitutional heritage. Rein-actors, representing all 39 signers of the Constitution and their wives, will sign a copy of the Constitution in front of the National Archives on September 11th at 9am, then walk up Constitution Ave. to the Washington Monument to the sound of fifes and drums, where we will remember those Americans who gave their lives in the attacks by Muslim fanatics on that date. On September 12th, the same group will carry the Constitution from the Washington Monument to the Capitol as a reminder to our elected officials that the Constitution, while only four pages long, proclaims that we have rights that only a nation established on Christian principles of freedom can provide.
As Patrick Henry put it in a speech he gave in May 1775, “It cannot be emphasized too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been offered asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
William Temple is a historical re-enactor, a pastor of a Bible church in Brunswick, Ga., and a well-known figure at Tea Party events across the country.