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Author Topic: Restore Christian America  (Read 39520 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2006, 12:17:35 AM »

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." Edmund Burke

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong." John G. Diefenbaker

"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King Jr.


"I believe we have a deficit of moral courage in the United States Congress. We have many learned individuals who know what is right but have not the courage to stand against the moral corruption that is now attempting to undermine our republic." --Dr. Tom Coburn


"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just." Abraham Lincoln

________________________



A nation born for Christian religious tolerance no longer tolerates Christianity... Where did the idea of "tolerance" originate? It did not originate in Saudia Arabia, where it is still the death penalty if someone converts from Islam to another faith; nor did it originate in the former atheistic Soviet Union, where thousands were persecuted for their faith; nor in Communist China, where illegal house church leaders and Falun Gong members are still arrested; nor did it originate with Robespierre's Reign of Terror, where thousands accused of not supporting the atheistic French Revolution lost their heads via the guillotine. No – "tolerance", as we know it, is an American Judeo-Christian contribution to the world.

American school children and college students today are being subjected to what we call "The Liberal History Lesson," which goes something like this. America, say liberals, was a product of the Enlightenment, which was a rejection of Christianity. America, say liberals, was founded primarily by Deists, not by Christians. The Constitution, say liberals, and specifically the First Amendment to the Constitution, erects a so-called "wall of separation between church and state" that cannot and must not be transgressed in anyway. Moreover, say liberals, the government cannot in any way support or favor religious faith. This philosophy, this misreading of American history, this mistaken interpretation of our Constitution, has led to a relentless assault on America's religious institutions and traditions by our educational system, the courts and throughout our popular culture.


I am not a supporter nor admirer of Napoleon Bonaparte but he had it right when he said, "Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent."  Speak up, get the word out. It is a part in insuring that our children, grandchildren, friends family and neighbors are taught in the ways of the Lord.


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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2006, 12:18:05 AM »

Censoring the Past No More
By Gary DeMar

Almost every day now, especially during the Christmas season, we're reading stories about how anything religious is being cut out of history. Censoring Christianity from culture is not a new phenomenon. What has been going on for more than 30 years and known only by a few is finally coming to light thanks to the Internet. It's no wonder that most young adults have little knowledge of America's rich Christian history.

Consider how a teacher's guide for the high school history text Triumph of the American Nation, published in 1986, omitted material from the 1620 Mayflower Compact without informing the teacher that the document had been edited. Students in discussing the document are left with an incomplete understanding of what motivated these early founders because they do not have all the facts. The Mayflower Compact is described solely as a political document with its more striking religious elements deleted. Here is the document as presented by the textbook company. The bold face portions are missing from the textbook version:

    In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic.

These brave men and women had more on their minds than political freedom. Missionary zeal and the advancement of the Christian faith were their primary motivations as they risked life and property to carve out a new home in an uncertain wilderness.

The critics of America's early Christian origins have steadily removed such references from textbooks and have created a tense legal environment that frightens many teachers from even raising evidence contradicting the censored texts. Will a member of the ACLU threaten legal action against a teacher who decides to cite original source material to support a view that differs from the historical perspective of the textbook?

Of course, we know that it is already happening. Teachers are being intimidated for using official United States documents in the classroom. The most recent incident occurred in the Cupertino California Union School District. Stephen Williams, who teaches history, passed out copies of the Declaration of Independence, the diaries of George Washington and John Adams, the writings of William Penn, and various state constitutions to point out the historical reality that America has a deep and rich Christian heritage. School officials objected even though the California Education Code allows “references to religion or references to or the use of religious literature…when such references or uses do not constitute instruction in religious principles…and when such references or uses are incidental to or illustrative of matters properly included in the course of study.” Most mainstream media outlets gave the incident minimal coverage. The Internet made it a major story. Sean Hannity got involved and took a day to broadcast from the school district.

The movie National Treasure, starring Nicolas Cage and Jon Voight, shows the extent to which our own government goes to protect the Declaration of Independence, and yet these historical fascists believe they are the true guardians of our nation’s past. They can no longer get away with covering up the past as long as Christian teachers like Stephen Williams know their history, are willing to stand up to the deceptive Orwellians, and other Christians come to their aid. There’s more to be done. American Vision has a dream of building an American Heritage Museum™ so the light of historical truth can be seen even if others attempt to bury it.

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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2006, 12:18:35 AM »

America's Schools Began With Christian Education

The founders of the United States believed that useful education - that which produced liberty - must have its foundation in Christianity

THE FOUNDERS OF THE UNITED STATES were very much aware of the relation of education and liberty. They knew that a people cannot be ignorant and free. Jefferson said it this way:

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

Benjamin Franklin said that ignorance results in bondage:

A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.

The founders of the United States believed that useful education -- that which produced liberty - must have its foundation in Christianity.

Though many may not recognize his name today, Benjamin Rush played a very significant role in American history. Although Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, his contributions were not limited to governmental affairs. He was also a professor of medicine, a writer, a principal founder of Dickinson College, and a leader in education. In addition, he served on many Bible and medical societies, and societies for the abolition of slavery. He wrote in 1806:

In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican form of government, that is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.

Education in colonial America was primarily centered in the home and church, with the Bible being the focal point of all education. Schools were started to provide a Christian education to those who were not able to receive such training at home and to supplement home education. The first schools were started by the church. The first common schools originated with the school law of 1647 in Massachusetts, which stated:

It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures.

Our founders recognized that Satan wants to keep people ignorant. If he can keep them ignorant, he can keep them in bondage. This motivated them to not only start schools but also colleges.

Colleges and universities were started as seminaries to train a godly and literate clergy. In fact, 106 of the first 108 colleges were founded on the Christian faith. One of the original rules and precepts of Harvard College stated:

Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3), and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.

The father of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, declared that education in the principles of the Christian religion is the means of renovating our age. He wrote in a letter on October 4, 1790, to John Adams, then vice president of the United States:

Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

Knowledge apart from God and His truth is little better than complete ignorance, because the most important aspect of education is the imbuing of moral principles. All education is religious - it imparts a basic set of principles and ideals, a worldview. How the youth are educated today will determine the course a nation takes in the future.

Noah Webster understood this very well. He spent his entire adult life working to reform America and to provide a foundation of liberty, happiness, and prosperity for all citizens. Education from a Christian perspective was key. In 1839 he wrote:

Practical truths in religion, in morals, and in all civil and social concerns ought to be among the first and most prominent objects of instruction. Without a competent knowledge of legal and social rights and duties, persons are often liable to suffer in property or reputation, by neglect or mistakes. Without religious and moral principles deeply impressed on the mind, and controlling the whole conduct, science and literature will not make men what the laws of God require them to be; and without both kinds of knowledge, citizens cannot enjoy the blessings which they seek, and which a strict conformity to rules of duty will enable them to obtain.5

Numerous people in America today agree that a lack of moral values is the root of the country's problems, yet without a standard of moral absolutes rooted in a sovereign God and His truth, and without these being taught and lived in the homes, in the schools, in the government, and in the media, America as a nation will not be able to impart these needed morals.

The people behind the French Revolution believed virtue was necessary for their efforts to succeed, but they thought they could be virtuous on their own apart from God. The founding fathers of the United States knew this could never be. George Washington in his Farewell Address specifically addressed this belief when he said:

And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion... [R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.
   
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2006, 12:19:30 AM »

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Connecticut:

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON  1731 - 1796 Congregationalist
ROGER SHERMAN  1721-1793  Congregationalist
WILLIAM WILLIAMS  1731-1811  Congregationalist
OLIVER WOLCOTT  1726-1797  Congregationalist


Delaware

THOMAS MCKEAN  1734-1817  Presbyterian
GEORGE READ  1733-1798  Episcopalian
CAESAR RODNEY  1728-1784  Episcopalian


Georgia

BUTTON GWINNETT  1735-1777  Episcopalian
LYMAN HALL  1724-1790  Congregationalist
GEORGE WALTON  1741-1804  Anglican


Maryland

CHARLES CARROLL  1737-1832  Roman Catholic
SAMUEL CHASE  1741-1811  Episcopalian
WILLIAM PACA  1740-1799  Episcopalian
THOMAS STONE  1743-1787  Episcopalian


Massachusetts

JOHN ADAMS  1735 - 1826  Congregationalists, Unitarian
SAMUEL ADAMS  1722-1803  Congregationalist
ELBRIDGE GERRY  1744-1814  Episcopalian
JOHN HANCOCK  1737-1793  Congregationalist
ROBERT TREAT PAINE  1731-1814  Congregationalist



New Hampshire

JOSIAH BARTLETT  1729-1795  Congregationalist
MATTHEW THORNTON  1714-1803  Protestant (Presbyterian?)
WILLIAM WHIPPLE  1730-1785  Congregationalist



New Jersey

ABRAHAM CLARK  1726-1794  Presbyterian
JOHN HART  1711-1779  Presbyterian
FRANCIS HOPKINSON  1737-1791  Episcopalian
RICHARD STOCKTON  1730-1781  Presbyterian
JOHN WITHERSPOON  1723-1794  Presbyterian minister


New York

WILLIAM FLOYD  1734-1821  Presbyterian
Francis Lewis  1713-1803    Episcopalian
PHILIP LIVINGSTON  1716-1778  Presbyterian
LEWIS MORRIS  1726-1798  Episcopalian


North Carolina

JOSEPH HEWES  1730-1779  Episcopalian
WILLIAM HOOPER  1742-1790  Episcopalian
JOHN PENN  1741-1788  Anglican




Pennsylvania

GEORGE CLYMER  1739-1813  Quaker, Episcopalian
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN  1706-1790  Episcopalian  *1
ROBERT MORRIS  1734-1806  Episcopalian
JOHN MORTON  1724-1777  Episcopalian
GEORGE ROSS  1730-1779  Episcopalian
BENJAMIN RUSH  1745-1833  Presbyterian
JAMES SMITH  1713-1806  Presbyterian
GEORGE TAYLOR  1716-1781  Presbyterian
JAMES WILSON  1742-1798  Episcopalian, Presbyterian


Rhode Island

WILLIAM ELLERY  1727-1820  Congregationalist
STEPHEN HOPKINS  1707-1785  Episcopalian


South Carolina

THOMAS HEYWARD, JR.  1746-1809  Episcopalian
THOMAS LYNCH, JR.  1749-1779  Episcopalian
ARTHUR MIDDLETON  1742-1787  Episcopalian
EDWARD RUTLEDGE  1749-1800  Anglican


Virginia

CARTER BRAXTON  1736-1797  Episcopalian
BENJAMIN HARRISON  1726-1791  Episcopalian
THOMAS JEFFERSON  1743-1826  Christian  *2
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE  1734-1797  Episcopalian
RICHARD HENRY LEE  1732-1794  Episcopalian
THOMAS NELSON, JR.  1738-1789  Episcopalian
GEORGE WYTHE  1726-1806  Episcopalian


cont'd on page two

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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2006, 12:20:27 AM »

Page Two

Source:  B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848)


*1  Benjamin Franklin occassionaly attended an Episcopal Church but did not claim a specific denomination and had some doubts as to the diety of Jesus Christ although he did support the teachings of Jesus.

*2  Thomas Jefferson once stated that he was a Christian, a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.


The signers of the Declaration of Independence were a profoundly intelligent, religious and ethically-minded group. Four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were current or former full-time preachers, and many more were the sons of clergymen. Other professions held by signers include lawyers, merchants, doctors and educators. These individuals, too, were for the most part active churchgoers and many contributed significantly to their churches both with contributions as well as their service as lay leaders. The signers were members of religious denominations at a rate that was significantly higher than average for the American Colonies during the late 1700s.

These signers have long inspired deep admiration among both secularists (who appreciate the non-denominational nature of the Declaration) and by traditional religionists (who appreciate the Declaration's recognition of God as the source of the rights enumerated by the document). Lossing's seminal 1848 collection of biographies of the signers of the Declaration of Independence echoed widely held sentiments held then and now that there was divine intent or inspiration behind the Declaration of Independence. Lossing matter-of-factly identified the signers as "instruments of Providence" who have "gone to receive their reward in the Spirit Land."

From: B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848) [reprinted in Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, WallBuilder Press: Aledo, Texas (1995)], pages 7-12:

    From no point of view can the Declaration of American Independence, the causes which led to its adoption, and the events which marked its maintenance, be observed without exciting sentiments of profound veneration for the men who were the prominent actors in that remarkable scene in the drama of the world's history...

    The signing of that instrument was a solemn act, and required great firmness and patriotism in those who committed it... neither firmness nor patriotism was wanting in that august body...

    Such were the men unto whose keeping, as instruments of Providence, the destinies of America were for the time intrusted; and it has been well remarked, that men, other than such as these,--an ignorant, untaught mass, like those who have formed the physical elements of other revolutionary movements, without sufficient intellect to guide and control them--could not have conceived, planned, and carried into execution, such a mighty movement, one so fraught with tangible marks of political wisdom, as the American Revolution...

    Their bodies now have all returned to their kindred dust in the grave, and their souls have gone to receive their reward in the Spirit Land.

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), pages 27-28:

    Liberally endowed as a whole with courage and sense of purpose, the signers [of the Declaration of Independence] consisted of a distinguished group of individuals. Although heterogeneous in background, education, experience, and accommplishments, at the time of the signing they were practically all men of means and represented an elite cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Everyone one of them of them had achieved prominence in his colony, but only a few enjoyed a national reputation.

    The signers were those individuals who happened to be Delegates to Congress at the time... The signers possessed many basic similarities. Most were American-born and of Anglo-Saxon origin. The eight foreign-born... were all natives of the British Isles. Except for Charles Carroll, a Roman Catholic, and a few Deists, every one subscribed to Protestantism. For the most part basically political nonextremists, many at first had hesitated at separation let alone rebellion.

Signers of the Articles of Confederation

cont'd on page three
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2006, 12:21:37 AM »

Page Three

Connecticut

Andrew Adams    Congregationalist
Samuel Huntington    Congregationalist
Roger Sherman    Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott    Congregationalist


Delaware


Nicholas Van Dyke    Episcopalian
John Dickinson    Quaker; Episcopalian
Thomas McKean    Presbyterian


Georgia

Edward Langworthy       Episcopalian
John Walton    Presbyterian
Edward Telfair  Protestant, denomination unknown


Maryland

Daniel Carroll    Roman Catholic
John Hanson    Lutheran


Massachusetts


Samuel Adams  Congregationalist
John Hancock  Congregationalist
Elbridge Gerry  Episcopalian
James Lovell      Protestant, denomination unknown
Samuel Holten    Protestant, denomination unknown
Francis Dana      Protestant, denomination unknown


New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett    Congregationalist
John Wentworth Jr.    Protestant, denomination unknown


New Jersey


John Witherspoon    Presbyterian
Nathaniel Scudder  Presbyterian


New York


Francis Lewis    Episcopalian
James Duane    Episcopalian
Gouverneur Morris  Episcopalian
William Duer    Protestant, denomination unknown


North Carolina

John Penn  Episcopalian
Cornelius Harnett  Episcopalian
John Williams    Protestant, denomination unknown


Pennsylvania

Robert Morris    Episcopalian
William Clingan    Protestant, denomination unknown
Joseph Reed    Protestant, denomination unknown
Daniel Roberdeau      Protestant, denomination unknown
Jonathan Bayard Smith    Protestant, denomination unknown


Rhode Island

William Ellery    Congregationalist
Henry Marchant    Protestant, denomination unknown
John Collins      Protestant, denomination unknown



South Carolina

Richard Hutson    Congregationalist
Thomas Heyward Jr      Episcopalian
Henry Laurens      Huguenot
John Mathews    Protestant, denomination unknown
William Henry Drayton    Protestant, denomination unknown



Virginia

Francis Lightfoot Lee    Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee      Episcopalian
John Banister    Episcopalian
Thomas Adams    Protestant, denomination unknown
John Harvie        Protestant, denomination unknown


*  Protestant, denomination unknown = firther investigation must be done to determine denomination.

Delegates to the
Constitutional Convention of 1787, including the
Signers of the Constitution of the United States of America


There were 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 at which the U.S. Constitution was drafted and signed. All participated in the proceedings which resulted in the Constitution, but only 39 of these delegates were actually signers of the document.

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Constitution: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Constitution, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1976), page 138:

    Most of the [signers of the Constitution] married and fathered children. Sherman sired the largest family, numbering 15 by two wives... Three (Baldwin, Gilman, and Jenifer) were lifetime bachelors. In terms of religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protestant character of American religious life at the time and were members of various denominations. Only two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, were Roman Catholics.

Connecticut

OLIVER ELLSWORTH  1745-1807  Congregationalist  *1
WILLIAM SAMUEL JOHNSON  1727-1819  Presbyterian, Episcopalian
ROGER SHERMAN  1721-1793  Congregationalist


Delaware

RICHARD BASSETT  1745-1815  Methodist
GUNNING BEDFORD, JR.  1747-1812  Presbyterian
JACOB BROOM  1752-1810  Lutheran
JOHN DICKINSON  1732-1808  Quaker, Episcopalian
GEORGE READ  1733-1798  Episcopalian


Georgia

ABRAHAM BALDWIN  1754-1807  Congregationalist, Presbyterian
WILLIAM FEW  1748-1828  Methodist
WILLIAM HOUSTOUN  1755-1813  Episcopalian  *!
WILLIAM LEIGH PIERCE  1740-1789  Episcopalian  *1


Maryland

DANIEL CARROLL  1730-1796  Roman Catholic
DANIEL OF ST. THOMAS JENIFER  1723-1790  Episcopalian
LUTHER MARTIN  1748-1826  Episcopalian  *1
JAMES McHENRY  1753-1816  Presbyterian
JOHN FRANCIS MERCER  1759-1821  Episcopalian  *1


Massachusetts

ELBRIDGE GERRY  1744-1814  Episcopalian  *1
NATHANIEL GORHAM  1738-1796  Congregationalist
RUFUS KING  1755-1827  Episcopalian
CALEB STRONG  1745-1819  Congregationalist  *1


New Hampshire

NICHOLAS GILMAN  1755-1814  Congregationalist
JOHN LANGDON  1739-1819  Congregationalist


New Jersey

DAVID BREARLY  1745-1790  Episcopalian
JONATHAN DAYTON  1760-1824  Presbyterian, Episcopalian
WILLIAM CHURCHILL HOUSTON  1746-1788  Presbyterian  *1
WILLIAM LIVINGSTON  1723-1790  Presbyterian
WILLIAM PATERSON  1745-1806  Presbyterian


New York

ALEXANDER HAMILTON  1757-1804  Episcopalian
JOHN LANSING, JR.  1754-1829  Dutch Reformed  *1
ROBERT YATES  1738-1801  Dutch Reformed  *1


North Carolina

WILLIAM BLOUNT  1749-1800  Episcopalian, Presbyterian
WILLIAM RICHARDSON DAVIE  1756-1820  Presbyterian  *1
ALEXANDER MARTIN  1740-1807  Presbyterian  *1
RICHARD DOBBS SPAIGHT, SR.  1758-1802  Episcopalian
HUGH WILLIAMSON  1735-1819  Presbyterian


Pennsylvania

GEORGE CLYMER  1739-1813  Quaker, Episcopalian
THOMAS FITZSIMONS  1741-1811  Roman Catholic
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN  1706-1790  Christian, none
JARED INGERSOLL  1749-1822  Presbyterian
THOMAS MIFFLIN  1744-1800  Quaker, Lutheran
GOUVERNEUR MORRIS  1752-1816  Episcopalian
ROBERT MORRIS  1734-1806  Episcopalian
JAMES WILSON  1742-1798  Episcopalian, Presbyterian


Rhode Island


Rhode Island sent no delegates to the Constitutional Convention.


South Carolina

PIERCE BUTLER  1744-1822  Episcopalian
CHARLES PINCKNEY  1757-1824  Episcopalian
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY  1746-1825  Episcopalian
JOHN RUTLEDGE  1739-1800  Episcopalian


Virginia

JOHN BLAIR  1732-1800  Presbyterian, Episcopalian
JAMES MADISON  1751-1836  Episcopalian
GEORGE MASON  1725-1792  Episcopalian  *1
JAMES McCLURG  1746-1823  Presbyterian  *1
EDMUND J. RANDOLPH  1753-1813  Episcopalian  *1
GEORGE WASHINGTON  1732-1799  Episcopalian
GEORGE WYTHE  1726-1806  Episcopalian


*1  Did not sign the Constitution
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2006, 12:22:38 AM »

The Basis for America's Laws


Sovereign authority of God, not sovereignty of the state, or sovereignty of man.

Mayflower Compact, Declaration, Constitution, currency, oaths, mention of God in all 50 state constitutions, Pledge of Allegiance

Ex. 18:16, 20:3, Dt. 10:20, 2 Chron. 7:14, Ps. 83:18, 91:2, Isa. 9:6-7, Dan. 4:32, Jn. 19:11, Acts 5:29, Rom. 13:1, Col. 1:15-20, 1 Tim. 6:15

_______________________________

Moral absolutes, Fixed standards, Absolute truth, Sanctity of life

Declaration ("unalienable" rights—life, etc., "self-evident" truths)

Ex. 20:13, Dt. 30:19, Ps. 119: 142-152, Pr. 14:34, Isa. 5:20-21, Jn. 10:10, Rom. 2:15, Heb. 13:8

______________________________

Rule of law rather than authority of man

Declaration, Constitution

Ex. 18-24, Dt. 17:20, Isa. 8:19-20, Mat. 5:17-18

_________________________________

All men are sinners

Constitutional checks and balances

Gen. 8:21, Jer. 17:9, Mk. 7: 20-23, Rom. 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8

________________________________

All men created equal

Declaration

Acts 10:34, 17:26, Gal. 3:28, 1 Pet. 2:17

_______________________________

Judicial, legislative, and executive branches

Constitution

Isa. 33:22

___________________________________

Religious freedom

First Amendment

1 Tim. 2:1-2

___________________________________

Church protected from state control (& taxation), but church to influence the state

First Amendment

Dt. 17:18-20, 1 Kgs. 3:28, Ez. 7:24, Neh. 8:2, 1 Sam. 7:15-10:27, 15:10-31, 2 Sam. 12:1-18, Mat. 14:3-4, Lk. 3:7-14, 11:52, Acts. 4:26-29

___________________________________

Federalist Democracy/States' Rights/Republicanism

Constitution

Ex. 18:21-22, Dt. 1:13, Jud. 8:22, 9:6, 1 Sam. 8, 2 Sam. 16:18, 2 Kgs. 14:21, Pr. 11:14, 24:6

__________________________________

Bottoms up government, Self-control, Limited federal powers

First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments

Mat. 18:15-18, Gal. 5:16-26, 1 Cor. 6:1-11, 1 Tim. 3:1-5, Tit. 2:1-8

_________________________________

Establish justice

Declaration

Ex. 23:1-9, Lev. 19:15, Dt. 1:17, 24:17-19, 1 Sam. 8:3, 2 Sam. 8:15, Mic. 6:8, Rom. 13:4

_________________________________

Fair trial with witnesses

Sixth Amendment

Ex. 20:16, Dt. 19:15, Pr. 24:28, 25:18, Mat. 18:16

_________________________________

Private property rights

Fifth Amendment

Ex. 20:15,17

_________________________________

Biblical liberty, Free enterprise

Declaration

Lev. 25:10, Jn. 8:36, 2 Cor. 3:17, Gal. 5:1, James 1:25, 1 Pet. 2:16

________________________________

Creation not evolution

Declaration

Gen. 1:1

________________________________

Biblical capitalism not Darwinian capitalism (service and fair play over strict survival of the fittest)

Anti-trust laws

Ex. 20:17, Mat. 20:26, 25:14-30, 2 Thes. 3:6-15, 1 Pet. 2:16

_______________________________


Importance of the traditional family

State sodomy laws, few reasons for divorce

Ex. 20:12,14, Mat. 19:1-12, Mk. 10:2-12, Rom. 1:18-2:16, 1 Cor. 7:1-40

______________________________

Religious education encouraged

Northwest Ordinance

Dt. 6:4-7, Pr. 22:6, Mat. 18:6, Eph. 6:4

_______________________________

Servanthood not political power

Concept of public servant

Ex. 18:21, Rom. 13:4, Php. 2:7

_______________________________

Sabbath day holy

"Blue laws"

Ex. 20:8

_______________________________

Restitution

Restitution laws

Lev. 6:1-5, Num. 5:5-7, Mat. 5:23-26

_______________________________

cont'd on page two

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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2006, 12:23:27 AM »

Page Two

Many people today reject the notion that the Bible should be used as a basis for law. "Narrow minded and outdated!" they say. Ideas have consequences. Let's examine the implications if the Bible is or is not the standard for society and its legal system.

  Without an objective standard of truth upon which to base society, the result is that whoever gains the most political power will dominate. Christians believe that the Bible offers ultimate, objective, and absolute truth—as opposed to relative "truth" (i.e., arbitrary "absolutes"). There was a general consensus on this point in America from the earliest settlers until only recently.

  So it was natural for the early Americans to turn to the Bible for guidance as to how to make civil law. This was the standard for law beginning with the Mayflower Compact all the way through the constitutions of all 50 states.

    For example, the first state constitution was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639). (I'll post this a little later) The framers of this document desired that every aspect of it be based on the Bible. This document was a model for other constitutions including the U.S. Consitution which followed. The above table outlines the wide spread influence of biblical thought on America's legal system.

  Biblical absolutes enshrined into law offered a consensus that meant freedom without chaos. One aspect of this is that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, there exist "unalienable rights" of men. Rights were unalienable because they were given by God. This is very significant because in most societies up until that time (and indeed even today), rights are only conferred by whoever is in power at the time.

  Because the American consensus was that the Bible was TRUTH, the tyranny of a few or even the tyranny of the majority could be overcome by one person standing up and appealing to the Bible. The freedom of expression in general in America is a result of our biblical system. Those people who feel free today to condemn the Bible are, ironically, among those who benefit most by the freedoms inherant in our biblical system!

  Another aspect of our system of government is that it is based on the Rule of Law. This concept is a direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten Commandments. Together with the concept of unalienable rights from God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that respected the dignity of every individual
.
  It is helpful to compare and contrast the American Revolution of 1776 with the French Revolution of 1789. While the American revolution began with an appeal to the sovereinty of God, the French Revolution was founded on the sovereignty of man. The French movement was a product of Voltaire's philosophy which specifically attempted to replace biblical Christianity with man's reason as the ultimate standard.

  But the French revolution was a disaster. Anarchy and tyranny reigned with 40,000 people being murdered, the favorite method being the guillotine. Their new constitution only lasted 2 years. Indeed, France has had 7 constitutions during the time that America has only had one.

  France even tried to rid itself of every vestige of biblical structure by eliminating the 7-day work week. Alas, the structure of 6 days of work and 1 day of rest is not only biblical, it reflects an important cycle of things that God implemented for man's good. The biblical week had to be re-instituted
.
  Another important aspect to America's constitution is that it has as its basis the distinctly Christian idea that man is basically sinful. Every one of our founding fathers understood this truth. It has been said that the 16th century Protestant reformer John Calvin, who is the theologian most associated with the biblical doctrine of man's "depravity," was the single most influential person to our Constitution. The result was that the founders built into the Constitution an elaborate system of checks and balances. This is evident in the horizontal plane of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. It is also evident in the vertical plane of federalism—states' powers versus federal powers.

  Again, let's look at the evidence by contrasting the American system with other systems. Other systems are based on the idea that man is basically good, or at least perfectable by law and education. This is the basis for communism as well as the religious states of Islam. But states based on these utopian ideas are always failures and particularly repressive to their citizens. These governments end up as a police state and take away rights of the citizens.

  It has been said that America has never been a Christian nation. But consider the facts. Every single American president has referenced God in his inaugural address. Every one of the 50 state constitutions call on God for support. The Supreme Court, in 1892 (Trinity Decision) after an exhaustive 10-year study of the matter, said: "This is a relgious people. This is a Christian nation." Even today, the Supreme Court opens each session with the verbal declaration, "God save the United States of America."

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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2006, 12:24:47 AM »

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut January 14, 1639

          For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth; and do for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed accordinbg to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed as followeth:

                    1. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that there shall be yearly two General Assemblies or Courts, the one the second Thursday in April, the other the second Thursday in September following; the first shall be called the Court of Election, wherein shall be yearly chosen from time to time, so many Magistrates and other public Officers as shall be found requisite: Whereof one to be chosen Governor for the year ensuing and until another be chosen, and no other Magistrate to be chosen for more than one year: provided always there be six chosen besides the Governor, which being chosen and sworn according to an Oath recorded for that purpose, shall have the power to administer justice according to the Laws here established, and for want thereof, according to the Rule of the Word of God; which choice shall be made by all that are admitted freemen and have taken the Oath of Fidelity, and do cohabit within this Jurisdiction having been admitted Inhabitants by the major part of the Town wherein they live or the major part of such as shall be then present.

                    2. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the election of the aforesaid Magistrates shall be in this manner: every person present and qualified for choice shall bring in (to the person deputed to receive them) one single paper with the name of him written in it whom he desires to have Governor, and that he that hath the greatest number of papers shall be Governor for that year. And the rest of the Magistrates or public officers to be chosen in this manner: the Secretary for the time being shall first read the names of all that are to be put to choice and then shall severally nominate them distinctly, and every one that would have the person nominated to be chosen shall bring in one single paper written upon, and he that would not have him chosen shall bring in a blank; and every one that hath more written papers than blanks shall be a Magistrate for that year; which papers shall be received and told by one or more that shall be then chosen by the court and sworn to be faithful therein; but in case there should not be six chosen as aforesaid, besides the Governor, out of those which are nominated, than he or they which have the most writen papers shall be a Magistrate or Magistrates for the ensuing year, to make up the aforesaid number.

                    3. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Secretary shall not nominate any person, nor shall any person be chosen newly into the Magistracy which was not propounded in some General Court before, to be nominated the next election; and to that end it shall be lawful for each of the Towns aforesaid by their deputies to nominate any two whom they conceive fit to be put to election; and the Court may add so many more as they judge requisite.

                    4. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that no person be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the Governor be always a member of some approved Congregation, and formerly of the Magistracy within this Jurisdiction; and that all the Magistrates, Freemen of this Commonwealth; and that no Magistrate or other public officer shall execute any part of his or their office before they are severally sworn, which shall be done in the face of the court if they be present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose.

                    5. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that to the aforesaid Court of Election the several Towns shall send their deputies, and when the Elections are ended they may proceed in any public service as at other Courts. Also the other General Court in September shall be for making of laws, and any other public occasion, which concerns the good of the Commonwealth.

                    6. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Governor shall, either by himself or by the Secretary, send out summons to the Constables of every Town for the calling of these two standing Courts one month at least before their several times: And also if the Governor and the greatest part of the Magistrates see cause upon any special occasion to call a General Court, they may give order to the Secretary so to do within fourteen days' warning: And if urgent necessity so required, upon a shorter notice, giving sufficient grounds for it to the deputies when they meet, or else be questioned for the same; And if the Governor and major part of Magistrates shall either neglect or refuse to call the two General standing Courts or either of them, as also at other times when the occasions of the Commonwealth require, the Freemen thereof, or the major part of them, shall petition to them so to do; if then it be either denied or neglected, the said Freemen, or the major part of them, shall have the power to give order to the Constables of the several Towns to do the same, and so may meet together, and choose to themselves a Moderator, and may proceed to do any act of power which any other General Courts may.

                   
cont'd on page two
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2006, 12:25:15 AM »

Page Two

7. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that after there are warrants given out for any of the said General Courts, the Constable or Constables of each Town, shall forthwith give notice distinctly to the inhabitants of the same, in some public assembly or by going or sending from house to house, that at a place and time by him or them limited and set, they meet and assemble themselves together to elect and choose certain deputies to be at the General Court then following to agitate the affairs of the Commonwealth; which said deputies shall be chosen by all that are admitted Inhabitants in the several Towns and have taken the oath of fidelity; provided that none be chosen a Deputy for any General Court which is not a Freeman of this Commonwealth.


The aforesaid deputies shall be chosen in manner following: every person that is present and qualified as before expressed, shall bring the names of such, written in several papers, as they desire to have chosen for that employment, and these three or four, more or less, being the number agreed on to be chosen for that time, that have the greatest number of papers written for them shall be deputies for that Court; whose names shall be endorsed on the back side of the warrant and returned into the Court, with the Constable or Constables' hand unto the same.

                    8. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield shall have power, each Town, to send four of their Freemen as their deputies to every General Court; and Whatsoever other Town shall be hereafter added to this Jurisdiction, they shall send so many deputies as the Court shall judge meet, a reasonable proportion to the number of Freemen that are in the said Towns being to be attended therein; which deputies shall have the power of the whole Town to give their votes and allowance to all such laws and orders as may be for the public good, and unto which the said Towns are to be bound.

                    9. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the deputies thus chosen shall have power and liberty to appoint a time and a place of meeting together before any General Court, to advise and consult of all such things as may concern the good of the public, as also to examine their own Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the greatest part of them find any election to be illegal they may seclude such for present from their meeting, and return the same and their reasons to the Court; and if it be proved true, the Court may fine the party or parties so intruding, and the Town, if they see cause, and give out a warrant to go to a new election in a legal way, either in part or in whole. Also the said deputies shall have power to fine any that shall be disorderly at their meetings, or for not coming in due time or place according to appointment; and they may return the said fines into the Court if it be refused to be paid, and the Treasurer to take notice of it, and to escheat or levy the same as he does other fines.

                    10. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that every General Court, except such as through neglect of the Governor and the greatest part of the Magistrates the Freemen themselves do call, shall consist of the Governor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and four other Magistrates at least, with the major part of the deputies of the several Towns legally chosen; and in case the Freemen, or major part of them, through neglect or refusal of the Governor and major part of the Magistrates, shall call a Court, it shall consist of the major part of Freemen that are present or their deputiues, with a Moderator chosen by them: In which said General Courts shall consist the supreme power of the Commonwealth, and they only shall have power to make laws or repeal them, to grant levies, to admit of Freemen, dispose of lands undisposed of, to several Towns or persons, and also shall have power to call either Court or Magistrate or any other person whatsoever into question for any misdemeanor, and may for just causes displace or deal otherwise according to the nature of the offense; and also may deal in any other matter that concerns the good of this Commonwealth, except election of Magistrates, which shall be done by the whole body of Freemen.

          In which Court the Governor or Moderator shall have power to order the Court, to give liberty of speech, and silence unseasonable and disorderly speakings, to put all things to vote, and in case the vote be equal to have the casting voice. But none of these Courts shall be adjourned or dissolved without the consent of the major part of the Court.

                    11. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that when any General Court upon the occasions of the Commonwealth have agreed upon any sum, or sums of money to be levied upon the several Towns within this Jurisdiction, that a committee be chosen to set out and appoint what shall be the proportion of every Town to pay of the said levy, provided the committee be made up of an equal number out of each Town.

          14th January 1639 the 11 Orders above said are voted.

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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2006, 12:25:52 AM »

Senators and Representatives in the
First United States Congress

_________________________


1st U.S. Congress (1789-1791) Senators


Source: "Senators Elected to the United States Senate: The 1st Federal Congress of the United States of America (1789-1791)" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://wwwgotcha100forum.org/FFR-Senate.htm; viewed 8 July 2005)

Charles Carroll        MD    Catholic
Oliver Ellsworth        CT    Congregationalist
John Langdon              NH  Congregationalist
Caleb Strong                MA  Congregationalist
Paine Wingate                NH  Congregationalist
Philip Schuyler          NY  Dutch Reformed Church
Pierce Butler                SC  Episcopalian
Theodore Foster          RI    Episcopalian
Rufus King                  MA  Episcopalian
James Monroe              VA    Episcopalian
Robert Morris              PA    Episcopalian
George Read                DE    Episcopalian
Tristram Dalton      MA    Episcopalian
William Grayson            VA    Episcopalian
James Gunn                GA    Episcopalian
John Henry                  MD  Episcopalian
Ralph Izard                  SC  Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee          VA  Episcopalian
William S. Johnson        CT  Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Richard Bassett            DE  Methodist
William Few                  GA  Methodist
Jonathan Elmer              NJ    Presbyterian
William Paterson            NJ    Presbyterian
Philemon Dickinson        NJ    Quaker
Benjamin Hawkins        NC  unknown
Samuel Johnston          NC    unknown
William Maclay              PA    unknown
Joseph Stanton Jr.        RI    unknown
John Walker                VA      unknown



1st U.S. Congress (1789-1791)
Representatives
Source: "Representatives Elected to the United States Congress: The 1st Federal Congress of the United States of America (1789-1791)" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://wwwgotcha100forum.org/FFR-Congress.htm; viewed 8 July 2005)



Fisher Ames              MA      Calvinist
Daniel Carroll              MD      Catholic
Thomas Fitzsimons    PA        Catholic
Abiel Foster                NH      Congregationalist
Benjamin Huntington  CT      Congregationalist
James Jackson            GA      Congregationalist
Roger Sherman          CT      Congregationalist
Jeremiah Wadsworth  CT        Congregationalist
Nicholas Gilman          NH      Congregationalist
Abraham Baldwin        GA        Congreg' ;Episcopalian
Egbert Benson            NY        Dutch Reformed Church
James Schureman      NJ        Dutch Reformed Church
Henry Wynkoop          PA        Dutch Reformed Church
James Madison Jr.      VA        Episcopalian
George Mathews        GA        Episcopalian
Peter Muhlenberg        PA          Episcopalian
Josiah Parker              VA        Episcopalian
Peter Silvester            NY        Episcopalian
John Vining                DE        Episcopalian
Theodorick Bland        VA        Episcopalian
Timothy Bloodworth    NC        Episcopalian
Elias Boudinot              NJ        Episcopalian
Benjamin Contee          MD        Episcopalian
William Floyd                NY        Episcopalian
George Gale                MD        Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry              MT        Episcopalian
Thomas Hartley            PA        Episcopalian
John Laurance              NY        Episcopalian
Richard Bland Lee        VA          Episcopalian
George Leonard          MT        Episcopalian
Samuel Livermore        NH        Episcopalian
John Page                    VA        Episcopalian
Thomas Sinnickson      NJ          Episcopalian
William L. Smith            SC        Episcopalian
Alexander White            VA        Episcopalian
George Clymer              PA        Quaker, Episcopalian
Lambert Cadwalader      NJ        Quaker
John Hathorn                NY      Quaker
Daniel Hiester Jr.            PA      German Reformed Church
Daniel Huger                  SC      Huguenot
Frederick A. Muhlenberg  PA      Lutheran
Jeremiah Van Rensselaer NY      Lutheran
Benjamin Bourne            RI      Presbyterian
William Smith                MD      Presbyterian
Hugh Williamson            NC      Presbyterian
George Thatcher            MT      Unitarian
John Baptista Ashe        NC      Anglican
John Brown                    VA      unknown
Aedanus Burke              SC      unknown
Isaac Coles                    VA      unknown
William Branch Giles      VA      unknown
Benjamin Goodhue        MT      unknown
Samuel Griffin                VA      unknown
Jonathan Grout              MT    unknown
Andrew Moore              VA      unknown
George Partridge          MT      unknown
Thomas Scott              PA      unknown
Theodore Sedgwick      MT      unknown
Joshua Seney              MD      unknown
John Sevier                  NC      unknown
John Steele                  NC      unknown
Michael Jenifer Stone    MD      unknown
Jonathan Sturges        CT        unknown
Thomas Sumter            SC      unknown
Jonathan Trumbull        CT      unknown
Thomas Tudor Tucker    SC      unknown

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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2006, 12:26:27 AM »

In most current history books that quote Patrick Henry all we read is "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death". The rest of the text is always left out. Following is the complete document.



Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
March 23, 1775
By Patrick Henry
          No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

          Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.

          I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

          Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlement assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

          There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

          It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2006, 12:27:53 AM »

This document was prepared by the Second Continental Congress to explain to the world why the British colonies had taken up arms against Great Britain. It is a combination of the work of Thomas Jefferson and Colonel John Dickinson (well-known for his series "Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer."). Jefferson completed the first draft, but it was perceived by the Contenential Congress as too harsh and militant; Dickinson prepared the second. The final document combined the work of the two.


____________________________



Declaration of the Causes and Necessity
of Taking Up Arms July 6, 1775

          A declaration by the representatives of the united colonies of North America, now met in Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms.

          If it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom, as the objects of a legal domination never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the inhabitants of these colonies might at least require from the parliament of Great-Britain some evidence, that this dreadful authority over them, has been granted to that body. But a reverance for our Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end. The legislature of Great-Britain, however, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and desparate of success in any mode of contest, where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms. Yet, however blinded that assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimited domination, so to sight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause. Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great-Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom. At the expense of their blood, at the hazard of their fortunes, without the least charge to the country from which they removed, by unceasing labour, and an unconquerable spirit, they effected settlements in the distant and unhospitable wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike barbarians. -- Societies or governments, vested with perfect legislatures, were formed under charters from the crown, and an harmonious intercourse was established between the colonies and the kingdom from which they derived their origin. The mutual benefits of this union became in a short time so extraordinary, as to excite astonishment. It is universally confessed, that the amazing increase of the wealth, strength, and navigation of the realm, arose from this source; and the minister, who so wisely and successfully directed the measures of Great-Britain in the late war, publicly declared, that these colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies. --Towards the conclusion of that war, it pleased our sovereign to make a change in his counsels. -- From that fatal movement, the affairs of the British empire began to fall into confusion, and gradually sliding from the summit of glorious prosperity, to which they had been advanced by the virtues and abilities of one man, are at length distracted by the convulsions, that now shake it to its deepest foundations. -- The new ministry finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate idea of granting them a hasty peace, and then subduing her faithful friends.


cont'd on page two

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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2006, 12:29:13 AM »

Page Two

        These colonies were judged to be in such a state, as to present victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emoluments of statuteable plunder. -- The uninterrupted tenor of their peaceable and respectful behaviour from the beginning of colonization, their dutiful, zealous, and useful services during the war, though so recently and amply acknowledged in the most honourable manner by his majesty, by the late king, and by parliament, could not save them from the meditated innovations. -- Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project, and assuming a new power over them, have in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt concerning the effects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property; statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property; for suspending the legislature of one of the colonies; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature solemnly confirmed by the crown; for exempting the "murderers" of colonists from legal trial, and in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighbouring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great-Britain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon the colonists in time of profound peace. It has also been resolved in parliament, that colonists charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried. But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one statute it is declared, that parliament can "of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever." What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single man of those who assume it, is chosen by us; or is subject to our control or influence; but, on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws, and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion, as they increase ours. We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We for ten years incessantly and ineffectually besieged the throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remonstrated with parliament, in the most mild and decent language.


          Administration sensible that we should regard these oppressive measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them. The indignation of the Americans was roused, it is true; but it was the indignation of a virtuous, loyal, and affectionate people. A Congress of delegates from the United Colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, on the fifth day of last September. We resolved again to offer an humble and dutiful petition to the King, and also addressed our fellow-subjects of Great-Britain. We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure; we have even proceeded to break off our commercial intercourse with our fellow-subjects, as the last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty. -- This, we flattered ourselves, was the ultimate step of the controversy: but subsequent events have shewn, how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.

          Several threatening expressions against the colonies were inserted in his majesty's speech; our petition, tho' we were told it was a decent one, and that his majesty had been pleased to receive it graciously, and to promise laying it before his parliament, was huddled into both houses among a bundle of American papers, and there neglected. The lords and commons in their address, in the month of February, said, that "a rebellion at that time actually existed within the province of Massachusetts- Bay; and that those concerned with it, had been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations and engagements, entered into by his majesty's subjects in several of the other colonies; and therefore they besought his majesty, that he would take the most effectual measures to inforce due obediance to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature." -- Soon after, the commercial intercourse of whole colonies, with foreign countries, and with each other, was cut off by an act of parliament; by another several of them were intirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their sustenance; and large reinforcements of ships and troops were immediately sent over to general Gage.

          Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished peers, and commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated and unexampled outrages were hurried on. -- equally fruitless was the interference of the city of London, of Bristol, and many other respectable towns in our favor. Parliament adopted an insidious manoeuvre calculated to divide us, to establish a perpetual auction of taxations where colony should bid against colony, all of them uninformed what ransom would redeem their lives; and thus to extort from us, at the point of the bayonet, the unknown sums that should be sufficient to gratify, if possible to gratify, ministerial rapacity, with the miserable indulgence left to us of raising, in our own mode, the prescribed tribute. What terms more rigid and humiliating could have been dictated by remorseless victors to conquered enemies? in our circumstances to accept them, would be to deserve them.

          Soon after the intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this continent, general Gage, who in the course of the last year had taken possession of the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts-Bay, and still occupied it a garrison, on the 19th day of April, sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said province, at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the inhabitants of the same province, killing several and wounding more, until compelled to retreat by the country people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggression. Hostilities, thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation. -- The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the general their governor, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants having deposited their arms with their own magistrate, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms, but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.

          By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, the aged and the sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them; and those who have been used to live in plenty and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.

          The general, further emulating his ministerial masters, by a proclamation bearing date on the 12th day of June, after venting the grossest falsehoods and calumnies against the good people of these colonies, proceeds to "declare them all, either by name or description, to be rebels and traitors, to supercede the course of the common law, and instead thereof to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial." -- His troops have butchered our countrymen, have wantonly burnt Charlestown, besides a considerable number of houses in other places; our ships and vessels are seized; the necessary supplies of provisions are intercepted, and he is exerting his utmost power to spread destruction and devastation around him.

cont'd on page three

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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2006, 12:30:20 AM »

Page Three

          We have rceived certain intelligence, that general Carleton, the governor of Canada, is instigating the people of that province and the Indians to fall upon us; and we have but too much reason to apprehend, that schemes have been formed to excite domestic enemies against us. In brief, a part of these colonies now feel, and all of them are sure of feeling, as far as the vengeance of administration can inflict them, the complicated calamities of fire, sword and famine. [1] We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. -- The latter is our choice. -- We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. -- Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.

          Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. -- We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.

          Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. -- Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. -- We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.

          In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it -- for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.

          With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.

   
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