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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2006, 12:33:16 AM »

Church in the U.S. Capitol

by David Barton

Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War. Below is a brief history of the Capitol's use as a church, and some of the prominent individuals who attended services there.

The cornerstone of the Capitol was laid by President George Washington in 1793., but it was not until the end of 1800 that Congress actually moved into the building. According to the congressional records for late November of 1800, Congress spent the first few weeks organizing the Capitol rooms, committees, locations, etc. Then, on December 4, 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church building. 1

The approval of the Capitol for church was given by both the House and the Senate, with House approval being given by Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and Senate approval being given by the President of the Senate, Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly, Jefferson’s approval came while he was still officially the Vice- President but after he had just been elected President.

Significantly, the Capitol building had been used as a church even for years  before it was occupied by Congress. The cornerstone for the Capitol had been laid on September 18, 1793; two years later while still under construction, the July 2, 1795, Federal Orrery newspaper of Boston reported:

    City of Washington, June 19. It is with much pleasure that we discover the rising consequence of our infant city. Public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o’clock by the Reverend Mr. Ralph.

The reason for the original use of the Capitol as a church might initially be explained by the fact that there were no churches in the city at that time. Even a decade later in 1803, U. S. Senator John Quincy Adams confirmed: “There is no church of any denomination in this city.” The absence of churches in Washington eventually changed, however. As one Washington citizen reported: “For several years after the seat of government was fixed at Washington, there were but two small [wooden] churches. . . . Now, in 1837 there are 22 churches of brick or stone.” Yet, even after churches began proliferating across the city, religious services still continued at the Capitol until well after the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Jefferson attended church at the Capitol while he was Vice President and also throughout his presidency. The first Capitol church service that Jefferson attended as President was a service preached by Jefferson’s friend, the Rev. John Leland, on January 3, 1802. Significantly, Jefferson attended that Capitol church service just two days after he penned his famous letter containing the “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor.

U. S. Rep. Manasseh Cutler, who also attended church at the Capitol, recorded in his own diary that “He [Jefferson] and his family have constantly attended public worship in the Hall.” Mary Bayard Smith, another attendee at the Capitol services, confirmed: “Mr. Jefferson, during his whole administration, was a most regular attendant.” She noted that Jefferson even had a designated seat at the Capitol church: “The seat he chose the first Sabbath, and the adjoining one (which his private secretary occupied), were ever afterwards by the courtesy of the congregation, left for him and his secretary.” Jefferson was so committed to those services that he would not even allow inclement weather to dissuade him; as Rep. Cutler noted: “It was very rainy, but his [Jefferson’s] ardent zeal brought him through the rain and on horseback to the Hall.” Other diary entries confirm Jefferson’s attendance in spite of bad weather.

In addition to Mary Bayard Smith and Congressman Manasseh Cutler, others kept diaries of the weekly Capitol church services – including Congressman Abijah Bigelow and statesman John Quincy Adams. (Adams served in Washington first as a Senator, then a President, and then as a Representative; and his extensive diaries describe the numerous church services he attended at the Capitol across a span of decades.) Typical of Adams’ diary entries while a U.S. Senator under President Jefferson were these:

Attended public service at the Capitol where Mr. Rattoon, an Episcopalian clergyman from Baltimore, preached a sermon.

[R]eligious service is usually performed on Sundays at the Treasury office and at the Capitol. I went both forenoon and afternoon to the Treasury.

Jefferson was not the only President to attend church at the Capitol. His successor, James Madison, also attended church at the Capitol. However, there was a difference in the way the two arrived for services. Observers noted that Jefferson arrived at church on horseback (it was 1.6 miles from the White House to the Capitol). However, Madison arrived for church in a coach and four. In fact, British diplomat Augustus Foster, who attended services at the Capitol, gave an eloquent description of President Madison arriving at the Capitol for church in a carriage drawn by four white horses.

From Jefferson through Abraham Lincoln, many presidents attended church at the Capitol; and it was common practice for Members of Congress to attend those services. For example, in his diary entry of January 9, 1803, Congressman Cutler noted: “Attended in the morning at the Capitol. . . . Very full assembly. Many of the Members present.” The church was often full – so crowded, in fact, one attendee reported that since “the floor of the House offered insufficient space, the platform behind the Speaker’s chair, and every spot where a chair could be wedged in” was filled. U. S. Representative John Quincy Adams (although noting that occasionally the “House was full, but not crowded”) also commented numerous times on the overly-crowded conditions at the Capitol church. In his diary entry for February 28, 1841, he noted: “I rode with my wife, Elizabeth C. Adams, and Mary, to the Capitol, where the Hall of the House of Representatives was so excessively crowded that it was with extreme difficulty that we were enabled to obtain seats.” Why did so many Members attend Divine service in the Hall of the House? Adams explained why he attended: “I consider it as one of my public duties – as a representative of the people – to give my attendance every Sunday morning when Divine service is performed in the Hall.”

Interestingly, the Marine Band participated in the early Capitol church services. According to Margaret Bayard Smith, who regularly attended services at the Capitol, the band, clad in their scarlet uniforms, made a “dazzling appearance” as they played from the gallery, providing instrumental accompaniment for the singing. The band, however, seemed too ostentatious for the services and “the attendance of the marine-band was soon discontinued.”

cont'd on page two

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« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2006, 12:34:22 AM »

Page Two

From 1800 to 1801, the services were held in the north wing; from 1801 to 1804, they were held in the “oven” in the south wing, and then from 1804 to 1807, they were again held in the north wing. From 1807 to 1857, services were held in what is now Statuary Hall. By 1857 when the House moved into its new home in the extension, some 2,000 persons a week were attending services in the Hall of the House. Significantly, even though the U. S. Congress began meeting in the extension on Wednesday, December 16, 1857, the first official use of the House Chamber had occurred three days earlier, when “on December 13, 1857, the Rev. Dr. George Cummins preached before a crowd of 2,000 worshipers in the first public use of the chamber. Soon thereafter, the committee recommended that the House convene in the new Hall on Wednesday, December 16, 1857.” However, regardless of the part of the building in which the church met, the rostrum of the Speaker of the House was used as the preacher’s pulpit; and Congress purchased the hymnals used in the service.


The church services in the Hall of the House were interdenominational, overseen by the chaplains appointed by the House and Senate; sermons were preached by the chaplains on a rotating basis, or by visiting ministers approved by the Speaker of the House. As Margaret Bayard Smith, confirmed: “Not only the chaplains, but the most distinguished clergymen who visited the city, preached in the Capitol” and “clergymen, who during the session of Congress visited the city, were invited by the chaplains to preach.”

In addition to the non-denominational service held in the Hall of the House, several individual churches (such as Capitol Hill Presbyterian, the Unitarian Church of Washington, First Congregational Church, First Presbyterian Church, etc.) met in the Capitol each week for their own services; there could be up to four different church services at the Capitol each Sunday.

The Library of Congress provides an account of one of those churches that met weekly at the Capitol: “Charles Boynton (1806-1883) was in 1867 Chaplain of the House of Representatives and organizing pastor of the First Congregational Church in Washington, which was trying at that time to build its own sanctuary. In the meantime, the church, as Boynton informed potential donors, was holding services ‘at the Hall of Representatives’ where ‘the audience is the largest in town. . . . nearly 2000 assembled every Sabbath’ for services, making the congregation in the House the ‘largest Protestant Sabbath audience then in the United States.’ The First Congregational Church met in the House from 1865 to 1868.”

With so many services occurring, the Hall of the House was not the only location in the Capitol where church services were conducted. John Quincy Adams, in his February 2, 1806, diary entry, describes an overflow service held in the Supreme Court Chamber, and Congressman Manasseh Cutler describes a similar service in 1804. (At that time, the Supreme Court Chamber was located on the first floor of the Capitol.) Services were also held in the Senate Chamber as well as on the first floor of the south wing.

Church In The Capitol Milestones

* 1806. On January 12, 1806, Dorothy Ripley (1767-1832) became the first woman to preach before the House. One female attendee had noted: “Preachers of every sect and denomination of Christians were there admitted – Catholics, Unitarians, Quakers, with every intervening diversity of sect. Even women were allowed to display their pulpit eloquence in this national Hall.” In attendance at that service were President Thomas Jefferson and Vice President Aaron Burr. Ripley conducted the lengthy service in a fervent, evangelical, camp-meeting style.

* 1826. On January 8, 1826, Bishop John England (1786-1842) of Charleston, South Carolina (Bishop over North and South Carolina and Georgia) became the first Catholic to preach in the House of Representatives. Of that service, President John Quincy Adams (a regular attendee of church services in the Capitol) noted: Walked to the Capitol and heard the Bishop of Charleston, [John] England – an Irishman. He read a few prayers and then delivered an extemporaneous discourse of nearly two hours’ duration. . . . He closed by reading an admirable prayer. He came and spoke to me after the service and said he would call and take leave of me tomorrow. The house was overflowing, and it was with great difficulty that I obtained a seat.

* 1827. In January 1827, Harriet Livermore (1788-1868) became the second woman to preach in the House of Representatives. (Three of her immediate family members – her father, grandfather, and uncle – had been Members of Congress. Her grandfather, Samuel Livermore, was a Member of the first federal Congress and a framer of the Bill of Rights; her uncle was a Member under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; her father was a Member under President James Monroe.) The service in which she preached was not only attended by President John Quincy Adams but was also filled with Members of Congress as well as the inquisitive from the city. As Margaret Bayard Smith noted, “curiosity rather than piety attracted throngs on such occasions.” Livermore spoke for an hour and a half, resulting in mixed reactions; some praised her and were even moved to tears by her preaching, some dismissed her. Harriet Livermore preached

* 1865. On February 12, 1865, Henry Highland Garnet (1815- 1882) became the first African American to speak in Congress. Two weeks earlier, on January 31, 1865, Congress had passed the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, and Garnet was invited to preach a sermon in Congress to commemorate that event. In his sermon, Garnet described his beginnings: “I was born among the cherished institutions of slavery. My earliest recollections of parents, friends, and the home of my childhood are clouded with its wrongs. The first sight that met my eyes was my Christian mother enslaved.” 33 His family escaped to the North; he became a minister, abolitionist, temperance leader, and political activist. He recruited black regiments during the Civil War and served as chaplain to the black troops of New York. In 1864, he became the pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C. (where he served at the time of this sermon). He later became president of Avery College and was made Minister to Liberia by President Ulysses S. Grant.


(For more information on this topic please see "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic: Religion and the Federal Government (Part 2)" on the Library of Congress website.)    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2006, 12:35:00 AM »

A Godless Constitution?: A Response to Kramnick and Moore

by Daniel L. Dreisbach

In their provocative polemic The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness (W. W. Horton, 1996), Cornell University professors Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore argue that the God-fearing framers of the U. S. Constitution "created an utterly secular state" unshackled from the intolerant chains of religion. They purportedly find evidence for this thesis in the constitutional text, which they describe as radically "godless" and distinctly secular. Their argument, while an appealing antidote to the historical assertions of the religious right, is superficial and misleading.

There were, indeed, anti-Federalist critics of the Constitution who complained bitterly that the document's failure to invoke the Deity and include explicit Christian references indicated, at best, indifference or, at worst, hostility toward Christianity. This view, however, did not prevail in the battle to ratify the Constitution. The professor's inordinate reliance on the Constitution's most vociferous critics to describe and define that document results in misleading, if not erroneous, conclusions. Furthermore, like the extreme anti-Federalists of 1787, the professors misunderstand the fundamental nature of the federal regime and its founding charter.

The U. S. Constitution's lack of a Christian designation had little to do with a radical secular agenda. Indeed, it had little to do with religion at all. The Constitution was silent on the subject of God and religion because there was a consensus that, despite the framer's personal beliefs, religion was a matter best left to the individual citizens and their respective state governments (and most states in the founding era retained some form of religious establishment). The Constitution, in short, can be fairly characterized as "godless" or secular only insofar as it deferred to the states on all matters regarding religion and devotion to God.

Relationships between religion and civil government were defined in most state constitutions, and the framers believed it would be inappropriate for the federal government to encroach upon or usurp state jurisdiction in this area. State and local governments, not the federal regime, it must be emphasized, were the basic and vital political units of the day. Thus, it was fitting that the people expressed religious preferences and affiliations through state and local charters.

Professors Kramnick and Moore find further evidence for a godless Constitution in the Article VI religious test ban. Here, too, they misconstrue the historical record. Their argument rests on the false premise that, in the minds of the framers, support for the Article VI ban was a repudiation of state establishments of religion and a ringing endorsement of a radically secular polity. The numerous state constitutions written between 1776 and 1787 in which sweeping religious liberty and nonestablishment provisions coexisted with religious test oaths confirm the poverty of this assumption. The founding generation, in other words, generally did not regard such measures as incompatible.

The Article VI ban (applicable to federal officeholders only) was not driven by a radical secular agenda or a renunciation of religious tests as a matter of principle. The fact that religious tests accorded with popular wishes is confirmed by their inclusion in the vast majority of revolutionary era state constitutions.

Professors Kramnick and Moore also blithely ignore Article I, sec. 2 of the U. S. Constitution, which deferred to state qualifications for the electors of members of the U. S. House of Representatives. This provision is significant since the constitutional framers of 1787 knew that in some states--such as South Carolina--the requisite qualifications for suffrage included religious belief.

Significantly, there were delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia who endorsed the Article VI ban but had previously crafted religious tests for their respective state constitutions. The constitutional framers did not appreciate this apparent contradiction, which arises under a secular construction of Article VI. The framers believed, as a matter of federalism, that the Constitution denied the national government all jurisdiction over religion, including the authority to administer religious tests. Many in founding generation supported a federal test ban because they valued religious tests required under state laws, and they feared that a federal test might displace existing state test oaths and religious establishments. In other words, support for the Article VI ban was driven in part by a desire to preserve and defend the instruments of "religious establishment" (specifically, religious test oaths) that remained in the states.

The late-eighteenth-century view of oaths and religious test bans is illustrated in state constitutions of the era. The Tennessee Constitution of 1796 included the language of the Article VI test ban; however, the same constitution states that "no person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State." Adopting a standard definition of oaths, the Kentucky Constitution of 1792, which omitted an express religious test but prescribed a basic oath of office, stated that required oaths and affirmations "shall be esteemed by the legislature [as] the most solemn appeal to God." This understanding of oaths, which was largely unchallenged in the founding era and frequently repeated in the state ratifying conventions, suggests that the U. S. Constitution, contrary to Professors Kramnick and Moore, was not entirely devoid of religious affirmations and did not create an utterly secular polity. The argument was made in ratifying conventions that the several constitutionally required oaths implicitly countenanced an acknowledgment of God (which, in a sense, constituted a general, nondenominational religious "test"), while the Article VI test ban merely proscribed sect-specific oaths for federal officeholders.

The debates in Article VI in state ratifying conventions further indicate that few, if any, delegates denied the advantage of placing devout Christians in public office. The issue warmly debated was the efficacy of a national religious test for obtaining this objective.

The Godless Constitution's lack of clear documentation is a disappointment. In order to examine the book's thesis more fully, I attempted to document the claims and quotations in the second chapter, which sets forth the case that the "principal architects of our national government envisioned a godless Constitution and a godless politics." It was readily apparent why these two university professors, who live in the world of footnotes, avoided them in this tract. The book is replete with misstatements or mischaracterizations of fact and garbled quotations. For example, the professors conflate two separate sections of New York Constitution of 1777 to support the claim that it "self-consciously repudiated tests" (p. 31). Contrary to this assertion, neither constitutional section expressly mentions religious tests and, indeed, test oaths were retained in the laws of New York well into the nineteenth century. The Danbury Baptists, for another example, did not ask Jefferson to designate "a fast day for national reconciliation" (pp.97, 119).

The book illustrates what is pejoratively called "law office history." That is, the authors, imbued with the adversary ethic, selectively recount facts, emphasizing data that support their own prepossessions and minimizing significant facts that complicate or conflict with their biases. The professors warn readers of this on the second page when they describe their book as a "polemic" that will " lay out the case for one" side of the debate on the important "role of religion in public and political life."

The suggestion that the U. S. Constitution is godless because it makes only brief mention of the Deity and Christian custom is superficial and misguided. Professors Kramnick and Moore succumb to the temptation to impose twentieth-century values on eighteenth-century text. Their book is less an honest appraisal of history than a partisan tract written for contemporary battles. They frankly state their desire that this polemic will rebut the "Christian nation" rhetoric of the religious right. Unfortunately, their historical analysis is as specious as the rhetoric they criticize.

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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2006, 12:36:12 AM »

December 4, 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church building.


Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1853), p. 797, Sixth Congress, December 4, 1800.




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« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2006, 12:36:45 AM »

Nathan Hale

Names do mean something. The name of Benedict Arnold is synonymous with treason. The name Major John Andre, co-conspirator with Benedict Arnold, a young man hung as an English spy in 1780, is synonymous with an intelligent and attractive young man of character caught in a great tragedy. The name Nathan Hale, a young man hung as an American spy on September 22, 1776, stands for patriotism, courage, and loyalty. His chilling words from the gallows, "I regret that I have but one life to give to my country," set the standard for all who aspire to the role of patriot.

Nathan Hale graduated from Yale in 1773. He excelled in sports. For a time he taught school in Connecticut. He enlisted in the Continental Army on July 1, 1775, almost a year before the colonies declared their independence.

He is described by fellow officer, Lieutenant Elisha Bostwick, in the following terms:

"I can now in imagination see his person and hear his voice--his person, I should say, was a little above the common stature in height, his shoulders of a moderate breadth, his limbs strait and very plump: regular features--very fair skin--blue eyes--flaxen or very light hair which he always kept short--his eyebrows a shade darker than his hair and his voice rather sharp or piercing--his bodily agility was remarkable. I have seen him follow a football and kick it over the tops of the trees in the Bowery at New York (an exercise which he was fond of)--his mental powers seemed to be above the common sort--his mind of a sedate and sober cast, and he was undoubtedly pious; for it was remarked that when any of the soldiers of his company were sick he always visited them and usually prayed for and with them in their sickness."

Independence was declared July 4, 1776, but things did not go well for the Continental Army. Washington suffered a crushing defeat on Long Island and he had to have better intelligence. Hale and the other officers of Knowlton's Rangers were asked to volunteer for spying behind the British lines. A call for volunteers went unanswered, a second call was made, and only Hale stepped forward.

Hale set out from Norwalk, Connecticut in a plain suit of brown clothes with a broad-brimmed hat, and tried to assume the character of a Dutch school master. He went over to New York by ferry boat and got past the guards, except for the last one who stopped him. Found upon him were drawings with Latin descriptions of the British fortifications. His cousin, Samuel Hale, a Harvard man and a Tory, is accused of betraying him, but it is more likely that Samuel Hale did not know that his cousin was a spy and merely identified him to the guard as a rebel sympathizer. The story of Hale's capture and execution appeared in the newspapers, and Samuel Hale denied that he gave Nathan away, but Samuel did later flee to England, abandoning his wife and son, and never returned, thus lending some credibility to the claim of his complicity in Nathan's arrest.

Upon being discovered, Hale gave his name, rank in the American army, and freely admitted that the had crossed the British lines to spy upon them.

Sir William Howe ordered him hanged the next morning without the benefit of a trial. His jailer was a hard-hearted man lacking elemental compassion. Hale asked for a clergyman and it was refused. He then asked for a bible, and it too was refused. In the morning shortly before the time for execution he was permitted to write two letters and then he was summoned to the gallows. From the gallows he addressed the spectators. It was, he said, the duty of every good soldier to obey any order from his commander-in-chief. He urged the British soldiers gathered around him to be ready to meet death in whatever shape it may appear. His last words were: "I regret that I have but one life to give to my country."

The next day, Captain John Montresor, a British officer approached the American lines under a flag of truce to report Hales capture, demeanor, and his final words from the gallows.

Nathan Hale had five brothers in the Revolution; his father wrote:

"You desire me to inform you about my son Nathan. . . . He was executed on the twenty second of September last by the accounts we have had. A child I sot much by but he is gone."


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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2006, 12:37:14 AM »

The following is a biography of John Locke. A little known man in todays history books that played a major part in the founding of this nation. I want to bring special attention to the highlighted portions.


A Biography of John Locke (1632-1704)

John Locke was born on August 29th, 1632 in England and lived to became one of the most influential people in England and, perhaps, one of the most influential people of the 17th century. Before his death on October 28th, 1704 he would earn the title as the Father of liberal philosophy. His ideas would also be used as a keystone for the revolution of the North American colonies from England.

Early Years
Locke had many prominent friends who were nobles in government and also highly respected scholars of the times. He was good friends with the Earl of Shaftesbury and he was given government jobs which he served with Shaftesbury.
Locke lived in France for a while and returned to troubled times in England. In 1679 his friend the Earl was tried for treason. Although Shaftesbury was acquitted, the Earl decided to flee England anyway to escape further persecution. He fled to Holland where William and Mary ruled but had some claim to the English throne. Owing to his close association with the Earl, Locke also fled fled to Holland in 1683. He returned to England in about 1688 when William and Mary were invited to retake the reign of England in what historians call the Bloodless Revolution. Eventually Locke returned to Oates in Essex where he retired. He lived there until his death in 1704.

Natural Rights
Locke wrote and developed the philosophy that there was no legitimate government under the divine right of kings theory. The Divine Right of Kings theory, as it was called, asserted that God chose some people to rule on earth in his will. Therefore, whatever the monarch decided was the will of God. When you criticized the ruler, you were in effect challenging God. This was a very powerful philosophy for the existing ruler. But, Locke did not believe in that and wrote his theory to challenge it.
Perhaps the part of Locke's writing which most influenced the founding fathers of the United States Constitution was the idea that the power to govern was obtained from the permission of the people.
He thought that the purpose of government was to protect the natural rights of its citizens. He said that natural rights were life, liberty and property, and that all people automatically earned these simply by being born. When a government did not protect those rights, the citizen had the right and maybe even the obligation of overthrowing the government.

If these ideas seem familiar to you, it is because they were incorporated into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. Once they took root in North America, the philosophy was adopted in other places as justification for revolution.


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« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2006, 12:38:12 AM »

Ten Steps To Change America

by David Barton



What can be done to halt the havoc loosed on the United States since the early 60s? There must be two reversals, the first and most obvious one must occur in our national public stance toward God: the Supreme Court's current ban on the acknowledgment of God and the use of His principles in public is a direct challenge to Him and has thus triggered the law of national accountability, subjecting the nation to severe consequences. Therefore, our current national public stand against God must be set aside.

What can be done The second reversal must center on the restoration of the personal benefits derived from living by Godly principles. For example, when the Courts ruled that students might not use the Ten Commandments, nor study the Scriptures, nor learn about sexual abstinence, etc., the separation of these teachings caused personal, individual harm to those students, as forewarned in Deuteronomy 6:24 and 10:13:

    The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees so that we might always prosper.

    Observe the Lord's decrees for your own good.

Observing His principles serves to our benefit. When His commands are rejected, it is to our own harm. Millions have been harmed by the mandated separation of His principles from specific arenas of their lives. The efforts at restoration and reversal must occur on both the national and on the individual levels.

In the decades immediately preceding the Court rulings (the 1920s, 30s, 40s, etc.), Christians en masse had voluntarily removed themselves from the political, social, and legal arenas. Whenever the Godly depart from any arena, their own Godly values depart with them. A person in office always legislates according to his own personal beliefs and convictions, and herein is the wisdom of Proverbs 29:2 made evident: "When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan."

It was the plan and intent of the Founders that the Godly, and thereby Godly principles, remain intimately involved in the political, judicial, and educational realms. The Founders believed that only the Godly would understand the unalienable freedoms provided by God and thus protect them in our form of government; and they never intended that Christian principles be divorced from public affairs.

Christians, through bad doctrine, political inactivity, and apathy had handed the reins of the nation over to leaders who awarded potential lifelong appointments to Justices not only willing but also eager to uproot the Christian practices that had been the heart of this nation for centuries. Quite frankly, the Court's 1962 (and subsequent) religion-hostile decisions were merely an outgrowth of what the Christian community-at-large had permitted and encouraged in the decades preceding those rulings.

A Biblical description of this process is given by Jesus in Matthew 13:24-26. In that parable, good people had a good field growing good seed. However, an enemy came in and planted bad among the good, thus contaminating the entire field. What afforded the enemy such an opportunity? The stark answer is found in verse 24: "While the good men slept, the enemy came in." Jesus never faulted the enemy for doing what he did, for it was his task and purpose to destroy; Jesus placed the fault on the good men who went to sleep, thus allowing the enemy to do what he did. Very bluntly what has occurred in America happened first because the church went to sleep, and then because the enemy came in and caused the damage.

The problems we have created for ourselves, although colossal, can be solved. Reversing the current trends involves making changes in the two areas mentioned earlier: (1) the official unfriendly stand taken against God must be corrected, and (2) religious principles and moral teachings must be restored and made available to individuals in public arenas. There are at least ten specific activities suggested in this chapter which can help realize these goals.

I.  The first thing is to do first things first:

    I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for [leaders] and for all that are in authority.  1 TIMOTHY 2:1

This is not an arbitrary, haphazard plan given by God; God wants every individual to pray for civic leaders first, because civic leaders and their policies affect every individual. Simply for our own benefit we should be praying regularly for our leaders at local, state, and federal levels in each branch of government. Prayer will be the first key to effecting significant and lasting change, for situations do not change on earth until they have been changed in the heavenlies. Additionally, we need to pray faithfully that God will root the wicked from office and will raise up righteous individuals to replace them. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and having the right individuals in office will prevent the enactment of many damaging policies. As explained by William Penn:

    [G]overnments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. . . . Let men be good and the government cannot be bad. . . . [T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men . . . but good men will never want [lack] good laws nor suffer [allow bad] ill ones. [1]

Pray individually not only for our leaders on every level, but enlarge your sphere of influence and organize small groups to pray for our leaders.


cont'd on page two

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« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2006, 12:39:08 AM »

Page Two

2.  Voluntary prayer currently is greatly restricted in many schools, but that does not mean children should not be trained daily to pray. If you have children of school age, pray with them each day before they leave for school. Show them from the Scriptures the importance of prayer and petition, and help them begin each day by seeking God. Encourage them to pray specifically for students, families, schools, and the nation. God wants us to train our children in the importance of prayer.

    The prayer of the upright is His delight. PROVERBS 15:8

    Pray without ceasing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17
    Continue in prayer. COLOSSIANS 4:2



3.  Children currently receive little accurate information from their schools or public institutions either about the historical role of Christians in the nation or about the importance of involving Godly principles in our public affairs. Nevertheless, you can help them obtain correct information.

If you have children, teach them the Christian history, heritage, and traditions of our nation. If you do not have children, then educate those around you (i.e., Sunday School class, civic club, etc.) to an accurate history of our nation.



4.  The political realm, formerly dominated by Christians, is still available to them. It was the use of politics that resulted in the elimination of religious activities and the public acknowledgment of God from public affairs; it can therefore restore those principles. While it might seem easier to empty the ocean with a thimble than to change politics, it is actually not as difficult as many people think. We've probably heard, or perhaps even made, statements such as: "I'm only an individual-one vote. What can I do?" "My vote won't make a difference anyway." "It does us no good to vote. As Christians, we're already in the minority." Sound familiar? The fact is, such statements are not true.

A recent Gallup Poll shows that 84 percent of this nation firmly believe in Jesus Christ, [2] and a separate poll indicates that 94 percent believe in God. [3] Polls have shown that:

    Over 80 percent approve of voluntary prayer in school. [4]

    81 percent of the nation opposes homosexual behavior. [5]
    89 percent opposes the use of abortion as a means of convenience birth control. [6]

Additional findings could be cited, but the conclusion is inescapable: although we have been led to believe that we, the 94 percent who believe in God, are the minority, we most definitely are not!

Imagine a hypothetical vote in the U. S. Senate where the final tally was 94 to 6. It would be untenable for the 6 to be declared the winner and to have their policy enacted over the votes of the 94; yet this is exactly what happened when the public acknowledgment of God was prohibited. Can such an act truly be appropriate either in a republic (to which we pledge our allegiance) or in a democracy (which we most often claim to be)? Certainly not! Yet, unfortunately, this travesty continues to occur on a regular basis today. We have relinquished our right to be a democratic-republic and instead have become an oligarchy-a nation ruled by a small group or a council of "elite" individuals.


While polls show that the overwhelming majority of our citizens seem ready to return Godly precepts to public affairs, it is clear that a vast number of our elected officials are not. Whose fault is that? Notice President James Garfield's answer to this question:

    Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces. [7]

Proof that it is up to us, the citizens, not them, the leaders came in five separate U. S. Senate races in 1986. The five candidates who stood for returning Godly principles to public affairs were defeated by a collective total of only 57,000 votes-less than 12,000 votes per state. Yet in those five states, there were over 5 million Christians who did not even vote! If only 1 of every 100 nonvoting Christians-one percent-had voted for the candidate supporting Godly principles, those five would have been elected and would have created a ten-vote swing in the Senate; five unGodly men would have been retired and five Godly men would have taken their places.

This is not the disheartening report it seems; actually, it is very encouraging, for it shows that Godly candidates are most often defeated not by activists and radicals, but by inactive Christians! This means that we do have the power to make a difference. When Christians begin to believe that we can make a difference and begin to act like the majority we are, we will make a difference. The ability to change the current situation is in our hands. As Edmund Burke explained:

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. [8]

There is much that "good men" can do to stop the triumph of evil. One of the most important is to vote, and to vote Biblically. John Jay, America's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, once received a letter inquiring from him whether it was permissible for a Christian to vote for an unGodly candidate. Jay responded:

    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 the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab ["Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?" 2 Chronicles 19:2] affords a salutary lesson. [9]


cont'd on page three

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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2006, 12:40:11 AM »

Page Three

On another occasion, Jay advised:

    Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. [10]

Daniel Webster delivered a similarly strong warning to teach our youth that:

    [T]he exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every free elector is a trustee as well for others as himself; and that every man and every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own. [11]

Founding Father Noah Webster delivered a similar admonition:

    Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [12]

These admonitions to vote, and to vote Biblically, came not only from our political leaders, but from our spiritual leaders as well. Charles Finney, a prominent minister in the early 1800s, succinctly declared:

    The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them. . . . God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground. [13]

It is time to believe and to behave differently. We are not a minority; we are the majority! It is time to declare at the ballot box that we will no longer allow officials who embrace the values of the 6 percent who do not believe in God to abrogate the rights of the 94 percent who do. We must remove officials who do not comply with traditional, historical, and Biblical principles and replace them with those who do. We can make a difference! Our vote does count!



5.  Too often, an allegedly "good" candidate is elected and we later end up regretting his public stands and votes. Much of this could be eliminated if the right questions were asked before election. We need to know more about a candidate than just the professional qualifications; we also need to know the personal traits that qualify him to represent us. As pointed out in a famous textbook first published in 1800:

    A public character is often an artificial one. It is not, then, in the glare of public, but in the shade of private life that we are to look for the man. Private life is always real life. Behind the curtain, where the eyes of the million are not upon him . . . there he will always be sure to act himself: consequently, if he act greatly, he must be great indeed. Hence it has been justly said, that, "our private deeds, if noble, are noblest of our lives.". . . t is the private virtues that lay the foundation of all human excellence. [14]

It is not only proper, it is vital to investigate a candidate's private life and beliefs before placing him into office. The reason is made clear in Matthew 7:16-20 and in Luke 6:43-44; in these passages, Jesus reminds us that bad roots will produce bad fruit. Consequently, a candidate's moral and religious "roots" must be investigated before placing him into office. A candidate who produced bad fruit in private life will produce bad fruit in public life. Understanding this truth, Founding Father Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, reminded us to . . .

    . . . be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers . . . and judge of the tree by its fruits. [15]

John Adams similarly charged us:

    We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature. . . . It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself. [16]

While there are many ways to ascertain a candidate's private beliefs and behavior, two are readily available to any individual or group. The first is outside monitoring, and the second is direct questioning.

Outside monitoring. Many groups publish a voter's guide showing the voting records of incumbents and the position of challengers on moral and religious issues of concern to the God-fearing community. A listing of several of these groups may be found on our "Helpful Links" page. Contact the group's national headquarters to get information on obtaining a voter's guide for your state. The national group will usually refer you to one of their state groups/chapters in your local area. While each of the national groups may not have a representative, there is usually at least one of the groups which will have a contact in your area. You may have to call several of the national groups before you finally make the local connection you need, but don't give up; the information you finally receive will be well worth the effort.

cont'd on page four

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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2006, 12:42:14 AM »

Page Four

Direct Questioning. Another way to obtain information on a candidate's stands on specific issues is simply to phone his or her office and ask. In addition to any questions which you might have concerning state or local issues, three additional questions you can pose will almost universally reveal the moral philosophy which guides that candidate. Specifically question each candidate on:

§        His view on the relationship between God and government.

§        His view on abortion.

§        His view on homosexual behavior.

The answers to these questions will reveal whether the candidate perceives the importance of God's principles to government, whether he understands the value of life and of protecting the innocent, and finally whether he believes that there are behavioral absolutes based on fundamental rights and wrongs. How a candidate answers these three questions will identify the moral foundation from which all other political decisions will be made.

No matter which position a candidate is seeking, scrutinize his stands. Some candidates will argue that since they are seeking only the position of justice-of-the-peace, city-treasurer, dogcatcher, etc., that their stands on issues like abortion will have no bearing on their office. While that statement may seem innocuous, it is misleading.

In Exodus 18:21, God holds forth the same standards for all elected officials regardless of whether they are "leaders of tens" (local), "leaders of fifties" (county), "leaders of hundreds" (state), or "leaders of thousands" (federal). The logic behind this is simple: nearly every current "leader of thousands" was once a "leader of tens"; that is, many low-level local offices have been starting points for prominent national careers. Therefore, screen candidates thoroughly at the lowest levels of government, for this is where their election or defeat is the easiest. Once a candidate is in office and becomes an incumbent, statistics show that his defeat and removal from office is much more difficult.

When you examine a candidate, realize that it is not vital that you agree on every specific doctrinal point. The determining factor is, do we agree on what the Founding Fathers called "the moral law"?; that is, do we agree on the moral essentials? Alexis de Tocqueville, in his famous book Democracy in America (still available in bookstores today), explained:

    The sects [Christian denominations] which exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due from man to his Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner; but all the sects preach the same moral law in the name of God . . . [A]lmost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. [17]

This nation will not be put back on track by Baptists alone, or by Catholics alone, or by Methodists alone, or by Pentecostals alone, or by any other single group; there is not enough strength in any one denomination to return America to its Biblical roots. However, it will be put back on track by Christians of all denominations committed to the same moral law of God. Be prepared to accommodate an appropriate degree of tolerance for those of other religious communities without compromising basic Biblical principles of morality.

Once you have determined each candidate's stand on moral and religious issues, do all you can to publicize those positions to your friends, acquaintances, and associates. (Note: It does not violate any tax-exempt provision of the IRS for a church to distribute voter's guides or candidate positions; a voter's guide is an educational publication and does not jeopardize a church's tax-exempt status. A church may educate its members on the beliefs of candidates concerning issues of concern to Christians. It is only as an official corporate body that the church may not endorse a specific candidate or party. However, a pastor may endorse a candidate or a party-even from the pulpit-as long as he makes it clear that he is simply delivering his own opinion and that he is not speaking on behalf of the church board or church corporation. A pastor does not forfeit his right to freedom of speech just because he is a pastor.)

6.  After you have identified a Godly candidate, there is much you can do to help him or her. Frequently such a candidate may not receive good media coverage; however, this is neither an unusual nor an insurmountable problem. Candidates with strong grass-roots efforts regularly overcome the media influence and win.

Once you identify a candidate who can make a positive difference, get involved with him. Offer as much financial support as you can (whether little or much), and then call the office and volunteer some time to the campaign, even if it is only an hour or two. By volunteering to help a Godly candidate, you will, in fact, be helping yourself and your posterity; it is important to remember posterity and to leave them something better than we have. The Rev. Matthias Burnet, in a sermon delivered before the Connecticut legislature in 1803, addressed this very concern when he stated:

    Finally, ye . . . whose high prerogative it is to . . . invest with office and authority or to withhold them, [by voting] and in whose power it is to save or destroy your country, consider well the important trust . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. To God and posterity you are accountable for them. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. [18]

We need to help the good candidates, for our own sake and for the sake of our children. However, when helping a candidate, learn to look beyond party. You might have been born a Democrat; you might have been born a Republican; you might have been born an Independent; that doesn't matter. The fact is, you were reborn a Christian; reflect that in your political involvement. As Founding Father Benjamin Rush once declared:

    I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power . . . will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him. [19]

Be a Christocrat; get involved with solid Godly candidates no matter what their party.

cont'd on page five

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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2006, 12:43:09 AM »

Page Five

7.  Another mechanism for effective change is direct contact with your Congressman. A sincere, personal letter expressing your views and your concerns to your Congressman is effective, but for too long, most Americans have underestimated the effect they can have and thus have remained silent on many issues.

In June 1989, I had opportunity to participate directly in the introduction of a significant federal legislative bill. The bill received support from a wide variety of Congressmen (in fact, in the preceding month, the House of Representatives had voted two-to-one in favor of the material in the proposed bill). The bill was referred to the appropriate committee and subcommittee; however, those two chairmen refused to allow any hearings or discussion on the bill; they were both determined to let it die in committee.

Because of the widespread support already evident, and because it seemed inappropriate for only two individuals to block the progress of that bill, we asked several Congressmen how to get that bill released from the committee. The Congressmen instructed us to locate individuals in those two men's home districts who would be willing to write letters to the two requesting that the bill be released and that hearings be scheduled on it.

To determine how many letters would be needed, we queried several: "Congressman, how do you know when you have a 'hot' issue?" Their answer was startling: "If we get as many as fifty letters on a bill, it's a very hot issue." They further indicated that, in their opinion, twenty letters would be sufficient pressure to cause the two Congressmen to reverse their position on the bottled-up bill. Amazed, we asked: "How many letters do you usually receive on a bill?" They responded, "Five to ten is normal."

The fact that five to ten letters is the norm on a bill is a compelling commentary on the inactivity of most of us. Each Congressman represents at least 500,000 individuals, and as few as 20 letters can cause him to reverse his stand! This explains why philosophical minorities and anti-Christian groups are often more successful in reaching their goals in Congress: they are simply more active in generating individual contacts with a Congressman.

In communicating with your Congressman, it is important that your contacts be personal. Congressmen openly acknowledge that mass-produced mailings, form letters, or petitions get no response and usually go into the trash. In their view, if a person does not feel strongly enough about a bill or an issue to express himself in a personal, original letter, then he receives little serious consideration.

A personal letter is effective, even a short one; and letter writing is not only easy, but often takes less time than imagined. Usually, the difficulty is simply in getting started; once you begin your letter, the thoughts and feelings flow easily. Here are a few suggestions to assist you in effective letter writing:

§        Be personal in your letter. Use the name of your Congressman-don't address it to "Dear Congressman". You typically don't appreciate mail addressed to "Dear Occupant"; neither does he; call him/her by name. (You can obtain the name of your Congressman through the library, Chamber of Commerce, or other similar public service organizations.)

§        Get to the point-don't be long-winded or wordy; three or four paragraphs is plenty and is much more likely to receive serious attention than is a lengthy letter. After a short friendly greeting, explain why you are writing and what you would like the Congressman to do.

§        Be specific in your requests. If possible, try to give the name, number, or description of the bill or measure with which you are concerned. Do not ask him to do general things like bring world peace, end the famines in Africa, etc.; he can no more do that than you can.

§        Don't get preachy. Give practical, well-thought-out, logical reasons for your position and why you want him to take certain steps. Don't use Christian clichés or phrases.

§        Don't threaten. Don't tell him, for example, that if he doesn't vote the way you want that you will never vote for him again, or that if he doesn't stop abortion that he will stand before God and answer for his votes. Although these things may be true, Philippians 2:14 instructs us to do everything without threatening. Threats tend to bring out the stubborn side in most individuals.

§        Be complimentary and appreciative, not antagonistic, provoking, obnoxious, rude, or abrasive. The Bible says not to speak evil of a ruler (Acts 23:5) and that a soft word breaks down the hardest resistance (Proverbs 25:15).

§        Close with a statement of appreciation, and sincerely and genuinely thank him (for his service, for his consideration of your request, etc.), and then ask him for a response to your letter.


cont'd on page six

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« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2006, 12:44:13 AM »

Page Six

The address for your federal Representative or Senator is:

    Name of your Representative
    U. S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC, 20515

    Name of your Senator
    U. S. Senate
    Washington, DC, 20510

Because letter-writing does have an effect, many churches now are setting aside a portion of one service a month for their members to write letters. While it is very effective-and relatively easy-to organize a church or home letter-writing group, there is some preparation which must be done for this type of group activity.

The church leadership may designate one (or several) individuals to research current bills/issues of concern to the Christian community. (There are several groups listed on our "Helpful Links" page which monitor issues and bills of importance to Christians; it is beneficial to get on mailing lists of one or more of these groups in order to be informed about current issues.) The church then provides information on these bills or issues to the congregation in conjunction with a service (perhaps on a blackboard, an overhead, or a handout) and next provides the members with the paper and the time necessary to jot a short note to their Congressmen on one of the bills/issues. This entire process usually requires only 10-15 minutes; and since twenty letters can have substantial impact, virtually any church, Sunday School class, home-meeting group, etc. should easily be able to generate more than enough letters on a single bill/issue to create a "crisis" for a Congressman.

Although letters are more effective than calls, calls are still very effective. If you decide to call instead of write, dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. When the operator answers, ask for your Senator or Representative by name. When that office answers, ask to speak to your Congressman. If he is available, often he will speak with you. If he is unavailable, simply express to his staff your concern or how you expect him to vote on a particular issue. The staff will record your feelings and will communicate them to the Congressman. (This process is just as effective with your state and local leaders as it is with your federal officials.)

8.  Often, we seem to be overwhelmed with bad news and regular reports concerning the loss or compromise of yet another moral or Biblical principle. Why is this the case? According to a recent study, the majority of those working in certain areas of the public media consider themselves "liberal" and support immoral stands which most Godly individuals oppose. [20] We therefore receive a steady presentation of what the "liberal" media believes to be important and a suppression of what we believe to be important. Consequently, we often feel that we are a minority and have no power to alter the stand of our government.

Song of Solomon 8:13 tells us otherwise; it declares a simple principle: "Your companions hearken to your voice, so speak!" You can be effective in communicating a different viewpoint to your friends and to others, and one way is through the "Letters to the Editor" section of your local newspaper. Your views can offer an alternative to those frequently presented by the media and can show other silent or discouraged ones that there are many who actually feel as they do. Commit yourself to writing one or two public letters a month (see a sample "Letter to the Editor").

When composing such a letter, be sure to avoid being purely emotional (and thus often illogical); also, avoid using Christian clichés and phrases-they communicate only to other well-informed Christians and not to the general population. In an English newspaper, you would not write in Japanese, nor would you write in Portuguese; therefore, don't write in Christian-ese. Christian-ese is just as foreign a language to many readers as is Chinese or Swahili. Adopt the philosophy of Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22:

    [T]o win as many as possible . . . I became like one under the law so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law . . . so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

Utilize the opportunity to give sound, practical reasons for your opinions and to provide a basis for others to adopt your views. As 1 Peter 3:15 instructs: "Be ready to give an answer to everyone."

cont'd on page seven

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« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2006, 12:45:12 AM »

Page Seven

9.  As you become more active and involved, don't underestimate the effect of the experience you are gaining. Be willing to step into leadership, perhaps by stepping out to inform the community of important issues and consideration, perhaps by recruiting others to run for office, or perhaps even by running for local offices yourself.

Local offices are important-they influence the entire community. Furthermore, it is easier to be elected to local government or to local school boards than to be elected to a statewide or national office. Don't be afraid to run for a position on the local school board, city council, or other areas where you can begin helping to implement changes. While Charles Finney's statement from the mid-1800s is appropriate for every level, it is especially true at the local level:

    Politics are part of a religion in such a country as this and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they [Christians] take. [21]

Recognize that involvement in civil government is a legitimate ministry: in Luke 19:17-19, Jesus shows that the reward God gave to those who proved themselves faithful was to place them in civil government, and Romans 13:4 declares that civil leaders are "ministers of God." God wants His people in all arenas, including that of government, for government won't be redeemed from without; it must be redeemed from within by people of Godly principles and integrity.

10.  Finally, it is vital that we develop an attitude of unswervable duty coupled with an attitude of resolute steadfastness. For the most part, our culture has developed a short-term, microwave mentality. Television seems to teach us that a family or a national crisis can arise and be resolved completely within a 30- or 60-minute program; consequently, we have embraced impatience as a national characteristic.

That characteristic too often infects our attitude toward involvement in public affairs. For example, we may get involved in an election or two; but when we don't see a complete turnaround, we have a tendency to throw up our hands, declare that we tried and that it didn't make any difference, then scurry on to our next inspiration. It took nearly half-a-century to arrive at the situation in which we find ourselves today; that situation will not be reversed in one election, or two.

Even if the recovery turns out to be just as lengthy as was the disease, a recovery will come if we faithfully persist. Galatians 6:9 promises that we will reap the benefits if we will simply hang in there long enough. We must learn to be content with small, steady gains. The principle of retaking lost ground slowly, while neither appealing nor gratifying to our natural impatience, is a well-articulated Biblical principle:

    I will not drive them out in a single year . . . Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. EXODUS 23:29-30

    The Lord your God will drive [them] out before you . . . little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once. DEUTERONOMY 7:22

To retake lost ground quickly is not the strategy prescribed by the Lord Himself; the rewards promised in the Scriptures go to the faithful (Matthew 25:21, 23). Commit yourself to this engagement for the long haul-for the duration; arm yourself with the mentality of a marathon runner, not a sprinter. Very simply, be willing to stay and compete until you win.

Conclusion:

We must regain the conviction that Biblical principles are vital to national success, and we must be willing to pursue their reinstatement. In recent decades, we have wrongly allowed the very principles which produced morality and virtue, and thus national stability, to be restricted in public life. We need once again to recognize the truth so well understood by George Washington that:

    [T]he propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. [22]

We must become convinced of the principle expressed by Abraham Lincoln and then accept the civic responsibilities implied by his statement that:

    The truth announced in the Holy Scripture, and proven by all history [is] that, "Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord." [23]


cont'd on page eight

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« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2006, 12:45:56 AM »

Page Eight

[1]Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn (London: Longman, Hunt, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1813), Vol. I, p. 303.

[2] The Unchurched American . . . 10 Years Later (Princeton: The Princeton Religion Research Center, 1988), p. 25.

[3] Religion in America: 92-93 (Princeton: The Princeton Religion Research Center), p. 20, from a survey conducted for the Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., by The Gallup Organization, Inc., in 1986.

[4] D. Gilbert, Compendium of American Public Opinion (New York: Facts on File Publications, 1988), p. 313.

[5] Congressional Record, June 29, 1987, H. 3511, citing General Social Survey Annual of the National Opinion Research Center.

[6] U. S. House of Representatives, What America Believes: The Rest of the Story (Republican Staff of the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, U. S. House of Representatives, 1990), p. 12, citing the Boston Globe, October 31, 1989.

[7] John M. Taylor, Garfield of Ohio: The Available Man (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.), p. 180. Quoted from "A Century of Progress," by James A. Garfield, published in Atlantic, July 1877.

[8] John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1980), p. 374.

[9] John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P.  Johnston, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam' s Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, p. 365.

[10] Id. at Vol. IV, p. 393.

[11] Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108, on October 5, 1840.

[12] Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49.

[13] Charles G. Finney, Revival Lectures (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell Co., reprinted 1970), Lecture XV, pp. 336-337.

[14] M. L. Weems, The Life of Washington (Philadelphia: Joseph Allen, 1800), pp. 6-7.

[15] Elias Boudinot, An Oration, Delivered at Elizabeth-town, New-Jersey . . . on the Fourth of July (Elizabethtown: Kollock, 1793), pp. 14-15.

[16] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. III, p. 437, on August 29, 1763.

[17] Alexis De Tocqueville, The Republic of the United States of America (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), p. 331.

[18] Matthias Burnet, D.D., Pastor of the First Church in Norwalk, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1803), pp. 26-27.

[19] David Ramsay, An Eulogium Upon Benjamin Rush, M.D. (Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1813), p. 103.

[20] S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, The Media Elite (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), pp. 28-29.

[21] Charles G. Finney, Revival Lectures (Reprinted Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revel Company, 1970), Lecture XV, pp. 336-337.

[22] James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Message and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, pp. 52-53.

[23] Id. at Vol. VI, p. 164, March 30, 1863.

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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2006, 05:20:46 PM »

One Nation Under God?!?

On the aluminum cap atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC are two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument have no idea they are even there and...for that matter...probably couldn't care less!

But there they are...5.125 inches high ... perched atop the monument to the father of our nation. The Washington Monument is 55 feet wide at the base and 555 feet tall, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America. It is made of 36,000 stones of marble (from Maryland) and granite (from Maine) and weighs 90,000 tons. The monument sees about 800,000 visitors a year.

Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words ... out of sight and, one might think, out of mind ... but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the world. And what might those two words ... composed of just four syllables and only seven letters ... mean? Very simply ... "Praise be to God!"

Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848 when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with the tribute Laus Deo! Praise be to God!

From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure ... a visitor can take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. And from that vantage point one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant ... a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape ... with the White House to the North, the Jefferson Memorial to the South, the Capitol to the East, and the Lincoln Memorial to the West. A cross ... you say?

How interesting! And ... no doubt ... intended to carry a meaning for those who bother to notice. Praise be to God! One interesting feature is the interior iron stairway with 50 landings and 897 stone steps. These donated stones come from every state in the Union, as well as Native American nations and foreign countries. While the stairwell has been closed since the 1970s, visitors can gain access to the top observation area via elevator. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God!

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy .. "one nation, under God."

I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well now is your opportunity ... read on!

"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United states at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Laus Deo!

As you might have guessed ... I kind of like the idea that our Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "under God." It is clear when one studies the history of our great nation that Washington's America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to whom was given all praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations. And when one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol ... one will easily find the signature of God.

We are a nation under God!!! Laus Deo!!! Praise be to God!!!

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