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By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 3)

““Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them… Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” – George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796.

Our founding fathers would be shocked that God has been so far removed from our Government. Our “separation of church and state” society would not agree though. Interestingly enough, you won’t even find the statement “separation of church and state” in our Constitution.

Are we really a Christian Nation? There are plenty of books available that state the contrary. Take a look at the book The Godless Constitution by Cornell University professors Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore. This book that is often quoted by courts and legal briefs is completely void of footnotes. In the place of any references or footnotes you will find, “Because we have intended the book to reach a general audience, and because the material we have cited is for the most part familiar to historians and political scientists, we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.”

Where did they get their information? Should we take their word because of their credentials? Take a look at Acts 17:10-11. “10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

David Barton, founder of WallBuilders. (Photo courtesy of WallBuilders)

Here the Bereans were searching the scriptures daily to confirm what Paul told them was true. The Apostle Paul was a highly educated Jew from the important cultural city of Tarsus, a Pharisee trained by one of the most celebrated Rabbis of his day (Gamaliel), and he was perfect as a teacher with his extensive training in Old Testament law and rabbinic traditions (Acts 22:3). Even with his credentials, there is no doubt that Paul was thrilled with the Bereans’ desire to look at the source.

They wanted to confirm that Paul was not a false teacher, and Paul continually warned against such. Take a look at Romans 16:17-18, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:1-2 for just a few examples from Paul. Jesus, Peter, and John also spoke about the false teachers that had their own agendas. These false teachers have been and will continue to corrupt the message of the Word. Many Christians would be surprised that things they have been taught in church are contrary to the Bible. The Truth can always be found in the source!

The truth behind our Christian heritage can be found by going to the original sources. Americans would be shocked to find that the things that they have been taught about our country are actually false. David Barton was one of those shocked Americans.

David Barton

Before he ended up founding the American history organization WallBuilders, David Barton was a young Texan with no real history background. This math and science major came from a Christian family with a preacher father. His father, Grady Barton, was also an engineer who helped design many major projects including the F-16 fighter jet. At one point, the family found themselves floating between many different churches and denominations after his father became discouraged in ministry.

In 1971, David and his sister, Rose Ann Barton, were in a terrible car accident where she was pronounced dead at the scene. His father arrived soon afterwards and did not accept that Rose Ann was gone. Grady Barton quietly prayed over her, and after 30 minutes of not breathing, she suddenly started breathing again. The doctors said that she would have severe brain damage, but David’s sister was fine and even graduated as valedictorian of her class.

After that miraculous event, people began to want to know more about what God was doing with their family. A Bible study began that soon outgrew their home and eventually became a church that David’s father pastored until recent years.

David’s Christian background firmly placed him on the Solid Ground. After graduating college, he found himself teaching and eventually becoming principal of Aledo Christian School. His passion for the Lord finally brought this ordained minister into the realm of conservative activism.

A Christian Nation

David’s solid grounding in faith helped him to understand the truth behind American history. In a sadly Bible illiterate nation, many scripture quotes are overlooked in original speeches and writings from early American history. What David Barton found in source documents weren’t just vague references to the Bible though. He found men passionate about God and country, men that founded the principles of our government on Christian values.

Thomas Jefferson, the controversial author of “separation of church and state.” A phrase that is not even found in our Constitution. (Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800)

These were not the godless founding fathers that school and society teach us about. These were Christian men who sought God in all aspects of life. The founding fathers knew the Bible, Congress sponsored the printing of the first official English Bible in America, President John Quincy Adams wrote a book for 10 year olds to read the Bible in one year, President James A. Garfield was a minister, President George Washington collected sermons, and they supported laws like the Public School Law of 1789 that stated schools should “teach religion, morality, and knowledge.”

Could it be that we were really founded as a Christian Nation? Could it be that our founding fathers were not all atheists and deists seeking to remove Christianity and religion from all aspects of our government?

David Barton had simply started looking at old documents and found a wealth of information that was contrary to our text books. He started to share what he found with others, and the people were hungry for more. National television shows started inviting him to show what he had found. A collection of original documents soon grew into a massive library that now holds 100,000 pieces from before 1812.

Many states started approaching David to write their history and social studies standards. Instead of summarizing what the Constitution said… instead of summarizing what George Washington’s Farewell Address said… instead of summarizing any historical documents, he took the novel approach of saying “Here. Read what the original said.” Like Christians need to look to the Bible to know it for ourselves, Americans need to look to original documents to know history for ourselves.

Government history, educational history, black history, military history, church history, and Constitutional history were just a few of the things that were brought into the light. So, how did our country get to this point of misinformation, oppression, and ignorance? The slide in that direction continues to be a gradual process with many factors in play.

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