So it is with civilization. If you understand what social disease ails yours, you can “run the tape backwards” and have a good idea what the state of the patient was many years before. This brings us to the subject of creeping secularism and religion in America.
The Texas Board of Education (TBE) has been receiving a lot of criticism for its recent decision to revise the left’s revisionist history (otherwise known as restoring tradition). And what really irks liberals is the board’s decision to emphasize America’s religious heritage. As an example of this irksomeness, TBE member and Liberty University School of Law professor Cynthia Dunbar read the following invocation during closing arguments over the education standards:
I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses. Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia or the Charter of New England or the Charter of Massachusetts Bay or the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the same objective is present – a Christian land governed by Christian principles. I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people... I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.
This “Bible thumping” drew scathing criticism from militant atheists, a good example of which is the comments posted at Texas Freedom Network Insider. WorldNetDaily’s Bob Unruh presented a number of them, writing:
- From Steven Schafersman: "Invocations like this at the beginning of state agency meetings by public officials are, in my opinion, terribly bigoted in addition to being nonsense. By her remarks, Dunbar disenfranchised all in the audience who follow different faiths or no faith."
- From "fireweaver": "Will Ms Dunbar start calling for a Christian form of Shariah law? She sounds like someone who would find that appealing. She's whack."
- From "Keanus": "Dunbar, and the entire Christian Right, believes teaching, indoctrination and preaching are synonyms. For that reason they are doomed to a life time of ignorance, and, worse, blithely ignorant of their ignorance."
- From "Thomas": "Dunbar is a subversive, traitorous threat to the national security of the United States as are all Christian domestic terrorists of her ilk.
And now for the kicker. The “Christian domestic terrorist” who penned the invocation wasn’t Dunbar.
It was none other than former Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.
That’s right, liberal icon Earl Warren.
Mr. Removal-of-prayer-from-schools Earl Warren.
And, obviously, advocate of Christianity Earl Warren.
This revelation made the leftists run for cover with a Waffle House supply of egg on their faces. I mean, that’s what you call stepping in it with a Sasquatch foot.
Now, should we call these liberals uneducated for not knowing the invocation’s author? That wouldn’t be quite fair, as most of us wouldn’t have, either. But here’s what we can say: An educated person would have at least suspected that the words were those of a well-known figure in U.S. history. Why? Well, for one thing, the passage is nicely formulated; for another, it’s natural to quote such individuals when seeking to promote a cause. And for yet another we have this: Being religious has been the default for most of the history of America and the world.
Failure to grasp this fact is one of the many, many things separating liberals from the educated. Liberals specialize in the rationalization, and one of their chief fantasies is the notion that they share some philosophical kinship with the Founding Fathers. But the reality is that if you could find an enemy of God living prior to 1900, his name was probably Nietzsche, Marx or Engels. If you could find one living prior to 1800, his name was probably Satan.
To better grasp this, let’s examine a brief history of Western faith. During the Middle Ages, religion was so absolutely central to people’s lives that it’s hard for the average modern to even conceive of their mindset. But I’ll illustrate it this way: Could you imagine walking to Jerusalem barefoot to atone for your sins? Well, many European knights, under the advisement of their confessors, did precisely that.
Of course, like today, not all Westerners walked together — but they did all walk toward Jerusalem. That is to say, they did have their theological conflicts, such as those involving the Gnostics, Arians, Henricans and Hussites. But they were fought over the nature of God and faith — not over God’s existence. Why, even excommunicated nominalist William of Ockham — whose philosophy finds its contemporary home among atheists — was a Franciscan friar.
But wait, weren’t the founders men of that age of reason, the Enlightenment? Yes, but the period was not characterized by atheism. Sure, Church dogma was questioned, and we saw the embrace of faith fads such as Deism, but belief in the Deity was the norm. And the founders reflected this thoroughly. Twenty-four of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence held seminary or Bible school degrees, and virtually all were members of mainstream denominations. And this is evident in their writings. For example, George Washington said, “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” Our second president, John Adams, stated, “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited!... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” Then there is his successor, Thomas Jefferson, whom the left sometimes casts as one of their irreligious number. He warned, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?”
The founders’ jurists echoed these sentiments as well. For example, a 1799 court ruling stated, “By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing [emphasis mine].” This was reiterated by the Supreme Court in 1892 when it wrote, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
In reality, I could provide 100 other similar quotations, and this is precisely why liberals obscure history. Being relativists, they believe that “Man is the measure of all things,” and this measure finds them wanting. When the tape is run backwards, their revisionism is run over.
When the tape is run forwards, however, it is plain that secularism will continue to creep as we descend into European-style spiritual deadness and beyond. Yet there is something the liberals should note: As the seasons change, so will the tape .... eventually. And when the last chapter is written and only what can endure remains, Truth, they will not be remembered kindly.
Photo: AP Images
Selwyn Duke is a columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show, at WorldNetDaily.com, in American Conservative magazine, is a contributor to AmericanThinker.com and appears regularly as a guest on the award-winning, nationally-syndicated Michael Savage Show. Visit his Website.