The last two week’s articles have been about how the United States was formed as a Christian nation. I received two e-mails from readers disagreeing with me. What is interesting is that I have ran these two articles at least twice before over the past several years, and received no reaction at all.
This does not surprise me. Anti-Christian sentiment has been growing in America for some time, and it does not take long to find articles on other websites and news outlets echoing that sentiment.
Today, within minutes, I found three articles.
The first, written by a “mainstream Christian” criticized the new Noah’s Ark theme park as something that didn’t agree with old Earth creation theory or evolution, doubted that Noah was 600 years old, and claimed the entire thing was easy to mock.
The second claimed that there were ten scientific theories of higher beings other than God.
A third, written by atheist Zoltan Istvan claimed that “Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam are fundamentally violent philosophies with violent Gods.” Included in the title of the article was his assertion that “Religion is literally killing us.”
The term “Abrahamic” must be becoming popular among atheists. In the first e-mail I received in reaction to my articles, an atheist made a similar reference. I won’t share much of his rants, other than to say that they were full of revisionist history, vile accusations, name-calling and at least one veiled threat directed at me. I won’t be bullied into dialog with people who aren’t civil in discourse. Suffice it to say that he was no fan of Christians or Christianity.
The other e-mail I received, however, was from a gentleman who courteously disagreed with me. However, I found what he said in his e-mail disturbing.
This man, who identified himself as a historian, claimed that one of the writers I had referred to in my articles (Dr. Jerry Newcombe) was not a reliable source of information, because “having no credible background as a scholar, and the author, apparently, of not even one peer-reviewed article in an academic journal, it is difficult to believe that at any point he subjected his opinions (or were they ever subjected) to any sort of rigorous or critical examination.”
To my reply to him that there was a movement toward revisionist history in this country, he agreed, stating that “it is something that should not be reviled, but instead embraced. Indeed, history is not a thing, that once told or is written down, remains untouchable or immutable. Rather, new discoveries are constantly being made and undiscovered documents and other evidence is coming to light that often-time compels us to re-evaluate and maybe even rewrite our history.”
His qualifications? According to him, “having had my first peer-reviewed article published in 2001, and the most recent one just this year, and having been invited to speak at numerous conferences and other academic gatherings around the world…”
To my suggestion that he look at the Wallbuilders website as a source for the assertion that this nation was formed as a Christian nation, he said, “I doubt that there is much of any value at the Wallbuilders website. Sorry to be so direct about it, but they represent the sort of agenda-driven source that you so rightly decried.”
To his assertion that he is a more qualified historian because of what he has written, who has published his work, and who has asked him to speak around the world, I say that is all irrelevant. Anyone can write anything and get it published; people are often asked to speak by people who want to hear what they want to hear, and peers can be just as wrong in their evaluations of each other.
The reason I referred this gentleman to the Wallbuilder’s website is that David Barton is able to prove, for example, that our founding fathers were Christian because he has a large collection of original documents to which he can refer when he states facts. Which would you rely on first, a document written by the very hand of a founding father, or the opinion of the same by someone hundreds of years after the fact, in determining what a particular person believed?
I have been writing this column for nearly 15 years. Can someone, long after I am dead, accurately claim that I was actually an atheist? They might to suit their agenda, but it would be revisionist history, would it not? One only needs to read my articles to know exactly what I believed, because they come directly from me. Should we not, in the interest of accurate history, extend the same diligence to the history of our nation?