In 2010, a Fox News commentator was interviewing a man from the Freedom From Religion Foundation who claimed that it was not true that America was founded as a Christian nation. He was either lying or completely ignorant of the facts.
But then, most Americans are ignorant of the facts, as was I until a few years ago. Not that I did not already believe that America had been formed by Christians as a Christian nation, because I did; but that I did not see hard facts until recently.
I’ve been urging people to read a book written by Jerry Newcombe entitled The Book That Made America – How the Bible Formed Our Nation to learn the facts about our Founding Fathers. Our schools stopped teaching those facts almost a century ago, and that was the beginning of our country’s drift toward Godlessness, liberalism, progressivism and ultimately now toward Marxism.
One of the biggest surprises in the book is the history of an 1892 U.S. Supreme Court case, United States v. the Church of the Holy Trinity, that led to a decision that emphatically held that “This is a Christian Nation”.
The Trinity decision came about because an Episcopalian Church in Ohio had hired a minister who was not a U.S. citizen, which was against the law. The Supreme Court did extensive research into our founders, the documents they wrote, our founding documents, lower court decisions, and all of the State Constitutions that had been written up until that time. The goal was to determine if the Church of the Holy Trinity was exempt from the law that they had been accused of violating.
Newcombe points out that at the time the case was heard, more than 90 percent of Americans were professing Christians, and that at the time he wrote his book, that percentage was about 76 percent.
There was abundant evidence examined by the court in this case, too much to include in this column, but here are some highlights:
The opening remarks made by the court began by saying that America “is a religious people”.
Research into Christopher Columbus proved that his journey to America had been motivated by God, saying, “it was the Lord who put it into my mind…”
The earliest charters and grants all mention God in their text. For example, the first charter for Virginia included the words, “to the Glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People as yet live in Darkness…”
In 1620, the Mayflower Compact said, “Having undertaken for the Glory of God and Advancement of the Christian Faith…”
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, one of our earliest state constitutions included the words, “where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God…”
William Penn wrote in the Pennsylvania charter, “Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship; And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience…”
The Declaration of Independence made it clear that our rights came from our Creator.
Newcombe says that in 1892, there were 44 states, and all of their constitutions, without exception, “contain language which either directly or by clear implication recognizes a profound reverence for religion and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the well being of a community”, and he gave numerous specific examples of these.
He also cites some of the lower court decisions that confirmed that this was a religious nation, including one that found that Christianity was the only religion that could be relied upon to maintain our rights, and even specifically called “Mahomet” (Islam) an imposter religion.
In part, the conclusion written by the Supreme Court in this case said that there was abundant documentation, customs, and traditions to lead to the conclusion in their words that, “This is a Christian nation”.
Even you who do not agree with the concept that our predecessors should have or should not have included Christianity in our founding documents, the fact remains that, without any doubt, this nation was founded by Christians as a Christian nation.