When I watched Mr. Biden blast and demean the U.S. Supreme Court justices while on foreign soil (Spain) this past week, I was appalled.
It is unpatriotic and disgusting for a sitting president to tear apart the fabric of his own country in any setting, let alone while on a tour abroad with heads of state and right before the Fourth of July. Disagree with the Court's opinions, fine. But denigrate and demean the institution and justices? Abominable and repulsive. And Biden wonders why patriotism and his presidential ratings are at record lows in America?
I commend the U.S. Supreme Court majority in sticking to and fighting for the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, just as they demonstrated when they ruled this past week in favor of the Washington coach who simply wanted to pray after his football games.
Seems incredible to me that when cartels are trafficking truckloads of fentanyl across our borders and selling it to teens on social media, who are overdosing in droves, that anyone is decrying a coach praying to God. And in reality, they aren't overdoses at all, but hundreds of thousands of poisonings of America's youth, as most of them don't have any idea they are taking lethal doses of fentanyl!
America's founders would have NEVER opposed anyone praying anywhere. In fact, that's the right they secured for all of us in the First Amendment of our Constitution.
You know the words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
In short, they said, religious liberty will reign in our new nation. Government will protect individuals from forced sectarianism like was done in England. Choice and freedom, even with one's religious preferences and practices, are to be protected and secured from the tyranny of government.
Well, that isn't our First Amendment today, or at least how most secular progressives interpret it. They explain and use it solely as a buffer and roadblock from keeping religious opinion or discussion – in anyway shape or form – out of every governmental or public arena. But that is the polar opposite of the First Amendment's very purpose, which was to protect and preserve religious practice and liberty in any place, including in the halls of government.
Students are regularly taught in colleges and universities across our land that America's founders, and particularly men like Thomas Jefferson, prohibited any intermingling between church and state.
I need to pick up where I left off in my column about Thomas Jefferson last week. I mentioned that skeptics are quick to point to Jefferson, who is generally hailed as the chief of church-state separation. But proof that Jefferson was not trying to rid government of religious (specifically Christian) influence comes from the fact that he endorsed using government buildings for church meetings, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic church and to pay the salary of the church's priests, and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.
Some might be completely surprised to discover that just two days after Jefferson wrote his famous letter citing the "wall of separation between Church and State," he attended church in the place where he always had as president: the U.S. Capitol. The very seat of our nation's government was used for sacred purposes. As the Library of Congress website notes, "It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801–1809) and of James Madison (1809–1817) the state became the church."
Please re-read those five words: "… the state became the church"! What's not clear about that?
The truth is that modern progressives, including Mr. Biden, have abandoned and even inverted the very heart of America's original vision: that freedom and religion (God) served as the two wings on which our republic took flight.
One of the most brilliant scholars in the modern age on religion in America is Dr. Michael Novak, a former university professor and U.S. ambassador, who was awarded the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and served as Jewett Chair in Religion and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
In his groundbreaking exposé, "On Two Wings," Dr. Novak wrote the following about the last 100 years of religious education in our public academia and institutions across America: "This is a scandal. How could it have happened? For one thing, many of the guardians of the nation's memory are secular men, for whom the faith of our fathers is of diminishing importance. The law schools, the jurists, and the history departments show little interest in religion. One wing [i.e. faith and religion] of the eagle by which American democracy took flight has been quietly forgotten. … In one key respect, the way the story of the United States has been told for the past one hundred years is wrong."
Here's the truth as Novak and other historians know it:
John Adams wrote the Massachusetts militia in 1798: "Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
And to what religion was Adams referring? He gave us an answer when he wrote to Thomas Jefferson in June of 1813: "The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite. … And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were united."
In a pamphlet for Europeans who were immigrating to America, Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1754 about America: "Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel."
Speaking of atheism and patriotism, it was in 1956-7 that "In God We Trust" became the national motto and appeared on U.S. paper currency to further distinguish America from the officially atheistic USSR. However, the very first time the motto appeared on U.S. currency was at the end of the Civil War. By an act of Congress on April 22, 1864, a two-cent coin was developed by the U.S. mint with the words "In God We Trust."
In December 1962, "In God We Trust" was also carved into the marble over the center of the chamber (rostrum) of the House of Representatives and chair of the speaker of the House. (Can you imagine Congress approving the carving of that inscription in its Chamber today? It would never happen!)
The point is: Our founders (and even most politicians through the 1950s) believed God and religion (specifically Christianity) would serve as the basis for morality and decency. They warned us specifically that, to abandon that foundation for our ethics, would leave society in civil unrest – just as we see today in run amuck classrooms, homes and communities across the nation. People treat one another with such malevolence and no regret.
Our founders knew government wasn't the answer for us to experience life, liberty and happiness. And neither was education, at least without religion. As Benjamin Rush, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, explained, "Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."
Our founders had a better answer than government or even education. God is the answer. God is the moral compass of America. Or He should be, if we ever want to restore morality in our homes and civility to our land. Our founders believed morals flowed from one's accountability to God and that without God, moral anarchy would result.
That is why John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of the College of New Jersey (1768–94; now Princeton University), said, "He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who set himself with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country."
Witherspoon was not alone. The greatest leader our nation has ever known, George Washington, actually warned future Americans of this very problem in his presidential farewell address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … 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."
Most politicians in Washington as well as leaders throughout our secular progressive society have turned a deaf ear to Washington's warning and taken him up on his challenge to try to maintain "morality … without religion." Well, how's it working? Watch 10 minutes of the news on any night and you'll know.
And what about the present occupant of the Oval Office? It's easy to say one is a theist or even Catholic, but quite another for it to affect one's morality, core values and especially political platform regarding the path of preserving national civility or decency.
I'm not alone when I say that there is a disconnect between Mr. Biden's religion and how he leads or how he expects our country to maintain any type of moral compass or decency, as the Founding Fathers did. You can search and scour the internet, and still come up wanting for a single statement or quote from Biden on any method or principle to produce or maintain national civility.
Gerard Baker, editor at large of the Wall Street Journal and an honored Oxford graduate, couldn't have explained it better in his 2021 column, "Does Joe Biden Have Any Core Principles?" : "All presidents hit turbulence at some point. What sustains the better ones is a sense that they have a compass, a clear set of values beyond the fickle dictates of their party's political demands. The problem for Mr. Biden is that, throughout a long career in politics, he has never given the slightest indication that he has such a compass. For him the tussles between conscience and political expediency always seem to result in an easy win for expediency. There's a giant hole where the man's principles should be."
With so many tipping points in our own country right now, America reminds me of the time during the Constitutional Convention when an elderly Benjamin Franklin stood to his feet and pondered whether or not the assembly still desired to depend upon God as they did in the beginning of the republic. Franklin stated, "And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"
It is a question every generation needs to ask and answer, especially ours.
Unfortunately, America is now like it was in the time of the Judges in the Old Testament: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." That's how it is today – with God being abandoned and whitewashed, so is our moral basis, leaving most doing what is right in their own eyes. We've lost our moral compass, and that includes President Biden.
The only way America will truly be restored is by returning to our roots.
As President Ronald Reagan explained in his 1984 Dallas Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast:
Those who created our country – the Founding Fathers and Mothers – understood that there is a divine order which transcends the human order. They saw the state, in fact, as a form of moral order and felt that the bedrock of moral order is religion.
The Mayflower Compact began with the words, "In the name of God, Amen." The Declaration of Independence appeals to "`Nature's God"' and the "Creator'" and "the Supreme Judge of the world." Congress was given a chaplain, and the oaths of office are oaths before God.
James Madison in the Federalist Papers admitted that in the creation of our republic he perceived the hand of the Almighty. John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, warned that we must never forget the God from whom our blessings flowed.
Friends, I am a patriot and an optimist at heart. I, as with many of you, believe that we can become a great nation again, known more for who we are than what we possess. But that's not going to happen by traveling down the same road we've been on. If America has lost its moral compass, the answer is to return to the old path, the path followed by our founders, who put God first, trusting in Him – not big government – to be our salvation.
The most important action you and I can take is to do that in our own lives: to put God first and raise up a new generation of decent, law-abiding, people-loving and God-fearing citizens. That may sound overly simplistic or preachy to some, but I really don't mean it that way. Neither did our founders. It was just a fact, and it still is.
As Ronald Reagan eloquently concluded at that 1984 Dallas Prayer Breakfast, "Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
In God we still must trust!
(If anyone has doubts or wants to learn more about God, religion or the Bible, I recommend you start by reading this FREE small EBOOK: "The God Questions: Exploring Life's Greatest Questions about God." To better understand the founding of our republic, I encourage your reading of "Black Belt Patriotism," where you will find loads more of information about what our founders actually thought, believed, and wanted for our country. I also encourage a fantastic book by former Texas State Representative and insightful host of WallBuilders Live daily national radio show, Rick Green, "Legends of Liberty: Timeless Stories of Courageous Champions." One more awesome resource is David Barton's, "The Founders' Bible," the sacred text of all sacred texts with a plethora of historical notes and commentary from America's founders.)
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