By Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.” George Washington (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789)
The ideal government and society can only form when every individual takes upon himself the role of king, judge, and ambassador. As Christians, we represent the kingdom of Heaven. Our love, humility, and respect for this foreign world represent our Lord well. As Christians we must constantly judge our thoughts and speech, and rightly discern the spirits operating in every circumstance of our lives. Each man owns his body, and he may control the space it occupies without censure as long as he fully submits to the guidance of God’s spirit and Law. As legislators, mere men must translate God’s Law into human laws; ideally our government “of the people” becomes the meeting of kings where each man casts his vote to legislate, judge, and enforce according to the divine voice guiding within. To truly create the world we all long for, we must raise up a nation of Godly servant kings; men who dedicate their public and private lives to standing strong for manifesting God’s will on Earth.
Our founders intended that America be a Christian Nation, governed by laws based upon the Judeo-Christian Ethic. They did not overtly write Christianity into the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence, but a casual examination of these documents reveals the background intent and spirit they embodied. On some level they knew that a government of the people would only survive and prosper if the people actually embodied the will and way of the Almighty. A founding document which named a particular religion or denomination would provide an almost irresistible temptation to the Pharisee spirit of the religious community to imply a founding intent to enforce the orthodoxy of a particular sect. Thus, the founders chose to place their faith on the general Christian commitment of the populace and trust it would perpetuate without a mandate or regulatory force imposed by government.
The founders were humans who saw heavenly perfection through a glass darkly. Surely they had some degree of conflicting religious convictions driving their hearts. Still, the intensity of their debate was dedicated to creating the highest and best government possible. Only the most partisan atheist could sincerely deduce the founders intended a Godless Secular government directing our nation. Men of faith such as George Washington, James Madison, and John Adams knew the dire consequences of demanding that the national spirit and its leaders should totally separate from the True God.
Only fools would write a Constitution which demanded that the welfare and future of an entire nation be entrusted solely to the wisdom, foresight, and power of mortal men. Only rebellious children would intend the force of Constitutional mandate to explicitly ban the leadership of God in guiding our country’s destiny. Only the self-worshiping egotist would declare that preserving a sense of equality and self-worth for the nation’s agnostics and pagans was the highest principle upon which to establish a nation.
God would have long ago destroyed America and put her in bondage if the founders and subsequent generations had embraced such vain guiding principles. We see a rich history of Godly words and deeds of our founders and the institutions of their installed government. This evidence validates our claim of their intent to create a nation which reflected the Kingdom of God. Thus, our duty remains to meditate on His will and pray for the manifestation of that heavenly vision in our land. While the founders’ efforts were imperfect, we see strong evidence of our Christian heritage in our founding documents and the subsequent acts of the early Congress.
The issues of religious freedom were very much alive in the founders’ minds after their experience with England and its required allegiance to a State religion. Therefore, the Secularists claim the founders’ intended to totally disallow the inclusion of any Christian speech or symbolism in the public arena. But, this claim ignores the vast body of evidence that the founders intended a non-denominational inclusion of Christianity as the underlying moral foundation of the nation and its people. And they were right to choose Christianity as the religious-moral model upon which to pattern the laws of government and economy. The prosperity and liberties of our nation have no equal in the world, and we can attribute this excellent outcome to our Christian moral foundation.
The “Separationists”/Secularists claim the founders sought to create a society where every religion holds an equal place of honor and tolerance. The Secularists believe that government should take a position of absolute neutrality and complete separation from any religious concepts or influence. In effect, the “Separationists” contend that only when government legislates and judges based on the purest of Secular Humanist worldviews does it fulfill the Constitutionally required neutrality toward religion. But, such men ignore the fact that enforced Secular Humanism bears all the markings of a government-established religion. Government endorsed and propagated Secular Humanism eliminates the influence of all other religions from public life, while it imposes its own religious mandates upon the people.
It is impossible to totally separate religion from government; thus the question becomes, “What is the proper place for religion in government?” The founders answered that question in their acts of Congress and founding documents. They implicitly acknowledged God and thereby indicated their intended Christian allegiance in our founding documents signed “In the year of our Lord, 1776”. Likewise, the first Congress clearly intended a supportive relationship between government and Christianity when they allocated funds to support Christian missionaries to the Indians following the Revolutionary war.
This act of government sponsored proselytization in particular shows the founders intent to publicly fund the proactive expansion of Christianity. Such acts give us clear guidance as to the appropriate relationship between government and its support of furthering the reach of Christianity in the culture. And again, the purpose of endorsing Christianity on a society-wide basis is to create a nation of Godly men, each prepared to debate and defend his vision of Heaven on Earth, which is the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
As a free and Godly people constituting the government, we have the right to choose our laws, representatives, and system of government. And, having chosen a Constitutional Republic that intentionally reflects the Laws of God; we have the obligation to continually compare our interpretation of the Founding documents with God’s heart and spirit. As such, we should amend the Constitution and its subsequent laws when we realize that our conceptions of legislative truth inadequately reflect God’s Law.
The founders originally established Christianity as the de facto religion of America. They included Christian precepts and prescriptions for proper social interaction within the government, and for this reason alone we have the right to choose to continue in that tradition. But, even if they had intended less, we have a right as a people to choose a government which most closely mirrors God’s perfect plan for secular government.
Those who argue for “Separation” attempt to impose the religious orthodoxy of Secular Humanism upon the government. And in turn they hope to educate a few generations in the precepts of their State Supported Religion. To gain the allegiance of a majority would allow them to eliminate Christianity by law and population. Having created a new majority, the Secular Humanists can claim democratic imprimatur and pass laws overtly banning Christian expression in government supported education and media.
When the group spirit rejects Christianity, we will have only the thin connection of heritage to regain our status as a Christian Nation. We must remain vigilant against the cries for total spiritual neutrality in government. Such calls appeal to the principles of “Fairness”, “Separation”, and “Tolerance”, but in fact they are a Trojan Horse intent only on establishing the state religion of Secular Humanism, and by force eliminating the influence of Christianity in the society.
If Christianity truly does reflect the perfect moral and relationship patterns of the Creator, then all other spiritual forces will necessarily compete with it for dominance. In nature we see how the destructive entropic forces of wind, rain, and cold break down the most prominent rocky features that rise above the plain. In a similar manner, the perfection of the Christian Nation stands high above any other government organized around competing human philosophies or spiritual systems. As a result, every force of spirit and nature will challenge the life and organization of the Christian Nation. Such testing is inevitable and proper as it purifies us in our implementation of God’s character in our expression of a Christian Nation. The perfectly God-inspired secular government will stand strong against the ideological forces that seek to flatten and negate its organizing and dominating influence.
The founders did not declare us to be a Christian Nation by law because of the tendency of men to fall into the temptation of imposing a religious tyranny. The founders recognized this human weakness, and removed the possibility of a theocracy by prohibiting Congress from establishing a national religion. They expected the people would maintain their allegiance to Christianity through the generational transmission of the faith and the loose inclusion of Christianity in government as an allowed expression of a Christian people. But, the cooperative relationship between the people and their government ended because of the convergence of the following two social movements.
1) Throughout history, parents taught their children the social norms and survival/work skills. But, with the advent of industrialization and information-intensive work, parents have increasingly chosen to transfer the task of education to specialists who could train the children to enter into a society that requires ever more specialized training. Thus, parents moved toward paying government to teach children the skills they needed to function as adults. Thus inevitably, the socialization of children has also fallen under the authority and influence of public education. In early America, the textbooks were based upon the Biblical text and concepts; the Christian basis of these textbooks was overt in the New England Primer and the McGuffee Reader. This subliminal indoctrination into the Christian worldview and morality was an integral aspect of the educational experience. Over time, the families that grouped together for home schooling coalesced to become the country schoolhouse. Paying for the centralized aggregation of students naturally migrated to government and its ability to tax and pay for public projects. In turn, the funds collected and disbursed by government implicitly placed the educational establishment in a position of required subservience to government regulations.
As a result, the union and lobby of the National Education Association and the state and federal Departments of Education hold sway over educational content by threatening to withhold state and federal dollars from programs which do not comply with the protocols and philosophy they dictate. Federal Courts have adjudicated against those school districts who do not comply with Federal mandate. (Although many would argue that Federal Courts have no authority or jurisdiction over state and local authorities in the matters of education.) Thus the American family is compelled to pay taxes for public school indoctrination of their children in philosophies repugnant to their own value-system. Such judgments by the Federal Courts should have no effect on State and Local entities such as a school district; but by taking money from the Federal Government, they have plausibly placed themselves under Federal authority. Thus, the Secularists within the Federal Government have used the changing cultural conditions as an opportunity to thwart the autonomy of the States and local school districts, to override the will of parents, and to direct the indoctrination of the minds of our coming generations.
2) The tradition of including Christianity in public education was strong until recently. The societal anti-God forces have always wished to usurp the educational process, but no legal precedent could justify banning Christian education until the Supreme Court invented a new Constitutional principle in response to the 1947 case of Everson v Board of Education. This ruling prohibited the use of tax funds for transporting students to a Catholic school on the grounds of “Separation of Church and State.” Over the next 60 years this ruling has served as the legal precedent to justify prohibiting prayer, Bible reading, and posting of the 10 commandments, etc. in schools.
In turn, the government has proceeded to deliver an enforced secular education. Parents no longer have the 12 years of school days to educate their children in the practical application of Christianity. Rather, throughout the child’s formative years, he now receives an authoritatively delivered and peer-reinforced education in the Secular Humanist perspective. Still, the Secularists cannot claim a uniform victory over every student’s mind; strong willed and Godly parents can counteract the indoctrination and instill an allegiance to Christian principles.
But we cannot expect that parents can resist and undo all the social lessons delivered by public education. As a Christian Nation, we expect that schooling would deliver a moral message consistent with the principles of Christ. Parents have paid taxes and contracted with the education community to act as their agents in training our children. As the majority religion, those parents have the right to expect that the education they receive would mirror the training they would give in the ways of Christian Godliness, knowledge, and right thinking.
When the nation’s educational institutions deliver a moral message that contravenes the parent’s value system, that system has betrayed the parent’s trust. The propaganda of education will inexorably skew the minds and hearts of each generation, leaving a generally indelible impression that will to some extent color that child’s perspective throughout his entire life. Weak willed and marginally informed parents cannot provide the forceful arguments and guidance required to resist the relentless subliminal indoctrination of a state sponsored education in the Secular Humanist worldview. Such children must find Truth using their own resources; but sadly, only a portion will find their way home.
If America’s heritage is a vision to manifest the Kingdom of God on Earth, we should as a majority, advocate for a strong inclusion of the Christian faith in our publicly funded education and media. Many will object to such an initiative as a violation of the “Separation of Church and State”. But the Secularist perspective is only one opinion. They believe in the correctness of their interpretation of Constitutional intent, but the Christian majority has an equally strong opinion of the correct interpretation of history and the implementation of Truth. The Secular Humanists have no intrinsic right to dominate our culture and render final judgment. The Secularist arguments are based on an opinion about Constitutional intent that conforms to their worldview. They seek to universalize it and impose it upon America as a national religion and thought-system that patterns civil law.
As Christians, we have every right to oppose the Secularist attempts to mold the soul of America’s moral foundation in their image. The “Secularists” and “Separationists” have read new concepts into the founder’s Constitutional intent, and they loudly declare those principles are True, Fair, and Intended. But as Christians, we have the right to proclaim our own interpretation of history, and create an alliance of like-minded men and women who wish to create God’s Kingdom on earth. Our job is to appropriate the Constitution as a cornerstone document in the administration of our Christian Nation. As Christians, we have Truth on our side. God wants to manifest Heaven on Earth; and any nation that persists in following His will and His way will eventually prosper.
The time has come to endorse publicly funded non-denominational support of Christianity in our schools, legislatures, and courts. We must again embrace the once common concept of our Christian Nationhood and purposefully enroll the people in the ways of Christ. From such a stand we can dedicate public funds and direct the media and educational institutions to feed the minds of the masses with Christian philosophy and conversation. We should pray for wisdom about the best strategies to overturn the social momentum of the last 60 years and re-embrace our Christian heritage and culture.
Many have become increasingly convinced that our nation is, and should be, dedicated to the creation of a Secular Humanist haven. Some have gradually accepted the drumbeat of the New-Thought Secularists who exalt the principles of tolerance above the propagation of God’s Truth. As long as we embrace these poisonous worldviews, we will self-censor our outrage at this imposition of new cultural gods and the erection of their idols for required worship in the public square. As long as we bow down to these false gods, we will purposefully cleanse government, media, and education of any Christian dialogue or training. In so doing we condemn ourselves to the eventual failure experienced by every other nation-state which has exalted human wisdom above Godly guidance.
As a government founded on Christian principles, as a nation populated by a Christian majority, and as a government of, by, and for the people, we have the right to use Christian principles to guide our legislative, judicial, and social system. As Christians, our moral base provides the template to create the most righteous and prosperous society. The Christian moral system coincides with the foundational laws upon which God designed the universe. Thus as citizens, we should choose representatives with adequate life experience and sense to recognize social patterns and trends which could lead toward disaster. And as a Christian statesman, the representative brings his personal character to government, and can use the wisdom that comes to him by his submission to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Ultimately we must be led by Godly men, and this will only happen when we are populated by a Godly electorate.
As a Christian Nation, we should realize that the Bible does not provide a predigested directive for excellent government, business, or social interaction. The Bible provides a complex hologram of life, a parable, a metaphorical representation of Truth. As such, it requires an immersion in the totality of its message, and a heart-commitment to perceiving the Spirit of Truth behind its words. The youthful believer tends to take Chapter and Verse and apply them to situations without considering the subtleties and hierarchy of Biblical principle.
The extreme complexity of the Biblical Way will soon become apparent to even the most intellectual and intuitive man. Ultimately, the Creeds, Statements of Faith, and efforts to catalogue and simplify the spiritual life will produce only approximations of Truth. Thus, as we re-embrace the Christian Nation label, we should continue to resist the human temptation to impose an enforced orthodoxy of belief. Such prohibition was the purpose of the First Amendment. Even so, morality cannot be separated from secular law, since all law is legislated morality. The tenets of a widely held faith will ultimately convert into public policy. Thus, the educational establishment should again proactively teach public acknowledgement of our Christian social-moral roots, and train the nation’s youth in a daily compliance with its tenets of relationship. No law should prevent the public recognition or reference to that underlying belief system; a social system without self-awareness of its originating purposes and principles is more subject to the deforming forces of strong-willed men and the spirits that drive them.
Society will naturally manifest a diversity of opinion and perspective, and no man can hold and articulate all perspectives. Thus, inviting many people to participate in the public debate provides for robust consideration of the possibilities for failure and success. And while diversity has value for this reason, not all opinions rise to the same level of validity and worth. Thus, to enhance the group’s survival and prosperity, it behooves us to focus the group spirit toward manifesting God’s will on earth. God desires to manifest a world that truly works, lasts forever, satisfies in love, and provides for the needs and wants of the human heart. But to manifest this world of plenty and joy, man must choose to follow God’s way. All other paths of manifestation are suboptimal and include varying quantities of death, illness, poverty, and disappointment.
Thus, in the debate as to the proper direction of the nation’s goals, we should dedicate ourselves to the actual, true, correct, right, accurate and divinely established religion. In so doing we will have a greater chance of manifesting the highest potential of God’s vision of perfection. When the representatives and populace are well informed about the possibilities and consequences of error, and when the diversity of Godly opinion all point toward a common center, the group increases its chances of choosing an excellent outcome.
The Secularist praises diversity as one of the primary social organizing virtues. Such an exaltation of diversity is plausible since even diversity in error renders valuable information by providing a full spectrum representation of the various failure-modes of a system. But, the Secularist actually wishes to minimize diversity by excluding the obviously Godly solutions, since they offend his sense of truth. Thus, the Secularist narrows his choices and information to those solutions which can only provide suboptimal solutions. Thus, the Christian statesman should be more fearless and universal in his consideration of data. He should allow examination of solutions and considerations from every philosophical perspective. The wise man, firmly grounded in Godliness, can recognize the error and the pearl in even the most heretical and disorganized perspective. But, honoring diversity does not require adopting every perspective as public policy. Rather, diversity provides the fodder for consideration and identification of the unique hierarchy of principles involved in each moral dilemma.
In a Christian Nation, the non-Christian can expect to receive the same public policy courtesies in matters of personal safety, respect of property, and equality before the law. But, some who oppose the implementation a Christian Nation argue that it would confer second class status on the non-Christian citizen. And being realistic, those who choose to adopt a non-Christian worldview will have less relationship and resonance with the culture and our Christian brethren. But, such estrangement between believers and unbelievers resembles the difference in opinions between family members. The two competing worldviews may clash, but Christians will continue to pray for, witness to, and stay in relationship with their unbelieving countrymen. The love and relationship between believer and unbeliever is one of compassion and care. We are all God’s children, and our first obligation is to care for His children’s needs. The second commandment is to go forth and spread the Good News; we add this sharing to our caring.
Naturally, the unbeliever cannot share in the spirit of unity that is available to the family of believers since close relationship requires a similarity of purpose, standards, and vision. Those who are compliant with the wishes of the king are held in higher esteem, and the son which adopts the ways of the father has a closer relationship with the family. The Secular humanist demands that all people be given equality and acceptance. Such a life-philosophy is contrary to the principles of life. Every choice produces its own outcome. As humans, we have no right to demand acceptance, equality, or superiority. Our choices produce their own fruit.
In a free country, all may share their competing religious worldviews. As a Christian Nation, we advocate for the belief that the Constitution is a document that reflects the principles which should guide a secular government in implementing the principles of the Christian faith. As such, the Constitution does not require homogeneity of belief in Christian doctrine; neither does it require the recognition of Christianity as the personal foundation of any person’s belief system. The Constitution only requires obedience to the laws passed by the elected representatives. And yes, some of those laws and expenditures may require unbelievers to be exposed to Christian symbols, slogans, and teachings. But, such exposure does not require faith, only polite participation. In other words, society is the group extension of a Christian family. The influence and witnessing to the unbelieving child never ends regardless of the adult child’s age or station in life.
Each moral system has its own set of cause and effect sequences, and every society must choose which system it wishes to impose upon itself. As for America, the Founders chose to create a Constitution based upon the Judeo-Christian ethic. As such, we have a right to govern, fund, and enact laws that support the society-wide propagation of Christianity. The Secular Humanist system of values and beliefs is simply an alternative religious/belief system. As a nation, we have the right to not endorse a government enforced practice of Secular Humanism, and not embed its tenets in the group-mind through the venues of government, media, or education.
The invasion of the Secular Humanist spirit into the heart of our culture is so insidious and subtle that few will initially recognize the danger and the encroachment. But, to overcome this spiritual invasion requires a deepening of thought and commitment to the True social manifestation of Christian philosophy. God has allowed the scourge of Secularism to plague the land, and His purpose in subjecting us to this test is to create the pain of error in the land. He desires us to recoil from this seductive trap, gain knowledge of righteousness, and thereby establish His righteous kingdom on Earth. When the nation opens its eyes to the wisdom of God, the arguments of the “intellectual elite” Secular thinkers will crumble and join the dust of all other foolish and erroneous ideologies.
As the church, we have the obligation to witness and work to prepare the world for the return of Christ. As a Christian nation we are the world’s bright and shining city upon a hill giving hope to the nations. If we choose to implement Christian policies and show the good societal fruit from our discipline and love, then the unbelieving nations will see our good witness and God will be glorified. When men truly love God and neighbor as self, the Kingdom of God has come on Earth.