Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Myth of a Secular America

When you Google anything about America's religious or Christian heritage one thing is obvious:  the bloggers on the left are careful to omit leading American historians who have dealt with the history of religion in America as a specialty.

No quotes from the Library of Congress and their Web exhibit on Religion and the Founding of the United States--which reads like a David Barton book.

No quotes from Sydney E Ahlstrom, David D. Hall.  No quotes from Martin Marty (prof. emeritus at University of Chicago and expert in the field of religion in America).   No citations from the brilliant work of David Ross Williams or classics like Moses Coit Tyler,

All of these eminent American historians underscore just how much religion and especially Christianity permeated the colonies and the young nation as it fought for Independence, as it formed its Constitution, and traversed it's first century as the United States.

Especially targeted on the left's fantastic tirades is David Barton, founder of WallBuilders.  He is somehow a "pseudo-historian."  Really?  What makes one a "pseudo-historian?"  They never say.

One reads things like Don S. Wilkey, Jr.'s blog (2002) ranting things like, "Professor Mark Whitten, who is also a Baptist minister, claims that Barton’s prayer-meeting story about the founding fathers and the Constitution is a myth."

Funny myth:  we have Ben Franklin's address to the Constitutional Convention recorded in the official records of the proceedings calling for daily prayer.  And, while the motion didn't pass due to financial constraints of hiring a chaplain, they did adjourn for three days with the encouragement to attend church  and prayer.  And we have the journal of Jonathan Dayton saying that the whole tone changed, and other delegates record that they finally started having prayer and the difference it made.  I guess Franklin, Dayton, and the others just made it all up.

Oh, and Whitten's endorsements on his book--not a single historian! All theology professors or others outside the discipline.  That's strange!  Wonder why?  Could it be his being strongly affiliated with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a leftist activist group?

Here's a mythbuster for your secularists myth makers:

George Washington's farewell address:

" Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness"  (Sept. 17, 1796).

Wow!  Guess David Barton made that up!

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