Blind Faith, Indeed!
On Christmas Eve a “letter to the editor” titled “Blind Faith” proves that a little “googled information” about the Founders of this nation does not amount to knowledge. Furthermore, definitions and context matter when an understanding is truly desired and not the mere flaunting of one’s attempt at “reason”.
The American Revolution consists of the Declaration of Independence, the subsequent eight year war, and then the Constitutional Convention that replaced the Articles of Confederation with a brand new Constitution.
The author asserted that the Founders were mostly deists. Deism was “an 18th century movement or system of thought advocating natural religion based on human reason rather than revelation, emphasizing morality, and denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe.” In other words, God created and then withdrew from acting in history or human affairs. Even a casual reading of the Declaration of Independence reveals that it is an anti-deistic document that fifty-six of the brightest Americans ever assembled, including Thomas Jefferson, signed. The author, in his arrogance, would have his readers believe that the Signers, for the most part, were actually moral cowards who refused to uphold Deism by signing the document that is the very basis of American Exceptionalism! Not only did these men appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world to adjudicate their intentions but they also expressed a firm reliance upon the protection of Divine Providence in the coming conflict as they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. They expected that God would act! For instance, the fog and storm that enabled Washington’s army to escape the British at the Battle of Long Island as well as the subsequent storm at Yorktown that helped to prevent Cornwallis’ retreat were viewed by Washington as evidence of Divine Protection. At the conclusion of hostilities Washington wrote to Thomas Nelson (1778): “The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”
The Founders also had ready access to St. Paul’s declaration that nature is actually a clear revelation of God’s invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity (RSV) or godliness (KJV) that God expected would prompt an expression of thanksgiving from human beings.-Rom 1:19-21 Mr. Morgan seems to have more in common with the world renowned physicist Stephen W. Hawking and the late Christopher Hitchens, both atheists, who tout their reason and the scientific method to affirm that the basis of ultimate reality is irrational to wit: “Matter is Eternal” or “Something came from Nothing” and “all existence is an accident”. If both were perfectly consistent with their belief, then they would maintain that after death their dust could once again spontaneously initiate the process that results in the resurrection of himself given the nature of DNA! Hitchens’ hero was Thomas Paine who championed the American Revolution but then blindly embraced the atheistic, lawless spirit of the French Revolution barely escaping the guillotine after he fell out of favor with the ever-changing elites’ standard for reason.
The Founders sought to correct their first attempt at a governing document when the Articles of Confederation proved to be too weak. Washington presided over the assembly at Philadelphia initially convened to revise the Articles but the representatives quickly discovered the need for an entirely new document. The meeting was spurred on by Shay’s Rebellion that embodied the spectre of anarchy with communist overtones. Arduous labor ensued until Benjamin Franklin spoke admitting that the representatives seemed to lack the necessary political wisdom for the task at hand and urging an appeal to the Father of lights for his guidance “. . . to see this truth that God governs in the affairs of men.” After further wrangling, Washington eventually summed up the finished Constitution with these words to the Marquis de Lafayette (1788) to wit: “. . . I will confess to you sincerely, my dear Marquis, it will be so much beyond anything we had a right to imagine or expect eighteen months ago that it will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.” And then in his “Thanksgiving Proclamation” (1789) Washington declared: “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 favor.”
The letter’s citing of I Samuel, 15:23,I Peter 2:13, & Romans 13:1 that contain commands to “obey those in authority” actually calls attention to God’s great patience with human beings various political arrangements down through history. Many Americans appreciate the Founders choice that, while not presumptuously claiming to be a Christian nation, certainly aspired to be one. The Constitution codified the truths based on the Triune God as stated in the Declaration of Independence. While the states could, the Founders decision not to designate a particular Christian denomination as the official church for the nation did not mean that they blasphemously repudiated reliance upon God. When taking the Presidential Oath, Washington’s humble request for God’s help as well as the provision for Congressional chaplains confirm the original thinking and faith of the Founders. Our Revolution was not secular!
David Barton’s Original Intent, Peter A. Lillback’s Sacred Fire, Glenn Beck’s Being George Washington and atheist Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal along with Matthew 25:12-30 & Ezekiel 46:18 contain many of those “stubborn facts” worth knowing about our nation’s founding.
William M. Yavelak