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America's Culture War: Founding Fathers

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Our Republic Depends on Christianity?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Much disagreement exists regarding the foundations of civil government and the perpetuation of civilization and society. The current “politically correct” viewpoint insists that the strength of America lies in its pluralism—the acceptance and celebration of differing religions, ideologies, and philosophies. The widespread attempt to sanitize American schools, courts, and government by eradicating all references to God, Christ, and the Bible are a manifestation of this belief. The thought is that the stability and continuance of the nation lies in its willingness to embrace diversity, toleration, and acceptance. In stark contrast, the architects of American civilization stated just the opposite.

Jedidiah Morse was born in Woodstock, Connecticut on August 23, 1761, the son of a Congregationalist minister. After being homeschooled, he graduated from Yale in 1783—the year the Revolutionary War ended. Morse published the first American textbook on geography, Geography Made Easy, in 1784. His work in that field earned for him the title “Father of American Geography.” His works were adopted widely in schools, colleges, and libraries and were used in thousands of homes. His eldest son, Samuel F.B. Morse, became a famous inventor, even developing the Morse Code (“Morse, Jedidiah,” 2007).

In an election sermon given at Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 25, 1799, this American patriot offered the following chilling warning—an observation not unlike many of the Founders:

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them (1799, p. 9, emp. added).

If Morse was correct, America is in a dire predicament—literally teetering on the brink of national disaster and destruction. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

REFERENCES

Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin), [On-line]: URL: http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.

“Morse, Jedidiah” (2007), Encyclopædia Britannica, [On-line]: URL: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9053833.




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