I felt it necessary to post my open letter to syndicated columnist and Fox contributor Cal Thomas. The reason is without it, I would feel it necessary to re-explain everything I shared in this letter in my upcoming blog post about the Syrian refugees. Time is of the essence for most of us and I value each of you that follow my posts as well as your time. So without any further adieu, this is a letter I sent to Mr. Thomas on September 16, 2015.
Dear Mr. Thomas,
On September 11, 2015 you published an article titled “America has never been a ‘Christian’ nation. Kim Davis picked the wrong issue.” Wow. I have to say that this offends me personally on so many levels. It offends me as an American in part because you refuse to acknowledge how our Constitutional Republic is supposed to work in regard to creating laws. It offends me as an academic because anyone with internet access can find quotes from the founding fathers that share their hearts and insight when it came to God, Jesus and our Constitutional Republic. Lastly, it offends me as a seeker of peace and unity. It’s clear from your tone that you are not interested in an open discussion on this issue. You have chosen instead to give a tongue lashing to all who would call themselves followers of Jesus and who desire nothing more than the freedom to live with a clean conscience before their Creator. I believe it is you Mr. Thomas who picked the wrong issue. However, the truth can still set you free.
In your intro you state, “Let’s get something straight. America has never been a ‘Christian nation.’ Those who believe otherwise have an obligation to say what part of our history was uniquely Christian. Was it when slavery was legal? How about when women were denied the vote? The Gilded Age? The Roaring ’20s?”
For you Mr. Thomas, I’m willing to go the extra mile and share a bit about the peripheral issues you used to attempt to validate your argument. However, I want to address your initial statement first, which was, “Those who believe otherwise have an obligation to say what part of our history was uniquely Christian.” Very well Mr. Thomas. This is the part of our history that is not only uniquely Christian, but the bedrock on which our government and laws were formed.
“The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. The Pilgrims, fleeing religious persecution, broke away from the Church of England because they felt the Church violated biblical principles of true Christians. Due to persecution and economic distress, they believed they had to break away from the Church of England to form congregations which were more in keeping with divine requirements. Coming out of the recent Reformation, the pilgrims believed the Church of England had not come far enough. The Church was under strict rule of the State so their actions were considered treasonous and these Separatists had to flee their homeland.
Determined and very courageous men and women committed themselves (in all aspects of their lives) to life based on the Bible and a relationship with God. They brought their only known culture and spiritual values to the New World and attempted to establish an improved foundation of English society on an unfamiliar new continent.”
SOURCE: All About History
Where your premise fails Mr. Thomas is there is no defining point that makes America a Christian nation. In order to pick one specific point in time one would have to ignore the essence of our countries foundation. The reason this nation was founded and the government created was to escape religious persecution. This nation, at the very depths of its foundation was founded on the Bible and the principles from the Gospels of Jesus the Messiah.
If you need proof, which as an academic and journalist I assume is of the utmost importance to you, I’ve managed to drum up just a few quotes from some of our founding fathers and the sources from which they come. Sources were added for your conveyance, I hope you appreciate them. Now, a few words from our founding fathers.
GEORGE WASHINGTON : “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”
SOURCE: George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55, from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779
JOHN WITHERSPOON : “[C]hrist Jesus – the promise of old made unto the fathers, the hope of Israel [Acts 28:20], the light of the world [John 8:12], and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [Romans 10:4] – is the only Savior of sinners, in opposition to all false religions and every uninstituted rite; as He Himself says (John 14:6): “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
SOURCE: John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, p. 255, Sermon 15, “The Absolute Necessity of Salvation Through Christ,” January 2, 1758
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.”
SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383, to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse on June 26, 1822
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”
SOURCE: Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790
JOHN ADAMS: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”
SOURCE: John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.
JOHN DICKSON: “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.”
SOURCE: From the Last Will & Testament of John Dickinson, attested March 25, 1808.
JOHN HANCOCK: “Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.”
SOURCE: Independent Chronicle (Boston), November 2, 1780, last page; see also Abram English Brown, John Hancock, His Book (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1898), p. 269.
PATRICK HENRY: “Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”
SOURCE: A. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia (Auburn and Buffalo: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1854), p. 250
CONGRESS OF 1854 “The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
SOURCE: Journal of the House of the Representatives of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Cornelius Wendell, 1855), 34th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 354, January 23, 1856; see also: Lorenzo D. Johnson, Chaplains of the General Government With Objections to their Employment Considered (New York: Sheldon, Blakeman & Co., 1856), p. 35, quoting from the House Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 1856, and B. F. Morris, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), p. 328
As you can see Mr. Thomas based on what the founding fathers state the United States of America was built upon Christian principals, making it a Christian nation. To deny or say otherwise, you would have to rewrite history. But before that nasty idea creeps into your head, please allow me to remind you of the dangers in rewriting history.
If you need to know the exact dangers of rewriting history, just find any survivor of the holocaust. Adolf Hitler, in order to “create” the Aryan Race had to first rewrite the history of Germany. The fact is, Aryans were not and are not German. They were of Iranian and Indian descendant. In order for Hitler to establish an Aryan race he had to rewrite German history. He needed a history that fit into his narrative and into his belief system. History proves that the end result of Hitler’s narrative was 11 million people killed, 6 million of which were Jews. See, there’s a danger in rewriting history.
Now, to address the peripheral issues you have with American history as it pertains to slavery, women’s rights, The Gilded Age and The Roaring ’20s. There is not a single country on the face of this planet that doesn’t have skeletons in their closets. I feel it’s more applicable to quote the Apostle Paul who wrote, “for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. All of us have sinned, no one does good, we are all in need of a Savior. The founding fathers were not perfect. Is slavery wrong? YES. Is denying women equal rights wrong? YES. These are areas in which we failed greatly in human history. Hopefully, we can learn from our history and strive to make a better nation, and that’s what I believe we have done. Today, in 21st century America we have an African American as President. We have a woman and an African American man running for President in the Republican party. We have come so far as a nation. But despite all of our triumphs we have failed in not keeping the definition of marriage, the most sacred union, defined as God has always intended it. We have left the foundation upon which we were built.
Mr. Thomas, as you can probably tell I am quite upset by your comments and opinion. However, the great thing about this nation is we both can have an opinion and we are both given the freedom to express it openly without fear. My hope in writing you is that you will see that this nation, although it has strayed far from it’s foundation was in the very beginning intended to be a Christian nation. Though it may not resemble one now, my prayer is by God’s grace we, as a nation, will repent of our sins, and humbly ask Jesus the Only Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to forgive us and He will heal us, heal this land, and unite us once again, that we may truly be the United States of America.