On July 4th of this year, Hobby Lobby ran newspaper ads that included the Bible verse “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord” and was titled “One Nation Under God” and included numerous references of America’s religious and Christian influence. Hobby Lobby has been placing similar ads on US holidays since 1995. As usual, atheists went ballistic, especially the Freedom From Religion Foundation. There’s nothing new in any of this.
That’s why American Vision has republished Benjamin F. Morris’ 1000-page book The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States first published in 1864, my book America’s Christian History: The Untold Story, and Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer’s book The United States: A Christian Nation that was first published in 1905.
When Kirk Fordice (1934–2004), former Governor of Mississippi, stated without reservation that “America is a Christian nation,” the response from many bordered on the hysterical. The governor’s controversial remarks landed him on CNN. His comments are perceptive and irrefutable. He stated simply:
Christianity is the predominant religion in America. We all know that’s an incontrovertible fact. The media always refer to the Jewish state of Israel. They talk about the Muslim country of Saudi Arabia, of Iran, of Iraq. We all talk about the Hindu nation of India. America is not a nothing country. It’s a Christian Country.
History is on the side of Governor Fordice as Terry Eastland, publisher of The Weekly Standard, has confirmed after his in-depth study of the history of America. “Protestant Christianity has been our established religion in almost every sense of that phrase…. The establishment of Protestant Christianity was one not only of law but also, and far more importantly, of culture. Protestant Christianity supplied the nation with its ‘system of values.’” This statement of historical fact, inscribed into law by the United States Supreme Court, etched into charters and state constitutions, and echoed by presidents and governors for nearly four centuries, clashes with modern‑day secular assumptions and the normless ideals of multiculturalism, political correctness, and moral relativism.
The reality of America’s Christian roots run deep and wide throughout the landscape of our nation’s history. At every point in our nation’s past, America’s Christian heritage can be seen at nearly every turn through the voluminous historical records that have been painstakingly preserved. And beyond the proof inscribed in the official story of America, there is the abundant anecdotal evidence that surfaces from every corner of the globe.
In 1931 the U.S. Supreme Court noted that the United States is a Christian nation. In a mid‑Atlantic summit with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the darkest hours of World War II, President Roosevelt–who had described the United States as “the lasting concord between men and nations, founded on the principles of Christianity”–asked the crew of an American warship to join him in a rousing chorus of the hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”
In 1947, writing to Pope Pius XII, President Truman said flatly, “This is a Christian nation.”
Nobody argued with any of them.
If any president made such claims today, he would be derided by a hostile press and mocked by an academic elite in the highly charged atmosphere of political correctness that has imbedded itself into discussion forums at every level of our society. As a presidential candidate Jimmy Carter told reporters in June of 1976 that “We have a responsibility to try to shape government so that it does exemplify the will of God.”
A great deal of the editorial savagery leveled against Governor Fordice could have been alleviated if the historical record had been studied in an objective way. But even this would not have been enough. Facts are not the problem. There is often a bias against things Christian. Religion is fine, say the secularists, if it remains a private affair and does not spill over into the areas of morality, education, and politics. But this is not the America of history.
What It’s Not
The claim that America has a distinct Christian heritage does not mean that every American is now or ever was a Christian. Moreover, it does not mean that either the Church or the State should force people to profess belief in Christianity or attend religious services. Furthermore, a belief in a Christian heritage for America does not mean that non‑Christians, and for that matter, dissenting Christians, cannot hold contrary opinions in a climate of a general Christian consensus.
What It Is
It’s one thing to claim that there is no evidence of a Christian heritage for America and prove it. It’s another thing to fabricate history to suit one’s entrenched presuppositions. An honest study of America’s past will show that most Americans shared a common religion and ethic. America’s earliest founders were self‑professing Christians and their founding documents expressed a belief in a Christian worldview. John Winthrop’s sermon aboard the Arabella in 1630 is one piece of evidence supporting this historical truth.
For the persons, we are a Company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ….
For the work we have in hand, it is by a mutual consent through a special overruling providence, and a more than an ordinary approbation of the Churches of Christ to seek out a place of Cohabitation and Consortship under a due form of Government both civil and ecclesiastical….
Freedom and liberty, ideals cherished by all Americans, were rooted in a biblical moral order. Liberty was not license. Freedom was not the right always to do what one pleased. Winthrop’s definition of liberty is far from the modern meaning. As it is usually defined today, liberty is freedom from moral restraints. One is not truly free, according to the contemporary use of the term, if one is bound by any moral code.
America’s Christian History: The Untold Story
Christianity is written on every page of America’s amazing history. Gary DeMar presents well-documented facts which will change your perspective about what it means to be a Christian in America; the truth about America’s Christian past as it relates to supreme court justices, and presidents; the Christian character of colonial charters, state constitutions, and the US Constitution; the Christian foundation of colleges, the Christian character of Washington, D.C.; the origin of Thanksgiving and so much more.