Removing the Ancient Landmarks

By David M. McNabb

Alan Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard University, ended his recent editorial by voicing a sentiment which seems to be growing in popularity, “Not only do the Ten Commandments not belong in public courthouses or classrooms, they do not even belong - at least without some amendments and explanatory footnotes - in the hearts and minds of contemporary Americans.”

Christian expression has come under further attack in the past few months, where we have seen the removal of a 10 Commandments monument in Alabama and plaques bearing Bible quotations at the Grand Canyon, and an effort to strike the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Editorial columnist Leonard Pitts states what most Americans living today commonly believe, “This is not a ‘Christian’ nation founded on ‘Christian’ principles.” That statement is in stark contrast to one made by the Governor of New Jersey nearly a century ago on May 7, 1911. He said, “America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.” That man would later become the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. Apparently, such views did not garner the same response then as they would today.

Modern revisionist historians would have us believe that the founding fathers were Deists, believing that God created the world but then backed off and has no influence in future events, thus explaining away references to the Creator in the Constitution and other foundational documents.

David Limbaugh, author of the New York Times best-selling book “Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging Political War Against Christianity,” asserts that the daily headlines are not isolated incidents but part of a “systematic, comprehensive assault” on Christianity at all levels of society.

He correctly points out that much of the headway gained by secularists is a direct result of the term “separation of church and state,” a term that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. It is a perversion of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

To determine if the Constitution’s authors implied “separation of church and state,” one need only hear a few of the things they themselves said.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd president of the U.S., said in his second Inaugural Address in 1805, “We need the favor of that Being ... who led our forefathers ... that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures ...”

John Adams, who served as George Washington’s vice-president during both of his terms and as the 2nd president of the United States, wrote the following in his diary on February 22, 1756:

“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law-book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance and frugality and industry; to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men. And to piety, love and reverence towards Almighty God. In this Commonwealth no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness or lust; no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards or any other trifling and mean amusement; no man would steal or lie, or in any way defraud his neighbor, but would live in peace and good will with all men; no man would blaspheme his maker or profane his worship; but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion would reign in all hearts. What a utopia, what a paradise would this region be!”

His tenure as vice-president and president did not seem to affect his devotion to God, as is evidenced by a statement he made to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813: “The General Principles on which the fathers achieved independence were ... the general principles of Christianity in which all the sects were united. And the General Principles of English and American liberty ... those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. ...”

It was devout men of faith that set the landmarks of American attitude towards God. King Solomon admonishes, “Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28).

“Blest with victory and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the Star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave”
(From the fourth stanza of our National Anthem).