08 May, 2017

Debunking Foundation Denial: The Problem of Left-Wing Hypersecularism

Has anyone heard the argument coming from leftists denying the faith of the people who founded this country? I have, countless times. It's an argument coming mainly from members of the Nihilist Left — organizations like the FFRF and the ACLU which engage in flat-out denial whenever Christians claim, rightly so, that this country was founded on values that were clearly Judeo-Christian. What they don't realize is that many of the Constitution's original writers not only were Christians themselves but explicitly cited a Christian motive as the reason why they founded this country, three of whom are also cited by Greg Laurie's book "Hope for America" which I am honored to have read.

The most blatant example of a Founding Father who grounded that motive is none other than Patrick "Liberty or Death" Henry. In another work, post-revolution, he wrote, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here." In other words, Patrick Henry stated that it was precisely because of the fact that the country was founded by Christians that they felt compelled by the Christian concept of grace to advocate for allowing religious minorities to worship (or not) as they please.

Another founding father who echoed this was none other than the man who fought for our independence and was elected our first President, George Washington. He stated, "To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian." George Washington actually believed that it was more honorable to be a Christian than to be a war hero! Of course, anyone who has witnessed someone jumping on a grenade to save his fellow troops should feel quite familiar with this. The person who jumps on the grenade dies, but others are saved. Jesus jumped on a far bigger grenade: our own sin. That's a grenade that is otherwise fatal to all 7 billion of us.

Our third President, and the man who actually drafted the Constitution in its original form — Thomas Jefferson — made a statement that can only be regarded as a stern, prophetic warning for modern Americans. It reads, "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their own firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? […] Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever." Jefferson, like Patrick Henry, was a foundationalist, who believed that American liberty in itself is only sustainable if it is on objective, not relativistic (and self-refuting​ by extension), grounds — and the only possible objective grounds for morality are theological grounds.

Okay, but didn't the founding fathers own slaves? Sure they did, but abolitionism was also grounded in Christian values. Abraham Lincoln — the President who fought a civil war to end slavery — put it this way during his Second Inaugural Address: "It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces […] Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue […] until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'" Lincoln, like other abolitionists including British abolitionist William Wilburforce, believed, rightly so, that slavery was and always has been an injustice. He cited examples like the Exodus and the commandment by Jesus to love everyone, including enemies, just as much as they love themselves to support this belief. People who owned slaves, meanwhile, would claim that because they were pagans back in Africa they didn't deserve to be free, despite the fact that forced conversion is expressly forbidden by Jesus (John 18:11) and therefore is at best hypocrisy and at worst heresy.

There are, I'm sure, countless others, but the point that these quotes make is very clear: Either America is Christian or it will cease to exist as we know it. Denial of this foundation sets the entire country up for polarization and failure, as left-wing anti-Trump rebels are doing a great job of displaying through immoral means (namely, vandalism, arson, assault, and battery). These deniers are the same people who, in a totalitarian manner, label those who disagree with them, often falsely (straw man fallacy), then use those labels as calls to violence. Only when this denial is debunked not only politically but also culturally can this country truly become free again.