Is Our Nation Based On Christianity? How Can We Legally Teach The Bible And Get God Back In Schools Again? And What Is the Proper Role of the Press? It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from YOU, the listeners! Always answering your questions from Constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your questions such as: What does the Constitution really say in regard to freedom of religion, how can we legally teach the Bible and get God back in schools, and In regards to our news media today, what have our Founders said about the First Amendment and about a free press? You don’t want to miss this Foundations of Freedom Thursday!
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
Air Date: 12/21/2017
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Thomas Jefferson Quote:
Thomas Jefferson said, “The constitution of most of our states and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves.
That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, other areas of the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
Today we’re with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.
You can find out more about us at our websites, we have two of them. WallBuilders.com is our main website. That’s where you get a wealth of information and tools for your family and yourself to get educated on the things that made America great, and a Biblical worldview of how we can be good citizens.
And then also at WallBuildersLive.com, you can get the archives of our programs. You can go back several weeks and catch some of those great interviews; you can get more of our Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs, Good News Fridays as well.
Foundations of Freedom Thursday
And that’s what today is, Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So we get a chance to dive into your questions and dive into some of those Constitutional principles. David, Tim, you guys ready to go?
You bet. Fire away.
Constitutional Freedom of Religion
This first one comes from Tommy and it’s on Constitutional freedom of religion. It says, “What does the Constitution really say in regards to freedom of religion? As a Christian, I, of course, would love to see all citizens accept Jesus, but I have always wondered if we take the Constitution out of context when we push for Christianity to be accepted and used in the court? It’s definitely the best way but is it really Constitutional? I’m new to the program so forgive me if you’ve spoken about this before.”
Tommy, great question. Thank you for asking it. And sometimes we talk about things from years ago that maybe our new listeners haven’t heard.
Of course, David and Tim, religious liberty a huge issue in the culture today. And the perspective here seems to be that if we’re pushing for, or we’re defending Christian principles in the public square, in a lot of these cases- these lawsuits. Does that mean that we’re forcing Christianity on citizens or are requiring them to become Christians? That’s kind of the way I read the question.
You Have to Distinguish Christianity as a Theological Belief and a System of Behavior
Yeah I think that’s what he’s asking. And the answer is really two different things: you have to be able to distinguish Christianity as the theological belief from Christianity is a system of behavior. And one does not relate to the other. You can be a Benjamin Franklin and operate your life by Christian values and behavior without being a Christian by theology and belief. And so that’s why Franklin is willing to tell Thomas Paine essentially, “Back off, bro.”
I mean look at the Christian behavior that people need to restrain their vice and to support their virtue. Thomas Paine was not a Christian, didn’t report to be, didn’t like Christianity. But it was Ben Franklin who reminded him that, “Look, you act right because you had Christian values when you were raised.”
For Example, the Golden Rule
So asking for something like the Golden Rule to be taught, that is a Christian teaching that comes from Jesus but it’s not theology. It is behavior.
And by the way, for those that don’t know, the Golden Rule says, “You do to others what you want done to yourself.” So you put yourself in their position and say, “If I would’ve wanted to be treated this way, then I need to treat someone else in that same way.” It’s kind of like sowing and reaping.
That’s a good thing to learn. And if you want other people to be nice to you, be nice to them. If you don’t want them to lie about you, don’t lie about them. It’s just a great behavioral standard.
And I can advocate for that Christian standard in a public arena without advocating the Christian religion. I’m not saying you have to believe the golden rule to go to heaven. I’m not saying that the golden rule is the only door for a life with Jesus- I mean that’s not it.
And the same when you look at something like the Good Samaritan. Virtually every one of our states have what are called “Good Samaritan Laws.” The Good Samaritan teaching comes only in Christianity. It does not come in any other religion at all. And the fact that states have adopted that does not mean they’ve become Christian states. So it helps sets the tone and the atmosphere quite frankly.
There Has To Be a Moral Code for Freedom to Work
Well, and there has to be a moral code, a moral compass, that guides our operation or behavior of our daily life.
And what the Founding Fathers understood and the reason they promoted Christianity is there’s no higher moral standard, there’s no higher moral code, moral compass, than that of Christianity.
And frankly, if we said, “Hey, we’re going to have to have some kind of moral boundaries to operate as a free society. Because if we say everybody can do whatever they want, however, they feel- that’s just not going to work very well very long. Because ultimately people are going to start stealing, and robbing, and murdering, and raping, and things that are terrible but to them it seemed like a good idea.”
So there has to be beyond just what ‘seemed right to me or what felt right to me. There has to be a higher level that we’re all going to function, or freedom won’t work. So what’s the highest standard of morality that we could agree to function under?”
There’s No Higher Standard of Morality Than That of Christianity
Well, there’s no higher standard of morality than that of Christianity for multiple reasons. But I would challenge any listener that would question that: well, what standard of morality is higher than that of Christianity? This is where for the Founding Fathers, even though we could argue that not every one of them was a Christian although the majority were, even the ones who weren’t Christian were largely in favor of Christian morality, of Christianity, because of the moral standards that it produced.
And this is where as a Christian- well, I was going to say Christian nation, we’re not exactly a Christian nation, but as a nation that is operating by Christian standards and principles. It’s not imposing that people have a theological view that lines up with Christianity, rather that we follow the moral behavior set out in the principles of Christianity.
Christianity is Preventative of Bad Behavior
And what you get with that Rick, is, for example, look at folks like John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They talked about for example the Old Testament code said “Don’t kill.” But Jesus comes along and says, “Hey don’t even hate.”
Well, as they pointed out, hating prevents murder. And whereas a lot of codes try to deal with the outside, the Christian code tries to deal with the inside.
If you can prevent the hate, you’re going to stop the murder. Whereas the Old Testament code says, “Don’t commit adultery.”
Jesus comes along and says, “I’m telling you don’t even lust in your heart.” Well, if you stop the lust, you have prevented the adultery.
So it’s the Christian code that really does so much to prevent behavior from being bad before it becomes bad. I mean it is the preventative.
Jefferson Wrote “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”
And that’s why you have someone like Thomas Jefferson, that we’re not going to claim he’s Christian, but Thomas Jefferson nevertheless did “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” in which he identified 81 moral teachings of Jesus. And said, “If you live by these teachings you’ll be a great citizen, will solve so many behavioral problems, etc.”
So that is what Congress gave out for 50 years with Jefferson’s “Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” Not because Jefferson believed in the theology of Jesus, but because he believed in the morals and the moral teachings of Jesus.
And so that’s a distinction that needs to be made.
Understanding Original Intent
Plus you also get into the thing of trying to, if you’re going to try to interpret something the right way you need to understand kind of its original intent if you will. That’s why we talk about originalism, original intent, going back to the original meaning of the Founding Fathers.
So if you look at where we are- here we are on Earth, we have been created in such a place that we breathe a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, our atmosphere. We have a mixture of gases that allows us to live. Now if you take us and put us on the moon we will die. Because there is nothing there that allows us to operate in the system in which we were created. We have to be in this system with this mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases in order to survive.
The Founding Fathers Created the Constitution Under the Atmosphere of Christianity
Well, the Founding Fathers created the Constitution under the atmosphere of Christianity. And Stephen Cole, who was a great legal writer, a few generations of our Founders talked about how that Christianity was the atmosphere in which the Constitution was created. And if you take it out of that atmosphere it is not going to work well. It’s like taking a human to the moon and leaving him on the moon, they will die. Because it doesn’t work well.
So you have to try to understand and interpret the Constitution according to the atmosphere. Now, this is real different from saying that, “You have to attend a Christian church to have Constitutional rights.” Or “You have to, when it comes to communion, you have to believe in transubstantiation over consubstantiation.” Or whatever. I mean that’s doctrinal stuff and that’s what the government has no business doing.
Christianity Generates an Atmosphere of Freedom
So you can provide freedom of religion for all religions, even those that are not Christian, within the atmosphere and spirit of Christian beliefs and values, because Jesus is all about free market choosing. He said, “Whoever will, let him take up his cross, follow me.”
He doesn’t require coercion. He’s going to let you make your choice, you choose, and if you choose wrong you’ll pay for it. I mean, at least according to our Christian beliefs, we believe that’s not the right choice. And there is a Heaven and Hell that you’ll have to deal with. But that’s your choice.
That’s an atmosphere you’re not going to get under other religions, right? I mean-
Oh, no way.
Christian Behavior is Good to Promote In Courts and Civil Society
No. No way. And so that’s what makes it so different. So yes, you can still have freedom of religion and still promote Christianity in the courts and other items, as long as you’re not promoting Christian theology. But Christian behavior, or Christian beliefs, Christian context, the Christian free market of religion system that Christianity teaches- that’s really good stuff to have promoted in courts and throughout civil society.
Yeah and on the government side, you’re not forcing people to adhere to the theology, you’re giving them the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of actions and the atmosphere that’s created there. Got to take a quick break.
Send In Your Questions to [email protected]
It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Folks you may have questions for David or Tim, you can send them in to [email protected], [email protected] We’ll get to as many as we can today. Back with another one when we come back on WallBuilders Live.
Thomas Jefferson Quote:
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.
I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.
This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com. That’s www.WallBuilders.com.
Abraham Lincoln Quote:
Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
The Bible And Public Education
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. You can get more of these programs at our website WallBuildersLive.com. Just go into that archive section and go back through the past few weeks and we’ll have more of these where we take your questions and dive into these foundational principles.
Next question is William Richelson sent a question on public education. He said, “Hey, I just have to say that I love your show guys, and the wealth of information I learn every day.”
Thank you, sir.
“I’m 26 with a wife, two young kids, and one on the way- only a month into pregnancy.”
“I say this because as my role in my family as a spiritual leader, I want to be active in my kids’ education, learn what made our country great, and possibly learn how to run for a school board position so that I can influence my kid’s education and education in my community. So my question is, can you elaborate on Horace Mann’s comment so I can get a better understanding of what he is saying? Is this way of thinking still applicable to today in legal terms? And if so how can we legally get God back in school and face the arguments as, ‘arrogant to consider one true God,’ etc.”
So good question, guys! He wants, this Horace Mann quote we’re going to share, and he wants to know is that still applicable in today’s society?
Horace Mann’s Quote About Public Education
Well, the Horace Mann quote, and for those who don’t know, Horace Mann is often called “the Father of Public Education.” He was very active in the public school system in Massachusetts throughout New England, and many others cited him as an authority on education. He was considered kind of the educational guru of the day.
And here’s what he said about public schools, and this is the quote from Horace Mann, he said very simply, “That our public schools are not theological seminaries is admitted. That they are debarred by law from inculcating the peculiar and distinctive doctrines of any one religious denomination among us as claimed. And that they are also prohibited from ever teaching what they do teach is the whole of religion, or all that is essential to religion or salvation is certainly equal. But our system earnestly inculcates all Christian morals. It founds its dogmas on the basis of religion. It welcomes the religion of the Bible, and in receiving the Bible it allows it to do what is allowed and no other system to speak for itself.”
The Bible Can Be Taught, But Allow It to Speak for Itself
So that’s the quote. And once you get the quote is what we’re talking about in the first segment. You can’t teach theological doctrines, but you can teach the Bible. You can teach the atmosphere and the general beliefs. And as he said, you allow the Bible to speak for itself. You don’t put doctrines into it, and you do inculcate Christian morals and the basis of religion, which is the religion of the Bible. It says public education welcomes the religion of the Bible.
But this is the distinction again. And by the way, the U.S. Supreme Court, four years earlier than this, in 1844 in a unanimous decision said, “Of course, you can teach the Bible without comment at the public schools. It’s expected. We wouldn’t have a school in America that wouldn’t teach the Bible. But you’re not allowed to inject your doctrines into it whether it’s a Baptist, or Methodist, or Catholic, or Presbyterian, or anything else. But you let the Bible speak for itself.”
Bible Curriculums Continue to Exist on School Campuses Across the Nation
And that’s what we did in education. That’s the way we did it in the schools. Now it’s claimed that you can’t do that today. But that’s not accurate. You really can.
I mean there’s a number of programs out there, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools use that the Bible only as a textbook is a course for credit in public schools. About 1,200 school districts use it, about 200,000 kids have gone through it.
You also have what’s called the Bible Literacy Project- 640 schools use that, again studying the Bible. There’s a group out of Chattanooga, I think they have 47 or 48 schools that they do Bible curriculum for.
So this can still be done, but it’s just that you will not hear that today. And if you try to do one of these courses somebody is going to object. But then you just point out what the law is and the law is really clear, and that’s why these things continue to exist on now nearly 2,000 school campuses across the nation.
Even If You Don’t Attend Public School, You Can Bring These Curriculums To Your Community
And people can actually be part of bringing that to their community, right? I mean even if you don’t go to the local public school, you can get it with National Council and say, “Hey-” Bible Curriculum of National schools, you can say “Hey, I want to help bring one.” They’ll send you a kit, it’ll tell you how to go to the school board, how to get it brought into that particular school.
Yeah, it’s real easy to do. And by the way, there’s even some great books that are out there. One of the things we have through WallBuilders is a couple of books that we reprinted that were used in public schools across America for generations. We actually took the 1947 copy of the Old Testament course used in public schools, it says “Dallas Schools” on the outside but it was used in Dallas, and Cincinnati, and St. Louis, and Indianapolis, and elsewhere.
Start a Good News Club
And there’s also a New Testament course from Dallas Public Schools, and they were used until the 1970’s. And so they are still great textbooks to use because there is nothing but the Bible as the textbook for this course. Now whether you use it in public schools or not, you ought to get it and read it yourself just as an adult because you’ll be astounded at how much is there that we don’t even teach in church anymore. But it’s good stuff.
But yes, Rick, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, and by the way start a Good News Club in your public school.
In the Westside v. Mergens Supreme Court Case, the Unanimous Ruling Said That Bible Clubs and the Like Are Constitutional
I mean get a Good News Club going, or start Bible Clubs. The Supreme Court case called Westside v. Mergens was an 8-0 unanimous decision that says, “Of course, you can have Bible Clubs at school, or evangelism clubs, or whatever.” After that decision in a period of about 18 months, there were 12,000 public schools that started Bible Clubs in the schools. And those are completely Constitutional. We have a unanimous decision on that from this generation. So there’s a lot that can be done.
But I go back to something William mentioned, he said he’s got kids coming up now and another one on the way. He mentioned that he wants to be able maybe to run for School Board. And in running for school board, to be able to do something good. I tell you there are very few places where you can get that will not have more substantial impact than at a local school board.
Get Involved in Your Local School Board
But here’s the deal, if you’re going to run for a local school board, be determined to go in as an independent person. Don’t go into rubber stamp what the educrats want. And I use the term “educrats” because they call themselves educators, but they’re usually more concerned about the system than they are about the kids.
If You Run For School Board, Go as an Independent Voice
If they were concerned about the kids, they would be blowing up the system because the scores keep getting lower and lower with more money spent. So they do their best to keep the system together, they fight educational choice, they don’t want competition, they don’t want outside influence.
So if you get on a school board don’t say, “Well, the school board attorney says- You know, we’ve talked to the teachers-
The superintendent recommends- “No, no, no. You go as an independent voice. Go and look at what’s best for kids. You look at the metrics, look at what works, what doesn’t work. There’s stuff all over the nation that you can point to. You want the best for those kids. So when you go for a school board, determine to be an independent voice when you go for school board.
Running for School Board Is A Lot Easier Than Folks Think It Is
Now running for school board is a lot easier than folks think that it is. One of the books that we recommend to anybody who wants to run at a local race like that is a book called “Running God’s Way.” It’s by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler who started in local politics. And she takes you through step by step on how to run a local campaign; how to do yard signs, and how to do precincts and everything you need to know to run a local race. It’s a terrific book.
“Running God’s Way” By Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler Is a Great Resource
Tim and I’ve been asked over recent years to help some Christian universities, colleges start school of government programs and this is one of the books we use in that school of government program. It’s just really important, it helps you know how to run the local races.
So I hope William gets involved in that, but the Horace Mann quote is exactly right. It’s fine to teach the Bible as long as you’re not teaching doctrine. You let the Bible speak for itself. It’s been that way since unanimous Supreme Court decision 1844. And even to this day, you can still do that in public schools and, should do that in public schools.
We’re going to take a quick break! We’ve got time for more questions when we return, so stay with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday on WallBuilders Live.
Calvin Coolidge Quote:
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Samuel Adams Quote:
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country and the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
What Is the Job Of the Press?
We’re back on WallBuilders Live! Foundations of Freedom Thursday today, taking your questions. Here’s the next one, it’s from Steve.
He said, “I have worked at the local and national news media, and one thing I’ve consistently seen is a lack of understanding of why we in the media do what we do. Never do newsrooms understand the incredible role we play in a free society. Nor do they even seem to care. This is terribly disappointing and terribly detrimental.
“I live in New York City and have spoken to groups about this, and I can tell you people are craving for a news media to simply do what they are supposed to do. So my question is this, what have our Founders said about the First Amendment and a free press? How did they explain the importance of the press? And was there any debate about that?
“The way I have explained it is that our job is to make sure politicians are doing their job. Their job is to protect our God-given rights, therefore we are on a mission from God. Please help. Thanks, Steve.”
The Press Is to Hold Politicians Accountable to Protect Our God-Given Rights
Now that’s an interesting perspective. Press is on a mission from God to make sure the politicians are protecting our God-given rights. So David, Tim, he asked about what the founders had to say about this. Other than the Founders telling us to not watch CNN, what else did they tell us? Surely we can find that in one of their tweets somewhere.
But look at how well we’re obeying the founders- nobody’s watching CNN. If it wasn’t for
That is so true!
“Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant”
We are still following the original intent. What Steve’s got on here is exactly right. And the Founders saw the free press as a check and balance. It goes back to what Bill Bennett, former secretary of education under Ronald Reagan, said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. And so when the press is doing what the press is supposed to do, it brings stuff to light, it exposes. And we’re told in the Bible that light brings to surface the hidden things of darkness.
Today the Press Is Being Used More to Evangelize than to Inform
So that’s what light is supposed to do, that’s what press is supposed to do. But the problem we have now is that’s not the role of the press at this point. It should be, but we know going all the way back to Rothman Lichter studies that of the 250 bureau chiefs in Washington, D.C. 68% say that they feel like they have a moral responsibility to convert people to their viewpoint in the press. So they’re using press as an evangelistic tool rather than as an informational tool.
Mary Katherine Goddard Ran Two Major Newspapers In the Founding Era
And if you go back to what it was in the Founding Era, one of the heroes that just few people have ever heard about is a lady named Mary Katherine Goddard. Mary Katherine Goddard is a lady that ran two major newspapers in the Founding Era. She ran one in Philadelphia and then she moved to Maryland and ran the press in Maryland. As a matter of fact, when the Declaration of Independence was printed, it was her newspaper that printed the Declaration of Independence in Maryland. And she’s also was appointed by Congress to a position.
So people who say that women didn’t have any positions Founding Era- no, look at Mary Katherine Goddard. But so often, so rarely do we look at examples like that. We try to stereotype, brush stuff over. But here’s a lady who was placed by Congress in a position in Baltimore. But significantly, she ran these newspapers nearly all of her adult life. And when she died at a long career, long career in media she died. It’s interesting that at the time of her death, the commentary was that with all of her years of publishing newspapers, even at the time of her death, no one knew what she personally believed about any issue.
Mary Katherine Goddard Reported Without Bias
Because she was so good in the press of just reporting what was going on, and putting it out there, and making sure the people knew. And she didn’t want her opinions to get in the way of them making a good decision. And so that was really the role of the press back then- was to put out their position.
Well, I would also venture to say that one of the things that has changed in the press, and really maybe the reason it’s changed, is the press feels like they need to convert people in a modern era where there is no absolutes, where everything is subjective, where it’s a postmodernist to culture.
Earlier America Held A More Uniform Moral Code, Today Many People Hold that There Are No Absolutes
Whereas earlier America there was a more uniform code of moral standards and behavior. And so I don’t need to convince you that murder is wrong. I don’t need to convince you that rape is wrong- I’m using, of course, extreme examples that certainly hopefully everybody in America today can agree and go, “Oh no, those are totally wrong.”
But we look at things that have happened in political realms over the last several years, and whether it was back with President Obama who has a pen and a phone, or President Trump and his tweets.
“You Have Both Sides Arguing About the Morality of Right and Wrong.”
And now you have both sides arguing about the morality of right and wrong. And “Can somebody do this, and not do that?” instead of just saying, “This is what was done.” In a subjective culture where truth is up to the individual, then reporter- I can see why reporters would want to think that, “I need to help you see how bad this is.”
Because there is no longer a uniform system or code of morality that back with Katherine, where she could say, “Ok, so he said this, and then this happened, and this happened.” She’s not putting a bias into it. But I would also think that maybe they didn’t feel they needed to present a bias as much because there was a uniform code of morality back then.
Press in Early America Would Separate Fact From Opinion
Yeah, that was part of it. But at the same time, there were opinions back then and even different moral codes, as proved by slavery.
And so I even looked at the Washington, D.C. newspapers that were around the Congress at the time, and they will go through and they will talk about the debates in Congress, and they will say, “One side said this, and one side said the other.” And then they will say, “Oh, by the way, here’s our opinion.” And they would trash Daniel Webster, and they would trash John Quincy Adams. And then they would go back, “Now we’re back to our reporting.”
The Press Is to Bring Things To Light Without Deviating From Facts
So they even let you know when it was their personal opinion, which today so much personal opinion is disguised as news. And as Tim said, we’re at a place where we don’t believe in truth anymore. And so that’s the difference of a media now versus a media back in the Founding Era, was you did have some absolutes and even those who crossed that would tell you when they crossed it.
Christianity, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Press
Well, folks, we’ll have more questions from you next Thursday on our Foundations of Freedom Thursday program. Or you can go back in the archives and listen to some of those past programs if you’d like to. Tomorrow will be Good News Friday! And we love bringing you that good news, so be sure to tune in. We appreciate you listening today to WallBuilders Live.
Thomas Jefferson Quote:
Thomas Jefferson said,
“In questions of power then let no more be heard of competence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”