Christian Nation Or Secular? What Is America’s True History: It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners!  Today we are discussing if America is a Christian nation, if it ever was a Christian nation, and what were the Founding Fathers intentions? Tune in now to find out! 

This episode was recorded on May 1, 2014. We hope you enjoy reminiscing this podcast as much as we did!

Air Date: 07/20/2017


Guests: David Barton and Rick Green.


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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.

Welcome

Intro:

Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our Country and the freedom of our civil Constitution are worth defending against hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

Rick:

You found your way to the intersection of faith and politics, this is WallBuilders Live!

Thanks for staying with us! We’re here to talk about the Constitution, and the Declaration, and our founding principles today.

It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. By the way, if you want more on that particular topic you can hear it at website WallBuildersLive.com. Click on the Archive button and go back into our past Thursdays several months back, lots of good material there.

David, our Thursday shows typically have been, we’ve picked some topics we wanted to cover because of things happening in the news. But really these shows have been driven by the listeners. They’ve been sending in great questions that have brought up really good constitutional questions.

Going Back To The Founding Documents

David:

Yeah, they have. It’s kind of fun because you get to get deep in some things that are really relevant to a lot of stuff going on. I’ve said this for years with our library and such, we get calls from- we have 100,000 documents in that library. I don’t think we’ve been through five percent of what we own or possess in there. Five percent would be 5 thousand books that we’ve read.

That’s still a lot of books to read, that means a whole lot we haven’t gotten into. One of the things I love most is getting calls from congressmen and governors and others saying, “Hey, with all those documents do you think the Founding Fathers had a position on this or that?” And we usually say, “We don’t have a clue, let us check.” And then you find, “Hey, they really did have something. There is nothing new under the sun.”

A lot of the things that we deal with today have been dealt with before. That’s why these questions are really fun. You get to go back and see how that there really is nothing new under the sun and that all of this has been dealt with before.

The same arguments we hear today are not new arguments. Technology changes but human nature doesn’t change. So it really is fun to get these questions and today will be no different.

“We’re A Christian Nation.”

Rick:

Alright, well, here’s our question for today and it’s from Michael Rappa. He says, “I would appreciate if you had a discussion on radio in response to answering the question, ‘Are we a Christian nation?’ There seems to be a lot of debate over this. What was our Founding Fathers’ intentions? Were we ever a Christian nation? Or a nation simply made up of Christians? Where do you think we stand as a nation now? Thanks for considering my questions.”

Great questions, David, I know you’ve written about this. Boy, the Founding Fathers had a lot to say about this. You mentioned you only getting to about 5 percent of those hundred thousand books. But even with that you get a wealth of information about us being a nation of faith in a “Christian nation.”

David:

Well, let me ask you a question. Have you ever told anyone we’re a Christian nation?

Rick:

Sure, I’ve said, “Hey, we’re a nation based on Christian what the Founders-

David:

Let me stop you right there. You have now just ruined your entire career. I cannot tell you how bad you’ve damaged yourself. I’m sitting here and I pulled some of these together.

These are columnists, Michelle Goldberg, Alan Colmes, Bill Moyers, Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Katharine Eureka, Garry Wills, and a whole bunch of others. If you say that America is a Christian nation here’s what they said about you. These are some of the ways they describe you, Rick Green, because you said, “America’s Christian nation.”

Rick:

I’m ready.

David:

“You’re a religious extremist, you’re a bigot, you’re a homegrown Ayatollah, you’re part of the American Taliban, you’re a segregationist, you’re a Christian jihadist, and you’re a theocrat”

Here here’s some longer explanations given to you. “You’re a Christian fascist, you’re part of the new militant Christianity to advocate the death penalty for a host of moral crimes including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy, and witchcraft.” I bet you didn’t know you believed that did you?

Rick:

Now I know who’s been making all those Facebook comments on my public figure page though. Those people you just named because that’s what I’ve been getting.

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Ok, I’ve gotcha.

The Media Twisting The Truth And Making Up Lies

David:

And because you said that we’re a Christian nation they also accuse you of moving us one step closer to the theocracy on the Muslim Brotherhood model. Man, I didn’t know you were that close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rick:

Because we say that we’re a Christian nation, they immediately say that means you want a theocracy, that you want a death penalty for all this stuff in the Old Testament-

David:

Now wait a minute, I’m not done yet. I’ve got some more names to call you.

Rick:

Ok, go ahead.

David:

As it turns out Rick, you’re a student of Machiavelli and your you’re in the group whose followers include Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin.” Did you know you were in that group?

Rick:

Wow intervening, years.

David:

Here is another one. “You’re a nominal Christian and your Bible is so long on judgment yet so short on compassion, you’re a soldier in the new American Theocracy.” And, “You’re part of the fundamentalist religious revolution that threatens the foundations of the republic. I know you’ve got this course called, ‘Constitution Alive,’ but don’t let anybody believe that that’s trying to keep the Constitution. You’re threatening the foundations of the republic.”

Rick:

I have learned a lot about myself on today’s program.

David:

That’s what I find. I didn’t know so much about myself until I read the news articles they put out about me. I didn’t know believed so many things, it’s quite amazing. But that’s the first thing.

So this is why this is a debate because obviously it is talked about a lot. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have this many articles out there attacking it.

Rick:

And it reminds us that words mean things and that they should be defined carefully because these folks are able to twist it into something that we’ve never meant and certainly the Founding Fathers never meant.

David:

You’re right. And I can go through scores and scores of these articles like I just read. Do you recall any national article that favorably said that America was a Christian nation?

Rick:

No, definitely not. Not in my lifetime anyway.

David:

That’s right. So the media, and these loud mouths, and these this national columnist are out there beating the dickens out of those who say that. With that, what percentage of Americans now in current polling would say that America is a Christian nation?

Rick:

We’re going to leave that one in suspense David because I’ve got to take a quick break. When we come back we’ll find out. The question was, “What percentage of Americans say believe that America is a Christian nation.” Alright folks, think about it. We’ll be back in a moment to get the answer here on WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our states and of the United States asserts 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.”

America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Since the Ten Commandments have formed the basis of civil law in the western world for over 2,000 years and an individual is more likely to find a copy of them in a government building rather than a religious one. Yet, amazingly, numerous rulings over recent years now make it unconstitutional to display the commandments in many public arenas.

Consider what Founding Father John Adams said about this, he declared, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘thou shall not covet’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ were not commandments of heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”

John Adams believed that no society could remain civilized if separated from the Ten Commandments. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

Do Americans Believe That America Is A Christian Nation

Intro:

George Washington said, “The Constitution approaches near to perfection than any other government instituted among men.”

Rick:

Welcome back thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders live it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. We’re talking today about a question we got from one of our listeners on whether or not we’re a Christian nation.

David, in the first segment we got to learn all kinds of things about myself I didn’t know since I believe we’re a Christian nation. I’ve been called all kinds of things in the book just like you.

As we’re going to break you said, “After all of that media, after all that negativity about being a Christian nation or if you’re someone that believes we’re a Christian nation, after all that negativity, there was a polling question about how many people in America still believe that we’re a Christian nation.

David:

It’s actually a fairly frequent polling question. Now the numbers have plummeted as a result of this negativity. They’ve plummeted and do you know what level they are now?

Rick:

Plummeted to 50%?

David:

Fifty five percent– 55 percent. We were up at about 70 percent and we’re now down to 55 percent. With all the brutal beat up, still 55 percent of Americans think America is a Christian nation. Why would they think that?

Rick:

Let’s not underestimate here. I don’t think we could overemphasize the fact that every bit of media coverage, every movie, every public school classroom, every university practically, even a lot of “Christian” universities have been hammering this thing for 20 years about how horrible you are if you think we’re a Christian nation, and all those things you said in the first segment. Even with that, what would you say, for the last 40 years probably?

David:

For the last 40 years, I don’t know of any poll that I’ve seen in the last 40 years that had any world less than a super majority believe that America is a Christian.

Rick:

I mean how long would you estimate that hammering has been going on? That distortion?

David:

The hammer has been going on since the 70’s. It really started in the late 60’s and has been going on since the 70s’. It actually was part of the Supreme Court stuff back in the 60’s when they started taking out prayer, and voluntary prayer, and voluntary Bible reading, and prayer in public, and etc because “we’re not a Christian nation.”

Rick:

So, even if we’re conservative, say 40 to 45 years, of just an onslaught and a complete rewriting of American history by those that, frankly, control education, control the media, and all that kind of stuff. Even with all that, we’ve still got 55 percent of Americans that say we are in fact a Christian nation.

David:

Now, would you think maybe that 55% is 100% of the evangelicals that are out there?

Rick:

I wish, but I doubt it.

David:

Exactly. Since evangelicals are only about 23 percent, I don’t think so. So it certainly is not that. It must be a lot of other folks than just all these Bible thumpers, which is a fun reason to go back to history.

Deny The Obvious Truth

I want to go back to 1844. South Carolina Governor James Hammond in 1844 he described America as a Christian nation in 1844. When he did that there was a small group that attacked him and beat on him and said, “How dare you say that America is a Christian nation. We’re not Christians, why would you say that?”

So they just beat on him. And he was shocked by that reaction. I want to read you part of this letter from Governor Hammond. Listen to what he says. “Unhappily for myself, I am not a professor of religion.” Did you get that?

He said, “Woah, time out guys.  I’m not a religious guy. Yeah, I said that America is a Christian nation but it’s not because I’m a Christian.”

He says, “Unhappily for myself, I am not a professor of religion nor am I attached by education or habit to any denomination. Nor do I feel myself to be a fit and proper defender of the Christian faith.” So you’ve got this governor out there saying, “Whoa, time out guys. I’m not a Christian. That’s not where I am. I’m not even good at defending this faith. He said, “But I must say, that up till this time I have always thought it a settled matter that I’ve lived in Christian land and that I was the temporary chief magistrate of a Christian people. That in such a country, and among such a people,  I should be publicly called to an account, reprimanded, and required to make amends for acknowledging Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the world? I would not have believed possible if it had not come to pass.”

Now, here’s a guy who is not a fake guy. And he is saying, “Wait a minute. Are you guys denying that gravity will make a rock drop from top to bottom? It’s just like, “This is so obvious guys! How do you deny the obvious?”

So there’s even something back then where that people objected to being called a Christian nation. But it was obvious that we were. You hit it in the first segment. It’s the way you define the terms. The historical definition that we’ve always had is not what is being used today and that’s why there’s a difference.

Rick:

We’ve got to take a quick break. When we come back we’ll get that historical definition. David, this is a definition we need to not only learn about from back then but we need to start using and explaining.

I hope our listeners today will write this down and learn from it, go use it on Facebook spread the word. This is a great way to educate folks about where we really came from as a nation. Stay with us folks, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

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.”

Avalon Project

Tim:

Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand.  See the things they did.”  

I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.  

Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites.  Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.

Christian Nation Or Secular? What Is America’s True History

John Adams Said, “ Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly and adequate to the government, of any other.”

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday today. We’re covering a question today from one of our listeners about whether or not America is a Christian nation, or simply made up of Christians ,and where we stand as a nation now.

Before we went to the break, David, you were talking about the definition. What do those words actually mean, “a Christian nation.” And what did they mean historically?

David:

One of the things you find is that today those who try to create a straw man out of this thing, they were all three theocrats and whatever they were trying to do, Muslim Brotherhood kind of stuff.

They say, “Well, you guys who said it’s a Christian nation like Barton, and Green, and others. You guys think that you can’t vote unless you’re a Christian. That you can’t have Civil Rights unless you’re a Christian. You can’t participate in the nation unless you’re Christian. You can’t be elected office unless you’re a Christian.”

You know what, I don’t know of a single Christian in America who believes any of this stuff as they have in their definition. And if that’s their definition then how do you explain the fact that 300 courts have called America a Christian nation?

I don’t think the courts are quite taken over by the radical religious right and they’re calling it a Christian nation all the way up into the 90s.

So, how is it that 300 courts have done this? How is it that so many Founding Fathers including Jefferson called us a Christian nation? Who’s going to argue that Jefferson’s part of the radical religious right? He called us a Christian nation. There has to be a definition different than what these guys are throwing around today.

They’re so poor in history anyway they don’t have a clue what that is. They’ve taken the strawman that they’ve created themselves and tried to say that this is this is what’s attacking you, and it’s not.

Proof That America Is A Christian Nation

So let’s go back. There have been 4 Supreme Court decisions where the Supreme Court called us a Christian nation, Christian country, Christian people, and etc. One of those, the second occasion was in a court case in 1892 where in a unanimous 8-0 decision the U.S. Supreme Court, all 8 justice say, “America’s a Christian nation.”

That decisions was written by Justice Brewer, the the man who wrote that opinion and that was 1892.

Some 13 years later he came out with the book in 1905 and said, “You know, people don’t seem to understand what a Christian nation is. So he went through and talked about it.

In that end that that ruling they gave in 1892 is a short ruling, 16 pages long. Yet, it cites nearly 90 historical precedents to show that America is a Christian nation. So he just made a book out of that and said, “Well, let me go deeper into this. Let me just explain.”

Here’s what he said, here’s the definition.

He said, “We constantly speak of this republic as a Christian nation. In fact, as a leading Christian nation of the world. In what sense can it be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion, or that the people are in any manner are compelled to support it.”

Now see, that’s where the radical left is, that’s not what we want.  He said, “That’s not the definition. I don’t know of anyone who wants the government supporting Christianity and causing everybody to bow down to Christianity and if you don’t pray in the name of Christ you’ll be thrown out. No, nobody believes that.”

He continues, “Neither is this a Christian nation in the sense that all of its citizens are either in fact or named Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within our borders.”

Now remember, he said that this is a Christian nation, greatest in the world. He said, “All religions have free scope within our borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions and many reject all religions. Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or central to recognition either politically or socially.”

And that’s of course what the critics claim is true. He says that that’s not true.
“Nevertheless, we constantly speak of this republic as a Christian nation. In fact, it’s a leading Christian nation of the world.”

Here’s the definition, “America is most justly called a Christian nation because Christianity has so largely shaped and molded it.” That is your definition of a Christian nation. A nation whose institutions and culture and beliefs have been shaped by Christianity.

If you doubt that grab the Founders Bible that has all the Founders writings that we’ve collected for years. You’ll find that Benjamin Franklin started health care on the basis of Luke 10:35 teaching by Jesus.

If you look in that Bible you’ll find that the father of Oceanography, great scientist, used the Bible as the basis of what he did in oceanography. If you want to look at government, seven forms of government, you’ll specifically find that John Adams and Noah Webster and so many others chose a republican form of government out of three specific Bible verses.

If you look at our economic system, a free market system, you’ll see that they point to five Bible verses on why we have this. Christianity shaped and molded our institutions. There’s no way around that. That’s historical fact. That’s what it takes to be a Christian nation. Are our institutions shaped and molded by Christianity? You bet they are. America is a Christian nation by that definition.

Rick:

So we’re not saying it with Christian nation it means you have to be a Christian to be in the nation. We’re not saying that we force people to be Christians at all. We’re saying exactly the opposite, that because we’re a Christian nation anybody of any faith can be here but it is Christianity that shaped and molded the thinking at the time and influenced the founding documents. We’ve got take a quick break, we’ll come back with more here on Foundations of Freedom Thursday on WallBuilders Live!

Outro:

Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our states and of the United States asserts 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.”

College Plus

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Jewish People Proclaim This Is A Christian Nation

Intro:

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.”

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live foundations of freedom Thursday. Our subject today, “Are we a Christian nation?” Question for Michael Rappa, thank you for the question by the way Michael, this is a great question and an important issue.

David, as you’ve already shown, it’s how you define what those words mean? If we define it based on what the Founders talked about and what history shows us, you said in the previous segment it means that Christianity has simply shaped and molded the nation, which is obviously true.

David:

The other thing about Christianity, particularly period 3 Christianity. We’ve talked in previous programs, that means post-reformation when we got the government from running Christianity, got the government out of it, and let it go back to free choice. Then it’s non-coercive.

We invite all sorts of religions to be here and be part of America. We want them to be here. And that’s why so many religions have found freedom here where they have not in other nations.

Let me just go through a list of Jewish leaders and Jewish friends and what they say. These are not the folks you would expect to be calling America a Christian nation but they obviously recognize the historical truth. They don’t read the propaganda from the leftist who redefined things in their own way.

Here’s Jeff Jacoby. He’s a columnist for The Boston Globe and he is a Jewish man. He says, “This is a Christian country. It was founded by Christians and built on broad Christian principles. Threatening? Far from it. It is in precisely this Christian country that Jews have known the most peaceful, prosperous, and successful existence and their long history.”

Then you have Aaron Zelman, he’s a Jewish author. He really has a civil rights organization. He says, “Christian America is the best hope our people have found in 2,000 years. This remains the most tolerant, prosperous, and safest home we could be blessed with.”

You have Don Federer, he’s a columnist for The Boston Herald, he is a Jewish columnist. And by the way, he’s not a Jewish columnist, he’s a Jewish writer who is a columnist.

He says, “Clearly this nation was established by Christians. As a Jew, I’m entirely comfortable with the concept of Christian America.”

Then you have Michael Medved a columnist and a talk show host, also Jewish. He said, “The Founders never involved a religion free or faithless state. But did indeed presuppose America’s unequivocal identity as a Christian nation.”

You have Burt Prelutsky who’s a columnist, he’s a Hollywood scriptwriter, done a lot of big movies. He said, “America is a Christian nation. And in case you find that designation objectionable, would you deny that India is a Hindu country? That Turkey is Muslim? That Poland is Catholic? That doesn’t mean those nations are theocracies.”

He says, “This is a Christian nation, my friends. And all of us are fortunate it is one and that so many millions of Americans have seen fit to live up to the highest precepts of their religion.”

You have Dennis Prager who’s also a columnist and national talk show host, another Jewish leader. He said, “I believe it’s a good thing that America is a Christian nation. Too many Americans do not appreciate the connection between American greatness and American Christianity.”

Did you hear that? The Jewish leaders are saying, “Guys, don’t you understand your greatness comes from Christianity?

And then you’ve got our friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin and he says, “I understand that I live in a Christian nation. Without a vibrant and vital Christianity America is doomed and without America the West is doomed. “

Did you get that? A Jewish rabbi saying, “Come on Christians, get a back bone.” He says, “Which is why, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, devoted to Jewish survival of the Torah and Israel, is so terrified of American Christianity caving in.” He said, “God help Jews if America ever becomes a post-Christian society. Just think of Europe.”

Now, are all those writers are going to call these Jewish guys a bunch of theocrats, a bunch of feeble French, or a bunch of Muslim Brotherhood supporters? That’s why it’s so stupid the way they go at it.

But if you don’t know the definition history, and obviously our Jewish friends do know it, then you get a different look at it than what you get from Alan Colmes and so many others on the other side.

Thank You For Listening

Rick:

Great question for Michael Rappa, we appreciate it. Not only is it important for us to know what it means to be a Christian nation. Who said our greatness comes from-

David:

Dennis Prager.

Rick:

Dennis Prager. So not only are we a Christian nation. It’s the secret sauce. It’s what made America so great in the first place. Thanks so much for joining us today. You’ve been listening to Foundations of Freedom Thursday here on WallBuilders Live!

Outro:

Thomas Jefferson said, “ In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in the man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”