Foundations Of Freedom Part One- The Founders Bible: Foundations of Freedom is our latest television program. We are so excited to get share it with you here on WallBuilders Live! In this series, will be discussing The Founders Bible, what kind of influence the Bible had on America, and we also discuss the foundations of law! Tune in now for the first part of this five-part series!
Air Date: 05/22/2023
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live!
Thanks for joining us today. We’re gonna be talking about some of the hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. All of that from a biblical historical and constitutional perspective.
Foundations of Freedom
David Barton, Tim Barton, and myself, Rick Green. Normally your host here on WallBuilders Live, but we got something special coming up this week.
All this week you’re going to get to hear some of Foundations Of Freedom is the latest television program from Wall Builders.
You can see it across the country on television, or you can listen to it right here on Wall Builders Live, and you can visit our website at WallBuilders.com if you’d like to pick up the full DVD set.
Lots of great guest stars in there. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and others.
And this week, we’re going to share with you four of those programs. We”re just going to play them straight through.
This week some fantastic topics you’re going to enjoy. We’re going to be talking about the Founders” Bible, going to talk about what the Founders said about the Bible, and the influence of the Bible in America.
Then we’re going to move into the foundations of law with Michele Bachmann.
So some great material coming up over the next few days. We’re going to dive in right now with that first episode.
This is the Founders” Bible it’s part of Foundations of Freedom with David Barton.
The Founders” Bible
Modern-day historians tell us our nation’s Founding Fathers were a diverse group of atheists, deists, and political revolutionaries.
So where did they find the common ground and inspiration for the ideas that birthed America? Did their faith play a role? Or do we have as many claims; a godless Constitution?
Join historian David Barton with special guests Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and more as they explore the America our Founding Fathers envisioned.
What if America’s story is bolder, more colorful, and more compelling than you ever imagined?
Welcomed the Foundations of Freedom, where we look at important aspects of our common heritage that very few folks today hear anything about.
Joining me today is Rick Green. Rick is an attorney. He’s a former legislator. He’s an author of numerous books, and he’s also the head of Patriot Academy which is a wonderful youth program that teaches young people how to be our future civil leaders. Rick, you and I also co-host a daily radio program heard nationally, and it’s an honor to have you with us.
It’s my privilege to be with you. I’m looking forward to talking about Foundations of Freedom because it seems like we’re losing some of those freedoms and people are hungry.
They want to know what are the foundations, how did we become so successful as a nation, and why are we losing it.
I think most of the time we think about foundational documents as the Constitution, and Declaration.
Our topic today, we’re gonna talk about the Bible, and maybe most people don’t recognize that as a foundational document of America.
The Bible As A Foundational Document
It is. One of the interesting things that political scientists have found, and looking back at our founding era, which runs from 1760 to 1885, they said where did these guys get all these remarkable ideas?
When they look to see what the Founding Fathers, and others in that era quoted; the Bible was the number one source. Far and away more than any other source.
The Bible was the most frequently quoted source. So it is a founding document of America. No question.
Well, we get some questions from our audience about the role of the Bible in our culture today, so let’s go to some of those.
Why Did They Have To Inject The Bible Into Everything?
I often hear Christians quoting Bible verses when they’re talking about history and culture. Why did they have to inject the Bible into everything?
Well, here we’re talking about the Bible as an as a founding document, but some people don’t want to hear it at all in the culture. Maybe they feel like you’re preaching at them even when you are just quoting the Bible.
Well, that’s one of the things that most folks today don’t know. But to say I don’t want to hear the Bible injected, too late already there.
Just a good example: We have over 250 idioms that we use on a daily basis that are direct quotations out of the Bible.
You hear this all the time. It”s a great book. Professors have gone through and just documented what we say to each other.
That’s the Bible. I”ll just give you an example, by the skin of your teeth. That’s out a Job.
I’ll give you my two cents worth. That’s out of Mark.
I use that when all the time. People are using these.
All the time.
A leopard can’t change his spots. There’s nothing new under the sun. The Bible is so much a part of what we do. People don’t recognize it.
Now, what’s happening is once we start identifying this, saying don’t talk to me about the Bible. Too late. You are to use the Bible so much –
I was just about to say. They are the ones using the words. They are ones that are complaining about. They’re actually quoting it –
They just don’t have a clue.
So to say that that we shouldn’t be injecting the Bible, and things today. We wouldn’t be America: we wouldn’t have our language, we wouldn’t have our fine arts, and entertainment.
We wouldn’t have what we enjoy today if the Bible hadn’t been injected into it.
It’s been there from the beginning.
It’s been there from the beginning.
All right let’s grab another question.
When Is A Good Time For Youth To Start Reading And Studying The Bible?
Hi. I’m really involved with the youth activities at my church. And so I was wondering when you thought was the right time for youth to start reading and really studying the Bible?
That’s a great question. I’m curious myself. I got four kids.
So what is the right time to start training them or giving them the opportunity to study the Bible?
Well, you’ve got examples from both the Bible and from American history.
When you look at American history at the right time to start training them; it is when they start learning to read.
For example, when Washington D.C. became the national capital. It had first been back in New York City for a year, and then in Philadelphia for ten years. Then in 1800, it moved into Washington D.C.
Thomas Jefferson Planned the Education For Washington, D.C. Public Schools
The president at that point, Thomas Thomas Jefferson. President Thomas Jefferson was made a regent on the school board for Washington D.C. public schools. They actually wanted him to be the President of the school board.
He said, no I’m doing a different President. I”m a little busy right now, but I’ll help you. So Thomas Jefferson is credited with outlining and forming the plan of education for Washington D.C. public schools.
When you look at the very first report of Washington D.C. public schools, it’s interesting that they say students learn to read from two books.
This is a Bible from when Thomas Jefferson was President, that’s one thing they learned to read from. The other is this right here; it’s called Watts Hymnal.
Let me read to you.
Hang on. I’m stuck on the fact that you said they were learning to read from the Bible.
This is a public school that is learning to read.
Thomas Jefferson, who is credited as being the guy who wanted a secular society. He is the guy who came up with this plan of education.
So, let me just read you from the first report of Washington D.C. public schools. Again, this is the school system where Jefferson is credited with creating the plan of education.
Here’s what it says: fifty-five have learned to read in the Old, and New Testaments and all are able to spell words of three, four and five syllables. Twenty-six are now learning to read Dr. Watts hymns and spell words of two syllables.
Ten are learning words of four and five letters.
Fifty-nine out of the whole number admitted that did not know a single letter; twenty can now read the Bible and spell words of three, four, and five syllables. Twenty-nine read Dr. Watts hymns and spell words of two syllables and ten words of four and five letters.
I’m amazed by two things: first of all, that they read the Bible but also five syllables, I don’t know if I know any five-syllable words.
This is where they started.
When Did They Begin?
Now so when did they begin?
You take, for example, Harriet Beecher Stowe who did Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
When she was seven years old, she’d already memorized 27 hymns, and she knew several chapters out of the Bible.
Now, let’s not stop with the Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Let’s go to John Witherspoon. Signers of the Declaration Independence, President of Princeton. When he was four years old, he’d already read the King James Bible through from cover to cover.
So, four years old he’s already read this cover to cover.
A four-year-old reading it all is amazing.
Nobody told him to read it. You see that it’s parenting. Oh, you can’t read that. He doesn’t know that. If you say, you know you could learn to read this. It expectations, and we expect the kids to learn. And so when he’s four-years-old.
By the way, when he (John) was still a child, he’d memorized nearly the entire New Testament; signer of the Declaration.
You’ve got folks like John Trumbull.
He’s one of our literary figures. He did these works right here.
John Trumbull, on the Supreme Court of Connecticut, at the age of 6 he had already mastered Greek.
He knew Greek better than his minister.
You have George with who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. When he was three years old, he was already studying and reading the classics.
Daniel Webster, when he was six years old in a public school memorization contest, memorize scores of Bible verses in one day at a public school.
So, this is typical.
I guess the final proof of that is this little book right here. This is the first textbook ever printed in America. It’s called the New England primer. For two hundred and forty years, students learn to read out of this book. This is where they’re at words of three syllables.
Here’s your memory work, letter A.
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the happiness of his mother. That’s a Bible verse.
B. Be better as a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. That’s the Bible verse.
C. Come into Christ all ye that labor and heavy laden, and he will give you rest. That’s a Bible verse.
This is where we learn to read. So how early is too early?
Start From The Beginning
Well, just start your kids.
From the beginning.
They have no basis. Well, Mom, you can’t teach me that I’m too young for that. It’s the expectations we put on them.
You see from American history what we do here, and this little book right here.
A fun little book done by President John Quincy Adams.
He did this book, and it shows ten-year-old Americans how to read the Bible from cover to cover once every year.
So 10-year-old Americans. So a book from a President about how to read the Bible cover to cover. So that’s our history, and that’s our heritage.
We were into the Bible, and the Founding Fathers were in the Bible.
Let me go to a guy named Fisher Ames.
Now, most folks today have never heard of Fisher Ames. Fisher Ames is a framer of the Bill of Rights. He is the guy credited with coming up with the House language for the First Amendment of the Constitution.
This is where we have our freedom, religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of press, and speech and all the others.
An interesting thing about this framer of the First Amendment – he’s looking at schools in his day, and he’s noticing that in the schools they’re putting in lots of new textbooks and he wondered about that. He says, well I read them, and it’s in a piece here. It’s an op-ed piece that ran in a national magazine called the Palladium.
He said, I’ve looked at the books, and they have good content; the moral content is really good. But here’s what I’m noticing, the more textbooks we’re putting in the classroom, the more time we have to spend on those textbooks.
He says the more time we spend on textbooks, the less time we have available to spend on the Bible.
He said if we’re not careful, the Bible is going to start drifting into the back of our classrooms, and this can’t be tolerated in American education.
So there’s the guy who gave us the First Amendment, the House version of the First Amendment.
He”s saying don’t ever let the Bible drift the back of classrooms. That’s how he was educated.
And he had seen the results of the generation raised with the Bible being the main textbook.
The First Public School Law Was Passed In 1647
I mean that’s the way we’ve done in America. The very first public school law we have in America was in 1647.
It was passed to make sure the students knew the Bible because then you could understand how a government supposed to operate. You’d understand how the courts are supposed to operate. You’d make sure civil trustees that didn’t get introduced like they had in Europe.
So knowing the Bible is really key.
Benjamin Rush – Never Take The Bible Out Of Public Schools
You get folks here like Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration. John Adams said he’s one of the three most notable signers. Benjamin Rush is called the father of public schools under the Constitution.
So you’d think hey that’s a pretty important guy.
Not today. We don’t talk about it. It could be because of this piece right here.
He goes through in 1790 and 91 and gives a dozen reasons we”ll never take the Bible out of public schools in America. There”s a reason why the Bible always be our number one textbook. In explaining it, he gave a great warning to future generations; he said any generation that takes the Bibles schools, he”s going to spend all of his time and money fighting crime because you could prevent crime right there in a classroom by teaching the Bible. You take it out you’re going to spend all your time modifying.
It sounds like a prophecy coming true today.
1963, The U.S. Supreme Court Took The Bible Out Of Schools
Yeah exactly. See what happened was in 1963, Abington V. Schempp. The U.S. Supreme Court announced out of the clear blue, time to take the Bible out of schools.
Yeah, we’ve been doing it for three hundred years, time to go. The court said there is no historical precedent or legal precedent for what they did and so they take it out.
Going back to Benjamin Rush. He had a great quote, he said the Bible when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com, and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
Benjamin Franklin”s Speech At The Constitution Convention
Going back to answer your question, you take a Founding Father like Benjamin Franklin. Out of 250, everybody will know him, but he’s one of the least religious. I dare use the term least because that’s a comparative term.
So, I want to I’m going to give you a line from Franklin, a speech from Franklin. Part of a speech that he gave at the Constitution Convention.
It’s a really significant speech for him because Franklin is the first guy in American history to say, let’s have a United States of America.
Way back in 1750 for the Albany plan of union, he said let’s not be 13 colonies let’s be united. Didn’t happen back then but twenty-two years later, he’s one of the 56 guys who signed the Declaration.
Now we’re a step closer –
He was the one that cast the vision of what we could become.
For two decades he’s been saying that. So now he gets to sign a document that helps to birth that. Seven years later is one of only three guys who signed the Peace Treaty to end that. Now we’re getting really close, and four years later he’s sitting at the Constitutional Convention where we’re forming the United States of America. He loves this at least initially.
Five weeks in, he’s not loving it anymore because five weeks in, the Convention is falling apart; all the delegations came with their own agendas.
You had the New York plan; you had the New Jersey Plan, the Connecticut plan, and Virginia Plan. And guess what, New York didn’t want the Virginia Plan. They want a New York plan. Nobody’s agreeing.
Franklin to watch this fall apart. He’s been wanting this for 33 years, and he’s now watching it fall apart.
He’s the old man at the convention 81 years old. By far, the elder statesman.
Benjamin Frankin Was One Of The Least Religious Founding Fathers
Listen to what he says, “In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us.
How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understandings?
In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered.
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need his assistance?
I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
We have been assured sir in the sacred writings, that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
I firmly believe this. I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building, no better than the builders of Babel and we are so shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.”
He is one of our five least religious founding fathers and what you just heard there, was nine sentences. Here’s the question: the nine sentences you just heard, how many Bible verses did he quote?
So this is a guy that was raised in this kind of education where he was taught that Atlas was going to come out and what he says. But I would recognize two or three.
No. Thirteen verses.
Thirteen Bible verses in nine sentences.
Franklin quoted 13 Bible verses in nine sentences. So here you have your least religious founding father who knows the Bible that well because that’s how they were raised in that generation.
Now, let’s shift to a founding father that no one’s going to question his faith and that’s Patrick Henry. You know Patrick Henry very outspoken.
We’re going to go to March 23, 1775. We’re at St. John’s Church in Richmond. The reason we’re a church is because that’s where the legislature met.
So this is not a church service?
No. The legislature is meeting there, and they’ve had what’s called the gunpowder affair which the governors come in and taken the gunpowder away from all the Virginians. And by the British Bill of Rights, you can’t do that. They have the right to keep and bear arms. They have the right to defend themselves.
Now the governors came in and broke the British Bill of Rights because we haven’t separated from Great Britain yet. And the question is: what are we going to do?
Patrick Henry Knew What To Do
Well, Patrick Henry knew what to do.
He went to get 4000 Virginia farmers. He got them all together. He climbed up on top of a rock and preached a sermon out of Exodus 20 and then those 4000 farmers want an attack the 200 British soldiers got all the gunpowder back.
But now we’ve got a conflict because the government has come after us violating our rights, so what are we gonna do?
So the argument is going that you know we really need to stay with the government because they’ve got the greatest military in the world, and we’re just a bunch of farmers; there’s nothing we can do about this. We just need to do whatever they say.
We Have To Do What Is Right
Patrick says, no that we need to do what’s right. We have laws we should follow the law. Here’s what Patrick Henry said, “Sir, we are not weak. If we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power.
Three million people are armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country is that which we possess; are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle sir is not to the strong alone.
It is to the vigilant, the active, and the brave. Gentlemen may cry, peace peace. But there is no peace. The war is actually begun.
The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms.
Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?
Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it Almighty God.
I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
We Want To Hear Your Vet Story
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He Quoted Scripture In His Rally Of The Farmers
He made a very compelling argument, but I think today most folks would miss his argument. Again and what he just did that was 14 sentences.
Same question: how many Bible verses that we just hear in 14 sentences?
I probably recognize less out of that one.
Than Franklin. Not I’m sure I could recognize any of them.
Eleven Bible verses in fourteen sentences.
You have it here with eleven Bible verses in 14 sentences.
It’s talking about war and guns and battles. Something that we don’t typically
And He quoted Bible phrase after Bible phrase after Bible phrase. But see they didn’t need to say back then, now I’m quoting to you out of Job 4:2, they know it. They recognized.
Now today we need somebody to tell us you’re quoting the Bible because we don’t recognize the Bible.
Nobody there in the legislature stood up and said we don’t like you speak the Bible at us like that.
Oh no. And they didn”t say; we think you’re nuts. We are too weak. That was the conflict they had, are we weak enough, or are we strong enough?
One more founding father.
Here’s a founding father that today we’re often told he’s a deist Founding Father George Washington.
George Washington is going to visit the various colonies. He is going around to visit these colonies, and he’s on his way to Rhode Island.
In Rhode Island, Newport, there is a Hebrew Congregation, and they so appreciate everything he did for their civil and religious liberties.
So they wrote him a glowing letter of how we just think God’s raised you up, and you’re such a wonderful leader, and we thank God for you.
George Washington response back with a letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport.
Look at what George Washington told that congregation, “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwells in this land continued to merits and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants.
While everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine, and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the father of all mercies gather light and not darkness in our paths and make us all in our own several vocations useful here and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
Now that’s only. Two sentences. Same question.
And this is the supposed deist.
How many Bible verses? Two sentences.
No idea. In two sentences?
Nine Bible verses. He”s quoting this. And they recognize them because most of them were from the Old Testament. So that Hebrew Congregation, hey we know all that. There was a couple of New Testament verses he used as well.
He didn’t have to reference
Today We’ve Become Biblically Illiterate
People knew them. You see today we’ve become biblically illiterate. There’s a great quote by John Quincy Adams.
He said with regard to the history contained in the Bible; it’s not so much praiseworthy to be aware of it, as it is shameful to be ignorant of it.
And we’ve come to the point were that we don’t know it.
Why is it shameful to be ignorant? Why is this so important? I mean we said it had a big impact on our nation But what’s the difference if we don’t have it today?
A Godless Constitution
Here’s the difference.
Let me take this book right here. A Godless Constitution. When somebody today says you have a godless constitution, what they have just told me is that they are biblically illiterate. They wouldn’t recognize a Bible verse of a bit them on the ankles –
We’re back to not recognizing the idioms or the Bible verses even in the Constitution.
Even in the Constitution, bible verse after Bible verse is included the Constitution. What brought us to that point of success as a nation was the Bible undergirded. Even with Franklin, the Bible undergirded his thinking and what he said and how he communicated.
They understood those principles because it’s not just religious stuff. This is true, tried, and tested principles that work.
If you use these things, and by the way we used them, and it did work.
Well, folks, we’re out of time for today. We’re almost finished with that first episode from Foundations of Freedom.
It’s called the Founders Bible.
We’re going to pick up the final conclusion of that tomorrow when we start WallBuilders Live. Then we’ll get a second episode with Michele Bachmann on the foundations of law so be sure and join us tomorrow here on Wall Builders Live.
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