Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /var/www/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-social-sharing/includes/class-public.php on line 81

“Under God,” A “Christian Nation”, Stopping Biden, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom: Are the words “Under God” in the pledge a violation of the First Amendment? Should children be able to say “no” to saying the pledge due to their First Amendment right? Do “secular” nations have more freedom than our “Christian” nation? How can “we the people” stop Biden and his lawless democrats?  Have there ever been amendments to the Constitution passed by Congress and blocked by the States? Tune in to hear the answers to these questions and much more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!

Air Date: 01/27/2022

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


Listen:

Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. 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.

Faith and the Culture

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

Rick:

Welcome to WallBuilders Live, the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s the place where we look at whatever’s going on in the world around us from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective: how do we dive into the issues of the day, how do we become a positive influence in the world around us, whether that’s in our own families, in our homes or in our community, right there in our neighborhood, perhaps in our church or at the local schools, whatever it might be. In your workplace, how can you become a positive influence in that area?

And the only way you can do that is if you’re able to look at the issues of the day, and have that biblical perspective, that constitutional perspective, and that historical perspective that gives you the right answers to whatever the issues of the day. Or how do you deal with the things that are challenging our country, and respond in a way that you know can make a positive difference. We talk often on the program about good principles, producing good results; bad principles producing bad results. 

And of course, we see around the world and around our nation for sure, a lot of bad principles by bad leaders, just leaders that don’t come from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective putting in bad policies that are creating bad results, that are affecting people’s lives in a very bad way.

How do you turn that around? Well, you put in good policies. You get good leaders that understand from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective, what those good principles are that produce good results and then you can get those results once again. So that’s why here at WallBuilders, we’re always talking about those foundations. We’re talking about what produces that. And today is Foundations of Freedom Thursday, so we’re going to be diving into your questions about those foundational principles.

Send in Your Questions!

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I have the honor of being here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian, and our founder at WallBuilders, and also with Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. 

If you would like to ask a question for our Thursday programs, you can do that by emailing it in to radio@wallbuilders.com, we’ll get to as many of those as we possibly can. But we sure thank you for joining us today. Be sure to check out our website at wallbuilderslive.com. That’s where you can make a one-time or monthly contribution as well. And what that does is it allows us to reach more people, it amplifies the voice of truth here at WallBuilders Live.

Okay, David, and Tim, first question today comes from Eric. And it is a Foundation of Freedom Thursday question where he says good morning, I don’t know if he wrote this in the morning, or you’re listening to this in the evening, but it still fits. Anyway, he says basically, “Howdy, you all. I have a question for you. 

I was talking to a coworker who’s an atheist, and he said the Pledge of Allegiance offended him because it had under God in it. He also said he was made further upset when he found out that it was added by Eisenhower. He inserted that making him say the Pledge in school was against his First Amendment right, and that at the added phrase of under God goes against the First Amendment.

“My question is this what’s the best way to answer someone like him that assumes this goes against the Constitution? Thanks for all you do. Love you all take care and god bless.”

And, Eric, two questions from here guys. One, is under God being in the pledge a violation of the First Amendment? And then two is, does someone have the right to say no, to saying the pledge if they’re exercising their First Amendment rights? 

I said that backwards, we should take the second one first because it’s the easy one, right. Is, should somebody be able to say no to saying the pledge based on their First Amendment right?

First Amendment Right and the Pledge

David:

Let’s take the second first. And by the way, with all this collection of stuff we have at WallBuilders, we’ve got some much cool stuff here. We recently just obtained the actual document from Eisenhower on why he had under God added in the Pledge of Allegiance. He’s explaining why that happened. So we now have that actual original document from Eisenhower.

And so yes, Eisenhower was the one who did it. Eisenhower, when he ran for office in 52, was elected in 53, he writes in his own memoir autobiography that he thought America was becoming too secular at the time. And so he was saying, what can I do to make America not secular? And he said, well, I’m not a preacher, can’t preach a sermon. He said, yeah, but I’m a leader.

And so he’s the guy who prayed his own inaugural prayer at his inauguration. He’s the guy who said we need a congressional prayer breakfast to get that started first Thursday in February. He’s the guy who said we need “In God We Trust” on all of our currency, all of our coins. He’s the guy who said we need under God in the Pledge. He is the guy who said let’s just make our national motto “In God We Trust”.

So he did a whole bunch of stuff in his administration. I don’t know why that would set this person off anymore because Eisenhower was such a good leader. Without him, the world may have been Nazi or communist or something at the time because Eisenhower was such a great leader in World War II, helped us achieve that freedom and preserve those freedoms.

So when you go to the Pledge of Allegiance specifically, it’s interesting, it gets added to the Pledge of Allegiance, I think it’s either 52 or 54. And yet we go back to a Supreme Court decision, I think is West Virginia versus Barnett or Barnett versus West Virginia, at that same time that says you can never require anyone to say under God in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

So at the same time that went through, the Supreme Court said, yeah, by the way, because we believe in religious liberty, that also means the liberty not to be religious. You can’t force anyone to acknowledge God against their will: you have a right of conscience.

A Christian Nation

So commensurate with all this religious activity in America, we’ve always given the right to dissent, and the right to not be engaged, the right to not be involved. When school prayer was in schools, it was completely voluntary, you did not have to participate, just like you don’t have to participate in the flag or anything else. It’s always been voluntary.

So the fact that he would even make the suggestion that I don’t want to be forced to say the pledge, well, I don’t know what world you’re on. But since that went into the pledge itself, we’ve always had the position that we don’t require anybody to say the pledge. So that’s not an issue.

The second thing I would throw out is okay, you don’t like religion, and you’re an atheist, and you have every right to be an atheist, said it’s your choice. However, at the same time, you want to judge a tree by its fruits. And so an atheist is going to be religiously secular, they don’t want religion. And so let me take you to the top 10 most secular nations in the world, the top 10 nations where religion has the least amount of influence, and see if you would rather move there than be in America.

Because when you look historically, whether it be presidents, whether it be Founding Fathers, whether it be academics, anything else, they acknowledge that this nation was founded on biblical principles, and that was the basis of the Constitution.

University of Houston political science professors have irrefutably documented that the Founding Fathers themselves said that they use biblical principles, doesn’t mean they were all Bible-believing Christians, because they weren’t, whether it be Ben Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson, whoever else, but they did acknowledge those principles were at the base.

So if I say, okay, we’ve got a nation that was built on biblical principles, and it includes everyone but it has religion at its base, would you prefer to perhaps be in Estonia? Where in Estonia, 84% of the people in Estonia say that religion plays no part in their daily life. Do you have more freedoms in Estonia than you do in America? 

The Fruit

We might not know. Let’s take Sweden. Sweden is the next most secular nation, 82%. Or let’s take Denmark at 80%, or let’s take Japan at 75%, or Hong Kong at 74%, or Great Britain at 73%, or France at 69%, Vietnam at 69%, Russia at 60%, Uruguay at 59%. And by the way, you can’t forget China.

You look at these nations, these are places right now, Australia, by the way, is one of the top secular nations. They’re controlling your space. They’re controlling your behavior. You’re getting thrown in jail for not doing the mask stuff. There is no sense of individual freedoms. It’s all government controlled and government regulated. We will tell you what your rights are. We will tell you what your freedoms are. 

In America, even for secular people, you have God-given freedoms. That atheist has the right not to engage in any religion. He has the right to enjoy free speech. I’m sorry, you don’t have that right in Australia or in Great Britain. In Great Britain right now, they are doing lots of trials of people who are trying to be religious or give religious reasons on why they want to participate in things. You don’t have the rights of conscience.

So if you look at that and say, okay, you know, I’m not religious, but I sure appreciate living in a nation that gives me the freedoms I’ve got. And you know what? Historically, those freedoms came from a belief in God. That’s why I appreciate Jewish folks like Dennis Prager, Jewish folks like Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Jewish folks like Aaron Stelson, so many others who say, you know what, I’m a Jew, I am not a Christian. 

But I love living in a Christian nation because I’ve got more freedoms in this Christian nation than I have in any other nation in the world. And I have the freedom not to be a Christian, but I love living in a Christian nation. And I can give you two dozen major Jewish leaders who openly acknowledge America to be a Christian nation, but they love living here because of the freedoms they enjoy.

Religious Freedom

So if he’s doesn’t like the religious stuff, just enjoy the freedoms that come from it. Nobody requires you to believe in God or do anything related. Nobody’s requiring you to say the Pledge of Allegiance or to pray. You don’t have to do that. Enjoy the freedoms that come from people who do believe in God, and don’t try to change the nation. 

Otherwise, you will end up like Australia or Great Britain, or Russia, or China or Venezuela, or all these other nations that are on that list. And that’s where I think people miss it is they think America was founded as a secular nation, that’s what made it great. No. Just because it’s come secular doesn’t mean it started that way. You’re still enjoying freedoms that come from God-believing people, giving God-given liberties that apply to every person.

Rick:

I would add to the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation that Eisenhower helped start for all the things you’re talking about, David, to instill these things, to remind Americans what makes America great, and that Christian foundation and differentiating that from communism and the evils of communism. 

And they’ve got all these great statues and stories and everything else out there telling why America is so different, that bill of responsibilities that comes along with those rights that we have. And so what a great impact that Eisenhower had in that way and how important it is for us to keep that going, that education about why being under God is so important. Tim.

Tim:

Yet I would also point out that two things that stood out to me from the initial question related to this atheist saying, well, first of all, I’m offended by “Under God” in the pledge. But what if we get to remove everything that offends us, right, like, if that’s the premise here of are you against it because it offends you or it violates the First Amendment, well, first of all, if it’s just because it’s offensive, that’s a totally different conversation because that becomes very subjective on some level.

The Establishment Clause

But I think fundamentally, what it also comes down to is recognizing the misunderstanding at a base level, and this is for many Americans, but the base misunderstanding of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. And we have written about this. We’ve gone into detail so many books, so many talks and lectures on this program. We’ve gotten to the Establishment Clause and how it really was about the Founding Fathers didn’t want one specific denomination of Christianity to govern the others. 

Where over in England, whether it was Anglican or they be Catholic and right, you can look at the Lutherans in Germany, and there were different nations picking different denominations and they were forcing everybody else to comply with the doctrines of that denomination.

In America, we said, there’s not going to be an establishment of religion. We’re not going to establish specific doctrines from a specific branch of Christianity, but had nothing to do with the fundamental principles of the teachings of “Mere Christianity”, right.

One of the things that is a book I recommend for everybody to read, CS Lewis had a book called “Mere Christianity”. In “Mere Christianity”, CS Lewis said, look, we’re not getting into the details of different doctrines and denominations, but we’re going to come down to the basic level of what every Christian basically agrees with. 

And it’s these things. This is mere Christianity, Christianity at its base level. And that’s where the Founding Fathers largely circle their wagons, was around this base level Christianity. We’re not picking specific doctrines. But we are in fundamental agreement with the basic principles of Christianity.

And this is today because we’ve lost them that basic understanding of the Founding Fathers position that what the establishment of religion meant of why we had the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment, it was to protect religious liberty and freedom. They definitely wanted to promote Christianity. They wanted to wrote the Bible because they knew that gave us the moral foundation that allowed us to be a free nation.

Benefitting from American Ideology

Dad, largely to your point, the reason we enjoy the blessings and benefits of America were the foundation of Christianity that we’re still enjoying the fruit off of that tree that was planted hundreds of years ago. But again, with that being said, I think a lot of it goes back to this basic misunderstanding of the Establishment Clause.

So if you were talking to this friend who’s the atheist, I probably would try to unfold some of the Establishment Clause and actually ask questions about what this person really knows about the First Amendment and let them explain some to you and then maybe offer some truth with it.

But I think, dad, also, your point of just judge a tree by the fruits, and if you look at what the Christian Foundation of America has produced with making America the most stable, free, prosperous, blessed nation, arguably, in the history of the world, this is certainly not a foundation you want to attack if you enjoy the fruit that’s being produced on that tree.

Rick:

Well, these are the fundamental questions that we like to answer on Foundations of Freedom Thursday, because that’s what we’re literally covering, is the foundation. These are the things that produce that fruit that you’re talking about, Tim. So, great question from Eric, appreciate you’re sending that in. We’ve got more questions from our listeners when we return here on WallBuilders Live.

THE AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have here at WallBuilders called The American Story. For years, people have been asking us to do a history book, and we finally done it. We start with Christopher Columbus and go roughly through Abraham Lincoln. And one of the things that so often we hear today are about the imperfections of America, or how so many people in America that used to be celebrated or honored really aren’t good or honorable people.

One of the things we acknowledge quickly in the book is that the entire world is full of people who are sinful and need a savior, because the Bible even tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And yet what we see through history, and certainly is evident in America is how a perfect God uses imperfect people and does great things through them. 

The story of America is not the story of perfect people. But you see time and time again how God got involved in the process and use these imperfect people to do great things that impacted the entire world from America. To find out more, go to wallbuilders.com and check out The American Story.

—-

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.”

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Thanks for listening today and staying with us. William has the next question. And he says simply “How can we the people stop Biden and his lawless Democrat?” So that’s essentially a general question, guys. But boy, we get it a lot, people are frustrated with where they’re taking the nation and they’re asking, what can I do? How can we stop this agenda?

The Church’s Role

David:

I can answer this in 15 seconds and we can be done: recruit good people for office and then elect them to office. End of the story. That’s it. Now, there’s more to it than that and I’ll throw out just a couple more thoughts. But that is in essence it.

But let me point out that in America, if you’re going to be a voter in America, constitutionally, legally, only two things required: you have to be a legal citizen, you got to be 18 years and older. That’s it. Now you can be 100% of those who are legal citizens. 18 years older can vote. Right now only 65.3% are registered to vote.

That’s the only other thing required. We want to make sure you don’t vote seven times for somebody or somebody votes seven times for you. So right now we have about 100 million Americans who have checked out and said, I don’t care what anybody does. I’m not going to be part of it. I’m not going to have a voice or opinion or anything on any elected official, so with 100 million.

Now we’re coming to what’s called an off year election, which is non presidential, in this coming election, just 11 months from now, what will happen for the last 21 congressional elections, 39% of registered voters vote. Now 39% of registered voters voting, that’s 39% of 65.3%, which means only 26% of Americans will vote for Congress in this next election. 

You want to stop Biden, stop Pelosi, and stop Schumer, how do you do that? You put different people in House and Senate. Only 26% of Americans will vote in this election. And it takes half of that to win, which is 13% of Americans will choose the next batch of senators, the next batch of congressmen.

So the easy answer to stopping Biden’s agenda is get more than 13% of Americans to get engaged in this thing. And that’s it. Now, wait, they’re stealing my vote. You know, I saw what they did in Arizona. Okay. 

Virginia

Then you do exactly what happened in Virginia last November, two and a half, three months ago, where that churches got involved and said, you know what, we’re going to train 1,300 poll watchers with the legal authority to stand at the ballots and reject illegal ballots. Oh, we have a law in Virginia that says you can’t have a mail-in ballot unless the last four digits, your social security on the ballot, that doesn’t have any numbers on it. So that’s an illegal ballot.

Because they did that, there were 7.25% of the ballots that were challenged as being fraudulent, illegal, whatever. This guy has been dead 30 years he voted, how did that happen? So we got involved in the process and said, wait a minute, we’re going to make sure that this is right. And lo and behold, guess what? Conservatives and God-fearing people won the Virginia elections. 

Also, churches got involved there and said, you know what, we’ve got to have a higher turnout because Northern Virginia is crazy. Those guys up there, they’re a bunch of socialists and pro-Communists and progressives. And we got to have a big turnout in the rural areas where people still know how to think and have a brain.

And so the turnout in the rural areas was 12 points higher than it is in a presidential year. And this was not only an off year election, this is a weird year election, Jersey and Virginia only took the voting that year. So again, was people getting involved, and the threshold is so low here.

And we have a tendency of where voters, we think everybody else votes and they don’t. We’re looking at 13% choosing the next Congress, choosing the next Senate, the next House. You want to stop Biden’s agenda, just get more than 13% of vote for the good guys, and that’s all it takes.

William Penn

Tim:

And dad, to that point, I think there’s such an interesting quote from William Penn, who talked about that governments like clocks go from the motion men give them. As governments were made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon government. And let men be good, and the government cannot be bad. If it be ill, they will cure it. But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, that they will endeavor to warp and spoil, it’s their turn.

And just that point that the reason we’re having problems are you have the wrong kind of people in office, it doesn’t matter how good our constitution is. If you have the wrong kind of people, they’re going to distort it, they’re going to abuse it, and they won’t be held accountable, unless it’s by we the people.

And so to that end, I mean, dad, as you pointed out, we just have not seen the level of involvement that traditionally should be seen. If you go back to the founding era, dad, I think we’ve identified before that in some of these early colonies, it was nearly 100% voter turnout and not like in the modern era where there’s like 112% voter turnout in some of these places, right. 

They don’t even have registered voters above 70% or 80%, whatever, not like fraudulent. 100% voter turnout, but genuinely where everybody used to be a part of the process. And today we’ve just so disengaged from the process that we have not been training, recruiting and selecting the right valued and understanding kind of people to go to office and make a difference.

And just very simply, that is one of the biggest and best things we can do. Looking forward is not just how do we stop them right now, certainly, we need to do that, but part of that the problem is solved by showing up at school board meetings, by showing up at city council meetings, getting involved at the local level. 

Principles of Liberty

But the more we get involved, we definitely need to start recruiting the right kind of people for office who believe in this basic biblical foundation of where our rights come from, that we have a God and God has given us rights. And government’s primary job is to protect those God-given rights. When we have people who have the right kind of philosophy of government, all of a sudden, the Constitution will begin to work again. And the nation will look a lot better once we get the right kind of people in office.

Rick:

Yeah, and it’s really important for people to understand as they hear these answers, some people will say, ah, it’s the same old thing we always hear, just vote, just do a voter registration drive. We did that, it didn’t work. It’s the blocking, tackling. It’s the basic simple stuff that wins these things. And too often we get numbed to that, and we think, oh, because it didn’t work in this instance it won’t ever work, or it’s just the same. You know what, these principles don’t change. 

Those are timeless principles of liberty. It’s like Bob McEwen always says they work every time they’re tried, but they’ve got to be implemented. And so people shouldn’t be discouraged or turned off by some of the simple things we’re asking them to do.

Just like your 15 second answer, David, I mean, it really is still that’s how the constitutional republic works. It’s still those simple answers. But you need more people to get engaged. And what an opportunity we have right now where people are paying attention that wouldn’t have in the past.

Faith Wins

David:

Rick, let me throw into that I mentioned that those guys in Virginia got really involved. A lot of that was because an organization called Faith Wins, who went in there and organized the churches, got the leaders together, said, here’s the objectives, here’s the blocking, tackling it has to be done, here’s easy objectives you can meet.

I will point out that Faith Wins with Chad Connelly in the last year has registered nearly 1 million new Christian voters in the last year. Now, we just put a million more folks in our team, do you know how many congressional races that will win? Do you know how many local races that will, how many sheriff’s races will be won by an extra million votes that had not been engaged in the process?

So it is the blocking and tackling, amen, that’s not as glorious as seeing a great catch on the goal line or hail marry or whatever, yeah, but that’s why you could even throw the past is because the blocking and tackling and Chad Connelly, guys like that have been doing it. And so I really encourage you, you can do this.

So just by statistically speaking, three out of four of your neighbors are not going to vote in this coming November election. You got to get them voting. And actually, only one out of eight is going to be voting for the right candidate. You know more people than that. You can do that you can pick up 10, 15 20 votes. And we had a congressional seat determined this last election by six votes. You and your neighbors can determine the outcome.

Now, not every seat is going to be a six votes seat. But nonetheless, if you get six and all the other folks in your city get six, well, that may be 10,000 votes, and you can win something there. So you don’t have to win at all. You just got to be able to increase the numbers, and groups like Faith Wins is really good at doing that and showing you how to do that. B

ut you’re right, Rick, it is the blocking and tackling of the basic stuff. It is simply we got to have more turnout on election night than they do and that’s up to us, not them.

Rick:

Alright guys, final question of the day for our Foundation of Freedom Thursday. I’ll see this come once from Linda in Pennsylvania. “I want to thank all of you for what you do with teaching average citizens their forgotten history and the importance of having a biblical worldview. I love all your materials. And I’m doing my best to be a force multiplier.” 

Constitutional Amendments

Thank you, Linda. Question is, “Have there been amendments passed by Congress but rejected by the states in our history?” And just for terminology, guys, I’ll replace passed with proposed, so an amendment is proposed by Congress, so yes, it’s passed by a vote of two thirds of both Houses, but it doesn’t go straight into the Constitution. It’s proposed by Congress, and then the states have to ratify it. Question is “Have there been some of those where the Congress took the first step, but the states did not take the second step?

David:

Yeah, the most recent one probably is the Equal Rights Amendment that they came through, that, boy, would that have been a really bad one for us today that would have emasculated most religious liberties. But the Equal Rights Amendment is what would have been used to say that you don’t have any choice on gender, you don’t have any choice on other agendas. But that was one passed by Congress. And in my generation, for sure, that was rejected by the states.

And by the way, just to give you a perspective, while there are 27 amendments that have been passed by Congress and ratified by the states, if you just look at proposed constitutional amendments, to date, over the course of American history, we’ve had 11,539 proposed constitutional amendments that have been introduced in Congress.

It doesn’t mean they all made it through Congress. Some of them did, like the Equal Rights Amendment. Others got really close. The Amendment that would have prohibited flag burning back in the 70s, I think, failed by one vote. The Balanced Budget Amendment failed by one vote one time and maybe three votes in other time. So, Congress had been super close on a lot of other amendments.

“Under God,” A “Christian Nation”, Stopping Biden, And More – On Foundations

But imagine 11,530, it has been everything from banning child labor to we had a marriage memo, we had a human life amendment, but we’ve had things limiting how much money you can earn. We’ve had constitutional amendments introduced to ban the military, or to say the president can only have one six year term with no reelection. 

There was an amendment introduced to have three president of United States, not one, one would do foreign, one would do domestic, and one would do economic, ban on pollution was one introduced in the 70s. We ban all pollution. I don’t know how you ban pollution. But anyway, there’s been a lot of amendments. And so the answer to that is yes, lots of amendments, including amendments that have gone through Congress that were not passed by the states.

Rick:

Yeah, without doubt, David, and in fact, some of them like the 27th Amendment that’s actually in the Constitution now it was originally proposed by Congress way back with the Bill of Rights all the way back in the beginning, but then wasn’t ratified at the time until somebody found it, guy named Greg Watson right here from Texas and did letters to state legislatures and got enough of them to finally ratified that it did go in to the Constitution.

So it’s an interesting process to say the least. Folks can find out more about that process and learn it if they go to our website, at wallbuilders.com today and get the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America course. And you can go through that course with your friends and family, you’ll learn how that whole thing works. 

Plus, you can be a coach and it goes back to that other question about how do you make a difference? How do you get people voting and involved? Host a biblical citizenship class in your home or at your church and that will get people engaged. It gives them hope, it gives them answers, and it gives them action steps on how to make a difference.

Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.