Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73
In response to my most recent piece on gay marriage and civil disobedience, much of the criticism I have seen has been on Christianity and the Founding Fathers, with many people holding the opinion that they were not Christians. To that I say, Yes they were!
To prove that I am resurrecting an older column I wrote in response to a Bill Maher rant on his HBO show in January 2011. It shows the Founders as Christians and takes on Maher and Leftists like him who twist historical facts.
Left-wing bomb-thrower, failed actor, and wannabe comedian Bill Maher recently attacked Tea Partiers and Christians in a rant on his less-than successful HBO television show, the only channel that would air such drivel.
Tea Party viewpoints are “antithetical” to the Founders, according to Maher. He classifies not the Founders but the “teabaggers” as “a group of exclusively white men who live in a bygone century, have bad teeth and think of blacks as three-fifths of a person.”
His rant continues: “I want you teabaggers out there to understand one thing, while you idolize the Founding Fathers and dress up like them and smell like them, I think its pretty clear that the Founding Fathers would have hated your guts! And what’s more, you would have hated them. They were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullsh*t!” All to uproarious laughter.
The Founders disagreed on many things, Maher reminds us, but one thing they did agree on was that political power must stay in the hands of the smartest people “and out of the hands of the dumbest loudmouths slowing down the checkout line at Home Depot.”
The Founders were not the common man of their day, Maher proudly exclaims, they were super-smart philosophers and learned men, unlike today’s “teabaggers.”
So I guess it’s Maher and his ilk that should be running the country, not us dumb ole commoners.
He also used his episode to bash Christianity, a favorite sport of his. He attacked the “super religious guy Glenn Beck” for dressing up as Thomas Paine, who Maher points out was “an atheist who said churches were human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind.”
John Adams, he continued, “said this would be ‘the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.’ Which is not to say the Founders didn’t have a moral code. Of course they did. They just didn’t get it from the Bible.”
But Maher’s leftwing, atheistic views have no basis in historical fact.
Thomas Paine was indeed an atheist, who disliked Christianity. His pamphlet Common Sense was enormously successful in providing a moral boost to the American cause. But Paine should not be considered a Founding Father. A revolutionary, he only came to America from England in 1774 to participate in a revolution that many saw as inevitable. He was never a member of the Continental Congress, did not sign the Declaration of Independence, nor help form the Constitution. In fact he left America in 1789 and headed to France to participate in that revolution.
But as for Adams, Maher took his quote completely out of its context. Adams had been reading books on different religious viewpoints, and had grown tired of the back-and-forth bickering from the different authors. He wrote to Thomas Jefferson of his frustration. “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!’ But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell.”
So you see, Adams did NOT believe the world could exist without religion, and that it would be Hell on earth if there were none.
The Founders did not think the Bible was “bullsh*t.” In fact, many of the Founders were Christians and read the Bible religiously, contrary to the teachings in our leftwing schools.
“The Bible contains the most profound Philosophy, the most perfect Morality, and the most refined Policy, that ever was conceived upon earth,” wrote John Adams. “It is the most Republican Book in the World, and therefore I will still revere it.”
According to David Barton, 34 percent of the more than 3,000 quotes used in all founding documents came from the Bible. That sacred book was the most widely-used source, not Plato. And of those quotes, most came from the Book of Deuteronomy, the laws of Moses.
The Ivy League schools, today hotbeds of liberalism and anti-Christian fervor, were all originally created to train missionaries to spread the Gospel. They were not secular institutions.
Harvard College’s “Rules and Precepts” in 1642 contained the following:
“Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all found knowledge and Learning.”
Such an enunciation would be enough to get one fired from Harvard today!
Most of the Founders themselves were devout followers of Christianity. They were deeply religious men and were not Deists, an Enlightenment religion consisting of a creator god uninterested in the plight of mankind.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, a very influential Founder, established the first Bible Society in America, the purpose of which was to print Bibles and distribute them. He also founded the concept of Sunday School in America.
James Wilson, who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, established the first law school in America and required the use of the Bible in the curriculum.
Thomas Jefferson, himself accused of being a deist and an outright atheist, began church services in the U.S. Capitol building in which he personally attended. He signed all his presidential documents “In the Year of Our Lord Christ.” He also drew up a list of books for the curriculum in the Washington, D.C. public schools. On that list was the Bible.
Benjamin Franklin, also accused of being a deist, stopped the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention and called for a prayer to seek guidance. Not something a deist would have done!
For it was not the smartest people the Founders wanted in public service, but Christians. John Adams stated in his only Inaugural Address that “A veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service.”
John Jay, an author of the Federalist Papers and the first Chief Justice of the United States, believed that “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
When a call was made for the Constitutional Convention, Christians dominated its proceedings. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, and a Christian, stated that “The best & purest religion, the Christian Religion itself.”
He was not alone in his religious beliefs.
Christian Delegates to the Constitutional Convention
Abraham Baldwin – Congregationalist
Richard Bassett – Methodist
Gunning Bedford – Presbyterian
John Blair – Episcopalian
William Blount – Presbyterian
David Brearly – Episcopalian
Jacob Broom – Lutheran
Pierce Butler – Episcopalian
Daniel Carroll – Catholic
George Clymer – Quaker/Episcopalian
William Richardson Davie – Presbyterian
Jonathan Dayton – Episcopalian
John Dickinson – Quaker/Episcopalian
Oliver Ellsworth – Congregationalist
William Few – Methodist
Thomas FitzSimons – Catholic
Elbridge Gerry – Episcopalian
Nicholas Gilman – Congregationalist
Nathaniel Gorham – Congregationalist
Alexander Hamilton – Episcopalian
William Churchill Houston – Presbyterian
William Houstoun – Episcopalian
Jared Ingersoll – Presbyterian
Daniel Jenifer – Episcopalian
William Samuel Johnson – Anglican
Rufus King – Episcopalian
John Langdon – Congregationalist
John Lansing – Dutch Reformed Church
William Livingston – Presbyterian
James Madison – Episcopalian
Alexander Martin – Episcopalian
Luther Martin – Episcopalian
George Mason – Episcopalian
John McHenry – Presbyterian
John Francis Mercer – Episcopalian
Thomas Mifflin – Quaker/Lutheran
Gouverneur Morris – Episcopalian
Robert Morris – Episcopalian
William Paterson – Presbyterian
William Pierce – Episcopalian
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney – Episcopalian
Charles Pinckney III – Episcopalian
Edmund Jennings Randolph – Episcopalian
George Read – Episcopalian
John Rutledge – Episcopalian
Roger Sherman – Congregationalist
Richard Dobbs Spaight – Episcopalian
Caleb Strong – Congregationalist
George Washington – Episcopalian
Hugh Williamson – Presbyterian
James Wilson – Episcopalian
George Wythe – Episcopalian
Robert Yates – Dutch Reformed Church
Bill Maher holds a history degree from Cornell but he is not using history for its true purposes – the pursuit of fact – only abusing it in order to attempt to destroy that which he despises. When the left can’t find evidence to support their flawed thinking, they simply distort it, ignore it, or make it up.
Maher should stop accusing Tea Partiers, Christians, and Conservatives of complete ignorance and stupidity, when he himself is guilty of a far more serious offense – outright deception.
But then again, you can’t be a successful liberal without lying!