Skip to comments."OUR NATION'S GODLY HERITAGE"
Posted on 04/30/2003 6:31:18 PM PDT by webber
Since the earliest moments of our nation?s history, our leaders have called for national days of prayer, repentance and fasting. When an impasse had been reached at the Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin called for prayer with these words:
"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? I therefore beg leave to move--that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business"
Less than 100 years later, a concerned Abraham Lincoln called for national prayer in the midst of the Civil War:
"WHEREAS, The Senate of the United States; devoutly recognizing the Supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the president to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation. And
"WHEREAS, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
Many other statesmen, presidents and leaders have called on the nation to turn to God in prayer. In 1952, President Truman signed a joint resolution of Congress, creating the National Day of Prayer, and in 1988 it became a law under the signature of President Ronald Reagan.
During the earliest days of the conflict in Iraq, Congress called for a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer. Recently, congressional leaders asked evangelical leaders what would be a good day for this effort. It was decided that the themes of gratitude, fasting and prayer could be incorporated into the National Day of Prayer in a meaningful way.
So today, the yearly observance takes on new meaning as our country unites in gratitude, fasting and prayer for the blessings God has granted our nation.
The reference, of course is to Matthew 10:29, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."
You can expect, therefore, the same attention. God will watch while you fall.
I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyonefor kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Can we agree in prayer for our wonderful and free nation, and the Lords church living here
That we might find our feet and rise up to full stature (Eph 4:13)
That we might find our ears to hear, and eyes to see-- Gods redemptive purpose in these troubled times
That we might find our voice, and say thanks for all God has given us
That we might find our appetite, and ask God to give us more of the bread of life, and pour out the river of the Holy Spirit to slake our thirst for all that is righteous and true
That we might find the heart of God for the hopeless, the helpless, the hungry the dispossessed, disowned, and disaffected; the poor and afflicted, all those with no where else to turn but to a compassionate and forgiving God.
All the Lords blessings,
"The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty." John Adams
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
"Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society." John Adams
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. John Quincy Adams
"From the day of the Declaration...they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct." John Quincy Adams
"Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being....And, consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will...this will of his Maker is called the law of nature. These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil...This law of nature dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this... Sir William Blackstone
"Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering contumelious reproaches on our Savior Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the laws of the land. Sir William Blackstone
"The preservation of Christianity as a national religion is abstracted from its own intrinsic truth, of the utmost consequence to the civil state, which a single instance will sufficiently demonstrate. Sir William Blackstone
"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man. Alexander Hamilton
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." Patrick Henry
"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed." Patrick Henry
"Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry
"It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." Patrick Henry
"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. John Jay
"Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God." Gouverneur Morris
"If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." William Penn
"By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there would be an explosion in crime." Benjamin Rush
Supreme Court of New York 1811, in the Case of the People V Ruggles, 8 Johns 545-547, Chief Justice Chancellor Kent Stated:
The defendant was indicted ... in December, 1810, for that he did, on the 2nd day of September, 1810 ... wickedly, maliciously, and blasphemously, utter, and with a loud voice publish, in the presence and hearing of divers good and Christian people, of and concerning the Christian religion, and of and concerning Jesus Christ, the false, scandalous, malicious, wicked and blasphemous words following: "Jesus Christ was a bastard, and his mother must be a whore," in contempt of the Christian religion. .. . The defendant was tried and found guilty, and was sentenced by the court to be imprisoned for three months, and to pay a fine of $500.
The Prosecuting Attorney argued:
While the constitution of the State has saved the rights of conscience, and allowed a free and fair discussion of all points of controversy among religious sects, it has left the principal engrafted on the body of our common law, that Christianity is part of the laws of the State, untouched and unimpaired.
The Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court:
Such words uttered with such a disposition were an offense at common law. In Taylor's case the defendant was convicted upon information of speaking similar words, and the Court . . . said that Christianity was parcel of the law, and to cast contumelious reproaches upon it, tended to weaken the foundation of moral obligation, and the efficacy of oaths. And in the case of Rex v. Woolston, on a like conviction, the Court said . . . that whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government. . . . The authorities show that blasphemy against God and . . . profane ridicule of Christ or the Holy Scriptures (which are equally treated as blasphemy), are offenses punishable at common law, whether uttered by words or writings . . . because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order. Such offenses have always been considered independent of any religious establishment or the rights of the Church. They are treated as affecting the essential interests of civil society. . . .
We stand equally in need, now as formerly, of all the moral discipline, and of those principles of virtue, which help to bind society together. The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice; and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only ... impious, but . . . is a gross violation of decency and good order. Nothing could be more offensive to the virtuous part of the community, or more injurious to the tender morals of the young, than to declare such profanity lawful.. ..
The free, equal, and undisturbed enjoyment of religious' opinion, whatever it may be, and free and decent discussions on any religious subject, is granted and secured; but to revile ... the religion professed by almost the whole community, is an abuse of that right. . . . We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors [other religions].. .. [We are] people whose manners ... and whose morals have been elevated and inspired . . . by means of the Christian religion.
Though the constitution has discarded religious establishments, it does not forbid judicial cognizance of those offenses against religion and morality which have no reference to any such establishment. . . . This [constitutional] declaration (noble and magnanimous as it is, when duly understood) never meant to withdraw religion in general, and with it the best sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration and notice of the law. . . . To construe it as breaking down the common law barriers against licentious, wanton, and impious attacks upon Christianity itself, would be an enormous perversion of its meaning. . . . Christianity, in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is not unknown to our law. . . . The Court are accordingly of opinion that the judgment below must be affirmed: [that blasphemy against God, and contumelious reproaches, and profane ridicule of Christ or the Holy Scriptures, are offenses punishable at the common law, whether uttered by words or writings].
The Supreme Court in the case of Lidenmuller V The People, 33 Barbour, 561 Stated:
Christianity...is in fact, and ever has been, the religion of the people. The fact is everwhere prominent in all our civil and political history, and has been, from the first, recognized and acted upon by the people, and well as by constitutional conventions, by legislatures and by courts of justice.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 1817, in the Case of The Commonwealth V Wolf stated the courts opinion as follows:
Laws cannot be administered in any civilized government unless the people are taught to revere the sanctity of an oath, and look to a future state of rewards and punishments for the deeds of this life, It is of the utmost moment, therefore, that they should be reminded of their religious duties at stated periods.... A wise policy would naturally lead to the formation of laws calculated to subserve those salutary purposes. The invaluable privilege of the rights of conscience secured to us by the constitution of the commonwealth, was never intended to shelter those persons, who, out of mere caprice, would directly oppose those laws for the pleasure of showing their contempt and abhorrence of the religious opinions of the great mass of the citizens.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 1824, in the Case of Updegraph V The Commonwealth 11 Serg. & R. 393-394, 398-399, 402, 507 (1824) recorded the Courts Declaration that:
Abner Updegraph . . . on the 12th day of December  . . .not having the fear of God before his eyes . . . contriving and intending to scandalize, and bring into disrepute, and vilify the Christian religion and the scriptures of truth, in the Presence and hearing of several persons ... did unlawfully, wickedly and premeditatively, despitefully and blasphemously say . . . : "That the Holy Scriptures were a mere fable: that they were a contradiction, and that although they contained a number of good things, yet they contained a great many lies." To the great dishonor of Almighty God, to the great scandal of the profession of the Christian religion.
The jury . . . finds a malicious intention in the speaker to vilify the Christian religion and the scriptures, and this court cannot look beyond the record, nor take any notice of the allegation, that the words were uttered by the defendant, a member of a debating association, which convened weekly for discussion and mutual information... . That there is an association in which so serious a subject is treated with so much levity, indecency and scurrility ... I am sorry to hear, for it would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows, and young women for the brothel, and there is not a skeptic of decent manners and good morals, who would not consider such debating clubs as a common nuisance and disgrace to the city. .. . It was the out-pouring of an invective, so vulgarly shocking and insulting, that the lowest grade of civil authority ought not to be subject to it, but when spoken in a Christian land, and to a Christian audience, the highest offence conna bones mores; and even if Christianity was not part of the law of the land, it is the popular religion of the country, an insult on which would be indictable.
The assertion is once more made, that Christianity never was received as part of the common law of this Christian land; and it is added, that if it was, it was virtually repealed by the constitution of the United States, and of this state. . . . If the argument be worth anything, all the laws which have Christianity for their object--all would be carried away at one fell swoop-the act against cursing and swearing, and breach of the Lord's day; the act forbidding incestuous marriages, perjury by taking a false oath upon the book, fornication and adultery ...for all these are founded on Christianity--- for all these are restraints upon civil liberty. ...
We will first dispose of what is considered the grand objection--the constitutionality of Christianity--for, in effect, that is the question. Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law . . . not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church ... but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.
Thus this wise legislature framed this great body of laws, for a Christian country and Christian people. This is the Christianity of the common law . . . and thus, it is irrefragably proved, that the laws and institutions of this state are built on the foundation of reverence for Christianity. . . . In this the constitution of the United States has made no alteration, nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity . . . without which no free government can long exist.
To prohibit the open, public and explicit denial of the popular religion of a country is a necessary measure to preserve the tranquillity of a government. Of this, no person in a Christian country can complain. . . . In the Supreme Court of New York it was solemnly determined, that Christianity was part of the law of the land, and that to revile the Holy Scriptures was an indictable offence. The case assumes, says Chief Justice Kent, that we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted on Christianity. The People v. Ruggles.
No society can tolerate a willful and despiteful attempt to subvert its religion, no more than it would to break down its laws--a general, malicious and deliberate intent to overthrow Christianity, general Christianity. Without these restraints no free government could long exist. It is liberty run mad to declaim against the punishment of these offences, or to assert that the punishment is hostile to the spirit and genius of our government. They are far from being true friends to liberty who support this doctrine, and the promulgation of such opinions, and general receipt of them among the people, would be the sure forerunners of anarchy, and finally, of despotism. No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.... Its foundations are broad and strong, and deep. .. it is the purest system of morality, the firmest auxiliary, and only stable support of all human laws. . . .
Christianity is part of the common law; the act against blasphemy is neither obsolete nor virtually repealed; nor is Christianity inconsistent with our free governments or the genius of the people.
While our own free constitution secures liberty of conscience and freedom of religious worship to all, it is not necessary to maintain that any man should have the right publicly to vilify the religion of his neighbors and of the country; these two privileges are directly opposed.
The Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina in 1846 in the case of City of Charleston V S.A. Benjamin cites an individual who broke the Ordinance that stated: "No Person or persons whatsoever shall publicly expose to sale, or sell... any goods, wares or merchandise whatsoever upon the Lord's day." The court convicted the man and came to the conclusion: "I agree fully to what is beautifully and appropriately said in Updengraph V The Commonwealth.... Christianity, general Christianity, is an always has been, a part of the common law; "not Christianity with an established church... but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men."
Thanks for the post.