Atheist Hitchens Wrong About Founders

Christopher Hitchens, like many other atheists, wrongly claims that the majority of our “Founding Fathers” (those who signed the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution) were “Deists” and not Christians.

Oh, really? Then how does he explain things like this

And how does he explain that these supposedly non-Christian, supposedly “Deist” founders chose to put a Bible verse on the Liberty Bell? (”Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV:X“)

Hitchens also claims that there is no reference to God in the U.S. Constitution.  He’s wrong there, too.

Interested in learning more about this nation’s true history?

Don’t just read my posts. Read Benjamin Franklin Morris’ 1060-page book, first published in 1864, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States.

The only “evidence” Hitchens presented was his misinterpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s response to the Danbury Baptists.  I’d like to see Hitchens respond to the 1000+ pages of evidence in Morris’ book. 

The evidence is overwhelming that this country was founded by people who were predominantly Christian, with founding documents and laws based on Biblical principles.  Presidents as recent as Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Ronald Reagan have acknowledged that.

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32 Responses to Atheist Hitchens Wrong About Founders

  1. Jonah says:

    It is true that several of the founding fathers were Christian, but many of the most influential ones we still talk about today were Deist. That is to say, they believed in God and generally sided with Christian doctrine, but they didn’t believe that God directly intervened in the world, and in particular were unsure of Jesus’ divinity and whether the Bible was literally the word of God.

    Here’s Thomas Jefferson, on the various teachings of Jesus in the New Testament:

    I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

    And Benjamin Franklin, who described himself as “a thorough Deist,” and a month before he died wrote:

    As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.

    More religious was John Adams. He liked the morality of Christianity, but wasn’t too convinced by the particulars:

    I have attended public worship in all countries and with all sects and believe them all much better than no religion, though I have not thought myself obliged to believe all I heard.

    And Thomas Paine’s beliefs need no introduction:

    The opinions I have advanced . . . are the effect of the most clear and long-established conviction that the Bible and the Testament are impositions upon the world, that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is Deism, by which I then meant, and mean now, the belief of one God, and an imitation of his moral character, or the practice of what are called moral virtues – and that it was upon this only (so far as religion is concerned) that I rested all my hopes of happiness hereafter. So say I now – and so help me God.

    As to your latter point, that the use of “in the Year of our Lord” signifies any sort of religious beliefs whatsoever, stop being ridiculous. I say “A.D.” all the time, and you know damn well that I’m an atheist. I also say “bless you” when people sneeze and “goodbye” when they depart.

  2. You are correct that Deists did not believe that God directly intervened in the world.

    While Benjamin Franklin was influenced by Deists in England and France, here is what he said at the Constitutional Convention:

    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.

  3. Jonah says:

    True, but surely you agree that it’s just as inaccurate to call him a Christian, given his doubts (even up to his death) about the divinity of Christ. Isn’t Jesus the whole point of Christianity?

  4. Isn’t Jesus the whole point of Christianity?

    Even more specifically, the whole point of Christianity is Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which I will celebrate joyfully this Sunday.

    And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

    As to Ben Franklin, God knows what Franklin thought of Him. I think Franklin’s advice for the Constitutional Convention delegates to pray was very wise advice, and advice that a Deist would think completely unecessary. Why pray if you don’t expect God to listen?

    Perhaps we can agree on someone else… the man whose name is most recognizable on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, served as President of the Congress of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay when that congress, less than 4 months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, passed an order mentioning “God’s superintending providence” and earnestly recommending:

    a day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere, repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies…

    And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for Public Worship, and abstain from servile Labour on the said Day………..By Order of Congress,
    JOHN HANCOCK, President

  5. Jonah says:

    True, Hancock was one of the more religious ones. His father was a minister, after all. I tend to think, however, that it’s not the size of the signature that determines one’s importance, but rather the legacy that one leaves. And in terms of philosophical weight, the four I named above (Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Paine) are some heavy-hitters.

    I don’t think it’s correct to say that the majority of founding fathers were Deists (or at least I haven’t seen enough evidence to convince me of it), but it’s true that those who really shaped our nation held a much more watered-down view of the New Testament than the one you endorse.

  6. Jonah says:

    I think it might be wise for you to spend some time meditating on the border between religious traditions and religious beliefs. I’d posit that even without the latter, the former is an important part of American culture, and you’re right to draw attention to the way it has been embraced by our Founding Fathers. But it’s still foolish to conflate the two.

    As if to underline that point, I won’t be able to respond for the rest of the day. I’m heading off to a Seder, my second in as many nights.

  7. Hancock’s signature was large, not because he thought of himself as more important than his peers, but rather because he wanted King George to be able to read it without his glasses.

    It was a an emphatic rejection of King George’s tyrranny, and an emphatic show of support for an emphatic Declaration of Independence.


    You say:

    True, Hancock was one of the more religious ones. His father was a minister, after all.

    The March 16, 1776 Order from the Congress of the Massachusetts colony isn’t just about Hancock. He was the President, but look at all of the other people who “Attest”, “READ and accepted, and Ordered”, “Read and concurr’d”, and “Consented to” that order.

    We’re talking about the beliefs of a majority of our founders. We’re talking about very clear evidence that what progressives today would claim as “unconstitutional” (an earnest congressional recommendation for a day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere, repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness) was quite normal to our nation’s founders. “Separation of Church and State”, as perceived by progressives, is a farce. The first amendment was intended to protect the church from the state, and was never intended to keep Christian faith out of government activities.

  8. As to religious tradition…

    For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…

    After you enjoy the Passover Seder, “I think it might be wise for you to spend some time meditating on the” Z’roa (symbolizing the sacrifical lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem) and that Jesus not only shared the Passover lamb with his disciples, but the next next day became the sacrificial Lamb of God.

  9. As to your latter point, that the use of “in the Year of our Lord” signifies any sort of religious beliefs whatsoever, stop being ridiculous. I say “A.D.” all the time, and you know damn well that I’m an atheist. I also say “bless you” when people sneeze and “goodbye” when they depart.

    A.D. most certainly has religious meaning, whether you intend that meaning or not. It’s precisely because it refers to Jesus Christ that many atheists have made up a new, secular replacement: C.E.

    Common Era (CE), secular alternative to Anno Domini (AD)

    Given the faith of our founders, that they capitalized the L in “Lord” and more specifically said “our Lord”, I think it’s self-evident that they intended the reference to our Lord Jesus Christ.

    You have every right to disagree. But have you given any thought to the universities these men attended, and the declared purpose of those universities?

    For example, Harvard’s motto is “Christo et Ecclesiae” (”For Christ and the church“)

  10. Jonah says:

    He was the President, but look at all of the other people who “Attest”, “READ and accepted, and Ordered”, “Read and concurr’d”, and “Consented to” that order.

    And how many of those signers do we talk about today? By contrast, Jefferson’s writings are more or less the ideological foundation of the Republican Party, and he didn’t even think Christ was the son of God.

    I’m not suggesting that the Founding Fathers were less religious than we are today; that’s clearly not the case. But to portray them as some sort of monolithic block of God-fearing men who thought Christ was the answer to all the world’s problems is grossly inaccurate. Many of them, including some of the most influential, had very different opinions.

    A.D. most certainly has religious meaning, whether you intend that meaning or not.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t. What I’m saying is that its use does not imply that the speaker intends that meaning. Certainly I don’t, but I still use it because I like it better stylistically than C.E. (especially because of the clumsy three-letter B.C.E.). Likewise, I capitalize the L in Lord and the G in God and the B in Bible, because I believe that names and titles, even those of fictional people and works of fiction, should be capitalized. And as I mentioned above, I say “bless you” even though I think there’s no one to do the blessing, and I say “goodbye” even though I don’t believe in its literal meaning.

    My use of Christian conventions in speech says nothing about my beliefs, and to assume that it does for others is foolish. Pretty much everyone I know says “A.D.” and “B.C.” (The one exception I can think of off the top of my head is an old math professor who referred to, say, 42 B.C. as “negative 42 on the time line.” It was kind of adorable.) If you want to use a piece of evidence p to support a conclusion q, p has to correlate well with q. If p is usually true even when q is false, then it’s no evidence at all. This is what I mean by “stop being ridiculous.”

  11. Ryan says:

    To further the points made by Jonah, Mr Pill, my family is planning a big Easter dinner for this weekend. Is it because we are celebrating Christ’s resurrection? No. I can’t think of a member of my extended family who has ever expressed a belief in God. We are having Easter dinner because we always have. I don’t believe that we should abandon all Christian traditions just because we lack the belief that started those traditions. It’s nice to have dinner with the family – that’s why we do it.

  12. Ryan,

    I’m glad your family is planning a big dinner and spending time together. That’s good. And just because you have a tradition of doing so on Easter does not make it a “Christian” tradition. It seems that we agree on that.

    Jonah suggested that I spend some time meditating on the border between religious traditions and religious beliefs. I am not confused in this area.

    We are not a “Judeo-Christian nation” simply because a majority of our people celebrate family traditions on Christmas and Easter, or Hanukkah and Passover.

    We are a “Judeo-Christian nation” because a majority of our people have in the past, and continue today, to actually share a belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and have codified Biblical laws and principles into our founding documents and laws.

    Look back at the founding documents of each of the Ivy League schools to see an indication of the value system prevelant in our society at the time of the Amercian Revolution.

    Those values continued on throughout the 19th century. Here is an excerpt from the Order of services at the Centennial celebration of Harvard University, on the 8th of September, 1836:

    From all that dwell below the skies,
    Let the Creator’s praise arise;
    Let the Redeemer’s name be sung
    Through every land, by every tongue.

    Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;
    Eternal truth attends thy word:
    Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
    Till suns shall rise and set no more.

    It was only in the 20th century that the godless socialists started attacking our major universities from within, and shifting them away from their God-honoring foundation.

    Demoralization in America’s Universities


    By the Council and House of Representatives.

    For a General FAST.

    ALMIGHTY GOD, who is the supreme Director of all Events, having been pleased in his wife Providence to wave the Banners of Slavery over our Heads, and try us by a destructive War, which now rages in all its Horrors within our Borders, and lately suffered our Enemies to obtain considerable Advantages of our Forces in the Northern Department; and it being our immediate Duty in such a Season of public Distress and Calamity, to call upon Him who fits at the Helm and conducts the Concerns of every People, that he would remove the desolating Judgments we feel, and avert those which our highly aggravated Sins and Iniquities lead us to fear, that he would defend and protect the Vine which his own right Hand hath planted, and cause this People yet to rejoice in Salvation:

    THE COUNCIL and House of Representatives of this STATE have therefore thought fit to appoint, and do hereby appoint THURSDAY the seventh Day of August next, to be observed as a Day of public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer throughout the State; recommending to all Ranks & Denominations of Men, as the first and most important Object, a humble, sincere and hearty Confession of their innumerable & highly aggravated Sins committed against the Majesty of Heaven; a devout Application for Pardon & Forgiveness through the Mediation of the great Redeemer; and earnest Prayer for a Spirit of Repentance and Reformation manifested in Holiness and Righteousness; intreating them, on this Occasion, to wrestle at the Throne of Grace, that it would please the Parent of Mankind to command an End to the Effusion of Human Blood, restrain the Remainder of the Wrath of Man, and speedily restore Peace; or, if most fit in the infinite View of his Providence, that the Lord of Hosts would be pleased to inspire our Generals and Military Officers with Prudence and Fortitude, and our Soldiers with undaunted Courage; to protect and shield them in all future Encounters with the Enemy, againtake the Guidance of our Hosts, assist our Arms and smile upon them wherever they are employed; That it would please the Father of Light and Fountain of Wisdom to afford to the Continental Congress and all our Civil Fathers of the present Day, that Prudence which is profitable to direct in such a complicated, perplexed, and distressing Situation of public Affairs; And that these United States may be so sanctified by the present Dispensations of Providence, as to become Kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    All servile Labour and Recreation are forbidden on said Day.

    Give at the COUNCIL CHAMBER in EXETER July 19th, in the Year of our LORD, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven.


    E. THOMPSON, Secretary.


    Oliver Wolcott, Esq.


    AS it peculiarly becomes a Christian People, at particular and stated Seasons, by Humiliation and Prayer, to pay their devout Homage to Almighty GOD;–

    I HAVE thought proper to appoint, and do hereby appoint, FRIDAY, the Fourteenth Day of April next, to be observed as a Day of public Humiliation, FASTING and Prayer, throughout this State; recommending to all the People, in their solemn Assemblies, on that Day, devoutly to acknowledge their Dependance on the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and with sincere Repentance for our many Sins, humbly to implore, of a merciful God their Forgiveness and Remission, the gracious Aids of his Spirit, and the Blessings of his Providence.

    That he would continue to us and successive Generations, the Gospel of Peace and Salvation;–teach the Hearts of all Men to know its Truth and Excellence, and to obey its holy Precepts:–Succeed and Means of Education and Learning; bless our Youth, furnish their Minds with useful Knowledge, and enrich them with the christian Graces:–That he would smile on our Husbandry; give and preserve to us the goodly Fruits of the Earth:–Prosper our Commerce, restrain the arbitrary Enterprizes for extensively practiced upon it, and cause the Nations at War, to observe towards our Trade and Navigation, the Laws of Justice and good Faith;–save us from desolating Diseases; and grant that in all our lawful Business and Vocations, we may experience the Divine Care and Beneficence. And moreover, humbly to beseech the Throne of Grace, that the God of Wisdom would enlighten the public Councils of this State, thereby to increase the Means of social Improvement and Happiness among the People, and to confirm and perpetuate the public Order, Liberty and Tranquility.

    That the United States may continue to be under the Superintendence and holy Protection of the Sovereign Arbiter of Nations:–That he would inspire all our Citizens with a Love of their Country, and each other; cement our Union; impart to all Departments of the Government Wisdom and Integrity, uprightly and ably to conduct the public Interests confided to their Care:–Still continue graciously to smile on our earnest and faithful Endeavours to preserve our Peace;–cause the Negociations with the French Republic to issue in the Acknowledgment and secure Establishment of our just Rights, and the Restoration of Amity and good Agreement between the two Countries.

    And that it would please God to afford his gracious Aids to the President of the United States, in the Discharge of the arduous Duties on which he is entering; and that he may be enabled, by a wise and impartial Administration of them, to preserve that Confidence of the People in this Branch of our Government, by which it has been so eminently distinguished:–That the Benedictions of Heaven may attend the late President of the United States, in his Retirement from his long, useful and disinterested Services to our Country.

    And that God, who is the Author of Peace and Lover of Concord, would restrain the Rage, and Pride of warring Nations, and cause them to submit to righteous and equitable Terms of Peace.

    An that all those to whom the Ministration of the Gospel of Christ Jesus is committed, may be influenced by that Spirit which the Gospel is adapted to inspire; and that the Effect of their Ministration may be the Advancement of peaceful Kingdom of the Great Redeemer among Mankind.

    All servile Labour on said Day is forbidden.

    Given at Litchfield, this seventeenth Day of March, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twenty-first.


    By his Excellency’s Command,
    Samuel Wyllys, Secretary.

  15. {Begin handwritten}1841……….1841{End handwritten}




    We are again permitted to witness the continued fulfilment of the promise, “that while the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest shall not cease;” again through the mercy of our Heavenly Father, has the earth yielded a liberal supply for the sustenance of man and beast. For such favors it becomes us, as a Christian people, to offer unto God our humble acknowledgements.

    I have therefore with advice of Council appointed THURSDAY, THE 25th DAY OF NOVEMBER next, to be observed as a day of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING throughout this State.

    Let us on that day assemble in our usual places of public worship, and express our gratitude to God for His unnumbered mercies bestowed on us; for the general prevalence of health throughout our State and Country; for peace and tranquility at home and abroad; for the preservation of our happy form of government, and of our free institutions; for the increasing prosperity of our common schools, and of our higher literary Institutions; and especially let us remember to offer our sincere acknowledgements to God, for the inestimable gift of His Son Jesus Christ our Redeemer and Saviour, and adore and praise Him for that hope of a blessed immortality which is brought to light in His Gospel; let us also entreat Him, still to continue His kind and watchful care over us as a State and Nation, and to preserve unto us the many blessings and privileges we now enjoy.

    The people of this State are respectfully requested to abstain from all labor and recreation, inconsistent with a due observance of the day.

    Given at Haverhill, this 12th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and in the sixty-sixth year of the Independence of the United States.


    By His Excellency’s Command,
    With Advice of Council.

    JOSIAH STEVENS, Jr., Secretary of State.

  16. By His Excellency


    In accordance with the custom of this Commonwealth, I hereby appoint Friday, the Thirtieth of March, as a day of Fasting and Prayer. And I recommend to the people of this State that, abstaining from their usual vocations, they spend that day in penitential worship of God in their churches, and in private fasting and prayer at their homes.

    So, through that devotion which recalls the heroic self-denial of others, through that purity which follows penitence, and in that peace which follows purity, they shall the more surely preserve and transmit the rich earthly heritage which came to them through the sufferings of the Fathers.

    So shall they be counted the more worthy to receive, as a crown to all temporal good, that blessed immortality which is the gift of God through the world’s Redeemer.

    Given under my hand and seal of the State, at the Capitol in Hartford, this sixteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.

    Phineas C. Lounsbury.

    By His Excellency’s Command:
    Leverett M. Hubbard,
    Secretary of the State.

    Of the United States of America.

    A Proclamation.

    AS no truth is more clearly taught in the volume of inspiration, nor any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributor of rewards and punishments, are conducive, equally, to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well being of communities; as it is, also, most reasonable in itself, that men who are made capable of social acts and relations, who owe their improvements to the social state, and who derive their enjoyments from it, should, as a society, make their acknowledgments of dependance and obligation to Him who hath endued them with these capacities, and elevated them in the scale of existence, by these distinctions; as it is, likewise, a plain dictate of duty, and a strong sentiment of nature, that in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger, earnest and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy, by the hostile designs and insidious arts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles subversive of the foundations of all religious, moral and social obligations, that have produced incalculable mischief and misery in other countries; and as, in fine, the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities, is happily calculated to avert the evils which we ought to deprecate, and to excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge,–by calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate them, by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national act:–For these reasons, I have thought proper to recommend, and I do hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the 25th day of April next, be observed, throughout the United States of America, as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer–That the citizens, on that day, abstaining as far as may be from their secular occupations, devote the time to the sacred duties of religion, in public and in private: That they call to mind our numerous offences against the most High GOD, confess them before him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that, through the grace of his Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to his righteous requisitions in time to come: That he would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice, so offensive to himself and so ruinous to mankind: That he would make us deeply sensible that “righteousness exalteth a nation, but that sin is the reproach of any people”: That he would turn us from our transgressions and turn his displeasure from us: That he would withhold us from unreasonable discontent,–from disunion, faction, sedition and insurrection: That he would preserve our country from the desolating sword: That he would save our cities and towns from a repetition of those awful pestilential visitations under which they have lately suffered so severely, and that the health of our inhabitants, generally, may be precious in his sight: That he would favour us with fruitful seasons, and so bless the labors of the husbandman as that there may be food in abundance for man and beast: That he would prosper our commerce, manufactures, and fisheries and give success to the people in all their lawful industry and enterprize: That he would smile on our colleges, academies, schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals and religion: That he would bless all magistrates from the highest to the lowest, give them the true spirit of their station, make them a terror to evil doers and a praise to them that do well: That he would preside over the councils of the nation at this critical period, enlighten them to a just discernment of the public interest, and save them from mistake, division and discord: That he would succeed our preparations for defence, and bless our armaments by land and by sea: That he would put an end to the effusion of human blood, and the accumulation of human misery, among the contending nations of the earth, by disposing them to justice, to equity, to benevolence and to peace: And that he would extend the blessings of knowledge, of true liberty, and of pure and undefiled religion, throughout the world.

    And I do, also, recommend that with these acts of humiliation, penitence and prayer, fervent thanksgiving to the author of all good be united, for the countless favors which he is still continuing to the people of the United States, and which render their condition as a nation eminently happy, when compared with the lot of others.

    Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at the city of Philadelphia, this sixth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-third.


    By the President,
    Timothy Pickering,
    Secretary of State.

  18. Note the following timeline:
    1787/09/17 – Final draft of the Constitution sent to Congress
    1787/12/07 – Delaware ratifies the Constitution
    1787/12/12 – Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution
    1787/12/18 – New Jersey ratifies the Constitution
    1788/01/02 – Georgia ratifies the Constitution
    1788/01/09 – Connecticut ratifies the Constitution
    1788/02/06 – Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution
    1788/04/28 – Maryland ratifies the Constitution
    1788/05/23 – South Carolina ratifies the Constitution
    1788/06/21 – New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution
    1788/06/21 – Constitution Ratified
    1788/06/25 – Virginia ratifies the Constitution
    1788/07/26 – New York ratifies the Constitution
    1789/03/04 – The Constitution goes into effect
    1789/04/30 – President George Washington takes office
    1789/09/25 – Congress passes 12 Amendments (which became Amendments 1-10, 27, and one unratified)
    1789/10/03 – At the request of Congress, President George Washington issues Thanksgiving Proclamation
    1789/11/20 – New Jersey ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1789/11/21 – North Carolina ratifies the Constitution
    1789/12/19 – Maryland ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1789/12/22 – North Carolina ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/01/19 – South Carolina ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/01/25 – New Hampshire ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/01/28 – Delaware ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/02/24 – New York ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/03/10 – Pennsylvania ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1790/05/29 – Rhode Island ratifies the Constitution
    1790/06/07 – Rhode Island ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1791/03/04 – Vermont ratifies the Constitution
    1791/11/03 – Vermont ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1791/12/15 – Virginia ratifies Amendments 1-10
    1791/12/15 – Amendments 1-10 ratified
    1795/01/01 – President Washington issues another Thanksgiving Proclamation

    The Bill of Rights is about preserving our God-given (Endowed by our Creator) inalienable rights.

    The First Amendment is about preserving our God-given (Endowed by our Creator) inalienable rights in our expression of religion: in speech, in press, in assembly, in petitioning for redress of grievances.

    The First Amendment is about ensuring that the government never takes away our freedom of religious expression.

    Yet today, that has been turned 180 degrees, and a phrase that doesn’t even exist in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is now being used to take away the very rights the first amendment was written to protect.

    Those who best understand the “original intent” of the first amendment are those who were there when it was written and subsequently ratified in 11 states. If the original intent was as the ACLU claims, then why did President George Washington issue these religious proclamations? Why didn’t anyone object and claim that they were unconstitutional?

    Realize this truth: The same congress that passed this amendment on September 25th, 1789…

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    …was the same Congress that asked President George Washington to issue the Thanksgiving Proclamation that was delivered a mere eight days later: October 3rd, 1789.

    And whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint Committee, requested me

    “To recommend to the People of the United States, a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful Hearts the many and signal Favors of Almighty GOD, especially by affording them an Opportunity peaceably to establish a Form of Government for their Safety and Happiness.”

    I repeat the assertion of this post: Atheist Hitchens is Wrong about the Founders.

  19. By the PRESIDENT
    Of the UNITED STATES of America.

    A Proclamation.

    WHEREAS it is the Duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty GOD, to obey his Will, to be grateful for his Benefits, and humbly to implore his Protection and Favor: And whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint Committee, requested me

    “To recommend to the People of the United States, a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful Hearts the many and signal Favors of Almighty GOD, especially by affording them an Opportunity peaceably to establish a Form of Government for their Safety and Happiness.”

    NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign Thursday the Twenty-sixth Day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these States, to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be: That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble Thanks for his kind Care and Protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation;–for the signal and manifold Mercies, and the favourable Interpositions of his Providence in the Course and Conclusion of the late War;–for the great Degree of Tranquility, Union and Plenty, which we have since enjoyed;–for the peaceable and rational Manner in which we have been enabled to establish Constitutions of Government for our Safety and Happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;–for the civil and religious Liberty with which we are blessed, and the Means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful Knowledge;–and in general, for all the great and various Favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

    AND ALSO, That we may then unite in most humbly offering our Prayers and Supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our national and other Transgressions;–to enable us all, whether in public or private Stations, to perform our several and relative Duties properly and punctually;–to render our national Government a Blessing to all the People, by constantly being a Government of wife, just and constitutional Laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations, (especially such as have shewn Kindness unto us) and to bless them with good Government, Peace and Concord;–to promote the Knowledge and Practice of true Religion and Virtue, and the Encrease of Science among them and us;–and generally, to grant unto all Mankind such a Degree of temporal Prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

    GIVEN under my Hand, at the City of New-York, the third Day of October, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-nine.


  20. [ca. July 7, 1777] The Congress desire to have a bible printed under their care & by their encouragement

    “That, your committee are of opinion, considerable difficulties will attend the procuring the types and paper; that, afterwards, the risque of importing them will considerably enhance the cost, and that the calculations are subject to such uncertainty in the present state of affairs, that Congress cannot much rely on them: that the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great, that your committee refer the above to the consideration of Congress, and if Congress shall not think it expedient to order the importation of types and paper, your committee recommend that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the states in the Union:”

    Whereupon, the Congress was moved, to order the Committee of Commerce to import twenty thousand copies of the Bible;

    The question being put, the house was divided:


    So it was resolved in the affirmative.

  21. John Rodgers’s May 30, 1783 letter to George Washington suggested that Congress present each soldier with a Bible, as a gift of appreciation for their service in the Revolutionary War.

    George Washington replied June 11, 1783, saying:

    Dear Sir: I accept, with much pleasure your kind Congratulations on the happy Event of Peace, with the Establishment of our Liberties and Independence.

    Glorious indeed has been our Contest: glorious, if we consider the Prize for which we have contended, and glorious in its Issue; but in the midst of our Joys, I hope we shall not forget that, to divine Providence is to be ascribed the Glory and the Praise.

    Your proposition respecting Mr Aikins Bibles would have been particularly noticed by me, had it been suggested in Season; but the late Resolution of Congress for discharging Part of the Army, takg off near two thirds of our Numbers, it is now too late to make the Attempt. It would have pleased me, if Congress should have made such an important present, to the brave fellows, who have done so much for the Security of their Country’s Rights and Establishment.

  22. Pingback: U.S. Congress Moved to Import 20,000 Bibles « I Took The Red Pill (and escaped the Matrix)

  23. April 10, 2009 at 10:02 am
    Jonah said:

    And how many of those signers do we talk about today? By contrast, Jefferson’s writings are more or less the ideological foundation of the Republican Party, and he didn’t even think Christ was the son of God.

    What do you make of this?

  24. Pingback: God, the Bible, and Our Founders « I Took The Red Pill (and escaped the Matrix)

  25. MYTH: The Founders were mostly Deists.
    TRUTH: The Founders were mostly “Christians of all denominations”.

  26. When it comes to the Founders and the Constitution, David Barton knows orders of magnitude more than Jon Stewart.

    Jon Stewart threw every straw man (that his staff gave him on note cards) that he could at David Barton, and Barton knocked every single one of those straw men down. Barton has spent decades studying thousands of primary source documents. Stewart has spent minutes, possibly hours, studying the note cards his staff gave him. It was no contest. Every time Stewart threw a false accusation at Barton, Barton countered with the truth. And every time, Stewart would interrupt Barton’s answer. Stewart could only crack a joke or change the subject; he couldn’t have a straight-up discussion of the truth.–1–2—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–1—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–2—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–3

    I would love to see a similar discussion between David Barton and “Constitutional Law” lecturer Barack Obama.

    When it comes to the Founders and the Constitution, David Barton knows orders of magnitude more than Barack Obama.

  27. From WallBuilders

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: John Adams 1809 Letter
    A December 21, 1809 letter by John Adams to Benjamin Rush.
    Read Letter »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: Treaty of Tripoli
    The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, specifically article XI, is commonly misused in editorial columns, articles, as well as in other areas of the media, both Christian and secular.
    Read Article »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: The Aitken Bible
    Robert Aitken’s Bible was the first known English-language Bible to be printed in America, and also the only Bible to receive Congressional approval.
    Read Article »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: The Separation of Church and State
    In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
    Read Article »»

    Letters Between the Danbury Baptists and Thomas Jefferson
    An 1801 letter from the Danbury Baptists and President Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 response in which he used the famous phrase “a wall of separation between Church and State.”
    Read Letters »»

    The Founders And Public Religious Expressions
    An article with quotes by various Founding Fathers on pubic religious expression.
    Read Article »»

  28. for an example of the explicitly Christian missions of our great universities, consider: “The aims of Duke University are to assert a faith in the eternal union of knowledge and religion as set forth in the teachings and character of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” etc.

  29. Pingback: domestic violence quotes

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