American Bible Society 58th Anniversary Held in Hall of U.S. House of Representatives

american-bible-society-granted-use-of-hall-of-us-house-of-representatives

Congressional Record, House of Representatives, 43rd Congress, 1st Session, page 2495

Note also “the rule absolutely placing the direction of the Hall (of the U.S. House of Representatives) for the purpose of devine service on Sunday within the discretion of the Chair.”

The largest church in Washington, D.C. used to meet every Sunday in the Hall of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Christian Nation. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to American Bible Society 58th Anniversary Held in Hall of U.S. House of Representatives

  1. Ryan says:

    I can only assume that you are posting numerous examples of the mixing of religion and government to show that the two should be one and the same. Just because something happened, does not mean that it should have happened.

    There are so many example of church mixing with state for a simple reason. There were so few objections. With Christianity on the decline, percentage-wise, this will inevitably change, and governments will need to change with the times.

    You arguments are not much different than me stating that the US government advocates the Yankees as a national baseball team, since they have been guests at the White House so many times.

  2. Ryan,

    I can only assume that you are posting numerous examples of the mixing of religion and government to show that the two should be one and the same.

    Wrong assumption. I do not think, nor did the founders think, that religion and government should be one and the same. The whole point of the first amendment is to protect the church from the government…to ensure that our religious freedoms (of speech, press, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances) are protected and not taken away by government.

    Just because something happened, does not mean that it should have happened.

    Of course. That’s true about anything. Some things happened that should have happened, and some things happened that should not have happened. Of course it’s true to say, “Just because something happened, does not mean that it should have happened.”

    Who decides what “should” and “should not” have happened? Who decides what is “right” and “wrong”? Those are questions of morality. And this country was founded and built on Biblical morality. The evidence of such is overwhelming.

    There are so many example of church mixing with state for a simple reason. There were so few objections.

    Weak and wrong. If you and the ACLU were correct, and the intent of the first amendment is to keep all “endorsement” of religion out of our government, then why did the very same Congress, in an eight day period of time, pass the first amendment and ask President George Washington to proclaim a national day of fasting and prayer?

    You seem to think this should not have happened. Whose “should” are we going to listen to: yours or the founders’?

    With Christianity on the decline, percentage-wise, this will inevitably change, and governments will need to change with the times.

    Wrong again.
    Percentage who believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead…
    2007: Seventy-five percent (75%)
    2008: Seventy-six percent (76%)
    2009: Seventy-nine percent (79%)

  3. Math says:

    Maybe because, like people today, the founders liked having a day off? I do not believe in any of the fairy tales you believe in, but don’t think for one minute I wouldn’t take Christmas and Easter days off.

  4. Math,

    I guess you think “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” was Patrick Henry’s way of asking for a day off?

  5. Jonah says:

    Red,

    Totally. That dude would resort to all sorts of hyperbole if he thought it would help him get out of work.

    In all seriousness, I think it’s fallacious on either of our parts to suppose that the Founding Fathers agreed on this matter in any direction. This is what I’ve been saying for several days. Several of the Founders, like Washington or Hancock, were more liberal (pardon the term) in allowing government and religion to intermingle. Some, like Franklin and Jefferson, were much more cautious. TJ issued several proclamations as governor calling for days of fasting and prayer like the ones you cite above, but once he became president he refused to issue those passed by Congress. It’s precisely because of his explanation of this decision that we even have the phrase “separation of church and state.”

    You can argue as much as you want about whether said separation is to protect the church or the government (I’d probably agree with you that it’s mostly the former), but the point stands that it’s an important principle. And even if it is just to protect the church, that doesn’t give the church free reign to interfere in government. Barbed wire fences are great for keeping in cattle, but it’s still a bad idea for humans to climb them.

    But my big point here, and this is also what I think Ryan was trying to say, is that it doesn’t matter what the law was, or even what the law is. What matters is what it should be. So my question to you is, to what extent does the current understanding of separation of church and state hinder our development as a nation? I know education is one example where you think the church is underused, so tell me: what should be the role of religion in public education?

    Wrong again.
    Percentage who believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead…
    2007: Seventy-five percent (75%)
    2008: Seventy-six percent (76%)
    2009: Seventy-nine percent (79%)

    Ah, an old favorite. If the data don’t support your claim, choose a small enough window so it does! Have you been re-reading George Will’s global warming article or something?Here‘s a bigger picture of the change in religious affiliation.

  6. Washington and Hancock, and the majority of their peers, did not simply “allow government and religion to intermingle”. The majority were Bible-believing Christians.

    While no two people ever seem to agree on everything, there is a common thread in this nation’s Christian heritage from Christopher Columbus to the pilgrims (whose embarkation is memorialized in the Capitol’s rotunda in a painting featuring a Bible and prayer, and whose Mayflower Compact made it perfectly clear that they came “for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith“) to the Declaration of Independence, to the Congress a year later (July 1777) that voted in the affirmative to import 20,000 Bibles becuase “the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great” to the Congress in 1789 that passed the first ammendment and asked the President to proclaim a day of fasting and prayer. That’s two of the three branches right there (Legislative and Executive), and then consider that the head of the third branch (the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court) said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” That’s all three branches of our government endorsing Christianity.

    I remind you of what Democratic President Harry S. Truman said about the fundamental basis for this nation’s Constitution, Bill of Rights, and laws… the Bible.

    I remind you of the 1000+ pages of historical evidence in Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States.

    There never really was any disagreement about our nation being founded on the Bible. That is, until FDR. He tried to change the rules and pack the Supreme Court with “Progressive” justices. His original plan didn’t work, so he changed the rules in a different way – he broke the “two term” precedent that had been followed since President Washington, and FDR’s 4 terms in office allowed him to reshape the court due to natural attrition and replacements. It was this newly “progressive” court that began to distort the past and start taking away rights from the people and give them to “big government”.

  7. to what extent does the current understanding of separation of church and state hinder our development as a nation?

    The Bible is the very foundation upon which this nation was built. The current understanding of separation of church and state doesn’t just hinder our development as a nation, it attempts to remove it’s very foundation.

    It is stage 1 (“Demoralization”) of the four stage process of Ideological Subversion. Stage 2 is “Destablization” (think Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac). Stage 3 is “Crisis” (being accellerated by the actions of the current Democratic Congress and President). Stage 4 is Communist “Normalization”.

    We are very close to losing it all, becuase we didn’t defend our foundation.

    President George Washington said:

    While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.

    and:

    It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.

    The antidote to Ideological Subversion is to return to our foundation.

    —-

    what should be the role of religion in public education?

    I do not want government-run religion. I also don’t want government restrictions on the inalienable right of religious freedom, in all of its expressions. The government has no right to restrict Christian expresssion, even in the public arena. The government has no right to say that a valedictorian can’t thank Jesus Christ in their graduation speech. The government has no right to restrict Bibles from schools. (While some schools even require students to read from the Koran)

    The first amendment was intended to prevent the government from ever limiting individuals’ rights to freedom of religious speech, religious press, religious assembly, and petition for redress of religious grievances.

    How ironic that that very amendment is now turned 180 degrees and used to restrict religious speech, religious press, religious assembly (try holding a Bible Society meeting in the House of Representatives today, and you would be told that’s “unconstitutional”!), and not many people even understand what petition for redress of religious grievances is all about (but look back to the petitions that were sent to King George, were ignored, and eventually led to the Declaration of Independence, which itself lists the grievances we had with King George).

  8. Jonah says:

    Then color me baffled. What exactly are you advocating, aside from more Americans deciding to become Christian? Can you name a specific policy that our country should adopt which is contrary to our current understanding of the separation of church and state?

  9. Jonah says:

    Oh, you’re editing the post to answer my above questions. Good.

    The government has no right to say that a valedictorian can’t thank Jesus Christ in their graduation speech. The government has no right to restrict Bibles from schools. (While some schools even require students to read from the Koran)

    I agree, as does the law. If some school has restricted such speech in a valedictory, then it has done so illegally. Bibles are not banned in schools, but like the Koran, their use in the classroom may only be academic. If someone tells you otherwise, he or she is confused.

  10. Jonah,
    I wasn’t finished updating my last comment when you left yours. Go back and see the comment above again for more content.

    Sure, I’d like to see more Americans decide to become Christian. But my main point here is to have Americans who are already Christian “wake up” and realize the rights that have been taken away from them. The very foundation of our country has been under attack by “progressives” for decades.

    “Separation of church and state” was one founder’s (Jefferson’s) view. And given the letter from the Danbury Baptists to Jefferson, and Jefferson’s reply, that separation was not intended to remove all Christian references from government.

    A specific policy that our country should adopt which is contrary to our current understanding of the separation of church and state? Sure: overturn the Supreme Court decisions that have claimed that various forms of Christian expression were “unconstitutional”.

    The court has wrongly turned the 1st Amendment 180 degrees, using the 1st amendment to take away rights instead of protect them, and that has to change.

  11. Oh, you’re editing the post to answer my above questions. God.

    Yes, I was editing. No, it wasn’t in response to your questions. I didn’t see your questions until after I finished my editing.

    The window for submitting a comment does not have any formatting help. The window for editing a comment does. So, sometimes I start a comment, save it, then go into edit mode to complete it.

    Also, earlier today I was having issues with my internet connection and lost an entire comment, so I was trying again and saving “piecemeal”.

  12. Jonah,

    Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic that the Supreme Court can rule that display of the Ten Commandments is unconstitutional, and not even discuss the fact that there are several references to the Ten Commandments on and in their own Supreme Court building?

    Some of the members of Congress who passed the first ammendment are some of the same members of Congress who voted to use government funds to import 20,000 Bibles. Don’t you think it’s ironic that “progressives” today would tell the very people who wrote the first amendment that they can’t buy Bibles with government money because it would violate the first amendment?

  13. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill, there is simply no way the government should be buying Bibles for anyone, ever.

    Here’s what scares the hell out of me. I will come out and say that I do not think that a born again Christian should be in public office. Here’s why. Most Christians think that there is a finite length of time that “good” people have left on the Earth. If that is the case, and from what I have heard, a huge percentage of Christians feel that this is a very short timeline. I don’t think a person who believes that will act in the best long-term interests of a nation.

    In my opinion, that is the biggest reason to keep religion out of the government. It is contrary to reason, and has no place amongst those making decisions on such a large scale.

  14. there is simply no way the government should be buying Bibles for anyone, ever.

    Yet that is exactly what the founders did.

    Again the topic of “should” vs. “should not”, or “right” vs. “wrong”, is a question of morality. And it is quite clear that the morality of our founders was Biblical morality. They signed the Declaration of Independence “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” They understood that “the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great” that it was vitally important to our struggle for independence.

    At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, George Washington said, “It would have pleased me, if Congress should have made such an important present [a Bible], to the brave fellows, who have done so much for the Security of their Country’s Rights and Establishment.”

    Our founders knew that the Bible was vitally important in the formation of this country, and encouraged having our government pay for and give Bibles to people.

    You disagree. You have that right. But when you say “there is simply no way the government should be buying Bibles for anyone, ever” you are historically wrong.

    This nation was founded and built on the Word of God.

    Without the Bible, there would be no United States of America.

    God Bless America, Land That I Love!
    Stand Beside Her, And Guide Her,
    Through The Night With The Light From Above.

  15. Ryan says:

    “Without the Bible, there would be no United States of America.”

    How can you say that when many of the founders did not even believe in the Bible? The Bible, and Christianity have played a huge role in the history of the country, and the history of many of our families, including mine. So it’s is easy to say that the Christianity played a part in making what the United States is today – but so did baseball.

    Do believe that the government should distribute Bibles?

    Do you believe that the government should make laws that regulate behavior based on morals as portrayed in the Bible?

  16. Jonah says:

    Mr. Pill, there is simply no way the government should be buying Bibles for anyone, ever.

    I’m gonna disagree with Ryan here. This is the situation in which the Continental Congress found itself in 1777: after the Revolution, there was a shortage of Bibles in the country relative to the demand. Regardless of what the Founders themselves believed, the population was certainly quite religious, and more people wanted Bibles than were available.

    So, seeing a shortage of a good (Red might argue that g should be capitalized) which was high in demand, and printing technology being what it was, Congress chose to important a large quantity of that good from other countries. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    I also wouldn’t see anything wrong with a similar action being taken today, except that it doesn’t make sense any more for such a move to be necessary. Our country can print its own books now, and at any rate there are more than enough Bibles to go around. But it’s certainly not true that one “can’t buy Bibles with government money,” even today. Um, libraries?

    Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic that the Supreme Court can rule that display of the Ten Commandments is unconstitutional, and not even discuss the fact that there are several references to the Ten Commandments on and in their own Supreme Court building?

    I don’t think it’s that ironic, but I will grant you that this is a (the first) legitimate difference you have with current policy. So you’re one for four so far in the “things I would do differently” pool.

    I would note, however, that the extent to which our laws are “based on” the Ten Commandments is less than you often suggest. Yes, a good portion of the text has much in common with our rules, namely the “thou shalt not kill/commit adultery/steal/bear false witness” parts. But those morals are common to many cultures, even ones which have very little Judeo-Christian influence. What makes the Ten Commandments unique from those other moral systems is the “Do not have other Gods over me” and “Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol” stuff. Please, tell me: where in our nation’s laws are those ideas manifested?

  17. Do you believe that the government should make laws that regulate behavior based on morals as portrayed in the Bible?

    The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

    If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.

    President Harry S. Truman

  18. Jonah says:

    Perhaps a better question would be this: you have agreed in the past that it’s possible to have morals without getting them from the Bible, and I’m pretty sure you even agreed that humans are inherently moral people. So my question is, are there ways in which the government should make laws to regulate behavior based on morals from the Bible that are different from other morals?

    I mean, if you believe that all reasonable moral systems are equivalent to the one in the Bible, then I don’t particularly care which one the government promotes. So how would the government’s promotion of Biblical morality be any different from plain ol’ common sense morality?

  19. What makes the Ten Commandments unique from those other moral systems is the “Do not have other Gods over me” and “Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol” stuff. Please, tell me: where in our nation’s laws are those ideas manifested?

    Laws against idols would actually be Unconstitutional. You may be surprised to hear me say that, but the founders believed in freedom of religion (not freedom from religion), and that meant freedom even for those who would worship idols.

    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.

    I mean, if you believe that all reasonable moral systems are equivalent to the one in the Bible, then I don’t particularly care which one the government promotes. So how would the government’s promotion of Biblical morality be any different from plain ol’ common sense morality?

    I think what sets Biblical morality apart is that most of the moral systems in the world say “don’t do bad things to other people that you wouldn’t want them to do to you”, while the Bible says “do unto others [the good things] as you would have them do unto you”. The former focuses on not doing bad, while the latter focuses on doing good.

  20. Jonah says:

    Laws against idols would actually be Unconstitutional. You may be surprised to hear me say that[.]

    Oh, not surprised at all. I was just being Socratic, and I wanted to hear those words from your mouth. Or keyboard.

    I think what sets Biblical morality apart is that most of the moral systems in the world say “don’t do bad things to other people that you wouldn’t want them to do to you”, while the Bible says “do unto others [the good things] as you would have them do unto you”. The former focuses on not doing bad, while the latter focuses on doing good.

    That’s a really good answer. If I may pause for a moment, let me thank you for taking the time to seriously consider these questions. I don’t think they’ve been easy ones, but you’ve done an admirable job anyway.

    Back to the topic at hand. Now we get back to the question on how our laws would embody the latter (the “do unto others” part), and I think you’ll agree with me when I say that they shouldn’t. As a conservative, I’m sure you believe that the government oversteps its bounds exactly when it starts telling us what we must do, rather than what we mustn’t, correct?*

    So we’re back where we started. Encoded in our laws is a system of morals, and our Founding Fathers probably gleaned most of these morals from the Bible. But the ways which distinguish these specific morals from other morals are impossible to encode into law without curtailing freedom, and the ancestors knew that. So what we’re left with is this great document called the Constitution, which historically owes much to Judeo-Christian values, but, and this is the key thing, in content is completely religiously neutral. Which I think we both would have agreed on days ago.

    What were we arguing about again?

    *The careful reader will notice an ongoing theme here. We’ve just seen that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is an excellent moral but, ultimately, a bad law. Previously, we had acknowledged the same to be true for “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” In general, we now know that one cannot surmise the truth of a maxim by its legal implementation, nor can one say that a law is good simply because its underlying principles are righteous.

  21. 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.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/david-barton-pt–1

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/david-barton-pt–2

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–1

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–2

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—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.

  22. 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 »»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s