A Secular Nation or A Nation under the Providence of God?


On our way home from church services one Sunday afternoon grandpa had this to say in regards to the sermon of the pastor that day.

“Boy, There are those who would teach us that the founding fathers intended to create a secular nation rather than a nation under God and apparently that includes our fine pastor. And this teaching is not the exclusive teaching of the left even though it is the left that is the biggest promoters of this idea. There are plenty of those on the right that will ally themselves with the left in this regard.

They would argue that organized religion has no place in government. They would argue that the 1st amendment placed a wall of separation between government and organized religion and that this wall extended to every tier of government. And i’ll admit that this idea enjoys popular support among the people thus making me appear to be an extremist on this issue because I question its validity.

On the right are those who are the biggest proponents of Ayn Rand, persons such as Les over at “Rational Nation” who considers himself as being a conservative arguing this point. He will promote this idea as being a rational argument based upon the selective quotations of one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, as seen in this post, Thoughts from the Past…Relevant Today And I’d agree that if you took these quotations as being representative of the viewpoint of all of the founding fathers then the argument for a secular nation would be a credible claim.

Then you have those who possess a modern day liberal point of view such as Shaw over at “Progressive Eruptions” who acknowledge that the founding fathers such as Geo. Washington attribute the founding of this nation to providence but will not define it as the providence of God. They will define it in the secular sense of the providence of fate or destiny as she expresses in this post,
Rick Santorum Wants to Throw up on the Founding Fathers

.

Both parties will recognize that the founding fathers were God-fearing men but reveal their animosity towards organized religions by defining them as Deists as if being a Deist is a rejection of organized religions. They will even go as far as presenting episodes of their lives in a manner as to make it appear that the founding fathers saw organized religion as a cause of the problems of the world when there is a State/religion relationship. Demonizing the Christian faith is a popular past time for some in today’s society. The problem lies in the fact that when a person does his own research instead of relying on their research the facts and history does not back them up.

Geo. Washington who is called the “Father” of this nation was a member of an organized religion not just a Deist. He was also a leader in the congregation of the church he attended services at. This organized religion that he was a member of was also a State supported religion. So, when we read that he believed that our nation can only be attributed to providence then how can we doubt that he meant the providence of God? And if we are to believe that this union of States was intended to be an union of perpetuity then it can only be declared so because of the providence of God.

Ben Franklin was baptized into the membership of an organized religion. He himself came to the conclusion that if a man was to lead a virtuous life a simple belief in a Deity wasn’t enough. He came to the conclusion that if one sought to lead a virtuous life membership of an organized religion was a necessity.

And if we followed Mr. Franklin’s advice in ascertaining the state of government by studying the constitutions of the States we’d see that many of the States recognize their existence through the providence of God in their constitutions. In fact nearly every one of the States honor God in some manner or another in their constitutions. So, how can we declare ourselves a secular nation when the States that make up this great nation declare themselves as being constitutionally under God?

And if you study these State constitutions a person will find another amazing element of this issue. Many of the 13 States had a requirement that in order to be a member of their government one had to be a member of a protestant religion. No catholic or atheist was allowed in some States. In fact an atheist wasn’t allowed to run for political office in one State until after 1929. So, while there are some who will preach the idea of a secular nation, an in depth study of history will reveal a whole different story.

The use of history is a necessity in the study of government. It is when one needs to revise history in order to promote their political ideology that one should question the goals of that ideology in regards to their righteousness. And, unfortunately, it is the ones willing to question that righteousness who are called extremists because they are unwilling to go along with the mainstream of thought. Mainstream thought, I might add, that can only be attributed to 20th century misinterpretation of 18th century thought in order to promote a ideology.

And, boy, this is one person who bares the label of being an extremist with a humble pride. There are many who seek certainty in life but doubt can be a very powerful ally when one is seeking truth. So, boy, whenever you find yourself in a state of certainty you’ll know that is the time when doubt is most needed.”

I just nodded as I grabbed a leg of chicken from the picnc basket that grandma prepared and as I took a bite out of it I responded to grandpa with a big grin on my face;
“Well. grandpa there is one certainty that I have and need not doubt. I am certain and can say without doubt that grandma makes the best fried chicken in the whole county.”

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Categories: History, Politics, Religion | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A Secular Nation or A Nation under the Providence of God?

  1. BB-Idaho

    Somewhat related, I ran across this on a retired Presbyterian minister’s blog-
    “Now I believe in separation of church and state. But we need to understand the separation does not mean equality. In the end the government has the last word. They are the ones that say whether a religious group is valid or not. We are not involved in the old historical battles over the control of nations by churches or governments. Religious freedom is important but government does have the last word on the public good.” …no doubt paraphrasing Mark 12:17. I would only note that like
    government, religion is a collective (with a similar heirarchy) and that the founders, be they deists,
    masons, etc…were ultimately children of the ‘Enlightenment’…and remind of Voltaire’s ecrasez l\’infame
    -directed not at the governement of those times, but the religion.

  2. The Griper

    yup, I agree, government does have the last word every time, BB. whether or not it be in the public good is another thought tho thus the necessity of doubt.

    and I agree it has been a historical battle of control of the minds of the people. and this always leads us back to the concept of “Power” and its abuses, with advocates of each side recounting the abuses of the other side to promote their ideas or ideal, doesn’t it?

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