Reflections from the Chairman

Are we a Christian Nation?

ARE WE A CHRISTIAN NATION?

by Senator H.L. "Bill" Richardson [ret.]

I don't think so. We used to be. From our first President George Washington to our thirty-third President Harry S. Truman, no President had any trouble calling America a Christian nation.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind if they were aware of the mindset of the Christian men who wrote our Constitution. Our forefathers who drafted this amazing document were 26 Episcopalian Christians, 11 Presbyterian Christians, 7 Congregationalist Christians, 2 Lutheran Christians, 2 Dutch Reformed Christians, 2 Methodist Christians, 2 Quaker Christians, 2 Roman Catholics Christians and 1 Deist -- Dr. Franklin, who by the way, called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787. Later in life he said the following: "I have lived 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! If it had not been for the justice of our cause, and the consequent interposition of Providence in which we had faith, we must have been ruined. If I had ever before been an atheist, I should now have been convinced of the being and government of a Deity. It is He who abases the proud and favors the humble! May we never forget His goodness to us and may our future manifest our gratitude."

The articulate patriot Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, stated, “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."

Our founding fathers believed in Christ and devoutly followed the word of God, specifically that which was revealed in the Bible. God was quite emphatic: the Ten Commandments were commands, not suggestions. “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me; and showing mercy unto the thousands of them who love me and keep my commandments.”

Have we kept God’s word? Hardly! Does God keep His word? Yes, He does! The Old Testament is filled with historical examples of God’s punishment on those who had forgotten God, as well as His blessings on those who continued to follow His word.

It is without doubt -- America used to be a nation blessed by God. And why not? We set up a government based upon God's word. Our tax laws were just, and citizens were only taxed on what they used. Federal government collected ample tax revenue from tariffs on imported goods, liquor and luxury items. Foreign merchants were delighted to pay the tariffs in exchange for American dollars for their merchandise. And no wonder, our paper currency was redeemable in hard money -- either gold or silver.

By 1887, our national treasury was overflowing with millions of surplus dollars. President Grover Cleveland, a conservative Democrat, lowered the tariffs on imported goods and cut the tax rates on luxury items so Americans could buy these items at lower cost. Imagine that! Cutting taxes so prices on luxury goods could be cheaper for our citizens to buy! Up until 1912 there were no federal progressive income taxes. None! Zero! Nada! What a blessing, no yearly tax forms to fill out, no tax receipts one must keep, no payroll deductions on payday, no yearly check to the government. In other words, no federal Government "coveting" your hard earned money; therefore breaking God's Tenth Commandment: "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." Anything includes money and guns!

Financial serfdom for Americans began with a whisper in 1913. Congress passed a law allowing taxation on personal income. "Oh," they said, "there's no worry, we're only going to tax just the very rich and then only one percent."

By that devious statement our elected leaders violated another commandment as well. "Thou shall not bear false witness." Then, by enforcing the new law by the police power of the state, they broke the commandment: "Thou shall not steal."

Once the nose of the personal income tax camel got under the tent, the tail was soon to follow. And follow it did. Need an example? The government taking tax dollars to subsidize abortion clinics that grinds the commandment to powder: "Thou shall not kill." 50 million babies and still counting. Imagine how God thinks about our two political parties? The Democrats support abortion and the other party gives lip service to abandoning abortion. We elected them, so who’s really to blame?

Our second President John Adams wrote, “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.”

An ambitious, covetous and revengeful whale went through our moral and religious net in this last election. We should think long and hard about Thomas Jefferson's somber thought: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."