AMERICA’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE

J. Grant Swank, Jr.

They numbered 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of
Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other
three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of
scripture, and His personal intervention.

It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society.
Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the
Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of
scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American
Revolution, is still remembered for his words, ‘”Give me liberty or
give me death.”‘ But in current textbooks the context of these words
is deleted. Here is what he actually said: ‘”An appeal to arms and
the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our
battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of
nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear
or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and
slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may
take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”‘

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick
Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this ‘”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 that reason alone, people of
other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”‘

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his
well-worn Bible: ‘”I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple
of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country
will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator “‘ He was also the
chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his
highest and most important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, ‘”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.”‘

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed
this truth when he wrote, ‘”The foundations of our society and our
government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would
be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease
to be practically universal in our country.”‘

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: ‘”The
Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible
for use in all schools.”‘

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which
was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125
million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963.

President Lincoln called him the ‘”Schoolmaster of the Nation.”‘

Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: ‘”The Christian religion is
the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the
character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On
its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.
>From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the
sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no
apology.”‘

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly
Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in
1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was
that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they
could study the scriptures: ‘”Let every student be plainly instructed
and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and
studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John
17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for
our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United
States, said this: ‘”We have staked the whole future of our new
nation not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked
the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of
each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral
principles of the Ten Commandments.”‘

Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a
Nation that has departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11, He
was not welcome in America. Most of what you read in this article has
been erased from our textbooks. Revisionists have rewritten history
to remove the truth about our country’s Christian roots.

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