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Founding Fathers = Christians or...?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by amadeus, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Philip James

    Philip James Well-Known Member

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    When i was in primary school invthe late 70's in Canada; we sung O 'Canada, God save the Queen and prayed the Our Father at the start of every day.

    By the time I graduated in 1985, just OCanada and announcements...

    Now the kids can't even have a Christmas concert in the public schools or sing Christmas carols that have anything to do with Jesus at their 'winter concert'.

    So sad.. :(
     
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  2. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this rescue. I was trying to remember. I do remember that Washington was very popular with the people including many leaders who were severely opposed to each other. Washington was the only realistic choice for the first President because anyone else with any real support had too much opposition as well for a new nation scarcely able to weather the storms even with him at the helm.
     
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  3. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    With this thread I am considering renewing my reading about the presidents again myself. If it is well written and the bias is not too blatant I can enjoy reading biographies about people of interest better than any fictional stories I might read. I used to read a lot of fiction, but my interest begin diminish a number of years ago, when I started to discern from the fiction some of the political and/or religious views of the authors. as a young man I could not see such things in what was written, but I was very naive. [I still am about many secular things.] I know it goes part and parcel with reading a book, but as an old man it does make more of a difference now. My own beliefs about God, of course, which have changed over the years also play a large role in this.

    In spite of the terrible consequence to those enslaved by Jefferson's unwillingness to commit himself to more than 'good' words about the evil of slavery, I also connected with him on many things. If even at least at the end he had made provision for his slaves to be freed upon his death as some of his contemporaries had done, it would have brightened his image a bit... but he did not. Hypocrisy to the end? Of course in my own schooling I never heard an evil word spoken about our 3rd president. I knew nothing about his slavery trouble until in more recent years I read some of the details myself in more modern authors trying to be a little more truthful than some in the past.
     
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  4. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I recall also with fond remembrance the yearly Christmas plays at my school. They may not have been as accurate in details as I would understand from scriptures, but they were still a positive note... especially for children living in homes where no one was putting on a front about serving God. For my own children when it was possible we kept them in a private Christian school and when it was not, we home schooled them ourselves. They both graduated from high school here in Oklahoma as home schoolers [1991]. Right in what they so often have called the Bible belt, but even that long ago, we would not allow them to attend a public school because of what was and was not taught about God and the things of God.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  5. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    My impression of George Washington:

    I've done quite a bit of studying of him, and read two biographies of him. One of them was dealing solely on his quest for Fort Duquesne/Pitt. The other about him in general.

    I found him to be one to believe in God. But not with the same passion as those in the Bible. I don't believe any President could. Being President requires being entangled with the affairs of this world.

    Washington was a man worried about his legacy, and he worked hard to make it great, while mouthing he wasn't interested in that. But, the historians I've read agree. He was indeed destined for greatness, he knew it and worked it. His Roman idol (not in a regious theme) was Cincinnatus: a common farmer who was called to service, saved the country and went back to farming.

    But George didn't do that, did he?

    Two stories I've heard stick out about him in my mind. The first is that and abolitionist wrote to him a scolding letter about slavery. The biographer lead the conclusion that it deeply troubled Washington and its effects on his legacy. Washington did free his slaves on his deathbed, but that is a little complicated.

    The other story involves a close slave that ran away... By close I mean a woman who worked intimately with the family (no, not with hanky panky... I mean a house slave(. Washington personally tracked her down and in person asked her to come back. She refused, and he left. He didn't drag her back, though he could've. He just left suffering the loss.

    Quick note... About him not being able to tell a lie.... Bull! One of his quality traits as an early military leader was deception. Not actually lying with words, but deceiving nonetheless. We know all about Benedict Arnold, but Washington had his own spie ring, and he was a master of it before the Revolution!

    Religiously, I do believe he believed in God. But as a man, I also believe he let the enticements of this world get the better of him.
     
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  6. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    My impression of John Adams:

    I have lived to know 8 Presidents, read biographies of 3 and have a good familiarity through study of all up to Grant. I am not finished learning about them all, but John Adams might be my favorite and the most brilliant!

    Religiously, I don't see a man who put God first in him. But I have no doubt he was a student of the word. He was FAR more educated than Washington and wiser than him in everything except military matters. And, perhaps diplomacy depending on your concept of diplomacy

    Education. Prosperous work. Morality. Justice . Freedom. These are things he admired in a country, and in individuals.

    Granted, I haven't finished the biography on Adams. But I get a sense of his character.

    His greatest weakness was borne out of his greatest strength, in a way. He comes off as broodish and depressed. Often seeing himself as a failure. Why, how dare he have so little success in convincing Europe to back an upstart country in a war with a superpower like England! But though he thought he failed, he succeeded. He just didn't see it.

    Religiously, again... It's hard to serve God and men at the same time. But I believe for his time, he believed God. Whether he put God first in all things, I have my doubts.

    Even so, he may come out on top as my favorite.
     
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  7. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember reading somewhere that the US did send a/ some? Ship(s) to the Mediterranean to protect shipping lanes. I dint know under whose administration that was, I think Washington. Do you know more than this?
     
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  8. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how many ships the American Navy had under Washington. You may be thinking of the Battle of Derna? The Marines were involved in that somehow -- that's where the reference to Tripoli came from in their anthem.

    Battle of Derna (1805) - Wikipedia
     
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  9. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the erosion is always taking place due to our sin nature and satan's efforts. You saw it even in Israel who had the very God in their midst doing miraculous things before their eyes. So, the same has happened and will happen to the U.S. But it is important that we know that our country was founded on Christianity. Which means if there is any healing or correcting the problems in this country, it must return to that. Which I doubt seriously it will.

    So as I quoted from Columbus, his was a Christian expedition. It was for the glory of God and Christ. It was for finding shorter sea routes for trade and for bringing the Word of the Gospel. This cannot be denied. I would encourage any to read Columbus's biography.

    Let's look at now the coming of the Mayflower to America. I give quotes from (The Annals of America, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. , 2003, p. 64) It source is given as (The Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in New England, in 1620, etc, etc, George B. Cheever, ed., 2nd edition, New York, 1849, pp. 30-31)

    First is given an introduction. "The voyagers on the Mayflower were carried by wind and wave to a point--within the curve of the present Cape Cod--that was north of the Virginia Company's jurisdiction. Finding themselves thus outside the authority of their original patent, and hoping to arrest mutinous talk among some of the passengers, the company's leaders drew up a compact that was signed by forty-one men aboard the ship,on November 11, 1620. By the terms of this, the so-called Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims agreed to govern themselves until they could arrange for a charter of their own; they were never able to arrange for such a charter, and the Compact remained in force until their colony at Plymouth was absorbed in that of Massachusetts Bay in 1691. Nevertheless, the Pilgrims still could have formed their own government in accordance with the laws of England), had they landed at their original destination in Virginia, because of amendments made to the original patent some time earlier. The original Compact has been lost, and historians are forced to rely for its wording on Mourt's Relation (1622), which is the earliest source of the text reprinted here."

    The Compact. "This Day, before we came to harbor, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows word for word.

    "In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread soverign lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

    "Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these present, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by by virture hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, offices from time to time as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names, Cape Cod, 11th of November, in the year of the reign our our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland 18, and of Scotland 54. Anno Domini 1620"

    Stranger
     
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  10. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do see the Christian efforts of so many leaders in the beginning of this nation among those arriving from Europe.

    Maybe we have some really Christian leaders today, but I don't know them. Probably a real believer cannot go very high these days in the hierarchy of secular government, which is why it would be unusual to encounter one there. God could of course lift a man up through the mess, but why would He or should He do that? As went Israel when they were fresh out of a natural bondage so has gone and is going this nation that was so rich with natural resources and open opportunities in God.

    Then the erosion. It continues and after a while the top soil is gone or wasted as a result of continued poor management. I wish it were not so, but I am with you in doubting the possibility of this nation returning to better days. Were those days the best in the things of God? Perhaps, but as you have doubted so must I. I do trust God and I lean on Him but how many really leaning on Him will it take to give us the salvation he would have allowed for Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham? So many do not even put on a show of being like Jesus and of the ones who do... many are really only putting on a show.

    What does it mean to put Him first in everything?


    Thank you for this. I have looked for good biographies of real believers to read and have found few. Columbus is not one that occurred to me. I know of him little more than what I recall from my own secular classroom background. As a Christian, I know nothing at all of him. I will look into it.

    Thank you again for this. I remember reading and hearing about the Mayflower Compact of course a very long time ago, but it is another one for me to pursue further...currently.

    Give God the glory!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  11. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    It's been a good while since I read one of his biographies, but my impressions are close to yours regarding his belief in God and its connection with being President. I have just begun reading another book which so far confirms my opinion.

    Again I agree from my readings that our 1st President had a lot a pride. He worked hard on making what he considered the right impressions on people.

    Yes, to amplify just a bit. This story about the slave who ran away is covered in a book I only just started to read a few days ago. ["Don't Know Much about the American Presidents" by Kenneth Davis]. It was after he had to move to Philadelphia which had been temporarily made the Capital city of the fledgling nation. In his native Virginia, no legal problem with holding slaves, but in Pennsylvania they had a law which automatically freed any slave after 6 months of uninterrupted residence. To avoid losing slaves, Washington purposely rotated them sending them Virginia and back so that none of them would qualify for freedom under the 6 month law. [He was also aware that Pennsylvania had in place another law to prevent such rotating of slaves to avoid the original law. Washington knowingly broke the law to retain his slaves.] It was during this stay in Philadelphia that the one young lady you mentioned ran away to New Hampshire where there were no slaves. When he did try to coax her back, she refused and lived in NH until her death in her 80's.

    So far I quite agree with you. Thank you for your contributions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  12. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Well I was born in 1943 when FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt] was in his third term so for me that would make 14 Presidents during my lifetime so far. I don't recall much about FDR personally but I am able to connect events of my own life to probably all of the others. For example I was attending a Radio School on active duty in the U.S. Army at Ft Monmouth, NJ when President Kennedy was shot. They cancelled our classes for the day and the entire complement of soldiers at the post attended a special parade in his honor and in way of mourning.

    Thank you for this my friend. I may review some of these things as I continue my own reading.
     
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  13. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    The problem was with what were known called piracy on north African nations against American and other commercial ships. The following was copied from Wikipedia for a brief description:

    The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitanian War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barbary States". Three of these were nominal provinces of the Ottoman Empire, but in practice autonomous: Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis. The fourth was the independent Sultanate of Morocco.

    Thomas Jefferson was 3rd US President from March 4th of 1801 to March 4th of 1809 so he would have been the man of the hour for our country.
     
  14. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the extra info on the run away slave. If all that was covered in the book, it slipped my mind.

    Seems like we have a common interest in U.S. history... I plan to begin reading something on Jefferson sooon. Let me know if you have any recommendations.
     
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  15. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Not at the moment. I did read a biography on him a few years ago, but I don't remember many details, not the title, nor the author. Just general impressions. I liked him and his goals, but I would liked to have seen him take action personally on the slavery issue. He did not do it and apparently for selfish reasons. No matter I might think about his religious beliefs, his refusal to override the desires of his flesh on this one issue during his lifetime considering the actual power that he did have om his various offices including the Presidency is difficult to accept as OK. I've never been in his shoes, so I'll stand clear on that one for the moment.

    The book I am reading now covers all of the presidents but I haven't gotten to Jefferson yet.
     
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  16. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Just as Christianity and the spreading of the Gospel was part of the goal of the Puritans on the Mayflower, which landed in Massachusetts, so was also it part of the goal of the expedition to Jamestown in Virginia. Such goals do not ignore the economic interest and goals associated with these endeavors also. But the economic pursuits do not nullify the Christian aspect either.

    Jamestown has been considered, and is probably true, the least 'religious' of these settlements. Though it may have been a little more unruly it was still based upon the Christian faith. This can be seen in the Virginia Charter of 1606.

    This quote is from (Faith & Freedom, Benjamin Hart, Lewis And Stanley, 1988, p. 139) "Thus, a founding principle of the colony was stated in the company charter, which was the ...propagating of the Christian religion to such a people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages living in these parts to human civility and to a settled and quiet government."

    Also from the same : "And, according to an official statement published by the Virginia Company, entitled 'A True and Sincere Declaration', the principle and main ends, of the settlers, ...were first to preach and baptize into the Christian religion, and by propagation of the Gospel, to recover out of the arms of the Devil, a number of poor and miserable souls, wrapt up unto death in almost invincible ignorance; to endeavor the fulfilling an accomplishment of the number of the elect which shall be gathered from all corners of the earth; and to add our mite to the treasury of Heaven."

    This quote is from (The Story of Religion in America, William W. Sweet, Baker Book House,1979, p. 26) and concerns Jamestown. "Though primarily concerned with trade, the members of the company were from the first interested in promoting religion among the colonists as well as in the conversion of the Indians. Undoubtedly the example of Spain was ever before the early promoters of English colonization. Spain, the chief Roman Catholic nation of the whole world, had established her great colonial empire in the New World, and hand in hand with the Spanish conquerors had gone the Spanish Catholic missionaries, and tens of thousands of the natives of New Spain and Peru had been won to, at least, a nominal acceptance of Catholic Christianity. Should not England, the leading Protestant nation in the whole world, do as much."

    Stranger
     
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  17. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this additional contribution. I have made note of the sources you quoted for possible reading myself at some later date.
     
  18. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    You're quite welcome. I will continue to add others as I have time.

    Stranger
     
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  19. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Just like the colonies at Plymouth and Jamestown were based upon the Christian faith, so were the rest of the colonies that would follow. Even Roger Williams was a staunch radical separatist Christian. His conflict with other colonies was not due to any liberal form of Christianity. It was due to his believing that the other colonies had not removed far enough away from the Anglican Church of England. And this would lead to his desire for separation of church/state.

    The point being here is that Christianity was the seed bed for America. It's people were Christian. They were products of the Roman Church and the Reformation. The colonies would base their laws on Christianity and the Bible. But there is almost 200 years to go before the American Revolution and it's government being formed. satan is not idle during this time and sets about with his eroding and destruction of the Christian influence in America. Just as he was doing in Europe that was Christian also.

    Thus enters the period known as the 'Enlightenment'. It began in Europe. It enlightened the children of satan, but it was darkness to God's children. It was built upon science and reason of man. Of which Deism would come from. Denied God, Christ, and the Bible as a revelation from God. It wouldn't be long before it sailed across the sea to America also. So that over a period of time you have both views, Christianity, and atheistic enlightened, existing in America.

    You can find both in the origin of the government of the U.S. And both are always at odds and at each other's throat. The problem with the separation of church/state, is that it really never exists. The liberal atheist (the enlightened) loves this doctrine because it frees him to take away anything Christian from the government or public places that he can. But the secular government grows in power and begins telling the church what they preach, and who can attend. And you can still see this division today.

    There is no neutral. The Christian who believes he should do nothing to influence government due to separation of church/state is simply opening the door to secular liberal atheistic control. And they in turn will create laws eventually to harass and imprison evangelical Christians who will be viewed as radicals or terrorists.

    Stranger
     
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  20. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    The very existence of the 501(c)(3) in the Internal Revenue Code is a clear indication of the lack of separation between church and state today. Many people and often pastors or leading ministers presume that it is a good thing because it reduces or eliminates the payment of taxes. They should realize the leverage it does give secular government against any church taking advantage of its provisions. When someone in authority decides a church does not qualify any more or initially...? Many churches likely could not afford to pay the taxes which would then apply to them.

    A similar provision is available to ministers of churches. They may choose to not pay taxes at all. This includes Social Security taxes. I know from experience on the job with SSA and while some have chosen to pay the taxes, many others have not. I wonder how many make their decisions for personal financial reason rather than due to a conviction with God.
     
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