Remember Your Christian Roots, America!

This message was first delivered by Rev. David Bass at the “Town Hall Discourse: The Foundation for a Free and Prosperous People”, held on Saturday, March 27th, 2004, at 10 am at he Bonneville County (Idaho Falls, ID) Courthouse, sponsored by Citizens for Tax Reform.

My first experience with old age and dementia – up close and personal – was with my paternal grandfather, George Bass, whom I will always remember with eternal affection. I was 17 years old, and was assigned the task of taxiing him and my grandmother to the grocery store. He would sit in the backseat of my car (in his diaper) and ask “Where are we going? What place is this?” and, of course, we were in the neighborhood he had lived in for 55 years! He had utterly forgotten his way around that neighborhood and the answer to his most oft asked question: “Which way is home?” This question he would ask again and again, especially after we would finish shopping and I would say, “We’re on our way home, grandpa.” It was amazing to me – but also very poignant – that my own grandfather, whom I loved and respected, could not remember his way home.

As I ponder the state of constitutional republican government in our day, I have the creeping suspicion that we – as a people – have engaged in a kind of self-induced dementia when it comes to remembering our roots and history in Christianian, constitutional republicanism. America is increasingly giving signs that it has “forgotten its way home,” and is wandering around in a pagan wilderness of incipient, godless tyranny. Today, I hope to unfold for you what many in our world are working as hard as they can to make you forget! What is that? The Christian history of our Constitution; and by this, I mean the Christian history in its broadest sense (the impact of Christianity on the West and our culture, society, and politics), and the Constitution in its broadest sense (our entire way of life in America, conditioned by our founding document). Who amongst us has a clue as to the deep tap-root into the Bible and Christianity which our Constitution has in its past and founding! These things were regular fare in the private schools of our early years, and even in our early public schools. Governor Morris – a delegate to the Constitutional convention – said that “education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.” Sam Adams: “Let statesmen and patriots unite their endeavors to renovate the age by educating their little boys and girls and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”

Even in our public schools, prayer and Bible reading were commonplace. In fact, as Matthew Staver has pointed out, “Public schools were originally founded for the purpose of inculcating Judeo-Christian values, particularly to teach people how to read the scriptures.” In the early years of our Republic, our children were taught how to read, write, and do arithmetic so that we might become better citizens of our Christian Republic; and toward that end, the curriculum was heavy with courses in world history, American history, civics, geography, grammar, and religion. All of this was intended to provide for the prospective citizen a sense of continuity with his past, enabling him/her to execute responsibilities and liberties for a lifetime, as envisioned under the Constitution.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

Where have these things gone? Who remembers them, much less insists upon them in the public square? The average American has been elbowed from the scene by experts who have been taught technique (Project Learning of Wm. Glasser, 3rd Force practices, Delphi Technique) over content; therefore, our kids are inculcated with:
* moral license over liberty, thru values clarification techniques vs. the moral absolutes of the Bible.
* self-esteem based upon inflated feelings and psycho-babble (they are OK with their failure and blissful in their ignorance) over genuine self-respect borne of real learning and achievement.
* Project Learning, where they learn to function in a group (read: group think, “PC-ism”) over learning a set body of knowledge in context of independent thought.
* tolerance and diversity, where the presupposition is that no culture or morality is inherently any better than any other (drinking downstream from where you defecate in the Amazon is inherently no worse than our modern sewage treatment), over the superiority of constitutional liberty and the Christian Republic, ironically, from whence true tolerance and diversity derive!

These are just a few of the forces at work in our society and culture which are severing us from our Christian roots and consensus, the forces which are attempting to perform a kind of cultural lobotomy upon our collective memory and heritage.

O Christian, has the nerve of your Christian memory been severed? Do you remember? Do you remember:
* the millennia it took to produce the crowning acheivement of the Constitution
* the intellectual, spiritual, and political energy it took to produce the Constitution
* the sheer genius and talent of the men who produced it
* the sacrifice of blood, treasure, and reputation it took to produce it (“Lives, fortunes, and sacred honor…” J. Adams)

Do you realize how important it is to remember? Our very continuance as a people depends upon it:

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends upon retentiveness; when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Those who study history are condemned to repeat this cliche) This is the condition of children and barbarians, in whom instinct has learned nothing from experience.” George Santyana, 1905

Far greater than the idea of the progress of secular culture is the essential element of true, biblical relgion; in fact, our whole notion of time and history in the West has its origin in the Christian religion and its utter necessity for remembering. * The Israelites were told to remember their Constitution, 10 Commandments and all the law they received at Mt. Sinai, all of their days: “So shall you remember and do all my commandments and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God.” Nu 15:40,41

Note here the biblical idea of remembering: it has far more to do with obedience and action than does our Western idea! We remember as recollection; that is, calling a thing back into our memories as an abstract idea. We take an idea or persons name or phone # or song lyric or recipe or some such thing from the attic of our memories and display it for a moment and then put it back until needed again next time. When the person in the Bible remembered, he did so that he might act upon what he remembered, whether to obey a precept of God or fulfill an obligation or promise he had made.

In fact, even in the NT, our Lord Jesus commanded us to eat and drink his body and blood “in remeberance of me.” 1 Cor 11:24,25 The entire context of this command is not one of abstract recollection – “O yea, I recall to my memory the whole SS flannelgraph story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; now let’s go home!” No! By remembering (every bit as much covenant language for the NT as it was for the OT) – you, O Christian – commit to remembering so as to obey the covenant demands and stipulations of “the New Covenant in my blood” as He calls the Lord’s Supper. Having been saved entirely by grace thru faith unto new life in Christ, you are now enabled and equiped to obey “the law of Christ,” as the apostle Paul puts it. As biblical, NT Christians, we remember so as to worship, obey, and keep covenant with God!

As Jews and Christians have striven over the centuries to remember in such fashion, they have found that there is consequence not only for eternity (primary) but also temporally (secondary). In the first place, if they were going to obey and get it right for the sake of their eternal souls, then they had better write it down accruately and make sure they transmit it to their posterity.

* Egyptians created papyrus (earliest copies of Bible manuscripts) and we borrowed the making of paper from the Chinese, but no one was more committed to using that technology for the propagation and disemination of learning (the Bible, for the saving of the eternal soul) than did the Judeo-Christian West!
* It was in the monastaries throughout Europe during the so-called Dark Ages that not only Bibles but much of the corpus of learning in the West was copied and transmitted and studied, so as to be remembered and obeyed; it was in the Christian monastaries of the West that children were taught in Church schools and cared for in early versions of our hospital.
* It was Johann Guttenburg (AD 1456) who was impelled, motivated to create the printing press so that he might make and disseminate…what? Full color Spiderman comics? The NY Times, heretofore delivered on stone tablets? Science textbooks for the state of California? No! The first thing printed on Guttenburg’s printing press was the Bible!
* It was in the Christian West that the production and dissemination of books exploded, led by the Bible, but also being soon followed by grammars (to enable reading) and histories and mathematics and science and all of the divisions of learning we now know today.

All of this was motivated and impelled by the necessity to remember – first and foremost the New Covenant in Christ so as to be saved and then enabled to obey – but also, as a consequence, to remember all of the body of learning and knowledge generated by this impulse, which brought a rich harvest of learning and culture in everything from clean, potable water to the internal combustion engine!

Our entire Western conception of linear time and history is derived from the eternal, Triune God of the Bible having created the universe with a beginning, a middle, and an end; that there is a reliable sequence of cause and effect in the universe; that there are, therefore, discernable laws upon which we base our science. Because of the Christian West’s need to remember:
* the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus (Latin – Dennis the Lesser, AD 525 – 544) developed the Western system of dating our calendar: BC (before Christ) and AD (anno domini, in the year of our Lord). His impulse was to help the Church more accurately remember the date of Easter. Thus, the center of all time and history has become – much to the consternation of our godless, secular left – the birth of Christ, the very One they hate and who gives them great offense!
* the monks of Medieval Europe developed the mechanical clock so that they could more accurately remember the times for prayer during the day.

“No medieval invention was more important than the clock, the ancestor of all modern scientific devices and the 1st complex machine built entirely of metal. The main importance of clocks, however, lay in their revolutionary effects upon human psychology and habits. In Lewis Mumford’s memorable phrase, they ‘dissociated time from human events.’ Human attention to clocks led to standards of punctuality and productivity, to an acute awareness of even the uneventful passage of time. It led, in other words, to a civilization much more like our own.” Cnristianity on Trial, p. 66 & 67

We in the West are so immersed in our own culture and worldview, now, defined by the very precision of atomic clocks, which measure nano-seconds, that we often forget rather than remember that it is the Christian West driven by the biblical worldview that has given us so much of what we enjoy of our life and culture and very way we look at the world!

I have only sampled from the rich treasure trove of examples from history of how biblical Christianity has shaped the West in general and America in particular. What is crucial for Americans in general and Christians in particular is the remembrance of the Christian history of the American Constitution. Is it important to you:
* that genuine liberty continue in the earth?
Then, it is crucial for Americans in general and Christians in particular to remember the Christian history of the American Constitution.
* to pass on the values and way of life learned from your ancestors that have made this nation great and allowed you to practice your religion in peace and safety?
Then, it is crucial for Americans in general and Christians in particular to remember the Christian history of the American Constitution.
* to build upon the sacrifices of those who have gone before us – the sacrifices of untold thousands of men and women who gave up comfort and safety to risk settling this country and building businesses and homes and towns, all the fruits of which we enjoy in such great measure today – and especially the sacrifices of men and women who have died in defending our Consitution and way of life?
Then, it is crucial for Americans in general and Christians in particular to remember the Christian history of the American Constitution.

Make no mistake about this, Christian: there is a systematic, programatic effort underway to sever you from your Christian, constitutional roots; to induce in you and your children a blissful historical amnesia; to lobotomize your historical, Christian constitutional memory! Friedrich Engels (provided the philosophical underpinings for Karl Marx and Communism, closely studied by Horace Mann and John Dewey, fathers of modern American public education): “If you remove a people from their roots, they are easily swayed to your point of view.”

How many Americans today have been easily swayed to the point of view that:
* there is a constitutional wall of seperation between church and state? This fallacy has been propagated by the herd of militant anti-Christians who wish to expunge all religious influence from the public square…
* America was founded by secular men who wished to keep Christianity at arms length from all of our founding institutions?
* our founding Fathers were a bunch of slave-holding criminals who devised a system meant to supress and oppress the people and protect their own economic interests?

These are indeed fallacies designed to obscure the true heritage of The USA in a cloud of ignorance and falsehood.

“Every child in America entering school at the age of 5 is mentally ill, because he comes to school w. certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a seperate entity. It is up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future.” Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, 1984, speech to graduating educators.

The mask is off, Christian. Not only are our media, left wing politicians, and radical culture out to induce historical amnesia in us, but our public schools have now produced several generations of Americans who can scream and holler: “Give me my rights and freedoms!” but who cannot articulate the 1st thing about their nature or past.

Recent civics survey:
* more American teenagers were able to name the 3 stooges than the 3 branches of gov’t (executive, legislative, and judicial)
* 1/3 of teens: the slogan, “From each acc’d to his ability, and to ea. acc’d to his need,” from the Bill of Rights (Communist Manifesto).
* 60% couldn’t name the president who dropped the atomic bomb.
* 20% didn’t know where or even if the A-bomb had ever been used.
* 1/2 of college seniors couldn’t locate the Civil War in the right half of the 19th C. (1861 – 64)

Unwittingly, many Americans are being told they are free, are being assured that they are free, are being told and taught that a thing called the Constitution guarnatees their liberty, but who are, in reality, being shaped into “the international children of the future.” In reality, they know nothing about the Constitution, have been taught nothing about it, and indeed know more about the holy trinity of the 3 Stooges than the 3 branches of gov’t or the Trinitarian God of the Bible!

“I think the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition.” Paul Blanchard, “3 Cheers for Our Secular State,” The Humanist, March/April ‘76

Make no mistake about this Christian: our destiny as a free democracy depends in large part upon your remembrance of our heritage as a Christian Constitutional Republic. Do you remember? Do your children remember?

Do you remember that the phrase “A wall of seperation between Church and State” appears nowhere in our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or any of our founding documents? Rather, it was 1st used by T. Jefferson in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 to calm their fears that Congress was in the process of choosing a denomination to make the official national denomination.

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of gov’t reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate w. solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an est. of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of seperation between Church and State.” T. Jefferson

Note:

1. Jefferson’s remarks were – in their context – meant to reassure Christians that the gov’t would have no means of interference with religion. Jefferson himself (and other Founding Fathers) expected at all times that religion would have a profound effect upon gov’t, however, exhorting everyone from the Viginia legislature to the Constitutional Convention to earnest prayer, and for Christian principles to inform all of gov’t.

2. His unfortunate (and inaccurate) use of this phrase was not meant to be incorporated as an official principle of constitutional gov’t. It was an informal, personal term coined by Jefferson in personal correspondence, 13 years after the 1st ammendment had passed. This, in effect, renders his letter “ineligible to be considered a 1st hand reflection of the intent of the contsitutional delegates.”

Do you remember that this phrase lay dormant for 145 yrs, until it was resurrected by an ACLU lawyer, Leo Pfeffer, who included it in his brief in the Everson v. Board of Education, decided in 1947. Justice Hugo Black picked it up in his majority opinion (5 – 4) against the Board of Education using tax dollars to transport students to religious schools. Thence it has been used ever since to create the false notion that the FF’s intended to hermetically seal religion from gov’t, as if our system was intended to be neutral to all world religions. Not so!

“The highest glory of the Revolution was that it united in one indissoluble bond the principles of Christianity and the principles of civil gov’t.” J. Q. Adams

The reason that constitutional republican gov’t holds an irrisistable sway over the hearts and minds of the peoples of the world and holds a corresponding sense of horror and revulsion amongst the tyrants of the world is that it is the only system in the world which approaches the form of gov’t we were created to assume! All other forms of gov’t take as their starting point the deification of the merely human (Humanism; the “Divine Right of Kings,” the Pharonic deification of a priestly/monarch). Inherent in such systems is the assumption that we are endowed with “alienable” rights by gov’t, which, as god, can grant or revoke subject rights as they see fit. The ancient, pagan view of authority was a pyramid, with power flowing from the gods to a king (pharoh) to lesser authorities to the people. Biblical authority was seen to flow through an inverted pyramid, from God to the people to elected representatives. The Christian constitutional republic stands alone as the only system of gov’t in the history of the world which holds out for the self-evident truth that “all men are endowed by their Creator w. certain unalienable rights!” When you unhinge God from the equation, you are immediately reduced to the pagan, humanistic view of rights and authority. The rights of man become subject to the whims and caprice of men, not the deliberation and certainty of Almighty God!

Ask the average man on the street: where does political power reside? “The government, of course…” “Washington, DC, right?” “The president…” “The Supreme Court…that’s why they call it supreme!”

Our socialist system has been very successful with these State subjects, haven’t they? Forgotten is the pre-eminent principle, enshrined in the Preamble to our Constitution: “We the people of the United States of America…” Political power originates in, eminates from, is accountable unto, and devolves back upon – The People as it has been entrusted to them by God Almighty.

Thus, there is the greatest of dangers in seeing the approach of our gov’t as neutral and secular. It can be neither! If the Christian God of the Bible is factored out of gov’t, then gov’t will return to its “default setting” of pagan statism. There is no such thing as a neutral, secular state in the minds of our Founding Fathers:

“The concept of a secular state was virtually non-existent in 1776 as well as 1787, when the constitution was written, and no less so when the Bill of Rights was adopted. To read the Constitution as the charter for a secular state is to misread history, and to misread it radically. The Constitution was designed to perpetuate a Christian order.” RJ Rushdoony

Do you remember the saturation, the permeation, of our nation w. Christanity in her early days? Do you remember, O Christian, that every colony – w/o exception – incorporated within her charters and constituions references to their indebtedness to Christianity?

1. Massachusetts Bay Colony – “We are a Company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, knit together by this bond of love, we are entered into a covenant w. Him for this work. For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, that the eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely w. our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to with draw hsi present help form us, we shall be made a story and a by-word thruout the world.” John Winthrop

2. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, AD 1639 – “We do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one public State or Commonwealth, and do, for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into combination and confederaton together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which we now profess. Which, according to the truth of the said gospel, is now practiced amongst us; as also, in our civil affairs to be guided and governed acc’d to such laws, rules, orders, and decrees.”

To conceive of a gov’t apart from the gospel was a thing inconceivable to our Founding Fathers. They not only clearly remembered the depth of heritage owed to biblical Christianity, but they acitively incorporated this Christianity into the very fabric of gov’t which they sought to establish:

“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth: these, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” Supreme Court, 1892, Church of the Holy Trinity v. US

Make no mistake about this, O Christian: unless these things are remembered – and remembered in the biblical fashion, so as to be obeyed and acted upon – we will all sink into the spiritual and intellectual dementia of the modern American voter, who feels and emmotes about an issue but cannot think and rationalize, who can pull a lever but not his own weight, who remembers every detail about Micahel Jackson but who hasn’t a clue about Andrew Jackson, who may bleed for the rights of two men to marry where there is no womb but who will leave to bleed a child not yet out of the womb, and who may be persuaded that God exists everywhere in His universe – except the voting booth!

The time has come to reawaken the memory and conscience of a nation. King Darius was enraged and righteously indignant when he discovered that he was deliberately deceived and manipulated by his court officials in condemning Daniel to the Lions Den, and he wreaked a terrible vengeance upon them; America was enraged and righteously indignant when she discovered on December 7, 1941, that she had been deliberately deceived and manipulated by the Japanese Empire when it attacked Pearl Harbor while peace negotiations where still underway, and Japan paid a terrible price for her treachery. I have faith that the American people, when they finally discover that they have been deliberately deceived and manipulated by the forces of socialism and one world gov’t in part by having the nerve of their memory severed and lobotomized, will also be enraged and righteously indignant! But this will not happen until that nerve of memory and remembrance and Christian conscience is re-established!

“History is to the nation as memory is to the individual. An individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going. So, also, a nation denied its past will be disabled in dealing w. its present and future.” Arthur M. Schlessinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America

What can we do?

1. Continue to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Continue to live your Christian life to the fullest, aiming toward heaven and you will elevate all and everything around you!

2. Read, study, remember, and connect with your past! You will quickly discover that you have been cheated by your public school education; you have been cheated by the major news and communications media; you have been cheated by the entertainment industry; and you have been cheated by the major political parties in our nation.

3. Become active in your world. No one person can do everything, but everyone can do some thing. Give a little to a worthy charity; write a letter to your Congressman; volunteer your time at your church and for a worthy candidate; become an informed voter, and vote, vote, vote! Encourage your friends and neighbors to vote!

And may the next generation – when and if there is one capable and willing to remember – when it recalls us, say they were faithful to the memory and traditions of their fathers and the God of their fathers!

© 2008 NGOPC – All Rights Reserved


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