Was America once a Christian nation?
Exclusive: Bill Federer looks at Obama’s 2006 statement in light of state constitutions
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.” – President Barack Obama, June 28, 2006
Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out “whatever we once were”?
Originally, laws that governed personal behavior were under states’ jurisdiction, not federal.
People today are aware that some states allow minors to consume alcohol, and others do not; some states have smoking bans, and others do not; some states allow gambling, and others do not; some states attempt to limit the Second Amendment, and others do not; some states allow gay marriage, and others do not; and one state allows prostitution, while the rest do not.
At the time the Constitution was written, religion was under each individual state’s jurisdiction, and each state expanded religious tolerance at its own speed.
The U.S. Constitution went into effect June 21, 1788, when two-thirds of the states ratified it.
What was in those original 13 state Constitutions concerning religion at the time those states ratified the U.S. Constitution? [Caps added throughout for emphasis.]
DELAWARE – first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“Every person … appointed to any office … shall … subscribe … ‘I … profess faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.’”
PENNSYLVANIA – second to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, signed by Ben Franklin:
“Each member, before he takes his seat, shall … subscribe … ‘I do believe in one GOD, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’”
NEW JERSEY – third to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“All persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government … shall be capable of being elected.”
GEORGIA – fourth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:
“Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county … and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion.”
CONNECTICUT – fifth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1662 Colonial Constitution, which was established PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL, till 1818:
“By the Providence of GOD … having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution … whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election. … The free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call for.”
MASSACHUSETTS – sixth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1780 state constitution, written by John Adams:
“Any person … before he … execute the duties of his … office … [shall] subscribe … ‘I … declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth.’ … The legislature shall … authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT teachers of piety, religion and morality.”
MARYLAND – seventh to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“No other test … ought to be required, on admission to any office … than such oath of support and fidelity to this State … and a declaration of a belief in the CHRISTIAN religion.”
SOUTH CAROLINA – eighth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1778 state constitution:
“No person shall be eligible to a seat … unless he be of the PROTESTANT religion. … The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed … the established religion of this State.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE – ninth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1784 state constitution: “No person shall be capable of being elected … who is not of the PROTESTANT religion.”
VIRGINIA – 10th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, bill of rights, written by James Madison and George Mason:
“It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”
NEW YORK – 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:
“The United American States … declare … ‘Laws of nature and of NATURE’S GOD … All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights … Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world … A firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE’ …”
NORTH CAROLINA – 12th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“No person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding … office.”
RHODE ISLAND – 13th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1663 Colonial Constitution till 1843, which stated:
“By the blessing of God … a full liberty in religious concernements … rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will give the best and greatest security … in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of God. … They may … defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties against all the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote inEngel v. Vitale, 1962:
“As late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established Churches in at least eight of the 13 former colonies and established religions in at least four of the other five.”
John K. Wilson wrote in “Religion Under the State Constitutions 1776-1800″ (Journal of Church and State, Volume 32, Autumn 1990, Number 4, pp. 754):
“An establishment of religion, in terms of direct tax aid to Churches, was the situation in nine of the 13 colonies on the eve of the American revolution.”
The Journal of the U.S. House recorded that on March 27, 1854, the 33rd Congress voted unanimously to print Rep. James Meacham’s report, which stated:
“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly 10 of the 13 – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government. …
“Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people. …
“Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”
Over the years, the Christians in these states extended tolerance to other denominations, to Jews, to monotheistic religions, to any religion and eventually to atheists.
Activists judges creatively used the 14th Amendment to remove authority over many issues from state jurisdiction.
Though our government has seemingly abandoned ties to the past, for the student of history, it is still fascinating to find out “whatever we once were.” —
American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovwww.AmericanMinute.com
American Minute By Bill Federer
After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777:”The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins… that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…
and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”
That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory;
That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel;
That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth…
I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under by hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”
After traitor Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray West Point was thwarted, the Continental Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:
“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution…
“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God…
the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”
After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress now Governor of Massachusetts, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:
“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and
that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel…
That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with his glory.”
After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:
“Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me
‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness;’
That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere andhumble Thanks… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government…
particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”
After the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, March 4, 1815:
“The Senate and House of Representatives…signified their desire that a day may…be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a Day of Thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace.
No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.
He protected…them under all the difficulties and trials to which they were exposed in their early days…
In the arduous struggle…they were distinguished by multiplied tokens of His benign interposition…
He…enabled them to assert their national rights and to enhance their national character in another arduous conflict, which is now so happily terminated by a peace and reconciliation with those who have been our enemies.
And to the same Divine Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land…
I now recommend…a Day on which the people of every religious denomination may in their solemn assemblies unite their hearts and their voices in a freewill offering to their Heavenly Benefactor of their homage of Thanksgiving and of their songs of praise.
Given…in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen… James Madison.”
American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovwww.AmericanMinute.com
By Bill Federer
Born a slave in New York in 1797, she spoke only Dutch until sold around the age of 9, together with a flock of sheep, for $100.Suffering hardships, her third master made her marry an older slave with whom she had five children.
After New York abolished slavery, she returned as a domestic servant and helped with Elijah Pierson’s street-corner preaching.
Her name was Sojourner Truth.
In Massachusetts, she worked with abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, Sojourner Truth moved to Washington, D.C., met Lincoln and helped former slaves.
In 1850, she dictated her biography, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, stating:
“When I left the house of bondage I left everything behind. I wanted to keep nothing of Egypt on me, and so I went to the Lord and asked him to give me a new name.”
“I set up my banner, and then I sing, and then folks always comes up ’round me, and then…I tells them about Jesus.”
Her last full day on earth was NOVEMBER 25, 1883. Sojourner Truth would begin her messages:
“Children, I talk to God and God talks to me.”
American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovwww.AmericanMinute.com
By Bill Federer
On NOVEMBER 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, shots rang out as President John F. Kennedywas assassinated.The youngest President ever elected, being 43 years old, he was also the youngest to die, barely serving 1,000 days.
“We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.
We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men…”
“That must always be our goal – and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength.
For as was written long ago, ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’”
John F. Kennedy stated in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 28, 1961:
“The Pilgrims, after a year of hardship and peril, humbly and
I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England Thanksgiving,
thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man’s efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God.”
On February 9, 1961, President Kennedyremarked at a Breakfast for International Christian Leadership:
“Every President of the United States has placed special reliance upon his faith in God…
The guiding principle and prayer of this Nation has been, is now, and shall ever be ‘In God We Trust.’”
Though Kennedy was the youngest electedPresident, it was actually Theodore Roosevelt who was the youngest President, being just 42 years old when, as Vice-President, he assumed the Presidency when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901.
“In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country in the opening years of the 20th Century.
Failure would not only be a dreadful thing for us, but a dreadful thing for all mankind, because it would mean loss of hope for all who believe in the power and the righteousness of liberty.
Therefore, in thanking God for the mercies extended to us in the past, we beseech Him that He may not withhold them in the future.”
By Bill Federer
The longest serving member of the United States Congress was Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, who was born NOVEMBER 20, 1917.Elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1953, and serving in the Senate from 1959-2010, he never lost an election.
“Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no doubt about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, dare do less?…
In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidences of deep and abiding faith in God on the part of Government as there are in Washington….
Senator Robert Byrd continued:
Senator Byrd went on:
The ship’s revered chaplain, Brewster, who later joined the Mayflower, has open on his lap the Bible. Very clear are the words, ‘the New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’
On the sail is the motto of the Pilgrims, ‘In God We Trust, God With Us.’
The same phrase, in large words inscribed in the marble, backdrops the Speaker of the House of Representatives…”
Senator Byrd added:
Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front.
Engraved on the metal on the top of the Washington Monument are the words: ‘Praise be to God.’
Numerous quotations from Scripture can be found within its (the Library of Congress) walls.
And still another reference: ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not’ (John 1:5)…”
“Millions have stood in the Lincoln Memorial and gazed up at the statue of the great Abraham Lincoln.
The sculptor who chiseled the features of Lincoln in granite all but seems to make Lincoln speak his own words inscribed into the walls.
‘…That this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’
It then continues:
‘As was said 3000 years ago, so it still must be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’…
Senator Robert Byrd concluded:
“On the south banks of Washington’s Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson still speaks:
‘God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.’
Jefferson’s words are a forceful and explicit warning that to remove God from this country will destroy it.”
He lost two sons in the Revolution and was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration…via American Minute
By Bill Federer
He lost two sons in the Revolution and was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration.A delegate from New Jersey, he declared:
“Gentlemen, New Jersey is ready to vote for independence…The country is not only ripe for independence, but we are in danger of becoming rotten for the want of it!”
He served on 120 Congressional Committees and was a primary proponent of the separation of powers, insisting checks be placed on the power of government.
His name was John Witherspoon, and he died NOVEMBER 15, 1794.
Born in Scotland, he was a descendant of the Reformer John Knox.
His other Princeton students included a U.S. Vice-President, 3 Supreme Court Justices, 10 Cabinet Members, 13 Governors, 21 Senators and 39 Congressmen and 114 ministers.
After his wife died in 1789, he headed up a committee in the New Jersey legislature to abolish slavery.
John Adams described John Witherspoon as “A true son of liberty…but first, he was a son of the Cross.”
“If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.
He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind.
Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country…”
“It is in the man of piety and inward principle, that we may expect to find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier…
God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable
and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.”
When peace was made with Britain, John Witherspoon exhorted all in his “Thanksgiving Sermon” to live for:
“…the Glory of God, the public interest of religion and the good of others, as civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue.
A Republic must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty.”
Interested in more on John Witherspoon? Continue reading…
“There is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire….
If therefore we yield up our…property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage…
Governments are to defend and secure rights of conscience.”
“Universal profligacy makes a nation ripe for divine judgments and is the natural means of bringing them to ruin;
reformation of manners is of the utmost necessity in our present distress.”
In regards to man’s need for redemption, Rev. Witherspoon explained:
“The corruption of our nature…is the foundation-stone of the doctrine of redemption. Nothing can be more absolutely necessary to true religion, than a clear conviction of the sinfulness of our nature and state…”
“Men of lax and corrupt principles take great delight in speaking to the praise of human nature, and extolling its dignity, without distinguishing what it was at its first creation from what it is in its present fallen state…
The evil of sin appears from every page of…the history of the world…
Nothing is more plain from scripture…than that man by nature is in fact incapable of recovery without the power of God specially interposed.”
“Religion is the grand concern of us all…the salvation of our souls in the one thing needful.”
By Bill Federer
The 11th hour of the 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH of 1918, World War I ended.Though the Armistice was signed at 5:00 AM, fighting continued till11:00 AM, killing nearly 11,000 more men.
In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier know but to God.”
Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all U.S. Veterans.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan placed a soldier from the Vietnam War in the tomb.
In 1998, Michael Blassie was reburied at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
“On the threshold of eternity, many a soldier, I can well believe, wondered how his ebbing blood would color the stream of human life, flowing on after his sacrifice…
I can sense the prayers of our people…
Let me join in that prayer.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…”
It is the Soldier, not the minister
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
It is the Soldier, not the poet
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
It is the Soldier, not the politician
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Sometimes war is something that can and should not be avoided. God has told us to stand for what we believe and in order to do that sometimes it is necessary to fight. To the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives for their God, their country, their family, their friends, and even for those whom they do not know, we give our thanks.
In 2 Samuel 23 Davids last words were for the men that fought and men that he considered the real hero’s. Men like Eleazer, Adino, and Shammah, who stood and fought for God and country. David said “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3
Many times the wars of today are not just, but that does not negate the honor of those who obey and give their lives in order for the people of this country to remain free. In times past we have treated them with dishonor, and I see a return of that in the way that our current government is beginning to treat them as well. While our government is limiting their freedoms and disrespecting them, it falls upon us as citizens of this country to step up and show them that irregardless of what the government that has placed them in danger, believes, we honor them and wish to show our respect in every way possible. So remember that these are our own and that we do honor them!
‘We are under tremendous attacks…by Communists who…state that capitalism – democracy – carries…the seeds of its own destruction’- Eisenhower
By Bill Federer
“We are under tremendous attacks…We are attacked by the Communists who in their own documents state that capitalism – democracy – carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction,”
stated President Dwight Eisenhower.
Continuing his address, NOVEMBER 9, 1954, to the National Conference on the Spiritual Foundation of American Democracy at the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel, Washington, DC, President Eisenhower stated:
“We are talking about the spiritual foundations of our form of government…
Now Dr. Lowry said something about my having certain convictions as to a God in Heaven and an Almighty power.
Well, I don’t think anyone needs a great deal of credit for believing in what seems to me to be obvious…
It seems to me that this relationship between a spiritual faith, a religious faith, and our form of government is so closely defined and so obvious that we should really not need to identify a man as unusual because he recognizes it…”
“Milton asserted that all men are born equal, because each is born in the image of his God.
Our whole theory of government finally expressed in our Declaration…give the reasons to mankind why we had established such a government: ‘Man is endowed by his Creator…’
No matter what Democracy tries to do in terms of maximum individual liberty…in the economic…in the intellectual…in providing a system of justice, and a system of responsibility…when you come back to it, there is just one thing…man is worthwhile because he was born in the image of his God.”
“The challenges of today…are…because…our spiritual convictions as to the worth-whileness of this form of government, weakens…
Democracy is nothing in the world but a spiritual conviction, a conviction that each of us is enormously valuable, because of a certain standing before our own God.
Now, any group that binds itself together to awaken all of us to these simple things…is, in my mind, a dedicated, patriotic group that can well take the Bible in one hand and the a flag in the other, and march ahead.”
On NOVEMBER 9, 1940, President Franklin D Roosevelt prayed:
“In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation…
We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will…
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion…
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
In the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.”
By Bill Federer
America has gone a long way down the wrong road. We must turn around and go back and change roads. If ever we needed God’s help, it is now…”- stated Billy Graham, as he received the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996.
Billy Graham continued:
“If ever we needed spiritual renewal, it in now. And it can begin today in each one of our lives, as we repent before God and yield ourselves to Him and His Word.”
Billy Graham has had an unprecedented friendship with every U.S. President since Truman.
Born NOVEMBER 7, 1918, Billy Graham wanted to be a baseball player, but after attending a revival at age 16, his life changed. He became an evangelist and addressed crowds around the world.
“This is what I see in Billy Graham – A man who clearly understands that any advance in the world has got to be accompanied by a clear realization that man is, after all, a spiritual being.”
“We bear great responsibilities and great burdens not only to ourselves in this country but to so many around the world…
I commend…Reverend Billy Graham, who has served this cause about which I speak so well here and around the world. He has, I think, transmitted this most important quality of our common commitments to faith in a way which makes all of us particularly proud.”
“Why is a representative of government here? To welcome with humble pride a man whose mission in life has been to remind us that in all our seeking…the answer to each problem is to be found in the simple words of Jesus of Nazareth, who urged us to love one another.”
Billy Graham stated:
“Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.”
“After World War II…we had the opportunity to rule the world…
Something has happened since those days and there is much about America that is no longer good…the list is almost endless…
We have confused liberty with license – and we are paying the awful price. We are a society poised on the brink of self-destruction…”
“What is the problem? The real problem is within ourselves…
I believe the fundamental crisis of our time is a crisis of the spirit.
We have lost sight of the moral and spiritual principles on which this nation was established – principles drawn largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition as found in the Bible…
What must be done?
Let me briefly suggest three things.
First, we must repent. In the depths of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called for special days of public repentance and prayer.
Our need for repentance is no less today.”
“What does repentance mean?
Repentance means to change our thinking and our way of living. It means to turn from our sins and to commit ourselves to God and His will.
Over 2700 years ago the Old Testament prophet Isaiah declared
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55: 6-7, NIV)…”
“Second, we must commit our lives to God, and to the moral and spiritual truths that have made this nation great.
Think how different our nation would be if we sought to follow the simple and yet profound injunctions of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
But we must respond to God, Who is offering us forgiveness, mercy, supernatural help, and the power to change.”
Billy Graham concluded:”Third, our commitment must be translated into action – in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and in our society.
Jesus taught there are only two roads in life. One in the broad road that is easy and well-traveled, but which leads to destruction.
The other, He said, is the narrow road of truth and faith that at times is hard and lonely, but which leads to life and salvation…
What are YOU going to do?…
As I look out across this distinguished group gathered here, I see more than a few men and women who have what it takes, under God, to lead our country forward ‘through the night’”
By Bill Federer
Mercy Otis Warren was called “The Conscience of the American Revolution.”She was wife of Massachusetts House Speaker James Warren, sister of patriot James Otis, and she corresponded with Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton and John Adams.
In 1805, Mercy Otis Warrenpublished a 3 volume History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution.
“The immediate gift of the Creator obliges every one…to resist the first approaches of tyranny, which at this day threaten to sweep away the rights for which the brave Sons of America have fought…”
“Behold the insidious efforts of the partisans of arbitrary power…to lock the strong chains of domestic despotism on a country…”
“Save us from anarchy on the one hand, and the jaws of tyranny on the other…”
“It has been observed…that ‘the virtues and vices of a people’ when a revolution happens in their government, are the measure of the liberty or slavery they ought to expect.”
“And when asked, what is become of the rich produce of their farms- they may answer in the hapless style of the Man of La Mancha, ‘The steward of my Lord has seized and sent it to Madrid.’
Or, in the more literal language…Government requires that the collectors of the revenue should transmit it to the Federal City.”
“Monarchy is a species of government fit only for a people too much corrupted by luxury, avarice, and a passion for pleasure, to have any love for their country…
Monarchy is…by no means calculated for a nation that is…tenacious of their liberty – animated with a disgust to tyranny - and inspired with the generous feeling of patriotism.”
Mercy Otis Warrenconcluded:
“The origin of all power is in the people, and they have an incontestable right to check the creatures of their own creation.”
Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams were two of the most influential women of the Revolutionary War era.
Abigail Adams, wife of the 2nd President and mother of the 6th President, wrote to Mercy Otis Warren on NOVEMBER 5, 1775:
“A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God.
Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men?”
Abigail Adams continued in her letter to Mercy Otis Warren:
“Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society, corrupting the Morals of Youth, and by his bad example injuring the very Country he professes to patronize more than he can possibly compensate by intrepidity, generosity and honour?…
Scriptures tell us ‘righteousness exalteth a Nation.’”
By Bill Federer
Who is the King in America?”THE PEOPLE ARE THE SOVEREIGN OF THIS COUNTRY” – John Jay, First Chief Justice, Chisholm v. Georgia, 1793.
President James K. Polk stated December 7, 1847:
The success of our admirable system is a conclusive refutation of the
“THE SOVEREIGNTY OF 60 MILLIONS OF FREE PEOPLE, is…the working out…of the divine right of man to govern himself and a manifestation of God’s plan concerning the human race.”
“Never forget that in America OUR SOVEREIGN IS THE CITIZEN…
The State is a servant of the individual. It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”
How do THE PEOPLE exercise their sovereignty?
Through voting in elections.
“The number of faithful people of Christ…gather into a church…
Those who are chosen to a place in government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ…
Neither will any Christian of a sound judgment vote for any, but those who earnestly contend for the faith.”
“If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him;
but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…
Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity.”
“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship,
that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country.”
Calvin Coolidge continued:
“When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed Congress after the 911 Islamic terrorist attack:
“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists…They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote.”
Reformation Day…and How Islamic Jihad resulted in Protestantism being recognized via American Minute
By Bill Federer
On OCTOBER 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted 95 debate questions on the door of Wittenberg Church, which began the movement known as ‘the Reformation.’
In 1521, Martin Luther was summoned to stand trial before the most powerful man in the world, 21-year-old Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Spain, whose empire spanned nearly 2 million square miles across Europe, the Netherlands, the Far East, Philippines, North and South America, and the Caribbean.
Martin Luther was hid by Frederick of Saxony in the Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German.
During this time, Muslim Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent invaded Europe on land and sea.
Martin Luther wrote:
“The Turk is the rod of the wrath of the Lord our God…
If the Turk’s god, the devil, is not beaten first, there is reason to fear that the Turk will not be so easy to beat…Christian weapons and power must do it…”
Martin Luther continued:
“(The fight against the Turks) must begin with repentance, and we must reform our lives, or we shall fight in vain.
(The Church should) drive men to repentance by showing our great and numberless sins and our ingratitude, by which we have earned God’s wrath and disfavor, so that He justly gives us into the hands of the devil and the Turk.”
“Afraid of losing the much-needed support of the German princes for the struggle against the Turkish threat from the south, Emperor Charles V agreed to a truce between Protestant and Catholic territories in Nuremberg in 1532…
Thus the Lutheran movement was, for the first time, officially tolerated and could enjoy a place in the political sun of the Holy Roman Empire.”
“I hear of the sad condition of your Germany!…The Turk again prepares to wage war with a larger force.
Who will stand up to oppose his marching throughout the length and breadth of the land, at his mere will and pleasure?”
Finally, Charles V made a treaty with the German Lutheran Princes by signing the Peace of Augsburg, September 25, 1555, ceasing the religious struggle between Lutherans and Catholics.
A month later, October 25, 1555, suffering from severe gout, Charles V abdicated his throne and lived the rest of his life secluded in the monastery of Yuste, leaving his son Philipe II to rule.
New York University Professor Emeritus Patricia Bonomi, in her article “The Middle Colonies as the Birthplace of American Religious Pluralism” wrote:
“The colonists were about 98 percent Protestant.”
British Statesman Edmund Burke addressed Parliament, 1775:
“All Protestantism…is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our Northern Colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.”
Samuel Adams stated when he signed the Declaration of Independence:
“This day, I trust, the reign of political protestantism will commence.”
Martin Luther, who died in 1546, wrote:
“I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.”
Which Democrat President condemned Islamic terror, defended marriage, vetoed welfare, and suspended secular work to thank God…? via American Minute
By Bill Federer
Democrat President Grover Cleveland condemned Islamic terrorism committed against Armenian Christians in Turkey, December 2, 1895:”Massacres of Christians in Armenia and the development there…of a spirit of fanatic hostility to Christian influences naturally excited apprehension…
“Mad bigotry and cruel fanaticism…wanton destruction of homesand the bloody butchery of men, women, and children, made martyrs to their profession of Christian faith…
Our citizens in Turkey…in the midst of dreadful scenes of danger, their safety…is by no means assured…
I do not believe that the present somber prospect in Turkey will be long permitted to offend the sight of Christendom…
It seems hardly possible that the earnest demand of good people throughout the Christian world for its corrective treatment will remain unanswered.”
“The strength, the perpetuity, and the destiny of the nation rest upon our homes, established by the law of God, guarded by parental care, regulated by parental authority, and sanctified by parental love.
The mothers of our land, who rule the nation as they mold the characters and guide the actions of their sons, live according to God’s holy ordinances,
and each, secure and happy in the exclusive love of the father of her children, sheds the warm light of true womanhood, unperverted and unpolluted, upon all within her pure and wholesome family circle.
These are not the cheerless, crushed, and unwomanly mothers of polygamy.”
Cleveland insisted on gold-backed currency and pushed tolower taxes.
“I do not believe that the power…of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering…
A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power…should…be steadfastly resisted…
Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.
Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character,
while it prevents…among our people of that kindly sentiment…which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”
“The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year, claim their grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment…
by His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity;
by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return…
by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished…and
by His unerring guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.
“To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings,
I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart…a day of thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.
On that day let all secular work and employment be suspended,
and let our people assemble in their accustomed places ofworship and with prayer and songs of praise give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us, while we humbly implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.”
PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH – ‘We can ensure peace only so long as we remain strong.’-Harry Truman via American Minute
By Bill Federer
On OCTOBER 23, 1945, President Harry Truman addressed a Joint Session of Congress:”The United States now has a fighting strength greater than at any other time in our history…greater than that of any other nation in the world…
We are strong because of the courage…of a liberty loving people who are determined that this nation shall remain forever free…
We intend to use all our moral influence and all our physical strength to work for that kind of peace.
We can ensure such a peace only so long as we remain strong. We must face the fact that peace must be built upon power, as well as upon good will and good deeds…”
“It is only by strength that we can impress the fact upon possible future aggressors that we will tolerate no threat to peace or liberty…
In any future war, the heart of the United States would be the enemy’s first target.
Our geographical security is now gone–gone with the advent of the robot bomb, the rocket, aircraft carriers and modern airborne armies.
The surest guaranty that no nation will dare again to attack us is to remain strong in the only kind of strength an aggressor understands–military power…
The moral and spiritual welfare of our young people should be a consideration of prime importance, and, of course, facilities for worship in every faith should be available.”
On OCTOBER 23, 1960, John F. Kennedy stated at a Commemorative Concert:
“Americans will never…recognize Soviet domination of Hungary.
Hungary’s claim to independence and liberty is not based on sentiment or politics. It is deeply rooted in history, in culture and in law.
No matter what sort of puppet government they may maintain, we do not mean to see that claim abandoned.
Americans intend to hasten…the day when the men and women of Hungary will stand again in freedom and justice.”
“OCTOBER 23 is the second anniversary of the date on which the largest number of Americans was killed in a single act of terrorism –
the bombing of the United States compound in Beirut, Lebanon…in which 241 United States servicemen lost their lives.
These brave soldiers died defending our cherished ideals of freedom and peace. It is appropriate that we honor these men and all other victims of terrorism.”
“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”
“Khrushchev has told his people…we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes…our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically….”
“You and I…do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery…
Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross?
Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world?
The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored deadwho gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain.”
“Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies,
“There is a price we will not pay.” There is a point beyond which they must not advance.”
He lost his right eye capturing Corsica and his right arm attacking the Canary Islands… via American Minute
By Bill Federer
British Admiral Horatio Nelson lost his right eye capturing Corsica and his right arm attacking the Canary Islands.He captured six and destroyed seven of Napoleon’s ships at the Battle of the Nile, trapping Napoleon is Muslim Egypt.
Horatio Nelson is best remembered for winning one of the greatest naval battles in history, the Battle of Trafalgar, OCTOBER 21, 1805.
The daring 47-year-old Nelson defeated 36-year-old Napoleon’s combined French and Spanish fleets, consisting of 33 ships with 2,640 guns off the coast of Spain.
Napoleon sold 600 million acres to the United States for fifteen million dollars to raise money for his military campaigns.
Admiral Nelson’s victory over the French navy abruptly ended Napoleon’s power at sea, and with it, his dreams of world conquest.
The 90,000 French troops assembled on the coast of France were forced to abandon their plans of crossing the English Channel and invading Britain.
During the Battle of Trafalgar, cannonade and musket shot ripped apart ships at point blank range, killing or wounding nearly ten thousand.
Admiral Nelson was fatally shot in the spine.
He was carried below deck to the ship’s surgeon where he died.
Admiral Horatio Nelson’s last words were:
“Thank God I have done my duty.”
By Bill Federer
British Colonel Tarleton was known as ‘the bloody butcher’ for letting his dragoons bayonet and hack hundreds of surrendering American soldiers atBuford’s Massacre, May 29, 1780.In January of 1781, Colonel Tarletonwith 1,200 dragoons were pursuing American troops, but General Daniel Morgan led them into a trap at theBattle of Cowpens, killing 100 British and capturing 800.
Providential flash floods and rising rivers allowed the Americans to escape.
By this time, Ben Franklin and Marquis de Lafayette had succeeded in their efforts to persuade French King Louis XVI to send ships and troops the help the Americans.
Altogether, 17,000 French and American troops surrounded Cornwallisand, on OCTOBER 19, 1781, he surrendered.
Yale President Ezra Stiles wrote, May 8, 1783:
“Who but God could have ordained the critical arrival of the Gallic (French) fleet, so as to… assist… in the siege… of Yorktown?…
Should we not… ascribe to a Supreme energy… the wise… generalship displayed by General Greene… leaving the… roving Cornwallis to pursue his helter-skelter ill fated march into Virginia…
It is God who had raised up for us a…powerful ally… a chosen army and a naval force: who sent us a Rochambeau… to fight side by side with aWashington… in the… Battle of Yorktown.”
“To diffuse the general Joy through every breast the General orders…Divine Service to be performed tomorrow in the several Brigades…
The Commander-in-Chief earnestly recommends troops not on duty should universally attend with that gratitude of heart which the recognition of such astonishing Interposition of Providence demands.”
The only Pilgrim to have his portrait painted – He treated Indian chief Massaoit’s illness, resulting in a 50 year peace. via American Minute
The only Pilgrim to have his portrait painted, Edward Winslow was born OCTOBER 18, 1595.He joined the Separatists, a persecuted group of Christian refugees, in Leyden, Holland.
In 1622, Winslowtreated Indian chief Massaoit of an illness, resulting in a 50 year peace.
Serving three times as the Plymouth Colony’s Governor,Edward Winslowkept the finances and often sailed back to England for business, bringing back the colony’s first cattle.
On one trip to England in 1625, as described by Governor William Bradford in his History of the Plymouth Settlement, Edward Winslow encountered Turkish Muslim Pirates:”Two fishing ships…ordered to load with corfish…to bring home to England…and besides she had some 800 lbs of beaver, as well as other furs, to a good value from the plantation.
The captain seeing so much lading wished to put aboard the bigger ship for greater safety, but Mr. Edward Winslow, their agent in the business, was bound in a bond to send it to London in the small ship…
Thus all their hopes were dashed and the joyful news they meant to carry home was turned to heavy tidings…
In the big ship Captain Myles Standish…arrived…in London…The friendly adventurers were so reduced by their losses…and now by the ship taken by the Turks…that all trade was dead.”
In Young’s Chronicles, Edward Winslow wrote of the Pilgrims:”Drought and the like…moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estate between God…
but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by fasting.”
By Bill Federer
Her beautiful, long hair was scalped off her head by Indians after she was shot.
This was the fate of Jane McCrea, whose loyalist fiancé David Jones had only weeks earlier joined British General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, who in June of 1777, was marching with 7,000 troops from Canada to Albany, New York.
Recapturing Fort Ticonderoga, Burgoyne headed down the Hudson River Valley, making a treaty with the Mohawk Tribe to terrorize American settlements.
When Indians returned to camp with a scalp of beautiful long hair, David Jones instantly recognized it as his fiancée’s.
This resulted in an outrage that forced Burgoyne to tell the Indians to show restraint.
Insulted, the Indians left Burgoyne stranded deep in the forest.
Jane McCrea’s death, later immortalized in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, The Last of the Mohicans, rallied Americans, causing ranks to increase to 15,000.
The British tried to send reinforcements, but were prevented, as Yale President Ezra Stiles explained, May 8, 1783:
“To whom but the Ruler of the Winds shall we ascribe it, that the British reinforcement, in the summer of 1777, was delayed on the ocean three months by contrary winds, until it was too late for the conflagrating General Clinton to raise the siege of Saratoga.”
At the Battle of Saratoga, October 7, 1777, General Benedict Arnold led a valiant charge on the British flank, resulting in him being considered the hero of the battle.
Shortly thereafter, OCTOBER 17, 1777, British General Johnny Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates, and over 6,000 British troops were captured.
When news of Burgoyne’s surrender reached King Louis XVI in France, he decided to support the American cause and enter the war.
The victory at Saratoga turned the Revolution into a global war, stretching Britain’s resources in other areas of the world, including the West Indies and Europe.
The surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga is not only considered a major turning point in the Revolutionary War, but one of the most important battles in world history.
Artist John Trumbull’s painting of the Surrender of General Burgoyne is in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
General George Washington wrote to his brother John Augustine the day after the victory:
“I most devoutly congratulate my country, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence.”
When Roger Sherman of Connecticut, who signed the Declaration of Independence, heard of the victory of Saratoga, he exclaimed:
“This is the Lord’s doing, and marvelous in our eyes!”
On November 1, 1777, the Continental Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving:
“That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feeling of their hearts…
join the penitent confession of their manifold sins…that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of rememberance…
and… under the providence of Almighty God…secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”
In 1731, a Spanish commander cut off the ear of British Captain Robert Jenkins and told him to take it to his King.
This began the War of Jenkins’ Ear.
They sailed to Panama and captured Porto Bello, which was the most prosperous Spanish city in the New World as all the gold of Central and South America flowed through it to Spain.
Lawrence Washington returned to Virginia as a 25-year-old war hero.
After Lawrence died, George, at age 20, inherited Mount Vernon.
In 1742, the War of Austrian Succession began when Marie Theresa became the first woman to take Austria’s throne.This pulled Prussia and France into the war, and combined with the War of Jenkin’s Ear, was called King George’s War in America.
The threat of war shook colonists out of complacency and contributed to the spread of the Great Awakening Revival.
The British took the French city of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, in 1745, which had been New France’s 2nd most important commercial city after Quebec, and the 3rd busiest seaport in America, behind Boston and Philadelphia.
France wanted Louisbourg back, and in 1746, sent Admiral d’Anville with the most powerful fleet of its day: 73 ships with 800 cannons and 13,000 troops.
Admiral d’Anville intended to “expel the British from Nova Scotia, consign Boston to flames, ravage New England, and waste the British West Indies.”
Massachusetts Governor William Shirley declared a Day of Prayer and Fasting, October 16, 1746, to pray for deliverance.
Boston citizens gathered in the Old South Meeting House, where Rev. Thomas Prince prayed:
“Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the water… scatter the ships of our tormentors!”
“a wild, uneven sound…though no man was in the steeple.”
A hurricane scattered the entire French fleet as far as the Caribbean. Lightning struck several ships, igniting gunpowder magazines, causing explosions and fire.
With 2,000 dead, including Admiral d’Anville, and 4,000 sick with typhoid, French Vice-Admiral d’Estournelle threw himself on his sword.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his poem, The Ballad of the French Fleet:
“Admiral d’Anville had sworn by cross and crown,
To ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town…
There were rumors in the street, in the houses there was fear
Of the coming of the fleet, and the danger hovering near.
And while from mouth to mouth, spread the tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South, saying humbly: ‘Let us pray!’
‘Oh Lord! we would not advise; but if in thy Providence
A tempest should arise, to drive the French Fleet hence,
And scatter it far and wide, or sink it in the sea,
We should be satisfied, and Thine the glory be…’
Like a potter’s vessel broke, the great ships of the line…
Were carried away as smoke…or sank in the brine.”
This great deliverance encouraged Ben Franklin, in 1747, to propose a General Fast, which was approved by Pennsylvania’s Council and published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:
and there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord and amend our ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier judgments.
We have…thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People…to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent supplications
that Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood.”
In 1747, Ben Franklin also organized Pennsylvania’s first “volunteer” militia with 10,000 signing up.
This made Franklin the most popular person in the colony and began his political career.
|By Bill FedererOn OCTOBER 15, 1788, James Madison warned:
“As the courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character.This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.”
On OCTOBER 15, 1991, the U.S. Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice. During the hearings, in reply to Senator Thurmond, Clarence Thomas replied:”The role of a judge is a limited one. It is to…interpret the Constitution, where called upon, but at no point to impose his or her will or…opinion in that process.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804:
“Nothing in the Constitution has given them (judges) a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them…
The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional… not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive…would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”
Webster’s Dictionary defined “despot” as:
“Absolute and arbitrary authority power… independent of the control of men.”
“You seem…to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions;a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy...”
“Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so….and their power (is) the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible , as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.
The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal,knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.”
In his 1841 Inaugural Address, PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison warned:
“The great danger to our institutions does…appear to me to be…theaccumulation in one of the departments of that which was assigned to others.
Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in one of the departments.”
In 1857, Democrat appointed JusticeRoger Taney gave the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision that slaves were not citizens, but property.
Lincoln alluded to this decision in his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861:”I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court…
having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of the eminent tribunal.“
Thomas Jefferson warned Mr. Hammond in 1821:
“The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in…the federal judiciary;
an irresponsible body…working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States.”
Jefferson wrote September 6, 1819:
“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
Thomas Jefferson explained to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson, June 12, 1823:”On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates,and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
Baron Montesquieu, the most frequently quoted writer by the Framers of the Constitution, warned of the dangers of uncontrolled judicial power in his Spirit of the Laws, 1748:”Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power.If it were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislator.
If it were joined to executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor.
All would be lost if the same…body of principal men… exercised these three powers.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, 1835, warned:
“The President, who exercises a limited power, may err without causing great mischief in the State.
Congress may decide amiss without destroying the Union, because the electoral body in which Congress originates may cause it to retract its decision
by changing its members.But if the Supreme Court is ever composed of imprudent men or bad citizens, the Union may be plunged into anarchy or civil war.”
Colonial leader John Cotton stated:
“For whatever transcendent power is given, will certainly over-run those that give it…It is necessary therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited.”
“All men having power ought to be distrusted.”
“And of fatal tendency…to put, in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party – often a small but artful and enterprising minority…
They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government;
destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
“It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.
Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power.”
“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this:
you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
“All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power,
and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it.”
Lord Acton wrote to Bishop Mandell Creighton. April 5, 1881:“All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
|By Bill FedererColumbus was looking for a SEA route to India and China because 40 years earlier Muslim Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453 cutting off the LAND routes.
A biography of Columbus was written by Washington Irving in 1828, filled imaginative dialogue, such as Europeans arguing that the Earth was flat.
Washington Irving was known for imaginative stories such as “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow,” Dutch tales of visits from St. Nick, and coining New York City’s nickname “Gotham.”
In the 3rd century BC, Eratosthenes computed the circumference of the Earth with geometry and measurements of shadows cast by tall objects in Alexandria and Aswan.
In the 1st century BC, Posidonius used stellar observations at Alexandria and Rhodes to confirm Eratosthenese’s measurements.
In the 2nd century AD, astronomer Ptolemy had written a Guide to Geography, in which he described a spherical earth with one oceanconnecting Europe and Asia.
Around the year 723 AD, Saint Bede the Venerable wrote in his work “Reckoning of Time” that the Earth was spherical.
Columbus knew the Earth was round, but the question was, how far around.
The confusion was over the length of a mile.
Columbus read Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly’s “Imago Mundi,” which gave Alfraganus’ estimate that a degree of latitude (at the equator) was around 56.7 miles.
What Columbus did not realize was that this was expressed in longer Arabic miles rather than in shorter Roman miles.
Therefore Columbus incorrectly estimated the Earth to be smaller in circumference, about 19,000 miles, rather than the actual nearly 25,000 miles.
Columbus knew there was land to the west, as he had heard stories of Irish monk St. Brendan sailing in 530 AD to “The Land of the Promised Saints which God will give us on the last day.”
He knew of the Christian Viking Leif Erickson’s voyage in the year 1000 to Vinland.
Columbus read of Marco Polo’s travels to China and India in 1271.
He studied Pliny’s “Natural History,” Sir JohnMandeville, and Pope Pius II’s “Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum.”
Columbus corresponded with Florentine physician Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, who suggested China was just 5,000 miles west of Portugal.
Columbus may have possibly seen maps, rumored to have been in Portugal’s royal archives, from China’s treasure fleets which were sent out in 1421 by Ming Emperor Zhu Di.
Since no ship at that time could carry enough food and water for such a long voyage, Columbus would have never set sail if he had known the actual distance.
As a young man, Columbus began sailing on a trip to a Genoese colony in the Aegean Sea named Chios.
In 1476, he sailed on an armed convoy from Genoa to northern Europe, docking in Bristol, England, and Galway, Ireland, and even possibly Iceland in 1477.
Portugal, under Prince Henry the Navigator, led the world in the science of navigation and cartography (map-making), and developed a light ship that could travel fast and far, the “caravel.”
In 1498, Portuguese sailor Vasco de Gama did make it around South Africa to India.
But six year before that, in 1492, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella finished driving the Muslims out of Spain and wanted to join the quest for a sea trade route to the India.
They backed Columbus’ plan.
Though Columbus was wrong about the miles and degrees of longitude, he did understand trade winds across the Atlantic.
On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail on the longest voyage to that date out of the sight of land.
Trade winds called “easterlies” pushed Columbus’ ships for five weeks to the Bahamas.
He imagined Haiti was Japan and Cuba was the tip of China.
Naming the first island “San Salvador” for the Holy Savior, Columbus wrote of the inhabitants:
“So that they might be well-disposed towards us, for I knew that they were a people to be converted to our Holy Faith rather by love than by force, I gave to some red caps and to others glass beads…
They became so entirely our friends that…I believe that they would easily be made Christians.”
‘A people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of arbitrary power.’- Lewis Cass via American Minute
|By Bill FedererThe Democrat Party’s candidate for President in the 1848 election was Lewis Cass, born OCTOBER 9, 1782.
In 1807, Lewis Cass became the US Marshal for Ohio.
He was a Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, fighting in the Battle of the Thames.President James Madison appointed him Governor-General of the Michigan Territory, 1813-1831, where he made Indian treaties, organized townships and built roads.
In 1820, he led an expedition to northern Minnesota to search for the source of the Mississippi River in order to define the border between the U.S. and Canada.
Cass’ expedition geologist Henry Schoolcraft identified the Mississippi’s source as Lake Itasca in 1832.
President Andrew Jackson appointed Lewis Cass as Secretary of War in 1831, then minister to France in 1836.
He was elected a U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1845-48, 1849-57.
Senator Lewis Cass wrote from Washington, D.C. in 1846:
“God, in His providence, has given us a Book of His revealed will to be with us at the commencement of our career in this life and at its termination;
and to accompany us during all chances and changes of this trying and fitful progress, to control the passions, to enlighten the judgment, to guide the conscience, to teach us what we ought to do here, and what we shall be hereafter.”
Lewis Cass delivered a Eulogy for Secretary of State Daniel Webster, December 14, 1852:”‘How are the mighty fallen!’ we may yet exclaim, when reft of our great and wisest; but they fall to rise again from death
to life, when such quickening faith in the mercy of God and in the sacrifice of the Redeemer comes to shed upon them its happy influence this side of the grave and beyond it…”Continuing his Eulogy of Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass stated”
“And beyond all this he died in the faith of the Christian – humble, but hopeful – adding another to the long list of eminent men who have searched the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and have found it to be the word and the will of God.”
Lewis Cass was Secretary of State for President James Buchanan, 1857-1860.
The State of Michigan placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
In 17 States, Lewis Cass has places named for him, including: 30 townships, 10 cities, 10 streets, 9 counties, 4 schools, 3 parks, 2 lakes, 1 river, 1 fort, and 1 building.
Lewis Cass stated:
“Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion,
and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power.“