David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 1 of 5
Uploaded by ToRenewAmerica on Apr 9, 2010
Wallbuilders’ Founder and President David Barton joins Glenn Beck on the Fox News Channel for the full hour to discuss our Godly heritage and how faith was the foundational principle upon which America was built.
President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.
There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots.
America once stood on the foundation of God’s Word. But that foundation is crumbling – even in the church – and being replaced by man’s word, observed one Christian apologist.
“Whatever we (America) once were, we are no longer. We have changed,” said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, in his second State of the Nation address on Tuesday.
The Young Earth creationist was citing President Obama’s well-known mantra that America is no longer just a Christian nation as he delivered an hour-long speech outlining where America and Christianity stand today – just weeks after Obama’s State of the Union address.
He sees Christianity being thrown out of the public sector and mocked and generations of Americans building their worldview on secular humanism.
“Most of the founding fathers of this nation … built the worldview of this nation on the authority of the Word of God,” he said. “Because of that, there have been reminders in this culture concerning God’s Word, the God of creation.”
David Barton did a great job with this article America’s Religious Heritage As Demonstrated in Presidential Inaugurations :
|David Barton – 01/2009|
|America’s Religious Heritage
As Demonstrated in Presidential InaugurationsReligious activities at presidential inaugurations have become the target of criticism in recent years, 1 with legal challenges being filed to halt activities as simple as inaugural prayers and the use of “so help me God” in the presidential oath. 2 These critics – evidently based on a deficient education – wrongly believe that the official governmental arena is to be aggressively secular and religion-free. The history of inaugurations provides some of the most authoritative proof of the fallacy of these modern arguments.In fact, since America’s first inauguration in 1789 included seven distinct religious activities, that original inauguration is worthy of review. Every inauguration since 1789 has included numerous of those activities.The First InaugurationConstitutional experts abounded at America’s first inauguration. Not only was the first inauguree (George Washington) a signer of the Constitution but numerous drafters of the Constitution were serving in the Congress that organized and directed that first inauguration. In fact, just under one fourth of the members of the first Congress had been delegates to the Convention that wrote the Constitution. 3 Furthermore, the identical Congress that directed and oversaw these inaugural activities also penned the First Amendment. Having therefore produced both the Constitution and all of its clauses on religion, they clearly knew what types of religious activities were and were not constitutional. Clearly, then, the religious activities that occurred at the first inauguration may well be said to have the approval and imprimatur of the greatest collection of constitutional experts America has ever known. Therefore, a review of the religious activities acceptable in that first inauguration will provide guidance for citizens in general and critics in particular.The first inauguration occurred in New York City. (New York City served as the nation’s capital for the first year of the new federal government; for the next ten, Philadelphia was the capital city; in 1800, the federal government moved to Washington, D. C. for its permanent home). George Washington had been at home at Mt. Vernon when Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, notified him that he had been unanimously elected as the nation’s first president.
On receiving this news, Washington departed from Mt. Vernon and began his trek toward New York City, stopping first at Fredericksburg, Virginia, to visit his mother, Mary¬ – the last time the two would see each other. Mary was eighty-two and suffering from incurable breast cancer. Mary parted with her son, giving him her blessings and offering him her prayers, telling him: “You will see me no more; my great age and the disease which is rapidly approaching my vitals, warn me that I shall not be long in this world. Go, George; fulfill the high destinies which Heaven appears to assign to you; go, my son, and may that Heaven’s and your mother’s blessing be with you always.” 4Washington did go, and he did indeed fulfill the high destinies assigned him by Heaven. A moving painting was made of her giving him her final charge; his mother passed away a few months after that final meeting.
Leaving his mother, Washington continued northward toward New York City. In town after town along the way, special dinners and celebrations were held – including in Alexandria, Georgetown, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton, and other locations. Finally reaching Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Washington boarded a barge that carried him the rest of the way, where another celebration awaited him upon entering New York Harbor.
On April 30th, 1789, George Washington was to be inaugurated on the balcony outside Federal Hall. (Federal Hall was originally named Old Hall, but New York City – in an effort to convince the new federal government that the City was serious about becoming the national capital – remodeled the structure, renaming it Federal Hall. The House and Senate met in two chambers inside that Hall, and the inauguration took place on the remodeled building’s balcony.) Incidentally, religious activities had been planned to precede the inauguration, with the people of New York City being called to a time of prayer. The papers in the Capital City reported on that scheduled activity:
The preparations for the inauguration had been extensive; everything had been well planned; the event seemed to be proceeding smoothly. The parade carrying Washington by horse-drawn carriage to the swearing-in was nearing Federal Hall when it was realized that no Bible had been obtained for administering the oath. Parade Marshal Jacob Morton hurried to the nearby Masonic Lodge and grabbed its large 1767 King James Bible.
The Bible was laid upon a crimson velvet cushion (held by Samuel Otis, Secretary of the Senate) and, with a huge crowd gathered below watching the ceremony on the balcony, New York Chancellor Robert Livingston was to administer the oath of office. (Robert Livingston had been one of the five Founders who had drafted the Declaration of Independence; however, he was called back to New York to help his State through the Revolution before he could affix his signature to the very document he had helped write. As Chancellor, Livingston was the highest ranking judicial official in New York.) Beside Livingston and Washington stood several distinguished officials, including Vice President John Adams, original Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, Generals Henry Knox and Philip Schuyler, and a number of others. The Bible was opened at random to the latter part of Genesis; Washington placed his left hand upon the open Bible, raised his right, and then took the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution. Washington then bent over and kissed the Bible, reverently closed his eyes, and said, “So help me God!” Chancellor Livingston then proclaimed, “It is done!” Turning to the crowd assembled below, he shouted, “Long live George Washington – the first President of the United States!” That shout was echoed and re-echoed by the crowd below.
Critics today claim that George Washington never added “So help me God!” to his oath 6 – that associating religious intent with the oath is of recent origins. After all, the presidential oath of office as prescribed in Article II of the Constitution simply states:
But overlooked by many today is the fact that the Framers of our government considered an oath to be inherently religious – something George Washington affirmed when he appended the phrase “So help me God” to the end of the oath. In fact, it was universally acknowledged by every American legal scholar of that day that any legally-binding oath was overtly religious in nature. As signer of the Declaration John Witherspoon succinctly explained: