Open letter to President Obama (Part 307)

2 Of 5 / The Bible’s Influence In America / American Heritage Series / David Barton

(Mailed before Oct 1, 2012.)

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.

Evangelical leader Ken Ham rightly has noted, “Most of the founding fathers of this nation … built the worldview of this nation on the authority of the Word of God.” I strongly agree with this statement by Ham.

Dr. Michael Davis of California has asserted that he has no doubts that our President is a professing Christian, but his policies are those of a secular humanist. I share these same views. However, our founding fathers were anything but secular humanists in their views. John Adams actually wrote in a letter, “There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government – but that which is administered by this Holy Ghost.”

In June of 2011 David Barton of Wallbuilders wrote the article, “John Adams: Was He Really an Enemy of Christians?Addressing Modern Academic Shallowness,” and I wanted to share portions of that article with you.

 At WallBuilders, we are truly blessed by God, owning tens of thousands of original documents from the American Founding – documents clearly demonstrating the Christian and Biblical foundations both of America and of so many of her Founding Fathers and early statesmen. We frequently postoriginal documents on our website so that others may enjoy them and learn more about many important aspects of America’s rich moral, religious, and constitutional heritage that are widely unknown or misportrayed today.


Modernism is the practice of analyzing historical incidents and persons as if they lived now rather than in the past. Modernism separates history from its context and setting – a practice that regularly produces flawed conclusions.

An illustration of Modernism is the manner in which today’s textbooks uniformly portray the colonial Puritans as intolerant Christians because of the witch trials in which twenty-seven individuals died. 5 But universally ignored is the fact that witch trials were occurring across the world at that time, not just in America; and in Europe alone, 500,000 were put to death, 6 including 30,000 in England, 75,000 in France, and 100,000 in Germany. 7 Additionally, the American witch trials lasted two months, but the European trials lasted for years. 8 Furthermore, the Massachusetts witch trials were brought to a close when Christian leaders such as the Rev. John Wise, the Rev. Increase Mather, and Thomas Brattle challenged the trials because Biblical rules of evidence and Due Process were not being followed in the courts. 9Consequently:

The trials were stopped by Governor Phipps in October, 1692, and five years later the Massachusetts Court publicly repented and set apart a special day of fasting and prayer, that prayers might be offered, asking for forgiveness for “the late tragedy raised amongst us by Satan,” while the twelve jurors published a declaration of sorrow for accepting insufficient evidence against the accused, and Judge Sewall rose in his pew in the South Church and made public confession of his sense of guilt.10

This is no attempt to defend the inexcusable twenty-seven deaths, but it is undeniable that the so-called “intolerant” conduct of the Puritans was light-years ahead of their “enlightened” contemporaries throughout the rest of the “civilized” Old World of Europe. As early church historian Charles Galloway affirmed, when the Puritans “are compared to their brothers in England and all Europe, they stand out as reformers of the most advanced and majestic type.” 11 To accurately portray historic events and individuals (whether it is the Puritans or John Adams), their words and actions must be measured not by today’s thinking and customs but rather in light of what was occurring in their own times – which is what Pinto does not do.

Let’s begin by looking at the extended portion of the letter that Pinto claims contains Adams’ alleged blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost, Who is transmitted from age to age by laying the hands of the Bishop on the heads of candidates for the ministry. In the same manner, as the Holy Ghost is transmitted from monarch to monarch by the holy oil in the vial at Rheims which was brought down from Heaven by a dove and by that other phial [vial] which I have seen in the Tower of London. There is no authority civil or religious, there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words, damnation. Although this is all artifice and cunning in the sacred original in the heart, yet they all believe it so sincerely that they would lay down their lives under the ax or the fiery fagot [bundle of wood used for burning individuals at the stake] for it. Alas, the poor weak ignorant dupe, human nature. There is so much king craft, priest craft, gentlemens craft, peoples craft, doctors craft, lawyers craft, merchants craft, tradesmens craft, laborers craft, and Devils craft in the world that it seems a desperate [hopeless] and impractical project to undeceive it. Do you wonder that Voltaire and Paine have made proselytes [converts]? Yet there [is] near as much subtlety, craft, and hypocrisy in Voltaire and Paine, and more, too, than in Ignatius Loyola [a Spanish knight who was a founder of the Jesuits]. 12

Recall from above that in Pinto’s analysis of this section he claims that Adams . . .

was mocking the idea of “Holy Ghost authority” and called Christians “dupes” for believing in it. . . . Adams was not speaking in approval of the Holy Ghost, but was rather mocking the idea of it and of the faith of true Christians. . . . Adams did not believe the Holy Ghost was real, and he spoke about it in what can only be called insulting and irreverent terms. 13

Is Pinto correct? Was Adams mocking Christians and the Holy Ghost? Absolutely not – which will be irrefutably proved below. But the fact that Pinto believes that Adams is insulting Christians and the Holy Spirit demonstrates not only that he employed Modernism but also the second device of historical malpractice: Minimalism.

5. Of the 27, 14 women and 5 men were tried, found guilty and hung; 1 man was tortured to death by crushing because he refused to cooperate with the court and answer their questions. To persuade him to talk they took him to a field and put a board on him with rocks, they increased the number of rocks until he would cooperate but he continued to refuse and was crushed to death. He was therefore never convicted but he is considered the 20th victim as he was on trial for being a wizard. And 7 individuals died in prison awaiting trial; one was a baby in prison with her mother, who was awaiting trial as a witch. Salem Witch Museum, January 13, 2011 (at: per the museum’s Department of Education. (Return)

6. William Warren Sweet, The Story of Religion in America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), p. 61. (Return)

7. Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 110.(Return)

8. Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 110.(Return)

9. Dictionary of American Biography, s.v. “Mather, Increase” and “Brattle, Thomas.” See also “The Salem Witch Trials: Reason Returns,” Court TV: Crime Library (at: (accessed on February 3, 2011). (Return)

10. William Warren Sweet, The Story of Religion in America (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1950), p. 62. (Return)

11. Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 90.(Return)

12. John Adams letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush on December 21, 1809, from an original in our possession (see original at: (Return)

13. Chris Pinto, “David Barton Approves of Sharia Law in America and Misleads Jon Stewart?, Worldview Times, April 10, 2011 (at: (Return)

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.


Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

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