Byzantine Empire 555AD
Letter to a Christian Conservative from a non-Christian Conservative
This was a letter to the instructor of a survey class I attended on the U.S. Constitution. They are teaching it from a Christian perspective on the belief America was founded on the Bible and Calvinism.
What they are struggling with is explaining how so many of the main Founders are called "Deists" yet whose behavior and beliefs while not orthodox Christian, were not following the Deism definition from the dictionary. The Founders called for prayer and believed in God's Divine Providence. (An active God.)
This prompted me to update my deist' page A Critical Look at Deism. The instructor while a brilliant and educated man is also fixated on a literal Bible and his beliefs. This is because Christianity in general has been under constant and in my opinion unfounded attack by dogmatic Humanists and Leftists. The problem is far too many equate conservatism today with Christian fundamentalism on one end, and anyone believing in less than a "literal" (as they define it) Bible as being a Progressive/Marxist enemy.
This is not true at all. The fact is that all patriotic and conservative Americans of all beliefs are under attack by the mostly atheistic Progressive left determined to bring the atheistic French Revolution (the mother of Marxism and dogmatic Humanism) to America. They desire to overthrow the American Revolution and Constitution. It's time to put aside theological bickering and look at the values we share.
Most of these people don't want a theocracy as such, but their God-given right to express their views in the public sphere. The fact is I have to admit most of our moral values and culture in fact derive from Christianity and to strip that out in the manner they do today is undermining the entire culture. That is clearly the intention and it must stop.
To a Christian Conservative:
We share many of the same goals, but this is an answer to the discussion question (#5) in class: Despite their theological differences, can Deists, Unitarians, Jews, and Christians agree on some common values that form the basis for civil government? The answer I say is yes because that is just what they did when they founded America! And how do you propose to deal with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Pentecostals, etc. that are in every way but theology conservative Christians?
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Five men were chosen by the Constitutional Convention to write the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson (Unitarian) was the primary author and four others were also chosen: John Adams (Unitarian), Benjamin Franklin (classical Deist/Unitarian and Freemason), Robert R. Livingston (a Freemason) and Roger Sherman (Freemason?). John Adams and Benjamin Franklin made some small change after Jefferson finished the document. The Continental Congress also made some changes.
The correct definition of Deism before Voltaire and the French atheists hijacked it is according to Ben Franklin in a letter to Ezra Stiles in 1790:
Here is my creed. I believe in One God, the Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render Him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion.
This is classical Deism defined by Lord Herbert of Cherbury (d. 1648) was one of the earliest proponents of Deism in England. In his book "De Veritate," (1624), he described the "Five Articles" of English Deists:
1. belief in the existence of a single supreme God
2. humanity's duty to revere God
3. linkage of worship with practical morality
4. God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
5. good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death.
This "God went away" nonsense in the dictionary was from Voltaire and the French Humanists that substituted Aristotle's "prime mover" as they de-Christianized French society and substituted pagan Greek philosophy and Eastern religion.
There was never an attempt nor desire by American Deists, Jews, or Unitarians or Christians to de-Christianize America or remove God from public discourse, but to protect freedom of conscience. Sample point is the case of Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists when the Calvinist' Congregational churches were jailing the Baptists. This has been misused to remove prayer which Jefferson never advocated. Jefferson also referred to religion/God as the third pillar of government.
The fact is America was founded on Freemasonry whose members included orthodox Christians such as Samuel Adams. Freemasonry is not a religion and the silly conspiracy theories aside, served as a neutral meeting ground for all men of God regardless of personal theology. To quote,
The Mission of the Grand Lodge of Virginia is to teach and perpetuate a way of life that promotes the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God and to assist Lodges to grow and prosper. The Vision of the Grand Lodge of Virginia is to be the premier organization composed of men of integrity and character, who are honest, true to their word, believe in God, are devoted to family, charitable in their community, and courteous and helpful to each other.
According to the Grand Lodge of Virginia:
We believe in some pretty old fashioned things.
We believe in God.
We believe in the Brotherhood of Man.
We believe in service to those who are less fortunate.
We believe in helping young people get a head start in life.
And we believe in freedom.
Anyone that disagrees with that I have no use for and I'm not a Mason. The bitter words of Biblical Discernment Ministries 2702 Willowwood Ave. Valparaiso, IN 46383 says:
As a point of information, the Pilgrims did not found the United States; they founded a small colony that eventually got swallowed up by the states and the newly formed federal government. The belief that the Mayflower Compact was the basis for a Christian nation has caused many to attempt to reestablish what never existed: a Christian nation based upon Biblical precepts and founded upon a covenant relationship with God. What is overlooked is that the Mayflower Compact reaffirmed loyalty to the King of England; its framers never intended to found an independent state.
Ignoring, and even twisting the facts of history, "Christian" dominionists quote some of the founding fathers whose words seem to indicate faith in Jesus Christ. But many quoted were Freemasons who highly regarded Jesus as a man who attained the highest degree of moral enlightenment. The words of many Freemasons might lead the uninformed to believe that they are true brethren in Christ. An example is this statement from a Masonic publication:
God may have other words for other worlds, but His supreme Word for this world, yesterday, today, forever, is Christ! He is the central Figure of the Bible, its crown, its glory, its glow-point of vision and revelation. Take Him away and its light grows dim. He fulfilled the whole Book, its history, its poetry, its prophecy, its ritual, even as He fulfills our deepest yearning and our highest hope. Ages have come and gone, but He abides-abides because He is real, because he is unexhausted, because He is needed.
Little is left today save Christ-Himself smitten and afflicted, bruised of God and wounded-but He is all we need. If we hear Him, follow Him, obey Him, we shall walk together in a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness and love-He is the Word of God. (Joseph Fort Newton, "The Great Light in Masonry," Little Masonic Library, Vol. 3, p. 177).
Based upon the evidence of Masonic influences in the establishment of this nation, there is no doubt that the criteria necessary to classify the United States as a Christian nation were not met. An objective study of the Masonic affiliations of the founding fathers must cause Christians to reevaluate their own political philosophy. For if the United States is not a Christian nation then we must choose to whom we will commit "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" -- our Lord or our country.
20 GREATEST NAMES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
* John Adams - Spoke favorably of Freemasonry -- never joined
* Samuel Adams - (Close and principle associate of Hancock, Revere & other Masons)
* Ethan Allen - Mason
* Edmund Burke - Mason
* John Claypoole - Mason
* William Daws - Mason
* Benjamin Franklin - Mason
* Nathan Hale - No evidence of Masonic connections
* John Hancock - Mason
* Benjamin Harrison - No evidence of Masonic connections
* Patrick Henry - No evidence of Masonic connections
* Thomas Jefferson - Deist with some evidence of Masonic connections
* John Paul Jones - Mason
* Francis Scott Key - No evidence of Masonic connections
* Robert Livingston - Mason
* James Madison - Some evidence of Masonic membership
* Thomas Paine - Humanist
* Paul Revere - Mason
* Colonel Benjamin Tupper - Mason
* George Washington - Mason
* Daniel Webster - Some evidence of Masonic connections
Summary: 10 Masons, 3 probable Masons, 1 Humanist, 2 Advocates of Freemasonry, 4 no record of connections.
SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Known Masons (8): Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton, William Whipple
Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (7): Elbridge Berry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr., John Penn, George Read, Roger Sherman
Summary: 15 of 56 Signers were Freemasons or probable Freemasons.
It's true that this represents only 27% of the total signers. But this 27% included the principle movers of the Revolution, most notably Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, the primary authors of the Declaration. The former was a Freemason, the latter a deist and possible Freemason. If one were to analyze the Declaration, he would see the humanistic influences.
In any event, there is no evidence that even 27% of the signers were true Christians. In considering whether or not this is a Christian nation, it isn't the number of Masons that is as important as is the number of founders overall who were non-believers.
SIGNERS OF THE CONSTITUTION
Known Masons (9): Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Blair, David Brearly, Jacob Broom, Daniel Carrol, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Rufus King, George Washington
Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (13): Abraham Baldwin, William Blount, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Lansing, Jr., James Madison, George Mason, George Read, Robert Morris, Roger Sherman, George Wythe
Those Who Later Became Masons (6): William Richardson Davie, Jr., Jonathan Dayton, Dr. James McHenry, John Francis Mercer, William Patterson, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Summary: 28 of 40 signers were Freemasons or possible Freemasons based on evidence other than Lodge records.
MASONIC INFLUENCES IN EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
- Lafayette, French liaison to the Colonies, without whose aid the war could not have been won, was a Freemason.
- The majority of the commanders of the Continental Army were Freemasons and members of "Army Lodges." (I'll add all 26 Jews Washington appointed.)
- Most of Washington's Generals were Freemasons.
- The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern, also known as the "Freemasons' Arms," and "the Headquarters of the Revolution."
- George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States by Robert Livingston, Grand Master of New York's Masonic Lodge. The Bible on which he took his oath was from his own Masonic lodge.
- The Cornerstone of the Capital building was laid by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. How about the Washington Monument? Take a look at a dollar bill and notice the eye and the pyramid.
Even if the initiators of the Revolution had been Christians, the fact remains that the Revolutionary War and the nation's government were structured by the tenets of Freemasonry, not God's Word. It was an unholy alliance at best. Scripture tells us that God has made one nation of all: the Church. It is the Church that is our "Christian nation," not the social and political institutions of the world.
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
Composed by William Bradford
Adopted November 11, 1620
[This Compact, drawn up in the cabin of the Mayflower, was not a constitution, a document defining and limiting the functions of government. It was, however, the germ of popular government in America. Governor Bradford makes this reference to the circumstances under which the Compact was drawn up and signed:
"This day, before we came to harbour, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows, word for word."]
In the name of God, Amen.
We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the 11 of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
Rendered into HTML by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
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