Editor’s note: Yesterday, the Supreme Court’s effort to erase the Ten Commandments from its history was documented. Today we find out where else Christianity’s influence is being wiped from historical stories:
When Pastor Todd DuBord visited historical sites in the Washington, D.C., area recently he was thrilled with being on the site of so many events important to the founding of the United States.
He, and his wife, Tracy, were on a tour that visited Jamestown, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Ford’s Theater, the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the Holocaust Museum, Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial Vietnam Memorial, Washington Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.
But as a history buff, he noticed quickly that one influence from the nation’s early years was left out – not just once or twice – but repeatedly.
DuBord, pastor of the Lake Almanor Community Church in California, said when visiting the Jamestown Museum and Settlement, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, he noticed any of Christianity’s influences on American history were ignored, or belittled.
His entire research compilation is available online. And he’s written letters to the various organizations that manage the sites, asking them to correct the information they provide to visitors.
DuBord’s message from July 23, 2006, on this issue can be heard immediately, and for free, on the church website at www.lacconline.org.
During his visit at Jamestown, he said, the tour guides several times said the first settlers arrived in America “to make money.”
Mansion at Jamestown Historical Site
“While this is partially true, it was not only totally overstated by its emphasis and repetition, but there was absolutely no hint of the religious purpose given and stated under the Virginia Charter of 1606, which called for the ‘propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.'”
He said there also was absolutely no mention of the fact the colonists’ first act, after having landed at Cape Henry on April 27, 1607, “was to erect a large wooden cross and hold a prayer meeting, conducted by their minister, Reverend Robert Hunt.”
“As colonist George Percy noted back then, ‘The nine and twentieth day we set up a cross at Chesupioc Bay, and named the place Cape Henry,'” DuBord pointed out to the history experts.
“In fact, it seemed whenever there was an opportunity to address any of the religious characteristics or zeal of this first community, they were avoided,” he said.
Later during the tour, when visitors were being led through the very heart of the replica of the community, the Anglican Church, the guide was asked about the significance of the various religious plaques, such as the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments, on the wall at the front of the church.
“Our guide’s response was that she was unable to speak about it, a clear reference to all of us that she was trained to minimize the religious aspects of the settlement. We were all appalled, and shared so with her, especially understanding that this was an educational tour and that the religious education was being eliminated from the heart of a people who were devoutly Christian,” DuBord said.
A similar situation developed at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
“Again, while our guide was cordial and informative about many matters, when asked about the religious faith of Thomas Jefferson, he abruptly and actually quite arrogantly said, ‘We all know Jefferson was a strict deist [a person who believes in a Creator who does not involve Himself in the daily affairs of men], who ardently fought for the separation of Church and State,'” DeBord wrote.
“His added comments left everyone believing Jefferson was essentially (what might be called today) ‘a liberal democrat,’ and especially one who would have never allowed any mixture of religion in government,” he wrote.
The facts are that Jefferson used his political position to establish churches and distribute Bibles, DeBord found. “For example, in an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to ‘assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church’ and to provide ‘annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.'”
Jefferson also set aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be helped in “promoting Christianity.” And Jefferson once was chairman of the American Bible Society.
Jefferson, and his home, are featured on nickel
Jefferson’s “differences with American clergy” were not about eliminating Christianity from government, but to make sure a single denomination didn’t become government, DuBord said.
“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus….I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus,” Jefferson said.
“While it is true that Jefferson was an advocate for the separation of the State from the Church, he was not attempting to neuter the government from any or all religious or even Christian influence,” DuBord said history shows. “Religiously speaking, Jefferson was raised Anglican (Church of England), which is partially why he (as well as others) opposed the tyranny of king, priest, or whomever.”
According to DuBord, Jefferson believed, as President Ronald Reagan once said:
“I know here that you will agree with me that standing up for America also means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again. To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”
“If Jefferson intended to utterly void religion from national laws and legislatures, then why would he have attended church services in the Capitol Building? (Which there were back in his day). And why would he warn our country from abandoning God with these convicting words to our nation (words now also inscribed on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial):” DuBord wrote.
“The God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
That, DuBord noted, “sounds to me more like a preacher than a politician!”
“No one can say these things and be a strict deist at the same time, because Jesus’ doctrines included in the belief in the immanency of a God who will never leave us or forsake us, always willing to intervene and help us in our times of need,” he said.
DuBord grew up without religion, but during seven years of academic study at Bethany University and Fuller Theological Seminary accepted that the claims of Christianity are true.
He’s served in various prison, drug and alcohol rehab ministries and worked as a youth pastor and associate pastor before assuming his duties in Lake Almanor.
His messages can be downloaded at www.iTunes.com, by typing in “almanor” or “dubord.”
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