I wrote Saturday of the hastening effort by secularist organizations to terminate Christmas from the American public square.
I wish to look back now through the annals of history to substantiate the fact that this great nation has historically been involved in religious pursuits and that our government, under the guidance of Thomas Jefferson, even got involved in evangelization and church building.
When recognizing that Mr. Jefferson – who the left wants only to remember for authoring the phrase “the separation of church and state” – was interested in advancing religion, it becomes readily apparent that our Founders never intended government to be hostile toward Christianity or menacingly unreceptive to religious expression.
Congressional funds for church building
On Dec. 3, 1803, the U.S. Congress, following the request of President Jefferson, ratified a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians. This treaty was significant because Congress, recognizing that most members of the tribe had become Christians, deemed to give an annual subsidy of $100 for the support of a priest during a seven-year period. That priest, as the Congress noted, was to perform “the duties of his office, and … instruct as many … children as possible.”
The treaty, signed by President Jefferson, stated: “The United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars to assist … in the erection of a church.”
You read that right. The U.S. Congress of 1803, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, allocated federal funds for the salary of a minister and for the construction of a church.
The Congress of 1803 was not hostile to Christianity. The members understood the value of imparting Judeo-Christian values among the Indians. They also recognized the need for advancing biblical values among the citizenry of the young nation.
Congress agrees to print Bibles
In 1777, with war plaguing the land, the Rev. Patrick Allison, chaplain of the Continental Congress, petitioned that body for a specific need – the printing of the Holy Bible. After America had declared its independence, the Revolutionary War had interrupted the supply of Bibles. Printed Bibles had previously come to America from England and Holland, but at this time of war we were often cut off from the rest of the world. As a result, Bibles were in short supply.
The committee which received Rev. Allison’s petition then submitted it to Congress on Sept. 11, 1777. The report stated: “The use of the Bible is so universal and in importance so great, that your Committee refer the above to the consideration of Congress, and if Congress shall not think it expedient to order the importation of types and paper, the committee recommends that Congress will order the Committee of Congress to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or else where, into the different parts of the States of the Union.”
That mandate for 20,000 Bibles never went into effect, though, because publisher Robert Aitken printed the New Testament in Philadelphia. After successful print runs of this Bible, in 1781, Mr. Aitken petitioned Congress to aid in the printing of the entire King James Bible.
The Congress responded with this resolution: “Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken as subservient to the interest of religion as well as the progress of the arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy, in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.”
Mr. Aitken then published the only Bible ever recommended by Congress and it is today a rare treasure.
The lies of the left
We rarely hear of men like Robert Aitken and Rev. Patrick Allison today because the left wants to sweep their stories under a rug. Many liberals purposely disregard and disrespect our nation’s religious heritage so they can bring about their own godless version of this nation. But their vision is deceitful and fraudulent.
Today, school children are barred from singing Christmas carols on the school bus (Lake County, Ill.), school bands are prevented from playing carols (Maplewood, N.J.) and school productions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” are halted (Kirkland, Wash.).
These are just the most recent examples of the growing hostility toward Christianity that is transpiring in schools across our nation because groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have fallaciously convinced educators that even the most rudimentary mention of Christmas (or Christ) is illegal.
These organizations thumb their noses at our nation’s palpable heritage of respect and appreciation of Christianity.
Their agenda to purge God from America is a national crime!
The ACLU’s and AU’s Scrooge-like war on the public expression of faith is nothing but a deceptive and dangerous charade that has no historic merit. Through their lies, they are effectively spitting in the faces of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and numerous other Founders who took great pains to ensure that religion had a prominent place in American life.
This Christmas, may the spirit of our Founders ring in our hearts as we accelerate our efforts to reclaim our religious freedoms.
Merry Christmas to all (even the ACLU and AU)!