Thursday, October 11, 2012
Six Myths of American History
A great article from American Vision!
There are six prevalent myths taught about American history over pivotal matters of importance. Call them humanist tall tales, if you wish. They’re as fictional and sensational as the wild stories of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan with his big, blue ox, but unlike those American myths, these have long been presented as historical fact by the academic institutions of our fair land.
These myths have duped far too many Christians in our day, leading them to devote their efforts to combat the wrong things, or to give up the fight altogether. The purpose of this article is not to document, detail, and defend the historicity of these six myths, but rather to introduce and summarize them, and to point you to other resources that flesh out these myths more thoroughly and biblically answer them.
Myth 1: The Founding Fathers were deists
A deist is a person who believes in an absentee God. A deists believes that God created the world and then abandoned it for man to shape into whatever he liked (provided he didn’t violate certain “natural laws). While many schools and universities have taught for decades now that many or most of the founding fathers were deists, we are hard-pressed to find any clear example of a founding father who was a genuine deist. For quite a while Franklin and Jefferson were given this designation especially, but each of these men have been quoted in ways that clearly contradict the tenets of deism.
For example, Benjamin Franklin gave this famous quote at the constitutional convention which expressly contradictions the notion of an absentee God: “In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.
“To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel.”
Likewise, Jefferson made this statement concerning the continuance of slavery in America:
“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 of the gift of 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: that his justice cannot sleep for ever…”
These are not the professions of men who believed God is absent from the scene, does not have a revealed standard of morality, and that He will not take action to judge men by that standard. Thus, the two most popular candidates for deists among the founding fathers cannot accurately be considered deists.
Want to read more? Take a look: http://americanvision.org/6379/six-myths-of-american-history/#.UGUSSI3N-WF