Friday, June 28, 2013

Religious freedom and the founders

The founding fathers spoke eloquently, passionately, and frequently about the importance of religiously grounded morality to the success of their new republic. They provided governmental aid for religion in a variety of ways. The current effort to exclude religious perspectives and ideals and ensure a naked, ideologically "neutral" public square is at odds with their views, the history of our country, and the well-being of our society--a society that still, in many ways, sees itself as a "nation on a hill." Gary Scott Smith, Christian History, Iss. 102, p. 31.

The founders believed in religious liberty, not in kicking out religion. Fortunately, after Massachusetts and Connecticut set aside state churches, religion, primarily Christianity, flourished and Christians tackled slavery eventually abolishing it, creating public schools for factory children, closing saloons and ridding communities of public drunkenness, creating penitentiaries to replace cruel physical punishments for crimes, demanding rights for women so they could retain custody of their children, establishing the first public libraries, and pushing literacy for all so all could read the scriptures. Now Christians are in the forefront of saving the unborn, in a country that is disparaging marriage with a birth rate below replacement level. We weren't on the wrong side on those other issues, and we're on the right side now.

No comments: