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Feb 06 2011

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Village voices

The following is in response to a guest editorial by [name deleted], in today’s “In my opinion” section of the Sentinel Record.  The full text of his “Without doubt, a Christian nation” is included in the comments section below.  There is also a passing reference to a short letter, also in today’s paper (and also in the comments below), by the too-frequent M. Wayne Spencer.  Both of these men are reliable exhibits for the rampant wackadoodlery that is known in our interesting times as the Tea Party.  Enjoy and tremble,

– Monsieur d’Nalgar

Oh Danny, boy have the pipes called you!  But the melody is an old one and few are the children who still follow the Pied Piper…

Or let us so hope.  The opinion piece in today’s paper concludes with a challenge to visit www.AmericanVision.org and buy a book entitled “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States.”  Now that’s a mouthful.  Must be really, really important!  Curious, I wondered just who are these American Vision folks and what’s this book all about?

Here’s a hint.  They don’t sell patriotic eyeglasses.  American Vision’s mission is to restore America to its “Biblical Foundation” (my quotes).  Not sure why “foundation” is capitalized, unless it’s to conveniently scapegoat God and simultaneously absolve “We the People” for all that has transpired over the last four or five centuries.  American Vision’s motto is “exercising servanthood dominion” and their vision is of an “America … where Christians apply a Biblical worldview to every facet of society … and teaching them to subdue the earth for the advancement of His Kingdom.”

Well OK then!  Sounds a bit ominous to me but then the faux patriotism (dare I say false idolatry) of American exceptionalism usually does.  I did notice two [name deleted] listed on the staff page.  Coincidence?

But I digress.  On to the uncredited 1000-page doorstop “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States.”  It wasn’t mentioned in the opinion piece, but it turns out to have been authored by one Benjamin F. Morris.  An investigation of this fellow led to none other than our beloved David Barton.  Apparently Morris’ book is a fave of Barton’s and is featured in a fascinating expose of how Barton “and his ilk” are willing contributors/conspirators in perpetuating a mythology that flies in the face of American history:  http://candst.tripod.com/franklin.htm.

Benjamin F. Morris, to be so widely quoted, is an elusive figure.  Every Barton-huckster out there runs to “The Christian Life…” for their conclusive proofs that Jesus himself whispered the Constitution into the ears of our devout founders, but there is a dearth of information on the Internet about the obscure author of this oh-so-important book.  I did finally find this glowing tribute:

Reverend Morris was a historian (1810-1867), son of the Honorable Thomas Morris who was a pioneer opponent of slavery and United States Senator from Ohio. A minister of the Congregational Church, Morris pastored churches in Indiana and Ohio, retiring from ministry when his health began failing. Moving to Washington D.C. with his family where one of his sons became the Assistant Librarian of the Congressional Library, Morris worked as a clerk in one of the Federal Government departments and actively helped the establishment of the Congregational Church in the city. During this time, Morris undertook the epic task of compiling the facts to produce his magnum opus, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. For over a decade, he worked tirelessly on this project, out of a concern of the loss of our Christian heritage in civil government and the threat of de-Christianization he saw in our nation’s civil government, law and public life – in 1864! (from http://readoholics.blogspot.com/2010/05/christian-life-character-of-civil.html)

The irony of it all – Morris worked for the Great Satan itself, the Federal Government, and now, armed with his book, you too can knock the ACLU back on its heels!  Who’d a thunk it?  Incidentally, if you don’t want to rush out and buy the “magnum opus” of Reverend Morris, it is online (and free) via Google books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=H92keUU_Xy8C… or http://bit.ly/glnQnh or http://tinyurl.com/6f3nku7

Highly recommended as a cure for chronic insomnia.  I guess about all this illustrates is that if you set out to prove a premise, the facts don’t really matter.  The Internet is a cherry-picker’s delight, providing all manner of fertilizer to cultivate and nourish even the zaniest beliefs.  All you have to do is ignore what doesn’t fit – those are just lies and devilish delusions anyway – and stick with “evidence” that supports your pre-ordained conclusions.

Meanwhile, over in Spencer’s corner, Obama’s tepid support of the Egyptian people – how dare they try to rise up against tyranny (our well-sponsored tyrant, of course)!? – is clearly proof that the African imposter wants the American people to riot against the Tea Party.  Just trying to contemplate the breadth of that non sequitur leaves me breathless.

Friends, the flurries of flummery (about which I’ve written before) are starting to gather into a blizzard of balderdash.  I’m afraid it’s going to be a long winter,

Monsieur d’Nalgar

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2011/02/06/village-voices/

2 comments

  1. Jacques

    From today’s “In my opinion” section, pages 10B & 11B:

    Without doubt, a Christian nation

    Christopher Columbus had set sail for the New World because he wanted to reach the East by traveling west across the Atlantic Ocean. After years of seeking financial aid for his expedition, he received it from Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. Like Columbus, Ferdinand and Isabella were devout Christians and they all wanted to advance the religion. (Source: http:// http://www.associatedcontent.com.)

    Mayflower Compact: 1620 Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth.

    “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, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; … In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, Anno Domini; 1620. ’’

    (Signed by 41 signatures while still on the Mayflower before landing.) (Source: The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1909.)

    The following are excerpts from “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States,” published and printed in 1864:

    “The history and genius of the civil institutions of the United States must ever be a subject of profound thought and interest to the American citizen. Their establishment and progress to completed forms of government, and their influence and fruits upon millions of people and on the nations of the earth, constitute a new era in the science of civil government and the progress of human liberty, and commend them to the reverent study of the statesman, the patriot, the Christian, and the citizen.

    “The institutions of the North American republic had their birth and baptism from the free inspirations and genius of the Christian religion. This fact has given to the state its political power and moral glory, and shed new light on the benign nature and adaptation of the Christian system to secure the highest political prosperity to a nation. Christianity is the principal and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions. It is the religion of the people – the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion.

    “An established church implies a connection between church and state, and the possession of civil and political as well as of ecclesiastical and spiritual power by the former. Neither exist in this country; for the people have wisely judged that religion, as a general rule, is safer in their hands than in those of rulers. In the United States there is no toleration; for all enjoy equality in religious freedom, not as a privilege granted, but as a right secured by the fundamental law of our social compact. Liberty of conscience and freedom of worship are not chartered immunities, but rights and duties founded on the constitutional republication of reason and revelation.”

    The theory and faith of the founders of the civil and political institutions of the United States practically carried out these statements. They had no state church or state religion, but they constituted the Christian religion the underlying foundation and the girding and guiding element of their systems of civil, political and social institutions. This proposition will be confirmed by the following summary of historic facts, which have an extended record in the various chapters of this volume.

    Object of the Founders of the Republic

    First. The Christian inspirations and purpose of the founders and fathers of the republic … as a grand and glorious fact with the wise and skillful workmen who, under God, created and completed the civil institutions of the United States. No claim to special inspiration from heaven is set up for the fathers of our republic. It would, however, be a violence to historic truth not to affirm and admit that they were under the special and constant guidance of an overruling Providence. The Bible, as the divine charter of their political rights, as well as of their hopes of immortality, they reverently studied, and on it laid the cornerstone of all their compacts and institutions. The Mosaic system of political jurisprudence, which “contains more consummate wisdom and common sense than all the legislators and political writers of the ancient nations,” the founders of the American republic thoroughly understood, and incorporated its free spirit and democratic principles into their organic institutions. (The Bible, as referenced here, was the first Bible translated from the Latin scriptures, the Geneva Bible, which predated the King James Version.)

    Secondly. The Christian men who formed our civil institutions were trained and prepared for their work in scenes of conflict in which the truest ideas of liberty and religion were developed. Great ideas, and the forward movements of the ages, have received their inspiration and impetus from civil and religious agitations and revolutions. This fact has its historic analogy in the conflicts that preceded the planting of a Christian republic on the North American continent. “The whole of the 16th century was a period of active preparation for future times; and all that is great in modern science may be said to have received its foundation in the agitations that grew out of that period of the world. It forms one of the grandest and richest eras in human history.” Whilst it was an age replete with the most splendid triumphs in science and literature, it was pre-eminent, also, for its elaboration and vindication of the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty.

    The persecutions of the Puritans in England for nonconformity and the religious agitations and conflicts in Germany by Luther, in Geneva by Calvin, and in Scotland by Knox, were the preparatory ordeals for qualifying Christian men for the work of establishing the civil institutions on the American continent. “God sifted,” in these conflicts, “a whole nation, that he might send choice grain over into this wilderness;” and the blood and persecution of martyrs became the seed of both the church and the state. It was in these schools of fiery trial that the founders of the American republic were educated and prepared for their grand Christian mission, and in which their faith and characters became strong and earnest with Christian truth. They were trained in stormy times, in order to prepare them to elaborate and establish the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty and of just systems of civil government.

    Thirdly. Thus inspired and prepared, the Christian men of Puritan times and of the Revolution presented and developed the true symbol of civil government.

    The above is the foundation of our forefathers in their establishing a new nation with a new concept of a government where the people controlled the design of their environ. For further evidence that this is a Christian nation, I challenge any who still deny this to go to http://www.AmericanVision.org, buy the book, “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States.”

    After reading the book and studying it thoroughly, I adduce you will agree we are a Christian nation, formed on Christian principles and beliefs.

    [name deleted]
    Hot Springs

  2. Jacques

    From today’s “Letters to the editor” section, pages 10B & 11B:

    Egypt’s unrest an omen?

    Dear editor:

    I see in the news that about 3 percent of Egyptians are rioting and demonstrating against their current ruler, Hasni Mubarak. President Obama seems to agree with them, that Mubarak needs to go.

    Not too long ago, a much bigger percentage of Americans let it be known that we didn’t want “Obamacare.” Nevertheless, it was shoved down our throats in a lame duck session of Congress. None of us caused the damage that we see in Egypt, we just had peaceful meetings and then we voted. Does President Obama prefer riots and violent demonstrations to effect change? Is he trying to convince American citizens that we should riot against “right-wing extremists?” You decide.

    M. Wayne Spencer
    Hot Springs

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