Politics and the Church – A Detour Down an Estuary [Part 3]

On the centennial anniversary of the Declaration…July 4, 1876…The National Liberal League announced its birth. [Equal Rights in Religion, Report of the Centennial Congress of Liberals, and Organization of the National Liberal League, at Philadelphia, on the Fourth of July, 1876, The National Liberal League, 1876, pgs. 163-169, “Patriotic Address of the National Liberal League to the People of the United States”]. In 1877, it set forth its initial objectives [“Constitution of the National Liberal League”, pgs. 175-178], and the following year published its public policy positions in a piece called “The Demands of Liberalism”:

  •    We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.
  •    We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in state legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.
  •    We demand that all public appropriations for educational and charitable institutions of sectarian (religious) character shall cease.
  •    We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a textbook or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.
  •    We demand that the appointment, by the president of the United States or by the governors of the various states, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.
  •    We demand that the judicial oath…”So Help Me God”…in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished.
  •    We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.
  •    We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated (repealed).
  •    We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several states but also in the practical administration of the same…that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis.

[D.M. Bennett, The Truth Seeker; Collection of Forms, Hymns, and Recitations, Liberal and Scientific Publishing House, 1877, pgs. 18-19, “The Demands of Liberalism”]

A member of this organization was Robert Ingersoll, known as the national evangelist for atheism.  To gain public support of these positions he engaged in deliberate revisionism of history to make it appear to be godless…a practice still regularly engaged in by secularists to this day.  He took it upon himself to write: Our government should be entirely and purely secular…so our (Founding) fathers said: “We shall form a secular government…”.  The Declaration of Independence…denied the authority of any and all gods…(They) agreed that there should only be one religion…and that was the religion of patriotism.  Our fathers founded the first secular government that was ever founded in this world. [Robert Ingersoll, Ingersollia, M.A. Donohue & Co., 1899, pgs. 49, 50, 52, 54] 

     Of course, as we have seen over the past several months, Ingersoll’s claim is a total lie, proven even by the Declaration of Independence itself, which openly acknowledges God in four separate locations.  Thousands of the writings and official acts Of the Founding Fathers further repudiate his claim.  Nevertheless Ingersoll and his followers persisted in their false claims, following the axiom attributed to Dr. William James (1842-1910), the “Father of Modern Psychology”, that “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it”.  Another infamous leader of some of the world’s most evil, Joseph Goebbels, pronounced the same axiom. It is up to those who love this nation and the churches to continually attack this false information promulgated through misinformation and revisionism.  Because the false revisionist claims of liberals and secularists, who faithfully and unrelentingly have repeated this false claim over the past century, many are now accepting it as undisputed fact.  The Bible warns: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”  Hosea 4:6.

Today, many secularist and liberal organizations are actively at work in America trying to fulfill this anti-God ‘world view’.  These groups include American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), Freedom From Religion Foundation (FRFF), American Atheists (AA), People for the American Way (PAW), MoveOn, Media Matters, not to avoid mentioning academia and most university professors.  Current polls show that liberal professors in America outnumber all other types of professors by a margin of at least six to one. [Howard Kurtz, “College Faculties a Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds”, The Washington Post, March 29, 2005].  To look at the 1878 “Demands of Liberalism”, one can quickly see that those demands could just as easily been penned last week.  The struggle continues.  The timelessness of their rhetoric simply demonstrates that the conflict is really the same spiritual one described three thousand years ago in Psalm 2.  In just one situation, the failure of the church and Christians has cost the lives of millions of unborn humans and led to an ‘in-your-face-situation’ to God’s provision in the man’s legalization of same-sex ‘so-called’ marriage.

While the heathen rage, what is the church meant to do?  Clearly, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.  Next week we will look at the church’s and Christian’s obligations in coming up against this evil that is trying to consume the world.

– Bob Munsey

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