This stereotype presented in TV docu-dramas and history classrooms

throughout the nation is one of the greatest defamations of

national character ever perpetrated upon a people.

The influence of Deism in America was minimal until the nineteenth

century when it made inroads through the Unitarian Church and the

atheistic philosophy of the French Revolution. During our Founding

period, however, it had little influence. According to history Perry

Miller, Deism was strictly "an exotic plant" imported from europe which

did not flourish here. This distinguished historian also makes the point

that the colonial clergy presented to the people a religious rationale

for the American Revolution which united them behind its goals. Deism

was incapable of producing such a phenomenon. it professed a belief in

one God but denied the divine origin of Scriptures. Its weak philosophy

of a non-active, spectator God who left all the affairs of the world to

human whim was no match for the powerful Biblical faith of the majority

of our people in the Founding Father generation. Even Jefferson and

Franklin, the two men most often quoted as being Deists, give little

credence to the view in there writings. Undoubtedly, both of these men

did imbibe a mixture of European religious heresy, but the predominant

influence upon their world continued to be Christian.


Franklin's Plea for Public Prayer

In the summer of 1787 a feeling of desperation and deadlock had

descended upon the Consitutional Convention. Men from various states

were planning to leave and it would be years before they could gather

again for another try at bringing the loosely-knit confederation colonies

together to form a republic.

On June 28, 1787, as the Convention was ready to adjourn in dissension,

a wise old man addressed its President, George Washington, with quiet


"How has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of

humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our

understandings? in the beginning of the contest with Great Britain,

when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room

for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were

graciously answered...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 labor in vain that build

it.'....I firmly believe this..."


Benjamin Franklin's words were heeded and the Convention went on to

complete its task. Although Franklin is often classified as a Deist, it

is clear from the above statements that he had been deeply influenced by

the Christian world-view and such great Christian ministers as George


It could be well argued that many Christians today have acted more like

Deists than the few accused of this heresy in our founding, because

today we often give lip service to the Lord Jesus Christ over all

things, but then act as though He were an absentee, distant monarch just

biding His time to claim His throne!


Don't Believe What You See?

Regarding the charge that wild adventurers and womanizers roamed the

land in early America, there is little need for refutation. On the

frontier, starting in the times of the Puritans, some scouts and

settlers did precede the church and families, and there were some

atrocities perpetrated upon the Indians and some rowdy settlements. But

as soon as settlements were established and churches were formed, the

immoral and rowdy were made subject to the rule of the law. The

Christian women of the community, especially, demanded it. Our TV

generation has absorbed too much western cowboy-fever, most of it

fictitious distortions of true life in early America. The US News and

World Report (May 21, 1979)reports that the American people receive most

of their knowledge of history from watching TV docu-dramas. And most of

these docu-dramas bear little resemblance to the true story of our

history. Only by going back and reading the original documents, as you

are going to be challenged to do in this study of America's Christian

History, can you determine the real story.

The truth is that those that saved their money and possesed the fortitude

to settle this country were for the most part character-filled

Christians. Rev R.J. Rushdoony points out that it took two years living

expenses just to cross and settle America and that the well-established

families with the Puritan work ethic and Christian faith were the true

hardy breed that settled our country. These godly men and women, due due

to their family orientation, free-enterprise spirit, and Christian

discipline, maintained cultural dominion over the sin-loving reprobates

that we read so much about. Our history is evidence of the fact that, in

the long-run, nothing can thwart an individual who has an understanding

of his Commission from God to subdue the earth and who believes God for

the victory.

*** SEE QUESTION #6 ***


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