Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Benedict Arnold of the Civil Religion:

The Christian Nation crowd loves to laud the Reverend Jacob Duché because he gave the first prayer for the Continental Congress, on September 7, 1774. However, they rarely discuss that Duché turned out to be a traitor to America during the Revolutionary War. He was, as this article I discussed put it, the Benedict Arnold of civil religion.

Less well-known are the resolutions adopted by the Continental Congress throughout the Revolutionary War, setting aside particular days for “Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer.” One such resolution, issued in 1777 and distributed throughout the churches of the land, called on all Americans to “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins … and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” Several themes emerge here: awareness of sin, dependence on God’s providence, the urge to stay faithful, the belief that God had a special relationship with America, and even the explicit invocation of Christ. And the first Congress seems to have practiced what it preached. After convening in 1774, the Continental Congress immediately selected a chaplain to open its sessions in prayer. The Rev. Jacob Duche’, an Anglican priest from Philadelphia, served as the first Congressional chaplain from 1774 until 1777. His term “ended” not because he retired but because he defected to the British—the Benedict Arnold of civil religion, perhaps.


Here is Duché's letter to George Washington imploring him to lay down his arms and surrender to the British.

3 comments:

Our Founding Truth said...

Yeah, Duche didn't think the rebels would win, he was wrong.
I again, noticed your list of music you like; before I became a born again Christian, I saw:

Priest 86, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA. with Dokken opening act.
Priest 84, Defenders Tour, San Diego, Ca.
Scorps 88, Monsters of Rock, 2nd day, the day of the riot, when Metallica stopped in the middle of "One" I believe, because the coliseum turned pandimonium(sp) subsequently general admission. I remember Police officers were getting beat up. I went from nose bleed to front row by the time Van Halen took the stage.
Rush 1989, Met Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mr. Big opening act.
Deep Purple, House of Blues, L.A. with Steve Morse.
Rolling Stones 88, Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Living Colour opening Act.
Bob Dylan, with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ringo Starr, Tone Loc, Riverfest 1990, St. Paul, Minn. Two months before Stevie died, an hour from where I was.
Ozzy, 84, San Diego,Ca.
Dio, 83, California Theater, San Diego, World Diver Tour
DC 96, 98, 02,

I saw Def Leppard in 83, the last show in America before the drummer lost his arm. Crue, and Eddie Money opening acts.

Jonathan said...

Wow. You've got a better record of concert attendance that I do. Monsters of Rock in '88. At 14, that was my first concert at the now gone JFK stadium at Philadelphia.

Why did becoming a born-again Christian prevent you from being able to enjoy this music?

Our Founding Truth said...

Why did becoming a born-again Christian prevent you from being able to enjoy this music?>>

That's pretty self explanatory for many reasons, one of which is edification, which listening to that kind of music lacks. I want to be walking in the Spirit of God, being lead by Him; leading myself, I only get in trouble.

I'm sure you've heard of Dave Mustaine, of Megadeth, I was onstage next to the drum kit while they were being filmed for a movie with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. My friend was the camera man. At that time, people were saying he was a Christian, I didn't have the nerve to talk to him.