Saturday, January 05, 2008


Christian Nationalist fake history is alive and well in the US Congress of all places. Chris Rodda and Bruce Wilson have the story. I don't totally see eye to eye with Talk2Action. History does show that America's Founders supported what Ben Franklin termed "public religion," which is similar to Rousseau's concept of a civil religion. However if Congress wants to accurately portray the history of religion and the Founding they'd avoid the Christian Nationalist revisionists and stick to reading valid sources like Jon Meacham or Mark Noll.

1 comment:

Ripple said...

Everyone should follow the links to Chris Rodda and Bruce Wilson, because both links deal with House Resolution 888: "Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as 'American Religious History Week' for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith."

When it comes to Jon Meacham I would like to inject a note of caution. Meacham claims to represent a centrist position, but by my reading he is skewed off center. His book jacket exploits the fanciful view portrayed in Borwin's painting of George Washington "In Prayer at Valley Forge." He also starts off his contention that God is historically spoken of in the public square with the example, "Washington improvised "so help me God" at the conclusion of the first presidential oath ... ." I personally presented Jon Meacham with documentation showing that this contention is not supported by any contemporary evidence.

In spite of having received a favorable reaction during our brief encounter, when Jon Meacham later appeared on Meet the Press (12/24/2006) and was asked a leading question by moderator, Tim Russert, Meacham hedged his answer. Russert asked, "The original oath of office for the president did not contain the words "So help me God," correct Jon? Meacham replied, "That’s right. George Washington is reported to have improvised them at Federal Hall in April of 1789 right before he went to St. Paul’s Chapel and went to services after the service—after the inauguration." He then, matter of factly, went on to say, "The intertwining of, of religion and politics in ceremonial occasions is, is fascinating."

Yes, it's fascinating all right to see how an author can color the facts to fit his thesis.