Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Boudinot to Samuel Bayard, a Second Time Today

I am going to copy and paste some of the 1796 letter from Elias Boudinot to Samuel Bayard that Bill Fortenberry tipped me off to. As Boudinot wrote:
It is a most remarkable event and one that soon cannot be forgotten, that in the year 1796, on the first disputed election for a President of the United States, the State of Pennsylvania who values herself on her attachment to the christian character should give 13 votes out of 15 for a President & Vice President who are open & professed Deists at the same time, it will also be remembered that in the house of Representatives in the Congress of the United States Dr Priestly had 27 votes for their Chaplain. These facts are too remarkable to escape the Pen of our future Historians & I confess they give such substantial evidence of our degenerating from the zeal of our forefathers, who first settled this wilderness, that those who retain any of their spirit have their fears greatly alarmed for the consequences.
The bold face is mine. What I put in bold reminds me of what the two Cornell scholars stressed in "The Godless Constitution."  Now, neither Thomas Jefferson nor Joseph Priestley were "Godless." (The same can be said of Thomas Paine.) But the authors of that book noted how the orthodox forces of "religious correctness" lamenting both God's absence in the US Constitution as well as the rise of heterodox men like Jefferson offended Providence and insulted the real "Christian" heritage of the planting period.

Christian Nationalists like David Barton on the other hand claim virtually all of America's Founders were "Christians" with a bare number of "Deists" here and there and that there was no "disconnect" between the political theology of America's colonial Planting and its Founding from 1776-1800 or so.

As the theory Barton rejects as "revisionist" goes, the colonial Planting involved orthodox covenants, done under the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings and British colonial law. The Founding broke with such, not only with Divine Right of Kings and British colonial law, but the notion that governments should covenant with orthodox Trinitarian theology. Instead, we got a Godless Constitution and Article VI's "No Religious Test" Clause.

Rather, Barton claims it was liberal "revisionist" historians of the modern era who made up this understanding.

Boudinot in the above quotation seems to not only observe the disconnect, but also predicts how those future historians (Barton's "liberal revisionists") will have "substantial evidence" on their side regarding the difference between the Planting and the Founding.

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