Contrary to popular opinion, Benjamin Franklin was a Christian who thought that the Bible was "the most faithful of all Histories." In fact, Franklin thought so highly of the Bible that he argued in the Constitutional Convention that "We should remember the character which the Scripture requires in rulers, that they should be men hating covetousness." In 1788, Franklin wrote a letter to the Federal Gazette in which he used the example of the government of ancient Israel to defend the newly written Constitution of the United States. Franklin makes several observations in this piece which serve as unquestionable evidence of the fact that he was a sincere Christian. Here is the text of Franklin's letter:
In recognition of the Fourth of July, I was invited to discuss the faith of our founders on the Deeper Waters podcast. The audio from the podcast is now available online, and I would like to invite all my readers to listen to it. It was a two hour broadcast, so we were able to cover a lot of topics. I've included a mostly accurate rundown of topics below if you want to jump to a few in particular.
On March 25, 2014, Judge Quarles of the U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland (and a Republican appointee) issued an injunction forbidding the commissioners of Carroll County from opening their sessions with prayers invoking the name of Jesus Christ. Judge Quarles reasoned that the commissioners are guilty of advancing one particular religion to the detriment of all others. The problem with Judge Quarles’ injunction is that it is itself a direct violation of a previous ruling from the Supreme Court.
In recent years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to become actively involved in our nation's political system. I've been given opportunities to work for a few campaigns, write for a couple of political action groups and just generally do a few minor things here and there to make a difference. In the process of all this, I was astonished to meet with opposition from other Christians, and I soon learned that there are a significant number of Christians who sincerely believe that we should not be involved in the government in any way at all.
I was reading through the records of the Continental Congress yesterday when I came across a letter written by Elias Boudinot to his 18 year old daughter, Susan. At the time that this letter was written, Boudinot was the President of the Congress. The war with England was coming to a close, and within six months, Boudinot would sign the Treaty of Paris to bring about the official end of the Revolutionary War. In the years following, Boudinot was elected to the first Congress where he helped frame the Bill of Rights. Many people are familiar with Boudinot’s statement that:
Yesterday, as I sat at home enjoying a day off because of the snow, a friend of mine sent me a link to an article by Richard Carrier entitled “Christianity Was Not Responsible for American Democracy.” This article was intended to be included in the 2010 book The Christian Delusion edited by John Loftus, but was instead published on the book’s accompanying website. Carrier’s claims sparked a lot of interest among atheists, and he was asked to give a speech on this topic at the 2013 convention of the National Atheist Party. Carrier later published the transcript of that speech on his blog under the title of “That Christian Nation Nonsense (Gods Bless Our Pagan Nation).” And it is rumored that he will be publishing similar material in Loftus’ next book Christianity is not Great which is slated to be published at the end of this year. I will eventually be writing a point-by-point critique of Carrier’s claims, but I would like to take just a moment to point out some of the more obvious flaws in his position which show that he is just as wrong in this area of historical research as he is in denying the existence of Jesus.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)