I maintain a second blog, The Road to Concord. That blog is dedicated to Natural Law and the history surrounding the founding of the United States. One of the most common battles I fight on that blog is the notion that our founders were deists, and not Christians. I do not understand how such ignorance has managed to survive, especially in our modern world of free and readily available information. But then, I realize that much of this is intentionally perpetuated by people who do, in fact, know better, and their spiritual father is alive and well:defeated, but alive and well. Still, I try hard to show people how to spot the lies we are told: lies intended to undermine the only nation since ancient Israel to have been founded upon the precepts of the Bible, and the only nation to have been founded upon those of the New Testament. Let me use a recent comment on The Road to Concord to illustrate my point.
From the comment section under the post entitled:
OK, there are three major problems with this assertion, and they are all typical of these sort of arguments. Let’s take them from the least to the most deceptive.
First, the claim that the quote provided proves that Franklin considered himself a deist ignores the plain meaning of words. Nowhere in the quote does Franklin say words to the affect of “I am a deist.” What’s more, it is just plain false that a person who denies the divinity of Christ must be a deist. Jews deny the divinity of Christ and they are not deists. In fact, their beliefs are the first recorded case of monotheism. What’s more, their beliefs flat-out state that God not only created this world, but that He takes an active interest in everything we do.
So the claim that Franklin claimed to be a deist is not supported by the quote provided.
This is due primarily to ignorance as to what ‘deism’ actually means. From the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
: a movement or system of thought advocating natural (see 1natural 8b) religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe
This brings us to the second major point of deception: either through ignorance or a deliberate act of omission, the quotes that are used to ‘prove’ our founders were not Christian are carefully selected. In some cases, they are even altered or falsified. This is the case with our current example. Please read the full context from which the quote above was actually taken:
Ben Franklin’s Creed: The American Religion
To Ezra Stiles, 9 March 1790 (B 12:185-6):
You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequences, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and more observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure.
The Works of Benjamin Franklin (New York: Putnam’s, 1904)
Which leads us to the third and most dangerous of the three means of deception: a rejection of flat-out denial of the plain meaning of words. In this case, Franklin confesses to a belief in a God Who actively governs in the affairs of men, and judges us in the next life according to how we treated others in this one. That is the negation of deism. In other words, Franklin not only didn’t confess to being a deist, he asserted his rejection of that notion as ‘unsound religion!’
Now, as a believer, I know the spirit behind these kind of lies — and they are lies. I also know what they are aimed at our founders. This nation was born of a Providential had (i.e. an act of God). Our first President dedicated this nation to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And our founders were Christians, who looked to and relied on the God of the Bible to protect and preserve them. With all of this as a matter of historical fact, it is little wonder why Satan would seek to destroy our modern understanding of this nations founding fathers, as well as the principles by which they achieved liberty and upon which the foundations of our government rest. It is also no mystery as to why Satan and his disciples focus on Jefferson and Franklin: they are the easiest to attack. However, even if they were deists, they would be only two of some two hundred and sixty founders, all but a handful of whom openly declared their belief in Christ! Therefore, even if the claims were true, it would mean less than 1-2% of our founders were deists. Friends, more than 2% of this nation believes that aliens are probing them in their nether regions. Do the people who attack our founders also claim that we are being attacked by aliens who wish to probe our nether regions? Why — do you think — they don’t make both claims?
For additional information on what our founders believed, I suggest you try these post on my other blog:
[NOTE: I have placed this blog in the Lord’s hands. I am no longer cross-blogging to other sites. I am not pushing this blog in any way. If others are going to find it, and if it is going to grow, it will be up to the Lord to make it happen through you, the reader. If you like this post, or find it to be of any value, then please share it with others. Otherwise, I will simply continue to share the understandings I have been given and, as I said earlier, I will leave the fruit of my effort for the Lord to handle.]