AMERICA’S FOUNDING FATHERS: Islam before Secular Humanism/Atheism!

You read the title correctly: America’s founding fathers said that the belief in God was so necessary to liberty that, should America ever renounce Christianity, they would sooner see it governed by Muslims than by Atheists!  If you doubt me, then keep reading.

The founders were very clear: they preferred that this nation be ruled by Christians, and according to the precept of Christianity — specifically the New Testament.  In fact, this sentiment was nearly universal among our founders, so much so that two of those most often thought to not be ‘Christian’ concurred with it:

“As to Jesus of Nazareth … I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see;…”

–Benjamin Franklin

“I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.”

“The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only.  he [Jesus] pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man; erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.”

–Thomas Jefferson

In fact, the founders were so convinced of the connection between Christianity and the success of what they called “The American Experiment” that they doubted anyone but a Christian would ever be elected to public office.  From the discussion during the ratification process of the First Amendment:

“I do not suppose an infidel, or any such person, will ever be chosen to any office unless the people themselves be of the same opinion [i.e. the people become infidels or otherwise, themselves].”

Richard Dobbs Spaight, signer of the Constitution

“But it is objected that the people of America may perhaps choose representatives who have no religion at all, and that pagans and Mahometans may be admitted into offices…  But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own.”

James Iredell, Supreme Court Justice

“It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, pagans, &., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States.  Those who are Mahometan, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, but in one of two cases.  First, the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen….”

Gov. Samuel Johnston, North Carolina Ratifying Convention

In fact, the founders were so appalled by the idea of Atheists (i.e. secular humanists) gaining positions of high office in America that they specifically said they would prefer Mahometans to Atheists.  Dr. Benjamin Rush, prominent founder and father of American medicine, as well as leader in American public education:

“Such is my veneration for every religion that reveals the attributes of the Deity, or a future state of rewards and punishments, that I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohamed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles.  But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament…[A]ll its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well being of civil government.”

However, all of these opinions were expressed prior to the Barbary Wars.  After which time, America changed its opinion of Mahomedans:

“The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Thomas Jefferson, reporting to Secretary of State, John Jay

“Muhammad declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Muhammad is the prophet of God.”

John Quincy Adams

So, while the founders may have started out allowing for Islam to be covered by the spirit of the First Amendment, that allowance was short lived.  Once they discovered exactly what Islam is all about, they understood that it is wholly incompatible with the American ideal: that being liberty and individual rights.  Were they alive today, I have no doubt they would be standing firmly in opposition to allowing Muslims into this country, let alone public office.  But then, the nation they established was predicated upon the American people clinging to the Christian religion from which our culture and government were derived…


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