I was sitting in church yesterday during our song service which included our usual patriotic hymns. The Battle Hymn of the Republic came up and we sang all four verses. After reading the words of all four verses of the song the name of the song peeked my interest. I did a search as soon as I got to a computer. WOW, what a bizarre trip through Americana. (Apparently this song stirs up some deep, dark convictions. Google it and see for yourself.) Anyway, I did find some consensus. This song was the theme of the Union Army and adopted by the Republican Party in one of their conventions. It distinctly refers to Christian doctrine:
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
I just couldn't imagine the apoplectic reaction we would get from the left if this were once again the song our warriors sang going into battle. This is clearly a violation of the "separation of church and state" clause of the Constitution by the military and political leaders of the time. Why didn't someone shut this down?
(This is a trick question.)
America's Founding was inspired by Christianity. The First Amendment was not to limit Religion's influence on public life and Government but to limit Government's influence on religion. (In the 1700's "religion" almost always meant Christianity.)
The Declaration of Independence is the document that declared our birth as a nation and it makes us the first nation in history to claim the God granted inalienable right of liberty and establish a governmental system based on it. To say there is a separation between church and state is to lose this God given right and leave liberty in the hands of men and governments to barter out. It means we have to abandon the Declaration's founding claims of the self evident truths. Americans used to know this.
Alexis De Tocqueville in his Democracy in America notes of Americans in the 1830's:
"The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren, traditionary faith which seems to vegetate rather than to live in the soul." Democracy in America vol 1 p 306
He added on the next page:
"Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot."
Our President and a prominent leader in the Republican party (Carl Rove) have been quoted as saying that we are not a Christian nation. Do they really understand what this means? Do we get to vote on it? I realize that our morality does not live up to the standards of the Bible but do we want to leave the philosophies of Christianity that inspired the birth of our country and it's unparalleled freedoms without a vote, forum or even a discussion?
Christianity gave us, as a nation, more than we realize. One of the most important things it gave us was a sense of right and wrong that transcends the experience of all mankind. We need a refresher of values that guide families and nations through troubling times as well as prosperous ones.