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Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christian Nation

Harry Truman, one of the last of the truly good democrats once stated,"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State."
Good ol' givem' Hell Harry also knew about given' Heaven too! Woodrow Wilson, also said,
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.... America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture." Those who would like to dispute the obvious, for one simple reason: because it does not allow for the justification of immoral laws, such as abortion and homosexual marriage.
Some of the anti Christian nation crew will make reference to first sentence of Article 11 of the Tripoli Treaty of 1797. The opponents of this view, however, point to the first sentence of Article 11 of the obscure Tripoli Treaty of 1797 as seeming conclusive proof that America was never a Christian nation. Before discussing that critical sentence, the treaty itself should be read in context with all of the Barbary treaties
The Barbary States on the coast of North Africa, comprising the Moslem States of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, attacked ships in their coastal waters which would not pay tribute, and held captives for ransom. The European nations had treaties with those states, under which, in exchange for tribute, shipping was protected. After the Revolutionary War, our new nation followed the lead of those European nations and entered into similar treaties. Breach of those treaties by the Barbary nations led to the Barbary wars in 1801.
The first treaty was with Morocco in 1786, negotiated by Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin. It was written in Arabic with an English translation. The treaty language assumes that the world was divided between Christians and Moors (Moslems), e.g. "If we shall be at war with any Christian Power ... .", "... no Vessel whatever belonging either to Moorish or Christian Powers with whom the United States may be at War ... .", " their enemies Moors or Christians." These along with numerous references to God, e.g., "In the name of Almighty God,", "... trusting in God ...", "Grace to the only God", "...the servant of God ...", "... whom God preserve ...". are the only references to religion in this treaty of Peace and Friendship.
The next was the Treaty of Peace and Amity with Algiers in 1795,written in Turkish. The only reference to religion was in Article 17 which gave the Consul of the United States "... Liberty to Exercise his Religion in his own House [and] all Slaves of the Same Religion shall not be impeded in going to Said Consul's house at hours of prayer... ." The Consul's house was to function in lieu of a Christian church.
The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation with Tunis in 1797 was in Turkish with a French translation. It begins "God is infinite.", and refers to the Ottoman Emperor "whose realm may God prosper", and to the President of the United States "... the most distinguished among those who profess the religion of the Messiah, ...." Other than a reference to "the Christian year", there is no further mention of religion.
The Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Tripoli was signed in 1796 in Arabic, and was later translated into English by Joel Barlow, United States Consul General at Algiers. Except for the typical phrases "Praise be to God" and "whom God Exalt", there is no reference to religion other than the aforesaid remarkable Article 11, which reads,
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan (sic) nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
The treaty, with this language, was submitted to the Senate by President Adams, and was ratified. Thus, opponents of the 'Christian nation' concept point to this seemingly official repudiation of the very idea. Yet the language is less a repudiation of the role of Christianity in the nation's heritage than a reminder that there was no national established church in the United States as there was in the European states with which Tripoli had previously dealt. This provided reassurance to the Moslem Bey and his religious establishment that religion, in of itself, would not be a basis of hostility between the two nations. None of the other similar treaties with the Barbary states, before or after this treaty, including the replacement treaties signed in 1804 after the Barbary Wars, have any language remotely similar.
And there is a deeper mystery: As noted in a footnote at page 1070 of the authoritative treatise by Bevans, Treaties and other International Agreements of the United States of America, citing treaty scholar Hunter Miller.
"While the Barlow translation quoted above has been printed in all official and unofficial treaty collections since 1797, most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase 'the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.' does not exist at all. There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point" (Emphasis added)
In sum, the phrase was no doubt an invention of Mr. Barlow, who inserted it on his own for his own, unknown, purposes. It was duly ratified without question by the United States Senate, which would no doubt be hesitant to object to any phraseology which was represented as desired by the Bey of Tripoli, with whom the United States wanted peaceful relations. It remains a mystery.

So it appears that those who want to believe that the good ol' USofA was not founded on Jedeo/Christian beliefs will continue to do so for the reason I have stated often. Our rights are either entirely given to us by God or they were not. It is not a buffet. I will leave off with a response given to a radio host by Dr. Alan Keyes. A true Christian man who brings out the worst, or for a liberal, their best character.

We have got to restore our respect for Declaration principles by defending life, and making it clear that life begins at conception and must be respected, from that moment, as the will of the Creator, because that’s what the Declaration establishes as our principle, and what the Constitution says we owe to our “posterity.”
The restoration of our allegiance to and respect for God’s authority, especially when it comes to clear moral decisions like marriage, where we need to restore the sense that the God-given family is an unalienable right.
And finally, I would be trying to restore the moral character and sense of our commitment to our basic moral values, starting in the area of national sovereignty, both in terms of our security from terrorism, and especially the security of our borders, and our assertion of the sovereignty of the American people, which our elites have been betraying.
Source: Radio interview on “Janet Parshall’s America” Sep 14, 2007

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