The United States Constitution was signed on this day in 1787. This was our second attempt at a national governing document. The 1777 Articles of Confederation, which went into effect in 1781, quickly proved to be inadequate. In 1786 the Annapolis Convention called for a group to assemble to address the many weaknesses.
After months of sometimes contentious debate, the Constitution was introduced to the citizens of the new nation. Did you know that many of the delegates involved in the writing of the Constitution were trained in theology or ministry? Abraham Baldwin, James Wilson, Hugh Williamson, Oliver Ellsworth are a few examples. The Constitution was then sent to the states for ratification. Among the delegates selected, the states elected about four dozen clergymen to serve in the ratification process for the Constitution.
U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge stated in 1919:
“The United States is THE WORLD’S BEST HOPE…
Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance … for if we stumble & fall, freedom & civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.”
However, in recent years attacks on our Constitution have increased, as well as the idea that there is any Christian influence on the founding of this nation or the writing of the Constitution. Messiah College (Cumberland County) professor Dr. John Fea has been an outspoken critic of the idea the United States had a Christian founding and recently insisted that the Founding Fathers did not want the clergy to be involved in politics. Just imagine what distorted history Christian students in that school are being taught!
I am not sure what an “Action Alert” means. What kind of “action” does the American Family Association of Pennsylvania want to take against me?
The author of this “Action Alert” is referring to this Religion News Service piece in which I showed how many of the framers of the state constitutions formed in the immediate wake of Independence did not permit clergy to hold office. The site links to a David Barton piece that criticizes the piece.
Just for the record:
- I AM an “outspoken critic of the idea the United States had a Christian founding.”
- I am also a Christian.
- I do not hate the Constitution, but I do not believe it is a Christian document.
- It looks like the American Family Association of Pennsylvania is located in Franklin, PA. According to Google Maps, Franklin is located about four hours from Messiah College. I would be happy to drive up to Franklin to meet with the staff of this organization for a civil dialogue on this topic.