I was raised on Payson-area ranches miles from town and miles from churches. My first introduction to Christianity was while riding along horseback with my dad and him singing an old cowboy poem to the tune of Sweet Betsy from Pike:
The sky is my roof and my carpet is grass
My music, the lowing of herds as they pass
The brooks are my books and my Bible is stone
My parson’s the wolf and his pulpit of bone.
My dad was a student of American history, of the Founding Fathers, and of the documents they created. He taught me that America was a Christian nation. I think of him and of the Founders every Christmas and every Fourth of July when, despite a total lack of support for their arguments, those on the left try to convince the American people that our Founding Fathers warned of the dangers of mixing politics and religion.
Quite the opposite is true. The Constitution never proposed such a concept. The phrase separation of church and state has been kicked around for so long that many Americans believe it is part of the Constitution. That phrase, nor anything close to it, appears in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. George Washington said in his farewell address “Don’t let anyone claim to be a true American. Don’t let them claim the tribute of American patriotism if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics.”
Now we have a president, or a gatecrasher depending on your point of view, claiming we are not a Christian nation and even that “... we could be a Muslim nation.” To top it off, he runs around all over the globe quoting the Koran. One wonders if he even owns a Bible; maybe he left it in Kenya with his birth certificate.
The fact is that 52 of the 55 Founders of the Constitution were members of the established Orthodox churches in the colonies.
That accounts for the fact that if one walks up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court, one sees near the top of the building, a row of the world’s law givers and each one is facing Moses who is holding the Ten Commandments.
Perhaps that is also the reason a display of the Ten Commandments can be seen on the wall right above where the Supreme Court judges sit as one is facing them inside the courtroom. And just perhaps, that is the reason Bible verses are etched in the stone of many old federal buildings and monuments in Washington, D.C.
If anyone still doubts this country was founded by Christians for Christians, I would direct them to the Father of our Constitution, James Madison, who said, “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
And to Patrick Henry, another Founding Father and patriot who said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
John Jay, the first Supreme Court justice said, “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”
In response to a request that all reference to religion be removed from government, the House Judiciary Committee Report March 3, 1854 said, “Had the people, during the Revolution, had any suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, the Revolution would have been strangled in the cradle.”
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect.
In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the Founders of the Republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. The great vital and conservative element.”
So how did we come to a point where everything the Founding Fathers believed and even the Constitution and the laws we have lived by for the previous 220 years have been turned against us?
Allow me one final quote, French philosopher, Alexis De Tocqueville said, “America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
It has been generally accepted that 86 percent of Americans hold Christian values and believe in God. Why then is there such an uproar about having the Ten Commandments on display, “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance,” “In God We Trust” engraved on our money, or a picture of Christ in a classroom?
My Horseback Opinion is that we should tell the other 14 percent to sit down and shut up or get out of Dodge! Como Siempré, Jinx