By Dave Jolly
A number of European countries began persecuting various Christian denominations as early as 1500s to 1700s forcing thousands of Christians to migrate to the new wilderness known as the American colonies. The rulers of various nations decided that everyone in their countries should worship the same way they did and those that didn’t faced severe persecution.
Mennonites were persecuted Ghent by Catholics in Ghent as early as 1554.
John Rogers was a Catholic priest who converted to Protestantism in the 1530s. On February 4, 1555, Rogers was burned alive for his conversion by Queen Mary, a Catholic.
French Protestants known as Huguenots were persecuted by Catholics for over 30 years. On August 24, 1572, Catholics went on a killing spree, slaughtering thousands of Huguenots in Paris.
Jesuits were persecuted and even put to death in England and Scotland as early as 1615 with the death of John Ogilvie.
The 1641 Irish Rebellion began with Catholics murdering 100 Protestants from Loughgall Parish, county Armagh.
On 1731, Catholic Archbishop Leopold von Firmian expelled up to 20,000 Lutherans from Salzburg.
These are just a few of the examples of religious persecution that took place across Europe and led to thousands of different Christians fleeing to the American colonies where they were free to worship in their own way. That religious freedom was foundational to the growth and way of life in the American colonies. It was also influential to the Framers who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, US Constitution and the Bill of Rights which incorporated many biblical principles. The term ‘inalienable rights’ they used refers to the rights given to men by God, not government.
There is no doubt that America was founded as a Christian nation. In the 1892 Supreme Court case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, Justice Josiah Brewer declared that America was a Christian nation in his written ruling:
“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. (465)
There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. (470)
If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. (471)”
This statement is included as part of the dicta—that is, it is a gratuitous statement that is not essential to the Court’s holding. The Court had already decided the issue before venturing its opinion as to the religious character of the country. Included was a remarkable list of 87 examples taken from pre-Constitutional documents, historical practice, colonial charters, and the like, which reveal our undisputed religious roots. They range from the commissions of Christopher Columbus to the first charter of Virginia to the Declaration of Independence.
However, only 55 years later in 1947, the US Supreme Court had a different view of the Christian nature of America. In the US Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education, Associate Justice Hugo Black wrote:
“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
Everson v Board of Education was the first time in U.S. History that the Supreme Court ruled to forbid religious practice among states and also the first time that the 14th Amendment had been combined with the 1st Amendment in so doing.
Justice Black was not done in his effort to strip America of its Christian foundation. In the 1962 Supreme Court case of Engel v. Vitale, Black banned student prayers in public schools, writing:
“The petitioners contend among other things that the state laws requiring or permitting use of the Regents’ prayer must be struck down as a violation of the Establishment Clause because that prayer was composed by governmental officials as a part of a governmental program to further religious beliefs. For this reason, petitioners argue, the State’s use of the Regents’ prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State. We agree with that contention since we think that the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion must at least mean that in this country it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.”
One year later in 1963, the Supreme Court added Bible reading to the banned religious practices that long prevailed in our public schools. In the case of Abington v. Schempp, Associate Justice Thomas C. Campbell wrote:
“Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment by Congress of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day — even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents.”
So now the non existent separation of church and state was officially the law of the land and prayer, the Bible and God were banned from public schools. It wasn’t long afterwards that they were also banned from government and many aspects of public life and display. Once the precedent was set by the liberal progressives on the Supreme Court, other liberal progressive groups declared war on Christianity and chip by chip the Christian foundation of America was weakened. Today that foundation is crumbling and on the verge of total collapse.
When America was still a Christian nation, we enjoyed the blessings that God bestowed upon us. Once our highest court rejected God, He pulled his hand of blessing away and turned us over to our sins and lusts. America today has become the nation described in Romans 1:18-31 – a nation accepting and embracing homosexuality and a number of other perverted sins.
America was founded by Christians and is being destroyed and buried by liberal progressives.