by Jim Jester
Most Christians believe America was founded as a Christian nation and that the Constitution was a divinely inspired document. It is true that the Christian Pilgrims started governments in America; but it is not true that the Constitution formed a century and a half later was Christian. It should be remembered that our culture has been Christian from the beginning and those seeking political office knew this. Thus, would be politicians must sound like they are Christian in order to get votes. The Declaration of Independence mentions the “Creator,” “nature’s God,” the “Supreme Judge” and “Divine Providence;” all of which may sound somewhat Christian and biblical. However, they also sound masonic and universal. In contrast, the Constitution uses no such language as this. There is no mention of the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why not, if it is divinely inspired. Clearly, the Constitution is religiously neutral at best. Does any Christian see a problem with this?
The Constitution, being neutral when it comes to religious faith, allows for all faiths and philosophies. This is contrary to God’s Law, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). There are many other references in the Bible forbidding the toleration of other religions or heathen customs (as seen in Christmas and Easter). If Christians want to maintain a free and just society, they must follow God’s Law. Under the religiously neutral Constitution, we will continue to decline as a nation.
Many will say that we cannot institute a theocracy and we cannot force morality on others. However, all governments are theocracies anyway, because whoever holds the reign of power does it as god. Someone’s morality will always be forced upon society. The question is which god, morality, and laws will we live under? The only permanent solution to the crisis in America is that God Himself rules through His Law as revealed in the Bible. The conflict so often described in the Bible is man’s will (via law) against God’s will (via Law), “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).
Gary North fully documents the political and religious thought behind the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in his book, Conspiracy in Philadelphia. His thesis:
‘The Articles of Confederation (1781) served as a halfway national covenant. They identified “the Great Governor of the World” as the sovereign incorporating agent (Article XIII). The United States Constitution (1788) identifies “We the People” as the sovereign incorporating agent. This book is the story of this covenantal transition: new covenant, new god.
One of the most striking features of the United States Constitution of 1787 is the absence of an explicit acknowledgment of the Deity or the Christian religion. The invocation of a deity to authenticate or attest to divine sanction for public acts or decrees is a tradition that pre-dates the Christian era and is found in non-Western, as well as Western, cultures. In this respect, the Constitution departed from the pattern of most public documents of the day. The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (1775), The Declaration of Independence (1776), The Articles of Confederation (1781), virtually all state constitutions, and other official documents are replete with claims of Christian devotion and supplication for the Supreme Being. However, the federal Constitution makes no such religious affirmation or declaration, even of the perfunctory kind that was typical of other documents written by the framers. . . . This omission is remarkable since, despite any revolutionary ardor of the time, there was little sentiment that the new republican order broke with the prevailing Christian traditions of the American people. – Daniel Dreisbach (1996)
‘I argue in this book that the interpretation of the American Revolution as a revolt justified by its promoters in the name of Christianity – Tom Paine and Ethan Allen excepted – is correct, but that any interpretation of the United States Constitution as a Christian document is incorrect. I argue that the Constitution was a covenantal break with the Christian civil religion of twelve of the thirteen colonies. The exception was Rhode Island. Rhode Island was the first civil order in the West to be established self-consciously on a secular foundation. That took place in 1644, when Parliament during the English Civil War issued a charter to Rhode Island. The colony’s founder, Roger Williams, was the first self-consciously secular political theorist in the West to receive a covenantal charter for a supposedly religiously neutral civil order. The story of the Constitution is the story of Rhode Island’s conquest of America. It did this without sending delegates to the Convention. This has not been the conventional view of the origins of the United States Constitution.
‘In this book, I argue that the United States Constitution is the product of eighteenth-century unitarianism, though not Unitarianism, which was a nineteenth-century movement. The supposed Founding Fathers (Framers) of repute were trinitarians in much the same way that Sir Isaac Newton had been: members of publicly confessing churches, but not personally believing the confession.
‘In response, critics of my thesis argue along these lines: “If what you say is true, then good Christian men who attended the Constitutional Convention were deceived by the men who called together the Convention.” This is my conclusion. But this admission does not satisfy the critics. “You are saying that there was a hard-core group of conspirators who actively deceived the other attendees.” This is exactly what I am saying. “But how could you say this terrible thing about our Founding Fathers?” On this basis:
‘The Convention was assembled under false pretenses.
‘All attendees took a vow of lifetime silence.
‘They held their meetings on the second floor: no eavesdroppers
‘The press was barred from attending.
‘The legislatures’ instructions were deliberately violated.
‘If I could prove today that a group of politicians is planning to call another Constitutional Convention, operating under the same terms that Madison imposed on the Convention in 1787, Christians and conservatives would protest the plot vocally. They would argue that a coup d’état was in progress. They would be correct. But the same observation can and should be made regarding the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
‘For over two centuries, Christian historians have neglected to conduct such a detailed study of the origins of the Constitution. Most of them have accepted the view of the victors of 1788: the Constitution is a philosophically neutral, procedurally neutral, morally neutral, religiously neutral document that is somehow consistent with “true” Christianity. Yet it is also supposedly consistent with Christianity’s rivals. If these assumptions are true, then Stoic natural law philosophers were right, Newtonian unitarians were right, and Freemasons are right: there is a morally and theologically neutral system of fixed law that is both unchanging and accessible to the minds of rational men in the midst of history. The Constitution is the incarnation of this religion of neutrality.’ – Gary North, Preface, Conspiracy in Philadelphia
Contrary to what we have been told, the Constitution is not a divinely inspired document. It is atheistic and humanistic. Its secret drafting in 1788 was a broken covenant with God and Christianity; and at the same time began a new covenant with a new god (the people). With the War Between the States, it became a broken covenant with nearly half of the American population, so why should the Constitution be defended anymore. From then on, the secularization of America was a mopping-up operation that continues today and there is absolutely no accountability or punishment for this Lawless rogue government. They do not operate within constitutional limits and what little good remains in the Constitution can be stripped from us at any time for any reason. The absence of a religious test oath, in itself, has delivered the republic into the hands of humanists and anti-Christs. Many good Americans cannot seem to identify when the turning point came. It came in 1788.
Culturally speaking, we have been mostly a Christian nation, but since 1788, we have not been covenantally Christian. North explains the strategy of the shift in government:
‘This chapter is about the Constitution, but the Constitution was the covenantal successor of the Articles. The Articles did not explicitly deny that the God of the Bible is Lord over all governments, nor did they affirm it. Several of the state constitutions did affirm this. Thus, the national civil government was a covenantal mixture, for the national government prior to 1788 was a confederation, not a unitary state. It was a halfway covenant. As we shall see, the U.S. Constitution is far more consistent. What the Articles did not positively affirm, the Constitution positively denies: the legitimacy of religious test oaths as a screening device for officers of the national civil government. It is this shift that marks the transition from the older trinitarian state covenants to what became, over decades, apostate state covenants. This transition at the national level did not occur overnight; there was an intermediary step: the Articles of Confederation. Yet when the next-to-the last step was taken – the Constitutional Convention – those who took it ignored the original by-laws of the Articles and appealed forward to the People. The Framers publicly ignored the Declaration of Independence, which had formally incorporated the national government, for they were interested in upholding the myth of the sovereign People, and the Declaration had repeatedly mentioned God. Thus, the Declaration and the Articles both disappeared from the American judicial tradition and its system of legal precedents, and the Articles disappeared from American political thought. Two things were retained, however: the national name established by the Articles – the United States of America – and the seal of the nation that had been formally incorporated on July 4, 1776.
‘The ratification of the Constitution was in fact simultaneously a covenant-breaking and covenant-making act. As with all covenant acts, this one involved the acknowledgment of legitimacy. When the voters sent the first representatives to the Congress in Philadelphia in 1789, the legitimacy of the new government was secured. The theological and judicial terms of the new covenant began to be imitated at the state level until the resistance of the South called a halt to this process. The Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment revived it.
‘A new judicial relationship was being created by the Constitution: a direct covenant between the new national civil government with the individual citizen, without any intermediary civil government. This alteration is generally regarded by legal theorists as the most important single innovation that the Constitution imposed. They are wrong; the prohibition of religious test oaths was its most innovative breakthrough: one nation, under the god of the People, indivisible, with a civil war to prove it.
‘We must understand what this means. It means that civil officers are not under an oath to the God of the Bible. It means that in the exercise of their various offices, civil magistrates are bound by an oath to a different god. That god is the American People, considered as an autonomous sovereign who possesses original and final earthly jurisdiction. This view of the sovereign People is radically different from anything that had been formally stated or publicly assumed by previous Christian political philosophers. The People were no longer acting as God’s delegated judicial agents but as their own agent. This same view of political sovereignty undergirded Rousseau’s political theory, and also the various constitutions of the French Revolution. The ratification of the U.S. Constitution was therefore a formal covenantal step toward the left-wing Enlightenment and away from the halfway covenant political philosophy of Christianity combined with right-wing Scottish Enlightenment rationalism. It would take the victory of Darwinism after 1859 and the victory of the North in the Civil War in 1865 and the aftermath (Reconstruction) to make clear the definitive nature of this judicial step toward Rousseau’s unholy commonwealth.’ – Gary North, p. 120
‘What is surprising is that so many conservative Christians today are seeking the previously hidden Christian roots of the U.S. Constitution. These are not hidden roots; they are missing roots. The roots of the Constitution are Rhode Island political theory, Newtonian philosophy, Deist-unitarian-Whig social theory, Scottish Enlightenment rationalism, and Masonic universalism. The Constitution’s structure was Christian-Puritan; its content was humanist. There may well be trappings that are Christian, for the Framers were men of their era, and that era was at bottom Christian. But the Christianity of eighteenth-century America was deeply schizophrenic. Newton was the favored model, not Paul on Mars Hill (Acts 17).’ – Gary North, p. 331
‘The primary problem with Protestant Christianity in the eighteenth century was its ethical and judicial dualism: biblical law vs. natural law. The problem has been dualism for eighteen hundred years. The two systems are rival systems, yet Christians persist in arguing that they are at bottom the same, even when they simultaneously insist that there is no neutrality. They affirm, yet subsequently deny, that “The first lesson the American Christian must learn if he would successfully develop, maintain or restore the Christian republic, is Christian self-government.” Self-government without the modifier ‘Christian’ in its full Biblical meaning, is nothing more than self-will regardless of initial intent to be or do good. Man without Christ cannot succeed in producing lasting good.’ – Gary North, p. 331
‘I realize that I am breaking with the fundamental thesis of the Rushdoony-Hall-Slater-Whitehead-Titus interpretation of American Constitutional history. I am also breaking with C. Gregg Singer’s thesis of the “Deist Declaration” of Independence, and the idea of the Constitution as somewhat more Christian, somewhat more conservative. Singer was categorically incorrect when he wrote, “The basic philosophies of the two documents were not compatible.” Both documents were humanistic. Both were cut from the same covenantal cloth. If anything, the Declaration was more Christian; Congress added two extra references to God. Of course, that god was the undefined god of common civil ceremonies of the era, or perhaps more to the point, common Masonic ceremonies. While Harold O. J. Brown does not pursue the matter, he has put his finger on the problem: “America’s symbolism is not really theism at all, even of an Old Testament variety. The Seeing Eye is sometimes found in Christian art, but on the Great Seal of the United States it, like the pyramid, reflects the vague ‘Great Architect’ deism of American Freemasonry rather than faith in the personal God of Christianity.”’ – North, p. 137.
‘There is no escape from this conclusion: the United States Constitution is an atheistic, humanistic covenant. The law governing the public oath of office reveals this. Unfortunately, this oath is rarely discussed. Christians who do not analyze social and political institutions in terms of the biblical covenant model are not sufficiently alert to this crucial but neglected section of the Constitution. The Constitution is not a Christian covenantal document; it is a secular humanist covenantal document. While there have been many attempts over the years by Christians to evade this conclusion, they have all been unsupported with primary source documents. These attempts have also been obscurely argued. That the word “Lord” appears in Article VII, “the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven,” is not what I would call a persuasive argument for its Christian character. It has taken the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Supreme Court decisions, beginning around 1960, to make the Constitution’s humanistic foundation obvious to everyone except a handful of Christians scholars, most of whom were not trained as historians. The only people who have been deceived by these interpretations are evangelical Christians. They, like their teachers, are the victims of two centuries of Whig propaganda and two millennia of natural law theory.’ – Gary North, Conspiracy in Philadelphia, p. 136
How can the U. S. Constitution be Christian? It does not measure up to the Biblical covenant model because the People are its authorizing Agent in place of God and it requires no Christian Oath to the Laws of God by government officers. Those who promote the wonders of this document as being Christian are presenting us an illusion. When we consider the evidence given by Gary North in his book, and the crumbling of Amerika all around us at all levels of society, how can it be Christian. It is a secular humanist document; and its passage was a coup against Christian America. The American patriot/militia movement and TEA partiers need to understand that the Constitution is not our hope; God is. Wake up Amerika – the Constitution is a mirage!