The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


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Jun 10, 2009

Mr. Chadwell Part 2

Okay… The next step is to understand that, whether we like it or not, some of the same founders who were apparently involved in the Treaty of Tripoli said some things which, well, appear to blatantly contradict article 11 of the treaty. I believe you've seen many of these already, 'cuz I sent you a bunch recently. As I read article 11, initially I am really perplexed at how these men could have agreed to say THIS (article 11) when elsewhere they so clearly said something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. But it might also help to go back even further and discover why anyone ever came to this land from England at all. What was their mission? Naturally, part of it was to escape what they regarded as a tyranny in England. A religious tyranny, to be more specific. But consider this from the Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England, May 19, 1643

"Whereas we all came to these parts of America with the same end and aim, namely, to advance the kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to injoy the liberties of the Gospell thereof with purities and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and the liberties of the gospell"

Wow!! These people (at least in 1643) had the idea that by settling North America as they did, not only were they escaping England, but it seems even more importantly, they believed they were enlarging the kingdom of Christ and SPREADING THE GOSPEL. Propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel. (they had odd spelling back then, didn't they?) This has powerful implications, does it not?

I'll grant you that it does nothing to explain away the Treaty of Tripoli language that came along 150 years later. We still have to understand what THAT was all about. But clearly the settlers had a particular "end and aim" in mind, and it clearly was not a secular, religiously "neutral" nation… at least not as early as 1643. Did things change that dramatically in 150 years?

Now, in light of this, consider these quotes:

John Adams, 1776 "Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand."

Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand? That language "upon which… can securely stand" conjures up the idea of a "foundation" does it not? This is only 21 years prior to the treaty. Now, I also notice that Adams didn't say "Christianity", he said "religion." That's pretty broad. You'd have to look around a bit more and see if you could find evidence to suggest he may have understood "religion" to BE Christianity. More on that in a minute…

Benjamin Rush, 1798 "The only foundation for… a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."

Well this is interesting. One year AFTER the treaty was signed, and Benjamin Rush is saying that religion is the ONLY FOUNDATION upon which to build a republic is religion. Again, he doesn't specify WHICH religion. Interesting.

Samuel Adams, 1779 "Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness."

Wow. Again, this is 18 years before the treaty. Religion and morality are the ONLY solid foundation… there is nothing else on which you can establish public liberty and happiness. Interesting.

Patrick Henry, 1799 "The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor… and this alone, that renders us invincible."

Two years after the treaty. The "pillars of all government" are morality and religion!! Pillar, like a foundation, is a support.

Here are three quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville, who was not an American, but came here from France in the early 1800s (after the treaty, notice) and made these observations:

"The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive one without the other."

"Religion should therefore be considered as the first of their political institutions. From the start, politics and religion have agreed and have not since ceased to do so."

"The religious atmosphere of the country was the first things that struck me upon my arrival in the U.S. In France, I had seen the spirits of religion and freedom almost always marching in opposite directions. In America, I found them intimately linked together and joined and reigned over the same land…"

De Tocqueville, an outsider, a "disinterested party", observed that it was CHRISTIANITY that was driving government and politics in the U.S. He said that religion (and by that clearly he means Christianity) should be considered the FIRST of [the Americans'] political institutions, and he says that in American, since the beginning (think of that quote from the Articles of Confederation) politics and religion have agreed, and apparently still did when he visited the U.S. You could hardly count de Tocqueville as any part of a grand conspiracy, right?

Benjamin Rush, 1798 "Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy."

Here Benjamin Rush, one year after the treaty, identifies Christianity as the religion in question.

So, how do we reconcile this with the language of Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli?

Honestly, I'm not sure I know just yet. But I know this… whenever you have what appears to be a contradiction, it is either a genuine contradiction, or there is something about ONE SIDE of the contradiction that we're not understanding properly. Does that make sense? The question is, which side are we not understanding properly? The evidence seems overwhelming that the founders believed they were founding a nation on Christianity, at least in some sense. And yet here you have article 11 saying that the government was not founded on Christianity IN ANY SENSE. Truly, this is perplexing. Very interesting.

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