Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rep. Randy Forbes Hits Back

In response to President Obama's "America is not a Christian Nation" speech in Turkey, Rep. Randy Forbes had the follwing to say. I think there's a lot of hot-button issues here to inspire some good discussion


Brad Hart said...

Off the top of my head here are a few errors that I noticed in his speech:

1.) Holy Trinity Church v. United States had nothing...NOTHING to do with this issue. The comments made by Rep. Forbes refer to the legal dicta (writings that reflect a judge's personal view) done by Justice Brewer. They have no bearing of any kind on the case. I will defer to our lawyers for further explination of dicta.

2.) The Traty of Paris was drafted by the British, NOT the Americans. Of course they would sign it!

3.) Congress REJECTED Franklin's suggestion to begin with prayer.

4.) Not sure about his laundry list of presidents. From the top of my head, I don't recall Jefferson, Washington, or Adams diagreeing with Obama.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, if you want a good discussion, Brad, post video of those who give the best arguments, not the worst.

But at least you specified your objections instead of merely posting the video and insulting Rep. Forbes, who is a hot dog and whose resolutions seldom get out of committee, let alone pass. However, in doing so, you revealed your true intention was to give him a spanking.

Brad Hart said...

You're darn right about the spanking part. He needed some facts checked.

In addition (and I forgot to mention this before) does anyone know or have a citation regarding Forbes' claim that the first thing Congress did was to pray and read four chapters of the Bible? Anyone know anything about that?

Jared Farley said...

In my humble opinion it seems like there is some truth to what Rep. Forbes says. But the problem with his speech and what generally happens in these discussions is that both sides attempt to paint with too broad a brush. A couple examples:

1) The United States is CERTAINLY a culturally Christian nation. Nobody can dispute that. However, that is different from being a political Christian nation.

2) Just because Christian principals helped form the philosophical basis of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (fall nature of man, social covenant), again does not equal the United States being a political Christian Nation.

3) Just because the United States drifted into a "de facto generic Protestant" establishment during the 19th and 20th centuries, does not mean that was the original intention.

4) Obama certain did not mean the United States was not a culturally Christian nation...we are and we always have been, he was only saying we are not a politically Christian nation.

It would be great if more liberals would vocally admit that the country is culturally a Christian nation and more conservatives would admit that the United States is suppose to have a completely secular government under our Constitution, regardless of what politicians did to gain favor with the Protestant majority in the past.

I've really been enjoying reading American Creation and everyone's posts. This is a great "community" happening here.

Brad Hart said...


First off, thanks for the kind words reg: American Creation! We hope you will feel comfortable to comment whenever you feel like it!

As for your comments, I am, for the most part, in agreement. Culturally the United States has been Christian (this can be seen in our holidays, etc.). Where I think we run into trouble is that so many of the "Christian Nationalists" believe that we are POLITICALLY a Christian Nation, granted it's a minority sentiment. Here are a few examples:

"The great misunderstanding of ‘the separation of church and state’ is closer in spirit and letter of the law to the old Soviet Union than it is to the spirit, letter of the law, and actions of the founders of this country." ~D. James Kennedy

"It is a historical fact that 52 of the 56 signers of the Constitution were Evangelical Christians." ~David Barton

"Never during the founding years of this great democracy had our forefathers meant to distance the government from the truths of the Christian faith or to prohibit Christians from applying Biblical principles in their influence on the state." ~Jerry Falwell

Now, you're right that the door swings both ways. The secularists who want to remove all Christianity (again a minority view in my opinion) are every bit as foolish. I guess the debate of the radicals should be, "which side does less damage?"

Tom Van Dyke said...

Brad, I agree with your first two, and Lord knows that getting Jerry Falwell's back is gonna cost me credibility and drag me into disrepute, but

"Never during the founding years of this great democracy had our forefathers meant to distance the government from the truths of the Christian faith or to prohibit Christians from applying Biblical principles in their influence on the state."

is an entirely defensible statement.

Falwell had multiple bad quotes, and Lord knows I don't want to defend them. But he wasn't quite the dismissible moron that his foes prefer him to be, so much the easier to dismiss him.

I heard him on the radio one night, and the subject was homosexuality. Even as the others on the panel tried to turn him into an ignorant Bible-thumping condemnational and unfeeling monster, he was completely kind and compassionate toward the human beings involved.

I was a bit surprised, really, as I too had bought into the common perception of him. But he spoke as a pastor, not as a culture warrior, but as a fellow human being himself.

Go figure.

Brian Tubbs said...

Ditto to everything Tom just wrote, including about Falwell.