My response to Texas Freedom Network's politically motivated, hackneyed and utterly wrong accusation that "Barton, Marshall and the board members who appointed them are pushing a religious agenda in public schools that would violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment" is: Nonsense!
Our "agenda" is that the accurate teaching of American history must include the Biblical motivations and worldviews of so many of those who discovered this continent, settled the original colonies, fought for our independence, and created our government.
One tiny but important quibble: Neither I nor David Barton "call for teaching the biblical foundations of a 'Christian America.'" Neither of us uses that phrase because it is confusing and misleading. In my books and talks I simply call for schools and textbooks to teach the Biblical foundations of America."
The paper has offered me the opportunity to write a guest editorial, but I have decided that I didn't want to take the time away from working on the civil war book to compose a 650-word article. In addition to the points in the Times editorial that I addressed there are others. For example:
"The Convention of 1787," writes historian Clinton Rossiter, "was highly rationalist and even secular in spirit."
That's not even remotely true. Rossiter was a respected historian, but he got this one wrong. Most of the delegates were practicing Christians, whose Biblical worldview shaped the thinking that went into the formation of the Constitution. About 40 percent of them were office-holders -- not merely members -- in Bible societies, dedicated to spreading the Word of God. Ben Franklin's famous plea for prayer at the opening of each day's business, even though it failed for lack of finances to pay a chaplain, was warmly received. The spirit of the convention was far more Christian than secular -- many of the delegates, including George Washington, attended a Fourth of July anniversary service at the Calvinist church, where Reverend William Rogers prayed for them. And at the successful conclusion of the convention, future President and chief architect of the Constitution James Madison (who was not normally given to enthusiastic Christian sentiment) wrote to Thomas Jefferson, who was in France: "It is impossible to conceive the concord which ultimately prevailed, as less than a miracle." In the Federalist Papers, Madison also stated: "It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it (the Constitution) the finger of the Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution." Secular is hardly the right word to describe the Constitutional Convention.
Full text available here.