The Blurred Vision of Revisionist History~Judge Roy Moore
Posted by wordforit on January 30, 2008
Last week I had an opportunity to visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa., the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, and the Constitution of the United States was drafted in 1787. As I listened to the tour guide give a historical perspective on colonial America, I was shocked at the obvious intentional distortion of the history of our founding era.For example, the tour guide said that the ideas of the Enlightenment and Humanism were instrumental in the formation of our government, but he made no mention of God or His providential role in the affairs of the times. Yet, according to Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, it was the law of God which gave us a right to exist as a nation and the purpose of government was to secure those rights which God gave us. Twelve years later, James Madison, the recognized “Father of the Constitution,” stated that it was impossible for men not to see “a finger of that Almighty hand” in the drafting of our Constitution.
Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the Enlightenment movement, which reached its zenith during the French Revolution of 1789. According to Justice William Cushing, one of the first justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a time “when the Christian religion was banished, and men dared not assemble together the first day of the week to worship their Creator; when a member in convention could rise and announce himself an atheist, with public applauses – this certainly was not a time of true liberty, but the reign of wild anarchy, terror and cruelty.”
The French Revolution was a dismal failure, but during the War for Independence, our nation prospered because of our trust in God. John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, observed to a New York grand jury in 1790 that, “Providence has been pleased to bless the people of this country with more perfect opportunities of choosing, and more effectual means of establishing their own government than any other nation has hitherto enjoyed.”
And if our Founding Fathers had any notion of Humanism, it was not in that 20th century philosophy which emphasizes the capacity for self-determination apart from a dependence on God. In fact, George Washington once remarked that he felt almost overwhelmed when he “contemplated the interposition of Providence, as it was visibly manifested, in guiding us through the Revolution, in preparing us for the reception of a general government, and in conciliating the good will of the People of America towards one another after its adoption.”
Unfortunately, revisionist history is not limited to tour guides at Independence Hall. Pastor Todd DuBord of Lake Almanor Community Church in California related a similar experience upon a visit to Jefferson’s estate at Monticello in Virginia. DuBord reported that the tour guide informed visitors that Jefferson was a “strict deist”, leading people to believe that Jefferson did not feel that God had any relationship with our country. But a Deist would not proclaim, as Jefferson did, that “[t]he God who gave us life, gave us liberty,” and that those liberties should not be violated “but with His wrath.” Jefferson believed that God was the “Fabricator of all things” as well as “their Preserver and Regulator” who “maintain[ed] the universe in its course and order.”
Despite clear proof to the contrary, those who seek to rewrite our history continue to perpetuate the “deist myth” about our Founding Fathers. Jefferson, Madison and Washington all trusted in the guidance of Divine Providence.
Perhaps the most blatant example of revisionism is occurring at the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Directly over the head of the chief justice in the courtroom is a classical display of a tableau containing Roman numerals I through X. To the left is the seated figure of a man representing the “Majesty of the Law,” and to the right is a seated figure representing “the Power of Government.” The curator for the Supreme Court today claims that the depiction represents early law or the Bill of Rights, but not the Ten Commandments.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court Handbook in 1975 explained that the display was a “tableau of the Ten Commandments” designed by Adolph Weinman. Furthermore, the display is identical to another Weinman sculpture in Washington, D.C., entitled the Oscar S. Strauss Memorial, which is outside the Reagan Building. According to original documentation, the Strauss Memorial contains “the Ten Commandments in Roman numerals”.
Obviously, the present U.S. Supreme Court is embarrassed to admit that the Ten Commandments hang above the bench while it allows subordinate federal courts across the land to forbid such displays in schools and courtrooms of our country. Hypocritically, the Court continues to open its sessions with the cry, “God Save the United States and this Honorable Court”.
Whether judges or tour guides, those who would revise our history will only do so if we remain both ignorant and apathetic about our history. We have both a right and a duty to acknowledge the God of our fathers.
With regard to the formation of our government, John Jay concluded his remarks by stating, “[W]e shall be highly responsible to that Providence, as well as to mankind in general, and to our own posterity in particular” for the use we make of these opportunities. I am sure that our first chief justice would agree that only by sincerely acknowledging God can we truly “save the United States.”
Posted: October 10, 2007
Judge Roy Moore is the chairman of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala., and the author of “So Help Me God.” He is the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had placed in the Alabama Judicial Building to acknowledge God.
See Also: How Revised are Textbooks?