Monday, September 28, 2009

Countering Secularists' Stripping Jesus from History

Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that all of Europe . . . must acknowledge its Christian heritage as it copes with rising immigration from other cultures and religions.

Texas schoolchildren should know how God and religion greatly influenced the country's Founding Fathers more than 230 years ago, say some of the experts reviewing the state's social studies curriculum.

-- From "What did Founding Fathers believe?" by Gary Scharrer, Austin Bureau, The Houston Chronicle 9/28/09

To characterize the origins of this country as a Christian nation would be wrong, said Steven Schafersman, who routinely attends SBOE meetings as president of Texans Citizens For Science.

He is among several who argue that many of the Founding Fathers actually were deists — they believed in God as creator, who permits the universe to operate according to natural laws rather than continued intervention. As such, they did not believe the Bible or Jesus were divine.

Peter Marshall, one of six “expert reviewers” appointed by the State Board of Education to help write the new standards, argues that children cannot get an accurate portrayal of U.S. history without knowing about the religious motivations and Bible-based world view of the original settlers and Founding Fathers.

“You can't properly tell American history unless you teach the biblical motivations of the people who discovered the country, like Christopher Columbus; the people that settled it, like the Pilgrims and Puritans; the people who formed government, like the Founding Fathers,” said Marshall, a Presbyterian minister and president of the Massachusetts-based Peter Marshall Ministries. “My point in all of this is that children of this nation need to be taught the truth about the biblical world view. The influence of the Bible and the Christian faith is absolutely gigantic in American history.”

State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, said it is hard to predict the board's involvement in deciding the religious content of the history standards. In her book, One Nation Under God, Dunbar argued that Founding Fathers created “an emphatically Christian government.”

“Personally, while I disagree that many of the Founding Fathers were deists and had no use for Christianity, I think the personal faith of the Founding Fathers is not the right issue,” she said. “The important issue was their prevailing understanding of the framework of law — more specifically, their understanding and agreement with the common law and the underlying basis for civil jurisdiction.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pope urges Europe to remember Christian heritage" by Victor L. Simpson, The Associated Press 9/27/09

The second day of Benedict's pilgrimage to this highly secular country [Czech Republic] was marked by a joyous open-air Mass that drew tens of thousands of pilgrims and a sober message for the entire continent.

"History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions," Benedict said.

The pope warned that technical progress was not enough to "guarantee the moral welfare of society."

"Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions, but more profoundly, he must be saved from the evils that afflict the spirit."

Later Sunday, in talks with leaders of other faiths and branches of Christianity, Benedict broadened his message to all of Europe.

"As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own," the pope said during the meeting at Prague's medieval Hradcany Castle. "Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance."

Europe's religious roots, he said, "supply the continent with the spiritual and moral sustenance that allows her to enter into meaningful dialogue with people from other cultures and religions."

Under communism, the church was brutally repressed. The regime, which seized power in 1948 in what was then Czechoslovakia, confiscated all church-owned property and persecuted many priests. Churches were then allowed to function only under the state's control and supervision.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

For more about Texas school textbooks, read about the recent decision on the existence of Christmas, and teaching the Bible in schools, and the curriculum battle over Darwinism and evolutionary theory.