212 thoughts on ““Restoring America””

      1. Sure. I’ll throw a heating pad in your butt cushion.

        (geez, why does that sound vaguely obscene?)

      1. He was indeed. I must have been too busy tweaking my lib-ruhl agenda. First item on today’s agenda: vacuum. While wearing pants. Or even shorts!

  1. I’m impressed that he wrote out his sermon. Doesn’t make his history accurate, but at least he’s not speaking off the cuff.

    1. Not historically accurate, not presently accurate. Our “left” looks more like a lot of European rights and our “right” is way out there. We have very very little actual “left” in this country, and surprisingly a lot of middle.

      As a female, I would not enjoy rolling back the country to 1957, much less 1776.

      1. Our pastor used to rattle off the same rhetoric, except in his case it was the Methodists, Southern Baptists, and IFB, in that order, that were all slowly drifting to the left (or, in the case of our church, over towards the organ).

  2. Ah. Well, it’s good to see he got the pep rally started with the usual IFB cheer. They really should make it one word…. Independentfundamentalbaptistpreacher.


    1. Um … If you swallow this guy as a competent political observer, then sure, you’ll take it all seriously.

  3. Well, I’m not watching it, so I don’t know when this little speech took place. But it’s really starting to bother me that when we’re supposed to celebrate our country’s freedoms, (for instance, on Independence day) my Fundy pastor brings out his “Everything That’s Wrong In America Today” sermon. Wait — did I say only on Independence Day? Sorry. It’s actually more like once a week. But it’s especially bad on patriotic holidays.

    1. Yeah, we’re super patriotic, except that we don’t like anything about our country. 😑

  4. Things I can be certain aren’t in his sermon without even watching it:

    Dives ain’t even just ignorin’ Lazarus anymore, folks; Dives is gettin’ up from his table of plenty to come out of his shinin’ front door to kick Lazarus around a little bit and tell him to move on and die somewhere else. And the rest of us lick Dives’ boots and hope that he’ll give back with one hand a couple o’ the fistful o’coins he pulled out of our pocket with the other. I heard one of ’em th’other day stand up without shame and say that him that cain’t work, shouldn’t eat! Dear God, what have we allowed to happen?

    Kids, orn’r’y good kids, no more sin than any other of God’s children, are killin’ themselves because we got preachers standin’ on street corners in the name o’God screamin’ and hollerin’ that they shouldn’t exist. These kids need bread, the Bread of Life, and they get stones thrown at ’em, until they are driven past all bearing into the arms of the angels. Dear God, what have we allowed to happen?

    Those same rich men that I talked about before–they are taking the food out of the mouths of little children, the mouths of little children, and beating plowshares into swords with it. Anybody out there send their kids to public school, ’cause you both gotta work to keep the lights on? (Yeah!) Did you used to be sure, that if they weren’t gettin’ the best education, at least they would get a square meal out of the deal? (Yeah!) They’re comin’ home hungry nowadays, ain’t they? (Yeah!) Meanwhile, HOW many wars are we fightin’ again? HOW many moms and dads and husbands and wives are riskin’ their lives in the interest of rich men who won’t even send their kids to serve? (YEAH!) Christians, most of ’em, and they pour endless streams o’money down bloody holes in the ground and won’t spare a cent for another slice o’bread for little Johnny’s sandwich. We KNOW what happens to them that cause these little ones to stumble, don’t we? (YEAH!) DEAR GOD, WHAT HAVE WE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN? (*pound pound*)

    Now, I ain’t gonna tell you who t’vote for. Far as I’m concerned, they’re all rascals. One side has left a bunch o’fellas that they found in prison without a single accusation filed, still in that prison, apparently ’cause if they get out o’that prison, they may say things embarrassin’ to the powerful. T’other side is busy puttin’ or’n’ry men in prison, rippin’ them away from their families, for smokin’ ditchweed one time, and then workin’ them like slaves–like slaves, for profit, in prisons that are run to make money for private interests. One side lacks conviction and t’other side is drownin’ in greed. Far as I’m concerned, they’re all rascals. (Hay-men!)

    I am askin’ you, folks, to ask God to give you wisdom and discernment. I am askin’ you to fire up your Internet and go to the library and look up the votin’ record of every candidate on your ballot, even the ones who ain’t gettin’ TV time, and look for the rascal who is less rascally than the rest, at least in some respects. Vote for righteousness and justice at home and abroad. Vote for him that at least does somethin’ for these little ones. Vote for him that will not kneel to Dives or roll Lazarus for his last penny. You ain’t gonna find all three things in one candidate, folks. You all gonna come up with different answers as to who t’vote for. But vote for him that stands in some way for them that God spoke for through the prophets: the widow, th’orphan, the stranger, the poor. Vote for him that stands for them that Jesus speaks for always: the poor, the sick, the shiverin’, them with dirty water to drink, them in prison, all the ones who get stepped on by the world. Democracy gives you this power and God commands us to arise.

    Let us pray.

    1. Is it possible to cheer over the internet? This, a thousand times this. AMEN, Sister!

  5. I say AMEN to everyhing Jeff Fugate says. I believe the KJV from cover to cover. I am a “fundy” as you would say; however I don’t agree with some of the “fundy” preachers or their type of praching. Before you start ranting about who I am and what I believe, let me make it clear, I am not of the Phil Kidd,and Sammy Allen brand.

    1. Apparently your faith is only as strong as the MoG or “camp” you choose to idolize and/or identify with. It is likely that greater than 99.9% of Americans wouldn’t have a clue who Phil Kidd or Jeff Fugate is…thankfully.

      1. Doc, I am not talking to all of America. I am just talking to the few dozon who post comments on this site. I am sure that 99.9% of the American people would not know who Kidd and Allen are.

        1. No Big Gary. I didn’t know that and I still don’t know that and you don’t either. If he is a Christian then I want no part of it. I really think you are smarter than that. You just want an argument.

        2. Yeah, but the commandment says “Thou shalt not bear false witness AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR”. So OBVIOUSLY, telling insane lies about someone who DOESN’T live next-door to you is totally okay with God. πŸ™„

          This Fugate guy is out of his mind if he thinks this country’s political parties have moved ‘to the left’. I’ll let Driftglass explain. (Warning: Bad words, utter contempt for the lunatic-fringe Republicans.)

          (And I see he’s not mentioning that our country was ALSO founded on enslaving negroes and massacring Indians and stealing their land.)

  6. If we’re supposed to go back to the standard, and restore this car to its exact original glory, then should we not do away with modern accretions like the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance?

    Oh, wait… πŸ™„

    1. … Accretions like the Pledge of Allegiance. It wasn’t written until 1892 (by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist socialist).


    The Bible predates the founding of America. The Bible predates the left-right spectrum of modern politics. The Bible is greater than any political party. To try to squeeze God into the modern American political system is just plain wrong.

    God got along just fine before America and if, Heaven forbid, our country disappears off the scene God will still be God. We cannot vote Him in or out.

    The constant conflation of Christianity with a certain part of the political spectrum is grotesque. I recently received a mailer instructing me how to vote as a Christian. Politicians were scored on their stance on a number of political issues such as gun control and climate change. I was struck by the fact that none of the issues were actually addressed in the Bible. They are modern, right-wing issues that are being conflated with Christianity. (BTW I oppose most forms of gun control)

    Preachers bemoan the fact that people are turning away from Christianity but is it any wonder? The Mogs of the world are spending so much of their time harping on things that are not even in the Bible. Things that good people can disagree on and still both be Christian.


    1. You despeately need to study the faith of our founding fathers, then take a swing through what these founders placed in our founding documents! It appears, from your comments that you don’t have even a clue!

      1. I especially like the part where Jefferson wrote his own Bible, taking out the parts he didn’t like. And Greg, the ONLY mention of religion in the constitution uses exclusionary terms: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;….

        But for this video, let’s use James Madison: “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”

        1. I try not to get sucked into debates about the founders of this country for a variety of reasons. Not least of which is that they have been mythologized out of the bounds of humanity by certain segments of society. Beyond that, there is no agreement on who the founders were.

          Even if we were to settle on a certain list of names to call the Founders I would insist on seeing them as fallible people who were real and lived at a specific time in history. The Take America Back crowd prefers to believe the myths and projections.

          Furthermore, greg’s head would probably explode if he knew how many of the Founders documents I have actually read. As in, the whole documents and books, not just select quotes that David Barton chose.

          The myth of the Founders is particularly hard to combat because it appears to be based on the logical fallacy of an Appeal to Authority.

        2. David Barton is one of Bill Gothard’s dearest darling speakers to trot out at the big conferences. He always SOUNDS so full of knowledge. Then again, so do ninth-grade high school debaters.

        3. I hadn’t heard it before, but it doesn’t surprise me that Barton has added bogus numerology to all his other half-baked, fact-free theories.

        4. Apathetic – I think we can both agree that Thomas Jefferson would be considered a Founding Father. This is part of a letter written to Henry Fry dated June 17th 1804.

          I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invented by priestcraft and established by kingcraft constituting a conspiracy of church and state against the civil and religious liberties of mankind…

          I think me and Mr Jefferson would have gotten along fine!

        5. Stony – Wish I would have seen your comment sooner. First it wasn’t “Jefferson’s Bible” The book was called “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, extracted textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French and English”. It was merely a compilation of the moral teachings of Jesus.

          There is only one copy, it is in the Smithsonian Institution.

          In 1904, 78 yrs after Jefferson’s death, the U.S. Congress ordered the printing of 9,000 copies of Jefferson’s “Life and Morals…” but they did so under the erroneous title of: “The Jefferson Bible” Jefferson’s format of chapter and verse, followed by word for word Scripture verses, on the doctrinal teachings of Chirst was also changed. The Bible chapters and verses were removed, and the text was written in narrative form. In Jefferson’ original, not one word of commmentary or opinion by him was included. The 1904 revision is misleading at best, given the false impression that Thomas Jefferson “wrote his own bible.’ Further, this work was just a pure exercise for Jefferson. Similar harmonies of the Word of God have been produced in recent years as Bible study aids.

          Jefferson had no intention whatsoever to write his own bible. A brilliant intellect had been one of his gifts from Almighty God – and he used it in many creative avenues, including a compilation of the genuine moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

        6. Greg, I think there is more the “Jefferson bible”. I have read that he was more or less a “textual critic” in that he didn’t trust all of the gospels or other books “corrupted by schizmatizing followers”. So he basically cut and pasted from the different translations what he thought best represented what the historical Jesus taught. Notice he cut out miracles or anything that could be suspiciously “mythic”. Here is a link to the book online: http://americanhistory.si.edu/jeffersonbible/

  8. His opening paragraph doesn’t actually make sense. I love these abstract metaphors that actually have no meaning whatsoever “As the left has moved farther left, the right has maintained their distance, but moved right along with them!” What? What does that even mean? Are you trying to use spacial metaphors to reference social values or ideas? Ideas don’t exist on a binary scale – oh, never mind. Just never mind. 😐

    1. I’m not sure who he means by “the Right,” but I don’t think any rational observer would say that, for example, the Republican Party is farther “left” now than it was, say, 40 years ago. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    2. Well, when you live in a world in which “left” is defined as anything other than what the IFB stands for, left becomes such a large spatial dimension that it threatens to swallow up everything in its path.

    3. I once heard a preacher say something similar; this MIGHT be what he meant, or what he was trying to say (the preacher I heard said it well; unlike this man – is he really Jeff Fugate?).

      Note that though I am using quotes, I am not trying to claim that this is a verbatim transcript:

      “The problem with many churches today is that years ago, they looked at the world and they looked at the Bible and declared that the world’s standards had moved away some certain distance from what the Bible teaches. The churches took a stand on the Bible teaching, and noted how far away from the world they were. But then the world didn’t stay still — the continued to drift further and further away from the Bible… and these churches were paying attention to the world, and how far away from the world they were INSTEAD of paying attention to what the Bible says… so they kept their distance from the world, but drifted away from the Bible.”

      I do think that the concept is a real danger; instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus Christ and what His word says, we keep our eyes on the world and think we’re good enough if we maintain some distance from them.

  9. “This country wasn’t founded on Marxism”. Oh really Sherlock? Marx wasn’t born until 1818, so yeah I have to give him that point. This country wasn’t founded on the internal combustion engine or Microsoft either.

    1. I deplore hearing about what America was “founded on.” You can “found” (as in “originate”) a nation without founding it “on” anything.

      And when it comes to early influences, there were so many, many influences in early American politics that it’s unrealistic to say America was “founded” on any one thing. (And, yes, I think the Bible was one of those many, many things, but far from the only one.) The fact that it took us over a decade after the Revolution to finally get our constitutional act together and the fact that it took us less than a decade after the Constitution to fracture into political parties demonstrates that we were founded on a lot more than a single, monolithic idea.

  10. Although I could only stomach watching about one third of this gem, I understand his basic fundamentalist premise…bring back the supposedly pristine 50’s and all will be well in the good ‘ol USA…and it’s the %@#$$% foreigners screwing everything up. Did anyone else think the applause sounded like the cheers from the set of the Andy Griffith Show when Mayor Stoner (or whoever) gave a speech?

    1. I didn’t know that this was Jeff Fugate; as I listened, I kept trying to think of a character from “Green Acres” that sounded a lot like this man, but I’m not sure who (I don’t know Green Acres very well)

  11. Was there banjo music playing in the background?

    … but Deliverance us from evil..
    … for thine is the PowBAM… Qualified!
    Can I get a Honolulu?

  12. does he have any idea that the terms “left” and “right” are derived from where the French political parties sat in their government buildings before the French Revolution? And that these original “right-wingers” were the French conservatives who supported the old order INSTEAD of freedom/democracy? He seems to think that “right” means “right,” as in “I’m always right,” “Do right til the stars fall,” and “It’s never right to do wrong in order to do right.” Somebody needs to burst his bubble (but that would be just wrong!)

    1. Ahhh, the old conflating of “right” as in “right wing” with “right” as in “correct.” Conservatives in English-speaking contries have sure gotten a lot of miles out of that one!!!!

  13. “Let’s make America look like what it looked like when she was founded.”

    America in 1776:
    Black people were enslaved.
    Women and children were chattel.
    Most Native Americans had no legal status as humans, and could be killed at will.
    Only white, male property owners 21 and older could vote.
    Half of the original 13 states had established churches (official state churches). The state church was the Church of England, except in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where it was the Congregational/Puritan church. Catholics were tolerated in Maryland by a special arrangement. The Baptist church was not official in any state.
    There was no public education.
    Everyone more or less coined their own money, or used whatever currency was around.
    There was no Constitution until 1787, and no Bill of Rights until 1789-90.

    So I don’t think I’ll be a passenger on that bus back to 1776, Jeff Fugate. Go ahead and start without me.

    1. Good points but I’d quibble over there being no public education. The northern states had free public education from the very beginning. In the south it was spotty at best.

      And to your post I’d add debtor’s prison. If you didn’t pay your debts you didn’t declare bankruptcy. You went to JAIL.

    2. Don’t forget that teetotalism was not considered necessary as acceptable or Biblical practice…this concept did not develop until the early 19th century during the 2nd Great Awakening. I suspect most fundies think no respectable people drank in colonial times.

      1. If they didn’t drink anything but water, they would be unlikely to live long. Drinking anything alcoholic was a lot safer than drinking polluted water when there were no antibiotics against cholera, dysentery, or typhoid fever.

      2. Teetotalism didn’t become a BIG deal until the feminists started the Ladies Temperance movements in the early part of the 20th century. I know there were some in the 1700’s who preached it, but not many.

        1. You’re probably thinking of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1873. It was pro-suffrage and anti-alcohol.

    3. Good points.
      I guess “no public education” is an exaggeration. It would be more accurate to say it wasn’t available to everyone.

      Debtors prisons, in fact, continued to exist in some states until the 1960s or 70s (I don’t remember the exact year).

      There was no Temperance movement until the 1800s, so before that no one that I know of preached against the use of alcohol.

      There were no child labor laws until the early 1900s. Child labor was the norm. This included very young children in very dangerous jobs. Or they were sent to sea as cabin boys, or “indentured” as apprentices– basically sold into slavery for a period of years.

    4. @Big Gary

      There you go rocking the boat. You’re not supposed to point these out. You’re just supposed to stare at your dollar bill, and take from four words that the country was better back then.

    5. America,

      The only country that it is politically correct for its priviledged citizens to constantly belittle, and speak only negatively about her history.

      America, what a country!

      1. Yes, Greg, I don’t know why a privileged citizen like Jeff Fugate has so little positive to say about America.

      2. We in the UK are infinitely better at self-denigration. We’ve had more time to practice.

      3. Well, maybe it depends on what version of our history you are referring to…I don’t think I’ll take my history lesson from this “Dr.”

        1. I love it when unimaginative, hangers on, demonstrate their ignorance by using gutter language.

        2. My views…are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be, sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others….

          Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Dr Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

        3. Greg, are you aware that Jefferson edited his own copy of the Bible to remove all references to the divinity of Jesus?

        4. I’m not aware of any such thing, would like to see some references.

          I know quite a bit about “Jefferson’s Bible,” First Jefferson never called it that. The book was actually titled “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, extracted textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French and English.”

          This “book” was merely a compilation of Jesus’ moral teachings.

          I give a fuller explanation upthread.

  14. Because I wish to waste more of my life, I meandered over to his church’s website. In the description of the rather lengthy list of church camp rules there is, incredibly, one full paragraph discussing what constitutes acceptable culottes.

  15. If we had a 1957 car, we would definitely restore it according to the original specs….
    Then it would sit in the driveway, useless and unused, until someone came and bought it. πŸ˜€

    1. Is Fugate implying that the United States of America started in 1957?
      If not, why bring up the 1957 car business?

    2. You can find a lot of cars from the 1950’s in Cuba. Maybe that’s the utopia he’s talking about.

    3. yup, if you restore a car to original 1957 specs it wouldn’t be able to drive very far with unleaded gas

  16. You people on her are saying the same thing that you accuse the “fundies” of doing. Calling eveybody that does not agree with you all kind of things. Take your own advice and try to love “thy neighbor”, even if you do not agree with him. I love you people but I don’t like the way you talk about us. I am not gonna come to this page and critize you for you beliefs. I can turn the other cheek, can you do the same.

    1. Bless your self-righteous name, Jean. We have not attained to the great heights of sanctity that THOU hast and we humbly beseech THY prayers that our lowly selves may be made like unto THEE.

    2. “I am not gonna come to this page and critize you for you beliefs.” Rewind one sentence: “I love you people but I don’t like the way you talk about us.” 180 degree flip-flop in one sentence. You wouldn’t happen to be a fan of Romney now, would you?

      1. Yes Nate-o I am a Romney fan. I said that I love YOU, but I do not like the things you are calling us. You know…kinda like loving the sinner but not the sin.

        1. I’m a Romney fan myself. I don’t see how anyone could vote in Obama when America still has over 23 million people without work.

          And as to your other point. I agree. Those who have left the IFB but still vote Republican should still be treated with respect on this site.

        2. Mominator: Because the Republicans have been stonewalling every effort Obama’s made to get people BACK to work.

          Do a little reading. The GOP’s bigshots have made it abundantly clear that they don’t care what happens to this country if it means Obama is a one-termer. πŸ‘Ώ

  17. From their college catalog:

    “You can tell a lot about a man based on those he follows. These are the men who have most influenced the leaders of
    Commonwealth Baptist College. Pastor Sam Fugate started a church in the hollows of Hazard, KY, which grew to over 900 in attendance. Dr. Roloff, Dr. Roberson, Dr. Hyles and Dr. Rice are all stalwarts of the Independent, Fundamental Baptist movement. Students will detect not
    only the characteristics, styles and methods of these men, but also the zeal, conviction and power of these men.”

    Now that is a heritage you can trust–trust to beat you with off-the-wall, out-of-context KJV verses, man-made rules, and all manner of abuse. πŸ™„

    1. Had to add this also from the catalog because it seems to contradict the above quote:

      “Commonwealth Baptist College strives at being balanced in all of our teachings and practices. We realize that most heresy starts when truth becomes unbalanced in its content or in its application. Our chief aim is to exalt our Lord and Saviour [note the seven-letter Saviour not the Antichrist with only six letters Savior], Jesus Christ, and to bring honor to His name and not to any individuals or institutions.”

      Seems like they ARE bringing honor to the great men of Fundyland but that is not their aim–it happened accidentally because in Fundyland there is so little distance between Jesus and the MoG’s, I suppose. Much like men in kilts are difficult to differentiate from women, MoG’s of the Fundy variety must be difficult to tell apart from the Lord Jesus.

      1. “Commonwealth Baptist College…proudly untainted by the stain of worldy accreditation!”

      2. The best one is from rich staff member Russell Anderson. Don’t miss the ENDING!! “Although God moved Dr. Anderson to Michigan, where he built several successful businesses, he has not lost his burden to see the starting of Independent Fundamental Baptist churches in Kentucky. God moved on the heart of Dr. Anderson to become the co-founder of Commonwealth Baptist College and to have a part in this vital ministry of training soul winners and Christian leaders. In addition to his affiliation with Commonwealth Baptist College Dr. Anderson is the co-founder of three other Bible Colleges in this country and six more in other countries. HIS GIVING TO MISSIONS HAS directly led to the salvation of over TWELVE MILLION SOULS, all of whose names and salvation date ARE RECORDED by Dr. Anderson’s staff. He is a stalwart in fundamentalism, preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit in scores of churches every year.” 12 Millions names are recorded? His secretary could probably get a job working for the census database. :mrgreen:

        1. When you add up all the souls each Fundy claims to have personally saved, it has to be much more than the total population of the world.
          Perhaps the same people are getting saved over and over, except that I thought that was not supposed to be necessary or possible.

  18. Well, that was a nice little flashback to 2010. Funny how not much has changed since then. Isn’t this the guy who just resigned his pastorate recently? Or was that Jeff Owens? I forget.
    He’s very heavy on the Baptist revisionist history there, isn’t he? Maybe we need to “get back to the standard” before a president decided to make his preacher happy and insert two words into the pledge. Just sayin’

    1. Jeff Owens in the man who resigned his church for “family reasons”

      Jeff Fugate is still pastoring.

  19. I guess in Fugate’s ideal America, Jews, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and so forth are not welcome. Jews don’t go to church on Sunday, so they are unqualified for leadership. The rest don’t have the preaching of the Word from God’s only Bible, the 1611 KJV. If Fugate wants the perfect land where Christian religion is enforced by law, he could go to Russia. He might be bothered by the icons hanging in all the public buildings and the eight-point Russian cross, but he would be delighted that tha capitol grounds have fourteen churches on it, plus a massive cathedral right outside the grounds plus two smaller ones on the square in front of it. He would also love the laws that just about prohibit people from building the “wrong” churches in town plus the prohibitions of religious groups that get their financial support from foreign countries.

    He would not like being on the receiving end of the union between Russian Orthodoxy and the state, and he should realize that the majority of America would not like the union of fundy Baptists and the federal/state government.

    Roger Williams was bothered by the number of religious groups within the borders of Rhode Island, but he also realized that to have a true democracy, you have to let in the bad with the good. I just wonder what types of draconian laws Fugate would urge the government to pass and how he would feel when he realized that many would be imprisoned for their religious faith. Would Fugate go so far as to enter a Catholic church and smash the “idols?”

    1. Go easy on the Russian Orthodox Church. I lived in Moscow for a year, during which time the Church was just beginning to solidify its power over Moscow and some of the other large cities. A missionary church that we attended for a time was shut down by the authorities shortly before I left. Nonetheless, outside of the big cities, the church doesn’t enjoy that much hegemony.

      I used to think some of the same things as you, but then I was speaking with an Orthodox priest and he pointed out that the Church suffered almost a century of persecution under the USSR. Because of that, he believed that it would take them some time to regroup, reform their theology, and come out from under the protective wing of the government. I agree.

      I would also note, that if a government MUST have a state religion, I would much prefer it to be Christianity to other options.

      1. Hate to say it, but the Russian Church will never reform its theology. It is one of the few who still follow the Julian Calendar. The Russian Church is probably one of the most conservative in the Orthodox world. Even the Pope can’t step foot in Russia. The Church does have some significant theological problems to cope with. Much of the membership wishes for the restoration of the Romonov Dynasty, and the canonization of Tzar Nicholas and his family has become almost a cult. A significant number believe that Tzar Nicholas freely offered himself as a sacrifice for the Russian people and was the power mentioned in the Book of Revelation that held back the forces of the antichrist. Theologically speaking, this puts the Tzar on the same level as Christ.

        I too have been in Russia, and as a former member of the Russian Orthodox Church, I think that I have a good idea as to how the clergy and laity think, especially when books written by respected Orthodox theologians–such as Father Alexander of the New York seminary of the Orthodox Church in America–are burned.

        1. Interesting perspective. However I think some of the rabid conservatism (orthodox fundamentalism) will decrease over time. The church is still a bit drunk on the massive amount of financial and political support from the state. In time, it will realize that politicians like President Putin are using it just like American politicans use religion. By “reform” I don’t necessarily mean adjustment to the liturgy. I meant a reawakening of what it means to be Orthodox and what role the church will have in Russia going forward. I haven’t lost faith in the ability of the ROC to do well. But, as an insider, I am sure you have seen a side that I have not.

  20. So all of our problems go away if we just print “In God We Trust” on everything? Sounds easy enough for me.

    1. Just like Billy Sunday and the Anti-Saloon League were preaching that all of Americ’s ills would be cured as soon as Demon Alcohol was Prohibited in America. *and we see how well that worked out*

      It is all about taking our eyes off of God replacing him with ourselves and our efforts. Sanctimonious Political Sanctification run amuck. πŸ˜₯

  21. America was founded on the 1611?

    Silly me. I thought it was the Declaration of Independance and The Constitution and some other documents thrown in there.

    1. Actually, if one were to even try to make the claim that America was founded on the Bible, it would have to be the Geneva Bible. The Puritans and other proto-fundy types rejected the King James Version precisely because it was a product of the Anglican Church. The KJV didn’t become the version of choice until way after 1776, I believe.

      1. I depends on which part of America you mean. The Southwest was founded on the Vulgate, to the extent it was founded on a Bible.

  22. No wonder our country is so corrupt–it was founded on a per-version rather than the KJV! It all makes so much sense now.

  23. I shake my head when preachers talk about ‘attack on marriage’ and only talk about the homosexual issue.

    A bigger attack on marriage would be all the xians and preachers out there who commit adultry and/or divorce their spouses. If we don’t show the power of God in our relationships, what right do we have to preach a sanctity of marriage message?

  24. I seldom cry. However, hearing the opening notes of our anthem, the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and the flag almost never fail to choke me up.

    I am an unabashed fan of America. I love to read our founding documents. The founders lived in an extraordinary time and they were extraordinary men. I find it absolutely stunning that these men, when faced with the challenge of constituting a government opted to establish a system that was essentially untried. In so doing, they wrote a Constitution that has been copied by many other countries around the world, in some cases nearly verbatim.

    To reduce these men to some sort of unknowable myth that is to be only summoned to support a cause is to do them a disservice. It is the same propensity that we argue against in fundamentalism here at SFL. The desire to go to the Bible and say “See? The Bible agrees with me!” Instead of asking “Do I agree with the Bible?”

    It is ridiculous on the part of modern liberals to assert that they were anti-religious. Most belonged to an organized religion, many were devout. Equally ridiculous is the assertion that outliers such as Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson were born-again evangelicals.

    The founders were a complicated group of men. They fostered debate and made room for a diverse group of people. It just grinds my gears to hear people like Fugate insinuate that if the founders were alive today they would agree with him. Yes, the founders listened to preachers. Back then preachers were some of the most highly educated members of society who could discuss issues with depth and erudition without compromising the central beliefs of Christianity. Unfortunately, it seems that jingoistic bumper sticker platitudes seem to be the order of the day now.

    /rant 2

    1. The Founders were a varied group. It would be foolish to presume that they all had similar views about religion. In particular, their views of organized religion (churches) varied from wanting to establish the Church of England as the national church all the way to Benjamin Franklin’s opposition to all churches.

      Unless we think that they were the final authority on everything (surely nobody seriously takes that position), I don’t see why we can’t just let the Founding Fathers be themselves, instead of trying to conform their opinions to our own.

      1. But Big gary, didn’t you know that Fundamentalists think that all the founding fathers were independent, fundamental, separated, soul-winning, dispensational Christians?

        1. I was aware that some of the most determined fact-deniers among Fundamentalists believe that, yes.

      2. While Franklin was certainly not a evangelical by any meaning of the word, I have never heard before that he was against all churches. Could I ask you what your source for that is, Gary?

        1. His autobiography, among other sources. Franklin wasn’t an atheist, but he refused to belong to any church, and really didn’t have much use for churches.

        2. I recently found this interesting quotation. I believe it is about as close as Franklin ever came to stating his theological views:

          About March 1, 1790, [Franklin] wrote the following in a letter to Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, who had asked him his views on religion…:

          As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble….” (Carl Van Doren. Benjamin Franklin. New York: The Viking Press, 1938, p. 777.)

          He died just over a month later, on April 17.


        3. From Benjamin Franklin’s “Information on those who would remove to America” published in 1794

          The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America; which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there, infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favour the whole country.

          I can find no where that Franklin had accepted Jesus as His Savior, but I certainly hope this fine man found his way to heaven.

    1. Yes, that is he.

      (can you tell the grammar police have been roughing me up?)

      …and I still cringe for ending the question with a preposition.

  25. This guy is seriously in love with the 1950s. Like a lot.

    Fundie view of history: some IFB church-members left the Trail of Blood in England and took their King James Bibles to the United States to save them from CATHOLIC QUEENS (hmm, that didn’t sound right) who wanted to burn them. After a while, God personally handed them the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from on high. He might have handed them some of the Bill of Rights, but c’mon, not all of those are from God. America was FOUNDED ON THE BIBLE.

    Then they fought some wars and Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. He was a man of god, but he didn’t need to take it that far.

    Some other stuff happened, that you can read about in the Little House on the Prairie books.

    Sometime in the 1920s, Satan invented liquor. Satan coopted the word “wine” to describe this new evil toxin. “Wine” used to just mean “grape juice.” Soon afterwards, playing cards were also invented. The Puritans had killed all the HARLOTS back in the 1600s, but Satan went and introduced a new breed of mutant non-KJV sex workers called “prostitutes” into our midst. A lot of baseball players got themselves into some awful scrapes with the liquor.

    BUT THEN, preachers came on the scene. They had always been there, of course, but now there was a REAL NEED FOR THEM. So, they preached and preached. God brought the Great Depression to punish us for our sins.

    Then, we all fought in World War II to stop the spread of COMMUNISM. World War II was thought for a time to have been the Battle of Armegeddon because afterwards, God brought us the 1950s, which we all thought was the millennial reign of Christ. Except that it only lasted 10 years. We put “In God We Trust” on our moneys to show what an AWESOME CHRISTIAN NATION WE WERE.

    Billy Graham preached a lot of sermons during this time and he was still on fire for the Lord at this time. God gave us lots of doctors like Dr. Hyles and Dr. Roloff to do amazing things.

    Then, they invented pants on women. No woman ever wore pants before the 1950s. Pants on women destroyed our nation. They also invented cigarettes. Then, they invented teenagers. Then, then invented rock music. Then, the teenagers, who were possessed by demons from the rock music, invented marijuana. Then, President Johnson invented DEMOCRATS. Notice that “democrat” has the word “demon” in it because they are all possessed of the devil. That is why we have democrats now that we have rock music.

    After that, everything pretty much turned to shit. We got a lot of per-versions of the Bible and people with their itching ears turned away from the TRUTH. Attendance at Dr. Hyle’s church dwindled into the mere thousands because so few people wanted the TRUTH.

    Ronald Reagan was a great hero but it wasn’t the same as the 1950s because his wife was a Satanist astrologer. Bill Clinton was an adulterer and they would have stoned him in Bible times. And that whore too. George W. Bush was a born again Christian, but he wasn’t a BAPTIST, haymen? Barack Obama is a communist muslim with two fathers and two birthplaces, and he is probably the antichrist, but we haven’t figured out how to make some weird connection between the letters in his name and the number 666. In the meantime, please vote for the Mormon and the Catholic because, um, well, um . . .

    Thus endeth the fundie view of American history.

  26. I think you will all get a kick out of this website too. Have a peek at the “store” under “sermons” There is only one sermon listed. It’s called “Shame” It’s like a Holy Book of Fundie-ism in one nice sermon. http://www.setlinc.com/webb/


  27. Well, the one on the right was on the left
    And the one in the middle was on the right
    And the one on the left was in the middle
    And the guy in the rear was a Methodist

  28. I hate the way Ifb-ers always try to make it sound like God will only be for you if you subscribe to all their un-biblical and man-centered doctrines.

    Fortunately God is for me because of Grace and now that I have believed on Jesus will never be against me.

      1. don’t do that! it’s far easier to generalize, and judge people according to the bigoted categories we assign to them.

        /Nevermind the fact that neither candidate running for president happens to be a muslim.

    1. Well, as long as you’re sure who “your neighbor” is. πŸ™„ Frankly, I feel stupider from having read your comment.

      1. Stupider? Is that a word? Sorry you feel “Stupider” after reading my comment.I guess if the shoe fits wear it. I have a good neighbor on one side and a reeeeal “Fundie” on the other side. If you think I’m crazy you should know this guy. Even I think he is crazy. You would really appreciate me if you could see him.

  29. I do think there is a point in what he is saying. America was founded by people coming here to be free from religious control, and to spread the gospel, so they said.

    I know that very few of the founding fathers would be accepted in a fundamental Baptist church today, but even people like Benjamin Franklin had a great respect for the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ – as quoted above, he had little use for organized religion (churches).

    America has certainly made great progress in its place in the world; we enjoy wonderful technology today (SFL gives us a chance to exchange ideas with people all over the country; there was no way to do that in 1776). So, I don’t want to roll the clock back to then, nor even to the 1950s.

    Morally, however, we are, in my opinion, far worse than we have been. Divorce was rare, and a shame. Having a child out of wedlock was a shame on the girl and on her entire family. We don’t blush about these things anymore; we treat them as commonplace. We have teens killing each other for trivial reasons. I think it is tragic, and I don’t think it honors God.

    Voting Republican isn’t going to solve the issue; candidates don’t go to church because none of the electorate thinks it is important that they go to church. In many IFB churches, they have forsaken involvement in the community, except to go door-to-door “soul-winning” (really just getting people to say a prayer) – such produces no change, and the community is not changed.

    It is churches like Mr Fugate’s that teach or preach “you should be a bus captain, not a precinct captain” that have caused Christians to be uninvolved.

    A political party will not bring godliness to America; it cannot be legislated. Only repentant Christians, living holy, Godly lives, and influences those around them will see real change.

    1. Yeah but in the Ifb cockamamie universe it is only repentant, kjv-only, hymn-singing, no pants on women, no movie, etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum, christians living so-called holy lives that can influence people around them to see real change.

      Anything less and you are part of the problem. Ironic.

    2. I agree that party politics will not bring godliness to American society.

      But which candidates are you thinking of who don’t go to church? Romney, Ryan, Obama, and Biden are all churchgoers.

      1. I wasn’t thinking of any candidate; that was a response to Mr Fugate’s statement about how that the President of the US should be in church on Sunday. If the president isn’t in church on Sunday, it is because the people have voted for such a man.

      2. It’s not about just going to church. You can go to church 24/7 and still not be a christian. It’s kinda like going to work everyday. If you don’t ever do you job you will not be any good to your employer…You have to be right on the inside to be right on the outsde.

    3. Guilt, are things much worse off today than the 1950’s or is it because of our modern technologies, we hear about more of it?

      For instance, in the 1950’s people would hear of crimes only in their localities. Now we hear of every heinous crime in the entire world.

      Certainly, things are bad in this world, but they always have been (ie. Chopping up women and sending their body parts to the corners of the country, Judges 20) and will continue to be.

      The divorce rate is actually not as bad as we think either. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005044.html
      The divorce rate is often “doubled” by fundy preachers, but many forget the marriage rate has doubled as well. When we look at the data, it’s just not what many people preach from the pulpit.

      1. I know that sin has always been with us, and there have been blacker times than now. But, yes, I think we are worse off, morally, than in the 1950s. One of the reasons we hear more about it is that it is far more accepted today. Here, people are outraged over the antics of some extreme fundamentalists, and well we are.

        But as deserving as many of the fundamentalists featured on SFL are, that doesn’t alter what God says about holiness and righteousness: His plan for marriage is one man and one woman. Fornication is still a sin, as is adultery. Yet, are we outraged at these things? (I’m not suggesting that SFL change its purpose; I like the purpose it serves and the help it, and the people here have been).

        That page was very, very interesting; I appreciate your posting it. The divorce rate per 1000 persons is much lower than I would have thought, but then again, single people cannot get a divorce. If you look at 1940, with over 12 marriages per 1,000 and only about 2 divorces, that’s about 16% of the marriages that ended in divorce. By 1960, it was 8.4 marriages to 2.2 divorces, which is (roughly) 25% of the marriages that ended in divorce. By 1980, it was 10.6 marriages to 5.2 divorces, just under 50%. 1998 shows 8.4 to 4.2 – still about 50%. Of course, living together became more common, so there were less marriages.

        I have read that the divorce rate is skewed by the fact that people who get divorced the first time or more likely to contract 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marriages… but those stats still seem to support the claim that about half of the marriages end in divorce.

        1. A study of 38,000 people of various ages revealed that the rate of premarital sex has not changed since this 1950’s:


          About 90% of women who were in their teens in the 1950’s admit to having sex before they were married.

          There is evidence to suggest that the number of people an average person sleeps with before marriage is higher now, because people are marrying later. But NINETY PERCENT of people who came of age in the 1950’s had sex before marriage. Yes, it was more hush-hush but it was still happening.

          I’m of mixed opinions on the current acceptance of having kids out of wedlock. On one hand, I don’t see the point in shaming girls– I’d rather them have the baby than have an abortion– for a behavior that nearly all human beings do. On the other hand, the number of young single moms walking around with no dad in sight is very disconcerting.

          In the 1950’s and 1960’s, if a girlfriend got pregnant, the boyfriend married her. By the 1990’s that tradition was gone. I don’t think it’s necessarily a good one… but at the same time good girls sometimes fall for bad guys and I’m not sure that forcing them into a marriage is the right thing, either.

          So yeah… the 1950’s approach toward premarital sex was different. Better? Worse? I’m not going to say. It just was.

        2. God’s plan for marriage = 1 man, 1 woman

          Um. Lotsa polygamy in the Bible and little to no outright condemnaton of it. Check out Levirate marriage, where a widow was passed to a brother. There was no requirement the brother be single.

          I have no desire to every date or marry more than one person at a time. I do think it is maybe “God’s ideal” given that monogamy was a requirement for pastors.

          But I just like to throw monkey wrenches in the gears.

        3. I have always wondered this about the statistics. I am one person and have been married one time, no divorce. My cousin is one person but has been married and divorced three times, but she is still only one person like me. How many times has she been counted?

        4. I have a problem with the divorce statistics. Just because 20 couples get married this month and 10 couples get divorced in the same month doesn’t mean that there’s a 50% divorce rate. I would be more interested in knowing how many of those 20 couples are still married at certain time intervals.

          I also wonder why we idealize (idolize?) marriage. Being married for 50 years is an accomplishment, but that doesn’t mean the marriage was successful. Maybe it’s better to divorce after five years than to be stuck in hell on earth for 50. I have no answers to this.

    4. GR, I think you will have to explain how divorce being rare and shameful signifies superior morality. There are some very significant presuppositions necessary to make a claim like that, and I’m not sure you have thought through them. Do you realize that many Muslim countries also heap shame upon single mothers, etc.? Does that make them more moral? How about when they stone adultresses? That must be the best morality of all! I suspect you have quite a bit more to think about on this subject.

      1. I am thinking of a society’s morality; the fact that American culture used to think it wrong to go against the Bible teaching regarding marriage and fornication tacitly implies that (at least to me) that we as a society thought that the Bible teachings were right. Deviation from it was a shame. This is certainly no longer true – probably because in America we no longer have the mostly common background of having grown up knowing the familiar Bible stories.

        OK, so Muslim countries consider it shameful for an unmarried girl to become pregnant. Isn’t that because it is against what their book teaches is right? Does it make them “more moral”? Probably depends how one defines morality.

        Doesn’t the Bible indicate that even a child that sins in the millennium will have swift judgment – probably even harsh by our standards of today.

        You are having fun twisting words… I am merely saying that the acceptance of lack of shame for these clearly sinful behaviors indicates that as a society, we in America have regressed. Is the cure to start stoning unwed mothers? Of course not; in fact, I’m not sure that it is possible to go back.

  30. @5:42 ” we need to get back to respect for God and the Mog”…gotta put himself up there with the God of Eternity..
    He had his time at the pulpit, No mention of Jesus, no mention of His redemptive love’ mercy or grace. Nothing how God is holy, eternal, all powerful, all knowing and loving and gracious to His creation that He redeemed us πŸ™
    I used to sit under this preaching and used to get fired up about everything. God have mercy on us when we forget what He did for us that we can’t repay Him.
    Hey Jeff, the answer is simple, no more laws, no more leather lunged anything no more stupid screaming from the pulpit, just encourage your congregation, in a loving way, to a closer relationship with Jesus. Then, sit back and watch God work in your peoples lives and praise Him for it.

    1. … just encourage your congregation, in a loving way, to a closer relationship with Jesus. Then, sit back and watch God work in your peoples lives and praise Him for it.

      Loved it!

  31. There is a difference between believing in God and being a Christian. Most of the founders believed in God or a Creator, but that doesn’t make them Christian. Just because our money has GOD stamped on it or our Declaration of Independence implies a Creator doesn’t make it Christian either. Christian means “follower of CHRIST” as in JESUS CHRIST. Nowhere in our founding documents is JESUS CHRIST mentioned. In fact, the words “Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God” are never mentioned in the Constitution.

    So, to say we are(or ever were)a Christian nation is false.

    1. “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.”

      Which Lord were they talking about there?

      1. Yes. I guess technically they are talking about Jesus. An “In the year of our Lord” or an “A.D.” reference is a bit of a stretch of making this a Christian nation. Im not sure what other date/time standard was used then but Im pretty sure that “In the year of our Lord” and “A.D.” were the English standard.

        You would think that if they were “Christians” building a “Christian” nation. There would be a some more evidence. You know, maybe in the actually laws and such.

        1. Really? You don’t think our laws reflect a Christian heritage? I think it’s very obvious that they do, in the same way that the laws of Turkey or Morrocco show an Islamic heritage despite being secular states.

          Our laws didn’t spring up in a vacuum. For example, Maryland’s constitution says:

          That the Inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the Common Law of England, and the trial by Jury, according to the course of that Law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed on the Fourth day of July, seventeen hundred and seventy-six

          Matter of fact, 49 states recognize English common law and acts of Parliament prior to July 4, 1776.

          Fundies are right in saying we’re a Christian nation in the broad sense of the word Christian. They’re just ignorant in the way they go about it. But really most of what they do has some underlying truth to it that gets badly distorted.

    2. Personally, I prefer to speak of this nation’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage. A bit more accurate and honest in its assessment of our history.
      The battle today seems to be, sadly, between the secularists on the one hand–who would insist that the Founding Fathers were largely atheists(which very few of them, with the exception of Thomas Paine, were) and at best Deists(a philosophy which very few wholeheartedly espoused).
      And then you have the fundamentalists on the other hand–who would have you believe that every last one of the Founding Fathers was a born-again, evangelical, soul-winnin’ Baptist. . .which almost none of them were. πŸ™„
      My own Revolutionary War ancestors were Quaker. πŸ˜€

  32. I’ve seen a couple of these videos of IFB preachers talking about taking America back or whatever, and I always think the same things…

    What does right/left really mean? This video was particularly confusing with the whole “the left is moving further left and the right is moving toward the left but still keeping it’s distance so now it’s in the same place the left was before the left starting moving further left” bit. I mean, even if I follow the logic, all I see are two figures simultaneously moving to the left. I still have no idea what that really means, except left=bad, right=good. But I guess not so much anymore.

    There are countless committed Christians who are “left”, yet these guys clearly define labels so that the right is pro-Christ and the left is anti-Christ.

    And finally, how could you study the life of Jesus and not conclude that his actions would define him as a “liberal” – at least the way I’m hearing the word liberal used here.

    Anyway – our home is the Kingdom of heaven, not the Kingdom of America. The hope of the world is Jesus Christ and his church, not any political party. Haymen?

    1. Anyway – our home is the Kingdom of heaven, not the Kingdom of America. The hope of the world is Jesus Christ and his church, not any political party. Haymen?

      Haymen!!! Paul uses word to us like , ambassador,exile,sojourner, pilgrim.
      I never thought of this as home,but one day my Father will take me home.

    2. Good points. Is there any example in scripture which would lead us to believe that God wants us to be “Christian” political activists? For today’s Christian conservatives to view Jesus as a social liberal would make their heads pop…

      1. Jesus is not telling governments to care for the sick, visit the shut-in/prisoners, feed the poor, etc….these are admonitions to indidviduals. His followers. Huge difference!

  33. Listen folks…I’m against fabrication and revision…but you CANNOT read U.S. History and the biographies and quotes of the founding fathers and not conclude that they were not only Christians but devout and pious men. This was NEVER a “Christian” nation insomuch as it was not designed with a national religion or denomination. But it WAS most definitely designed on a solid,unmistakable basis of Christianity. And it was designed to give Christianity total freedom of operation because of the faith of the founders. If Jesus words “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” are true, then one only need listen to the words that came out of the mouths of the founders to know their hearts. I think those who try equivocating or doing some revising of their own are doing so only as a reaction to the pendulum having swung too far the other way where some preachers want a Theocracy…or at least a recognized official religion. Both are wrong. The founding fathers were absolutely Christian and absolutely devout and absolutely wanted Christianity to have a bit of an advantage in this country that it didn’t have elsewhere. They believed in the Faith so much that they created a freedom for ALL religions here, with the belief that Christianity…properly practiced…would make natural converts of all other.

    1. are you familiar with the enlightenment theistic philosophy called deism? A lot of the founding fathers were far more deistic (and quite pious at it!) than they were Christians. Which only proves the point that a man’s internal beliefs do not necessarily have a perfect 1:1 correspondence to the worldview they project. A man could be an intensely devoted deist, and yet, do a lot of things that appear “Christian” to those who want to see it.

      1. Very good point Jason. I’m a transplant to the Bible belt where too many people confuse the concept of cultural morality (i.e. family values or whatever) with genuine Christianity, represented as a life-impacting commitment to Jesus Christ and his teachings. If the culture we live in outwardly reflects basic morality to any extent, then believers really don’t have to make much effort to be “Christian”. I think saying that the majority of our founding fathers were truly committed to Jesus Christ in a personal, life-changing way is a bit of a stretch. People may have originally settled in the colonies for purposes of religious freedom, but later American independence was not fought for religious purposes at all.

        1. so, in the most public and populist speech of his entire life, Thomas Jefferson choked out a few words keywords that sound like a christian? great. as for the majority of Thomas Jefferson’s philosophical works, including especially the declaration of independence (and even these words you cited), they reflect a deistic god to whom TJ gave lip service for the most basic providential interaction. Which always falls far short of the basic christian faith in the incarnation and redemptive history. But that’s not a big deal, i guess. whatevs. He sure knew how to found a country.

        2. but to actually answer your question more directly: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin. Those two make a good start.

          //It’s a basic categorical error to think “god talk” means “christian talk.”

    2. Let’s hear from that famous Deist(?) himself, Thomas Jefferson, excerpted from his 2nd Inaugural Address, delivered on March 4, 1805:

      I shall now enter on the duties to which my fellow-citizens have again called me, and shall proceed in the spirit of those principles which they have approved…I shall need, therefore, all the indulgence I have heretofore experienced…I shall need, too, the favor of the Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life, who has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplication that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils and prosper their measures, that whatever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship and approbation of all nations.”

      Doesn’t sound to me like an atheist or Deist!

      1. i’m sorry it doesn’t sound like it to you.But it IS deism, with a thin veneer of christian-sounding words.

      2. but seriously, i mean if you could point me to a collection of the works of jefferson & franklin (not a few cherry-picked quotes that sound christian out of context) I would love it

        1. Jason – They were both prolific writers, so hunt down references for yourself, won’t do your homework for you. While you are at the library, find the definition for deist, won’t say for certain but it doesn’t appear that TJ was any type of Deist, not as sure about BF.

          I’m not like Fugate, believing that TJ and BF were card-carrying baptists, but they were certainly men of faith!

        2. so you aren’t really well-read enough in TJ’s background to argue that he was a Christian, are you? I am not an expert in his complete works, but I have read enough of his things to know that he was an enlightenment thinker. He was working in an atmosphere of christianity, sure, which colors many of his references. But he was more firmly located in the streams of deism than he was in christianity. Of course, the main exhibit demonstrating this fact of his beliefs is his cut-and-paste Gospels. TJ denied any of the manipulative miracles of Jesus… which is one of the single-most-typical attitudes of deism.

          Listen, I’m not saying this to denigrate TJ or his cohorts. They were genius men, and they founded a country that gives Christians all the freedom they need (and them some). But to argue that he was, then, necessarily a christian himself, is simply a mistake.

    3. Well said Craig!

      Our Founders made sure this Scripture ended up on our Liberty Bell:

      “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” from Leviticus 25:10.

      There is liberty only IN Christ.

  34. Going back to a comment Romney made in connection with illegal immigration, he suggested that those here improperly should self deport.

    Now, taking this same concept, how about all of “them” and us that are not Christians, that do not believe that way, that read the NIV, that smoke, that are divorced, etc, just self deport. We are here, obviously, improperly and without warrant. That would certainly please Fugate and a few of those writing in here, the self-imagined and described historians and many others with special illumination and insight, those that have a special channel to Franklin, Jefferson, etc. Sort of saying that theirs is the proper interpretation and ours (mine) is wrong.

    1. The problem…if I read your mysterious quote properly…is that Fundie-ism is inherently cultish which involves years of programming and subsequent co-dependency. It’s a hard system to break free from. Most people come to it in their formative years, or after years of debauchery and at a point where they are broken and vulnerable. Seldom does a well-adjusted, confident Christian who has already experienced the Cross and who has a solid Biblical base, become involved in Fundamentalism. Self deportation is difficult when you think everyone else is the illegal.

  35. Dear Hillbilly Report:

    As I see it, the left has moved to where the right used to be. President Obama is a perfect example of how this happens. He adapted Michael Jackson’s ‘moon walk’ to politics. The feet seem to walk left, but the landscape shifts right.

    Christian Socialist

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