We are now three weeks into the Biden/Harris administration. Donald Trump is gone. Frankly, he has no authority, and his voice is increasingly irrelevant in the political dialogue that will define our nation.
But despite the left’s success in exiling the “Orange-Man-Bad” to his own little isle of St. Helena, the hypnotic drumbeat of Never-Trumpism continues. Exhibit A of those who have a curious fixation on flailing away at horses long-dead hails from the ranks of our nation’s progressive evangelical leadership; Consider one Ed Stetzer.
In his column published in the Dallas Morning News on Jan. 31, 2021, Mr. Stetzer, who is the executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois, writes the following: “The belief that America enjoys providential favor and blessings above other nations is unbiblical.” Mr. Stetzer then proceeds to construct the quintessential straw man by labeling all who disagree with him, i.e., all who hold to the idea that America is blessed because of our Christian heritage, as being worshipers of the modern-day golden calf of “Christian nationalism.”
Now, here’s the problem with Mr. Stetzer’s argument. Not only is it circular and, by definition, an unfalsifiable fallacy if there ever was one, it is simply wrong. Mr. Stetzer’s commentary omits (ignores?) the irrefutable fact that America is grounded in a biblical ethic, is anchored in a biblical identity, and is (or at least has been) blessed above other nations because of its biblical beliefs and biblical obedience.
Don’t take my word for it. Consider a bit of history.
Our Founding Fathers, nearly to a person, said we were a Christian nation. Even “deists” such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin contended that God providentially appointed America for special favor if we would simply honor His ways and live accordingly.
“May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian Oppressors and planted them in the promised land — whose Providential Agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent Nation — still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.” — George Washington
“Acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here … with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?” —Thomas Jefferson
“I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler.” — Benjamin Franklin
“I am perfectly satisfied that the union of the states, in its form and adoption, is as much the work of divine providence, as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of a divine power. ‘Tis done! We have become a nation!” — Benjamin Rush
In his New York Times best-seller, “America’s Prophet: How the Story of Moses Shaped America,” Bruce Feiler, states: “If we ask what book was more frequently cited by Americans during the founding era (1760-1805), the answer somewhat surprisingly is the Book of Deuteronomy. Thirty-four percent of all references were to the Bible, compared with 22 percent for the Enlightenment and 9 percent for the classics. The Bible was cited four times as often as Montesquieu, ten times as often as Lock, and thirty times as often as Hobbes.”
In other words, our national DNA is laden with the understanding that “if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments … the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God …” — Moses
Sorry, Ed, but not only is “the belief that America [has] enjoy[ed] providential favor and blessings above other nations” biblical, its historical. From our inception, our founders took solace in the promise that “the Lord will rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; if you obey the Lord your God, keep His commandments … and turn to [Him] with all your heart and soul.” — Ibid
“America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture” (Woodrow Wilson). If believing that makes me a “Christian nationalist,” I stand guilty as charged.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).