Program #278 “The Founding Fathers & Slavery” –2/26/2017 – Synopsis
February is Black History Month; and in Washington D.C. there is the newly constructed, long overdue, National Museum of African American History and Culture. Objection to building the museum came from those who wanted to hide America’s ugly past, as if the way to deal with social problems is to “move on.” But if you recall, the inspired Old Testament is a history of Israel’s ugly past. A knowledge of sin is a good thing.
In the newly built museum is a statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of a wall of bricks. On each brick is the name of one of his slaves. The implied message is the contradiction between Jefferson’s ideology “all men are created equal” and his practice. It has been a common practice of the Left to cast aspersion on our Founding Fathers and the Constitution as one means of overturning American values. However, when convenient, the Left will claim the Founding Fathers as their own – insisting that the Founders were products of the Enlightenment and wanted to create a secular state. The Christian Right maintains that the Founders were Christian in orientation and wanted religious values in government. To gain moral authority in the culture war, each side has attempted to own the Founding Fathers.
I, as well as many other solid conservative Christian leaders, have always considered this an unwise strategy for the Christian Right. The Founders were products of the Enlightenment, and they did create a Constitution absent of God and God’s law. The Christianizing of the Founders and the Constitution has been only a recent phenomenon in Christian circles. Historically, for the first hundred years of the United States, the Christian community spoke out against the ungodly Constitution and excoriated the Founding Fathers – especially in regard to the slavery issue. The Secular Left owns the Constitution, and they own the sin of slavery. It is not part of our Christian past, and it is good that the National Museum of African American History places the guilt where it belongs.
Scriptural References: Matthew 23:29-32; Exodus 21:16; 1 Timothy 1:10
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