by Bob Johnson
In the US most Christian organizations celebrate American independence on the Fourth of July. They have picnics and other types of church events and gathering and many clergy members give special sermons telling the faithful how beneficial and important the American Revolution was.
This, in spite of the fact that the American Revolution was a direct violation of Biblical teachings.
Romans 13:1-7 teaches:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
Obviously America’s founders, and everyone who took part in or supported the American Revolution, did not at all take this Bible teaching seriously. If they did, they never would have resisted the powers that be and violently overthrow the government. They showed no fear of “the power.”
The above Bible-teaching strongly promotes the false idea of the divine right of kings and monarchy to rule over humanity by stating “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” and “for he” (a ruler) “is the minister of God to thee for good” and “for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
It may surprise some Christians that Thomas Jefferson wrote on June 24, 1826, just two weeks before his death on July 4, 1826, “May it” (the Fourth of July) “be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. . . .
The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”
Perhaps some sincere Christians believe America was created by Christians for Christians to be a Christian nation because they are lied to by Christian leaders (I know that at one time I was one of them). One glaring example of this deceit is found on the site of Christian “historian” David Barton. He lies in a letter to Christian clergy in which he is encouraging them to get their flocks out to vote.
Just one example of a lie taken from his letter is his claim that Isaiah 33:22 calls for three branches of government. Barton must have assumed people would take it on faith and not use their gift from The Supreme Intelligence/God of reason and look into it for themselves. It’s plainly obvious that David Barton is a liar by making this claim as is immediately evident when we read Isaiah 33:22 for ourselves.
It reads, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” No one who uses their God-given reason could ever think that this is a call for three branches of government! I strongly believe that God gave us reason so we can protect ourselves from religions and the clergy!
Contrary to popular sentiment, none of the “revealed”/hearsay religions promote anything close to individual freedom or a republican or democratic form of government. The French Deist Jean Jacques Rousseau summed this up well regarding Christianity.
He wrote in The Social Contract:
But I am mistaken in speaking of a Christian republic; the terms are mutually exclusive. Christianity preaches only servitude and dependence. Its spirit is so favorable to tyranny that it always profits by such a regime. True Christians are made to be slaves, and they know it and do not much mind: this short life counts for too little in their eyes.
Likewise, Judaism (which Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism all sprang out of) is very anti-freedom and anti-independence. Even though Judaism makes statements such as “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family” this applied only to Jews and not to Gentile people as is made clear a few verses later at Leviticus 25:44-46 which claims God instructed the Jews:
Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor.
Commanding one group of people to take their slaves from another group of people to keep “forever” is the antithesis of universal freedom and independence. It also portrays The Supreme Intelligence/God in a very evil way.
Islam and freedom are also incompatible. Islam actually means “submission.” Muslims believe they are submitting to the will of God. However, if they used their innate God-given reason, they would know they are not submitting to the will of God, but to the writings of ancient clergymen.
There is no rational reason to believe the Quran is the word of God, just as there is no rational reason to believe the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Christian New Testament, the Book of Mormon or any other man-made book is the word of God and teaches us what God’s will is.
The root cause of many religious believers believing in a particular “revealed”/hearsay religion is a belief in divine revelation. They do not engage their God-given innate reason which tells us a divine revelation can only be a divine revelation in the first case. If God tells me people should pray five times a day, that is a divine revelation to me. If I tell someone else, it instantly becomes mere hearsay and is not a divine revelation.
I had an exchange with a Muslim online. His statement makes it clear how reliant Islam and the other “revealed”/hearsay religions really are. He wrote:
I’ll simply state the 1st principle of Islam which also serves as a Muslim’s declaration of faith is as follows –
‘I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’
For the Muslim, for the believer, it follows that there’s an explicit trust that what we receive from Muhammad in the form of revelation is as he received the same from Gibril (Gabriel), Allah’s agent and that this is Allah’s revelation. In the 1st principal/declaration there is an explicit characterization of Muhammad vis-a-vis Allah specifically and revelation generally.
There’s no confusion regarding his role and his means of consort with Allah is identical to that of preceding Prophets excluding Moses (A.S.) who we believe had direct discourse with Allah without the agency of Gibril.
It is easy for Deists to rationally destroy this Islamic claim to revelation. For example, how can anyone “bear witness” who did not witness the alleged event which they claim they are bearing witness of? Bringing this very important fact to the minds of sincere Muslims at best will cause them to stop supporting Islam and to become Deists or some other type of freethinker.
At a minimum, it is planting real seeds of thought in their minds that will eventually bear fruit. This applies to all people currently in a “revealed”/hearsay religion.
Individual Deists need to DO all they can to promote Deism and to let people around the world know that they have a rational alternative to all of the “revealed”/hearsay religions and to Atheism.
Once we reach people with Deism, they can permanently free themselves from religious dogma and fear using their innate God-given reason and Deism. Deists have this encouraging fact expressed by Thomas Paine to keep in mind while getting the word out about Deism: “The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
Bob Johnson is a freelance writer in the Tampa area of Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after a stint in Marine Corps infantry and reading Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason he became a Deist.
In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists, and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism. He is the author of God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion, Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. He has also written the introduction to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and Principles of Nature by Elihu Palmer.