[Photo: Bill Federer and Jerry Newcombe] Foreword to “In the Footsteps of Giants” by William J. Federer (author of “America’s God and Country”)
Something unique happened in America.
Daniel Webster spoke of it in his 4th of July Oration in Fryeburg, Maine, 1802:
“We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by…deliberate consultations of the people. Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in 6,000 years cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism.”
James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration and Constitution, and a Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington, acknowledged at Pennsylvania’s Ratifying Convention, November 26, 1787:
“After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance…of a nation…assembling voluntarily…and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they…and their posterity should live.”
Ronald Reagan concurred in a speech recorded for the American Medical Association’s Operation Coffeecup Campaign, 1961:
“In this country of ours, took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in world’s history…Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another.
But here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man, a little group of the men, the founding fathers – for the first time – established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God given right and ability to determine our own destiny.”
What was so unique about America’s founding?
What was the secret ingredient that made America’s experiment of self-government work?
When the “Iron Curtain” and Berlin Wall came down, the U.S.S.R. was dismantled and the former Soviet States set up democratic republics. Twenty years have gone by and who now controls these former Soviet States?
By all indications, it is the black market and organized crime!
Why did the citizens of these former Soviet States not experience the same burst of freedom and opportunity that American’s experienced?
Could it have something to do with the fact they had seventy years of atheism underlying their experiment of the people ruling themselves.
When Middle East dictators are thrown out and democracies are set up, why do those countries inevitably get taken over by aggressive, violent Muslim Brotherhood leaders who institute Sharia Law and relegate non-Muslims and women to a second-class status?
Why do the citizens of those countries not experience the same liberties and equalities that America’s citizens experience?
Could it have something to do with the fact they have Islam underlying their experiment of the people ruling themselves, and Islam’s Sharia Law has no concept of equality?
What was the mysterious variable in the equation of America’s founding that gave citizens of this country the most freedom, opportunity and prosperity of any nation that every existed in all the 6,000 years of recorded human history?
Dr. Jerry Newcombe reveals the secret ingredient in this intriguing book, “In the Footsteps of Giants: Solutions from the Founders for a Nation Gone Astray.” What is the source of our rights? Are religion and morality indispensable supports? Why is it important to have a limited government—of the people, by the people and for the people? What is the role of education, and the courts? How is economic prosperity achieved? What is the origin of religious liberty? Why did the founders emphasize prayer?
Dr. Newcombe delves into the principle of “self-government,” how a country can get by with few external laws if the people have an internal law.
There is a Christian component to the settling and founding of America that has made her great. But a land born in great part for religious freedom is fast becoming a land where religious freedom is at risk.
Modern secularists have rewritten history and spread a false message about our founders and their intent when it comes to religion. As a student of American history, I am positive that our founders intended Christianity to flourish, even in the public square, but not in a compulsory way. What we find today is groups like the ACLU are now essentially imposing atheism on the public square—in a compulsory way.
Our founders didn’t want the ACLU version of the first amendment. In the ACLU version, they wanted to get God out of everything. That’s not what the founders wanted. The founders, simply, didn’t want the European version of church-state relations, where you had the king choosing a state denomination. England had the state Anglican Church. In Germany it was a state Lutheran Church, with other parts being Catholic. In Switzerland, it was the Calvinist denomination. Italy, Spain, and France were Roman Catholic. In Greece and Russia it was Eastern Orthodox.
But in no way did our founders want to remove God from every facet of life. Recognizing “God” went beyond the founding era. At some point in their history, each of the 50 States mentioned God in their State Constitutions.
Because of the prevalence of views like those espoused (and forced in lawsuits) by groups like the ACLU, the freedoms to have our country are being taken away. We’re seeing a displacement of the principles that made our country what it is (was), and we’re seeing new principles put in. Calvin Coolidge says, “You can’t have the results, if you neglect the cause.” You can’t have the results of freedom if we neglect the cause, the Judeo-Christian values that gave us this country.
I once put together a book, called Three Secular Reasons Why America Should be Under God. These are secular reasons. The first one is: Do you like having rights the government can’t take away. Well, I’ve talked to atheists, they say, “Yeah, I like having rights the government can’t take away.”
Well, then, those rights have to come to you from a power higher than the government. That’s why the Declaration of Independence says, “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.”
Rights come from God; government’s job is to protect those rights. Well, if there’s no God, where do your rights come from? If there’s no God, the rights come from the state, making the state the new god. Those rights can be taken away, and that’s what you have in totalitarian countries. So, if you like having rights the government can’t take away, you want those rights to come to you from a power higher than the government.
The second is: Do you like being equal? Someone might answer, “Well, certainly, and I’ll sue you if you say I’m not equal.” Well, where did the concept of equality come from? Did it come from Saudi Arabia, where, you face the death penalty if you convert from Islam to another religion? Did equality come from atheistic Communist China, where they’re still arresting illegal house church leaders?
Harry S. Truman, in his Inaugural Address, said, “We believe all men are created equal, because we’re created in the image of God.” Again, if there’s no God, who decides who’s equal? Well, the government. What if you get a Hitler in charge of the government and he decides that Jews aren’t equal? Or you get a Stalin in charge of the government and he decides Ukrainians aren’t equal, and he killed millions of them. Or a Muslim Caliph in charge of the government and he decides that non-Muslims and women are not equal. Or you get a Democrat appointed Supreme Court Justice, Roger Taney, who, in the Dred Scott case said quote, “Slaves are so far inferior, they should be enslaved for their own benefit,” a very racist statement. Well, what we need is a standard of equality higher than whoever currently gets to sit in the seat of government. God, as the source of our rights, secures those rights.
And then, the third reason is: Do you like a country with a lot of laws or few laws? Well, everybody likes few laws. Well, in order for there to be order in society with few external laws, the populace has to have an internal law. That’s where John Adams, in 1798 said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people; it’s totally inadequate for the government of any other.”
In other words, our government was designed to govern people who could govern themselves. And the more internal restraints the populace had, the less external restraints they needed, and we could be free.
But what’s happened is: We’ve stripped away the internal restraints. We tell people, give in to your lusts and passions, and do whatever you want, and they do; and crimes happen, and people say, “Government, do something.” So, the government puts in external restraints. And every new law that’s passed is a bar that comes down on our cage, taking away some of our freedom. We’ve taken the Ten Commandments off the schoolroom walls, now we have to install more security in the schools. We’ve taken down, “Thou shall not murder,” because man’s made in the image of God, and we teach situation ethics, where we tell little Johnny, if there’s too many people in the lifeboat, he has to decide which one’s useless and shove him over the side. And he gets out in his neighborhood and decides some kid’s useless and blows him away, and we’re shocked he acted out the new philosophy that he was taught in the classroom, rather than the good old fashioned, “Thou shall not murder,” because man’s made in the image of God.
What we’re doing is: We’re stripping away the internal Golden Rule. Think of that—”do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” If everybody in the country had that internal belief in the Golden Rule, we wouldn’t need any other laws. But what’s happened is: We’ve now switched it out to whoever has the gold, rules. We’re seeing people be selfish and acting on that and chaos comes as a result, and we have to have the government come in and restore order by passing more and more and more laws. Every new law that’s passed takes away another piece of our freedom, till pretty soon, we’re not going to be a free country anymore. So, if we like having a country with few laws, then we want the populace to have an internal law.
And then, of course, people say, “Well, why can’t people just be ethical?” That sounds okay, until you realize that only a small percentage of the populace will be ethical for ethics’ sake. William Linn, who was the first chaplain of the U.S. House, said, “Let my neighbor once persuade himself that there is no God, and he will soon pick my pocket and break, not only my leg, but my neck. If there be no God, laws are, simply, the ordinance of man only, and we cannot be subject to it for conscience sake.” If there’s no God, laws are, simply, made up by men, and I’m a man and you’re a man, why should you have to obey the laws I made up, and why should I have to obey the laws you made up? Then, it boils down to, whoever winds up with the political and military power gets to force the other one to obey his laws, and it’s down to the banana republics military coups.
Our founders wanted to have a stable country, so they said in effect, “We have our laws based on a higher law, and that’s God.”
America has a wonderful foundation, laid by the founding fathers, based largely on principles found in the Bible. They have given us answers to help us get back on the right track. That’s why I’m pleased to recommend this book by my friend, Dr. Jerry Newcombe.
Can the grand American experiment of people ruling themselves without a king continue?
Only if we learn the truths that are in Dr. Jerry Newcombe’s book, “In the Footsteps of Giants.” America’s founders have given us the answers we need for modern America, if we only heed them. Jerry has done a great job assembling some of those key answers “for such a time as this.”
You can order “In the Footsteps of Giants” here.