Christians, Intellect,
& the Founding Fathers

(to Washington Times -- Not published)

To the Editor:

Philip Gold (7/29/03), in his discussion of natural law, makes a sneering comment about "monotheists", whom he sees as not welcoming the intellectual and political competition upon which the American constitution is rightly based.

It is true that Christians (the primary monotheists in the West) lost the intellectual (and therefore PR) battle for the 20th century, largely because they did not understand that the rise of science was a gift from God (not secularists), that God was telling us to take our case out into the public arena and risk an open, honest confrontation with other views.

Elijah, that philosopher of old (ca. 900 BC), challenged his people on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18), "How long will you go limping on two opinions? If Baal be God, then let's follow him. But if the Lord be God, then let's follow Him." A clear appeal to logic, several centuries before Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle. Either/or, not both/and.

Elijah then challenged the Baal folks to build their altar, and the Lord's people would build theirs. They would each offer a bull on their altars to their respective deities. But instead of lighting the fire under it themselves, they would call upon their god to light the fire. The one who did it would be the true God. Elijah rested the whole of his case for the Lord on the empirical results. Rough and ready, but basic science nevertheless.

Gold also has America backwards. The American founding fathers were, almost to a man, practicing Christians, not deists, as often claimed. That is, they understood that we are both personally and corporately (i.e., nationally) accountable to God, who has a very real interest in our personal and corporate lives.

That is clear if one bothers to read the founding fathers themselves rather than our latter-day (and often ignorant) commentaries upon them. It is a point supported by every Supreme Court decision commenting on such matters right up into the 1940's and even in the '50's, and was a given in the attitudes of the people and their legislators all through the 1800's. [Read Original Intent, by David Barton, available from ]

When Christians finally recover their intellectual and spiritual backbone, then, like Elijah, they will insist on the logical and empirical evidence to support their case. And then we will all see whether God can indeed come through to keep His promises. God proves His own case when His people become ready to risk their hides to present the case.

                                                            Yours truly, Earle Fox

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