Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles gets it right

“Two hundred years before any of the Founding Fathers were born, this land’s people were being baptized in the name of Christ,” he continues. “The people of this land were called Christians before they were called Americans. And they were first called this name in the Spanish tongue. Every American today, in some way, owes a spiritual debt to these great Hispanic Catholic missionaries of the 16th and 17th centuries.”

Archbishop Gomez adds:

So why don’t we know their stories? Because history is always told by the “winners.” In America’s case, the winners were the men who fought the American Revolution and established our national government. They handed down an American story, a national narrative that began with them and ignored earlier periods of American history.

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Buchanan: It’s a Republic, stupid!

But did not the fathers create modernity’s first democracy?

No. They created “a republic, if you can keep it,” as Ben Franklin said, when asked in Philadelphia what kind of government they had given us. A constitutional republic, to protect and defend God-given rights that antedated the establishment of that government.

We used to know that. Growing up, we daily pledged allegiance “to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,” not some democracy. As Walter Williams writes, Julia Ward Howe did not write the “Battle Hymn of the Democracy.”

Today, we are taught to worship what our fathers abhorred to such an extent that politicians and ideologues believe America was put on Earth to advance a worldwide revolution to ensure that all nations are democratic.

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Fifty of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were practicing Christians.


The role Christianity played in the founding period is often a subject of considerable debate, particularly for those on the Left who would want Americans to forget the founding generation. Leftists will often cherry-pick quotations that “show” the founding generation was anti-Christian or at the very least suspicious of religion in public life.

Most often Thomas Jefferson’s “Bible” or James Madison’s views on the “separation of church and state” are held as concrete evidence that all of the members of the founding generation thought the same way. That’s funny, because these same people will often scream things like, “The Founding Fathers never agreed on anything, so you right wingers can’t claim them as your own!” Yet, the question of religion in the founding generation is a nice case study of how that generation generally did agree on fundamental principles.

The question should not be if the founding generation were Christians, because most were, it should be which members of the founding generation are being used as examples.

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What the Founding Fathers knew about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

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From the Declaration of Independence:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The right to life and liberty are universal human rights granted by God … not man … and certainly not by ANY earthly government.

The right to the pursuit of happiness is also God bestowed … not for the purpose of fostering  immoral and lascivious conduct … but so that … over the course of his life … with the help of the Church … man might come to know, love, and serve  God … so that he might one day finally be admitted to Heaven … to dwell forever with God … finally achieving the end for which the first two rights were divinely granted. 

The “happiness” we are to pursue is fellowship with God in Heaven. Nothing less.