John Fea, author of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?, blogs on David Barton’s appearance on John Stewart’s show(part 1 and part 2. Barton makes his points, Stewart makes his points, and Fea blogs trying to give perspective on the debate. More links to Fea’s thoughts about David Barton are here and here.
No doubt about it, Barton is a fact machine. But the significant reality remains is that the Founding Fathers had the explicit debate about how directly rooted the new government would be in the Christian faith and the constitution they framed moved toward a more secular document. Barton’s argument is that a Christian nation was assumed and did not need to even be stated in the Constitution. But the fact remains that they explicitly argued this point and a direct connection to religion was not affirmed in the founding document.
Of course, while Barton’s method might not be wholly sound, the reality remains that the Constitution is rooted in a moral worldview and it is a worldview shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition. As our culture experiments with secularism there will be increasing pressure put on our Constitution to guide us through the times of burgeoning conflict.
Ultimately, I think the only way to resolve this issue is through a revived and vital church that has the power to shape culture even while it extends to all the right to choose. To try to make America a Christian nation through the legal process primarily cannot work.
The debate on Stewart’s show is a good one to have and Fea offers a balance, though he is clearly not on Barton’s side of this issue.