Faith and Government: Christians Need Not Apply?
Should being an active Christian bar you from public service? Yes, say many pundits today. It would seem that the left wants to impose a religious test to bar anyone who truly believes in Jesus from serving in government.
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a vacancy on the Supreme Court. In the days following her death, all of the candidates on President Trump’s shortlist to replace her were dedicated Christians, and the left once again bared their anti-Christian bigotry.
The Constitution says there can be no religious test applied to those seeking office at the federal level (Article 6, clause 3).
A famous incident in 2017 involved California Senator Diane Feinstein scorning Catholic judge, Amy Coney Barrett (who is now Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy), for being too religious. The senator said, “I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Washington Post writer Ron Charles recently criticized Judge Barrett because of her belief that a “legal career is but a means to an end … and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”
Competing Visions for America
When George W. Bush, an outspoken Christian, was president, one of his biggest antagonists (at least behind the scenes) was George Soros. The billionaire venture-capitalist is committed to a secular vision for America. Soros has paid out billions of dollars to try and impose his godless vision on America. With Bush 43 in mind, Soros said, “The separation of church and state, the bedrock of our democracy, is clearly undermined by having a born-again president.”
These are amazing statements. Why not just hang out a sign on Constitution Avenue: “Government Service Openings: Christians Need Not Apply”?
One man had the impertinence to hold a different opinion than these. He said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege of interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Oh my goodness. Who was this backwoods rube? Didn’t he know anything about the Constitution and about our nation’s sacred institutions — er, make that “secular institutions”? That quote was from founding father John Jay, one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, perhaps the finest political science writings in American history. John Jay was appointed by President Washington to serve as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
A History of Faith
I spoke recently with my friend Dr. Peter Lillback of the Providence Forum on the radio, and I mentioned the Diane Feinstein quote to him. He noted that we could turn it around and observe that Senator Feinstein is also dogmatic. But her dogma is one rooted in secularism.
Gary DeMar of American Vision puts it this way: “The left hates any ‘dogma’ that questions their ‘dogma.”’
Meanwhile, an honest reading of American history shows that faith — the Christian faith — was very important to most of the settlers and the founders of America:
- This year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower. The Pilgrims said they were establishing their colony “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”
- Rev. John Winthrop, the leader of the Puritans who founded Boston and Harvard, said of their colony, “For we shall be as a city upon a hill,” providing a metaphor for the future nation that ultimately came from Jesus Himself.
- George Washington said, “[T]rue religion affords to government its surest support.”
- In his Inaugural Address, John Adams said, “I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service.” [emphasis added] Rather than prevent one from serving, being a devout Christian is an asset to one’s service in government, said our second president.
- Alexander Hamilton expressed his desire to create “the Christian Constitutional Society,” but his premature death scuttled his plans.
- Thomas Jefferson, was certainly not as orthodox as most of the other founders. Nonetheless he said, “Of all the systems of morality ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” (Letter to William Canby, September 18, 1813).
The dogmatic anti-Christian bigots in our society are very wrong in their notion that being a devout Christian should somehow disqualify you from public service. The idea that there’s some sort of anti-Christian magnet over the threshold of government buildings does not comport with our history nor with our Constitution.
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is a senior producer and an on-air host for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written or co-written 32 books, such as The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy) and the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Peter Lillback). Learn more at www.jerrynewcombe.com and follow him on Twitter @newcombejerry.