Opening at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles this week is an exhibit with the title of RELIGION AND THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC. The employee of the Library of Congress, James Huston, who put the exhibit together writes: “the founders thought that virtue and morality required religion, therefore religion was necessary.” The naive, gullible, innocent and historically ignorant will believe this nonsense.
This is such a prostitution of American history that twenty-five of the most distinguished scholars in America, including Pulitzer prize winners, wrote a scalding letter to the Library of Congress with these words: “We strongly disagree with these statements coming from the Library of Congress and we urge the Library staff to refrain from presenting their statements as facts. They are not.”
The scholars demolished one falsehood after another, such as the statement that “Jefferson rode over to Congress every Sunday morning to attend church services.” Jeffersonian scholars know that he never attended church in his entire life as a regular habit. He despised Christianity, as did all of the first six presidents of the United States. They were all Deists. I have quoted the Encyclopedia Britannica on this fact in many columns.
President James Madison, author of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, said it this way for all of them:
During almost 15 centuries, the legal establishment of Christianity has been on trial. What have been its fruits? These are the fruits, more or less, in all places. Pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; and in both, clergy and laity, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
It is tragic that the reputation of an institution like the Library of Congress can be compromised and prostituted by an employee who has become affiliated with the agenda of the religious and political right wing of this country. Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, along with James Dobson, were applauding this “exhibit” before it was released to the general public.
The deceiving nature of this, so called ‘exhibit’ makes no mention of the Christian tyranny of early America, nor the persecutions, where the death penalty was required for anyone who denied God or the Trinity. It makes no mention of James Madison saying “a democracy has no need for either the church or clergy.”
Be it to the everlasting credit of the WASHINGTON POST, the NEW YORK TIMES and the BOSTON GLOBE that they published excellent articles on all the flaws and misrepresentations of this exhibit when it was first released in 1998 with the vehement objections of many of the most distinguished scholars in this nation.