Franklin, by contrast, believed religious liberty extended to every aspect of American life including the marketplace. This was borne out when the well-known Deist, Thomas Paine, sent him a manuscript copy of a book he had written challenging the idea of a providential God and other aspects of orthodox Christianity.
Franklin, who was a printer, refused to print the book and in very strong language urged Paine to not even allow anyone else to see it. He wrote:
"I would advise you, therefore . . . to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it" (Hyatt, The Faith & Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 49).
Can you imagine the lawsuits from liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union if Franklin were alive today! It shows to what extent our modern politicians and bureaucrats are out of step with the founders of this nation, even the most nonreligious ones.
Franklin was a strong advocate for religious liberty for personal reasons. His father and his grandfather on his mother's side, who were devout Christians, fled religious tyranny in England and came to America to find the liberty to live out their Christian faith.
Franklin believed that this liberty should extend to every area of American life, including the marketplace. For this reason, he would be detested by Hillary Clinton and the DNC and he would vehemently oppose their liberal, socialist policies.
Position #3: Franklin Wanted Christianity Taught in the Public Schools
Clinton and the DNC agree with the purging of Christian prayers, expressions and symbols from the public schools. They did not protest even when a kindergartener in Florida was confronted by a teacher and told prayer was not allowed when she bowed her head to pray over her lunch. Franklin, on the other hand, believed the teaching of Christian values to be an absolute necessity for a stable society and he wanted Christianity taught in every public venue, including public schools.
In the fall of 1749, Franklin founded the "Public Academy of Philadelphia," which was underwritten with public funds. In a letter to his revivalist friend, George Whitefield, Franklin informed him that that the students would learn "the value of public and private religion" and "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others."
Franklin arranged for the different Christian churches to be equally represented on the board of trustees, choosing one Anglican, one Presbyterian, one Baptist, one Moravian, one Quaker, etc. to serve in this capacity. Showing his desire for a profound Christian influence in the school, he handpicked the first provost from the clergy, a Reverend William Smith.
To house the school, they were able to acquire a large building that had been built some years previous to accommodate the large crowds that had turned out to hear Whitefield preach in Philadelphia. Franklin negotiated the settlement for the building, which included an agreement that the school would "keep forever open in the building a large hall for occasional preachers, according to the original intention."
The Academy flourished and today is the University of Pennsylvania.
Franklin wanted Christianity taught in public schools because he believed Christian virtue and morality to be absolutely necessary for a stable society and prosperous nation.
Franklin would be detested by Clinton and the DNC who are in favor of purging Christianity from the public schools because of their twisted perception of the First Amendment. In this regard, Hillary and the DNC are out of touch with even the most nonreligious of America's Founders.
Franklin would staunchly defend the right of Christians to express their faith in the public arena. He would be appalled to hear that Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was ordered to remove a Bible verse from her work station and then court-martialed when she declined to do so. He would be shocked at a federal judge ordering a high school band not to perform because one of their songs was a Christian hymn. Franklin would consider the government's use of force against these people of faith a form of tyranny.
He would have no problem with expressions of faith in the public arena because he knew the truth of the First Amendment. He knew it was passed to keep Congress from ever establishing a national, state-supported church, and nothing more. That the First Amendment had nothing to do with keeping God out of government is obvious from the fact that the day after its passage, Franklin and his fellow founders proclaimed a national day of prayer for the nation.
The gulf between Clinton and America's nonreligious founder is indeed wide. She and the DNC have bought the liberal lie that the First Amendment was written to secularize America by excluding expressions of faith from public institutions.
For these reasons Benjamin Franklin, one of America's most nonreligious founders, would be vehemently opposed to Clinton, the DNC and their vision for America.
Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and Bible teacher. He has written numerous books on spiritual awakening, church and church history. You can check out all his books on Amazon at his Author's Page. To read about his vision for another Great Awakening, check out his website at eddiehyatt.com.
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