Dr. Benjamin Carson was absolutely right when he said that the American Constitution is incompatible with Islam. The left, with its naïve vision of the world, went wild in its attacks on the good doctor. They were joined by the Islamic group, CAIR, which demanded that Carson pull out of the race for president because of his comment.
But the facts and history are on the side of Dr. Carson. In Islam, religion and the political goal of world domination are joined together. There is no separation of mosque and state in Islamic thinking. Just look at any nation where Muslims are in the majority—Saudi Arabia, Iran, and so on—and you will not find religious freedom.
The First Amendment Is Not Compatible With Islamic Thinking About Religion and State
The First Amendment to the Constitution is totally at odds with this sort of thinking. It states that the government will remain neutral in matters of faith but protect the religious freedom of all. This approach reflects the "dissenting Protestant" view of the Founders, who wanted a separation of church and state, but not a separate of God and state.
The parents and grandparents of the Founders were godly people who fled religious persecution in the Old World by a state-empowered church. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin tells how his grandfather, during the reign of Mary Tudor, had an open Bible fastened on the bottom and underneath the cover of a stool. With one of the children watching at the door for civil or religious authorities, he would turn the stool upside down and read the Bible to his family. In case of danger, he would quickly secure the pages and return the stool upright to its place in the corner of the room.
The danger was real. During Mary's reign, 288 Protestants were burned at the stake for their faith. The Reformation, with its return to Jesus and the New Testament, destroyed the idea of merging church and state and using the power of the state to further a national religion.
The merger of mosque and state, however, is basic to Islam and is why Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is an American citizen of Iranian birth, was arrested for apostasy when he returned to Iran to visit his parents. He was imprisoned by this religious-political regime and remains imprisoned today while his wife and two small children pray for his return and plead for this administration's help.
The First Amendment Is an Expression of Reformation Ideals
Those "dissenting Protestants" who came to America were the ones whose ideas of freedom of conscience and religious liberty ultimately triumphed in America. In the First Amendment they were merely stating that America would never have a state church/religion, sanctioned and empowered by the state as existed at that time in Christian Europe and exists in Islamic countries today.
Although they did not want a state church such as their parents had fled, they knew the importance of building on Christian values. They knew that a nation derives its values from religion, which is why in his Farewell Address George Washington warned the new nation to guard its Christian morality and values, which he called "indispensable supports" for political prosperity.
Although Christians throughout history have failed to live up to the teachings of their Lord, the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament are the only value system that can hold a diverse nation together. The Founders did not want a state church, but without exception, they wanted Christian values taught in every public venue. In my book America's Revival Heritage, I show that even the "nonreligious" Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
No Exclusion of God in the First Amendment
That the First Amendment was not intended to exclude God from government was confirmed when the next day after passing the Amendment, the Founders issued a proclamation for a day of prayer throughout the new nation. That they were not excluding their faith in the God of the Bible from government is highlighted by the fact that George Washington took the oath of office with his hand on a Bible and afterwards proceeded to St. Paul's Cathedral for a worship service.
That the First Amendment was not an attack on God was confirmed by Joseph Story (1779-1845) who served as a Supreme Court justice for 34 years from 1811-1845. Commenting on the First Amendment, he said: "We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference in religion, and especially to Christianity, which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution."
The American Constitution is designed for a people with Christian values.
Benjamin Carson is absolutely right that the American Constitution is incompatible with Islam. America was founded on Christian principles and values that emerged out of the Reformation when the church returned to Jesus and the New Testament. Our second president, John Adams, affirmed this when he wrote, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
America is in need of another Reformation and spiritual awakening that will return it to its founding principles and draw the nominal Christians and Muslims in our nation to Christ. I beg you join with me and others in praying for such a Reformation and Spiritual Awakening in our day. It is the only true hope for America's future.
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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