Whitewashing Over Faith

Robert George relates an anecdote about some literature at an American Constitution Society for Law and Policy conference. A pamphlet provided visitors with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address as reading material,.. only, the included version the Gettysburg Address omitted the phrase “under God.”

At the time, staring at the text, I wondered whether it was an innocent, inadvertent error—a typo, perhaps. It seemed more likely, though, that here is the apex of the secularist ideology that has attained a status not unlike that of religious orthodoxy among liberal legal scholars and political activists. Nothing is sacred, as it were—not even the facts of American history, not even the words spoken by Abraham Lincoln at the most solemn ceremony of our nation’s history.

True, there are versions of the Address that lacked the reference to God, but the final version, as spoken, wasn’t one of them, and at any rate, that counts merely as an excuse, in my view.
The story brought to mind the speech given by Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly at this year’s Portsmouth Institute conference. Reviewing Newman’s writings about higher education, Reilly noted that secular scholars who’ve edited or otherwise handled that work have actually omitted the Cardinal’s emphasis on religion, in at least one case explaining that it was of mere anachronistic, historical significance — not relevant to the larger message at all, it would seem.
This raises the question: Can the secularists disappear God, in the fashion of Soviet airbrushing? I suspect not. More likely, they’re creating the opportunity for backlash when their brightest students and other followers come to the inevitable “everything I know is wrong” moment at which the God-shaped hole pulls together threads that had previously drifted off into nothing.

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Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
13 years ago

I truly think we are heading toward a Spanish Civil war type confrontation between “progressive” anti-Christian genocidists and sane people of all beliefs.
I hope it turns out just like it did the first time.

13 years ago

From the Tea-Party
Protest organizers who oppose the building of a mosque in Temecula, California, have instructed people to bring dogs to their rally because Muslims “hate dogs.” An email notice was sent by a Tea Party group organizing the protest at the current site of the Islamic community planning the mosque. “Bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voices,” the notice states. “We will not be submissive

13 years ago

It is cynical to think ACS did it on purpose. There are five versions of the Gettysburg address. Two do not contain the phrase “under God.” If whatever intern who put together the lit at this conference chose the version at random, there was a 40% chance it wouldn’t have the “under God” language.
Maybe they did do it on purpose, in which case it was a petty, pointless move. Realistically, though, there is no secular/atheist conspiracy to destroy God in the mind’s of Americans. It’s just one of those non-problems.

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