| | E-Mail | | Home | | V&FT

John Adams
A Christian Against the Corruption of Christianity


Maybe you've seen the article that should go here. Send us the link Or send us the book or journal article and we'll plagiarize it like all our other pages.

Here's what it says:

  • John Adams worked to make America a nation "Under God."
  • He was critical of clergy who worked to make America a nation under them.
  • Separationists take Adams' anti-clerical remarks out of context in their effort to secularize a Christian nation.

Until you send us this article, readers of this page will have to be content with the following dialogue on America OnLine's "Separation of Church and State" Discussion Board. A defender of secular America posted a list of quotations from Adams in the hopes of convincing the unwary that Adams opposed a theistic nation "under God" and supported an atheistic nation that does not endorse or promote Christianity.

John Adams declared that America was a Christian nation which had a duty to obey the God of the Bible. This was not just his personal opinion, but was expressed in an official proclamation as President at the request of Congress.

As no truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, not any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the growing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributor of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness of individuals and to the well-being of communities....I have thought proper to recommend, and I hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the twenty-fifth of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain, as far as may be, from their secular occupation, and devote the time to the sacred duties of religion, in public and in private; that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions in time to come; that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34].

Everything about this official Presidential proclamation shows that the "separation of church and state" (that is, the separation of Christianity and State) is a myth. Adams shows that he believed that the government should endorse and promote public observance of Trinitarian Christianity. No denominational favoritism is evident here.

In article <19990730142437.01163.00001050@ng-xc1.aol.com>, hypatiasm@aol.com (Hypatia SM) gives us a list of quotations which he hopes will make us believe that Adams and the Signers of the Constitution believed that Christianity should be kept private and that the government should remove public acknowledgement of our duties to God:

>"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere
> in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths,
> Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in
> Christianity."
>                       [John Adams]

The first thing to note is that Adams lived to be 91, and most of these quotes come from late in Adams' life, when he seems to have become a bit cranky. He was angry at the clergy (and not without good reason), and questioned many of their doctrines. Even a staunch Theocrat can admit that sometimes "the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." That doesn't mean Adams didn't believe the doctrine when he clearly proclaimed its truth as President. Even if Adams didn't believe it, he obviously did not believe that a President who did believe it could not publicly endorse or promote obedience to the revealed will of that Triune God, and therefore Adams didn't believe what the ACLU preaches. And even if Adams believed that Presidents should not lead the nation in Trinitarian prayer, and merely capitulated to pressure from Congress and the American People, it is that very pressure which identifies the Original Intent of the Framers and shows that the ACLU's "wall of separation" is a myth.

>"The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature
> shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings
> shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"

>                       [John Adams]

I join Adams in voting for God. So did the rest of the Founding Fathers.

>"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation.
> But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been
> blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the
> most bloody religion that ever existed?"
>         [John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816]

Adams is criticizing the clergy and those who would make converts by the power of the civil government. I agree with Adams as against clergy. Adams also believed children should be taught the Ten Commandments. I also agree with Adams on this.

>"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of
> the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross.
> Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
>                [John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson]

A little more context would enable us to discern what this means and what it doesn't mean. Adams said that

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.

Read more here.

>"What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era?
> Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius?
> Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by
> order of another pope, because suspected of heresy?  Remember the 'index
> expurgatorius', the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the
> guillotine."
>                 [John Adams, letter to John Taylor]

Christianity has always produced greater literacy and the spread of knowledge. Don't blame Christ for the Spanish Inquisition. If parents were allowed to teach their children to read the Bible, there would be fewer tyrants, and they would have no excuse for increasing their power because there would be so few heretical writings. Every act by the State to prohibit the spread of the Gospel creates more excuses for the State to increase its power.

>"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.
> And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or
> dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate,
> the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently
> endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded.  But touch a solemn truth
> in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof,
> and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm
> about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."
>                [John Adams, letter to John Taylor]

This diatribe against clergy has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of whether America is a nation "under God."  At the time the Constitution was being ratified, Adams was for all intents and purposes a Puritan.

Adams regarded Thomas Paine as an "insolent Blasphemer of things sacred and a transcendent Libeller of all that is good," and declared that "It is indeed a disgrace to the moral Character and the Understanding of this Age, that this worthless fellow should be believed in any thing. But Impudence and Malice will always find Admirers." (Diary, ed. Butterfield, Harvard Univ Press 1962, IV:5-6). Adams mentions the belief that Paine's pamphlets were of major importance in the War for Independence, but he says, "I doubted it at the time, and have doubted it to this day." III:330-34.

>"God has infinite wisdom, goodness and power; he created the universe; his
> duration is eternal, a parte ante and a parte post. His presence is as
> extensive as space. What is space? An infinite spherical vacuum. He created
> this speck of dirt and the human species for his glory; and with deliberate
> design of making nine-tenths of our species miserable for ever for his glory.
> This is the doctrine of Christian theologians, in general, ten to one. Now, my
> friend, can prophecies or miracles convince you or me that infinite
> benevolence, wisdom, and power, created, and preserves for a time innumerable
> millions, to make them miserable forever, for his own glory? Wretch! What is
> his glory? Is he ambitious? Does he want promotion? Is he vain, tickled with
> adulation, exulting and triumphing in his power and the sweetness of his
> vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these awful questions. My answer to them
> is always ready. _I believe no such things_. My adoration of the author of the
> universe is too profound and too sincere. The love of God and his
> creation-delight, joy, triumph, exultation in my own existance- though but an
> atom, a molecule organique in the universe- are my religion".
>      [John Adams, in a latter to Jefferson, Sept. 14, 1813, from
>       "Christianity and the Constitution: The Founding faith of our Fathers"
>       John Eidsmoe ISBN: 0-8010-3444-2]

Adams continues:

Howl, snarl, bite, ye Calvinistic, ye Athanasian divines, if you will; ye will say I am no Christian; I say ye are no Christians, and there the account is balanced. Yet I believe all the honest men among you are Christians, in my sense of the word.

Eidsmoe continues:

During this same period Adams wrote to F.A. Van der Kemp, "My religion is founded on the love of God and my neighbor; on the hope of pardon for my offences; upon contrition; upon the duty as well as the necessity of supporting with patience the inevitable evils of life; in the duty of doing no wrong, but all the good I can, to the creation of which I am but an infinitesimal part. [July 13, 1815; reprinted in Cousins, In God We Trust, p. 104] These comments only indicate that Adams questioned the doctrine of the Trinity and the belief that only those who accept Christianity shall have a place in heaven -- he did not renounce Christianity. . . . He told Jefferson in 1816, "Conclude not from all this that I have renounced the Christian religion, or that I agree with Dupuis in all his sentiments Far from it. I see in every page something to recommend Christianity in its purity, and something to discredit its corruption.

Adams joined many other Founding Fathers in their praise for pure Christianity and their criticism of clerical corruptions of Jesus' message. Does this mean Adams believed, with the ACLU, that the federal judiciary has the power to order municipal schools to remove prayer and the Ten Commandments from classrooms? Hardly.

Whoever put together these quotes from Madison, apparently drawing from Eidsmoe's book, is purely malicious. Eidsmoe's book contains a fine chapter on Adams which shows that he did not endorse the ACLU's war on Christianity. Adams' words are egregiously ripped out of context by this atheist.

Adams on the "Christian consensus."

| | E-Mail | | Home | | V&FT

Christmas Conspiracy


Vine & Fig Tree

Paradigm Shift


End The Wall of Separation
Mailing List

Enter your e-mail address:
Browse the Theocracy Archive
An e-group hosted by eGroups.com

Vine & Fig Tree
12314 Palm Dr. #107
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
[e-mail to V&FT]
[V&FT Home Page]