To acknowledge Dr. John Howard’s newest book release entitled, Christianity: Lifeblood of America’s Free Society, The Heritage Foundation hosted an event recently to discuss the book’s premise, which shows Christian values as the woven fabric of American culture and societies during its humbled, yet fruitful beginnings, while questioning America’s moral decline over the years.
“For more than 70 years, our schools and colleges have not informed their students that Christianity was the dominant influence in the development of our nation and the dominant influence in the development of our society,” Howard argued. “Sixty-seven years ago, America was devastated by the attack on Pearl Harbor—In 1941, life in America was very different. I was there. Pearl Harbor happened during my second year at college. Most of my classmates had two parents. If not, one was deceased. In those days divorce was infrequent and a source of embarrassment to those who terminated their marriage. God was sacred, so that profanity had no place whatever in mainstream literature or mainstream entertainment. It was assumed that people belonged to a church or a synagogue. There was a respect for religion at that time.”
“The thesis of John’s book is that Christianity forms a base upon which America and American society has been established. Looking back at America’s Founding, it’s clear that the architects of our then fledging system were heavily influenced by their beliefs when they wrote our founding documents,” said Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., president of The Heritage Foundation. “In fact, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence states, ‘All men are created equal, [and] that they are endowed by their creator of certain unalienable rights,’… Those rights, of course, were based on the Christian teachings of the Bible. The founding fathers also made sure Americans would be able to practice the religion of their choosing, without fear of infringements from the new American Government.”
Dr. John Howard, a devoted Christian, World War II veteran, and American patriot, managed to capture the essence of American society from 1620 to 1945, which also includes the Era of World War II. In his book, Howard delivers a breathtaking tale of what it was like growing up Christian in a western civilized culture.
Howard, also a senior fellow with the Howard Center For Family, Religion, & Society explained, “In America, starting in1620 and extending through three hundred years, those who wished to do away with the Christian standards of conduct faced an uphill battle, because they were trying to eliminate principles [contained in] the Bible, and they couldn’t generate much of a following. Then came the twentieth century; in the early twentieth century, socialists and Marxists, and radicalism were rapidly gaining power in America, and I mean big power. The Socialist Party elected 56 mayors and tallied 900,000 votes in the Election of 1912.”
Further, Howard explained, “The Communist Party activated in 1919 became the leading Revolutionary Party of the United States, and by far the most powerful force in the attack on Christianity. In addition, Howard claimed, “in the 1960s, cultural radicals came to dominate and overwhelm opinion-making in the United States and they have gathered steam over the last four decades, so that the separation of church and state, which was never written into the Constitution, is now almost universally accepted as a historical requirement of our free society. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
Continuing, Howard explained, until World War II, the United States acknowledged that the primary purpose of education “is to train each new generation how to live responsibly in its own society.” Concluding, Howard explained that education at the “bare minimum” has to prepare new generations to adhere and conform themselves to the principles and norms of its society. Thus, Howard emphasized that his generation “was known as the great generation.” He explained that the generation today is deprived of its Christian American Heritage.
If there is any remaining doubt about America’s Christian heritage and its connect to civil government, Feulner points out that “The Bill of Rights made it very clear, in the First Amendment; while ‘Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion’ it was equally important that same body did not create any law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’”
“We, at the Heritage Foundation, are dedicated to advancing a robust understanding of religious liberty and the role of religion in a free society and reasserting the centrality of religion in the public square.”