ama

Black Eye

Message to Christians

Christianity

 

Among Christian denominations, Catholics and Anglicans have a special calling to come to the defense of the first principles of our republic. The American Founders made natural religion the ground of our unity as a people. This rational understanding is perfectly compatible with Christianity. The assertion that religion is an irrational leap of faith has been devastating to the Christian faith. Reason is not depraved, as the Reformers claimed. Catholicism and Anglicanism recognize the importance of reason in the pursuit of religious truth.

The secularists, agnostics, atheists all warmly embrace the view that reason is corrupted in such a manner that it cannot discover, through its own native powers, any truth about God or the moral order. They adopt the view that Christianity is a contradiction to reason and therefore has no place within the public life of a free people. They say that science is the realm of reason and religion is the realm of faith. The two do not intersect. But this is false. Christianity if founded on religious truths that are agreeable to reason, to which the supernatural doctrines of the faith are added.

Christianity begins with truths are known prior to and independent of the faith. They are the exact same truths affirmed by the American Deists. They are the exact same truths that were announced to the world at the time of the founding. They are the exact same truths that stand as the first principles of our political union: God exists; He has given us our rights; He calls us to into union under the Laws of Nature; etc. Christians should join with Deists in the common conviction that God’s existence is evident to reason. Christians should join with Deists in the common affirmation that the most fundament truths of the moral law are known to reason through reflection on nature.

The attacks of the Deists on Christianity are nothing new. This has been a part of our nation’s history since its inception. As with all such insults, the Christian needs to overlook the fault and return kindness for abuse. We must find common ground with our fellow citizens on the objective principles of reason if we are to preserve this republic. We must be free once again to join in the public profession of the founding truths of our own nation. In this sense, the Deists are our allies. We share with the Deists many religious convictions, for example, that God is the Divine Providence. We agree that God has inscribed an order of moral law into nature so that we might govern ourselves freely.

These truths—and many more—are known by reason. To them we as Christians add the supernatural doctrines of our faith. These must remain private. The founding principles of our country, in contrast, belong within our public life. Only a nation that nurtures and protects those religious truths that are agreeable to reason will also be able to protect the right of the people to freely profess the doctrines of their faith in private. The Christian faith will be secure within the United States so long as the people are free to join in the public profession of the rational truths of natural religion.