Thursday, December 17, 2015

Connecticut Candidate John Pistone on Religious Faith

John Pistone
I feel as your congressman, one of my responsibilities is to uphold the parts of our nation’s rich history that has made America great. One such part is America's foundation of faith

I think there's a reason why, " God Bless America," sends chills through our bodies when we sing it. I think there is a reason why our money says, " In God We Trust." I think there is a reason why the Declaration of Independence begins:

" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

And I think there is a reason why when we as Americans face our most trying moments, like 9-11, we almost universally return to things like prayer and readings from Holy Scripture.

And the reason is because America has an undeniable foundation of faith. For example consider this statement by John Adams:

" The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity…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."

How about John Quincy Adams, our nation’s sixth President? In one of his speeches on July 4th, 1837, at Newburyport, he asked the crowd:

" Why is it that, next to the birth of the Savior of the World (Jesus Christ), your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day (the Fourth of July)."

He then answered his own question:

" Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?...."

And who can forget our nations very first President, George Washington.

Washington’s Farewell Address once was a separate school textbook used for over a century and taught as the most significant political speech ever delivered to the nation.

Amazingly, his FA has not been seen in most textbooks for over four decades. Why Doesn’t Washington have anything to offer the nation today? No, apparently the problem with his FA today is it’s religious emphasis, for four of his dozen or so warnings to the nation were overtly religious. It is interesting that his FA has begun to reappear in college textbooks – minus the four religious warnings.

Here was one of those such warnings:

" Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that main claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars."

I’d say that’s pretty strong evidence that our nation has an undeniable foundation of faith.

Moreover, our nation’s rich history of faith is even more evident when we understand where our founding fathers acquired the wisdom to deliver us a system of government which has enjoyed unprecedented success, making us the world’s longest on going republic. For two hundred or so years we have been under the same document and under one form of government. By comparison France has gone through seven and Italy fifty-one.

The political science professors at the University of Houston undertook the task of assembling 15,000 writings from the Founding Era – no small sample – and searched those writings. The project took ten years and by the time it ended the researchers has identified 3,154 direct quotes made by Founders and identified the source of those quotes.

Baron Charles de Montesquieu - 8.3 %
Sir William Blackstone – 7.9 %
John Locke – 2.9 %
The Bible – 34 %

More Astounding though is when the source of Montesquieu and Blackstone’s ideas were identified. Consider Blackstone. His commentary on the laws was the resource used in American courts from 1768-1869 to settle disputes, define words and examine procedures. To best understand where Blackstone got his ideas, we need only know that Charles Finney did not start out as a preacher. He started out as a law student. Like all good law students he studied Blackstone’s commentaries that he became a Christian and received his call into the ministry.

It is clear to anyone who cares to look into the history of our nation that our nation was founded on a rich history of faith. And this fact was recognized by all up until around the mid 1900's when the Supreme court mis-used a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist church in Danbury Connecticut (right here in our district) in response to their concerns that the government would someday be able to restrict religious activities. Jefferson understood their concern. In his response he assured them that the free exercise of religion was indeed an unalienable right and would not be meddled with by the government.

Jefferson pointed out to them that there was a “wall of separation between church and state” to insure that the government would never interfere with the religious activities. That’s where the phrase Separation of Church and State came from, not from the first amendment. Matter of fact the 1st Amendment was written to insure the free exercise of religion and that the government would not meddle with it. Today it is inappropriately used to make sure that the church does not meddle with the government, which was built upon the values of the church.

I could go on and on and cite example after example that shows the undeniable foundation of faith that our nation was built upon and which has made America great. As your Congressmen representing the Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut, I vow to help protect our nations religious freedoms instead of allowing our government to continue to restrict the influence of faith that has always been part of our nations rich history and which has made America the greatest nation in the world!