Lutherans — the Original Freedom Folks.

Today we celebrate our country’s independence.  But as a Lutheran I have a heritage of freedom that goes way further back than just the 18th century.  You Lutherans are freedom people, their very name confesses that.

“Eleutheros”  is a word found in the Scriptures and is often translated “free” and states a condition of “being free”.  One of the best places to find the word is in John 8, from which one of the optional Gospel lessons for Reformation Day can be taken.  That chapter has that awesome verses (31-32):

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Now, reformation theologians had the habit of adopting other names, which can at times make the task of understanding the history difficult.  Johann Bugenhagen can become “Pomeranus” and Phillip Schwartzerdt can become “Melancthon”.  One of the other interesting name changes is “Luder” can become “Luther”(from “e-Luther-os”).

When God revealed the Gospel to Luther, his whole identity became wrapped up in the very freedom that God provides in Christ Jesus.  His name even changed.  It changed to represent the freedom that Jesus brings.

Now, freedom in America is a great gift from God, but one which can be taken away.  The freedom of the Gospel, that freedom so excellently confessed in the word “Lutheran” cannot be taken away – it is a freedom untouchable by this world.  And this day when the country rejoices in the freedom that it has been given by God, I will also find a greater security in the freedom of Christ.  He has made me Lutheran.  While you enjoy all those great gifts of country, family, and food today, realize underneath it all is the freedom of the Gospel, the only freedom with lasts forever.

 

 

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.

Comments

Lutherans — the Original Freedom Folks. — 39 Comments

  1. Galatians 5:

    13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

  2. Pr. Scheer,
    Weren’t your first two examples an adoption of Greek names/translations?
    Luder and Luther are just variant spellings. Consistent spelling, even of names, is a relatively recent idea.

  3. @helen #2
    Helen,
    As I forgot to include it in the post, Luther is yes a variant spelling, however it also comes from the Greek word for freedom – E-Luther-os. I was taught at one point in seminary that this was why the “Luther” was chosen over Luder, Ludder, Lutter, or any other variant out there.
    So it was an adoption of sorts.

    My using Buganhagen and Melancthon was just to show the common practice of having multiple names during the time of the Reformation. Sometimes you should check out all of the names and titles that Martin attributed to Katie…

  4. Martin H. Scharlemann (1910-82)…

    “In America, a congregation, a synod is an association before the law. It is a corporation which comes under laws of incorporation. And, as such, in terms of it being an institution, it has a responsibility like every other association to sound off to help shape public opinion. Now the symbol for this is the marketplace. Marketplace is short hand for all the devices a free society has to expect and to encourage groups of people to sound off. And the church’s particular business in this area is, of course, to see to it that moral principles survive in public opinion; that justice is modified by charity. You know that the church has accomplished that over the centuries. The sense of justice that you and I have and our laws have is not that of the ancient Romans. It has been modified because of the church’s proclamation of charity.”

    “Lectures Based on the Mission Affirmations”
    1973

    Martin H. Scharlemann served on the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, from 1952 until 1982 as a professor of exegetical theology.

  5. Missouri Synod President Friedrich Pfotenhauer (1859-1939):

    “Anything that touches moral issues is within the sphere of the church.”

    (Der Lutheraner, February 15, 1916, p. 63)

  6. Theodore Graebner (1876-1950), Seminary Professor and The Lutheran Witness Editor:

    We have in mind, first of all, the bill before the United States Senate which calls for setting aside October 31 as National Arthritis Day. Aside from the propriety of devoting a day in the national calendar to the fight on a certain disease, it is quite certain that should this bill go through, Reformation Day will be forgotten, the secular driving out the religious. Our readers should write to their Senators and protest against a bill which would compel loyal American Lutherans to neglect and depress their observance of a day which has been historic for four centuries, in favor of the fight on a disease….

    Somebody somewhere must assume the duty of speaking for Lutheranism where the interests of all are at stake. Ever since the explanation of the omission of the word “Lutheran” from the book, The Story of the Christmas Tree stuck in our craw (you remember — it was omitted “for business reasons” ), we are wondering what must happening before a Voice will be heard that can speak for us all. Maybe crowding Reformation Day off the religious page and substituting “Arthritis Day” will help.

    From “More Offenses Against Lutheran Sentiment” (The Lutheran Witness, September 25, 1945, p. 317)

    Graebner had a another bit of advise just as useful 66 years later:

    “Politicians and also diplomats will listen when there is a mass protest, not otherwise.”

    It must have worked; National Arthritis Day is observed on October 12.

  7. Would that Americans understood and practiced freedom, as defined by John 8, Galatians 5 and the entirety of Scripture. We have been created and we have been redeemed to be instruments of God’s love for our neighbor. We are free to serve. However, in this country, we selfishly think that we are free to be served and served even if it compromises our neighbor’s freedoms.

  8. Johan Bergest #7: Who are “we”? Are you accusing the nation as a whole, the nation *not* being necessarily “Christian” by faith or practice, and *not* necessarily therefore being aware of the teachings of “John 8, Galatians 5 and the entirety of Scripture,” or of the “Christian” part of the nation, both heterodox and orthodox? Are you speaking of an “entitlement mentality” with reference to a specific group of Americans who are benefiting from social programs, whether “rightly” or “wrongly”? Are you including yourself in your accusation, or using “we” only of others?

    Thank you for your clarification of to whom you were referring.

  9. @Johan Bergest #7
    “However, in this country, we selfishly think that we are free to be served and served even if it compromises our neighbor’s freedoms.”

    Yes, and we confuse the joyful sharing of Acts 4:32 with a *forced* redistribution of wealth, which is legal theft.

  10. So it’s fair to say that Jesus was trying to communicate “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you Lutherans?” Works for me. 😉

  11. @Pr. Duane Meissner #10
    “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you Lutherans?” Works for me.

    Works for me, too. As I like to put it, “You don’t have to be Lutheran to be saved, but you do have to be Lutheran to be right.”

    Some people think it’s outrageous to say such things, but they are the same people who think Lutheran is just another “flavor” of Christianity and think the Reformed or the Romanists (perhaps even the Mormons?) could be right after all. They need to spend more time in the Word…

  12. Alvin J. Schmidt…

    “If a fish could think, the last thing a fish would discover is water. Human beings, unlike fish, who can think, the last thing they discover is the influence of culture that’s around them like water is around a fish. And it shapes and directs their values, and they often don’t know how it undermines their Christian belief, their Christian confession.”

    Issues, Etc.
    March 14, 2005

    Alvin J. Schmidt served on the faculties of Concordia Teachers College, Seward, NE (1963-73) and Concordia Theological Seminary Springfield, IL/Fort Wayne, IN (1975-87).

  13. Dr. Martin H. Scharlemann served for 30 years on
    the St. Louis Seminary faculty. I might be mistaken,
    but I do not believe he ever served as a parish
    pastor. He was a brilliant exegete and theologian,
    however, it would have been nice for him to bring
    some pastoral experience to the sem classroom.

    Maybe it is just me, but I do not understand what
    he is saying in post #5 in LCMS Quotes.

  14. “While Dr. Scharlemann may be most well-remembered as a seminary professor, he began his ministry serving parishes in Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin before becoming an active-duty army chaplain in 1941. In 1952 Scharlemann accepted a call to Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, but remained active in the Reserves until his military retirement in 1971. Dr. Scharlemann continued to serve at Concordia Seminary until his death.”

    “Dr. Martin H. Scharlemann: A Faithful Servant (Part One)”
    Historical Footnotes
    Concordia Historical Institute
    Summer 2011

  15. Dave Likeness #13: Dr. Scharlemann was a “born again” conservative who earned the eternal hatred of the liberal CSL “faculty majority” in the early 1970s by going to LCMS President JAO Preus Jr. and asking for an investigation of what was being taught at CSL relative to the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Dr. Scharlemann himself had produced some rather “liberal” essays about Scripture in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and had publicly withdrawn them and apologized to the synod during the LCMS Cleveland Convention in 1962. He also was a military chaplain for the LCMS during World War Two who later defended LCMS participation in the military chaplaincy program to the Synodical Conference when objections to LCMS participation in the program were raised by the WELS and ELS. “Red” Fred Danker’s apologia for the CSL “faculty majority,” NO ROOM IN THE BROTHERHOOD, was actually a book-length attack upon Dr. Scharlemann for having asked President Preus for an investigation of the “faculty majority” which led the condemnation of their teachings at the 1973 St. Louis Convention, which was followed early next year by the “Seminex” walkout. The title of Danker’s book was meant to refer to the “faculty majority,” but it is really demonstrating that there was “no room” in the “faculty majority” “brotherhood” for the likes of a “traitor” like Dr. Scharlemann, who had repented of his liberal teachings and was trying to return the LCMS to the orthodox doctrine of the inspiration and authority of Scripture. When Dr. Scharlemann became acting president of CSL following the “Seminex” walkout, he endured much abuse from the “faculty majority” and their students for having “blown the whistle” on their heterodoxy.

    Dr. Scharlemann deserves the thanks of the LCMS these many years later for having started the process by which the heterodoxy of the CSL “faculty majority” was exposed and dealt with before the synod was overwhelmed by liberalism and lost its confessional doctrine and practice regarding Scripture. IMHO, the LCMS needs another Dr. Scharlemann today to start the process of an investigation of what is being taught now in the LCMS seminaries about the doctrine of the Ministry, so that those teachings which are contrary to Scripture, the Confessions, and the historic doctrinal position of the LCMS can be exposed and dealt with before the synod loses its confessional doctrine and practice of the Office of the Public Ministry. Will such a new Dr. Scharlemann arise in time to save the LCMS from its current peril?

  16. Martin H. Scharlemann (1910-82)

    Assistant Pastor, St. John’s, Kendallville, Indiana (1934-35)
    Assistant to the Pastor, St. Paul, St. Louis, Missouri (1935-38)
    Assistant Pastor, St. John’s, Osseo, Minnesota (1938)
    Pastor, Trinity, Athens, Wisconsin (1939-41)
    Interim Pastor, Waldensian Church, Cerignola, Italy (1944-45)

    Academic Catalog 1981-83
    Concordia Seminary
    Saint Louis, Missouri

  17. Robert D. Preus (1924-95)…

    “I don’t know if you know Scharlemann, but they call him ‘General,’ first of all because he is a general, and secondly because he acts like a general.”

    “Explosion of ’74”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
    September 14, 1978

  18. #18: I have no problem thinking of Dr. Scharlemann as a general, but I have *serious* problems trying to think of A.C. Piepkorn as a general, and yet I believe that he was one also.

  19. Robert D. Preus (1924-95)…

    “Doctor Tietjen set a special meeting of the faculty, but he didn’t state the reason for the meeting. So we all came there not knowing what in the world we were coming for. Unfortunately, Doctor Scharlemann was gone. He was in the Army, and he had to be at a base to give some lectures, and he had checked this all out far in advance so that everybody should have known he was gone. And he didn’t know what the meeting was about. Well it so happened that the whole meeting was to condemn him, to censure him, and that the faculty was to do it—not just Doctor Tietjen and the Board of Control, which would have been more than enough, but the faculty. The censure was all written out ahead of time by one of the faculty members—a brother-in-law of Doctor Tietjen. And here we were with the man to be judged and condemned absent. Doctor Klann, who is never at a loss for words, said this meeting is out of order for the reason I stated. He was rejected. I remember Doctor Piepkorn, who was a great friend of Doctor Scharlemann’s—great friend of mine—being caught between an old friend whom he’d known since army days during the war, and between the will of what obviously was the leadership of the faculty. And that poor man, along with several others who didn’t feel at all good about it, and five negative votes.”

    “Happenings in St. Louis, 1974”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, IL
    1976

  20. “Far greater than the Russian menace, far greater than the menace of world communism, is the danger that you and I and our fellow Americans will lose faith in God and stray from the reach of His shepherding care.” In these words the author of Declaration of Dependence expresses his concern over the lack of faith creeping into the American nation.

    His messages serve to remind us that national holidays are established by law to provide time for reflection. Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and other national observances are more than times of vacation with pay. These festivals point to the undeserved blessings of God upon the United States.

    The country formed its own identity by means of a “Declaration of Independence” in 1776. Though a declaration of independence in the political sense from England, it is at the same time a “declaration of dependence” on God, who gives unalienable rights to man.

    John H. Baumgaertner [St. Louis seminary, 1933] penetrates American hearts with his pointed messages. He evokes responses of repentance for idolatrous indulgence and quickens the reader to thanksgiving.

    The author is pastor of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, world traveler, and active worker in his community.

    Declaration of Dependence
    Concordia Publishing House
    1965

  21. #22: I’m sorry, but this sounds like an attempt, however well-intentioned, to mix Church & State. The Church does not need the State to support or enforce the recognition by Christians of their dependence upon God. It is the responsibility of the Church to “speak the Truth in Love” both to the Church and those outside of it through the faithful proclamation of the Word of God.

    Pardon my “suspicion,” but anything published by CPH during the 1960s, during the height of the “liberal” control of the synod prior to 1969, needs to be closely examined for doctrinal accuracy.

  22. Christian Encounter

    Encounter with every human endeavor and problem is a fact of Christian life. As partners in God’s continuing creative presence in the world, Christians live in a creative tension of concern and involvement with every human relationship and social frontier. Through the Christian’s personal encounter with all levels of society and culture, God works His redeeming purposes for all men. Therefore Christian Encounter books involve the creative task of analyzing a modern issue with the tools of Christian truth and the perspective of an authoritative commentator. The reader accepts the risk of a participant in God’s encounter with the world—the risk of a personal stance as responsible steward in God’s world.

    …Politics and Government

    As an elected political officeholder, author Paul G. Elbrecht calls Christians to the opportunities for service within the American political system. He points to the flaws within modern political life as all the more reason for Christian involvement in the community, politics, and government. The vast moral dilemmas facing our country—world hunger, population explosion, nuclear control, race issues—call for Christian thinking at the political level. This book reviews the American political system from precinct to presidency and invites the reply, “Politics? I’m interested. What can I do?”

    Christian Encounters…Politics and Government
    Concordia Publishing House
    1965

  23. Perhaps I’m confusing American freedom with French liberty, but I think they’re connected. The ideals that formed and inspired our Revolution are the same ones that brought about the French Revolution.

    Looking at freedom/liberty as the ideal for the nation I would turn to “Concerning Christian Liberty.” What does Luther say about Christian Liberty? How is the Great Commandment reflected in this writing? Is the Bible a moral guide book for a secular government, or at all? Does justification by faith compell the Christian, the Lutheran, the catholic to care for his brother?

    http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/the-day-we-celebrate/

  24. As Luther says:

    “…man does not live for himself alone in this mortal body, in order to work on its account, but also for all men on earth; nay, he lives only for others, and not for himself. For it is to this end that he brings his own body into subjection, that he may be able to serve others more sincerely and more freely, as Paul says, “None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Rom. xiv. 7, 8). Thus it is impossible that he should take his ease in this life, and not work for the good of his neighbours, since he must needs speak, act, and converse among men, just as Christ was made in the likeness of men and found in fashion as a man, and had His conversation among men.”

    It seems that there is some sort of need in the graceful man to fulfill the second half of the Great Commandment:

    “…Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, and with all thy minde. This is the first and great Commandement. And the second is like vnto it, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. On these two Commandements hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

    This is, of course not efficacious to justification, but rather a result of being justified. No?

  25. Doesn’t all of this remind us of the fact that the Christian lives in Two Kingdoms and that there must be a “Proper Distinction” between those two Kingdoms, just as there needs to be a proper distinction of the Law and the Gospel, and the Invisble Church and the Visible Church (yes, there is only *one* Church, properly speaking, the Invisible Church)? Each Kingdom has its proper sphere by God’s design: Matt. 22:21: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

  26. That is exactly what I’m saying.

    It is reprehensible that Roman bishops would take the government to court over something like Obamacare rather than take the highground of their christian calling and go to prison for defying it. Even a Transcendentalist like Thoreau know better than to kowtow to Caesar. Pay him his due, yes; Kawtow, no.

    …but Roman goings on have little to do with the catholic Church.

    It is justification by grace through faith that produces the freedom to do good, and that freedom, that liberty is inseparable from a desire to serve and the necessity, the compulsion, to do good works, those works being good due to the faith, the grace which inspires them.

    I do not expect a secular government, a republic, a democracy, or a capitalist state to subscribe to this position, but I also don’t expect people of faith to buy into the secular political system. Sure, render unto Caesar, but don’t think that is any sort of grace inspired good work.

    What is God’s? Our fear, love and trust, our freedom and our servitude. Once again from On Christian Liberty: “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.”

    Perhaps this is a contradiction to my thesis, but there is so much in our Christian tradition has its origins in the profane, that has been baptized into the Church including parts of out liturgy and liturgical year, our feasts and fasts that it seems that something coming from the secular state which may have a resonence with being a “dutiful servant” would be embraced rather than shunned.

  27. It is reprehensible that Roman bishops would take the government to court over something like Obamacare rather than take the highground of their christian calling and go to prison for defying it. Even a Transcendentalist like Thoreau know better than to kowtow to Caesar.

    I am not sure I follow this.

    Are you saying petitioning for redress is kowtowing? Or do I misunderstand? Can you explain?

  28. At no time in history has the Church bowed before a godless government. Now, however, that is exactly what Rome is doing: making its objections known in and on the terms of the secular state rather than strictly in and on the terms of moral revelation. I would think that if Rome really wanted to stand on moral ground, her bishops would be willing to face prison to defy, on moral grounds, a law that they found unjust.

    Sorry for the lack of clarity.

  29. Erich #31: But aren’t American Catholics also citizens who can seek redress through the courts and government in wanting to protect religious liberty from government intrusion?

    Besides that, how can you say that “at no time in history has the Church bowed before a godless government”? It’s happened many times in history that portions of the Visible Church have done so: most of the Visible Church in Germany during the Nazi era did so.

  30. Addendum: Paul used his Roman citizenship and appealed to Caesar–why not American Catholics?

  31. But the bishops are not acting as private citizens, they are acting as bishops of the Church of Rome. Somehow Henry David Thoreau comes to mind. In his work “Civil Disobedience” he argues that a government should not be permitted to overrule one’s conscience. Thoreau went to prison rather than compromise his morals. He did not take the government to court. He did not sue the government to change its laws, but rather went to prison in defense of his conscience, and he was a Transcendentalist. I’d expect no less from a Christian. I would hope that the Roman bishops, rather than kowtowing to the secular sovereignty of the government, would take an actual stand, as bishops have done for centuries before.

    As far as the Church in Germany in the 1930s goes, I don’t consider collusion to be bowing.

  32. Erich #34: Then we’re dealing with semantics; for me “collusion” *is* “bowing.” The Catholic bishops are *both* leaders in their church body *and* American citizens. They have the right to represent their religious constituency to the govenment through their rights as citizens a nation whose form of government permits them to be both leaders in their church body and citizens participating in the government of their nation.

    Was Paul acting as a “private citizen” or as an Apostle, or *both,* when he announced his Roman citizenship and appealed to Caesar?

  33. @Warren Malach #33

    Perhaps it is a matter of semantics, or perhaps I used the wrong word. I meant to say that the Church in Germany in the 1930s did not bow down to the secular government, but rather kept its claim to moral authority and gave its blessing to the secular government. Both the Church and state were equal partners.

    As far as the issue of Roman bishops being citizens of the United States, yes they certainly are, and they do have the right to use all the secular means available to them to make their moral point, but the question is: should they? If the Roman bishops use the secular system they are giving that system moral authority. If they hand over moral authority in this instance how can they claim their own moral authority on a subsequent issue like same sex marriage? By engaging the state on the state’s terms they are privileging their citizenship in the state over their citizenship in Heaven. They are privileging the American Deist understanding of liberty over Christian liberty, and should not be surprised when it comes back to bite them in the ass.

    Looking at Paul’s citizenship: I would say that it is a completely different situation, and as Luther says: “…it is not sufficient, nor a Christian course, to preach the works, life, and words of Christ in a historic manner, as facts which it suffices to know as an example how to frame our life, as do those who are now held the best preachers, and much less so to keep silence altogether on these things and to teach in their stead the laws of men and the decrees of the Fathers.”

    I would include Paul in this too.

    All this being said, Warren, I feel that we have taken up a lot of space here, and should return to the thesis of my original comment, which was a series of questions. I meant them rhetorically, but Carol responded with a comment that I think was reaching toward my thesis. That being, as Luther says:

    “…man does not live for himself alone in this mortal body, in order to work on its account, but also for all men on earth; nay, he lives only for others, and not for himself. For it is to this end that he brings his own body into subjection, that he may be able to serve others more sincerely and more freely, as Paul says, “None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Rom. xiv. 7, 8). Thus it is impossible that he should take his ease in this life, and not work for the good of his neighbours, since he must needs speak, act, and converse among men, just as Christ was made in the likeness of men and found in fashion as a man, and had His conversation among men.”

    A Christian is known by his fruits. There is a need in the graceful man to fulfill the second half of the Great Commandment:

    “…Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, and with all thy minde. This is the first and great Commandement. And the second is like vnto it, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. On these two Commandements hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

    This is, of course not efficacious to justification, but rather a result of being justified.

  34. @Rev. McCall #34

    She may disagree, but that seems a bit like revisionist history when one looks at the relationship that the founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Franklyn) had with French revolutionaries like Lafayette. It also seems odd that revolutionaries on both sides of the Atlantic should share their revolutionary symbols.

    The liberty cap, AKA the phrygian cap became an important symbol in the French Revolution, and if you know where to look, it can be seen in much revolutionary American art and architecture: it’s there in the seal of the United States Senate; it’s on the head of the allegorical figure of Liberty on some of the oldest US currency; it’s at the top of the Liberty (flag) pole in Union Square in New York City.

    The French were inspired by Americans sporting names like the Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.

    That being said I do not see the connection between this conversation and the theme of the post above which I understand to be the tradition of freedom carried in the name Lutheran.

  35. Erich #33 & 34: Since we’re all just stating our opinions here and not asserting that our opinions constitute orthodox Christian doctrine drawn from Scripture, I consider this to be a “philosophical” rather than “theological” discussion. I interpret the Scriptural example of St. Paul’s Roman citizenship, the history of Germany, and the rights as citizens of this nation held by Roman Catholic bishops differently than you do, but that’s just my opinion, as you have yours. Without supporting evidence based upon factual information, our opinions remain our opinions. That being the case, I am not interested in prolonging a “philosophical” discussion which lacks (or rejects) Scriptural teaching or example.

    With reference to #34, I agree with everything you say prior to your final paragraph. The American Revolution has been the subject of “revisionist” interpretation by “conservatives” for many years which ignores or suppresses the secular nature of the American Revolution’s philosophical roots. The references to “the Deity” and “Providence” in the founding documents of the US have misled many into thinking that the people behind the American Revolution were orthodox Christians when they weren’t. That God “used” the American Revolution I will not deny, but that it *could* have led to the barbarism and tyranny of the French Revolution I will *also* not deny.

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