To make their case that the Founding Fathers intended to create
a 'Christian nation,' advocates need to answer the questions:
1) Why did members of the Constitutional Convention make a
deliberate decision not to begin their proceedings with official
There is no doubt that such a decision was made and that
the meetings of the Convention did not include public prayers.
Now, if these Founding Fathers were intent on creating a
'Christian America' by their efforts, how is it possible that they
would have declined to invoke God's blessings and guidance?
I have never come across an adequate answer to this question,
if one assumes the claim of the advocates of 'Christian America.'
It was this decision that Benjamin Franklin challenged during
the "dark days"of the Convention, when it was at an impasse
over the question of states' representation in the national legis-
lature. Franklin issued an eloquent and often-quoted (out of
context) motion that prayers be offered in order to "remedy"
the situation. This fact leads to the second question:
2)Why did the Convention reject Franklin's motion?
And reject it they did, despite the popular falsehood that
Franklin's motion was well received, prayers were initiated,
and this was the 'turning point' of the Convention. A debate
broke out over the motion, the motion was never voted upon
and effectively killed. Franklin later wrote: the Convention,
"except for three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary."
The impasse continued for many days after Franklin's motion -
no turning point here! Gouverneur Morris said in the course of
subsequent debate: "Reason tells us that we are but men, and
we are not to expect any particular interference from heaven
in our favor."
The Convention did decide to have a religious service on
July 4th, outside of the Convention's proceedings, in which
prayers were offered on behalf of the Convention - a true
expression of both"free exercise" and 'separation of church
How do advocates of Christian America spin this situation,
when they finally realize that their old claims as to the 'prayer
meeting convention' are demonstrably false?
On D. James Kennedy's special "One Nation Under God"
(aired 7/22/06) it was asserted that a "variation" of Franklin's
motion was adopted and "prayers were offered for the
Convention." The statement is technically true, but intentionally
ambiguous and misleading, as many will conclude that the
prayers were offered within the Convention as a part of official
Convention proceedings. (Talk about NOT letting your 'yes' be
'yes' and your 'no' be 'no!')
Advocates of 'Christian America' have yet to come up with
an adequate and honest response to the incompatibiity of the
Convention's decisions regarding official pubic prayer and their
claim that the Founding Fathers intended to establish, institut-
ionally and legally, a 'Christian nation.'