BY: Chris McDaniel @senatormcdaniel
Last Wednesday, thousands of people visited their local Chick-fil-A stores, buying sandwiches to show support for the restaurant president’s right to freely oppose same-sex marriage. For most, their actions were an expression in support of free speech — that is, free speech without retaliation.
When Chick-fil-A’s president dared to speak his mind, the backlash against his company was nasty. Just after the mayors of Chicago and Boston ridiculed his company, the mayor of Washington, DC, actually claimed it was selling “hate chicken.” Liberal students from at least two colleges called for their campus Chick-fil-A restaurants to permanently close. Making matters worse, officials in several cities expressed their desire to keep the restaurant out of their towns.
Such leftist nonsense usually works to silence conservatives. But not this time. The left picked a public fight, and they lost in dramatic fashion.
The nationwide demonstrations were as much a stand against liberal intolerance and political correctness as they were a defense of traditional marriage, with turnout so diverse and widespread that many were surprised.
But the affirmation of what is generally a Christian position should come as no surprise to students of American history.
After all, it was French historian and author Alexis de Tocqueville who remarked 170 years ago, “There is no country in the world, where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”
He was not unique in his defense of Christianity’s place in a free society.
Remember, it was President Harry Truman who told an Attorney General’s Conference in 1950, “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.”
During his campaign for President, Woodrow Wilson expressed: “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.”
Our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, pointed to a Bible as he lay sick near death in 1845 and said, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.”
These distinguished leaders, along with others including Roosevelt and Reagan, were simply verbalizing the shared universal language that has always enlightened the republic.
United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay also shared such sentiments when he wrote in 1816, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
In 1892, the Supreme Court case of Holy Trinity v. United States specifically noted the religious history of our country. After an examination of our traditions, declarations and customs, the Court wrote: “These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” The Court’s finding that “this is a Christian nation” was followed by another ruling in 1931 which found that Americans are a “Christian people” and a 1952 opinion where Justice William O. Douglas, wrote that “we are a religious people and our institutions presupposes a Supreme Being.”
The national motto remains, “In God We Trust,” and it is proudly enshrined in our currency. In verse four of our National Anthem, we sing “In God is our trust” and “Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a Nation.”
To be sure, the republic does not have an official or legally-preferred religion or church, since the Constitution specifically and rightly forbids such intrusion.
But the lack of an established religion does not mean that Christians should be declared irrelevant. It is the responsibility of good people to exert cultural influence by speaking their minds and spending their money.
Fed up with being bullied, people of faith finally sent a powerful political message — one chicken sandwich at a time.
About Chris: Chris is an attorney, conservative commentator and a Republican politician in the Mississippi Senate who has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi, since 2008. He resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi.
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