Get to know your enemy. Text and tweet no more – read and read, and read some more.
Our nation’s enemies would have us not pray at all – they have even taken their argument to the Supreme Court of the United States. In rebuttal we argue that prayer is a constitutional American tradition.
Prayer is one of several American traditions that made our nation great. Once again we must pray and pray – and pray some more – if we are to restore our once great nation to the pedestal from which it has fallen. Once again we must pray in private and in public, we must pray day or night, we must pray anywhere and everywhere.
Get To Know Your Enemy
In 1958 W. Cleon Skousen, published The Naked Communist in which he enumerated forty-five (45) contemporary goals of communism. On January 10, 1963, these goals of communism were published in the United States Congressional Record. Four of the more relevant – prayer related – goals of communism included:
“Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.” [The Naked Communist, Goal 16, page 260]
“Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch." [The Naked Communist, Goal 27, page 261]
“Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." [The Naked Communist, Goal 28 page 261]
Four of the methodology related goals of communism included:
“Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.” [The Naked Communist, Goal 17, Hardcover page 260]
“Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.” [The Naked Communist, Goal 29, Hardcover page 261]
“Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man." [The Naked Communist, Goal 30, Hardcover page 261]
“Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.” [The Naked Communist, Goal 35, Hardcover page 261]
In 2012 Paul B. Skousen, son of W. Cleon Skousen, published The Naked Socialist in which he enumerated forty-six (46) contemporary goals of socialism. Two of the more relevant goals included:
“Replace God-centered Religion with Humanist Religion: Infiltrate the pulpits to create a “social religion” that promotes social and political agendas. Inject the mainstream with messages of moral guilt for all aspects of human advancement. Promote a neutral belief system founded on financial and material goals, not God.” [The Naked Socialist, Goal 25, Kindle eBook page 532]
“Rewrite History to Discredit American Culture: Remove know-ledge about the advances coming out of the Great Enlightenment and subsequent American Revolution, and white-wash U.S. history as relatively insignificant flotsam on the tides of history, an awkward child of the great enlightenment, 1500-1800. Emphasize the rich histories of other countries such as China, India, and Australia.” [The Naked Socialist, Goal 43, Kindle eBook page 534]
Arguably, prayer is a constitutional American tradition that is under attack by our nation’s enemies.
Arguably, Saul David Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was, and still is, used to implement many of these communist and socialist goals – but that is another story ( ). Moving on.
Prayer is one of several American traditions that made our nation great. Once again we must pray and pray – and pray some more – if we are to restore our once great nation to the pedestal from which it has fallen. We must pray in private and in public, we must pray day or night, we must pray anywhere and everywhere.
Prayer Is A Constitutional American Tradition
Arguably, prayer is a constitutional American tradition rooted in the culture and lifestyle of our nation’s founding fathers and their families; rooted in the culture and lifestyle of the early American period (1775-1865).
On June 28, 1777, Benjamin Franklin proposed morning prayers before proceeding with business at the Constitutional Convention. In pertinent part:
"We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and by-word down to future ages...I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
Apparently neither Benjamin Franklin nor our nation’s forefathers took issue with the constitutionality of prayer at our nation’s Constitutional Convention.
George Washington (1732-1799)
It is written that George Washington, the Father of our country, was a man who prayed:
“George Washington was the Father of our country, and was also a man who prayed. On Inauguration Day, April 30, 1789, after taking the Oath of Office, he kissed the Bible and looked up, reverently closed his eyes and said, “So help me God!” He then gave his first Inauguration Address where he ended by saying:
“I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness.”
George Washington clearly did not take issue with prayer or the constitutionality of prayer.
United States Department of the Army
The National Museum of the United States Army explains that the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps is one of the oldest and smallest branches of the Army. Army historians tell us that:
“The Chaplain Corps dates back to 29 July 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized one chaplain for each regiment of the Continental Army, with pay equaling that of a captain. In addition to chaplains serving in Continental regiments, many militia regiments counted chaplains among their ranks.”
Army historians also tell us that:
“Since the War for Independence, chaplains have served in every American war….Today, some 1,300 active duty Army chaplains and 1,200 in the reserve components, representing five major faiths groups (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist) and over 120 denominations, administer to soldiers and their families.”
It is interesting to note that United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division has a digital image depicting a Roman Catholic army chaplain celebrating a Mass for Union soldiers and officers during the American Civil War (1861–1865).
One of the primary functions of a military chaplain is to pray with and for service members. Apparently our nation’s forefathers did not take issue with the constitutionality of prayer – then or now.
United States Congress
On May 1, 1789, the first Chaplain of the House was elected:
“The election of the Rev. William Linn as Chaplain of the House on May 1, 1789, continued the tradition established by the Continental Congresses of each day's proceedings opening with a prayer by a chaplain. The early House Chaplains alternated duties with their Senate counterparts on a weekly basis. The two conducted Sunday services for the Washington community in the House chamber every other week.
“In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the Chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates the scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, Chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members.”
Clearly, our nation’s forefathers did not take issue with the constitutionality of public or private prayer in the Congress of the United States.
The New England Primer
The New England Primer (Primer) clearly evidences that prayer is an American tradition. The contents of David Barton’s 1991 edition, with the exception of the forward, are a camera reproduction of the 1777 edition of The New England Primer.
In May 2007 David Barton apparently wrote an updated forward to the Kindle eBook edition of his 1991 reprint of the 1777 edition. The updated forward is consistent with the forward in his 1991 edition of the reprint. Barton’s updated May 2007 forward states in pertinent part:
“The New England Primer introduced in Boston in 1690 by Benjamin Harris, was the first textbook printed in America. For 100 years after its introduction, The New England Primer was the beginning textbook for students; until 1900 it continued to be a principal text in all types of American schools: public, private, semiprivate, home, dame, parochial, etc. The Founders, as well as most other Americans, learned to read from The New England Primer and the Bible. Although later editions offered more reading and vocabulary words than the first editions, the Primer underwent few significant changes over its 200 years of wide-spread use. The core of the Primer—its rhyming alphabet, the Bible alphabet, its Bible questions, and Shorter Catechism—remained intact from reprint to reprint.” [Primer (p. 3). Kindle Edition.]
Barton’s Forward further clarifies that “the value of the Shorter Catechism, an inseparable part of the Primer,” was explained (as follows) in the 1843 edition:
“Our Puritan Fathers brought the Shorter Catechism with them across the ocean and laid it on the same shelf with the family Bible. They taught it diligently to their children … If in this Catechism the true and fundamental doctrines of the Gospel are expressed in fewer and better words and definitions than in any other summary, why ought we not now to train up a child in the way he should go?—why not now put him in possession of the richest treasure that ever human wisdom and industry accumulated to draw from?” [Primer (p. 3). Kindle Edition]
Barton’s Forward opines that the 1900 edition described the impact of the Primer:
“The New England Primer was one of the greatest books ever published. It went through innumerable editions; it reflected in a marvelous way the spirit of the age that produced it, and contributed, perhaps more than any other book except the Bible, to the molding of those sturdy generations that gave to America its liberty and its institutions.” [Primer (p. 4). Kindle Edition]
Get to know your enemy. Our nation’s enemies would have us not pray at all – they have even taken their argument to the Supreme Court of the United States. In rebuttal we argue that prayer is a constitutional American tradition.
Barton’s Forward concludes with “Helpful Notes to the Reader”:
“Originally, The New England Primer was a text for students just beginning to read; since there were no grade classifications in American schools until the 19th century, it was simply called a Primer (a small elementary book for teaching children to read). It is the current equivalent of a first-grade text or reader. However, it is probably well above the reading and vocabulary level of today’s typical first-graders—a potent commentary on the difference between the educational system of our Founders and that of today!” [Primer (p. 5). Kindle Edition]
Arguably, Barton’s Forward, of itself, is sufficient to establish that prayer is an American tradition. The actual text of The New England Primer further evidences that prayer is an American tradition. Leaf through the pages of the 1777 edition of The New England Primer and you will find:
- “A Divine Song of Praise to GOD, for a Child.”
- “The young INFANT’S or CHILD’S morning Prayer.”
- “The INFANT’S or young CHILD’S Evening Prayer.”
- “The LORD’s Prayer”
- “The CREED”
- “The Shorter CATECHISM” (complete with 107 questions and answers)
- “SPIRITUAL MILK for American BABES, Drawn out of the Breasts of both Testaments, for their Souls Nourishment.” (about ten pages of unnumbered questions and answers similar to what you might find in a catechism)
- “A Dialogue between CHRIST, Youth, and the Devil.” (about ten pages)
Most Americans can relate to the text for some or all of the Primer’s published prayers. “The LORD’s Prayer” is a good example:
“OUR Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. AMEN.” [Primer (p. 22). Kindle Edition]
“The CREED” is another good example:
“I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead (sic), and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father, Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge both the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.” [Primer (p. 22). Kindle Edition]
Finally, the 1977 edition of The New England Primer includes a picture of John Hancock. The caption [Primer (p. 6). Kindle Edition] reads:
“The Honorable JOHN HANCOCK, Esq:
President of the American CONGRESS”
Arguably, the picture of John Hancock is an endorsement of The New England Primer – to include the Primer’s many prayers and religious content. This further confirms that prayer is an American tradition. More importantly, this endorsement infers that the 1777 president of the American congress did not take issue with the constitutionality of prayer.
What can the ordinary citizen do?
It was W. Cleon Skousen that answered the question of what the ordinary citizen can do. In 1958 Skousen wrote:
“The war between freedom and slavery is not just a fight to be waged by Congressmen, the President, soldiers and diplomats. Fighting Communism, Socialism, and the subversion of constitutional government is everybody’s job. And working for the expansion of freedom is everybody’s job. It is a basic American principle that each individual knows better than anyone else what he can do to help once he has become informed. No citizen will have to go far from his own home to find a faltering battle line which needs his aid. Communist influences are gnawing away everywhere and thousands of confused citizens often aid and abet them by operating in a vacuum of their own ignorance. The task is therefore to become informed and then move out for action!” [The Naked Communist, Hardcover page 275]
That being said, and at the risk of being redundant, text and tweet no more – read and read, and read some more. Get to know your enemy. Our nation’s enemies would have us not pray at all – they have even taken their argument to the Supreme Court of the United States. In rebuttal we argue that prayer is a constitutional American tradition.
It bears repeating. Prayer is one of several American traditions that made our nation great. Once again we must pray and pray – and pray some more – if we are to restore our once great nation to the pedestal from which it has fallen. We must pray in private and in public, we must pray day or night, we must pray anywhere and everywhere.
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Barton, David, The New England Primer, For the more easy attaining the true reading of English, Hardcover (ISBN 978-0-925279-17-0), copyright © 1991, David Barton; Originally published in 1977, reprinted in 1991, by WallBuilder Press, 18th Printing, 2020; the contents of this 1991 edition, with the exception of the forward, are a camera reproduction of the 1777 New England Primer; 88 pages. Also available as an Amazon Kindle eBook (ASIN B005DTS7LC)
Skousen, Paul B., The Naked Socialist: The Story of Socialism from its Ancient Roots to Modern Times, The Naked Series Book 3, Paperback Edition (ISBN 978-1-478273-48-6), Copyright © 2012, 2014 by Paul B. Skousen, published by Ensign Publishing Company, Riverton Utah, 584 pages. Also available as an Amazon Kindle eBook.
Skousen, W. Cleon, The Naked Communist, Hardcover (used), Copyright © 1958, 1960, 1961 by Ensign Publishing Company, eighth edition published March 1961, 408 pages (including 6 page Bibliography and 23 page Index). [reference Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) B0006AVBT8]. Also available as an Amazon Kindle eBook.
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