Jake Jacobs
Do not call America's Founders "Founding Fathers"; they aren't my daddy!
By Jake Jacobs
September 2, 2013

I teach an American Government class for a University of Wisconsin College. The other day my supervising Professor in critiquing my class Syllabus made this statement:

"I prefer that you not refer to the founders as Founding Fathers....my reason is that they aren't my daddy. My ancestors weren't even here at the time and I think calling people your daddy is not as objective as political scientists should aim to be."

Ignoring his subjectivity in a number of other areas in his curriculum, for example his analysis of Wisconsin Governor Walker's Balanced Budget Act 10 smacked more of a subjective, slanted, skewed, biased State employee than a so called objective "political scientist" but I digress. Here's how I responded to his request:

"I prefer to refer to the founders as Founding Fathers. I'm in pretty good historical company here. From Daniel Webster's 1820 Discourse Delivered At Plymouth to Abraham Lincoln's 1858 Electric Cord Speech they and many other great American Statesmen referred to our Founders as Fathers and as ancestors all the time. They and many others taught, as I do, that being an American is ultimately not about ethnic or blood identification it is about one word: Freedom. Therefore the self-evident reality that all men are created equal and free makes us an "American Family related by Freedom." Thus my freedom ancestors, my freedom fathers were here in 1776 and 1787 and I as a free American citizen and a free American teacher I prefer to call them Fathers as it conveys to my students the spirit of our Founders and the blessings of Liberty."

I know it may sound strange but I believe there is a "Freedom DNA" that our ancestors and our Founding Fathers inherited from God and passed on to Patriots who love our Republic under God.

This politically correct Professor also stated "I would also prefer you not use the terminology "American Constitutional Republic under God" in your course description. As you know from your research, there were all kinds of different understandings of how religion related to politics at the founding and though most of the founders wanted God's help, they also seemed to believe that they were setting up a secular government."

I responded "We will have to respectfully agree to disagree when it comes to our conclusions on the founding of the United States in relationship to God and our Federal Government. I took out "under God" in the Syllabus although I do so under protest. As a historian I believe in historical context and IN context our Founders never conceived of a Republic without God's guidance, wisdom, protection and deliverance. Even the non-evangelical Christian Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention called for prayer and declared that "God governs in the affairs of men." The Father of the Constitution James Madison tells us that fact in his notes at the Constitutional Convention. Oops did I call him "Father?"

The October 3, 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation passed by the House & Senate and signed by President Washington called for Prayer and Thanksgiving to God Almighty for our Constitution. In context that is not a secular expression about our Constitution it is the framers of our Federal Constitution expressing a Republic under God. Here is a copy of that 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, notice as you read it the Christian-Biblical language used by our so called "secular" Founders:

Thanksgiving Proclamation [New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war – for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted – for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us – and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

(I know I said this earlier but did you notice that this is the FEDERAL republican government passing a Christian Proclamation by both the House and the Senate and signed by President George Washington?!

PC Professors across America and the secular Left hate these historical FACTS)

I continued to tell this Professor, "I do not want to defend my Ph.D. dissertation all over again and you probably don't want to hear it. But with all due respect a proper understanding of the separation of Church and State does not mean that if our "Founders seemed to believe they were setting up a secular government" they did not invoke His name, and publicly trust in Him within a legal Constitutional framework. They did so all the time. There is too much historical evidence contrary your secular claim. The world's largest library, the Library of Congress confirms what I'm saying and confirms our Federal Republic's intimate relationship to God.

(Readers please copy and paste this link it is FULL of historical gems to sharpen your Founding Fathers worldview.) http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06.html)

I went on to say, "To state in my syllabus and teachings "under God" is not only in the tradition of Federal Law of 1954 but reflects the historical context at the time of the Constitution's creation and after it's establishment. They used such "God" language all the time. I could send a thousand examples but the following links explain the historical context I cannot ignore: (Readers once again check this stuff out!)


Here is the original from the National Archives."


The cultural and political war to destroy our Republic under God intensifies and expands in America as our educational institutions and has been taken over by secular progressive-liberal academicians who do not want us to teach the Christian truth to our youth and that the Founding Fathers while not prefect were a gift sent to us by God Almighty. I for one will not be silent on these most essential issues that must be taught to young Americans. We need our youth to recapture the beauty of our Republic under God as given to us by our ancestors and our Founding Fathers so they can carry the mantle of Freedom and Liberty into the future.

Sometimes this politically correct battle almost drives me to drink:)

© Jake Jacobs


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Jake Jacobs

Dr. Jake Jacobs has been married for 32 years to his lovely wife Lori and has two children Joseph 28 and Anastasia 25. When he's not writing, teaching or speaking he loves watching the Green Bay Packers and enjoys his fire-pit at night, watching the Heavens declare God's Glory... (more)


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