God’s People Want to Know

This 2015 survey by Dr. George Barna asked theologically conservative Christians the areas in which they felt that they needed additional teaching from the pulpit. Here are a just a few highlights:

  • Among the national sample of spiritually active Christian conservatives and moderates, only one in ten people (10%) said their church has been very involved in the election process in the last two voting cycles (2012, 2014). Four out of ten said their church was somewhat involved. The remaining one-half said their church was not involved.
  • Christian conservatives indicated they want their church to get in the game: six out of ten (58%) said they want their church to be more involved in the election process. Among the Christian conservatives, 61% want greater involvement; among the politically moderate Christians only one-quarter (23%) want heightened church engagement.
  • A majority of the survey respondents said it is “extremely important” for their pastor to preach or teach the congregation about the following issues:
      • Abortion 71%
      • Religious persecution 61%
      • Sexual identity 56%
      • Israel 54%
      • Poverty 54%
      • Cultural restoration 53%

See the complete report here.

How to Research: Know Your Sources

So, you want to take a deeper dive into an historical period, event or person. Or maybe you’ve been assigned to write a history paper for a class. In this age of abundant information even knowing where to start can be intimidating. What is true? What information can you trust? The following guidelines will help you choose the best sources and understand the benefits and potential pitfalls of each kind.

Primary

Definition A primary source is an account from someone either personally involved in an event or a witness to it, or in some way was personally acquainted with the subject. These may include first-person or eyewitness accounts like letters, essays, journals, and autobiographies. The report of a Civil War battle by an officer who fought in it would be a primary source.

Pros It’s firsthand knowledge. Primary sources will provide the truest sense of character and historical context since the author is living in the same time and environment.

Cons An author who is too close to the subject might lose some objectivity because he is emotionally colored by his personal connection. This is the case with Seward’s Life of John Quincy Adams which is a wonderful read. But because of his well-deserved admiration for Adams, Seward tends to embellish conversations and events.

Contemporary Secondary

Definition Contemporary secondary sources are items such as newspaper reports or letters from people who might not have been firsthand witnesses but nevertheless, were aware of the subject.

Pros These types of sources help provide corroboration for primary sources and also give context to the time period. For example, Bancroft’s History of the United States relies on various accounts of the same event from different sources to round out a more complete history.

Cons There may be a reliance on hearsay. Hearsay is not permissible as legal evidence and should not be relied on alone for historical narrative.

Bias and agendas have always existed. Much of what is currently wrongly believed about Thomas Jefferson’s religion and morality, is the direct result of newspaper articles printed by Federalist leaning publications that wanted to discredit him during the 1800 presidential election.1

Academic Modern

Definition Academic modern sources would include later books and journal articles by historians who have specialized in a particular subject. These works should only be referenced if they include thorough notes to primary sources, and you have researched the authors.

Pros Materials may have been discovered and/or are accessible now that haven’t been for earlier publications. For example, a biography about famous British naval captain, Edward Pellew, written one hundred years after his death, included letters from a chest full of his papers that were discovered with an acquaintance years after his contemporary biography had been written. The inclusion of these additional primary documents gave a fuller picture of his life and character.

Later sources also provide a retrospective view of an event, after the consequences are evident. For example, the popular reaction to the Missouri Compromise while it was being debated and passed, was broad dismay by Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson who thought it signaled the death of the Union. His opinion eventually cooled, taking a more hopeful, wait-and-see attitude. Looking back from two hundred years later, history has proven his first response was in fact, accurate.

Theodore Roosevelt’s The Naval War of 1812 is another example of a later work proving helpful. Written almost a century after the war, he compares and contrasts earlier narratives, pointing out the inaccuracies of both the British and the American historians, and the bias of the authors, whose patriotic zeal sometimes colored their accounts.

Cons Judgements made are necessarily subjective.

Online Sources

Definition Online sources include digital articles and content from anyone and everyone. Note: many primary and secondary sources are available in digital format online now. Here, we are distinguishing other online content from those source types mentioned above.

Pros Accessibility! Web articles may sometimes provide quick references to names and dates, and subject summaries to launch your research. It is almost never well documented, if at all.

Cons Online content can create circular referencing for which there is no true source. It is easy to find yourself on a merry-go-round of one site quoting another site, quoting another site—none of which is actually backed by primary sources. Example: several websites referenced a 1916 executive order by President Woodrow Wilson requiring the Star-Spangled Banner be played at all military ceremonies.2 Further research revealed that the websites just quoted one another. The order did not appear in any archives and even the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library was unable to confirm that it existed.

Digital sources can disappear even with archival tools such as the Wayback Machine. Always save images or pdfs of your digital sources.

Digital content can also be subtly changed and manipulated without an obvious record. This is known as stealth editing. Publications will regularly change online headlines or portions of their articles without issuing formal retractions or corrections. And online dictionaries will change or update the meanings of words to fit a current narrative, rather than providing a true standard of usage.

Bonus Tips

What do you do with sources that conflict? Go with the earlier or primary source, except in the few exceptions given above.

More is better. Look for confirmation among sources as long as they aren’t just citing one another.

Notes don’t necessarily mean authoritative – Wikipedia is “footnoted” but almost never to a primary source.

Happy hunting! (See our other “How to Research” articles here.)


Endnotes

1 For examples of these character attacks, see David Barton, The Jefferson Lies (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 2012) and Barton: The American Story: Building the Republic (2024), 118.

2 See, for example, “1931 ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ becomes the Official National Anthem,” This Day in History, History.com, updated March 2, 2021; Andrew Glass, “‘Star-Spangled Banner’ becomes U.S. national anthem, March 3, 1931,” Politico, March 03, 2018.

Protecting Private Property Through the Uniform Commercial Code

Protecting Private Property Through the Uniform Commercial Code

Questions are now being raised about important laws that have been added to state codes in all 50 states over the past 25 years. These laws were deliberately designed to abrogate private property rights and could in the future be used to harm all Americans who hold investment securities, including those held in IRA and 401(k) accounts. At the state level, the concerning statutes in question are contained within the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), primarily in Article 8, which deals with securities.

WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislative Network (PFLN), and other organizations and leaders, urge state legislators to carefully consider this alarming infringement on private property.

This letter explains our concerns, summarizes the legal aspects of UCC Article 8, and outlines near-term options for state policymakers who want to take action to protect their constituents and their states. Read the full letter for additional information.

What can you do to help?

Share this Information: We encourage you to forward this to your friends, family and state legislators to help make them aware of this critical issue in your state’s uniform commercial code.

Stay Apprised of the Issue: If this issue is important to you, sign up for our Concerned Citizens legislative update email and we will keep you apprised of this issue.

Sign the Letter: If you represent an organization, or are an elected official who would like to sign this letter, please email us for consideration.

Contribute: If you would like to support this effort to help us brief more lawmakers across the country on this matter, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to WallBuilders Pro-Family Legislative Network Fund.

Lawsuit Challenges D.C. Transit Authority for Violating the First Amendment

In December 2023, First Liberty, ACLU, and Steptoe filed a lawsuit on behalf of WallBuilders.

First Liberty Press Release

Lawsuit Challenges D.C. Transit Authorit – First Liberty

First Liberty Article

https://firstliberty.org/news/ads-about-americas-religious-history-not-allowed/ 

WallBuilders Rejected Ads




WallBuilders Article

These ads would have linked to a collection of quotes by numerous Founding Fathers via our article “The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible”: https://wallbuilders.com/resource/the-founding-fathers-on-jesus-christianity-and-the-bible/

Additional Information & Questions

We have asked our attorneys to handle all media inquiries. Please contact Jeremy Dys at 304-881-5196 or [email protected]. Thank you.

How to Research: Confirming a Quote

It is so tempting to repost that witty or motivational quote on the pretty picture, only to stop and wonder, “Did Ben Franklin really say that?” We are often asked about confirming quotes attributed to historical figures. Here’s a guide to help you through the process.

  1. Start by searching on platforms like Google Books or Internet Archive, which host extensive collections of books from the last several hundred years. Keep in mind that you may need to try different combinations of words or phrases from the quote during this process.
  2. When you find a list of sources with the quote, prioritize the oldest sources. Remember, you’re looking for primary sources such as the person’s writings or autobiography.
  3. If you successfully confirm the quote using sites such as Google Books or Internet Archive, you’re done! If not, proceed to the next step.
  4. If the initial search through broad collections of books is unsuccessful, conduct a more thorough exploration of the person’s works. You can look for specific online collections or in physical works that may be available at a library. Many writings by American Founding Fathers, for example, are accessible online (refer to our Helpful Links page).
  5. If none of these searches confirm the quote, it’s advisable to refrain from using it until you can verify it at a potential future date.

We hope this information aids your investigation efforts! Explore our other How to Research articles for additional tips.

David Barton: A Dominionist and Reconstructionist?

Over the past several decades, numbers of my detractors have resorted to making extremist claims about me intended to create distrust or even fear in the minds of those who might hear me. By so doing, they hope potential listeners or readers will reject my message out of hand before even considering the evidence. One common ridiculous claim is that I am a Dominionist (someone who wants to reinstitute Old Testament law and establish a theocracy).

As a result, over the years, I have received questions like this one:

Does David adhere to or teach Dominion Theology or “Kingdom Now” theology? That is in part, that the Church of Jesus Christ will bring in God’s reign of righteousness rather than it happening through the physical return of Jesus Christ?

I disagree with Dominion and Kingdom Now theology and I am not a Dominionist.

Additionally, to establish a theocracy in America would require the abolition of our elective constitutional government. I have worked for decades to educate Americans about the history, excellence, and importance of the US Constitution. I am passionate about knowing and applying it and preserving its principles through the elective voting process. Since having elections precludes the possibility of a theocracy, and since I am such a strong promoter of citizen involvement in the election process, I definitely don’t seek a theocracy.

Furthermore, I am clearly on record about the definite limits of Old Testament law in modern culture. (As an example, see my commentary accompanying Exodus 20 in the very popular Founders’ Bible1.)

The evidence is abundant that their claims are wrong.

The allegations about me and Dominionism originated decades ago, almost exclusively from defamatory articles of atheist and anti-religious writers. Over subsequent years, many individuals doing casual web searches of my name found those earlier articles and innocently accepted their wild claims and then repeated or reposted them without any serious investigation of the truth. As a result, today scores of newer articles brand me as something I am not, and never have been.

Understanding the Original Claims

Examining the writings of those who originally made these errant claims two decades ago, it is clear that the issues the critics considered to be reflective of Dominionism were actually issues that were mainstream across the depth and breadth not only of the Christian community but of much of the nation. Notice the things they pointed to as evidence of Christian support for Dominionism.

According to Eric La Freniere, at the time a columnist for the Daily News Record, one of the most obvious indicators of those who seek a Theocracy is their belief that traditional marriage is to be between one man and one woman (what they often describe as following Old Testament law). He warned that to vote for any state constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage (which was extremely popular in the 2000s and the 2010s, with support up to 70% in some states2) was “to cast a vote for Dominionism….the righteous religious-political movement to reclaim America as a Christian nation.”3 If La Freniere was correct, the tens of millions of voters in the 31 states who passed a state marriage amendment4 (before the US Supreme Court redefined marriage in 20155) were all part of the Christian Dominionist movement.

Author and journalist Chip Berlet agreed, asserting that the “anti-democratic tendencies in the Christian Right6 concerning marriage amendments proved their Dominionist and Theocratic beliefs. By the way, notice his oxymoronic logic: having citizens publicly vote on marriage amendments placed on the public ballot through the elected legislative process was “anti-democratic.”

Chris Hedges in Harper’s Magazine linked such Dominionists to Adolf Hitler and fascism,7 asserting that conservative Christians were so dangerous that it was acceptable to confront and defeat them outside “the old polite rules of democracy8—that is, the normal rules of constitutional republicanism could be set aside in order to defeat Christians. So is it Christians or the Secular Left who is really anti-democratic?

The Southern Poverty Law Center similarly warned that “Dominionist” Christians “seek to impose Old Testament law on the United States,” and that this desire runs “all the way to the [George W.] Bush White House.”9 What indications did they have of this Dominionism? —what role did the George W. Bush White House have in imposing “Old Testament law on the United States”? They, too, pointed to the state marriage amendments, and the further fact that President Bush had openly endorsed a federal Marriage Amendment.10

A Michigan newspaper (Eastern Echo) likewise alerted voters that a candidate running for Governor was part of Dominionism—that he was “seek[ing] to legislate American life under an ultimate authority of a right-wing interpretation of the Bible.”11 What made him a Dominionist? He not only supported traditional marriage but even opposed embryonic stem cell research. Clearly, he was a religious extremist seeking to impose Old Testament law on Michigan.12

Political commentator and writer Kevin Phillips added that “Christian Reconstructionists” also describe the separation of church and state as a “myth.”13 During the time he made these claims, some 1,800 legal incidents related to “separation of church and state” had occurred.14 Christian attorneys argued that the proper application of the historic separation of church and state did not mean people of faith could not express their faith in public, and that they had the same right to express their beliefs that secular folks did. But for secularists, the “separation of church and state” requires full secularization; therefore, those Christians arguing for equal protection were pursuing a “myth” and attempting to establish a Theocracy. (In recent years the US Supreme Court has issued a series of landmark decisions constitutionally repudiating the extremist views of the secularists, and, according to these arguments, they, too, are apparently Dominionists.)

More Claims

Numerous books and other seemingly countless articles used similar extremist rhetoric in attacking the Christian leaders who supported what were typically mainstream public issues.15 National Jewish writer and columnist Stanley Kurtz reviewed many of those writings and sarcastically summarized the ridiculous claims about Christians he found in those attack pieces:

What is the real agenda of the religious far Right? I’ll tell you what it is. These nuts want to take over the federal government and suppress other religions through genocide and mass murder rather than through proselytizing. They want to reestablish slavery. They want to reduce women to near-slavery by making them property, first of their fathers, and then of their husbands. They want to execute anyone found guilty of pre-martial, extramaritial, or homosexual sex. They want to bring back the death penalty for witchcraft. But aren’t extremists like this far from political power? On the contrary, the political and religious movement called “Dominionism” has gained control of the Republican Party, and taken over Congress and the White House as well. Once they take over the judiciary, the conversion of America to a theocracy will be sealed. The Dominionists are very close to achieving their goal. Once they have the courts in their hands, a willing Dominionist Republican-controlled Congress can simply extend the death penalty to witchcraft, adultery, homosexuality, and heresy. The courts will uphold all this once conservatives are in control, since [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia himself appears to be a Dominionist.16

Kurtz then singled out one of the voices making these ridiculous claims, Kathryn Yurica. He noted that she and her extremist accusations were actually mainstream among a considerable number of secularist groups:

Yurica’s article [“The Despoiling of America”] is so wild-eyed and strange that it would barely be worth mentioning were Yurica not a featured speaker at a recent conference called, “Examining the Real Agenda of the Religious Far Right.” That conference . . . was supported by the National Council of Churches, People for the American Way, The Nation, The Village Voice, and United Americans for Separation of Church and State.17

The speakers at that conference identified five congressional policies they believed provided absolute proof that America was being placed under Old Testament law by Christian Dominionists. What were those five theocratic policies?

(1) Enacting tax cuts;
(2) Funding faith-based programs;
(3) Decreasing welfare spending;
(4) Giving the Federal Communication Commission additional tools to crackdown on indecency on television; and
(5) Attempts to end judicial filibusters.18

Horrors! Once Christians begin enacting tax cuts, the next thing they’ll do is stone rebellious children and publicly pillory adulterers! Yet as Kurtz noted, most of what were labeled Dominionist views were rational positions widely embraced by a majority of the population.

Interestingly, a much later 2020 study claimed that more than half of all Americans today are Dominionists who want a Christian Nation.19 Really??? At a time when public polls show church attendance,20 Bible reading,21 and Biblical worldview22 are at record lows, more than half the nation are Christian Dominionists? This claim is just as absurd today as it has been for the past several decades. (A brilliant rebuttal of that study and its ridiculous conclusion was done by Prof. Mark David Hall in his “Tilting at Windmills: The ‘Threat’ of Christian Nationalism.”23)

Perhaps Supreme Court Attorney David French, who has handled countless federal court cases in his career, best summarized the ludicrous nature of the false call of Dominionism:

If originalist legal arguments and a call to return our country to its founding constitutional ideals constitute dominionism, which social conservatives aren’t dominionist? Is free speech a dominionist concept? What about religious liberty? How about protecting life and ensuring that it cannot be taken without due process of law? We’re all dominionists now.24

In summary, holding traditionally conservative and constitutional positions is what it meant to be a Dominionist when the term became popular some 20 years ago and when it was first applied to me. Those who used the term intended that it should scare unknowing citizens away from fearsome “Dominionist” leaders such as Justice Anthony Scalia, President George Bush, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, or me, all of whom publicly supported traditional marriage, opposed abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and thought voluntary prayer was appropriate in schools. This is how I came to be labeled a “Dominionist.”

David Barton


Endnotes

1 The Founders Bible (Newbury Park, CA: Shiloh Road, 2017), Exodus 20.
2 See, for example, ballot measures passed with 70% or greater approval in 2004 for Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma (“Ballot Measures,” 2004, CNN); in 2006 for South Carolina and Tennessee (“Ballot Measures,” 2006, CNN); and numerous other ballot measures throughout the early 2000s for states with a pass rating of over 50% but lower than 70% (“Ballot Measures, 2008, CNN; “Approved Amendments,” Wikipedia, accessed on March 14, 2022).
3 Eric La Freniers, “You Can Vote For Dominionism,” Daily News-Record, October 31, 2006.
4 See, for example, constitutional amendments passed in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin: “Approved Amendments,” Wikipedia, accessed on March 14, 2022.
5 Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015).
6 Chip Berlet, “The Christian Right & Theocracy,” Political Research Associates, accessed on March 14, 2022.
7 Chris Hedges, “Soldiers of Christ,” Harpers Magazine, May 5, 2005; Stanley Kurtz, “Dominionist Domination,” National Review, May 2, 2005.
8 Chris Hedges, “Soldiers of Christ,” Harpers Magazine, May 5, 2005; Stanley Kurtz, “Dominionist Domination,” National Review, May 2, 2005.
9 Mark Potok, “Democracy vs. Theocracy,” Southern Poverty Law Center, October 19, 2006.
10 George W. Bush, “Remarks on the Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage,” The White House, February 24, 2004.
11 Staff Edit / In Our Opinion, “Governor campaign fails to address issues,” Eastern Echo, October 30, 2006.
12 “Motors and Voters: Michigan’s Gubernatorial Race,” Wall Street Journal, 2006.
13 Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (Viking, 2006), 233.
14 See the publication Undeniable by First Liberty, available at https://firstliberty.org/undeniable/.
15 See, for example, Tony Kiddie, Republican Jesus: How the Right Had Rewritten the Gospels (University of California Press, 2021); James C. Sanford, Blueprint for Theocracy: The Christian Right’s Vision for America (Metacomet Books, 2014); Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay, With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013); Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation: A Challenge to the Faith of America (Transworld, 2011); Clyde Wilcox, Onward Christian Soldiers? The Religious Right in American Politics (New York: Routledge, 2011); Michael Lerner, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right (Harper San Francisco, 2006); Damon Linker, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege (Doubleday, 2009); Robin Rex Meyers, Why the Christian Right is Wrong: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006); Phillips, American Theocracy (2006); Jim Wallis, God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (HarperCollins, 2006); Bill Press, How the Republicans Stole Christmas: the Republican Party’s Declared Monopoly on Religion and What Democrats Can Do to Take it Back (Crown Publishing Group, 2005); Clint Willis, Jesus is Not a Republican: the Religious Right’s War on America (De Capo Press, 2005); Philip Gold, Take Back the Right : How the Neocons and the Religious Right have Betrayed the Conservative Movement (Basic Books, 2004); Jan G. Linn, What’s Wrong with the Christian Right (Florida: Brown Walker Press, 2004); Douglas Anthony Long, Fundamentalists and Extremists (2002); Rob Boston, Close Encounters with the Religious Right: Journeys into the Twilight Zone of Religion and Politics (New York: Prometheus Books, 2000); Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (University of Michigan, 1997); William Curtis Martin, With God on Our Side: the Rise of the Religious Right in America (Broadway Books, 1996); Bruce Barron, Heaven on Earth? The Social & Political Agendas of Dominion Theology (Zondervan, 1992); Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right (New York: Black Rose Books, 1989); and numerous others.
16 Stanley Kurtz, “Dominionist Domination,” National Review, May 2, 2005.
17 Stanley Kurtz, “Dominionist Domination,” National Review, May 2, 2005.
18 Jon Ward, “Left aims to smite ‘theocracy’ movement,” The Washington Times, May 1, 2005.
19 Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry, Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020), 25.
20 Jeffery M. Jones, “U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Times,” Gallup, March 29, 2021.
21 Alec Gallup & Wendy W. Simmons, “Six in Ten Americans Read Bible at Least Occasionally: Percentage of frequent readers has decreased over last decade,” Gallup, October 20, 2000.
22 George Barna, “Perceptions about Biblical Worldview and Its Application,” Center for Biblical Worldview, May 2021, 6.
23 Mark David Hall, “Tilting at Windmills: The “Threat” of Christian Nationalism,” Standing for Freedom, February 8, 2022.
24 David French, “I’m a Dominionist? I Had No Idea,” National Review, September 1, 2011.

Wisconsin 1997

THE STATE of WISCONSIN

OFFICE of the GOVERNOR

A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS; our state has been richly blessed in natural beauty, reflecting God’s miracle of creation; and

WHEREAS; Christian Heritage is important to our state’s traditions and values; and

WHEREAS; religious holidays, festivals, and celebrations have brought welcome respite from labor, as well as renewed respect and meaning for nature’s seasons of change; and

WHEREAS; the community church serves a vital function in binding folk together and providing crucial education and charitable services; and

WHEREAS; teaching future generations of our state the all important role of Christian heritage is of concern to citizens of all faiths;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TOMMY G. THOMPSON, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim November 23 through November 29, 1997 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in the State of Wisconsin, and I commend this observance to all citizens.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed.

Done at the Capitol in the City of Madison this thirteenth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven.

TOMMY G. THOMPSON

GOVERNOR

By the Governor:

DOUGLAS LA FOLLETTE

Secretary of State

Tennessee 1994

STATE OF TENNESSEE

PROCLAMATION

BY THE GOVERNOR

WHEREAS, our state has been richly blessed in natural beauty, reflecting God’s miracle of creation; and

WHEREAS, the importance of Christian heritage to the traditions and values of our state is immeasurable; and

WHEREAS, religious holidays, festivals and celebrations have brought welcome respite from weary labor, as well as renewed respect and meaning for nature’s seasons of change; and

WHEREAS, the community church serves a vital function in binding folk together and providing crucial education and charitable services; and

WHEREAS,  teaching future generations of our state the all-important role of Christian heritage is of crucial concern to citizens of all faiths;

NOW, THEREFORE, I Ned McWherter, as Governor of the State of Tennessee, do hereby proclaim November 20-26, 1994, as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in Tennessee, and urge all citizens to join me in this worthy observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND AND CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE TO BE AFFIXED AT NASHVILLE ON THIS 21ST DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1994.

Ned McWherter

GOVERNOR

Riley C. Darnell

SECRETARY OF STATE

Uniform Commercial Code

WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislative Network was recently alerted by legislators in multiple states to a very troubling section introduced into the newly proposed Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) now working its way through 22+ states this legislative session and likely to be introduced in all 50 states.

The UCC (first released in 1952) generally helps standardize existing commercial and business transactions across the nation. It traditionally smooths out what is already in practice, but in the new version of the UCC, the Commission has gone on the offensive in one particular area, introducing new untested practices for where the government apparently intends businesses should go in the future.

The troubling change relates to the definition of money and what constitutes electronic currency. Currently, electronic currency does not exist. The disturbing portion of the new Code anticipates a new digital currency, one can only assume it is referencing the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) now under development by the Federal Reserve. The push for a CBDC comes from President Biden’s Executive Order 14067 issued in March of 2022. Members of Congress are concerned over the role and function of a CBDC, for there are far too many unknowns about how electronic money will look and act.

The Uniform Commercial Code has traditionally been viewed by most legislatures as something perfunctory, so it typically receives little scrutiny. As a result, the new version containing the troubling provisions on digital currency has been introduced in two dozen states and has already passed the legislature chamber in states such as North Dakota, Colorado, Hawaii and South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem took bold leadership to do what was in the best interest of the citizens of her state and she vetoed the bill in South Dakota due to many of the reasons outlined in the letter below. You can read her veto here.

We encourage you to contact your state legislators and share this coalition letter with them. (You can also download the PDF version here.) Urge them not to pass your state’s Uniform Commercial Code and your governor not to sign this legislation into law if it makes it to his or her desk.

If you are an organization that would like to be included on this coalition letter, please contact us at the Pro-Family Legislative Network for consideration.




How to Research: Book Accuracy

Validating a book’s historical accuracy can be challenging, but there are actionable pointers to aid assessment.

Primary Sources

Start by considering the publication date vis-à-vis the historical era discussed. A book written during or shortly after the period in question (within 50 years) holds higher credibility due to its reliance on primary sources – the most reliable historical references. Conversely, modern works addressing distant history warrant closer scrutiny.

A book reliant on primary sources, rather than secondary sources, proves more reliable. Primary sources encompass contemporaneous event-related documents. These may include eyewitness accounts like letters, essays, journals, and autobiographies. In contrast, secondary sources provide non-contemporary summaries of, or insights into, events or people and often rely on other modern authorities. Over-dependence on secondary sources can lead to historical inaccuracies and revisionism.

Revisionism

Inadvertent revisionism is evident in The Search for Christian America. Three scholars concluded that America did not have a Christian founding. But in studying America’s Christian founding, 88% of their sources postdated 1900 and 80% postdated 1950. Relying on citations much later than the Founding Era (1760-1805), caused them to arrive at an errant conclusion, and one much different than if they had consulted primary sources.

Deliberate revisionism is readily seen in The Godless Constitution. Professors Isaac Kramnick and Laurence Moore assert the Founders were atheists, agnostics, and deists aiming for a secular government. This text is a staple of universities and is cited by courts and other professors. However, no footnotes are included, simply this statement, “we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.” So, these professors’ sweeping claims about the Founders’ faith is seen as a great scholarly achievement, but there is not a single reference to primary documents proving that claim. Accurate history definitely necessitates caution with works lacking proper citations.

Tips

When dealing with early America, biographies and pre-1900 history works offer less biased insights. They are more likely to be written by contemporaries of the subjects and events, and are not likely colored by modern agendas. Works printed from 1900-1920 have around 75% confidence. But our confidence drops to about 50% for works from 1920-1950, which were heavily influenced by the progressive educational transformation. Modern books are often tainted by historical malpractices,1 excluding those rich in primary source citations. Authors like Mark David Hall, David McCullough, Dumas Malone, Daniel Dreisbach, James Hutson, and Peter Lilliback exemplify this exception.

The good news is that primary sources are easier than ever to locate. Thousands of early books and documents have been digitized and made available via online platforms.2 Many older books are available as reprints through major book outlets. These sources offer direct access to primary documents, reducing dependence on secondary ones. Utilize these resources for reliable research.


Endnotes

1 Examples of these malpractices can be found in WallBuilders’ article “Deconstructionism and the Left.”
2 Check out WallBuilders’ historical reprints, or Helpful Links page to find some of these online resources.

To see additional articles about How to Research, check out the articles posted here, here, and here.