At WallBuilders, through God’s blessings, we have assembled a library
containing thousands of the original first-edition works of America’s Founding
Fathers, including many of their won handwritten documents and letters. Yet,
even though our special emphasis is the Founding Era, we nevertheless acquire
important documents from other eras of our history as well. One such exciting
document is a handwritten letter of James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the
Born November 19, 1831, in a log cabin in Ohio, Garfield graduated with
distinction from Williams College in 1856 and served as a school teacher and
Following his dramatic conversion to Christianity, he became a speaker and
minister in the churches of the Disciples of Christ.
In 1859, he began his long career in public service with his election to the
Ohio legislature. Following the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Garfield
helped recruit a regiment and became its Colonel. He took part in the battles of
Shiloh and Chickamauga, served as Chief-of-Staff under General Rosecrans, and
became a Major-General of volunteers. In 1863, he was elected to the U. S.
Congress, and in 1880 to the U. S. Senate.
Before taking his Senate seat, he received the Republican Party’s
presidential nomination and was elected President, assuming office on March 4,
1881. However, on July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by an assassin in Washington,
DC and died eighty days later.
In his letter we acquired, James A. Garfield recounts a series of revival
services where he preached, including an accounting of those who committed their
lives to Christ during those services, and he then discusses some
invitations he received to speak at future revival meetings which he would hold.
While one hardly considers such evangelistic activities typical of today’s
Presidents, it was certainly part of the life of James A. Garfield!
Hiram, Feb 16th, 1858
Dear Bro. Wallace,
We have just closed our meeting with happy results. There were 34 additions,
31 by immersion. I was sorry I could not be in Newburth last Sunday but it
seemed to be my duty to stay here. Bro. Du—- tells me that the Brethren want
me to hold a meeting in vacation. I have spoken 19 discourses in our meeting
here, and this with all our work in the school has worn me down very much. I
would not think of holding a meeting alone and don’t know as I ought to help
hold one. I will be in your place some time next week and talk with you in
reference to the matter of your letter which would have been answered sooner but
for the meeting! I shall hope to visit Bedford also. Love to your family, and
believe me your Brother.
J. A. Garfield
For more information on the life, dramatic conversion, and Gospel ministry of
President James A. Garfield, consult the 1881 book From Log Cabin to White
House, which can be obtained by your local library.
Expanding the Message
At WallBuilders, excited supporters frequently tell us that more people need to hear the truth about the Founding Fathers and America’s Godly heritage. We agree, and we are pursuing that goal. In fact, WallBuilders regularly generates new works and historical resources, and David Barton personally speaks to around 400 different groups each year! Yet, despite these diligent efforts, WallBuilders will never reach all Americans with this message; it takes all of us to spread the message.
Accordingly, some tools have proven particularly effective for citizens who want others to know of America’s moral and religious roots. One is the use of the local cable access channel of your local cable provider. This cable channel is designated for airing programming supplied by local citizens. Therefore, individuals in communities across the nation use our loaner videos, designed especially for broadcast use, and have aired them to great effect (at no charge) on local cable stations.
In other locales, groups of businessmen or ministerial alliances have banded together to purchase an hour of air time to air one of these programs on local network affiliates (this has occurred in Las Vegas, Chicago, et al). These airings always evoke strong positive responses from many in the area who were completely unaware of our heritage.
And the radio airways have also been effective for spreading the message. We have produced dozens of one minute radio spots, titled “Moments from America’s History,” aired on many radio stations. These “moments” take a quote from a Founding Father and apply it to a current issue or trend. Many citizens have successfully encouraged their local radio stations to air these informative “moments.”
If you are interested in helping spread the message of America’s strong religious and moral heritage through any of the above means, please contact us at (817) 441-6044.
Standing Up for the Ten Commandments
Our Founding Fathers were not ashamed to embrace the Ten Commandments in
legal and public arenas. In fact, they thought the Ten Commandments an
indispensable part of sound policy and good government. Consider, for example,
Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. James Wilson, U. S. Supreme Court
Justice and Signer of the Declaration and the Constitution
If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free. John Adams
With such strong sentiments expressed by those who gave us our documents, it
is no wonder that it was not until 191 years after the adoption of the
Constitution that a Court became bold enough to limit public displays of the Ten
Commandments. That decision occurred in 1980 when the Court, in Stone v. Graham,
told Kentucky that because of the First Amendment it must limit its public
display of the Ten Commandments. Yet Thomas Jefferson had long ago explained that
the First Amendment was never to be applied against religion in the States:
I consider the [federal] government as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or
exercises. This results not only from [the First Amendment], but from also [the
Tenth Amendment]. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to
assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the [federal]
government. It must, then, rest with the States.
Nevertheless, in recent years the Court, through what it calls “the
selective incorporation of the Bill of Rights, has reversed the historic
practice of the previous two centuries. Consequently, case after case has
challenged displays of the Ten Commandments by States, including in the Alabama
courtroom of Judge Roy Moore, in the Texas courtroom of Judge John Devine, in
the park outside the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, and in numerous other
To help correct this errant interpretation by the courts, in the last session
of Congress, Representative Robert Aderholt (AL) introduced a bill declaring
that States had the authority to display the Ten Commandments. Individual States
are now beginning to act on that same premise.
For example, State Senator John Grant (FL) has introduced the following bill
in his State:
WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence declares that governments are
instituted to secure certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness, with which all human beings are endowed by their
Creator and to which they are entitled by the laws of nature and of nature’s
WHEREAS, the organic laws of the United States Code and the constitutions of
every state, using various expressions, recognize God as the source of the
blessings of liberty; and
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and
Section 3, Article I of the State Constitution secure rights against laws
respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise
WHEREAS, disputes and doubts have arisen with respect to public displays of
the Ten Commandments,
NOW THEREFORE, Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
DISPLAY OF TEN COMMANDMENTS. The Ten Commandments may be displayed on or
within property owned or administered by the State or its political
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming law.
Courageous leaders like State Senator John Grant and U. S. Representative
Robert Aderholt are actively seeking to preserve the public display of those
Divine commands which have long undergirded American law and government.
America’s Godly Heritage: Around the World
Even though our focus at WallBuilders is to reclaim the moral, religious, and
constitutional foundations of America, interestingly, our works have been
translated and are being used in a number of foreign countries, including
Russia, China, Mongolia, Latin America, Mexico, Canada, the Middle East, Guam,
the Philippines, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Australia, and numerous other nations.
Although these nations know little of our American heritage and heroes, they
have nevertheless learned through America’s story what happens both when a
nation honors God and when it turns away from Him. America’s history clearly
proves the Biblical truths that
“When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people mourn” Proverbs 29:2
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” Proverbs 14:34
“Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord” Psalm 22:12
Truly, God’s principles apply to any nation and will benefit any culture!
Judges and The Culture War
For years, Americans have longed for a return of the Judiciary described by
Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #78 in which he wrote:
[T]he judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution. . . . [T]he judiciary is, beyond comparison, the weakest of the three departments of power. . . . [and]
the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter.
Wow! And to think that this was an accurate description of the Judiciary for
nearly a century-and-a-half!
Regrettably, that description has never been less accurate than it is now. In
fact, the 301 federal judges appointed to date by President Clinton over the
last six years promise some of the most radical judicial decisions ever handed
down. We highlighted one of those judges, Roslyn Silver, in the last WallBuilder
Report, but who are some of the others? What types of cultural decisions have
these judges and nominees made?
- Judges Judith Rogers and David Tatel voted against restricting pornography
on broadcast television;
- Judges Blane Michael and Diana Motz voted to overturn the ban on
homosexuals in the military;
- Judge Carlos Lucera voted to declare a city seal with a cross
- Judge Theodore McKee voted to ban student-led graduation prayers;
- Judge Martha Daughtrey voted to protect child pornography;
- Judge Guido Calabresi voted to allow prison inmates to receive sexually
explicit photographs and voted to create a constitutional right for
physician assisted suicides;
- Susan Oki Mollway sat on the Hawaii ACLU board which endorsed homosexual
- Margaret McKeown helped turn the American Bar Association pro-abortion and
was lead counsel in homosexual rights litigation; and
- Judge Carl Stewart voted that if a prayer is offered in public, it must
not mention the words “Jesus” or “Jehovah”.
There are many other examples. What can be done to help curtail the
radicalism of these type of judges?
Fortunately, “We The People” can do something to improve the
quality of our federal judiciary. In fact, according to Thomas Jefferson,
citizens being involved with the judiciary is even more important than citizens
being involved in voting or in elections:
We think, in America, that it is necessary to introduce the people into every department of government. . . . Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted in the Legislative or Judiciary department, I would say it
is better to leave them out of the Legislative. The execution of the laws is
more important that the making of them.
So how can we as citizens improve the federal judiciary? We can assist the
work of the Judicial Selection Monitoring Projection (JSMP), a coalition of some
700 national and state grassroots organizations (including WallBuiders) from
every state in the nation. In fact, it is the largest coalition ever assembled
for any purpose.
What is the goal of the JSMP? “To see that the integrity of the
Constitution is consistent with what our Founding Fathers intended. The JSMP
tracks federal judicial vacancies and keeps a watchful eye on the activities of
potential and actual nominees selected by the Clinton Administration.”
JSMP also “highlights the records of President Clinton’s judicial
nominees [and] focuses on the Senate and the record of the Republican leadership
in pursuing its constitutional role of advise and consent.”
JSMP keeps you posted on bad judicial nominees and shows how you can contact
your Senator about those nominees. JSMP, under the leadership of Tom Jipping,
has been extremely effective. The Judicial Selection Monitoring Project can be
contacted at its web site or at 717 Second Street
NE, Washington DC, 20002, (202) 546-3000. If you are part of any organized
group, encourage that organization to join JSMP!