Tragically, slavery has existed since the dawn of time. It is still practiced today in some places where Christianity is not dominant or has not been dominant. But when slavery was a reality in the 1700s – not just in colonial America, but all over the world – it was the system put in place by America’s founding fathers that ultimately led to its dissolution.
But that doesn’t matter to the woke crowd, who insist that historical figures be held to today’s standards, and who seek to tear down America’s history and rebuild it on a foundation neo-Marxist.
Thus, the awakened mob goes after any founding father associated in any way with slavery. More recently comes the attack on James Madison, a key architect of the Constitution.
The New York Post reports on a revamp of Montpelier, Madison’s home, noting that a $10 million grant from “left-wing philanthropist” David M. Rubenstein has put slavery and racism at the center of the scene, pushing Madison to be the author of the United States Constitution. in the wings. “Instead, blind tourists are hammered by high-tech exhibits about Madison’s slaves and current race conflicts.”
Tourists visiting Montpellier may come to inquire about the Constitution, but they are deeply disappointed. One describes it as “an hour-long experiment in critical race theory disguised as a tour.”
And so it is that, in James Madison’s own house, our fourth president and key architect of the Constitution is relentlessly attacked for failing to live up to today’s standards.
Madison, though a slave owner, helped create a framework for one day abolishing slavery. By the standards of their contemporary world, America’s founders were profoundly progressive in their desire to eliminate slavery – and very much out of step with most of the rest of the world.
Much of the freedom we enjoy today belongs to those men and women who set up America for religious freedom and then to the Founding Fathers who implemented biblical principles to create America. Madison played a key role.
He attended Presbyterian College in Princeton, New Jersey (now Princeton University) rather than the Anglican College of William and Mary, where Virginia’s sons were to attend. He learned directly under the Reverend John Witherspoon, who also later proved to be an important founding father.
Perhaps the most important lesson James Madison learned from his upbringing at Princeton was a firm belief in the biblical doctrine of human sin – and its implications for political science.
John Eidsmoe, author of the historical book, Christianity and the Constitutionpoints out: “One thing is certain, the Christian religion, in particular Reverend Witherspoon’s Calvinism, influenced Madison’s view of law and government.
Madison once wrote, “All men in power should be suspicious.”
After the Constitutional Convention, but before the document was ratified, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote letters to the editor of New York State newspapers, using the pseudonym Publius to plead for ratification. These letters were collected later and are known as the Federalist Papers and reflect the genius of American political science.
The Federalist Papers do not quote directly from the Bible, but they express a biblical worldview about the nature of man and the potential corruption of power.
What is the essence of tyranny according to James Madison, author of Federalist #47? The answer is to have all three branches of government in the hands of one or a few.
In Federalist #51 he argues that “if men were angels” government wouldn’t even be necessary. But since men are not angels, government is necessary. Moreover, we also need to be protected from the government, because it is ruled by men and not by angels.
In Federalist #42, Madison explains the constitutional provision that would allow the federal government to abolish the slave trade 20 years after its ratification: “It must be regarded as a great point gained in favor of mankind, that a period of 20 years may put an end forever, in these States, to a traffic which has so long and so loudly reproached the barbarity of modern politics.
Americans need to learn the true story of our rich past. Yes, America has a checkered past with slavery and segregation. But so does the rest of the world – and the principles of founders like Madison were at the forefront of ending these evils. As America’s greatest civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed in his remarkable “I Have a Dream” speech, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and of the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note which every American was to inherit.
We will not move towards a positive future if we distort our past, as the awakened crowds are now doing. As James Madison himself once said, “Only a well-educated people can always be a free people.”
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of Providence Forum, an initiative of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as lead producer and on-air host. He has authored/co-authored 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What if Jesus had never been born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). www.djkm.org? @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com