Vanderbilt University, which has been aggressively taking steps to remove Christian student organizations from their campus, has a professor who says that the Bible played a “prominent” role in arguments for starting the American Revolution.
James P. Byrd writes in his new book Scared Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution that the origins of the American Revolution are not purely secular as some modern day activists wish to claim.
“I was struck by how prominent the Bible was in Revolutionary America, not only in sermons but also in political pamphlets, such as Thomas Paine’s extraordinarily influential Common Sense,” Byrd told the Christian Post.
He also spoke of a higher level of Biblical illiteracy among Americans today versus during Revolution times.
“Colonists were often biblically literate – likely more so than the average American is today. Obviously colonists then did not own as many books as many Americans do today, and the book that was most accessible to them was the Bible,” Byrd said.
Byrd said that while many were fighting for political freedom, religious freedom was just as much a key.
“For the most part, patriots were thinking about political liberty, but many saw it connected very closely to religious liberty. The Revolutionary War, for most patriots, was a just war fought for political freedom, not an outright holy war,” Byrd told the Christian Post. “Even so, it was not that simple…the fact that Thomas Paine, who was certainly not a Christian, used the Bible so extensively in arguing for the Revolution shows us how important biblical arguments were in colonial American societies.”