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Will the Real James Madison Please Stand Up

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago

 Will the Real James Madison Please Stand Up?

 

 

by

Gary DeMar

 

 

For years Christians have attributed the following quotation to James Madison (1751–1836), the fourth president of the United States:  We have staked the whole future of American Civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.

 

Nearly every book written by a Christian author to support the Christian America thesis claims President Madison as the quotation’s author. People have searched in vain to find the original source of the quotation, a necessary requirement when making such attributions no matter what the content. The January 1958 issue of Progressive Calvinism attributes the quotation to a 1958 calendar published by Spiritual Mobilization. What was Spiritual Mobilization’s source for the quotation? None was listed. Additional detective work leads the intrepid historian to another James Madison, a cousin of President Madison. Cousin Madison served as president of William and Mary College from 1776 to 1812, was professor of natural philosophy and mathematics at the College, and was the first Protestant Episcopal bishop of Virginia. Is he the source of the quotation? Very possibly. Christians should stop attributing the quotation to President James Madison until we find out.

 

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