Good Without God?
Benjamin Franklin’s Letter to Andrew Cuomo
By Stephen A. Flick, Ph.D.

During the coronavirus pandemic, America has witnessed efforts on the part of political leaders to deny citizens their constitutional rights. Because America’s Founders heavily dependent upon their own Christian heritage, they brought their faith into government, though never allowing one denomination or another to dominate at the national or federal level. At the state level, however, nearly all of the original colonies at one time or another instituted state churches. The Declaration of Independence established human rights upon a religious foundation: “… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

They further affirmed in the Declaration that the institution of human government was to give assurance to those God given rights, and should government set aside those rights, citizens possessed the right to depose that government and establish a form of government that would ensure their God-given rights:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

Since the end of the nineteenth century, atheists, socialists, communists, and other -isms have attempted to undermine the Christian foundation of America by taking away God-given rights and enslaving Americans with humanistic man-given rights that may be suspended or revoked at any time. The moment God is denied a place in government is the moment one individual or a group of individuals assert their arbitrary tyrannical will over others.

Benjamin Franklin’s Letter
to Andrew Cuomo

Secular governments always become tyrannical because they believe they have the right to legislate as they see fit. Inevitably establishing themselves upon an atheistic foundation of Darwinism, secular governments always become intolerant, repressive, and authoritarian. One need not look to Russia, China, or any other secular state for evidence of this fact, but may look to the example provided by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York.

At a press conference on Friday, April 17, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced improving conditions concerning the coronavirus in his state, and was quick to announce his anti-God sentiments:

The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that…That’s how it works. It’s math. And if you don’t continue to do that, you’re going to see that number go back up. And that will be a tragedy if that number goes back up.

Thomas Paine has been used as a false caricature of most of America’s Founding Fathers. But this caricature is not true of the Founding Fathers. While it is true that Paine’s two writings, Common Sense and American Crisis, were formative influences in the American cause of independence, the Thomas Paine who wrote these works was a man quite different in his view of the world than the Thomas Paine who years later penned the deistic work of Age of Reason. Secularists and the irreligious fail to make a distinction between the early Paine of the American Revolution and the latter Paine who returned from revolutionary France and the influence of Voltaire in the 1790s. Other Founding Fathers rejected Paine’s Deism and anti-Christian beliefs upon his return to America.

Among those who rejected Paine’s newly-formed opinions was Elias Boudinot, a president of Congress, the first lawyer approved to argue before the Supreme Court, and first president of the American Bible Society. In response to Paine’s Age of Reason, Mr. Boudinot penned his Age of Revelation, defending the Bible against anti-Christian assumptions.

Following the death of Benjamin Franklin, his son, William, published a letter believed to be written to Thomas Paine. It was a common practice of Thomas Paine to seek the advice of Mr. Franklin concerning his early political writings; it appears Paine also sought Franklin’s advice concerning the publication of the anti-Christian Age of Reason. Mr. Franklin was quite candid in his response. The subject of “Providence” is everywhere spoken of by the Founding Fathers in both their private writings and political discourses. And, it is this subject that Franklin critiques most vigorously in his response to Paine, saying…

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection.

Mr. Franklin rejected Paine’s belief that God cared or exercised providence toward creation generally, but was indifferent to the concerns of individuals. After making additional observations, Mr. Franklin offered Paine his advice on what should be done with such an anti-Christian work. It is important to note that the term “religion” was used by the Founding Fathers as a general reference of all Christian denominations, and it is this term, Franklin notes in his advice to Paine:

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it? (Works 1840, 10:281-82)

Poorly informed secularists have for many years wished to have all Americans believe that their Founding Fathers were Deists and opponents of Christianity. If one statement could be produced that could decimate this fiction, it would be most highly valued if it came from Mr. Franklin, the alleged arch-Deist himself. In fact, Franklin does produce such a statement. Prior to 1784, he developed a brief description of what those moving to America from Europe could expect to find in the New World. In his description of America’s religious life and God’s providence in the life of the nation, he wrote:

. . . bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity [Deism] rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having their piety [Christian scruples] shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different Sects [Christian denominations] treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favor the whole country. (Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 41:605)

Benjamin Franklin believed that God was active in caring for American and blessed it with “[re]markable prosperity … which He has been pleased to favor the whole country,” but Cuomo rejects Franklin.

Providence and the belief in the care of God for a fallen world is seen everywhere in the writings of the Founding Fathers. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Mr. Franklin affirmed divine providence of the care of God in the circumstances of life:

In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered…. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And, have we now forgotten that powerful Friend [the eternal God]? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that, except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed, in this political building, no better than the builders of Babel. (Records of the Federal Convention, ed. Max Farrand, 1:450-51)

The question of Mr. Franklin to the Constitutional Convention is still pertinent to the present crisis: “And, have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?” Mr. Cuomo has already given his answer. Lamentably, it falls far short of the response of America’s Founding Fathers to Mr. Franklin’s question. At this time of national crisis, Americans must not quickly surrender their national heritage founded upon the Christian convictions of their Founding Fathers.

In January 2014, Andrew Cuomo pontificated that those holding to a right to life, pro-assault weapons, or who opposed same-sex marriage had “no place in the state of New York.” And, the nation remembers that on January 22, 2019, Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act allowing an unborn baby to be killed at any time for any reason. Mr. Cuomo, whatever happened to the liberal plea for tolerance? When God is driven out, tyrants will rule in His stead.

A New Release

Principles of the American Revolution
[pHearldArticleSubtitle]The Christian Principles of American Revolution[/pHearldArticleSubtitle]

Coming in June. The godless revolution of France in 1789 was much different from the American Revolution that was guided by Christian principles. President John Quincy Adams wished to make sure succeeding generations of Americans realized this, and for this reason translated this important work. Secularism and irreligion always destroy a society from within, as was demonstrated by the godlessness of the French Revolution. One of America’s most spiritually-minded presidents wished succeeding generations of Americans to understand this fact. This new work should be available in June 2020.

We need your help to share the truth concerning the positive influence of the Christian faith upon America and the world. To join us, please see our Supporting Christian Heritage Fellowship page.

Leaving the Gold Standard

[pHearldArticleSubtitle]Where We Have Gone Wrong[/pHearldArticleSubtitle]

For years, nations around the world have been in “bubble” economies. One of the many areas affected by these over-inflated economies has been the real estate market.

Australia has had one of the most hyper-inflated real estate markets in the world. As of April 2020, that market is beginning to crumble and the consequences are going to be enormous. Though other nations have also had their hyper-inflated real estate bubble, America’s has not been as acute. Never-the-less, many, many Americans are going to be left holding bank loans for property, the value of which is much less than they owe in their loans; they will owe far more than what their property is worth once the dust settles from the coronavirus storm.

Greater consequences are likely to result from the coronavirus pandemic than the thousands of lives taken by the disease. The bursting of the real estate bubble around the world is but one of many likely tragic sequels.

America’s Founding Fathers had burdened our young nation with heavy debt in a frantic attempt to pay for the expenses occurred to wage the War of Independence. They had experienced the consequences of not being able to pay the nation’s indebtedness. For this reason, when the United States Constitution was written in 1787, Article 1 section 10 made “gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began to remove America from the gold standard of the Constitution. This act was solidified by President Richard Nixon in 1971 when he announced America would no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value.

Despite contrary claims, the result of this action has been fiat currency in America and around the world. Now America faces the greatest financial crisis of its life.

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Getting the Truth Out

[pHearldArticleSubtitle]Our Recent Publications[/pHearldArticleSubtitle]

Since the end of December, CHF has produced three publications. Just prior to Christmas, we were able to send St. Nicholas: How a Christian Pastor Became Santa Claus to press. Our most recent publication is The Supreme Court Declares America a Christian Nation. As of the writing of this newsletter, the article at our site with the same title has more than 34K likes and shares. Most are unaware that the Supreme Court in 1892 recognized America’s Christian heritage and declared, “This is a Christian nation.” These works are available to purchase at Amazon.

The third work we have sent to press is a reprint of well-known author on prayer, Edward McKendree Bounds. The title of that work is Power Through Prayer. E M Bounds was a Methodist minister who refused to participate in the liberalization of his denomination. For taking a stand for the biblical heritage of Methodism, he paid a great personal price, but his resolve to do what is right elevated him to a place of memorial and honor among believers who, like him, also have been resolved not to forsake the principles of God’s Word. Bounds became one of the most widely known and read authors on the subject of prayer. Seeking to make our materials financially accessible to our supporters, we purpose to keep our prices low as is reasonably possible. Along with our other materials, you may find these works at Amazon. Should you desire bulk items, please contact us. We are able to offer better bulk prices through our office. You may contact us through our website:

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