Category Archives: History
Saint Telemachus, a fourth-century monk who lived in a monastery, felt God calling him to Rome. He couldn’t figure out why God would want him in Rome, but he felt the pressure to go. Putting his possessions in a little satchel, he threw the bag over his shoulder and started out over the dusty, westward roads to Rome.When he got to Rome, people were running about the city in great confusion. He had arrived on a day when the gladiators were going to fight both other gladiators and animals in the amphitheater.
Everyone was heading to the amphitheater to watch the entertainment. Telemachus thought this must be why God had called him to Rome. He walked into the amphitheater. He sat down among 80,000 people who cheered as the gladiators came out proclaiming, “‘Hail Caesar! We die to the glory of Caesar.” The little monk thought to himself, Here we are, four centuries after Christ, in a civilized nation, and people are killing one another for the entertainment of the crowd. This isn’t Christian!
Telemachus got up out of his seat, ran down the steps, climbed over the wall, walked out to the center of the amphitheater, and stood between two large gladiators. Putting his hands up, he meekly cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop!” The crowd laughed and jeered. One of the gladiators slapped Telemachus in the stomach with his sword and sent him spinning off into the dust.
Telemachus got up and again stood between the two huge gladiators. He repeated, “In the name of Christ, stop.” This time the crowd chanted “Run him through!” One of the gladiators took his sword and ran it through Telemachus’ stomach. He fell into the dust and the sand turned red as blood ran out of him. One last time, Telemachus weakly cried out, “‘In the name of Christ, stop.” He died on the amphitheater floor.
The crowd grew silent, and within minutes they emptied out of the amphitheater. History records that, thanks to Saint Telemachus, this was the last gladiatorial contest in the history of the Roman Empire.
Throughout our nation’s history, many great American leaders have recognized the significance the Bible has played in developing and preserving our freedoms. We present just a few examples:
George Washington: “No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
James Madison: “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart.”
John Quincy Adams: “So great is my veneration of the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society.”
Andrew Jackson: “That Book, sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.”
Samuel Adams: “The rights of the colonists as Christians…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institution of The Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament” (from “The Rights of Colonists,” 1772).
Noah Webster: “The moral principles and precepts contained in Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
John Jay (first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice): “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Abraham Lincoln: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to men. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.”
William McKinley: “The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book, and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.”
Theodore Roosevelt: “Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally — I do not mean figuratively, but literally — impossible for us to figure what that loss would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards towards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves.”
Ronald Reagan: “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face. The Bible can touch hearts, order minds and refresh souls.”