Censorship by omission
July 10, 2011 by Bill
We get all hot and sweaty about censoring movies… music… literature… pornography and language and yet about one of the most important issues in our past history, the religion of our Founding Presidents, censorship is everywhere with the media, literature, teachers and other mediums of communication. I call it CENSORSHIP BY OMISSION, where by silence, religious and historical ignorance and illiteracy is promoted. Why, this silence? As one editor told me: “because it would offend the Christian community among our subscribers.” Even though factual and accurate history, it would offend them.
It reminds me of one of the most brilliant observations of H.L Mencken, the pre-eminent columnist, known as the “sage of Baltimore,” as he wrote for the “Baltimore Sun.” He wrote: “The most curious social convention of the age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected.”
For over 40 years I have been living with this weird and psychotic omission mentality. The mentality that says, “oh my… we cannot tell the Christians that our first six Presidents were NOT Christian, but DEISTS.” Even though it is in the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as in quotes from their own mouths and writings, we cannot print that for it would offend the TRUE BELIEVING Christians, even though everything they believe on this subject is wrong. Censorship by Omission.
Let me bring this subject down to my actual experiences of over 40 years in order to give you more vivid examples.
I have been writing for a dozen major newspapers in the Western U.S. and in EVERY paper, members of the Christian community, the nut cases, have done all in their power to get the column cancelled.
FLAGSTAFF, AZ: One of the rare exceptions where the editor stopped the column, and then wrote an Editorial and started it up again, he wrote: “after I stopped the column, the letters and phone calls that poured into my office, wanting the column back, were from people who were polite, courteous, rational, and articulate. By contrast, the people who pressured me to stop the column were rude, insulting, loud and intimidating. The contrast in attitude was vivid to this publisher. Therefore, my decision: EDELEN IS BACK. EDELEN IS HERE TO STAY.” I had that Editorial framed in my study for years.
EVERETT, WA: The Executive Editor, Joan Byrd, often said to me: “they will never intimidate me, those radical Christians.” The Ministerial Alliance often “demanded” that she attend. She went. Still they hounded her, threatened her, then started a new tactic. They got organized and tied up all the phone lines of the paper, so no other outside calls could get through. Joan could not deal with that. She had to drop the column so the paper could get back to normal. Censorship by Omission… by silence, promoting religious ignorance and illiteracy.
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT of Santa Rosa, CA: They refused to publish my column on the fact that our Founding Presidents were NOT Christians but Deists. I had been writing for them for five years at that point. The Editor told me it would offend the Christian readers. I told him, “for God’s sake… it is in the Encyclopedia Britannica… it is factual and history… and you cannot run it?” He said, I cannot offend the Christians.” Censorship by Omission, promoting ignorance and illiteracy.
PUEBLO, CO: The paper was under constant pressure and intimidation to stop the column. They resisted for over 12 years, until finally giving in under new Editors.
PALM SPRINGS, CA: The same constant pressure to drop the column. A new “born again” editor finally dropped it. THE DESERT SUN, had almost 3000 Letters to the Editor of protest. They printed about 80 of them and then dropped the subject. That is when The Honorable Walter Annenberg wrote me and said: “I have personally considered your columns monumental in raising the level of religious literacy. I am giving you a grant so that you may write and speak in total freedom.” And he did.
When I was teaching this subject at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, I was often asked to lecture on this subject to the Honor Society. History majors in that group always told me they had not heard one word in their classes about the religion of the Founders.
My wife, Elizabeth, had two years at Middlebury College in Vermont and then two years at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts where she graduated in Religious Studies, and yet she told me she had no idea what our Founding Presidents believed about religion or Christianity until she started reading on her own.
I have been invited to lecture on this subject at the University of New Mexico, the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Boise State University, Santa Rosa City College, the City College of Santa Barbara, California, and many more.
I have done radio shows out of KGO in San Francisco, California, on this subject, and the control board is lit up like a Christmas tree when I am speaking – with people saying, “I am a college graduate and I did not know that.” And I hear that over and over again. WHY? I ASK.
Why is this the most secret subject in education and literature? Because it would “offend” Christians.
A recent Pulitzer prize-winning book on JOHN ADAMS did not mention one line… not one… about the fact that Adams was a dedicated DEIST and NOT an orthodox Christian. Why?
Deists do not believe in a personal God. They do not believe any of the doctrines about Jesus or the trinity. They do not believe that the bible is anything other than very bad literature.
They all thought the clergy a corrupt institution keeping human minds in chains. They all believed with Voltaire that people would be free only, “when the last brick from the last church fell on the head of the last priest.”
How embarrassing when statements of ignorance are floating around capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on this subject.
Our Founding Presidents were brilliant. Jefferson, Madison, Adams, who with Paine, Franklin and even Lincoln, were all Deists. By their own admission, in their words.
All the “God-talk” came from Eisenhower and NOT from our Founding Presidents, or the Constitution or Bill of Rights.
“IN GOD WE TRUST” came from Eisenhower in 1956. “UNDER GOD” came from Eisenhower in 1954. Eisenhower, that monumental hypocrite who never went to church or was baptized until he became President. One of the best-kept secrets in the history of America… our first six Presidents were NOT Christians, but Deists. I call it CENSORSHIP BY OMISSION. That is a truth and Mencken was correct. How weird and psychotic the belief that all religious beliefs should be respected, no matter how false… how damaging… how ignorant or illiterate.