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home : letters : letters May 24, 2016

3/29/2013 10:17:00 AM
For clarity

To the editor:

Mr. Kressin corrected me regarding my statement that Congress printed the Bible.  He is correct in just one point.  Congress itself did not directly print the Bible; however, he is mistaken with regard to Congress procuring the Bible for its citizens.  The Library of Congress can be accessed to verify the following.  Congress sent a letter to the printers of Philadelphia on July 7th, 1777 with the following beginning.  "The Congress desire to have a Bible printed under their care and by their encouragement, and request you to inform them..."  The Congress wanted to assess the cost of printing the Bible in America.  One of those letters went to a man named Robert Aitken.

 Three Presbyterian ministers from Philadelphia encouraged Congress with these words, "...unless timely care be used to prevent it we shall not have Bibles for our Schools, and families, and for the publick Worship of God in our Churches."

 When Congress received back the information regarding the cost and procurement of materials, the Congress decided to import 20,000 Bibles to America instead.  They sent an order to the Committee of Commerce to procure them.  The battle of Brandywine took place shortly thereafter so the order was not completed, but the public record of the order was.

 Four years later in 1781, Robert Aitken who had received one of those letters from Congress earlier, petitioned Congress to print the Bible in America.  Aitken sent a presentation of his work for their scrutiny.  The Congress submitted this work to their chaplains who looked over the work and deemed it sufficient for print.  Congress then endorsed this printing by Aitken and gave him permission to print that endorsement in any way he saw fit.  My original argument had to do with questioning secularists' defining our founders as secularists with an equivocation of the two groups.  That argument still stands.

 Mr. Kressin also accused me of misquoting the Declaration of Independence by using the term "our Creator."  I would remind Mr. Kressin that my statement was not in quotations and thus I was making a statement not quoting someone else.

Pastor Mark Shaw

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