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Lloyd Omdahl: Apple cobbler got them in deep trouble

Lloyd Omdahl: Apple cobbler got them in deep trouble

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“America was founded on Christian principles,” it has been claimed. Very few dare contradict this claim because people think you have to be an atheist to doubt it.

Being an inquiring soul believing in truth, I thought the claim needed examining, so I put my 29-book document of Christian principles next to the U.S. Constitution and found that the most important Christian principle is love. God loves us, we love God and the neighbors get thrown in for good measure. 

I found stuff in the Constitution about a congress, a president, judges, states and rights, but I didn’t find anything about love, the most important Christian principle of all. Could we have a constitution based on Christian principles without love?

Another important Christian principle is what makes Christianity Christian -- the centrality of Christ. Another search and there was no mention of Jesus or God in the Constitution. By now I am suspicious of the claim that America was founded on Christian principles.

I also became suspicious of our Christian status as pilgrims. When pilgrims write constitutions, it means they plan to stay a while. And we’ve come to the point now where we worship the Constitution and we’ve quit marching to Zion. The world has got us.

Because this questionable claim has led to doubts about the founding of America, I am now concerned with the real founding back in the Garden of Eden and the appearance of Adam and Eve.  

Adam must have had experience in government because the first thing he wanted was a helpmate to do the work. (Have you ever seen a government executive without a deputy?)

So while Adam was sitting at the city gate philosophizing with the other men, Eve was baking bread, washing leaves, cleaning house, shopping for groceries and doing all of the other tedious jobs assigned to women -- by men. Eve put up with it, thinking that someday women would be assigning the duties.

(For 6,000 years she has been waiting for her day and it’s coming. She now has a dishwasher, a vacuum cleaner, coffeemaker, electronic oven and a whole slew of time-saving housekeeping stuff. With free time available, she is going to college, getting smarter than the men sitting at the city gates. Her day is near. Won’t they be surprised?)

Back to the Garden of Eden, it had a snake. Now I doubt that God put Sneaky Snake in the Garden. Who would put a snake in an otherwise pristine garden? Sneaky must have been an immigrant passing through to Montana, just looking for mischief.

One day Eve was in the garden looking for something for a recipe of apple cobbler recommended by Food magazine. Sneaky Snake suggested that she use apples. Since she hadn’t taken any home econ courses, she didn’t know you could make apple cobbler with apples. She was thinking of peaches.

She didn’t have a ladder, so Sneaky Snake slithered up the tree and flipped down a couple apples. They looked so inviting that Eve bit one.

In the wink of a cat’s eye, the universe opened to her. She now knew she could make all kinds of fruit cobbler. So she gave Adam an apple and they both became too smart for their own good -– smart enough to know they were in deep trouble.

When God appeared, they were just finishing off the first apple cobbler. For punishment, God sent them out of the garden to work by the sweat of their brows fighting weeds forever. It was an awful sentence because Roundup wouldn’t be coming for 6,000 years.

So it was at the founding.

Lloyd Omdahl is a political scientist and former North Dakota lieutenant governor. His column appears Saturdays.

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