National Reform Association (United States)

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The National Reform Association (NRA), formerly known as the National Association to Secure the Religious Amendment of the United States Constitution, is an organization that seeks to introduce a Christian amendment to the U.S. Constitution in order to make the United States a Christian state.[1][2] Founded in 1864, the National Reform Association included representatives from eleven Christian denominations as well as the official support of a number of Churches.[1] It publishes a magazine called The Christian Statesman.[3]

History[edit]

The National Reform Association was founded in 1864 by representatives from eleven Christian Churches in the United States.[1] It sought to, and continues to advocate for the following Christian amendment to be introduced to the U.S. Constitution:[1]

"We the people" would acknowledge "Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among nations, His revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government..."[1]

This movement soon gained the support of several Churches.[1] For example, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, in its 1896 Disciple contained a section on National Reform, which continues to be retained by its successor, the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection in its most recent 2014 Discipline that contains the following statement:[4][5]

It shall be the duty of the ministers and members of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection to use their influence in every feasible manner in favor of a more complete recognition of the authority of Almighty God, in the secular and civil relations, both of society and of government, and the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ as King of nations as well as King of saints.[4][5]

As such, the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church advocates for Bible reading in public schools, chaplaincies in the Armed Forces and in Congress, Sunday blue laws (reflecting historic Methodist belief in Sunday Sabbatarianism), and amendments that advance the recognition of God.[5]

The National Reform Association desired for reverence for the Sunday Sabbath, opposing the distribution of newspapers on the Lord's Day as Sunday newspapers became popular in the 1880s.[6]

In 1895, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which was at that time the largest women's organization in the United States, proclaimed its solidarity with the National Reform Association "whose efforts are parallel to ours on many lines."[3] To this end, the WCTU passed a resolution "God in Christ is the King of Nations, and as such should be acknowledged in our government; and His Word made the basis of our laws."[3]

In the early 1900s, the National Reform Association supported the aims of the temperance movement, which was supported by many Christians at that time.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Miller, Randall M.; Stout, Harry S.; Wilson, Charles Reagan (1998). Religion and the American Civil War. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199923663.
  2. ^ Beck, Luke (2018). Religious Freedom and the Australian Constitution: Origins and Future. Routledge. ISBN 9781351257749. The National Reform Association's organisational constitution stated that the Association's purpose was "To secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United states as will declare the nation's allegiance to Jesus Christ, and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions and usages of our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.
  3. ^ a b c Bodnar, John E. (1996). Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism. Princeton University Press. p. 125. ISBN 9780691043968.
  4. ^ a b Discipline of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America. Wesleyan Methodist Church. 1896. pp. 142–143.
  5. ^ a b c The Discipline of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference). Salem: Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection. 2014. pp. 37–38.
  6. ^ Fuller, Wayne E. (2010). Morality and the Mail in Nineteenth-Century America. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252091353.
  7. ^ Vile, John R. (2003). Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789–2002. ABC-CLIO. p. 65. ISBN 9781851094288.

Further reading[edit]

  • Anthony Cowley, John Fielding, Andrew Sandlin, William Edgar, William Gould, Jeffrey Ziegler, Kevin Clauson, Tom Rose, John Perry, Joel Saint, Daniel Herrick, William Einwechter, William O. Einwechter (1997). Explicitly Christian Politics: The Vision of the National Reform Association. Christian Statesman Press. ISBN 0966004418.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]