Jesus Toned Down by the DAR

Spirit of '76When you join the Daughters of the American Revolution, you know you’re joining an organization that is deeply rooted in our nation’s heritage, including its religious heritage. For almost 125 years, the DAR has included the name of Jesus in its prayers and publications.

According to an email sent out today, the DAR is not condemning the use of Jesus’ name in publications and proceedings, it’s just removed some references to His name and other allegedly contentious bits of Christianity from print to be more inclusive. While this appears to have been done over a year ago, this is the first official communication I recall seeing on the subject.

Are those the words they used? No. The text of the email is posted here (scroll down): Todd Starnes’ blurb does not do a great job of representing what the DAR leadership actually said, but the tone is correct. This appears to be another sad attempt to appease a group’s minorities whether their sentiment is real or imagined.

Now that I know about it, I am deeply offended by this move– even though I’m a DAR member whose handbook ends prayers, “in Thy name.” While this is supposedly being done to be more sensitive to those with other belief systems in respect of “religious freedom,” I don’t see it that way at all. If a member of such a service organization wants to forego the saying of prayers or skip the “Jesus” part, that’s their business. They have the freedom to do so. Why don’t the rest of us have the freedom to keep His name in our documents?

Frankly I never thought I’d see the DAR do something like this and need to find out why we weren’t allowed to vote on it. An attribute of the DAR that makes me proud to be a member is the acknowledgment of our ancestors’ faith. In days past people didn’t have to sweep the name of Jesus under their skirts or hide it under rugs; it was normal to talk about Him. In recent years we’ve become scared of what other people think and afraid of offending everyone else.

DAR members are documented descendants of American Revolutionary War patriots. Yep, the same Revolutionary War that was fought and won under this banner:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

Oh yes, the Declaration of Independence. While many of the Founding Fathers were deists rather than outright Christians, they founded this nation on the concept that God had bestowed more rights upon them than King George had. God, also known as God the Father, part of the Holy Trinity of which one person is Jesus the Son.

So… an organization I held in such high esteem for being unashamed to respect God in a world increasingly hostile against Christians has apparently sterilized its tradition-steeped pages in an effort to be more acceptable. I understand wanting to be sensitive to the beliefs of others– that we should be. People should have the freedom not to participate in things they don’t believe in. But to change who we are as a group and to whom we give credit for the benefits of being an American– it’s repulsive.

This is one step closer to removing God from the DAR altogether (unless we believe that God is the same detached, faceless, benevolent uncle figure in every religion who doesn’t care what we do as long as we believe ourselves to be good and just). Thomas Jefferson said that in matters of style we should swim with the current, but in matters of principle we should stand like a rock. On this matter, DAR members– and their counterparts in the SAR– should be standing like a rock.

If our ancestors could see this happening, they would think we’ve gone quite mad. Because our organization honors their beliefs, fortitude, and sacrifice, I will go so far as to say that we are dishonoring our fathers by allowing the exclusion of Jesus’ name from print. Not only was it once a widely revered name, but it is part of our traditions.

Like my forefathers, I’m intensely bothered by efforts to curb my freedoms. While I don’t by any means expect a DAR member of another faith to pray in Jesus’ name along with me, I will stand with those who choose to mention Jesus Christ in standing with our traditions.

In my faith His name is the name above all names, and when we serve those He called “even the least of these,” we do it to Him. The DAR is an organization packed with women dedicated to serving others, so it seems ironic that we serve so passionately but now shush the name of the one who stooped to wash His disciples’ feet.


When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all; it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. –C.S. Lewis


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