Feder: Napoleon Was a Christian. And Therefore…

Last year, the Worldnetdaily began publishing columns by Bill Federer, who is kind of a poor man’s David Barton. He attempts to show that America really, truly was supposed to be a Christian nation, using the same kind of dishonest techniques that Barton uses. But his latest column, where he “recounts French influence on America’s development,” is just plain irrelevant.

He goes through a bunch of French history and how the Louisiana Purchase happened, none of which has anything to do with “French influence on America’s development,” then suddenly ends with a long passage about Napoleon becoming a Christian after being deposed:

On the island of St. Helena, Napoleon began to reflect on his life and even began reading the Bible.

A few years before dying at the age of 52, Napoleon commented to General H.G. Bertrand, as recorded in “On St. Helena,” 1816: “The Gospel possesses a secret virtue, a mysterious efficacy, a warmth which penetrates and soothes the heart. One finds in meditating upon it that which one experiences in contemplating the heavens. The Gospel is not a book; it is a living being, with an action, a power, which invades everything that opposes its extension. Behold it upon this table, this book surpassing all others (here the Emperor solemnly placed his hand upon it): I never omit to read it, and every day with new pleasure. Nowhere is to be found such a series of beautiful ideas, and admirable moral maxims, which pass before us like the battalions of a celestial army. … The soul can never go astray with this book for its guide …”

Napoleon continued: “Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between Him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison; He is truly a Being by Himself. His ideas and His sentiments, the truth which He announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things. Truth should embrace the universe. Such is Christianity, the only religion which destroys sectional prejudices, the only one which proclaims the unity and the absolute brotherhood of the whole human family, the only one which is purely spiritual; in fine, the only one which assigns to all, without distinction, for a true country, the bosom of the Creator, God.”

Napoleon concluded: “Christ proved that He was the Son of the Eternal by His disregard of time. All His doctrines signify one only and the same thing – eternity. What a proof of the divinity of Christ! With an empire so absolute, he has but one single end – the spiritual melioration of individuals, the purity of the conscience, the union to that which is true, the holiness of the soul …

“Not only is our mind absorbed, it is controlled; and the soul can never go astray with this book for its guide. Once master of our spirit, the faithful Gospel loves us. God even is our friend, our father, and truly our God. The mother has no greater care for the infant whom she nurses. …”

Napoleon ended by telling General H.G. Bertrand: “If you do not perceive that Jesus Christ is God, very well: then I did wrong to make you a general.”

It’s all kind of baffling. His claim seems to be this:

1. We bought a huge territory from Napoleon in the Louisiana Purchase.

2. Napoleon later became a Christian.

3. And therefore….well, what? He never says.

It’s all quite weird.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Richard Smith

    3. And therefore….well, what? He never says.

    And therefore, profit, of course!

  • dingojack

    Well, well, well — whadda ya know.

    @@ Dingo

  • John Hinkle

    His point is that America is a Christian nation. See, here’s how it works:

    .

    1. Premise: America is a Christian nation.

    2. Write some words.

    3. Conclusion: America is a Christian nation.

  • sh3baproject

    This is a first: claiming napoleon became a christain because he sold some land to the US. At least its something new, even if its wrong as always :/

  • colnago80

    Napoleon appears to have at least some religious notions prior to his exile on St. Helena. Upon receiving and reading a treatise on the mechanics of the solar system from the French mathematician Laplace, he queried the latter as to what part god played in those motions. Laplace supposedly replied, “I had no need of that hypothesis.”

  • John Hinkle

    OT, what’s the magic html element for line breaks in these comments?

  • Die Anyway

    Gen. Bertrand must have been one helluva good transcriptionist to get those quotes down correctly.

  • Larry

    1 America is a pagan nation

    2 Manhattan was purchased from native Americans for $20 worth of beads

    3 The natives were pagan, ergo, the United States is a pagan nation

  • caseloweraz

    @John Hinkle—

    It must be <br>.

    No, that doesn’t work. If it did, the “<br>” would be on a line by itself.

    Of course, a simple C/R works reliably.

    BTW: I just noticed the <del datetime=””> tag. Is that used to put a “drop-dead date” on a comment?

  • abb3w

    Per “Strategies for Resisting Persuasion” by Jacks and Cameron, looks like attitude bolstering plus social validation: “The great man Napoleon became a Christian, therefore America should be a Christian nation.”

  • caseloweraz

    Seward bought Alaska (then known as “Seward’s folly”) from Russia. Of course, Russia was a Christian nation at that time — but also a monarchy. So, by Federer’s logic, America should be a monarchy too.

    Is that why certain people keep referring to Obama as a king?

  • wreck

    “Such is Christianity, the only religion which destroys sectional prejudices, the only one which proclaims the unity and the absolute brotherhood of the whole human family”

    Except for the gays, the atheists, the Muslims, the Pagans, the Hindus, …

  • John Hinkle

    Thanks caseloweraz, but C/R doesn’t seem to work for me. Are you using something other than the return key for a new line? A control sequence?

    .

    The <del datetime=””> element means deleted text, which does a strike through, and the date is when the text was deleted. Can’t imagine why anyone would use the datetime attribute here though.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    It looks like our esteemed host’s headline confuses WingNutDaily fool Bill Federer with knave Don Feder, miscommunications director of the World Congress of Families.

    WND, WCF, WTF…

  • dugglebogey

    Napoleon was also not short! He was 5’9″ tall, which was borderline tall in his age of rampant malnutrition.

    I’m just saying this because it also proves that America is meant to be a xtian nation, of course.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Napoleon? Do we really want to copy the French?

  • colnago80

    Re dugglebogey @ #15

    Actually, Napoleon was 5′ 6″.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_complex

  • Donnie

    Ahhhh….France was a Catholic country so Napoleon was a Catholic. there is this big cathedral called Notre Dame (not the football stadium for the American ignoranysia – opposite of intelligentsia). Of course, we all know that Catholics are not the right kind of Christians unless having Catholics included helps the right Christians.

    And France sold Louisiana, not because the wanted to, but because Napoleon needed the money in order to finance his wars in Europe. Of course, a lot of politicians criticized Thomas Jefferson for spending by going into debt for purchasing all the ‘unusable land’.

  • dingojack

    That’s the problem with the ‘if it’s good enough for Napoleon; it’s good enough for America’ argument — if you give them 2.54 cm, they’ll take 1.609344 Km!

    Dingo

  • caseloweraz

    John Hinkle: Thanks caseloweraz, but C/R doesn’t seem to work for me. Are you using something other than the return key for a new line? A control sequence?

    No; I just hit the return key. (Of course, for me that produces a C/R – L/F sequence. My terminology was a little sloppy before. Are you on a Linux system by any chance?)

  • naturalcynic

    And France sold Louisiana, not because the wanted to, but because Napoleon needed the money in order to finance his wars in Europe.

    Louisiana had become indefensible because of the revolution in Haiti was nearing a successful conclusion. N saw an opportunity to make some money off a territory that he couldn’t control.

  • Nick Gotts

    “The great man Napoleon became a Christian, therefore America should be a Christian nation.” – abb3w@10

    Great man, phooey! This is the idiot who lost a war because he insisted on his army marching all the way to Moscow on its stomach! (h/t Sellar and Yeatman)

  • Al Dente

    Nick Gotts @22

    Actually it wasn’t the march to Moscow which caused the problems, it was the march away from Moscow in the Russian winter that was bad.

    Related bit of trivia: One word for beggar in Russian is “chermy” which has its origin when, during the Retreat from Moscow, French soldiers begged Russian peasants for food and began their spiel with “cher ami” (dear friend).

  • Hoosier X

    AND Napoleon’s cat’s breath smelled like cat food!

    Ipso ergo, christianity!

  • dannorth

    According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon)

    “He also said to Gourgaud in 1817 “I like the Mohammedan religion best. It has fewer incredible things in it than ours.”[183] and that “the Mohammedan religion is the finest of all”.”

    That conversation took place during his exile three years before his death.

  • Artor

    Hmmm… Wasn’t that the same time Napoleon was dying of syphilis & arsenic? Not exactly a man in sound mind & body.

  • dingojack

    dannorth – this was first recorded in a book published in 1903. Hardly contemporaneous!

    Dingo

  • sugarfrosted

    @18 Donnie

    Ahhhh….France was a Catholic country so Napoleon was a Catholic. there is this big cathedral called Notre Dame (not the football stadium for the American ignoranysia – opposite of intelligentsia)

    Did you just confuse the University with their football stadium? Notre Dame is a great university with a well funded football team (I don’t get why people care about the latter part.) I’m legitimately offended because I’m friend with some of the researchers and graduate students in their math department.

    You probably need to stop huffing paint, because only a paint huffer could think an antonym of intelligentsia would even approach making sense and get a University confused with a stadium.

  • abb3w

    @23, Al Dente

    Actually it wasn’t the march to Moscow which caused the problems, it was the march away from Moscow in the Russian winter that was bad.

    Going by the famous Minard graphic, Napoleon lost three-quarters of his troops on the way there, and lost three-quarters of the remainder getting halfway back. While the problems were clearly worse on the way back, the losses going to Moscow seem a pretty significant problem.