Psalm 11:3 (KJV) 3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
It may seem hard to believe these days, but these United States of America were built on the foundation of the truths taught in the Holy Bible. Whereas in the founding days of our republic Biblical discourse was the norm. Oh yes, there were many things that were lacking in lining up with the word of God, but it was The Word of God that in time brought about the correction of those things which were lacking. As we are approaching another celebration of the birth of this nation I thought that it would be good to share some of the founding fathers’ thoughts on the United State’s Christian Foundation. All the quotations that I shall address can easily be found in libraries or online searches. But you will seldom hear our leaders expound on them. Yet these are the very core of the foundation of the liberties which we enjoy.
What Presidents have said
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington signed a Thanksgiving Declaration which had this admonition contained within it.
By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…….
George Washington was a man who had experienced the mighty working of God as he led the armies of the revolution. He knew from firsthand experience that “the battle belongs to the Lord”. This was one of many speeches which he gave that called on the nation to honor the God of the Bible.
President John Adams had this to say.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”
President Adams had enough wisdom and for sight and knowledge of the Bible and human nature to realize that without the moral guidance of the Biblical God that this experiment would be doomed to failure.
President James Madison said this:
Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the general authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign.
Just to be up front, he was referring to the God of the Bible. We have some senators today who would disqualify these three men from holding such a high office.
Hear President Thomas Jefferson.
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan.”
Truly a recognition of the God of Creation.
In his speech on July 4, 1837, President John Quincy Adams said:
Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon the earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?
These presidents unequivicably acknowledge the God of the Bible and Christianity as the foundation of the nation which was established as the United States of America.
In 1892 in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity vs U. S., the Supreme Court cited dozens of court rulings and legal documents in which the unanimous decision contained within it a statement declaring that the United States was a Christian nation. Contrast that to a 1962 ruling in which the Supreme Court struck down voluntary prayer in public schools where they cited not one precedent. Instead, they injected their opinion that the students might be influenced.
In 1844 Daniel Webster argued before the Court in Vidal vs Girard and though he lost his case the court issued this statement in regard to Christianity.
So the Court dismissed Webster’s argument that the will was hostile to Christianity, thus deciding the trust to be valid. Even though the Court differed from Webster’s reading of the will, this case provides an interesting view into the mindset of this early Supreme Court regarding the freedom of religion in American schools. Both Webster and Story advocated clearly for the important role of the Bible in education.
We shall set forth quotations of three of the founding fathers in regard to what they thought of the impact of Christianity and the God of the Bible had on the foundations of this country. Though we quote only three do not doubt that there were many others who had the same or similar beliefs. The three we shall cite are Jedidiah Morse, Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin.
To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys…. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them. Jedidiah Morse
On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry made his speech to the Second Virginia Convention in which the most famous of lines were his call of “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in that speech he made it clear on Whom they would lean for victory.
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained – we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
It is evident that he was very aware of Who would bring the victory.
On July 28, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin made a moving speech which finally brought a unity by which unanimous consent was given to have regular prayers made to the God of creation. The motion passed. Included in that speech is the following excerpt.
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
He went on to say:
We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
Supreme Court Justices
John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court said this:
The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
He also wrote this: “Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers,
and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest,
of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
James Wilson, one of the original justices of the Supreme Court wrote:
“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
– James Wilson, United States Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Signer of the Constitution, 2nd most active speaker at the Constitutional Convention speaking 168 times, Original Justice of the United States Supreme Court appointed by George Washington
Hear Joseph Story, US Supreme Court Justice
One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations. I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. — Joseph Story, U. S. Supreme Court Justice and Father of American Jurisprudence
In 1853 the Senate Judiciary Committee issued this statement:
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We are Christians, not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay a due regard to Christianity?
In 1854 the House Judiciary Committee issued this statement:
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect [denomination]. Any attempt to level and discard all religion would have been viewed with universal indignation. . . . In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; that, in its general principles, is the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institution.
In 1856 the House of Representatives made this declaration:
The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1746 The Rules and Precepts of Harvard set forth this governing principle for their students:
Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).
Here is what Yale required of its students.
Yale admonishes students with:
Above all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies, which is to obtain the clearest conceptions of divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.
All scholars are to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God’s word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, and constantly attending all the duties of religion.
We use the term “Founding Fathers” quite often without really understanding what we are saying. In essence, we are saying that these are the people who laid the foundation on which our nation is built. I began this blog with a verse of scripture found in Psalm 11:3. It asks a question that should cause each of us to stop and consider our nation’s condition. The men who laid the foundation for this nation were not just religious men but were Biblically as well as historically literate and understood the consequences of certain philosophies. They understood that there was only one philosophy on which the foundation of this great country could be built, and that was the Christian Biblical philosophy. Even other nations understood that The United States was built on Biblical principles
In the past century or so we have seen a concerted effort of some who have sought to undermine the foundations on which this country was built. They have sought to take the reference of an Almighty Creator and His Son, Jesus out of the public quarter. They have sought to “separate church and state”. The question should arise, “Why would anyone wish to separate that which has made us great, except that they wished to destroy the foundations on which this republic is built. I submit that that is the reason they want to take our Creator out of the public arena. They wish to tear down the foundations on which it is built. In so doing they will accomplish the will of the adversary of all freedom, the devil, himself.
Those that believe in the foundations of the founding fathers also believe in the One Who said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Those that are trying to destroy the United State’s Christian foundation are sided with the one who “steals, kills, and destroys.”
Where do you stand?
People of the United States of America can no longer be neutral. You are either light or darkness. You are for life or for death. You either side with the God of Creation or you side with the god of this world. There is no middle ground. You can not claim “no opinion”.
The same challenge comes to every individual as Joshua put in Joshua chapter 24.
Choose you this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
Please share your thoughts with me on United State’s Christian Foundation in the comment section below. Thank you for your comment.