Today, those who wage war against the Christian religion insist that our founders were Deists, that this nation was not founded on the Christian ideal and that the founders deliberately created a secular government. But all of this is a lie! The assertion that this nation was not founded by Christians who designed the governments they created on Christian ideals must be opposed as it is only in the Christian ideal that true security for individual rights and liberty lies. History is very clear on this point: it is not a matter of opinion. As for my part, I have and will continue to write to bring the truth of the historic record to those who seek it, but this post is intended to focus on teaching you where to find the religion of our founders in their governments at the time of ratification. And I start by citing an authority far more qualified to comment on this subject than anyone alive today:
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.
–John Quincy Adams, July 4, 1821
“Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity”?
–John Quincy Adams, [–1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.]
OK, so who is John Quincy Adams? He was just a kid when the American Revolution started (never mind that he started his life of service to this nation at age 13). We need a higher authority than the word of a child, right? OK, how about the word of one of the strongest leaders of the American Revolution:
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
(Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.)
OK, so what. These guys are talking about the Declaration, and the Declaration has nothing to do with the government – right? Wrong!
“Before the formation of this Constitution…[t]his Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the States in the Union and has never been disannulled.”
Oops, there are the two most important figures in starting the Revolution telling you this nation was founded by Christians and upon the general principles of Christianity. What’s more, Sam Adams is asserting that the Declaration of Independence is actually the founding document of this nation – not the Constitution. And he goes further: he says it carries the weight of law, the force of which is still in effect.
But how do I make the leap to asserting the Declaration carries the weight of law? Easy: if the Declaration does not carry the weight of law, then by what authority was the Constitution written? After all, the Constitution, itself, admits that the United States pre-existed its writing. So what formed the United States? The Declaration. And where does the law enter into the Declaration? Again, easy: the Declaration appeals to the authority of Natural Law – to God. And there is the religion in the founding of this nation and our federal documents, and there is the reason the Progressives divorced the Constitution from the Declaration. But wait, there’s more!
At the time of the ratification, a majority of the States had an official acknowledgment of God in their Constitutions. Some ha official State religions, and others had requirements that anyone seeking political office had to first swear an oath affirming their belief in Jesus Christ. If the founders intended a secular government, then why didn’t they forbid such restrictions in the States’ Constitutions? Instead of doing that, they wrote the First Amendment, which specifically forbids Congress (and thus the Court) from doing so. And there is more of the religion in our founding government that those who wage war on the Christian ideal claim never existed.
This link argues that the changes in the early State Constitutions ‘prove’ the founders wanted a secular government.
But that is a misunderstanding (or deliberate distortion) of the historic record. Check this link out. Many of our State Constitutions still have references to God in them. What’s more, many of the States wrote these references long after the Constitution was ratified and the original Colonies had changed their Constitutions. That contradicts the assertion the founders wanted a secular government.
The problem comes from a misunderstanding of what the founders intended the First Amendment to protect. It also comes from ignorance of the arguments of the time. The founders were looking to prevent the federal government from establishing a national religion. The reason the early States amended their Constitutions was not to establish secular government, but to support this general acceptance of all ‘sects’ of the Christian religion. If you doubt me, read history from that time period. You will find that word a lot, ‘sect.’ At the time of our founding, it meant ‘denomination.’ Read this link, it will clearly demonstrate that the changes in the State constitutions had nothing to do with secular government.
So, to bring this post to a close: the founders said this nation was founded – by Christians – on the foundations of Christian principles and ideals. The evidence is in the Declaration, the Constitution and especially the State Constitutions. But it is also found throughout the documentation and practices of the early American governments – to include public education. All of this is fact. None of it is a matter of opinion. So now, ask yourself, why is it so important to those waging war on Christians to convince you that this is all a lie?
[PONDER THIS: Those who will attack this post will make many unsupported assertions, or they will cite one or maybe two documents to “prove their case.’ When I challenge them to counter the overwhelming bulk of the citations I post, they will claim I am quoting the founders out of context. But why do you never see these people cite the proper context to show I have it wrong? Why do you not see them citing the founders saying they did not want religion in government? The founders were not shy about asserting and explaining their opinion, so, if they believed that, why do you never see their words to that effect? There is an answer to these questions... 😉 ]