Let us thank God
for his blessings to us
in this nation.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America:
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 …. – The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
The First Amendment to the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
“If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by Him. Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” – William Penn, 1681
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” – Samuel Adams, 1749
“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they, therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” – Charles Carroll, U.S. Senator for Maryland, longest-lived signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress
“An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.” – Patrick Henry, 1775
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.” – Patrick Henry, 1776
“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” – John Witherspoon, signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence (the only ordained minister to do so), 1776
“… can the LIBERTIES of the nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a CONVICTION in the minds of the people that these liberties are the GIFT OF GOD? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” – Thomas Jefferson, 1781
“The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” – James Madison, 1785
“ … God GOVERNS in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it probable that an EMPIRE can rise without His AID?” – Benjamin Franklin, 1787
“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, October 3, 1789
“Of all the habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would men claim the tributes of patriotism who would work to destroy these great pillars of human happiness.” – George Washington, 1790
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington
“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is … religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” – Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, 1798
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Our CONSTITUTION was made only for a MORAL and RELIGIOUS people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams, October 11, 1798
“It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.” – Patrick Henry
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have …. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of the laborer the bread he has earned. This is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson
“If we wish to make democracy permanent in this country let us abide by the fundamental principles laid down in the Constitution. Let us see that the state is the servant of its people and that the people are not the servants of the state.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us.” – Thomas Jefferson
“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” – Thomas Jefferson (letter to Samuel Miller, 1808)
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions … upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison
“I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. 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 laying its foundations.” – Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, Harvard speech, 1829
“The atonement of Jesus Christ is the only remedy and rest for my soul.” – Martin Van Buren, 1860
“INTOXICATED with unbroken success, we have become too SELF-SUFFICIENT to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too PROUD to pray to the God that made us!” – Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863
“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian …. This is a Christian nation.” – Supreme Court case Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States, Justice David J. Brewer, 1892
“Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers, who has so singularly favored the American people in every national trial, and who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in His footsteps.” – William McKinley, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897
“We are a Christian people, according to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.” – Supreme Court case U.S. v. Macintosh, Justice George Sutherland, 1931
“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from (biblical) teachings …. If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.” – Harry Truman
“We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being …. When the state encourages religious instruction … it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs …. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe. We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion …. We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.” – Supreme Court case Zorach v. Clauson, Justice William Douglas, 1952
“The purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of the Bible … 1. to live in freedom; 2. to work in a prosperous land …; and 3. to obey the commandments of God …. This Biblical story of the Promised Land inspired the founders of America. It continues to inspire us.” – Dwight Eisenhower, 1954
“Without God, there could be no form of government nor American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – and most basic – expression of Americanism.” – Dwight Eisenhower
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.'” – Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
“The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” – Hubert H. Humphrey
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what is was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan
“For the West, for America, the time has come to dare to show the world that our civilized ideas, our traditions, our values, are not – like the ideology of and war machine of totalitarian societies – just a façade of strength. It is time for the world to know that our intellectual and spiritual values are rooted in the source of all strength, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a law higher than our own.” – Ronald Reagan, 1981
“To those who would crush religious freedom, our message is plain; you may jail your believers. You may close their churches, confiscate their Bibles, and harass their rabbis and priests, but you will never destroy the love of God and freedom that burns in their hearts. They will triumph over you.” – Ronald Reagan, 1983
“My kingdom is not of this world.” – Jesus Christ
My goal in writing (mostly copying and pasting) this is not to say that our country is an avowedly Christian nation by charter; it’s not. Nor am I trying to say that all of our Founding Fathers were themselves Christians; they probably weren’t. I say “probably” because God knows men’s hearts, not me.
What I am saying is that our Founders, and the overwhelming majority of those who came to what was then known as the New World, had a deep, sincere belief in God, primarily but not exclusively the God of the Bible. (A few were deists.) They also subscribed to the Judeo-Christian worldview, including the belief that we are created in God’s image and therefore entitled to those now famous “unalienable rights,” rights that can come from no one and nowhere else but a sovereign Creator.
I hope it is abundantly and unmistakably clear that they considered it inarguable that those rights come from God, to the people … not from the government. They and their forebears left countries ruled by kings, monarchs and other heads of State who thought they were sovereign, and our Founders never wanted to be subjected again to the kinds of abuses those rulers and governments inflicted on their citizens. That’s why they came, and that is the magnificent legacy they bequeathed to us … a heritage for which they sacrificed, suffered, bled and many of them died.
I thought that was worth reminding all of us of this Independence Day.
God bless America.