It continues to amaze me when people try and act as if this country…and this government were not founded upon Christian principles. I guess if enough loud and influential people are persistent at changing history…then history can be changed. It’s scary to think about what our grandchildren’s history books might look like and it’s even scarier to imagine what will happen to the United States of America because of it.
Truth it seems…is being routed out by agendas.
Here is the truth! The United States of America was founded by a bunch of Christians that wanted the freedom to worship God and Christ “according to the dictates of their own conscience”. But right now as we speak…powerful people in our country are hard at work to erase that concept from our minds and from our libraries in the name of progressivism.
Christianity is woven into the very fabric of everything that we hold dear in this country…from our currency to our founding architectural buildings. That green paper we hold in our hands steadily proclaims that “In God We Trust” while the “East Face” of our own Washington Monument is capped with the Latin phrase “Laus Deo” meaning “Praise be to God”. (Someone has since tried to cover this up)
There is no doubt that the undergirding principle of Christianity is the overarching principle upon which this nation was founded…namely,
No other system of religion or government has successfully implemented a society wherein freedom was such a guiding principle. And where did that principle come from?
In a previous article, I suggested that the founders of the United States of America were largely Christian in their beliefs. I thought this concept was well understood. But many people called me crazy, told me I was an idiot, and challenged me to research the founders religious backgrounds more thoroughly.
So…here’s what I came up with.
But before I begin with the barrage of quotes…one thing I wish I could understand is why so many people are so determined to suppress or extinguish other peoples religious beliefs. How does it hurt anyone else if I believe in Christ? Thomas Jefferson said it this way. “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” (Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Edited by William Peden. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955.)
In this great country…people are free to worship whoever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. The only reason it’s that way in this nation is because Christian principles of agency and the ancient law of liberty have been implemented and put to work here.
George Washington said in his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs in 1779 that “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. (George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55,)
But wasn’t Washington a “Deist”?
If he was…then it’s a strange sort of deist that offers so many recorded prayers to God. Desists don’t believe that God intervenes in the lives of humans but then Charles Bracelen Flood reports that “during the revolutionary war there were at least sixty-seven desperate moments when Washington acknowledged that he would have suffered disaster had not the hand of God intervened in behalf of the struggle for independence.” (Rise and Flight Again [New York: Dodd, Mead & Co 1976 p. 377]
Washington was definitely not a pure deist like Thomas Paine or Ethan Allen. It’s feasible that he could have been influenced by deism but never a true deist.
Deism gained its popularity by many of whom were raised Christian during the “Age of Enlightenment”. They witnessed a form of corrupt Christianity being practiced among the competing pastors and of their day and could not morally or intellectually associate themselves with the chaos and confusion of those religions.
So deists decided to place their trust in the natural observances of an intelligent creator instead of the churches of their day. While many of the founders were likely influenced by deism it doesn’t mean that they abandoned their belief in the Bible or their faith in Christ. It actually makes a lot of sense.
The Bible taught them that there was one true church, (Eph 4:5) and this new breed of hybid deists had no idea where to find that church. These hybrid deists formed a cloudy undefined category of people that were strong believers in God but savvy enough to recognize when religion has been flawed by human beings. The founders…in most cases fit this description…and yet still maintained a solid faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
It’s fine if you’d like to call Thomas Jefferson and others like him “deists” but Jefferson was a hardcore Christian before he was anything else. On January 9th 1816, Jefferson wrote to Charles Thomson declaring “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ” (Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington, D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIV, p. 385
John Jay makes it clear to John Murray in 1816 that the United States is a Christian nation. He says, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” (William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. II, p. 376
Good ol’ Patrick Henry tells Archibald Blair that “The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.” (Patrick Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence and Speeches, William Wirt Henry, editor (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891), Vol. II, p. 592)
But which religion Patrick?
“Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”. (A. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia (Auburn and Buffalo: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1854), p. 250)
From which book Patrick? “The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.” (William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry(Philadelphia: James Webster, 1818), p. 402)
…and I’ll bet that Patrick Henry read a lot of books.
Just following Alexander Hamilton’s famous duel with Aaron Burr, Hamilton laid on his bed and gave his final testimony to the Rev. J. M. Mason and Rev. Benjamin Moore. He told them that “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Al¬mighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (John M. Mason, A Collection of the Facts and Documents Relative to the Death of Major General Alexander Hamilton (New York: Hopkins and Seymour, 1804), p. 53)
Even Benjamin Franklin testified of the resurrection through a eulogy that he wrote for himself. Franklin wrote,”The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.” (Benjamin Franklin, Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin (Dublin: P. Wogan, P. Byrne, J. More, and W. Janes, 1793), p. 149)
If there was any question as to who Benjamin Franklin believed was the author of his body…his belief is summed up in just one sentence. “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.” (Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790.)
These founders were smart. They saw the massive confusion among Christian denominations…and they kept themselves abreast of being associated with any one of them. They knew that there is no salvation in believing a false doctrine.
However! It doesn’t mean that they didn’t see the absolute necessity to found this country upon Biblical Christian principles. Religion…was and is important. Samuel Adams who is considered the “Father of the American Revolution” asked the State of Massachusetts to pray that “the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.” (Samuel Adams, A Proclamation For a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer)
Daniel Webster said that “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” (Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1853), Vol. I, p. 44, A Discourse Delivered at Plymouth, on December 22, 1820.)
They knew that Christianity was the only religious foundation upon which freedom of religion could be practiced.
We could go on…and on…and on. There are hundreds of these references for almost every single one of the “founders”.
But it goes even deeper than the “founders”. Sometimes we forget why the very first people even came to America. It was +/- 132 Christians…wanting freedom of religion and freedom from oppression. They risked their lives to set up shop about 3,500 miles away from home and it was their faith in Christ that enabled them to get on that boat and make that journey.
So honestly…why divorce the most successful civilization ever established from the roots that made it great in the first place?
I would never dream of going to another country and then asking them…nay…requiring them to remove all references to their religious heritage.
If you don’t want to be Christian…then don’t be Christian. You’ll still have all of the same rights in America as the Christian standing next to you. That’s the way this nation was established. To protect the rights of anyone within it’s borders. But the 10 commandments being displayed on public land isn’t going to hurt you…so why make a big deal about it?
If you loathe the principles upon which this country was founded…then why live here? There are so many other countries that were not founded upon those same principles. I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms.
So to those that have challenged me to research the founders more thoroughly…can I issue a similar challenge? Stop trying to change history in the name of progress. Some progress is unnecessary. Let the founders maintain their belief in Jesus Christ, and come to grips with the fact that this nation was built from the core principles found within the Bible.