Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Was America Founded As a Christian Nation? (Part II)

1. THE FOUNDERS NEVER “WANTED TO ESTABLISH A SECULAR NATION.” In fact, they repeatedly and insistently averred that the survival of liberty and the prosperity of the United States required a deeply religious society and a populace passionately committed to organized faith. In his Farewell Address of 1797, President Washington (who had also served as presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention) unequivocally declared that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle…Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” His successor as president, John Adams (also known as “The Atlas of Independence”) wrote to his wife Abigail in 1775: “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.

A patriot must be a religious man.” Thomas Jefferson, who disagreed with Adams on so many points of policy, clearly concurred with him on this essential principle. “God who gave us life gave us liberty,” he wrote in 1781. “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?” Jefferson’s friend and colleague, James Madison (acclaimed as “The Father of the Constitution”) declared that “religion is the basis and Foundation of Government,” and later (1825, after retiring from the Presidency) wrote that “the belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good…. is essential to the moral order of the World and the happiness of men.”

Far from insisting on a “secular nation,” the founders clearly believed that any reduction in the public’s fervent and near universal Christian commitment would bring disastrous results to the experiment in self-government they had sacrificed so much to launch. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey, who served as President of the Continental Congress in the last stages of the Revolution (1782-83 wrote: “Our country should be preserved from the dreadful evil of becoming enemies of the religion of the Gospel, which I have no doubt, but would be the introduction of the dissolution of government and the bonds of civil society.”


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This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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