Founding Fathers and their faith
This is in response to Bob Russell from the July 4 edition, where he wrote regarding America’s founding as Judeo Christian principles.
Ponder this: The Founding Fathers rejected the traditional philosophy of humanism that man is basically good and capable of perfection and that therefore those highly educated have a natural right to rule over those less fortunate. They believed in the biblical principle that man is inherently evil and God alone should be trusted. They repeatedly expressed belief that Christian morality was absolutely essential to the preservation of liberty and stability of law.
Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness. Patrick Henry was the first governor of Virginia and served as a member of the Continental Congress. He said, “The great pillars of all government and social life are virtue, morality and religion. This the armor … and this alone renders us invincible.”
George Washington, overseer of the Constitutional Convention, wrote: “… of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports … in vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.”
John Adams, one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, said, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia, first Secretary of State and third president, wrote, “No nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has ever been given to man and I, as chief magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.”
James Madison, father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government. We have staked the future … to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
John Quincy Adams, sixth president, wrote: 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.”
The New York legislature, in 1838 declared, “This is a Christian nation. Ninety-nine hundredths, if not a larger portion, of our whole population believe in the general doctrines of the Christian religion. Our government depends … on that virtue that has its foundation in the morality of the Christian religion.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1892 said, “We are a Christian people and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity.” In 1931, the Supreme Court said, “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.”
Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 24 were seminary graduates. In all 50 states’ constitutions, there runs an appeal and reference to God as creator of our liberties and preserver of our freedoms.
Also, separation of church and state means that there can be no “national” religion.
Davison is a retired executive secretary and 18-year Fredericksburg resident.