This week marks the start of a new topic and one which I am very excited about – What Makes America Great. In a day and age where the foundation of who we are as a country is being eroded and our history is being re-written and taught in such a way as to tear our country down, we want to step back in order to help us refocus. This topic isn’t meant to build up ungodly pride, but rather to help us remember the blessings we’ve been given and kindle again into full flame the thankfulness and patriotism that should burn inside of every American. We’ve truly been given something special – we need to remember this!
So let’s dig in! I’m going to open up this new topic with a post on what I would argue is the #1 reason that makes America great – Our Christian Foundation.
Contrary to what some would have us believe, there is no escaping our Christian foundation. America wouldn’t be America without it! Our founders recognized the need of God in their lives, sought His guidance in establishing this country, and gave Him glory on so many occasions. You don’t have to read many quotes from our founding fathers to realize this was indeed the case. Even those founders who were the least “religious” (such as Benjamin Franklin) recognized this truth. In fact, it was Benjamin Franklin who called for prayer during the trying days of the Constitutional Convention! He stated,
“…In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor…
“…To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages…”
What Our Founders Had To Say
I’m going to let them speak for themselves…
“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
– George Washington
“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful assembly of young Gentlemen could unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty…
“…Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.”
– John Adams
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. 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? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever…”
– Thomas Jefferson
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
– John Hancock
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
– John Adams
The Basis of our Laws
Upon examination, it isn’t hard to see the vast extent to which our laws and government are based on the word of God. As Andrew Jackson said, “The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.”
Here are just a few examples:
- Our founders chose the republican form of government based on Exodus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 16:18.
- Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (uniform immigration laws) was based on Leviticus 19:34.
- Article 2, Section 1 (the president must be natural-born) was based on Deuteronomy 17:15.
- Article 3, Section 3 (witnesses) was based on Deuteronomy 17:6.
- Article 3, Section 3 (attainder laws) based on Ezekiel 18:20.
- Separation of Powers based on Jeremiah 17:9.
- Three branches of government based on Isaiah 33:22.
- Tax-exemptions for churches based on Ezra 7:24.
- And the list could go on!
Fisher Ames, founding father and U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, warned, “We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons. We’re spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other man-made book.”
Benjamin Rush, another of our founding fathers, warned that if the Bible were taken out of schools there would be an explosion of crime and immorality. He said,
“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in 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….We waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”
It wasn’t until 1963 that the Bible was taken out of schools by ruling of the United States Supreme Court. Sadly, but not surprisingly, this has only aided in the downfall of our society. Benjamin Rush’s consensus was right. According to the Congressional Prayer Caucus Society, since the Bible and Prayer were removed from schools:
- Criminal arrest of teens is up 150% according to the US Bureau of Census;
- teen suicides in ages 15-19 years up 450% according to the National Center of Health Services;
- illegal drug activity is up 6000% according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse;
- child abuse cases up 2300% according to the US Department of Health and Human Services;
- divorce up 350% according to the US Department of Commerce.
- SAT scores fell 10% even though the SAT questions have been revamped to be easier to answer.
- [and] violent crime has risen 350%.
Don’t Be Swayed By Modernism
One definition of modernism is: “examining historical incidents as if they had occurred today, and historical persons as if they had lived today rather than in the past. It separates history from its context and setting.”
Some may ask how we can say that America has Christian roots when you take into consideration some of the different stated religions of our founding fathers – especially the more controversial ones such as Free Masonry.
Just as with anything in life, it is important that we take into consideration the proper context. The above argument shows just one area where modernism has pervaded even much of the conservative thought process.
The important key here is that Free Masonry has changed much in the 200+ years since our founding.
WallBuilders.com adds some helpful insight into this subject:
“There was a connection with Freemasonry for a few of the Founding Fathers, but the overwhelming majority were not involved with Freemasonry. Furthermore, what Freemasonry has become today with its anti-Biblical teachings and oaths was definitely not what Freemasonry was at the time the few Founders were involved with it. Freemasonry was introduced into America in 1734, and went through major transformative philosophical changes in 1799, 1813, 1825, and especially in the 1840s and 1850s, when it finally became the organization it is and adopted the anti-Biblical teachings and practices that characterize it today – teachings and practices adopted decades after the deaths of the Founding Fathers.”
I hope this post has helped you to see that there’s no basis for the argument that we weren’t founded as a Christian nation. Not only that, but there is abundant evidence to the contrary! This should cause us to be thankful and cry out to our gracious Heavenly Father all the more that true repentance and healing would be wrought in our land. He is faithful!
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American Exceptionalism (video lecture), David Barton
God in the Constitution (audio lecture), David Barton