I love the United States of America. Every summer, our family enjoys celebrating the 4th of July with decorations, fireworks, food, and PBS’ A Capital Fourth. I enjoy patriotic music almost as much as Christmas music, adding two new CD’s to my patriotic collection this year: American Jubilee by the Cincinnati Pops and For God and Countryby Dolly Parton.
Last summer my family toured our beloved capital, Washington, D.C. We proudly toured the monuments, museums, and hallowed landmarks. We witnessed one reality chiseled on stone - the majority of our Founding Fathers had deep respect for the God of the Bible. Though revisionists work meticulously to rewrite our history, the American experiment was one rooted in a Christian worldview.
John Quincy Adams said that the Declaration of Independence “laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” In his speech delivered on July 4th, 1837, President Adams claimed that “the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior.”
John Adams, our second President, said, “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.”
These Fathers did not want a state-sponsored religion because they did not want the state to interfere with the religion of the people. Instead, they expected and wanted the religion of the people to influence the state. These Founders would not recognize the obsession in America today to “separate church and state.”
How different are the two Adams Presidents’ words from the outcry we hear today to keep Christianity, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments from the public square. In the National Archives building in D.C., upon entering you gaze upon the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Look at the floor and notice the Ten Commandments depicted. These Mount Sinai laws appear numerous places in the Supreme Court building, engraved on the huge oak doors entering the chambers. Moses is the chief lawgiver engraved on top of the building above the steps out front.
Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, believed that the only way to preserve the new nation was to train the next generation in Christian teaching:
We profess to be republicans [not governed by a king], 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 the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.
George Washington, addressing the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1789 shared that national morality could not prevail without religious principle. To try and remove the religious influence is to “shake the foundation of the fabric” of our country.
Many years later, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, shares in his book A Nation Like No Other, “The Founders’ distinctively Christian faith is well documented, as is their conviction that government must be infused with Christian principles.”
Today, we see America tearing apart at the seams. We have ignored her recipe for success. We unashamedly need God in America again.
John Adams had it right: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”