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Title: America: Secular State or Christian Nation?



Source: America's Founders & Presidents, St.Constitutions, U.S.Supreme Ct.

Contributor: Anonymous

Not Copyrighted: Copy and distribute freely

PREFACE
In recent years we have heard much discussion as to the collective religious nature of our country, with even our top elected officials declaring as though with pride America is not a Christian nation. Many so called scholars and pundunts argue we never were founded upon Christian principles—God forbid, the Bible and its judicial applications for us found in the Ten Commandments. Yet at the same time they argue we are not, they are organized in eliminating any and all references to Biblical and Christian precepts and practices originating from its principles—ironic, if not flat out hypocritical, declaring on the one hand something untrue while on the other acknowledging by their intense actions for eliminating and banning the very thing they say isn't so!

It is plain to the novice student of American history, if they possess a sliver of intellectual integrity, the most obvious facts found on record from our early beginnings. Today's liberal secularist would have us think Christianity is a modern movement to take over our government, hailing its beginnings with the emergence of the Religious Right when many Christians coalesced to become politically active a few decades back. They ignore a voluminous record found within the archives of our country's preserved documents, many on record in our Library of Congress. As you read, you will hear today's Supreme Court's deafening silence when they rule on any modern case regarding our Constitution's interpretation and the intent of our Constitional founders. So, for the record, just what did our founders have to say about Judeo-Christian teachings and practice regarding our government and civil way of life?

- Ken Livingston
See also the Library of Congress Exhibition:
Religion and the Founding of America
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America's Founders and Presidents Speak for Themselves

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!

- Patrick Henry

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: that it connected in one indissoluble bond civil government with the principles of Christianity.

- John Quincy Adams

The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.

- Noah Webster

We have staked the future of government not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions on the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the ten commandments of God.

- James Madison

It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.... No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency ... We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

- George Washington

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. So great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectful members of society.

- John Adams

The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. A student's perusal of the sacred volume will make him a better citizen, a better father, a better husband.

- Thomas Jefferson

The Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man . . . But for it we could not know right from wrong.

- Abraham Lincoln

It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

- Abraham Lincoln

The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.

- Andrew Jackson

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.

- Ulysses S. Grant

A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know the price of the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved.

- Benjamin Franklin

As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. . . . by an inevitable chain of causes and effects Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.

- George Mason, at the Constitutional Congress

I tremble for my country when I consider that God is just and his justice cannot sleep forever.

- Thomas Jefferson

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

- Abraham Lincoln

In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoff at, or ignore their Christian duties, is a community on the rapid downgrade.

- Theodore Roosevelt

A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.

- Woodrow Wilson

The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Politics are a part of a religion in a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as part of their duty to God. . . . He will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.

- Charles Finney
(Historical note: As a law school student, Finney studied the standard legal text, Blackstone's Law. This text constantly cited the Bible as the basis and authority for U.S. Laws. Through studying the verses on which American law was based, Finney the law student became a Christian. He then became one of the greatest revival evangelists in U.S. history. Finney was also an outspoken opponent of slavery, and a defender of the illegal and lifesaving Underground Railroad that brought liberty and justice to slaves.)
End Article
The Original State Constitutions

Everyone serving in public office must affirm this statement: "I do profess faith in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forever more, and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

- Delaware Constitution

And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: "I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."

- Pennsylvania Constitution

All persons elected to office must make the following declaration: "I do declare that I believe the Christian religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth."

- Massachusetts Constitution

No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

- Tennessee Constitution, adopted in 1796
(Historical note: The original state constitutions were adopted before or about the time of the U.S. Constitution. Fiercely independent, the states would never have approved a national constitution that violated their own. Obviously, their concept of the proper relationship between the Christian faith and government was profoundly different than ours today. Honesty and history demand we see the Constitution and its amendments as they did, not as the ACLU does.)
End Article
The U.S. Supreme Court

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty of as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for its rulers.

- John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
(Historical note to above: Chief Justice Jay was also one of three main contributors to the U.S. Constitution.)

By our form of government the Christian Religion is the established Religion, and all sects and denominations of Christians are set on the same equal footing.

- U.S. Supreme Court, 1796

Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.

- U.S. Supreme Court, 1811
(Historical note: in the preceding case the Court upheld a $500 fine and three month jail sentence against a man who had continuously blasphemed against Christ. The offense against Christ was regarded as an offense against the nation.)

The purest principles of morality are to be taught. Where are they found? Whoever searches for them must go to the source from which a Christian man derives his faiththe Bible.

- U.S. Supreme Court, 1844
(Historical note: The above was the Court's response to a Philadelphia school's desire to teach morality without appealing to the Scriptures. The Court's decision required schools to continue using the Bible in the classroom to uphold Christian morality.)

Our law and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind . . . it is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.

- U.S. Supreme Court, 1892
(Historical note: The court cited 87 legal precedents showing the Christian faith was at the heart of the United States, and the country did not and could not exist independently of it.)

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect.... There can be no substitute for Christianity ... that was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. The great, vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

- The U.S. House Judiciary Committee Report, 1853
(Historical note: the above was in response to a petition to separate the religion of Christianity from the ongoings of the U.S. government. The petition was denied.)
End Article

See also the Library of Congress Exhibition:
Religion and the Founding of America
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