America and Christianity — Part 1
In the last few years, we have seen our nation reject the foundation that made America the greatest nation in the world, Christianity. For those of you that read my series Bring America Back To Her Religious Roots and Defining America’s Exceptionalism, you have read that Christianity was the foundation of the Founders daily lives, business lives, and government, federal, State and local.
In 1947 the Supreme Court began to create a separation of the influence of Christianity on government. Never before had Christianity’s influence been restricted in government in this manner. The arrogance of the 1947 Supreme Court is beyond the pale. In a quote from my book, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, about the Everson decision: Thomas Jefferson has been credited by many for writing the First Amendment, even the Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the 1947 Everson vs Board of Education case that reinterpreted the First Amendment, stated that Jefferson’s intent was to erect a wall of separation that could not be torn down. (The biggest problem here is Fisher Ames was the author of the First Amendment, not Thomas Jefferson.) This case involved local school boards reimbursing transportation costs for students attending private and religious schools.
When we look at how the Founders felt about the Christian influence on early America all we have to is read what our Founders wrote concerning the comingling of Christianity and Christian principles in our State, local and federal governments.
John Adams – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, judge, diplomat and second President of the United States:
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1
Notice Adams confirms that it was Christianity, the Word of God, that formed the foundation for their fight for independence.
The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.2
Here Adams declares his belief that even concerning civil authority, our laws, must be based on the Word of God to be legitimate and effective.
Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.3
Again, Adams affirms his belief in the need to base your everyday life, business life and even the government which we have in authority over us must be based on God’s principles.
Samuel Adams- Signer of the Declaration of Independence, ‘Father of the American Revolution’, Ratifier of the Constitution and Governor of Massachusetts.
The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.4
Samuel Adams, a cousin to John Adams, shows that he too believed that we need to allow God to direct what we do in everything we do.
I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.5
This comment was made at a proclamation for a day of prayer and fasting for the entire State of Massachusetts. If the Founders acted as the 1947 Supreme Court decision stated what the Constitution called for, Samuel Adams would never have made this proclamation. In this proclamation, he states his belief that effectively the whole world would be better off by living by the principles established in scripture.
Elias Boudinot – President of Congress, signed the treaty to end the American Revolution, First attorney admitted to the US Supreme Court Bar, Framer of the Bill of Rights and Director of the US Mint.
Let us enter into this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all-powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.6
This comment was made at the first meeting of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey. Today we can’t say a prayer at a city council meeting or a school board meeting because of a fictitious ‘Establishment Clause’ of the First Amendment, but someone forgot to tell Elias Boudinot because he is calling for prayer in Congress so that the Holy Spirit will have free reign to lead the direction of their Congress to fulfill His will.
For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new – that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.7
Mr. Boudinot is saying that in his opinion the Bible is the best overall book for history, education, philosophy and all other forms of discipline. He called it the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.
John Dickinson – General in the American Revolution, Signer of the Constitution, Governor of Pennsylvania, and Governor of Delaware.
[Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth.8
Unlike today’s government that believes that all rights come from the government, Dickenson knew that the rights that we have are given to us by God.
1.Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.(Return)
- Letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated December 21, 1809, from the original in our possession. (Return)
- John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1856), Vol. X, p. 254, to Thomas Jefferson on April 19, 1817. (Return)
- Letters of Delegates to Congress: August 16, 1776-December 31, 1776, Paul H. Smith, editor (Washington DC: Library of Congress, 1979), Vol. 5, pp. 669-670, Samuel Adams to Elizabeth Adams on December 26, 1776.(Return)
- From a Fast Day Proclamation issued by Governor Samuel Adams, Massachusetts, March 20, 1797, in our possession; see also Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908), Vol. IV, p. 407, from his proclamation of March 20, 1797. (Return)
- Elias Boudinot, The Life, Public Services, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, pp. 19, 21, speech in the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey. (Return)
- Elias Boudinot, The Age of Revelation, or the Age of Reason Shewn to be An Age of Infidelity (Philadelphia: Asbury Dickins, 1801), p. xv, from his “Dedication: Letter to his daughter Susan Bradford.” (Return)
- John Dickinson, The Political Writings of John Dickinson (Wilmington: Bonsal and Niles, 1801), Vol. I, pp. 111-112. (Return)