The uniqueness of America has many sides and has produced staggering results in many areas. At one time we had the most effective educational system in the world that produced highly educated and innovative men and women. Our free market system created the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen even though we only have 6% of the world’s population. We have risen to become the most powerful nation, militarily, and at one time we were the most powerful economically in the world.
The principles that we built this greatness on rests in the freedoms that we enjoy. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to choose whom we want to govern over us and the freedom to enjoy the fruits of our own labor. The right to own property is the foundation of our opportunities in the free market system which has become the source of our economic liberty.
Our government is set up unlike almost all other governments in the world. Our Founders decided that we would have a system of government where the power of the government would be derived from the people. When you look at other governments in the world, most have dictators in power and the dictators tell the people what laws will be in the land. In America, we choose whom we would have to govern over us and through those representatives we decide what laws we will have.
When America established this form of government, the world had never seen a system that was like ours, giving the people the power to control the government. Our Constitution is more of a document that tells the government what it can’t do more than what it can do. Over the years we have seen some that have tried to write their own interpretation of that sacred document and a few have been successful in small concerns, but for the most part, it has stayed intact and is still a controlling document for the people to keep the government from going too far.
Because the people control the actions of the government, the government can only exercise the powers that the people have delegated to it. Because it is the people who have the rights all people are protected the same. We have no class of people that have special protection over other classes of people. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been some that haven’t tried to establish a special protected class. The homosexuals have been trying to give themselves special rights that moral people don’t have, but that has not been completed as of yet.
Our government’s main purpose is to protect the citizens of America from all foreign invaders and to protect our constitutional freedoms. When those freedoms are protected then all that prospers our civil society thrives. The family, the church, public and private schools and private associations are able to develop the virtues required to maintain our level of liberty. We have established that our rights and freedoms are inalienable. Man didn’t give them and man can’t take them away. That is why we have a Bill of Rights, to protect us from a tyrannical government. We also believe that we are to help spread those freedoms to all who desire them. Ronald Reagan once stated: “Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few. It is the universal right of all God’s children.”
We have achieved our exceptionalism because our government is dedicated to the preservation of human liberty grounded on the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are those that say that is not true and if that is so then one would have to question why Patrick Henry stated this: “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” (emphasis added)
All men love their freedom. The proof of this lies in the fact that even after 390 years, America is still the nation where most of the world wants to live. It isn’t the geography, it is the freedoms. Freedom to come and go as you please, freedom to own a business, a piece of property or several pieces of property, freedom to worship how you please, freedom to live how you want to live and freedom to become wealthy or just live a normal life without government controlling everything that you do. This is why we defend our freedoms vigorously. This is why we don’t take lightly to other nations trying to tell us what to do. We, the American people, decide how we are governed and institutions like the UN, whom we do not elect, have no jurisdiction over us and we will not allow them to have jurisdiction over us. If we don’t elect them, they don’t tell us what to do and we will fight any attempt they make to override our Constitution.
Our Founders believed in a small government. Over the last 235 years that government has grown larger than what it should have. It does regulate more than what our Constitution allows. Our Founders proved that a large, intrusive government was unneeded. They didn’t expect much out of the government other than what it was allowed to do, protect the citizens and enforce our inalienable rights. They went about building vibrant cities and cultures that are still alive today. They didn’t wait for a government directive, they just did it. And it was done in a manner that has not been equaled before or since. They used the free market system to solve the problems of their day. They established the most successful and innovative education system the world had ever seen. They lived by the virtues that the Founders espoused and practiced. They created a nation that became the envy of the world. People would do whatever they had to do to come to this country because it was the country of opportunity. It was here that one could rise to any height by the sweat of your brow. You were only limited by how hard you were willing to work.
Our Founders lived by principles. These principles are found only in the Bible. They didn’t just talk about them. They lived by them, they established our government by them, they wrote about them. This information is no longer taught in our schools, it is not taught in our universities. Very few places offer this information. I want to show the reader what the Founders believed about the principles they lived by in the original words of the Founders. We will look at several subjects such as religion, Christianity, church and state, missionary and Bible societies, morality, patriotism and a few other areas.
The first principle that I want to look at is religion. We have been told for years that the majority of the Founders were atheists, deists and agnostics and their personal writings should prove that. But what we see first is there were 55 signers of the Constitution- 29 were Episcopalians, several were Methodist, and some were Baptist. There was only one alleged deist and that was Ben Franklin, but even he had enough sense to know that Providence should be called upon at times. So the teachings such as an article in the LA Times which states “America’s Founding Fathers, despite preaching’s of our pious rights, were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.”, are not founded on any historical facts. These types of statements are made to de-legitimize the Founders to make them appear to be hypocrites and deceivers.
On the social utility of Religion:
John Adams; Religion and Virtue are the only Foundations, not only of Republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all Combinations of human society.1
Charles Carroll: Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, which denounces against the wicked, the eternal misery, and insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.2
Benjamin Franklin: History will also afford frequent Opportunities of showing the Necessity of a Publick Religion, from its Usefulness to the Publick.3
Thomas Jefferson: . . . the Christian religion when divested of the rags in which they have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty. . . 4
Reverend Ethan Allen: Jefferson was walking “with his large prayer book under his arm when a friend querying him after their mutual good morning said which way are you walking Mr. Jefferson. To which he replied to Church Sir. You are going to Church Mr. Jefferson? You do not believe a word in it. Sir, said Mr. Jefferson, No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I am chief Magistrate of the nation as bound to give it the sanction of my example. Good morning Sir.”5
This takes place in Washington and Jefferson was on his way to church in the capitol. Jefferson had opened up all public buildings in Washington for churches to meet as there were not enough churches in town to accommodate the many different needs. If Jefferson was so adamant about the separation of church and state influentially as the Court would want you to believe, then why did he order this to be done? It is continued proof that our Court has been establishing its agenda to the detriment of our Constitution.
Benjamin Rush: It is foreign to my purpose to hint at the arguments which establish the truth of Christian revelation. My only business is to declare, that all its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society, and the safety and well being of civil government.6
George Washington: 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 would labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.7
John Witherspoon: The United States in Congress assembled . . . do further recommend to all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for His goodness, by a cheerful obedience to His laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.8
James Madison: There appears to be in the nature of man, what ensures his belief is an invisible cause of his present existence, and an anticipation of his future existence. Hence the propensities and susceptibilities, in the case of religion, which, with a few doubtful or individual exceptions, have prevailed throughout the world.9
These are just a few comments from a few of the Founders concerning their thoughts on the importance they put on religion. Keeping in mind that in their day when they referred to ‘religion’ it was a direct reference to Christianity. A comment of ‘What religion are you?’ was really a question as to what Christian denomination are you. To virtually all the Founders the Christian religion was the only one that was the true religion that represented the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- John Adams to Benjamin Rush, August 28, 1811. Old Family Letters,
- Charles Carroll of Carrollton to Charles Carroll, Jr., November 4, 1800. Alf J Mapp, Jr., The Faiths of our Fathers (Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 140-141.
- Benjamin Franklin, “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania”, 1749. Labraee, Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 3:413.
- Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, March 23, 1801, Adams, Jefferson’s Extracts,
- Anecdote recorded be the Reverend Ethan Allen, “Washington Paris, Washington City”. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
- Benjamin Rush, “Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic.” Rush, Essays: Literary, Moral, and Philosophical,
- George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.
- John Witherspoon, “Thanksgiving Day Proclamation”, October 11, 1782. Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904), 23:647
- James Madison to Jasper Adams, September 1833. Dreisbach, Religion and Politics,
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.