It’s no secret that our Founders held a deep respect for God; a majority of them were committed Christians and those who were not still believed in a Higher Power. There are countless quotes by these Founders that stress the emphasis they put on the role of faith in society. Now, two hundred years later, it seems we as a people have switched to the opposite end of the spectrum; today our public officials are discouraged from even acknowledging their faith! Did something occur of which history fails to inform us that caused our leaders to begin denouncing faith of any kind, rather than promote the morals that made us great?
I’m alarmed by the faithlessness we seem to be drifting toward in this country. High school valedictorians are being muted on stage for mentioning the name of Jesus Christ or the Bible, states are decrying the Day of Prayer as unconstitutional, and Nativity scenes at Christmas are being fought against by groups like the ACLU, who cite their reinforcement as the “Separation of Church and State” (which does not lawfully exist). These are the same people who will also argue that we were never founded on Christian principles; however, I would beg to differ. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll believe the Founders:
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” -Patrick Henry
“Do not let anyone claim to be a true American who attempts to remove religion from politics.” -George Washington
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams
“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid 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. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.” -Benjamin Rush
“The man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf. And it is my earnest prayer that we may so conduct ourselves as to merit a continuance of those blessings with which we have hitherto been favored.” -George Washington
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” -John Jay
“[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.” -Fisher Ames
“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.” -John Jay
“It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” -George Washington
I could include many more pages of quotes very similar to those above which clearly state that we were founded as a Christian nation, and that the Founders intended it to remain that way. Instead, few and far between are the leaders who are willing to stand firm in their faith. The most common type of “faith” we see in our elected officials today goes something like this: Shout it from the rooftops when it benefits you politically, but retract those statements when the tables turn. It’s time for us to stop settling for leaders with a lack of faith and instead stand up and not be ashamed of electing people of faith. In addition, it is time for Christians to become fully engaged in the political arena; contrary to popular belief, church and state are not meant to be eternally separated– state should not interfere with church, but church is more than welcome to interfere with state by way of Christians running for office. If you are currently running for office, there is no shame in you proclaiming your faith; it would be a refreshing change!
Religious freedom is certainly protected under the Bill of Rights. However, we’ve reached a new level when people will advocate building mosques at Ground Zero and will in the same breath say that Nativity scenes are “offensive.” There has to be a balance somewhere, and it is definitely not found in situations such as this. The faith that I believe we need to embrace in this country is the one that we were founded upon; in no way am I advocating the removal of all other religions, but I do think that our foundation should be given higher priority.
It’s time for us to step up to the plate. Instead of running away from the spotlight, Christians should be running toward it, eager to help bring back the faith we were founded on! Imagine what our country would look like today if faith was embraced rather than shunned. Keep that image in your mind and take it to your elected officials at all levels. Take it to your family, friends, neighbors: Share the possibilities that come with a faithful nation. It’s sure to stir some thoughts and we can once again institute faith and morals in the government of the United States of America.