Our National Heritage

Even as we pause to celebrate the birth of our nation, revisionists are extending themselves in efforts to destroy the foundations of faith on which our nation was established. What is their purpose? They profess it to be noble, but anyone who knows even the most elemental truth about construction knows what happens to a building when its foundation is destroyed.

Detractors attack the intellect of those who defend the influence of faith in our founding and exploit occasional misquotes by defenders. They argue correctly that many of the founders were not Christians, but fail to acknowledge their knowledge of, regard for, and subscription to Biblical principles.  However, the record is replete with the testimony of legitimate historians who affirm the faith factor. Likewise those closely associated with the founding of our nation testify of the faith factor. Consider these attestants.

The “Father of Our Country,” George Washington, aligned patriotism with political prosperity, religion and  morality when he asserted, “In vain would that man claim patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.”

In a letter from John Adams written to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813, Adams wrote: “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.”

A vital opinion of the founding our nation is found in the Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States of America, January 23, 1856, p. 354: “The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence and  a ratifier of the Constitution in a letter to Elias Boudinot dated July 9, 1788, wrote: “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”

George Washington acknowledged his opinion of the importance of Divine influence in our national emergence in these words regarding the Constitution. “[The adoption of the Constitution] will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.”                             

Daniel Webster, who served as Secretary of State under three presidents, noted, “I regard it [the Constitution] as the work of the purest patriots, and wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benignant [gracious] Providence…it almost appears a Divine interposition in our behalf….”

Benjamin Franklin did not shrink from acknowledging his belief in God at work in forging our Constitution. “I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance [as the framing of the Constitution]… should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that…beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.”

Having been bequeathed such a legacy, it is incumbent upon this generation to defend it and live so as to show appreciation for it.