Religion in Politics
"Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord." (Psalms 33:12)
"Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach
to any people."
John Adams, Second
(Speaking of July 4, 1776) - "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty." Letters of John Adams, Addressed To His Wife, Charles Francis Adams, ed. (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1841), Vol. I, p. 128, July 3, 1776
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, June 21, 1776
John Jay, First Chief Justice of the
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the pivilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." The Correspondence and Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1890), Vol. IV, p. 393, Oct. 12, 1816
Alex de Tocqueville, Historian
"Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspeect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention...The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their mindds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other... Religion in America...must...be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country,,, From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved." The Republic of the United States of America and Its Political Institutions, Reviewed and Examined, Henry Reeves, trans. (Garden City, NY: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1851), Vol. I, p. 335
John Quincy Adams, Sixth President
"[T]he birth-day of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Saviour [and] forms a leading even in the progress of the gospel dispensation..[T]he Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth [and] laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity." An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6
Noah Webster, Founding
"[T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government." History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, ¶ 578
"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and law... 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." History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 339, ¶ 53
Thomas Jefferson, Third
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237
George Washington, First
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." Halley's Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1927, 1965), p. 18
Abraham Lincoln, 16th
"But for [the Bible] we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare...are to be found portrayed in it." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Roy P. Basler, ed. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Union Press, 1853), p. 542, September 7, 1864
Harry S. Truman,
"The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a...government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!" God's Providence in America's History (Rancho Cordova, CA: Steve C. Dawson, 1988), p.13
From the beginning of our nation's history, religion had a place in politics, in education, and in every aspect of Americn life. Consider the following:
Excerpt from the Tennessee constitution of 1796
Article VIII, Section II. 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.
Article IX, Section IV. That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.
The Constitutions of the United States of America with the Latest Amendments (Trenton: Moore & Lake, 1813), pp. 342, 344
Oath required for office in State of Delaware (1776)
"I, ___, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, His only
and in the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures
of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."
Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S.; 143 U.S. 457, 469-470 (1892)
Never Give Up!
A Lesson from the Life of Lincoln
George Washington Education in Days Gone By