To the editor:
The recent front page article discussing the current debate on the recognition of God within this nation prompts this letter. The facts in the matter regarding the perverse turn in America’s current moral death spiral elicit the following (albeit painfully brief) summary of the facts surrounding the founding of this nation, and the perspective of those who gratefully sought the hand of God as they brought forth the most blessed nation in modern history. Editorial word-count limits prevent a more expansive review.
The “First American State Paper,” the “Mayflower Compact,” reflects the religious foundation which motivated the Pilgim’s migration to America.
The 1630-1640 Puritan migration was undertaken almost solely to assure their religious freedom.
Numerous speeches given by the American Founding Fathers during the Revolutionary War era invoked God’s assistance on the effort to obtain liberty.
The Declaration of Independence makes multiple mention of divinity.
During the Revolutionary War there were occasions wherein the national legislature and the various state legislatures passed resolutions calling upon Americans to fast and pray, calling upon God’s intervention on behalf of the cause of liberty.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (later re-passed by the national congress after the Constitution was ratified) noted the importance of religion, morality, and knowledge to preserve good government.
During the Constitution Convention of 1787 Benjamin Franklin noted the necessity of God’s intervention during the deliberative process of the convention to assure the success of their efforts to write the new Constitution.
On numerous occasions in their writings and speeches the American Founding Fathers publicly recognized God’s involvement in the founding of this nation.
The Congress that authored and passed the First Amendment (which vouches safe religious liberty) directed President George Washington to issue a national proclamation declaring a national day of thanksgiving and prayer. George Washington issued that Proclamation on 03 October 1789.
In his monumental “Farewell Address” President George Washington spoke eloquently and powerfully regarding the necessity of religion and morality if the nation was to survive.
Numerous examples may be cited to document the position of the American Founders and the importance of religion and morality in sustaining the United States of America. John Adams succinctly stated: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Observers contemporary to the American Founders wrote much about the place religion played in the founding and growth of the United States.
While the Founding Fathers of this nation never intended the establishment of an official “National Religion,” their words and acts confirm that the currently popular philosophy of “separation of church and state” which disallows government from any formal recognition of God would be repugnant to them. They envisioned a strong and unified nation, a nation which continually recognizes the hand of God in her affairs, a nation which lived within the moral law God had revealed to His children, a nation which lives in accordance with the privileges associated with God’s continual care — “One nation under God.”
Scott N. Bradley