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•Faith of Our Fathers
•Psalm 33:12
•Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
•The Declaration of Independence
•Declaration of Independence
•27 grievances listed
•“no taxation without representation” – was number 17 of 27 (contrary to current
“modern history” economics were not the primary motivator
•Military abuses
•The king’s override of colonial prohibition of slaver
•Religious freedom
•“God governs in the affairs of man.”
Constitutional Convention

Thursday  June 28, 1787

•It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
•“The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.
•“I tremble for my country when I realize that God is just; and that His justice
will not sleep forever.”

Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781

•Their own testimonies
•“We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!”

April 18, 1775, on the eve of the Revolutionary War after a British major ordered them to disperse in “the name of George the Sovereign King of England.”

•Their own testimonies
•I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the
Lord Jesus Christ.  I am a sinner.  I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.”

July 12, 1804 at his death

•The testimonies of others
•“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.”

May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses

•What were the commands and expectations of our Founding Fathers?
1)Carry on the Christian religion as the official religion of America, with no denomination receiving favor from the government
2)Elect only Christians for our leaders
3)Make worship a part of your public life; make public service a part of your worship

4)  Evangelize the nation, and especially the children, in the doctrines of Christianity as the best way to ensure liberty and security for our nation.  Laws are not enough.  You need Jesus.

•Christianity, the religion of America 1799 Runkel v. Winemiller

“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion, and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.”

•Christianity, the religion of America
•“At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state.”

— Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593

•Elect only Christians for our leaders
•“It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States.  Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen.  Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves.

Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV, pp 198-199, Governor Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788 at the North Carolina Ratifying Convention

•Elect only Christians for our leaders
•Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose
for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and
happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and
elect bad men to make and administer the laws.

Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49

•Elect only Christians for our leaders
•”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.”

The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P.

•Elect only Christians for our leaders
•Article 22 of the constitution of Delaware (1776) required all officers, besides taking an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe to the following declaration:
•”I, [name], do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine
•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•In Benjamin Franklin’s 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania,
he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”
•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus

Speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779

•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.”

Preface to the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•“I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.”
Letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America
•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•“By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive
ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.”
Letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America
•Evangelize the nation, especially the children
•Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures… In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

–1813. Letter for Maryland Bible Society.

•Early American Schools
•Early American Schools
•Early American Schools
•Used in public and private schools from 1690 to 1900 second only to the Bible
•Some of its contents: g A song of praise to God  g Prayers in Jesus’ name g The famous Bible alphabet g Shorter Catechism of faith
•School Prayer
•”Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
•School Prayer
•”Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”

On June 25, 1962, as “unconstitutional”

•Supreme Court rulings 1799 Runkel v. Winemille

“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion, and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.”

Justice Samuel Chase

•Supreme Court rulings
•1811 People v. Ruggles (New York)
•“The morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of other religions.”

“In people whose manners are refined, and whose morals have been
elevated and inspired with a more enlarged benevolence, it is by means of the
Christian religion.”

“This First Amendment declaration never meant to withdraw religion.
And with it the sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration
and notice of the law.”

“Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government, because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order”

•Supreme Court ruling
•1844 Vidal v. Girard
•In 1844, a school in Philadelphia decided it would teach morality without the Bible
•“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in the schools –Its general precepts expounded and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?   Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?
•The Court ruled that the Bible WOULD be taught in American Schools
•  “Separation of Church and State”
•A letter written to President Jefferson
•Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to hisneighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . Therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights.

Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson

•Jefferson’s respons
•Gentlemen,-The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my high respect and esteem
•Jefferson’s letter to Benjamin Rush
•Thomas Jefferson made it clear that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination
•Jefferson’s letter to Benjamin Rush
•This “wall” was the will of the American people that their new government would not meddle in their religious freedomsby enacting a state denomination, as the King of England had done.
•Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by
the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

Jefferson, Writings, Vol. III, p. 441, to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800

•Supreme Court rulings
•1878 Reynolds v. United State
•The intent of Jefferson’s remarks was that “The rightful purposes of civil
government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into
overt acts against peace and good order. In this . . . is found the true
distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.”
•Supreme Court ruling


Feb. 29, 1892

•”These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian
•Quoted 87 precedents in a 16 page document
•Supreme Court rulings
•1947 Everson v. Board of Education
•The issue was whether public money should be used to pay for buses to transport children to parochial schools.  In a decision of 5-4, the Court agreed to allow this, but the majority also expressed the need for the State [i.e. schools] to have absolutely no involvement in religion.
•“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
•The First Amendment
•“Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
•Thomas Jefferson was not one of those ninety men who framed the First Amendment, and during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment would have mentioned that phrase, but none did

Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789

•One man’s private letter, taken out of context
•The earlier courts had always viewed Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter-words clearly taken out of context-have become the sole authorization for a national policy.
•Did Jefferson not want religion in the schools?
•“An Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio”
•Drafted by Thomas Jefferson
•Did Jefferson not want religion in the schools?
•The Northwest Ordinance
•The draft was prepared by Thomas Jefferson. It was originally approved by Congress July 13, 1787 and re-passed by the Founding Fathers following the U.S.
Constitution’s ratification. On August 7, 1789, President George Washington
signed it into law-during the same time Congress was laying down the First
•“Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
•On April 30, 1802, [just 6 months after he wrote “separation of church and state”]
President Jefferson signed the enabling act for Ohio to join the union which said this newest state must agree with the Northwest Ordinance.
•Supreme Court rulings
•1958 Baer v. Kolmorgen
•A dissenting judge said, “If this court doesn’t stop talking about ‘Separation of
Church and State,’ then the people will think it is a part of the Constitution!”
•Supreme Court rulings:
Remove student prayer
•June 25, 1962 Engel v. Vitale
•“Prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation
between Church and State.”
•This was the very first US Supreme court case in which no precedents were
quoted.  The Court said a year later in Abington v. Schempp, that no previous cases were cited because “these principles were so universally recognized”
•No prayer?
•“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection.  Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His

Constitutional Convention Thursday  June 28, 1787

•Supreme Court rulings:
Remove the Bible from schools
•Abington v. Schempp 1963
•“No state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read, or
that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day.”
•No Bible in schools?
•1844 Vidal v. Girard
•“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in the schools –Its general precepts expounded and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?   Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testamen
•No Bible in schools?
•”Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education”

Letters of Benjamin Rush, “To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools”, March 28, 1787

•Supreme Court Rulings:
Remove the Ten Commandments
•STONE v. GRAHAM, 449 U.S. 39 (1980)
•“If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it
will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to
venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”
•The Ten Commandments:  A matter of private devotion, or State objective?
•“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it.  We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia

•The Ten Commandments:  A matter of private devotion, or State objective?
•“The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.”

John Quincy Adams.  Letters to his son. p. 61

•The Ten Commandments:  A matter of private devotion, or State objective?
•“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.”

Noah Webster.  History. p. 339

•President Garfield (20th President)
•“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their congress.  If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.  If it be intelligent, brave
and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent
them in the national legislature… If the next centennial does not find us a
great nation… it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the
culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political
•Charles  Finney, 19th century revivalist
•“The church must take right ground in regard to politics…The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics…Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently… God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground…It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics.  But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course [Christians] take [in politics].
•Psalm 33:12
•Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
•2 Chronicles 7:14
•[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive
their sin and will heal their land.

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