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A Matter of Faith (06/22/2008)
Columnist, constitution, and Christianity

From: Steven J. Beyers

In a column in the Winona Daily News of May 17 titled "Leader should uphold Constitution, not a holy book"¯, the writer states that America was not founded as a Christian nation. She cites as her sole evidence a piece by Jim Walker that asserts since Christianity was not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution it was not of import to the founders. The Constitution is a document set down to limit the powers of the federal government and solidify basic rights of the people, not reiterate the influences that brought these men to that point in history.

Many contemporary writers seek to separate us from our philosophical roots, but they are still there and are easily resourced. The following quotes are from the book "America's God and Country"¯ by William J. Federer:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, 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."¯ Patrick Henry

"The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts and it cannot be thought improper for the officers of such government to acknowledge their obligation to be governed by its rule"¦

"[Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as a republic Rome was, a pagan, but a Christian republic."¯ Judge Nathaniel Freeman, 1802

"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 1816

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."¯

John Quincy Adams 1821

"We will first dispose of what is considered the grand objection"”the constitutionality of Christianity"”for, in effect, that is the question. Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law"¦not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church"¦but Christianity with liberty and conscience to all men"¦

"Thus this wise legislature framed this great body of laws, for a Christian country and Christian people. This is the Christianity of the common law"¦and thus it is irrefragably proved, that the laws and institutions of this state are built on the foundation of reverence for Christianity"¦In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration, nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity"¦without which no free government can long exist."¯

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 1824

It [Christianity] must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. Laws will not have permanence or power without the sanction of religious sentiment,--without a firm belief that there is a Power above us that will reward our virtues and punish our vices.

"In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity: that, in its general principles, is the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions. That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. There is a great and very prevalent error on this subject in the opinion that those who organized this government did not legislate on religion."¯ Congress of the United States 1854

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."¯ United States Supreme Court 1892

"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about"¦

"The Bible"¦is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God and the spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.

"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."¯ President Woodrow Wilson 1913

"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental 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 totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anyone except the State!"¯ President Harry S. Truman

 

 

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