The Founding Fathers and Religion

In the early years of our American nation, religion fared very well even in the Supreme Court. Joseph Story (1779-1845) served as a Supreme Court Justice at the age of 32. He was the youngest to serve in that position. Her served from 1811 to 1845. He wrote several remarkable decisions of the High Court. The most memorable was the Amistad decision (now a movie), which he read out loud in the Court.

Here is a remarkable statement that he made during his tenure on the Court.

“The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral freedom and accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues;–these never can be a matter of indifference in any ordered community. It is indeed difficult to conceive, how any civilized society can well exist without them.” read more

The Declaration of Independence

I haven’t checked this out myself yet, but I’ve been told that the word Independence, although it’s in the title, is not in the body of the document. How can that be? Time to read it again.

It should be noticed that of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, only two went on the become Presidents of the United States of America. And they were the two who had the most to do with the writing and adoption of that historic document. Those two were Thomas Jefferson (3rd President) and John Adams (1st Vice President and 2nd President, to serve only 1 term). read more

Independence Day

It’s coming up. Look for it in your neighborhood. John Adams gave us some advance warning of what he thought would and should transpire on July 4th each year (only he thought it would surely be July 2nd—the day the proposal to break with Great Britain was agreed upon). The Declaration itself would be approved and ratified on July 4.

John Adams wrote to Abigail: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among Men . . . The 2nd day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha [sic], in the History of America – 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. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews [sic], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” (“Abigail Adams, a Biography”, 1987, by Phyllis Lee Levin, pages 90-91. Capitals as in the original.) read more

The Declaration of Independence

Yes, within a week we will celebrate the Fourth of July, or Independence Day. It was a dramatic change in the way individuals looked at being the subjects to a higher power, namely a King.

The colonies were separated from Great Britain by a wide ocean. They had become used to deciding what should be done in their own country. In many senses they had already been governing themselves, and they liked it that way. So when England decided the colonies needed to pay more in the way of taxes to support their King, they rebelled. read more

Morality, Freedom, and Liberty

The Founding Fathers of our nation established a republic, a democracy that turned the power to the people. It was a new nation that said that the citizens, the people, would come first and would therefore choose their own leaders for the new nation.

In and around this rich new culture, there was faith and morality. The Founders hoped that culture would continue to allow America to become a light on the hill for the whole world.

The combination of the Spirit of the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, the new U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the foundation in law was new in the world. As Benjamin Franklin said: “It’s a Republic—if you can keep it. The most fervent desire of the Founding Fathers was that we, as a people, would watch over this nation, with these founding documents, culture, and faith, and keep it strong forever. read more

Thomas Jefferson and Money

It’s hard for me to write anything negative about Thomas Jefferson, I love him so much and admire him for what he has given us. Jefferson taught others not to spend your money before you have it, to save and be frugal. Yet he didn’t seem to listen to his own advice in that regard.

But he did warn the government against debt and overspending. And his presidential administration was done with such business like efforts, he cut the federal debt and lowered taxes.

And to be sure, here’s what he said about government spending: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of the Constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the government the power of borrowing. read more

Founding Fathers as Christians

Some have said that the Founding Fathers were not Christian. They haven’t read the words of these men themselves. They all left quotes and references that would convince most anyone otherwise..

Read George Washington’s Farewell address. Read Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Read James Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention. Give yourself time to read Benjamin Franklin’s speeches at that same Convention.

Patrick Henry summed it up well in his last will and testament. “This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed. read more

Founding Fathers’ Light

Here’s a quote from a recent religious gathering. It caught my attention because it seemed to me to teach just what our Founding Fathers believed according to their own writings.

“Each of us was given a portion of God’s light, called ‘the Light of Christ,’ to help us distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. This is why even those who live with little or no knowledge of the Father’s plan can still sense, in their hearts, that certain actions are just and moral while others are not. read more

The Founding Fathers and Language

When you read the writings of most of those who were considered to be Founding Fathers of our nation, you may be surprised at the wonderful use of the English language, the expressionism, the wisdom repeated in beautiful prose.

But not all the Colonists spoke or wrote that way. Sam Adams for one, used some course language to get his points across. Jefferson was at his finest in his writings, as we see from The Declaration of Independence, which he wrote without books or reference materials.

John Adams was creative and artistic in his use of words. He once explained to Abigail that he wanted to write a book to express his feelings and knowledge about the new Constitution which was being written while he was a diplomat to Great Britain. read more