Since I was born on July 4th, I guess I couldn’t help but grow up feeling very patriotic, thrilling to every sight of the “red, white and blue.” I’ve always loved spotting an American flag unfurled wherever I went, even on my international travels, including Italy and Jamaica. I recall several years ago being on the picturesque island of Capri, Italy, where “Old Glory” was waving proudly along with the Italian flag and several others, overlooking splendid yachts anchored below near the Tyrrhenian Sea.
These days being a patriot has gone out of fashion in the eyes of some.
However, even though people certainly have the right to express criticism of the United States, justified or not, they should remember that’s only possible because of the freedoms we enjoy in this imperfect nation.
What role God has played – if any – in the founding and establishing of this nation has been fodder for much debate through the years. However, it has been enlightening to read The Founder’s Bible, which presents the Scriptures in their entirety, along with hundreds of articles and commentaries about our Founding Fathers. Based on their statements and writings, the evidence is overwhelming that they had no intention of segregating matters of faith from matters of governing our country, at least in the manner the so-called “separation of church and state” is typically interpreted.
Here’s a very small sampling, taken from The Founder’s Bible, of specific things the writers and signers of the United States of America’s original documents had to say regarding the Bible and its application for public laws and institutions:
”It has been the error of schools to teach astronomy and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy as accomplishments only, whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the Author of them, for all the principles of science are of Divine origin.” – Thomas Paine
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.” – John Adams
"God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.” – John Witherspoon
“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy…. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government – and all the blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.” – Jedidiah Morse
Speaking at the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin recognized how divine intervention had undeniably contributed to the United States’ march toward freedom: “…All of us engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor…. And now we have forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.”
Founding Father Benjamin Rush, known as “The Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution,” wrote “A Defense for the Use of the Bible as a School Book.” Among the numerous reasons he cited for including the Bible in the public school curriculum included:
“That Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts, they are wise and happy…. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.”
Such ideas were embraced for nearly the first two centuries of our nation. In the early 1960s, the move for separating church and state as it’s presently understood gained great momentum. However, in 1950, the Florida Supreme Court said this:
“A people unschooled about the sovereignty of God, the Ten Commandments, and the ethics of Jesus could never have evolved the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. There is not one solitary fundamental principle of our democratic policy that did not stem directly from the basic moral concepts as embodied in the Decalogue and the ethics of Jesus.”
It’s obvious that in many ways our nation has drifted from the views cited above, as well as thousands like them. The U.S.A. might not be the “new Israel,” but its system of laws and form of government were rooted in Judeo-Christian principles. And for a long time, our nation stood at the forefront of the mission to take the Gospel to all nations. The fact that biblical values are now being abandoned, even ridiculed, could that be at the heart of many of our society’s ills?
In the Old Testament, the people of Israel enjoyed God’s blessings only to later reject Him and go their own way. The price they paid each time, individually and collectively, was severe. Consider one example of the Lord’s judgment:
“What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?... I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground…” (Isaiah 5:4-5).
The United States, a nation founded on principles integrally intertwined with God’s revealed truth, for many years flourished and enjoyed a unique – even favored – position in the world. Can we still say that today? Could it be time for us to cease rebelling against the God of creation and return to our roots?
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is email@example.com.