Jefferson and the “Christian Nation”
Madison is the “architect of the Constitution,” not Jefferson.
Furthermore, there is good evidence that Jefferson’s religious views were not in align with most of revolutionary America, including the other Founding Fathers.
For example, when Jefferson sent his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, it was missing a few key phrases we all know and love today. There was no appeal to the judge of the universe, no mention of a creator, and no call on God to witness. Then what happened? The Congress rejected it, the Congress overrode Jefferson’s wishes and forced the inclusion of the references
to God we see today. His views on this issue were out of line with the great majority of American leaders.
As I stated earlier, Madison is the architect of the Constitution, not Jefferson. And Madison had a few interesting things to say about civil government and religion.
“Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. . . Religion is the basis and foundation of government.”
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all out political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments.”
Sure Madison was a great supporter of religious tolerance, so am I, but he realized what the foundation of our government is. He also knew what its future success was based on, the Christian religion.
Would you say George Washington was important during the formation of the Constitution?
“It is impossible to rightly GOVERN without God and the Bible.” Governing is an act of the state is it not?
“Whereas it is the DUTY of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor. Now, therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday. . . to be devoted by the people of these United States. . that we may all unite unto Him our sincere and humble thanks. . ”
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. IN fain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail, in exclusion of religious principle.”
He certainly seems to think government and religion have mutual interest and are involved with you. Oh yeah, did you know that Washington favored a “general assessment” for his state? That’s a tax on all citizens to support the churches of that community.
John Witherspoon, signed the Decl. of Independence and member Continental Congress.
“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 support and establishment of both.”
Patrick Henry, Member, Continental Congress, Patrick Henry was a more driving force behind the first amendment than Jefferson.
“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.” Religious tolerance and Christian principles were not considered mutually exclusive, the founders
believed that religious tolerance was a Christian principle.
John Jay, Co-author of The Federalist Papers, member Continental Congress, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
“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.”
By the way, John Jay was the President of the American Bible Society for several years.
John Adams, Signed Dec. of Independence, Member Continental Congress, and supporter of the Constitution.
He was also a minister to France, and commented that their revolution would not succeed because it was “A republic of thirty million atheists.” Alas, he was right. Without the Biblical foundations we utilized their revolution soon turned to tyranny, thousands and thousands died.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society.”
Alexander Hamilton, Co-author of The Federalist Papers. “Of all the disposition and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Proposed the establishment of a “Christian Constitutional Society”, the purpose of which would be to promote the two factors that had been most influential in America, “1st: The Support of the Christian Religion; 2nd: The Support of the Constitution of the United States.”
John Quincy Adams, Minster to France, Secr. of State, President of the United States.
“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.”
Adams recognizes a key truth that escapes many revisionists today. Christianity and Republicanism were inseparable, Christian principles were what made good civil government possible.
Noah Webster, Constitutional Convention, Connecticut General Assembly.
“The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles. . This is genuine Christianity, and TO THIS we owe our free constitutions of government. The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all civil constitutions and laws”
A small quote from Websters sums up all of these quotes, from Madison, Jay, and Hamilton (Authors of The Federalist Papers) to Presidents Washington, Adams, and Quincy Adams. . . . .
“The genuine source of correct republican principles the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.”
The writings are there for anyone to see, what I have compiled here is just indicative of the powerful connection between Christianity and Government. As for Jefferson’s speech, there are a few conclusions that fit with the above statements I have cited.
He was once again (remember his rejected draft of the DI) beyond the mainstream other founding fathers. Or, he was implying something that does not remotely resemble what liberals today are attributing to him. All in all, taking his minimal involvement in the action; framing process, the overwhelming contradictory quotes from the vast majority of those most actively involved; we must be guided by the statements and writings of those actually writing the Constitution. There thoughts, Christian principles are both the justification and basis for Constitutional government. And to
remove those principles, to erect a “wall” between these ideas is to remove the basis for the United States Constitution.