(The following is an excerpt from Exploring the Faith of America’s Presidents)
It is said that in April of 1775, when British Major Pitcairn demanded that a group of colonial Minutemen lay down their arms “in the name of George the Sovereign King of England,” one of the rebel fighters proclaimed, “We recognize no sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!” The battle cry of America’s revolutionaries became, “No King but King Jesus!”1
Does that mean all of America’s Founding Fathers were Christians or even believed in God? Does it mean that all American presidents proclaimed Jesus as Lord and Savior? Only God knows. Not only is it impossible for us to judge anyone else’s heart, it’s irrelevant. The important point is that the foundation of American government is clearly based on the biblical principles of freedom, equality, justice, and the moral laws found in the Ten Commandments.
Although Benjamin Franklin wasn’t a U.S. president, he was one of the best known and influential of America’s Founding Fathers and a signer to both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. In his address at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he said:
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. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground
without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise
without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred
writings that ‘except the Lord build they labor in vain that
build it’ (emphasis added).
Do you have to be a Christian, or even believe in God, to appreciate the benefits of a government founded on Christian values and principles? No! Consider the following statement about America and her roots made by a Jewish columnist with the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby:
This is a Christian country—it was founded by Christians
and built on broad Christian principles. Threatening? Far
from it. It is in precisely this Christian country that Jews
have known the most peaceful, prosperous, and successful
existence in their long history.2
America truly is exceptional, and God is the reason.
1. David Barton, “4th of July Article,” wallbuilders.com, January
2000 (at: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.
2. Jeff Jacoby, “The freedom not to say ‘amen’,” Jewish World
Review, February 1, 2001 (at: http://www.jewishworldreview.