Back in the 1960s when I was in public school we had prayer in school. Then the Earl Warren-led Supreme Court kicked God out of our schools. Before they did that, the worst problems in school were kids chewing gum in class or running in the halls. Now the worst problems are teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and murder. Yet we still have Americans who denigrate the benefit of a Christian influence in our country to the point that “The View” panel regular Joy Behar called Vice President Mike Pence’s Christianity a “mental illness.”
Now we have a country where murder, opioid addiction and death, unwed pregnancies, poverty, debt, and political corruption are common occurrences. Our society is falling apart, and our efforts to fix it are failing miserably. In a situation like this, it would serve us well to go back to the designers and engineers of our country to find out what we are doing wrong.
Our founding fathers had a lot to say, actually. Our second President, John Adams, wrote a message to the Massachusetts militia in which he said, in part, “…[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And he is echoed by a host of other early leaders who warned us against what we have brought upon ourselves.
Robert Winthrop, an early Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” A more modern way of saying that is that if we do not control ourselves with Bible-based morals, then we will have to be controlled by a police state. Just think about the implications of that in light of what our federal government is becoming.
Noah Webster, who wrote the first dictionary, said, “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government… and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.” He also stated, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws…. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” Yet the Bible is the very thing the Warren Supreme Court threw out of our schools.
But Benjamin Rush, one of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, said “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.” We see examples almost every day of immoral and un-American lessons being taught to our children in our God-free schools. We are sabotaging ourselves.
Gouverneur Morris, who wrote out and then joined the other delegates in signing the original Constitution, said, “[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.” Anti-Christian Progressives try to belittle our Founding Fathers in order to discredit statements like this.
Those same Progressives claim the 1st Amendment prohibits religion from having any place in government, yet Fisher Ames, who wrote the final wording of the First Amendment, declared, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.” He obviously did not intend the 1st Amendment to support “separation of church and state” as used today. And those who would weaken our country hope Christian morality never takes hold in the minds of our children.
The early courts apparently agreed with Ames. James Wilson, who signed the Constitution and became a justice in the first U.S. Supreme Court said, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine…. Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
And Robert Charles Winthrop, another early Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, argued against a particular bill in the Massachusetts legislature by pointing out the religious nature of the Constitution. “I confess, Sir, I am at a loss to conceive how any man, who has ever read our Constitution as originally framed, or as it now exists, can listen a moment to such an argument. If anything be clearer than another on its face, it is, that it was intended to constitute a Christian State. I deny totally the gentleman’s position, that the religious expressions it contains were intended only to show forth the pious sentiments of those who framed it. They were intended to incorporate into our system the principles of Christianity, — principles which belonged not only to those who framed, but to the whole people who adopted it.”
The people who designed and built this country have told us very clearly what we need to do to fix our country. The question, though, is whether we will pay attention.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
P.S. I know I went a bit long this week, but I have omitted hundreds more similar quotes from the people who designed and began our government. We need to comprehend what they are saying because if we continue to ignore their instructions, our society, our government, our liberty will fail.