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GUEST COLUMN

America's founding was, indeed, based on Judeo-Christian principles

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 9:19 am

In his Jan. 27 guest column, B.J. Paschal states that America's Founding Fathers came together to forge a new national secular compact.

I am certain he believes this, but he is misinformed. He has often stated that our Constitution is Lockean, based on the teachings of philosopher John Locke.

Not true.

Political science professors at the University of Houston collected 15,000 writings from the founding era, isolating 3,154 direct quotes made by the Founding Fathers.

Thirty-four percent of the quotes came directly from the Bible! Other sources were French philosopher Baron Charles de Montesquieu, 8.3 percent; Sir William Blackstone (18th-century English judge, author, professor and lecturer of law at Oxford University), 7.9 percent; and John Locke, 2.9 percent.

Paschal says the Constitution does not acknowledge our peoples' dependence on God or their past.

Here are some quotes from our Founding Fathers, who wrote the Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin:

“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?” (June 28, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention)

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

George Washington:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is impossible to govern rightly without God and the Bible.”

John Adams:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

James Madison:

“We have staked the future of all of our 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 of God.”

Thomas Jefferson:

“No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be.

“The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man, and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.”

In 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol as a church building for Christian worship services. As president, Jefferson attended these services and employed the military band to play for them, at taxpayer expense.

Author Jerry Newcombe says, “Without exception, the constitutions of all 50 states refer to the Almighty God of the universe, the Author and Sustainer of our liberty.” Almost every Ivy League school was established primarily to train ministers of the gospel. Harvard College's first presidents insisted that there could be no true knowledge or wisdom without Jesus Christ.

In 1892, the Supreme Court stated, “Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a religious people. This is a Christian nation." (Holy Trinity Church vs. U.S.)

There are thousands of sources that refute Paschal's statements, including books and articles by Bill Federer, Jerry Newcombe, David Gibbs Jr., David Barton and Gary DeMar.

I do agree with Paschal's statement that America is becoming more secular, but this is to our shame.

President John Quincy Adams said, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: that it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of Christianity with the principles of civil government.”

Our Founding Fathers gave us an invaluable gift - the greatest, richest, most free, most powerful nation that ever existed, one that has been exceedingly blessed by God.

Please, my fellow Americans, don't throw it away.

Donna Volmerding is a resident of Fort Wayne.