Historically Christian philosophy has invoked the values derived from the teachings of Jesus Christ and has served as a moral compass for the development of laws, ethics, schools, universities, libraries, and hospitals; therefore these values continue to be relevant today.
The indelible footprint that Christianity has left in our culture, our ethics, and our sense of self, has shaped our values and ideas since the birth of the American Republic. This deep moral Christian truth derived from the bible has been the driving influence since the country’s foundation.
The belief that Religious Liberty must be protected has created a society not only hospitable to Christians but to other religions as well. Unfortunately, today the Christian view is often distorted. The argument that we are not a Christian nation, nor have we ever been has been set forth by people who choose to ignore our history and the Spirit of the bible.
The schools were founded and the key component in the development and success of our educational system was the bible. Settlers ordered that the communities with at least fifty families must sponsor a teacher and when the population reached one hundred families, they would establish a grammar school.
The motivations behind the decrees were to combat the repeat of European history; the community schoolhouse was to teach the children to read and understand the Bible.
Not long after the establishment of our country, the founding fathers passed a federal law that required all existing and incoming states to establish schools that would teach “morality, religion and knowledge,” advocating that the Bible be the primary text in the schools.
The Bible has been the fundamental key to our country’s educational program from the beginning. As late as the 1950s, public schools required students to pass rigorous Bible study classes in order to graduate.
The Bible was removed from the public school curriculum in the early sixties.
For the Christian population to have the opportunity to continue to learn and grow from the Holy Bible, Christian schools had to be founded.
In 1776, the majority of the European Americans, with the exception of about twenty-five hundred Jews, identified as Christian. The preponderance of the arriving settlers was Protestants, with the remaining colonists being Roman Catholics.
During the war of independence, the most famous document produced by the Continental Congress, The Declaration of Independence, proclaims that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
To understand the history of the United States of America, it is vital to have the proper recognition of its Christian colonial roots. The colonists of European descent who settled in the New World were serious Christians, whose laws, practices, and constitutions reflected the influence of Christianity.
The belief that God ordained moralistic standards took precedence over human laws. This conviction manifested itself through the Court, which was granted the power to strike down an act of Congress if it violated natural law.
The faith understood and taught that humans were sinful. This understanding helped them to avoid utopian experiments and to adopt a constitutional system characterized by separated powers, with checks and balances resulting in a strong, centralized government.
The American Founder’s original concept of liberty is totally unconnected to the extremely biased and individualistic way the term is often used today. Behavior that demanded we do what is morally correct was deemed essential in the establishment of Liberty as the lifeline to our freedom. Maintaining order in our public lives through politics rather than force was derived from the belief that humans were created in the image of God; making us reasonable, as opposed to the elite.
This faith led to the conclusion that religious liberty should be extensively protected and that civic authorities should encourage Christianity; thereby, making it appropriate to use religious language in the public square.
The Declaration of Independence led to the American Revolution. The United States' victory in that revolution, led to the Articles of Confederation which reflect that humans are created in the image of God.
With the commitment to liberty, the Founders never imagined that provisions of the Bill of Rights would be used to protect unrestraint and licentiousness. They believed that moral considerations would inform our legislation.
In George Washington’s handwritten Farewell Address, he urged Americans to understand that “all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion, and morality are indispensable supports.”
At the foundation of the country, there was virtually no support for progressive or contemporary visions that called for a separation of church and state. Today, however, we have politicians who show disdain for religious language and feel it necessary to strip all religious symbols from public spaces.
America’s Founding Fathers believed it permissible for the state and national governments to encourage Christianity.
We have drifted from these first principles and would do well to reconsider the wisdom of these changes.
The Constitution does not mandate a secular nation, and we should be wary of the current academic culture; along with jurists and politicians who would strip religion from the public square.
The baseless argument that America’s Founders intended the First Amendment to prohibit neutral programs that support faith-based social service agencies, religious schools, and the like is totally deceptive.
If we choose to ignore the Founders’ insight that democracy requires a moral people and that our faith is important, if not indispensable, the support for morality will continue to erode.
Our faith will continue to exist without government support, but it should not have to prostrate itself to government control and hostility.