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Friday, February 24, 2012

Coolidge Would Differ

George Washington is sometimes called the Father of our Country. In his Farewell Address, he said: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars.”

Subvert these pillars? Sounds like there were detractors in Washington's day, too.

John Adams, our 2nd President, said, “…we 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.”

Do you think when these leaders used the words "religion" and "morality," they had anything other than biblically-informed Christianity in mind? 

Consider what Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, had to say about the matter:

"America became the common meeting-place of all those streams of people, great and small, who were undertaking to deliver themselves from all kinds of despotism and servitude, and to establish institutions of self-government and freedom…It was the principle of personal judgment in matters of religion for which the English and Dutch were contending, and which set the common people to reading the Bible. There came to them a new vision of the importance of the individual which brought him into direct contact with the Creator. It was this conception applied to affairs of government that made the people sovereign…The logical result of this was the free man, educated in a free school, exercising a free conscience, maintaining a free government. The basis of it all, historically and logically, is religious belief. 

These are the fundamental principles on which American institutions rest…It was the American colonies that defended and reestablished these everlasting truths. They set them out in resolutions and declarations, supported them on the battlefield, wrote them into their laws, and adopted them in their Constitution."

America is a place where people of all religions and persuasions (including atheism), may freely believe what they so choose, and practice whatever religion or non-religion they wish. But if we think biblically-informed Christianity did not historically provide a foundation for American law and civil institutions, Coolidge would differ.   

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