The above link is to a speech that Obama gave in Turkey recently where you can watch him say, “…we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation,” said Obama. “We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” But what ideals? And what values?

It’s not the first time. In 2007, he (Obama) had very similar commentary which has been republished extensively across the net.

The vast majority of academia promotes the notion that America is not, and never has been associated with Christianity. They further promote a position of “separation of church and state”, widely citing ‘Constitutional’ references. 

  • “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.” – Thomas Jefferson·
  • “ The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Assembly of the State of Virginia] –James Madison [1778 to the General
  • In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
  • “ An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia” Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress “It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”
  • “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.” — Letter by James Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772.
  • ““ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”…“[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” –John Adams, in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress
  • “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams, October 11, 1798
  • “I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen.” – John Adams, December 25, 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson
  • “ God governs in the affairs of man. 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 in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention of 1787 original manuscript of this speech.
  • “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” — Benjamin Franklin, [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]
  • In Benjamin Franklin’s 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”
  • In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone.”
  • “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” – George Washington, speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779
  • “To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian” — George Washington, May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge
  • “ O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.”
  • “ I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.” —George Washington; from a 24 page authentic handwritten manuscript book dated April 21-23, 1752William J. Johnson George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.
  • “Although guided by our excellent Constitution in the discharge of official duties, and actuated, through the whole course of my public life, solely by a wish to promote the best interests of our country; yet, without the beneficial interposition of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we could not have reached the distinguished situation which we have attained with such unprecedented rapidity. To HIM, therefore, should we bow with gratitude and reverence, and endeavor to merit a continuance of HIS special favors”. — George Washington, 1797 letter to John Adams

Thomas Paine    

  • “ It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.” “ The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.” “The Existence of God–1810”

John Hancock

  • “circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness… Resolved; …Thursday the 11th of May…to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation …and a Blessing on the … Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God]…That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation…for the redress of America’s many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.”A Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation. Proclamation on April 15, 1775”

Patrick Henry

  • “This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.”—The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry
  • “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]
  • “The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.”

Samuel Adams

  • “ He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.” [ “American Independence,” August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia] “ Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” [October 4, 1790]

Alexander Hamilton

  • On July 12, 1804 at his death, Hamilton said, “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.”
  • “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.” [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]
  • “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

Here’s some random info that may be pertinent given the conversation.

  • Proposals for the seal of the United States of America
  • “Moses lifting his wand and dividing the Red Sea” –Ben Franklin“The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” –Thomas Jefferson
  • On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams “to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.” Franklin’s proposal adapted the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea. Jefferson first recommended the “Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night. . . .” He then embraced Franklin’s proposal and rewrote it. Jefferson’s revision of Franklin’s proposal was presented by the committee to Congress on August 20, 1776.

First Amendment language is used for this position … but rarely will a source actually discuss where the phrase comes from:

The terminology “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Church (the church was concerned at the time about possible government interference in Church matters). In that letter President Jefferson was assuring the Church that government would not impose upon their freedom of religion, and he said that the First Amendment created an effective ‘wall of separation’ between the state and the church.

President Jefferson’s quote has been wrongly cited by countless attorneys and at least a few Supreme Court Justices…most often used as an (erroneous) foundation for the argument that religion should be removed from public forums.

That being said, our founders did not in fact create/craft a system of government that implemented, forced, or even sponsored a particular religion. They created a nation of laws, with certain inalienable rights.

Even though that freedom of choice is present however, and even though it is abundantly clear the Founders intended on keeping the government out of religion, did they actually intend on keeping Christianity out of government (much less out of schools, public forums, etc)?

Let them tell you in their own words.

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

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