Religion a Major Role
The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (Dec. 15, 1791).
When Thomas Jefferson, who was neither a signer of the Constitution nor present at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, stated: “thus building a wall of separation between Church and State,” it was part of a personal dialogue with the Baptists regarding the government’s hands being tied in regard to interfering with or controlling the affairs or decisions of the churches in America (Jan. 1, 1802).
Christianity played a major role in the formation of our country. Benjamin Franklin, senior member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, closed his speech to the delegates with, “I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations be held in the Assembly every morning.”
President Washington’s National Day of Thanksgiving Proclamation on Oct. 3, 1789, included a similar sentiment: “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
On Oct. 3, 1863, President Lincoln issued a formal proclamation saying: “It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”
President Adams stated: “Our Constitution is made for a moral and religious people.”
President Reagan said: “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under” (Aug. 23, 1982).
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