Biblical Morality Is A Necessity Of Freedom: Americans Have Known This For Centuries


ill America’s freedom and liberty endure only as long as its morality? In addition to establishing a representative republic with all sorts of checks and balances to protect against the biblically defined evil nature of Man, our Founding Fathers repeatedly expressed the belief that Christian morality was absolutely essential for both the preservation of liberty and the stability of law.

They emphasized this crucial point in their writings over and over again: for example, consider Samuel Adams who served as Governor of Massachusetts, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and organizer of the Boston Tea Party. He wrote:

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.”

The first governor of Virginia was Patrick Henry who also served as member of the Continental Congress. He explained the significance of religion in these words:

“The great pillars of all government and of social life are virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor… and this alone, that renders us invincible.”

Of course, the most famous of all our Founding Fathers was George Washington. He served as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, overseer of the Constitutional Convention and first President of the United States. He wrote these words:

“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 of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

John Adams was another member of the Continental Congress. He was also one of the original drafters of the Declaration of Independence; and, he served as the second President of the United States. Here are his strong and eloquent words concerning the necessity of religion. He wrote:

“We have no government armed in 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.”

Thomas Jefferson was the renowned author of the Declaration of Independence. Additionally, he served as Governor of Virginia and was also our first Secretary of State and third President. He wrote:

“No nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has ever been given to man, and I as Chief Magistrate of this nation am bound to give it the sanction of my example.”

James Madison was a political philosopher who is considered to be the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” Madison served as a member of the House of Representatives and as our nation’s fourth President. Here’s what he had to say about the essentiality of religion to a government of freedom and liberty:

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; 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.”

A Part Of Our History

The concept of the inalienable interdependence of constitutional order and Christian virtue was not just characteristic of our Founding Fathers. It has continued to be emphasized throughout our history.

For example, consider Noah Webster. Considered the “Father of American Education.” He was the publisher of The American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828. And concerning the importance of Christianity, he wrote:

“In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed… no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States. He also served as an American diplomat as well as a member of the House and Senate. On the occasion of the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he declared:

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

Daniel Webster served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts and as Secretary of State. Here are his words concerning Christianity and government:

“No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people. To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.”

William McGuffey was an American educator and author of the McGuffey’s Reader, first published in 1836. He observed:

“The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”

In 1838 the New York State Legislature declared:

“This is a Christian nation. Ninety-nine hundredths, if not a larger proportion, of our whole population, believe in the general doctrines of the Christian religion. Our government depends… on that virtue that has its foundation in the morality of the Christian religion.”

In 1892 in the case of United States vs. Church of the Holy Trinity, the Supreme Court of the United States expressed these words:

“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity.”

Calvin Coolidge served both as Governor of Massachusetts and Vice President of the United States before he was elected to serve as our 30th President. He was known as “Silent Cal” because he seldom expressed himself about anything. But he had some [insightful] words about the importance of the Christian faith to the continuing existence of our nation:

“The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

In 1931 The United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. McIntosh, made this proclamation:

“We are a Christian people, according to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.”

Peter Marshall was a Scottish-American preacher, who served as pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., often referred to as “The Church of the Presidents.” Peter Marshall also served as Chaplain of the United States Senate. In a prayer offered before the Senate in 1947 he said:

“May it be ever understood that our liberty is under God and can be found nowhere else… We were born that way, as the only nation on earth that came into being for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

Earl Warren served as Governor of California and was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In a Time magazine interview conducted in February of 1954, shortly after President Eisenhower had appointed him as Chief Justice, he made this observation about our Christian heritage, he said,

“I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses… I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it. I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He also served two terms as our 34th President. He made this observation about the relationship between religion and government:

“Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first and the most basic expression of Americanism.”

Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, expressed a similar sentiment when he proclaimed:

“America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are ‘One Nation under God,’ then we will be a Nation gone under.”

Well as you can see from the survey of expressions concerning our nation’s Christian heritage, that heritage has been recognized and lauded by our leaders from the beginning until the latter part of the 20th Century. It has only been in recent years that this important heritage has been denied and disparaged.

A Foreign Perspective

Even foreigners who visited the country recognized the significance of our Christian heritage. Take, for example, the French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville who visited the United States in the early 1830’s. In 1835 he published the first of a two volume study of this nation, titled, Democracy in America. He revealed that the intertwining of Christianity with government was very surprising to him.

He wrote:

“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country. The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

Is America Still A Christian Nation?

Although 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, only about 9% at the most would claim to be born-again, Evangelical Christians. This means that most Americans are simply professing Christians, or cultural Christians.

But this sad fact does not negate the historical evidence that our Founding Fathers established this nation on Christian principles and that those principles still serve as the basis of our constitutional structure and our laws.

The problem, of course, is that those with [a progressive] viewpoint are determined to cut America loose from its Judeo-Christian foundation. They have a classic European-style Humanist worldview that despises Christianity and Capitalism, and the result is that freedom is now endangered.

We are speeding toward a secular, pagan society devoid of the values which contributed to virtue and civility. And if this transition continues unabated, our system of government will not be able to survive, for it is based upon the assumption of a citizenry that is endowed with biblical truths.

We need to pray for our nation as never before. We need to pray that the schemes of the secularists will be frustrated, confused and defeated. ✪