What did the founders of America say about God?

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By Al Earley

Hanging over my office desk is a picture of General George Washington in humble prayer in a pine grove, with his horse, at Valley Forge. It is an inspiring picture of an inspiring man of prayer. Skeptics want to claim that all representations of our first president as a devout man of faith are false.

Here are some of the things George Washington said about God. They are taken from the book, George Washington, The Writings of Washington, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick.

“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people.”

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”

“I now make it my earnest prayer that God would… Most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion.”

The proof of George Washington’s faith can be easily illustrated by his words and those that defended his faith, especially his stepdaughter. But Washington was not alone. In fact the vast majority of the founding fathers had devout Christian faith, made stronger by the power of God they saw defending them during the Revolutionary War.

Noah Webster, revolutionary soldier, judge and most famous as an educator and “Schoolmaster to America” said, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles…This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”

“All the…evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Patrick Henry is best known for saying, “Give me liberty or give me death” as he inspired cautious men to declare independence from England, the most powerful military the world had ever seen. This great “Voice of Liberty” also said, “Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”

“The Bible…is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

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

U. S. House Judiciary Committee of Congress wrote in 1854, “Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle... In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity... That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

These were taken from http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755#R122.

There are similar quotes from 55 other Founding Fathers and their sources. It is an amazing collection of faith statements made by some of the brightest men ever to live. As we celebrate Independence Day let us remember the Revolutionary War was fought to win our independence from England, not from God. The Founding Fathers knew that if we ever won that our days as a nation would be numbered. I pray God will intercede on our behalf and call us back to the faith of our Founding Fathers.


Al Earley is pastor of La Grange Presbyterian Church. To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see www.lagrangepres.com.