Hardly a day goes by when there is an attempt by a segment of our society to remove organized religion or at least the trappings of it from our everyday lives. As a child I can remember reciting the Lord’s Prayer in public school as well as reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance. In 1962 the Supreme Court banned school prayer in a series of landmark decisions and in addition there have been numerous challenges banning the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance at public events because of its reference to “One Nation under God.” In addition, in my lifetime we have seen a dramatic decline in any form of organized religious activity.
Was our country founded as “one nation under God ? ” I would say a resounding yes. Numerous examples of our forefathers point to their belief in Providence serving as the very foundation for this nation can be found in their writings and seminal documents upon which this nation is based – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights to name a few. Those that tell you that God was not the basis for the founding of this nation are simply incorrect and often point to the Constitution which states in the first Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion,” NOT that there is a separation of church and state.
The Founders were deeply committed to protecting religious liberty in their escape from religious persecution that they experienced in Europe. This conviction was based upon their belief that humans do not have a duty but an obligation to worship God. George Washington declared in his Farewell Address, that of “all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Christian ideas and principles make up many of the key tenets of America’s constitutional order. The Founders believed that humans were indeed created in the image of God, which enabled them to design unique institutions and laws meant to protect and promote human dignity. They were convinced that humans are inherently sinful, they attempted to avoid the concentration of power – thus the three branches of our government the use of the Electoral College vice the popular vote to determine our Commander-in Chief.
What do these facts mean for the increasing number Americans who embrace non-Christian faiths or no faith at all? Although the Founders were profoundly influenced by Christianity, they did not design the great experiment of Democracy only for fellow believers. Our founders prohibited religious tests for federal offices, and they were committed to the proposition that all people should be free to worship God (or not) as their consciences dictate.
Unfortunately, we are seeing Progressives and their followers argue that Capitalism has failed the average working man or woman and that Socialism is the answer for our societies shortcomings. In considering this let’s not forget that the founder of Socialism Karl Marx believed that religion is the “opiate of the masses,” which the rich use to manipulate the working class. Marx postulated that the proletariat is promised rewards in heaven one day if they keep working diligently where God has placed them subservient to the bourgeoisie.
America has drifted rapidly away from the concept of “One Nation Under God” both in practice and in principle – we are a nation poised on the precipice of decline. Perhaps we would do well as to return the principle of “One nation Under God’ and the guiding principles upon which this nation was based that has served us well for over two hundred years.
The article also appeared in American Thinker here.