Like it or not, we live in a Christian nation. I know this will cause fear, confusion, and anger amongst some of you reading this, but it is the truth. No matter which way you look at it, this country was founded upon biblical principles. The founding fathers intended for this country to be governed by biblical principles. They also intended for this country to be populated by people operating under the same. What we will look at is an important distinction that I think gets lost in the debate over the role that religion plays in government, one that should help to shed light on this debate.
We will begin by defining a term that is essential to this topic,
Theocracy: A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
Anyone looking at that definition will understand what I mean when I say that these United States are not, and have never been, a theocracy. We have never been governed by priests operating in the Name of God. To my knowledge, few, if any, American Christians desires theocracy in this country. When we make the statement that America is a Christian nation, we are neither declaring theocracy, nor laboring for it. What we are declaring is that this is a nation governed by Christian principles laid out in the Bible.
This is what the founding fathers intended, a nation governed by people who live according to those principles, and this is evident in their writings. Had the men who formed this nation desired theocracy, they had a funny way of showing it. Theocracy looks nothing like a Constitutional Republic. It looks like Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the newly reformed Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Those are modern examples of what opponents to this idea envision when they hear “Christian nation”, and this is the idea that needs to be dealt with.
The first point that needs to be made is intent. The intent of the founding fathers must be addressed when determining the role that they intended for religion and government to play. While it is true that some of the founding fathers were deists, it is also true that the majority of them were Christians. The fact that some of them believed in an impersonal god who created the universe and then left it alone changes nothing with regards to the overall intent of the founding fathers, and this is an important consideration.
George Washington, well known to have been a Christian said the following at his farewell address in 1796,
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports….Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Pay close attention to the first and final sentences in the quote, because these are the words of the first President of these United States, and he states unequivocally that it is religion and morality that are indispensable. This brings up a historical note that most of you reading this might not know. When the word “religion” was used in those days, it carried a different connotation. Not a different meaning, but a different connotation. When the word was used in the singular and general, it was synonymous with Christianity. There is a phrase that was oft used in the South that has fallen out of use in recent times, and it is one that illustrates this point. Whenever people heard of something that they regarded as shocking, unseemly, abhorrent, or disturbing, they would say that they were losing their religion. The phrase typically meant that the person was about to lose their temper over an issue, which is important. Among other things, Christianity demands self-control from believers and losing control is seen as being unchristian.
George Washington also said, “True religion affords to government its surest support.” The origin of this sentiment can be found in Scripture, James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Taking it a step farther, Washington also said,
“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.”
He calls it the duty of ALL nations to acknowledge Almighty God. This does not sound like someone who disagreed with the idea of the US being a Christian nation, rather the opposite. He firmly believed that the US belongs to Almighty God.
The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court made similar statements. He was quoted as saying,
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Can you imagine a Supreme Court justice making such a statement today? People would be up in arms, and that is the point. John Jay was not tossed out of the Supreme Court for making that statement! That no one ended his career by cancelling him speaks volumes to the intent of the founding fathers, and that is where we will go next. We will begin with the author of the Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson. He said,
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
The man who enshrined our rights in the Constitution states that our rights and liberties as a nation are a gift from God! This speaks volumes to the thought process behind the First Amendment, and it was not what people have turned it into today! This is what he was thinking, this is what he believed, and this is where his mind was when he wrote the Bill of Rights. We cannot miss this, and we cannot ignore this. It would be foolish to do so.
Looking at statements made by other founding fathers drives the point home. In addition to Thomas Jefferson, there is Benjamin Rush, who said,
“I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”
Loosely translated, the Constitution is not Scripture, but it is the next best thing, with its underlying principles being derived from the Bible and the teachings contained therein. This man was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the men who helped found our nation.
A signer of the Constitution, John Dickinson, said,
“[Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth.”
Our rights come from God. We do not derive them from any other source but God. As our rights came from Him, it behooves us to live according to the principles He laid out in His Word!
John Adams said,
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
If ever you were looking for a clear statement from one of the men who helped make this country, there it is. Not only was this country intended to be governed by Christian principles, but it was geared towards people who would implement the same in their daily lives. This is beyond essential when deciding where one stands on this issue, and it cannot be ignored.
John Quincy Adams said,
“The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”
He also said,
“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.”
The final quote comes from a Supreme Court case, Church of the Holy Trinity vs United States (1892),
“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian…This is a Christian nation.”
What does that look like? If a Christian nation is not a theocracy, then what does it look like? It looks like the Bill of Rights which outline the rights due the people, reserved for the people, and held in trust by the government. It looks like a government that operates within the confines and constraints set forth in the articles, sections, subsections, and clauses of the Constitution while wisely preserving those rights held inviolate by the Bill of Rights. It looks like a population of people acting in accordance with their own whim and conscience, informed by the dictates of the Word of God while holding their elected officials accountable for the performance of their jobs and the decisions they make therein. That is what the founding fathers intended, and not what they ultimately got.
What we have now is a bloated, godless, behemoth of a cancer that intrudes on people’s lives and tramples on their rights. We have exactly what many of the founding fathers feared most because they recognized that government, being the necessary evil that it is, is the natural enemy of individual liberty. That is why they designed the Constitution the way they did, to ensure that our nation had the best chance at success as a Christian nation. Sadly, those safeguards can only function if the people of this nation use them and maintain them, and most people are too busy worrying about paying bills and misgendering people to look too closely at what is happening in all levels of government. This is to our collective detriment and is why I felt the need to clarify this point.
Unless our nation turns to God, broken and weeping over the ways we have strayed from His principles and His will, there is not a lot of hope for us. Unless we humble ourselves before the Lord who gave us life and blessed us by allowing us to exist in this great nation, we will find ourselves experiencing suffering that Western Christians have not experienced in centuries, if not millennia. This is the crossroads we find ourselves standing in, repentance or persecution. These are the only two roads that will bring us back to the Lord, and my most fervent prayer is that we repent as no nation has done before! If you were to ask me which road we will ultimately choose to go down, I cannot see into the future. However, if past behavior is in any way an accurate predictor of future behavior, then I think persecution will be the fire that refines the American Church and purges all the impurities out.
Not too long ago, I was watching a podcast by John Doyle (Heck-Off Commie) on YouTube, and he made a statement that punched me in the gut. He said, “A Christian population worthy to be martyred doesn’t exist in America”. One of the common themes I have pushed in my writing is that we must be willing to lay down our lives for the Lord. Jesus commands it of us! How heartbreaking is it to realize that we can be so complacent and lackadaisical about our religion that a strong, Christian young man can make such a statement and be greeted with, “Ouch. Sad but true”? My heart hit the floor when he uttered those words and I felt like crying. My heart breaks for my grandchildren when I think of what may come, but I am also heartened by the thought that some of them may stand before their persecutors and boldly speak the Truth in love no matter what happens next. “Iesous ho Kyrios!” Jesus is Lord! As for the bulk of the American “Church”, I suspect that they will fold like lawn chairs at the first sign of real trouble, and their capitulation is what will most likely lead to the worst of the persecution. Embrace the suck, Christian Warriors, and pray and labor hard for repentance, revival, and reformation! That is how we will survive, by relying on the Lord, trusting in the Lord, and placing Him firmly in the forefront of ALL that we do, say, and think. It is the only way to preserve our Church and our nation from those who would destroy both! Not by compromise or capitulation!
I will finish with this thought. Some of you may be wondering where the famous separation of Church and State fits into all of this. The short answer is theocracy. As theocracy was never the intent of the founding fathers, the separation of Church and State was meant to ensure that our government would never transition from a Constitutional Republic to a Theocracy by ensuring that the Church cannot supplant the State in its role of guaranteeing the rights of the people and their free exercise therein. No part of that was meant to be used to drive God from the public square, especially considering that the First Amendment stipulates to the free exercise of religion in the public square, and the misuse of this idea is what resides at the heart of our sociopolitical problems as we have turned away from God, forgotten where His place is in our lives and our nation, and now live ungodly and rebellious lives spitting in the face of God.
 Deism: Belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.
 “The Unpopular but Correct Take on the Afghanistan Crisis”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SGSDxd55Cc&lc=UgwiLMYC9yhVLji0eWl4AaABAg