There are plenty of books out there declaring the US to be a "Christian nation," and rebuttals. But for fun, I wanted to publish some documentation that shows that many, if not most, of our founding fathers did NOT have the strict separation of church and state in mind that modern liberals are in love with.
In fact, looking at the facts, the best interpretation of the establishment clause of the constitution, and the prohibition on a "religious test for office" is best interpreted as "no DENOMINATIONAL test." Requiring a man to be Christian in order to hold office was entirely consistent with the founders’ world view.
Mayflower Compact (first Govt Document)
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord King James by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender of the faith, &c
Haveing undertaken, for the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of the ends aforesaid;
1639 Connecticut Constitution (Fundamental Orders of Connecticut)
This first constitution is what earned Connecticut the nickname of "The Constitution State"
For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth; and do for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed as followeth:
…the Governor, which being chosen and sworn according to an Oath recorded for that purpose, shall have the power to administer justice according to the Laws here established, and for want thereof, according to the Rule of the Word of God
1642 First Published School Law
The founding fathers believed that the evils of the Inquisition could have been avoided if the common people could have read and known the bible. So they made this law, which was the first to establish public education:
Ye Olde Deluder Satan Act
It is therefore ordred yt evry towneship in this jurisdiction, aftr ye Lord hath increased ym to ye number of 50 householdrs, shall then forthwth appoint one wthin their towne to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write & reade, whose wages whall be paid eithr by ye parents or mastrs of such children, or by ye inhabitants in genrall, by way of supply, as ye maior pt of those yt ordr ye prudentials of ye towne shall appoint; pvided, those yt send their children be not oppressed by paying much more ytn they can have tm taught for in othr townes; & it is furthr ordered, yt where any towne shall increase to ye numbr of 100 families or househouldrs, they shall set up a gramer schoole, ye mr thereof being able to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited for ye university, pvided, yt if any towne neglect ye pformance hereof above one yeare, yt every such towne shall pay 5 l to ye next schoole till they shall pforme this order.
1774 Provincial Congress (First Congress)
The first act was to open with prayer – a 3 hour prayer session. John Adams wrote this in a letter to his wife about the first congressional meeting:
"Just this morning we had heard that Great Britain had opened fire on Boston…but our Psalm for this morning was Psalm 35…God used this Psalm to calm our hearts at rest…we prayed Psalm 35 as a Congress this morning…"
Written by US Constitution signers Read and McKean
Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit:
" I, A B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced."
And also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:
" I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."
And all officers shall also take an oath of office.
1776 North Carolina Constitution
Requirements for office:
That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.
So, what can we conclude from these documents? Here’s more examples of public Christian faith in our government for you to mull over.