“[Because power corrupts] Society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.”

— John Adams, American Founding Father and second U.S. president

Men like John Adams understood that when the fallen nature of man meets the corrupting influence of power, terrible things can happen. For a people to be “self-governing,” they must learn to govern themselves. That’s why character and moral courage are such important attributes for men and women in positions of authority.

Advertisements

Separation of Church and State?

What did the Founders mean by separation of church and state?

In which founding document do we find that phrase: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or the Federalist Papers?

Did the Founding Fathers – like George Washington, John Adams, Sam Adams, and Noah Webster – really believe that there should be such a separation?

If you are relying on modern history books for these answers, the truth might surprise you. Take a quick journey with me through some of America’s amazing history, listen to what our Founders actually said about this, and then draw your own conclusions…

An accurate view of American history is pivotal to a proper understanding of governmental authority. Stop relying on what other people say the Founders said (including me) and read what the Founders actually said for yourself. It’s not hard to find this information. They wrote most of it down…!

In the next installment is this series, we will look at the source for the Founders ideas – what influenced them most…

Theists, Deists, Atheists,… or Evangelical Christians?

Were the Founding Fathers, by and large, Deists or Atheists like we have been taught? Or were they something else? Explore with me the historical record as we seek to answer this question. You might be surprised to find that the majority of our Founders were evangelical Christians. Even those non-religious Founders like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had a decidedly biblical worldview

In the next segment in this series, we will see what our Founders meant by “separation of church and state.” So stay tuned…

“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth…

“… There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785

The Two Foundational Principles of American Government

When our Founding Fathers envisioned a new republic for the United States (not a democracy, incidentally), they built it upon two foundational principles:

  1. that government must have a moral foundation
  2. that government must be constitutionally limited

In this short segment, I use the 1892 Supreme Court ruling in The Church of the Holy Trinity v. US to illustrate that our country has a rich religious heritage and that the sense of Christian morality formed the underpinnings of our government at that time.

The Holy Trinity ruling sets the stage for the next segment in this series where I answer the question:

Were our Founders theists, diests, atheistics, … or Christians with a decidedly Biblical worldview?

So stay tuned…