Were biblical precepts infused into America’s founding documents by the constitutional framers?
We have thus far in this series seen how that American Christian heritage was grounded in the views of our Founding Fathers, how it was maintained throughout our nation’s history in pronouncements by our leaders and our courts, and how it was even recognized by foreigners who came to visit our nation.
It has also been affirmed in a monumental study by two University of Houston political science professors, Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman. It is a study that took them ten years. It was published in 1983. They surveyed over 15,000 documents written by our Founding Fathers between 1760 and 1805 and discovered that the Bible was, by far, the most cited source, comprising 34 percent of all quotations. In fact, the Bible was quoted four times more than any other source.
And significantly, the next most commonly cited sources were Barron Montesquieu, William Blackstone, and John Locke. All of these men were strong adherents of natural law philosophy and encouraged the incorporation of biblical law into civil law.
Lutz and Hyneman affirmed that the Pilgrims, the Puritans and the constitutional framers all insisted on cementing the connection between law and morals by infusing biblical precepts into the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Even contemporary American Jewish leaders have asserted their belief that our nation is one that is based on Christian principles, and they have expressed their appreciation for the fact that this foundation has produced religious liberty for them.
Consider, for example, the viewpoint of Jeff Jacoby, a Jewish columnist at the Boston Globe he wrote, “This is a Christian country, it was founded by Christians and built on broad Christian principles. Threatening? Far from it. It is in precisely this Christian country that Jews have known the most peaceful, prosperous, and successful existence in their long history.”
Don Feder, a Jewish columnist and longtime writer for the Boston Herald, expressed a similar viewpoint, he wrote, “Clearly this nation was established by Christians. As a Jew, I’m entirely comfortable with the concept of a Christian America. The choice isn’t Christian America or nothing, but Christian America or a neo-pagan, hedonistic, rights-without-responsibilities, anti-family, culture-of-death America. As an American Jew I feel very much at home here.”
Michael Medved, a Jewish radio talk show host and columnist, agrees that America is indeed a Christian nation. He wrote, “The framers may not have mentioned Christianity in the Constitution, but they clearly intended that charter of liberty to govern a society of fervent faith, freely encouraged by government for the benefit of all. Their noble and unprecedented experiment never involved a religion-free or faithless state, but did indeed presuppose America’s unequivocal identity as a Christian nation.”
Is America still a Christian nation?
President Barack Obama has repeatedly asserted that the United States is “no longer a Christian nation,” but he has never defined what he means by that statement.
What about it? Are we still a Christian nation, or have we abandoned the faith our nation was based upon? You know, there is certainly a sense in which the President is correct. Although 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, only about 9% at the most would claim to be born-again, Evangelical Christians. This means that most Americans are simply professing Christians, or cultural Christians.
But this sad fact does not negate the historical evidence that our Founding Fathers established this nation on Christian principles and that those principles still serve as the basis of our constitutional structure and our laws.
The problem, of course, is that those with Obama’s viewpoint are determined to cut America loose from its Judeo-Christian foundation. They have a classic European-style Humanist worldview that despises Christianity and Capitalism, and the result is that freedom is endangered.
We are speeding toward a secular, pagan society devoid of values that contribute to virtue and civility. And if this transition continues unabated, our system of government will not be able to survive, for it is based upon the assumption of a citizenry that is endowed with biblical truths.
We need to pray for our nation as never before. We need to pray that the schemes of the secularists will be frustrated, confused, and defeated. And we need to pray for a national spiritual revival. As we do so, let’s remember the words of Revelation 2:5, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first.”
In the fifth and last segment of this series on the Christian heritage of America, we will be amazed to learn that early American school books and universities were founded on the Bible.