God and the Government

The founding fathers (signers of the Declaration of Independence) were religious, God fearing men. of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were current or former full-time preachers, and many more were the sons of clergymen. They established this country on moral principles. In fact, the Declaration of Independence recognizes God as the source of the rights enumerated by the document. Below is a list of the founding fathers, and their religions:

Charles Carroll Maryland Catholic
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
William Williams Connecticut Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist
Lyman Hall Georgia Congregationalist
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Whipple New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist
John Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
George Walton Georgia Episcopalian
John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian
George Ross Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Arthur Middleton South Carolina Episcopalian
Edward Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Caesar Rodney Delaware Episcopalian
Samuel Chase Maryland Episcopalian
William Paca Maryland Episcopalian
Thomas Stone Maryland Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Episcopalian
Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian
Lewis Morris New York Episcopalian
William Hooper North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Morton Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Episcopalian
Carter Braxton Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Harrison Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Episcopalian (Deist)
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
Button Gwinnett Georgia Episcopalian; Congregationalist
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Joseph Hewes North Carolina Quaker, Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker, Episcopalian
Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Presbyterian
Abraham Clark New Jersey Presbyterian
John Hart New Jersey Presbyterian
Richard Stockton New Jersey Presbyterian
John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian
William Floyd New York Presbyterian
Philip Livingston New York Presbyterian
James Smith Pennsylvania Presbyterian
George Taylor Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Presbyterian

The signers of our constitution were also very religious men:

Daniel Carroll Maryland Catholic
Thomas Fitzsimons Pennsylvania Catholic
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
Nathaniel Gorham Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Langdon New Hampshire Congregationalist
Nicholas Gilman New Hampshire Congregationalist
Abraham Baldwin Georgia Congregationalist; Episcopalian
William Samuel Johnson Connecticut Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Madison Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Maryland Episcopalian
David Brearly New Jersey Episcopalian
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Gouverneur Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney South Carolina Episcopalian
Charles Pinckney South Carolina Episcopalian
Pierce Butler South Carolina Episcopalian
George Washington Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
William Blount North Carolina Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyteran
Rufus King Massachusetts Episcopalian; Congregationalist
Jacob Broom Delaware Lutheran
William Few Georgia Methodist
Richard Bassett Delaware Methodist
Gunning Bedford Jr. Delaware Presbyterian
James McHenry Maryland Presbyterian
William Livingston New Jersey Presbyterian
William Paterson New Jersey Presbyterian
Hugh Williamson North Carolina Presbyterian
Jared Ingersoll Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Alexander Hamilton New York Huguenot; Presbyterian; Episcopalian
Jonathan Dayton New Jersey Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Blair Virginia Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Dickinson Delaware Quaker; Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker; Episcopalian
Thomas Mifflin Pennsylvania Quaker; Lutheran

What happened? Why has our country gotten off the path set by the founding fathers? Why is God forbidden is so much of society? Why are some trying to erase God altogether, taking him off of our currency, our public buildings, and out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Why is prayer banned in public schools? Why is right considered wrong, and wrong considered right? I say we, the religious majority need to stand up for our beliefs. We need to let the world know that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can not forget God, because I assure you, he has not forgotten us.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams, October 11, 1798

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." Alexander Hamilton -1787 after the Constitutional Convention

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787


Anonymous said...

No they weren't. And they went out of their way to make it CLEAR they weren't. And no amount of Right Wing re-write will change that.

Anonymous said...

You are correct that the founding fathers were religious men (at least many of them were). I suppose it's good for the rest of us then that they EXPLICITLY FORBID THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STATE RELIGION in the Constitution!!!!!

Put down the bible and take a Civics class please.

Notoriously Conservative said...

"No they weren't. And they went out of their way to make it CLEAR they weren't. And no amount of Right Wing re-write will change that."

I have provided evidence that they were religious, where is yours? No leftist re-write is going to change that.

Notoriously Conservative said...


That's true. But I am struggling to see where you thought I advocated that? I am simply arguing that a country without God is a country without morals. A country without morals is doomed to fail. It seems you should put down your new york times, and take a reading comprehension class.

Ben Brumleve said...

I have a question... you realize that the Pledge did not originally contain "under God", correct?

While the Fathers may have been 'religious', whatever that means, it is far more important to consider the impact that they wished religion to have on government. Having seen how a tyrannical state Church ruled in England, they did not want the same for America. I would agree that they wished for a moral, perhaps a godly, people. Religion and morals, while seemingly intertwined, do not necessarily go hand in hand. You make a false assumption of causation where there is only correlation. Religion does not cause morality, it upholds predetermined moral and social standards that attempt to explain unquantifiable events and actions. In other words, religion (by which you really mean MY religion) is not the end-all be-all of the secular state.

Notoriously Conservative said...

"by which you really mean MY religion)"

Not once have I even mentioned MY religion, nor would I. I simply stated God should play a part in government.

"You make a false assumption of causation where there is only correlation. Religion does not cause morality, it upholds predetermined moral and social standards that attempt to explain unquantifiable events and actions."

That's untrue. If you read CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity," he argues that man is subject to the law of "Human Nature" or that which is right and wrong, although we don't always follow it. He further argued that this law has applied since the dawn of man, no matter if the people were religious or not. He goes on to argue that since this law is not universally followed, it is not a true law, like gravity. If it is not a true law, then there is more to it than observed facts, as with say, gravity. If there is more than mere facts, there must be a power behind it that can not be observed. That power, is God. In short, God is the power behind what is wrong and right, and thus what is moral. I can't put it as cleanly as CS Lewis, I highly recommend you read his book.

"Having seen how a tyrannical state Church ruled in England, they did not want the same for America. I would agree that they wished for a moral, perhaps a godly, people. "

That's true. I agree completely, and again, I would stress that I don't advocate religion and government, I advocate God and government, and I don't stress any religion, or any god, though in my own mind I do envision my God, the Christian/Jew Dao God.

"Religion and morals, while seemingly intertwined, do not necessarily go hand in hand."

Again, I am not pushing religion, I am advocating God, and the morals associated with reverence towards him are intertwined, and do go hand in hand.

Chappy said...

Very well put...both sides.

I have a hypo for you all. In a largely religious state (such as the U.S.) would it be OK for an atheist to represent the religious majority in government? Now flip things around. In a largely atheist state, would it be OK for a religious person to represent the atheist majority in government? (I don't know)

We, as Americans, want to be represented by those who share our same views (whether religious or not), and it pisses us off when a person supposedly representing our community does not share the same ethics/morals. However, the difference in beliefs can be caused by a number of factors, including belonging to a different religion, or no religion at all. That being said, we simply want to be represented by people who share our beliefs. (And the majority, over 80%, of American believe in God)

Also, it REALLY pisses people off when a group (religious/atheist/whatever) attempts to force their morals/ethics on the rest of us. A perfect example is the recent prop. 8 vote in California. Religious people felt the gays were forcing their morals/ethics onto them. Whereas the gays felt the religious folk were forcing their religios beliefs on them. Nobody likes to be forced to accept another person's beliefs (tolerant of another's beliefs yes, acceptance no).

I believe that is one reason the founding fathers chose not to institute a state religion. Nobody wants to be forced to believe a certain way. HOWEVER, at no time did they say there must be a purging of religious morals and beliefs prior to entering government, that would be absurd. The founding fathers simply did not wish to have a state sponsored religion. It is plain to see that they did want God in this government, not a religion, but a reverence of God. Do a little research into the founding fathers and you will see they were all extremely God fearing, and spoke openly of the fact that God helped them create this nation (from Columbus to the writing of the consitution, they ALL spoke of God and how he guided them).

I can not now accept the argument that the founding fathers ever imagined a time when God (not religion) would be taken out of government. Never did they even hint to that fact (and forbiding a state religion is not an assertion for the removal of God, it is simply an assertion to not set up a centralized religion, two different issues).

The founding fathers never sought to take God out of government (state sponsored religion yes, God no), that is a modern practice endorsed by the left. The right simply wants to keep it the way the founding fathers originally created it, with God, but no state religion.

keightlynn said...


If I am correct, this was done to keep the state out of the church, not the church out of the state. In England, the government was infiltrating the Catholic church causing much tyranny, and no religious freedom, because they made Catholicism the countries religion and used this to gain power, thus corrupting the church. The founding fathers did not want this to happen in their new country, hence separating the state from the church.

Anonymous said...

when tehy spoke about seperation of church and government they were talking about using a religion as a crutch. saying "well I'm a budist and my god say's thats ok"

besides people even thinking about getting a hammer and chizzle to remove God off the Lincoln memorial is outrages.

they are trying to keep God out of our future by removing him from our past.

because if there is no God then there is no right or wrong, so we can all act like animals and not be accountable to anyone.

Anonymous said...

All of these thoughts are highly interesting. However, I believe that our founding fathers created this nation on two main points. One being "Freedom" and the other being what they experienced with Great Britian. I believe that is the reason they did not want to create a "National Church", and for people to be free with there faith choice. However, the common denominator of their faith was a belief in God!! I do not feel today they would support the exclusion thereof.

Notoriously Conservative... I am writing a paper on the Seperation of Church & State. If you can forward me some of your refrences... that would be appreciated.

(Email: Henry7304@Live.com)

May God bless you all and have a wonderful Holiday season!

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