I read with astonishment a letter from attorney Andrew Seidel published in the Herald on May 16, claiming our country was founded on “secular values.” To the contrary.
The Declaration of Independence appeals to “God,” the “Creator” and the “Supreme Judge of the world.” God is also found in the phrases “protection by divine providence,” and “created equal.”
Of those who signed the final draft of the Constitution, almost all were of established Christian faiths. The man who was the head of the committee that created the final wording, and one of the most active members of the Constitutional Convention, Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, advocated “education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.” Of significance, the author of the First Amendment to the Constitution, Fisher Ames, was an advocate of teaching the Bible, using it as a schoolbook.
Further evidence that our country was established on Christian values can be found in the writings of our founding fathers. John Jay, our nation’s first Supreme Court Justice, stated: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
John Marshall, one of the longest serving and most distinguished Supreme Court Justices, stated: “The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.”
Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, reminded the nation of that great truth contained in the Declaration of Independence when he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Secularists often point to Thomas Jefferson as supporting their viewpoint. However, Jefferson clearly understood and believed that the source of our inalienable rights came from God: “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.”
Ronald F. Fischer, Grand Forks