America's Christian Heritage
Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration
of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three
believed in the Bible as the divine truth, in the God of Scripture, in His
Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental
Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of the Scripture for the
people of this nation.
Patrick Henry is still remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me
death." But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is
what he actually said: "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is
left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that
presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong
alone, is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give
me liberty or give me death."
These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. The
following year, 1776, Henry wrote this: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or
too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but on the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been
afforded the freedom of worship here."
Consider these words Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front
of his well worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of
the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be
rallied to the unity of our Creator." Jefferson was also the chairman of the American Bible
Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.
On July 4, 1821, President John Adams said, "The highest glory of the American
Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of
government with the principles of Christianity."
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The
foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of
the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings
would cease to be practically in our country."
In 1782 Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States
recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."
William Holmes McGuffey, author of the McGuffey Reader used in our public
schools until 1963, said: "The Christian religion is the religion of our
country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great
moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities
of our free institutions. From no other source has the author drawn more
conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From these extracts from the
Bible I make no apology."
Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian,
including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original
Harvard Student Handbook, rule No.1 was students seeking entrance must know
Latin and Greek so they can study the Scriptures: "Let every student be plainly
instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and
studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and
therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow
the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."
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