Skip to comments.Perfect John Adams quote showing that Religion has a place in government (Vanity)
Posted on 11/22/2004 8:39:41 PM PST by AVNevis
I was doing reasearch this evening for a debate tournament I am participating in a couple of weeks when I came upon this quote:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams
It seems to me this just nails the aclu argument about separation of church and state. Here we have a founding father stating that the constitution does not work if the people are not moral and religious. It seems to me we should be using this quote much more often in debates with liberals.
Some more quotes along this line:
"It is impossible to govern rightly without God and the Bible."
--- George Washington
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God?"
--- Thomas Jefferson
"With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right."
---Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
"We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government: upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
--- James Madison
"We must realize that no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
--- Ronald Reagan
"I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire cannot 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.'"
--- Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."
"We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."
--- Samuel Adams, as he signed the Declaration of Independence
"Our Fathers were brought up by their veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles within the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions -- civil, political, or literary."
--- Daniel Webster
"To the distinguished character of a Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian."
--- George Washington
"A patriot without religions is as great a paradox as an honest man without the fear of God...The scriptures tell us 'righteousness exalts a nation.'"
--- Abigail Adams
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
--- John Quincy Adams
"Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped...As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, is the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see."
"No power over the freedom of religion...[is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution."
"Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
---Leviticus 25:10, inscribed on the Liberty Bell
"We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
---Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation
"Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
---George Washington, in his farewell address
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
---Patrick Henry, Speech in the Virginia Convention, March, 1775
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
"Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
"Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens."
"Thank God! I--I also--am an American!"
"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
Politicians, today, are afraid to start or end a speech with a short prayer. That shows me that we are in serious trouble. Diversity is a systematic intentional divider of our population, not a politically correct adhesive.
By dividing us into small groups the larger organized well funded ones are able to break us apart in every area from morality to patriotism.
I stink so badly at typing...expain=explain
Adams, a Unitarian, flatly denied the doctrine of eternal damnation. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, he wrote:
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
In his letter to Samuel Miller, 8 July 1820, Adams admitted his unbelief of Protestant Calvinism: "I must acknowledge that I cannot class myself under that denomination."
In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788], John Adams wrote:
"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."
Although Franklin received religious training, his nature forced him to rebel against the irrational tenets of his parents Christianity. His Autobiography revels his skepticism, "My parents had given me betimes religions impressions, and I received from my infancy a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. But scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself.
". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a through Deist."
In an essay on "Toleration," Franklin wrote:
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England."
Dr. Priestley, an intimate friend of Franklin, wrote of him:
"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers" (Priestley's Autobiography)
This freethinker and author of several books, influenced more early Americans than any other writer. Although he held Deist beliefs, he wrote in his famous The Age of Reason:
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. "
"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. "
In principle I agree with you. In this decade, I could support a law that reflected what you say in terms of our immigration. In practice, the government has no right to ask what existing citizens believe. We can ask any damn thing we like of immigrants, though. That's especially true after 19 of them (some illegal) decided that landing aircraft wasn't very interesting. Maybe the terrorists wanted us to opt for more isolation. Suits me fine, but we'll manage that our own way. There's no reason why we have to invite people here to teach them about democracy!
"Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty."
"There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."
"Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. Yet history has shown that peace will not come, nor will our freedom be preserved, by good will alone."
Thanks for all the quotes. Although many of these don't relate to my current topic, the topic changes every few months. I'll bookmark this thread for later use.
Virtually all the evidence that attempts to connect a foundation of Christianity upon the government rests mainly on quotes and opinions from a few of the colonial statesmen who had professed a belief in Christianity. Sometimes the quotes come from their youth before their introduction to Enlightenment ideas or simply from personal beliefs. But statements of beliefs, by themselves, say nothing about Christianity as the source of the U.S. government.
There did occur, however, some who wished a connection between church and State. Patrick Henry, for example, proposed a tax to help sustain "some form of Christian worship" for the state of Virginia. But Jefferson and other statesmen did not agree. In 1779, Jefferson introduced a bill for the Statute for Religious Freedom which became Virginia law. Jefferson designed this law to completely separate religion from government. None of Henry's Christian views ever got introduced into Virginia's or U.S. Government law.
Unfortunately, later developments in our government have clouded early history. The original Pledge of Allegiance, authored by Francis Bellamy in 1892 did not contain the words "under God." Not until June 1954 did those words appear in the Allegiance. The United States currency never had "In God We Trust" printed on money until after the Civil War. Many Christians who visit historical monuments and see the word "God" inscribed in stone, automatically impart their own personal God of Christianity, without understanding the Framers Deist context.
In the Supreme Court's 1892 Holy Trinity Church vs. United States, Justice David Brewer wrote that "this is a Christian nation." Many Christians use this as evidence. However, Brewer wrote this in dicta, as a personal opinion only and does not serve as a legal pronouncement. Later Brewer felt obliged to explain himself: "But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all."
Third world peoples bring "diversity." They have funny ideas about morality and ethics. They have funny attitudes about the rule of law. A lot of them aren't Christian (no accident there). Still more think that Anglo-Saxon culture is oppression personified. Yet to all, west is one vast Disneyland for adults.
For practical purposes, we're going to have immigration from the third world, and it's going to be Islamic, and it's going to be from bizarre places where female circumcision is commonplace or food isn't washed before it's eaten. But we can keep that down to a minimum while we encourage our own people to reproduce.
It's all about cheap labor and willing troops to defend the frontiers. The Romans did it, too. And look what happened to them.
The third world is having a population explosion. By definition they have a problem with too many people. Therefore the pressure to come here where we manage limited space well in our urban areas and have open spaces to boot, is immense. Resist excessive third-world immigraiton, or this land will no longer remain an English-speaking country with a respect for the rule of law.
Contrary to PowerPro's post, this is what I've learned about Franklin's character. He was a pragmatic idividual and leaned toward what we call agnostic today. My "favorite" founders are Jefferson, Adams and Hamilton. These were strong men with faith and conviction.
The reality however is that the US was a Christian nation, an overwhelmingly Protestant nation in fact until the 20th century, but not with a Christian or Protestant government (whatever the latter might be, which I cannot imagine, given all the sects). The amazing thing, is that with all its vast wealth and power, unlike any other such place, America retains an out of the box interest in matters of faith. The Puritan seed is alive and well on the fruited plain. It is what give this nation "virtu," so says this near atheist.
We needed each of them to found our nation, and it still packed the time bomb of slavery. I think we're close to what we need now. We'd better be willing to kill and die to preserve it.
If a third world country has a population explosion, does that necessarily mean that they have the means to come to our country? see Bangaladesh
I live in California, and I gnash my teeth about excessive and illegal Hispanic immigration.
I do too, and I am continually amazed about just how well HIspanics are doing in the state. Heck in the desert, almost all the service personnel are Hispanic, and they do a damn fine job. It does help to know a few words of Spanish I must admit. I am picking up some more of the lingo just for convenience sake.
These out-of-context quotations are very nice. Why don't you provide the link where you cut-and-pasted them from?
The founding fathers were THINKERS. They debated many things in their letters and raised points for argument, sometimes to support them and sometimes to knock them down. Taking quotations from these discussions can only be appreciated by reading the entire series of letters, back and forth, between the debators as they argued their positions (or taken positions).
What they were not was dogmatic. They were capable of raising points counter to their own beliefs and examining them, criticising them, and sometimes even changing their beliefs based on what they determined was true. Dogmatic men could not have forged the Republic out of the disparate dogmas of competing sects.
The points made in these discussions of the errors made by prior Christian (or other religions) are well taken. The purpose of such discussions was to find a way to AVOID these mistakes, not to deny the value of religion, but to avoid the failings of religion. One cannot avoid errors unless one recognizes them.
I took Spanish for a short time, but I've forgotten most of it. What I do remember is that my teacher said that Spanish would be quite useful in America during my middle age and older years.
Cocina is kitchen, puerta is door, donde esta (sp) is where is. I wanted a door mat at Walmart. I said "puerta mat." That was enough.
That may be true but in 1811 this case, People v. Ruggles; (1811) the Supreme Court said this:
"... Offenses against religion and morality ... strike at the root of moral obligation, and weaken the security of the social ties ... this
[First Amendment] declaration ... never meant to withdraw religion ...
and with it the best sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration and notice of the law ..." Supreme Court, 1811.
And in 1844, Vidal v. Girard's Executors:
"The purest principles of morality are to be taught. Where are they found? Whoever searches for them must go to the source from which a Christian man derives his faith - the Bible.
United States Supreme Court, 1844.
Even state courts weighed in:
"... What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other. Say that it cannot be appealed to, and... what would be good morals The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of ... immorality." Supreme Court of South Carolina, 1846
"... For whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government ... because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order." Supreme Court of New York, 1811.
And the Senate Judiciary Committee:
"... Religion ... must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests ... In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity... the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions." Senate Judiciary Committee, 1853
The founders were largely agnostic or deists, rejected the diety of Christ, miracles and a PERSONAL God. They rejected calvanism and abhorred the 'religious' governmental HELL of Europes pogroms. Less than 15 percent of Americas citizens actually attended church at our founding as a nation.
the idea that we are or ever were a Christian nation is ridiculous an repugnant to the FACTS of history. That the virtues of this nation are parallel with SOME attributes of Christianity is undeniable, but they are also consitent with some attributes of Hammurabi's code, Confusionism and even some Hindu philosophy.
There were no 'evangelicals' per se, amongst the founders. And although they professed belief in a 'higher power' they did not publicly espouse a personal belief in a living Savior, for the most part, as we who are evangelicals do today.
Saying so does not demean the limited faith of our Fathers. They did the best the could with what light they had. But it does put the lie to the light... that we are a Christian nation... which is the goal of certain political-religious movements in the united states notably the chalcedonians and wall builders...
The government of this nation is to be TOLERANT of all religion, including the NON religious beliefs of agnostics, athiests and pratitioners of cults (as long as they do not harm their followers or the social order at large.)
The christian bible was used at the outset of this nation to make sure that people of color WOULD remain slaves. Particularly quotes from the New Testament. When the civil war was fought and won by the antislave forces of the north, the deconstrution of the religious institution of legalized slavery began the process of natural decay assisted by a secularist north that valued human freedom over FUNDAMENTALIST religious orthodoxy in the south.
America is clearly a secular nation... with the tandem benefits of freedom OF religion, as well as freedom FROM religion if we so choose.
Chalcedonian and Wall builder myths notwithstanding.
Swordmaker. Thanks for posting this. I've been trying to collect this info for some time but can't seem to get a complete handle on it (most likely due to my poor researching techniques). Do you have a link to the above, and hopefully showing a break down of names along with the denominations?
Thanks again for the post -- at least it's more than I already had.
I don't recall that the majority were diest. I do agree that today's TV evangelist-led Christian theocrats would make all of them turn in their graves. Except for Patrick Henry, who refused to attend the Constitutional Convention because he knew he wouldn't succeed in getting his way.
I don't know if I will survive a divsion.
Read "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" by Robert Bork. Great book on the topic.
Recommendation, Bookmark this one too.
>>There's no reason why we have to invite people here to teach them about democracy!<<
The people coming here are not interested in democracy!
See my last post. You and I agree.
It has been said that the Masons were the originators of the middle class... and of a group of skilled people, who because of those skills the universal demand for those skills, were essentially independent of any government and even somewhat independent of the Church. Masonic thinking may (probably) had a lot to do with the construction of our limited form of government
My original point was that many secularists (and liberals in particular) like to use the "founding fathers were deists" argument as a club, a trump card, implying that the "founding fathers" were not Christian, as though it is based in fact. It is not.
They were however men of faith who could set aside their sectarian difference for the greater good of establishing a government under which people of different faiths could flourish. They wish not to foist THEIR particular doctrine and dogma on their neighbors, mutually prefering instead to rely on their own sects' proseletyzing and arts of persuasion outside of government to convince their neighbors of the errors of their ways. The one thing they recognized was the power of government to oppress and they attempted to make a nation with only limited power resting the sovereignity and the power in the people themselves.
Here's a couple more quotes:
"Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society." John Adams
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. John Quincy Adams
"Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being....And, consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will...this will of his Maker is called the law of nature. These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil...This law of nature dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this... Sir William Blackstone
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his protection and favors." --George
Check out the Federalist - they have an archive of interesting and useful quotes.
I could go into great detail explaining why you are right. Every once in a while I tell an anecdote to illustrate that point. Immigrants these days, be they from India, Africa, Asia, Latin America, you name it -- all they want is money, power, sex, and a safe neighborhood to raise their 10 children.
And Americans (all races) pinch their pennies, pay horrific taxes, and hold off on having children until it's too late -- and all along we're told it's for diversity.
and thanks much to AVNevis for posting this thread.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams
No Sir, Thank you!!
Actually, he was dead right, unless you think homosexual marriage, abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, the suppression of public prayer and fifty percent taxes were something the Fathers had in mind when they framed the Constitution.
Adams essentially said the Constitution wouldn't work in an immoral, irreligious country. And as I see it, the Constitution as ADAMS knew it is no longer extant. It may contain the same words Adams knew but those words have been re-interpreted to mean something the Founding Fathers never intended.
Thanks for posting this...I have been looking for it all day.
Moral Absolutes Ping - An interesting discussion going on.
Haven't read the whole thread yet.
One question that I have never heard answered to my satisfaction is this:
If we reject the moral absolutes as taught by the religions of the world, where do we find standards of right and wrong? What guide do we use to determine where the line bewteen moral and immoral?
Let me know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist.
*If someone says, "Well, each person has to decide morality and immorality for himself", then I counter with: What about the German homosexual cannibals? They thought consensual cannibalism was a fine thing. Should a society allow this to go on?
>>all along we're told<<
Old and grumpy as I am, if the speaker is a government representative, I have learned he is lying to me.
Most of the time the speaker doesn't see the whole issue either. Probably because he was intentionally kept in the dark by his controllers.
The decent agnostics and atheists that I have discussed this with use the 10 Commandments minus the references to God as a guideline for their morality and standards of right and wrong.
When confronted with facts just take another drink of cool aid
and climb further out on the limb. Good luck out there.
4 more years of Bush and Cheney saving your ass like it or not.
The people have spoken...and by the way In God We Trust
I say thank you for posting #76 and I get "just take another drink of cool aid"
I don't understand your reply.