In God We Trust
Tomorrow, July 4th, marks the 238th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from England. It is not just the 4th of July, it is Independence Day, a holiday set aside to remember the founding of our country. The English colonies of those days were severely oppressed by their king, governors, and military. The issues of the day were taxation, freedom, religious liberty, free trade, and other forms of sovereign rule. Some brave men, who today we call Founding Fathers, made a huge decision to stand up to the most powerful country in the world and declare that these “United States of America…are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States”.
While the issues of the day revolved around freedom, these Founding Fathers were undertaking a huge risk of their future and whatever fortune they possessed. Many of these men made their decision based on a faith in “Nature’s God." Who were some of these men and who was this “Nature’s God” for which they pledged, In God We Trust?
James Otis — a leader of the Sons of Liberty and a mentor of Samuel Adams
“Has it (government) any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone…? I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the Author of Nature whose laws never vary…” The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved
John Dickenson — signer of the Constitution
“Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source – from the King of kings, and the Lord of all the earth.” The Political Writings of John Dickinson
Stephen Hopkins — signer of the Declaration
“We finally beg leave to assert that the first planters of these colonies were pious Christians, were faithful subjects; who, with a fortitude and perseverance little known and less considered, settled these wild countries by God’s goodness and their own amazing labors…” The Rights of the Colonies Examined
Samuel Adams — Father of the American Revolution
“We, therefore, the Congress of the United States of America, do solemnly declare and proclaim that…we appeal to the God who searcheth the hearts of men for the rectitude of our intentions, and in His holy presence declare that, as we are not moved by any light or hasty suggestions of anger or revenge…” The Writings of Samuel Adams
“The Rights of Colonists as Christians. These may best be understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.” The Rights of the Colonists
John Quincy Adams — sixth president of the United States
“There was no anarchy…The people of the North American union, and its constituent States, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct.” An Address Delivered on Independence
Patrick Henry — delegate to Virginia House of Commons and Founding Father
“There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!!!” Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry
Benjamin Rush — signer of the Declaration
“I sat next to John Adams in Congress, and upon my whispering to him and asking him if he thought we should succeed in our struggle with Great Britain, he answered me, ‘Yes – if we fear God and repent of our sins.’ This anecdote will, I hope, teach my boys that it is not necessary to disbelieve Christianity or to renounce morality in order to arrive at the highest political usefulness or fame.” Letters of Benjamin Rush
As men and women, we need not doubt that the Founding Fathers were great people. We need not doubt, regardless of the arguments of the revisionists, that they were people of faith. In their own words, they expressed their convictions. They finished this great document with these words, “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor”
(emphasis added). They then signed their names and committed to, In God We Trust.