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He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear
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What is the foundation of America?
"The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"

The Democrat Party's candidate for President in the 1848 election was Lewis Cass, born OCTOBER 9, 1782: "Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion, and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power."

It’s the ‘Independence,’ Stupid By SCOTT OTT - ...in our time, many seem to think 'the Declaration' was penned to proclaim eternal verities about the human condition -- a poetic tribute to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' -- as if it were a collection of fine words about high-minded ideals. No! It was a rebellion against bad governance, against political arrogance, against oppressive laws, against restriction, constraint, and imposition without representation. We call it 'the Declaration,' but that's not the object. It's the 'Independence,' stupid. The members of the Second Continental Congress did not expect to forfeit their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for stating the obvious about the 'laws of nature and of nature's God.' Their necks ripened for the noose because they altered, abolished, and threw off the yoke of their government. They counted all as loss to obtain freedom; to be absolved of allegiance to their government, to dissolve all political connections between themselves and the state which they had always referred to as their own. 'The Declaration' offers exhaustive reasons for committing open treason, nonetheless, treason it was. Independence Day then is not a celebration of government, but a regular reminder ... of the necessity to reject corrupt, abusive government.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Henry Lee, 1825 - "This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion."

What is the Law of Nature’s God? BY BILL FORTENBERRY - These famous words form the opening paragraph of one of the most influential documents in all of human history – the American Declaration of Independence.  According to this paragraph, the American claim to independence was established upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” but what did Thomas Jefferson mean by this phrase?  Nearly all of the modern historians who have written about this phrase have accused Jefferson and the other signers of the Declaration of abandoning the God of the Bible and erecting a more deistic god of nature in His place.  But this accusation is entirely false.  Jefferson’s reference to the laws of nature and of nature’s God had a very specific meaning that was well understood by eighteenth century Americans. To understand what Jefferson meant by this phrase, we need to consider how it was used in the time leading up to the writing of the Declaration.

...In a renowned letter to Alexander Pope, Lord Bolingbroke wrote the following words which were to become the basis for Jefferson’s opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “You will find that it is the modest, not the presumptuous enquirer, who makes a real, and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths.  One follows nature, and nature’s God; that is, he follows God in his works, and in his word.” Here we find a definition from the very individual that all scholars recognize as the source of Jefferson’s phrase.  According to Lord Bolingbroke, the law of nature’s God is the Law which is found in God’s Word.  This was the definition which was intended by Jefferson, and this was the manner in which his words were understood by our forefathers.  The law of nature’s God upon which our nation was founded is nothing less than the Bible itself. (Click here for the complete resource.)

Natural Law: The Ultimate Source of Constitutional Law - Natural law is the basis for Jefferson's assertions in the Declaration of Independence. - "Man ... must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator.. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature.... This law of nature...is of course superior to any other.... No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force...from this original." - Sir William Blackstone (Eminent English Jurist)  

The Founders DID NOT establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person's Creator endowed rights to life, liberty, and property. Only in America, did a nation's founders recognize that rights, though endowed by the Creator as unalienable prerogatives, would not be sustained in society unless they were protected under a code of law which was itself in harmony with a higher law. They called it "natural law," or "Nature's law." Such law is the ultimate source and established limit for all of man's laws and is intended to protect each of these natural rights for all of mankind. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 established the premise that in America a people might assume the station "to which the laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them.."

Is the Declaration of Independence Illegal? Silly Brits. After all these years, they still don't understand natural rights. During a moot debate last week at Franklin Hall in Philadelphia, British lawyers argued that the 1776 American Declaration of Independence was not only illegal, but actually treasonable. There is no legal principle then or now to allow a group of citizens to establish their own laws because they want to, the British barristers maintained. Well, of course seceding from Great Britain and renouncing allegiance to King George III was both illegal and treasonable by British legal standards. That's why the American colonists  appealed not to their rights as British subjects for a redress of a grievances (as they had done up until 1774) but to the universal supra-political "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and the natural rights that go along with them.

Alexander Hamilton's words to set his Tory opponent straight in The Farmer Refuted (1775) come to mind: "The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

When the Declaration announces that it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security, this right to alter or abolish government is of course not to be found in British common law. It is a natural right to which all men can appeal, regardless of the constitution under which they live. ...

Laws of Nature and of Nature's God As a practical matter, the Declaration of Independence announced to the world the unanimous decision of the thirteen American colonies to separate themselves from Great Britain. But its true revolutionary significance, then as well as now, is the declaration of a new basis of political legitimacy in the sovereignty of the people. The Americans final appeal was not to any man-made decree or evolving spirit but to rights inherently possessed by all men. These rights are found in eternal "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." As such, the Declaration's meaning transcends the particulars of time and circumstances.

American Minute for November 15th:  He lost two sons in the Revolution, was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration and served on 120 Congressional Committees. His name was John Witherspoon, and he died NOVEMBER 15, 1794. Born in Scotland, he was a descendant of John Knox. John Witherspoon was President of Princeton, leader of a New Jersey committee to abolish slavery, and taught 9 of the writers of the U.S. Constitution, including James Madison. His other Princeton students include a U.S. Vice-President, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Members, Governors, Senators and Congressmen. John Adams described John Witherspoon as "A true son of liberty...but first, he was a son of the Cross." On May 17, 1776, the day Congress declared a Day of Fasting, Rev. John Witherspoon told his Princeton students: "He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most...active in promoting true and undefiled religion...to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country. It is in the man of piety and inward principle that we may...find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier." John Witherspoon concluded: "God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable."

When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said: "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."

"Among the objects of the Constitution of this Commonwealth, Liberty & Equality stand in a conspicuous light. It is the first article in our declaration of rights, all men are born free & equal, & have certain natural, essential & unalienable rights. In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator: They are imprinted by the finger of God on the heart of man." Samuel Adams (1722-1803) Father of the American Revolution, Patriot and Statesman

Without the moral virtue Americans derived from Scriptures, would the men who fought for independence possess the knowledge and courage to do so with the odds they faced?

Daniel Webster, in 1820, speaking at the the Bicentennial of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, he said this: "Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government secure which is not supported by moral habits... Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens."

 See also:
o Did You Know?
p Religious Affiliation of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America
o The Founding Fathers and Jesus
o The Bible and Government Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws

o Declaration of Independence
o United States Constitution


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." Thomas Paine Proclaiming the Declaration of Independence

On August 1, 1776, Samuel Adams stood before a large crowd on the steps of the Philadelphia Statehouse and delivered a speech before the formal signing of the Declaration Of Independence on August 2, 1776. In his speech he stated: "We have explored the temple of Royalty and found that the idol that we have bowed down to has Eyes which see not, Ears that hear not our Prayers, and a heart like the nether millstone. We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom alone all men ought to be obedient; He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious Eye beholds His subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self direction, which He bestowed upon them. From the rising to the setting Sun, may His Kingdom come."

Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

The Constitution is an expression of the Declaration of Independence.

In the same manner as Jesus proclaimed, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.," the Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on Jefferson's first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.

The Constitution's primary author, James Madison, wrote Thomas Jefferson on 8 February 1825, these words concerning the supremacy of the Declaration of Independence over our nation's Constitution:

"On the distinctive principles of the Government...of the U. States, the best guides are to be found in...The Declaration of Independence, as the fundamental Act of Union of these States."

"Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."� James Madison, Primary Author of the U. S. Constitution and 4th U.S. president. America's Providential History, p. 93

President James Madison, June 20, 1785 - "Before any man can be considered as a member of Civilized Society, he must first be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe."

James Madison also wrote, "The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it." In a letter to Frederick Beasley.

George Mason 1772, "The laws of nature are the laws of God, Whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth. A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to Him from Whose punishment they cannot protect us, all human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey."

President John Adams - "From the day of the Declaration . . .they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct." And, ""From the day of the Declaration . . .they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct." - President John Adams  ...And, "[This] Form of Government is productive of every Thing which is great and excellent among Men. But its Principles are as easily destroyed, as human nature is corrupted. A Government is only to be supported by pure Religion or Austere Morals. Private and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics." -- John Adams, 2nd president of the United States of America (Warren-Adams Letters, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1917, Vol. 1, p. 222)

Samuel Adams - "[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."

Thomas Jefferson - "It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."

Alexander Hamilton - "To grant that there is a supreme intelligence who rules the world and has established laws to regulate the actions of his creatures; and still to assert that man, in a state of nature, may be considered as perfectly free from all restraints of law and government, appears to a common understanding altogether irreconcilable.  Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory.  They have supposed that the deity, from the relations we stand in to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever.  This is what is called the law of nature....Upon this law depend the natural rights of mankind."

Calvin Coolidge, July 5, 1926, Philadelphia, PA  - "No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped."

James Wilson (American Minute for August 21st:) He was one of six founding fathers to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. President Washington appointed him to the Supreme Court. Born in Scotland, he was an active delegate at the Constitutional Convention, speaking 168 times. His name was James Wilson and he died AUGUST 21, 1798. The first law professor of the University of Pennsylvania, James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1789-91: "Law...communicated to us by reason and conscience...has been called natural; as promulgated by the Holy Scriptures, it has been called revealed...But it should always be remembered, that this law, natural or revealed...flows from the same divine source; it is the law of God." James Wilson continued: "Human law must rest its authority, ultimately, upon the authority of that law, which is divine." The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania records in Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824: "The late Judge James Wilson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, Professor of Law in the College in Philadelphia...for our present form of government we are greatly indebted to his exertions...In his Course of Lectures (3d Vol. of his Works, 122), he states that...'Christianity is part of the common-law.'"

"The Declaration of Independence...[is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." Thomas Jefferson (letter to Samuel Adams Wells, 12 May 1821)

June 11, 1776 -  The Continental Congress appoints a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. This "Committee of Five" consisted of John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson.  

How Declaration of Independence Was Drafted; Thomas Jefferson Selected as the Author Because Richard H. Lee Was Absent (PDF) On June 10 Congress postponed final consideration for three weeks, and on the following day appointed a committee of five to draw up the Declaration. Richard Henry Lee, as the proposer of the plan, would surely have been on the committee and, possibly, its Chairman, had he not in the meantime been hurriedly summoned home at the illness of his wife. But for that, Lee might have been the author of the Declaration instead of his younger Virginia colleague, Thomas Jefferson, then but 3l years of age. Jefferson had brought to Congress the reputation of wielding a facile pen, and in the balloting for the committee he received a majority of votes and became its Chairman. The others were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York. How did Jefferson come to be selected to write the Declaration, "the one American state paper" as has been said, "that has reached to supreme distinction in the world and that seems likely to last as long us American civilization lasts"? The most interesting account is given by John Adams, who says that he and Thomas Jefferson were designated by the committee to prepare the rough minutes in a proper form Mr. Jefferson first proposed that. Adams prepare the draft of the Declaration. Adams declined, giving, as he says in his autobiography, the following reasons; 1) That he was a Virginian and I a Massacushusettensian, 2) That he was a Southern man and I a Northern one. 3) That I had been so obnoxious for my early and constant zeal in promoting the measure that every draft of mine would undergo a more severe scrutiny and criticism in Congress than of his composition. 4) And lastly, and that would be reason enough if there were no other, I had a great opinion of the elegance of his pen and none at all of my own. I therefore insisted that no hesitation should be made on his part. He accordingly took the minutes, and in a day or two produced to me his draft. (See Complete NY Times article of July 1, 1917 PDF or here online: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/more/nyt070117.htm.

Click here to learn the history of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Creating the Declaration of Independence - A Time Line

On July 3, 1776, Founding Patriot John Adams wrote to his beloved wife, Abigail: Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among men. You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. ... It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day's Transaction.

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of 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 (1751-1836) Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the United States

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."  ...  "The worship of God is a duty...Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature, I never doubted the existence of the Deity, that he made the world, and governed it by His Providence...The pleasures of this world are rather from God's goodness than our own merit... Whoever shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of primitive (essential) Christianity will change the face of the world... Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."  - Benjamin Franklin

Marking the Anniversary of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address One hundred and fifty years ago, on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln delivered his first inaugural address. Facing the most profound political crisis in the nation's history, Lincoln made the case against secession by explaining the nature of the Union and asserting republican government as the foundation of individual liberty and free society. In one of the great speeches of American history - still instructing us today - Lincoln not only dealt with questions of unprecedented immediacy but also explained and justified the American constitutionalism on the grounds of liberty and political rights. (Heritage's Julia Shaw noted last month that Lincoln made a powerful case that the Constitution is based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence.) To mark this anniversary, Lincoln scholar Herman Belz spoke at The Heritage Foundation about the address and its legacy. A professor at the University of Maryland, Belz spoke at the invitation of Heritage's Center for American Studies. Watch a video of the speech.  

"I never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence."� Abraham Lincoln Address at Independence Hall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania February 22, 1861

"We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it." Calvin Coolidge

American Minute for July 4th: The Declaration of Independence was approved JULY 4, 1776. John Hancock signed first, saying "the price on my head has just doubled." Benjamin Franklin said "We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately." Of the 56 signers: 17 lost their fortunes, 12 had their homes destroyed, 5 became prisoners of war, 1 had two sons imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey, 1 had a son killed in battle, 1 had his wife die from harsh prison treatment and 9 signers died during the War. When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said: "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." John Adams said: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty." John Adams continued: "I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration...Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory...Posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not."

"There can be no prescription old enough to supersede the Law of Nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free, and they have it ordinarily in their power to make themselves so, if they please." --American lawyer and patriot James Otis (1725-1783)


The U. S. Constitution

The Constitution Made Easy By Mike Holler not only offers a modernized version for easier reading; it actually makes the meaning of the original seem to jump off the page! Using a side-by-side format prevents readers from having to continuously jump back and forth to keep up with the Constitutional changes.

"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world." --Daniel Webster (1782-1852) Author, Lawyer and Patriot 

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas, 1803

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."  James Madison (Primary author of the Constitution), Federalist No. 45

"The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue; and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty. They will only exchange tyrants and tyrannies."  John Adams

"The nature of the encroachment upon American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer; it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society." --John Adams

"The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." John Quincy Adams

"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." Benjamin Rush (1806)

"If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the constitution framed by the Convention . . . might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it."  George Washington

"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue."  John Witherspoon

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,  it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."  Patrick Henry

"The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please." Thomas Jefferson

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition." Thomas Jefferson

"In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson

"You seem...to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all Constitutional questions: a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one, which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. ...And their power (is) the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots."  Thomas Jefferson

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." --Samuel Adams

"If we and our posterity...live always in the fear of God and shall respect His Commandments...we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country.... But if we...neglect religious instruction and authority; violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity." Daniel Webster Addressing the New York Historical Society, 1852

See also: The Constitutional Convention - Gordon Lloyd, a professor at Pepperdine University, has constructed the best, most comprehensive and user-friendly resource on the Constitutional Convention debates available on the web


How To Read The Federalist Papers ($7.00) Featured Product First Principles Series How to Read the Federalist Papers Softcover, 107 pages Thomas Jefferson called The Federalist Papers the best commentary on the principles of government, which ever was written. Over 200 years after the writing of these essays, most commentators — liberal and conservative — still agree. While The Federalist is indeed an important resource for understanding the meaning of our Constitution, its relevance is based on something deeper. The authors of the essays knew that the principles of our Founding would not always be unquestioned, so they gave us the strongest defense of those principles as part of the immediate political struggle for ratification. The Federalist not only illuminates the meaning of the Constitution's text, it also explains how our Constitution embodies the core principles of the Declaration of Independence and why it must be preserved in the face of present struggles. In this monograph, Anthony Peacock, professor of political science at Utah State University, offers us a brief guide to The Federalist, a road map illuminating the major issues treated in the essays and explaining their continued relevance for us today. An appendix of important passages on contemporary subjects is also included as a helpful resource for interested readers. Despite our contemporary challenges, we still enjoy some measure of constitutional government. More importantly, our Founders have left us with their teaching and example, showing us the way to restore our Constitution to its rightful place. Our Constitution will endure only if our leaders understand why it is defensible, and there is no better argument in favor of the Constitution that The Federalist Papers.


Congressman Forbes asks the questions "Did America ever consider itself a Judeo-Christian nation?" and "If America was once a Judeo-Christian nation, when did it cease to be?" on the floor of the US House. (4m28s video)


46 Pages By Scott Liell Thomas Paine, a native of Thetford, England, arrived in America's colonies with little in the way of money, reputation, or prospects, though he did have a letter of recommendation in his pocket from Benjamin Franklin. Paine also had a passion for liberty in all its forms, and an abiding hatred of tyranny. His forceful, direct expression of those principles found voice in a pamphlet he wrote entitled Common Sense, which proved to be the most influential political work of the time. Ultimately, Paine's treatise provided inspiration to the second Continental Congress for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. 46 Pages is a dramatic look at a pivotal moment in our country's formation, a scholar's meticulous recreation of the turbulent years leading up to the Revolutionary War, retold with excitement and new insight.

However, it also needs to be known: From American Vision, Gary DeMar - How many times have you heard some skeptic claim that this or that non-Christian was a Founding Father of America? Thomas Jefferson is one of their patron saints, and yet he wasn't even present during the drafting of the Constitution. Of course, Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence which states emphatically that God is the Creator and the Judge of the world. The ACLU plays down these words. Benjamin Franklin is another one skeptics love to trot out as an anti-religious Founding Father. But it was Franklin who stood up at the Constitutional Convention and quoted Psalm 127:1 as a warning to the delegates: Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." Not much is said about these remarks by Franklin.

So liberals bring out what they believe is their biggest gun, Thomas Paine. Paine wrote Common Sense in 1776 and used the Bible (Judges 8; 1 Sam. 8; Matt. 22:21) to make the case that Americans had a biblical right to oppose tyrannical governments. These facts are ignored by today's scholars, and skeptics. Instead, they reference Paine's The Age of Reason as the work they claim proves America was founded on Enlightenment principles. Hogwash! The first part wasn't published until 1794. Even Paine's friends denounced him for his views. John Adams called Paine a "blackguard" who wrote out of the depths of "a malignant heart." George Washington, previously one of Paine's fiercest advocates, attacked Paine's principles in his Farewell Address (without referring to his name) as unpatriotic and subversive. But you would never know any of these facts if you sat through a history lecture on the period in a modern-day college classroom.

But here's something else you will probably have never hear: Paine's Age of Reason was thoroughly refuted by Elias Boudinot in his masterful book The Age of Revelation. Never heard of Boudinot? I'm not surprised. It's because Boudinot was a real Founding Father who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, signed the Treaty of Paris, helped design the Great Seal of the United States, served as Director of the United States Mint, founded the American Bible Society, and proposed a resolution (that passed) just after the ratification of the First Amendment that called on the President to issue a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Boudinot said he "could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings he had poured down upon them." You won't find any of these inconvenient truths in today's textbooks.

Boudinot believed it was Paine's popularity with his 1776 Common Sense that attracted people to The Age of Reason. It's in this book that Paine declares that the Bible is more "the word of a demon than the word of God" being "a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind." When Boudinot heard that "thousands of copies of the Age of Reason had been sold at public." he decided to write a refutation of the incendiary work. Boudinot was a man ahead of his time. He understood that young people would be the most susceptible to Paine's arguments. Little has changed in 200 years.


Franklin, John Adams and Jefferson writing the DeclarationThe opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence in which Thomas Jefferson also provided the draft for the Declaration):

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." The second paragraph continues: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...."

"Unalienable rights" are "entitled" if they do not violate "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" which lays out the boundaries and rules for America's Laws, just as athletes are "entitled" to play according to the boundaries and rules of their sport. Otherwise there would be chaos. Civil Rights and Liberties are "entitled" by "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Yet marriage is being redefined and schools are now teaching our children that which "goes against nature" is normal. What then is the real "hate crime?" Being out of the boundaries of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," as is homosexuality, depicts the chaos in the facts and consequences of that lifestyle. Or did Thomas Jefferson write the opening paragraph in vain, but not a letter to the Baptists?

What is the "new and improved" basis in determining how "Rights" are "entitled?" What new wisdom is being employed? Has the word "nature" also been redefined to a new an improved "politically correct" secular liberal definition which excludes "moral virtue," responsibility and commitment?

"In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator."  Samuel Adams (letter to the Legislature of Massachusetts, 17 January 1794) Reference: Original Intent, Barton (224); original The Writings of Samuel Adams, Cushing, ed., vol. 4 (356)

"The moral precepts delivered in the sacred oracles form a part of the law of nature, are of the same origin and of the same obligation, operating universally and perpetually."  James Wilson (Of the Law of Nature, 1804) Reference: The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, Wilson, ed., vol. 1 (137-138)

Justice William O. Douglas of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1961 case of McGowan vs. Maryland: "The institutions of our society are founded on the belief that there is an authority higher than the authority of the State; that there is a moral law which the State is powerless to alter; that the individual possess rights, conferred by the Creator which government must respect. The Declaration Of Independence stated the now familiar theme: '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.' And the body of the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights enshrined these principles."  (The following year, prayer was removed from schools.)

"Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both." James Wilson - Reference: The Works of James Wilson, McCloskey, ed., 125.

"In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man, these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress." Calvin Coolidge


The origin of this statement from Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) Knight, King's Counsel, Solicitor to the Queen, Member of Parliament, and a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas and the King's Bench. Book 1, Section II of the Commentaries, entitled "Of the Nature of Laws in General."  Precisely: "This law of nature, being coeval [existing at the same time - ed.] with mankind, and 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; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original."

And: "This law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and 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 in validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original."

"Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered [permitted] to contradict these." William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 vols. (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, [1765-1769] 1979), 1:38, 41, 42.

Thomas Jefferson further complies when he said "A free people claim their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." AND "[It is] God who 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 of God?"

This means God, not the State, nor the Federal Government is the author of "Rights," according to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," regardless of what the ACLU or the "despotic branch" would coerce us into believing.

So why do liberals, despotic judges and the ACLU believe otherwise? And if these quotes from Jefferson properly represents his intent for our Nation, then why does the liberal left continue to misrepresent a letter he wrote to the Baptists and twist the phrase "Separation of Church and State" to deceive and steal America's Christian Heritage? And why are they getting away with it?

Therefore, the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore, justice comes out perverted. Habakkuk 1:4 (NASB)

Cicero - "Power and the law are not synonymous. In truth they are frequently in opposition and irreconcilable. There is God's Law from which all equitable laws of man emerge and by which men must live if they are not to die in oppression, chaos and despair. Divorces from God's eternal and immutable Law, established before the founding of the suns, man's power is evil no matter the noble words with which it is employed or the motives urged when enforcing it. Men of good will, mindful therefore of the Law laid down by God, will oppose government whose rule is by men and, if they wish to survive as a nation, they will destroy that government which attempts to adjudicate by the whim or power of venal judges."


Courtesy Library of CongressFirst Prayer in Congress

As recorded in the Journals of the Continental Congress the Rev. Mr. Jacob Duche, an Episcopal clergyman, was invited to open the First Congress with prayer which was held in Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, PA. The Rev. Mr. Duche first read Psalms 35 from the Psalter for the Seventh day of September, 1774, then proceeded to extemporaneously pray the following prayer:

"Be Thou present O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that Order, Harmony and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people. Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seeth expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the Name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior, Amen."

Washington was kneeling there, and Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood bowed in reverence, the Puritan Patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. It was believed that Boston had been bombarded and destroyed.

They prayed fervently "for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston," and who can realize the emotion with which they turned imploringly to Heaven for Divine interposition and - "It was enough" says Mr. Adams, "to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave pacific Quakers of Philadelphia."


"The day of our nation's birth in that little hall in Philadelphia, [was] a day on which debate had raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who had flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign the Declaration of Independence was such an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words 'treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe,' and the issue remained in doubt. [On that day] 56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor... In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should." Ronald Reagan

"In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man—these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress." Calvin Coolidge

"May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them." Thomas Jefferson


Further Resources:

Here follows, in alphabetical order, a small sample of how other notable Founders expressed their faith. By Mark Alexander

John Adams: The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. ... The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.

Samuel Adams: I [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins. ... I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world ... bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace. ... We may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid ... [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

John Hancock: That the spiritual kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be continually increasing until the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

Patrick Henry: Being a Christian ... is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. ... The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. ... This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one, which will make them rich indeed.

John Jay: Condescend, merciful Father! to grant as far as proper these imperfect petitions, to accept these inadequate thanksgivings, and to pardon whatever of sin hath mingled in them for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior; unto Whom, with Thee, and the blessed Spirit, ever one God, be rendered all honor and glory, now and forever. ... The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts. ... Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

Thomas Jefferson: I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others. ... I am a real Christian -- that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.

James Madison: I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.

I saved my favorite quote on Christmas for last: "How many observe Christ's birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments." --Benjamin Franklin (1743)

My point in listing these snippets of wisdom from our Founders is to make the case plain that the Left's proscription on the expression of faith, censorship that is antithetical to the very existence of our Constitution and Liberty, will not cease until such expressions have been expelled from all public venues and forums. Then, and only then, can the rule of men fully supersede the Rule of Law. 

The extinction of Deism: Historical riddle solved & lessons for today By Fred Hutchison - Deism had a rapid rise to popularity and an even more rapid fall into oblivion. The rapid extinction of the once popular and politically influential Deism in the early nineteenth century is an old riddle of history -- which has now been solved by Avery Cardinal Dulles with important lessons for today. Deism is the belief that after God created the world and gave man reason, He retreated and left man to fend for himself, trusting man to use reason to solve all His problems. Man was expected to use reason to discover the laws of nature and employ them for his benefit and to discover the Universal Moral Law and obey it. Mainstream Deism included a Last Judgment based upon the individual's obedience or disobedience to the moral law. Some Deists believed in divine providence, but not in answers to prayer or miracles.

The rise of Deism Deism was invented in the late seventeenth century in England and was inspired by the philosophers and scientists of the Age of Reason. Deism was probably the inspiration for the creation of Masonry (or Freemasonry) in England in the early eighteenth century. Contrary to many popular myths and slanders about Masonry, mainstream English and American Masonry is essentially a form of Deism in its relationship to God and its rationalistic, moralistic, fraternal, and philanthropic character. It is not Christian, but welcomes all monotheists including Christians as members. Masonry is a quaint vestige of the now extinct eighteenth century quasi-religion/philosophy of Deism. ...The extinction of Deism Avery Cardinal Dulles provided seven reasons for the collapse of Deism in The Deist Minimum published in the bimonthly First Things. I have deduced six additional reasons. First, let's hear from the Cardinal. (Click here for the 13 reasons.)

David Barton of Wallbuilders.com is an historian who speaks around the country to share the truth about the American founding, using the original writings of the Founders. This information is no longer presented in our public schools, but it was for the first 200+ centuries of our nation's existence. Here are the You Tube links where you can hear this history, in the Founders' words. I hope you'll share this with others after viewing, even to Deists.

--- http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F53E14803F7CF0DD&search_query=david+barton+wallbuilders  
--- Is America A Christian Nation? (1 of 5)
--- Is America A Christian Nation? (2 of 5)
--- Is America A Christian Nation? (3 of 5)
--- Is America A Christian Nation? (4 of 5)
--- Is America A Christian Nation? (5 of 5)

ConSource Updates: Founders Drafts of the Constitution Founders' Drafts of the Constitution Manuscripts added to ConSource.org There is a new ConSource collection up on ConSource.org. We have added the Founder's Drafts of the Constitution, a wonderful collection of the unique edits and notes George Washington, John Dickenson, and James Wilson took at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. We encourage visitors to get on ConSource.org and to view the images of these original manuscripts click here. We will continue to add other various delegates notes as well as the transcriptions of those already posted.

Claremont Institute: Religious Liberty - The View from the Founding

How the Ten Commandments are expressed in civil Law in American History

In America's Beginning, Students and Politicians Studied the Bible

Heritage Foundation scholar Joe Postell has helpfully rounded up resources for citizens to learn about the nation's highest law. September 17 is Constitution Day. On this date in 1787, 39 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document that would eventually be ratified and enshrined as our fundamental law. Recently, many have observed the relative decline of civic knowledge among American citizens, and have taken steps to improve our understanding of our fundamental law, the limited government which it creates, and the basic liberties which it is designed to protect.

Republic vs. Democracy - (Video 10:35) "A Republic, If You Can Keep It" - The American Form of Government (More: Republic vs. Democracy)

Freedom of Expression - National Paralegal College Constitutional Law & Criminal Procedure - First Amendment: The relevant portion of the First Amendment, passed in 1791, reads "Congress shall make no law" abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble ...Clearly there must be some limits on the freedom of expression, and these will be explored in detail later in this Chapter. Not every example of expression which is subject to First Amendment protection will be permissible in every context.

Back to America's Christian Heritage Index


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