May 04

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Did all the “founding fathers” believe in the Bible; did they all believe in Christianity? The answer is, “No!” Just as you could go into any town across America today and ask the question and the answer would be the same; be it in the early years of America or today. Therefore, no one should be surprised to learn that not all the “founding fathers” all believed in the Bible, or that all of them believed in Christianity!
Just as we learned in the last article that James Madison was one who did not hold the Bible as from God. What Madison did believe was that there should be a “separation of church and state.” What were some of the reasons that several of the “founding fathers” expressed the view of “separation of church and state?” We have noted that Thomas Jefferson was one such! Keep in mind, that one of the major issues of the time was that the new government should not be under “church” control. This was a major thought expressed, for this was one thing they had left the countries they came from; as the Roman Catholic Church ruled much of the world and the same was true of the Church of England, in controlling the English government. In England the king was the head of the Church of England and this was one thing they had hoped to have left behind. Thus, “the separation of church and state!”
Now, let us look at the sixth President of the United States of America! John Quincy Adams served as President from 1825 – 1829; he was a statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and a diarist. He also served as: Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825, Adams also served as an ambassador, and represented Massachusetts as a United States Senator and as a member of the United States House of Representative, during his long diplomatic and political career! He was the son of John and Abigail Adams. Before getting to the thoughts of John Quincy Adams and his beliefs regarding Christianity, let us notice the thoughts of John Leland and his objection to the new Constitution, it was that it did not sufficiently secure, his view was, “if a Majority of Congress with the President favour one System more than another, they may oblige all others to pay to the support of their System as much as they please.” This well expresses the concern of many at that time. Though they may not have uttered the words, “separation of church and state,” they did not want a “state church!”
Before getting back to John Quincy Adams and his thoughts on Christianity and Bible, please notice the thoughts of George Washington and John Adams, the first and second Presidents. They were firm believers in the importance of religion for republican government. As citizens of Virginia and Massachusetts, they had what would not even be considered today! What was it? Both were very sympathetic to a general religious tax being paid by the citizens of their respective states to the churches of their choice! Yes, they believed that churches should receive tax money from the states. However, they did not believe this on a national level!
Turning our attention to a few quotes of the sixth President of the United States of America, as regarding Christianity, they were as follows:
1) “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this — it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.” (in a letter to an autograph collector, Apr. 27, 1837)
2) “The Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth … it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six -hundred years before.” (in an oration at Newburyport, Jul. 4, 1837)
3) “I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong.” (in a letter to John Adams, his father, Aug. 1, 1826)
From these three quotes it is easy to see that Christianity was important to John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States of América! It is also easy to note that he saw Christianity as a corner stone in governing America!
Here is a quote that all should note and emulate into their lives: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” (John Quincy Adams). It seems to me that these words express the true qualities of a leader!
One must keep in mind, that “the founding fathers” were yet building a nation, even through she had the sixth President in office.

Frank R. Williams

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