God and Government


Over the last few years, I’ve heard a lot about how some are extremely uncomfortable when George Bush invokes God or the name of Jesus Christ.  However, there is a long Presidential tradition of this sort of thing and here are just a select few statements from them.

By George Washington:

What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ. – in a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs, May 12th, 1779

It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.

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.

Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.

John Adams:

The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. – letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28th, 1813

We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! – April 18, 1775, on the eve of the Revolutionary War after a British major ordered John Adams, John Hancock, and those with them to disperse in “the name of George the Sovereign King of England.

[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. – letter written to Abigail Adams on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. – October 11th, 1798

Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell. – letter to Thomas Jefferson, April 19th, 1817

Thomas Jefferson:

Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.

God who gave us life 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 from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever. – Notes on the state of Virginia, 1781

It [the Bible] is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. – letter to Charles Thompson, January 9th, 1816

James Madison

…we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future. – in his first inaugural address

James Monroe:

I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrage of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protect which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor. – first inaugural address, March 4th, 1817

With a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God, I shall forwith commence the duties of the high trust to which you have called me. – second inaugural address, March 5, 1821

For these blessings we owe to Almighty God, from whom we derive them, and with profound reverence, our most grateful and unceasing acknowledgments….That these blessings may be preserved and perpetuated will be the object of my fervent and unceasing prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. – eight annual address to Congress, December 7th, 1824

John Quincy 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. – July 4th, 1821

From the day of the Declaration [of Independence]…they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct. – July 4th, 1821

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?” “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s Mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. – July 4th, 1837

Martin Van Buren:

Beyond that I only look to the gracious protection of the Divine Being whose strengthening support I humbly solicit, and whom I fervently pray to look down upon us all. May it be among the dispensations of His providence to bless our beloved country with honors and with length of days. May her ways be ways of pleasantness and all her paths be peace! – inaugural address, March 4th, 1837

James K. Polk:

I now commend you, fellow-citizens, to the guidance of  Almighty God, with a full reliance on His merciful providence for the maintenance of our free institutions, and with an earnest supplication that whatever errors it may be my lot to commit in discharging the arduous duties which have devolved on me will find a remedy in the harmony and wisdom of your counsels. – 1st annual message to Congress, December 2nd, 1845

Abraham Lincoln:

In regards to this great Book (the Bible), I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man.  All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this Book.  But for it we could not know right from wrong.  All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.

I believe I am an humble servant in the hands of our Heavenly Father.  I desire that all my words and acts may be according to His will.

…yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. – Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, March 30th, 1863

Grover Cleveland:

And let us not trust to human effort alone, but humbly acknowledging the power and goodness of Almighty God, who presides over the destiny of nations, and who has at all times been revealed in our country’s history, let us invoke His aid and His blessings upon our labors. – first inaugural address, March 4th, 1885

Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. – second inaugural address, March 4th, 1893

Theodore Roosevelt:

Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals, all the standards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves.

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.

Fear God in the true sense of the word means to love God, respect God, honor God, and all of this can only be done by loving your neighbor, treating him justly and mercifully and in all ways endeavoring to protect him from injustice and cruelty, thus obeying, as far as our human frailty will permit, the great immutable law of righteousness.

It does so rest my soul to come into the house of the Lord and worship, and to sing and to mean it, the Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, and to know that He is my Father and takes me up in His life and plans, and to commune personally with Christ.  I am sure I get a wisdom not my own, and superhuman strength, for fighting the moral evils I am called to confront.

Woodrow Wilson:

The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually. It can be saved only by becoming permeated with the spirit of Christ and being made free and happy by the practices which spring out of that spirit.

America was born a Christian Nation, America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.

Calvin Coolidge:

The foundation of our society and our government rests so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.

The past and present show faith and hope and courage fully justified. Here stands our country, an example of tranquillity at home, a patron of tranquillity abroad. Here stands its Government, aware of its might but obedient to its conscience. Here it will continue to stand, seeking peace and prosperity, solicitous for the welfare of the wage earner, promoting enterprise, developing waterways and natural resources, attentive to the intuitive counsel of womanhood, encouraging education, desiring the advancement of religion, supporting the cause of justice and honor among the nations. America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God. – inaugural address, March 4th, 1925

Herbert Hoover:

The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.

Menaced by collectivist trends, we must seek revival of our strength in the spiritual foundations which are the bedrock of our republic. Democracy is the outgrowth of the religious conviction of the sacredness of every human life. On the religious side, its highest embodiment is the Bible; on the political side, the Constitution.

This occasion is not alone the administration of the most sacred oath which can be assumed by an American citizen.  It is a dedication and consecration under God to the highest office in service of our people. I assume this trust in the humility of knowledge that only through the guidance of Almighty Providence can I hope to discharge its ever-increasing burdens. I ask help of Almighty God in this service. – inaugural address, March 4th, 1929

What the world needs today is a definite, spiritual mobilization of the nations who believe in God against the tide of Red agnosticism. It needs a moral mobilization against the hideous ideas of the police state and human slavery. And in rejecting an atheistic other world, I am confident that the Almighty God will be with us. – radio address, April 27th, 1950

Franklin D. Roosevelt:

We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity. – radio address, 1935

As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States.  Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration.  It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.  – prologue to Gideon New Testements given to soldiers in WWII.

Harry S. Truman:

The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!

Ronald Reagan:

Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face.  The Bible can touch hearts, order minds, and refresh souls.

Indeed, it is an indisputable fact that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in that single book [the Bible.]

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2 Responses

  1. Love the quotes! I’m stealing a few of them! I’ll be back to read more of your stuff!

    http://theevolutionofgod.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/thoughts-on-proposition-8/

    tim

  2. Thanks…There was a ton of stuff to pick from and I just used the ones that struck me as the best.

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