How the Founding Fathers Viewed Separation of Church and State
Most of the Founding Fathers were devout men who believed that the new nation should provide freedom of religion for the individual citizens, and should be governed based on the principles set forth in the Bible. This would compel no one to adhere to any particularfaith, but it would provide a solid spiritual and moral framework to honor God and to protect the rights of all, whether they were Protestant, Catholic, Jew or no religion at all.
We know this by their statements and their actions.
We have stated the whole of all our political instutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government. upon the capacaiy of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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….I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.
Jesus is benevolence personified, an example for all men… The Christian religion, in its primitive purity and simplicity, I have entertained for more than sixty years. It is the religion of reason, equity, and love; it is the religion of the head and the heart
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States
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 favor.
The rights of the colonists as Christians…may be best 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.
…that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ and that the whole Earth may be filled with his glory.
John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence
Let the children…be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education.
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
We know that a number of our nation’s Founding Fathers were not Christians in the Biblical/historical sense of the word.
Many of those, however, had a respect for God and a high regard of the Christian faith.