We Americans love a reason to celebrate! Is there any other national holiday that is quite as exciting as the 4th of July? Close your eyes and think about the many Independence Days which you have celebrated. What comes to mind? Barbecues, sunshine, lemonade, the feeling of grass beneath your feet, horseshoes, pie eating contests, hot dogs, swimming, fireworks. What a great celebration most of us look forward to on July 4th!
It’s a great time to share with our children why we celebrate our Independence and what philosophies our Founding Fathers used as they set out to create this great nation.
Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 24 of them held seminary degrees! Their belief in God and their Christian faith became the foundation of this nation, as well as informed the way in which our government was formed. As you look up, ahhing and ooohing at the grandeur of the fireworks displayed in the night sky, remember that this nation was built on the Word of God. Then, take a moment and remember to give God praise and thanks for our great nation. Happy Birthday United States of America!!
Here are some writings from a few of our Founding Fathers to give you and your kids a better insight to what their personal beliefs about God, faith and liberty were.
John Adams, 2nd President and signer of Declaration of Independence:
“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
–Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.
“Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.”
–Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, excerpt from a letter to Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson, 2nd President and signer of Declaration of Independence:
“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 of the Gift of 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; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”
Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution:
“I do declare to the whole world that we believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God in and to those ages in which they were written; being given forth by the Holy Ghost moving in the hearts of holy men of God; that they ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day; being used for reproof and instruction, that the man of God may be perfect. They are a declaration and testimony of heavenly things themselves, and, as such, we carry a high respect for them. We accept them as the words of God Himself.”
–Treatise of the Religion of the Quakers p. 355.
Patrick Henry, ratifier of the U.S. Constitution:
“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. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
–The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii.
“The Bible … is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”
–Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, p. 402.
About the Author: Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She works freelance in Christian media, specializing in writing, promotions and marketing. Lisa lives with her husband and their two sons in Nashville, TN.