How important was religion to the Founding Fathers of the United States of America? There are literally hundreds of founders’ quotes documenting their beliefs that religion and morality in government were of primary importance. As you read these selections by several of the men who helped frame our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, you’ll see it was foremost in their thinking. Should it be any less so in our own hearts and minds? The following statements by the illustrious founding fathers provide a stark contrast to what we see unfolding in today’s government.
JOHN ADAMS, signer of the Declaration of Independence and second President of the United States
“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”
SAMUEL ADAMS, signer of the Declaration of Independence
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”
FISHER AMES, framer of the First Amendment
“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws and habits … it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men … We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe … that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests, our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and by-word down to future ages … I … move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business …”
BENJAMIN RUSH, signer of the Declaration of Independence
“The 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.
JAMES WILSON, signer of the Constitution
“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.”