How did Jesus influence America's founders?

There is an on-going debate on whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Were our early leaders devout believers in Jesus? Well, what did they write about themselves?

BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor


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 James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, on June 20, 1785, wrote:

Religion is the basis and Foundation of Government.

In a manuscript on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles: 

It is not the talking but the walking and working person that is the true Christian.

In his March 4, 1809 Inaugural Address:

We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations.

In 1778 statements to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia:

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.

Noah Webster, another great American whose godly influence was felt by millions of children, is known for his blue-backed speller which taught millions to read and spell. In 1828, Webster completed his American Dictionary of the English Language. He stated:

Education is useless without the Bible.

God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.

He also wrote:

In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.

Alexis de Tocqueville, the French historian, traveled throughout America in the early 1830s and wrote his observations, including:

In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, … [T]here is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth….

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

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