Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

downloadAmerica was built on a Judeo-Christian foundation. Many of the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, and their faith heavily influenced the laws they crafted. The Declaration of Independence, the document that started the United States, references God more than once. Several of the early presidents were God-fearing men, and there were a number of later presidents who looked to God for guidance as well.

George Washington

George Washington was the first president of the United States and was a devout Christian. He often referenced Divine Authority and Providence in his speeches. Washington is also reported to have regularly prayed privately. Washington’s nephew reported that Washington did devotions with a Bible in the morning and the evening.

John Adams

John Adams was the second president of the United States. He maintained that American was founded on Christian principles and requested that a blessing be said over the White House. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, Adams said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

James Madison

James Madison was a declared Episcopalian who signed a federal bill funding Bible distribution. He wrote in a 1773 letter that he “sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments…than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publically to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.”

Abraham Lincoln

Evidence indicates that Abraham Lincoln came to his Christian faith later in life. He was quoted as saying “When I left Springfield…I was not a Christian. When I buried my son…I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus.”

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was known for how seriously he took his faith. He said notably that “If we ever forget we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Similarly, he was quoted as saying, “I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”

George W. Bush

George W. Bush did not hesitate to reference God in public discourse. During a speech about the Iraq War, Bush said, “As we continue to fight against terror, we ask the Almighty to protect all those who battle for freedom throughout the world and our brave men and women in uniform, and we ask Him to shield innocents from harm. We recognize the sacrifice of our military families and ask God to grant them peace and strength. We will not forget the men and women who have fallen in service to America and to the cause of freedom. We pray that their loved ones will receive God’s comfort and grace.”

America has had many presidents who saw God’s hand in America’s history. Their faith may not be what put them in the history books, but it guided the actions that history does remember.

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