June 6, 2016
The government of the United States is not in any way founded on the Christian religion.
The general principles on which the (Founding) Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.
Both statements above, by Founding Father John Adams, tell how to restore what has been the American Dream since July 4,1776: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Seemingly contradictory at first glance, and quoted oppositionally, the two statements actually support and clarify each other.
America’s Founding Fathers were not seeking to establish a church-run government and a national religion. They left England to escape that situation. On the contrary, the Founders believed, in the words of George Mason:
“All men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion (or no religion at all), according to the dictates of conscience ….”
What the Founders were seeking to establish, was a country built on strong moral values. They agreed that lasting morality and Christian principles cannot be separated in the governance of any free nation that wants to stand the test of time.
Commitment to spiritual values had nothing to do with ulterior motives on the part of the Founders to proselytize Americans to a singular worship of Christianity. The Founders themselves held a wide variety of beliefs about God. Their commitment to the “general principles of Christianity” was not because the Founders were holy, but because they were educated, rational, and pragmatic.
They wanted to build a nation that would endure. They believed that adhering to the moral values embedded in Christianity was the best way to accomplish that goal.
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” (George Washington)
“… religion is the ONLY solid base of morals, and morals are the ONLY possible support of free governments.” (Gouverneur Morris)
The moral absolutism uniformly promoted by the Founding Fathers, embodied values that are acknowledged as having their source in God. These include: honesty, truthfulness, humility, unselfishness, forgiveness, individual accountability, working together for the common good, strong moral standards for marriage and raising children, and justifying consumption via productivity.
America was thus established on these Christian principles. The impressive results were noted by those both within and without America’s borders. The most well known comment about this new country’s success is usually attributed to French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited America during the early part of the 19th century.
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her … harbors and her ample rivers – in her fertile fields and boundless forests … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
“America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
This statement was prophetic. As America has steadily abandoned its “goodness” the moral and Christian principles on which it was founded it has encountered a growing list of challenges to its greatness in the world.
#16 in Quality of Life CNN.com, 4/19/2014. How the US is lagging on quality of life
#14 in Education and #24 in Literacy Ranking America.wordpress.com, 1/6/15. The U.S. Ranks 14th in Education
#1 in Illegal Drug Use Verywell.com, 8/5/15. U.S. has highest levels of illegal drug use
#1 in Firearm Homicide Rate Council on Foreign Relations, 1/12/16. U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons. Masters, Jonathan
#1 Largest Trade Deficit About.com, 2/11/16. U.S. Trade Deficit by Country: Current Statistics and Issues
◊ Top 5 in Divorce Rates Top5ofAnything.com. Highest Divorce Rates
◊ Top 5 in Total Abortions Top5ofAnything.com. Abortion Statistics
What has caused America’s downward trajectory?
As its prosperity increased, our nation began turning a deaf ear to its Founding Fathers’ repeated warnings to maintain our Christian principles and the values that flow from them. Selfless politicians and effective statesmanship degenerated into immoral and selfish behavior; and Americans became caught up in all of what Gandhi identified as the Seven Social Sins:
- Wealth without work
- Pleasure without conscience
- Knowledge without character
- Commerce without morality
- Science without humanity
- Worship without sacrifice
- Politics without principle
Students of history could have predicted our nation’s current, monumental challenges. Like all great civilizations that preceded it, America’s future is now threatened less by physical attacks from without, than by decadent behavior, a lack of morally clear thinking and economic collapse from within.
Can our nation find its way back to “goodness”, and therefore its greatness? If so, how do we accomplish this?
Encouragement that it’s not too late for America can be found in the words of a Hebrew religious man of 2,500 years ago, who shared the same moral values as our Founding Fathers. Verbalizing the Divine Voice, the prophet Ezra, told his countrymen the starting point for rebuilding lives (and nations).
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7)
USA-Focus believes that returning to our nation’s founding principles can heal and restore our land. We believe that man still “is endowed by his Creator” with the “unalienable rights … (of) life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and the ability to reestablish their presence in our nation. But more than inspiring words are required if America is to change its direction.
The first need is to courageously confront and fully uncover the long list of political and social challenges that threaten America’s survival.
Next, we need insightful diagnoses that identify the true causes of each problem because outward appearances can often be deceiving.
Finally, once we clearly see the foundational problems, practical, specific policies must be implemented as rapidly as possible.
Ultimately, WE the PEOPLE must assume responsibility for seeing that necessary policy changes are instituted. Final accountability for our government’s actions rests not with government leaders, but with WE the PEOPLE who elected them, and have allowed them to develop and implement the many programs which threaten America’s survival.
“… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln)
USA-Focus supporters are patriots. We are committed to uncovering America’s biggest challenges, identifying their true causes, offering transformative solutions, and electing political leaders who have the moral courage and personal integrity to implement them.
To see its way forward in this endeavor, USA-Focus will look through the same lens of “Christian Principles” used by our Founding Fathers when seeing their vision of America.
Done properly, our work will fulfill American Revolutionary Thomas Paine’s conviction:
“We have it in our power to begin the world all over again!”