"I know most of you reading this piece of mine will be disgusted with my views within this essay and it will no doubt stimulate much disdain and anger toward me for many of my fellow Americans who read this opinion of mine. That saddens me. Why? Because an overwhelming amount of American citizens have succumbed to the trappings of religion and voluntarily forfeiedt our right of ownership for the inherently good things we have accomplished as a nation, to God. There is nothing America has accomplished that can be validated as the result of the blessings of a mythical God. More than likely, a God had nothing to do with America’s successes, just the result of the power of liberty and freedom our nation provides its citizens and the hard work and determination of those who made our successes achievable.
American citizens have succumbed to the trappings of religion and have voluntarily forfeited their right of ownership for the inherently good things we have accomplished as a nation, to God?
"The belief in a God all powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it." ~ James Madison, October 15th, 1788.
"A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven." ~ James Madison, November 9th, 1772.
"We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations." ~ James Madison, March 4th 1809.
"The first of those who ought to enjoy this precious gift, ought to be, that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet to receive it, with the number still remaining under the dominions of false religions, and how small is the former!" ~ James Madison, 1785.
Mr. Madison Sir, what is our response to be to those who are unbelievers among us and have such views as the statement in question?
"Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered." ~ James Madison, 1785.
I have here a note from Gouverneur Morris who was the writer of the final draft of the Constitution, he adds his comments by way of this quote: "Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God." ~ Gouverneur Morris, 1792.
Yes, Mr. Morse, I recognize you as having earned the title, "Father of American Geography" I yield to you Sir.
"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.
All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them." ~ Jedediah Morse, 1799.
Mr. Webster Sir, you followed in the wake of these whom we esteem as great men of our founding, would you like to address with some word and speak on these issues? I yield to you Sir.
"Lastly, our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government be secure which is not supported by moral habits. . . . Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.
Cultivated mind was to act on uncultivated nature; and more than all, a government and country were to commence, with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of the Christian religion.
Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.
Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in full conviction that that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity." ~ Daniel Webster, December 22nd, 1820.
To understand the meaning and use of the term Providence as the Founders would, I refer you to the Chapter 5 of the West Minister Confession of Faith posted below.
II. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first Fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden; from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had; and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan; whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.
VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures, so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his Church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.