7/17/2024

THE ROLE OF RELIGION AND MORALITY IN A FREE REPUBLIC

On Thursday evening, Donald Trump Trump closed a Republican National Convention, filled with prayers and expressions of faith in Jesus Christ, with a speech in which he said, "I am here by the grace of Almighty God." It was too much "God" for many Democrats and one liberal journalist derisively wrote, "Though the RNC meant to pitch a big tent, it ended up being a tent revival."  


This, of course, has reignited arguments about the role of religion, particularly Christianity, in American politics. Also, the attempted assassination of Trump has renewed arguments about the need to curtail rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, such as freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. 


Those who want to limit these rights argue that unregulated hate speech can stir violent reactions, often with guns, and laws must be put in place to limit and regulate both. Opponents argue that this would be a violation of rights guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 


America's Founders Had the Answer


America’s founders had an answer to this problem, but from a completely different perspective. The restraints they advocated were religious and moral. They believed that only a religious and moral people would be capable of enjoying the freedoms they had enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. An irreligious and amoral people, they believed, would turn freedom into lawlessness and anarchy.

This is why George Washington, in his 1796 Farewell Address, urged the new nation to maintain "religion" and "morality," which he called "indispensable" supports for national prosperity. Interestingly, Washington did not see religion as something to be "tolerated," but as something "indispensable" for the life of the nation.

In this same Address, Washington called religion and morality “those great pillars of human happiness” and he warned against indulging the supposition that morality could be had apart from religion. “Both reason and experience,” he said, “forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 165).

By "religion" Washington meant Christianity, and like the other Founders, he believed that only Christianity provided the intellectual and moral underpinnings for a stable and prosperous society. John Adams made this clear in a 1798 speech in which he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

Thomas Jefferson completely agreed with Washington's Farewell Address and he made it required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded. Jefferson also said, "The philosophy of Jesus is the most sublime and benevolent code of morals ever offered to man. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen."

Indeed, the Founders believed that the teachings of Jesus and the entire Bible would awaken the best in the human heart and be a constraining force on the baser elements of human nature. This is why Dr. Benjamin Rush, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, declared,

The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 163).

Understanding the First Amendment

The opening clause of the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion nor hindering the free exercise thereof.” This was not a rejection of religion, for the day after ratifying the First Amendment, those same Founders proclaimed a national day of prayer and thanksgiving.

The First Amendment merely blocked Congress from ever establishing a European-style, official state church. The First Amendment created in America a free and open marketplace for the exchange and propagation of religious ideas and teachings without government interference. 

The Founders believed such religious liberty, influencing every part of society, to be necessary for a stable and prosperous nation. And this was still the American way in 1831 when the French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America to study her institutions.

After spending six months travelling throughout the land, he concluded that Americans had so merged Christianity with civil liberty in their thinking that it was impossible to make them conceive of one without the other. He wrote, "From the beginning, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved." These facts led the late Dr. Michael Novak to declare, 

Far from having a hostility toward religion, the Founders counted on religion [Christianity] for the underlying philosophy of the republic, its supporting ethic, and its reliable source of rejuvenation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 171).

The Choice for America is Clear

Fast forward to 2024 and for the past 70 years America has been in the process of eradicating the very things -- Religion and Morality -- her Founders said would preserve her. Crosses, Christian symbols, and Ten Commandments displays  have been systematically removed from public properties. Prayer and Bible reading have been banned from public schools. 

The consequences have been devastating with failing test scores, moral confusion, and horrendous school shootings. This is why it is so refreshing to read of Louisiana  requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in the public classroom. Other states, including Texas, are promising to follow suit. 

This could signal a turn in the direction that will save America from the deadly, un-American idea that the answer for every problem is more government regulation. As James Madison is reported to have said,

We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future . . . upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots (Second Edition), 172).

After watching the RNC this week, I would say that the choice for America is quite clear. We will either choose leaders who believe we should be a free people, governed from within by Christian principles of morality and ethics, or we will choose leaders who want to control us from without with burdensome laws and tyrannical authority. As William Penn put it, "Those who will not be governed by God, must be ruled by tyrants."

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America from which the above article has been derived. He is on a quest to "Save America"  by reconnecting this current generation with the nation's severed roots in Faith and Freedom. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com




7/15/2024

THE MARXIST PLAN TO TAKE OVER AMERICA

And How We Can Stop It

A vital part of the Marxist strategy to take over a nation is to rewrite its history and thereby destroy its heritage. Karl Marx himself said, “People without a heritage are easily persuaded.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who spent eight years in a Soviet labor camp, observed how the Marxist Bolshevik’s separated the Russian people from their Christian past, and wrote, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.”

If America is to survive, we must reclaim our Christian heritage, which secularist and Marxist historians have destroyed by rewriting our history. Modern textbooks leave out the significant roles of faith and prayer in the founding of this nation. In their place, they emphasize the influence of the secularist Enlightenment out of Europe, and of slavery, and they demonize the founders as wicked and evil men.

As a result, a generation has arisen that knows little or nothing of America’s true founding out of the Great Awakening, which spiritually and morally transformed Colonial America and had a direct bearing on both founding of this country and the ending of slavery on this continent. We are now at the place Carl Sandburg, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, spoke about when he said,

When a nation goes down or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along.

Yes, the political fight is very important and every Christian should vote on November 5. However, another election will not save America. If America is to be saved, we must reclaim our Christian Heritage. And we must do it now, for as Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

In 2010 God supernaturally called me to play an important part in reclaiming America’s Christian Heritage. Since that time have written five books documenting how the Great Awakening, birthed in faith and prayer, had a direct bearing on both the founding of this nation and the ending of slavery on this continent. I have also just completed a 5-Lesson PowerPoint course based on these writings.

The challenge now is to get them into the hands of as many people possible between now and November 5. If you are not already partnering with us through Hyatt Int’l Ministries, I ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with us in prayer and a monthly financial gift until the end of this year.

This will enable us to get these materials into the hands of as many people as possible, including political and Christian leaders, between now and November 5. The America of Washington, Jefferson, Douglass, and King can be saved!

Eddie Hyatt


To give by Paypal, go to our website and click the Donate button in the top right corner. http://eddiehyatt.com/

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Send checks to Save America - P.O. Box 3877 - Grapevine, TX 76099





7/09/2024

AMERICA'S CHRISTIAN BIRTH: THE UNTOLD STORY

Below are five outstanding PowerPoint videos that document how America was birthed out of a Great Spiritual Awakening, which also unleashed anti-slavery outrage that turned America's Founders against slavery and brought about the end of slavery on the American Continent.

The Original American Vision - Lesson 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIu0EigwDMQ
We have been taught that the first immigrants to this land, such as the Pilgrims, were fleeing religious persecution. That is true, but that is only part of the story. There was also a proactive vision that was drawing them to America.

The Great Awakening - Lesson 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVF2c4xyauY
Beginning in 1726, a great, spiritual awakening engulfed the American colonies with entire towns repenting and turning to God. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "It seemed as if the whole world was growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing Psalms being sung by families on every street."

Slavery and the Great Awakening - Lesson 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLfyTt-kbXw
The Great Awakening ignited a powerful anti-slavery movement that resulted in America's Founding Fathers turning against slavery at a time that it was accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and most of the world.

A Nation is Born from the Awakening - Lesson 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0nX0QsU3po
The impact of the Great Awakening is obvious in America's founding because of the prominence of Bible reading and prayer in all the proceedings.

America's Founding Fathers - Lesson 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt0WXKXjXyc
This lesson is an overview of the Founding Fathers, their character and faith, and what it was that set them apart from the rest of society.

The textbooks for this course are available from Amazon and Eddie's website at http://eddiehyatt.com. If you would like to invite Dr. Hyatt to present one or all of these teachings in your church or venue, contact him at DrEddieHyatt@gmail.com

7/07/2024

THE PROUD AND ARROGANT ARE COMING DOWN

While preaching and elaborating on the dramatic encounter of Saul of Tarsus with Jesus on the Damascus Road, something unusual happened. As I began commenting on Acts 9:6, something stirred deep in my heart. I suddenly stopped in the middle of my message and found myself praying, “O God, bring down the proud and arrogant leaders in our nation, both political and religious.”

Acts 9:6, where this experience occurred, reads, So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do you want me to do” Saul, who was on his way to Damascus to arrest followers of Jesus, had been struck down by a bright light from heaven. Lying in the dust, he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? Astonished and trembling, he inquired as to the identity of the voice and heard, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting (Acts 9:5).

As I elaborated on these passages, I was so taken at how shattered Paul must have been lying in the dust of the Damascus Road, having encountered the risen Lord. His world had suddenly been turned upside down. It was at that moment that I spontaneously prayed to God that He would bring down the proud and arrogant leaders in our nation, both political and religious.

God Hates Pride

God hates pride and both James 4:6 and I Peter 5:5 quote Proverbs 3:34 that warns, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Paul warned against putting a novice (one new to the faith) into a place of leadership, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil (I Timothy 3:6).

Pride is deadly because it asserts the “self” or ego against God. The middle letter of pride is “I.” Pride is the root of all sin, for the end of all sin is self-gratification. It was pride that brought down the beautiful archangel, Lucifer. It was pride that caused our first parents to declare their independence from God and think they could be gods and make it on their own.

Their prideful action plunged the world into what is theologically known as the fall, which opened the door to sin, evil and death. No wonder that Proverbs 16:18 warns, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Pride Destroys Revival

Charles Finney, who has been called the Prince of Revivalists, commented on how in the midst of a revival Christians often “sin against their own mercies,” because they get lifted up with their success, take the credit to themselves, and do not give glory to God.” He further elaborated, saying,

Perhaps it has been published in the papers what a great revival there has been in that church, so that they begin to think how high they will stand in the estimation of other churches all over the land, because they have had such a great revival. And they get puffed up and vain and they can no longer enjoy the presence of God. The Spirit of God withdraws from them, and the revival ceases.

Some years ago I was sitting in a “Revival Now” conference when I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to bow down before the Lord. I considered how to respond for it was during a time when people were being invited to come forward and stand to receive prayer. The urge to bow before the Lord intensified and I finally turned and bowed at my seat. As soon as my knees touched the floor, I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

I am going to be doing some incredible things in the days ahead; and when you see My power and My glory, this is to always be your posture. You are to bow down and acknowledge that I am the Sovereign Lord of this universe.”

I believe God is dealing with pride in America and in the American church. The proud and arrogant are coming down. Isaiah 33:11 says, The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

The Power of Humility & Prayer

I have done extensive research into America’s origins, and one thing that has deeply impressed me was their emphasis on both “prayer and humiliation.” For several generations, the first immigrants to America, and later America’s founders, would set aside days for what they called “prayer and humiliation.”

It was not a time of groveling or self-flagellation, but a time of confessing the sin of pride and the sin of trusting in themselves and their own strength instead of totally relying on the Lord. Out of their days of “prayer and humiliation” emerged the most powerful nation on earth.

We should not be surprised for God promises that those who will humble themselves, He will exalt. I Peter 5:6 says, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. Isaiah 66:3 says, These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word (NIV).

It is time that we as American Christians humbled ourselves before God, confessed that in our pride we have relied on our own strength and talents, and confess how much we need Him. This is necessary if we are to see another Great Awakening across the land. On the other hand, if we do not humble ourselves, we can expect to be humbled. The proud and arrogant are coming down.

 Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, revivalist and Bible teacher. His books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and America's Revival Heritage (Second Edition) document the power of prayer and humility in the founding of America. They are available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.  

7/03/2024

THREE IMPORTANT FACTS EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT 1776

On July 4th America will celebrate her 248th birthday. Many are wondering if she can survive the current political, economic, cultural, and moral crises that presently envelop her. Below are three important facts about America this generation desperately needs to know—facts that can carry her through the current crises.


Fact #1
America was Birthed Out of a Great Spiritual Awakening

When George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, came to America to preach the Gospel for the first time in 1738, his prayer was that the American colonists would “no longer live as 13 divided colonies but as one nation under God.”

His incessant travels up and down the eastern seaboard, with thousands coming out to hear him preach in the open air, played a vital role in seeing his prayer answered.  Denominational, cultural, and racial walls were breached and for the first they began to see themselves as a single people with one divine destiny.

In this First Great Awakening, which began in 1726, entire towns were transformed up and down the eastern seaboard. So great was the change that a British appointed governor wrote to his superiors in England, “If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.”

These facts led the late historian and Harvard professor, Perry Miller, to declare, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening.”

Fact #2
America’s Founders Were Not Racists

Out of the Great Awakening, an anti-slavery movement was ignited that led to virtually every Founding Father, including those who owned slaves, taking a public stand against it. George Washington, for example, declared, “There is not a man living who wishes more than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.”

The Declaration of Independence, with its colorblind language and statement that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," was understood by the founding generation to be a statement against slavery.

Indeed, abolitionists used both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S.  Constitution, which came 11 years later, as weapons in the fight against slavery. Because the Founders took this stand at a time when slavery was accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and most of the world, Frederick Douglass would declare,

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too—great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men.

Fact #3
America Has Been Sustained by National Spiritual Awakenings

By the dawn of the 19th century, a generation had arisen that knew little of the Great Awakening of the previous century that had given birth to the nation. Spiritual indifference, immorality, and agnosticism seemed to pervade the land, prompting many churches to designate days and seasons for prayer and fasting for another “revival of religion.”

In response to their prayers, another Great Awakening rolled across the land like a giant tsunami wave.  Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), the circuit-riding, Methodist revivalist of the era, said, “The work went on and spread almost in every direction gathering additional force till our country seemed all coming to God.” The noted historian, Dr. Mark A. Knoll, called it, “The most influential revival of Christianity in the history of the United States.”

There was also a Third Great Awakening that brought the nation through its most trying time—a horrible Civil War. In my book, America’s Revival Heritage, Second Edition, I document what I believe was a Fourth Great Awakening that sustained the nation through another perilous time in her history.

The Conclusion of the Matter

Yes, in her most critical moments, America has been sustained by heaven-sent spiritual awakenings. It would seem, therefore, that Revival is in our national DNA. Knowing this adds confidence to our prayers that God will send another Great Awakening that will sweep across the land and save America from this present critical and dangerous moment in which she finds herself.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and America's Revival Heritage, Second Edition, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

6/25/2024

GOD'S WORD TO AMERICA'S COMPROMISED EVANGELICAL CHURCHES

With the shocking revelations of the moral sins of pastors of well-known mega churches, I am reminded of something the Lord said to me in 2015 shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage.

It happened late one night as I sat in my chair grieving about America’s cultural descent into moral confusion and depravity. I also grieved at the feckless state of the Church, seemingly unable to stand against this tide of godlessness. I then heard the Lord speak clearly in my heart, “There is a lesson for today's Church from the life of Samson.”

As I then read and reread the life of Samson in Judges 16, it was clear that the word God wanted to speak to the Church concerned the word, “Consecration.” With the new and startling revelations of the moral failures of well-known Christian leaders, it seems appropriate and timely to share this message once again.

The Power of a Consecrated Life

Samson was consecrated as a Nazirite while in his mother’s womb. "Nazirite" comes from the Hebrew word Nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated.” The Nazirite vow was a solemn commitment that Samson would live a “separated” life unto God, wholly dedicated to His purpose. The outward sign of this consecration was that he would never cut his hair.

So long as Samson lived in this consecration, he was invincible. He was able to face and overcome everything the enemies of God threw against him. On one occasion he alone killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.

That his life of consecration was the secret of his power was made obvious when he compromised his consecration and lost his power. He compromised his consecration by consorting with a Philistine woman named Delilah and revealing to her the secret of his power. Falling asleep on her lap, she called in the Philistine warriors who cut off his hair while he slept.

When Samson compromised his consecration to God, he was no longer able to face the enemies of God. Shorn of his locks and his power, Samson was taken captive by the Philistines who gouged out his eyes, bound him with bronze fetters, and put him to work pushing a turnstile in a circle all day grinding grain. How the mighty had fallen!

Consecration Lacking in the Modern Church

When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach the Good News, He did not tell them to make people into Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics or Assemblies of God. He did not tell them to make church members. They were, instead, to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).

It is easy to become a church member. It is not so easy to become a disciple. A “disciple” is a committed learner and follower. Consecration is required of a disciple. In Luke 14:33 Jesus said, So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

The cost of discipleship being absolute consecration to Him was made clear by Jesus on different occasions. For example, in Matthew 10:37-39 He exhorted the crowds,

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lost it, and he who loses it for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:37-39).

Interestingly, neither Jesus or Paul ever used the word “Christian.” In fact, it is found only twice in the entire New Testament. Acts 11:26 reveals that “Christian” was a word first used by outsiders in referring to the disciples of Christ because their lives were so centered on Him. It reads, And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch

Is it possible that today’s Church lacks the power to face down the rampant secularism and immorality engulfing our culture because, like Samson, we have compromised our consecration to God? Have we been focused on increasing church membership and gaining followers on social media rather than making real disciples of Jesus?

The scandals rocking so many mega churches and ministries are like the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" and they indicate that consecration is missing in both pulpit and pew. In the deceitfulness of our hearts, we have imagined that we could have gifts without fruit and power without purity. There is hope for America but there must come a widespread renewal of consecration among Christians throughout the land.

There is Still Hope for the American Church

Even in his weakened and broken state, there was hope for Samson. Judges 16:22 tells how Samson’s hair began to grow as he toiled day after day in the prison. This was an outward sign that there was a renewal of his Nazirite consecration to God.

Then one day, during a festive celebration attended by thousands in a massive theater, the Philistines brought out Samson to entertain the gathered throng as an object of mirth and ridicule. He was forced to “perform” for the crowd so they could revel in the humiliation and devastation of their archenemy who had caused them so much pain.

What the Philistines did not realize was that Samson’s hair had grown back—at least to a degree. His consecration had been renewed and there would now be one final display of God’s power through him.

Like Samson, when the Church compromises its consecration and loses its power, it becomes an object of mirth and ridicule to this world. We will not gain the respect of contemporary culture by compromising with it, but by standing firm in our consecration to God and commitment to His truth. He will then confirm His message with demonstrations of His power in our midst, as He did with Samson.

After being taunted, mocked, and ridiculed, a young lad led the blind and broken Samson to a place between the two giant pillars that supported the stadium. Samson placed a hand on each pillar, and prayed, Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God!

Samson no longer feared death. He wanted victory again more than life itself. As he pushed against the two pillars with all his might, he cried out to God, Let me die with the Philistines! The two pillars gave way, and the stadium came crashing down killing thousands of Philistines, and Samson with them.

God Has More for Us

Judges 16:30 tells us that Samson killed more Philistines at this death than in his life. In a similar way, I believe the American church could see a mighty outpouring of God’s Spirit that could exceed all the Awakenings that have occurred in her young history.

We know America is not destined to last forever but will someday come to an end. However, God raised up America for a purpose and it was made very clear to me in September of 2010 that He is not yet finished with America. 

At that time, I saw clearly that America “could” see another Great Awakening that would revive the churches of America, impact the culture, and stem the tide of secularism and immorality that is flooding the land. I documented all this in the book, America's Revival Heritage.  

Those past Awakenings, however, began with renewals of consecration. Jonathan Edwards was grieved by the immorality and spiritual indifference he saw all around him. He came to the place where he desired a heaven-sent revival more that life itself, and he prayed to God with great passion, “Give me New England or let me die.”

What came of that consecration and prayer was a revival that became known as the “Great Awakening” because entire cities and towns were suddenly awakened to the realities of eternity, sin, heaven, hell, and salvation through Christ. As documented in my book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, this Awakening had a direct bearing on both the founding of America and the ending of slavery on this continent.

Yes, we can see another national Awakening, but it will require a renewal of consecration as expressed in the well-known hymn, “I Surrender All.”

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, Bible teacher, and revivalist who is convinced that God is not finished with America. This article is derived from his books, 1726:The Year that Defined America and America's Revival Heritage, Second Editionavailable from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.






6/20/2024

CONFRONTING THE "SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE" MYTH

Why Thomas Jefferson Would Agree with Governor Jeff Landry

On Wednesday June 19, Governor Jeff Landry of Louisiana signed into law a bill requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public schools. Secular organizations like the ACLU immediately threatened lawsuits because, according to them, it violates the “separation of church and state.”

However, the phrase “Separation of Church and State” is nowhere to be found in America’s founding documents. It was never used by any of the Founders. It is a myth created by anti-Christian activists who want to purge the nation of its Christian heritage.

A Distortion of Jefferson’s Words

The phrase is a distortion of Jefferson’s words in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut dated January 1, 1802. In the letter, Jefferson addressed their concerns about how they would be treated in the new nation.

They had reason for concern for, throughout Europe, the Baptists had been an outlawed Christian sect, severely persecuted by the state and the state-sanctioned churches, both Catholic and Protestant. They were imprisoned and put to death because they refused to conform to the official church doctrines and practices imposed by the state.

In his response, President Jefferson quoted that part of the First Amendment which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." He assured the Baptists that this meant that, in America, a "wall of separation” had been erected that would protect them from the intrusion of the state.

Jefferson’s “wall of separation” was obviously unidirectional, in place to keep the government out of the church, not to keep God out of the government. His own actions affirm this, for as president, he took money from the federal treasury to pay for a missionary to the Kaskaskia Indian tribe and to build a church building for them in which to worship (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 149).

The View of the Founders is Clear

The words and deeds of the Founders make it clear that they never intended a “separation of church and state.” When George Washington took the first presidential oath of office with his hand on "Bible" and swore to protect and defend the "Constitution," it expressed his belief that only the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, provided the moral and intellectual underpinnings for a stable and prosperous nation. 

Demonstrating that they had no intention of separating God from government, the day after ratifying the First Amendment, the Founders proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. They did not want an official, state church like the nations of Europe, but they had no intention of eliminating God from the public square.

John Adams expressed the consensus of the Founders when he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 168). Their position was also confirmed by Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) who served as a Supreme Court Justice for 34 years from 1811-1845. Commenting on the First Amendment, Story said,

We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference in religion, and especially to Christianity, which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 152).

The Summation of the Matter

Governor Jeff Landy is to be applauded for his courage and insight. The removal of prayer, Bible reading, and Christian symbols from the classrooms, beginning in 1963, has led to an abysmal and deadly deterioration of both morals and academics. America’s root problem is neither political or economic, but spiritual and moral. God bless Governor Jeff Landry for taking steps to get at the root of the problem. Thomas Jefferson would wholeheartedly agree!

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, Bible teacher, and revivalist who is convinced that God is not finished with America. This article is derived from his book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.