The massacre at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, TX left ten dead and shocked the nation once again. The response has been predictable by the media “experts” and political talking heads. The answer is more laws, more guards and better security.  Sadly, few voices are addressing the root of the problem, which is spiritual and moral.
Rejecting Christian Morality is Having Consequences
William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, wisely stated, “Those who will not be governed by God must be ruled by tyrants.” Fifty-five years ago, the nation’s highest court decided that America’s public schools would not be governed by God and we are suffering the consequences with 22 school shootings so far this year, teachers having sex with students and students attacking teaches as well as one another.
It was in 1963 that the Supreme Court banned prayer and Bible reading in public schools. Since that time there has been an all-out attempt by clueless secularists to purge every vestige of Christian influence, not realizing that freedom and Christianity are indissolubly linked.
This anti-Christian crusade has led to crosses and ten commandment displays being removed, coaches being told they can’t bow in prayer with their players, school bands being barred from playing Christian songs and valedictorians being told they cannot talk about their faith at graduation. 

Actions have consequences and this rejection of Christian morality has led to the breakdown of the traditional family and a culture with no moral compass, adrift on a sea of moral relativism.
The consequences of refusing to be governed by God are obvious. I attended high school in the 1960s in a rural area of northeast Texas. Every home had guns and most of my friends owned hunting rifles. Even through there were few regulations, there were no school shootings and inappropriate use of firearms were rare.
We were governed from within by the moral constraints of a Christian culture. There were strong families, vibrant churches and schools where prayer was offered before every special event and teachers were free to talk about their faith. Even those who did not attend church had a respect for God. When someone would pray at the beginning of a sporting or social event, you would see hats being removed throughout the stadium, showing honor to God and that sacred moment of prayer.
The biggest problems in school at that time were chewing gum in glass, being out of your seat or talking without permission and being late with an assignment. My how things have changed since our brilliant jurists and politicians have decided we would not be governed by God!
As Penn pointed out, the only alternative to not being governed by God is tyranny, i.e., taking away individual liberty by passing more and more stringent laws in hope of regulating the bad behavior of a society that is no longer governed by God.
Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin Speak Out
America’s Founders understood this and stated that they had formulated the U.S. Constitution for a Christian and moral people who would be self-governed from within. John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In his Farewell address after serving two terms as America’s first president, George Washington declared, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion [Christianity] and morality are indispensable supports.” He goes on to say that the person who would “labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness” can never claim to be an American patriot.
Thomas Jefferson was in complete agreement and he made Washington’s Farewell Address required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded. Notice that Washington did not call religion optional. The word he used was “indispensable” and Jefferson obviously agreed. It should be remembered that when the Founders used the word “religion” they were referring to Christianity.
Jefferson may have had questions at times about certain aspects of Christian doctrine, but there is no question that he saw Christianity as providing the moral and intellectual system necessary for a stable society. Having read the Koran and the literature of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Enlightenment, he stated, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.”
Jefferson’s commitment to Christian values is why he closed all presidential documents with the appellation, “In the year of our Lord Christ.” It is also why he took money from the federal treasury to pay for missionaries to work among the Kaskasia Indian tribe and to build them a building in which to worship.
Benjamin Franklin also expressed questions at times about certain aspects of Christian doctrine, but through his Puritan roots and close friendship with George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, he became convinced that Christian values are necessary for a stable society. He once said, "The moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen, or can see."
The Church Must Arise
If America will not be governed by God, then her only alternative is to pass more and more stringent laws that take away individual liberty. If America will not be governed by God, then she may find it necessary to get rid of the Second Amendment and live in an increasingly tyrannical state where individual freedom is a thing of the past.
The Founders did not believe that there could be liberty apart from virtue, or freedom apart from morality. Only Christianity offered the moral and intellectual underpinnings that would preserve the nation they had brought into existence. William Novak is, therefore, correct in saying, “The founders did not believe the constitutional government they were erecting could survive without Hebrew-Christian faith.”
The church must stand up in boldness and reject the secularist lie that the First Amendment banned faith from the government and public square. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our schools and our nation need God and it is time for the church to be salt and light in this nation.
This article was derived from Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



How the Bible Shaped America's Founding Generation

Regarding the Bible’s influence on America, Andrew Jackson, America’s 7th president, declared, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Born in 1767, Jackson’s life overlapped that of the founding generation, and his statement reflects the general sentiment of the founding generation toward the Bible.
George Washington Honors and Esteems the Bible
When, for example, George Washington chose to place his hand on a Bible to take the oath of office it was no mere formality, but a declaration that the Bible would be the ultimate source of wisdom and guidance for his administration. He also once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 13).
While president, Washington’s nephew, Robert Lewis, served as his secretary and lived with him. Lewis said that he had accidentally witnessed Washington’s private devotions in his library both morning and evening and that on those occasions he had seen him in a kneeling posture with a Bible open before him, and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.
James Madison’s Biblical Worldview
James Madison, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution, had a thorough Christian upbringing and training. At the College of New Jersey, he was mentored by the school’s president, John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian Reformer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, who once declared, “Cursed is all education that is contrary to Christ.”
After completing his studies, Madison remained at the college where worked on a project translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English. His estimation of the Bible was demonstrated when as president, in 1812, he signed a federal bill that provided economic aid for a Bible society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe were right when they said, “Madison’s worldview was one shaped by the Bible more than any other source” (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of theAmerican Republic, 14).
The Founders Primary Authority
From the beginning, the Bible had been incorporated into all the learning of the schools in Colonial America. For example, The New England Primer coupled Bible verses and church doctrine with the learning of the ABCs. The letter “A,” for example, was associated with “Adam” and the statement, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” Children in early America learned to read with their primer in one hand and their Bible in the other.
Knowing how the Founders esteemed and reverenced the Bible, it comes as no surprise that The First Continental Congress was opened with Bible reading and prayer. It is also no surprise that when Benjamin Franklin called the Constitutional Convention to Prayer, he quoted from both the Psalms and the Gospels (Hyatt, 5 Pillars ofthe American Republic, 14).
Indeed, a ten-year project instituted to discover where the Founders got their ideas for America’s founding documents found that by far the single most cited authority in their writings was the Bible. They were people of the Book and consciously and unconsciously used it as the standard for measuring all other writings both ancient and modern.
Congress Recommends the First English Bible Printed in America
The Founders’ respect for the Bible was highlighted when the first English Bible printed in America in 1782 included a recommendation from Congress. The producer of the Bible, Robert Aitken, had written a letter to Congress in which he asked for that government body’s sanction on his work. In the letter, Aitken called this Bible, “a neat Edition of the Scriptures for the use in schools.”
Congress enthusiastically responded to his request and offered the following recommendation to be included in this first English Bible printed in America.
Resolved: That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an instance of the progress of the arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.

The Founders Not Impacted by Deism
The Founders lived at a time when the European Enlightenment and its exaltation of reason was drawing many on the European continent away from the Bible. However, the Enlightenment and its religious counterpart, Deism, never gained popularity in America. The late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, called Deism an “exotic plant” that never took root in American soil. America’s Founders saw no dichotomy between Biblical revelation and reason. The well-known Catholic scholar, William Novak, says,
Everywhere that reason led, Americans found the Bible. If they read Francis Bacon, they found the Bible. If they read Isaac Newton or John Milton, they found the Bible. In Shakespeare, they found the Bible. In the world of the founders, the Bible was an unavoidable and useful rod of measurement, a stimulus to intellectual innovation (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 16).
The Bible Impacted All of American Life
When the French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America in 1831 to study her institutions, he said, "The religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me.” In describing the opening of America’s western frontier, he was impressed with the character of those adventurers whom he said, “Penetrated the wilds of the New Word with the Bible, an axe, and some newspapers.”
Yes, Jackson was right. The Bible was the rock on which the early American republic rested. This profound influence of the Bible on the founding of America was confirmed by her 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “No other book of any kind ever written in English has ever so affected the whole life of a people.”
What Christians Can Do
How far we have fallen! The Book that made America great has become an object of disdain and ridicule by an arrogant, narcissistic cultural elite. America’s Founders would be astounded to know that the book they so revered is now banned from public schools and that government officials are threatened with lawsuits for holding Bible studies with their colleagues.
Yes, this un-American hostility to the Bible is a marker showing the extent to which the nation has been severed from its roots. It also serves as a wake-up call for Christians in America to repent of their burning desire for acceptance by modern culture and become salt and light to this generation and begin praying for another great, national spiritual awakening.
This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s latest book, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.