When Elon Musk declared, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” and finalized his purchase of Twitter, the Left in America experienced a meltdown. The internet lit up with outrage, accusations, crying, and predictions of doom and gloom.

But why? And why did America’s Founders harbor no such fear of freedom of speech? They were the ones, after all, who formulated the First Amendment in which they guaranteed, not only freedom of speech, but also freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press.

The answer to our question lies in the very different worldviews of America’s founders and the modern Left. Here are 3 reasons America’s Founders had no fear of free speech.

Reason #1
They Believed Truth Would Always Win on an Even Playing Field

America’s Founders did not fear free speech because they believed in the inherent power of truth. They believed in real, objective truth because they believed in the God of the Bible as the Creator of all things. They, therefore, believed truth to possess inherent power and agreed with John Milton who had said,

Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in free and open encounter? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious . . . Give her but room.

Those on the Left fear free speech because in their atheistic worldview, objective truth does not exist. Since their humanistic belief system contains no transcendent moral value or inherent power, it must be maintained by force in the use of bans, censorship, and government oversight. Their secularist worldview leads to fear of a free and open society.

America’s Founders, on the other hand, believed in the God of the Bible who has revealed truth to humanity in the person of Jesus Christ and in Holy Scripture. Discovering real, transcendent truth is the key to a prosperous and happy life, which is why James Madison wrote,

The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to 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 impressed with it (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 111).

America’s Founders had no fear of free speech because of their Christian worldview. Thomas Jefferson clearly expressed this when he wrote,

Truth can stand by itself. If there be but one right religion and Christianity that one, we should wish to see the nine hundred and ninety-nine wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 97).

Compare this attitude to Marxist regimes and the Big Tech, woke culture in modern America that seeks to suppress all opposing views. It is obvious that proponents of these belief systems do not have confidence that their ideas would fare well on a level playing field where free speech is a reality.

Reason #2
They Believed a Virtuous People Would Use Their Freedom Wisely

The Founders, without exception, believed morality and religion to be the basis of freedom. Without a national morality to guide the populace from within, freedom would be turned into avarice and anarchy. This, in turn, would destroy the free Republic they had formed.

This was clearly articulated by John Adams in a 1798 address to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia. Adams made clear his belief in a national Christian morality as the only hope for the survival of the free American Republic. He declared,

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 168).

For the same reason, George Washington, in his Farewell Address after serving two terms as the nation’s first president, exhorted the new nation to cling to “morality and religion” which he described as “indispensable supports” for human happiness and national prosperity. He also cautioned against the supposition that “morality can be maintained without religion.” 

When the Founders use the word “religion” they are referring to Christianity. This is made clear throughout their writings and speeches. Thomas Jefferson, for example, in his 1777 “Bill for Religious Freedom,” referred to Jesus as “The Holy Author of our Religion” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 148).

Although Jefferson questioned certain points of Christian doctrine, he too was convinced that only the teachings of Jesus could undergird a free and open society. This is why he made Washington’s Farewell Address required reading at the University of Virginia and is why he declared, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 149).

Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, made the same point as Washington and Jefferson, declaring,

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

Because the Left has rejected Jesus and any transcendent moral authority,  their only option is to use government force to control speech. This is why the Biden administration has just established the "Disinformation Governance Board" to combat speech it considers harmful and dangerous. This is what William Penn was referring to when he said, "Those who will not be governed by God, must be ruled by tyrants."

The founders believed that a vibrant Christianity was necessary for the ongoing success of the Republic they had formed. They were right and this is why we must ask God to send another Divine Awakening across this land, for as the Catholic scholar, William Novak, has said,

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

Reason #3
They Believed Free Speech to be a Necessary Component for a Functioning Republic

The U.S. Constitution begins with the words, “We the people.” America’s Founders rejected the idea of a nation being ruled by an elite aristocracy such as Plato’s philosopher-king, or medieval Europe’s monarchs, or the Roman Church’s monarchical bishops, or the Big Tech, woke aristocracy that has emerged in our day wanting to control every area of our lives.

In Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, the Founders forbade the American government from issuing honorific titles and they forbade any government employee from receiving a title or office from a foreign power without the consent of Congress. In other words, they banned an aristocratic, privileged class in this nation. They were serious about a government of "we the people."

Those on the Left who are ranting against free speech are spouting Marxist and Bolshevik ideology. They despise "we the people" and in their arrogance think they should have the right and power to control speech in America. You cannot get more un-American than this!

In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln described the American government as being “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” It is not a government of any elite group. It is a government of “we the people” and in such a government, the people’s voices must be heard.

Concluding Thought

Freedom of speech is an absolute necessity in a functioning Constitutional Republic such as our Founders left us. If this free American Republic is to survive, “we the people” must arise and let our voices be heard.

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and America's Revival Heritage. These books are available on Amazon and from his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who professes to be Muslim, provoked a storm of controversy when she tweeted her displeasure at Christians—apparently on Resurrection Sunday—singing Christian worship songs while in flight. We probably should not be surprised by her criticism since her country of origin, Somalia, is listed by Open Doors as the 3rd most difficult country in the world to be a follower Jesus.

Ilhan grew up Muslim in Somalia before immigrating to America with family members when she was 13. Persecution of Christians in Islamic Somalia is common and only Afghanistan and North Korea are listed as more difficult places for Christians to live. Seeing Christians exercising such freedom is, understandably, difficult for one reared in that sort of intolerant culture. 

She obviously does not realize that it is the values of New Testament Christianity that made America a shining light of tolerance and freedom, and allowed her to come to this nation and become a member of Congress.

Indeed, no one with knowledge and integrity can deny that America has been a very open and tolerant nation, opening its arms to people of many different races, cultures, and religious beliefs? The Statue of Liberty and the freedom it represents is why people of all races and religions risk their lives and the lives of their family members to come to this country.

But make no mistake! This tolerance is rooted in the radical Christianity of its founders who looked to Jesus as their example and the New Testament as their guide. It was Jesus, after all, who taught,

 Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you (Matthew 5:44).

The people who founded this nation were “dissenting Protestants.” They opposed the Constantinian form of Christianity that developed after the 4th century, which relied on political force rather than the power of truth for its success. State churches, supported by the government, persecuted those who did not adhere to the official lines of doctrine and practice put forward by the state church.

However, groups such as the Separatist Puritans, Baptists, and Quakers, who sought a return to the faith of the New Testament, opposed this intolerant approach to faith. They insisted that there should be no compulsion in matters of conscience, and no coercion when it comes to one’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

These “dissenting Protestants” brought these ideals of faith and freedom to America where they were further developed on American soil. These ideals were reinforced by the Great Awakening and burned into the consciousness of the American populace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, differences were melted and a remarkable unity among the churches emerged that was centered in faith in Christ.

At the same time, an amazing tolerance and friendliness toward other religions was manifest. For example, Benjamin Rush, a devout Christian and signer of the Declaration of Independence, in describing a parade in Philadelphia, said,

The rabbi of the Jews locked in the arms of two ministers of the Gospel was a most delightful sight. There could not have been a more happy emblem (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 96).

During George Whitfield’s ministry in Philadelphia, city leaders decided to erect a large building to accommodate the massive crowds. According to Benjamin Franklin, the building was available for the use of “any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people of Philadelphia.” Franklin went on to say,

Even if the Mufti of Constantinople (Istanbul) were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 96).

The founders’ tolerance toward people of other faiths and religions was based, not only on the words of Jesus and the spirit of the New Testament, but on their belief in the inherent power of the Christian Message. They believed that on a level playing field, the truth of Christianity would prevail. They agreed with John Milton who declared,

Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?

Thomas Jefferson echoed this same belief in the inherent power of Christian truth when he wrote,

Truth can stand by itself. If there be but one right religion and Christianity that one, we should wish to see the nine hundred and ninety-nine wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 97).

The First Amendment created a free and open marketplace of religious ideas, because the founders did not fear open debate. Compare this attitude to Marxist and Islamic nations where opposing views are violently suppressed. The same is true of the new Leftwing groups in modern America who seek to cancel anyone who disagrees with them. They fear free and open debate. 

Sadly, Ilhan grew up in this kind of intolerant political atmosphere and it has obviously shaped her thinking. We should pray for her that her eyes will be opened to the truth that is in Jesus and to the Christian roots of the American Dream of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently spoke.

We should also be praying for another Great Awakening that will turn the hearts of the American populace back to the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. This would do more than anything to restore tolerance in modern America for, after all, it was Jesus who said,

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And just as you want men [people] to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).

This article was derived in part from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, America's Revival Heritage, with the subtitle, How Christian Reformation and Spiritual Awakening Led to the Formation of the United States of America. The book is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Throughout history the Church has emphasized the passion, the sufferings, and the death of Christ on the Cross, and thus highlighting the sufferings and sorrow of earthly existence. This is well and good, but we must not park there. There is the other side of the Cross—the Resurrection side—that we must embrace and live in.

On the suffering side of the Cross, the disciples of Jesus, as depicted in the Gospels, are dull, fearful, and selfish, even arguing over who will be the greatest in the kingdom. On the Resurrection side of the Cross, as depicted in Acts, everything has changed. They are now alive, insightful, and fearless as the proclaim the Good News of Jesus and His Resurrection. They are living on the Resurrection side of the Cross.

I have preached the funerals of my father, my mother, and two brothers. In each case, I experienced, not just a sense of comfort, but a sense of jubilant triumph because of the Resurrection of Jesus. Living on the Resurrection side of the Cross makes all the difference in the world when facing death.

Living on the Resurrection side of the Cross also makes all the difference when facing devastating situations in life. In the early days of our marriage and ministry, Sue and I lost everything, including a place to live. A God-given vision and ministry seemed to have died.

One day, however, as we prayed, the Holy Spirit rose up in me and began praying through me in tongues. I could actually feel His presence flowing up from my spirit and out through my mouth. All the time this was happening I was hearing these words, “Don’t be afraid of death because I Am the Resurrection.”

I immediately recalled that these were the words Jesus spoke to Martha at the tomb of Lazarus after He had said to her, “Your brother will live again.” Martha had replied, “I know He will live again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus then said, “I Am the Resurrection” and proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:23-25).

Through this encounter, God was calling me to live on the Resurrection side of the Cross. I also realized for the first time that the Resurrection is more than just a past or future event. The Resurrection has been personified in the person of Jesus Christ. Our resurrected Lord is now living in His people through the person and power of the Holy Spirit.

After the above experience, we listened, persevered, and took a step of faith. A Catholic brother whom we had never met was sent our way and made a building available to us. We opened the doors, and a powerful revival broke out. The building quickly filled to capacity with standing room only. Out of death, Resurrection life had burst forth!

The New Testament Church knew nothing of an Easter Sunday. They did not celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus once per year. Read Acts! They were consumed with the reality that Jesus was alive and His Resurrection was the center of their life and the focus of their witness and preaching. They lived on the Resurrection side of the Cross.

I pray that this Resurrection season the modern Church will experience a renewed vision of the significance and magnitude of Christ’s Resurrection. I pray that once again the people of God will live on the Resurrection side of the Cross.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, revivalist, Bible teacher, and church historian. His books documenting America's birth out of the First Great Awakening are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.