Did you know that prior to 1954, a minister could stand in his pulpit and tell you whom to vote for? Did you know that local newspapers would reprint pastors' sermons on Mondays in case you missed church that week? Did you know that ministers founded most of the colonies? Did you know that some ministers lead régimes of soldiers in the Revolutionary War? One such minister by the name of Pastor Peter Mullenburg did just that. One Sunday morning in 1776
Did you know that at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches: Executive (Office of the President), Legislative (House of Representatives), and Judicial (Supreme Court)? Did you know that foundation for this model of government came from Isaiah 33:22, which says:
Did you know that the statement “separation of Church and State” does not appear in the Constitution of the United States? Did you know that the phrase “separation of Church and State” was taken from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut? The Baptist Association was concerned the government would
Did you know that generations of American leaders and legal authorities consistently affirmed the Ten Commandments as the basis of civilized behavior in society and as the foundation to our legal code? Did you know that James Madison, our third president, stated, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”18
Did you know that on the morning of July 4, 1776 after the vote was taken to declare independence from Great Britain, all 56 men who voted in Independence Hall became silent? Some men began to weep while others knelt to pray. Breaking the silence, John Hancock signed his name on the Declaration of Independence, stating, "His majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can also double the price on my head!" The room filled with laughter. Benjamin Franklin then moved to sign the Declaration and added, "Yes we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately!" After all the signatures were in place, John Hancock said, "Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe. ...Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of (God)." And Samuel Adams followed, stating, "We have this day restored the Sovereign God to Whom Alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven. ...from the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come." 17
Did you know that of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, more than half of them received degrees from schools that today would be considered seminaries or Bible schools? 14 Did you know that 54 of the 56 were professed Christians and attended worship services regularly? The remaining two were deists that still believed in a Supreme Being and His Divine intervention. 15
These 56 men were appointed by their fellow citizens to determine the course of action for America's liberty to be kept intact. They were united in their cause for America to operate as a free Judeo-Christian nation. The closing words of the Declaration of Independence capture this stance clearly:
Did you know that 106 of the first 108 schools in America, including Yale, Harvard and Princeton, were founded on the Christian faith? Did you know that ministers founded most of these schools? Did you know that more than half of the graduates from these schools became ministers? 9
Consider these statements regarding the following universities:
Did you know that voluntary prayer in American schools was practiced for over 300 years? Did you know that voluntary prayer in American schools was actually constitutional for 171 years? Then in 1962, the following prayer being offered in public schools was questioned: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen."
Did you know the Bible was used in America’s schools for over 300 years?
Did you know in 1844 a government-run school prohibited the Bible from being used in its school and became an issue at the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision that declared:
"Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, be read and taught as Divine revelation in the school – its general principles expounded…its glorious principles of morality inculcated? ...Where can the purist principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament
Did you know that when Americans were still British citizens prior to the Revolution, it had been illegal to print English-language Bibles in America? With the final victory at Yorktown, that policy was terminated and Congress appointed a committee to print “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.”3 On September 12, 1782 Congress officially approved that Bible. This edition of the Bible has come to be known as the Bible of the Revolution with the following endorsement of Congress printed on its front page:
Did you know that in 1983 Newsweek magazine did a cover story discussing the Bible's impact on America? Here’s what they said: "For centuries the Bible has exerted an unrivaled influence on American culture, politics and social life. Now historians are discovering that the Bible, perhaps more than the Constitution, is our founding document: the source of the powerful myth of United States as a special sacred nation, a people called of God to establish a model society, a beacon to the world."2 This is a powerful finding, although I wouldn’t categorize it as a “myth.” There is historical proof of the deep Christian conviction our founders had.
Did you know that in the 1830’s Congress, in order to re-capture the Christian history of America from historical records, commissioned four massive religious portraits, measuring 12 feet by 18 feet, to be displayed in the rotunda of the Capitol building? The first portrait is the prayer service at the American landing of Christopher Columbus; the second is the baptism service of Pocahontas; the third is a prayer and Bible study of the pilgrims' embarkation; and the fourth is the discovery of the Mississippi River, where a priest is praying while workers install a cross to commemorate the day. Sitting in the midst of a Government that is attempting to secularize itself is this great memorial of our Nation's Christian roots.
Did you know that inside the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., built to honor the third president of our country and the leader of the Declaration of Independence, is a 19-foot bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson? Did you know that carved on the surrounding walls of the memorial are Jefferson's words that have God-centered statements, including:
Did you know the Washington Monument is the world’s tallest stone structure, standing more than 555 feet tall and took more than 30 years to build? Did you know within the cornerstone rests a Holy Bible presented by the National Bible Society? Did you know that one of the inscriptions on the capstone is Laus Deo, which is Latin and translated, "Praise be to God?" These words inscribed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world are not insignificant. They reflect the mood of our nation’s founders. While the Washington Monument was built to commemorate the father of our nation, George Washington, the capstone is directed to the Father of Nations to declare that the God of the Bible had blessed America! Every good thing comes from Him.
Did you know the Liberty Bell got its name from being rung on July 8, 1776, at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that the liberty bell was cast in England by order of Pennsylvania in 1752 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the colonies’ existence? It was declared a year of Jubilee, according to the scripture Leviticus 25:10, which was cast onto the bell and reads “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”
Did you know that in 1800, Congress approved the use of the just-completed capitol structure as a church building with worship services to be held each Sunday? President Thomas Jefferson not only attended the services but requested that the Marine Band play at the services. By 1867, this church was the largest church in Washington D.C. with up to 2,000 people attending weekly. Our founders understood that the Lord had to build the house of our nation and unashamedly allowed the worship of God in our federal buildings. They put God first.