The fourth of July is here!
Happy Independence Day!
4th of July Recipe Roundup!
I’m proud to celebrate 238 years of this Christian-founded nation! Oh, I know. I just made the ACLU and any number of atheists’ rights organizations cringe at what should be celebrated. Studied in its complete historical, cultural, and linguistic context, Christianity is the first publicly accepted foundation to condemn slavery, women as secondary citizens, unbreakable caste systems, physical and verbal abuse, child neglect, and so much more, while building up self-worth, meaningful purpose, equality, mercy, redemption, and non-discriminating excellence across humanity. I’m not here, though, to argue over the fundamentals of Christianity. There is no shortage of sources for that.
Here’s my favorite source from Lee Strobel!
I’m also certainly not here to argue that the United States is, today, a Christian nation. God knows we are not (pun intended).
“We are no longer a Christian Nation . . . ”
I’m not even here to say that Christianity, above any other form of religious (or non-religious, for that matter) practice that is harmless to others, should alone be allowed. I finally came to faith-kicking and screaming all the while, mind you-when I was 33 years old. You’re not going to become a follower of Christ by my whacking you up aside the head with what I found for me. Your journey is personal. If you are to make such a choice, it needs to be done with respect to your own intellect, heart, mind, body, soul, finances, careers, and whatever other things you’re waiting to surrender.
What bugs me about the Christian persecution movements, by whatever names they choose, is that there is a consistent, persistent, insistence that this nation was not founded on Christian principles or that our leaders did not intend those principles to influence our government. (Lucky for the generations of Americans who have called her home, they did do just that.) Additionally, there are daily references to the constitution’s calling for “a separation of church and state,” when no such law exists! The actual constitutional right to religious freedom says that the government ” . . . shall make NO LAW to establish a religion or to impede the free exercise of it.” Yet law after law (sometimes under the guise of a regulation, guideline, rule, or executive order) attempts to impede Christians from exercising their religious freedoms in the form of prayer, practice, and principled decisions.
This year, I’ll look back on 44 presidencies of 43 men (Garfield throws a wrench in the works!) worth of recognition for the fact that we were (at least at one time) a Christian nation. I will celebrate this 4th of July proud that my country was established by those who hold up the values that have themselves held up for over 2000 years. After all, the way things have been going, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be “free to express” this sentiment.
“We are persuaded that good Christians will always be good citizens, and that where righteousness prevails among individuals the Nation will be great and happy. Thus while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government it’s surest support.”
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence.”
“An institution which endeavors to rear American youth in pure love of truth and duty, and while it enlightens their minds by ingenious and liberal studies, endeavors to awaken a love of country, to soften local prejudices, and to inoculate Christian faith and charity, cannot but acquire, as it deserves, the confidence of the wise and good. “
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”
John Quincy Adams
“The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.”
“I only look to the gracious protection of the Divine Being whose strengthening support I humbly solicit, and whom I fervently pray to look down upon us all. May it be among the dispensations of His providence to bless our beloved country with honors and with length of days.”
Martin Van Buren
“Sound morals, religious liberty, and a sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness.”
William Henry Harrison
“Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man’s conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God.”
“Under the benignant providence of Almighty God the representatives of the States and of the people are again brought together to deliberate for the public good.”
James K. Polk
“I congratulate you, my fellow-citizens, upon the high state of prosperity to which the goodness of Divine Providence has conducted our common country.”
“May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.”
“It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation’s humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence.”
“In entering upon this great office I must humbly invoke the God of our fathers for wisdom and firmness to execute its high and responsible duties in such a manner as to restore harmony and ancient friendship among the people of the several States and to preserve our free institutions throughout many generations.”
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
“I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the Bible…Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever, and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!”
“Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“Conscience is the authentic voice of God to you.”
Rutherford B. Hayes
“Fellow-citizens: God reigns, and the Government at Washington lives!”
James A. Garfield
“The voice of the nation should go up to God in devout homage. . . to join in ascribing honor and praise to Almighty God, whose goodness has been so manifest in our history and in our lives, and offering earnest prayers that His bounties may continue to us and to our children.”
Chester A. Arthur
“I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid.”
“So far as power is concerned the Beneficent Creator has made no distinction amongst men; that all are upon an equality.”
“Do not surrender your faith to those who discredit and debase politics by scoffing at sentiment and principle, and whose political activity consists in attempts to gain popular support by cunning devices and shrewd manipulation.”
“Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of the earth”
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
“I love judges, and I love courts. They are my ideals, that typify on earth what we shall meet hereafter in heaven under a just God.”
William Howard Taft
“Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord’s Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.”
“It is my conviction that the fundamental trouble with the people of the United States is that they have gotten too far away from Almighty God.”
Warren G. Harding
“Peace will come when there is realization that only under a reign of law, based on righteousness and supported by the religious conviction of the brotherhood of man, can there be any hope of a complete and satisfying life. Parchment will fail, the sword will fail, it is only the spiritual nature of man that can be triumphant.”
“We have not yet reached the goal but… we shall soon, with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty shall be banished from this nation.”
“I am a Christian and a Democrat, that’s all.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
“We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God.”
Harry S Truman
“Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first — the most basic — expression of Americanism. Thus the Founding Fathers saw it, and thus, with God’s help, it will continue to be.”
Dwight E. Eisenhower
“There are three things which are real; God, Human Folly and Laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension so we must do what we can with the third.”
John F. Kennedy
“The men who have guided the destiny of the United States have found the strength for their tasks by going to their knees. This private unity of public men and their God is an enduring source of reassurance for the people of America.”
Lyndon B. Johnson
“Keep America’s faith strong. See that the young people of America, particularly, have faith in the ideals of freedom and faith in God, which distinguishes us from the atheistic materialists who oppose us.”
Richard M. Nixon
“For me, my religious feeling is a deep personal faith I rely on for guidance from my God.”
“We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.”
“The struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.”
“You cannot be President of the United States if you don’t have faith.”
George H. W. Bush
“Part of our essential humanity is paying respect to what God gave us and what will be here a long time after we’re gone.”
William J. Clinton
“Americans do not presume to equate God’s purposes with any purpose of our own. Prayer teaches us to trust, to accept that God’s plan unfolds in his time, not our own.”
George W. Bush
“I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.”
Forced religion is not a foundation for faith. I would never want that for anybody. If you choose something besides Christianity and without harm to others – go for it! I won’t stop you. (I’ll pray for you, but won’t stop you.) Even God won’t stop you . . . He’s the one who created free will. I just want back religious freedom for me, too, and for my Christian brothers and sisters. I don’t understand why a nation founded by faithful Christians is now a nation where those who follow Jesus Christ are persecuted.
I would never expect to go into a synagogue and hear a Christian prayer, or a mosque and take communion; those institutions are protected and allowed to follow their own covenants, regardless of the fact that they are not “inclusive” of other faiths’ belief systems. THEY SHOULDN’T BE! Our government wants our Christian institutions, though, to become inclusive to the point of secular, practicing things that have nothing to do with the faith, or go against the faith completely, while shelving public expressions of Christian values. In other words, we’re told we should be acting against the very principles to which 44 presidents over 238 years have themselves aligned. Even worse, we are being asked to deny our very first right as citizens of the United States of America . . . the freedom to express our religion without impediment and with NO LAW of prohibition.
Tolerance is asked of Christians everywhere while people are intolerant of their principles. True tolerance is acceptance of all faiths . . . not all faiths except Christianity, (or some falsely bigoted reality you picture when it comes to Christianity because you think the idiots at Westboro Baptist represent truth). This independence day, I simply ask that, for God’s sake, don’t pretend that this nation, on her birthday, ever exemplified less than Christian values.
Before I’m off for 4th of July to enjoy the freedoms granted by Christian birth and American blessing, secured by the finest men and women in uniform in history, I leave you with this thought from our second president, John Adams:
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Also by this contributor:
God’s Not Dead: the Good, the Bad, and the Notable
Hand on My Shoulder–a Reflection on Dads
The Non-Event from 9/11 that Changed My World
REJI LABERJE is a writer and speaker who has presented entertaining and educational programming to thousands since 1997. She is an author of many books, including “Getting a W in the Game of Life,” written with ESPN’s Dick Vitale (Ascend Books), the “Winning in Life” middle and high school curriculum,“Live an Extreme Life,” with Extreme Weight Loss’s Bob Brenner (Ascend Books), and the“Max Explores” series written with illustrator Liza Fenech (Triumph Books), to name a few. She also writes plays, poetry, essays, speeches, and other materials that are printed, produced, and presented. Reji teaches workshops, assemblies, and classes to individuals, groups, churches, or schools centered around writing, advisory, presenting, the Christian experience, and literature. Her author program business promises to bring the written word TO you, help create it FOR you, and bring it OUT OF you!