• Dathan Belanger

America’s Pre-Christian Roots. Part 1

Many Americans have forgotten or choose to ignore the Pre-Christian roots of our nation's founding. It is important that we do not forget it, for doing so ignores our heritage and the sacrifices made to found our nation. Though America was not a theocracy, its Founding was deeply shaped by Christianity. Many historic documents and speeches exist that prove the founders’ Christian roots. In one of the earliest acts of Congress on September 11th, 1777, before Congress was forced to flee Philadelphia, during a desperate time in the American Revolution, they voted to order twenty thousand Bibles. As was written in the Journals of Continental Congress, “The use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great.”

George Washington survived a war despite having a number of horses shot out from him, narrowly escaping bullets, cannonball blasts. Was this due to divine intervention?

Washington was rumored to have prayed on his hands and knees in the darkest hours of valley forge. The war at that time was not going well. The men were starving, they did not know if certain European Allies would help them. There was even a plot to replace Washington with a different commander to lead the Revolution. Whether he prayed like this or not, miracles abounded at Valley Forge. The American army was trained, needed supplies and reinforcements arrived, and France joined the American War for Independence. This was the moment God chose to deliver the Americans from the yoke of the British.

Washington never liked to publicly show his own faith, but when he chose to, his religious rhetoric was earnest and heartfelt. Frequently in his writings and speeches, he would add “Blessings of Heaven and Providence.” When he presented his military resignation at the end of the Revolutionary war with deep emotion, he lamented it was the power of the Union and the protection of Almighty God that got the army through the war. Early in his presidency, at the request of Congress, he issued the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789. It urged the people in the young country to express their gratitude to God for his protection of them through the Revolutionary War and the peace they had experienced since. The proclamation also stated that “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits.”

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