Samuel Adams: Always a good decision. You’ve heard the phrase before, but only in relation to a beer commercial (a great beer, I may add). Few remember that Samuel Adams was one of our great founding fathers. Son of a merchant and brewer and cousin to President John Adams, Samuel was a renowned politician in his own right. As a member of the Massachusetts Assembly, he was the first to propose a continental congress of which he was later a member. He was a passionate advocate of independence and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

I bring this up now because of a quote that was used on Glenn Beck’s show last night in which Adams was speaking out against tyranny. However, my focus is on one sentence in particular of that quote: “The religion and public liberty of a people are intimately connected; their interest are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together.”

What is Adams talking about? He is talking about church and state and how they cannot be separated. The state of America is a mess right now and it comes on the heels of banning prayer and religious recognition in public places. People have actually been arrested for praying! Even children songs about Jesus are now being replaced with lyrics praising Barack Obama, while Obama himself snubbed this year’s National Prayer Day.

In the meantime, we have kids beating each other to death with railroad ties in Chicago, and greed has put a stranglehold on our economy.

Our founding fathers, while they did have their religious differences, believed they were being guided by a higher power to establish the United States of America:

James Madison: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”

Alexander Hamilton: “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system, which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interest.”

Benjamin Franklin: “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.”

Charles Pinckney: “When the great work was done and published, I was struck with amazement. Nothing less than the superintending Hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war … could have brought it about so complete, upon the whole.”

George Washington: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

God is included in our Declaration of Independence. God is included in our Constitution. The founding fathers knew we needed to keep our religion included in our state affairs to keep our country strong and prevent tyranny from reigning. Here is the full Samuel Adams quote:

“Is it not high time for the people of this country explicitly to declare, whether they will be freemen or slaves? It is an important question which ought to be decided. It concerns us more than anything in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in the event. For wherever tyranny is establish’d, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent. It is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. For they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail. The religion and public liberty of a people are intimately connected; their interest are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together. For this reason, it is always observable, that those who are combined to destroy the people’s liberties, practice every art to poison their morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all events, to put a stop to the progress of tyranny.”

More info: The Examiner

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Comments
  1. Jonathan Simeone says:

    It is true that our founding fathers were religious men. But it is also true that many of them came to America to escape religious persecution. For that reason, they chose to guarantee that our government would be free of religious entanglement. It always makes me laugh when people, like Beck, who spend most of their time screaming about the need to follow the Constitution simply ignore the parts of it they do not like. On second thought, I should not be amazed since many of them are the same people who pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will follow.

    I have nothing against religion or religious people. But America can never be a nation that becomes too religious or else it will begin punnishing all religions that are not Christianity. Worse, it will begin developing policies that satisfies the tenits of Christianity–whether or not they make sense for America. Religion can be a good part of people’s lives, but it is not a good way to govern.

    • Ren says:

      In reply to Jonathan’s comment. A well expressed and thought out comment with merit. You have neglected a view points though. Christianity has already been woven into our Constitution, it was the back bone of our founding fathers judgement and direction. I agree that free means free. Free to follow the religion of choice or not to follow. The point is not that the government is controled by its religion but rather its people are free to express their religion at anytime. When people are arrested for praying, that is not freedom of religion. Just incase you didn’t know. Their is no such thing as a Constitutional seperation of church and state. The Constitution only says that the governement will not raise one religion over another or help establish it, and it will do nothing to thort it as well. If a Muslim wishes to pray in school he has every right as does a Christian. It is the abandonment of religion and the thorting our governement has seemed bent on that in unconstitutional. The Constitutions goal was to not have religious persecution of any kind. Freedom to express religion not demand the absence of it in government. Arresting someone for praying or suing them for it, banning it, this is religious persecution! Yes they left England to escape it only to have it turned on there decendents. Freedom of speech is absolute and so is freedom of religion. But we tend to sensor one more heavily then the other. Are we more afraid of offending someone with our moral compass then with our filthy mouths. Our nation started out “too religious” as you said, and that is why you have the great country you stand on now. Mr. Beck is a Mormon, I am not, I do not believe as he does, but I thank him for having a moral compass. And I would die to preserve his right to not only believe what he does but to share it, proclaim it and use it in his life, career on his show, and if he ever was in government, there too. The difference is that religion is not mandated in government nor does one church get to rule and tell governement what they must do. That is what the Constitution was avoiding. But our religious beliefs are what controls our views and decisions and that part was intended to be left intact. Government was always about God, not about one denomination or another, but God was never intended to be left out.

  2. Jonathan Simeone says:

    I would agree with your perspective if America treated all religions equally. Are you Aware of the case before the Supreme Court dealing with the cross placed to honor World War I veterans? Why was it that Buddhists were prevented from placing a religious symbol near the cross? Was that right? If Muslims wanted to put a symbol at the site of the fallen World Trade Center to mark the deaths of the Muslims that were killed on 9-11 would you support their ight to do so?

    The problem with allowing religion to be an overt part of public life is that there is no way to do so evenly; as a result, the natural tendency is for the dominant religion to get treatment others simply do not. And if this reality were not true our entire landscape would be full of religious symbols and we would havve several holidays each month. Simply put, there is no way to effectively accomodate the values and traditions of all religions. Given the difficulty that can arise when only one or two religions are accomodated America would be better off if religion was left a private matter.

    • Ren says:

      Your thought merit value and it is a great point on religious symbols. We don’t religion being a government collection of stuff.
      But as to your point of the trade center. I think most Americans would find it offensive to the 10th degree to honor a religion at the site of the mass murder of Americans when the people responsible for that murder did so under the direction of their religion. You would be slapping the faces of those who died. This is Isolated though. And I would support a religious muslim symbol next to a muslims name if any died in the attack.
      But a soldier that dies in service to our country should be allowed to display his religion on his grave or memorial. If a jew wants a star of david instead of a cross, that should be respected. But how many budhist’s fought in WW1? The dominating religion was Christianity and it makes fair sense to show that at the memorial, but I don’t see why a different soldiers religion couldn’t be expressed next to their name in tribute if asked. Remember our four fathers weren’t speaking of different religions in the Constitution as we think of them today, they were taking about worshipping the Christian God in the way you believed, it was about denominational or theological differences in the bible. That true though, every religion Christian or not has the right to express and worship without government intervention. If a church of budhist monks was blown up I would expect our government to put budhist symbols on their memorial, it would be disrespectful to do anything else. Our soldiers in WW1 were overwhelmingly Christian and it is the respectful thing to do.
      I liked how you did not bother to answer the fact that our four fathers left England to escape religious persecution only to have our governement allow Christians to be thrown in jail or sued for praying. We can discuss things like symbols and not enough space, but lets face it, thats just sillyness and really not that important to religion as a whole. Memorial, no memorial, religion is a private thing, and for a governement to allow you to be sued or jailed for the expression of it when it endangers no one, is persectuion and constitutionally unjust.
      It is nice though to have a back and forth with someone that is respectful, thats what freedom is, we can have different opinions and still respect each other and still have the right to express our views, religious, political, or cultural without any hinderance or government interfernce. Regardless of you religious beliefs protecting others beliefs has to be a core value of every American least we allow anothers expression of belief we don’t share be stollen from them, because next is ours.

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