Terry Paulson

Whether looking at the founding or the future of our country, faith matters. As millions of Americans rose on Easter Sunday to attend services on the most holy day in the Christian calendar, the Good News of God's love and the triumph we share in the resurrection of Jesus stands regardless of the challenges that we face every morning in our news. As believers, we believe that God has a plan, and, by His grace, God has included us in that plan.

For many of our founding fathers, America was part of God's plan--a country based on God-given rights, founded in liberty, and sustained by a free people using their gifts and resolve to live out and sustain a dream. Kirk Cameron's newest film, "Monumental," documents the price paid and the inspiring journey of faith that the Pilgrims took to find and secure religious freedom in the new world.

Certainly, some of our Founding Fathers were deists, some may not have believed at all, and not all Christian patriots would have agreed on the principles of their faith, but faith still mattered. It was clearly a force for liberty and strength for the people who fought for and shaped our republic. Our founders also knew that good government requires good, ethical people. "We the people" were not just any people; most were people grounded by their Christian faith.

John Adams claimed: “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 people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Washington’s Farewell Address affirmed the importance of faith: “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Benjamin Franklin proposed that the Constitutional Convention begin each day with prayer. He said to the Continental Congress in 1778: "Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.”

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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