What Did the Founders Say About Religion? They Have Their Quotes, I Have Mine

For all of you who read this post yesterday and disagreed, please read this and this. Here are a few excerpts.

Signer of the Constitution, James Wilson: Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

Original Chief-Justice U. S. Supreme Court, An Author of the Federalist Papers, John Jay. [It is] the duty of all wise, free, and virtuous governments to countenance and encourage virtue and religion.

President Thomas Jefferson: No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.

Signer of the Constitution, Abraham Baldwin: free government. . . . can only be happy when the public principle and opinions are properly directed. . . . by religion and education. It should therefore be among the first objects of those who wish well to the national prosperity to encourage and support the principles of religion and morality.

Founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn: [I]t is impossible that any people of government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God's, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar's.

Signer of the Declaration of Independence and President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson: I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.

John Adams: [I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

Signer of Declaration of Independence, Governor of Massachusetts, John Hancock: Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement. . . . [T]he very existence of the republics . . . depend much upon the public institutions of religion.

Here are a couple more for your reading pleasure.

• The first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, declared: "Americans should select, and prefer, Christians as their rulers."

• Patrick Henry, one of the Founding Fathers, said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly, or too often, that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

• James Madison, the fourth president, made the following statement: We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."