The Ten Commandments and the United States of America
There is much controversy over displaying the Ten Commandments in public places in our country. The heart of the conflict revolves around the inclusion of Jehovah God as revealed in the Bible, in public life and policy.
The United States form of government, its laws and policies were based on the assumption that as Americans we would acknowledge God’s sovereignty and devote ourselves to Him.
John Adams, Second President of the USA
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (October 11, 1798)
America has been recognized and envied over the years for its freedom. The founding fathers never intended a freedom that would give the individual unlimited license. The freedom our founding fathers aspired to was a freedom in the context of moral standards based on the principles taught in the Bible. It is a freedom that gives us the power to do what is good and right according to a moral standard. Such freedom enables the individual person to govern himself.
Freedom is not possible without the principles outlined in the Bible. Just after the collapse of Communism in Russia one of their education officials stated that Russia has been an example to the world that trying to build a successful society and government without God does not work.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” (Psalm 33:12).
Charles Carroll, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” (Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.)
George Washington, First President of the USA
“The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion” …and later: “…reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle…” (Source: Farewell Address)
Recognizing the Ten Commandments publicly is a reminder to our society that God wants to be included in the affairs of this nation. The presence of the Ten Commandments provides an opportunity for people to think about God. Ultimately, the Ten Commandments displayed in public places has the potential to lead people to an awareness of their need for Jesus Christ.
The Ten Commandments are also part of our foundational heritage and much of our legal system is based on principles found in God’s law.
If we are God’s creation, then aren’t His rules the ones we should recognize in order to grow a successful and healthy country?
“The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.”
“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed… No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” (Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language)
John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the USA
“The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.” (Source: Letters to his son. p. 61).
James Madison, Fourth President of the USA
“We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart. We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity… to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” (1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia)
Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the USA
“In regards to this great Book (the Bible), I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.”