During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin–no overtly religious man himself–asked for the floor,
and, addressing George Washington, offered one of the most remarkable
observations in American history:
“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it
were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to
distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we
have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of
lights to illuminate our understandings?
In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were
sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine
protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously
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. And have we
now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer
need His assistance?
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more
convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs
of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice,
is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except
the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly
believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we
shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of
Babel: we shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our
projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach
and byword down to future ages.
And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate
instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave
it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring
the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be
held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and
that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in
Was he asking for God to be “separated” from America? It doesn’t
sound like it to me. It sounds like just the opposite. It’s reported
that 87% of the American people believe in God. Why is it then 13% can
dictate to us, through appointed liberal judges, that we must separate God from the public forum? Notwithstanding ONE comment in ONE letter
from Thomas Jefferson, his reference to a “separation of church and
state”, there is absolutely no reference to this separation in the US
Constitution or ANY papers written by ANY of the Founding Fathers. Even
Thomas Paine, a reported atheist, vocalized his belief that God was an
absolute necessity to the success of the United States.
On the east face of the Washington Monument, there is an inscription that reads “Laus Deo.” The Latin phrase means “Praise Be To God.” If you look out from that vantage point, you can see the city of Washington D.C. as designed by Pierre Charles l’Enfant. What you will see is a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape.
Was it a secular hand that guided l’Enfant? Or just chance?
God was instrumental in the formation of America and our Founding Fathers recognized that truth. From its inception,
His hand has guided us through the best and worst of times. He seems to
always show up when we need Him. But one of these days He may tire of
our neglect and the separation we have so obediently acquiesced to.
What will we do when He separates Himself from us?