A couple of weeks ago Hobby Lobby and its partners publicly demonstrated their Christian faithfulness by purchasing full-page IN GOD WE TRUST ads in local newspapers throughout the nation. The Daily Herald carried their ad on July 4, 2013. You can see the ad layout here. The purpose of this campaign is to acknowledge our Divine Creator, share the Good News of Jesus Christ and try to enlighten those who attempt to diminish or negate the Christian foundations of our nation.
Their statement of purpose reflects their company’s policies:
“ Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. Offering our customers an exceptional selection and value. Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals, and nurture families. Providing a return on the owners’ investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and investing in our community. We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.”
What follows are the quotes in their ad.
GEORGE WASHINGTON: Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolution; Signer of the Constitution; First President of the United States.
“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
[Washington, Writings (1932), Vol. XI, pp. 342-343, General Orders of May 2, 1778.]
“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life and, above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.”
[George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55, from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779.]
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
[Washington, Address . . . Preparatory to His Declination, 1796, pp. 22-23.]
“True religion affords to government its surest support.”
[George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Ferdinand Andrews, 1838), Vol. XII, pp. 166-167, to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America in October 1789.]
“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
[Washington, Writings (1838), Vol. XII, pp. 119-120, October 3, 1789; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 64, October 3, 1789.]
JOHN ADAMS: Signer of the Declaration of Independence; One of Two Signers of the Bill of Rights; Second President of the United States.
“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.”
[John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Frances Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts on October 11, 1798.]
THOMAS JEFFERSON: Signer and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence; Third President of the United States.
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
[Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia(Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, pp. 236-237.]
JAMES MADISON: Called “the father of the U.S. Constitution, Signer of the Constitution; Fourth President of the United States.
“Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
[James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Presented to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia at their Session in 1785 in Consequence of a Bill Brought into that Assembly for the Establishment of Religion (Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1786), p. 4.]
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: Statesman; Diplomat; Sixth President of the United States.
“Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? – that it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”
[John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.]
“My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away…the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances His disciples in asserting that He was God.”
[John Adams and John Quincy Adams, The Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams, Adrienne Koch and William Peden, editors (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946), p. 292, John Quincy Adams to John Adams, January 3, 1817.]
“The people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct.”
[John Quincy Adams, An Address Delivered at the Request of the Committee of Arrangements for the Celebrating the Anniversary of Independence at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 upon the Occasion of Reading The Declaration of Independence (Cambridge: Hilliard and Metcalf, 1821), p. 28.]
OTHER FOUNDING FATHERS
PATRICK HENRY: Patriot and Statesman.
“Righteousness alone can exalt [America] as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others…[T]he great pillars of all government and of social life: I mean virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.”
[Henry, Correspondence, Vol. II, p. 592, to Archibald Blair on January 8, 1799.]
“The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”
[William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia: James Webster, 1818), p. 402; see also George Morgan, Patrick Henry (Philadelphia & London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1929), p. 403.]
“The view which the rising greatness of our country presents to my eye is greatly tarnished by the general prevalence of deism; which with me, is but another name for vice and depravity. I am, however, much consoled by reflecting, that the religion of Christ has, from its first appearance in the world, been attacked in vain by all the wits, philosophers, and wise ones aided by every power of man, and its triumph has been complete.”
[Henry, Correspondence, Vol. II, p. 570, to Betsy Henry on August 20, 1796.]
“An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!…Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power…Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!!!”
[William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia: James Webster, 1818), pp. 121-123.]
BENJAMIN RUSH: Signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Father of Public Schools under the Constitution,” “Father of American Medicine.”
“My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the Cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”
[Benjamin Rush, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, George W. Corner, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press for the American Philosophical Society, 1948), p. 166.]
JOHN WITHERSPOON: Signer of the Declaration of Independence, President of Princeton University.
“I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other [Acts 4:12]…If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.”
[John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh:J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, pp. 276, 278, The Absolute Necessity of SalvationThrough Christ, January 2, 1758.]
JEDEDIAH MORSE: Patriot and Educator, called “The Father of American Geography.”
“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys…Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government – and all blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.”
[Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America. Delivered at Charlestown. April 25, 1799, The Day of the National Fast (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.]
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“I’ve 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. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who 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.”
[James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, Henry D. Gilpin, editor (Washington: Langtree and O’Sullivan, 1840), Vol. II, pp. 984-986, June 28, 1787.]
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE: French observer of America in 1831, author of Democracy in America.
“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”
[de Tocqueville (1851) at Part I, 335.]
“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
[Alexis de Tocqueville, The Republic of the United States of America and Its Political Institutions, Reviewed and Examined, Henry Reeves, translator (Garden City, NY: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), Vol. I, p. 337.]
ACHILLE MURAT: French observer of America in 1832.
“There is no country in which the people are so religious as in the United States…The great number of religious societies existing in the United States is truly surprising: there are some of them for everything; for instance, societies to distribute the Bible; to distribute tracts; to encourage religious journals; to convert, civilize, educate;…to take care of their widows and orphans; to preach, extend, purify, preserve, reform the faith; to build chapels, endow congregations, support seminaries;…to establish Sunday schools;…to prevent drunkenness, etc.”
[Achille Murat, A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States (London: Effingham Wilson, 1833), p. 132.]
HARVARD: 1636 Student Guidelines.
“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17.3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him(Proverbs 2, 3). Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein.”
[Benjamin Pierce, A History of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA: Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833), Appendix, p. 5.]
YALE: 1787 Student Guidelines.
“All the scholars are required to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, that fountain of Divine light and truth, and constantly attending all the duties of religion.”
[The Laws of Yale College in New Haven in Connecticut (New Haven: Josiah Meigs, 1787), pp. 5-6, Chapter II, Article 1, 4.]
SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
JOHN JAY: Co-author of the Federalist Papers; First Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.
“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
[John Jay, John Jay: The Winning of the Peace. Unpublished Papers 1780-1784, Richard B. Morris, editor (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980), Vol. II, p. 709, to Peter Augustus Jay on April 8, 1784.]
“I…recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties, is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow.”
[William Jay, The Life of John Jay: With Selections From His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. I, pp. 457-458, to the Committee of the Corportaion of the City of New York on June 29, 1826.]
“I have long been of the opinion that the evidence of the truth of Christianity requires only to be carefully examined to produce conviction in candid minds, and I think they who undertake that task will derive advantages.”
[William Jay, Life, Vol. II, p. 266, to the Rev. Uzal Ogden on February 14, 1796.]
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
[William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. II, p. 376, to John Murray, Jr. on October 12, 1816.]
JAMES WILSON: Signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; Original Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court.
“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine. …Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
[James Wilson, The Works of James Wilson, Bird Wilson, editor (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. I, pp. 104-106, “Of the General Principles of Law and Obligation.”]
JOSEPH STORY: U. S. Supreme Court Justice, “Father of American Jurisprudence,” Placed on the Court by President James Madison.
“One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law…There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations…I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.”
[Joseph Story, Life and Letters of Joseph Story, William W. Story, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. II, pp. 8, 92.]
“The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues; – these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is indeed difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them.”
[Story, Familiar Exposition, p. 260, §442.]
DAVID BREWER: Appointed to the Court by President William Henry Harrison.
“Christianity was a principal cause of the settlement on these western shores. It has been identified with the growth and development of those settlements into the United States of America – has so largely shaped and molded it – that today, of all the nations in the world, it is the most justly called a Christian nation.”
[David J. Brewer, The United States: A Christian Nation (Atlanta: American Vision, 1996), p. 40.]
Church of the Holy Trinity v. U. S., 1892: Unanimous Decision Declaring America a Christian Nation.
“There is no dissonance in these [legal] declarations…These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic [legal, governmental] utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people…These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”
“Significantly, the U. S. Supreme Court cited dozens of court rulings and legal documents as precedents to arrive at this ruling; but in 1962 when the Supreme Court struck down voluntary prayer in schools, it do so without using any precedent.”
[Church of the Holy Trinity v. U. S., 143 U. S. 465, 471 (1892).]
Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844: Unanimous Decision Commending and Encouraging the Use of the Bible in Government-Run Schools.
“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in [schools] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?…Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”
[Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 43 U. S. 126, 200 (1844).]
United States v. Macintosh, 1931.
“We are a Christian people…according to one another the equal right of religious freedom and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.”
[United States v. Macintosh, 283 U. S. 605, 625 (1931).]
“With one heart and one voice the good people may…join the penitent confession of their manifold sins…that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…that it may please Him…to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
[Continental Congress, Proclamation for a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise, November 1, 1777]
“We are a Christian people…not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay due regard to Christianity?”
[Senate Judiciary Committee Report, January 19, 1853]
“At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged…In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity…That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”
[House Judiciary Committee Report, March 27, 1854]
Psalm 33:12a: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD”
2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Image credit: Capitalism Magazine.