"The only foundation for... a republic
is to be laid in Religion.
Without this there can be no virtue,
and without virtue there can be no liberty,
and liberty is the object
and life of all republican governments."
Dr. Benjamin Rush
(1745-1813) signed the Declaration of Independence, physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, educator, founder of Dickinson College
The Selected Writings of Benjamin Rush. Edited by Dagobert D. Runes. New York: Philosophical Library, 1947.
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Reader comments about this quote:
How long will it take for posters here to declare that this is proof positive that the founders intended us to be a "Christian nation" while convientently forgetting that there are many other religions, and not all of those believe in a "higher being".
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    These sentiments are fuel for hatred and intolerance - until we move away from this kind of rhetoric we shall remain with our backs to the sun, ignorant to our true self.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC      
    It will take this long. Your slander on Christianity or on a “Christian Nation” is ignorant. Do you forget the (at least) 9 Supreme Court rulings declaring the United States a Christian Nation? Do you actually read the words of the Founding Fathers? Yes, there are many religions with belief in a God, but it was the Christian faith with a belief in a Christian God that founded the Nation in which freedoms you now enjoy. If you want to live in Israel, you can be assured you’re living in a country founded on Jewish belief. In Jordan, Iran, Iraq, or Saudi Arabia you can be assured you’re living in a country founded on by the Muslim faith. If you go to China, then you can be assured you’re going to run into a culture based off the Buddhist faith. As said, not only do we have the words of the Founding Fathers (Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) declaring the Bible should be taught in schools and that Christian religion and morality should be the base of our culture (because it was the Bible that James Madison said he even based the Constitution on) but it has been declared by the Supreme Court on multiple occasions. There are highjackers of every kind of Religion, and sadly, also of Christianity, who will wage a holy war for their cause – however, this goes against the very core and fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Don’t blame what you believe is intolerance and fuel for hatred based on a few loud mouthed highjackers of a Religion. In pure Christianity, there is pure acceptance for all Religions and Beliefs.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    "In pure Christianity, there is pure acceptance for all Religions and Beliefs. " - No. There is tolerance for all religions and beliefs to the extent that a Christian recognizes that "there but by the grace of God, go I". To "accept" all religions and beliefs would make the Christian a hypocrite.
     -- Dale Morfey, Fort Smith, AR     
     -- P.M.      
    We are not a "Christian nation" - our founding fathers were for the most part Deists who rejected the Christian church and all that goes with it.
     -- Anonymous     
     -- Anonymous      
    I deal decisively with the false charge that "our founding fathers were for the most part Deists" for anyone interested in the facts on my Worldview website: uponthisrockfoundation.com Find out what your Worldview is and how it compares with 7 others. Also, I prove that Christianity is the only major Worldview that actually promotes true tolerance (as opposed to the intolerant "PC tolerance.") America was, in fact, founded on "the general principles of Christianity" as I prove as well. I challenge objective doubters to check it out. Thanks, LR
     -- Leonard Ransil, Erie, PA     
    If our nation wasn't founded on Christianity, with the Bible as a basis, where would we be? As the father of our constitution said, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
     -- Brianna, Hudsonville     
     -- Anonymous      
    Our children have been brainwashed into thinking that the Founding Father's were Deists. That is just a bunch of propaganda that has been forcefed in the public schools for the past 40 years! John Adams said, "I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world!" Samuel Adams was quoted as saying, " . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins." Famous Patrick Henry, known for saying "give me liberty or give me death" said, "Being a Christian■ is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast." This is stuff that everyone knew back in the 1800's but has been carefully and deliberately hidden from the public in the past few generations to lead our country down a path away from God. It would surprise most people that the Congress U. S. House Judiciary Committee, in 1854 said, "Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle... 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."
     -- Shelley, St. Louis, MO     
     -- s, pgh      
    Reston, VA you should not quote this as proof. Benjamin Rush also said: "Christianity is the only true and perfect religion." However, as other comments here have shown, believing in and voicing views on Christianity as the true way does not and should NOT mean oppressing others. Christianity teaches humility and tolerance, and only human pride interferes with that message. Believers are still sinners just like everyone else. Our hope rests in Christ Jesus to save us from those sins. The majority of our founding fathers believed in Jesus. Even Ben Franklin had some belief in God, note his quote: "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 labour 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 bye word 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."
     -- Anonymous, Houston     
     -- Anonymous      
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