American Minute with Bill Federer June 21 - U.S. Constitution ratified & Religion in early State Constitutions
American Minute with Bill Federer
June 21 - U.S. Constitution ratified
& Religion in early State Constitutions
The U.S. Constitution went into effect JUNE 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratified it.
The 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution consisted of:
26 Episcopalian Christians,
11 Presbyterian Christians,
7 Congregationalist Christians,
2 Lutheran Christians,
2 Dutch Reformed Christians,
2 Methodist Christians,
2 Quaker Christians,
2 Roman Catholic Christians, and
Dr. Franklin, who called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787:
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
also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this
political building no better than the Builders of Babel...I therefore
beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of
Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly
every morning before we proceed to business."
Ben Franklin signed Pennsylvania's Constitution, Sept. 28, 1776, which stated:
member...shall...subscribe the following...'I do believe in one GOD,
the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and
the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the
Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.'"
Delaware's Constitution, 1776, stated:
person who shall...appointed to any office...shall...subscribe the
following declaration: 'I...profess faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in
JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for
evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.'"
Maryland's Constitution, November 11, 1776, stated:
other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any
office...than such oath of support and fidelity to this State...and a
declaration of a belief in the CHRISTIAN religion."
Virginia's Constitution, June 29, 1776, stated in it's Bill of Rights, written by James Madison and George Mason:
"It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."
Rhode Island retained its original 1663 Constitution till 1843, which stated:
the blessing of God...be laid a sure foundation of happiness to all
America...to hold forth a lively experiment, that...a full liberty in
religious concernements...rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will
give the best and greatest security...to preserve unto them that
liberty, in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of God...and that they
may...defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties against all
the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith."
Connecticut retained its original 1662 Constitution, with the PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL Church established till 1818:
State...by the Providence of GOD...having from their ancestors derived
a free and excellent Constitution...whereby the legislature depends on
the free and annual election of the people...The free fruition of such
liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call
Massachusetts' Constitution, June 15, 1780, written by John Adams, stated:
person...before he...execute the duties of his...office...
subscribe...'I...declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and
have a firm persuasion of its truth'....The legislature
shall...authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT
teachers of piety, religion and morality."
New Hampshire's Constitution, June 2, 1784, stated:
"No person shall be capable of being elected...who is not of the PROTESTANT religion."
New Jersey's Constitution, 1776, stated:
persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who
shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby
established, shall be capable of being elected into any office."
North Carolina's Constitution, 1776, stated:
person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT
religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments,
or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom
and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or
place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State."
South Carolina's Constitution, 1778, stated:
person shall be eligible to a seat...unless he be of the PROTESTANT
religion...The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed, and is
hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this
Georgia's Constitution, 1777, stated:
"Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county...and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion."
New York's Constitution, April 20, 1777, stated:
United American States...declare...'Laws of nature and of NATURE'S
GOD...All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR
with certain unalienable rights...Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the
world for the rectitude of our intentions...With a firm reliance on
the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE'...
good people of this State, ordain...that the free exercise and
enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination
or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed...Provided, That the
liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to
excuse acts of licentiousness."
Council of New York, October 23, 1779, prescribed the oath: "I____do
solemnly...declare, and call God to witness (or if of the people called
Quakers, affirm) that I renounce and abjure all allegiance to the King
of Great Britain; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the State of New York...So help me God."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote in Engel v. Vitale, 1962:
late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established
Churches in at least eight of the thirteen former colonies and
established religions in at least four of the other five."
K. Wilson wrote in Religion Under the State Constitutions 1776-1800
(Journal of Church and State, Volume 32, Autumn 1990, Number 4, pp.
establishment of religion, in terms of direct tax aid to Churches, was
the situation in nine of the thirteen colonies on the eve of the
Journal of the U.S. House of Representatives, March 27, 1854, recorded
the unanimous vote of the 33rd Congress to print Congressman James
Meacham's report, which stated:
the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State - certainly
ten of the thirteen - provided as regularly for the support of the
Church as for the support of the Government...
to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It
was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be
upheld by a free people."
Congressman Meacham concluded:
the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to
war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in
News from AmericanMinute.com
Join Bill Federer on a fact finding trip to Israel. Click Here
Invite Bill Federer to speak: 314-487-4395 firstname.lastname@example.org www.AmericanMinute.com
Use the Send to a Colleague link below to tell others about the American Minute or click Join Our Mailing List to sign up. American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement to vwww.AmericanMinute.com