The Roots of American Government

A survey of the religious foundations of our democracy



Original Link: 

Tim A. Krell
Humanities 215
March 3, 1993

Copyright © 1993-1997 Tim A. Krell. All rights reserved.


"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about." --Woodrow Wilson

Americans, as a whole, know embarrassingly little about their own heritage. In these modern times, history is considered boring by many, a waste of time. Most see it as something one must endure while in school, but quickly forget as they get on with "real life." Americans would far rather make history than read about it--besides, what happened back in colonial times doesn't really apply to what is happening in the world today. Or does it?

Most of us can name the "founding fathers," but few of us can give more than sketchy details as to their lives, their beliefs, and their feelings toward what America should be. These fathers of democracy would probably be shocked to see the apathy of Americans toward their heritage and culture. And they would likely have much to say about the direction our country is proceeding.

Our forefathers may not be living with us today, but their words are still alive and well. By examining their ideas, thoughts, and philosophies, we can get a better picture about our own heritage. To do so is not a matter of trivial importance; for as we discover the roots of our country, therein we find the soul of our nation.

Let us then look to our past and examine the religious foundations of our democracy.


In God We Trust

"The only assurance of our nation's safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion." --Abraham Lincoln

How many of us have actually taken the time to look closely at the back side of a dollar bill. Most of us are too busy spending them to ever stop and examine the great symbolism imprinted upon every dollar bill. Beneath the majestic "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and sandwiched between two symbols lie the words "IN GOD WE TRUST." To the left and right of these words lie the Great Seal of the United States. On the seal are inscribed the words "Annuit Cúptis" ("God has favored the undertaking") and "Novus Ordo Seclorum" ("a new order of nation was thus launched.") The Great Seal also includes a pyramid, which represents the thirteen original colonies topped by the all-seeing eye of God surrounded by a cloud of glory, symbolizing the protecting Divine Presence.

Though it was the last half-century that brought the words "in God we trust" to U.S. currency, its presence serves as a reminder of the uniqueness of our nation's founding. America is one of the only societies in the history of the world based upon the God of the Bible. The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 did not come merely because they wanted freedom of worship. They were far from religious refugees who just wanted a place where they could be themselves. The Pilgrims' own words from the famous "Mayflower Compact" tell it all: "Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Part of Virginia; do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience."(1)

These words told not just of their reasons for coming to America, but also outlined a form of government which would be a precursor to the eventual government of the United States.


One Nation Under God

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. 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 the gift of God?" --Thomas Jefferson

Our nation, from the beginning, was steeped in its belief in the God of the Bible. We know that our founding fathers themselves had strong religious beliefs which guided their actions and decisions. And even today, remnants of this belief can still be seen. In Washington, D.C., the monuments and buildings are littered with scripture and references to God. Above the head of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are the Ten Commandments; the crier who opens each session of the court closes with the words, "God save the United States and the Honorable Court." Across the street at the Capitol building can be found a small room just off the rotunda for the private prayer and meditation of members of Congress. This room though it is closed to the public, is always open whenever Congress is in session. Inside is a glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer. Surrounding him are the words from Psalm 16:1: "Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust." Inside the rotunda is a picture of the Pilgrims about to depart Holland on the ship Speedwell, which was the sister ship of the Mayflower. In this picture one can see the ship's chaplin with an open Bible in his lap; on the sails of the ship are the words, "In God we Trust, God With Us." And every session of the House and the Senate begins with prayer. A short ways away the Washington Monument stands majestically overlooking the Capitol. And on the metal cap atop the Monument can be found the words "Praise be to God." And these are just a few examples. Other buildings like the Library of Congress, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and many others give further testament to this nation's unequivocal and fundamental belief in God.

In its day, the American experiment in democracy attracted the attention of many other nations. In the early 19th century, the French government had many questions as to how United States was able to function. Up until then, it had always been thought that if people were allowed to rule themselves, anarchy would inevitably follow. It was felt by most that people were simply incapable of ruling themselves. And yet here we were in America, flourishing under our newly established system of democracy. The French were perplexed, so they commissioned Alexis de Tocqueville, a political philosopher of the day, to go to the United States and discover the "secret" to American success. After traveling throughout the United States, here's what Tocqueville reported back to France: "I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion--for who can know the human heart?--but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable for the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole rank of society." Tocqueville went on to add, "America is the place where the Christian religion has kept the greatest power over men's souls; and nothing better demonstrates how useful and natural it is to man, since the country where it now has the wisest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest."(2)

The great British writer G.K. Chesterton, in his essay "What I Saw in America," noted that, "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence."(3)

This is obviously a reference to the second paragraph of this great document which boldly proclaims that: "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This reference to a "Creator" is said to be "self-evident," underscoring the writer's undeniable belief in God.

Even the "Deists" of the day did not waver in their belief in God. Benjamin Franklin, on June 28, 1787, told his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention of the need for each day's session to be opened with prayer. His words came at a crucial time--the Convention was on the verge of breaking up because of sharp differences over how this new government would be structured. The issue was representation of the states, and the battle lines were drawn. Small states sided with William Patterson's "New Jersey Plan," while the large states were firmly for James Madison's "Virginia Plan." The tension was unbearable, and the differences seemed irreconcilable. It was in this context that Benjamin Franklin gave his famous speech:

"In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger," said Franklin, "we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor . . . and have we now forgotten this powerful friend? Or do 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 the affairs of man.' 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. 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 a byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war or 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 with our business."(4)

Franklin, along with many others, believed strongly in the "providence" of God. They believed that God would intervene on their behalf because they were following his commands, and living according to his precepts. Several events throughout the revolutionary period helped to shape this view. Among the more notable was a remarkable event that occurred on August 27, 1776 in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The Continental Army was backed into a corner by some 32,000 British troops--the largest force ever assembled by the British in the 18th Century. Among them were 9,000 German mercenaries; the rest were highly trained and skilled British soldiers. The 18,000 American troops were terribly outnumbered with no place to go. They had never really had a chance from the start, however. Not only were they outnumbered two to one, but some 5,000 of our men were raw recruits from Connecticut who had been hastily thrown together by patriot governor John Trumble following an urgent appeal by General Washington. These "soldiers" had not been given so much as one hour of drill! To make matters worse, Major General John Sullivan, who was acting for George Washington, foolishly moved his troops out into the open plain to the south. The battle which ensued inflicted heavy losses on the beleaguered Continental Army. When it was all said and done, some 8,000 troops were left trapped on the Brooklyn shores--little more than sitting ducks. All the British had to do was launch one final offensive and it would have all been over. Washington and his troops would have been forced to surrender and America as we know it today, would have never been. But thankfully for those who prefer to drive on the right side of the road, the British never launched that final assault. There is only speculation as to why--some have thought that the commander of the British troops, General William Howe, wanted to wait for reinforcements, but he certainly had more than enough to conquer the Americans. The reason will remain a mystery--for now, both armies disengaged, and posted sentries while the Americans awaited the inevitable.(5)

Night fell, but few were likely sleeping soundly. The next morning the sound of rain was heard throughout the camp. It was a cold, hard rain, driven by a strong northeasterly wind. This put somewhat of a crimp in the British plan. Their fleet lay at anchor two miles southwest. The plan was for the fleet to travel upstream and complete the encirclement. Then, the American troops would be completely encircled. But the storm kept the fleet at anchor downstream. General Washington and his officers began to plot their strategy. Most of his advisors, sensing the end was near, felt they should stand firm in the trenches and take as many British as they could. General Washington, however, had a different idea. They would row themselves one mile across the river to present-day Manhattan. His advisors felt the plan was impossible, but Washington was adamant--he ordered his officers to draw up the plans, with the evacuation to begin immediately thereafter.

It just so happened that the last regiment of men who were sent to join the troops two days prior were minutemen from the north shore of Massachusetts Bay--from Salem and Marblehead. These men had been raised in small boats--they were expert oarsmen who were so skilled they could dip the oars in and out of the water without making a sound. This would become crucial because two hours in to the evacuation, the storm subsided. The winds which had been blowing fiercely died down and the moon illuminated the night sky on this hot, still, August night. The mood in the boats was no doubt one of great tension for the British marines lay only two miles downstream. Sound carries very well over still water--if the British marines had heard the sound of rowing they would have immediately launched the longboats and captured the entire army--but they never heard a thing. All throughout the night, fishing boats, row boats, life rafts, and anything else that would float slipped across the East River carrying troops, artillery, wagons, and yes, even horses!

Dawn came quickly it seemed--all too quickly, indeed. For there were still several thousand troops left on the Brooklyn shore. As the sky slowly became more and more light, the hopes of the soldiers still trapped on the Brooklyn shore became more and more dismal. Once it was light, the British would see what was happening and proceed to capture the remaining troops. What happened next was recorded in the diaries of officers from both sides. Major Ben Tallmadge of the Continental Army says it best: "As the eastern sky began to lighten from black to purple, streaks of red and orange--just as the light began to rise, every American eye was anxiously on the eastern horizon . . . Just as the light rose, a dense fog rose out of the earth. I recall this peculiar intervention of divine providence perfectly well, and so dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man six yards distant. The fog hung like a blanket upon the area of the British lines, the American lines, the Brooklyn shore, and a corridor of fog across the eastern river to the tip of Manhattan. We tarried until late morning . . ." Under the cover of the fog, the remaining soldiers were rowed to safety. And as Major Tallmadge recalls, "The fog rose at precisely the moment the last boatload of American soldiers left the Brooklyn shore." The British sentries saw what was happening and realized they'd been had. They ran down to the shore and fired there muskets at that last boat, but it was too late--the rounds fell short--the boat was just out of range.

It's not surprising that many of the American soldiers involved in this incident viewed these most unlikely of events as providential. Indeed, so did the British, some of whom even wrote in their diaries, "The hand of God is against us."(6)

General Washington, in a letter written to Brigadier General Nelson said, "He must be worse than an infidel who lacks faith to express his obligations, but time will suffice later for me to become preacher when my present appointment ceases, therefore I shall add no more on the doctrine of providence."(7)

This was just one of many events that our founding fathers looked to and saw the hand of God protecting and providing for them. There were many other events such as when British reinforcements were delayed by three months at a critical point in the war due to contrary winds that indicated to people that God was silently working "behind the scenes" to assist their righteous cause.

It is difficult to characterize God as having "chosen sides" in the Revolutionary War. One can hardly imagine God "rooting" for the Americans and "booing" the British. But there was indeed something special about America in the eyes of the founding fathers--this was one of the only countries that had been founded on the God of the Bible. This was a nation that was seeking to establish itself under the democratic principles of the Bible. Many of the time felt America to be a "divine experiment" in democracy. By following God's precepts for the democratic rule of a country, as explained in the Bible, they felt guaranteed of eventual success, regardless of what obstacles confronted them. Indeed, for those who witnessed the events surrounding the founding of the United States it is not difficult to understand how they might agree with Katharine Lee Bates' later conclusion: "America! America! God shed His grace on thee . . ."


A Higher Law

"We have staked the whole of our political institutions on the capacity of mankind to govern themselves according to the ten commandments of God." --James Madison

Many of the people in Colonial times had a strong belief in the God of the Bible. This belief, as we have seen, carried over into their feelings about government and democracy. But even for those who did not believe in Jesus Christ, few could argue against the success of a system of democratic government based on biblical principles. The founding fathers felt such moral and ethical values to be essential for the preservation of their fragile democracy. Not surprisingly, our entire legal system is based on the principles of right and wrong, good and bad-that is, of a "higher law." Thomas Jefferson articulated this ideology in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote the King of England had "violated the laws of nature and of nature's God."

The Declaration of Independence asserted that we all have "certain unalienable rights." Without some higher lawgiver, no right can be "unalienable." They instead become subject to the whims of the King, President, Congress, and the people. Nothing is definite, nothing is absolute. Our principle of Higher Law goes back to the Common Law of England. And the Common Law, of course, dates back to the Magna Carta, which states in one part: "The King himself ought not to be under a man but under God and under the law, because the law makes the king . . . for there is no king where will governs and not law." Ultimately, the origins of Higher Law can be traced back to Moses and the Ten Commandments. According to the Bible, these Ten Commandments were given by God through Moses, to the Israelites. These commandments laid out the requirements for living an upright, peaceful, pleasing life with one another and with God. Regardless of whether a person believes in God it would seem clear that principles such as "Honor your father and your mother," "You must not murder anyone," "You must not steal," or "You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court." are essential to the preservation of a free society.(8) It is indeed ironic that such fundamental principles for living peacefully with one another have today become the grounds for civil action against those who would proclaim them in public schools.

Our nation was founded on this principle of Higher Law. Were it not for Higher Law, there would be no basis for the Declaration of Independence. Our entire system of democratic government rests on this very principle. John Adams put it very clearly: "Our constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."(9)

That sentiment lasted well into the 19th Century. In 1892, as part of the decision of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, the Supreme Court said: "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian . . . This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth . . . 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." My how things have changed in the last 101 years!

It is interesting to note that it has only been in the last 50 years or so that America has strayed from its roots. As we move farther and farther away from the principles of Higher Law which have guided this country since its founding, we may soon find ourselves standing on very shaky ground as we begin to ask who decides what is right and what is wrong.


The Myth of Modern-Day Pluralism

"America was not founded by religionists nor on any religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." --Patrick Henry

In a truly pluralistic society, many diverse beliefs and values can be embraced amongst a civilization holding to certain common, fundamental values. Sadly, however, our modern-day society has strayed far from the pluralism espoused by the founding fathers. Today, an Agnostic is often seen as being tolerant, whereas a Christian is viewed as intolerant. One reason for this radical change stems from the fact that the modern-day agnostic view of pluralism has largely excluded the moral absolutes to which our founding fathers held. Such moral absolutes represent the foundation of Christianity. Hence, in today's society, such positive moral values are squelched from the public sector simply because they happen to coincide with religious ones.

The myth of modern-day pluralism is that society can function indefinitely apart from any kind of basis in common, fundamental moral values. Apart from such, plurality can only exist as a temporary state of being while multiple value structures compete for the minds and hearts of the people. Sadly, those espousing "pluralism" today often attempt to use it as a manipulative tool for imposing their own values on others. In their zeal to strip religious values from public schools and rewrite history to exclude religious beliefs, it has become clear that the vision of the founding fathers has been derailed.

Indeed, just as Christianity is a "religious belief," so is Agnosticism, Atheism, and Secular Humanism. Under the guise of the "Separation of Church and State," modern-day society has endeavored to part with its Christian roots. But in so doing, haven't we merely traded one set of values for another? In a truly pluralistic society, values held by competing segments of the population must be fully integrated or kept fully separate. The failure of modern-day society to realize the pluralistic intentions of our forefathers can clearly be seen today in public schools that instill values and beliefs into students contrary to their upbringing. In a truly pluralistic society, public schools would either educate children all values (including those of a Judeo-Christian origin) or would ensure that no values of any type are conveyed.

Indeed, if the State and the Church are to be kept separate, then the schools have no business whatsoever teaching any kind of morality, whether directly or indirectly. This has prompted a backlash amongst many who object to the teaching of values contrary to their own. In a recent article, syndicated columnist Dr. Thomas Sowell writes that many American public schools today are attempting to "brainwash children with the latest ideological fashions." While our foreign counterparts are busy teaching math, science, and other academic subjects, Dr. Sowell notes that we in America are wasting time trying to indoctrinate students on "homosexuality, environmentalism, cultural, or a thousand other non-academic distractions." Such distractions may account in part for the educational deficit found amongst American students in contrast to many of their student counterparts in other countries. Dr. Sowell's article was prompted by a recent flap in New York City by a school district who objected to first-grade textbooks about "daddy's roommate" and a girl with "two mommies," designed to accustom first-graders to the idea of homosexual parents. Dr. Sowell writes: "Few parents or citizens realize the pervasiveness of classroom brainwashing, or the utter dishonesty with which it is smuggled into the schools under misleading labels. Does anyone ask himself why it should take years and years to teach school children so-called 'sex-education'? Obviously it does not. What takes years and years is to wear down the values they were taught at home and lead them toward wholly different attitudes and wholly different conceptions of the world. Brainwashing takes time--and it takes this time away from academic subjects. First-grade textbooks promoting homosexual lifestyles are only the opening salvo in the year after of assaulting children's values. The issue is not homosexuality or the relative merits of traditional versus avant-garde beliefs. The issue is: Whose children are these? By what right do other people usurp the responsibility of parents and use the schools to carry on guerrilla warfare against the values that parents have taught their children?"(10)

Clearly, what Dr. Sowell and other conservatives object to is not the existence of values different from their own, but rather, the fact that such values are being foisted on them through the public sector. By definition, pluralism allows for multiple belief systems to exist in autonomously; hence, the public sector should either reinforce these values or avoid any influence on them whatsoever. To do otherwise is indeed cause for questioning, "whose children are these?"

The framers of our Constitution would likely be disturbed if they saw our present day "interpretation" of their words and expressions. The Constitution, in the eyes of its authors, was designed to perpetuate a Christian order, not to promote its demise. The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." Clearly, the authors would have never intended for this statement to be used to keep religion out of the schools. On the contrary, by interpreting it as such, the opposite goal is achieved. It is interesting to note the similarities between the modern-day interpretation of "separation of church and state" and that of the former Soviet Union. The now-defunct U.S.S.R. article 124 of the Soviet Constitution stated: "In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens." While this sounds reasonable, and even appropriate, a careful analysis reveals the ambiguity of this kind of an interpretation of the First Amendment. What good does religious "freedom" in the private sphere do you when the private sphere no longer exists? As with the U.S.S.R., religious faith was outlawed everywhere, because the private sphere had been systematically absorbed into the public sphere. This is unquestionably not what the framers of our Constitution had in mind--our forefathers wanted freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

On the other hand however, they by no means ever had the idea of a theocracy in which the state is run by the church. This has proven disastrous where it has been tried, and is contrary to the biblical principles of self-government which our forefathers so strongly believed in. A church-run government is certainly not the answer; but neither is this modern-day re-interpretation of what the First Amendment said. The First Amendment was never intended to protect Americans from religion; rather, it was intended to protect Americans from government.

Were our founding fathers alive to see our modern-day attempts to eliminate religion in favor of a humanist philosophy, they would likely object to those who would describe it as a triumph of "pluralism," "freedom," and "liberty." Indeed, such "freedom" and "liberty" is a far cry from what they expressed in their day. But perhaps even more disturbing is the thought that the opinions of these great statesmen, were they able to comment on today's society, might well fall on deaf ears.

"A too literal quest for the advice of the founding fathers seems to me futile and misdirected."
--Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, 1963

"I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever fixed at the Philadelphia convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight and sense of justice exhibited by the framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start." --Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, May 1987



"To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots" --Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Americans as a whole, have lost touch with their roots. Few have any interest at all as to how this country came to be. And those who do are often satisfied with the explanation given in a class, or by reading a book, or by watching a documentary. This lethargy of Americans towards their heritage is a danger to our society, for it makes us vulnerable to anyone who wishes to rewrite history to their liking. Slowly and methodically, the courses of entire civilizations can be changed by those who wish to manipulate opinion, values, and history.

Other countries have been brought to ruin because they allowed a person or group of people to slowly overtake them. How can we be so confident that we are exempt from this possibility? We may not be overtaken by a Hitler or a Stalin, but what about special-interest groups, or those who disagree with our values or religious views, whatever they may be? We must not allow our freedoms to be compromised.

America cannot afford to allow its roots to be severed. We must understand our roots lest we risk losing touch with the principles and realities that have made this country what it is today. As a society, we must hold officials in the public sector accountable for ensuring the freedoms that our founding fathers sought after. The responsibility rests on our shoulders, and ours alone--our forefathers ensured us of that by creating the system of government we now possess.

Indeed, our roots cannot be severed apart from our consent.



DeMoss, Arthur S. Foundation, The Rebirth of America, Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation, © 1986

Dunn, Charles W. Religion in American Politics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, © 1989.

Hall, Clarance Wilbur. Protestant Panorama: A Story of the Faith that Made America Free. New York, Farrar, Straus and Young, © 1951.

Hart, Benjamin Faith and Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty. San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, © 1988.

Hudson, Winthrop Still. Religion in America: A historical account of the development of American Religions. New York: Macmillan, © 1987.

Hutchenson, Richard G. Jr. God in the White House: How Religion Has Changed the Modern Presidency. New York, Macmillan, © 1988.

Knollenberg, Bernhard. Origin of the American Revolution: 1759-1766. New York: Macmillan, © 1960.

Maddox, Robert L. Separation of Church and State. New York: Crossroad, © 1987.

Miller, William Lee The First Liberty: Religion and the American Republic. New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, © 1986.

Nehaus, Richard John The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., © 1984.

Tindall, George Brown, America: A Narrative History, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, © 1992.

Wright, Louis B. The American Heritage History of the Thirteen Colonies. New York: American Heritage Pub. Co., © 1967.



1. Information Please Almanac, 1980, p. 576, "The Mayflower Compact" © 1980, Simon & Schuster, New York.

2. Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Many editions, originally written 1835 (De la democratie en Amerique)

3. Benjamin Hart, Faith & Freedom, © 1988, Here's Life Publishers, San Bernardino, p. 13.

4. Ibid, p. 324.

5. Tindall, George Brown, America: A Narrative History, © 1992, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 216-218.

6. Marshall, Peter The Truth About Our Heritage, © 1993 Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO.

7. Ibid.

8. Scripture quoted from The Everyday Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1987 by Worthy Publishing, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. Used by permission.

9. Marshall, Peter The Truth About Our Heritage, © 1993 Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO.

10. Sowell, Dr. Thomas, The Fraud of Sex Education, syndicated column, taken from the Bremerton Sun, 1992, exact date unknown.