"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts in the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. -- Every step, by which they have been advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency."
The Founding Fathers proclaimed liberty to be an "unalienable right" bestowed by our Creator, as witnessed by their signatures to the Declaration of Independence which states: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- ." The Constitution states that it was ordained and established to secure the "Blessings of Liberty" to succeeding generations. According to Webster's Dictionary to "bless" is to invoke divine care, and to be "blessed" is to enjoy the bliss of heaven. Thus, both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence reference a divine connection with liberty. Numerous references may also be found in the writings of the framers which acknowledge divine inspiration and the hand of providence in the birth of the American nation and the establishment of the Constitution. Patrick Henry stated: "There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations." James Madison said: "It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution." Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address, closed with the appeal: "May that infinite power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best." Charles Pinckney said: "Nothing less than the superintending Hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war . . . could have brought it [the Constitution] about so complete, upon the whole." George Washington said: "We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained. . . ." If we fail to acknowledge this principle, we effectively disregard the works and faith of our Founding Fathers.
This first principle serves as the cornerstone for all others. Just as man alone cannot originate life, a people acting alone cannot obtain liberty without divine sanction. Similarly, like life itself, one cannot fully comprehend or appreciate liberty without reference to inspired principles. Liberty simply does not exist in a secular vacuum. Liberty is a divine promise -- it begets hope. John Foster Dulles stated: "Our nation was founded as an experiment in human liberty. Its institutions reflect the belief of our founders that men had their origin and destiny in God; that they were endowed by Him with unalienable rights and had duties prescribed by moral law, and that human institutions ought primarily to help men develop their God-given possibilities." Patrick Henry warned: "It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains . . ." Our currency states, "In God We Trust"; we pledge allegiance to "one nation under God"; and in the well known patriotic hymn "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," we sing, "Our father's God, to thee, Author of Liberty . . ." -- do we so believe?
"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?"
By: J. David Gowdy
See: Seven Principles of Liberty