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Presidents’ Day Quotes for our Nation

February 25, 2011

(Continued from before…)

Their thoughts and words then, and now are eloquent, and yet, thought provoking.  One thing is clear; America was never intended to lose its Christian identity that it was founded on.

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) President, Commander-in-Chief, Commanding General of the US Army (after being President), Delegate, Founding Father

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

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.       

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large; and, particularly, for their brethren who have served in the Geld; and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacifick temper of the mind, which were the characteristicks of the divine Author of our blessed religion ; without an humble imitation of whose example, in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.

It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God and to obey His will.

John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4th, 1826 – the 50TH Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence) President, Vice President, Ambassador to Great Britain, and the Netherlands, Delegate, Lawyer, Founding Father

The highest story of the American Revolution is this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4th, 1826 – same day as Adams!) President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Ambassador to France, Delegate, Governor, Lawyer, Teacher, Founding Father

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are 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.

[My views on Christianity] are the result of a life of inquiry & reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

James Madison, Jr. (1751 – 1836) President, Secretary of State, Congressman, Lawyer, Founding Father

We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848) President, Secretary of State, Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Russia, Prussia, and the Netherlands, Congressman, Senator, Lawyer

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.

Andrew Jackson (1767 – 1845) President, Military Governor, Senator, Congressman, Lawyer, Judge, Major General

The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865 – yes, Tax Day) President, Congressman, Lawyer

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.

It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged.  The prayers of both could not be answered… The Almighty has his own purposes.

Benjamin Harrison (1833 – 1901) President, Senator, Brigadier General, Lawyer

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) President, Vice President, Governor, Colonel, Medal of Honor, Nobel Peace Prize, Conservationalist

Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) President, Supreme Allied Commander, Military Governor, President of Columbia University

They [the founders] proclaimed to all the world the revolutionary doctrine of the divine rights of the common man. That doctrine has ever since been the heart of the American faith.

The real fire within the builders of America was faith – faith in a Provident God whose hand supported and guided them: faith in themselves as the children of God… faith in their country and its principles that proclaimed man’s right to freedom and justice.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963) President, Senator, Congressman, Navy Lieutenant

The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 – 2004) President, Governor, Actor, Army Air Corps Captain

It would seem that not only is religion lacking in the schools — so is common sense. I wonder what a teacher is supposed to say if a kid asks about those four words on a dime — ‘In God We Trust.’ Or maybe that’s why they aren’t being taught how to read these days.

Our coins bear the words ‘In God We Trust’. We take the oath of office asking His help in keeping that oath. And we proclaim that we are a nation under God when we pledge allegiance to the flag. But we can’t mention His name in a public school or even sing religious hymns that are nondenominational. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.

It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work — work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. … We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, not reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory? … We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) US Minister to France, and Sweden, 1st Postmaster General, Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, Founding Father

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 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.

In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 – July 12, 1804) 1st Secretary of the Treasury, Delegate, Founding Father

The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.

I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me. – (On July 12, 1804 at his death)

For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.

I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.

John Jay (1745 – 1829) 1st Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Governor of New York, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, President of the Continental Congress, Founding Father

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.

David Josiah Brewer (1837 – 1910) Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Judge, Lawyer

The American nation from its first settlement at Jamestown to this hour is based upon and permeated by the principles of the Bible.

Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799) Governor, Lawyer, Colonel

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!

This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed. (The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry)

It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

John Hancock (1737 – 1793) President Continental Congress, Governor

In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness… Resolved; …Thursday the 11th of May…to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation …and a Blessing on the … Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God]…That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation…for the redress of America’s many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations. (A Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation. Proclamation on April 15, 1775)

Walking about Washington, DC…

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known only to God. – Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington Cemetery

The WWII Memorial is a testament to the power of a free people, who, when, faced with a threat to their country and the world, united to defeat tyranny.  During WWII, the government issued 17 million Bibles to the soldiers with a message in them from Generals Eisenhower and Marshall.  Eisenhower understood that our nation’s rights and freedoms rested upon our firm faith in God. – Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

 “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6: 8), and, “The heavens declare the Glory of the Lord, and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psalm 19: 1). – inscriptions on the walls in the Main Reading Room, Library of Congress

Laus Deo. – east side of the Washington Monument’s aluminum capstone: “Praise be to God”

Preserve me, God, for in Thee do I put my trust. – inscription in window of the Capitol Building Chapel

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