One of the arguments that Christians like to try to use is that the acknowledgement of the Creator is in the Constitution. It isn’t. It is in the Declaration of Independence– and regardless of its location it has a lot to tell us about what the founders of this country believed and the framework from which they conceived this great country.
The arguments that people are trying to use today is that the Declaration of Independence can mean any Creator God. The problem is, Jefferson knew exactly who his audience was. To quote Benjamin Hart,
There were no Moslems, Buddhists, Confucianists, or Hindus present at either the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or eleven years hence at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Jefferson was addressing Christians. His entire argument about people having “unalienable rights” is contingent on the existence of God, and One who cares deeply about each and every individual.
Jefferson is the origin of the logic that I’ve used many times here– if God is not the originator of liberty (if they are not gifts of his) then the state is the highest moral authority and has the rights to determine what is right or wrong based on the whim of those in power.
You see why what Jefferson was saying in the Declaration was so radical and yet contingent on the presence of a Creator God– specifically the Christian Creator God?
The reason that our land is a Christian land lies in the fact that it is based on this Christian ideal– that man is eternal, and government temporal. It’s a philosophical question that has its roots in what is truly eternal. If government is or the world is, then it must be the moral authority. If a Creator God is eternal, and civilizations are but a blink of the eye, then government’s purpose is to protect the rights of the individual.
To cement this reasoning, I close with this from Faith and Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty:
“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.” America, Tocqueville added, 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 widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.” John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth President, acknowledged that from the beginning Americas “connected in one indissoluble band the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”
Do you see how the founders viewed the government and Christianity? Not at odds, but banded together. Not a high wall, but as one necessarily flowing from the other.