Now documented, political scientists tell us that the greatest single source of political inspiration for the framers of the Constitution was the Bible. No surprise there. The Bible tells man the truth about spiritual matters and the history of cause and effect. Some 34% of all ideas referred to directly by the delegates came from the Old and New Testament books. Furthermore, 60% of the references to opinions of Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke were drawn from the Bible. The most frequently quoted book was from Deuteronomy in the Old Testament (Professor Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism, Louisiana State University Press, 1988).
The official American motto, In God We Trust, was adopted in 1956. It replaced the E Pluribus Unum motto, adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created in 1782. In God We Trust is a reflection of the Creator-based Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Abraham Lincoln emphasized the Creator-based Declaration as the moral predicate for Constitutional law. One of the greatest discourses ever delivered in America, the Gettysburg Address, begins “Fourscore and seven years ago [referring to the Declaration of Independence] our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863).
President Harry S. Truman emphasized the ageless principles for education and law: “The fundamental basis for this nation’s law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings in Exodus, Matthew, Isaiah, and Paul. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we finally end up with a totalitarian government…” (President Harry S. Truman, Address before the Attorney General’s Conference on Law Enforcement Problems, February, 1950).
We haven’t even touched upon George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln… time fails us to recognize each name and reference. So let’s not throw our Bibles away just yet.
~ D. Norris