As yet another proof that our Founders recognized God as the ultimate authority for our government and our society, consider the symbolism of the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States. It shows a 13-step pyramid representing the 13 original states, placed under what the designer described as “the Eye of Providence.” The Latin words Annuit Coeptis, meaning “He [God] has favored our undertakings,” float above the scene. The seal was approved after six years of deliberation over various designs. Secretary of Congress Charles Thomson reported to the Congress that “The Eye over & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause.”
If the doctrine of separation of church and state had been intended by the Founders to keep God and religion out of government, does it seem reasonable that such direct references to deity would have been approved for the official signature of our nation? Of course not!
The assault on religion in general, and especially on Christianity, which is under way today from many quarters—ranging from the ACLU, atheists and liberals to the Obama administration’s hidden war on the military—is ultimately intended to overthrow the religio-spiritual foundation of America. If that happens, hell on earth will follow.
Thomas Jefferson saw that clearly when he wrote in Notes on the State of Virginia, “And 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 of the gift of God?” Likewise James Madison: “The belief in God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources…” Benjamin Franklin agreed: “Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.”
All were implicitly echoing the statement by William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, a century earlier: “Unless we are governed by God, we will be governed by tyrants.”
Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states the fundamental principles on which America rests. There are four references to Deity in it. Taken together, these terms make clear that God, not government, is the source of our freedom, our sovereignty, our equality, our rights, our justice and our human dignity. They are preexisting in us, before there ever was any government. So the Constitution does not grant any of that; it simply guarantees them for us and prevents government from interfering with it.
Therefore it is perfectly legal, constitutional and (in the view of our Founders and Framers) right for citizens to publicly express their religion via prayers and symbols such as the cross, menorah and others. We have a secular federal government, but we are, and always have been, a religious society.
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