Franklin’s Appeal For Prayer

Posted: June 26, 2009 in Category - Speechs and Prayers, Franklin's Speech

Judicial and political activists i.e., Progressives, through their cronies the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have been very successful in their disingenuous campaigns to convince Americans that Jefferson’s statement to the Danbury Baptists that a wall of separation exists between church and State is to be interpreted as a State void of faith.  Historical evidence does not support this extreme view of Jefferson’s beliefs and therefore, what he meant by what he said.  A superficial reading of the historical documents makes it very clear there was no separation between faith and State and the faith of the State was Judeo-Christian values.  The following quote is a statement by Benjamin Franklin during the constitutional convention as tempers began to flare.

“The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of this truth that 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, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.”

Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787

Franklin’s statement makes at least three things very clear to the open minded.

1) Despite what Jefferson might have believed about his statement those who actually worked on the Constitution did not believe in the separation of faith and State.

2) Also, this statement makes it clear the vast majority of those who worked on the Constitution were not Deists but theists believing God did act in our world through various means.

3) Many Progressives argue that the Constitution is not a “religious” but secular document because it does not mentioned religion especially Christianity. This argument is clearly false.  Nevertheless, even if we accept their twisted interpretational view of the historical documents this statement provides evidence that the Constitution rests or floats upon Judeo-Christian principles as found in the Bible alone. The Constitution cannot be separated from Judeo-Christian values without collapsing the entire structure.



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