"The less we emphasize the Christian religion the further we fall into the abyss of poor character and chaos in the United States of America
Jefferson acknowledged the "best support" of good government was the "liberty to worship our Creator," as he stated to Captain John Thomas of the Newhope Baptist Church, NOVEMBER 18, 1807:
"Among the most inestimable of our blessings is that... of
liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable in His will
; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be
its best support."
This sentiment was echoed by one of the most popular preachers in America during the Civil War era,
Henry Ward Beecher,
whose sister, Harriett Beecher Stowe, wrote the anti-slavery novel
Uncle Tom's Cabin,
Pastor of Brooklyn's Plymouth Church,
Henry Ward Beecher
stated NOVEMBER 18, 1869:
"In the unity of the nation ... we hope
much from religion
; very little from sectarian churches;
much from the
Spirit of God blessing the Truth of his Word
to the hearts of individual men; much from the individual men that are nobler than their sect; much from free men whose adhesion to forms and ceremonies is the least part of their existence;
much from religion
as it exists in its higher forms in individual nature and in public sentiment; very little from dogmas; very little from theology as such ..."
Henry Ward Beecher
"Let us implore the God of our fathers, by his own wise providence, to save us from our wanton passions, from impertinent egotism, from pride, arrogance, cruelty, and sensual lusts,
that as a nation we may show forth His praise in all the earth.
A similar view was shared by
President Chester Arthur
, who died NOVEMBER 18, 1886.
The son of a Baptist minister from Ireland,
was an abolitionist lawyer who defended the rights of African Americans, then served as the Union's Inspector General during the Civil War.
As the 21st
President, Chester Arthur
stated October 25, 1882:
The blessings demanding our gratitude
are numerous and varied... for ...
moral education of our youth
for the influence upon the conscience of a restraining and transforming religion ...
for these and for many other blessings we should give thanks ...
I do recommend ... that the people, ceasing from their daily labors ... draw near to the throne of Almighty God, offering to Him praise and gratitude for the manifold goodness which He has vouchsafed to us."
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On NOVEMBER 18, 1933,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
stated in Savannah, Georgia:
"We are celebrating the planting of the Colony of Georgia ... which had its
roots in religious teachings and religious liberty
, a State in which the first Sunday School was established...
Let me... read to you a very short passage from ... a great son of a great Georgia mother, Theodore Roosevelt. He said:
'Spiritually and ethically
we must strive to bring about clean living and right thinking.
We appreciate that the things of the body are important; but we appreciate also that
the things of the soul are immeasurably more important
Julius Caesar Watts, Jr.,
was born NOVEMBER 18, 1957:
A college and pro football player, J.C. Watts was a youth minister before being elected in 1994 as a U.S. Congressman.
As the House Conference Chairman,
responded to the President's 1997 State of the Union Address:
"I was taught to respect everyone for the simple reason that
we're all God's children.
I was taught, in the words of Martin Luther King, to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.
And I was taught that
character is simply doing what's right when nobody's looking