Freedom of religion is the first right mentioned in the Bill of Rights. The Founders knew how integral this would be to the United States of America. Without religious freedom, we cease to be free. Religion and the free exercise thereof is slipping through our fingers little by little, every day. But most people don't even even notice it, and they also don't understand why it's important.
In this four-part series, Glenn examines our religious rights as Americans --- where they come from, why they're essential and how the progressive left has slowly eroded them away.
Part I: The Beginning
In 2009, the president of the United States made this announcement at a press conference in Turkey:
“One of the great strengths of the United States is --- although as I mentioned --- you know, we have a very large Christian population. We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens,” President Obama said.
That statement would no doubt come as quite a surprise to Founders like John Adams who declared the general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.
James Madison, author of the Constitution, said, "religion is the basis and foundation of government."
Author and world-renowned historian David Barton concurs.
“George Washington, in his Farewell Address, said that religion and morality were our indispensable political supports, and that he would not allow anyone to call himself a patriot if he tried to exclude religion from public political life,” Barton said.
These founding principles were stated over and over again by most of America's founders and reaffirmed in 1854 by Congress. From the Journal of the House of Representatives: "The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the define truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Progressives have worked hard over the past century to secularize America and turn the country toward a European style of government. But even Woodrow Wilson, father of the progressive movement, said America was ‘Born a Christian Nation.’
Listen to the Full Series on Religious Freedom