From the beginning of our nation, those bearing the responsibility have left behind a powerful witness to their belief in God’s influence.
In his first inaugural address, Washington wrote: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.
“Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token on providential agency.”
These words came from his experience. Washington was not alone. Columbus, John Caver and William Bradford (governors among the Pilgrims), John Smith, and many others made this same claim.
Common to their stories were events perhaps only explained as miracles, miracles similar to those found in ancient Israel.
During the tumultuous early months of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin called for prayer. He spoke: “I have lived, sir, a long time, and, the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men.”
Franklin ended with “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.”
The demeanor in the chamber changed and within a few short weeks our Constitution was miraculously finished.
From this has come the practice of beginning each daily session of Congress with a prayer, with participants invited to pray using words from their own faith, being charge to respectfully invoke the blessings of heaven upon all. We applaud this practice.
Christians, Jews and others should be invited to pray prayers in line with God’s truths.
What we find interesting, is that our great leaders found their faith from different views. Franklin describes his own definition of religion simply; religion consists of these elements, a belief in a divine being, who is all powerful and seeks to bless his children, and that its members must be about blessing others.
Washington’s description of God was different from Columbus’s, yet each found divine help when they asked. History speaks loudly of a common thread that seems to combine these elements; those who ask must be duly authorized by the governed, honestly seek his help through prayer, and be honestly seeking to find and act upon his will. We strongly agree.
In 1954, the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance, making it clear that this is where the roots of our nation came from. And, by the way, it’s not “one nation, under God” it’s “one nation under God,” one complete phrase and not an afterthought.
In buildings all around our nation we see inscribed “in God we trust.” We even carry this on our currency.
Our prayer is that this would be true; that it would not be just a slogan we find carved in stone but that it would be carved in the hearts and minds of the people of our nation, for only as we return to trusting him will our nation continue under his protection.
We, the three Musketeers, feel strongly that our nation is at a turning point — that protecting our freedoms is at a crossroads.
We believe, to a large extent, the answer to what faces us will be found on our knees. Please join us in this humble position and practice with a willingness to listen.
Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing a series of columns on timely issues for today. All three ran in the 14th Congressional District primary.