The Declaration and the Constitution: Their Christian Roots.

Essay by ilnet2000High School, 11th grade November 2004

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The Declaration and the Constitution: Their Christian Roots.

The Declaration of Independence indeed shows its Christian roots. However, the original draft of the Declaration, written by Thomas Jefferson, was very vague in showing religious connections. It only mentioned one embedded reference to God, "the laws of nature and of nature's God," which is a direct reference to the laws of God, described in John Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government and William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. Later, the language of the Declaration was changed around to favor a more religious tone. Phrases such as all men are "endowed by their Creator" with these rights, "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions" and "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence," are examples of changes made to the Declaration.

Christianity also greatly influenced the Constitution. Fifty-five of the men who signed the Constitution were church members who certified the Christian faith.

Also, when political historians gathered 15,000 writings from the Founding Era (1760-1805), 3154 citations were found in them, and of these citations the most frequently cited are from the Bible. In addition, the writers from the Foundering Era quoted from the Bible 34 percent of the time. What is more intriguing was that about three-fourths of all annotations to the Bible came from reprinted sermons from that era. In terms of framing the government, leaders took a more Biblical view on human nature. If there was no government that would mean men did not need to be governed because they are not sinful, but we all know that is not the case. Framing a republic form of government needs a balance of power to control this sin a free human dignity. This is in strong relation to a Christian view...