At the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry shouted to his colleagues “Give me liberty or give me death!” It was the dawn of the Revolutionary War. The following year, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the rest is history as we celebrate the birth of our nation this week.
The founding fathers of our great nation did much more than put up a good fight to win the freedoms we enjoy today. They relied on God for guidance and protection to build the nation we live in. Patrick Henry spoke for only about 8 minutes. At the end, he called on God saying “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Just about all our founding fathers were Christian. They had a Biblical worldview of how a government is subject to Divine Providence to govern their affairs. Although they knew that the Church and State must be separate, they also knew prayer, worship, and faith in God was necessary to guide the young nation so its people could govern themselves. I often wonder what they would say to us after seeing the headlines lately – activist groups openly bullying and threatening public officials, legislative deadlocks over how to treat human beings, government agencies conspiring to overthrow our government, disrespect for our flag, and a society so polarized between liberals and conservatives that it’s hard to talk about anything but the weather at a social gathering. Over the past 242 years of independence, our self-government seems to have moved from faith in God to ignoring God altogether.
George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor.” In short, if we don’t consult God in everything we do to govern our self, then we fail miserably by creating a society which ignores human dignity, disregards human life, and goes against the plan God has in mind for us.
This week, as we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in our Great Country, let’s take a moment to pray about how we can put God back into our government and our society, so that, as Abraham Lincoln said “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”