American Foundations for the 4th of July

On this 4th of July in 2015 . . .
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Red, white, and blue are the ONLY colors I’m flying in any flag to represent the United States of America. Our nation’s title has become quite the oxymoron in these recent days of manipulated divisions and contrived crisis. Helter-skelter headlines have eroded hard won foundations by the first “greatest generation” of American Christian men and women in the 18th century. Their blood, sacrifices, and precious legacies has been dissed and distorted in contemporary classrooms and media. Where are the likes of such leaders in classically trained minds who can critically think and reason from the firm foundation of historical and moral absolutes, rather than the shifting sands of relativism and the arbitrary deceptions of human feelings?

Noah Webster spent twenty years meticulously researching every word defined in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the foundation for the first American textbooks used to educate American citizens. He defined terms the way our Founding Father’s generation understood them to be defined. The way they used such terms in conversation and written documents. Noah Webster was part of that generation of classically trained thinkers and educators. Do not be deceived–not one of them would condone much of what is currently passing for new laws of the land. Their words leave behind a different story than what is being conveniently rewritten of late.


Education is useless without the Bible.

Noah Webster 

Patriot Samuel Adams, most notable to this present generation for the beer that’s named after him, echoes Webster with a more wordy dissertation:

“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls in inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Diety and universal philanthropy . . . and in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country, of instructing them in the art of self-government of societies, great or small. In short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”

Samuel Adams

For my part, as a lover of history, I never tire of reading the primary source historical record of our nation. There are so many amazing documented words left to posterity for us to KNOW the minds and purposes of our Founding Fathers. It always amazes me to see how contemporary spin doctors want to twist their words to match the prevailing departure from moral absolutes and solid rock reasoning. In doing so, they negate, if not erase, the predominant place that Christian precepts, character, and biblical morality have played in the formation of our American government and society. 

“The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this – it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principle of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.”
John Adams, Letters

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, were written in keeping with a decidedly Christian worldview. This does not impede upon the idea of separation of church and state. The term “religion” was often used interchangeably with the term “Christian” at the time, in conversation and personal writings. Saying that government will “not make any laws respecting the establishment of a religion” or give preference to, initially revolved around the idea of diverse denominations having the freedom to worship as they choose. Something forbidden to the English Christians under the monarchy. That is why so much of the Christian faith is etched in stone on our national monuments and in the documented historical record of our government and leadership. Understood and practiced correctly, Christianity was key to the establishment of true liberty sought by our Founders–an authoritative standard for law and liberty in a new country.

[Tweet “Liberty. Not license.”]

Flawed men as they were, and prone to error, the Founders knew from history that the heart of man is not to be fully trusted. Hence the three divisions of power drafted in government–a wise choice in light of the lessons of history and past civilizations. They professed a deep dependence upon God, and held a core belief that He would ultimately guide and direct this nation, via faith and biblical principles, so long as we remained humble in our acknowledgement of His Lordship in all our ways.  

Sadly proven by our own history,  when we blow it, God lets us eat the consequences of poor national choices. 

[Tweet “My prayer is for mercy, that we might return to Him.”]

So, once again on this 4th of July weekend, here is my annual re-posting of a piece I compiled a couple of years ago. I only scratch the surface of words from of a plethora of primary source material on the topic.  May we remember our Lord, apart from Whom our nation would not exist, and mark this 4th of July weekend as John Adams hoped we would:

“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
John Adams
I don’t pretend to sound eloquent in the company of Jefferson, Adams, and Hancock. These three patriots were just the tip of the iceberg of the most articulate generation produced on these shores, men and women alike. I must defer to primary sources–their own words–to sing the praises of the day and the author’s original intent:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness . . . We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions . . . And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Thomas Jefferson
Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence
July 4, 1776
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“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Patrick Henry
Governor of Virginia
“We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!”
John Hancock and John Adams
“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day?  Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?  That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?  That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before.”
John Quincy Adams
6th President of the United States
Excerpt from a speech on the 61st anniversary of
The Declaration of Independence, 1837
“Statesmen . . . may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”
John Adams, 1776
“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time’ they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure . . . are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
Charles Carroll
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all . . . Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.”
Samuel Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
“The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity . . . I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
John Adams
Second President
“A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district – all studied and appreciated as they merit – are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.”
Benjamin Franklin
Statesmen, Inventor, and Scientist
“Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.  We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
First Founder to call for free, national, public schools
“The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed.”
Patrick Henry
Revolutionary Leader & Orator
“O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto:  ‘In God is our trust’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
Francis Scott Key
Final verse of our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner
“I now made it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in His holy protection’ that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of Mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.”
George Washington, June 14, 1783
Excerpt from “Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors
of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army”
For more American His Story detailing the uniqueness of our Christian foundations, I recommend:
The American Patriot’s Bible:  The Word of God and the Shaping of America
Dr. Richard G. Lee, General Editor; New King James Bible
Thomas Nelson Publishers
The American Patriot’s Almanac:   Daily Readings on America
William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Have a Blessed and Joyful 4th of July!

Sharing American Foundations for the 4th of July this week with:

Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee

A Little R&R Wednesdays

Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life

Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

Beverly’s Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Love this post and all the pictures! Amen and amen! Happy 4th of July. In God we TRUST. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  2. I always learn so much when you do one of these history posts. I’m just glad you don’t give pop quizzes!!

    I was just thinking the other day, that our country is basically only 240 years old. And it’s sad how far we have traveled from our very God-focused beginnings. I pray for a revival in our nation. And I pray that God starts in our own hearts…


  3. You told it like it is and covered the bases very well. Nicely done.

  4. Beside you at Thought Provoking Thursdays! Oh, how I love your works of art and creativity in your blog. I loved what you shared about America but most especially I love your pictures and plain just love what you create here. Thanks for letting your creativity flow! I love it!

    • Thank you, Jeannie! I love to love the Lord through beauty and goodness in my art and words. Sometimes, though, it does get hard when the clouds roll in–as of late. But, God call us to the light, and there I shall roost in His peace–and make more beautiful things!
      Joy to you!!

  5. Such a great post, Kathy ! Hope you and yours have a great Independence Day celebration ! God bless America…and happy Pink Saturday!

    L, Dana

  6. May God continue to shed His grace on us.
    Happy 4th.

  7. What a wonderful, patriotic post! I agree with you that our founding fathers are not well pleased with the happenings in our country these days. A great tribute to Noah Webster. I have a replica version of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary and I love it from back before God was removed in our references. Have a lovely 4th and, now more than ever, may God bless America!

    • Hi Robin! Thanks for dropping by! Good on you that you have the HEAVY facsimile 1828. I do, too. It was a staple in my Principle Approach classroom and is now in all my writing research. However, I’m opting for the ease of the online version. Definitely makes the job faster! Joy to you!!

  8. Hey hey hey Kathryn – so fun to visit. How are you doing? Your blog looks so great. Have a blessed and beautiful week!


    • Thanks, Kaye! Busy, busy with the book and tour and more writing projects than I wonder that I can accomplish! In the Lord, all things are possible! Joy!

  9. Absolutely splendid, Kathy. Thank you so much for sharing this with us for Pink Saturday.♥ This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as “the one with the most clicks”.

    • Wow! Thanks, Beverly! I was just getting some pink from our trip to Newport and to see our grand-girl to share and got your comment. So honored! It’s a message worthy of repeating to be sure. Thanks for the feature!!

  10. Kathy I am late visiting and I am so happy Beverly featured your post for the most visits. It is so wonderful…every word. Love your cute pic at the end too. Smiles. I am sure you had a great fourth.
    I have been taking care of my hubby for over three weeks because of his hip replacement. My friends have been so neglected. He is doing fine but complications have made the healing process slower. All is well, just taking more time.
    Thank you for a great post with so much wisdom and thought.
    Love, Jeanne

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