Founding Fathers' Faith in God and Its Reflection in Their Declaration of Independence

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It is evident that all of mankind has been deceived into the pleasures of sin, and it is critical to keep in mind that the Founding Fathers were imperfect. However, what set their ideology apart from that of other establishments at the time was their belief in God. Though it is not clear they were all completely devout in their faith, it is overtly obvious they acknowledge God’s existence and instituted America’s most influential founding documents.

Contract Theory

Thomas Jefferson felt burdened to draft the Declaration of Independence after living under the corruption of the British monarchy. Along with contributions from his colleagues, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson declared a list of grievances propounding his vision for America’s independence, and to disband from the British crown.

Jefferson was not the first to introduce the principles listed in the Declaration of Independence. He procured the design of the social contract from the philosophers: Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke. The social contract was the idea that, “citizens agree to surrender absolute freedom in exchange for the greater security and prosperity that come from living within an organized society”. This concept furthers to endorse the duty of the citizens to resist the government in the instance it ceases to protect the citizen. Jefferson implemented this idea into the structure of the Declaration of Independence, believing the role of government is to protect the people rather than control the people.

Religious Liberty

Arguably the greatest liberty in America is the freedom of religion. The idea of allowing citizens to openly worship God is absent in many cultures and countries around the world. Many people suffer severe punishment for praising God or even possessing a Bible.

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The Founding Fathers understood religious freedom was an essential component to establish a flourishing society. Rather than enslaving man to government, the Framers desired to bestow great freedom to the individual to exercise responsibly. According to McClellan, most Americans were pleased with the sense of religious liberty, though some leaders feared the sectoring off of minorities.

Limited Government

Limited government was established indirectly in a sense. The Founders were so concentrated on individual liberties that in order to ensure these rights, they realized government in turn had to be limited in its powers. Therefore, limited government was the only way to guarantee the individual such freedom.

Analysis of Eidsmoe’s Assertion

According to his book, ‘Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers’, John Eidsmoe asserts, “Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence”. He furthers to explain the misunderstanding that the Declaration of Independence lacks relevance to modern day Americans. It is essentially because the document was predicated on Biblical principles that it has remained adaptable to every individual regardless of cultural changes. The Bible was composed for all of God’s children to withstand the test of time. By grounding our Declaration’s principles in Biblical truth, irrelevancy is out of the question. Rooting our faith first and foremost in the Lord is the only gateway for a peaceful and prosperous nation.

Analysis of McClellan’s Assertion

The Declaration on Independence, according to James McClellan, “did not mention political parties or acknowledge their existence”. This statement is critical to understand in order to truly gain clear thinking about the historical document. The Founding Fathers did not seek to divide the nation by the newfound independence from Great Britain, but instead they sought to unite Americans as one. The Framers knew people would have different ideas and opinions about political policies, but it was imperative to have a source for all Americans to coalesce and unite as one body. The Framers did not mention freedom of the press in the Declaration as it later came into view in the Constitution. Also rejecting the idea of legislative supremacy, the forefathers paved the way for a free nation. The Declaration of Independence served to embark change while bringing together the people of the newly formed nation.


The Declaration of Independence was the precursor for the American Constitution. It will never be an irrelevant document, and as a citizen of the United States, I understand I am tasked with the responsibility of preserving these defining documents that have shaped the success of America. If America falls, it will not be from the threats or wreckage of the outside enemies. Instead, it is those on the inside, the American citizens who hold the power to destroy a country built so beautifully in the name of the Lord. The only way to restore America’s wounds is through a sweeping revival. It is vital to turn the country back to God to avoid tyrannical destruction. 2nd Chronicles 7:14 instructs us, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land”.

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Founding Fathers’ Faith in God and Its Reflection in Their Declaration of Independence. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from
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