Liberty University – GOVT 200-D02
The Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802 are all very important documents in our nation’s history. All three documents are similar in that their very foundations were based on the religious beliefs of our founding fathers, whether written or implied. Some of the Founding Fathers were conventional Christians, and some were not.
While the Declaration of Independence is a document that the people of the original 13 colonies wrote to lay out a list of grievances against the British Government, in particular, the King of England, to proclaim their desire for independence from British Rule, and be a sovereign and independent nation, the U.S. Constitution also provides the laws and guidelines that outlined how this independent government should function. Both of these documents are rooted in Christianity. Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists states his convictions of religious freedom and the letter contains the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" which led to the short-hand for the Establishment Clause that we use today: "separation of church and state" (Mount, 2010). Taking into account both documents when responding to the Danbury Baptist Association, his response showed he was in agreement with the issues that the people of the Danbury Association had with their lack of religious liberties in Connecticut and that as a “politician,” his goal was to promote religious freedom for all.
The Declaration of Independence was written first, and this is important because it laid out the ideals and goals of our nation. The Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776, and the U.S. Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788. The Declaration of Independence was the basis on which the laws of the U.S. Constitution were written. Both documents together address man’s most basic political questions and rest on a strong moral foundation. They were written by men who were deeply rooted in Christianity, studied the scriptures and relied heavily on God's word. As evidenced in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that...