When the First Continental Congress met in 1774, the men started bickering within two days, so someone made a motion to open the sessions in prayer. John Adams said it had a remarkable affect, according to a new book, “Forged in Faith,” by Rod Gragg. Describing his work as “a survey of America from the colonization of Jamestown in 1607 to the creation of The Declaration of Independence in 1776, the author said: “Faith shaped the birth of our nation.” America really was forged in faith.
“Colonial Americans did not want a national religion like The Church of England,” Gragg emphasized during a TV interview this morning, “but they wanted the Constitution to reflect biblical laws and values and for Americans to have freedom of faith.”
Although Thomas Jefferson was an unorthodox thinker, he always claimed to be a Christian, Gragg noted. Interestingly, when his Congressional colleagues asked him to design a new national seal (to stop his complaining every time one of his words was changed in The Declaration of Independence), Jefferson’s design depicted the biblical image of the children of Israel leaving Egypt. Although the seal wasn’t used, the theme revealed the Judeo-Christian faith that gave rise to our great nation.
As we approach the 234th birthday of our incredible country, I propose that our esteemed Congress take a leaf from our Founding Fathers, stop bickering and grandstanding on both sides of the aisle and open its sessions in prayer. It doesn’t matter who anyone prays to, or even if he or she prays at all. What matters is that the men and women who represent us all look beyond themselves to keep America beautiful–from sea to shining sea.