Schools in the United States were originally set up by Churches for the purpose of Bible teaching.
In 1690 Connecticut established a Literacy Law with a fine of $25 (extremely considerable for that time) because children must be able to read if they are to read the Scriptures.
Also in 1690, Benjamin Harris' New England Primer textbook with a memorization rhyming alphabet was introduced using Scripture to teach reading and pronunciation. This Primer was reprinted and used for 210 years, until 1900.
John Adams said: "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity."
The Declaration of Independence was considerably based on John Locke's book, Two Treatises of Civil Government which referenced the Scripture 1700 times. John Locke also authored The Commonplace Bible, The Reasonableness of Christianity, and Defense for The Reasonableness of Christianity.
In 1781 Congress ruled that a new English edition of the Bible be printed and used by schools. (Where was the ACLU?)
Benjamin Rush warned if America ever removed the Bible from the classroom, all of our time will be spent fighting crime.
Over 15,000 writings of America's founders were examined to determine the primary sources for establishing our government. The number one source was the Bible. From these writings it has been determined that Jeremiah 17:9 and Isaiah 33:22 were the basis for separation of powers and America's three branches of Government. Ezra 7:24 was the premise for tax exemptions. Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution was derived from Exodus 18:21 which formed the basis of a Republic form of Government. The judicial branch of government in Article III Section 3, was derived from Deuteronomy 17:6 and Ezekiel 18:20.
In 1792, James Wilson, signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and a Justice in the first Supreme Judicial Court, provided the legal text for civil law in the first legal school. In it he states: "Human law must rest its authority ultimately on that which is Divine." He also stated, "Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters."
Noah Webster provided the text book, History of the United States, used for over 60 years in public schools contained this statement: "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws." And " All the miseries and evils which men suffer from - vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war - proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."
Fisher Ames, the founding father who actually wrote the First Amendment, expressed his belief that the Bible was to play a prominent role in public education when he said: "It has been the custom of late years to put a number of little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons. Why then, if these books for children must be retained,… should not the bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the sacred book that is thus impressed lasts long… The bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as faith." And "We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book."
October 12, 1816 John Jay, America’s 1st Supreme Court Justice set forth in clear and concise terms his belief that America’s leaders must be first and foremost, Christian: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
In 1828, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story acknowledged that: "...at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and of the First Amendment to it,... the general if not the universal sentiment in America was that Christianity ought to receive encouragement by the state so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. Any attempt to level all religions (that is, to make Christianity simply one of many religions) and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation if not universal indignation..."
In a letter to William Jarvis on September 28, 1820. Therein Jefferson said: "You seem... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the deposition of an oligarchy."
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason people of other faiths have been afforded asylums, prosperity and freedom of worship here." Patrick Henry
The American Bible Society was started by an act of Congress and John Adams, our second president, served as its first leader.
In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."
In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."
“We earnestly recommend that Friday, the 17th day of May next, be observed by the colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life appease God’s righteous displeasure, and through the merits and meditation of Jesus Christ obtain His pardon and forgiveness." William Livingston presented this resolution to Congress on March 16, 1776. It was approved without dissent.
Baron Charles Montesquieu wrote "The Spirit of the Laws", a book that was read and studied intently by our Founders. Montesquieu wrote in 1748; “Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same … body of principal men … exercised these three powers." Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government.
In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible. “ An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia” Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress
On April 20, 1816, Congress also approved relief for the Baltimore and Massachusetts Bible Societies!
In God We Trust