Religion/Spirituality: The Importance of Faith
Published by: Cody Rizzuto on Tuesday August 7th, 2012
It is common teaching in schools to tell students that there is a separation of church and state. This was a principle that, for many of our founding fathers, was foremost in their mind. Thomas Jefferson, who according to a number of modern historians has been branded nonreligious, (and wrongfully so I might add) was the single largest advocate of this principle in his home state of Virginia. The greatest men of the time believed that there was no place for organized religion in government, and they were wise in that belief. But what many people fail to realize is that the people who founded this country were very religious men. Liberals want us to think otherwise, and they have attempted to expunge all semblance of God when it comes to our federal government. They have attempted to remove religious connotations from our Pledge of Allegiance and from our military monuments, and they have shown their blatant disregard for personal belief through their campaign to mandate contraceptives to Catholic hospitals.
Although there is a separation of church and state, this doesn’t mean there should be a separation of faith and state. Our founders wanted to outlaw state sponsored faith and institute total freedom of religion. But despite this, faith in God did not leave the halls of our early government. At the Continental Congress, prayers were said together as a collective unit. And this was a Congress of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists. If we read history, it is not difficult to find those moments when the fate of our nation hung in the balance, and the finger of God tipped the scales.
In 1776, George Washington and the Continental Army had just faced a devastating defeat at the battle of Long Island. They had been decimated and pushed back to Brooklyn Heights. One night in August, Washington ordered a forced retreat across the treacherous East River. So, he began moving his forces by boat to Manhattan. As his men were being ferried across the river, he had other men keep the campfires roaring to give the British the impression that his army remained hunkered down at Brooklyn. Morning approached, and as the sun began to rise a large portion, including General Washington, had yet to be evacuated. If the British learned of their retreat, they would have immediately swooped in and destroyed the army, taking Washington with it. This would have been the end of the Revolution and ultimately the end of America. But suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, a thick fog descended on the East River. Everywhere around the city of New York was crystal clear except for the small portion of the river that the American army was using to make its escape. They succeeded in getting all their men to Manhattan, and no more than an hour later, the fog lifted. In his letters following the incident, Washington credited it to none other than divine Providence.
Our founders had strong faith and were successful in their endeavors with the help of God. So why the attacks today? Many liberals fear that they will hurt people’s feelings if they include God in anything, so they try to avoid using Him at all cost. But either through ignorance or personal agenda, they are tearing down a fundamental pillar of America. When our leaders lose faith, or when we as individuals lose faith, we also lose our morality. It is undeniable that the two are connected.
I am a Catholic, and I try to pray as much as I can. Sometimes it seems hard to find time for God, but we must try. And it doesn’t matter what your faith or religion is, but I believe that it is so important to find that higher connection. It is vital for us as individuals, and for Americans collectively.