What’s Religion have to do with American Independence?

Fireworks display captured over the nations capitol

It has been said that July 4 is the most important of secular American holidays. If not for the inclusion of pyrotechnic displays, contemporary observation of our nation’s birth typically looks like any other summertime gathering.

But what is the religious significance of Independence Day?

Consider this excerpt from the 1946 Independence Day Speech by John F. Kennedy:

“Our deep religious sense is the first element of the American character…devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action .Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence…that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Read the full speech at the JFK Presidential Library by clicking here

General George Washington praying at Valley Forge.

Kennedy closed his speech with a quote from DeTocqueville … “You may talk of the people and their majesty, but where there is no respect for God can there be much for man? You may talk of the supremacy of the ballot, respect for order, denounce riot, secession–unless religion is the first link, all is vain.”

However you choose to celebrate our nation’s birth please take a moment to give thanks for the men and women who over the course of its brief history have, and will continue to sacrifice so that we can enjoy the fruits of liberty.

May God Bless and keep you,