Franklin: I humbly asked the assembly to consider prayer as a means to facilitate better communications among them. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business….
We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States. George Washington, letter to the Members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793.
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789.
Throughout his troubles, George Washington often acknowledged the hand of Providence, as did other leaders of the Revolution... "reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention.
Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect. James Madison, letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820.
It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution. James Madison, Federalist No. 37, January 11, 1788.
I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience. George Washington, letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789.
I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation. George Washington, circular letter of farewell to the Army, June 8, 1783.