Engaging views and analysis from outside contributors on the issues affecting society and faith today.

CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Easter reminds us of our most important liberty

Unsplash/Pisit Heng
Unsplash/Pisit Heng

As Easter approaches, well over a billion people across the globe will join family and friends to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the hope of life to come. These truths obviously pre-date the founding of America, but they were folded into the DNA of America even before its inception.

As such, Easter is important for all Americans, not just for those who claim faith. Because the United States did not create religious freedom. Religious freedom created the United States.

Patrick Henry is perhaps best known for his famed 1775 speech to the Second Virginia Convention in which he closed, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

But 10 years earlier, before the Virginia House of Burgesses, Henry noted: “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

Patrick Henry was far from alone in his beliefs. John Jay, co-author of “The Federalist Papers” and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States expressed similar devotion when he wrote in his last will and testament, “Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved son.”

Many of the men and women who settled in the colonies that eventually became America were fleeing Great Britain specifically in search of religious freedom. Of course, this was not universally the case — but a great many were ardent Christians seeking liberty to worship as their consciences saw fit. Nine of the 13 original colonies went as far as establishing a church and requiring officeholders to profess the Christian faith. Soon thereafter, all but four state constitutions referenced God. The remaining four made mention of the divine. The more we explore the motivations of early Americans, the more we find that faith was infused in much of what they did and why they did it.

The result of this faith was a pluralistic society that respected and protected the conscience rights of all. George Washington, the Father of our nation, noted in his 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, the “liberal policy” of the new United States, “a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”

Our Judeo-Christian heritage has made the American experiment possible. Without it, our concepts of liberty, justice, and moral and political order would likely be unrecognizable.

Washington was keenly aware of the inextricable commingling of patriotism and Christian observance, even at the height of the War for Independence. In his May 2, 1778 general orders dictating that services be offered on Sundays in all brigades with chaplains, he wrote: "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

As we celebrate Christ’s triumph over death and the grave, we can acknowledge that with redemption from sin has flowed the many gifts God has bestowed into the world. We are thankful to God for the blessings He has brought into the world through flawed people. We thank Him for the workings of providence throughout history, for the work of reason and virtue through hundreds of years, and for the prudence and morality of our leaders, past and present.

So as we enter the weekend commemorating Christ’s Passion, death, and glorious resurrection, may we delight in the knowledge that we have been redeemed from the consequences of sin and have been blessed with the fragile gift of liberty. Our responsibility is not merely to worship God, but to steward well the gifts He has given us — for ourselves and for the generations to come. This Easter, thank God for His goodness, for the nation we have been given, and for the rights it recognizes and protects, allowing us to worship freely.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Timothy Head is the executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More In Opinion