People who say that the origin of the United States of America was not rooted in a belief in God overlook that the Declaration of Independence clearly states a belief in our basic human rights that are granted to us by a "Creator."
Everyone is quick to throw around the phrase, "all men are created equal" but how many know the words that follow say, "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."
Opponents of references to God used in American government often point out that the phrase "in God we trust" was not adopted as the official motto of the United States until 1956, making the case that religious references did not exist before that time. Advocates of separation of church and state have questioned the legality of the motto "in God we trust" asserting that it is a violation of the United States Constitution, prohibiting the government from passing any law respecting the establishment of religion. Prior to the adoption of "in God we trust" as a motto, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledgement of Americans as "a religious people" and the balancing of those beliefs within our society were explained in a 1952 court decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court stated in the case of Zorach v. Clauson in 1952 that, "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." The remarks were made in a case upholding the rights of school students in New York to leave school buildings and grounds to go to religious centers for religious instruction or devotional exercises during school hours on written requests of their parents. The decision in the case of case of Zorach v. Clauson clearly explains how government should show no partiality to any one religious group while letting each "flourish according to the zeal of its adherents."
The founding fathers of the United States of America often made references to the Creator or the Almighty in their writing. The founding fathers affirmed that people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The founding fathers believed that government could neither give, nor legitimately take away these rights, only protect them.
As is the case with most arguments, you can make your case based on what you want to believe. You can argue the denomination or affiliation of the Creator, but the reference to the Creator as the foundation of our rights does indeed begin with the very founding of the United States of America and the Declaration of Independence.
The founding fathers of the United States of America made reference to the Creator in proclaiming independence. The most important sentence in American history, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Graphic edited by Questy from public domain work of art, original artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Thomas Jefferson (right), Benjamin Franklin (left), and John Adams (center) meet at Jefferson's lodgings, on the corner of Seventh and High (Market) streets in Philadelphia, to review a draft of the Declaration of Independence.