The Rebbe on the Basis of America’s Founding

Today, all across the America, families and friends will gather to celebrate the national day of independence with barbecues and fireworks. But beyond being an excuse for a party, the founding of the United States testifies to an unprecedented and vital truth for us to remember today.

Unique from the long-gone empires and kingdoms which came before it, America was founded on a set of principles—principles established by pilgrims escaping freedom-oppressing regimes. In fact, these liberty-seeking individuals traveled here for the very purpose of establishing a place for their faith to thrive.

Today, there’s plenty debate about the appropriate level of intersection between government and religion. By avoiding all matters Godly, doesn’t our modern government deny the spirit of religious freedom upon which our country was founded?

Watch this excerpt, where the Rebbe explains how a free government that supports religion is not a contradiction—and how it truly realizes the vision of the Founding Fathers in the best possible way.

6 Comments

  • 1. f.c. wrote:

    b’h

    A good time to be inspired to promote a moment of silence in the schools and the Seven Noachide Laws – in a land which the Rebbe has always described in most positive terms. A land founded on G-dly principles and a land of so much opportunity for goodness and kindness.
    Especially now – where the trend in recent years has been for a more secular and G-dless society – it is critical we bring G-d back into the equation.

    Reply
    • 2. Amused Observer wrote:

      In what fashion do you think this would be realized? Exactly which, and whose, religion do you think the population would decide to bring “back into the equation”?

      I don’t think you’d be happy with the answer to that question, and that’s exactly why a secular government is important in America.

    • 3. @ 2. Amused - cognizance of G‑d wrote:

      Transcript from the 82nd Birthday of the Rebbe, 11th Day of Nissan, 5744 (1984),,,It is therefore imperative to base the education given in schools on cognizance of a Supreme Being; and because it is such a basic element in education, it should be done before all other lessons. A law should therefore be passed establishing that the school day open with “a moment of silence,” in which students will think about the Creator and Ruler of the world. The beginning of every day in such a manner not only emphasizes its importance and accustoms the youth to recognize that there is “an Eye that sees and an Ear that hears,” but also serves as the “conduit” to receive G‑d’s blessings for success in one’s studies and other matters.

      Why should this be done with a “moment of silence” specifically? When doing something the purpose of which is the fulfillment of G‑d’s will, one must keep in mind that G‑d wants it done pleasantly and peacefully, with equanimity and not with quarrels and strife. In our case, a proposal for a spoken acknowledgement of G‑d in school immediately leads to arguments about interference with an individual’s religious beliefs, etc. Concerning a “moment of silence,” in contrast, — thinking, not speaking — each student can think what he wants. And thus the goal of acknowledging G‑d is achieved pleasantly and peacefully.

      If the law were to establish a spoken acknowledgement of G‑d, then, even with full provisions for neutrality concerning any particular religion, nothing can assure that the teacher or principal will not exert some pressure on the students concerning a particular religious belief. For it is the biggest test possible for the teacher or principal to talk to the students about matters of faith, and simultaneously not to mention anything about his particular belief — and to do so day in and day out!

      When a law is passed, it is not passed for a trial period with the intention of changing it at a later date; it is intended as a permanent law. It is therefore important when passing a law to take into account a person’s limits, and not to put him to a daily test. Thus the law passed should be a “moment of silence,” and thus the principal or teacher will not need to restrain himself from talking about his own faith — for no talking at all is involved; only thinking. Similarly, all arguments between students about religion will be avoided.

      The fact that one only thinks about G‑d, not speaks, is perfectly alright, for G‑d knows a person’s thoughts without him actually having to utter them. Thus to G‑d, there is no difference between thought. and speech. Indeed, sometimes thought is better, for then the matter thought about is more profound and has more depth than if spoken aloud together with others.

      Hence, the proposal for a “moment of silence” will achieve its goal of cognizance of G‑d without any arguments or rancor between the lawmakers.

      Another advantage to a “moment of silence” specifically is that it will force parents to take part: They will have to tell their child what to think about during the “moment of silence” — about the Creator and Ruler of the world. Parents will therefore send their child to school equipped not only with physical food but also with spiritual food.

  • 4. Stonewall wrote:

    Yes, but the rebbe makes an error in saying that the intention and drive of the drafters of the constitution in 1789 were linear to the experience of the Pilgrims in 1620. The pilgrims came and established a theocracy in Massachusetts, and were as religiously intolerant as ISIS, which was why they had to come to North America to practice their extremist ideology since they were unwelcome to do so in Europe.

    The drafters of the constitution did not want to form any religious society, and many of the founders were disgusted by religion. They wanted a society where one can be free to observe their religion, or have no religion at all. The government being hands-off in peoples affairs.

    The Constitution is a product of the Haskala – enlightenment. The Pilgrims were the opposite of enlightenment.

    Reply
    • 5. @stonewall wrote:

      Actually, the Constitution was founded with and according to Judeo Christian principles. But I won’t try to confuse you with details and facts.

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