Were the Founding Fathers Christian Nationalists?

Paintinig of the signing of the Declaration of Independence showing the five-man drafting committee presenting its work to Congress

It is startling that a professional journalist could be this clueless about America’s founding documents. But during an interview on MSNBC, Heidi Przybyla, a journalist for Politico, slammed Christians who believe their rights come from God and not from government.

Przybyla declared that there is a difference between Christians and Christian nationalists, whom she considers a threat to American democracy. One tenet Christian nationalists hold in common, she asserts, is the belief that rights come from God, not government.

After listening to Przybyla, one has to wonder if she has read the Declaration of Independence. It clearly states that human rights come from God and that governments exist to protect and secure those God-given rights. It reads:

“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.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

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An Anti-Slavery Document

America’s founding generation considered the above statement to be an anti-slavery statement, and abolitionists often quoted it in their fight against slavery. This is why Frederick Douglas, in a July Fourth speech in 1852, praised the Declaration of Independence and said to his audience, “The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes and at whatever cost.”

As documented in my book, “1726: The Year that Defined America,” America’s founders had been impacted by the antislavery movement that emerged out of the Great Awakening. So powerful was this movement that by 1776 virtually every Founding Father, including those who owned slaves, had taken a public stand against slavery.

This is why America’s founding documents contain no classifications based on race or skin color. This is astounding when we realize that they were formulated at a time when slavery and inequality were accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and most of the world. This is why, in the same speech, Douglass extolled the Founding Fathers and said of them,

“The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too—great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men” (Hyatt, “America’s Revival Heritage Second Edition,” 86).

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also understood the significance of the Declaration of Independence. When he was accused of being an extremist, he replied, “Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist?” He then quoted Jefferson’s words from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (Hyatt, 85-86).

They Were All Christian Nationalists

If we accept Przybyla’s definition of a Christian nationalist as someone who believes rights come from God and not from government, we are led to the startling conclusion that every Founding Father was a Christian nationalist.

We also have to conclude that the giants of abolition and civil rights—such as Lincoln, Douglass and King—were also Christian nationalists, for they too believed that the rights for which they fought had been given by God, not by a human government.{eoa}

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Dr. Eddie Hyatt is on a mission to “Save America” by documenting America’s overt Christian origins out of the Great Awakening and calling for prayer for another such national awakening. He has documented this vital information in his books, 1726: The Year that Defined America,” “America’s Revival Heritage 2nd Edition,” “Abolitionist Founding Fathers and others, which are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.


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