Originally Posted by blucher
"Study up on Benjamin Franklin's resolution calling for prayer in the Constitutional Convention. And then read the final paragraph of the Constitution written by the Constitutional Convention."
aw c'mon, no Cliff Notes?
When the Constitutional Convention reached an impasse over the issue of representation in congress the Convention was on the verge of dissolution. So Benjamin Franklin made a motion calling for prayer.
From the Notes that James Madison took at the Constitutional Convention:
?Mr. President The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks
close attendance & continual reasonings with each other -- our different
sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as
many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of
the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of
political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We
have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined
the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the
seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed
Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions
suitable to our circumstances.
?In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to
find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented
to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought
of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our
understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we
were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine
protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously
answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed
frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that
kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on
the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now
forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need
his assistance? 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? We
have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord
build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe
this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall
succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of
Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our
projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach
and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may
hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing
Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
?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, and that one
or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that
Franklin?s motion was seconded by Roger Sherman.
Alexander Hamilton and other delegates agreed that prayer was proper, but Franklin?s motion should have been introduced at the start of the Convention. Praying after the Convention had been in progress for some time could alarm the public because it would indicate that the delegates were not getting along.
Franklin, Sherman and other delegates countered failure to pray in the past could not justify failure to pray in the present, and rejection of Franklin?s motion would alarm the public even more. Praying would give the public hope that the Convention would be a success.
The motion was not put to a vote after another delegate, (Williamson) pointed out that the Convention had no money to pay a chaplain?s salary with.
Edmund Randolph then offered a substitute motion that the Convention request that a special sermon be preached on the next July 4 to mark the anniversary of independence and that thereafter the Convention itself offer prayers each morning. Franklin seconded this motion. Its opponents tried to adjourn the Convention in order to stop Randolph?s motion, but when they failed the convention adopted the motion without taking a formal vote on it.
U.S. Constitution Article VII:
?Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.
The only person for whom the dating style ?year of our Lord? has ever been used is Jesus Christ. So even if the men who signed the Constitution did not believe Jesus Christ is God, they all recognized His existence.