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School officials in Connecticut might want to take note of the fact that Constitution includes the phrase, “Done . . . in the Year of our Lord,” a reference to Jesus Christ. They might want to dismiss this historical fact by claiming that it was the documentary style of the day. How can this be if, as strict separationists claim, “our fathers endeavored to retire the gods from politics”? Did they forget to retire Jesus from the Constitution? This would have been a perfect time to retire any implication that God and government intersected at any point. “Our Lord” is a certain reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. The use of “in the Year of Our Lord” continued to be used, even through Jefferson’s administration.
In 1807, Jefferson signed a federal passport that allowed the ship Hershel to proceed on its Journey to London that was dated September 24, 1807 “in the year of our Lord Christ.” Notice the addition of “Christ.” Jefferson could have crossed it out. He didn’t. All 50 state constitutions make reference to God in different ways: Almighty God (the most frequent), Creator, Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Supreme Being, Sovereign Ruler of Nations, Legislator of the Universe, Creator and Preserver of the Universe in their preambles. Did all 50 states forget to retire God from politics?
Then there are the official documents that called for national days of prayer. On March 16, 1776, “by order of Congress” a “day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” where people of the nation were called on to “acknowledge the over ruling providence of God” and bewail their “manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness.
Congress set aside December 18, 1777 as a day of thanksgiving so the American people “may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor” and on which they might “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” Congress also recommended that Americans petition God “to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”