In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, President George Washington said: “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions.”
“Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look for our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” This was President Ulysses S. Grant’s message to America’s next generation in 1876.
President Calvin Coolidge also recognized God’s province: “It seems to me perfectly plain that the authority of law, the right to equality, liberty and property, under American institutions, have for their foundation reverence for God. If we could imagine that to be swept away, these institutions of our American government could not survive.”
President Ronald Reagan famously spoke these remarks to the Dallas Prayer Breakfast in 1984: “Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”