Benjamin Franklin – Role of God in Constitution

In a speech given to the Continental Convention on Jun 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin lets everyone know what he thinks the role of GOD was and needs to be in congress. [Full Text of speech]

He first talks about how they are getting no where because they “are producing as many Noes as Ayes, methinks a melancholy Proof of the Imperfection of the Human Understanding.” He then goes on to say, that “In the beginning of the Contest with Britain, when we were sensible of Danger, we had daily Prayers in this Room for the Divine Protection! Our Prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engag’d in the Struggle, must have observ’d frequent Instances of a Superintending Providence in our Favor.”

He then goes on to say that God governs 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 labor 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:..”. Notice he is quoting scripture as well.

He then makes the following comment in closing: “That henceforth Prayers, imploring the Assistance of Heaven, and its Blessing 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 Service. ”

They did not start saying Prayers at this point (but sometime later they did start the practice, and it is continued to this day). And the reason was because they did not have the money to pay a Clergy of the city to officiate.


Did you catch that? The reason they did not was because they could not find someone to officiate the payer without being PAID to do so. That is one of the major problems that I have with paid clergy. Shouldn’t it be enough to serve your fellowmen and help move the work of GOD? Why is it required that someone be paid to offer a prayer on a daily basis? Does not receiving payment change the reason why you are being a clergy. It makes it no longer about serving God and helping your fellowmen, it is all about MONEY. This is the same reason why I agree with Franklin with not paying public officials. It should be a service to the public, not a way to profit from the hard labor of the public or your congregation.


Here are some other quotes by Benjamin Franklin that show his views on God.

God helps them that help themselves
Poor Richard’s Almanack

GOD: I conceive for many reasons that he is a good being; as I should be happy to have so wise, good, and powerful a being my friend, let me consider in what manner I shall make myself most acceptable to him.
“Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion” (20 Nov. 1728)

Let me, then, not fail to praise my God continually, for it is his due, and it is all I can return for his many favors and great goodness to me; and let me resolve to be virtuous, that I may be happy, that I may please him who is delighted to see me happy.
“Articles of belief and Acts of Religion” (20 Nov. 1728)

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God
Pennsylvania Evening Post (14 Dec. 1775)

I hope our people will keep up their courage. i have not doubt of their finally succeeding by the blessing of GOD, nor have I any doubt that so good a cause will fail of that blessing
Letter to an unknown correspondent (25 Oct. 1776)

You can find more quotes at