Prayers and Devotions

The Connection Between Religion and Democracy

(Excerpt from Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union Address to Congress in 1939)

    Storms from abroad directly challenge three institutions indispensable to Americans, now as always. The first is religion. It is the source of the other two - democracy and international good faith. 

    Religion, by teaching man his relationship to God, gives the individual a sense of his own dignity and teaches him to respect himself by respecting his neighbors. 

    Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows. 

    International good faith, a sister to democracy springs from the will of civilized nations of men to respect the rights and liberties of other nations of men. 

    In a modern civilization, all three - religion, democracy, and international good faith - completement and support each other. 

    Where freedom of religion has been attacked, the attack has come from sources opposed to democracy. Where democracy has been overthrown, the spirit of free worship has disappeared. And where religion and democracy have vanished, good faith and reason in international affairs have given way to strident ambition and brute force. 

    An ordering of society which relegates religion, democracy, and good faith among nations to the background can find no place within it for the ideals of the Prince of Peace. The United States rejects such an ordering and retains its ancient faith. 

    There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend, not their homes alone, but the tenants of faith and humanity on which their churches, their governments, and their very civilization are founded. The defense of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one we must now make up our minds to save all. 

Dear Father in Heaven,

We ask for your blessings upon our day, that we may share those blessings with your children around the world. Father, guide us to show compassion without effort, express love with a gesture, give freely from the heart, and guide your children back to you. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.