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There are good reasons for supposing that most, perhaps all, of the Founders believed in God, but this isn't one of them. There is no evidence whatsoever that either John Adams or John Hancock ever said "We recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus." This is a modern urban legend recorded in no sober history book, and was in fact adapted from a slogan of the Fifth Monarchy Men in England a century before the American Revolution.

The urban legend has it that Adams and Hancock said this in reply to a British officer just before the battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775--but neither Adams nor Hancock was even there at the time. The same reply is also sometimes attributed to the Reverend Jonas Clark, who actually was there, but his own account, which is quite detailed, makes no mention of it, nor do any of the other witnesses who left a record of events.

A few commentsA few points:
  • John Hancock and John Adams weren't the only founders
  • Most of the founders do seem to have believed in God, and specifically in a God that took an active role in history
  • The founders were generally in favor of various non-sectarian public religious expression
  • The founders were emphatic supporters of religious freedom and tolerance, favoring individual conscience over mandated religion
  • Some of the leading founders rejected certain key parts of Christian dogma. Most famously, Thomas Jefferson compiled his own version of The Bible, removing certain portions. Jefferson accepted Jesus's teachings, but denied his divinity, the Trinity, the resurrection, etc.
  • However, The denominational affiliation of these men is a matter of public record. Among the delegates were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 unknown and 3 deists--Williamson, Wilson and Franklin.
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2013-09-17 23:33:12
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Q: How can people believe that the founders of this country didn't believe in the God of Heaven when John Hancock and John Adams said 'We recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus'?
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How can people believe that the founders of this country didn't believe in the god of heaven when john Hancock and john Adams said 'we recognize no sovereign but god and no king but Jesus'br?

Well, for one thing, John Adams and John Hancock never said it. It's a modern urban myth. You might well ask yourself why do people so readily believe stuff like this that is so easily disproved?

What does Hancock hate to be called?

I believe that he hates to be called an A**hole.

What did the south believe during the Civil War?

The South believed that, thanks to the strategy carried out during the conflict, they could win the war or, at least, get to a compromise peace, that would recognize the Confederacy as an independent and sovereign state.

What colony founders believe tolerance was a great virtue?


Who said Good penmanship is a fool's accomplishment?

John Hancock I believe.

What did John Hancock believe in?

John Hancock was a Christian and belonged to the Congregationalist Church, which is a Protestant type religion and they believe that the Bible is sufficient in ruling their society "in matters of faith and practice". His father was a Congregationalist preacher.

What basic rights did the founders believe you should have?

The rights of Life, Liberty and Property

Why did some founders believe that majority rule could be a threat?

Natural rights.

Who were some political writers during the American revolution?

I believe John Hancock was one

Is God sovereign?

God is all-powerful, and he controls the universe, and everything in it; or so I believe.

What John Hancock believe?

That people should be free of stupid laws that King G. the 3.

Where did most of the founders of this country believe most of the power of government should be?

It depends which country you are referring to.

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