State Constitutions

Our nation’s Declaration of Independence has no fewer than four references to the God of the Bible.  But what of individual state documents, especially their constitutions?

Each of the fifty states has a constitution.  Only three states (New Hampshire, Vermont and Virginia) have no preamble to their constitutions.  Forty-five of the states that do have preambles make very clear statements recognizing and honoring God in a variety of ways.  A few examples are as follows:

  • Alabama – “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God”
  • Colorado – “With profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe”
  • Connecticut – “Acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God”
  • Maine – “The Sovereign Ruler of the Universe” Massachusetts – “The great Legislator of the Universe” Oklahoma – “Invoking the guidance of Almighty God” Washington – “The Supreme Ruler of the Universe”
  • West Virginia – “…reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God”

The only state having a preamble without a direct mention of God is Oregon.  However, consider section #2 of Oregon’s constitution….. “All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.”

The first Oregonians specifically and officially mentioned worship to Almighty God in their state constitution.  Historically speaking, in February of 1859 when Oregon’s constitution was adopted, everyone would have understood without fail that the phrase “Almighty God” meant the God of the Bible. Having put this in writing, therefore, the only God recognized by the founders of Oregon was the God of the Bible .

Consider what was written into the Virginia Constitution, one of three states which had no preamble at all, in section 16:

“That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

Did you catch what the founders of Virginia wrote into their constitution?

  • Every man owed a duty to his creator
  • It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian characteristics 

 Clearly, not a single state of these United States was founded with the idea that God would be excluded from government.