During the early days of WWII before America entered the war, President Roosevelt sent Harry Hopkins, who would become the architect of the Lend-Lease program, to England to assess the situation and advise him regarding future American involvement.
During his stay Churchill escorted him all over England to show him their desperate need for American help. Eager to know what he would advise the President, shortly before his departure Mr. Hopkins provided his answer in this toast:
“I suppose you wish to know what I am going to say to President Roosevelt on my return. Well I am going to quote to you one verse from the Book of Ruth … ‘Whither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.'”
That Mr. Hopkins, not known to be religious, would frame his response in the words of Scripture displays the deep influence of the Bible on American culture.
In The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom observed,
In the United States, practically speaking, the Bible was the only common culture, one that united the simple and the sophisticated, rich and poor, young and old….[i]
Robert N. Bellah wrote:
The Bible was one book that literate Americans in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries could be expected to know well. Biblical imagery provided the basic framework for imaginative thought in America up until quite recent times and, unconsciously, its control is still formidable.[ii]
Though America never officially designated Christianity as our national religion, we were a Christian nation in that Scripture comprised the foundation of our culture. That foundation provided the basis for American greatness. We can only become great again by restoring that foundation.
[i] Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind: New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987, p. 58.
[ii] Mangalwadi, Vishal (2011-05-10). The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization. Nashville: Thomas Nelson [Kindle Edition, p. 58].