Graduate Theological Union

Student Addresses America's History on Constitution Day

Randi Wren, M.A. student in Jewish Studies, addressed an intimate crowd on Monday, September 16, in the student lounge. Her Constitution Day talk stemmed from her thesis research on the theology behind the founding of America.

Here are some notable points from her talk, "The Founding Fathers and the Constitution: United by Belief in the Tenets of the Bible":

  • Importance of ritual – no national or cultural identity can survive without it.
  • United States is not merely a geographical location, but an idea. 
  • America was founded by God-centered individuals.  Not one of those identified as the Founders—including the so-called deists—was an atheist; every one of them believed in a judging God, and that America had to be a God-based society, and that without God-based values, America could not survive. 
  • Jefferson and Franklin had a great seal of the United States designed with Moses in the dress of a high priest standing on the shore extending his hand over the sea, with rays of light from a pillar of fire in the clouds reaching to him to express that he acts by the command of God, thereby causing the sea to overwhelm pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot. 
  • The founders believed that God was the source of liberty.  A biblical verse concerning liberty is the one inscription on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus 25:10)
  • Every American president has mentioned God in his inaugural address.

Describing herself, Wren says, "Though not a rabbi, I have spent years studying theology. I have a B.A. in Political Science, and a master’s degree in theology and I am about to graduate from the GTU with a second master’s degree in Jewish Studies.  I plan on attending rabbinical school in January of 2014.  My passion in life is to discuss and reflect upon life’s ultimate issues.  My premise being that one must get the big questions answered, in order to get the smaller ones right.  My methodology is called Sacred Spirit – together we awaken your unique authentic Sacred Spirit.  The greatest contribution that I can bring to people’s lives is universal morals and values; to give people a recipe for a good life and a much better world.  Everyone needs an accounting of the soul.  Everyone needs moral introspection: What kind of person am I, and what kind of person can I become?  I have been specializing in interfaith relationship and relationship issues in general.  Who you choose as a life partner has more impact on your happiness than almost any other decision that you make in your life."

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