Annual Fourth of July observances of America’s independence bring to mind an email I received a few years ago from a good friend. The email simply quoted, without extensive comment, words from the Constitution of each of the 50 states of our country. Most, but not all, were from the Preamble. Although I have not taken time to confirm the accuracy of each, I found them intriguing and believe you will also. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

1. Alabama 1901—We, the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution …
2. Alaska 1956—We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land …
3. Arizona  1911—We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for liberties …
4. Arkansas 1874—We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government …
5. California 1879—We, the people of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …
6. Colorado 1876—We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe …
7. Connecticut 1818—The people of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God …
8. Delaware 1897—Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences …
9. Florida 1885—We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty …
10. Georgia 1777—We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God …
11. Hawaii 1959—We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance …
12. Idaho 1889—We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for freedom …
13. Illinois 1870—We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors …
14. Indiana 1851—We, the people of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government …
15. Iowa 1857—We, the people of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings …
16. Kansas 1859—We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privilege …
17. Kentucky 1891—We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy …
18. Louisiana 1921—We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy …
19. Maine 1820—We, the people of Maine, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe … and imploring His aid and direction …
20. Maryland 1776—We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty …
21. Massachusetts 1780—We, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe …
22. Michigan 1908—We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom …
23. Minnesota 1857—We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings …
24. Mississippi 1890—We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work …
25. Missouri 1845—We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness …
26. Montana 1889—We, the people of Montana, grateful to almighty God for the blessings of our liberty …
27. Nebraska 1875—We, the people of Nebraska, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …
28. Nevada 1864—We, the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …
29. New Hampshire 1792—Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience …
30. New Jersey 1844—We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors …
31. New Mexico 1911—We, the people of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty …
32. New York 1846—We, the people of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …
33. North Carolina 1868—We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him …
34. North Dakota 1889—We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty …
35. Ohio 1852—We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …
36. Oklahoma 1907—Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty …
37. Oregon 1857—Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences …
38. Pennsylvania 1776—We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance …
39. Rhode Island 1842—We, the people of the State of Rhode Island, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing …
40. South Carolina 1778—We, the people of the State of South Carolina, grateful to God for our liberties …
41. South Dakota 1889—We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties …
42. Tennessee 1796—Art. XI. III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience …
43. Texas 1845—We, the people of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God …
44. Utah 1896—Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty …
45. Vermont 1777—Whereas, all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed …
46. Virginia 1776—Bill of Rights XVI. Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator, can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other …
47. Washington 1889—We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties …
48. West Virginia 1872—Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia, reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God …
49. Wisconsin 1848—We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility …
50. Wyoming 1890—We, the people of the State of  Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties …

And last, but certainly not least, portions of the unanimous Declaration of Independence of the original thirteen United States of America:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

God bless you! And God bless America!

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!

Dr. Gerald B. (Jerry) Kieschnick

President Emeritus, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Presidential Ambassador for Mission Advancement, Concordia University Texas