Nobel Peace Laureate Theodore Roosevelt: Fear GOD & Love GOD

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: The twenty-sixth President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858–1919) was awarded the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the end of the Russo-Japanese War and for his contribution to various peace treaties.

Nationality: American

Education: A.B., Harvard University, 1880

Occupation: U.S. President (1901-09), writer, and explorer


1. “Fear God and take your own part! Fear God, in the true sense of the word, means to love God, respect God, honor God; and all of this can only be done by loving our neighbor, treating him justly and mercifully, and in all ways endeavoring to protect him from injustice and cruelty, thus obeying, as far as our human frailty will permit, the great and immutable law of righteousness.” (Theodore Roosevelt, The Theodore Roosevelt Treasury, New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1953, 322).

2. “If there is any place on earth where earthly distinctions vanish it is in the church, in the presence of God. The nearer the people get to the heart of Christ, the nearer they get to each other, irrespective of earthly conditions.” (Theodore Roosevelt, The Free Citizen, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1956, 31).

3. “A churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down-grade.

On Sunday go to church. Yes – I know all the excuses. I know that one can worship the Creator and dedicate oneself to good living in a grove of trees, or by a running brook, or in one’s own house, just as well as in church. But I also know that as a matter of cold fact the average man does not thus worship or thus dedicate himself.

If he stays away from church he does not spend his time in good works or in lofty meditation. He looks over the colored supplement of the newspaper; he yawns; and he finally seeks relief from the mental vacuity of isolation by going where the combined mental vacuity of many partially relieves the mental vacuity of each particular individual.” (Roosevelt 1956, 26).

4. “I am engaged in one of the greatest moral conflicts of the age – that of colossal lawless corporations against the government. The oppression of lawless wealth, and the purchase of lawmakers by it, have wrecked most of the empires of the past and, if not resisted and defeated, will ruin our Republic. As the executive of this Nation, I am determined that no man or set of men shall defy the law of the land. The rich and powerful must obey the law as well as the poor and feeble – not any better nor any worse, but just the same.

After a week on perplexing problems and in heated contests, it does so rest my soul to come into the House of the Lord and worship, and to sing – and to mean it – the ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,’ and to know that He is my Father, and takes me up into His life and plans; and to commune personally with Christ. I am sure, I get a wisdom not my own, and a superhuman strength, for fighting the moral evils I am called to confront.” (Roosevelt 1956, 31-32).

5. “Fear God and take your own part! We fear God when we do justice to and demand justice for the men within our own borders. We are false to the teachings of righteousness if we do not do such justice and demand such justice. We must do it to the weak, and we must do it to the strong. We do not fear God if we show mean envy and hatred of those who are better off than we are; and still less do we fear God if we show a base arrogance toward and selfish lack of consideration for those who are less well off.” (Roosevelt 1953, 322).

6. “Christianity after all must largely be the attempt to realize that noble verse of Micah, ‘What more doth the Lord require of thee than to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?’.

This verse has always been a favorite of mine, because it embodies the Gospel of Works, with the necessary antidote in the last few words to that hard spiritual arrogance which is brought about by mere reliance on the Gospel of Works.” (Roosevelt 1953, 322).

7. “I appeal for a study of the Bible on many different accounts, even aside from its ethical and moral teachings, even aside from the fact that all serious people, all men who think deeply, even among non-Christians, have come to agree that the life of Christ, as set forth in the four Gospels, represents an infinitely higher and purer morality than is preached in any other book of the world.

I make my appeal not only to professing Christians; I make it to every man who seeks after a high and useful life, to every man who seeks the inspiration of religion, or who endeavors to make his life conform to a high ethical standard.” (Roosevelt 1956, 28).

8. “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally – I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally – impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible.” (Roosevelt 1956, 28).

9. “The church must fit itself for the practical betterment of mankind if it is to attract and retain the fealty of the men best worth holding and using. The church must be a living, breathing, vital force, or it is no real church.” (Roosevelt 1956, 29).

10. “The truths that were true at the foot of Mt. Sinai are true now. The truths that were true when the Golden Rule was promulgated are true now.

No man is a good citizen unless he so acts as to show that he actually uses the Ten Commandments, and translates the Golden Rule into his life conduct.” (Roosevelt 1956, 25).

See also Albert Bushnell Hart and Herbert Ronald Ferleger, Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia, New York: Roosevelt Memorial Association, 1941.