From Charles Galloway, in Christianity and The American Commonwealth:
"persecution led the Puritan colonists to examine the great subject of human rights, the nature and just extent of civil government, and the boundaries at which obedience ceases to be a duty"
(quoting Rev. Dr. Baird)
...The religion that holds the conscience of a nation will determine its civilization.
"The American democracy is the result of all
that was great in bygone times.
that was great in bygone times.
All led up to it. It embodies all.
Mount Sinai is in it; Greece is in it; Egypt is in it; Rome is in it; England is in it;
all the arts are in it, and all the reformations and all the discoveries."
(quoting John Lothrop Motley)
...the Christianity of the colonists taught the
supremacy of conscience,
supremacy of conscience,
the sovereignty of the individual,
the inviolability of private rights,
the sacredness of human life,
and the brotherhood of man
...and came the fundamental principles of our republican government.
Did you know the date we found Plymouth Rock was December 25, 1620?
Divine Providence never sleeps.
Now that so many of us Americans are awakening to the very possibility we are on the precipice of losing everything, the irony is only by going backwards in time will we be able to look forward to the days ahead.
We have grown an ignorant, selfish, arrogant, empty, faithless, stupid society. Now I get why Glenn Beck speaks loudly and often of the powers of redemption and the gifts of grace -- as it may be the only sanity we have left.
G's been buried in books; from elementary lessons of exemplary high moral character, all the while teaching our youngins how to read and write via an early American Reading Series -- simply called the McGuffey Readers after the man who created it (William H., Professor) -- to W. Cleon Skousen's work, The 5000 Year Leap; The 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World -- to Galloway's review of the life and the times and the why as to how our republic was born, all I can do in this moment is sit in awe.
Having only touched the surface at this point, G is faced with utter embarrassment of just how delinquent we've all become. Words by George Washington, excavated in The 5000 Year Leap,
"Of all dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion...Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle. IT is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government."Virtue and morality were believed to be best taught in the home first, to the schools by day and to the Church on Sunday, but without question, to be of the utmost and highest importance. Our forefathers knew of man's natural conflict of good and evil; and so understood this inherent belief to be so ingrained, so lauded and magnified by man, that they entrusted our commonwealth to be left to our own allegiance and sovereign responsibility to uphold it -- for the sanctity and security of a nation.
They didn't want to dictate to the people; they entrusted America to her will, to the people's good nature, to the land of the free and for the free to create (or decimate) her good fortune and future generations.
Oh we hung tried and true for a very long time -- we began in times where the McGuffey Readers taught a simple lesson like "The Thick Shade":
"Come, let us go into thick shade. It is noonday, and the summer sun beats hot upon our heads.
The shade is pleasant and cool. The branches meet above our heads and shut out the sun like a green curtain.
The grass is soft to our feet, and the clear brook washed the roots of the trees. The cattle can lie down to sleep in the cool shade, but we can do better.
We can raise our voices to heaven. We can praise the great God who made us. He made the warm sun and the cool shade, the trees that grow upwards, and the brooks that run along. The plants and trees are made to give fruit to man.
All that live get life from God. He made the poor man, as well as the rich man. He made the dark man, as well as the fair man. He made the fool, as well as the wise man.
All that move on the land are His, and so all that swim in the sea. The ox and worm are both the work of His hand. In Him, they live and move. He it is that doth give food to all of them, and when He says the word, they all must die."
(Lesson XVIII, The Eclectic First Reader)
It is followed up with the teacher's guide, leading the conversation to ask the student, do you have a favorite shady place? And describing "the fool" as the "unbeliever" and referencing the Bible's Psalm 53:1. The guide even goes so far as to have the teacher ask the student to draw a picture of their favorite shady place and ask of them to praise God for something in it...and not done yet, and to read aloud "the twenty third Psalm":
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me to quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for his name's sake...surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."We were taught to honor ourselves and each other through Christian principles from the start and throughout our lives. Our whole world was created from principles like loving your neighbor as yourself, and upon unalienable rights and duties as believed wholeheartedly in most every citizen -- while our future remained reliant on keeping to such NATURAL LAWS, agreed universally among men, to uphold and honor.
Yes, our Christianity was everywhere and often, but it was not IT; you would have to be a fool to believe our forefathers were invoking only the hard-line Anglo-Saxon belief system -- quite the contrary. But according to society in the day, EVERYONE believed in God; and even the atheists believed in It's non-existence, but understood and shared in the fundamental TRUTHS from which all religion came.
Truths like that of being of free conscience, free speech, freedom of assembly, to earn a living, of self-government, and privacy, to freedom to believe in God, or not; but overall and throughout the very essence of our land and it's people was a moral character -- virtuous minds that combined the brilliance of man, of reason, of Franklin, of Washington, of Madison, of Adams, of Paine, of Jefferson -- and created documents and declarations that have withstood all time -- until now.
Oh they were scared, alright, leaving the nation's freedom loving principles in the hands of man -- a man that would become more advanced, modern, and accomplished as the years went on -- and knowing the natural propensity of human folly could hinder and harm along the way; but they let her go anyway.
They let America stand on her own two feet, with all hopes the foundation laid would be enough to hold her, carry her when times were tough, console her in times of trial, and honor her with lasting prosperity for all who came to know her.
All of us were left on our own two feet so to speak; self government was the key, and keeping it would ask of all of us to honor our mothers and our fathers, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to not commit adultery, or kill, or steal...to name a few. Our founding fathers knew that we would have to find value in our virtues and morals in order to maintain a society worthy of keeping and recreating -- otherwise, we would go down in our own transgressions.
The point is, they knew it! They knew that man might be drawn to the duty of public service for unscrupulous means and selfish corruptions. They knew it! They knew that ultimately the call to service for the "good of the people" may find it's way to people in power who know not what they do and are paid too much to do it. They knew it!
No, perhaps they couldn't foresee the salacious nature of Hollywood; or the greed and arrogance of Wall Street; or the streets paved in gold and corruption in Washington -- giving over the power of the people to a bureaucratic mess of entitlements and regulations.
But they knew we had it in us; hence the need for all the early teachings in how to grow up good. The education of it's people was not only essential to the makings of a secure government and a prosperous people -- the ignorance of the lack thereof was the perfect environment for corruption and control to "help" the people find their way through.
Without preaching to us and without telling us which church to follow -- they just asked of us to be of good nature, to follow universal truths, to hold true to a higher way of living, even if it meant going without. Through the daily sacrifice of being in good character, society as a whole would blossom and enjoy a day made in the shade.
They knew this in their hearts, and left us to follow -- entrusting us with the ideals of the best and the brightest of civility and community the world has ever known. They entrusted us with words unspoken, with self government ranking higher than any federal government should ever be; they left her to us on our own accord and in good conscience that we would continue to do the right thing.
They left us in the hands of our forefathers, who raised our great grandparents, who raised our parents, to raise ourselves, to raise our own to be of good character.
They left us as parents to teach our children to love each other as ourselves, to find their own place in the shade and give them pause -- asking only what is that something? What is this God and how does He live through us? How do we praise God and be of good nature, and grow up to be like a George -- someone who fought a war without a penny, lead our nation without taking a dime, only to return home to Mount Vernon broke and indebted in gratitude to a nation for which he served? How do we do THAT, again?
When my girl comes home after school today (if you call it that), we will both find a place in the shade, have a talk about God, and read some more.
Make it a Good Day, G
And like the Mayflower (where we started today) we may have come full circle in more ways than one...we are back to where it all began -- and this requires not only new reading -- but asks of us to do the new math, as the pieces of the whole don't add up anymore, making it that much harder to solve the problems.
yes, the three R's -- Reading - Writing - Arithmetic -- is cool
but Reform is Divine.