The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.
They’ll keep the flag flying with a fresh and freeing breeze… not by death; but, by freedom from the highest mountains to the seas!
It’s been said our great flag flies not by the wind which rustles the leaves;
But, with the very last breath every fallen soldier breathes.
When on nights, so cold the air freezes in your chest, the flag flies high and brings a tightness to your breast,
Then come the memories of those past wars, the wounds, the faces and the scars.
Each one is reflected in the colored stripes and bold stars.
Every generation past and yet to come, will certainly be asked
To share their best for freedom and faithfully complete the task.
They’ll keep the flag flying with a fresh and freeing breeze… not by death; but, by freedom from the highest mountains to the seas!
Recent events and discussions with persons that one would think would have a reasonable education and thereby an awareness of how the Constitution is to be applied in a nation governed by law have led me to question whether such ideals are truly understood. What seems to be lacking is an understanding of the responsibility, better yet, the obligation or duty that every citizen has to uphold the laws of their nation. Citizens have a duty to change unjust laws by appropriate legislation and see to it that government officials who are alleged to have abused their office are charged in a court of law. I would expect that reasonably educated people today would understand those principles of citizenship. Experience has shown me that is not necessarily the case. Persons of more than average intelligence and education seem to have become ignorant of the duties of a citizen in a nation that is established by laws. So, to do a small part to try to alleviate the ignorance that so easily besets us as a people here in the United States, I offer this primer on citizenship.
A good place to begin, I think, is the oath that someone who is becoming a citizen of the United States is required to take. Certainly, it is taken voluntarily. Simply put, if they do not wish to take the oath or abide by the law of the land then, they are free to live somewhere else on the globe but not in the United States of America. That is a refreshing notion for those who have been born citizens of the USA and have little esteem for our Constitution or our laws. They should be free to, in fact encouraged to, find someplace else on the globe where they would like to live.
Here is the oath. It is simple yet, of great depth.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Since this is a primer, I won’t assume that the oath was completely clear to the reader. Here are the basic points. The citizen-to-be declares that they will:
- Support the Constitution;
- Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
- Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
- Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
- Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or
B. Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or
C. Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.
For the sake of brevity in this primer, I will focus on only one point.
“I will support… the Constitution”
The Constitution is not a very long document, even so, let us look just at the Preamble, the introduction if you will, of the document a citizen of the United States has a duty to support. The Preamble reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
- to form a more perfect, a better union between the individual sovereign states
- establish Justice
- insure domestic Tranquility
- provide for the common defence (old English spelling)
- promote the general Welfare
- secure the Blessing of Liberty
- to ourselves and our posterity
Notice that certain words are capitalized, not by me but in the document: Justice, Tranquility, Welfare (that doesn’t mean a government check on the first of the month or food stamps) and Blessings of Liberty – One can assume that these are important to our Founding Fathers, of these, perhaps we should take special note.
Justice – everyone equal under the law – meaning that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Sometimes, in the defense of one’s own or another’s life, a person may be killed in the commission of a crime so the actions of the person taking his life will be judged before the court, even if it is a police officer, the court has jurisdiction… and what applies to the perpetrator of the crime also applies to the officer – ‘innocent until proven guilty’ EVERYONE equal under the law.
Tranquility – the ability to live our lives in peace, without fear of coercion from the government or threats of violence from those who do NOT follow the law. Who is to have a tranquil life – if the Constitution is ruling? The answer is EVERY citizen. Every citizen whether they be brown, black, white, gay, straight, Buddhist or Baptist. What may surprise those with whom I cannot apparently communicate well is that EVERY also includes COPS! Every person should be able to go to their work peacefully and expect to return to their homes at the end of their work, peaceably, to retire and live peacefully. Yes, certain professions such as cops have accepted risk but that does not mean to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Perhaps an example will make my point better than I can communicate it…
If I am living next to Joe, he and I should EXPECT that we can live in our neighborhood together, peacefully – in Tranquility. But, sometimes things happen. Perhaps Joe does not like the way I mow my grass in circles rather than in strips. So one day, Joe walks over to me and punches me in the nose. He has the right to swing his fist… I mean, it’s his fist! BUT, his right to swing his fist STOPS where my nose BEGINS! My nose has a right, as a part of me, to live my life in Tranquility and that does NOT include Joe’s fist to my nose!
Now, I have been assaulted. Under a nation of LAWS, I have a legal right to swear out a complaint and have Joe arrested. However, if Joe keeps pummeling me and I cannot get away, I have right to self-defense. But, in this case, Joe punches me once in the nose and then goes back home. I do NOT have the right to now walk over to Joe’s house and punch Joe in the nose. In a nation of laws, my DUTY to uphold the law is to follow the procedure and swear out a complaint.
ALSO, I do NOT have the right to go across the street from my house and punch Fred in the nose because Joe punched me in the nose. Fred has a right to his own domestic Tranquility and he doesn’t even mow his lawn so, he has nothing in this dispute between Joe and me. I cannot punch FRED for any reason but I particularly cannot punch FRED for something JOE did – EVEN IF Fred is Joe’s brother!
Someone brings the argument that because Joe goes around punching people in the nose (even though he only did it once to me) that Fred DESERVES to be hit because he is Joe’s brother. In fact, Fred has hundreds of brothers, maybe thousands. Fred and Joe’s father was a very well-liked guy and they have lots and lots of brothers. A few of the brothers are just like Joe. Every once-in-awhile, they punch someone in the nose – at least that’s what someone said to somebody who reported it to a news outlet… We don’t really know for sure how many of Joes’ brothers ever really did punch somebody and we don’t know if it might have been self-defense but, in today’s thinking, that doesn’t matter.
So – according to today’s reasoning, ANYONE at all, even if they never met me or do not know me at all and never met anyone else who happened to have been punched by another brother of Joe’s – ANYONE has the “right” to not respect ANY of the brothers! In fact, if the brothers who do punch people would stop, then maybe, ANYONE might respect the other brothers too… but since they don’t respect them, even though the other brothers have never punched anything but a timeclock in their whole lives – ANYONE can go out and punch any of the brothers in the nose anytime they want to – it is all the brother’s fault because Joe and some of the others have punched somebody somewhere at some time – we think – at least that is what the media told us, we don’t have any real facts – but we don’t need them –
One of the other things ANYONE who is punching the other brothers’ noses seems to forget is that UNDER A NATION of LAW: 1. Even if Joe is accused of punching me in the nose, he is still innocent until proven guilty and 2. All the other brothers (the non-hitting ones) they have a RIGHT under the LAW to live in domestic Tranquility. They might be Joe’s brother but they are CITIZENS too and THEY HAVE RIGHTS TOO! 3. By punching people’s noses ANYONE is breaking the law! EVERY citizen has a DUTY to NOT break the law. When they do THEY are the criminals.
For the sake of time, let’s look lastly at: secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity. What does that mean? It means, simply, that EVERY citizen of the United States has a right to work hard, strive to learn, achieve some reward for your labor, to be able to travel wherever and whenever one desires (as long as one has the means – that is the money, a car and the privilege to drive that car – without being harassed or abused, to work to save money and retire peacefully – if health permits to enjoy a quiet Tranquil life and that we will pass these same benefits of living in a Nation of Laws to our children and to their children…
Are some people harassed when they drive? – that likely happens though I do not have facts and figures to substantiate it, some things are true in common knowledge even if they aren’t – Accepting that it likely happens, what may be surprising is that it happens not just to people of color but it happens to young people – because of their age, it happens to older people – because of their age; it happens to people of certain sexual inclinations or even religious affiliations – Bad things happen, sadly, all the time; but they can happen to just about ANY citizen. Do some have it happen to them disproportionately? I’m certain they do; but I don’t have numbers to prove it. Here is the point though about being a nation of LAWS.
Those who are harassed in any way whatsoever have a legitimate LEGAL recourse for the settlement of their grievances. In an open court with a trier of the FACTS and with appellate courts to oversee them – their grievances can be redressed. That is a Blessing of Liberty.
The excuses come – the courts are crooked… it costs too much… no one will believe me … Well, in part its true, the system isn’t perfect; but, it is still the LAW and without the LAW there is anarchy. Remember ANYONE from our example? In anarchy, ANYONE who feels that they have been grieved (or even just someone else they don’t even know has been grieved and they somehow feel a kinship to those folks) – can go out in a public street and murder persons who are COPS, LEGAL representatives of the GOVERNMENT that ANYONE has sworn to support. ANYONE is murdering these INDIVIDUALS who are CITIZENS themselves with RIGHTS of their own and HUMAN BEINGS with people who love, need and will greatly miss them.
The Thin Blue Line is the symbol of law enforcement. It’s meaning is very appropriate today. The Thin Blue Line represents that very thin line between civilization and anarchy. Those who are flaunting the law are doing so by trying to destroy the only line that is preventing anarchy from reining in our streets. If injustice is perceived as widespread today just wait until anarchy erases the Thin Blue Line. Who will you call for help then?
For a person who is a citizen of the United States of America to say that another citizen need not obey the law against murder of a fellow human being only because other human beings of a similar job title may have offended, hurt or even killed someone illegally RATHER THAN saying that the citizen who is the aggrieved has a legal remedy and that remedy is the only appropriate avenue for the redress of grievances in a civilized society is, in effect, speaking treason because the ultimate result of such anarchist thinking is the demise of the United States.
In the first century A.D., Rome ruled the known world that is today most of Europe, the Mediterranean, Balkans, through the Middle East. The rulers were cruel and unjust. Local representatives of the government did whatever they pleased to whomever they pleased, including killing anyone who got in their way. A particularly fond target for harassment, threats, assaults, rapes, robberies and murder were Christians. Those who claimed the Name of Christ may as well as hung a target on their back with a death warrant in their pocket. Paul, a missionary and Apostle of the church was an outspoken, driven man. He faced the Roman persecution head-on and was beaten and jailed many times because of it. Paul wrote to the churches, specifically to the church in Rome and rallied them with how they should respond to the ‘open season’ that had been declared against them. Here are his words:
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21 NKJV)
In what some have labeled America’s ‘Post-Christian Era’ it would be difficult to get a majority consensus that even the Bible holds absolute truth.
Knowing the Truth:
An inquisitive look into freedom
Once More from the Top
I have maintained for some time now that I learn more from teaching than I ever reciprocally provide in the form of knowledge to others; of that I am fairly certain. Such is the case already in this first week in a study of spiritual disciplines that I am teaching for Baptist Bible Graduate School.
A Thesis: There is an inordinately strong link between Truth (the capital ‘T’ truth of scripture) and the Spiritual Disciplines.
Donald Whitney, an author on the subject of Spiritual discipline wrote, “There is freedom in embracing the spiritual disciplines.”[i] Whitney follows the writing of Richard Foster to argue that the Spiritual disciplines, rather than being restrictive and binding are the means to spiritual freedom. Foster goes so far as to call them the “Door to Liberation.”[ii] There is a quantum leap between the idea of the spiritual exercises or the acts that Christians do, (not so much as apart from God but as a requirement of God in living out their daily life as a Christian) and Jesus’ own words recorded in John 8:32. In one of the longest interactions that Jesus has with the Pharisees recorded for us by the Disciple John, brother of James; Jesus explains to them that “If you abide in My word then you are truly disciples of Mine and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”[iii] He goes on to say in a correlated statement; “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”[iv] There is, then an apparent relationship between the singular freedom of which Christ speaks in John 8:32 and the escape from death in 8:51. In explaining to the Pharisees who He was; He described Himself as the ‘Son’ and He declares that if the “son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”[v]
It is important at this point to identify and perhaps define the ‘Freedom’ about which Christ refers. Clearly it involves a freedom from death and extrapolating the fact that Christ, Himself, died a physical death not long after this conversation; then it is not from physical death that this new found freedom provides an escape. It most certainly effects then the spiritual death, a death which leads to an eternity separated from God in a place called ‘Hell’ prepared by God for Satan and his angels; an eternal abode for those who do not receive Christ as Savior.
Another Bible teacher, Elisabeth Elliott is quoted by Whitney as saying that “freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive when in fact freedom is not at all opposite but the final reward of discipline.”[vi] If one is a connoisseur of ‘B’ Westerns then the term ‘final reward’ will strike a familiar chord as often used in conjunction with ‘the last round-up’ which was, of course, a synonym for heaven. Having heard Mrs. Elliot teach on several occasions, I do not believe she is advocating that by keeping the spiritual disciplines, a Christian will receive the freedom from spiritual death that Christ refers to in John 8. That would equate to a works received entrance to heaven. It is more likely that a better turn of phrase would have been that freedom is the end result of discipline rather than final reward. Regardless, though, of Mrs. Elliot’s soteriology, there remains a clear link between spiritual discipline and freedom; whether that is freedom from spiritual death or perhaps another type of freedom such as a freedom to live a fuller Christian life or have the freedom for a closer Christian walk with Christ. These are ideas worth considering! When one recalls that Richard Foster made a link between the disciplines themselves and spiritual freedom, to what specifically was he referring?
Defining Spiritual Disciplines
It is appropriate perhaps to define the ‘spiritual disciplines’ that are referred to here. A short list just to give the reader an idea of them includes, prayer, fasting, quiet time or solitude, intake of God’s Word which is more than simply reading but, reading is one method of intake; memorization, and meditation. The purpose in each is to grow in Christ-likeness and they are not linked in series, as such to one another, that is one need not do every type of discipline in order to gain this closer walk with the Lord but that a focused exercise of some combination of them is required; hence the term discipline. It is a required work, an exercise with an end goal in mind just as Paul described a boxer who trains and does not flail at the air but disciplines himself to be good at what he has chosen to do, or a runner who trains to compete for the prize by keeping his focus on the goal. If the authors quoted earlier are correct then, a part of that goal in becoming more Christ-like is freedom; a release, perhaps from what Paul, again, called the ‘sin that so easily besets us’. By keeping our focus, our thoughts, our attitudes on the things that are above and keeping our whole-selves trained in spiritual growth, we put behind us the preoccupation with sin and its temptation.
As quickly at the concept of completing or exercising the spiritual disciplines can devolve into a ‘works’ mentality – that is – it is what we do that matters in our relationship with Christ; it is important to stress that the Christian can do nothing apart from Christ. It is the Holy Spirit abiding within the Christian that enables the human part of us to do anything at all that is remotely spiritually inclined. Apart from the power of God, the Christian has no ability to even consider the effective exercise of the disciplines. To attempt such an endeavor without the Holy Spirit would be to flail at the air like Paul’s fighter. The person would become exhausted in the actions but the exercise would have had no effect whatsoever.
The Capital ‘T’ Truth
In what some have labeled America’s ‘Post-Christian Era’ it would be difficult to get a majority consensus that even the Bible holds absolute truth. Many mainline Protestant churches will not be uneasy with the idea that there could be error within the biblical manuscripts. To say that the Bible is authoritative in everyday life, requires a background in Evangelical Christianity. There are some faiths that will hold that Truth can be found in the Bible but not go as far as saying that the Bible is Truth. Jesus, Himself said, in His great Priestly prayer to His Father that, “Thy Word is Truth.” There can be no greater witness to verify that God’s Word is Truth than Christ’s own statement. It is then, as we follow the logical if –then connection: If the Truth Will Set You Free and the Bible, God’s Word, is Truth; then the Word of God will set you free. The Primary role of the spiritual disciplines is to come to a deeper more abiding understanding of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit through God’s Word. The extrapolation leads to the conclusion that if Spiritual Disciplines lead to a deeper understanding of the Bible, God’s Word, then those Disciplines lead to freedom.
Spiritual Disciplines and Truth
The final analysis brings the investigator back to the primary conclusion that it is not that completing the spiritual disciplines brings one to Freedom by way of a works mentality. Rather, it is that completion of the spiritual disciplines which brings one to a fuller appreciation and comprehension of the Bible. That deep and abiding knowledge of the Scriptures that comes from exercising the spiritual disciplines brings one to Truth, the Truth that sets you free. You are free from the Spiritual Death that is the result of sin because the Grace of God has given you that Freedom through Christ’s sacrifice which the Holy Spirit will bring you to trust through God’s Word. Freedom, too, from the daily onslaught of sin’s temptation. Not that the temptation will not rear its ugly head, but that you will have received the tools by which the Holy Spirit working within you will dismantle those temptations and bring you to victory over them.
A classic song from the ‘Revolution’ days of the sixties by Janis Joplin titled ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ has the standard refrain, “Freedom’s Just another Word for Nothing Left to Lose; Nothin’ don’t mean nothin’ if it ain’t free.” As cynical and discouraging as those ‘blues’ lines are, they pose a dramatic disconnect to what Freedom in God’s Word is speaking about. What does fit is that the Holy Spirit brings to the believer the grace of God which, for the believer, is free… That’s somethin’ that means somethin’
“…we will not be cowed, we will not be terrorized, we will not be shaken, we WILL come and find you and when we do, God help you!”
Can the Police Protect Us? This is a question that was now been asked since the Boston Bombings and now a MIT Police Officer Murdered. I authored an article which was published by THE COUNTERTERRORIST magazine last fall titled: “The U.S. Citizen, the Second Amendment and the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.” Being a retired chief of police, I argue that:
“When crime happens in your neighborhood, in your family, on your front porch, there is only one person responsible for stopping that criminal before he commits the crime he intends to commit. Many criminals attempt crimes regardless of how many patrol cars are out or how high the risk of jail time might be. The only person who can be responsible for any individual’s safety is that individual.”
Police officers bravely and unselfishly respond but it is a response, something that happens after an event has occurred.
Next week is National Crime Victims’ Week. I hate that! Not that I would disparage anyone who has faced the insult of a criminal attack. What I hate is the title ‘Victim’ – it speaks of one who is powerless under the circumstances, that one must forfeit their freedom to act, to think, and to protect their own. When someone comes through a criminal attack, they are not victims, they are SURVIVORS. If a person succumbs to injuries from an attack, they are not victims, they are HEROES.
We, as Americans are not victims and one of the ways in which we show that is we do not allow Americans who are, by their circumstances, alone to face such criminal attacks. If one is debilitated by disease whether physical or mental, is elderly or is homeless, they are still Americans. We must take a page from the Boston story, as we have from 9/11 and New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania and share to the world that Americans will not be terrorized; we will not be cowed. We will find those who attack us and when we do, may God help you.
May God bless America and Americans bless God.
Suspects in Boston Bombing and MIT Cop Murder
Recently a local newspaper carried an op-ed article titled, “In praise of our national religion” which the author maintained was the religion of freedom.
I decided to respond to the article with an op ed piece of my own. My ‘letter’ to the editor may never be seen in print anywhere but here so I wanted you to have the opportunity to read my thoughts. (The original op-ed piece can be traced to the Canton Repository, Canton Ohio July 3, 2012 by Charita Goshay. Here is my response:
3 July 2012
In response to “In praise of our national religion” by Charita Goshay in today’s Rep, I have some real difficulty with her basic foundation for her statement that “America’s only national religion is freedom.”[i] When did it become Religion of Freedom rather than Freedom of Religion?
I begin with basic definitions, the first being that ‘freedom’ is not a religion; it is a state of being. According to Wiktionary freedom is defined as “unconstrained” “a state of free will”[ii] whereas a religion is defined by Wikipedia as “a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.”[iii] It is because America is founded on a Judeo-Christian religion (I prefer the term faith over ‘religion’, but I will go with the vernacular), that persons in America can enjoy freedom as a state of being, a state of free will, of not being ‘constrained.’ The disposition of freedom upon those in the United States as citizens or as visitors to move about freely, worship freely and to appreciate freedom comes from our belief system. Freedom is not, in and of its self, a belief system.
I am continually frustrated by those who mount up on their straw-man arguments that America is not based on the Judeo-Christian religion (faith). I challenge anyone to show me a country anywhere in this world that celebrates and enjoys freedom as we do here in the United States but does not have some foundation in the Judeo-Christian religion.
Every pundit ascribing to any philosophy seems to get their time to be heard and so, with your permission, I would like to state a few basic proofs of my point.
The following are just a few of the almost countless examples:
Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence “My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”[iv]
Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time. They therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”[v]
Too vague, you say? We don’t know these men who helped decide our nation’s birth? Okay, let’s look further.
John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth… nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God.”[vi]
John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”[vii] (emphasis added)
John Adams, second President: “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”[viii]
Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.”[ix]
Patrick Henry while Governor of Virginia: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”[x]
We also have so many examples from the days of the colonies. The Rhode Island Charter of 1683: “We submit our person, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given us in His Holy Word.” Similar constructs were part of the Virginia (Jamestown) charter, the Connecticut and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, the fore-runners of Mr. Romney followed the Mayflower Compact: “(governing) for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”[xi]
But, of course ‘all of those are so long ago, those kinds of ideas don’t apply any more’, some might say. When President Eisenhower, in 1954, approved the addition of ‘Under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance, he said, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future.”[xii]
Most everyone can quote John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech about ‘ask not…’ but in that same speech President Kennedy said, “And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe – the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but the hand of God… let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”[xiii]
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered yearly for his social justice and the civil rights movement. Here are Dr. King’s own words, “you can’t turn me out of the ministry, because I got my guidelines and my anointment from God Almighty.”[xiv] He believed that his direction for working on the streets of America to make a difference within the political system came from his ministry which he believed to be given to him by God.
The list is almost endless and the examples are quite clear. Why are some folks, particularly, it seems in the media, so determined to decry America’s Judeo-Christian heritage? We have so much for which to be thankful. We must remember Charles Carroll’s warning echoing back to us from the small room in Independence Hall in Philadelphia from the 18th century, “they… who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”[xv] We must celebrate our Judeo-Christian heritage because it is from that heritage that we support freedom, including freedom for others to worship according to their own design. Current countries other than the U.S. that are ruled by religious, non-Christian, leaders are the antithesis to freedom, especially freedom of religion.
May America bless God this July 4th and may God bless America.
[i]Goshay, Charita “In praise of our national religion” Canton Repository 3 July 2012
[iv] Lee, Richard G. Dr., primary editor The American Patriot’s Bible – Notes and Articles, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville: 2009
[xv] Lee, Richard G. Dr., primary editor The American Patriot’s Bible – Notes and Articles, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville: 2009