Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Vision of the Founding Fathers

***From National Review Online:

The Plymouth Pilgrims were only the first of many who came to the New World to escape religious persecution. Hard as it may be to believe it at this distance of time, British law once forbade non-Anglican Protestants to worship freely — jailing and even burning them for dissenting in the 16th and 17th centuries, and then, more liberally, fining them — and it barred them (along with Catholics and Jews) from the great universities and from political office. In response, thousands of Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, and others fled. Not incidentally, they brought with them their dissenting tradition of governing their own congregations and hiring and firing their own ministers — in other words, they brought to these shores a political culture of self-government. Moreover, because they were accustomed to reading the Bible and feeling free to judge its meaning for themselves — to believing, that is, that they had a direct relation to God and his word independent of any worldly institution or authority — they also brought a deeply rooted culture of individualism and personal responsibility. For them, the individual and his conscience were of preeminent importance.

  Great piece, read the whole thing.

http://c10.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/declaration-of-independence.jpg?itok=OfQYb2Qe



A job for the Common Man
In a Tennessee church house a candle flickers -- a preacher prays on bended knee -- asking God to bless our land -- to shed his grace on thee.
A prayer for the Common Man.
When the floodwaters rise and the storm clouds billow -- we stand ready to help -- feeding the hungry -- mending the wounded -- rebuilding homes and lives.
Goodwill for the Common Man.
And in some distant land a soldier stands guard defending our nation -- tending Lady Liberty's flame. They are young men and young women from our big cities and small towns -- willing to sacrifice their lives so that we can be free.
A protector for the Common Man.
We are the sons and daughters of the Common Man.
We are noble people forged by freedom’s fire.
We are an uncommon nation established by common men.
We are proud Americans and this is our fanfare.

An American Flag flies at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., Tuesday, June 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)


***

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

***The people can never willfully betray their own interests: But they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people; and the danger will be evidently greater where the whole legislative trust is lodged in the hands of one body of men, than where the concurrence of separate and dissimilar bodies is required in every public act. ~~ James Madison

***Happy 4th of July!
 

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