Skip to comments.Always Faithful ( Great read! )
Posted on 07/26/2008 6:31:55 AM PDT by kellynla
Religious faith has long been valued as an essential contributor to our national greatness. Thomas Jefferson, in his second inaugural address, declared: I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life, who has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power.
Jefferson believed that God had led our fathers and blessed the nations birth and growth.
President George Washington, in his farewell address, emphasized his conviction about the necessity of religion to our national welfare. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, he declared, religion and morality are indispensable supports.
One cannot read Lincolns second inaugural address, which refers to God in various ways 14 times, without sensing his intense struggle to help a religious nation understand in transcendent language the tragedy of the Civil-War then plaguing the country. For Lincoln and the divided nation he led, faith was the only comfort at such a time of national sorrow.
Washington made a point of kissing the Bible as he took the oath for the first time. He added four words to the constitutionally prescribed oath of office. Every President since has followed his example. In his book Who Are We?, Harvard professor Samuel Huntington, quoting English historian Paul Johnson, writes, Americas religious commitment is a primary sourcethe primary source, I thinkof American exceptionalism. That America is exceptional is beyond dispute. That real faith in the true God has helped make us so is also undeniable. Consider just two ways that faith makes America great.
First, faith elevates the value of individual human life. Faith teaches that a loving Creator has fashioned each of us and consequently we have irreducible value because He made us in His image. Faith teaches that we have a purpose greater than pleasing ourselves, greater than maintaining our personal safety or acquiring wealth. Because people of faith value human life, we give generously to those in need. According to the just-released 2008 Index of Global Philanthropy, published by the Hudson Institutes Center for Global Prosperity, religious Americans are giving record amounts of aid to poor countries.
People of faith personally gave $8.8 billion in 2006, compared to official U.S. government aid of $23.5 billion that year. Professor Arthur C. Brooks writes in Who Really Cares, his trenchant analysis of the sociology of charity, Religious people are far more charitable than secularists, no matter what their politics. Religious Americans are the most generous people on the planet, because, thanks to faith, we understand the value of individuals.
Because people of faith value human life, we serve others, asking nothing in return but the joy of helping. Who can forget the incredible response of the faith community after Hurricane Katrina? Church buildings were converted into houses of refuge, safety and provision. Supplies were amassed and distributed around the clock, while incompetence and confusion paralyzed government. What motivated this spontaneous and enormous outpouring of compassionate service? People of faith know something of a greater love, a love that cannot be replicated by any other ideology or dictum. Faith elevates the value of individual human life and prompts generosity and service to others. These qualities, among many others, make America great.
Second, faith creates responsible citizens. The Founders understood that, without religion, our form of government could not long survive. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, displayed a Christian understanding of the nature of man when he wrote, If men were angels, no government would be necessary. And his advocacy of a system of checks and balances indicates his awareness of mans selfish nature and hunger for power. He, therefore, fought fiercely for religious freedom, which would produce social virtue. For Madison, like Washington, faith was an indispensable support for political prosperity.
Faith helps produce citizens who are responsible and ethical, who respect law and authority. We work to uphold values that strengthen society such as marriage, family, productivity, creativity, patriotism and respect for civil rights. We must remember that Martin Luther King Jr. was a reverend who headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Few would dispute that America is a better country and the world a better place because of the contributions of this man of faith and the many others like him.
Faith also reminds Americans of our dependence upon Almighty God. In that knowledge, we have become a nation of prayer. In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, the president and all 50 governors signed proclamations this year acknowledging this special day of worship. We are a greater nation for it. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the Psalmist wrote (Ps. 33:12).
Ultimately, our faith as a nation is strong and real because we have always known that God is the author of our liberties. Our coins and currency, our monuments and our momentous public occasions all include this acknowledgment. Whereas some ideologies are willing to deploy women and children as human bombs to take the lives of the innocent, our nation instructs its soldiers not to leave any fallen comrade on the battlefield, but to risk their own safety, and even the mission, to bring the wounded back. It is no wonder that the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps is Semper FidelisAlways Faithful.
That is a motto fit for our nation as well.
BTW, semper fi does NOT mean Semper Fidelis, nor is it an abbreviation for Semper Fidelis!
And, as author of our Declaration of Independence, which he said reflected the "American mind," Jefferson outlined four different manifestations of that "Being,"--as "Creator," "divine Providence," "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God," and as "Supreme judge of the world."
Perhaps the most powerful Jefferson statement for today's audiences can be found in the following words which, if understood by present generations, would overturn any misguided reliance on government as the grantor or source of liberty, rights, or the laws that protect them. He declared:
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
Lincoln called this the "abstract concept" underlying our liberty.
“semper fi does NOT mean Semper Fidelis, nor is it an abbreviation for Semper Fidelis?”
Well there are those of us who served proudly, honorably & meritoriously in the Corps in Viet Nam and since; who have a different opinion.
Carry on, Gunny. I’ll be in the area all day. LOL
Reference to read bump for God and Country
Opinions are good—I have many—probably comes from my rubbing elbows w/many of the old corps Marines who were still around in ‘52 when I eagerly listened to their tales.
In certain areas, though, I try to hit a happy medium of opinion truth and fact. Not always successful in this for myself, so how could I expect this of others? Answer: I expect nothing and I get nothing!
People of Faith also make up the majority of blood donors and kidney donors.
Let’s admit then, that faith is usually a humbling experience and is outward directed.
Ya know, I was about to tell Kelly that he’s a contrary ol’ coot sometimes and that he tends to rub folks the wrong way; in fact, even appears to enjoy it from time to time.
Then I see this exchange, and I realize he has Class unmatched by many.
‘Salute’ to you both.
Thank God I’ve never been accused of class—many things but not that!
“Don’t get the impression that you arouse my anger. You see, one can only be angry with those he respects.
Richard M. Nixon “
“I realize he has Class unmatched by many.
Salute to you both.”
Tanx! You’re not a bad sort, yourself. BIG SMILE
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
NT: HEBREWS Chapter 11. The best definition of faith one will ever read, especially in the style of writing contained in the King James versions. The words should make anyone regardless of how callused they may be shiver in their spine.
John Adams and John Hancock:
“We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!” [April 18, 1775]
The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.
John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son. p. 61
“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel
God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.
During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words So help me God! to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible.
As a Viet Nam war combat veteran (”C” 1/5 1stMarDiv.), all of my fellow Marines end our conversations with “Semper Fi”;
so anyone who is of the opinion that it is anything other than a note of love for each other and the Corps is just mistaken.
As you probably know, 1st Marine Division Association reunion is in Nashville this year Aug. 26-30. Years ago, Bill James (A 1/5 67-68) from Dallas searched out hundreds of Vietnam era 1/5 survivors and since 1992 we have held a reunion each summer during the Division Association reunion. I was in Charlie from April 1967 to May 1968. Jerry Regan from Philidelphia has done alot to keep the Charlie reunion together.
Try telling that to Marines, past and present, myself included. Semper Fi.
Right, I wouldn’t think of trying to tell a Marine anything.
However, these boards are read by many, many folks who wouldn’t think of responding online—those are the ones worthy of any information at all.