Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Faith of Our Founders

For those who doubt the faith of our founding generation and the importance of Christianity to our national welfare, I offer the following quotations. It seems to me that they are more relevant today than ever.

“Since private and publick Vices, are in Reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Publick, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of children, and the moral Sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our Ancestors for these great Purposes be encouraged by the Government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
—Samuel Adams, 1775

“The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations. . . . The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity. . . . It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”
—George Washington

“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. The hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.” Shortly before his death, he wrote, “Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence.”
—Thomas Jefferson

“The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it.”
—James Madison

“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.”
—John Adams

“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
—John Jay

“It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape.”
—Justice Joseph Story

“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resources in peace and war.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, on signing the bill that added
the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reflections on a Sorrowful Past

After fiddling around with several images, I was able to crop Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, to fit. Particularly appropriate for Crucible of War too. And it goes nicely with the existing color scheme, so I don’t have to worry about changing it!

I’m currently cleaning up the first 3 chapters of this volume, which portray the crossing and the Battle of Trenton. Then Elizabeth and Tess will take off for New York to continue spying on Howe, sadly leaving Blue Sky behind to deal with now being basically a camp follower. And Andrews increasingly struggles with conflicting allegiances to her and the Shawnee and to the Americans, who aren’t all that tolerant of the native peoples.

An understatement, of course. The story of the indigenous peoples of this continent is fraught with intolerance, greed, injustice, and violence, as is the story of the blacks, both slave and free. The more I research this period, the greater my anger and sorrow grows at the treatment of the non-white populations in our history.

And the realization of how alike we all are. We all want to live in security and peace, to love and be loved, to provide for our families, to improve our situation and learn and grow and be happy. Think how wonderful a world it would be if we all lived according to God’s precepts and loved and extended mercy and grace to one another as He did for us. That would be heaven indeed!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Additions and Improvements

I’ve been playing around with some ideas for improving this blog, including the general look and also adding content to the pages. Changing the look has been more frustrating than anything else. I like the colors and the header image, but I like to change out the image from time to time to freshen things up. Changing out the colors is a tedious process and blogger doesn’t provide many options, so I’m trying to avoid fiddling with that. So the problem is finding an image that not only can be cropped to the right size and shape, but is also compatible with the color scheme. I’m still working on that.

In the meantime, I’ve started adding interesting cultural tidbits on the 18th Century Culture, and I’ve replaced Quotes with Excerpt. Currently on the 18th Century Culture page I have a snippet from A Father’s Legacy to His Daughters, a very popular 18th Century book of manners. As I have time, I’ll add more interesting bits and pieces to the page from my extensive store of research.

I’ve also added a few historical sites to the Places page. I’ll continue to expand that with new sites and direct links to the Web pages. At least I’ve made a start.

You’ll find an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Crucible of War on the excerpts page. Because of potential plagiarism issues, I probably won’t add new material to it, but I’d love to have some feedback on this one as Chapter 1 is still in somewhat of a state of flux. So let me know if you like it or hate it or have suggestions to offer. I’d love to hear your opinions!