Monday, July 4, 2011

Washington's Patriotism

The fourth
(by R.P.Edwards)

We remember the colors
Red, white and blue
We remember the fireworks
The boom…and the Oooo!
We remember the food
The burgers and fries
And sometimes
We’ll remember
The soldier
Who dies

You know, when you’re steeped in the stuff; when it’s a part of your reasoning process; when it acts as a filter or prism through which the world is seen, well, naturally you think that most are aware of such things.  That most have a general knowledge.  But, of course, that’s not true and, it is rather silly to live there; in that place of make believe. 

Today is the Fourth of July.  Our nation’s birthday.  When patriotism is in vogue and, no matter our individual persuasion, we can at least celebrate our “being here” with a burger, a beer, and maybe even a nod to “Johnny” on the front line.

And, thinking briefly of the words “patriot” and “patriotism,” I remembered something written by an honorable American who shared his views on the subject.  I dare say you might call him an “expert,” although you don‘t hear his name much anymore.  His name…is George Washington.

Following is an excerpt from his farewell address, circa 1796.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Funny, isn’t it?  How the Father of our Country called religion and morality “indispensable supports;” the “firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” And that “in vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert” them?  And yet, for decades now, so many in power have sought to do just that; subvert, ignore, belittle, destroy.  And, as we continue to eat of “their” labors, still we speak of liberty, freedom, and patriotism, but, as is so often the case, the children…are not the parents. 

Happy Fourth to all.  As we strive to remember the birth of the babe, let us also endeavor to remember…the labor pains…of true patriotism.

Here's a link to the address:   Washington's farewell address


1 comment:

Leona Salazar said...

Once again, Bob, I've learned something from your blogging. Thanks for the quote from George Washington regarding morality and religion. His words are surely forgotten by many on the left who choose "moral relativism" over basic morality and continue to desperately try to remove religion from every aspect of American life.