Don Chisholm: A nation under God
It was a most remarkable time in the entire story of human endeavor. It was a very warm July day on the fortified bluffs above New York City. A tall man standing in front of his horse addressed one of the first gatherings of an American Army. It was two days before America declared itself a nation.
“The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves….The fate of unborn millions will now depend, UNDER GOD, on the courage and conduct of this army.”
George Washington, a man with little formal education or religious formation, was asserting that American independence depended on the men before him and ultimately on God. The Continental Army lost that early battle. It took five years and unimaginable hardships, and courage, to finally secure victory and the blessings that came with the dedication and sacrifice of this greatest of American founders and his fellow American patriots. Washington was truly a spiritual father to our country, a God-given gift to those born in America.
It was 87 years later on a cold, wind swept day making the battlefield address at Gettysburg inaudible to those in the back. But the words of Abraham Lincoln remain forever our guiding prayer:
“….that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, UNDER GOD, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were two of the greatest men to have lived on this planet; both had less formal education than our graduating eighth graders. Both men found in their heart and soul to have the sublime common sense of recognizing that truth and freedom were a gift of God and both men of genius had the grace and humility to recognize that gift was a nation UNDER GOD.
Twenty years after the American Revolution the French Revolution failed in a blood bath in France and Europe with the Reign of Terror and Napoleon. The French Revolution declared the enlightened mind of man could do it all without god. The world today has many leaders that have that same progressive hope of utopia without the true God. Americans can follow them or follow the unique and exceptional gift of the life works of Washington and Lincoln in keeping our nation UNDER GOD.
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