Archive for February, 2013

Prayer Offered in U.S. Congress on February 8, 1954

February 8, 2013

Remarks by Senator Ferguson - 2/20/1954

Remarks by Senator Ferguson – 2/20/1954

Mid 20th century America was so different from today’s America, it is hard to believe that we live in the same country. If you are 50 or older, you know what I mean. If you are younger, you have no idea what I am talking about. And, believe me, despite the medical and technical breakthroughs, despite the passage of no-fault divorce and the “freedom to choose”, despite the new world of equality between the sexes, despite what so many of you believe to be the construction of a “better world” – you are the poorer for not having experienced the blessing of what it was like to live in America in the 1950s.

Make fun of Ozzie and Harriet all you want. Deride the Cleaver family to your heart’s content. Lecture me about the hypocrisy of the 1950s church til you’re blue in the face. I’ll take my growing up years over yours any day of the week. Hands down.

We were safe in our homes. We rode the bus to school without fear. We sat in our classrooms without armed guards. We respected our elders. We loved our country.

And we knew that God watched over us – our parents, our teachers, and our political officials told us so.

As evidence of this, on February 8, 1954 the second session of the 83rd U.S. Congress opened with a prayer. “Bestow upon us the endowments of Thy divine benevolence that this Chamber, that this Capitol remain the fortress of man’s God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a beacon to dispel the dark forces of death, tyranny, and the very denial of Thy Holy Name.”

Two days later, Senator Homer Ferguson, in partnership with his colleague, Congressman Louis Rabaut, introduced a joint resolution to add “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. “Spiritual values are every bit as important to the defense and safety of our Nation as are military and economic values. America must be defended by the spiritual values which exist in the hearts and souls of the American people. Our country cannot be defended by ships, planes, and guns alone,” remarked Ferguson.

The pages of the 1954 Congressional Record are filled with similar-themed speeches regarding America, America’s Christian heritage, and the critical role Christian values played in the protection of America from the “dark forces of death and tyranny”.

If you know your history, you know that this class of Congressmen had Soviet Russia first and foremost on their minds. The terror of nuclear weapons in the hands of God-hating communists was palpable at that time in history. But, the respect for Christian values voiced in the 1954 prayer and speeches also paved the way for the civil rights battle that was brewing on the horizon, a battle that was largely won based on Christian values articulated and practiced by a Christian leader.

America did, indeed, go on to win the battle for civil rights for minorities as well as the battle against tyrannical communism. Sadly, and many would say, tragically, the demise of communism under Ronald Reagan’s administration was the last time America stood as the “shining city on a hill.”

God is still watching over America, but I cannot help but wonder what He is thinking about this great nation that once institutionally revered His name, respected His ways, spoke openly about His blessings, and warned regularly about His wrath.

I remain hopeful, but cautiously so, that Christians will once again step up to lead this nation back to greatness – “a beacon to dispel the dark forces of death, tyranny, and the very denial of Thy Holy Name.”

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Sharpton Omits “under God” in “Lean Forward” Spot

February 6, 2013

The New York Times, October 22, 1892 reporting on the nationwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of America's discovery

The New York Times, October 22, 1892 reporting on the nationwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of America’s discovery

The original Pledge of Allegiance along with the next step in the "Official Programme".  1892

The original Pledge of Allegiance along with the next step in the “Official Programme”. 1892

NewsBusters has reported on the newly released Lean Forward spot, in which Rev. Al Sharpton invokes the Pledge of Allegiance. Oh yeah, but he “forgot” to include “under God”. You can see the ad and read NewsBusters’ commentary here.
It’s a known fact that Lean Forward is code for Left Forward and Al Sharpton is nothing more than another in a long line of ill-informed, myopic-sighted, sparsely talented mouthpieces for a leftist organization that is methodically endangering “liberty and justice for all” by pushing its agenda to delete all references to God and Christianity in the American culture.

“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, we will become a nation gone under,” is how Ronald Reagan said it in 1984. Is there any question that America is fast becoming a nation going under?

Those of us who are fighting to save the idea of “one nation under God” can add Sharpton’s spot to the ongoing checklist of other Pledge-and-“under God”-specific attacks: Myrlie Evers-Williams’ inaugural invocation omitting the phrase, Massachusettes atheist group suing to remove the recitation of the Pledge in their public schools because of the phrase, a Colorado high school reciting the Pledge in Arabic, an El Cerrito City councilman’s resolution to eliminate the Pledge from city council meetings … the list goes on and on and on …

Attacks on the Pledge of Allegiance have long been the issue du jour for leftists. It’s that pesky little phrase, “under God”, that just “causes (their) skin to crawl” as one atheist complained.

But, here’s the deal: without God, there is no chance for “liberty and justice” for anyone.

Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s just the truth. It’s even documented … “We hold these TRUTHS to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness…”

As the author of two books on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, I refuse to allow the leftists to re-write the history of the Pledge. Yes, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy, was absolutely a dedicated “Christian socialist” who, along with his novelist cousin, Edward Bellamy, promoted socialism in the political, academic, and religious arenas. But, Edward died not many years after becoming a best-selling author of his influential book, Looking Backward. So, there is no way of knowing if he would have continued his quest for a socialistic America. But, Francis Bellamy did NOT … repeat, did NOT … remain a socialist as he grew and matured. Quite the contrary, he seems to have enjoyed the fruits of his capitalist labor during his career until he died in 1931.

Addressing the “God” issue in the original Pledge of Allegiance … Francis Bellamy was as much a part of planning the event surrounding its first recitation in 1892 as anyone. He had been hired at the Youth’s Companion for that exact purpose – to help plan the nationwide celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. (The Youth’s Companion first published the Pledge of Allegiance and promoted the “Schoolhouse Flag Movement” that set the stage for its recitation.)

The Official Programme sent to the half million Companion subscribers included the original Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” The very next step in the program states: “Acknowledgment of God. Prayer or Scripture.” Let the record show that God has always been a part of the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, albeit not written into it until 1954.

And, doesn’t that just make sense, knowing that the vast majority of nineteenth-century Americans adhered to the Christian religion? As a matter of fact, the October 21, 1892 edition of the New York Times records that, in Boston, Psalm 145 was read aloud in its entirety by the principal of every public school to the student body. That was how Boston chose to enact its “Acknowledgment of God”. Bellamy, who lived and worked in Boston, attended the celebration in Boston.

MSN has poured millions into the Lean Forward campaign hoping to boost ratings (and ultimately topple FOX News) by getting people to “think bigger, listen closer, fight smarter, and act faster.” May I suggest that you add “learn history” to your list?