Mick’s Memo – Presidential Perspectives

Next week most schools will close for “February Break”.  Sadly I was bereft of this vacation when I was a student, and in place of it we had two separate holidays; one on February 12th to celebrate the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln and one on February 22nd to celebrate that of President George Washington.  While the culture has drastically changed in the intervening years, both were remarkable gifts to the founding, sustaining and expansion of the freedoms which mark our nation. 

They and the overwhelming majority of the founding fathers deemed faith in God and the truth of the Scriptures as indispensable to our form of government.  For example…

“[The Bible] is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong.”  President Abraham Lincoln[1]

Despite attempts to label President Washington as a deist; he was a lifelong practicing member of the Church of England and wrote these words in his famous farewell to the nation just before he refused a third term of office and went into private life…

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.[2]

As part of next week’s break from school routines, I would encourage families to investigate the writings of these two pivotal leaders: particularly their writings about faith. David Barton’s website—Wallbuilders.com is a great resource.

We have been blessed with godly foundations for the freedoms we enjoy.  I believe that these freedoms will only endure as we continue to practice our faith and give it away to those who are unaware of God’s grace and truth. 

This weekend we will be launching our new series studying Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12—“Interdependence or Bust!”

Looking forward to seeing you!

Mick


[1] Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works Comprising his Speeches, Letters, State Papers, and Miscellaneous Writings, John Nicolay and John Hay, editors (New York: The Century Co., 1894), Vol. Two, p. 574, “Reply to Committee of Colored People of Baltimore Who Presented Him with a Bible.”

[2] George Washington, American Daily Advertiser, September 19, 1796