In the founding of this great nation, our forefathers faced trials that would have undermined a people less determined, less strong, less creative and less resilient. And in pursuing the cause of freedom, which repeatedly appeared far out of reach, our wise Founders kept in their hearts the promise of a Divine Providence watching over our worthy experiment.
Today in 2010, in the 229th year since we officially defeated the juggernaut called Britain, we can reflect on a victory that only can be seen as the work of a Great Creator determined to establish a good and just nation for all mankind, a place where the huddled masses indeed can breathe the air of freedom.
In our revolutionary quest, our first President and premier general George Washington spoke repeatedly of divine intervention in aiding our victory, and said that it was only this grace from on high that saved our new nation from defeat.
In his farewell address, Washington further discussed our collective religiosity: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports… 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… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Thus today it is crucial to recall that it is not intellect, serendipity or happenstance that has saved us all from the ash heap of history, but our faith in a Higher Power that is infinitely stronger and more benevolent than all the trillions of dollars in the material world today.
As we pursue our prosperous lives in liberty, it is important to reflect on our great fortune to be living in the United States of America, the freest nation ever on earth and the longest running such “experiment” in world history. And we also must remember that that freedom is never guaranteed, and is not for the light-hearted or those who are casual in outlook.
President Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and lost it, have never known it again.”
And that is why our founding morals and virtues must constantly be put to the test – in order to determine indeed if we are worthy of that freedom.
As certain American groups seek to de-Christianize us, to remove the Old Testament’s Ten Commandments from our consciousness, to marginalize our churches, and to banish any mention of our Christian faith in the public square, we must stand our ground against those who would replace freedom, virtue, piety and morality with a “whatever culture” that sees darkness as equal to light, immorality no different than morality, and bad the same as good, a culture that believes that somehow there are no objective judgments to be made.
Because there are judgments to be made each and every day. And throughout time, we have seen the result of ambivalence and non-judgmentalism, and it is not a pleasant reality. Freedom to think, say and worship the way we please is not only a right but a privilege that we enjoy because great men embraced God’s laws and made hard judgments, while hundreds of thousands of our finest have since died valiantly in battle to protect the integrity of George Washington’s dream.
As we approach Christmas 2010, the grinches are hard at work as they are every year around this time. The birth of God’s only begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, has been reduced to a “holiday”. The very word “Christmas” now has been in many ways muscled out of our vocabulary not really for fear of offending non-Christians, but in order to extinguish the awesome power associated with the birth of Jesus.
To regain the upper hand that favors piety and virtuous freedom, those of us who believe in the divine power of God and of the pious people among us, must speak out to reassert our faith in the Heavenly Father and His rules, which are simple and straightforward. Just read the Ten Commandments and you have it all.
The grinches, however, wish for the Commandments to be seen as tired dogma that is hardly up to speed for our modern and ever-changing world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The very timeless concept of Christmas… a time of birth, of peace, of joy, of family, of generosity… speaks to the rugged and optimistic personalities that founded the greatest nation on earth, those who followed the Commandments more than two centuries ago.
Despite those who wish to make us forget our Constitution, ignore our Declaration of Independence, and allow the Ten Commandments to slip away, along with the meaning of Christmas itself, it is WE who say, “Bah, humbug!”
Because it is WE who hold these truths to be self-evident; it is WE who guarantee your freedom to dissent from the foundational principles of America; it is WE who know how precious freedom and virtue are because they have been in such short supply throughout all of time, and we have witnessed the result. And it is WE who know what the celebration of Christmas truly means: The birth of our Lord who grants us all that is good and worthy.
Those of us who celebrate Christmas proudly — not at the mall, but in our churches, and singing carols and praying and studying the Bible – represent the new generation of “founders” bearing the gift of freedom for all. We will remain ever-vigilant while much of the world dallies in a haze of materialist equivocation. And in order to remind each and every citizen of the origin of our greatness, we say these four simple words: “Merry Christmas to all!”