225. Beginning with #79, these offerings have attempted to illuminate truths that support the belief that a superintending entity has influenced the course of human events in favor of the establishment of the USA. It would have been impossible to cover all interesting elements of the founding, such as that of the influence of the Freemasons or the negative behaviors and events emphasized by historians akin to Howard Zinn.
226. It is of paramount importance to understand that there is no intention here to claim a Divine establishment of a perfect society inhabited by perfect people. To the contrary, the Creator was using the available talent, a significant number of whom embraced His supernatural and superintending presence. Even when stumbling into the ditches of their own imperfections, they continued to rise up and be nudged in a planned direction.
227. There could have been more than one hundred years of textbooks which provided real time opinions confirming a belief in Providential influence. But there have been none.
228. Today’s society has fallen victim to adversaries that have omitted and obfuscated information to the point that truth is often denied and ridiculed.
229. Ridicule, indeed, was one motivation for the entire Last Sharing & Testament project. When engaging in an online discussion forum, I borrowed a couple of snippets taken from the information that is herein to follow. Without revealing the sources of those snippets, my suggestion was that all US history teachers should express those opinions. The resulting ridicule can be summarized by one, “There is no place in a public school classroom for those statements”. Ignorance (lack of information) only becomes stupidity when it is defended or exercised.
230. My children and friends, I pray that your minds have not been taken captive by the serpent who tells you that reading information exceeding the time necessary for taking one full breath is not worth your effort.
231. Behold, truth: ………………….
232. Eighty one year old Benjamin Franklin stood to speak to the Constitutional Convention that had convened in an attempt to prevent the collapse of their union as it floundered under an agreement called the Articles of Confederation. The men had believed that the task would require an effort of two weeks or so, but the Articles were beyond adjustment, and a different system of government was the only solution. They eventually labored six days a week for more than three months. At one point, as contentions arose and debates were heated, the respected Franklin addressed the president of the convention to bring a motion to the floor:
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it’. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-“ (The Avalon Project, Lillian Goldman Library, Yale Law School)
The best that can be found regarding Franklin in today’s textbooks is that he calmed the delegates by telling amusing stories.
233. From George Washington’s first inaugural address:
“… it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency… “ (The Avalon Project)
234. In Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address we see his opinion:
(Our country is) “… enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter…” (The Avalon Project)
235. In the close of Jefferson’s second inaugural address he professes:
“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.” (The Avalon Project)
236. One real time and neutrally based opinion of spiritual influence in our country’s founding was recorded by the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a political scientist, historian and diplomat who spent nine months during 1831 on an analytical tour of the United States. He was searching for factors that had served to propel the US to its position among the long established countries of the world. From that experience, he later completed an extensive literary work titled, Democracy in America. Although he appears to have made the same incorrect assumption regarding our constitution as did Frederick Engels when Engels described how communism would take down America, his personal observations and associations with the people were significant. The following is a condensation of his analysis of spiritual influence in the USA:
“On my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things… The sects which exist in the United States are innumerable… Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner; but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God…. Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same… I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion… But am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens, or a party, but to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”
237. I rest my case.