Back here in the swampy woods of Ohio, one has to do something to pass the late summer hours. Maybe an idealist like me should never study philosophy, though. After all, in the ‘search for truth’ there are bound to be ideas that are different from those I was schooled in. Someone might actually think they are an idealist, only their concept of ‘ideal’ is the complete antithesis of my own. Just the thought is incredibly disturbing to me so actually reading and trying to comprehend any idea from the ‘question everything’ crowd becomes very difficult.
So it is for me with those in our society who have moved to change history and how it reads by not promoting those things of our heritage that proclaim we are a nation that was once dedicated to Judeo-Christian moral values. Today, professing such values draws the ire of the politically correct police and the wrath and the attention of the legal action arm of the LGBT community. This page is not Bunker and Breed’s Hill in Boston or Fort McHenry at the mouth of Baltimore’s bay. It’s not Antietam or Gettysburg, the Argon Forest, or Bastogne’. It’s more like Fort Findlay and Fort Christmas, little supply depots in the swampy backwaters of our culture wars. What is stocked in this respite’ are some musical lyrics that show where our nation has come from;
America – or, ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ as it is also known is one of the earliest songs spread around our nation. The tune of the song was well known to the Colonials. It is still the anthem of the ‘motherland’, Britain. The second stanza is ‘key’ to these stores, and a supply of it goes out with every shipment;
“Our Fathers’ God, to Thee
Author of Liberty
To Thee We Sing
Long May Our Land Be Bright
With Freedom’s Holy Light
Protect Us By Thy Might
Great God Our King!”
A few years later in the making, during the second War of Independence known as the War of 1812, while held captive aboard a British ship, a young lawyer penned these words about his experience. It’s his forth stanza that expresses the commitment to our holy God, though few know of it and fewer still seem to pass it on;
“O, Thus Be It Ever When Free Men Shall Stand
Between Their Loved Homes and a Wars Desolation.
Blest With Victory and Peace, May This Heaven Rescued Land
Praise the Power That Hath Made and Preserved Us a Nation.
Then Conquer We Must When Our Cause It is Just
And This Be Our Motto ‘In God is Our Trust!’
And the Star-Spangled Banner in Triumph Shall Wave
O’re the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!”
Some forty years later there was another tune that was used to bind us together, even while the nation was trying to tear itself apart. Sung around campfires and in parades, today it is still a mainstay in churches as well as on the streets at Memorial Day and July 4th celebrations. Any verse of this song is useful but I like to set this one in example for the current argument;
“In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!”
“Glory, glory halleluiah!
Glory, glory halleluiah!
Glory, glory halleluiah!
His Truth is marching on!”
This one must be particularly difficult for those promoting a non-deistic foundation for our country. How is it that in the middle of such a horrific conflict men could still be dedicating themselves to God? Not surprising though, that probably because they did, ‘Dixie’ remains a popular tune as well when it comes to musical Americana.
American musical theatre of the early twentieth century did its part in promoting the nationalism of a country that held its arms open to all, it seemed. And among those writing songs was a young man named Erving Berlin. His contribution to the supply of music promoting our Judeo-Christian commitment as a country was this little tune, introduced by a young woman named Kate Smith;
“God Bless America,
Land That I Love.
Stand Beside Her, and Guide Her
Through the Night With the Light From Above.
From the Mountains, to the Prairies, to the Ocean White With Foam,
God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home.
God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home.”
(Note the cameo in this video by a future President)
Mr. Berlin’s little tune was sung during tough times in the late nineteen-thirties and again, publically, by members of the Congress of the United States as their response to the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
First published in 1892, this song continues to be a favorite. Here’s how Ray Charles performs it just over a hundred years later;
“America, America, God Shed His Grace on Thee
And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood
From Sea to Shining Sea.”
Music is just the area of the God-fearing America I happen to be most familiar with. Our founders, our writers, our screen-writers, our poets have penned and scripted many stories and memories kept safe and available for any of us to tap into when we need to hold fast to faith in the face of the ‘question everything’ crowd that aims to try to change the course we were set on so many years ago. While ‘they’, the philosophical intelligentsia and their media allies work to make the wind blow in their direction, in this little storehouse I’m building and patching up the foundation, so when the troops come back through to counter this current wind there will be plenty of stores for them to avail themselves to. In the meantime, I’m due for another shipment from some guys named Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, and Charlie Daniels.