Founding Fathers Quotes Friday
Being a bit on the on the tawdry side today, especially insofar as how the New Mainstream Media has been reporting all of, or most of the news lately, especially about our wannabe president who is off again – somewhere.
Therefore today after critical reflection I have decided to write on some issues that were once the founding backbone of this nation that seems now to be someone’s best or last joke spoke at the party.
There appears to be some deep level misunderstanding going on within the nation these days and contrary to some folks in the news I really must disagree with them. I make mention of Ms. Melissa Francis who has a variety of positions at Fox News.com. During her particular show “Outnumbered” today she made a reference as to how she did not think that the nation was changing.
Well after years of writing for this site I am sure that those readers who are acquainted with my writing style could readily feel how my blood pressure was rising with Melissa’s every word.
In the myriad of ways our nation has changed can easily be detected in the amount of political correctness we must spill on a daily basis. However, more than spewing political correctness all day long, I for one, believe that there are two, maybe three issues that draw my concern more.
One of these issues is how distorted our sense of morality has become. Interestingly enough, through a bit of research, there does to me exude the coexistence between morality and religion.
The American war is over, but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government, and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection.— Benjamin Rush letter to Price — 1786
In such a performance you may lay the foundation of national happiness only in religion, not by leaving it doubtful “whether morals can exist without it,” but by asserting that without religion morals are the effects of causes as purely physical as pleasant breezes and fruitful seasons.—Benjamin Rush, in letter to John Adams 1811
Benjamin Rush has for a considerable period been one of my favorite Founding Fathers. Actually, he was a practicing physician (doctor) when he wasn’t trying to mold his views on to other people. Nonetheless, it is through his persistence on matters of extreme importance that lure me every time.
From the two quotes above it is easy to see how committed he is to principals, morals, and manners as well as to religion and how it seems that morality comes from there originally. What does he say about education?
[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this, there can be no virtue, and without virtue, there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.— Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic — 1806
What most Americans or all people do not know is the importance of religion, education, and morals, principals, and manners tie together.
Most people do not know that eight out of nine of the first universities established in the USA all had a religious affiliation with which they chose bragging rights. Let’s for the sake of convenience look at the oldest schools, ironically located in The Ivy League: Let’s start with Columbia, Church of England, while a Congregational minister from Columbia, Connecticut was behind Dartmouth College. Now for America’s number one 1636 institution of higher learning describes itself as nonconforming Protestants, Puritans, Separatists, Independents, English religious groups coming out of the English Civil War, and other English dissenters not satisfied with the degree to which the Church of England had been reformed came Harvard.
Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology. The university coat of arms features a dolphin on the red chief, adopted directly from the Franklin family’s own coat of arms.
In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well; however, a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution.”