Quotes, Stories, and Illustrations for the 4th of July
"Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics."
– George Washington’s Farewell Address to Nation
"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be."
– John Wayne
"America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men."
– Woodrow Wilson
General Omar Bradley said, "America today is running on the momentum of a godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America."
Bradley also said, "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount… The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants."
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not but religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
– Patrick Henry
"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor 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."
– Benjamin Franklin (From the debates at the Constitutional Convention, June of 1787)
2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people… it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other…"
– John Quincy Adams
Only in America
1. Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
2. Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
3. Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
4. Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke.
5. Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our junk in the garage. Hello.
6. Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and have call-waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
7. Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
The Inscription on the Statue of Liberty, written by Emma Lazarus
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me;
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
No King But Jesus!
The Colonists grew in their resilience and confidence in God, to the point where one Crown-appointed Governor wrote of the condition to the Board of Trade back in England: "If you ask an American who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ."
The Committees of Correspondence soon began sounding the cry across the Colonies: "No King but King Jesus!"
From America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, William J. Federer, Fame Publishing.
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
– George Washington
1 Timothy 2:1-4
1. Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2. for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3. for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4. who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
"In reading over the Constitutions of all fifty of our states, I discovered something which some of you may not know: there is in all fifty, without exception, an appeal or a prayer to the Almighty God of the universe…. Through all fifty state Constitutions, without exception, there runs this same appeal and reference to God who is the Creator of our liberties and the preserver of our freedoms."
– D. James Kennedy
"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster."
– General Douglas MacArthur
"I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice or thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions of one of two chapters every day, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity."
– John Quincy Adams
"Under God" and the Pledge of Allegiance
The words "under God were taken from Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, "…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth…" and were added to the Pledge of Allegiance on June 14, 1954 by a joint resolution of Congress, 243 (Public Law 83-396). (The Pledge was initially adopted by the 79th Congress on December 28, 1945, as Public Law 287.) On June 14, 1954, President Eisenhower signed into law the pledge:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which is stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
President Eisenhower gave his support to the Congressional Act, which added the phrase, "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, saying:
"In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war."
President Eisenhower then stood on the steps of the Capitol Building and recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time with the phrase, "one nation under God."
From America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, William J. Federer, Fame Publishing.
"In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gave you."
– Amy Tan
"My County, ‘Tis of Thee" was written by a Baptist minister, Samuel Francis Smith.
"The Pledge of Allegience" was written in 1892 by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy.
The words "In God We Trust" are traced to the efforts of Rev. W.R. Watkinson.
Rev. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
"The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights and privileges as American citizens. The time is come – it is now – when we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship. America’s future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God’s government."
– Peter Marshall
"Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."
– Pope John Paul II
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
– John Adams
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
– Edmund Burke
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
– Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of Liberty."
– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Friday, January 20, 1961
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it."
– John F. Kennedy
"Freedom is the last, best hope of earth."
– Abraham Lincoln
"…I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’"
– Martin Luther King, Jr. (From his "I Have a Dream speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963)
"Patriotism is not so much protecting the land of our fathers as preserving the land of our children."
– Jose Ortega Y Gasset
A teacher went into her classroom about fifteen minutes before the class was supposed to begin and caught a bunch of boys in a huddle on their knees in the corner of the room. She asked what they were doing, and one of them shouted back, "We are shooting craps." She replied, "That’s all right. I was afraid you were praying."
During the dark days of the American Revolution, when the Continental Army had experienced several setbacks, a farmer who lived near the battlefield approached Washington’s camp unheard. Suddenly his ears caught an earnest voice raised in agonizing prayer. On coming nearer he saw it was the great General, down on his knees in the snow, his cheeks wet with tears. He was asking God for assistance and guidance. The farmer crept away and returned home. He said to his family, "Its going to be all right. We are going to win!" "What makes you think so?" his wife asked. "Well," said the farmer, "I heard General Washington pray out in the woods today—such fervent prayer I have never heard. And God will surely hear and answer that kind of praying." And the farmer was right! It happened because Washington put his hope in God.
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." – Thomas Paine
"I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
– Patrick Henry
"The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."
– Benjamin Franklin
In June of 1863, just weeks before the battle of Gettysburg, a college president asked Abraham Lincoln if he thought the country would survive. President Lincoln replied: "I do not doubt that our country will finally come through safe and undivided. But do not misunderstand me… I do not rely on the patriotism of our people… the bravery and devotion of the boys in blue… (or) the loyalty and skill of our generals… But the God of our Fathers, Who raised up this country to be the refuge and asylum of the oppressed and the downtrodden of all nations will not let it perish now. I may not live to see it… I do not expect to see it, but God will bring us through safe."
"Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in full conviction that that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity."
– Daniel Webster.
The United States of America is 226 years old today (July 4, 2002). That’s a long time for a nation to remain free. But, when you take the long, historical view, America is just a CHILD among the nations. Egypt, China, Japan, Rome, or Greece all make America’s history seem so short. Consider what a brief time we’ve really been here as a nation: When Thomas Jefferson died, Abraham Lincoln was a young man of 17. When Lincoln was assassinated, Woodrow Wilson was a boy of 8. By the time the nation mourned the death of President Wilson, Ronald Reagan was a boy of 12.
Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, has attributed the fall of the Empire to:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion–faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Delivered November 19, 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
"I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in the Assembly every morning…"
– Benjamin Franklin, 1787 Constitutional Convention
TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES
This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
America: The Good Neighbor.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television Commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.
None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10?
If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon – not once, but several times – and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one Canadian who is tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
Stand proud, America! Wear it proudly!
Quotes by Ronald Reagan
"I believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in the search of gold, but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future."
"Our liberty springs from and depends upon an abiding faith in God."
"The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable, and as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide."
"If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws."
"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living."
"My fellow citizens, those of you here in this hall, and those of you at home. I want you to know that I have always had the highest respect for you, for your common sense and intelligence and for your decency. I have always believed in you and in what you could accomplish for yourselves and others.
And whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.
My fondest hope for each one of you, and especially for the young people here, is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here.
May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek Divine guidance, and never lose your natural God-given optimism.
And finally, my fellow Americans, may every dawn be a great new beginning for America and every evening bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill…My fellow Americans, on behalf of both of us, goodbye, and God bless each and every one of you and God bless this country we love."