God bless America! On July 4th and always

A reminder of something important for Independence Day Back in 1787, our nation was in crisis. It was obvious that we needed something more than the Articles of Confederation, and it was imperative that we figure it out as soon as possible.
In May, the various representatives of respective colonies met in Philadelphia to draft a new constitution. By the end of June, the heat in the small meeting room contributed to many disheartening disagreements and petty irritations, and the convention was on the verge of breaking up. It was then that Benjamin Franklin made a speech offering the following, which many felt was a turning point in that convention. Said Mr. Franklin: “MR PRESIDENT: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks’ close attendance, and continual reasonings with each other, our different sentiments producing as many noes as ayes, 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 around 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 originally 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 Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and 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 we no longer need its 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 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; we shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.
And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government 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 the city be requested to officiate in that service.”
Benjamin Franklin started his life as a printer’s apprentice at the age of twelve. He progressed to publisher of The Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard’s Almanac. His pen became his instrument for being the Voice of America to the then-current generations of Europeans, and his formidable weapon in the cause of American freedom. He was also appointed the first Postmaster General for the United States. Although Franklin had only two years of formal education, he was dedicated to furthering education and was largely responsible for founding the first circulating library in America.
His signature is on the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States. Starting
life as one of 17 children of a Boston candle maker, he rose from his humble beginnings to become one of the most influential men in
history. But the most outstanding characteristic of his life was his character — that of a man with an unquenchable desire to live usefully and to do good.
While still a boy, he made the decision to be the kind of person he wanted to be: “A doer of good.” We believe he succeeded, and we
believe, along with that great man, that when you remove God from the important role man has of running a country, that things can get awfully out of whack.
God bless America!

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