Category Archives: Men of Faith

First Session of Continental Congress was opened with prayer


Continental Congress painting 01American Minute with Bill Federer

SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, the First Session of the Continental Congress was opened with prayer in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia.

Threatened by the most powerful monarch in the world, Britain’s King George III, America’s founding fathers heard Rev. Jacob Duche’ begin by reading Psalm 35, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer’s “Psalter” for that day:

“Plead my cause, Oh, Lord, with them that strive with me, fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield, and rise up for my help.

Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.”

Then Rev. Jacob Duche’ prayed:

“Be Thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;

that Order, Harmony and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people…

Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.

All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen.”

That same day, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, describing the prayer:

“When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with Prayer.

It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York, and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in the same act of worship.

Samuel Adams

Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his Country.

He was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche’ deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche’, an Episcopal clergyman might be desired to read Prayers to Congress tomorrow morning.

The motion was seconded, and passed in the affirmative. Mr. Randolph, our president, vailed on Mr. Duche’, and received for answer, that if his health would permit, he certainly would…”

Adams continued:

“Accordingly, next morning Reverend Mr. Duche’ appeared with his clerk and in his pontificals, and read several prayers in the established form, and read the collect for the seventh day of September, which was the thirty-fifth Psalm.

You must remember, this was the next morning after we heard the horrible rumor of the cannonade of Boston.

I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning.

After this, Mr. Duche’, unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced.

Episcopalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, such ardor, such earnestness and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime, for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially the town of Boston. It has had an excellent effect upon everybody here. I must beg you to read that Psalm.”

The Library of Congress printed on an historical placard of Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia:

“Washington was kneeling there with Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood, bowed in reverence the Puritan Patriots of New England…

‘It was enough’ says Mr. Adams, ‘to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave, Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia.’”

The Journals of Congress then recorded their appreciation to Rev. Mr. Duche’:

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m. Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the Rev. Mr. Duche’.

Voted, That the thanks of Congress be given to Mr. Duche’…for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and delivered on the occasion.”

Rev. Jacob Duche’ exhorted Philadelphia’s soldiers, July 7, 1775:

“Considering myself under the twofold character of a minister of Jesus Christ, and a fellow-citizen…involved in the same public calamity with yourselves…

addressing myself to you as freemen…’Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free’ (Galatians, ch. 5).”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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A Warning Against Standing Armies and Tyranny


Madison

American Minute with Bill Federer

The British invaded Washington, D.C. and burned the Capitol on August 25, 1814.

President James and Dolly Madison had to flee the White House.

A week later, on SEPTEMBER 1, 1814, President Madison wrote:

“The enemy by a sudden incursion has succeeded in invading the capitol of the nation…During their possession…though for a single day only, they wantonly destroyed the public edifices…

An occasion which appeals so forcibly to the…patriotic devotion of the American people, none will forget.”

James Madison continued:

“Independence…is now to be maintained…with the strength and resources which…Heaven has blessed.”

A few weeks later, on September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry, as Francis Scott Key wrote of “bombs bursting in air.”

Two months later, November 16, 1814, President Madison wrote:

“The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war

a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a Day of Public Humiliation and Fasting and of Prayer

to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace…

“I have deemed it proper…to recommend…a day of…humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe.”

James Madison stated at the Constitutional Convention, June 29, 1787 (Max Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. I (1911, p. 465):

“In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body.

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.

The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.

Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

Madison wrote in Federalist No. 47 (January 30, 1788):

“The accumulation of all powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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John Bunyan’s – The Pilgrim’s Progress


Pilgrim's Progress first edition 1678American Minute with Bill Federer

He was imprisoned 12 years for preaching without a license from the government.

This was John Bunyan, who died AUGUST 31, 1688.

Born in Bedford, England, John Bunyan was a poor, unskilled tinker by trade.

In 1657, at age 29, he became a Baptist minister and was arrested for having religious meetings, being imprisoned 1660-1672 and 1675-1676.

John Bunyan wrote in a Relation of My Imprisonment:

“The justice…issued out his warrant to take me…as if we that were to meet together…to do some fearful business, to the destruction of the country; when alas! the constable, when he came in, found us only with our Bibles in our hands, ready to speak and hear the word of God…

So I was taken and forced to depart…

But before I went away, I spake some few words of counsel and encouragement to the people, declaring to them…that they would not be discouraged, for it was a mercy to suffer upon so good account…we suffer as Christians…better be the persecuted, than the persecutors.”

During his imprisonment, John Bunyan supported his family by making shoelaces.

It was during this time that he began writing The Pilgrim’s Progress, eventually published in 1678.

It was an allegory of a pilgrim, named Christian, who fled from the City of Destruction and was directed by Evangelist to follow the narrow path, overcoming temptations, depressions, deceptions, and persecutions till he reached the Celestial City of Zion.

The friends and dangers Christian meets along the way inspired many subsequent novels, such as:

Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrim’s Progress (1869);

C.S. Lewis’ Pilgrim’s Regress (1933); and

L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz (1900).

The Pilgrim’s Progress was translated into over 100 languages and, after the Bible, was the world’s best-seller for hundreds of years.

It was found in nearly every colonial New England home, along with the Bible and Fox’s Book of Martyrs.

Ben Franklin wrote in his Autobiography:

“From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with The Pilgrim’s Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes….

My old favorite author, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress…has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible.”

President Grover Cleveland had memorized The Pilgrim’s Progress as a youth, commenting:

“I have always felt that my training as a minister’s son has been more valuable to me as a strengthening influence than any other incident in life.”

President Theodore Roosevelt stated while laying the cornerstone of the office building of the House of Representatives, April 14, 1906:

“In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress you may recall the description of the man with the muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand, who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote January 19, 1936:

“When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from Pilgrim’s Progress:

‘My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.’”

President Ronald Reagan greeted Australia’s Prime Minister, June 30, 1981, referring to John Bunyan:

“Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, ‘We are all travelers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world. And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend – they keep us worthy of ourselves.’”

The Pilgrim’s Progress began:

“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.

I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.

I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?”

Later in The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan wrote:

“Christian ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross…So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back.”

Further in The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan wrote:

“Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither shall I fly to be safe?…To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life-everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward…

Frighted with the sight of the lions…Christian said to himself again, These beasts range in the night for their prey; and if they should meet with me in the dark…how should I escape being by them torn in pieces?…

He lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him…He entered into a very narrow passage…he espied two lions in the way…The porter at the lodge…perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying,

Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that had none. Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee…

He went on, trembling for fear of the lions, but taking good heed to the directions of the porter; he heard them roar, but they did him no harm…”

John Bunyan continued:

“But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it…a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground.

But he considered again that he had no armour for his back; and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground…”

John Bunyan wrote further:

“The monster was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales…wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke…

Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said…prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul.

And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast; but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it…

Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot…”

Bunyan concluded:

“This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker…

Christian’s sword flew out of his hand.

Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now. And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life; but as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying,

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back…

And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more…

A more unequal match can hardly be, —
Christian must fight an angel; but you see,
The valiant man by handling Sword and Shield,
Doth make him, though a Dragon, quit the field.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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A “Talk” to the Cherokee Nation August 29, 1796


George Washington and IndiansAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

In 1754, Colonel George Washington built Fort Necessity on Great Meadows, after a successful attack on the French in May.

While encamped at Great Meadows, he received a letter from his brother Lawrence’s father-in-law, Mr. William Fairfax:

“I will not doubt your having public prayers in the camp, especially when the Indian families are your guests, that they, seeing your plain manner of worship, may have their curiosity excited to be informed why we do not use the ceremonies of the French,

which being well explained to their understandings, will more and more dispose them to receive our baptism, and unite in strict bonds of cordial friendship.”

On May 12, 1779, General George Washington was visited at his Middle Brook military encampment by the Chiefs of the Delaware Indian tribe.

They had brought three youths to be trained in the American schools. Washington assured them:

“Brothers: I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us. I am sure Congress will open the Arms of love to them, and will look upon them as their own Children, and will have them educated accordingly.

This is a great mark of your confidence and of your desire to preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time, and to become One people with your Brethren of the United States….”

Washington continued:

“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.

Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention; and to tie the knot of friendship and union so fast, that nothing shall ever be able to loose it…

And I pray God He may make your Nation wise and strong.”

After George Washington retired from being General of the Continental Army, he wrote from Mount Vernon to the President of the Continental Congress, February 8, 1785:

“Toward the latter part of the year 1783, I was honored with a letter from the Countess of Huntington, briefly reciting her benevolent intention of spreading Christianity among the Tribes of Indians inhabiting our Western Territory;

and expressing a desire of my advice and assistance to carry this charitable design into execution.

I wrote her Ladyship…that I would give every aid in my power, consistent with the ease and tranquility, to which I meant to devote the remainder of my life, to carry her plan into effect…

Her Ladyship has spoken so feelingly and sensibly, on the religious and benevolent purposes of the plan, that no language of which I am possessed, can add aught to enforce her observations.”

President Washington addressed Congress, November 6, 1792:

“Laws will expire during the present session. Among these, that which regulates trade…with the Indian tribes…

Your common deliberations…will, I trust, be productive…to our constituents…by conciliating more and more their ultimate suffrage…and confirm their attachment to that Constitution…upon which, under Divine Providence, materially depend…their happiness.”

On AUGUST 29, 1796, from the city of Philadelphia, President George Washington dictated a “Talk” to the Cherokee Nation:

“Beloved Cherokees: The wise men of the United States meet once a year, to consider what will be for the good of all their people…

I have thought that a meeting of your wise men once or twice a year would be alike useful to you…

I now send my best wishes to the Cherokees, and pray the Great Spirit to preserve them.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Wall Builders — A Shield of Righteousness


Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,
having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
(Ephesians 
6:14)

This week, (September 1) marks the 75th anniversary of the official beginning of WWII. On September 3, 1939, President Roosevelt addressed the nation with one of his famous “Fireside Chats” stating his resolve to remain a neutral nation in the war, which culminated in an American Proclamation of Neutrality declared on September 5th.

However, all of that changed with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. In his famous “date which will live in infamy” message to Congress requesting that theUnited States officially declare war on Japan, President Roosevelt stated, “With confidence in our armed forces — with the unbounding determination of our people — we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.”

This confidence in God and our military (along with his concern for individual American soldiers) was later evident in what is now known as The Heart-Shield Bible. These Bibles (used during World War II) were designed to fit securely into the chest pocket of a soldier’s uniform. The metal plates were securely attached to the front cover of the Bible to stop a bullet from reaching the soldier’s heart (which they did on several occasions). In our library at WallBuilders we

have several of these World War II Bibles. In the back is a section of psalms and hymns, including “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,”  “America the Beautiful,” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”  In the front, there is a note to the soldiers directly from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

“As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a foundation of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.”

Well before America joined World War II, on the 400th anniversary of the English Bible in 1935, President Roosevelt reminded the nation of the Bible’s importance in America’s formation and continuance:  

 

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. . . . Where we have been truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity; where it has been to us as the words of a book that is sealed, we have faltered in our way, lost our range finders, and found our progress checked. It is well that we observe this anniversary of the first publishing of our English Bible. The time is propitious to place a fresh emphasis upon its place and worth in the economy of our life as a people.”

Many other presidents encouraged Americans to read the Bible — including President John Quincy Adams. Interestingly, before becoming president and while serving as a diplomat to Russia under President James Madison, Adams wrote his ten-year-old son nine letters on the importance of reading the Bible, how to read through the Bible once a year, and how to get the most application form what he read. Immediately after Adams’ death in 1847, these letters were published as a book to make his wise counsel on the Bible available to all Americans. Called John Quincy Adams Letters to His Son, on the Bible and ItsTeachings, WallBuilders recently reprinted this work in ebook format. Visit our website to get your copy and enjoy the remarkable spiritual insight of this great President of the United States.

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Oliver Hazard Perry, died August 23, 1819


Battle of Lake ErieAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“We have met the enemy and they are ours,” exclaimed Oliver Hazard Perry, who died AUGUST 23, 1819.

After British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon’s combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805, the British had the undisputed most powerful navy in the world.

They intercepted American ships headed to French ports, seized goods and impressed thousands of American sailors into the British navy.

The British aided Indians who attacked Americans on the frontiers and around the Great Lakes.

This escalated into the War of 1812.

In 1813, British ships on Lake Erie were trying to resupply the starving troops at Fort Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario, but were blocked by U.S. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry’s ships at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

On September 10, 1813, Perry, with many of his sailors being free blacks, confronted the British squadron of six vessels, commanded by the one-armed Commodore Robert Barclay, who had helped defeat Napoleon’s fleet.

Strong winds prevented Perry from getting into a safe position.

Long-range British cannons crippled his flagship, USS Lawrence, killing most of his crew.

Faithful to his battle flag, “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP,” the 28-year-old Perry and his men courageously rowed a half mile through heavy gunfire to the USS Niagara.

The wind suddenly changed directions and Perry sailed directly across the British line, firing broadside.

After 15 minutes, the smoke cleared to reveal that all of Barclay’s ships had been disabled.

This was the first time in history that an entire British naval squadron had surrendered.

As a result, the British abandoned Fort Malden.

U.S. General William Henry Harrison was then able to recapture Detroit and defeat the British, with their Indian ally Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, at the Battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813.

The Northwest Territory was now secure for America.

To the sailors on deck Captain Perry remarked:

“The prayers of my wife are answered.”

In his dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry wrote:

“It has pleased the Almighty to give the arms of the United States a signal victory over their enemies on this lake.

The British squadron, consisting of two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop have this moment surrendered to the force of my command after a sharp conflict.”

President James Madison stated in his 5th Annual Message, December 7, 1813:

“It has pleased the Almighty to bless our arms…

On Lake Erie, the squadron under the command of Captain Perry having met the British squadron of superior force, a sanguinary conflict ended in the capture of the whole.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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General “Stormin Norman” Schwarzkopf born August 22, 1934


God With Us

General  Schwarzkopf.American Minute with Bill Federer

Born AUGUST 22, 1934, he served in Vietnam, commanded the U.S. forces in Grenada and Desert Storm, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and knighted by the Queen of England.

This was four-star General “Stormin Norman” Schwarzkopf.

In an interview regarding the Gulf War, General Norman Schwarzkopf of Central Command (CENTCOM), stated:

“I asked for my principle staff to meet me in the war room down in the basement, a half an hour before `H hour’…

I read them the message…And then I asked the chaplain to say a prayer, and then I played `God Bless the USA’…

I think it characterized the pride that all of us have in our profession, and in what we were, and there’s a line in there that says

‘I would proudly stand next to you, and defend her still today’

and that’s what it was all about. And I said,

‘Now, we all know what we need to do. Now let’s get on with it.’”

In a Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert of NBC News, February 8, 2003, General Norman Schwarzkopf remarked:

“‘What do we do with Osama bin Laden?’…they asked me, ‘Can we forgive him?’

And I said ‘Forgiveness is up to God. I just hope we hurry up the meeting.’ And that’s the way I feel about him, really.”

Having acknowledged during an interview, in 1991, that he kept a Bible by his bed, General Schwarzkopf was asked if he had a favorite verse. He replied:

“Actually, it’s a prayer of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.”

On December 22, 1990, President George H.W. Bush was asked by the press:

“There continues to be reports that American servicemen are not being allowed to wear American flag patches on their uniforms. There continues to be restrictions by the Saudis on religious materials.”

President Bush responded:

“I’ve discussed this with our commanding General, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and I am satisfied that our young men and women over there will be able to do what every other American family will be doing-thanking God for our many blessings at Christmas.”

In a 1991 interview with David Frost, General Schwarzkopf described an extreme flanking maneuver to cut off the Iraqi retreat:

“When my forward commander radioed that they had reached the Euphrates River…I waited…

‘General,’ he said, ‘I’ve got to tell you about the casualties.’

I braced myself.

‘One man was slightly wounded.’

That’s when I knew God was with us.”

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James Wilson, founding father, died August 21, 1798


jameswilsonAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

He was one of six founding fathers to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

President Washington appointed him to the Supreme Court.

Born in Scotland, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, speaking 168 times.

His name was James Wilson and he died AUGUST 21, 1798.

The first law professor of the University of Pennsylvania, James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1789-91, that all law comes from God, being divided into four categories:

“law eternal,” “law celestial,” “laws of nature,”

and:

“Law…communicated to us by reason and conscience…has been called natural; as promulgated by the Holy Scriptures, it has been called revealed…

But it should always be remembered, that this law, natural or revealed…flows from the same divine source; it is the law of God.”

“Human law must rest its authority, ultimately, upon the authority of that law, which is divine.”

James Wilson continued:

“Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

James Wilson stated:

“The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”

James Wilson remarked at Pennsylvania’s ratifying convention, November 26, 1787:

“Governments, in general, have been the result of force, of fraud, and accident.

After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation…assembling voluntarily…and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live.”

In expounding on the “Will of God,” James Wilson described it as the:

“…efficient cause of moral obligation – of the eminent distinction between right and wrong…(and therefore the) supreme law…

(It is revealed) by our conscience, by our reason, and by the Holy Scriptures.”

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania records in Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824:

“The late Judge James Wilson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, Professor of Law in the College in Philadelphia…

for our present form of government we are greatly indebted to his exertions…

In his Course of Lectures (3d Vol. of his Works, 122), he states that…

‘Christianity is part of the common-law.’”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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Francis Asbury, born August 20, 1745


Agree or disagree with this denomination, great benefit in freedom of religion was attained with this Methodist and the Baptist.

Francis AsburyAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

300,000 miles on horseback, from the Atlantic to the Appalachians, from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, for 45 years, he spread the Gospel.

This was Francis Asbury, Methodist Circuit riding preacher who was born AUGUST 20, 1745.

When the Revolution began, he was the only Methodist minister to remain in America, refusing to return with other Anglican ministers to England, stating:

“I can by no means agree to leave such a field for gathering souls to Christ as we have in America.”

Preaching over 16,000 sermons, Asbury’s leadership resulted in the Methodist Church in America growing from 1,200 people to 214,000 with 700 ordained minsters.

In 1785, Asbury broke the Methodist movement away from the Episcopal Church, forming its own denomination.

This had tremendous political impact, as Episcopal members of Virginia’s Assembly now no longer had a majority.

When a vote was taken the next year, the Episcopal Church lost its position as Virginia’s established State Church, thereby allowing other denominations to be treated equally.

Francis Asbury befriended Richard Bassett, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, who converted to being a Methodist, freed his slaves, paid them as hired labor and rode joyfully with them to revival meetings.

Methodist Bishops Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke met with newly elected President George Washington in New York, delivering the message, May 19, 1789:

“We…express to you…our sincere congratulations, on your appointment to the presidentship of these States.

We…place as full a confidence in your wisdom and integrity, for the preservation of those civil and religious liberties which have been transmitted to us by the Providence of GOD…

Dependence on the Great Governor of the Universe which you have repeatedly expressed, acknowledging Him the source of every blessing, and particularly of the most excellent Constitution of these States, which is at present the admiration of the world…”

Bishop Asbury continued:

“We enjoy a holy expectation that you will always prove a faithful and impartial patron of genuine, vital religion – the grand end of our creation and present probationary existence…

We promise you our fervent prayers to the Throne of Grace, that GOD Almighty may endue you with all the graces and gifts of his Holy Spirit, that may enable you to fill up your important station to His glory.”

On May 29, 1789, President Washington wrote a reply:

“To the Bishops of the Methodist-Episcopal Church…

I return to you…my thanks for the demonstrations of affection and the expressions of joy…on my late appointment.

It shall still be my endeavor…to contribute…towards the preservation of the civil and religious liberties of the American people…

I hope, by the assistance of Divine Providence, not altogether to disappoint the confidence which you have been pleased to repose in me…in acknowledgments of homage to the Great Governor of the Universe…”

Washington continued:

“I trust the people of every denomination…will have every occasion to be convinced that I shall always strive to prove a faithful and impartial patron of genuine, vital religion…

I take in the kindest part the promise you make of presenting your prayers at the Throne of Grace for me, and that I likewise implore the Divine benediction on yourselves and your religious community.”

In 1799, Francis Asbury ordained the first African-American Methodist minister, Richard Allen, and dedicated the first African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Unveiling the Equestrian Statue of Francis Asbury in Washington, D.C., 1924, President Calvin Coolidge stated:

“Francis Asbury, the first American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church…made a tremendous contribution…”

Coolidge continued:

“Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government…

Calling the people to righteousness (was) a direct preparation for self-government. It was for a continuation of this work that Francis Asbury was raised up.”

Coolidge added:

“The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man…

Real reforms which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity – these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of a Divine Grace…”

Coolidge continued about Francis Asbury:

“Frontier mothers must have brought their children to him to receive his blessings! It is more than probable that Nancy Hanks, the mother of Lincoln, had heard him in her youth.

Adams and Jefferson must have known him, and Jackson must have seen in him a flaming spirit as unconquerable as his own…He is entitled to rank as one of the builders of our nation.

On the foundation of a religious civilization which he sought to build, our country has enjoyed greater blessing of liberty and prosperity than was ever before the lot of man.

These cannot continue if we neglect the work which he did.”

Coolidge concluded:

“We cannot depend on the government to do the work of religion. I do not see how anyone could recount the story of this early Bishop without feeling a renewed faith in our own country.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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Judge Learned Hand – ‘the tenth justice of the Supreme Court’


Judge Learned HandAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

Considered several times as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, he was passed over for not being consistently conservative enough for Republican President Warren G. Harding and not consistently liberal enough for Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt.

His legal decisions, though, were so respected they were referenced in U.S. Supreme Court Cases.

His name was Learned Hand, who served as a judge for over 50 years, first on New York’s District Court, then on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Though a political progressive, he was an advocate of judicial restraint.

Judge Learned Hand, nicknamed ‘the tenth justice of the Supreme Court’, died AUGUST 18, 1961.

In Gregory v. Helvering (2d Cir. 1934), Judge Hand wrote:

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes…Nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”

Two weeks before the D-Day invasion in the last year of World War II, Judge Learned Hand was catapulted to national prominence when he gave a speech to the largest crowd ever assembled in New York City to that date.

Nearly one and a half million met in Central Park, May 21, 1944, for the annual “I Am an American Day,” including 150,000 newly naturalized citizens about to swear their oath of allegiance to the United States.

After comments by Mayor LaGuardia, Senator Wagner and clergymen of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths, Judge Learned Hand gave his short speech, ‘The Spirit of Liberty,’ which was reprinted in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Life Magazine and Readers Digest.

Judge Learned Hand stated:

“We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion.

Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same…

We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves…”

Judge Hand continued:

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes.

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…”

Hand went on:

“And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women?

It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow.

A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.”

Hand added:

“What then is the spirit of liberty?

I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith.

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right;

the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women;

the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias;

the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded;

the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.”

Judge Learned Hand ended, after which he led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance:

“In the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all;

in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying;

in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.”

Judge Learned Hand wrote:

“The use of history is to tell us…past themes, else we should have to repeat, each in his own experience, the successes and the failures of our forebears.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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