Something for the weekend. A reminder from the late, great Johnny Cash that we all have so much to thank God for when we sit down with our families next Thursday. Perhaps we should also recall these words from Theodore Roosevelt in his final Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1908:
For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfil its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.
Something for the weekend. The immortal Johnny Cash singing a medley of We Are Coming Father Abraham, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Dixie at Ford’s Theater in 1979. Continue reading
“Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
June 14, 1777-Marine Committee, Second Continental Congress Continue reading
Something for the weekend. Give Me That Old Time Religion. This sequence from Sergeant York (1941) demonstrates the power of this traditional hymn first published in 1873. It was originally a hymn sung by Black congregations, and was introduced to White congregations in 1891 by Charles Davis Tillman. It began the convergence of Black gospel singing with White gospel singing to form Southern Gospel singing.
Here is a version sung by The Caravans in 1954.
I can think of few things more appropriate for Flag Day than Red Skelton’s immortal explanation of the Pledge of Allegiance. When my sainted mother became a naturalized American citizen, she was given a little American flag. I have a treasured photo of my Mom and Dad just after the naturalization ceremony, both happy, and my Mom clutching the flag of a land that she loved long before she became a citizen. I still have the flag, one of my most precious mementoes of my Mom. Continue reading
Something for the weekend. Johnny Cash puts his own unforgettable stamp on the Wabash Cannonball. The song originates from 1882 and is attributed to AJ Roff. Many lyrics have been added to it over the years. Here is the version sung by the Carter family in 1929. Continue reading
Happy Independence Day, folks! — Here is a roundup of some choice reads as we commemorate the birth of our nation:
- Because it’s worth reading again: The Declaration of Independence – view high-resolution images of the original. (This is a part of the “Charters of Freedom”, an exhibit of the National Archives, on the documents that shaped our history.
- Catholic Sources and the Declaration of Independence by Rev. John C. Rager. The Catholic Mind XXVIII, no. 13 (July 8, 1930), looks at synergies between the thought of Aquinas and Bellarmine and that expressed in the Declaration, asking: “Did Jefferson know of Bellarmine?”? (In How Catholic is the Declaration of Independence?, Commonweal takes a look at the “Scholastic-roots-of-democracy theory”; and CatholicHistory.net provides a bibliography on Catholics and the American Founding).
- Learn about Charles Carroll — America’s Catholic Founding Father (Against The Grain).
- What do Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI think about the American Founding?.
- Discover the riches of The Federalist Papers – by way of a commentary by Paul Zummo (The Cranky Conservative), who maintains: “I absolutely believe that an understanding of the Federalist Papers is essential for understanding the U.S. Constitution and, therefore, understanding America.”
- Listen to Johnny Cash recite “I am the Nation”.
Following are two books which I heartily recommend for some engaging historical reading of the American Revolution and our founding fathers. Continue reading