"Buzz" Aldrin U.S. Flag on Moon

On this day in 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. They were 240,000 miles from Earth.

As Armstrong set foot on the surface, he famously said: “that’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Buzz Aldrin joined him there a few minutes later. Then, they took terrain photographs, ran tests, planted a American flag, and spoke with President Richard Nixon.

Communion on the Moon

It’s what Aldrin did before exiting Lunar Module (LM) Eagle that is truly remarkable: he took Communion. So, here’s a portion of that story in his own words, as he wrote for Guideposts:

“Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking. I would, like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”

“And so, just before I partook of the elements… I read: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5 (TEV)”

"Buzz" Aldrin U.S. Flag on Moon

 

John Quincy Adams White House portrait

On this day in 1767, John Quincy Adams is born. He was the sixth U.S. president, and the son of the second U.S. president, John Adams.

As a boy, he went with his father on diplomatic missions, then entered the legal profession after his schooling. As a young man, he served as minister to the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and England. John Quincy Adams became a Republican Senator, and helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812. He also served as secretary of state until the tie-breaking vote in the House elected him president over Andrew Jackson.

“Pursue the Practice”

Definitely his father’s son, who believed religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand,” John Quincy wrote this in a letter to his own “dear son”:

“for so great is my veneration for the Bible, and so strong my belief, that when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy — that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more steadily they pursue the practice of reading it throughout their lives, the more lively and confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens to their country, respectable members of society, and a real blessing to their parents.”

John Quincy Adams White House portrait

 

Liberty Bell

On this day in 1776, legend has it, the “Liberty Bell” rings out from the the tower of what is now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The Liberty Bell is bronze.  More specifically, it is 70% copper, 25% tin, with small amounts of lead, gold, arsenic, silver, and zinc. It weighs in at 2,080 pounds.

Even weightier is the inscription on the bell, from the Holy Bible, Leviticus 25:10:

PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV X.
Liberty Bell

Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress issues a Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. The desired effect was for King George III to recognize the “severe and oppressive… tyranny” of Parliament and his ministers. That it was one day after the Olive Branch Petition underscores the tension of the times.

Even so, the king sided with Parliament. Thus, Congress had no choice but to proceed from a Declaration of Arms to a Declaration of Independence. After all, they had “pursued every temperate, every respectful measure.”

The Declaration and the Divine

Here are a few excerpts of the Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

“If it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom, as the objects of a legal domination never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the inhabitants of these colonies might at least require from the parliament of Great-Britain some evidence, that this dreadful authority over them, has been granted to that body. But a reverance for our Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end.”

“We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.”

“With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”

Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

Declaration of Independence

On July 4th 1776, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence. This document for the ages proclaimed the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king.

First, Our Declaration contains several references to Almighty God, active in Our affairs. They are as follows: “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge of the world,” and “divine Providence.”

Self-evidently

Here they are in their context:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“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.”

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Declaration of Independence
The American Revolution lasts for five more years. Finally, upon signing the Treaty of Paris with Britain in 1783, the United States formally becomes a free, independent nation. This was seven years after the ratification of the Declaration of Independence.

Clearly, the acknowledgement of and dependence on Almighty God were essential to the Founding of Our nation, and its future. These are critical to the enjoyment of our “unalienable Rights.”
After all, freedom, virtue, and faith are all interdependent.

 

John Adams July 2nd

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopts the resolution for independence from Great Britain. Of course, Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Twelve of the thirteen colonial delegations vote unanimously, with New York abstaining.

Previously, in early June, Congress appointed a committee consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson to draft that declaration of independence. Then, the committee presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776.

Our Lost Founding will ‘unfurl’ the Declaration in Our July 4th post.

Illuminations…

The eventual second president John Adams wrote this of July 2nd, to his beloved wife Abigail:

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

He continues:

“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (emphasis added)

John Adams July 2nd

 

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

On this day in 1863, the largest military conflict in North American history begins when Union and Confederate forces collide at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia retreated to Virginia.

Gettysburg Address

So, below is the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. This version is inscribed in the South Chamber of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers bought 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 battlefield 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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.”

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

 

Lincoln Bible

That famous address makes clear Abraham Lincoln’s reverence for God and His Word. This is amplified by the quote that inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” t-shirt:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

 

Matthew Thornton

On this day in 1803, Patriot, physician, surgeon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Matthew Thornton dies at age 89. Thornton was also a New Hampshire delegate to the second Continental Congress. Additionally, he was the President of the five man committee that drafted the first New Hampshire constitution. In fact, New Hampshire was the first of the thirteen states to establish a constitution.

The Only Foundation

Back in 1775, as the newly elected President of the New Hampshire Provincial Congress,  Matthew Thornton wrote a letter To the Inhabitants of the Colony of New Hampshire. Here are a few excerpts:

Friends and Brethren: You must all be sensible that the affairs of America have at length come to a very affecting and alarming crisis.

Duty to God, to ourselves, to Posterity, enforced by the cries of slaughtered Innocents, have urged us to take up Arms in our Defense. … We would therefore recommend to the Colony at large to cultivate that Christian Union, Harmony and tender affection which is the only foundation upon which our invaluable privileges can rest with any security, or our public measures be pursued with the least prospect of success.

… In a word, we seriously and earnestly recommend the practice of that pure and undefiled religion which embalmed the memory of our pious ancestors, as that alone upon which we can build a solid hope and confidence in the Divine protection and favor, without whose blessing all the measures of safety we have or can propose will end in our shame and disappointment.”

Matthew Thornton

 

Benjamin Franklin bifocals

On this day in 1788, the U.S. Constitution is ratified, which currently makes it the most long-standing written constitution in the world.

The Constitution is the second of two of Our essential founding documents. The first is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explains the foundation of Our nation, and contains several direct references to God.

The Constitution explains how our nation is to function, and is firmly rooted in the Declaration, which explains the why. So, despite the apostate assertion that God, certainly not the God of the Bible, is not ‘in’ the Constitution, it is clear that He is indeed inherent and indispensable.

Roots of Religion

First, when the framers used the term “religion,” as in the First Amendment, they were referring to the Protestant denominations of Christianity. After all, it was the Anglican Church that was the state religion when the colonies were under British rule.

Additionally, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” is to prevent one of these denominations from becoming a state religion once again. It does not lend itself to pluralism or even neutrality in regards to faith, as some would pervert the meaning of the phrase “separation of church and state.” Besides, that phrase that does not appear in Our founding documents.

Also, Article I, Section 7 states: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it.…” Sundays. Not Fridays (Islam). Not Saturdays (Judaism). Not any other day of the week. Sundays.

After all, the Constitution was Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven..,”

In addition, the Year of our Lord, as in Anno Domini, as in A.D. Not C.E. (Common Era) and not A.H. (Anno Hegirae).

Franklin and the Father

Finally, regarding years, Benjamin Franklin was the elder statesman (81 years old) at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. There, he urged the Assembly toward daily prayer to seek guidance from “the Father of Lights.” In doing so, he said this:

“I have lived a long time, 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?”

His famous quote, paired with his sketch of bifocals in his personal correspondence, inspired our “Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” t-shirt design, as seen below. So, find yours HERE!

Benjamin Franklin bifocals

US Great Seal Reverse

On this day in 1782, Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. Adoption came six years after the Continental Congress appointed the original committee to design a seal. Congress appointed the original committee just a few hours after they adopted the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776.

The Obverse

US Great Seal Obverse
E Pluribus Unum, Latin for Out of Many, One, was once a de facto motto of the United States. However, it was never codified into law. Thus, In God We Trust is the official national motto.
Our Lost Founding suggests that perhaps the two go hand in hand.

The Reverse

US Great Seal Reverse

Signals signified

Founding Father and Patriot Charles Thomson’s “Remarks and Explanation” are the only official comments about the symbolism and the meaning of the Great Seal. Here is the portion regarding The Reverse:

“The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra, which commences from that date.–” (emphasis added)

“The Motto” Annuit Cœptis translates to (Providence) favors our undertakings.

Lastly, Thomson, also a Greek scholar, spent his final years working on an English translation of the Bible.

Great Seal Thomson Report Page 2Great Seal Thomson Report Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colonel William Prescott Bunker Hill

On this day in 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill (and Breed’s Hill) begins in Boston. Legend has it that it was during this battle that Patriot Colonel William Prescott gave soldiers this famous order: “Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”
This was in order to conserve limited ammunition supplies.

“Be of one heart…”

It is with certainty, however, in August of 1774, in the wake of the Boston Tea Party and the subsequent Boston Port Bill blockading the harbor, that William Prescott wrote the people of the city this note of encouragement:

“Be not dismayed nor disheartened, in this great day of trials. We heartily sympathize with you, and are always ready to do all in our power for your support, comfort and relief; knowing that Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock. We consider we are all embarked in (the same ship) and must sink or swim together. We think if we submit to these regulations, all is gone. Our forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to their posterity. … Now if we should give them up, can our children rise up and call us blessed? … Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free; and may he, of his infinite mercy grant us deliverance out of all our troubles.” (emphasis added)

Indeed, as Americans, whether we “sink or swim together” largely depends in how we collectively regard our lost founding.

Colonel William Prescott Bunker Hill