Faith of Our Fathers

James and I went to our beloved Williamsburg, VA for the long 4th of July weekend this year. One of the wonderful things about Williamsburg is that each time we visit, I am struck by a different facet of our nation’s history. One of the things that really hit me this year is the prevalence of religious faith in our story.

Friday at 12:00, we gathered with a crowd to hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the courthouse. Before the reading, the man doing the introduction said, “Let us begin with a prayer.” I heard a voice in the crowd remark, quite shocked, “Prayer?” As shocked as he was to hear the mention of public prayer, I was shocked to hear his shock. In my mind, I thought, “Yes, you unfortunate product of secular indoctrination. Prayer was acceptable in 18th century America. It was a part of life. Just wait til you hear the language in the Declaration.”

Later that afternoon we listened to a speech by Patrick Henry, where he informed all of us that he faithfully read the Scriptures twice a day without fail, an hour in the morning and an hour at night. His religion shaped every bit of his politics. Why, he even talked about Thomas Jefferson, and how even though evidence shows him to be a Deist, his faith in a God had a profound influence on his work.

Saturday morning, we took a drive down the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown. I haven’t been since I was a little kid, and James had never been at all. We had so much fun exploring something new together. It felt like our honeymoon all over again.

When we got to Jamestown, there was more evidence of God in our history. Check out this monument:

 

"Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper an achieve Good Success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your Country and your own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of All Goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out."
“Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper an achieve Good Success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your Country and your own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of All Goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.”

Religion is part of our history. You can’t erase it. It is so fundamentally embroiled into the fabric of this nation and her people that you cannot re-write the story without it. Our forefathers created a nation on the idea that there IS a God, and that He is the ultimate source of our inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

“Occupy” Steals House From Struggling Single Dad

A single dad, struggling to raise two daughters on his own, is falling behind on mortgage payments. His house is about to be foreclosed, so he and his daughters are living in an apartment while he tries to catch up on payments. Then out of nowhere, Occupy Wall Street swoops in, squats in his house, and gives it to a homeless family in a big “look at us, we’re Robin Hood, giving back to the 99%” ceremony.

Yes, this really happened. Click Here to read it. For some reason (oh gee, I wonder why), not much of the media is covering the story.

This guy is clearly not a member of the 1%. Struggling single dad losing his house does not equate to multi-millionaire CEO. The craziest thing is that OWS is actually fighting to stay in the house. HUH? Last I checked, going into someone else’s house against their wishes and refusing to leave was called breaking and entering. And trespassing. And stealing someone’s house is grand theft (at least I think it is… who steals houses?). In fact, in Colonial Virginia, “Housebreaking”, as it was called, was a felony punishable by death.

Where is the law, and why is this even in the courts? It should be a simple: kick the trespassers out of the poor guy’s house, please.

Of course, let’s be fair to the OWS crowd and say that, Yes, there is a HUGE problem with the economy in this country right now. But taking what isn’t yours isn’t going to solve anything.  As I read from one blogger, the first sign of the American economy tanking wasn’t the 2008 mortgage crisis. It was in the 1960s and 1970s when women had to go to work because it was no longer possible to support a family on a single income. Even if it’s possible to get back to the glory days of the American economy, we have a long road ahead of us. Calling it quits and jumping to collectivism like the Germans of the 1930s or the Russians of 1917 is not going to bring prosperity. We have to find another way.

“Give Me Liberty” or at least plastic bags.

Last night I experienced first hand what the American colonists must have felt back in the 1760s. The Stamp Act, it has much been said, wasn’t so much a pain because of the amount of money. It was a pain because it was big government getting in your face. So what exactly in today’s world is so comparable?

Montgomery County Maryland and the Bag Tax.

Sure, 5 cents on every paper or plastic bag from every grocery, retail, or dining establishment might not make a big hole in your pocket. But it stings. Especially when you take into account all the other absurdities of this county government. Let me tell you what happened to me last night:

First, I went to the library to renew my books.

Librarian:  “Sorry, you can’t renew, you have to give other people a chance to read.”

Me: I just stare, thinking Who else wants to read this book on Medieval England that hasn’t been checked out since 2008? Isn’t that what waiting lists and holds are for?

Librarian: “You can come back tomorrow to get them off the shelf.”

Me: I work full-time and have a life. “Really? You can’t just renew them today?”

Librarian: “Nope. New Montgomery County rule. Read the sign.”

So I begrudgingly took my book marks out of the books and went to my car. Next stop, grocery store to get a bottle of Texas Pete hot sauce. I go to check out, and the lines are around the block. Every person at self check-out is taking way longer than usual, because there were no bags to be found. In their place were signs, “New Montgomery County law, bags now cost 5 cents, please bring your own bag,” or some other insensitive, bureaucratic BS. After waiting for the guy in front of me to finally bum a bag off someone to carry his 15 little items, I bought my Texas Pete and put it in my purse, feeling oddly like a shoplifter even though I just paid.

As I walked to my car, I looked up and saw the Montgomery County seal on the liquor store. I don’t know if anyone out there knows this, but in Montgomery County, you cannot buy liquor from anyone but the government. When you do go to the county liquor store, they scan your driver’s license.  With all that data collection, how long before they start rationing?

I miss Howard County. I miss the nice people who don’t honk at you, I miss the clean roadways without beggars, I miss the free plastic bags, I miss the free-market alcohol. Mostly, I miss the lack of obtrusive government interference in my everyday life. I don’t mind paying taxes for roads, schools, or even well-run temporary welfare programs, but I DO mind it when the government tries to tell me how to live. I’m getting out of this county as soon as I can.

If MoCo is trying to force me to get reusable grocery bags and carry them everywhere I go, I’ll get one with the “Don’t Tread on Me” snake. Where’s Patrick Henry when you need him?

Note: Montgomery County still has not informed retail and grocery stores where to send the money from the bag tax. This whole thing is ridiculous.