Curtis Dahlgren
APRIL 13th: Guess whose birthday? America too young to die?
By Curtis Dahlgren
April 13, 2017

"The comparisons of our governments with those of Europe are like comparisons of heaven and hell." – Tom Jefferson (quoted in "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton)

TALK ABOUT "THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION": The great-grandfather of one of my friends was born in 1798, before Jefferson even ran for the White House. That even tops the story about the Dahlgrens, and I cannot tell a lie. My father saw Teddy Roosevelt when he was running for the White House and Teddy's been on Mount Rushmore for 75 years already.

As I've said before, a 4-generation photo would be impossible in my family, unless I could time-travel back to the 1840s, which was the Whig era. John Quincy Adams was a contemporary of my great-grandparents, but he was old enough on July 4, 1776 to remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But back to my friend's family:

He was born in 1943, but his father was born in 1900; his grandfather was born in 1839 (his grandfather had his firstborn son at the ripe age of 61), and the great-grandfather, as I said, was born in the 1700s! Some say America is past its prime, but I'm hoping – and praying – that America is too young to die. Maybe God can shed his grace on thee one more time?

Our Founding Families were a special breed. They thought Freedom and Liberty were worth giving up everything for, and the weak ones didn't make it. Some were buried at sea sailing on the Mayflower, and some didn't make it through that first winter.

HAPPY APRIL 13th, TJ (his birthday). And yes, he was a believer – in his own words – in "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"), but American history is barely taught in America, and when it is, it is taught poorly! I've known three people who went to my high school who didn't know what the 4th of July celebrates. Many of today's teachers wouldn't be able to give you a reason why we should want to celebrate it. They wouldn't be able to pick Abraham Lincoln out of a lineup. And yet the fact remains that America is the world's "last best hope." By the way, when I gave those three people a clue, "England," they all said "Beatles." Speaking of our – actually – Greatest Generation, Thomas Paine said:

"So deeply rooted were all the governments of the old world, and so effectually had . . tyranny . . established itself over the mind, that no beginning could be made in Asia, Africa, or Europe, to reform the political condition of man. Freedom had been hunted around the globe; reason was considered rebellion, and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.

"The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness, and no sooner did American governments display themselves to the world, than despotism felt a shock, and men began to contemplate redress . . . The insulted German and the enslaved Spaniard, the Russ and the Pole are beginning to think . . . [and]

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present hath not happened since the days of NOAH."

Our early settlers had thing about both God and Freedom, and you will be tested on this column.

P.S. Apologies to Bacon: in last week's column about Reason, Relgion, etc., I said that William Cowper said, "'What is truth?' said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer." That's not true. I mean not true that he wrote it. That line was actually by Francis Bacon (1561-1626). I should have known; I don't eat the stuff, but I have read a lot of his stuff before. Just a few examples more:

"God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because His ordinary works convince it."

"It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt."

"A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."

"Books will speak plain when counsellors blanche."

"In the youth of a state arms do flourish; in the middle age of a state, learning; and then both of them for a time; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandise."

THE LIFE CYCLES OF NATIONS according to Sir John Bagot Glubb (British general and historian; 1897-1978):

1. The age of outburst [pioneering]

2. The age of conquests

3. The age of commerce

4. The age of affluence

5. The age of intellect

6. The age of decadence

7. Age of decline and collapse.

PPS: Our Founders really hoped that they had given birth to a nation closer to ideal than any former human government, a nation that could LAST awhile! We shall see.

Although Cowper isn't the one who said "Pilate didn't stay for an answer," he wrote a lot of other things. In conclusion, one of English lit's finest quotations regarding religion, agnosticism, and atheism:

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence."


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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