Let's see if we can finish up with a couple of Supreme Court decisions today -- decisions, that is, that took away more of our First Amendment guarantees to religious liberties in America. One thing that I think you will find interesting in this Coffee Break is a link to Justice William Rehnquist's argument in the Wallace v. Jaffree case; and I believe that many of you will find his (lengthy, but) complete argument very interesting reading. Here's the link: http://www.belcherfoundation.org/wallace_v_jaffree_dissent.htm
For the past twenty-nine weeks, we have dealt with this nation’s earliest founders, the covenant they made with each other, and the covenant they made with the Lord to establish a nation under God, a nation that would spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ around the world. We have talked about the fact that every one of the 13 colonies established the fact that their existence was due to the favor of God. The fact is that everyone of the 50 states that now exist pretty much followed the example of those first 13 colonies who began the formation of this nation.
Today we begin our discussion with a brief history of the life of Alexander Hamilton. The details of his life and his involvement in the formation of our early government are so voluminous that it would take many Coffee Breaks to recount, so I offer you the following. We’ve already mentioned him and talked about some of his influence with our nation’s founding, but let’s get a little more specific today. For a man who had such a short life with such questionable beginnings, Alexander Hamilton used his life to literally change the world of his day and influence the world economy even to the present.
We continue today with our discourse on Daniel Webster and his history. As noted last week, few names are more discussed or mentioned in today’s discussions than that of Daniel Webster. Losing a race in 1836 for the Presidency on the Whig ticket, he nonetheless gained more in national prominence, and when William Henry Harrison ran for President in 1840, he was offered the position of Vice-President. He declined with a dry but humorous phrase he would use again eight years later when Zachary Taylor ran for Presidency, "I do not propose to be buried until I am dead."
Today we will talk briefly about Abraham Lincoln; and then we will -- over the next few discussions -- delve into the process that has unfolded over the past 50 years or so in which our covenantal rights as Americans have been stolen, and the emerging reversal of that process which has taken place in the past few years. Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861 - 1865), has been both praised and vilified: either as one of the greatest presidents this nation has ever had, or as one of the worst -- all subject, of course, to the biases of those praising or criticizing.
I’m going to run a little long today but I want to finish up with our abbreviated history of one of the most significant founding fathers, George Mason. In May of 1776, George Mason wrote, "All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights .... among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety." His statement became part and parcel of the Virginia Constitution. It was a mere two months later that Thomas Jefferson cribbed from Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights while writing the Declaration of Independence. Many historians have suggested that Jefferson's version was not an improvement on Mason's.
Let’s take a different course in today’s Coffee Break talking about the author of our national anthem, lawyer Francis Scott Key, and a brief picture of what he saw and experienced as he wrote The Star Spangled Banner. We all know the name, Francis Scott Key, but few know much else about him other than his famous anthem. Born August 1, 1779 at the family plantation -- Terra Rubra -- near Keymar, Maryland, Francis Scott Key was both an American lawyer and an amateur poet.
As you will see in today’s discussions, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush, was a genius of the highest order. Gifted by God, he put those gifts to work and blessed both this nation and other nations as well. The signs and symbols, the Scripture references that abound in our founding fathers' commentaries, and their labors of love and covenant to establish this great nation make abundantly clear that they purposed to have "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."