AN "OBSERVANCE" NOT A "CELEBRATION,"
A VICTIM OF "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS"
400 years ago, on April 26, 1607, three small sailing ships, the Susan
Constant, the Discovery and the Godspeed, landed at what is now known
as Virginia Beach. They had been at sea for just over 3 months, and the
minister assigned to the voyage, Robert Hunt, declared 3 days of fasting
and prayer. Then on April 29 they stepped ashore, and their first act was
to erect a cross as they claimed this new land in the name of God.
A few days later they traveled up what is now known as the James River,
and there they established Jamestown as the capitol of the new colony,
and "began thereon in the name of God to erect a fortresse." One of the
colonists, Richrd Hakluyt, wrote concerning their purpose, "Wee shall by
planting there inlarge the glory of the Gospel, and from England plante
sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receave people
from all partes of the worlds that are forced to flee for the truthe of God's
worde." In those few words he set forth the principles upon which the
future United States of America would be based to provide a safe and
secure haven for all who would seek to worship God according to His word.
Robert Hunt, the first minister of Jamestown, prior to his untimely death
just about a year after landing, conducted regular church services and
daily prayer meetings. It was upon the principles established by those
hardy colonists that this nation was founded, and grew to become a
world-wide symbol of freedom, a nation built upon these truths, that
"all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights."
The 400th anniversary is surely something to celebrate, but through the
intervening years something has happened to the original American ideal.
In earlier years, each anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown
colony was celebrated: the Centennial, the Bicentennial, even the
Semiquincentennial (250th) . . . but this year the officials in charge of
"Jamestown 2007" have banned the use of the word "celebration,"
and have substituted the word "observance." They have admitted
to being ashamed for what was, in their minds, an "invasion." The
new Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine has declared that the previous
celebrations "did not tell the whole story." To make sure the
revisionist story is told he appointed a panel including Jesse Jackson,
Al Sharpton and Otis Moss, who said that America needs to fix "the
propaganda of history," and that the Jamestown colonists were guilty
of "a holocaust and lynchings."
In other words, America's 400th anniversary celebration has been made
subservient to the present day cult of "political correctness." The nation's
liberal media has been quick to join in the denigration of these Christian
founding principles. The New York Times in speaking of the swampy land
where Jamestown was built, described settlement as "a town which disap -
peared into the mud," and the Virginia Gazette wrote, "For a whole year
or more we shall celebrate the fact that a bunch of British buffoons who
knew nothing of what they were doing colonized a swamp for the sake of
One wonders if we should send word to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
who is planning to come to America to join in the celebration ("observance")
of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in North America,
and the beginning of the American nation. And one wonders if the U.S.
Congress should be chastised for having passed the Jamestown 400th
Commemoration Commission Act in the year 2000. And perhaps President
Bush should rethink that document he signed, proclaiming the year 2007
as the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown . . . the portion of that Proclamation
reproduced here is indicative of the importance the President attaches to
this 400th Anniversary of the initial settlement in what was to become the
United States of America:
Four centuries ago, after a long journey,a small group of colonists stepped
boldly onto the shores of the New World, and established the first
permanent English settlement in North America. During the 400th
anniversary of Jamestown, America honors the early pioneers whose
epic of endurance and courage started the story of our nation.
Much has changed in the 400 years since that three sided fort was
raised on the banks of the James River. Today we are a strong and
growing nation of more than 300 million, and we are blessed to live in a
land of plenty during a period of great prosperity. The long struggle that
started at Jamestown has inspired generations of Americans. Advancing
the right to live, work and worship in liberty is the mission that created
our country, the honorable achievement of our ancestors, and the calling
of our time.
NOW,THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim 2007
as the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown. I encourage all Americans
to commemorate this milestone by honoring the courage of those who
came before us, participating in appropriate programs and celebrations,
and visiting this historic site with family and friends.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day
of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and
GEORGE W. BUSH
The indisputable fact is this, regardless of what the liberal theories of
political correctness would have us believe, America was founded as a
Christian nation. The initial colony in Jamestown made its first act upon
stepping ashore to erect a cross and to kneel in prayer. Thirteen years
later when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth they declared in the Mayflower
Compact their goal of establishing a colony for the glory of God and the
advancement of the Christian faith. In the Declaration of Independence, the
founding fathers affirmed that their purpose was to conform this new nation
to the guidance of God and to accept His will and plan for His people. The
recently promulgated theory that America was founded as a secular nation
is not true. In this year 2007 we should give thanks to God for the faith
and determination of men of God who, in the Declaration of Independence,
based upon their firm reliance on Divine Providence, pledged their lives,
their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish this nation . . . and let us
honor those Jamestown colonists who 400 years ago, despite all hardships,
planted the settlement which grew into today's United States of America.
Afterthoughts . . .
A word from the Vatican: there is no question that since the days of
the Reformation there has been a wide gulf between Protestantism and
Catholicism on certain Theological matters, and this is not to suggest that
gulf is not justified. But on certain issues the Vatican holds to positions in
which Conservative Evangelical Christians can rejoice. This past week
Archbishop Angelo Amato, who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, spoke in no uncertain terms about evils which are presented
by the media as "expressions of human progress," and listed among those
evils abortion clinics, which he termed "slaughterhouses of human beings,"
euthanasia and same-sex marriages, linking them to "parliaments of so-
called civilized nations where laws contrary to the nature of human beings
are being promulgated." Amato is the second highest doctrinal official for
the Vatican, and is said to be very close to Pope Benedict XVI.
One plus, one minus in New York State, where Governor Spitzer has
announced that he will be introducing a bill to legalize same-sex marriages
in the state. This is part of a pledge he made during his election campaign.
(That's a minus.) Last week news was circulated that Governor Spitzer had
not issued a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, although
the governors of all of the other 49 states had done so. Now it appears
that yesterday, spurred by a flood of messages urging him to do so, the
Governor has signed the National Day of Prayer proclamation for New
York State. (That's a plus.)
The continuing problem of refugees fleeing their homeland. This problem
is always before us, yet no effort seems to be underway to correct it.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, about two million
Iraqis have left their homeland since the war began. Most have gone to
Syria (1.2 million) and to Jordan (750,000) However many are seeking
refuge in Europe, and Stockholm, Sweden, seems to be their favorite port
of entry. Already some 80,000 Iraqis have relocated in Sweden where they
find life so much better that they are urging friends and relatives to join
them -- placing an increasing burden on Swedish facilities. Given Sweden's
population of 9 million, this many refugees poses some real problems.
Some American standards, then and now. Research on Colonial rules and
practices discloses some interesting facts -- for example, General George
Washington, Commander-in-Chief of our nation's military, ordered that the
army's members must be Christian soldiers, and they were required to
attend regular worship services. In those days half of the states had
constitutions that required the state to promote Christianity, and
Delaware's constitution required that any candidate for public office
must swear they were a Christian, professing faith in "God the Father,
and in Jesus Christ His only Son." Of course, all this was before the
ACLU came along.
A not-to-be-forgotten thought for today and every day, from the Mayflower
Compact, November 11, 1620: "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose
names are underwritten ... having undertaken for the Glory of God, and
Advancement of the Christian Faith ... a voyage to plant the first colony
in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and
mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and
combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politic, for our better
Ordering and Preservation, and furtherance of the Ends aforesaid,
and by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and
equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time
to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General
good of the colony..." And that is how this nation of ours began..
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