Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations:
ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee

Hosted free by

Fresh Memory of Old Traditions

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Please Cupertino ~ God made our history a rainbow ~ Let us honor our roots

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

remember the days of old

A fresh memory of old traditions

Fresh Memory of Old Traditions

John F. Kennedy, in "A Nation of Immigrants" notes the diverse waves of peoples who streamed to our shores right from the start. Yet for all the diversity, their was a common set of aspirations, and to an extent, a shared heritage. Tocqueville enthused about the rising possibilities of middle class democracy. As Kennedy summarized Tocqueville, "This was the secret of America: a nation of people with the fresh memory of old traditions who dared to explore new frontiers, people eager to build lives for themselves in a spacxious society that did not restrict their freedom of action."

John Jay, the man who was to become America's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was himself of French extraction, descended from refugees of religious persecution by the Church-State in the old world. Pleading for the adoption of the Constitution, he argued that Americans were not many peoples, but truly only one. Notwithstanding differences, there was an underlying unity.

The paradox is still with us -- diversity and unity. Not either, but both. Our poet Walt Whitman called these states "the amplest poem" and declared that we are not merely a nation, but a teeming Nation of nations. Respecting diversity, we also join together round a common flag, and reverence our shared traditions, and symbols.

What unites us? Often, the more specific we try to get, the greater our risk of falling into the pitfalls of particularity and exclusion. The Declaration of Independence has been called a symbolic gesture, written in language rife with "glittering generalities."

But there seems to be a mystic aspect. Lincoln alluded to the "mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land," and (by faith) averred that those chords of memory "will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Mystic chords of memory. Ethereal it sure sounds, yet does it not inspire? Edmund Burke wrote that society is a contract, a partnership which links one generation to another, the living to the dead and the unborn. Somehow we are connected indissolubly with generations past, and generations yet to be.

Tocqueville and Jay both touched on the shared language of English, the shared participation in the evolving tradition of Anglo-European rights and law, the common heritage of a biblical religious past, and of course we might also include the European feudal, medieval, and classical Roman and Greek roots at well.

The only true government must be self-government. If the people do not, as individuals, rule their own actions, the only alternative is authoritarianism of the kind our founders were intent on emerging from, the "Leviathan" of Thomas Hobbes, a kind of police state akin to totalitarianism.

James Madison note:
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not on the power of government...[but] upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Erich Fromm in The Revolution of Hope wrote: "I submit that if people would truly accept the Ten Commandments or the Buddhist Eightfold Path as the effective principles to guide their lives, a dramatic change in our whole culture would take place."

Regarding the American founding, Cecil Roth wrote: "It was Hebrew mortar (to quote a famous phrase) that cemented the foundations of the Republic; and not without reason did the first seal it adopted depict the overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, with the motto: "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God' . . . ." This seal was designed by Thomas Jefferson.

America's first frontiersman-president, Andrew Jackson, declared of the Bible that "that book .... is the rock on which our republic rests."

Franklin D. Roosevelt alluded to the Scriptural foundations of American democracy when in a 1935 broadcast message:
"We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic . . . where we have been truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity ..."

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared:
All men are interdependent. Every nation is an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead contributed. Whether we realize it or not, each of us lives eternally 'in the red.' We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown women.

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Deuteronomy 32:7

[From] "Each time I named an offense and asked God to please forgive him I felt a heavy burden lift from my being."

Liberated from unforgiveness

NEWS ITEM November 2004
Cupertino teacher Steven Williams is suing his district and his principal,
who banned him from using excerpts from the Declaration of Independence
and other historical documents in his classroom because they contain
what might be interpreted as 'references to God and Christianity.'

Need a pretty face here?

katherine heigl
Katherine Heigl
Dr. Izzie Stevens

Are you running with me, Jesus?

Bob Shepherd
facebook me

last save 12.23.11

"Memory" - Barbra Streisand - Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS