What do you do when a potential confrontation is looming? Think about how, in the past, you felt, the plans you made, and the split decisions involved. How did you handle it?
Let’s look at some mega-tense moments in our nation’s history to see what others have done.
Our nation’s first Constitutional Convention was deteriorating, with patriots vehemently disagreeing during that long, hot summer of 1787. Benjamin Franklin proposed daily prayer. Roger Sherman rose to second Franklin’s motion. Edmund Randolph suggested that clergy deliver a sermon. These few brave men appealed to the Creator as a last resort. Our Constitution became a reality soon after. It remains the law of the land to this day.
British General Howe trapped George Washington and his troops on Long Island in August 1776. Washington turned to God. He and his troops were miraculously saved by heavy fog, allowing them a way of escape. Washington attributed Divine Providence with this spectacular turning point in the War for Independence.
In 1746, a massive group of French warships was headed for Boston. We weren’t even a nation yet, let alone able to match such an enemy in battle. Certain death of life was imminent. What did these Bostonians do? They gathered en masse to pray without ceasing. A massive storm came. The French who didn’t perish at sea turned their boats around and headed back to France.
Who can forget the conditions at Valley Forge? They are incredibly tough to read about. What did General Washington do? He knelt and prayed.
What did Abraham Lincoln do in his hour of decision during the Civil War? He prayed.
What did Franklin D. Roosevelt do when D-Day arrived? He prayed with our nation. Miraculously, America and the Allied forces soundly defeated the enemy.
In my lifetime, I can recall national times of crisis: the Cuban Missile Crisis; President John F. Kennedy’s assassination; Martin Luther King’s assassination; when impending doom faced the crew of Apollo 13; September 11, 2001, and the days following. During these times, as in our infancy, Americans turned to God.
People ask, “What do we do now?” That seems to be the question on the forefront of Americans’ minds. When tensions are high and so much is at stake, what have we seen Americans do before our time? Americans have prayed. We do well to follow in their footsteps. This is our moment. This is our time.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??