FAITH IN AMERICA--A FOURTH OF JULY SERMON
(Extensions of Remarks - November 19, 1999)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2504-E2506]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




               FAITH IN AMERICA--A FOURTH OF JULY SERMON

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. MAC COLLINS

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, November 18, 1999

  Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Speaker, as Congress prepares to recess for the 
Session, I wanted to commend for the reading of the Members words 
delivered to a small Mississippi congregation on the Fourth of July of 
this year by Rev. Ray N. Daniel, Jr. I bring these remarks to your 
attention now because I believe that as we return to the people who 
sent us here, we may have time to reflect on the inspiration of the 
basic beliefs upon which this Nation was founded. I trust that the 
views are shared by many across this country. As we close this year, 
and look to a new Session, may the inspiration of these words cause us 
to stop and think about why we are here, what we stand for, and how we 
will put the words of this sermon into action for the good of 
ourselves, our constituents, and the Nation as a whole.

               Faith in America--A Fourth of July Sermon

                    (By Reverend Ray N. Daniel, Jr.)

       Scripture Reading: Paul's Letter to the Romans 1:16-2:3 KJV 
     For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the 
     power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to 
     the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the 
     righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is 
     written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God 
     is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and 
     unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in 
     unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is 
     manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the 
     invisible things of him from the creation of the world are 
     clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
     even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without 
     excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him 
     not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their 
     imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
     Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And 
     changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made 
     like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, 
     and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to 
     uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to 
     dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the 
     truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the 
     creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. 
     Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: 
     for even their women did change the natural use into that 
     which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving 
     the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward 
     another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and 
     receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which 
     was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in 
     their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to 
     do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with 
     all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, 
     maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, 
     malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, 
     proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to 
     parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without 
     natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the 
     judgment of God, that they which commit such things are 
     worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in 
     them that do them. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, 
     whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest 
     another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest 
     the same things.
       But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to 
     truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest 
     thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and 
     doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
       Prayer: Lord God, we pray your word be upon our hearts and 
     your blessings upon our nation. Amen.
       How many of you are flying your flag today? Well those of 
     you away from home and visiting have a good excuse. I bought 
     a flag so that I could fly it. Fly it proudly. My remarks 
     today are unashamedly patriotic and Christian, what I have to 
     share with you is not purely Methodist, Presbyterian, or 
     Baptist, it's a Christian view of our country today.
       While Bill Moyers was President Lyndon Johnson's press 
     secretary, one day at lunch, Bill said grace (a prayer of 
     thanks or blessing for food). President Johnson said ``Speak 
     up, Bill, I can't hear a thing.'' To which Bill replied 
     quietly, ``I wasn't addressing you, Mr. President.''
       Prayer, a cornerstone of our Faith is under attack. For 
     there are those who would have us cease talking to God. They 
     would if they could banish God from any public forum.
       Woodrow Wilson said, ``A nation which does not remember 
     what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor 
     what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing 
     if we do not know where we came from or what we have been 
     about.''
       We will take a few moments to look at where we have come 
     from, what the faith of our founding fathers was, take stock 
     of where we are today, and where we need to go. Where we need 
     to go is to almighty God.


                 A FEW QUOTES FROM AMERICA'S BEGINNINGS

       ``It cannot be emphasized too strongly or to often that 
     this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by 
     Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus 
     Christ.''--Patrick Henry (2)
       ``We have staked the whole future of America's 
     civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. 
     We have staked the future of all our political institutions * 
     * * upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern 
     ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.''--James 
     Madison
       ``And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when 
     we have removed their only firm basis--a conviction in the 
     minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God.? 
     That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I 
     tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that 
     his justice cannot sleep forever.''--Thomas Jefferson
       ``He who shall introduce into the public affairs the 
     principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of 
     the world.''--Benjamin Franklin
       On June 12, 1775, our nation's Congress actually called for 
     ``a day of public humiliation, fasting and prayer,'' wherein 
     `` ``[we] offer up our joint supplications to the all-wise, 
     omnipotent and merciful disposer of all events.'' In 
     initiating this day, Congress attended an Anglican service in 
     the morning and a Presbyterian service in the afternoon. 
     Congress even commissioned the printing of the Bible on 
     October 26, 1780, stating that ``it be recommended to such of 
     the states who may think it convenient for them that they 
     take proper measures to procure one or more new and correct 
     editions of the Old and New testaments to be printed. * * *'' 
     Later, Congress allocated money for the Christian education 
     of Indians. There are countless examples of such actions by 
     Congress. So, how can our Christian history be so obviously 
     ignored by those blatantly attempting to demonize Christian 
     activism in the modern culture? They look to a simple 
     phrase--``a wall of separation'' between church and state--
     that was once written in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a 
     group of Baptist worshipers. (Please note that this statement 
     does not appear in the Constitution, even though network 
     reporters frequently refer to the false notion of a 
     ``constitutional separation of church and state.'')
       In September 1779, the House of Representatives, after 
     passing a resolution calling for a day of national prayer and 
     thanksgiving, received Mr. Washington's response: ``It is the 
     duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty 
     God, to obey his will, to be grateful for His benefits and 
     humbly to implore His protection and favor * *  That great 
     and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the 
     good that was, that is, or that ever will be, that we may 
     then unite in rendering unto Him or sincere and humble thanks 
     for His kind care and protection of the people. * * *'' 
     Second President John Adams frequently referred to ``an 
     overruling providence'' and ``devotion to God almighty'' in 
     his writings, and recurrently contended that human freedom 
     was founded in the ordinance of the Creator.
       Washington and Adams were not alone in their beliefs. These 
     were predominately-held convictions of our Founding Fathers. 
     Even Benjamin Franklin, often seen as a secularist member of 
     the group, stated in later-life, ``the longer I live, the 
     more convincing proof I see of this truth--that God governs 
     in the affairs of men.''
       The most foundational of documents to our society, in fact 
     the document which we celebrate today is--

        The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

       ``In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
       The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of 
     America,
       When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary 
     for one people to dissolve the political bands which have 
     connected them with another, and to assume among the powers 
     of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the 
     Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent 
     respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should 
     declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
       We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are 
     created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with 
     certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, 
     Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these 
     rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their 
     just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever 
     any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it 
     is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to 
     institute new Government, laying

[[Page E2505]]

     its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers 
     in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect 
     their Safety and Happiness.
       Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long 
     established should not be changed for light and transient 
     causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that 
     mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are 
     sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms 
     to which they are accustomed.
       But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing 
     invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them 
     under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their 
     duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards 
     for their future security.
       Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and 
     such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter 
     their former Systems of Government. The history of the 
     present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of 
     repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct 
     object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these 
     States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid 
     world.
       He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and 
     necessary for the public good.
       He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate 
     and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation 
     till his Assent should be obtained, and when so suspended, he 
     has utterly neglected to attend to them.
       He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of 
     large districts of people, unless those people would 
     relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a 
     right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
       He has called together legislative bodies at places 
     unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of 
     their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them 
     into compliance with his measures.
       He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for 
     opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of 
     the people.
       He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to 
     cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, 
     incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at 
     large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime 
     exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and 
     convulsions within.
       He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these 
     States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for 
     Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to 
     encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions 
     of new Appropriations of Lands.
       He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by 
     refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary 
     powers.
       He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the 
     tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their 
     salaries.
       He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither 
     swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their 
     substance.
       He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, 
     without the consent of our legislatures.
       He has affected to render the Military independent of and 
     superior to the Civil power.
       He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction 
     foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; 
     giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
       For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
       For protecting them by a mock Trial from punishment for any 
     Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these 
     States:
       For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
       For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
       For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by 
     Jury:
       For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended 
     offenses:
       For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a 
     neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary 
     government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it 
     at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the 
     same absolute rule into these Colonies:
       For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable 
     Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
       For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring 
     themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all 
     cases whatsoever.
       He has adbicated Government here by declaring us out of his 
     Protection and waging War against us.
       He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our 
     towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
       He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign 
     Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and 
     tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and 
     perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and 
     totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
       He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the 
     high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the 
     executioners of their friends and Brethern, or to fall 
     themselves by their Hands.
       He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has 
     endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the 
     merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an 
     undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and 
     conditions.
       In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for 
     Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have 
     been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose 
     character is thus marked by every act which may define a 
     Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
       Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British 
     brethern.
       We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their 
     legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
       We have reminded them of the circumstances of our 
     emigration and settlement here.
       We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, 
     and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred 
     to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably 
     interrupt our connections and correspondence.
       They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of 
     consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the 
     necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as 
     we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace 
     Friends.
       We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of 
     America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the 
     Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitud of our 
     intentions, do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good 
     People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.
       That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be 
     Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all 
     Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political 
     connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and 
     ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and 
     Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, 
     conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and 
     to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may 
     of right do.
       And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm 
     reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually 
     pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred 
     Honor.
       The signers of the Declaration represented the new states 
     as follows: New Hampshire--Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, 
     Matthew Thorton; Massachusetts--John Hancock, Samuel Adams, 
     John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry; Rhode 
     Island--Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery; Connecticut--Roger 
     Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott; 
     New York--William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, 
     Lewis Morris; New Jersey--Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, 
     Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark; Pennsylvania--
     Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, 
     George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, 
     George Ross; Delaware--Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas 
     McKean; Maryland--Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, 
     Charles Carroll of Carrollton; Virginia--George Wythe, 
     Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, 
     Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton; 
     North Carolina--William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn; 
     South Carolina--Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas 
     Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton; Georgia--Button Gwinnett, Lyman 
     Hall, George Walton.''
                                  ____

       Remember these words, for countless Americans have fought 
     for them, fought to preserve them, fought to keep us free 
     from tyranny.
       We need to exercise our rights, speaking freely, worshiping 
     freely, preserving our freedoms. We are only about a month 
     away from our first primary here in Mississippi, many are 
     thinking about not voting because ``my vote doesn't count''. 
     At the eve of the vote for the Declaration of Independence a 
     vote was taken and those wanting it to pass were one vote 
     short of having votes from all 13 colonies. Not present was a 
     delegate from Delaware, Caesar Rodney. Some one was sent to 
     tell Caesar Rodney of the need of his vote, he left his sick 
     bed on the night of July 2, to ride through the night, 
     through storm and mudslides to arrive at Liberty Hall in time 
     to cast the deciding vote. His one vote made the difference 
     between tyranny and freedom. Your one vote can make a 
     difference in our upcoming elections.
       But there are many who ask this question: What Happened to 
     America? What has happened, what have we become.
       It is well said in a poem titled ``What Happened to 
     America?'' by Sharon Lambright Duncan--
     ``What happened to America,
     When did we go astray?
     Was it when they told our children
     While in school you must not pray.
     Or maybe it all began when they said
     There's not right or wrong.
     Just do what feels the best for you
     And everyone else can get along.
     Or was it when they said
     You can kill an unborn child?
     After all if it's not wanted,
     It would never be worthwhile.
     Or could it be when God's word was
     ignored, And they said it's not a sin
     For women to love other women
     And men to be lovers of men.
     What happened to America,

[[Page E2506]]

     Where did we go wrong?
     When did we lose the principles
     Our nation was founded on?
     ``In God we trust'' no longer seems
     To be the motto of our land.
     We've become so educated and smart,
     So we place our trust in man.
     What happened to America,
     How did we get this way?
     I really think it happened
     When God's people had nothing to say.
     If we're not willing to speak God's truth,
     And on his words firmly stand,
     Can we expect Him to keep us safe
     In His protective hand?

     What WILL happen to America,
     Will she come back to God someday?
     Nothing is impossible
     If God's people will earnestly pray.
                                  ____

       Shortly after the shooting fiasco at a Littleton High 
     School this guest editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning 
     News--

              [From the Dallas Morning News, May 2, 1999]

                     Generation Has Some Questions

                          (By Marcy Musgrave)

       I am a member of the upcoming generation the one after 
     Generation X that has yet to be given a name. So far, it 
     appears that most people are rallying behind the idea of 
     calling us Generation Next. I believe I know why. The older 
     generations are hoping we will mindlessly assume our place as 
     the ``next'' in line. That way, they won't have to explain 
     why my generation has had to experience so much pain and 
     heartache.
       ``What heartache?'' You say. ``Don't you know you have 
     grown up in a time of great prosperity?'' Yeah, we know that. 
     Believe me, it has been drilled into our heads since birth. 
     Unfortunately, the pain and hurt I speak of can't be 
     reconciled with money. You have tried for years to buy us 
     happiness, but it is only temporary. Money isn't the answer, 
     and it is time for people to begin admitting their guilt for 
     failing my generation.
       I will admit that I wasn't planning to write this. I was 
     going to tuck it away in some corner of my mind and fall 
     victim to your whole ``next'' mentality. But after the 
     massacre in Littleton, Colo., I realize that, as a member of 
     this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to 
     challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed 
     things to become so bad.
       Let me tell you this: These questions don't represent only 
     me but a whole generation that is struggling to grow up and 
     make sense of this world, We all have questions; we all want 
     explanations. People may label us Generation Next, but we are 
     more appropriately Generation ``Why?''
                                  ____

       Remember God's Word and its truth, in a time when people 
     say the only truth is what I say at the moment is truth. 
     God's word says, ``If my people, which are called by my name, 
     shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn 
     from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and 
     will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.; (John 14:6 
     KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the 
     life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
       Jesus said, ``I am the way and the truth and the life. No 
     one comes to the Father except through me.''
       This week our congress sought to pass a declaration that 
     would implore Americans to repent and turn to the Almighty, 
     it was defeated, I am assured it will come up again and 
     receive the support it so richly deserves, to call on the 
     nation to humble themselves before the creator, to pray, to 
     repent of their manifold sins. But alas there are those who 
     do not believe there is sin, everything is o.k. No the ills 
     of America, can't be solved at the polls alone, but there is 
     a need for Godly leadership, for Men and Women who will put 
     principles before money and self, who will put America, 
     before the economy of the world and other nations. It is time 
     America, to wake up and heed the call, to faith, to faith in 
     the one true God of our fathers. It is time America, to 
     repent of accepting sin for normal behavior and call sin, 
     sin. It is time America, to stand on the truth of God's word, 
     his plan, not our own.
       Let us Pray.
       Reverend Ray N. Daniel, Jr. is an elder serving in the 
     Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, 
     appointed to the Rose Hill Charge. He has been serving in 
     town and country ministry since 1980. Rev. Daniel graduated 
     from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and obtained a 
     Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology, in 
     Denver, Colorado.

     

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