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George Washington's Farewell Address

At this time of the year, as we celebrate the founding of our republic, it’s worthwhile once again recalling the words of George Washington in his Farewell Address of 1796:

“The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles…

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

“It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

“…Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?”

President Washington understood that the happiness, cohesiveness and strength of the United States depended upon its citizens sharing similar Christian beliefs and living virtuous lives. Many of those beliefs and virtues have now been discarded, and many gravely immoral and previously criminal behaviors are now legally protected “rights.” Much of this descent into disbelief and depravity has been fostered by the media. Indeed, in 1972, media theorist Marshall McLuhan wrote “The modern media are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth.”

What is truth? Fr. John Hardon defined truth as “the conformity of the mind with reality.” In other words, truth is something outside of us which we do not create, but must discover and conform to if we want to live reasonably happy lives in the “real” world, and eternally felicitous lives in the hereafter.

One of our obligations as Christians, as Catholics, is to convey the truth to others in conversation, in print, through our actions and through the media. Since we at St. Michael Broadcasting do broadcast the truth, we possess an attractiveness and have an impact that other stations lack. A representative letter received from two viewers a while back attests to this:

“God bless you and your good work! May you be with us until the end of time! We do not want to give money to DISH or any of the other TV companies. We wish we could give more to you. Better yet, we wish more souls would rejoice in your programs. You saved at least 2 souls and now we attend daily Mass and Adoration 3x a week--- and we are very happy… Thanks especially for Dale Ahlquist and G. K. Chesterton. We are the two souls you saved. God bless you and all your volunteers…”

Of course, we didn’t save them. Jesus saved them through your station. Please support your station through your prayers, by telling others and offering to volunteer. If you can contribute financially please do so, because contributions have dropped off sharply with the onset of warmer weather while expenses have remained the same.

Remember, No truth, no freedom! Happy Independence Day!

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