American Minute with Bill Federer
Father's Day! "The call today is for Christian heroes" -U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall
The first formal
was celebrated JUNE 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd
heard a church sermon on the newly established
and wanted to honor
Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, who had raised six children by himself after his wife died in childbirth.
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd
drew up a petition supported by the Young Men's Christian Association and the ministers of Spokane to celebrate
spoke at a Spokane
On December 6, 1904,
President Theodore Roosevelt
Christian and civilized community
can afford to show a happy-go-lucky lack of concern for the
youth of to-day;
for, if so, the community will have to pay a terrible penalty of financial burden and social degradation in the to-morrow ..."
"The prime duty of the man
is to work, to be the
is to be the
All questions of tariff and finance sink into utter insignificance when compared with the tremendous, the
vital importance of trying to shape conditions
so that these two
duties of the man and of the woman
can be fulfilled under reasonably favorable circumstances."
as a permanent national observance (Proclamation 4127), stating:
"To have a
— to be a
— is to come very near the heart of life itself.
we know the elemental magic and joy of humanity.
we even sense the divine, as the Scriptural writers did who told of all good gifts corning "down from the
Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning"—symbolism so challenging to
who would give
his own son or daughter
a life of light without shadow ... "
"Our identity in name and nature, our roots in home and family, our very standard of
—all this and more is
the heritage our fathers share with us ...
It has long been our national custom to observe each year one
special Sunday in honor of America's fathers;
and from this year forward, by a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24, 1972, that custom carries
the weight of law ...
Let each American make this
an occasion for renewal of the love and gratitude we bear to our
increasing and enduring through all the years.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby request that June 18, 1972, be observed as
On May 20, 1981, in a Proclamation of
President Ronald Reagan
"'Train up a child
in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,' Solomon tells us.
Clearly, the future is in the care of our
Such is the responsibility,
promise, and hope of fatherhood.
Such is the gift that our
vulnerable and dependent, desperately need security, and it has ever been
a duty and a joy of fatherhood
to offer it.
requires strength ... and more than a little courage ... to persevere, to fight discouragement, and
to keep working for the family ..."
"Let us ... express our thanks and affection to our
whether we can do so in person or in prayer."
Williams Jennings Bryan
gave over 600 public speeches during his Presidential campaigns, with his most famous being "The Prince of Peace,” which was printed in
The New York Times,
September 7, 1913:
promoted peace by giving us assurance that a line of communication can be established between t
he Father above and the child below."
A warning from Greek philosopher Plato
in his work
380 BC, was that democracy is in jeopardy
when the younger generation disrespect their fathers:
"Can liberty have any limit? Certainly not ... By degrees the
anarchy finds a way into private houses
son is on a level with his father,
having no respect
or reverence for either of his
and this is his freedom ...
Citizens ... chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority ... they will have no one over them ...
Liberty overmasters democracy ...
The excess of liberty,
whether in states or individuals, seems only to pass into
excess of slavery
arises out of democracy,
and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty."
"By heaven ... the
will discover what a monster he has been fostering in his bosom; and, when he wants to drive him out, he will find that he is weak and his son strong.
Why, you do not mean to say that the tyrant will use violence?
What! beat his father if he opposes him?
Yes, he will, having first disarmed him ... Then he is a parricide, and a cruel guardian of an aged parent; and this is real tyranny."
U.S. Senate Peter Marshall
commented on social deconstruction
(20 Centuries of Great Preaching
Vol. 12 Waco: Word, 1971 p. 11-19):
"The history of the world has always been the biography of her great men ...
There was a time in these United States when
was inspired by (heroes) ... when a picture of Washington or Lincoln adorned every school room wall ...
Along with the ponderous Family Bible on the Victorian table and the hymn books on the old-fashioned square piano, there looked down from the walls the likenesses of
our national heroes ...
Those were the days of great beliefs - belief in the
authority of the Scriptures,
prayer was really answered,
as permanent institutions, belief in the
and worth of
America’s great men.
These beliefs laid the groundwork for
producing more great men,
a boy figured
"If that man could do it,
get an education, make his life count for something,
then I can too ...'"
"Then there dawned the day
when the pictures of Washington and Lincoln did not fit in with our concept of modern décor ... The old Family Bible looked embarrassingly out of place ... So the pictures and the Bible were often relegated to the Attic of Forgotten Things.
There went with them some of
the most stabilizing influences of American life.
We had become a more sophisticated people, somewhat
cynical of the cherished beliefs of our ancestors,
rather blasé, frankly
skeptical of old-fashioned sentimentalism.
Along with our higher education came
a debunking contest.
became a sort of national sport ... It was
smarter to revile than to revere
... more fashionable to
depreciate than to appreciate.
at all levels of education,
no longer did we laud great men
- those who had struggled and achieved. Instead, we merely took their dimensions and ferreted out their faults.
We decided that it was silly to say God sent them for a special task ...
They were merely ... products of their environments ...
The Constitution, that hitherto cherished charter of American liberties, was drawn up by men who never spoke on a telephone or flew in a plan, therefore,
we should change the Constitution to suit modern ways ..."
"But we failed to realize that
when we were denying the existence of great men,
we were also
denying the desirability of great men.
So now, many of
have grown up without the guiding star ... holding in their hands only a bunch of ...
no keys with which to open the doors of knowledge and life.
no longer had any particular ambition to become
Their ambition now was to
make as much money as possible,
as quickly as possible, in whatever way was most convenient ...
is ... a sign of
of character to the individual and in the national life ...
We who are Christians, believe that
God gives the world a few great men to lead the rest of us closer to Him,
that to depreciate or to
their greatness is to
one of God’s revelations of Himself to mankind.
the Christian cherishes ... were (or are) human .. They
have their weakness
... Their faults are well-known to their friends, better known to themselves. But the point is that with
God and His guidance,
they can provide the
that our nation so sorely needs.
America needs heroes
on the battlefield of everyday life ... in our homes, in our schools, on college campuses, in offices and factories, who can lead us towards a return to idealism. For
time is running out for us ..."
U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall
"The call today is for Christian heroes and heroines
... who are willing to
speak a good word for Jesus Christ
... who are willing to
live by the undiluted values of Christian morality
in the pagan atmosphere of our society surrounded by lewdness, pornography, and profanity.
This may be
a higher bravery
than that of any battlefield: to face ridicule, sarcasm, sneering disdain for what one believes to be right.
To fight for goodness and right ...
fighting the battle first in our own hearts and souls
... seeking God’s help to overcome our particular temptations for the sake of peace .. for the sake of America ... for our own sake ...
for God’s sake."
ended his Father's Day message:
find the patience to teach, the fortitude to provide, the compassion to comfort, and the mercy to forgive.
All of this is to say that they find the strength to love their wives and children selflessly."
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