Roy Exum: ‘Sea To Shining Sea’

Thursday, August 13, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

If you were to poll the most travelled among us, Portland, Ore., would be among the finalists on every list as “The Most Beautiful City” in the United States. Yet, today, it is a run-away choice as the ugliest in America. For over two-and-half months the state capital has unwillingly hosted a full-fledged riot almost every night. Two weeks ago, the city’s now-despicable mayor, leftist Ted Wheeler, and some of the Antifa crowd promised federal agents if they would leave, everything would settle down. Since then, there have been 10 riots on 14 nights with no letup foreseen in the near future.

Portland Police Chief Jami Resch stepped down Monday and announced that she had asked Chuck Lovell, an African American lieutenant, to replace her.

The change achieved nothing. More awkwardly, over the weekend the well-funded and brilliantly-organized rioters are now attacking the patriotic song, “America, The Beautiful” in what? The most beautiful city in America. In June, an op-ed writer in the Los Angeles Times wrote an impassioned plea we do away with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” claiming it was hard to sing, made no sense and that he personally detested the song.

Think about this: In our cities that are controlled by liberal Democrats, our historical statues have been allowed to be mauled and destroyed by criminal vandals “because the statues hurt my feelings.” In overwhelming numbers those responsible for the desecration of our history were never challenged, much less arrested. Now the dark side comes for our songs and our hearts. Our most beloved songs and poems have been celebrated for decades, but the game plan is to erase our most blessed memories. There is still quite a movement to remove “under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance, as you know, but are you aware that God is a cornerstone in every single State’s Constitution in our nation?

In 1926 “America, The Beautiful” came within a whisper of being chosen as the National Anthem. It began as a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates. Born on the eve of the Civil War in 1859, the daughter of a Congregational minister, Katherine Lee Bates, taught high school, then English literature at Wellesley College. She hosted gatherings at her home for students and literary guests, including Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg and William Butler Yeats.

Of her 1893 Colorado journey, Katherine Lee Bates wrote: “Some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired … But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."

"America, the Beautiful" was quoted by President Lyndon Johnson in his first formal address before a joint session of Congress, Supreme Court Justices and the Cabinet, Nov. 27, 1963: "John Kennedy's death commands what his life conveyed - that America must move forward. The time has come for Americans of all races and creeds and political beliefs to understand and to respect one another ... Let us here highly resolve that John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not live - or die - in vain ... As we gather together to ask the Lord's blessings and give Him our thanks, let us unite in those familiar and cherished words:

* * *

'America, America,

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good

With brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.'"

* * *

"America, the Beautiful" was referred to by President Ronald Reagan in meeting South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, Nov. 14, 1983: “At the worship service Sunday morning with our soldiers ... less than a mile from one of the most tyrannical regimes on Earth ... a choir of little girls ... all orphans ... closing the service, singing "America, the Beautiful" in our language, was a spiritual experience."

* * * 

Katharine Lee Bates' poem was printed in The Congregationalist for Independence Day, July 4, 1895:

O Beautiful for Spacious Skies,

For Amber Waves of Grain,

For Purple Mountain Majesties

Above the Fruited Plain!

- - -

America! America!

God Shed His Grace on Thee

And Crowned Thy Good with Brotherhood

From Sea to Shining Sea!

- - -

O Beautiful for Pilgrims Feet,

Whose Stern Impassioned Stress

A Thoroughfare for Freedom Beat

Across the Wilderness!

- - -

America! America!

God Mend Thy Every Flaw,

Confirm Thy Soul in Self-Control

Thy Liberty in Law!

- - -

O Beautiful for Heroes Proved

In Liberating Strife,

Who More Than Self Their Country Loved,

And Mercy More Than Life!

- - -

America! America!

May God Thy Gold Refine

Till All Success Be Nobleness

And Every Gain Divine!

- - -

O Beautiful for Patriots Dream

That Sees Beyond the Years

Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam

Undimmed by Human Tears!

- - -

America! America!

God Shed His Grace On Thee

And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood

From Sea to Shining Sea!

* * *

LOOK AT EVERY SINGLE STATE’S CONSTITUTION!

God shed His grace from sea to shining sea, as all 50 states, at some time in their state's history, have acknowledged God somewhere in their state's constitution:

ALABAMA -- 1901, Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama ... invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution ...

ALASKA -- 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land ...

ARIZONA -- 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution ...

ARKANSAS 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government ...

CALIFORNIA -- 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom ...

COLORADO -- 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe …

CONNECTICUT -- 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy ...

DELAWARE -- 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences ...

FLORIDA -- 1885, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty ... establish this Constitution ...

GEORGIA -- 1777, Preamble. We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution ...

HAWAII -- 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance ... establish this Constitution ...

IDAHO -- 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings ...

ILLINOIS -- 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors ...

INDIANA -- 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government ...

IOWA -- 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings ... establish this Constitution ...

KANSAS -- 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges ... establish this Constitution ...

KENTUCKY -- 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberties ...

LOUISIANA -- 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberties we enjoy ...

MAINE -- 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine ... acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity ... and imploring His aid and direction ...

MARYLAND -- 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty ...

MASSACHUSETTS -- 1780, Preamble. We ... the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe ... in the course of His Providence, an opportunity ... and devoutly imploring His direction ...

MICHIGAN -- 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom ... establish this Constitution ...

MINNESOTA -- 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings ...

MISSISSIPPI -- 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work ...

MISSOURI -- 1945, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness ... establish this Constitution ...

MONTANA -- 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty ... establish this Constitution ...

NEBRASKA -- 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom ... establish this Constitution ...

NEVADA -- 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom ... establish this Constitution ...

NEW HAMPSHIRE 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience ...

NEW JERSEY -- 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors ...

NEW MEXICO -- 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty ...

NEW YORK -- 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings ...

NORTH CAROLINA -- 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for ... our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those ...

NORTH DAKOTA -- 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain ...

OHIO -- 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common ...

OKLAHOMA -- 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty ... establish this ...

OREGON -- 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences ...

PENNSYLVANIA -- 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance ...

RHODE IRELAND -- 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island ... grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing ...

SOUTH CAROLINA -- 1778, Preamble. We, the people of the State of South Carolina ... grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution ...

SOUTH DAKOTA --1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties ... establish this Constitution ...

TENNESSEE -- 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience ...

TEXAS -- 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God ...

UTAH -- 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we ... establish this Constitution ...

VERMONT -- 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to ... enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man ...

VIRGINIA -- 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI ... Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator ... can be directed only by Reason ... and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other ...

WASHINGTON -- 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution ...

WEST VIRGINA -- 1872, Preamble. Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political, and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia ... reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ...

WISCONSIN -- 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility ...

WYOMING -- Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties ... establish this Constitution ...

* * *

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, just maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong.

* * *

What a horrible shame it would be to let our statue murders tear down our songs.

* -- Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing, “America, The Beautiful” CLICK HERE.

royexum@aol.com


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