Tuesday, January 20, 2009

True to our Founding Documents

As I watched the 44th President of the United States of America take the oath of office this morning and listened to his first speech, I thought the tone solemn and appropriate. I was also struck and pleasantly surprised by one particular phrase.

At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents. (President Barak Obama, January 20, 2009).

President Obama seems to be indicating that he places a high value on the ideals of our forbearers, and…our founding documents. I find this encouraging because our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and even the Federalist Papers are not often consulted when policy is being discussed. I pray that President Obama intends to keep the intentions of our forbearers in mind as he leads our country. I pray that he doesn’t see our founding documents as “living documents” in the sense that they are understood by the axiom “What does this mean to me?”. I pray that the he follows the more appropriate axiom, “What did the author intend?”

Taking an example from Deuteronomy 17:14ff, I suggested in an earlier entry (He Shall Write for Himself), that the next president might want to consider, as an early act in office, hand copying each document and have each copy approved by an appropriate expert. The pledge to read them regularly and use these hand written documents as his personal reference copies. I think this act (maybe about 30 hours of our President’s time) would do wonders for helping him direct the country.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,” you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves….Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:14-15, 18-20)

Joy of Life 27

One of the greatest joys in my life is watching my kids grow (physically and intellectually). This year we decided to home-school Joseph and Micah. That means that Julie does most of the schooling and I teach only music, math (to Joseph) and some PE. Last November Julie was away taking care of family business and I kept the Mosse home school room open. It was pretty easy since Julie prepared all the lessons. Well Micah was studying the War of 1812 and she wrote the following paragraph. We are very proud of her.

Micah Mosse (9 years old), 11/7/2008

In the year of 1814 Caroline and Mary sowed a huge flag. They gave it to For McHenry. The battle began. The British started firing their rockets and bombs. A little before the battle started, Francis Scott Key got a prisoner free, but they had to stay on Frances’ boat. Anyway, they British began firing. But the ships were too far for Fort McHenry to shoot back! In the middle of the night some boats from the ships were sailing to the shore to attack the fort from behind, but someone saw them. Fort McHenry began firing at them and they went back. In the morning, Caroline and Francis (both from a different direction) saw the flag. Francis begin writing the poem (song).