Monday, February 21, 2011

By George!

Besides being a day off for state and federal workers, the point of "Presidents' Day" has never been quite clear to me.  Are we merely collapsing, for convenience sake, the celebration of Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays?  Or are we actually recognizing the service of every former presidents, whether they be heroes, scoundrels, or mediocrities? 

I hold to the former interpretation and since I made a point of remembering the Great Emancipator's actual birthday on the 12th, I should do the same for Washington's which is tomorrow, the 22nd.

What better way than to consider some sage advice (get it? sage advice?) offered by the Father of our Country himself on the occasion of his departure from public life.  Happy Birthday General!

From Washington's Farewell Address:
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.


  1. I'm trying to find Obama's holiday proclamation, but it doesn't appear on the White House site, under proclamations. Can anyone find it? I'm curious to see the wording.