If it’s Friday….

it’s talking points with the Founding Fathers!

A Charge to the Class of 2011!

For my 275th birthday  (nice to still be kicking after all these years), a friend of mine gave me a book by Dr. Richard G. Lee, titled  “In God We Still Trust”.  This book showcases the founding fathers and other great leaders in our history.  On page 79, the first graduating class of Columbia University after the Revolutionary War was told the purpose of a public education.  I think many of us have selectively forgotten that the purpose is NOT to make us dependents of society.  Nor are we to take our public education and use it to better ourselves only and especially at the expense of others.  

To the graduating class of 2011, note the following address and its meaning.  Although these words were spoken so many years ago, these truths still hold value.  Learn them.  Honor them.  By all means, teach them.

From the book:

William Samuel Johnson, the President of Columbia University, addressed the graduates with these words: “You have…received a public education, the purpose whereof hath been to qualify you the better to serve your Creator and your country…Your first great duties…are those you owe to Heaven, to your Creator and Redeemer.  Let these be ever present to your minds and exemplified in your lives and conduct.

Imprint deep upon your minds the principles of piety toward God, and a reverence and fear of His holy name.  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and its consummation is everlasting felicity…Remember, too, that you are the redeemed of the Lord, that you are bought with a price, even the inestimable price of the precious blood of the Son of God.  Adore Jehovah, therefore, as your God and your Judge. Love, fear, and serve Him as your Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.  Acquaint yourselves with Him in His Word and holy ordinance.

Make Him your friend and protector and your felicity is secured both here and hereafter.  And with respect to particular duties to Him, it is your happiness that you are well assured that he best serves his Maker, who does most good to his country and to mankind.”

Wow.  Let someone direct graduates today like this and they will be thrown in jail. 

Yes, graduates.  Your public education is to be used to better mankind, to honor those who gave you the privilege to obtain such degrees, to make tomorrow a better future for those who will come after you, and to serve God with all your heart, mind, and soul.

Patrick Henry

About Patrick Henry

"Give me liberty, or give me death!"
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14 Responses to If it’s Friday….

  1. Thanks Patrick. I love that commencement address. Sure would love to hear those same words spoken with conviction at a local public graduation! Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday on Sunday!

  2. Norman Thomas says:

    Columbia University is a private college.

  3. Patrick Henry says:

    Columbia University wasn’t private until 1787 and was not when this speech was made. First, it was called King’s College. Then it became Columbia College. Finally it was renamed in 1896 as Columbia University. William Samuel Johnson died in 1819.


  4. Norman Thomas says:

    William Samuel Johnson became the school’s president in May of 1787, a month after it became a private university.

    • Did any of you gentlemen happen to notice the source of funding for said college while it was a public college? The New York Lottery! When it was a private (non profit) college it amassed its great wealth by investing in New York real estate (tax free). Does this sound familiar to North Carolina today?

  5. Randall Lee Yow says:

    Mr Henry,

    “In God we trust” became the national motto in 1956. “In God we trust” did not appear on the money of the United States, until 1864. It first appeared on the 2 cent piece. The reason many believed it was placed there to stop any objection to raising the postal rate to two cents. After all if you are against the 2 cent coin, you must be anti-Christian. I myself (much like Theodore Roosevelt) have always found it sacrilegious to place “In God we trust” on the money. After all is not, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Are we not trying to limit the the freedom of speech by draping the government in the shroud of God?

    -Randall Lee Yow

  6. Patrick Henry says:


    The book is titled, “In God WE still Trust”! I never said when it was published. So
    What’s your point about when the phrase became popular? It has absolutely nothing to do with post.

    Don’t you liberals have anything better to do than to try to bring down the messenger? If you put as much energy into solving society’s problems as you do at attempting to destroying those that disagree with you, the world would be a better place!

    Therefore, it is obvious you did not get the message because you have such ire against the Founding Fathers and those of us who adamantly believe when God is first in one’s life and we are dependent upon Him, that our lives are much more fulfilling and productive as United States citizens.

    Unbelievable! By the way, God never said money was bad. The context of your reply, Mr. Yow, does. I suggest you go back and reread THE MESSAGE of my post.

    Aslong as liberalism stands in the way, you’ll never hear a commencement speech like this one.

    And it’s a shame. Because what ou country needs is strong men and women who DO NOT see government as the end all to our problems!

    Patrick Henry

    • Randall Lee Yow says:

      Matthew 19:24
      “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

      Mark 10:25
      “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

      Luke 18:25
      “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

      (This is in the New Testament 3 times! It is also written in red in my bible! That means Jesus said it! Why do you think this was in the bible 3 times?)

      Proverbs 11:28
      “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”

      1 Timothy 6:10
      “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

      First of all, try to follow what I am saying. I think it is wrong to have “In God We Trust” on money, because of things written in the Bible. The Bible. I am not the first Christian to have these thoughts. Just because you put Jesus or God on something does not make it Holy. Certain people are not using themselves to promote religion, they are using religion to promote themselves. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost do not need any politician and/or government to make them good and truthful. Do you understand that?

      Now on to my second point. Patrick Henry (the real PH, not you) and the Founding Fathers fought against a tyrannical government to establish a government for and by the people. One of the main weapons that is tyrannical government had was a concept called divine right of kings. The head of state was the living tool of God. Everything he did was God’s will. He could do no wrong because he/she was carrying out God’s will. The King Of England is also the head of the Church of England. The perfect union of church and state. So when the Patriots fought against the King, they also fought against the Church. They were labeled heretical liberals in some circles because of this. After all the good conservatives supported their King and God.

      In closing I will leave you with some interesting facts. I graduated from Lee Senior in 1999. Do you know who our commencement speaker was? A fine fellow by the name of Bob Etheridge. A good North Carolinian. Small business owner, tobacco farmer, veteran, and Sunday school teacher. During Bob’s speech he brought up religion. He urged us if we were ever in a situation where we were having trouble telling right from wrong or finding our bearings not to be afraid to turn to prayer. Would that be the kind of speech you would like to see!?

      -Randall Lee Yow

      -By the way. I started going to church when I was a baby. I attended 4 years of Baptist Bible Summer Camp. My Grandmother (also a Democrat) was one of the founding member of Central Baptist Temple here in Sanford. There have been numerous preachers and pastors that have carried my surname in North Carolina for the last few hundred years. Do not impugn my faith. After all you should not bare false witness against your neighbor. Try to take joy and happiness from God, not anger.

      • Jay Riley says:

        Yeah, I really get tired of the “eye of the needle” quote being thrown around by those using it for political gain. Mr. Yow knows that in Matthew his verse is followed by one of my favorites:

        Matthew 19:25-26: When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
        Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

        Yeah, that’s in red too. It is not by right, or by effort, but by God’s grace alone that one (whether rich or poor) can enter into the Kingdom of God.

  7. Patrick Henry says:

    Mr. Etheridge says those things while he liberally takes from taxpayers! He has no concept of fiscal responsibility nor does he fully believe my rights, my Creator given rights, come from God! The Bible promotes individual responsibility. Democrats and libs believe government knows best.

    let’s not forget that he also thinks Government is a partner with God when it comes to life and death!

    And let’s not forget that he is in a party that believes in the murder of babies.

    So before you come to me with how great he is, consider what I just said.

    God, I can adamantly and knowingly say, is NOT in the business of killing innocent lives!!

    Quote all day long from the Bible, if you choose. That isn’t living. Living is when you exemplify the truth found from Genesis to Revalation. Not just when it gets you votes. That is what Bobby Etheridge does. And many many others.


  8. Randall;

    Thanks for the Biblical reminders that the LOVE of money is a problem for us sinners. As Jesus taught, we should love one another, not money. And we should never trust our government or any other institution to provide what we need to live or to live more abundantly; which is the providence of God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence the term, “In God We Trust,” which adorns that same money he told us not to love.

    You may have a problem with that phrase on our money, while the vast propenderance of Americans are strongly in favor of the phrase being inscribed on every piece of currency we mint. In fact, in 2007, when the U.S. Treasury foolishly chose to print the new (Presidential) one dollar coins with the phrase on the side of the coin rather than on the front or back, thousands of Americans spoke out to demand the policy be reversed. In 2008, the Congress ordered the Treasury to return to the traditional methods of reflecting this cherished phrase. Beginning in 2009, the phrase “In God We Trust” is again prominently displayed on the bottom front of each of these coins.


  9. Norman Thomas says:

    I am glad this Jay Riley has finally stood up to the common political practice of using the Bible for political gain. It’s high time this issue was addressed. No better place than this site to point out that many have used religion as a way of scoring political points. One day, maybe it will stop.

  10. Patrick Henry says:

    OMG Look who is talking! The political gain game is played by the Democrats all the time! Especially in elections. You let a white preacher talk politics and the IRS is at the door the next hour. But any black church in this country can quote the Bible, push liberal agendas, even curse America as in Rev Wright or the so called Rev Barber, Rev Jesse Jackson, or Rev Sharpton and it’s ok! And they let that lying idiot Al Gore run his mouth in the pulpit.

    No wonder the world doesn’t believe anymore.

    We are not using it here for political gain. WE actually BELIEVE there is a higher power that our rights are derived from! And that government is not the answer to society’s ills.

    Don’t go down that road.


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