As our nation’s Founders designed their plan for a more perfect union, they understood that the success of a modern republic would require more than a political document like the Constitution. From their study of history, the Founders had learned of the pitfalls of republics before this one. They concluded that even the Constitution alone could not curb individual selfishness. They believed that virtues were necessary for sustaining the American experiment. Their fervent prayers were an integral part of the birth of our nation.
Our Nation’s Godly Heritage
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Poet, Essayist and Journalist
I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion’s sake. I say that the real and permanent grandeur of these States must be their religion.
Walter “Walt” Whitman was born in West Hills, Huntington, Long Island New York in May 1819, the second of nine children. His parents subscribed to Quaker thought. By age eleven, he concluded formal schooling. He then sought employment for further income for his family, and became an office boy for two lawyers, and later was an apprentice and printer’s devil for the weekly Long Island newspaper edited by Samuel E. Clements. He learned the printing press and typesetting, and may have written “sentimental bits” of filler material for occasional issues.
He continued working for various newspapers and became a freelance fiction and poetry writer. Determined to be a poet, he self-published some of his works, including Leaves of Grass. Financial issues forced him back into journalism. As he matured, he became more of a deist – even a pantheist.
Whitman is considered one of the most influential poets in America, and often called the father of free verse. He died in 1892 in Camden, New Jersey, of bronchial pneumonia after having suffered a paralytic stroke. He is buried in Harleigh Cemetery in Camden.
Presidential Quote of the Week
Barack H. Obama (1961 – ), 44th President of the United States
As President, I’m committed to making Washington work better, and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here. I believe most of you are too. … In the coming months, let’s see where we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And that I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or religion, of party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple and profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.
- From State of the Union Address, January 28, 2014
Barack Hussein Obama II was born in August 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. After Obama’s mother obtained a divorce from his Kenyan father, she married an Indonesian student, and the family moved to Jakarta, where young Barack attended the Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School. A few years later, he returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory, from the fifth grade until his high school graduation. Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. He later transferred to Columbia University in New York City where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations. He received his B.A. from Columbia.
After graduation, he was hired in Chicago as director of a church-based community organization on Chicago’s far South Side. In mid-1988 he traveled to Europe for three weeks and then for two weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.
In 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School, graduating with a juris doctor. He spent his summers working in Chicago as an associate to several law firms. He accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, then later as a full professor there for twelve years, teaching constitutional law.
He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 and served two terms. He then ran for the position of United States Senator, and was elected in 2004. He was still serving as Senator when he was tapped for the role of presidential candidate. He won the presidency by taking 365 electoral votes, and capturing 52.9% of the nation’s popular vote. He is the nation’s current sitting President, now in his second term.
President Obama is married to Michelle Robinson, and they have two daughters – Malia and Sasha. He lists his faith as Christianity.