This morning's church music included My Country 'Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The Star Spangled Banner. If you are familiar with these songs, you know that they contain deeply patriotic words along with references to God and faith.
I first learned these songs in Public School in the 1940s in Brooklyn, NY. Every Wednesday was Assembly Day. All grades would gather together in the large auditorium for a special program.
The program would begin with one of the students, usually David Weissman (a Jewish boy) who would recite the 121st Psalm or one similar.
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord
who made Heaven and Earth.........."
The program continued with the singing of patriotic songs, praising our country, our fighting men, our God.
Somewhere in the 60s or 70s, it was declared against the rules to sing songs with religious overtones. Somewhere, more recently, it's being argued that the Pledge of Allegiance and saluting the Flag are not necessary. Indeed, there are those who say their rights are being trampled because they come from other countries and should not be made to stand for the pledge allegiance to the American Flag. And the God of our Judeo-Christian background has been banned from school because it's not socially polite to mention Him in front of atheists.
It was through the singing of those songs and listening to those hymns in school that I developed deep patriotism for my country and the beginnings of my reverence for God.
I am concerned for the children of this generation and for the future society they will inherit. They will never hear those patriotic and faith-filled songs in school and, if they are not church or synagogue attendees, they will not develop a reverence for the God upon whom our country was founded.
These are my thoughts this weekend.