9:00 AM,Tuesday, July 4, 2017: 66 degrees F at the ferry dock, 60 on the back porch. Wind variable and calm. The sky is clear, the humidity 78%. The barometer is falling, now at 30.07", predicting chances of thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday. Highs will be around 70 today, increasing to near 80 the following two days, then cooling off again, with mixed skies. Tonight should be a good night to watch Madeline Island fireworks from the back porch.
George Washington's farewell address to the nation at the end of his second term as president was a long and arduous read, couched as it was in the stilted formal language of the late 18th Century, but its message was nonetheless very clear, particularly as regards the role of religion in a democracy:
"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."
Democracy cannot long endure without morality, and morality ultimately depends upon the fear of God. No human law can protect liberty and civility as can the simple Christian dictate, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Thank God and our Founding Fathers this Fourth of July for our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, rooted in His Ten Commandments.
Have a Happy Fourth of July.