Alan Webber: Did we have some extra help?
Regretfully, I could not be considered a religious man by any stretch of the imagination. Moral … yes, but just not that spiritual.
Evidently, I’m not intelligent enough to comprehend the Bible, and my brain is wired too linearly and skeptically to believe in faith without proof.
In my mind, children dying of cancer, the Holocaust or scenes of gassed Syrian babies — to use as examples — do not compute there might be some sort of a spiritual, all-encompassing being watching over us. Neither does voting for Hillary Clinton, but that is another subject.
Having said that, sometimes, I contemplate circumstances in history, and it is then I wonder if there just had to be some sort of “divine” guidance involved in the outcome. There simply has to be more “there” there. Take the Founding Fathers as an example:
Whether one is referring to the seven key Founding Fathers —John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington — as identified by historian Richard Morris or the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the divinity of the situation would be comparable.
For my supposition, let’s consider just the seven key Founding Fathers. (As a footnote that has nothing to do with my point today, when researching details, I found it ironic Washington, Jay, Hamilton and Madison did not sign the Declaration of Independence.)
In 1775, when the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, these seven sophisticated gentlemen gathered from scattered points of the 13 colonies.
At that time, there were about 2.5 million people living in America. Life still was pretty primitive in general. Obviously, there were no telephones, fax machines or emails for the men to discuss grand ideas between themselves beforehand.
There also happened to be no cotton clothes or even readily available potable water, as everybody drank cider, beer and wine … including kids. Although there were very few doctors or nurses, people still avoided them like the plague (pardon the pun), as the practice of medicine had literally not been advanced much beyond leech bleeding. There were no antibiotics and, sadly, 50 percent of babies born did not live past the first year.
To truly bring this primitiveness home, people were only beginning to trade their chamber pots for outhouses. You can imagine the rest of their personal hygiene experiences from that perspective ... enough said about that.
Not only did these men live in a primeval time, they had their own personal problems to contend with.
According to Sara Kettler, of the website Biography, Washington, who, contrary to folklore did not have wooden teeth, possessed a quick temper and was prone to bouts of profanity-laced outbursts. Speaking of crude, you might want to look up where Washington really got his teeth.
Jefferson, who so eloquently penned many of the nation’s most important documents, was tongue-tied, particularly around women, and spoke virtually nothing while sitting in Congress. Compare that with the blowhards we have in Congress today.
Franklin, who had no formal education, often “air-bathed” by merely sitting at his desk, naked and cold. He actually thought that accounted for a bath. He also lived to be 93 years old at a time when life expectancy was just less than 40.
Adams was such a crusty old SOB, nobody liked him.
Madison had a stepson who was a gambler and drunkard and spent time in debtor’s prison, of which Madison paid the debts, often without Dolly’s knowledge.
Jay, the first chief justice, hated the job because of the traveling conditions and quit at first chance.
Hamilton, born in the Caribbean to a mother who happened to be married to another man not named Hamilton, was considered somewhat political, usurping power from his superiors, including President Adams. Perhaps the reason President Adams was so miserable?
Despite this incredibly hard life and the men’s individual foibles, they cobbled together perhaps some of the greatest documents in history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, advocating ratification of the Constitution, and later, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.
Their actions further set into place a bloody confrontation against Britain, certainly a repeat of the biblical David versus Goliath, in which the colonies won against all odds. The result was to create the greatest and kindest nation that has ever existed in the history of mankind.
Once set in place, these same men then served the country they put together in various capacities so as to set examples of how this republic should be run. (Except, evidently, for Hamilton.) And the product of their labors, the United States of America, has lasted an incredible 241 years to date.
Could this have all been created, despite the enormous odds, incredible hardships and downright primitive way of life, by chance? These people did not understand the basic rules of hygiene and yet were able to set all that we know and love in place for centuries? It is hard for me to fathom that this was just merely historical coincidence. Surely there had to be another hand in this.
Sadly, even God never could have foreseen the circus that is the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearing.