John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, gave his inaugural address and said, “To our sister republics south of our border. We offer a special pledge: to convert our good words into good deeds, in a new alliance for progress, to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty.” Further on in his speech, he said these very famous words. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask rather, what can you do for your country!” These words are no longer used by today's candidates. It seems such a short time ago that President John F. Kennedy was our leader. We have drifted so far away from what this nation was all about. President Kennedy was the last president to mention the Republic in a major speech.

President Ronald Reagan gave the following speech at the 1964 National Convention: “This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that an uninformed intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Thomas Jefferson once stated that, “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” It was also Jefferson himself who once remarked, “Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.” Is it possible that President Jefferson was attempting to give us a message? Did he realize the wisdom he was trying to pass on to our generation? Wake up, America! Listen to the message that was being given to our generation directly from Thomas Jefferson himself.

We must listen to the words of our past presidents. President George Washington warned us, “Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics.” Some of our past leaders believed that, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.”

On July 31, 1846, Abraham Lincoln stated, “That I am not a member of any Christian church is true, but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures, and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular .... I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.”

In his Inaugural Address on Friday, Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy addressed the crowd and said, “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state ~ but from the hand of God .... Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty .... With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds ~ let us go forth to lead the land we love ~ asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must be truly our own.”

Published with permission by the late Bill Conry.