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The Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools in 1962. Those born after that have been inadequately exposed to the importance that faith played in our Founders’ lives. Other than being the Father of our Country, many do not fully appreciate the essential and miraculous role of George Washington.

David Barton (wallbuilders.com) claims that for 150 years the following enigmatic story about George Washington surviving the battle of Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War appeared in most history books. After two hours, 714 British (veterans of European-style warfare) and American troops had been shot down compared with only 30 of the French and Indians who used “Indian style” tactics.

Washington wrote a letter to his family after the battle explaining that, when he took off his jacket, he found four bullet holes through it, yet not a single bullet had touched him. Several horses had been shot from under him, but he had not been harmed. He felt God’s hand had been upon him, protecting and keeping him through the battle.

Fifteen years later, Washington returned to the western Pennsylvania woods. An old Indian chief, who had been a leader in that battle, heard that Washington had come back and traveled a long way to meet him. The chief had instructed his braves to single out all the officers and shoot them down. He personally had shot at Washington 17 times. He told Washington,“I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. I have come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”

Moving on to Aug. 29, 1776, the Revolution had just begun four months earlier, and Washington and the patriots found themselves trapped in Brooklyn and completely surrounded by the British. The only way to escape was by water, and that would make them sitting ducks. Capture meant they surely would be hanged for treason or shot; the hopes, dreams and future of the Revolution would come to an abrupt end.

In despair and being a man of faith, Washington murmured fervent prayers to God. He then made the decision to ferry 9,000 men, a cannon and horses to Manhattan in a daring nighttime water escape. Time passed by quickly and daylight was on the horizon. As the sky began to lighten, a thick fog rolled in, just like the breath of God. The patriots successfully evacuated Brooklyn undetected.

Numerous stories involving the faith of our Founders used to be recounted in our American history books. Barton says two interlocking philosophical points of view now have the most bearing on how history is recorded. Socialism and humanism mock our Founders’ self-evident truths about religion and present “more scholarly” views of history. The Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association have made two recent attempts to further decimate our religious heritage.

A family in New Jersey is suing the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District to have the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.  Roy Speckhardt, the humanist association’s executive director, said,“The current pledge practice marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots, merely because they don’t believe the nation is under God.”

“Under God” was added to the Pledge during the zenith of the former Soviet Union on Flag Day in 1954. Proponents of the phrase wanted to show the world that God was still part of Americans’ lives and, unlike the USSR, did not view religion as “the opium of the people.” President Eisenhower said when he signed the bill into law that millions of children would daily proclaim “the dedication of our nation and people to the Almighty.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has charged Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney and his staff with “unconstitutional behavior” at a public university. The Foundation is dismayed because Swinney personally invited James Trapp to become team chaplain, scheduled team devotionals and has organized transportation for coaches and players to “Church Days.”

Swinney responded, “Anything that we have in our program from a spiritual standpoint is and always has been voluntary.” University spokeswoman Cathy Sams issued a statement saying, “We are not aware of any complaints from current or former student-athletes about feeling pressured or forced to participate in religious activities.”

The Founding Fathers and President Eisenhower understood and Coach Swinney understands that our nation and citizens prospered and will continue to prosper under God’s blessings. In his first Inaugural address, George Washington proclaimed, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregard the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

WILLEE COOPER is a former teacher and military spouse. A Hopkinsville resident, she is past president of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. Her column runs twice a month. Reach her at willeecooper@gmail.com.

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