To the Casey Clan, et al,
In his great book, Born Fighting, author James WEBB omitted from his list of great Scots-Irish Americans, a man who is perhaps not as famous as some of the others but is still deserving of our respect and admiration today.
James McHENRY, a Protestant by faith and ancestry, was born at Ballymena, Ulster, Ireland on 16 Nov 1753. He was educated in Dublin, and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1771.
McHENRY was one of three physicians (with Hugh WILLIAMSON and James McCLURG) involved in crafting the constitution. A delegate from Maryland, he was a signer of this most important American document, and was an outstanding early American statesman. He served under George WASHINGTON and John ADAMS as the third Secretary of War. He is also the namesake of Fort McHenry - the subject of the 1812 poem by Francis Scott KEY, which later became our national anthem.
At 62, McHENRY died on 3 May 1816, and is buried in the Westminister Burying Ground (est. 1802) in Baltimore, MD. Other great Americans are buried here; among them, one Philip Barton KEY (1818-1859), the son of Francis Scott KEY.
In an 1813 letter, as president of the Bible Society of Baltimore, McHENRY wrote:
"Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet consciences."
Mr. McHENRY's quote is one one of many such early American quotations expressing faith in God and the importance of the Christian religion in the lives of early Americans.
And the liberal minority continues to have us believe that God has no place in a government founded on religious principles. Shame on them!
It's not freedom from religion, but the freedom of religion that keeps this country great. When we turn our backs on Him, it will only be a matter of time until He does the same to us.
As a most important election looms nearer, please keep America in your prayers!
Casey Family Association., Inc.
27 Feb 2008