If you don’t know where you came from… — T.F. Stern

By T.F. Stern,


Have you ever heard the expression, “If you don’t know where you came from how can you know where you’re going?” This weekend many of us celebrate our Independence Day. I say many of us; but there’s a significant portion which doesn’t share the pride swelling inside as an American Flag is paraded down Main Street according to some Harvard professors. Why is that?

‘“The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans,” write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.”

Maybe folks would have a better understanding of America if they took the time to figure out where we came from. When you ask important questions interesting things happen.

Take for example the children’s song, I Am A Child of God , consider the message and compare it with what the Scriptures tell us; the answer is the same. We are children of our Heavenly Father, that same Being referred to in the Declaration of Independence as the Creator.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

I keep forgetting, this requires a leap of faith, something quite alien to statists. There’s a line drawn in the sand, so to speak, dividing intellectuals from Creationist loonies. Many demean and ridicule people of faith as if religion was a crutch for the weak minded; a ploy used by the Father of Lies from the beginning of time.

Intellectuals don’t mind hiding behind God given inalienable right to express themselves at every turn. Of course they’d have us believe these are “natural rights”, something which government identified and handed out like pop sickles rather than acknowledge their true source. In fact they’ve embellished on the original right to freedom of speech considerably which now includes profanity, pornography and almost any conceivable abomination which springs from the mind, mouth or hand of man. Never mind the Commandments of God; we are free to act any damn way we please.

Progressive minded folks are comfortable with Einstein’s mathematics and theories regarding complex relationships on time, space, gravitational interaction and physics. If you looked up “Relativity” on the internet there are many listings, the easiest to understand is found here .

“Einstein stated that the theory of relativity belongs to the class of “principle-theories”. As such it employs an analytic method. This means that the elements which comprise this theory are not based on hypothesis but on empirical discovery. The empirical discovery leads to understanding the general characteristics of natural processes. Mathematical models are then developed which separate the natural processes into theoretical-mathematical descriptions. Therefore, by analytical means the necessary conditions that have to be satisfied are deduced. Separate events must satisfy these conditions. Experience should then match the conclusions.”

Before Einstein took his first breath the same all encompassing parameters had already been recorded; not in scientific terminology, plain ordinary English. God’s laws are comprehensive, binding and eternal; they include mathematics, physics, particle theory as well as how His children should behave while in mortality.

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated — And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Doctrine and Covenants 130:20,21

John Adams, one of our finest minds wrote: (No doubt, Adams was a hard core right winger)

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Follow that train of thought and you’ll find George Washington’s famous quote: (What a crack pot, no doubt he had a few screws loose. He was a Free Mason; and we all know they were up to no good, a bunch of right wingers if ever there was…)

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Call me a right winger, one of those “tea partiers” who’ve sipped one too many. I snap to attention at the playing of our National Anthem and when I see the Stars and Stripes go by I stand, salute and revere what it stands for. Our Pledge of Allegiance includes the words, “one nation under God”. All that “extreme” right wing brain washing from the GOP must have found a weak spot.

Our athletes standing on the podium during Olympics give us a chance to appreciate a land so vast and full of accomplishments; my mind reflects on Francis Scott Keys historical tale which had our nation come out on top against incredible odds.

If successive generations fails to recognize the importance of these lessons then the shame be upon us for not doing our duty as citizens, parents and children of our Father in Heaven. My heart swells with pride and tears run down my cheeks when Katharine Lee Bates’ America the Beautiful is sung.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

I refuse to take a step backwards and apologize for showing my patriotism, to shy away from feelings which are stirred within my chest this time of year. Those who fail to recognize the importance of knowing where we came from are empty shells living on borrowed, even stolen hope. Can those who lack the ability to understand and implement these foundational concepts expect to lead our nation toward a bright and shinning future?

Americans must recognize the Author of Liberty and gratefully acknowledge His hand as we celebrate our Independence Day. In case you haven’t figured it out, I know where I came from and I know where I’m going!

The Moral Lib­eral asso­ciate edi­tor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.