Providence Today: Liberty & Order

Speaker 1:
This is Providence Today, and we’re in the city of Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States. There’s so many great stories that are here to tell about how our founding fathers gave us the nation we enjoy every day, as well as the great documents that shape how we govern ourselves and how we express our values as a nation and a people. The place that we’re standing on is the second national bank. This bank now is a closed bank, but it is a beautiful classical building that has some of the most spectacular paintings. You can find in here a beautiful statue of George Washington, a remarkable image of Benjamin Franklin. We have Lafayette, we have John Witherspoon, Thomas Paine, other leaders that help shape America, including Bishop White and Martha Washington. As we think about what’s on the inside, I want you to think about what’s on the outside.

Speaker 1:
As they created a national bank, they obviously were creating a whole new institution with a new nation. We don’t have national banks today. Although we do have the federal reserve that may or may not be a direct descendant, and that’s a discussion for another day. But what we do have is we look at the outside, are these magnificent columns that go up. As you look at them and you see the top in shape, you can recognize these as columns that might come right out of ancient Athens and Greece. This is, if you will, part of the Greco-Roman architectural revival that occurred in the early years of the American experience. Some of you may remember that New York, to this day, is called empire state. There was a sense in which there was going to be a new empire, a new rule of liberty that would be rolled out in history because of the American experiment in constitutional Republican government.

Speaker 1:
And with that idea of aspiring to create a whole new government that might shape civilization, they use the imagery of the classic architecture as part of their story. When you go to the first national bank and you look at its columns, you’ll see at the top beautiful Corinthian capitals, that would be coming out of Greece Corinth, and Athens, classic architecture suggesting the idea of an empire. Now, the American empire, however, was never established by power. Power is important, but the idea was not, “We’re going to conquer the world.” Rather, the hope was is that liberty as an ideal and the freedom and the enterprise that would flow from it would create a relationship where people would want to join in it. And it would expand by the rights and freedoms and constitutional liberties that were already implicit in the American experiment. As we think about all the struggles that happen at the border in America, and I know that there’ll be differences of opinions if we were to discuss it, but isn’t it remarkable that every year, at least a million people are trying to break into our borders.

Speaker 1:
How many other countries can say that’s what they’re trying to do? Think about the whole struggle and the aftermath of World War II with the wall that divided East Berlin from West Berlin. The Berlin wall was there not to keep people from breaking in, to keep people from escaping. America’s magnetic pull on the earth from Ellis Island to our various ports, whether they’re legal or illegal, documented or undocumented, the empirical evidence shows us that the dream of an empire that grew by liberty, by freedom, by values, by ordered constitutional government has become a reality. I look at my own life. I’m a third and fourth generation of ancestors that came here because they were longing to be free.

Speaker 1:
I’m reminded that my grandfather was an orphan when he came to America. He was basically unable to speak English for much of his life. And yet his son became a mathematics professor at American University and his grandson is the president of a seminary. Where in the world can that happen? Except in a place like this, where freedom gives opportunity, hard work and diligence, and just grit of doing what you need to do, opens the opportunity for advancement. One of the things we want to celebrate here in the Providence swarm is our faith and freedom guide that reminds us that those Christian values that were such a part of hard work, diligence, justice, doing well, pursuing excellence, these values that made America great are still relevant for us today. They will make the empire that is advancing by liberty and justice for all. Get our Faith and Freedom Guide, learn more about Philadelphia and our founding.

Speaker 1:
And so what could you do to help us continue to expand this message? Would you please go to our website, providenceforum.org, and there you can donate to help continue this message to expand. We are in the business of raising awareness, educating, printing material, putting on meetings and conferences, doing video blogs like this. And none of it’s possible without donors and friends who believe that what we’re doing matters right now, indeed for the generations to come. So go online and help us. We truly appreciate it. Make sure you download our free app, the Faith and Freedom Tour by the Providence Forum and celebrate the message as our declaration of independence says that we have a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence. Providence is still at work today. And so that’s why we call our program Providence Today. Thanks for listening.

 

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