God Bless America

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1928)

I am a Roman Catholic, but I happen to like this prayer.

It is sometimes attributed, apparently wrongly, to Thomas Jefferson.

13 thoughts on “God Bless America”

  1. “It is sometimes attributed, apparently wrongly, to Thomas Jefferson.”

    It’s a change from falsely attributing things to Ben Franklin or Mark Twain.

  2. I’ve always loved the Book of Common Prayer for the literary qualities – and the special prayers like this one are lovely, especially when they are heart-felt.

  3. Ah yes The Book of Common Prayer. Have you read it? I have. When I was young they spent far too much money on my education. At private school we had at least one chapel session a day, three on Sunday. I was bored by the whole thing and read the book in the holder on the back of the pew, The Book of Common Prayer.

    Now the good stuff is in the back. The Articles of Religion. Go have a look at this stack of statements of belief. Have a look at article XVIII. Did you know everyone else but Christians are dammed? Read em’ all … they are fun.

    I am very grateful for that book. It opened my eyes and I left the Christian church when I was about 16. A couple of years later I became a Buddhist. I am grateful I am not a Christian and very grateful that I am a follower of the Buddha.

  4. Hi, PenGun. I have looked at the 39 articles. As a Catholic I am not bound by them.

    Many of the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer are beautiful, and I like them and use them. I have a 1928 Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer which I use.

    I am happy that you are at peace as a follower of the Buddha. I say with no sarcasm that there I know there is much of value in Buddhism. I also say with no sarcasm that you threw out the baby with the bathwater rejecting all of Christianity because of some of the 39 articles. I am grateful I am a Christian.

  5. It was supposed to screen Pengun actually – the 39 articles were in there so the Anglicans could keep the Puritans from establishing dictatorship of the saints in England again. You could not advance in England or have anything to do with the ruling of the land without swearing allegiance to the 39 Articles.

    That is, the 39 Articles are there to keep PenGun and his fellow Progressives nee Puritans from the levers. So in this case the 39 Articles have done their job. They’re not about Faith, they’re about keeping power from the Mad.

    As we suffer ruin now under a Harvard Theocracy Holier than God and more evil than Lucifer whose current frontman is President PenGun, the wisdom of the 39 Articles holds lessons for us all. It was under the Restoration and Anglican Rule that England reached it’s greatest heights of science, exploration, conquest, finance, Empire.

    America X.0 could well learn from the 39 Articles. There’s no need to keep fighting the English Civil War every 150 years.

    Speaking of which..can’t pray per above.

  6. That’s amazing VXXC.

    Now I am most definitely a black sheep but my family has been killing people for the crown for well over 600 years … that we know about. The Royal blood is thin in my veins but it is there.

    The thing is, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually you have nothing I want. So I moved on.

  7. Prayers of this type – and others in common prayer books – fascinate me. I remember when I first came across them; it was a Thanksgiving dinner in a Catholic home. It was a warm, cheery place. They said it was time to pray, so I bowed my head and folded my arms – to my surprise my friend instead grabbed my hand and the family matriarch said the prayer with her eyes open, reading it verbatim from a little card!

    I end that sentence with an explanation point, but I am sure this is a very banal experience for many Americans– not anything to blink twice about. But for me, raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it was most strange. From the time I was a child I was taught that every prayer must be from the heart and this just did not seem to cut it.

    Only later did it occur to me that a memorized prayer could be said from the heart, even if the words were writ by someone else. Along with that realization came a determination not to whisper when the congregation sang a hymn. It would not be meet to interrupt such beautiful prayers.

  8. Indeed you got a great Pope this time. I am most impressed.

    The message religion has is pretty well the same amongst the major ones. Buddhism is less concerned with deities than most.

  9. Pengun,

    I have just two words for you: Lancelot Andrewes.

    Andrewes oversaw the “King James” translation project. Though he apparently had no direct input into any edition of the Book of Common Prayer that I can find, if you peruse his Private Prayers you will get a great dose of the spirit that permeates the BoCP to this very day.

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