If you would like to add a comment to any of the threads here on AADB, registration with blogspot.com is not required. Simply click on the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of an essay, and either enter a nickname under ‘choose an identity’ or post your comment anonymously. Serious comments are always welcome.

REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

12/09/2007

Let's Keep Christmas (1940)

Ties that Bind.jpg
'Ties that Bind' by G. Harvey

Although your Christmas tree decorations will include many new gadgets, such as lights with bubbles in them . . . it's the old tree decorations that mean the most . . . the ones you save carefully from year to year . . . the crooked star that you've been so careful with.

And you'll bring out the tiny manger, and the shed, and the little figures of the Holy Family . . . and lovingly arrange them on the mantel or in the middle of the dining room table.

And getting the tree will be a family event, with great excitement for the children . . .

And there will be a closet into which you will forbid your husband to look, and he will be moving through the house mysteriously with bundles under his coat, and you'll pretend not to notice . . .

There will be a fragrance of cookies baking, spices, and fruitcake . . . and the warmth of the house shall be melodious with the lilting strains of 'Silent Night, Holy Night.'

And you'll listen to the wonderful Christmas music on the radio. Some of the songs will be modern - good enough music perhaps - but it will be the old carols, the lovely old Christmas hymns, that will mean the most.

And forests of fir trees will march right into our living rooms . . . There will be bells on our doors and holly wreaths in our windows . . .

And we shall sweep the Noel skies for their brightest colors and festoon our homes with stars.

There will be a chubby stocking hung by the fireplace . . . and with finger to lip you will whisper and ask me to tip-toe, for a little tousled head is asleep and must not be awakened.

And finally Christmas morning will come. Don't worry -- you'll be ready for it -- You'll catch the spirit all right, or it will catch you, which is even better.

And then you will remember what Christmas means - the beginning of Christianity . . . the Second Chance for the world . . . the hope for peace . . . and the only way.

The promise that the angels sang is the most wonderful music the world has ever heard. 'Peace on earth and good will toward men.'

It was not a pronouncement upon the state of the world then, nor is it a reading of the international barometer of present time . . . but it is a promise -- God's promise -- of what will come to pass.

The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere. There remains only one way -- The Way -- untried, untested, unexplored fully . . . the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.

In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same . . . with the same old greeting 'Merry Christmas' and no other. We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings . . . believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening, sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.

We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends, make us one with all mankind for whom the Child was born, and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten son, that 'whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'

So we will not 'spend' Christmas . . .
nor 'observe' Christmas.
We will 'keep' Christmas -- keep it as it is . . .
in all loveliness of its ancient traditions.
May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope.

(From a sermon delivered by Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall (1902-1949), who twice served as Chaplain of the United States Senate)

Wartime Sermons.jpg

36 comments:

kathymlynczak said...

Thank you Joanie. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere. There remains only one way -- The Way -- untried, untested, unexplored fully . . . the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.

robmaroni said...

I didn't realize this was a sermon until I got to the end. I would have liked to have been in that church service. Talk about meaningful and inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

stonemason said...

The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere.

Some things are eternal.

Thanks for posting this, Joanie. Very beautiful.

arlene albrecht said...

I had never heard of Rev. Peter Marshall and I've been looking for a good Christmas gift for our pastor. I'll be ordering "The Wartime Sermons." Thank you!

d_o'connor said...

The two things I like most about Christmas are of course the real meaning of Christ's birth, but also all of the "old fashioned" ways of celebrating it.

The inflatable Santas in people's yards, etc. do nothing for me.

(And yes, I like fuitcake too!)

Anonymous said...

I ordered the book as a Christmas present too. Thanks!

Lori_Gmeiner said...

How beautiful. I'm thinking of ordering the book too, for myself.

I checked out the book on the website and it says "These masterpieces of gospel preaching by one of America's greatest preachers made Jesus so real to listeners that one woman said We actually seemed to feel Christ beside us, to feel the rustling of his robes. With our nation in spiritual and moral crisis, there has never been a greater need for the Savior presented by these timeless and eloquent messages."

cw-patriot said...

A friend of ours invited me to a concert last night (Rick had another engagement) at which the National Christian Choir -- a 200-voice choir based in suburban DC -- sang.

He and I both left the concert absolutely breathless. The music embodied the genuine essence of Christmas. And when that essence is proclaimed by a powerful, and yet angelic, 200-voice choir, and the concert ends with their incomparable rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, the message is something that remains with you for a very long time.

During the concert, I spoke with the woman next to me for a few minutes. She was a total stranger, but we seemed to share a lot of the same ideas. It was she who introduced me to Rev. Peter Marshall, through some of her remarks.

When I arrived home last night I researched him, and I, too, wound up purchasing 'The Wartime Sermons' book (for Rick) for Christmas.

So glad to hear that others here have done the same!

~ joanie

SidBreem said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours Joanie, and thanks for another great year of this weblog!

trustbutverify said...

O'Connor, I like fruitcake too. We must be the only two people on the face of the planet. ;)

Good post, Joanie.

John Galt said...

I like the poetry and imagery, and the message is clear and true.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff here.

LouBarakos said...

In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same . . . with the same old greeting 'Merry Christmas' and no other.

You can say that again. But government is making that more impossible every year. Christmas programs are turned into "holiday programs." The Christmas season is turned into the "Winter Festival." And, in some especially liberal areas, red and green lights have to be replaced by white ones. The liberal, God-hating, anti-American inmates are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. It's a keeper.

All_good_men said...

What do you tell your children about Christmas? What do you understand about Christmas? Is Christmas all about giving and receiving presents? Or is it about Christmas trees and Santa Claus? NO !!! This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols. But the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift -- the Christ.

melstauffer said...

Well said, allgoodmen.

And this is a great sermon find, Joanie.

Brad Zimmerman said...

Not to diminish what sounds like his effectiveness and faith, but Marshall preached during a time when patriotism and religion were revered. We live in different times today. He'd have a much harder time getting his message out.

PatriciaEnglert said...

The personality of Peter Marshall flashed like a meteor across the conscience of America. Regretfully, it was extinguished with his early death at age 45.

As U.S. Senate Chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Marshall challenged the best in the nation with his piquant and pointed references to the problems of the day in his prayers......


......He suffered severe heart pains in 1947 and died January 25, 1949. Later, his wife Catherine said of her husband, “There were things that Scotland contributed to Peter - as she does to all her sons - a sturdy independence that scorns hardship, a tenacity of purpose, and a deep appreciation of religion and political liberty with the will to defend it at any cost.”

http://www.chicago-scots.org/clubs/History/Newsletters/1999/Jan99-1.htm

Anonymous said...

Love the painting. Did you know that G. Harvey does civil war scenes too Joanie?

Jonathan Miller said...

1955 movie A MAN CALLED PETER.

Richard Todd played Peter Marshall. Jean Peters played Marshall’s wife.

Based on the true story of a young Scottish lad, Peter Marshall, who dreams of only going to sea but finds out there is a different future for him when he receives a "calling" from God to be a minister. He leaves Scotland and goes to America where after a few small congregations he lands the position of pastor of the Church of the Presidents in Washington, D.C. and eventually he becomes Chaplain of the U.S. Senate.

SOME REVIEWS ON IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048337/usercomments

Wow, Here's A Rare Film, 12 February 2006

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from Lockport, NY, United States
This may be one of the most unique films ever made in Hollywood because it actually looks and sounds like a film made by Christians for Christians. Usually it's the opposite. Even back in the "Code" decades, this type of film was rare, where it shows a minister in a good light throughout the story.

This is the story of Peter (played by Richard Todd) and Catherine (Jean Peters) Marshall. Marshall was a Scottish preacher who became famous both there and in the United States, rising to Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. Todd does an admirable acting job and Peters is convincing as his wholesome wife.

As biased as I am for this kind of film, I am honest enough to point out any drawbacks to it, if I feel it is warranted. In this case, I thought that it was simply too slow here and there. Like a lot of movies, it would have been more effective having 15-20 minutes edited from it.

Nonetheless, if you are looking for one of those rare films that portrays Christians in a positive light, please check this one out.
**********************************

The Real Deal as a Christian, 11 September 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

In this particular time in history when we have so many obvious charlatans in pulpits, making good money and spewing out their own version of exclusive Christianity; Peter Marshall's life story stands as a stinging rebuke.

This man certainly didn't make any money as a Christian, I think if he were alive today, he'd be embarrassed by a Pat Robertson or a Jerry Falwell. Peter Marshall(1902-1949) was a kid born in humble circumstances near Glasgow, Scotland. He had two loves, the sea and Christianity and in time the latter overtook the former.

In Scotland to get the passage to come to America and then later in America he worked at a variety of very humble manual labor to get the money to go to seminary to fulfill what he conceived as his life's calling. Pastoring first in the Atlanta area and later at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. his reputation as a moving speaker eventually went national.

Marshall identified very strongly with Jesus the carpenter. He saw Jesus as a working class hero as relevant for his time as in biblical times. The film makes it very clear that Marshall's own efforts at humble labor made him think of Jesus in that way. His church in Washington, DC a place once for a few privileged dowagers became a place where all became welcome.

The movie is based on Catherine Marshall's book about her life with her husband. Jean Peters narrates and gives a strong performance as Catherine Marshall. She meets Marshall while attending college in the Atlanta area. Her best scene in the film when she gives her own sermon at a youth rally to combat the effects of drinking that Prohibition era alcohol.

Ironically Prohibition's biggest boosters were American fundamentalist preachers of that era. Marshall himself doesn't take a position on Prohibition, but the effects of drinking that bootleg product were certainly real enough, especially among the young people of the Twenties.

Richard Todd first became known to American audiences playing a terminally ill Scotch soldier in The Hasty Heart. He was a natural to play Peter Marshall. His best scenes are in the pulpit, delivering sermons that were taken from the texts of Peter Marshall's own sermons.

Todd certainly doesn't play Marshall as arrogant and smug as so many of our prominent Christian preachers of today are. Another wonderful scene of his is when Catherine Marshall is stricken with tuberculosis and on the basement stairs of his house as he prays for the recovery of his wife and asks God if in fact he's become arrogant and self- assured. It's his own Gethsemene experience.

The film is directed by Henry Koster who did a whole lot of fine religious themed films like The Bishop's Wife, The Robe and The Singing Nun. I think this was his best effort.

Certainly believers will find this an inspirational film. Non-believers will appreciate the care that went into this product, the quality of the performances and the fact that one certainly can proclaim Christianity and actually live it.

Jonathan Miller said...

A Man Called Peter
book by Peter Marshall's wife Catherine Marshall

http://www.jandysbooks.com/nonfic/manpeter.html

Go back to Washington D.C. in the 1940's. Mention the name Peter Marshall. "Oh, the Scotsman!" "He loves to play games." "He's a great listener." "He's a very wise man." "He has a nice wife and cute son." "He came up from Atlanta."

His friends ranged from the janitor to the senator, the Air Force pilot to the socialite. He appealed to everyone he met. And he was the minister of the New York Avenue Church, the church of persidents, including Lincoln 80 years earlier. He had a deep, abiding faith in Jesus Christ and the salvation of God. He didn't hesitate to share his faith.

Peter Marshall lived more life in 46 years than most people do in 80. He was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States in his 20's at the urging of a cousin. He knew he wanted to preach God's word. Yet when he first arrived in the United States, he could barely afford to keep himself in room and board. Peter wasn't deterred. He trusted in God's timing. He moved to Alabama and saw the promises of God begin to unfold. Eventually he was able to attend seminary school and earn his theology degree.

He was effective and loved in each of the churches he pastored. The last church was the New York Avenue Church. But by the end of his career, he had taken on another religious duty. He was the Chaplain of the Senate. By the time he died, instead of wandering in late, Senators and staffers made sure they were in the Senate room before prayer. Peter was able to present God's Word in a manner acceptable to the least religious. He was not a fake. He believed with his heart, and was the type of man who could share his belief.

This biography was written by his wife, Catherine Marshall, within a couple years after his death. She gives us with a very human man who loved God. She makes the reader feel Peter's presence.

According to her, Peter Marshall never felt he was worthy in himself. He was just the man passing on the message. But others felt differently. He preached two services each Sunday morning to standing room only crowds with more waiting outside. He would carry his chess board to the Capitol Building with him to play a game with one of the journalists.

I hadn't realized how young Peter Marshall was when he died. He made a large impact with his ministry. I knew that his death finished the book. Yes, I was crying when I closed the book after his story and turned off my light to go to bed. After five minutes I had to give up and get a Kleenex, or I wouldn't quit sniffling enough to get to sleep. After she finished her husband's story, Mrs. Marshall added some of his sermons and prayers at the end of the book. They are good reading. Too bad I couldn't hear them in the original Scots burr...

Anonymous said...

His sermons so thrilled the Capital that hundreds of people had to be turned away from the church each Sunday.

Jonathan Miller said...

This is significant.

US House of Representatives vote on resolution "recognizing the importance of Christians and Christmas."

passed by a 372-9 vote

WHO were the nine congressmen who voted AGAINST this resolution ?

nine Democrats-----

including Reps.

Alcee Hastings

Jim McDermott

Barbara Lee

Pete Stark

Lynn Woolsey


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316574,00.html

By the way, the above voted FOR a resolution honoring Islam.

robmaroni said...

What a recommendation, Joanie. I just ordered the book from Amazon myself. So how come I had to pay $20 and you only paid $10? :>)

walt said...

We need someone like Marshall in the Republican party in 2008. He was ahead of his time.

daveburkett said...

Miller, I wonder how many of those 9 anti-Christian congressmen's constituents know how they voted on that resolution, although I suspect, from their names, that those who put them in office probably hate Christianity too.

It's one thing to be anti-Christian, but it's quite another to also be pro-Islam.

Anonymous said...

Burkett,

Bagdad Jim McDermott has to live up to his name.

cw-patriot said...

Dave and Jonathan,

I can’t help but wonder what the notorious nine listed above do when the opening prayer is spoken before each day’s House session.

Yesterday’s prayer, delivered by Reverend Earl J. Wright, Jr. read:

Almighty God, Who hath so lavishly blessed this land, keep us ever aware that the good things we enjoy come from Thee. We recognize Thee as Lord of our nation. We thank Thee for a beautiful and bountiful America, for its people of all classes, colors and creeds. We are grateful for workers in industry, for farmers, doctors, nurses, teachers, and ministers. We thank Thee for soldiers, sailors and airmen who guard and protect us day and night. We thank Thee for all forms and levels of government, local, state and national, and most especially for this, our United States Congress. We now pray that Thou will give them courage and strength to provide honest government for our nation, abundant provisions to meet our needs, love towards each other and peace for one another. Forgive us our sins and accept our gratitude through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I don't share the pastor's gratitude for all forms of government, or his optimism that honest government will return to Washington, but he is a man who doesn't discount miracles.

Note the last six words of his prayer.

Do you suppose the notorious nine, during the recitation of those six words, silently inserted the name of Allah instead of Jesus Christ? Did they stick their fingers in their ears and hum softly so as not to be ‘contaminated’ by the words of a Christian minister? Or did they simply divorce themselves from the words altogether, while silently preparing themselves for the perpetration of their next political crime or deception?

I don’t know, or care, what was on their minds, but I do care that they are representing a portion of our citizenry. They are obviously traitors to America’s founding principles, and, as you said, Dave, they also bear some allegiance to the beliefs embraced by those who would destroy us.

~ joanie

fascismisyourwosrtenemy said...

Do you suppose the notorious nine, during the recitation of those six words, silently inserted the name of Allah instead of Jesus Christ? Did they stick their fingers in their ears and hum softly so as not to be ‘contaminated’ by the words of a Christian minister? Or did they simply divorce themselves from the words altogether, while silently preparing themselves for the perpetration of their next political crime or deception?

I pick door #3. Anything else would be out of character for them.

Anonymous said...

TREACHERY FROM WITHIN

The US State Department has been visibly anti-US for decades.

During the time of the current President Bush it has been shown clearly that the CIA contains many equally anti the survival of the US.

Add the US Congress to that and there isn't much left working for the survival of the US.

Anonymous said...

Ho-ho-no: McDermott votes against Christmas
Congressman backed Ramadan, Diwali

By JOHN IWASAKI P-I REPORTER
December 12, 2007

Maybe you could call him Congressman McGrinch.

Rep. Jim McDermott supported House resolutions this fall to recognize the Islamic holiday of Ramadan and the festival of Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

But the Washington Democrat drew the line at Christmas.

McDermott voted Tuesday against a resolution to recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, passed 372-9. Democrats cast all the nay votes.

McDermott, revered by many of his liberal constituents in Seattle, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A staff member in his Seattle office said that "if you know the congressman, you'd know why" he opposed the resolution.

Neither the Ramadan nor the Diwali resolutions drew any opposition. No one spoke against the Christmas resolution -- which stated that Christianity was the predominant faith in the U.S. and contributed greatly to the development of Western civilization and America -- leading King to draw his own conclusion.

"I think there's an anti-Christian bias," King said. "I would not have thought that five or 10 years ago that we'd need to make a statement (affirming Christmas and Christianity). I've watched Christ be eradicated by ACLU lawsuits and people be afraid of confrontations. They wish (people) 'happy holidays' but not 'Merry Christmas' because they might be offended."

Ten representatives -- nine Democrats and one Republican -- voted "present" on King's resolution, meaning they did not take a position.

Forty representatives did not vote, including Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. Dicks, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, missed the vote. Dicks was engaged in a heated discussion on spending in the committee's nearby offices, chief of staff George Behan said.

Dicks had "no reason to vote against" the resolution, which paled in importance "as we're trying to pass the appropriations bill to fund the entire federal government," Behan said.

King missed the vote, too, after being stranded by an ice storm in Iowa, but said his point was made.

"The people who voted 'no' and voted 'present' will also take Christmas Day off, and so will their staff," King said. "They'll take a paycheck while they deny the very reason for the day they do not have to work."

Excerpts from three recent House resolutions regarding religious observances:
__________________________________

RAMADAN

HR 635: "Acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion."

Approved 376-0
___________________________________

DIWALI

HR 747: "Acknowledges the onset of Diwali and expresses its deepest respect to Indian Americans and the Indian Diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion."

Approved 358-0
________________________________

CHRISTMAS

HR 847: "Acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith."

Approved 372-9
___________________________________
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/343335_mcdermott13.html

Anonymous said...

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
Why the Politically Correct Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ‘Holiday’.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday

trustbutverify said...

Bravo, anonymous!

daveburkett said...

I agree with every word of your post above, Joanie. Well said.