The True Sons

Who are the true sons of George Washington? Every player in our political arena today attempts to legitimize his or her political agenda by an appeal to the Founding Fathers. American politicians must be able to show that they embody the principles first established by our Founders. Who best represents their concepts of justice? Of freedom? Of the “common good?” Of the separation of church and state? Conservatives, liberals, the American Communist Party, and even the American Nazi Party of the 1930s present or presented themselves as the true heirs of the Founding Fathers. You may have seen pictures of the rally in Madison Square Garden in the 1930s where pictures of George Washington and Swastikas were featured side by side. “If George were alive today, he would be one of us,” they were saying. Even Nazis had to demonstrate succession from the Founding Fathers in order to have any hearing at all. Incredibly, pornographers and abortionists also appeal to the First Amendment and “the principles upon which this country was founded.”

The same kind of appeal can be seen in the church today. The Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Charismatics, the Roman Catholics, the Episcopalians, indeed, virtually every Christian group attempts to demonstrate that they are the true heirs of the apostles. We all claim apostolic succession in one form or another. Our legitimacy rests on our ability to demonstrate that our beliefs and actions are those established by the early church. In both the political and ecclesiastical realms, the true successors of the Founders or the Church Fathers are not those who can trace their bloodlines to the Mayflower or to the apostles but those who believe and live as they did, whether one’s family immigrated four hundred years ago or yesterday, whether one’s church was founded in the first century or last week.
Posted in
Tagged with