Regretfully, I would not be considered a religious man by any stretch of the imagination. Moral…yes, but definitely not spiritual. I am not intelligent enough to comprehend the Bible, and my brain is wired too linear and skeptical to believe in faith without proof. In my mind a child dying of cancer or scenes of gassed Syrian babies, to use as examples, does not compute that there might be some sort of a spiritual, all-encompassing being watching over us. (Neither does voting for Hillary Clinton but that is a blog for another day.)
Having said that, sometimes I contemplate circumstances in history and it is then I wonder if there just had to be some sort of “divine” guidance involved in the outcome. There simply has to be more “there” there. Take the Founding Fathers as an example:
Whether one is referring to the seven key Founding Fathers, (Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington) as identified by historian Richard Morris, or the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the divinity of the situation would be comparable. For my supposition, and considering my imposed word count from the Misses, we will consider just the seven key Founding Fathers. (As a footnote that has nothing to do with my point today, when researching details I found it ironic that Washington, Jay, Hamilton, and Madison did not sign the Declaration of Independence.)
In 1775, when the 2nd Continental Congress met in Philadelphia PA, these seven sophisticated gentlemen gathered from various points in the thirteen colonies. At that time, there were about 2.5 million people living in America. Life was still pretty primitive in general for folks. Obviously, there were no telephones, fax machines or emails for the men to discuss grand ideas between themselves beforehand. There also happened to be no cotton clothes or even readily available potable water, as everybody drank cider, beer, and wine…including kids. Although there were very few doctors or nurses, people still avoided them like the plague (pardon the pun) as the practice of medicine had literally not been advanced much beyond leech bleeding. There were certainly no anti-biotics and sadly, 50% of babies born did not live past the first year. To truly bring this primitiveness home, people were only beginning to trade their chamber pots for outhouses. You can imagine the rest of their personal hygiene experiences from that perspective...enough said about that!
Not only did these men live in a primeval time, they had their own personal problems to contend with as well. According to Sara Kettler of the website Biography, George Washington, (who, contrary to folklore did not have wooden teeth) possessed a quick temper and was prone to bouts of profanity-laced outbursts. (Speaking of crude, you might want to look up where George really got his teeth.) Thomas Jefferson, who so eloquently penned many of the nation’s most important documents, was tongue-tied, particularly around women, and spoke virtually nothing while sitting in Congress. (Compare that with the blowhards we have in Congress today!) Benjamin Franklin, who had no formal education, often “air-bathed” by merely sitting at his desk naked and cold. He actually thought that accounted for a bath! (He also lived to be 93 years old at a time when life expectancy was just under 40.) John Adams was such a crusty old SOB, nobody liked him. James Madison had a step-son who was a gambler, drunkard, and spent time in debtor’s prison, of which Madison paid the debts, often without Dolly's knowledge. John Jay, the first Chief Justice, hated the job due to the traveling conditions, and quit at his first chance. Alexander Hamilton, born in the Caribbean to a mother that happened to be married to another man not named Hamilton, was considered somewhat political, usurping power from his superiors, including President Adams. Perhaps the reason President Adams was so miserable?
Yet, despite this incredibly hard life and the men’s individual foibles, they cobbled together perhaps some of the greatest documents in history including the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers advocating ratification of the Constitution, and later the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. Their actions set into place a bloody confrontation against Britain, certainly a repeat of the Biblical David versus Goliath, in which the colonies won against all odds. The result was to create the greatest and kindest nation that has ever existed in the history of mankind. Once set in place, these same men then served the country they put together in various capacities so as to set examples of how this Republic should be run. (Except, evidently, for Hamilton!) And the product of their labors, the United States of America, has lasted an incredible 241 years to date.
Could this have all been created, despite the enormous odds, incredible hardships, and downright primitive way of life, by chance? These people did not understand the basic rules of hygiene and yet were able to set all that we know and love in place for centuries? It is hard for me to fathom that this was just merely historical coincidence. Surely there had to be another hand in this.