Laura Ingalls Wilder – God Is America’s King
As a family we have been listening to the audio recordings of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” book series. We have it playing in the car and listen to it when we are taking the girls to school, or ballet, or tumbling, or violin, or … you get the picture. We have also listened while on a few longer trips.
The series is written for a younger audience but it is really good writing for any age. I have really been enjoying it! I never read them when I was young. It gives a great glimpse into early, pioneering, american life.
We have been able to get through the first six books in the nine-book series – from Little House In The Big Woods to The Long Winter. Now we are listening to Little Town On The Prairie.
The quote below is from Little Town On The Prairie. On the 4th of July, Laura Ingalls and her family have gone into town to celebrate their independence. At one point a man gets up and reads the Declaration of Independence for the crowd. I find Laura’s response to these events well worth reporting to the readers of HistoricWords.
. . . .
No one cheered. It was more like a moment to say, “Amen.” But no one quite knew what to do.
Then Pa began to sing. All at once everyone was singing:
”My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing….
”Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!”
The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought. The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.
She thought Americans won’t obey any king on earth. Americans are free. That means they have to obey their own consciences. No king bosses Pa; be has to boss himself. Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders. I will have to make myself be good.
Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought. This is what it means to be free. It means, you have to be good. “Our father’s God, author of liberty–” The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty. Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.
Laura had no time then to think any further. Carrie was wondering why she stood so still, and Pa was saying, “This way, girls! There’s the free lemonade!”
. . . .