Unacceptable changes have been made by the current NSDAR Administration to two small NSDAR books known as the Ritual and the Missal. The Ritual was authorized by the Forty-third Continental Congress in 1934 for use in conducting formal ceremonies. The Missal dates back to the very founding of the NSDAR and copies have been collected and passed down from one generation to another as treasured books of meditations and prayers. The compilation of these two books has been the responsibility of the Chaplain General, with contributions from different sources, including past President Generals, chaplains at national, state, and chapter levels, soldiers, poets, and well-known ministers. Inclusion of one's contribution to it has been considered an honor. While most of these contributions were Christian, there were also alternate rituals and prayers included for the non-Christian members of NSDAR.
The problem is not that the books have been combined, which was authorized by the Executive Committee in October 2011, but rather rests in the new book's promotion and sanctioning of anti-Jesus and anti-Christian attitudes by simply eliminating the actual name of Jesus and all Christian symbols, which were dear to our patriot ancestors and the founding ladies of NSDAR. It cannot be emphasized enough that these changes, meant to be "inclusive" of all faiths, do not achieve this stated goal. Now, members are forced to make a choice: Which is more important, standing up for the name of Jesus and for what your forefathers and the founding ladies of the NSDAR truly believed, or going-along-to-get-along in order to maintain one's own personal status and standing in the NSDAR? For many members, the NSDAR has been their life's work, so what should be an obvious choice, is not always the case. In addition to the religious aspect of these books, patriotic omissions are also alarming. The following information is presented to enlighten any member having doubts as to the significance of the changes to these two books for our beloved NSDAR.
Why the Ritual and Missal is important:
• It is an official NSDAR publication, widely distributed/used even if some members have never seen/used it.
• It is a guide and resource for new members and future generations and models rituals and ceremonies.
• It is a reflection of who our ancestors were and what they believed.
• It is a continuation of the legacy of our DAR founders
Why the New Ritual and Missal should be recalled, revisited, and reprinted:
1. It is only by comparing the old books with the new book that a person realizes the extensive, radical changes. New/future members will never be aware of the spirituality that the founding Daughters envisioned for the NSDAR if this book is allowed to stand. Yes, it is religious, but where is Jesus' name? If you have any doubt as to the role the founding ladies' Christianity had in the organization, please read the attached prayer from the 1903 Ritual.
2. The omissions of oaths and the deletion of singing the National Anthem were explained as transcription errors; however, there is no separate oath for Units Overseas from which they would have been copied, or transcribed. (Isn't it stange that someone went over the Ritual and Missal with a fine-tooth comb to delete the name of Jesus and Christian symbols but missed their own omission of oaths and singing the National Anthem?) The rituals in the new book have had new wording added where the oaths belong and demonstrate a concern for promises to uphold the Bylaws, but not for anything patriotic. Also missing from the new R & M are alternate rituals.
3. On one hand the book appears to promote patriotism, and on the other it deletes it. In addition to the oaths and the National Anthem being omitted, the hymn "America the Beautiful" and the hymn "America" were deleted from the Ceremony for Merger of the Chapters. Are their Christian origins why they were deleted?
4. The new R & M falls right in line with today's politically correct anti-Christian agenda. Certainly, the President General and the Executive Committee never intended such an effect, but it has nonetheless happened and must not be ignored or deemed irrelevant. If they feared that the actual name of Jesus or anything pertaining to Jesus is offensive to a few members, it has resulted in a perversion of Christianity under the guise of inclusion. Of all organizations, the NSDAR should stand firm against such an agenda, as would our patriot ancestors! It is NOT inclusion, but rather a purging.
5. The majority of our patriot ancestors carried the name of Jesus into battle with them, and I don't think they worried one iota about offending their non-Christian compatriots when they lifted prayers before, during, or after battle. I don't think George Washington worried about offending non-Christian soldiers when he knelt in the snow at Valley Forge. I don't think our founding fathers worried about offending non-Christian patriots when they prayed for hours in a hot room before writing the Constitution; and, I don't think those non-Christian patriots were ever offended by the prayers of their Christian comrades-in-arms or vice versus. To say that this new policy of so-called inclusion is carrying out the founding fathers' belief of religious freedom and tolerance is utter nonsense.
6. Tolerance is not a one-way street. If the complaint is that Christianity has had a dominant role, the charge itself shows intolerance. This mantra to level Christian dominance in America and the West is exactly why we see a war today on Christianity and Christmas. Of all organizations, the NSDAR should not fall victim. Being dominant because there is a majority does not mean others are excluded; but, to exclude what is vital and dear to the majority religion demonstrates intolerance by the minority and/or by those calling for it. Why must Christian members now have to fight to have what is vital and dear to them tolerated and included?
7. If individual chapters and members have excluded non-Christians or offended them, then let those guilty of doing so be addressed and corrected, but not the entire Christian body of NSDAR. The first rule of discipline in education is to punish the individual, not the whole class. Religion in America should never be reduced to a one-size-fits-all mentality, but that is what NSDAR is now doing by calling for a false inclusion and by embracing secularism.
8. If we have become a completely secular organization, with secular meaning "indifferent to or rejecting or excluding religion and religious considerations," then NSDAR should do away with all chaplains, say no prayers, and hold no Christmas Open House! It is ironic that the latter had a remarkable turnout this year and that the President General's blog sang praises for the publicity and resurgence of interest in the NSDAR. The outpouring of attendees serves to prove that there should be a strong Christian aspect within NSDAR and that our Christian heritage and influence should remain in print in its authorized Ritual and Missal, not leveled and purged from it! And, praying in the name of Jesus should never be discouraged or frowned upon at any time or in any place by the NSDAR! Proof of this exists in Patrick Henry's words, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ!" Why has this Administration chosen not to recognize the fact that new members will be drawn equally, if not more so, to the Christianity within NSDAR than to the absence of it?
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, which is POLITICAL and the CANCER that threatens our Western culture. Don't discount this book as being of little consequence!
"And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved." Matthew 10:16-22
Ritual Of The Daughters of the American Revolution 1903
Regent – Daughters, we meet to honor the memory of our ancestors, to renew our pledge of loyalty to our country and our flag, and to emphasize the privilege and the duty of patriotism.
Chaplain – O! Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.
Response – In thy name shall they rejoice all the days, and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
Chaplain – Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face evermore.
Response – Remember His marvelous works that he has done.
Chaplain – The Heaven, even the Heavens, are the Lord’s.
Response – But the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Chaplain – Praise the Lord, O! Jerusalem; praise the Lord, O! Zion.
Response – For He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates. He hath blessed thy children within thee.
Chaplain – He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Response – He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth. He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Chaplain – The Lord will give strength unto His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace.
Response – Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, I will make thee an eternal excellency, - a joy of many generations.
Chaplain – Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and earth, we humbly bow before Thee with thanksgiving for the gift of Thy Son, who brought life and immortality to light in the Gospel, and who gave us the principles of freedom, liberty, and righteousness. We give thanks for our country, wherein these principles may be exemplified, and for the valor, devotion, and sacrifice, even unto death, of our ancestors, whose memories we revere.
We thank Thee for Thy sustaining grace and strength during testing times of poverty, sorrow, and affliction. We thank Thee this was not endured in vain, but through them Thou didst preserve our land and endure with the same spirit of fidelity and heroism the successive generations.
We thank Thee for Thy sovereign care, protection, and leadership in the days shadowed with trouble, and that Thou didst give us strength, courage, and guidance, and didst bring in a period of benign peace. We pray Thee to make us steadfast in the cause of human rights and liberty, of law and order, of social justice and national rectitude. And as the spirit of was has been quenched, so that no longer brother strives against brother, may Thy rich blessing rest upon us as a nation, make us Thy people, tender and patient in charity, resolute and firm for the right!
Merciful God, our Father, Thou who turnest the hearts of the children to the Fathers, we thank Thee for the inspiration which called this Patriotic Society into existence, and we pray Thee to teach us both as a nation, and as an organization, that fraternity whose love shall abide, that charity ever fruitful of good works, that loyalty both true to our country’s flag and supremely devoted to the Cross, the symbol of our faith.
Do Thou so protect our nation that unto the lastest generation its spirit and policy shall be to educate and Christianize its citizens, to bless all humanity, and to further Thy Holy Kingdom. “And finally, when we shall have served Thee in our generation, may we be gathered unto our Fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience in favor with Thee, our God, and in perfect charity with all the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Response – Amen and Amen
TELL THE PRESIDENT GENERAL AND THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TO RESTORE PRAYERS UPLIFTED IN THE NAME OF JESUS AND TO RESTORE PATRIOTIC OATHS IN THE RITUAL AND MISSAL
WHEREAS the peace and harmony of our beloved organization, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, has been disrupted; and,
WHEREAS praying and lifting prayers in the actual name of Jesus, Christ, or Jesus Christ is an essential element of the Christian faith; and,
WHEREAS the actual name of Jesus, Christ, or Jesus Christ was included numerous times in previous editions of the Ritual and Missal but is now excluded, except for prayers at Christmas and an explanation of Easter, in spite of Christianity being the major faith of our patriot ancestors, our nation, and that of the majority membership; and
WHEREAS prayers in earlier editions of the Ritual and Missal are of DAR historic value and a tribute to the ladies who founded the NSDAR and to the Chaplains and members who have served before us; thus, prayers submitted by State Chaplains, past, present, or future, should have their rightful place in the Ritual and Missal with recognition credited to the contributors; and,
WHEREAS we acknowledge that the NSDAR is not a religious organization, but has its roots historically based in the strong Judeo-Christian beliefs of our patriot ancestors and Founding Fathers; and,
WHEREAS the inadvertent omission of oaths taken by new members and by new officers promising to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to respect the Flag of the United States, and the omission to stand and sing the National Anthem, along with the unprecedented exclusion of prayers lifted in Jesus' name, have caused dissatisfaction with the new Ritual and Missal December 2011; and,
WHEREAS letters, calls, and pleas to the President General, Merry Ann T. Wright, and to the National Executive Committee have failed;
THEREFORE we, the undersigned, respectfully petition the President General and the National Executive Committee to:
--recall the Ritual and Missal books printed in December 2011
--restore prayers that include the name of Jesus Christ
--print new Ritual and Missal books that are fully inclusive of the Christian faith, and
--restore the singing of the National Anthem and the oaths to uphold the Constitution and the promise to respect the Flag of the United States.
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