“The rock on which our Republic rests”
Published November 22, 2023
Written by Henry
Photography by Simply American
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.” —Abraham Lincoln, October 1863 Proclamation, Washington D.C.
After eleven months under the leadership of a new Board of Commissioners, there is a lot to be thankful for in 2023.
Ottawa County voters voted for change in August 2022, and change has happened. The change has seemed hard for some, but change is never easy.
The Board of Commissioners has stood strong for families and freedom.
The Ottawa County citizens who voted for change can look back and be thankful for the bold steps the commissioners have taken:
• Heroes of Freedom Resolution, May 23, 2023
• Constitutional County Resolution, May 23, 2023
• Resolution to Protect Childhood Innocence, June 27, 2023
• Resolution on Childhood Vaccine Waivers for School and Childcare, August 22, 2023
• Resolution to Declare Tuesday, November 21, 2023 as “Michigan Adoption Day in Ottawa County,” November 21, 2023
“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.” —Abraham Lincoln, October 1983 Proclamation.
Abraham Lincoln knew where the American people should place their thankfulness, and Ronald Reagan—quoting from Andrew Jackson—knew “the rock on which our Republic rests.”
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed 1983 to be “The Year of the Bible.”
And now, forty years later, the Ottawa County GOP has declared the same for 2023.
Ottawa County can be thankful that the GOP followed in Reagan’s footsteps.
Bendr Bones, an ordained minister of the Satanic Temple of West Michigan, spoke at the May 23, 2023 Board of Commissioners meeting. Attempting to connect Christian conservatives to the same values as Satanists, local progressive narrative writers and political activists created headlines like “Satan has entered the chat.”
This coordinated move pushed John DeBlaay, and other members of the Ottawa County Republican Party Executive Committee, to write a resolution.
“I knew I had to do something, and God gave me everything that I needed to do it,” DeBlaay said.
WHEREAS the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping both Ottawa County and the United States as a distinctive and blessed County, Nation, and People; and
WHEREAS deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our County and Nation; and
WHEREAS many of our Great National leaders paid tribute to the surpassing influence of the Bible in our Country’s development. Consider now these words of President Jackson that the Bible is, “the rock on which our Republic rests”; and
WHEREAS the history of both our County and Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals, families, and societies; and
WHEREAS this County, State, and Nation now faces challenges that will test us, as we have never been tested before; and
WHEREAS that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in, God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a County, Nation, and a People.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ottawa County Republican Party Executive Committee does hereby designate 2023 as “The Year of The Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our County and Nation, and our National need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures to best help us navigate the ever-turbulent waters we face today as a society.
The Resolution passed unanimously by the Ottawa County Republican Party Executive Committee at the June 20, 2023 meeting.
The Year Of The Bible, 1983
On October 4, 1982, a resolution sponsored by Senator William L Armstrong and Congressman Carlos Moorhead was passed and approved by Congress, requesting 1983 be proclaimed as the “Year of the Bible.”
President Ronald Reagan signed the resolution on February 3, 1983. In his Proclamation 5018 speech, Reagan mentioned President Andrew Jackson, President Abraham Lincoln and other great leaders who also recognized the influence of the Bible in our country’s development.
Following is a quote from Reagan’s Proclamation 5018 speech:
“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.
Deep religious beliefs stemming from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible inspired many of the early settlers of our country, providing them with the strength, character, convictions, and faith necessary to withstand great hardships and danger in this new and rugged land. These shared beliefs helped forge a sense of common purpose among the widely dispersed colonies—a sense of community which laid the foundation for the spirit of nationhood that was to develop in later decades.
The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
For centuries the Bible’s emphasis on compassion and love for our neighbor has inspired institutional and governmental expressions of benevolent outreach such as private charity, the establishment of schools and hospitals, and the abolition of slavery.
Many of our greatest national leaders—among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson—have recognized the influence of the Bible on our country’s development. The plainspoken Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as no less than ‘the rock on which our Republic rests.’
Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge. As a people we may well be tested as we have seldom, if ever, been tested before. We will need resources of spirit even more than resources of technology, education, and armaments.
There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility, and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called “the best gift God has ever given to man… But for it we could not know right from wrong.”
With sentiment similar to President Reagan, John DeBlaay spoke about the need to make 2023 “The Year of the Bible.”
“Our entire country was founded on godly principles, and it’s time to bring honor and glory to God for how it was founded.”