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June 6, 2016

Faith, hope & charity – from the Bible, to American politics, to Dale Evans & Roy Rogers...

Saint Paul the Apostle

THE FAMILIAR BIBLE VERSE:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
        Saint Paul (c. 5 A.D. - c. 67 A.D.)
        I Corinthians 13:13 (i.e., Chapter 13, Verse 13)
        I Corinthians, usually referred to as First Corinthians or the First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book in the Bible based on a letter written around 53 A.D. by Paul, an Apostle of Jesus (though not one of the first twelve). Much of the letter provides stern guidance to the congregation of Christians Paul established in Corinth, Greece. He’d heard they were violating some of the rules for followers of the new Christian faith that he helped create. So in his letter, he warned them about various sinful things, such as getting drunk, fornicating (which he mentions many times) and allowing women to go around without covering their head (a strange rule that Muslims and early Christians had in common).
       One of the less Puritanical and more inspiring parts of I Corinthians comes in Book 13. In that, Paul discusses the importance of being charitable. It ends with the line that includes the familiar triumvirate “faith, hope, charity” – of which, Paul says, the greatest is charity. 
       This line is preceded by two that include other famous Bible quotes about putting away childish things (Chap. 13, Verse 11) and seeing through a glass darkly (Chap. 13, Verse 12):
       When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
       For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
       And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 27, 1936 speech

F.D.R.’S POLITICAL VARIATION:

“We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world...In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity.”
       Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
       American Democratic politician elected to serve three terms as President of the United States
       In his acceptance speech after receiving the Democratic nomination for his second term as president, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1936.

Barry Goldwater autobiography 1988

GOLDWATER’S POLITICAL VARIATION:

“Freedom has been the watchword of my political life...I believe in faith, hope, and charity. But none of these is possible without freedom.”
       Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
       Republican politician who served U.S. Senator from Arizona for many years and was the Republican Party's nominee for President in 1964 
       The quote is from his autobiography Goldwater, first published in 1988

GREENBERG, Paul

POLITICAL VARIATION #3:

“America's greatness and variety, its perpetual newness and variety, its bedrock of faith, hope and charity is all too easy to forget. Yet it is always there, rising above the cloud banks of cheap and easy rhetoric like the Rockies above the fruited plain.”
       Paul Greenberg
       Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator
       Commenting on the uniquely bizarre 2016 presidential campaign in an editorial originally published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 27, 2016

George Orwell at typewriter

ORWELL’S TYPICALLY PESSIMISTIC VERSION:

“Now abideth faith, hope, money; but the greatest of these is money.”
       George Orwell (1903-1950)
       English novelist, essayist and journalist
       One of his lines from the epigraph he wrote that appears at the beginning of his novel Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1936)

Dale Evans DC Comics cover

DALE EVANS’ TYPICALLY OPTIMISTIC VERSION:

“Have faith, hope and charity
That's the way to live successfully
How do I know, the Bible tells me so.”

       Dale Evans (1912-2001)
       Lyrics from the song “The Bible Tells Me So”
       Words and music by Dale Evans
       Evans wrote the song to perform with her husband Roy Rogers on The Roy Rogers Show. They sang it as a duet in the episode “Ginger Horse,” which originally aired on March 27, 1955. That year it was recorded and further popularized by singer Nick Noble and bandleader Don Cornell. It eventually became one of Dale’s signature songs.

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