Integrity Matters

As we finish the last flourishes of this newsletter—which will be our debut edition, marking the “birthday” of this endeavor—we realize that our launch date is going to hit very close to another birthday, that of George Washington (Feb. 22), the Father of our Country. And that’s kind of a nice coincidence.

Nice, yes, because this launch gives us a good feeling, and George Washington was someone whose very mention ought to stir good feelings in any American’s heart. While he’s not so widely remembered as he once was, he most certainly deserves a measure of reverence for his sacrifices and his personal virtues. Washington was a person of integrity. His importance to our country’s birth was such that he became known as “the indispensable man.”

Integrity. That’s a quality that is indispensable as well. Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having high moral character.”

This month we’ve drawn up some aims and ambitions for ourselves here at Jemully Media, and as part of that exercise we have outlined our core virtues. At the top of a short list is that word. Integrity. To see more about our company virtues, go here.

But we were discussing George Washington.

It was not that many years ago that Dr. James Kennedy, founder of the Center for Reclaiming America, posed a provocative question in a nationwide television and radio broadcast: “President’s Day is tomorrow,” he began. “How many of you have read a positive article about George Washington in the newspapers recently? Ah, I’m afraid there are few, if any.”

Echoing journalist Irving Kristol’s arresting question of “Whatever happened to George Washington?”, Kennedy cited another commentator’s equally searching query: “How is it that reproductions of that marvelous portrait by Gilbert Stuart of George Washington, which for 150 years hung in the bedrooms of most of the children of our country, have practically vanished… tone and tint? When is the last time you went into a home and saw a picture of the great American hero?”

Kennedy, who has since passed away, laid the blame at the feet of the modern-day “debunkers” and those others who would revise our American history to recast it as a litany of corruption.

Drawing upon the testimony of Washington’s own contemporaries, Kennedy refuted revisionists’ allegations that Washington was not a man of good moral character, and refuted latter-day conjectures that Washington was neither heroic nor brave. Said Kennedy:

“I wonder how many of you know that Washington was a preacher? As commander in chief of the defense forces of the Commonwealth of Virginia as a colonel [and then only age 22] he implored the government to send a chaplain for his army, a very considerable army, I might add. But a chaplain could not be found who was willing to go out onto the frontier and brave the elements and place his life in jeopardy. And so, for the last two of those three years, George Washington, believing that worship was so important, conducted divine worship for his army… Find that in your public school textbooks. I’d love to see it, but I don’t think you will find it in there.”

As for Washington’s courage and character, Kennedy cited many sources, including these two:

Abigail Adams, who knew Washington personally, remarked that “He was possessed of power, possessed of an extensive influence, but he never used it but for the benefit of his country… if we look through the whole tenor of his life, history will not produce to us a parallel.”

The historian Cyrus R. Edmonds, who lived in Washington’s time, said “the elements of his greatness are chiefly to be discovered in the moral features of his character.”

George Washington had virtues, not just values. Virtues are something more, as George F. Will observed in an essay entitled “The Vacuum of Values”:

“When we move beyond talk about good and evil, when the language of virtue and vice is ‘transcended,’ we are left with the thin gruel of values-talk. How very democratic values-talk is: Unlike virtues, everyone has lots of values, as many as they choose. Hitler had scads of values. George Washington had virtues. Who among those who knew him would have spoken of Washington’s ‘values’? Values-talk comes naturally to a nonjudgmental age — an age judgmental primarily about the cardinal sin of being judgmental. It is considered broad-minded to say, ‘One person’s values are as good as another’s.’ It is nonsense to say, ‘One person’s virtues are as good an another’s.’ Values are an equal opportunity business. They are mere choices. Virtues are habits, difficult to develop and therefore not equally accessible to all.”

Virtues like integrity. At Jemully Media, it’s a quality that we are committed to practice as a habit.

We’re standing ready to put it into practice for you, too. Again, examine our company virtues in the document we share here, and as for online marketing expertise, examine the array of services we can offer you as well. Enjoy the rest of our newsletter, and please give us your feedback on how we can serve you better. Cheers!

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