2014-12-10 / Editorial

RIDDLE ME THIS

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT. WHY WOULD I WANT TO LOBBY OUR STATE LEGISLATURE TO CHANGE THE NAME OF OUR GREAT STATE FROM “GEORGIA” TO “GEORGIA?”
Jim Shumard

I was raised on the values derived from the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. I was taught that it was more important what you did with your life than to whom you were born. I was taught that you would be judged by your character rather than upon your pedigree. The Puritan work ethic of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps” was thrown into the mix.

The English couple known as “prince and princess” is currently visiting our country. The media has been making a big deal out of this as they do every time the people called English royalty visit this land of the free and the brave. I can remember the fascination our country had with the wedding of Charles and Diana so many years ago. Yes our country is always fascinated by celebrities but there is a unique fascination with English royalty. It makes me wonder if there are still US citizens who would prefer a king to a president.

Our state is named for King George II, the grandfather of King George III, the George we fought a revolution against. George II was born in Germany but he inherited the English throne as a distant remaining qualified Protestant relative to the previous monarch and English was a foreign language to him when he became King of England.

Early in his reign, he gave James Oglethorpe and his Board of Trustees, the charter for this land we call Georgia. Oglethorpe and his fellow trustees founded this settlement based upon principals of equality, to be a place where poor people could get a new start and a place that banned the importation of slaves, rum and lawyers (I won’t tell you how they described lawyers.).

I actually like and value our English roots which included English Law but wouldn’t it be fun and educational for the legislature to authorize a year’s educational program throughout the schools to state why the name of the state is being changed from Georgia to Georgia…to explain why we want to change our name which stands for an English King to a name that stands for a man who refused to be made king; a man who led our military against the British forces who wanted to keep us yoked to English royalty; and a man respected by the entire free county of the United States of America…President George Washington?

For what it’s worth.

Dr. Jim+

P.S. Next week we can discuss why we might want to rename the State of Virginia. Look it up.

Rev. Shumard is rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Waynesboro. You may contact him at jshumie@aol.com or at stmichaelswaynesboro.org.

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