Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was born Oct. 27, 1858. His wife and mother died on Valentine’s Day, 1884. Depressed, he left to ranch in the Dakotas. Returning to New York, he entered politics and rose to assistant secretary of the Navy.

He resigned during the Spanish-American War, organized the first volunteer cavalry, “the Rough Riders,” and captured Cuba’s San Juan Hill. Elected vice president under William McKinley, he became America’s youngest president in 1901.

Republican Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to invite an African-American, Booker T. Washington, to dine in the White House on Oct. 16, 1901, an act for which Southern Democrat newspapers condemned him, such as The Memphis Scimitar: “The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States was committed yesterday by the President, when he invited a n- to dine with him at the White House. It would not be worth more than a passing notice if Theodore Roosevelt had sat down to dinner in his own home with a Pullman car porter, but Roosevelt the individual and Roosevelt the President are not to be viewed in the same light.”

In 1909, Roosevelt warned: “The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us.”

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In 1917, the New York Bible Society had Theodore Roosevelt write a message which was inscribed in a pocket New Testament & Book of Psalms given to World War I soldiers: “The teachings of the New Testament are foreshadowed in Micah’s verse (Micah vi. 8): ‘What more does the Lord require of thee than to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ DO JUSTICE; and therefore fight valiantly against the armies of Germany and Turkey, for these nations in this crisis stand for the reign of Moloch and Beelzebub on this earth. LOVE MERCY; treat prisoners well, succor the wounded, treat every woman as if she was your sister, care for the little children, and be tender to the old and helpless. WALK HUMBLY; You will do so if you study the life and teachings of the Saviour. May the God of justice and mercy have you in His keeping. – (signed) Theodore Roosevelt.”

In his book “Fear God and Take Your Part,” 1916, Theodore Roosevelt wrote: “Christianity is not the creed of Asia and Africa at this moment solely because the seventh century Christians of Asia and Africa had trained themselves not to fight, whereas the Moslems were trained to fight. Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought. If the peoples of Europe in the 7th and 8th centuries, and on up to and including the 17th century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be exterminated.”

A contemporary of Theodore Roosevelt was the English author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote of Western Christian civilization (“The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: Volume XX, Introduction and Notes” by James V. Schall, Ignatius Press): “They seem entirely to forget that long before the Crusaders had dreamed of riding to Jerusalem, the Moslems had almost ridden into Paris.”

Theodore Roosevelt continued in “Fear God and Take Your Part,” 1916: “Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared. From the hammer of Charles Martel to the sword of Jan Sobieski, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could and would fight as well as the Mohammedan aggressor.”

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