American Exceptionalism

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WallBuilders Live! aired a three part recording of Tim Barton this week speaking to Patriot Academy on American Exceptionalism. What makes America great… or rather, what made America great? “If we forget what we’ve done, we won’t know who we are.” – Ronald Reagan.

Tim makes the point that this war was not just fought because of taxation without representation. That is a modern deconstructivist, revisionist fallacy. The Founders had deep convictions about their splitting from England. If you look at the Declaration of Independence (Click here), of the 27 abuses listed as reasons to assert our independence from England, 8 were judicial abuses, 8 were legislative abuses, 9 were military abuses, and only 2 were economic abuses. However, if you ask anyone why we had the revolution, most people know the answer to be taxation without representation. We have forgotten where we came from.

Tim colorfully weaves stories throughout his explanation of what made America great. He tells several stories of American heroes from the Revolution that we never hear nowadays. For example, Elizabeth Lewis, wife of Francis Lewis, signer of the Declaration, stood at the door of her home while being fired on by cannon. She was thrown into a British POW camp, and fed bread and water once a day, became malnourished, and died shortly after her release. Do you suppose she stood up before cannon fire because her family was being taxed without representation? No. There was a deeper conviction than this. If we actually read the Declaration,we understand better.

Mr. Barton related stories like Naphtali Daggett, pastor and pro tempore president of Yale, who went out to meet the British with 100 other men to hold them off and give the towns people a chance to evacuate New Haven, CT. The 100 man set up along a hillside to hold back the British, but Naphtali Daggett climbed a hill way ahead of them and began sniping the British troops. The 100 men were driven back and the British advanced. Daggett was left alone in his position. The British commanding officer journaled that he had heard shots ring out every few minutes, and he was going to ignore them, except that one of his men was getting taken out with each shot. They went back and found this old man shooting at them. They captured Daggett but when the commanding officer saw that it was just a one old man by himself he offered to let them go free if he would promise not to shoot at them anymore. Naphtali Daggett said there was nothing more likely than that he would keep on shooting the soldiers. That answer cost him his life. This is just one example of a story of sacrifice and courage from our War for Independence.

If you would like to hear more of these stories and a more complete explanation of American exceptionalism, please listen to Tim Barton’s presentation on WallBuilders Live!

Principles behind our American Government

WallBuilders had Frank Miniter as a guest this week. They discussed rebuilding our weakened Bill of Rights which had a lot of good ideas. However, David Barton and Rick Green opened the show with a discussion of American Exceptionalism  and the basic principles upon which America was built. I appreciated their explanation and pass them on here.

American Exceptionalism – a set of ideas and philosophy that produce institutions and policies which lead to unprecedented levels of stability and prosperity. Six principles upon which our American system was built: 1. There is a divine creator. 2. That creator gives individuals certain unalienable rights. These are not rights to groups. They are not collective rights. They are individual rights, endowed by the creator not by the government. 3. Government exists to protect these rights.   4. There are moral absolutes that govern our lives known as the laws of nature and of nature’s God.  5. Below the moral law is the social compact which makes up our body of non-moral laws such as the speed limit, building codes, and so forth. 6. If a system of government doesn’t do it’s job you can abolish it and form a new one.

It is not hard to believe that these are the principles upon which our Declaration of Independence was formed. The language closely parallels what we find there. Unfortunately we have been fed the lie so long that our founders were atheists, agnostics, and deists that we are slow to believe our nation had such God-centered founding principles. Please listen to WallBuilders to get a new insights on our founding (which are actually an older, better historically supported perspective).

Waking Up

I started working in public education over 10 years ago. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I had a serious faith in Jesus, but I simply did my job and kept quiet about my faith and convictions. I avoided political issues related to school. When it came to politics or union involvement I kept my head down and did my job. Now I realize that I and many other sincere conservative Christian teachers have done exactly the same thing. We have kept quiet with our heads down and do our best in the classroom trying to love children and teach our students. Unfortunately through this practice of avoidance we have allowed ourselves to become marginalized. By staying quiet and not speaking up, I have allowed wrong policies to become entrenched in the rules and culture of our schools and workplace.

I began to wake up from this broken, weak, retreating position when I began to listen to WallBuilders Live! as a podcast about four years ago. I found someone who was talking about America in a way that I hadn’t heard before, talking about our founding fathers and their faith, and having evidence of original documentation to show their faithfulness. I started to hear a group of people talking about not just fighting a desperate, losing battle against the liberal slide of our nation but actually pushing forward into and winning battles for our nation… a group of people who are optimistic and positive about taking back the land. I’ve become encouraged to take a stand, to speak up, to begin using my sphere of influence to take back the land. For me a big part of the journey that was beginning to get the positive and encouraging input from WallBuilders, from Dave Ramsey, from Chuck Colson, from Zig Ziglar. That’s why I include links to their programs on my resources page and in this post. I want to encourage you to start listening as well.

The American Trinity

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On FamilyTalk with Ryan and James Dobson I got to hear Dennis Prager addressing a University of Denver crowd explaining the American Trinity: e pluribus unum, liberty, and in God we trust. Without all three of these principles, American society would cease to be American society. I’ll attempt to give a short summary here.
E pluribus unum: out of many one. The American ideal is that we can welcome people from a wide variety of backgrounds who want to adopt our founding principles and way of life. Here in America, people groups are assimilated faster than in any other country. Here in America although we have a wide variety of cultural backgrounds we can find unity in adopting and adhering to a common value system and a common set of laws. The left would prefer that we see and relate to the culture as a large mass of distinct, conflicted cultural groups. However, this is not the American ideal for e pluribus unum.
Liberty: we run into a problem with liberty and equality. Equality is a supposedly primary value for the left. Equality means everyone gets treated the same. Not that we all have the same opportunity. Equality in the paradigm of the left means that everyone must be treated the same and if they’re not that is unfair. This excludes any opportunity for people to use hard work and initiative to change their level of prosperity and influence.
In God we trust: it is naïve and a product of several decades of deconstructionist teaching that many have come to believe that America was founded as a secular nation. The fact is that our foundation was religious and on a Christian foundation. For more information on that you might want to read Original Intent by David Barton. For more on the concept of deconstructionism please see my post on the Five Historical Traps of the Left.
There is a culture war going on between the left and right in America. The left wants to divide America into multi cultural groups and divorce it from its religious heritage and therefore its values base. Most from the right embrace our religious heritage and values. We embrace the truth that all men are created equal: all men regardless of race, color, creed are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

If you would like to hear Dennis Prager’s speech please follow this link the the FamilyTalk Broadcast Archive.

Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left

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Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left – summarized from WallBuildersLive!

WallBuilders is one of my favorite organizations for informing, encouraging, and equipping Christian conservatives to take back the land.  I encourage you to check out their half hour show available in some areas on the radio and online.

“David Barton gives a presentation on avoiding the historic traps of the left. Listen as he presents facts about our nation that you were never taught. What is it about our history that the left doesn’t want us to know? Our nation has Christian roots. When we understand that, we will understand where we come from and where we are going.”

Below is my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go listen to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011.

1. Poststructuralism – to believe that only groups not individuals give meaning to the whole. This trap makes us consider people not as individuals but as members of groups. They consider everyone on the merits of their group membership. This is coupled with the belief that the Bill of Rights protects the rights of the minority from the rights of the majority not the rights of individuals from an overreaching government.

2. Modernism. Modernism is to use a modern context to interpret any events whether fairly recent or in the distant past. For example, Thomas Jefferson attended church in the Capitol building during his presidency. He even ordered the Marine Corps band to play foe the worship services. Some would look at this through a modern lens and say he misunderstood the Constitution, but it is more likely to say that he understood it, but we’ve grown to misunderstand it now.

3. Academic collectivism. This trap happens when a series or set of academics agree amongst themselves and reference each other’s works to back up their assertions. They rarely, never, or selectively go back to historical documents for fact-finding. Instead they simply cite one another’s work to support their theories. This tends to get away from anything based on history and ends up allowing them to support the agenda of their choosing.

4. Minimalism is the practice of focusing on a tiny subset of what was happening at a time in the past as though that is all that was happening. An example would include saying that we separated from England because of taxation without representation. This is one of the reasons but it is one of 27 reasons. Unfortunately that is probably the only reason most schoolchildren could give today.

5. Deconstructionism a steady stream of negative designed to tear down the positive image in the mind of the people. When the historians and press only focus on negative aspects of the founding era and from founding fathers lives, people are not aware of the positive things and the Christian religious nature of many of their beliefs and actions. It changes our attitude toward our country and its founding.

Again, this was simply my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011 and listen for yourself.