Eight days before we celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the foundation of freedom, the landing of the Pilgrims, and the structure our government, the Mayflower Compact, we suffered the worst attack upon our Constitutional Republic.
“The first civil act of the Pilgrims after their arrival in Cape Cod Harbor, was to draw up a compact or “combination,” as it is called by Bradford, which was signed by the male members of the company, and became the foundation on which the structure of our government has been built. Under date of Nov. 21st, Mourt’s Relation states that
“this day, before we came to harbour, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearances of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governor as we should, by common consent, agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows, word for word.” (1)
Celebrating 400 Years of Freedom, the Landing of the Pilgrims! The Mayflower Compact- Nov 11, 1620
The cancel culture wants to erase our history. Our history shows that freedom is in our DNA and the DNA of our nation. Freedom comes from God. We started out with the Bible as a text book in our schools. On June 25, 1962 in Engel v.Vitale, the US Supreme Court by an 8-1 vote banned God from our schools. Our history shows us that even though evil plans of kings and rulers seem to be winning, the Divine hand of God works a counter plan. God is still in Control. The story of our God-given rights is the great missing link to restore our nation again!
The November 3, 2020 attacked upon our Constitutional Republic was planned for years by a group who attempted to install a Communist Chinese puppet government. The media accomplices hid much of the negative information about Beijing’s candidate before the election. When the negative information about the puppet got out over 35% of them said they would not have voted for the puppet had they known the negative information before the election. The media has decreed the puppet to be the president-elect.
Longtime readers know I am a student of history. I have checked the U.S. Constitution again and can not find any provision therein for the media to degree who an office holder will be. Please check for yourself (2).
The November 3rd attack can be summarizes as follows: A well funded group of people who enjoyed many decades of corrupt self dealing hated one person because he was elected president in 2016 to end their corrupt self dealing and return the control of the government to the people. The well funded group tried many, many, many avenues to somehow remove the president, even before he was sworn in. The president exposed and removed portions of the corrupt self dealers every time he found them and could.
Their Nov 3rd attack was designed to simply manufacture, by several means, and post more votes for Beijing’s puppet than for the for the president. Often times votes earned by the president were awarded to Beijing’s puppet. The goal was to proclaim and install Beijing’s puppet as the 46th president. Their corrupt scheme has been brought to light and being unraveled.
The well funded group included parties in several foreign countries, some of whom seek our destruction, with the use of the internet.
There are a few paths to unwind the mess. The paths unwind the mess and restore trust in our elections again go through civil and criminal judicial processes; have the state legislatures pick the Electors to the Electoral College, through the US Supreme Court, through the declaration of the elections being declared a national security issue in 2018, and or The Enforcement Act of 1871 codifying portions of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The full extent of the fear, pain, suffering, anxiety, deaths, and suicides caused by the well funded group may never be known.
Many people have already testified about what the well funded group has done. The Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan legislatures have held public hearings to get to the bottom of the mess, correct the mess, and prevent it from happening again. This is not over.
Before you watch the three hearings below I offer my suggestions to prevent any possible re occurrence of the well funded group’s attack. Years ago we used a simple punch card voting system. After showing a proper picture ID we were given a ballot, a punch card. The punch card was inserted into the voting machine. The voter made a selection and used the stylus to punch a hole into the card. When the voter finished making selections, the card was removed and put into a secure box which tallied the total number of votes. The secure box was securely transported to location where the votes would be counted.
The box was unlocked and the votes were counted in the full view and presence of the candidate’s representative, a representative from each party, a monitor, and Board of Election, Town or City Clerk or their representative.
The one doing the counting, whether by loading the punch cards into the counting machine or by hand had two set of eyes right behind the counter, close enough to read everything. We always had the paper ballot to validate the count.
Absentee ballots had the signature on the voter registration matched with the one on mailed in envelope.
There was no opportunity for extra or manufactured vote to appear at any time.
Ballots were always secured and never left unattended.
The hearings below ran all day.
The survival of our Constitutional Republic hinges upon fixing this mess and restoring fair and secure elections. Once our Constitutional Republic is restored healing is next.
Ben Franklin and the other Founding Fathers knew we would have tough days ahead and they gave us the tools to overcome them. We’ll come through this stronger. Let’s keep our Constitutional Republic.
Pennsylvania State Legislature Holds Public Hearing on 2020 Election
Arizona State Legislature Holds Public Hearing on 2020 Election
Michigan State Senate Committee on Oversight Holds Hearing on Election Issues 12/1/20
Then a call for a Special Session in Georgia to address the Election Steal
LIVE: Sidney Powell and Lin Wood Hold Press Conference in Atlanta 12/2/20
Rudy Giuliani and Legal Team Testify to Michigan House Oversight
Second Georgia Senate election hearing
President Trump National Address on The Election: “The Most Important Speech I Ever Made”
Marxism endeavors to get people to identify with subgroups:
These groups are then pitted against each other as victims and oppressors, “haves” and “have nots,” in order to create conflict and division.
This is followed by chaos and violence, making people feel insecure.In the ensuing panic, people surrender their freedoms to some mayor or governor who promises to restore order, but insists on emergency powers to do so.In the end, the usurping mayor or governor rules as a socialist dictator.
Best-selling author David Horowitz wrote about the radical socialist group Students for a Democratic Society:“An SDS radical once wrote, ‘The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.’
… In other words … civil rights or women’s rights – is never the real cause; women, blacks … are only instruments in the larger cause, which is power.Battles over rights and other issues, according to Alinsky, should never be seen as more than occasions to advance the real agenda, which is the accumulation of power.”
The opposite of Marxist divisions is “patriotism,” which unifies a country.Patriotism is where people, though different, choose to identify as citizens.They focus on what they have in common, such as language, morals, and religious faith.Psalm 133:1 states: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
President Eisenhower stated February 20, 1955:”The Founding Fathers … recognizing God as the author of individual rights, declared that the purpose of Government is to secure those rights …But in many lands the State claims to be the author of human rights … If the State gives rights, it can – and inevitably will – take away those rights.Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life.Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism.”
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines “PAT’RIOTISM” as derived from the Latin word pater, or being of one’s father):“Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.”
Andrew Jackson stated in his Farewell Address, March 4, 1837:”My own race is nearly run (ref. 2Timothy 4:7); advanced age and failing health warns me that before long I must pass beyond the reach of human events …I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love MY COUNTRY with the affection of a son.”
Clara Barton stated of the wounded Civil War soldiers:”What could I do but go with them, or work for them and MY COUNTRY?The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins.”
“Citizen” is from the Greek and means co-ruler.In America, citizens are the final authority, ruling through representatives.
America’s founding was unique in that instead of people having allegiance to a king, the people are the king!In contemplating war with the King of Great Britain, John Adams declared:”If it be the pleasure of Heaven that MY COUNTRY shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice …But while I do live, let me have a COUNTRY, and that a free COUNTRY!”
The theme of “MY COUNTRY” has run through America’s history, such as the statement by 21-year-old Yale graduate Nathan Hale who declared before being hanged by the British, September 22, 1776:”I only regret that I have but one life to lose for MY COUNTRY.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a patriotic address to the White House Correspondents’ Association, February 12, 1943:”In every battalion, and in every ship’s crew, you will find every kind of American citizen representing every occupation, every section, every origin, every religion, and every political viewpoint.Ask them what they are fighting for, and every one of them will say, ‘I am fighting for MY COUNTRY.'”
In 1775, when British General Gage attempted to intimidate Samuel Adams, he replied:”I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings.No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of MY COUNTRY.Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”
During the Revolution, General Nathaniel Greene wrote to Samuel Ward of Rhode Island, January 4, 1776:”Permit me, then, to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in MY COUNTRY’s cause, a declaration of independence;and call upon the world, and the great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof …Let us, therefore, act like men inspired with a resolution that nothing but the frowns of Heaven shall conquer us.”
President Dwight Eisenhower approved the Code of Conduct for Military, August 17, 1955:”I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made MY COUNTRY free.I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”
Signer of the Constitution Gouverneur Morris wrote April 17, 1778:”While MY COUNTRY calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.”
In January of 1790, President George Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia, Newport, Charlestown and Richmond:The power and goodness of the Almighty were strongly manifested in the events of our late glorious revolution …My agency … has been guided by … a sense of the duty which I owe MY COUNTRY.”
John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary:”I implore the Spirit from whom ‘every good and perfect gift’ descends (James 1:17) to enable me to render essential service to MY COUNTRY, and that I may never be governed in my public conduct by any consideration other than that of duty.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in his Radio Campaign Address from Hyde Park, New York, November 4, 1940:”When you and I step into the voting booth, we can proudly say:‘I am an American, and this vote I am casting is the exercise of my highest privilege and my most solemn duty to MY COUNTRY.’Dictators have forgotten – or perhaps they never knew – the basis upon which democratic Government is founded: that the opinion of all the people, freely formed and freely expressed, without fear or coercion, is wiser than the opinion of any one man or any small group of men …Democracy is the birthright of every citizen, the white and the colored;the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew; the sons and daughters of every country in the world, who make up the people of this land.”
Upon the death of James Madison, his wife, Dolley Madison, sent his papers to Congress, stating August 20, 1836, stating:”The best return I can make for the sympathy of MY COUNTRY is to fulfill the sacred trust his confidence reposed in me,that of placing before it and the world what his pen prepared for their use — a legacy of the importance of which is deeply impressed on my mind.”
Kit Carson stated:”No, this is a service for MY COUNTRY, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.”
John Quincy Adams composed the poem:“MY COUNTRY’s weal (well-being) — that be my polar star –Justice, thou Rock of Ages, is thy law –And when thy summons calls me to thy bar (ref. 2 Corinthians 5:10),Be this my plea, thy gracious smile to draw –That all my ways to justice were inclin’d –And all my aims — the blessings of mankind.”
Attributed to Thomas Paine, “The American Patriot’s Prayer,” written in 1776, reflected the sentiment of the colonies:”But chief to hear MY COUNTRY’s voice,may all my thoughts incline,’Tis reason’s law, ’tis virtue’s choice,’Tis nature’s call and thine.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote from Philadelphia to David Hartley, December 4, 1789:“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is MY COUNTRY.”
General George Washington wrote October 18, 1777, upon hearing of the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga:”I most devoutly congratulate MY COUNTRY, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence.”
General Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to Benjamin Lincoln, August 28, 1788:”I trust in that Providence, which has saved us in six troubles yea seven, to rescue us again from any imminent, though unseen, dangers …Heaven is my witness, that an inextinguishable desire (for) the felicity of MY COUNTRY may be promoted is my only motive in making these observations.”
The song, “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,” was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died November 16, 1895.Samuel Francis Smith was a classmate at Harvard with poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote the famous poem “Old Ironsides.”Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.
While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal.The same tune was used for the national anthems of Britain, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.
Smith stated:”I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”
Baptist minister Rev.Martin Luther King, Jr., stated at the Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963:”I have a dream … where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers …This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning,‘MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,Sweet land of liberty,Of thee I sing.Land where my fathers died,Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,From every mountainside,Let freedom ring.'”
Proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the 4th stanza of “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee”:“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth … throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to re-dedication, recalling those words we sang as children:‘Our father’s God, to Thee,Author of Liberty,To Thee we sing,Long may our land be brightWith Freedom’s Holy Light.Protect us by Thy might,Great God, Our King.'”
In his Eighth Annual Address, December 7, 1796, George Washington stated:”The situation in which I now stand, for the last time …I cannot omit the occasion, to congratulate you and MY COUNTRY, on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that his Providential care may still be extended to the United States.”
On May 20, 1792, from Mount Vernon, Washington wrote to James Madison:”I take my leave of them as a public man; and in bidding them adieu (retaining no other concern than such as will arise from fervent wishes for the prosperity of MY COUNTRY)I take the liberty at my departure from civil, as I formerly did at my military exit, to invoke a continuation of the Blessings of Providence upon it.”
President Andrew Jackson stated in a Protest message to the Senate, April 15, 1834:”The only ambition I can feel is to acquit myself to Him to whom I must soon render an account of my stewardship …If the Almighty Being who has hitherto sustained and protected me will but vouchsafe to make my feeble powers instrumental to such a result,I shall anticipate with pleasure the place to be assigned me in the history of MY COUNTRY,and die contented with the belief that I have contributed in some small degree to increase the value and prolong the duration of American liberty.”
President Franklin Pierce stated March 4, 1853:”With all the cherished memories of the past gathering around me like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from Heaven, I can express no better hope for MY COUNTRY than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited.”
President Herbert Clark Hoover stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1929:”If we hold the faith of the men in our mighty past who created these ideals, we shall leave them heightened and strengthened for our children …I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to MY COUNTRY to which you have called me.”
Daniel Webster stated at the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843:”I mean to stand upon the Constitution. I need no other platform. I shall know but one country.The ends I aim at shall be MY COUNTRY’s, my God’s, and Truth’s.I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.”
Following the ringing of church bells, explosion of artillery and deafening applause, President George Washington proceeded to Federal Hall, at Wall and Nassau Streets.There, he delivered his Inaugural Address to both Houses of Congress:”The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for MY COUNTRY can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness …The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
Chief Justice John Jay wrote in his Last Will and Testament:”His protection has accompanied me through many eventful years, faithfully employed in the service of MY COUNTRY;and His Providence has not only conducted me to this tranquil situation, but also given me abundant reason to be contented and thankful. Blessed be His Holy Name.While my children lament my departure, let them recollect that in doing them good, I was only the agent of their Heavenly Father,and that He never withdraws His care and consolations from those who diligently seek Him.”
Samuel Adams stated:”I thank God that I have lived to see MY COUNTRY independent and free.She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends upon her virtue.”
John Quincy Adams stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1825:”I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service; and knowing that’Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain,’with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of MY COUNTRY.”
President Dwight Eisenhower stated in his Farewell Address, January 17, 1961:”This evening I come to you with a … farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, MY COUNTRY …We face a hostile ideology – global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method …As we peer into society’s future, we … must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.”
Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, warned:“For years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes of the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781:”Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?Indeed, I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
President Ronald Reagan stated June 16, 1983:”We’re a nation under God, a living and loving God.But Thomas Jefferson warned us, ‘I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just.’We cannot expect Him to protect us in crisis if we turn away from Him in our everyday living.But you know, He told us what to do in II Chronicles … He said,’If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'”—Read as PDF … “My COUNTRY ’tis of Thee, Sweet LAND of LIBERTY”
America 101 – A Certification Class for TRUE PATRIOTS !!! You cannot be a CERTIFIED PATRIOT without this class! Why? Because – the most basic and yet least understood principles of our great nation will be taught to you at last. You will forever be changed in how you think of our forms of government. YOUR CHILDREN NEED this education because they will not get it in civics class…. I regret that I did not know these things earlier in life but TODAY you can !!!!!
As the author of nine historical books, my heart has truly been broken at the nihilistic, all-or-nothing approach to history demonstrated by anarchists tearing down and vandalizing statues, especially of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Often spray-painted on these statues is 1619, a reference to The 1619 Project, published by The New York Times.
“The fundamental  claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery simply does not correspond with the facts, too conclusively for the point to be dismissed as mere hair-splitting. The issue is not differing interpretations of history, but an outright misinterpretation of it,” African-American scholar John McWhorter wrote on 1776Unites.com, which warns of 1619’s fallacies.
“For one, note the suspension of disbelief we are expected to maintain. Supposedly the Founding Fathers were trying to protect slavery, despite never actually making such a goal clear for the historical record, and at a time when there would have been no shame in doing so,” McWhorter observed.
My research of the record concurs. In fact, throwing off political slavery by England motivated many to fight for independence. In writing “Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War,” I read original letters, writings, and sermons from the nation’s founding generation. One question I asked: how did Christians justify taking up arms against their God-ordained king? Ministers and congregations looked to two primary biblical examples to resolve this faith crisis. Both directly related to slavery.
“I have this morning heard Mr. Duffield upon the signs of the times. He runs a parallel between the case of Israel and that of America, and between the conduct of Pharaoh and that of [King] George,” John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, in mid-May 1776, after attending church in Philadelphia. If God delivered the Israelites from slavery by Egypt, would He deliver America from enslavement by England? Adams hoped so.
“(Duffield) concluded that the course of events indicated strongly the design of Providence that we should be separated from Great Britain.” Duffield and Adams were not alone. “We have no choice left to us, but to submit to absolute slavery and despotism, or as freemen to stand in our own defence, and endeavor a noble resistance . . . every reasonable method of reconciliation has been tried in vain,” Baptist minister David Jones declared. “Our addresses to our king have been treated with neglect or contempt.”
Jones looked to Galatians 5:1, as did others, including Simeon Howard of Boston’s West Church: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. And be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
“It is the duty of all men to stand fast in such valuable liberty, as Providence has conferred upon them,” Howard proclaimed. “But in what way can a man be more justly chargeable with this neglect, than by suffering himself to be deprived of his life, liberty or property, when he might lawfully have preserved them?”
These Americans saw themselves as enslaved by Great Britain. This was not a new concept. Some of their ancestors had fled England to escape religious intolerance.
“They would hazard everything dear to them, their estates, their very lives, rather than suffer their necks to be put under that yoke of bondage, which was so sadly galling to their fathers, and occasioned their retreat into this distant land, that they might enjoy the freedom of men and Christians,” wrote Boston’s First Church’s Charles Chauncy.
The view that Americans were enslaved by England enabled many to see the hypocrisy and injustice of enslaving Africans, which was legal in the 13 original colonies.
“By the 1770s, black New Englanders, thousands of whom were Revolutionary War veterans, had begun sending petitions to northern state legislatures demanding an end to slavery. These, essentially, worked,” African-American scholar Wilfred Reilly wrote for 1776Unites.com. “By the 1790s, 10 states and territories, containing more than 50 percent of the free population of the new nation — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, the North-West Territory, and the Indiana Territory — were free land by law. And, the anti-slavery upswell continued apace.”
History isn’t always what it seems. It is more nuanced, incremental, and complicated than today’s all-or-nothing purity approach by the statue-toppling mob. This headline-only approach to history misses questions like this: How did George Washington transform from being born into a slave-owning family to emancipating slaves in his will, which was published in newspapers throughout the nation? What were the steps that made this transformation possible?
Those who erase history today are trying to prove they aren’t racist. Tolerance and living by an honor code affirming that everyone is created in God’s image is a better proof.
A healthy approach to history takes strength in the good from our past, such as the origin stories of freedom of religion, speech, and the press. It’s important to remember what we have overcome and those who’ve contributed to America’s growth.
“While acknowledging that slavery and discrimination are part of our nation’s history, we believe that America should not be defined solely by this ‘birth defect’ and that black Americans should not be portrayed as perpetual helpless victims,” 1776Unites.com’s founder Robert L. Woodson, Sr. explained.
One way to fight this culture war is to rediscover American history. Don’t rely on your memory of history class. Read 1776Unites.com. Flood local bookstores with purchases of American history and biographies by conservatives and scholars who rely on original writings.
Several years ago a publisher told me that patriotic books don’t sell. A professional at a major TV streaming company recently told me they probably wouldn’t produce a film now on George Washington. It’s time to prove that patriotism and American history are marketable ideas for books and films.
It’s not enough to buy products made in America. We must buy products about America. Our future understanding of the past depends on it.
Jane Hampton Cook is the author of the new book, “Resilience on Parade: Short Stories of Suffragists and Women’s Battle for the Vote.” The first female webmaster for the White House (2001-03), she is now a screenwriter and author of ten books, including “Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War.”
The facts about George Whitefield’s preaching as an eighteenth-century itinerant evangelist are almost unbelievable. Can they really be true? Judging by multiple attestations of his contemporaries — and by the agreement of sympathetic and unsympathetic biographers — they seem to be so.
From his first outdoor sermon on February 17, 1739, at the age of 24, to the coal miners of Kingswood near Bristol, England, until his death thirty years later on September 30, 1770, in Newburyport, Massachusetts (where he is buried), his life was one of almost daily preaching. Sober estimates are that he spoke about one thousand times every year for thirty years. That included at least eighteen thousand sermons and twelve thousand talks and exhortations. The daily pace he kept for thirty years meant that, on many weeks, he was speaking more than he was sleeping.
Keep in mind that most of these messages were spoken to gatherings of thousands of people. For example, in the spring of 1740, he preached on Society Hill in Philadelphia twice in the morning to about six thousand and in the evening to nearly eight thousand. The next day, he spoke to “upwards of ten thousand,” and it was reported at one of these events that his expression of the text, “He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,” was distinctly heard at Gloucester point, a distance of two miles by water down the Delaware River (George Whitefield, 1:480). And there were times when the crowds reached twenty thousand or more.
Add to this the fact that he was continually traveling, in a day when it was done by horse or carriage or ship. He covered the length and breadth of England repeatedly. He regularly traveled and spoke throughout Wales. He visited Ireland twice, where he was almost killed by a mob from which he carried a scar on his forehead for the rest of his life. He traveled fourteen times to Scotland and came to America seven times, stopping once in Bermuda for eleven weeks — all for preaching, not resting.
Whitefield was a phenomenon not just of his age but in the entire two-thousand-year history of Christian preaching. There has been nothing like the combination of his preaching pace and geographic extent and auditory scope and attention-holding effect and converting power. J.C. Ryle is right: “No preacher has ever retained his hold on his hearers so entirely as he did for thirty-four years. His popularity never waned” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 32).
Eloquence and Anointing
Where did such power and popularity come from? At one level, Whitefield’s power was the natural power of eloquence, and at another it was the spiritual power of God to convert sinners and transform communities.
On the one hand, there is no reason to doubt that Whitefield was the instrument of God in the salvation of thousands. I do not doubt that his contemporary Henry Venn was right when he said, “[Whitefield] no sooner opened his mouth as a preacher, than God commanded an extraordinary blessing upon his word” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 29). Thus, at one level, the explanation of Whitefield’s phenomenal impact was God’s exceptional anointing on his life.
But at another level, Whitefield held people in thrall who did not believe a single doctrinal word that he said. In other words, we must come to terms with the natural oratorical gifts that he had. How are we to think about these in relation to his effectiveness? Benjamin Franklin, who loved and admired Whitefield — and totally rejected his theology — said,
Every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned, and well placed, that without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse: a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. (The Divine Dramatist, 204)
Whitefield: “Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified.”
One of Whitefield’s contemporaries, Alexander Garden of South Carolina, was not optimistic about the purity of Whitefield’s motives or the likelihood that his effects were decisively supernatural. He believed that Whitefield “would equally have produced the same Effects, whether he had acted his Part in the Pulpit or on the Stage. . . . It was not the Matter but the Manner, not the Doctrines he delivered, but the Agreeableness of the Delivery,” that explained the unprecedented crowds that flocked to hear him preach (“The Grand Sower of the Seed,” 384).
In one sense, I do not doubt that Whitefield was “acting” as he preached. That is, that he was taking the part of the characters in the drama of his sermons and pouring all his energy — his poetic effort — into making their parts real.
Making Reality Seem Real
But the question is, Why was Whitefield “acting”? Why was he so full of action and drama? Was he, as biographer Harry Stout claims, merely “plying a religious trade” for the sake of fame and power (The Divine Dramatist, xvii)?
I think the most penetrating answer comes from something Whitefield himself said about acting in a sermon in London. In fact, I think it’s a key to understanding the power of his preaching — and all preaching. James Lockington was present at this sermon and recorded this verbatim. Whitefield is speaking.
“I’ll tell you a story. The Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1675 was acquainted with Mr. Butterton the [actor]. One day the Archbishop . . . said to Butterton . . . ‘Pray inform me Mr. Butterton, what is the reason you actors on stage can affect your congregations with speaking of things imaginary, as if they were real, while we in church speak of things real, which our congregations only receive as if they were imaginary?’ ‘Why my Lord,’ says Butterton, ‘the reason is very plain. We actors on stage speak of things imaginary, as if they were real and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’”
“Therefore,” added Whitefield, ‘I will bawl [shout loudly], I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.” (The Divine Dramatist, 239–40)
This means that there are three ways to speak. First, you can speak of an unreal, imaginary world as if it were real — that is what actors do in a play. Second, you can speak about a real world as if it were unreal — that is what half-hearted pastors do when they preach about glorious things in a way that implies they are not as terrifying or as wonderful as they are. And third, you can speak about a real spiritual world as if it were wonderfully, terrifyingly, magnificently real — because it is.
Outacting the Actors
So if you asked Whitefield, “Why do you preach the way you do?” he would probably have said, “I believe what I read in the Bible is real.” So let me venture this claim: George Whitefield was not a repressed actor, driven by egotistical love of attention. Rather, he was consciously committed to outacting the actors because he had seen what is ultimately real.
His oratorical exertion was not in place of God’s revelation and power but in the service of them. He acted with all his might not because it took greater gimmicks and charades to convince people of the unreal, but because he had seen something more real than actors on the London stage had ever known.
I don’t deny that God uses natural vessels to display his supernatural reality. And no one denies that George Whitefield was a stupendous natural vessel. He was driven, affable, eloquent, intelligent, empathetic, single-minded, steel willed, venturesome, and had a voice like a trumpet that could be heard by thousands outdoors. All of these, I venture to say, would have been part of Whitefield’s natural gifting even if he had never been born again.
But something happened to Whitefield in the spring of 1735, when he was 20 years old, that made all these natural gifts subordinate to another reality — the glory of Christ in the salvation of sinners.
Whitefield Born Again
On a break from school, Whitefield’s friend Charles Wesley gave him a copy of Henry Scougal’s book The Life of God in the Soul of Man. When he read Scougal’s words about true religion being “a vital union with the son of God, Christ formed in the heart,” a new world opened to him. “Oh what a way of divine life did break in upon my poor soul,” Whitefield later testified. “Oh! With what joy — Joy unspeakable — even joy that was full of, and big with glory, was my soul filled” (Revived Puritan, 26).
Whitefield: “I am the chief of sinners, and therefore fittest to preach free grace to a world lying in the wicked one.”
The power, depth, and supernatural reality of that change in Whitefield is something Alexander Garden — and others who reduce the man to his natural abilities — did not sufficiently reckon with. In the new birth, Whitefield was given the supernatural ability to see what was real. His mind was opened to new reality. This means that Whitefield’s acting — his passionate, energetic, whole-souled preaching — was the fruit of having eyes to see “life and light and power from above” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 15). He saw the glorious facts of the gospel as real. Wonderfully, terrifyingly, magnificently real. This is why he cries out, “I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.”
None of his natural abilities vanished. They were all taken “captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified” (George Whitefield, 2:257).
New birth, however, did not make Whitefield perfect. In fact, one of the effects of reading history, and biography in particular, is the persistent discovery of contradictions and paradoxes of sin and righteousness in holy people. Whitefield is no exception, and he will be more rightly honored if we are honest about his blindness as well as his doctrinal faithfulness and goodness. By far the most glaring blindness of his life — and there were others — was his support for the American enslavement of blacks.
Even if one argues that the biblical way to move beyond the institutionalization of slavery (which in the New Testament is tolerated, but implicitly contested, Luke 4:18; Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 7:21; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:10; Philemon 1:16; Ephesians 6:9; Galatians 3:28; 5:1; Colossians 3:11; Revelation 5:9) is to adjust to the eighteenth-century institution, but ameliorate it with kindness (as Whitefield did), one must still reckon with the fact that Whitefield did not, so far as we know, come to terms with the institution itself as biblically challenged. Nor did he seem to see that the racially dehumanizing effects of Southern slavery called the “peculiar institution” into question. This is what I mean by “blindness.”
Before it was legal to own slaves in Georgia, Whitefield advocated for legalization with a view to making the orphanage he built more affordable. In 1752, Georgia became a royal colony, slavery was legalized, and Whitefield joined the ranks of the slaveowners. That, in itself, was tragic but not unusual. Most of the slaveholders were professing Christians. But in Whitefield’s case, things were more complex. He didn’t fit the mold of wealthy, Southern plantation owner.
Whitefield said he was willing to face the “whip” of Southern planters if they disapproved of his preaching the new birth to the slaves (The Divine Dramatist, 100). From Georgia to North Carolina to Philadelphia, Whitefield sowed the seeds of equality through heartfelt evangelism and education — whether or not he felt any contradiction in his views.
“Whitefield was consciously committed to outacting the actors because he had seen what is ultimately real.”
Whitefield’s preaching to slaves infuriated many slaveowners. Almost all of them resisted evangelizing and educating the slaves. They knew intuitively that education would tend toward equality, which would undermine the whole system. And evangelism would imply that slaves could become children of God, which would mean that they were brothers and sisters to the owners, which would also undermine the whole system. One wonders if there was a rumbling in Whitefield’s own soul because he really did perceive where such radical evangelism would lead.
He went public with his censures of slaveowners and published words like these: “God has a quarrel with you” for treating slaves “as though they were Brutes.” If these slaves were to rise up in rebellion, “all good Men must acknowledge the judgment would be just” (The Divine Dramatist, 101–2). This was incendiary. But apparently, Whitefield did not perceive fully the implications of what he was saying.
What seems clear is that the slave population, in great numbers, loved Whitefield. When he died, it was the blacks who expressed the greatest grief in America. More than any other eighteenth-century figure, Whitefield established Christian faith in the slave community. Whatever else he failed in, for this service they were deeply thankful.
Phyllis Wheatley (1753–1784), the former slave and first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry in America, eulogized Whitefield in a popular poem of the time. It contained these lines:
Ye Preachers, take him [Christ] for your joyful theme:
Take HIM, “my dear AMERICANS,” he said,
Be your complaints in his kind bosom laid:
Take HIM ye Africans, he longs for you;
Impartial SAVIOUR, is his title due;
If you will chuse to walk in grace’s road,
You shall be sons, and kings, and priests to GOD.
However seriously Whitefield erred, God took the good he did, and the Christ he preached, and made Christ to the “Africans” an “Impartial SAVIOUR” and means to being sons and kings to God.
Fit to Preach Free Grace
So, the greatest preacher of the eighteenth century, perhaps in the history of the Christian church, was a paradoxical figure. There was, as he himself so freely confessed, sin remaining in him. And that is what we have found in every human soul on this earth — except one. Which is why our lives are meant to point to him — that sinless one. Christ’s perfect obedience, not ours, is the foundation of our acceptance with God. If then, our sin, as well as our righteousness, can point people away from ourselves to Christ, we will rejoice even as we repent.
“Whitefield’s daily pace he kept meant that, on many weeks, he was speaking more than he was sleeping.”
“I know no other reason,” Whitefield said, “why Jesus has put me into the ministry, than because I am the chief of sinners, and therefore fittest to preach free grace to a world lying in the wicked one” (Revived Puritan, 157–58). Yes. But as we have seen, God would make not only his unworthiness redound to the grace of God, but also his passionate oratory, his natural dramatic giftedness, and his poetic effort. This too, imperfect as it was, no doubt contaminated as it was with flawed motives, God made the instrument of his supernatural work of salvation.
No eloquence can save a soul. But the worth of salvation and the worth of souls impels preachers to speak and write with all their might in ways that say, “There is more, there is so much more beauty — so much more glory — for you to see than I can say.”
Attorney General Bill Barr at University of Notre Dame Law School, Oct. 11, 2019. (Screen Capture)
(CNSNews.com) – Attorney General Bill Barr spoke at the University of Notre Dame Law School on Friday, saying that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that a “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people.”
“In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings,” Barr said. “Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves, freely obeying the dictates of inwardly possessed and commonly shared moral values.
“And to control willful human beings with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s wills,” he said. “They must flow from the transcendent Supreme Being.
“In short,” he said, “in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people, a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and to manmade laws and had discipline to control themselves according to those controlling principles.”
Here is the transcript from the part of Barr’s speech where he said that the Framers believed that “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people:”
“So, the founders decided to take a gamble, and they called it a great experiment. They would leave the people broad liberty, they would limit the coercive power of the government, and they would place their trust in self-discipline and virtue of the American people. In the words of Madison: ‘We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves.’
“And this is really what they meant by self-government. It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislature. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.
“But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings. Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves, freely obeying the dictates of inwardly possessed and commonly shared moral values. And to control willful human beings with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s wills. They must flow from the transcendent Supreme Being.
“In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people, a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and to manmade laws and had discipline to control themselves according to those controlling principles
“As John Adams put it: ‘We have no government armed with a power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.’
“And as Father John Courtney Murray observed: The American tenet was not ‘that free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.’”
Bill Barr Flames ‘Unremitting Assault’ On Religion, Traditional Values During Notre Dame Visit
Kevin Daley | The Daily Caller October 13,, 2019
Concerted attacks on religious liberty have triggered a moral upheaval that contributes to deadly social pathologies, Attorney General William Barr said Friday at the University of Notre Dame.
“The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety,” Barr said. “It reflects the framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.”
The attorney general said numerous measures of social decline are rising as religion recedes from public life, citing higher instances of drug addiction, mental illness, and suicide. Those outcomes are not random, but the fruit of a dedicated campaign against orthodox religious belief, Barr added.
“This is not decay,” Barr said. “This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
Barr said state governments and municipal agencies have been at the vanguard of that effort, noting the board of education in Orange County, California, recently decided religious dissenters may not excuse their children from portions of the school curriculum broaching LGBT issues. Schools are the usual forum for attacks on religious liberty, Barr said.
In that connection, the attorney general noted the Department of Justice recently intervened in a dispute between a gay teacher and a Catholic high school near Notre Dame. The case arose when the Archdiocese of Indianapolis directed Cathedral High School to dismiss a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage or forfeit its Catholic affiliation. The high school did so. The teacher, Joshua Payne-Elliott, sued the school in turn.
The Justice Department filed a statement of interest in the case Sept. 27, arguing that the lawsuit suppresses the archdiocese’s First Amendment right to expressive association, and impermissibly asks the court to interfere with internal church matters.
“The First Amendment precludes this court, a state actor, from cooperating in plaintiff’s attempt to stifle the archdiocese’s First Amendment right to expressive association,” the filing reads. “The First Amendment also precludes the court from entangling itself in a quintessentially ecclesiastical question: whether the archdiocese properly interpreted and applied Catholic doctrine. The First Amendment commits that question exclusively to the ecclesiastical tribunals of the church.”
Anti-Barr demonstrators picketed near the Notre Dame campus during the attorney general’s visit, according to the South Bend Tribune. Some protesters blew whistles in reference to a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community concerning President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business interests in Ukraine, and suggested Barr could support that effort. Hunter, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings.
The attending controversy prompted Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole to issue a statement defending academic freedom.
“Notre Dame Law School will neither endorse nor condemn invited speakers,” Cole said. “An institution of higher education must be a place where controversial ideas and points of view are expressed, heard, and discussed. This is such a place.”
Attorney General Bill Barr: "This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion & traditional values." pic.twitter.com/HPda0ybdYN
Everyone is scratching their heads trying to figure out what has gone wrong when disturbing stories break of more attacks by young men killing strangers at random. We are reeling as a nation in the wake of these mass shootings and wondering what has gone wrong.
Our cultural elites have led us down a path of unbelief, and now we are reaping the consequences.
I’m reminded of the story about Voltaire, the famous French skeptic, who helped grease the skids for the bloody French Revolution. When one of his skeptical guests was talking loudly at his home, Voltaire asked him to lower his voice. He didn’t want the servants to hear their godless philosophy, lest they steal the silverware.
It’s the morality, stupid. Of course, this phrase piggybacks on the unofficial campaign slogan of Bill Clinton in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid!” This simple phrase kept them focused, eventually on to victory.
In today’s crisis, which is not something brand new, it’s been brewing for decades in America: It’s the morality, stupid And what’s the cause of this morality? We have driven God out of the public arena.
Unbelief assumes there is no divine accountability. When there is no fear of God in the land, then people do whatever they feel like doing—even if it inflicts mayhem on others. As an atheist character in Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov put it: “…since there is no infinite God, there’s no such thing as virtue either and there’s no need for it at all.”
America is ultimately an experiment in self-government. After the founding fathers hammered out the Constitution in the convention in 1787 in Philadelphia, a Mrs. Powell of that city asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they gave us. His answer was classic: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
The founders knew that the only way we could sustain this self-government was by the people being virtuous, acting in a moral way. And how would that morality be sustained? Answer: through voluntary religion.
The man who spoke more than any other at the Constitutional Convention was Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania. He is credited with writing some of the Constitution, including the preamble (“We the people”). He noted that religion is necessary for morality: “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.”
George Washington said in his Farewell Address that it is religion that sustains morality. If you undermine religion, you’ll undermine morality.
That is precisely what has happened to America. Beginning with a whole series of misguided Supreme Court decisions, religious influence—frankly Christian influence—in society was restricted more and more. By the 1960s, God was effectively kicked out of the public schools.
When he was 14 years old, William J. Murray was the plaintiff in one of the key anti-school prayer cases on behalf of his atheist mother, Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Today, Murray is a born- again Christian, ruing the terrible decision and its consequences.
He once told me, “I would like people to take a look at the Baltimore public schools today versus what they were when I went to those schools in 1963 and my mother took prayer out of the schools. We didn’t have armed guards in the hallways then when we had God in the classroom. But I’ll guarantee you there are armed guards [now]. In fact, the city school system of Baltimore now has its own armed police force.”
We lack a fear of God in our land. Young people have no idea that after they die, they will have to give an account to Jesus, whom the founders called in the Declaration of Independence, “the Supreme Judge of the World.”
In the mid-19th century, one of the Speakers of the House of Representatives was Robert Charles Winthrop, a descendant of John (“a City on a Hill”) Winthrop, the Puritan founder of Boston.
Robert Winthrop gave an address in 1849 at the Massachusetts Bible Society, in which he noted, in effect, our choice is clear: Christianity or violence?
Here’s what Winthrop said: “All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint.
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
Would that we choose the Bible today, as the settlers and the founders of our nation chose to do.
Shak Hill talks to Jennifer Bennett about her surviving Navy Yard massacre
Sept 15, 2019
By Shak Hill
There is another September anniversary we need to examine, and it is not 9/11. The lessons from this anniversary, if implemented, will end mass shootings.
Six years ago, on Sept. 16, 2013, the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard was under attack. On that Monday, over 3,000 Navy Yard employees would report as normal to work with a desire to make the Navy stronger, and in turn make America safer. Yet on that day, there would be a shooter in the building that threatened the lives of each of them.
Jennifer Bennett was one of them.
As she was evacuating the building down a stairwell, Jennifer walked into the shooter – who killed 12 that day – and was shot point blank with a sawed-off shotgun. That event caused time to slow down into super slow motion that she calls her “matrix” moment. When the shooter lowered his weapon, Jennifer says that she saw every move of the shooter – frame by frame, millisecond by millisecond.
She saw the “shot” leave the end of the barrel and head straight for her. As it flew threw the air, she watched it come closer, then strike her left shoulder. She next heard the familiar sound of a shotgun blast, as if to congratulate the shot for hitting its target.
The shooter left his post thinking he had another kill and went down the stairs. Jennifer was able to escape by going up and then out to the roof. After an hour and 10 minutes, Jennifer was dramatically rescued by helicopter and flown to safety. Within minutes she would be in surgery to repair the hole in her left shoulder. (Yes, a hole; think Elmer Fud and Bugs Bunny.)
Her incredible recovery would last months, including subsequent surgeries and painful physical therapy.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Bennett. She believes her insights just might lead to the end of all mass shootings.
Q: Jennifer, how are you doing?
It is well with my soul. I have pain every day, but the days are getting better. I am thankful for all who kept me alive. From those on the roof with me, to the helicopter team that rescued me, to the surgeons that put my shoulder back together. They are real heroes to me.
Q: There’s a lot of discussion about ending mass shootings. Please comment.
The discussions today identifies the “what” that causes them. Many are talking about the gun, the size of the magazine and background checks. Although mass shootings by definition require a gun, it is not the gun that commits them; it’s today’s culture that creates them. It’s not the gun’s fault – it never has been and never will be. It’s the culture America has created that allow mass shootings.
Q: What do you mean by today’s culture?
Americans have always had access to firearms. In fact, without them, we never could have won our independence from England. However, when I was going to school in the 1960s, we still had guns, but we didn’t have the culture of mass shootings that we have today.
Q: You have mentioned “culture” a couple of times. What about our culture are you talking about?
If we want to end mass shootings, we must change the culture that facilitates mass shootings.
Q: Can you be more specific?
American culture was founded on Christian principles that are literally enshrined in our founding documents. Today, our culture has eliminated any reference of Christianity. And in some cases, personal religious beliefs actually land the faithful afoul of the law. The last few decades have witnessed an increased hostility toward Christians. When government can punish an individual for not baking a cake, or selling flowers, or paying for abortion, then the culture has shifted away from religious freedom to something else.
Q: What else?
American culture no longer values life. With abortion on-demand up until the moment of birth, our culture has shifted away from a culture of life to a culture of death. Politicians now openly discuss and pass legislation that remove life’s value, starting from the beginning of life (conception) to after the child is born (infanticide), to the end (assisted suicide).
Every person today knows that his or her mother had a “choice” to kill them or to let them live. Let’s be honest. If a mom can kill her own baby, then it’s not too far-fetched to think that years later, that same baby could choose to go into a school, a movie theater or dance club and kill someone. A culture that allows the killing of innocent children facilitates the killing of innocent students, moviegoers or dancers.
Q: I can tell you have something else on your mind.
Yes, our culture no longer allows our children to fail, or to face the consequences of their actions. The way we grow up has an unshakable influence and impact on the way we live as adults. Today, if a child doesn’t pass a class, then it’s the teacher’s fault. Everyone who tries out for the cheerleading squad makes it, and at the end of the season, everyone gets a trophy. But this isn’t how the world works.
So, when that child grows into adulthood having never failed at anything, it’s no wonder life’s ordinary challenges can turn into huge events that these adults are simply not prepared to handle. And when there is no God to answer to and no value for innocent life, it is not too implausible to think this adult just might go out and buy a gun to punish the person(s) who made him fail.
Q: As we approach the sixth anniversary of you being shot, what final thoughts do you have?
In short, there needs to be a shift from the discussion of the “mechanics” of gun violence to “why” we have a culture of mass shootings. When our culture values life once again, mass shootings will end. When our children grow up in a culture that rewards hard work, achievement and excellence, then mass shootings will end. And when our culture again embraces a higher authority, then mass shootings will end.
Jennifer Bennett is the only Navy Yard employee to be shot and survive. Her book, “Standing Still in A Culture of Mass Shootings,” explores in greater detail her beliefs about mass shootings and how to shift the culture back to one without them. Learn more about her at NavyYardSurvivor.com.
Shak Hill is the owner of Guiding Light Books, LLC. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and former combat pilot. He is keenly interested in politics and ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in Virginia.
Editor’s Preview: Was Jesus, blessing the poor in spirit, a political revolutionary as some in Latin America argue? Was Noah, the just man, an early welfare liberal as the Christian Left in this country would have it?
On the contrary, says Ronald Nash in this presentation to a Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar, an accurate reading of the Bible bolsters the case for free markets, individual rights, and limited government.
Within the Christian church today, one can find a small but growing army of Protestants and Roman Catholics who have entered into an uncritical alliance with the political Left. The so-called liberation theologians not only promote a synthesis of Marxism and Christianity, but attempt to ground their recommended restrictions of economic and political freedom on their interpretation of the biblical ethic. A growing number of my own religious fellowship (those theologically conservative Protestants known as evangelicals) appear to stop just short of the more radical pronouncements of the liberation thinkers. These evangelicals of the Left are convinced that the biblical ethic obliges them to condemn capitalism and endorse the politics of statism and the economics of socialism.
Many writings from the Christian Left illustrate what can be called the prooftext method. What these writers normally do is isolate some vague passage (usually one from the Old Testament) that pertains to an extinct culture situation or practice. They then proceed to deduce some complex economic or political program from that text.
My approach to the subject rejects the prooftext method and proceeds via three main steps. First, a Christian should acquire a clear and complete picture of the Christian worldview. What basic views about God, humankind, morality, and society are taught or implied by Scripture? Second, he should put his best effort into discovering the truth about economic and political systems. He should try to clarify what capitalism and socialism really are (not what the propagandists say they are); he should try to discover how each system works or, as in the case of socialism, whether it can work. He should identify the strengths and weaknesses of each system. Third, he should compare his economic options to the standard of biblical morality, and ask which system is more consistent with the entire Christian worldview.
Creator and Freedom; Morality and Sin
We can begin, then, by noting several relevant aspects of the biblical worldview:
(1) Certainly the biblical worldview implies that since God is the creator of all that exists, He ultimately is the rightful owner of all that exists. Whatever possessions a human being may acquire, he holds them temporarily as a steward of God and is ultimately accountable to God for how he uses them. However omnipresent greed and avarice may be in the human race, they are clearly incompatible with the moral demands of the biblical worldview.
(2) The biblical worldview also contains important claims about human rights and liberties. All human beings have certain natural rights inherent in their created nature and have certain moral obligations to respect the rights of others. The possibility of human freedom is not a gift of government but a gift from God.
The Old Testament tended to focus on the economic and social dimensions of freedom. But gradually, as one moves into the New Testament, a more spiritual dimension of freedom assumes dominance. Freedom in the New Testament is deliverance from bondage to sin and is available only to those who come to know God’s truth through Christ and enter into a saving relationship with Christ.
Some interesting parallels between the biblical account of spiritual freedom and political-economic freedom should be noted. For one thing, freedom always has God as its ultimate ground. For another, freedom must always exist in relationship to law. The moral law of God identifies definite limits beyond which human freedom under God should not pass. Liberty should never be turned into license.
(3) The moral system of the Bible is another key element of the Christian worldview. While the Ten Commandments do not constitute the entire biblical ethic, they are a good place to begin. But it is important to notice other dimensions of the biblical ethic that have relevance for our subject. For example, Christians on the Left insist that the biblical ethic condemns individual actions and social structures that oppress people, harm people and favor some at the expense of others. I agree. Where I disagree, however, is with the next step taken by the Leftists. They claim that capitalism inevitably and necessarily encourages individual actions and produces social structures that oppress and harm people. On this point, they are dead wrong. Fortunately, the question as to which system actually harms or helps different classes of people is an empirical and not a normative matter. The Leftists simply have their facts wrong.
(4) One final aspect of the Christian worldview must be mentioned: the inescapable fact of human sin and depravity. No economic or political system that assumes the essential goodness of human nature or holds out the dream of a perfect earthly society can possibly be consistent with the biblical worldview.
Peaceful or Violent Exchange?
Now we must examine the three major economic systems that compete for attention: capitalism, socialism and somewhere between, the hybrid known as interventionism or the mixed economy.
One dominant feature of capitalism is economic freedom, the right of people to exchange things voluntarily, free from force, fraud, and theft. Socialism, on the other hand, seeks to replace the freedom of the market with a group of central planners who exercise control over essential market functions. There are degrees of socialism as there are degrees of capitalism in the real world. But basic to any form of socialism is distrust of or contempt for the market process and the desire to replace the freedom of the market with some form of centralized control. Generally speaking, as one moves along the continuum of socialism to capitalism, one finds the following: the more freedom a socialist allows, the closer his position is to interventionism; the more freedom an interventionist allows, the closer his position is to capitalism. The crux is the extent to which human beings will be permitted to exercise their own choices in the economic sphere of life.
I will say nothing more about that deplorable economic system known as interventionism, a hopeless attempt to stop on a slippery slope where no stop is possible. The only way the half-hearted controls of the interventionist can work is if they become the total controls of the socialist. Anything less will result in the kind of troubled and self-damaging economy we have had for the past several decades in the United States.
I shall attempt to get a clearer fix on the real essence both of capitalism and socialism and then see which is more compatible with the biblical worldview. The best starting point for this comparison is a distinction made most recently by the American economist, Walter Williams. According to Williams, there are two and only two ways in which something may be exchanged. He called them the peaceful means of exchange and the violent means of exchange.
The peaceful means of exchange may be summed up in the phrase, “If you do something good for me, then I’ll do something good for you.” When capitalism is understood correctly, it epitomizes the peaceful means of exchange. The reason people exchange in a real market is because they believe the exchange is good for them. They take advantage of an opportunity to obtain something they want more in exchange for something they desire less. Capitalism then should be understood as a voluntary system of relationships that utilizes the peaceful means of exchange.
But exchange can also take place by means of force and violence. In this violent means of exchange, the basic rule of thumb is: “Unless you do something good for me, I’ll do something bad to you.” This turns out to be the controlling principle of socialism. Socialism means far more than centralized control of the economic process. It entails the introduction of coercion into economic exchange in order to facilitate the attainment of the goals of the elite who function as the central planners. One of the great ironies of Christian socialism is that its proponents in effect demand that the State get out its weapons and force people to fulfill the demands of Christian love. Even if we fail to notice any other contrast between capitalism and socialism, we already have a major difference to relate to the biblical ethic. One system stresses voluntary and peaceful exchange while the other depends on coercion and violence.
Some Christian socialists object to the way I have set this up. They profess contempt for the more coercive forms of state-socialism on exhibit in communist countries. They would like us to believe that a more humane, non-coercive kind of socialism is possible. They would like us to believe that there is a form of socialism, not yet tried anywhere on earth, where the central ideas are cooperation and community and where coercion and dictatorship are precluded. But they provide very little information about the workings of this more utopian kind of socialism, and they ignore the fact that however humane and voluntary their socialism is supposed to become after it has been put into effect, it will take massive amounts of coercion and theft to get things started.
Socialist Falsehoods, Capitalist Facts
To that paradox, add one more: the fact that socialists need capitalism in order to survive. Unless socialists make allowance for some free markets which provide the pricing information that alone makes rational economic activity possible, socialist economies would have even more problems than those for which they are already notorious. Consequently, socialism is a gigantic fraud which attacks the market at the same time it is forced to utilize the market process.
But critics of the market try to shift attention away from their own embarrassing problems to claims that capitalism must be abolished or restricted because it is unjust or because it restricts important human freedoms. Capitalism is supposed to be unchristian because it allegedly gives a predominant place to greed and other unchristian values. It is alleged to increase poverty and the misery of the poor while, at the same time, it makes a few rich at the expense of the many. Socialism, on the other hand, is portrayed as the economic system of people who really care for the less fortunate members of society. Socialism is represented as the economics of compassion. Socialism is also recommended on the ground that it encourages other basic Christian values such as community.
If these claims were true, they would constitute a serious problem for anyone anxious to show that capitalism is compatible with the biblical ethic. But, of course, the claims are not true. People who make such charges have their facts wrong or are aiming at the wrong target. The “capitalism” they accuse of being inhumane is a caricature. The system that in fact produces the consequences they deplore turns out to be not capitalism, but interventionism.
Capitalism is not economic anarchy. It recognizes several necessary conditions for the kinds of voluntary relationships it recommends. One of these presuppositions is the existence of inherent human rights, such as the right to make decisions, the right to be free, the right to hold property, and the right to exchange what one owns for something else. Capitalism also presupposes a system of morality. Capitalism should be thought of as a system of voluntary relationships within a framework of laws which protect people’s rights against force, fraud, theft, and violations of contracts. “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not lie” are part of the underlying moral constraints of the system. Economic exchanges can hardly be voluntary if one participant is coerced, deceived, defrauded, or robbed.
Allowing for Human Weakness
Once we grant that consistency with the biblical doctrine of sin is a legitimate test of political and economic systems, it is relatively easy to see how well democratic capitalism scores in this regard. The limited government willed to Americans by the Founding Fathers was influenced in large measure by biblical considerations about human sin. If one of the more effective ways of mitigating the effects of human sin in society is dispersing and decentralizing power, the conservative view of government is on the right track. So too is the conservative vision of economics.
The free market is consistent with the biblical view of human nature in another way. It recognizes the weaknesses of human nature and the limitations of human knowledge. No one can possibly know enough to manage a complex economy. No one should ever be trusted with this power. However, in order for socialism to work, socialism requires a class of omniscient planners to forecast the future, to set prices and to control production. In the free market system, decisions are not made by an omniscient bureaucratic elite but made across the entire economic system by countless economic agents.
At this point, of course, collectivists will raise another set of objections. Capitalism, they will counter, may make it difficult for economic power to be consolidated in the hands of the state; but it only makes it easier for vast concentrations of wealth and power to be vested in the hands of private individuals and companies. But the truth turns out to be something quite different from this widely accepted myth. It is not the free market that produces monopolies; rather it is governmental intervention with the market that creates the conditions that encourage monopoly.
As for another old charge, that capitalism encourages greed, the truth is just the reverse. The mechanism of the market neutralizes greed as selfish individuals are forced to find ways of servicing the needs of those with whom they wish to exchange. As we know, various people often approach economic exchanges with motives and objectives that fall short of the biblical ideal. But no matter how base or selfish a person’s motives may be, so long as the rights of the other parties are protected, the greed of the first individual cannot harm them. As long as greedy individuals are prohibited from introducing force, fraud, and theft into the exchange process, their greed must be channeled into the discovery of products or services for which people are willing to exchange their holdings. Every person in a market economy has to be other-directed.
New Religion of the Left
Finally, some examples of the way in which attempts to ground American liberalism and interventionism or Latin American liberationism on the Bible involve serious distortions of the biblical message.
For instance, consider how radical American evangelicals on the Left abuse the biblical notion of justice. The basic idea in the Old Testament notion of justice is righteousness and fairness. But it is essential to the Leftist’s cause that he read into biblical pronouncements about justice, contemporary notions of distributive justice. When the Bible says that Noah was a just man, it does not mean that he would have voted the straight Democratic ticket. It means simply that he was a righteous man.
Likewise, many Christians on the Left seek to reinterpret Jesus’ earthly mission in exclusively economic and political terms. In their view, Jesus came primarily to deliver those who were poor and oppressed in a material sense. But every member of the human race is poor in the sense of being spiritually bankrupt. Jesus came to end our spiritual poverty by making available the righteousness that God demands and that only God can provide.
It is heresy to state that God’s love for people varies in proportion to their wealth and social class. It is nonsense to suggest that all the poor are good and all the rich are evil. Once we eliminate the semantic game-playing by which some refer to a non-coercive voluntary utopian type of socialism, it becomes clear that socialism is incompatible with a truly free society. Edmund Opitz has seen this clearly:
As History’s vice-regent, the Planner is forced to view men as mass; which is to deny their full stature as persons with rights endowed by the Creator, gifted with free will, possessing the capacity to order their own lives in terms of their convictions. The man who has the authority and the power to put the masses through their paces, and to punish nonconformists, must be ruthless enough to sacrifice a person to a principle…a commissar who believes that each person is a child of God will eventually yield to a commissar whose ideology is consonant with the demands of his job.
And so, Opitz concludes, “Socialism needs a secular religion to sanction its authoritarian politics, and it replaces the traditional moral order by a code which subordinates the individual to the collective.” All of this is justified in the cause of improving economic well-being and in the name of compassion.
The Choice I Make
I think I have said enough to allow me, at least, to make a reasoned choice between capitalism and socialism on the basis of each system’s compatibility to the biblical worldview. The alternative to free exchange is violence. Capitalism is a mechanism that allows natural human desires to be satisfied in a nonviolent way. Little can be done to prevent human beings from wanting to be rich. But what capitalism does is channel that desire into peaceful means that benefit many besides those who wish to improve their own situation.
Which choice then should I, as a Christian, make in the selection between capitalism and socialism? Capitalism is quite simply the most moral system, the most effective system, and the most equitable system of economic exchange. When capitalism, the system of free economic exchange, is described fairly, there can be no question that it, rather than socialism or interventionism, comes closer to matching the demands of the biblical ethic.
Ronald H. Nash has been a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Kentucky University since 1966, and is the author of 12 books including Social Justice and the Christian Church. Here he explains why social justice and biblical ethics are best served by capitalism, while the inherently coercive nature of socialism ultimately begets a new secular religion denying man’s link to God.
This July 4th let’s remember our founders also signed a Declaration of Dependence
Having had the opportunity to travel around the world, let me say I think America is the greatest country on earth.
We are far from perfect. We have our many flaws. But we have so much to be thankful for as a nation.
Imagine what kind of world we would live in today if there had been no America: No one to turn back the rise of the Nazis in World War II. No one to stand up against the tyranny of communism and socialism. No one to stand up for our ally Israel and other nations that need our help.
Why has America been able to do all those things? Because we have a foundation that has taught us what right and wrong are, that every individual life has inherent value and dignity and that there is a God who can and wants to bless us if we follow him.
We learn these things from the most influential book in our country’s history: the Bible.
Thomas Jefferson once said about the Bible, “I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens.” Of Holy Scripture, Andrew Jackson said it is “the Rock on which our republic rests.” Abraham Lincoln stated, “All the good Savior gave to the World was communicated through this Book. But for this Book we could not know right from wrong. All the things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found in it.”
The Fourth of July is this week. As you know, our Founding Fathers framed a document that we call the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
We often forget that in declaring independence from an earthly power, our forefathers made a direct declaration of dependence upon God Almighty. The closing words of this document declare, “With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
But 243 years later, it seems we no longer rely on God the way our founders did.
We have thrown God out of the classroom. We have thrown him out of the courtroom, a judicial system built on biblical truth. And we have done our best to throw him out of modern culture.
And when people forget God, they forget the One who blesses them in times of abundance and guides them in times of hardship. Abraham Lincoln recognized this many years ago when our nation was embroiled in a bloody civil war:
We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
Today, though our Union is at peace, we face a situation not unlike the one Lincoln was facing then.
In spite of being the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth, we have “trouble in paradise.” Americans are more depressed and unhappy now than ever before. One in five Americans — over 60 million — will battle major depression in their lifetime.
Roughly every 11 minutes, someone in America commits suicide. According to statistics— and these are conservative estimates — 1.4 million people attempt suicide every year. In fact, there are more suicides than homicides.
I mention depression and suicide because they reflect the internal state of our nation, and they tell us the answer for America’s problems is not a political one. It is spiritual. We need to turn back to God.
While some people may think of a crusade as a relic of a bygone era, let me tell you, tens of thousands of people still show up every year to our events. I believe they do because they are searching for hope and meaning in this chaotic world we live in, and the gospel offers answers to their deepest questions. The gospel has always been, and will always be, the greatest hope for humanity.
As America celebrates July 4th, I pray we remember our need for God. We need to turn back to the True and only God — the same God our founding fathers invoked when they established this nation.
Bill Federer recounts cruel fates, desperate sacrifices of those who signed Declaration
Signing of Declaration of Independence
Thirty-eight-year-old King George III ruled the largest empire that planet earth had ever seen.
The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776, listed 27 reasons why Americans declared their independence from the king:
He has made judges dependent on his will alone. …
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies. …
To subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution. …
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us. …
For imposing taxes on us without our consent. …
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of trial by jury. …
For … establishing … an arbitrary government. …
For … altering fundamentally the forms of our governments. …
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny. …
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Thirty-three-year-old Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draft of the Declaration contained a line condemning slavery: “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself … in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither … suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce determining to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold.”
A few delegates from southern states objected, and since the Declaration needed to pass unanimously and time was running short with the British invading New York, the line condemning slavery was unfortunately omitted.
John Hancock, the 39-year-old president of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration first, reportedly saying “The price on my head has just doubled.”
Next to sign was Secretary, Charles Thomson, age 47.
Seventy-year-old Benjamin Franklin said: “We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.”
The Declaration referred to God:
“Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. …”
“All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. …”
“Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions. …”
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
This was revolutionary, as kings claimed “The divine right of kings,” namely, that the Creator gives rights to the king, who dispenses them, at his discretion, to his subjects. The Declaration of Independence bypassed the king, declaring that the Creator gives rights directly to “all men.”
Many of the 56 signers sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity. Of the signers:
11 had their homes destroyed
5 were hunted and captured
17 served in the military
9 died during the war
George Walton, age 27, signed, and at the Battle of Savannah was wounded and captured.
Signers Edward Rutledge, age 27, Thomas Heyward Jr., age 30, and Arthur Middleton, age 34, were made prisoners at the Siege of Charleston.
Signer Thomas Nelson, age 38, had his home used as British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown. Nelson reportedly offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.
Signer Carter Braxton, age 40, lost his fortune during the war.
Signer Thomas McKean, age 42, wrote that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three month.”
Richard Stockton, age 46, signed and was dragged from his bed at night and jailed.
Signer Lewis Morris, age 50, had his home taken and used as a barracks.
Signer Abraham Clark, age 50, had two sons tortured and imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey.
More Americans died on British starving ships than died in battle during the Revolution.
Signer Rev. John Witherspoon, age 53, had his son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown.
Signer Philip Livingston, age 60, lost several properties to British occupation and died before the war ended.
Signer Francis Lewis, age 63, found out that the British plundered his home and carried away his wife, Elizabeth, putting her in prison. The British wanted to make an example of her, so they denied her a change of clothes, a bed, and gave her nothing but the most meager food. She was treated so harshly that she died shortly after being released.
Signer John Hart, age 65, had his home looted and had to remain in hiding, dying before the war ended.
John Adams, age 41, wrote to his wife of the Declaration: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Gustave de Beaumont, a contemporary of Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote in “Marie ou L’Esclavage aux E’tas-Unis,” 1835: “I have seen a meeting of the Senate in Washington open with a prayer, and the anniversary festival of the Declaration of Independence consists, in the United States, of an entirely religious ceremony.”
John Adams continued in his letter to his wife: “You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
When 54-year-old Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”
James Wilson, age 34, signed the Declaration. He later signed the Constitution and was appointed to Supreme Court by George Washington. James Wilson stated in 1787: “After a period of 6,000 years since creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance of a nation … assembling voluntarily … and deciding … that system of government under which they and their posterity should live.”
Senator Daniel Webster stated in 1802: “Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
John Jay was president of the Continental Congress, 1778-1779, and later nominated by George Washington to be the first chief justice of Supreme Court. John Jay wrote in 1777: “The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of … choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances. … Your lives, your liberties, your property, will be at the disposal only of your Creator and yourselves.”
Yale President Ezra Stiles, 1788: “All the forms of civil polity have been tried by mankind, except one: and that seems to have been reserved in Providence to be realized in America.”
At the time of the Revolutionary War, nearly every other country on Earth was ruled by a king. Dr. Pat Robertson wrote in “America’s Dates with Destiny,” 1986: “On September 17, 1787, the day our Constitution was signed, the absolute monarch Ch’ien Lung, emperor of the Manchu (or Ch’ing) Dynasty, reigned supreme over the people of China. … Revolts were put down by ruthless military force. In Japan the shogun (warriors) of the corrupt Tokugawa chamberlain Tanuma Okitsugu exercised corrupt and totalitarian authority over the Japanese. In India, Warren Hastings, the British Governor of Bengal, had successfully defeated the influence of the fragmented Mogul dynasties that ruled India since 1600. Catherine II was the enlightened despot of all the Russias. Joseph II was the emperor of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. For almost half a century, Frederick the Great had ruled Prussia. Louis XVI sat uneasily on his throne in France just years away from revolution, a bloody experiment in democracy, and the new tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte. A kind of a constitutional government had been created in the Netherlands in 1579 by the Protestant Union of Utrecht, but that constitution was really a loose federation of the northern provinces for a defense against Catholic Spain. … What was happening in America had no real precedent, even as far back as the city-states of Greece. The only real precedent was established thousands of years before by the tribes of Israel in the covenant with God and with each other.”
President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1903: “In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”
President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924: “The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely … rule of force held in the hands of a few. Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the hands of the people.”
A king has “subjects” who are subjected to his will. The word “citizen” is Greek, and it means a co-ruler, a co-regent, a co-king. A republic is where the people are king, ruling through representatives.
America is a republic where the people get to rule themselves. When someone protests the flag, what they are saying, is that they no longer want to be king. They protest this system where they participate in ruling themselves. They want someone else to rule their life.
Ronald Reagan opened the Ashbrook Center, Ashland, Ohio, May 9, 1983: “From their own harsh experience with intrusive, overbearing government, the Founding Fathers made a great breakthrough in political understanding: They understood that it is the excesses of government, the will to power of one man over another, that has been a principle source of injustice and human suffering through the ages. …”
Reagan continued: “The Founding Fathers understood that only by making government the servant, not the master, only by positing sovereignty in the people and not the state can we hope to protect freedom and see the political commonwealth prosper. In 1776 the source of government excess was the crown’s abuse of power and its attempt to suffocate the colonists with its overbearing demands. In our own day, the danger of too much state power has taken a subtler but no less dangerous form.”
John Adams wrote in his notes on “A Dissertation on Canon & Feudal Law,” 1765: “I always consider the settlement of America … as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for … the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
John Jay noted in 1777: “This glorious revolution … distinguished by so many marks of the Divine favor and interposition … and I may say miraculous, that when future ages shall read its history they will be tempted to consider a great part of it as fabulous. … The many remarkable … events by which our wants have been supplied and our enemies repelled … are such strong and striking proofs of the interposition of Heaven, that our having been hitherto delivered from the threatened bondage of Britain ought, like the emancipation of the Jews from Egyptian servitude.”
Franklin Roosevelt stated in 1939: “Rulers … increase their power over the common men. The seamen they sent to find gold found instead the way of escape for the common man from those rulers. … What they found over the Western horizon was not the silk and jewels of Cathay … but mankind’s second chance – a chance to create a new world after he had almost spoiled an old one. … The Almighty seems purposefully to have withheld that second chance until the time when men would most need and appreciate liberty.”
Ronald Reagan stated 1961: “In this country of ours took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in the world’s history – every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another. … Here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man. … The founding fathers established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God-given right and ability to determine our own destiny.”
British Edwardian writer G.K. Chesterton stated in “What is America”: “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on creed. That creed is set forth … in the Declaration of Independence … that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice. … It certainly does condemn … atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.”
Calvin Coolidge stated July 5, 1926: “The principles … which went into the Declaration of Independence … are found in … the sermons … of the early colonial clergy. … They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the Divine image.”
Henry Cabot Lodge, who filled the role of the first Senate Majority Leader, warned the U.S. Senate in 1919: “The United States is the world’s best hope. … Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance … for if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.”