Have you heard of Josiah Walls or Hiram Rhodes Revels? How about Joseph Hayne Rainey? If not, you’re not alone. I never knew half of our nation’s past until I began to re-educate myself by learning from original source materials, rather than modern textbooks written by progressive Democrats with an agenda.
Interestingly, Democrats have long ago erased these historic figures from our textbooks, only to offer deceitful propaganda and economic enticements in an effort to convince people, especially black Americans, that it’s the Democrats rather than Republicans who are the true saviors of civil liberties. Luckily, we can still venture back into America’s real historical record to find that facts are stubborn things. Let’s take a closer look:
An 1872 print by Currier and Ives depicts the first seven black Americans elected to the U.S. Congress during the Reconstruction period of 1865 to 1877-- and they’re all Republican!
Meanwhile, Republicans pushed full steam ahead. Take, for example, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution that officially abolished slavery in 1864. Of the 118 Republicans in Congress (House and Senate) at the time, all 118 voted in favor of the legislation, while only 19 of 82 Democrats voted likewise. Then there’s the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments guaranteeing rights of citizenship and voting to black males. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of either the Fourteenth (House and Senate) or Fifteenth (House and Senate) Amendments.
In spite of this, in almost every Southern state, the Republican Party was actually formed by blacks, not whites. Case in point is Houston, Texas, where 150 blacks and 20 whites created the Republican Party of Texas. But perhaps most telling of all with respect to the Republican Party’s achievements is that black men were continuously elected to public office. For example, 42 blacks were elected to the Texas legislature, 112 in Mississippi, 190 in South Carolina, 95 representatives and 32 senators in Louisiana, and many more elected in other states -- all Republican. Democrats didn’t elect their first black American to the U.S. House until 1935!
Political Gangs With Pointy Hoods
By the mid-1860s, the Republican Party’s alliance with blacks had caused a noticeable strain on the Democrats’ struggle for electoral significance in the post-Civil War era. This prompted the Democratic Party in 1866 to develop a new pseudo-secret political action group whose sole purpose was to help gain control of the electorate. The new group was known simply by their initials, KKK (Ku Klux Klan).
This political relationship was nationally solidified shortly thereafter during the 1868 Democratic National Convention when former Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest was honored as the KKK’s first Grand Wizard. But don’t bother checking the Democratic National Committee’s website for proof. For many years, even up through the 2012 Presidential Election, the DNC had omitted all related history from 1848 to 1900 from their timeline -- half a century worth! Now, for the  election cycle, they’ve scratched even more history. Apparently, they believe it’s easier to just lie and claim to have fought for civil rights for over 200 hundred years, while seeing fit to list only a select few distorted events as exemplary, beginning as late as the 1920s. Incredibly, the DNC conveniently jumps past more than 100 years of American history!
Nevertheless, this sordid history is still well documented. There’s even a thirteen-volume set of Congressional investigations dating from 1872 detailing the Klan’s connection to the Democratic Party. The official documents, titled Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, irrefutably proves the KKK’s prominent role in the Democratic Party.
One of the most vivid examples of collusion between the KKK and Democratic Party was when Democrat Senator Wade Hampton ran for the governorship of South Carolina in 1876. The Klan put into action a battle plan to help Democrats win, stating: “Every Democrat must feel honor bound to control the vote of at least one Negro by intimidation…. Democrats must go in as large numbers…and well-armed.” An issue of Harper’s Weekly that same year illustrated this mindset with a depiction of two white Democrats standing next to a black man while pointing a gun at him. At the bottom of the depiction is a caption that reads: “Of Course He Wants To Vote The Democratic Ticket!”
This is reminiscent of the 2008 Presidential election when members of the New Black Panther Party hung out at a Philadelphia precinct wielding big batons.
The Klan’s primary mission was to intimidate Republicans -- black and white. In South Carolina, for example, the Klan even passed out “push cards” -- a hit list of 63 (50 blacks and 13 whites) “Radicals” of the legislature pictured on one side and their names listed on the other. Democrats called Republicans radicals not just because they were a powerful political force, but because they allowed blacks to participate in the political process. Apparently, this was all too much for Democrats to bear.
By 1875, Republicans, both black and white, had worked together to pass over two dozen civil rights bills. Unfortunately, their momentum came to a screeching halt in 1876 when the Democratic Party took control of Congress. Hell bent on preventing blacks from voting, Southern Democrats devised nearly a dozen shady schemes, like requiring literacy tests, misleading election procedures, redrawing election lines, changing polling locations, creating white-only primaries, and even rewriting state constitutions. Talk about disenfranchising black voters!
There were also lynchings, but not what you might think. According to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, between 1882 and 1964 an estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,279 whites were lynched at the hands of the Klan.
Today, the Democratic Party no longer needs the help of political gangs wearing pointy hoods to do their dirty work. Instead, they do it themselves. You may recall the case of black Tea Party activist Kenneth Gladney, who was brutally beaten by two SEIU members during a 2009 health care town hall meeting.
In February 2011, a union thug with Communications Workers of America was caught on tape physically assaulting a young female FreedomWorks activist in Washington, DC. Then in 2012, Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook jumped on the protest bandwagon against the state’s new right-to-work legislation stating, “Whoever votes for this is not going to have any peace for the next two years.” An even worse threat was issued on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives the next day by Democratic Representative Douglas Geiss who charged, “There will be blood!”
As we forge ahead into this critical  election season, let us not forget the real history of America when blacks and whites, primarily Republicans, worked side by side defending the rights and dignity of all Americans. It’s a history that has been kept out of the history books--a history that today’s Democrats routinely lie about while promptly pointing their finger at Republicans, calling white Republicans racists and black Republicans Uncle Toms.
This is because Democrats have a secret past that must be protected and an agenda that must be fulfilled. If history is any indication of what the future might hold, brace yourself. There will be some in the Democratic Party who will be prepared to do whatever it takes to silence any opposition.
Dr. Kimberly Bloom Jackson,
Dr. Jackson, Kimberly B. "The Secret Racist History of the Democratic Party." American Thinker. Accessed July 29, 2020. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/05/the_secret_racist_history_of_the_democratic_party.html.
There has been a lot of silence among the Christian population when it comes to the separation of the Bible and the political realm of society. There was a time in the not so far past that it was common for the typical American family to engage in worship, sermons, and politics—all under the church’s roof and steeple, as well as inside the family home. It was only at the start of the 1960’s that the American-Christian would start to feel an invisible suppression that would transcend on the free-right to discuss politics and religion at the dinner table.
The Christian Patriot was a sermon delivered at the South Congregational Church in Boston on July 5, 1840 By Rev. M. I. Motte. He started with Psalm 144:15--Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. The preacher charismatically included:
“Politics should be but one form of that charity which is the end of the divine law. One more of benevolence, one of the ministrations of philanthropy; and ‘Holiness to the Lord’ be inscribed over the portals of its halls of state and the chambers of its social festivals, as over the church door. Especially with us should this be aimed at on triple grounds. For, if political parties with us cannot be Christian parties, then are we a godless nation; there can be few Christians throughout the length and breadth of the land; since he, who is no politician under our institutions, is a solitary rarity.”
“And how can we make a Christian nation? To become so, must be an individual, not a collective act. Legislation cannot do it, if legislation would. Resolves of majorities, in caucus or in Congress, in towns or by states, or even unanimous votes, is not the way to affect it. The simple and sole process is for each person privately to resolve, for his single part, no influence in legislative deliberations, no political name or fame whatever, – nay, the shrinking woman and child, whose deliberations look not beyond the homestead, or who can legislate only over their own hearts, – these can add a stone, as truly as the mightiest statesman or the loudest demagogue, to build up the national temple to the Lord. Public opinion is the life-breath of our own government, and therefore to Christianize that, we have but to Christianize ourselves. O what it is ye may achieve! No such power as this is possessed by the subjects of any government but yours.”
In this sermon, Rev. Motte made some great references to God-given liberty and where the government positions itself in relation to Christian-American citizens. No such power that we have as citizens to change the political spectrum than to vote, and be active in politics and its related current-events. The Founders would have completely agreed with this sermon in its entirety if it had not preceded the sermons date.
Dr. Stephen K. McDowell, President of Providence Foundation, mentions that the “Founders saw man from a Christian perspective; that is, man is sinful and in a fallen state. As such, they were careful to construct a form of government that would not entrust man with too much power, knowing that sinful man will tend to abuse power. John Adams wrote:
To expect self-denial from men, when they have a majority in their favor, and consequently power to gratify themselves, is to disbelieve all history and universal experience; it is to disbelieve Revelation and the Word of God, which informs us, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…. There is no man so blind as not to see, that to talk of founding a government upon a supposition that nations and great bodies of men, left to themselves, will practice a course of self-denial, is either to babble like a new-born infant, or to deceive like an unprincipled impostor.”
John Adams was referring to those elites and government forces that openly carried the majority power and influence in American politics. He references the fact that any expectations from those individuals who would rather gratify their own personal wants over the betterment of society as a whole nation would be downright absurd. Separating Christianity and politics just doesn’t work. The Bible is entirely political in its entirety. It screams of pro-activity from the Christian population, especially in the participation of current-events and American politics:
“I don’t talk politics and I don’t talk religion! It’s always guaranteed to start a fight.” This quote is a commonly voiced occurrence that happens around the dinner table almost every single night. Or how about the younger generation? They are the one’s that typically voice how uninterested in politics they are, or how it’s “just not my thing.” It is this combination of dismissive and overly-passive remarks that sugar-coat what appears to be devotion. Any political engagement by the individual person in the church body is sometimes seen as making one somehow unfit for the gospel.
For all the rest of this people that have been flooded with TV ads, telemarketing campaigns, and the all too common negative vibes of politics—the above mentioned quotes might be a tempting and attractive position to take. But for legitimate Creation-believing, and Bible-applying Christians, this is not a position that we can or even should accept.
The message that Dr. David Closson offers is that the “message of the gospel is that by grace through faith sinners can be reconciled with God (Ephesians 2:7-8). This message transforms individuals and enables them to lead godly lives. Mandated by Scripture (Matthew 28:19-20), Christians are charged to share the good news and disciple others in faith”
The Gospel is an all-inclusive message with critical implications for all-parts, and all-walks of life. This message should include of Christians actually engage the political process here in America. Active participation in the legal process that has been afforded to us all is the key here.
So, thanks to Dr. Closson, here’s an excerpt on four reasons Christians should care about politics:
1. The Christian worldview speaks to all areas of life.
A frequently raised objection against Christian engagement with politics is that anything besides explicit preaching and teaching of the Bible is a distraction from the mission of the church. However, this is a limited understanding of the kingdom of God and contrary to examples in Scripture.
The Christian worldview provides a comprehensive understanding of reality. It speaks to all areas of life, including political engagement. In fact, the Bible speaks about civil government and provides examples of faithful engagement.
In the Old Testament, Joseph and Daniel served in civil government, exerting influence to further the flourishing of their nations.
In the New Testament, Jesus engaged in holistic ministry, caring for the spiritual and physical needs of people. Feeding the hungry and healing diseases were an outworking and extension of the reconciliatory message of the gospel.
Paul also advocates this approach: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone” (Galatians 6:10). And: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Engaging in “good works” should include participating in the political process because of the legitimate and significant role of government. The decisions made by government have a substantial impact on people and the way we interact with them. A Christian worldview should include a political theology that recognizes every area of life must be included in the “good works” of believers, especially politics, an area with significant real-life implications for people.
2. Politics are unavoidable.
As “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11), it can be tempting for Christians to adopt a mindset that earthly governing systems are inconsequential to the task of furthering the gospel. But ask a pastor in an underground church or a missionary attempting to access a closed country if politics are inconsequential. Religious liberty, passports and visas are not unnecessary luxuries but are often vital for pastors and missionaries seeking to preach and teach the gospel.
Augustine’s City of God offers guidance on this point. Believers are citizens of the “City of God,” but on this side of eternity, we also belong to the “City of Man” and therefore must be good citizens of both cities. There are biblical examples of how membership in the earthly city can be leveraged for furthering the reach of the heavenly. Paul’s appeal to his Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37, 22:25) is a model of this.
In an American context, engaging these dual cities takes on added significance because of the words prefacing the Constitution: “We the people.” In the United States, ultimate national sovereignty is entrusted to the people. James Madison explained that the “consent of the people” is the “pure original fountain of all legitimate authority.” This reality makes politics unavoidable for American citizens who control their political future.
Because politics have real-world implications for Christian evangelism, missions and preaching the gospel, Christians ought to engage the political process by leveraging their rightful authority, advocating for laws and policies that contribute to human flourishing.
3. We need to love our neighbor.
When questioned by religious authorities on the law, Jesus explained that loving God with heart, soul and mind was the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). He added that second in priority was: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
Followers of Christ are called to love and serve their neighbors (Matthew 28:19-20). When asked about the qualifications of “neighbor,” Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), indicating that irrespective of race, background, social status or occupation, neighborly love is owed.
In a very real sense, politics is one of the most important areas in which Christians demonstrate love to neighbor. In fact, how can Christians claim to care about others and not engage the arena that most profoundly shapes basic rights and freedoms? Caring for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and lonely is important to Jesus and should be to His followers as well. Jesus said, “As you did it to one of the least of these you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
Fulfilling the biblical mandate to love neighbor and care for the “least of these” should be a priority for every believer. Again, a holistic approach is essential. Loving neighbor includes volunteering at a homeless shelter, as well as influencing laws that encourage human flourishing. Good government and laws are not negligible factors in the prosperity and freedom of a society.
For example, the majority of North Koreans are held in economic bondage by corrupt political forces, whereas in South Korea, citizens are given liberty and a system that encourages prosperity. The people of North Korea need more than food pantries and improved hospitals; they need political leadership and policies that recognize human rights. Advocating for these changes in totalitarian countries is crucial for loving our neighbors in oppressed areas.
Obedience to the golden rule includes seeking laws that protect unborn children, strengthen marriages and families, advocate for the vulnerable, and provide opportunity for flourishing. Politics is a means of effecting great change and must be engaged by Christians who love their neighbor.
4. Government restrains evil and promotes good.
Government derives its authority from God to promote good and restrain evil. This mandate is expressly stated in Romans 13:1-7. Elsewhere, Paul urges that prayers be made “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul understood the need for Christian participation in government.
Government plays a role in the work of God’s kingdom on earth. Good government encourages an environment conducive for people living peaceably, whereas bad government fosters unrest and instability. Because of sin, the legitimate institution of government has, at times, been used illegitimately throughout history. However, numerous examples persist of Christians reasserting their influence and redeeming government to promote good and restrain evil.
In How Christianity Changed the World, Alvin Schmidt documents Christian influence in government. Examples include outlawing infanticide, child abandonment and gladiatorial games in ancient Rome, ending the practice of human sacrifice among European cultures, banning pedophilia and polygamy, and prohibiting the burning of widows in India. William Wilberforce, a committed Christian, was the force behind the successful effort to abolish the slave trade in England. In the United States, two-thirds of abolitionists were Christian pastors. In the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, helped lead the civil rights movement against racial segregation and discrimination.
Carl Henry rightfully stated that Christians should “work through civil authority for the advancement of justice and human good” to provide “critical illumination, personal example, and vocational leadership.” This has been the historic witness of Christians concerned about government promoting good and restraining evil.
Jeremiah 29:7 says: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Referring to Babylon, the prophet recognized that secular government served a legitimate purpose in God’s plan for Israel. This is still true. Today, good governments promote literacy, advance just laws, provide religious liberty and allow churches to preach and teach. Good government can serve as a conduit for the furthering of the gospel and human flourishing.
Christian’s in America, who live their lives in the public-venue, actually contribute spiritual values to the public. These carry moral and ethical weight when dealing with life’s problems in public. When Christians pull back from politics, it opens up a degenerate vacuum that is open to outside influences. These negative influences actually pressure our government to work outside the framework chosen by God.
Essentially, politics effect government and absolutely effect its resulting legislation on the people. Politics shape society, and influences how our nations culture changes and ultimately carries itself over time. It is because of what the Bible teaches and it’s inevitable effect on our American culture that Christians absolutely must care about current-events, as well as politics.
Daniel L. Smith,
 Motte, M. I. "Sermon - Christian Patriot - Boston, 1840." WallBuilders. Last modified July 25, 2017. https://www.wallbuilders.com/sermon-christian-patriot-boston-1840/.
 Dr. McDowell, Stephen K. "Christian Principles and Structure in the Constitution." Providence Foundation. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.providencefoundation.com/christian-principles-and-structure-in-the-constitution/.
 Dr. Closson, David. "4 Reasons Christians Should Care About Politics." ERLC/Mere Agency. Last modified August 4, 2015. https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/4-reasons-christians-should-care-about-politics/.
I didn’t expect the persecution of American-Christian’s to start this early, but given the timing of current events it’s to no surprise that politics would enter to rear their ugly heads in 2020. This also shouldn’t surprise the most of us as the battle of human principles are currently being waged between “the right” and “the left.” Unfortunately, it’s now happening in California right before our eyes. It should truly be seen as an appropriate event given the times that we are currently living in.
If you are a Christian and you live in the Golden State of California, welcome to church services that can be almost comparable to 6th generation Christians living in the early post-Resurrection times of Jesus Christ. Well maybe not to the exact measurement, but it’s not too far off in actual comparison. To be frank, it’s already hard enough that Americans are having to switch over to ‘drive-in’ church services to compensate for the persecution.
Historian Jennifer Woodruff Tait would write that churches over “later centuries added to this part of the service more and more introductory material, including an introit (service-opening hymn or psalm) and musical settings of the scriptural phrases Kyrie eleison (“Lord have mercy”) and Gloria in excelsis (“Glory to God in the highest”). Much of this was designed as “traveling music” to get everyone in place to begin worship. Further, “acts performed in silence, no matter how essential, always seem to invite verbal or choral accompaniment as if we never quite trust simple action.”
Tait continues on, “The rest of the service grew as well. Psalm-singing became a longer and more elaborate part of the service, and while creedal statements had long been used in the baptismal liturgy, the Nicene Creed came into regular use after the Sunday sermon sometime in the eighth century.”
Singing at church became something traditional as time went on. To completely remove worship from church is an attempt to almost “paralyze” the Christian body. It should be seen as a complete political move to slap Christianity back into the feudalistic days of the Medieval Times. Of course, all of this being done under the cloak and guise of political lies and false pandemics.
Why attack Christians? There are multiple focuses here. The first being the “silent majority” in America do in fact consist of a majority Christian households. Not by much compared to secular America, but still predominant. If you can disrupt the lives of the majority, you can create a rash of social and ethical problems. The typical middle-class American household can not stand morally and ethically if external problems are being created within the home. A great example would be the liberal and Godless mainstream media and it’s proxies (TV, social media, movies). They use common programming (such as Modern Family, CNN, and The View) to manipulate the family from within. False ideas, lies, and gossip. Call it a “trojan horse” if you will.
It’s a social bacteria that has pierced the American heartland, fabricated issue’s that’s been around for some time unfortunately. There is a lot more history to this matter of political and social division. In fact, there is so much information that it would take many books to fill it all in. What I can tell you though, is that it all started at the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction. In fact, the manipulation that was engineered in the shadows of American politics lasted well into the Gilded Age (roughly from 1865 to 1920) and onward until our present day.
At the end of the Civil War, the Union (Republicans - out of complete Christian principle) pardoned all Confederates (Democrats) from any legal prosecution from carrying out open rebellion. Politicians, generals, soldiers, and civilians were pardoned. A majority of those Democratic politicians were allowed to be reinstated with their previous titles left intact (with some restrictions).
During Reconstruction the political stage was being set behind the scenes for a future cataclysm to spark another social reorder. In the Gilded Age, under the disguise of corporate meetings; Democrats, elite individuals, and businesses would collaborate over time to make future ends meet for the betterment of all rouge entities involved. This meant actively participating in the future architecture for preemptive treason. Many of these entities listed were also involved in the transformation of the American public school system—a move that removed God, Christianity, and Creation from the textbooks.
It’s unfortunate that political opponents to traditional America offer up the purposeful attack on Christianity in California. This is completely politicized. Pandemics, domestic terrorist attacks, fires, lock-downs, regulations, policies, and a Governor who’s comparing rightly to pompous historical princes of times past, where the European townsfolk would end up rioting and throwing cabbage and tomatoes at the greedy and insolent elite royalty. 19th century author Mr. Heinzen tells us, "The princes, are the chief authors of all poverty and all distress." Tribulation in Greek means distress under pressure. Also, to hem someone in, or internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options”).
It’s obvious that Gavin Newsom and the Democratic party has established California as their far-left liberal stronghold (thanks Pelosi and Newsom!), and that persecuting Christians would be their final move in attacking conservatives nationally. The mob known as BLM is a Marxist organization being spun up to destabilize America. Its an organization that has been pushed and fostered by many Democratic, individual, and left-wing organizations. BLM and other “grassroots movements” are tools for a much larger and devious plan for the American fabric of society. Today, we stand toe to toe, and face to face with evil. We are in a war on principality.
I was listening to C.S.N. Radio on 93.7 FM here in Northern California three days ago, and while I was listening two U.S. Senators had made serious claims that the civil discord and lawlessness that we are experiencing today are absolutely engineered by particular elite’s and groups being funded by far-left sympathizers. They mention it being "Act 1" of an attempted 2nd American Civil War. In the end, they do not want you to have an identity, they do not want you to have an opinion, and they do not want you to have a voice. Ultimately it’s about how valuable you are to the state and to the government in power, much like being a number in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.
As for right now, pray for our nation because the next ten years is going to get very difficult for all of us. Stay aware, discern, and be involved in local and national politics. I suggest tuning in to ACLJ.org for information and to make donations. Support Christianity and your peers in the legal fight against American tradition. Stay tuned in to the Word of God. And stay close to your fellow Christians.
Sign Petitions, Donate, and Support Christianity in America--
Please visit: ACLG.ORG
Keep seeking the truth!
Daniel L. Smith,
 Tait, Jennifer W. "Did Worship Still Feature the Word?" Christian History Institute, 2012, http://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/did-worship-still-feature-the-word.
 Foner, Eric. "The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction." In A Short History of Reconstruction, 85-86. New York: HarperCollins, 2015.
 Dr. McDowell, Stephen. "A Nation at Risk: Changing Textbooks Reveal the Secularization of American Education." Providence Foundation. Accessed July 6, 2020. https://providencefoundation.com/a-nation-at-risk-changing-textbooks-reveal-the-secularization-of-american-education/.
 Wittke, Carle. Against the Current: The Life of Karl Heinzen, 146. Chicago 1945.
 "Strong's Greek: 2347. θλῖψις (thlipsis) -- Tribulation." Bible Hub. Accessed July 6, 2020. https://biblehub.com/greek/2347.htm.
 "Black Lives Matter Co-founder Describes Herself As ‘trained Marxist’." New York Post. Last modified June 25, 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/.
 Hayward, John. "The Complex Funding and Ideology of Black Lives Matter." Breitbart. Last modified June 11, 2020. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/11/the-complex-funding-and-ideology-of-black-lives-matter/.
 American Center for Law and Justice. Accessed July 6, 2020. https://www.aclj.org.
We’re surrounded today by evidence that too few of us know our history, and too many have been mis-educated to see only its flaws. When we celebrate the Fourth, we’re not only observing our nation’s birthday. We’re also celebrating the things that came into the world along with it.
When we obsess over our faults, we lose perspective and forget that aspect of our past. Never before had a country been built upon the idea that it was not the rule of kings but the dignity of each person that formed the basis of political and social order. We did that.
Our liberty is founded not upon the gift of a favored few, but on the idea that each of us has certain inherent rights, bestowed by God and woven into the fabric of nature itself. The magnificent fireworks we set off on this day every year symbolize one of the most explosive ideas in all human history.
Yet we take it far too much for granted. We assume that these commitments represent the default position of the human race. We’re surrounded today by evidence that too few of us know our history, and too many have been mis-educated to see only its flaws and appreciate none of its grandeur.
After years of teaching American history, I’ve come to the conclusion that to appreciate America properly, we need to know much more than we do about the rest of the world, and about how the American story compares with its real-world alternatives. That’s why I’ve often wished that every course in American history could begin with a reading of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago,” or Robert Conquest’s “The Great Famine,” or Jung Chang’s “Mao,” books that offer a horrifying glimpse into an alternative reality of tyranny, murder, and degradation that even the worst moments in our history cannot rival.
These are large books, so let me suggest a shortcut for this Fourth of July. Before you go out to take in the fireworks and festivities, set aside a couple of hours to watch the recently released movie “Mr. Jones,” directed by Agnieszka Holland, an eminent Polish screenwriter and director.
It is a dark and brooding account of the experiences of an earnest young Welsh journalist named Gareth Jones, who becomes interested in the apparent success of the Soviet Union’s program in collectivized agriculture, and travels to the Soviet Union in 1932, seeking answers to his questions, and hoping to interview Stalin. When he arrives, he discovers that foreign journalists are confined to Moscow, closely surveilled by the government, and that the most important of them, Walter Duranty of the New York Times, is corrupt and committed to echoing Soviet propaganda.
When Jones sneaks out of Moscow and travels to Ukraine, he discovers what Duranty was helping to conceal from the world: scenes of vast and horrifying misery, a frozen, corpse-strewn countryside rendered lifeless by government-directed atrocity, a deliberate starvation of millions of Ukrainians.
Wandering into a town where men are brawling desperately over bits of bread beneath a mural of Stalin holding up an armful of golden grain, Jones comes upon a haggard woman, and asks her, with astonishment in his voice, “What happened here?” She tells him, “They are killing us, millions gone.” “Why?” Jones asks. And then she utters these words, which are the very core of the movie’s message: “Men came and thought they could replace the natural laws.”
That is how it always is with comprehensive schemes to remake the human condition. They set out to replace God and nature, and erase the old ways. They end in human catastrophe. The Soviet collectivization of agriculture was part of a massive effort to replace the natural laws, and subject economic life to a cruel and corrupting standard of dehumanizing rationality, whose success was vouched for by relentless lying.
We should not imagine that we Americans are ever safe from the temptation to do similar things. But we should rejoice that we have, at our very foundations, something that can stand against it: the concept of unalienable rights, grounded in the natural laws, rights that cannot be given and cannot be taken away.
That is the heart of what we celebrate on the Fourth. May we always do so.
See more: https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/04/to-restore-americas-legacy-we-need-to-learn-more-history-not-less/
Wilfred M. McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and author of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.