Category Archives: Let’s Rethink

Why China’s Billions Cannot Take Over the World

Communist China fully believes that given its intense work ethic and one and a half billion citizens in addition to dominating the Pacific Rim the Chinese can also take over the economy of the entire world. This is a pipe dream. And millions of Christians love worrying about it as well. The devil always has us panicky about something doesn’t he? God tells us what to pray and why and why.

Rule by Fear

Let me explain. Communism is a self-defeating system because it is based on the principle of Rule by Fear. The Chinese people have a great deal of freedom in their own homes but beyond that, society is controlled at virtually every level. And fearful people cannot act as they would like.

Most importantly, opinion is monitored, free speech and freedom of movement are highly valued but not available. These are things we Americans hold so dear:

  • the freedom to own guns
  • a secret ballot
  • freedom to move around the country and change jobs
  • the ability to elect people and even more urgently
  • to also un-elect them when needed
  • a free press, and our press is free to lie, which it does a lot
  • freedom to go to church believing no one will enter your worship service to do you harm.

Freedom rules even if there have been limitations on public actions, such as during wartime. This freedom of choice allows individuals to meet economic and personal goals without interruption from the government.

China has none of these basic freedoms.

In contrast China spends a large amount of money watching its citizens and taking quick action to stop anyone who challenges the total authority of the Communist Party, or in anyway criticizes it. https://epochtimes.today/hong-kong-plans-second-mass-protest-against-extradition-amendments/

This is Rule by Fear, but what the outside observer does not realize is that those who rule by fear are themselves also ruled by fear.

Try to imagine that you are sitting at your computer doing your office work and you decide to send an email to a friend suggesting a particular program because it exposes government corruption. Within a short period of time you learn that someone “out there” has read your email and is coming to your office to question your interest in government corruption.

Yes, this might happen in the USA but the censor would not be the government but your boss, who wants to know why you are using company time for personal email, not that corruption is a problem. Your boss may want to watch that program too.

Censorship is everywhere and uses human capital unwisely

The level of censorship shows the rest of the world the level of fear. You do not monitor speech and emails, or the television and press if you are not covering something up. That means you feel guilt.

Recently President Xi of China (pronounced Shee) said he would remain in charge of the nation until he dies. We westerners call this a dictatorship. Someone should tell Mr. Xi that no person in history has been able to be a total ruler, successfully – that all have come to ruin.

https://epochtimes-ny.newsmemory.com/clip_article.php?token=1MTUxtbV39bGs3GTopOenp2ghZTI0srq0tCuoZPRlpukxt3Nysjik6aamnB4kqPDlZ%252FG0sHezp2aqpaYcW%252BUopOSo5iog5U%253D

The Chinese do not really believe the rules apply to them. Natural law, by which the western world has lived for 2+ millennia, says “you reap only what you sow,” that “arrogance leads to ruin.”

The Greeks understood government

The Greeks called this hubris and their plays are profiles of individuals whose heads got too big and their own flaws defeated them. Mao ZeDong, the cruel master who nearly destroyed China during the Cultural Revolution, once said that the God of America did not like the Chinese, that he liked the westerners. Mao spoke of going to heaven where a Chinese God, not The Most High God, would be in charge. Mao’s god was geographical, not universal. So Chinese people believe their nation can live by different rules than the rest of us.

Fear of loss of power, prestige and resources

If you are a ruler whose authority is dictatorial and not the product of a free people, of course you are afraid of losing your position, the power, the money and all the ego perks of ruling a society. Each element of censorship and control demonstrates to the observer that you have multiple fears, not just of fear, but of guilt. No one fears except at the point of guilt. The leadership fears the public simply because it already knows at a deep personal level that it is illegitimate.

Guilt causes additional fear

For your fun and enjoyment here is a list of words that if you put them in your speech or letters, emails, etc. you would find the Mind Control People at your door. No matter that you called your brother a Big Head, here they come!

Chinese people are smart and trained scholars. They show their distaste for communism with these code words:

  • shameless (不要脸)
  • go against the tide (倒行逆施)
  • drive backwards (倒车)
  • I oppose (我反对)
  • long live the emperor (吾皇万岁)
  • throughout the ages (千秋万代)
  • rule the world (一统江湖) — The line “throughout the ages, unify and rule the world” (千秋万代, 一统江湖) appears in Jin Yong’s martial arts novels, notably in “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer” (笑傲江湖), a story that has been widely adapted into television series and films. It is often used in adaptations of Jin’s stories as a slogan chanted by followers to show their loyalty to a cult-like leader.
  • incapable ruler (昏君)
  • ascend the throne (登基)
  • named emperor (称帝)
  • lifelong (终身)
  • reign title (年号)
  • recover one’s authority (复辟)
  • first year of an emperor’s reign (元年)
  • urge a power figure to formally seize the thrown (the writer means throne here) (劝进)
  • fengchan (封禅)  — Ceremony used to ensure dynastic fortune in a new era.
  • Yuan Big Head (袁大头)
  • crooked-neck tree (歪脖子树) — The tree which the Chongzhen Emperor is believed to have hanged himself from.
  • immortality (长生不老)
  • 1984
  • 500 years (五百年
  • great men sent from heaven (天降伟人)
  • slavery (奴隶制)
  • thousands of years (千秋万载)

That list is a small portion of what the Chinese leaders fear as they monitor their own emails and public speech. Leaders are guilty of slavery and their leaders are big heads. 1984 refers to mind control in the novel by that name. They fear being called Emperor because China has suffered under Emperors. And due to the Asian fear of “losing face” they fear being called shameless; they fear the public going against the tide; they fear being called incapable. And that fear filters down throughout the Communist Party to its workers and managers.

Chairman Mao was a generational failure.

Mao’s disastrous policies cost the Chinese people 50 years of progress; they might well be ahead of America today if things had not been so badly mismanaged. Is this what will happen to Emperor Xi?  Will he forget the lessons of history, that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Will he face decades of underlings in the power structure seeking to do him in, jockeying for position when their career ladder is taken away?

Xi and his comrades will spend a great deal of time and money trying to maintain his own personal safety and the swirl of insurrection around him.  Like Caesar, he may be stabbed in the back in public. And the general public will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid the authorities, covering their tracks, watching what they say and do in public and if things get very bad, also in private.  All this energy takes away from the production of goods and service on which a prosperous economic base rests.  There is no peace in China except for small children.

But as the rule book of life says, “Peace. Peace. And there is no peace for the wicked.”

#Quora #Chinesethreat #controlbyfear #losingface

#ImmaculateAssumptions

#WouldYouConsider.net

Warbird, Book Review

Tara Copp, author of Warbird, gives a literary rendering to a very non-literary time in her life as an embedded journalist in the Kuwait war zone. https://www.amazon.com/Warbird-Three-Heroes-Wars-Story/dp/0998061417

Tara Copp



The author has little fear, some natural intensity of purpose, a desire to be a team, and a unique opportunity as most of the embedded journalists were male. But later returning home she has a hard time adjusting to what happened to her – the shock of real bullets, the process of working with the soldiers without getting in their way, the close calls, their inexperience, the dust, the heat, the political fracas, and of course the enemy. The men, all of them real heroes, seemed to adjust better than she did. But many of them did not.

Trying to make sense of her experiences she investigated her grandfather’s life in World War II with his brother. It is an interesting story which she doggedly researched in military and other records. Military men will enjoy this lively picture into the past. But even after she makes peace with her grandfather’s reckless but productive life she is still uneasy. Her contacts from the war filter in and out of her life.

PTSD- Lite

She wandered through a series of disappointing boyfriends, a failed marriage, job moves and restlessness. For some of the soldiers she worked with had very much the same pattern of rootlessness and discontents. The full time soldiers fared better, but that did not negate their separation from their past lives. They just dumped them.

Missionaries tell the story of one of their fellows who headed into the African bush country leading a long caravan of supplies, food and personnel. The first day he was overjoyed over their progress: nine miles on day one, and seven miles the second day. But the morning of the third day the whole caravan stopped cold and refused to move. When the distraught missionary asked why, the Native Guide replied, “We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”

“We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”

Theologians think PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a crisis of image for those with an underdeveloped or damaged sense of self; they will be more negatively impacted by war. Her’s may be a clearer description of PTSD without the extremes of reaction. The military experience was so dislodging to their personalities that their souls did not catch up.

A level of trauma for everyone

Apparently war slams a trauma so severe it cannot be healed, merely absorbed into one’s personality and embraced as an asset rather than a curse. What you became in the battlefield will change you forever. You must deliberately move forward or not survive at all.

Essayist Cornelia Scott Cree writes on Applied Christianity, Dream Interpretation and Biblical Symbolism. She invites questions at her website https:WouldYouConsider.net.

#warwounds #PTSD #soldiersuicide

Let’s Rethink Single Dating

The younger generation has nearly abandoned the idea of marriage and there is a pile of reasons for that. Has anyone considered the hazards of going out on dates with only one person at a time?

You don’t really get to know someone if it is only the two of you.

I’ve been on enough dates to know you only show your good side – usually, and it is easy when there are no challenges. Males can be nice for 3 -5 hours. Maybe even 6 hours; they can be nice at work for 8 hours as well. Their job depends on it.

But when you get people in groups, other things happen.

Years ago well meaning friends decided I needed to not-be-single anymore so they arranged a dinner after church with someone I had no interest in at the time. I didn’t know they were plotting.

This man, I will call him Roy, ordered a burger and fries. Sounds easy right? But there was something wrong with the meat, then the mayo, then the fries were not up to snuff. By the time the meal was over I was ready to stuff the entire plate down his throat with the silverware to follow.

None of this drama would have occurred on a date between just the two of us. His mama’s Southern upbringing would have him display the finest South Carolina manners.

Let’s go back to courting

Courting, in contrast, is the public agreement that marriage is a possibility. If you and your date can agree on this, you will have a concrete goal of getting to know each other without prying eyes. Life is lived in the whole, not as a part. So the public behavior will tell you whom to delete from your list from the start.

Now, many years later and many years older, I have a little test of my own. If I invite him to a restaurant as my guest and while at the meal he insists that he pay, I know he is a control freak and the dating ends there. He is not ready to share his life, only to control it.

Your parents, if they are concerned at all, will also know the right time to make a decision. If “he” or “she” is not ready then you can both go your own way without too many tears or regrets. No baby, no divorce, no alimony or child support, no house to divide up, no pricey lawyers or court dates. Simple.

#dating #divorce #personalrelationships

Tortured Logic and When to have Church

The guy on the radio teaching the Bible had this to say:

“We must not worship on Sunday because this is Satan’s ploy to get us to worship the sun, Sunday’s name-sake.”

The speaker urged us to worship on Saturday which is the Sabbath according to Jewish tradition which he claims is a law for all Christian believers.

When God is talking about The Law, that is a behavior for productive Christian living, it must be logically consistent and merge with other passages in the Bible.  This man’s information did not meet basic standards.

Days of the week are secular in origin

In the first place the names of the days of the week have little relevance to when or how we worship.  Saturday appears to be named after the planet Saturn but we do not worship the planet Saturn.  The word Saturday comes from the word samedi which is another form of the word Sabbath.

Nor does this argument stand the test of other languages.  In French Sunday is called Dimanche or God’s day.  French makes no mention of the sun. The Di prefix comes from Dieu which is French, Dios in Spanish and we have in English Diety.  There is also diabolos, which refers to the devil who is pretending to be God, at least for a while. But God has plans for him. If this Bible teacher is correct, Frenchmen can worship on Sunday because it is called God’s day and Americans and Brits must not worship on Sunday because of the Sun God.

Some Americans call Sunday “Son”day to make sure we know Jesus is the one we worship.

So let’s research this. I looked up the names of the days of the week in a dozen languages and found no shred of evidence that their word for the days if the week made any difference in the time or style of worship.

The New Testament gives us options for worship

It is not the secular name of any day that determines when we worship. In fact in Romans it says that you can choose when you worship. This is very helpful for medical people who often work on weekends, giving them the chance to go to church whenever it works into their schedule. It also helps those who work graveyard, the night time shift and those who work more often on holidays, such as single people who are asked to work on Christmas because, well because they are single!

If we were required to attend church on Saturday many people would not be able to attend church at all. Romans 14 goes into detail on our attitude towards those who worship on another day or have food preferences. Just to leave such questions alone and let people decide without calling it God’s law.

Romans 14:5 One person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and 
another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good
reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of
conscience.

God’s word is separate from man’s choice of words

Another and perhaps more important reason for not using the secular names of the days of the week to determine our theology is because God does not base His word on man’s mistakes or choices. In fact God’s word is not related to man’s good ideas either. God’s word is simply that – His word, demanding respect and hopefully, also obedience.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais #Vietnamese #Sabbitarians #Sundayworship

No, Mary Didn’t Know

The new Christmas carol, Mary Did You Know asks us this. Did Mary, the mother of Jesus, know that her baby would walk on water, rule the nations, heal the deaf and blind, the lame will leap and so on?

To live by faith is the universal command.

The answer is No, she did not know, and the reason is that for us all, Mary included, we must live by faith. Faith is the substance of what is already hoped for and hope is based on the word of God. We are not told the future. God gives us promises personally and for our future as a race, and our job is to believe what God said.

The reason is simple – Mary must face the issue of personal sin, repent and be saved like everyone else. The doctrine that she has a special birth – called Immaculate Conception- is just another Immaculate Assumption. The notion of Immaculate Conception giving her special powers takes away the very amazing accomplishment of this woman and makes her look like a spiritual robot. In addition, there is not a shred of evidence for this in the Bible.

Why would anyone in the year 300 A.D. come up with this idea? Perhaps women were chafing over the domination of men in the church,which itself is not scriptural, and the leaders felt they needed to make a heroine out of Mary? They would especially want a heroine who was a dedicated mother of children. No one is saved by being a good mother, any more than any man can be saved by being a good father. But after 1800 years, we can only guess the rationale for this, and other non-scriptural teachings found in the Roman Catholic church.

So what was that thing she had to face that makes her distinctive of all women? Mary knew what the angel said, that God asked her to raise up a special child without having had sex with any man. 

God does not ask of us without giving us a chance to say no.

It was quite a problematic suggestion.  She would forever in her small town bethought a fallen woman that Joseph agreed to marry even though she was expecting, and that condemnation not just for a week or two but for her whole life.  She needed to believe that God would redeem such a time and provide for her blessings beyond the usual. 

Everyone who lived in the Bible and those of us today have the same burden; we are to believe what God said about us, about salvation, our condition, and about the world to come.  Our salvation comes at the expense of our suspending our knowledge of the real world and moving into the unseen world of God and His blessings and calling.

To everyone is given a measure of faith, (Romans 12:3) just enough to do that job for each of us individually. Mary had that faith to believe. God knows the end from the beginning, but Mary doesn’t, nor Matthew, Mark and Luke or Peter and Paul.  We, as they, must follow the leading of the spirit and perhaps be misunderstand and rejected. We do not know the end, we only know God and His word.  Either we live on that or we don’t.

We tend to forget that atheism is a choice. The Bible says the existence of God is visible in the created world for all to see; man has no excuses.

Every human may be in the dark about the Virgin Birth, but there was one person who Jesus was born of a virgin…Mary.

And that was what Mary knew!!

Try this: www.thoughtco.com/misconceptions-about-mary-700365

#Mary, mother of Jesus #Mary, Did You Know? #ImmaculateConception

Also https://wouldyouconsider.net/2013/12/19/was-mary-a-virgin-and-does-it-matter

Fuzzy Thinking – our enemy

Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Different Kinds of Knowing

Most languages differentiate between simply acquaintance, intuitive feelings  and real knowledge.  But most Bibles do not offer an explanation of which verb “to know” is under in any passage which means the translator must do the work.

Different Verbs for Know

Here is an example of why the King James can be confusing:

Acts 19:15  the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

There are two different words for ‘know’ here, so let’s translate this again:

Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?

In English we say I am getting to know you, or the first level of interpersonal relationship. We could also say that the first few years of schooling are getting to know words and numbers. We memorize at this level but there is no foundation of understanding; information is impersonal, understanding is personal.

Ginosko vs. Ouida

Greek, the language of the New Testament, has two words for knowing – ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive and ouida, a word reflecting the knowledge of personal experience.

Ginosko is a root common in English seen in words such as knowledge or agnostic.  It means perception or understanding; it goes deep into the personality.  Believers respond occasionally to the question, How do you know you are saved and they reply, “I know that I know that I know.” For the non-believer it isn’t much of an answer but for other believers, we all understand.

Oida according to artists is an acronym for Observe, Imagine, Discover and Apply by looking at the natural world and creating something new based on your appreciation.  Writers would not use this word for knowing God; they use gnosis instead.

Here are some Bible verses that use the word ginosko:

Genesis 2:9   And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Notice that God did not give man knowledge if physics and French literature, just good and evil.  On this foundation mankind was to make good decisions enforcing good and resisting evil. Clearly this did not happen.

The Sexual “Know”

Luke 1:34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Here is a common use of the word ‘know’ in King James English, the sexual “knowledge” of two persons required to be exclusive to them. You do not hear it much these days but Bible readers need to understand this usage.

The Book of First John has 31 references to the word know. It profiles all the things believers should know, and how you, the reader can discern the difference between truth and lies.

1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

In this case the truth that is missing is Jesus who is the way, truth and life.  (John 14:16) The passage is telling us that the person is not born again.

Jesus “Not Knowing You” is Important

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Holy Spirit Baptism

Finally there is spiritual knowledge imparted in the Holy Spirit Baptism:

I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

This kind of knowledge comes straight from the spirit of Christ to your spirit and then to your brain. Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with knowledge that is obtained through study or from another person. But Holy Spirit directed information is especially helpful to you because it empowers you to apprehend situations and truths when others do not.

How often have you heard someone say, “I get bad vibes about that guy” and later it is discovered that he had hidden problems.  That kind of intuition is given by the spirit.  Very often small children have this feeling as well.

If you want an instructive Bible study, find a concordance and look up every use of the word know and tie them all back to the original Greek.  It will be an eye opener.

What is the “Will of God”

There are Three Wills of God
For the Human Race
  • The will of God for all human beings. That includes the demand  (1) that the human race believe in Him as Creator (2) He wishes all men to be saved and none perish, which depends on the action of the individual.  (3) that all repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness based on their forgiveness of those who have wronged them (4) that all confess sins.  Confess means to “speak with” or simply to agree with God’s assessment of your situation before him.  If God says you have larceny in your heart,  He wants your knowledge of your inner self so when you agree with Him about your real condition, you are on the road to change.

I taught a Bible study years ago where the only thing they seemed to learn was how to confess someone else’s sin. So I quit!

For an Individual
  • The second will of God is what He desires for you personally, and all 7 billion individuals of planet earth. God has a plan for every human life. (Jeremiah 29:11) New believers often ask this question when they are eager to grow in Christian knowledge and power. Telling them that the will of God is given in the 32,000+ verses of the Bible is a little overwhelming, even though it is true.  The Bible is the will of God, but individual verses do not apply equally to all individuals at once.  To the rich man he did not say,  Your daughter is healed this very hour, or to the blind man He did not say, sell all you  have an give the money to the poor. God’s commands are individually specific. Expect to hear from Him.
For Nations (Ethnos) (Acts 17:26)
  • The third will of God is His desire for individual nations to fulfill their destiny on earth. One of these caveats is that nations are to keep their hands off other nations. God is not a globalist; He repeatedly refers to “ethnos” in the Bible as being His way of having a variety of cultures, individuality and responsibility for nations. Many nations are so badly governed the people have little control over their nation’s destiny. In democracies however, we have both the option and the accountability for what our government does as a unit and how it handles international affairs.

One scripture simplifies what God wants for every person: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  That’s a word we rarely hear; it means there is something in your heart or mind or body that needs to be cleaned up. To sanctify means to make holy, and to make holy means you have access to the presence of God in a great way than you did before. If you fail to go through the cleansing process, your life is marred and you do not enjoy the fullness of God’s promises.

Some people wander around the desert of personal sin, guilt, blame and error and never get anywhere near the promised land. But if you persist, you’ll find the plans of God.

The happiest human beings are those who live in the plans God has for them.  God knows better than you do what you are called to do. Many non-Christians find that place anyway, or live on the edge.

God is in the Details

After you learn what God wants you to do in life, then the next part is living in the sure revelation that your decisions about that life are on target. This is the hardest part of all. It involves the detail of a life – how to spend money, where to live and work, how to use your time comfortably. More often than not it is just “being led.”

Obedience brings Blessings

One of the  greatest blessings in my  life was when I decided to sit in the middle seat in the plane which is usually the most uncomfortable.  The man next to me and I talked for an hour. I felt as those I had entered the kingdom of God and was in heaven with another believer. As  a writer isolated in a town of 1,000 in the high mountains, I see and talk to very few people that know anything about the Kingdom of God, much less actually live in it. God gave me that blessing out of the blue.

 

Bad Arguments vs. Skeptics

A guest blog post. https://apologiainstitute.com/5-bad-arguments-you-shouldnt-use-against-skeptics/

Fine Line between Faith and Politics

Guest essay for today.  Click below.

http://pulpitandpen.org/2018/06/23/drawing-a-fine-line-between-faith-and-politics/

When God Withholds Information

Listening to preachers you might conclude that God is either ready to beat you up over your behavior, or over indulgent about anything you are doing. The Truth is somewhere in the middle and related to your willingness to obey Him.

Everyone starts at the point of salvation – forgiveness first, then repentance which means literally “change your mind” and then believing the gift of God  and allowing Him access to the rest of your life. Then your status changes – you become a disciple.

Here is the scripture: John 8:31-32

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

So here is the progression:

continue in my word means God’s word, the Bible, not the word of man, or churches or TV evangelists, or professors, or politicians. This can take years.

If you do that, then

are ye my disciples indeed.

In deed  not just talk but real results.

Finally, if you meet those conditions,

ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

When God keeps information from  you, most probably you still do not know His word. You will continue in semi information and ignorance until you return to His word in all matters.

That is why we make sure all new believers use the Bible first.

The Poached Egg – a site for all thinkers

http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/06/five-best-scientific-evidences-for-the-god-of-the-bible.html

What the author forgets – temptation is not sin

How we react and act in temptation is what matters.

http://reformationcharlotte.org/2018/06/05/the-same-sex-attraction-hypocrisy-test/

What You Think Determines What You Are

This blog is not Roman Catholic because God is not Roman Catholic but this writer’s presentation of ideas is important. Change who and what you are by thinking God’s thoughts and acting upon them.

via A Christian Apologetics Manifesto (19 Ways to Ignite Apologetic Passion)

Study guide for critical thinking

March 16, 2018 The new curriculum by Elizabeth Urbanowicz on comparative worldview helps kids develop critical thinking skills. │ LISA QUINTANA What is a great way to teach children why the Good News is, well, so “good”? 460 more words

via Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills — Women in Apologetics

Drowning in Ignorance

American thinkers (lower case) often ask, how did we manage to have the mental giants all on the same page when they wrote our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution?

Because whatever it was, the body politic has lost it.  George Soros’ money may have paid for a decade of protest, riots and looting but why are younger generations doing it at all? Don’t they know their roots? It would never occur to Boomers or their elders to wear a vagina suit in public or question their gender.

Time has come to resurrect two mid-20th century prophets, Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind – How Higher Education has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students) 1987 and E.D Hirsch, Jr. (Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know) 1988. They defined the problem.

The Impoverished Souls once in the academy are now running the public schools and the Media

Our wise forefathers had one unifying factor – their common knowledge of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare.  The War of the Roses demonstrated that monarchies do not work, that succession by bloodlines leads to internecine warfare, that assorted King Richards lurk in the shadows to murder their rivals, that foreign wives are anathema as God said to King Solomon, that too much power in one group, be it the barons on the plain or the rabble beyond the pale would sound a death sentence to a Republic. To guard against any concentration of power in any section of the government they included checks and balances and a bicameral system.

Ben Franklin said we’d inherited a Republic if we could keep it.  “Ben, if you are listening, these kids don’t know what a republic is.” So when Saddam Hussein was protected in the Gulf War by a Republican Guard Democrat voters thought that was our own Republican Party?

Our forefathers also knew Plato and Socrates. The notion of a moral leader taking the political high ground from Aristotle sounds quaint today. They knew bias against color and creed in Othello, the dangers of nepotism, bad judgment and the influence of emotional instability from King Lear and Hamlet and as a final warning, Shakespeare named his historical works “tragedies” so yes, it could happen to you too. Tragedies, as defined by the Greeks, were demonstrations of how a personal moral or character flaw could destroy a person in power not the modern day definition which is little more than “oh, what a pity.”

They knew that Protestant Huguenots had been slaughtered on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, so religious freedom was essential. As they wrote these documents they saw the collapse of France from unchecked monetary policy and a politicized state church, and from Elizabeth the First the bedrock need for a free press as well as free assembly, the core of the 1st Amendment, not the Second or Third but the very First. And yes – if we should perchance by accident or design inherit one of these rotten leaders, we need our firearms.

The national mind during the 19th century was held together until the end of World War 2 by the glue of the widely read Harvard Classics. This Public Religion, to use George Will’s phrase, is not a collection of “good ideas” but a record of the failure of Europe to stabilize, as it has yet to do even today. And because they were all originally from immigrant stock they knew Primogeniture and Entail were legal locks on personal and corporate progress. The EPA ties up our property instead now! The glaring millennium of mistakes in Europe created our national principles.

But millions today, thanks to redacted history books and influences from Communist writers like Howard Zinn, leave us with myriads not knowing a shred about all this. We have two or three generations of classroom teachers trained without the cultural literacy of any American assumptions. As a final nail in the academic coffin, there is neither Bible reading nor prayer in schools, so any literary reference to a Prodigal Son or allusions to the Hebrew Bible fall on puzzled ears.  The national division today is not between Republican and Democrat, black and white or rich and poor, but between those who know the origins of the past and those who have a new version of history seen through the lens of moral relativism.

Lincoln quoted Psalm 19 in his Second Inaugural Address; but who knew? Last Friday I watched a few minutes of Washington Week; I started laughing and changed the channel.  We are drowning in ignorance.

(revised.)