Why History Cannot Be Abandoned
Yes, The Children Are Our Future; We Must Teach Then Well
The 1619 Delusion
Someday they will say about this period that people took greater pride in their hatred of "the other side" than they did in the principles they once held dear. So it was that the New York Times launched the 1619 Project. Its goal? To convince the world that America formally began not with the 1776 Declaration of Independence, but instead when a boatload of African slaves arrived in North America in eyes, 1619.
No serious person has ever denied the scourge of slavery. But that's not what the 1619 project is all about. Instead, it aims to make race the central organizing myth of the nation. That is, we fought England so we could go on being slavers. Slavery, not freedom, was the defining fact of America's founding.
This is obvious twaddle, but such is the state of journalism that the author received a Pulitzer Prize for her work. And with that credential featured in the marketing, the 1619 Project has been taught in 4,500 classrooms and will find its way into many more.
Such as on the subject of the summer 2020 riots, which caused dozens of deaths and more than $2 billion in property damage. She said it'd be "an honor" for it to be called "the 1619 riots" since "non-violent protest has not been successful." At least she was honest about those riots being violent and deadly -that lifts her high about the entire Democratic Party and the left-stream media.
We Have Misunderstood Who Thomas Jefferson Was
Students stuck learning about 1619 should also learn all they can about one man, Thomas Jefferson. Not the underhanded portrayal so many get - that he was a slaver who found time to write the Declaration of Independence. No, they should get the depth with the slavery that existed worldwide at the time:
They don't learn what Jefferson wrote in Notes on the State of Virginia: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just," he wrote in that book regarding the contest between the master and the slave. "The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest."
Dr. Arnn goes deeper on how little today's students learn of Jefferson:
They don't learn that when our nation first expanded, it was into the Northwest Territory, and that slavery was forbidden in that territory. They don't learn that the land in that territory was ceded to the federal government from Virginia, or that it was on the motion of Thomas Jefferson that the condition of the gift was that slavery in that land be eternally forbidden. It schoolchildren learned that, they would come to see Jefferson as a human being who inherited things and did things himself that were terrible, but who regretted those things and fought against them And they would learn, by the way, that on the scale of human achievement, Jefferson ranks very high. There's just no question about that, if for no other reason than that he was a prime agent in founding the first republic dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
We Cannot Forget Our Foundation
A few years ago, Dr. Del Tackket taught a small-group curriculum on the biblical worldview called The Truth Project. "This video-based home Bible study... takes you through 13 engaging video lessons on the relevance and importance of living the Biblical worldview in daily life." I viewed the entire series as part of a small group through my church, and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to gain deeper insights into the broad sweep of Western civilization.
One of Dr. Tacketts' videos covers the importance of knowing the past because it is the key to understanding the forces at work in the present. As he explains:
If I can change your historical context, I can change the way you view the present. This is the power of historical revisionism.
In the Bible, God is frequently commanding His people to remember, to not forget how He has delivered and helped the in the past. For one thing, it makes you grateful to God, and it reminds you of how mighty and amazing He is, that nothing is impossible for Him. Remembering what God has done for you in the past also helps you trust Him in your present situation, and in the future.
In one instance, God told Israel to take up stones and pile them up along the banks of the Jordan River to remind future generations of God's acts of deliverance (Joshua 4:1-9).
The Christian writer Brandon Clay took this to mean:
God had just saved the entire nation of Israel from being slaves in Egypt and they were finally entering the Promised Land. The first command he gave then after they crossed the Jordan River was to build a memorial to the event. So God would tell Israel to remember particular events throughout their history. The consequences of forgetting God's activity in history can be fatal to the future of any people. When a people forget their history, then they are ripe for a takeover of other leaders who will rewrite history for the sake of the new regime.
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- Jeff Barrus, "Nikole Hannah-Jones Wins Pulitzer Prize for 1619 Project," Pulitzer Center, May 4, 2020, http://pulitzercenter.org/blog/nikole-hannah-jones-wins-pulitzer-prize-1619-project.
- James Panero, "Going Under With the Overclass," New Criterion, April 2022, https://newcriterion.com/issues/2022/4/going-under-with-the-overclass.
- Larry P. Arnn, "Orwell's 1984 and Today," Imprimis 49, no. 12 (December 2020), http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/orwells-1984-today.
- Arnn, "Orwell's 1984".
- "The Truth Project," Focus on the Family, accessed July 26, 2022, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-truth-project.
- Brandon Clay, "History: His Story," Truth Story (blog), July 4, 2021, http://truthstory.org/blog/history-his-story.
- Clay, "History: His Story."
- Clay, "History: His Story."