OK, I admit it. Watching the July 4th celebration in Washington, D.C., with all the pageantry, fireworks, and patriotism, was inspiring. I won’t apologize for the lump in my throat it caused. I’m not at all embarrassed by that.
But it seems like some are embarrassed by our nation’s history and even eager to show disdain for our past.
Amazing Grace offers us all a lesson.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Who isn’t moved by this inspirational hymn?
Amazing Grace was John Newton’s expression of gratitude to God for helping him turn from a wicked life as a slave trader to become a Christian minister who repented his personal involvement in the slave trade and became a prominent abolitionist.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who would disavow Amazing Grace because of its creator’s transgressions.
But that’s exactly the action some of today’s purity police advocate for America’s founders who owned slaves in their time.
They are mistaken and their error is undermining America.
Simply condemning the actions and beliefs of figures from the past because they are not consistent with prevailing moral views is a grievous mistake. The fact is all people are flawed, but, still, some make immeasurable contributions to history.
Political writer Brendan O’Neill sees a connection between the tendency among woke circles to be hostile toward the founding fathers and declining American patriotism.
“…the consequences of the woke elite’s turn against 1776 will be both more mundane, and more far-reaching.,” he says. “Telling American youths that the founding fathers were scoundrels, and that racism is more central than revolution to the soul of the United States, will alienate these young citizens from their nation. It will estrange a new generation of Americans from the history and the meaning of America. This could sow further social disorientation and strife. After all, if you are led to believe that your nation is a place born in sin, pock-marked with unspeakable crimes, why would you take pride in it?”
Abraham Lincoln warned in 1838 that the greatest threats facing America are from within:
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”