Saturday, February 21, 2015

THYME Magazine: Winter in America

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IX, Issue VIIa

Winter in America

I for one am tired of seeing images of the President playing golf. I have a feeling I am not alone. The litany of problems our country faces have been mentioned many times in these pages, and Americans are right to feel frustrated and discouraged. But is this our Valley Forge, where our endurance and perseverance will lead to another time of triumph? I hope so, I dare to believe so. David Barton writes, in an article entitled How America Can Reclaim Greatness [1.]

It’s difficult to get Americans to agree on many things today, but there are a few exceptions. Three of four are unhappy with the direction the country is headed. Two of three think America is in a state of decline, and more than half believe that we’re no longer a country where anyone can get ahead and have a better standard of living.

This dismal outlook includes every major American institution. Strikingly, the one that enjoys the greatest public support is the military – but even at that, only four of ten adults have “a great deal of confidence” in our military. Next highest are churches, but only one of four has a high level of trust in our religious institutions. Only one in five has the highest degree of confidence in the presidency; one of seven in public schools; one of eight in the U.S. Supreme Court; one of ten in banks; and only one out of twenty in Congress."

Barton has teamed with George Barna to write: U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots. [2.] These two writers do not deny the serious problems that face us, nor do they ignore the urgency of our collective action. As the President fiddles (or tees off), our country burns. But it is not time for us to retreat to inaction. There are foundations to be remembered and restored. Barton says:

Over the last generation, we’ve largely destroyed our uniquely American culture, created an activist government that pursues its own agenda, no longer serving the people or following the Constitution, banished organized religion to a place of public irrelevance, and reconstructed the traditional family into something never before known in the history of mankind.

Exacerbating these problems is the paralysis that citizens feel as a result of our continuous national news inundation. We routinely hear of maddening decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court, the president’s use of his phone and pen to enact unpopular policies and the Senate’s refusal to take up over 300 common sense bills passed by the House (more than 200 of them passed unanimously), and we know there is nothing we can do to reverse any of these things."

But we have faced dark times before. A study of our nation's beginnings shows how perilous the pursuit of our freedom was. Many times it seems that but for the Hand of Providence, our nation would not have survived.

In tough and frustrating times, there is a tendency to look outside for help – for something to relieve the pressure, to solve the problem, or simply to give hope. For those in the religious community, the pressure-relief valve is often eschatology (the theological view of the final events of history, commonly described as the “end times”) They tell themselves that what is going on now is what was prophesied millennia ago – that current events were decreed by G-d and are beyond any human control."

That is not to ignore the serious problems we face, but rather, it is a call to see them from the perspective of what history can teach us. The authors reference the American Revolution. Only one third of the colonists were in favor of independence. One fourth were clearly against it. The remainder just wanted to be on the winning side. Here it was not an overwhelming majority who prevailed, but a persistent and dedicated core. The cause was taken up personally by those in communities across the land who stepped up and did their part.

The rogue ideology imposed by those in power in Washington is NOT that of the majority. Indeed it has been systematically imposed by encroachment into institutions of higher learning, the media and government itself. In the 1950's, Senator Joseph McCarthy [3.] pointed it out. It is telling that those opposed to McCarthy successfully painted him as an alarmist. The fact remains that the New Deal administration was packed with left-leaning bureaucrats. The seeds of our undoing were already planted. The President golfs, knowing his underlings enact his policies for him. They preceded him, beginning their careers many years ago, but have gained much traction in our present age. [4.]

In future issues of THYME we will look closer at how ideologies so opposed to the foundations of our freedom became ensconced in our national fabric. We will examine how the role of the Church, family, local community and the traditional foundations of our country have been deliberately eroded. For now, we must become well versed in the Truths upon which this nation was founded. We must teach them to our children and hold accountable the academy and the media, who have departed from their ordained purpose and now perpetuate the lies that threaten to destroy us.

A sign on a heavy equipment dealership in Fishersville, Virginia says it clearly: Pray for recovery.
Photo by Bob Kirchman

David Barton. Wallbuilders Photo

2. Suggested Reading: "Venona" (Yale University Press); "The Secret World Of American Communism" (Yale University Press); "The Haunted Wood" (Random House); "The Venona Secrets" (Regnery); "The Secret History Of the KGB" (Basic Books); "Whittaker Chambers: A Biography" (Modern Library); and "Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the life and legacy of America's most hated Senator" (Free Press).

The Museum of the Bible
Coming in 2017

The Museum of the Bible. Model by Smith Group JJR

Scheduled to open in 2017, the yet-to-be-named museum would welcome people of all faiths and include rare Torahs as well as historic Bibles.” -- The New York Times, July 16, 2014

A museum collection of such great cultural significance will likely be a sought-after destination for the visiting public.” -- Thomas Luebke, secretary of the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts, Washington Post Magazine, Sept. 12, 2014

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, have a new project. Just two blocks from the National Mall, On Virginia Avenue, the Museum of the Bible is beginning to rise. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the new museum will contain historical artifacts from the Greens' own collection and will present an often overlooked part of our national fabric -- the Sacred Texts and their influence. Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby, is overseeing the project and has an ambitious vision for the eight story complex.

Biblical literacy is at an all-time low as secularists demand a civil society that makes no reference to the Scriptures, but this was not always the case. Our first President stated that it was impossible to govern the world without them.

Critics of the new privately funded museum decry the lack of 'diversity' in the museum's board (most are Evangelicals) and the fact that the museum will present the Scriptures as reliable Divine Revelation rather than simply as study artifacts. [5.] But it must be remembered that though Scripture is indeed referenced on the friezes of Washington's classical edifices, The National Museums themselves often diminish the role of Faith in our nation's story or leave it out altogether. A replica of the aluminum capstone for the Washington Monument in one such display was deliberately placed against a wall to obscure the text: LAUS DEO (Glory to G-d) inscribed upon it.

Thus it could be said that the Museum of the Bible simply tells the story that others won't. It promises to be a sophisticated experience. The building is designed by Smith Group JJR, Washington, D.C., who's portfolio includes the International Spy Museum, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.The display floors themselves are being designed by firms such as The PRD Group in Chantilly, Virgina, who have crafted many displays for the Smithsonian. [6.]

Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby.

David Green began Hobby Lobby as a $600 start-up in his garage...

...which grew to become a national company providing art supplies, craft supplies and fine art framing. Photo by Bob Kirchman

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