Posts Tagged ‘History’
The Christian Post reports that “The U.S. Army has removed a cross that was prominently placed on the front of a chapel located at the remote base of Camp Marmal in Northern Afghanistan. . . . [O]fficials said that having a permanent sectarian image on the chapel violated army regulations. . . . One soldier referred to the decision and the regulation behind it as ‘a direct attack against Christianity and Judaism.’”
This isn’t the first time Christianity has been an issue in Afghanistan. Bibles translated into Afghan languages were sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan. Here’s how CNN reported the story in 2009:
Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.
The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.
Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.
So it’s OK to blow up stuff and shoot and kill Afghans, but it’s illegal to share the gospel with them. We have traded bullets for the “gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15).
America has been compromising its Christian heritage with Islamic nations for more than two centuries. It didn’t work then, and it’s not going to work now. Europe abandoned its Christian heritage long ago in the name of religious pluralism, adopted secularism as a state religion, and if demographic reports are accurate will be Islamic in less than 50 years. Playing the neutrality game is having an impact, and it’s not a good one. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
Soldiers during World War I were presented with New Testaments that had Micah 6:8 inserted in them: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” What our government understood in the early part of the 20th century, it now rejects.
Many secularists on the Right believe they will be able to change societies by force forced democracy rather than the heart-changing effect of the gospel. Secularists on the Left believe they will do it with reason and science. Good luck with both extremes.
One supporter of the Afghan Bible ban wrote the following to me after reading a short article I had written making people aware of the story:
You must be out of your mind! Any . . . conversion effort by the soldiers would be considered an affront and negate much of the good work being done over there. They would be considered “crusaders” and another proof of this and play right into Al-Qaeda hands. Obviously you do not appreciate the sensitivity of the situation and the necessity of walking the line of neutrality. The best “sermon” is to do a good job, help with the reconstruction, and police the country.
Jesus did a good job, fed the people, and healed the sick and raised the dead, and He was still crucified. Like in Jesus’ day, a few terrorists are keeping the only thing that will transform the Middle East from the people.
It’s not just soldiers who are denied the right to present the gospel in Muslim nations. Just being a Christian in a Muslim nation of which you are a citizen can get you thrown in jail or worse. Foreign aid workers who have no link to our military are under constant threat if it is perceived that they might present the gospel. Christian minorities are persecuted on a regular basis. Some have had their apartments searched for Bibles and other Christian literature. Converting to Christianity can get a Muslim convert the death penalty.
We’ve seen this type of persecution before, and it didn’t stop the spread of the gospel. Peter and John were arrested “because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 4:2). They were on trial “for a benefit done to a sick man” who had been made well (4:9). Even after seeing the healed man in their midst, the religious leaders “threatened them further” (4:21). Even good works did not persuade these religious leaders to embrace the gospel.
The apostles later were arrested and put “in a public jail” (5:18) and given orders to stop “teaching in this name” (5:28). Peter then utters the classic response: “We must obey God rather than men” (5:29).
A flogging couldn’t get them to stop proclaiming the gospel message (5:40). And neither could executions, first Stephen (7:54–6) and then James the brother of John (12:2). It didn’t take long before the gospel became a threat to the political establishment of the day. Throughout the period of Jewish persecution, the gospel was never compromised. Even with the rise of Roman civil prosecution, the outward witness of the church continued. The word neutrality was not in their vocabulary, no matter what the bloody consequences. The world was changed by their efforts.
The attempt to appease and mollify Muslims by America muting its religious heritage has a long history. In 1797 a treaty was made with the Islamic leadership of Tripoli that stated that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” Of course, this was false given the official documents, charters, state constitutions, and calls for national days of prayer and thanksgiving. But to appease the Barbary pirates and their Muslim protectors, the statement was put in the treaty. Did it work? No! Did the Muslim pirates stop kidnapping Christians from ships that sailed near the coast of northern Africa because of the treaty? No! They saw the accommodation as a sign of weakness and a lack of will. If Americans were willing to give up the sacredness of their religion for the promise of peace, then they would be willing to give up everything. The pirates did not stop their pirating ways.
It did not take long for American government officials to see that religious and other concessions did little good to stop the piracy and kidnapping. America had been paying ransom since 1785 for survivors of captured ships who had been sold into slavery. This stopped in 1801 when the Pasha of Tripoli broke the treaty because President Thomas Jefferson refused to pay the Pasha’s demands for increased payments. The Treaty was renegotiated in 1805 after the First Barbary War. There would be no more compromises regarding the Christian religion with the Barbary extortionists. The statement that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion” was removed from the 1805 Treaty. With a navy to back up the treaty, the piracy stopped for a time and was finally stamped out in 1815 with the Second Barbary War.
For years secularists have tried to use the 1797 Treaty with Tripoli as evidence that the founding of America had nothing to do with the Christian religion. A more thorough study of the Treaty and the history behind it tells a different story. One big lesson of that history is that the United States government hasn’t learned much since 1797 in dealing with radical Islam. Destroying “the sword of the spirit” (Eph. 6:17) which is able to pierce “as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12) will only lead to ongoing wars with bullets, missiles, tanks, and worse.
Read more: Cross Removed From Army Chapel in Afghanistan by Our Own Government | Godfather Politics http://godfatherpolitics.com/2258/cross-removed-from-army-chapel-in-afghanistan-by-our-own-government/#ixzz1fsrJ716E
Unfortunately most of what we are taught in History survey classes in American schools consists of simplistic formulas. Formulas designed to persuade those forced to attend the government controlled education mills that they should ride the same ideological hobby horses as whoever currently has the power to select textbooks and prescribe curricula. Whether it was the rabidly pro-American imperial History of yesteryear that pushed lines such as, “We never started a war and never lost one,” and “We turned a raw wilderness into a civilized nation.” or, if it is the rabidly anti-American propaganda of today spouting lines such as, “America was founded by deists who used serial genocide and economic fascism to steal a nation, pollute the earth, and poison the sea” neither are correct. Both versions are merely two sides of an extremely myopic view which does not seek to discover nor promote the truth but instead seek to mold the next generation into what they think will be foot soldiers in their own crusade.
History, if it has any value at all is that it fulfills two goals. First, the study of History should provide context. A text without a context is a pretext and we must have context so we can understand how we as a people became who we are, how the world became what it is, and where it might go next. Secondly, the study of History should help us learn from and hopefully avoid the mistakes made by those who have gone before so we can leave a better world to those who come after. However, as stated above, these are rarely the goals of History education. The reason why is summed up in a joke only Historians seem to get.
Most people in the world believe objectivity exists. They act as if the stories presented in survey of history classes are “the facts ma’am and nothing but the facts.” I was once part of this blissful herd. I was a self-taught Historian before I took the plunge and studied to become a card carrying member of the profession. I was captured by the allure of History when I was nine years old. Nothing in the world made any sense. What I was taught and saw at home conflicted 180 degrees from what I was taught at church. What I was taught at church conflicted 180 degrees from what I was taught at school. What I saw on the streets appeared real because it seemed to be the way the world actually worked, but it was out of synch with my home my church and my school. Not knowing myself well enough to know that I am a person who operates best when things make sense and the world appears orderly I was confused and uncomfortable living in a world so out of joint.
Consequently when I learned in the third grade that there were histories of the world available I latched on to them like a drowning man latches on to a life preserver. I began reading History books every day. They became my raft in a swirling sea of confusion creating an orderly world of sequential reality that I used to build my bridge to the first positive value of History, gaining a coherent understanding of how we as a people became who we are, how the world became what it is, and where it might go next. However, I was a rebellious child. A child who never moved to the second value of History. I never learned to profit from the mistakes of those who went before. Following those in my family who went before I walked out of traditional education at age sixteen figuring I knew enough to make my way in the world. Twenty plus years of manual labor later I thought it might be a good idea to finish my education.
When I finished my Bachelor degree in History I realized that a Bachelor degree in History is good for two things, it can help you become the manager of the electronics department at Wal-Mart and it opens the door for a Master Degree in History. Since I was determined to become a History professor, I chose the latter. On my first day of graduate school this budding self-taught Historian had to grit my teeth as a professor told our class, “There are no facts, and History is only what Historians say it is.”
Of course I had to run up after class to argue, “How can you say there are no facts? Look at the Vietnam War. We know it happened. We know when it started and when it ended. Those are facts and we can know them!” After listening calmly to my impassioned tirade the professor quietly said, “Maybe there’s another side to that story.”
This rude awakening sent me on a journey of discovery: searching for the other side of the story. Along the way I contributed my first chapter in a History book. My research helped me realize there is more than one side to every story. There are often conflicting facts, overlapping timelines, and always another way to look at everything. The truth of this is displayed in an endless series of quotes. Napoleon once said, “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” Voltaire said, “History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.” Ambrose Bierce said, “God alone knows the future, but only an historian can alter the past.” And one of my favorite philosophers, Anonymous sagely added, “The certainty of history seems to be in direct inverse ratio to what we know about it.”
What is the purpose of this self-revealing stroll down memory lane? It isn’t for the purpose of either self-actualization or confession. Both of those goals were achieved long ago. It is instead my attempt to lead you my loyal reader (for those will be the only ones left after such a lesson in historiography) to the second value of the study of History. I am encouraged by the multitudes of people who are today engrossed in this study. So many of the recently awakened yearn to know the History of America, they long to know how our Constitution was written by whom and why. I am here to remind everyone we need to look at all sides, consider every angle, and remember everyone has a point of view, even Historians, and objectivity is in reality subjectivity in a grey flannel suit.
Remember that second value of History? It should help us learn from and hopefully avoid the mistakes made by those who have gone before so we can leave a better world to those who come after. If we merely exchange the unabashedly anti-American lenses of the present for the unquestioning pro-American lenses of the past we will be blind to what we really need to see.
The complexity of reality defies the easy interpretations of partisan politics. Has America always been right? No, the jingoistic refrain of “My country right or wrong” will lead those who blindly salute it into supporting what is wrong as easily as what is right. Has America always been wrong? No, the view currently used to indoctrinate the youth in our public schools which sees America as an imperialistic power that used genocide, racism, and naked aggression to build a hegemonic empire forget all the good America has accomplished. This view presents an America bent on maintaining the privileges of the rich over the rights of the poor and leads those who imbibe its venom into ignoring that America was founded as the world’s greatest experiment in personal liberty and economic freedom.
Both views are too simplistic for people who want to break free of the matrix and see the world for what it truly is: a struggle between those who wish to control mankind for their own benefits and those who wish to see man set free so he can become all that he may be.
This is a call for those who have taken the bread and circus blinders off their eyes not to replace them with another set. Today we don’t have to rely on what we have been taught. We can use the Internet as a portal into every perspective imaginable, histories beyond counting, and all the great works of mankind. Read broadly, study extensively and think for yourself. Don’t exchange the purveyors of self-serving pap on the left for the purveyors of self-serving pap on the right. Open both ears, hear both sides, use the mind God gave you, and find the center path.
America has done some things wrong. America has done some things right. When it all is brought to the scales, when enough is seen to grasp the big picture, it is the non-objective view of this Historian that America has provided more freedom for more people than any other country that has ever existed. It is also my opinion that powers of anti-freedom have sought to regain control since the Revolution, and if those who have been too busy working and raising families don’t spend enough time to learn what History teaches we will soon earn the reward for the failure to hold on to the past. We will lose the future.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
‘The answer to the Kennedy assassination is with the Federal Reserve Bank. Don’t underestimate that. It’s wrong to blame it on (CIA official James) Angleton and the CIA per se only. This is only one finger of the same hand. The people who supply the money are above the CIA.’
- wife of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, told to author A.J. Weberman
I am one of those who do not believe the national debt is a national blessing… it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country
Andrew Jackson, Letter to L. H. Coleman of Warrenton, N.C., 29 April 1824
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913), Doubleday
“The Rothschilds introduced the rule of money into European politics. The Rothschilds were the servants of money who undertook the reconstruction of the world as an image of money and its functions. Money and the employment of wealth have become the law of European life; we no longer have nations, but economic provinces.” (New York Times, Professor Wilheim, a German historian, July 8, 1937).
“If you will look back at every war in Europe during the nineteenth century, you will see that they always ended with the establishment of a ‘balance of power.’ With every reshuffling there was a balance of power in a new grouping around the House of Rothschild in England, France, or Austria. They grouped nations so that if any king got out of line, a war would break out and the war would be decided by which way the financing went. Researching the debt positions of the warring nations will usually indicate who was to be punished.” (Economist Stuart Crane).
From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
Winston Churchill, “Zionism versus Bolshevism”, Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), February 8, 1920, pg. 5
The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.
Henry Ford, My Life and Work, Doubleday, Page & Company, 1922
I am afraid that the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can, and do, create and destroy money. The amount of money in existence varies only with the action of the banks in increasing or decreasing deposits and bank purchases. Every loan, overdraft or bank purchase creates a deposit, and every repayment or bank sale destroys a deposit. …. And they who control the credit of a nation, direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.
Reginald McKenna, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressing the shareholders as Chairman of the Midland Bank, at the Annual General Meeting in January 1924.
The present Federal Reserve System is a flagrant case of the Governments conferring a special privilege upon bankers. The Government hands to the banks its credit, at virtually no cost to the banks, to be loaned out by the bankers for their own private profit. Still worse, however, is the fact that it gives the bankers practically complete control of the amount of money that shall be in circulation. Not one dollar of these Federal Reserve notes gets into circulation without being borrowed into circulation and without someone paying interest to some bank to keep it circulating. Our present money system is a debt money system. Before a dollar can circulate, a debt must be created. Such a system assumes that you can borrow yourself out of debt.
Willis A. Overholser, A short review and analysis of the history of money in the United States, with an introduction to the current money problem (1936), p. 56
Posted by Peter Schweizer
Jan 28th 2011
The Washington Post, which never passes up an opportunity to attack Sarah Palin, has gone after her for criticizing President Barack Obama’s “Sputnik” reference in the State of the Union Address. Palin noted accurately that what Obama was calling for was “big government” as the solution to our problems. She further pointed out big government socialistic solutions are what in part did the Soviet empire in. Those comments sent Steve Stromberg at the Washington Post into a hyperbolic fit, declaring that her analysis is “weird.” But his response indicates that he knows as little about the Soviet Union and Sputnik as President Obama’s speechwriters.
Stromberg says that Palin misconstrues Obama’s main point that “the Americans who responded to early Soviet success in space exploration by educating themselves and out-innovating the Soviets.” But Stromberg misses Palin’s larger and more important point about history: Sputnik was really meaningless in the larger scheme of things. It was all hype, and it was basically used by people in Washington to advance their own political agenda. Perhaps Stromberg should have consulted the Post’s own archives before he went after her. As Newsweek (which the Post used to own) wrote on the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik:
Less than a week after Sputnik began orbiting Earth once every 96 minutes, politicians and the press had spun it into a shocking symbol of Soviet superiority that could soon lead to nukes falling on American cities. But far from being alarmed by Sputnik, newly released archives show, Eisenhower and his military and intelligence advisers welcomed it. The terror triggered by the uninstrumented, 184-pound silvery satellite, roughly the size and shape of a blue-ribbon watermelon and emitting an A-flat beep from its rudimentary radio transmitter, had little basis in reality.
Newsweek goes on: “With Sputnik’s 50th anniversary this week, we’re in danger of getting it wrong yet again, for the supposed lessons of Sputnik are ones we should actually unlearn.” Ouch. Memo to Stromberg: Read some history next time. Memo to President Obama: quit the myth-making.
Palin is right: Sputnik was the typical government solution; symbolism over substance. The Soviets did not really create the high-tech communications satellite everyone thought they did, and Washington really wasn’t threatened by it. They “welcomed it.”
Palin’s other point is that Sputnik was the sort of government bureaucratic program that got the Soviet Union in trouble; it’s an example of what eventually did them in. Citing Wikipedia (what journalistic ingenuity!), Stromberg argues that actually the Soviet Union didn’t have a debt problem until some “thirty years after” Sputnik. Perhaps instead of relying on Wikipedia, Stromberg might have consulted Robert Gates’ book From the Shadows which chronicles, in part, his career as a Soviet analyst at the CIA. (Just in case they are unaware at the Post, this is the same Robert Gates who is now the Secretary of Defense.) On page 173, he accurately points out that the CIA knew early on of the “Soviet economic crisis. From the late 1950s, CIA had clearly described the chronic weaknesses as well as the formidable military power of the Soviet Union.” Hmmm. Do you think this “chronic weaknesses might have had something to do with excessive bureaucracies and the size of government? Note to Stromberg: you will have to close Wikipedia and actually crack a book for this one.
Intellectual debate is well and good, but if you’re going to condescend, you better have something to condescend about. In this case Steve Stromberg of the Washington Post just got schooled by Sarah Palin.