• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Thomas Sowell Asks The Question: Does Patriotism Matter?

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.  He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas.  Sowell’s journalistic writings include a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 150 newspapers from Boston to Honolulu.  The following article is thought provoking and an excellent read:

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism “high-sounding nonsense.”

Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one’s country with “the idea of cosmopolitan duty.”

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations’ banners of patriotism.

In France, after the First World War, the teachers’ unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called “bellicose” books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers’ unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers’ heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun – French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims – and just like victims in other nations’ armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children – as well as some of their classmates and teachers – broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country “cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors.” In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to “raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland.”

But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?

France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter. . . .

Continue reading here. . . .

American Textbooks Are Being “Politically Corrected”

The altering of textbook facts in our country is becoming commonplace. The rewriting of history (Western Civilization & American), in recent years, has been the direct result of the political agenda pushed by secular progressives and their socialist/fascist friends.  Such tampering with the facts is dangerous and leads to a distorted worldview.

For instance: The lessons of history teach us that Islam came into the world to replace other religions; not coexist.  The jihad is a war that seeks to bring this to pass.  There is not one hadith in the Koran that speaks of a “spiritual jihad.”  Jihad is, unfortunately, violent.

A textbook monitoring group has declared that American textbooks have been cleansed of mentioning the violence inherent in the Islamic “Jihad.”  Children are not being taught what “Jihad” truly means.  They are not being taught that it has been used as an excuse to kill their fellow countrymen.  Why have our schools sanitized Islam of all outrage and violence?

According to the New York Examiner, the American Textbook Council reports that textbooks approved for middle and high schools students have caved in to a politically correct cleansing of Islam and dumbed down history critical to a fuller understanding of Muslim history.  According to Gilbert Sewall, several new textbooks, such as Houghton Mifflin’s “Across the Centuries,” have gone through an “amazing cultural reorchestration” to erase the history of violence associated with the word “jihad.”  Sewall fears that a political process has replaced an academic process where it concerns the production and approval of our textbooks.

Read more at: American School Books Redefine ‘Jihad’ to Exclude Violence

Are You Spiritual?

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

A. W. Tozer taught that true spirituality expresses itself in seven ways.  I have listed each below:

I.       There is a desire to be holy rather than temporarily happy.

II.      A man must be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss.

III.     The spiritual man will carry his cross.

IV.     A Christian is spiritual when he seeks to see everything from God’s viewpoint.

V.      The desire of the spiritual man is to die right rather than to live wrong.

VI.     The spiritual man desires to see others advance even at his expense.

VII.    The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments.

“In this world there are two forces: the sword and the spirit.  The spirit has always conquered the sword.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

The Christian World View Of Our Founding Fathers

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature.” – President John Adams

“This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family.  The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” – Patrick Henry

“On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.” – Charles Carroll, Signer of the Declaration

“I shall now conclude my discourse by preaching this Savior to all who hear me, and entreating you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for ‘there is no salvation in any other’. . . . If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.” – John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” – President Thomas Jefferson

“We are not to attribute this [First Amendment] prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence, than the framers of the Constitution). . . . Probably at the time of adoption of the Constitution, and of the Amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State. . . . An attempt to level all religions and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation [disapproval] if not universal indignation [anger].” – Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1779 – 1845)

Quotations from: Original Intent by David Barton / Wallbuilders

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