Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The American Experiment; Stepping Stones

Such was the title of episode number ten of The Truth Project. With a couple of nights of this Labor Day weekend seeing me not get to bed until 2:30am (for no really apparent reason), there was a three hour nap this afternoon after church services and our Life Group session. Waking up at 5:00pm from the nap, I knew that it would be at least midnight before this day was done, so I watched two episodes of the video series.

In a nutshell, the series brought out that the foundation of this country is not in its Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Instead, it began much before with the arrival in the “New World” of the Pilgrims. Their arrival was because of the lack of religious freedom in England and with the intent of further spreading God’s word.

From The Avalon Project of the Lillian Goldman Law Library of Yale’s Law School is a link to The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England, written in 1643:


Part of the first paragraph, or preamble, come these words:

“Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace…”

Later, during the forming of the Constitution, the least religious of the 56 “representatives” was Benjamin Franklin, who was a Deist and thus believed in God, but not necessarily in Christianity. It was he who spoke during a contentious period in the negotiation for the wording of the Declaration spoke up and implored that each of the members of the body remember Whom they had offered prayers to on a daily basis and to return to the practice of prayer prior to each day’s deliberations.

In today’s culture, one would come to believe that all the representatives of the Constitutional Convention were a bunch of Pagans. Throughout the episode of The Truth Project, various notables such as Adams, Jefferson and others spoke of the need for the Republic to be based on religion and morality. Without those as a foundation for the country, a Republic would be unable to provide freedom. If a country doesn’t have sound religious beliefs and morals, then the common good is replaced by good for those in power.

If those in power have no belief or allegiance in and with God, then what is to prevent them from becoming god themselves and declaring that all freedoms will come as a result of that “leader’s” benevolence, if there be any at all? We already know that the nature of man is not good, so an outcome of a non-believing leader’s dictates would not be good for believers.

Also, in the founding of the government, the drafting the Constitution seemed to have some belief in the Bible, as they probably went back to Isaiah 33: 22 for these words:

“For Jehovah is our judge, Jehovah is our lawgiver, Jehovah is our king; he will save us.”

The use of the words judge, lawgiver, and king almost seems to be the idea for a Supreme Court, a Legislature (the Congress), and a king (the President.) While that doesn’t necessarily fall back into the idea of God’s social order as written about in earlier posts, it does bring about the idea of “threes” again.

I would then wish to contend that the foundation of the country was with the Pilgrims and Puritans who settled this land with the intent of spreading God’s kingdom. And, that the founders of our government were also highly religious people, primarily Christians, and that the form of government was even a reflection of biblical sources.

However, today’s culture reflects what began over 150 years ago. When they were first founded, many, if not most of our universities were created as religious schools. Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia University all had referenced to God and Christ in their creeds and mottos. Following the publication of “The Origin of the Species” by Darwin in 1859, the new President of Harvard in 1869, one Charles William Eliot, hired Christopher Columbus Langdell as the new head of the Law school.

Langdell’s leadership led to the replacement of Blackstone’s Commentary on the Law as the primary textbook, which incidentally was based on biblical beliefs, with the introduction of “case law” as an evolving method of deciding court cases. This is not surprising considering that both Eliot and Langdell firmly believed in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Alas, the thought comes to me that the universities have been an institution of change from biblical beliefs to more secular ones since the middle of the 1800’s and continues today. While many in those institutions of learning herald that change is inevitable and good, I have to disagree. Our own history, since the beginning of the progressive philosophy in the 1800’s, shows that today’s liberals (of both political parties) have constantly eroded good biblical beliefs.

It is with that in mind that it is not surprising that the political left is so critical of and afraid of the Tea Party movement. It is that movement that desires to move this country’s philosophies back to more traditional and biblical ones, both in the social and legal realms. They naturally rebel against the progressive movement of altering this country into something that is less benevolent than it was before.

Those progressive movements have been at work in just about every aspect of life. My next posting on The Truth Project will be on the topic of labor, and that movement is prevalent in that field. It may be surprising to many to see the changes in that field over the years.

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