Trump’s Attack on History: The 1776 Project, Racism, Nationalism, and Fraudulent Patriotism to Conform History to his Twisted Ideology

 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Today President Trump launched a major attack on the history of the United States by announcing what he called The 1776  Project, a direct attack on the 1619 Project which aims to tell the story of how the English Colonists introduced what became the institution of slavery and entrenched racism in the United States. I know the subject well, my book which will be published sometime in the next year “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory!” Racism, Religion, Ideology and Politics in the Civil War Era and why they Continue to Matter” deals extensive with this history, and I can say based on his actions and utterances that the President is using this to further divide the country on racial lines and to open American history as his next front of his culture war.

Trump said he would create a national commission to promote a “pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nation’s great history,” which he said would encourage educators to teach students about the “miracle of American history.”

Here is the full text of his speech release by the White House:

“Our mission is to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character. We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms, and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world. (Applause.)

To grow up in America is to live in a land where anything is possible, where anyone can rise, and where any dream can come true — all because of the immortal principles our nation’s founders inscribed nearly two and a half centuries ago.

That’s why we have come to the National Archives, the sacred home of our national memory. In this great chamber, we preserve our glorious inheritance: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.

On this very day in 1787, our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It was the fulfillment of a thousand years of Western civilization. Our Constitution was the product of centuries of tradition, wisdom, and experience. No political document has done more to advance the human condition or propel the engine of progress.

Yet, as we gather this afternoon, a radical movement is attempting to demolish this treasured and precious inheritance. We can’t let that happen. (Applause.) Left-wing mobs have torn down statues of our founders, desecrated our memorials, and carried out a campaign of violence and anarchy. Far-left demonstrators have chanted the words “America was never great.” The left has launched a vicious and violent assault on law enforcement — the universal symbol of the rule of law in America. These radicals have been aided and abetted by liberal politicians, establishment media, and even large corporations.

Whether it is the mob on the street, or the cancel culture in the boardroom, the goal is the same: to silence dissent, to scare you out of speaking the truth, and to bully Americans into abandoning their values, their heritage, and their very way of life.

We are here today to declare that we will never submit to tyranny. We will reclaim our history and our country for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

The radicals burning American flags want to burn down the principles enshrined in our founding documents, including the bedrock principle of equal justice under law. In order to radically transform America, they must first cause Americans to lose confidence in who we are, where we came from, and what we believe. As I said at Mount Rushmore — which they would love to rip down and it rip it down fast, and that’s never going to happen — two months ago, the left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.

As many of you testified today, the left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools. It’s gone on far too long. Our children are instructed from propaganda tracts, like those of Howard Zinn, that try to make students ashamed of their own history.

The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies. There is no better example than the New York Times’ totally discredited 1619 Project. This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.

Nothing could be further from the truth. America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history. (Applause.)

The narratives about America being pushed by the far-left and being chanted in the streets bear a striking resemblance to the anti-American propaganda of our adversaries — because both groups want to see America weakened, derided, and totally diminished.

Students in our universities are inundated with critical race theory. This is a Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression, and that our entire society must be radically transformed. Critical race theory is being forced into our children’s schools, it’s being imposed into workplace trainings, and it’s being deployed to rip apart friends, neighbors, and families.

A perfect example of critical race theory was recently published by the Smithsonian Institution. This document alleged that concepts such as hard work, rational thinking, the nuclear family, and belief in God were not values that unite all Americans, but were instead aspects of “whiteness.” This is offensive and outrageous to Americans of every ethnicity, and it is especially harmful to children of minority backgrounds who should be uplifted, not disparaged.

Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words. For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans’ silence for weakness. But they’re wrong.

There is no more powerful force than a parent’s love for their children. And patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country. American parents are not going to accept indoctrination in our schools, cancel culture at our work, or the repression of traditional faith, culture, and values in the public square. Not anymore. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

We embrace the vision of Martin Luther King, where children are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

The left is attempting to destroy that beautiful vision and divide Americans by race in the service of political power. By viewing every issue through the lens of race, they want to impose a new segregation, and we must not allow that to happen.

Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country.

That is why I recently banned trainings in this prejudiced ideology from the federal government and banned it in the strongest manner possible. (Applause.)

The only path to national unity is through our shared identity as Americans. That is why it is so urgent that we finally restore patriotic education to our schools.

Under our leadership, the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant to support the development of a pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nation’s great history. (Applause.)

We are joined by some of the respected scholars involved in this project, including Professor Wilfred McClay. Wilfred, please. Thank you very much. Welcome. (Applause.) Thank you. Dr. Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars. Dr. Peter. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. And Ted Rebarber. Thank you, Ted. (Applause.) Thank you very much, Ted.

Today, I am also pleased to announce that I will soon sign an Executive Order establishing a national commission to promote patriotic education. It will be called the “1776 Commission.” (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. It will encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding. Think of that — 250 years.

Recently, I also signed an executive order to establish the National Garden of American Heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans who have ever lived.

Today, I am announcing a new name for inclusion.
One of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence was a patriot from Delaware. In July of 1776, the Continental Congress was deadlocked during the debate over independence. The delegation from Delaware was divided. Caesar Rodney was called upon to break the tie.

Even though he was suffering from very advanced cancer — he was deathly ill — Rodney rode 80 miles through the night, through a severe thunderstorm, from Dover to Philadelphia to cast his vote for independence.

For nearly a century, a statue of one of Delaware’s most beloved citizens stood in Rodney Square, right in the heart of Wilmington.

But this past June, Caesar Rodney’s statue was ordered removed by the mayor and local politicians as part of a radical purge of America’s founding generation.

Today, because of an order I signed, if you demolish a statue without permission, you immediately get 10 years in prison. (Applause.) And there have been no statues demolished for the last four months, incredibly, since the time I signed that act.

Joe Biden said nothing as to his home state’s history and the fact that it was dismantled and dismembered. And a Founding Father’s statue was removed.

Today, America will give this Founding Father, this very brave man, who was so horribly treated, the place of honor he deserves. I am announcing that a statue of Caesar Rodney will be added to the National Garden of American Heroes. (Applause.)

From Washington to Lincoln, from Jefferson to King, America has been home to some of the most incredible people who have ever lived. With the help of everyone here today, the legacy of 1776 will never be erased. Our heroes will never be forgotten. Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their soul.

We will save this cherished inheritance for our children, for their children, and for every generation to come. This is a very important day.

Thank you all once again for being here. Now I will sign the Constitution Day Proclamation. God Bless You. And God Bless America. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.“

What he actually is saying that anything that questions his White Racist beliefs about American history is unpatriotic, or Un-American. This goes back to two things: first his primary and secondary school education where American History was still taught from textbooks derived from the writings of the racist and revisionist ideologies who propagated the twin myths of the Noble South and the Lost Cause. But the second may be even more important. It was his mentor and legal counsel Roy Cohn, the chief counsel for Senator Joseph McCarthy who made his living as a Senator by attacking the patriotism of men like General George Marshall and many other American patriots as Un-American traitors or communists. There is only one degree of separation between Trump and McCarthy.

Edward R. Murrow spoke of McCarthy in his documentary See it Now, in words that could be equally descriptive of President Trump:

“No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully. Cassius was right: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Trump’s history it is the continuation of racist and nationalist propaganda. Yale historian Timothy Snyder wrote:

“The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, ‘although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,’ wrote Orwell, tends to be ‘uninterested in what happens in the real world.’ Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism ‘has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.’ A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.”

The President fits the descriptions of both Murrow and Snyder. Today’s signing of the Executive Order was yet another Orwellian move to whitewash American history of its 400 years of systemic racism, systemic oppression and enslavement of Blacks; the centuries long genocidal extermination of the people of our First Nations, more often referred to as Native Americans. But let us not stop there, let’s move on to the anti-Catholic immigrant campaign directed against Irish and German Catholics known as the Know Nothings, whose members attacked and killed Irish and Germans, burned their churches, businesses, and attacked them in the streets. On the West Coast there were the crimes committed against Chinese immigrants who though not slaves in a legal sense were treated in a similar manner to like slaves in building stone walls for landowners, and in the construction of the transcontinental railroad, and other railroads throughout the west. But let us not forget the racial and religious discrimination against southern and Eastern European immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s, who included Italians, Greeks, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Russians, Croats, Serbs, Bosnian’s, Turks, Armenians, Lebanese and too many others to name. And we cannot forget the Japanese American citizens placed in concentration camps after being forced to sell their homes and businesses for pennies on the dollar after the Pearl Harbor attack. Don’t let me forget to mention the conquest of Mexico which forced that country to surrender 40% or its territory to the United States, including what is now California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and much of Texas. 

At its dark and evil heart what Trump is doing is “whitewashing” history, writing out our long history of slavery and racism. It is designed to buttress his own ignorance of American history. Trump went to school at a time time American history was written by the most successful revisionist historians of American history, those who promoted the twin myths of the Noble South and the Lost Cause.

Trump’s “Patriotism” is nothing more than that promoted by the Confederates after they lost the war but succeeded in using violence, legislation, and the courts to return freed blacks to at best second class citizenship, at worst slavery by another name.

This is not honest patriotism, especially when he intentionally quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to whitewash his racism. It is the fraudulent patriotism of a draft dodger who despises military, legal, Judicial and diplomatic personnel, calls those wounded, killed, or prisoners of war losers, who despises the ideals, the Constitution, our laws, and the truth.

Trump can only support history if it supports his views which are authoritarian, nationalist, and racist.

When Samuel Johnson said that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” he was referring to men like Trump, not people who have an honest love of their country despite its flaws, and use that love to “build a more perfect Union,” and not promote division and hatred as Trump does every day.

I say damn his nationalism, damn his fraudulent patriotism, damn his racism, and damn any Executive Order that he promulgates on re-writing history to fit his warped world view, and damn anyone who mindlessly follows him into the dark and sulphuric abyss of his soul.

I can abide a lot that political leaders do, but to knowing lie about our history for his racist political gain I cannot ignore. Unlike West Germany which acknowledged its war guilt And even after reunification has continued to pursue, charge and try Nazi War Criminals, the United States only executed one Confederate War Criminal, the Commander of the Andersonville Prisoner of War Camp, a lowly Major, while allowing Confederates up to Vice President Alexander Stephens, to go unpunished and to be allowed to hold state and Federal offices which they abandoned to join the rebellion.

While I wish no harm to come to the President in this life, but I do pray that if God is just that Trump will be held accountable for all of his crimes, in and out of office. These  include his infidelity to at least two wives, his other sexual assaults, affairs and infidelities; his numerous corporate bankruptcies that destroyed the lives of many of his employees and contractors; his multiple violations of the Hatch Act that prohibits any person holding Federal Office for using it for personal, financial, or political gain. The President is a yet to be convicted criminal, a serial liar, a serial adulterer, and an open, flagrant and unrepentant racist. I am sorry, if anyone claiming to be a Christian can support that, they have no right to call themself a follower of Christ.

As for me, I do not fear him. As the young Anti-Nazi German resistance leader Sophie Scholl said:

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.”

I won’t be among he millions who want to survive. I will resist, and I will embody what the German General Ludwig Beck said:

“It is a lack of character and insight, when a soldier in high command sees his duty and mission only in the context of his military orders without realizing that the highest responsibility is to the people of his country.”

And this:

“Final decisions about the nation’s existence are at stake here; history will incriminate these leaders with bloodguilt if they do not act in accordance with their specialist political knowledge and conscience. Their soldierly obedience reaches its limit when their knowledge, their conscience, and their responsibility forbid carrying out an order.” 

This is were we are right now, but I am done for tonight but honestly I cannot imagine how anyone who considers themself a person of faith, especially a Christian can defend Trump’s actions and words as President. Now he and his cabinet, especially his attorney General are looking to using the police power of the government against any and all political opponents for the alleged crime of sedition.

As the German resister to Hitler, Henning Von Tresckow said: “I cannot understand how people can still call themselves Christians and not be furious adversaries of Hitler’s regime.”

As a Christian, a historian, and Priest I am a furious adversary of the President who tramples all that I hold dear.

I say the same about Christians who support Trump, Cover up his perversion of the Christian faith and repeat the conspiracy theories of QAnon, which from an orthodox Christian perspective is nothing more than a Gnostic apocalyptic cult.

As for me, I will tell the truth. Despite threats of death and violence, that I receive on a regular basis, I will speak out. For me this is a matter of my oath to the Constitution, my vows as a Priest, and my commitment as a historian committed to telling the truth. So help me I will tell the truth. I can do no other if I am to remain faithful to the Constitution, my Oath, and my vows as a Priest. 

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

38 Comments

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38 responses to “Trump’s Attack on History: The 1776 Project, Racism, Nationalism, and Fraudulent Patriotism to Conform History to his Twisted Ideology

  1. Every word he says, everything he touches is twisted and turned into lies and deceit.

    It’s a chilling read, an echo of the past.
    A past compiled in the words ‘never again’.

    Fear for the unknown
    Fear of that was, is and always be true

    Fear, the twister of truth.
    Fear, the twister of faith
    Fear, the twister of knowledge.
    Fear, the twister of the next generation.

    I always find the words of President Roosevelt a unversal thruth:

    “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

  2. Pierre Lagacé

    History is repeating itself Padre because how history was (and still is) taught in schools. How it will be taught in the future will determine if history will be repeating itself over and over again.

    Anyone can see what will happen in the next months or so Padre. We don’t need to look at the stars but in ourselves.

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    They don’t even have the wherewithal of creating their own name!! Copied from ‘1619’ … “Trump launched a major attack on the history of the United States by announcing what he called The 1776 Project, a direct attack on the 1619 Project which aims to tell the story of how the English Colonists introduced what became the institution of slavery and entrenched racism in the United States.”

  4. When I first heard about his “executive order” to whitewash the history of the U.S., I was enraged. I’ve tried twice today to write about this, but I keep devolving into a torrent of rants. I thank you, Padre, for doing so well that which I have, thus far, been unable to do!

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Today, in yet another extreme abuse of the power of his office, Trump signed an ‘executive order’ to demand that public schools teach revisionist history, that they exclude the darker past of this nation. I tried to write about this, but was too furious to put coherent words on paper. Fortunately, Padre Steve was more successful than I, so I share his work with you. Please do read this … it is another step … a huge one … in the destruction of the United States. Thank you, Padre!

  6. Padre Steve, there is an intentional effort to “white-wash” American and other history, the term in quotes carefully selected. In an article earlier this week, 60% of millennials and Gen Z-ers are unaware that 6 million Jews were rounded up and exterminated during the Holocaust.by the Nazis. On NPR today, there was a discussion that this is not just lack of education, it is in part due to a disinformation campaign of holocaust deniers.

    Americans are also less conversant on slavery as a Civil War cause, Jim Crow laws and persecution, Native American genocide and maltreatment and the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.

    As a southern white boy, I was taught about states’ rights being the cause of the Civil War, but that is propaganda that was created at the time of the war. Plantation owners had to find a reason to get poor whites to fight for the rich ones’ right to own slaves. If they told them the truth, it may not have drawn the fervor (and manpower) needed to fight. Yet, in secession documents, slavery is noted as a key reason.

    This is a larger trend that Trump is furthering. As the future demographics portray a white plurality, not a majority, there is a movement toward favoring white people’s rights more, advocating a reverse discrimination theme, and disinformation campaigns. This includes a white washing of history and greasing the skids for white nationalists to come out of the woodwork. When Trump said there are good people on both sides after Charlottesville
    blood and soil” march, it was truly a dream come true for people like David Duke.

    I wish this was not true, but sadly it is.

    Keith

    • padresteve

      Keith,

      I wish that it wasn’t true either, but there is a concerted movement to use the propaganda and myths of the Nobel South and Lost Cause as history. I wouldn’t be surprised if he launches a full frontal Holocaust Denial campaign.

  7. Brookingslib

    Well done sir. One thing for sure, Trump wrote none of this speech. Hell, can he even write? This had to have come from his racist top adviser Steven Miller. It’s got his hallmark all over it. Hard to believe it’s come to this, that an avowed white supremacist is advising this so-called president…writing his speeches, formulating immigration policy etc….It’s going to take years to recover from this nightmare. Great post.

  8. What never ceases to amaze me is how so many people who honestly think well of themselves stab their neighbours in the back and think they are doing such a good thing for the neighbours’ welfare! Their neighbour’s back, in this case, is liberalism. Undermining and sacrificing the bedrock principles of liberalism articulated so well by Martin Luther King Junior in the simple wish for ALL individuals to be judged NOT by the colour of their skin but by the quality of their character in the name of whatever – say, Black Lives Matter or the 1619 Project, or even vilifying JK Rowling – and then scurrying behind the anti-Trump shield to defend these deplorable anti-liberal sentiments sacrificed on the anti-Trump altar of Shared Virtue is craven to one’s civic duty. Craven.

    That’s the charge I level against those who think Trump is the problem here (and I stand second in line to no person who wishes to remove this man from public office), even though some of his words used in this speech are speaking truthfully (“America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history.” Fact. Historically defensible as a trend, what Obama called the bending of the arc of Justice. And the legislation to demonstrate this arc is indisputable.)

    These facts have been cast aside, as has the arc, in the headlong rush into stabbing one’s neighbour rights and freedoms and individual autonomy in law in the back and thinking well of one’s self. It is nothing more and nothing less than virtue signalling one’s membership to an ideological cult – sacrificing everyone’s liberal rights and freedoms in it’s name – and rationalized behind ant-Trump diatribes.

    The point here is that Trump’s campaign has fuel from only once source: this religious movement, this ideological cult, of ‘progressive’ anti-liberalism central to BLM and the the 1619 Project both absolutely dependent on elevating the colour of one’s skin over and above the quality of one’s character. In other words, to so many readers here: it’s YOU who are empowering Trump and you do so by this anti-liberal ‘moral’ position of supporting the deeply irrational Critical Race Theory in these historical revision movements you think of is such Good News! for everyone… good enough to become curriculum in public education and policy in government, business, and education… even when it is ideologically warped and perverted from the core values of what it means to be an American.

    • padresteve

      I disagree with you heartily. This goes back to our earliest times. Trump is a symptom. For decades there has been a resurgence among conservatives of Neo-Confederate thought and liberals fight against it they are a cult. Now, I don’t practice group think. I never went after J K Rowling. BLM is a protest movement, I I believe that for All Lives to Matter that Black lives need to matter too, and sadly they haven’t mattered for most of our history. That is the truth, and to tell it is not stabbing your neighbor in the back. In fact your term “stab in the back” conjures up the Dolchstoßlegende, the Stab in the Back myth used by the Nazis. I don’t believe that was your intent but needed to point it out if someone was to come along and accuse you of it.

      I do not deny the good brought about by the United States. I see the words of the Declaration as a key component of expanding liberty for all, “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” (if I made any punctuation errors forgive me because I have memorized those words and didn’t have to go look them up.) I also have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… for over 39 years as an Army and Navy Officer. I believe the words that are in the preamble, that Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg “to build a more perfect Union…” the Bill of Rights and its Amendments, including those pesky 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which were trampled after Reconstruction in the South, and then nationwide after Plessy v. Ferguson which established segregation as the law of the land.

      I believe in all the virtues of our country, but to do that honestly I have to look at that history from the beginning, and sadly it is fraught with the Racism that the 1619 Project places in narrative form. I was writing about them long before the 1619 project as were many other real historians like Eric Foner, James McPherson, and Allen Guelzo. All, like me See the highest ideals of the American Experiment, but all of us know while we recognize what our founders did that many were slave owners, they were men of their time with feet of clay. Do we dishonor them by pointing that out, no we don’t, nor do we think that they should be demonized or erased from history or things like the Jefferson memorial to be removed. I know that there are some radicals that would like that, but I am not among them. I won’t go into the Confederate Statue mess here as you can read the different articles I have written about them beginning in 2017.

      Now before I end for the night I just ask that you judge me by my merits. What I wrote about last night was not against any great American ideal or achievement, but against a project that the President has made a black versus white issue. He didn’t need to do that, but he has been using racially charged rhetoric in calling out and praising the modern Klansmen and Neo-Nazis since Charlottesville. For 401 years Blacks have been either slaves or second class citizens in this country. The President is ignorant of history and what he believes are the myths of the Noble South and the Lost Cause which dominated As far as myths, they can have a positive value even when we acknowledge them as myth; but others like the Nobel South, the Lost Cause, and the Dolchstoßlegende, are toxic and further the harm done to their victims and descendants.

      Both sides of my family who have been here since before the Revolution, fought for independence, and then in 1861 chose to join the Confederacy despite their part of Virginia voting to remain in the Union, because they were slave owners. I honor my family, but I cannot honor such action as rebellion against the Union in order to keep others as slaves.

      I am measured in my opinions, but I don’t censor people unless they chose not to engage in fact or disparage me by name calling. I see that we disagree but I did not block your comments. I did not censor you. I even followed your blog.

      The fact is that the teaching of history, especially in primary and secondary schools has suffered much because it is not valued by most local school districts as important. Thus we end up with substandard texts, curricula, and teachers who are usually social studies types versus history majors. I used to cut geometry class in 10th grade to go to the library and study the history reference books that I could not check out. I lived in the history section of my public library. History has been my life, and I refuse to buckle under to a President whose executive order actually has no power because history curricula is decided at the state and local level often by non-historians who dictate teaching myths and covering up the less than comfortable parts of our history.

      As you notice the President simply established a commission, he did not ask for congress to pass legislation to put more money into the efforts to actually train historians and history teachers, in fact what he did yesterday was more smoke and mirrors and another attempt to further divide the country along racial lines and open history as a new front in his Kulturkreig. Thus as a man and trained historian who is both proud of my country but willing to admit our flaws, mistakes and crimes, without ever giving up on those ideals contained in the Declaration, the Preamble of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and those pesky 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, the Four Freedoms, Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day address, Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address, and Declaration of War Against Japan, though not American, Winston Churchill’s Blood Sweat and Tears speech, JFK’s Inaugural Address, MLK’s I Have a Dream, and I have Been to the Mountaintop speeches, and maybe more importantly his Letter from a Birmingham Jail; Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev Tear Down this Wall” speech, and eulogy of the Space Shuttle Challenger, George W. Bush standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center, Barack Obama’s First Inaugural Address, and so much more. But President Trump has conjured the worst demons of our past, and try to reestablish what amounts to the White Rule of Jim Crow and Post Plessy v. Ferguson eras, while ignoring egregious crimes committed against Blacks throughout our history.

      I have given you much more time to state your case and reply to it than most bloggers would, because I am confident in the facts I present. When my book comes out sometime next year I do hope that you read it, and if you want I will autograph it.

      I ask you to stay safe, and all blessings,

      Peace,

      Padre Steve+

      • Just a head’s up: the ‘All men are created equal’ when penned was intended as a redress (as was the entire Declaration) of the primogeniture law imported under British inheritance law, which Jefferson and others thought of as a cause of unnecessary and perpetual conflict. The principle of individual freedom and rights upheld by law and common to all people, of course, stands on it own merit. After all, that’s where consent of the governed comes from and why today’s identity rights movement that advocates for group right to be awarded in law to its members is the antithesis of this fundamental liberal principle, which makes such calls deeply anti-liberal… arguably anti-American to its core. BLM, for example, has as one of its founding principles the forced deconstruction of the nuclear family in law… a contrary principle ignored by many who misinterpret Black Lives Matter to be a movement of supporting the already liberal principle that all lives, including every shade of pigmentation, matter.

        Also, Jefferson intentionally moved away from the notion of ‘sacred rights’ to inalienable rights as a way to secularize the liberal principles born of the Enlightenment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (happiness in the enlightenment sense of the fundamental right of trying to attain a worthy life) exempt from religious overtones.

        I am fortunate enough to be in possession of many first editions of Carl Sandberg’s exhaustive historical works. I am especially interested in Lincoln and have read his many letters and speeches about Jefferson and other Founders and his esteemed opinion on the primacy of these liberal values, the bedrock on which he was forced to rebuild a more perfect union. The 1619 Project gets its history wrong and is selling a narrative to meet an ideological goal of rewriting history and teaching this version by indoctrination using and abusing the public education system. This is not debatable in the sense that many historians of repute hold consensus that the Project is applied to American history and not adduced from it.

        I think wee should pay attention to the current situation Princeton University finds itself in: having ‘admitted’ systemic racism, the US government has requested evidence in order roll back funding awarded to Princeton on the basis of effectively addressing systemic racism! Now the rubber meets the road and we will see if the platitudes to mollify the Woke crowd and their supporters can hold up against the glaring light of reality. It’s my understanding that reality bats last and always bats a thousand so it will surprise me not at all that such organizations that will have to face the incompatibility of their diametrically opposite statements retract one of them and then the whole house of cards that is Critical Theory that underlies the Social Justice movement including Critical Race Theory will begin to implode.

        But in the meantime, these movements – and support for them – empower Trump and that’s the point I keep raising to those who, like I do, want to remove Trump and his toxic leadership this election. We have to stop going along with anti-liberal movements like identity politics and social justice and stand firmly against them. That’s how you not only get rid of Trump but stop extremist groups from across the political spectrum taking political power and undermining the nation’s key and core uniting values.

      • padresteve

        The extremes have a disconcerting way of working with each other to destroy the middle regardless of the time or place, thinking that if they do in a head to head contest they will defeat the other.

      • That’s why political centrism (what Canada’s ex-Prime Minister called ‘radical’ centrism) is vilified by both extremes. This is where most of us live politically because it’s where our common values are lived. So why do so many people believe that to be anti-Trump means one must support the equally extreme social justice movement and identity politics? This is the stabbing in the back of liberal values which are centrist by definition I’m referring to – common and shared rights and freedoms for all – and it is this departure from the center that is necessary fuel for those to gain political office by popularity like Trump and Bolsonaro and Johnson in the same way it empowers the State to act on behalf of despots like Putin and Xi Jinping and Ali Kamenei. This political shift by liberals, by centrists, to the fringes is the real danger here and so we need to call out those who mistakenly believe that to be anti-despot (pick you leader) you must become anti-liberal and prop up these malignant ideological movements that targets, attacks, and tries to destroy liberal institutions (government and the courts), liberal ideology (free speech, respect for knowledge, respect for shared concerns), liberal achievements (the arc of Justice, human rights, history, court rulings) liberal education (the University of Chicago is the latest to announce ONLY graduate space for Black Studies). If you won’t defend our common values, if your readers won’t defend our common interests but insist that only extreme left wing totalitarian ideology can stand against the populism of a Trump, then liberalism is already dead and people have given away their consent to be governed by whichever despot is the most powerful. This is a battle real liberals must win.

  9. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    “Final decisions about the nation’s existence are at stake here; history will incriminate these leaders with bloodguilt if they do not act in accordance with their specialist political knowledge and conscience. Their soldierly obedience reaches its limit when their knowledge, their conscience, and their responsibility forbid carrying out an order.”

  10. Ah. Another censor. Good to know. We wouldn’t want to make people re-examine their firmly held faith-based beliefs against pointed, reasoned criticism that relies on reality and facts. We really must maintain our little bubble world of non-thinking agreement and feel-good platitudes, I see. Well, this is exactly the attitude needed to help re-elect Donald Trump. You at least can be proud of your virtue signalling here and damn the consequences.

    • When I checked, my original comment was gone. When I rechecked, it was gone. When I wrote this one, it reappeared but still under moderation. I suspect WordPress – and not the administrator – is up to its usual antics. My apologies.

      • padresteve

        I haven’t been on the site all, as I had some minor flooding in my house from the remnants of Sally and contractors doing other work. Had to be a WordPress thing. I haven’t even looked at your original comment yet, been going from most recent on.

      • I’m sorry to hear about the flooding. It’s often an event that keeps causing problems in the house long after the water disappears. I hope you can dry it out quickly.

      • padresteve

        Thank you. We are good. In 2014 when our water heater burst while we were asleep the night before super bowl Sunday we replaced the carpet it tile that looks like hardwood. I just spent hours using the shop to suck up the water, using towels to dry up the residue, and then washing and drying out or throwing away soaked dog toys and pillows.

    • padresteve

      I like the way you write, so I went to your site and followed you.

    • padresteve

      By the way, you should look to the way I treated you before calling me a censor.

      • Yes, my apologies, as I explained above. These interactions of differing opinions are becoming ever fewer and so I think are more important than ever. I don’t know if people realize Lincoln asked his primary political opponent to join his cabinet to help navigate the country through tumultuous times. It’s inconceivable that the same thing could happen in today’s malignant partisan political landscape. How did we get here? Like Terry Fox on his marathon of hope: one step at a time. And so it’s time to change directions, recognize when an opponent speaks truly, and start the arduous task of rebuilding a common respect for fundamental shared liberal values.

      • padresteve

        I totally agree, the major people in his cabinet was really a team of rivals who all opposed him in the primary, but his biggest mistake was rewarding Andrew Johnson’s loyalty in the war with the Vice Presidency. FDR had a number of prominent Republicans in his Cabinet throughout his entire Presidency, Bill Clinton had a couple of Republicans in his cabinet and I think that Obama had a Republican SECDEF. Reagan was willing to compromise and work with Democrats to pass legislation, as were both Bush’s. I think what got us here was 40 years of talk radio propagandists, and a frustration of Blacks and others being left behind, especially after the 2008 crash. Barbara Tuchman wrote in A Distant Mirror: the Tumultuous 14th Century “When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down.” There are those on the Right, particularly the Religious Right who are working against any civil liberties they disapprove, and those on the extreme left who will not compromise either. Barry Goldwater said of the Religious Right in 1994: “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” I do hope that somehow we can come back to some civility, ability to compromise and bind the country’s wounds.

      • …”a frustration of Blacks and others being left behind…”

        That’s ideology talking.

        Not only are there thousands of black politicians, hundreds of black judges, tens of thousands of black police officers, tens of thousands of black professors, black members of the Joint Chief of Staff for thee US military, a black president for 8 years in office, and nearly 400,000 black millionaire families, we a disprove the claim by looking at, say, Nigerian blacks or those from the Caribbean. As a cohort, these blacks seem immune from being ‘left behind’, in fact attaining greater wealth and obtaining higher education for their kids and magically exhibit far less criminality by cohort than whites. Yet this obvious disparity is not applied in the same way as due to ‘systemic racism’ by black against whites and Asians against everyone! This idea that an entire group based on skin colour has been ‘left behind’ is not only far more complex in areas of very real social concern than the current and simplistic faith-based belief behind the social justice movement that advertises and advocates Critical Race Theory (CRT) like the 1619 Project would have us assume is true. The problem is the assumption is false. It is wrong. It is not the case. And this matters a great deal because problems cannot be solved when assumption that is incorrect is used to define the problem.

      • padresteve

        Look at the economics. There have been advances but when you see men like Colin Powell talking about them you have to pay attention. When I was in seminary back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I got to see this first hand because we were poor and lived in Black neighborhoods, I also worked for social service organizations and homeless shelters during that time, and after seminary worked at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. The disparities are so great that until you see them up close and personal they are easy to cover with individual success stories. But if you ask many of those Black civil servants, police, officers, military personnel and others if they still get treated as second class citizens, and are subjected to discrimination, most will say yes. It’s not about ideology. I work at the Naval Shipyard, and a decade before that worked at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth Virginia. Before I transferred from the hospital we attended the Episcopal Church that was founded for the blacks after the war, we got to know the city well though we live in very White and Red Virginia Beach. 55% of Portsmouth is Black, it’s police force is predominantly white and over 80% don’t live in the city. The dividing lines between where Blacks live and Whites live is stark. Likewise when Blacks do get elected to important positions the Whites are constantly trying to recall or bring charges against them. But it’s not just Blacks. My family is originally from Huntington West Virginia which used to be manufacturing and transportation hub of over 100,000 people, now about 50,000 and if you don’t work for Marshall University or the medical center that I worked at there you probably work in a low paying service industry job. Blacks are about 2% of the population but have been ghettoed for as long as I can remember. However, now the Whites are suffering. What used to be prosperous neighborhoods are blighted. It is also the center of the Opioid epidemic.

        As I said, I am a veteran of over 39 years military service and in both the Army and Navy and I can say that I have seen all too many examples of individual racism and systematic racism, as well as sexism, and anti-gay actions in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps that would blow your mind. My last duty station was notorious dual standards on race, and its disparate treatment of Blacks and Whites. When I raised the issue and worked with the Command Equal Opportunity Advisory, who happened to be my Chief Religious Program Specialist, who was a White Conservative Christian, we were shut out and the command always ruled against Blacks for things that Whites were allowed to do without any question, and I am not referring to criminal acts. My Chief became so fed up that she retired early even though she was marked for promotion and was requested by name to work with Navy Special Operations Command.

        I could go into more, but you need to start doing better research. There are large numbers and polls and studies by respected and very fair institutions, private, and government to back up what I say. Again this is not about ideology but careful study of the numbers and direct experience. By the way I was a Republican for 32 years and worked for the Ford Campaign before I was old enough to vote. So if I make such a comment it is from study, history, and personal observation. I call the BS flag on people on the left as well when they don’t back up their claims with facts.

        That is enough for today. I have too much else to do.

        I could go into more.

  11. I stand with you, Padre Steve. I have to forcefully close my dropped jaw time and again when I see the unquestioning drooling followers of Trump’s hate campaign, how easily the minds of the weak, foolish, greedy sheep are controlled and to use the name of Christ in their agenda. I hope I don’t offend you or any other of faith when I say this is not the first time men with evil intent have chosen to successfully rewrite words of truth, for our modern day Bible has been worked over so many times to fit the agendas of men in power to control the masses and minds that it is often difficult to find even a shadow of its original message. My greatest fear is that our Creator will deem the human race a failed experiment and wipe the slate clean. I already feel much of what is written points to our futures and not our past. Atlantis a myth? Perhaps a prediction.

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