Christmas Carols and Historical Ignorance

This Christmas I’ve started to realize just how historically ignorant people are. Of course I knew there was a lot of ignorance concerning history in this country, but it’s much MUCH worse than I had previously assumed. How did I learn this? Through Christmas carols. Let’s start with a very well-known English carol: God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen. If you look up that carol in the hymnal at the bottom of the page you will see this: 18th century English carol. English? Absolutely. 18th century? Ummmmm…No. It’s much much older than that. And worse still, not only have we misstated the time period, but we also misinterpret the carol itself. “God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen” does NOT mean “God bless you happy gentlemen.” In the old English “merry” actually means “mighty.” And “rest” doesn’t mean “repose.” It means to “make” or “cause to be.” So the real meaning of the carol is “God make you mighty gentlemen.” Also, “gentlemen” were the landed aristocracy, which I find interesting.

Now, let’s discuss the English carol “Masters in This Hall” by William Morris. Interestingly, while God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen seems to have been written for the higher classes in English society, Morris was an English socialist who seems to have written his carol for the lower classes. The idea of the song, at least as I hear it, is the poor coming into the halls of the rich and proclaiming the birth of Christ to them. Unfortunately, some have erroneously claimed that the song is French. If you study the history of the carol, the tune is French, but the carol itself is English.

In closing, I’ll just say this: know your history. Even small errors in historical analysis can be dangerous. And complete ignorance of history is EXTREMELY dangerous. So just take some time to do some reading. Read a history book that you find interesting or at least palatable. You’ll enrich yourself and you won’t be sorry.

Lenin and Stalin

I just watched a video on how Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, quite possibly the two most famous leaders of the Soviet Union, were different. It was explained that Lenin and Stalin both killed people, but the difference was, Stalin actually enjoyed it, while Lenin merely did it out of “political necessity.”

Be that as it may. Okay, fine, Lenin may well not have been the sadist that Stalin was, but, two things must be taken into account: one, Lenin killed almost as many people as Stalin did, two, he was just as heartless. The very fact that he allowed, and may even have ordered (according to Trotsky,) that the Russian royal family be herded down into a basement in the dead of night and killed is completely barbaric, and utterly inexcusable.

We must always remember, even if the Russians don’t, that the atrocities committed by Stalin were preceded by atrocities of almost equal brutality, committed by Lenin. So, in closing, no one, I repeat, NO ONE, can excuse Lenin’s behaviour by pointing to Stalin’s and claiming it was worse. It simply cannot be done.

More on American History

A lot of people today just like to bash our forefathers and the history of the United States. Words like “racist,” “imperialist,” “colonial,” and “slavery” come up. But I think most people have had a very poor sampling of the history of our United States of America.

Now, I’m going to start with a quick survey of events surrounding the move west. Prior to and during the Revolutionary War the British government, under the leadership of King George III had prohibited settlers from moving west, implementing things such as the Quebec Act. Now, truth be told, our forefathers actually saw this as an infringement on religious liberty. They saw it as an attempt by the Crown to spread Catholicism while suppressing Protestantism. (Interestingly, while the Church of England claimed to be a Protestant denomination, it still had a top down hierarchy and Anglican priests even copied the outfits of their Catholic counterparts, wearing the same black and white collars that Catholic priests wore.)

Another thing that must be understood about the move west in the 1700s is that the population of British America was getting larger while simultaneously being squeezed against the eastern seaboard. They had to go somewhere. And so, they looked west. Interestingly, it wasn’t just the land that motivated them. Some, such as President Thomas Jefferson, where motivated by a desire to evangelize the Native American population. Now, to be fair, some of the “missionaries” that went west during the second half of the 19th century wanted to indoctrinate and assimilate the natives rather than evangelize them. But Jefferson seems to have been motivated by a genuine desire to see the Native Americans come to know Christ. His “Jefferson Bible,” (of which there are actually two,) was originally intended as a teaching tool for the Indians. Plus, it wasn’t the blasphemous, anti-Jesus document that “historians” today want you to think it was. Jefferson had literally cut the words of Jesus out of the Bible, (the red print if you will,) and pasted them together back-to-back so that the words of Jesus could be read non-stop. Why had he done this? A missionary friend had come to him and said that if he wanted to reach the Natives with the gospel, he couldn’t use a full Bible, as the Indians would read the genealogies and get confused. Instead, the friend suggested giving the Indians the words of Jesus and the words of Jesus alone. Jefferson said, “that makes sense,” and so he began work on his “blasphemous book.”

Now I will look to the move west in the 1800s. THAT was wrong. You see, in the second half of the 19th century you had, not merely settlers moving west onto what little land the Native Americans had left. You also had federal troops (and federal troops who had fought in the Civil War might I add,) getting involved. They marched west where they proceeded to butcher the Natives whom Jefferson had so badly wanted to evangelize. This is a very sad turn of events, and one for which we may be getting judged today. Today the Native American population is very much smaller than it used to be. And there are Christians among them, praise be, but they, I believe, still may be suffering for what we did to them, and we may be getting judged for what we did to them.

However, we are also being judged for what we became in the 1960s: a pornographic, oversexed, and selfish society, thinking nothing of the greater good, but only of what we want. And we have the audacity to look at our forebears and say, “We may not be perfect, but thank God (or whatever god people today pray to,) that we aren’t like them.” No, you’re absolutely right, we’re not like them. WE’RE WORSE! MUCH MUCH WORSE! We’ve killed so many babies and put out so much pornography that God may never forgive America. So, in closing, before you decide to judge the Pilgrims this Thanksgiving, take a good look in the mirror first, and ask yourself, “Am I really better than they were?” You would benefit if you tried to answer that question for yourself.

Israel and the World

Did you know that empires rise and fall based on how they treat the Jewish people? “Impossible,” you may say, but it’s true. A quick survey of history shows that this is true.

For my first example I put forward the Achaemenid Empire of Medo-Persia. In 539 BC during the reign of King Belshazzar the Medo-Persian army under King Cyrus destroyed Babylon. No sooner was Cyrus in power than he issued a decree allowing the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem, rebuild the walls and rebuild their temple. In fact, I believe Cyrus even issued threats to those who inhibited the Jews in the rebuilding of the temple. Because of this the Achaemenid Empire flourished, extending from Greece in the west to the borders of India in the east. But their dominance was not to last. In 486 BC King Xerxes (known in the Book of Esther as Ahasuerus,) came to power. He fell under the influence of Haman the Agagite (from whom the modern Palestinians are believed to be descended.) Haman hated the Jews with a passion. Why? Because one Jew, Mordecai, refused to bow down to him. Because of this, he tricked King Xerxes into issuing a proclamation for the extermination of the Jews. Although this extermination proclamation was later counterbalanced with a proclamation allowing the Jews to defend themselves, the anti-Semitic damage had been done, and down went the Achaemenid Empire, giving way to the dominance of the Kingdom of Greece.

Another example of this historical trend is the British Empire. In 1914, on the eve of the First World War, the British Empire was enormous, stretching from Canada in the west, to India in the east. During World War I the British army of General Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby, recaptured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks. After World War I came the British Mandate, which allowed Jewish people to return to their historic homeland and repopulate it. This was a historic moment for the British and the Jewish people. But again, this camaraderie was not to last. During World War II and the Holocaust, the Jews were barred from entering Palestine by the British government, (I don’t think Winston Churchill had anything to do with that.) But again, the damage was done, and because of World War II, the British Empire was irreparably damaged, and fell soon afterwards.

So, where does that place us today? Who replaced the British Empire in dominance and in support of the Jewish people? The United States. Under President Harry S. Truman, we began a long and prosperous friendship with the Jewish people and the state of Israel. That friendship has lasted for a very long time, and America has flourished because of it. Unfortunately, a menace has risen in this country, just as it arose in Medo-Persia and Great Britain: since the Obama administration the American (if it can be called American,) left has been dominated by anti-Semites. Names like Barack Obama and Ilhan Omar come to mind. Right now, we have a very pro-Israel president in office. But we’re living in very precarious times. If we get another anti-Semite in office (and a leftist victory in the next election will insure that,) America could well be next on the chopping block. Think about the history I’ve just disclosed: every time a world power aids and supports the Jews, they flourish. When they don’t, they fall, and they fall hard. I believe that one more anti-Semite in power may well cause the fall of our country. We need to pray for our president and for American-Jewish relations. The future of our country could depend on it.

Winston Churchill

To say that Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a great man would be an understatement. He was so many things: he was a statesman, a soldier, a historian, and much more. He led Great Britain to victory over Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, only to be shunted aside by the English public as his ancestor, John Churchill had been before him.

One of the great portrayals of Churchill in film is that of Gary Oldman (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Dark Knight trilogy,) in the 2017 film Darkest Hour. I’d say possibly one of the best scenes in the film was Churchill’s speech in Parliament, in which he says famously, “We shall never surrender!”

The sad thing is, if I’m remembering correctly, people didn’t like the film, because they don’t like Churchill. That’s sad. Churchill was not just “an imperialist,” or “a colonialist.” He was one of the greatest leaders in the history of the West, able to stand on his own two feet, look Adolf Hitler in the face, draw the line in the sand and say, “No. This is as far as you go.”

I encourage anyone reading this to research Churchill, and come to your own conclusions. Also, if you like history, I would recommend his history books to you: A History of the English Speaking Peoples, the Second World War, Marlborough: His Life and Times etc. I should warn you, however, some of those books are only for avid readers, who could easily finish Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

In closing, just let me say again, if you don’t know Churchill (and, admittedly, even I don’t know much about him,) just read some biographies of him. You may find it, not only enlightening, but maybe even entertaining.

The Fall of America?

So, for all those who say that America is Rome all over again, may I humbly say this: you are only partially correct. We are all the worst empires in history: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Soviet Russia, all rolled into one. We are literally doing what the Bolsheviks did in Russia: we are tearing down hundreds of statues. There is actually a photograph of people during the Russian Revolution wrapping ropes around a statue of Czar Alexander III in order that they might pull it down. Is that or is that not what these revisionist ding-dongs are doing?! Please excuse my language, but I don’t know what else to call them. They are evil people!

Things have officially gotten out of hand. Now their tearing down statues of ULYSIS S. GRANT! I have my own views on him, which I will not state here, but to most people, isn’t he the one who led the army that ended slavery?

This country is falling to pieces. Police are being attacked all over the country. National monuments are being torn down. People are rioting in the streets. America used to be the greatest country on earth. What in name of Mike happened? I’ll tell you what happened: the 1960s happened. And now the hippies are officially running the country! They are capable of more harm than people in the ‘60s may have realized.

Dear God Almighty, I don’t know what to do! I don’t want this country to fall, but it’s going to one way or the other. The human side of me, (and perhaps the ignorant side,) says, “Just let our enemies come in and brutalize this country.” Again I don’t want this country to fall, but we’re tearing it apart anyway! And frankly I speak with King David when I say, “I would rather fall into the hands of God than into the hands of men.” Lord, what will you do?

The First Amendment: What Does It Really Mean?

“Separation of church and state! Separation of church and state!” You hear this from liberals often. This is a rallying cry used to squelch people’s right to practice their faith in the public square. “It’s in the constitution,” they say. “It’s the First Amendment.” They’re wrong.

The US Constitution was written by a people who had fought a war for religious liberty. You may say, “But I thought it was about taxation without representation.” It was, but only to a certain extent. If you read the Declaration of Independence you will find that taxation without representation was only one in many abuses of the British Crown. In fact, you’ll find that “taxation without representation,” is one of the shortest lines of speech in the Declaration of Independence. Plus if you read some of the other writings of the Founders, (such as Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia,) you will find that religious persecution was indeed one of the offences of the Crown.

“That’s all well and good,” you might say. “But what does this have to do with the First Amendment?” Simply put, our forefathers did not fight for religious liberty just to squelch it in the laws of this land. Nowhere in the US Constitution will you find “separation of church and state.” Instead, you will find this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Now, do you see “separation of church and state” anywhere in that amendment? I sure don’t. What I do see is that our Founding Fathers didn’t want an established church, (as there was in England.) They didn’t fight against one religious establishment just to establish another.

So there you have it. Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. And even in the places you will find it, you have to take into account it’s context.

I hope this was helpful to you. And I would definitely advise you to study closely the history of our nation, particularly the writings of our Founding Fathers, (and, sorry to disappoint, but Abraham Lincoln is not one of them.) I hope you’ll take my words into account and look into these things yourself. In fact I implore you to do so. The future of our country may depend on it.

The End of Peace in Europe 1853-1878

Some historians will tell you that the Peace of Vienna lasted from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, (that is, 99 years.) Some historians actually believe that. But I contend that the Peace of Vienna didn’t last that long. Instead, I contend that it lasted for about half a century.

You see, while there may not have been a general European war between 1815 and 1914, there was still lots of strife. There were many smaller wars. In the words of Russian historian Alexis Troubetzkoy:

“In the forty years preceding Crimea none of the great European powers had fought each other, but in less than twenty-five years following that struggle Europe suffered five great wars: Franco-Austrian (1859), Danish-Austro/Prussian (1864), Austro-Prussian (1866), Franco-Prussian (1870), and Russo-Turkish (1878).

With this statement in mind, the European peace was shattered, not by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, but by the Anglo-Franco-Turkish invasion of Russia in 1854.

In reality, can there really be peace until the coming of Christ? Secularists may tell you there can be, but judging by Troubetzkoy’s statement, there is most likely no chance of peace until Jesus returns.

Colonial Williamsburg

For the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to do for work. We’ve been working with Vocational Rehabilitation to try and find me a job. As many of you know, I’m a sucker for history, at this point especially American history. And the good news? I think I finally may have found a job I’d like to work toward: I’d like to work at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Interesting thing about Virginia: if you like American history, this is the place for you. English colonialism started here with Jamestown in 1607, some of the important events of the American Revolution happened there, many of our most prominent Founding Fathers, (such as George Washington and Patrick Henry,) were Virginians, and it was the starting place and ending place of the War Between the States, (or “the American Civil War” even though it wasn’t really a civil war.)

But back to Williamsburg. Some say it was where the American ideas of independence “took root.” I don’t know how that is, but it would be interesting to find out. I’d like to visit Williamsburg someday, and see whether it’s a place I’d like to work in future. I haven’t been to many historic places other than Gettysburg, the Rendezvous in Vincennes, Indiana, and the Brooksville Raid here in Brooksville, Florida. I hope to visit Williamsburg someday soon.

American History

I’ve decided to start studying American history. Not that I haven’t already been studying it for the Physician, but it would be good to study it more. One of the historians I hope to use (not for the musical, but for my own information,) is David Barton, who brings out the faith in Jesus Christ that drove our Founding Fathers to do what they did.

Of course, David Barton can’t be the only historian I use. I’m also going to be reading some books by Joseph J. Ellis. There are two books by him that I’m going to read: Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation and Revolutionary Summer: the Birth of American Independence. They’re short books, and hopefully will be very informative.

I’ve pretty much finished my research for the musical I’m writing. All that needs to happen now is the information needs to be submitted to the directors and they need to find out whether or not this is something that Live Oak Theatre can do. Hopefully we can work something out.