Monday, June 12, 2017

Bill O'Reilly Primed to Tackle The American Revolution

Bill O'Reilly turns the attention of his mega-bestselling Killing series to the American Revolution. In September 2017, Killing England will go live. According to its preview Amazon listing: "Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain’s King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the reader from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe."

Of course, the title isn't accurate. The Founding Fathers weren't trying to kill England. Indeed, they didn't even want to separate from England initially. They simply wanted the British Empire to live up to the principles of its own constitutional heritage and to honor the promises of its colonial charters. Even when war came, and the Declaration of Independence was later signed, they still didn't want to destroy the British Empire. They only wanted to be left alone. Many of them, including Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, were actually rather fond of the British and pushed for closer British ties after the war.

O'Reilly and Martin Dugard have, of course, received a great deal of criticism for errors and sensationalism for their Killing series. But I think it's unfair to hold the Killing books to the same level of scrutiny one reserves for true historical texts like the mammoth John Adams biography by David McCullough or the classic The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood. The O'Reilly-Dugard books aren't works of scholarship. They are best understood as being in the genre of "creative nonfiction." If you want deep scholarly analysis, they are not for you. But if you want an enjoyable read that transports you into the era they each profile, they accomplish their task. Some of the Killing books are better than others, but I've nevertheless enjoyed reading most of them.

As a Revolutionary War buff, I can't wait for this new book!

Friday, June 09, 2017

What Part of 'No Religious Test' Does Senator Bernie Sanders Not Understand?

The U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids any "religious test" when it comes to people holding public office or public trust in the United States. Somehow, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) forgot that part of the Constitution or chose to ignore it when questioning President Trump's nominee to be the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sanders vociferously objected to the nominee's views on salvation.

Here's an article I wrote over at the American Creation blog on the subject...

Thursday, May 04, 2017

A Reminder from Mount Vernon on Star Wars Day

The fine folks at Mount Vernon have posted this brilliant meme inspired by Star Wars Day. If you don't "get it," you need to watch the original Star Wars trilogy and pay close attention to the end of The Empire Strikes Back. :-)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

YORKTOWN, Va. — Artillery salutes and flag-raising ceremonies. Fifes and drums and military dragoons. Brass bands and color guards. Historians, military veterans, re-enactors, entertainers and enthusiasts reveling in the Revolution will come together March 23 to April 4 to present 13 days of festivities showcasing the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

The Grand Opening Celebration of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will feature a patriotic salute to America’s 13 original states, a dedication ceremony on April 1, tours of expansive gallery exhibits, and military music and 18th-century interpretive experiences in the newly expanded Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.

The Grand Opening culminates the museum’s 10-year transformation from the Yorktown Victory Center. Through immersive indoor gallery exhibits with nearly 500 period artifacts, experiential films and interpretive living-history experiences, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown presents a renewed national perspective on the meaning and impact of the Revolution.
Ceremonies honoring the legacy of the first 13 states in the United States of America will take place each day in the order that they ratified the Constitution – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. A dedication April 1 will officially launch the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Daily programs recognizing each state will begin midday with ceremonial welcoming remarks and presentation of the state flag, followed by an Honor Guard procession along the Grand Corridor to the outdoor re-created Continental Army encampment’s artillery amphitheater for a flag-raising ceremony and artillery salute. Visitors will be able to learn more about each state’s Revolutionary War history through a variety of educational programs, new exhibition galleries, and interpretive programs in the newly expanded Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. Children’s games and family friendly activities will round out the festivities.

For more information, visit http://www.historyisfun.org/grandopening/

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Was America Founded on Socialism?

This video from Prager University (aka PragerU) explains the socialist - yes, socialist - origins of colonial America...

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Why the Electoral College?

The Electoral College remains in place over two centuries after the framers of the Constitution empowered it to select presidents. Though occasionally maligned, this system of electing a chief executive has been incredibly successful for the American people.
To continue reading this piece from Jarrett Stepman, click on the following link...


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Constitutional Convention Completes its Great Work

Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago today (September 17, 1787), delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania put the finishing touches on a document that would replace the ineffectual Articles of Confederation to become the new Constitution of the United States of America. They had gathered to "revise" the Articles, but thankfully decided to replace them altogether. Following ratification by the states, the Constitution of the United States became the longest-serving document of its kind in world history. And it's served as the legal foundation of what has thus far been the freest and most prosperous nation in world history. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Monday, August 15, 2016

How Benedict Arnold Became a Traitor

Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick tackles the most notorious act of treason in American history. Philbrick, author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, turns his focus to the tumultuous period that is also the focus of this blog: the American Revolution. 

In his book Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Philbrick explains that Arnold's treason can only be understood when one studies its context. Other than perhaps Arnold's choice in wives, the same temptations more or less faced other notables in the American Revolution, including the great George Washington. Fortunately for America, Washington withstood such temptations proving himself to be the man of exceptional integrity the nation desperately needed. 

Writing a review of Philbrick's book, John Daniel Davidson explains: 


It’s a wonder that Washington endured such terrible treatment from civilian overseers and managed to keep his army together; a lesser man would have either resigned in disgust or declared himself emperor and taken what his army needed by force. Or he would have done what Arnold did: conclude that the country’s experiment in freedom had failed and that the only way to restore peace and order was to help the British win the war. 

To read the rest of Davidson's review, check out... 



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Abigail Adams vs. Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly's attempt to correct First Lady Michelle Obama's statement that the White House was built by slaves was horrifyingly reminiscent of efforts on the part of early American slave owners to justify slavery. While O'Reilly has since "clarified" that he agrees slavery was an "abomination," his comment that the slaves which helped build the White House were "well fed" is too offensive to ignore.

First, as The Atlantic makes clear, O'Reilly's claims aren't true. Abigail Adams is a far more credible source of information than Mr. O'Reilly or any of us. And she makes clear that the slaves building the White House were not adequately fed or taken care of.

Second, it's irrelevant to the First Lady's point, which is a good one: America has come a long way and nowhere is this more evident than what Michelle Obama is saying about the White House in which she and her husband reside.

Third, even if O'Reilly were correct (and he's not), slavery is still inherently dehumanizing. You can't dress it up and make it good. It's evil. Period.

Now, I'm not one to bash America's Founding Fathers. On the contrary, I respect them deeply - as all Americans (regardless of color) should! But...I also don't believe in sweeping the sin of slavery under the rug. Slavery remains the most egregious stain on our nation's history and we must be willing to confront such things in history if we are to learn from them. And, while I don't always agree with First Lady Obama, I agree with her completely on this point. O'Reilly should apologize unconditionally for his offensive and hurtful comments.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Caesar Rodney Rides Into History

Two hundred and forty years ago, Delaware's Caesar Rodney was galloping hard through the stormy night to reach Philadelphia in time to cast a crucial tie-breaking vote for American independence. Rodney's 70-mile ride the night of July 1, 1776 pushed Delaware into the pro-independence column and insured the Continental Congress voted UNANIMOUSLY (with one colony abstaining) for America's independence on July 2. The Declaration of Independence would be approved two days later, but it was actually on July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress voted to "absolve all allegiance to the British Crown" and lay the foundation for the United States of America.