If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. ~ Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda.
I like Roger Ebert. He is a great movie critic and I have relied on his recommendations to make movie selections. But when it comes to Civics 101, Roger needs to go back to school.
In Ebert's article published in the New Castle Courier Times last week he made several statements that are simply wrong. But it's not his fault; unfortunately we've been taught a skewed and inaccurate view of American history for decades and now many believe this flawed view to be true.
The prayer rally, while unique in recent years was a common occurrence in the first century of the United States. Between 1622 and 1815 there were over 1,200 prayer proclamations made by presidents and governors including George Washington and John Hancock.
Mr. Ebert ridiculed pre-game prayers asking for victory. Every pre-game prayer I've heard or been involved in asked not for victory but for the safety of all players including their opponents. God may not be interested in "the drift of a field goal kick" but it wouldn't surprise me considering the New Testament story of the fish with a coin in his mouth and the Old Testament story of Gideon and his fleece.
Roger stated that this nation "was specifically not a Christian nation." That flies in the face of statements made by dozens of individuals including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Benjamin Rush, & John Hancock. These individuals, along with several courts and congress itself emphatically stated that the United States was founded on Biblical principles.
Yes, the founding settlers were escaping persecution from nations with state sponsored religions. Which is why they went back to scripture to support revolution against those governments. John Locke wrote The Two Treatises of Government, which quoted scripture over a thousand times to refute the Divine Right of Kings. 100 years later the Founders used Locke's book to create the Declaration of Independence.
If you examine nations, both current and historical, religious freedom and tolerance can only be found in nations founded on Judeo-Christian principles. That's because the founders believed in the free market system and the free exchange of ideas found in scripture. Everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas, products and beliefs; the best ones survive and thrive but the worst ones still have the right to stay in the conversation.
Mr. Ebert also states on more than one occasion that our form of government is a democracy. However, the Constitution guarantees a republican (representative) form of government, not a pure democracy. The Pledge of Allegiance reinforces this concept when we declare, "and to the Republic for which it stands." Many of the founders rejected democracy as one of the worst forms of government. John Adams said, "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
Roger Ebert has had several challenges in his life, and I appreciate his passion for life. He is more than qualified to critique motion pictures. I just wish he had done his homework in Civics 101.
By the way, in researching the information in this letter, I found that the quote at the top of this letter was never actually made by the Nazi minister of propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. But it was repeated often enough that most people now believe he said it, which is incredibly ironic.
Don't believe everything you hear or read. Search for and follow the truth wherever it leads. Use original documents as often as possible, if not exclusively. Do your own research. Then teach others.
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