Backside of American History

Dear Family & Friends,

I was standing with the groom, best man and groomsmen in a beautiful setting with the Koʻolau mountain range as a backdrop, waiting for the father to escort his daughter to the front of the gathering. In brief conversation, I asked the best man about his vocation. “Oh”, he responded, “I teach the backside of American history at the University of Hawaii.” I couldn’t help but asking, “What do you mean by the backside of American history?” As the music suddenly grew louder and Dad appeared with the bride, he said, “Oh, you know, the underside of America, all the flaws and failings of this nation.” What?! There was so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t! Dad and his daughter were in place. The groom had turned to look, silently asking permission to proceed. We had to go. I never did get to continue the conversation with the “best man.”

In that all too brief conversation, I had learned that he was a German national, that he was a tenured professor at our taxpayer-funded university and that we were paying him to teach our young students that America was an evil empire. The audacity. This German, within one generation of his nation’s sin of murdering 6 million Jews, and another 6 million Poles, Slavs, Gypsies, disabled, gays and others was in Hawaii teaching our young people the “backside” of American history?!

That conversation was over 20 years ago. Sadly, this scenario is now the norm in colleges and universities all across America. If students encounter American history in our institutions, it’s likely they’ll hear only the backside of our nation’s story.

This past weekend, we heard a powerful message telling the other  side of the story. David Barton, founder and head of “WallBuilders”, spoke of “American Exceptionalism.” He took 55 words from the Constitution, showing 3 principles our founders believed, which helped them to form a government based on Scripture and a desire to acknowledge and honor God. This foundation, unlike any other nation, explains why our government has been stable for over 230 years with the same Constitution, while the average for all other nations is 17 years! God has blessed America. America is exceptional in creativity, in output of domestic product and so many other ways… not because we’re better or smarter than any other nation, but because our nation was founded upon the desire to obey and honor the Lord! You can listen to David's message online at our website.

Sadly many, including our leaders and academics, are ignorant of this foundation. As a result, we’re drifting from this foundation and from the Lord as a people. We’re still, however, reaping the blessings of God because previous generations far better understood and gave themselves to following His ways.

Yes, America has its flaws, but most people (including many tenured professors) are ignorant of America’s goodness, and how God has “shed His grace” on her. She’s not perfect, but there’s a “top-side” to our history that needs to be known.

Much like the Christian, America was born in sin, found redemption when she turned to God, has strayed too often, but will continue to be blessed and to be a blessing if she walks in humility and repentance with a commitment to follow and honor the Lord. By God’s grace, there’s a  "topside” that eclipses the “backside!”

Grace to You,
Pastor Ron

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