Hillsdale College Online Course on American Heritage
- Declaration of Independence
- The Northwest Ordinance
- The Constitution of the United States
- Federalist 10
- James Madison, “On Property”
RUSH: It happens every time I reveal what to me is common information. I check the email, and there were a bunch of people that were shocked to learn the Statue of Liberty wasn’t about immigration. It shows you how successful left-wing-created narratives have been. The Statue of Liberty represents Libertas, Roman goddess of Liberty. She bears a torch liberty. She bears a torch and a tabula ansata. It’s a tabula that evokes the law on which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence.
That’s what words are on the Statue of Liberty, words that commemorate July 4th, 1776. A broken chain lies at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty had absolutely nothing to do with immigration. So why do people think that it does? Well, there was a socialist poet. (Are poets anything other than socialists and communists?) Her name was Emma Lazarus, and her poem was called The New Colossus, and it included the lines, “Give me your tired, give me your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
That was not part of the creation of the Statue of Liberty. It was not delivered with the Statue of Liberty. It came later. The poem written by Emma Lazarus was written to help raise money for the statue’s pedestal. We had to build the pedestal, which is also a room underneath the statue. A bronze tablet bearing the Emma Lazarus poem was only put inside the pedestal in 1903. And yet there’s Lester Holt out there on NBC holding out the Statue of Liberty as a beacon to immigrants as so that’s what it was intended to be, fighting against Trump’s executive order of the weekend. They have nothing to do with immigration. Zilch.
RUSH: I don’t want to make too big a deal about this, but I’m a stickler for reality and detail, and I hate liberal rewrites of things because it’s lies and it’s designed to create emotions in people that cause actions which are not helpful to the country. And that’s essentially what liberalism has done is feed off of and promote emotions over thought and fact. Lester Holt last night on NBC Nightly News:
“Behind me, the Statue of Liberty, which for nearly 130 years has symbolized the welcome arms of a country of immigrants,” is how he opened the program. The NBC Nightly News. However, he said, “But tonight she also stands as a symbolic flash point in a country in the midst of soul-searching over the limits of its generosity in an age of international terrorism. It’s total BS, folks. The Statue of Liberty was given to America by the French. Even now, I run into people that didn’t know that. It was donated by the French as a tribute to liberty and freedom and independence in 1886.
It was originally intended to be delivered to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration, the American Revolution. It was supposed to arrive in 1876, but it didn’t make it. It was 10 years late, or eight years late, depending on how you look at it. It was not until 1903 that they decided they needed to build the pedestal. They needed money for it, and they commissioned that poet, Emma Lazarus, to write what she wrote, and that line, of course is, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and that’s all it’s taken.
That was not part of the gift.
The statue was not intended to recognize immigration. It was intended to recognize liberty and freedom. If you think they’re intertwined, don’t be misled. Here’s Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state during the Clinton years — who stood by Bill Clinton during all of his womanizing, during all of his misogyny, during all of his reprobate behavior. Here’s Madeleine Albright standing by the guy. She was on CNN this morning. Chris Cuomo, who probably doesn’t know anything I just told you about the Statue of Liberty, said, “You’ve got the Statue of Liberty on your lapel this morning. What is the concern about the ban that you have, Madam Albright?”
ALBRIGHT: Every part of it, Chris, because what it is is… In many ways it’s anti-American and what this country stands for. It is we are a country that has been, uh, created and, uhh, populated by people from other countries, and so, uhh, the Statue of Liberty’s message is, in fact, one of which open arms and welcoming people. And, umm, I, uh, do think that there are tears in the eyes of the statue at the moment.
RUSH: No. The statue doesn’t cry. The statue is a statue. It’s made out of bronze. It doesn’t cry. There aren’t any tears coming from the eyes of the Statue of Liberty ’cause there aren’t any eyes, and the Statue of Liberty is not welcoming immigrants. What it represents is the beacon of liberty and freedom! It doesn’t say, “If you’re from a war-torn area, come on in.” We have laws that deal with that! The Statue of Liberty does not grant anybody entry into the United States of America. The Statue of Liberty does not say, “You want in? This is the way! Come right over here to Ellis Island, and we’ll send you through there.”
It’s not what it means. Now, I imagine some of you are saying, “Rush, did you get a little overboard on this?” No, folks. It may sound like I’m going a little overboard, but I’m a stickler for truth and fact here, and this is all being used to work up what is already deranged lunacy on the left. It’s fanning the flames of this stuff by furthering the misinformation and the lies that people are getting to keep that emotional flame supposedly burning in the minds and the hearts of these leftists who, in truth, are miserably unhappy.
Can an ungodly society be a free society? Those who do not accept the yoke of Christ, as is readily evident, are led to bear the yoke of Caesar. ~Connor Boyack
This question has kept busy both philosophers and pastors for ages. Whether the bondage of sin correlates to, or causes, the bondage of statism is a subject of significant importance. How necessary, really, is a belief in God?
Of course, a belief in God is rather irrelevant without corresponding behavior; actionable belief, or in other words faith in God, is what’s important. Too often faith is treated with tunnel vision, whereby people only consider its influence on their individual lives. But just as faith can move mountains, it can shape societies—and a lack of it can likewise leave a noticeable imprint.
It takes effort not to notice the many stains on society that surround us—news reports overwhelm us constantly with tales of government corruption, societal scandal, depravity, or corporate malfeasance. In systematic fashion, people use their rights in an irresponsible way or have them violated by others acting wrongfully. All of this stems from a rejection of our Creator.
The Declaration of Independence rightly recognizes that our Creator endowed us with unalienable rights. This acknowledgement of a pre-existing source elevates our rights over the state and suggests their importance. Can we ignore or outright reject this Creator without disregarding the endowments he gave us?
Closing our eyes to God’s role in our lives does not just impact our belief regarding, and attitude towards, our birthright of freedom. Abandoning a Creator-centric philosophy impacts our every action; if a person is not concerned about being judged for his behavior, then the natural course is to proverbially eat, drink, and be merry despite a higher, ignored life calling.
The Protestant traditions that influenced the foundations of the New World recognized the self-moderating nature of this future judgment and pointed to it often. Many philosophers of the time, along with the politicians that learned from them, understood the role of religion and morality in influencing civil government for the better—including restraining the abuse of power. Thus John Adams’ first draft of the Massachusetts Constitution stated that “the knowledge and belief of the being of God… and of a future state of rewards and punishments [are] the only true foundation of morality.”
Corrupt figures both past and present concern themselves primarily with whatever they think they can get away with. They take no thought of God’s approbation of their activity, but instead conceal their crime from their peers. They “seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord” and work “in the dark.” When their scandals are made public they consider themselves “caught,” but even then place little importance on the punishment their Creator may have in store for them.
Diminishing our Creator’s role in our lives distorts how we understand, value, and exercise our rights. It also removes this future judgment as a factor in our daily decisions. A person who is considering an immoral action might subconsciously perform a cost-benefit analysis, weighing the pros and cons. Getting caught might entail angering the person’s spouse, jeopardizing employment, or risking social status, fines, or jail time. Pride or simple stupidity might give the person confidence that he can evade detection, increasing the likelihood that the action will be performed.
If this same person had faith in God and placed any sort of importance in His judgment, the Creator’s ever-present knowledge of our activities would surely be a factor in that same cost-benefit analysis. Spouses, friends, co-workers, and reporters may never learn of our behavior, but God sees everything and therefore can hold us accountable. This reality can restrain our individual behavior, but more generally, it “benefits society in a dramatic way when adherents engage in moral conduct because they feel accountable to God.”
President George Washington wrote that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” Benjamin Franklin agreed: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” Patrick Henry listed “virtue, morality, and religion” as the “great pillars of all government.” He continued: “This is the armor… and this alone, that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed… so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.”
The reason that many of the studious Founders encouraged faith in God was because they understood this concept: as we alienate ourselves from God, so too do we alienate the liberty He bestowed upon us. Contrary to Cain’s misguided claim, we cannot be free while being evil.
This is not to say that we must all share a common theology, or pay tithes and perform service and otherwise engage in the positive behavior most such religions require. What has long been recognized as important and influential, rather, is an allegiance to God—a recognition of our role as stewards and a belief that we will one day be held accountable.
And it is our deficiency in this regard that has led our society to become as it is; sin has contributed to statism. If we wish to be free, we must understand that a future judgment will hold us accountable for our actions, whether or not those actions are recognized and rewarded or punished by our peers in this life. More importantly, that understanding must lead to self-restraint, personal responsibility, and submission to our King.
Those who do not accept the yoke of Christ, as is readily evident, are led to bear the yoke of Caesar.
Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe. … Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raises up and puts down the empires and kingdoms of the earth as He pleases. ~John Hancock
By Stephen McDowell
During the first days of July in 1776, the Continental Congress was considering one of the most noteworthy events of all time – the declaration by 13 colonies to become the new nation of the United States of America.
On the issue of independence, the colonies were agreed, but a few of the most cautious delegates still were not sure about the timing. Rev. John Witherspoon, a delegate from New Jersey, answered their concerns as he said:
There is a tide in the affairs of men. We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery. That noble instrument should be subscribed to this very morning by every pen in this house. Though these gray hairs must soon descend to the sepulchre, I would infinitely rather that they descend thither by the hand of the executioner than desert at the crisis the sacred cause of my country!1
The delegates went on to approve the Declaration of Independence. After the announcement of the vote, silence moved over the Congress as the men contemplated the magnitude of what they had just done. Some wept openly, while others bowed in prayer. After signing the Declaration with unusually large writing, the president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, broke the silence as he declared, “His majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can also double the price on my head.”2
Adding to the solemnity of the tense moment, Hancock said, “We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must all hang together.” Benjamin Franklin responded in his characteristic wit, “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately!”3 They did “hang together,” but even so, many of these signers as well as tens of thousands of colonists lost their lives, families, reputations and property in order to purchase liberty for themselves and their posterity.
What was it that motivated these people to risk everything in order that they might have freedom? What was it that brought about the events leading to the colonists declaring their independence? John Adams, our second president and a leader in the cause of independence, revealed what he and many others thought as he wrote on the day that the colonies declared their independence:
It is the Will of Heaven, that the two Countries should be sundered forever. It may be the Will of Heaven that America shall suffer Calamities still more wasting and Distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the Case, … [t]he Furnace of Affliction produces Refinement, in States as well as Individuals…. But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe.4
In a previous statement, John Hancock had echoed the reliance upon God and the belief that the destiny of nations is in the hand of God in a previous statement:
Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe. … Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raises up and puts down the empires and kingdoms of the earth as He pleases.5
Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence contained a recognition of God, in particular: the laws of nature’s God, the existence of a Creator, the equality of all men before God, Creator endowed rights6 and the purpose of government to protect the God-given rights of God-made man. However, the reliance upon God was so universally adhered to among those in America that the Continental Congress insisted it be made clear in this seminal document. When the draft of the Declaration was debated before Congress, they added the phrase, “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World, for the rectitude of our intentions,” as well as the words “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”7 Thus, we see the Continental Congress declaring to the entire world their Christian convictions.
Our celebration of the birth of the nation each July 4 must surely place God at the center, for without His guiding hand, our nation would have never come into being. John Adams wrote that the day of independence:
…will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty … from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
1 Samuel Davies Alexander, Princeton College During the Eighteenth Century (New York: Anson D.F. Randolph & Co.), p. ix.
2 This is an anecdotal story reported by many sources using varying terminology. This quote is from Robert Flood, Men Who Shaped America, Chicago, 1968, p. 276. Another records Hancock said: “There, I guess King George will be able to read that.” (The Annals of America, Vol. 2, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968, p. 449.)
3 The Annals of America, Vol. 2, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968, p. 276.
4 The Book of Abigail and John, Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, ed. L.H. Butterfield, March Friedlaender and Mary-Jo Kline, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975, p. 140. Letter from John to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.
5 John Hancock, “Oration, Delivered at Boston, March 5, 1774,” in Hezekiah Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America, New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1876, p. 42.
6 Jefferson’s original wording for this point was, “that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal Creation they derive Rights inherent and unalienable.” The committee assigned to oversee the drafting of the Declaration changed it to, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” See Julian P. Boyd, The Declaration of Independence, Washington: The Library of Congress, 1999, pp. 31, 60.
7 See Julian P. Boyd, The Declaration of Independence, p. 35.
8 Letter from John to Abigail, July 3, 1776, in The Book of Abigail and John, Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, p. 142. The Congress voted on July 2 for independence, while they approved the Declaration of Independence (which states the reasons for their action) on July 4. Adams was referring to the July 2 vote in this letter to Abigail.
Stephen McDowell is president of Providence Foundation, a Christian organization whose mission is to train individuals to transform their culture for Christ. Learn more at: www.providencefoundation.com
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have suffered and died for what this represents.
Facebook calls it “spam.”
Someone decided — despite millions of views — no one should see it anymore.
A new rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by rock band Madison Rising has had millions of views online, and among fans is one of the favorites for posting online at social media sites such as Facebook.
And the traffic reflected it, giving the band a huge boost in attention. Because of their patriotism, they are a victim of censorship.
If you don’t have a copy of the Declaration of Independence in your home, look it up online. Order your own copy at Hillsdale College, or at any conservative website, before our tyrannical government censors it and makes it impossible to get!