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America has never been perfect. Injustices have happened. But now, tens of millions of young Americans are brainwashed into thinking that America is evil and always has been. Dr. Jerry Newcombe, Executive Director of Providence Forum, looks at what this war on our history means for the future. https://www.djameskennedy.org/?play=2103fgac-down-the-memory-hole
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America has never been perfect. Injustices have happened. But now, tens of millions of young Americans are brainwashed into thinking that America is evil and always has been. Dr. Jerry Newcombe, Executive Director of Providence Forum, looks at what this war on our history means for the future.

https://www.djameskennedy.org/?play=2103fgac-down-the-memory-hole

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by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of Providence Forum. Just in time for Presidents Day comes the announcement from the school board of San Francisco that they are renaming 44 of their public schools (about one-third of the total) in order to conform to today’s politically correct standards.

Among the names on the way out the door are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. The reputation of these former heroes is being sullied.

But the revolution always consumes its own. So even the school named after leftist Senator Diane Feinstein, who is still living, will have her name stripped off of it. Apparently, this is a punishment for something she had done before she even served in the U.S. Senate.

You would think by the left’s standards of right and wrong, only perfect people should have their statues and legacies remain intact. But during America’s cultural purge of 2020, even statues of Jesus---the only perfect person who ever lived---were desecrated.

Consider the case of the three former presidents who will now be unceremoniously dumped by the nation’s seventh largest school district---Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln.

Why did previous generations look up to our first president under the Constitution? Without the active participation and personal sacrifice of George Washington, we would not have America, at least not as founded.

Before Washington became our first president, he presided over the Constitutional Convention. Before that, he was the nation's Commander-in-Chief, and helped lead an army of ill-equipped farmers and merchants to defeat the world's largest army and navy at the time. Washington gave God the credit for the victory.

Washington was born into a society where for four generations, they owned slaves. By the time he died, Washington did the best he could to cut ties with that awful tradition. He freed the slaves he had inherited (at birth and from his marriage).

Like Thomas Jefferson, Washington helped pass the “Fairfax Resolves.” This 1774 measure was a move of the Virginia House of Burgesses. The goal was to cut off the slave trade to Virginia. It could have been a first major step to ending slavery in that colony. But it never went into effect because King George III stopped it.

This was before the successful crusade against slavery (first the slave trade, then slavery itself) in the entire British Empire that the long-time Member of Parliament William Wilbeforce led. It was his Christian faith that motivated him to do this, and it took him about half a century.

Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, was also a slave-holder. I think it would be fair to say that Jefferson knew slavery was wrong and needed to be uprooted, but found that unrealistic to achieve in his lifetime. Nonetheless, the framework he helped create---wherein they stated that all men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with rights that government should not take away---would one day allow for the removal of slavery.

When it comes to the slavery issue, Abraham Lincoln played a pivotal role in the slaves ultimately getting freed. But the elites want his name removed because at one point, the 16th president called for the execution of some violent Indian chiefs. (The authorities wanted 300 of the Indian leaders hanged. Lincoln whittled that down to 38.)

To today’s woke crowd, America is so hopelessly flawed that we need to purge the past to forge a progressive future.

I spoke recently with Bob Woodson, a veteran of the civil rights movement. He has organized “1776 Unites,” a group of historians to counter the misleading 1619 Project of the New York Times, which postulates that America’s real birth was the year African slaves were first imported to British North America.

Woodson told me: “They're really attacking anybody that has a foundation of Judeo-Christian values. It’s really a war against faith, that’s what it is.”

He added, “I would not be surprised if they went after Dr. [Martin Luther] King because of his Christian faith. You have got to understand this has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with using race as a bludgeon to try to destroy civic institutions in America.”

In short, notes Woodson: “They are trying to define America by its birth defect of slavery and Jim Crow, and our counter is that no individual or nation should be judged by the worst of what they used to be.”

In times past (and even in the present for tens of millions of Americans), Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln were (and are) great, if imperfect, heroes. They sacrificed much for the good of the country, and we enjoy much liberty because of their commitment. They are yesterday’s heroes, but today’s villains---at least among the Marxist ruling class. Hopefully, more Americans will see through this politically correct revisionism---and pass on to posterity an appreciation of our national heritage.

Author's Update (JN. 2/25/21): Thankfully, for now, the city of San Francisco has relented on this decision to rename all those schools because of the blowback. For now.

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Is Church “High Risk, Low Reward”? By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of Providence Forum.

Some leftist government officials, in the name of trying to fight the spread of COVID-19, have come down hard on churches. One of the governors implied that he wanted churches to be closed during the pandemic because he wanted to avoid “high risk, low reward” behavior.

He has defined abortion clinics as essential. But churches were categorized as non-essential. Christian legal groups have had to fight with the governor to be able to practice religious freedom, which the Constitution guarantees.

Another governor also wanted churches to remain closed. He said, “For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers.”

Yet another governor ordered a halt of in-person worship services---even after having been hit with a federal judge’s restraining order months earlier for doing the same.

All of this leads to an interesting question: What, if anything, do churches contribute to society? Are churches just “high risk, low reward”?

I spoke recently on the radio with Dr. Byron Johnson, Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor.

Johnson told me, “Churches are phenomenally important to society. The bulk of volunteering in America is done by people that come from places like churches. Americans give more than a billion dollars a day to charities. A significant portion of that comes from people that sit in pews of congregations.”

What else does church do for society? Since 2001, Gallup polls have conducted annual “November Health and Healthcare Surveys.” The results of 2020 showed a drop in overall mental health for Americans. Not surprising, in light of the lockdown.

Disrn.com reports (12/13/20) that church-goers were one exception: “… frequent church attendees were the only group in the U.S. that did not experience a mental health decline in 2020….Forty-six percent of Americans who regularly attend religious services said their mental health is ‘excellent,’ an increase from last year's 42 percent.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association-Psychiatry published an article (5/6/20) on the potential impact of church attendance decreasing the number of “deaths from despair.”

The researchers found that church attendance does indeed help lower the frequency of deaths from despair (including from drugs, alcohol, and suicide). They conclude: “…attendance at religious services at least once per week was associated with a 68% lower hazard of death from despair among women and a 33% lower hazard among men compared with never attendance.”

They add, “The findings suggest that frequent attendance at religious services is associated with lower subsequent risk of deaths from despair.” Go to church and you’re less likely to kill yourself. Or others, for that matter.

Of course, the church was founded by Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man and who lived a perfect life and offered Himself as a sacrifice on behalf of sinners, so that those who believe in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

Being assured of heaven in the next life has a positive impact on how we live this life. Church-going involves offering gratitude and sacrifices of praise for the ultimate Christmas gift---the Savior Jesus Christ.

One man of note personally viewed attending church a high priority in his life, even if his schedule was hectic, and the roads were muddy, and getting there was a challenge.

George Washington, the father of our country, was a devout church-goer, back in a day when it was much more taxing to attend. He normally went to the Anglican/Episcopal Church. However, when the Commander-in-Chief was leading the rebellion against the head of that denomination, King George III, Washington became more ecumenical in his worship practices.

He visited Christian churches of all kinds, including Presbyterian ones. The Morristown Presbyterian Church in New Jersey has a stained glass window of Washington receiving communion at that church, an event that occurred during the War. After the War, until his death, he regularly attended church---making Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria his home church for the last decade of his life.

In Washington’s case, church attendance may have been “high risk” only in the sense of the difficulty of getting there and back. But as is often the case, it was “high reward.”

If only some of our modern political leaders would learn from George’s example. Contrary to the opinion of today’s secular leaders, church tends to be high reward for the attenders and society at large.

 

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A new post by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of Providence Forum....

The old song said, “Don’t Know Much About History.” If Joe Biden gets his way, we could revise the title to “Won’t Know Much About History.”

One of the last things outgoing-President Trump did was to sign an executive order to acknowledge America’s special history. This is the 1776 Commission initiative. It is geared toward teaching American school children about America’s true source of greatness.

But one of the first things incoming-President Biden did was to sign an executive order nullifying Trump’s 1776 initiative.

After Biden’s action---on his first day in office, as if this were a high priority---the 1776 Commission responded with a joint statement from its chairman, Dr. Larry P. Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College, prominent conservative African-American scholar Dr. Carol Swain, retired professor of Vanderbilt Law School, and Dr. Matthew Spalding, the vice president and dean of the school of government of Hillsdale’s D.C. campus.

These scholars noted, “The 1776 Report calls for a return to the unifying ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence. It quotes the greatest Americans, black and white, men and women, in devotion to these ideals. The Commission may be abolished, but these principles and our history cannot be. We will all continue to work together to teach and to defend them.”

The 1776 Report the commission released observes: “The declared purpose of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission is to ‘enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.’ This requires a restoration of American education, which can only be grounded on a history of those principles that is ‘accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring, and ennobling.’”

Meanwhile, a group of historians condemns the 1776 Commission as being simplistic and misleading: “The report actually consists of two main themes. One is an homage to the Founding Fathers, a simplistic interpretation that relies on falsehoods, inaccuracies, omissions, and misleading statements. The other is a screed against a half-century of historical scholarship, presented largely as a series of caricatures, using single examples (most notably the ‘1619 Project’) to represent broader historiographical trends.”

There is indeed a battle over American history. This is not just a battle over dry historical dates and names. It’s a battle over who we were, what we are, and what we will be.

What is America? In its essence, it is self-governance under God. Our Constitution is predicated on the Declaration of Independence, which mentions God four times. In effect, our founders declared their independence from England and their dependence upon God.

Why is America special? The 35th president, John F. Kennedy, put it this way, in his inaugural address, January 20, 1961: America is predicated on “the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

Jarrett Stepman of the Heritage Foundation wrote an entirebook on the conflict over teaching the past, entitled, The War On History. He told me, “I think there's been a long-term push, especially in education, not just the K-12 level but certainly from higher education, to basically turn around Americans and make them think that, ‘Well not only is our past unexceptional, it’s exceptionally bad.’ And I think that that narrative is so big in society now. “

He added, “You look at polls about young Americans, especially at the college level, many of them think, when they're asked the question, ‘Was America ever great?’…they say ‘no.’ That’s a dramatic change and I think that that’s an important battleground for Americans today.”

Stepman says we should learn from the past to correct the present and work toward a more just future: “We’re not a perfect country, as human beings are certainly not perfect. But this country has done a lot of great things. I think that American history has a lot to be proud of. And I think Americans should be proud of that. I think there are unfortunately a very powerful group of activists in this country, a lot of people in academia and higher education, who want to change that, who want to make Americans feel like their country is built on something terrible.”

In short, notes Stepman, “We want to build off of our history, not destroy it.”

I am of the persuasion that God did something unique in politics and world governance in the creation of the United States. Yes, slavery and mistreatment of the Native-Americans were there almost from the beginning. But these were in violation of the promise of America. They happened despite the promise of America, not because of it. And it was that promise that leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King appealed to in abolishing those injustices. History matters a great deal.

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From the new Executive Director of Providence Forum, Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., co-author with Dr. Peter Lillback of George Washington's Sacred Fire....

Maybe it’s just me, but I am starting to come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi just doesn’t like former President Donald Trump. She seems to have been the driving force behind Trump Impeachment II.

Jeff Charles of Red State calls it: “the Democrats’ new production of ‘An Impeachment Story Part II: Maybe It’ll Work This Time.’”

Impeachment is a Constitutional provision to potentially remove a sitting president. But, of course, now Trump is a private citizen. Where is the Chief Justice? He is supposed to preside over a legitimate impeachment hearing. But Chief Roberts will have nothing to do with this farce.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says, “The Constitution says two things about impeachment—it is a tool to remove the officeholder, and it must be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Instead, notes Paul, this is an act by “hyper-partisan Democrats,” who have a “deranged hatred” against the former president. He adds that they are “wasting the nation’s time.”

Did the president receive due process during the House trial against him a couple of weeks ago? No, says John Eidsmoe, constitutional attorney and prolific author.

Eidsmoe wrote an open letter to the Senate: “As an attorney and law professor who has practiced and taught Constitutional Law for many decades, I strongly oppose the proposal to impeach and convict President Donald J. Trump and bar him from holding public office.”

Eidsmoe’s reasons include that the charges are factually baseless. For example, Trump is being accused of causing an insurrection because he held a rally in D.C. on January 6th, outlining once again why he thought the election was stolen.

The former president told his supporters at the rally: “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.  I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." [Emphasis added]

It is important to note that the breach of the Capitol had already begun before Trump even told his followers to “peacefully” go over there (about a 25-minute walk away). He didn’t say anything about violence, vandalism, or mayhem. He wasn’t leading an Antifa rally or the like.

What is happening in our country is a nightmare our first president warned about---factionalism taking over.

The father of our country, George Washington, issued some parting wisdom in his Farewell Address, printed in newspapers beginning September 19, 1796. The U. S. Senate Historical Office has posted the Farewell Address.

They note: “He believed that the stability of the Republic was threatened by the forces of geographical sectionalism, political factionalism, and interference by foreign powers in the nation’s domestic affairs. He urged Americans to subordinate sectional jealousies to common national interests. Writing at a time before political parties had become accepted as vital extraconstitutional, opinion-focusing agencies, Washington feared that they carried the seeds of the nation’s destruction through petty factionalism.” [Emphasis added].

In his day, there were not the fully developed political parties as we’ve seen in America since. If you had to categorize him party-wise, he would have been a Federalist, in contrast with the Democrat Party (initially the Republican Democrat Party, just to confuse things) that arose with Thomas Jefferson and New Yorker Aaron Burr, later a traitor to America.

Here’s what Washington said in the Farewell Address, regarding putting party-loyalty above country-loyalty: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.”

Public liberty today is at risk because of the rise of the petty factionalists. Gary Bauer points out that in recent times both Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are on record potentially inciting violence---far more than Trump’s remarks to “peacefully and patriotically make your voice heard.” For example, Pelosi said, “I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country” against Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team wrote a letter, explaining why he was not going to appear to testify in person at this week’s sham impeachment hearing. Their February 4, 2021 letter closes: “The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.” I think George Washington would agree.

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Reviving the Spirit of Liberty Together announces the exciting new venture between Providence Forum and D. James Kennedy Ministries.

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Providence Forum has recently come under the umbrella of D. James Kennedy Ministries—building on a beautiful friendship and collaboration that began many years ago when Dr. Lillback and Dr. Jerry Newcombe, senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries, co-wrote the massive, groundbreaking bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire.

Together, in the coming year, D. James Kennedy Ministries and Providence Forum will join forces to renew the American spirit and to keep it alive for generations to come. Together, we will confront the secular campaign to erase God from American history. Together, we will work to restore a proper understanding of America’s Christian heritage and its role in shaping the institutions of government and culture. We will dispel the darkness of socialism with the light of truth. We will educate and equip the next generation with a Biblical worldview.

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Written by: John Kenyon, Ch. Lt Col, USAF (ret.)

These are the times that try men’s souls.” In reading this, you may now be thinking back over the last few weeks trying to pin-point which news agency or politician was responsible for this quote. To accurately reference it, you need to look to 1776 and the pamphlet titled The Crisis, written by Thomas Paine in December of that year. There is no doubt this quote addressed the situation of 1776 but it also summarizes our present situation as well.

Today, America is observing its 244th anniversary. Yet, I would be in error if I said this day is being joyously celebrated across the land. Indeed, there are those that are seeking to redefine our history, who “no longer see America as the land of the free . . . but as a nation built on exploitation and slavery” (“A Dark Cloud for Democracy” by Carl Trueman). In fact, rampant chaos and disunity are the norm in 2020 some seeing this as an unprecedented time in our nation. Yet, a quick look across that span of time proves the thought to be false. The letter of John Adams to his wife Abigail penned on the 3rd of July shows a time of great uncertainty in the early days of the revolution surrounding the Declaration of Independence from England. 

John Adam’s letter revealed that military operations in the recent past directed toward Canada had ended in defeat. One of the reasons for this was due to an outbreak of Small Pox among the American expeditionary force. He would state, “this fatal Pestilence completed our Destruction. -- It is a Frown of Providence upon Us, which We ought to lay to heart.” Notice that Adams is looking here to God in an epoch time of history. Here he speaks of dire consequences but following this he speaks of a positive impact for the nation. He said,

But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. So that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago. But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, 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. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

It is safe to say Adams words were indeed prophetic but it is more important to notice Adams looked to God both in the calamity that came but also to the blessings he believed would also come. His proclamation that this day was “to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty” clearly speak to that fact. (Lest anyone is confused, the 2nd of July was the day independence was passed. The 4th of July was the adoption of the final draft of the Declaration of Independence which then was signed on the 2nd of August of 1776.)

Indeed, the founders as a whole looked to the Hand of Providence as they declared their independence in a time of great uncertainty. This is seen by God being mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence. This is done first in the document by the resolution to separate from England based upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God [that] entitle them” to do so.  It goes on to speak of “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” As it concludes it appeals “to the Supreme Judge of the world” to the validity of the nation’s declaration for independence. It then ends with the following prayer-like call to protection by God. “And in the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

It is at this point I am going to take you to another time in history. Recently in a meeting the topic of discussion brought my mind to another time of great calamity and uncertainty during World War II. On the 3rd of February 1943, the USAT Dorchester which carried 904 service members was torpedo by a German submarine; only 229 survived. The significance of this incident is found in the heroic efforts of four US Army chaplains who died in that attack.

These four chaplains confronted with the chaos and uncertainty stood in the gap as they first handed out life jackets to the soldiers who needed them and when there was no more to give, they gave up their own thus sealing their fate. The following is a summary of what happened.   

The story of these four chaplains, a Catholic, a Jew, and two Protestants, stands out among the countless stories of commitment and bravery that make up the pantheon of the U.S. Army, as one of the finest examples of courage to God, man, and country.  Each, John P. Washington, Alexander D. Goode, George L. Fox, and Clarke V. Poling, was drawn by the tragedy at Pearl Harbor to the armed forces.  Each wanted more than anything else to serve God by ministering to men on the battlefield.  Each felt great disappointment at being relegated to service in a rear area, in this case the airfields and installations of Greenland.  Yet, each, when the moment came, did not hesitate to put others before self, courageously offering a tenuous chance of survival with the full knowledge of the consequences.* 

The account given of the final 25 minutes (time of torpedo impact to the ship going under) of the lives of these chaplains speaks of the courage they garnered from God as they slipped into eternity.

(a postage stamp was created to commemorate their sacrifice)

 

What is the common element across these examples? It is the reliance upon God. Each looked to the Hand of Providence by which to stand in times of great uncertainty. Their outcome was unknown but their confidence was on God’s mercy and grace.

I end this blog with a confession and recommendation. I must admit that in the last couple of weeks I have been affected by the uncertainty of what tomorrow holds. Yesterday my sister sent me a link to the song “God Bless the USA.” The rendition of this song is done by the acappella group Home Free which features both Lee Greenwood (he wrote the song) and The United States Air Force Band (I served with the USAF Band during my time at Arlington Cemetery; amazing individuals). 

As I listened to this song, I was reminded that this nation is not perfect but it is a land of freedom and liberty. The First Amendment provides the freedom: of religion, of speech, of the press, to peaceably assemble, and “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It is important to show the contrast; do we see an example of an opposite reality? We need only look to Hong Kong.  Here is the example of what happens when the government of the land rejects God and is based on ideology and not the “rule of law.” 

There is a danger that this nation is slipping into a similar fate. Listening to the song, reminded me freedom is never free and it requires each generation to stand for those freedoms. Yet, it is the last line that defines it all; “God bless the USA.” It is here that we truly experience change that goes beyond the feeble attempts of man, who will fail. It is only in God’s power that true freedom and liberty can thrive. Let us seek the face of God with all prayer and petition that we would stand on what is right and true.

*https://armyhistory.org/no-greater-glory-the-four-chaplains-and-the-sinking-of-the-usat-dorchester/

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The American Flag is either an object of reverence or contempt.  For those who have fought to defend it—especially for those with family members who paid the ultimate sacrifice—the flag is the emblem of honor, freedom and patriotic devotion.  For others who view America as an engine of brutal exploitation through slavery, systemic racism, or marginalization, it is a hated symbol, akin to a holocaust survivor’s revulsion to a swastika.  

Protest is as American as baseball and apple pie.  Protesting by burning the flag may be un-American, but it is nevertheless constitutionally protected free speech according to the Supreme Court.  But what about protests that turn destructive, torching police cars, blazing public property and igniting buildings with anarchist glee?

Once, Americans knew to draw a line between protest and property.  But downward converging spirals of historical amnesia, identity politics, expressive individualism and Marxist ideology are accelerating.  Before long the line between protest, property and persons will be blurred.  And this is no small matter.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”  His logic is clear: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  So consider the dominoes as they fall.  Protesting injustice is good and necessary.  Make the protest against injustice more poignant by burning the flag.  Make the protest against injustice even greater by burning the city.  Make the protest against injustice final by killing those you believe are the cause of the injustice.  

Our inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny necessarily leads to the question of when does the pursuit of justice turn unjust?  George Floyd’s death calls for justice.  Black lives do matter.  It is true that America as a nation has not been perfect.  Where does this all lead?  

Dr. King nearly sixty years ago referred to “various black nationalist groups”.  He explained, “This movement is nourished by the contemporary frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination.  It is made up of people who have lost faith in America…. I have tried to stand between these two forces saying that we need not follow the ‘do-nothingism’ of the complacent or the hatred and despair of the black nationalist.  There is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I’m grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle.  If this philosophy had not emerged I am convinced that by now many streets of the South would be flowing with floods of blood.”  Calling on whites and blacks to join him in “nonviolent efforts,” he warned that if they didn’t, “millions of Negroes, out of frustration and despair, will seek solace and security in black-nationalist ideologies, a development that will lead inevitably to a frightening racial nightmare.”

Seeking justice over the taking of the life of George Floyd is necessary and honorable.  But is it just to burn down cities to extract justice for this heinous act?  Dr. King’s words have poetic justice as everyone watches billowing flames of smoke ascend broken American communities—we are indeed caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny.  Every television network makes that an inescapable reality.

And just what is that inescapable network of mutuality?  What is the tie that binds us in a single garment of destiny?  It is the American flag that proudly flies over this troubled land of the free and sadly smolders amid disgruntled protests in our home of the brave.  Inevitably, the flag that burned yesterday has become the kindling of cities burning now.  Which flame will kindle the hearts of our people—love for the sacred fire of liberty or flaming hate that burns cities to the ground?

In 1957 Dr. King highlighted the alternatives of love and hate when he preached a sermon titled “Loving Your Enemies”.  He proclaimed, “Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.”

Join me in fulfilling the ancient call of Jeremiah 29:7. “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you….  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” On this Flag Day, June 14th, 2020, people will choose either to love the flag or hate it. They will decide either to build the city or to burn it.  With Dr. King I declare, “I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.”  May love extinguish the hate that’s consuming souls and burning cities.

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MEMORIAL DAY AND THE RULE OF LAW

Written by: John Kenyon, Ch. Lt Col, USAF (ret.)

Memorial Day is once again before us. When this time of remembrance comes my thoughts return to Arlington National Cemetery where I served as a military chaplain. My duty was to conduct funerals for military families that chose Arlington as the final resting place for their loved ones. In my two-year tour of duty, I performed over 600 services; some of those were individuals who gave that “last full measure of devotion.” My time there was the most rewarding of my 31 years of military service. I can say I am not the same as there are many memories that I hold for those two years that have profoundly affected me. 

As I reflect on the day, in the wake of the pandemic, I am not sure if there will be the annual observance that is conducted at the Memorial Amphitheater as the cemetery is closed to the public. There is one thing that I do know and that is the guard will continue to walk the 21 steps as they “stand watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in any weather. They never forget. They never wavier in the fulfillment of their duty.

I knew all who serve in the armed services must take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Several years ago, I learned that Article VI of the Constitution actually requires “the Senators and Representatives … and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” Interesting that not only the federal but state government officials all take the oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  This is the “rule of law” established in this nation. It is not the rule of the most influential, or the richest, or those holding the elected office. The application of the law should meet the standard by which this nation was founded.

In the wake of the pandemic, there is a cacophony of voices as to how this crisis needs to be handled. This is not written to state which side is correct. It is written that all voices need to be heard and the final arbitrator must be the Constitution that all government officials have sworn an oath to “support and defend” not to “subjugate and undermine.” 

How does Memorial Day and the application of the Constitution meet? Lincoln’s words, at the dedication of the National Cemetery of Gettysburg provides the connection. He would say it was the lives of those “brave men, living and dead, who struggled here” that “consecrated” that place. He then spoke to those gathered there and, in many ways, to us today:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

How do we, as citizens of America, honor those who sleep in the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?” We honor not only by remembering but also by action. The work of freedom will never be finished as it only takes one generation to lose it. Let us hold our government officials to their oath. Let us emulate the guards of the Tomb, who keep their post. Let us rededicate ourselfs “to the great task remaining before us” and live “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

In closing, hear the words of the third verse of America the Beautiful:

Oh, beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And ev’ry gain divine.

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America has never been perfect. Injustices have happened. But now, tens of millions of young Americans are brainwashed into thinking that America is evil and always has been. Dr. Jerry Newcombe, Executive Director of Providence Forum, looks at what this war on our history means for the future.

https://www.djameskennedy.org/?play=2103fgac-down-the-memory-hole

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