Those who won’t learn history are condemned to repeat it, said my dad, a thousand times.
Has it ever been more important to teach real history than it is now? Have we ever seen more actual freedoms gone, or at stake, in the U.S., than we see today? Have history books ever been so rewritten, so “progressively” –and have they ever taught so little about U.S. founding documents and heroes? Did schools teach “global citizenship” or United States citizenship, before; and, did patriotic teachers and parents ever need to fight tooth and nail against the College Board’s globalist revisions of history, before now?
Compare a typical public school history textbook today –or a geography textbook, or a social studies textbook– to one from a generation ago. Which contains more truth, and more real history?
For that matter, what is real history? It is just anyone’s relative perspective of what constitutes a proper list of important names, dates and places? No.
Real history is the story of humans’ struggle for freedom: for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is also the horrific backside; the story of the “bad guys”–who have worked, for various reasons, to take away others’ life, liberty, or pursuits of happiness. It’s as simple as that, to me.
Since real history chronicles freedom’s fight, real history recognizes that the history of America is exceptional in world history’s fight over the principle of freedom. Never –before America– had any group of people successfully, unitedly, harnessed human nature’s tendency to oppress.
Real history acknowledges this miracle that was America’s founding –a founding built on self-government and equality under God; built on divided, checked and balanced, law-based, representational power; built on the golden rule, and not built on tyrannical, top-down control that might assume power above the law. This was new. This was a dream that the world had never seen realized. This was, and is, cutting edge innovation. “Progressing” away from this American miracle is the furthest thing from actual progress. That’s why “progressivism” is such a lie. Yet, it’s being taught increasingly in common-standards schools.
By real history’s definition as the definition of freedom, we are losing U.S. history in schools. But we can still pass down the freedom-cherishing gene, one by one, in our homes and our churches and in those few classrooms where real history is taught, unmaligned and not marginalized as being “unprogressive”.
To detect agenda-laced “history” lessons, look for messages posing as history that do not acknowledge the central role of freedom. Almost anything is more important than the concept of freedom, in such lessons. The books or messages may use terms like “collective” or “sustainable” or “safe” or “human capital” or “every and all” or “stakeholder decision-making” to corral people away from independence and sovereignty, toward globalist relinquishment of inalienable rights– no more talk of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness; instead, you’ll find talk about global sustainability and global citizenship and endless lists of American errors. Individual worth and power decreases. The global collective increases. Freedom’s preservation becomes anything but centrally important.
Progressive-agenda-laced literature is increasingly the only kind of social studies/history/science/geography that is available in most public (and some private) schools. This is probably because school systems are influenced heavily by the College Board/AP US History which is taking an increasingly “progressive” view. (Remember: progressive = progressing away from local control under the Constitution, toward big, global government philosophy, where “safe” trumps “free,” every time.) Unless you are lucky enough to happen to have a patriot for a teacher, who happens to go beyond the common standards to teach real history, you have to step up and do this. Why?
Because when public school systems rob students of the freedom philosophy, of real history, it neuters them of the power to maintain freedom.
You can give that power back to your children. It is as simple as telling a story.
Read the stories of liberty that are in scriptural history first. If you study Moses, who led the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt, you can also watch Disney’s Prince of Egypt, and discuss it with your children. Then, study the lives of those who valued freedom throughout history and across nations. Here are just a handful: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Raoul Wallenberg, Eleni Gatzoyiannis, Miron Dolot, Corrie Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ji-li Jiang, Hans and Sophie Scholl, Dith Pran, Harriet Tubman, Nathan Hale. Seek out the now-living heroes of liberty, great or small, and talk about them with your kids: Tim Ballard comes to mind. Jonas Himmelstrand. Jenni White. Joe Rella. Angelique Clark.
Two of my living heroes are my current teachers; I’m taking a free class right now from LibertyMoms Laureen Simper and Stacie Thornton, which we set up at my local library. These two moms have studied the Constitution, founding documents, and history. They teach the principles of liberty so that we are armed to apply the principles to current events. Kids are welcome in their classes, and my kids are there each week.
(The photo above was taken yesterday outside my local library, where Liberty Moms are teaching.)
Liberty Moms teach, for free, their 1-hour, 6-week classes, to anyone willing to set up a venue within driving distance of their home in Salt Lake City. If you are not near Liberty Moms, here’s another idea: consider taking free, online classes about the Constitution (and other topics) from Hillsdale College. Read audio books of freedom’s heroes. Find kid-friendly books about freedom’s story. Talk to aged veterans in your home town, about freedom.
Your children will thank you someday for every effort you make to teach them to know and love America and the principles of freedom. I thank my dad now –for every history book he’s ever given me (and there have been many) –for every speech he’s ever given, usually teary-eyed, over an Independence Day barbeque, or at the dinner table, or on a drive somewhere. I thank him, not a history teacher, for my having acquired his freedom gene. By the words and actions of my father, I got it.
I don’t think it gets passed on in many other ways.