*This is a transcript from my podcast Be the Light which can be found at my website Be the Light Daily.
Hello, and welcome once again to Be the Light where you’ll hear about political problems plaguing our nation, discussed in the light of the gospel. I’m Rita Phillips and I’m thrilled you’ve joined us to discuss today’s topic: Saving Our American Culture.
All right to do justice to this topic, we need to define what it means to be an American and what we mean when we say culture.
What is an American?
Let’s begin once again with a little history. We’re going to look back to a time prior to the American Revolution when a Frenchman named Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur, who fought in the French and Indian War, decided to stay in the colonies after the war. In 1764 he bought farmland, married, and began to raise his family until the Revolutionary War started.
When war broke out, he joined the Loyalists in New York, but was soon accused of being a spy and was imprisoned. After his imprisonment, he went back to his homeland in France where he wrote extensively about American culture and agriculture. These writings were entitled Letters to an American Farmer. The letters, written to a fictional English citizen, were published in 1782 in London under the pen name James Hector St. John. The most famous of these letters is “What is an American?”
To understand the unique American culture, one must understand its history which is built into the DNA of every natural born citizen and many naturalized citizens.
Crevecoeur called Americans a “new man.” In his writings, he contrasts European citizens with Americans. European citizens, he explains, have no hope for the future. They are born into a system of monarchs, lords, and the peasantry. The peasants can never expect to own their own land, raise their own crops, or be their own bosses. Therefore, one can see despair in their eyes and written on their faces.
But, he opines, in America “We have no princes for whom we toil, starve, and bleed. We are the most perfect society now existing in the world. Here man is free as he ought to be.” He speaks of American exceptionalism in that quote. A concept many leftists, Like Barack Obama, clearly do not understand. Obama seems to believe that American exceptionalism means that Americans think they are better than other nations and their people. That’s what led him to say this in a BBC interview: (Obama audio here).
Let’s listen to Rush Limbaugh clearly explain the term American Exceptionalism (Rush audio here).
That’s right. Prior to America, people were under the thumb of monarchs and rulers. They were basically enslaved and destined to lives of poverty. The US is the exception because it was founded on freedom, the idea that God intends for every human being to be free. Our founding documents enshrine this notion. Thomas Jefferson wrote the following when drafting the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Difference Between Europeans & Americans
Understandably, far different from the reality of Europe where many lived in extreme poverty and were looked down upon by the rich and the upper crust, Crevecoeur explains that many who came from Europe wanted much more out of life. He states, “Here they came…Here they are become men. In Europe they were as so many useless plants.”
He goes on to say that in Europe they were the poor. In America they are citizens, and by their industriousness and labor they can attain land and work the land which provides substantially for their families. He states, “We are all animated with the spirit of an industry which is unfettered and unrestrained because each person works for himself.”
Here then we see another quality of Americans attained through our noble history. We are individualistic, hard working, and self-reliant. At least we have been for over two centuries until the left figured out they could buy votes with entitlements like welfare. But, that’s a topic for another podcast.
Founded on Judeo-Christian Values
We have to remember that America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. They wanted to worship God in their own way. The founders were also well versed in the Bible and would have been familiar with II Timothy 2:6 which says, “It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” How then did this jibe with rulers who overtaxed their people, and Lords who took the best of the crops worked by the peasants? The answer is, it didn’t jibe. Europeans were living under a greedy, untenable system. Americans wanted no part of the European system. They wanted something entirely new. A system where people could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become anything.
Let’s look at another Bible verse undoubtedly known by early Americans. I Thessalonians 4:11-12 explains, “And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” Indeed, self-reliance has been at the very core of Americans for hundreds of years.
And, one can only imagine that the following words from Jeremiah had such a depth of meaning to the Europeans who fled their continent to pursue their dreams of freedom in America. In that passage God declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That’s exactly what these people got when they arrived in America.
Crevecoeur ends his essay with this which he says is the voice of our great parent, God (I have updated the text to make it more understandable to a 21st century individual): “Welcome to my shores, distressed European. Bless the hour in which you saw my lush fields, my fair navigable rivers, and my green mountains. If you will work, I have food for you. If you will be honest, sober, and hard working, I have greater rewards to give you–an easier life and independence. I will give you fields to feed and clothe yourself, a comfortable fireside to sit by, and tell your children how you have prospered; and a decent bed to lie on. I will endow you with the qualities of a freeman. If you will carefully educate your children, teach them gratitude to God, and reverence to that government …which has collected here so many men and made them happy. I will also provide for your descendents; and to every good man this should be the most holy, the most powerful, the most sincere wish he can possibly form, as well as the consolation when he dies. Go and work and farm. You shall prosper, provided you are fair, grateful, and industrious.” Who could say it much better than Crevecoeur?
Okay, let’s recap. An American must be understood through America’s early days and founding. We are a God fearing people who trust God’s word and promises. We are individualistic, self-reliant, and hard working. But most importantly, freedom is part of our DNA, and we will fight with every breath we have to keep it.
Now, let’s tackle culture. A dictionary definition of culture is “the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, and arts.” But, Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London states, “Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit a the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things.”
Great! So let’s consider our American Culture. And yes, although we have been influenced by the diversity of people who have migrated to the US, we have some unique cultural traits.
Christianity Comports with the Constitution
Our country is 76% Christian, so it’s easy to see why many refer to America as having been founded on Judeo Christian tenets. And, although we are generally a “live and let live” people, we cannot, must not allow religious ideologies that are counter to our Constitution and our Christian values. Take, for example, Sharia Law and female genital mutilation or honor killings. These are completely at odds with our American culture and should never be allowed to get a foothold in the United States.
Cultural Appropriation of Food?
Okay, it’s time to talk about food. Fare like steak, hamburgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, potato chips, fried chicken, corn on the cob, corn bread, and apple pie are uniquely American, as is jerky. However, we enjoy food from a variety of other cultures as well. The foods inspired by other societies that have made their way into our American culture as permanent staples include items like pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, enchiladas, sushi.
One would think those shouting the loudest about making America more diverse would love the fact that we’ve embraced food from a multitude of locales. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Something as innocuous and tasty as food can be done wrong according to millenial social justice warriors. They want to educate you on cultural appropriation of food. This is the concept that food should not be labeled as “Chinese” or “Italian” or “Mexican” unless it is authentically prepared.
There is absolutely nothing these SJWs won’t try to make us feel guilty about. Personally I try to disregard such poppycock as the work of those with too much time on their hands. And, just as an aside. My mother was Honduran. She made my siblings, my father and me authentic Honduran food beginning with handmade Masa tortillas, rice, beans, and Horchata made with ground rice, cinamon, sugar, and lime. So, according to these young people, I should be offended when I go into a Taco Bell and order a quesadilla because it isn’t made with homemade Masa tortillas. What rubbish!
Speak English Already!
Moving onto another facet of our culture, let me ask this question. Does America have a preferred language, a dominant language? What do you think? I think it’s obvious. Naturally our national language is English. Throughout this great country signs are written in English, store clerks speak in English, office managers who answer phones respond in English, educators teach in English, restaurants take orders in English, our government functions in English. Yet with all this evidence, there are many websites, textbooks, and encyclopedias which claim that we have no national language. Political correctness must be fought to keep our American culture.
Social Justice Warriors Hate Our Music
How about music? Well, Americans like a lot of different music like rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, country & western, bluegrass, rock, and hip hop. Can leftists ruin this part of our culture, too? You bet. I was watching a clip of a Fox News program and the host was honoring Elvis Presley. Frankly, I was half listening while reading the news on my laptop.
But, my ears perked up when an African American woman on the panel lamented Elvis’ music as cultural appropriation. There is no doubt Elvis was influenced by African American blues. He loved what he heard as a young boy and incorporated that into his style. This is called flattery, not maliciousness or theft. In fact, a case could be made that Elvis made it a little easier for some African Americans to break into the music industry. And, by the way, Elvis suffered for his style initially. Take a listen here. You’ll hear someone interviewing Presley about his music as well as some obvious racists who considered his music Black music but they use the N word, and in the end you’ll here from Stevie Wonder who explains that Elvis helped usher in African American music to the caucasian world. (Elvis audio here)
There you have it. There was no cultural appropriation. Elvis loved the music he had heard as a boy and chose to imitate the style even though he knew he’d get backlash from racists.
Some of our classics, too, are under attack because as described by some leftists, “they are just too rapey.” Here’s how Stephen Deusner writing for Salon puts it: … “Baby It’s Cold Outside is icky at best, at worst reprehensible. It describes what may be a date rape.” Nonsense like this got the classic banned by some radio stations this year. So, in the spirit of the season and because I believe we need to stand up to these individuals whose sole aim is to change our American culture, here are a few refrains from the famous song sung by Dean Martin and Martina McBride. (Dean Martin audio here) I totally love it, folks. Who wouldn’t except a bunch of grinches.
No Reprieve in Sports Any More
Switching gears, let’s talk about several sports that are uniquely American. Those are baseball, basketball, football, and Nascar racing. Sports should be a safe haven, a place to escape from the problems of the day. Sports should not be a place to push political agendas. Unfortunately, however, Barack Obama put an end to that. He began the tradition of sitting down with a journalist and answering questions before the Superbowl. The interview, naturally was televised before the big game.
And, if this weren’t bad enough, Collin Kapernick decided it would be a great idea to display African American grievances with the police by kneeling during the National Anthem. Many more football players followed his lead and began to protest by kneeling during the singing of The Star Spangled Banner. As is true with most leftists, nothing is sacred. Patriotic Americans handled it pitch perfectly. They let the NFL know how they felt by boycotting professional football. Many dropped their cable subscriptions to ESPN, and others refused to buy tickets to see the games live. This has hurt the NFL and ESPN where it counts: their pocketbooks. In honor of our glorious flag which represents freedom and those who have died to keep us free, let’s listen to a few strains sung by Lady Gaga. (Lady Gaga audio here) That was great, wasn’t it. It just gave me the shivers. Let’s keep respecting our flag and those who fight for our freedom.
What About the Arts?
The arts? Well, we love our TV shows and Hollywood movies. Although of late, it’s difficult to watch either of these due to the purposeful injection of political correctness or a left leaning political agenda. One of my favorite shows used to be Law and Order, SVU, but it has become unwatchable. Since the #metoo movement, almost anything qualifies as rape. In a recent episode, two young people imbibe a little too much and make love. The next day, the young lady can’t remember it, so she is coached by one of the detectives into believing the act was rape.
Then there is the ever present homosexual couple or transgender individual on nearly every television program or movie despite the fact that only 1.6% of the US population is gay and .6% are transgender. This is such transparent propaganda. So, what can you do? Refuse to watch those programs, refuse to go to movies which feature a leftist and/or gay agenda, and support corporations like PureFlix Streaming Service which provides wholesome programming.
All right, finally, real Americans are patriotic and proud of their country. The democrats, not so much. Remember these famous words from our former First Lady, Michelle Obama: (Michelle O. audio here). Having been born in 1964, Mrs. Obama became an adult in 1982. So, from 1982-2008 she could find nothing for which to be proud of her country? How about the end of the Cold War? Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush had a lot to do with that. How about the invention of the world wide web? How about the launch of Amazon? How about the complete mapping of the full genome of DNA by pioneer James D. Watson. Still not proud, Mrs. Obama?
And, of course, most of us cannot forget Michelle leaning over to her husband at a 9-11 ceremony and asking, “All this for a damn flag?” Yes, Michelle, unlike you, Barack, the NFL and radical leftists, the rest of us love our flag and what it stands for. In fact, on September 11th, 2001, the day of the twin towers attack, when I got home from work, I felt compelled to display Old Glory on my front porch. No one in the neighborhood had yet done so, but after my display, the neighborhood came alive in red, white, and blue.
By the way, the left seems to be concerned with Fourth of July parades. Why would anyone be “concerned” about this all American tradition? Well, according to Harvard researchers David Drott and Andreas Madestam, “Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans.” So let me get this straight. Independence Day parades, which celebrate our country’s founding and are chock full of high school bands playing patriotic songs, floats, horses, and clowns somehow will turn little Johnny and Mary into Republicans? Who knew? In my estimation, the only reason this article was written was to give lefties a reason to shut down all Fourth of July parades and anything remotely patriotic. Don’t let it happen in your town.
The Left Always Attacks America
Moving on, the left has pushed a steady campaign of attacks against our country and our culture for decades. They have managed this by taking over Hollywood, the mainstream media, academia, and social media. They consider us “deplorable” and at an earlier time “the ugly American.” We’ve had a former President in Barack Obama who went around the world apologizing for America, bowing to foreign rulers, and doing everything in his power to halt economic success in our country to bring us down a few rungs on the ladder, so we would be like all other nations.
The left never thinks of bringing people (and countries) up to a better standard of living. Instead, they foolishly plot to bring the United States down to the economic level of other countries, thereby creating what they deem equality…equal misery for all is more likely.
I cannot imagine a sports team using the same tactics. Sports teams compete to win. They do not bad mouth their own teams, they don’t grovel and plead with the opposing teams, they strategize, practice, and compete for the win. We used to be this way as a country, and thanks to President Trump we are on our way back.
I’m sure I’m leaving out some important aspects of the left’s war on our culture, but this will suffice for now.
Let’s Fight Back!
Our traditional American culture is worth fighting for and saving. Let’s resolve to once again be those individualistic, self-reliant, hard working people of yesteryear. Let’s vow to get back to our Christian roots and raise our children to love God, family, and country. Let’s teach our children to be patriotic and take them to every dog gone patriotic event we can find including Fourth of July parades. Let’s boycott the public schools by homeschooling our children or putting them in Christian private schools. Let’s hold leftist politicians and liberal Republicans accountable by ousting them at the ballot box. Let’s not allow the leftists who dominate social media to control what we can and cannot say. It’s time to break up monopolies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Youtube, and when freer options become available, flock to them and support them. Let’s boycott Hollywood propaganda and fly Old Glory proudly. But, above all, let’s remember these famous words by Elmer Davis, WW II Director of the US Office of War Information. He said, “This nation will remain the land of the free as long as it is the home of the brave.”
Be brave folks; go out there and be the light daily!
Here is my prayer for our country:
Heavenly Father, all powerful yet all merciful God, We ask you now to gird us for this spiritual war and raise up brave individuals willing to stand their ground. Provide the financial means and the wherewithal for us to vociferously support this great country and its patriots. You have greatly blessed this country because we were founded on Christian ideals. Continue to bless us Lord, and help us to remember your words in Deuteronomy: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Thank you for all you do for us, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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