“Right-wing Founding Father Revisionism”
How will America be remembered in 1000 years? Will people believe that George Washington actually chopped down a cherry tree? Will they believe the lost Constitution scrolls had been etched in parchment made from that cherry tree? Will people believe that Washington could walk on water… and shoot lightning bolts from his hands? (For that matter… will people believe that Abe Lincoln hunted vampires?!)
Time will tell, but the game is on – the game to control this history for posterity.
We’ve seen the modern day PC-effort from the left to cast shame on the Founding Fathers as slave holders and ethnic cleansers of the native peoples (or at least view them with clear eyes!) A leading example of a lefty take on our history comes to us from the late Howard Zinn, with “A People’s History of the United States”.
The libertarian right doesn’t miss a beat, and raises the bet with their own version of this: (Ron Paul buddy!) Thomas E. Woods’ “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History”
The religious right makes sure to get in this game. They are concerned with several notions:
1. The Founding Fathers were “Deists” (…or even atheists?)
2. The Founding Fathers were Masons.
3. The philosophies of our foundation are part of the Enlightenment.
Why are these notions under fire? Well, the heart of this is the simple notion: “America was founded as a Christian Nation.” To some, the above three notions undercut the idea that we were uniformly and fervently Christian in 1776.
There is a lively debate going as to whether this is the stone cold truth… or in fact a myth. Personally, I think that the truth is that we were generally Christian, but certainly not exclusively. So why all of the fuss?
Well, because modern day American Conservativism – which has a strong religious faction – simply wants to claim the mantel of Founding-Father-alignment. They want to say: We are right because we stand for what the Founders stood for.
Hmmm. I’m not so sure about that.