Our American History

I love this country. I was born here and I will die here. It isn’t perfect. Boy, it seems that in the last fifteen years or so the hostility factor has escalated to the point that many people are afraid to watch the news and don’t want to leave their homes. Have we not had enough dissension in this country? Can we not agree to disagree on some things without coming to blows, or worse yet, running people over with our vehicles? This is one of the saddest times in our history in my lifetime.

I am white and I hate slavery. But you know what? The Civil War did happen. Men on both sides fought and gave their lives to preserve what they thought was right at the time. We still have people fighting for what they believe in today. But should we change all the history books? Did you know that Germany did the same thing about the holocaust? They deliberately left it out of their history books for decades. While my husband was stationed in what was West Germany at the time, the college students discovered the awful truth and revolted.

Did you know: scripture says that we are slaves to sin until we accept Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross as punishment for our sin, and ask Him to save us. We cannot help who we are or what kind of person we are. Our only hope for change is letting Jesus live His character through us–being born again, then asking Him, through teaching, preaching, and His word, to change us and make us more like Him. I still sin because I am human, but the sin no longer controls me. I now have a way to stop my negative attitudes–through prayer and letting God change me.

We cannot change the past. It is what it is. Just as we cannot erase our sins (and all of us are guilty of something, even if it is stealing a pencil or telling a lie). So let’s stop trying to rewrite the past (thus lying about it) and let’s grow and learn from it. What happened to me as a child is no excuse for wallowing in self-pity and misery today.  The apostle Paul wrote: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, v.14–I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ” I would encourage you, dear reader, to read Philippians 4:1-14. The previous quote includes verses 13 and 14.

The Old Testament is the history of the Jewish people. God did not whitewash anything. He didn’t cover anything up. I’m not saying it is the whole history. That would take volumes to write. But it is the history of man as he relates to God, and as God relates to man, up to about the 4th century B.C. (Before Christ).

Let’s stop fighting over things we can’t change. Let’s leave the memorials in place to remind of where we have been and how far we have come. It is okay to have some memorials to shame us. The rebel flag is not a flag of honor (though if some want to see it that way, that’s between them and God–right? Don’t fight about it.); it is a flag of shame, that people were proud to own other people. But have you done the research? Did you know that there were black people who owned slaves? Did you also know that most slaves were treated better than a lot of poor white folks because the slaves needed to be well cared for in order to be able to do the work required?

Before we get mad about something that happened 200 years ago, do the research to see what it was really like for everyone, or at least the majority, instead of watching the Hollywood version of events and books that have written for the purpose of stirring up hate. By the way, the Civil War was not entirely about slavery. It was about changing the Constitution of the United States and the precedents that would be set for the future running of this country. For more information I suggest reading the book (available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon): “What This Cruel War Was Over” by Chandra Manning, who clearly presents all sides of the issues.

Today is a new day. Let’s move forward; leave the past behind. Forgive those who have hurt you. Matthew 18:21, 22; Mark 11:25, 26.

Next post: Who is behind the rising dissension in this country? That will be tomorrow’s post.