Breakpoint: Forgetting the Holocaust

https://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/a/c/2/ac2bfee20ce135e7/2020-02-19_History_Web.mp3?c_id=65219393&forcedn=attachment&cs_id=65219393&expiration=1582136112&hwt=cfcabb72b1538e72618002b4937ecaeb


 
According to Pew Research, fewer and fewer American adults have a working historical knowledge of the Holocaust. While most of us have general knowledge about the time period, more than half do not know how many Jews were killed or how Hitler came to power. We’d be foolish to not connect our growing ignorance of history with the rise of anti-Semitism that we see around the world and even here in the United States.

In fact, renowned historian David McCullough recently admitted that the connection between our historical forgetfulness and current events keeps him up at night.

Specifically, he said, our leaders “have forgotten about history. They are unaware of the past, and uninterested in how they will be remembered in the future.”

To be clear, the amnesia we see in our leaders is the fruit of the problem, not the root. The root, as McCullough expressed at the most recent National Book Festival, lies in deeper structural realities, especially the lack of attention given to history in American schools.

“Eighty percent of our colleges don’t require history courses,” McCullough lamented, before adding, “That’s wrong.”

McCullough is right. It is wrong. And dangerous. As philosopher George Santayana famously put it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or as Mark Twain (probably) said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

Unfortunately, we don’t seem very committed to remembering the past, as is obvious from how very committed we are to rejecting it, especially anything that smacks of traditional morality. G.K. Chesterton called tradition “the democracy of the dead,” and wisely advised that “Before you remove a fence, you should ask why it is there in the first place.”

Though our challenges aren’t identical to those faced by previous societies, they are similar. In fact, they’re essentially variations of the same basic themes: What does it mean to be just? Who is one of us? What do we owe our neighbor? What obligation do we have towards those different from us? What’s right and wrong, and who decides?

And, even if the challenges we face have changed, human nature hasn’t. We may believe we’re smarter and better and, as Justice Kennedy liked to say, “more morally evolved” than our forebears, but that’s only our prejudice speaking, a version of what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery.”  On the other hand, paying attention to history is a way to acknowledge that our forebears may have learned something about human nature, even if they learned it the hard way.

As I said in a recent commentary on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are all capable of the evil and horror on display at places like Auschwitz. A proper knowledge of history and a proper understanding of human fallenness that history gives us, is a potent antidote to protect us from our own potential.

McCullough offered another important reason for knowing history, one that echoes both Chesterton and Chuck Colson: Knowing history cultivates a sense of gratitude. We are the beneficiaries of those who came before us. As Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” And he was Isaac Newton!

Even beyond the crisis of our moment and the cultivation of gratitude, Christians ought appreciate history because biblical religion is an historical faith. The Scriptures tell the story of God’s actions, not in a “Once upon a time, far, far away” realm of imagination or mystery, but within human history.

Since the Exodus, God’s people have made remembering and reciting God’s historical acts a central part of life and worship. In fact, as many have said, the entire Old Testament can be summarized with the word “Remember!”

Of course, Christians believe that same commandment is not only repeated but also fulfilled by Jesus, when He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

History teaches us about ourselves, helps us avoid personal and cultural blind spots, reveals the debt we owe to the past, and reminds us of things essential to know about God, as He is revealed to us in Scripture. What other reasons could we need?

 

Resources:

Like David McCullough, Americans’ Ignorance Of History Should Keep Us Up At Night

Eric Rozenman | The Federalist | February 4, 2020

The Problem with (Mis)remembering the Holocaust

John Stonestreet & David Carlson | BreakPoint | January 27, 2020

Dr. Arthur Brooks at National Prayer Breakfast

At the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, many people made comments and criticisms of the speech by President Trump. Most of those comments were accurate but they all ignored a very good message by Dr. Arthur Brooks. He is a Harvard professor and former president of the American Enterprise Institute. He has been on radio with me, and I often quote from his books and articles.

 

He attempted to diagnose the political division and social upheaval in our society today. He explained that the “problem is what psychologists call contempt.” The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer defined contempt as “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.” The political problem is that “we treat each other as worthless, which is why our fights are so bitter and cooperation feels nearly impossible.”
(  https://pointofview.net/viewpoints/contempt/ )

Conservative So. Baptists planning to ‘show up, take control’

https://onenewsnow.com/church/2020/02/14/conservative-so-baptists-planning-to-show-up-take-control

Cal Thomas says President Trump was wrong to bring politics to prayer breakfast and Cal is right

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: I’m something of a unicorn in media circles these days. I readily give President Trump credit for his accomplishments, but I’m also not afraid to level criticism when it’s warranted. 

Last week was one of President Trump’s best since taking office. He delivered a disciplined State of the Union address, the stock market set new record highs, Democrats descended into chaos in Iowa, and the Senate’s impeachment trial ended in the president’s acquittal.

But none of that should have mattered on Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. For 68 years it has been a political oasis—a chance for Republicans, Democrats, national and world leaders to assemble for prayer. 

I’m not just a casual observer. Since the 1970s I’ve been associated with the event and hosted a media dinner the night before the breakfast. It’s a unique and supposedly non-partisan gathering. 

One could tell where things were headed when President Trump arrived later than most other presidents. When he did arrive, he held up two newspapers with the headline “Acquitted.”

The president then shook hands with only half of those at the head table, apparently because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was sitting on the other side of the podium. Yes, she had torn up his speech on TV only two nights before, but he could have used the opportunity to rise above her pettiness—not match it. 

Arthur Brooks was the event’s keynote speaker. Brooks is the former head of the American Enterprise Institute, a Harvard professor, and columnist for The Washington Post. He used his time to speak of reconciliation and loving one’s enemies—the theme of his recent book.

 

When it was President Trump’s turn to speak, he said, “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you” and then went on a tear proving he didn’t. He criticized those who claim to pray for him and misuse their faith for political ends. He implied that “those in this room”—more than 3,000 in all—support him, and those who don’t are not genuine Christians.
( Read, or listen to the rest  the Cal Thomas commentary  
https://worldandeverything.org/2020/02/cal-thomas-partisanship-and-prayer-dont-mix/. )

Autistic Boy Overcomes Obstacles And Builds The Largest LEGO Replica Of Titanic

Autistic Boy Overcomes Obstacles And Builds The Largest LEGO Replica Of Titanic

Albert Mohler: Switzerland Criminalizing Public Expressions of Christian Orthodoxy?

The news coming out of Switzerland should have our attention—where 63 percent of voters decided to criminalize public homophobia.

 

What are we looking at is a species of hate speech legislation—a law criminalizing certain speech. In an intellectually dishonest move, the Swiss government authorities assured voters that even though this is a curtailment of the freedom of speech, it is not actually a curtailment of free speech.
(  http://townhallreview.com/2020/02/albert-mohler-switzerland-criminalizing-public-expressions-of-christian-orthodoxy/ )

Audio https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/albert-mohler-switzerland-criminalizing-public-exp

True Love

https://www.facebook.com/WoofWoofTV/videos/2678167459069361/

What did she do besides be a First Lady

https://kfab.iheart.com/content/2020-02-13-michelle-obama-will-have-california-school-named-after-her/?Keyid=socialflow&Sc=editorial&Pname=local_socialI I don’t mean any disrespect to Mrs. Obama but why should a school be named after her.

BREAKPOINT The President at the Prayer Breakfast

Ever since Beyonce’s shocking Super Bowl half time performance a few years ago, it seems that the networks and the NFL opted to choose less-racy fare. Until last Sunday, when parents were forced to run to the remote to turn off the over-sexualized and antics of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. How was this possible in the age of #MeToo?

They also discuss the catastrophe that was the Iowa Caucuses.

For the bulk of today’s episode, they focus on the President’s busy week, from the State of the Union to his acquittal to his controversial remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

 

Download the MP3 audio here. 


 

Resources:

President Trump missed a chance

THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, WHICH BEGAN IN 1953, IS SUPPOSED TO BE A TIME WHEN LEADERS AND MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES GATHER TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER AND THE NATION. IT HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN A POLITICAL OASIS, FREE OF POLITICS AND FOCUSING ON UNITY.

         NOT THIS YEAR. WHILE EVERY OTHER PARTICIPANT SPOKE OF RECONCILIATION AND LOVING YOUR ENEMIES, THERE WAS ONE WHO DIDN’T. THE MAIN SPEAKER, ARTHUR BROOKS, DELIVERED THE BEST TALK I HAVE EVER HEARD ON LOVE FOR ONE’S ENEMIES.

 

         PRESIDENT TRUMP WASN’T BUYING IT AND WHEN IT WAS HIS TURN TO SPEAK SAID, “I DON’T THINK I AGREE WITH YOU, ARTHUR.” THE PRESIDENT THEN WENT ON A TEAR, QUESTIONING THE FAITH OF THOSE WHO IMPEACHED HIM AND DOUBTING THAT THOSE WHO OPPOSE HIM AND YET CLAIM TO PRAY FOR HIM ARE BEING HONEST.        
( Billy’s thoughts- The  
PRESIDENT missed a golden chance to show he is the bigger person and he is willing to forgive. Read the rest of the above commentary by Cal Thomas https://calthomas.com/2020/02/let-us-prey/ or listen to it https://omny.fm/shows/cal-thomas-commentary/cal-thomas-commentary-02-10-20..