Wallace Henry on Resetting America’s Birthdate

The New York Times proposed recently that we revise America’s historical narrative by resetting our national birth date.

Beto O’Rourke, among others, is championing the cause.

The Times argued that the “true founding” of the United States should be pegged to August 20, 1619, when the first slaves from Africa were brought to the Jamestown Colony in VirginiaThe writers believe that “nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery.”

The Times, since 1913 at least, has been widely regarded as our nation’s “newspaper of record.” If the Times believes our national birthdate is changeable, it must be so.

I didn’t know our birthday was up for grabs. However, since, by the declaration of the newspaper of record the date is fungible, I would like to propose another instead: July 2, 1630.

On that date, John Winthrop, bobbing in the Atlantic halfway between the Old World and the New aboard the ship Arabella, readied himself to assume the governance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In a sermon given while on the ship, Governor Winthrop cast vision for the settlement that would go to the roots of the nation that would eventually arise.

Some would even say that Winthrop infused the very “DNA” that would ultimately shape America’s highest and best identity.

Winthrop reminded his shipmates and fellow colonists that, as in the case of Old Testament Israel, they were in covenant with God. Russell Kirk, in his important book, The Roots of American Order, recalled that the Israelites broke the Ten Commandments almost as quickly as they were revealed to them. So, said Kirk, “the principles of order reaffirmed by Winthrop “were violated by the settlers in New England not long after their landing in Massachusetts.”

But the “DNA” was in their hearts and souls—and so was God’s grace. The settlers had to learn again the positive truth of repentance: it is a “turning,” a going back to recover principles that were lost. And it was to the vision articulated through Winthrop, and the values revealed by God to which they would return. They often felt God’s hand of judgment but learned to see it as the positive impetus to turn away from darkness and to the light they were to reflect to the whole world.

Winthrop articulated values that would be foundational in the worldview expressed in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, and in the Constitution that would provide the details of implementation.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace Henley