Monday, November 29, 2004

History? What History?

"What is history but a fable agreed upon?" - Napoleon Bonaparte

I am reading my history lecture for the Mexican-American War this morning and I am reminded of this quote as well as another: "He who wins the war writes the history books."

The typical American view of this war is so fascinatingly one-sided.

Below is a part of the lecture that I am still thinking about. Manifest Destiny is a dangerous mentality and one we must be wary of even now. As if God is on the side of America once again. Hmm.

Lecture 11: "Still another view of the Mexican War was that of the fourth  school of historians offered by Albert K. Weinberg. In the American imperialistic concept of Manifest Destiny lay the impetus for the American advancement beyond the Mississippi that led to war. But Manifest Destiny reflected more than a mere hunger for land, for Americans saw themselves as the messiahs of a special way of life, of a democracy conceived in an idealistic as well as in a nationalistic sense. Democracy was symbolized individual freedom; men moved westward in order to expand its sphere of influence. The expansionists had come to believe that the free, strong by nature of their freedom and not the weak, impotent because of the autocratic character of their institutions would inherit the earth. God had willed that a weak Mexico had to succumb before the advance of his own chosen people, Anglo-Saxon Protestant and American. Is this true? Was it Manifest Destiny?"

2 comments:

ordinary_nobody_dreamer said...

Ryan,

I am having trouble relating to your bumper stickers ethics. I cannot figure out how a “United We Stand” sticker, an American flag and a “just say no” to Islam sticker could catch you so off guard. I am trying not to be over simplistic, but maybe the gentleman in question was not advocating eradicating Islam, hating Muslims and that we should all stand united in that cause.

It seems to me that this gentleman was using the phrase “United We Stand” simply to memorialize the attacks at NYC, Washington DC and PA, and to rally the patriotic spirit of our nation. This phrase was also used to rally the country after the attacks at Pearl Harbor and as far back as the American Revolution.(Smithsonian Institute website)

And with regards to the American flag, quoting you, “I will not stand with you under some nationalistic banner that allows you to think this way.” I appreciate the emotion and fire, but I am not quite sure that is what this gentleman was conveying either. Again, it seems to me that this gentleman was displaying the American flag acknowledging the price American servicemen and women have paid for the right to fly that flag, and pledging allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

And finally, with regards to Islam, quoting you, “with a red circle around it and a line cut diagonally through it, insinuating ‘no more Islam’.” I frankly, am not sure. I was under the impression that a red circle and a line through it meant, “say no” Is it possible he was just saying “no” to Islam and not advocating eradicating Islam? And if he was insinuating “no more Islam”, what is wrong with that? I will be the first to agree with you that this bumper sticker does not help us witness to Muslims, and it shows a spiritual chip on our shoulders rather than humility. (Harvest House) Nonetheless, it is the truth.

Islam teaches that the Bible is corrupted. The New Testament does not contain the actual words of Jesus, but rather other people’s words about Jesus. Therefore, Jesus’ original words were corrupted. (Surahs 2:75; 2:78-79) Islam also teaches that Allah is the one true God, and is an absolute unity; he can have no son and no partner. To say God could have a son is blasphemous—implying some kind of sexual generation. Allah is not viewed as “the Father” (Surahs 19:88-92; 112:3). Allah is transcendent, and seems more characterized by judgment, not grace; by power, not mercy (Surahs 6:142; 7:31).

The Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21) and has been accurately transmitted to the present day by thousands of manuscript copies. It is the single final authority for faith and practice that contains God’s final revelation to man. There is one true God (Deut 6:4), and He is a Trinity (Matt 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). In the unity of the one God, there are three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is both transcendent and immanent (Jeremiah 23:23-24). God is characterized by grace, mercy, power and judgment. (Ron Rhodes, Harvest House)

Sincerely,
Ordinary_nobody_dreamer

Jesse said...

umm...that price that was paid for the american flag?...well, i remember that there is something even better that was paid for: the Bill of Rights...namely the "freedom of religion"...so for any american (regardless of religious stance) to say that its okay to say "end to islam" isn't really respecting the right of anyone else to believe in whatever they want...my question is, if that guy in the truck saw a car with the same stickers, but one of them was "Christianity" with a line through it, would he be pissed?...he should be, and all of us as americans should be