Virtually every week there is some new attack on America as founded. Each one represents more chipping away at our nation’s Judeo-Christian roots. As a nation, we suffer from what I call “American Amnesia.”
Here’s a recent example. There is a town about 30 miles away from San Francisco named in honor of Concord, Massachusetts, where the original “shot heard round the world” was fired. Their school has the classic image of a Minuteman, holding his rifle, as their logo. But now the school board there has voted 4 to 1 to replace that image with a bear (costing the taxpayers $200,000).
Foxnews.com reports that “showcasing a firearm” was one of the concerns with the traditional mascot. They also say: “others wanted a name that was gender inclusive.”
A member of the Mount Diablo Unified School board said, “If changing a mascot will make students feel welcomed, embraced and empowered them to participate more at the school, then I will support this.”
Dr. Adam Clark, the superintendent of the district, thought it was the right decision “in response to the mass shootings and killings of students on school campuses.” After all, a “male minutemen soldier holding a rifle was not a symbol many of our students and staff felt created a welcoming environment.”
Political Correctness, 1. American history, 0.
I asked for a comment from Rev. Dan Fisher, an expert on the American War for Independence, and especially the unsung role that ministers played in it. Fisher wrote a book on that, entitled, Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment.
Dan Fisher told me: “It is so ironic, and yet so ‘wokeist’ of the Concord, California …school board to just now become ‘offended’ by their long-time school mascot—an image of the famous Minuteman statue near the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts where American patriots defeated the British at the Battle of Concord, April 19, 1775.”
Fisher continued, “The iconic Minuteman image has come to represent liberty to countless millions of Americans for generations but somehow offends these snowflake school board members….Maybe they would be more comfortable with the hammer and sickle as their school symbol. When will Californians go from being ‘woke’ to ‘awake’?”
Dan Fisher has also commented on how we should appreciate such early Americans who defended their God-given liberties in a video segment, which is part of a series of films I have made for Providence Forum on the Judeo-Christian roots of America.
The Minutemen played a key role in the War for Independence. They were given their name because they could enter battle at a minute’s notice if they had to. What is not well known is that many of them were deacons and elders of the churches—such as the Lexington church, where the Revolution began.
The day the American Revolution began was on April 19, 1775, when British troops—on their way to secure gunpowder in Concord, Massachusetts—encountered some of the men from the Lexington church, whose pastor was the patriotic Rev. Jonas Clark (sometimes spelled Clarke).
The night before, Clark had been entertaining Sam Adams and John Hancock in his home. The British were interested in arresting those two men, whom they considered traitors. Because of these developments, this was the night that Paul Revere famously rode long and hard to warn his countrymen that, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
When the British soldiers arrived in Lexington, they were surprised to see armed Americans standing in defiance at the village green—the large stretch of lawn in front of Jonas Clark’s church.
The Minutemen held their ground and were given orders not to fire unless fired upon. Someone, perhaps a British soldier, fired a shot and chaos ensued—and many of the church’s lay leaders were killed. These were the first casualties of the war.
The battle began in Lexington and then the British marched on to Concord, about seven miles away.
George Bancroft (1800-1891) wrote a wonderful multi-volume series of books, entitled, History of the United States of America, From the Discovery of the American Continent.
Bancroft notes: “The people of Concord, of whom about two hundred appeared in arms on that day, derived their energy from their sense of the divine power. This looking to God as their sovereign brought the fathers to their pleasant valley; this controlled the loyalty of the sons; and this had made the name of Concord venerable throughout the world.”
In Concord that day was “the shot heard round the world,” a phrase made famous by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1837 poem, “Concord Hymn.”
Rev. Clark said of Lexington/Concord, “From the nineteenth of April 1775 will be dated the liberty of the American world.” But now some people are trying to snuff out that liberty, one school board decision at a time.
©2023. Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. All rights reserved.