Remembering the values that make us American

Remembering the values that make us American
By SETH GROSSMAN, Political Columnist

(Reprinted from June 23, 2010 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties,….-american.html)

“The greatest threat to America today is that we have not passed on to this generation what it means to be an American. A society does not survive if it does not have a reason to survive. The average American who deeply loves this country and who even has conservative values, cannot articulate what those values are.”?

? Dennis Prager at the University of Denver, May 24, 2010

According to radio personality Dennis Prager, these three values are such important parts of American culture, that the people who created our country had them engraved on every coin.

1. E pluribus unum is Latin for “Out of many, one.” Americans may have come from diverse backgrounds, but diversity is not what made America great. Our greatness came from the willingness of people of different races, religions, and cultures to become part of one new American culture. Part of that culture was supporting the flag, nation, and idea of a republic whose government was limited by a written Constitution to equally secure the liberty and rights of each citizen.

2. ?Liberty? is the idea that each American citizen has a basic right to run his or her own life, as long he or she does not interfere with the equal rights of everyone else to do the same. Americans recognized that because of talent, work, and often sheer luck, some would achieve more than others. But Americans, unlike the French and others, believed in equality of opportunity, not equality of end result.

?In God We Trust? reminds us that rights, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are not given to us by the Constitution, the Supreme Court or some politician. Americans believed we were ?endowed? with them by ?our Creator.? They are therefore ?unalienable? and government can never take them away. Every American therefore has a moral duty do everything possible to defend his or her unalienable rights and those of every other American.

Public schools were established to teach these American values to our children. At one time, our schools used our national holidays to do this.

They once used Thanksgiving in November to teach how the persecuted Pilgrims found liberty and prosperity in America. During February, they once taught how George Washington grew up in poverty, worked and studied to become wealthy ? and how he then risked everything he had, including his life, to lead an army of rebels against the strongest army and navy in the world.

During February our public schools also once taught how Abraham Lincoln, and almost 300,000 other white men, died to free black slaves and give America a “new birth of freedom.”

On June 14, our schools once used Flag Day to teach how the first American flag had 13 stars and stripes, one for each of the original 13 colonies. They showed the “Star Spangled Banner” that “was still there” after the attack on Baltimore, and inspired our national anthem. They then taught how our flag grew with our nation to have 50 stars for 50 different states.

Too few schools today teach our children to be Americans. Far too many do the opposite, and criticize and ridicule what once made our country great.

Thanksgiving today is now about Indians, not Pilgrims. Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month consume January and February, so there is no time for George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. And what did the Somers Point Public Schools teach about the American flag on Flag Day last week?

“The entire student body and staff at the Dawes Avenue School celebrated Flag Day and . . . their Oleweus anti-bullying program . . . by forming a giant peace symbol outside the school on Monday, June 14. . . The kids were chanting ‘What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now! Who does it begin with? Me!'”?

? Current Newspapers, June 16, 2010

Five thousand years of human history have proved that this thinking is nonsense. It only empowers bullies, and leads to more threats, violence, and war.

Learn why at “Liberty at the Movies ” 6 p.m. this Tuesday, June 29 at the Atlantic County Library in Mays Landing. We will show “The Crossing,” a critically acclaimed docu-drama about the Battle of Trenton starring Jeff Daniels as George Washington. I will also briefly discuss the history behind the movie and its importance today. Admission is free. And please bring your kids.

See for details and the trailer.

Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears live on WVLT-92.1FM, heard throughout South Jersey 8-9 a.m. every Saturday. For information see, email or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Athena Diner, 1515 New Road, Northfield.

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