Removing the Ancient Landmarks
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” —Proverbs 22:28
une 2020 will be remembered as the greatest cultural purge of American history in more than a century. As radicals capitalized on tragedy and sorrow to create an environment of fear and chaos, a clear message emerged: “Destroy the past.” Tear it down. Burn it. Leave standing no landmarks to our liberties.
Within the span of three weeks, hundreds of monuments were decapitated, desecrated, destroyed, or removed. And not just in the United States, but around the world. From Columbus to Churchhill, Jefferson to Jackson, mob leaders directed their followers to leave no stone unturned.
“If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” —Psalm 11:3
Politicians and community leaders got the message. Many trembled in fear. Others capitulated. Some turned a blind eye as landmarks were destroyed. In states like Connecticut, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia, some mayors attempted to appease mobs by sending crews to remove the very statues which the violent protestors were unable to topple. Citing concern over police violence, the much-beloved bronzes to the Texas Rangers were removed by officials from Dallas Love Field Airport and Texas A&M University.
The desecration of America’s cultural heritage was not limited to statues of peace officers and generals of the Confederate States of America, but to veterans of numerous wars, as well as notable figures of the pre-colonial, colonial, and early republic periods.
The vandalism and defacement even included a notable monument to black soldiers fighting for the Union during the 1860s and a marker in South Carolina to the tragedy of public auctions of humans during the height of the slave trade.
There were many to stoke the flames of violence. One Alabama college professor tweeted instructions to the mobs on the most effective strategies for violently tearing down statues. Prominent commentators associated with national news outlets, like CNN, explained that the destruction of monuments to Christopher Columbus was just the first step. They demanded the removal of landmarks and memorials to the Founding Fathers, beginning with Washington and Jefferson. Statues are to be torn down, streets renamed, and public reminders of the patriots of 1776 must be removed out of respect for those who “might be oﬀended” by their presence.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” —Hosea 4:6
CNN’s Angela Rye made this astonishing claim:
“We have to get to the heart of the problem here. The heart is the way many of us were taught American history… George Washington was a slave owner…. He wasn’t protecting my freedoms… To me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or Thomas Jefferson, they all need to come down.”
Even memorials to President Abraham Lincoln were called into question. After all, the public was reminded that Lincoln advocated relocating slaves to Africa, his Emancipation Proclamation only applied to slaves in the Southern states, and he appointed a slave owner by the name of Ulysses S. Grant to lead his troops.
The assault on America’s national landmark treasures reminded some of the Egyptian protests of 2011 which led to the looting of numerous precious antiquities. For others, the mass destruction of monuments was likened to a Stalinist purge. Civil libertarian and attorney Allen Dershowitz advised:
“The idea of willy-nilly going through and doing what Stalin did: just erasing history and re-writing it to serve current purposes, does pose a danger, and it poses a danger of educational malpractice, of missing opportunities to educate people…”
In the wake of “The June Purge,” many Americans are left with a deep sense of loss, but confused about what can be done. They are troubled. Troubled by the assault on the landmarks to their liberties. Troubled by leaders who are more afraid of the mob than their duties. Troubled by what to say to their children. Troubled by how to defend their history against the hatred.
If you are among those Americans, stay close to us at this time. Pray with us. Walk with us. Study with us.
We are arming the next generation of children with a winning apologetic—potent arguments to answer the critics. We will be taking families to important locations where the providence of God in our history was demonstrated with power. Why? So that our children will love liberty in their hearts, thank God with their lips, and never be ashamed to say:
“O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.” —Psalm 44:1