Video: The meaning of Christmas in American history
posted at 2:15 pm on December 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Bill Whittle returns for a final Firewall episode, this time on the meaning of Christmas in American history — or really, the meaning and resonance of Christianity. Bill quotes John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on the requirement for a free people to be of high moral character, something they considered implicit in the Americans who fought for the freedom of self-governance. That didn’t require a theocratic institution for government, but instead a government that interfered little with their choices and room for the natural character of the people to assert itself. They did not view Americans as children who could not be trusted with choice, but adults who by and large would act on their inherent, God-gifted goodness for prosperity and liberty:
The problem, Whittle says, is that those who don’t govern themselves end up creating pressure for a government that strips away those choices. It’s a little more complicated than that, however. Those who want government to dictate choices usually consider people inherently incapable of making those choices on their own — and that’s not a dynamic limited to non-believers, either. It usually comes from a misanthropic view of humanity, the exact opposite of the views of men like Adams and Jefferson, and a belief in the wisdom of “elites” who know better than the individuals what their self-interests are, and not because of an objective inability govern one’s self, but because the “elites” simply dislike the choices others make. It’s that arrogance that creates nanny states.
Be sure to watch it all, as Bill makes an interesting point about the US being a nation of desire — and why that’s a good impulse, and why all of the finger-wagging over the secular aspects of Christmas may miss the point. The video series can be purchased through Declaration Entertainment, and it would make a great stocking stuffer this Christmas season, if you desire it.