This past week, the London Telegraph echoed a WND report about how the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia is toning down its 400th anniversary of the colony from a “celebration” to a “commemoration,” because “black and Indian members of the organizing committee branded Jamestown ‘an invasion.’”
The Telegraph comments that the National Park Service exhibition “plays down the achievements of the first 107 settlers.” Those accomplishments, as WND reported in another article,include the Christian motive and mission of the colony, which is being excluded in some tour guides’ education to the public.
On the other hand, other non-essential data are being included in the Jamestown 2007 festivities, including a teaching on local ecology, which labels the Settlement, “the origin of environmental injustice in America”
The reduction of English culture
The Telegraph> further noted that galleries at Jamestown play up the culture of Native Americans, describing them as an “advanced complex society” of people who live “in harmony with the life that surrounds them.” On the other hand, English life is conveyed as donating “limited opportunity,” thanks to a “small elite” band of upper-class citizens who, in the end, assured that “life was difficult” for the rest.
Reported the Telegraph: “A critic for the New York Times, who visited the exhibition this month, noted that the Queen [who is visiting Virginia in May] would find ‘not the triumph of British influence, but the triumph of ambiguity, discomfort and vague multiculturalism.’ Edward Rothstein warned that the ‘overall impact’ of the exhibition was ‘only to diminish a visitor’s sense of English culture.’”
As a patriot in line with our Founding Fathers, I’d highly encourage readers to voice their opinions about these things to Virginian governmental representatives as well as to leaders of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, which oversees the Jamestown Settlement and falls under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The elimination of Christian motive and mission
British culture is not the only thing disappearing at Jamestown – so is Christianity. Over 50 people from California on a tour of the replicated colony were amazed when a guide was “not allowed” to identify Christian plaques in the Anglican Church as anything more than “religious.”
Another guide repeatedly told the visitors that the purpose for which these English settlers sailed the sea and founded the outpost was “to make money,” overlooking the decree of the King James 1607 Charter, which called for their “propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.”
With Queen Elizabeth II coming in May to the Jamestown area, the least the Settlement can do is convey its English dual-purpose origins as the first joint Christian mission and business venture of America.
In hope of setting the record straight, Vision Forum Ministries and its founder, Doug Phillips, is organizing “The Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History,” which will be held June 11-16, 2007, in the Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown triangle. I encourage your attendance at that event, as well as your weekly readings of Phillips’ new WND “Jamestown Jubilee” column.
Another great celebratory event will be “The Assembly 2007,” in which thousands will gather on the beaches of Virginia on Sunday, April 29, and rededicate America back to God by placing crosses into the sandy shores, just as the Rev. Hunt and the Jamestown colonists did when they originally came ashore in 1607.
‘Profound regret’ for Virginian slavery
In preparation for a racially peaceful and tolerant 400th commemoration, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the government’s role in slavery. The ruling expressed that state-sanctioned slavery “ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation’s history” – “gestures of contrition” that are being imitated by other states, including Missouri and Georgia.
Though admission of guilt is always an admirable quality, I find the timing of these confessions particularly intriguing, especially being offered in our overly sensitive, appeasing culture during the 400th anniversary year of Jamestown.
Further irony is found, at least in regard to Jamestown’s social history, in that the first 30 or so Africans arrived accidentally in 1619 aboard a Portuguese slave ship bound for Mexico. And they were “indentured servants, like many poor whites. Ironically, the first African slave was owned by a former black indentured servant in 1654,” the Telegraph points out.
Tim Hashaw, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of “The Birth of Black America: The First African Americans and the Pursuit of Freedom in Jamestown,” noted:
Some [colonists] viewed Africans no different from indentured English servants. … They let them work three or four or seven years and then gave them their freedom and sent them off to start their own farms. Some Englishmen let them raise crops and livestock on the side. Some Englishmen hated slavery, and if they married into a family that had slaves and inherited them, immediately freed them. Other Englishmen believed in full slavery, lifelong chattel.
African John Graweere actually raised “livestock to purchase his freedom and … later became an officer of the Virginia court, where his duties included punishing white lawbreakers, free and indentured.”
Eventually, many Africans owned land and some even married whites. (Though an Indian-English relationship, the wedding between Pocahontas and John Rolfe, is still celebrated by many as America’s first interracial marriage.)
While I would never condone slavery (of the Africans) or the slaughter of innocent lives (of the Indians) by these early colonists, I believe softening the gala of the 400th anniversary from “a celebration” to “a commemoration” is an unnecessary extreme.
The Jamestown Settlement has unfortunately catered to the world community at the cost of compromising history, truth and culture. At the same time they are inadvertently fertilizing prejudicial grounds against England, Christianity and these early settlers.
By reducing British contributions, eliminating the colony’s Christian mission, offering a “timely” apology for its racial bigotry and adding a dash of environmental education (thrown in for good measure), the organizers of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown have certainly created a recipe for Pocahontas’ perfect politically correct party.
Congratulations, America! You’ve been sold out again.
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