The president plans a visit May 13 to Jamestown, Va., the settlement founded four centuries ago with the primary goal of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he’ll be aware of complaints that its history is being revised to exclude its Christian heritage.
White House spokeswoman Dana confirmed plans for the visit and then promised to look into concerns of a politically correct perspective being applied retroactively at Jamestown when Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, asked her about it.
“Columnist Mona Charen reports that Mary Wade, who was on one of the Jamestown 2007 committees, said, ‘You can’t celebrate an invasion,'” Kinsolving said. “Does the president agree with this…”
WND reported earlier about the controversial edits that are being made to America’s history as part of the 400th anniversary events surrounding Jamestown.
Official sponsoring organizations have banned the word “celebration,” because of Wade’s comments. The influential Jamestown 2007 Commemoration planner and Indian activist made the “invasion” statement, then continued.
After all, she said, Indian tribes “were pushed back off of their land, even killed. Whole tribes were annihilated. A lot of people carry that oral history with them, and that’s why they use the word ‘invasion,’ because it truly was an invasion, and I’m sure some of the Indian people will probably want to tell that as a part of the story of 400 years.”
Jamestown, whose settlers arrived 13 years before the Plymouth, Mass., Pilgrims, in fact, introduced to what later became the United States its first Christian common law, a republican representative government, the first Protestant Christian worship service, and its first interracial marriage.
“I know the president is looking forward to going to Jamestown on May 13,” Perino said. But she said she would have to decline to comment on the rest until she could look into it.
Wade’s comments had come in an interview with Voice of America, and highlighted the revisions that are going on regarding the history of Jamestown – and America. It also left a message about how important are the disputes over the political perspective now being applied retroactively to America’s history.
“I believe this is one of the most significant battles of our day,” said Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum Ministries and the founder of the Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History, Vision Forum’s own series of events to celebrate the quadricentennial. “It is the battle for our history.”
He has told WND that the Jamestown settlers arrived with not only an economic commission from England, but orders to spread the Good News of Jesus, noting one of the founders of Jamestown, Richard Hakluyt, wrote, “Wee shall by plantinge there inlarge the glory of the gospel, and from England plante sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receave people from all partes of the worlds that are forced to flee for the truthe of Gods worde.”
While Phillips has been raising issues of politically correct history in the events around the 400th anniversary, Calfornia pastor Todd Dubord of Lake Almanor Community Church has raised similar issues regarding the actual presentations by tour guides at the historic sites.
He had noted that when he asked about representations of the Ten Commandments and Apostles Creed, his guide said guides were only allowed to describe them as religious representations. But now, as WND recently reported, changes are being made.
After WND reported guides were gagged on that subject, a new memo was issued by managers at the site. Titled “Teaching about English Motivations for Settlement in Virginia” the memo asks the dozens of guides who work at the site to “include all three major motivations for settlement in your tour and program presentations, from now on.”
“The first motivation mentioned in the 1606 charter is to spread the Christian religion. The statement below is made by or on behalf of King James to the major investors in the Virginia Company,” the memo said.
Wee, greately commending and graciously accepting of theire desires to the furtherance of soe noble a worke which may, by the providence of Almightie God, hereafter tende to the glorie of His Divine Maiestie to suche people as yet live in darkeness and miserable ignorance of the true knoweledge and worshippe of God and may in tyme bring the infidels and salvages living in those parts to humane civilitie and to a setled and quiet governmente…
The memo said it obtained the documentation from two primary sources, the original charter granted by King James to the Virginia Company on April 10, 1606, and the London Council of the Virginia Company’s “Instructions given by way of Advice,” dated between Nov. 20 and Dec. 19, 1606.
The second goal of the “joint stockholding company” was for the purpose of “making a profit” from the raw materials investors hoped to find in Virginia, the memo said.
“Many of you have been presenting programs here for several years or more, and it can be a challenge to adjust information that has become a routine part of your program. Please make a concerted effort to become comfortable with the changes, and begin including them immediately. We can always improve the scope and accuracy of our presentations, and in this case the changes achieve both these goals,” the instructions concluded.
Joseph A. Gutierrez, Jr., senior director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, told Dubord he is comfortable that the new instructions include the necessary balance of religious and secular interests.
Gutierrez also earlier confirmed that the managing board had approved new interpretive programs for 2007, including new church-based programs such as “Tolling of the Bell: Religion at Jamestown” which is being added to the existing church programming, “The Law and the Lord,” and “Rule of Law.”
Phillips’ organization is planning a series of events for June 11-16 to celebrate the 400 years, and he said while it’s good some of Christianity’s significant contributions are being restored at Jamestown, the entire anniversary campaign still lacks anything that could be described as adequate in its recognition of Christianity.
“The documents on the websites are horrific and shameful, and events themselves are laced with the most offensive revisionism,” he told WND. For 350 years, the celebrations of the Jamestown founding always have included Christianity’s role, but this year, it is not only being excluded, but being “corrected,” he said.
“They are doing the best they can to minimize references to God,” he said, citing bookstore offerings that promote “spirit gods” but are a vacuum when it comes to a representation of the historical Christian record.
“It’s down on western Christendom, up with spirit guides,” he said.
And when confronted with existing historic markers that reference the Bible and its influence, the contemporary programs answer by saying, “The people of the past were wrong,” he said.
“The whole thing is rife with revisionist displays, from the movie all the way through the dioramas, they paint the picture of Europeans who came over as elitist barbarians and the savages were noble and advanced,” Phillips said.
Kinsolving also asked Perino another question, about Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean’s comment that one has to exclude to press in order to “hear anybody’s true views.”
“Yesterday, a Republican National Committee cited the AP report that Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said the following: ‘If you want to hear anybody’s true views, you cannot do it in the same room as the press. If you want to hear the truth from them, you have to exclude the press.’ What’s the president’s opinion of this prescription of the end of press freedom in politics coming from a former governor and national chairman of one of our two main parties?”
“Let me decline to comment,” Perino said.
DuBord has documented similar efforts to edit Christianity from the historic references at the U.S. Supreme Court and Jefferson’s Monticello estate, and also has that research, as well as his Jamestown research, available on his church website.
To obtain Pastor Todd DuBord’s research on this issue, as well as research into the editing of Christian references at the U.S. Supreme Court and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, visit the Lake Almanor Community Church website.
Do you have a tough question you’d like to ask the White House? WND’s MR. PRESIDENT! forum is your big chance.