Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
Barton asks, “Why can today’s Americans list so many negatives about Jefferson but so few positives? The answer is found in five 20th-century practices that now dominate the study of American history and its heroes: Deconstructionism, Poststructuralism, Modernism, Minimalism and Academic Collectivism.” Barton’s major purpose for writing this book is “to reverse the effect of the five malpractices of modern history that have distorted not only the presentation of Jefferson in particular but of American history in general.”
What will students most likely tell you when you ask them to name America’s Founding Fathers and framers of the Constitution – men like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, Witherspoon, Hancock? If they know anything about these men, they will most likely mumble something about they were all rich, white, landowning slaveholders who discriminated against women and terrorized blacks, killed the Indians and stole their land. This is a classical example of the deconstruction of American heroes, morals and institutions – common in today’s classrooms – and is demonstrative of the tragic fact that many Americans can enumerate our nation’s sins while being ignorant of the numerous things that were right about our history. Democratic socialists, atheists, progressives and liberals in particular can detail every injustice that has occurred in America over the past four centuries; however, these same people fall silent when presented with evidence that America is still the envy of every people in the world – every people, that is, except Americans.
What are most American students in our public schools taught about the framers? They mistakenly believe that all the founders in the painting above were proslavery, anti-women and Indian killers. Barton chronicled that when he asked some of those same students to point out in the painting above notable religious signers such as Robert Treat Paine, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Rush, Francis Hopkinson, John Witherspoon, Lyman Hall, Charles Carroll, or others, they looked at him with a blank expression and confessed that they’ve never heard those names before. Even our brightest American students can only name Jefferson and Franklin in colonial period paintings – the two least religious among the founders – but not the others.
Here is a standard definition of Deconstructionism:
Deconstruction is a form of semiotic analysis, derived mainly from work begun by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1967 book “Of Grammatology.” Derrida proposed the deconstruction of all texts where binary oppositions are put to work in the construction of meaning and values. The first task of deconstruction, starting with philosophy and afterwards revealing it operating in literary texts and juridical texts, would be to overturn all the binary oppositions of metaphysics (signifier/signified; sensible/intelligible; writing/speech; passivity/activity; etc.).
For decades, Deconstructionists have taught students that the few good works of the Founding Fathers were the exception. It is the academy and liberal professors like Yale historian Joseph J. Ellis who have lead the charge to conflate and pervert the religious views of Franklin, Jefferson and the framers, characterizing them as atheists, agnostics, secular humanists; to portray them and most of the framers as not Christian, but deists who didn’t really believe in God, the deity of Jesus Christ, miracles or in metaphysical phenomena detailed throughout the Bible.
Deconstructionism teaches students about the “intolerant” or “fanatical” Christian Puritans who conducted the notorious witch trials in Salem, Mass. While history records 27 individuals unjustly accused, tried and killed in the Salem witch trials, what liberal revisionists almost universally disregard is that these trials weren’t unique to America. In fact witch trials were happening concurrently throughout the world – including 30,000 in England, 75,000 in France, and 100,000 in Germany. In total over 500,000 people were put to death throughout Europe. Additionally, the American witch trials lasted 18 months, but the European trials lasted decades.
Twenty-seven vs. 500,000 deaths. You do the math!
Barton uncovers the real history of the Salem witch trials. The Puritans were not Christian fanatics with a bloodlust towards witches. Christian leaders such as the Rev. John Wise, the Rev. Increase Mather and Thomas Brattle challenged the trials and brought them to an end due to the fact that biblical rules of evidence and due process were ignored in the courts, thus convincing civil leaders and the governor to end those trials.
Why, for over 300 years, have atheists, liberals and progressives in a Machiavellian manner used these 27 deaths to intimidate Christian participation in secular society, yet the 500,000 deaths in Europe are ignored? Why emphasize the 27 but ignore the 500,000? Answer: The cult of “Deconstructionism” – a perpetual frontal assault against American exceptionalism, faith, institutions and values.
Seldom are students in our public schools taught that it was these “despised” and “fanatical” Puritans who originated America’s democratic republic, its first elective forms of government, originated and codified written constitutions, wrote the first bills of rights to guard individual liberties, adopted the free-market economic system, or began America’s system of “common,” or public, schools and America’s first and most prestigious universities: Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Princeton.
In the depressing, dystopian world of the Deconstructionism, Deconstructionists who dominate the liberal academy, the state-controlled media, the Democratic Socialist Party, as well as President Obama himself, all gleefully identify everything that can be viewed as a defects and sins of America’s Founding Fathers, tearing America apart brick by brick – yet they must realize that they have to falsify history to achieve this. Nevertheless they remain silent, even hostile about the multitude of historical evidence of America to be proud of and its many successes and heroes that have made this country the greatest nation in the history of the world.
How can any people of goodwill reverse the effects of the five malpractices of modern history that have distorted not only the presentation of Jefferson in particular but against all of America’s Founding Fathers and American history in general? By educating ourselves, teaching our children and everyone you come in contact with that while America’s Founding Fathers were men of flesh and blood like all patriarchs of every nation in the history of mankind, what sets this nation apart was that, after the Old Testament Jews of Israel, America was the first nation in history to base the foundation of all its laws not in some dictatorial king or pagan chieftain, but upon the Bible and the Ten Commandments.
Deconstructionists are not stupid. They know all too well these historical facts and thus hate the framers, ignore the Constitution and zealously seek to eradicate biblical truth with a fanatical passion because as Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, infamously said: The truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the enemy of the State.