In 1935 a Russian-born communist painted a 1,600-foot-long mural on the walls of what is now a San Francisco high school. His theme was the life of George Washington; and he emphasized Washington as a slave owner and a persecutor of Native Americans. This was not a picture painted by an artist who loved America and respected her founders.
You’d think California leftists would embrace the artist’s hostility to America, but self-hatred breeds strange conclusions. The San Francisco Board of Education has voted to destroy the mural (https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/california-school-board-voted-paint-021440930.html). Why it was ever painted in the first place, at public expense, is a mystery. But it was 1935, and during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s long, long presidency, a lot of hammer-and-sickle-friendly art got created—at public expense.
You’d think the lefties on the board would love to have the students exposed every day to a pictorial exposition of George Washington as a villain. “See? See? Look at all the bad things he did! No wonder America is a citadel of injustice!” And so on. But it turns out the pictures are a little too hard for the students to get used to, the mural gives them the heebie-jeebies, so it’s got to go.
We love to judge the people of the past by our own lofty moral standards. It’s 2019, and people are more virtuous than ever! If you don’t believe it, just ask them! We know that everything that was “right” before we came along was really wrong. Slavery. Second or third-class status of women. Books written by white men. All wrong, every bit of it!
We judge the dead because they’re dead and can’t fight back, can’t answer us. When the dead fail to defend themselves, we feel as if we have made an irrefutable argument.
But what if they could answer? What if, for a change, they could judge us?
I doubt they’d be impressed.
It’s not too hard to imagine some of what George Washington might say, in answer to the calumnies against himself.
“You wretched people of 2019, who call yourselves virtuous! I doubt you even know what virtue is.
“You ambush innocent babes as they’re being born, to murder them, and call it ‘women’s health’ or ‘choice’. Not content to allow it to be done by private persons, every year your Congress votes Planned Parenthood—whose interest is in people not becoming parents!–half a billion dollars in public money.
“You devote the entire month of June to a celebration of sodomy, as if it were a fitting thing to celebrate at all, and take ‘pride’ in that which ought to shame you. You have declared the immoral to be moral—indeed, a standard deserving of the utmost respect! For you, sodomy is all but sacred.
“And not content with that, you have moved on to pretend that one can be any sex one wishes to be, and now teach it to young children in your schools—again, at public expense!—and encourage them to plunge into delusion with you. Ye gods! Are you trying to depopulate the earth?
“You make a sham of matrimony, creating all manner of unfruitful unions to replace the one which God has ordained; you preach sheer godlessness from the housetops, and even many of your churches are corrupt; you use the apparatus of government against the people, to strip away their sovereignty—indeed, government is never big enough to content you, never powerful enough, but you must be always growing it! For much less than this, the people of these colonies made war against King George of Britain, and prevailed against him.
“You preach suicide as a virtuous act, and teach physicians to murder their patients—again at public expense, whenever possible. That the human race continues to exist at all is a marvel to me! For you do your best is un-create a Holy God’s creation.”
I suppose there might be some historical figures—Karl Marx, for instance, or Jack the Ripper—who would joyfully approve of 2019’s moral landscape. If the past ever did judge our era, there are any number of great criminals and misanthropes who might plead our defense. Betcha Jean-Jacques Rousseau would do it pro bono.
But I don’t see us being acquitted. Do you?
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