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Vive La Revolution:Obama Brings Spirit Of The French Revolution To America
The Bulletin ^ | January 28, 2009 | Dr. Paul Kengor

Posted on 01/28/2009 7:47:31 AM PST by IbJensen

Last week, before an audience of millions of Americans, the new president made a telling statement. Alluding to the American founders, President Barack Obama, in his Inaugural Address, stated: “The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

This seemed to be a reference to the Declaration of Independence, or at least to the principles in that sacred political document.

On the surface, Mr. Obama certainly said nothing objectionable. The moment I heard those words, however, I immediately noticed — as did others who quickly commented — that Mr. Obama neglected two crucial things from the most famous line not only in the Declaration of Independence but in the essence of the American founding: 1) He left out the unalienable right to “Life;” and 2) He left out the words “created” and “Creator” — the God who “endows” that “Right,” a right which is a “self-evident” “truth.”

This slight was significant for many reasons. Chief among them, it is patently clear — as it was to the American founders — that one must have life before one can entertain liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is why that quintessential right is so fundamental and unassailable, as theologians and political philosophers alike have long underscored in their admiration of the Declaration. Thomas Jefferson himself wrote that very line, which was preserved throughout the edits and revisions to Jefferson’s text by John Adams, Ben Franklin, and the entirety of the Continental Congress.

Even that, though, does not get to the heart of what Mr. Obama pronounced. Whether the new president — and his speechwriter and staff — realized it or not, he inter-mixed the core of the Declaration with the core slogan of the French Revolution: “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” He seems to have integrated the guiding document of the French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, with the guiding document of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence.

There, too, in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the emphasis on “life” is replaced with “equality.” The word “life” is non-existent, as is the notion of a “Creator” of that life.

That was no accident by those who spearheaded the French Revolution. Robespierre and his Jacobins were secular, militantly atheistic, socialistic, even communistic. (Some historians have called the Jacobins the “first communists,” and Vladimir Lenin called his Bolsheviks “glorious Jacobins.”) The American founders, who read the French documents, saw the dangers endemic in the words of the French revolutionaries. As John Adams feared in a letter to Jefferson, “I know not what to make of a republic of thirty million atheists.”

The American founders understood what we need to understand: words and ideas matter. We should read and consider them carefully. What Obama said in his inaugural is, presumably, an expression of his view of America, of government, and, yes, literally of “Life.”

So, how could such a far-reaching mangling of the most famous quotation in American history take place before a massive crowd at the most hyped inaugural ever and few noticed or care? The answer is the failure of American education, from K-12 to higher ed. On that, I will wrap up with two examples, one negative and one positive:

In Cupertino, Calif., in November 2004, a fifth-grade teacher, Steven Williams, was barred from giving students historical American documents that mention God, including the Declaration of Independence. “It’s a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders … is outrageous and shameful,” protested Mr. Williams’ attorney. “Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country.”

The teacher’s mistake was to teach the truth — an inconvenient, unwelcome truth. Ironically, such prevention of truth has produced precisely the kind of Americans incapable of recognizing the political-historical revisions on display before them in Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address.

Compounding the problem, in the case of the Inaugural Address, is that even fewer Americans — needless to say — learned anything about the devastating secular-atheism that was the thrust of the French Revolution.

On the positive side, there are rare institutions, like Grove City College, where students learn these things. Specifically, every Grove City College student is required to take the six-course Humanities curriculum that exposes these and other crucial concepts. In the final installment of that curriculum, the course, “Huma 302,” or Modern Civilization in International Perspective, which I teach with several other professors, I start with the American Revolution and the French Revolution, where we read — word for word — the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Our students know the difference.

To try to export this instruction beyond the walls of our college, the Center for Vision and Values hosts an American Founders Lecture Series quarterly in Pittsburgh. We recognized this dire need before Jan. 20.

Yet, we are a mere drop in the sand in the arid desert that is American education. Thanks to decades of terrible teaching, and a blatant rejection of many fundamental beliefs of the founders, we are now reaping the desiccated fruit. It tastes awfully bitter, and a long period of wandering is upon us.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: barrysoretoes; bho44; communism; creator; equality; france; frenchrevolution; jacobins; lenin; life; obama; obomba; robespierre; secularism; vladimirlenin
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In Cupertino, Calif., in November 2004, a fifth-grade teacher, Steven Williams, was barred from giving students historical American documents that mention God, including the Declaration of Independence.

This action would certainly please the atheistic, satanists who comprise the larger percentage of our Congress.

They have worked overtime making America very sick; an illness for which there can be only one cure.

1 posted on 01/28/2009 7:47:31 AM PST by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

French Revolution??

The fact the French Revolution included decapitations of members of the former regime gives me pause...

2 posted on 01/28/2009 7:50:36 AM PST by ScottinVA (Make my world PURRRFECT, Lord Obama!)
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To: IbJensen

So when do the guillotinings begin?

3 posted on 01/28/2009 7:51:25 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia
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To: IbJensen

4 posted on 01/28/2009 7:52:08 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: IbJensen

Congratulations on an extraordinary history making election!

We can think back with pride to decades of hard work toward our strategic goal of a big enough, broad enough and united enough labor and all-people’s movement that could overcome the ultra-right blockage to all progress. That all people’s movement has come to life, it is dynamic and it has the potential to keep growing.

The election of Barack Obama and a strengthened Congress creates new conditions in our country. There is now the possibility to shift gears and move forward. This new day requires us to further develop our tactics in order to continue to deepen and broaden labor and people’s unity.

There are thousands of experiences that we all have had in these momentous days, some large, some small, all of which express the enormity of change in thinking and readiness for involvement that is underway and that steels us for the battles ahead.

The tears of joy we all shared as crowds gathered to watch the election results here and throughout the world dramatize the new moment we are in.

Exclusive: Bill Ayers Talks About Election Night in Grant Park
[Obama win brings commie Ayers to tears!]

From NBC Chicago, Jan 21, 2009:

Bill Ayers was "overflowing with happiness, relief, love" when he and his wife went to Grant Park with tens of thousands of Chicagoans to celebrate the election of President Barack Obama.

Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, spoke exclusively with NBC Chicago's Dick Johnson about why they joined the Election Night celebration in the park, where 40 years before they helped stage the Days of Rage riots.

The couple said they got last-minute tickets from a friend to be in Grant Park that night.

"I couldn't stop crying a couple of times. I found the exact spot where I was beaten 40 years ago," Ayers said. "But I've never been in a crowd that large that wasn't edged with either anger or drunkenness or gluttony, and it was really an extraordinary feeling."

"Barack Obama told supporters that
'change has come to America' as he
claimed victory in a historic presidential election."

5 posted on 01/28/2009 7:53:23 AM PST by ETL (Smoking gun evidence on ALL the ObamaRat-commie connections at my newly revised FR Home/About page)
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To: IbJensen

When leftists start talking about “equality”, they mean to use force to destroy those who achieve too highly.

6 posted on 01/28/2009 7:54:12 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: IbJensen
YEE HAW! Let's see the product of the French Revolution

7 posted on 01/28/2009 7:55:42 AM PST by MuttTheHoople
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To: IbJensen

The Stalinization of America has begun.

8 posted on 01/28/2009 7:58:08 AM PST by lormand (...don't blame me, I never vote democRAT)
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To: IbJensen

Dr. Kengor is most astute....

9 posted on 01/28/2009 7:58:57 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified DeCartes))
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: tcrlaf
In a word, NO.

Actually everything is crashing down as those liberal pansies in Congress have willed it.

11 posted on 01/28/2009 8:00:59 AM PST by IbJensen (The USA has been failing since Wilson, Take this country back now before it's too late.)
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To: IbJensen

I keep thinking, “All we have is this stupid accent!”

12 posted on 01/28/2009 8:02:00 AM PST by TexGuy (If it has the slimmest of chances of being considered sarcasm ... IT IS!)
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To: ScottinVA

And now, let us take a moment to hear from the French.


Translated from Lettres d’un poète parisien, by Udolphe de l’Ennui.

My dear L——,

Spring has come, and I feel the gentle breeze wafting through the open window. Petals flutter like pink fairy wings from the apple tree in the garden. How I hate the spring! It is worse than an abomination: it is a commonplace…

Did you imagine that I should be enchanted by your descriptions of the wines of Sauternes, which you call sweet as honey, with all the fruits of the orchard in the scent? Did you imagine that I cared for such things as honey or fruits? All sweetness is a monstrous lie; all fruit is stunningly audacious in its mendacity. Only in bitterness is there truth, because bitterness is the scent of death, and only in death is the truth of life revealed. I sup on wormwood: away with honey, and fruits, and marmalade, especially marmalade. Do not fail to send more of Mlle de V——’s excellent marmalade, so that I may despise it…

The greengrocer is pushing his cart up the street, singing happily to himself. The imbecile! What is it to me if he dances on the bridge at Avignon? I despise dancing, and I despise bridges. Nor do I care much for Avignon… The birds also are singing, and they are imbeciles as well, but they have the good sense not to dance, even on bridges…

The treacherous sun, with cowardly stealth, has inched its way across the sky again, and now floods my chamber with its rays. How it mocks me! It grows stronger little by little every day, while I must grow weaker for my art: weaker and weaker, wasting away. Already I have scarcely the life in me to get up and shut the blind… I lie on my couch, immobile, and I feel I must die; I know it. But send the marmalade anyway, in case I am wrong.

Yours in misery of soul,


P.S.—Give my love to Mme L—— and all the little L——s.

Although this letter was written satirically, the sentiment about sums it up.

13 posted on 01/28/2009 8:02:26 AM PST by This Just In (Support Christian Homeschoolers)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

They started with Rush yesterday.

14 posted on 01/28/2009 8:04:17 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: MrB

When they talk about equality, they look to Harrison Bergeron, 1984, Brave New World and ANTHEM as examples of how to.

15 posted on 01/28/2009 8:07:08 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: TexGuy

We all walk around talking like Chevalier. “haw haw haw”.

16 posted on 01/28/2009 8:08:44 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: ETL; IbJensen; All

Remove your children from the public education system. Our family will not roll over and give up on this republic. Boot the RINO’s out, and elect true conservatives.

A lesson in history:

Communist Goals (1963)

Documention below

Congressional Record—Appendix, pp. A34-A35

January 10, 1963

Current Communist Goals



Thursday, January 10, 1963

Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

[From “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen]


1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture—education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [”]united force[”] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

17 posted on 01/28/2009 8:10:42 AM PST by This Just In (Support Christian Homeschoolers)
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To: ScottinVA

i don’t believe that the messiah relizes what type of revolution and by whom he is stirring up.........

18 posted on 01/28/2009 8:13:21 AM PST by tatsinfla
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To: IbJensen
Complete with Monsieurs Robespierre, Danton, et Marat?

19 posted on 01/28/2009 8:13:44 AM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: ScottinVA
Kengor's observations are on the money and reflect the messaage in the first three words of Obama's address: Not "My fellow Americans" but "My fellow Citizens."

It seems the Jacobins have seized power-- can the Reign of Terror be far behind...or will we jump straight to Napoleon?

20 posted on 01/28/2009 8:14:20 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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