In his first episode of Founders’ Fridays, Beck introduced the audience to the shows’ ultimate goals: “Our Founding Fathers were once revered in this country as divinely inspired, courageous visionaries. But now, after the past 100 years of ‘enlightenment’, we’ve come to realize that they were nothing but old, white, racist, heathens. The ‘myth’ of our Christian founding has been obliterated and, at best, we now know that they were no more than ‘deists’ at best. That’s what the progressives have had to do to the memory of those great men. Men who — while not perfect, certainly, men with flaws — were in fact, mostly Christian and nearly all believers. In order to restore the country, we have to restore the men who founded it on certain principles to the rightful place in our national psyche.”
The first Founder that Beck introduced to his audience was Samuel Adams, also known as the “father of the American Revolution,” though few people are aware of the important role Adams played. In that episode of Beck, we learned that not only was Sam Adams poverty-stricken, undermining claims that all the Founding Fathers were rich, but was staunchly anti-slavery, proving that not all the Founding Fathers were racist. It was at the request of of Sam Adams that Congress approved a resolution for a national day of Thanksgiving, which was to be set aside for acknowledging the service of the “Divine Benefactor” whose “arm of omnipotence” was worthy of praise, something a deist would not likely say.
The next Founding Father Beck addressed was his personal favorite: George Washington. In that episode, Beck was literally moved to tears when recounting Washington’s devotion both to God and to his country. Andrew Allison, writer of The Real George Washington, appeared as the expert guest, where he regaled the audience with stories of Washington’s heroism and determination during the American War for Independence. The bulk of Allison’s book is in Washington’s own words, so there is little opportunity for misinterpretation and revisionist rewriting of Wasington’s feelings about faith. Earl Taylor from the National Center for Constitutional Studies also appeared as an expert and discussed how the Americans felt about Washington; it bordered on worship. Despite attempted distortions by revisionist historians, there is very clear evidence that George Washington was not a deist. According to Allison, “we know of at least 67 occasions during the Revolutionary War alone when he said that the American cause of independence would have come to a complete disaster except for one thing and that was the direct intervention of God to save us.” As opposed to a deist, who believes in God as an impersonal supreme being who, once creating the universe, no longer intervened in human affairs, Washington said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.”
On the third week of Founders’ Fridays, Beck’s audience was educated on the role of George Whitefield, a man who was relatively unknown to most Americans. He was a Methodist preacher who had no church because of issues that he had with the Anglican Church of England. As a result, Whitefield would preach to open air, gathering crowds of 30,000 people. Whitefield was highly touted by Benjamin Franklin, who swore that Whitefield’s voice could be heard by all 30,000 listeners, despite how far many of them were from Whitefield’s pulpit. David Barton, historical writer from Wall Builders, appeared on the show as an expert. Whitefield came to America in 1740 and “carried a message across America that really turned people back to their spiritual roots.” Thomas Kidd of Baylor University and Jerome Mahaffey of Indiana University East presented information about Whitefield that would shock most Americans. At one time, according to Kidd, Whitefield was the most famous person in America. He “instigated the Great Awakening of the 18th century.” Whitefield also preached in a way with which most Americans at the time were unfamiliar, saying, for example: “God loves you.” Appealing to the common man, Whitefield's sermons were devoid of typical rhetoric. Whitefield was a common man from a merchant class family in England that was relatively poor. Whitefield is one of the first people to teach Americans the power and importance of individuality, an idea which resonates throughout the entire Constitution.
Week four of Founders’ Fridays was a closer look at revisionist history. Beck traced the rewriting of American history back to the progressive movement. Guests Peter Lillback, Jerry Fallwell, and Burton Folsom helped to construct the erasure of faith and the greatness of the Founding Fathers from history. A prime example of that is the Washington Memorial in Washington, D.C. The staircase of the Memorial is riddled with Biblical passages supplied by Americans who helped to construct the site. Today, those stairs are not in use. Likewise, at the top of the Memorial are the words “Praise to God” in Latin. In the copy of the Washington Monument on display in the museum in Washington, the Memorial has been turned so that the Latin words are not visible, according to Lillback.
Last week’s episode of Founders’ Fathers focused on the African American Founders. Guests David Barton and Lucas Morel, Professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, discussed many patriotic black Americans that have been written out of textbooks, including James Armistead, who served as a spy for George Washington; Benjamin Banneker, brilliant Mathematician and scientist; Richard Allen, valiant Revolutionary soldier; and Joseph Hayne Rainey, first black to preside over the House of Representatives. The experts explained that black patriots have been written out of American history in order to create a racial divide in the United States. It imposes a “victim narrative” on black Americans and teaches them to believe that the United States is not their country. Luckily, in the revisions made by the Texas Board of Education, these men have been put back in the history textbooks, much to the disappointment of the Left.
The Founders’ Fridays are always conducted in front of a live audience and guests are permitted to ask questions of Beck and the expert panels. Most audience members have articulated anger at the revisionist history they’ve been taught throughout their academic careers.
Since Beck began promoting historical and faith-based books on his television show, those books have become bestsellers on Amazon.com, further proof of Becks stark influence. On the most recent episode of Founding Father’s Fridays, Beck promoted a book written by his guest David Barton called Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White. Since Friday’s episode, Barton’s book has been in the top 100 list on Amazon.com. Since Beck began promoting Peter Lillback’s book on George Washington’s faith called Sacred Fire, that book has also been on the top 100 list for the last two weeks. The same can be said for Andrew Allison's The Real George Washington, David Barton’s Original Intent, and Ira Stoll’s Samuel Adams: A Life, Michael Allen’s A Patriot’s History of the United States, W. Cleon Skousen’s The 5000 Year Leap.
Beck's Founders' Fridays are boasting impressive ratings, and for good reason. While I believe that every episode of Glenn Beck is a "can't miss" episode, the Founders' Fridays are absolutely worth postponing Happy Hour.
Photo: Glenn Beck with "Fox & friends" on May 18, 2010: AP Images