Friday, November 19, 2010

Well Fed – The Constitution of the United States of America

The Old Man Wept 
by Del Parson

A couple of weeks ago I read The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz. Tonight Grace, Calvin, and I attended a seminar on the Constitution given by Glen Kimber. This is the third lecture we’ve attended by Dr. Kimber. He advocates learning the Constitution and how and why it was created. Then in a kind but pointed way, he helps seminar participants to recognize how our apathy, distraction, and ignorance have contributed to its undermining and suggests ways to correct our behavior.

Until the 1950’s Americans were taught the Constitution in school classrooms and taught about our Four Founding Fathers. Can you match them?

Benjamin Franklin

George Washington

James Madison

Samuel Adams

         The Father of the Revolution                 

              The Father of our Country                       

             The Father of the Constitution                        

                      The Father of Morality                                  

 Luckily I had recently studied about them and could match them, but that was about all the farther my ignorance took me.

The Father of the Revolution: Samuel Adams

The Father of our Country: George Washington

The Father of the Constitution: James Madison

The Father of Morality: Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Kimber reports that by Congress’ calculation over a billion dollars have been spent defaming the Founding Fathers. By denigrating the creator, you can devalue the created. (I thought it telling that the most money was spent on vilifying Benjamin Franklin, The Father of Morality.) Sweeping curriculum changes fifty years ago stopped the teaching of the Constitution and of American History in our public classrooms, and I am certainly a product of those changes. I’m trying to correct that.  It's so easy to take for granted something that didn't cost me anything in time, talents, energy, or resources.

Calvin, Grace, and I went to Baskin Robbins afterwards and discussed what we can do to correct our ignorance. Improving our reading was one thing we decided to do, and taking this FREE BYU on-line class: An American Citizen’s Guide to Government and Politics was another. Things are much easier to commit to if you have a world-class-chocolate ice cream cone in hand.

Several years ago I went to Israel with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and two cousins. Cleon Skousen was our tour guide. Not long ago, I discovered that Glen Kimber and his wife, Julianne, were also on that trip. (Julianne is Cleon Skousen’s daughter.) Small world. It’s not every day that you run into a fellow camel riding travel-mate. Mr. Kimber had just returned from the Middle-East two days ago (he’s made over fifty trips since our trip thirty years ago) and it was fun to hear some of his recent experiences in relation to the Constitution.  It reminded me of our trip so long ago.

Do you wish you knew the Constitution better?


Ande Payne said...

Mom, thanks for sharing this kind of stuff. I'm glad you've always been dedicated to learning more. I appreciate you teaching us to do the same and always teaching us what you learned. I wish I was there. Especially since you went to BR afterwards...

Deanna/Mimi said...

Ande says it so well...thanks for sharing and encouraging us and teaching us. What a blessing you are to your family and to all of us who know you. You energize, you motivate, you encourage, you are just one remarkable woman that is a gift to every life that walks along the same path. I am encouraged to keep on learning. I love U.S. History and was fortunate to have gone to school when it was taught. What a great nation we have and the people who made it that way and continue to make it a beacon to the world. You are one of those who help to make this world a better place. What a joy you are.

Cali said...

I think I'll take that class too. I just realized that I never did learn about the constitution in school. I remember learning parts of it from you and then I guess I got the rest in American Heritage in college. I need a refresher. Other than the 2nd amendment, they are all starting to get a little muddled in my brain.
Thank you for being such a wise woman.

Jill said...

It seems like every American citizen should be familiar with the Constitution. I definitely could benefit from taking that class.

Brenda Goodrich said...

I WAS able to match the four founding fathers that you displayed, only because of my own leisure reading and not because I had been taught about them in my public schooling. (3 of my 4 kids had quite a thorough education on the Constitution and I learned a lot through helping them study!)

There is much available that still honors these great men if we are persistant in our search. I've also read some things that try to besmirch them, but it hasn't worked, because 'by their fruits ye shall know them'.

Thanks for the reminder,

michelle said...

"Things are much easier to commit to if you have a world-class-chocolate ice cream cone in hand." Oh ho! That made me laugh out loud.

I do wish I knew more about the Constitution. I love your dedication to lifelong learning.