Book Review: American Patriots – Answering the Call to Freedom

The burden falls on each of us to raise and educate a generation that understands its precious founding. William Wordsworth wrote, “What we have loved/Others will love, and we will teach them how.” Without an active, informed citizenry, we risk becoming alien to the nation we inhabit.”

Pg. X, William J. Bennett

American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom by Rick Santorum is not about being Republican or Democrat, but on being an American.

Santorum tells us the stories of everyday, influential patriots and some of the fifty-two signers of the Declaration of Independence. Slaves and ministers sacrificed for us. Women and men of courage from espionage to baking bread that made a difference. People’s names we may have seen as street names in those suburbs or on the sides of Navy ships. But we never knew their stories because schools don’t teach our beginnings.

Once I had to memorize part of the Declaration of Independence for a grade. We’ve got people who argue whether or not our nation had Christian beginnings. Whether because of gullibility, in denial or out of spite, those same people would find whatever reason to deny it. When the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident , that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…” (Appendix I), Creator is God. Not all of the founding men were Christian, but many were believers. Thomas Paine was not a believer. Santorum says he was a Deist– “…believing in an impersonal God who does not take notice of humankind, answer prayer, or become involved in human affairs.”

On page 97, Santorum writes about a patriot named Elias Boudinot, subtitled God’s Patriot. Boudinot refuted Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Age of Reason with a pamphlet of his own titled, The Age of Revelation. Paine held an antagonism towards organized religion:

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish appear set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” Paine is said to believe that the Bible, “is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe, or whether any.” The only divine revelation Paine believed in was whatever he experienced himself.

Boudinot’s response in The Age of Revelation:

“Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive, bot to the wise and ignorant….I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge; and be assured, that it is for want of understanding the scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, that so little value is set upon them by the world at large.” Boudinot also wrote many other noteworthy items in, The Age of Reason. Boudinot spent $45,000 of his own money when George Washington placed him as Commissary General for Prisoners to care for American POW’s in British prisons.

Santorum writes about 26 American patriots who selflessly served and some who died bankrupt. On this important day, Santorum reminds us that our voice can ensure America doesn’t stray too far from its founding roots:

“Today millions of Americans are questioning who we are as a country and what we will become. Are we still the country that believes in the “golden triangle”–the idea that freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and faith requires freedom? Has our desire for the material things of this world superseded the less tangible rewards of freedom and opportunity? The level of courage and sacrifice that we are being challenged to muster may pale in comparison with the heroism and sacrifice of the founders described in these pages. That is not for us to judge. It is simply the duty of every generation to meet the challenge of our time in order to maintain our inherent rights—the rights given to us by God himself.” (pg. 129)

The book ends with appendices of the Declaration of Independence and the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. I gave this book five stars.

*book given by publisher to review.

PLEASE VOTE TODAY!

I want to quote Andy Andrews today as I urge you to vote:

“So, really? You couldn’t vote for a Mormon or for a black person? Just between you and me now…really? You’re telling me that if, tomorrow, your children are on an airliner whose pilot has just had a heart attack…and the only person on that plane with the knowledge and experience to land that jet safely on the ground is a black Mormon…that you won’t vote for him to take control?”

Do understand that whether you are a Democrat voting for Obama or a Republican voting for Romney or vice-versa, the antagonism witnessed on twitter, in real life, to each other, is not what the founding fathers envisioned. It took four years to divide us as a people. We need to return to loving our neighbor —this, of course, is what is written of in the New Testament. The greatest commandment is love. Even if you vote again for Obama, know that I believe your choice is wrong based on the past four years of ruination, but I will not key your car, treat you with swear words, or hate you. I will not wish your children ill.

Tomorrow the Presidential election will be over and some will mourn and some will celebrate. But it’s back to life again. Discussion is okay. Hate is not okay. I think somewhere along the way the American people have lost their way. We’re greedy, cold, selfish, and entitled looking for the government to bail us out of our problems.

Where is the courage and innovation of patriots before us? Where are the values passed down which made our people known as leaders? Where is the compassion when it counts? I’d like our future generation to not look back and see a community who loved material wealth, but to read stories like American Patriots—stories of courage and self-sacrifice.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: American Patriots – Answering the Call to Freedom”

  1. I’ll have to tell my husband to check this book out, it sounds just like something he would enjoy reading. Thanks for the review. Oh, and by the way, we actually met fellow Pennsylvanian Rick Santorum once when he was campaigning in our area. Really nice man and no doubt, a true American patriot.

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