LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR
November 1, 2014 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
Dinesh D’Souza states in his new film “AMERICA- IMAGIN THE WORLD WITHOUT HER” that America is an idea rather than a geographical location. His point is well taken, and his fear is that we may lose the idea and thus lose America.
I spent the morning watching the film that has just been released on DVD. It runs 105 minutes and is well worth seeing. The first part of the feature film lays out the current criticism of America from many home grown sources including academics, politicians and prominent media personalities. It is very thoroughly presented in personal interviews and dramatic portrayals. I was beginning to wonder as the criticism piled up whether I had been tricked into purchasing an anti-American screed. It is impressive in a film clearly designed to affirm the classic American ideal that the critics are allowed the first word, and that their condemnation of America’s past history is set out clearly before the careful rebuttal is presented.
D’Souza is also careful not to whitewash America’s faults, as for instance the retention of slavery for so many years. His treatment of the subject is balanced and accurate in terms of history and context.
This is not a religious film, but D’Souza is very aware that the Christian faith created the American dream. He is also aware that it took time to permeate the whole. The fact that the nation’s founding documents put the existence of “unalienable” rights in the mind of God who then endowed mankind, created in his own image, with those rights is the single defining fact of the American dream.
In his treatment of work of Alexis DE Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) he clearly places the churches of America in the center of its life and its identity. He likewise places an awareness of God as the ingredient that motivates people to be responsible members of society, to use their gifts to improve the life of the nation, and not to see themselves as victims but rather as valuable persons given a stewardship by the Almighty.
The film takes apart the criticisms of America by nay sayers one by one. He seeks to correct those who would rewrite American history by presenting facts; some that should be well known and some not so well known. He shows, effectively I think, that the history rewrites are not done by those who are concerned for accuracy, but are done to tell a story compatible with their own concepts of redistribution of wealth and the conflict of social classes.
This is a film that should be helpful in correcting the balance of information the haters of America spew out so effectively. It gets a bit political toward the end, but the viewer can judge the worth of that presentation. The positive value of the film far outweighs the perhaps overzealous political statements.
“Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause is just; and this be our motto: ‘In God we trust!’ And the Star – Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave o’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.” I hope you recognize our national anthem.
(Bill Scarle can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org) END-whs