Friday, April 1, 2016

The Unity Summit-The Constitution, the Founders, and Shakespeare

The last two days I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in The Unity Summit at Patrick Henry College!


One might think that I attended partly so that I could have lunch with my son. We did do lunch! When he heard I was coming for the summit he invited me to join him for lunch both days in the campus dining hall. Yesterday I had the added bonus of eating with his buddies too! That is always fun as we talk about the types of things that all college boys discuss with College Mom...the Constitution, political history, and internships! I always have fun visiting and doing lunch with my son and his friends. Today we had a later lunch which meant it was a bit quieter, just the two of us. That was fun too, to talk about all kinds of details about the summit.

One of this morning's speakers also talked to all the students at chapel this morning so we shared notes on that. This speaker is someone you might know. He is Rice Broock, the author of God's Not Dead, on which the  movies are based. When I saw his name I couldn't help but think of Rice University in Houston, Texas. Well...when he talked to us he happened to mention that a distant uncle of his founded  Rice University!

I have to confess, I haven't seen any of his movies yet. I'm not really big into going to the movie theater to see movies, although a few entice me. daughter recently received a gift card from her boss to a movie theater for her birthday. As hinted at we rarely do movie theaters, so we had absolutely no idea what was playing. When she mentioned the gift card to my dad when they were talking on the phone for her birthday, he immediately suggested God is Not Dead. When she told me that I was surprised. My dad is not the type  to do movie theaters either. Today I saw the trailer for God is Not Dead 2. When I saw all the courtroom scenes, I knew immediately why my dad suggested this movie. He always watches television shows and movies like that, especially Law and Order. After watching the trailer, I was hooked, so I plan to catch up on Broock's movies, and even read his books.

There were a lot of other great speakers too, most of whom were lawyers. (I'm looking forward to reading their books too.) Most of us who attended were not lawyers. In fact, some of the attendees were kids. They attentively listened. If I were still homeschooling my kids, I'd have  brought them. What a great class to add to their government studies. Some may be amazed to learn that the lawyers spoke all about the Constitution, law, court cases and current events. They didn't water anything down. There was lots of technical language. They didn't do any theatrics. They didn't have us vote for anything on our cell phones about various aspects of their talk (like they do at the state university my daughter attends). Yet we all listened. Even the kids. We all understood. We all learned.We were all inspired...because the Constitution continues to be relevant! Because of the Constitution, America was set apart from every other country in the world.This is what brought many of our forefathers to our country as immigrants...for freedom. Freedoms that we were inspired to help protect.

I'm excited to share bits of pieces of what I've learned in context of what I've learned over the years about the 18th century and our Founding Fathers. Worldviews were different in the 18th century compared to how society thinks today. As Dr. Michael Farris shared yesterday morning, some terminology from the past is different from today. This is easily seen in the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet says: "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" She is not looking for Romeo. In Shakespeare's day (1592), "wherefore" meant "why?" She is frustrated. She is asking *why* are they from two different families? The bitter feud between their families threatens their hope at love. Thinking about it that way puts the next few lines into better context:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet. (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 33-36)  

Likewise, it's easy to misunderstand writings from the 18th century (like the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, Bill of Rights and Constitution). One reason for this is that our Founding Fathers (and Shakespeare) were educated differently than we were. A few years ago I  wrote this post that touches on the classical education of our Founding Fathers', inspired by how Shakespeare's grammar level education was different from any education we receive today. I have been deeply researching the history of classical education, so that I can share a bigger picture of what the education of the Founding Fathers looked like. Stay tuned for that and lots of other great stuff, as I hope to share historical connections to help us better  understand our founding documents and how the Constitution is relevant today.

So...all of this leads in to what Dr. Farris was really talking about...the need for an Article V Convention of States! The Supreme Court is veering away from the Constitution that our Founders wrote. The modern "constitution" which the federal government is writing is over 2000 pages thick! Why? Because they don't understand original intent. Well, this is why I have signed the petition at I've even signed up to become a volunteer! I did this back in February after I heard Dr. Farris speak with Jenna Ellis in Colorado. I'm a bit scared to do this, but this is important. I've always talked about this kind of stuff. Time for me to become a little bit of a Patrick Henry!

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