I’ve been debating back and forth whether or not I was going to blog about my two week trip out to Texas, and all that it entailed. Many thoughts went through my mind, “It’s too controversial,” “I don’t even know what to say,” “People won’t listen to me, I didn’t even do a good enough job to justify a post on it,” and I was one of the youngest interns in this position, at only 18 years old and freshly out of high school, but one of the many things I learned in my position, was about leadership. We learned the 6 Imperatives it takes to be a leader. One of those, is Influence. Now, even at first when I heard this, I thought, great, well that counts me out, because, again, only 18. What kind of influence can I have? I’ve done nothing impressive in my lifetime, and sure I have a blog, but it’s nothing huge and I’m not even too sure how many people it is ever reaching, but then Tim Barton, who was teaching a majority of the classes, followed up with this; “Influence,” he said “is not about how many people you are over, it’s about how many people you impact,” and then it clicked. I knew I had to write about this because I knew from past experience that even though I was only 17, my writing is what has impacted people, whether I was reaching an audience of 5 or 50.
We also learned that a leader needs courage, of which I lack a great deal, but it seemed the longer I tried to not write about what I learned during my internship, the more I saw the ignorance which has begun to fester in our world. But now, I no longer have to take part in and believe the things the news and others tell me. I, along with the 20 or so other interns who took part in this life changing experience, are among the few who now truly believe and understand the principles on which our country was founded, the way government was intended to be run, and the corruption today that threatens to destroy it and its people. Being a leader takes hard work, and while I don’t intend to change minds or tear down anyone who disagrees with what I write or say here, I want to open minds. To show people a side of history built on pure truth, that for far too long has been hidden from its own people.
Now, hoping that you are still reading and I haven’t scared you off with “preachiness”, buckle up and hold on tighter, because for some, its about to get a whole lot worse. My internship, was held in Irving, TX, sponsored and put on by Mercury One, and for those who still don’t understand, Mercury One is a charity organization associated with Glenn Beck and his team. Yes, Glenn Beck. Arguably one of the most well known religious, conservative talk show hosts and a politician of sorts. Knowing the split controversy on him, I was nervous to tell people, beyond my family, that I was accepting an internship, during which I would be learning under Beck and his team. Everyone in my close family was elated, we are all very big fans and supporters of Beck and the morals he stands for, but once the news started spreading beyond my close friends and family, I began getting the reactions I had expected to come across. The most popular phrase was,
“Have fun being brainwashed!” and before the two weeks I spent at Mercury One, these comments frustrated me, and made me feel bad for what I was doing. But now that I have had the chance to complete the entire internship, and additional time to soak in everything that David and Tim Barton threw at me for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 2 weeks, I can say that I would now be able to tell those people who doubted me, who said I would be “brainwashed” that I never was going to be brainwashed, because everything I was learning was the truth.
Well how do you know it was the truth? You might ask, as you run around clutching at and pulling your hair out and screaming, “They’ve done it! They’ve got to her!” and I would submit to you: History. History does not lie, if it is presented in the manner in which it was written. Over the course of the two weeks, I was given hands on access to real history, found exclusively in the Wallbuilders Museum. This museum, which you will never find on any Google map, and even when you are given access to its address, as I was, feels as though you are driving the end of a dirt path, in the middle of the Texan desert to be killed and disposed of, never to be heard from again. But after traversing several dirt paths that feel as though they are going to drive you off of a cliff, and passing several signs that read “Private Property: NO TRESPASSING, which makes you consider turning the other way before rabid dogs are set on your heels, you reach it… A miraculously unmarked building that still has you questioning whether or not you’re in the right place, despite what your map says.
Lo and behold, it is in fact the Wallbuilders Museum, started and maintained by the David Barton, and despite its less than miraculous exterior, and its more than sketchy location, this building houses enough original documents and stories to hold even the most intent history buff over for I’d say, easily a year.
I had the privilege to be taught by David Barton, a man who before this I had only the tiniest sense of who he was. He isn’t someone you could get to know in 2 weeks, but it was amazingly painful just trying. He has a true passion for history and the truth it holds, and he treated every document and artifact in his possession with the care and honor it deserved. Spending two weeks listening to him expel fact after fact, and whip out quotes and bible verses off the top of his head, and then to be able to see the actual documentation and artifacts to know that what he was saying was true, it was both awe inspiring and anxiety inducing.
Although I wish I could share all of what I saw during my two visits to the museum, it would be far too much, and I’m sure there are things that are still backlogged in my mind even today and one day they’ll spin out and catch up with me, but for now, I’ll share some of the highlights from the Wall builders Museum.
Pictured on the left is a piece of propaganda from WW2, that while it is very common, and is one of the few things that wasn’t a primary document, it stood out to me because, even though I myself had seen it before in even my own school history textbooks, I never knew of its story, and its impact. Pictured is a weeping little girl, placed over the swastika of Nazi Germany. Above, it says, “Deliver us from Evil.” Now, as I said, I’d seen this multiple times before and thought nothing of it, but then Mr. Barton pointed out that the phrase “Deliver us From Evil” can, in fact, be found in the bible. In Matthew 6:13 it says, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” Why is this significant? Well, during times of war, government will print propaganda to aid in the fight or promote an idea or act it wants its citizens to take part in. This piece of propaganda was printed by the government and it contains a religious bible verse. I have a feeling that if Mr. Trump today tried to print a religious verse or used one in one of his speeches, people would be in an uproar because, “He can’t say that! That violates the separation of church and state!” But that again, is not the truth. Prior to 1815, there were 1,400 Official Prayer Proclamations as well as 15 Congressional prayer proclamations! Among other things, such as the church services held in the Capitol by Presidents’, if there truly was meant to be “a separation of church and state” why was no one objecting or fined and jailed? Because, when the phrase separation of church and state was first coined, it was intending to limit the say the government had in religious practice. Quite literally it says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” The phrase only limits Congress, not the say of the people. The separation of church and state is intended to protect the people who choose to practice religion and in no way says that government can not be religious. It removes the government from religion, not religion from government. In no way am I saying that we, the people who practice religion, should go out and shove our beliefs in everyone’s faces, but I do believe this phrase has been torn up and ripped away from its original intent and used to debunk our religious founding as a country.
In fact, just today, I saw a tweet from Donald Trump, stating that “In america, we don’t worship government, we worship God” and while I found this a little laughable coming from him, I found it more laughable, when someone replied, “what about separation of church and state!!”. Today, people will throw this phrase around to do anything to avoid religion and not offend anyone, because unfortunately, religion today does have a bad connotation. If you are reading this, I hope now that you understand the true meaning of the “separation of church and state.”
Hearing the religious intentions and original practices of our country, was for me, almost as if I was hearing about a completely foreign country, and not the one I have grown up in for my entire life. We are so far from who we were and who we should be as a nation, that I believe our Founding Fathers would no longer recognize who we are. And why should we care what a bunch of dead guys think about us? Well, they raised us from the ground, building us up and raising us in our infancy the same way a parent does with a child; with love, and only the best intentions. They had the best intentions for our country, and given the fact that they were building a country finally free from the oppression of the British, they of course were only doing what they wanted for the country, and not what they were forced to do or what anyone else was doing. Additionally, the average length of a Constitution is 17 years. However, for the United States, we have enjoyed peace under a single constitution for 241 years. I think something was clearly done correctly, but people today simply need to take the time to read our founding documents and learn about history the way it was written to once again understand the original intent.
This was undoubtedly the hardest, and most stressful two weeks in my life. I was consistently overwhelmed, in a new state, surrounded by new people, all years older than me and smarter than me, trying to pretend I understood everything that was being thrown at me and at times I felt like a complete impostor, and that I didn’t deserve to be there. I cried and stressed and lashed out, but I ultimately made it through, and I do feel I am a stronger person for it. I feel mentally, socially and spiritually stronger. I had my first television appearance, and even though I felt nauseous and could feel my heart pounding in my armpit, it was a once in a lifetime experience sitting in Glenn Beck’s studio, sitting in front of him and listening to him, seeing the man with the voice I’d grown up listening to most of my life. I am thankful for this entire experience and all of the amazing people who I met along the way. Thank you to Mercury One for still aspiring to stick to the truth. Hopefully, one day our world will one day return to the truth it was built on, and even if it starts with just me, as I’ve learned “God does not call the equipped, he equips the people he calls” and I feel that I have been equipped to carry His truth to the people who are struggling to see it today. And it may only be me, but at least its a start.
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