Beinstein column: In defense of Anglo culture
Anglos have recently been under tremendous attack. From the movement to attack Cecil Rhodes, the father of the famous Rhodes Scholarship, to Al Sharpton calling for the removal of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., justifiable anger has morphed into irrational hatred. For all of their flaws, Anglos have been responsible for enormous advancements in justice and civilization. In fact, with the possible exception of the ancient Israelites, one could argue Anglo-American culture has done more for mankind than any other group. Let’s look at the facts.
Frustrated by the fact that the Church of England did not go far enough in reforming its preceding church, the Catholic Church, it was a group of “radical Protestants” known as Puritans that came to the New World to experiment in religious freedom. It was this movement that would inspire future generations all over the world to seek their own religious liberty.
Angry at having to bow down to a king in England, it was a group of radical British colonists like Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and Patrick Henry that set in motion the greatest effort in self-government that man has ever known. It would help inspire Simon Bolivar to liberate his own people in Latin America from a King in Spain. Sun Yat-sen would do the same against the Qing Dynasty in China and so would David Ben-Gurion in Israel against his British colonial rulers. As Thomas Paine remarked, it’s a form of idolatry for man to ever worship another man. Our early puritans, later turned English colonists, tried as best as any group could to observe our sacred Ten Commandments.
Making true on our promise that all men are created equal, it was a young boy born on a small Kentucky farm with family roots in Norfolk, England, that really would prove that the circumstances of your birth do not determine the outcome of your life. And whether today it’s a young boy born in the slums of Nairobi or the favelas of Brazil or a rural farm in China, he, too, thanks to the example of Abraham Lincoln, can also dream of one day holding the highest office in his land. Lincoln, in short, cemented into law that all men are born free.
In the 20th century, it was a young man that was half-American and half-English that would be the only one with enough courage to stand up to the Nazis. Inheriting his mother’s Brooklyn charm and his father’s English sensibilities, Winston Churchill would become the hero of our times. For those who believe right will always eventually triumph, he proved them correct. For those who believe Communism is an evil system guaranteed to fail in the long run, he proved them correct in his early opposition to the Soviet Union. And for those who believe the destiny of mankind will always be liberty and self-government, Churchill has been proven more right than wrong since his passing roughly fifty years ago. In short, his steadfast devotion to Anglo-American culture has made it possible for non-Anglos to dream of one day sharing in the same fruits. Without his singular example, we would all be subject to the same evil ideology of Nazi Germany.
And lastly, it was Ronald Reagan, with his Scottish mother, who would put an end to the Cold War without ever launching a single missile. Having grown up with a mother devoted to her Protestant church, he knew firsthand how evil the Soviet Communists were to their own believers — it got so bad they literally would crucify believing Christians and would send Jews to gulags. Knowing the effect this had not only their own people, but on the believers of other countries supported by Soviet Communists, Reagan would make it his life’s mission to bring down the Evil Empire. And he did, peacefully. In his last year in office, he gave a remarkable speech at Moscow State University. He closed by looking for the best in Russian society, “We may be allowed that hope: that freedom, like the fresh green planted over Tolstoy’s grave, will blossom forth at last in the rich fertile soil of your people and culture.” As the Scriptures say, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
None of this is to suggest that Anglo culture has always been perfect. Its glorification of war, its sense of racial supremacy, its impulse to dominate the natural resources of other countries — these things have invited criticism, rightfully so. But on balance, especially with respect to the other peoples of the world, Anglos have marked a wonderful additional chapter in the story of mankind. Much like the ancient Israelites, who also would be rebel and sin, they have been a light unto the nations. And for keeping that sacred fire of liberty alive, as our first president George Washington so eloquently said, we should all be eternally grateful.
Thank you and God bless.
Alex Beinstein of Carbondale was a Republican primary congressional candidate in 2016 challenging incumbent Scott Tipton. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent.