First things first, this is your one and only spoiler alert. I'm going to discuss the movie in quite a bit of detail. If you don't want to know what's in it, stop reading.
Kirk Cameron's new movie Monumental could be the America's biggest cultural pivot point since the Kennedy assassination. In his new book, Charles Murray identifies the Kennedy assassination in 1963 as the beginning of the orgy of cultural Marxist destruction that haunts us to this day. Fifty years from now, we could look back on Monumental as the point where we finally began to turn our cultural ship around; I'm very serious.
Two and a half years ago, Kirk Cameron was fed up. He knew our country was badly off track and he knew that no-one in public life was even asking the right questions, let alone proposing solutions. Kirk Cameron, perhaps with Divine inspiration, set out to learn the lessons of the Pilgrims and America's earliest history. What he found from following the Pilgrims was a road map for national restoration. The result is an amazing and hopeful film.
The film breaks down into three parts. First, Kirk Cameron traces the steps of the Pilgrims from England to Holland back to England and finally to Massachusetts. Second, he details the lessons from the monument to the Pilgrims (the film's namesake) in Plymouth. Finally, he draws the connection between the Faith of the Pilgrims and the Faith of the Founders and the proper role Faith should play in Modern Society.
I was fascinated by the section tracing the Pilgrims. Cameron begins his journey in England, where the Pilgrims story began in the late sixteenth century. The late sixteenth century was the first time the Bible became widely available in English. This was a turning point in the history of the English speaking world. Prior to the Bible becoming widely available in English, there had been a corrupt and incestuous relationship between the Church and the Crown. Once people began to understand the word of God without an intervening authority, a subset began to realize how badly they had been duped. The Puritans were the ones who wanted to expose and correct the corrupt relationship between the Church and Crown. Neither the Church nor the Crown appreciated the new found scrutiny, to put it mildly.
The Puritans were thrown in jail on multiple occasions. Soon enough they had to leave England. They went first to Holland, where things didn't get much better. After further persecution and a decade of further hardship, they headed back to England. From England, they set sail for America. From Holland, back to England, and onto Massachusetts they had numerous setbacks that the film documents in phenomenal detail. Their Faith was the only thing that kept them going.
Once Cameron documents the journey of the Pilgrims and their early struggles in the new world, he asks how they were able to survive and prosper. As it turns out, there's a monument in Plymouth, MA that provides the answer. The Pilgrims left us with a remarkably simple formula that, nonetheless, provides us with a timeless road map back anytime our nation strays off course.
This remarkably simple and timeless formula is as follows: Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob creates heartfelt internal morality. Internal Morality allows us to create Justice in the Kingdom of man. Once we establish justice in the Kingdom of Man, we then need to educate the next generation and be prepared to defend liberty ourselves.
This formula is crucial, because it focuses on foundation provided by faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Faith changes our hearts which makes us moral men and women. Morality is the precondition for justice. If you don't base justice on Faith and Internal morality, it's almost impossible to achieve. Even if you get lucky, you won't be able to maintain Justice for longer than a generation or two.
History has shown that people who believe man was created in the image of God are the only ones who can be trusted to protect people from tyranny; Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the first example that comes to mind. This is what the Ron Paul crowd fails to understand; a government made up of men without Faith and internal morality won't stay limited for long. History shows that atheists are much safer living under a civil government led by Christians than the other way around.
From the Monument in Massachusetts, Kirk Cameron travels to Texas to discuss the continuity between the Faith of the Pilgrims and the Faith of the Founding Fathers with (my hero) David Barton. David Barton clearly documents how the notion that Judeo-Christian faith should play no role in civil government was a lie deliberately pushed by those who want to distort history. The strongest example comes from 1782, when the Continental Congress printed the Aitken Bible for the use in schools. Got that?!? The Continental Congress knew that Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would create the internal morality in citizens that would allow justice to flourish.
Kirk Cameron's film is excellent. It's doesn't have many flaws, but there was one aspect of it that annoyed me a tiny bit. At a few points during the film, Cameron displays startling political naivete in blaming the political right and left equally for the current straits in which America finds itself . That's poppycock. The left has been trying to destroy God for centuries. Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, tells the truth about (one small aspect of) the Pilgrims every Thanksgiving.
That quibble, however, is small. All in all, Monumental is a phenomenal dose of truth wrapped in a package of spectacular cinematography. It could, quite seriously, be the biggest cultural pivot point in America since the Kennedy Assassination tapped off the destruction from the 1960's onward.
Monumental -- I highly recommend it.