I was watching a man who knew what he believed in — freedom and peace — a man who understood that freedom is not free, a man who is willing to stand up and defend his county and not apologize for past actions, and a man who was willing to stand up and be counted. A rare trait in a leader these days. But he did all of these things — forcefully and coherently.
But the common bond between these two nations is more. It includes a common foundation of their nation’s freedoms and defense of freedom based on the principles of freedom and liberty laid out in the Bible, found in the laws first given to Moses on Mt Sinai by the Lord himself — the perfect laws of liberty as the apostle James called them.
During his interview with Hannity, he told of the walk he and his wife took along the Potomac in Washington D.C. and commented on the memorials there on the Potomac that are reminders of America’s history. His response indicated he was probably more informed on Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence than most Americans, as he was on Lincoln’s famous words, “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” And he was impressed by the words inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial: “Freedom is not free,” a truism many do not fully comprehend.
But it was also a reminder to his audience that he fully understood that the words “Proclaim liberty throughout the land,” inscribed on America’s famous Liberty Bell hanging in Philadelphia, came from the Bible, Leviticus 25:10. Above all other things, the tie that binds America and Israel together is their shared Judeo-Christian culture. It is this culture that binds and provides the incentive to give one’s life to protect America’s precious freedoms.
But his talk did more — it reminded me that it was just 400 years ago, May 2, that the first authorized King James Bible was published in the King’s English in 1611. King James likely never had a clue as to what the historical significance this event — the translation of the Holy Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into the common language of the soon to become western world — would become. That event became the foundation of today’s America-Israeli connection. It opened God’s word to the common man. Prior to this event, the word of God was reserved to only the priests, and to own a Bible, expensive as it was, could end the owner in prison.
And 11 years later, in 1620, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Mass., with their Bibles to begin the colonization of America, all because they wanted to be ‘free’ to worship their God according to their understanding of what they had found in their Bibles. And a few years later, America’s first constitution was drafted based on Moses’ outline Moses found in chapters one and two of Deuteronomy.
The impact of the authorized King James Bible on the Founding Fathers cannot even be comprehended because, an established fact, the Bible was the reference for 33 percent of all references used by the Founders during their constitutional convention held in 1787.
In addition to affecting the Founders, the King James Bible has affected for good millions of Americans, especially the 90 percent who own a Bible — and that includes me and my family.
But perhaps equal significant for Cherokee County Christians, including me, is the biblical promise to gather in Israel in the last days. Many see the creation of Israel in 1947 by the United Nations, led by Harry Truman, as the beginning of that gathering.
The Jews following World War II had no home land and no nation would allow them to enter. Israel was created and displaced Jews flocked to a land without water or oil, a waste land, where they have prospered.
It’s true that Israel has been build with the help of prosperous Jews worldwide, and with America’s protective hand over it, but it was nevertheless a “restoration” of a Jewish homeland. Did Obama miscalculate when he implied a return to the 1947 borders? Yes, Netanyahu made that clear, crystal clear, in his speech before Congress last week.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.