Criticism leads to revision of AP History Exam

The last version of the Advanced Placement History exam, which allows high schoolers to test out of college courses–as well as the material required to prepare for it–bought into the leftist revisionist history movement, portraying American history mainly in terms of how oppressive it was.  (See this and this.)

Conservative parents and academics pushed back.  And now they have won a rare victory, with the College Board revising the exam to eliminate bias and to include more of the good things about America.  Some critics are pleased with the revision, while others don’t think it goes far enough.  But still. . . . [Read more…]

The Gulf War 25 years later

August 1 was the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, a.k.a. the Gulf War, fought to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein invaded and took over that country.  That war had clear justification, a limited goal, and was over in six weeks.

Richard N. Haas, a national security advisor under George Bush I, tells about how the war unfolded in the White House and draws lessons from that conflict that we need to learn.  Here is his conclusion:

The Gulf War looks today like something of an anomaly: short and sharp, with a clear start and finish; focused on resisting external aggression, not nation-building; and fought on battlefields with combined arms, not in cities by special forces and irregulars. Most unusual of all in light of what would follow, the war was multilateral, inexpensive and successful.

After the jump, the seven lessons that he says we should learn from the Gulf War. [Read more…]

“The lie kills nations”

Hermann Sasse was contending with Nazi Germany, but his words about how “the lie” kills nations–presenting cultural dissolution “as a glorious ascent,” in which “decline is viewed as an advance”–have an unsettling resonance for today. [Read more…]

Christianity’s influence on marriage & the status of women

According to the “progressive narrative,” Christianity and its view of marriage have oppressed women.  But as David Theroux points out, drawing on actual scholarship,  the actual influence of Christianity is quite different. [Read more…]

Gay marriage among the ancients

I’ve been hearing from gay marriage defenders that same-sex marriages are not an unprecedented cultural innovation but that they can be found in other cultures.  Even the Romans had them.  Well, it’s true that emperors Nero and Elagabalus had wedding ceremonies with their same-sex lovers, as did others, but, if you read the accounts in Tacitus, Suetonius, Martial, and Juvenal, you will see this sort of thing being condemned in the harshest terms as evidence of utter decadence and depravity.  And a wedding ceremony does not necessarily create a legal marriage–I’ve seen no evidence that these Roman unions were recognized for property rights,  inheritance, establishing a family, and other preoccupations of Roman family law.  Yes, the Romans were tolerant of homosexuality –as long as one’s partner was an adolescent  slave–but they hardly approved of gay marriage.  Read the sources for yourself, after the jump. [Read more…]

Pope apologizes for Milton’s “slaughtered saints”

Pope Francis recently apologized to the Waldensians.  They had their beginnings in the 12th century, anticipating many of the teachings of the Reformation four hundred years later, which the group then joined.  The Waldensians suffered centuries of persecution from the Roman Catholic Church, culminating in the Easter massacre in the Piedmont of Italy in 1655, when some 1,700 men, women, children, and infants were slaughtered in the most brutal ways imaginable.  (See the Wikipedia article linked, above.)

Read this chilling 17th-century catalogue of the atrocities.  Then, after the jump, read the sonnet that John Milton wrote about this mass martyrdom, given, along with a news story about the Pope’s asking for forgiveness from the 30,000 Waldensians still in Italy.  (There are more in Germany, the United States, Uruguay, and the the Pope’s native Argentina.) [Read more…]