REVIEWING THE ACCURACY OF HAROLD ESTES CHARGES — UPDATED 6/21/2015

In 2012 we must make a big decision. Do we choose Socialism, do we choose to follow in the footsteps of our nation’s founders, or do we consider other options? Since there are over 300 million of us, and we will each make our own choice, we will probably choose a path that has no ideological purity. When tyrants do not rule, such is the nature of compromise.

Yet when old men look at where they are, they look back wondering how they got to that place. Then, even when they are soon to pass away, they look ahead. Therefore, Harold Estes wrote his letter, and I linked to it here (regretably, the authors have deleted Voting American.) and here (See PEARL HARBOR DAY).

When I linked to Estes letter, one commenter said that Estes grossly distorted our president’s words. Sadly, I do not think so. Yet the possibility is worth considering, and of course, somebody has. About.com has this article, Harold B. Estes Letter to Obama, for example. So let’s consider the matter here.

” We’re no longer a Christian nation

About.com posts ‘The President Without a Country’ by Pat Boone. That links to The president without a country by Pat Boone. Oddly, if you google Boone’s op-ed, “The president without a country” pat boone, About.com’s and Snope.com’s (here) articles pop up at the top of the search list. Like as not, since Boone’s article appears to predate Estes letter, Estes got this line from Pat Boone’s article.

However, this article, Obama: America is ‘no longer Christian’, actually addresses the source of this first quote.  So what is wrong with the quote. Some have left a few words out, supposedly with nefarious intent.  Here is the “complete” quote from Obama’s inaugural address.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. (from here)

Or perhaps it is from an interview with a Christian broadcaster.

Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. (from here)

Supposedly, that “not just” makes everything okay.

”America is arrogant”

MediaMatters blames this one on a certain talk show host, Hannity truncated Obama quote to claim it was an example of “blame America first”. What is funny is that Hannity plays the portion of Obama’s speech he “quotes.” The “quote” comes from this line in one of Obama’s apology tour speeches.

In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive. (from here and here)

”America is mean-spirited”

The quote comes from that time before Obama entered politics, when he was at Harvard.

“Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous,” Obama said. “I mean, I really hope to be part of a transformation of this country.”  (from here)

Here is a different version.

“We’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous.” — May 1990, quoted in article while attending Harvard Law School (from here)

Of course, Michelle Obama shares similar views.

“America hasn’t lived up to her ideals”

With this “quote”, Estes apparently refers to another line in the Barack Obama apology tour.

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. (from Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University in Egypt, June 4, 2009)

Conclusion

Did Harold Estes grossly distort Obama’s words? Well, if you want to nitpick, I suppose he did. However, when I read the letter, I did not take the quotes as literal. I understood Obama would not be so stupid as to say exactly those words. In fact, without the help of Liberal Democrats, I would never be able to figure out exactly which words Estes misquoted.

Obama in fact:

  • Does not believe America is a Christian nation.
  • Has gone on what most Conservatives regard as apology tours. If he is not apologizing for our “arrogance”, what is he doing?
  • Is trying to transform our country and make it what he says is less mean-spirited.
  • Has spent all kinds of effort blaming his predecessor for one thing or another. I think it safe to say Democrats did not think George W. Bush lived up to their ideals.

There is a deliberate effort by the Obama administration to transform our nation. “Transform” is Barack Obama’s word for what he wants to do to America — to the American people. I can only speak for myself, but I do not think much of what Obama and Democratic Party wants America to become comports with Christian values. What Estes did is express his legitimate objections to Obama’s efforts to transform us. Nitpicking over “quotes” will not make those objections go away.

12/25/2012 Update

Of late, this year-old post has received a lot of traffic. It occurred to me wonder why. Reading the post again, I realized I had said nothing about Harold Estes. So I searched the Internet.

Hawaii Loses a Great Patriot – Harold B. Estes, U.S. Navy (ret.)

BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D. – Harold B. Estes and many of his peers are part of a generation that is known as “The Greatest Generation.”  Estes, a World War II veteran credited with helping bring the USS Missouri and Bowfin museums to Hawaii, and who gained Internet fame with a letter written to President Barack Obama telling him to “shape up and start acting like an American,” died Tuesday May 17, 2011. (continued here)

Read the report on Estes death. If you like video, here is another, Memorial service honors veteran and Navy League organizer Harold Estes. The man was more than just that one letter he wrote.

81 thoughts on “REVIEWING THE ACCURACY OF HAROLD ESTES CHARGES — UPDATED 6/21/2015

  1. Tom, I apologize if you believe I came here with the intent to put down another man’s beliefs. This was not my intent at all. I don’t refuse to see anothers point of view, often though, when confronted with an opposing view I try to learn the root of this view while steadfast asserting my position. It wasn’t until after I responded that I poked around your blog and realized your are just as stubborn as I am.

    Any cult that convinces one to give up his god given ability to reason is self destructive in nature. For once you believe the unbelievable the first domino has fallen. Why still hold fast to your Gods of the Holy Bible when the book itself contains so many factual errors. I cannot accept a belief system that asks me to ignore this part of Scripture, but focus on this part. It is rather convenient Christians have a kinder, gentler god vs that bastard in the Old Testament. Think outside the box Tom and accept the truth.

    Like

    1. alfundo – The God of the Old Testament and the New Testament are one and the same. The Jews of the Old Testament were under a different dispensation. If you take the time to read the Book of Romans (one of the books of the Bible), you will get a better idea what that means.

      Source: Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
      Dispensation
      (Gr. oikonomia, “management,” “economy”). (1.) The method or scheme according to which God carries out his purposes towards men is called a dispensation. There are usually reckoned three dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the Christian. (See COVENANT, Administration of.) These were so many stages in God’s unfolding of his purpose of grace toward men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.

      (2.) A commission to preach the gospel (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25).

      Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men either in the way of mercy or of judgment.

      Why does the God of the Old Testament seem so harsh? The Bible was written to people who lived thousands of years ago. Unless you study the period history of each book of the Bible, some of the punishments will make no sense.

      When they worshipped idols, why was God so angry with the Canaanites and the Jews? Here is an example.
      http://www.crossroad.to/glossary/rpg/molech.htm

      We live in a free society where everyone is still able to study as they wish. Unfortunately, we have a government-run education system that works overtime to put secular blinders on us. I have taken mind off.

      Like

  2. “Christians describe God as a trinity composed of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jehovah speaks of the same God, but it reflects an Old Testament perspective.”

    Thank you. So the god referred to is a generic, one size fits all god.

    “Christian government does not establish a state religion.”

    Thank you, an oxymoron.

    So then, you agree we were never a “Christian nation”

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    1. alfundo – No. I don’t agree, but no one convinces another of anything. We either choose to accept the truth or we don’t.

      I suppose you think you are being funny, clowning; but attacking the beliefs of another — the refusal to even consider another point of view — is ultimately self destructive. Don’t you realize that when you tear down the people around you — instead of building them up — you are just destroying your self?

      No man is an island,
      Entire of itself.
      Each is a piece of the continent,
      A part of the main.
      If a clod be washed away by the sea,
      Europe is the less.
      As well as if a promontory were.
      As well as if a manor of thine own
      Or of thine friend’s were.
      Each man’s death diminishes me,
      For I am involved in mankind.
      Therefore, send not to know
      For whom the bell tolls,
      It tolls for thee.

      John Donne

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  3. See, there you go again, substituting Christ for the god mentioned in the documents. Im interested in discussing that god. The common Christian god had a name, some call him Jehovah. No where is a god specified. There are hundreds. If we are truly a “Christian Nation” the Christian god would be specified. No, the founding fathers set us up as a secular nation on purpose.

    What god are they talking about? direct question to invalidate your position of America being a Christian nation. this is the reason i entered the conversation.

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    1. alfundo — Christians describe God as a trinity composed of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jehovah speaks of the same God, but it reflects an Old Testament perspective.

      Why isn’t God mentioned in the Constitution? Why don’t our governing documents speak more about God? Why didn’t we establish a state religion, a theocracy? Christ Jesus specifically said His kingdom is not of this world. In His first coming, He did not assume political authority. Moreover, He it plain that to be saved we must have faith in Him. How would we force anyone to have faith in Jesus? We cannot, of course. Trying to do such a thing just encourages hypocrisy. That’s why a Christian government does not establish a state religion. Instead, a Christian government did something that astounded the 18th century world. A Christian government protected freedom of religion. That includes the freedom to follow the dictates of one’s own conscience.

      Like

  4. The fact that slavery is included and promoted by the bible should tell you it is not gods word. The bible provides guidelines in how to treat your slaves.

    Like

    1. alfundo – The Bible was not written to us. The Bible was written long before people even considered the possibility that slavery was wrong.

      Yet the Bible was written for us. Because of what the Bible says, Christians condemned slavery and worked it to end.

      Read about the abolitionists. Read the Bible.

      Like

  5. Tom, the bible is the most immoral book i have ever read. If you need a fear of burning in hell to persuade you to do what is right, this makes you a scared person, not one that is morally superior. Anything not to offend the magic sky pixies. I believe, like I stated above, that the god referred to is the singular, old school, sky pixie. If Christ had been mentioned in these documents then a host of supernatural beings come into play. Thanks for your time Tom.

    Like

    1. alfundo – Either you have not read the Bible, or you have not made any serious effort to understand it.

      Here is an example. Slavery has existed throughout the recorded history of mankind. Then Christians decided to end slavery. Were those Christians opposed by Christians who claim the Bible condones slavery? Yes, but the Bible condemns slavery, and that is why slavery ended first in countries where Christians predominate.

      Even people who claim to be Christian can find “support” for whatever evil they want in the Bible. People do this sort of thing all the time. We this call this making excuses or rationalization. As I said before, what we believe makes a difference. If we believe first and foremost in serving ourselves, then we will believe whatever we want to believe.

      How do we avoid rationalizing evil? We humble ourselves before our Creator. Instead of serving our own pride, we serve our Creator. We do what the Bible says to do. We love God with all our heart and soul, and we love our neighbor as we love our self.

      Like

      1. CHRISTIANS decided to end slavery?!

        ROFLMFAO!
        Oh, that’s RICH!
        PRICELESS!
        PMSL!

        Dear gods of Earth, Air and Water!
        Bought into the brainwashing, much?
        Go read the “Making The World Safe For Hypocrisy” blog. First page – Founding Fathers, will do. That American has a much better grip on reality than you, lad.

        Like

        1. Of course, Christians are the ones who ended slavery! When our Constitution was drafted and ratified, slavery was universal.

          But in Article I, Sec. 9, cl. 1, WE announced to the world that in 20 years time, WE would end the slave trade. James Madison wanted to end the “barbarism” and “unnatural traffic” in slaves immediately [Federalist Paper No. 42, 6th para]; but didn’t have the votes. Alexander Hamilton was one of the abolitionists of the time..

          England [a Christian country] very soon thereafter eliminated slavery [watch the excellent movie, “Amazing Grace”]. After, that slavery was abolished in one Christian country after another. Russia [a Christian Country] freed the serfs around 1861; our slaves were freed with the 13th Amendment (1865); and the march for emancipation of slaves continued in one Christian Country after another. The 19th century was the era of emancipation in all the Christian Countries.

          There is good information on this on the internet. You need only pry open that very closed mind of yours and see.

          Today, slavery exists for the most part only in islamic countries.
          And in the communist dictatorships.

          Like

        2. Yeah, sorry Publius, but Britain had more influence on ending the slavery trade than America.
          It was the Royal Navy that blockaded African and American ports, and captured American Slaving transports, freeing their captives.
          It was the Royal Navy that offered a bloody good wage to American slaves to join the service. To the consternation of the land-owners who suddenly had no cheap workforce.
          It was [mostly Southern State] Americans who stood whinging about losing profits and crops, and demanded action.

          Remind me again when America ended its apartheid?
          It’s still functioning? 😮 Really? In the 21st century, and all this progress made to being civilised, and they’re still 3rd-class “peoples”?

          You know the REAL reason for the rebellion in the 1770s? Not religious oppression. Not unfair taxes (which were repealed over a decade before! 😉 ). Not any of the other propaganda crap fed to you since childhood.
          Britain abolished slavery. Total. In all its dominions. That scared your “founding fathers” so much, they decided to break away, and continue their slavery-powered money gathering.
          Have a read : It’s enlightening for those that don’t know the real story.
          http://mtwsfh.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/lie-number-two-american-revolution.html

          Like

        3. Subject34512 – Since Publius Huldah has already quite capably addressed the substance of your comments, I will address the tone of your comments.

          When we compare the United States and the United Kingdom, we find both significant similarities and differences. Under the rule of the United Kingdom men established slavery in America, and men imported a large population of Blacks into America. Under the rule of the United States, the economy of slavery became entrenched in the South. Therefore, before that sin could be removed from this country, hundreds of thousands, mostly Christians died in a bitter civil war. Yet you apparently think that horrid struggle incidental and unworthy of mention. Instead, you amuse yourself with a rewritten history.

          Were Christians on both sides of conflict? Yes, and the Christians who owned slaves had to keep the slaves ignorant so they could pretend their slaves were somehow subhuman.

          Were the Christians in the North more saintly than those in the South? No, we all have our share of faults.

          Are Christians better than other people? All I know is that thanks to God Christians generally behave better towards their fellows than non-Christians. That is why slavery first ended in Christian nations.

          Anyway, you may as well cease the ridicule and the pretense at braying laughter. Neither is a substitute for knowledge or evidence. In fact, when you have to resort to such intimidation, that suggests you lack the confidence to calmly present your arguments.

          Like

  6. I’m still waiting for you to take off your tap dancing shoes and stick to the question. What god is being referred to? True most of the founding fathers were believers but that does not make this a Christian nation. What does Independence Day or Constitution day have to do with the question posed.

    Like

    1. alfundo –

      True most of the founding fathers were believers but that does not make this a Christian nation.

      With the statement above, you have already conceded the argument. You just don’t realize it.

      Consider this question. Doesn’t what we believe make a difference in our behavior? Look around the world. Doesn’t what the people in various nations believe affect the way they govern themselves?

      At the time of our nation’s founding, the peoples across the world had even more starkly different beliefs than we do today. If Christians actually do believe the Bible is God’s Word, how would that fact make a difference in their lives? What made the government of 18th century American so utterly unique?

      Did the Americans who founded this nation read, understand and believe what is in the Bible. If YOU BELIEVE and CAN SAY they did, then why do you have to ask what God is being referred to? What is it that you want to believe that makes it so hard for you to accept what should be an obvious truth?

      Like

  7. so, is this god that is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and in state constitutions Christian? or does he have Greek ancestry? Egyptian? There are plenty of gods to choose from. Nowhere is Christ mentioned. We have never been a Christian nation. When God is referred to in these documents, I believe they were referring to the maker, the age old, go to guy when you need supernatural powers.

    Like

    1. alfundo – We celebrate Independence Day, not Constitution Day, for a reason. The Declaration provides our nation’s creed. The idea that we have God-given rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness comes from the Christian foundations of this nation.

      The founders structured our government with a Christian understanding of the fallen character of man. They understood man as a fallen creature, subject to temptation. So they created a government that distributed power and subjected those with power to checks and balances. Moreover, the founders themselves praised the Bible as necessary to the moral health of our people and the stability of our republic.

      Like

  8. I meant your opinion of the president not your opinion of what you think socialism is. Good day.
    Maybe you should go back and kindly read your article.

    Like

    1. Citizen Jamie — Here is how this post starts.

      In 2012 we must make a big decision. Do we choose Socialism, do we choose to follow in the footsteps of our nation’s founders, or do we consider other options? Since there are over 300 million of us, and we will each make our own choice, we will probably choose a path that has no ideological purity. When tyrants do not rule, such is the nature of compromise.

      Even though I live near Washington D.C., I don’t know Barack Obama. I have never met the man. As far I know, Harold Estes never met Obama either. What concerned Estes and still concerns me is how Obama wants to transform our nation.

      Like

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