How fitting, that with so much history happening before our very eyes, my inaugural book review should deal with history and politics! The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers by David Barton was a quick and easy (and very interesting) read. For me, this book served as a very informative introduction to Freemasonry (of which I was completely ignorant) as well as an answer key to several questions that I had in regards to our Founding Fathers and the influence of Freemasonry in the formation of our great country.
What I learned, in short, was a brief history of Freemasonry including how its was introduced in America (mainly as military lodges in which both officers and enlisted men could socialize without regard to rank or class) and how it has changed since the time of the Founding Fathers (the blood oaths and degrees of rank were added between 1820-1845, after many of the Founders were dead, and these things also caused a mass exodus of Christians from the lodges, leading to many of the pagan beliefs adopted by Freemasonry today). I also learned exactly which Founding Fathers were Masons (only a maximum of 9% of the Founding Fathers had any connection with Masonry, and only 5% of them were documented members), and I learned the exact extent of their involvement (George Washington, during 3 decades of membership, attended only 4 Masonic events! Oh, and by the way, all of those paintings of him in Masonic garb – bogus!). Also included in the book were chapters on the symbolism of the Great Seal and on our currency as well as on the relationship between Freemasonry and Christianity during those early days.
The author, David Barton, has one of America’s largest private libraries concerning the Founding Fathers, containing some 70,000 documents pre-dating the year 1812. This has allowed him to supply the strongest testimony in a case concerning the Founding Fathers – their own! The book is packed with quotes from the Founding Fathers and their contemporaries, and every argument that the author makes is well-researched and documented (there are over 300 footnotes).
Overall, The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers is a well-written and easy-to-understand book. Containing just ten chapters with a total of 116 pages, you could easily finish reading this book in a week by reading 1-2 chapters a night; however, I find it hard to believe that if you pick it up, you’ll be able to put it back down. This “meat-lover’s special” gets a rating of 4 toppings!
Obviously, most books cannot be read in a day; neither is it healthy to eat pizza daily. So, in the meantime, I thought I’d share some interesting excerpts from books I am currently reading. The following excerpt is from The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers by David Barton (page 19-20):
The statesman Daniel Webster expressed this tenet of Christianity when once he was asked: ‘Mr. Webster, can you comprehend how Jesus Christ could be both God and man?’ Mr. Webster, with one of those looks which no man can imitate, fixed his eyes upon him, and promptly and emphatically said: ‘No sir, I cannot comprehend it; and I would be ashamed to acknowledge Him as my Savior if I could comprehend it. If I could comprehend Him, He could be no greater than myself; and such is my conviction of accountability to God – such is my sense of sinfulness before Him – and such is my knowledge of my own incapacity to recover myself – that I feel I need a superhuman Savior.’
Admit it. You didn’t read that book to learn. You just wanted that personal pan. In fact, you haven’t picked up a book since the 6th grade because then you finally realized that you didn’t have to read a book in order to eat pizza. Truth be told, the only things you’ve checked out from the library in the past 10 years have been movies, and the only habit that you developed from those early formative years is that weekly run to Pizza Hut. But is that the only impression that BOOK IT left on you? Don’t you remember the thrills, the fantasies, the anticipations, the mysterys, the drama, and the emotions that were bound within the covers of all those books? Well, they still exist, and there are thousands, yea millions of adventures to travel, true stories to be heard, and mysteries to be discovered. It’s time to come to grips with yourself. You see BOOK IT did more than just install a lifetime love for pizza, but it also instilled within you a personal, intimate, and passionate relationship between you and your books. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, nevertheless, there are many of us who have never stopped reading. Some books have been life-changing; others have been a waste of time. So here is my opportunity to review for you some of the best and some of the worst books that I have read without ever winning that personal pan pizza. Speaking of pizza, I will also be including reviews of some of the best pizzas that I have come across since I sank my teeth into my first personal pan pizza many years ago. Who could ever know that such a harmless program as BOOK IT could be responsible for such life long addictions. So to all of you who want to remain skinny and illiterate, BEWARE OF BOOK IT!