America is in one royal mess and everyone knows it. It doesn’t matter which political party you adhere to, everyone agrees that we are in a world of hurt.
Actor Kirk Cameron looked at America today and wondered what went wrong. He’s heard so many people saying that America wasn’t founded on Christian or biblical principles and that our forefathers had no intention of establishing a Christian nation. So he set out to study the true history of the first American settlers, the Pilgrims, who sailed to America on the Mayflower. He traveled to England to learn the real facts and what he found is amazing to say the least.
Cameron filmed his exploits, what he learned and just recently released it on DVD. The epic expose is titled Monumental: In Search of America’s Greatest Treasure. After watching the video, I believe this could be THE most important and influential film of our day. Every single family in America must watch this video. More importantly, every politician in America must see it also.
After tracing the history of the Pilgrims and seeing the successful way of life they established in America, Cameron asks Marshall Foster if they left us a recipe of how to build a free society with the same morals, values and liberties as the Puritans did. Foster tells him that the recipe has been left and takes him to the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
This monument was concepted around 1820 and planned in the 1850s. They started construction in 1859 and finished the monument in 1888. It stands 150 feet tall and contains 180 tons of granite. In fact, it is the largest granite monument in America and most Americans have never heard of it.
I watched the video a couple times and tried to paraphrase the description of it, but always fell short of conveying all that the monument teaches. Therefore, I am including the dialog from the film. While you may get the gist of the monument from the dialog, it will mean so much more when you see the many parts and faces of the monument as they are being described.
I hope and pray that if you find this transcript inspiring, that you realize that there is so much more to the video than just this short section and you make it a priority to obtain a copy for yourself.
Kirk Cameron: I wish - - I wish they had left us some kind of a training manual. Some kind of a secret sauce recipe card that we could pick up and go, ‘Alright, here’s what it is. Here’s what we do. What do we do? How do we get back to that.”
Marshall Foster: When the children of Israel were going into the Promised Land, they crossed the Jordan River and God stood it on end and they walked across. And before the waters stopped parting, God told them to take 12 stones from the bottom of the river and put it up on the top of Mount Gilgal, and make a monument so that when you children ask, ‘What are these stones?” you’ll be able to tell them, “This is where God parted the sea.” And that’s what the Pilgrims left us. They left us a monument that not only gives tribute to what was accomplished here, but it gives us a specific strategy, a breakout of a blueprint of, if we would ever forget what made America great, what made us free, we could go back and follow that strategy. And it’s right up on a hill a half mile from here (grave of William Bradford.)
Approaching the National Monument to the Forefathers
Kirk: This thing is huge.
Marshall: It’s 180 tons of solid granite. It’s the largest granite monument in America. And it’s hidden on a hilltop overlooking Plymouth, in a residential neighborhood.
Kirk: I’ve never heard of this.
Marshall: Hardly anybody in America known about it, and yet the people of America put this together over a 70-year period, paid for by the Congress, paid for by the state legislature in Massachusetts, as a strategy laid out, called the Matrix of Liberty, that was given to us by the forefathers, by the Pilgrims. And they, those 130 years ago, when they built this, wanted to leave this behind for us so if we would ever forget how liberty is built, we would know what to do re regain it.
Kirk: This is how they did it.
Marshall: This is how they did it. Now, if someone else wants to try another way, which is what’s happening today in America—we’re trying 1,000 ways to turn America around. But this is the only way it was done. This is it. The only successful strategy of liberty that has ever been carried out in the history of mankind. Well, let’s walk through it. Let’s take this strategy apart. What does this mean? What are they trying to tell us here?
Kirk: So where do you start?
Marshall: Well, here name is Faith, it says so right there. And she is pointing her finger to heaven. Why?
Kirk: Where God is.
Marshall: Where God is because her faith is the God of the Bible. In Jesus Christ. They knew that the only faith that could bring true liberty was a faith in the one true God and his Bible. And you see a Bible there, an open Bible, it’s a Geneva Bible. The pages are opened up, which meant that they read it. And as they read it, and as they had faith in God, He gave them wisdom. That’s why you see the star on her forehead. She’s given wisdom to know how to live in this world. And all of the rest of these statues, each one weighing almost 20 tons, is tied to Faith because without faith it falls apart. And that’s the beginning of it all.
Kirk: Where do we go from there?
Marshall: From here, you need to go to ‘character’ or ‘morality.’
Kirk: Because that’s the internal liberty.
Marshall: that is the internal liberty, which is the beginning of all freedom. She is called morality. Notice that she has no eyes. That’s on purpose because she’s looking internal, internal character. The transformation of the heart first, and then that brings external transformation. And notice that she has the Ten Commandments in her left hand, and the Scroll of Revelation in the right. What would that signify?
Kirk: The Bible.
Marshall: Exactly. That if you want to have morality, there has to be a standard. And more than that, there has to be an internal transformation. This is speaking of the need to internalize, and allow god to change our hearts and our minds first.
Kirk: Because from—in England, you had top-down morality imposed on the people, ‘do this, do that.’ You’re moralizing people. But you’re saying their morality started in the heart.
Marshall: In the heart. If had to be changed here.
Marshall: Just because you said you were a member of a church, like the Church of England, didn’t make you a Christian. And you see this over on the side. The side statues give an explanation of what the meaning of this is for us. That’s why we need the evangelist. You see the evangelist here, writing down the Gospels. And there’s a need for evangelists. Why? Because we need to have the Gospel; the Gospel of—the great liberating Gospel of Christ that says he came to set us free first.
Kirk: So this is completely contrary to the way the rest of the world had done it up to this point. The Pilgrims are saying that morality starts internally with the Gospel. The evangelist has to preach the message that transforms the heart. And then you want to do what’s right, rather than being forced to do what’s right from the king who tells you what good and bad is. That’s it. Okay, what’s next?
Marshall: What’s next is—and you see the development of it. If you wanna have a free civilization, you need to have a civil authority, or civil law that will give a base for that freedom. In other words, you’ve gotta have some degree or order in society. And that order, as you see here, is built upon law. The principles of God’s law, then, are related into the civil law. And that’s what we see here in his left hand. We also see his hand, his right hand, is extended in mercy. Mercy toward those that he’s dealing justice with. Why? Because this form of law has a degree of equity in it. And you see this in the side statues where—
Kirk: Can we go see?
Marshall: Yeah, yeah. Justice. She’s holding the scales of justice. With justice and equity. Which means that when a crime is committed, it should be cared for in terms of its punishment, the same for the rich and for the poor and for everyone else. There should be equality under the law. On the other side, we notice that the form of law is different than the laws of so many nations that are built on tyrants, that are built on—the Aztecs wanted to cut your heart out, they’d just cut your heart out. Here, mercy. Mercy built upon the base that he offers us mercy and grace, along with law. And in this form of law, there is that tremendous mercy.
Kirk: so you have to start with faith—faith in the true God. That produces the internal morality of the heart. You have a standard by which to judge what good and bad is. and then you create a moral system of law to have a basis for a free and just society that can mete out justice when crimes are committed, but also extend mercy to people and show them grace.
Marshall: And they that gives you the freedom. Once you have a society that’s built like this, now you have a civility in society. Now you can educate your children. Here, they could train ‘em. And you see the lady here in the statue of education. And she is opening the Word of God, or the book of knowledge, and she has got the wreath of victory she’s wearing, about a 25-year-old woman. She is educating her children, and she is sitting in victory. Why is she sitting in victory? Because she has trained her children up in the way they should go, and prepared them so that the next generation that came after them would know of the strategy of how to carry on the truth, and carry on a free civilization. Isn’t that amazing?
Kirk: And what’s on her side over here?
Marshall: Over here you see her training her child. And she has a book in her one hand and then he has a scroll where he’s writing on the other. And this is youth. Trained in their youth. It was the parent’s responsibility to educate. And so this would be the mother training up a child in the way he should go.
Kirk: You know what I think is interesting is that they had just left England and left this top-down government system, so when they got here, their idea of education wasn’t send your kids off to a government school to educate them. It was the parent’s responsibility to do this. Particularly because their worldview was different than the government’s worldview, which would have been, ‘No, you’re nobody, you’re a slave. You just lay down on you back and do whatever the king says,’ Which is sort of the attitude that we get in most governments today is that you just do whatever the government says. Whereas they’re saying, ‘No, it’s our responsibility as parents to educate our kids and teach them faith and internal morality, and to understand the importance of fair, just, and merciful laws.’
Marshall: And it’s passed down from generation to generation. And if you see on the other side, you’ll see how the grandfathers played a role. For it’s not just the father—of course the father and the mother are the key educators. But the key is the hoary heads. Those are the older ones who also have a role. Because you see the guy with the beard here, he’s the old guy. And what do you see his left hand pointing to?
Kirk: There’s a book, and it look like we’ve got the Ten Commandments again.
Marshall: Ten Commandments and an open Bible, okay? And so he, being older and wiser, he knows the Commandments, he knows the Word of God. And then he is pointing to that. And then on the other side, what do you see of him?
Kirk: That’s the world.
Marshall: The world, right. So he is teaching the younger generation, both his daughter and his grandchildren, how the world works from a Biblical perspective. And all of this lead to something, Kirk. And that’s that you see the strategy building, from the internal to the external, to the law, to education, to pass it on to the next generation. And what are they passing on? They’re passing on liberty. And this is the result of living out that strategy. And his name—his name is Liberty.
Marshall: We call him Liberty Man. The Liberty Hero.
Kirk: Look at this guy. He’s a stud!
Marshall: Now this guy is not a guy you wanna mess with, right? And he’s seated in liberty.
Kirk: Okay, explain who this guy is, Liberty Man.
Marshall: Liberty Man—the liberty hero that he represents, is the fruit. He is the result of obeying the matrix of liberty that you see on this monument. And he is seated in liberty. Now what I want you to be careful to notice these details. Notice that he’s holding broken chains in his left hand. Notice that he has—where the chains were, bound to his legs. Notice that his now seated in liberty. He’s got that good look on his face, like, ‘Listen, I’m free. But I’m looking out, defending my liberty. But I’m free.” And notice the claw that is on his right shoulder. That claw relates to a skin that goes around to the left here. And you’ll see a lion’s head; and entire lion skin. That ultimately represented the lion of the English tyrant back in those days.
Kirk: So he has slain the lion.
Marshall: He’s slain the lion, and that’s what it says here on the left. ‘Tyranny is defeated.’ And you see Liberty Man standing over Tyranny with his foot on the chest of Tyranny. He’s holding Tyranny down. And again, the Pilgrims won this victory without violence of any kind, except living out God’s principles.
Kirk: One of the things that’s striking me is the fact that this is talking about our forefathers, the Pilgrims. But this guy is not some wimpish little religious guy. I mean, this guy is a study, right? He’s strong. He’s looking out. He has just defeated a beast. And he’s got a sword in his hand. And he’s here to protect, right? He’s here to protect his family and to defend the laws that they’ve made. And ultimately to defend their values and their character, their faith.
Marshall: Exactly, exactly. And it shows you that if you do it right, you can be strong as an individual. You can defend liberty. And, if need be, you can fight. You don’t wanna fight, but if you have to you’re ready. But the point is, because you’ve done it God’s way, there is a long-term blessing that goes with it.
Kirk: This is awesome!
Marshall: This is it. This is it. So Kirk, this is that recipe. This is the strategy, that matrix that was what built America. This is it. And if we want to try something else, yeah, people can try other things. Bit in the history of the world, the one strategy that has brought more liberty, more prosperity, and more joy than any other, is this strategy. Why would you go anywhere else?