When something old becomes new again in American history our Education Program
Leaders (EPL) get excited! Kirk Cameron, of Full House fame, resurrected such a treasure when he explored the Forefather’s Monument in Plymouth, Massachusetts. EPLs Andrew and Sheila share their thoughts on Cameron’s movie Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure.
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
The search for America’s national treasure is a theme that ebbs and flows through the American conscious year after year. At times the nation’s treasure is portrayed by Hollywood and actors like Nicolas Cage as a vast and hidden treasure worth millions of dollars. At other times the nation’s treasure is portrayed by politicians as its industrious and independent people. Sometimes the nation’s treasure is even described by skeptics and conspiracy theorists as a secretive source of knowledge and enlightenment of unknown origins covered up by the government.
In the film Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, Kirk Cameron investigates what he deems to be the true treasure of the nation: the legacy of its original pilgrims. –Andrew
Cameron takes an adventure deep into the depths of the nation’s history, desperately looking to uncover a clear voice of reason and truth that may yet save the country’s future. In his documentary, Cameron focuses primarily on the true story of the original pilgrims. By investigating the original settlers and pilgrims that came ashore in the new world, Cameron looks to unlock the secret character and determination that eventually led to the USA growing into one of the world’s 17 known historical superpowers. -Andrew
A final stop at the Forefather’s Monument reveals the blueprint for America’s success. The massive monument sits atop a hill on the edge of town, and like the monument left behind by the children of Israel, so too is this a reminder to the American people of what God has provided as the foundation for future generations.
The monument is best interpreted by starting with the central figure of Faith. The pilgrims knew that the only faith that could bring true liberty was the faith in the one true God and the Bible. The first seated figure is Morality. Morality represents internal liberty which is the beginning of all freedom. The second seated figure is Law. The principles of God’s Law are the basis for civil law. The pilgrims believed that all were equal before the law. The third seated figure is Education. She is seated in victory: having trained and prepared her children so that the next generation would know how to carry on the truth and free civilization. The fourth seated figure is Liberty. He is an armored figure seated in liberty. He is a protector. The broken chains in his hands and about his ankles represent freedom from the chains of oppression. The lion on his back symbolizes both Satan and tyranny. It was the faith and practice of the Christian religion that defeated the lion of spiritual and natural oppression. Smaller reliefs around the base of the monument further explain the pilgrim story. -Sheila
Overall Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure presents a unique perspective on the original pilgrims that provides practical guidance and direction for today’s America. While tracking with Cameron is hindered at times by fragmented scenes, storytelling and editing, viewers will still learn many new facets of America’s early history that have all but been forgotten. Scholarly viewers may be disappointed by that lack of alternative perspectives to the host’s main theses, as well as, with the narrow view of history the film portrays. That said, anyone who approaches this film with an open mind will likely be surprised at what they learn about America’s roots. -Andrew