I’m always looking for new resources for viewing history and the world through the lens of my Christian worldview, especially as I see so many differences in the history and politics that I see in the media and hear in textbooks and the primary texts that we study. It’s a difference that I find increasingly disquieting, and I want to be able to present all facts to my children and not just some facts. So, when I got the chance to review a DVD from New Liberty Videos, I chose to review Anthem For a Nation because I watched a preview of it on You Tube and I knew that I wanted to find out more.
I received a physical DVD from New Liberty Videos that retails on their website for $19.95. This video is appropriate for most ages, but because my children are younger, and we haven’t discussed many issues dealt with on the DVD, such as abortion and the place of the Bible in public schools, I watched this DVD with my husband, and I haven’t shared this video with my children yet.
The film begins with patriotic music mixed with different pictures and scenes from American life and history. This is a pattern that will repeat throughout the movie, and the movie will also end with views of the country and “God Bless the USA.” I think these are great for showing images of the many different facets of the nation and it’s history.
In between the music montages, the narrator is speaking and sharing images and video related to the narration. The narrator begins by establishing the Christian background of our nation. He shares facts about the establishment of our constitution, about the buildings of our government, and about the scriptures that are found in our government buildings in rapid succession. Many of these facts are new to me and I would love to find out more and share these with my children.
Soon, the narrator turns the movie’s focus to the ways that God, who is a presence and a guiding hand in the establishment of our nation is systematically removed from our nation’s public facilities. The narrator especially focuses in on public schools and public children’s events, showing how we’ve removed the teaching of the gospel from our nation’s children in many ways.
Of course, the movie isn’t finished there, the narration then reminds us that the assault isn’t even just on allowing our children to hear the gospel message, it’s on the very lives of those children who cannot protect themselves–those children who haven’t been born yet. It’s a moving, chilling and sobering message.
Once the movie reaches this climax, the narrator urges us to take action by praying for our country. We are to pray that our country repent from its turn away from God and to restore the connections with God that were so important to those who established our country that they made laws to ensure that we’d always be able to keep that connection.
There are also two additional special features, which I confess to finding as interesting and intriguing as the movie. In them, there are personal testimonies from those who lived through Nazi Germany and Austria about their nations’ moves away from God and their nations’ moves into fascism.
The final feeling that the viewer is left with is one of horror for the direction of our country but hope that God can change our direction and make our country a great place.
My feelings on this movie are mixed. I love imagery of comparison of the foundation our country is built on versus the destruction of that very same Christian foundation. It’s a powerful message, especially for those who are not aware of many of the facts. In fact, the facts of this movie are relayed off in such great speed and momentum that I found myself wanting to research more about the founding of our country and the building of our national monuments. That, of course, is the beauty and power of documentaries.
However, as I’m watching the movie, I get the feeling that the narrator is conveying the message that America can be fixed by stopping abortions and adding prayer back into schools. While these are two very important issues, I would argue that they are truly symptoms of our pride and self-sufficiency. We have said that we do not need the God who established our nation, and that we alone have built our nation to be the great place it is today. In the words of the documentary, “God help us.”
I would have loved to see a little more done with the narrations and stories in the special features. In fact, I wouldn’t mind buying a whole documentary based on more of those WWII era stories from here and overseas. They add a powerful collective feel and testimonial evidence to the thesis of the documentary that I don’t believe the whole movie is the same without. All in all though, this was a powerful and interesting introduction to how our country has drifted away from the founding principles that it was built on.