Glenn’s interview with Wrath and Righteousness author Chris Stewart

Glenn welcomed author Chris Stewart on radio today to talk about his amazing series of books that Glenn says make reading feel like watching a high paced, high action season of ‘24’ on TV. What makes the series tick and why does Glenn feel like it could rapidly become a history book rather than a fiction book?

Transcript of interview below:

GLENN: With everything that is happening in the world, there's got to be a way to tell the story of what is really going on in a way that is entertaining, that will connect with new people, that can help get the message out and warn people about what we're facing.

PAT: I don't think that's possible.

GLENN: You don't think so?

PAT: I don't think it can be done.

GLENN: Our job has been for the last few years not only to figure out what has been going on but then to expose it. And I've gotten a lot of heat because, "Oh, he's a clown, he's this, he's that." Well, yeah, that's what I've always been my whole life, but I'm also a responsible adult and a dad that cares about my country, and we have been smeared and maligned, and you name it. And it doesn't matter. I mean, you've gone through the same thing. If you're in a Tea Party, I can guarantee you've had the same problem, different scale but, you know, just because I'm on a national scale and you might just have happened in your office where you have been maligned and called names in your own office or in your own family. Same thing. You know the game that's being played. But it doesn't stop you from telling the truth.

We've gotten to a point to where we can't ‑‑ we're not going to bring any new people in. You know, my name now is, has been forever smeared, and I'm either a crazy man, a lunatic, you know, somebody who just is doing it for the money, whatever it is, to a good number of people. Before I ‑‑ before Barack Obama got into office, I had one of the highest what's called Q scores of anybody in the media, where it meant people might not know me that much or they may not agree with me, but people generally liked me. I don't even know what my Q score is now. But it ain't, it ain't gonna ever go back up because this is what the political process does and this is what the enemies of the Constitution do: They've got to smear you and destroy you.

Okay. So now how do we continue to get this message out? How do we tell people what's going on and get this to spread even further? There was a book that I read and there was ‑‑ there's six of them that I read on vacation. Is there how many? Seven? How many of them now?

PAT: Seven originally, yeah.

GLENN: So there's seven of them, and I read them on vacation. I think I started the first or second. And the first one was good. The second one was really good. The first one I really liked because I could see where it was going. The second one was really pretty good. By the third, I read ‑‑ I think I took the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh on vacation and I read them in a week because they're absolutely unbelievable. And Pat and I, when I got back, I said, "Pat, you have to read this stack of books." And he's like, what? "Read this stack of books." And it was ‑‑ by the time you get to the third, you cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction. You can't. It is ‑‑ it's shocking.

Last night on television, I read a quote. Now, these were written, what, five years ago, seven years ago?

STEWART: Yeah, a little more than that. Almost ten years now.

GLENN: Ten years? In one of the parts that we showed last night, one paragraph is about how the Syrian government is slaughtering all of their citizens, like they're at war. They're just slaughtering them. And there's uprisings all across the Middle East and Egypt had been lost to Muslim extremists. I mean, and it was written ten years ago. We wanted to put this book series out. If you remember listening to us over, you know, the last year or so you remember a time that Pat and I were saying on the air quite a bit, "I can't tell if that was ‑‑ is that the book we're reading or is this what's really happening in the world?" And I've had this ‑‑ I went out and I called the author and we got the rights to this series and I wanted to put it out, but I'm ‑‑ I have to accomplish two things: One, have to reach a new audience and a younger audience; and B, I think we have to get it out because it is quickly becoming a history book. The author is Chris Stewart, a good friend of the program and a good friend of mine, a former Air Force guy, is just a straight‑up guy. And the research on this book is profound.

How long did it take you to write this?

STEWART: Well, in a way I guess it probably took me, you know, 14 to 15 years because a lot of it was based on my experience as a pilot in the Air Force. And, you know, that's just kind of background, but it's really, really important background because a lot of the book ‑‑ you know, it's a techno thriller at its heart. It's kind of an interesting combination between a spiritual element and this battle between good and evil but also at its core, it's a techno thriller. It's a ‑‑

GLENN: Tim LaHaye is going to be on the TV show on Friday. We're doing an hour on this. And Tim LaHaye is going to be on the TV show and I talked to him last night.

PAT: He wrote the Left Behind series.

GLENN: Yeah. Sold, what, 100 and some million copies?

PAT: 100‑plus million, I think.

GLENN: I mean, it's crazy. And when you think of a spiritual thriller, you pretty much go there to Tim LaHaye's book Left Behind. And he was kind enough to endorse this. He read it and said it was great and I mean, I talked to him last night and he was just like, right on. Biblically it's right on, I think it's right on, on where we're going. Which scares me.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: Because his book was a little frightening.

PAT: Yeah, you really don't want real life to go where this book goes.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: You really don't.

PAT: You really don't want that.

GLENN: And the thing about this book is it shows you not only in great detail and honestly, Chris and I first met because of this book. I read it, I didn't know him, and I called him on vacation because 3:00 in the morning, 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning I sat up straight up in my bed and I had read some things and it was ‑‑ it was a warning to the people. Because you see, you know, you see the angels and you see Satan and his minions all throughout this book and it shows how they're working behind the scenes. And one of the angels said something, I don't remember, and was whispering it to one of the main characters. And I sat up in bed because it is exactly what I have heard in prayer.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: And I mean, word for word. I mean, I broke out in a cold sweat. I knew this was an inspired book when I read that. And it happened several times in this book. And the things that I have heard: Warn the people, warn the people. I don't know how to warn them about this stuff. Well, here it is. But the good thing is, is it's not just a warning. It also shows you how to prepare. It also shows you ‑‑ people ask me all the time, "What do I do, what do I do." This really does.

PAT: By the way, the name of the book is Wrath & Righteousness. And you can get the first episode, you just download it right now.

GLENN: Yeah. It's ‑‑ I think it's $2.

PAT: $3.99 ‑‑ $2.99, right, 3 bucks? $2.99.

GLENN: If you're a GBTV subscriber, it's absolutely free. Otherwise you can go to, where is it? Just Amazon or any place? Wherever books are sold.

STU: Just go to GlennBeck.com. It's the easiest thing.

PAT: Wherever e‑books are sold and just get it for $2.99. You are going to love it. It's absolutely riveting.

GLENN: The first ‑‑ what we've done is we have taken the series and we've compressed it and taken it and cut it into ten episodes over a year. Instead of coming out over six years, which most people would do, for some strange reason I've thought we should put this out in a twelve‑month period.

PAT: Hmmm.

GLENN: And so the first, the first episode there's a lot of setup but there's also a lot of spiritual setup.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: Would you agree?

STEWART: Yeah. And the first book kind of sets the tone, I think, for the series. Because as I said, it's more than just a techno thriller. You know, when we get into the series, you'll see a very real, a very just compelling threat against the United States, one that a lot of people aren't aware of. And I think the story is built around that or some element of that. But again, the first of the series shows this battle between good and evil. It shows that Lucifer, Satan and his angels, his dark angels, are seeking to destroy freedom, they're seeking to destroy individuals, they're seeking to take away people's happiness and to discourage them. It's not just Satan whispering to someone, you know, go do something bad, go kill this person or something absurd like that. It's the words of discouragement that we hear from these spirits. It's the words of fear. It's the lack of faith. And I think that that is set up in the first part of the book.

GLENN: When you ‑‑

STEWART: And that's an important part of the series.

GLENN: When you were writing, because there's some really amazing scenes with Satan and his minions and really dark. I mean, the hate yesterday ‑‑

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: ‑‑ is so visceral.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: And real. And you ‑‑ I mean, it's amazing because you see him as a real figure.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: It's not a pitchfork and horn kind of guy. You see him as a real figure. And did that bother you at all? How did you ‑‑

STEWART: You know, I've had people ask me that, you know, because after the series was released, I would talk to people and they would say, "Well, you really scared me." And the first time I heard that, I was really surprised by that. It never occurred to me that these were scary scenes, that they were, you know, like frightening, like a horror, horror book. Because that wasn't my intention at all.

GLENN: It is.

STEWART: And it's really not in that sense. It's not a book of horror. And, you know, I realize I wrote some of these things at 2:00 in the morning sitting in my basement office. Was I ever scared? And I really never was. And ‑‑

GLENN: Your wife told me she thought you were under spiritual attack.

STEWART: Yeah, she did. She said there was about a six‑month period there where we were‑‑ wrote the first part of the series that she says, "I didn't recognize you, you became a different person." And there were some things that happened to us that were really unusual and ‑‑

GLENN: And you got a blessing.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: And it broke it; is that right?

STEWART: Yeah, and it really made a difference for us. So I mean ‑‑

GLENN: And you didn't remember being that way?

STEWART: No, I didn't. But I see now when I look back, I can go back and read some of the things that I had written at the time and I realize that it was out of character for me. It was an unusual experience. So...

GLENN: It's an unusual book and I believe it was ‑‑ Chris will never say this. He's never said it to me. I've asked him several times. I believe it was divinely inspired. Do you believe that, Pat?

PAT: Oh, yeah. Yes.

GLENN: Yeah. Divinely inspired. I believe it is a message. I mean, I've never purchased somebody else's book. I've never ‑‑ I've never done this. This does not help me.

PAT: You mean you've never purchased or published?

GLENN: Yeah, to publish. I've never ‑‑ this was really hard to figure out a way to get it out because it wouldn't fit in the schedule. It was six years. Chris and I have gone over this now for a year and a half, how do we do it, how do we get it out, how do we get it out fast enough for it to help people. But if you really want to see what's in my head and what I have felt and what I have ‑‑ I'm just being straight up with you.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: What I have heard in promptings on what I need to warn you about, what I believe is a real possibility of happening, not going to necessarily happen this way or the players, but it is ‑‑ it involves Israel, it involves Iran, it involves good and evil. You want to see what the world can look like quickly? Read Wrath & Righteousness, Episode 1. It's free if you're a Glenn Beck subscriber. You can go to MercuryInk.com/Wrath or wherever e‑books are sold. When does it start to ‑‑ when does ‑‑ I'm not going to give anything away because they really talk about what happens in America pretty early, don't they?

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: Yeah. So America's hit by an EMP and then it is ‑‑ when you get to ‑‑ I won't reveal anything but when you get to the scenes like with the farm, I think it's in Oklahoma, you get there, you see real people.

STEWART: Yeah. I mean, imagine you're driving along one night as some of the characters were out on the freeway and it's evening and everything just goes dark around you. Your car stops, the freeway is ‑‑ you know, there's no vehicles, there's no light on the horizon because everything is ‑‑ has changed in that moment.

PAT: And that's not something that Americans have really contemplated.

STEWART: No.

PAT: Because we don't know that much ‑‑ most people don't know about an electromagnetic pulse ‑‑

GLENN: I have up on my ‑‑

PAT: ‑‑ and what it would do.

GLENN: I have up on my desk now a Senate hearing report ‑‑

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: ‑‑ on the likelihood of an EMP. I mean, it is something that the government is truly worried about.

STEWART: Yeah. And, you know, it's surprising to me that most Americans are unaware of it. But a couple of things about that very quickly. According to that Senate report in the first three months 100 million Americans starve to death. I mean, nearly a third of us in the first three months. It's something that technologically is very, very possible.

GLENN: Very possible.

PAT: Because our food supply.

STEWART: Yeah. And I mean, and that's ‑‑

PAT: It is, it's all ‑‑

GLENN: There's no way to get it ‑‑

PAT: Short‑term. It's short‑term because we ‑‑

GLENN: You can't plow ‑‑ who owns a horse and a plow anymore?

STEWART: Yeah. We're instantly transferred back to 1880 and ‑‑

PAT: And we're not set up for that.

STEWART: No, not at all. Heavens no. I mean ‑‑

GLENN: No, Jeremiah. Only ‑‑

PAT: That's a bad thing.

GLENN: Only the Amish are.

PAT: The Amish are set up for that.

STEWART: That's right.

PAT: The Amish survive.

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: And that's what you find out at the end of the book and I hate to spoil it.

GLENN: We're all Amish?

PAT: But the Amish rule the world in the end of the book.

STEWART: Well ‑‑

GLENN: But nobody knows.

PAT: Nobody knows.

GLENN: Because there's no TVs or anything.

PAT: So it's fine.

STEWART: Well, they only survive until someone discovers they have food and then things are bad for them as well because, yeah, they turn ‑‑ the world turns into a very hostile place.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Really fast, if you want to know ‑‑ remember that feeling that we all had on 9/11 where we all were really petrified and we were like, oh, my gosh, we could lose this? Freedom is so fragile, we could lose this in the blink of an eye? This takes ‑‑ this series takes that the next step: Yes, and let me show you what it looks like after the blink of that eye.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: You know, people who are saying ‑‑ you know, the Occupy Wall Street people who were out saying, "We want to take down the government," well, let me show you what it looks like when there is no government. Let me show you how fast people turn.

STEWART: And, you know, it's important to note this, too: The bad guys know this. You know, there have been ‑‑ there's intelligence that very clearly show the Iranians practicing what is essentially an EMP attack.

GLENN: Yep.

STEWART: They launch their missiles in a trajectory which mimics the EMP profile. They have done it from frigates in the Caspian Sea which allow them to move the frigates off the east or West Coast and allow them to attack the United States from 60 miles off our coast. It's impossible to defend against. They understand that the worst thing they could do us is to launch this EMP attack. You launch a nuclear attack on Washington D.C. or New York, that's a bad deal, and lots of people are hurt or killed by that. But it's nothing like happens if you do an EMP attack where virtually everyone is immediately affected and you don't kill 100 million people with one attack in any other way other than through an EMP.

PAT: That's a first strike that effectively ends life as we know it in the United States of America. Immediately.

GLENN: It changes the rest of the world.

PAT: Really bad.

GLENN: I mean ‑‑

PAT: Really bad.

GLENN: I think in the third book ‑‑

PAT: It's chilling.

GLENN: ‑‑ a very likely scenario on how the world would deal with Israel.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: A very likely scenario on how to have the entire world turn against Israel and what is I think extraordinarily likely, this style of attack.

STEWART: Yeah.

GLENN: And this plan. And you see it. And they take Israel and then they take the United States of America and the West is over.

PAT: And when Glenn and I were obsessed with this book a year, year and a half ago, whenever it was and talked about it almost every day on the air, listeners wanted it so badly, they wanted to know where it was, how they could get it. Well, here's your chance now. And if you ‑‑

GLENN: We wanted ‑‑

PAT: ‑‑ are a subscriber to GBTV, you can get it for free. Otherwise it's just three bucks.

GLENN: And it is, you can ‑‑ it's a ten‑episode book. So you'll get all of the episodes over the next year, and I'm telling you, you've never read anything like it. I wanted to make this into a TV show but it would have been ‑‑ to do it right would have been way too expensive for me right now, but I needed you to have this information. And ‑‑

STEWART: Well, and I'm so glad we're doing it the way you wanted to, Glenn. I mean, when you first suggested that, I was a little bit reluctant because I didn't quite see the vision. But I think you were right. I think you were brilliant. I think it was the right thing to do to get this out so folks can have it all right now rather than over several years.

GLENN: You are ‑‑ you're far too humble to see your own work and what it is, and I'm telling you, Chris, it's divinely inspired. And it is a message that has to get out and has to get out now, and it's Wrath & Righteousness. Go to Mercuryink.com/wrath or wherever e‑books are sold and grab it. If ‑‑ go to Mercuryink.com/wrath if you're a GBTV subscriber and you'll just get it for free. But sign up now. The first book is a lot of setup, I warn you, a lot of setup, a lot of spiritual stuff but then it starts to kick up. The next episode and the third episode will boggle your mind. If this was a miniseries or a series, we would have done a two‑hour episode and given you so by the end.

STEWART: Yep.

GLENN: All right. Thanks a lot, Chris.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.