Michael Medved Part I: Divine Providence and the American Miracle

Author and radio talk show host Michael Medved joined Glenn on radio Tuesday for a fascinating look at the role divine providence has played in the history of America. It's the subject of his latest book, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic, available in bookstores everywhere.

"We live in a time where we keep having this argument whether we're a Christian nation or not. People are trying to denigrate the role of God in America. And here you are, writing The American Miracle, which is phenomenal and great proof of God's existence and his critical role in bringing about America," Glenn said.

Medved agreed that believing in divine providence has united great leaders across every partisan divide and America's entire history.

"As you very well know, people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were religiously unconventional. They weren't orthodox Christians. But they believed very firmly, as it says in the Declaration, and as you, Glenn, emphasized time and again, a firm reliance on Divine Providence. Even these people, some of whom didn't go to church, understood that there was a design in American history. It didn't just result from a series of random occurrences, from a pattern of happy accidents," Medved said.

In The American Miracle, Medved makes the case that even a pattern of happy accidents is still a pattern --- and gives evidence of design.

"A lot of people would say, Sure, well, that design was from these very smart Founders. The problem for that argument is that the Founders themselves insisted that they weren't the designers. They were the instruments of the designer," Medved said.

The American Miracle recounts how at moments of crisis, when the odds against success seemed overwhelming and disaster looked imminent, fate intervened to provide deliverance and success. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else entirely --- a reflection of God's divine providence.

Listen to Part I of this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Michael Medved joins us now. Hello, Michael, how are you?

MICHAEL: I'm very well indeed, Glenn. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you.

GLENN: Thank you very much. Happy Hanukkah.

Let me ask you, Michael, before we get into the book, a couple of questions.

You are a Yale-trained attorney. And then you went from there to being a very good and credible movie reviewer. And then you went to talk radio. I can't make your career work. How have you done this?

I mean, you -- how did that happen?

MICHAEL: I'm not sure I made it work either. But --

GLENN: Yes, you have.

MICHAEL: Basically, I -- first of all, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an attorney. I went to law school once upon a time.

GLENN: Okay.

MICHAEL: And it is true. I will plead guilty. I went to law school together with Bill and Hillary Clinton. And you can ask me later whether they inhaled.

GLENN: Right. I think I know the answer.

MICHAEL: I think you probably do too, Glenn.

GLENN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: But the truth of the matter is, I've always been consumingly interested in history and politics, since my dad who was the son of immigrants under miraculous circumstances that allowed them to come to America.

We grew up in Philadelphia. And my dad used to take me around to historical sights. Independence Hall. Valley Forge.

And even though my dad was not at that stage in his life, until later in life when he moved to Israel, at that stage of his life, my dad was not a deeply religious guy, but he understood that God had a role in this miracle known as America. And I majored in American history at Yale. It's what I studied. What I always cared about. And then I started writing about it.

And then because of some of the books that I had written were about movies. I sort of drifted into commenting about movies, during the time I was writing about history. So -- and all of it, as you know, comes together in talk radio.

GLENN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: Because we have this great gift, from God, I believe of being able to talk about whatever is on our heart or in our mind.

GLENN: Yeah.

Michael, you are an Orthodox Jew. And a lover of America and American history.

We live in a time where we keep having this argument whether we're a Christian nation or not. People trying to denigrate the role of God in -- in America. And here you are, writing the American miracle, which is phenomenal and -- and a great proof of God's existence and his critical role in being -- in bringing about America.

MICHAEL: Well, that's exactly right.

And it is the one thing that has been able to unite great leaders across every partisan divide. Across our entire history.

I mean, it's true. As you very well know that people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were religiously unconventional. They weren't orthodox Christians. But they believed very firmly, as it says in the Declaration, and as you, Glenn, emphasized time and again, a firm reliance on Divine Providence. Even these people some of whom didn't go to church, understood that there was a design in American history. It didn't just result from a series of random occurrences, from a pattern of happy accidents.

In the book, I make the case that a pattern of happy accidents is still a pattern. And it gives evidence of design.

A lot of people would say, "Sure, well, that design was from these very smart Founders." The problem for that argument is that the Founders themselves insisted that they weren't the designers. They were the instruments of the designer.

GLENN: Right. How much of that, Michael -- this is the case that would be made, is that they were just using the language of the time. That that's the way people spoke. Even you just said, you know, Thomas Jefferson wasn't conventional. I believe he was. I mean, in his own writings, he talks about Jesus. And he is -- he's very Christian, if you looked at him as a man today. But very not Christian -- because I think he had a problem with the churches in some ways.

MICHAEL: Exactly right. Exactly right.

GLENN: The dogma was the problem.

MICHAEL: Right. The dogma and the organizations and the corruption of some of the organizations.

GLENN: Yes. Correct.

MICHAEL: But today, all of these people would be viewed as Christian fanatics.

GLENN: Yes.

MICHAEL: Because they had -- including, by the way, Franklin Roosevelt, for goodness' sake.

GLENN: Yes.

MICHAEL: Including Theodore Roosevelt, certainly. I mean, the people that -- that were way over on the left.

If you listen to Roosevelt's D-Day's prayer, Franklin Roosevelt in 1944, he says that America is fighting for Christianity. Right?

Can you imagine if someone said that today?

I mean, the -- the ACLU would be calling for impeachment.

GLENN: So, Michael, so go back to my question. In doing your research for this book, The American Miracle, tell me how you separate and convince people today that are being taught that this is all nonsense, that they weren't just using the language of the day, that they actually believed these things.

PAT: It's very simple. They stake their lives on it. They stake their lives on the belief.

And the truth of the matter is -- and this is the core argument of the book. And it's become the core argument of my life. You have to do something to explain the extraordinary nature of the emergence of the United States. No one who was alive in the year 1600 would ever have predicted that the dominant civilization in the world would emerge in North America. But it did. Against all odds.

And okay. You can say it emerged because America was this brutal, horrible, exploitative, rapacious place. The problem is other powers, Spain, Portugal, France, were more brutal. If brutality and exploitation and slavery and genocide against the natives -- if that was the secret of America's strength, then there are these other powers that would have been much stronger because they were much more cruel. So that's out.

Then you come to this question about a pattern of happy accidents. But a pattern of happy accidents, still a pattern. And then the question is, "What does that pattern mean?" And the founders were smart people. And they all believed that it meant not special privileges for this country, but special responsibilities.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

MICHAEL: And that's precisely why people on the left and people in the secular side are very reluctant to endorse the idea of providential protection.

GLENN: Well, isn't it -- I mean, this is -- I think, Michael, that we -- the Founders, if they would have lived to 1850, I don't think they would have recognized us really as America, for this one reason: By 1830, we changed Divine Providence to man if he is destiny. And there is a huge difference.

And I really believe that the -- the problem is, there are a lot of people on the religious right that don't know the difference between the two, and that's what is scaring people on the left. This idea that once I get power, I'm on a mission from God, and I'll tell you exactly what to do. That's not who our Founders were.

MICHAEL: No. Not at all. Because one of the stories that I tell in the book has to do with believing that God is entangled with your affairs, doesn't mean that you can do anything you want. It means that you have a special obligation to try to discern the divine will.

I actually quote the German chancellor, who created modern Germany, Otto von Bismarck, two amazing quotes that you will love, Glenn.

He says that on the one hand that it is the job of the statesman to simply try to hear God's footsteps in history and then grab hold of his coattails and follow.

And then on another occasion, Bismarck said that the God Almighty has special protection for imbeciles, drunkards, lost dogs, and the United States of America.

(chuckling)

GLENN: Back with Michael Medved here in just a second. The new book that he has just put out is The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic. This is one of those books that I think everyone -- everyone should have because there is a real problem in this country being taught that God had anything to do, especially with the founding of our nation. And I believe God is not a watchmaker. He does live. And he was instrumental in our founding.

And so Michael is making this case. The American Miracle.

[break]

GLENN: We're back with Michael Medved. The American Miracle: The Divine Providence and the Rise of the Republic.

In this, you make the case, Michael, about the California gold -- I have never heard this tied to Divine Providence. Do you want to -- do you want to talk about that a bit?

MICHAEL: Sure. It's one of those things, if you simply look at a calendar, it sort of jumps out at you as it did to people at the time.

The -- the California gold rush began when gold was discovered at the end of January in 1848.

And originally it was kept a secret. Then it became known. And it produced a huge impact on the American economy because we all of a sudden had the leading gold reserves of any country in the world. Because they had discovered gold in the hills of California.

Here's what leaps out to you in the contract: The very moment that James Marshall, who was an itinerate carpenter from New Jersey all of a sudden notices these flecks in a millrace near Sacramento in the middle of nowhere, that same day, 1600 miles away, in Mexico City, a rebellious clerk defies the president of the United States and risks arrest to sign America onto a probably illegal paper that deeds California and this real estate with all the gold in it to the United States of America.

In other words, people at the time asked, "How is it that God hid the existence of this huge load of gold from all of humanity until that precise moment that America was having California handed directly to us?"

GLENN: Signed on the same day?

MICHAEL: It could be the same day. We don't know the exact day --

JEFFY: That's amazing.

MICHAEL: -- that gold was discovered. We know within a week. It was 100 percent the same week.

GLENN: That's unbelievable.

MICHAEL: It is. And people at the time said so. See, what's so amazing to me, Glenn, is that people living through this history said, "Wait a minute. This is not us. This is some bigger power."

George Washington, who you write about so beautifully, I mean, George Washington understood that he is one of 70 British officers at the Battle of Monongahela, in the French and Indian war.

Seventy British officers ride out into battle on horseback. Sixty-nine of the 70 are either wounded or killed. George Washington has the hat out shot out from over his head. He has two different mounts shot out from under him. He has bullet holes in his cloak. Nothing touches him.

It was so striking that he's a 23-year-old officer at the time in the British Army, in the actually Virginia Militia. And Samuel Davies, who later became president of Princeton University, delivers a sermon about this 23-year-old guy and says, "No doubt, God has raised up this magnificent youth to help to save and perform a signal purpose for his people."

GLENN: God still doing this with America, Michael?

MICHAEL: I hope so. I hope so. But this is another aspect to this, Glenn, is that American patriots have always feared that we were breaking the bargain.

And the bargain again is not that we have special privileges. It's that we have special burdens. That because all of our forefathers -- all of our ancestors and foremothers, to be politically correct, they all recognized that America was no accident. That was actually one of the titles I was playing with for this book: America's No Accident. It didn't just happen. It happened for a purpose. If we lose sight of that purpose, our leaders have always believed that we will -- we will lose the special protection.

GLENN: I believe that 100 percent. Have we lost that? And what evidence do you have that we haven't lost that?

MICHAEL: Well, I know that there are some people -- you and I share something else, which is great skepticism about the president-elect. But the fact that he is president-elect seems so unexpected --

GLENN: Unlikely.

MICHAEL: -- and so bizarre in so many ways --

GLENN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: And the appointment of this new Secretary of State candidate, all of it is so astonishing and unusual, that you have to think that there must be some message here, that there must be some challenge here. There must be. Or maybe some of our colleagues and friends are correct, that this is actually redemptive. It actually may be taking unusual instruments and using it for God's purpose.

I tell the story of Lincoln in that regard. And this is not -- let me make clear to compare Trump to Lincoln.

GLENN: Hang on. I want you to make this. I don't want you to be interrupted. So hang on just a second. And then I want to come back and talk to you about Sam Houston in your book. The American Miracle: The Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic by Michael Medved. Grab this book. It makes a great Christmas gift for somebody. Back with Michael Medved.

Featured Image: John Trumbull’s painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress. The painting can be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda.

The media went nuts after President Donald Trump said "Two Corinthians". But apparently, nobody cares when Joe Biden called the authors of Biblical Psalms "palmists" — twice.

During a Thanksgiving speech on Wednesday, Biden said, "I'm sure we can, we can pros-claim [sic] a palmist, with a palmist who wrote these following words, 'The lord is my strength and my shield and with my song, I give thanks to him.'"

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck and producer Stu Burguiere pondered whether Biden actually meant to quote a fortune teller instead of a psalmist, but ultimately decided the former vice president likely had no idea what he was reading.

They also discussed the hairline fractures Biden suffered in his right foot on Saturday while playing his dog, and Glenn tossed out a few headlines he thought might work just a little too well.

Watch the video below:

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The Supreme Court slapped down New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 restrictions on religious gatherings Wednesday, arguing that strict limitations on the number of people in churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship — while liquor stores, bike shops, and many other non-religious places face few or no restrictions at all — are in violation of the First Amendment.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere applauded Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who reportedly cast the deciding vote in the 5-4 ruling, as well as Justice Neil Gorsuch who took specific aim at Gov. Cuomo for limiting religious gatherings to as few as 10 people in some areas, while imposing "no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers 'essential'."

"It turns out the businesses the Governor considers essential include hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores," Gorsuch said. "Bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too."

"Government is not free to disregard the 1st Amendment in times of crisis," Gorsuch wrote in a separate opinion.

Gov. Cuomo has since called the Supreme Court ruling "moot" and "irrelevant" because he had recently lifted restrictions in most of the affected areas.

"This is a trick they play all the time. They've done this with Second Amendment cases as well," Stu noted. "They'll put a ridiculous restriction in that's obviously not constitutional, keep it in place for a year while it goes through the courts, and right before it gets to the Supreme Court they withdraw the rule. So then the case gets thrown out because it's moot."

Watch the video below for more details:


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Hey Joe, THIS is how you handle terrorists

Wikimedia Commons

If you haven't seen the new Apple TV+ drama Tehran, it's definitely worth your time. It tells the story of an Israeli spy who sneaks into Iran to set up an attack on Iran's nuclear program. Now that the new Bond movie is delayed, this show has a little bit of everything to hold you over: international spies, hackers, double agents.

But I digress...

No matter how Hollywood tries to invent these stories — and this one is definitely good — they always fall short of what happens in real life. What happened in Iran this past Friday is a movie waiting to happen.

What happened in Iran this past Friday is a movie waiting to happen.

Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated as he was traveling to his private villa just a few miles east of Tehran. The operation involved a team of over 60 people. Around 50 logistical support agents backed up a dozen gunmen. They knew everything. His schedule, his private address, his classified movements, the route...

Fakhrizadeh was traveling in the middle of three armored vehicles. When they approached the ambush site, the hit team cut off all the electricity in the surrounding area. A car bomb was then remotely detonated, taking out the rear vehicle in the convoy. 12 gunmen proceeded to open fire on the other two cars. Iran's top nuclear scientist was dead, and NONE of the hit squad were wounded or arrested.

Now you can already guess where the blame is being directed this morning. Almost immediately, the fingers began to point at both Israel and the United States. The mainstream media is trying to paint this as an effort by Trump to sabotage a Biden effort to restart the Iran Nuclear Deal. Remember that "masterful" stroke of Middle East foreign policy? You know, the deal that included $150 BILLION — in cash — that Obama and Biden knew would be used to kill Americans and destabilize the entire region. Remember that?

They said it was impossible... but Trump did it.

They claimed their way was the only path to peace. What did they get from it? Iran spread out all the way to the literal doorstep of Israel. The elite Iraqi troops of the Republican Guard were staging in Syria, plotting that ultimate attack to take back Jerusalem. The entire region was set to explode... but then Trump scuttled the deal. What did it lead to? Historic peace agreements between the Arab world and Israel.

They said it was impossible... but Trump did it. He reimposed sanctions and launched a campaign to kill terrorists rather than give them money.

John Brennan took to Twitter this weekend to call the assassination a criminal act.

It echoes what they said when the top terrorist in the world — Qassem Soleimani — was assassinated in Iraq. Coincidentally, the Iranian government published artwork over the weekend depicting Soleimani and the, now dead, nuclear scientist standing side by side.

You see, now matter how people like Brennan and Biden might try and say otherwise, this is exactly the type of person Iran's "Robert Openheimer" was: a terrorist in the same category as Soleimani (but obviously with a lot more dangerous capability).

Iran has been protecting this man for two decades. They called him merely "an academic," but denied the UN IAEA inspectors to ever question him.

The rhetoric Iran fed the global community was that their nuclear program didn't have anything to do with weapons, and that this nuclear scientist was involved in research to improve their energy programs. But in 2007, the CIA said this was a cover story. In 2008, the United States froze his assets, and the IAEA made it public that this scientist was leading Iran's nuclear weapons project.

Iran called it "Projects 110 and 111." Fakhrizadeh was tasked with finding out how to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and make it durable enough so that it could survive re-entry into the atmosphere on top of an ICBM.

There can be no accommodation with terrorists.

Obama and Biden's nuclear deal didn't stop ANY of this. Israel revealed in 2018 that Projects 110 and 111 continued. Fakhrizadeh was specifically called out as still being the main man in charge.

Biden thinks his policy of accommodation will somehow bring us the peace that Neville Chamberlain once thought was possible with Hitler. When has this borne fruit with any maniacal tyrant or terrorist... ever?!

And that's exactly what Iran and their thugs are. They're terrorists! They're not a legitimate regime. Long before ISIS, the terrorists in Iran stole a country, planning to spread their caliphate all over the world. Members of Al Qaeda, despite being Sunni, enjoy free sanctuary under their protection. They want to burn Israel to the ground. They chant "death to America"... It's actually a holiday there.

There can be no accommodation with terrorists. Biden wants peace with Iran, and he'll probably roll out a red carpet and offer them a few hundred billion more dollars. We know this doesn't work. To quote Reagan, "there's one way to have peace and you can have it in this second... surrender."

That's how you deal with terrorists, and — whether we were involved or not — another one was just taken out.

How does a sports writer know how to fix America, and America's racial dilemma?

In a special edition of the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Outkick sports columnist Jason Whitlock filled in Tuesday for Glenn to explain how we can bring America back together, lean into racial harmony, and restore the values of our Founding Fathers. Because if not us, then who will?

Jason started out by explaining how, during a recent appearance on the program, he felt a spiritual connection with Glenn, regardless of physical differences, as both share a common passion for God and country.

"Glenn and I share a kindred spirit. A kindred passion," Jason said. "We have two things that we love and are passionate about: God and country. I am not a minister. I'm a flawed sinner just like Glenn and just like you. But I am a believer. Believers share an energy that connects them, that cuts through our physical differences and makes those differences irrelevant relevant. That's what I felt when I met Glenn, an energy and a spirit that connects us. We are broadcasters, media personalities, operating in separate spaces, trying to talk to Americans, who share our passion."

Jason went on to say that he believes there are forces operating, both outside of and inside America, that are working to separate America from God, and that much of what we've witnessed in 2020 — from the racial division stirred by the mainstream and social media, to the rioting and looting by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, to the "remaking of the sports world into a shrine that celebrates resisting criminal suspects and denigrates this great country at every turn" — are symptoms and consequences of America's enemies separating God and country.

"We are one nation under God. We are nothing without Him," Jason continued. "The flawed sinners who founded this nation baked God into this country with their Declaration of Independence. 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 those, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The foreign and domestic enemies of this nation are baking a new American cake. God isn't an essential ingredient in this new cake. He isn't an ingredient at all. The removal of faith is sewing the disharmony that is terrorizing and destroying the United States of America.

"Why am I here today? I'm here to tell you how we take our country back, how we restore the freedoms and the liberties our enemies seek to remove in their remaking of a godless America."

Watch the video below to hear more from Jason Whitlock:

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