Tonight we experienced a very different kind of history class. It was held in Dallas Cowboys Stadium with 65,000 classmates, and the teacher was Glenn Beck. There were videos on the Jumbotron overhead, a small army of live performers on stage and we did "the wave" eight times around the stadium cheering.
Nevertheless, it was just an American history class. The class was the feature event of a three-day long gathering that included faith leader meetings, political organizing workshops and documentary film screenings. Yesterday tens of thousands of people gathered to volunteer at 30+ sites around DFW, from food pantries, homeless shelters, dilapidated neighborhoods etc.
Before tonight's event began, the Jumbotron was cycling through quotations from people such as Gandhi, King, and RFK. In his history lesson, he passionately invoked the Civil Rights movement and the legacy of the Abolitionists.
Beck taught the class himself and did so with brilliant showmanship. He brought to Dallas several striking physical relics -- "worth over 30 million dollars" -- to powerfully anchor each part of his lecture. He knelt before a blood-drenched beam from a Revolutionary War hospital tent. He held one of the first Bibles printed in the United State -- "printed by Congress!" He sat in Lincoln's White House chair, at Lincoln's White House desk, and read from a young lawyer Lincoln's personal letter denouncing slavery.
With this event following the day of service there was a distinct message that if we want less government in our lives, we need to do more. American history shows us what good people can do when duty demands.
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Deuteronomy 30:11