As the nation wrestles with intense issues–from a pandemic to racial unrest–some may wonder if we will get through the deep issues that we face as a country.
Lynne Cheney, who describes herself as a historian, communicates in her new book that America has seen dark days before. History tells us that we will get through anything that we face as a country.
In a rare sit-down interview with Christian Headlines, Cheney is calm and patient. Like any influential leader Cheney understands the times that we live in. She is a pro at dealing with the public and wants people to understand that our history proves that we can get through anything as a nation.
“I’m thinking about President Trump and Mrs. Trump this morning and sending my blessings to them,” she said. Cheney had a firsthand seat, watching her husband navigate being the Vice-President. Although she is deeply concerned about our nation, she is also hopeful. “We will get through this time,” Cheney asserted.
Cheney’s view of history and the extensive writing that she does on American History makes her certain that the nation will get through this difficult season.
Cheney has written a new book entitled The Virginia Dynasty, where she delves into the lives of our four early Presidents: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and James Monroe.
Cheney is clear that she loves writing about history, but loves researching it even more. She stated, “One of the reasons why it takes me so long to write a book is because I can’t resist exploring the mystery of things.”
Cheney was drawn to her research of the Virginia Dynasty after completing her last book on President Madison.
Cheney, who earned a Ph.D. in English, was educated during a time in American History that was not kind to women. “I think Justice Ruth Ginsburg was accurate in her description that women had two choices: either be a mother or wife or have a career,” she quoted. This may explain why Cheney does not mind exploring the high and low points in American History.
Although the four Presidents excelled in many ways, she does not ignore the issues on which they failed. One such issue is slavery.
“These men lived in contradiction when it came to the issue of slavery. For example, Jefferson called slavery a sin, while at the same time owning slaves,” Cheney shared, noting that her book makes it clear that slavery left a stain on our nation.
“They saw the contradictions in themselves on this issue. I believe they were caught up in a system that seemed impossible to change,” she said.
As a true historian, Cheney strives to sit in the tension of that time in American History, attempting to leave her modern thoughts and feelings out of the subject. Although the forefathers struggled with slavery, it is clear to Cheney that these men knew their place in history. They also understood –on some level–that what they were doing would one day be judged by history.
“Although they were not perfect, these men knew the providence of God. Each one of the four Presidents had deeply rooted respect for religion.” Cheney mused that they, “all respected religion; however, they didn’t want to force religion on anyone.”
Cheney points to the persecution that Baptist pastors went through in the early days of the founding of our country as the reason these men wanted to balance deep respect for religion with each person’s freedom to choose how or if they worshipped. This also included the men hosting worship services in the White House, while at the same time giving people the right to choose.
According to Cheney, “these men knew that there was no way that they came up with the idea of America on their own. It was not only their doing,” Cheney indicated.
Although each one of these men saw God and experienced him differently, the hand of God has always been on America. This may explain why Cheney, although concerned about issues that America is experiencing today, also believes that things are going to be okay, if not for the mere fact that God and his providence have always held America together.
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