Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:40

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit

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Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit

Barry MacDonald-Editorial

Stories have power, either to make us stronger or weaker. Without even being aware of it I create a positive or a negative story about myself, and so I carry an enthusiastic or a pessimistic outlook - it seems that being human involves choosing a role to play, based on who I think I am.

It would be good not to cling to any story about myself too tightly, because only God can see me clearly, and it is only through my connection with God that I can reach my best potential. The storytelling usually goes on below the level of conscious thought: it's like radar - I use stories to navigate my way through life. One can be trapped in a pessimistic outlook and not know that the source of unhappiness is a compulsively repeated habit of seeing myself badly.

When I purposefully choose to be motivated and enthused, based on a positive view of who I am and what my role is, then I have acquired spiritual power.

The story of my father's life, and the story of the founding of The St. Croix Review, is inspirational, and I hope to share inspiration with you. Angus MacDonald's story is quintessentially American. (Following is a brief outline. If you would like to receive the issue of The St. Croix Review that appeared on the occasion of Angus' death for a fuller account please send me a note along with a $5 check.)

Angus MacDonald was born in 1923 in Melbourne, Australia. At the Church of Christ they called him "the little minister" when he was eight. When he was eleven he gave a sermon at the Church. After he graduated from high school he attended the College of the Bible in Melbourne; there were about 50 seminarians and several faculty. Angus was moved to lead people to be good, and for him that meant to be honest ("honest as the day" was an Australian saying), hardworking, and engaged with life.

Angus wanted a worthy intellectual basis for his faith, so he decided to come to America for an education in 1946. He boarded the Marine Lynx, a ship used to transport troops during W.W. II, and left his family and everything he knew behind. He fell in love with the openness of America. He was able to do undergraduate study at Butler University in Indiana. He was able to pursue and obtain a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Columbia University. While studying at Columbia he supported himself by ministering first at a church in Darien, Connecticut, then in another in the Bronx, New York. He met a wide variety of Americans. He was able to sing in the choir, to take piano lessons (he loved to play piano all his life), and to sample the best music in the world in New York City. These were the happiest years of his life, and he became an American citizen. He went on to Churches in Columbus, Ohio, Hutchison, Kansas, and Bayport, Minnesota. He married and started a family in Columbus.

Through time the focus of Angus' life changed. He learned American history and came to love liberty. He saw America through an immigrant's eyes and recognized how precious liberty is - most people who have lived were not free, but survived under some form of tyranny. Everywhere he saw liberty in America under attack by power hungry politicians. He decided to leave the ministry after more than twenty years to found a journal of opinion with the purpose of defending liberty.

Angus founded The St. Croix Review in 1968 in Stillwater Minnesota, a small town in the valley of the St. Croix River in the middle of America. He published many of his friends from the Philadelphia Society who happened to be brilliant writers: Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk, Henry Hazlitt, Henry Regnery, and William Rickenbacker. William Rickenbacker wrote an ad for him in The National Review and immediately there were 500 subscribers.

Angus kept track of subscribers by continually updating index cards. He personally typed each label on each journal he sent. He did the editing, typesetting, the editorials, and the correspondence. Angus resolved to cut costs through buying a printing press and printing the Review himself. Not knowing how to print Angus didn't know that the press was not in proper working order, but he managed to print the next issue - this was an early triumph in the history of The St. Croix Review. A childhood memory was of my father interrupting my T.V. watching to show me a page of printing he had done: "No one can do better than this!"

Angus died two years ago, after publishing essays defending American liberty for 45 years. Today we are building a very competent team to publish The St. Croix Review. The work is vital, because the Left has taken over American culture - high and low.

It is the method of the Left to tell terrible stories about American history, about prominent figures in American history, about currently successful Americans. Because the Left controls the media a constant barrage of disparaging stories are seeping into our culture through our text books, educational curriculum, movies, television, books, magazines, entertainment, art, politics, etc.

It is the also the method of the Left to ignore context while judging America harshly - yes, America hasn't been perfect, but which nation has done better? Which people have been freer, and have accomplished more? In the course of several decades American morale has suffered terribly.

Our mission is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of being a joyous part of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.

We are a good nation suffering from a degenerate culture. We need to reacquaint ourselves with the spirit of independence, resourcefulness, perseverance, and courage. Like my father was, we need to be good, honest, hardworking, and engaged in life. Also, we must be obedient to God's will. We must give thought to the taming of the heart, and the cultivation of virtues, so that we are kind and generous to each other. There is always room for redemption, a road open to everyone. These are the American qualities that built America.

We are a great nation, the only nation with a Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights designed to promote freedom and protect citizens from an aggressive government. The story of America's Founding, and the stories of our many Founders is inspirational and should be told to our children in schools to a much greater extent than they presently are. The stories of the advance over the frontier, the Civil War, W.W. I, the Great Depression, W.W. II, the Cold War, (including the tragic Korean and Vietnam wars) should be told. There are many stories in between these great themes that are stirring American stories. We are a nation brimming over with heroes - why should we be saddled with negativity as we presently are?

We should always be a growing nation, because we believe in entrepreneurship, the free market, capitalism, property rights, the rule of law, limited government, and local government - these are our foundational American principles. Steve Jobs was free to create; he saw possibilities no one else did, and he changed the world.

Our mission is spiritual, to inspire people to be genuine Americans again: courageous, resourceful, independent, hardworking, engaged, kind, and generous. This is who Angus was, who I am, who our authors are - this is what we write about. *

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The St. Croix Review

The St. Croix Review speaks for middle America, and brings you essays from patriotic Americans.
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