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I Smell a Rat! An Anti-Federalist Interpretation of American History

Classical Free Press

PO Box 497
Clackamas, OR 97015

What do you think about the following statements? America would be better off if its leaders returned to a pure interpretation of the Constitution. The United States has strayed from its original purpose and the ideology of the Founding Fathers; we need to encourage a return to their values. If you, like so many Christian Americans, believe these comments to be true, you may be interested in hearing a different opinion. I Smell a Rat! An Anti-Federalist Interpretation of American History is a 34-minute DVD produced by Classical Free Press that explains why many Christian American leaders were opposed to the ratification of the Constitution in the late eighteenth century. Despite the fact that most Christians have been led to believe that the Constitution is a Christian document, this DVD suggests that history was rewritten after 1787 by the victorious party. Patrick Henry originally declined the offer to be a part of the Constitutional Convention, voicing his concern with the famous phrase, "I smell a rat!" A vocal opponent of the proposed future government (as set forth in the Constitution), Henry debated long hours to show that "the principles of this system are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous."

While many Christian Americans recognize the current dangers we face as citizens, fewer have considered the possibility that perhaps the entire system upon which our government was founded is flawed. Are Americans blindly buying into the claim that the United States has a Christian civil government? Were the colonial governing documents covenants with God, broken upon ratification of the Constitution? Is it possible to have a separation of church and state while maintaining a biblical model of responsibility to God in both realms? Have we become a "secular theocracy"? These questions and many more are explored and answered in I Smell a Rat!

This DVD would be an excellent addition to any study of American history or government. It encourages a thorough investigation of primary sources like The Federalist Papers and notes from the Constitutional Convention. Viewers will be challenged to determine if the popular interpretation of American history is indeed accurate or, instead, a fairytale myth. While I Smell a Rat! is appropriate for any age, it will be best understood by older children ready to tackle the questions of government philosophy. Adults too will find the information fascinating and might find their opinions about American government challenged. While the content is fact-filled and well documented, the DVD does have a few typographical errors in the text. It makes little difference, though, since the pleasant voice of the narrator reads the print and distracts from these minor mistakes. The DVD is, for the most part, little more than a well-done Power Point presentation. There are several filmed interviews with reputable Christian leaders, such as Dr. George Grant and Larry Pratt, but otherwise, the program is a slide-style presentation with narration. However, don't let that dissuade you from watching the video. It is well worth $14.85.

Following the Constitution's ratification, Anti-Federalists foretold the inevitable woes that would plague American government including oppressive taxation, civil war, slavery, and rule by atheists, deists, and Muhammadans. Was substituting "We the People" for the authority of God an act of disobedience for which America needs to repent? Explore the Anti-Federalists' position in this fascinating video and then determine for yourself whether America is a Christian nation.

Product review by Wendy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, August 2008

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