Friday, April 22, 2005

Why History is Important

I recently heard a girl in High School complain that she doesn't like history because it's "in the past." I've heard people say that before, and I think there is something important that she, and others like her, are missing.

The things in the history books aren't just about books. If you understand history, you have a big step towards understanding today. History isn't just about the past; it's about the present as well as the future.

The girl was talking about a report she had to do on Hitler. If you want to see how Hitler impacts our lives today, take a look at the Middle East. The horror of what Hitler did to the Jews gave them the the political pull with the United Nations to establish the nation of Israel, which angered the Islamic nations of the Middle East. The United States has played a major role in establishing and preserving Israel, helping to foster the deep hatred of the U.S. found in the region today. It's difficult to say for sure, but it is likely that if Hitler had never come to power, the Middle East would be a much less chaotic place today, and probably would not be nearly as angry with the U.S.

Just a reminder: "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

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I'm a Christian and political moderate (I tend to be more liberal on core issues and more conservative on the hot-button ones). I have a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy.