Be The People:
A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise
These chapter-by-chapter downloadable questions for Be The People are suitable for classroom use, book clubs, and other discussion forums. Group leaders can select one or more questions from each chapter for weekly discussion or they can modify the questions to make them more suitable for your particular group’s age and educational level.
Below is a sampling of these discussion questions. To download ALL the chapter discussions, click here.
Reshaping Our National Identity
- Why have Americans been largely complicit in the reshaping of their nation by a small group of elites? What events have spurred the recent grassroots uprisings by everyday Americans? Do you believe the intensity behind these movements will last?
- Swain asserts the power of “cultural enforcers” to define what is seen as acceptable and what constitutes legitimate arguments in policy debates today. For instance, the much-criticized firing of Juan Williams by NPR in October 2010 stands as an example of the enforcers’ desire to limit debate. How have cultural enforcers influenced or stifled your freedom of speech and debate in your local communities?
- Swain states that the efforts made by “cultural enforcers” to promote moral relativism and tolerance are “tragically well-intentioned, motivated by a desire to create a better world—a utopian society that replaces old values and norms with a better way of life.” Eden, the original utopia, was doomed by the failures of man. Since man is not perfect, is such a utopia ever possible? What does the Bible say regarding a utopia on earth?
- Do you believe that America is a Christian nation? Why or why not? If not, do you believe America was, at one point in our history, a Christian nation? What does it mean to consider America a Christian nation? How should our laws, our morality, and our leaders represent such a distinction, if we, in fact, seek to be represented as a Christian nation?
- Swain sees sobering parallels between the totalitarian dystopia presented in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and the direction our society is heading today. Furthermore, since the presidency of Barack Obama, sales of Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel Atlas Shrugged have skyrocketed as the Tea Party has embraced the book’s antisocialist message, recognizing ominous parallels in Rand’s novel as well. Are these fears justified? Do other works of fiction provide parallels for the path America is currently taking?
- In what ways is America exceptional? How has this exceptionalism been manifested through our history? What is it about our heritage and our value system that makes our country unique among the nations of the world?
- How can we restore our national identity? Through what forums, political and otherwise, can we voice our discontent with the loss of our identity?