We are fortunate to live in a time when we can supplement our children’s education with media like educational videos and DVDs. For this review, I got to check out the Anthem For a Nation DVD from New Liberty Videos. The documentary video focuses on exploring the qualities our country was built on, how we have gotten to where we are today, and what we need to do to get back to where we came from. This video is intended for a general audience, although I think older students would get the most out of it.
Biblically-based, the movie encourages families to remain strong in their fight to stay true to the founding principles of our nation. The video opens with beautiful panoramic shots of America, ranging from mountain ranges to oceans. My hubby and I watched this together, and while we both loved the images, we felt the music they were set to was a little, umm…contrived. It seems they had original songs written that included their own message, and it was a little much for us. I think it would have been better if they just used classical music as the background.
The documentary immediately begins by expounding on how important the church was to the beginnings of our country. From Alexis de Tocqueville to George Washington, it does a really good job of explaining how the founding principles of this country came from a firm belief in God and the Bible. It draws Biblical references between historical documents like the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and parts of the Constitution and passages in the Bible. Both my hubby and myself found this part to be very interesting. It was one of those things that most people kind of “know” in a general sense, but don’t have the specifics about. I could see how this part would be very interesting to explore with my children.
Now, when we watched this video, it was right before our trip to Washington DC, so one of the best parts of this documentary for me was when it got into specific details about this city. First, they show you an overlay of the city and how it is laid out in the shape of a cross. It also pointed out how the Washington Monument itself (which we got to tour!) has a Bible in its cornerstone and has Bible passages inscribed on itself. This was something we talked about when we were touring the monument (and something I didn’t know!).
From there, the movie goes into the background of our Founding Fathers and how their beliefs were tied to their politics. For example, they talked about how John Quincy Adams read his Bible daily and became president of the American Bible Society. It goes on to talk about how far our country has strayed from our foundational beliefs with a discussion of abortion, prayer in schools, and how our government has moved Christianity further and further away from our daily lives. The video draws a specific connection between how we, as Americans, have become more and more self-reliant, and less reliant on God.
On the whole, we both felt this video brought up some very valid parts. However, some parts of the documentary seemed a little heavy-handed, and when my boys walked through the living room the music did get a few eye rolls. Still, I think you could easily use this movie to spark some very thoughtful discussion with kids in middle school or above. Anthem for a Nation costs $19.95.