CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2012
SOCIETY
Vine & Fig Tree: "The American Dream"



This campaign is not about capturing an office. This campaign is about recapturing a dream.

What is "The American Dream?"
Is it to work two jobs so that more than half of everything you earn can be taken by the government and given to special interests and causes you don't agree with?
Is it to build a home and fill it with memories only to have it seized by politicians whose campaign contributors want to build a strip mall on your property?
Is it a 6% 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate? ("Wow! A fixed rate!")

No. None of these are the original American dream. They would all be considered a nightmare.

What motivated the Founding Fathers? What caused them to risk so much -- their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor?

Answer: the idea of every American owning his own "vine and fig tree," free and clear, and dwelling in safety and peace, without being molested by princes or politicians, lawyers or tax collectors.

"Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art, Virginia Historical Society
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
c. 1910
Oil on canvas
Virginia Historical Society
Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art

America's Founding Fathers Knew This Dream

George Washington's Diaries are available online at the Library of Congress. They are introduced with these words:

No theme appears more frequently in the writings of Washington than his love for his land. The diaries are a monument to that concern. In his letters he referred often, as an expression of this devotion and its resulting contentment, to an Old Testament passage. After the Revolution, when he had returned to Mount Vernon, he wrote the Marquis de Lafayette on Feb. 1, 1784: "At length my Dear Marquis I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, & under the shadow of my own Vine & my own Fig-tree." This phrase occurs at least 11 times in Washington's letters. "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree" (2 Kings 18:31).

It is also a phrase from the prophet Micah, the idea of everyone owning property and enjoying the fruits of their labor without fear of theft or political oppression, of sitting peacefully under your "Vine & Fig Tree."

 

Many other American Founders wrote of this ideal. The phrase occurs a number of times in Scripture. These references are visual reminders of the Hebrew word for salvation, which means
peace,
wholeness,
health,
welfare, and
private property free from pirates and princes.
When you read the word "salvation" in the Bible, you should be thinking about dwelling safely under your Vine & Fig Tree.

Few Americans today have heard the phrase "Vine & Fig Tree," but it sums up the American Dream as it was dreamed 200 years ago. A few highly-educated scholars and historians might recognize the phrase, but you would draw a blank from the "man on the street." A few people living in New York might have a glimmer of recognition. The prophecy from Isaiah, Micah's contemporary, is memorialized in a United Nations garden. Needless to say, our idea of "Vine & Fig Tree" did not come from the U.N.

Nor did any Americans in the past get the "Vine & Fig Tree" idea from the United Nations. And the interesting thing is, many Americans once had the "Vine & Fig Tree" idea. The Bible was better understood by most Americans 200 years ago than it is today. 

"Vine & Fig Tree" is a worldview.

Explore the "Vine & Fig Tree" worldview in more detail here.

Both the Republicans and Democrats have completely forgotten the original American Dream, and neither party has any idea how to achieve it.


Obama and Romney spent over a BILLION dollars on their 2012 campaign. America moved not one iota closer to the original American Dream.

Better than a donation to any political candidate is a tax-deductible donation to a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization called "Vine & Fig Tree"

Or mail your check to

"Vine & Fig Tree"
P.O. Box 179
Powersite, MO 65731

This non-profit educational organization has over 3,000 webpages on the Internet, and doesn't waste a single penny of donations on political candidates or campaigns.


The American Dream: An Impossible Dream?

You might think that this dream -- owning your own property free and clear, no mortgage, no IRS liens, no property taxes, and no fear of invaders or conquerors -- is a "pipe dream." You might think it's an impossible dream. But nearly every human being who settled in America soon realized this dream, or had every realistic hope that in a few years this dream would be lived by children or grandchildren. Two hundred years ago, nearly all Americans lived this dream. It can be attained again, but only if we stop believing the false promises of politicians and stop believing that this dream is possible simply by voting for Washington D.C. to hand it to us on a silver platter.


This page is a growing collection of references to a by-gone ideal.

The Puritans and Micah's Holy Mountain
From Tocqueville's Democracy in America.
 
England's Conquest of Canada
From George Bancroft's History of the United States
 
The Bramble vs. the Fig Tree
Thomas Paine's critique of the king in Common Sense
 
George Washington's Vine & Fig Tree Longings.
A collection of references.
 
Slavery vs.Vine & Fig Tree
James Madison's hopes
 
A Slave is Baptized (off site)
Musings of the baptizer from Annals of the Poor. Containing The Dairyman's Daughter, (with considerable additions) The Negro Servant, and The young Cottager. By the Reverend Legh Richmond, A.M. Rector of Turvey, Bedforshire; and Chaplain of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent and Strathern, 1815 (See page 154.)
 
Anti-Federalist No. 85 (off site)
Concluding Remarks- Evils Under Confederation Exaggerated;
Constitution Must Be Drastically Revised Before Adoption
 
Shall Liberty or Empire be Sought- - Patrick Henry (off site)
From a speech made on June 5, 1788, in the Virginia Convention,
called to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
Patrick Henry opposed the new Constitution:
Consider our situation, sir; go to the poor man and ask him what he does. He will inform you that he enjoys the fruits of his labor, under his own fig tree, with his wife and children around him, in peace and security. Go to every other member of society; you will find the same tranquil ease and content; you will find no alarms or disturbances. Why, then, tell us of danger, to terrify us into an adoption of this new form of government? And yet who knows the dangers that this new system may produce? They are out of sight of the common people; they can not foresee latent consequences. I dread the operation of it on the middling and lower classes of people; it is for them I fear the adoption of this system.
Patrick Henry was right.
 
Tench Coxe, Dealer in Arms
He believed the only way to achieve the "Vine & Fig Tree" ideal was "Arm yourselves. To arms, to arms, and you may then sit down contented, each man under his own vine and his own fig-tree and have no one to make him afraid." But Micah and Isaiah both agreed: we must beat our swords into plowshares. "The light of Christianity ... ought to be . . . imparted to the whole race of mankind," as Madison put it.
 
The Polish De Tocqueville
Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz finds Vine & Fig Tree in his American travels.
 
The Scotch De Tocqueville
Finds plenty of land, little aristocracy, and every man under his Vine & Fig Tree.
 
The French Opposition to Communist Dictatorship
With all his talk about Vine & Fig Tree, French writer Pierre Joseph Proudhon alienates Marx.
 
Abraham Lincoln's Overthrow of America's Vine & Fig Tree Vision
Lincoln was an archist (Mark 10:42-45).
 
Lyndon Baines Johnson?
At least his speechwriter knew about Micah's vision.
 
Jimmy Carter: The Truth is Out There
Can a Democrat be a Christian?
 
Ronald Reagan Hijacks Micah
Can a Republican be a Christian?
 
Micah vs. The United Nations
George Bush (41) speaks of "Vine & Fig Tree" more than Reagan and Carter

Remarkably, references to Micah's vision seem to be on the increase. The references to "Vine & Fig Tree" and "Swords into Plowshares" in the 20th century vastly exceed the number of references in the 19th, even though the 20th was incomparably more violent and warlike. It has become almost trendy for politicians to speak of "Swords into Plowshares." Many of these references are to Isaiah's parallel prophecy, so they are not catalogued here.

This is the key to restoring the American Dream of everyone dwelling safely under his own Vine & Fig Tree. We must beat the swords of Washington D.C. into plowshares. This includes:

  • The "War on Terror" - over a trillion dollars a year
  • The "War on Drugs" - over a million prisoners
  • The "War on Poverty" - trillions spent have brought perpetual, inter-generational poverty and dependence

Washington D.C. destroys life. It saps America of morality, optimism, and the willingness to work for the American Dream.

The American Dream of Vine & Fig Tree will come only when we beat all these government swords into entrepreneurial plowshares.


"Vine & Fig Tree" is a non-profit, tax-exempt educational organization. More info here. The name comes from the Old Testament Prophet Micah.


Seven Themes in Micah's Vine & Fig Tree Prophecy


  Micah's Prophecy (Micah 4:1-7)
click for audio
Archetypes Controversy Comfort
1 And it will come about in the last days
[For the LORD of hosts has spoken.]
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills

Audio

Predestination
vs. "Free Will"
Chose birth?
Nobody used "free will" to come into existence
Real issue: The nature of the Creator | Person or Mud
Calvinism
"Free Will" = imago dei | Image of God
  reason
  planning for future
  symphonies
Providence
Protection is an act of love
Prayer  = anti-deism
      "Last Days"

V&FT "impossible even for God."

Predestinated tribulation?
No. Vine & Fig Tree
2 And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,

Audio

Conversion of the Gentiles

One religion is superior to the others

One has caught our attention: jihadism

blow-up vs. convert

Peace is possible
Peace is inevitable
3 That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.

Audio

The God who gave you life deserves your respect
Every Word this God speaks deserves your attention/obedience
Bible is not just for "private" religion, "down in your heart"
Also for public policy
Textbook for every area
When Americans learned the Bible in public schools,
America most prosperous, admired nation on earth

Now U.S. exports weapons/pornography

Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.

"judgmental" vs. Hitler

4 [And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,]

Audio

Male + Female
Father + mother

Family = "undemocratic"

When families are functional, the State is unnecessary;
Archism is suppressed

Adams: mothers:
religion + morality

5 Then they will hammer their
swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.

 

Thou shalt not kill

Thou shalt not steal

Audio

Pacifism = "criminals will take over"
 
Really? More people will die under pacifism than under archism?
More money will be confiscated under pacifism than under archists?
Myth:
  • OT = violence, slavery
  • Jesus = irrelevant utopian hippie; not
    "practical" or "realistic."

Fact:

6 And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his Fig Tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.

Audio

Agrarianism vs. technology

Environmentalism

Garden of Eden / City of God

Wilderness vs. Garden

"False weights and Measures."

7 Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
In that day, saith the LORD
       will I assemble her that halteth,
and I will gather her that is driven out,
and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
and her that was cast far off a strong nation:
and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion
from henceforth, even for ever.

Audio

social darwinism

immigration vs. "enumerated powers."

works of mercy vs. focus on "winners," celebrities, power-brokers
  "Iron Sharpens Iron"

Audio

Purpose is not to have a fight or
shout-over like Fox News
 
Don't sign up if you just want to tell us we're wrong.

Bereans, search scriptures

"I'll have to think about this"

"This is what I've always been looking for"

Spiritual Exercises


 


If you have any questions, feel free to send email to Kevin Craig





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