Friday, May 22, 2015

The Heroes And Villains Of History

I just heard Michael Medved discussing a recent study about who people consider the best and worst figures in history. The study involved about seven thousand students, with an average age of 23, from a few dozen countries around the world.

Jesus was ranked as the sixth best historical figure. George Bush was ranked as the fourth worst, even worse than Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.

The study divided the respondents into four groups. The article I linked above comments:

"The only figure that all four groups disliked was Bush, the study found."

I think the study results reflect more negatively on the respondents than on Bush. The results also reflect poorly on the sources who have been misinforming these students, like the mainstream media and Hollywood.

Keep this study in mind the next time you hear about how much more intelligent the people in other nations are and how we should heed what they tell us about how bad people like George Bush are, how bad capitalism is, etc. If students in other nations, as well as many in this country, have such a severe case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, why should we trust their judgment? And the study results are absurd even if you ignore the ridiculous treatment of Bush.


  1. By the way, I may have heard him wrong, but I think Medved said that he'd rank Jesus higher than sixth place, but that he'd give the first two rankings to George Washington (first) and Abraham Lincoln (second). I'd rank Washington and Lincoln high, but not that high.

    Jesus has to be first, and some of the highest figures after him don't even appear on the list. The apostle Paul, for example, ought to be high on the list, probably in second place. Such giants of history as Augustine, Martin Luther, and John Wesley attributed their conversion to the writings of Paul, and those men in turn had a major positive impact on the world. The combination of factors involved in Paul's life is highly unusual. How many people have worked as hard as Paul, suffered as much, remained so faithful for so long, even to the point of dying as a martyr in prison in a context as horrendous as the Neronian persecution, then had such a massive positive influence on later generations? One factor that's difficult to quantify, but seems likely to be huge, is how powerfully passages like Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 13 have affected people for the better throughout the last two thousand years of history. But I doubt that people like the students who participated in this study would even put Paul in the top one hundred. Their priorities are that false.

    "Wherefore the city [Rome] is more notable upon this ground, than upon all others together. And as a body great and strong, it hath as two glistening eyes the bodies of these Saints [Paul and Peter]. Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, from thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. What a rose will Rome send up to Christ! what two crowns will the city have about it! what golden chains will she be girded with! what fountains possess! Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, not for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church." (John Chrysostom, Homilies On Romans, 32, v. 24)

  2. I agree Jason. But that is to be expected when you make a survey of primarily unbelievers. Their only exposure to Christ is probably through popular media. With a naturalistic world view, religious figures would likely not be held in high regard, since so many non-believers attribute many of the historical atrocities to the church. It never crosses their mind that the inquisition was more likely than not driven by those who were not even true believers, but merely "religious". Carnal "religious" people are responsible for much of the mischief attributed to the church. Those were were truly "born-again" were probably aghast at what was going on in the name of Christ. Just as today we can't believe our eyes when so called christians picket military funerals with "God hates fags" signs. The top ten on the list should be Christ first and the pillars of the church next. Western civilization owes a debt to Christianity.