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Rush Limbaugh – A Tribute book review: “Stories From 30 Years of Listening to Rush Limbaugh” (April 26, 2022)

Rush Revere Notes

(Learning from the Best)

On June 2, 2022, I began publishing my notes on the Rush Revere series of books, with new notes coming out every Thursday by 8:00 AM (ET). The purpose of Rush Revere Notes is to highlight principles I’ve learned from Rush’s books that apply everywhere and at all times. These principles are worth considering as we contemplate the future of America.

Be sure to purchase, read, and consider carefully the lessons taught by the fictional character Rush Revere and his friends (America’s Founding Fathers) from a personal copy of the books so you can mark and take notes as you go. No one explains American history better than Rush Limbaugh and his wife, Kathryn. Few people love America more.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims

Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Rush Revere and the American Revolution

Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner

Rush Revere and the Presidency

You should read Note 1:1 first because its subject is foundational to everything Rush writes about in the Rush Revere books. The notation 1:1 refers to Book 1 (Brave Pilgrims), note #1.

Rush Revere Notes List


Note 1:5

Freedom Requires Sacrifice

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 30, 2022

This note is the last from the first two chapters of Brave Pilgrims. I return to two quotes used in note #3 but with a different emphasis. William and Dorothy Bradford left their three-year-old son behind when they embarked on their journey to the New World. One of Rush Revere’s students, Freedom, commented on what she saw as the Bradford’s were about leave: “I could tell they loved their son, more than anything. They only wanted what was best for him. It took courage for the Pilgrims to leave their homes and travel into the unknown. But it takes more courage to travel into the unknown and leave someone you love behind.” Rush Revere responded with this (emphasis added):

Well said, Freedom. And who knows, maybe they thought they could come back for him someday. Or maybe someone else had planned to bring him to America when he was older. I don’t know. What we do know is that more than anything, the Pilgrims like William and Dorothy Bradford were real people ready to give their lives for their freedom, no matter the cost, no matter the pain, no matter the sacrifice.

Is freedom truly that valuable? Rush thought so and wanted the children reading his books to arrive at the same conclusion. At this point in the book, Rush didn’t explain the why behind what he believed. He was content to make the observation. Pilgrims were real people willing to sacrifice everything to come to America in search of religious freedom. Young people don’t always need the why they will learn through life and experience. At their age, it’s more important to understand that freedom is worth preserving, even if it means sacrificing everything. It’s also important to teach young people that thousands of men and women, young and old, have sacrificed their lives to protect the freedom we enjoy today.

The Pilgrims understood freedom better after losing the right to worship God the way they wanted. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the liberty King George took from them, “no matter the cost, no matter the pain, no matter the sacrifice.” The vital takeaway from the first two chapters of Brave Pilgrims is this: A life without freedom is no life at all. The why will come later, as we shall see. It may be a little different for everyone, but it all revolves around the freedom to choose your way in life without fear of intrusive, unwanted supervision.

For his 30-plus years on the radio, hardly a day passed that Rush didn’t talk about the value of freedom. I end this section with a thought from Rush explaining why America is exceptional among nations:

There never has been a country founded in goodness—blessed by God, I happen to believe—that became a force for good the world over. It became a superpower within its own borders, and furthermore, stood for and defended liberty and freedom everywhere else in the world. But for young people, the answer is, well, there just hasn't been a George Washington in Cambodia yet, and there hasn't been a Thomas Jefferson in Zimbabwe, and there hasn't been a Benjamin Franklin in Burma, and there hasn't been a James Madison in Colombia. They were special people. They were special people alive for the most part at the same time. You talk about a confluence of events and people alive in the same place at the same moment in history, that is the simplest way to explain, particularly to young people, what is really special about this country.

Conclusion: And so it is. We do young people a disservice with disastrous consequences for them and the country if we don’t teach them to believe that America is everything Rush described above and more. Maybe it’s time to enroll in a free online course at Hillsdale College. Rush felt and often said, “learning never stops.”

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Note 1:4

Religion Must Be Protected

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 23, 2022

In Note #2, I discussed what freedom is not. In the exchange between Rush Revere and Liberty on the subject, the time-traveling horse said this about the Puritans and religious freedom:

From what I heard near the cheese cooler, King James didn’t want the Puritans to have the freedom to choose what they believed. He just wanted them to stay with the Church of England and do exactly what he said, or else! But the Puritans believed that the Church of England practiced many things that the Bible never taught. So some Puritans called themselves ‘Separatists,’ because they wanted to separate themselves once and for all from the Church of England. I even heard one of the Puritan women say that the king threw an entire family into prison just because they chose to believe differently than he did.

The Puritans left England because King George dictated what they could and could not believe, including doctrines and practices not found in the Bible. Thus they went in search of the freedom to worship as they pleased. Liberty’s comment about the Puritans made Rush Revere feel ashamed for trying to force him to do something against his will (see Note #2).

Religious freedom is a crucial dimension of American exceptionalism (see Note #1). The religious principle of helping your neighbor is why the United States is always first on the scene when disaster strikes somewhere in the world. It’s who we are. Embracing God and religion made us so.

Religious freedom is the first right mentioned in the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. It is first (and first again) because it encompasses two additional freedoms: speech and assembly. These three freedoms (religion, speech, and assembly) allow us to decide for ourselves what to believe and how to live according to our faith in God and what He expects of us. We are free to worship Him as we please without fear of being acted upon by an overreaching, powerful government.

Religious freedom was first in importance to the Founders because it allows people to put God first in their lives by living the first and second great commandments: love God and your neighbor as you love yourself. A prevailing philosophy among some in our society is to put themselves first and everyone else, including God, somewhere below. Religion cures this malady, except these people have, for the most part, rejected God, which they have a right to do because of religious freedom.

Religious freedom was first because it unites people in their worship of God. Any power strong enough to trample upon your rights of worship is powerful enough to trample on mine. I must come to your defense, and you must come to mine regardless of differences in how we worship.

Religious freedom was first because it inspires people to act charitably toward their neighbors. Before the advance of big government and the “welfare state,” individuals, religions, and communities took care of each other (i.e., Americans took care of Americans). In giving such service, we were better and kinder. Today, many among us, including many young people, expect the government to care for the poor. After all, don’t we pay taxes for that purpose? As a nation, we lose something when religious conviction takes a back seat to government largess, forcibly taking from some and giving to others. Involuntary giving does not bless lives. It does not make people better.

Religious freedom was first because it shapes values. It declares for objective morality against moral relativism. An absolute moral law does not exist without an absolute moral law-Giver. Thus religious freedom declares for God with all its ramifications for a society built on love, not force.

Conclusion: Rush began the first book in the Rush Revere series by explaining why the Puritans came to America. If we are to preserve anything in this country, it must start with defending religious freedom. If we lose it, it will be hard, if not impossible, to maintain the values we embraced at our founding.

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Note 1:3

Adversity Is Part of Life

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 16, 2022

When William Bradford (1620) asked Rush Revere if he would join the pilgrims on their boat, the Speedwell (another story), the time traveler didn’t know how to answer. Bradford put both hands on Rush Revere’s shoulders, looked straight into his eyes, and with great sincerity said: “There is no need to fear. Take courage. God will bring us to the New World. Whatever adversity we face will only make us stronger.” In my Kindle version of the book, thousands of readers have highlighted this comment. I know because Kindle has marked it with its Popular Highlight format consisting of underlined dots.

Every year at Thanksgiving, Rush told the story of the Pilgrims and what they sacrificed by leaving their homes and coming to the New World. Every year I, along with you, looked forward to the telling. For millions of people, it was a highlight of the Thanksgiving holiday. Most of us listened, sitting comfortably in our homes with family and friends, made possible by William Bradford and people like him who gave up everything for freedom.

In Brave Pilgrims, Rush Revere noticed tears in William Bradford’s wife’s eyes as he approached the couple. Bradford explained after Dorothy excused herself: “My wife, Dorothy, and I have decided to leave behind our three-year-old son, John. The journey is expected to be dangerous. We have wrestled in mighty prayer to know whether or not we should bring him. We believe that God has told us that John would be safer if he stayed. He will be cared for, but, as you can imagine, the decision has been particularly painful for Dorothy.”

The lesson came after Rush Revere and Liberty time traveled back to the classroom and asked the students, “If you were William Bradford, would you have taken your three-year-old son on a death-defying voyage across a tempestuous sea?” One of the students, named Freedom, a young girl with dark, determined eyes, “spoke from somewhere deep within and said, I could tell they loved their son, more than anything. They only wanted what was best for him. It took courage for the Pilgrims to leave their homes and travel into the unknown. But it takes more courage to travel into the unknown and leave someone you love behind.”

In the book, Rush’s point was to emphasize that these were “real people ready to give their lives for their freedom, no matter the cost, no matter the pain, no matter the sacrifice.” Adversity has a purpose, but not for the sake of it. God didn’t put us on earth to suffer the trials of life for no reason. He could have made it otherwise. Because He did not, we know that tribulation, especially endured with a higher purpose, refines us and makes us the people God wants us to be.

Rush talked about life’s character refining moments throughout his career, but especially during the last year of his life. I give a tender example in next week’s segment review (June 20, 2022). For now, I’m thinking of segment titles like Everything That’s Happened to Me Is a Blessing (February 12, 2020) and Just Waking Up Each Day Is a Blessing (May 26, 2020).

Conclusion: We should embrace life’s struggles with resolve. They represent a chance to grow and fulfill the high purpose of achieving a character worthy of God’s presence. Rush became such a person. You know he did because with all that Rush went through during the last year of his life, he continued to sacrifice for what he believed in (God, Family, and Country). We knew it because of the days he sat behind the Golden EIB microphone serving the country he loved when he probably should have been somewhere else. We knew it more because he was happy and always, always grateful. I once heard that gratitude is a “feeling of the heart and soul.” It was for Rush. It should be for each of us.

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Note 1:2

What Freedom Is Not

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 9, 2022

The first two chapters of Brave Pilgrims introduce four concepts you should consider in understanding American history:

  • Forcing people against their will is tyranny, not freedom.
  • Adversity is a necessary part of life.
  • Freedom of religion means you don’t have to choose between following your faith and living laws not in harmony with your faith.
  • Freedom requires sacrifice.

This week, I look at what it means when someone tries to force you against your will.

Have you noticed that we usually talk about liberty and freedom together? Speaking generally, we rarely separate the two ideas. In 2012, Rush responded to what he called Obama’s “Condemnation Tour,” suggesting that Obama was “not qualified” to talk about liberty and freedom with the leaders of other nations because he did not (and does not) understand the role of America as a superpower. Obama does not understand that “this nation stands for freedom and liberty all over the world,” and Obama does not understand that freedom and liberty are not “universal principles” as he claims. Rush explained: “We secure and protect liberty when we defend it and secure it around the world. We want every human being to be free. We want every human being to have liberty. It’s not an imposition. It is called liberation from tyranny.”

Rush also pointed out what should be evident to most people: Liberty and freedom are not universal principles. They are not something people have “anyway.” Rush responded to Obama:

No, they don’t, Mr. President. We’ve had to fight for ours. That’s how this country was founded. It was the pursuit of liberty and freedom, sir. And ours is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, and Lord knows we never expected to have to fight our own president to secure it.

Notice that Rush referred to liberty and freedom as a single concept (“it”). Thus he was emphasizing that you cannot separate the two. Liberty is about choice. Freedom is about acting without being acted upon (i.e., by government officials, including those in charge of the anti-America “administrative state”). The liberty to choose without the freedom to act on your choice is neither liberty nor freedom. The two concepts are a package deal. Except on paper, the one cannot exist without the other.

Freedom is about acting on your choices without compulsion, including the freedom to say what you believe. Freedom of speech is only one aspect of freedom but is critical to all the rest. In other words, if you are not free to say what you believe, you are less free to act on what you think.

The transgender issue is a good example, which, as used here, illustrates a tactic of the left to deny or attempt to deny freedom of speech to anyone who disagrees with them (see also this week’s segment note, Review #9). Controlling what you say precedes controlling what you think. Today we are forced to use language against our will and our conscience. We are forced in the sense that not to use the correct language (i.e., a transgender man or woman’s pronouns of choice) or express a different opinion on the issue of transgenderism or gender dysphoria may result in severe consequences imposed by the left. These consequences include but are not limited to losing your business, your job, or both.

Conclusion: Liberty, the name of Rush Revere’s talking horse (read the books), said it best when he asked Rush Revere this question: “Forcing someone else to like the things you like, or to do the things you do, is not what freedom is about, is it?” Rush Revere answered humbly: “Of course not.” Then he added: “And just for the record, I hope you never feel forced to do anything. I’m glad you’re a curious horse. And I’m especially glad the Pilgrims had the courage to believe and think for themselves. Otherwise, America might not be a free country.”

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Note 1:1

American Exceptionalism

Brave Pilgrims: “A Note from the Author”

June 2, 2022

Rush defined American exceptionalism many times over the years. It is a concept every American should understand and embrace because of what it means to liberty and freedom, which inspire the best in all of us.

Thus it was no surprise that in the introduction to Brave Pilgrims (“A Note from the Author”), Rush focused on American exceptionalism, what it is, and what it means. The explanation always includes three basic ideas:

  • America is an exception in world history: “The sad reality is that since the beginning of time, most citizens of the world have not been free.”
  • America is an exception among nations because “it is a land built on true freedom and individual liberty, and it defends both around the world.”
  • America is an exception because “the Founders of this phenomenal country believed all people were born to be free as individuals.” Born to be free! In other words, our rights, privileges, liberties, and freedoms all come from God, the Creator of us all (something Rush affirmed often).

What is true freedom as opposed to freedom generally? True freedom means living your life without compulsory interference (i.e., government restrictions not approved by the people). For example, no one in Russia, China, Venezuela, or Cuba, is genuinely free, no matter how much power, wealth, or influence he may have. Everyone except the supreme ruler answers to the state on some level and risks being eliminated if he crosses the state’s wishes. Americans are accountable only to God, themselves, and laws made through their Representatives. Some of this is changing now, but only because too few people have stood up to political correctness run amok, wokeism, cancel-culture, and leftist ideology, which now permeates every level of society. The good news is this: Parents across the nation are waking up and fighting the left’s radical ideas and destructive norms.

What is individual liberty as opposed to liberty generally? Liberty is about choice. It is the right of a people to make decisions for themselves without interference from the government. Individual liberty is the right to determine your path in life according to your conscience. You are accountable only to God for your actions. Thus true liberty, individual liberty, is inherently moral.

Why are Americans first on the scene when there is trouble in the world? Because Americans have tasted true freedom and individual liberty and, as Rush often said, “We want the best for everyone.”

Obama and the left have a distorted view of America and thus cannot understand American exceptionalism as defined by Rush. The definition they apply to it is false. In Tribute, I explained it thus: “Leftists twist everything to mean what they want to support their agenda. They redefine the concept of American exceptionalism, claiming that Americans believe they are better than other people. Americans do not.” (In chapter 13 of Tribute, “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” I compare Rush’s concept of American exceptionalism with Vladimir Putin’s and Obama’s.)

Conclusion: I believe Rush began Brave Pilgrims, the first book in the Rush Revere series, teaching about American Exceptionalism because it defines America as founded. It explains what America has always been and, by God’s grace and the will of the American people, always will be.

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Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims

Rush Revere and the American Revolution

Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner

Rush Revere and the Presidency

Declaration of Independence

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Rush Revere Notes List

Clicking a number (#) jumps to the note

Note 1:1

American Exceptionalism

Brave Pilgrims: A Note from the Author

June 2, 2022


Note 1:5

Freedom Requires Sacrifice

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 30, 2022


Note 1:4

Religion Must Be Protected

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 23, 2022


Note 1:3

Adversity Is Part of Life

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 16, 2022


Note 1:2

What Freedom Is Not

Brave Pilgrims: Chapters 1-2

June 9, 2022