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Gaining Wisdom from the Founding Fathers

Regent University Law Student and author Joshua Charles discusses the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and using their words to highlight America's grand system of human liberty. Read Transcript

Well, we have a student at Regent.

Or he used to be a student at Regent, in any event.

He's bit of a wunderkind.

He's a concert pianist.

He's an accomplished speaker.

He's a best selling author.

He's a law student.

And he's only 27 years old.

Now he can add something else to his impressive resume.

He's the man who discovered the secret wisdom of our founding


And the book is called "Liberty's Secrets."

So these are the inside vision of our founding fathers.

Joshua Charles, what a fascinating book.

And he's--

MAN: Joshua Charles is a 27-year-old law student

known for his New York Times best seller,

"The Original Argument," which he co-authored with news

commentator Glenn Beck.

Joshua's newest book, "Liberty's Secrets,"

answers pressing questions.

What did the founding fathers really

think about religion, education, and the role of government?

To tackle these issues, Joshua unearths writings

from our nation's founders-- their letters, diaries,

and memos-- to let our forefathers

answer using their own words.

Well, welcome to "The 700 Club," Joshua Charles.

Josh, it's good to have you with us.

It's an honor to be here.

And I actually want to thank you.

I'm a law student at Regent Law.

And there's a lot of terms thrown around about Christians

these days about being bigoted or whatever.

But I'll tell you what.

At Regent, I've had amazing professors

who've been always available.

There's a wide array of viewpoints

that are always welcomed.

And I love being there.

So thank you for--

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I'm so delighted.

JOSHUA CHARLES: --for setting that up.

You doing well?

You doing well in your school?

Oh, yeah.


I think so.

You have to ask my professors.

When do you graduate?

Next year?



Well, that's tremendous.

In the meantime, you had a chance to write this book.


"Liberty's Secrets"-- tell us just--

there's so much in this book, I can't go to all of it.

But what was motivating the founding fathers

that you found?

What was going on inside of them?

Well, I think prior to the founding of the United States,

a people had never been able to choose

their form of government.

They'd never been able to set it up from the ground floor,

so to speak.

And so they recognized that historically, that

had never happened.

And they had an immense opportunity on their hands.

But they also realized that to make that possible,

to be a self-governing people, you've

got to be knowledgeable and virtuous.

Those were the two main things.

That's actually the longest set of chapters in the book.

They knew that without a moral people that

controlled themselves and kept their passions in check--

but also a knowledgeable people who

knew about their leaders, who knew what to expect,

who knew what to look for-- that a free society just

wouldn't work.

So that was essentially what they were looking for.

I see these young people, these so-called millenniums,

going to one of these Bernie Sanders rallies, and I think,

you're a bunch of ignorant sheep.

They don't-- they're cheering a man who wants to take away all

our money.

What is it?

I refer in the book to the founding fathers

as the founding prophets.

And the reason I do that is not because they

were like Ezekiel or Jeremiah or Isaiah or anything that,

but because in their writings, they

were so familiar with two things-- human nature

and human history.

And when you study both, it's hard to avoid

certain conclusions about what happens.

And you see the same sorts of patterns.

I don't say history repeats itself,

but it is kind of a variation on a tune.

And you see the same sorts of things all throughout history.

And I was actually just reading Justice Robert Jackson.

He was one of our Supreme Court justices,

was the prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials

against the Nazis.

And he was commenting on the founders.

He said, never before had a group of men

searched the annals of human history

so completely to figure out the secret of how you could

make a free society possible.

So I mentioned the founding prophets,

because there's so many things they say that-- of course, it's

in a bit more flowery English than we're used to,

but it could have been said yesterday, in my opinion

at least.

I respect Bernie Sanders for how honest he is.

But I don't partake of his views.

But a lot of things related to banking institutions,

monopolies, class warfare-type issues, breakdown of morality--

on all these issues, the founding fathers

had things to say.

And like I said, it was completely prophetic a lot

of what they-- it could have been said yesterday.

Well, they also had a very balanced view of human nature.


They weren't utopian at all.

And-- you wouldn't need a government,

but they really understand that men were sinful.

And the sinful nature of man-- they

set up a government that would be keep

man's sin from breaking out.


Well, the thing about that is we have the benefit

of-- well, the somewhat of dubious benefit of 20th-century

history, the bloodiest century in history.

The founders knew that human nature

was that which invented and created Auschwitz, but also

painted the "Mona Lisa," carried out

the purges in Stalin Russia, and also wrote Mozart's symphonies.

And so this duality, this very Judeo-Christian assumption

about both the depravity as well as

the magnificence of human nature, they incorporated

that into basically everything they did as far setting up

our government.

Well, what about now?

It looks like there are forces that wish to destroy that.

I think there are.

I think a lot of it-- you were asking about my generation

in particular.

I'm a millennial.

I think my generation has a lot of really potentially

great qualities.

We're a very passionate generation.

When we want to go out into the business world,

into the career world, we want to do

things that make a difference.

And I think that's all good.

But I would say, in general-- and it's not so much

a critique of my generation so much as just a diagnosis of it.

We were raised by a generation before us.

And there's a lack of groundedness.

We don't really know where we came from.

We don't know our national story.

We don't know the examples of history.

I mean, it's so funny.

I have various friends who maybe are Bernie Sanders fans.

I sit them down and I read for them

examples of people saying similar sorts of things,

and they're kind blown-- from hundreds of years ago,


And they're like, oh, yeah, that totally makes sense.

I was like, oh, really?

Well, this was said in the 18 whatever or 17 whatever.

And it's like, what?

And there's this sense among a lot of millennials.

They're very particularly hopeful about human nature.

I think a lot of millennials assume human nature is

inherently good.

And of course, history belies that notion pretty strongly.

PAT ROBERTSON: It sure does.

Or just good.

And the Bible does as well.

One last question.


Glenn Beck is an interesting guy.

How'd you get tied up with him?

You've done some work together.


Well, it was a long story.

But I ended up being on his FOX show

at the time for totally unrelated reasons.

I was at a town that had served.

But no, he treated me very well personally.

And I respect him.

And it led to this.

And now, I'm at the Museum of the Bible

doing a lot of writing and researching.

And he helped catalyze that and get it started.

And so for that, he has my continuous thanks.

Where's this book?

It's available--

Pretty much anywhere-- Amazon, the WND Superstore,

all sorts of places.

You don't want to miss it, ladies and gentlemen.

It's very interesting and very perceptive.

And Joshua Charles, one of our students

that we're proud of-- it's called "Liberty's Secrets."

Joshua, thanks so much for being here.

JOSHUA CHARLES: Thank you, Pat.

Appreciate it.

PAT ROBERTSON: And God bless you.

Nice to meet you.


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