Executive Poetry

To Donald, from Freedom

When anger with confined borders

Levitates within the Wall,

And my angelic Donald orders

To tweet at yall;

When I stand freely on this soil,

And liberated by this war,

The demons that make us boil,

There will be another four.

 

When flowing antifa run wildly round,

with no worry of arrest,

Our eyes consume the societal wound,

Our heart yearns for the countries best;

When the swamp gets murky and deep,

When everyone expects services free,

Quality goods aren’t cheap.

There will be another four.

 

When the cameras are rolling,

With smiles of joy we laugh,

The youthfulness, colorful, humor,

And glories of my president;

When I shall voice aloud how good

He is, how Great America should be,

Cruel people, seek American blood.

There will be another four.

 

Stone walls will make protect the state,

Extreme vetting on the terminal;

The path to America is straight

If you are not a criminal.

If I have been prisoned in my anger,

And in my country I am free,

The Don soars like the eagle above,

Enjoy the four more.

To America, Going Republican

Tell me not, (Sweet) I am bold,

That from the tower,

Of my penthouse filled with gold

To international super power.

 

False, a breaking news story I hate,

The enemy of the people;

And with a haste I underrate

A tweet, a headline, an article.

 

Yet this harmony is parallel

As our nation becomes secure;

I joyfully ride this carousel,

Because the right is the cure

DEAR DRUM OF MY COUNTRY

DEAR Drums of my country! In ruins I found thee

The cold hearted politicians feast quietly on prey

When loudly, my own whistle blowers, unbound thee,

And gave the people victory, freedom, and dismay

 

The global system working together as one,

has been enslavement of the people:

But eyes in the sky which we can not outrun

The heaven on earth escaped from the steeple

 

Dear Drums of my country! Farewell to the corrupt,

This great tune wealth is the start of reconstruction

Go, eyes open with encouragement I conduct,

Till released upon those equally worthy of production

 

If the heart of the patriot, conservative or liberal

Have throbbed glancing at lady liberty

I’d bet they support being backed by shiny mineral.

And may you be saved from drinking bitter tea.

 

Firstly, my imitation of “To Althea, from Prison” was inspired by Richard Lovelace’s loyalty toward king Charles. For the most part, Charles stood on the side of the common people and tried to protect them. This instantaneously reminded me of a modern situation with the newest successor of power in America, Donald Trump. Lovelace’s setting was speaker is in an English Prison convincing himself that he is freer than ever. Since America is the land of the free I decided to use the setting freedom rather than prison. In the first stanza I took the readers to the political stance of a President Trump supporter. I used words such as angelic, freely, and liberated to show freedom. While using boil. Levitate, and confined to show negative attributes of this American freedom. In my second stanza I continued to show negative attributes of freedom such as domestic terrorist group antifa, the swamp of bad politicians, and the socialist ideologies. In the third stanza I change up the mood with the positive of the somewhat imprisonment of the Trump reign. I continue to show delight towards President Trump as Lovelace frequently does. Each of the last three stanzas are followed by there will be another four. This shows the sentiment of the free society. Lastly, the fourth stanza The successful first term comes to an end and the public enjoys four more years of freedom.

Secondly, my imitation of “To Lucasta, Going to War” was influenced by the honor of war. In my poem I talk about war between political views. For instance, the setting is the Trump in his tower showing its glory of wealth and power. Furthermore, in the second stanza displays the war between conservatives and the liberal misleading news. Third stanza shows the harmony of America as conservatives enjoy the up the ride of Trump presidency. Moreover, I used right wing spectrum to demonstrate the joyful life of a republican in modern times.

Thirdly, my satire of “Dear Harp of My Country” was influenced by the drums of the infantry in the American Revolution. The Irish Harp similarly played an instrumental role in politics and society. I took the opportunity to continue on my policy poetry. In the first stanza I start off with the modern political chaos of America. When the crooked politicians get put on notice by brave media leakers the people are given victory. Moving onto the next stage of darkness in America which is the enslavement of globalism and technology moving toward a medium in which it can govern and spy on people. There is heavens that can stop to globalism. However, like the Irish Harp the American Drum is the expression of freedom. Thus an act of victory has occurred and every American can release the shackles of globalism and celebrate with gold backed currency. A possible short term solution for globalism.

-Dario Lomeli

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Wordsworth of the Modern Day: America, 2017

A Modern imitation of Wordsworth’s poem:

Jefferson! Your declaration has turned against you:

America needs your return; She has become the home of political unrest.

Of corrupted shores: rebellion, terrorism, and insanity,

Seaside, the great country of freedom,

Has revoked her own former glory

Of Democracy. We are our own demise;

Please! Rise from the grave, return to life;

And return us to Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy.

Your writings like a guiding sign, and long forgotten:

You once had a voice that lead to our country’s liberation:

Clear as a cloudless sky, open, unyielding,

So did you wish for this fate,

In regretful acceptance; and yet your heart

At the destruction did not sway.

A Beautiful World of Ethereal Places and Ephemereal Wonders

Their colors are distinct as those of the sun and regularly and obviously blended, though less vivid, fine specimens may be found any night at the foot of the upper Yosemite fall, glowing gloriously amid the gloomy shadows and thundering waters, whenever there is plenty of moonlight and spray.

– John Muir

Dear my fellow venerable peers and aspiring scholars, I present to you a plea.

Awaken your slumbering reverence of nature within. This world that we share asks for our appreciation now more than ever. The strength of a movement is determined by the collection of the will of its individuals. Wordsworth intuitively composed his poetry at a time of boiling industrial forthcoming, but do not hesitate to relate its antiquity to the pertinence it has in a world of modern environmental peril. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads is as contemporary to our present problematic endeavors with Earth as you could possibly imagine. Their words continue to speak for a voiceless mother Earth, the most beautiful of all planets we have ever encountered. As students of the University of California, Merced, we are granted an opportunity to embrace a pioneering spirit that has fueled and characterized the United States of America for centuries. Considering our proximity to the greatest wilderness of them all, Yosemite, we are living embodiments of Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis, which spoke to the roaring passion for Western expansion and human inquisitiveness. Go forth and revel within the temples of awful (awe-inspiring) natural wonder, avoid the temptation and distractions of modernity, as they serve no true purpose to your free-spirited soul.

Wordsworth and Coleridge have me lost in a world of beauty and pain. Romanticism speaks to me like a siren-wailing fire truck calls to a lonesome canine to howl incessantly. I’m enamored by this imaginative prose, delicate as a rose, insinuating thoughts of philosophical scorn, like an unforgiving thorn. I have literally and figuratively lost myself in the forests of the Sierra Nevada, blanketed by chilling darkness, but it was then, that I had ever felt more alive. I was young then, and my eyes scrambled in the twilight in fear of black bears. I know now, that these lovable bears in comparison to fearsome grizzlies of the north or population dwindling from receding landscapes of polar bears, are not to be feared. Fresh mountain wind,  towering sequoias revived me from my past loathsome troubles that lay insidious within my mind for so long. The landscapes of this breathtaking mountain range lay etched in my thoughts even with my eyes closed, and are now ingrained in me for the rest of my existence.

The painting “Buttermere Lake: A Shower”, instills moody thoughts in a gloomy overcast. I initially see a bleak landscape of melancholy, that speaks of a desolate past. The rainbow from the painting reminds me of Lower Yosemite Fall’s moonbows. We are within 2 hours of North America’s tallest waterfall. An exciting thought to contemplate itself. I look within these dark clouds of anguish and uncertainty, however, and I find hope. Just as I once lost my wallet and my keys in Yosemite and panicked for my life, I would eventually calm down and see that they were exactly where I had placed, underneath a pile of my belongings. There is always hope even in death and absolute remorse. Even if you cannot see it, there is always light somewhere within or somewhere far beyond the twilight zone. It is only in darkness that light truly shines. Be courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. Fight on until your last dying breath, and submit to no oppressive force. I reference another poem that carries my sentiments. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” – Dylan Thomas

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Joseph William Turner’s painting carries multiple aspects of Romanticism within its frame. It is an encapsulation of the feelings and emotions of The Lyrical Ballads. Expostulation and Reply discusses enjoying nature even if its morals and lessons taught are not as direct as a lecture of philosophy or a laboratory session of science.

"You look round on your Mother Earth,
          As if she for no purpose bore you; 
          As if you were her first-born birth,
          And none had lived before you!"

William is expostulated by Matthew. Why does he seem to mindless observe the world with his mind adrift in solitary rumination?

"Nor less I deem that there are Powers
          Which of themselves our minds impress;
          That we can feed this mind of ours
          In a wise passiveness.

William explains his penchant for wonderful Mother Earth. He feels that he assimilates notions of patience and lessons of wisdom in the stillness of meditation and deep contemplation.

Landscapes like the one Turner paints and the ones that you can come across after hiking to a viewpoint are so powerful, that you can’t help but lay speechless. I recall the times I’ve been such amazing views like Glacier Point and Angel’s Landing, and I sat startled and comforted by the immense grandeur for hours.

I make one last reference to another one of Wordsworth’s poems. I ask that you consider your lifestyle and your attachments to materials, just like Wordsworth attempts to convey the contempt of materialism. A life is meant to be fulfilled with experience, and not meaningless objects.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers
.

The World is Too Much With Us

William Wordsworth

Earth day is on April 22. Also, National Park Week is April 15-23. On April 15 and 16 and again on April 22 and 23 you can visit any national park in the country free of charge. As the heavy snowfall from this year’s dramatic winter begins to recede in the Sierra Nevada, I encourage you to take part in experiencing our world within its raw natural boundaries, rather than dwelling within unsatisfying cities. The following link is a website that has been instrumental in my transition from childhood to young adulthood. It has guided me with a knowledgeable content of incredible hikes in Yosemite and also carries a comedic and informative style of prose. Check it out! http://www.yosemitehikes.com/hikes.htm

One last note. Last winter I explored Zion National Park, and after embarking on a notoriously scary but enjoyable hike, I found a drone sitting atop Angel’s Landing. Flying drones are strictly prohibited in these National Parks, and I felt obligated to find the owner before a ranger confiscated it. I’ve been looking for the owner ever since. After a considerable amount of time debating with myself internally over ethical matters, I decided to examine the footage of nature. I was absolutely blown away, and I feel compelled to share. I hope that everyone has the desire to embark on their own expeditions. I recommend the HD setting for enhanced theatrics.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Pham

John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour and Emperor Trump

John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour, is not Catholic Spain’s conquest of Mexico. This play is anti-Catholic Britain’s manifesto (or vision) of what the British are able to achieve in the New World, and is the embodiment of everything that the Restoration period is about. This ties in with Donald Trump’s campaign MAGA and the movement to put U.S. interests first, and globalism second.

John Dryden, very much like President Donald J. Trump, used nationalism (us vs. them mentality) and gave his audience what they wanted to hear. Can you imagine what would happen if Dryden brought up interracial marriage by making Cortez and Cydaria come together? The audience would be not approve. Therefore, in this play, Dryden had to portray Conquistador Hernan Cortez as a heroic knight who carries his pride, honor, and loyalty in all aspects of his life. A man would show compassion to the natives, but would never turn his back on his king. In a sense, Dryden made Cortez appear as Britain. Meanwhile, Francisco Pizarro is greedy, and punishes natives all for the sense of gold, and this is made out to be Spain. Pizarro uses the name of Catholicism to get away with these atrocities. Translate this play to today’s time, and we have a modern day Trump election campaign. In order for Trump to get support, he had to rally up his followers by feeding them what they wanted to hear. Trump, by using nationalism, became controversial and showed no sympathy for immigrants, and other minorities the same way Dryden showed no compassion to Catholic conquistadors in Mexico. Dryden wanted to create a document that would give others a reason to support exploring the new world. Trump gave his supporters a reason to follow his ideals. Just how building a wall and protecting U.S. interest’s will make America great again, exploring and expanding to the Americas would make Britain great again.

Although, Dryden didn’t support Catholic Spain, he understood what they were going for. Dryden understood that Spain viewed the natives as humans, but at the same time as misguided savages who needed to be saved by Christ. Dryden wanted the British to use the same method, and convince the British people that it was their Christian duty to explore the New World and treat the natives so viciously. This is the reason why Dryden creates doubt and confusion in the relationship between natives and the Conquistadores.

-Benjamin Montes

The same, for SOME folks.

Winthrop’s phrase, ‘A City Upon a Hill’ refers to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and how it would be in plain sight for others to follow and see as he believed it was a shining example of Puritan perfection. Personally, I believe this phrase is prevalent today because America is a prime example of “A City Upon a Hill.” Though our country is currently facing some controversial times right now, despite it all, we come together as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” However, I do believe that it is all a load of crap today as well. Winthrop was being optimistic and hopeful for white Puritans like himself at the time and no one else. Today, Trump supporters argue that he will “make America great again” by advancing Christian values and beliefs. Yet, we consider ourselves “the land of the free?” Millions of people live in fear today since our newly elect President has been inaugurated such as Muslims, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other minority groups.

During Winthrop’s time, America was not yet established and could have formed in anyway which is why Winthrop’s phrase was nothing but an innocent belief of American exceptionalism. He wanted to unite others and build communities as the Puritan he was. Today, Trump is considered by many as a “Baby Christian” which is an utter joke because if anyone is a true Christian they know the substantial difference between Christ’s definition of greatness and Trump’s. Examples that we have seen of him this past year are the complete opposite of what Jesus would consider as “making America great again” because he is trying to unify the country with hate and anger. Matthew 22:36-40 states, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” A true Christian who wants to make this country great again knows that Trump is the last person to ever follow the religion truly. Winthrop’s phrase is still prevalent in America, but followed in a way that is only true for white, Christian Americans.

 

-Rahma K.

A City upon Intolerance and Genocide

First and foremost, John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” absolutely does not carry the same context if it was used in speech today, and we can be thankful for this. I for one am certainly glad that we have overall improved our approach on human ethics to ascend beyond such an abysmal level of religious intolerance, gender inequality, and an acceptance of genocide.  The references to this model state in modern times refer to a sociopolitical transformed term. Rather than the primary focus of religion, “City upon a Hill” has become a model to represent democracy and a right to freedom for countries across the world. The reference to the term appeals to the general ignorance of the American public, where a “City upon a Hill” can be imagined as glorious and almighty, but was originally a fanatic’s fantasy of religious superiority and human inequality.

Hutchinson-web1.jpeg

Anne Hutchinson, who lived during Winthrop’s time, believed that it was unnecessary to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Christian institution as she encouraged looking to one’s own intuition to find salvation, as God lived inward amongst the souls of each and other, rather than through every day practice. In “The Humble Request” we learn how devout and intolerant the Puritans could be, “The Puritans exalted preaching; they taxed themselves voluntarily to secure additional preaching on market days by evangelical clergymen, who were called lecturers.” She was met with fierce opposition from the colony’s ministers, and was directly accused by John Winthrop of troubling the peace of the churches. Winthrop described her as a demonic extremist in his journals,  “hell-spawned agent of destructive anarchy”. Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, “You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that, for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.” Hutchinson was shattering Christian ideals while paving the way for religious interpretation and women’s representation alike. Ultimately she and her family were banished from the Massachusetts “City upon a Hill”, to New Netherlands and were later murdered in a Native American raid (likely a retaliation of colonist aggression in the “Kiefts War”). New Netherlands (New York and New Jersey today) was a colony of considerable diversity, and its inhabitants carried a significant amount of war experience from Europe. The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

Of all the savage bloodshed between the natives and the colonists before the revolution, some of the most horrific occurrences took place by the so-called “City upon a Hill”. In perhaps the most inhumane incident of all colonist and native exchanges, a Pequot fort containing 500 men, women, and children, was encircled by troops and incinerated. Only a handful managed to escape. The captain of the forces John Mason insisted that the attack was an act of God who “laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot fort] as a fiery Oven.” Even the Narragansett and Mohegan, the Native American allies of the English forces and also fierce enemies of the Pequot, were horrified by the brutal disregard for ethics. The colonists celebrated their victory, and affirmed their religious fanaticism, declaring the Pequot extinct, and explained their victory once again as an act of God: “Let the whole Earth be filled with his glory! Thus the lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their Land for an Inheritance.”

underhill-engraving-cropped

The Mystic Massacre during the Pequot War. Hundreds of men, women, and children were burned alive mercilessly. 

When John Winthrop landed alongside Arbella and its fleet, he was not focused on the presence of later dictators, globalization and trade, but rather, the establishment of Christian ideals on a clean slate. Invigorated by the lack of constraints and a dark history, he sought to create a society greater than its predecessors, “Secondly that he might haue the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in [Page 34] moderating and restraining them: soe that the riche and mighty should not eate upp the poore nor the poore and dispised rise upp against and shake off theire yoake.” Winthrop wanted his city to be the most ideal place for a Christian, and one that would affect the lives of all who examined their lives. As centuries passed, and the fallacy of religion continued to be exposed, like the unraveling of the antiquated geocentric model; our concerns shifted to immediate concerns and threats. Milton writes in Areopagitica, what is far more relevant to today’s political agendas. Whereas, Winthrop focused solely on the institution of religion, Milton brings a radical concept of liberty that attempts to reverse the censorship. “While things are yet not constituted in Religion, that freedom of writing should berestrain’d by a discipline imitated from the Prelats, and learnt by them from the Inquisition to shut us up all again into the brest of a licencer, must needs give cause of doubt and discouragement to all learned and religious men. Who cannot but discern the finenes of this politic drift, and who are the contrivers; that while Bishops were to be baited down, then all Presses might be open; it was the peoples birthright and priviledge in time of Parlament, it was the breaking forth of light.” Milton references classical works in a well-thought prose that speaks to liberty and denounces the evil of tyranny.

quote-give-me-the-liberty-to-know-to-utter-and-to-argue-freely-according-to-conscience-above-all-john-milton-128083

Ronald Reagan faced a seemingly imminent but dwindling threat during the Cold War, and mentioned a “Shining City upon a Hill” to bring the American people together under an exaggeration of success. His focus was not establishing Christian ideals, but rather uniting the dreams and hopes of a nation to unite against a common foe. Barack Obama brings up the “City upon a Hill” at U. Mass, and mentions the imperfection of the dream over centuries of human inequality, but ultimately concludes that America has made significant advancements in civil rights, while pushing the boundaries of opportunity. He expressed contentment over the transformation and abundance of diversity in a city which carried a history of discrimination, “I see students that have come here from over 100 different countries, believing like those first settlers that they too could find a home in this City on a Hill – that they too could find success in this unlikeliest of places.” Obama mentions the “City upon a Hill” in a social manner, as well as Reagan, who also puts importance on the political implications. John Winthrop envisioned a wholly righteous and ideal Christian place for all of the world to admire, and while Obama and Reagan also speak to inspire the hopes and dreams of not just Americans, but  people across the world, their focus is far more centered on the movement of civil rights and based on maintaining political structure.

reaganandbarackobama

-Thomas Pham

“City Upon a Hill”

In A Model of Christian Charity, Winthrop directs his sermon towards the importance of obeying God and prioritizing him as they construct their colonial life. The basis of religion having an impact in government should seem long gone since our current political system reiterates a society where church and state should be separate but are they? While the message has been altered for a personal agenda of the person quoting “city upon a hill” the comparisons being made cannot be ignored. The City in which discussed from a president-elect perspective refers to the United States and how we choose to go about that information, being put on a Pedestal or Hill, can result in either thriving in society or suffering, because automatically we’re to believe there is no other option. Winthrop not only reiterated the importance of God but also what makes someone a “true Christian”. He states, “First of all, true Christians are of one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12). Ye are the body of Christ and members of their part. All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other’s strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with it” (5). We can also say that when used in politics rather than it being “true Christians” what is meant is “true Americans”, the message should be that we should be equal and when one member suffers so will everyone else but does it happen that way? When people in society are thriving and others are struggling we have become a political system in which being left behind in support, literally and figuratively, is evident. When Obama, for instance, used this sermon as an anti-Trump slogan he predicted an outcome where the strive to being a “true American” will be taken out of context and when done so will result in many people getting left behind, suffering.

Winthrop’s intention as I perceive through this sermon was optimism for the colonized land; to lead a group of people whom aspire to be “true Christians” such as he was. The lingering threat that someone will strive away from being a “true Christian” is met with an ultimatum; if you stay behind we all crumble since you’re going against God. What has evolved overtime within our political system is that when someone stays behind then they will suffer while everyone else will go on being a “true American” along with their current leader, would we also say that this leader is being displayed as a “God”? Is there a possibility that Winthrop’s sermon has been twisted into making a society such as the United States believe that their leader is equivalent to a God, in a way that we should not question nor differ from their philosophy?

-Kristy Frausto

“City upon a Hill” Remains the Same

Words as we know them are often used out of its original context to create new meaning. The word gay, for instance, described a person who was seen as lighthearted and carefree, and to be called gay was a compliment. It was once casually used by people of high class making the use of the word sophisticated and elegant. Today, it is used as an insult in the form of oppression of a homosexual man and sometimes as a joke between friends. Then there are some words and phrases that will not change in meaning such as the phrase Winthrop, Milton, Reagan, and Obama incorporated into their speeches even if decades have passed. The use of the phrase instills the idea of being an exceptional nation like no other, being what others would hope to become. Even if two persons were not referring to the same religious and political ideas when they borrowed the imagery of the city, it will always hold the same meaning to listeners.

Winthrop reinterpreted Jesus’s words of the city upon a hill to establish a democracy in which the people will be provided a role with rules to follow, which he sought as the way to achieve peace and freedom. Reagan and other Presidents recited the phrase in other contexts, in relation to human freedom and rights rather than religious freedom. The phrase acts as the sole foundation for progress to both Winthrop and the presidents. Though they all provide their own definition of the city upon a hill, they all achieved one thing which is bringing out the same kind of emotions out of their followers, the kind of emotions that make them want to become better. The definition may have been interpreted slightly different from what it was, but it ultimately holds the same impact and the same meaning. Whether the goal was to create a good Christian (Winthrop), or a good citizen (Reagan, etc.) this one phrase can rejoice a nation in any context it is used. So unless the definition has been altered drastically, for example, having the phrase mean something like exposing one’s identity for the world to view, then it will remain the same.

-Van Vang

City Upon A Hill? Yeah right

I do not think that “City Upon a Hill” means the same to us today as it did to Joseph Winthrop. He was hopeful of America being a place where Puritans could freely practice religion, but I feel that he only had Christianity in mind in terms of ‘religious freedom’. Would he feel the same of Islam? It seems that he was looking for a land that was free for people like him- puritan white males. To some extent that is what some Americans want, especially with the presence of the newly elected President of the United States. It is surprising going through your Facebook feed and reading what people actually think about Donald Trump as our president. Some people argue that he is the only candidate that will uphold their and the country’s Christian beliefs, while simultaneously claiming that the U.S. is a country of diversity and freedom? This country is made up of different people with different backgrounds and beliefs, but they only want a leader that represents one of those beliefs. It just comes down to who people believe deserve that freedom. I think that for many of us, the idea of the shining city upon a hill is an America that is inclusive and accepting of all people.

-Nancy Sanchez

City upon a Hill: Religious vs. Political

In Winthrop’s time, the US was yet to be established. At that time the country could’ve been molded into anything in anyway. Whether a democracy, monarchy or dictatorship, this country and how it was going to be developed was going to put an impact around the world. John Winthrop refers to “City upon a Hill” religiously because he sees the new world as an opportunity to create a foundation of his Puritan faith and to spread it across. Religiously “City upon a Hill” infers to a community that follows their faith and ideals of God. Years later the phrase is reformed to politically symbolize the free nation filled with colored opportunities for its citizens.

The phrase holds the same meaning as it did in Winthrop’s time, because in the 21st century, every day we witness revolutionary ideas in technology, society, religion, etc. Although “the shining city” isn’t completely perfect and the concept of a free nation may be at risk in light of recent political happenings, we have come so far from what Winthrop would’ve have imagined as a Puritan. From Winthrop to Reagan to Obama, every time this phrase is used the world has advanced greatly since the last time it was used, becoming a “city on the hill” has led to American exceptionalism. Milton’s reference to the term is based on Greek mythology, however it imposes the same idea of power.

John Milton’s approach to the phrase is very liberal. Like it’s mentioned in Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech “if the city had walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone who had the will and heart to open them”. Reagan and Milton allude to “the city” as a place where everyone believes in God and the economy is perfect. Whether used in a religious context or a political context, this phrase gives out the same theme every time, to introduce power.

-Ravneet Dhillon