The America Conservancy brings together a growing movement of citizens, artists, economists, scientists, parents, authors, scholars, medics and other friends exploring sanity and True North in a confusing century. We’re learning the story and principles of our nation now undermined by aggression, debt and poor leadership. We’ll find the wellsprings of cultural wisdom and how to renew our culture for the benefit of future generations. We welcome your partnership in any way.
Note from Kelly
I believe that the American Experiment, deeply understood, bears within itself the seeds of its own revival. Seeds that are now suppressed and made dormant but are awaiting good soil (people), water, oxygen — a chance to flourish, once again. There was at least a mythical conversation at Harvard in which Ralph Waldo Emerson commented to a friend, “How wonderful that Harvard is growing so many branches.” His friend, Henry David Thoreau, replied, “But how foolish, since at the same time Harvard is also laying an axe to its own roots.”
Like a school and only more so, the great Tree of a culture, and of a nation such as America, has roots. It has a Source. It has a story. We’re creating The America Conservancy to do justice to that story and to explore those roots and fruit of thriving culture possible in relation to a life-giving God who brings dying things back to life.
We believe in cultural justice — that means allowing a culture to be what it is. Letting an idea play out. Letting a forest grow without slashing and burning it down. We realize that the story of our nation is far from perfect, but the norm is a unique kind of freedom and yield in all of human history. What if the essence of America, clearly seen in the personal journals of most Pilgrims, Puritans and Founders — and clearly stated in our founding Declaration and Constitution — is also our future hope? America is a story of a meaningful world. Of hard work and faith that yielded families and a thriving culture. A shining city upon a hill. A new England. A new world.
“In God We Trust” was recently affirmed again by Congress as our national motto. That trust in a loving God is the vitality the American Experiment. The Key who unlocks every door. The Root who has a way of wearing down every axe. The Living One with a habit of rising from the dead.
At first you may not like this historic reality, but, who knows, it might grow in you. The yield of biblical faith is good news even for those who despise that faith, because no view of life so upholds the rights and value of human beings, and in particular the most vulnerable among us.
In this new century full of angst and cultural revolution including both ‘Progressivism’ and Jihad, the rediscovery of the American Experiment is vital. Real things, real lives, are at stake including our freedom of speech and conscience, inalienable human rights, intellectual pluralism, our economy, national security, care for the poor, and the lives of future generations. Not long ago, concerns about “the future of the free world,” and “Western civilization,” were hyperbolic and said in good humor, but no one is laughing in our troubled 21st century demoralized and dismembered from our roots, our moorings of wisdom and life.
The truth is that countless people touched by God’s love, and what Jesus did for us on the cross to give life both before death and after, passed that love on generously to others. Their contributions took forms of literacy, science, the arts, healthcare, schools and universities, orphanages and adoptions, caring for the poor, the imprisoned and the lonely. We mock or diminish God to our own misfortune. The very good thing is that branches can be grafted back into a good Vine, and live again.
We welcome your friendship, curiosity, knowledge and vision. Your heart for beauty and honor. Your courage to wonder — and to rise.
Because of love,
Kelly Monroe Kullberg
The America Conservancy, founder and president
The Veritas Forum, founder
Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Christian Thinkers, editor and co-author (Harper-Zondervan / IVP )
Finding God Beyond Harvard: the Quest for Veritas, author (IVP)