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Category Archives: Our country

Celebrating the Fourth of July

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Today we celebrate the birth of America’s freedom. Fifty-six men gathered 236 years ago to pledge “their, lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” in their stand for liberty against the powerful British Empire. Take the time to read the Declaration of Independence and its grievances against the King George. You might find some of them applicable even today.

When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

Benjamin Franklin

If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by Him… Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.

William Penn

It truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and his Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.

Daniel Webster

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

John Quincy Adams

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.

Thomas Jefferson

It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

John Adams

Reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

George Washington

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Gal 5:1

Happy Independence Day!

What Happened to the Supreme Court?

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The recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent discussion of factions of the court cause me pause. What happened to impartial jurists who rule on a law’s constitutionality based on the US Constitution? Isn’t the reason that justices serve for life, unless they retire or are impeached, to protect the court from political decisions?

According to CBS News, those inside the court claim that Chief Justice Roberts, unlike other conservative justices, “pays attention to media coverage…he is also sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.” Though we may never know what influenced his decision, it appears that Roberts may have bowed to outside political forces from the media to protect the reputation of his court. If this is indeed the reason he changed his original view, what does this have to do with the Constitution?

We have moved so far from the original intent of the court with liberal and conservative wings that it is no longer trusted by many Americans to do what is was instituted to do. The latest Rasmussen Reports shows that a majority of Americans believe “the high court is too liberal and that court justices pursue their own agendas rather than acting impartially.”

One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, spoke to the situation that we now find ourselves in:

 Changes in the constitution ought not be lightly made; but when corruption has long infected the legislative, and executive powers: when these pervert the liberties of the people; if THEY tamely submit to such misgovernment, we may fairly conclude, the bulk of that people to be ripe for slavery.

Chief Justice Roberts rightly stated that the commerce clause has been wrongly used to justify the overreach of the federal government. He was correct that there are consequences to elections. But, he rewrote the law to arrive at a convoluted justification for his decision. Furthermore, in so doing, he instituted a precedent that allows the federal government to tax any behavior it deems unacceptable, a giant step toward totalitarianism.

We must pay close attention to the people we choose to represent us. As we have seen many times, we cannot always believe the words of candidates, or their opponents for that matter. Instead, we must look carefully at their records. We cannot allow others to make these choices for us, because at this time in history we are “ripe for slavery.” We must not shirk our responsibilities as citizens. We must not “tamely submit to misgovernment.”

Will We Bow?

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On April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office as first President of the newly constituted United States of America. After he kissed the Bible and whispered “so help me God”, he went inside to deliver his first inaugural address to Congress and other governmental officials assembled. He acknowledged the hand of God in the founding of this nation, but he also warned, “…the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained….” Following his address the President led the group of leaders down the street to St. Paul’s Chapel where they all participated in a Divine Service scheduled by Congress to pray for the fledgling nation.

God has been faithful to protect the United States as long as we lived according to His ordinances. He has remained patient as we have turned from the “eternal rules of order and right” that he laid out in His Word. In the last few decades God has been removed from our schools, government, military, and our culture. Though He is still here, we have left His Providence.

As a result, the first attack by a foreign enemy on American soil occurred on September 11, 2001. We all knew within the depths of our being that the only protection we could count on was God. We filled houses of worship and sang “God Bless America” at ball games, but we did not repent and return to Him with our whole hearts. When the immediate danger was forgotten, we forgot Him as well.

In the years since, we have experienced devastating weather events, financial crises and terror attacks. We have suffered further degradation of our culture and deeper division as Americans. Politics will not solve the problem. Righteousness cannot be legislated because laws cannot affect change in a man’s heart. Only God can do that.

The nation’s first President and Congress prayed for God’s blessing on our nation. They had seen the hand of God countless times in the founding of the American experiment, and they were humble in asking His blessings on the nation and their posterity. God stands ready to extend His outstretched arms if His prodigal nation will return to Him. We still have time to ask His forgiveness for expecting Him to continue to bless an arrogant, corrupt and self-centered people. But at some time, His cup of wrath will be poured out.

The leaders of this nation must bow their knees to God, just as the first leaders of our nation did. They must lead the people of this nation to repent of our wicked ways and call on the Lord to heal our land. Will they be able to lay down their pride? Will we be willing to follow?

The Time Is Now

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I attended a political convention recently because I believe it’s time to quit complaining about what’s happening in our land if I’m not willing to sacrifice my time and energy to stand for the principles I believe in. The energy of the delegates in support of Constitutional and Judeo-Christian principles was amazing. One thing that particularly interested me was that votes that appeared to be very close by voice, were not close at all when judged by a show or hands. I came away from that experience realizing that the loudest, shrillest voices do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the majority of us. Hope is alive, and the American people are beginning to get it.

We are not alone in this battle. God placed the seeds of liberty deep within the heart of every individual, but in America, they’ve been watered and fertilized for centuries. As long as hope is alive, it’s not too late to take this country from the stranglehold of the lying voices we hear from those in the media, entertainment industry and educational institutions. God’s Providence birthed this nation, and He’s not finished with us yet. We have only a short amount of time to turn back to Him, but it’s not too late.

The time is right. The time is now. We can wait no longer to stand for God and country. Our country is weak culturally, spiritually, militarily, morally, and politically, but We the People still have a say. I say “No more voice votes!” We must vote by rising to our feet in support of all that is good about our country and our way of life. It’s not too late if we return to our God, but we must act now.

The Blessings of Liberty

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In April, 1775, farmers and townspeople in small villages in Massachusetts, Lexington and Concord, picked up their muskets to stand against the advancing army in red coats that had been sent to force them into submission. These men didn’t know what they were doing when they fired the “shot heard ’round the world,” except that they had tasted the freedom that came from governing themselves, and it was worth standing up to the King of England to keep. A year later that vision was encapsulated in the Declaration of Independence, and a grand experiment that has outlasted all revolutions to this day was begun.

The American experiment was based on men being free to run their lives in any manner they chose as long as they respected their neighbors’ rights to do the same, each man’s rights ending where another’s began. The inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, given to each individual by the Creator, are the fountains from which spring the rights to one’s dreams, possessions, ideas, as well as the fruit from those dreams and ideas. The Bible says God gives His people the power to gain wealth [Deut 818]:, and further, that He will make His people a great nation, blessed to be a blessing[Gen 12:2]. The blessings of God flowed into and out of this nation, as long as His people trust His Providence and are obedient to His precepts. The United States of America has become the richest, but most generous, nation in the history of the world, because they ascribed to the tenets laid our in God’s Word.

In this experiment called America, free men governed themselves by granting powers to a representative government. The role of the federal government was limited to only those powers specifically delegated to it in the Constitution, such things as defending the nation and its borders, coining money, providing a patent office and a post office and making treaties, things that the compilation of states couldn’t do effectively under the weaker Articles of Confederation. All other responsibilities were reserved for individual citizens, and their local and state governments. This was, after all, the United States. The framers of the Constitution knew that the greatest threat to U.S. citizens was the federal government, so they did all they could to limit its scope and power, as well as to warn subsequent generations to be vigilant about its ever present propensity to encroach on the rights of the people.

Today we are in danger of losing the liberty the men and boys standing on those village greens fought to give us. We cannot expect Big Brother to take care of every aspect of our lives if we are to remain free from the clutches of government. Peace and security do not necessarily go hand in hand with liberty. If we don’t wake up soon, we may have to fight the American Revolution yet again, hopefully with ideas this time, to remain free and to pass the blessings of liberty to our posterity.

Have We Really Progressed?

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I must say that I’m getting tired of arrogant elitists telling the rest of us that we are stupid. Last week I heard Bill Press use that descriptive of the Star Spangled Banner, because it is militaristic, and difficult to sing. Later that same day, Bill Maher complained that our country deserved to become Mormon because a stupid country deserved a stupid religion.

Unfortunately, we are reaping the fruit of the progressive movement that has infiltrated our educational institutions and media, while attacking families and faith. Progressives see themselves as the intelligent crowd that must tell us how to run our lives. Anyone who is not in agreement with them is stupid, mean-spirited, racist or homophobic. Of course, whatever the cause, the “medicine” is for our own good, but it doesn’t apply to them because they’re smart enough to run their own lives.

About one hundred years ago, the Progressive Movement under leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson began to erode our individual liberties. The assumption was that to progress, to solve some of the ills of society, men needed to be dictated to by the experts who knew best. As a result, the government began to pass laws to protect us, as well as progressive amendments to the Constitution: graduated income tax, direct election of senators, women’s suffrage, and the prohibition of alcohol.

Now we’ve “progressed” so far that we’ve lost our ability to even think that we are capable of running our own schools, providing for our own health care or choosing what we should eat or drink. When there is a need we expect the federal government to throw money at it or to regulate it. For example, everything is so convoluted that we must restrict people’s diets, because if we don’t, we will have to pay more for their health care. What if people ate what they wanted and took responsibility for the consequences?

Don’t we realize this is a power grab, a way for politicians to stay in office. Those calling the rest of us stupid do so to reap the rewards of being on the good side of the powerful. If the motives were pure, women’s lib would be supportive of all women who are successful, no matter what their political persuasion. Ask Sarah Palin if this is true. African-Americans like Allen West and Condoleezza Rice would be applauded, not called “Uncle Toms,” if progressives were really interested in the equality of all races.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to use the curlicue lightbulbs that require a Hasmat crew to clean up the toxins if one breaks. I don’t drink sodas very often, but if I want a Coke, I don’t want some bureaucrat telling me how much I can have. I don’t want a bureaucracy making decisions about my health care; I’ve seen how well that works when I go to the Post Office. If solar power is effective and efficient, the market place will produce it, just like it did the incandescent light bulb or computer or steam engine or cotton gin or iPhone.

Wake up, America. If we continue to allow our liberties to be usurped by this crowd, maybe we are stupid.

A House Divided

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Abraham Lincoln faced a divided nation when He addressed the Illinois Republican Convention in 1858. He was embroiled in a race for the U.S. Senate with Stephen Douglas at the time, and many thought the speech he was to make was too radical for his election. Quoting Jesus, he said “a house divided cannot stand,” believing that the United States would not remain divided; ultimately, we would be all slave or all free. Interestingly, he had never won an election before, and he lost this one, but his stand for unmoderated truth gave him victory in the only election that he ever won, President of the United States.

That message resounds today. Will the United States choose to become a socialistic, atheistic society that controls every aspect of our lives by promising to take care of us, or will she return to her founding principles of liberty and the rule of law, one nation under God? Will our politicians have the courage to stand on the principles that made our country what it is or will they compromise, thinking that will appeal to moderate voters? I believe that we have a chance in the next few months to return to the principles that made us America. Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin was a sign that we’re waking up.

On election night in Wisconsin, one young man was on all the cable channels crying, “Democracy died!”, but I say the republic inhaled a breath of life. Can someone explain to me how allowing an individual worker the choice not to have union dues deducted from his salary is the death knell of democracy? Sounds like individual liberty to me. I understand that without the dues of the workers who opted out of the union, the union bosses in the state have about half as much money to elect politicians to do their bidding. Certainly their political power and that of the politicians they’re controlling has been diminished, but the freedom of the individual worker as well as the economic health of the state has been resurrected.

Why did that recall even come about? Was there corruption, scandal, malfeasance of office? No, Scott Walker was doing what he promised to do in his campaign, what the majority of voters elected him to do. Once the votes are counted in a democratic republic, the candidate chosen by the will of the people governs until the next election. Isn’t that democracy? Since the vote wasn’t close enough for law suits, the opposition chose to force a recall at a cost to the taxpayers of millions of dollars. We used to call that being a “sore loser” on the playground, but, it seems like a much greater threat to democracy to me.

Are we so used to politicians telling us what we want to hear, and then doing just the opposite, that we don’t expect someone to have the courage of convictions? I pray that our presidential candidates this year will stand on one side or the other. If you believe socialism is best for America, say that. If you believe that a free people must be responsible for their own lives and be given the liberty to accomplish their dreams without government intrusion, say that. I really am tired of luke-warm, focus group tested rhetoric from Madison Avenue politicians. Take a clue from Scott Walker and Abraham Lincoln. Americans want our leaders to lead. We can no longer compromise principle; our republic depends on it.

Times They Are A’Changin’

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Everyone has a worldview, a set of beliefs that guides his or her understanding of the realities of the world.  As I have researched, read, processed, and most importantly, prayed about our country in the last few weeks, the thing that has crystallized in my thinking is that the changes in America are a direct result of a changing worldview.

Judeo-Christian principles prevailed from man’s arrival on the shores of this new land until my adulthood. This excerpt from Benjamin Franklin’s address to the Constitutional Conventional states it eloquently, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

The convention gave us a government that is subservient to We the People, the rule of law that superintends the individual, and, as a result, a nation of individuals free to pursue life in any way they choose as long as they do not violate the rights of others. Stipulating that there have been failures along the way, especially in the area of civil rights, these beliefs led to what is known as American ingenuity and the American Dream. Individuals free to compete, fail, take risks, suffer injury and succeed have made us who we are as Americans, and people from all over the world have flocked to our shores to get a chance to become Americans, too.

In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in Engels v. Vitale that corporate prayer in school was unconsititutional. The following year in the infamous Madalyn Murray O’Hair case, Abington v. Schempp, the court added Bible-reading to the list of no-no’s. These two cases prevented school children from being allowed to practice their religion freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Not only were prayer and the Bible-reading removed from schools, but it was necessary to rewrite the history of our country and demonize American heroes to cleanse our culture of the influences of Christianity.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces.” My generation dropped the ball. Why? I don’t know. We were involved in life, not realizing the changes that were occurring in our children’s schools, expecting that they were learning the same things that we had learned. We didn’t want to be accused of being “war mongers’, “racists”, and now “homophobes.” We were tolerant of others because that’s what our faith teaches.  We knew that it was impossible to force our faith on someone else, because faith is a matter of the heart, between an individual and his God.

Now, right is viewed as wrong, and wrong, right. The lie has become the truth. Christians today are accused of being mean-spirited hate-mongers. Amazingly, if you really listen carefully, most of the accusations seem to come from mean-spirited hate-mongers.

Is it too late? I believe the answer is a resounding “No!” We have a chance to turn things around because some of us Baby Boomers remain who have experienced both sides of things.  But, if we are to save the American Dream for succeeding generations, we must fearlessly pick up the ball now.

Liberty

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Liberty is the essence of America, one of the three God-given, unalienable rights demanded in the Declaration of Independence. The Liberty Bell tells us to “Proclaim liberty throughout the land.” [Lev 25:10], while the Statue of Liberty tells the world, “Send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Liberty provides the opportunity for individuals to become whom God made them to be. Paul wrote in his letter to the chuch in Galatia, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.” [Gal 5:1]

Do we confuse liberty with licentiousness, thinking that liberty means we’re free to act selfishly, at the expense of others? I was taught that my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ends where yours begins. Liberty means that we’re governed internally by the laws of God written on our hearts, rather than by an external, controlling force. Only in this state are we truly free.

In this nation, we once lived in the freedom that safe limits provide. The laws of God establish boundaries for our neighbors and ourselves. Wouldn’t you rather live in a society where you can leave your house unlocked, knowing that your neighbor wouldn’t steal from you or that your children can play outside safely from dawn to dusk? Wouldn’t it be better if Americans didn’t lie, steal, murder or rape each other? Those things will not disappear from life completely until evil is defeated once for all time, but a government of responsible, self-controlled citizens is much more free than the one we are devolving into now.

A society must be organized by some form of government to function. Anarchy, communism, monarchy, oligarchy are options.  Are any of these better than the one we have under the U.S. Constitution?

Separation of Church and State

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The term “separation of church and state” is bandied about today as if it were a vital part of the U. S. Constitution. Not only is it nowhere to be found in that document, but the phrase has come to mean the exact opposite of its original intent. “Separation of church and state” has been used to systematically dismantle our  Constitutional rights granted by the First Amendment.

Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler’s Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda, said, “If you tell a lie long enough, people will eventually start to believe it.” He also stated, “The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape it.” I’m afraid that has happened in this case.

So what is in the Constitution?  The First Amendment states:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Therefore, Congress is prohibited from establishing a state-controlled religion or denomination like the one the Pilgrims fled in coming to America. In England the king was head of the church, as well as the government, so he could punish those who violated the religious edicts he imposed. Our founders envisioned a country where Christians could practice their religion freely as long as they respected the rights of others to freely practice theirs.

The phrase “separation of church and state” was penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut. In 1801, the Baptists, concerned that the First Amendment would not go far enough to protect their religious liberty, wrote a letter to President Thomas Jefferson. He replied that the First Amendment “created a wall of separation between the church and state” so the federal government would not be able to infringe on their rights to practice their religious beliefs.  View the letters here.

Two days after he wrote the reply, President Jefferson rode his horse down Pennsylvania Avenue to church, as was his usual practice.   By the way, the church he attended was held in the United States Capitol Building. Obviously, the framers of this republic saw no problem with Christian worship in a government building.

Although Thomas Jefferson may have been one of the least religious among our founding fathers, he knew the importance of a moral, educated society in the proper functioning of the government he had been instrumental in forming. He knew that Christianity provided the self-control that is necessary in a free society.  He had seen God’s Providence in the birthing of this nation, one founded on Christian principles.

I don’t think he would’ve been very happy about the use of his words today.