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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited


The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever.  But how can we escape the snare?



Saturday, July 07, 2007

Compassion for Murderers

Any murder, no matter how quickly, suddenly, or painlessly it is done, deserves the death penalty.

But as we approach the execution of Elijah Page, we should look at just how depraved the three who killed Chester Allan Poage were.

KELO features an excerpt from Elijah Page's confession:

Investigator: "Were you laughing?"

Page: "We chuckled. We weren't really laughing, but let out little chuckles. 'Ha ha,' you know?"

Then they started kicking... And kicking.. And kicking.

"I looked at Darrell. I said, man, my foot hurts. I can't kick anymore," Page says.

Death Penalty is Scriptural, Healthy for a Just Society

The Argus Leader has an article today on the Christian worldview of the death penalty, and it's surprisingly balanced.

While it gives some of the touchy-feely rationalizations made by some Christians these days--which frankly aren't biblical but are borrowed from their unbelieving neighbors--it gives a couple of the Scriptural references which support the death penalty:

"In Genesis 9:6, we read 'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,' " said Sioux Falls Seminary professor Paul Rainbow.

"That seems to provide authorization for a society or a duly constituted government to practice capital punishment."

The New Testament is referring to civil authority when, in Romans 13:4, it states "He is God's servant for your God, but if you do wrong be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer," Rainbow said.

"It goes a little further than Genesis," he said. "Only God ultimately has the right to give or take life, but in this case, he delegates a share of that authority to his human government, which makes capital punishment not a case of human beings against human beings, but God exercising his sovereignty using human beings as his instrument."

Jesus also said in Matthew 26:52 that those who live by the sword can expect to die by the sword.

But the strongest statement from God on the death penalty remains the one in Genesis 9. This edict was given to Noah as he and his family came off the ark to repopulate the earth (notice also that Genesis 6:11 says rampant violence was a key reason God wiped out all of humanity except for Noah's family). This edict predates the Mosaic Law, and was given to all humanity (not just the Jews) so it can't be argued that Jesus did away with it with the New Covenant (Jesus also said he did not come to abolish the Law). God' edict in Genesis 9 was for all humanity for all time and has never been rescinded.

And Elijah Page has had plenty of time to repent of his sins and get saved, and will have at least an additional 48 hours to do so--and I hope he does. But if Chester Allan Poage hadn't given his life to the Lord before he was murdered, then Page has had a far greater opportunity to get saved than his victim had. If Page doesn't get saved before he's executed, it's on no one's head but his own.

I covered this subject in great detail last year as we prepared for Elijah Page's execution then, and I don't feel like repeating myself at any great length. But if you're interested, I have an extensive piece explaining from a practical and biblical perspective why the death penalty should be exercised to bring justice in murder cases.

Also, since I wrote that, more information has come to light that reinforces the much-ballyhooed deterrent value of capital punishment. One study found that for every murderer executed, five homicides are prevented. Given that the average time from sentencing to execution is 12 years--greatly separating the crime from the consequence--this effect is outstanding.

But even if there was zero deterrent, capital punishment would remain essential to bring justice. The punishment should fit the crime, else it's not justice. To fail to execute a murderer, you might as well tell a rapist he was a "bad boy" and let him go, or give someone who broke into another person's home and stole from them a $5.00 fine and call that "justice." I think we'd all agree: it isn't.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Scientist: Greenhouse Gasses Not Causing Global Warming

Chalk up yet another scientist not on board with anthropogenic global warming.

From Australia's ABC.net:

Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee AO is a former Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monash University. He told Tom Harwood, ABC Western Queensland's Morning Program producer that the world has been warming naturally due to increased magnetic radiation from the sun.

"One thousand years ago the Vikings were in Greenland, and they settled there and it was a warm period, known as the medieval warm period and Europe was prosperous," he said. "And then from about 1300 on it got progressively colder and in the time of the 1600s it was terribly cold in Europe. Finland lost about one-third of their population and the Thames froze over regularly every year and people were able to travel from London up the river on sleighs - so it was a different climate," explained Professor Endersbee.

He said since about 1700 the earth has been getting progressively warmer. "It's shown in what we call the sunspot records. The sun is also emitting a great deal of electro-magnetic radiation and nowadays with NASA we can see that more plainly on the surface of the sun."

Scientists Who Cry Wolf

From EDP 24, scientists are worried about "greenspin backlash" now that polling has revealed most people--even in the more socialistic UK--aren't buying the global warming myth.

Asher Minns, spokesman for the Tyndall Centre, said: “The public feels scientists are quite possibly over-selling the science and you could say there's even the beginning of a backlash. If climate change science doesn't get more careful with its communication, you could turn off and disengage the public.”

I agree with these scientists on one thing: if they keep spinning fantasies like this and crying wolf all the time, people will definitely be tuning them out. And unfortunately, we may be tuning them out at a time when might actually be telling the truth about something dangerous.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Without the Influence

Some seem to think that "any" connection between church and state is dangerous, and a threat to their personal beliefs, wants, desires, well-being and rights. Heaven forbid that religion touch their lives in any form or fashion. Wouldn't want to cause them harm, now would we? So I suppose we need to remove some laws from the books. Laws that originated from a religious concept. There are three that immediately come to mind.

"Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Maybe we should remove laws that make it wrong to lie about people or situations. Let's just throw slander and libel laws right out. Shouldn't matter to anyone if someone's lies cause them to lose their business, home, salary, reputation or family, now should it? And while we are at it, let's dump the "making a false report" laws, as well as perjury. No one should mind losing a court case or having to go to jail or prison, as long as we get rid of those pesky and wrongfully religiously influenced laws.

"Thou shall not steal."

Oh yeah... let's get rid of those, too. Let's remove all laws with regard to helping ourselves to other people's things. I'm sure those that don't like religion in their lives wouldn't mind sharing their wealth with whomever would like to help themselves. Hey, why work when one can just go take it from someone else who has?

"Thou shall not kill."

Oh well... we can't have that one on the books in any fashion, now can we? Gotta be free to kill off those people that don't want to give up their property we are stealing or those who just happen to get in our way, especially on a bad hair day.


To remove "all" influences of religion from "all" aspects of our life and government, would mean that these laws would need to be removed from the books as well. Otherwise, there is no true conviction or purpose in any of this. Instead, it is merely a matter of separation within the bounds each feels comfortable -- not truly and completely separation of church and state as an absolute. So if it is a decision between absolute separation of church and state (which includes influence) and having the above laws removed from the books -- where will you stand?

It's something to think about!

The Source of America's Greatness

By Bob Ellis
Dakota Voice

In this day and age when the founding principles--and the Christian origin of those principles--of the United States are under attack from liberals, secularists, humanists, socialists, and Marxists, it is more important than ever to maintain familiarity with the facts and truths of where we came from. If someone is able to rewrite the past, he is also able to rewrite the present and alter the course of the future.

In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian, traveled America as it was coming into its own as a nation. He wrote down his observations about this unique new country in Democracy in America. In some ways, his account of American society may be even more valuable than some of the Founders writings as a tool for accurately seeing our history as it was. After all, he wasn't just some super-patriotic American who might be accused of glossing over details. (Full Article)

Claim: Jesse Ramirez Case Unlike Terri Schiavo's

By Carrie K. Hutchens

I was reading ABC News', "Pulling the Plug: Ethicists Debate Ramirez Case", by Dan Childs, ABC News Medical Unit (June 28, 2007) and found it interesting how the defense is still up. No case is ever like Terri Schiavo's. There is always an alleged difference, with similarities downplayed or outright denied. Might that be because people are starting to realize that an innocent woman was wrongly starved and dehydrated to death, like Jesse Ramirez almost was? (Full Article)

Fear of catching it?

There are those who find pictures of Jesus, and even angels, offensive. Likewise, there are those who find obscene and vulgar pictures offensive. Why is exposing people to the latter often considered free speech, while the former is considered an attempt to impose church (religion) upon state? Why do we hear the cries that the constitution clearly calls for separation of church and state? Excuse me? A religious picture, especially if it happens to be Christian in nature, is somehow going to negatively influence the operations of the government? How ridiculous is all of this?

I think the ACLU and the BAT peoples have gone over the edge with their concerns about anything assumed to be religious in nature being exhibited or expressed on government property or within a government body. Are they afraid that religion is contagious and they might catch it?

The U.S. Constitution: Not So Secular

It is often said by those advancing a secular agenda that the United States Constitution is a secular document, and because of this, there should be no expression of religious values in the public square. This statement is both shortsighted and inaccurate.

Here are just a few things to note about the United States Constitution, which is indeed a secular document, but still one that reflects the Christian heritage and personality of American society.

These observations--and more--are pointed out in a book by a Rapid City pastor, Rev. H. Wayne Williams, called "Seeing God and the Bible in the United States Constitution."

- Notice the preamble of the Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Where do "blessings" come from?" Do they fall out of the sky? Do they grow from the ground? Can they be purchased or manufactured? "Blessing" has a religious and divine connotation.

- Notice Article 1 Section 7:
If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him

Did the founders just pick a day of the week that wouldn't count? Why Sunday? Because it was universally recognized as a holy day, the Lord's day, a day of worship. And apparently this religious consideration, which superseded official business, was written into the United States Constitution.

- Article II provides the oath of office for the president:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

When one swears, one does so by a higher authority, a divine authority, pledging truth and allegiance to the oath sworn.

- Article VI provides that no religious test will be required to hold public office:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This means no one has to pass a test of religious orthodoxy, or perform any religious rite, or belong to any religious group in order to hold office. Conversely, it also means no one can be blocked from holding a public office because of their religious faith; they don't have to leave their faith at the door of their office. This protects Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and atheists alike.

- Article VII notes the date of completion of the Constitution:
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.

The date given was specifically spelled out to be "in the Year of our Lord," pointing toward the Lord Jesus Christ as the reference point for time.

- The First Amendment guarantees that the federal government will not control religion, nor will religion control the federal government, and that the freedom to express our faith shall not be interfered with:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

As Rev. Williams points out in his book, this amendment illustrates that "there was no thought of a Godless secular nation" by the framers.

One final note: the state constitutions of all 50 states acknowledge God, usually in the preamble. And as for South Dakota, our state motto since statehood has been "Under God the people rule."

George Washington: Theocrat and Religious Zealot

Below is George Washington's "Farwell Address" after his second term as President of the United States.

It is long, but worth the read. Notice what this man who fought and won the American Revolution, and who served two terms as America's first president, says about the role of religion and morality in government. (The title of this post is, of course, sarcastic in response to the Bloggers Against Theocracy)

1 The period for a new election of a citizen, to administer the executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprize you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

2 I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

3 The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped, that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives, which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement, from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence impelled me to abandon the idea.

4 I rejoice, that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

5 The impressions, with which I first undertook the arduous trust, were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied, that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

6 In looking forward to the moment, which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude, which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; than, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation, which is yet a stranger to it.

7 Here, perhaps I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

8 Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

9 The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

10 For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of american, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

11 But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those, which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.

12 The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds, in the productions of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connexion with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

13 While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighbouring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

14 These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the union as a primary object of Patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope, that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to Union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who in any quarter may endeavour to weaken its bands.

15 In contemplating the causes, which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by Geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavour to excite a belief, that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart-burnings, which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those, who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren, and connect them with aliens?

16 To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions, which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.

17 All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.

18 However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

19 Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations, which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard, by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that, for the efficient management of our common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

20 I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.

21 This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

22 The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

23 Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

24 It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

25 There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

26 It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way, which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

27 Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

28 It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric ?

29 Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

30 As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue; that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

31 Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices ?

32 In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential, than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.

33 So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

34 As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

35 Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

36 The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

37 Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

38 Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

39 Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

40 It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

41 Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

42 Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

43 In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

44 How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

45 In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my Proclamation of the 22d of April 1793, is the index to my Plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your Representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

46 After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

47 The considerations, which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

48 The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

49 The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

50 Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my Country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

51 Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views it in the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

George Washington
United States - September 17, 1796

What Does a Real Theocracy Look Like?

As the BATS (Blogging Against Theocracy) write about their distaste for any expression of Christian faith in the public eye, we have tried, as we celebrate the birth of a nation founded by Christians and built on Christian principles, to illustrate two things so far to illustrate the profound misunderstanding of the BATS:

(1) America was settled by Christians, founded by Christians, and has traditionally been enlightened both politically and societally by Christian principles

(2) This Christian influence does not constitute "theocracy," nor does the expression of religious faith by citizens or government officials constitute a "theocracy" or violate the First Amendment.

I believe we have illustrated what a theocracy is NOT. Now it's time to show what a theocracy IS, so that, if the BATS choose rationality over their personal distaste for Christianity, they can adopt a position closer to reality and stop attacking the Christian personality of American society--especially on some of our most sacred and cherished holidays.

Here are a few recent examples from around the world of theocracies and how real theocracies behave:

PAKISTAN - Christian Solidarity Worldwide says Masih, a Christian from Chungi Amar Sadu in Lahore, was charged Sept. 10, 2005, under Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Section 295C relates to blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and carries the death penalty. (WorldNetDaily)

EGYPT - An Egyptian court accepted an appeal Monday from 45 Copts who were denied the right to reclaim their religious identities after they decided to convert back to Christianity from Islam, a lawyer and court officials said. A lower administrative court ruled against the plaintiffs on April 29, prohibiting them from restoring their Christian identities on their national identification cards. (International Herald Tribune)

MALASIA - Lina Joy, born an ethnic Malay Muslim, appealed to the nation’s highest court to be recognized as a Christian, the faith of her Indian boyfriend. The forty-three-year-old Joy took up the Catholic faith in 1990, was baptized eight years later, and changed her name to Azlina Jailani in 1999. The next year, Joy sought to remove the word “Islam” from her identification card—that way, she could legally marry her boyfriend—but the lower civil courts ruled that only sharia courts could officially sanction her conversion. Under sharia law in Malaysia, Joy could face criminal prosecution for apostasy, punishable by imprisonment, a hefty fine, or time spent at a “rehabilitation” camp. (Council on Foreign Relations)

AFGHANISTAN - In February 2006 an Afghan court struck down a motion by Abdul Rahman to convert to Christianity. He was sentenced to death for apostasy. The court, dominated by religious conservatives, later reversed its decision under international pressure and released Rahman, who then fled and sought asylum in Italy. Opinion surveys at the time showed that most Afghans, given their tribal history and religious conservatism, supported the death sentence for Rahman. (Council on Foreign Relations)

IRAN - Experts monitoring such persecution say that Christians make up a tiny percentage of the people of Iran, where the government "officially" allows Christians to practice their faith but in reality intervenes and harasses Christians regularly. For example, Christians are not allowed to print literature, including Sunday bulletins, and converts from Islam to Christianity are labeled apostate and subject to the death penalty. Christian pastors are under constant surveillance, and many are forced to sign documents saying they will not allow Muslims to be in their worship services. (WorldNetDaily)

INDIA - In Orissa, more than 15 Hindus stopped a small number of Christian evangelists on a village road, verbally abused them, and then forced them into the local temple for the ritual, the report said. Sources within India told VOM that the evangelists were witnessing and handing out New Testaments and Gospel tracts. "When chaos broke out, the extremists took the evangelists to the police who put them in jail … and confiscated more than 30 New Testaments and Gospel tracts," the report said. (WorldNetDaily)

PAKISTAN - "Daniel, an 11-year-old Christian boy, refused to play with his Muslim friends, resulting in them beating him," the Pakistani source told Voice of the Martyrs. "Daniel's family confronted the Muslims who called the police and made a false report saying Daniel's family had blasphemed the name of the Holy Prophet," the source reported. (WorldNetDaily)

NIGERIA - Nearly 1,000 homes and churches have been burned down by Muslim radicals – with a wink and a nod from a government that doesn't recognize the rights of non-Muslims. "If you go around villages, you will see people missing one hand or one foot," explained Rev. Obiora Ike. "Do you think that’s the result of an illness? That is the result of Sharia Law." Sharia law permits violent attacks against non-Muslims and the killing of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity or other faiths. The destruction of churches and the prohibition of new church constructions are considered legitimate actions. (WorldNetDaily)

NEPAL - Villagers took every opportunity to make life difficult for him, including their response when some water from his field inadvertently spilled onto a neighbor's land, the sources reported. "He was recently fined 6,000 rupees (about $100, a large sum in Nepal), after water from his field spilled over into a neighbor's field," the VOM sources reported. "Normally, this would not be a problem, but the neighbors consider water from Rajan's field unclean because he is a Christian. "Normally, we wouldn't fine you, but because you changed your religion and became a Christian, you need to pay 6,000 rupees," the villagers told him, according to VOM. (WorldNetDaily)

SUDAN - Sudan's militant Muslim regime is slaughtering Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, according to the head of an aid group who recently returned from the African nation. The forced conversions are just one aspect of the Khartoum government's self-declared jihad on the mostly Christian and animist south, Dennis Bennett, executive director of Seattle-based Servant's Heart told WorldNetDaily. Villagers in several areas of the northeast Upper Nile region say that when women are captured by government forces they are asked: "Are you Christian or Muslim?" Women who answer "Muslim" are set free, but typically soldiers gang-rape those who answer "Christian" then cut off their breasts and leave them to die as an example for others. (WorldNetDaily)

SAUDI ARABIA - When Saudi authorities discovered a man working in Mecca was a Christian, they immediately arrested him, highlighting the desert kingdom's law barring non-Muslims from the Islamic holy city. "The Grand Mosque and the holy city are forbidden to non-Muslims," said Col. Suhail Matrafi, head of the department in charge of Expatriates Affairs in Mecca. (WorldNetDaily)

If the state court is deciding what religion someone is, or what religion they may legitimately claim as their own, then you have a theocracy. If the government harasses, oppresses, or punishes you because you belong to a certain religion, then you have a theocracy. If the government fails to guarantee the same rights for you as for others, based on your religious affiliation, then you have a theocracy.

The United States, since it's earliest days, has had an official and unofficial policy of religious tolerance. Many if not most of the early settlers had fled religious persecution in their old countries; they were not eager to see it started again in the New World. Even though the vast majority of Americans have been and still are Christians, people of all faiths have always been welcome in America and allowed to practice whatever religion they choose without penalty.

That is why the Founders made the first clause of the First Amendment one guaranteeing the freedom of all citizens to practice their faith as they see fit, with no official state church to establish a national orthodoxy:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Notice here that it is only the federal government that is prohibited from making a law respecting an establishment of religion. Some of the states continued to have their own official churches even after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, though this practice eventually fell by the wayside.

But no one was punished for practicing another religion.

And citizens were not prohibited from expressing their faith...even in public ("prohibiting the free exercise thereof"). Even public officials, members of our representative government, were not prohibited from allowing their faith to inform their decisions.

Such moves as separating faith from the public square are a recent development, only seen in the last 50 years or so as Marxists and secular humanists have grown more bold, and as Christians have acquiesced and abdicated their responsibility to be "salt and light" in society.

So when you ponder the question of whether we have a theocracy in America, or whether Christians are trying to institute a theocracy in America...stop and consider these examples of genuine theocracies from around the world; stop and consider the founding principles of the United States, and the original intent of the founders and the founding documents.

If you're honest, I think you'll find there is no "theocracy movement;" only a movement to sanitize any expression of Christian faith from the light of day.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Mayflower Compact: For the Glory of God

The Mayflower Compact was drawn up by the Pilgrims who came to the New World on the Mayflower to found the Plymouth Colony. The colonists drew this up to help govern their new colony. Note the references and allegiance to God, and the first reasons given for founding the colony. Does America have a Christian heritage? Was America founded by Christians?

We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

Naw! She didn't really say that, did she?

I just read AP writer Mike Glover's piece, "Clinton slams Bush over Libby maneuver" (July 3, 2007) and had to grab onto the arms of my chair. Clinton really didn't say anything about that, did she? Apparently she did. According to Glover, Hillary said,

"This particular action by the president is one more piece of evidence in their ongoing disregard for the rule of law that they think they don't have to answer to," she said."

This out of the mouth of a Clinton?

Has she forgotten the White Water scandal and documents that mysteriously disappeared and reappeared?

Anyone forgotten that Bill Clinton actually perjured himself?

But a self-righteous Hillary is going to say something about disregarding the law?


More Adult Stem Cell Therapy Successes

LifeNews.com reports on yet another success story of adult stem cell therapy, as opposed to embryonic stem cell research, which destroys human life and has yet to produce a single success.

The first study, conducted by scientists at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and reported in the journal Circulation, finds the research helping patients with angina, or pain due to artery blockage.

Meanwhile, researchers at Boston University Medical Center found that blood stem cell transplantation can help treat patients with immunoglobulin-light chain (AL) Amyloidosis who did not respond to initial treatment.

There is no need to destroy human life through embryonic stem cell research when adult stem cell therapy has already produced dozens of successful treatments and continues to advance in new areas.

The bloggers aren't Orson Wells and there ain't no invasion...

This "Blogging Against Theocracy" reminds me of Orson Wells and the radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds". There was no threat of invasion then and no threat of Theocracy now. What a sham and waste of time. Well, unless the "intent" is there to actually make people believe all this nonsense is true (because why else would there be blogging against it), stir them up and get them to then feel even the slightest touch of religious influence on government will lead to theocracy. Wouldn't that be interesting if that is what is up?

On the other hand...

The bloggers aren't Orson Wells and there isn't an invasion of theocracy going on. But I suppose it doesn't take much to entertain the bored peoples of this world. Too bad they don't spend their time focusing on one of the many "real" issues our society and government are facing, rather than seeing if they can make people believe a sham is "the real deal".

The Education of America's Founding Patriots

Abe Lincoln said, "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."

The better we understand the education of the generations that led up to and included our founding fathers, the better we will understand exactly how they wanted us to be governed; and what were the driving ideals and passionate Truths that they were all willing to die for?

There is no doubt that America is the Richest, Strongest, Most Free, and mostgenerous nation that has ever existed. Not 1 in 10 public high school graduates can explain with any clarity why this is so. When many graduate from colleges they have been convinced to hate their Mother Country that still remains Freedom's only substantial hope on earth. This treason is rampant and only widespread knowledge of our true history can keep us free.

Does it not make sense that if the young people of America have no idea why we are special,they will not be able to defend what they do not understand?

Beyond any shadow of doubtthe most important fact of American history is the Christian Faith of our Founding Fathers! They studied the Bible hard as their primary textbook. They believed the Bible was the inspired and inerrant Word of God. They all believed that the 10 commandments were essential to peaceful civilization; and the Golden Rule was the source of the consideration and respect that held families and communities together.

Their belief in Satan and ultimate evil led to the first public education law ever passed in the United States in 1642 called "The Old Deluder Satan Act" because it was a chief aim of Satan to keep children from studying the Bible therefore the settlers made a law to insure that education was based on the Word of God.

The first textbook was published in America in 1690 by Benjamin Harris was called The New England Primer. This sweet book helped millions of American children for more than 200 years to learn their ABC's with Christian Rhymes:

"A" in Adams fall we sinned all.
"B" Heaven to find, the Bible mind.
"C" Christ crucified for sinners died.

The New England Primer also included prayers, lessons, and a catechism that taught the 10 commandments as well as their meanings. Most of the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence, fought the Revolution, signed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights started their education with the Bible and the New England Primer.

The schools of higher learning that many of the Founding Fathers attended were based on the Christian Faith. Harvard helped educate John Adams, John Hancock and Sam Adams and declared its educational purpose clearly:

Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.

Harvard students were required to read the Bible twice each day in order to give an account of his proficiency therein.

Yale taught many prominent founders such as Noah(dictionary) Webster and those students were required to be present both morning and evening at public prayer.

Princeton produced more Founding Fathers than any other single school: President and Father of the Constitution, James Madison, the Father of American Medicine and signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush; and the incredible John Witherspoon who literally mentored James Madison as President of Princeton and also signed the Declaration of Independence.

Princeton's educational policy was articulated by its first president, Jonathan Dickinson who stated, "Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ."

The 3 main reasons for education were stated as the required educational philosophy for any new states to be admitted to the Union in the Northwest Ordinance:

Religion, Morality, and Knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

The Northwest Ordinance was passed by the same congress in the same year (1789) as the First Amendment regarding Freedom of Religion (Not Freedom from Religion) I have no doubt that they knew it gave them the right and the obligation to give Biblical Education to All American children.

George Washington was clearly the most important Founding Father and he was truly our spiritual father as well as First President. Many native Americans believed that he could not die in battle and when several Delaware Chiefs brought their children to him to be educated he said," You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life, and above all, the Religion of Jesus Christ. This will make you a greater and happier people than you are."

Noah Webster was called America's Schoolmaster, he published the first American Dictionary in the English Language and it contained the greatest number of biblical definitions given in a secular volume. Noah standardized spelling for the first time in his famous "blue-backed speller" which sold a million copies a year for 100 years.

Noah Webster stated that "the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...no Truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." Webster also stated, "The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good"!!!

The Bible was by far the most important book to most of our 300 most influential Founding Fathers.

McGuffey's Readers were first published in 1836 and for 100 years they too sold a million copies or more each year. William McGuffey wrote upon publication that, "The Christian religion is the religion of our country." These great books carried the new nation to a character that would abolish slavery because millions believed that God was just and life is eternal so we must be willing to die for Righteousness sake.

The American dream was Freedom with Responsibility; and to lovingly seek and serve God and our fellow man and walk in the one true God's peace that passes all human understanding.

God is the Father of us all and only true source of love in the universe; why have we deprived millions of American children this glorious heritage?

Selfishness and depravity have replaced nobility and altruism because we have taught garbage and lies to American Children for many decades. Are we nuts? We are up against the wall...We are running out of time....We have traded an educational philosophy which works and results in deep satisfaction and eternal security; with nonsense that is an abject failure in millions of wasted lives who have millions of unwanted children.

The American Founding Fathers were right to teach Biblical values because: CHRISTIANITY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY.

We are not a theocracy but one of the most intense battle cries of the Revolution was,"NO KING BUT KING JESUS!" amen

Thank God for another July 4th;

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry was a leading voice for independence in colonial America and a leader during the war for independence. His famous speech explains the practical and philosophical reasons for independence, and highlights the role of God in the birth of this nation.

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Homosexual Activist Leaves the Lifestyle

WorldNetDaily reports Michael Glatze, founding editor of Young Gay America magazine, has gone through a period of reexamining his life and renounced homosexuality.

The radical change in his life, Glatze recalls, began with inner "promptings" he now attributes to God.

"I hope I can share my story," he said. "I feel strongly God has put me here for a reason. Even in the darkest days of late-night parties, substance abuse and all kinds of things – when I felt like, 'Why am I here, what am I doing?' – there was always a voice there.

"I didn't know what to call it, or if I could trust it, but it said 'hold on.'"

Glatze also has a column posted at WorldNetDaily today where he goes more in depth about his journey.

Just as the Bible points out in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, everyone can leave behind their sin and change--including homosexuals. In fact, this passage says some within the church at Corinth formerly lived in homosexual sin, but had been justified by Jesus Christ and brought into the church.

Many of the things Glatze says in his column remind me of observations I made during and after my time as a drunk, about how addictive behaviors (whether it's drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, etc.) blind us from seeing the truth about ourselves. I can relate to his regret for things he did, said and advocated during that time, but having left alcohol behind some 15 years ago, I also know the healing and redemptive power that Jesus Christ can bring to a life.

I hope many will read Glatze's story and find the courage to reach out to the One sure way to leave behind a lifestyle of death, and find the abundant life that God wants for us all.

Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Jobs

The National Center for Policy Analysis examines a piece from todays Wall Street Journal entitled "Minimum Wage, Jobless Kids."

It shows how the minimum wage increase in New York reduced job opportunities for 14-21 year olds

The "Summer Help" study assesses New York City's publicly funded Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which each year matches tens of thousands of young people between the ages of 14 and 21 with employers ranging from the local library to investment banks:

New York's teen employment rate is 16.9 percent, the lowest of any big city and half of the 34.6 percent national average.

Today, however, the New York program serves 20 percent fewer young adults than it did in 1999, and last year it turned away 30,000 mostly black and Latino applicants.

The NCPA piece concludes:
As an antipoverty measure, these laws are inefficient because most people who are poor already earn more than the minimum and most who do earn the minimum aren't living in poverty, says the Journal.

This was also shown in a 2007 impact study on a minimum wage increase in South Dakota.

Combining that data with a 2005 study which showed a grand total of 35 people in South Dakota making minimum wage, you get

- 35 people lifted from the current minimum wage
- 375 out of a job
- a net loss of $4.5 million
- $1.22 lost for every dollar gained

Much better to let an employee and employer negotiate the value of an employees labor than to have government arbitrarily determine that value. That's what a free society does. That's the American way.

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