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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Faith of the Father of our Country

One of the favorite lies secularists love to tell in their efforts to undermine belief in America's Christian heritage (and by extension confidence that America should retain Christian values) is that the Founders were not Christians. We usually hear that most were deists.

I think I've provided more than ample evidence over the course of this weekend's BATS posts that these suppositions are complete fallacy, but I'd like to take a closer look at this claim in order to expose it's complete falsity.

The dictionary defines "deism" as "a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe."

Since Christians believe that God not only created the laws of the universe, but has been actively involved in those laws and the affairs of humans from the Garden of Eden to Christ's death for humans on the cross and will be involved to the very end as prophesied by the book of Revelation and other eschatological references, deism is incompatible with Christianity.

Let's take a look at just one of the Founders to see if these claims hold up.

Was George Washington a deist or a Christian?

When Washington was approached in 1779 by the Delaware Indians who wanted their children to be taught in American schools, he told them: in 1779

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.

The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, written by Benjamin Morris in the 19th Century and published by American Vision, says of Washington on page 338
He had no taste for war or desire for military glory. “My first wish,” said he, “is to see the whole world in peace..."

I saw this appreciation for peace from the General of the American Revolution when I visited Mount Vernon in October 2007. Washington had a weather vane in the shape of a dove (a symbol of peace) specially built for his Mt. Vernon home. Washington was not a man who enjoyed war, but obviously from his military service recognized that it was sometimes necessary in pursuit of things life freedom and safety.

The Christian Life also tells us about some of Washington's regulations for the Continental Army which he commanded. On page 338-339:
Art. 2.—It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers diligently to attend divine service...and all officers who shall behave indecently at any place of divine worship shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a general courtmartial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded...

Washington would not even condone profanity from his subordinates. From page 339:
ART. 3.—Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall use any profane oath or execration shall incur the penalties expressed in the foregoing article...

He commanded that the ships of the navy have chaplains on board to ensure (page 339) that
divine service be performed in a solemn and reverent manner twice a day, and a sermon preached on Sunday, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent it; and that they come all, or as many of the ship’s company as can be spared from duty, to attend every performance of the worship of Almighty God.

A general order issued by General Washington on July 9, 1776 says
"General Washington hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. To the distinguished character of Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

In President Washington's inaugural address, he said
...it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes...No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States...the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity...so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views

This statement leaves no doubt whatsoever that George Washington not only believed in God, but believed he was listening to our prayers and supplications, and was actively involved in the affairs of men.

Consider also the language of George Washington's thanksgiving proclamation:
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour...all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed...for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

Again, Washington sounds thoroughly convinced not only in God's existence, but in His willingness to interfere in the affairs of men--indeed, Washington says God has already done so, before and during the American Revolution.

When I visited Mt. Vernon a few months ago, I saw Washington's tomb. He was originally interred in a small family tomb, but left instructions in his will for a larger tomb for himself and his wife Martha. His will laid out the exact specifications for the tomb, and he was moved there after it was completed.

I noticed on the back wall of the tomb an inscription:

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die
St. John XI 25,26.


Why would a deist, who doesn't believe God cares about men or their affairs, have had a verse not only referring to Jesus Christ, but to the resurrection promised by Jesus Christ, on his tomb?

When historian Jared Sparks was seeking information about George Washington's religious beliefs, and specifically whether he was indeed a Christian, Washington's adopted daughter Nelly Custis-Lewis wrote him a letter in which she said
He attended the church at Alexandria when the weather and roads permitted a ride of ten miles [a one-way journey of 2-3 hours by horse or carriage]...I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or pray, "that they may be seen of men" [Matthew 6:5]. He communed with his God in secret [Matthew 6:6]...

Is it necessary that any one should certify, "General Washington avowed himself to me a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country.

I visited Mount Vernon and the Alexandria, Virginia area about six months ago, and I remember the distance between Washington's church and Mt. Vernon. Today, on a modern highway, it's only a few minutes. However, 200 years ago, in a carriage over a dirt path, it would have been a considerable journey to make, there and back, each Sunday.

I also seem to recall, though I can't at the moment verify the reference, that Washington often avoided taking communion because he did not want people to think he was taking it for show or for political gain.

Those who claim George Washington was not a Christian are either profoundly uninformed, or are intentionally deceptive. Either way, they make this profession to their own disrepute and shame.



*The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, by Benjamin Morris, Published May 2007 by American Vision. Excerpts reprinted by written permission of the publisher.


Sibby Online: 3 secular reasons for “Under God”

William J. Federer’s book "Three Secular Reasons Why America Should Be Under God" says (starting on page 73):

America’s founders had a "deity-based" belief system.

Why? Because:

Your RIGHTS cannot be taken away by the government if they come from a power "higher" than the government – i.e. God...


To read more, go to Sibby Online.


Who Wants Theocracy?

Yesterday I wrote about Jefferson and the separation of church and state. Today I want to address the question of theocracy more directly. As I mentioned yesterday, there are many on the left who seem to believe that the religious right really wants to institute a theocracy in America. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m sure there is an insignificant minority who really would like theocracy but being insignificant, they really don’t need to be dealt with in any significant way.

For the overwhelming majority of evangelicals and anyone on the religious right, what we want is what the First Amendment guarantees. We want to exercise our religious beliefs without government interference. But because freedom of religion has been reinterpreted to mean freedom from religion, that has become increasingly difficult to do.

I was a double major in college. My majors were political science and religion. Typically people looked at me like a grew two heads when I told them this...

To read more, go to Ron's Musings.


Myth 1: Atheists Are Smarter

Part of a Series

BY Legionary Father Thomas D. Williams

It is a common myth of our day, not surprisingly propagated by atheists, that religious believers are undereducated folk who have abandoned the use of reason in favor of blind faith.

So in his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris writes that because of the religious belief of its citizens, the United States appears to the rest of the world “like a lumbering, bellicose, dim-witted giant.”

It is not surprising, in fact, that two of the most prominent neo-atheistic authors, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, are British, representing an island known in our day for its religious indifference.

I have lived in Europe for 17 years, and there is no question that Americans’ unapologetic religiosity makes Europeans uncomfortable.

Yet many eminent thinkers throughout our history, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, have interpreted religious conviction to be America’s greatest strength.

To read more, go to National Catholic Register .


Hate Crime Laws A Way to Silence Opposition

One of the reasons Christians and other conservatives so strongly oppose "hate crime" laws in the United States is because they are already being used in other countries to silence points of view that the government considers unwelcome.

Consider this case in Canada reported by WorldNetDaily:

The Canadian government has ordered a Christian ministry that teaches doctrine and the differences between Christians and cults shut down because its reference materials were "critical" of the beliefs of those who are not Christian, WND has learned.


"The auditor that originally looked at our books told us her supervisor had said she wanted us shut down," Mrs. MacGregor told WND. "Canada has very strong hate laws."

She said the ministry points out the differences between Christianity and various cult beliefs, but also with respect, and never as a proponent. She said the work always is in response to a question or issue.

"When a group such as Jehovah's Witnesses said of our doctrine we're worshipping a freakish three-headed God (the Trinity), we should be able to respond," she said. "We say, 'Here's the doctrine of the Trinity and here is where it is in the Scripture.'"

That, however, violates Canada's hate crimes laws, and the ministry was ordered to either make wholesale changes in its presentations, or shut down.

"There was nothing we could do that would please them," she said. "They wanted us every time we criticized something to say, 'So Christianity is equal to Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses… Just decide for yourself.'"

"We cannot do that," she said of the work she and her husband, Keith, have spent their lives assembling.

The freedom of speech we enjoy in the United States under the First Amendment should theoretically protect us from this sort of government abuse. Theoretically.

But consider that, despite the Second Amendment, guaranteeing the right to own firearms, gun ownership is being restricted in many degrees across America.

Also consider that, despite the First Amendment's protection of religious expression, the right of children to pray in schools, the right of high school graduates to pray or thank God at their graduations, and expressions of faith in many other settings are being curtailed.

Liberals, who know no objective values, are very adept at twisting a protection of rights into a weapon to destroy those rights.

Already liberals in both major parties have dealt a blow to free speech with the infamous McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance act.

With America growing further and further adrift from objective values, and good people becoming more apathetic and unwilling to stand up for right, how long until we follow the path of Europe and Canada?


The Truth about Everything

BreakPoint - Chuck Colson and Mark Earley (from yesterday)

Death on a Friday Afternoon

Today, Good Friday, Christians around the world contemplate the great paradoxes of our faith . . . and, in turn, learn the truth about ourselves and our Creator.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Why America Was Colonized

When we examine the Christian heritage of America, there are any number of points in history we could examine. Though the Christian character of the American people is waning in this age of secularization, we have been a predominately Christian culture since the very beginning.

There is a wealth of information available to illustrate the Christian character of the Founders of the United States, and we see much of it quoted in Christian patriotic circles (including this site). But what about all the way back, to the beginning of the Colonial period?

Here are some excerpts from the Virginia Charter of 1606:

James, by the grace of God [King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith], etc...Wee, greately commending and graciously accepting of theire desires to the furtherance of soe noble a worke which may, by the providence of Almightie God, hereafter tende to the glorie of His Divine Majestie in propagating of Christian religion...

So we see that one of the purposes of the Virginia Charter and the Jamestown Colony was the propagation of the Christian religion.

When the Plymouth Colony was established in 1620, drew up their first governing document, the famous Mayflower Compact. What does this document say about the religion, character and purpose of these settlers:
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the 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 Politick, 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 hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.

What were the first two reasons given for the establishment of the Plymouth Colony? The glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.

The Charter of Pennsylvania was granted by
CHARLES the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith...

One of the reasons specified in the charter was to bring to the Natives of America "Love of Civil Societie and Christian Religion."

One of the reasons cited for the Charter of Carolina was "pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith." The charter also makes other references to God.

The Charter of Connecticut mentions the purpose to "invite the Natives of the Country to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true GOD, and He Saviour of Mankind, and the Christian Faith..."

The Charter of Maryland was given to Lord Baltimore for his "pious Zeal for extending the Christian Religion." The charter, like other charters, makes several references to the authority and providence of God.

The Charter of Massachusetts Bay mentions reliance upon God in carrying out the charter, with a purpose to introduce the Natives "to the KnowIedg and Obedience of the onlie true God and Saulor of Mankinde, and the Christian Fayth."

The Charter of New England in 1620 was granted "in Hope thereby to advance the in Largement of Christian Religion, to the Glory of God Almighty." It also contains many other references to the Christian faith and God's providence.

The Charter of Rhode Island mentions the providence and blessings of God, and the free exercise of "the true Christian ffaith and worshipp of God" and to "invite the native Indians of the countrie to the knowledge and obedience of the onlie true God, and Saviour of mankinde."

The Charter of Georgia guarantees "liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God" and "free exercise of their religion." Some of the early settlers in Georgia said their purpose in coming was "not to gain riches and honor, but singly this,—to live wholly to the glory of God” and “to make Georgia a religious colony, having no theory but devotion, no ambition but to quicken the sentiment of piety.”

The 1701 Charter of Delaware listed religious freedom prominently:
Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons, inhabiting In this Province or Territories, who shall confess and acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World; and professes him or themselves obliged to live quietly under the Civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious Persuasion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious Persuasion.

These are the most prominent references to God and Christianity in the original colonial charters, but you will find references to God in all of the founding colonial documents.

It boggles the mind that someone could be aware of the Christian faith and character of the colonial settlers and manage to insist that America's origins are not Christian.


The American Experiment

What follows below are my notes from a recent Truth Project seminar on “The American Experiment: Stepping Stones.”

I had intended to transcribe these notes electronically as I do most of the time with Truth Project lessons, but since I knew the Easter BATS was coming up, I decided to wait and publish these notes at that time. After all, this lesson addresses well the Christian roots of America, and how our laws and government have been founded on a Christian worldview and Christian principles…without implementing a theocracy.
-------------------------------

The writings and statements of the Founders leaves no doubt to the mind willing to entertain truth that almost all were Christians, and virtually every one had a Christian worldview, regardless of how public they were in their expressions of faith.

They realized that the welfare of a civilization depends on morality, and that this new nation they had set up, based on freedom, was suitable and maintainable only by a virtuous people.

They believed that the state had to be accountable to a higher law, the “Natural Law” or the “Law of Nature’s God.” Only this could prevent the state from becoming all-powerful, accountable only to itself, and ending in the same kind of oppression from which the Founders had recently freed themselves.

The New England Primer was the second best selling book in the American colonies (the Bible was number one). It was first published around 1690. There were only four million people in America in 1776, yet 5 million copies had been sold at that time. This is the book used to teach children of that age to read and write.

The Primer used language and concepts that was not only familiar to the people of that time, but served the dual purpose of reinforcing the Christian values that parents were trying to inculcate upon their children:

A – In ADAM'S Fall We sinned all.
B - Heaven to find; The Bible Mind
C - Christ crucify'd For sinners dy'd.
D - The Deluge drown'd The Earth around. (yes, they were creationists, too)

It asked questions such as, Who was the first man, expecting the answer from the Bible: "Adam." And “Who was the oldest man,” expecting the answer from the Bible: "Methuselah." And “Who was the strongest man,” expecting “Sampson.”

It also asked more difficult questions like "Which is the Fourth commandment?" and an exposition in "What is required in the fourth commandment?"

It contains the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles Creed, and other theological items. In fact, the whole primer is pretty much 100% Christian theology.

I encourage you to read the entire text of the 1777 edition here. You can also find some images of the 1843 edition here (no significant changes).

As surprising as it may seem, knowing how anti-Christian the official positions of the National Education Association (NEA) are today, as recently as 1892 the NEA recognized the need for moral instruction in school, and the superior ability of Christianity to provide that instruction.

“…if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools, if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.” – Kansas State Historical Society, Columbian History of Education in Kansas (Topeka: Hamilton Printing Company, 1893), 82

It was mainly when John Dewey and his humanist philosophy took control of the education system that the worldview of our academic system began to change.
“…faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” – John Dewey (Rondald Nash, The Closing of the American Heart: What’s Really Wrong with America’s Schools, United States: Probe Books, 1990, 91)

What an incredible change!

Did you know that even the universities known as “Ivy League” today were founded as seminaries and Bible colleges?

Harvard’s Rules and Precepts from 1636 said
“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 Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” – Josiah Quincy, LL, D., History of Harvard University (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee, & Co., 1860), 515

Harvard’s original motto was “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” or “Truth for Christ and the Church.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, “Harvard Seals and Arms,” The Harvard Graduats’ Magazine, September 1933, 8)

In the 1746 founding statement of Princeton, it says, “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ.” (Mark A. Beliles & Stephen K. McDowell, America’s Providential History, Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 1989,111)

In the Columbia University Seal can be found “Yahweh” at the top, written in Hebrew, Psalm 36:9 in Latin (“In thy light we see light”), on the ribbon it says “Psalm 27:1” (“God is my light”) in Hebrew, and on the lower part of the seal is “1 Peter 2:1-2” which admonishes us to desire the pure milk of God’s word.” (David C. Humphrey, From King’s College to Columbia, 1746-1800, New York: Columbia University Press,1976, 107)

When we look at the writings and sentiments of the Founders, we see the same Christian worldview carrying over from Colonial times to the birth of the country.

Gouverneur Morris said, “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.”

Samuel Adams said, “Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, united their endeavours to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”

Benjamin Rush said, “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.”

Noah Webster said, “In my view, the Christian Religion is the most import and 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.”

Even the Northwest Ordinance, one of the nation’s first important statutes, says in Article III: “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” – July 13, 1787.

The instructor of the Truth Project, Dr. Del Tackett, says that he first began to see through the popular lie that America had been founded a secular country when he was called to a meeting with the president.

While in Washington, D.C. he saw some of the art in the rotunda of the Capitol Building. There was the “Landing of Columbus” which illustrated Christopher Columbus (“Christopher” meaning “One who bears Christ”) landing in the New World, a place he set out for to advance the glory of God.

Tackett also saw “The Baptism of Pocahontas” in the Capitol, along with “The Embarkation of the Pilgrims” which showed the Pilgrims on the deck of the Speedwell holding a religious service. Tackett realized that all these events in America’s history were “profoundly Christian.”

The “transitional moment” for Tackett in his realization and acceptance that America had been founded a Christian nation came when he went to a reenactment of George Washington’s Farewell Address, given by the first president at the end of his tenure as president.

In the address, Tackett heard the words of George Washington saying, “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.”

But Washington was not alone in these sentiments. In a letter to Zabdiel Adams, John Adams, our second president, said, “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”

Adams also said, "[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Also, Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, said "...the only foundation for...a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." Benjamin Rush also started the first anti-slavery organization in the country; aren't we glad he wasn't afraid to let his religious beliefs inform his public policy positions?

Rush also said, "Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy."

Charles Carroll, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, said, "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Patrick Henry, the first governor of Virginia and one of the most ardent advocates of independence, said, "The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible."

Even Benjamin Franklin, one of the least religious of the founders, said, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

Another of the Founders, Noah Webster, a lawyer and Yale graduate who is famous for his dictionary, said, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws.… All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

A few short decades after the founding of the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian, traveled across America to find out what was so amazing about this dynamic new country. What did he find that made America such a great nation? The breadth and depth of the nation's Christian faith.
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.

de Toqueville also points out that it was the Christian worldview which which drove the notions of liberty that gave birth to the United States:
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Was this incredible Christian influence that de Toqueville saw in America established by way of a theocracy? Not at all! It was in the character of the citizens, which make up the "we the people" that forms our government:
In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the laws and upon the details of public opinion, but it directs the manners of the community, and by regulating domestic life it regulates the State.

He also said, "Religion should therefore be considered as the first of their political institutions. From the start, politics and religion have agreed and have not since ceased to do so.”

Another of the early statesmen, Daniel Webster, who served in the U.S. House and Senate and as Secretary of State, said, “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.”

This Truth Project lesson also revisits a concept examined in a previous lesson: that according to Romans 13, the purpose of the civil magistrate is to (1) punish evil and (2) condone good. In order to do this, the civil authority must be able to recognize both good and evil. In order to recognize it, the authority must know the basis for calling something good or evil.

On of the Founding Documents points to the source for understanding the basis for calling something good or evil: the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration begins by pointing to certain foundational truths, and says of them and their source:
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

Notice that these rights do not come from government, but from God. And government has been instituted by God to secure these rights for the governed.

The Declaration also says the people are entitled to these rights and good government by the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

To understand what is meant by the "laws of nature," we look to writings of the time. Sir Edward Coke, a jurist of the late 16th and early 17th Centuries whose writings on English law were standard reading for several hundred years, said
The law of nature is that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction, ... the moral law, called also the law of nature.

Sir William Blackstone was another prominent English jurist. His legal works, the Commentaries on the Laws of England written from 1765–1769, were the "gold standard" of jurisprudence in that age. Blackstone said of the law of nature:
...man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should, in all points, conform to his Maker's will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. This law of nature...dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.

On the basis of all laws, Blackstone said
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.

This understanding passed on through the American Colonial period and into the life of the American republic.

James Wilson was a signer of the Declaration, a member of the Continental Congress, was greatly involved in the construction of the Constitution, and was one of the original Supreme Court justices appointed by President George Washington.

He said
Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine .... Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.

So if the people and leaders of the United States had such an understanding of the source and nature of law, where did things go so wrong? Where did our nation go adrift and become a people where the popular sentiment is that religion should have no influence on law or government whatsoever?

You may recall that Charles Darwin wrote his "Origin of Species" in 1859, which quickly became embraced by the scientific community as a viable explanation of our origins which "freed" us from the Christian explanations embraced by the Western world for nearly 2,000 years.

This philosophy quickly worked its way not only into the discipline of science but also law. In 1869 Charles Eliot, a believer in Darwin's theory, became president of Harvard University, the nation's premier law school. The next year, he brought Christopher Columbus Langdell, another disciple of Darwin, to head Harvard Law School.

Langell brought an "evolutionary" perspective to law:
Law, considered as a science, consists of certain principles or doctrines...Eachof these doctrines has arrived at its present state by slow degrees; in other words, it is a growth, extending in many cases through centuries. This growth is to be traced in the main through a series of cases...

John Chipman Gray, a law scholar of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, tells us that the "God standard" of law has been abandoned:
“The law is a living thing, with a continuous history, sloughing off the old, taking on the new.”

Herbert Titus said of Landgell in God, man, and law: The Biblical principles
Landgell did not merely introduce a new method of teaching law, he introduced a new faith concerning law. He believed that man, led by the ablest scholars and judges, could discover and determine the laws governing human affairs. Because he believed that man did not need the aid of God and of the Holy Scripture...

This philosophy marks the rise of legal positivism. Legal positivism can be defined as "The claim that the state is the ultimate authority for creating, interpreting and enforcing law. All legal truth is based on the decision of the state."

Titus also provides this insight:
“...Langdell sought to eliminate both from legal education—not by default, but by design. He, along with president Eliot, had embraced the new faith that swept the academic world in the latter 1800’s—that Darwin’s theory of evolution was the key to all of life, including the law.”

Yet the people of America originally considered faith in God very important in public officials.

Article 22 of the original Deleware Constitution says that all officials will make the following declaration:
"I, ___________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; And I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."

If the people were going to entrust the "power of the sword" to a civil magistrate, they wanted to be sure he was subject to a higher moral authority than himself--to God and His laws.

Despite the assertion by some today that America was founded by secularists on a secular foundation, one of the least religious of the Founders contradicts that lie.

From Benjamin Franklin:
“…how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered… And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?...I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel...We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future agesI therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business…”

And so it was that one of the least religious of the Founders began the tradition of prayers to open public business, in Congress and many other governmental institutions across the country.

Where could it lead, if our country completely abandons the "God standard" for our government, and for what we require of our laws and leaders? We need only look to the bloody, abysmal history of Russia, especially under Soviet atheism.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in his Templeton Address of 1983
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.’

“Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval...

...But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.’

We can ignore history and the wisdom of the Founders. We can ignore the design for which this nation was intended to operate. We can even ignore God himself.

But if we do so, we would do well to consider Solzhenitsyn's words. For we would do so not only at our own peril, but our own ruination.


DID PLATO REALLY EXIST?

How much manuscript evidence do we have that Plato really existed?

How do we know Plato wrote or said what we have been told he wrote or said?
What if many Greek authors in a secret conspiracy to fool the world into thinking one Greek could be so smart wrote and revised and blended the thinking of 100 of the finest Greek minds over 1000 years?

Plato was said to exist and write about 400 years B.C. The earliest copies of his alleged writings that anyone knows of anywhere in the world are dated to 900 A.D.

THE GAP BETWEEN PLATO AND THE EVIDENCE OF HIS LIFE AND WORDS IS 1,300YEARS. Think of the malicious, pernicious lies about the great founders of America's Republic and we have many thousands of EXTANT original works of the 300+ most important and influencial great people that really gave the world a REPUBLIC.

Guess how many copies we have of Plato's alleged works...thousands?...no,...hundreds?..no,
50?..no, surley we must have 20 for considering the enourmous time gap we are going to need many copies to authenticate Plato....NO! Only 7 copies exist and the earliest is 1,300 years removed from Plato.

I think it is likely that Plato existed and may have written some of the things attributed to him; but I know with greater certainty that JESUS CHRIST lived, spoke the Sermon on the Mount,The Lords Prayer, healed many, fed thousands, was crucified until dead, buried in a rich man's tomb...AND ROSE AGAIN THAT WE MAY BE SAVED FROM THE ETERNAL PENALTY OF SIN AND LIVE AND REIGN WITH HIM FOREVER.

The misguided, anti-Christ intellectuals make fun of Fundamentalists like me who hold to the (myth) that Christ ever existed...or said anything...let alone walked on water, raised the dead, turned water into wine, purged the Temple; and after he rose into heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in him, sent us The Holy Spirit who conforts and guides all of us who bend their knee and heart before Almighty Father God and His Son and Servant Jesus as our Master and Lord and Savior.

The time of Christ was from 00 B.C. until 33 A.D. We have 114 fragments of the New Testament dating back to 50-100 A.D., and 5366 Greek copies of parts of the New Testament, and over 19,000 manuscripts in other languages, including 250 books containing most of the N.T and 325 complete New Testaments within 225 years of their writing and less than 300 years from Christ's Ressurection.

The early church fathers wrote so many quotations from the 27 New Testament books regarded as Canon that as "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell insists; Harold Greenlee was right when he wrote, "These quotations are so extensive that the New Testament could virtually be reconstructed from them without the use of New Testament Manuscripts."

More than 500 saw Jesus after his Death; and many of them died claiming the evidence of their own eyes and ears and hands. Any court of law would be overwhelmed by this sheer weight of ultimate conviction....and, of course, the Jews and Romans never found the Body of Jesus...and make no doubt of it...Jesus is the greatest threat to human power both of Rome and the False and pharasitical Religion of the Jews, and if there was a body...they would have found it!

Jesus was, by far, the most influencial man that ever existed...even time is measured front and back from His Birth...I don't even care if Plato existed or not...He couldn't hold a candle to Jesus or Paul or Luke or Soloman or any child who knows the Truth that Jesus Loves Us so much that he died for us....

Happy Easter...please..if you have any doubts pray..."Jesus if you are real...make yourself known to me and my loved ones."

"KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE"...This great statement was made by Jesus and recorded by his best friend in John 8:32 in the most reliable of all ancient writings...THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS.
mark the freedom poet


Lesson 11 - Labor: Created to Create

The Truth Project continues this week at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City at 8:57 am. This week will be Lesson 11 on "Labor."



Contrary to a great deal of contemporary popular opinion, work is not a "curse." God Himself is active and creative, and He calls man to share in the joy of His activity and creativity. Labor, economics, media, and the creative arts all have a role to play in magnifying the glory of the Creator.

Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.


Support the Alcohol Tax

SB 61 was submitted to the South Dakota legislature during the session which just ended in order to add a tax to wholesale alcohol sales. The intent was to raise money to pay for law enforcement, legal proceedings and treatment for problems that come from alcohol abuse.

As was illustrated by the spending battle over the South Dakota Highway Patrol's budget, money is scarce in a state which is trying to maximize government services and minimize the tax burden to the average citizen.

However, supporters of the bill asked that it be removed from the legislative agenda because they didn't believe it could make it through the legislature. Whether it would fall victim to the alcohol lobby, or to a reluctance to vote for a new tax in an election year, it's chances were slim.

So the tax proposal has been submitted to the Secretary of State as a petition, and signatures are being sought to get it on the ballot in November.

Being a conservative, there aren't many taxes I support. For the most part, taxes sap the economic vitality of a society and take away the hard-earned dollars of the taxpayers. All too often, government isn't frugal with the money taken from the taxpayers. Sometimes money is wasted, and sometimes it is spent on things that should be taken care of in the private sector.

Still, there are a few legitimate functions of government that the private sector isn't properly empowered to handle. Those include defense, building and maintaining roads, emergency response and law enforcement.

While we should always be alert for opportunities to reduce spending, public safety is one area we shouldn't short change.

It is for that reason that I support the proposed alcohol tax.

I wrote a column on why I support the tax, focused primarily on the tremendous legal cost to our society brought on by alcohol abuse, and the Rapid City Weekly News published it this week.

You might not be aware, but the cost in crime, property damage, court costs, and fatalities is considerable--read my column to find out out considerable. I think it's reasonable that a substance which, when used improperly, can lead to such cost to society should bear some of responsibility for paying the bill.

I would encourage all South Dakota voters to consider the societal costs of alcohol abuse, then sign the petition and support the measure in November.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Republicans should focus on the right, not Wright

BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

Hillary Rodham Clinton has reason to be a happy camper. Over recent days, for the first time in months, she has moved significantly ahead of Barack Obama in Gallup's national polling. And, defying Milton Friedman's famous dictum that there is no such thing as a free lunch, she's made these gains at no cost.

Clinton has remained quietly on the sidelines, smirking like a Cheshire cat, as Republican commentators have done all her work for her. They've dragged out the tapes of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and have helped sully what everyone thought was Obama's picture-perfect and Teflon-coated image.

Why, after all, should the New York senator bear the costs of attacking Obama and his controversial pastor, further alienating black voters she so desperately wants back, when Republicans have been more than happy to do this work for her?

As a result, Clinton has picked up ground and the Illinois senator has lost some. And what have Republicans gained by so enthusiastically jumping into the Democratic-primary fray?

Sorry, but I don't buy the calculations about which Democrat will be easier to beat. The brilliant political tacticians have as much insight about what will be nine months from now as they had nine months ago about what we have on the table today.

Sure, Wright's inflammatory sermons, and Obama's longtime association with this man, is important news. But the real story for Republicans is that, for practical considerations, there's no difference between the two left-wing, big-government-loving, morally relativist candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. This is what Sen. John McCain of Arizona and the Republican Party should be running against, regardless of who it turns out to be.

There's some sense that Obama's relationship with Wright hints at a possible hidden subversive side of his that makes him more dangerous than Clinton.

But there's no reason to have concerns about one and not the other.

Take, for instance, Wright's outrageous accusation that AIDS in the black community is the result of some racial conspiracy.

Last summer, the Democratic presidential candidates debated at Howard University. A black journalist asked for comments about why AIDS is ravaging young black women. Clinton observed, "You know ... if HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country."

Or how about Wright's trip with the Rev. Louis Farrakhan to visit Moammar Gadhafi in Libya?

So let's recall Clinton's famous embrace of and kissing Soha Arafat, wife of terrorist Yasser.

Clinton wants to credit her years as first lady as relevant experience to be president. In those years, her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, transformed Arafat from terrorist to statesman, inviting him to the White House and to Camp David to negotiate peace.

The fruits of this folly are pretty clear today. In a recent poll done by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, as reported in The New York Times, 84 percent of Palestinians surveyed approved of the recent terror attack in which eight teen-age Israeli rabbinic students were murdered in a Jerusalem seminary.

In my speaking tours at universities around the country, students tell me that they hear from many professors a worldview not much different from what we're hearing on the footage of Wright's sermons.

Can we forget prestigious Columbia University's inviting, and providing a gracious forum for, Iran's maniac president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to speak there (in Clinton's state of New York)?

What should Republicans do?

Offer low- and middle-income working Americans a real conservative alternative to "Hillbama."

Appreciate one point of Obama's Philadelphia speech this week on race and religion. The Jeremiah Wrights of this world do not emerge from nowhere and do not maintain large congregations for no reason.

Tens of millions of low-income Americans open themselves up to the simplemindedness of the left because they hear nothing else. They are lost because they are born and raised, often with one parent, in communities that are lost in a country that is increasingly becoming lost.

Our problem is in our broken families and our broken schools. Not in the ozone layer.

Let's hope that McCain will listen to the millions of conservative Christians around this country who are trying to communicate with him. They need McCain and McCain needs them. And the growing masses of struggling, working Americans need both.

---------------------------------


Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.


Crusade to Establish State Religion to Oppress Visible Signs of Religion

Once upon a time, people flocked to a new land called America, where they could escape from religious persecution and oppression. True... religious groups might band together in the new land and form individual communities meant more so for people with like beliefs and ways, but the country itself did not have a single religion that all were required to participate in or not participate in. The Founding Fathers seemed to wish to enhance the freedom of religion and made clear no government was to establish a religion and force others to take part in it or any other religion for that matter. This is something too many seem to have forgotten along the way.

To demand that no word, action or visible sign of religion be apparent, is nothing different than a demand that all people participate in a specific religion regardless of the individual preference. It is a demand that is taking us back to the old countries and the persecution and oppression people sought relief from. It is a violation of the First Amendment, no matter how one tries to address it in defense of their so-called separation of church and state argument.

It is one thing if a child is forced to participate in a religious Christmas pageant, and quite another to deny all children the pageant because it might be offensive to the one that doesn't even have to be exposed to it. (By the way, that is forcing that child's religious beliefs upon the other children.)

How about the religion that doesn't believe in celebrations of any kind, including birthdays? Does that mean that all children have to give up their birthdays so as not to offend that one child that doesn't even have to be exposed? (By the way, that is forcing that child's religious beliefs upon the other children.)

What appears to be happening is an anti-religious crusade that is suggesting no visibility of religion should be allowed anywhere besides church and behind closed doors. It appears to be suggesting that people must hide any sign they even believe thereby demanding they agree to a modern day persecution and oppression. Of course, this isn't just a matter of religion -- it is happening in many areas of our lives.

It is amazing how some are fighting to remove religion from the view of any, while insisting on bringing sex into the view of all -- including our young children. How upside down this world and our thought has become. How upside down indeed!


Jericho Cancelled (Again)

From SciFi.com, it seems CBS has cancelled Jericho for a second time.

Jericho is a television series about a small Kansas town and their struggle to survive after several nuclear bombs go off in major cities across America--including the capital.

Not just some cheap post-apocalyptic Mad Max clone, Jericho had characters with depth that you really cared about. There were always plenty of plot twists and turns leaving you always wondering who's the good guy and who's the bad guy, and how it's all going to turn out.

The first season took a hit when CBS took it off the air for several weeks (as networks often do with shows these days), and it never recovered all it's viewers. So at the close of the last episode of the first season, as an neighboring town attacked Jericho, CBS cancelled it.

The cancellation was cancelled later that summer as fans sent some 40,000 tons of peanuts to the network in protest (in the closing scene, when the attacking town asked Jericho to surrender, the main character uttered a single word he'd heard his grandfather tell him Gen. Anthony McAuliffe had said in a similar situation during World War II: "Nuts!")

Due to the show being cancelled, then brought back mid-summer last year, it got a late start at production, making it late to return to television, coming back in early 2008 instead of late 2007 as most shows did. I think this again hurt it, as many viewers had no idea when to look for it,or found other shows to watch in the meantime.

Despite the fact that Jericho's short second season was as good as the first, CBS is giving it the coup de grace again, theoretically for good this time.

It's too, too bad. Shows like Jericho are rare. Not full of smut and sexual innuendo, with interesting characters and a great story.


Protecting Life Isn't Just a Religious Value

One of the most common areas of public policy where you'll hear liberals and secularists protest the interjection of religious values is in protecting life.

Whether it's protecting unborn human life, or the lives of those some consider "not worth living," citing a transcendent religious value as a reason not to end innocent human life is sure to get the Left frothing at the mouth.

In fact, respect for human life was a key reason behind the formation of a Leftwing secularist organization going under the deceptive title of "South Dakota Mainstream Coalition."

According to a report by David Kranz in the Argus Leader, executive director Senator Ed Olson of Mitchell said that the battle over the life and death of Terri Schiavo was the catalyst for the formation of the group. The same article also quoted Olson as saying, "Many of us don't like the idea of putting specific religious beliefs into state law."

"Specific religious beliefs" shouldn't be in the law? That's an interesting statement that, while you'd probably get quite a few people agreeing with it, I don't think many people have really thought through.

Imagine for a few moments what American civilization would be like if we removed some of these "specific religious beliefs" from our laws.

How about murder in general? That's a pretty specific religious belief. The Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah both state in Exodus 20:13 (in what is commonly known as the Ten Commandments--the same Ten Commandments found in many court houses across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court) "You shall not murder." The Christian Bible also condemns it in Matthew 15:19, right beside some other "specific religious beliefs" such as adultery, sexual immorality, theft, perjury, and slander. Hmmm. Should we throw out our murder laws because they are founded on "specific religious beliefs?"

How about another of those "specific religious beliefs" mentioned there in Matthew 15:19: theft. That one is mentioned in several places in the Bible and the Torah, too, including Exodus 20:15 "You shall not steal." Wow! That's another one of those nasty Ten Commandments. Shall we throw out our laws against theft because they're based on "specific religious beliefs?" If you think so, please send me your address and an inventory of your household contents; I could use some new furniture.

Slander? That's another one of those pesky "specific religious beliefs" mentioned in Matthew 15:19 and, lo and behold, the Ten Commandments again: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

How about some perjury? We didn't think it was a big deal when Bill Clinton did it, right? After all, it's just another of those silly "specific religious beliefs" which is brother to "perjury." What? You say Scooter Libby perjured himself, and we need to prosecute that perjury? Okay, so maybe perjury can stay, despite being based on "specific religious beliefs."

I could go on, but I think I've adequately made the point. With the exception of a handful of legal areas (maybe term limits, some tax law, etc.), almost all of our laws are based on a bunch of "specific religious beliefs." Does that somehow invalidate them?

For those who find religious values cumbersome and unpleasant, remember that moral choices usually have "real world" consequences, and they usually affect other people. God wasn't trying to be a fuddy-duddy when he told us what was right and what was wrong; he was trying to warn us away from harm and heartache.

So why should a Christian or religious origin automatically invalidate efforts to restrict abortion or save disabled people from being killed for convenience? Value for innocent human life is a universal value shared not only Christians, but Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu and pretty much every religious belief--including secular humanism--that you can think of.

I think what secularists are referring to when they say they don't want to see religious beliefs in law or influencing laws is that they don't want to see religious beliefs that interfere with their pursuit of convenience or sexual license.

And that's okay if pursuing convenience or sexual license is what they want...well, not okay with God and maybe not okay with any other people affected by it, but within the context of public debate, that's okay to consider.

But if you're going to argue for it, you should be up front about why you want it and why you think it should be a good idea.

And Christians (and other people of faith) shouldn't allow themselves to be cowed or intimidated out of the public debate by lies based on an incorrect assumption that our government is supposed to be kept sanitized of religious values.

If that assumption were correct, why would the Founders have severely restricted the power of government (remember, the Constitution limits government, not people) to "prohibit the free exercise" of religion?

Why else would our first president, George Washington, have told the people of America in his Farewell Address:
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.

Morality is necessary to a healthy society; otherwise there is widespread and wanton lawlessness; disregard for law, institutions and the persons and property of others. Without it life becomes very dangerous, and an ordered civilization is not possible.

Why else would have Washington continued in his Farewell Address to tie religion and morality in close relationship:
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.

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.

Religion has every right, indeed every obligation, to speak to public policy matters of such great importance as human life. There is no greater priority than the preservation of innocent human life.

Why else would the Founders have listed "life" first among those famous "certain unalienable rights" of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It might be said that each these unalienable rights in this list can be safely enjoyed only once the earlier items has been secured. (In other words, liberty is more important than the pursuit of happiness, and life is even more precious than liberty).

Life is, after all, created in the image of God, and is therefore sacred. Even if you don't honor this religious value, everyone can recognize that each human life is completely and totally unique; once it is extinguished, there will never ever be another like it. To view innocent human life with a cavalier attitude is the height of hubris and recklessness.

If a civilization comes to the point where it has no respect or regard for innocent human life, that is a civilization on the brink of chaos and collapse. And in a world as dangerous as ours--where many already have contempt for these values of life--I don't think we want American civilization to collapse and leave us defenseless before the bloodthirsty.


Who Made God? The Surprising Answer!



Shawn (VenomFangX) is a twenty-something college student that posts regularly on YouTube. He has stated that he is of Jewish ancestry and was raised in a fairly orthodox family. He has become a follower of the one Lord, Jesus Christ, Creator of all that is seen and unseen and shares his faith and his reason with others via these videos.

In this video Shawn answers the question we have all asked at some time or the other, and most of us have tried to answer this same question for unbelieving friends and relatives. If you want more, VenomFangX has a longer video expounding on the same topic in greater detail. Check out some of his other videos such as "Jesus Christ is the Lord God of Israel and Jewish Messiah."


Ron's Musings: American Theocracy?

From time to time you hear from someone or other who claims America is becoming a theocracy. Many believe the religious right controls the Republican Party and wants to institute theocracy in America. I have little patience for such rhetoric simply because it is demonstrably false.

Many of these same accusers love to tout "separation of church and state" and its hallowed place in the Constitution. Of course, the Constitution nowhere contains anything like separation of church and state but that is no deterrent to the disciples of the philosophy...

To read more, go to Ron's Musings.


First Principles, Part 1

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House has written a small book called “Rediscovering God in America.” In this easy to read, informational best-seller we are informed of the beliefs and temperament of the Founding Fathers when laying the foundation of the fledgling United States of America. The task was no small undertaking. It involved thinking “out of the box,” though that idiom had yet to be coined. All previous governments, certainly in the West, had been organized around a monarch, some benevolent, some not so much. In most cases the king or queen was held as appointed by God as their ruler and so had the absolute authority to rule as they wished. The monarch was the source of any rights and privileges that the people enjoyed and these were subject to suspension or revision on the whim of the king. The idea of a basic individual right was novel and yet to be truly exercised until the time of the Declaration of Independence. Further, there were few responsibilities of the monarch toward his subjects, except in so far as they benefited the king and his court.

The exceptionalism of our country rests upon the assertion that all rights come from God bestowed on each individual; this is the “first principle.” These rights, as enumerated in our founding documents, are granted by our Creator and cannot be amended or suspended except by a legal process specified in the Constitution that is designed to help maintain order and security for all citizens and guarantee the God-given rights to all law-abiding citizens.

Was it a nebulous, figurative “god” or God, Jehovah of the Bible that the founders thanked and appealed to in the Declaration of Independence and other central documents? All the evidence is for the latter. Most of the framers of our government were unabashed, practicing Christian men, though some, like Jefferson and Franklin expressed some philosophical doubts in some of their writings. Even so, they recognized that the American experiment could only be validated by asserting God-given rights, thus subordinating government to the people. Neither Franklin or Jefferson ever claimed to be anything other than Christian.

If you search “separation of church and state” you will find numerous sites devoted to the “constitutional principle” of a “wall of separation of church and state.” Most readers of this blog are already aware that there is no such article or wording stated in the Constitution, yet there are innumerable organizations that will have you believe that it is the foundational principle of the Constitution. (The origins of the phrase are explained in this short piece by Robert Meyer at Renew America.) The “wall of separation” was used in a context virtually opposite of how it is currently used, in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists reassuring them that there could never be a religion sanctioned by the federal government. The Baptists were fearful that Methodists and Congregationalists (majority denominations) might become favored and too influential in civil matters in Connecticut. Jefferson purposefully did not address the Baptists' fear of state intrusion in religious matters.

But those wishing to eliminate any trace of our Christian heritage are determined to revise history and claim that the founders were mostly atheists (e.g., Franklin) or, at best, Deists (e.g., Jefferson), but at any rate they most assuredly were not Christians of the “born again” variety. Jefferson, Hancock, Madison, Franklin, et al didn’t take this God-talk seriously but used such language as a form of embellished rhetoric common at the time, such as “purple mountains majesty,” in which case the mountains aren’t really purple, are they?

Rediscovering God in America” takes a close look at the beliefs of several of the founding fathers as expressed in their many letters and writings. Next, the reader is taken on a walking tour of several sites in Washington, DC including the Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. Capital and the Supreme Court, and others, and the expressly Judeo-Christian symbols and engraved words are pointed out and explained. Examples of the Christian references in writing and in the buildings and monuments of Washington will be the topic in Part 2 of this post.


Money Takes the Gold at the Beijing Olympics

By John W. Whitehead

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against Chinese oppression and China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world.”— Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

There was a time when the Olympic Games embodied all that was noble and worthy about sports competition: the sense of fair play, the good-natured competition, the idea that hard work and determination paid off in the end, the triumph over adversity.

Who could forget African American track and field runner Jesse Owens flying in the face of Hitler’s claim of Aryan supremacy to win four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics? Or Wilma Rudolph overcoming a lifetime of childhood diseases, including polio, to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics? Or Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia running the fastest marathon ever, all the while wearing no shoes? Or Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 in gymnastics?

These triumphs and what they stand for have been largely overshadowed in recent years by the rampant greed that has turned the Olympic Games into a money-making enterprise. The upcoming Games in China are no different. Corporations have already spent millions of consumer dollars to be named sponsors of the Beijing Olympics. They include some of the best-known brands in the world: Adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, General Electric (parent of NBC), Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Panasonic, Samsung, Staples, Swatch, UPS, Visa and Volkswagen, to name just a few.

What’s become even more troubling for many human rights activists, however, is the extent to which corporations and governments, loath to rile China and upset the proverbial moneycart, have turned a blind eye to the rising superpower’s human rights abuses and its support of the genocidal regime in Sudan.

The latest tensions between China and protesters in Tibet only underscore the concerns that were first voiced when Beijing was selected as the host for the 2008 Olympics. Yet as David Wallechinsky, the vice president for the International Society of Olympic Historians, remarked, “The International Olympic Committee asked for trouble when they put the Olympics in a country run by a dictatorship. Now it’s come back to haunt them.”

During the Olympic bids, Chinese officials pledged that they would improve human rights conditions by the Games’ commencement on August 8, 2008. However, no such progress has been made. In fact, the staging of the Olympic Games has exacerbated human rights violations and widespread crackdowns on political dissidence.

Despite China’s best efforts to block information about the political unrest in Tibet through telephone taps, Internet filtering and travel restrictions, enough news of its totalitarian tactics have filtered through to cause what the Wall Street Journal termed “growing concern among corporate sponsors that the rising tide of protests over Tibet and China’s support of the Sudanese government will detract from the Games’ commercial success.”

And this is where the whole thing turns into a farce. In rejecting calls for a boycott, the Olympic Committee and sponsor corporations have attempted to spin their refusal to sanction China as part of their commitment to not politicize the Games and penalize “innocent athletes.” But that’s not the issue.

We’re talking about a totalitarian regime notorious for its human rights violations. Within the past year alone, Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to silence dissidence and discontent through any means possible, from the unjust imprisonment and, in some cases, disappearance of human rights defenders and activists to the extensive censorship of the media and Internet.

Li Heping, a Beijing-based lawyer known for his involvement in human rights cases, was abducted by government officials and beaten with electro-shock batons. Gao Zhisheng, a human rights defender who wrote a letter to the U.S. Congress opposing the Beijing Games in light of China’s human rights violations, “was last seen in the presence of municipal Public Security Officers at his Beijing home on September 22, 2007 and has not been seen or heard of since.” Yang Chunlin, a farmer who signed a petition entitled “We Want Human Rights, not the Olympics,” was detained in July 2007 and “had his arms and legs stretched and chained to the four corners of an iron bed on numerous occasions. He has then been left to eat, drink, and defecate in that position.”

In addition, Amnesty International reports that China “has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world. As of July 2006, at least 54 Chinese Internet users are believed to be imprisoned for such acts as signing petitions, calling for an end to corruption, disseminating health information, or planning to establish pro-democracy groups.” This heightened degree of censorship stems from the fact that all Internet connections and communications must pass through government-controlled routers that allow officials to monitor Internet activity. American Internet companies such as Yahoo and Google, which have aided and abetted China in its censorship, are partially to blame.

Clearly, China has done little to clean up its human rights record. We can fool ourselves into believing that we’re helping to spread democracy by allowing Beijing to host the Summer Olympics, but all we’re really doing is standing by as silent witnesses while the schoolyard bully bloodies noses. In this way, we’re just as much to blame. Perhaps we’re even more to blame, since our consumer spending is giving them the muscle to fund their huge terror machine.

Understanding that money talks, the activist organization Dream for Darfur (dreamfordarfur.org) is urging Americans to voice their discontent over China’s ongoing human rights abuses to the Olympic sponsors who stand to profit from the upcoming Games.

The bottom line is that something needs to be done. If the Olympic torch is to stand for more than economic self-interest, then we need to stop trading on people’s freedoms and start doing the right thing for a change.


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.


Study: Homosexual Men More Likely to Consult Mental Health Services

If you've stopped accepting the pablum fed to the public by the "mainstream" media and done some research on homosexual activity, you may be aware that homosexual behavior carries with it some pretty substantial health risks.

In addition to the injuries which sometimes come from using body parts in a way for which they were never designed, homosexuals experience much greater risk of contracting AIDS; in fact, according to CDC figures, 72% of AIDS cases affect homosexuals.

Homosexuals also experience much higher rates of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes and Syphilis.

The instance of hepatitis and anal cancer are also much greater.

Homosexuals have a greater risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide.

All these health risks result in a life expectancy that is diminished by about 20 years for homosexuals.

More information on the mental health risks experienced by homosexuals recently came to light. LifeSiteNews reports on a study published March 19 by Statistics Canada, which is Canada's national statistics agency.

The new study published in Health Reports provides a clinical look at health issues among homosexuals.

Here is there sample group:

An estimated 346,000 adults self-identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, together representing 1.9% of Canadians aged 18 to 59 (2.1% of men and 1.7% of women).

According to the study, about 29% of homosexual men had seen a specialist in the last year, where only 19% of heterosexual men had. The rate is about 65% higher for homosexuals than heterosexuals.

The survey also found that 8% of homosexual men had seen a psychologist, but the number for heterosexual men was only 3%. This is nearly three times the rate of heterosexuals.

Similarly, 8% of homosexual men consulted a psychologist, nearly triple the proportion of 3% among their heterosexual counterparts.
Even when potentially confounding factors (notably, a higher prevalence of chronic conditions and mood disorders) were taken into account, compared with heterosexual men, gay men had increased odds of consulting medical specialists, nurses, social workers or counsellors, psychologists, and alternative care providers; bisexual men had higher odds for consultations with social workers or counsellors and alternative care providers.

Ironically, lesbians were less likely to seek a routine Pap smear. Even if no heterosexual activity is occurring, women are still at risk from cancer.

When religious conservatives speak against homosexuality, they are usually accused of intolerance and hate speech. But consider this:

If, say, eating radishes or motorcross riding carried such increased risks, and someone you cared about was eating radishes or motorcross riding, would you just pat them on the back and celebrate this lifestyle? Or would you try to warn them about the dangers of these activities?

Certainly God has something better in mind for human beings than such an unhealthy, dangerous way of living. Maybe that's why he warned us so strongly against it in the Bible.


The Founders and their Republic Were Christian

ALL OF THE 55 SIGNERS OF THE CONSTITUTION WERE PROTESTANT CHRISTIANS EXCEPT THOMAS FITZSIMMONS OF PENNSYLVANIA AND DAVID CARROL OF MARYLAND WHO WERE CATHOLICS; AND THE GENIUS, BEN FRANKLIN WHO HAS BEEN FALSELY ACCUSED OF BEING A DEIST.

The Deists believe in a prime mover who is no longer involved in the affairs of men.

The greatest miracleof Philadelphia in 1787 was when Ben Franklin correctly observed that "unless God builds a house, those who build, labor in vain"; he also pointed out the active and miraculous intervention of Almighty Creator God in the impossible victory over the strongest army and navy on earth. After these and other declarations of Faith and Bible verses..old Ben said, "Mr. President(the smiling George Washington)I move that we began each days deliberations with prayer!"

Only a belief in the depraved and selfish nature of man could have conceived of a government to protect the subjects from those who held the power. Every founding member was familiar with Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God". THIS IS THE ANTITHESIS OF THE ABSURD NOTIONS OF THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST THAT NUT CASE DARWIN FOISTED ON US AND CAUSED THE KILLING OF MILLIONS OF JEWS.

EVERY TIME TRUE, LOVING, HUMBLE CHRISTIANITY IS THE FOUNDATION OF PUBLIC POLICY, THE LEAST POWERFUL LIKE THE OLD, WIDOWS; AND THE UNBORN ARE DEFENDED...and when darwinism is served...suffering and cruelty always follows!!!

JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD OTHERWISE THERE COULD BE NO AMERICA...ONLY A DEPRAVED WORLD.

HE IS RISEN INDEED...MARK THE FREEDOM POET


South Dakota Abortion Debate on KOTA Radio

In case you missed the Shad Olson Show on KOTA radio this morning, it featured Dr. Alan Unruh of VoteYesForLife.com and Casey Murschel of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, discussing the ongoing abortion petition in South Dakota.

You can listen to the radio show here.


Religion Not Allowed Attitude Defies 1st Amendment

The constitution makes it quite clear that forcing a specific religion upon the people is not allowed. In other words, people in power are not allowed to pick the church of their choice and force it upon the population. The First Amendment does make it clear that people have freedom of choice -- the freedom to choose and express their religious beliefs. How then can any suggest that religion is not allowed?

For any to suggest there is a movement towards theocracy in this country, would appear to be the results of boredom and a "let's pretend such and such is happening and we have to save the world by convincing the people it is bad" game. It would certainly be difficult to believe it was anything more.

Threat of theocracy in this country?

Prayer was taken out of the classroom. Lawsuits have been brought simply because a child was told (something to the effect) to be quiet during quiet-time because it was a time for prayer and reflection. Some schools can no longer decorate and have Christmas pageants (that had been long-time traditions) because it is offensive to non-believers. And so on and so on.

With the trend to remove anything even remotely resembling religion being stripped all around us, we are to then believe that religion is actually over-powering and threatening a "take-over" the government? Rather a far jump from reality to such a possibility in the minds of any.

The irony to the situation as it now exists is that the First Amendment granted freedom of religion -- freedom to practice (or not) the religion of one's choice. However, the anti-religion fighters have actually stripped people of that freedom, rather than claiming the freedom for itself had not been adequately (and equally) enforced.

Rather than to demand a child not be forced to participate in something religious, because it is that child's right not to -- it was a demand to deny the other children (that wish to participate) and thereby deny their right to freedom of religion. Even a moment of silence has been challenged, because one said something such as "prayer & reflection" or because it is simply implied it is actually a moment of prayer.

Mention of Jesus is not allowed in speeches even by students? Where is the freedom of speech? One may, after all, talk against the influence of religion in government. So rather than religion being forced upon people -- there are those who are adamantly working to force anything religious, whether by word, action or symbol, to be taken behind closed doors, least it taint and offend the non-believers. Never mind that the non-believers are actually forcing (against the First Amendment) their religious beliefs upon others. Forcing! Imposing!

The possibility of theocracy in this country? Only if it is the religion of not believing in religion!


Voices Carry: It's impossible to separate church and state

Who are we kidding, it is absolutely relevant what Sen. Barack Obama's church teaches and that his spiritual advisor is black liberationist Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Like gives birth to like. Though many tried to dismiss it several months ago, it was centrally important for the electorate to know the full story behind Mitt Romney's Mormonism. (Mormon salvation is that each man becomes a god of his own planet and spends eternity populating it with spirit babies - Mormon women can look forward to being eternally pregnant.)

Hypothetically, do we really think that electing a candidate with a pacifistic Mennonite or Quaker background would have no bearing on their ability to fulfill the role of Commander and Chief?...

To read more, go to Voices Carry.


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 150



Topics in this episode:


--Thirteen percent of Americans incorrectly think Barack Obama is a Muslim

--Should harming the environment be a sin?

--Scarlett Johansson sells a date for $40,000

--A study claims 1-in-4 teenage girls has an STD

--AARP launches a TV network?

NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.

If you like the show, be sure to subscribe! !


 
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