Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

 

Critical Thinking

church-state2-reaganChurch and State: Where do we draw the Line?

C .A. Davidson

The overall responsibility of our nation is to protect her citizens from foreign invasion and crimes against other citizens, and to uphold Constitutional law. We already have laws governing immigration and citizenship.

No matter what your religion, you are still subject to the laws of the land which are in place to protect civilized society. Most religions are generally peace-loving, abiding by moral laws based on the Ten Commandments. Other than Islam (and in some countries, atheism, which is also a religion), I don’t know of other religions which condone rape, murder, deceit, and the suppression of free speech.      American citizens have freedom of religion, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Churches can excommunicate a member for church-state1-madison-quoteimmoral conduct, but cannot put a person in prison. If someone commits a crime that endangers society, such as stealing or murder, it is no longer a Church issue—it becomes the jurisdiction of the State. That person is subject to the laws of the land, no matter what his religion. We have seen Christians put in prison for committing crimes. That is as it should be for Muslims as well, or for any other religion. The minute your religion violates another person’s life or property, it becomes political.

Furthermore, whereas citizens are required to abide by the law, illegal immigrants are already outside the law. The policy of Open Borders should not even be debatable, as it is inherently illegal.

In the following article, Ed Vitagliano does much to clarify the line between church and state, religion and politics.

Immigration: thinking biblically

Ed Vitagliano

bible-word-of-godAs we wrestle with such weighty matters, it is critical that Christians turn to Scripture for guidance as much as possible.

Some Christians believe the Bible is clear on these matters, citing Old Testament passages such as Leviticus 19:34: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God” (NIV).

From the New Testament, some Christians argue that the command to love your neighbor requires America – a so-called Christian nation – to help those in need.

However, if we are concerned with “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15*), here are some things to remember:

  1. Biblical passages that address individual Christians – or the church – don’t necessarily apply to governments.
    There is no doubt that Christ commanded Christians to be generous, to care for those in need, and to love our neighbor.

However, does this apply to government programs? May Christians who have the power to vote – as do those in the West – use that power to bring the government into the equation? Absolutely.

welfare-government-charity-madisonHowever, must Christians vote to do so? And if Christians do vote to do so, how much government activity should we demand? How much tax money should be allocated? What sort of programs must we call for? Food stamps only? Job training programs? Is there ever a time when someone should cease getting aid?

These questions are vexing, but here’s the problem: At this point the Bible ceases to be a guide.

Instead, at this point it becomes a matter of sound judgment, not biblical injunction. Christians, like everyone else, make their case in the public square and attempt to persuade others to join them.

Here is the principle: Biblically speaking, the government is not the same as the individual Christian, and it is not the same as the church. Therefore, believers must be careful not to apply to government Scriptures intended for the church.

For example, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

ImmigrationCriminalsSo, we must conclude that individual Christians are to forgive their enemies. But must we also conclude that governments should forgive their enemies? Must we demand that criminals convicted of crimes be released and not sent to prison?

The application of this principle is that individual Christians should help refugees who are in our nation. But the issue of who we allow in – and how many – is not a biblical matter. It is a political matter.

  1. Understanding the proper biblical function of government is critical to this debate.
    Many Christians fail to understand the purpose of government in a fallen world, and they act as if the matter is irrelevant to Christians focused on the eternal kingdom. But God has ordained government to serve His purposes on the earth as surely as He has ordained the church to carry out its assigned role.

Romans 13 makes plain the fact that governments derive their authority from God and are considered ministers or servants of Yahweh (vv. 1, 4). They help order human existence, represent the authority of God Himself, restrain evil, and reward good.

Therefore one must assume that a government has both the right and the responsibility before God to maintain order. Surely that would include providing for national borders – which might require restricting immigration and the flow of refugees across them.

More than Platitudes

trojan-horse-isisU.S. ever seem to wrestle with this matter. Invariably their responses are: “Yes, of course, the government should establish secure borders and enforce laws, but ….”

Such a proclamation is not helpful. In fact, it does not wrestle with the subtleties of the issue at all. A viable resolution requires more than platitudes.

We need these questions answered: Should a government allow every refugee who wants to enter the country to do so? No? Then exactly how should a government decide who and how many?

If a Christian insists that “love your neighbor” requires us (as a country) to accept, say, more Syrian refugees, then that Christian cannot restrict the refugee process at all. The moment a Christian says a government can be loving and restrict the refugee process, the Christian has then admitted that the political process must take place. In other words, the government must be allowed to do its job.

But if it does its job and restricts the refugee process, that Christian cannot argue that the country is no longer being loving. Why? Because the Bible does not quantify how many refugees a country must allow. Once again, that is a matter of sound judgment, rather than a biblical command.

  1. Old Testament passages dealing with immigration, refugees, or foreigners in Israel do not apply to our current political debates.
    It is clear that Old Testament passages (e.g., Leviticus 19:34) required God’s people to love and treat respectfully non-Jews who were living among them or passing through.

However, such verses merely assume that certain people would fall into those categories because transient peoples were common in the ancient world. Virtually all societies, and especially those in that part of the world – in the middle of major trade routes – were quite used to seeing trade caravans passing through and foreigners who stayed for a few months conducting business.

These biblical references instruct God’s people to treat lovingly those who were already passing through. The more likely parallel would be: How should Christians today treat legal immigrants who are in our midst?

  1. Passages that apply to Israel do not always apply to other nations like the U.S.
    It is probably safe to assume that Leviticus 19:34 requires Christians not only to help the foreigners already in their midst, but also to press their government to do likewise.

israel_flagSometimes the moral force behind a commandment given to Israel is universal in its application. But this is not always the case. Great care should be exercised when attempting to stretch a passage that might apply only to Israel and make it universally binding.

2 Chronicles 7:14 is a classic example of a promise made to Israel that evangelicals often stretch to apply to America – or some other nation.

There are certainly principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that should encourage American Christians to repent and pray and seek revival for their land. But it is not a covenant promise from God. He has not obligated Himself to save America as He obligated Himself to respond to the prayers of His people in the Old Testament.

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Vitagliano on this particular point. America is a choice land, with a Constitution created by men raised up by God for that purpose. References to Zion may even include America. Isaiah prophesied for all time, especially for our time. He said, “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3) God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He keeps His promises; He favors the righteous, but not any particular race. He has already blessed America greatly because of our Judeo-Christian culture. Why wouldn’t He honor, even empower, our efforts for a revival? ~C.D.

As the immigration debate demonstrates, there is nothing simple about trying to interpret the Bible in the often overheated atmosphere of the culture wars of 2015. If we are to sort out the implications of such issues, it will require that all of us in the body of Christ jump into the debate.

The worst thing we can do is to accuse our brothers and sisters of disobeying Christ or not loving their neighbors when we disagree. Unity in the body of Christ is imperative if we are to be the light He commands us to be.

*Unless otherwise noted, the New American Standard Version is used throughout this article.

Advertisements

Political Cartoon: Trump Economy Booming, not Obama, helps Small Business

Political Cartoon:

Trump, not Obama, helps Small Business

Obama breaking ex-presidential etiquette and protocol to come out and bash the current President Trump. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

 

 

 

Parents as Teachers: Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Parents as Teachers:

Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Written, Not with Ink

C.A. Davidson

keyoldAnd we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26 )

 

Moses and 10 cropJochebed, mother of Moses, gently laid her infant son in a carefully crafted little ark, then watched over the short river journey of her precious cargo until he was safely in the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Even then, in the king’s court, she was there, nursing him and vigilant in his care.

Despite the opposition of those who would have killed him, Moses grew to manhood, delivered his people from bondage, and left to the world the priceless moral code known as the Ten Commandments. Moses went on to his reward, but opposition to his work continues.

In the New World, about 148 B.C., the prophet Abinadi was put to death by a king, for defending the plan of salvation and the Ten Commandments.

This revered code has been preserved, found today inscribed in stone or metal. The Ten Commandments have been ridiculed, forbidden, removed from public display. Yet within the calm eye of stormy hostility, this code remains serene, steadfast, and immovable.

After the children of Israel broke the Ten Commandments and other higher laws, Moses was instructed to create a complex structure of rules and regulations.

Today, many try to replace the Ten Commandments with gargantuan legal documents of government regulation.

10commandmentsLaws of men come and go. People have been killed or thrown in jail defending the Ten Commandments. But this moral code persists as a foundation for all civilized societies. Why? Because its Author is absolute— the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The Ten Commandments are moral absolutes.

Those whose behavior is consistent with moral absolutes are guided by what is called “internal government.” These individuals can successfully govern themselves, but are accountable to a just God.

When internal government breaks down, external government takes over, with rules, regulation, and bureaucracy. Persons under external government are accountable to men, who may not be just.

lesmisbookIn Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, a timeless novel about justice and mercy, hero Jean Valjean served in prison for decades because he stole one loaf of bread. He learned about mercy when a compassionate priest bought his freedom with two valuable silver candle holders. Because of that gracious gift, Valjean lived out his life serving and bringing joy to others. But Javert, his jailer, refusing to accept the price paid for Jean’s deliverance, became obsessed with re-capturing him. Failing in his objective, Javert finally ended his own miserable life. Such is the state of man at the hands of human justice.

In a civilized society, however, justice must be served, or there would be nothing to deter evil and protect the innocent. But much as we may desire to be morally perfect, we all fall short. What is to be done?

Many today reject moral absolutes because, like Javert, they do not understand the plan of mercy. A loving Father in heaven knew that his children would fail to keep all the commandments that justice required. Only His perfect Son could meet the absolute demands of justice and pay the price for His children’s deliverance.

Gethsemane2Parents need not be afraid of holding their children to high moral standards. The atonement of Christ is a safety net in the times of falling short, but it is fastened to repentance. Like Valjean, our children must forsake evil, or justice will have claims upon them.

If we as parents, like Jochebed, diligently train, nurture, and safeguard the internal government in our children, their souls will remain clean and whole when all around them are falling apart. Despite the fading ink of human doctrine, our children can remain true to eternal principles, written, not with ink, but in the fleshy tables of their hearts. (2Cor.3:3)

But remember, “It is easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.” (Ezra Taft Benson)

Children prepared with strong internal government will always make honor and virtue their choice; they will triumph over evil, and rejoice.

 

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

knightandlady

  1. Give examples in the world today of human injustice, in which the Ten Commandments have been perverted and the atonement of Christ is denied.
  2. If we do our very best to live high moral standards, but fall short, what must we do to receive the mercy of Christ?

 

Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson

 

True to the Faith

By Evan Stephens

 

truth1Shall the youth of Zion falter in defending truth and right?

While the enemy assaileth, shall we shrink or shun the fight? No!

While we know the powers of darkness seek to thwart the work of God,

Shall the children of the promise cease to grasp the iron rod? No!

 

We will work out our salvation; we will cleave unto the truth;

We will watch and pray and labor with the fervent zeal of youth. Yes!

We will strive to be found worthy of the kingdom of our Lord,

With the faithful ones redeemed who have loved and kept his word. Yes!

 

ShieldresizeTrue to the faith that our parents have cherished,

True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,

To God’s command, soul, heart, and hand,

Faithful and true we will ever stand.

 

 

Christian Standards for Children and Youth

 

holyspiritI will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.

I will listen to the Holy Spirit.

I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.

I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.

I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.

girlmodesty_largeI will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.

I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.

I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.

familyprayerI will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.

I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.

I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.

I will do my part to strengthen my family.

 

History Facts: Constitution Day and the Hand of God

History Facts:

Constitution Day and the Hand of God

key“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our Divine Constitution

Ezra Taft Benson

October 1987

signers3We have recently celebrated the bicentennial of the signing of the United States Constitution. That commemoration marked the beginning of a series of bicentennial anniversaries of events leading up to the ratification of the Constitution, implementation of the government it created, and the writing and ratification of the Bill of Rights. We look forward to the future commemoration of each of these important events during the next four years. It is as a result of these events that we are able to meet today in peace as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ. For this we should all be eternally grateful.

U.S. Constitution a model for the World

I desire, therefore, to speak to you about our divine Constitution, which the Lord said “belongs to all mankind” (D&C 98:5; italics added) “and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles” (D&C 101:77; italics added).

The Constitution of the United States has served as a model for many nations and is the oldest constitution in use today.

“I established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).

For centuries the Lord kept America hidden in the hollow of His hand until the time was right to unveil her for her destiny in the last days. “It is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations,” said Lehi, “for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Ne. 1:8).

Columbus and the Pilgrims directed by the Holy Spirit

columbus5In the Lord’s due time His Spirit “wrought upon” Columbus, the pilgrims, the Puritans, and others to come to America. They testified of God’s intervention in their behalf (see 1 Ne. 13:12–13). The Book of Mormon records that they humbled “themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them” (1 Ne. 13:16).

Constitution is the American Covenant with God

Our Father in Heaven planned the coming forth of the Founding Fathers and their form of government as the necessary great prologue leading to the restoration of the gospel. Recall what our Savior Jesus Christ said nearly two thousand years ago when He visited this promised land: “For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth” (3 Ne. 21:4). America, the land of liberty, was to be the Lord’s latter-day base of operations for His restored church.

The Declaration of Independence affirmed the Founding Fathers’ belief and trust in God in these words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The Doctrine and Covenants states, “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life” (D&C 134:2). Life, liberty, property—mankind’s three great rights.

At the conclusion of the Declaration of Independence, they wrote, “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.” This Declaration was a promise that would demand terrible sacrifice on the part of its signers. Five of the signers were captured as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary War; another had two sons captured. Nine died from wounds or from the hardships of the war. The Lord said He “redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (D&C 101:80). Nephi recorded that the Founders “were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations” (1 Ne. 13:19).

The years immediately preceding the Constitutional Convention were filled with disappointments and threats to the newly won peace. Washington was offered a kingship, which he adamantly refused. Nephi had prophesied hundreds of years before that “this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land” (2 Ne. 10:11; italics added).

The United States

Between the critical years of 1783 and 1787, an outsider viewing the affairs of the United States would have thought that the thirteen states, different in so many ways, could never effectively unite. The world powers were confident that this nation would not last.

Eventually, twelve of the states met in Philadelphia to address the problem. Madison said at the beginning of the Convention that the delegates “were now digesting a plan which in its operation would decide forever the fate of Republican Government” (26 June 1787, Records of the Federal Convention, 1:423).

“The Lord knoweth all things from the beginning,” said Nephi, “wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men” (1 Ne. 9:6).

Four months later, the Convention delegates had completed their work. As Gladstone said, it was “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man” (William Gladstone, North American Review, Sept.–Oct. 1878, p. 185), and the Prophet Joseph Smith called it “a glorious standard … a heavenly banner” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 147).

The Constitutional Convention was Inspired by God

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllThe delegates were the recipients of heavenly inspiration. James Madison, often referred to as the father of the Constitution, wrote: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution” (The Federalist, no. 37, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1983, p. 222).

Alexander Hamilton, famous as the originator of The Federalist papers and author of fifty-one of the essays, said: “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system, which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interest” (Essays on the Constitution of the United States, ed. Paul L. Ford, 1892, pp. 251–52).

Charles Pinckney, a very active participant and author of the Pinckney Plan during the Convention, said: “When the great work was done and published, I was struck with amazement. Nothing less than the superintending Hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war … could have brought it about so complete, upon the whole” (Essays on the Constitution, p. 412).

Within ten months, the Constitution was ratified by nine states and was therefore in force for them. Prophecy had been fulfilled.

George Washington: “Acknowledge the Hand of God”

George WashingtonDuring his first inaugural address in 1789, President George Washington, a man who was raised up by God, said: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency” (First Inaugural Address, 30 Apr. 1789).

In compliance with Article 6 of the Constitution, the very first act passed by Congress and signed by President Washington on June 1, 1789, was the actual oath to support the Constitution that was to be administered to various government officers.

The dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, as dictated by the Lord and found in the Doctrine and Covenants, contains these words: “May those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever” (D&C 109:54).[1]

America has strayed from her Covenant with God

by Jon McNaughton

by Jon McNaughton

Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City).

For centuries our forefathers suffered and sacrificed that we might be the recipients of the blessings of freedom. If they were willing to sacrifice so much to establish us as a free people, should we not be willing to do the same to maintain that freedom for ourselves and for future generations?

Only in this foreordained land, under its God-inspired Constitution and the resulting environment of freedom, was it possible to have established the restored church. It is our responsibility to see that this freedom is perpetuated so that the Church may more easily flourish in the future.

The Lord said, “Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land” (D&C 98:6).

How then can we best befriend the Constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty and ensure the protection and guidance of our Father in Heaven?

The Constitution is for a Moral and Religious People

First and foremost, we must be righteous.

johnadams2John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31). If the Constitution is to have continuance, this American nation, and especially the Latter-day Saints, must be virtuous.

The Book of Mormon warns us relative to our living in this free land: Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever” (2 Ne. 1:7).

“And now,” warned Moroni, “we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity” (Ether 2:9).

Two great American Christian civilizations—the Jaredites and the Nephites—were swept off this land because they did not “serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12). What will become of our civilization?

Principles of the Constitution

Second, we must learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers.

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?

As Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be” (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).

Get Involved!

Third, we must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented.

The Lord said that “he holds men accountable for their acts in relation” to governments “both in making laws and administering them” (D&C 134:1). We must follow this counsel from the Lord: “Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil” (D&C 98:10).

voter placing ballotNote the qualities that the Lord demands of those who are to represent us. They must be good, wise, and honest.

Fourth, we must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, our teaching, and our advice.

We must become accurately informed and then let others know how we feel. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. ‘Tis right, politically, for a man who has influence to use it. … From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get” (History of the Church, 5:286).

The Constitution will be saved by Righteous People

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. It will be saved by the righteous citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church—among others—men and women who understand and abide the principles of the Constitution.

I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it.

american-exceptionalism2I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has now sent other choice spirits to help preserve it.

American Exceptionalism

We, the blessed beneficiaries of the Constitution, face difficult days in America, “a land which is choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:10).

May God give us the faith and the courage exhibited by those patriots who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

May we be equally as valiant and as free, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 


[1] Shortly after President Spencer W. Kimball became President of the Church, he assigned me to go into the vault of the St. George Temple and check the early records. As I did so, I realized the fulfillment of a dream I had had ever since learning of the visit of the Founding Fathers to the St. George Temple. I saw with my own eyes the record of the work which was done for the Founding Fathers of this great nation, beginning with George Washington.

Think of it: the Founding Fathers of this nation, those great men, appeared within those sacred walls and had their vicarious work done for them.

President Wilford Woodruff spoke of it in these words: “Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, ‘You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God’” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946, p. 160).

After he became President of the Church, President Wilford Woodruff declared that “those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits … [and] were inspired of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, p. 89).

 

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Dinner Topics for Monday

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Samson and Delilah—

Internal Government

*Teaching about the Fall

keySociety cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

samson-delilahSamson was raised from infancy, prepared by diligent parents to fulfill a mission of liberating Israel from the Philistines. Instead, he is known in scriptural record as the epic hero who never was. On the surface, the Biblical account of Samson looks rather amusing. That Samson’s remarkable physical prowess was connected to the length of his hair reads almost like one of Grimms’ fairy tales. The fact is, the length of Samson’s hair was only one outward manifestation of the Nazarite vows he had taken. The immense strength was a spiritual gift, contingent on his faithfulness to the Nazarite discipline.

Samson failed to develop the necessary self-discipline to merit the spiritual gifts he had been blessed with. As he became boastful, and trusted in his own strength rather than giving glory to God, Samson one by one broke all his vows. He indulged his selfish passions and appetites, including marrying out of the covenant with an immoral Philistine woman. He did not think anything through; his behavior was driven by his feelings.

When he trivialized the source of his strength by playing games with the Philistine Delilah, this represented the final breakdown of his discipleship to God.

She pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death. (Judges 16:16)

mockingpeopleAt some point, most of us can probably relate to having experienced this kind of pressure from someone else. Samson’s failure came first from dallying so much with sin and temptation. He constantly surrounded himself with it. Is it any wonder that he finally broke when he was pestered long enough?

Samson’s lack of internal government caused his personal downfall and deprived his nation of liberating leadership.

One may also be pressured when trying to do something right. Even then, it is easy to react in anger, fear, or foolishness.

The “wise man who builds his house upon a rock” knows that true freedom comes from acting by choice rather than being acted upon.

buildingonrock“Discipline” is defined as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” Simple, brute-strength “will power” is not mentioned. Because the natural man rarely has sufficient “will power,” the “wise man” trains, molds, and corrects himself on a daily basis. It is a building process— on rock. No shortcuts.

The wise man looks ahead, constructing his house to stand independently of forces that tear down and undo his work. Day by day, a step at a time, he schools his feelings, delays gratification, and subordinates foolish impulses to the larger character he is capable of. The less he indulges himself, the more substance he has, and the less room in his life for that which would cause irreparable downfall.

The builder’s to-do list might include practicing courteous actions rather than angry reactions. Discussing and using peaceful resolutions to conflict and misunderstanding. Using moderation in appetites and showing appreciation for the gifts and services of others. Teaching wisdom and order. All these seemingly small things make up the firm inner structure that can withstand incessant adverse elements and bring enduring peace of mind.

Character Education Concepts

gavarret-follow-christFor the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19 )

  1. Why is daily discipline in small choices more effective than “will power” in times of crisis?
  2. The three areas of temptation are: 1) appetites and passions 2)vanity 3)greed and power. How can this knowledge help us prepare to resist temptation?
  3. How can we avoid dallying with sin in the following areas? Movies and TV. Music. Reading material. Internet. Dating.
  4. What does “temperance” mean? Compare dedication and fanaticism.
  5. Choose five or more epic heroes from scripture and outline their ministries. How did they exemplify Christian discipleship?
  6. How does the Savior help us overcome our weaknesses through the atonement?

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleyAnd if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.(Ether 12:27)

 

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

The Parable of the Empty House

As a Man Thinketh

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7)

golden-calfAfter God had delivered them from bondage, the children of Israel began their epic journey to the promised land. Freedom, however, was not what they expected. Food was plentiful — indeed, bread from heaven rained down upon them daily. Yet they were not accustomed to the simplicity of the Lord’s way of life. Gone were the heathen groves wherein one could indulge in sensual pleasures. The flashy graven images were missing. Their new wilderness home was free of Egypt’s distractions. Now they could concentrate on building new lives for themselves, replacing the taint of idolatry with an eye single to the glory of God. They had but to look to God and live. Simple. They brought no Egyptian idols with them. Even so, they turned to idolatry, for in their minds, they were still in bondage.

The Savior gave a parable about this condition.

empty-house-2When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished, for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matt. 12:43-45)

 

empty-houseThis oft overlooked parable of the empty house might speak of a man who leaves his old life behind, accepts the gospel and embarks upon the strait and narrow path of Christian discipleship. On that path the first obstacle is in the form of habits from his past. The iron rod [word of God] is steady and secure, but plain. It does not glitter and allure. In vain he searches for something on the road to heaven that will give him the same thrills and carnal satisfaction that his pre-conversion world held. He finds none.

Still, his soul has been cleansed, released from the chains of past wickedness. Agency has been extended to him anew. He has arrived at the pivotal point of his life, the brink of glorious opportunity.   However, if a traumatic experience in his previous life robbed him of spiritual roots, that opportunity could have a dangerous edge. His mind might be a spiritual vacuum. With what will he fill his mind? The choice is his, and his alone. Will he lay hold upon every good gift, or will he touch the unclean thing?

apathydudeThe trials and adversities of life are painful. Seeking comfort, the man turns, not to God, but to his old habits. He goes to Church every Sunday, but during the week, the old ways take over. Instead of looking to God to heal his pain, he numbs it with worldly distractions, which God calls idols. Seemingly innocuous habits move in and make themselves comfortable, and make him comfortable. Upon arising, the man turns to phone and social media. This programming is the first thing that enters his mind in the morning. What can be wrong with that? During lunch, social media. After work, TV. After dinner, games, social media. Before bed, social media, video games. After Church, electronic media, video games.

On Sunday, the man dutifully dusts off his scriptures and hauls them to Church. But they don’t mean anything. He doesn’t understand them. After years of worshiping images, he can no longer recognize the real thing. He has succeeded in numbing his pain. In fact, now he is “past feeling,” just like the idols which have received his unwavering attention for so long.

Moses was faced with the monumental task of sanctifying his people— removing the ungodly habits from their lives and filling their minds and hearts with the word of God. Most importantly, he had to keep the children from being sullied by the unholy baggage their parents had brought out from Egypt.

So he taught them,

family5prayingdinnerAnd these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deut. 6:6,7)

“Holy habits and righteous routines,”[1] when practiced daily, are part of holding to the iron rod [word of God], and will steady us on our path back to Heavenly Father.

Dinner Topic Questions

Dinner Talk Topic: Our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment are a reflection of what is in our minds. *Controlling our thoughts

  1. How are our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment a reflection of what is in our mind? When you are alone, what kind of background do you like to “keep you company? Is there a better companionship to seek?
  2. What do you dwell on when you have nothing specific to think about? If you look around, can you see someone who is worse off than you are? How does it make you feel?
  3. Are you alone in your circumstances? Why not?
  4. Can a self-absorbed person be truly happy?
  5. Can you recognize the presence of the Spirit? How?
  6. In what conditions will the Spirit withdraw?
  7. What seemingly small things can offend the Spirit?
  8. How can continual exposure to the sensationalism of electronic media cause a person to be “past feeling”? (1Nephi 17:45)
  9. What must we do to be worthy of having the continual companionship of the Holy Spirit?
  10. In what ways can games and social media dull our senses? How can reading scriptures or a good book, or listening to classical music,  be active rather than passive? Can we go through the motions and not understand the life lessons God is trying to teach us?
  11. How can failing to actively nourish our minds with spiritual food create a spiritual vacuum, and what are the dangers of such a vacuum?
  12. A “graven image” is a tangible object a person might worship instead of God. Also, spending time and money on things that distract someone from God might also be considered as idolatry. How can we avoid this problem in our lives?
  13. Look up “idolatry” in the dictionary. Is idolatry only an ancient evil? How can idolatry affect our lives today? Why do you think their idols caused the children of Israel to be immoral? Do cold, lifeless idols, or even movie idols, hold their worshipers accountable? What happens when there is no accountability?
  14. James 1:8. “ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” What must we do to stay out of spiritual Babylon?
  15. Isaiah 7:15 “Refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Is it possible to “touch the unclean thing” without letting go of the word of God?

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

            [1] Elaine Dalton, “Look toward Eternity!”. Ensign, November 2006, p.32

Judeo-Christian Culture: Moral Compass Theme Quotes

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Moral Compass Theme Quotes

Moral Compass Quotes

He that thinks absolute power purifies men’s blood and corrects the baseness of human nature, need only read history to be convinced to the contrary. ~John Locke

Courage to Stand

Christ has not called us to be nice but to be good. Nice people never confront evil, but good people do. ~Bryan Fischer

“It is a time of permissiveness, with society in general routinely disregarding and breaking the laws of God.” ~Thomas S. Monson

Always and ever, there must be an exercise of discipline—moral discipline founded on faith in God the Father and the Son and what They can achieve with us through the atoning grace of Jesus Christ. ~D. Todd Christofferson

But behold he doth not command us that we shall subject ourselves to our enemies, but that we should put our trust in him, and he will deliver us. Therefore, . . . let us resist evil. ~Alma 61: 13-14

We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization. ~John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in Lord of the Rings)

Discernment and Judgement

“We live in a time when even the wisest will be hard-pressed to distinguish truth from clever deception.” ~Henry B. Eyring

Remember: sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God! ~Russell M. Nelson

We live in an age of appeasement—the sacrificing of principle. Appeasement is not the answer. It is never the right answer. ~Ezra Taft Benson

Evolution has a lot of holes filled with Silly Putty, but the one gaping wound they cannot hide is the Moral Law. ~Keith Merrill

Judgmentthe spirit of wisdom . . . .enabling a person to discern [choose] between right and wrong, good and evil. ~Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828,

¶Beware of afalse prophets, which come to you in bsheep’s clothing, but cinwardly they are ravening dwolves.  Ye shall aknow them by their bfruits. ~Matthew 7:15-16

For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.~  2 Nephi 28:20

Therefore my people are gone into captivity because they have no knowledge.

~Isaiah 5:13

Integrity

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:8

Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few. ~Thomas S. Monson

We need to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. we need [to have] a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and [to] use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. Russell M. Nelson

“True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a onetime effort or achievement. Greatness requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions in every day choices between good and evil that Elder Boyd K Packer spoke about when he said, ‘Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.’ “Those choices will also show clearly what we are.” ~Howard W. Hunter

Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. ~Proverbs 20:7

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid. Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. ~Job 27:3-5

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams

 

Truth vs. Deception

We need [men and] women who can detect deception in all of its forms. ~Russell M. Nelson

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ~Matthew 24:24

Beware of the evil behind the smiling eyes. ~Neil L. Andersen

“The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain. … If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.” ~Thomas S. Monson

Tolerance for behavior is like a two-sided coin. Tolerance or respect is on one side of the coin, but truth is always on the other. ~ Dallin H. Oaks

Perhaps the best example [of moral relativism] is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good. ~Dennis Prager

We believe in absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments. We know that the existence of God and the existence of absolute truth are fundamental to life on this earth, whether they are believed in or not. We also know that evil exists and that some things are simply, seriously, and everlastingly wrong. ~ Dallin H. Oaks

 

 

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Dvorak New World Symphony

Dinner Topics for Friday

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. ~John Winthrop

Listen to New World Symphony

 

Dvorak_1868Antonín Leopold Dvořák  DVOR-zhahk or / Czech:  September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed features of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic). Dvořák’s own style has been described as ‘the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them’.[1]

Born in Nelahozeves, Dvořák displayed his musical gifts at an early age. His first surviving work, Forget-Me-Not Polka in C (Polka pomněnka) was written possibly as early as 1854.[2]He graduated from the organ school in Prague in 1859.[3] In the 1860s, he played as a violist in the Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra and taught piano lessons. In 1873, he married Anna Čermáková, and left the orchestra to pursue another career as a church organist. He wrote several compositions during this period. Dvořák’s music attracted the interest of Johannes Brahms, who assisted his career; he was also supported by the critic Eduard Hanslick.

After the premiere of his cantata Stabat Mater (1880), Dvořák visited the United Kingdom and became popular there; his Seventh Symphony was written for London. After a brief conducting stint in Russia in 1890, Dvořák was appointed as a professor at the Prague Conservatory in 1891. In 1892, Dvořák moved to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City, where he also composed. However, a salary dispute, along with increasing recognition in Europe and an onset of homesickness made him decide to return to Bohemia. From 1895 until his death, he composed mainly operatic and chamber music. At his death, he left several unfinished works.

Among Dvořák’s best known works are his New World Symphony, the “American” String Quartet, the opera Rusalka and his Cello Concerto in B minor. Among his smaller works, the seventh Humoresque and the song ‘Songs my mother taught me‘ are also widely performed and recorded. He composed operas, choral music, a wide variety of chamber music, concerti and many other orchestral and vocal and instrumental pieces. He has been described as ‘arguably the most versatile…composer of his time’.[4]

Read more

 

History Timeline: 911 anniversary 2018 and Benghazi Attack 2012

History Timeline:

911 anniversary 2018 and Benghazi Attack 2012

911 anniversary 2018

President Trump at Flight 93 Memorial:

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Comically Incorrect  for his great cartoon

A piece of America’s heart is buried on these grounds, but in its place has grown a new resolve to live our lives with the same grace and courage as the heroes of Flight 93. This field is now a monument to American defiance. This memorial is now a message to the world: America will never, ever submit to tyranny.

Since September 11th, nearly 5.5 million young Americans have enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. Nearly 7,000 service members have died facing down the menace of radical Islamic terrorism.

Today we also think of the more than 200,000 service members now serving overseas, and we think of every citizen who protects our nation at home, including our state, local, and federal law enforcement. These are great Americans. These are great heroes. We honor and thank them all.

As commander-in-chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil.

Where Are We 17 Years Later?

Benghazi Attack 9-11 2012

Rush Limbaugh:

I think this is a good thing to revisit, because I don’t think people remember this.

Well, let me tell you about that. You mentioned 9/11 Benghazi. I think this is a good thing to revisit, because I don’t think people remember this. On that day… Let me get my embassies straight. I think it was our embassy in Cairo or it might have been somewhere in Libya. Anyway, one of our embassies apologized, issued an apology in the afternoon on September 11th, whatever the year was. We’re talking about Benghazi, 2012. I remember hearing this and I said, “Apology for what? What are we apologizing for now?”

It turned out that that apology had been orchestrated from the State Department in Washington as an advance move to blame this video that Obama and Hillary would later rely on as the reason why the Benghazi attack happened. We apologized before anything happened! Somebody goofed and released the official apology before the terrorists had taken any action. So it looked like we were apologizing for our existence. We were apologizing for our policies, apologizing for this and that.

It didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Later in the day and night, Benghazi happened, and we were told that it was spontaneous and it was because of a video that had been circulating on YouTube and elsewhere in the Middle East. It was inciting Islamists to riot and the apology was cited and so forth. The whole thing was a scam because it was known that Benghazi was going to happen, because it was a terror attack that was planned. It was known somewhat in advance. Of course, you know the story of Benghazi.

We didn’t do anything to help the people fighting in the middle of it to get ’em out or any of that because we didn’t want to provoke and we didn’t want to launch airplanes and missiles from the nearest base in Italy, if I’m recalling this right. I may have some of the few details wrong here, but overall this was the prelude to what happened at Benghazi on 9/11/12, and that apology from our State Department… I think it was Cairo, but it might have been from our installation… I don’t think we even had one in Libya. Anyway, I’m long. I gotta take a break. But I’ll figure this out.

Yeah, it was the embassy in Cairo, the State Department embassy. Our embassy issued this apology. It was like three o’clock in the afternoon, and nothing had happened. I said, “Well, it’s not unusual for Obama to apologize for America, but what is this about?” And then fact-checkers protecting Obama later said there really wasn’t an apology; it was just a statement. It was an apology to set up the blaming of the video for what was to happen later at the Benghazi complex.

Don’t Forget the Attack in Benghazi

 

Abuse of Power: Leftist Propaganda Posters normalize Abortion; Leftist Intolerance, Mob Rule Paid Off

Abuse of Power:

Leftist Propaganda Posters normalize Abortion; Leftist Intolerance, Mob Rule Paid Off

Susan B. Anthony List

Susan B. Anthony vs Abortion

A pro-lifer captured this ATROCIOUS billboard on camera:

So social media corporations can censor the free speech of pro-life voices for defending millions of innocent unborn babies, but this pro-abortion billboard treating the termination of life like it’s a trip to the spa is perfectly fine?

This propaganda is LITERALLY deadly.

We’re calling on 1 MILLION AMERICANS to join us in denouncing this despicable billboard. Will you be the FIRST one to start the petition?

Remember when we said that the abortion lobby’s goal is to completely normalize abortion in our culture until the point that it’s as ordinary as getting a manicure or a haircut?

This billboard is all the proof you need.

We can see it in the phrases “women’s health,” “reproductive rights,” “choice,” and now even “self-care.”

Susan B. Anthony List exists as an organization to stand tall as a loud pro-life voice in America. We fight non-stop to protect the lives of the unborn, counter the pro-abortion propaganda in our culture, and mobilize pro-life Americans to end abortion in our country.

But with the abortion lobby getting nastier, we need to stand our ground now, more than ever.

Please add your name to our petition to DENOUNCE this HEINOUS billboard.

For LIFE,

Emily Buchanan
Executive Vice President
Susan B. Anthony List

 

Kavanaugh Hearing Attendees Saw Liberal Protesters Paid Off With THIS

I didn’t dare use the term “leftist bullies” in the subject line. Google would likely censor it. ~C.D.

Supreme Court pick Judge Brett Kavanaugh continues to face unprecedented protests and interruptions during his questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Turns out, we may know what’s motivating at least some of Kavanaugh’s liberal detractors. (Gateway Pundit)
Now, this…

Several doctors from Texas attended the hearing today and told interviewer Adam Schindler that they witnessed organized activists with a literal bag of cash paying the rent-a-mob protesters.

RealClearPolitics has a complete transcript of the doctor’s claims to author Adam W. Schindler.
Read more at http://americanactionnews.com/articles/kavanaugh-hearing-attendees-saw-liberal-protesters-paid-off-with-this/

Kavanaugh Hearing Attendees Saw Liberal Protesters Paid Off With THIS

Rent-a-Mob [SEE THE PHOTO]

Discipline needed for Leftist Intimidation (bul lies)

KOMMONSENTSJANE – MANAGING THE SENATE JUDICIAL HEARINGS OR ANY GOVERNMENT HEARING.

If officials/citizens act like children – they need to be treated (heavily fined) accordingly and removed.

A new norm needs to be established because of the interference from the left in our government.

Something as important as the hearing for Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court should not end up as a travesty. Each person who attends these hearings should sign a “waver of conduct.”

This should also apply to the Senators who disrupted the hearings and the citizens. Being arrested and then being dismissed at the end of the day is not good enough. There has to be consequences for their actions (at least a fine). Also, the senators who misbehave should be heavily fined for not following the established decorum.

Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Common Core

Achievement Gap in Education

Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Protect Family values— Defeat Cultural Marxism. We on the Right need to “cultivate a new mindset. We have  to break up this monopoly of information.  We have to open up new space for rival and dissenting viewpoints. We have to create rival cultural institutions. ~Dinesh D’Souza

Common Core Indoctrination in Schools Increases Achievement Gap in Education

Dr. Carolyn Reeves

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

Rescuing the one

Rescuing the One Sheep; vintage oil by Wilhelmena Davidson

Rescue your children from Cultural Marxism: Click here

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

 

Is the achievement gap closing?
Achievement gaps between groups of students have been a major challenge in education for decades. Common Core made narrowing those gaps an ambitious goal and predicted that by 2017, the gaps would be greatly narrowed.

It didn’t happen.

Common Core Bias Documented:

Focus on education
“Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man.’”

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former history professor, Hillsdale College
The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core

Is bias real?
Columnist Robert Knight wrote that there is an increasing animosity toward America and free market capitalism among many younger Americans. He references author William J. Federer, who says this is no accident.

Rather it is the result of conditioning in both elementary and secondary schools that continues into universities – tactics such as being hypercritical of America’s history and failing to appreciate the genius of our Constitution.

“Deconstructing Young Minds,”
Washington Times, 6/10/18

Is change possible?

If parents would like to see Common Core repealed or altered in their state, they should contact their state legislators and ask for open hearings or surveys on the standards, with input from local and state educators, parents, and students.

Signs of problems
Almost immediately, there were signs of problems from unhappy parents, students, and teachers. Angela Hill, a parent, former teacher, and Mississippi state senator, has been an opponent of the program from the beginning. She reported in debates about Common Core in the state legislature that she had “heard from numerous parents, teachers, and students complaining about the English language arts and math standards, as well as the recommended teaching methods.”

In 2016, as Donald Trump campaigned in the presidential elections, his promise to help get rid of Common Core was greeted with enthusiastic cheers and applause.

TIMSS math, science trends
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study is given every four years to sample groups of fourth- and eighth-grade students. Results of the fourth-grade math scores from 2003 to 2011 showed a gradual increase for all student groups. From 2011 to 2015, the top quartile continued to increase, but the average and the lower percentiles decreased. Overall, U.S. fourth graders dropped from 11th in the world in 2011 to 14th in 2015. 5

Faith, family factors
Interestingly, faith and family come into the big picture in a big way. That is no surprise to those who hold to the traditions of the Founding Fathers.

Dr. William Jeynes, His study stunned many educators

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

With increasing approval of post-modern philosophies, some schools no longer support traditional family structure, and others try to eliminate all references to Christianity in such things as Christmas music selections, classroom writing assignments, and graduation speeches – falsely claiming there must be “separation of church and state” in schools. These self-defeating policies arguably make the achievement gap problem worse, not better.

Leaders’ perspective
The 2016 ACT National Curriculum Survey is given to thousands of K-12 teachers and college instructors to determine which skills and knowledge in English/writing, mathematics, reading, and science are being taught and which are considered essential for students to be ready for college and career. One result was that in general, college professors found that recent incoming students were able to analyze and summarize the opinions of others, but were often not able to generate and write original, sound ideas of their own. 7

Epic Stories of Western Civilization taken away

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former professor of history at Hillsdale College and national leader in the classical school movement, states, “[T]he standards take away the ‘great stories’ of our heritage of Western civilization and Christianity, and replace them with post-modern cynicism and political correctness.”

Moore is concerned about what are on the “exemplar texts” for the Common Core English standards, as well as the large number of traditional classics that are not on the list. He maintains that the classic articles and books are a huge influence on students in shaping morals and character.

He sadly notes that selections of the classics, when included in a lesson, are often no more than a few selected pages that are covered in one day; if they present a conservative viewpoint, they may be compared with a modern author who has a liberal viewpoint.

Common Core is clearly hostile to Biblical Values

Moore’s frank conclusion is, “Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man’.”8

States revise, repeal
A number of states have repealed their Common Core agreement and are in the process of writing new state standards and finding new achievement tests. Some states seem to be happy with the Common Core standards as they are. Others have found ways to override the copyright that only allows a 15% change in the standards, and some have made numerous adjustments that are more in line with their state values.9

Although schools in conservative communities can, and do, reject many of the more liberal selections, Moore sees Common Core as a vehicle that can influence students to accept anti-Christian, anti-American beliefs.

Teaching in the Home is the Solution.

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

Restoring U.S. public schools to a foundation of moral principles and values of the Founding Fathers – if not already too late – will be a daunting task that demands the efforts of concerned parents, educators, and politicians alike.

References
1. Valerie Strauss, “Everything you need to know about Common Core” (Diane Ravitch). The Washington Post, 1/18/14 .
2. The Nation’s Report Card. 2017 Results. Retrieved from nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2017_highlights.
3. ACT: The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017. Retrieved from act.org/content/act/en/research/condition-of-college-and-career-readiness-2017.html .
4. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/pirls2016.
5. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/timss
6. William Jeynes, “Shrinking the Achievement GAP.” Teachers of Vision, 3/7/18.
7. Valerie Strauss, “Common Core isn’t preparing students very well for college or career, new report says.”
The Washington Post, 6/9/16.
8. Terrence O. Moore, The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core
(Kindle Edition, 2013-11-29), 8.
9. Jill Norton, “Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?” EdTechTimes, 2/15/17.

____________________
Carolyn Reeves, Ed.D. (undergroundparadigm.com), is a retired science teacher and co-author of a series of elementary science textbooks.