Independence Day, YouTube Music and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

Dinner Topics for Friday

Independence Day: Liberty and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

news_flag_hdr5At church when we stand and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (it’s in our hymn book), with all that has happened this year to destroy our nation and our Judeo-Christian culture, I feel like I’m singing at a funeral. The Star-spangled Banner no longer waves over the land of the free and the home of the brave; we are ruled by tyrants and Congress and the Supreme Court are not brave. People even get punished for flying the U.S. flag or defending Christianity or the Constitution.  Our land was brave and free until we stopped honoring God. Those of you who are 30 or older, you know the rest.  Politics are no longer the solution to our growing tyranny and loss of liberty. It is a cultural problem. Our only hope is to teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history and constitutional  principles that once  made this country a beacon of liberty to all the world–that is,  teach them Biblical values–the culture of liberty. ~C.A. Davidson

 

flaghouseBarfootOh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad strips and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and  the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thru mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam, of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~Francis Scott Key

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”,[1] a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. “Hail, Columbia” served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee“, whose melody is identical to “God Save the Queen“, the British national anthem,[2] also served as a de facto anthem.[3] Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Dinner Topics for Friday

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free*,[14]
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

Book Reviews: Rush Limbaugh, Liberty, and America History

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans

By Rush Limbaugh

keyRush Limbaugh makes history fun and interesting for families, young and old. In a time when it is fashionable to bash America, Limbaugh revives appreciation for our great heritage. If we don’t teach our children about the importance of liberty and everyone’s responsibility to preserve it, they will learn it nowhere else. Limbaugh’s book series is a huge help in this vital effort. ~C.A. Davidson

 

rushandLiberty“Whoa there, young historians! Before we go rush, rush, rushing off anywhere, I’d like a moment. I’m Liberty, Rush Revere’s loquacious equine companion—his trusty talking horse! Always at the ready to leap from the twenty-first century into America’s past, that’s me. When he says ‘Let’s go!’ I’m so there. I’m jazzed. I’m psyched, I’m—”

“Ah, excuse me, Liberty?”

“Yeah, Rush?”

“Usually you say ‘oh no, not again!’ and ‘while we’re in colonial Boston, can I try the baked beans?’”

“Okay, fine—you do the talking. I’ll just be over here, if you need me. . . .”

Well, he’s sulking now, but I couldn’t be your tour guide across time without Liberty! His name says it all: the freedom we celebrate every July Fourth with fireworks and hog dogs (and maybe some of those baked beans). But how did America get free? How did thirteen newborn colonies tell the British king where he could stick his unfair taxes?

 

The First Tea Party in history

rushbook1stpatriotsJump into the bustling streets of Boston in 1765, where talk of revolution is growing louder. I said LOUDER. You’ll have to SHOUT to be heard over the angry cries of “Down with the king!” and “Repeal the Stamp Act!” that fill the air. You’ll meet fierce supporters of liberty like Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and my idol, Paul Revere, as they fearlessly defy British rule. It’s an exciting, dangerous, turbulent, thrilling time to be an American . . .and exceptional young patriots like you won’t want to miss a minute. So let’s ride!

Victory for American Liberty

“I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!”

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

 

Victory for American Liberty

The American Revolution was triumphant against overwhelming odds. Challenging the arrogance of the British, George Washington declared boldly: “We have a purpose, and we will defeat you.”

Note the courageous words of heroes, past and present.

johnPaulJonesbattle-Serapis_and_Bonhomme_Richard“I have not yet begun to fight!” John Paul Jones

“The only way we can keep our freedom is to work at it. Not some of us. All of us. Not some of the time, but all of the time.” Spencer W. Kimball

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

This is the last day in which the great consummation of God’s purposes will be made, the only dispensation in which the Lord has promised that sin will not prevail. ~Ezra Taft Benson

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. ~Benjamin Franklin

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ~Winston Churchill

You cannot submit to evil without allowing evil to grow. Each time the good are defeated, or each time they yield, they only cause the forces of evil to grow stronger. Greed feeds greed, and crime grows with success. Our giving up what is ours merely to escape trouble would only create greater trouble for someone else. ~Louis L’Amour

Victory for Liberty!

We must not settle for less.

In the Capitol, many of the men and women we elected to represent our cherished traditional values are rushing to jump aboard the government Titanic, which is fast sinking into the depths of corruption. A tsunami of moral depravity is engulfing society at large. Schools are pumping false and immoral doctrines into America’s children, subverting and even creating hostility toward Judeo-Christian values. Even some church leaders are advising everyone to pull back from the cultural war. In other words, just quit and don’t bother?

Centuries ago, during the American Revolutionary War, when, after an intense battle at sea, John Paul Jones was taunted with surrender, his famously courageous words of defiance were, “I have not yet begun to fight.”

Today, while many physical wars are raging, we are engaged in a massive Cultural War which we cannot ignore—at stake are our souls and the very survival of our families. It is the culture of life versus the culture of death.

How Did We Get to This Point?

judicialtyrannySome of us are old enough to remember the pivotal Supreme Court decisions that accelerated our national moral decline: the ban on prayer and the Bible in the schools, and the national decree allowing abortion on demand.

I always wondered how our society became swamped with evil in such a short time.

But it started years before that. In his book, The Marketing of Evil, David Kupelian shows us how America came to “buy into” immorality on such a large scale. The answer is that evil was and continues to be marketed. “Experts” packaged evil to look wonderful and enticing, and all that is good was made to look stupid and ridiculous. After decades of this intensive marketing, schools, media, science, and government have been powerfully affected. No corner of society has been exempted.

Part of evil’s marketing plan is to hammer everyone repeatedly and relentlessly with its agenda, as the gay extremists have done with their in-your-face attacks on those with traditional values. The current regime has aided in this steamrolling assault with crises, lies, and cover-ups, day after day after day, till we all suffer from an overdose of scandal-fatigue. John Paul Jones didn’t give up, and neither can we.

 

What Can Be Done?

“The only way we can keep our freedom is to work at it. Not some of us. All of us. Not some of the time, but all of the time.” Spencer W. Kimball

 Truth— Our Greatest Weapon

magnifying-glass-lightoftruthIf we have “not yet begun to fight,” we must begin without delay. Just be prepared to be in it for the long haul, for to lose the battle with the culture of death means the extinction of civilization. So we must have a strategy.

When faced with the avalanche of evil before us, it is tempting to throw our arms up in despair and cry, “what’s the use?” That’s exactly what the adversary wants us to do. Know this at the outset: Surrender is not a strategy—not even an acceptable tactic.

Let’s begin where we are. Even so, we cannot do it all at once. Think of concentrating the light of the sun through a magnifying glass. The light of truth is like the sun, and Truth is our greatest weapon. If we focus the energy of truth effectively, we can make a powerful impact.

 

Winning Strategy: Work for Moral Victory

reagan2resizeCourage and Moral Clarity

We need to study history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, but also to learn from the heroic successes, which were brought about by courage and moral clarity.

One such shining example is Ronald Reagan, who persevered with grace under pressure, while the media and academic elite in this country constantly reviled him. With his unshakable spirit and courage, he ignored the morally weak appeasers, and presided over the defeat of the communist tyranny that had enslaved large parts of the world.

 

Education

1. At Home

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them [the words of God] when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ~Deuteronomy 6:7

And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. ~Isaiah 54:13

family5prayingdinnerOur first responsibility is to our own families. The most effective way to protect them from the general evils in society is to teach them at home. There are vast resources available to homeschoolers now. Don’t wait till you are perfect at it before you begin. The good character you build in your children will compensate by far for any minor imperfections in your curriculum.

One thing we all can do is teach our families at the dinner table—just one dinner topic per day. You’ll be surprised at how well-informed and inspired you can become if you use this simple, low stress, manageable method.

Teach them of their heritage, because no one else will. Build their heritage of faith, for where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. Building character education in the rising generation will prepare them for the inevitable leadership they face in the future—for good or evil.

Study the scriptures diligently, and pray for victory of righteousness. The prayers of the righteous spare the nation.

2. In Your State

Mark Levin has reminded us that Washington will never be fixed in Washington. So let us go to work in our states.

constitutionDon’t be discouraged. There are many, many good people in this beloved country, fighting with all their hearts for the future of their children and grandchildren. Find these people and vote for them, to represent you. Vote out the corrupt career politicians who are selling us out. If you know the truth, you will be able to discern those who have courage, moral clarity, and integrity, and those who are lying and covering up their evil deeds. Keep seeking truth, and you will not be deceived.

The Founders, in their genius, provided in the Constitution a way for us to push back against tyranny. That way is found in the States. Our power is limited against the federal government leviathan, but we can make a difference in our state.

The Tea Party is not a third political party. It is a patriotic, grass-roots organization that represents the traditional values we cherish, and which can help us restore our embattled nation to responsible leadership. Find out who in your state stands unequivocally for Constitutional principles, and work for American victory.

 Who is the Tea Party? It is the Voice of Real Americans

Remember who our Real Leader Is

This is the last day in which the great consummation of God’s purposes will be made, the only dispensation in which the Lord has promised that sin will not prevail. ~Ezra Taft Benson

elisha2Most of all, we must never forget who our real leader is.

In history, the children of the God of Israel have often faced overwhelming odds, like Gideon’s 300 against the hosts of Syria, and David against Goliath. Jews and Christians on earth have always been a tiny minority. But remember how Elisha comforted the young man when confronted with the hosts of Syria. Elisha prayed that the young man’s eyes might be opened, and the Lord opened his eyes, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.  ‎

“Fear not,” Elisha said, “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” (2Kings 6:15-17)

The current occupant of the White House, no matter who he is, can never be our real leader. The God of Israel will always be our Real Leader.

Copyright 2014 © by C.A. Davidson

 

America History and Paul Revere’s Ride Poem

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

America History and Paul Revere’s Ride, the Poem

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

reverepaul1

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

 

longfellowPerseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride“, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife Mary Potter died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife Frances Appleton died in 1861 after sustaining burns when her dress caught fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882.

Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses

Early life and education

Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, to Stephen Longfellow and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow in Portland, Maine,[1] then a district of Massachusetts,[2] and he grew up in what is now known as the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. His father was a lawyer, and his maternal grandfather, Peleg Wadsworth, was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a Member of Congress.[3] He was named after his mother’s brother Henry Wadsworth, a Navy lieutenant who had died three years earlier at the Battle of Tripoli.[4] Young Longfellow was the second of eight children;[5] his siblings were Stephen (1805), Elizabeth (1808), Anne (1810), Alexander (1814), Mary (1816), Ellen (1818), and Samuel (1819).

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was enrolled in a dame school at the age of three and by age six was enrolled at the private Portland Academy. In his years there, he earned a reputation as being very studious and became fluent in Latin.[6] His mother encouraged his enthusiasm for reading and learning, introducing him to Robinson Crusoe and Don Quixote.[7] He printed his first poem — a patriotic and historical four stanza poem called “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond” — in the Portland Gazette on November 17, 1820.[8] He stayed at the Portland Academy until the age of fourteen. He spent much of his summers as a child at his grandfather Peleg’s farm in the western Maine town of Hiram.

In the fall of 1822, the 15-year old Longfellow enrolled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, alongside his brother Stephen.[6] His grandfather was a founder of the college[9] and his father was a trustee.[6] There, Longfellow met Nathaniel Hawthorne, who would later become his lifelong friend.[10] He boarded with a clergyman for a time before rooming on the third floor of what is now Maine Hall in 1823.[11] He joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings.[12] In his senior year, Longfellow wrote to his father about his aspirations:

Courtship of Frances Appleton

Longfellow began courting Frances “Fanny” Appleton, the daughter of a wealthy Boston industrialist, Nathan Appleton[48] and sister of Thomas Gold Appleton. At first, she was not interested but Longfellow was determined. In July 1839, he wrote to a friend: “[V]ictory hangs doubtful. The lady says she will not! I say she shall! It is not pride, but the madness of passion”.[49] His friend George Stillman Hillard encouraged Longfellow in the pursuit: “I delight to see you keeping up so stout a heart for the resolve to conquer is half the battle in love as well as war”.[50] During the courtship, Longfellow frequently walked from Cambridge to the Appleton home in Beacon Hill in Boston by crossing the Boston Bridge. That bridge was replaced in 1906 by a new bridge which was later renamed the Longfellow Bridge.

During his courtship, Longfellow continued writing and, in late 1839, published Hyperion, a book in prose inspired by his trips abroad[49] and his unsuccessful courtship of Fanny Appleton.[51] Amidst this, Longfellow fell into “periods of neurotic depression with moments of panic” and took a six-month leave of absence from Harvard to attend a health spa in the former Marienberg Benedictine Convent at Boppard in Germany.[51] After returning, Longfellow published a play in 1842, The Spanish Student, reflecting his memories from his time in Spain in the 1820s.[52] There was some confusion over its original manuscript. After being printed in Graham’s Magazine, its editor Rufus Wilmot Griswold saved the manuscript from the trash. Longfellow was surprised to hear that it had been saved, unusual for a printing office, and asked to borrow it so that he could revise it, forgetting to return it to Griswold. The often vindictive Griswold wrote an angry letter in response.[53]

Death of Frances

On July 9, 1861,[67] a hot day, Fanny was putting locks of her children’s hair into an envelope and attempting to seal it with hot sealing wax while Longfellow took a nap.[68] Her dress suddenly caught fire, though it is unclear exactly how;[69] it may have been burning wax or a lighted candle that fell on her dress.[70] Longfellow, awakened from his nap, rushed to help her and threw a rug over her, though it was too small. He stifled the flames with his body as best he could, but she was already badly burned.[69] Over a half a century later, Longfellow’s youngest daughter Annie explained the story differently, claiming that there had been no candle or wax but that the fire had started from a self-lighting match that had fallen on the floor.[61] In both versions of the story, however, Fanny was taken to her room to recover and a doctor was called. She was in and out of consciousness throughout the night and was administered ether. The next morning, July 10, 1861, she died shortly after 10 o’clock after requesting a cup of coffee.[71] Longfellow, in trying to save her, had burned himself badly enough for him to be unable to attend her funeral.[72] His facial injuries led him to stop shaving, thereafter wearing the beard which has become his trademark.[71]

Later life and death

Longfellow spent several years translating Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. To aid him in perfecting the translation and reviewing proofs, he invited friends to weekly meetings every Wednesday starting in 1864.[76] The “Dante Club”, as it was called, regularly included William Dean Howells, James Russell Lowell, Charles Eliot Norton and other occasional guests.[77] The full three-volume translation was published in the spring of 1867, though Longfellow would continue to revise it,[78] and went through four printings in its first year.[79] By 1868, Longfellow’s annual income was over $48,000.[80] In 1874, Samuel Cutler Ward helped him sell the poem “The Hanging of the Crane” to the New York Ledger for $3,000; it was the highest price ever paid for a poem.[81]

During the 1860s, Longfellow supported abolitionism and especially hoped for reconciliation between the northern and southern states after the American Civil War. He wrote in his journal in 1878: “I have only one desire; and that is for harmony, and a frank and honest understanding between North and South”.[82] Longfellow, despite his aversion to public speaking, accepted an offer from Joshua Chamberlain to speak at his fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin College; he read the poem “Morituri Salutamus” so quietly that few could hear him.[83] The next year, 1876, he declined an offer to be nominated for the Board of Overseers at Harvard “for reasons very conclusive to my own mind”.[84]

 

 

Biblical History and United States Seal

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

keyRebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

Glenn Beck: U.S. identified in Bible

‘Our entire history is directly tied to this moment’

KJV BibleRadio and television host Glenn Beck is now going public with his belief the United States is among the famous “Lost 10 Tribes of Israel,” and America today is suffering calamities just as ancient Israel did due to its disobedience to the laws of God.

Echoing the conclusions of some experts who have delved deeply into what’s known as the theory of “Anglo-Israelism” or “British-Israelism,” Beck took viewers of his TV show into a biblical history lesson dating back to the time after King David of the Old Testament, when the once united Kingdom of Israel became divided.

“Israel was split into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom,” Beck explained.

Many people don’t realize that ancient Israel (the Northern Kingdom) actually went to war against the Jews (the Southern Kingdom of Judah) over many years. Four Books of the Bible, 1 and 2 Kings as well as 1 and 2 Chronicles, document the separate national histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Beck explained that eventually, God warned the rebellious northern kingdom to stop its sinning, or else face disaster.

“They’re warned, ‘You’re going to be taken by the Assyrians, and you’re gonna be taken into captivity,’” said Beck.

“Well, that’s exactly what happened. Judah remained, but the tribes in the north, they were taken and they went throughout the Assyrian empire. The Kingdom of Judah was not scattered. This is where the term ‘Jew’ comes from – Judah.”

Beck went on to note that when the Assyrians were finally defeated by other powers, they and the Israelite captives fled northward.

“And they fled out of captivity through the Caucuses Mountains,” he said. “The Caucusus Mountains are where you hear the word ‘Caucasian.’”

“What’s interesting is the Assyrians, who were very good, meticulous record-keepers, and who were just brutal [people], they settled in Italy and in the Germany area and the Russia area where facsism comes from. But the Israelites, the Lost 10 Tribes, they went north and they started to scatter [in another] direction, and they went to the coastlines, generally in the area where the Pilgrims came from. …

“All of Western Civilization is based on the laws of Israel. And our entire history is directly tied to this moment. Our Pilgrims thought they were completing the journey out of captivity.”

seal-of-the-president-of-the-united-statesimage: seal of the president]Beck believes the Statue of Liberty holding tablets is a more modern representation of Moses holding the Ten Commandments, and he focused attention on the symbols on the both the presidential seal and the Great Seal of the United States.

On the presidential seal, he connected the artwork of sun rays, the moon and stars to one of the sons of Israel who had a famous dream in the Book of Genesis.

“When Joseph from the Bible is with his brothers, he tells his brothers that he had a dream. And he said, ‘I had a dream where the sun, the moon and the stars all bowed down to me,’” Beck explained.

He then noted the prominent theme of the number 13 on the seal.

“There’s strong symbolism with the number 13 being represented everywhere: 13 arrows, 13 stripes, 13 stars, 13 olives,” he said.

But is that figure merely a reflection of the 13 original American colonies?

“That’s what everyone will tell you, and that is one answer. But there is another one that many people believe,” Beck said.

“What else is 13? Twelve disciples surrounding Jesus, but more importantly, I think, the 12 tribes of Israel.”

As far as why 12 tribes of Israel would be represented by the number 13 and not 12, Beck stated, “The tribe of Joseph split into Manassah and Ephraim, and those were in northern Israel. That’s the northern kingdom of Israel. That’s the thirteen tribes.”

seal-of-the-united-states[image: United States Seal]As he examined the Great Seal of the U.S., Beck noted that above the eagle representing America, there are “13 stars in the shape of the Star of David.”

Surrounding the grouping of stars, he pointed out the artwork of clouds and light from “fire.”

“When Moses led his people out of Egypt, what did they follow during the day? A cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. That’s what this means,” he said.

He even unearthed the original proposed seal for the nation, which was promoted by Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

seal-of-the-united-states-original[image: original seal]Featuring the motto “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” the scene depicts the nation of Israel during its Exodus out of Egyptian slavery.

“Moses leading the Israelites across the Red Sea by a pillar of fire. Hello?” voiced Beck. “Look at the clouds around the fire in the center in exactly the same position as the eagle [seal].”

Beck noted it didn’t bother him if people didn’t believe the history lesson.

“I didn’t care a few years ago, but after 9/11, I promised I would find out what was going on,” he said.

“So what is it? We are nation that is based on Judeo-Christian values and the Bible. Period. You might not buy into the olives and the branches and everything else. It’s fact! It’s fact! But there’s no way to deny that the majority of our laws come directly from the Scriptures, right directly from Deuteronomy.”

Historian Steven M. Collins of Sioux Falls, S.D., has written several books on the subject, including “The ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel … Found” and “Israel’s Tribes Today.”

“It is such heartening news to me that Glenn Beck has seen this fundamental truth about which so many Christians are unaware,” Collins said after viewing Beck’s program.

“If the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel came to widely recognize their true heritage as the biblical ‘house of Israel,’ it would revolutionize the self-perceptions of not only individuals but of nations as well. It would also verify the Holy Bible powerfully as the prophecies about the Israelites’ future after their exile from the Promised Land in the 8th century B.C. would be seen to be completely accurate and fulfilled. This would prove that the Bible is the Word of a Creator God as only an immortal Creator God could control the destinies of nations to make sure that biblical prophecies made millennia ago are being precisely fulfilled today.”

Collins says there is “overwhelming evidence” proving the modern nations of the 10 tribes of Israel are the Anglo-American, Scandinavian and many mainland European nations.

“It is gratifying to see that a well-known American media personality now has many of these important truths as well. Perhaps we are reaching the time when it is God’s will for this truth to become widely known in the modern nations. Such an awareness would revolutionize global geopolitics, to say the least.”

There are many who disagree with the theory.

Among them is Dr. Claude Mariottini, a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Ill.

Mariottini states, “The fact is that British-Israelism is based on a biased interpretation of the text, eisegesis, wishful thinking, and a lack of reliable historical evidence. The view that Great Britain and the United States of America are the lost tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh is just a myth.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/glenn-beck-u-s-is-lost-tribe-of-israel/#TEZQf4m56Fc6YLRi.99

Abuse of Power: Republican Party Leaders compared to Mafia Gangsters

Abuse of Power:

Republican Party Leaders compared to Mafia Gangsters

Alert! Click link below to Sign petition and stop GOP traitors from silencing Trump, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and all true conservatives.

Tea Party News: Republican Party Leaders stifle Freedom of Speech

Send Pink Slip to Boehner

GOP civil war: Intense crackdown on conservatives

‘This is what the mafia does. This is a political mafia on Capitol Hill’

Garth Kant

WASHINGTON – A civil war is raging within the Republican Party, pitting House leaders against conservatives.

And “fed up” conservatives have now decided to fight back in public.

mafiaA congressional aide tells WND a group of House conservatives will discuss this week how to proceed, but a few of them have already decided to speak up publicly.

One tactic conservatives might employ would be voting with Democrats on procedural motions to derail legislation favored by leadership.

The behind-the-scenes battle broke into open view on Friday when Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., was stripped of his chairmanship of a subcommittee for doing just that: voting against a House rule, in an unsuccessful attempt to slow down the rush to give President Obama virtually unchecked power to negotiate massive trade deals.

Laura Ingraham compares Republican Leaders to Mafia Gangsters

Radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham didn’t mince words in blasting the tactics of House Republican leaders: “This is what the mafia does. I’m sorry, but this is a political mafia on Capitol Hill.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/gop-civil-war-intense-crackdown-on-conservatives/#eFG1Mpu5bKqEtIYT.99

The Real Reason GOP Talking Heads are Attacking Trump

 

By: Jeffrey Lord

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com

Well. This is telling.

gop-betrayal-backstabOne of the striking aspects of Donald Trump’s announcement that he is running for president is the vehemence of his critics – on the conservative side.  

The normally even-keeled Dana Perino almost foamed on the set of Fox News’ “The Five” as she fumed about Trump’s line that he would not only build a wall that only he could build along the Mexican border but he would make the Mexicans pay for it. Over at National Review the normally astute Kevin Williamson went off not just the deep end but the very, very deep end in a column calling Trump – no kidding – a “Witless Ape.” In which it seems that Trump’s style (“the worst taste since Caligula”) and wife (a “ plastic-surgery-disaster wife”) were as offensive as Trump himself, the latter “a reality-television grotesque…grunting like a baboon about our country’s ‘brand’ and his own vast wealth.”

Let’s start with Williamson, whose piece should perhaps be retitled “Witless Writer Jumps the Shark.”

Having worked his way through a spray of bile unworthy of National Review not to mention the normally serious Williamson himself, there was a Williamson presentation of bankruptcy that was either willfully ignorant or maybe just blissfully so. Not to mention, Williamson revealed himself as historically clueless on the subject of presidents and bankruptcy.

And, oh yes. Let’s not forget the panel that appeared on Bret Baier’s “Special Report” the evening of Trump’s announcement. In which “conservatives” George Will and Charles Krauthammer joined liberal Mara Liasson in dissing Trump to substitute host Doug McKelway.

Why would conservative commentators pile on America’s arguably most famous capitalist? And not just pile on, either. This was, both individually in some cases and certainly collectively a full-blown temper tantrum worthy of a two-year old. As Rush Limbaugh observed after reading the NRO piece on air, imagine if Williamson and conservative commentators would expend this kind of energy on Hillary…or Jeb.

Rubber-Stamp Republican Leaders don’t like Patriotic Americans

There is an answer to the “why” however.  An answer that speaks directly to both why Trump’s candidacy resonates – and the visceral nature of the opposition to him in some of these conservative quarters. Not coincidentally it speaks as well to some of the GOP Establishment fury at Senator Ted Cruz when he stood up almost alone against Obamacare. Or the quick dismissals of Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign by the same crowd.

Donald Trump is an establishment GOP political consultant’s worst nightmare. He speaks off the cuff, and he gop-betrayal-rubberstampspeaks bluntly. He could not possibly care less what the GOP establishment, viewing it as he does as corrupt when not incompetent, thinks. Republican and conservative voters who like Trump, like him exactly because he speaks in blunt truths that they themselves believe and lack the forum to say. When Trump talks about his own wealth it is a reminder that he made not a dime of it being a Washington insider. The very fact that Jeb Bush generates news stories reporting that he’s swept through Washington’s lobbying industry like a vacuum cleaner sucking up money for his campaign tells a lot of conservatives everything they need to know about a Bush candidacy and potential presidency – none of it good.

In other words, the same forces that are making the Trump candidacy resonate with the grassroots and are infuriating Williamson and others on the conservative side of the commentary aisle are fueling Jim Jordan and those House conservatives in their increasingly bitter battle with Boehner. To wit, that quote from a Freedom Caucus member:

“Why do 65 percent of Republican voters think Republicans aren’t doing what we said we were going to do? You know why? Because we’re not doing what we said we were going to do.”

Exactly. And Donald Trump—and others like Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Ted Cruz—get it.

All of which explains the real meaning of Donald Trump’s popularity—and that of other outsiders as well. They are the candidates who resonate with the non-Insider base of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

 

And neither Trump nor the rest are going away.

– See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/Commentary/2015/06/The-Real-Reason-GOP-Talking-Heads-are-Attacking-Trump#sthash.yjyZX43X.dpuf?roi=echo7-17653314461-42580873-1e05f9eb0a364bcc7c6f29ecfeb1d5b6&

Alert! Click link below to Sign petition and stop GOP traitors from silencing Trump, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and all true conservatives.

Tea Party News: Republican Party Leaders stifle Freedom of Speech

 

 

Church and State: Judicial Activism decree prevails over Traditional Marriage

Church and State: Judicial Activism decree prevails over Traditional Marriage

 

Heritage Foundation Member Briefing

keyHe knew no other way. All his life there had been a battle, and all his life he had worked. He would go down working, go down fighting, go out trying as he had always done. Had he known how, he would have quit, but life had taught him everything but that. ~Louis L’Amour

judicialtyrannyThis has been a bad week for those of us who respect the Constitution and the rule of law. There’s no doubt about it.

But as Heritage Founder Ed Feulner always says, there are no permanent victories in Washington, and no permanent defeats—just permanent battles.

It’s for times like this that Heritage has been preparing. We’ve already laid out the groundwork for what conservatives must do next.

Congress can still repeal Obamacare through the legislative process — and momentum is building for repeal. As for marriage, it’s up to conservatives to continue to fight for what we believe and to reinforce the First Amendment so that those who support the truth about marriage will be protected.

As always, thank you for staying informed, standing with Heritage, and fighting for freedom.

Jim DeMint

Judicial activism from Supreme Court on marriage — here’s how to respond

by Ryan Anderson

Today is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong: It should not have mandated all 50 states to redefine marriage.

This is judicial activismnothing in the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage, and the court imposed its judgment about a policy matter that should be decided by the American people and their elected representatives. The court got marriage and the Constitution wrong today just like they got abortion and the Constitution wrong 42 years ago with Roe v. Wade. Five unelected judges do not have the power to change the truth about marriage or the truth about the Constitution.

Because the court has inappropriately redefined marriage everywhere, there is urgent need for policy to ensure that the government never penalizes anyone for standing up for marriage. As discussed in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” we must work to protect the freedom of speech, association and religion of those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as union of man and woman.

The First Amendment Defense Act

At the federal level, the First Amendment Defense Act is a good place to start. It says that the federal government cannot discriminate against people and institutions that speak and act according to their belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. States need similar policies.

Do think the Supreme Court ruled according to the Constitution?

The King vs. Burwell decision changes nothing for Obamacare repeal

by Jim DeMint

Liberty vs. Socialism: a Story

Dinner Topics for Monday

Frederic Bastiat and Legalized Plunder, or Socialism

Frederic Bastiat

keyNote: I found the Parable of the Broken Window when I clicked on just one more link. Parents, teach your children to pursue topics they are interested in. Your young people will excel in their education when they educate themselves, and they acquire a thirst for learning. You will not find any teachings of Frederic Bastiat in typical public schools. And look what they are missing!

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat. This is a short little book written in the nineteenth century. It really nails the notion of governments who think they can plunder the citizenry, just because they are the government and “above the law.” This is classic literature that you will want in your library, and which teens and young adults will find thought-provoking. It is well known by reliable historians, and should be easily available to purchase online. I highly recommend this little book to read aloud and discuss together. It will give you a clear understanding of how economics should be. ~C.A. Davidson

 

The Story of the Broken Window

Bastiat’s original parable or story of the broken window from Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (1850):

brokenwindowHave you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation-“It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.[1][2]

Bastiat’s argument

Austrian theorists, and Bastiat himself, apply the parable of the broken window in a different way. Suppose it was discovered that the little boy was actually hired by the glazier, and paid a franc for every window he broke. Suddenly the same act would be regarded as theft: the glazier was breaking windows in order to force people to hire his services. Yet the facts observed by the onlookers remain true: the glazier benefits from the business at the expense of the baker, the tailor, and so on.

Bastiat argues that people actually do endorse activities which are morally equivalent to the glazier hiring a boy to break windows for him:

Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;” and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To  break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labour; or, more briefly, “destruction is not profit.”

What will you say, Moniteur Industriel[3]-what will you say, disciples of good M. F. Chamans, who has calculated with so much precision how much trade would gain by the burning of Paris, from the number of houses it would be necessary to rebuild?[1][2]

Bastiat is not addressing production – he is addressing the stock of wealth. In other words, Bastiat does not merely look at the immediate but at the longer effects of breaking the window. Moreover, Bastiat does not only take into account the consequences of breaking the window for one group but for all groups, for society as a whole.[4]

Complete article from Wikipedia

Biography

BastiatBastiat was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, a port town in the south of France on the Bay of Biscay, on 29 June 1801. His father, Pierre Bastiat, was a prominent businessman in the town. His mother died in 1808 when Frédéric was seven years old.[2] His father moved inland to the town of Mugron with Frédéric following soon after. The Bastiat estate in Mugron had been acquired during the French Revolution and had previously belonged to the Marquis of Poyanne. Pierre Bastiat died in 1810, leaving Frédéric an orphan. He was taken in by his paternal grandfather and his maiden aunt, Justine Bastiat.[2] He attended a school in Bayonne, but his aunt thought poorly of it and so enrolled him in Saint-Sever. At 17, he left school at Sorèze to work for his uncle in his family’s export business. It was the same firm where his father had been a partner. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo suggests that this experience was crucial to Bastiat’s later work since it allowed young Frédéric to acquire first-hand knowledge of how regulation can affect markets.[3] Sheldon Richman notes that “he came of age during the Napoleonic wars, with their extensive government intervention in economic affairs.”[4]

Bastiat began to develop an intellectual interest. He no longer wished to work with his uncle and dreamed of going to Paris for formal studies. This dream never came true as his grandfather was in poor health and wished to go to the Mugron estate. Bastiat accompanied him and took care of him. The next year, when Bastiat was 24, his grandfather died, leaving the young man the family estate, thereby providing him with the means to further his theoretical inquiries.[2] Bastiat developed intellectual interests in several areas including “philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy and biography.”[3] “After the middle-class Revolution of 1830, Bastiat became politically active and was elected justice of the peace of Mugron in 1831 and to the Council General (county-level assembly) of Landes in 1832. He was elected to the national legislative assembly after the French Revolution of 1848.”[1]

His public career as an economist began only in 1844 when his first article was published in the Journal des economistes in October of that year. It was cut short by his untimely death in 1850. Bastiat had contracted tuberculosis, probably during his tours throughout France to promote his ideas, and that illness eventually prevented him from making further speeches (particularly at the legislative assembly to which he was elected in 1848 and 1849) and took his life. In the fall of 1850, he was sent to Italy by his doctors. He first traveled Pisa, then onto Rome. On 24 December 1850, Bastiat called those with him to approach his bed. He murmured twice the words “The truth” then passed away.[2]

Bastiat’s most famous work, however, is undoubtedly The Law, originally published as a pamphlet in 1850. It defines, through development, a just system of laws and then demonstrates how such law facilitates a free society.

 

manwbagBastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to defend and protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies, which are inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the only things (life, liberty, and property) it is supposed to defend.[12]

He was also a strong supporter of free trade. He “was inspired by and routinely corresponded with Richard Cobden and the English Anti-Corn Law League and worked with free-trade associations in France.”[1]

In The Law, Bastiat explains that, if the privileged classes use the government for “legalized plunder”, this will encourage the lower classes to revolt or use socialist “legalized plunder” and that the correct response to both the socialists and the corporatists [crony capitalism and corporate socialism are the same] is to cease all “legalized plunder”. Bastiat also explains why his position is that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. When used to obtain “legalized plunder” for any group, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.[12]

 

Dinner Talk

1. What do you learn from the Parable of the Broken Window? Why do Progressives and Socialists use the broken economy to make people dependent on them? (Hint: They get more power and votes.)

2. Bastiat writes of “legalized plunder.” In ancient American history, there was a group called Gadiantons who took over the free government and engaged in plunder. How is this a type of what governments do today? What recent examples can you give of our government engaging in “legalized plunder?”

Christian News: Leadership Stand Firm for Traditional Marriage

Christian News: Leadership Stand Firm for Traditional Marriage

Supreme Court Decision Will Not Alter Doctrine on Marriage

keyWe warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. ~Gordon B. Hinckley, Family Proclamation to the World

 

SALT LAKE CITY —

The Church issued the following statement Friday:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”

The Divine Institution of Marriage

Introduction 

familydefendmarriage1In 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which declares the following truths about marriage:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . .

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.[1]

Since the publication of that statement, there have been many challenges to the institution of marriage. Prominent among these challenges has been the recognition by several national governments and some states and provinces that same-sex marriage—formal unions between two individuals of the same gender—are the equivalent of traditional marriage. Yet God’s purposes for establishing marriage have not changed. One purpose of this document is to reaffirm the Church’s declaration that marriage is the lawful union of a man and a woman.

Another purpose is to reaffirm that the Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are acceptable to God only between a husband and a wife who are united in the bonds of matrimony.

A third purpose is to set forth the Church’s reasons for defending marriage between a man and a woman as an issue of moral imperative. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage derives from its doctrine and teachings, as well as from its concern about the consequences of same-sex marriage on religious freedom, society, families, and children.

A fourth purpose of this document is to reaffirm that Church members should address the issue of same-sex marriage with respect and civility and should treat all people with love and humanity.

The Vital Importance of Marriage

Marriage is sacred and was ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ affirmed the divine origins of marriage: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”[2]

From the beginning, the sacred nature of marriage was closely linked to the power of procreation. After creating Adam and Eve, God commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,”[3] and they brought forth children, forming the first family. Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children. This power of procreation—to create life and bring God’s spirit children into the world—is divinely given. Misuse of this power undermines the institution of the family.[4]

For millennia, strong families have served as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization. In 1948, the world’s nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affirming that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.”[5]

Marriage is far more than a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage is a vital institution for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. Throughout the ages, governments of all types have recognized marriage as essential in preserving social stability and perpetuating life. Regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, in almost every culture marriage has been protected and endorsed by governments primarily to preserve and foster the institution most central to rearing children and teaching them the moral values that undergird civilization.

It is true that some couples who marry will not have children, either by choice or because of infertility. The special status granted marriage is nevertheless closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation and to the innate differences between the genders. By contrast, same-sex marriage is an institution no longer linked to gender—to the biological realities and complementary natures of male and female. Its effect is to decouple marriage from its central role in creating life, nurturing time-honored values, and fostering family bonds across generations.

In recent decades, high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have resulted in an exceptionally large number of single parents. Many of these single parents have raised exemplary children. Extensive studies have shown, however, that a husband and wife who are united in a loving, committed marriage generally provide the ideal environment for protecting, nurturing, and raising children.[6] This is in part because of the differing qualities and strengths that husbands and wives bring to the task by virtue of their gender. As an eminent academic on family life has written:

The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to child rearing is unique and irreplaceable. . . . The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development.[7]

In view of the close links that have long existed between marriage, procreation, gender, and parenting, same-sex marriage cannot be regarded simply as the granting of a new “right.” It is a far-reaching redefinition of the very nature of marriage itself. It marks a fundamental change in the institution of marriage in ways that are contrary to God’s purposes for His children and detrimental to the long-term interests of society.

Threats to Marriage and Family

Our modern era has seen traditional marriage and family—defined as a husband and wife with children in an intact marriage—come increasingly under assault, with deleterious consequences. In 2012, 40% of all births in the United States were to unwed mothers.[8] More than 50% of births to mothers under age 30 were out of wedlock. Further, the marriage rate has been declining since the 1980s. These trends do not bode well for the development of the rising generation.

A wide range of social ills has contributed to this weakening of marriage and family. These include divorce, cohabitation, non-marital childbearing, pornography, the erosion of fidelity in marriage, abortion, the strains of unemployment and poverty, and many other social phenomena. The Church has a long history of speaking out on these issues and seeking to minister to our members with regard to them. The focus of this document on same-sex marriage is not intended to minimize these long-standing issues.

More recently, the movement to promote same-sex marriage as an inherent or constitutional right has gained notable ground in recent years. Court rulings, legislative actions, and referenda have legalized same-sex marriage in a number of nations, states, and jurisdictions. In response, societal and religious leaders of many persuasions and faiths have made the case that redefining marriage in this way will further weaken the institution over time, resulting in negative consequences for both adults and children.[9]

A large number of people around the world recognize the crucial role that traditional marriage has played and must continue to play if children and families are to be protected and moral values propagated. Because the issue of same-sex marriage strikes at the very heart of the family and has the potential for great impact upon the welfare of children, the Church unequivocally affirms that marriage should remain the lawful union of a man and a woman.

Unchanging Standards of Morality

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God has established clear standards of morality for His children, who are accountable before Him for their behavior. Such standards cannot be changed by the reasoning, emotions, personal interests, or opinions of mortal beings.[10] Without the higher authority of God, as revealed in scripture and by His prophets, secular society will flounder and drift.

Many advocates of same-sex marriage argue that traditional standards of sexual morality have changed and that “tolerance” requires that these new standards be recognized and codified in law. If tolerance is defined as showing kindness for others and respect for differing viewpoints, it is an important value in all democratic societies. But as Elder Dallin H. Oaks has observed, “Tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination.”[11]

The Savior taught that we should love the sinner without condoning the sin. In the case of the woman taken in adultery, He treated her kindly but exhorted her to “sin no more.”[12] His example manifested the highest love possible.

In addition to using the argument of tolerance to advocate redefining marriage, proponents have advanced the argument of “equality before the law.” No mortal law, however, can override or nullify the moral standards established by God. Nor can the laws of men change the natural, innate differences between the genders or deny the close biological and social link between procreation and marriage.

How Would Same-Sex Marriage Affect Religious Freedom?

judicialtyrannyAs governments have legalized same-sex marriage as a civil right, they have also enforced a wide variety of other policies to ensure there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. These policies have placed serious burdens on individual conscience and on religious organizations.[13]

Same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws have already spawned legal collisions with the rights of free speech and of action based on religious beliefs. For example, advocates and government officials in certain states have challenged the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in several states was forced to give up its adoption services rather than be forced to place children with same-sex couples.[14]

In the United States, the First Amendment right of free exercise of religion is coming under pressure from proponents of same-sex marriage. Some of these proponents advocate that tax exemptions and benefits should be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not accept such marriages.[15] The First Amendment may protect clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages, but other people of faith have faced and likely will continue to face legal pressures and sanctions. The same will happen with religiously affiliated institutions and educational systems. For example, a Georgia counselor contracted by the Centers for Disease Control was fired after an investigation into her decision to refer someone in a same-sex relationship to another counselor. In New Jersey, a ministry lost its tax-exempt status for denying a lesbian couple the use of its pavilion for their wedding. New Mexico’s Human Rights Commission prosecuted a commercial photographer for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. When public schools in Massachusetts began teaching students about same-sex civil marriage, a Court of Appeals ruled that parents had no right to exempt their students.[16]

Similar limitations on religious freedom have already become the social and legal reality in several European nations, and the European Parliament has recommended that laws protecting the status of same-sex couples be made uniform across the European Union.[17] Where same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, it inevitably conflicts with the rights of believers, and religious freedom is diminished.

How Would Same-Sex Marriage Affect Society?

The possible diminishing of religious freedom is not the only societal implication of legalizing same-sex marriage. Perhaps the most common argument that proponents of same-sex marriage make is that it is essentially harmless and will not affect the institution of traditional heterosexual marriage in any way. “It won’t affect your marriage, so why should you care?” is the common refrain. While it may be true that allowing same-sex marriage will not immediately and directly affect existing marriages, the real question is how it will affect society as a whole over time, including the rising generation and future generations.

In addition to undermining and diluting the sacred nature of marriage, legalizing same-sex marriage brings many practical implications in the sphere of public policy that will be of concern to parents and society.[18] When a government legalizes same-sex marriage as a civil right, it will almost certainly enforce a wide variety of other policies to enforce this. The implications of these policies are critical to understanding the seriousness of condoning same-sex marriage.

The all-important question of public policy must be: what environment is best for the child and for the rising generation? While some same-sex couples will obtain guardianship over children, traditional marriage provides the most solid and well-established social identity for children.[19] It increases the likelihood that they will be able to form a clear gender identity, with sexuality closely linked to both love and procreation. By contrast, the legal recognition of same-sex marriage may, over time, erode the social identity, gender development, and moral character of children. No dialogue on this issue can be complete without taking into account the long-term consequences for children.

schoolindoctrination2As one example of how children will be adversely affected, the establishment of same-sex marriage as a civil right will inevitably entail changes in school curricula. When the state says that same-sex marriages are equivalent to heterosexual marriages, public school administrators will feel obligated to support this claim.[20] This has already happened in many jurisdictions, where from elementary school through high school, children are taught that marriage can be defined as a legal union between two adults of any gender, that the definition of family is fluid, and in some cases that consensual sexual relations are morally neutral.[21] In addition, in many areas, schools are not required to notify parents of this curriculum or to give families the opportunity to opt out.[22] These developments are already causing clashes between the agenda of secular school systems and the right of parents to teach their children deeply held standards of morality.

Throughout history, the family has served as an essential bulwark of individual liberty. The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the sometimes overreaching powers of government. In the absence of abuse or neglect, government does not have the right to intervene in the rearing and moral education of children in the home. Strong, independent families are vital for political and religious freedom.

Civility and Kindness

The Church acknowledges that same-sex marriage and the issues surrounding it can be divisive and hurtful. As Church members strive to protect marriage between a man and a woman, they should show respect, civility, and kindness toward others who have different points of view.

The Church has advocated for legal protection for same-sex couples regarding “hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”[23] In Salt Lake City, for example, the Church supported ordinances to protect gay residents from discrimination in housing and employment.[24]

The Church’s affirmation of marriage as being between a man and a woman “neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians.”[25] Church members are to treat all people with love and humanity. They may express genuine love and kindness toward a gay or lesbian family member, friend, or other person without condoning any redefinition of marriage.

Conclusion

Strong, stable families, headed by a father and mother, are the anchor of society. When marriage is undermined by gender confusion and by distortions of its God-given meaning, the rising generation of children and youth will find it increasingly difficult to develop their natural identities as men or women. Some will find it more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with many other churches, organizations, and individuals, will continue to defend the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, because it is a compelling moral issue of profound importance to our religion and to the future of society.

The final words in the Church’s proclamation on the family are an admonition to the world from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”[26]

Related Posts

Importance of Family Values and Traditional Marriage Affirmed Worldwide

American Culture: Importance of Family, Traditional Marriage