Dinner Topics for Friday
Holy Spirit Guidance
In the Christian lifestyle, when we remain steadfast and faithful, surround ourselves with good influences (easily induced by good music), we can have Holy Spirit guidance with us, and we convey to the Holy Spirit, “You are Welcome here.”
The Lord has made the promise to all who will repent and remain faithful, exercising a spirit of humility and diligence, that they will be entitled to the guidance of the Spirit of God. This Spirit will lead them and direct them throughout their lives.
He who will hearken to that Spirit and seek for the gift of the Spirit in humility and faith shall not be deceived. ~Joseph Fielding Smith
YouTube Music: “Inspired”
Moral Support Update—
1. Pro-Life News
You did it!
Last night, thanks to the pressure of NPLA members and other pro-lifers, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain Capable Abortion Ban by a vote of 242 to 184!
Now the fight will continue in the U.S. Senate where it is sure to face intense opposition from the abortion lobby.
But forcing any vote on protecting unborn babies capable of feeling pain throughout their entire bodies is a clear political winner.
In addition to saving thousands of lives each year, every vote on this bill exposes pro-abortion politicians as the radicals they are for refusing to support any restrictions on abortion-on-demand.
And thanks to the pro-life advances in the last election, you and I have never been better positioned to force a vote on late-term abortions.
So if you haven’t already, please sign the petition to your two U.S. Senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by clicking here.
And if you have signed, please forward this to friends and family.
Every name added to this petition will build support in the U.S. Senate for the Pain Capable Abortion Ban as we grow ever closer to the ultimate goal of protecting ALL innocent, unborn life.
Martin Fox, President
National Pro-Life Alliance
2. Heritage Foundation: Reclaim America
Reclaim America is Heritage’s ambitious plan — unlike anything ever before attempted by a policy organization — to restore conservative principles. Its success relies on Heritage’s conservative policy expertise, our ability to take our message to the American people, our leadership and strategic location, and Heritage Action’s grassroots activism to hold lawmakers accountable to conservative ideas.
3. Freedom-works: Patriot Act Facts
USA Freedom 3.0 – Step Forward and Missed Opportunities
– by Josh Withrow, Freedomworks
The House will likely pass their bill, the USA FREEDOM Act, to reform and reauthorize the controversial Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. This portion of the 2001 law was revealed by Edward Snowden to be the legal justification for the massive, nearly limitless collection of American citizens’ telephone metadata by the NSA. Unfortunately, this year’s USA Freedom Act as currently conceived is weaker than previous versions.
The bill does makes some strides forward. For starters, it explicitly bans the true limitless collection of telephone data by forcing the government to use a “specific selection term” (SST) in any surveillance warrant. This SST is defined to prevent the NSA or FBI from scooping up data from an entire service provider (like Verizon or AT&T) or even an entire state, county, or ZIP Code. In this sense, USA Freedom should end bulk collection of phone records, in the sense that the government cannot actually take control of and store this massive quantity of data themselves.
Read more here…
Dinner Topics for Thursday
Middle East Peace Plan: Form a Christian Nation
After all, if Muslims, who represent the second-largest religion in the world, are entitled to 51 countries of their own, why aren’t Christians—the largest religion in the world—entitled to one? ~Joseph Farah
Radical solution to top Middle East problems: security of Israel and persecution of Christians
Middle East Problems: Security for Israel
Israel is a tiny sliver of civilization in a vast ocean of hostile, Muslim-dominated regimes who would like to destroy the Jewish state.
The “solution” for this problem put forward by most of the world is for Israel to give up more of its land and to create yet another hostile, Muslim-dominated regime as an immediate neighbor to Israel.
It doesn’t make any sense to me.
Personally, I don’t think Israel should give up one inch of its territory—especially land won in hard-fought, life-and-death wars it never wanted.
But here’s a compromise no one else has put forward –and the beauty of it is that it solves a humanitarian crisis few other nations, including the U.S., seem to care about.
So let’s first take a look at the crisis that is getting worse all the time.
For the moment, Egypt has a moderate regime in charge—offering the first real protection of 10 million Christians who have faced persecution since Muslims invaded in the 8th century.
Lebanon, once the closest thing to an Arab Christian country in the region, is now dominated by Iran-backed Hezbollah extremists. Oh, and it also faces an imminent invasion by ISIS—which wants to cut off the heads of all the Christians.
The fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq turned into a nightmare for Christians in that country, many of whom fled Islamic extremism to Jordan and Syria.
Christians, once treated with a degree of dignity in Iran, are increasingly facing persecution under the Shiite mullah regime.
Syria, where the second-largest Christian community in the Middle East resides, is on the precipice of falling to ISIS. Christian churches, homes and businesses are being systematically burned to the ground—and the refugees have nowhere left to go.
And in the so-called Palestinian Authority, Christians have been on the run for decades.
So here’s the big idea that addresses both problems—Israel’s security and the plight of persecuted Christians.
If the world insists on creating a new Arab country called Palestine—one that has never existed in the history of the world—let it be a Christian Arab country, located between Israel and those hostile, Muslim-dominated regimes: Maronites from Lebanon, Syrian Orthodox from Damascus, Greek Orthodox from the Palestinian Authority, Catholics from Iraq and Jordan. It would serve as a refuge for Christians who want to live in peace and freedom and without the second-class citizenship of Islam-imposed dhimmitude. It would be well-armed and agree to live in peace an harmony with their Jewish neighbors—which shouldn’t be a problem.
It would be the one and only Christian country in the Middle East—and likely a strong ally with the one and only Jewish state.
After all, why do Muslim Arabs need another police state when they already have a dozen to choose from in the region?
Why not create a self-governing, independent, free Christian-dominated Arab state as a buffer between Israel and nearly 30 million Muslims who seem content living under various shades of Islamic authoritarianism?
Why is that the injustice perpetrated on millions of Middle East Christians is not even a consideration for the rest of the world?
Now I don’t really expect this idea to gain any currency.
But why not?
The greatest terror in the Middle East today is Arab-on-Arab violence—mostly Muslim vs. Christian.
The so-called “Arab Spring” has meant nothing but horror for Arab Christians.
By the way, just as Israel provided a homeland for Jews dispersed throughout the world, this new Christian country, which I see stretching from southern Lebanon to the north of Israel, to Amman in the East and Gaza in the south, could be a place of refuge for persecuted Christians not only throughout the Middle East, but in Africa and central Asia.
In fact, I might even leave the U.S., where anti-Christian persecution is on the rise, to live in the one and only real Christian country in the world.
After all, if Muslims, who represent the second-largest religion in the world, are entitled to 51 countries of their own, why aren’t Christians—the largest religion in the world—entitled to one?
I know it will never happen because it makes too much sense. I know it will never happen because it would further inflame the Saudi-backed Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists.
I know it will never happen because I’m the only one even suggesting such a thing.
The Truth about Middle East Muslims
It demonstrates why and how terrorism works. Middle East Christians don’t resort to terrorism. They don’t call for the destruction of their neighbors. They don’t threaten and bully and intimidate. But Middle East Muslims do. And because they control so much oil and wealth, the world backs their insane demands to create another terrorist state in the interest of furthering “peace.”
You tell me, though, whose plan makes more sense—the world’s or mine?
Tea Party News and Heritage Foundation Update
Freedom of Speech Threatened—
1. How the Illiberal Left Uses Silencing Tactics
By Jennifer Harper – The Washington Times – Sunday, May 10, 2015
There’s much talk about free speech, and the right to it. Now comes a new book explaining who and what is eroding this most basic tenet. Now on book shelves: “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech” by Kirsten Powers, a lifelong liberal and daughter of a feminist who converted to Christianity as an adult and is now a frequent contributor to Fox News.
She points out that leftist methodology is to simply shut down public debate with the help of a compliant liberal news media and a secular culture — while squawking about tolerance and values.
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
In March 2014, pioneering Internet company Mozilla announced the appointment of co-founder Brendan Eich as CEO. That same day, a Twitter mob exploded with criticism of Eich. Gay rights supporters were angry about a 6-year-old donation of $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2008.
It’s OK to be angry about Eich’s donation. Screaming for Eich’s head on a pike for his failure to conform to Mozilla’s majority view on same-sex marriage is not.
Liberals are supposed to believe in protecting minority views, even when they disapprove of those views.
Instead an online mob of presumably “liberal” people tweeted about Eich’s donation, many calling him a bigot and homophobe for supporting Prop 8. Remember, this proposition passed the same year Senator Barack Obama sat in Rick Warren’s church to explain his religious based opposition to same-sex marriage. Eich took the time to address the criticisms.
Such assurances proved inadequate, however. Almost 70,000 people signed a petition organized at Credo Action, a progressive social change organization, telling Eich to renounce his beliefs or resign as Mozilla’s CEO. They accused him of “advocat[ing] for inequality and hate” and ordered Mozilla to fire him if he refused to resign.
Finally, just over a week after his appointment, Mozilla announced that Eich would be stepping down as CEO. “While painful,” wrote Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, “the events of the last week show exactly why we need the Web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.”
It’s not necessary to support Eich’s donation to recognize something deeply disturbing occurred here. Pushing someone out of his job for dissenting on an issue that has nothing to do with the mission of the company and then portraying the purge as a “free” conversation that boosted humanity is creepily Orwellian.
The writer Andrew Sullivan—who is gay and was one of the earliest public advocates of same-sex marriage—wrote at the time of Eich’s ouster, “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”
2. Tea Party News: GOP Hypocritical on Obamacare Exemptions:
GOP Senators’ Pro-Congressional Obamacare Exemption Crusade Draws Scorn – from America
Pity the poor Senators:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), 40%
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) 45%
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 14%
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) 32%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 42%
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) 58%
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) 51%
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 49%
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 93%
and at least three other GOP Senators too timid to allow a reporter to quote them by name as they disparaged a fellow Republican.
Section 1312 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says specifically that upon enactment of the law, “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff … shall be health plans that are – (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”
Further, according to Section 1512 of the law, employees who purchase their health insurance through the exchanges “lose the employer contribution” many received to help defray the cost of their premiums.
In other words, Members of Congress and their staffs shall, upon enactment of the law, be required to give up their generous Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan health benefits – which included a generous taxpayer-funded subsidy to cover upwards of 70 percent of the cost of individual and family insurance premiums – and, instead, must purchase their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, without benefit of any employer contributions to subsidize the cost of their insurance.
That is the law, as written. Unfortunately, that is not the law as practiced, at least not since OPM ruled in clear violation of the law that Members and their staffs would continue to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to help defray the cost of their premiums. And the absurdity of the OPM ruling is demonstrated by the lengths to which Congress had to go to pretend to stay within the confines of the law – Congress had to declare itself a “small business” with “fewer than 50 employees.”
Sen. Vitter believes the law should be implemented as it was enacted, not as some Members – apparently, many Members – want it to be enacted. In his determination to force Congress to live under the law as it was enacted, he is using his position as Chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to seek records of Congress’ application to the D.C. small business exchange.
3. Patriot Act Facts: Stop Government Spying!
Have you seen the Drudge Report recently? We’re right up at the top!
You see, the entire country is talking about one thing right now: the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, and the disastrous blow that this Big Government program would deal to our Constitutional liberties.
That’s why we’re fighting back.
We’ve taken the lead in opposition to this unconstitutional bill by joining forces with some unlikely allies: the ACLU and the NAACP.
And now, we need your support to defeat this bill and kill this big government program once and for all.
You see, we’ve allied with the ACLU and the NAACP to produce and run some hard-hitting TV ads in the home states of several on-the-fence Senators.
We’re reaching millions of Americans, urging them to put the pressure on their Senators to kill this unconstitutional big government program.
Dinner Topics for Wednesday
Pew Poll on Religion Shows the Power Christians Could Still Have in This Country — If They Used It
I’m guessing why the numbers are what they are, because if you look at the evangelical churches, they haven’t lost anything. Their membership is holding pretty steady. Where the message has remained the same, where the mission has remained the same, where the members of the church don’t think any corruption is taking place, they’re still hanging in there. Some might say the churches that haven’t fallen prey to the dark side, all of this silly “social evolution.” But even with this drop, 70% of the country still identifies as Christians. ~Rush Limbaugh
RUSH: There’s a lot of news out there today, ladies and gentlemen, about a study on religion and Christianity. Here it is right here. It’s from the Pew Center. It’s the Pew Center’s “US Religious Landscape Study.” Here’s the nuts and bolts of this. “In 2007, 78.4% of Americans were Christian. In 2014, only 70.6%.” So, essentially an 8% drop in people who identify as Christian since Obama became president.
The study on religion finds that under the Obama years, we have this dramatic drop. And even after this dramatic drop of 8%, Christians still comprise 70% of the population. Even after a drop of almost 10%. Let’s round it up to 10%, a 10% drop in people who identify as Christians. That’s key. They may still be. They’re just not admitting it. But even at that, 70% of the country identifies as Christian. Less than 1% of the country identifies as Muslim, in the Pew Research paper here at 0.9%.
Now, let me make an additional point about this, about the drop from 78.4% down to 70.6% in the last eight years. The last eight years have not been static. They have been dynamic. There have been a lot of things happening in various denominations around the country that might explain this drop. The Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians (the American version of the Church of England) have had dramatic changes in their structure and their organization.
Many of these churches within these denominations now perform homosexual marriages. They ordain gay pastors and ministers — and in some cases, female and lesbian pastors and ministers. Which you might think would cause some people to leave those churches, if they disagreed with the decisions made. Those denominations — the Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians — dropped a lot of members.
I don’t know whether they have picked another church, or they don’t go to church at all. But they have left their churches because of social issues, and the “evolution” of their churches to social areas they didn’t want to go and don’t feel of those being in. And I don’t think… I don’t even say that to be controversial. It’s just what it is. But again, those are probably words that the left doesn’t want to hear. They’re words like that the left would tag as “intolerant.”
I’m not tolerating or intolerating anything. I’m just telling you. I’m guessing why the numbers are what they are, because if you look at the evangelical churches, they haven’t lost anything. Their membership is holding pretty steady. Where the message has remained the same, where the mission has remained the same, where the members of the church don’t think any corruption is taking place, they’re still hanging in there.
Some might say the churches that haven’t fallen prey to the dark side, all of this silly “social evolution.” But even with this drop, 70% of the country still identifies as Christians. Yet it gets back to question I raised the other day. How is it possible that less than one million gay activists are able to bully and steamroll an entire country on the subject of marriage?
By the same token, how is it that 70% of the population can be bullied and silenced and coerced into accepting societal evolution with which they disagree because of their religious beliefs? It’s not just the Republican Party caving, folks. It’s not just the Republican Party not engaging in push-back. There’s a whole lot of groups that make up the majority in this country one way or the other who are not pushing back.
Christians: #1 most persecuted
Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to Pew Research’s 2015 report on religious restrictions and hostilities worldwide. Christians are harassed by government or social groups in the largest number of countries – 102 out of 198 countries studied. Muslims come in second, being harassed in 99 countries. Harassment of Jews was seen in 77 countries, which is a seven-year high for that religion.
pewforum.org, 2/26/15; onenewsnow.com, 3/6/15
Survey says homeschooling movement strong
Homeschooling continues to prosper and grow, according to a National Home Education Research Institute online survey. There are currently 2.2 million homeschooled students in the U.S., NHERI estimates. And that number continues to grow by an estimated 2 to 8% each year. Home education is also gaining popularity among minorities, as about 15% of homeschool families are non-white and non-Hispanic. About 10% of homeschoolers are black students.
Aside from high academic performance – where homeschool students typically rank 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized tests – they also score well when it comes to faith-based beliefs and moral behavior. The NHERI findings show that homeschool students are three times more likely than public school students to have strong Christian beliefs. Only 16% of homeschool students reported support for same sex marriage compared to 29% from Christian schools, and 33% from public schools. And just 9% of homeschoolers practice co-habitation later in life, compared to 22% of Christian school students and 34% of public school students.
onenewsnow.com, 2/24/15; nheri.org, 1/6/15
Biblical Beliefs Affirmed
Erskine College, a Christian college in South Carolina, received attention recently after it officially but quietly affirmed traditional marriage.
“We believe the Bible teaches that monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is God’s intended design for humanity and that sexual intimacy has its proper place only within the context of marriage,” the statement says.
OutSports, a blog focusing on homosexual athletes, first ran the story, and mainstream media quickly spread the false claim that Erskine meant to ban homosexuality and gay students. However, a spokesman for Erskine said biblical marriage has always been part of its Christian heritage.
worldmag.com, 3/11/15; onenewsnow.com, 3/9/15
Navy Disciplines Chaplain for Christian View
Navy Chaplain Wes Modder’s past Marine and Navy SEAL commanders called him a “national asset,” with “appropriate confidence and diplomacy to speak to the entire chain of command.” He was deemed “best of the best” of Navy chaplains.
His career spanned 20 years. During his tenure at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, a few soldiers complained about the biblical views he shared in counseling sessions, even though he began each session by clearly stating his worldview and the biblical basis of his counseling approach.
Because of the complaints, the Navy requested Modder be barred from promotion, fired from his job as chaplain, and brought before a military Board of Inquiry. The board could force him out of the military altogether.
Captain Jon Fahs, commander of NNPTC, wrote in a letter that Modder was “unable to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment” of the Navy.
Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry said the Navy’s treatment of Modder is outrageous. Liberty is representing Modder and requesting he be fully reinstated.
onenewsnow.com, 3/10/15; navytime.com, 3//13/15
Air Force Reacts to Citizen Outcry
In mid-March, an airman at Georgia’s Robins Air Force Base was offended when military personnel at the base gate greeted him with “Have a blessed day.” The airman went to the anti-Christian group Military Religious Freedom Foundation and filed a complaint. MRFF promptly called a Robins Security Force major and demanded that the greeting be abandoned.
Immediately, the major surrendered and ordered personnel to stop saying “Have a blessed day” to people passing through the gate. However, after an email campaign by AFA and complaints from others, the Air Force quickly corrected the ill-conceived order.
The official statement included these words: “Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘Have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force instructions.”
“It’s encouraging to see this quick turn around by the Air Force,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “And it proves that individual citizens can have an impact when they join their voices together.”
When these athletes were in their sociology classes, certain subjects were taboo. Here are three rather obvious examples:
- Abortion and Race. Although only 12 percent of the population is black, 37 percent of aborted babies are black. In fact, more blacks are aborted every week than have been lynched in the entire history of the United States of America. The prevalence of abortion has a ripple effect on the black community. It makes it easier for men to have sex without commitment to women and children. This weakens the family, decimates the average household income, and paves the way for big government.
- Business ownership and race. People often talk about buying minority votes with welfare. But the welfare checks don’t stay in the hands of blacks for very long. They are soon cashed and spent in businesses in black communities. But members of different minority groups own most of the businesses. So the money quickly leaves the black community. The obvious solution is that blacks need to turn to entrepreneurship rather than government to strengthen their communities.
- Crime. Blacks are far more likely to be victims of crime than whites. But focusing on the occasional white-on-black crime diverts attention from the fact that about 80 percent of all crime is intra-racial. In other words, about four out of five crimes committed by a black citizen are committed against another black citizen. Of the remaining 20 percent of crimes that are inter-racial there are far more black-on-white crimes than white-on-black crimes. This is despite the fact that whites vastly outnumber blacks in the general population.
The prevalence of serious crime in the black community has serious economic consequences. Putting men in prison means taking them out of the workforce. When men aren’t paying the bills, big government steps in to become the family provider.
Dinner Topics for Tuesday
The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carl Heinrich Bloch (May 23, 1834 – February 22, 1890) was a Danish painter.
He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and studied with Wilhelm Marstrand at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) there. Bloch’s parents wanted their son to enter a respectable profession – an officer in the Navy. This, however, was not what Carl wanted. His only interest was drawing and painting, and he was consumed by the idea of becoming an artist. He went to Italy to study art, passing through the Netherlands, where he became acquainted with the work of Rembrandt, which became a major influence on him. Carl Bloch met his wife, Alma Trepka, in Rome, where he married her on May 31, 1868. They were happily married until her early death in 1886.
His early work featured rural scenes from everyday life. From 1859 to 1866, Bloch lived in Italy, and this period was important for the development of his historical style.
His first great success was the exhibition of his “Prometheus Unbound” in Copenhagen in 1865. After the death of Marstrand, he finished the decoration of the ceremonial hall at the University of Copenhagen. The sorrow over losing his wife weighed heavily on Bloch, and being left alone with their eight children after her death was very difficult for him.
In a New Year’s letter from 1866 to Bloch, H. C. Andersen wrote the following: “What God has arched on solid rock will not be swept away!” Another letter from Andersen declared “Through your art you add a new step to your Jacob-ladder into immortality.”
In a final ode, from a famous author to a famous artist, H.C. Andersen said “Write on the canvas; write your seal on immortality. Then you will become noble here on earth.”
He was then commissioned to produce 23 paintings for the Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace. These were all scenes from the life of Christ which have become very popular as illustrations. The originals, painted between 1865 and 1879, are still at Frederiksborg Palace. The altarpieces can be found at Holbaek, Odense, Ugerloese and Copenhagen in Denmark, as well as Loederup, Hoerup, and Landskrona in Sweden.
Through the assistance of Danish-born artist Soren Edsberg, the acquisition of “Christ healing at the pool of Bethesda,” [formerly owned by Indre Mission, Copenhagen, Denmark], was recently made possible for The Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
Carl Bloch died of cancer on February 22, 1890. His death came as “an abrupt blow for Nordic art” according to an article by Sophus Michaelis. Michaelis stated that “Denmark has lost the artist that indisputably was the greatest among the living.” Kyhn stated in his eulogy at Carl Bloch’s funeral that “Bloch stays and lives.”
A prominent Danish art critic, Karl Madsen, stated that Carl Bloch reached higher toward the great heaven of art than all other Danish art up to that date. Madsen also said “If there is an Elysium, where the giant, rich, warm and noble artist souls meet, there Carl Bloch will sit among the noblest of them all!” (From Carl Bloch Site).
For over 40 years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made heavy use of Carl Bloch’s paintings, mostly from the Frederiksborg Palace collection, in its church buildings and printed media. The LDS church has produced films depicting scriptural accounts of Christ’s mortal ministry, using Bloch’s paintings as models for the colour, light and overall set design as well as the movement of the actors in many of the films’ scenes. The most notable example of this is the movie The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd.
You can see a scrolling set of his pictures and schedule a visit to the Museum of Fine Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
What’s not to understand about Islam History and Islamic Terrorism?
Tim Wildmon, AFA President
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Every American should be able to recite these opening lines from the “Marine Hymn.” It reminds us of the men and women who have defended our country and fought for our freedom down through the decades and centuries.
There’s a story behind the line that says “To the shores of Tripoli,” that most Americans are not familiar with. It involved our country’s first encounter with Islamic terrorists, also known as the First Barbary War (1801-1805). The History Channel website says that President Thomas Jefferson, “…ordered U.S. Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against U.S. ships by pirates from the Barbary states – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and returned to the U.S. only after an exorbitant ransom was paid. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803, when a small U.S. expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present day Libya.”
Leading up to the First Barbary War in 1786, while Jefferson was serving as an ambassador for the new United States, he and John Adams met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain to determine if the Barbary states had any right to kidnap and slaughter the innocent crews of passing merchant ships. Here’s what Jefferson recorded:
We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.
The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
I find it most interesting to read of this exchange between the ambassador from Tripoli and Jefferson. The Muslim ambassador just tells Jefferson straight up: We are killing and kidnapping your people and stealing your merchandise because our holy book tells us to.
The ambassador’s answer was so matter of fact, it makes you wonder if, when finished, he just looked at Jefferson and Adams and said: “Any more questions?”
Since its inception in the seventh century, Islam has used the sword to advance its territory. It goes on to this day. The goal is to bring the world into submission to Sharia law. This is what motivates all these “terrorist” groups. ISIS is getting a lot of attention, but what is going on with Boko Haram against the people of Nigeria today is just as horrible. This practice of using force to compel conversion is distinct to Islam compared to the world’s other major religions.
President Obama refuses to acknowledge the problems within Islam. Ironically, it is the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, himself a Muslim, who is having the courage to speak up publicly, calling for a “religious revolution” among Muslims, and challenging clerics to denounce violence and jihad as a way of advancing Islam.
I pray that our great nation will soon have such a leader.
National WWII museum: WE OWE THEM
He blinked his eyes rapidly and tears began to moisten his 90-year-old cheeks as memories of war flooded his mind.
“I guess everybody has those feelings,” World War II veteran Harry Robinson told AFA Journal about his recent trip to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Robinson grew up on a farm in Clay County, Mississippi, and voluntarily joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 18 years old. After his enlistment, he rode a train from Jackson, Mississippi, to San Diego, California, and then spent two-and-one-half years overseas. Robinson served as a cook and a baker, so he didn’t experience actual combat other than an invasion of Guam that included his platoon. And he was at home on leave when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
But the war was real; Robinson was a part of it and forever impacted by it.
“I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten,” Robinson said. His memories became reality again as he and his family toured the museum.
“I’m so thankful I came back [from war] without a bruise or anything,” he said while fighting back tears. “So many people lost their lives over there. I hope that visitors to the museum recognize the fact that so many gave their lives.”
The National World War II Museum opened its doors June 6, 2000, after its founder, the late historian Steven Ambrose, had the idea to build it in memory of Andrew Jackson Higgins. Higgins built the boats that were used as landing craft by the United States to win WWII. Higgins Shipyard in New Orleans built some 20,000 of those boats, thus the reason the museum is located in the Big Easy.
“The museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world,” William M. “Bill” Detweiler, J.D., told AFA Journal. “It tells why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. That’s our mission statement.”
Detweiler is the museum’s consultant for military and veterans affairs.
“The museum is a passion for me,” Detweiler said. He has been with the museum since before there was a museum, dating back to his service as national commander of the American Legion (1994-95). During that time he was in a dispute with the Smithsonian Institute over the display of the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress WWII bomber that became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb.
“I got involved on behalf of the American Legion and spent my whole year as national commander trying to defend the courage and honor of the men and women of the war years and to defend President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs to bring the war to a conclusion,” Detweiler explained.
Because of his work, he was elected to the board of the museum a few years later.
Presently, Detweiler handles all of the outreach and relations dealing with the military on both the local and national levels. This involves special ceremonies presented by the museum as well as assisting with special functions initiated by branches of the military.
“We host major ceremonies on patriotic holidays like Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the Fourth of July,” Detweiler said.
Plans are still being finalized for this year’s Memorial Day celebration, but in years past it has consisted of a speaker, music by the museum’s Navy band and Marine Corps band, and a POW/MIA ceremony provided by a Jr. ROTC cadet program from one of the local high schools.
“It’s a very elaborate ceremony that’s put on by these high school students in memory of those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and have been lost in war,” Detweiler explained. The Memorial Day program is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (CT) and is open to the public.
On June 6, the museum is planning a major observance to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. There is a related event planned almost every day during the week of June 1-8.
The museum reaches out not only to veterans and their loved ones but also to families, schools, students and the community. The purpose of the museum is to help people understand WWII, how it influences the world today and what future generations can learn from it.
“In order to keep young people interested, the exhibits have to be such that they appeal to younger people and that they raise their interests and keep their attention,” Detweiler said.
That’s why the museum always has an ongoing project and is constantly incorporating advanced technology to make the museum relevant both now and in the future.
One of the most powerful aspects of the museum, according to Detweiler, is a feature presentation titled Beyond All Boundaries that runs daily on the hour. It’s a 4-D film produced by actor Tom Hanks that tells the story of the war in less than an hour.
The museum also houses thousands of oral histories, statements from WWII veterans and members of the home front. One of the museum pavilions has been remodeled to look like a train station from the 1940s. Visitors purchase tickets and board a train car that uses technology to take them on a computerized ride through the countryside in order to experience life during the era.
At the museum’s Stage Door Canteen, bands play, the Victory Belles sing, and swing dance lessons are taught on occasion. In the restoration facility, visitors can watch as men and women work to restore a WWII patrol boat similar to the one on which President John F. Kennedy served.
The United States Freedom Pavilion, which opened earlier this year, houses five vintage WWII planes. The planes hang 90 feet in the air, and catwalks allow visitors to walk right up to the planes and look inside them.
There are various hands-on educational projects, events and exhibits like the Classroom Victory Garden Project that teaches elementary students the importance of community during a time of war. The museum holds summer camps for children as well as various activities for families including Night at the Museum, when a child and parent stay in the museum overnight, watch movies and make crafts.
“We’re an educational facility,” Detweiler explained. “We are not a museum of guns and bullets. We’re not about gore. No veteran who has ever seen combat wants to see war or combat again.
“We want families to realize the sacrifices and what it took, what these men and women did, in order to earn and protect the freedoms that we continue to enjoy today,” he said. “We really encourage families who still have a living World War II vet or family member who was working on the home front during World War II to come on in and take a look. It’s worth the visit. It really is.”
For more information:
National World War II Museum
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11-Year-Old Boy Held Salute For One Hour On This Beach. Who Joins Him At 5:02? Beautiful!
YouTube video of true Memorial Day Meaning
This young man gets it more than too many adults. If you can watch this entire video dry-eyed, I’d be surprised. ~C.D.
In June 2014, an 11-year-old boy visited Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. As part of the boy’s personal project, titled “Project Vigil,” this little boy spent four days teaching visitors and tourists about three paratroopers who had been buried in the American Cemetery.
During the official D-Day celebration, local police didn’t allow the boy to enter the cemetery in his WWII-style uniform. So the boy took his American flag down to Omaha Beach and planted it in the sand. Staring out at the ocean, the little boy wanted to thank all the Americans who died 70 years earlier in the fight against fascism and evil.
As the young boy struggled to hold the flag steady in the forceful wind, he suddenly witnessed a vision of American infantry soldiers heading bravely towards their fate on the morning of June 6, 1944. Gazing across the English Channel, and so moved by this vision, he brought up his hand to salute the past.
Standing alone, holding the American flag, this little boy stood firm and held his salute for over an hour and a half. While he continued this vigil, interested tourists, children, veterans, well-wishers and all sorts of people went down to see if the story was true, that on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, there stood a boy and an American flag.
Please watch this heartfelt video of a proud American boy memorializing and honoring our fallen soldiers. And wait for the five-minute mark to see who joined this little boy’s silent watch.
And please SHARE this post if you know that Memorial Day is about more than just a good BBQ!