Character Education: Faith, Decision, and Charlie Brown

Character Education: Choose Wisely

Quentin L. Cook

keyold“Refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isaiah 7:15).

 

My desire this evening is to share some counsel about decisions and choices.

Lucy Rationalizes

charlie-brown-lucy-baseballWhen I was a young lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, our firm did some legal work for the company that produced the Charlie Brown holiday TV specials.1 I became a fan of Charles Schulz and his creation—Peanuts, with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and other wonderful characters.

One of my favorite comic strips involved Lucy. As I remember it, Charlie Brown’s baseball team was in an important game—Lucy was playing right field, and a high fly ball was hit to her. The bases were loaded, and it was the last of the ninth inning. If Lucy caught the ball, her team would win. If Lucy dropped the ball, the other team would win.

charlie-brown-lucyAs could happen only in a comic strip, the entire team surrounded Lucy as the ball came down. Lucy was thinking, “If I catch the ball, I will be the hero; if I don’t, I will be the goat.”

The ball came down, and as her teammates eagerly looked on, Lucy dropped the ball. Charlie Brown threw his glove to the ground in disgust. Lucy then looked at her teammates, put her hands on her hips, and said, “How do you expect me to catch the ball when I am worried about our country’s foreign policy?”

This was one of many fly balls Lucy dropped through the years, and she had a new excuse each time.2 While always humorous, Lucy’s excuses were rationalizations; they were untrue reasons for her failure to catch the ball.

Decisions Determine Destiny

It is important to rise above rationalizations and make the best choices.

freewill1During the ministry of President Thomas S. Monson, he has often taught that decisions determine destiny.3 In that spirit my counsel tonight is to rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, especially with respect to serving Jesus Christ. In Isaiah we are taught we must “refuse the evil, and choose the good.”4

I believe it is of particular importance in our day, when Satan is raging in the hearts of men in so many new and subtle ways, that our choices and decisions be made carefully, consistent with the goals and objectives by which we profess to live. We need unequivocal commitment to the commandments and strict adherence to sacred covenants. When we allow rationalizations to prevent us from temple endowments, worthy missions, and temple marriage, they are particularly harmful. It is heartbreaking when we profess belief in these goals yet neglect the everyday conduct required to achieve them.5

Some young people profess their goal is to be married in the temple but do not date temple-worthy individuals. To be honest, some don’t even date, period! You single men, the longer you remain single after an appropriate age and maturity, the more comfortable you can become. But the more uncomfortable you ought to become! Please get “anxiously engaged”6 in spiritual and social activities compatible with your goal of a temple marriage.

Some postpone marriage until education is complete and a job obtained. While widely accepted in the world, this reasoning does not demonstrate faith, does not comply with counsel of modern prophets, and is not compatible with sound doctrine.

I recently met a fine teenage young man. His goals were to go on a mission, obtain an education, marry in the temple, and have a faithful happy family. I was very pleased with his goals. But during further conversation, it became evident that his conduct and the choices he was making were not consistent with his goals. I felt he genuinely wanted to go on a mission and was avoiding serious transgressions that would prohibit a mission, but his day-to-day conduct was not preparing him for the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual challenges he would face.7 He had not learned to work hard. He was not serious about school or seminary. He attended church, but he had not read the Book of Mormon. He was spending a large amount of time on video games and social media. He seemed to think that showing up for his mission would be sufficient. Young men, please recommit to worthy conduct and serious preparation to be emissaries of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My concern is not only about the big tipping-point decisions but also the middle ground—the workaday world and seemingly ordinary decisions where we spend most of our time. In these areas, we need to emphasize moderation, balance, and especially wisdom. It is important to rise above rationalizations and make the best choices.

Everyday Decisions

A wonderful example of the need for moderation, balance, and wisdom is the use of the Internet. It can be used to do missionary outreach, to assist with priesthood responsibilities, to find precious ancestors for sacred temple ordinances, and much more. The potential for good is enormous. We also know that it can transmit much that is evil, including pornography, digital cruelty,8 and anonymous yakking. It can also perpetuate foolishness. As Brother Randall L. Ridd poignantly taught at the last general conference, speaking of the Internet, “You can get caught up in endless loops of triviality that waste your time and degrade your potential.”9

Frivolous Distractions

When we turn down the volume and examine the substance, there is very little that will assist us in our eternal quest toward righteous goals.

RushSocialMedia2PIXDistractions and opposition to righteousness are not just on the Internet; they are everywhere. They affect not just the youth but all of us. We live in a world that is literally in commotion.10 We are surrounded by obsessive portrayals of “fun and games” and immoral and dysfunctional lives. These are presented as normal conduct in much of the media.

Elder David A. Bednar recently cautioned members to be authentic in the use of social media.11 A prominent thought leader, Arthur C. Brooks, has emphasized this point. He observes that when using social media, we tend to broadcast the smiling details of our lives but not the hard times at school or work. We portray an incomplete life—sometimes in a self-aggrandizing or fake way. We share this life, and then we consume the “almost exclusively … fake lives of [our] social media ‘friends.’” Brooks asserts, “How could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?”12

Sometimes it feels like we are drowning in frivolous foolishness, nonsensical noise, and continuous contention. When we turn down the volume and examine the substance, there is very little that will assist us in our eternal quest toward righteous goals. One father wisely responds to his children with their numerous requests to participate in these distractions. He simply asks them, “Will this make you a better person?”

When we rationalize wrong choices, big or small, which are inconsistent with the restored gospel, we lose the blessings and protections we need and often become ensnared in sin or simply lose our way.

Erosion of Judeo-Christian Values

But when culture, knowledge, and social mores are separated from God’s plan of happiness and the essential role of Jesus Christ, there is an inevitable disintegration of society.

apathydudeI am particularly concerned with foolishness13 and being obsessed with “every new thing.” In the Church we encourage and celebrate truth and knowledge of every kind. But when culture, knowledge, and social mores are separated from God’s plan of happiness and the essential role of Jesus Christ, there is an inevitable disintegration of society.14 In our day, despite unprecedented gains in many areas, especially science and communication, essential basic values have eroded and overall happiness and well-being have diminished.

When the Apostle Paul was invited to speak on Mars Hill in Athens, he found some of the same intellectual pretension and absence of true wisdom that exist today.15 In Acts we read this account: “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.”16 Paul’s emphasis was the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the crowd realized the religious nature of his message, some mocked him; others essentially dismissed him, saying, “We will hear thee again of this matter.”17 Paul left Athens without any success. Dean Frederic Farrar wrote of this visit: “At Athens he founded no church, to Athens he wrote no epistle, and in Athens, often as he passed its neighbourhood, he never set foot again.”18

Subtle Influences

Many choices are not inherently evil, but if they absorb all of our time and keep us from the best choices, then they become insidious.

bigbenclockI believe Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s inspired message distinguishing between “good, better, best” provides an effective way to evaluate choices and priorities.19 Many choices are not inherently evil, but if they absorb all of our time and keep us from the best choices, then they become insidious.

Even worthwhile endeavors need evaluation in order to determine if they have become distractions from the best goals. I had a memorable discussion with my father when I was a teenager. He did not believe enough young people were focused on or preparing for long-term important goals—like employment and providing for families.

Meaningful study and preparatory work experience were always at the top of my father’s recommended priorities. He appreciated that extracurricular activities like debate and student government might have a direct connection with some of my important goals. He was less certain about the extensive time I spent participating in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He acknowledged that athletics could build strength, endurance, and teamwork but asserted that perhaps concentrating on one sport for a shorter time would be better. In his view, sports were good but not the best for me. He was concerned that some sports were about building local celebrity or fame at the expense of more important long-term goals.

Given this history, one of the reasons I like the account of Lucy playing baseball is that, in my father’s view, I should have been studying foreign policy and not worrying about whether I was going to catch a ball. I should make it clear that my mother loved sports. It would have taken a hospitalization for her to miss one of my games.

I had decided to follow my dad’s advice and not play intercollegiate sports in college. Then our high school football coach informed me that the Stanford football coach wanted to have lunch with Merlin Olsen and me. Those of you who are younger may not know Merlin. He was an incredible all-American tackle on the Logan High School football team where I played quarterback and safety and returned kickoffs and punts. In high school Merlin was recruited by most football powers across the nation. In college he won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman. Merlin was ultimately the third overall pick in the National Football League draft and played in an amazing 14 consecutive Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.20

The lunch with the Stanford coach was at the Bluebird restaurant in Logan, Utah. After we shook hands, he never once made eye contact with me. He talked directly to Merlin but ignored me. At the end of the lunch, for the first time, he turned toward me, but he could not remember my name. He then informed Merlin, “If you choose Stanford and want to bring your friend with you, he has good enough grades and it could probably be arranged.” This experience confirmed for me that I should follow my dad’s wise counsel.

cook-choices-192x192My intent is not to discourage participation in sports or the use of the Internet or other worthwhile activities young people enjoy. They are the kind of activities that require moderation, balance, and wisdom. When used wisely, they enrich our lives.

However, I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness.21 We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason.

This life is the time to prepare to meet God.22 We are a happy, joyous people. We appreciate a good sense of humor and treasure unstructured time with friends and family. But we need to recognize that there is a seriousness of purpose that must undergird our approach to life and all our choices. Distractions and rationalizations that limit progress are harmful enough, but when they diminish faith in Jesus Christ and His Church, they are tragic.

My prayer . . . we will make our conduct consistent with the noble purposes required of those who are in the service of the Master. In all things we should remember that being “valiant in the testimony of Jesus” is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms.23 We want to be found on the celestial side of that divide. As one of His Apostles, I bear fervent testimony of the reality of the Atonement and the divinity of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

 

  1. Lee Mendelson-Bill Melendez Production TV Specials.
  1. From the moons of Saturn distracting her to worrying about possible toxic substances in her glove, Lucy always rationalized why she dropped the ball.
  1. See “Decisions Determine Destiny,” chapter 8 in Pathways to Perfection: Discourses of Thomas S. Monson (1973), 57–65.
  1. Isaiah 7:15.
  1. “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces” (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, act 1, scene 2, lines 12–14).
  1. Doctrine and Covenants 58:27.
  1. See Adjusting to Missionary Life (booklet, 2013), 23–49.
  1. See Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Dealing with Digital Cruelty,” New York Times, Aug. 24, 2014, SR1.
  1. Randall L. Ridd, “The Choice Generation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 56.
  1. See Doctrine and Covenants 45:26.
  1. See David A. Bednar, “To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood” (speech delivered at BYU Campus Education Week, Aug. 19, 2014); lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/to-sweep-the-earth-as-with-a-flood.
  1. Arthur C. Brooks, “Love People, Not Pleasure,” New York Times, July 20, 2014, SR1.
  1. Unfortunately, one diversion that has increased in our day is pure foolishness. When the Savior enumerated some of the things that can defile man, He included foolishness (see Mark 7:22).
  1. This happened in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as with the Book of Mormon civilizations.
  1. See Frederic W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (1898), 302. There were philosophers of all kinds, including Epicureans and Stoics, rival groups who some described as the Pharisees and the Sadducees of the pagan world. See also Quentin L. Cook, “Looking beyond the Mark,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 41–44; Liahona, Mar. 2003, 21–24.
  1. Acts 17:21.
  1. Acts 17:32.
  1. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul, 312.
  1. See Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 104–8.
  1. Merlin Olsen was a hall of fame football player, actor, and NFL commentator for NBC. He won the Outland Trophy playing football for Utah State University. He played pro football for the Los Angeles Rams. On TV he played Jonathan Garvey opposite Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie and had his own TV program, Father Murphy. Merlin is now deceased (Mar. 11, 2010), and we miss him very much.

 

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Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Epic Heroes

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Epic Heroes

October  2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

by Carl Bloch

WE ARE IN AN EPIC WAR BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. And make no mistake, Christ and the devil are not friends; they are enemies. (2 Cor. 6:15)

George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

In the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, censorship, rewriting of history, and eliminating undesirable people became part of Soviets’ effort to ensure that the correct ideological and political spin was put on their history. Deviation from official propaganda was punished by confinement in labor camps and execution.[1]

In Escape to Faith and Freedom (volume 1 of upcoming Birthright Covenant series), teen-aged hero Benjamin Benamoz flees to America from the Soviet tyranny. Soon after he arrives, he learns that a certain faction in America is doing the same thing the Soviet tyrants were doing: rewriting history.

Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S. Although the punishment of those they disagree with is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union, the results are turning out to be much more far-reaching and deadly. Because of lies spewed by college faculties and their allies in the liberal media, our youth are growing up hating America and blaming flaws of human nature particularly on the Christian culture. Why do they hate Christians so much? Ben asks his father the same question:

“Papa, why are they burning Bibles?”

“Because they are afraid of truth.”

“Why are they afraid of truth, Papa?”

“Because truth frees us from their tyranny.”

It is a battle for the very souls of the people we love.

It will require epic heroism to prevail. What is an epic hero? An epic hero is someone of truly righteous character, who, through just and courageous actions, puts God, family, and country before his selfish and immediate interests and saves his people, prevailing in the mortal and spiritual battle of good vs. evil. It’s not always a battle of tanks and guns on the military battlefield. In our case, the Culture War requires spiritual fortitude.

Godly Parents are Epic Heroes, too

Parents who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord are epic heroes, too, because their children grow up to become leaders who keep our country free.

We cannot shrink or shun the fight, but it need not be overwhelming to the point of paralyzing us. It can be as simple as teaching Bible truths to our families every night at the dinner table. Follow me here for daily dinner topics in the Biblical worldview, and for updates on the upcoming Birthright Covenant trilogy.

Highlights

 

Thanks for visiting. Come often, stay late.

Onward,  Christian soldiers,

Christine Davidson

News and Updates:

Notes on Critical Thinking (Defining Moments and History Facts):

Due to repeated falsehoods which are taught in many schools, confusion can be overwhelming. Therefore, we will be giving more emphasis on defining worldly ideas and reporting true history, even if it requires some repetition.

Transmit a Legacy of Faith and Freedom to Your Children and Grandchildren

Young people who have grown up with freedom and convenience tend to take it for granted because they don’t know what it’s like to be without God, and without freedom. This allegorical trilogy— a tale of two opposite cultures— helps parents teach and transmit vital truths about Judeo-Christian heritage to the rising generation.

Volume 1: Escape to Faith and Freedom 

A battle for the very souls of the people he loves. . .

BENJAMIN BENAMOZ FLEES FOR HIS LIFE from the brutal Iron Curtain. He finds freedom and faith in Christ, but even in America, he is soon threatened by vicious enemies who seek to destroy the Judeo-Christian culture. There is only one way to win: Ben must rescue and restore the ancient birthright to its sacred place in the chosen land. As Western Civilization hangs in the balance, will Ben succeed in his epic quest before it’s too late?

Coming! Birthright Covenant Trilogy

 

We are in an epic war between good and evil. Time to fortify our families with a foundation of faith. Some of us are blessed with good schools, others home school. Whatever your educational circumstances, we’ll soon be offering you an online oasis, where you can draw with joy from the wells of salvation, all within the walls of your home. Watch for coming developments.

 

 

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

New Parenting Resource!

Life Lessons from Biblical Big Picture

Critical thinking skills are taught in very few public schools anymore. Some of the best resources for character education and critical thinking are found in literary fiction. Using the historical novel, Birthright, by C.A. Davidson, as a platform, parents can teach their families vital critical thinking skills and Life Lessons from the Biblical big picture.

Topics include:

  • Truth–
    • How to Know What is True
    • Discerning Right and Wrong
  • Scientific Method (Empiricism) and Academic Freedom
  • Life Lessons from Historical patterns and literary symbolism

by Valeriesartwork

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Words to Live By 

 

Theme Quotes for October: Epic Heroes

Changing the world begins at home. ~Bonnie L. Oscarson

The Left needs the disinfectant of truth. ~Dinesh D’Souza

 

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

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

Christ and Belial are not friends; they are enemies. ~2 Cor. 6:15

Refusing to believe the danger does not lessen the reality of the threat. ~Bodie Thoene, Prague Counterpoint

“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

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

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  –Ronald Reagan

“We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” ~Abraham Lincoln

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

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”~Thomas Paine

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”~Thomas Paine

“Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”~William Penn

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

“Show me the loving bonds between your families today and I will show you the patriotism and moral clarity of your nation tomorrow. Our choices on how we raise and educate our children in fact provide the blueprint for the next generation. If we do not advocate a love of country to our children and generations to come, then why would our children grow up to fight for their countries?” ~Melania Trump

A Battle We Must Win. “We are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time. Today, it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it.”~ Bradley D. Foster

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

Trump seated near portrait of Polish King who defeated Islam

“Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day.” ~Beata Szydło, Prime minister of Poland

This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity.” We must therefore drag the ancient virtue of courage out from under the silt of oblivion. There is no free, prestigious and honorable Europe without the lifeblood of nations and the wisdom of two thousand years of Christianity. ~Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary

“I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph. So, together, let us all fight like the Poles – for family, for freedom, for country, and for God. ~President Donald Trump

The West is superior to the rest of the world in every significant way, we should aggressively back our allies over our enemies, and the guiding principle of our foreign policy should always be America’s interests. No apologies. No equivocation. No doubt. ~Kurt Schlichter

October Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for October: Epic Heroes

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Responsibility, Not Blame

Famous Birthdays: Giiuseppe Verde, Christopher Columbus, Dwight Eisenhower, Margaret Thatcher, Franz Liszt, David Ben Gurion, Georges Bizet, John Adams

  • Book Review: Arab convert to Christianity exposes Terrorism
  • Constitution Series 10: Government Accountable to God, People
  • Character Education: Teach Moral Clarity, Patriotism
  • Critical Thinking: Defining Church and State
    • Defining Epic Literature
  • Culture Wars: When they bring the war to us
    • Who are Normal Americans?
  • Faith: Gospel Glasses prevent Spiritual Eclipse
  • History: Epic Heroes
    • Isaiah
    • Columbus
    • David Ben Gurion
  • Stress Relief Tip: Words to Live By
  • Truth in Journalism: Reporting news blacked out or straightening out news twisted by the mainstream media
    • The truth about the Southern Poverty Law Center

 

And as always—current events, updates, cultural enrichment, great cartoons, and analysis

 

Title of Liberty

by Winborg

Please Vote for our Site and help us reach more readers. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do. You can vote more than once—any time you appreciate a post with Christian content. This keeps us up toward the top 10 so we get referrals.

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 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Does it all seem too complicated to train your Children for the Future? Here’s How to Keep it Simple!

Everyone has to eat dinner, right?

Nothing like a fascinating dinner table conversation to teach the Biblical worldview in a comfortable setting. Today kids are so bombarded with worldly doctrines that it’s important that you spell it out with  precepts, as well as your example.  This is easiest to do if Biblical values are a way of life. Just follow this blog.  Every day, you get  dinner topics to choose from. Follow me here, at  Epicworld Dinner Topics.

Even if you do it once a week to begin with, it’s a great start. Congratulate yourself. Out of small and simple things, great  things come to pass. Do not be weary in well-doing.

 P.S. Don’t Forget the Stress Relief Tips every month!

2. Parents, You Can Educate Yourself, for Free, from the convenience of your own Home!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

New Resource: Take online courses from Hillsdale College!

History 102: American Heritage, From Colonial Settlement to the Reagan Revolution

Recommended Readings

The U.S. Constitution is the key to securing liberty for all Americans — yet very few know exactly what it says, and what freedoms it protects. Hillsdale College is dedicating this year to educating millions of Americans about this critical document. That’s why the College is offering its most popular course, American Heritage,  for free, when you sign up now, and receive first lesson by email. 

3. Study the U.S. Constitution!

It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar. Also, look for posts that refer to the Constitution in current events. This month Constitution series #10: Government Accountable to God, People

[1] Walter E. Williams, Leftists are Rewriting History; They Must Be Stopped

Gallery

Stress Relief Ideas: Words to Live By

Stress Relief Ideas: Words to Live By     The most destructive habit………………………………………> Worry The greatest Joy ……………………………………………….> Giving The greatest loss ……………………………………………..> Loss of self-respect The most satisfying work ……………………………………………..> Helping others The ugliest personality trait ………………………………………………> Selfishness The … Continue reading

Moral Values: Normal American Culture equals Bourgeois Values

Moral Values:

 Normal American Culture equals Bourgeois  Values

Normal American Culture

Rush Limbaugh

Here’s a pull quote: “Who are the normals? The Americans who built this country, and defended it. When you eat, it’s because a normal grew the food and another normal trucked it to you. When you aren’t murdered in the street or don’t speak German, it’s because a normal with a gun made those things not happen. We normals don’t want to rule over others. We don’t obsess about how you live your life, but also we don’t want to be compelled to signal our approval or pick up the tab. We are every color and creed — though when someone who is incidentally a member of some other group aligns with normals, he/she/xe loses that identity.

“The left drums normals who are black out of its definition of ‘black,’ just as normal women get drummed out of womanhood and normal gays get drummed out gayhood. In a way, the left is making E pluribus unum a reality again — to choose to be normal is to choose to reject silly identity group identification and unite. Instead of saying ‘normal Americans,’ you can just say ‘Americans.’ Note that while leftists rail against the term ‘normals…’” Mr. Schlichter says, “When I use it on Twitter, the reactions are always delightful!”

You know what I mean when I say normal American, don’t you? Many of you in this audience consider yourselves normal Americans, and you know that because you’re normal you’re under assault, because not everybody is normal. There’s some oddballs out there. There’s some freaks and kooks. And you know who they are. They know who they are. But they don’t want to be considered freaks and kooks, so they attack you so that you can’t be normal.

You can’t say there’s a normal. “We’re a melting pot. We are a diverse, giant melting pot of all kinds of different things, and there is no normal.” And you who think you’re normal are gonna be attacked. And that is part and parcel of what’s going on. “Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore.”

Mr. Schlichter writes, “We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect.

Higher Education opposes Bourgeois Values

RUSH: What essentially happened here at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn, a couple of professors, one of them working at the University of Pennsylvania, the other one University of San Diego, wrote an op-ed suggesting that what might be needed in the United States is a return to some of the nation’s values and moralities of the 1950s. And what happened after that op-ed ran is the story.

“To the list of forbidden ideas on American college campuses, add ‘bourgeois norms.’” In other words, the old advisories of hard work, self-discipline, marriage, respect for authority. When people talk about going back to the fifties, when people talking about reemerging with values from the fifties, they’re basically talking about what?

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection.com for another great cartoon

 

 

Wall Street Journal: Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’ – Heather Mac Donald

 

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2017/09/19/how-an-op-ed-praising-the-1950s-triggered-leftist-snowflakes/

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Parenting Tips: First Lady Melania Trump advises Teaching Moral Courage, Patriotism

Parenting Tips: First Lady Melania Trump advises Teaching Moral Courage, Patriotism First Lady Melania Trump: It Is Parental Responsibility to Raise Children Who Have Moral Clarity, Love of Country Penny Starr “Show me the loving bonds between your families today … Continue reading

Christian Character, Children’s Literature, and McGuffey Readers

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

William McGuffey’s Great Educational Legacy

mcguffeyreaderParents and Homeschoolers: These wonderful books not only teach children to read, but provide classic character education as well.

key“The Christian religion, is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”[ “From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.” ~William McGuffey

From Wikipedia

William Holmes McGuffey (September 23, 1800 – May 4, 1873) was an American professor and college president who is best known for writing the McGuffey Readers, one of the nation’s first and most widely used series of textbooks. It is estimated that at least 122 million copies of McGuffey Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, placing its sales in a category with the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary.

Early years

He was born the son of Alexander and Anna (Holmes) McGuffey near Claysville in Washington County, Pennsylvania, which is 45 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. In 1802 the McGuffey family moved further out into the frontier at Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He attended country school, and after receiving special instruction at Youngstown, he attended Greersburg Academy in Darlington, Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he attended and graduated from Pennsylvania’s Washington College, where he became an instructor.

He was close friends with Washington College’s President Andrew Wylie and lived in Wylie’s house for a time; they often would walk the 3 miles to Washington College together.[1]

Professional life

McGuffey left Washington College in 1826 to become a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A year later in 1827, he was married to Harriet Spinning of Dayton, Ohio, with whom he had five children. In 1829, he was ordained at Bethel Chapel as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. It was in Oxford that he created the most important contribution of his life: The McGuffey Readers. His books sold over 122 million copies. He was very fond of teaching and children as he geared the books toward a younger audience.

In 1836, he left Miami to become president of Cincinnati College, where he also served as a distinguished teacher and lecturer. He left Cincinnati in 1839 to become the 4th president of Ohio University, which he left in 1843 to become president of Woodward College (really a secondary school) in Cincinnati.

In 1845, McGuffey moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. A year after his first wife Harriet died in 1850, he married Miss Laura Howard, daughter of Dean Howard of the University of Virginia, in 1851. McGuffey is buried in the university burial ground, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The School of Education at Miami University is housed in McGuffey Hall which is named for him and his home in Oxford is a National Historic Landmark offering tours on weekdays.

Legacy

McGuffey is credited with the following quotation:

McGuffey“The Christian religion, is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”[2]

The McGuffey School District in Washington County, Pennsylvania is named for William Holmes McGuffey. The industrialist Henry Ford cited McGuffey Readers as one of his most important childhood influences. In 1934 he had the log cabin where McGuffey was born moved to Greenfield Village, Ford’s museum of Americana at Dearborn, Michigan.

 More about William McGuffey in Wikipedia

 

 

Freedom of Speech Facts: Even in National Anthem Protest in Football Game, First Amendment Rights have Choices and Consequences

For Constitution Day, Freedom of Speech Facts:

Even in a National Anthem Protest in a Football Game. . .

First Amendment Rights have Choices and Consequences

In a free and open society with the First Amendment guaranteeing political speech, there are consequences. ~Rush Limbaugh

 

Rush Limbaugh

What do you think the First Amendment’s free speech clause grants you? The right to say what you want politically? You’re right. It does. Now, the First Amendment says that government cannot stop you from saying what you want. It doesn’t say the San Francisco 49ers can’t. If you work someplace, your First Amendment rights do fall under the policies of your owner or of your boss or of your workplace.

This is not a fine point. But larger point is this: The media is trying to portray Kaepernick as a hero for courageously and with great guts criticizing his own country and criticizing the bias and the prejudice and the murderous police. It takes guts and courage.

1) You Have the Right To Say What You Want, But You Don’t Have The Right To Be Heard

Now, there’s every entitlement to do it. Kaepernick, anybody else has every right to say what they want to say about that. But, two things are incumbent here. No one has the right to be heard — and this I find… When I say this to people who think they understand the First Amendment, that shocks them.

‘Cause they’ve never thought of it that way. Yeah, you can say what you want, but nobody has to listen to you.

2) You Don’t Have the Right To Be Immune from the Consequences

The second thing is you have the right to say what you want, you have the right to believe what you want, but you do not have the right to not suffer any consequences from it. So if you are going to make a case as a player in the NFL that your country is rotten, that your country mistreats people of color — if you’re gonna say what Kaepernick said — then you’ve got to be willing to accept the consequences of what you said!

How many people do you think believe that Kaepernick should be applauded for courage and not have to suffer consequences for what he said? How does that work? Everybody… You know, there’s a price.

There are consequences.

There’s gonna a reaction. Not everybody’s gonna agree with everything that anybody else says. Kaepernick is not a victim. But they’re trying to portray him as a victim. “He went out and he said courageous things; he had the courage to criticize his own country,” and for that he should be made a hero? That’s not how it works.

You don’t get to go out and say provocative things and then be immune from criticism or consequences.

And so that factors into what you’re gonna do. If you’re gonna go out and you’re gonna say things that are gonna make it harder for the people who might hire you to do business, it makes perfect sense they wouldn’t hire you. Now you add to that that these people may believe you’re not any good anymore. But if Kaepernick isn’t being hired because of what he said, that’s perfectly normal.

Anybody who’s been in the free speech business understands this the first time they ever say something controversial. Why do you think most people shut up? Why do you think most people “don’t want to go there”? They don’t want the reaction. They don’t want the controversy. They don’t want the criticism. So they don’t say anything. They whimper around. They may react when somebody else does, but most people will stand or sit mute — and the reason is because they see what happens.

In a free and open society with the First Amendment guaranteeing political speech, there are consequences, and there are ramifications.

Now, some of the responses, some of the circumstances are not fair, admittedly. But in a free and open society with the First Amendment guaranteeing political speech, there are consequences, and there are ramifications. The point is, the First Amendment does not grant anybody immunity from the consequences of what they say or from the reactions from people to what they say — and Kaepernick is being held up as somebody who should be immune. “He should not be held accountable for what he said because we happen to agree with what he said,” the media says. That’s not how it works.

If you’re a football coach and you believe your team needs discipline and focus if they’re to have a chance, the last thing you want is a circus, for whatever reason. Talk to Tim Tebow! Tim is the exact opposite of Kaepernick. He loves America, is a born-again proselytizing Christian. Why do you think he’s not in the league? A lot of people think, “Because there’s anti-Christian bias, Mr. Limbaugh!” There may be, but there are also people that don’t want to deal with the circus — and, if they don’t, that’s a consequence. You know, it may seem unfair, because you make value judgments on what someone says.

For Both Tebow and Kaepernick there are Reactions, Consequences

Like you may value what Tebow is and what he says, and you might not think so much of Kaepernick and what he says or does. But in both instances, there are consequences for behavior and for reactions. You know, if you want to be on radio or TV? That’s what Kaepernick ought to do. I think what he ought to do, Kaepernick ought to get a show on YouTube and go to town. He can say anything he wants; Google would celebrate it. (Google owns YouTube.) But Jim Brown said it. Jim Brown said (summarized), “Make up your mind what you want to do: You want to play football or you want to be an activist?”

It’s that simple.

When you pick up a stick, you pick up the  other end. Choices have consequences. It’s as simple as that. ~C.D.

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Critical Thinking: Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture

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Critical Thinking Skills: Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture Worldview: What is Yours? Stacey Long American Family Association “I grew up in a Christian home and made a profession of faith at a very young age, but when I got to … Continue reading

Parenting Tips: Teaching Peace

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

“Peace-ability”

Parenting Value: Anger Management

 

Richard and Linda Eyre

teenagerSonAndMomkey“Calmness. Peacefulness. Serenity. The tendency to try to accommodate rather than argue. The understanding that differences are seldom resolved through conflict and that meanness in others is an indication of their problem or insecurity and thus of their need for your understanding. The ability to understand how others feel rather than simply reaction to them. Control of temper.”

Sample Method for Preschoolers: The Magazine Game

This game helps small children realize that it is all right to feel mad or sad, just as it is all right to feel happy or glad, but that it is not all right to hurt other people or their feelings because of how we feel. Flip through magazines with a child, stopping every time a person is pictured and asking, “How do you think he feels?” (Happy, jealous, worried, etc. — this is also a chance to teach children new words and the names of new emotions.) Then say, “It is okay to feel this way?” (Yes) Then say, “Is it okay to be mean to someone else if you feel mad or sad?” (No!)

Sample Method for Elementary Age: The Color Game

This is a good way to teach younger elementary-aged children the good consequences of peace and the bad consequences of anger and retaliation. Cut out two single figures in the human shape, one from red paper and one from pastel color. Tell the children that the red represents temper and impatience, the pastel is control and peace. Give them a situation and let them tell you what each figure might do in each of the following situations:

  • Your alarm clock doesn’t go off, so you’re going to be late for school.
  • You’re playing basketball and you get called for a foul you didn’t think you committed.
  • Your friend forgets to meet you for lunch.
  • Your little brother flips you with a rubber band.
  • Your mom says you can’t have a sleep over because there’s school tomorrow.
  • The new pen you just bought won’t work.

And so on. Think of your own, based on your own experiences.

Sample method for Adolescents: The “Analytical-of-Angry” Discussion

Help young teenagers conceptualize the benefits of trying to “understand” rather than trying to “win.” At dinner or some other natural conversation time make the statement that we have many situations in which there is a choice between two A words — arguing or analyzing. In other words, when someone does something to us or says something with which we disagree, we can either fight back and argue or we can try to analyze why he did or said it.

Point out the second choice is better because we learn something whenever we try to figure out why, and we keep our cool and keep our friends.

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Biblical Worldview

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter:

Biblical Worldview

September  2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

NEWS ALERT! MASSIVE IDENTITY THEFT IN AMERICA!

It’s a crisis! Millions of young Americans, many of their parents, even some grandparents, are missing vital elements of their identity.

Deep, wide, and long investigation has revealed that keys of American core identity have been subtly removed over a period of many years. Graduates of high schools and colleges nationwide respond with a blank stare when asked who they are as American citizens. They have no idea why they are here or where they are headed.

What’s missing?

Not only have Americans themselves been robbed, but there is something missing from our culture, entertainment, schools, government, and society itself.

We are awash in mediocre, utterly forgettable, morally bankrupt idols, such as pirates, “Despicable Me,” Maleficent, and glorifying wimpiness. Missing from literature and entertainment are the fresh, uplifting stories with decent admirable characters.

Roger Scruton laments, “Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as if it does not matter.”

Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.

Missing is the Biblical Worldview upon which America was founded. Missing in action are the true epic heroes who light up the corridors of history with their shining and noble deeds.

What is an epic hero? An epic hero is someone of truly righteous character, who, through just and courageous actions, puts God, family, and country before his selfish and immediate interests and saves his people, prevailing in the mortal and spiritual battle of good vs. evil.

Historians of integrity trace records back to the root cause of this crisis: the removal of the birthright of American citizens. In other words, the biblical foundation of western civilization has been stolen and sold to the enemy.

Who stole it?

Fifty years ago, a handful of judges, using power that did not belong to them, seized the American birthright of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and sold it to the enemy of our souls. What have we received in return? Death, bondage, and misery.

What is to be done?

Therefore my people are gone into acaptivity, because they have no bknowledge.~ Isaiah 5:13

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

Educate, Educate, Educate.

Truth is the most powerful weapon in the world.

This month our theme is Biblical Worldview. Though banned from entertainment, schools, government, and public discourse, Judeo-Christian scriptures can still be used in our homes. We as parents and grandparents hold the keys to unlock the bondage of godless ignorance into which our children have been thrust. Like Rebekah of old, we can wrest the birthright from the unrighteous and misguided hands of the world and restore it to our families, to bless our posterity for generations to come.

And it can be as simple as teaching Bible truths to our families every night at the dinner table.

Highlights

Thanks for visiting. Come often, stay late.

Blessing Our Families with the Biblical Worldview Culture,

Christine Davidson

News and Updates:

Notes on Critical Thinking (Defining Moments and History Facts):

Due to repeated falsehoods which are taught in many schools, confusion can be overwhelming. Therefore, we will be giving more emphasis on defining worldly ideas and reporting true history, even if it requires some repetition.

Transmit a Legacy of Faith and Freedom to Your Children and Grandchildren

In the next few months, we are developing the Birthright Academy. We are seeing the effects of decades of secularism which started in the schools, and from thence have invaded our government and our culture. Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s leaders. We cannot leave the teaching of our youth to the public schools and colleges. By then it will be too late.  If we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian values and culture of liberty, we will need to start serious teaching to the middle school and high school youth, so they will be prepared when they get on their own in college. This is the purpose of the Birthright Academy—to instill the Biblical Worldview into the rising generation, preparing Epic Heroes to lead our nation.

So from now on, we are sharpening the focus of Western Culture Dinner Topics on what matters most— to continually define and defend Judeo-Christian values, more about Israel, our spiritual  brother in the house of Israel,  to provide truth in journalism, and to know true history, so as not to be deceived.

Coming! Birthright Cultural Academy

A four-year home study course in the Biblical Worldview for high school age young adults, to prepare them for college, based on the Birthright literature series. Topics will include:

  • Church and State, Freedom vs. Tyranny
  • Creation Story, sacredness of life, scientific method
  • Moral compass, Bible as epic literature, archetypes
  • Truth in Journalism, history

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

New Parenting Resource!

Life Lessons from Biblical Big Picture

Critical thinking skills are taught in very few public schools anymore. Some of the best resources for character education and critical thinking are found in literary fiction. Using the historical novel, Birthright, by C.A. Davidson, as a platform, parents can teach their families vital critical thinking skills and Life Lessons from the Biblical big picture.

Topics include:

  • Truth–
    • How to Know What is True
    • Discerning Right and Wrong
  • Scientific Method (Empiricism) and Academic Freedom
  • Life Lessons from Historical patterns and literary symbolism

NEW PAGE!

Western Culture Center:

Under the Ceiba tree, meet the memorable characters from Birthright  join the Crusaders’ Council, with our motto—

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

Knowing that truth matters and ideas have consequences, come meet with us in the arena of ideas at Nobles’ Western Culture Center as we work together to restore Judeo-Christian values to their rightful place in our society.

 

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Be Yourself! 

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs of Christ. Romans 8: 16, 17

Jesus and Children Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, and don’t try to change your spouse or child into someone you think they should be. Maybe a friend or relative is successful in what they do, but that doesn’t mean you have to do what they do. And don’t worry about what everyone else thinks you should do. The best thing to do is to follow the example of Jesus, and seek His guidance for you, then be yourself, and let others be themselves, too.

Theme Quotes for September: Biblical Worldview

 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

Never permit yourself to become a weak link in the chain of your generations. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

As we pursue the journey of life, let us learn the language of the Spirit. ~Thomas S. Monson

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

Now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. ~Alma 37:47

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

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

A Battle We Must Win. “We are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time. Today, it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it.”~ Bradley D. Foster

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

“Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day.” ~Beata Szydło, Prime minister of Poland

This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity.” We must therefore drag the ancient virtue of courage out from under the silt of oblivion. There is no free, prestigious and honorable Europe without the lifeblood of nations and the wisdom of two thousand years of Christianity. ~Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary

“I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph. So, together, let us all fight like the Poles – for family, for freedom, for country, and for God. ~President Donald Trump

The West is superior to the rest of the world in every significant way, we should aggressively back our allies over our enemies, and the guiding principle of our foreign policy should always be America’s interests. No apologies. No equivocation. No doubt. ~Kurt Schlichter

September Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for September: Biblical Worldview

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Teaching Peace

Defining Moment: Biblical worldview

Famous Birthdays: Lafayette, Dvorak, William McGuffey, Henry Von Mises

  • Bible Symbolism: Threshing Wheat, and Threshing the Nations with the Spirit
  • Constitution Series 9: Divine Law vs. Big Government
  • Character Education: William McGuffey’s legacy
  • Critical Thinking: Defining fascism and socialism
  • Culture Wars: Why Western Values are Superior
    • Arts that express Biblical truths
  • Faith: Defending the Faith
    • Let the Holy Spirit Guide
    • A Standard for the Nations
  • Hillsdale Imprimis: The Demise of Journalistic Standards, Part 2
  • History: Constitution Day
    • How Socialism and Fascism both stemmed from the Left
    • To defend America, Know Your History
  • Stress Relief Tip: Be Yourself
  • Truth in Journalism: Reporting news blacked out or straightening out news twisted by the mainstream media
    • The truth about the Southern Poverty Law Center

And as always—current events, updates, cultural enrichment, great cartoons, and analysis

Please Vote for our Site and help us reach more readers. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do. You can vote more than once—any time you appreciate a post with Christian content. This keeps us up toward the top 10 so we get referrals.

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 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Does it all seem too complicated to train your Children for the Future? Here’s How to Keep it Simple!

Everyone has to eat dinner, right?

Nothing like a fascinating dinner table conversation to teach the Biblical worldview in a comfortable setting. And it’s so much easier to explain what you stand for when it’s a way of life.  Just follow this blog.  Every day, you get two dinner topics to choose from. Follow me here, at  Epicworld Dinner Topics.

 

Even if you do it once a week to begin with, it’s a great start. Congratulate yourself. Out of small and simple things, great  things come to pass. Do not be weary in well-doing.

 

 P.S. Don’t Forget the Stress Relief Tips every month!

2. Parents, You Can Educate Yourself, for Free, from the convenience of your own Home!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

New Resource: Take this online course from Hillsdale College!

History 102: American Heritage, From Colonial Settlement to the Reagan Revolution

Recommended Readings

The U.S. Constitution is the key to securing liberty for all Americans — yet very few know exactly what it says, and what freedoms it protects. Hillsdale College is dedicating this year to educating millions of Americans about this critical document. That’s why the College is offering its most popular course, American Heritage,  for free, when you sign up now, and receive first lesson by email. 

3. Study the U.S. Constitution!

It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar. Also, look for posts that refer to the Constitution in current events. This month Constitution series #9: Divine Law vs. Big Government