Judeo-Christian Tradition: Christmas is about Jesus Christ

Judeo-Christian Tradition: Christmas is about Jesus Christ

 

Dear Friends,judeo-

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

nativityCHRISTMAS IS NOT multi-cultural. Christmas is unique to Biblical Culture, for without Christ, there would be no Christmas. It is called Western Civilization because it is civilized. Yes, despite the dogmas of moral relativism, Judeo-Christian culture is a superior culture. Western Culture has more respect for women and children, more religious and other liberty, more prosperity, more peace than any other culture. And it’s all because of the teachings of Christ.

Unlike other cultures, and contrary to what the media may tell you, we do not kill people we disagree with; we don’t treat certain groups as second-class citizens. We do require citizenship to enjoy Constitutional rights, but any country has to have laws and borders, or it is not a country.

Political Correctness frowns on saying ‘Merry Christmas’

Trump unafraid of Merry ChristmasEurope, the origin of Western Culture, is disintegrating because those peoples have failed to protect the cornerstone of civilization. When a nation stops obeying the Ten Commandments, it descends into savagery.

In the 1930s, the first school of political correctness convened in Frankfurt Germany. There the masterminds decided that the only way to achieve their agenda was to destroy Western Culture, for as long as Christians believed in God and moral absolutes, they stood in the way of the Marxist revolution. The first priority was to destroy the family. So Cultural Marxism was sown, and we are reaping its bitter fruits of moral relativism, multiculturalism, atheism, sexual anarchy, lawlessness, religious persecution, drug addiction, tyranny … the depressing list goes on and on.

christmasshepherds2            And we have watched Christmas become a junk fest. In secular society, Christ is missing from Christmas. The best gift we can give our children this year, and all year long, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is only one plan of happiness that works: Faith, repentance, and obedience to God’s commandments. If we do not pass on these precious truths, our children will fall prey to all the deceptive counterfeits that lead to misery.

This is a serious message for this joyful season, but if we preserve and protect the true meaning of Christmas, we will have peace now, and there will be no post-holiday letdown. Instead, we will enjoy the Christmas Spirit all year long.

Merry Christmas!

Christine Davidson

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Founding Principles of America 24: Peace through Strength

Founding Principles of America 24:

Peace through Strength

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

A Free People will not Survive unless they stay Strong

keyIt is the business of America to take care of herself. Her situation, as you justly observe, depends upon her own virtue. ~Samuel Adams

 

US Constitution Series 24

minutemanA free people in a civilized society always tend toward prosperity. In the case of the United States, the trend has been toward a super-abundant prosperity. Only as the federal government has usurped authority and intermeddled with the free-market economy has this surge of prosperity and high production of goods and services been inhibited.

But prosperity in the midst of thriving industry, fruitful farms, beautiful cities, and flourishing commerce always attracts the greedy aspirations of predatory nations. Singly, these covetous predators may not pose a threat, but federated together they may present a specter of total desolation to a free, prosperous people. Before the nation’s inhabitants are aware, their apocalypse of destruction is upon them.

It was the philosophy of the Founders that the kind hand of Providence had been everywhere present in allowing the United States to come forth as the first free people in modern times. They further felt that they would forever be blessed with freedom and prosperity if they remained a virtuous and adequately armed nation.

 

Franklin’s Philosophy of Defense

225px-BenFranklin2Peace was the goal, but strength was the means. Franklin envisioned the day when a prudent policy of national defense would provide the American people with the protection which their rise to greatness would require. Benjamin Franklin wrote:

The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for ‘tis a wise and true saying, that “One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.” The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent.

Franklin further saw that those in authority have the inherent responsibility to initiate the means by which adequate defenses can be provided. He declared:

Protection is as truly due from the government to the people, as obedience from the people [is due] to the government.

Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth; that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; . . .unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become …tame, when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, “Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.”

 

George Washington urges Vigilance

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllNo American occupied a more substantive position, either then or now, to proclaim what he considered to be a necessary posture for the preservation of the nation.

He had literally risked “his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor” for the cause of freedom and performed that task under circumstances which would have smothered the endurance of men with lesser stamina and courage.

He fought the Revolutionary War with no navy of any consequence, no trained professional army of either size or stability, and no outpouring of genuine support from the very states he was striving to save. He could have retired in bitterness after Valley Forge and Morristown, but that was not his character. He did not relish the anguish of it all, but he endured it. To George Washington, it was all part of “structuring a new nation.”

Washington’s position on national defense was in terms of grim realities experienced on the field of battle. No man wanted peace more than he. And no man was willing to risk more in life and property to achieve it.

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

Washington also saw the fallacy of waiting until an attack had occurred before marshalling available resources.

A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite.

Washington felt that neither politics nor world circumstances should lure the American people into a posture of complacency. He felt that vigilance was indeed the price the price of freedom, and unless it was promoted with firmness and consistency the future of the United States would be in jeopardy.

George WashingtonWashington could foresee threats to American Security

Washington could already see the predatory monarchs of Europe planning to slice up the United States and divide it among them unless the people alerted themselves to the exigencies of the day.

Therefore he told the Congress:

There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.

A Duty to the Creator to Preserve Freedom and Unalienable Rights

Samuel Adams emphasized the moral responsibility of Americans to preserve the heritage of freedom and unalienable rights with which the Creator had endowed them.

samuel-adamsOnce these blessings have been vouchsafed to a human being, Sam Adams felt it was a wicked and unnatural thing to allow those great fruits of liberty to languish by neglect or apathy.

The grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defense of those very rights; the principal of which …are life, liberty, and property. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift voluntarily become a slave. ~Samuel Adams

The American Inheritance

Thus the Founders passed on to their posterity a policy of peace through strength. They were peace-loving, but not pacifists.

They called for a rugged kind of strength bolted to a broad base. They saw the foundation for their security in a bustling, prosperous economy with a high standard of public morality; and they saw the necessity for a level of preparedness which discouraged attack from potential enemies by creating a rate of risk so high that the waging of war against this nation would be an obviously unprofitable undertaking.

 

It is the business of America to take care of herself. Her situation, as you justly observe, depends upon her own virtue. ~Samuel Adams

Next:

Founding Principles of America 25: Avoid Entangling Alliances

 

 

Thanksgiving Stories: Pilgrims and Mayflower

Thanksgiving Stories: Pilgrims and Mayflower

William Bradford

from History.com

plymouth-colony-A   William Bradford (1590-1657) was a founder and longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony settlement. Born in England, he migrated with the Separatist congregation to the Netherlands as a teenager. Bradford was among the passengers on the Mayflower’s trans-Atlantic journey, and he signed the Mayflower Compact upon arriving in Massachusetts in 1620. As Plymouth Colony governor for more than thirty years, Bradford helped draft its legal code and facilitated a community centered on private subsistence agriculture and religious tolerance. Around 1630, he began to compile his two-volume “Of Plymouth Plantation,” one of the most important early chronicles of the settlement of New England.

Born of substantial yeomen in Yorkshire, England, Bradford expressed his nonconformist religious sensibilities in his early teens and joined the famed Separatist church in Scrooby at the age of seventeen. In 1609 he immigrated with the congregation, led by John Robinson, to the Netherlands. For the next eleven years he and his fellow religious dissenters lived in Leyden until their fear of assimilation into Dutch culture prompted them to embark on the Mayflower for the voyage to North America.

Did You Know?

William Bradford’s descendants include Noah Webster, Julia Child and Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.

The Pilgrims arrived in what became Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 with a large number of non-Separatist settlers. Before disembarking, the congregation drew up the first New World social contract, the Mayflower Compact, which all the male settlers signed.

bradfordwilliamBradford served thirty one-year terms as governor of the fledgling colony between 1622 and 1656. He enjoyed remarkable discretionary powers as chief magistrate, acting as high judge and treasurer as well as presiding over the deliberations of the General Court, the legislature of the community. In 1636 he helped draft the colony’s legal code. Under his guidance Plymouth never became a Bible commonwealth like its larger and more influential neighbor, the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Relatively tolerant of dissent, the Plymouth settlers did not restrict the franchise or other civic privileges to church members. The Plymouth churches were overwhelmingly Congregationalist and Separatist in form, but Presbyterians like William Vassal and renegades like Roger Williams resided in the colony without being pressured to conform to the majority’s religious convictions.

After a brief experiment with the “common course,” a sort of primitive agrarian communism, the colony quickly centered around private subsistence agriculture. This was facilitated by Bradford’s decision to distribute land among all the settlers, not just members of the company. In 1627 he and four others assumed the colony’s debt to the merchant adventurers who had helped finance their immigration in return for a monopoly of the fur trading and fishing industries. Owing to some malfeasance on the part of their English mercantile factors and the decline of the fur trade, Bradford and his colleagues were unable to retire this debt until 1648, and then only at great personal expense.

PilgrimsembarkationRobert_Walter_Weiroverall“Embarkation of the Pilgrims,” by Robert Walter Weir. William Bradford is depicted at center, kneeling in the background, symbolically behind Gov. John Carver (holding hat) whom Bradford would succeed.[1]

Around 1630 Bradford began to compile his two-volume Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, one of the most important early chronicles of the settlement of New England. Bradford’s history was singular in its tendency to separate religious from secular concerns. Unlike similar tracts from orthodox Massachusetts Bay, Bradford did not interpret temporal affairs as the inevitable unfolding of God’s providential plan. Lacking the dogmatic temper and religious enthusiasm of the Puritans of the Great Migration, Bradford steered a middle course for Plymouth Colony between the Holy Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the tolerant secular community of Rhode Island.

The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

History Facts: The Truth about Thanksgiving

History Facts:

The Truth about Thanksgiving

Success of Pilgrims due to Free Market, Not Indian Charity

Rush Limbaugh

The great Pilgrim migration occurred because of the overwhelming success at growing their community. The word of what the Pilgrims had done spread — I mean, there are ships going back and forth, New World to England and Europe all the time, and word spread of this newfound prosperity, of this New World, of the new opportunities, of the religious freedom and other freedoms that had been created after the arrival of the Pilgrims.

Had none of that happened, had the real story of Thanksgiving been that the Pilgrims were a decrepit bunch, out of place and didn’t know how to take care of themselves and if it weren’t for the Indians they would have died, there would have been no reason for anybody to follow ’em. It would have been judged a failure. But it was anything but. And it’s it is not taught today.

But the fact of the matter is that the Pilgrims — they were not ideologues. It wasn’t that somebody said, “We’re gonna try socialism.” It’s just the way they set it up. They wanted to be fair with everything. It was a natural thing. “We’ll have a common store. Everybody has one share, and everything we do and make goes into that bank, and everybody gets an equal percentage of it.” Well, human nature interceded, and there were some lazy people that didn’t do anything, they don’t have to, they were entitled to an equal share no matter what they did.

That didn’t work very long. They set up free enterprise where the fruits of your labor determined what you got, what you had, and what you’re able to do. And it formed the basis of forming the basic arrangements they had as a community. Well, it was so successful, and that’s what they gave thanks for.

These were deeply religious people. They were giving thanks for having been shown the light, and the word spread, and that began the Great Puritan Migration, and that’s when the flood of European arrivals began, after the success of the original Plymouth colony.

What’s the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?

Michael Medved

Rewritten History

“Food, football, and…oppression. That’s what Thanksgiving has come to mean to many Americans.

Back in 2007, Seattle public school officials made national news by describing the holiday as a “time of mourning” and a “bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal.”

This new narrative describes the Pilgrims as arrogant oppressors who fled persecution only to become persecutors themselves, depriving Native Americans of their land and their lives.

But this is wrong on every count.

TRUTH

Painting above, The First Thanksgiving by Jennie Augusta Brownscomb, 1914

First of all, the Pilgrims didn’t cross the ocean to flee persecution—or even England. They’d been living for over a decade in Holland, Europe’s most tolerant nation, and a haven for religious dissenters. Free from interference by the Church of England, they feared seduction—not persecution, worrying that their children would be corrupted by the materialistic Dutch culture.

That’s why they risked their dangerous 1620 voyage to a wilderness continent: not because they were running from oppression, but because they were running toward holiness—fulfilling a fateful mission to build an ideal Christian commonwealth.

They initially planned to plant this model society on the wild, wolf-infested island known to natives as Manhattan, but winds and tides blew them 250 miles off course, dumping the Mayflower on the frozen coast of Massachusetts.

Somehow, the Pilgrims saw their dire situation as a demonstration of providential power—especially after a giant wave picked up the flimsy boat of a scouting party on a stormy December night. The turbulent sea then deposited them safely—miraculously—on a little island within sight of the ideal location for their settlement. It was a deserted Indian village with cleared land, stored supplies of corn, and a reliable source of fresh water.

No, these supposedly cruel conquerors never actually invaded that village. Instead, they expressed a fervent desire to pay the natives for the dried corn they found, if only they could find someone to pay. But the former inhabitants had perished during three years of plague—probably smallpox—that immediately preceded the Pilgrims’ arrival.

Squanto

Squanto and the miracle of Thanksgiving

One of the few survivors of that devastation turned up several months later to welcome the English newcomers. Against all odds, he proved to be the single human being on the continent best-suited to help the struggling settlers, since he spoke English and had already embraced Christianity.

His name was Squanto , and he had grown up in this very village before a ruthless sea captain kidnapped him as a boy and sold him into slavery in Spain. After four years, he was freed by kindly monks, then made his way to England, and finally sailed across the Atlantic—only to find his friends and family all wiped out by disease.

Over the next few months, Squanto helped the English newcomers plant crops and negotiate a friendly trade agreement with the region’s most important chief—Massasoit.

No wonder Pilgrim leader William Bradford called Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good.”

The celebration later known as “The First Thanksgiving,” actually involved a three-day harvest festival in October, apparently inspired by the Biblical holiday of Sukkot, or The Feast of Tabernacles. Ninety hungry Indian warriors joined the 53 surviving Pilgrims for this occasion (nearly half the colonists had died during the brutal winter).

The Englishmen provided some vegetables, fish, and perhaps wild turkeys, while the natives brought five recently hunted deer as house gifts. The preferred sport on this occasion wasn’t football, but shooting, with settlers and Indians sharing a fierce fascination with guns.

Though these hardy Pilgrims loom large in the American imagination, they never built their Plymouth settlement into a major colony. In nearby Boston, the later colony of Massachusetts Bay grew so much faster that it swallowed up the great-grandchildren of the Pilgrims in 1691.

But the sense of purpose of the original Pilgrims left a permanent imprint on the national character. They maintained unshakable confidence that God protected them—not to grant special privileges, but to impose special responsibilities. They saw themselves as instruments, not authors, of a mysterious master plan.

Today, with our continued blessings so obvious and so overwhelming, the only reason to treat this beloved national holiday as “a time of mourning” is that some foolish Americans actually think that’s a good idea. The Pilgrims knew better: they understood that people of every culture and every era can gain more from gratitude than from guilt.

Article By Michael Medved for Prager University

History Facts: George Washington, Thanksgiving to God

Thanksgiving Dinner Topics

Before the mad rush to shop for Christmas on Black Friday, let us pause to give thanks to God–not the government– for our daily bread. Many of our ancestors came to America for liberty. If it weren’t for their hard work and moral character, we would never have reached the prosperity we once knew a few short years ago. Prosperity does not come from Santa Claus; it comes from effort and responsibility.

George WashingtonHere’s what George Washington proclaimed in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility [sic], union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York
the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

~George Washington

‘You want me to count the number of references to God? How about just the first line? “Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and to humbly implore His protection and favor.” Let’s see. One, two, three, four references in just that first clause. ~Rush Limbaugh

Thanksgiving Stories: Faith and Native American Covenant

Were American Settlers God’s Covenant People?

The people called upon to honor God and keep the Faith

 

By Timothy Ballard massbaycolony2

 

As the Puritans arrived upon the shores of the New World, their leader John Winthrop shared words that sounded a lot like those declared by Father Lehi [ancestor of the Native Americans] when he brought his people to the same land. Said Winthrop: “Thus stands the cause between God and us, we are entered into Covenant with Him for this work . . . . If we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.” Winthrop called upon his people to live the commandments, that God might make them a “City upon a Hill.”

bible1The prophet Nephi [among ancient Native Americans] saw the early American settlers in vision and described them appropriately: “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them . . . . which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel.” (1 Nephi 13:20,23)

Where did the expression “bury the hatchet” come from?

lamanitesburyweaponsWhen ancient Native Americans made a covenant with God to serve Him and stop killing people, they buried their weapons deep in the earth.

 

John Winthrop

From wikipedia

massbaycolonyWinthrop’s reference to the “city upon a hill” in A Modell of Christian Charity has become an enduring symbol in American political discourse.[136] Many leading American politicians, going back to revolutionary times, have cited Winthrop in their writings or speeches. Winthrop’s reputation suffered in the late 19th and early 20th century, when critics like Nathaniel Hawthorne and H. L. Mencken pointed out the negative aspects of Puritan rule, leading to modern assessments of him as a “lost Founding Father”. Political scientist Matthew Holland argues that Winthrop “is at once a significant founding father of America’s best and worst impulses”, with his calls for charity and public participation offset by rigid intolerance, exclusionism and judgmentalism.[137] But at heart he did truly want to be a good leader.

Winthrop strongly believed that civil liberty was “the proper end and object of authority”, meaning it was the duty of the government to be selfless for the people and promote justice instead of promoting the general welfare.[138] Winthrop supports this point of view from his past actions such as when he passed laws requiring the heads of households to make sure their children and even their servants to receive proper education and for town to support teachers from public funds.[60]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Winthrop

History Facts: Trump, Churchill, and Future of America

History Facts:

Trump, Churchill, and Future of America

keySo….is DT good for America?  I honestly believe that he has been  already.Do I agree with all he says?  Not at all.  Is he a “Cyrus” that is being raised up by God to preserve  America ?  Time will tell. This I know.  I will vote for the best chance for America .  I  will pray for our leaders as I have already.  In the end….God will continue to be my source  and my hope.   I do believe that God has had a hand in  America ‘s history.  I hope He also will have a hand in its  future. 

From a Pastor

Is Trump good for America ?  I mentioned Sunday that I would speak on this next week.  Unfortunately, I felt I was shoehorning this topic  into my planned message.  To properly present what I want to speak on Sunday, I may have to leave the Donald out of it!  Let me take a  minute for those that wonder and give some thoughts.
When I first heard that DT was entering the race last year, I told my wife that I felt that it was a good thing for the party and America .  I knew that he was not a “saint,” but I knew that he would be like a bull in a china shop.  He is a disrupter and I believe America could use a fresh thinker especially in the political arena.  I didn’t think he  would get the nomination, but felt it would shake up politics as  usual.  I was correct  on the shaking up part.
Lance Wallnau likens him to a biblical Cyrus.  Someone who is dynamically used of God even though not perceived by many as a God  follower.  God has used many people in history that I would probably not like or agree with.  I’m not sure I would have liked the disciples, or David, or Moses.  Somehow, God did not seem compelled to consult with me!
churchillI have always liked Winston Churchill.  He is seen as one of the  greatest national leaders in the 20th century.  Last year, I had the privilege of going through the War Museum in London. Winston is  a key feature.  His life is controversial.  He was not always celebrated as a great leader.  He was a bombastic, cigar smoking, at times crude, even misogynistic leader.  It is alleged   that he told off color stories to his children before bedtime!
A woman once told him he was disgustingly drunk.  His response was, “My dear, you are disgustingly ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you  will still be ugly!”
There are many websites that discuss the outlandish comments and activities of this great world leader.  He had exactly what was  needed to stop Hitler at the Channel, to rouse a nation to never give up and to partner with America to find final victory in Europe .
You  wouldn’t want him as your pastor, maybe not even your father, but he was the right leader for that moment in England ‘s history.  Such a brazen man that would go up to the roof of his quarters in central London and smoke cigars as Hitler’s air force bombed all around him.  I’m  not sure I would have voted for him….but he was the right man
I think it would be awesome to have a righteous leader, that understood  the intricacies of the economy, health care, defense, immigration, with  great sensitivity to religious institutions, a heart for the poor, a  vision for the future.  If that leader was a praying person,  formidable in the word of God and loved the local church, I would  rejoice! 

I do not think that is the choice we will have in November.           
Instead….we will look for someone who is imperfect, yet will fit the times we are living in. Particularly, that ‘whoever’ we vote for will be someone who might possibly have the opportunity to appoint up to  three supreme court justices.  That could shape our culture in America for the next 30 years…radically. 

Trump-Make-America-Great-MAPThe America of our  grandchildren could be very different….and that may not be good.

We cannot stay still.  A non-vote is a passive vote for a direction  we may regret.   

So….is DT good for America?  I honestly believe that he has been  already.  He has shaken the political system.  Do his comments  offend me?  At times.  Do I agree with all he says?  Not at all.  Is he a “Cyrus” that is being raised up by God to preserve  America ?  Time will tell.
        

This I know.  I will vote for the best chance for America .  I  will pray for our leaders as I have already.  In the end….God will continue to be my source  and my hope.   I do believe that God has had a hand in  America ‘s history.  I hope He also will have a hand in its  future. 

 

Presidential? Man for our Times?

Trump Heads to Flood-Wrecked Louisiana… Obama Golfs, Hillary Rests


Shocks with ‘Regret’ Speech… I May Say the Wrong Things, but ‘I Will Always Tell You the Truth’ 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews: Ronald Reagan’s Victory over Berlin Wall and Communism

Book Reviews:

Ronald Reagan’s Victory over Berlin Wall and Communism

Reagan’s War

Peter Schweizer

The Epic story of his forty-year struggle and final triumph over communism

keyUnderstanding Reagan’s struggle and final triumph over communism involves more than debating the past or deciding who gets the credit. It provides us with wisdom and hope for the struggles of today and tomorrow. Reagan’s hope that we be guided not by fear but by courage and moral clarity is as apt today as it was during the height of the Cold War. ~Peter Schweizer, Reagan’s War

reagans-warReagan’s War is the story of Ronald Reagan’s journey as an anti-communist, from his early days as an actor to his years in the White House. Challenging popular misconceptions of Reagan as an empty suit who played only a passive role in the demise of eth Soviet Union, Peter Schweizer details Reagan’s decades-long battle against communism.

Bringing to light previously secret information obtained from archives in the United States, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Russia—including Reagan’s KGB file—Schweizer offers a compelling case that Reagan personally mapped out and directed his war against communism, often disagreeing with experts and advisers, who tended to seek co-existence with tyranny rather than victory for freedom, which they called “detente”, and engaged in endless secret meetings with the Soviets. Jimmy Carter carried on secret meetings with Castro.

Despite constant attacks from the media and establishment politicians, Reagan remained firm and steadfast. He was his own man.

Reinforced by his own spiritual resolve, Ronald Reagan had a brilliant, 3-prong strategy for defeating the Soviet empire:

1) Drain them  economically by escalating the arms race so they could not keep up with the powerful capitalistic economic engine with their failed socialist agenda

2) The Strategic Defense Initiative protected the United States from Russian missile attacks

3) Lend economic and moral support to the captive nations of the empire

Reagan rebuked detente. His Cold War policy was: “We win and they lose.”

Brezhnev Army in Civilian Clothing

Brezhnev secretly used Soviet soldiers to advance his cause. Brezhnev called them the “internationalists,” young, specially trained men who would disguise themselves as teachers, doctors, and agricultural experts. They were an army in waiting, and when they were needed, they would don foreign military uniforms, use Soviet military equipment painted with insignias of another country, and join the myriad of civil wars that were ravaging the developing countries. [Schweizer, 79]

The Hand of God

quote-chronicles7When Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President, he stood stiffly, with his right arm raised. His left hand rested on his mother’s Bible, opened to the seventh chapter, fourteenth verse of Second Chronicles:

                 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Reagan believed that the Soviets were using fear of the bomb to manipulate the West psychologically, and he was determined not to blink. “The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets,” he said, “but a test of wills and ideas—a trial of spiritual resolve.”

 

On March 30, 1981, just two months after his inauguration, Ronald Reagan was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel on a cool afternoon after having given a speech to the Business Trades Council of the AFL-CIO.

reagan-quote-appeasement                Reagan turned answer a reporter when all of a sudden, there was a Pop. Pop. Pop.

                Lodged under his left arm was a .22 caliber bullet which was designed to explode on impact. It was one of six that had been fired by a deranged young gunman named John Hinckley Jr. One of the shots had ricocheted off the bulletproof limo before penetrating Reagan’s chest muscles.

At 3:24 p.m., doctors were operating to remove the bullet.

Referring to Reagan’s tremendous physical strength, which had given him the confidence to overcome physical threats in Hollywood and Sacramento, one doctor reported, “I have never in my life seen a chest like that on a man his age.”

Reagan had long believed that each individual has a divine purpose in life. He had been spared an assassin’s bullet.  “I have decided that whatever time I have left is left for Him,” he said.

If every person is given a divine purpose, as Reagan believed, he knew what his was to be. He had battled communism close to forty years now. What could be more abhorrent to God than a system that denies God?

Only ten days before the attempt on his life, Reagan had given a speech in Washington on the false hope of communism as compared with real faith in God.  “the crisis of the Western world, Whittaker Chambers reminded us, exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God.”

reagannosurvive-without-God                “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid,” he continued. Now was the time for “renewing our spiritual strength. Only by building a wall of such spiritual resolve can we, as a free people, hope to protect our own heritage and make it someday the birthright of all men.”

In keeping with that policy, Reagan secured the release of many dissidents in oppressed nations.

A  Special Mission for America

He had also believed for some time that not only individuals but some nations are part of a “divine plan.” Since the 1950s he had voiced his belief that America had such a mission, and he always expressed it in terms of demonstrating an “abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.” [129-137]

After the collapse of the empire, Reagan took no credit.

berlinwallreagan                Since the end of the Cold Warm a debate has raged about how it ended. One person who never got wrapped up in this debate was Ronald Reagan. One of the last items to be removed from his Oval Office desk in January 1989 was a small sign that read: “It’s surprising what you can accomplish when no one is concerned about who gets the credit.”

Understanding Reagan’s struggle and final triumph over communism involves more than debating the past or deciding who gets the credit. It provides us with wisdom and hope for the struggles of today and tomorrow. Reagan’s hope that we be guided not by fear but by courage and moral clarity is as apt today as it was during the height of the Cold War. [284-285]

Founding Principles of America 23: Voter Education, key to Free Republic

Voter Education, key to Free Republic

Founding Principles of America 23: Importance of an Educated Electorate

US Constitution series 23

Principle 23: A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education

The English colonists in America undertook something which no nation had ever attempted before—the educating of the whole people.

characteredClear back in 1647 the legislature of Massachusetts passed a law requiring every community of 50 families or householders to set up a free public grammar school to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing, ciphering, history, geography, and Bible study.

Importance of Good Local School Boards

The success of this educational effort was due largely to the careful selection of highly conscientious people to serve on the school committees in each community and supervise the public schools.

European and American Literacy Compared

225px-BenFranklin2The unique and remarkable qualities of this program are better appreciated when it is realized that this was an age when illiteracy was the common lot of most people in Europe. John Adams, who spent many years in France, commented on the fact that of the 24 million inhabitants of France, only 500,000 could read and write. (Koch, The American Enlightenment, 213,217.)

In the American colonies the intention was to have all children taught the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic, so that they could go on to become well-informed citizens through their own diligent self-study. No doubt this explains why all of the American Founders were so well read, and usually from the same books, even though a number of them had received a very limited formal education. The fundamentals were sufficient to get them started, and thereafter they became remarkably well informed in a variety of areas through self-learning. This was the pattern followed by both Franklin and Washington. (Skousen, 251,252)

 

Alexis_de_tocquevilleDe Tocqueville Comments on American Education in 1831

In New England every citizen receives the elementary notions of human knowledge; he is taught, moreover, the doctrines and the evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of its Constitution. in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, it is extremely rare to find a man imperfectly acquainted with all these things, and a person wholly ignorant of them is a sort of phenomenon.

Education includes Morality and Politics

It cannot be doubted that in the United States the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of the democratic republic; and such must always be the case, I believe, where the instruction which enlightens the understanding is not separated from moral education.

 

constitution1Even Young Children Trained in the Constitution

To appreciate the literal reality of the emphasis on politics in early American education, one need only examine the popular textbook on political instruction for children. It was called a “Catechism on the Constitution,” and it contained both questions and answers concerning the principles of the American political system. It was written by Arthur J. Stansbury and published in 1828.

Early Americans knew they were in possession of a unique and valuable invention of political science, and they were determined to promote it on all levels of education.

 

Early American Educated to Speak with Eloquence

And whatever may be said to the contrary, a correct use of the English language is, at this day [1843], more general throughout the United States than it is throughout England herself. Daniel Webster

It was commonplace for the many people on the frontier, as well as on the Atlantic seaboard, to speak with a genuine flavor of eloquence. Sermons and orations by men of limited formal education reflected a flourish and style of expression which few Americans could duplicate today. Many of these attributed their abilities to extensive reading of the Bible. Such was the case with Abraham Lincoln. Certainly the classical beauty of the Gettysburg Address and his many other famous expressions cannot be attributed to college training, for he had none.

bible1Cultural Influence of Extensive Bible Reading

Not only did the Bible contribute to the linguistic habits of the people, but it provided root strength to their moral standards and behavioral patterns. As Daniel Webster stated, wherever Americans went, “the Bible came with them.” Then he added:

It is not to be doubted, that to the free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty. The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man. ~Daniel Webster

 

In our own day the public schools have been secularized to the point where no Bible reading is permitted. The Founding Fathers would have counted this a serious mistake.

(Skousen, 253-256)

 

Founding Principles of America 22: Rule of Law protects Constitutional Freedoms

reagan-quote-govt-is-problem

‘The book Reagan wanted
taught in high schools’

In “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World,” you will discover the 28 principles of freedom America’s Founding Fathers said must be understood and perpetuated by every society that desires peace, prosperity and freedom. Learn how adherence to these beliefs during the past 200 years has brought about more progress than was made in the previous 5,000 years.

This book describes the problems the Founding Fathers dealt with and how philosophies and ideals collided to form the United States of America. The skills and prosperity of the Jamestown settlers in 1607 greatly contrast those of society after the enactment of the United States Constitution.

Shortly after the Constitution was enacted, a free-enterprise system – an economy with little government influence that flourishes with competition of businesses – was established. It is because of this system that America became the most advanced and powerful country that world history has known.

After highlighting the importance of the nation’s foundation, Skousen covers in detail what went into the design of the Constitution. Surveying the original sources for the principles that inspired the United States, the author shows how the Founders developed these principles from the studies of Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu and Adam Smith.

Skousen also contrasts the affluence of the young United States with that of the present day, showing that it was because of the free-enterprise system that America produced such astounding inventions and ideas, from jet propulsion to the doubling of life expectancy. Within this narrative of success, Skousen weaves the story of America as a Christian nation, guided by divine providence and created for the liberty and rights of mankind.

This book also analyzes problems throughout history (such as national debt) that have come from failing to adhere to the Constitution.

5000leap“The 5000 Year Leap” gives the reader a greater understanding of the origins of the United States of America, the consequences of deviating from the principles on which it was founded and all the characteristics that have made this nation great.

History Heroes: John Adams

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

History Heroes: John Adams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

johnadams2John Adams (October 30 [O.S. October 19] 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States (1797–1801),[2] having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father,[3] Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism, as well as a strong central government, and wrote prolifically about his often seminal ideas, both in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams, as well as to other Founding Fathers.

Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. A lawyer and public figure in Boston, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its primary advocate in the Congress. Later, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and was responsible for obtaining vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. A political theorist and historian, Adams largely wrote the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which together with his earlier Thoughts on Government, influenced American political thought. One of his greatest roles was as a judge of character: in 1775, he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, and 25 years later nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States.

Adams’ revolutionary credentials secured him two terms as George Washington‘s vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president. During his one term, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy especially in the face of an undeclared naval war (called the “Quasi-War“) with France, 1798–1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton’s opposition.

In 1800, Adams was defeated for re-election by Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts. He later resumed his friendship with Jefferson. He and his wife founded an accomplished family line of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family. Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. His achievements have received greater recognition in modern times, though his contributions were not initially as celebrated as those of other Founders. Adams was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion that eventually became known as the White House.[4]

Career before the Revolution

Opponent of Stamp Act 1765

Adams first rose to prominence as an opponent of the Stamp Act 1765, which was imposed by the British Parliament without consulting the American legislatures. Americans protested vehemently that it violated their traditional rights as Englishmen. Popular resistance, he later observed, was sparked by an oft-reprinted sermon of the Boston minister, Jonathan Mayhew, interpreting Romans 13 to elucidate the principle of just insurrection.[18]

In 1765, Adams drafted the instructions which were sent by the inhabitants of Braintree to its representatives in the Massachusetts legislature, and which served as a model for other towns to draw up instructions to their representatives. In August 1765, he anonymously contributed four notable articles to the Boston Gazette (republished in The London Chronicle in 1768 as True Sentiments of America, also known as A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law). In the letter he suggested that there was a connection between the Protestant ideas that Adams’ Puritan ancestors brought to New England and the ideas behind their resistance to the Stamp Act. In the former he explained that the opposition of the colonies to the Stamp Act was because the Stamp Act deprived the American colonists of two basic rights guaranteed to all Englishmen, and which all free men deserved: rights to be taxed only by consent and to be tried only by a jury of one’s peers.

The “Braintree Instructions” were a succinct and forthright defense of colonial rights and liberties, while the Dissertation was an essay in political education.

In December 1765, he delivered a speech before the governor and council in which he pronounced the Stamp Act invalid on the ground that Massachusetts, being without representation in Parliament, had not assented to it.[19]

Boston Massacre

In 1770, a street confrontation resulted in British soldiers killing five civilians in what became known as the Boston Massacre.[20] The soldiers involved were arrested on criminal charges. Not surprisingly, they had trouble finding legal counsel to represent them. Finally, they asked Adams to organize their defense. He accepted, though he feared it would hurt his reputation. In their defense, Adams made his now famous quote regarding making decisions based on the evidence: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”[21] He also offered a now-famous, detailed defense of Blackstone’s Ratio:

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

Six of the soldiers were acquitted. Two who had fired directly into the crowd were charged with murder but were convicted only of manslaughter. Adams was paid eighteen guineas by the British soldiers, or about the cost of a pair of shoes.[22]

Despite his previous misgivings, Adams was elected to the Massachusetts General Court (the colonial legislature) in June 1770, while still in preparation for the trial.[23]

Constitutional ideas

Declaration_independenceMassachusetts’s new constitution, ratified in 1780 and written largely by Adams himself, structured its government most closely on his views of politics and society.[58] It was the first constitution written by a special committee and ratified by the people. It was also the first to feature a bicameral legislature, a clear and distinct executive with a partial (two-thirds) veto (although he was restrained by an executive council), and a distinct judicial branch.

While in London, Adams published a work entitled A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States (1787).[60] In it he repudiated the views of Turgot and other European writers as to the viciousness of the framework of state governments. Turgot argued that countries that lacked aristocracies needn’t have bicameral legislatures. He thought that republican governments feature “all authorities into one center, that of the nation.”[61] In the book, Adams suggested that “the rich, the well-born and the able” should be set apart from other men in a senate—that would prevent them from dominating the lower house. Wood (2006) has maintained that Adams had become intellectually irrelevant by the time the Federal Constitution was ratified. By then, American political thought, transformed by more than a decade of vigorous and searching debate as well as shaping experiential pressures, had abandoned the classical conception of politics which understood government as a mirror of social estates. Americans’ new conception of popular sovereignty now saw the people-at-large as the sole possessors of power in the realm. All agents of the government enjoyed mere portions of the people’s power and only for a limited time. Adams had completely missed this concept and revealed his continued attachment to the older version of politics.[62][25] Yet Wood overlooks Adams’ peculiar definition of the term “republic,” and his support for a constitution ratified by the people.[63] He also underplays Adams’ belief in checks and balances. “Power must be opposed to power, and interest to interest,” Adams wrote; this sentiment would later be echoed by James Madison‘s famous statement that “[a]mbition must be made to counteract ambition” in The Federalist No. 51, in explaining the powers of the branches of the United States federal government under the new Constitution.[64][65] Adams did as much as anyone to put the idea of “checks and balances” on the intellectual map.

Adams’ Defence can be read as an articulation of the classical republican theory of mixed government. Adams contended that social classes exist in every political society, and that a good government must accept that reality. For centuries, dating back to Aristotle, a mixed regime balancing monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy—that is, the king, the nobles, and the people—was required to preserve order and liberty.[66]

Adams never bought a slave and declined on principle to employ slave labor.[67] Abigail Adams opposed slavery and employed free blacks in preference to her father’s two domestic slaves. John Adams spoke out in 1777 against a bill to emancipate slaves in Massachusetts, saying that the issue was presently too divisive, and so the legislation should “sleep for a time.”[68] He also was against use of black soldiers in the Revolution, due to opposition from southerners.[68] Adams generally tried to keep the issue out of national politics, because of the anticipated southern response.[68][69] Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date on which slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, a common view is that it was abolished no later than 1780, when it was forbidden by implication in the Declaration of Rights that John Adams wrote into the Massachusetts Constitution.[70]

Correspondence with Jefferson

In early 1812, Adams reconciled with Jefferson. Their mutual friend Benjamin Rush, a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence who had been corresponding with both, encouraged each man to reach out to the other. On New Year’s Day 1812, Adams sent a brief, friendly note to Jefferson to accompany the delivery of “two pieces of homespun,” a two-volume collection of lectures on rhetoric by John Quincy Adams. Jefferson replied immediately with a warm, friendly letter, and the two men revived their friendship, which they conducted by mail. The correspondence that they resumed in 1812 lasted the rest of their lives, and thereafter has been hailed as one of their greatest legacies and a monument of American literature.[112]

Their letters are rich in insight into both the period and the minds of the two Presidents and revolutionary leaders. Their correspondence lasted fourteen years, and consisted of 158 letters.[112] It was in these years that the two men discussed “natural aristocracy.” Jefferson said, “The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of society. May we not even say that the form of government is best which provides most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government?”[113] Adams wondered if it ever would be so clear who these people were, “Your distinction between natural and artificial aristocracy does not appear to me well founded. Birth and wealth are conferred on some men as imperiously by nature, as genius, strength, or beauty. . . . When aristocracies are established by human laws and honour, wealth, and power are made hereditary by municipal laws and political institutions, then I acknowledge artificial aristocracy to commence.”[114] It would always be true, Adams argued, that fate would bestow influence on some men for reasons other than true wisdom and virtue. That being the way of nature, he thought such “talents” were natural. A good government, therefore, had to account for that reality.