Critical Thinking Definition: Church and State Issues, First Amendment Protections, Truth about Islam

Critical Thinking Definition:

Church and State Issues, First Amendment Protections, Truth about Islam

We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. ~Doctrine and Covenants 134:4

There is no law against belief, or not believing, but if anyone murders or steals, they must be punished by the laws of the land. For example, no one has a right to control what we think, or what we speak, but if anyone steals or murders, the perpetrator is not protected under freedom of religion, and must be punished for his crime, no matter what religion he believes in, because his actions have violated life, liberty, or property of others. Murder can never be excused, even in the name of religion. (Excerpt from Birthright Covenant Series by C.A. Davidson, #1: Escape to Faith and Freedom)

First Amendment Protections for practicing Islam?

If the defense’s argument continues to be religious freedom, it may appear as though Islam is looking for special rights not available to other religions in the United States.

“No one gets a free pass to abuse children in the name of religion, and that includes parents,” ~Elizabeth Yore

“If this had happened in a church or any other religious group other than Islam, it would be Armageddon on that group, but because of the fear of Islam nobody can challenge it whatsoever,” Dr. Christian said. “When you are dealing with the First Amendment, yes we have to respect that, but at the same time, it’s not a free hand to do whatever you want to harm any human being, and we should challenge Islam on those grounds. Dr. Mark Christian

Muslim doctor accused of mutilating ‘countless’ little girls freed on $4.5 million bond

Surprise decision comes after she was arrested at airport trying to flee U.S.

Leo Hohmann

“I was there in the courtroom. I saw it all,” said Elizabeth Yore, an international child-welfare advocate and leader of the #EndFGMToday initiative.

After five months in jail, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit-area Muslim doctor accused of mutilating the genitalia of “countless” young girls, was released on a $4.5 million unsecured property bond Tuesday.

Until Tuesday, Nagarwala had been the only one of eight defendants in the nation’s first FGM case being held without bond.

FGM has been banned by 25 states and a federal law against the procedure, called “female circumcision” in Middle Eastern cultures, has been in place since 1996. But the U.S. Department of Justice under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama failed to prosecute a single case under the federal law, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that upward of 513,000 American girls and women have either had the practice done or are at risk of being mutilated by rogue doctors, nurses and midwives.

Muslim doctor who does fgm

Nagarwala is charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, lying to FBI agents and obstructing an official proceeding. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.

“When I look at this case, I see that even journalists writing about the situation are trying to paint this as a certain sect of Islam, and not a general Islamic problem, with no proof whatsoever of what they are saying,” said Dr. Mark Christian, a physician and former Sunni Muslim who practiced gynecology in Egypt but later converted to Christianity and moved to America.

“This is a very sad situation where fear of offending Islam is overriding everything among those trying to abide by what’s politically correct. I thought in America everyone had the right to voice their opinion and speak the full truth.”

Christian said that if such a barbaric practice were occurring within a sect of Christianity, the reaction from the media would be far different, and the defendant would likely not be offered bond of any amount.

“If this had happened in a church or any other religious group other than Islam, it would be Armageddon on that group, but because of the fear of Islam nobody can challenge it whatsoever,” Dr. Christian said. “When you are dealing with the First Amendment, yes we have to respect that, but at the same time, it’s not a free hand to do whatever you want to harm any human being, and we should challenge Islam on those grounds.

“We should appreciate the freedom of religion and cleanse our society of any practice that harms human beings, especially young girls who haven’t even reached puberty, denying them their identity and denying them their womanhood.”

First Amendment Protections for practicing Islam?

If the defense’s argument continues to be religious freedom, it may appear as though Islam is looking for special rights not available to other religions in the United States.

“They say they should be able to do what they want with respect to their religion,” Yore said. “Well, did we give a pass to David Koresh [of Branch Davidians], Jim Jones [of Jonestown] or Warren Jeffs [Mormon sect] to practice child abuse in the name of their region? No.

Truth about Islam

“This is like human trafficking, and unless we get victims to come forward, or start putting heat on these mosques, set up 24-hour hotlines and mandate reporting by social workers, it’s not going to break the case open,” Yore said.

She believes the government should “go right to the heart of it – the religious-freedom argument.”

“In the United States, we draw the line at children being abused,” Yore said.

“No one gets a free pass to abuse children in the name of religion, and that includes parents,” Yore said. “These prosecutors, I’m pretty impressed with how tough they are, to prosecute parents that’s pretty darn tough. I think they want to send a message that it’s not just the doctor mutilators, it’s the parents who are involved in this underground network who also are being put on notice.”

Nagarwala has been practicing for at least 12 years.

“Their pants and underwear were removed … and Dr. Nagarwala approached with a sharp tool to cut their genitals,” assistant U.S. attorney Sara Woodward said during an earlier court hearing.

“We just have to attack each one of those lies, without fear of being called a hater or Islamophobe. If we don’t draw the line at FGM, are we going to draw it at child marriages? Honor killings? Where do we draw the line that children aren’t going to be abused on the basis of religious freedom? If you want to live here, you can’t come and draw up rules for living based on ancient barbaric laws.”

Yore gives kudos to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his tenacity on this issue.

“The Bush administration didn’t touch this, and we know the Obama administration wouldn’t touch it. They closed their eyes to it.”

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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.

History Heroes: U.S. Constitution, John Locke, and Founding Fathers

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

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

John Locke’s Influence on the U.S. Constitution and Founding Fathers

signers3John Locke 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism,[2][3][4] was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.[5]

Influence on Founding Fathers

The Constitutional Convention began deliberations on May 25, 1787.
Delegates used two streams of intellectual tradition, and any one delegate could be found using both or a mixture depending on the subject under discussion, foreign affairs or the economy, national government or federal relationships among the states. The Virginia Plan recommended a consolidated national government, generally favoring the big population states. It used the philosophy of John Locke to rely on consent of the governed, Montesquieu for divided government, and Edward Coke emphasizing civil liberties. The New Jersey Plan generally favored the small population states, using the philosophy of English Whigs such as Edmund Burke to rely on received procedure, and William Blackstone emphasizing sovereignty of the legislature.
The Convention devolved into a “Committee of the Whole” to consider the fifteen propositions of the Virginia Plan in their numerical order. These discussions continued until June 13, when the Virginia resolutions in amended form were reported out of committee.
All agreed to a republican form of government grounded in representing the people in the states.

Influence

Locke exercised a profound influence on political philosophy, in particular on modern liberalism. Michael Zuckert has argued that Locke launched liberalism by tempering Hobbesian absolutism and clearly separating the realms of Church and State. He had a strong influence on Voltaire who called him “le sage Locke”.

 His arguments concerning liberty and the social contract later influenced the written works of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers of the United States. In fact, one passage from the Second Treatise is reproduced verbatim in the Declaration of Independence, the reference to a “long train of abuses.”

 

Such was Locke’s influence that Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Bacon, Locke and Newton … I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences”.[11][12][13] Today, most contemporary libertarians claim Locke as an influence.
But Locke’s influence may have been even more profound in the realm of epistemology. Locke redefined subjectivity, or self, and intellectual historians such as Charles Taylor and Jerrold Seigel argue that Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) marks the beginning of the modern Western conception of the self.[14]

Theories of religious tolerance

johnlockeLocke, writing his Letters Concerning Toleration (1689–92) in the aftermath of the European wars of religion, formulated a classic reasoning for religious tolerance. Three arguments are central: (1) Earthly judges, the state in particular, and human beings generally, cannot dependably evaluate the truth-claims of competing religious standpoints; (2) Even if they could, enforcing a single “true religion” would not have the desired effect, because belief cannot be compelled by violence; (3) Coercing religious uniformity would lead to more social disorder than allowing diversity.[15]

Locke also advocated governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Continued

Dinner Talk: Definition of Classic Liberalism vs. Modern Liberalism

John Locke is called the Father of “Classic Liberalism.” The Founding Fathers were considered liberal at the time of the American Revolution because they were in favor of liberty, and they wanted to change the form of government to allow more liberty.Tories were considered to be conservative, because they wanted to conserve the Britiish monarchy.

Today these definitions have almost reversed. Today’s liberals want to change the U.S. Constitution (or destroy it) to decrease the amount of liberty, give more power to the federal government, and remove responsibility from the individual. Today, the Founding Fathers would be considered to be conservative, because they would want to conserve the U.S. constitution which they created, with limited government, and freedom of the people, balanced with individual responsibility.

History Facts about America: 7 Miracles that Saved America Children’s Book Reviews

History Facts about America:

7 Miracles that Saved America

Book Review

By Chris and Ted Stewart

Beautifully illustrated by Ben Sowards

 

The Lord holds Zion in His own hands. ~Doctrine and Covenants 63:25

“This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” ~Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

  • What if the Founding Fathers had never written the Constitution?
  • What if the Jamestown colony had failed?
  • What if Columbus had sailed back to Europe before arriving in the New World?
  • How would the fledgling American army have survived the massive British forces without the miraculous fog to protect Washington’s retreat?
  • What would have happened in the 20th century if Lincoln had failed to save America as a united country?
  • What would have happened to the Free World if America’s tiny fleet of aircraft hadn’t destroyed Japan’s enormous naval carriers in the Battle of Midway?
  • Would America have been victorious in the Cold War and liberated the oppressed nations if the bullet of Reagan’s would-be assassin had not been off by a mere quarter of an inch?

Have you ever thought of these important moments as miracles?

Based on the bestselling nonfiction book, Severn miracles That Saved America by Chris and Ted Stewart, this  children’s adaptation brings to life seven episodes from US history that chanted the course of the nation and continue to testify that America is indeed a blessed land. With vivid and captivating paints by artist Ben Sowards, this book teaches children the importance of remembering these events and how they can give us hope for the future.

Independence Day, YouTube Music and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

Dinner Topics for Friday

Independence Day: Liberty and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

news_flag_hdr5At church when we stand and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (it’s in our hymn book), I feel new hope that the majority of the American people still love this country and believe in American exceptionalism.  Politics alone are no longer the solution to our growing tyranny and loss of liberty. It is a cultural problem. Our only hope is to teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history and constitutional  principles that once  made this country a beacon of liberty to all the world–that is,  teach them Biblical values–the culture of liberty, and to restore America’s covenant with God. ~C.A. Davidson

 

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

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

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

~Francis Scott Key

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

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

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

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

Western Culture Newsletter: Character Education

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Character Education

June, 2017

Culture-Wars

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

                “THE GREAT GOOD AND THE TERRIBLE EVIL IN THE WORLD TODAY ARE THE SWEET AND THE BITTER FRUITS of the rearing of yesterday’s children,” said Gordon B. Hinckley, Christian leader. “As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children.”

We live in a world that seems to worship its own kind of greatness and to produce its own kind of heroes. A recent survey of young people ages eighteen through twenty-four revealed that today’s youth . . . clearly seek to pattern their lives after the glamorous and “boundlessly rich.” During the 1950s, heroes included Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, President Harry Truman, Queen Elizabeth, and Helen Keller—the blind and deaf writer-lecturer. These were figures who either helped shape history or were noted for their inspiring lives. Today, many of the top ten heroes are movie stars and other entertainers, which suggests something of a shift in our attitudes. [1]

“Let us not be trying to substitute an artificial life for the true one, ”said one Christian leader of the 20th century, long before TV and social media.[2]

To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman.” [3]

Greatness requires the development of character

What kind of greatness do you want your children to pass on from their upbringing?  Should we covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?[4]

Greatness requires the development of character. True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. It requires a multitude of correct decisions in the everyday choices between good and evil.[5] Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.[6]

True greatness comes from persevering in the difficulties of life and from serving in ways that are often unnoticed.

“True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitute the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord.”[7]

“May we never be discouraged in doing those daily tasks which God has ordained to be” part of our life-long character development.

Shiphrah, the rescuer, by Elspeth Young

Highlights

 

 

Thanks for visiting. Come often, stay late.

True to the Faith,

Christine Davidson

Pass on Judeo-Christian values to your family with this engaging and wholesome classic

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

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,  and to know our enemy, so as not to be deceived.

 

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

 

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

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

 

More about Birthright

News and Updates:

Now Available in digital and print at Amazon.

A  novel by C.A. Davidson—Christian fiction on Cultural Heritage. A historical novel so relevant it pops like today’s news! A wholesome classic to share with your children and grandchildren.

Click Here for More  Information and link to Amazon

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

 

To learn more and obtain your copy, please visit our Birthright Page.

 

As you read Birthright with your family, you can use its engaging narrative to apply to current events in real life while teaching character education. The Table of Contents in Birthright gives page numbers for each chapter, so you can refer to the text when you converse about the topics.

NEW PAGE!

Western Culture Center:

300-year-old Ceiba tree

Under the Ceiba tree, meet the memorable characters of 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.

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

 

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Listen

When I was first married, I asked my mother for her advice on raising children. She said, simply: “Just listen to them.” My mother was a good listener. We could talk to her about anything. I tried to follow her advice, and found that I rarely had to offer solutions to their problems. Usually they would figure things out themselves once they vented their feelings about the situation. Sometimes we just need to talk to someone. Who better than a loving parent?

There is someone else we parents need to listen to: the Holy Spirit. ~C.D.

If I Listen with My Heart

If I had been a little child when Jesus lived on earth,

I would have liked to walk with Him and listen to His words,

But as I search the scriptures I can hear His words of peace,

And if I listen with my heart I hear the Savior’s voice.

 

I feel the Holy Spirit as he teaches truth and right,

He comforts me in times of need, He testifies of Christ,

He speaks to me in quiet ways that fill my soul with peace,

And if I listen with my heart I hear the Savior’s voice.

 

Text:  Sally DeFord

Music:  Sally DeFord

Theme Quotes for June: Character Education

Greatness requires the development of character. True greatness comes from persevering in the difficulties of life and from serving in ways that are often unnoticed. ~Howard W. Hunter

Love people, not things; use things, not people. ~Spencer W. Kimball

We didn’t come here to learn how to love ourselves. That we already know how to do. Whether I’m self-loving or self-loathing (it’s the opposite ends of the same stick, which is self-absorption), we really came here to learn how to love others. And nothing needs to ever be wasted. Everything is for our experience. ~Dr. Liz Hale

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all. ~Oliver Wendell Homes
“The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain. … If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.” ~Thomas S. Monson

We may be bucking a strong tide, but we must teach our children that sin is sin. ~Spencer W. Kimball

Obedience to God is the habit of a free man. ~James Talmadge

Whether we recognize it or not, we are connected with our past . . . people who care nothing for the past usually have no thought for the future and are selfish in the way they use the present. (World Conference 1980)

Mosiah 3:19

Spencer W. Kimball : The day obedience becomes a quest and not an irritation is the day you gain power

 

Choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith. ~Thomas S. Monson

You have all received the Holy Ghost following your baptism. You need no one to brand the act or thought as wrong or right. Spencer W. Kimball

Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.

The opposite of Courage: “Most of the world fears the raised fist while we in America fear the raised eyebrow.” ~Mack Stiles

The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” ― Alexander Pope

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

It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny. ~Thomas S. Monson

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spencer W. Kimball : The day obedience becomes a quest and not an irritation is the day you gain power.

Choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith. ~Thomas S. Monson

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

Character Education: How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

Plague of Permissiveness

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Alexander Pope

June Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for June: Character Education

What is the key to your family’s future? Find it here.

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Teaching Justice and Mercy

Defining Moment: Discerning Truth in News vs. Smear Tactics and Fake News

Famous Birthdays: Robert Schumann, Edward Grieg, Adam Smith, Edvard Grieg, Charles Gounod, Frederic Bastiat

  • Bible Stories: Shiphrah, Protector of Life
    • Enoch’s Walk with God
  • Constitution Series 6: Equal Rights, not Equal Things
  • Character Education: Do Not Be Deceived
  • Critical Thinking: Smear Tactics and Discerning Truth in News
  • Culture Wars: Teaching the Language of the Gospel
    • AFA Christian News
    • Christianity vs. humanism, part 2
  • Faith: Why the Bible Matters
    • Overcoming the World
  • Family: Fathers Matter
    • Warning our Children to Repent is an Act of Love
  • Hillsdale Imprimis: The Left’s Attack on Free Speech
  • Stress Relief Tip: Listen to Jesus
  • Truth Matters: The Bizarre Alliance between the Left and Islam

 

And as always—current events, updates, 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.

Thank you for your support.

 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Let Us Educate Ourselves:

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. 

2. Home Education—Let’s Teach our Children!

 “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

Pass on Judeo-Christian values to your children with this engaging and wholesome classic

Seeing the widespread injury done in any given week, (many incidents go unreported), stay aware of important news and insights at Epicworld Dinner Topics.

Traditional Bible-believing parents may have to consider withdrawing their children from public schools to protect your family spiritually and financially from the rising tide of persecution and ruinous lawsuits by anti-Christian fascists.

If it is not possible for you to home school, try to teach your children Judeo-Christian values at home. The easiest way to do this is to tell stories and discuss principles at the family dinner table. I hope these dinner topics help you with this vital effort. Just don’t give up! Our precious children are worth fighting for!

Learn the Key to Survival in a Difficult World

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 #6:Equal Rights, not Equal Things

[1] (See U.S. News & World Report, 22 Apr. 1985, pp. 44–48.) Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p.158

[2] Joseph F. Smith, 1905

[3] Joseph F. Smith

[4] Doctrine and Covenants 117:8

[5] Howard W. Hunter, 164

[6] Boyd K. Packer

[7] Howard W. Hunter, 159

US Constitution Series 5: Trust in God

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

The Founders’ Basic Principles: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

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

By W. Cleon Skousen

Principle # 5

keyoldIn the Anglo-Saxon language, the word for supreme or ultimate good is “God.” (Skousen p. 96)

creationhandsAll things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible

The Founders vigorously affirm throughout their writings that the foundation of all reality is the existence of the Creator, who is the designer of all things in nature and the promulgator of all the laws which govern nature.

The Founders were in harmony with the thinking of John Locke as expressed in his famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In it Locke pointed out that it defies the most elementary aspects of reason and experience to presuppose that everything in existence developed as a result of fortuitous circumstance. The mind, for example, will not accept the proposition that the forces of nature, churning about among themselves, would ever produce a watch, or even a lead pencil, let alone the marvelous intricacies of the human eye, the ear, or even the simplest of the organisms found in nature. All these are the product of intelligent design and high precision engineering. (Skousen, pp.95-96)

How Can One Know There Is a God?

In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke insisted that everyone can know there is a divine Creator. It is simply a case of thinking about it. To begin with, each person knows that he exists.

Furthermore, each person knows that he is something. He also knows that a something could not be produced by a nothing. Therefore, whatever brought man and everything else into existence also had to be something.

This something would therefore have to be superior to e everything which had resulted from this effort. This element of superiority makes this something the ultimate “good” for all that has been organized and arranged. In the Anglo-Saxon language, the word for supreme or ultimate good is “God.” (Skousen p. 96)

So, as John Locke says, there are many things man can know about God. And because any thoughtful person can gain an appreciation and conviction of these many attributes of the Creator, Locke felt that an atheist has failed to apply his divine capacity for reason and observation.

The American Founding Fathers agreed with Locke. They considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying ALL self-evident truth. It will be noted as we proceed through this study that every single self-evident truth enunciated by the Founders is rooted in the presupposition of a divine Creator. (Skousen pp. 97-98)

Concerning God’s Revealed Law Distinguishing Right from Wrong

The Founders considered the whole foundation of a just society to be structured on the basis of God’s revealed law. These laws constituted a moral code clearly distinguishing right from wrong.

William Blackstone, widely read authority on this subject in the Founders era, expounded it in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.

He said the laws for human nature had been revealed by God, whereas the laws of the universe (natural law) must be learned through scientific investigation. (Commentaries, p.64) Blackstone stated that “upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws …” (Ibid., p.65)

[T]he attitude of the Founders toward God’s law (both natural and revealed) gave early Americans a very high regard for the “law” as a social institution. They respected the sanctity of the law in the same way that it was honored among the Anglo-Saxons and by ancient Israel. (Skousen pp.98-99)

The Nearness of God

Days of fasting and prayer were commonplace in early America. most of the Founders continually petitioned God in fervent prayers, both public and private, and looked upon his divine intervention in their daily lives as a singular blessing. They were continually expressing gratitude to God as the nation survived one major crisis after another.

George Washington

George Washington was typical of the Founders in this respect. Charles Bracelen Flood discovered in his research that during the Revolutionary War there were at least sixty-seven desperate moments when Washington acknowledged that he would have suffered disaster had not the hand of God intervened in behalf of the struggle for independence. (Skousen p.99)

trust“In God We Trust”

From all of this it will be seen that the Founders were not indulging in any idle gesture when they adopted the motto, “In God we trust.” Neither was it a matter of superfluous formality when they required that all witnesses who testify in the courts or before Congressional hearings must take an oath and swear or affirm before God that they will tell the truth. As Washington pointed out in his Farewell Address: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?” (Skousen, p.100)

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

US Constitution Series 3: Benjamin Franklin on the Good Leader

US Constitution Series 4: Church, State, and Religion in American Life

Western Culture Newsletter: Nuclear Family

Western Culture Dinner Topics Theme: Nuclear Family

May 2017 Newsletter

Culture-Wars

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

                LIFE IS FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH PRAYER. Also fragile is the nuclear or traditional family. More than thirty years ago, Christian leaders warned us: Satan has declared war on the family. As I have endeavored to defend the traditional family over the years, I have found this to be true, first hand.

Popular among the many chants of today’s chorus of moral equivalence is: “all variations of the family are essentially equivalent, so why does Western society agonize over the collapse of the family? What’s the big deal? After all, we know this from decades of experimentation.”

Decades, hmm? Really?

                “The bottom line is that not all family structures are equal, and not all variations are compatible with basic social and human needs,” William J. Bennett, eminent author and champion of moral values reminds us. This he concludes after a profound study of the history of the nuclear family—not of mere decades or scarcely a generation—but of millennia, about three thousand years. Which study is more credible—the one based on whims of instant gratification, or the one with a foundation of time-tested human experience?

“Why? What is the big deal?”

                In their mad scramble for self-fulfillment, comfort, and convenience, adults overlook the greatest victims of their selfishness: children.

                Which family structure best meets the needs of children? “We desperately need to reestablish marriage as an exclusive arrangement between a man and a woman,” Bennett continues. “Marriage, monogamous and freely chosen, must be the institution through which children are conceived and born, loved and disciplined, nurtured and raised. And marital permanence must once again become the ideal to which individuals commit themselves and which they strive to maintain.”

Truths restored from ancient history remain unchanged.

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

           Someone wisely said we study history to “know who we are.” As Paul told the Romans, “we are children of God.” Knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent His Son to rescue us from the misery of sin, we can safely conclude that God approves of the family unit, and that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”[2]

The nuclear family is not the result of mere happenstance. “Shaped as we are by long human experience, we must be all the more careful not to lose what has required so much time and so much effort to accomplish. The modern nuclear family is a rare construct; we tamper with its essentials at our peril. As the long record of human experimentation attests, civilizations, even great civilizations, are more fragile and perishable than we think.” (Bennett, The Broken Hearth, 67, 70)

Thanks for visiting. Come often; Stay Late,

To forever families,

Christine Davidson

Teach your family the Key to Survival in a Difficult World

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,  and to know our enemy, so as not to be deceived.

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

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

Highlights

 

 

You might also like: Excerpt from new novel by C.A. Davidson, Birthright:

Why the Bible Matters

More about Birthright

News and Updates:

Now Available in digital and print at Amazon.

A  novel by C.A. Davidson—Christian fiction on Cultural Heritage. A historical novel so relevant it pops like today’s news! A wholesome classic to share with your children and grandchildren.

Click Here for More  Information and link to Amazon

 

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

To learn more and obtain your copy, please visit our Birthright Site.

As you read Birthright with your family, you can use its engaging narrative to apply to current events in real life while teaching character education. The Table of Contents in Birthright gives page numbers for each chapter, so you can refer to the text when you converse about the topics.

NEW PAGE!

300-year-old Ceiba tree

Western Culture Center:

Under the Ceiba tree, come meet the memorable characters of Birthright characters, 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.

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

 

 

Stress Relief Tip: The Secret to Peace for your Children

Isaiah 54:13

Theme Quotes for May: Nuclear Family

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

We are created in God’s image and need to mirror Him. My role as a wife must be of more importance than my role as a mother because we are training disciples, not making friends with our children. The payoff will be great in the years ahead because then we will enjoy friendships with our children in a new and special way. ~Esther Saunders

No success can compensate for failure in the home. ~David O. McKay

A man should never neglect his family for business. ~Walt Disney

‘The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.’ ~Harold B. Lee

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

 

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. ~The Family Proclamation

We need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places—even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting, or no longer relevant. ~Bonnie L. Oscarson

“First because thou lovest God; and, secondly, because that thou lovest me.” Margaret Winthrop stating reasons she loved her husband John.

Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? ~Ronald Reagan

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

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

The family is the most important organization in time or in eternity. The Lord instituted the family to endure eternally. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

Nuclear Family: As the forces of evil attack the individual by tearing away at his family roots, it becomes critical for …parents to maintain and strengthen the family. There are certain old truths which will be truths as long as the world endures, and which no amount of progress can change. 1) One of these is that the family (the organization consisting of father, mother, and children) is the foundation of all things in the Church; 2) another, that sins against pure and healthy family life are those which, of all others, are sure in the end to be visited most heavily upon the nations in which they take place. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The thought of a nation without the family unit as its fundamental foundation, where all the citizens are comparatively strangers to each other and where natural affection is not found; where no family ties bind the groups together, is one of horror. Such a condition could lead to but one end—anarchy and dissolution. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The gospel of Jesus Christ is family centered; it must be lived in the family. It is here we receive our greatest and most important training as we seek to create for ourselves eternal family units patterned after the family of God our Father. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It … is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he can be.

MARIANNE E. NEIFERT, Dr. Mom’s Parenting Guide

Plague of Permissiveness

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Alexander Pope

May Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for May: Nuclear Family

What is the key to your family’s future? Find it here.

praying handsFeatured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Kindness

Defining Moment: The Nuclear Family—a History Timeline

Famous Birthdays: Johannes Brahms, Friederich Hayek, Florence Nightingale, Richard Wagner, Carl Bloch, Albrecht Durer, Isaac Albeñiz

  • Art: The touching story of Albrecht Durer
    • The influential art of Carl Bloch
  • Culture Wars: Un-brainwash your kids
    • A Plea to Women—Learn to discern the different forms of deception
    • Deadly ideology promoted via a fairy tale
    • Hollywood Actor defends American values
    • Christianity vs. humanism, part 1
  • Faith: It will all work out
  • Family: Raising a sin-resistant Generation
    • A Parable for Mothers
  • Founding American Principles 5: Trust in God
  • History: Timeline of the Nuclear Family
    • Honoring Our Vets

Moral Solutions—always looking for reasons for optimism:

And as always—current events, updates, 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.

Thank you for your support.

 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Let Us Educate Ourselves:

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. 

2. Home Education—Let’s Teach our Children!

 “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

Pass on Judeo-Christian values to your children with this engaging and wholesome classic

Seeing the widespread injury done in any given week, (many incidents go unreported), stay aware of important news and insights at Western Culture Dinner Topics.

Traditional Bible-believing parents may have to consider withdrawing their children from public schools to protect your family spiritually and financially from the rising tide of persecution and ruinous lawsuits by anti-Christian fascists.

If it is not possible for you to home school, try to teach your children Judeo-Christian values at home. The easiest way to do this is to tell stories and discuss principles at the family dinner table. I hope these dinner topics help you with this vital effort. Just don’t give up! Our precious children are worth fighting for!

Learn the Key to Survival in a Difficult World

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 #5: Trust in God

[1] Family Proclamation, 1995

[2] Ibid

Culture Wars: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Culture Wars:

10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Lift Where You Stand: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

“I sometimes fear that we have relied too much on the Constitution to do the hard work of citizenship for us. The Constitution—including the First Amendment—was never intended to make us lazy citizens, to absolve us from the duty and imperative to be vigilant in defense of our religious rights and interests.” ~ Lance B. Wickman

D. Todd Christofferson

Knowing how to protect religious freedom can seem daunting. It might seem like you need a legal or political background to make a difference. But there are simple things you can do in your neighborhood or community that can have big effects over time. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of building trust with others so that you have relationships already established when you need to come together on complex issues. Here are some simple ways to protect religious freedom in everyday life:

1. Study up on the issues. Study the words of the living Apostles on religious freedom and moral issues. Read responsible websites, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that explore current events from a variety of perspectives, asking God to let the Spirit help you discern truth. Let your beliefs and the facts inform your views. Be ready to act. Know your rights established by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (italics added).

2. Speak up with courage and civility. Don’t be intimidated into silence by intolerant voices. Speak up! State your views with true civility and kindness (for ideas, see “7 Keys to Successful Conversations”). Speak or write calmly. Seek true understanding. Acknowledge legitimate points. And explain why the freedoms you defend are so important to you, your loved ones, and the Church—make it personal. Keep in mind that one-on-one conversations are usually more meaningful and respectful than group discussions, especially if they’re online. Stand firmly for principle while understanding that in some areas we will have to seek compromise to protect our most vital freedoms.

voter placing ballot3. Get involved in the political process. Vote in your local, state, and national elections. Support candidates who understand the proper role of religion in society and the need to protect it for everyone. Learn about how laws are made. You could also attend city council meetings, join a political party, write your representatives, and combine your efforts with others who support religious freedom.

4.Get to know people of other faiths. Talk with them about matters of shared concern. Participate in an interfaith service project. Support their religious freedom.

5.Volunteer for a charity. Help solve problems in your community by giving of your time to a local charitable or service organization. When people of faith do good, they increase their ability to convince others that religious freedom should be respected and protected.

6. Get involved in education. Participate in your local PTA. Run for the school board. Lend your voice and resources to solving problems in your school. Help preserve reasonable space for religious values in educational settings. Support the right of parents to guide their children’s education. Support values-based extracurricular activities like religious clubs or Bible-study classes.

Parenting Resources for Teaching Families to Defend Religious Freedom

7. Be part of a club, business group, or professional association. Build relationships and gain perspectives by joining with community members in a book club, a debate team, a college alumni group, a conservation effort, a Scout troop, a speech forum, or a sports team. Be where the conversations are happening. That will give you opportunities to educate others about the importance of religious freedom and challenges to it. Likewise, business groups and professional associations exert great influence on policy makers and on other business people and professionals. They need your voice in support of faith, family, and religious freedom.

8. Extend the reach of your faith. Connect ward service activities with the needs of the community where possible. Cooperation between church groups and community organizations helps build mutual trust and focuses resources on helping those in need.  Again, when people of faith do good works, others will be more likely to respect their need for religious freedom.

9. Make it a family matter and a matter of prayer. Take your children to a speech or conference on religious freedom. Watch a movie or documentary on the role and history of religious freedom in society. Conduct a lesson or activity about the United States Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other foundational documents. Invite a family of another faith into your home.

Cyrus, non-Jewish ruler who helped the Jews get their country back

Pray that our freedoms will be preserved. Pray and exercise faith that governments at home and abroad will be opened—or remain open—to the Church. As the Lord long ago “stirred” Cyrus, the King of Persia, to issue a decree allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:1), so can He stir other leaders with influence to help preserve religious freedom. Pray as you study about religious freedom that you can understand what you need to know and do. Pray for the Spirit to help direct you in conversations.

Teach your children why Religious Freedom Matters

10. Enlarge your voice through social media. Be persuasive by being civil in online conversations; the person who gets angry loses. Share appropriate links, stories, photos, articles, and personal experiences on social media. Start a blog, write an op-ed, or submit a letter to the editor. Learn from those who might disagree with you as you defend gospel standards and religious freedom. Sometimes even just sharing goodness you see in the world can help people recognize that your beliefs are about bringing peace, not contention, to the world.

Follow Western Culture Dinner Topics, Defender of Religious Freedom

 

Critical Thinking: Defining Church and State

Critical Thinking:

Defining Church and State

C.A. Davidson

    TODAY IN OUR SOCIETY, WE HAVE PEOPLE LITERALLY GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION, because many of us do not understand the line of demarcation between church and state.

Let’s take a closer look at our topic in the First Amendment of the Constitution:

church-state3-first-amendmtCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …

I hope by the time we conclude here that you will understand more precisely what “establishment of religion” means. In 1963, the Supreme Court established the religion of atheism by banning the Bible. Congress didn’t even make that law—the Supreme Court did. How unconstitutional is that?

Today, Congress has not made laws establishing a religion, in this case Islam. Political Correctness, with the help of Barack Obama, has done that. How unconstitutional is that?

Only Congress can make laws. Congressman Trey Gowdy explains:

We make law and while you are free to stand and clap when any president comes into this hallowed chamber and promises to do it with or without you. I will never stand and clap when ANY president no matter whether it’s your president or mine, promises to make us a constitutional anomaly and an afterthought. WE MAKE LAW. 

Church Laws

Most Christian church laws deal with the moral standing of an individual. They can exile or excommunicate a member of their faith for moral transgression, which is violation of a moral law.

U.S. Laws

church-state2-madison-quote          U.S . laws are based on the biblical Ten Commandments. The Constitution guarantees protection of innocent life and property. Therefore, if a member of any religion in the United States steals or commits murder, that member must be tried and punishable by a civil court, because the person has infringed upon another’s liberties and is a threat to society. Most holy writ condemns murder. The religious books of some countries justify murder in the name of their religion. Murder is still against the law in the United States, and is not justified or protected by freedom of religion.

Jefferson and Madison were anxious that the individual states provide for equality among all religions, in order to encourage a moral fiber in society.

Before the Civil War, some states were persecuting certain religions and favoring others, even though the First Amendment of the Constitution spells out the right to freedom for all religions. After the Civil War, amendments were established so that the states could not overrule the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. Now, First Amendment rights are guaranteed on a national level to all American citizens, no matter what state they reside in.

Dallin H. Oaks, legal scholar and Christian leader, clarifies:

Jefferson’s “wall” was obviously intended only for the federal government, and the Supreme Court application of the metaphor to the states has come under severe criticism. (Dallin Oaks, 1963: The Wall Between Church and State, pp.2-3)

church-state1-reagan-quote          Under the United States Constitution,  we have freedom of religion, and anyone can worship whom, where, or what they choose, or not worship anything, if they so choose—as long as their religious opinions don’t cause them to infringe upon the liberties of others. The Constitution is the charter for a civil government, not a religious government, but it requires that the government protect our God-given rights of life, liberty, and property.

Sharia Law, on the other hand, is administered by the Islamic State, in which religion and state are inseparable. Sharia Law is diametrically opposed to the Constitutional rights of life, liberty, and property, and denies First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, and press as well. Sharia Law allows killing, stealing, and enslavement in the name of their man-made religion.

Should Church Doctrine determine National Policy?

Christians believe in being kind to the wayfaring stranger. The motives are pure, Christ-like love. Does this mean that governments should apply this doctrine on a national scale, and dispense with the vetting process for immigrants?

ImmigrationInvasionOfAmericaThe motives of Islamists, on the other hand, are to use immigration as an invasion tactic, to conquer the target nation, with no intention of assimilating into our Judeo-Christian culture and respecting our values. Obviously, for national security reasons, America can’t assume that the motives of all immigrants are pure, especially when those immigrants hold to religious doctrines that are inimical to the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian ethics upon which our nation is founded.

(See Constitution OK with Immigration Tests on Religion

Ed Vitagliano, of the American Family Association, provides some important insights into this issue:

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

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

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

The application of this principle is that individual Christians should help refugees who are in our nation. But the issue of who we allow in – and how many – is not a biblical matter. It is a political matter. (Please see this related post for additional important information:

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

 

            You decide: The line of demarcation between Church and State     

Here are some other examples. Use critical thinking to determine whether these cases deserve the protection  of freedom of religion, or whether they violate unalienable rights of life, liberty, and property,  threatening public safety, thereby being subject to prosecution and punishment by civil law.

Child Sacrifice

moloch_the_god1) In ancient times, some people worshipped a god named Moloch. These worshippers practiced human sacrifice, throwing their babies into a fiery furnace in the belly of the statue of  Moloch.

  • Should those worshipers have been granted license to destroy innocent life because it was a religious ritual for them?

Slavery and Slave Trade

2) In a bizarre digression from their latest anti-Christian tirade, the Islamic State addressed the question of black slavery, claiming that if Muslims had been in charge of Western states, the slave trade would have continued.

If Muslims rather than Christians had been running things in countries like the U.S., the Islamic State argues in the most recent issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, “the lucrative African slave trade would have continued, supporting a strong economy.”

As usual, the Islamic State supports its position with theological arguments, suggesting that Allah is pleased with slavery, as long as the slaves are infidels.

slave-trade-ISIS“Trading in black African slaves, the [Islamic] magazine notes, would not be done for racial reasons but religious ones.

(Thomas D. Williams, PhD. ‘Lucrative African Slave Trade Would Have Continued’ Breitbart.com)

  • Should Islamists be allowed to traffic in slavery and protected by freedom of religion because they do it for “religious reasons?”

Murder

3) Jihad is not a product of extremist fringes; it is a core religious doctrine of Islam today found in their Koran. Jihad requires that Islamists kill or enslave innocent people—anyone who does not convert to their religion.

MuslimWarriorTrading in black African slaves, the magazine [Dabiq] notes, would not be done for racial reasons but religious ones.

“All of this would be done, not for racism, nationalism, or political lies, but to make the word of Allah supreme. Jihad is the ultimate show of one’s love for his Creator, facing the clashing of swords and buzzing of bullets on the battlefield, seeking to slaughter his enemies – whom he hates for Allah’s hatred of them.”[1]

  • Should Islamists be protected by freedom of religion so they can “slaughter [his] enemies”, or anyone who doesn’t agree with Islam?

Critical Thinking  

  • When is freedom of religion limited?
  • What actions, even if done in the name of religion, require the perpetrator to be subject to civil law?

Related Post:

 Islamic State approves Slave Trade

 

[1]  Thomas D. Williams, PhD. ‘Lucrative African Slave Trade Would Have Continued’ (Breitbart.com)