Critical Thinking Definition: Discernment and Judgment

Critical Thinking Definition: Discernment and Judgment

Critical-thinking

keyWho says freedom is morally superior to bondage? And why is it wrong to hurt someone else? Who says? To injure or hurt someone else goes against biblical teaching. That is where the idea of it being wrong to hurt someone comes from in the first place. The Golden Rule was given to us by Jesus Christ. ~Tim Wildmon

“You have no right to judge me!” Really?

Tim Wildmon, American Family Association President

discernment-christianDo you know the favorite Bible verse of those who don’t believe in the Bible’s authority? Think about it. It’s not hard. The favorite Bible verse of those who do not believe in the Bible is: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Now these folks cannot tell you where this verse is in the Bible, because they don’t read it. But they have heard it is in the Scriptures somewhere, so if they don’t like something you say when you pronounce something right or wrong, they whip out Matthew 7:1, and that is supposed to be the end of the discussion.

One of the problems is, if you tell others they have no right to judge someone else, you have thereby judged them for judging. You have done precisely what you claim to be against – judging. That makes you a hypocrite.

But that then begs the question – why is it wrong to be a hypocrite? Who made that judgment? We just assume that to be a true statement, which is a presupposition. But presuppositions need a foundation to be authoritative. For example, the teachings of Jesus Christ are authoritative for those who believe He is the Son of God.

Each one of us has a worldview on which we base our lives, presuppositions we operate under and make decisions on. Because of our country’s Christian heritage, most Americans, either consciously or subconsciously, derive their presuppositions about life and morality from the Bible.

Ask an average man on the street if lying is right or wrong behavior, and he is going to tell you it’s wrong. Ask him who decided lying was wrong, and he will either say, “It just is” or “My parents taught me it was wrong” or “The Bible says so.” However, “It just is,” is not an answer to the question; it is an opinion. Neither is “My parents taught me.” Parents are an authority figure, but they do not define morality in any absolute way because they are humans whose opinions are subject to change. “The Bible says so,” is a legitimate answer because if you believe the Bible is God’s Word, then you want to obey God so you don’t fall into disfavor with a supreme being who controls your eternal destiny.

bible1Many Americans will say they subscribe to the idea that a person should be free to do whatever he wishes “as long as it does not hurt anyone else.” This view is based on the presupposition that freedom is good, and it is morally wrong to hurt someone else. Who made these rules? Who says freedom is morally superior to bondage? And why is it wrong to hurt someone else? Who says? To injure or hurt someone else goes against biblical teaching. That is where the idea of it being wrong to hurt someone comes from in the first place. The Golden Rule was given to us by Jesus Christ. 

Some societies use an atheistic state government as the agent for defining what is right or wrong behavior. It’s called totalitarianism for a reason. In Muslim countries, Islamic law and teaching dominate the people’s behavior. Islam defines good and evil, wrong and right. Most European countries have what’s left of their Christian heritage to guide them, although the continent today is mostly secular with Islam rising as a possible replacement to secularism in the coming decades.   

It is a healthy exercise to ask ourselves where we get the moral values that govern our lives. Is it each person for himself, or do we acknowledge a higher power with authority to declare such? God calls on all men to submit to His will and authority. Let us pray that America will become a God-fearing people again. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus declared, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”

http://www.afajournal.org/recent-issues/2015/june/you-have-no-right-to-judge-me-really/

Critical Thinking: Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

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Valentine’s Day and Christian Marriage

Dinner Topics for Valentine’s Day

keyoldMy, how ironic! History repeats itself! Saint Valentine was persecuted by the Roman government, and eventually martyred, because he performed marriages and ministered to Christians. Who would have thought that those Christians who promote traditional marriage would also be persecuted today? ~ C.A. Davidson

 

St-valentineFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day,[1][2][3] or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[4] is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. It is the second most celebrated holiday around the world second to New Year’s Day.[3]

St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.[5][6] Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion,[7] as well as in the Lutheran Church.[8] The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, albeit on July 6th and July 30th, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).[9][10]

The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“).[1][3] Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Saint Valentine

Historical facts

valentinesaintNumerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine.[12] The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).[13] Valentine of Rome[14] was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The flower crowned skull[15] of St Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics are found in the Basilica of Santa Prassede,[16] also in Rome, as well as at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

Valentine of Terni[17] became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).[18]

The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.[19] Saint Valentine’s head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester and venerated.[20]

February 14 is celebrated as St Valentine’s Day in various Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of ‘commemoration’ in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion.[7] In addition, the feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church.[8] However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.”[21] The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on July 6th, in which Saint Valentine, the Roman presbyter, is honoured; furthermore, the Eastern Orthodox Church obsesrves the feast of Hieromartyr Valentine, Bishop of Interamna, on July 30th.[22][23]

Legends

Bishop Demetri of the Orthodox Research Institute, in a keynote address, states that “St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D, a time when the church was enduring great persecution. His ministry was to help the Christians to escape this persecution, and to provide them the sacraments, such as marriage, which was outlawed by the Roman Empire at that time.”[24] Contemporary records of Saint Valentine were most probably destroyed during the Diocletianic Persecution on early 4th century.[25] In the 5th or 6th century, a work called Passio Marii et Marthae published an invented story of martyrdom for Saint Valentine of Rome, probably by borrowing tortures that happened to other saints, as it was usually made in the literature of that period.[25][26] It states that St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer’s daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) came to believe in Jesus and were baptized.[25]

In addition to this, Saint Valentine is said to have performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade this in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. According to legend, in order to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians,” Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on Saint Valentine’s Day.[5][27] A later Passio repeated the legend, adding that Pope Julius I built a church over his sepulcre (it’s a confusion with a 4th century tribune called Valentino who donated land to build a church at a time when Julius was a Pope).[26] The legend was picked up as fact by later martyrologies, starting by Bede‘s martyrology in the 8th century.[26] It was repeated in the 13th century, in Legenda Aurea.[28] The book expounded briefly the Early Medieval acta of several Saint Valentines, and this legend was assigned to the Valentine under 14 February.

valentine2There is an additional embellishment to The Golden Legend, which according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was added centuries later, and widely repeated.[29] On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine.”[29] This expression “From your Valentine” is still used to this day.[27] This legend has been published by both American Greetings and The History Channel.[30] John Foxe, an English historian, as well as the Order of Carmelites, state that Saint Valentine was buried in the Church of Praxedes in Rome, located near the cemetery of St Hippolytus. This order says that according to legend, “Julia herself planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.”[31][32]

Attested traditions

Main article: Lupercalia

There is no evidence of any link between Saint Valentine’s Day and the rites of the ancient Roman festival, despite many claims by many authors.[20][33] The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer‘s poetry about “Valentines” in the 14th century.[25]

 

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Artist Norman Rockwell: American Culture Values Champion

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

Artist Norman Rockwell: American Culture Values Champion

 

Rockwell- Freedom of Worship

Rockwell- Freedom of Worship

Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades.[1] Among the best-known of Rockwell’s works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series. He also is noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), during which he produced covers for their publication Boys’ Life, calendars, and other illustrations. These works include popular images that reflect the Scout Oath and Scout Law such as The Scoutmaster, A Scout is Reverent[2] and A Guiding Hand,[3] among many others.

Fortify your family with the Judeo-Christian Heritage HERE

Life and works

Norman Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894, in New York City, to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary “Nancy” Rockwell, née Hill.[4][5][6] His earliest American ancestor was John Rockwell (1588–1662), from Somerset, England, who immigrated to colonial North America, probably in 1635, aboard the ship

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell

Hopewell and became one of the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut. He had one brother, Jarvis Waring Rockwell, Jr., older by a year and a half.[7][8] Jarvis Waring, Sr., was the manager of the New York office of a Philadelphia textile firm, George Wood, Sons & Company, where he spent his entire career.[7][9][10]

Rockwell transferred from high school to the Chase Art School at the age of 14. He then went on to the National Academy of Design and finally to the Art Students League. There, he was taught by Thomas Fogarty, George Bridgman, and Frank Vincent DuMond; his early works were produced for St. Nicholas Magazine, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) publication Boys’ Life, and other youth publications. As a student, Rockwell was given small jobs of minor importance. His first major breakthrough came at age eighteen with his first book illustration for Carl H. Claudy‘s Tell Me Why: Stories about Mother Nature.

Boy Scouts of America

After that, Rockwell was hired as a staff artist for Boys’ Life magazine. In this role, he received 50 dollars’ compensation each month for one completed cover and a set of story illustrations. It is said to have been his first paying job as an artist.[11] At 19, he became the art editor for Boys’ Life, published by the Boy Scouts of America. He held the job for three years,[12] during which he painted several covers, beginning with his first published magazine cover, Scout at Ship’s Wheel, which appeared on the Boys’ Life September edition.

Painting years

Rockwell’s family moved to New Rochelle, New York, when Norman was 21 years old. They shared a studio with the cartoonist Clyde Forsythe, who worked for The Saturday Evening Post. With Forsythe’s help, Rockwell submitted his first successful

Rockwell studio

Rockwell studio

cover painting to the Post in 1916, Mother’s Day Off (published on May 20). He followed that success with Circus Barker and Strongman (published on June 3), Gramps at the Plate (August 5), Redhead Loves Hatty Perkins (September 16), People in a Theatre Balcony (October 14), and Man Playing Santa (December 9). Rockwell was published eight times on the Post cover within the first year. Ultimately, Rockwell published 323 original covers for The Saturday Evening Post over 47 years. His Sharp Harmony appeared on the cover of the issue dated September 26, 1936; it depicts a barber and three clients, enjoying an a cappella song. The image was adopted by SPEBSQSA in its promotion of the art.

Rockwell’s success on the cover of the Post led to covers for other magazines of the day, most notably the Literary Digest, the Country Gentleman, Leslie’s Weekly, Judge, Peoples Popular Monthly and Life magazine.

Rockwell Scout Calendar

Rockwell Scout Calendar

When Rockwell’s tenure began with The Saturday Evening Post in 1916, Rockwell left his salaried position at Boys’ Life, but continued to include scouts in Post cover images and the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross. He resumed work with the Boy Scouts of America in 1926 with production of his first of fifty-one original illustrations for the official Boy Scouts of America annual calendar, which still may be seen in the Norman Rockwell Art Gallery at the National Scouting Museum[13] in the city of Irving near Dallas, Texas.

During World War I, he tried to enlist into the U.S. Navy but was refused entry because, at 140 pounds (64 kg), he was eight pounds underweight for someone 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. To compensate, he spent one night gorging himself on bananas, liquids and doughnuts, and weighed enough to enlist the next day. He was given the role of a military artist, however, and did not see any action during his tour of duty.[14]

World War II

old fashioned family dinner

Rockwell 1943

In 1943, during World War II, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was completed in seven months and resulted in his losing fifteen pounds. The series was inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, wherein he described four principles for universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship[15] and Freedom from Fear. The paintings were published in 1943 by The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell used the Pennell ship-building family from Brunswick, Maine as models for two of the paintings, “Freedom from Want” and “A Thankful Mother”, and would combine models from photographs and his own vision to create his idealistic paintings. The United States Department of the Treasury later promoted war bonds by exhibiting the originals in sixteen cities. Rockwell considered “Freedom of Speech” to be the best of the four.

 Rockwell Freedom of Speech

Rockwell Freedom of Speech

That same year, a fire in his studio destroyed numerous original paintings, costumes, and props.[16] Because the period costumes and props were irreplaceable, the fire split his career into two phases, the second phase depicting modern characters and situations. Rockwell was contacted by writer Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp, with the suggestion that the three of them should make a daily comic strip together, with Caplin and his brother writing and Rockwell drawing. King Features Syndicate is reported to have promised a $1,000 per week deal, knowing that a Capp-Rockwell collaboration would gain strong public interest. The project was ultimately aborted, however, as it turned out that Rockwell, known for his perfectionism as an artist, could not deliver material so quickly as would be required of him for a daily comic strip.[16]

During the late 1940s, Norman Rockwell spent the winter months as artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design. Students occasionally were models for his Saturday Evening Post covers. In 1949, Rockwell donated an original Post cover, “April Fool”, to be raffled off in a library fund raiser.

In 1959, after his wife Mary died suddenly from a heart attack, Rockwell took time off from his work to grieve. It was during that break that he and his son Thomas produced Rockwell’s autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, which was published in 1960. The Post printed excerpts from this book in eight consecutive issues, the first containing Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait.

Later career

Rockwell’s last painting for the Post was published in 1963, marking the end of a publishing relationship that had included 321 cover paintings. He spent the next ten years painting for Look magazine, where his work depicted his interests in civil rights, poverty, and space exploration. In 1968, Rockwell was commissioned to do an album cover portrait of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for their record, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.[18] During his long career, he was commissioned to paint the portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as those of foreign figures, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru. One of his last works was a portrait of Judy Garland in 1969.

A custodianship of his original paintings and drawings was established with Rockwell’s help near his home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Norman Rockwell Museum still is open today year round. The museum’s collection includes more than seven hundred original Rockwell paintings, drawings, and studies. The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum is a national research institute dedicated to American illustration art.

His last commission for the Boy Scouts of America was a calendar illustration entitled The Spirit of ’76, which was completed when Rockwell was eighty-two, concluding a partnership which generated four hundred and seventy-one images for periodicals, guidebooks, calendars, and promotional materials. His connection to the BSA spanned sixty-four years, marking the longest professional association of his career. His legacy and style for the BSA has been carried on by Joseph Csatari.

Rockwell- Saying Grace

Rockwell- Saying Grace

Presidential Medal of Freedom

For “vivid and affectionate portraits of our country,” Rockwell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, in 1977.

Rockwell died November 8, 1978, of emphysema at age 84 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Personal life

Rockwell married his first wife, Irene O’Connor, in 1916. Irene was Rockwell’s model in Mother Tucking Children into Bed, published on the cover of The Literary Digest on January 19, 1921. The couple divorced in 1930, however. Depressed, he moved briefly to Alhambra, California as a guest of his old friend Clyde Forsythe. There he painted some of his best-known paintings including The Doctor and the Doll. While there he met and married schoolteacher Mary Barstow.[19] The couple returned to New York shortly after their marriage. They had three children: Jarvis Waring, Thomas Rhodes, and Peter Barstow. The family lived at 24 Lord Kitchener Road in the Bonnie Crest neighborhood of New Rochelle, New York. For multiple reasons Rockwell and his wife were not regular church attendees although they were members of St. John’s Wilmot Church, an Episcopal church near their home, where they had their sons baptized. Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939 where his work began to reflect small-town life.[19]

In 1953, the Rockwell family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so that his wife could be treated at the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital at 25 Main Street, close to where Rockwell set up his studio.[20] Rockwell also received psychiatric treatment, seeing the analyst Erik Erikson, who was on staff at Riggs. Erikson is said to have told the artist that he painted his happiness, but did not live it.[21] In 1959, Mary died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Rockwell married his third wife, retired Milton Academy English teacher, Mary Leete “Mollie” Punderson, on October 25, 1961.[22] His Stockbridge studio was located on the second floor of a row of buildings; directly underneath Rockwell’s studio was, for a time in 1966, the Back Room Rest, better known as the famous “Alice’s Restaurant.”[23] During his time in Stockbridge, chief of police William Obanhein was a frequent model for Rockwell’s paintings.[23]

From 1961 until his death, Rockwell was a member of the Monday Evening Club, a men’s literary group based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. At his funeral, five members of the club served as pallbearers, along with Jarvis Rockwell.[24]

Jewish Note on God, Christmas Tree

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Christmas Tree

Ben Stein: On God, Christmas Trees and symbols

keyI am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don’t feel threatened.  I don’t feel discriminated against. ~Ben Stein

I Only hope  we find GOD again before it is too late

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday  Morning Commentary (This was years ago before the media freaked out about mentioning the word “Christmas”.)

My confession:

chtreeI am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people
call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don’t feel threatened.  I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s What they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when People say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I  kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu ..  If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period..  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country..  I can’t find  it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from  that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.

But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In  light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham ‘s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane  Katrina )..   Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful  response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools,  to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And   being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events…   Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years  ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave,

Because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock ‘s son committed suicide).  We said an Expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said  okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and  themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and  obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion  of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?  Funny  how when you share this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they  will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Share this if you think it has merit. If not, then just discard it….. No one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My  Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Christmas Gift Ideas: Young Adult Literature Relevant to Today, will Strengthen Faith and Family

 

Thanksgiving Stories: Pilgrims and Mayflower

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

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.

Socialism and the First Thanksgiving

 Dinner Topics for Monday

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Rush Limbaugh

“Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism.” And they found that it didn’t work.

The true story of Thanksgiving is how socialism failed.  With all the great expectations and high hopes, it failed.  And self-reliance, rugged individualism, free enterprise, whatever you call it, resulted in prosperity that they never dreamed of.

What is the story of Thanksgiving?  What I was taught, what most people my age were taught, maybe even many of you were taught, the Pilgrims got to the New World, they didn’t know what to do.  They didn’t know how to feed themselves. They were escaping tyranny, but they got here, and the Indians, who were eventually to be wiped out, taught them how to do everything, fed them and so forth.  They had this big feast where they sat down and thanked the Indians for saving their lives and apologized for taking their country and eventually stealing Manhattan from ’em.

But that’s not what really happened.

RushRevere9“The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century … The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community.  After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

“On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.

“And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found — according to Bradford’s detailed journal — a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote.  There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.

“Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives.”  That’s not what it was.

“Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.” It was a commune.  It was socialism.  “All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well,” not to the individuals who built them.

Socialism Didn’t Work Then, Either

“Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage.”  They could do with it whatever they wanted. He essentially turned loose the free market on ’em.  “Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism.” And they found that it didn’t work.

“What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else,” because everybody ended up with the same thing at the end of the day.  “But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently.

What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson. ‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition,’ Bradford wrote. ‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition tried sundry years… that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God. … For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.'”

What he was saying was, they found that people could not expect to do their best work without any incentive.  So what did they try next?  Free enterprise.  “Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? ‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.'”
They had miraculous results.  In no time they found they had more food than they could eat themselves.  So they set up trading posts.  They exchanged goods with the Indians.  The profits allowed them to pay off the people that sponsored their trip in London.  The success and the prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans, began what became known as the great Puritan migration.

And they shared their bounty with the Indians.  Actually, they sold some of it to ’em.  The true story of Thanksgiving is how socialism failed.  With all the great expectations and high hopes, it failed.  And self-reliance, rugged individualism, free enterprise, whatever you call it, resulted in prosperity that they never dreamed of. []

The Pilgrims left the Old World to find freedom of religion in the New World. Today, even in America, there is evidence of efforts to stifle the freedom of Christian worship. If we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian culture, we can only do so by teaching it in our homes. This collection of Christian Dinner Topics helps parents transmit Judeo-Christian traditions every day. Learn more

History Facts vs. Censorship of Thanksgiving History

History Facts vs. Censorship of Thanksgiving History

Why the Pilgrims matter

Jordan Chamblee

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

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

November 2016 – Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and all the trimmings. It’s almost here – the national holiday America takes pride in, and one that is intricately woven into the very fabric of American identity. But in recent generations, it seems the substance of the holiday has been watered down or replaced altogether in order to appease perceived social sensitivities.

In general, public school students are taught an entirely different Thanksgiving narrative than the one their grandparents grew up understanding. In today’s progressive version, the Pilgrims are no longer staunchly faithful pillars of Christian ideals, nor are the Wampanoag natives helpful and willing friends of the Pilgrims in times of trouble.

Stephen McDowell, president of Providence Foundation and prolific author, speaks to this decline in honesty and watering down of the true story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.

censhorship-1st-amendmentAFAJ: What is the greatest threat today to the truth about the Pilgrims and their history?
McDowell: While some books and educators directly lie about the Pilgrims and their primary Christian motive for starting a new colony in America, the greatest threat to the truth about their story is what is left out when their story is told.

Revisionist history gives a false picture of these devoted Christians. For example, one elementary public school textbook gives 30 pages to present the story of the Pilgrims without once [making] any reference to religion; thus at the end of [the Pilgrims’] first year, they “wanted to give thanks for all they had.” But there is no mention it was God they were thanking.

Teaching about the Pilgrims without referencing God causes people to think that Christianity was not important to them. Revisionist history is a primary reason for the secularization of America. People are taught our history without mentioning Christianity, or if it is cited, it is often presented in a negative light, when in reality it is the most important influence in the birth, growth, and development of the nation.

AFAJ: Why do some contemporary educators revise U.S. history, particularly the story of Thanksgiving?
McDowell: Most teachers in our schools today are ignorant of the true story of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. They never learned it in school and few search out primary source documents so as to get to know the Pilgrims via their own writings.

William Bradford

William Bradford

William Bradford, governor of the Pilgrims for 33 years, wrote their history – Of Plimoth Plantation – which is one of the great historical and literary works of all American history, but few teachers have even heard of it, much less read it. You only need to read a few pages to see the sincere and deep faith of these men and women who served as “stepping stones” for those who would follow.

Some educators who know the history yet ignore it, evaluate the Pilgrims through their own secular bias – that is, the Pilgrims may have had a deep faith, but God is a construction of the human mind and consequently is not relevant, so they do not need to mention God when recounting their story. Or they have such a dislike for God that they do not want to give Him any place in history.

AFAJ: Why is it important that we remember and pass on the truth about the Pilgrims?
McDowell: The Pilgrims’ story teaches us many lessons. We learn of the great sacrifice they paid to exercise their freedom of religion and to plant the early seeds of our nation. Half of them died the first winter after arriving at Plymouth, and most of the others suffered from sickness and hunger. At one time, only six or seven could get out of bed, but they toiled night and day to assist their brethren.

In the words of Bradford they “fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed their meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them. In a word, they did all the homely and necessary offices for them which queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named – and this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least.” Their care for one another reveals their Christian character and practical love, “a rare example and worthy to be remembered.”

Their motive to spread the gospel is evident from Bradford’s words (which are inscribed on his monument in Plymouth): “A great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.”

Mayflower-compact-hero2-AThe Mayflower Compact, a document the Pilgrims drafted and signed before going ashore, shows their ability to reason biblically regarding civil affairs: “Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith … [we] do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic.”

Learning the unique covenant nature of our founding political documents is an important lesson in understanding why America was founded as the freest nation in history.

AFAJ: What is the most important aspect of the Thanksgiving story that parents can teach their children?
pilgrimprayingresizeMcDowell: The most important thing parents can teach their children about the Thanksgiving story is the most obvious: We call it Thanksgiving for a reason. Our Pilgrim forefathers, who are reflective of most of the founders of America, were firmly devoted to Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. In recognition of His gracious hand upon them, they set aside regular public days to give thanks and glorify Him.

This was not done merely once or twice but regularly throughout their entire lifetime. They set an example that was followed by those who came after them, even up until today. Throughout most of our history, Americans understood thanksgiving days were to thank God. The Pilgrims’ love and devotion to God, and their reliance upon Him in abundance and lack, are evidenced not only by their private lives but also by their public days of thanksgiving.

McDowell recommends:
Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford
Available at online and retail booksellers
Monumental, Restoring America as the Land of Liberty by Stephen McDowell
Available at providencefoundation.com
America’s Providential History by Stephen McDowell
Monumental, documentary DVD hosted by Kirk Cameron
Available at afastore.net or 877–927–4917

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving Traditions

Parents, would you believe this?
Here’s a bit of nostalgia for you. I am a grandmother. I went to elementary school in the 1950’s, before the Supreme Court decree in 1963 that God was no longer allowed in the schools. I distinctly remember that we learned the following two hymns in the fourth grade. These hymns clearly refer to God as the Giver of the blessings of the harvest. Furthermore, we were taught grammar, diagramming sentences, how to write cursive (which apparently kids don’t learn anymore, because they text everything and don’t even have to spell right), and, simply, how to write. When taught writing, we were instructed to capitalize the names of Deity. Yes, in fourth grade, we were taught the meaning of Deity, and it was simply a given that we capitalized His name.

Both of these hymns are in my church hymnal. Every time we sing those, I’m taken back to my fourth grade class with Mrs. Moffit, more than 50 years ago, in California, no less. I am a great friend of technology, but I must admit I miss the substance we used to experience in the traditional education which included history and Character Education.

Enjoy the gratitude—which begets reverence—portrayed in these two lovely hymns. ~Christine Davidson

Hymns

Prayer of Thanksgiving (This hymn reflects upon the pilgrims who sought religious freedom—something which has been abridged in our schools today.)

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens, and hastens his will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name; He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side; All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
~Anon. The Netherlands, ca. 1626, translated by Theodore Baker, 1851-1934

Come, Ye Thankful People

Come, ye thankful people, come; Raise the song of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in Ere the winter storms begin.
God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God’s own temple, come; Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto his praise to yield,
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade, and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear.
Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.
~Henry Alford, 1810-1871

 

 

Judeo-Christian Culture: Free Will and Religious Freedom

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Free Will and Religious Freedom

Is religious liberty for everyone?

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

Ed Vitagliano

November 2018 – It has been observed that, in the Bill of Rights, religious liberty is literally the “first freedom.” Of the five rights listed in the First Amendment, religious liberty is listed first. The wording is simple, yet sublime: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. …”

With growing controversies over immigrants and refugees entering the U.S., both legally and illegally, Christians have struggled to answer this question: Does this first constitutional freedom apply to religions other than Christianity? There are good reasons to answer yes.

A right to disobey?


Most Christians are probably happy to include religious freedom among the collection of “natural” rights in the Declaration of Independence, rights that are according to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” In one of the most well known sentences in the English language, author Thomas Jefferson famously stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ironically, this creates something of a paradox for the Christian who is loyal to God. On the one hand, the believer sees religious liberty as something that allows the mission of the church to proceed unhindered by government opposition.

On the other hand, it would appear that the Christian is also saying the God of the Bible has granted to every person the “natural right” to worship a false god, a million gods, or even the devil himself.

Religious liberty for all?


However, the answer to the paradox explains why the founders instituted religious liberty in the first place. They understood religious liberty as something congruent to the biblical teaching of “free will.”*

That is to say:

(1) because God has granted people free will, they can decide for themselves what God, god, or gods they will serve;

(2) because they are free before God to worship whomever they choose, our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom safe from government coercion;

(3) because true Christian conversion requires a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, allowing Christians to proselytize and allowing unbelievers to reject the gospel is actually the most biblical approach to take.

James Madison, one of the most influential Founding Fathers, said in his tract Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785):

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

The trigger for Madison’s tract was a bill he opposed in the General Assembly of Virginia that would have created from the state treasury a subsidy for Christian preachers. At the time, many were warning that piety and religious observance in Virginia were waning. The solution: government should promote the gospel so the detrimental trends could be arrested.

Not only should government not prefer one religion over another, Madison argued. Religious freedom must be available to everyone. He said:

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?

It is reasonable to argue that a freedom which one Christian treasures for himself might also be a freedom that another Christian – or even a pagan – might equally treasure.

Coerced to become Christian?
It seems axiomatic for evangelicals today to assert that one can be forced to become a Christian. True, a person can be coerced to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord – or to demonstrate any number of outward signs of “conversion.” But Paul makes clear in Romans 10:10 that authentic outward expression must accompany faith in the heart for there to be true salvation.

Madison asserts that this is precisely why religious liberty must be granted to all:

James Madison

Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man. …

Thus, the rebel who rejects the gospel is answerable to God; he is not and should not be answerable to the state for that rejection.

Moreover, the state cannot do what only the church, through Christ, can do – produce true converts. If the state attempts to empower government “magistrates” to coerce Christian conversion, Madison said, it becomes “an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.”

Against the darkness
It’s important to recognize that Madison is not arguing against Christians “voting their values.” Instead, he is declaring that government must not officially – and thus with coercive power – promote one religious view over another.

The Judeo-Christian worldview is part of the foundation of America. We should seek to convince our fellow citizens that the only way for our society to thrive is for Christian principles to be the bedrock of civic and cultural life.

In fact, it is quite biblical for Christians to warn non-believing Americans that God blesses nations for doing right in His sight and judges nations for committing evil (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and it is no exaggeration to state that, without that cultural influence, decay and darkness will ultimately triumph.

Nevertheless, while it is important for Christians to protect and promote religious liberty, both for themselves and for those with whom they disagree, it is equally important to remember that followers of Christ should not help false religions with their work. For example, they should not aid in the construction of Muslim mosques or otherwise contribute to the spread of Islam.

We believe that God has spoken through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2), and those who deny this are of “the spirit of error” and “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1-6). New Testament writers were severe when warning against cooperating with false religions. In 2 John 10-11, the apostle emphasizes that false teachers should be neither welcomed nor aided:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this [gospel] teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

Whether all earthly freedoms are granted to us or are denied, the Christian’s first allegiance is to Christ the King and His kingdom.

*For those who point to Scriptures such as John 3:1-8 and conclude that sinners are free to choose Christ only as the Holy Spirit changes their heart, this substitute might be preferable: For those who are granted the grace to become born again, religious liberty is a blessing that allows men and women to follow that conversion impulse with minimal hindrance from the government.

____________________
For more studies on freedom of religion in the U.S., consider The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, America’s Providential History, and other books and video resources by Stephen McDowell. Founder of Providence Foundation, McDowell is a highly esteemed historian who chronicles the nation’s Christian roots. Visit providencefoundation.com or call 434-978-4535 for more information.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Freedom of Religion Theme Quotes

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Freedom of Religion Theme Quotes

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins. ~Ben Franklin

Human Liberty is the mainstream of human progress. ~Ezra Taft Benson

Freedom can be killed by neglect as well as by direct attack. ~Ezra Taft Benson

The loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery. ~Marion G. Romney

American Covenant with God

by Jon McNaughton

If my people . . . 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. 2 Chronicles 7:14

“No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and he never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. . . .He will [always] stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them.” ~George Q. Cannon

This is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ. ~Ether 2:12

God made man free—and then gave him the commandments to keep him free. We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them—or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fullness of freedom under God. ~Cecil B. De Mille

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10

 

True to the faith that our parents have cherished,

True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,

To God’s command,

Soul, heart, and hand,

Faithful and true we will ever stand.

~Evan Stephens

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means. ~John Adams

Divine covenants make strong Christians. I urge each one to qualify for and receive all the priesthood ordinances you can and then faithfully keep the promises you have made by covenant. In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth his hand to you, saying, “Here am I.” D. Todd Christofferson

And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. ~1 Nephi 22:14

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

 

He 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

“Oh!  What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,” warned Sir Walter Scott.

We do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men. . .the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience. 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. ~D&C 134:4

There is a God. Evolution cannot explain Creation. A cat cannot  build a hospital and nver will. Not can a dolphin. Humanity is exceptional. And we each only get one life. Most people take it for granted. What is Life? How does it happen? Where does it come from? The answer is God .~Rush Limbaugh

“History repeats itself. It has to. No one is listening.” ~ Steve Turner, British poet

For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people.

~Alma 8:17

And that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by them that digged it. ~1Nephi 14:3

Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein. ~Proverbs 26:27