YouTube Video: Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Children Stories

Thanksgiving Dinner Topics

keyThis is a great way to reconnect your children to the Pilgrims who originated the first Thanksgiving. Great for a Family Night, then follow up with session of “Count Your Blessings”, listing all the things you and your family members are grateful for. When you think of all the Pilgrims suffered for religious freedom, and all our soldiers sacrifice for our freedom, our own challenges and problems are kept in perspective.

YouTube Video: Charlie Brown and the Mayflower (This is the first clip.)


NOTE: Unfortunately, the story of Charlie Brown and the Mayflower is now only available if you buy it. But it is well worth the purchase.


Charles Schulz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

chshulz2Charles Monroe Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000),[3] nicknamed Sparky, was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts (which featured the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited as a major influence by many later cartoonists. Calvin and Hobbes-creator Bill Watterson wrote in 2007: “Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes. The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale — in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.”[4]

Early life and education

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was born in Germany, and Dena Halverson, who was Norwegian.[5] His uncle called him “Sparky” after the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck‘s comic strip, Barney Google.[6]

Schulz loved drawing and sometimes drew his family dog, Spike, who ate unusual things, such as pins and tacks. In 1937, Schulz drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley‘s syndicated panel, captioned, “A hunting dog that eats pins, tacks and razor blades is owned by C. F. Schulz, St. Paul, Minn.” and “Drawn by ‘Sparky'”[7] (C.F. was his father, Carl Fred Schulz).[8]

Schulz attended Richards Gordon Elementary School in St. Paul, where he skipped two half-grades. He became a shy, timid teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School. One well-known episode in his high school life was the rejection of his drawings by his high school yearbook.[9] A five-foot-tall statue of Snoopy was placed in the school’s main office 60 years later.

Military service and post-war jobs

In February 1943, Schulz’s mother Dena died after a long illness; at the time of her death, he had only recently been made aware that she suffered from cancer. Schulz had by all accounts been very close to his mother and her death made a strong impact on him.[10] Around the same time, Schulz was drafted into the United States Army. He served as a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe, as a squad leader on a .50 caliber machine gun team. His unit saw combat only at the very end of the war. Schulz said that he only ever had one opportunity to fire his machine gun but forgot to load it. Fortunately, he said, the German soldier he could have fired at willingly surrendered. Years later, Schulz proudly spoke of his wartime service.[11]

After being discharged in late 1945, Schulz returned to Minneapolis. He did lettering for a Roman Catholic comic magazine, Timeless Topix, and then, in July 1946, took a job at Art Instruction, Inc., reviewing and grading lessons submitted by students.[12]:164 Schulz himself had been a student of the school, taking a correspondence course from it before he was drafted. He worked at the school for a number of years while he developed his career as a comic creator, until he was making enough money from comics to be able to do that full-time.


charleschulzpeanuts1Schulz’s first regular cartoons, a weekly series of one-panel jokes entitled Li’l Folks, were published from 1947 to 1950 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press; he first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys as well as one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to The Saturday Evening Post; the first out of 17 one-panel cartoons by Schulz that would be published there. In 1948, he tried to have Li’l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li’l Folks was dropped from the Pioneer Press in January 1950.

Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with the one-panel series Li’l Folks, and the syndicate became interested. However, by that time Schulz had also developed a comic strip, using normally four panels rather than one, and reportedly to Schulz’s delight, the syndicate preferred this version. Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. The weekly Sunday-page debuted on January 6, 1952. After a somewhat slow beginning, Peanuts eventually became one of the most popular comic strips of all time, as well as one of the most influential. Schulz also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It’s Only a Game (1957–1959), but he abandoned it due to the demands of the successful Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he contributed a single-panel strip (“Young Pillars“) featuring teenagers to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God.

In 1957 and 1961 he illustrated two volumes of Art Linkletter‘s Kids Say the Darndest Things,[13][14] and in 1964 a collection of letters, Dear President Johnson, by Bill Adler.


charleshulzpeanuts2At its height, Peanuts was published daily in 2,600 papers in 75 countries, in 21 languages. Over the nearly 50 years that Peanuts was published, Schulz drew nearly 18,000 strips. The strips themselves, plus merchandise and product endorsements, produced revenues of more than $1 billion per year, with Schulz earning an estimated $30 million to $40 million annually.[3] During the life of the strip, Schulz took only one vacation, a five-week break in late 1997 to celebrate his 75th birthday; reruns of the strip ran during his vacation, the only time reruns occurred while Schulz was alive.

Schulz said that his routine every morning consisted of first eating a jelly donut, and then going through the day’s mail with his secretary before sitting down to write and draw the day’s strip at his studio. After coming up with an idea (which he said could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours), he began drawing it, which took about an hour for dailies and three hours for Sunday strips. Unlike many other successful cartoonists, Schulz never used assistants in producing the strip; he refused to hire an inker or letterer, saying that “it would be equivalent to a golfer hiring a man to make his putts for him.”

The first book collection of Peanuts strips was published in July 1952 by Rinehart & Company. Many more books followed, and these collections greatly contributed to the increasing popularity of the strip. In 2004, Fantagraphics began their Complete Peanuts series. Peanuts also proved popular in other media; the first animated TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, aired in December 1965 and won an Emmy award. Numerous TV specials were to follow, the latest being Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown in 2011. Until his death, Schulz wrote or cowrote the TV specials and carefully oversaw production of them.

Charlie Brown, the principal character for Peanuts, was named after a co-worker at the Art Instruction Inc. Schulz drew much more inspiration than this from his own life, some examples being:

  • Like Charlie Brown’s parents, Schulz’s father was a barber and his mother a housewife.
  • Like Charlie Brown, Schulz admitted in interviews that he’d often felt shy and withdrawn in his life. In an interview with Charlie Rose in May 1997, Schulz observed: “I suppose there’s a melancholy feeling in a lot of cartoonists, because cartooning, like all other humor, comes from bad things happening.”[16]
  • Schulz had a dog when he was a boy, reportedly a rather intelligent one at that. Although this dog was a pointer, and not a beagle such as Snoopy, family photos of the dog confirm a certain physical resemblance.
  • References to Snoopy’s brother Spike living outside of Needles, California were likely influenced by the few years (1928–1930) that the Schulz family lived there; they had moved to Needles to join other family members who had relocated from Minnesota to tend to an ill cousin.[17]
  • Schulz’s inspiration for Charlie Brown’s unrequited love to the Little Red-Haired Girl was Donna Mae Johnson, an Art Instruction Inc. accountant with whom he fell in love. When Schulz finally proposed to her in June 1950, shortly after he’d made his first contract with his syndicate, she turned him down and married another man.
  • Linus and Shermy were both named for good friends of his (Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler, respectively).
  • Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of his cousins on his mother’s side. Schulz devised the character’s name when he saw peppermint candies in his house.[

Personal life

In 1951, Schulz moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. In April the same year, Schulz married Joyce Halverson (no relation to Schulz’s mother Dena Halverson Schulz).[24] His son, Monte, was born in February the following year, with their three further children being born later, in Minnesota.[25] He painted a wall in that home for his adopted daughter Meredith Hodges, featuring Patty with a balloon, Charlie Brown jumping over a candlestick, and Snoopy playing on all fours. The wall was removed in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.

Schulz and his family returned to Minneapolis and stayed until 1958. They then moved to Sebastopol, California, where Schulz built his first studio (until then, he’d worked at home or in a small rented office room). It was here that Schulz was interviewed for the unaired television documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Some of the footage was eventually used in a later documentary, Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz.[26] Schulz’s father died while visiting him in 1966, the same year his Sebastopol studio burned down. By 1969, Schulz had moved to Santa Rosa, California, where he lived and worked until his death.

By Thanksgiving 1970, it was clear that Schulz’s first marriage was in trouble,[27] and their divorce was final in 1972. Schulz married Jean Forsyth Clyde in September 1973; they’d first met when Jean brought her daughter to Schulz’s hockey rink.[27] They remained married for 27 years, until Schulz’s death in 2000.

Schulz had a long association with ice sports, and both figure skating and ice hockey featured prominently in his cartoons. In Santa Rosa, he was the owner of the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which opened in 1969 and featured a snack bar called “The Warm Puppy”.[9] Schulz’s daughter Amy served as a model for the figure skating in the 1980 television special She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown.

Schulz also was very active in senior ice-hockey tournaments; in 1975, he formed Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament at his Redwood Empire Ice Arena, and in 1981, Schulz was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States. Schulz also enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club from 1959 to 2000.

In July 1981, Schulz underwent heart bypass surgery. During his hospital stay, President Ronald Reagan called him on the phone to wish him a quick recovery.

On Sunday, May 8, 1988, two gunmen wearing ski masks entered the cartoonist’s home through an unlocked door, planning to kidnap Jean Schulz, but the attempt failed when the couple’s daughter, Jill, drove up to the house, prompting the would-be kidnappers to flee. She saw what was happening and called the police from a neighbor’s house. Sonoma County Sheriff Dick Michaelsen said, “It was obviously an attempted kidnap-ransom. This was a targeted criminal act. They knew exactly who the victims were.” Neither Schulz nor his wife was hurt during the incident.[28][29]

In 1998, Schulz hosted the first Over 75 Hockey Tournament. In 2001, Saint Paul renamed the Highland Park Ice Arena the Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in his honor.

In addition to his lifelong interest in comics, Schulz was also interested in art in general; his favorite artist in later years was Andrew Wyeth.[30] As a young adult Schulz also developed a great passion for classical music. Although the character Schroeder in Peanuts adored Beethoven, Schulz said in an interview with Gary Groth in 1997 (published in The Comics Journal #200) that his own favorite classical composer was actually Brahms.


chbrownchristmas3Schulz often touched on religious themes in his work, including the classic television cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible Luke 2:8–14 to explain “what Christmas is all about.” In personal interviews Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side.

Schulz, reared in the Lutheran faith, had been active in the Church of God as a young adult and then later taught Sunday school at a United Methodist Church. In the 1960s, Robert L. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as being consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations during his lectures about the gospel, as he explained in his bestselling paperback book, The Gospel According to Peanuts, the first of several books he wrote on religion and Peanuts, and other popular culture items.


Socialism vs. Traditional Family Life

Dinner Topics for Thursday

keyJust like the proverbial camel in the tent, we have gradually allowed political correctness, socialism, and liberalism to overtake every aspect of our lives. The last bastion of civilization is the traditional family and traditional marriage. When are we going to draw the line and push back? ~C.A. Davidson

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

“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

Fable of the Camel

As told by Spencer W. Kimball

We must not yield to even the smallest temptations.

cameltentSerious sin enters into our lives as we yield first to little temptations. Seldom does one enter into deeper transgression without first yielding to lesser ones, which open the door to the greater. Giving an example of one type of sin, someone said, “An honest man doesn’t suddenly become dishonest any more than a clean field suddenly becomes weedy.”

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the devil to enter a door that is closed. He seems to have no keys for locked doors. But if a door is slightly ajar, he gets his toe in, and soon this is followed by his foot, then by his leg and his body and his head, and finally he is in all the way.

This situation is reminiscent of the fable of the camel and his owner who were traveling across the desert sand dunes when a wind storm came up. The traveler quickly set up his tent and moved in, closing the flaps to protect himself from the cutting, grinding sands of the raging storm. The camel was of course left outside, and as the violent wind hurled the sand against his body and into his eyes and nostrils he found it unbearable and finally begged for entrance into the tent.

“There is room only for myself,” said the traveler.

“But may I just get my nose in so I can breathe air not filled with sand?” asked the camel.

“Well, perhaps you could do that,” replied the traveler, and he opened the flap ever so little and the long nose of the camel entered. How comfortable the camel was now! But soon the camel became weary of the smarting sand on his eyes and ears … :

“The wind-driven sand is like a rasp on my head. Could I put just my head in?”

Again, the traveler rationalized that to acquiesce would do him no damage, for the camel’s head could occupy the space at the top of the tent which he himself was not using. So the camel put his head inside and the beast was satisfied again—but for a short while only.

camelge“Just the front quarters,” he begged, and again the traveler relented and soon the camel’s front shoulders and legs were in the tent. Finally, by the same processes of pleading and of yielding, the camel’s torso, his hind quarters and all were in the tent. But now it was too crowded for the two, and the camel kicked the traveler out into the wind and storm.

Like the camel, Lucifer readily becomes the master when one succumbs to his initial blandishments. Soon then the conscience is stilled completely, the evil power has full sway, and the door to salvation is closed until a thorough repentance opens it again.

The importance of not accommodating temptation in the least degree is underlined by the Savior’s example. Did not he recognize the danger when he was on the mountain with his fallen brother, Lucifer, being sorely tempted by that master tempter? He could have opened the door and flirted with danger by saying, “All right, Satan, I’ll listen to your proposition. I need not succumb, I need not yield, I need not accept—but I’ll listen.”

Christ did not so rationalize. He positively and promptly closed the discussion, and commanded: “Get thee hence, Satan,” meaning, likely, “Get out of my sight—get out of my presence—I will not listen—I will have nothing to do with you.” Then, we read, “the devil leaveth him.” [Matthew 4:10–11.]

This is our proper pattern, if we would prevent sin rather than be faced with the much more difficult task of curing it. As I study the story of the Redeemer and his temptations, I am certain he spent his energies fortifying himself against temptation rather than battling with it to conquer it.15

Family is Liberalism’s Last Obstacle

Limbaugh Letter, May 2013

On April 29, 2013, the Department of Education announced that federal student aid applications will no longer use the outdated terms “mother” and “father”—which are too “gender-specific.” Instead, kids applying for college financing will fill in the blanks labeled “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

On April 27, 2013, Mitt Romney delivered the commencement address at Southern Virginia University, a Mormon college. He quoted the Bible, and advised the grads to marry and have children. “Marriage is a gift from God,: Romney said. “The feelings of a parent for a child, the depth of life experience that one has being part of nurturing a child, teaching a child, is beyond description.”

The sophisticates in the media could barely contain themselves. Marriage? Children? God? “We can’t imagine why this guy had trouble connecting with the youth vote,” sneered The Washington Post. On CNN, Los Angeles Times political reporter Maeve Reston concluded this sort of thing was “why he didn’t do so well with single women.” Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill labeled Romney a “religious fanatic.” For championing traditional family life.

US Constitution Series 8: Life, Liberty, Property Rights are from God

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

decofindependence1The 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


US Constitution Series 8: Men are Endowed by their Creator with Certain Unalienable Rights

~Skousen, pp. 124-129

keyThe Founders did not believe that the basic rights of mankind originated from any social compact, king, emperor, or governmental authority. Those rights, they believed, came directly and exclusively from God. Therefore, they were to be maintained sacred and inviolate.


johnlockeJohn Locke

The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which …teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions; for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise maker …

And, being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of Nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us that may authorize us to destroy one another.


When is a Right Unalienable?

Blackstone_from_NPGWilliam Blackstone

Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are: neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture. (Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England)

And these [great natural rights] may be reduced to three principal or primary articles: the right of personal security; the right of personal liberty, and the right of private property.

In other words, we may do something ourselves to forfeit the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator, [such as murder] but no one else can TAKE those rights from us without being subject to God’s justice.

Vested Rights

We have certain other rights called vested rights which are created by the community, state, or nation for our protection or well-being. However, these can be changed any time the lawmakers feel like it.

Examples of vested rights: the right to go hunting during certain seasons, or the right to travel on the public highway. Notice that the government can change both of these “rights” or prohibit them altogether. A region could be declared off-limits for hunting; the highway could be closed.

But [current events notwithstanding] the government could not pass a law to destroy all babies under the age of two, or lock up someone [because of their appearance]. In the one case it would be destroying the unalienable right to live, and in the other case it would be destroying the unalienable right to liberty.


BastiatFrederic Bastiat (trying to preserve freedom in France)

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life—physical, intellectual, and moral life.

Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property, this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation and are superior to it.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws [for the protection of them] in the first place.

Principle 9: To Protect Man’s Rights, God has Revealed Certain Principles of Divine Law.

US Constitution Series 7: Free Enterprise vs. Free Stuff


US Constitution Series 7: The Proper Role of Government is to Protect Equal Rights, Not provide Equal Things



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

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

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

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

Principle #4

christianchurchWithout religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.

Many Americans fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own day as it was in theirs. In 1787, the very year the Constitution was written and approved by Congress, that same Congress passed the famous Northwest Ordinance. In it they emphasized the essential need to teach religion and morality in the schools. (Skousen, p. 75)

In it, they stated that formal education was to include among its responsibilities the teaching of three important subjects:

1. Religion, which might be defined as a “fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and relationship to the cosmic universe as well as his relationship with his fellowmen.”

2. Morality, which may be described as “a standard of behavior distinguishing right from wrong.”

3. Knowledge, which is “an intellectual awareness and understanding of established facts relating to any field of human experience or inquiry (i.e., history, geography, science, etc.).”

How to Teach your family about Church and State

George Washington

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion …Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, relgion and morality are indispensable supports …Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

Washington issued this solemn warning because in Franc, shortly before he wrote his Farewell Address (1796), the promoters of atheism and amorality had seized control and turned the French Revolution into a shocking blood bath of wild excesses and violence. Washington obviously never wanted anything like that to happen in the United States. Therefore he had said: “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness [religion and morality].” (Skousen, p.79)

225px-BenFranklin2Benjamin Franklin

Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other  children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion.

The “Fundamental Points” to Be Taught in the Schools

The five points of fundamental religious belief expressed or implied in Franklin’s statement are these:

1. There exists a Creator who made all things, and mankind should recognize and worship Him.

2. The Creator has revealed a moral code of behavior for happy living shich distinguishes right from wrong.

3. The Creator holds mankind responsible for the way they treat each other.

4. All mankind live beyond this life.

5. In the next life mankind are judged for their conduct in this one.

All five of these tenets run through practically all of the Founders’ writings. These are the beliefs which the Founders sometimes referred to as the “religion of America,” and they felt these fundamentals were so important in providing “good government and the happiness of mankind” that they wanted them taught in the public schools along with morality and knowledge. (Skousen, p.78)

In fact, the Founders had taken the five truths we have already identified as ”religion” and had built the whole Constitutional framework on top of them. (Skousen, p.92)

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800Thomas Jefferson

Special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”, thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press, insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others; and that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religions, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals.

The Federal “Wall” Between Church and State

In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association dated January 1, 1802, [Jefferson] explained his position and said the Constitution had created “a wall of separation between church and state.”

In recent years the Supreme Court has undertaken to use this metaphor as an excuse for meddling in the religious issues arising within the various states. It has not only presumed to take jurisdiction in these disputes, but has actually forced the states to take the same hands-off position toward religious matters even thought his restriction originally applied only to the federal government.

justice gavelNOTE: In its 1963 ruling, the Supreme Court in actuality did not take a hands-off position. Instead, it established atheism as the national religion. (Atheism, as a system of beliefs, qualifies as a religion.) Today, the preferred religion in schools is Islam, while Christianity continues to be banned, even persecuted. The Supreme Court violated the clause in the US Constitution which forbids the federal government from both “establishing” religion and “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Because of this national decree by the Supreme Court, the states are failing to protect religious freedom on the state level. Hence, the rampant atheist and Islamic indoctrination in the state schools. ~C.A. Davidson

This obvious distortion of the original intent of Jefferson (when he used the metaphor of a “wall” separating church and state) becomes entirely apparent when the statements and actions of Jefferson are examined in their historical context. (Skousen, p.89-90)

Jefferson and Madison were anxious that the states intervene in religious matters so as to provide for equality among all religions, and that all churches or religions assigned preferential treatment should be disestablished from such preferment. They further joined with the other Founders in expressing an anxiety that ALL religions be encouraged in order to promote the moral fiber and religious tone of the people. This, of course, would be impossible if there were an impenetrable “wall” between church and state on the state level.

Jefferson’s “wall” was obviously intended only for the federal government, and the Supreme Court application of this metaphor to the states has come under severe criticism. (Dallin Oaks, ed., The Wall Between Church and State, 1963, 99.2-3)

Alexis de Tocqueville

He emphasized the fact that this religious undergirding of the political structure was a common denominator of moral teachings in different denominations and not the political pressure of some national church hierarchy.

                De Tocqueville Describes the Role of Religion in the Schools

De Tocqueville found that the schools, especially in New England, incorporated the basic tenets of religion right along with history and political science in order to prepare the student for adult life.

                De Tocqueville Describes the Role of the American Clergy

After noting that all the clergy seemed anxious to maintain “separation of church and state,” he nevertheless observed that collectively they had a great influence on the morals and customs of public life.

In America, he noted, the clergy remained politically separated from the government but nevertheless provided a moral stability among the people which permitted the government to prosper. In other words, there was separation of church and state but no separation of state and religion. (Skousen, p. 82-83)

Why the Founders Wanted the Federal Government Excluded from All Problems Relating to Religion and Churches

The Supreme Court has stated on numerous occasions that to most people freedom of religion is the most precious of all the unalienable rights next to life itself. When the United States was founded, there were many Americans who were not enjoying freedom of religion to the fullest possible extent. At least seven of the states had officially established religions or denominations at the time the Constitution was adopted.

Under these circumstances the Founders felt it would have been catastrophic …if the federal government had tried to establish a national policy on religion or disestablish the denominations which the states had adopted. Nevertheless, the Founders who were examining this problem were anxious to eventually see complete freedom of all faiths and an equality of all relations, both Christian and non-Christian. (Skousen, p.86)

Principle 3: Virtuous and Moral Leaders


Gospel Teachings: Add Substance to your Life

Gospel Teachings:

Add Substance to your Life

Finding Your Life

Todd Christofferson

key“When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves! [See Matthew 10:39.]

“Not only do we ‘find’ ourselves in terms of acknowledging divine guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. … We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”4  ~Spencer W. Kimball

jesus-rock1In giving His life, Christ saved not only His own life but our lives as well. He made it possible for us to exchange what would otherwise have been an ultimately futile mortal life for eternal life. ~D. Todd Christofferson

I want to talk about the Lord’s seemingly paradoxical declaration that “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39; see also Matthew 10:32–41; 16:24–28; Mark 8:34–38; Luke 9:23–26; 17:33). It teaches a powerful, far-reaching doctrine we need to understand and apply.

The more I think about it, the more amazed I am at how consistently Jesus gave His life to the Father, how perfectly He lost His life in the will of the Father—in life and in death. This is precisely the opposite of Satan’s attitude and approach, which have been widely adopted in today’s self-centered world.

In the premortal council, in volunteering to fill the role of Savior in the Father’s divine plan, Jesus said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2; emphasis added). Lucifer, on the other hand, declared, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1; emphasis added).

by Rembrandt

by Rembrandt

1) Take Up Your Cross Daily

First are the Lord’s words spoken just before He said, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Matthew 16:25). As recorded in each of the synoptic Gospels, Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Luke adds the word daily—“let him … take up his cross daily” (Luke 9:23). In Matthew, the Joseph Smith Translation expands this statement with the Lord’s definition of what it means to take up one’s cross: “And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments” (Matthew 16:24, footnote e).

2) Confess Christ before Others

Jesus healing sick by Dore'

Jesus healing sick by Dore’

A second accompanying statement suggests that finding our life by losing it for the Savior’s sake and the gospel’s sake entails a willingness to make our discipleship open and public. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38; see also Luke 9:26).

Elsewhere in Matthew, we find a companion statement:

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33).

One obvious and rather sobering meaning of losing your life by confessing Christ is to lose it literally in sustaining and defending your belief in Him. We have grown accustomed to thinking of this extreme requirement as applying in history as we read about the martyrs of the past, including most of the ancient Apostles. Now we see, however, that what was historical is moving into the present.2

We know not what may come in the future, but if any of us should face the trauma of literally losing our life in the Master’s cause, I trust that we would show courage and loyalty.


3) Forsake the World

Christ in Gethsemane by Dore'

Christ in Gethsemane by Dore’

The third element of losing our lives for the Lord’s sake is found in His words: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). As given in the Joseph Smith Translation, His words read: “For what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and yet he receive him not whom God hath ordained, and he lose his own soul, and he himself be a castaway?” (Luke 9:25 [in the Bible appendix]).

To say that forsaking the world in favor of receiving “him … whom God hath ordained” is countercultural in today’s world is certainly an understatement. The priorities and interests we most often see on display around us (and sometimes in us) are intensely selfish: a hunger to be recognized; an insistent demand that one’s rights be respected; a consuming desire for money, things, and power; a sense of entitlement to a life of comfort and pleasure; a goal to minimize responsibility and avoid altogether any personal sacrifice for the good of another—to name a few.

This is not to say that we should not seek to succeed, even excel, in worthy endeavors, including education and honorable work. Certainly, worthwhile achievements are laudable. But if we are to save our lives, we must always remember that such attainments are not ends in themselves but means to a higher end. With our faith in Christ, we must see political, business, academic, and similar forms of success not as defining us but as making possible our service to God and fellowman—beginning at home and extending as far as possible in the world.

Personal development has value as it contributes to development of a Christlike character. In measuring success, we recognize the profound truth underlying all else—that our lives belong to God, our Heavenly Father; and to Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Success means living in harmony with Their will.

In contrast to the narcissistic life . . .

In contrast to the narcissistic life, President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) offered a simple expression of the more excellent way:

“When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves! [See Matthew 10:39.]

“Not only do we ‘find’ ourselves in terms of acknowledging divine guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. … We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”4

Peter and John at gate by Rembrandt

Peter and John at gate by Rembrandt

Lose Your Life in His Service

By the things he suffered, the prophet Joseph Smith learned to lose his life in the service of his Master and Friend. He once said, “I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.”5

I think we would all be content to match Brother Joseph’s level of faithfulness. Even so, he was once forced to languish for months in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, suffering physically but probably more emotionally and spiritually because he was unable to help his beloved wife, his children, and the Saints while they were being abused and persecuted. His revelations and direction had brought them to Missouri to establish Zion, and now they were being driven from their homes, in winter, across the entire state.

Despite it all, in those conditions in that jail, he composed an inspired letter to the Church of the most elegant and uplifting prose, parts of which now comprise sections 121, 122, and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants, concluding with these words: “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (D&C 123:17).

Of course, the greatest illustration of saving one’s life by losing it is this: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42). In giving His life, Christ saved not only His own life but our lives as well. He made it possible for us to exchange what would otherwise have been an ultimately futile mortal life for eternal life.

The theme of the Savior’s life was “I do always those things that please [the Father]” (John 8:29). I pray that you will make it the theme of your life. If you do, you will save your life.

Abuse Report: Obama, Government vs. Life, Liberty, American Citizen

Here is the latest list of abuses against Life, Liberty, and American Citizens

keyThis is unpleasant reality, but Americans need to be exposed to truth, because truth is still our greatest weapon. “Only those afraid of the truth seek to silence debate, intimidate those with whom they disagree, or slander their ideological counterparts. Those who know they are right have no reason to stifle debate because they realize that all opposing arguments will ultimately be overcome by fact.”― Glenn Beck

1. Government vs. American Citizens

cattlebattlefedskillBundy Family Posts Photo Of Dead Cow Euthanized By Bureau of Land Management

by Kerry Picket

The Bundy Ranch Facebook page, run by Cliven Bundy’s daughter Bailey, posted a photo late Saturday night with the caption: “Digging up 1 of the HUGE holes where they threw the cows that they had ran to death or shot. I feel that this NEEDS to be put out for the public to see.”


2. Why Totalitarians Release Prisoners

Rush Limbaugh

CastroSadamPIXCALLER: This regime that is elected by the clueless and the uninformed has come very, very close to — and, in fact, crossed the line of — breaking the law by releasing these people out of prison illegally like that. Something like this happened in the seventies in Europe, and this is the reason why I’m so impressed with you that you’re so astute that you can understand details that people who have lived here all their lives would have no access to.

They’re being pounded with false information all this time. The details are that nobody in their right mind ever tried to enter/cross illegally and run into a communist country, but everybody try to escape. What Ceausescu did in the early seventies is he gave the common thieves and pickpockets and basic criminals that were in prison a choice. They could take a passport to go to Western Europe or stay in prison. So, of course, they chose to leave. That was everybody’s dream, thieves or not.

CALLER: Yeah, so the real purpose was to create absolute havoc in the Western world, in Western Europe, for those who tried to escape — risking life and limb; crossing at night under the hail of bullets; leaving family, possessions, memories, childhood behind — just escape and be free. They would ask for political asylum in places like West Germany or France or Italy. The impression given by these criminals that were allowed emigrate freely was bad.

ObamaCatchReleaseVoteOf course, once they hit the streets and saw the naivete of the rich world, which is what everybody looked at it as being, they started pillaging there. The setup was such that the governments over there, being faced with this kind of crime, would refuse the acceptance of the people who risked their lives just to escape the moral crime that communism is. So the fact that you mentioned the Marielitos and the intent of creating havoc by releasing these people, it is so close in reality and to the truth.

RUSH: But it’s challenging because that’s exactly what’s happening. Barack Obama is employing tactics that have been used by people like Nicolae Ceausescu, Saddam Hussein, and Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro released hundreds of thousands of just the most horrible characters from his prisons and they infested south Florida in the Mariel Boatlift — and the same thing with Ceausescu and releasing his prisoners. Not all of them are political. Some of them were hardened criminals.

I mean, Ceausescu was trying to pollute Western Europe. He wasn’t sending a bunch of freedom fighters to Western Europe. He was polluting it. Castro was trying to pollute south Florida. He was trying to corrupt it, and the United States in general. Saddam Hussein was trying to corrupt Iraq and Baghdad by letting his most hardened criminals go. It was a punishment, a punishment to the citizens of Iraq for not supporting him, for being complicit in the forthcoming US invasion.

Read more:


3. Obama royal junkets

President Obama arrives in Brussels… with a 900-person entourage, then gets rid of our sovereignty

Glenn Beck

While First Lady Michelle Obama enjoys her $8,400/night suite at a five-star hotel in China, President Obama is running up quite a tab in Europe. According to The Guardian, the President’s trip to Brussels required a 900-person entourage and cost the city about $10.4 million – no word on how much money the American taxpayers are on the hook for. To add insult to injury, the Secret Service is once again making headlines for inappropriate behavior. Get Glenn’s reaction to the insanity HERE.

ObamaKingGeorgePIX4. Obama vs. American Citizen

Obama secretly negotiating away U.S. sovereignty

2-pronged assault on economy, consumer rights, domestic law

Aaron Klein

The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.

In February, the Open the Government organization sent a letter to Obama blasting the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP talks, stating the negotiations have been “conducted in unprecedented secrecy.”

“Despite the fact the deal may significantly affect the way we live our lives by limiting our public protections, there has been no public access to even the most fundamental draft agreement texts and other documents,” read the letter.

The missive was signed by advocacy groups such as, Project On Government Oversight, ARTICLE 19 and the Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and Information.

The groups warned issues being secretly negotiated include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”

obamacaresocialism5. Socialized Medicine Abuses: Will America come to this?

‘This doesn’t even seem real’: European hospitals burning aborted fetuses for heat

Glenn Beck

Once again, the U.K. has given us a glimpse into socialized medicine. And once again, it isn’t pretty. Previously, they showed us patients dying of thirst and women giving birth in hallways. Now they are literally incinerating aborted babies in order to ‘go green’ and heat their hospitals. Glenn reacted to this horror show on radio this morning. WATCH

persecutingchristians6. World vs. Christians

War on Christians: The Politics of Persecution

by Katie Gorka, Breitbart

In Nigeria, 234 Christian schoolgirls abducted; a Jesuit priest shot in the head outside his house in Homs, Syria; a young Christian woman dragged from her car in Egypt and beaten to death… These are some of the latest stories of Christians being hunted, tortured, or executed at the hands of Islamists.

Christian Life: Marriage, Real Family, and Quotes

Moral Decisions for Eternity

By Russell M. Nelson

keyThe wise use of your freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity.

The wise use of your freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity. You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Your yearnings to learn and change come from a divinely instilled striving for eternal progression.2 Each day brings opportunity for decisions for eternity.

Are we not all children of God? In truth, not one of us can ever stop being a child of God!

The Human Body

My professional years as a medical doctor gave me a profound respect for the human body. Created by God as a gift to you, it is absolutely amazing! Think of your eyes that see, ears that hear, and fingers that feel all the wondrous things around you. Your brain lets you learn, think, and reason. Your heart pumps tirelessly day and night, almost without your awareness.8

Your body protects itself. Pain comes as a warning that something is wrong and needs attention. Infectious illnesses strike from time to time, and when they do, antibodies are formed that increase your resistance to subsequent infection.

Your body repairs itself. Cuts and bruises heal. Broken bones can become strong once again. I have cited but a tiny sample of the many amazing God-given qualities of your body.

Even so, it seems that in every family, if not in every person, some physical conditions exist that require special care.9 A pattern for coping with such a challenge has been given by the Lord. He said, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves … and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”10

Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies.11 The gift of such a body can actually strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around that child born with special needs.

The aging process is also a gift from God, as is death. The eventual death of your mortal body is essential to God’s great plan of happiness.12 Why? Because death will allow your spirit to return home to Him.13 From an eternal perspective, death is only premature for those who are not prepared to meet God.

templeWith your body being such a vital part of God’s eternal plan, it is little wonder that the Apostle Paul described it as a “temple of God.”14 Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple. That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny. How could this be? Because your body is the temple for your spirit. And how you use your body affects your spirit. Some of the decisions that will determine your eternal destiny include:

How will you choose to care for and use your body?

What spiritual attributes will you choose to develop?

The Human Spirit

Your spirit is an eternal entity. The Lord said to His prophet Abraham: “Thou wast chosen before thou wast born.”15 The Lord said something similar about Jeremiah16 and many others.17 He even said it about you.18

Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time. You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time, to be a leader in His great work on earth.19 You were chosen not for your bodily characteristics but for your spiritual attributes, such as bravery, courage, integrity of heart, a thirst for truth, a hunger for wisdom, and a desire to serve others.

A pivotal spiritual attribute is that of self-mastery—the strength to place reason over appetite. Self-mastery builds a strong conscience. And your conscience determines your moral responses in difficult, tempting, and trying situations. Fasting helps your spirit to develop dominance over your physical appetites. Fasting also increases your access to heaven’s help, as it intensifies your prayers. Why the need for self-mastery? God implanted strong appetites within us for nourishment and love, vital for the human family to be perpetuated.22 When we master our appetites within the bounds of God’s laws, we can enjoy longer life, greater love, and consummate joy.23

It is not surprising, then, that most temptations to stray from God’s plan of happiness come through the misuse of those essential, God-given appetites. Controlling our appetites is not always easy. Not one of us manages them perfectly.24 Mistakes happen. Errors are made. Sins are committed. What can we do then? We can learn from them. And we can truly repent.25

We can change our behavior. Our very desires can change. How? There is only one way. True change—permanent change—can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.26 He loves you—each of you!27 He allows you to access His power as you keep His commandments, eagerly, earnestly, and exactly. It is that simple and certain. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of change!28

A strong human spirit with control over appetites of the flesh is master over emotions and passions and not a slave to them. That kind of freedom is as vital to the spirit as oxygen is to the body! Freedom from self-slavery is true liberation!29

We are “free to choose liberty and eternal life … or to choose captivity and death.30

marriageMarriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the Lord’s doctrine and crucial to God’s eternal plan. Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s pattern for a fulness of life on earth and in heaven. God’s marriage pattern cannot be abused, misunderstood, or misconstrued.33 Not if you want true joy. God’s marriage pattern protects the sacred power of procreation and the joy of true marital intimacy.34 We know that Adam and Eve were married by God before they ever experienced the joy of uniting as husband and wife.35

In our day civil governments have a vested interest in protecting marriage because strong families constitute the best way of providing for the health, education, welfare, and prosperity of rising generations.36 But civil governments are heavily influenced by social trends and secular philosophies as they write, rewrite, and enforce laws. Regardless of what civil legislation may be enacted, the doctrine of the Lord regarding marriage and morality cannot be changed.37 Remember: sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God!

While we are to emulate our Savior’s kindness and compassion, while we are to value the rights and feelings of all of God’s children, we cannot change His doctrine. It is not ours to change. His doctrine is ours to study, understand, and uphold.

The Lord’s way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness. Each day is a day of decision, and our decisions determine our destiny. One day each of us will stand before the Lord in judgment.41 We will each have a personal interview with Jesus Christ.42 We will account for decisions that we made about our bodies, our spiritual attributes, and how we honored God’s pattern for marriage and family.

Life vs. Abortion: Faith and Rescue

Abortion workers need rescue too

Even abortion clinic workers need the mercy of Christ

keyWhen  Johnson stepped in to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion and got a closer look at the brutal reality of abortion. Horrified by what she witnessed, Johnson realized the ocean of difference between Planned Parenthood’s carefully framed public image and what went on behind its closed doors.

plannedParenthoodAFABy Stacy Long
Standing outside an abortion clinic, it may be difficult to view compassionately the people who work inside, knowing their role. Abby Johnson, however, knows that they are also victims of the abortion industry and desperately in need of ministry. She knows because, once, she too was inside.

Truth takes over
Five years ago, Johnson was a model employee of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion services provider in the world. She even earned 2008 Employee of the Year. A clinic director in Bryan/College Station, Texas, with eight years of employment with Planned Parenthood, Johnson was confident in her career.

“I started working at Planned Parenthood because I believed I was genuinely helping women make the best choices for their lives,” Johnson writes on her website “I thought Planned Parenthood really believed in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, and, therefore, reducing the number of abortions.”

But that changed when Johnson stepped in to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion and got a closer look at the brutal reality of abortion. Horrified by what she witnessed, Johnson realized the ocean of difference between Planned Parenthood’s carefully framed public image and what went on behind its closed doors.

“In the last year of my employment, many things began to disturb me,” Johnson recalled, “the increase in our abortion quota, our new desire to expand late term abortion services and, in the end, watching a 13-week-old child in the womb struggle for his life and die during an abortion procedure.”

When Johnson made the decision to leave Planned Parenthood, she discovered another level to the deception. The one-time employee of the year found herself in court under a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood to have her silenced with a gag order.

The court dismissed the suit, and Johnson verified Planned Parenthood’s paranoia when she began to speak out about the truth of the abortion industry. Above all, she felt an urgency to correct the misconception she had herself fallen into by believing that the abortion industry is there to help women when, in fact, it hurts them.

“The thing most hidden by the abortion industry is that women regret their abortions,” Johnson told AFA Journal. “It’s something they live with for the rest of their lives. At some point in time, these women are going to grieve a lot for the child they aborted. And that’s something that the abortion industry desperately tries to keep quiet.”

baby_say_whatRescue requires healing
However, abortion workers are also injured by abortion, and they have become the focus for Johnson’s ministry. Soon after she had quit Planned Parenthood, workers began coming to Johnson’s door, asking for help and guidance.

“Seventeen workers came to me before I had even started a ministry, and my husband and I did what we could to help them financially so they could leave their jobs,” she said. “But when we had 17, I thought, ‘Okay, it’s time to start an official ministry reaching out to these workers and letting them know there is a way out.’ So that’s what we did; the ministry was started in June 2012, and since then we’ve had 80 more workers come to us.”

Suggesting that all workers in the abortion industry can be rescued and freed from their jobs – which would effectively shut down the abortion industry – Johnson has named her ministry And Then There Were None ( The ministry helps workers in every way possible so that they can leave their jobs in the abortion industry.

“We provide emotional support through one-on-one relationships, and we also hold a healing retreat for former workers,” Johnson explained. “We provide legal support; Alliance Defending Freedom has partnered with us to support workers who are dealing with legal issues from their former employers.

“We support them spiritually. All who come to us are on a spiritual journey, so we want to connect them with a clergy member in their area who will support them and pray with them and also help them deal with the spiritual warfare – because the spiritual warfare after leaving the abortion industry is very great.

“We also provide financial help for them if they are in need during their transition out of abortion clinics. We don’t want them to feel like they have to stay in a clinic just because they need a paycheck.”

Often, when workers have found their way out of the industry, they are eager to speak out, as Johnson was, about the truth of the abortion industry. Johnson said ATTWN is willing to help in this area too, although it is not the main focus of the ministry.

“With a lot of workers who leave the industry, they know what’s going on, they’ve seen what’s happening to these women, and they want to speak out,” she said. “They want to shut down these clinics. That’s their heart’s desire.

“We can connect them with attorneys who can help them bring charges or expose information about things taking place in the clinics, and we’re always happy for them to do that, of course. But our main goal in ministry is to help them find healing. We do everything we can to help men and women feel a peace and joy they never felt inside the industry.”

Workers are reachable
And that is a mission that every prolife activist can easily take part in, simply by continuing to reach out with compassion and love to those inside as well as outside clinic walls.

“You just have to be there,” Johnson urged. “Show up where they work, outside their facility, and lovingly reach out to them. A lot of the time it seems like sidewalk counselors are hesitant to reach out to abortion clinic workers. But they are in a wonderful position for ministering to abortion clinic workers because they have the ability to develop a relationship with them. Unlike the woman walking in for one day to have an abortion, abortion clinic workers are there every day.”

Johnson encourages prolife activists and counselors to make an effort to reach clinic workers by trying to understand what may have led them into the job.  In her experience, Johnson has found that many abortion workers have suffered emotional damage from their own personal abortions.

Above all, it is important to remember that an abortion clinic worker is just like every other person – in need of spiritual rescue and restoration through Jesus Christ.

“They are sinners, like all of us,” Johnson said. “They’re all in need of God’s love and mercy. In that respect, they’re not any different than anyone else. They are misguided people, but they are reachable. No one is outside God’s reach. If we just show up and do His work, then we can leave the rest to Him, and He will reach the hearts of these workers.”


Join the rescue squad

Learn more at or call toll-free 888-570-5501. Website resources include:

▶ Downloadable flier for sidewalk counselors
▶ Johnson’s letter to abortion workers
▶ Form for reporting an incident at a clinic
▶ Testimonials from former workers
▶ Online donation form

Other recommended prolife sites:

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Real Family Life

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Stand for the Real Family


man1New! Epic Heroes Quest

Empowering keys found in each dinner topic; Preparing for the Epic Journey of Life;

Epic Heroes in Training;

Parent Resources 

New! We are now including each month’s theme quotes at the beginning of our newsletter. Everyone can use great quotes to brighten their day.

family5prayingdinnerQuotes on February Theme: Stand for the Real Family

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

‘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

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 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. ~The Family Proclamation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Valued Readers,

VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS. 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. Thank you for your support.

About our Newsletter

NOTE: Comments posted on image pages will not be displayed

You can get the monthly newsletter and post notifications. There is a button on the upper right-hand corner of my blog that says “Follow.” Simply enter your email there and you can receive the monthly newsletter and email notifications every time a topic is posted. You can follow me on FaceBook on my Epicworld Dinner Topics page, and on Twitter at Epicstoryteller. But the best way is to use the follow button on this blog.

As time goes on, and our traditional values become increasingly at risk, I look forward to working with you to restore Judeo-Christian values for our families and our posterity. Our theme for February is Real Family Life

NOTE: Every day government schools are giving us more and more reasons to teach our children at home—either find a good private school or take the plunge and home school. There are many support groups nationwide and a variety of curricula to tailor to your needs. Begin now to prepare and plan. Don’t wait till the task of undoing the secular influences becomes impossible. You can do it; you need not feel alone. God will help you protect your children from the increasing evils of the world.

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Family Meals, Teaching Moments

Teaching Moments. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ~Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Classical Music stress relief this month provided by Mendelssohn, Leo Delibes, Segovia, Handel, Rossini


If you have questions, please click on this FAQ page from now on

And will be updated as needed

February Preview

The Dinner Topic Theme for February is Stand for Real Family Life

Defining Moments

“Defining Moments” is a monthly feature. Kind of a fancy name for a glossary. When I was growing up, we had a huge dictionary on a tall, narrow, rolling table. Whenever we asked the meaning of a word, we were told to “look it up.” We still do that. You’d be surprised at some of the interesting things you find in the dictionary, especially the 1828 American Dictionary. Now, with all the twists and spins that politicians and the media do to common words, it’s valuable to go back to the original meaning. It can make for interesting conversation, too.

This month the Defining Moment is Family—traditional, nuclear family.

More Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Respect

Famous Birthdays: Mendelssohn, Thomas More, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, Andres Segovia, Leo Delibes, George Washington, George Friederich Handel, Victor Hugo, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Giacomo Rossini

Other Articles

Christian Story: Jacob meets Rachel

Saint Valentine and marriage

U.S. Constitution: Compact for America—states are working to regain their Constitutional rights and powers


The Last Literate Generation

The True Story of Common Core              

Abuse Report—there are so many government abuses now that there is not room to report them all, so they will be summarized and listed in one report, with links to the complete article; this month: abortion, food stamp abuse

Moral Repair Plan—this will be much harder, but when we come across solutions, we will report them. This month includes: Principled statements on marriage and family, rescuing abortion workers; storing food

Book Reviews: The Real George Washington, On Being George Washington


Nuclear Family

The Moral Force of Women

And as always—current events, updates, and analysis


Priority: Investigation of Common Core reveals that it is blatant Left-wing indoctrination. Your state can choose not to implement Common Core. It’s hard to control national and even state politics. However, we can still do what is best for our children.

It is going to become increasingly difficult to counteract the insidious influences pervading our society. 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.


1. Tea Party Updates. The Tea Party is holding a Symposium on Article V of the Constitution, studying ways the states can use their power to overcome the tyranny at the Federal level.

Compact for America. This is a peaceful, well-organized grass-roots educational movement to combat tyranny on the federal level. This is slowly returning power to the states by focusing on one nation-saving amendment at a time via state conventions. Georgia state legislature just voted to hold a convention. The goal is for votes by ¾ of the states to compel Congress to introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment by July 4, 2014.

2. Obamacare: Let’s do all we can to support the worthy grass roots efforts that are growing nationwide.  Remember, 85% of the American people do not want Obamacare.

3. Nullification. States can choose to ignore an unconstitutional national law by passing a bill banning implementation. The Supreme Court did rule that the states cannot be forced to implement Obamacare on a state level. This can be used, not only for Obamacare, but any other unconstitutional law. South Carolina has nullified Obamacare!

4. 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.

Thanks for visiting. Come often; Stay Late.

C.A. Davidson

Rush Limbaugh: Bible and Real Family Life

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

keyoldWe 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. ~The Family Proclamation

The Left’s Unbridled Assault on the Traditional American Family Continues

RushDittoNYTimesArticleCoParentingRUSH LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, the assault on the traditional, standard American way of life continues unabated, and it is being conducted by a minority of people in this country.  There’s an amazing poll out there today from the Investor’s Business Daily, which illustrates just what an extreme minority today’s Democrat Party and the American left really is, in terms of minority, in terms of thinking, the body of thought in this country represented by them.

It’s stunning, but, at the same time, it’s optimistic in a sense to learn just how insignificant in numbers they are.  Now, that doesn’t tell the whole story, obviously.  However, the interesting thing about it is also that it is they who, obviously, when you look at the questions and when you look at the answers in the poll, it’s obviously today’s Democrats, today’s leftists who are the genuine extremists.  It ain’t us, folks.

And just to give you an example, here we have the New York Times, I don’t know if you ever thought you would see something like this.  I did.  The New York Times is bidding farewell to the traditional family, the nuclear family.  Mom and dad and 2.8 kids, not possible, except for the wealthy, the white, and the elite.  Sayonara, adios, outta there.  If you have that kind of a family, you are, A, a problem, B, you are a minority, and, C, you are out of there.  And I just want to tell you that this is bogus.  This is not the case.  This is not what is happening.

The traditional American family, yeah, we’ve got a different family makeup in places, and the definition of family is changing, by design, with the left instituting it.  But the idea that the traditional nuclear family is now an oddity and something that was never really natural and needs to be replaced is just absurd.  The entire Science Times section of the New York Times way back on November 26th — again, this is something that I missed because I chilled out. I took a break from all this.  And in the November 26th Science Times section of the New York Times they were devoted to the redefined American family, and it was written by the noted journalist Natalie Angier.

She identified the traditional family as a thing of the past.  “The old-fashioned family plan of stably married parents residing with their children remains a source of considerable power in America –” but not for long after we get through attacking and destroying it, “– but one that is increasingly seen as out of reach to all but the educated elite.”

Now, there might be a sad grain of truth in that in the sense that might explain what is happening to the traditional American family, and, i.e., the uneducated, the low-information crowd, as distinguished from the misinformation crowd. The low-information crowd are the people who are the recipients of wealth transfers, the redistribution of income.  I mean, the Democrat Party has succeeded in breaking up those families, no question about that.  The Democrat Party and the welfare state has succeeded in busting up the black American family.  There is no question about that. 

What this story tries to say is that’s normal, that’s natural, that’s the way it was always intended to be, and that’s where we’re headed. And the oddity, the exception here is the white people with mom and dad in a nice house with a family dog and a couple of cats maybe, and 2.8 kids and a picket fence and a couple of cars and a flat screen, that is what’s odd, that’s what’s gotta go, because that’s only attainable to the wealthy white elite.  I’m not making this upThis is in the New York Times and they’re celebrating it.  They’re trying to make it happen, and it’s why this poll in the Investor’s Business Daily or is interesting.

There’s also devastating news out there for Obama on Millennials.  He’s losing ’em.  He’s losing them big time.  I’ll give you all the rest of the details on the New York Times story, but it’s just an unbridled assault.  This is not news.  This is not the New York Times surveying the country and simply dispassionately reporting.  This is advocacy.  This is a desire to destroy the traditional American family.  “It’s not fair.  It may be a good way to raise kids, but it isn’t fair that not everybody can do it, and, since not everybody can do it, nobody can do it, and so we’re gonna side with the people who have no prayer of doing it.” 


“Well, they’re uneducated.”

“Why are they uneducated?  Who has made that happen?  Who’s been in charge of education?” 

The Democrat Party.  The American left.  Why are people uneducated?  Why are they poor?  The Democrat Party.  Who is it that’s told people, “Sit around, wait for us to take care of you, don’t rely on yourself, you don’t have what it takes”?  Democrat Party.  The Democrat Party’s made all this happen.  It’s a route to power for them.  It’s insidious.  It’s the way they want to control people.  It’s the way they ensconce themselves in power, making themselves irreplaceable, making these other people dependent.  And now they have created this schism, if you will, the haves and have-nots.  They have created that.

They claim capitalism has created it.  They created it.  It’s taken ’em 50 years of the welfare state since the great old FDR and the New Deal.  But they’ve done it.  And they are relentless as they continue to do it because for them it’s about changing the way this country was founded.  It’s about getting rid of the inequities, the unfairness, the immorality, the injustice of the founding of this country and this is the way it ought to be. If you got two mommies and two daddies and a dog and they represent a family, who’s to say that’s wrong?  Who’s to say that’s wrong?  Who are you people, you nuclear family people, where are you getting your guide from?  The Bible?  Hell with that.  We don’t believe in the Bible.  The Bible, that’s just make-believe. 

This is where all this stuff is rooted.  I want to try to tell you, even though this onslaught against the traditions — and the traditions and institutions are what make this country great, there’s an attack on them, there has been for a while.  I want to try to impress upon you, while they’re having success, they are busting up families, don’t make any mistake about that, I’m not Pollyannish here, they have not destroyed it yet. They have not remade or transformed this country.  People are not happy with the direction of this country, and now a vast majority, including the Millennials, they are not happy with the way this country’s going, the direction it’s headed, they don’t like it.  They may not yet know how to properly affix blame for it.

To the Democrat Party, it is, and to the New York Times, it is.  What the picture is, you’ve got a guy, 35, 40 years old here, and his wife, and their three kids, and they’re smiling, they’re happy.  How dare they.  They’re smiling, they’re happy, but what they don’t know is it’s over for them.  They’re dinosaurs.  They’re living in Jurassic Park and the left is coming for them in their neighborhoods and they’re gonna turn it all upside down.  They’re starting all this in the schools. 

The companion story, this is from ABC News.  I’ll give you the headline: “Sites Match Potential Co-Parents, Skip Love and Marriage.”  This is about people that want to be parents but don’t want to get married. They just want to hook up and have babies and then have a family but never see the other spouse.  Kind of like a for kids.  (No offense,  Listen to this: “Rachel Hope of Los Angeles says she’s ready to be a mother again.  She’d like to get pregnant next month. 

“The thing is, she has no idea who the father will be.  Hope is one of a growing number of Americans interested in exploding the old 1950s notion of the nuclear family.” Isn’t this fascinating?  The New York Times on November 26th, and here we are yesterday, December 3rd, they’re already on it. These people are relentless.  They just never stop coming at us. Let’s see if we can find some woman in LA who doesn’t like the nuclear family.  “Hope is one of a growing number of Americans interested in exploding the old 1950s notion of the nuclear family.”

Beave_largeThe nuclear family goes back to the Bible, which is its problem with the left.  There’s nothing they can do about fifties.  You know, to these people, the nuclear family is Ozzie and Harriet, and Beaver Cleaver, and it just isn’t possible.  That was fantasyland, that was make-believe, that was never real, and that’s not possible today.  You can’t have mom and dad and three kids with all that wealth.  It just not possible. And to be happy?  It’s not right!  It isn’t fair.  It’s not possible. 

“She’s not looking for love.” Oh no! No. “She wants a co-parent.”   I’m telling you, folks, the idea that the nuclear family dates back to the fifties? Only in a low-information world could you make people believe that the nuclear family was invented in the fifties — and why would you do that, by the way? If you’re the American left, why would you say that the nuclear family was invented in the fifties? Well, to make it unhip, to make it uncool!

Oh, my God, that’s ancient! Also, to tell these young kids and the Millennials, “You want to live like they did in the fifties?  You can’t go back to that! Look how square things were back in then. They wore letter jackets! I mean, look at that. Did you see the movie? Who wants to go back to that?”  That’s why they’re trying to peg the nuclear family to the fifties, to make it unhip.  The nuclear family traces back to God-d, and just saying that is like showing Dracula the cross.

RUSH:  By the way, is it a coincidence, ladies and gentlemen, that the New York Times would be focusing on the end of, the destruction of, the dissolving of the nuclear family, while they have been championing the gay agenda, especially same-sex marriage for more than any other newspaper on the planet?  I’m telling you, this is an agenda.  They’re not strictly reporting what is happening.  They want this.

It’s like the same way they use polling data.  They want to bring about the end of the nuclear family.  Now, in areas where they control people’s income —I’m talking about Democrat Party and the left, the welfare state — they are destroying the nuclear family, but it’s not because that’s what those people want to happen.  People whose families are being destroyed are not voting Democrat for that to happen.

They think the exact opposite.  They think the Democrats are going to take care of ’em.  And the Democrats end up becoming the husband and the father, and the family gets blown to smithereens. That’s what’s happened to black community, and it’s not me saying it.  It’s countless African-Americans who say this. They were the first ones, in fact, to bring it to my attention, the way some of them look at it.

Now, this Rachel Hope babe, it turns out there’s a website out there called Partnered Parent, and she is trying to make a career out of this.  She has her own magazine and a website.  “Rachel Hope has a 22-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, both from thriving parenting partnerships. While she seeks a third parenting partner for herself, Rachel’s overall mission is to include more and more parenting partners and their children in a growing family tribe and world community.

Now, we used to call that “marriage.”

RUSH:  One more thing here on this website here that’s promoting “co-parenting” as the people that believe in this are said to be eager to blow up the notion of the 1950s nuclear family.  I just want to assure all of you, the nuclear family goes back to the Bible.  The fifties had no claim on it, and nothing to do with it. They just telling you that it is a fifties creation ’cause they want you to think it’s uncool and unhip.

Make no mistake, this is not just a little human interest story.  There is an agenda to this like there is to everything the left and the Democrat Party and the media do.  There is no news.  There is no reporting.  There is simply advancing the agenda.  That is all it is.  The news today is simply a soap opera with the requisite amount of suspense, drama, heroes, villains — and it is also just like a soap opera in the sense that they never deal with the reality of anything.

Now, in this website here trying to match potential co-parents, there’s an organization from Los Angeles called “Modamily.” It’s “modern family,” I guess, and the CEO and the founder of Modamily is a guy named Ivan Fatovic.  “Ivan, what did you want to be when you grow up?”  Well, you know what I wanted to do, Mr. Limbaugh? I wanted to run a website that blew up the nuclear family!” 

If you are in a nuclear family, you are now supposed to start feeling guilty and responsible for other people’s unhappiness, and you are to feel guilty just like you’re responsible for global warming.

You are to feel guilty because somehow you have the means to have a nuclear family, and it just isn’t fair!

I don’t know who first coined the term, but “the culture war,” there’s no question about it.  Pat Buchanan has written about it.  Judge Bork wrote about it. 

This is why, and it’s why I’m trying to tell people to hold on.  This kind of stuff that we’re talking about, this all-out assault on the nuclear family, and on the other side here, this co-parenting.  And then on the other side have an abortion paid for by your neighbors, this is why people think the country’s falling party.  And I’m telling you, that is purposeful.  That is the result of an agenda.  Do you want to be led by the miserable, folks?  Do you want to be led by the discontented and the unhappy?  I mean, sometimes you’re discontented. I’m talking about people who are institutionally so.  Forever mad, cannot be pleased, cannot be happy, it isn’t in their makeup.  I don’t want them defining anything.  I don’t want that kind of negativism dominating culture and life and everything.