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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Freedom's Altar

Lydia Bixby
   During the civil war a woman, by the name of Lydia Bixby, lost 5 sons in total.  Her loss, prompted President Lincoln to write personally to her a consoling letter.  Not only was she childless now, but also a widow.  One can only imagine the grief she must have felt receiving the news that all 5 of her sons were now gone as well.  The letter sent by Abe Lincoln is one that will never be forgotten.  Immortalized in 2 movies (that I know of) it is a poignant reminder of the cost of freedom. 

   Here is the letter:
Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Lincoln's symbolic use of the "altar of freedom" should not be overlooked. We must remember that all of us might be called upon to make a "sacrifice on the altar of freedom".   Whether you are the parent of a child taken by murder in a school shooting, or simply a person standing at the finish line of a race, you might be called upon to sacrifice as well like Lydia Bixby.

    But there is another altar beckoning your allegiance as well.  Inscribed on its top, is the word "Security" and it offers the opposite of Freedom's Altar.... slavery!  It says "give me your rights to privacy, your rights to congregate in public, your rights to not be searched, your rights to self protection, your rights to a trial by your peers".   It offers a perfect world that it knows it cannot deliver.

   Recently a father in Florida found a sheet of paper in his son's backpack from school that had the words:
"I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure" 
scribbled in crayon.  It was a homework assign done in class.  You can see the full article here to see for yourself.   Sadly, this teacher is not alone, for recently Mayor Bloomberg of New York City said that the Constitution will need to be redefined to provide a more secure world for our citizens.  They hear Security's Altar calling them like the Sirens of Homer's Iliad calling ancient sailors to their destruction. 

    This past week we saw two terrorists attack one of our oldest sporting challenges in our country.  Brought on by people who do not appreciate the freedom's they enjoy... the very freedom's that allowed them to do this horrible act.  The people standing near the finish line never thought that THEY would pay the ultimate sacrifice for freedom (Isn't that reserved for soldiers in war?) but they did.  Their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends and grandparents will undoubtedly miss their presence and mourn their loss and nothing we say or do (like Lincoln) can ever "beguile them of their loss".  But like Lydia Bixby, they have laid their souls on the altar of freedom.

   The best way we can honor their sacrifice is to live our lives in the shadow of Freedom's Altar.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eventually they always over-reach

     The most common failure of all criminals is they eventually over-reach.  They start small at first. Maybe stealing food from a store.  This then leads to breaking into unlocked cars, followed by locked cars.  Then they start stealing the cars.  Later they break into houses when no one is home and then later when they are home and asleep.  Eventually they get caught (or shot).  Had they kept to smaller thefts they could have gone on for years and years without being noticed.

Early 1900 Progressive-ism 

    So too, it is with the progressives.  They too start small and move onto bigger things.  Some small regulations on food or tobacco.    But then they move on to bigger "crimes".

    For example, in 1912 the progressives passed the 16th amendment which gave them the power to tax our incomes by promising that this would ONLY apply to the wealthy (the 1%) and would never go above 6%.  However, within a few years it soon applied too all of us and the wealthiest were paying over 75% to the government sighting the need to pay for our debt incurred by entering WWI. (Can you say "suckers" ?)

   In that same year they passed the 17th amendment which changed how our senators were selected. Prior to the amendment, each state legislature selected 2 senators to represent the STATE.  This limited what the federal government could do to the states by using power to counter power.  After the 17th amendment, the states lost all of their power as senators were no longer selected by them but instead by the people in the state.  No longer able to control the government, hosts of federal regulations and federal mandates soon followed.  

    This ,of course, wasn't enough for them though. They soon went after the banks and in 1913 they centralized all the banks under the Federal Reserve Bank and changed our currency from money issued by the Treasury to "notes" issued by the Federal Reserve. To this very day, no audit has ever been done of the Federal Reserve and we have no idea how much we owe and to whom we owe it.

Prohibitionist dumping beer
    Later, in 1919, they rose fear among the citizens that alcohol-related crime was running a muck in the cities (newspapers and "yellow journalism" played a big part) and that something must be done about it before it destroys the country. By 1920, the 18th amendment was passed and for the next 13 years our country attempted to be a dry-country.  Prohibition gave the federal government almost unlimited power in law enforcement as thousands were rounded up and imprisoned for illegal booze.  Meanwhile, our lawmakers in Washington never went without as they had liquor delivered daily by a bootlegger by the name of George Cassiday. 

   It was this over-reach by the progressives which caused the Americans to wake up and realize who these progressives were.  The over-reach caused them to not only reverse prohibition in 1933 but also to cause the Progressive Movement to go underground for many years as the term "progressive" became a bad word.

Present day Progressive-ism

     Now the progressives are back again and they want to control even more.  In 2008 they went after the auto-makers and bought GM to keep them "afloat" after the financial crisis.  This was just the start for them.  In 2010 they set their eyes on our nations healthcare system. Claiming the only way to save it was to take it over and they passed the "Affordable Healthcare Act" or ObamaCare.  The 3000 page bill which no one has ever read gives the HHS (Health and Human Services) almost unlimited power over hospitals, patients and doctors.  Most of the bill has really yet to be written as page after page is filled with words to the effect of "The Secretary of HHS shall write regulations that ....".

Mayor Bloomberg discussing limiting soda size
     In cities like New York, where progressives like Mayor Bloomberg have come to power, they and are limiting how much soda we drink, where people can smoke (did you know that you won't be able to smoke in an apartment building soon?), how much salt you can have and how many calories your meal can contain.  Also, because he is a progressive and doesn't want to be constrained by a city constitution, he has changed the term limits of his job so he can have more than 2 terms.  (Rome wasn't destroyed in a day you know!).  Even liberals like Bill Maher are beginning to be sick of his constant ranting on controlling peoples choices in New York City (he has even ventured out of NYC to other cities to impose his will as well).

The Over-Reach

Melissa Harris-Perry
      But now the final over-reach by the progressives is at hand.   Yesterday, liberal progressive Melissa Harris-Perry from MSNBC did a promo-ad laying claim to YOUR children.  In her view, your kids are "not your kids" but instead they belong to "the community" and the "collective".  Your children (who she in another video refers to "things that eventually become humans") are just "things" you provide for society to mold and form into their own liking. You, in effect, are just a sperm and egg donor to the collective.  You can see the whole video here.   

     Like the over-reach on alcohol in 1920, America will rise up and say ENOUGH! and HANDS OFF MY CHILDREN!  While education is important, this notion that we own everyone's child is completely off the rails and most people will see this as wrong minded and ridiculous.

Monday, April 1, 2013

They don't know what they are doing!

    Ever go to a city park and see a person screaming at a tree or a park bench?  Clearly you know that this person is not in their right mind.  They, of course, do not know this.  To them what they are doing is completely sane.  You don't get angry at people like this but instead you pity them and pray they get help.

    Jesus uttered these words from cross, "Father, Forgive them for they know NOT what they do!"

    While it may appear that Jesus was saying this to the Pharisees standing below, I think those words were for ALL of us. Like the insane person in the park, he looks at us with pity and feeling for us as he sees us make bad decision after bad decision.  Bad choice after bad choice.  As Isaiah says, "We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way".

    As I watched the movie "The Passion" , I was impressed by Mel Gibson's use of Satan wandering around in the background during Jesus' trial and flogging.  Not acting as a spectator, but instead as an instigator of the evil being done.  The people doing the evil were not doing it fully on their own accord.  They were merely puppets on a larger stage and the battle was not between Jesus and the Jews or Jesus and the Romans, but was really a battle between Jesus, the Son of God, and Satan.

  Last Friday I watched a video showing a Planned Parenthood spokes person give testimony to a Florida state board on a bill called "Infants Born Alive" in which a baby born after a botched abortion should be allowed to get medical attention.  The spokes-person for Planned-Parenthood , Alisa LaPolt Snow, argued against this bill siting that the decision should be between the mother and the physician.  One congressman argues, "I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling there on the table. Wouldn't you agree?"   Her look was one of confusion. She looked as if she had never considered that as an option before. (To see the rest of the discussion go here)

   At first I was angry that someone could be so cold and heartless towards a newborn baby.  But now I see that I must have "the mind of Christ" and say to them as well, "God forgive them for they know not what they do".  They don't see what they are doing as evil.

  Like the person screaming in the park, they are lost .... they just don't know it.