SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO ME

Here is the winning entry American Freedom Defense Initiative‘s ‘Draw the Prophet’ Muhammad contest.  What’s the problem with this?

H/T to Reformation at Keith DeHavelle. Keith has a great post on this, BTW.

WHAT IS CIVICS? — PART 2

The Friends of the People by Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1811)
The Friends of the People by Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1811)

An Example Of Civics In Action

When we apply what we each believe to be the best principles of civics, we become political activists. That is, for example, what people who are participating in the Tea Party movement are doing.

Political activism is among the most peculiar and risky of human endeavors.  Even when what political activists propose is popular, some appreciate that political activism, but many still abhor it. That’s because we have this idiot notion that politics is a dirty business.

What is it that people detest about politics? Because we each want different things from the government, politics divides us into argumentative factions.  Factionalism is a topic we considered in THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY (through the writings of James Madison in The Federalist Papers). If you wish to understand something about the problem, please refer to that post.

What is political activism? Wikipedia offers this explanation, Activism, and much of what they write about political activism involves changes opposed by the governing class. In such cases, activists may have to overcome a great deal of hostility.  They risk failing and becoming one of many we have forgotten. Such is the case of the Armenian genocide which Clifford D. May writes about in Recalling the lessons of Armenia.

Displayed outside the Turkish embassy in Washington last week was a large banner reading, “Armenian genocide is an imperialist lie.” That claim might be amusing were the subject not so dreadful. The slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. It was, therefore, by definition, an imperialist crime, one regarded by most experts as the first genocide of the 20th century. The notion that some other empire (which one?) has fabricated a slander against Turkey is ludicrous. Those who came up with that slogan must assume they are addressing a clueless audience. (continued here)

In our nation, we still have the freedom to speak our minds, to get our thoughts into print, and to publicize our views in recorded speeches and videos. What is more important, however, is that we can associate with people whose views with share. We can organize to select the leaders of our communities and of our nation.

Recently, we held Firehouse Primaries (see Prince William firehouse primary primer) in Prince William County. Instead of using a convention or a government-run primary to select its candidates for the general election in November 2015, the Prince William Republican Party set up its own balloting stations held its own primary. That involved quite a bit of work by dedicated volunteers.

I had a small role helping to set up one of the balloting stations. The day after the primary was over I sent the people I worked with a note expressing my appreciation. That follows.

Dear Republican Volunteers

Why Do I volunteer? Well, before we get to that I want to thank you all for volunteering to help yesterday. We had a challenging day. If you have not already done so, please check out the results Firehouse Primary at pwcgop.org. We had good turnout, and that’s why we were so busy. Only two balloting stations had more voters show up.

Fortunately, everyone involved worked hard and took the initiative to do what needed to be done.

John and Jose carefully laid out our floorplan. Thanks to them we were able to efficiently route the voters through the facility. Then, just before our real work began, Jose thoughtfully reminded us to ask for our Lord’s blessing, and he led us in prayer.

Mary, Ashley, and Jose got the voters in the door in an orderly fashion. When they got to the John and latter Steve at the Control Point, each voter was ready to have their registration verified. That task included tactfully dealing with a few people who wanted to gripe. There are always some.

With remarkable aplomb, Michelle, Meg, and Amy withstood the initial wave of voters, processing about half of the voters.  Why did everyone want to come at 10:00 AM?

😦   On a Saturday morning?

Rita arrived, and she already knew what to do with Rocket Base (Author’s note:  Rocket Base is the database we used to check voter registration and political affiliation.). She got her laptop running, and she went right to work. Then Dottie, Jan, Milt, Mark, and Jay added their efforts. The line now ended at the door.  We were processing voters as fast they arrived. Whew!

Meanwhile, Jamie, Bill, and Chuck, each in turn, quietly and courteously monitored the ballot box, provided voters a pen and showed them where to deposit heir completed ballots.

During the second half of the day, Steve led our effort. That included the complex task of counting the vote for three different elections on almost a thousand ballots. In two-person teams, we first counted the statement of intent forms, and then we counted the votes on the ballots. That took more than just the couple of hours we had expected. Thanks for hanging in there to the end.

Finally, Milt agreed to drive to the PWCGOP HQ, and we delivered the results of the vote (name of balloting station deleted).

So why do I volunteer? I just hope the good character and the good will of people like you will rub off on me.

Thank you for the example you set.

–Tom

What true political activism involves is caring enough about other people to volunteer our labor and our wealth. Instead of looking for someone else to do the hard work necessary to make our government work properly, we step forward, and we do what we can.

We can argue until Hell freezes over just exactly how our government is suppose to work. We will never entirely agree. Nevertheless, if we each choose to wait for someone else to make our government work, we risk surrendering the welfare of our family, friends, and neighbors to the tender mercies of strangers. How can we claim to love someone if we are willing to risk their tyranny and enslavement?

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. — John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton

When we have no one fit to rule over us, with our Lord’s help we must each do our best to rule ourselves.

BILL CLINTON SAID WHAT?

In my mind former president Bill Clinton has only one virtue. He is not Barack Obama, but that is a significant difference.

mallardfillmore.com

Here is the video: Bill Clinton On Politics Of Islam: Paris Killers Exemplify ‘World’s Greatest Double Standard’ [VIDEO] (dailycaller.com)

I heard about Clinton’s surprising (from him) words through the comic above in The Washington Times, on of my favorites.  Since The Washington Times does not run over the weekend, I expect I will be visiting mallardfillmore.com on Saturdays and Sundays.

WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?

ministry-of-education

The Root Of The Problem

No matter how we educate children, the topic of religion is inescapable; government-run education does not and cannot avoid it. Why? Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

  • Origin  – Where do we come from?
  • Meaning – Why are we here?
  • Morality – What’s right and what’s wrong?
  • Destiny – What happens to a human being when I die?

These are religious questions. We are practically born wanting to know the answers. Therefore, no educational system can avoid these questions. Even a supposedly secular education (such as that provided by our public school system) must address each of these questions either directly or indirectly.

At best, what a secular education does is try to render the issue of God irrelevant. Therefore, because government-run schools are “secular” institutions, many Atheists promote public education as a way of undermining the Christian faith.

Consider this satirical cartoon as an example. When I argued that no education is complete without religious instruction (here), tildeb (apparently a militant Atheist) threw up the cartoon (here). At first, I thought the cartoon simply absurd. Then I realized the cartoonist was trying to satirize religious education as indoctrination into senseless superstitions.

What Are The Problems With Government-Run Education?

Talk to different people, and you will get different ideas about who needs an education and what kind of education is needed. In America, we generally think every child has the “right” to a basic education (whatever that is). Therefore, we have put our government in charge of the education our children.

Unfortunately, there are three big problems with the American approach to education.

  • An education is not a right. Parents have a responsibility for educating their children, but government has no business forcing anyone to pay for the education somebody else’s child, not even a needy child. That is form of stealing, and it is wrong.
  • We cannot trust politicians, and we don’t trust politicians. Nevertheless, various special interest groups have guilted the rest of us into funding public education. Over the years what these people have demonstrated is their desire for money and power, not a good education for children. That’s why our education system is costly, ineffective, and riddled with politics.  That’s why we have huge bureaucracies filled with cushy jobs for adults instead of a first rate school system.
  • Supposedly, the public education system excludes religious content. In IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION?, we debunked that myth.

Who Are The Advocates For Government-Run Education?

Three basic groups promote government-run education.

  • Those seeking power.
  • Those seeking financial gain.
  • Those with philosophical objections to parental school choice.

Because it gives them considerable power, politicians seek to control how our money is spent on education. Power-hungry men and women want to control who teaches children, what children are taught, how children are taught, and where children go to school.

Because a government-run educational monopoly makes it easier for them them to unionize and demand exorbitant salaries and benefits, teachers unions oppose school choice. Various other special interests who make money off government-run education also oppose school choice.

At least three groups insist upon government-run schools for ostensibly philosophical reasons.

  • Socialists want government-run schools for the sake of equality. Unless government runs the schools, these supposedly fear the poor will not be properly educated.
  • Because Secularists equate religion with superstition, they favor a secular education. Thus, they have used public education as a backdoor method for imposing their godless worldview on our children.
  • Because politicians will sell access to our children, some groups see the public education system as a method for obtaining access to the other people’s children. These different groups use the public school system to indoctrinate children in various politically correct causes including: Socialism, Environmentalism, Moral Relativism, Sexual Liberation, Multiculturalism, feminism, immigration “reform” and so forth.

So What Is The Fix?

 Matthew: January 4, 2015 at 12:55 am

Everything is a religion. Prove to me that I am wrong. Your comment itself is religious.

Contrary to what politicians would have us believe, we cannot compartmentalize our lives. We cannot call one part Christian and another part secular. God created everything. He created us, the world in which we live, and each moment in which live and breathe. He created us for His glory, not to be secular beings.

All that may sound to some like fanaticism, but consider a secular idiom, to find yourself. The Christian version of finding yourself is seeking God’s purpose for your life.

Psalm 37:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

We are God’s children. He wants what is best for us. He wants us to love Him and each other. When we love God and each other, when we do what God has called us to do, we are happiest, knowing true fulfillment. Thus, secularizing the education of our children just increases the risk they will waste their lives.

If we believe in God and the life to come, then we must believe every decision we make has eternal significance. We must believe each decision we make, what we choose to learn, how we choose to spend our time, and how we choose to live, is a religious choice. When we make decisions for our children, that too must be a religious choice.

Consider what we have enshrined in the First Amendment.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Various state constitutions also protect the right to freedom of religion. Yet time and sophistry has confused our understanding. Even so the founders clearly did not want a busybody government. They wanted the right to run their lives and exercise the freedom of their own consciences.

Because of poor instruction, we have forgotten what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 6:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Our Creator gave parents the responsibility for the upbringing of the children they bring into this world. When parents pass that responsibility onto politicians, people no one in their right minds would trust with more power than necessary, they risk being disobedient to what the Bible teaches. When we allow our children to grow up without fully realizing their lives are a gift from our Creator, that their owe Him their worship, that they should seek to spend each moment in communion with Jesus, we fail in our duty as parents.

That means parents need to choose who teaches their children, what their children are taught, how their children are taught, and where their children go to school. That’s means we need school choice.