Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The debate in our country over the First Amendment, the rights it protects, and the battle in our society over faith in America have all, at one time or another, sought to interpret what the Founders really meant when they included it in our Constitution. Liberals would have you believe it was government protection against religion, and that any mention of God constituted coercion, and that we should just avoid even mentioning God or anything that referenced Providence.
There's a problem, though. The Founders left a trail. It's found in the documents they utilized in establishing their own state governments. Today's politicians try to pretend no such intention was there, but they should try reading their own state Constitutions!
My friend Dave sent the following to me, and I just had to forward it to everyone on my list. It'll be posted on my website tomorrow, but for now, I have a question (and please read it all):
Do you know your State's Preamble?
Alabama 1901, Preamble:
We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution...
Alaska 1956, Preamble
We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land...
Arizona 1911, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
Arkansas 1874, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Arkansas , grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
California 1879, Preamble
We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...
Colorado 1876, Preamble
We, the people of Colorado , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe...
Connecticut 1818, Preamble
The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.
Delaware 1897, Preamble
Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences...
Florida 1885, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution...
Georgia 1777, Preamble
We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...
Hawaii 1959, Preamble
We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance... Establish this Constitution.
Idaho 1889, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings...
Illinois 1870, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
Indiana 1851, Preamble
We, the People of the State of Indiana , grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government...
Iowa 1857, Preamble
We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.
Kansas 1859, Preamble
We, the people of Kansas , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.
Kentucky 1891, Preamble
We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...
Louisiana 1921, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.
Maine 1820, Preamble
We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity... And imploring His aid and direction.
Maryland 1776, Preamble
We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
Massachusetts 1780, Preamble
We the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction.
Michigan 1908, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution.
Minnesota 1857, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:
Mississippi 1890, Preamble
We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.
Missouri 1845, Preamble
We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness. Establish this Constitution...
Montana 1889, Preamble
We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution...
Nebraska 1875, Preamble
We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. Establish this Constitution.
Nevada 1864, Preamble
We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution...
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V
Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble
We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
New Mexico 1911, Preamble
We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..
New York 1846, Preamble
We, the people of the State of New York , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
North Carolina 1868, Preamble
We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...
North Dakota 1889, Preamble
We, the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
Ohio 1852, Preamble
We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.
Oklahoma 1907, Preamble
Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this...
Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2.
All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences...
Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble
We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance.....
Rhode Island 1842, Preamble
We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...
South Carolina, 1778 Preamble
We, the people of the State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
South Dakota 1889, Preamble
We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties.
Tennessee 1796, Art. XI. III.
That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
Texas 1845, Preamble
We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
Utah 1896, Preamble
Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
Vermont 1777, Preamble
Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man...
Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI
Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other...
Washington 1889, Preamble
We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
West Virginia 1872, Preamble
Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God...
Wisconsin 1848, Preamble
We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility....
Wyoming 1890, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution...
Now - anyone want to make the argument that God was not an integral part, and was always intended to be a part, of our nation? It is time to restore God to our nation again. He is now the only hope we have!!!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
OK, so here's the latest partial list:
Fast and Furious - evidently an attempt by the Justice Department to force gun control to the forefront under the guise of tracking weapons to drug lords. It was completely botched by the Justice Department. Both Eric Holder and Barack Obama say they didn't know anything about it.
Benghazi - An attack on our embassy in Libya where, it appears, something the Administration was up to something else as well because of the "mission" that was there, reportedly operated by the CIA. However, we've gotten completely away from that story because of all the other scandals. The State Department not only didn't have the personnel there protected, even though they'd begged for more security, but refused to help them when trouble came. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said they were unaware of the problems there.
AP Phone Records - The Justice Department seized the records of Associated Press reporters citing national security concerns ("leaks") without notifying in advance the AP they were doing so, even though that was the procedure. I guess it's OK when the government doesn't follow the rules. Either way, Barack Obama says he didn't know anything about it.
James Rosen of Fox News - see AP Phone records above. Same deal all around, except they were even more intrusive because, of course, it's Fox News. Barack Obama says he didn't know about this one either.
IRS - The Internal Revenue Service not only leaked confidential information about farmers in the Midwest, but specifically targeted 501 c(4) organizations that didn't toe-the-liberal-party-line. This targeting included actual harassment, demanding to know such things as what the organizations' leaders prayed about. Liberal organizations, in the meantime, were given 501 c(4) status without so much as the blink of an eye. Barack Obama, Timothy Geitner, and the head of the IRS all say they didn't know anything about this.
IRS (again) - The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) specifies the IRS will be then enforcement agency for health care coverage, and they're hiring 16,000 new agents just for that purpose. Turns out the person in charge of implementing Obamacare for the IRS is the same person who ordered the targeting of conservative organizations. Oops - that'll work out well! No comment from Barack Obama or Tim Geitner....
IRS (AGAIN!) - The people who hold a gun to your head and tell you to pay up or else are spending millions on "conferences" that are nothing more than lavish vacations for their employees. They make entertainment videos, have dance classes, and reserve expensive hotel rooms for these time-outs - all with your money. Barack Obama and Timothy Geitner didn't know anything about this.
IRS (One more time) - The person responsible for some of these abuses was called before Congress to 'splain herself, and she took the 5th amendment!! Try doing that the next time the IRS asks you to 'splain yourself!!
NSA - As it turns out, the same Barack Obama who, as a Senator, castigated George W. Bush for spying on Americans, now has the very same agency collecting massive amounts of information about American Citizens. Claiming his administration "strikes the right balance", he suddenly seems to know an awful lot about something he said initially he didn't know was happening! On top of all this, there are a number of members of Congress, including many RINOs, who don't see a problem with all this data collection.
Susan Rice - She either lied about Benghazi, or was too stupid to realize what she was saying didn't hold water. She's now been appointed National Security Adviser.
In light of all the above, here's a couple of things you need to come away with:
First, this is either the most incompetent administration in history because nobody appears to know what's going on, or this is the most corrupt administration in history. Either one is really bad!
Secondly, and here's the main point: Neither Barack Obama, any of the members of his cabinet, any of his appointees, any civil service employee, or any combination of the above - none of them are qualified to be God. Yet, over the years, we've allowed them God-like powers over our lives, and over the last weeks and months the curtain has been pulled back just enough that we can see that monster pulling the strings on the other side.
So, here's my question: Have you had enough? Apparently, we really are that stupid.
Friday, May 17, 2013
As the IRS scandal bubbled to the top today with hearings on Capitol Hill, I saw some comments on Facebook along the lines of "if people weren't doing evil, we wouldn't have to do anything about it." What? If people weren't doing evil?
One of the few things I disagreed with Ronald Reagan on was his belief in the "basic goodness of man". Sorry, Mr. Reagan, but that's not the way it works. Man is inherently evil, and deep down inside we all know this. That's why we're wary of other people and their motives. What man does want is not to be acted upon by the evil of others, so he makes rules for others to follow. Note that he doesn't necessarily want to follow those rules himself, but he sure wants everyone else to follow them! Congress has, of course, taken this to its logical destination by exempting themselves from most of the rules they make for us to follow. It was not designed that way.
When the Founders were faced with forming a new governmental system, they were faced with this question: Can man rule himself? Unfortunately, their answer was "no"! So why bother? What they realized was this: The rules men set up for others eventually apply, at least in some fashion, to themselves. In other words, if I say you cannot read my mail, then you probably say the same thing. At some point we agree that nobody should read anyone else's mail, and we set up a set of disincentives to prevent this. Thus, I know that if I do read your mail I will receive a punishment that causes me to stay away from your mail. In other words, we are all accountable to each other.
Into this mix, throw a government. Governments are made up of inherently evil people, except now they have power. This scared the daylights out of the men who had just fought off an oppressive government. Were they really going to turn around a create another? They hoped not. So, they sought ways to make the government accountable to the people and, more importantly, to itself. This was a radical change from all governments that had come before. They created a system where no one branch of government could act unilaterally but had to have at least one other branch in agreement, and that all branches were accountable to the citizens they served, not ruled! It wasn't perfect, but it worked - at least for a while. The problem still remains, though: Humans will be evil.
We were warned. "for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" - Romans 3:23. "This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead". - Ecclesiastes 9:3. It was this understanding that made the Founders wary of government, and though they realized some government was necessary, they were very afraid of what it might turn into.
Flash forward to the 20th century. The 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed allow the government to directly tax individuals in a way that had been prohibited by the original Founders. In order to keep up with these taxes, they created an new agency, innocuously named the "Internal Revenue Service". Over the years, in order for "the Service to do its job", court rulings, legal authority, rules and regulations, and enforcement authority was eventually granted to the IRS that made it into the behemoth it is today. The IRS has powers that no other government agency has. At the IRS, you are guilty until proven innocent. You are required to sign, annually, a document that carries with it the threat of perjury - jail, that is - and you don't have any choice. Try not filing your taxes some time and see how that works out for you. In no other endeavour in America are you forced to sign something that might contain false information, and if that information is accidental, you are assumed to have done it on purpose, and you must prove otherwise. It is exactly the situation the Founders feared, and we are now the ones witnessing the logical end of creating such a powerful entity.
Now that the IRS scandal is here, we have a golden opportunity to set at least this perversion of our Constitution right. The 16th Amendment was a colossal mistake. It should be repealed and the IRS disbanded. So, if that happens, how does the government obtain the funds it needs to operate? It's called the Fair Tax. Rather than explain it here, take a look a this link at fairtax.org that explains it better than I could.
One more thing. I am still not convinced that the IRS scandal, the AP wiretaps, and a couple of other minor "scandals" are nothing more than diversions to get the press off of the Benghazi disaster. What they all do, though, is point out how inept, and worse criminal, this Administration is. America, this is the hope and change you voted for. You'll get a chance next year to try again. How 'bout we get it right this time. In the meantime, let's "not let this crisis go to waste" as Rahm Emmanual would say. Let's get rid of the 16th Amendment, dismantle the IRS, and pass the Fair Tax. Call your Senators and Representatives today!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Just like in Watergate in the early 70's, and Clinton/Lewinski in the 90's, the truth is coming out on the Benghazi affair, and as expected, lies are stacked upon lies. Mark Alexander has a great article in today's Patriot Post Digest about this and all should read it.
So, now that we're beginning to find the actual truth about what happened in Libya last year, what lessons can we begin to gleam from these revelations? Well, the first thing I can think of is that we need a competent Administration in Washington - one that would immediately put people like Gregory Hicks back into a position of responsibility. Hicks is one of the men who told the truth to Congress this week, and because of his willingness to put what's right for America ahead of his career, was summarily demoted. Knowing that Hillary was in charge at the time in the State Department, it's a wonder he's not saying "hello" to Vince Foster right about now!
Another thing we know about is the campaign ad that the Republican National Committee pulled at the last minute in last year's election depicting Clinton as receiving the actual 2:00 a.m. phone call she pounded on Obama about in the 2008 election. The 2008 version was a campaign ad, but the one she received from Hicks last year was real. What did she do? Nothing - just like her boss.
I've advocated for a long time that Conservatives need to get in the game and give as good as they get. The great thing about this is we don't need to lie, or even to shade the truth, because the HAVE the truth! The problem is that we just don't tell it forcefully enough. Far too long we've let liberals, so-called moderates, and, even worse, RINOs (or, more accurately CINO's - Conservatives in Name Only) berate us into not being as forceful as we should.
The truth is that Americans crave leadership. They crave people who will stand straight, tell the truth, and not back down. Remember Joe Wierzbicki - a.k.a Joe the Plumber? He had the courage to stand up to Obama in his front yard and not back down. I have a lot of respect for Joe the Plumber, and read his mailing list posts often. There was another Joe - Joe Wilson - who you may remember blurted out "You lie!" during the President's address to Congress - and in doing so simply telling the truth. He apologized. Now, why I can understand apologizing to the Congress for disrupting the proceedings, he should not apologize for telling the truth - The President lies!!
People, if we don't stand, nobody will. The left is determined and unafraid. They don't mind telling lies because they know if they told the truth Americans would have them all committed for being insane (liberalism is, after all, a mental illness!). We, however, not only have the truth on our side, but we have all their lies to pick from! What should be a bonanza is just a political farce.
Now, it's no secret we can't depend on our Senators and Representatives to stand for the truth because, after all, they're politicians - not an honorable profession. Would to God we had Statesmen! No, it's up to you and me, and everyone we can influence, to stand for the truth. The Bible tells us "the truth shall set you free". That has been the lesson of history. So the question now becomes:
Do you really want to be free???
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands 183.27 feet over the town if Pisa, Italy, and is one of the best known sites in the world. Construction began in 1173, and was finally completed in 1372 when the bell-chamber was added. Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning "marshy land"! So, it's no wonder that it started leaning almost immediately after construction began, and is now 17 feet out of plumb, and leaning further another 1/20 of an inch each year. If nothing is done, the tower will fall, and its fall will be great!
The preceding paragraph was the opening of our Pastor's sermon this morning where he used Jesus' parable of the house built on sand in Matthew 7 to talk about the foundation on which our lives should be built. As I contemplated his sermon on the way home, I began thinking about not only our individual lives, but the life of our nation and how out of plumb it has become. The question you have to ask yourself is "Am I out of plumb? Did I get that way because of a faulty foundation?"
Ask yourself another question: How does something start leaning? You would think that a town named after marshes would give the builders some clue as to the foundation needed to under-gird any structure there, but as it turns out, the tower had only a 10-foot foundation - not hardly enough for a 7 story building, even on firm ground! So, it's obvious the problem there was a faulty foundation from the start. However, there are other ways to topple a building. A devastating enough storm could topple any building. An sufficiently large outside force against one side of a building would topple it. Or, you could simply alter the foundation on which it was built.
In 1789 our Constitution was ratified by the states, and went into effect in March of that year. The result of the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention that gave us the document upon which all our laws are supposedly based was a marvel of its time. The only time, besides the Congress of 1776 and the Convention of 1787, that this many intelligent men were in the same room was when Christ was assembled with his Apostles in the upper room (and you could have left off the Apostles and the result would have been the same!). The foundation of our government was based in no small part on the Gospel of Christ, the precepts of the Bible, and on related writings and thought down through time. The basis of our society is that our rights are given by God, and only God can revoke them.
Down through the year, though, men have "fiddled" with the foundation. The Congress has passed laws, and some Constitutional Amendments; the Courts have issued rulings; Presidents have issued orders; and the result of all of this has been to erode the foundation of our Country - the Constitution - and ultimately the precepts upon which it was based. This is true, largely, because We the People allowed it.
Consequently, we now live in a society that has a flawed foundation. The concept of "case law", where laws are based on previous court rulings rather than measured against the Constitution, as well as deeply flawed rulings and regulations issued at all levels of our government, have all conspired to move us away from and to alter that original foundation. Additionally, and more importantly, individual Americans have drifted away from the Truth - that God is God of all, regardless of whether you believe like I do or not, and man cannot change that. Man can only suffer the consequences of our own actions, and when we do, somehow, we manage to blame God for the results.
In the Year of our Lord, 2013, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we are a nation out of plumb. How much? Well, about 224 years worth. Like the Tower, repairing our nation will take massive repairs to our foundation, or again, like the tower, we will fall, and that fall will be great. Every nation down through history that has been out of plumb with God has fallen. He has graciously allowed us to continue without falling, but like in all of history, his patience may be running out.
So here's my question: How do you stand? If measured against the plumb line of God, how do you measure up? And, more importantly, what are you going to do about it? Our nation is only as good as our citizens. Therein lies our problem!
Where are you in that mix?