By Fred Meekins
To the undiscerning, environmentalism connotes an effort by the selfless and altruistic to save the planet and create a better quality of life for all creatures dwelling upon it. However, closer scrutiny reveals these efforts are little more than a front to impose near total control upon the lives of average citizens.
According to the April 24th editorial appearing in suburban Maryland's Prince George's Journal, most Americans would be shocked to learn that, in the minds of some, our obligations to the biosphere transcend the perennial dilemma between paper or plastic. Some green radicals contend these responsibilities ought to impact and reshape every facet of existence.
The Journal editorial lists a number of these suggestions available at a website called checklists.com. Among these include picking up other people's litter, living in smaller houses, or renting rooms out to others if you own a larger home, using public transportation, and not going out as often.
In other words, the only way to save the environment is through the diminution of personal freedom and one's sense of individuality. Each of the suggestions above requires that we relinquish control over our own lives to various communal authorities.
For example, relying on mass transportation means having less control over when one goes out and where one goes. Living in more compact residential arrangement means neighbors will be able to get into your business to a greater degree, especially when they share housing with you.
A common tenet regarding public policy contends that today's voluntary guideline will eventually become tomorrow's mandatory regulation. In the future, citizens will probably be compelled to dwell in collective housing units, no doubt being encouraged to report to the authorities any "counterrevolutionary" attitudes found among their housemates longing for the individualism of the good ole days.
Employees at the University of Maryland will soon be subject to seeing this kind of process first hand. A memo was distributed detailing an upcoming transportation survey conducted by the University's Department of Environmental Safety to determine how many employees ay the College Park campus use alternative modes of transportation and why some insist of committing eco-atrocities by driving alone to work.
Frankly, it's nobody's business how someone gets to work, whether one rides in on a mule cart or hovers in by jetpack. Most employees aren't provided a palatial mansion on campus like that enjoyed by the school's President.
The memo reads, "Your responses will be integral to developing incentives and improving transportation services to the campus." In other words, this is no mere exercise at information collection. This information will be used to impact the lives of university employees, no doubt punishing those who continue to pursue their lives apart from the collective. Students at the University's School of Architecture have already drawn up plans to redesign the campus into an "auto-free" school zone.
Maybe University President Dan Mote has a few rooms he can spare in that mansion the school provides him. Since us dumb regular folk are supposed to surrender living space, shouldn't the same sacrifice be made of those deemed to be society's leaders?
Often government officials couch these kinds of issues not even related to the missions of their assorted agencies in terms henceforward causing them to fall within their respective jurisdictions.
For example, in Picture Maryland (Where Do We GO From Here?): A Citizen's Guide to Shaping the Future of Maryland, published by the State Department of Natural Resources with funds from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the ubiquitous environmental boogieman urban sprawl has been cast as a public health threat since it is blamed for increased reliance upon automobiles which supposedly leads to the epidemics of obesity and cardiovascular disease and social pathologies such as traffic accidents and sedentary lifestyles.
If the response to the current hoof and mouth crisis sweeping Europe is to serve as any indication, governments are exceedingly quick to use these kinds of challenges as an excuse to rein in their populations through excessive control. Maryland has already canceled an upcoming 4-H rally out of fear of this pestilence. For the geographically challenged, it should be rembered that Maryland isn't even in Europe.
In the future, Americans could find themselves forced out of their homes into the tight confines of eco-hamlets with their neighbors on grounds as preposterous as a spate of consecutive bad air days or a region's consumption of too many fossil fuels.
To combat urban sprawl, the State of Maryland suggests that residents be initially motivated through a series of carrot and stick incentives such as tax credits to find places of residence in the communities in which they work.
Yet before being kicked out by his old lady over a rumored affair with a staff member, Maryland Governor Paris Glendenning maintained a residence in the Maryland suburb University Park while the state's seat of government is nearly 20 miles away in Annapolis. And the miles wracked up in such a commute violating one of the Governor's most cherished principles of public planning pale in comparison to those wasted ferrying him to pointless public appearances.
The Journal editorial concludes, "If you've got to mess with all these little things, the least the federal government, oil companies, and so forth can do is to stop running those commercials with the uplifting music and start following checklists of their own."
Once politicians and other public personalities are compelled to comply with the same standards they seek to impose upon the average citizen, Americans will miraculously discover that the environment is not quite as bad as originally estimated.
Copyright 2001 by Frederick B. Meekins
Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
Students of political science would be forced to conclude that the field of international relations is a discipline fraught with bizarre irony and stunning contradiction. This is no where as evident as it is at the United Nations.
Both American policymakers and the general public fell victim to this reality in the controversy surrounding the expulsion of the United States from various UN panels such as the Commission on Human Rights and the International Narcotics Control Board.
One almost doesn't know whether to laugh or cry being that these decisions are both a blessing in disguise and a cause for concern all at the same time.
For too long, the United States has drifted along in a state of blissful denial or outright complacency as to the maniacal hootenanny taking place under the auspices of the United Nations.
The United States has been booted off these international bodies largely because of this nation's refusal to submit fully to the yoke of the globalist agenda and for mustering some courage with the advent of the Bush administration to stand up to this planetary nonsense to a limited degree.
It has been speculated that the U.S. is being punished for challenging UN initiatives regarding issues such as the International Criminal Court, the effort to abolish landmines, and the Kyoto global warming treaty --- all of which the United States has rational grounds for opposing.
Yet this dispute between the United States and the United Nations runs deeper than these significant but peripheral policy disputes. These disagreements merely scratch the surface of the ideological chasm festering between these two geopolitical powerhouses.
Increasingly, freedom lovers everywhere find two opposing interpretations as to the nature of human rights competing for prominence in the world at large.
On the one hand can be found the traditional Western view held by the majority of decent upright Americans adhering to the Judeo-Christian worldview that fundamental rights and liberties are granted by God to the individual as an inherent protection against the intrusive tendencies of governments as well as other individuals.
Those holding an opposing standard contend that rights --- or rather social privileges --- are granted by government and are subject to modification, curtailment, or even outright abolition in pursuit of a regime`s particular agenda.
It is this conflict between the differing conceptions of personal liberty that has gotten the United States kicked off the UN panels where the statist interpretation of human rights have come to predominate.
A rundown of the Commission's membership will bear this assertion out. Perusing the Commission's rolls is like taking a tour down Dick Tracy's Rogue's Gallery on an international level.
The primary power wanting the U.S. off the Commission was none other than our esteemed "strategic partner" Red China, a nation renowned for its overwhelming devotion to the welfare of the individual. The Communist government there has slaughtered millions in pursuit of dubious ends as epitomized by that county's Great Cultural Revolution. Forced abortions and religious persecution of believing Christians continues in that nation to this very day.
Another paragon of inalienable rights guiding the Commission to ever higher plateaus of individual emancipation is Saudi Arabia. In that particular land of opportunity, women aren't even allowed to drive cars and those who convert from Islam to another faith are rewarded by having their heads lopped off.
One will realize just how ludicrous the decision to remove the United States from the Commission really is once they learn that the seat belonging to the beacon of hope to the world in this life was given to Sudan. Thus a nation where children are sold into the bondage of slavery for simply belonging to the "wrong" religion has been elevated as a better example to the world than the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Even the more enlightened and civilized nations on the Human Rights Commission leave something to be desired in their interpretation of fundamental rights and liberties.
For example, in Canada one can run afoul of the law for speaking out against homosexuality and a number of Evangelicals have been subject to criminal prosecution there for distributing literature critical of other religions. Other industrialized democracies on the Human Rights Commission such as France, Germany, and even the United Kingdom have laws unduly hampering religious and individual expression.
A number of those opposed to the controversial agenda being pursued by the United Nations have suggested that now is the perfect time to get out of this planetary bureaucracy in light of this slap across the face of the United States since the UN largely pursues an anti-American agenda at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
Rather it is the time to rally goodhearted people to the side of our cause rather than to run from the fight. Edmund Burke is credited with saying that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.
The only thing protecting the people of the world from the full wrath of the diabolical intentions of the United Nations is the love of freedom and concern for justice found at the heart of the American spirit. Without this influence, such evil would know no bounds.
Without an American presence to temper its decisions, the Human Rights Commission has continued its downward spiral of propagating policies inimical to a true understanding of human rights.
Soon after banishing the United States, the Commission proceeded to bar nongovernmental organizations such as the Family Research Council and the Simon Weisenthal Center from providing input regarding the work of the Commission because of the practice of these associations to speak out against atrocities around the world.
According to the May 17, 2001 Washington Times, it is becoming increasingly difficult for such watchdog organizations to get the bureaucratic clearance necessary to participate in UN forums and meetings. Joanna Weschler of Human Rights Watch points out in the article that repressive governments have been emboldened to deny the right petition to organizations opposed to the totalitarian style of administration since Sudan successfully banished the abolitionist Christian Solidarity International from participating at UN functions nearly two years ago.
Unless America stands its ground, things will only get worse. According to the radio news program "Point of View with Marlin Maddoux", UN "peacekeepers" in Sudan threatened to use helicopter gunships on missionaries trying to deliver Bibles to Christian refuges in that beleaguered country. Perhaps such military force should be brought to bear against Sudan's radical Islamic government when that regime decides to drop bombs as it has done in the past on Samaritan's Purse hospitals, the relief organization administered by Billy Graham's son Franklin.
These outrages are nothing compared to what the UN has in store for the world in general and America in particular if the institution could ever avail itself of such an opportunity.
For example, it is the ultimate goal of the United Nations to establish an independent standing army financed through taxation extracted from all international commercial transactions. And with the threat of force, even nations who might otherwise oppose such globalist nonsense could eventually be forced to comply or face military occupation, with their citizens subject to the same kinds of laws governing the most brutal nations of earth.
It is therefore imperative for the United States to remain active within the United Nations for the time being if for no other reason than to try and hold this Hobbesian leviathan at bay along with its proposals of perdition.
It would do good indeed for the United States to disentangle itself from the snares set by these world bodies whose intentions stretch far beyond the aversion of global war and the maintenance of amicable relations between nations. However, the United States must not leave the table with its back turned to such a den of cutthroats and vipers. The United States, not the United Nations, must be the last one standing on the world stage in reference to this planetary showdown.
In the movie "Star Wars", immediately prior to entering the scene in the sleazy bar Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." Such words of wisdom are quite apropos regarding America's relationship to the United Nations.
Copyright 2001 by Frederick B. Meekins
G.K. Chesterton noted that the problem when people no longer believe in God is not so much that that they will no longer believe in anything but that the possibility exists for them to believe in everything that comes along. Being that the Bible is God's revelation to mankind, nearly the same degree of theological confusion results when this corrosive kind of skepticism is directed at His word rather than as a frontal assault upon the personage of God Almighty instead. Often the result is an inversion of moral norms and the arbitrary exercise of power without reference to any kind of eternal standard.
One denomination in which the religious observer can see these issues being played out in real life is the Episcopal Church with a concrete example available in the Diocese of Washington. In this particular ecclesiastical jurisdiction it is apparently okay to embrace revolutionary theological innovations but inappropriate to uphold many of the traditions of the Christian faith.
According to the Washington Times, a major development is festering at Christ Church in Acokeek, Maryland that may expose just how petty and fickle the leadership of this denomination has become.
Reverend Samuel L. Edwards has come under a scathing degree of scrutiny there regarding his positions on matters of ecclesiology or church administration. Rev. Edwards opposes the ordination of women.
As such, this steps on the toes of Washington's female bishop Jane Dixon. It may come as a surprise, but it is not the liberal proponents of toleration and enlightenment advocating compromise in this dispute.
Reverend Edwards, while continuing to stand behind his convictions against female pastors, would agree to allowing Bishop Dixon to visit the congregation provided she did not administer communion. Such middle ground does not sit well with the lady bishop, claiming Edwards' obedience to her would be "limited".
The last time I checked, the only one owed unquestioning absolute obedience was Jesus Christ. Somehow I must have missed out on Bishop Dixon's monumental promotion.
According to the Washington Times, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank Griswold supports Dixon's opposition by labeling Rev. Edwards a "schismatic" whom Griswold would not allow into his diocese if Griswold was a diocesan bishop.
Though it is an exegetical stretch, one could make a semi-plausible argument allowing for female clergy. Since passages such as I Timothy 2:12 ("...suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man...") and Galatians 3:28 ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ.") could possibly lead to a difference of opinion, shouldn't the Episcopal hierarchy allow for differing views on this subject if it is going to market the church as a bastion of theological tolerance since allowing women preachers rests on shakier hermeneutical grounds to begin with?
There are greater dangers arrayed against the spiritual health of the Episcopal Church than a single pastor adhering to the traditional understanding of certain Biblical passages. One would think that the Episcopal leadership could find bigger theological fish to fry being there are those within the denomination in general and the Washington Diocese in particular promoting perspectives blatantly opposed to God's Scriptural plan for mankind.
For while the current leadership of the Episcopal Church wants to brand pastors opposed to female ordination as heretics, those advocating homosexuality are given free rein and even run the show. At the heart of the Episcopal leadership's pro-homosexual efforts is Integrity USA.
According to the group's "Statement of Integrity Regarding Safe and/or Welcoming Congregations" available on their website, an "unsafe" church is one that claims to be traditional or orthodox in doctrine and dares to call sin "sin". Likewise, safe and healthy churches are those that do not dictate how God manifests His work in the world, instead advocating a kind of "theological pragmatism".
In other words, at such churches you can pretty much do as you want. One wonders why members of such congregations even bother to show up Sunday morning. Needless to say there is not much need for help in the nursery being that gays aren't exactly known for the highest birth rates.
The Integrity USA statement goes on to liken homosexuals to "God's canaries", their treatment serving as a barometer to the poison of injustice percolating throughout the air of society. This makes about as much sense as saying that God made drunks to warn us when the grape juice turns sour or that thieves exist to enforce compulsory charity.
While such sentiments do not represent the sentiments of all Episcopalians, they do represent those persecuting the God-fearing among their ranks such as Rev. Samuel Edwards.
One might say that the Washington Diocese is intricately "linked" with Integrity USA since a link without editorial clarification exists between the webpages of the Washington Diocese and Integrity USA.
Furthermore, at least one congregation in the Washington Diocese that I am aware of, St. George's in Glenn Dale, Maryland, is an unabashedly homosexual congregation, with the pastor accounted among the membership of this particular lifestyle. The church's webpage even lists the name of the pastor's male "companion".
Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no not one..." Most of us struggle to keep our most shameful transgressions between ourselves and God. Everyone struggles with sin, but the line has been crossed and there is something seriously wrong when these sins come to be seen as some kind of virtue to be proud of differentiating the individual in a positive way from the remainder of the population. Can you imagine a church webpage proudly announcing to the world the name of the pastor's mistress or what liquor store he prefers to frequent?
Unfortunately, the leadership of the Washington Diocese does not seem content to let these excursions into apostasy remain confined to a few loony congregations. It seems to be their intent to drag down any parish they can sink their fangs into. According to the Times article, the diocesan placement officer, Rev. Ted Karpf, has been accused of actively stacking the pastoral deck against conservatives in favor of liberal and homosexual candidates.
Most Americans would no doubt find this example of the inmates running the asylum appalling. However, heretics wielding power are hardly anything new for the Episcopal Church.
Frankly, one can find little difference between the thought of retired Bishop Shelby Spong and Madalyn Murray O'Hare. But whereas Mrs. O'Hare excelled in presenting her atheism in blunt terms, the Episcopal apostates have done a better job in packaging their unbelief in terms more palatable to an unsuspecting religious public.
Much of this nonsense once paraded itself under the banner of the "Death of God" movement. Episcopal thinkers such as Rev. James A. Pike contributed to this philosophical trend that sought to have its theological cake and eat it too in the sense that these thinkers wanted the absolute autonomy found in atheism while maintaining the sense of psychological security provided by religious language.
According to Death of God ramblings, God is not the supernatural being found in the Bible creating, ordering, and sustaining the universe while overseeing the eternal well-being of mankind. Rather, God is simply the existence of the universe itself. And even if God was more a personality like the deity postulated by traditional Judeo-Christian theism, like a grown child, man no longer needs the love and oversight of a Heavenly Father. Everyone is free to hoe their own existential road.
Such a worldview might allow certain ecclesiastical authorities to excuse their personal shortcomings and to justify their socially questionable agendas. However, in the end such a nihilistic free-for-all ultimately undermines the authority of those endeavoring to establish such controlled anarchy as the prevailing epistemological dogma.
For if one denies clearly revealed Biblical doctrines, on what grounds do you invoke others?
For example, Bishop Dixon contends she cannot allow Rev. Edwards to assume the rectory of Christ Church because his obedience to her would allegedly be limited. But if Bishop Dixon and her clerical cohorts are going to take a flippant attitude towards Biblical admonitions not to their liking, then why should Rev. Edwards be required to yield to their baseless authority?
The power of churches and that of their administrative prelates possesses no valid authority apart from where these institutions adhere to Scripture. While unity within the body of Christ is essential, that unity above all must be based on absolute truth or it is based on some kind of spiritual tyranny even if such rule is not of a violent nature but merely reverence paid to human power for power's sake.
William Lind of the Free Congress Foundation begins his novel Victoria set in the year 2050 with the burning at the stake of the female Episcopal Bishop of Maine. While such an action should probably best remain in the realm of literary symbolism, such a metaphor does serve as a powerful call to action.
Whether God-fearing Episcopalians organize to drive these malfeasant "churchpeople" from office or withdrawal from the denomination all together as some have speculated the Christ Church congregation might do is a matter of individual conscience. But regardless of one's personal decision in reference to this vexing issue, each and every Christian is obligated to stand against this kind of iniquity being propagated in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Copyright 2001 by Frederick B. Meekins
"Rector Selector Part II: The Diocese Strikes Back"
Often human resource decisions are seen as mundane administrative matters causing most of us to yawn. However, those involved with the selection of the rector of Christ Church --- an Episcopal congregation in Accokeek, Maryland --- are learning that these kinds of management issues can ignite broader cultural and philosophical debates, with this particular case reverberating all the way to the June 4, 2001 opinion page of the Washington Post.
The purpose of the Church in the world is to bring worship and glory to Christ by serving as an institutional forum where believers can come to learn about the application of their Biblical faith to their daily lives and where they can come together with the spiritualy curious to learn about the God of the Bible made known in Jesus Christ.
If unsuspecting worshippers were to attend the kind of church detailed by the rector of Washington, DC's St. Columba Episcopal Church, James M. Donald, they might instead get an unhealthy introduction to the god of this world and the spirit of the age as manifested by the radical tolerance disrupting much of Western society. Those in attendance would also see the hypocrisy of those making this the highest value.
Rev. Donald writes, "One of the greatest strengths of the Anglican tradition ... is that we do not define doctrine to closely." He goes on to clarify, "...we have no central teaching magisterium that hands down interpretations or dogmas. We have no rigid or literal interpretation of scripture."
If that is the case, then the leadership of the Washington Diocese has clearly overstepped the bounds of its authority. It has also indicated that this outpost of the Church of England has failed miserably in comprehending the English language.
In saying that the church has no rigid interpretation of Scripture or centralized teaching authority, by definition the Accokeek congregation should be free to select the "clergyperson" of their choice --- even those of aberrant theology. Thus, Rev. Edwards ought to be entitled to his convictions no matter how tight they tie the lady bishop's clerical collar into a knot.
Rev. Donald goes on to lament, "Discipline in the church is at stake, including the matter of whether a priest who takes an ordination vow to submit to its doctrine, discipline, and worship must submit to direct instructions from his or her bishop."
But if the Episcopal Church refuses to admit that any eternally-binding standard exists beyond some wishy-washy blather about "open-mindedness", "relationships", and "community", why should anyone care about any of these things when the Bible is tossed aside like last week's TV Guide? In such instances, these concerns then ultimately boil down to personal and pragmatic preferences, to use Rev Donald's own terms, "adrift in the sea of cultural influences."
This puts the Episcopal Church in a very dangerous ethical position. Possessing no solid moral foundation, the best the Episcopal hierarchy can muster to support their argument is a relativism of shifting majorities.
Rev. Donald writes, "...the present contention between Accokeek and the bishop is supported by about 40 parishioners. That is 40 out of 40,000 in the Diocese of Washington, one-tenth of one percent."
Frankly, what of it? Moral disputes do not find resolution through the law of averages. Applying such a paradigm, Episcopal clergy would be at a loss should the majority of their congregants one day see nothing wrong in beating their kids or keeping their wives chained to the washing-machine in the basement.
As such, that is why Rev. Edwards has been deemed a threat by staying in the church even though the only thing Rev Edwards means by gumming up the works is upholding the faith once delivered unto the saints.
Perhaps the denomination's leaders could be a little more forthcoming about the kinds of opinions they consider to express mainline Christianity. As far back as 1968, John Stormer in his classic The Death of a Nation chronicled the kind of nonsense passed off as sound preachment in some Episcopal circles as evidenced by the following quote from a chaplain at a Baltimore school in 1964: "Sex is fun... There are no rules of the game so to speak... And anyone who tells you that there are may be guilty of mistaking social and cultural custom for divine sanction or for what is sometimes called natural law." One can only cringe at the thought of how much worse things have gotten since then.
Taken in light of this evidence, for Episcopal authorities to charge Rev. Edwards as an obscurantist endangering the cause of Christian unity is much akin to the pot calling the kettle black.
Rev Donald writes of the dispute, "...to a world that loves a good scandal, the church looks ridiculous." The only ones looking ridiculous are a bunch of scatterbrained theologians standing around playing church who comprehend neither God's revelation to mankind nor the logical inconsistencies contained within their own words.
Copyright 2001 by Frederick B. Meekins
For additional commentary by this author and links to stories around the Internet, please check out the following: <A HREF="http://americanworldview.tripod.com">The American WorldView Dispatch</A>.
Thomas Hayward’s Pledge of Honor
Just released after serving a year in a British prison, Thomas Hayward clung to the mossy rudder of the ship after falling over-board. As he shouted for help and prayed his shouts would be heard, he thought about how his troubles had begun with the pledge which he and 55 other men had signed. At the time, neither young Thomas or any of the other men likely realized how truly dangerous their new venture was, nor how many of them would actually lose everything they owned and imperil their lives because of their pledge.
When the crew on deck finally heard him and hauled him back on board, Thomas tried to stifle the cry of pain as his skin and muscles were stretched across the large bullet wound he had received when he was arrested the previous year. But he knew he could count himself blessed that he was even alive to feel the pain - nine of the other men who had signed the pledge were not as fortunate.
He tried to convince himself he was one of the fortunate few: alive, basically healthy, able to go back home and start over. But at the thought of home a fiercer pain than the one caused by the bullet wound struck him, the heartwrenching pain he felt when he contemplated the emptiness of going back to a house that was no longer a home, a house without his cheerful and accomplished wife who had died while he was in prison. He knew also that while he was in prison all of his workers had been sent away and anything that wasn’t nailed down at his in-town office and the country place his dad had left him had been seized by the government.
He couldn’t really complain, though. He had known the risks and he knew the same and worse had happened to some of the other men. Charles Carroll, a fellow who was pretty well off, knew the danger right when he signed the pledge. As he put his pen to the paper he blithely said, “There go a few millions.” Richard Stockton had signed the pledge with his son-in-law, Dr. Rush, and it was only three months later that he was arrested. After his arrest the government moved him from one sub-standard jail and holding tank to another, keeping him one step ahead of his friends and family who kept petitioning for his release. The government ignored their pleas, leveled his house and seized his property. Stockton died in jail, broken and broke at age fifty.
Thomas thought of the others whose homes were also destroyed by the government: William Ellery; Lewis Morris, Josiah Bartlett, George Clymer, Lymall Hall, John Hart, William Floyd, William Hooper, Francis Hopkinson, and Arthur Middleton.
George Walton, a young lawyer like Thomas who gave up the practice of law to oppose the government, was also shot, arrested and tossed in prison. For that matter, Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge, two of Thomas’ close friends who signed the pledge at the same time he did, were arrested at the same time as Thomas and served sentences in the same British prison.
And then there was poor Frank Lewis. He wasn’t poor in a money way - he had retired from business a wealthy man and he had plenty of that. But after he had signed the pledge, the government came to his Long Island mansion and arrested his wife as a co-conspirator. She was held in a cell with no bed and forced to sleep on the cold floor. She was not a young woman and she took sick. After a long while, the government released her but she continued to get worse and died shortly after getting out of jail.
Sometimes Thomas wondered whether it was worth all the hurt and heartache, the death, loss and imprisonment. He believed so, he hoped so, he trusted in the Lord that it was so and that he had made the right decision. There had been enough time for he and the other 55 men to back out if they’d wanted to. They had voted on the language of the pledge during a heat wave in early July, and John Hancock had been the only one of them gutsy enough to sign that draft version. And it wasn’t until August that the final version came back from the printers and the rest of them lined up and began to sign it - one by one, quietly, solemnly, knowing but yet not really believing that they might be signing their own death warrant. Out of caution, and yes, maybe fear, even after they had all signed they still did not release their pledge to the public until January in ’77, not till after General Washington had won his first solid battle victory at Trenton, New Jersey, the day after Christmas in 1776.
“Was it worth it?”, Thomas pondered again. It was, he knew, and even as he stood dripping on the deck of that ship taking him from a British prison in St. Augustine, Florida back to his home in Charleston, South Carolina, it was obvious, it was…well, like they had said, it was “self-evident.” When the government of King George had consistently violated the written law and the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, when the King kept refusing to see that they were free not because he permitted them to be, but because God had made men free, they knew someone had to have the courage to stand up and say to the King, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-"
They wanted to affirm to themselves, to each other and to all who would read their Declaration of Independence that they were not merely making a statement of policy or persuasion but that they were giving voice to an eternal truth which they cherished more than anything else. They ended their Declaration by signing this final pledge: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Some of the 56 men who signed that pledge lost their lives, others their fortunes, but none, not one, lost his sacred Honor.
Due to the courage and the foresight of those men, we now live in a nation which has the ability to be in a constant state of peaceful revolution. We no longer need to wage war to effect change when a form of government becomes destructive to the unalienable right of the governed: now we can go to court to redress our grievances or we can simply ask our elected officials to represent us in the legislature to change the offending laws. If they do not do so, we can vote out unresponsive elected officials and put in new officials - a new government - in their place.
The phrase “unalienable Rights” means rights which cannot be sold, conveyed, transferred, stolen, given or taken away, but because of our own desires for comfort and convenience, and our government’s innate desire for control, we often forget or ignore that self-evident truth. As you celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, honor the memories of the 56 men who freely gave so much so that we could enjoy the freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our Creator.
CREATION AND EVOLUTION
Some recent fossil finds in China claimed to offer proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs. At least one of them was almost immediately proven to be an intentional fraud. In the last hundred years the pathway of evolutionists has been strewn with gross errors, intentional frauds and almost idiotic logic. Probably the record would go to "Nebraska Man" . A fictitious tribe of ape men that roamed the plains of Nebraska over a million years ago. was attributed to, what later proved to be, a single pigs tooth. Or how about the idiotic statement by Dr. Stephen Jay Gould. that we know evolution is true because we are here. A real scientist. But if you are an avowed atheist you may have to resort to such logic. .
Recent polls reveal that most people believe both creation and evolution should be taught in schools. I have heard several debates by Dr. Duane Gish, Institute for Creation Research, and he has won them all.
Then why are our public schools and the news media so absorbed with evolution, not as a theory but as an accepted fact? Why are creationists not getting anywhere?
Consider the following. Darwin's survival of the fittest.
Certainly no one doubts its validity. How about the differences in the Galapagos finches? How about numerous examples of insects mutating to become resistant to DDT? Or microbes mutating to become resistant to certain medicines? Or speciation examples where a species population gets separated and each section evolves differently? How do you answer these and other evolution facts? The answer .is simple. DEFINE YOUR TERMS.
The use of the term "evolution" is intentionally misleading. It really consists of two parts, micro evolution and macro evolution. micro evolution involves minor changes within a species with no new genetic information and is really part of the creation belief. macro evolution involves a change to a new species with genetic information in the offspring that was not present in either parent. The real conflict then is not between creation and evolution but between creation and micro evolution on one side as opposed to macro evolution..
When viewed in this light it is obvious that all the previous so called proofs of evolution are merely micro evolution. and part of the creation belief. In fact there is not a single example of macro evolution in all of recorded history. All evidence provided for macro evolution is merely a bunch of bones which are purported to be descended from some other species. There is zero proof for such logic.
All creationists know this. So why don't they make a major issue of it. I don't know except some are apparently reluctant to accept any kind of evolution. Most evolutionists know this so why do they practically ban such discussions. Here the answer is plain. They don't want people to know the difference and that all their examples are merely micro evolution. . A recent publication by the National Academy, of Sciences on teaching evolution in the schools doesn't even mention the terms.
If the word evolution were never permitted in a scientific
discussion without specifying micro evolution or macro evolution, creationism would soon gain a great victory. Wake up creationists.
The politics of the past no longer work
By Martha Dudley
It seems disingenuous for partisan liberals to gripe about legislative gridlock without acknowledging their own party's obstructionist tactics. These are the true politics of the past, and democrats own them.
They can't get over the fact that Virginians broke the left wing stranglehold on our state eight years ago. We now look to Republicans to keep Virginia moving forward and continue the commonsense progress achieved under George Allen and Jim
Virginia has changed while democrats are scrambling back to the leftist rhetoric of their past, failed politics. One notable difference in this year's campaign is that it is more difficult for democrats to lob their standard classwarfare rhetoric, since their own candidate for governor, Mark Warner, is "Mark with the millions."
It's not surprising that Warner has distanced himself from his own party by saying that he doesn't consider himself to be a democrat, he only wants to be governor. However, his message is failing to find an audience although though he spent
millions of dollars bombarding the public with Bubba ads for several months before his Republican opponent was even chosen.
The Republican candidate for governor, Former Attorney General Mark Earley, is simply more highly qualified to lead than Warner. There is no substitute for the political and practical experience that Earley has gained as the state's top lawyer where he managed an office of lawyers and dealt with diverse legislative issues.
Prior to being elected attorney general, Earley served in the Virginia Senate for more than a decade. Mark Earley's years of public service have been a real record of accomplishment and he is an effective, proven leader who has helped to build the
foundation for a better Virginia.
As columnist Bill Wheaton noted, 'The governorship is no place for onthejob training.' Virginia needs a leader who has shown that he will work to improve the lives of all Virginians.
Virginia needs "Mark with the mortgage." Virginia needs Mark Earley.
Pledge of Allegiance
By Mike Smith
" I pledge allegiance. . . " Beginning with these words, and for only slightly over one hundred years, millions of American school children have recited in classrooms all across the fruited plain a pledge which, while in some ways a good and central feature of what it means to be an American, in large part actually runs counter to the intentions of the Framers and ratifiers of the U. S. Constitution.
“To the flag” Since before Francis Scott Key penned the famous and later to be official National Anthem, The Star Splanged Banner, the flag has been the point of reference for loyalty to the nation that stood for constitutional government, morality and individual responsibility. Few could argue with rallying around that great symbol of unity in freedom for which we stand.
“Of the united States of America” Ever since the opening words of that same constitution “We the people” we have sworn loyalty to an entire people united in brotherly love and with zeal for a cause that this nation represents, freedom, loyalty and the “American Dream.”
“And to the Republic for which it stands” No problem here. We are a republic and not a democracy. Good thing neither Wilson nor Franklin Roosevelt wrote this.
“One nation” Now we’re in trouble. Of late many libertarians including the talk show commentator, Neal Boortz, are arguing that the notion of “one nation” while in some sense certainly true, was a deliberate ploy by the author of the pledge to get us to forget that we were peoples of 50 sovereign states united only under a limited constitution that respected that sovereignty. Of course, the late War of Yankee Aggression had already sealed the fate of the notion of states truly being sovereign. But the avowed purpose of the pledge, according to today's libertarians and states-righters, was to end for all times any such discussion of the secession that, they say, was clearly in the minds of the Framers.
In any event some libertarians are now either refusing to say the pledge - or expressing difficulty with it. Are they crazy? Wasn’t it the 1960's radicals who last refused to pledge loyalty to these United States?
Though reasons vary somewhat it is largely the notion of a government out of control — so divorced from the Constitution that it will likely take another civil war to get it back — that has these “extreme” conservatives rattled. Why pledge allegiance to this “occupying regime” which has imposed itself upon America? In response I ask the question, what are we pledging allegiance toanyway? Is it the real estate to which we owe fealty? Is the present government? Or is it to the ideal - represented by the flag - of constitutional government on the model of that proposed in the Declaration of Independence, confirmed in the Federalist Papers, and effectuated by the ratification of the Constitution by the States. .
Obviously it is not to a scrap of cloth called the flag, symbolic though it may be. Nor is it, I would argue, to the present occupying government of these diminishing-in-independence-states. The pledge belongs properly to the IDEAL of a nation of the united-yet-independent peoples of these 50-united-yet-independent states— living under a constitution which recognizes their rights as a free people. It is also to a society of which the government is only one, though an essential, part. A society, I would add, of a moral, independent, charitable people. It is to a people worthy of self-government.
In other words, it is a pledge to a lost ideal. We no longer have self-government because we no longer have a people worthy of it.
The “:under God” part is largely obsolete as the ACLU (Anti-Christian Commie Liberal Union) will eventually sue to have it removed from the pledge even as they have managed to remove the requirement to say the pledge at all. Now loyalty to government only, and not God, is required for public service.
“With liberty and justice for all” Depends upon your definition of liberty. Personal license to behave badly, especially when it annoys others, is a growing “right,” whilst liberty to pursue property rights shrinks. Justice now means “group rights” more than that which is due to each individual. And “for all” means for diverse groups of people(s) subdivided by race, ethnicity, age, “gender,” disability, illegal alien status, or sexual perversion. Christians or conservatives need not apply. In short, there is no longer an “all” to whom standards of justice or liberty apply. And no unifying principle.
So what is an unreconstructed southern conservative to do? I have come up with a new pledge that more accurately reflects the past reality of our constitutional regime:
“I pledge allegiance to the Constitution
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which is stands,
that recognizes our rights
given by God,
to live as free citizens of
Fifty Sovereign States,
with liberty and justice for all.
Now liberals might want to hear instead:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United Nations,
and to the Peoples’ Democracy
for which it stands
under Goverment our god,
with sexual freedom,
and unlimited license to "act out" our diverse lifestyles
and rich peoples’ property to share
amongst diverse and politically correct peoples,
and death to Christians and conservatives everywhere!
I am sure you, dear readers, can come up with other suggested versions.