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Archives                    Volume 1  No. 4               June 2000     

In this issue:

     Christian, Republican or both?

     "SOL's Smart, Schools Dumb?"

     How did so many people lose their logic?

 Christian, Republican or both?
Christian Republicans are frequently faced with a dilemma when it comes to elections.  Should we support the most moral candidate, the one most likely to win or simply always support a Republican ? The dilemma however is self induced when individuals do not have clear priorities in their own minds.  The solution, while fairly simple to state, may not be so simple to practice.
In all cases without exception Christians should put God and moral values above all else.  We cannot compromise even a little bit with honesty and integrity in our business or personal lives even though we may believe some deviation would be beneficial in the long run.  If we sincerely believe that God is first and understand that we are only responsible for our own actions while the final outcome is up to God, then all decisions will become much clearer.
The present Republican leadership does not have any such high ideals and in fact has lost much credibility since they openly put the party ahead of God.  There are many examples that reflect this change.  Probably the most glaring occurred over a year ago at a Republican Party meeting where a resolution was proposed to withhold all party funds from any candidate that was not pro-life. Incredibly the resolution was defeated primarily through the efforts of Republican Congessman Henry Hyde, alleged to be the most pro-life man in Congress.  Congressman Hyde wrote a letter stating it was more important for Republicans to retain control of Congress even if some were pro-abortion.
Unfortunately this has been a recurring theme in Republican politics. Support any candidate that calls themselves Republican regardless of their morality.  The lack of morality in candidates starts at the local level where all politicians gain initial name recognition, popularity and support.  When Tricia Messner tried to get a simple pro-life resolution through the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors it was defeated partly because abortion is not a local issue.  But morality should be an issue at all levels.
Refusing to address morality at local levels results in some politicians rising to prominent national stature before their views are widely known.  Christine Todd Whitman, Republican Governor of New Jersey is a case in point.  She never should have been supported by Republicans at any level.  She is strongly pro-abortion, even supports partial birth abortion, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for vice-president.
Governor George W. Bush has stated he would put no pro-life litmus test on any future Supreme Court nominees.  Yet the possible selection of three or four new Supreme Court justices during the next president's term is one of the arguments made by some pro-life organizations to support George W.  But is this a valid argument?  Some of the worst Supreme Court justices now serving were appointed by a Republican president and all were supported by the majority of Republican Senators.
The Big Tent concept created years ago for the Republicans is a disaster.  It was created to induce moral citizens to accept any and all kinds of individuals and candidates as long as they called themselves Republicans.  Moving to the center is a cliché for moving away from God.  The claim is that we need to be kind and compassionate and accept everyone.  But we should not accept nor condone adulterers, abortionists, homosexuals, child abusers, pornographers, drug users, etc.
Would we lose an election because of it ?  Maybe.  But a Christian's responsibility is only for his own actions. If you vote your heart and lose the election blame God.  He is responsible for the final outcome, not you.
William E. Nowers

 "SOL's Smart, Schools Dumb?"
Are the SOL's themselves SOL in Virginia?  Will politicos in Richmond grow weary of whining and cave in to water down the state mandated Standards of Learning? "It's not fair!" and "They are too hard!" sounds the chorus of mediocrity.  But this whining illustrates why we need the SOL's in the first place.
Declining SAT test scores of recent decades are a result of dumbing down the curriculum -- and the teaching.  Textbooks have had their intellectual content reduced over the years so that many now devote more space to words than to pictures.  For proof compare the books used by your parents with the ones given to your children today.  
Early in this century the emphasis was on abstract thinking and problem solving, today it is on visual impressions, feelings, and self-esteem.  In the early nineteen hundreds most kids went no further than the 8th grade and so a working knowledge of their heritage and practical subjects to prepare them for work was essential.
Today most college seniors would flunk the 8th grade "graduation" exam given to my grandmother in Salina, Kansas in 1895.  Yet the more money we spend on education and the more time today's education establishment has to mold our children - the more it cheats them out of a real education.
It is an insult that this subculture of teachers and administrators, would join with certain parents in demanding that SOL's be dumbed down -- or dropped altogether when most only want to do better. Sure, "alternatives" to graduation may be appropriate for some students.  But differentiation of diplomas being discussed now include, at bottom, a "certificate of completion."  
In other words, Johnny showed up for class for twelve years even though we taught him nothing.  While individual differences in abilities and styles of learning should be accommodated, this is a destructive trend for it cheapens the pursuit of excellence by those who try hard.  And it insults and cheats those on whom we have given up.
The SOL's are needed simply because the schools have failed to teach the essentials to ALL children. SOL's are an attempt to recapture a core of important knowledge.  Besides, judging by the few questions released early this year, they contain much useful and interesting information.  We all would do well to study them.  Personally, I would make the SOL's, emphasizing history, a minimum requirement for voting. Employers want minimum business or industry standards a condition of employment.  SOL's also provide a good foundation for college.  But as long as some students are allowed to "opt out" too easily all will be cheated.  
Why deprive them of the opportunity to expand their minds because it is "too hard" when we push kids to excel in sports and other extracurricular activities.  Why deny them the opportunity to see just how much they can accomplish academically when they really try?  Why don't superintendents and principals team up with students to see if Greene can excel in test scores over (say) Madison, and Orange over Culpeper?
Remember that movie about the Hispanic math teacher Jaime Escalante, in South Los Angeles?  His students were gang members whose only values were those formed in the street.  They had no motivation to learn and thus no chance to succeed in life.  Yet, in spite of a loser school system and because of this inspired teacher, they won a national math competition.  Many have gone on to academic excellence and successful careers.  
Given the potential of ALL children it is almost criminal for us in peaceful Central Virginia to write off any of these individuals or and "class" of students as hopeless -- or to drug them into compliance with order.  While our schools are better than most we must not yield to the forces of dumbing down - but show that our kids (and we) can do better.

Michael H. Smith

 How did so many people lose their logic?

After listening to and reading articles about the Million Mother March for More Gun Control, I am concerned about the lack of logic in the current population.

With the thousands of existing gun control laws on the books today, it is difficult to understand how one more law, or a thousand more laws will make a difference.  How many laws will be enough?  What is the satisfactory number needed to protect the children.

Month after month during the Clinton administration the slogan “Protect the Children” has waved across the news like a banner.  During almost every speech or photo opportunity, that term will emerge.  (Less loudly and more privately spoken, this same administration demands the right to kill the unborn along with the grotesque use of partial birth abortions.  It seems the most helpless of all children are not worth protecting).  Each time this administration shouts “Protect the Children” an insinuation that Republicans or Conservatives want to harm children is implied.   Now mothers join the liberal facade.

Mothers marching for gun control...why aren't they marching for more control on automobiles?  After all, more teenager children  are killed in car accidents than any other way.  Where is the line demanding additional laws/controls on vehicles to prevent children from killing themselves.  Why not a demand for a key sensitized to prevent teens, thieves, and drug addicts from turning on the ignition.  Perhaps, a technological sensor should check the age, reflexes and disposition of every driver prior to allowing the automobile to move.

How about a check for gender?  After all, men are supposedly more aggressive than women.  Ah, but then a check for PMS would also be in need. Road rage is becoming more prevalent and we must protect the children.

Since more controls on guns are being requested, there should be a few included for other dangerous things like household chemicals, medicines, and tools.  Think of the many bleaches, toilet bowel cleaners, detergents, medicines and hammers that have harmed the children over the years.  How about needles, knives, scissors and rope?  We must expand those laws to protect the children.  

Playground equipment must be removed from playgrounds.  How many concussions,  chipped teeth and broken arms have been reported due to these dangers?  We must totally protect the children.

What has happened to common sense?  When, where and how did so many people lose their logic?

Mothers, if you want to protect your children from guns, teach them not to kill each other.  Regardless of how difficult it is to accept, parents are responsible for training their children.  The government cannot make laws that teach right from wrong.  Decency is not ingrained by law, nor can it be governed by law.  It is not gained by osmosis, or by leniency.

As stated by John Gray in Children are From Heaven, “Developing the mind is important, but developing a conscience is the most precious gift parents can give their children.”

Mothers, the government cannot protect your children from themselves.  That's your responsibility as a parent.  Anyway, it is until your demands for more government controls take it away along with all other freedoms. Ladies, you seek control of the wrong object.

J. Dori Callahan

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