Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stand By Your Convictions

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

Abraham Kuyper

Monday, January 30, 2017

Be Careful of Government Snapshots

[A] snapshot of a successful lawyer photographed a year before she graduates law school may well show someone apparently in need of government assistance. The snapshot will show a young woman working (well, okay, studying) all day without being paid a penny. She may live in just one room that she shares with another student. She may subsist on macaroni and cheese. The snapshot demands a compassionate response from anyone seeing it, but it fails to show that this woman is only months away from earning an enviable income and in absolutely no need of help from anyone. Least of all should she extract assistance from middle-income families whose total income is considerably less than she will earn in her first year with a prestigious law firm.

Yet government policies use misleading snapshots such as these to convince hard-working and big-hearted Americans that higher taxes are necessary to help the poor.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.250-251

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How Same-Sex Fake Marriage Was Attained

The redefinition of marriage as a genderless partnership is possible only in a society that has already done serious damage to the institution.  Long before there was a debate about same-sex marriage, Americans of every political stripe bought into a sexual ideology that undermined the rational foundations for the marital norms of permanence, exclusivity, and monogamy.  Cohabitation, no-fault divorce, recreational sex, nonmarital childbearing, and pornography all contributed to the breakdown of the marriage culture.  If marriage is simply about emotional companionship, then of course men and women are interchangeable.

Ryan T. Anderson, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” pg.179

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Problem With Sex Outside of Marriage

The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kid of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, chapter 6

Friday, January 27, 2017

How to Get a Job and Keep One

There are only three job skills necessary to find and keep an entry-level job; none of these skills can be taught by government programs. First, show up regularly and on time. Second, obey instructions. Third, keep quiet. These are character attributes and can only be acquired from parents and family who care. Anybody obeying these three rules in America can obtain an entry-level job and keep it. By keeping the position, one quickly becomes trained and worth more to an employer. At that point, the potential inconvenience and expense of finding and training a new employee is countered by the employer raising the wage of his worker. The investment of his time during the first six months at one employer has made him more valuable in this position than a newcomer could be. Thus our fortunate American newcomer to the job market finds himself on the economic escalator. 

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.250

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Real Marriage Equality

Obama and five U.S. Supreme Court Justices did not win marriage “equality.” They imposed a radical revision of the legal definition of marriage on the entire country. Equality demands that like things be treated alike. Equality does not demand that we treat unlike things as if they were alike. An intrinsically sterile union of two people of the same sex is as different from a union composed of two people of different sexes as men are from women (which is a difference that even homosexuals acknowledge is real, substantive, and profound). 

Homosexuals have always been free to marry. They’ve been as free to marry as polyamorists have been. They weren’t fighting for a right they were denied. They were fighting for the unilateral right to revise the legal definition of marriage.

Laurie Higgiins, The Audacity of Obama

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Capitalism Can Seem Strange

Buying a pair of shoes, or a purse, or a fancy sports car, is much more fun than paying an electricity bill, or paying rent, although human nature being what it is—people who complain about electricity bills don't hesitate to go out and spend $300 on a pair of blue jeans that look like they came from the dumpster. And it's just very strange. But each gets something from the transaction.

Steve Forbes, Liberty University Convocation, 12/7/16

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Idea of Science Originated from the Judeo-Christian Tradition

The real history of the Western world, Judeo-Christian tradition, is that it was the rise of Judaism and then Christianity that enabled us to move forward, because these faiths emphasized curiosity, searching for how God's world worked instead of saying this is it; that's it. 

And that curiosity led to what we now call science, which flourished in the West as nowhere else in the world. You know, they all talk about Galileo's trial before the Vatican hundreds of years ago, but if you actually look at what was going on at that time, all of the great discoveries in astronomy and science in those early years came from priests. Came from priests! The man who invented modern physics, at least a precursor of modern physics, Isaac Newton, spent a lot of time studying religion and faith. They didn't see it as polar opposites. They saw it as one in the same-curiosity, finding how God's world worked, and that enabled us to make these great rises. And the truth about the power of knowledge can be seen today, as we know, as the 75th anniversary of the attack on us at Pearl Harbor-changed fundamentally world history and American history. World War II was devastating in Europe and Japan—massive physical destruction, tens of millions of lives lost, and experts thought that after that conflict it would take decades, generations for the world to recover. But the thing is, despite that loss of life, despite that physical destruction, the fact of the matter is knowledge was not destroyed, and within a handful of years after the end of that terrible conflict, thanks to the US Security military umbrella, which allowed security in people to really strive again. Within a few years, Japan and Western Europe exceeded their pre-war levels of production, because knowledge was not destroyed. 

Steve Forbes, Liberty University Convocation, 12/7/16

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Virtuous Citizenry is NECESSARY!

Without a virtuous citizenry, John Adams memorably warns us, democracy always commits suicide. Freedom, without virtue, seems bent on its own self-destruction, as we witness all too well in our country these days. But, of course, virtue cannot be taken for granted. It must be taught, inculcated, practiced, and esteemed in every generation, every family, and every human heart. This is a tall order—and a real struggle for anyone who takes it seriously—but it is this interior struggle that was passed from one generation to the next until quite recently.

Indeed, over the last several decades, we have witnessed the Supreme Court in particular use arguments from personal autonomy (or freedom misunderstood as its own end) to weaken precisely those institutions—motherhood, fatherhood, marriage, other mediating structures—that are best suited to sustain the social ecology, to shape persons to use their freedom well. America’s long tradition of self-determination has morphed over the years into a constitutionalized sort of no-holds-barred self-invention, the freedom to define myself just as I wish, free from any claims or constraints upon me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Human Ecology

Human ecology. . . allows one to reflect with fewer intellectual stumbling blocks upon the design and dynamism of the human person and his life experience. That is, human ecology more readily calls to mind the reality that the human person is created and yet, by his choices, creates himself; that he is deeply influenced by and, in turn, influences others; that he is conditioned by the environment in which he finds himself and yet is capable of transcending it. The analogy to natural ecology is helpful in today’s philosophical climate, because it implies an interdependence of influences and actors, a complexity of causes and effects, while calling for empirical and scientific validation. Just as we can measure toxins in our waterways, we can use social science to empirically corroborate the destructive “downstream effects” of the pill, pornography, and fatherlessness on real women, men, and children. Contrary to the prevailing libertarian view, the ecological analogy also reveals that the putatively “harmless” acts of solitary individuals, when adopted by a large proportion of the population, can have deeply harmful effects.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Liberals Are Whiny Brats

At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless.  Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.

P.J. O’Rourke

Friday, January 20, 2017

Redistribution of the Wealth

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.  What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.  The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.  When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.  You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Adrian Rogers, 1931

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Lover of Truth

The lover of truth must choose, in every way possible, to do and say what is right, even when threatened with death, rather than save his own life.

Justin Martyr, First Apology 2:1

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Be Careful How You Live

I will govern my life and my thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one, and to read the other.  For what does it signify to make anything a secret to our neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of hearts, all our privacies are open

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Modern Education Removes Historical Culture

A student tells you that he is weary of learning about American culture in school. You say that you do not actually believe that his teachers have imparted much of that culture to him, or of what used to be a culture. You are thinking of the seaside observations of Winslow Homer and the plaintive love songs of Stephen Foster and the startling progressions of John Coltrane. You are thinking of Pickett and his men making their desperate charge at Gettysburg. You hear the plain and honest blank verse rhythms of Robert Frost: “I can’t think Si ever hurt anyone,” says the farmer of the hired man who has come back like a stray dog and who has, unbeknownst to him, just breathed his last. You are thinking of Protestants singing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” in four-part harmony; of John Greenleaf Whittier whistling along a country walk, and George Washington Carver patiently grinding peanut skins in a pestle. Henry Adams, John Ford, Herman Melville, Billy Sunday, Billie Holliday—how much of what is quintessentially American has he really encountered? But before you can ask a question probing more deeply into culture, he rolls his eyes and shuts the conversation down. Such is the certainty that the correct political position confers.

Anthony Esolen, Higher Education in Hell

Monday, January 16, 2017

Education is Not For Political Activism

If a young person comes to believe that education is to be valued as preparation for political action—if his English teachers choose novels not for their beauty and their insight into the human condition, but for their usefulness in advancing a political cause; if his history teachers encourage not that forbearance that tends to forgive the faults of those who have come before us or who lived under conditions whereof we have no experience, but rather an easy and self-confident judgment of their moral darkness because they were not like us in all things; if his art teachers foster contempt for the patient and heart-breaking quest for precision, and substitute for it indulgence in what is supposedly “edgy” but is merely tiresome and politically tendentious—then I fear that he will be, strictly speaking, ineducable, a monolith of manufactured stolidity.

Anthony Esolen, Higher Education in Hell

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Forcing a Republic to Be a Democracy

By the late 19th century, the idea was gaining ground that United States was a democracy, or that it ought to be anyway.  Reformers began to latch on to democracy in the latter part of the 19th century, pushed for popular control over government to be expanded, and linked this to progress and progressivism.  They linked it to broader and deeper reform, too, by identifying democracy with equality, and proposing to use the power of government to make men more nearly equal.  The expansion of the power of the central government and the use of that power to transform not only America but the world setting as well was a part of the progressive ethos.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 4: The Growth of America 1878-1928, pg.117-118

[Our current horrid social situation in the USA is a direct result of this ideology.]

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Government is Force

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force!  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

George Washington

Friday, January 13, 2017

Defense of a Cause

A cause defended by nasty language deserves suspicion.  Truth needs no such weapons.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Ideas of the LEFT Do Not Work

The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

Thomas Sowell, The survival of the left

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Liberals' False Assumptions

Liberals seem to assume that, if you don’t believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help.

Thomas Sowell

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Academic Politician

The builder of railroads has a clear enough idea of the utility whereby he judges the value of his education; it is made manifest in rails that do not warp and axles that do not crack. He is still bound to a salutary though severely constricted truth. The political player—the man who falls in adoration before the cloaked vacuity of politics as the summum bonum—can have no such clear idea, because man will always frustrate anyone who demands perfection on earth, or even reliable prosperity and peace. The builder of railroads, when a gear turns up worn or toothless, alters the design of the gear or seeks a more durable alloy. The political player, when he meets with inevitable disappointments and reversals, turns in anger against his opponents, who must be wicked, or against the very mankind whom he purports to raise up.

The builder of railroads is interested in railroads; the academic politician is interested in victory. He has the moral code of Machiavelli, but, because he is too impatient to submit to the instruction of history, he has not the old master’s shrewd sense of human limitations and contradictions. He makes the worst of rulers: he is neither a lover of truth, nor a practical man of the world, nor an habitual examiner of his all-too-human and persistent failings.

Anthony Esolen, Higher Education in Hell

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Unhappy Childhood Is NOT an Excuse

Murderers may in some cases have had unhappy childhoods, but there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do to change their childhoods after they are adults. The most that can be done is to keep murderers from committing more murders, and to deter others from committing murder. People on the left who want to give murderers “another chance” are gambling with the lives of innocent people. That is one of many other examples of the cruel consequences of seemingly compassionate decisions and policies.

Ironically, people on the left who are preoccupied with the presumably unhappy childhoods of murderers, which they can do nothing about, seldom show similar concern about the present and future unhappy childhoods of the orphans of people who have been murdered.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bad College Admissions Policies

There are people who urge college-admissions committees to let disadvantaged students be admitted with lower test scores or other academic indicators. Those who say such things seldom even attempt to see what the actual consequences of such policies have been. The prevailing preconceptions — sometimes called what “everybody knows” — are sufficient for them. Factual studies show that admitting students to institutions whose standards they do not meet often leads to needless academic failures, even among students with above-average ability, who could have succeeded at other institutions whose standards they do meet.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Man Is Not an Animal

Many a sensible modern man must have abandoned Christianity under the pressure of three such converging convictions as these:  first, that men, with their shape, structure, and sexuality, are, after all, very much like beasts, a mere variety of the animal kingdom; second, that primeval religion arose in ignorance and fear; third, that priests have blighted societies with bitterness and gloom. Those three anti-Christian arguments are very different; but they are all quite logical and legitimate; and they all converge.  The only objection to them (I discover) is that they are all untrue.  If you leave off looking at books about beasts and men, if you begin to look at beasts and men then (if you have any humour or imagination, any sense of the frantic or the farcical) you will observe that the startling thing is not how like man is to the brutes, but how unlike he is.  It is the monstrous scale of his divergence that requires an explanation.  That man and brute are like is, in a sense, a truism; but that being so like they should then be so insanely unlike, that is the shock and the enigma.  That an ape has hands is far less interesting to the philosopher than the fact that having hands he does next to nothing with them; does not play knuckle-bones or the violin; does not carve marble or carve mutton.  People talk of barbaric architecture and debased art.  But elephants do not build colossal temples of ivory even in a rococo style; camels do not paint even bad pictures, though equipped with the material of many camel’s-hair brushes.  Certain modern dreamers say that ants and bees have a society superior to ours.  They have, indeed, a civilization; but that very truth only reminds us that it is an inferior civilization.  Who ever found an ant-hill decorated with the statues of celebrated ants?  Who has seen a bee-hive carved with the images of gorgeous queens of old?  No; the chasm between man and other creatures may have a natural explanation, but it is a chasm.  We talk of wild animals; but man is the only wild animal.  It is man that has broken out.  All other animals are tame animals; following the rugged respectability of the tribe or type.  All other animals are domestic animals; man alone is ever undomestic, either as a profligate or a monk.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pg.141-142

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Liberals Deny Reality

Many of the dangerous errors that have crept into our legal system arose from a progressive desire to pursue equality by denying reality.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Death of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.  No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.  

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple and sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

Common sense went on life-support when the schools could no longer discipline a trouble-making kid; when the schools could not give an aspirin for a headache and did not have to inform parents about the abortion for their daughter; when churches became more secular in structure and went out of the Bible-teaching business; when criminals were better treated than the victims; when you could not defend your home from the robber.  Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman was awarded millions of dollars because she spilled hot coffee on herself and sued the restaurant.

Common Sense is survived by his four stepbrothers: (1) I Know My Rights, (2) I Want It Now, (3) It Is Someone Else’s Fault, and (4) I’m A Victim!

Not Many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.  If you still remember him, pass this on. 

Author unknown

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Decline of Public Education

There was no mysticism in the first American schools which produced pioneers who carved this industrial giant out of a wilderness; which produced the Patrick Henrys, the George Washingtons; and which lifted this nation to international prominence.  The simple fact is, teachers read their Bibles, led children in prayer, and wrote textbooks like the McGuffy Readers.  They acknowledged the basic theistic presuppositions which built a sense of responsibility into the character of children.  The first schools taught Christianity, morality, and knowledge based upon…fundamental presuppositions.

These were the basic presuppositions of the early Americans regardless of their theological background, and they were, in fact, the basic Christian beliefs upon which out founding fathers built our Constitutional system.  These prevailed through the Colonial period, the Expansion period, the Industrial Revolution, the Reconstruction, and up until the days of John Dewey.  Some misinterpret the Constitution when they contend that no religion can be taught in the schools. The humanistic repudiations of God by Owen, Mann, and Dewey, have become law in education.  The drive to make education nonsectarian reduced it to humanistic indoctrination which is the worship of man.  This has become the religion of government schools.

Dr. Donald R. Howard, Let’s Save Our Public Schools.  Cited by Mal Couch,This Great Nation: The Things That Made it Great — and How we Lost Them, pg.109-110

Monday, January 2, 2017

Education Is More Than Information

Educate your children in self-control, to the habit of holding in passions and evil tendencies, subject them to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes from society. … Knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the larger term of education.  The feelings are to be disciplined; the passions are to be restrained; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound Christianity is to be instilled and pure morality included under all circumstances.

Daniel Webster.  Cited by Mal Couch,This Great Nation: The Things That Made it Great — and How we Lost Them, pg.105

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Families Are Foundational

All government originates in families, and if neglected there it will hardly exist in society. … The foundation of all free government and of all social order must be laid in families and in the discipline of youth. … The education of youth, an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law and gospel rest for success.

Noah Webster.  Cited by Mal Couch,This Great Nation: The Things That Made it Great — and How we Lost Them, pg.102