Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged Freedom of religion

Understanding the Epic Divide

The Divide

The very obvious epic divide between right and left in our nation, along with any discussion of unification or bridging of that divide, necessitates defining and understanding the world views projected by the right and by the left, and then searching for common ground.

This article seeks not to malign or denigrate any group.
In fact, we begin here with the presupposition that good Americans on both sides truly want what is best for our country, and are passionate about pursuing that good.

The problem comes in defining what is desirable and what is good.

The key to overcoming the divide is reason and understanding.
Also, the best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend.

Surprising Issue Surfaces- a Possible Clue?

One of the major issues that reflect this divide is the hot-button issue of abortion, which, for the first time in this election, took center stage at the Presidential debates. Quite frankly, in this writer’s opinion, the very grisly partial birth abortion may have been the straw that broke Hillary Clinton’s back in the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump deftly showcased to America Hillary’s cold and rigid position on the killing of a partially born human child. Although certainly not the only issue at stake, abortion is certainly a highly charged and very emotional issue on both sides.

Abortion has, after decades of being relegated to an unimportant “social” issue, bubbled up to the top of the conservative’s priority list, and continues to be a big priority for both sides – not only for Progressives like Hillary, who have been vocal all along on the essential nature of abortion to their platform, but also for the future Trump Administration.

In a mind-blowing first, one of the first actions of the 115th Congress last week was to release a report on the sanctity and dignity of human life, and on the revelations of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, particularly in their sale of fetal body parts. To add to the surprise, the report came from a very unexpected source — from the Select Investigative Panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee – from which one would more likely expect reports on fracking or trade, NOT on the sanctity of life or on Planned Parenthood. See the remarkable commentary by John Stonestreet at Breakpoint. Clearly, the Trump administration is prioritizing the issue of abortion from a remarkably different perspective than that favored by Obama and Hillary.

Swept Under the Rug for Decades

The festering, neglected and unspoken problems of the epic divide, including the controversy over abortion, have been brewing now for decades. These issues have been skillfully skirted by politicians and have been side-stepped by American voters, in a well-intentioned effort at tolerance, an effort aimed at absorbing all views into our American melting pot of freedom and protected human rights. The most important issues, which are the moral issues, were long labeled “social” issues, and were swept under the rug, with varying success, until the 2016 Presidential debates.

And therein lies a possible clue to our big divide—reasonable people rarely go ballistic over mundane issues. However, morality, and it’s definition, IS something that both sides of America can get passionate about.

Despite everyone’s desire to tolerate and to include all Americans in our melting pot, problems surface as our population diversifies, as our morality shifts, and as we pass more and more new laws. The problem boils down to the fact that not all human philosophies, beliefs, or religions are compatible, and in our American melting pot these incompatibilities surface, causing inevitable conflict time and again. The definition of what is good and what is evil is not uniform in all societies, and needs to be defined by the entire nation, if evil is to be contained.

Defining Good and Evil

When regulating and protecting human interactions by law, determining what is right or wrong, or defining a person’s “rights” becomes complicated. The “rights” of one person can infringe on the “rights” of another person, and as a society we are forced to choose which “rights” trump which “rights.”

Abortion is one primary place where “rights” of citizens can clash. In abortion, however hard as it might be to imagine that the rights of a child and those of the mother could possibly not be aligned, progressives do insist that the well-being of a mother could be damaged by the existence of a child, and they advocate favoring “rights” for the mother over “rights” for the child.

Another example where the “rights” of citizens can clash is in the treatment of those who have broken the law. The rights of people to be protected from crime must be balanced with the rights of an incarcerated person to be treated decently. Also, the definition of decent treatment, which has to be paid for by the tax payer, is an area of potential disagreement. For example, taxpayers who cannot afford college for their own children could resent paying for college educations for prisoners.

Which brings up the question of defining “rights” altogether. Is a free college tuition a “right?” Does our nation have the budget to provide that? Does going into debt to pay for such “essentials” not steal from future citizens who will have to pay the bills we incur? If free contraception becomes a “right”under ObamaCare, why is free Tylenol not a “right?” Does free food or free housing then become a “right?”

Obviously, rights, and the definition of good and evil become very complicated.
And government gets the job of passing laws to balance those rights fairly, and to enforce the laws that were passed.

Defining Rights

Defining rights to intangible things is easier than tangible things.
We can say a person has a right life – to not being killed.
To liberty – to not being locked up.

To the pursuit of happiness – to choose their path in life.

But defining the right to tangible things is much more dangerous ground, because somebody has to actually pay for the thing that we declared everyone has a “right” to.

Finally, the amount of material things we can have varies tremendously, and depends on what is available. During a war, people ration and semi-starve, and may do it willingly. During a natural disaster, same thing. And people with an unrealistic grasp of economy cannot go around passing laws about what everyone has a “right” to have, if there is simply not enough to go around.

Pie offers a good simplistic example.
One can say that everyone deserves a slice of pie.
But if there is not enough pie, what happens then?

We have to redefine how much pie each person “deserves,” or has a right to.
In this life, there is not always enough of everything to go around, and if you throw away the right of ownership of property, and allow anyone who feels deprived, or feels envy, to demand what belongs to others, you have chaos.

Let the Rich Pay!!

The left frequently advocates shaking down the rich for funds, like the recent story put out by the World Economic Forum about the 8 richest men in the world who own as much as the poorest half of the world (that would be 3.6 billion of us).  A shocking statistic, for sure, but, sadly, this incompetent (or intentionally misleading) reporting would provide NO SOLUTION to the world economic situation, even if we were to repossess all their wealth, send all 8 to Siberia, and divide up all their wealth among the 3.6 billion poorest.

Why? Because, IF the claim is true and is not FAKE NEWS, then the total net worth of the 8 men, $427 billion, divided by the poorest half, 3.6 billion, equals a grand total of $119 per person.  After which the billionaires would be gone, and we would have nobody to fleece next year.

And the jobs they create would be gone, too.
Not mentioned is also the fact that most of these 8 people are Progressives, so why all the hate for conservatives?!?!
AND, the fact the the median American household income, $55,775, would cover 469 poor people if we took this approach.

Nobody mentions that the number of poor in the world is so great, and the number of super-rich is so small, that the rich do not have enough to pay for what progressives want.  To pay for what progressives want, the whole world would have to produce more money, and we would have to fleece not only Bill Gates, the #1 richest guy, but you and me and the Americans receiving unemployment checks as well.

Bottom line, we have to be careful about what we define as a “right,” and if we do, we have to indicate who is responsible for providing that right, particularly if that right involves a material thing.

Balancing People’s Rights

The simplest solution to this balancing act – to the balancing of rights of one citizen against the rights of another citizen, and declaring what is or is not a right—has been provided in the past by religion.
Religion outlined what rights a person had, what infringed on those rights, and what remedies were appropriate when those rights were violated.
The Declaration of Independence of the United States refers to God-given rights which the colonies felt were being violated by the English monarchy, and which colonialists wanted to guarantee for every future American citizen. Those God-given rights included life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When it comes to defining good and evil, most people in this country used to acknowledge the Ten Commandments, which are actually the foundation and basis of most European and American law.
The moral beliefs of citizens, primarily those of Christian and Jewish citizens, since they were the most numerous, these moral beliefs stemming from their millennia of religious background, were incorporated into the Constitution of the United States and were voted into law via democratic process.

Religion Versus Self as the Boss

But religion has suffered decline in the United States since the 1950’s.
The Ten Commandments went out the window, one after another.

Despite the fact that 90% of Americans still say they believe in God, and 80% say they pray and they feel that their prayers are answered, many Americans have shifted in their definitions of what is right and wrong. They have shifted from looking to religion for guidance on these issues, to looking inwardly to their own thoughts to define what is right and what is wrong. The word for this is relativism. What is right for you may not me right for me, and I have a “right” to decide what is right for me.

One of the problems with looking to ourselves to define what is right or wrong is that most people are not experts in logic, and are very gullible to the first argument they come across that argues a seemingly convenient particular point. They do not realize that a convincing argument can be made for ANY position and for ALL positions, and that some people spend their lives becoming experts in debate, in law, in ethics, and in morality. Yet, despite all this training, the tendency of the human mind is to choose first what we want, then to find the logical construct that justifies what we want. Very few people truly seek truth and fairness, even when that represents a loss of what they wanted for themselves. Simply stated, our minds play tricks on us, and we seek the argument that gives us what we want, fair or not.

Another problem with looking to ourselves to define what is right or wrong is that it is not wise to assume that I myself am more intelligent, capable and informed than the best minds of history, and, if one concedes that there might be a God, that I myself am more intelligent, capable and informed than God Himself. So the very progressives who respect and deify many medical, legal, engineering and scientific experts, and who would not dream of building a house, curing their symptoms, or even making important life decisions without consulting an “expert,” presume to know how to evaluate the rights of all human beings, and to declare what is right and wrong, based on their own instincts and feelings, without training of any kind.

The Essence of the Divide

It makes a great deal of sense to point out that the most fundamental difference between the right and the left, the item that contributes most seriously to the epic national divide, is the disagreement on whether religion, the belief in a bigger super-power, or ourselves are boss.

And before the Freedom From Religion – Religion is Medieval – Only Stupid Weak People Need Religion mantra kicks in here, please consider the fact that IF the more religious half (or 80%) of America happens to be right, and there IS a God, and He HAS interacted with humanity and given us some guidelines (such as the Ten Commandments), the idea of following the guidelines of an infinitely vaster intelligence than ours, and of an infinitely kinder heart than ours, might just be a good idea.

An additional point on the Ten Commandments—even in the absence of an all-good and all-intelligent God, there is something to be said for the cumulative wisdom of ages of human beings and societies who have survived by those tried and tested rules for millennia to this day. It would take quite the ego to dismiss the cumulative wisdom of history and presume that I myself have the genius to dismiss and to better the wisdom of humanity with all its faults to date.

So Here Comes the Conservative Spin?

This is NOT an attempt to judge those who are not religious, because those who look inward for the definition of moral values might certainly be very sincere. We are trying not to judge, but to point out the shift in values in the United States that has occurred since around 1950.
And yes, this author IS conservative and religious, but is also trying to work towards communication via reason and with good will.
If nothing else, my writing will help progressives understand the thought processes that operate in the mind of one conservative, and realize that conservatives do not deserve the hateful pigeon-holing they have been subjected to following Election 2016.

People on both sides should find this analysis interesting.
There are religious people on both sides of these issues.
Some of the most ardent progressives claim to be religious – Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Al Sharpton, and others.
So read on, and consider what is being proposed.

Difference Chart

Let’s document some of the differences in beliefs that have surfaced in much of our nation in recent decades:
(Please indulge the introduction of the Ten Commandments to make this point.)

  1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.

God is no longer the overriding value superseding all others today.
Many try to ban all mention of God from public life.
The highest value, the top “god” today, is probably MONEY (in Ten Commandments language, the golden calf).

  1. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Cursing God is now fine. In fact, much of Hollywood glorifies blasphemy, and even the expression “Jesus Christ” is often used as a curse word.
(I personally apologize to God every time I hear someone use the phrase disrespectfully, and I bow my head every time it is used appropriately.)

  1. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.

Sunday or the Sabbath is no longer holy, nor is Christmas, Easter, etc. For many, shopping has become a higher priority than attendance at Church

  1. Honor your father and your mother.

Government has started to take over the role of father and mother, for example, with Common Core teaching values to children that are in direct conflict with most Christian religions. Government is trying to legislate how our children are to be raised. Many children have no respect for their parents, and even strike them.

  1. You shall not kill.

Over 1 million babies are aborted (killed) in the United States each year, and we came very close to electing a woman who supports partial birth abortion, the killing of a full-term baby half-way during birth. Abortion may be a much bigger deal than you think. We are working on legalizing euthanasia, and we are routinely pardoning, tolerating, and releasing numerous violent criminals, particularly if they represent votes.

  1. You shall not commit adultery.

Marriage has suffered much, and many citizens no longer value chastity before marriage. Adultery, and any form of sexual transgression is considered to be fine, as long as both adults are willing. Recently, prostitution by underage children has been decriminalized in California. This cripples the efforts of law enforcement to convict pimps who manage child prostitution, because then the children cannot testify against the pimps.

  1. You shall not steal.

Property crime is no longer prosecuted in San Francisco. Stealing is often excused and even justified. Government taxation is headed toward stealing as well – demanding larger and larger taxation “rights” on the income of citizens. The right to ownership of property is very much in question.
Some don’t realize that there was a time in the United States when there was no taxation at all.

  1. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Lying is no longer considered shameful, but is celebrated by funny and popular TV shows like Seinfeld. Fake News is widespread and seriously maligns many people. Politicians are re-elected by American voters, even following the exposure of numerous lies and manipulations. Truth, which used to be highly valued and venerated, is now discarded and almost despised. See What is Truth? Does Truth Matter? for an interesting analysis of why Truth might be important, after all.

  1. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

Your neighbor’s wife is not off limits, provided you both agree to the liaison. Everybody tries to dress and look “hot,” and there is no attempt whatsoever in fashion to avoid being sexually provocative.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Today, covet away!
Most people don’t even know what the word “covet” means.
Hating those who have more than you and automatically labeling them as evil is common. Glorying in the idea of punishing the rich is very popular, and dismisses realities, such as the fact that the combined total assets of all the rich are not enough to impact the quality of life of the masses, and that the rich actually provide many jobs for the poor. Enjoying the idea of punishing the rich even if it does not help you is a serious form of envy.

What Do the Ten Commandments Have to Do With Anything?

Both the Ten Commandments and the Constitution of the United States, which was written by Christians, reflect a Judeo-Christian worldview. For years, the Ten Commandments have been displayed in courtrooms across the United States.

In recent decades we have been passing laws which drift away from that view, and we have been decriminalizing various activities that were previously considered illegal.
These changes have been driven by seeming compassion, and by the drifting away from religious values that has occurred in the United States. The unfortunate result of the drift is that our system of laws now represents a mass of internal contradictions, which require a highly trained lawyer to manipulate, and justice is not always served. The courts can even become a game of manipulation, deception and farce.

At this point we also have people who resent the still obvious Judeo-Christian roots of our Constitution and of our system of laws. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a testimony to that. Yet the Freedom From Religion Foundation, despite claiming to reject religion, simply promotes religion of a different kind.  Every Christmas the Freedom From Religion Foundation places a plaque at the Wisconsin State Capitol which celebrates the Winter Solstice – a pagan religious celebration. Pagan beliefs are being substituted for Christian beliefs, in the name of eliminating religion.

Some might say that religion should be done away with, but those are unaware that religion is actually a belief system or worldview, and ALL of us have belief systems, whether we have given them a name or not. Even the most progressive atheists evolve a system of beliefs that become as passionate as any religious group, including abortion rights, global warming, and other progressive doctrines that are imposed by ridicule and by force.

Alternative Value Systems

If we were to abandon Judeo-Christian principles and rewrite the Constitution, something that some progressive leaders and Justices are already advocating, it would be hard to create a value system that is internally consistent and does not contain contradictions– contradictions which lead to chaos.

Adopting other common philosophies, such as Atheism, or Islam, would inflame the sensibilities of numerous Americans who still hold fundamental Judeo-Christian beliefs. And it is not trivial to come up with a new system of beliefs with no internal contradictions and with a consistent logical message.

Atheism is not compatible with the Judeo-Christian worldview. In the Judeo-Christian world, God has placed limits on all people, including leaders and powerful people. A king cannot take the property or the wife of another. The leader is accountable to God for his/her actions, and is expected to observe the rules of justice. The Christian worldview values human life above all, and the taking of innocent human life is not permitted, even if the goals are desirable. Even kings must justify the taking of human life according to specific criteria.
Atheism, in contrast to Christianity, places no limits on the power of leaders or of individuals. Atheism frees leaders to impose their will on the nation without justification. Under atheism, the ends justify the means. If the government feels it can accomplish some good by sacrificing me and my family, it is free to do so. My Lithuanian grandparents were sent to Siberia by the atheist/communist Soviet Union, upon its occupation of Lithuania, and they had done absolutely nothing wrong. They were declared to be “capitalists” because they owned a 1-acre farm, one cow and a sewing machine, their possessions were taken away from them, and they were sent to Siberia.

Sharia Law is also incompatible with the Judeo-Christian world view, and with the Constitution of the United States. Sharia law does not acknowledge inviolable human rights for family members, and permits severe corporal punishment, including punishment to the point of death, by the heads of families.

Under Sharia law, there are no limits on the power of heads of families, religious leaders, and heads of state.

The New Morality

A new (experimental) morality has been creeping into our nation, one law at a time, and supplanting the Judeo-Christian values we used to have, without internal consistency. It has not been well planned, is not systematic, or even internally consistent on any new modern moral plane.

For example, the killing of a fetus/baby is permitted even after partial birth, but the killing of a pregnant woman counts as TWO killings by law. Can the murder of a human being, and the jail term of a killer, truly be dependent on what that woman was thinking? Was she walking home or to Planned Parenthood for an abortion? Can the number of crimes committed by a killer be determined by the thoughts that were going through the murdered woman’s mind? Can a murderer go to jail for the same action for which the abortionist is extolled?

Consider another example, sex with underage children, which is, understandably, a crime. Yet teachers are required to illustrate condom use to young children in classrooms, and the very children who are taught to be “Healthy, Happy and Hot” in their classrooms, become felons when one of the young couple turns 18 and becomes guilty of statutory rape of their younger girlfriend or boyfriend. Our sexual standards impose many confusing inconsistencies on young people today.

Numerous such inconsistencies exist in our new and jumbled morality, and many conservative Americans object to the newly introduced (experimental) morality, and have concluded that the experiment has failed.

Science Takes a Back Seat to the New Experimental Morality

As the failings and drawbacks of the new experimental morality surface, those who want that new morality very badly simply ignore truth and science, they sweep the damage done to other people under the rug, and they make sure that facts and science take a back seat to their progressive agenda.

The progressive leadership of our country has misquoted and swept science under the rug habitually, as problems with the new morality surface.

Government-sponsored sex education does not educate children about the data on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), misleads children into thinking that a condom will take care of everything, and fails to tell children that in 2011 the United States Center for Disease Control pointed out on their website that abstinence is the best form of prevention for STDs (this important fact has since even been removed from the CDC website).

Hiding the Truth

President Obama, a big sponsor of the new morality, withheld release of the results of a government-sponsored survey on abstinence, the results of which did not support Obama’s progressive agenda. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) performed a study (National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents) which showed that 70% of parents and 60% of teens favor abstinence before marriage. The study was ready for publication on Feb 26, 2009, but the Obama administration delayed its release for 1-½ years, until August 23, 2010.

The study results were theb released very quietly, and were later buried deeper on the HHS website, in such a way that searching obvious phrases such as “abstinence” did not call up the study, and a knowledge of the study title or project number was needed to access the study. Finally, a warning is posted for those who have succeeded in tracking down the study: This is a historical document. Use for research and reference purposes only.

Yes, the government feels it must clarify that the document is historical, lest it be used to formulate current policy. By no means can we acknowledge that most of America disagrees with the progressive government’s promiscuous agenda for our children.

Where can we see the National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents?

Back to the Divide

The two alternatives, Judeo-Christian morality, and self-invented modern morality, are in complete contradiction.

  • We cannot simultaneously allow abortion and declare abortion to be murder.
  • We cannot encourage sexual experimentation in children, then jail them as soon as they turn 18.
  • We cannot pass laws that punish Christian Churches for not placing adopted children with homosexual couples, and allow Christian Churches protection of their religious freedom and beliefs at the same time. (If Christian Churches believe that a healthy life for a child necessitates both a mother and a father, it is not the role of government to force Churches to place adoptive children in homosexual homes. If government wants such placement, government should run adoptive agencies. If homosexuals want such placement, homosexuals should run adoptive agencies. But the idea of government forcing Christian Churches how to direct their charities is a violation not only of religious freedom, but also of “separation of Church and State,” which goes both ways.)
  • We cannot give unlimited benefits to various groups of citizens, without considering whether we have the money to hand out, who is paying the bills, or whether the bills are NOT being paid.

(Most people do not have the time to do their own analysis, and media fails to do the analysis for us, but this author HAS done the analysis— spreading 100% of the wealth of the United States today would not solve our financial problems or poverty, and we would then still be faced with zero wealthy people to tax next year. Most of us are not aware of how few really wealthy people and how many poor people there are,)

  • We cannot brag that 98% of all published scientists support global warming, when the government makes sure that global warming opponents get no research funds, and therefore cannot publish.

We cannot cater simultaneously to all groups, when their beliefs on what is right and what is wrong are in direct conflict.
We cannot hand out more pie than there is.

Decision Making When Paths are Incompatible

We have to acknowledge that we can’t always have what we want, NOBODY can always have what they want, and sometimes my getting what I want can step on the toes of somebody else not getting what they want.

Decision mechanisms when people cannot all get what they want include:

  • Free-for-all fight, and the most powerful win (Anarchy, King of the Mountain, or Chaos)
  • An Authority Dictates (Dictatorship)
  • Democracy (We all vote)

My preference? Democracy.
Even when my (conservative) side was losing the battle, during the last 8 years of Obama administration, I respected the system and tolerated a government which violated my world view and my view of what is right and what is wrong.
I thought sadly that if I live in a country that rejects my values, I must put up with it, or move elsewhere. Or pray that my fellow citizens see the light, begin to see things my way, and vote to restore my worldview.
I became a blogger, and have spent the last decade trying to persuade people with reason of the validity of my beliefs.

Now the tide of public opinion has turned, and the conservatives must be given a chance at government.
And yes, I have heard that many say the popular vote has NOT given conservatives a majority mandate.

Yes, We All Know that Progressives Think the Election Was Stolen

Most are familiar with the issue of the popular vote versus the electoral votes.

Hillary Clinton got more popular votes, but Donald Trump won the election because he earned more electoral votes. The electoral votes allotted to each State do not correspond directly to the number of voters in that state, so in close elections it is possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, but not the electoral vote, nor the Presidency.

An important point needs to be made about the electoral system.
The founders of this country were actually wise in choosing the electoral college instead of the popular vote as the method for selection of the President.
They did not want the choice of President always to be decided by the largest, most populous State, with little regard for the smaller ones.

The structure of the Electoral College can be traced to the Centurial Assembly system of the Roman Republic, and is similar to that used by classical institutions. The Founding Fathers were well schooled in ancient history and its lessons. See the US Election Atlas for more details on the evolution of the Electoral College plan.
The concept can be simplified by example.
If the colonies wanted more rural, less populated States to join the union (and to provide food for the nation from their farms), they had to offer those States a guarantee that their rights would not be trampled and they would not be dominated by the States which were more populous and which had larger cities.
The same principle applies today—should the population of one State be able to dictate the fate of the the entire United States?
Hillary Clinton won California by such a large margin in 2016 ( 4.6 million votes) that her entire advantage came from just that one State. Should Californian values be permitted to steer the values of the entire United States?

No, even if Hillary did get 2-3 million more popular votes, the election was NOT stolen.
The electoral college system protects all of America from being dominated by one State – in the case of 2016, California.

Reasons Why Trump May Actually HAVE WON the Popular Vote

An added point about the popular vote:
Conservatives are just as unhappy about the closeness of the election as progressives are.
While progressives point out that Hillary won the popular vote by 2-3 million votes, conservatives point out that if we corrected the popular vote totals for frequently demonstrated massive voter fraud and for illegal immigrants with illegal voting cards, Hillary would have had at least 3 million fewer votes.

According to PEW Research, 24 million (one of every eight) voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate, more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, and 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state. That’s almost 30 million votes that are very susceptible to potential fraud.

These figures, combined with the frequently documented voter fraud exercised by “community organizers” and practitioners of “Alinsky tactics” of the left, call into serious question the exact numbers of the 2016 popular vote.

Alinsky Tactics and the Left

It is well documented that Hillary Clinton was a student of Alinsky, and that Barack Obama taught Alinsky tactics in the past. And Alinskyk tactics are Satanist Saul Alinsky’s 13 rules for political warfare, which are described in a book that Alinsky dedicated to Lucifer (Satan).   Needless to say, Alinsky tactics violate all rules of fair Christian behavior, and they describe how a minority can fight, lie, manipulate, and finagle their way against the despised majority, which limits themselves to Judeo-Christian rules of behavior.

Hillary’s recent collection of scandals– Benghazi lies, security breeches to escape accountability for email communications, the Clinton Foundation traitorous pay-for-play allegations, which are being proven just 2 months after the election, as well as the unethical tactics used against Bernie Sanders—this documented track record of “Alinsky” (in Judeo-Christian language “immoral”) behavior on the part of the progressives in the Democrat Party, certainly make election fraud allegations towards the Democrat Party credible.

Although nobody claims that conservatives are free of any misdeeds, it is still more likely that people who support Judeo-Christian morality might have a lower incidence of illegal deceptive tactics than those who actively teach, advocate and employ Alinsky tactics and “community organizing.” Just this week, news surfaced of progressives plotting to disrupt President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration by deploying butyric acid at the National Press Club during what they call the “Deploraball” event scheduled for January 19th. These progressives were meeting at the Washington D.C. pizza place that was mentioned in the Hillary-Podesta emails.  Today, the news  holds more on shocking progressive tactics — progressives held a training camp on disrupting the inauguration and how to handle being arrested, and hundreds of the LGBT community held a dance party in the street outside Vice President-Elect Mike Pence’s home.  CNN has even gone so far as to point out that if Donald Trump were to be killed during the Inauguration, an Obama appointee would become President.  The right has never planned and executed such interference and disruption of progressive events, discussed the killing of a progressive opponent, or targeted progressives in their homes.  

Why Can’t We Just Compromise?

Many of the most contentious issues today do not lend themselves to compromise.
Abortion, gay marriage, and sex education (chastity versus promiscuity) are examples of things that cannot go both ways.
A choice has to be made.

 

  • It is not possible to take both roads when you reach a fork, as Yogi Berra can attest.
  • We cannot aim for individual freedom and for governmental control of personal life and personal thought at the same time.
  • We cannot outlaw and allow abortion simultaneously.
  • We cannot both allow and forbid guns.
  • We cannot preserve traditional marriage and allow homosexual marriage at the same time.
  • We cannot respect religious freedom and require all doctors to perform abortions concurrently.
  • We cannot enforce immigration law and simultaneously have open borders.
  • We cannot build up military defense and reduce military defense at the same time.
  • We cannot base our Constitution and Bill of Rights on God-given rights, yet forbid the public mention of God and of religion.
  • We cannot respect Judeo-Christian values and delete Judeo-Christian values from our laws concurrently.
  • We cannot have a Supreme Court which decrees national law and policy without regard to the beliefs of the American population- most of the above mentioned issues have involved decrees by Supreme Court and by Executive Action which are in disagreement with the beliefs of most Americans.
  • We cannot have a Democratic Republic in which elected Representatives of the people do not represent the wishes of the people and in which politically appointed Supreme Court Justices overrule the will and the religious beliefs of the people.

This is why some advocate leaving these most difficult issues to the States, so that, for example, a progressive State such as California could allow progressive policies, and both liberals and conservatives could live in States which offered the policies that are most important to them.

The idea that the Federal government should not control issues that Americans struggle to agree on is one that Trump has been proposing. On these issues, local control would be local.

Think, dear progressive co-Americans—wouldn’t it be great if we could make room in America for both sides of the ethical and political spectrum?

In Trump’s language, that would be HUGE!

What is the Left So Afraid to Lose?

What are the main issues that the left to panic when considering a conservative or a Trump Presidency?

  • Abortion?
  • Gay Marriage?
  • Welfare?

The Worst Case Scenario and the Most Likely Outcome

Abortion: There is little danger of abortion becoming unavailable in the United States.

I must honestly admit that I would like it if we were forbidden by law to kill inconvenient unborn infants the same as we are not permitted by law to kill inconvenient elders or spouses or children who have already been born.
But I also realize that we live in a democracy, and so long as so many Americans support abortion, abortion is not likely to go away.

The worst case scenario for progressives is that they may have to pay for their abortion themselves, instead of making me pay for it, which is against my ethics (It’s only fair– I have to pay for my own thyroid surgery and my own childbirth!).
They may have to shift to less permissive sexual behavior and more self control—something all of us should strive for constantly.
They may have to travel to a neighboring State for their abortion.

These might not be progressive first choices, but progressives must also realize that it is not the conservative first choice to pay for other people’s children to be aborted, particularly when a disproportionate number of those victims are minority babies.
It is also not the conservative first choice to live in a country where our children cannot be doctors, pharmacists or lawyers, because our Federal laws demand everyone in those professions to participate in abortion-related activities which are against our moral beliefs.

Whose right is more important—the right of a woman to enjoy unlimited sex, including premarital sex and promiscuous sex, or the right of a tiny human being not to be killed by his/her mother?

The job of the government is not to give progressives ALL their wishes, but to balance the rights of all citizens against each other in an ethical way.

We can’t always get what we want – progessives, OR conservatives.
And Christian doctrine always requires that the needs of the weakest be considered first – and who is smaller and weaker than an unborn child?

We appeal to progressives to realize that abortion is advocated only by people who have already been born. The unborn have no voice, other than the voice of conservatives.

Gay Marriage: There is little danger of homosexuality returning to the criminal status it previously held in this country decades ago.

The worst case scenario is that homosexual couples may be limited to civil unions, which do not threaten those of us who believe that marriage is central to the health and security of children and of our future society.
Progressives must realize that their wish for homosexual marriage has some unintended consequences on the rest of us. The moment we allowed homosexual marriage, Catholic adoption agencies had to close their doors, because the federal government requires them by law to do something their faith forbids: to place adoptive children with homosexual couples.
Whose rights are more important—gays to call their union “marriage,” or orphans to get free adoption services that the Catholic Church provides?
See Gay Marriage and Homosexuality for more ways in which the redefinition of marriage hurts the rights of Christian Americans.

Progressives need to realize that their wish to have homosexual unions be called “marriage” impacts the rights of conservative citizens not to have progressive doctrine forced on their Church charitable adoption programs, on public school sex education programs, and on bakeries which prefer not to bake cakes featuring images of homosexual unions.

Welfare: There is no danger of Social Security or Medicare being cancelled by conservatives.

The ObamaCare that is being repealed is a fiasco and failure, and WILL be replaced.

The worst case scenario is that some welfare programs will be streamlined to eliminate fraud and favoritism, and that more efforts will be made to offer jobs to those who are now dependent on welfare.

Two Last Words to the Left- Anarchy and Compassion

Word One about anarchy –

Of those who want to ignore the results of the 2016 election and attempt to delegitimize President-Elect Trump, we ask – what does Anarchy accomplish?

In what ways does the use of Alinsky Tactics such as riots, property damage and butyric acid terrorism accomplish anything?
What is your desired result?

Do progressives think that the Inauguration will be cancelled?
Do they think that Hillary will be given the Presidency?
By what mechanism could that be done?
Even if that was done, is Hillary’s moral history anything to pin our hopes on?

If the progressive goal is to weaken President Trump, so that he would make less progress on the progressive action items we’ve mentioned above, do progressives not realize that a weakened President and administration will not only be weak on abortion, but also in every other area, including our economy and our safety from terrorism? Do you really want to sink the ship you are sitting in?

Word Two about compassion –

Progessives are very admirable in their stated compassion.
But consider the opposite of compassion – heartlessness.

Do progressives not realize that some of their priorities are only compassionate towards one set of people, and only compassionate on the surface?
That some of their priorities become very heartless when the needs and rights of another group of citizens is considered?
Compassion towards a pregnant woman can also be heartless cruelty towards her partially born baby?

All Americans, progressive and conservative want to be compassionate.
We pick different issues on which our compassion focuses, depending our life experience.
We can’t always get what we want, and we can’t be compassionate to all at the same time.
The wishes of citizens and prisoners are opposed to each other and need to be balanced.
The wishes of Christians and Atheists are opposed to each other and need to be balanced.
The wishes of men and women are different, and need to be balanced.
The needs of parents and of children, as well as of teachers, need to be balanced.
Isn’t it time to start realizing that we all intend good, we are all compassionate, and we all have different perspectives that need to have a chance to be tried and to be heard?

Isn’t It Time? 

The Constitution of the United States has set up a framework for this balancing exercise to take place, and has served us reasonably well for centuries.
It is time for progressives to accept a temporary correction and to allow conservatives to have a hand in the game.

Let us all root for each other, pray for each other and, above all, pray for the new President of the United State, Donald Trump.

For the anti-Trumpers, you can always pray for your enemies- prayer helps everyone concerned.

One of the best attributes of conservatives is that they do not have to resort to butyric acid, but can pray.

It’s now time to give conservatives a chance.

 

 

 

The Missing Link

Redefining How We Approach Politics

People are Flocking to Old Articles

This website, originally established to present a Catholic/conservative perspective to those who might be interested, seems to have recently become popular as an historical/political information resource.
Not my choice, but that of visitors, who are targeting very specific articles.

Increased-Traffic1Visitors are flocking to articles written as long as two years ago, on topics such as the 2011 Madison Capitol Teacher’s protests, the 2012 Presidential election, the old Catholic Church abuse scandals, and articles on the subject of freedom OF religion versus freedom FROM religion. (Most visited articles listed below.)

Traffic continues to visit my website even during my attempted vacation (now), despite the noticeable reduction in new articles posted.

The website is also getting significant negative attention in the form of hacking attempts.  We just survived a sophisticated Denial of Service (DoS) attack launched from computers in Europe.
(DoS attacks are usually reserved for much bigger potatoes than me, and they usually target large corporations and businesses.  They are highly illegal,  carry penalties of 10 years computer-hackerimprisonment, and are strictly forbidden by most nations.)  So somebody seems to be pretty motivated to take this website down.

The Question

So the question becomes– in a world with no shortage of political pundits or religion experts, why are people reading articles written by me, Mrs. small potato, with no political or religious credentials, for information on politics and on religion?  And why are those who disagree with me prepared to risk 10 years imprisonment to take me down?

Common Denominator

The common denominator among the most visited articles seems to be analysis of current political and cultural events from a religious and ethical perspective.

Yes, this blog violates the modern mandate of Separation of Church  and State.
in-god-we-trust-coin
Here, the interconnection between God and the events of this modern world are analyzed and examined in a matter-of-fact and straightforward way.  Our focus includes some common sense and some outside-the-box thinking– not surprising, because God always makes sense and God is always outside the box.

Apparently some readers are hungry for this approach.
Other readers want to shut the approach down.

In fact, the world makes much more sense when you add its Creator into the analysis.
And if including the Creator in political analysis makes sense, it makes even more sense to include the Creator in formulating political strategy.

How To Redefine Conservative Political Strategy after the November 2012 Fiasco?

There is little doubt that in 2013 conservative political strategy needs redefining; the Republican party seems on the verge of splitting, a split which could prove lethal to Republicans in the next election, and a split which did contribute to the Republican defeat in November 2012.Slide1

The Republican split is between the Party establishment, which has drifted increasingly over time toward compromise with the left and toward courting the “moderate” vote, and true conservatives, who adhere to conservative Judeo-Christian principles and to conservative fiscal strategy.  True conservatives are pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-balanced budget, and pro-lots of common sense.  The Establishment fears that such “extreme” (i.e., common sense) views may cause the party to lose votes.

Which way to go?  How can we avoid a split?  These are the questions being asked and this is why some seem to be returning to my brand of political analysis, which predicted, before November 2012, the chaos that would result from too much compromise with the left.

The Missing Link in Political Analysis and Strategy

linkPolitical strategists who steer local, national and global power games typically vie for support from every possible source.  They court money, fame, popular culture, the support of organizations, churches, business and media, Hollywood, and the favor of groups, of women, of minorities, and of immigrants.

Rarely does it occur to politicians, and even to some religious politicians, to court the support of the Almighty.

Politicians Courting the Almighty

Therein lies the key to political success- courting assistance from the Almighty.  Dubious as some may be about God’s involvement in human history, His involvement is quite apparent to those who remain open-minded.

When history is viewed from a perspective  that does not automatically exclude the existence of God, God’s action in human history becomes obvious.  The hand of God in human events is most obvious in those events which defy the laws of probability, in those events which accomplish far-reaching, perhaps even global results, where human effort seems to play little or small part in accomplishing the result, and in those events where politicians and battles play no significant role.  Nobody anticipates the result, everyone is surprised by the result, the result is truly remarkable, and no fingerprints are left behind.
That is God’s style and His trademark.

2 God the FatherExamples of such significant events which have shaped the course of human history, yet were not orchestrated by politicians, armies, or missionaries, include the Christianization (actually Catholicization) of  Europe at the time of Constantine, the dismantling of the Soviet Union without battle at the time of President Regan and Pope John Paul the Great, and most recently, the commencement of the the self-destruction of what has sometimes been called the Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama.  In recent months, in the absence of any action on the part of Barack Obama’s political opponents, scandal upon scandal has broken, and President Obama’s reputation and popularity are collapsing swiftly.

Including God in the Plan

There is, indeed, a God Who watches over us and participates in human activity, usually in very surprising and unexpected ways.  So ignoring God, failing to court His support and ignoring His wishes should constitute a pretty big tactical error for political strategists, if God does exist.  It would also be a pretty big tactical error for the 80% of America that prays not to pray for God’s help in restoring justice to our nation and to our world.

People can be so illogical.
90% of Americans believe in God, and they believe daily what CNN reporters report in the news, yet they forget that by definition the God they believe in would be powerful, good and involved with the world, and that it makes little sense to believe Anderson Cooper’s reports on events in Benghazi, while denying historical reports in a chronicle of God’s interaction with humanity, the BibleBible.  So the lessons to be learned from biblical stories like the parting of the Red Sea, or David’s slaying of Goliath, are illustrations of God’s power and of the assistance He provides to those who, like Moses, or like David, have faith in God’s promises and act with great confidence on that faith.  The same God, wielding the same power, is available to us today.  If we were to act with the faith of Moses or of David (or of Constantine, Pope John Paul the Great and Ronald Regan), we can expect monumental results that defy all odds.

We might note that God’s mind rarely works the way ours do. In all the cases cited above, Moses, Goliath, the Christianization of Europe, the defeat of the Soviet Union, and the demise of Barack Obama’s reputation, human expectations did not line up at all with the surprises God provided.

So the missing key to dealing with politics includes remembering to put God into the plan, and then having the faith and the patience to watch Him work in His own time.

Planning Without God

In the absence of a God, if we were reliant solely on our own devices, it would become tempting to fight adversaries with their own tools.  It would become tempting to sling mud back at our opponents, to court voters with promises of lollipops, to court moderate votes with continual compromise of our moral standards, and even to consider introducing a few lying and cheating Alinsky tactics of our own, when dealing with modern “progressive” opponents such as the Obama administration.  How else can we win against the tactics presently being used against us?

Quite a few modern conservatives have fallen into this temptation, and have started compromising with the opposition.  They fall for the fallacious argument that says compromising values will attract moderate voters.  They fall for the fallacious argument that hand-outs will buy votes.  They begin to walk away from their values, they compromise more-and-more, and they foolishly shift never-endingly toward the left.

The nomination of Mitt Romney was an example of such compromise, in which the Republican party split became very apparent, and in which frightened old school Republicans even violated their own convention rules.  They forced through the nomination of Mitt Romney, instead of playing by the rules, instead of negotiating their way through a brokered convention, and instead of considering more than one nominee at the Republican Convention.  They failed to realize that some greats like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Regan were chosen under similar conditions, and that these conservative but previously unknown candidates had principles that were better able to defeat the incumbent Democrat President.

What does including God in politics look like?

When you remember to include God in the plan, you follow His rules, even in the face of overwhelming opposition and of Alinsky tactics, you pray, and you wait.
It takes a lot of faith, but it works.
God always comes through.

Your opposition would LOVE you to divorce politics from principled faith.
Divorcing politics from faith would have paralyzed Moses, David, Constantine, John Paul the Great, Regan, and now in 2013, divorcing politics from faith will paralyze us if we go in that direction.
Why do  you think Lenin worked hard to exterminate religion and why do you think Obama is working so hard to paralyze the Catholic Church through the HHS Mandate?

Because that is how they paralyze their opposition.

Dumping Judeo-Christian Values (or Adopting Alinsky Tactics) Will Boomerang on You

When we succumb to the threats progressives make and we fall for their demands to violate God’s law, we compromise our values.  To fight the devil with his own tools doesn’t work anyway, it boomerangs on us.

In nominating Mitt Romney, conservative and pro-life values were compromised, and Republican Convention rules were broken.  Mitt Romney may be a very nice man.  But he was not elected democratically at the Republican convention, and he does not personify the values of conservative America. Mitt Romney was a compromise with the left, a compromise some claimed was very similar to Barack Obama.   The result was the alienation of true conservatives, and the alienation of numerous Tea Party activists.  This alienation among conservatives was so pronounced that 3 million REGISTERED REPUBLICANS did not go to the polls in November of 2012.

Three million registered Republicans stayed home rather than vote for Mitt Romney, the man who refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony pro-life pledge, who had supported abortion and embryonic stem cell research in the past, and who now supports gay boy scout leaders and gay adoption.  The man who created the blueprint for ObamaCare. The man whose nomination was pushed through by brute force at the Republican convention by the Party Establishment, against the wishes of numerous true conservatives. The man who did not represent the wishes of the people, and so 3 million people did not go to the polls in protest.

Three million votes added to the November 2012 totals would have won the election for Republicans.  If the REGISTERED Republican voters whom the Republican establishment aliented with it’s shenanigans had gone to the polls on November 6, 2012, Barack Obama would no longer be President!

Selling out our values sure does boomerang on us.

What About Those of Us Who Prayed, Who Worked, Who Participated in Freedom of Religion rallies?

The prayers, the work, the Freedom of Religion rallies of 2011 and 2012 in which many true conservatives participated were not wasted.  Americans have been wakng up in recent years both politically and religiously, and are fighting back against the Imperial Obama administration.
God did not ignore those prayers or those efforts.

Mitt Romney would not have been the answer to those prayers.
A true conservative would have been the answer to those prayers, but the Republican establishment made sure, compromising even the rules of the Republican Convention,  that a true conservative was not nominated.

If the Republican Party establishment was prepared to sell out our values and to (undemocratically) ram through  their favored “presumptive nominee,”  we might actually be better off with 4 more years of Barack Obama, rather than with an unknown, opportunistic Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney would have, at best, treaded water for us.  Conservative policy was not likely to be implemented any time soon.

But, four more years of Obama Administration offers the potential for Americans to experience  firsthand the results of the disastrous Obama policy.

Pain and economic hardship can have a sobering effect on people, forcing them to realize that liberalism is a luxury they can no longer afford.  The poor, by definition, cannot be liberal with money and must conserve.  Goodby liberalism, hello conservatism!  God’s balance beam at work!

This principle holds true not only for economic liberalism, but for moral liberalism and for all forms of liberalism.  Society, like individuals, makes mistakes, learns from them, and frequently make corrections, when truth becomes obvious.

Back to the Most Popular Articles

The articles to which my readers have been flocking include those analyzing the Alinsky tactics in use by teacher’s unions in Madison, by progressives in the Democrat party, and by the Obama administration.  They include comparisons between Alinsky tactics and the Ten Commandments.  They include quoting Alinsky’s  dedication of his book to Lucifer, or to Satan.  They also include warnings to Republicans on surrendering moral ground in the face of Alinsky tactics.  They include pointing out that a conservative candidate, contrary to some opinions, would have made a much stronger candidate in the 2012 Presidential election.  They include reminders that America is not a Godless country, that the Constitution is not a Godless constitution, and that it is worth our while to stick to Judeo-Christian morality and to the Constitution of the United States, despite the fear of many that elections can only be won by continual compromise and by erosion of moral ground.

What Insurmountable Problems Do We Face Today?

How, in a nation that appears to be divided 50/50 on moral, cultural and political issues,  do you defeat a Santa Claus administration which is handing out lollipops and favors in exchange for votes, while demonizing hard working Americans with Alinsky tactic lies and with smear tactics?

Does the solution lie in joining the Santa Claus band wagon, and compromising moral absolutes such as abortion, in order to win over a percentage of the “moderate votes,” in an attempt to tip the balance in our favor?

The Solution

Or does the solution lie in bold moral leadership inspired by devotion to God, such as that provided by Presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Regan, who took strong moral stances and inspired voters to support good men and to follow their lead?

When we give up speaking of God, we fail to use our most powerful resource.

Modern political correctness insists that we deny the truth, that we pretend the Emperor (e.g. Obama) is wearing clothes, and that we admire his fabulous non-existent clothes.
When, in actual fact, he is quite naked. The Emperor has no clothes.

Church and State – The Intimate Connection

It is presumed by most, particularly in the United States, that our laws are based on morality. And that law is based on what is right and not wrong, and on what is just and not unjust.

It is a given fact that morality is reasoned out and embodied in religious belief that there is a God, and that He has set down some inviolable laws that even governments cannot violate.
History shows that without limits, in the absence of a higher authority, governments, like individuals, tend toward becoming tyrannical.

It is therefore logical, particularly in a nation that is religious (as is the United States), that at least on some level, there must be a connection between Church and State.  And that government is accountable to God, the maker of the universe.

Christian Principles Fundamental in the Constitution of the United States

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 referred to US citizens being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and the Founders of this nation included Christian principles in the Constitution.  Even the First Amendment, which forbade any law establishing an official national religion, also forbade prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

The religious intent of the First Amendment was further clarified by a 1799 court ruling, which indicated that the Founders intended the US to follow Christian principles, without allowing one religious group to control government:

Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people.  By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing. 1799 – Runkel vs. Winemiller

To this day, the vast majority of the population of the United States (80%) are still Christian.  These Christians vote, and these Christians contribute towards shaping the law.

Further history describing the role of religion in US government and on the origin of “Separation of Church and State” can be found at   Separation of Church and State, NOT SEPARATION OF GOD FROM STATE, by Fr. Bill McCarthy, MSA.

Keeping Your Beliefs Under Your Hat

In the present culture, we are told to keep our religion under our hats, and not to discuss it publicly.
This has been hammered into us so effectively, that most conservatives are intimidated into silence regarding their beliefs.  The likes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation ardently and publicly attack anyone who dares to demonstrate their belief in God visibly.

Just recently, my husband and I had dinner at a great Madison Middle Eastern Restaurant.  Seated at a table not far from us was a group of academics, a professor and graduate student hosting an invited speaker who had obviously just given a lecture at UW Madison on LGBT issues.  Their conversation was focused on LGBT issues, was loud and lively, and tended to dominate the small room we were in.  It was not an exceptional situation in Madison.

My thoughts drifted to the fact that my husband and I were NOT discussing our very conservative views, were NOT discussing them at high volume, and were NOT dominating the room.  I started wondering what would happen to us in Madison, WI, or in most American towns, if we did start doing that.  I realized that many of us have been shushed into silence.

Selective Silence Enables Minority Rule

The silence on morality and on religious beliefs demanded by modern political correctness is not an equitable mandate to which all are subject.  Liberals and progressives remain free push their values publicly and brazenly, and they clamor violation of rights when anyone tries to prevent them from doing so.

Yet conservatives have no such parallel rights, either to speech or to action. When conservatives follow legally prescribed channels and vote their values into law, progressive judges (not elected, but appointed) are found to cancel the democratic majority’s moral resolution.

One prime example of this the the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), voted into law in 1996, yet now challenged by progressives, who hope to use the Supreme Court of the United States to get their way when majority rule does not help them. A Supreme Court, incidentally, to which two progressive radicals have recently been appointed, by progressive President Obama, who does not stand with the American public on most major issues, including gay marriage, federal funding of abortion, and privacy and transparency issues. Recently, the Supreme Court struck down certain aspects of DOMA, ruling that now the federal government has to accept the redefinition of marriage when the states redefine marriage.

Separation of Church and State – Very Important to Define Separation

Separation of Church and State.
Yes, Church and State must be separate in government.
If I had the power to enforce my religious belief system on the United States, I would not do so.
No government can force any one religion, and citizens must be free to choose their beliefs (or non-beliefs).

But that is where the separation ends.
The individual must exercise their religious beliefs, their God-inspired knowledge of what is right and wrong, in the voting booth and in their public stance on issues.
How can any Christian shelve the morality of murder, of theft, or of any moral issue when delegating power to those who govern us?
Those who advocate any such notion are short-sighted; do they have no idea that our independence as a nation and our government  are based on certain inalienable rights?
That even the Imperial Obama administration cannot violate our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?

Future Directions

The answers are pretty simple, and are available to anyone.

I view all of life, including American politics, from a educated religious perspective, and thus I refuse to separate Church and State.
Any shreds of wisdom that may find their way into my material are not my own.
I Quote from the Liturgy of the Hours, a set of daily prayers based on Holy Scripture and available to all:

If the Lord had not been on our side….
Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters.
……………………………………...-Psalm 123 (124)

It’s very simple: stick strictly to God’s law, pray, and wait.
So cool to watch as it works!

Related Post: What Happens When You Take Character Out of Politics

 

Appendix

Articles generating most interest include:

Translation of FFRF ‘Quit the Catholic Church” NY Times Ad

or

It’s Not Easy Being Free From Religion

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) published a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday, March 9, 2012.  The ad mocks and demonizes the leadership of the Catholic Church, while inviting “liberal” and “nominal” Catholics to join FFRF.

It begins:

FFRFs New York Times ad, March 9, 2012

.

.

The logic behind spending $52,000 in an attempt to recruit from a group (the Catholic Church) whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to one’s own group’s (radical atheists) is questionable at best.  The ad comes across either as an excuse to spew bigoted hate speech and ridicule towards the Catholic Church, or as a sign of desperation and instability in FFRF.

TRANSLATION of the FFRF New York Times ad:

We at FFRF have been laboring for decades (for two generations), trying to wipe out all mention of religion in the United States.
Ours has been a difficult road fraught with obstacles, and progress has been slow.
After all these years, our membership only represents 0.003 of 1% of America’s population.

Even fellow atheists keep their distance from us; only 1 out of 1,000 U.S. atheists have joined us.
Imagine, the other 999 out of 1,000 atheists tolerate Christian America (80% of America), and even join them in the more secular aspects of celebrating their holidays!  It makes us sick to our stomachs to watch people buying Christmas trees and buying toys for their children each Christmas.

We valiantly try to spread our creed in any way we can imagine.
We have tried to appeal to people’s intellects, asking them to be “free” thinkers, to question what they are taught and to conclude that we are right; that there is no God.
We have tried to put up golden plaques in State Capitol buildings at Christmas, calling on people to reject gods and to join us in celebrating the pagan Winter Solstice.  Unfortunately, no takers. Our Christmas plaques have informed people that their hearts are hardened by religion and that their minds are enslaved by religion.  Yet people do not flock to us.  They still put up a Christmas tree in the Capitol rotunda that dwarfs our signs by orders of magnitude, and they dare to call it a CHRISTmas tree, as generations of their ancestors have done.

We are working hard to sue Christians who profess their faith publicly, but most of our lawsuits are defeated.  People claim that the Constitution guarantees them the freedom to express their religion publicly, not what we claim, the right not to see any religious beliefs expressed anywhere by anybody except us (atheists are classified on most US campuses as religious organizations).
Even the Constitution makes it hard for us; the Founding Fathers used the term freedom OF religion instead of freedom FROM religion.  You can’t imagine how hard that makes our battle.

We are a modest outfit, with only 4 employees and a $500,000 per year budget.  There is just so much a tiny group can do with that.  We are really doing our best.  Our staff and budget is smaller than the average Christian Church’s staff and budget in Madison, and we are only one group, contrasted with almost 300 Churches in Madison.

So it’s not easy.  We can’t sue everybody.  We try to single out small communities with small budgets (like Marshfield, a small WI town that hardly has any cell phone coverage),  and we sue them whenever their teenagers try to pray on a sports field or their teachers hang the ten commandments in a hallway.  We hope that they will stop expressing their beliefs out of fear of our lawsuit which they cannot afford.  That way, we do not have to go to court and risk losing the case, or use up our meager budget. But people have no sympathy for us.  They don’t understand our pain.  They accuse us of jousting at windmills.

It’s been getting harder and harder.  Now more people have noticed what we are up to.  Organizations have turned up which help small communities when we try intimidation by litigation.  Outfits like the American Center for Law and Justice help the small outfits we try to sue.

Oh, we’ve valiantly tried many things, including suing against the National Day of Prayer.  We fought for 3 years, but lost that one.  People just seem to insist on praying and praying.

In our desperation, we have turned to ridicule.  Last Christmas, we ridiculed the birth of Christ.  We put up a fake “Nativity Scene” at the

FFRF's mockery of the Nativity

Wisconsin State Capitol.  It was a modest effort, reminiscent of the shoebox dioramas we make in grammar school.  But, heck, we don’t have the budget that some of those Christian groups have.  Little attention was paid to our ridicule efforts, and nobody flocked to  join our creed, which is based on the negation and the ridicule of the beliefs of others. Quite a few Madison bloggers laughed off our efforts — life is so hard when nobody takes you seriously!

Now, we are at our wits’ end over our lack of success in recruiting more than 0.003 of 1% of America to our membership in all these years.  Golly, we can’t even expand our ranks biologically; so many of our members do not have children at all, have children who reject our beliefs, or are members who promote and practice abortion. You have no idea how hard it is for an organization to expand amongst radical abortionists!

The last straw came when the world’s most famous atheist admitted last month that he is not sure whether God exists!  What’s an atheist to do? It’s just too depressing.

S0 we had a brainstorm.
We looked for an organization that has it all.
An organization whose creed is followed by the largest number of Americans.
An organization whose membership embraces half the population of Madison.
An organization whose national membership is growing.
An organization which has the best schools in the United States.  And the best hospitals.  And the best charities.
(Unfortunately, we have no schools or hospitals ourselves. We can’t do everything!)
An organization which encourages having children and is successful in passing on beliefs.
Yes, the Catholic Church!
We will recruit from the Catholic Church!
We will steal members from the Catholic Church!

And what is the best way to do that?
With an ad in the New York Times, of course!

So here’s the ad.

Low budget, of course; remember, we don’t have a big budget.
Like the “Nativity” mocking Christ’s birth, we threw it together ourselves.
Never mind that it’s not very professional.That doesn’t matter.
Never mind that it ridicules a quarter of America.
Never mind that 80% of America is Christian and may not like our tactics.
If we lie enough and ridicule enough, maybe we can steal just 0.025 of 1 % of their membership.
That would double our membership overnight!

Heh, heh, heh, wink, wink, wink, drool, drool, drool, what a great plan!
This will really work!

Our next group to target for ridicule and recruitment will be Islam…
let’s see how that works out…

A Tale of Two Presidents: Timothy & Barak

and

What’s Sneaking in Under the Radar?

and

Boy, Did Bart Stupak Get Duped!

The media has been brimming with reports on the conflict between President Barak Obama and the President of the USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops), Archbishop Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan.   The issue involves recent ObamaCare regulations that threaten first amendment rights of Catholics, and of numerous other religious groups.

  • The main players are imposing.
  • Coverage is sensational.
  • The issues are important:

Freedom of religion

Redefinition of rights and of essentials

The players are imposing

President Obama’s administration announced in August 2011 that the now-mandatory ObamaCare would contain regulations requiring the provision of free birth-control/abortifacient drug services by all employers.

The President of the USCCB, Archbishop Dolan, objected in September 2011, calling the regulation an “unprecedented attack on religious freedom” and urging that it be rescinded.  Catholic institutions could not be forced to provide morning-after pills and contraceptives to their employees.  This would constitute a violation of conscience.  For the first time in history, the USCCB formed an Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, to respond to six specific attacks on religious freedom in the United States since June 2011. 

Darn Tootin'

On October 4th, 2011, President Obama, ignoring the objections of the Catholic Bishops, bragged at a DNC fundraiser about the inclusion of contraception in ObamaCare regulations, quipping “Darn tooting!,”  a slang expression for “damn right,” derived from a 1928 Laurel & Hardy silent comedy short, You’re Darn Tootin’.

The President of the USCCB Dolan met with President Obama in November 2011, explaining to Obama the Catholic Church’s objections to the regulation.

On January 20, 2012, it became clear that the Obama administration was not planning to satisfy the Catholic Bishops’ concerns.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the regulations would go forward.  Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable organizations would have to comply by August 1, 2013.  The appeal by Catholic Bishops for a religious exemption was denied.

The USCCB made the next move: mobilizing Catholics to pressure their elected representatives to restore 1st amendment rights to Catholics.  An appeal went out February 5th, 2012 to all Catholics in the United States, to fast, to pray and to approach their legislators opposing this violation of religious freedom.  Catholic parishes in the U.S. heard letters from their Bishop on February 5th.

The USCCB website summarized the concerns of the Bishops of the United States and suggested courses of action for interested citizens (including non-Catholics)  .  The site has been swamped with response, often requiring more than one attempt to access the site.

Locally, Madison’s Cathedral Parish’s Rector Monsignor Holmes explained the background for the religious freedom violation.  Cllick here for mp3 of Msgr. Holmes’ talk.

Bishop Morlino of Madison appealed to Catholics to act in protection of our religious freedoms – click here for Bishop Morlino’s letter to all Diocese of Madison Catholics. continue reading…

The Cardinal and the President

Coming soon…

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See A Tale of Two Presidents – Timothy and Barak

and

A Tale of Two Presidents – the Drama Continues

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Recent online discussion at the Wisconsin State Journal produced some comments defending FFRF’s (Freedom From Religion Foundation’s) legal challenges of religion as being “within their rights.”  I find it surprising that FFRF persists in their vendetta to eradicate public mention of religion, considering that atheists are often listed as tax-exempt religious organizations themselves, and even the textbook definition of religion includes the beliefs that they espouse.  So, ultimately atheists are just pushing their OWN religious beliefs in preference to those of others.

Supporters of FFRF have also argued that   Judeo-Christian values “have shaped Western Civilization by means of state-sanctioned swordpoint.” Perhaps FFRF and its supporters are confusing militant Islamic radicals with peace loving Christians in 2011?  It is hard to find evidence of “enforcement of religion by sword point” in the US, where 80% of us are Christian, and in Madison, where 53% are Catholic, 22% Evangelical Lutheran, and only 10% of the population is outside of Christian denominations (ref).   Not too many swords being wielded by Mayor Cieslewicz or by President Obama recently as far as I can tell.

. Is not FFRF jousting at windmills?  Like Don Quixote, FFRF has imagined an enemy where no enemy exists in 2011 America.

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If FFRF were so “within their rights,” they would have more supporters than 0.003 of 1% of America, their frivolous lawsuits would be on a larger and more meaningful scale than at present, and they would enjoy better success in court.

To date, most of their demands and lawsuits have been directed at small communities, which cannot afford litigation costs.  For example, recently FFRF has challenged Marshfield, WI’s City Council’s practice of  prayer . The population of Marshfield is about 18,000; Marshfield is about 7% the size of Madison.

A number of FFRF’s and similar legal challenges have already been denied by the courts.  The U.S. Supreme Court (1983, Nebraska Legislature prayer), as well as a 2008 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, have upheld legislative prayer .  Is FFRF also planning to initiate a lawsuit against President Obama, who ended his State of the Union address with the words “God bless America?”

FFRF’s recent, larger-scale attempt to declare the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional did succeed for one week in April of 2010 with a liberal Wisconsin judge (Barbara B. Crabb,District Judge) ruling in their favor, but the ruling was promptly challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice .  The Obama administration is planning to fight to preserve the law establishing the National Day of Prayer.  The idea of a national Day of Prayer has existed since 1775, and was supported by the constitutional congress, and by numerous Presidents, including President Lincoln.

The rationale for preserving the National Day of Prayer can be found at the American Center for Law and Justice .

There can be no denying that FFRF efforts towards the enforcement of public ATHEISM should be resisted by all reasonable Americans, just as those trying to force ANY particular religion should be resisted.   FFRF’s efforts at intimidation of small communities by litigation are misguided and are to be condemned.  FFRF should practice the same tolerance towards religious Americans that religious Americans practice towards FFRF.

Why are our many different religious roots so revered in the United States?  The United States was first settled by people fleeing governments which forbade free exercise of religion. In more recent times, my own relatives came here fleeing the occupation of Lithuania by an atheist regime which denied religious freedom.  Those unable to escape, spent decades in Siberian exile and in concentration camps.  I wonder if FFRF atheists realize where radical vendettas by intolerant people wishing to control the beliefs of others (either atheist zealots OR religious zealots) can lead?  How many RELIGIOUS groups have intimidated FFRF with numerous and frivolous lawsuits?

St. Pauls Catholic Center, UW Madison

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My interest in the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) was sparked last month when the FFRF started opposing the private plans of the Catholic Student Center in my town, Madison (http://sytereitz.com/2011/01/freeedom-from-religion/ ).  Since then, in one month I have seen stories online about FFRF’s attempts to interfere in local affairs in Giles County, VA, Iowa State Legislature, Colorado, Ellwood City, PA, Yakima, WA, Polk County, FL, and more.

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In each case, FFRF seems to rely on the limitations of small local budgets to intimidate the local groups, demanding that they eliminate public expression of religion, or suffer large litigation costs.

Although FFRF claims that any public expression of religion violates the Constitution, many others believe the reverse to be true, and some court rulings have upheld public expression of religion, including pre- legislative prayer and display of the Ten Commandments.  FFRF seems to rely on threats of litigation toward SMALL communities with SMALL budgets to achieve its goals of banishing religion incrementally.

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The U.S. Bill of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

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The communities affected by FFRF’s threats of litigation, as well as all communities across America which are in sympathy with preserving our Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of religion, should band together to fight the relatively small FFRF together.  FFRF constitutes only 0.003 of 1% of America’s population, while religious people and Christians constitute 90% and 80%.  FFRF’s holdings are $5million, and their annual income is $500,000.  They have a paid staff of four people.  By business standards, this is a relatively small outfit.  If conservative America joined forces, this radical atheist organization with its unconstitutional agenda would be relatively easy to defeat.

One more avenue of opposition to FFRF’s agenda would be for conservative America to join the affected communities in establishing pre-legislative prayer, display of the 10 commandments/Constitution in schools, and nativity displays at Christmas in numerous communities across the nation.  The more communities joining in such an effort, the more FFRF’s limited resources would be spread thin.

This is one battle America could easily win.

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As is often the case, a Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) article sent me on an interesting thought trajectory last week.

In a New Years Day 2011 article, WSJ author Chris Rickert wrote, “I approached a handful of more-or-less randomly chosen (Madison) people who aren’t exactly celebrities (but aren’t exactly unknown either) about coming up with resolutions for Madison.”

The Greek word "atheoi" αθεοι ("those who are without god") as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians 2:12, on early 3rd-century Papyrus"

When thus approached, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) atheist Annie Laurie Gaylor suggested the following resolution for Madison: “just say no to the (St. Paul’s Catholic Student) Center‘s unreasonable demand for a tax-free, 14-story dormitory and religious addition.”  Apparently this Madison atheist’s primary concern for 2011 seemed to be preventing the replacement of UW Madison’s Catholic student headquarters. (!)

Questions immediately came to mind:

St. Paul's from 1909

  • Why would opposition to the Catholic Student center be so high on an atheist organization’s priority list?   (The replacement will be funded by private donations, and replaces an existing Catholic Student center, which has been in existence at that location since 1909.)
  • Why is MY Catholic religion being singled out by the atheists?  (The atheist’s objections did not include other campus religious groups or buildings, or their tax-exempt status.)
  • Isn’t the atheist being inconsistent? Isn’t atheism a religion as well?  Aren’t atheists simply opposing OTHER people’s religions in preference to their own? Why would they particularly single out Catholicism?

Searching the UW Madison student organization website, atheists came up as the second listing under RELIGIOUS student organizations– Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics @ UW-Madison. So atheism is listed as a religion at UW, along with Catholic student groups, Muslim student groups, and others.

If the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is so opposed to religion, what are they specifically opposed to?

According to dictionary.com, religion is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

  • Is FFRF opposed to exploring the cause, nature and purpose of the universe?
  • Does FFRF deny the right of others to believe in a superhuman agency (as 80% of Madison and 80% of America does)?
  • Is FFRF opposed to a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs?
  • Are atheists not contradicting themselves, since they also adhere to a system of beliefs and are listed under UW Madison religious organizations?

My curiosity piqued, I visited the Freedom From Religion Foundation(FFRF) website  “about” page, where I found the statement:

“The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.”

Abraham Lincoln

Hmmm….according to FFRF, so much for considering contributions to Western civilization by Jesus Christ, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Johann Sebastian Bach, Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Clarence Thomas, Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa………?

The FFRF “about” page goes on to claim ownership of prison reform, humane treatment of the mentally ill, abolition of capital punishment, the end of slavery, women’s suffrage, and more, for people who are “free of” religion.

Johnny Cash

A brief historical tour of these topics does not support FFRF’s claims—no one group had a monopoly on reform in these areas, and numerous religious people were involved, including famous names like Abraham Lincoln and Johnny Cash.

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A visit to Wikipedia’s entry on FFRF indicates that FFRF maintained a sign in the Wisconsin State Capitol during the Christmas season, which reads:

FFRF sign at Wisconsin Capitol

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“At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.
There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens the heart and enslaves minds.”

-A disturbingly intolerant statement about many religions, particularly for a city like Madison, which prides itself on its University, its intellectualism and its tolerance!

Consider a simple substitution in the last sentence of the sign:                                    Atheism is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” instead of Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens the heart and enslaves minds.”

How would FFRF tolerate the exhibition of that in the State Capitol on a gold sign for children to view?

The first line of the FFRF verse is also inconsistent with FFRF’s supposed mission; Winter Solstice, capitalized, refers to pagan celebrations, which are religious.  Is FFRF promoting pagan holidays, while opposing Christian ones like Christmas?  Hardly sounds like freedom from religion.

The FFRF Christmas season sign is an inconsistent curiosity at best, and surely would not be appreciated by 80% of Madison, who are Christian, when they bring their children to see the Christmas tree at the Capitol each year!

How many atheists are there, anyway? Wikipedia claims 2.5% of the world’s population, 2% of the U.S. population.

And of these, how many are so militant that they cannot tolerate a Christmas tree or a “Merry Christmas” wish?  The couple of atheists/agnostics I know have no problem with Christmas, and they participate in Christmas celebrations and Christmas giving with enthusiasm.  They are quite tolerant of the Christian majority in America, and enjoy the spirit of the occasion.  So what percentage of Americans does the FFRF really represent?  It is certainly lower than the total of all atheists, 2%.  The FFRF website lists their North American membership of 15,500, which is 0.003 of 1% of the population, or one in 33 thousand people.

City-data.com demographics list Madison as 53% Catholic, 22% Evangelical Lutheran, and only 10% of the population outside of Christian denominations.

So as we delve further into the facts, we discover that in the City of Madison, which is 53% Catholic and 80% Christian, and in the State of Wisconsin, which is 29% Catholic and 80% Christian, the insignificant number of militant atheists want to prevent Catholic students from replacing their Catholic student center at their own cost when membership swells.

Catholic students in front of St. Paul's

Perhaps it is the tax-deductible status of the Catholic Student Center that offends FFRF?  The Catholic student center is located between its brethren structures, Calvary Lutheran Student Center, and Pres House, the Presbyterian Student Center.  All three are religious institutions and all three are tax-exempt.  The FFRF is also tax exempt, and the UW Madison atheist student organization (listed under Religious Student Organizations) is tax exempt. So tax exemption cannot be the problem.

Does FFRF think that UW or the City of Madison will be paying for the new structure?

FFRF’s Annie Julie Gaylor stated:“(St. Paul’s Catholic Student) Center’s unreasonable demand for a tax-free, 14-story dormitory and religious addition.” — but St. Paul’s Catholic Center is not demanding anything from anybody.  They already own the location since 1909, and the new building will be paid for by private donations.

So the Catholic Center is not unique in its tax-free status. The Catholic students are not demanding anything from anybody.  Perhaps it is the expansion that FFRF is opposed to?

St. Paul's today

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The expanded taller structure reflects the increase in Catholic students participating in the Catholic Center, and this is not surprising in a town which is 53% Catholic and a State which is 29% Catholic.  29 to 53% of the UW campus would represent about 11,000 to 21,000 students.  Does the FFRF, representing between 0.003% and  2% of the population (this would correspond to between 1 and 800 students), wish to deny the 80% Christian majority access to religious organizations and dormitories to support the student population’s interests and priorities?

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In a world in which litigation has much power to intimidate, small groups such as the FFRF have made some headway toward abolishing the rights of self-expression guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights of the United States:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

The FFRF, with their $5 million fund balance, their half-million dollar yearly income, and 15,000 (North American) membership, is a small organization at best.  Yet FFRF has made some inroads towards stifling the freedom OF religion guaranteed to us in the United States– primarily by filing lawsuits against public expressions of religion.

FFRF should be reminded that the preposition used by the founding fathers in the Bill of Rights is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. They should be reminded that they are the guests among a majority of religious people in this country, who exhibit more much tolerance towards FFRF than is reciprocated.  And in preparation for the next time our freedom OF religion is threatened by frivolous FFRF lawsuits, we should start a Freedom OF Religion Fund to pay for the defense of the Bill of Rights against militant atheists like FFRF.  We 80% Christians and 90% religious people in this country, as well as the 8-10% tolerant atheists/agnostics/unsure believers, would prevail against the aggressive and intolerant attitudes of groups like the FFRF if we woke up, got organized and took action.

FFRF should take a lesson in tolerance from Bishop Morlino, another one of the people consulted by WSJ for this article’s New Year’s resolutions for Madison.  Bishop Morlino did not suggest stifling FFRF’s plans, challenging their tax-exempt status, or interfering with FFRF in any way.  Bishop Morlino suggested some daily quiet personal introspection for everyone in Madison– which Annie Laurie Gaylor would be wise to consider.

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