Thursday, December 30, 2004

Generosity With Other People's Money

After the tsunami disaster this week--in which the death toll now has topped 117,000--President Bush assured the media that we're compassionate people, pledging at least $15 million in relief aid. One U.N. official denounced the U.S. as "stingy" for this paltry sum. Isn't that precious? The U.S. provides more foreign aid than any other country in the world, but we are "stingy?" The U.N. conducts its affairs (like the illustrious Oil-for-Food scandal) largely through the financial beneficence of the U.S., yet we are "stingy." A massive collision with a heavenly body almost would be worth it, if U.N. headquarters were struck, first. But I digress with this happy thought.

The issue is not whether we recognize the tragedy in Asia and parts of Africa; nor is it that we are a generous, helpful people. Both of these are givens. The issue is: does the government, without the consent of the American public, have the right to procure taxpayer monies and send them overseas as disaster relief aid? My answer is no. There is no provision for this in the Constitution, so this is yet another usurpation of power not delegated to it on the government's part.

Davy Crockett--legendary hero and congressman from Tennessee--found himself in a similar situation. Early in the 1800s, Congress was mulling over a bill to appropriate tax dollars for the widow of a deceased naval officer. Most of the House members agreed with the bill's sentiments.

Here's how Mr. Crockett reacted: He spoke a few words of respect for the dead officer. But he insisted that such respect should not lead to an act of injustice by those still living. He went on:

“I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

“Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Sir, this is no debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

When he finished speaking, silence hung heavy in the air. Crockett seated himself, and when the bill came up for a vote, instead of passing unanimously--as had been expected--only a few representatives voted in favor of the bill.

Would that more people like Crockett served as congressmen.

Being charitable with your own money is a wonderful sacrifice; the government taking your money and being charitable for you without your input is a travesty.

Wisdom from the Ancient World

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato

At least in this regard, he would have felt right at home with our Founding Fathers.

Hillary Clinton may now breathe a sigh of relief. He did say "men," after all.

Party Poopers

From the Rutherford Institute:

One of the most touching calls to come our way this Christmas was from a parent whose child wanted to bring a birthday cake for Jesus to his holiday party at school. A flier, decorated with a menorah and a girl with a wreath of candles on her head, had been sent out instructing the students to bring some kind of food that their family traditionally had for the holidays. But the little boy’s teacher claimed that a birthday cake for Jesus would not be allowed because it was “too religious and the party is not about religion.”

Then what, pray tell, is the party about? They never answer this question. The modern definition of tolerance is not to offend those who have expressed no outrage, all at the expense of Christians. With followers of Christ, the standard is different. Not only is offending them permissible, it is downright mandatory.

Founding Quotes of Note XXI

"Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question." --Thomas Jefferson


"It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect." --James Madison

Sounds like Jefferson and Madison were big-government liberals, doesn't it?

Friday, December 24, 2004

One Solitary Life

Let us turn now to the story.

A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.

Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, What kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life...

--From the 1926 book, The Real Jesus, by Dr. James Allan Francis

Merry Christmas!

I probably won't be doing any blogging until after Christmas, so I'd like to just wish every single one of my readers and commenters a wonderful Christmas! Have a blessed new year, as well! May you all enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Remember--Jesus is what it's all about. His birth began a series of events that shook the world; and from his death and resurrection, we gained life eternal. All we have to do is accept this lovely gift above all gifts, this sacrifice of unquantifiable worth. Praise the Lord for his love and mercy!

Friday, December 17, 2004

O Canada

Some immigrants aren't welcome in Canada.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

Seven Lebanese are scheduled today for deportation from Canada into the hands of terrorists likely to imprison, torture or kill them, say activists working on their behalf.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

Two recent examples illustrate these international law violations by Canadian immigration authorities, say human rights activists Jerry Gordon and Brigitte Gabriel.

In the first example, an SLA vet had fled South Lebanon via Israel in 1992. He entered Canada and obtained his citizenship after more than 12 years of residency. He was arrested in July 2004 at the Beirut International Airport, detained and tortured in Lebanon. He went on a compassionate mission to visit his sick elderly parents living there. The SLA vet had a Canadian passport and a valid Lebanese visa.

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

In the second example, SLA vet Ibrahim el Khoury along with his wife Norma Ata and his two children Kamal and Elie (the infant being a Canadian citizen) were arrested on their arrival at Beirut International Airport Sept. 27, 2004. Ibrahim was imprisoned and tortured while the family was detained for a few days and harshly interrogated.

"Little time remains for effective action to save the SLA veterans from almost certain death at the hands of Hezbollah operations and militias now in control of Southern Lebanon," said Gordon and Brigitte in a prepared statement. "It is absurd that Canada, one of the world’s premier human rights advocates and sanctuaries would permit this travesty of justice to unfold."

I don't know all the facts of this case, but a few items piqued my interest:

1. At least one of these men had lived legally in Canada for 12 years, and is now a citizen.
2. Canada has some of the most liberal immigration policies in the Western world, treating even illegal immigrants with leniency.
3. These men are former members of the South Lebanon Army, formerly allies of Israel.

Is it just me, or do you find it strange that Canada is serving these people with deportation notices? It makes me wonder.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

School Can't Make Up Its Mind

Here's an exercise in contradiction.

DENVER -- The parents of an elementary school student who was told not to distribute invitations asking classmates to join a Bible club sued the school district in federal court Wednesday, claiming their right to religious freedom had been violated.

The lawsuit says the Gilpin County RE-1 School District violated constitutional rights protecting free speech and religion. Robert and Patricia Unruh said the school barred their daughter from distributing the invitations based solely on their religious content.

The suit said Gilpin Elementary School Principal Deb Benitez told the Unruhs she had received several complaints from parents and that the invitations had caused a disturbance.

Superintendent Ken Ladouceur, who like Benitez is named in the lawsuit, said he had not seen the suit and did not know details about the case. But he said principals are authorized to make decisions to avoid disturbances in their schools.

"The principal's responsible for the peaceful environment of the school, so yes, it is the principal's call," Ladouceur said.

The lawsuit also accuses the school of discriminating against Patricia Unruh by repeatedly denying her requests to advertise a summer Bible camp that is separate from the club. Patricia Unruh asked to distribute flyers for students to take home to their parents.

Other groups, such as the Girl Scouts and Little League, are allowed to advertise in such a way, the suit says.

And the contradiction:

The superintendent said that while he doesn't know details of this specific case, district policy would allow flyers for an extracurricular Bible school to be distributed along with material about other activities.

"The policy was crafted to ensure all groups are treated the same way, religious or otherwise," he said.

Huh? Did you catch that? Which is it, Superintendent Dunderhead? Is it allowed, or not? And how is it treating everyone the same way, when you require students who wish to disseminate religious (Christian) material to distribute these items "along with material about other activities," but insist on no such criterion from the Girl Scouts and other groups?

The Unruhs established "God's Girlz" last year as a family-run social group for girls in fifth and sixth grade, the lawsuit says. The club allowed girls to participate in service projects, parties and other events while learning about the Bible.

The summer Bible group and God's Girlz pay rent to meet in a building on school district grounds but are not affiliated with the district, the suit says. The school is in Black Hawk, in the Rockies foothills west of Denver.

The Unruhs say in the lawsuit that their daughter distributed invitations to students before school and during her lunch hour on two days in September. About a week later, Benitez told the Unruhs several parents had complained and said the invitations had caused a disturbance, according to the suit.

How charming! The school district rents a building to the Bible club--a building located on school property--but the child cannot advertise the club's activities at school, on her own time.

Isn't tolerance grand?

Government Scools: Havens of Indoctrination

How many reasons do you need to pull your kids out of public school? Well, here's another great one:

Two parents who objected to a Massachusetts high school's homosexual-awareness day were expelled from the campus after a mother began videotaping a session.

Brian Camenker, an activist who has a son at Newton North High School in Newtonville, Mass., and Kim Cariani, mother of two students, said four police officers and the school principal warned they would be charged with trespassing if they didn't leave the campus Wednesday.

The school did not send home a note to parents about the event, a Newton North spokeswoman acknowleged to CWA's Culture & Family Institute. But she said the event is listed on the school's website and in calendars at the beginning of the year, and some e-mails were sent out.

The principal demanded Cariani turn over the videotape or leave, Camenker told the Herald. District policy prohibits taping or photographing students without parental permission.

"They took the two of us and pulled us out and gave us one minute to leave and if we came back on the property we would be arrested for trespassing," Camenker said.

A local newspaper columnist, Tom Mountain of the Newton Tab, also was barred from the assembly "for the safety and security of the children."

Camenker told CWA he sent a copy of the event schedule to the school superintendent and all eight school board members prior to the event, advising them that parents would be at school that day monitoring activities.

Two questions:

1. If such events are as benign and wholesome as the schools would have us believe, what possible problem could administrators have with a parent videotaping the activities?

2. If policy prohibits taping or photographing students without parental permission, does that mean we'll see well-meaning parents threatened or even carted off to jail, during the next "Saturnalia Festival" (formerly Christmas), or "Gratitude Toward the Enlightened Indigenous Peoples' Day" (formerly Thanksgiving), when camera shutters click and camcorders roll tape? I'm assuming most of these schools do have parties, plays, and other student celebrations, during various holidays.

At a "gay day" two years ago, Camenker said, a 20-year-old male wearing a dress spoke to students, telling them he was taking female hormones but hadn't yet had his penis cut off.

And you thought your kids weren't learning a thing in school.

Massachusetts taxpayers pay about $1.5 million annually for a Gay and Lesbian Youth Commission that aggressively promotes homosexuality in public schools and helps schools create "Gay/Straight Alliances," student clubs that press for acceptance of homosexuality.

The school's website notice about "To BGLAD" includes the long-discredited "fact" that one in 10 students is homosexual, CWA says. Most researchers place the population at only about 1 percent.

Isn't it nice seeing your tax dollars put to good use?

An outline of Wednesday's event on the district's website included these descriptions of these sessions:

"A Day in the Life: Statistically one in ten students at this school are (sic) not straight. Teenage life is complicated enough, but how does it differ for Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual/ Transgender (GLBT) teens? Come to this panel and find out."

"Student Speakout: Newton North students read original pieces about GLBT issues."

"Life Outside the Gender Norm: What happens when ones (sic) gender identity does not match their sex? In this session, speakers will talk about their experiences with gender identity and expression."

"Out at the Old Ballgame: Athletes and coaches discuss what it’s like to be GLBT in the gym, on the field, and on the road."

"Family Matters: What does it mean to be a family? What discriminations and legal obstacles do queer families face? Children and parents discuss living with queer family members."

"GBLT What's in a Name: What is homophobia? heterosexism? Why is there a ToBGLADay? In this interactive presentation, we will use activities to provide the groundwork for talking about GBLT issues."

"Color Me Queer: A panel discussion of race, culture, and sexual identity."

I know it's stating the obvious, but there's not a shred of skepticism or objectivity in this representation. Clearly, the goal is equating homosexual, bisexual, trans-gendered, and lesbian lifestyles with normal sexual behaviors and roles. Such propaganda probably would bring a tear of pride to Goebbels' eye.

Another Stem-Cell Success Story

This is the kind of story I like:

Surgeons in Germany say they used stem cells from a 7-year-old girl's fat to help repair severe damage to her skull. It's apparently the first time that researchers have generated bone in a person by using the fat-derived cells.

The new work is an example of using so-called ''adult'' stem cells, as opposed to the more controversial ''embryonic'' stem cells that are recovered from early embryos. Adult stem cells are found in bone marrow and elsewhere in the body, and scientists hope to use their transforming ability to create replacement tissues for treating disease.

The girl in the new report had been injured in a fall two years before the surgery. She was missing several areas of skull totaling nearly 19 square inches, the German researchers reported.

Other surgeons had failed to correct the defects, and the girl wore a protective helmet. Her brain could sometimes be seen pulsating through the missing areas of her skull.

But several weeks after the stem-cell surgery, she was able to leave her helmet behind, the researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery. The skull is now smooth to the touch, the missing parts replaced by thin but solid bone, said Dr. Hans-Peter Howaldt of the Justus-Liebig-University Medical School in Giessen, Germany. The child was not identified.

Though the doctors in the article were unable to prove beyond doubt that the stem-cells fixed the problem, they had no better explanation. At any rate, the procedure succeeded. Keep in mind that embryonic stem-cells weren't involved. I've read several stories of this type, involving adult stem-cells, or stem-cells taken from living people without harming the patient. Where are all the embryonic stem-cell success stories?

Founding Quotes of Note XX

"'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government." --George Washington

Thursday, December 16, 2004

O Holy Night

In honor of our Savior's birth, I give you the background and lyrics to a very beautiful song:

The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams (1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).

O Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in a lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Traditionally, the song is sung a little differently, omitting certain verses, slightly changing others. But this is the original text. What a lovely ode to Jesus!

Oh, Calamitous Day!

I received this woeful email, earlier today. After a few tears and a couple of crescent rolls, I felt better. I thought I'd share news of this legend's passing with you.

From Poppin' Fresh Press Syndicate:

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection, and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, two children, JohnDough and Jane Dough, who has a bun in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, The California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart "cookie", wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still, as a crusty old man, was considered a roll model for millions The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

A great American icon has winged his way to that big breadbasket in the sky. First Julia Child, and now this. What's the world coming to?

I suddenly feel the urge to bake. Blueberry muffins, I believe.

Monday, December 13, 2004

God Bless Barry Goldwater

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can." --Sen. Barry Goldwater

Refreshing stuff. Whatever happened to Republicans like this?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Dallying With the Left

Here's a good article about how supposed conservative Christians are banding together in support of Republicans, under the auspices that doing so is "voting Christian." I found the following two paragraphs particularly interesting:

During his first term, President Bush signed Domestic Partnership Bills that for the first time gave federal benefits to same-sex couples. He appointed numerous open homosexuals to high public office even paying travel expenses for their homosexual partners. Bush increased abortion funding through "family planning" organizations like Planned Parenthood. His open border policy leaves our nation vulnerable to more terrorist attacks while Americans are being sexually abused at airports in the name of protecting them from terrorists. Knowing how anti-Christian our government schools are, what benefit is there for Christian families under Bush's proposed Orwellian "New Freedom Initiative" that calls for all children under the age of 18 years (eventually all Americans) to be examined by a psychiatrist? Sounds more like Stalinist Russia than America to me. In this age of "political correctness", both religion and aversion to socialism are considered mental illnesses. On ABC News with Charles Gibson, Bush again stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God - we just have different routes of getting there. It seems that I could continue on with this list almost endlessly, but I think I have proven my point overwhelmingly that Falwell's statement "I proudly say they voted Christian" is false. Those who use the voting for the "lesser of two evils" argument certainly cannot claim that as a Christian concept. We did have a better choice. It's interesting to note that President Bush says he owes his "conversion" to the Reverend Billy Graham. While Graham, often known as "America's pastor", is probably one of the best-loved individuals of the 20th century, you might be surprised at some of his statements. On Larry King Live in December 1994, Graham stated that "homosexuals are born that way and that it's in their genes."[1] This statement of course is false because homosexuals cannot reproduce and therefore cannot pass on their genes to the next generation. Unfortunately by his statement, Graham leaves the thought open to millions of his followers that homosexuals are not responsible for their lifestyles. If Graham is responsible for Bush's "conversion", perhaps this is why Bush along with many other Americans accept "civil unions" (virtual marriage) for homosexuals. This of course contradicts the Word of God.

Graham also said that one does not have to believe in Jesus to go to heaven! When Pastor Robert Schuller, one of the fathers of the church growth movement, asked him "…what do you think is the future of Christianity?" Graham responded in part "…Outside the Christian groups, I think everybody who knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ." He went on to say, "…whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus …and I think they are saved, and that they are going to be in heaven with us."[2] Perhaps it is because of Billy Graham that President Bush thinks that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

Let me just say that I found the slam against Billy Graham unnecessary, even if true. But the article ably points out some serious deficits in Bush's leadership abilities--as they pertain to conservative ideals.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Banning Christmas: A New Holiday Tradition

How original. Addle-brained school administrators reveal their intellectual constipation. Read all about it.

An elementary school in Oklahoma pulled all references to Christmas from its holiday play at the last minute, but left in references to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

What I find laughable is the idea that such discrimination does not denote an anti-Christian bias. As I said, laughable--and contemptible.

The superintendent overseeing Lakehoma Elementary School in Mustang, Okla., banned a nativity scene and the song "Silent Night" from the presentation, which was scheduled for last night, citing fears that non-Christians might be offended and file suit against the school.

Of course, this makes perfect sense. After all, we would never want someone to get the erroneous impression that Christmas is about--dare I say it?--the birth of Christ! And as I've inquired on Vox's blog, recently: Why is it that offending people is only a concern, when the offendees are not Christians? Do you see the conscious deceit, here? This isn't about tolerance. This isn't about inoffensiveness. This is about denigrating, ignoring, and muzzling Christians. If that's what tolerance is, I want no part of it. Notice that such acts almost never materialize after someone complains. They occur when no complaints have been voiced. In other words, the schools are terrified of a fiction. And since when is freedom of religious expression predicated upon not offending someone? I don't recall that clause in the Constitution.

Further, why on earth would anyone be offended by carols and nativity scenes during the Christmas season? Where I come from, there's a term for such people:


Springer (the school superintendant) told Eyewitness News of Oklahoma City he was concerned about violating the law since the play highlights the Christian tradition of Christmas above other religious and cultural traditions.

"I just could not break the law," Springer said. "We may have sins of omission occasionally, but we won't have sins of commission. If I know about something that I believe to be against the law, (then) we will take action on it."

What law is this mental giant and legislative expert violating? Well, he doesn't bother to say.

It seems the new holiday tradition across America is the total shutting down and excision of even the most minute references to Christ at Christmastime.

It warms my heart.

Separation of Christianity and Education

Here we go again:

Colorado is discriminating against religious schools and universities in its state student aid programs, a lawsuit filed in federal court charges.

Colorado Christian University says it applied to participate in the programs in September 2003, but last month, the application was denied on the sole ground that the school was "pervasively sectarian."

Here's yet another case of the state demonstrating its brazen ignorance in constitutional matters. "Separation of Church and State," in fact, cannot be found in the document. The First Amendment clearly lays out two stark points in religious matters. 1. Congress cannot pass a law abridging religious expression. 2. Congress cannot pass a law requiring the setup of an official state religion. Within its historical context, this focused on refusing support of one denomination of Christianity over another, since the country was--at that time--an overwhelmingly Christian nation. (This still holds true)

The idiotic "separation of Church and State" mindset pervading the public square, today, has nothing to do with the Constitution. If a student qualifies for--and receives-- state college aid, should he be hindered from attending the school of his choice, simply on the grounds that the school is unrepentantly Christian in its worldview? Constitutionally, this doesn't pass muster.

So Coloradans, understand that if you accept state-funded aid for college, you must attend the school of their choice--preferably one in which you will receive the proper secular indoctrination du jour.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

The Twelve Rules of Christmas

I agree with this list, mostly. Of course, even The Rutherford Institute has proven itself susceptible to political correctness. Though this list is a good target to aim for, for the most part, I'm sure the government will shoot wide of the mark:

(Compiled by attorneys for The Rutherford Institute)

Unfortunately, Christmas has become a time of controversy over what can or cannot be done in terms of celebrating the holiday. In order to clear up much of the misunderstanding, the following twelve rules are offered:

1. Public school students’ written or spoken personal expressions concerning the religious significance of Christmas (e.g., T-shirts with the slogan, "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season") may not be censored by school officials absent evidence that the speech would cause a substantial disruption.

2. So long as teachers are generally permitted to wear clothing or jewelry or have personal items expressing their views about the holidays, Christian teachers may not be prohibited from similarly expressing their views by wearing Christmas-related clothing or jewelry or carrying Christmas-related personal items.

3. Public schools may teach students about the Christmas holiday, including its religious significance, so long as it is taught objectively for secular purposes such as its historical or cultural importance, and not for the purpose of promoting Christianity.

4. Public school teachers may send Christmas cards to the families of their students so long as they do so on their own time, outside of school hours.

5. Public schools may include Christmas music, including those with religious themes, in their choral programs if the songs are included for a secular purpose such as their musical quality or cultural value or if the songs are part of an overall performance including other holiday songs relating to Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or other similar holidays.

6. Public schools may not require students to sing Christmas songs whose messages conflict with the students’ own religious or nonreligious beliefs.

7. Public school students may not be prohibited from distributing literature to fellow students concerning the Christmas holiday or invitations to church Christmas events on the same terms that they would be allowed to distribute other literature that is not related to schoolwork.

8. Private citizens or groups may display crèches or other Christmas symbols in public parks subject to the same reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that would apply to other similar displays.

9. Government entities may erect and maintain celebrations of the Christmas holiday, such as Christmas trees and Christmas light displays, and may include crèches in their displays at least so long as the purpose for including the crèche is not to promote its religious content and it is placed in context with other symbols of the Holiday season as part of an effort to celebrate the public Christmas holiday through its traditional symbols.

10. Neither public nor private employers may prevent employees from decorating their offices for Christmas, playing Christmas music, or wearing clothing related to Christmas merely because of their religious content so long as these activities are not used to harass or intimidate others.

11. Public or private employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs require that they not work on Christmas must be reasonably accommodated by their employers unless granting the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

12. Government recognition of Christmas as a public holiday and granting government employees a paid holiday for Christmas does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.


Rule 5: Kwanzaa? Gimme a break. This is a holiday founded by a Marxist, to make all the workers/Soviets/collectivists happy in their production. Putrid that they would even give the slightest creedence to such rubbish.

Rule 10: Who defines "intimidation" and "harrassment?" Some folks feel intimidated, harrassed, and assaulted by the mere fact that Christians exist. Far too vague.

Same-Sex Marriage: A Series

Bob Hayes, from Let's Try Freedom, offers a thoughtful series of posts on same-sex marriage. I don't agree with his conclusions, though I found his commentary thought-provoking and interesting. Recommended.


Part I: Homosexuality

Part II: Homosexuality

Part III: Church and State

Part IV: Church and State

Part V: Church and State


Sunday, December 5, 2004

God Protects Fools and Tennesseeans

A few jokes about Tennessee folk. Call it a little self-deprecating humor:

The owner of a golf course in Tennessee was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, "You graduated from the Univ. of Tennessee and I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?"

The secretary thought a moment, then replied,

"Everything but my earrings."

You gotta love those Tennessee women.
A group of TN. friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for
the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under
the weight of an eight-point buck.

"Where's Henry?" the others asked.

"Henry had a stroke of some kind. He's a couple of miles back up the
trail," the successful hunter replied.

"You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?" they

"A tough call," nodded the hunter. "But I figured no one is going to
steal Henry!
Regarding the year 2000, a senior at Tennessee was overheard saying ...
when the end of the world comes, I hope to be in Tennessee."

When asked why, he stated that everything happens here 20 years later
than the rest of the civilized world.
The young Tennessean came running into the store and said to his buddy,
"Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!"

Bubba replied, "Did you see who it was?"

The young Tennessean answered, "I couldn't tell, but I got the license
A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-81. The trooper
asked, "Got any ID?"

The driver replied, "Bout whut?"
A Tennessean had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and
proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind

Then he got back in the car to wait.

A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned
around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was.

The man replied, "I have a flat tire."

The passerby asked, "But what's with the flowers?"

The man responded, "When you break down they tell you to put flares
in the front and flares in the back! I never did understand it neither."

* * *

Tennessee, my home state. Gotta love it!

I bet y'all're plannin' a move down South, any day, now, right? Jest bring yer best rifle, some cold drinks, yer trusty ol' houn'dawg, and lots of shoes. We been goin' barefoot down here, way too long.

Abortion's Cloistered Secrets

From Love Matters' website, a few examples of abortion's after-effects--on the women who chose them:


“I was an emotional wreck. The following day I was empty, sad, numb. I knew that day I had made a huge mistake. I wish with all my heart I would have done things differently.” CARRIE CAMILLERI LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

“I was deceived because I was not told the truth about what an abortion means to the life of an unborn baby. I was not told that at 10 weeks (which is when I had my abortion) my child was already fully formed. I was made to believe that I was doing something that was as natural as going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning.” STEPHANIE WILLIAMS RIDGECREST, CA

“After the first abortion, I did get more depressed. I developed a very angry character; I became very violent. After the second abortion, I really didn’t notice a change. By the third, I had really low self-esteem, and after the fourth I became extremely promiscuous and self-destructive. Throughout the years, with each abortion, I became more and more depressed and I gained more and more weight.” CECILIA GOMEZ TUSTIN, CALIFORNIA

“The suction machine was turned on, causing tremendous pain. I was frightened, it hurt so much. I wanted to scream. I wanted it to stop. I suddenly knew there was a baby inside. They were killing my baby!” MICHAELENE JENKINS SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

“Two weeks after the abortion, I went into labor. I staggered into the bathroom. And there, with my husband beside me, I delivered a part of my baby the doctor had missed. It was the head of my baby. . .” “I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I hear a baby crying. And I still have nightmares in which I am forced to watch my baby being ripped apart in front of me. I simply miss my baby. I constantly wake up wanting to nurse my child, wanting to hold my child. And that’s something the doctor never told me I would experience.” LORI NERAD - former national president of Women Exploited by Abortion

“Abortion destroys self-worth and dignity. I bought into the idea that abortion was simply a matter of choice. I used abortion as birth control until after my fourth abortion. I felt inside that this action has to be wrong. I wish I had given more thought to the abortions I had. If just one person had said, ‘Star, what you’re doing is wrong,’ it might have changed the destiny of my life.” STAR PARKER LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Made in His Image

I accept the biblical statement that humans are created in God's image. But when I look around and see the evil, chaos, and destruction wrought by Man, I ask myself: What characteristics do we have that define us as beings "in His image?"

First, let me say that I don't believe we ever can know fully what this means. We simply understand too little about God. That said, though, here are some areas in which we are similar--though badly flawed representations of Him:

1. We have the ability to love.

2. We recognize and admire beauty (I elaborated upon this in a previous post).

3. We have advanced thinking and reasoning abilities.

4. We communicate with others, and have fellowship with them.

5. We are artistic and creative--though our creations are not in the same league with God's. Nor are they fashioned through similar means.

6. It is possible for us to exhibit selflessness.

7. We understand loyalty.

8. Before the Fall, we were dubbed "good" by God. Even in our decayed and accursed state, we still can find goodness within ourselves, with His aid.

9. We have brilliant imaginations.

10. We welcome and appreciate the affections of others.

11. We have free will.

I may add to this list, if other characteristics cross my mind. But for now, these will do.

Over 2,000 Served

A quick peek at my Site Meter summary reveals that I've now had over 2,000 visits to my blog.

Thankee kindly, guys.

Here's to 2,000 more visitors.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Founding Quotes of Note XIX

"The proposed Constitution, so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal government." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 9