Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

I caught a segment on The World and Everything In It recently featuring Robert Woodson. He is a black leader who was around for the Civil Rights movement and remembers Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally. He has worked for helping those in poverty improve their position through empowerment rather than subsidy.

The basic premise is to look at the poor neighborhoods. Study what the

What he said made a lot of sense. I looked him up and found links and contributions on a number of other sites.

Poverty Cure

Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

The Bob Woodson Show

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Civilization and Entropy

photo comparing houses

Entropy on the Beach

Civilization is a lot like houses on the beach. You can see from the picture that I took on a recent trip to the beach that houses not maintained tend to decay over time. The dilapidated house stands out especially when the rest of the neighborhood or block has been well maintained, The interesting thing about this is the fact is that the run down house is moving toward the natural state of houses and other things on the beach. The humidity, extra salt, intense sunlight and the radical changes in weather causes things to fall apart. 

 
Our civilization here in America is actually heading towards the natural state of societies. That is, to fall apart. It is very unusual for a civilization to have existed this long. Peaceful existence and prosperity like we have seen here in America for a period of several decades is a special case. If we are not careful to maintain it, it will fall apart as is normal and natural in the world. 
 

Debating Poverty

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the 10/15/2012 presidential debate I thought that both candidates reached out to their bases and showed up with their debate faces on. I cannot say that either candidate was a clear winner, but Romney did a good job of keeping the his focus on setting out his plan and making the President answer for his record.

One of the most important points was made close to the end of the debate. Romney brought up the connection between poverty, education, the failing health of our nation, and marriage. Mitt Romney pointed out that a very high number of children are born to unwed mothers today. He mentioned that changing this trend would help improve life for women. Here are a couple more points I wish he had mentioned: This trend can find its roots in the “sexual revolution” of the 60s. We need to move away from that hedonistic, moral relativistic mindset. The majority of our prison populations come from fatherless homes. The majority of these young mothers quickly fall below the poverty line leaving their children living in poverty. Those mothers and children constitute a heavy weight on the American economy because so many of them end up on the welfare rolls.
What we really need here in America is a return to biblical values and commitment to marriage and righteousness in our personal lives. What we need is young men and women who are willing to deny their urges for selfishness, immoral sexual fulfillment, and useless distraction. We need young people who are strong in character that will choose to live a responsible life, marry, and lead families under God.

Freedom of Religion

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in t...

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does freedom of religion mean? Is freedom of religion a nebulous concept that must conform to the dictates of the government? Is it squishy? Can it be pushed to whatever size box the government allows for it? Obamacare includes a  mandate to provide abortifacient drugs. Many of us have problems with this from a moral point of view founded on our religion.  But we are private citizens. The HHS exemption only covers churches and some religious institutions. So has the president and his party decided that the freedom of religion of the private citizen is not important? What does our freedom of religion really mean?

 

 

It seems to me that if we can be forced to purchase medicine to initiate the murder of innocent unborn children, we have crossed a line of freedom of religion. If the intention of our founders was to consider sexual freedom on a par with religious freedom, wouldn’t we find it the first amendment? or somewhere in the Constitution? But we don’t find it because it isn’t there. The founders placed freedom of religion in a prominent location. But they didn’t raise the issue of sexual freedom. Do you suppose they didn’t have sex back then? Of course not. First of all, our founders knew that the area of sexual relations is governed by the Bible and trusted this area to the self-government of the people and the common law which is founded on the Bible. Second, sexual freedom leads to social chaos. Many of the social ills that we have in our country today can be directly linked to “sexual freedom”: 50 million Americans dead, epidemic STDs, single-parent families, poverty, crime, prison expansion, the growing welfare state.

 

 

What do you think? What should freedom of religion mean? On what do you base that meaning?

 

 

Teavangelicals: Taking Back America

David Brody’s new book The Teavangelicals: the Inside Story of how Conservative Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America describes the high degree of support between conservative evangelicals and Tea Party groups. In fact, Mr. Brody states that Tea Party organizations are made up of about 60% conservative evangelicals.

The shared goals between libertarian fiscal conservatives and conservative evangelicals make sense to me. While liberal nanny state programs seem to help the poor on the surface, welfare actually has a dis-incentivizing effect, hurting the poor in the long run. Making citizens dependent on government only overburdens the economy. These fiscal policies are not moral. Our nation is being overwhelmed by debt and obligations which our economy cannot supply. We’ve taken on trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities from  promises politicians made but had no funding source. Of course, over 50 million taxpayers murdered in the name of women’s choice hasn’t helped matters much either.

So I’m thankful we seem to forming a kind of coalition. Some people feel strongly that we need conservative fiscal policy and smaller government to turn our country around. Others feel the same way while being concerned that the moral fabric of our society is frayed with the push for so-called same-sex marriage and the prolongation of the abortion killing fields.

The Republican National Committee’s campaign literature for Romney almost exclusively discusses fiscal issues. My wife and I wanted to find a group that has a broader conservative approach. I am supporting Romney now as the conservative candidate to beat Obama in November. At the same time, I want more air time from our side on the moral and religious battles our nation is facing.  One example of a group that spans this gap is The Faith and Freedom Coalition. In our home we’re contributing to this organization because they are pushing for socially conservative as well as fiscally conservative policies. You might want to check them out as well.

America’s First War on Terror 1784-1816

Advancing Against Al Qaeda

Advancing Against Al Qaeda (Photo credit: Third Way)

CBS aired a clip of  Warren Weinstein sharing the demands of his captors in exchange for his life at the hands of his radical Muslim captors. My heart goes out to him and his family.

The tactic to hold Americans hostage in order to influence our country is not new on the scene in our current war on terror. This is not something that Al Qaeda has suddenly come up with to try to even the playing field with the Big Bad American Superpower invading their country.

Over two hundred years ago, radical Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast (North Africa) regularly captured American ships at sea and then held their passengers and crew hostage for ransom paid by the American government or private American citizens. With George Washington and James Madison, our first and second presidents, a large percentage (growing up to 16%) of the federal budget went toward paying these ransoms. At that time we were helpless because we had no navy and at first no standing army. Navies and effective fighting forces are not built overnight. Until they were ready, our only option was diplomacy and payment.

Thomas Jefferson was one of those early diplomats. He was told quite simply that these Muslims felt it was their religious duty to capture and kill Christians. He obtained a Koran so he could, in the words of Chinese general Sun Tzu “Know thy enemy.” (Incidentally, this is the original reason Jefferson obtained the Koran… not because of a religious interest in the text as is popularly portrayed in the media today. It was because he was in negotiations and later at war with Muslim terrorists.) When the Navy was finally ready to sail in Jefferson’s presidency he immediately ordered the Marines to take the war to the Muslim terrorists. And commenced 10 years of fighting on the ground before a peaceful negotiation was reached. That military action bought us a 150 year peace.

The fact is that we must press in and finish our war leaving no doubt in the radical Muslim mind that they do not want to attack America anymore. If we show a lack of resolve, we will buy more terrorist attacks.

If you’d like to learn more about America’s first War on Terror, I recommend the WallBuilders presentation on the subject.

Bible Helps with Achievement?

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a recent article on the World on Campus website discussed how students with a personal faith have a tendency to have higher levels of achievement.  Please click the link and check out the article for yourself. I include a few tidbits here.

William Jeynes did a meta analysis of over 1000 studies to discover that for both African-American and Hispanic students having a strong personal faith actually closed the achievement gap with white students. Another key component that indicated achievement was when minority students were raised in traditional two parent homes.

When schools downplay the importance of scripture and scriptural principles, it creates conflicts for students from church-going backgrounds. These conflicts likely make it harder for students to develop the kind of strong internal faith that the study found influences higher achievement.

Excluding religion from the classroom has been the enforced norm since the early ’60s here in America. Since that time our test scores have steadily decreased. Turning back the clock on this would be difficult for many to even imagine let alone put into practice. But some people have already begun to bring the Bible in the classroom to study as literature and history which I blogged about back in January.

Do you think including Bible lessons in our public schools would improve our educational program?