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

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?

Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America LogoKristan Hawkins pro-life activist is very enthusiastic and passionate about ending abortion in America in our lifetime. She works to raise up chapters of Students for Life of America on university campuses across the US. Students for Life works

I felt inspired by Kristan Hawkins passion and energy for pushing forward the movement she is heading up. In addition to a true passion for the pre-born person, she has a real compassion for the surviving mother in an abortion situation, or for the pregnant mother who has nowhere else to turn and is looking for some kind of option besides abortion. In her interview with Dr. James Dobson on FamilyTalk on April 2. 2012 Kristan discussed how Planned Parenthood gives out low dose contraception with the expectation that young women will end up getting pregnant and then offering no real healthcare services for young women… just the opportunity to abort their baby. When she was pregnant herself she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to get a sense of what it’s like for pregnant woman to go to such a place. She was given counsel that it would be best to terminate her pregnancy early. She about various kinds of health care opportunities or well baby services that might be available if she chose to keep her baby. She was told that she would need to go elsewhere for that sort of service.

In her FamilyTalk interview Kristan explained how we are seeing victory after victory for life in states across the nation. The fact is that more pro-life legislation has passed since the 2010 election than during any other period since Roe v. Wade. Elections do matter. When your state primary comes up, and in November, get out and vote for pro-life candidates. We can see the holocaust of the American unborn end in our lifetimes.

Ironically it is easier for her to start these chapters on public college campuses rather than Christian campuses. The issue is one of the Christian colleges not wanting to appear to be condoning or admitting to having pregnant young women and therefore premarital sex issues on their campus. This is a sad testimony to some of the leadership of our colleges. Apparently much of that pressure comes from donors.

The work of Students for Life is quite remarkable. Kristan Hawkins’ passion really puts a bright star on this organization. During her FamilyTalk interview she made the statement, “when abortion is no longer legal in America.” She has a real vision for ending abortion in her lifetime in the States. She says don’t imagine it, envision it.

2700 Pages?

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court (Photo credit: wallyg)

Justice Scalia retorted “…You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we’re going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?” I am thankful Justice Scalia was not ready to take the Obama camp’s arguments hook, line, and sinker. In fact, he showed indignation at being asked to review the 2700 pages of law presumably to consider each point for approval. Even Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leadership was unwilling to read the prodigious bill before it was passed. Here is a video clip of her stating “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”

It’s ironic on many levels but the best walk away from this is that Congress has no place passing any kind of legislation with 2000+ pages. Unscrupulous lawmakers can hide any number of provisions in there that now have to be weeded out. The Supreme Court has no responsible choice but to strike down the whole omnibus bill. If liberals want to push their socialist agenda on America they need to attempt to do it in reasonable steps. So people can actually look at things and make intelligent decisions. Perhaps this is the reason why the burgeoning ObamaCare bill was passed in this way to begin with. Read the transcripts of the Supreme Court oral arguments yourself here.

We have to repeal ObamaCare and preserve the limited government laid out in our founding documents.

Monumental

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth...

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We just finished watching the movie Monumental on a preview screening night and really enjoyed it. Kirk Cameron did a superb job of walking us through an engaging history lesson of the Pilgrims rise, persecution, and departure from England in 1600s. He traces the journey from their secret meeting places, to the prisons where King James held them after their first escape attempt, to their haven in Holland. He follows their path finally on to the American continent. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron and his guide explain the rich symbolism set in granite in the National Monument to the Forefathers (pictured) that was erected in 1889 honoring the Pilgrims. Their winning strategy for building a society revolves around starting with faith, then morality, law, education, and finally liberty. We enjoyed the movie and recommend seeing it.

This movie will be received differently by different audiences depending on where they stand on the continuum of liberal to conservative. For instance, if they are pretty aware of the evidence for the religious background of the pilgrims and their foundation in biblical principles and agree with those principles they will probably be encouraged and enjoy this movie. If they have those same leanings of principle but were unaware of the evidence and history surrounding the Pilgrims coming to America, they will probably feel encouraged and somewhat incredulous. They may need to find some more answers to these questions. I recommend the book Original Intent for people in this category. If they find themselves more in agreement with the revisionist misinformation of the last 100+ years they will probably feel either uncomfortable or downright angry about the information portrayed in this movie. Monumental attempts to circumvent a lot of the liberal misinformation that has been brought forth in the last 50 – 100 years in America.