Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Has Biden Kept Any Campaign Promises?

            Joseph Biden has been President of the United States for one year – much longer than I expected him to last. Biden promised many things, but he is now known in some circles as “America’s promise breaker in chief.”

            In his inaugural address, Biden promised to unify Americans. “With unity we can do important things.” His words brought hope until his actions became apparent. Biden has done more to divide Americans than to unite them. Deroy Murdock reminded us of Biden’s actions.

Biden has split blacks and whites by embracing critical race theory. He has cleaved “domestic terrorist” parents and local school boards that they have challenged. Biden has pitted the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.


And last week, he equated roughly half of all Americans with Confederate President Jefferson Davis because they favor election integrity and oppose his calls for junking the Senate filibuster and for nationalizing state and local voting systems.

            Biden made other promises that he has failed to fulfill. He promised to return American to “normal” after the Trump years. Murdock asked what many Americans are asking, “what’s so normal about 7% inflation, soaring energy prices, broken supply chains, scores of cargo ships marooned off the coast of Southern California’s ports, and ‘Wild West”-style freight train robberies in Los Angeles?” What is so normal about empty shelves in grocery stores? What is normal about a wide-open southern border and 1.776 illegal aliens crossing it? What is normal about the record number of homicides in Democrat-run cities?

            Biden claimed that he would “shut down the virus” if he were elected President. “Judging by the stunning 1,483,656 new COVID-19 cases that emerged on Janu. 10 alone, Biden clearly blew it.” Murdock showed mercy to Biden for the exploding numbers because “Viruses do not obey executive orders…. COVID-19 is a tiny, invisible monster that does whatever it wants.”

Murdock did not show mercy to Biden “for the shortages in COVID-19 testing kits and infrastructure…. [particularly because] Biden foolishly rejected offers last fall to increase test supplies.” Murdock also noted that Biden “has been so obsessed with vaccine mandates, mask orders, and related heavy-handedness that he is presiding over a shortage of lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapies.”

In addition, Biden messed up with Afghanistan. He promised in his inaugural speech, “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” However, he surrendered “U.S. citizens, green card holders, and loyal Afghans to the bloodthirsty Taliban.” This was “bad enough,” but he failed to “coordinate with British commanders in Kabul and his days-long refusal to answer Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s urgent phone calls trashed America’s ‘special relationship’ with London.”

Biden also messed up America’s relationship with France when he failed “to inform France about a subsequent U.S.-U.K.-Australia pact, which cost Paris a submarine contract. [This] led the Quai d’Orsay to recall its ambassador to Washington for the first time since 1776.”

Murdock concluded that Biden has kept only one promise: he is not Donald Trump. However, Trump is known by both his friends and foes as fulfilling many campaign promises.

During [Trump’s] first year in office, he signed a $1.5 trillion tax rate cut, killed some 1,500 meddlesome regulations, greenlighted the Keystone XL pipeline, scrapped Obamacare’s individual mandate (but not the entire program), curbed southern border crossings, erased the ISIS caliphate, and much more.

            Biden is a failed President who has not accomplished anything good for America. However, his policies have heavily damaged the United States. His foreign policies have divided us from our allies and caused our enemies to laugh at us. His domestic policies have brough nearly two million illegal aliens into our nation. His economic policies have left us with empty shelves in our grocery stores and supply lines stopped. The worst action of all is that he has further divided our nation. He is the worst President in my lifetime and maybe the worst in the history of our nation.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say about Critical Race Theory?

            Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that he shared with America on August 28, 1963, nearly sixty years ago. Some of the most quoted lines of his speech are, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” 

            Those words still sound across the nation even though 54 years have passed since the death of King. We know how he felt then about judging each other by color. The question is, what would he say about the racial tensions in America today? Would he support critical race theory, or would he condemn it?

            Alveda King, one of MLK’s nieces, believes that he would oppose critical race theory because it “was socially engineered by Marxists and socialists, by people who don’t believe in God.” She said that King’s message to America center on the gospel of Jesus Christ because he wanted Americans to “serve God [and] serve others.” In a podcast with Virginia Allen, Alveda King made the following statement

I believe that if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were here right now, he would encourage us to continue to learn to live together as brothers – and I’ll add in sisters – or perish together as fools….


Now, what many people do not understand is that, first, Martin Luther King Jr. loved God. He wasn’t perfect, and no human beings are. He loved God.


So I believe if he were here today, he would say to us, in the face of everything that we are encountering – whether it be COVID, or race wars, or horrible things happening to the weather, calamities, and disaster – I believe he would ask us to look forward in this new year with faith, with hope, with love….


I believe I don’t even have to speculate on what Martin Luther King Jr. would say, because he said it during his lifetime. He wrote it, he said it, he spoke it. And he talked about a day when there would be no white power, no black power, only God power working in human power.

            According to Alveda King, MLK would be against abortion as well as critical race theory. Those people who profess to follow MLK in their demands of America do not know what he taught. King wanted all people to live together as brothers and sisters – no matter their race or religion – and to protect the unborn and vulnerable. King had a good dream, one that all Americans should adopt. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Who Is Charles McGee?

            My VIP for this week is Charles McGee, a veteran pilot who was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. He later flew missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars. In his thirty-year military career, he flew 409 fighter combat missions.  He passed away Sunday at the age of 102 years. 

According to [Tuskegee Airmen Inc,], McGee had said that the Tuskegee Airmen “proved wrong those that believed Blacks were not able to master sophisticated equipment, that Blacks lacked courage, or that Blacks did not have the wherewithal to fight a determined enemy. It was the Tuskegee Airmen that ended up with a stellar WWII aviation war record and thereby edged the military toward integration and America away from segregation.”

            The Associated Press reported that McGee retired as an Air Force colonel in 1973, but he received an “honorary commission” four decades later that promoted him “to the one-star rank of brigadier general.”

            In addition, then-President Donald Trump recognized McGee during his 2020 State of the Union address. McGee was also called “an American hero” by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

How Do You Remember MLK on Civil Rights Day?

            Tomorrow is Constitution Day, and it is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Therefore, this post will be a commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is described as being “remarkable, conscience-searing and life-transforming” but contained “much suffering, sacrifice and surrendering.” This speech is often quoted, but few people understand the sacrifices King made for the civil rights movement. These are the words of The Reverend Theresa A. Dear, a national board member of the NAACP. 

For years, Dr. King traveled the world delivering messages of non-violence, protesting against injustice and advocating for civil rights laws. In so doing, he was often away from his wife, Coretta, and their four children. Dr. King and the King family made significant, countless and untold sacrifices for generations unborn.


It was primarily because of Dr. King’s selfless and courageous leadership that the civil rights movement was imagined, advanced and sustained. He was n original influencer who, without social media or the internet, was able to motivate and mobilize hundreds of thousands of Black and white people to attend the March on Washington in August 1963.

He was an original influencer who, without social media or the internet, was able to motivate and mobilize hundreds of thousands of Black and white people to attend the March on Washington in August 1963.


The March on Washington and Dr. King’s incessant drumbeat of justice and desegregation influenced the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Dr. King referred to this law as nothing less than a “second emancipation.” From this law, many rights and protections were extended to various groups in America, including women, veterans, the disabled and LGBTQ.

            Dear wrote that it was King’s “intellectual capacity, effectual tenacity and spiritual audacity that intrigued and inspired the masses.” However, King also experienced “death threats, ominous calls to his homes at all hours of the night, being abandoned by some fellow clergy members while incarcerated in Birmingham, police profiling, the bombing of his home, being stabbed by a mentally ill Black woman and living under a cloud of crippling and constant fear.”

            According to Dear, King and his family “endured a life of danger without laws or law enforcement to protect them.” Dear claims that we are indebted to King because he forfeited safety “for the greater good of the country.” We commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. because he was willing to make sacrifices for the rest of us.

            Dear compared the words and actions of revisionist leaders to those of King. They “whitewash Black history, academic institutions deny tenure to professors who write about slavery and critical race theory is used as a political lightning rode.” However, the actions of revisionist leaders “are antithetical to Dr. King’s dream.”

Dear wrote, “The denial or attempted erasure of Black history cannot extract, extricate or expunge the indelible sacrifices, contributions and legislation made by Black people. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to be guardians of our history.”

When protests erode into the destruction of property, violence against humanity becomes random and crime within Black communities surges, this is contrary to the principles for which Dr. King advocated. The increased violence within the Black community dishonors the legacy of Dr. King, who went to jail more than 20 times for our freedom, rights and protection. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to be gatekeepers of our communities and adopt non-violent practices to resolve conflict and hold one another accountable.


When politicians go shamelessly rogue to suppress the right to vote, gentrify communities and promote false propaganda, this defies the tenets of Dr. King’s relentless endeavors of equality and access. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to resist, rally and work to repeal agendas that are not fair for all.


Dr. King was a minister, scholar, moral philosopher, follower of Mahatma Gandhi, civil rights leader, legislative advocate, hypnotic orator and brilliant thought leader, strategist and visionary. With his many accomplishments, his masterstroke may have been combining his vulnerability, humanity and faith to effectively serve mankind. For these offerings and many more, his unfinished work is now ours. Continuing his redemptive work is how we pay our debt to the Dreamer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

            Dear decries the actions of some Black people and some politicians who seem to forget King’s desire for peaceful protests. I wonder what she would say about the plans of President Joe Biden to use the advent of Black History Month to issue executive orders that would include parts of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Such orders would work against law enforcement and increase chaos, crime, and danger in communities. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Was the Fall of Adam and Eve a Tragedy or Essential to God’s Plan?

            My Come, Follow Me studies this week took me to Genesis 3-4 and Moses 4-5. Many people consider the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve to be a tragedy. Adam and his wife Eve lived living in the beautiful Garden of Eden until they partook of the forbidden fruit. Then they were cast out into a world where they would know sorrow, pain, and death (see Genesis 3:16-19). In addition, they were separated from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

            Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know that the story of Adam and Eve is not a tragedy. Truths were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the book of Moses. These truths tell us that the story of Adam and Eve is a story of hope and that the Fall of Adam and Eve was an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal happiness of His children.

            The Garden of Eden was a beautiful place to live, but it provided no challenges. Without challenges, they could not grow – just as you and I need opportunities to stretch and grow. Adam and Eve took the necessary first step toward returning to God’s presence and becoming like Him when they left the Garden of Eden.

            Living in the world outside the Garden of Eden brought opposition to Adam and Eve. They made mistakes, but they learned to repent and to trust the Savior. Heavenly Father’s plan provided for a Savior – even Jesus Christ whose Atonement made progression possible. As we study the Fall of Adam and Eve, we should focus on the glory of their choice – for them and for us – instead of the tragedy of leaving the Garden of Eden.

            When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, their action brought physical and spiritual death into the world. It also brought adversity, sorrow, and sin. All of those conditions seem negative, but the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Atonement of Jesus Christ were both part of the Father’s plan to redeem and exalt His children. (See Moses 5:7.)

            After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, they began to have “sons and daughters” (Moses 5:2). The “sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters” (Moses 5:3). Some time later, Cain, Abel, and later Seth were born (Moses 5:16-17; 6:2.) The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual for Moses 5:1-15 has the following introduction.

The significance of Moses 5:1-2 is profound in light of the many attacks and challenges being made today regarding marriage and family relationships. In their proclamation on the family, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated:


“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law abiding citizens wherever they live. …


“… Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129; italics added).

            Adam and Eve were married in the Garden of Eden by Heavenly Father, and their marriage was for time and eternity. Today, marriages for time and eternity are performed in the temples of God by men holding the power and authority to seal on earth and in heaven. Adam and Eve were the first family on earth, and they made life on earth possible for each of us. Our task is to so live that we can also be married and have our families with us for eternity.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Do You Know the Why’s, What’s, and How’s of Family Finance?

             Strong families, communities, and nations practice profound principles of stewardship with regards to finances. This is a post about family finances, but the principles apply to communities and nations. In their book titled Fundamentals of Family Finance – Living Joyfully within your Means, E. Jeffrey Hill and Bryan L. Sudweeks, professors at Brigham Young University, share the “Why? What? How?” of the importance of family finance.

            According to the authors, the “Why’s?” fall into four categories: (1) Spiritual – to bring you to Christ, (2) Temporal – To help you become a wise steward, (3) Individual – To accomplish your divine mission, and (4) Family – To return with your family back to Heavenly Father’s presence. Under the “What’s?” the professors list four important principles upon which the stewardship perspective is based. (See pages 4-6.)

Principle 1: Ownership

The Psalmist wrote: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1). … Nothing you have is your own – it is all God’s. Therefore, you should not feel proud because of the things you acquire.


Principle 2: Stewardship

Because God owns everything, you have a responsibility to use your resources for His purposes….


Principle 3: Agency

Your financial stewardship enables you to make choices…. The blessing of agency is an unconditional gift from God. The choices you make with money are at the heart of mortality’s test…. The way you use the gift of financial resources shows what you truly believe and how much you really love God and His Son, Jesus Christ.


Principle 4: Accountability

The Lord counseled, “For it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity” (Doctrine and Covenants 72:3). The first three principles outlined above are God’s gift to you. The fourth principle of accountability, if followed wisely, can be your gift back to God. You will be required to give Him an account of your stewardship over the blessings you have received.

            The “How’s?” teach us how to understand and apply the “Why’s?” and the “What’s?.” Having an “eternal perspective” helps in knowing “how to apply family finance principles.” The authors wrote, “You must build your financial house upon the rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fortunately, prophets, seers, and revelators – Christ’s representatives on the earth – have given clear financial guidance.” (See pages 6-11.)

1. Pay the Lord first in tithes, fast offerings, and other contributions.

2. Create, use, and update a budget.

3. Minimize and eventually eliminate debt.

4. Prepare for emergencies and build a reserve.

5. Invest early, consistently, and wisely.

6. Protect yourself and your family through adequate insurance.

7. Share finances as equal partners in your marriage.

8. Teach your children and family about finances

            The authors ended the first chapter in their book with a summary. They asked their readers and students to remember: “With every dollar you spend, you choose which perspective you will take – either the eternal perspective or the world’s materialistic perspective.,” They explained that “managing your finances is part of living the gospel of Jesus Christ, the greater your motivation will be to obey the commandments and get your financial house in order.” They concluded with the following statement:

Understanding the why’s what’s, and how’s – the doctrines, principles, and applications – of family finance is critical. With an eternal perspective, we can be laying up for ourselves true “treasures in heaven” (Helaman 5:8) while simultaneously planning for our careers and supporting our families (page 11).

            I appreciate how the authors taught the doctrine, principles, and applications of family finance. Money cannot buy happiness, but the wise use of family finances can bring security and peace of mind as well as show the Lord that we love Him.

 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

How Can We Dismantle the Myths Being Taught about Socialism?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the myth that socialism is better than democracy. Progressives, socialists, and communists continue to push America toward “fundamentally transforming” America in a socialist country. They work diligently to convince Americans – and the younger the better – that socialism is better than democracy, and they disguise it by calling it “democratic” socialism.

            Educators should be teaching the values of the free market system. However, they must first teach the dangers of socialism. Lee Edwards exposed some of the myths being taught in American schools. 

Myth 1: Karl Marx, the founder of socialism, was one of the great thinkers of the 19th century. In truth, Marx was wrong about nearly everything. Nearly 200 years after “The Communist Manifesto” was published, the nation state has not withered away, and capitalism rules most of the global economy….


Myth 2: Socialism places power in the hands of the people. In truth, socialism cedes power to the government and the political elites who run it. After more than 60 years, the Cuban people are still waiting for the free and open elections that Fidel Castro promised….


Myth 3: Socialism is working in Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. In truth, Denmark has a free market economy – and it is capitalism that enables the Danish government to finance a bountiful welfare state through top-to-bottom personal income and value-added taxes….


Myth 4: Socialism has never failed, because it has never been truly tried. In fact, socialism has failed everywhere it has been attempted for over a century, from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to present-day Chavez-Maduro socialism in Venezuela. Nowhere has democratic socialism been more faithfully practiced and then rejected by public demand than in Israel, India, and the United Kingdom following the end of World War II….


Whether it was a small Middle Eastern country, a large agricultural country with a population of 1.3 billion, or the nation that sparked the Industrial Revolution, capitalism topped socialism every time.

            Edwards wrote, ‘Millennials do have a choice: the suffocating embrace of socialism, under which individual freedom and responsibility are surrendered, or the freedom of democratic capitalism, under which people of all colors and classes can work to be whatever they want to be.”

            The rising generation has a good excuse – not a good reason – for not understanding the value of the free market system in maintaining liberty. Their excuse is that they have not been taught. However, what is the excuse of the older generations? Why haven’t we insisted that our children and teens be taught American history, American government, economics, and civics? They are our children. Why did we allow the schools to drop these classes that are so valuable to maintaining the American way of life?