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.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Freedom to Pray

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns that fact that the right to pray is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The act of praying is the activation of two freedoms that are protected by the First Amendment – the freedom to exercise religion and the freedom to speak.

            Chris Henry explains that Coach JoeKennedy was fired by the Bremerton School District because he knelt momentarily on the fifty-yard line after the game was over. It was a personal prayer by the coach and did not include any students. The school district has an “explicit ban against school staff praying on the field after games or anywhere at school-sanctioned events they could be observed by students.” Kennedy was put on administrative leave in 2015 and did not have his contract renewed in 2016. 

            Kennedy obviously believes that he was wrongfully fired because he hired lawyers to fight his battle. A lower court ruled that he was not wrongfully fired, so he took his case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle. A panel of judges turned down his appeal, so his lawyers asked for a hearing before the full Ninth Circuit court. This petition was turned down in January. Kennedy took his battle to the next court, the Supreme Court of the United States.

            Michael Berry explains in an article at The Daily Signal that the Supreme Court decided last week that the justices would not review Kennedy’s case. Even though the Supreme Court will not hear the case now, there is hope that it will hear it sometime in the future. 

In a relatively rare move, four of the court’s justices – Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh – issued a statement explaining that the court cannot make a decision on whether to hear Kennedy’s appeal because important factual questions remain unresolved. And depending on how those questions are answered, the court may revisit the case.

            Berry shows that the justices needed more information before they could decide about taking the case. This says nothing about whether or not they will take the case or if they think it is a good case. They are simply saying that they need more information in order to make a decision. The justices did not stop there but expressed “serious concern over the lower court’s decision and its implications for the First Amendment rights of teachers and coaches.”

Alito explained that “the 9th Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future…. If this case were before us as an appeal within our mandatory jurisdiction, our clear obligation would be to vacate” the 9th Circuit’s decision.

The four justices also took issue with the lower court’s rationale that “public school teachers and coaches may be fired if they engage in any expression that the school does not like while they are on duty, and the 9th Circuit appears to regard teachers and coaches as being on duty at all times form the moment they report for work to the moment they depart, provided that they are within the eyesight of students.”

            Again, Berry explains the response of the justices. He says that the four justices are concerned about Kennedy’s freedom of speech being denied, but they seem to be more concerned about his freedom of religious liberty.

“What is perhaps most troubling about the Ninth Circuit’s opinion,” wrote Alito, “is language that can be understood to mean that a coach’s duty to serve as a good role model requires the coach to refrain from any manifestation of religious faith – even when the coach is plainly not on duty.”

            The 9th Circuit, according to Berry, declares that “any action by a public school coach (or a teacher) that even hints at being religious in nature, even when they’re not on the job, is a good enough reason to fire that coach or teacher. He says that if the decision is allowed to stand, it will prevent any teacher or coach “from exercising their First Amendment rights anytime.” This could apply to a Jewish coach being fired for wearing a yarmulke, a Muslim teacher for covering her head, or a Christian from wearing a religious necklace.

            There is still hope that freedom of religion and freedom of speech will be protected and Coach Kennedy will be coaching football again. Meanwhile, we need to remember that the football game is not over until after the fourth quarter, and Coach Kennedy’s case is at half time.

            I believe that Coach Kennedy has a right to pray wherever he desires to pray. I believe that this freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment. However, I cannot say that I agree with his decision to kneel in prayer for any length of time in front of a crowd. I believe that prayer is private matter between the person and God and should be carried out in private. The only exception to this rule for me is when a person is praying for a group, such as in a meeting or for all the spectators at a game.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How to Build A Border Barrier

            We may or may not have made progress today, something that will be known over the next few weeks. It all boils down to whether or not Congress wants to be involved in building a wall on the southern border.

            Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared that he does not like shutdowns and is willing to “go to extraordinary lengths” to solve the natural security problem. He wants to accomplish this task before President Donald Trump shuts down the government again. He declared today, “I don’t like shutdowns.” He does not want another shutdown, and he does not want President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency. Well, he should have been working on the problem a long time before it became a national emergency! After all, he has been the Senate Majority Leader for a number of years! So what happens if Congress fails to pass a bill that the President will sign?Trump claims that he will build the wall with or without Congress. Can he do it legally?

            Josh Hammer joined Steve Deace on “The Steve Deace Show” today. Hammer is a former clerk on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and is now the editor-at-large for The Daily Wire. Deace wanted to know if President Trump “has the legal authority to build a wall on the southern United States border using executive powers.” A secondary question concerns whether or not Trump using executive powers to build a wall “would be any better than former President Barack Obama when he used executive action to grant amnesty to immigrants who are here illegally.” 

             Hammer read the law straight from the Constitution that gives Trump the authority to build the wall using national emergency powers. Trump does have constitutional authority to do so. “Would it be the right thing politically” is still in question.

            Would it be the same thing as Obama’s action on amnesty for illegal aliens? Hammer says “no.” The difference lies in the fact that Congress had already considered granting amnesty to illegals and had voted against it. Obama did not like the vote, so he took it upon himself to grant amnesty by executive order. Congress has already approved building a wall several times, but the current crop of Democrats refuses to fund it. The entire interview is interesting and well-worth watching.

            I found an interesting and powerful PragerU video narrated by the late Charles Krauthammer. He clearly and intelligently answers the question, “Can America solve its illegal immigration problem both justly and humanely?” He says that it can be done, but the solution requires that a barrier be in place on the border first.

            President Trump obviously understands that a border barrier comes before addressing the problem of illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. Krauthammer emphasizes that America cannot and will not deport all of them. However, more and more illegal aliens will come if the United States grants legalization before the border is secure. We know that this happens because we granted amnesty to 3 million of them in the 1980s and now have 22 million illegal immigrants. Krauthammer also declares that legalization should not include a path to citizenship because we should not reward anyone for breaking the laws of our nation.

            So, we come full circle. How will we build a barrier along the southern border? Will the Democrats stop opposing the President’s attempt to secure the border, or will the President declare a national emergency and have the Department of Defense build the barrier? It sounds to me that the problem has one of two solutions if the wall is to be built.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Build a Border Barrier

            President Donald Trump is adamant about building a barrier along the southern border of the United States. His “big, beautiful wall” of cement has changed to a barrier of slatted steel, but his intent is the same. The President is listening to the Border Patrol agents who say that they want a barrier that they see what is happening on both sides. It seems like a reasonable request, and the President agrees with it.

            It is difficult for me to understand how the Democrats could approve funding a barrier in 2006 and refuse to fund one in 2019. Besides the question of what happened to the funds approved by President George W. Bush in 2006, Americans are demanding an answer to the Democrat opposition. So far, we have been told that a wall is “immoral” and “ineffective” by politicians that have walls around their personal properties.

            James Carafano posted an article at The Daily Signal claiming that things have changed at the border since the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed by Congress. He says that the focus has changed from an attempt to “catch illegal border crossers” and deport them to so-called “families” and refugees seeking asylum. 

            Carafano says that building fences in areas that had a lot of traffic helped to “deter or slow crossings” and assisted Border Patrol agents to “catch the illegal immigrants within 100 miles of the border.” “The fencing was both an effective deterrent and a helpful enforcement tool, increasing the likelihood of expedited removal. As a result, illegal crossings declined.”

But the threat to the border has evolved. Those crossing the border with children and claim to be related as well as those who claim refugee status are not put in expedited removal. Both have become popular tactics to “beat” the system.

The only way to prevent abuse of the asylum process is to keep would-be immigrants on the other side of the border until 1) they submit formal asylum claims at official points of entry and 2) those claims have been evaluated.

Making that happen requires more and improved walls. Indeed, Trump’s wall policy reflects the advice of government’s border security professionals.

            I appreciate Carafano’s explanation about the change in threats at the border. His explanation clearly shows why Trump is so insistent about building a barrier. The fact that illegal aliens are bringing diseases, crime, and drugs with them should be enough to convince liberals to build the wall, but they still oppose a barrier.

            Carafano states the obvious in that any “similar request from any other president would be considered unremarkable.” The liberals are more against Trump than they are against a barrier, but the effect on the nation is the same. Carafano’s article has some good arguments against all reasons given for the barrier being unneeded and ineffective.

            There are people who claim that there is no problem at the border because more immigrants enter the country legally and never leave. Carafano agrees that there are many people who overstay their visas. However, the people who came on visas were “screened for security, public safety, health, criminal, and public charge risks,” while those who cross the border “illegally haven’t been screened at all – making them a potentially higher-risk population.” Carafano says that both of them are problems, and “good policy must address both.”

            Carafano says that another “weak argument” is that “drugs and other bad stuff are mostly smuggled through the ports of entry.” He admits that the argument has truth in it, but “smuggling also occurs elsewhere along the border. Again, good policy must address both dangers.” He also says that better border security would “channel more smuggling attempts to ports of entry” which are better “equipped to screen for bad things.”

            Carafano claims that “the weakest argument against border walls is that they create a humanitarian crisis.” He explains that the current situation means that legitimate refugee claims are delayed because the system is overwhelmed. The loophole allowing “families” to enter is bringing more children to the border and not always by a family member. He calls this “an epidemic of child endangerment.”

            Still other people argue that the illegal immigrant problem can be handled in different ways than building a barrier. Carafano agrees that they are right. The administration should take steps to “crack down on illegal immigration – from closing catch-and-release loopholes in the wall, to working with Latin American countries to stem the causes of illegal migration and combat criminal cartels.” He says that Trump’s proposed package “complements these efforts. It is not one or the other.”

            Trump believes that there is a national security problem on the border and fully intends to build a barrier there. He opened the border to give Democrats an opportunity to make good on their promise to work on border security, but he does not hold out much hope of them doing so. He said that there is a “good chance” that he will declare a State of Emergency. Breitbart News says, “Declaring a national emergency would allow the president to shift funding to secure the border without Congress, although it would likely be challenged in court.”

            Nancy Pelosi has proven that she is a liar and more interested in the possible votes of illegal immigrants than in security for Americans. Why Democrats continue to support a fake like her is more than I can understand. I fully support building a barrier on the southern border in order to control better who enters our nation.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Build the Wall and Crime Will Fall

            The thirty-five day federal government shutdown ended last week – at least temporarily. Federal employees – including members of the Coast Guard – were on track to miss a second paycheck. Busy airports were struggling to keep up with the additional problems and threatened to shut down completely. President Donald Trump did the sensible thing and agreed to open the government for three weeks.

            Now Congress has three weeks to solve the problem legislatively. Even though Democrats think that Nancy Pelosi scored a win, I do not think so. I believe that Trump gave her enough rope to hang herself. She promised that Congress would work on border security if Trump opened the government. Now that the government is open again, she better follow through or face the consequences for lying.

            By opening the government Trump signaled to federal employees and other people with common sense that he cares about Americans and their personal situation. This is the opposite from Congress who refused to pass bills to pay the Coast Guard and refused to work with the President. Pelosi proved that she does not care about Americans and is only concerned about her power. Democrats do not want a wall because a wall would shut off the spigot for new Democrat voters. This could mean the end of the Democrat Party because former party members – including many Blacks and Hispanics – are leaving the party.  

            Trump insists that the wall will be built. He warns Congress that they have until February 15th to put a bill on his desk that would be a long-term solution for solving the immigration problem and to fund the government.     In a tweet on Saturday Trump mentioned the caravans of migrants, both currently at the border and others heading this way, as the major reason for building a barrier on the border. 

We have turned away, at great expense, two major Caravans, but a big one has now formed and is coming. At least 8000 people.

If we had a powerful Wall, they wouldn’t even try to make the long and dangerous journey. Build the Wall and Crime will Fall!

            Trump quoted Mark Morgan, former Border Chief and Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU): “We absolutely need a physical barrier or Wall, whatever you want to call it. The President yesterday laid all that out.” He added, “We need to do it all, including the Wall. I provided the same information to the previous administration, & it was ignored.”

            Trump also quoted Matt Schlapp, Chair, ACU. “I like the fact that the President is making the case (Border Security & Crime) to the American people. Now we know where Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer & the Democrats sand, which is no Border Security. Will be big 2020 issue.”

            The people who work the border understand that the security problems on the border have increased, and they are crying out for help. President Trump is trying to give them what they are asking. It is the Democrats who are standing in the way. Trump now has a new slogan, “Build the Wall and Crime Will Fall!” I hope that he has a plan to do it even if it must be done without the help of Democrats.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Rights and Responsibilities

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the mainstream media. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” In other words, the government will not prevent anyone from saying or publishing anything that they want. However, the right to say or publish carries the responsibility to say or print the truth.

            There has been a problem with the media putting out fake news for several years. President Donald Trump frequently points out that they are publishing fake news, but the media continues to pump it out. It is as though they think that the news will become the truth if they tell it often enough. Isn’t this one of the rules of Saul Alinsky?

            We know that a free press is essential for a free society to function properly (Thomas Jefferson). This is the reason why the Founders included freedom of the press in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

            Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal  points out that this freedom does not mean that media outlets can claim freedom from criticism from anyone. He says that there are lessons to be learned from the media circus about the incident between the “Covington Catholic students and a Native American activist.” The coverage of the event certainly shows that the media has a problem with their journalists. Stepman says that the “media damaged it reputation and revealed its bias” in “three major ways.”

1.) Botching the narrative, then deflecting blame.
The media botched the entire episode between the Covington Catholic students and Native American activist Nathan Phillips from the start.

Initial reports … portrayed Phillips as the victim who had been peacefully protesting until being mobbed by kids in “Make America Great Again” hats.

That was wrong, and nearly the opposite of the truth.

Then, the full story came out and exonerated the boys. What response did those same media outlets give?

Some issued genuine apologies for the failure, but many refused to accept that they played such a large role in spreading misinformation.

Writers for The Washington Post shifted blame to social media and even President Donald Trump….

            CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers actually tweeted out that the real victims in all this  
            were the journalists.

2.) The media failed to be skeptical.
One of the reasons this story spiraled out of control is the simple fact that members of the media failed to be skeptical of a story that seemed too good to be true….

3.) After all of these failures, many in the media continued trying to dig up dirt on Covington Catholic High School.
Perhaps worse than all these failures, many in the media simply couldn’t let the story go without tarnishing the Covington Catholic students….

Perhaps instead of digging deeper to prove to the world their biases were correct all along, the media should behave more responsibly, ensure that it faithfully gathers the facts before publishing stories that could destroy the lives of children, and behave in a way that will convince Americans that they aren’t “fake news….”

            The media outlets did not do themselves a good turn when they ran with the Covington story. More Americans now understand why President Trump calls them “fake news,” and Trump gained more allies. Media outlets seem to be their own worst enemies when they succumb to “Trump Mania.” They need to get their hysterics under control and publish the truth.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Doctrine of the Family

            The doctrine of the family is one of the doctrines that were lost from the gospel of Jesus Christ during the Great Apostasy. It was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley read a document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This document contains the doctrine of the family, and it publishes this doctrine with all the people of the world.

            Millions of members of the Church of Jesus Christ have read the document, and many of them have memorized it. Some people review the principles in the document on a regular basis and apply them to their lives. Sister Julie B. Beck, then the Relief Society General President, encourages everyone to teach the doctrine of the family to their children and grandchildren as well as to anyone else who will listen.

Nevertheless, parents, teachers, and leaders of youth need to teach the rising generation the doctrine of the family. It is essential to help them achieve eternal life (see Moses 1:39). They need to know that the theology of the family is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement [of Jesus Christ]. They need to understand the threats to the family so they will know what they are fighting against and can prepare. They need to understand clearly that the fulness of the gospel is realized in temple ordinances and covenants.

            In the above paragraph Sister Beck explains why it is important to teach the proclamation to the rising generation. She continues by explaining that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches a “theology of the family that is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.”

… The Creation of the earth provided a place where families could live. God created a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family….

The Fall provided a way for the family to grow….

The Atonement [of Jesus Christ] allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. It allows for families to have eternal growth and perfection….

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written to reinforce that the family is central to the Creator’s plan. Without the family, there is no plan; there is no reason for mortal life.

            Sister Beck explains that we need to know the theology because the family is under threat. The proclamation on the family was published in 1995 and shows that the Prophets and Apostles were well aware of the dangers to the family that would soon come out of the shadows. She says that the threats include rising divorce rates, same-sex marriage, cohabitation, abortion, lower birth rates, abuse, pornography, and others. In addition, the rising generation is losing faith in the institution of marriage because they see marriages failing all around them.

            In addition to Sister Beck, there are other voices calling for us to teach and live the principles of the proclamation. She quotes President Hinckley (1910-2008) as saying that the proclamation was “a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices” that this Church as always had.” She also quotes President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) as saying, “This order … of family government where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God – just as did Adam and Eve – to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity … is the only means by which we can one day see the face of God and live.”

            The proclamation explains many things about the family. It tells us that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.” It tells us that the “family is central” to God’s plan of happiness. It tells us that motherhood and fatherhood are eternal roles, and that the commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28) is still in force.

            According to Sister Beck, the rising generation needs to know the information in the proclamation because they are the ones that are being targeted by Satan. “This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it.”

            The doctrine of the family was restored to earth more than 150 years ago. It was published to the world nearly 25 years ago. It is the doctrine that will save the family as well as assist in preparing the earth for the Second Coming of Christ.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Nurturing and Affection

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened for generations when parents show affection to their children and nurture them. Most people understand that a warm and affectionate relationship between parents and children brings happiness and security to the family as a whole. However, a recent study shows that these nurturing actions are instrumental in the children’s wellbeing when they are middle-aged adults.

            As published by Deseret News, an online survey completed by Harvard University shows that the above statement to be true. The study was used to gather information from a large group of people with the object being to learn how much parental warmth the adults felt during their childhood and youth.

Warmth was measured not just by affection, but also nurturing, teaching and communication [by asking six questions] ….
Among those who reported growing up with parental warmth, the study found higher levels of well-being across social, emotional and psychological dimensions…. The findings are published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

            Among the findings of the study, participants who enjoyed “higher parental warmth” were “21% More likely to have high flourishing scores, 21% More likely to have higher emotional well-being, 19% More likely to have high psychological well-being [and] 13% More likely to have high social well-being.” They were also “18% Less likely to have depression, 22% Less likely to use marijuana [and] 17% Less likely to use other illicit drugs.”

            The findings of this scientific study show the importance of parental affection and nurturing. However, prophets and apostles have counseled parents for many years about the importance of loving and caring for their children. In September 1995 the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Paragraph 6 of the Proclamation declares: 

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children…. Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives – mothers and fathers – will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

            That paragraph plainly states the responsibilities of parents and issues a warning about being held accountable. However, the Proclamation was not the first time that parents were counseled to love and nurture their children. President Howard W. Hunter (1907-95) says that fathers should be involved in the care, nurture, and teaching of their children. “A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities.”

            In the October 1942 General Conference, the following statement from the First Presidency (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay) was read by J. Reuben Clark, Jr. “Motherhood thus becomes a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord’s plans, a consecration of devotion to the uprearing and fostering, the nurturing in body, mind, and spirit, of [their children].”

            Now we have findings from a scientific study that proves the counsel from prophets and apostles to be true. When parents invest time and love in caring for and teaching their family, their children will have greater wellbeing when they are adults. So parents can strengthen their family for generations as well as their community and nation simply by being affectionate with and nurturing their children.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Right to Kill

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that life is sacred and that no one but God has the right to kill any human being. However, the State of New York recently passed a bill that gives the right to kill to pregnant women. New York does not have the death penalty for hardened criminals, such as murders, but it does allow mothers to kill their unborn children right up to the time of birth.

            Not only does New York allow mothers to kill their unborn babies, the Governor of New York and supporters of the bill celebrated its passage. However, not all people in New York are celebrating. A bookstore in New York closed its door for a day of mourning for all future babies that will die at the hands of their mothers.

            Those who favor the bill claim that there are medical reasons for ending the life of a baby. This claim appears to be an outright lie because Dr. Omar L. Hamada posted this statement: “I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no. There is absolutely no medical reason to kill a near term or term infant. For any reason.”

            Leaders in the faith community seem to be divided about abortion. An article dated October 24, 2018, says that faith leaders will gather in Columbus, Ohio, “next month” to bless an abortion clinic. “Many faith leaders and people of faith hold that accessing and providing abortions are good and godly decisions.”The blessing will be given to “abortion providers and staff, and all those who pass through the center.” I am not sure who they think that they are calling upon to bless people who kill babies. Surely, it is not Heavenly Father who condemns killing!

            Even though New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks that he did something good to support and sign this new “historic” abortion bill, he is now under fire from faith leaders. Cuomo claims to be a Catholic, but New York Catholic bishops hit him hard about it. Albany Bishop Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger wrote an open letter to Cuomo on Saturday.

Your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. I shudder to think of the consequences this law will wreak. You have already uttered harsh threats about the welcome you think pro-lifers are not entitled to in our state. Now you are demonstrating that you mean to write your warning into law. Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the State of New York?

            The bishop asked a good question. Are those who value life and fight for the lives of preborn babies in danger if they voice their pro-life beliefs? There will be consequences from this law. We do not yet know what they will be, but I am positive they will not be as bad as the eternal consequences of those who kill babies for money, political power, or glory.

            Another faith leader who is also a famous heart doctor spoke about abortion in 2008. In an address titled “Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless,” then-Elder Russell M. Nelson shares some data about “the loss of life associated with warfare.” He says that “more than 8 million military fatalities occurred” in World War I. “In World War II, more than 22 million servicemen and women died.” The total military deaths in two World Wars are 30 million. There were also millions of civilian that died, and we are right to condemn war.

            Now-President Nelson says that the deaths from the two wars dwarf the casualties that occur annually in another war. This war is known as abortion, and it is a world-wide “war on the defenseless and the voiceless.” Even though civilized societies have “generally placed safeguards on human life,” laws are still being passed to legalize the killing of unborn babies.

            Quoting scriptures President Nelson reminds us that in ancient days God gave a list of commandments now known as the Ten Commandments. Number six in this list is “Thou shalt not kill.”  In these latter days God renewed this commandment and added, “Nor do anything like unto it.” Then he says, “Man-made rules have now legalized that which has been forbidden by God from the dawn of time! Human reasoning has twisted and transformed absolute truth into sound-bite slogans that promote a practice that is consummately wrong.” Heavenly Father has condemned killing, and abortion is “like unto” murder.

            President Nelson speaks of several of the “concerns” that lead women to consider abortion and explains “Relatively few abortions are performed for the special circumstances to which I have referred. Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.”

Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences….

[He compares a pregnancy to an astronaut who has left earth in a spacecraft.] So it is with people who choose to embark on a journey that leads to parenthood. They have freedom of choice – to begin or not to begin that course. When conception does occur, that choice has already been made….

... She cannot “unchoose.”

When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life – and a lifetime of choices that her child would make.

            There we have the words of a prophet of God. A woman has the right to choose what she will do with her body, but she does not have the right to kill her unborn baby. I do not wish to condemn the young girls and women who make the heartbreaking decision to have abortions. I do, however, want to be clear that I believe that anyone who promotes abortion for any purpose will be judged harshly by God. Abortion is murder of an innocent life! I absolutely do not agree with abortion for any reason.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

State of the Union Address Is Questionable

            It seems that Nancy Pelosi still thinks that she is as powerful as the President of the United States. She invited him to give the State of the Union address in the House of Representatives and then suggested that he not come due to the shutdown. President Donald Trump explains that the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service are well prepared to provide security. So Pelosi barred the President from delivering the speech in the chamber of the House.

            As the Speaker of the House Pelosi has the prerogative to issue the former invitation to the President to deliver the annual, constitutionally-required address. The invitation must be accompanied by resolutions from both Houses to convene a Joint Session of Congress. However, Trump is not required to deliver the speech in the Capital Building. He can give it from the White House or any other place that he chooses.

            Pelosi cannot cancel the actual speech, but she can prevent it from taking place in the House. She is adamant that she will not hold a vote on a resolution until the government is opened, and Trump shows no signs of opening it without funding for a barrier on the border. In addition, Trump seems to know why Pelosi wants to cancel the speech, and he is not afraid to tell the world what he thinks. 

The State of the Union speech has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi because she doesn’t want to hear the truth. She doesn’t want the American public to hear what’s going on, and she’s afraid of the truth.

            Pelosi has a right to fear the truth because it is ugly and makes her look like a petty, vindictive witch. It also makes all her supporters look bad. Besides saying that Pelosi is afraid of the truth, Trump says that Pelosi’s action is a “great blotch on the incredible country we love. It’s a great, great, horrible mark.” To me, it shows just how petty Pelosi is.

            I believe that Pelosi’s petty decision will come back to haunt her. Besides looking so bad, she is losing support from Democrats in Congress. They know that the offer made by Trump last week is a good one. They also know that Pelosi is not negotiating in good faith. I think that they will support her for only so long because their constituents want the government open.

            A recent news report says that Trump agreed to postpone the address. Pelosi most likely considers it a win for her, but I am not ready to agree. He may be just showing the world that he can act like an adult by recognizing national traditions. 

As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.

I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Truths about Covington Students

            Nick Sandmann, his classmates, his parents, his school, and his community are under attack by progressives. The media reported that Sandmann and a group of students from Covington Catholic High School behaved badly toward Nathan Phillips, Native American elder and a Vietnam veteran. The alleged assault took place in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The report exploded over all media lines, and the condemnation was swift! Even the Diocese of Covington and school officials believed the media reports. They apologized and promised to take “appropriate action” against the boys. 

            Yet, the media was wrong, and everyone who believed it looks like judgmental fools. It seems that a three minute forty-four second clip was taken out of context to forward an evil agenda. The video shows a large group of male students with some of them wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. The boys seem to be surrounding Phillips while laughing and having fun with him. Then the entire one-hour, forty-four-second video was brought forward, and it shows a much different picture.

            The longer version shows some black men who self-identify as Black Hebrew Israelites who were angrily protesting near the Lincoln Memorial. They saw the group of students waiting for their buses and started to taunt them. For over an hour the boys endure being called names, such as “crackers,” “incest children,” “future school shooters,” and even worse. The students tried to counter the hate-speech by chanting school songs.

            The video then shows Phillips approaching the students, chanting and banging on his drums seemingly to accompany the chants of the boys. He was accompanied by other people with drums and cameras. The Black Hebrew Israelites announce that “the students are mocking Phillips’ for his drumming.” An interesting point noted in The Blaze is that the Black Hebrew Israelites were mocking Phillips before they noticed the boys wearing the MAGA hats. As if the problem was not bad enough, Phillips then told out-right lies about the boys.

            The bottom line is that someone was out to forward an agenda, and the media jumped to conclusions and spread lies. The boys and their families have received death threats. The jobs of the parents have been threatened. Police are guarding the high school, and school was cancelled for today.

            Even though the truth has come out about the situation, the damage has been done and the threats continue. The young men tried to diffuse a difficult situation – a situation caused by adults who should have known better. The students should be considered as heroes for being willing to take the insults, but they are not. The reputations of the students, their families, and their school have been forever damaged. Apologies would be nice, but they will never correct the damage that is done.

            President Donald Trump has been right all along. There is much fake news being aired, and people’s lives are being damaged by it. It is time for Americans to stop believing everything that the media says and wait for both sides of the story to come out before condemning anyone.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr.

           My VIP for today is Martin Luther King, Jr. because today is the day when Americans reflect upon his legacy. It is a national holiday when many offices and schools are closed. When I ran errands today, I found several places closed and less traffic on the highway. King is honored in many other ways, such as having streets and highways named after him. Yet, few people seem to remember the reason for which he marched.

            King had a dream for America, a dream that Americans would one day recognize that they are brothers and sisters no matter the color of their skin. He dreamed of an America that would one day enjoy peace between the races. He dreamed that one day a person would be judged for their character and not the color of their skin. He was an African American marching for equality for black Americans and for Americans of all colors. Even though there is much more equality in the United States today, the script seems to have been flipped as people of color are racist and prejudiced against white people. Somehow, many people of color forget that King’s dream was for equality with each other, not mastery over people of another race.

            Alveda King, the niece of Dr. King, is one person who remembers. As a teenager she marched with her Uncle Martin, and she says that people forget about the spiritual aspect of the work done by her uncle.

            Today Ms. King works for the unborn children. She was at the Right to Life march on Saturday and offered the closing prayer for the event. In an interview by with Rob Bluey and Rachel del Guidice with The Daily Signal, Ms. King shared a summary of one of her uncle’s quotes: “When we learn to value the human personality, we won’t hate anybody.” If we truly want to King’s legacy to mean something in our lives, we must return to his foundational principles of prayer and Bible study.

            King and his niece are absolutely correct. When we realize that every human being is a child of Heavenly Parents as well as sisters or brothers, we will not be able to hate anyone. This includes the unborn children, the elderly, and the disabled as well as people of all colors. We need to look to the spiritual ideas put forth by King and let that be his legacy.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Democratic and Republican Principles

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the simple fact that the Founders designed Congress to be slow. They were deathly afraid of democracy and how changes could be made quickly by a simple majority rule. This is one reason why they designed Congress with two Houses. They designed the House of Representatives to be based on population with representatives elected with a popular vote. They designed the Senate to representative of the states with Senators elected by state legislatures.

            The House was supposed to represent democratic principles, while the Senate represented republican principles. Democratic principles means that the Representatives were directly elected by a popular vote of the people, and republican principles means that the Senators were elected by the state representatives of the people. The House and the Senate were both supposed to be slow-moving organizations that would take the time necessary to consider all aspects of any laws they passed. They hoped that a slow-moving legislature would be less likely to infringe on the rights of the people.

            The same is true of the Electoral College. The Founders used both democratic and republican principles in the process to elect the President of the United States. Democratic principles are used when the people go to the polls on Election Day and vote for their choice for President. Then republican principles are used when electors in the Electoral College, representing the people in their state, vote for the President.

            Bruce R. Booker wrote an article that explains why the Founders designed the federal government to be slow in its actions. He reminds us that the Founding Fathers had just overthrown “the tyrannical rule of King George and His government” and that they did not want the same type of government in their newly established nation.

So, they created a Constitutional Republic, NOT a Democracy and NOT a monarchy! A constitutional republic is a state in which the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people. They must govern to existing constitution. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers can be separated into distinct branches.

This means that “We the People” elect our representatives – all the way to our head of state: The President (not the King) of the United States of America.

Sure, this slows the process of government and legislating and judging, but that’s the way it should be – by design – else, with hasty decisions the rights of “We the People” will be trampled by an out of control federal government….

            So the next time that you get frustrated because the federal government works so slowly, thank the Founding Fathers for giving us a republic rather than a democracy. The Senators and the Representatives are supposed to work through bills slowly before sending them to the other House or to the President to sign. Each branch of the federal government -- Legislative, Executive, and Judicial --was designed to check and balance the other two branches.

            Booker reminds us that we now have Obamacare because the three branches of the federal government colluded rather than check or balance each other. He says that the same thing happened in Nazi Germany under the dictates of Adolph Hitler.

            We know from history that neither circumstance was good for the people. We do not want the House of Representatives and the Senate colluding to pass bills quickly. The Representatives and the Senators need enough time to read the bills before they pass them. We do not want the three branches of our federal government colluding to pass bills and make laws quickly. We want them to take the time to do the business of the people properly and lawfully – even if it does take time.