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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Do You Want the Truth, or Do You Believe the Lies?

             The leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion has caused a firestorm of problems, real and imagined. The first problem is the destruction of trust between the justices and their staffs at the Supreme Court. An investigation is currently taking place at the highest court to determine who leaked the confidential material. The latest information to come out is that the marshal is now asking for the phone records from members of the justices’ staffs.

            Another problem is the “protesting” at the homes of the justices. Americans have the right to peacefully protest, but we do not have the right to intimidate justices or to frighten their family members. If you want to protest the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, then do it at the Supreme Court building. Stay away from the justices’ homes!

            There have been many lies about what the Supreme Court will do next once Roe v. Wade has been overturned. GianCarlo Canaparo authored an article about some of the lies and an attempt to dismantling “the most recent and most absurd claim.” 

Serious and principled legal minds like professor Akhil Reed Amar of Yale and professor Sherif Girgis of Notre Dame have already done excellent work putting most of these lies regarding the upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to the torch.

My task here is more modest – to finish their work by dismantling the most recent and most absurd claim: That the draft Dobbs opinion would lead to overruling Loving v. Virginia, which held that governments cannot ban or criminalize interracial marriage.

            This is the first time that I have heard this claim, but I agree that it is “absurd” to think that anyone would consider such an action. Canaparo indicated that this topic is personal because he is “in an interracial marriage.” However, he is not concerned about his marriage becoming illegal because he is “confident that Loving will remain good law.” His reason:

Because the holding in Loving was compelled by the Constitution’s text. The holding in Roe v. Wade, on the other hand, was not.

Loving corrected a constitutional mistake. Roe was a constitutional mistake.

The leaked Dobbs opinion says the same thing that Loving did: The court got it wrong, and it’s time we interpret the Constitution as it’s written and stop twisting it to mean what we want it to mean.

Loving was a 14th Amendment challenge to a law banning interracial marriage. The 14th Amendment guarantees the equality of all people regardless of race. Loving held that the amendment meant what it said.

For almost a hundred years before the Loving decision in 1967, the Supreme Court disregarded that amendment. Beginning with the Slaughter-House cases and United States v. Cruikshank and culminating in the constitutional abomination that was Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court all but erased it from the Constitution. The court held that the amendment, which was ratified to make all people equal in the eyes of the law, did nothing of the sort.

The court was wrong. Egregiously, obviously, infuriatingly wrong. Loving was one of many great cases that fixed that error.

            After explaining the reason for why the Loving decision corrected a “constitutional mistake, Canaparo moved to the Dobbs case. He explained that one of the causes of confusion is a misunderstanding as to what Loving did.

The key mistake in logic made by those who think Dobbs will pose a threat to Loving is that they think that Loving created a right to interracial marriage just as Roe created a right to abortion. It did no such thing. That right is inherent in our nature. Loving simply recognized what the 14th Amendment says: The government may not discriminate by race.

The Dobbs draft, therefore, has nothing to say about Loving. The draft says, rightly, that Roe was “egregiously wrong” and its reasoning “exceptionally weak” and “far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed.”

It says, rightly again, that the court “has neither the authority nor the expertise” to decide debates about the interrelationship of science and morality; those are debates for the democratic process.

What the court can and should do in Dobbs is affirm that the Constitution’s text means what it says, which is exactly what it did in Loving.

            The Supreme Court must correct the wrongs that it made in the past, and we know that there have been many of them. The mistake that needs correcting at this time is Roe v. Wade. Neither the Supreme Court nor anyone at the federal level has the right to make laws concerning abortion. The Constitution outlines the duties of the federal government and leaves everything else to the states or to the people. Since there is no mention of abortion in the Constitution, we know that it was not one of the duties given to the federal government.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Who Are the Heroes of Uvalde?

            My VIP for this week is an unknown number of Border Patrol agents who took down the shooter at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last Tuesday. The agents are members of BORTAC, an elite Border Patrol tactical unit, and they drove about forty miles to get to the school after they learned of the attack. When they arrived at the school, they were told to stand down. 

The BORTAC team waited for thirty minutes and disagreed with the insistence of the local law enforcement’s insistence that they stay outside. They entered the school after thirty minutes and went to the classroom “on their own initiative” after they were frustrated with the slow response. They breached the classroom and confronted the shooter. One of the team took a bullet to the head and was fortunate that the bullet only tore his hat and grazed his head. The wound looks like it took two staples to close. A little deeper, the shot could have killed the agent.

The remarkable fact about this case is that no one seems to know the name of any of the agents. Even the name of the injured agent is unknown. The BORTAC agents entered the classroom to engage the shooter. They ignored the orders and completed the task. They obviously felt the need to help the children, but they have no need to be individually recognized. They did the necessary job because it needed to be done. They are true heroes!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

How Do You Commemorate Memorial Day?

            For this Constitution Monday, it is fitting that we honor those who died protecting and preserving our Constitution and American way of life. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a day when Americans honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. This day of commemoration began as Decoration Day, and it originated in the years following the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday in May.

Many Americans consider this a somber day and observe it “by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.” A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time on each Memorial Day. For other Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and is nothing more than another holiday. 

I found a post on Facebook by Jason Wright that I have been pondering for several hours, so I decided to share his comparison of Christmas and Memorial Day with my readers. His words deserve thought and consideration by all Americans.

Christmas is the day we honor the One. The One who was born for us, served us, led us, lived for us, died for us.

God gave all.

And yet for many of us, it’s a day we race toward and celebrate like a limited-time only event. Then the next day, we wrap up this holy holiday and stick it on a shelf until next Christmas. This sacred season becomes just a memory….

Memorial Day is the day we honor those who were born for us, served us, led us, lived for us, died for us.

These heroes gave all.

And yet for many of us, it’s a day we race toward and celebrate as if we’re being chased by the calendar. We fire up the grill, float around the lake, and hop in the pool.

Then on Tuesday, we pack this holiday back in a box until next spring. This sacred season becomes just a memory.

            Wright continued his comparison by stating the obvious – we should consider Christmas differently. We should think about the Savior’s birth as well as his life, teachings, and atoning sacrifice. If we truly worship Jesus Christ, we should treat other people as He would treat them. We should minister to the poor and the afflicted. We should show love one for another.

            Even though our military heroes cannot compare to Jesus Christ, but our consideration of their lives and their sacrifices can be compared. If we deeply appreciate their sacrifices in our behalf, we should live differently. We should think of them every single day. We should remember their bravery, sacrifice, lessons, and legacies. We should show our appreciation for their sacrifices in our treatment of our country, our flag, and our fellow Americans. Wright stated that "our sacred cemeteries don’t just hold caskets, this holy ground is full of courage, selflessness, and an astounding love of country.”

My desire is that all Americans will consider the sacrifices of the million men and women who gave their lives for our benefit. I am grateful for my many neighbors who are flying the flag of our great country in commemoration of those sacrifices. Just as Christmas is much more than a day to receive gifts and party, Memorial Day is much more than a holiday to go camping or fishing.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

What Wonders of the Lord Have You Seen in Your Life?

            My studies for this week’s Come, Follow Me lesson took me to Joshua 1-8; 23-24. Moses was taken to heaven, and Joshua was called to lead the Israelites. How would you like to be the one to follow in the footsteps of Moses? I would question my ability and feel inadequate. We know that Joshua felt the same way because the Lord told him numerous times, “Be strong and of a good courage.” This lesson began with the following statement:

It had taken several generations, but the Lord’s promise was about to be fulfilled: the children of Israel were on the verge of inheriting the promised land. But in their way stood the Jordan River, the walls of Jericho, and a wicked but mighty people who had rejected the Lord (see 1 Nephi 17:35). On top of that, their beloved leader Moses was gone. The situation may have made some Israelites feel weak and fearful, but the Lord said, “Be strong and of a good courage.” Why should they feel this way? Not because of their own strength – or even Moses’s or Joshua’s – but because “the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). When we have our own rivers to cross and walls to bring down, wonderful things can happen in our lives, because it is “the Lord [who] will do wonders among [us]” (Joshua 3:5).

            Like most of the Come, Follow Me lessons, this lesson contains numerous principles. The principle that I have chosen to discuss is based on Joshua 3-4 “I can experience God’s “wonders” if I have faith in Jesus Christ.” The Lord commanded the Israelites to cross the Jordan River and conquer the land of Canaan. This is the first time that the children of Israel have faced the Jordan River, but this river plays a part in numerous scriptural stories over hundreds of years, including the Savior’s baptism.

            Joshua 3 tells us that Joshua led Israel to the Jordan River, and they camped next to the river for three days. After three days, leaders went through the huge crowd of people to instruct them about what was going to happen. They told the children of Israel to watch and be ready to follow the ark of the covenant of the Lord. However, they were not to follow it too closely. Joshua instructed the people, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).

            Why did the Lord command the Israelites to sanctify themselves? Sanctify means to set something apart or to declare it as holy. It means to consecrate or to make sacred. By following the instructions, the children of Israel prepared themselves to be a part of a sacred experience.

            The next day, Joshua told the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over [the river] before the people” (Joshua 3:6). The priests were obedient and took up the ark of the covenant to walk before the people.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God.

10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.

12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.

13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. (Joshua 3:7-13)

            It came to pass that the priests carrying the ark of the covenant stepped into the river that was overflowing its banks – flooding. When their feet dipped into the water, the waters coming down the river “stood and rose up upon an heap” (Joshua 3:16). The priests carrying the ark of the covenant stood in the middle of the Jordan River on dry ground until all the people had crossed the river.

            What is significant about the fact that the water parted as the feet of the priests stepped into the river? The act of stepping into the flooding waters showed that the priests had faith in God. They exercised their faith in God and witnessed a miracle.

            The story continues in Joshua 4. When all the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, the priests remained standing in the middle of the river on dry ground. Then Joshua, under direction from God, instructed that twelve men -- one man from each of the twelve tribes -- should be selected to go into the middle of the river and pick up twelve stones – one per man. When the task was completed, Joshua told the priests to come out of the Jordan River. When the priests were on the river bank, the waters of the Jordan River returned and flowed over the banks, just as they were doing prior to the experience. So, what did God want the Israelites to do with the twelve stones?

19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever. (Joshua 4:19-24)

            The Lord wanted the posterity of the Israelites to know about the great wonders that were done for them when crossing the Jordan River. He also desires that “all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is might” (Joshua 4:24).

            Latter-day leaders have counseled us to remember the wonders of the Lord that we have seen in our lives. Bishop Gérald Caussé, the First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, taught the following:

For us, as Latter-day Saints, wonders also occur in our individual lives. They include our own personal conversion, the answers we receive to our prayers, and the tender blessings God showers upon us daily.

To marvel at the wonders of the gospel is a sign of faith. It is to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives and in everything around us. Our amazement also produces spiritual strength. It gives us the energy to remain anchored in our faith and to engage ourselves in the work of salvation.

But let us beware. Our ability to marvel is fragile. Over the long term, such things as casual commandment keeping, apathy, or even weariness may set in and make us insensitive to even the most remarkable signs and miracles of the gospel.

Bishop Caussé taught that we can do three things to continue to consider the gospel as wonderful to us: (1) “never tire of discovering or rediscovering the truths of the gospel” and “hunger and thirst every day after spiritual knowledge” by “study, meditation, and prayer,” (2) “anchor your faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel. Our amazement should be rooted in the core principles of our faith, in the purity of our covenants and ordinances, and in our most simple acts of worship,” (3) “seek and cherish the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Most wonders of the gospel cannot be perceived by our natural senses…. When we have the Spirit with us, our spiritual senses are sharpened and our memory is kindled so we cannot forget the miracles and signs we have witnessed” (April 2015 General Conference).

            I know that each of us can experience God’s “wonders” as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ. I have never crossed a flooding river on dry ground, but I have witnessed God’s miracles in my life on many occasions.

Friday, May 27, 2022

What Is Meant by Risk Management and Adequate Insurance?

            Families, communities, and nations are stronger when individuals carry sufficient insurance. When we are single with no one dependent on our income, we do not need insurance. Once we are married and/or have children – or other dependents – we have a moral responsibility to have sufficient insurance. If we have dependents who have claim on our income, we should have enough life insurance to meet their needs if something happens to us. If we are dependent on our income, we should carry disability insurance. Adequate insurance will give us or our survivors opportunities to prosper in difficult times.

            E. Jeffrey Hill and Bryan L. Sudweeks wrote a textbook titled Fundamentals of Family Finance – Living Joyfully within Your Means (2016). In their chapter about insurance and risk management, they made the following statement: “If you purchase too much insurance or the wrong kind of insurance, you are wasting money. If you purchase too little insurance, you are exposed to unnecessary risk. Understanding risk is an important part in determining the right level of insurance you should have. You can manage risk in four ways: you can avoid it, reduce it, assume it, or transfer it” (p. 89).

            The authors further explained that we “can avoid some risks by choosing not to participate in activities where you will likely be hurt" (p. 89). Activities that can be avoided are bull riding, bungee jumping, sky diving, and rock climbing. They would also include things like smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. The authors called these activities “high-severity, high-frequency risk activities” and said that insurance for them is expensive.

            The second way to manage risk is to reduce the risks. The authors suggested that we can reduce our need for medical care by taking care of our bodies with “regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good nutrition” (p. 89). We can reduce the risk of a burning home by “purchasing a fire extinguisher,” of “injury or death in a car accident by wearing your seat belt” (p. 89). We should reduce our risks wherever possible.

            The third way to manage risk is to “assume (or retain) some types of risk through self-insurance, setting aside some funds to cover potential losses” (p. 89). If a car is more than ten years old, we should consider not buying collision and comprehensive insurance on it and save the amount that we would pay in premiums.

            The fourth way to manage risk is to “transfer risk to others by purchasing insurance, thus transferring financial responsibility for a specific low-frequency, high-cost risk from yourself to an insurance company. This is why you should get some form of life insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and automobile insurance” (p. 89).

            We should use wisdom and good judgment when buying insurance. We should not purchase too much insurance, but we should buy adequate insurance. Elder Marvin J. Ashton gave the following counsel:

It is most important to have sufficient medical, automobile, and homeowner’s insurance and an adequate life insurance program. Costs associated with illness, accident, and death may be so large that uninsured families can be financially burdened for many years ("Guide to Family Finance," Liahona, April 2000).

            Responsible money management includes purchasing adequate insurance – life insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and automobile insurance. Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by carrying sufficient insurance.   

Thursday, May 26, 2022

What Can We Learn from the Depp-Heard Trial?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns safety and security at home. Domestic violence has been a problem for many years, but it grew worse during the pandemic lockdowns. Abuse of children was widely discussed, but the nation is gaining understanding from the saga of Johnny Depp suing his former wife Amber Heard for defamation.

            I have not paid much attention to the trial, but I have heard snippets of the testimony of the problems that was in the Depp-Heard marriage. I heard much about character flaws of each spouse, much substance abuse, and lots of physical violence. I feel much sympathy for both parties in the lawsuit.

            Depp is suing Heard for defamation and ruining his career, but his tale of spousal abuse is coming through loud and clear. Most domestic violence brings to mind husbands being violent with their wives, but Depp reminds us that wives are also violent with their husbands. Both Depp and Heard testified of physical violence, but Depp has opened many eyes about men being victims also. Heard obviously believed that no one would believe Depp because she is heard saying the following in a recording that was played at the trial:

Tell people it was a fair flight and see what the jury and judge think. Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, “I, Johnny Depp, I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence, and it was fair fight,” and see if people believe or side with you.

            Most people do not think about men being the victim in domestic violence, but there is evidence that there are more than a few women being violent with men. Ari David Blaff wrote about domestic violence and the Depp-Heard trial and made this statement: 

The statistical reality paints a different picture. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined a sample of nearly 12,000 young adults in heterosexual relationships and were startled by the results. Women were found to perpetrate physical violence at over double the rate of men and women instigated nearly three-quarters of “nonreciprocal partner violence.” The results shocked the researchers, who wrote,” This is important as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious.” [Emphasis added.]

This is the deeply uncomfortable – and rarely acknowledged – truth about intimate partner violence. A growing body of literature supports a more nuanced perspective, that men represent a significant number of victims. However, it bears underscoring that while men can be victimized at rates close to women, the severity of the attacks are not the same. Women experience dramatically higher levels of serious violence than men do.

            Depp has done great good for the men who are abused by their intimate partner. Now that men have watched Depp stand up for himself, “male victims of domestic abuse are suddenly coming out of the woodwork.” It is a “turning point in the stigma against male survivors.” Depp’s story gives courage to other male victims to stand up for themselves. Domestic violence is perpetrated by both men and women, which means that victims includes both men and women.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Are the Solutions to Mass Shootings?

            Mass murders continue to take place, and they are more frequent as time passes. Ten days ago, an 18-year-old White man traveled several hours to a grocery store where he killed numerous Black people doing their weekly shopping. Yesterday, an 18-year-old Hispanic man shot nineteen children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Both shooters were killed at the scene.

            Democrats immediately began the usual cries for “more gun control.” There is proof that more gun control does not work. Chicago, Illinois, has some of the strongest gun control laws in the nation, but it also has the most shootings happening every week.

            Gun ownership – “the right to keep and bear arms” – is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Suppose that another amendment was ratified to destroy this right. There would be another civil war when authorities tried to collect the 400,000,000 guns – more than the 350,000,000 American citizens. More gun control is not the answer to solve the murders and the mass murders taking place in America.

            Democrats jump for more gun control because they do not like to discuss solutions that have proven to work in pass generations. There are reasons why so many young American men start shooting people, but each young man may have a different overriding reason.

            One solution to many of the problems in America is the traditional family. Young men and young women who grow up in a loving home with their biological father and biological mother usually do not go around shooting people. Yet, most of the shooters come from troubled homes. Children need to feel loved and secure in their homes if they are to develop normally. One of the solutions to America’s problems is to encourage marriage and to strengthen families.

There were few if any mass shootings in the years when America had strong families who ate dinner together every evening.

            Another solution is to restore the God of this land – Jesus Christ – to His rightful place. How can we expect to keep evil out of our homes, schools, and communities if we outlaw Christ? As more Americans join the Nones – no religion, the number of mass shootings increase. Is this situation a causation or a correlation?

            A third solution to protecting our children at school – one that can be put in place quickly – is to secure our school buildings. Andrew Pollack lost his daughter in a mass shooting at a Parkland high school in 2018, and he had suggestions for improving school security. His suggestions include schools having a single point of entry to schools to better control who enters. Other suggestions include armed guards at schools and teachers trained for active shooter situations. We may be at the point where we train children how to act in such a situation just as we have fire drills.

            Democrats and liberals demanded the defunding of police departments – until polls showed that normal people did not agree. There are parents who do not want their children to be around people with guns, and they do not want police in schools. Police were on the scene when the young man in Uvalde barricaded himself in the school. A border agent in the vicinity forced himself into the room and shot the shooter. How many more children would have died if the police were five or ten or fifteen minutes away?

            Cost is another complaint against having police in the schools and locking the schools down. As Pollack stated, the United States just sent $40 billion to Ukraine. The rising generation in our nation deserves to be protected. The only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun is a true statement. When will Americans understand that we need armed guards in the schools to protect our children.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

What Are the Results for Today’s Primary Elections?

            The primary election in Pennsylvania took place one week ago, but the votes have not been counted yet. Why does Pennsylvania have so much trouble counting votes when other states with similar or higher populations have election results within hours of the close of the polls? One thing that the Pennsylvania election shows is that there is need for reform in their mail-in voting process and ballot counting process.

            Georgia, on the other hand, reported that Governor Brian Kemp is leading David Perdue by approximately fifty percentage points. Hershel Walker also won his race for the Republican candidate for the Senate. Why can Georgia make this report on election night, while Pennsylvania is still counting votes a week later? Georgia reworked its election laws since the 2020 presidential election. Democrats declared that their election laws would curtail voting, but results show that more people came out to vote with confidence that their vote would count.

            Numerous other states tightened election laws over the past two years. Were enough changes made to ensure an open and fair election? I hope so. I hope that I never live through another election like the 2020 presidential election. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Who Is Debbie Lesko?

             My VIP for this week is Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona). She is one of the leading lawmakers on the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in introducing legislation to create protections for females based on their biological sex. She recently made the following statement in discussing the proposed “Women’s Bill of Rights” with Fox News Digital:

I am proud to introduce the Women’s Bill of Rights to affirm the importance of acknowledging women and their unique and distinguishing characteristics and contributions to our nation. As the Left continues to erase women, we must fight for women and their place in our society. Whether it’s keeping the word “mother” in written law, or ensuring women’s domestic violence shelters do not have to accept biological men, we must stand up for women.”

            According to Kelly Laco at Fox News, the “bill states that the Women’s Bill of Rights is necessary to establish in order to ‘reaffirm legal protections afforded to women under Federal law’ due to that [fact] that males and females have unique biological differences, which increases as they age.” Laco continued: 

The lawmakers’ bill says that due to biological differences, only females are able to “get pregnant, give birth, breastfeed children.” In addition, males are larger and possess greater strength than females due to biology. The text also states that females are subjected to more specific forms of violence, including sexual violence….

The legislation clarifies, “for purposes of Federal law, a person’s ‘sex’ means his or her biological sex (either male or female) at birth” and the term “mother” means “parents of female sex and ‘father’ is defined as parent of the male sex.” It continues: “there are important reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons, domestic violence shelters, restrooms, and other areas, particularly where biology, safety, and privacy are implicated.”

            Finally, someone in a position of authority is doing something to protect the rights of women and girls from biological men who think that they are women. I applaud Rep. Lesko and her committee for writing this law. Once Republicans take control of the House – hopefully in January 2023 – they can move the bill out of committee and onto the floor of the House for a vote.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

How Should Biden Be Removed from Office?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is President Joe Biden and his performance of President of the Unite States. He has obviously made a mess of the United States by opening the southern border and by destroying the economy. He has also made a mess in the world by his disastrous retreat from Afghanistan and by his refusal to stop Russia before its attack on Ukraine. However, are these bad decisions a result of incompetence or deliberate acts to destroy America?

            In September 2021, a group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives filed articles of impeachment against President Biden. The two reasons given for impeachment is Biden’s “handling of the immigration crisis at the southern border and his chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.” We all know that such an act will never see the light of day in a House controlled by Nancy Pelosi. However, it is likely that she will lose her leadership position in the next election. 

            A recent poll shows that 68 percent of Republicans and Trump voters and 66 percent of conservatives want the House of Representatives to impeach President Biden if Republicans take over the House in the 2022 midterms. Democrats set the precedent of impeaching a President for made up claims. Is revenge a good reason for Republicans to impeach Biden? I think not. The Constitution calls for impeachment for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Has Biden committed treason, bribery, or other reasons for impeachment?

Victor Davis Hanson is wondering if Biden is “malicious, incompetent, or a wannabe left-wing ideologue.” He asked an interesting question: “If an administration deliberately wished to cause havoc on the border, to ensure fuel was nearly unaffordable, to create a crime wave, to spark 1970s hyperinflation, and to rekindle racial tensions, what would it have done differently than what President Joe Biden has done?” 

Hanson pointed out that Biden puts the blame on other people or gets angry when asked about the terrible things happening in the United States. Putin is responsible for inflation – even though inflation was going up before Putin invaded Ukraine. If it is not Putin’s fault, then it must be Trump’s fault. However, the Biden administration does not seem to realize that dreadful things are happening. They think that they are running a successful administration. Hanson wants to know if Biden really thinks that the current mess in the United States is a success. If so, could Biden and his associates be making the mess on purpose? One thing is sure, the Biden administration “never pivot(s) or compromise(s).”

Why? Apparently, what most in the country see as disasters, Biden envisions as success.

Take the border – or rather its disappearance.

Never in U.S. history has an administration simply canceled immigration laws, opened the border, and welcomed in millions of illegal aliens. All arrive illegally, and without audit, or vaccinations and tests in times of a pandemic.

Cartels now import lethal drugs at will into the United States. We have no idea how many terrorists walk across the border each day.

Almost all the entering millions who break the law are poor, without high school diplomas or English skills, and in dire need of massive federal and state housing, food, education, legal, and health subsidies.

Do the leftists in Washington believe that millions of dependent new residents will look to the left for decades of support and soon find ways to reciprocate with fealty at the polls? Is that why Democrats brag in unapologetic tribalist fashion about changing the demography of the electorate?

            Hanson’s article continued with a discussion of how Biden’s policies have made the current energy crisis worse. He cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline and new federal oil and gas leases. He later cancelled permits for Cook Inlet in Alaska even though gas prices are approaching $7.00 a gallon in California.

            Hanson discussed inflation next. Biden printed “trillions of dollars at the moment supplies were short and demand was spiking,” so what did he expect would happen? Is Biden using inflation as a fair way to spread the wealth or to attack corporate greed?

            With violent crime climbing quickly to the 1970s levels and movements to defund the police, “radical city and county prosecutors” refuse to “charge or lock up criminals” and then they empty jails and prisons. Is it any wonder that their actions “have ignited a national crime wave”?

Americans are tired of the new woke tribalism. Judging individuals on the basis of their race, gender, or superficial appearance is amoral, and contrary to the entire civil rights movement, and the U.S. Constitution.

It destroys any idea of meritocracy and divides the country artificially into supposed victims and victimizers.

But do the Biden people see it that way?

Or do they promote racial tensions and tribalism, as welcome revolutionary fervor?

In that regard, the Bidenites promote identity politics as a good way to stir up the pot, to demonize supposed oppressors and deify the oppressed – all as a way of retaining political power. For the left, living in a socialist nation controlled by an elite is far preferable to living in a free and prosperous one answerable only to the people.

The public believes the Biden administration has failed America, with disastrous results due either to its incompetence, belligerence, or left-wing zealotry.

But Biden and his delusional team seem delighted with what they have wrought.

In sum, what Americans see as an abject catastrophe, they cheer on as a stunning and planned success.

            So, the question remains: Is the Biden administration deliberately acting to destroy the American government, or are they just a bunch of incompetents who have not gotten anything right? If the destruction is deliberate, it is treasonous behavior, and Biden should be impeached. If it is incompetence, Biden should be removed from office using Amendment 25. Either way, America will be in trouble because his replacement would be Kamala Harris!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

What Do You Do to Remember God and His Miracles in Your Life?

            My Come, Follow Me studies this week took me to the book of Deuteronomy. The lesson concentrated on chapters 6-8; 15; 18; 29-30, and 34. The children of Israel were enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years. When the time was right, the Lord raised up a man named Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.

After leaving Egypt, the children of Israel experienced numerous problems: they were up against the Red Sea, and they had no food or water. The Lord performed numerous miracles to care for His people. He caused a wind to blow all night, which caused the Red Sea to divide and make a dry path on which the Israelites to travel to other side of the sea. They were without water, and the Lord instructed Moses to strike a rock, causing water to gush out. They were hungry, and the Lord sent quail and manna to feed them.

Even though they saw evidence that the Lord would take care of them, the children of Israel had a challenging time putting their trust in Him. They traveled from Egypt to the border of the Promised Land in a period of months. When they allowed fear to replace faith in God, the Lord refused to let them enter the Promised Land. Instead, they were to wander in the wilderness for forty years, long enough for every person in the older generation to die – except for Caleb and Joshua who were faithful.

The lesson is titled “Beware Lest Thou Forget the Lord,” and it was introduced with the following information.

Moses’s earthly ministry began on a mountain when God spoke to him from a burning bush (see Exodus 3:1-10). It also ended on a mountain, more than 40 years later, when God gave Moses a glimpse of the promised land from the top of Mount Nebo (see Deuteronomy 34:1-4). Moses had spent his life preparing the children of Israel to enter that promised land, and the book of Deuteronomy records his final instructions, reminders, exhortations, and pleadings with the Israelites. Reading his words makes it clear that the real object of Moses’s ministry – the preparation the people needed – wasn’t about wilderness survival, conquering nations, or building a community. It was about learning to love God, obey Him, and remain loyal to Him. That’s the preparation we all need in order to enter the promised land of eternal life. So, while Moses never set foot in the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8), because of his faith and faithfulness, he did enter the promised land that God has prepared for all those who follow Him.

The book of Deuteronomy tells of the Israelites coming again to the border of the Promised Land. The Lord told Moses that he was not going to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, so Moses did what he could to prepare the people to go into the land. Deuteronomy contains a retelling of all the commandments of God. In Deuteronomy 6:7, Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children.

            One of the principles taught in this lesson is “Beware lest thou forget the Lord.” The people who were allowed to enter the Promised Land had been twenty years old or younger when the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land the first time. Now, the older ones were nearing the age of sixty. However, many of the Israelites allowed to enter the Promised Land did not witness the plagues in Egypt or the crossing of the Red Sea. They did not have a personal testimony of those miracles. Moses understood that the current Israelites and future generations would need to know about and remember God’s miracles and God’s laws IF they were to remain God’s people. Here is some of Moses’s counsel to the Israelites Deuteronomy 6:4-12, 20-25:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

10 And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,

11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

20 And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you?

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:

22 And the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:

23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.

24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. [Emphasis added.]

            Supposing that you were among the children of Israel at that time, what would you do to follow the counsel given by Moses? How would you keep the word of the Lord in your heart every day? How would you pass your faith to your children and grandchildren? Would the same actions work today in passing faith in God to our posterity?

            I believe that the counsel given by Moses is similar to the counsel being given by modern-day prophets and apostles. Today’s leaders tell us to gather our children around us to study the scriptures and to pray together. We are counseled to have daily devotionals with our children where we teach from the scriptures and call upon God for blessings. We are counseled to have weekly family home evenings where we study and pray or work and play with our families. We are also counseled to use “teaching moments” that come up in the process of life to share our faith in God with our children. In addition, we are counseled to take our children to Sunday meetings, to instruct our children and prepare them for baptism and for future covenants.

            We can read the counsel of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. We can compare it with the counsel given by today’s spiritual leaders as they speak to us in General Conference twice each year and at other times.