Friday, October 24, 2008

Free Churches

There are very few free churches in America. Most congregations are bound to the government via 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporations. Pastors and preachers are not free to speak their minds about politicians from the pulpit. In fact, a Catholic bishop may be in hot water for publishing a post comparing Obama to King Herrod. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State dropped a 100,000-piece mailing this week to churches, threatening them to stay silent on moral issues-or else.

According to Alliance Defense Fund, this has not always been the case. Here is a long quote from their website.

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture. Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit. Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution. Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office.

All that changed in 1954 with the passage of the “Johnson amendment” which restricted the right of churches and pastors to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office. The Johnson amendment was proposed by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, and it changed the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit churches and other non-profit organizations from supporting or opposing a candidate for office. After the Johnson amendment passed, churches faced a choice of either continuing their tradition of speaking out or silencing themselves in order to retain their church’s tax exemption. The Internal Revenue Service, in conjunction with radical organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have used the Johnson amendment to create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear for any church that dares to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office or issues.

So I pray for more pastors, preachers, bishops, etc. who are willing to speak out from the pulpit. I also pray for more free churches to form.

As far as free churches go, here are some interesting websites.

All of this free church business also brings me to the FairTax. Under the FairTax there would be no more need for 501(c)(3)'s. If you don't know about the FairTax, go and check it out here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voter Fraud

With accusations of ACORN voter fraud swirling around the Internet, I thought I might open it up for discussion here. In Harris County (Houston) alone, at least 4,000 dead people voted. Now I have some questions.

1. Did these dead people vote mostly for one party over another or are they pretty evenly divided?
2. If they all voted the same way, would they be enough to change the out come of any particular race?
3. If you wanted to go about voting as a dead person, how would you do it? Not that I want to. It just seems like a lot of work for a few extra votes.
4. Do you think that voter fraud will have an impact in these elections?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ADHD and Being Outside

Institute for Creation Research has an article on their site talking about the benefits of being outside in green spaces (that is places with plants). The article specifically sites a study involving ADHD children. According to the study after a 20-minute walk in a park the kids showed a significant increase in attentiveness. Walks in non-green urban areas did not produce the same results. ICR points out that it makes sense that green spaces would benefit us. After all our perfect habitat was the Garden of Eden.

So whether you (or your kids) has ADHD or not, get outside. Walk in the park. Enjoy God's creation. Maybe I'll follow my own advice and take my kids to the botanic gardens today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reprint from Education Conversation

Tammy Drennan at Education Conversation did such a good article this week that I got permission to reprint it here.

by Tammy Drennan

I had a meeting recently in which I and several other people had to solve a problem. My fellow conspirators had already tried to solve the problem, but their solution had not worked. The thing is – they thought it was working.

My job was to explain to them exactly why it was not working and yet looked as if it was.

This is a dilemma that all people who know public schools do not work face. Most people think public schools are working – pretty well, anyway, or at least did work in the past and only need to return to those glory days.

It looks as if they’re working. We’re still a free country, we still have a high standard of living, lots of opportunity, plenty of food and clothing and entertainment, lots of technology… the list goes on.

If schools aren’t responsible for all this, what is? Isn’t that where people are trained to create all this plenty and hope? We don’t actually know, but this is what the “authorities” and “experts” tell us.

Could it be possible that we’re doing so well in spite of schools and not because of them? That something is compensating for what schools don’t do or for the harm they do?

The evidence supports this idea.

Compulsory state schooling took root in the mid-1800s and spread around the country, hindered for a short while by the conditions of the Civil War and finally coming into its heyday in the early 1900s.

Our country was already the land of opportunity for scores of immigrants by that time. Remember that the gift to the United States of the Statue of Liberty from France was to celebrate our centennial in 1876. It was to celebrate the freedom and opportunity we represented and offered to the rest of the world – something we became with education almost entirely in the hands of private individuals who taught their own children, hired tutors and teachers for home study or community schools, and who funded schools for the poor.

Horace Mann, father of modern state schooling, complained in 1846 that “…there is not at the present time, with the exception of New England and a few small localities elsewhere, a State or a community in Christendom, which maintains a system of Free Schools for the education of its children.”*

At the time of this lament, our nation was 70 years old and the beacon that called the world to freedom and prosperity and that offered inspiration and hope for the oppressed and poor of the world.

“By 1940,” according to public school historian Lawrence A. Cremin, “the average American adult had completed 8.6 years of schooling.”** That’s an average of about an eighth grade education 164 years into our nationhood – in school years that were considerably shorter than they are today. By that time, we’d built a phenomenal infrastructure, been through many wars, including a devastating civil war that we managed to emerge and move on from without further bloodshed, and a world war. We’d been conducting vigorous trade with nations around the world since well before our nationhood, and we were making progress in every area that could be called a health indicator for the growth of a free nation.

We were far from perfect, but we were working on it and making steady gains – because we wanted to, not because the state was commandeering people’s children and forcibly improving them.

At this point, the logical person is thinking, “Uh, so what did public schools have to do with all this progress?” It’s a good question, because public school advocates would have us believe that America would be wallowing in a mud pit of backwardness and poverty had it not been for state schooling. That would be the sort of state schooling that hardly existed until after World War I.

Today, we have state schools that literally monopolize children’s and family’s lives and that have taken over almost every area of education that used to be in the hands of parents. Truant officers track down recalcitrant students, schools offer bribes to get students to perform and rewards to citizens who turn in any child making a break for freedom. Our incarceration rate is among the highest in the world, as is the rate at which our citizens medicate themselves and their children for mood and behavior disorders. On the economic front, most families find it nearly impossible to live on one salary.

And yet, Americans keep plugging along. We aren’t as free as we once were. We aren’t as articulate (in spite of the internet), or well-read or fiercely independent or secure in our property. We no longer have the attention span to tolerate a Lincoln-Douglas debate, nor the critical thinking skills to follow the lines of argument. The writings of our founders challenge many of us far beyond our academic skills.

But we have a legacy that was so strong, so compelling, that it still lingers in our souls. For how much longer, it’s hard to say. That may depend on how much longer we offer up our children’s minds to the state for enlightenment.

The moment of freedom will come at different times for different people. It will come when the light goes on and they see they’re being sold a big PR job that reflects what state school advocates want them to believe and not what is reality. Without doubt, many of the PR reps believe their own stories – and many of them will also eventually see reality.

But we can’t hope that some genie will emerge from a lamp and open everyone’s eyes. We must help the process along – sometimes passionately and even vehemently, sometimes gently and patiently.

We must ask questions, offer literature, give of our time to explain, and yes, offer help to those who need it in order to choose freedom. It takes effort. It took considerable effort on my part to simplify my explanations and make them clear and understandable in order to help my “committee members” see my point. I had tried many ways before and met with dismal results. I tried harder and finally met with success, though I have no doubt it will be success that will require reinforcement.

Change takes effort and time and patience – and above all, persistence. Never surrender, said Winston Churchill at a truly dark and hopeless hour. Never give up.

Victory goes to the person who is willing to persevere, to the person with the most to lose. State school advocates stand to lose money, power, sway over public opinion, a captive audience for their many agendas.

The rest of us stand to lose liberty, intellectual and moral excellence, a rich and meaningful culture and a healthy society, the strength of family and community, our children.

The greater loss seems clear to me. Never give up.

* From Horace Mann’s Tenth Annual Report to the Massachusetts State Board of Education, 1846

** From Popular Education and Its Discontents by Lawrence A. Cremin
This entry was posted on October 20, 2008 at 10:06 am and is filed under
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Is This Why You Buy?

I am attending a Christian Writer' class. The last speaker was an acquisitions editor of a big name Christian publishing company. In a side point of her talk, she said that she thought most people bought Christian non-fiction for four reasons.

1. Fear
2. Greed
3. Envy
4. Guilt

My immediate reaction was EW! I don't think I ever buy books for those reasons. And if I do, shame on me. Then again, I doubt I count as normal to most people. So what about you? Are these the reasons that you buy Christian non-fiction?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Teacher's Associations

A California Teacher Association has donated $1,000,000 to defeat Prop 8 (tradional marriage). Yes folks that is 1 MILLION dollars toward the defeat of Prop 8. According to, Prop 8 "contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'" According to CTA, this is an education issue because teachers are supposed to teach about equal rights for everyone. Many teachers are outraged that their dues are going to something that they are against and wonder if the money wouldn't be better off if the money went to the actual education of children. (Imagine that.)

This sort of thing is exactly the reason that government schools will not have my children this year (or any year in the forseeable future).

Abortion Recovery

I just found out about this great website called Abortion Recovery. I thought I would pass it along in case that there is any one reading who has had an abortion and is looking for healing.

They also have a list of abortion recovery groups or services for each state. It is a great option for those that would like to find a local group to volunteer with or get counselling from.
I found the one here (in Fort Worth). It is Rachel Ministries.
These are much needed services in a country where almost 1 in 2 women will have an abortion before they reach menopause.