Wednesday May 04 , 2016
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Religion and the Military

Today is National Prayer Day and we are to pray for America this year.  We certainly need to do just that.  In a story out of Breitbart today, we are finding out that the Pentagon is consulting with Mikey Weinstein, an avowed anti-religion individual who runs an organization focused on ensuring that the separation of church and state be established in the United States military.  His efforts have been focused on ensuring that the religious, evangelical right not have control of the military.  I am really surprised at this, as in all my years in and around the military, I never encountered anything that would come close to being over the top.  I suppose it is possible for commanders or senior non-commissioned officers to impose themselves on their charges, but this type of thing usually got taken care of by the enforcement of cultural norms within the military establishment.  What is so frightening about all this is the apparent effort on the part of the Pentagon to criminalize the practice of religion in the service.   The logical extension of this kind of thinking is essentially eliminating the chaplaincy from the structure of the uniformed services.  As a veteran and former unit commander, I cannot overstate the importance of the chaplaincy in the morale and welfare of all of the organizations to which I had the honor of being a member.

There are countless organizations springing up who want to take God out of the public square.  I get some of that, but for the military to have one of its fundamental organizing principles under attack is more than I can take.  The individual being consulted by the Pentagon is a service academy grad and is supposed to be a registered republican.  I sincerely doubt that, but it is possible.  What is so disturbing is that in the news report, the indication was that the President had ordered this consultation.  What in the world is the President doing trying to dismantle the very culture of the services?  Is he intimidated by the members of the service?  Is he going after the service because they are the most popular institution in the country?  Is this yet another move to further displace the American people from their practice of faith?  Is this part of some larger effort?  Whatever the motivation, this is one of the most despicable acts ever perpetrated by a sitting Commander in Chief.

Every American should be outraged by this and everyone of us should be calling our senators, representatives and the committee members for the house and senate armed services committees.  You might also want to google Mikey Weinstein and investigate his organization.  Very interesting reading.  We can stop this, so let's get started.



Last week, for the first time in American history, a sitting president of the United States addressed the main assemblage of Planned Parenthood.  As bad as this might be, the greatest outrage was at the end of the president's remarks when he invoked the blessing of God on Planned Parenthood, the single largest purveyors of abortion in the nation.  This callous insensitivity to the people of this nation reveals an individual who is deeply flawed on any number of levels.  The fact that since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1993, over 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States.  Had this been any other issue at any other time, people associated with such infanticide would be serving prison time for war crimes.  But, no, we have a president who has embraced an organization that has been at the forefront of social engineering since its founding.  Lest we forget that Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder, was actively pursuing the eradication of people of color in this country through contraception and abortion.

The president, a person who has claimed paternity and affiliation with African-Americans, seems the worst of spokespersons for Planned Parenthood.  As Planned Parenthood has aborted more black babies in America than have been killed in any other fashion, one must ask exactly what it is the president is supporting.  Does he really have an affinity to people of color or is he, as many of us suspect, just a another race trader who has profited mightily from claiming race as a convenience as opposed to a conviction.  What could the leaders of the African American communities be thinking in supporting the utter elimination of all people who claim to be of African descent.  It boggles the mind.

As Planned Parenthood is the largest generator of murder in the country, one should be as outraged by the fact that public money goes to this awful organization.  If they stuck to contraception and family planning, then perhaps one might look the other way, but when the organization is an in-your-face provider of infanticide, then battle lines must be drawn.  No public money should ever go to organizations like this, and here is why.

The justices on the Supreme Court who adjudicated Roe v. Wade offered the notion that abortion was really about privacy, not anything else.  As such, any decision to have an abortion must be considered a private matter of concern only to the woman who is pregnant.  If that is the case, then private funds ought to fund all aspects of her movement to abortion.  If this were the case, pro-choice advocates might be able to hide more easily and pro-life folks might find it easier to find an uneasy peace.  However, with the fact that public money goes to fund abortions done by Planned Parenthood, the pro-choice people cannot have it both ways.  If abortion is private, then private money ought to fund it.  If abortion is to be funded by public funds, then all abortions should be made public and all information disclosed as to how our money was spent.  It just seems fair.

Of course, there is no justification for spending public funds on abortion, so one must continue to expose the destructive mission that Planned Parenthood seems to be on.  And the President ought to feel the heat of millions of us who know that abortion has nothing to do with God, and is in fact, evil on display.  God is not evil and God will not bless Planned Parenthood.  One must wonder what kind of person would seek God's blessing on an organization that has killed so many of His children.  Shame on Barack Obama.  Shame on Planned Parenthood.



Odds and Ends

As many of you know, Odds and Ends is a section of one of my two monthly newletters.  Unfortunately, I sometimes have to use this space for updating what is going on with websites, publications, etc.  Thus, I am here again to explain my failures as a blogger and recording artist.

I have been having trouble with my recording device for my podcasts.  Subsequently, I have missed three out of the last five weeks of programs.  I should be able to get them from are archives of the station, so I hope in the next couple of weeks to have all of these broadcasts captured and filed on this website.  Sorry for all of you who enjoy listening at your own times.  We are working still on getting iTunes recognition of the site so we can send them out and have them posted immediately.  Not sure why we have had such difficulties, but I have left such things to my tech helpers.

Also, this has been a particularly difficult semester at the school.  My workload for this term has been exceptionally heavy with my lecture series, my teaching load, administrative duties, and working with my colleagues on a host of issues that are so much difficult as they are time consuming.

I am also in the process of getting Serious Civics for America, Inc., up and running.  We are awaiting IRS approval of tax-exempt status.  When that occurs, we will be able to raise more money and will begin our efforts at building our production and publication output.  We have a great amount of course materials already available for production so we are eager to take the next steps.

I will be writing a series of op-ed pieces for The Iowa Republican over the next several months.  We, as conservatives, need to be guarding our flanks because we not only have the progressives after us but it also appears that the republican establishment is wanting to get rid of us.  The battle inside the republican party is far from over.  If one reviews history, we might find ourselves on the cusp of another Whig-Republican split.  Remember the republican party sprang forward because a group of whigs decided to stand on the principles that eventually led to the abolition of slavery.  Perhaps we are at the same point now with the conservatives and the rest of the republican party.

Conservatism leads one to recognize that the tent is much larger than the media might report.  If we organize and decide on a way forward, conservatives can take over the republican party and build a nation worthy of passing on to our children and grand-children.

Thanks for listening and thanks for your patience.  More later.


Step One

All journeys begin with but a single step--so goes the old saw.  Last night, some 200 kindred spirits gathered in a sanctuary to hear a presentation on the Constitution and Founding of this great nation.  There were many great questions asked at the end of the remarks, but two stood out to me.  One was defining the difference between a democracy and a republic and the other was a bit more complicated--what influence has our form of government had on other nations and their forms of government.  The answer to the first question is rather straight-forward.  The second is a bit more complicated.

A democracy is about majority rule.  A republic is about representational government.  The first deals with the tyranny of the majority.  The second allows voice for various factions that might comprise a population.  The first runs hot and reaches decisions in haste.  The second is far more deliberate, thus buffing off the edges of heated rhetoric and rash action.  Democracies are really about power and control.  Republics are about self-governance, popular sovereignty and federalism.  The choice is an easy one for those who wish to study the situation.  The progressives in this country are constantly striving to supplant the republic with a more "democratic" form of government.  Of course, we are not fooled by this at all.  What they are really after is the ability of a ruling elite to control the masses in the name of democracy.  This type government works only if the majority of the people are dependent on government for their sustenance and well-being.  The evidence that progressives want this end-state is irrefutable.

As for the second question, I am not sure that the American form of government has been diffused around the world.  I am not sure that it needs to be.  In fact, I am sure that the neoconservatives are naive in thinking that the American template is the ticket for all free people.  I am sure it is not.

Russell Kirk has written extensively the topic of whether or not the American experience has been or is likely to be repeated.  His notion is that the American experience was inevitable because the American culture needed this type of government.  Our culture dictated what type of government we would eventually have.  As no other country in the world is even remotely like America, it would be foolish to think that our template could be applied anywhere else.  Each culture and society gains the government that suits it.  Of course, there are disruptions to these assertions.  Tyranny and dictatorships are never welcome, but the culture of the nation suggests that such governments will flourish until such time as the culture changes.

There are many things that might affect the culture of a nation.  Catastrophe, changing demographics, increased information flow, new wealth or poverty, etc., all play a role in the evolution of society.  As long as nation-states exist, such changes will affect what goes on inside the borders of a nation.  Over time, perhaps, these changes might allow something like the American experience to occur, but this seems a sketchy bet.

As information availability increases, more and more people will seek independence and individual liberty.  This is why I think the American experience, rather than being duplicated everywhere in the world, will serve as a model that might be shaped to suit the culture of the exigent society.  One cannot expect to see America everywhere, but one can certainly see the American experience in every free nation on earth.



Civics Literacy and Education Reform

I have been doing a lot of reading recently, mostly to satisfy my curiosity about how activists might be the most effective and efficient over the next several years.  As I have mentioned before in these spaces, we must take a long-term view--at least one generation into the future.  If we do not, we risk being the first generation in American history to leave our children a nation with a lower standard of living than the one we were given.  This is shameful, at best, and horribly irresponsible at worst.

If one examines the evidence concerning how one goes about getting people involved in civic action, one finds that civics education and literacy are the keys.  Of all the levels of activism one might undertake, educating fellow citizens on the Constitution, government and governance provide the highest payback.  Add to this aggressive, deliberate and intention activism related to bringing school choice options to every district in the country and the nation will suddenly--and irreversibly--turn against the progressive agenda that has been so subtly visited upon our nation.

In a recent forum for school board candidates I moderated, I was stunned that these otherwise wonderful, devoted citizens seemed to be unaware of the multitude of choice options available for districts and the merits of implementing some of these options that work for the children and parents.  Given the performance of some of the schools in the district, one would think that as many options as possible would be part of the calculus.  Unfortunately, these folks did not seem to grasp the enormity of the challenges for which they wished to engage as elected public servants.

For the foreseeable future, I will be on a crusade to bring civics literacy and education reform to forefront of all that I do.  I cannot stand by as this nation slips further and further away from its founding and core values.  Please, please join me as we form an army of activists who will turn into the wind and fight this fight.  Please, I am imploring you, find your way to this cause.  Thanks.


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