My Two Most Popular Posts

When my son graduated from High School, I wrote him a letter, sharing my heart. When my daughter graduated, I did the same thing. Both letters were posted on this blog. Since 2012, those two posts have received 13,152 views. Every May, people from all over the world find these two letters! I’ve had a lot of fun watching that, and of course, I am proud of my son and my daughter. I am also proud of my ten year old but, thankfully, it’s not time for him to graduate yet.

Why do people find these letters? I think parents look for a way to put into words how they feel about their children. I have had people tell me that my two letters have done that for them.

So, got a graduation coming up? Here are the links to my two attempts at sharing my heart for my two graduates.

A Father’s Letter to His Graduating Son

A Father’s Letter to His Daughter Upon Her Graduation

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I am certainly no historian, but I do pay attention to the current events that I consider to be impactful. With that said, I offer this concerning the current political divide in America.

Bush/Gore

In my estimation, the great divide we our witnessing today began to manifest itself in the 2000 Bush/Gore election. The Democrats were so angered over the loss of that election that, by my observation, they were scarcely ever able to get on board with Bush. Sure, 911 brought some working together, but legitimacy was never extended to Bush. Then, came Obama. Never have we seen a President so bent on undoing America, nor one who was so successful at it. The right was unable to accept him. Then, as far as the pendulum had swung to the left, it swung to the right with Donald Trump. Unless you are in a coma, you can see just how shamefully the left is rejecting him. It all started in earnest with the Gore loss.

Three Parties

The wrestling together and haggling that we see happening in the Republican Party right now is what we used to see happening between Democrats and Republicans. So, in effect, we have a three party system: the far left, and two wings of conservatives.

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Legitimacy

The following is an excerpt from Scott Fowler, Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer. New York: Issachar Imprints. 2016.

There are two things we need to be comfortable with if we are to successfully cultivate a meaningful, dynamic prayer life. The first is ourselves—being comfortable in “our own skin” as they say. It may not make sense to everyone, but we have to allow ourselves legitimacy in prayer. True, we are imperfect and can point out all the ways in which we are inadequate and disqualified for prayer. But we have not been invited into the Secret Place because of our adequacy or qualifications! On the contrary, it is through the blood of Jesus and His utter qualification that we are allowed—No, invited! No, compelled to enter into the Most Holy Place!0578178761-smaller

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22, NIV).

This means for us that, when we cry out to God we mustn’t shrink from the sound of our own voice because we are aware of our unworthiness, but instead allow ourselves to begin to say about ourselves what God says about us: that we are considered righteous through faith:

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:5, NIV).

Second, it may be difficult for some to cultivate a meaningful, dynamic prayer life because their families are not prepared to lend them legitimacy in prayer. Our families have witnessed our shortcomings and failures and may take the lower road of judging us for what they have seen in us rather than for what God and His Word says is possible in us. For this reason, we should never present ourselves as being superior because we are pursuing prayer, but rather we should humbly acknowledge our inadequacies and hide completely behind God’s mercy and love. In the end, we must pursue God in the Secret Place regardless of others’ opinion of us!

Dr. Scott Fowler is the Pastor of Assimilation and Discipleship at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle on Long Island.
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Hmmm . . . what should the Electoral College do tomorrow?

Well, after doing my own reading of the pertinent points of the Constitution and Chapter 1 of Title 3, United States Code (62 Stat. 672, as amended), and reviewing this video again, I have come to the conclusion that it is a prime example of breathtaking arrogance, condescension, and pandering.
First of all, the original states and the Founding Fathers didn’t choose to ratify the words of the Federalist Papers into the Constitution (the source of the authoritative quote at the front of the video).
Second, how arrogant that these Hollywood elites feel qualified to tell us that Mr. Trump lacks the “stability” to be President. You know who gets to decide that? The American public. (By the way, how fortunate we are that these fine actors were willing to condescend to the depths of the Republican Electors long enough to make a video just for them so that they might consider voting their consciences. Thank you famous actors!)
Third, Mr. Sheen, the “dangerous demagogue” in this story is not Mr. Trump but a dangerous liberal party that feels entitled to retain power. The Constitution does not ask the electors to protect anyone from a dangerous demagogue, but rather to vote for someone qualified. They are not empowered to declare someone disqualified based on the opinions of the “fake news” media, or the First Lady (whose pride arose and has again now vanished in hopelessness), anarchist university professors, or even broken-hearted “snow flakes” who weep over Hillary but don’t know who won the Civil War or when America declared its independence.
Fourth, yes, Mike Farrell, the Constitution does seem to allow for Electors to vote for any qualified candidate, but 29 states hold their Electors legally bound to vote for the popular vote winner in their states. Sorry, but Michigan, Wisconsin, are all on that list. I wonder how the Democrats would respond to a movement by Republicans to get the Electors in states who voted for Hillary to switch so that the record would show her to be incompetent? Surely liberals would understand.
Fifth, when Richard Schiff pleads for the “brave Republican Electors” to vote their consciences I am struck by the irony of people so vociferously liberal trying to convincingly speak kindly to Republican Electors. If the Republican Electors follow their consciences they at least have to consider that the people of their respective states are expecting to be represented. Votes that go against this are considered “faithless.”
But hold on! They stand with the Republican Electors! In other words, “Republican Electors, please just give the House of Representatives the option to vote for someone other than Trump!” But wait, what if the Republican Electors feel it best to vote for Trump? (Where did everybody go?)
One fellow says, “the American people trust that your voice speaks for all of us all.” Well, they shouldn’t, and they don’t. The Electors from Texas or Iowa or Michigan have not been elected to speak for all of America. They have been invited to speak for the people in their states!
And I am sorry, I did not know that Alexander Hamilton HIMSELF granted these Electors the constitutional responsibility they are being asked to execute! Imagine that! Alexander Hamiliton! All by himself!! Are we supposed to be moved by this?
But stop the presses! If the Electors will just do what the famous actors want them to do, the actors will give them their respect. Who doesn’t want a famous person to respect them?
Here’s what all Electors should do tomorrow:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. — The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

And where bound by their state’s laws they should vote based on the popular vote in the states.

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Man in Particular |

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing suggested there are two approaches to the study of man. Either one considers man in particular or in general. Of the first approach one can hardly say it is the noblest pur…

Source: Man in Particular |

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Huma Abedin: Dangerous Clinton Indulgence

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These photos taken from the websites in question show the connection between the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and the Muslim World League. Notice the names of Saleha S Mahmoud Abedin and Hassan Abedin, the mother and brother of Huma Abedin. Then look at the addresses of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and the London office of the Muslim World League. The address is the same: 46 Goodge Street. Watch this video to see why this may matter: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SXG_h765ZBA Continue reading

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I Love This Poem

When Day Is Done

Edgar Guest

When day is done and the night slips down,Edgar Albert Guest

And I’ve turned my back on the busy town,

And come once more to the welcome gate

Where the roses nod and the children wait,

I tell myself as I see them smile

That life is good and its tasks worth while.

 

When day is done and I’ve come once more

To my quiet street and the friendly door,

Where the Mother reigns and the children play

And the kettle sings in the old-time way,

I throw my coat on a near-by chair

And say farewell to my pack of care.

 

When day is done, all the hurt and strife

And the selfishness and the greed of life,

Are left behind in the busy town;

I’ve ceased to worry about renown

Or gold or fame, and I’m just a dad,

Content to be with his girl and lad.

 

Whatever the day has brought of care,

Here love and laughter are mine to share,

Here I can claim what the rich desire–

Rest and peace by a ruddy fire,

The welcome words which the loved ones speak

And the soft caress of a baby’s cheek.

 

When day is done and I reach my gate,

I come to a realm where there is no hate,

For here, whatever my worth may be,

Are those who cling to their faith in me;

And with love on guard at my humble door,

I have all that the world has struggled for.

 

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America: Melting Pot No More

Israel Zangwill, a Jewish writer and political activist well known at the beginning of the twentieth century,[1] wrote a play called “The Melting Pot.” In it, the Russian-Jewish immigrant David Quixano says,

America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming! Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won’t be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you’ve come to—these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians—into the Crucible with you all!

Zangwill and his Melting Pot Playbill

Zangwill and his Melting Pot Playbill

God is making the American.[2]

That was then. Americans don’t melt anymore. Instead, we have chosen to hang onto our “blood hatreds and rivalries.” Now, we are polarized and offended.

A Lost Vision

I shared this idea with someone and they seemed surprised.

“You want that?” she asked.

“Do I want America to be a melting pot? Of course.”

She had confused the idea of people entering the nation illegally through porous borders with the concept of legal immigrants coming to America and becoming American. There would be no America without immigration. Illegal immigration has tarnished the vision of immigration as it ought to be.

It is understandable that the vision of America as a melting pot would be lost in the midst of daily examples of “Americans” who are offended. This present politically/socially correct disease, with its angst over things as foolish as cultural appropriation is really just the flowering of the failed philosophies of the Enlightenment.

Cultural Coherence

There was a time when it was common to assume that, with all of the cultural diversity in the world, there were certain universal principles to which all humanity could be held to account. But the Enlightenment era did away with such belief and replaced it with a deep selfishness that was delayed in America by our fight for independence and, frankly, by the grace of God. But now, the seeds of selfishness have flowered. Much of this is taken up in the discussion of Cultural Coherence.

Anthony Pagden, in his book The Enlightenment, explains that, with the onset of the Reformation and a new era in which modern thinkers “had made the ‘I’ the center of all inquiries into the human condition,” the fading of Scholasticism in favor of a “mechanistic” view of the universe, religious wars which left millions dead, and even the discovery of diverse peoples in Africa, Asia, and particularly the American Indian, the idea that all humanity in some way cohered together, enjoying some universal set of values, beliefs, and a common human nature, collapsed.[1]

Faced with such uncertainty, the only possible conclusion to which any reflective person could come was that there could be no certainty, no undisputed source of authority, in the world . . . Now everything that was known about the world, the rightness or wrongness of every act, had to be decided by the individual acting on his or her own.[2]

The philosophical, theological coherence provided by the accepted authorities (the Church, the Bible) in the areas of life that mattered most (heaven, hell, the existence of God, the Cosmos, etc.) was gone. The so-called “turn to the subject” which began in the pre-Reformation, was evidenced in the Reformation, observed by Galileo’s telescope, and codified and canonized by Descartes cogito ergo sum and Kant’s call for humanity’s release from its “self-incurred tutelage,”[3] all came together to midwife the birth of the modern self.

But the American experiment was to be different.

“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.”

America was different for a long stretch. She believed in God and decency. But Enlightenment era philosophy was always part of her DNA ,and when she decided that she no longer needed God, the seeds of that philosophy began to grow. In the past sixty years, America has invited God to leave her schools, supported abortion, crowned Evolution in place of a belief in a Creator, and embraced the abomination of homosexuality.

No, America doesn’t melt anymore. Her heart does not melt for God, it does not melt over her sins, and her people do not allow their petty differences to melt into unity.

NOTES

[1] Anthony Pagden, The Enlightenment, (New York: Random House, 2013), 24-64.

[2] Ibid., 40.

[3] Immanuael Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and What is Enlightenment?, (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1959), 85.

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/zangwill.html

[2] Israel Zangwill, “The Melting Pot,” Act I.

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Principled Conservatives Voting for Hillary?

Oddly enough, there are still some Conservatives who are mystified at the claim that a choice to vote for a third party candidate or not to vote at all is, in the end, a vote for Hillary. So here is one last attempt to paint a picture of the problem.

 

hillary-trump

It is simple, really. In order to defeat Hillary Clinton, Conservatives must turn out on election day and they must cast their votes, in unity, for a candidate other than Clinton. Every one who understands the concept of elections and voting understands that whoever gets the most votes will win.

In the last Presidential Election some 126 million votes were cast. Let’s say this happens again and the voters are equally divided between Conservatives and Liberals. If all the Liberals turn out and vote for Clinton and all the Conservatives “turn out” but on principle

  • some vote for Trump,
  • some stay home because they reject both Hillary and Trump,
  • some decide to go ahead and vote for Hillary,
  • and yet others decide to vote for a third party candidate of which there are hundreds.

It is obvious that Hillary would win because (assuming the number of Conservatives and Liberals are equal) the unified Liberal vote cast all of its votes for Hillary while the split vote of the Conservative voting block decided to divide its support among Trump, no one, Hillary, and third party candidates.

The Non-Voters

Specifically addressing those who decide not to vote, it should be obvious that a “no” vote in this case (let’s call it a vote cast at home) leaves the Trump ballot box short a ballot while the Hillary box received its Hillary vote. In essence, a “home vote” leaves its corollary Hillary vote unmatched.

The Third Party Voters

Those who say that we should vote for a better third party candidate may be right but the problem with that logic is that there is no consensus on who that third party candidate should be. So, the third party vote movement helps to splinter the Conservative vote. Now, the unified Liberal vote that is cast for Hillary is essentially unmatched by the Conservative vote because votes have been spread across many candidates instead of just one.

The Conservatives-Turned-Hillary Voters

For those Conservatives (if they really are that) who have decided to vote for Hillary because they are offended by Trump, they will, on principle, cast there vote in a way that makes them feel more authentically Christian, and yet they will simply be helping put a different offensive candidate into office that will continue the policies of Obama yet adding her own sophisticated brand of Clinton corruption to the mix. Further, she will support abortion, homosexuality, religious intolerance, illegal immigration, etc.

Splintered Conservatives VS Unified Liberals = President Hillary Clinton

It should be obvious, then, that unless Conservatives remain unified and vote together for Donald Trump, (who at this point is the only candidate with enough support or name recognition to even come close to competing with Hillary),  then Hillary Clinton will be elected. So, those voting for Trump are doing the only viable thing that can be done to avoid another Clinton presidency. Those who, on principle, decide to stay home or vote for a third party candidate are simply helping to put Hillary in office.

 

 

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Even Conservative FOX Doesn’t Get Trump!

I was disappointed in several of the Fox News team last evening (Hume, Megyn Kelly, Dana Perrino) when they made a big deal about Trump’s unwillingness to accept the results if the election. Are they paying attention? With the Veritas videos, the State Department/FBI situation, the missing 33,000 emails, and a shamelessly biased media, why would anyone expect a fair election? As he said today, he will accept the outcome of a CLEAR (read: FAIR) election but he reserves the right to challenge an unfair one. Would Dems do any less? Would Republicans? No!

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