Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Legend of Betsy Ross

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Many heroes and heroines grace the pages of colonial American history. The legend of one such heroine is Betsy Ross, credited with making the first American flag. Her legacy embraces our national freedom: the blue field, which represents our national character, the red and white stripes to symbolize the thirteen original colonies, and fifty white stars to number the current states in the Union.

Betsy Ross lived the Revolution that brought our country into being. She was born in Philadelphia January 1, 1752, the sixth of eighteen children, although several of her sisters and three of her four brothers died in infancy. The day of her birth the colonial world abandoned the Julian calendar, which began in March, and embraced the Julian calendar, beginning January first. Her posterity thereafter declared that Betsy was born on the first day, month, and year of a new era.

Betsy embraced the artisan world of fabrics--bed accessories, hand made mattresses, upholstery, window coverings, and flags. Her life was set among the swelling cries for independence in the colonies as they struggled against self-serving British rule. She met her first husband, John Ross, as they worked together, and as a married couple they ran their own small upholstery shop. Their families stood on opposing sides of the freedom divide—John’s declaring for freedom, Betsy’s Quaker family rebuffing the war to match their religious beliefs.

John’s death 26 months after their marriage left Betsy alone, childless, and self-supporting. Her second marriage, of five years duration, was to mariner Joseph Ashburn. He spent much of their marriage at sea and the last 6 months of his life confined in an English prison after being captured as sea. Betsy’s third husband, John Claypoole, was also a prisoner in England’s Old Mill prison and attended Joseph Ashburn as he died. Comforting Betsy in her loss, the two fell in love and married, raising her two daughters by Ashburn and their five daughters together.

The legend of Betsy Ross and the first American flag began in 1870, 34 years after her death. William Canby, her only living grandson, related the following oral tradition told around the family fire to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Colonel George Washington and George Ross, uncle of her first husband, came to Betsy’s shop sometime in the year 1775 to announce that they were appointed to prepare a national flag and wished her to make it. They produced a rough drawing and enlisted Betsy’s help to create the flag, which she consented to do. However, her practiced eye recognized a defect in the plan: the proposed stars were six-pointed, rather than the simpler star with five points. Taking paper in hand she deftly folded, then snipped, a five star design, which the pleased gentlemen gladly accepted for the final product. Upon completion, a delighted Washington flew Betsy’s flag from a ship lying at the wharf, where it received the unanimous approval of the committee, bystanders looking on, and ultimately Congress. Col. Ross later gave Betsy an unlimited order for as many flags as she could make.

While the story is heartwarming and generally applauded, it is not accurate. Our national flag was an evolving product, with Betsy Ross contributing her share---the five pointed star and possibly other ideas—to its design. While stars of many points continued to grace flags of the period, the five pointed design eventually prevailed. Many prototypes existed and many minds generated ideas to ultimately create our national standard. The design was formalized in 1777, but variants continued to appear for many years afterward.

Betsy Ross continued to make flags, along with upholstery products, for most of her remaining years, until her death at age 84.  Many others also paralleled her craft, lending their efforts to create the national standard of freedom that stirs our hearts today as it floats from flagpoles across the nation.

- Pam

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Freedom and Morality Intertwined

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The following is from my recent book: "Promises of the Constitution: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow". Written in 1 ½ page vignettes, each can be read in 3-5 minutes. “Promises of the Constitution” teaches our inspired history, founders, and constitutional principles in short, story-filled segments. Changes to the Constitution and actions to restore both the inspired document and our prosperity and peace under its protection are explained.

IN THE CONSTITUTION:

 The following is vignette 7.7 in

Promises of the Constitution: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

by

Pamela Romney Openshaw

 FREEDOM AND MORALITY INTERTWINED

 Morality and virtue are indispensible to freedom. Without them, we lose our liberties.

 Listen to the Founding Fathers:

John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral . . .people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt . . . they have more need of masters.”

 Virtue and integrity define our moral code—our beliefs of right and wrong. Without those beliefs, concepts of good and evil do not exist. There is no incentive to treat others fairly, to obey law, or to tell the truth. Honor becomes irrelevant and any self-serving scheme can be justified if there is no punishment for it. An immoral person will rob, steal, or even take life if it can be done without consequence.

 Because of our moral beliefs, we care about others and value their well­being. We are tender at the pain of another, and we take care not to prolong or increase the pain. We are inclined to give and desire good for others. Our morality makes us want freedom for all of us and not just for ourselves.

 Good government is not possible among people who do not understand right and wrong. Anarchy would reign, and there would be no freedom, no justice, no protection, and no rights. The “law of the jungle” would prevail. No sane, thinking person would advocate such a world!

 Freedom, morality, and virtue are synonymous ideas. The more moral we are, the less law we need and the more free we are. For example, if most people are honest in their dealings, fewer laws are needed to control theft. If most financial institutions are fair and upright with their customers, only basic government oversight is necessary. If most manufacturers act with integrity and offer their goods at fair prices, few regulations are needed to protect consumers.

 The Founders’ political rules made morality and the basic knowledge of religious principles central to society. They wrote and discussed this copiously for decades. The Framers could not and would not conceive of government without the constant influence of God and virtue.

 Our collective belief in God is the source of our virtue. We are moral when we follow God’s laws. If we do not follow God’s laws, political forces will step in to fill that vacuum and impose laws upon us. William Penn, founder of colonial Pennsylvania, explained: “Men will either be governed by God, or ruled by tyrants.”

Calvin Coolidge, United States president, wrote: “We do not need more law, we need more religion.” Elsewhere, he reiterated: “Our government rests upon religion ...There is no way ...we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of men . . . Peace, justice, humanity, charity—these cannot be legislated into being.”

 If we wish for greater freedom, it makes sense to strive for greater morality and virtue. Dedicated church leaders of all denominations the world over address our current problems in society with calls for greater morality—knowing right from wrong and living by what we know.

Speaking of God’s law, Proverbs 29:18 tells us: “[H]e that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Not only are we happier when we keep God’s law, but we require less of man’s law.

 
- Pam

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Common Core : Asking Questions of Administrators

There are many problems concerning the Common Core standards being implemented in education throughout the state and the nation. This federal program apparently comes with training for administrators in how to deflect public discussion and opinion away from the flaws in the system, as these tactics are being seen throughout the country. That should raise alarm bells. See the article below to understand Common Core and why so many educationally alert people are concerned about it.
 
Please educate yourself on the deficiencies of Common Core. I’ve posted an earlier post on the topic—please read it. Common Core puts federal educational standards in place to dictate your children’s learning process. Federal standards must be set to the lowest common denominator so they do not disadvantage the poorest children in the most depressed areas. They prevent you from putting higher standards in place when it is possible to do so, meaning that eventually all children are educated only to the lowest standard. This pulls the entire system down. As an example, algebra completion, normally achieved in 8th grade, under Common Core will be delayed to 9th grade, making it impossible to take calculus in high school—a desirable program for college math students.
 

You have the constitutional right to involvement in education and school standards in your area. Common Core will take that right away from you, as parental involvement is not a part of Common Core. Your children will be better educated if local citizens are involved in educational decisions. You can adjust your area education to the best needs of local children rather than following national standards which, for instance, hold back advanced math from high school students because children in ghetto areas.
 
This information is provided by Oak Norton, formerly of the Alpine School Board, who has invested himself in understanding the concerns surrounding Common Core.
 
Asking Questions in Meetings

Published | ByOak Norton

If what happened to Christel Swasey and others in the Wasatch School District Meeting is any indication of state tactics to avoid answering your questions, you need to be prepared to take control back in a meeting. There are a few tactics that get used in meetings you need to be aware of.

  1. The presenter drones on and doesn’t leave time for questions.
  2. The presenter deflects your question and tries to act like nobody else is interested and they’ll address your question after the meeting.
  3. The presenter works to separate you from the group during the meeting so you or your position are isolated. There are cases elsewhere, where a person might be pulled out of the room for someone to answer your question.

This is called the Delphi Technique. Read this excellent article to be prepared to defend yourself against it.

http://www.vlrc.org/articles/110.html

In general:

  1. Keep a calm voice and never lose your cool.
  2. Bring the person you’ve asked the question to, back on subject to answer your question. Stay focused.
  3. Don’t let them deflect or delay. Just calmly reiterate that your question hasn’t been answered.
  4. If someone else is being deflected, support them by asking the question again.

Read this report by Christel Swasey’s experience in a Wasatch School District meeting presentation by State Office of Education official Judy Park.

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/judy-park-introduces-common-core-sage-tests-to-wasatch-school-district/

Here are some questions which you can ask at meetings. Please post your questions below in the comments.

  • Where is some empirical evidence that Common Core tests are based upon legitimate educational standards?
  • Why hasn’t a cost study been done to determine the actual costs of implementing common core?
  • Where can I read our state’s cost analysis for implementing Common Core and its tests? What will it cost per pupil?
  • Since a main selling point of Common Core was that we would have portability of students, why did Utah decide to adopt the integrated upper math version with Vermont instead of discrete years of math like all the other states?
  • Did you know that Common Core delays full completion of algebra to 9th grade while our 2007 standards set it in 8th? This means most students in Utah will not be able to take an authentic calculus class in 12th grade. How can we get better standards back in Utah?
  • Since Common Core introduces behavioral testing and tracking of our children, how can we opt our children out of all testing and tracking? State law says I have a “fundamental liberty interest” in the education of my children and the state is only there to support me in my responsibility. If that is true, and state law says it is, I want to know the process.
  • What is the amendment process for Common Core standards if we find out they are not working for us?
  • Where can I see for myself the evidence that Common Core standards have been proven to be of superior quality and that they are internationally benchmarked?
  • Where can I see for myself evidence that Common Core’s transformations (deleting cursive, minimizing classic literature, moving away from traditional math, etc.) –will benefit our children?
  • What is the American process of representation of individuals in the Common Core education and assessments system?
  • Does it seem good that the meetings of the standards writers (the CCSSO/NGA) are all closed-door meetings?
  • I read that there is a 15% cap on a state adding to the Core; so what do we do if we need to add a whole lot more to actually prepare our children well?
  • Although I have been told that Common Core is state-led, I missed the invitation to discuss this before it was decided for me and my children; please explain the analysis and vetting process for the upcoming national science and social studies standards.
  • The Constitution assigns education to the states, not to the federal government. Also, the federal General Educational Provisons Act (GEPA) states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…In light of this, please explain why our state has agreed to intense micromanagement by the federal government under Common Core testing.
 
- Pam

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life is Good!

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Sometimes I get discouraged - downright pessimistic about life !
 
I wonder why more people don't care about what's happening ;
why it's more important to decorate your bedroom than to save your country.
 
I wonder why tens of thousands fill out March Madness brackets
but have no time to read a book;
why mothers can talk about the Kardashians but not about values and morals .
 
I wonder why trying to make a difference is so hard and why I'm so tired ;
why I can't just forget about all the moral drift I see around me
and take a long nap, putter away my days in beckoning antique shops,
or just "veg out" at the movies .
 
This statement, attributed to Rondal Reagan, brings it home for me :
 
"This is a wonderful time to be alive. We're lucky not to live in pale and timid times.
We've been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something."
 
(Doesn't that sound just like the Gipper?)
 
So, I keep on trying, talking, writing
Somehow it should all make a difference, don't you think?
 
Please join me - let's save the country!
 
- Pam
 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gay Marriage : Into the Future

We have spent a fair amount of time discussing the topic of gay marriage, as it has been a hot topic in the media lately. This post is the fourth and final post in that series for the moment.
 
Americans are lost in the rhetoric about gay marriage and the feel-good of political correctness in granting acceptance to all. Few ask what society would be like with the social and legal acceptance of gay marriage.
 
Below are the author’s thoughtful projections of a world two generations in future, when children enter a culture of gender irrelevancy, tasked with establishing personhood when society has erased the guidelines of biological gender. These ideas are not fantasy, but are based on similar social situations from America’s past, with the expectation that society will continue on its current path.
 
What society accepts, it encourages; what the law protects, it fosters. Once condoned, a behavior expands and becomes common. Evidence of this abounds. Divorce, that heart-ripping destruction of the family, was once uncommon. Couples stayed married, preferring the unhappiness of a less-than-ideal relationship to the unhappiness of single parenthood or a solitary lifestyle. When no-fault divorce emerged, divorce blossomed. Youth of the 60s knew only an occasional child from a divorced home. Today, with a divorce rate of 50%, half of all children will watch their parents divide the family by the time they are 18.
 
Abortion followed the same pattern. Once an occasional practice whispered about behind classroom doors, American women today kill well over one million babies every year, ending 22% of all pregnancies with the death of the infant--an entire generation every decade. Premarital sex also reinforces the pattern of prevalence through acceptance. In the 1950s only a few couples were doing “it” and a couple living together outside of marriage felt social censure. Today there is no shame, little disapproval, no guilt for what was once considered immorality. The law has embraced them all: abortion, to kill tiny babies, Biblical fornication, and divorce, to shred homes and lives.
 
How does same sex marriage fit into this picture? It would be na├»ve to believe that society would follow any other pattern than the one just described in its latest departure from Christian moral standards. The information quoted above, simple reasoning, and common sense tell us that two generations after the acceptance of same sex coupling the practice will become ordinary--one of two accepted types of sexual union. Other than a few voices “crying in the wilderness” and perhaps a raft of buried research tying society’s ills to its departure from biological reality, the stigma of gay marriage will be gone.
 
A child growing up in a gay culture will likely experience bewilderment. Gender will have become a confused issue. As the sexes co-mingle in ways never intended by nature and her God, they will surely dress and act out gender confusion. As laws erase the differences between the sexes in their quest for “equality”, some men will “become” women; some women will choose to be men, adding to a trend already in progress. A young person’s choices will embrace not only occupation, social activity, and intellectual goals, but the reaches of human biology, as well—what gender do I prefer; even what gender will I be? In this values-starved environment, a young person making choices might be inclined to gay union simply because there would be no threat of an unintended pregnancy.
 
Accepting an equal gay lifestyle will sound the death knell for religious freedom, as well. Taking direction from current trends, the law will require us to outwardly support same gender lifestyles. Parents, unable to teach their children Biblical lifestyle choices, will leave them without guidance and watch them succumb to gay marriage. We would likely see each succeeding generation fall further and further into value deficient humanist philosophies. Christian morals would die a hard death among believers, but die they would.
 
A child of the future will enter a world with a rapidly diminishing population. Society must replace itself as its members grow old and die. To do so, biological fact requires that each woman, on average, produce two offspring: one to replace herself, one to replace a man. Additionally, because of deaths, plaques and warfare, one woman in 10 must produce a third child, to achieve a replacement birth rate of 2.1 children per woman. However galling to modern feminists, it is nevertheless a biological necessity, for only a female can produce a child. Without the certainty of this birthrate, the human race marches inexorably toward extinction; the rate of decline dependent on how far society strays from the magical number of 2.1. Inconceivable but true, humans must meet demographic benchmarks or perish, just as any other species.
 
Today our American Caucasian population reproduces at a rate of 1.7, rather than the needed 2.1; many European countries reproduce at 1.4. Demographers expect continued decline in these numbers. The march to racial extinction, then, is moving at a brisk pace—in a few generations Italians, Greeks and the Japanese may have largely expired. Americans will require another generation or two more to evacuate the globe.
 
Factor into this the looming acceptance of gay marriage. What will be its effects?  How many of our youth will embrace sterile, same gender sexual relationships two generations from now? Preliminary information is not comforting. Using divorce statistics as a measure, perhaps up to half of our youth could embrace posterity-free gay marriage. The effect on the population would be ugly—with half as many women in potentially reproductive lifestyles, each heterosexual woman would have to produce four children on average—to replace herself, a man, and a homosexual couple not bearing children. Every fifth woman would have to bear a fifth child. Perhaps the homosexual marriage rates will be greater or less that stated here, but they surely will negatively impact the demographics of our culture. In a humanist society no longer focused on the future of children, and in a culture where sex is no longer automatically about creating them, why would the average woman consent to produce four when today she is unwilling to produce two?
 
Nor does the oft-given response that gays will avail themselves of technology to bear children soothe the situation. The gay lifestyle is known to be only occasionally conducive to or interested in child raising. What is the value of children in a society that places self-gratification first? Gay marriage is the marital arm of secular humanism, the worship of man’s wants, rather than the worship of God. Humanists reject life after death, continuing family relationships, and eternal consequences—all family friendly doctrines. Under humanism, children are an impediment, rather than a benefit. Only 6% of gay couples raise children today and only 3% attempt parenthood in alternate ways. In the humanist environment produced by gay marriage and the rejection of traditional family values, human nature is not likely to change. Gay contributions to population would almost surely remain negligible.
 
With society in sharp decline, the economy would convulse. Employee shortages would decimate services and prices would soar. Desperate to bolster population and reduce cultural decline, governments would likely intervene to attempt rescue, and freedoms—the few left—would vanish. Perhaps the government would offer incentives for maternity and childbirth, as the Swedes have done: a monthly stipend for each child, all medical expenses paid, and two years paid maternity leave alternating between the parents. Just as in Sweden, few would likely embrace self-sacrifice for the cultural good. Most would let “someone else” accept childbearing responsibilities.
 
Rather than a benign social program dedicated to making everyone equal (while ignoring biblical counsel), gay marriage has the potential to destroy our culture, our personal identities, and ultimately our race. No other society has been so foolish as to seriously consider replacing traditional families with biological sterility! God’s law is an unchanging force; biological certainties remain rigid. If we are to survive as a society, we have little choice but to dedicate ourselves to its preservation through adherence to historical and divine standards of marriage.
 
 
- Pamela Romney Openshaw


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Second Amendment

The following was published in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City on April 2, 2013, written by Utah’s junior senator, Mike Lee. His understanding of the Second Amendment and our inalienable rights is instructive as well as his ideas of what questions might be included in a background check for a gun purchase.
 
- Pam
 
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Second Amendment: History’s lesson and warning

by Senator Mike Lee

As Congress begins to consider new gun legislation this spring, it’s important for citizens and lawmakers to keep two basic facts in mind.

Gun control isn’t about guns—it’s about control. And the right bear arms  isn’t about the arms—it’s about the right.

These facts may be ignored in Washington, D.C., where there is no hunting to speak of, and every government building is protected by armed guards. They are not lost on the American people, however. They understand that the Second Amendment is of a piece with the rest of the Constitution—written to protect the rights Americans require to live in the kind of nation we have chosen to be.

The protection of individual liberty is absolutely the job of government, but it is not exclusively the job of government. It is first and foremost the job of “we the people”—individually as local communities and collectively as a nation. Well-enforced laws can deter crime, but even the best police and prosecutors in the world cannot eliminate crime. Therefore, the first defense against criminal threats to our persons and property is ourselves. That’s why we have a right—a right granted by God and protected by the Constitution—to arm and protect ourselves.

We have the Second Amendment, ultimately, for two reasons.

The first is history’s lesson that government can’t be everywhere, all the time, so free citizens must fill in the inevitable gaps to look out for ourselves and for each other. The second reason is history’ warning that we would not like to live under any government that tried to be everywhere, all the time.

Reason number one is why we should oppose attempts by the state to restrict law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms. Reason number two is why we should oppose the less-obviously offensive measure being promoted in Washington: the so-called “universal background check.”

A law requiring background checks for all gun sales seems more politically palatable than traditional gun control. After all, it doesn’t take away anyone’s guns or restrict the sale or possession of firearms. It doesn’t directly violate the Second Amendment at all. What’s wrong with a universal background check?

In a word: everything.

First, it won’t work. The federal government has trouble delivering the mail. It literally can’t keep its trains (Amtrak) running on time. It wastes hundreds of billions of dollars every year. There is no reason to believe a government $17 trillion in debt has the competence to cast a net of paperwork that will catch every single gun sale in a country of 300 million people and 300 million firearms. And even that ignores the fact—always inconvenient when designing gun laws—that armed criminals don’t obey laws in the first place.

The only way to make a universal background-check system come close to working is to create a national database capturing ownership information of every single gun in the country. To track all the gun sales, you first have to track all the guns. Otherwise it won’t work. And this is the crux of the problem.

The federal government has no right to surveil innocent citizens exercising their constitutional rights. The federal government has no business—none—monitoring where and how often you go to church, what books and newspapers you read, who you vote for, your health conditions and the details of your private life.

These limitations may make it harder for government to do its job at times. But the Constitution was not written to maximize the convenience of the government. It was written to protect the liberty of the people. That’s why we have due process--that’s why we have a Bill of Rights. And that’s why we don’t have federal databases tracking how law-abiding citizens choose to exercise (or not exercise) their God-given rights.

What exactly would politicians and bureaucrats do with a database listing the home addresses and personal habits of everyone in the country who, say, had a particular disease or was an atheist or whose home wasn’t protected by a gun? Even if they could guarantee the system would work, even if they could guarantee the information would never get hacked (which they can’t), it would still be wrong.

I will oppose any attempt by Congress to restrict Americans’ constitutional rights and I will equally oppose any attempt to allow government surveillance of law-abiding citizens exercising those rights.

I will remind people in Washington that the Constitution protects everyone equally, not just the people we happen to agree with, and the rights we happen to like.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Not a Laughing Matter

Isn't this a sad commentary on today's social and political climate?
 
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- Pam
 

Friday, April 12, 2013

President Obama is Seriously Overstepping His Bounds

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The Constitution gives the United States president six, and only six, responsibilities. Today he has thousands of duties, overseen by mammoth bureaucracies.

Why? Because Congress has piled massive responsibilities upon the American President.

Who should have stopped Congress from doing this? We, the People should have.

Why didn’t we? We weren’t paying attention!

The following is an excerpt from my recently published book,
Promises of the Constitution: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
which outlines the duties of the chief executive. Organized into short, 1½ page vignettes, each topic in Promises gives you a clear, simple explanation which can easily be read in 3-5 minutes.

The following is from section 10: The Constitution: Enforcing and Interpreting the Lawand it is titled What the President Does.

The office of chief executive was originally intended to be one of limited responsibility, as the Constitution assigns only six duties to the president. Over the last 225 years, the executive office has changed dramatically.

Today, the president has thousands of duties connected to hundreds of government departments. Innumerable current problems can be traced to this fact. The Founding Fathers feared that enlargement of this office would tend to transform the president into a king, and they tried to prevent it. By following their counsel and constitutional system, we could have avoided massive bureaucracy and regulation, as well as a monarchical president.

 The chief executive’s six constitutionally sanctioned duties, as found in the original Constitution, are listed below.

• Chief of state over all Americans, which now number over 330 million.

• Commander-in-chief over the military, which now numbers 3 million.

• Chief executive officer over the executive branch of government. The president also appoints Supreme Court justices, ambassadors, and consuls, who are then confirmed by the Senate.

• Chief diplomat in handling foreign affairs, with power to enter into treaties with the consent of the Senate. If the treaty involves commercial transactions, the House must also ratify it.

• Chief instigator of needed legislation. The president may recommend but may not draft or lobby for legislation.

• Conscience of the nation in granting pardons or reprieves when justice requires them, although he cannot pardon for impeachment.

 A partial list of just the major categories of presidential responsibilities today is almost incomprehensible. He is responsible to maintain full employment of the work force, ensure a high level of economic prosperity, and develop a national housing program. He supervises the underwriting of billions of dollars in private loans and insurance programs and administers Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He is responsible for the education of our children and the settlement of major union-management disputes. He administers national health care, the environmental protection programs, and 30 percent of the nation’s
land area. He is responsible for our energy resources, our industries, our communications networks, and the production and distribution of our food and drugs.

 This gives us a clear definition of bloated government. Because it is impossible for one person to perform even minimal oversight in all the above-mentioned categories, the government has developed a massive bureaucracy to fulfill these responsibilities through a maze of regulations.

This represents a far cry from limited government and shows what has gone seriously wrong.

 This grand scale of government overreach is expensive. Every tax-paying American today contributes thousands of dollars annually to maintain this massive bureaucracy. It is also inefficient. Any voluminous organization tends to be sluggish, wasteful, and disorganized. Finally, it is susceptible to corruption. It places huge amounts of money in the hands of government appointees nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate who can use it to purchase programs, manipulate alliances, and influence the will of the people. Bureaucrats and politicians alike benefit as Congress participates or looks the other way. Incoming presidents replace bureaucrats from the outgoing administration with their own appointees as political payoff for services rendered. This political largess to a favored few adds further expense and imbalance to government.

 The current system is expensive, inefficient, and fundamentally compromised.

The original system designed for America worked very well for over one hundred years.
 
We need it back.

 

See www.promisesoftheconstitution.com for further information and samples of the book.
 
- Pam

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Legal Gay Marriage: Finding Esau

The upcoming judgment by the Supreme Court concerning gay marriage could wipe out the protections given to traditional families under the law. America’s legal system is based on family law, the protections given to parents and children in the family system known throughout every successful society in the history of the world. Should the Supreme Court rule against the biological family by ruling for equalization of gay marriage we would see chaos down the road.

Changes to marriage began over a hundred years ago. As women entered the workforce, the norms of society changed--about sexuality, sexual practices outside of marriage, and sexual values, including homosexuality, which was often paired with prostitution in society’s view. The divorce rate rose as sex became casual, recreational, and commercialized. Our sexual values and practices continue to change, usually to our detriment.

Currently the Supreme Court is debating the legalization of same sex unions—a practice punishable by death in primitive societies whose survival depended on a sustained birthrate and whose freedom depended on the morality of its members (as does our own). The Supreme Court ruling could take several different directions, ruling against gay unions or ruling only on states that have legalized the practice. It could also legalize gay marriage nationwide and declare same gender and traditional marriages equal. Any decision will have effects on our culture but a judgment of “equality” would alter society to its core in destructive ways.

The drive to legalize same sex marriage has arisen from materialistic motives--the determination of gays to get government benefits given to married partners. Marriage is not rightfully about government benefits, and we should grow pale at the potential to destroy the traditions of our society to give “government goodies” to gay partners.

American law came from God, as our constitutional system is patterned after the law God gave Moses thousands of years ago. Legalization of gay marriage will redefine family law, destroying its Christian foundation, replacing it with secular humanism’s changing civil law rooted in man’s current wants. Christianity speaks irrevocably against the unnatural union of those of the same flesh, making Christianity and gay marriage incompatible opposites. Christians who believe God has changed His perfect will, gone back on His previous commandments, and now condones gay marriage because He “loves us all and wants us to be happy” are straddling two different worlds—professing Christian values while embracing secular, anti-Christian philosophies—the philosophies of Men.

Same sex marriage is on a collision course with basic human rights, such as free speech—Christians who oppose the practice cannot say so. It collides with the rights of parents—schools and society will, by government decree, teach children that gay marriage is natural and good despite parents’ objections. (This begs the question: how can gay marriage be “natural” when the physical process is unarguably unnatural?) Businesses, teachers, even churches are being forced to offer services contrary to their moral beliefs. In effect, to grant lawful status to gays, those who dissent will lose their rights—certain proof of tyrannical practices.

Another danger lurks: if gay and traditional marriage become “equal”, the law will require equal treatment of both. Two methods produce equality: give rights to those perceived as unequal, or take rights from those perceived as favored. Gay couples cannot biologically reproduce. Therefore, to equalize the two unions, rights connected to procreation—rights offered under family law--would likely be taken from traditional marriages. Under family law, society agrees that a sexual relationship is part of marriage, and is for the primary purpose of bearing children. Therefore there exists a legal presumption that the husband is the biological father when a married woman conceives, so she and the child have legal claim on him for support and the child has legal parentage established. Both parents have legal rights to the child they created—this is especially important to the father, who is less involved biologically in the pregnancy. All this could disappear. Even the definitions of father, mother, and child could change. These rights are already being struck down in states that have legalized gay marriage.

Equalization of gay marriage with traditional marriage would change the historic purpose of marriage and sexual union. Marriage would no longer be about children; sexual exclusiveness would no longer be a legal and public assumption, and the reason for the sex act would be fundamentally skewed. Marriage would become a legal registry of associations rather than the foundation of society. The New Jersey Supreme Court found it self evident that because “the shared societal meaning of marriage . . . has always been the union of a man and a woman, to alter that meaning would render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social institution of ancient origin.”

Stated simply, legalizing gay marriage will upend the entire history of human relationships. This movement is worldwide. We will, as a society and planet, have embraced a global experiment rejected by every surviving society in world history. We will jeopardize the survival of the human race to give government benefits and self-gratification to a few. Surely we will have found the bane of Esau—our birthright for a mess of pottage! Our Founders debated long, as they considered war with Great Britain, whether the colonists had the” public virtue”--the strength of character to put public well-being above personal wants--to obtain and hold freedom. Only after concluding that the colonists were ready for the responsibilities of freedom did they move for independence. They would surely mourn for our loss of public virtue today.

In 1982 the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated when it failed to win ratification in a sufficient number of states. The amendment was not defeated because we didn’t want equality between the genders; the amendment was rejected for reasons very similar to those raised here—that legal equalization has fundamental, unintended consequences. Men and women are different for biological reasons unrelated to equality. Their differences must be preserved if society is to benefit from the strengths of both. Both are equally important, both contribute to society’s wellbeing—like two halves of a grapefruit. The differences of two genders—in society, in marriage, and in childrearing—are a cause for rejoicing, rather than a battleground, a whim, or an antiquated relic.  We must retain the authority of traditional marriage as our legal standard to protect the foundations of society.

- Pamela Romney Openshaw
Author and speaker
Promises of the Constitution: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow