Thoughts For The New Year

The following is from In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee:

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” from President George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, U.S. President 1797-1801

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison, U. S. President 1809-1817

Dr. Lee also points out how a change in definition of a word reflects a concerning change in our society:

Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institution in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright @ 2004 defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love for or devotion to one’s country.

Noah Webster’s definition includes service; Merriam-Webster’s definition is simply an emotion. Noah Webster’s definition includes action, not just acceptance of an idea.

It is time to return to Noah Webster’s definition of patriotism.

Over The Top On Gun Control

A California newspaper called the Mercury News posted a story on Thursday about a toy gun exchange in a local elementary school.

The article reports:

At Saturday’s event, called Strobridge Elementary Safety Day, a Hayward police officer will demonstrate bicycle and gun safety, and the Alameda County Fire Department is sending a rig and crew to talk about fire safety.

Fingerprinting and photographing of children will be offered, with the information put on CDs for parents to use, if needed, in a missing child case. All youngsters attending will be given a ticket to exchange for a book, Hill said.

Every child who brings a toy gun will get a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles, Hill said.

Hill said he got the idea for the toy gun exchange from a photographer, Horace Gibson, who takes students’ school pictures and who expressed concern about the spate of shootings of young people by police in Oakland.

Hill said police are rightfully fearful of being shot when they encounter so many armed suspects, and there have been cases nationwide where police mistook a toy gun for a real one.

Sometimes it’s hard just to know where to start. Why are you demonstrating gun safety while you are taking toy guns away from children?

Elementary Principal Charles Hill stated, “If we want older kids to not think guns are cool, we need to start early.” Sir, I realize you are much better educated than I and have had a lot of experience with children, but you have missed some very obvious points. If younger children are taught respect for themselves and for other people (generally speaking, respect for life), and if they are taught morals and values, they are quite likely to conclude that guns used for immoral purposes are not cool without your having to brainwash them. The problem is not the guns–it is the values we are teaching our children. We have taken the Ten Commandments off of the walls of our schools. Regardless of how you feel about the Bible or about religion, those Ten Commandments were a visual reminder to all students that at some point in their lives they were going to have to answer to an authority higher than themselves. You would get better results from having the children recite the Ten Commandments every morning than you would from confiscating a million toy guns.

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Who Is Paying For This ?

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The Contra Costa Times reported on Friday that Solyndra has asked its bankruptcy judge to pay remaining employees up to $500,000 in bonuses.

The article points out:

Senior executives at Solyndra collected hefty quarterly bonuses — ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 apiece, with some executives receiving both rounds of bonuses — within six months of the company’s closure last August, when about 1,100 workers were laid off without severance.

According to the article, the bonuses requested would “go to workers lower on the food chain than the sizable bonuses handed out to key executives in the months before the company’s bankruptcy — 13 of the 21 possible recipients the Associated Press listed were equipment engineers and facilities workers.”

There are a few things at work here. What kind of responsible executive takes a huge bonus as the company is going under? What about taking the bonus and then laying off workers without severance? I am all in favor of people making money–I just think we need to bring the concept of ethics back into our business model.

The kind of abuses we have seen in the financial sector of our economy will not be fixed by increased regulation–they are indications of a lack of morality and accountability that is currently running rampant in our society. Until we get back to our national roots as a Judeo-Christian country, we are not going to solve our problems–financial or otherwise. The reason the Ten Commandments were posted in our schools was to let students know that at some point in their lives they would have to answer to a higher authority. When we removed the concept of a higher authority, we opened the door for the financial collapse that we have seen. When our financial moguls do not realize that they are accountable for their behavior, they don’t bother to play by the rules.

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