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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Gettysburg Address – Profound Challenge for our Time

Champion of Freedom, Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, November 19, 2015
10:06 am

AbrahamLincoln

Seven score and twelve years ago, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as part of the “Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.”

What a timeless, profound speech!  In only 272 words, President Lincoln solemnly honored all who died in battle at that site and challenged the nation to forge forward in the cause of freedom.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Lincoln was incorrect in one phrase, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.”

On the contrary, although most have forgotten the 2 hour oration by Edward Everett that preceded President Lincoln’s remarks, the President’s speech has become one of the best known and most often quoted speeches in history.

However, as a society we too often forget President Lincoln’s challenge, which is just as relevant today as it was 152 years ago:

we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

May we never forget that challenge.  May we devote our lives to the preservation of God-given freedom in this wonderful nation!

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Happy Veterans Day – Thank you Hub Group for #CauseContainer!

Champion of Freedom, Freedom Photo
Author: admin
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
8:39 pm

Happy Veterans Day to everyone, and a big thanks to all who have served in the armed forces and are servicing today.  We deeply appreciate your dedication and service to preserve the freedom we loved.

Today, I learned of a great project, Cause Container, sponsored by the Hub Group, in Chicago, Illinois. The project byline is “Transporting a message of hope and action.” The misson:

Hub Group created the Cause Container project as a fun way for everyone at Hub Group to share something we all believe in — giving back. The goal of this ongoing endeavor is simple. To raise as much money for and awareness about our charities as possible to celebrate their achievements and prolong their efforts. With your help spreading the word, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, I saw the #CauseContainer for Fisher House Foundation:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major U.S. military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

CauseContainer

Whenever a photo of this CauseContainer is posted on Social Media, the Hub Group will donate to the Fisher House Charities!  What a great way to honor veterans and their families!

Hub Group created the Cause Container project as a fun way for everyone at Hub Group to share something we all believe in — giving back. The goal of this ongoing endeavor is simple. To raise as much money for and awareness about our charities as possible to celebrate their achievements and prolong their efforts. With your help spreading the word, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

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70 Years Ago Today: Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, August 6, 2015
10:18 am

On August 6th each year, my wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary with great memories of that day and the wondrous life we have spent together. We look forward with soaring anticipation to the rest of lives together in our mortal life and the eternities beyond.

In sharp contrast, we also remember with great sadness the greatest single act of devastation that mankind has poured out on his fellow travelers in the horrible tragedy of war.

The atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki most likely saved my father’s life. He was on his way to fight in the invasion of Japan, which would most certainly would have been bloody behind belief.  I am grateful that he and his fellow soldiers were spared that experience. But at the same time, my heart mourns for other fathers who did not survive Hiroshima or Nagasaki or the horrific firebombing that preceded these events.

Today I would hope. as we solemnly ponder these photos, that we could unitedly resolve to renounce war and proclaim peace.   

From this vantage point, it seems like just another bomb dropping from the Enola Gay …

Enolagay

 

… but even from far away, the effects from the bomb are ominous.

Hiroshima1

 

Who could have imagined the devastation?

Hiroshima2

 

The human effects are too gruesome to post. Just Google “Hiroshima” and look at the images. 

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Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom: Two Possible Roads Ahead

Religious Freedom
Author: admin
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:25 pm

Paths

At a recent religious freedom conference sponsored by the BYU International Center for Law and Religion StudiesAlexander Dushku described two divergent paths our culture and law could follow in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.

The first path may be similar to what happened after the Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia decisions, where subsequent legislation and cultural shifts had dramatic effects on freedom of expression:

they not only made racist actions by government unlawful, but far more profoundly, they also made racist speech, and even racist ideas by individuals, socially and culturally taboo.

What will happen if similar shifts in law and culture happen in the years ahead, following the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision?

If the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision results in support for traditional marriage being equated culturally and legally with racism, then as a practical matter religious liberty will be severely restricted. Under that model, government itself will come to have powerful justifications for suppressing and marginalizing religious beliefs, speech, and especially actions that challenge the new right to same-sex marriage. Schools will be expected to instruct children in the new marriage ideology and to suppress speech and beliefs that run contrary to it, just as schools do when it comes to racist speech and viewpoints.

However, there is another path, exemplified by the Roe v. Wade case, where “a divided Supreme Court removed the issue of abortion from the democratic process, declaring that abortion is a fundamental right during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.” Following this decision, the right to debate whether abortion should or should not be practiced is still protected, both by law and cultural norms.

If, in the aftermath of the same-sex marriage decision, our nation follows the example set in the wake of Roe v. Wade, then religious liberty will survive. There will be hard times, to be sure, but eventually there will be accommodations for those who dissent from the new gay marriage orthodoxy.

So what must be done to assure that freedom of expression and religious liberty survive in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision?

In my view, the effect of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision on religious liberty will depend, to a great extent, on people like you and me. If supporters of traditional marriage retreat—if they are intimidated into silence—if they give up trying to find the right words and arguments to defend their beliefs—if they do not stand as witnesses and living examples of the goodness of their beliefs—and if people of goodwill do not, at least, stand up for the rights of others to dissent in good faith and yet still be numbered among us as our fellow citizens, neighbors, colleagues, and friends—then the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision will indeed be a disaster for religious liberty.

We must actively stand for the freedom of religious expression, even in matters where the Supreme Court has ruled.

But if those who support traditional marriage are examples of what is highest and best about their beliefs—if they, like the pro-lifers, refuse to be silenced—if they find ways to explain and persuade with reason as well as kindness, meekness, and love—and if they cheerfully but resolutely endure the indignities that will be visited on them, and without bitterness ask only for toleration, understanding, and respect for their basic rights as Americans—then I believe that, ultimately, the great goodness and decency of the American people will rise up and our culture and law will carve out and protect enough space so that people of faith who maintain traditional beliefs about marriage, family and sexuality can participate fully in all aspects of American life.

We must “refuse to be silenced.”  In the words of Quentin L. Cook, we must “be an active participant, not a silent observer.”

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Preserving Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom
Author: admin
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
1:44 pm

This short video describes the concept of Religious Freedom and outlines the importance of our efforts to practice and defend this vital freedom – being “an active participant, not a silent observer.”

This video is published on the Mormon Newsroom YouTube channel, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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New Order?

Freedom Quote
Author: admin
Monday, August 3, 2015
11:49 am

They [who] seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers…call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.”  Franklin Delano Roosevelt March 15, 1941

In 2007, my son Ryan (standing in the center) and fellow student council members from Mesa High School visited Washington, DC. Yesterday, I happened across this old photo of their visit to the FDR Memorial

I find it ironic that the man who presided over such a huge expansion of the US federal government would utter these profound words. Now, seventy four years since President Roosevelt made this somewhat prophetic statement, there is ample evidence that a few people in politically elite circles are trying very hard to consolidate power over our lives into the hands of a very few.

FDR

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70 Years Ago Today – First Atomic Bomb Test

Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, July 16, 2015
8:55 pm

On July 16, 1946, seventy years ago today, the first Atomic Bomb was detonated in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico  This marked a successful step forward in the Manhattan Project and a pivotal point in the terror and triumph of nuclear energy.  A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting and sobering book on the topic, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” I highly recommend it.

Atombomb

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Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down That Wall!

Freedom History
Author: admin
Friday, June 12, 2015
8:12 am

Twenty-eight years ago today, on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued that stirring challenge to the leader of the Communist world.

From History.com:

On this day in 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.

 

As one who grew up,during the Cold War, I was amazed at the rapidity of events which unfolded in the next few years after this speech. The Berlin Wall did fall. The Iron Curtain was shredded. Many people were able to sample their first delicious taste of personal freedom.

We have a long way to go before all the people in the world live in freedom, but that period of time gleams brightly in the history of freedom.

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May 1927 – Model T Production Ceases

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
11:18 am

On May 26,1927  Henry Ford and his son Edsel drove the final Model T out of the Ford factory. Completion of this 15 millionth Model T Ford marked the famous automobile’s official last day of production.

ModelT

 

The History.com article stated

More than any other vehicle, the relatively affordable and efficient Model T was responsible for accelerating the automobile’s introduction into American society during the first quarter of the 20th century. Introduced in October 1908, the Model T—also known as the “Tin Lizzie”—weighed some 1,200 pounds, with a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. It got about 13 to 21 miles per gallon of gasoline and could travel up to 45 mph. Initially selling for around $850 (around $20,000 in today’s dollars), the Model T would later sell for as little as $260 (around $6,000 today) for the basic no-extras model. …

No car in history, had the impact—both actual and mythological—of the Model T: Authors like Ernest Hemingway, E.B. White and John Steinbeck featured the Tin Lizzie in their prose, while the great filmmaker Charlie Chaplin immortalized it in satire in his 1928 film “The Circus.”

I have never driven a Model T, but have always loved seeing those old cars in real life or in pictures, faithfully restored or heavily customized. Just for fun, here is a hot rod that originally was a Model T. My guess is that nothing but the “bucket” is original equipment, but who cares? Enjoy!

ModelT2

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Constitutional Convention Convened

Freedom History
Author: admin
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
10:47 am

Constitutionalconvention 2

On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was convened. Subsequently, George Washington was unanimously elected its president.

The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington stated:

The Convention (also known as the Philadelphia Convention, the Federal Convention, or the Grand Convention at Philadelphia) met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 14 to September 17.

Delegates gathered to correct the various problems that had arisen while the newly-independent nation was operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. The historic result of the Convention was the crafting of the United States Constitution.

In a day when so many people are ignoring or seeking to subvert the Constitution to meet the wishes of special interest groups or immoral motives, I am grateful to the founding fathers of the United States who courageously led the process of establishing the Constitution of the United States of America.

In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833, the Savior stated,

I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (Doctrine & Covenants 101:80)

May we be united in our commitment to uphold and abide by the Constitution.

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