Monday Brief

Does Religion Matter in a Free Republic?

Jan. 28, 2013

The Foundation

“[R]eligion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society.” –John Adams

Inspiration

“[T]he current and future role of the Bible in U.S. society is an often-debated topic. A new release from Barna Group shows how this debate plays out regionally and takes a look at how 96 of the largest cities in the nation view the Bible. … Individuals who report reading the Bible in a typical week and who strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches are considered to be Bible-minded. … Regionally, the South still qualifies as the most Bible-minded. … This includes the media markets for Knoxville, TN (52% of the population are Bible-minded), Shreveport, LA (52%), Chattanooga, TN (52%), Birmingham, AL (50%), and Jackson, MS (50%). … Easily the lowest Bible-minded scores came from Providence, RI (9%) and Albany, NY (10%). … The New England area is home to most of the markets in the bottom 10 Bible-minded cities, including Burlington, VT (16%), Portland, ME (16%), Hartford, CT (16%), Boston, MA (16%), Buffalo, NY (18%) and New York, NY (18%). The remaining markets in the bottom 10 are primarily in the West and include San Francisco, CA (16%), Phoenix, AZ (17%), and Las Vegas, NV (18%). … See all 96 cities here. … Whether you live in a city ranked in the top half of Bible-minded cities or in the bottom half of Bible-minded cities, there are still tens of thousands of people to reach regarding both the message of the Scriptures and their importance. … The key is to not merely ‘preach to those insiders’ but instead to equip and empower those who do believe with a strong and relevant message to take out into their communities, vocations and spheres of influence. They are the tipping point and can have great influence on the greater city.” –The Barna Group

For the Record

“The Obama administration’s announcement that it is going to put women in front-line ground combat positions is but the latest example of a deliberate and systematic wrecking operation it has conducted against the armed forces since 2009. … Among the many, well-documented problems with assigning women to line infantry positions are three intractable ones: Most women lack the physical upper-body strength and stamina of most men. … It is impossible as a practical matter to provide for separation of the sexes in frontline positions. That guarantees a loss of privacy and greatly increases the chances of pregnancies and harassment that: profoundly affects the personnel immediately involved; causes degrading of their units' warfighting capabilities; and traumatizes their families or, at a minimum, erodes the essential support for uniformed service that those loved ones provide. Men frequently will feel the need to protect women in dangerous situations, particularly if there is an emotional attachment between them. The effect in combat situations can be to complicate, if not to undermine entirely, the disciplined execution of orders that can prove to be the difference between victory and defeat. … Unfortunately, thanks in part to the hollowing out of America’s armed forces and other officially approved measures that are empowering and emboldening our enemies, the world is becoming a more dangerous place by the day. By replacing Ronald Reagan’s historically validated philosophy of ‘peace through American strength’ with the unfounded hope for peace despite American weakness, President Obama is setting the stage for conflicts we will be unable to deter and, failing that, may be hard pressed to win.” –Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney Jr.

Essential Liberty

“Hunting, according to these wizards of odd, is what [the Left] think our founding fathers had in mind when they penned that pesky Second Amendment, and according to these control freaks we don’t need a tactical weapon with a high capacity magazine to hunt with. First off, dipsticks, the Second Amendment has nada to do with hunting. The founding fathers weren’t worried about their right to put the bam to Bambi (although we should be because progressives hate hunting and would love nothing more than to bring that activity to a grinding halt). If you don’t believe me, just corner one of these little darlings and ask them what they think about hunting. Secondly, who are they to tell us what we ‘need’ or don’t need when it comes to anything? Typical of the Left, they think they know what’s best for we the people. If you want to talk about ‘needs,’ Ms. Leftist, we don’t need iPhones, Porsches, crazy straws, American Idol, beer, leaf blowers, and I don’t need a gorgeous Italian wife. But that’s America, folks. Stay out of our business.” –columnist Doug Giles

Re: The Left

“I’m getting sick and tired of the Obama administration using children selectively in order to help the president advocate his public policy positions. … As I sat and watched Obama surrounded by little human political shields, three things struck me as being especially hypocritical: 1. Just a few years ago, the president would have supported murdering all of those children by dismemberment. 2. The president would have classified their dismemberment as ‘health care’ within a comprehensive reform package necessary to preserve the well-being of children, and finally 3. All the children at the press conference were protected from being murdered at that particular moment by government agents carrying concealed weapons. But it got worse as the day went on. ABC News and other outlets began circulating letters written to Obama by children wishing to weigh in on current public policy debates. That’s normal, of course. Children always weigh in on public policy debates without being prodded by liberal parents who never left childhood themselves. And everyone knows it makes sense to base public policy decisions on the recommendations of children.” –columnist Mike Adams

The Gipper

“Mightn’t it be better in those areas of high crime to arm the homeowner and the shopkeeper, teach him how to use his weapons and put the word out to the underworld that it is no longer totally safe to rob and murder? … Criminals are not dissuaded by soft words, soft judges or easy laws. They are dissuaded by fear and they are prevented from repeating their crimes by death or by incarceration. In my opinion, proposals to outlaw or confiscate guns are simply unrealistic panacea. We are never going to prevent murder; we are never going to eliminate crime; we are never going to end violent action by the criminals and the crazies – with or without guns.” –Ronald Reagan

Sign the Pledge!

Join the critical push for American Patriots across this great nation to pledge: “We, the People, affirm that we will support and defend Liberty as ‘endowed by our Creator,’ enshrined in our Constitution and empowered by its Second Amendment, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Please take a moment and join the 36,000 of your countrymen who answered the call. Share it with your family, friends and colleagues via social media and email, as well.

Sign the 2A pledge!

Government

“Over the 50-plus years since 1960, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, entitlement transfers … have been growing twice as fast as overall personal income. Government transfers now account for nearly 18% of all personal income in America – up from 6% in 1960. According to the BEA, America’s myriad social-welfare programs … currently dispense entitlement benefits of more than $2.3 trillion annually. … Today, entitlement programs account for nearly two-thirds of federal spending. In other words, welfare spending is nearly twice as much as defense, justice and everything else Washington does – combined. In effect, the federal government has become an entitlements machine. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half (49%) of Americans today live in homes receiving one or more government transfer benefits. … Transfers funded by other people’s money tend to foster a pernicious ‘something for nothing’ mentality – especially when those transfers seem to be progressively and relentlessly growing, year by year. This ‘taker’ mentality can only weaken civil society – even as it places ever-heavier burdens on taxpayers. Generosity is a virtue…. But being generous with other people’s money is not the same thing.” –American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt

Opinion in Brief

“What Obama spends … the most important part [of his inaugural speech] doing is enunciating the liberal rationale for junking the intentions of the Founders and replacing them with their own. It is a rationale for creating Socialism on the framework of freedom: That in order for values like equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be realized in modern society, government must act to safeguard them. If government does not protect you with millions of pages of regulations, greedy capitalists will steal your freedoms; if government does not save man from his worst instincts, man will destroy the earth with non-biodegradable potato chip cannisters; if government does not pay to train workers and invest in the right technologies, people will be too stupid to do it on their own; and if government does not provide a safety net even for those who can succeed by themselves, then all people might not live the lives of their dreams. Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Franklin trusted the people with a Republic. Liberals say the people can no longer be trusted alone with such things. … Jefferson wanted to guarantee the pursuit of happiness. Obama wants to guarantee happiness. The former is the philosophy of capitalism. The latter is Socialism, which uses government to reduce freedom, not create it. This is not what the Founders intended.” –columnist Keith Koffler

Faith and Family

“A conservative conserves all American values, not just economic ones. By ‘social conservatism,’ I am referring to the second and third components of what I call the American Trinity – liberty, ‘In God We Trust’ and ‘E Pluribus Unum.’ It is worth noting that a similar bifurcation does not exist on the left. One never hears the term ‘fiscal liberals.’ Why not? Because those who consider themselves liberals are liberal across the board – fiscally and socially. The left understands that values are a package. Apparently, many conservatives – libertarians, for example – do not. They think that we can sustain liberty while ignoring God and religion and ignoring American nationalism and exceptionalism. It is true that small government and liberty are at the heart of the American experiment. But they are dependent on two other values: a God-based religious vigor in the society and the melting pot ideal. Or, to put it another way, small government and fiscal conservatism will not survive the victory of social leftism.” –radio talk-show host Dennis Prager

Reader Comments

“As usual, in his essay ‘I, Barack Hussein Obama…’, Mark Alexander displays perfectly good sense and a well-grounded understanding of the provisions of the Constitution. This president doesn’t seem to possess the intellectual capacity to understand either the actual provisions of the Constitution or its background. To me, that is not surprising since his education never really focused on seeing what makes this country so attractive. His whole concern seems to be to ‘bring it down a notch or two.’ His ‘work’ background is laughable. He has spent his ‘adult life’ questioning the accomplishments of others and/or fomenting unhappiness. Thank you, Mark, for your ability to ‘translate’ this president’s hollow words.” –Roger in Poulsbo, Washington

“Keeping the president from overstepping the bounds of the Constitution depends on a healthy opposition and we do not have one. The GOP is a joke and a bad one at that. They sound like accountants and bankers and have forgotten how to talk to the folks who vote. They bow down to Reagan but have forgotten how he was able to win and how to do what he did.” –Bill in Leawood, Kansas

“When I raised my right hand many years ago I promised to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is an absolute and binding document and no president or Congress has ever felt that it should be changed to suit the whims of any who might achieve high office. Thousands of Americans have died to keep this Constitution intact and unalterable. It must be so forever if we are to continue to be the United States of America.” –John in Ledyard, Connecticut

“You spoke of Barack Obama’s ‘poker tells’ of UH and fumbling his words. There are so many more, but my other favorite is ‘Let me be clear…’ which is most often followed by a meaningless promise to the great masses on the Left, or a bellicose challenge to his opponents.” –Lane in San Antonio, Texas

“Thank you for picking up on the fact that there IS a difference between ‘assault’ weapons and defensive weapons in Friday’s Digest. I have been beating this drum for a LONG time. I am glad someone who has a greater audience finally picked it up! Thank you!!” –bmwsid in New York

“When James Madison presented the Second Amendment to the Delegates, he said that his purpose was ‘to keep the government in fear of an armed and aroused populace.’ And that, friends and neighbors, is what the Democrats are afraid of. It’s not about anything else.” –Rifleman in Nawth Jawja

“Rather than a reduction in firearm capacities, how about a reduction in the number of low-information freeloaders that vote for wealthy, self-centered, arrogant elitists like Dianne Feinstein.” –William in Plano, Texas

The Last Word

Editor’s Note: The following is satire.

“Breaking news: Obama’s remarks, widely celebrated for their eloquence and good sense, were in fact crafted by his speechwriters in direct response to a draft of a planned Romney inaugural address that they somehow got hold of. An excerpt of Romney’s address [follows]: ‘We have learned from the last four years that it is a mistake to rely on each other and to work together. It is my firm belief that one man, by himself, can train the nation’s math and science teachers – and probably, if he really tries, the nation’s English teachers as well. One man, acting alone, can build all the labs and networks and roads we need. When he is not training those teachers. Yeah, I’m talking about the same guy. What we must resolve never to do is work alongside one another. Also, children born in the bleakest poverty must learn to accept their fate. The way to reform entitlements is to stop taking care of the generation that built this country. We’ve just got to go cold turkey on that. And we must commit ourselves to perpetual war…’ Man, this nation really dodged a bullet.” –National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team