Monthly Archives: December 2020

Wanted: An Honest Debate About the Death Penalty

If you’re leaving out the murder victims in telling the story, you’re not having a real conversation about the death penalty. Pictured: the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, as it appeared in 1997. (Photo: Bernd Obermann/Getty Images)

Mike Dukakis was asked by CNN’s Bernard Shaw during the 1988 presidential debates whether he would support the death penalty if his wife, Kitty, had been raped and murdered.

The Massachusetts governor famously responded: “No, I don’t, Bernard, and I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don’t see any evidence that it’s a deterrent, and I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime.”

Given the coddling Democrats receive from the press today, Shaw’s question sounds especially jarring. But Dukakis’ automaton-like response to a query about the theoretical slaying of his dear wife did not go over well with the American public.

Dukakis did not seem to genuinely grapple with the complex moral implications of murder and punishment.

Stand for your principles in 2021—even in the face of Congress, the media, and the radical Left ganging up on conservatives and our values. Learn more now >>

Like Dukakis, I oppose the death penalty as a matter of policy (other than for extraordinary cases of domestic terrorism, such as Timothy McVeigh) for several reasons relating to state power and the effectiveness of the practice. That’s my rational side.

But viscerally speaking, I have yet to encounter a death sentence in America in my lifetime that I didn’t think was well-earned. That’s despite the dishonesty that usually defines the coverage of these cases.

This past summer, the federal government began putting people to death for the first time in 17 years. “Trump administration executes Brandon Bernard, plans four more executions before Biden takes office,” said a recent Washington Post headline.

While that is technically true, it wasn’t President Donald Trump who convicted these men of murder; it was a jury of their peers. It wasn’t Trump who upheld their convictions after numerous appeals; it was the judicial system.

It wasn’t Trump who found the death penalty constitutional; here, it was the Supreme Court that reaffirmed the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 requires executions to be carried out “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence is imposed.” It wasn’t Trump who sponsored that law in 1994; it was Joe Biden.

Reporters nearly always glide past the horrifying specifics, spending inordinate amounts of space presenting the case of anti-death penalty advocates, who often dishonestly paint these men as victims. Take this Vox piece, wherein the reader learns that Bernard, “a model prisoner, mentoring at-risk youth,” had “committed crimes that resulted in the deaths of a young white married couple in 1999″—which makes a double homicide sound like an unfortunate accident and intimates that the conviction had something to do with race.

The fact is that Bernard, at 18, helped kidnap and rob a couple named Todd and Stacie Bagley, youth ministers visiting Killeen, Texas, from Iowa. The fellow gang members he was with could have let the couple go. Instead, they forced the Bagleys into the trunk of their car and drove around for hours.

While the victims were locked in the back, they appealed to the humanity of the kidnappers, saying “that they were not wealthy people, but that they were blessed by their faith in Jesus.”

After hearing these words, one gang member wanted to back out of the murder. Not Bernard, though. He had been the one driving the car used to hunt for victims.

After the murder was planned, it was Bernard who drove to purchase the fuel to burn the couple. It was Bernard, with another person, who poured lighter fluid on the car “while the Bagleys sang and prayed in the trunk.” It was Bernard who brought the Glock used to shoot Todd in the head and knock Stacie unconscious when the car didn’t burn fast enough.

“Having gotten to know Brandon,” Kim Kardashian West told her 68 million followers on Twitter last week, “I am heartbroken about this execution.”

I don’t believe the death penalty solves much—and the cost and moral baggage isn’t worth it—but I’m heartbroken for the Bagleys, whom no one will ever get to know. If you’re leaving out that part of the story, then you’re not having a real conversation about the death penalty.

And we rarely do. “Two Black men have been executed within two days. Two more are set to die before Biden’s inauguration,” writes CNN, creating the impression that the federal government is targeting black men.

The first person put to death over the summer was white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee. Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken, Keith Dwayne Nelson, and William Emmett LeCroy—all white, and all as deserving as Bernard—were executed this past summer as well.

You either believe the punishment for those guilty of committing especially heinous, cruel, or depraved crimes should be death, or you do not.

The death penalty debate should revolve around the morality and efficacy of state policy regarding that criminality, not some fantasy world in which butchers are selectively cast as victims.

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Adrian Rogers: Does a Loving God Believe in Capital Punishment? [#2183] (Audio)

Kenneth D. Williams was executed at 11:05 pm in Grady, Arkansas on April 27, 2017. In this post I want to take a short look at Adrian Rogers’ sermon THE BIBLE AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT and then look at the life of Kenneth D. Williams and a close look at the peace that passeth all understanding that is available to anyone who puts their faith in Christ.

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(Kenneth D. Williams in 2017 pictured below)

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Adrian Rogers on Capital Punishment

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There are four reasons why capital punishment is necessary.

FIRST, to obey God. (Genesis 9:6).

SECOND, to protect society. Romans 12:9 says, “Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.” Much today is called LOVE but has no resemblance to TRUE LOVE. Because God loves us, He doesn’t want us raped or murdered and He has put something in place to stop it. Softness to the criminal is cruelty to the community.

THIRD, for the good of the criminals.

The death penalty should also be practiced for the welfare of the criminals….When the principle of restraint is taken away, you have not served the criminal. You have been cruel to him because he does not realize the judgment that should come to him. The death sentence in a sense is a kindness to him because it reminds him that there is a God of justice that he must face.

IF A MAN HAS COMMITTED A CAPITAL CRIME AND HE KNOWS THAT HE IS GOING TO DIE FOR THAT CRIME, IT MAY BRING HIM TO REPENTANCE.

Many of those who are executed go into the chamber saying that they have repented and have accepted Christ as their personal savior. They know that in a short while they are going to face almighty God.

The Bible says that the government’s authority is there for good and there should be terror in the hearts and minds of evil doers. If we transgress, we ought to be afraid.

Romans 13:3, “For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil.”

FOURTH, another reason for the death penalty is because of the justice of God. God is a holy God. There is sin and retribution.

The death of Jesus was capital punishment. Our sin deserved death, and He took our death for us. Jesus actually bore the wrath of God against sin on the cross.

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Let us see if what Adrian Rogers said has any validity in  the experience here in Arkansas. 

I googled the name Kenneth D. Williams and found this article,Arkansas death row inmate says he killed a fourth person,” June 15, 2005:

An inmate sentenced to death for a killing committed during a 1999 escape from a sentence for an earlier slaying has confessed to yet another killing in a letter to the editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial.

Along with a man killed in a traffic accident in Missouri during inmate Kenneth D. Williams’ 1999 escape, the slaying to which he has now confessed would make him responsible for the deaths of four people.

Williams, 26, says in a 512-page letter to the newspaper that he shot and killed Jerrell Jenkins, 36, of Pine Bluff on Dec. 13, 1998, the same day that he fatally shot Dominique Hurd, a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Police had listed Jenkins’ death as unsolved.

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“I take full responsibility for my actions and whatever consequences my peers see fit,” Williams wrote.

Williams said he was a born-again Christian and wanted to confess his sins.

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On April 27, 2017 Kenneth D. Williams was executed and according to the article, KENNETH WILLIAMS EXECUTED THURSDAY AT CUMMINS,” b

Death row inmate Kenneth Williams of Pine Bluff was executed Thursday night at the Cummins Unit for the 1999 murder of Grady resident Cecil Boren.

Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m.

Williams was responsible for the deaths of four people in total and was sentenced to life in prison after he kidnapped and fatally shot 19-year-old University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff student Dominique Hurd in 1998. He was sentenced to death after escaping the Department of Correction’s Cummins Unit in 1999 and murdering Boren, 57, a former assistant warden at the unit.

Williams was captured only after causing a fatal auto collision with water-delivery driver Michael Greenwood, 24, in southern Missouri. In 2005 letter to the Commercial, Williams admitted to murdering Jerrell Jenkins, 36, in Pine Bluff on the same day he killed Hurd.

Greenwood’s widow and daughter bought plane tickets for Williams’ daughter and granddaughter to visit the prison before his scheduled execution.

According to an email distributed to the news media Thursday, Williams contacted freelance journalist Deborah Robinson on Thursday afternoon and provided an 1,808-word statement titled “Last Words.”

Williams credited the mother of Hurd and the daughter of Michael Greenwood with planting the seed so he could become a born-again Christian.

“I have been forever changed, forever grateful because of ‘Extreme Grace Unmerited,’” he wrote. “Amen.”

The Rev. Dewitt Hill, pastor of First Trinity Church of God in Pine Bluff, said he received a letter from Williams on Wednesday. In the letter, Williams wrote that he felt the execution was not going to happen, according to Hill, but if it did he was at peace. Williams wrote that he felt he was able to convert “most of the people on death row to God,” Hill said, adding that Williams had become a “student” of the Bible.

Boren’s niece, Terri Grimes, who attended Williams’ trial for the killing of her uncle, said she saw little remorse in him during that time.

“When I looked into his eyes during the trial, they were empty like he didn’t have a soul,” she told the Warren Eagle-Democrat. When I looked at them (his eyes) during the clemency hearings, they looked different.”

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Lastly I read today this article,Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: ‘Finger Lickin’ Good Fried Chicken’.” Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 4:48 PM: 

EXTREME GRACE UNMERITED! (Final Communication)

On the eve of my scheduled April 27th execution, the Light burned brighter than I’ve ever Known it to! Only once before did it blind me so. It first happened in 1999. I was the twenty year old defendant in a capital murder case where the death penalty was rolled out against me. Mrs. Williams (No relation to me), the mother of the late 19-year-old Dominique Hurd, whom I senselessly murdered, took the stand having suffered great loss, and she shared these words, “I forgive Kenneth Williams. My daughter, Dominique ‘Nikki’ Hurd, was a forgiven person.” She said, ”I do not wish for him to be put to death. His death won’t bring my daughter back.” She went on to say, ”I pray that before Kenneth Williams leaves this world he will give his heart to Jesus.” On the other hand, yet not without understanding, the father of Dominique was full of indignation. He wanted me to feel his pain. Pain was my Language. It was my thing. But what I couldn’t comprehend; what could not be reconciled in my mind, was this woman’s pure act of grace, Love, mercy, and forgiveness. For someone who had taken away her child from her in the worst of ways.

The light shined into the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:5

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  • LIFELONG BOND: Kayla Greenwood (right) and Jasmine Johnson at Arkansas prison Wednesday for Johnson’s meeting with her father, Death Row inmate Kenneth Williams.

That marvelous light that shined forth that day out of Mrs. Williams acted as a planted seed into the soil of my life. Years later it would yield something special and God-bred. And when I could not think such a greater act of kindness, Love, and forgiveness could be expressed, I stood corrected. Thanks to Kayla Greenwood. She’s the daughter of the late Michael Greenwood, a man whose death I caused. His daughter, Kayla Greenwood, was just a child when her father was taken in a car wreck caused by me after I escaped prison. I was serving a life without sentence for killing Dominique. After 17 years of imprisonment and being on death row for also killing Cecil Boren during my escape, away from my own now 21-year-old daughter and never having seen before granddaughter, my death sentence finally had an April 27th date. A wish that burned within me was to see again my child and grandchild, possibly for the final time; first and last time. It had been over 17 years since I last saw my four-year-old child.

PRISON MEETING: Kenneth Williams with his daughter Jasmine Johnson and granddaughter. - DEATH PENALTY ACTION/TWITTER

  • DEATH PENALTY ACTION/TWITTER
  • PRISON MEETING: Kenneth Williams with his daughter Jasmine Johnson and granddaughter

The word got out about my desire. The last person(s) I would have ever thought it possible answered my call. Kayla Greenwood, the daughter of the late Michael Greenwood, and her family reached out to prison officials. Kayla said, “I would like to speak with him on good terms and put closure between us and let him know my family and I forgive him. I would also like to pay for his daughter and granddaughter to go see him and want to figure out how I can get in contact with her to make it happen. I am not looking for anything else but closure and giving his daughter and granddaughter a chance I don’t get because I know how important it is.” Not only had this family forgiven me, which would have been going the extra mile, but within a short period of time they paid and arranged for my baby and grand babe to come to Arkansas from the West Coast to visit with me, which included picking them up from the airport and driving them to the prison over 40 miles away. We had the most amazing and heart-felt visit that left a former cold-blooded killer in tears of gratitude. Had officials permitted it, Kayla and I would have met with no objections from me. My heart has never known a greater deal of respect and admiration for another human being than for Kayla and her family, and Mrs. Williams, the mother of Dominique Hurd. I will also include my daughter Jasmine and son Marqevion for forgiving me for my abandonment and any shame I may have brought upon them because of my wrongs. If tomorrow be my last day here on earth, then Mrs. Williams’ prayer she made at my trial that I GIVE MY LIFE TO JESUS before I leave this world, would be answered. I have been forever changed, forever grateful because of ”Extreme Grace Unmerited.” Amen.

Min. Kenneth D. Williams
Arkansas Death Row
Death Watch

Adrian Rogers: The Simplicity of Salvation [#2221] (Audio)

The Simplicity of Salvation

Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Do you want to know how to be saved? Or want to know how you can tell others how to be saved? Then, let’s look at Romans 10:1-10:

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down from above: 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The Righteousness That God Rejects
When a person tries to be righteous by keeping the Ten Commandments or by doing good deeds, God rejects that. Why would God do that? Because God is holy and man is sinful at his best. The best that we can do is not enough.

We don’t have what it takes to keep the Ten Commandments in our own strength. If you’re hanging over a fire by a chain of ten links and nine of them are forged steel and one of them is made of paper, how safe are you?

That’s the reason the Bible says if we should keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, we are guilty of all. God demands perfection and we just can’t supply it. Salvation is not a reward for the righteous; it is a gift for the guilty. Salvation is not a goal to be achieved; it is a gift to be received.


The Righteousness That God Reveals

Romans 1:17 says, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The only righteousness that is acceptable to God is a gift of faith through His Son Jesus Christ.

You believe in who He says He is — the God made flesh who died and rose again for you to be reconciled to God. Then, you repent of your sins and confess Christ as Lord of your life.

If Jesus is not the Lord of your life, then He is not your Savior. Salvation is not a cafeteria line where we say, “Well, I believe I’ll have a little Savior today, but no Lordship. Thank you.” No! Jesus is Lord.

The Righteousness That God Requires
The only righteousness that God will accept is sinless perfection. And that was accomplished through His Son Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:21 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Do you know what it means to believe and confess that Jesus is Lord? It literally means that you agree with God. In this context, it also means that you will tell others about this confession. And that means you will not be ashamed. There are only two ways to be saved: If you live a sinless life (which no one has done, except Jesus) or you ask the Jesus to take the payment of your sin for you (which He did on the cross), and accept His righteousness on your behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He [God] hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Adrian Rogers – Simplicity of Salvation (1 4)

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Adrian Rogers: How to Be Saved and Know It [#1726] (Audio)

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The Bible and Archaeology (1/5) The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy. _________________________- Many people have questioned the accuracy of the Bible, but I […]

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OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 38 “It’s like you have a hole to fill,” Michelle had told me early in our marriage, after a stretch in which she’d watched me work myself to near exhaustion. “That’s why you can’t slow down.”

December 29, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:


     MICHELLE WAS HARDLY oblivious to what was happening. At first she simply ignored the fuss. She stopped watching political news shows and waved off all the overeager questions from friends and co-workers about whether I planned to run. When one evening at home I mentioned the conversation I’d had with Harry, she just shrugged, and I did not press the issue.
     As the summer wore on, though, the chatter began to seep through the cracks and crevices of our home life. Our evenings and weekends appeared normal so long as Malia and Sasha were swirling about, but I felt the tension whenever Michelle and I were alone. Finally, one night after the girls were asleep, I came into the den where she was watching TV and muted the sound.
     “You know I didn’t plan any of this,” I said, sitting down next to her on the couch.
     Michelle stared at the silent screen. “I know,” she said.
     “I realize we’ve barely had time to catch our breath. And until a few months ago, the idea of me running seemed crazy.”
     “Yep.”
     “But given everything that’s happened, I feel like we have to give the idea a serious look. I’ve asked the team to put together a presentation. What a campaign schedule would look like. Whether we could win. How it might affect the family. I mean, if we were ever going to do this—”
     Michelle cut me off, her voice choked with emotion.
     “Did you say we?” she said. “You mean you, Barack. Not we. This is your thing. I’ve supported you the whole time, because I believe in you, even though I hate politics. I hate the way it exposes our family. You know that. And now, finally, we have some stability…even if it’s still not normal, not the way I’d choose for us to live…and now you tell me you’re going to run for president?”
     I reached for her hand. “I didn’t say I am running, honey. I just said we can’t dismiss the possibility. But I can only consider it if you’re on board.” I paused, seeing that none of her anger was dissipating. “If you don’t think we should, then we won’t. Simple as that. You get the final say.”
     Michelle lifted her eyebrows as if to suggest she didn’t believe me. “If that’s really true, then the answer is no,” she said. “I don’t want you to run for president, at least not now.” She gave me a hard look and got up from the couch. “God, Barack…When is it going to be enough?”
     Before I could answer, she’d gone into the bedroom and closed the door.
     How could I blame her for feeling this way? By even suggesting the possibility of a run, by involving my staff before I’d asked for her blessing, I had put her in an impossible spot. For years now, I’d asked Michelle for fortitude and forbearance when it came to my political endeavors, and she’d given it—reluctantly but with love. And then each time I’d come back again, asking for more.
     Why would I put her through this? Was it just vanity? Or perhaps something darker—a raw hunger, a blind ambition wrapped in the gauzy language of service? Or was I still trying to prove myself worthy to a father who had abandoned me, live up to my mother’s starry-eyed expectations of her only son, and resolve whatever self-doubt remained from being born a child of mixed race? “It’s like you have a hole to fill,” Michelle had told me early in our marriage, after a stretch in which she’d watched me work myself to near exhaustion. “That’s why you can’t slow down.”

Let me talk to you President Obama about this comment by Michelle: “It’s like you have a hole to fill,”

Let me suggest turning to the Book of Ecclesiastes to find the answer to that question!!!

Solomon had all the resources (and luxuries) in the world and he found himself still searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11English Standard Version (ESV)

I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[a]the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

John Lennon later wrote the song “Watching the Wheels” that indicated he did not care that people thought he was crazy for dropping out of the money-making music business in 1976 to help raise his son. That demonstrated to me that Lennon had discovered  how empty a pursuit of building wealth is while ignoring your family.In the article “Alistair Begg on The Beatles,” April 1, 2003, Begg noted:

The Beatles first said money was everything (in the song “Money“), then they said that love could give you anything you want on “From Me to You“, and then they record “Can’t Buy Me Love“. What do you see in this progression?

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

If you are an atheist then you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources (and luxuries) in the world and he found himself still searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

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You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

Kerry Livgren

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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April 10, 2013 – 7:02 am

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. There have […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding FathersPresident Obama | Edit |Comments (0)

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 4, Elbridge Gerry)

May 7, 2012 – 1:46 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 3, Samuel Adams)

May 4, 2012 – 1:45 am

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May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 1, John Adams)

May 2, 2012 – 1:13 am

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President Obama and the Founding Fathers

May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

President Obama Speaks at The Ohio State University Commencement Ceremony Published on May 5, 2013 President Obama delivers the commencement address at The Ohio State University. May 5, 2013. You can learn a lot about what President Obama thinks the founding fathers were all about from his recent speech at Ohio State. May 7, 2013, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the founding fathers and their belief in inalienable rights

December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

Dr. C. Everett Koop with Bill Graham. Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit |Comments (1)

David Barton: In their words, did the Founding Fathers put their faith in Christ? (Part 4)

May 30, 2012 – 1:35 am

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Were the founding fathers christian?

May 23, 2012 – 7:04 am

3 Of 5 / The Bible’s Influence In America / American Heritage Series / David Barton There were 55 gentlemen who put together the constitution and their church affliation is of public record. Greg Koukl notes: Members of the Constitutional Convention, the most influential group of men shaping the political foundations of our nation, were […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

John Quincy Adams a founding father?

June 29, 2011 – 3:58 pm

I do  not think that John Quincy Adams was a founding father in the same sense that his  father was. However, I do think he was involved in the  early days of our government working with many of the founding fathers. Michele Bachmann got into another history-related tussle on ABC’s “Good  Morning America” today, standing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

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July 6, 2013 – 1:26 am

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Article from Adrian Rogers, “Bring back the glory”

June 11, 2013 – 12:34 am

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June 9, 2013 – 1:21 am

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ____________ The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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My rough draft letter to President Elect Biden that will be mailed on March 12, 2021! (Part 52) the pencil

March 12, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

Did the government create the pencil or did the private market do it’s magic to make it happen?

Regarding Obama’s “you-didn’t-build-that” comment back in July, I explained why that attack on entrepreneurs and small business owners was misguided.

And I also shared some humorous cartoons on the topic.

But it is true that no entrepreneur produces a product without help from many others. But what the President apparently doesn’t understand is that almost all of the real help comes from voluntary and decentralized exchange in the private market.

This CEI video is a good introduction to this spontaneous process

I, Pencil: The Movie

Published on Nov 14, 2012 by

A film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adapted from the 1958 essay by Leonard E. Read

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And if you want to look at the topic from a different perspective, this video helps to explain how we often get much more than we pay for in a competitive market economy.

There’s also a moral argument presented in this video from the American Enterprise Institute.

Needless to say, Walter Williams is always worth reading to understand the difference between markets and statism. And here’s some good real-world evidence about the benefits of better policy.

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Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

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By WALTER WILLIAMS

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Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

A Pastor’s Misguided Attack on Israel

A Pastor’s Misguided Attack on Israel

Raphael Warnock chooses to zero in on Israel, the very model of success through personal responsibility, as a problem. Pictured: Warnock gestures to a staffer Oct. 21 after casting his ballot at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

What would our nation look like if every day, every American—of every background and ethnicity—were to wake up with the conviction that they are 100% responsible for the circumstances of their lives?

No blame, no victimhood, no excuses saying that what is happening to them is because of someone else.

It touches, I believe, the heart of Christianity.

At any given moment, you may not have control of what is outside of you. But you have control over what is inside of you. Change what is inside first, and then you will change what is outside.

Stand for your principles in 2021—even in the face of Congress, the media, and the radical Left ganging up on conservatives and our values. Learn more now >>

We have faith in a loving God who wants us to take responsibility, and when there is failure, there is forgiveness and another chance.

Too many in our country are paying a great price by listening to politicians on the left who are telling them the opposite.

Consider the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, who is now running as a Democrat in one of the two U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

Warnock, who is black, is a poster child of the left, which embraces the view that the world is unfair, controlled by racists and exploiters.

And for some reason, Warnock, like so many of this point of view, chooses to zero in on Israel, the very model of success through personal responsibility, as a problem rather than a solution.

Just last year, after visiting Israel, he affixed his signature to a Group Pilgrimage Statement on Israel and Palestine.

That statement identifies Israel as an “oppressive” regime, accuses Israel of segregation, speaks of militarization “reminiscent of the military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa” and of “excessive use of force” by Israel in Gaza.

These total distortions of the truth in service of a left-wing political agenda should be a wake-up call.

Regarding the reality of Israel, we can turn to the nonpartisan organization Freedom House in Washington, D.C., which annually rates 210 nations around the world as being “free,” “partly free,” or “not free.”

Israel is the only nation in the Middle East rated “free.”

But Warnock and his colleagues ignore oppression throughout the region and only choose to attack the one country that is free.

This freedom is enjoyed not only by the Jewish citizens of Israel but also by the nearly 2 million Arab citizens of the country. In my first visit to Israel, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing diversity, with Jews from all over the world—white, brown, and black.

Regarding the situation in the West Bank and Gaza, where Palestinian Arabs live, their absence of freedom and prosperity is their own choosing. They control their future, not Israel. Rather than aspiring to build better lives for their citizens, they choose regimes that set a priority to destroy Israel.

In 2005, for example, Israel unilaterally withdrew its presence from Gaza. The Palestinian regime there was free to start building a nation. Rather than doing this, it started lobbing missiles into Israel. The Palestinian Authority prime minister announced, “We are telling the entire world: today Gaza and tomorrow Jerusalem.”

Israeli settlers who were displaced when Israel withdrew moved inland, started irrigating the desert with desalinized water, and, within five years, were exporting $50 million worth of organic potatoes, carrots, and peppers a year.

I wrote about it then, quoting the late Art Linkletter, television personality and outspoken Christian, who observed: “Things turn out best for people that make the best of the way things turn out.”

I said then that Linkletter’s observation captured why Israel has grown and prospered and why Palestinians have languished.

The same is true in America.

At Christmastime, let’s choose freedom and personal responsibility.

COPYRIGHT

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Embedded image permalink

Bill Kristol

Published on Jul 20, 2014

The Weekly Standard editor and publisher Bill Kristol discusses Clintons, Pryor-Cotton and 2016.

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On Friday July 18, 2014 I had the opportunity to visit personally with Bill Kristol who is the founder of THE WEEKLY STANDARD MAGAZINE. I told him that I had the privilege to correspond with both his father, Irving Kristol, and his father’s good friend Daniel Bell back in 1995. I actually gave him a copy of both letters I received back from them and he read them both as we stood there. I told him that those copies were his to keep, and he thanked me for that.
I went on to explain how the correspondence started.  I had come across several quotes from Daniel Bell when I was reading the books HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?  and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer (and this second book was co-authored by Dr. C. Everett Koop). Dr. Koop’s name caught Mr. Kristol’s attention and he said he found that interesting. I pointed out those quotes by Bell led me to eventually begin a correspondence with both Bell and Kristol’s father Irving on the subject of what the Old Testament scriptures have to say about the Jews being returned from all over the world back to the land of Israel.
Finally, I asked how his mother was doing and he said that she was doing very well in fact. I told him how much I respected her work as a historian.
Let me make a few observations about Irving Kristol who I was very fascinated with because of some of his comments in the 1990′s. First, isn’t it worth noting that the Old Testament predicted that the Jews would regather from all over the world and form a new reborn nation of Israel. Second, it was also predicted that the nation of Israel would become a stumbling block to the whole world. Third, it was predicted that the Hebrew language would be used again as the Jews first language even though we know in 1948 that Hebrew at that time was a dead language!!!Fourth, it was predicted that the Jews would never again be removed from their land.
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Bill Kristol opines on Pryor-Cotton race, talks about Clinton in 2016

story from Talk Business & Politics, a content partner with The City Wire

The Weekly Standard founder, publisher and editor Bill Kristol says Arkansas is “almost” a must-win for Republicans if they are to take back the U.S. Senate. Appearing on this week’s Talk Business & Politics TV program, Kristol said the Mark Pryor-Tom Cotton U.S. Senate battle is high on national political watch lists and that a Cotton victory is crucial to GOP ambitions. “If Republicans want to win the Senate in November, this one is almost a must-win,” said Kristol, who was in Arkansas as a keynote speaker at the Arkansas GOP’s Reagan-Rockefeller dinner. Kristol said he expects a close race this fall in the high-profile match-up and that there are two reasons why the contest is so tight. “Incumbents are hard to beat and, I gather from my friends in Arkansas, that a Pryor is hard to beat,” Kristol said. He added that outside Democratic group attacks have been effective in tainting Cotton, although he disagrees with their accuracy. Kristol offered his take on why Arkansas has not shifted into a Republican stronghold like other Southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama or Texas. One reason, he said, is the political power of Bill Clinton whom he described as a “very different kind of Democrat” as governor and as president. Clinton “tacked to the center” often unlike President Barack Obama. “Barack Obama is not the kind of Democrat that traditional Arkansas Democrats are interested in supporting,” Kristol said, citing Clinton’s bipartisan budget deals, welfare reforms, and foreign policy efforts. ARKANSAS IMPORTANCE Kristol also said that Arkansas has always carried much sway in U.S. politics owing to its larger-than-life, influential state politicians who’ve made big impacts on the national stage. “Arkansas has always been a state of outsized interest and importance nationally,” he said. Kristol grew up studying Sen. J. William Fulbright, and he’s long watched the careers of other politicians like Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee. “For a small state, it has always produced nationally significant politicians. I think people in Washington kind of remember that,” said Kristol.

While 2014 will be a monumental election year, it’s hard not to think about 2016. Kristol said it’s too early to predict the GOP Presidential nominee, but he sees a reversal of fortunes in what he describes as a “wide-open” Republican field. “Republicans used to nominate the next in line, the second place finisher from four or eight years before. Democrats usually have interesting wide-open races,” he said. “It looks like this time, the Democrats are nominating the next in line — the person who ran second in 2008, Hillary Clinton. Republicans are having more of what looks like a classic Democratic primary — governors, senators, former candidates. A lot of them young, a lot of them untested nationally. As a Republican, I like that.”

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While he voted for Dole, McCain and Romney, he said those Presidential nominees weren’t the best match-ups versus Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. “The irony in 2016 is the Republicans will have the younger, fresher face and the Democrats will be nominating someone whose been around for awhile,” he said.

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_________________ On November 2

Fact checking ‘The Crown’: Queen Elizabeth’s faith and her close relationship with preacher Billy Graham

Fact checking ‘The Crown’: Queen Elizabeth’s faith and her close relationship with preacher Billy Graham

Claire Foy, center, and Matt Smith, right, in a scene from “The Crown.” (Robert Viglasky/Netflix via AP)
Jan. 9, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. EST

One of the running themes throughout the Netflix show “The Crown” is the devout Christian faith of Queen Elizabeth, who is shown kneeling for prayer by her bedside as her husband jokingly teases her to offer one for him. The queen, after all, serves not just as head of state but head of the Church of England, the mother church of Anglicanism worldwide.

“Monarchy is God’s sacred mission to grace and dignify the Earth,” her elderly grandmother, Queen Mary, tells Elizabeth early in the show.

The second season of the series portrays the queen as someone who, feeling betrayed by a family member, wrestled deeply with questions of faith and forgiveness. The show also depicts her budding relationship with famous American evangelist Billy Graham, who drew millions of people to his “crusades” across the globe and was a friend to many U.S. presidents.

Several writers have pointed out how “The Crown” took more liberties with historical fact and chronology in its second season. So did the show take some liberties in depicting the queen’s faith and her relationship with the evangelist?

Spoilers ahead!

“The Crown” shows the queen sipping her tea while watching the evangelist on television preach to a packed stadium. Even though several of her family members seemed befuddled by Graham, his fiery preaching style piqued the queen’s curiosity, and she asked for a private meeting with him. “I think he’s rather handsome,” the queen tells her husband.

“You do speak with such wonderful clarity and certainty,” Elizabeth, played by Claire Foy, tells Graham. After he delivers a sermon for the royal family at Windsor Castle, the queen says that she felt “a great joy” to be “a simple congregant, being taught, being led … to be able to just disappear and be…“ “A simple Christian,” Graham replies. “Yes,” Elizabeth says. “Above all things, I do think of myself as just a simple Christian.”

Paul Sparks portrays Rev. Billy Graham in season two of “The Crown.” (Netflix)

In the show, the royal family struggles with its relationship to former King Edward VIII, Elizabeth’s uncle who abdicated the throne to marry a divorcée and became the Duke of Windsor. That familial struggle becomes increasingly tense as the queen learns the family’s dark secret: Her uncle had become friendly with the Nazis during World War II, plotted to overthrow his brother and encouraged Germany to bomb England.

After learning the shocking details about her uncle, the queen asks Graham open-ended questions about forgiveness. Played by actor Paul Sparks, Graham tells the queen that she should pray for those she “cannot forgive.”

So what really happened? Here’s what we know from scholars and books.

1) Evidence of the queen’s faith is easily traceable.

Scholars believe the queen possessed a “deep vibrancy of her faith” as someone who read scripture daily, attended church weekly and regularly prayed, said Stan Rosenberg, a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. Despite suffering some public attacks for her handling of Princess Diana’s death and her political views, she is widely admired for her faith, and “folks here know her to be thoughtful, authentic, serious, and devout but not a pressingly intrusive Christian,” he said.

The queen’s Christmas messages, a British tradition that goes back to 1932, have provided a window into her private faith.

“I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad,” she said in 2002. “Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. … I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”

2) Queen Elizabeth and Billy Graham met in 1955.

Billy Graham and Queen Elizabeth

Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, said his father had a good relationship with the queen, not necessarily a pen pal relationship where they’d write to each other regularly, but he spoke several times in her private chapel and he was knighted in 2001. But Billy Graham initially met resistance, his son said, and some in Parliament tried to block him from coming. (Franklin Graham, who is planning to speak in September, faces his own version of British resistance now, according to the Guardian).

Franklin Graham said the show asked him to consult but he declined, saying any conversations they had were private. He said his father usually gave a dignitary a Bible, often the latest one he was carrying, so he believes he probably gave the queen one.

“There’s no question, she’s very devout in her faith and very strong in her faith,” Franklin Graham said. “Her faith has been consistent not just with conversations with my father but throughout her life.”

The queen’s meeting with the evangelist came about after Graham launched one of his evangelistic “crusades.” Graham had spoken to “the greatest religious congregation, 120,000, ever seen until then in the British Isles,” according to a biography of the late John Stott, a chaplain to the queen. During one of his rallies, Graham preached for 12 weeks, drawing 2 million.

Graham delivered a sermon for the queen on Easter Sunday in 1995 in the royal family’s private chapel.

“Good manners do not permit one to discuss the details of a private visit with Her Majesty, but I can say that I judge her to be a woman of rare modesty and character,” he wrote in his autobiography “Just As I Am.”

“She is unquestionably one of the best-informed people on world affairs I have ever met,” wrote Graham, who is now 99 years old and living in his mountain home in Montreat, N.C. “… I have always found her highly intelligent and knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues, not just politics.”

3) It’s unlikely, although still possible, that the two met alone.

“The Crown” shows the queen meeting alone with the evangelist so they could discuss things privately. However, Graham long had a personal rule that he would not meet alone with another woman, something that became known as “the Billy Graham rule” and has come under the spotlight since Vice President Pence has said he uses the same rule.

Historian and Graham biographer William Martin says Billy Graham began the practice in 1948, and it encompassed lunches, counseling sessions, even a ride to an auditorium or an airport because the pastor believed it helped keep him from “even the appearance of evil.”

Martin says, however, that there’s not much chance that the queen would have been left truly alone even if no attendant was in the room. But if the queen asked for this, Martin and fellow Graham historian Grant Wacker both believe he probably would’ve made an exception.

“Graham always meant for the rule to be observed with common sense,” said Wacker, who is a historian at Duke Divinity School. “The point was to prevent candlelit dinners far from home.”

4) How Graham might have responded to the question about forgiveness.

The queen tells Graham she asked him to return to Buckingham Palace to talk about forgiveness. “Are there any circumstances, do you feel, where one can be a good Christian and yet not forgive?” she asks. Graham says Christian teaching is very clear that no one is beneath forgiveness. But forgiveness was conditional, she counters.

“One prays for those one cannot forgive,” he says.

The exchange highlights a fuzzy line between personal forgiveness and public forgiveness. Does Elizabeth, as a niece, have a responsibility to forgive her uncle? Should she, as the queen, extend forgiveness to someone who, by the show and historical documents’ account, betrayed his country?

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD.

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The Christian Post > International > N.America|Sun, Nov. 20 2011 03:41 PM EDT

Woody Allen, The Faith Behind the Films (VIDEOS of Allen With Billy Graham)

By Kayla Amadis | Christian Post Contributor

American filmmaker, Woody Allen, will be starring in an exclusive two-part documentary film beginning tonight. The “Annie Hall” director and actor is notorious for his privacy. However, this three-and-a-half hour film claims to be a right of entry into the life and art of Woody Allen.

The works of Allen have always been a peculiar one for most viewers throughout generations. He has a touch for making artful flicks with the just enough humor included. His films, sometimes controversial, have also been unique in that they are driven by his distinctive vision and artistry. Allen has never been an artist to succumb to altering a script so it would appeal to mainstream audiences.

Therefore, many have noted reoccurring themes throughout Allen’s work over the years. He often integrates pop culture and religion sub-textually into the content of his writing.

Allen, now 75, grew up in a Jewish household. Now, as an agnostic, many of his films including “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point” have subject matters concerning forgiveness, how to handle sin, finding meaning in life without God, or religious figures.

Many evangelicals including Chuck Colston and Southern Baptist leader, Richard Land are devoted fans of Allen. Although the filmmaker remains disclosed, he continues to be one to speak openly about deep issues in life even outside of his films. Allen has always been honest enough to ask many questions about morality and religion, but never has any of the right answers, Land suggested.

In the archives of Woody Allen appearances, one can find an old talk show video (below) in the 1960’s in which he interviews Billy Graham. Of course, Graham, clearly anchored in his beliefs in God, shared completely different views on life compared to the wisecracking Allen.

The conversation sounds undoubtedly tense upon first hearing. However, both counter-parts handled their discussion with much composure and the heart to agree to disagree.

Allen: “If you come to one of my movies or something, I’ll go to one of your revival meetings.”

Graham: “Well now that is a deal.”

Allen: “You could probably convert me because I’m such a pushover. I have no convictions in any direction and if you make it appealing and promise me some sort of wonderful afterlife with a white robe and wings I would go for it.”

Graham: “I can’t promise you a white robe and wings, but I can promise you a very interesting, thrilling life.”

Allen: “One wing, maybe?”

The dialogue was both light and deep all at once. “I find Woody over the years, and of course this is true of people as they get older, there is more resignation,” Land said to the Washington Post.

“There is a light touch and a confidence in his earlier movies – I’m not dead, I won’t die for a long time so I have a long time to figure this all out. Some of his more recent movies, you can see he’s aware of his own mortality.”

Decades later, one would hope Allen would come around to considering the true answers to all of his moral questioning. Perhaps he would think back to some of the words Graham spoke many years ago. However, Allen remains with doubtful views. “Sooner or later,” he said in a 2010 interview. “…reality sets in, in a crushing way. As it does and will with everybody, including Billy Graham. But it’s nice if you can delude yourself for as long as possible.”

“Woody Allen: A Documentary,’’ directed by Robert B. Weide, will touch on the career of Allen more intimately. Many look forward to understanding the true man behind the art and humor.

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My rough draft letter to President Elect Biden that will be mailed on March 11, 2021! (Part 51) Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop asked Reagan to issue pro-life proclamation in 1983 (includes video ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE)

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Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race? Co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop)

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
13th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Mr. Hentoff with the clarinetist Edmond Hall in 1948 at the Savoy, a club in Boston.

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

Image<img class=”i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder” src=”data:;base64,Edith Schaeffer with her husband, Francis Schaeffer, in 1970 in Switzerland, where they founded L’Abri, a Christian commune.

________________

______________________

March 11, 2021

President Biden, c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

 

Published on Oct 6, 2012 by

Did you know that Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop asked President Reagan in 1983 to make a pro-life proclamation?

Every Life is Precious

Thus says the LORD, “A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”

Jeremiah 31:14-16

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is held on the Sunday in January that falls closest to the day on which the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions were handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973.

Sanctity of Life Sunday began in 1983 when the Christian Action Council (now known as Care Net), founded with the help of Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, “asked President Ronald Reagan to create a special day to focus on the intrinsic value of human life.” [Source]

President Reagan issued this proclamation:

Since 1973, however, more than 15 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions — a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred. These children, over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars, will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.

We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all. Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women. Can we say that abortion — which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient — will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?

It has now been 40 years since the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion on demand legal in all 50 states. Since that time, the 15 million babies referred to by President Reagan has become 55 million babies.

Abortion is the greatest evil in American history and dwarfs the genocide of many other nations throughout history.

And served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,
And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with the blood.
Psalm 106:36–38

___________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

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MUSIC MONDAY “The Black Keys”

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The Black Keys – Lonely Boy [Official Music Video]

The Black Keys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the band. For piano keys, see piano keys. For Chopin’s Étude commonly known as Black Keys, see Étude Op. 10, No. 5 (Chopin).
The Black Keys
Black-keys-sxsw-montage.jpg

The Black Keys performing at South by Southwest in 2010
Background information
Origin Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Garage rock, blues rock,indie rock
Years active 2001–present
Labels Alive, Fat Possum,Nonesuch, V2, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Blakroc, Drummer, The Rentals, The Arcs, Danger Mouse
Website www.theblackkeys.com
Members Dan Auerbach
Patrick Carney

The Black Keys are an American rock duo formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as anindependent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage rock artists during a second wave of the genre’s revival in the 2010s. The band’s raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach’s blues influences, including Junior Kimbrough, Howlin’ Wolf, and Robert Johnson.

Friends since childhood, Auerbach and Carney founded the group after dropping out of college. After signing with indie label Alive, they released their debut album, The Big Come Up(2002), which earned them a new deal with Fat Possum Records. Over the next decade, the Black Keys built an underground fanbase through extensive touring of small clubs, frequent album releases and music festival appearances, and substantial licensing of their songs. Their third album, Rubber Factory (2004), received critical acclaim and boosted the band’s profile, eventually leading to a record deal with major label Nonesuch Records in 2006. After self-producing and recording their first four records in makeshift studios, the duo completed Attack & Release (2008) in a professional studio and hired producer Danger Mouse, a frequent collaborator with the band.

The group’s commercial breakthrough came in 2010 with Brothers, which along with its popular single “Tighten Up“, won three Grammy Awards. Their 2011 follow-up El Camino received strong reviews and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, leading to the first arena concert tour of the band’s career, the El Camino Tour. The album and its hit single “Lonely Boy” won three Grammy Awards. In 2014, they released their eighth album, Turn Blue, their first number-one record in the US, Canada, and Australia.

The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines [Official Music Video]

The Black Keys- Howlin’ For You (With Lyrics)

Career[edit]

Early history[edit]

Guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney first met when they were eight or nine years old while living in the same neighborhood of Akron, Ohio.[1] Auerbach and Carney both come from musical backgrounds. Auerbach is the cousin of guitarist Robert Quine, a “veteran of New York’s avant-rock scene.”[2] Carney, on the other hand, is the nephew of saxophonist Ralph Carney, who performed on several Tom Waits albums.[2] While attendingFirestone High School, they became friends,[1] though they were part of different crowds[3]—Auerbach was captain of the high school soccer team, while Carney was a social outcast.[4] Encouraged by their brothers, the duo beganjamming together in 1996, as Auerbach was learning guitar at the time and Carney owned a four-track recorder and a drum set.[5][6] After graduating, both briefly attended the University of Akron before dropping out.[3][7]

Formation, The Big Come Up, and Thickfreakness (2001–2003)[edit]

Auerbach attempted to make a living from performing at small bars in town, but realized he would not be able to book shows in other cities without a demo. To record one, he asked for help from Carney, who agreed to provide recording equipment and allow his basement to be used if Auerbach recruited the other musicians. However, none of Auerbach’s backing band showed up on the recording date.[8] Instead, Carney and Auerbach jammed, eventually leading to the duo forming a band in mid-2001.[8][9] Together, they recorded a six-song demo consisting of “old blues rip-offs and words made up on the spot”.[8] After sending the demo to a dozen record labels, they received and accepted an offer in 2002 from a small indie label in Los Angeles called Alive,[5][10] as it was “the only label that would sign [them] without having to see [them] first”.[11]

According to an interview on NPR‘s Fresh Air, the group’s name “the Black Keys” came from a schizophrenic artist named Alfred McMoore that the pair knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as “black keys” such as “D flat” when he was upset with them.[12][13] On March 20, 2002, the duo played their first live show at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom and Tavern to an audience of approximately eight people.[10] The band’s debut album, The Big Come Up, was recorded entirely in Carney’s basement on an 8-track tape recorder in lo-fi and was released in May 2002,[14] three months after they signed to Alive.[10] The album, a mix of eight original tracks and five cover songs, forged a raw blues rock sound for the group; the covers included tracks originally by blues musicians Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, and R. L. Burnside. Two tracks, covers of the traditional blues standard “Leavin’ Trunk” and The Beatles‘ song “She Said, She Said“, were released as a single on Isota Records. The track “I’ll Be Your Man” would later be used as the theme song for the HBO series Hung. In order to help fund a tour, Auerbach and Carney took jobs mowing lawns for a landlord.[15] Although The Big Come Up sold poorly, it gained a cult following and attracted attention from critics, eventually landing the group a record deal with Fat Possum Records.[16]

Within days of signing to Fat Possum, The Black Keys completed their second album, Thickfreakness.[6] It was recorded in Carney’s basement in a single 14-hour session in December 2002, an approach necessitated because the group spent its small advance payment from Fat Possum on rent.[9][11][17] The group had recorded sessions with producer Jeff Saltzman in San Francisco but ultimately aborted them, as they were unhappy that the results sounded too much like “modern-rock radio”.[9] In March 2003, the group played at one of its first music festivals, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, after driving for nearly 24 hours from Akron.[18] Much as they did for the festival, Carney and Auerbach spent their early tour days driving themselves from show to show in a 1994 Chrysler van they nicknamed the “Gray Ghost”.[19]

Thickfreakness was released on April 8, 2003 and received positive reviews from critics. The record spawned three singles: “Set You Free“, “Hard Row“, and a cover of Richard Berry‘s “Have Love, Will Travel“. The other cover from the album was Junior Kimbrough’s “Everywhere I Go”. Time later named Thickfreakness the third-best album of 2003.[20] That year, the duo received a lucrative offer of ₤200,000 to license one of their songs for use in an English mayonnaise advertisement. At the suggestion of their manager, they rejected the offer for fear of being perceived as “sell-outs” and alienating their fan base.[12][21][22] The band toured extensively throughout 2003, playing its first dates outside of the United States and opening concerts for Sleater-Kinney, Beck, and Dashboard Confessional.[23][24] However, exhaustion had set in by the end of the year, forcing the band to cancel European tour dates.[23] In August, the group made its national television debut on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.[24][25] As fellow garage band The White Stripes grew in popularity, The Black Keys drew comparisons to them—sometimes as a derivative act—since both groups had two-piece lineups, Midwest origins, bluesy sounds, and names with colors.[4][26] In September, The Black Keys released a split-EP with The Six Parts Seven titled The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys EP, featuring one song by The Six Parts Seven and three songs by The Black Keys.

Rubber Factory, Magic Potion, and other releases (2004–2007)[edit]

The Black Keys released an EP titled The Moan on January 19, 2004, featuring “Have Love Will Travel”, an alternate version of “Heavy Soul”, and two covers. The group found itself struggling to sell records or gain airplay of their songs on the radio, and they were not making much money either; they had to absorb a $3,000 loss from a European tour.[4] Frustrated with their lack of success, the band relented and decided to begin licensing their music, beginning with the song “Set You Free” in a Nissan automobile commercial.[5] It was the first of an eventual 300-plus song placements in television shows, films, TV commercials, and video games.[22] The group played several high-profile musical festivals in the first half of the 2004, including Coachella[27] and Bonnaroo.[28]

Auerbach with the Black Keys in December 2006

For their third album, Rubber Factory, the band was forced to find a new recording location, as the building that housed their basement studio was sold by its landlord. They created a makeshift studio in a former tire-manufacturing factory in Akron,[23] and recorded from January to May 2004.[29] The album was released on September 7, 2004 and became the group’s first record to chart on the US Billboard 200, reaching number 143.[30] Rubber Factory received critical acclaim and was named one of the year’s best albums by Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker.[31] Two singles were released, “10 A.M. Automatic” and the double A-side “‘Till I Get My Way/Girl Is on My Mind“. Comedian David Cross directed the music video for “10 A.M. Automatic”.[32] The duo promoted the album with tours in North America, Europe, and Australia.[33] In 2005, the band released their first live video album, Live, recorded at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia on March 18, 2005. In July, they played at the Lollapalooza music festival.[34]

On May 2, 2006, the Black Keys released Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, a 6-track album of cover versions of songs by Junior Kimbrough. It was the band’s final release with the independent label Fat Possum. Having fulfilled their two-album contract, the band signed with the major label Nonesuch Records.[35] Later in May, the group released its second live album, Live in Austin, TX—also known as Thickfreakness in Austin—which was recorded in 2003. The group’s music appeared in several television commercials over the course of the year; among the companies to license its music were Sony, Nissan, and Victoria’s Secret, which used “The Desperate Man” in a lingerie commercial featuring Heidi Klum.[36] Despite having the resources of a major record label available to them, the group elected to return to recording in Carney’s basement for its fourth studio album, Magic Potion.[35] Released on September 12, 2006, the album was the group’s first release on Nonesuch,[37] as well as its first album to comprise all original songs. Three singles were issued: “You’re the One“, “Your Touch“, and “Just Got To Be“. In support of Magic Potion, the band embarked on its largest tour to that point, performing in large theaters and 1,000-seat venues.[38] The Black Keys recorded covers of “The Wicked Messenger” for the soundtrack of the film I’m Not There and “If You Ever Slip” for The Hottest State soundtrack.

Attack & Release and side projects (2007–2009)[edit]

Auerbach performing with The Black Keys in East London in March 2008

In 2007, producer Danger Mouse began working on a record for Ike Turner and asked The Black Keys to write a few songs for the project. The collaboration ultimately fell through, and Turner later died in December 2007. The duo decided to turn the material they had written into their fifth studio album, Attack & Release, and they asked Danger Mouse to produce the record.[39] The sessions saw the band transitioning away from their “homemade” ethos to record-making; not only was it the first time that the band completed an album in a professional studio,[40] but it was also the first time they hired an outside producer to work on a record.[41] Danger Mouse supplemented the band’s sound with instrumental flourishes and more polished production values.[42]Released on April 1, 2008, Attack & Release debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200.[16] Four singles were released: “Strange Times“, “I Got Mine“, “Oceans and Streams”, and “Same Old Thing”. “Strange Times” was featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto IV and NASCAR 09. “I Got Mine” is used as the theme song for Canadian police drama TV series The Bridge. The song was ranked number 23 on Rolling Stones list of The 100 Best Singles of 2008.[43]

On October 17, 2008, The Black Keys was an opening act for fellow Akron-area band Devo at a special benefit concert at the Akron Civic Theatre for presidential candidate Barack Obama.Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, also an Akron native and Firestone High School graduate, followed their set.[44] In November, they toured through Europe together with Liam Finn. That month, the group released the concert video Live at the Crystal Ballroom, which was filmed on April 4, 2008 at the group’s show at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. The video was produced by Lance Bangs.[45]

The Black Keys performing at The Agora in January 2009

Tensions grew within the band in 2009. Prior to Carney’s divorce from his wife Denise Grollmus, Auerbach found it increasingly difficult to communicate with the drummer due to his antipathy for Grollmus. Auerbach said, “I really hated her from the start and didn’t want anything to do with her.”[4] In February, Auerbach released his debut solo album, Keep It Hid. Carney, who claimed Auerbach did not tell him about the side project, felt betrayed.[21] Carney subsequently formed the indie band Drummer, with whom he played bass guitar.[46] The group released its debut album Feel Good Together on September 29, 2009.

The Black Keys reconciled later in the year. On June 6, 2009, they performed along with The Roots, TV on the Radio, Public Enemy, Antibalas, and other acts at the 2nd Annual Roots Picnic on the Festival Pier in Philadelphia.[47] They also joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians’ careers.[48][49]

Blakroc, a collaborative album featuring The Black Keys and several hip hop artists, was released in 2009 on Black Friday. The project was supported and brought together by Damon Dash, who is a big fan of the band. The album features rappers Mos Def, Ludacris, RZA, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip, NOE, Jim Jones, Nicole Wray, M.O.P., and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The album was recorded in Brooklyn, New York by co-producer, engineer and mixer Joel Hamilton at Studio G. Auerbach said on the official Blakroc site, “Pat and I have been preparing for this record since we were 16.”[50]

Brothers (2010–2011)[edit]

The Black Keys performing in February 2010, three months before the release of their breakthrough albumBrothers

Auerbach and Carney moved to Nashville in 2010, where they established a studio downtown.[51]

The group’s sixth studio album, Brothers, was released on May 18, 2010.[52] Recorded primarily at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the album was produced by The Black Keys and Mark Neill,[53]and was mixed by Tchad Blake.[54] The song “Tighten Up“, the only track from the album produced by Danger Mouse, preceded the album as the lead single. The song became their most successful single to that point, spending 10 weeks at number one on the Alternative Songs chart and becoming the group’s first single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 87.[55] The song also reached gold certification status.[56] The music video for “Tighten Up”, directed by Chris Marrs Piliero,[57] won the 2010 MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video.[58] Brotherssold over 73,000 copies in the US in its first week and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, their best performance on the chart to that point.[59] In total, the record sold 1.5 million copies worldwide,[60] including 870,000 copies in the US,[61] and it was certified double-platinum in Canada, platinum in the US, and gold in the UK.[56] The Black Keys were among several artist judges at the 9th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers.[62]

The band continued to gain exposure through continued song licensing, so much so that they were Warner Bros. Records‘ most-licensed band of the year.[63] Rolling Stone placed Brothers at number two on its list of the best albums of 2010 and “Everlasting Light” at number 11 on the list of the year’s best songs.[64][65] Spin named The Black Keys the “Artist of the Year” for 2010.[66]On January 8, 2011, the band appeared as the musical guest on American television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.[67] At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Brothers and its songs won awards in three of the five categories they were nominated in; the band received honors for Best Alternative Music Album (for Brothers) and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (for “Tighten Up”), while Michael Carney, the band’s creative director and Patrick’s brother, won Best Recording Package for designing the album’s artwork.[68][69]

The Black Keys performing in Las Vegas in February 2011

The band’s sudden success proved overwhelming, as they found themselves booking additional promotional commitments and facing demand for additional touring dates.[60] In January 2011, the group canceled concerts in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, citing exhaustion, thus clearing out most of their touring schedule into April.[70] Patrick Carney said, “We’ve been touring long enough to know when we’re about to hit our breaking point.” The desire to record another album soon after Brothers also led to the decision. Carney said, “We could have waited another year or so, and milked the Brothers album and kept touring, but we like bands, and our favourite bands growing up and even today, are bands that put out a lot of music and every album is different from the last.”[60]

Brothers second single, “Howlin’ for You“, was a successful follow-up, achieving a gold certification in the US.[56] The music video, directed by Chris Marrs Piliero,[71] parodied action movie trailers and starred Tricia Helfer, Diora Baird, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christian Serratos, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Bridges, and Shaun White.[72][73] It was nominated for the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video.[74] In 2014, the band donated the song rights to PETA for an animal adoption ad campaign.[75]

The Black Keys were nominated for three Billboard Music Awards: Top Alternative Artist, and Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album for Brothers.[76] The group continued to make appearances at American music festivals throughout the year, playing at Bonnaroo, Kanrocksas, and Outside Lands.

El Camino (2011–2013)[edit]

The group recorded their seventh studio album, El Camino, from March to May 2011.[61] Splitting time between touring and recording, the band spent 41 days at Easy Eye Sound Studio, which was opened in 2010 by Auerbach in the duo’s new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.[8] For the album, Danger Mouse reprised his role as producer and also contributed as a co-writer on all 11 songs.[61] After struggling to translate the slower songs from Brothers to a live setting, the band decided to write more uptempo tracks for El Camino.[60] The record draws from popular genres from the 1950s–1970s,[77] including rock and roll,[77][78] glam rock,[79] rockabilly,[79] surf rock,[79] and soul.[80] The band cited several retro acts as musical influences on the album, including The Clash, The Cramps, T. Rex, Ramones, The Beatles, Sweet, The Cars, and Johnny Burnette.[8][60][61]

The Black Keys performing atMadison Square Garden in March 2012

Lonely Boy” was released in October as the album’s lead single, accompanied by a popular one-shot music video of a man dancing and lip-syncing. The song became the group’s best-charting single in several countries, reaching number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100,[55] number 2 on the Australian Singles Chart,[81] and number 33 on the Canadian Hot 100.[82] The song was certified nine-times platinum in Canada, triple platinum in Australia, platinum in New Zealand, and gold in Denmark.[56] The band returned to Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on December 3, 2011.[83] El Camino was released three days later and received wide critical acclaim.[84] In the US, it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold 206,000 copies in its first week, the highest single-week sales and (to that point) charting position the group had achieved in the country.[85] Many publications, such as Rolling Stone and Time ranked El Camino among the best albums of the year, despite its late release.[86][87] The album was certified double-platinum in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand; platinum in the US, UK, and Ireland; and gold in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.[56]

The Black Keys during their headline appearance at Coachella in April 2012

In 2012, the group commenced the first headlining arena tour of its career,[88] the El Camino Tour, playing dates in Europe and North America.[89][90]After tickets went on sale, their show at Madison Square Garden sold out in 15 minutes.[91] Just as it did on its previous tour, the group added bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist/guitarist John Wood as touring musicians in order to perform songs as close to their studio arrangements as possible.[4][92] The album’s second single, “Gold on the Ceiling“, like its predecessor, went to number one on the Alternative Songs chart[93] and was certified platinum in Australia and Canada.[56] The group headlined several music festivals throughout the year, including Catalpa Music Festival,[94] Coachella,[95] Memphis in May (in 2013),[96] Lollapalooza,[97] and Osheaga.[98] At the 2013 Grammy Awards, El Camino and “Lonely Boy” were nominated in five categories and were winners in three; the album won Best Rock Album, while “Lonely Boy” won Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.[99]

Turn Blue (2013–present)[edit]

For their eighth studio album, Turn Blue, the band once again collaborated with Danger Mouse, who co-produced and co-wrote the album. It was recorded primarily at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, from July–August 2013, with additional recording at Key Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and Nashville’s Easy Eye Sound in early 2014. The album was announced in March 2014 via Mike Tyson‘s Twitteraccount, with a link to a cryptic teaser video on YouTube featuring a hypnotist,[100] and was released on May 13, 2014. The record exhibits psychedelic rock and soul influences and features a more melancholy tone, largely in part due to Auerbach dealing with the divorce from his wife during the album sessions.[101] The first single, “Fever” was released on March 24,[102] while a second single, “Turn Blue“, followed on April 14.[103] The album debuted at number one in the US and Australia, the band’s first record to top the album charts in either country;[104][105] 164,000 copies were sold in the US in its first week.[104] The group embarked on a world tour in May 2014 to support the album, withCage the Elephant, Jake Bugg, and St. Vincent all separately opening for them. In 2015, Turn Blue was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, with “Fever” being nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song as well as the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.[106]

Members[edit]

  • Dan Auerbach – guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards (2001–present)
  • Patrick Carney – drums, percussion (2001–present)
Touring musicians
Former touring musicians
  • Nick Movshon – bass guitar (2010)[108]
  • Leon Michels – keyboards, organ, synthesizer, tambourine (2010)[108]
  • Gus Seyffert – bass guitar, vocals (2010–2013)

The Black Keys – Tighten Up [Official Music Video]

______________

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Daniel Mitchell OF CENTER FOR FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY article “Another Leftist Has an Epiphany on Guns”

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Another Leftist Has an Epiphany on Guns

I’m (unfortunately) not a rich person, but that doesn’t stop me from opposing punitive taxes on successful entrepreneurs, investors, and small business owners.

Likewise, I’m not a gun aficionado, but that doesn’t stop me from opposing efforts to restrict the rights of law-abiding people to own and bear arms.

In part, my views on guns are driven by cost-benefit analysis. Simply stated, the evidence is fairly clear that there is less crime when bad people have to worry that potential victims have the ability to defend themselves.

But I also very much agree with the constitutional argument for gun ownership, as well as the “societal disarray” argument.

Interestingly, it seems that more folks on the left are coming to their senses on the issue of gun control, generally for practical reasons rather than philosophical reasons.

  • In 2012, I shared some important observations from Jeffrey Goldberg, a left-leaning writer for The Atlantic. In his column, he basically admitted his side was wrong about gun control.
  • Then, in 2013, I wrote about a column by Justin Cronin in the New York Times. He self-identified as a liberal, but explained how real-world events have led him to become a supporter of private gun ownership.
  • In 2015, I shared a column by Jamelle Bouie in Slate, who addressed the left’s fixation on trying to ban so-called assault weapons and explains that such policies are meaningless.
  • More recently, in 2017, Leah Libresco wrote in the Washington Post that advocates of gun control are driven by emotion rather empirical research and evidence.
  • Last but not least, Alex Kingsbury in 2019 acknowledged the futility of gun control in a column for the New York Times.

Today, we’re going to add to the collection.

Charles Blow of the New York Times recently wrote about how he has become more understanding of why fellow blacks want to own guns.

Growing up in rural northern Louisiana, everyone I knew, at least every household, seemed to have guns. …Gun ownership was the norm in those parts, including in the Black community. It was not associated with danger but with safety. …Indeed, one could argue that the right to bear arms in this country has never been so brazenly and openly abridged as it has against Black people. Many state codes prohibited Black gun ownership before the Civil War and allowed for the disarmament of Black people after. …When I moved north, first to Detroit and then to New York, I moved into a mental space of more stringent gun control. …city dwellers simply didn’t have the same need for weapons as the people in the rural community where I was raised… I, like many, were convinced that fewer guns in the Black community would make it safer. But, for many Black people, that sentiment has turned. …gun sales to Black people are surging. …I, as much as anyone, would like to live in a society in which all citizens felt safe without the need of personal firearms. America could have created such a society. However, it chose not to. …many Black people feel the need to defend themselves from their own country.

To be sure, Mr. Blow can’t be considered a full convert to the 2nd Amendment. That being said, I think it’s nonetheless remarkable that even a committed, hard-core leftist has (partially) seen the light.

Though I can’t resist quibbling with one point in his column.He wrote, “America could have created” a society where gun control would be desirable because no guns would be needed, but “it chose not to.”

I would replace “it chose not to” with “our government is not sufficiently competent.”

Heck, I would probably add “or trustworthy” as well. Given the unsavory history of gun control, Mr. Blow should be among the first to appreciate that argument.

P.S. In 2018, I shared the story of Ryan Moore, another leftist who changed his mind on gun control. But since he also evolved away from being a leftist, I don’t include him

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Reusable: biden obama gun control speechPresident Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

Is Gun Control Dead?

In recent months, governments released prisoners and announced that some laws wouldn’t be enforced because of the coronavirus. Now, with protests against police misbehavior, we’re seeing governments fail to maintain law and order.

As suggested by this excellent Reason video, these developments bolster the case against gun control.

But does this mean politicians will be more supportive of the 2nd Amendment?

The answer (at least for anyone with an IQ above room temperature)should be yes.

From an economic perspective, one major goal is to change the cost-benefit analysis for criminals. If bad guys have to worry that good guys may be armed, that significantly increases the potential cost of illegal behavior.

A well-functioning system of law enforcement can help, of course, but that’s not a description of how things work in some communities – even in normal times, much less when there’s civil unrest.

But all this evidence and analysis doesn’t seem to matter for Joe Biden. A look at his campaign website shows support for a wide range of gun-control laws from the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

…gun violence is a public health epidemic. …In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again. …As president, Biden will: …Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. …Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. …Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one. …End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. …Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs.

What’s especially discouraging is that Biden apparently hasn’t learned anything about so-called assault weapons since 1994.

In a 2019 column for Reason, Jacob Sullum dissected Biden’s incoherent views on the topic.

Joe Biden…is still proud of the ban on “assault weapons”… Biden argues that it made mass shootings less common…, citing a study reported in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery last January. But that is not what the researchers, led by New York University epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio, actually found.…The study…looked not at the number of mass shootings, as Biden claims, but the number of mass-shooting deaths as a share of all firearm homicides. The difference in total fatalities during the period when the ban was in effect amounted to 15 fewer deaths over a decade, or 1.5 a year on average, including mass shootings that did not involve weapons covered by the ban. …The causal mechanism imagined by Biden is even harder to figure out. He describes “assault weapons” as “military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly.” But they do not fire any faster than any other semi-automatic. …Under the 1994 ban, removing “military-style” features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors, or bayonet mounts transformed forbidden “assault weapons” into legal firearms, even though the compliant models fired the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the ones targeted by the law.

I wonder if Biden understands the policy he’s advocating.

Does he think that “assault weapons” are actual machine guns, capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull on the trigger (a remarkably common misconception among gun-control advocates)?

Or, if he understands that a so-called assault weapon is just like any other gun (firing one round each time the trigger is pulled), then why would he think anything would be achieved by banning some guns and leaving others (that work the same way) legal?

Perhaps most relevant, does he even care what the evidence shows?

The bottom line is that people are “voting with their dollars” for gun ownership for the simple reason that they know it’s unwise to trust government (either to protect them from crime or to respect their rights).

But that doesn’t mean their constitutional freedoms will be secure if Biden wins the 2020 election.

P.S. The good news is that there will be widespread civil disobedience if politicians push for new gun bans.

P.P.S. Another silver lining is that we’ll get more and more clever humor mocking gun control.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

——

Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

—-


Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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March 16, 2012 – 12:25 am

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March 9, 2012 – 12:29 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 5 of 7)

March 2, 2012 – 12:26 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 4 of 7)

February 24, 2012 – 12:21 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 3 of 7)

February 17, 2012 – 12:12 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 2 of 7)

February 10, 2012 – 12:09 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 1of 7)

February 3, 2012 – 12:07 am

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Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 1-5

Debate on Milton Friedman’s cure for inflation

September 29, 2011 – 7:24 am

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“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

April 19, 2013 – 1:14 am

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What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

February 21, 2013 – 1:01 am

Stearns Speaks on House Floor in Support of Balanced Budget Amendment Uploaded by RepCliffStearns on Nov 18, 2011 Speaking on House floor in support of Balanced Budget Resolution, 11/18/2011 ___________ Below are some of the main proposals of Milton Friedman. I highly respected his work. David J. Theroux said this about Milton Friedman’s view concerning […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

December 7, 2012 – 5:55 am

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Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

What a great defense of Milton Friedman!!!!   Defaming Milton Friedman by Johan Norberg This article appeared in Reason Online on September 26, 2008  PRINT PAGE  CITE THIS      Sans Serif      Serif Share with your friends: ShareThis In the future, if you tell a student or a journalist that you favor free markets and limited government, there is […]

My rough draft letter to President Elect Biden that will be mailed on March 10, 2021! (Part 50) We need a smaller government if we want to get a grip on corruption

March 10, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

______________________

We need a smaller government if we want to get a grip on corruption.

We’ve gotten to the point where you need a guide-book to keep track of all the scandals in Washington.

As a fiscal policy wonk, I focus mostly on the sleaze at the IRS, but I also recognize that the other scandals are equally troubling.

So I’m amused by Lisa Benson’s portrayal of the…um…plumbing problems at the White House.

DC Septic Cartoon

But there’s a theme to all the scandals, regardless of whether they’re happening now under Obama or whether they happened under Bush or during the reign of previous Presidents: Many of them take place solely because government is large, bloated, and involved in areas where it doesn’t belong.

Here’s my video explaining why corruption is much more common when government is bigger.

Want Less Corruption? Shrink the Size of Government

Uploaded on Apr 21, 2009

Washington is riddled with corruption, much of which actually is legal. The politicians and other insiders claim that more ethics laws and lobbying rules are the solution. Some even say the only answer is campaign finance laws that restrict 1st Amendment rights to fully participate in the political process. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity video explores a different hypothesis and concludes that big government is inherently corrupting. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

___________

P.S. You can see some of my favorite Benson cartoons herehereherehere,hereherehereherehereherehereherehere,hereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here.

And here’s my favorite one, which criticized Obama’s class warfare policy and became part of my political cartoon contest.

_____________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 37 Francis Schaeffer warned nearly thirty years ago in The God Who Is There, the church is following the irrationality of secular philosophy. Consequently, reckless faith has overrun the evangelical community. Many are discarding doctrine in favor of personal experience. IS THIS ALSO THE LEGACY OF PRESIDENT OBAMA?

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer.jpg

December 28, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

There are several issues raised in your book that I would like to discuss with you such as the minimum wage law, the liberal press, the cause of 2007 financial meltdown, and especially your pro-choice (what I call pro-abortion) view which I strongly object to on both religious and scientific grounds, Two of the most impressive things in your book were your dedication to both the National Prayer Breakfast (which spoke at 8 times and your many visits to the sides of wounded warriors!!

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

On page 286 you talk about speaking at the 2009 National Prayer Breakfast and in fact you spoke at 2 of those in 2009 and one each February you were President!! Let me quote from one of those speeches of yours below!

                                 June 19, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE ESPERANZA NATIONAL HISPANIC PRAYER BREAKFAST
J.W. Marriott
Washington, D.C: “At a time when there’s no shortage of challenges to occupy our time, it’s even more important to step back, and to give thanks, and to seek guidance from each other — but most importantly, from God. That’s what we’ve come here to do.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE FROM GOD’S WORD OR FROM OTHER SOURCES LIKE LIBERAL THEOLOGIANS DO?

As a Christian I accept that the Bible is the word of God and inerrant. I understand that you take a much more liberal view of the Bible. Your church denomination includes very liberal theologians and Paul Tillich is probably the most prominent in the past. 

Schaeffer went on to analyze how neo-orthodoxy ultimately gives way to radical mysticism:

Karl Barth opened the door to the existentialistic leap in theology… He has been followed by many more, men like Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Bishop John Robinson, Alan Richardson and all the new theologians. They may differ in details, but their struggle is still the same—it is the struggle of modern man who has given up [rationality]. As far as the theologians are concerned … their new system is not open to verification, it must simply be believed.10

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.


A fine message below
in which John MacArthur reminds us:

As Francis Schaeffer warned nearly thirty years ago in The God Who Is There, the church is following the irrationality of secular philosophy. Consequently, reckless faith has overrun the evangelical community. Many are discarding doctrine in favor of personal experience.

The War Against Reason
by John MacArthur
True discernment has suffered a horrible setback in the past few decades because reason itself has been under attack within the church. As Francis Schaeffer warned nearly thirty years ago in The God Who Is There, the church is following the irrationality of secular philosophy. Consequently, reckless faith has overrun the evangelical community. Many are discarding doctrine in favor of personal experience. Others say they are willing to disregard crucial biblical distinctives in order to achieve external unity among all professing Christians. True Christianity marked by intelligent, biblical faith seems to be declining even among the most conservative evangelicals.THE ABANDONMENT OF OBJECTIVE TRUTHThe visible church in our generation has become astonishingly tolerant of aberrant teaching and outlandish ideas—and frighteningly intolerant of sound teaching. The popular evangelical conception of “truth” has become almost completely subjective. Truth is viewed as fluid, always relative, never absolute. To suggest that any objective criterion might be used to distinguish truth from error is to be egregiously out of step with the spirit of the age. In some circles, Scripture itself has been ruled out as a reliable test of truth. After all, the Bible can be interpreted in so many different ways—who can say which interpretation is right? And many believe there is truth beyond the Bible.All this relativity has had disastrous effects on the typical Christian’s ability to discern truth from error, right from wrong, good from evil. The plainest teachings of the Bible are being questioned among people who declare themselves believers in the Bible. For example, some Christians are no longer certain whether homosexuality should be classed as a sin. Others argue that the feminist agenda is compatible with biblical Christianity. “Christian” television, radio, books, and magazines serve up a preposterous smorgasbord of ideas from the merely capricious to the downright dangerous—and the average Christian is woefully ill-equipped to sort out the lies from the truth.Even to suggest that a sorting between lies and truth is necessary is viewed by many as perilously intolerant. There is a notion abroad that any dispute over doctrine is inherently evil. Concern for orthodoxy is regarded as incompatible with Christian unity. Doctrine itself is labeled divisive and those who make doctrine an issue are branded uncharitable. No one is permitted to criticize anyone else’s beliefs, no matter how unbiblical those beliefs seem to be. A recent article in Christianity Today exemplifies the trend. The article, titled “Hunting for Heresy,” profiled two well-known Christian leaders who had “come under withering attack for controversial writings.”1One is a popular speaker on the college lecture circuit and a bestselling author. He wrote a book in which he encouraged homosexuals to establish permanent live-together relationships (albeit celibate ones). He suggests the evangelical community suffers from “homophobia.” He is convinced that permanent living arrangements between homosexuals are the only alternative to loneliness for people he believes are “born with a homosexual orientation.” This man’s wife has published an article in a homosexual magazine in which she enthusiastically affirms” monogamous sexual relationships between homosexuals. The speaker-author says he has a “very, very strong” disagreement with his wife’s approval of homosexual sex, but his own view seems to allow homosexuals to engage in other kinds of physical intimacy short of actual intercourse.The other Christian leader profiled in the Christianity Today article is a woman who, with her husband, is a featured speaker for a popular, nationally-syndicated radio and television ministry. Their ministry is not a weird offshoot from some fringe cult, but an established, well-respected mainstay from the evangelical heartland. She also serves as chairperson of one of the largest evangelical student organizations in the world. This woman has written a book in which she chronicles some rather peculiar spiritual experiences. She dedicates the book to her male alter ego, an imaginary person named “Eddie Bishop” who romances her in her dreams. This woman says she also has visions of “the Christ child that is within” her. He appears to her as a drooling, emaciated, barefoot “idiot child” in a torn undershirt—”its head totally bald and lolled to one side.” The woman has engaged the services of a Catholic nun who serves as her “spiritual director,” helping to interpret her dreams and fantasies. The book mingles mysticism, Jungian psychology, out-of-body experiences, feminist ideas, subjective religious experience, and this woman’s romantic fantasies into an extraordinary amalgam. The book is frankly so bizarre that it is disturbing to read.The remarkable thing about the Christianity Today article is that the story was not written to expose the aberrant ideas being taught by these two leading evangelicals. Instead, what the magazine’s editors deemed newsworthy was the fact that these people were under attack for their views.In the world of modern evangelicalism, it is allowable to advocate the most unconventional, unbiblical doctrines—as long as you afford everyone else the same privilege. About the only thing that is taboo nowadays is the intolerance of those who dare to point out others’ errors. Anyone today who is bold enough to suggest that someone else’s ideas or doctrines are unsound or unbiblical is dismissed at once as contentious, divisive, unloving, or unchristian. It is all right toespouse any view you wish, but it is not all right to criticize another person’s views—no matter how patently unbiblical those views may be.When tolerance is valued over truth, the cause of truth always suffers. Church history shows this to be so. Only when the people of God have mounted a hardy defense of truth and sound doctrine has the church flourished and grown strong. The Reformation, the Puritan era, and the Great Awakenings are all examples of this. The times of decline in the history of the church have always been marked by an undue emphasis on tolerance—which leads inevitably to carelessness, worldliness, doctrinal compromise, and great confusion in the church.ADRIFT ON A SEA OF SUBJECTIVITYThat the church would lose her moorings in this particular age, however, poses greater dangers than ever. For in the past hundred years or so, the world has changed in a dramatic and very frightening way. People no longer look at truth the way they used to. In fact, we live under a prevailing philosophy that has become hostile to the very idea of absolute truth.From the beginning of recorded history until late last century, virtually all human philosophy assumed the necessity of absolute truth. Truth was universally understood as that which is true, not false; factual, not erroneous; correct, not incorrect; moral, not immoral; just, not unjust; right, not wrong. Practically all philosophers since the time of Plato assumed the objectivity of truth. Philosophy itself was a quest for the highest understanding of truth. Such a pursuit was presumed to be possible, even necessary, because truth was understood to be the same for every person. This did not mean that everyone agreed what truth was, of course. But virtually all agreed that whatever was true was true for everyone.That all changed in the nineteenth century with the birth of existentialism. Existentialism defies precise definition, but it includes the concept that the highest truth is subjective (having its source in the individual’s mind) rather than objective (something that actually exists outside the individual). Existentialism elevates individual experience and personal choice, minimizing or ruling out absolute standards of truth, goodness, morality, and such things. We might accurately characterize existentialism as the abandonment of objectivity. Existentialism is inherently anti-intellectual, against reason, irrational.Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard first used the term “existential.” Kierkegaard’s life and philosophy revolved around his experiences with Christianity. Christian ideas and biblical terminology reverberate in many of his writings. He wrote much about faith and certainly regarded himself as a Christian. Many of his ideas began as a legitimate reaction against the stale formalism of the Danish Lutheran state church. He was rightly offended at the barren ritualism of the church, properly outraged that people who had no love for God called themselves Christians just because they happened to be born in a “Christian” nation.But in his reaction against the lifeless state church, Kierkegaard set up a false antithesis. He decided that objectivity and truth were incompatible. To counter the passionless ritualism and lifeless doctrinal formulas he saw in Danish Lutheranism, Kierkegaard devised an approach to religion that was pure passion, altogether subjective. Faith, he suggested, means the rejection of reason and the exaltation of feeling and personal experience. It was Kierkegaard who coined the expression “leap of faith.” Faith to him was an irrational experience, above all a personal choice. He recorded these words in his journal on August 1, 1835: “The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”2Clearly, Kierkegaard had already rejected as inherently worthless the belief that truth is objective. His journal continues with these words:What would be the use of discovering so-called objective truth …. What good would it do me if truth stood before me, cold and naked, not caring whether I recognized her or not, and producing in me a shudder of fear rather than a trusting devotion? … I am left standing like a man who has rented a house and gathered all the furniture and household things together, but has not yet found the beloved with whom to share the joys and sorrows of his life…. It is this divine side of man, his inward action, which means everything—not a mass of [objective] information.3Having repudiated the objectivity of truth, Kierkegaard was left longing for an existential experience, which he believed would bring him a sense of personal fulfillment. He stood on the precipice, preparing to make his leap of faith. Ultimately, the idea he chose to live and die for was Christianity, but it was a characteristically subjective brand of Christianity that he embraced.Though Kierkegaard was virtually unknown during his lifetime, his writings have endured and have deeply influenced all subsequent philosophy. His idea of “truth that is true for me” infiltrated popular thought and set the tone for our generations radical rejection of all objective standards.Kierkegaard knew how to make irrationalism sound profound. “God does not exist; He is eternal,” he wrote. He believed Christianity was full of “existential paradoxes,” which he regarded as actual contradictions, proof that truth is irrational.Using the example of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:1-19), Kierkegaard suggested that God called Abraham to violate moral law in slaying his son. For Kierkegaard, Abraham’s willingness to “suspend” his ethical convictions epitomized the leap of faith that is demanded of everyone. Kierkegaard believed the incident proved that “the single individual [Abraham] is higher than the universal [moral law].”4 Building on that conclusion, the Danish philosopher offered this observation: “Abraham represents faith…. He acts by virtue of the absurd, for it is precisely [by virtue of] the absurd that he as the single individual is higher than the universal.”5 “[I] cannot understand Abraham,” Kierkegaard declared, “even though in a certain demented sense I admire him more than all others.”6It is not difficult to see how such thinking thrusts all truth into the realm of pure subjectivity—even to the point of absurdity or dementia. Everything becomes relative. Absolutes dematerialize. The difference between truth and nonsense becomes meaningless. All that matters is personal experience.And one person’s experience is as valid as another’s—even if everyone’s experiences lead to contradictory conceptions of truth. “Truth that is true for me” might be different from someone else’s truth. In fact, our beliefs might be obviously contradictory, yet another person’s “truth” in no way invalidates mine. Because “truth”is authenticated by personal experience, its only relevance is for the individual who makes the leap of faith. That is existentialism.Existentialism caught on in a big way in secular philosophy. Friedrich Nietzsche, for example, also rejected reason and emphasized the will of the individual. Nietzsche probably knew nothing of Kierkegaard’s works, but their ideas paralleled at the key points. Unlike Kierkegaard, however, Nietzsche never made the leap of faith to Christianity. Instead, he leapt to the conclusion that God is dead. The truth that was “true for him,” it seems, turned out to be the opposite of the truth Kierkegaard chose. But their epistemology (the way they arrived at their ideas) was exactly the same.Later existentialists, such as Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre, refined Kierkegaard’s ideas while following the atheism of Nietzsche. Heidegger and Sartre both believed that reason is futile and life basically meaningless. Those ideas have been a powerful force in twentieth-century thought. As the world continues to grow more atheistic, more secular, and more irrational, it helps to understand that it is being propelled in that direction by strong existentialist influences.EXISTENTIALISM INVADES THE CHURCH But don’t get the idea that existentialism’s influence is limited to the secular world. From the moment Kierkegaard wedded existentialist ideas with Christianity, neo-orthodox theology was the inevitable outcome.Neo-orthodoxy is the term used to identify an existentialist variety of Christianity. Because it denies the essential objective basis of truth—the absolute truth and authority of Scripture—neo-orthodoxy must be understood as pseudo-Christianity. Its heyday came in the middle of the twentieth century with the writings of Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Those men echoed the language and the thinking of Kierkegaard, speaking of the primacy of “personal authenticity,” while downplaying or denying the significance of objective truth. Barth, the father of neo-orthodoxy, explicitly acknowledged his debt to Kierkegaard.7Neo-orthodoxy’s attitude toward Scripture is a microcosm of the entire existentialist philosophy: the Bible itself is not objectively the Word of God, but it becomes the Word of God when it speaks to me individually. In neo-orthodoxy, that same subjectivism is imposed on all the doctrines of historic Christianity. Familiar terms are used, but are redefined or employed in a way that is purposely vague—not to convey objective meaning, but to communicate a subjective symbolism. After all, any “truth” theological terms convey is unique to the person who exercises faith. What the Bible means becomes unimportant. What it means to me is the relevant issue. All of this resoundingly echoes Kierkegaard’s concept of “truth that is true for me.”Thus while neo-orthodox theologians often sound as if they are affirming traditional beliefs, their actual system differs radically from the historic understanding of the Christian faith. By denying the objectivity of truth, they relegate all theology to the realm of subjective relativism. It is a theology perfectly suited for the age in which we live.And that is precisely why it is so deadly.Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 work The God Who Is There included a perceptive analysis of Kierkegaard’s influence on modern thought and modern theology.8 Schaeffer named the boundary between rationality and irrationality “the line of despair.” He noted that existentialism pushed secular thought below the line of despair sometime in the nineteenth century. Religious neo-orthodoxy was simply a johnny-come-lately response of theologians who were jumping on the existentialist bandwagon, following secular art, music, and general culture: “Neo-orthodoxy gave no new answer. What existential philosophy had already said in secular language, it now said in theological language…. [With the advent of neo-orthodoxy,] theology too has gone below the line of despair.”9Schaeffer went on to analyze how neo-orthodoxy ultimately gives way to radical mysticism:Karl Barth opened the door to the existentialistic leap in theology… He has been followed by many more, men like Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Bishop John Robinson, Alan Richardson and all the new theologians. They may differ in details, but their struggle is still the same—it is the struggle of modern man who has given up [rationality]. As far as the theologians are concerned … their new system is not open to verification, it must simply be believed.10Such a system, Schaeffer points out, has no integrity. Those who espouse it cannot live with the repercussions of their own illogic. “In practice a man cannot totally reject [rationality], however much his system leads him to it, unless he experiences … some form of mental breakdown.” Thus people have been forced to an even deeper level of despair: “a level of mysticism with nothing there.”11MYSTICISM: IRRATIONALITY GONE TO SEEDMysticism is the idea that spiritual reality is found by looking inward. Mysticism is perfectly suited for religious existentialism; indeed, it is its inevitable consequence. The mystic disdains rational understanding and seeks truth instead through the feelings, the imagination, personal visions, inner voices, private illumination, or other purely subjective means. Objective truth becomes practically superfluous. Mystical experiences are therefore self-authenticating; that is, they are not subject to any form of objective verification. They are unique to the person who experiences them. Since they do not arise from or depend upon any rational process, they are invulnerable to any refutation by rational means.Arthur L. Johnson writes,The experience convinces the mystic in such a way, and to such a degree, that lie simply cannot doubt its value and the correctness of what he believes it “says.”…In its crudest form this position says that believing something to be so makes it so. The idea is that ultimate reality is purely mental; therefore one is able to create whatever reality one wishes. Thus the mystic “creates” truth through his experience. In a less extreme form, the view seems to be that there are “alternate realities,” one as real as another, and that these “break in upon” the mystic in his experiences. Whatever form is taken, the criterion of truth is again a purely private and subjective experience that provides no means of verification and no safeguard against error. Nevertheless, it is seen by the mystic as being above question by others.The practical result of all this is that it is nearly impossible to reason with any convinced mystic. Such people are generally beyond the reach of reason.12Mysticism is therefore antithetical to discernment. It is an extreme form of reckless faith.Mysticism is the great melting pot into which neo-orthodoxy, the charismatic movement, anti-intellectual evangelicals, and even some segments of Roman Catholicism have been synthesized. It has produced movements like the Third Wave (a neo-charismatic movement with excessive emphasis on signs, wonders, and personal prophecies); Renovaré (an organization that blends teachings from monasticism, ancient Catholic mysticism, Eastern religion, and other mystical traditions); the spiritual warfare movement (which seeks to engage demonic powers in direct confrontation); and the modern prophecy movement (which encourages believers to seek private, extrabiblical revelation directly ftom God). The influx of mysticism has also opened evangelicalism to New-Age concepts like subliminal thought- control, inner healing, communication with angels, channeling, dream analysis, positive confession, and a host of other therapies andpractices coming directly from occult and Eastern religions. The face of evangelicalism has changed so dramatically in the past twenty years that what is called evangelicalism today is beginning to resemble what used to be called neo-orthodoxy. If anything, some segments of contemporary evangelicalism are even more subjective in their approach to truth than neo-orthodoxy ever was.It could be argued that evangelicalism never successfully resisted neo-orthodoxy. Twenty years ago evangelicals took a heroic stand against neo-orthodox influences on the issue of biblical inerrancy. But whatever victory was gained in that battle is now being sacrificed on the altar of mysticism. Mysticism renders biblical inerrancy irrelevant. After all, if the highest truth is subjective and comes from within us, then it doesn’t ultimately matter if the specifics of Scripture are true or not. If the content of faith is not the real issue, what does it really matter if the Bible has errors or not?In other words, neo-orthodoxy attacked the objective inspiration of Scripture. Evangelical mysticism attacks the objective interpretation of Scripture. The practical effect is the same. By embracing existential relativism, evangelicals are forfeiting the very riches they fought so hard to protect. If we can gain meaningful guidance from characters who appear in our fantasies, why should we bother ourselves with what the Bible says? If we are going to disregard or even reject the biblical verdict against homosexuality, what difference does it make if the historical and factual matter revealed in Scripture is accurate or inaccurate? If personal prophecies, visions, dreams, and angelic beings are available to give us up-to-the-minute spiritual direction—”fresh revelation” as it is often called—who cares if Scripture is without error in the whole or in the parts?Mysticism further nullifies Scripture by pointing people away from the sure Word of God as the only reliable object of faith. Warning of the dangers of mysticism, Schaeffer wrote,Probably the best way to describe this concept of modern theology is to say that it is faith in faith, rather than faith directed to an object which is actually there…. A modern man cannot talk about the object of his faith, only about the faith itself. So he can discuss the existence of his faith and its “size” as it exists against all reason, but that is all. Modern man’s faith turns inward…. Faith is introverted, because it has no certain object … it is rationally not open to discussion. This position, I would suggest, is actually a greater despair and darkness than the position of those modern men who commit suicide.13The faith of mysticism is an illusion. “Truth that is true for me” is irrelevant to anyone else, because it lacks any objective basis. Ultimately, therefore, existential faith is impotent to lift anyone above the level of despair. All it can do is seek more experiences and more feelings. Multitudes are trapped in the desperate cycle of feeding off one experience while zealously seeking the next. Such people have no real concept of truth; they just believe. Theirs is a reckless faith.MEANWHILE, AT THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM…Mysticism, however, is not the only form of reckless faith that threatens the contemporary church. A new movement has been gaining strength lately. Evangelicals are leaving the fold and moving into Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and liturgical high-church Protestantism. Rejecting the ever-changing subjectivism of a free- wheeling existential Protestantism, they seek a religion with historical roots. Turned off by the shallow silliness that has overrun the evangelical movement, they desire a more magisterial approach. Perhaps sensing the dangers of a religion that points people inward, they choose instead a religion that emphasizes external ceremonies and dogmatic hierarchical authority.I listened to the taped testimony of one of these converts to Roman Catholicism, a former Protestant minister. He said he had graduated with highest honors from a leading Protestant seminary. He told his audience that as a student he was rabidly anti-Catholic and fully committed to Protestant Reformed doctrine (although he refuted this himself by admitting he had already rejected the crucial doctrine of justification by faith). After college he began to read Roman Catholic writings and found himself drawn to Catholic theology and liturgy. He described his initial resistance to the doctrines of purgatory, the perpetual virginity of Mary, transubstantiation, and prayers to Mary and the saints. All of those doctrines are easily disproved by the Bible.14 But this man—acknowledging that he could find no warrant anywhere in Scripture for praying to Mary—nevertheless completely changed his outlook on such matters after he tried praying the rosary and received an answer to a very specific prayer. He concluded that it must have been Mary who answered his prayer and immediately began praying regularly to her. Ultimately, he decided the Bible alone was not a sufficient rule of faith for believers, and he put his faith in papal authority and church tradition.That man’s leap of faith may not have been of the existential variety, but it was a blind leap nonetheless. He chose the other extreme of reckless faith, the kind that makes extrabiblical religious tradition the object of one’s faith.This kind of faith is reckless because it subjugates the written Word of God to oral tradition, church authority, or some other human criterion. It is an uncritical trust in an earthly religious authority—the pope, tradition, a self-styled prophet like David Koresh, or whatever. Such faith rarely jettisons Scripture altogether—but by forcing God’s Word into the mold of religious tradition, it invalidates the Word of God and renders it of no effect (cf. Matt. 15:6).The man whose taped testimony I heard is now an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church. He speaks to Catholic congregations and tells them how to counter biblical arguments against Catholicism. At the end of his testimony tape, he deals briefly with the official Catholic attitude toward Scripture. He is eager to assure his listeners that the modern Roman Catholic Church has no objection if Catholic people want to read Scripture for themselves. Even personal Bible study is all right, he says—but then hastens to add that it is not necessary to go overboard. “A verse or two a day is enough.” This man, a seminary graduate, surely should be aware that a comment like that seriously understates the importance of the written Word of God. We are commanded to meditate on Scripture day and night (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2). We are to let it fill our hearts at all times (Deut. 6:6-9). We must study it diligently and handle it rightly (2 Tim. 2:15). The Bible alone is able to give us the wisdom that leads to salvation, then adequately equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15-17).Discernment depends on a knowledge of Scripture. Those who are content to listen gullibly to some voice of human authority rather than hearing God’s Word and letting it speak for itself cannot be discerning. Theirs is a reckless, irrational faith.We identified the inward-looking extreme of reckless faith as mysticism. We could call this other variety rote tradition. In Isaiah 29:13, that is precisely how God Himself characterized it: “This people their lip service, but draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote” (emphasis added).Scripture has nothing but condemnation for rote tradition. Barren religious ritual, sacerdotal formalism, or liturgy out of a book are not the same as worship. Real worship, like faith, must engage the mind. Jesus said, “The true worshipers … worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23).Did you realize that rote tradition was the very error for which Jesus condemned the Pharisees? He told them,“Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me. teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”He was also saying to them, “You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).Rote tradition is not unlike mysticism in that it also bypasses the mind. Paul said this of the Jews who were so absorbed in their empty religious traditions:I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:2-4).Their problem was not a lack of zeal. It was not that they were short on enthusiasm, emotionally flat, or slothful about religious observances. The issue was that the zeal they displayed was rote tradition, “not in accordance with knowledge.” They were not sufficiently discerning, and therefore their faith itself was deficient.Paul is specific in stating that their ignorance lay in trying to establish their own righteousness rather than submitting to the righteousness of God. This passage comes at the culmination of Paul’s doctrinal discussion in Romans. In context it is very clear that he was talking about the doctrine ofjustification by faith. He had thoroughly expounded this subject beginning in chapter 3. He said we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). Justification is “by faith apart from works of the Law” (v.28). “God reckons righteousness apart from works” (Rom. 4:6).But instead of seeking the perfect righteousness of Christ, which God reckons to those who believe, the unbelieving Jews had set out to try to establish a righteousness of their own through works. That is where rote tradition always leads. It is a religion of works. Thus the ritualistic, unbelieving Pharisees are an exact parallel to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and most forms of ritual-laden Protestantism. All of them deny justification by faith.If the Pharisees or their followers had used the Scriptures as their standard of truth rather than rabbinical tradition, they would have known that God justifies sinners by faith. Repeatedly, Jesus said things to them like “Did you never read in the Scriptures . . . ?” (Matt. 21:42); “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God” (22:29); and, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?” (John 3:10). What He continually chided them for was their ignorance of the Scriptures. They had set rote tradition in place of the written Word of God (Matt. 15:6), and they were condemned for it.Contrast the way Luke commended the Bereans for their noblemindedness: “For they received the word [the New Testament gospel from the apostles] with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures [the Old Testament books] daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:1 1). What made the Bereans worthy of commendation? Their eagerness to be discerning. They rightly refused to blindly accept anyone’s teaching (even that of the apostles) without clear warrant from God’s Word.Spiritual discernment is, I believe, the only antidote to the existentialism of our age. Until’Christians regain the will to test everything by the rule of Scripture, reject what is false, and hold fast to what is true, the church will struggle and falter, and our testimony to a world in sin will be impaired.But if the church will rise up and stand for the truth of God’s Word against all the lies of this evil world, then we will begin to see the power of truth that sets people free (John 8:32).Endnotes1. John W. Kennedy, “Hunting for Heresy,” Christianity Today (16 May 1994).2. Robert Bretall, cd., A Kierkegaard Anthology (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1946), 5 (emphasis in original).3. Ibid.4. Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling, Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, trans. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1983), 55.5. Ibid.6. Ibid., 57.7. Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, Edwyn C. Hoskyns, trans. (London: Oxford University Press, 1933). Barth cites Kierkegaard repeatedly in this, one of his earliest works.8. Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume I (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1982).9. Ibid., 53.10. Ibid., 55.11. Ibid., 58.12. Arthur L. Johnson, Faith Misguided: Exposing the Dangers of Mysticism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1988), 31-32.13. Schaeffer, 64-65, emphasis added.14. Purgatory: Luke 23:42-43 and 2 Cor. 5:8 indicate that believers go immediately to be with Christ at death. Perpetual Virginity of Mary: Matt. 1:25 states that Joseph kept Mary a virgin only until Jesus’ birth, and John 2:12 and Acts 1:14 reveal that Jesus had brothers. Transubstantiation: Heb. 7:27 and 10:12 teach that Christ made one sacrifice for sins forever; there is no need for the daily sacrifice of the Mass. Prayers to Mary and the saints: prayers, adoration, and spiritual veneration offered to anyone but God is expressly forbidden by the first commandment and elsewhere throughout Scripture (Ex. 20:3; Matt. 4:10; Acts 10:25-26; Rev. 19:10; Rev. 22:8-9).Excerpt from Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern, © 1994 by John MacArthur.We do pray this article has blessed you in some way.  Our prayer is that you will use this message to better understand what is happening in our churches today.Blessings,
Robert Wise

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 293) (Founding Fathers’ view on Christianity, Elbridge Gerry of MA)

April 10, 2013 – 7:02 am

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. There have […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding FathersPresident Obama | Edit |Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 5, John Hancock)

May 8, 2012 – 1:48 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 4, Elbridge Gerry)

May 7, 2012 – 1:46 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 3, Samuel Adams)

May 4, 2012 – 1:45 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 2, John Quincy Adams)

May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 1, John Adams)

May 2, 2012 – 1:13 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

President Obama and the Founding Fathers

May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

President Obama Speaks at The Ohio State University Commencement Ceremony Published on May 5, 2013 President Obama delivers the commencement address at The Ohio State University. May 5, 2013. You can learn a lot about what President Obama thinks the founding fathers were all about from his recent speech at Ohio State. May 7, 2013, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the founding fathers and their belief in inalienable rights

December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

Dr. C. Everett Koop with Bill Graham. Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit |Comments (1)

David Barton: In their words, did the Founding Fathers put their faith in Christ? (Part 4)

May 30, 2012 – 1:35 am

America’s Founding Fathers Deist or Christian? – David Barton 4/6 There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Tagged governor of connecticutjohn witherspoonjonathan trumbull | Edit | Comments (1)

Were the founding fathers christian?

May 23, 2012 – 7:04 am

3 Of 5 / The Bible’s Influence In America / American Heritage Series / David Barton There were 55 gentlemen who put together the constitution and their church affliation is of public record. Greg Koukl notes: Members of the Constitutional Convention, the most influential group of men shaping the political foundations of our nation, were […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

John Quincy Adams a founding father?

June 29, 2011 – 3:58 pm

I do  not think that John Quincy Adams was a founding father in the same sense that his  father was. However, I do think he was involved in the  early days of our government working with many of the founding fathers. Michele Bachmann got into another history-related tussle on ABC’s “Good  Morning America” today, standing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part E “Moral absolutes and abortion” Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 5(includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS) (editorial cartoon)

July 6, 2013 – 1:26 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Arkansas TimesFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit |Comments (0)

Article from Adrian Rogers, “Bring back the glory”

June 11, 2013 – 12:34 am

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the possibility that minorities may be mistreated under 51% rule

June 9, 2013 – 1:21 am

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ____________ The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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