A Sad Day for Religious Liberty

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock.  In legal parlance, they denied cert.  This means that the New Mexico Supreme Court opinion stands, which makes this a very sad day for the cause of religious liberty.

Elane Photography, LLC refused to photograph a homosexual commitment ceremony on the grounds that it violated their religious liberty and free speech rights.   Their argument had nothing to do with whether someone could legally practice homosexuality or celebrate it in some type of marriage-like ceremony.  Rather, they simply argued that they had the right to refuse to photograph such a ceremony due to the fact that it would violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs to do so.  It is a liberty-based argument, i.e., I shouldn’t be forced by the government to do things that violate my conscience.

The New Mexico Supreme Court, based upon the state’s anti-discrimination laws, disagreed.  The concurring opinion is sympathetic to Huguenins (the owners of Elane Photogrpahy, LLC), and therefore all the more chilling in its conclusions.  Basically, the court says that sincerely-held religious beliefs must be checked at the door when one enters the realm of commerce, and this Kantian separation of religious beliefs from the rest of life, particularly the public square, is a price of citizenship.  Here are the justice’s actual words: [click to continue…]

The Purpose of Christian Education — Preparation to Dominate Every Area of Life and Thought

In preparing for homeschool this semester, Heather and I are reading through R. J. Rushdoony‘s excellent book The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum.  In the following quote, he makes a great point about the purpose of Christian education, tying it in with the rejection of the secular-sacred distinction, the state of the modern church, and the ultimate goal of dominion over the earth.  Well worth the read.

[A] Christian liberal arts curriculum should enable the student to exercise dominion over the world.  The purpose of the Christian school should be to prepare generation after generation to dominate every area of life and thought.  A monastic education is not Christian.  It is not the legitimate purpose of the Christian school to prepare the child or student for a retreat from the world. [click to continue…]

Talking About Liberty at the Second Tuesday Constitution Meeting in Roanoke

Courtesy of the good folks over at the Second Tuesday Constitution group in Roanoke.  I gave this little talk there when I was running for the Regional Vice-Chairman position.  At that time, I thought I would be running in the Southern Region, but I eventually ran in and was elected in the Central Region.

Is There an Aragorn Out There Somewhere?

I want everyone in America, indeed everyone in the world, to have chocolate milk, if they like it.  I also want them to have a puppy or a bunny, if they want one.  Further, I want them to be the exact right temperature for them at all times—just like Baby Bear’s porridge, neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

And, I want them all to have healthcare.  But, that is not what yesterday’s court ruling is about, and that is not what the debate over Obamacare is really about, or at least should be about.  It’s not about whether healthcare or chocolate milk or puppies or comfortable temperatures are good things.  It is about liberty and our constitutional Republic.  It is about the rule of law.

After this ruling, there is no [click to continue…]

Critical Mass Meeting

The City of Lynchburg Mass Meeting is this coming Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Lynchburg City Library Public Meeting Room, 2315 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia.  This mass meeting will be absolutely critical to my winning the position of Central Region Vice Chairman of the Sixth District Congressional Committee.  I would really appreciate anyone who can possibly make it to the meeting coming out and supporting me this Tuesday and then on May 5 at the Convention.  (And, a big thanks to all those who turned out in Bedford!) [click to continue…]

Noah Webster on Voting and an Update on My Campaign

49.  When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God.  The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.  If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.  Intriguing men can never be safely trusted.  (Noah Webster’s Advice to the Young and Moral Catechism, pgs. 36-37)

Great quote from Mr. Webster.   He is certainly correct; it is incumbent upon all of us to do our duty and vote righteously.

Now for an update on my campaign. [click to continue…]

Regional Chairman Flyer

Well, here is our little brochure for tonight’s meeting or meetings.  I say meeting or meetings because late yesterday I found out that I my be in the Central Region instead of the Southern Region.  Thus, the flyer has the generic “Regional Vice Chairman” instead of “Vice Chairman for the Central Region” or “Vice Chairman for the Southern Region.”  Regardless of the outcome, I will go to the Botetourt meeting tonight.  However, if I am in the Southern Region, then I will go to the Botetourt and Roanoke County meetings.  Party politics certainly is interesting!

That said, if I end up in the Central Region, I will need the help of my friends in Lynchburg, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, City of Lexington, and Rockbridge, among perhaps a few other localities.  I will post more information as soon as I can.

(P.S. — Keep in mind, this is a tri-fold. So, it may look a little weird when viewed like this, but hopefully it makes more sense when printed!)

Much Will Depend Upon What We Now Decide

“I see the awful immensity of the dangers with which it is pregnant.—I see it—I  feel it.—I see beings of a higher order, anxious concerning our decision.  When I see beyond the horizon that binds human eyes, and look at the final consummation of all human things, and see those intelligent beings which inhabit aetherial mansions, reviewing the political decisions and revolutions which in the progress of time will happen in America, and consequent happiness or misery of mankind—I am led to believe that much of the account on one side or the other, will depend on what we now decide.”  As Henry spoke, a terrible storm rose outside the hall.  Fierce winds and roaring thunder forced him to conclude his speech.  Frightened members scurried to take cover.  For Henry’s biographer William Wirt, the “spirits whom he had called, seemed to have come at his bidding.”  (From Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, pgs. 206-207)

Patrick Henry gave the speech partly quoted above at Virginia’s convention on the ratification of the Constitution.  It is a little known fact that Patrick Henry, George Mason, and others in Virginia opposed the Constitution.  They feared that it provided the federal government with too much power, and that the state governments would eventually be overwhelmed by it. [click to continue…]

My Grandmother’s Misplaced Hope

In school I was given an assignment to interview someone who lived through the Great Depression.  As a young boy more concerned with Kentucky basketball than United States history, I did not necessarily appreciate the assignment.  As a grown man, it has become both a treasured memory and an ominous warning.

To fulfill the requirements of the assignment, I decided to interview my maternal grandmother, Jessie Rose.  My grandmother was born on December 7, 1930.  She grew up in rural eastern Kentucky.  Her father died when she was a young girl, and times were hard for her family.  She remembered winters where all of the meat and vegetables were gone and for months they had only lard and flour to eat.

She would work in the fields as hard as any man, my mom used to say, and then go in and cook for her family and all of the work hands.  She, like the generations before her, managed to somehow scratch a living out of the hills of Appalachia. [click to continue…]

Time to Get Involved: Upcoming Republican Party Meetings and Conventions

As I am sure everyone knows, the political season is really heating up.  That said, I have become convinced that we (and by “we,” I mean true pro-life, pro-family, limited government, pro-Constitution, Christian conservatives) must get involved in the political process.

A big part of the process goes on behind the scenes in the local political party meetings and conventions.  Enormously important issues are decided in these meetings and conventions, and I am getting involved and I would encourage everyone else to consider getting involved as well.  If we don’t, I fear that America is going to go the way of Europe.  We have already gone way too far down this path, and the only hope is for large numbers of people to get active in the process at all levels.  Voting, yes, of course, everyone should vote, but involvement beyond just showing up and voting is what is needed.

If you are interested in doing that, here are some ways to get active.  First, you should attend your local Republican Party mass meetings.  At these mass meetings, delegates to the 6th Congressional District Convention and State Convention are elected, often new party leadership is elected, candidates for various offices are nominated, etc.  Here is a list of some upcoming meetings:

Campbell County: April 8, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Board of Supervisors Room, Haberer Building, Courthouse Square, Rustburg, Virginia.  (http://campbellcountyrepublicans.com/)

Lynchburg: April 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Lynchburg City Library Public Meeting Room, 2315 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Bedford County: March 27, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the main Auditorium of the Bedford Center for Science and Technology, 600 Edmund St., Bedford Virginia.  (http://www.rpv.org/node/1203) [click to continue…]