free Obamaphones

Human Events Blog

And now, a word from the 47 Percent about their free Obamaphones

By: John Hayward 
9/27/2012
 

    The viral video sensation of the hour is a sad, terrifying, deliriously funny tirade from an Obama voter protesting at a Romney event, shrieking about the joys of her free “Obama phone” while declaring that “Romney sucks”: 

   

   I don’t think this is a put-on satire of the helpless, childish, angry dependency of the hard-core Obama voter, but if it is, this lady is a brilliant comedian.

   So, what’s the deal with those “Obama phone?”  A few urban-legend discussions of the topic can be found around the Internet, because a widely-forwarded viral email dating back to 2009 trumpets the “no joke” arrival of “Obamaphones.”
 
    A thorough review of the subject reveals that there is indeed a program to provide heavily subsidized cell phones for welfare recipients.  It’s an outgrowth of a program called Lifeline Assistance, which was established in 1996 by FCC mandate to help low-income people cover the cost of telephone installation.  It expanded to include assistance for cell phones in 2008, which is the year Obama got elected, but George Bush was president at the time.
 
    The qualifications for receiving assistance for this program haven’t changed since the Clinton years. “An applicant is generally eligible if they are at or below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (depending upon the state in which they live), or if they already participate in one of many public assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, public housing and others,” according to FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net.  Incentives are offered for bringing other denizens of Food Stamp Nation into the program.
 
    So it would be more accurate to describe these subsidized cell phones as “Bush phones” or “Clinton phones,” if one wanted to bring the name of a president into the discussion.  But maybe a better name would be “Sucker Phones,” in honor of the people who actually pay for them.  If you pay for your own phone, that would be you – the program is funded through a surcharge on your monthly phone bill, directed to the Universal Service Fund.

Violating the Constitution

More On Violating the Constitution
 
    In The Committee for the Constitution article Protect and Defend Or Tyranny and the Imperial Presidency quoting Matthew Spaulding, the willful violation of the Constitutional intention by Obama and liberal politicians is clearly exposed. Moving ever onward in arrogance and total disregard of the “supreme law of the land” to which “senators and representatives . . . , the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states shall be bound, by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution”, their repetitive violations of their oaths of office have escalated beyond the tolerable level expressed in the Declaration of Independence. “[I]t is [our] right, it is [our] duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for [our] future security.”
 
    The recent egregious violation arbitrarily and capriciously removing the work requirement from welfare reform is an act that must be rejected by every loyal American. Standing in direct opposition to the very foundation of the American economic system, the socialist agenda destroying every person’s “unalienable Rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” must be resoundingly defeated. Even the Government Accountability Office in early September issued a report that stated the waivers the administration had announced could not be accomplished unilaterally and needed, instead, to be submitted to Congress for approval.
 
    Coupled with the failure to protect Americans from the terrorism and attacks of Islamic radicals, failing to support our best ally in the Middle East – Israel, trying to rob us of our basic 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, our “enemies, foreign and domestic” must have their power to harm those seeking “justice for all” completely destroyed. America is under attack!
 

The collapse of the Obama strategy against radical Islamists

 
 
The collapse of the Obama strategy against radical Islamists

 

 
 By: Newt Gingrich
9/19/2012 09:22 AM

The real meaning of the violence of the last week across the Muslim world is the bankruptcy and collapse of the Obama strategy which began with his speech in Cairo. President Obama had a deep conviction that pandering to Islamic sympathies, identifying with the virtues of Islam and parroting phrases that sounded good would lead to a deeper acceptance of the United States by Muslims.

While reaching out to “mainstream Muslims,” the Obama strategy would wage selective war against designated enemies. The Obama administration decided to ignore concerns of sovereignty and to kill terrorists with stepped up drone attacks.

It apparently did not occur to the Obama team that the enemy could and would react.

The killing of the American ambassador to Libya was apparently a direct retaliation for the American killing in Pakistan of a Libyan senior al Qaeda commander. The Obama administration has desperately sought to spin all the violence as caused by one hostile anti-Muslim movie.

Once again Obama and the elite media blame America for the hostility of others. In their ideology it is much safer for America to be the bad guys. Then we can excuse the violence, the attack on embassies, the burning of the American flag, the destruction of American businesses and American schools. In the Obama-elite media worldview that is all somehow the result of American provocation.

“If only some American hadn’t made a bad movie, everything would be ok,” is the view the Obama administration and the elite media has exuded.

There are three things profoundly wrong with this analysis.

1. The Libyans reject it as a matter of fact.

2. It confuses excuse with cause.

3. It suggests a solution which would subordinate American civilization to Islamic supremacists.

First, al Qaeda has asserted the attack on the American ambassador to Libya was a revenge killing. Senior Libyan officials have rejected the idea that the Benghazi violence was caused by the anti-Muslim film. They see no relationship between the Egyptian riots against the film and the team of killers who tracked down Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The Obama administration is desperate to avoid linkage between predator strikes in Pakistan and the deliberate revenge killing in Benghazi. That would undermine all their assertions about the collapse of al Qaeda. It would bring into doubt their claims for an Arab Spring democracy movement. If this is an act of war, as I asserted last week in Politico, then all the Obama and media assertions about “senseless violence” begin to look as shallow, silly and self-deceiving as they are.

Second, the last week of violence stretching from London to Australia is a signal about the depth of anti-American and anti-Western passion among radical Islamists.

The silly anti-Muslim film was an excuse for violence not the cause of it. It joins the Danish cartoon incident as another example of the deliberate use of Western freedom as an excuse for violence.

The Iranian announcement that they had increased the bounty for killing Salman Rushdie for his novels was one more piece of this violence against any challenge to Islamic supremacy.

We have to be clear that the real problem is not the movie but the hatred, the bigotry, the mass hysteria of religious fanatics who see their values threatened by modernity and are in a desperate fight to impose their values on the world.

Third, the very dangerous game the Obama administration and the elite media are playing in suggesting that we censor American words and American art in order to appease Muslim religious fanatics has to be directly challenged.

As a Christian, these same left wing media elites have lectured me for years about the authenticity of “art” involving Christ immersed in urine or Mary smeared with elephant dung. We have been told again and again that we have to put blasphemous speech and obscenely offensive items in taxpayer funded museums.

Now these same left wingers are explaining that it is OK to censor in order to appease Muslims. The White House is begging Google to remove the video from YouTube.

No American should tolerate this hypocritical double standard.

Welfare Reform – Heritage Foundation

 
 
An Overview of Obama’s End Run on Welfare Reform
By
September 20, 2012

In July of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted itself authority to “waive compliance” with all of the work provisions in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

HHS has declared that the work requirements written in the law are no longer legally binding on state governments and that they can and will be replaced by alternative rules devised unilaterally by the HHS bureaucracy. This action grossly violates the intent and letter of the welfare reform law.

1996 Reform Was Successful

In 1996, Congress enacted welfare reform legislation that replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with TANF. The immediate effects of welfare reform were striking. During the four decades prior to the 1996 welfare reform, the welfare caseload had never significantly decreased.

By 1995, nearly one in seven children was on AFDC. Within just a few years of TANF’s implementation, however, the caseload was cut in half, and employment rates and earnings among single mothers soared.[1] Child poverty rates declined significantly. Roughly 3 million fewer children lived in poverty in 2003 than in 1995, including 1.2 million fewer black children, marking the lowest level of black child poverty in the nation’s history.[2]

Federal work requirements in the TANF program form the foundation of the popular welfare reform law of 1996. These work standards have three parts: They require (1) 30–40 percent of able-bodied TANF recipients (2) to engage in any of 12 different work activities (3) for 20–30 hours per week.

What HHS Wants to Do

In its guidance memorandum and related documents, HHS outlined the types of changes it was seeking in the TANF program. HHS stated that it would:

  • Lower the already lenient work participation rates in TANF by exempting substantial and loosely defined groups of recipients from the work rates;
  • Likely broaden the definition of “work activities”;
  • Replace the requirement that recipients engage in work activities for 20–30 hours per week with looser standards, perhaps as little as one hour per week; and
  • Replace the TANF work participation requirements entirely with alternative standards based on “employment exits.”

All of these changes are likely to substantially increase the number of TANF recipients who receive a check without working.

The “Employment Exits” Red Herring

Stung by criticism that it was weakening the work requirements in welfare, the Obama Administration released a subsequent letter stating that some or all of the states receiving future waivers would be required to increase the number of recipients who left welfare due to employment by 20 percent or at least to make progress toward that target. In reality, this is a miniscule change. To meet this standard, the typical state would merely need to increase the number of monthly “employment exits” from 1.5 percent of caseload to 1.8 percent.

States have kept statistics on employment exits for decades, but they have always been meaningless as a measure of success. Why? Because welfare caseloads always have routine turnover. The larger the caseload, the greater the number of exits—simply because there are more people in the system.

Historically, the number of employment exits rises as welfare caseloads rise and falls when welfare caseloads fall; increases in employment exits are negatively correlated to reductions in caseloads and dependence. For this reason, Congress deliberately excluded “employment exits” as a performance measure when crafting the 1996 welfare reform law.

Now the Obama Administration seeks to make “employment exits” the central performance standard of a radically revised TANF program. Paradoxically, by this standard, the old pre-reform AFDC program was a stunning success: Employment exits nearly doubled in the decade before reform, and caseloads increased by a third. By contrast, the post-reform TANF program has been a decided failure: Both exits and caseloads have fallen. The Obama Administration is not merely gutting welfare reform; it is standing it on its head.

Restore and Expand Work Requirements

Some 95 percent of the public believe that able-bodied recipients of government aid should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving assistance.[3] By that standard, the existing TANF work rules are already too lenient. Half of able-bodied TANF recipients receive a welfare check but perform no activity at all.

In addition, the federal government runs over 80 means-tested welfare programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to low-income individuals. In 2011, the cost of these programs was $927 billion. Over 100 million Americans received benefits from these programs at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. At the beginning of the year, only three of these 80 programs had a significant work requirement: the earned income refundable credit, the additional child refundable credit, and TANF. Now, in many states, the TANF work requirements will be weakened or eliminated.

Government should take the opposite course. The work participation rates in TANF should be increased to cover more recipients. In the long term, strong work participation standards should be established in other programs such as food stamps, public housing, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid. Regrettably, the Obama Administration is marching briskly in the opposite direction.

[1]See Robert Rector and Patrick Fagan, “The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1620, February 6, 2003, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2003/02/the-continuing-good-news.

[2]Ibid.

[3]See Robert Rector, “Obama’s End Run on Welfare Reform, Part One: Understanding Workfare,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2730, September 19, 2012, footnote 6, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/obamas-end-run-on-welfare-reform-part-one-understanding-workfare#_ftn6

—Robert Rector is Senior Research Fellow in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation.

Culture Watch: Weekly Round-Up on Family, Religion and Civil
Society

September 20, 2012

Listening to Local Voices on Poverty
by Jennifer Marshall and Robert L. Woodson

 
    When the Obama Administration announced that it will waive the work requirement in welfare reform, it wasn’t just a bad idea that will roll back one of the most celebrated reforms of the past 25 years. It also showed disregard for the leaders of some of the nation’s poorest communities.

    These leaders had cried out against the corrosive effects of the old welfare system on neighborhoods, families and the spirit of individual responsibility. Their testimonies to the destructiveness of government dependence played an important part in shaping welfare reform. In 1995, they formed a task force charged by House Speaker Newt Gingrich with informing the legislative effort to reform the old welfare system.

    As a result of the historic reform law Congress enacted in 1996, welfare rolls dropped by half and poverty among black children fell to its lowest level on record in America as families moved to independence from the welfare state.

Despite that success, there is much more work to be done. That’s why a new generation of grassroots leaders came to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12-13 for an antipoverty summit. The 25 leaders met with today’s welfare reformers in Congress, led by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and other members of the Republican Study Committee, in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and The Heritage Foundation.

    These neighborhood leaders from across the nation have addressed effectively the most entrenched problems of poverty in many of America’s most devastated communities. Their approach promotes principles of personal responsibility, reciprocity and opportunity with a goal of empowering families to achieve upward mobility and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.

    In our nation’s capital, they told members of Congress how they achieved their victories, explained what resources and support could help replicate their programs on a larger scale and identified policy barriers that block greater success.

    The strategies of these leaders, who live in the impoverished neighborhoods they serve, stand in sharp contrast to the conventional approach to fighting poverty. That approach fosters dependency and has absorbed almost $20 trillion of taxpayers’ money since President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty in the mid-1960s. Today, government spends nearly $1 trillion a year on 80 federal programs for the poor.

    What’s the return on investment? At the outset of the War on Poverty, 8 percent of children overall were born outside marriage each year. Today, the overall “unwed birth rate” has shot to 41 percent, and among blacks, a staggering 72 percent of children are born to single mothers.

    The U.S. Census Bureau, releasing its annual poverty numbers Sept. 12, said the nation’s official poverty rate in 2011 held steady at 15 percent, with 46.2 million Americans in poverty. It’s bad news, even after three consecutive years of increases. But even worse is the persistently high level of poverty in good economic times or bad, particularly among children.

    The strongest factor in child poverty is absence of marriage. Overall, marriage reduces the probability of child poverty by more than 80 percent. If we want to fight poverty and welfare dependence, it’s urgent that we restore marriage. 

    More than a decade ago, the late Michael Joyce, president of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, addressed members of Congress on why it was critical to hear from such grassroots leaders:

There’s no better place to learn the language of civic renewal than from those who are actually doing it. They capture and convey to the public the ideal of a revitalized civil society, as our best means to protect even the most vulnerable, to tackle even the toughest problems. They are full of the practical wisdom that comes from working every day with real people in the neighborhoods on real problems.

    Joyce’s message – “listen to these folks,” he urged – continues to be sound advice for civic leaders and citizens across America as we face unprecedented economic and social challenges.

Poverty rates are higher among single-mother families, regardless of race.

     Among whites, single-mother families are more than six times more likely to be poor than married-couple families. The ratio is also high among African-Americans, Asian-Americans (four times more likely), and Hispanics (more than twice as likely).

Poverty rates for families with children, by mother’s marital status.

Poverty rates are higher among single-mother families, regardless of race

The Case for the Necessity of the Original Interpretation of the Constitution – David F. Forte

The Originalist Perspective

David F. Forte
Professor of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

 

    Written constitutionalism implies that those who make, interpret, and enforce the law ought to be guided by the meaning of the United States Constitution—the supreme law of the land—as it was originally written. This view came to be seriously eroded over the course of the last century with the rise of the theory of the Constitution as a “living document” with no fixed meaning, subject to changing interpretations according to the spirit of the times.

    In 1985, Attorney General Edwin Meese III delivered a series of speeches challenging the then-dominant view of constitutional jurisprudence and calling for judges to embrace a “jurisprudence of original intention.” There ensued a vigorous debate in the academy, as well as in the popular press, and in Congress itself over the prospect of an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution. Some critics found the idea too vague to be pinned down; others believed that it was impossible to find the original intent that lay behind the text of the Constitution. Some rejected originalism in principle, as undemocratic (though it is clear that the Constitution was built upon republican rather than democratic principles), unfairly binding the present to the choices of the past.

    As is often the case, the debate was not completely black and white. Some nonoriginalists do not think that the Framers intended anything but the text of the Constitution to be authoritative, and they hold that straying beyond the text to the intentions of various Framers is not an appropriate method of interpretation. In that, one strain of originalism agrees. On the other hand, many prominent nonoriginalists think that it is not the text of the Constitution per se that ought to be controlling but rather the principles behind the text that can be brought to bear on contemporary issues in an evolving manner.

    Originalism, in its various and sometimes conflicting versions, is today the dominant theory of constitutional interpretation. On the one hand, as complex as an originalist jurisprudence may be, the attempt to build a coherent nonoriginalist justification of Supreme Court decisions (excepting the desideratum of following stare decisis, even if the legal principle had been wrongly begun) seems to have failed. At the same time, those espousing originalism have profited from the criticism of nonoriginalists, and the originalist enterprise has become more nuanced and self-critical as research into the Founding period continues to flourish. Indeed, it is fair to say that this generation of scholars knows more about what went into the Constitution than any other since the time of the Founding. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, in a significant sense “we are all originalists” now.

    This is true of both “liberal” and “conservative” judges. For example, in United States Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995), Justices John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas engaged in a debate over whether the Framers intended the Qualifications Clauses (Article I, Section 2, Clause 2 and Article I, Section 3, Clause 3) to be the upper limit of what could be required of a person running for Congress. In Wallace v. Jaffree (1985), Justice William H. Rehnquist expounded on the original understanding of the Establishment Clause (Amendment I), which Justice David Souter sought to rebut in Lee v. Weisman (1992). Even among avowed originalists, fruitful debate takes place. In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995), Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia disputed whether the anonymous pamphleteering of the Founding generation was evidence that the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment was meant to protect such a practice.

    Originalism is championed for a number of fundamental reasons. First, it comports with the nature of a constitution, which binds and limits any one generation from ruling according to the passion of the times. The Framers of the Constitution of 1787 knew what they were about, forming a frame of government for “ourselves and our Posterity.” They did not understand “We the people” to be merely an assemblage of individuals at any one point in time but a “people” as an association, indeed a number of overlapping associations, over the course of many generations, including our own. In the end, the Constitution of 1787 is as much a constitution for us as it was for the Founding generation.

    Second, originalism supports legitimate popular government that is accountable. The Framers believed that a form of government accountable to the people, leaving them fundamentally in charge of their own destinies, best protected human liberty. If liberty is a fundamental aspect of human nature, then the Constitution of 1787 should be defended as a successful champion of human freedom. Originalism sits in frank gratitude for the political, economic, and spiritual prosperity midwifed by the Constitution and the trust the Constitution places in the people to correct their own errors.

    Third, originalism accords with the constitutional purpose of limiting government. It understands the several parts of the federal government to be creatures of the Constitution, and to have no legitimate existence outside of the Constitution. The authority of these various entities extends no further than what was devolved upon them by the Constitution. “[I]n all free States the Constitution is fixd,” Samuel Adams wrote, “& as the supreme Legislative derives its Power & Authority from the Constitution, it cannot overleap the Bounds of it without destroying its own foundation.”

    Fourth, it follows that originalism limits the judiciary. It prevents the Supreme Court from asserting its will over the careful mix of institutional arrangements that are charged with making policy, each accountable in various ways to the people. Chief Justice John Marshall, overtly deferring to the intention of the Framers, insisted that “that the framers of the constitution contemplated that instrument, as a rule for the government of courts, as well as of the legislature.” In words that judges and academics might well contemplate today, Marshall said,

Why otherwise does it direct the judges to take an oath to support it? This oath certainly applies, in an especial manner, to their conduct in their official character. How immoral to impose it on them, if they were to be used as the instruments, and the knowing instruments, for violating what they swear to support! (Marbury v. Madison)

    Fifth, supported by recent research, originalism comports with the understanding of what our Constitution was to be by the people who formed and ratified that document. It affirms that the Constitution is a coherent and interrelated document, with subtle balances incorporated throughout. Reflecting the Founders’ understanding of the self-motivated impulses of human nature, the Constitution erected devices that work to frustrate those impulses while leaving open channels for effective and mutually supporting collaboration. It is, in short, a remarkable historical achievement, and unbalancing part of it could dismantle the sophisticated devices it erected to protect the people’s liberty.

    Sixth, originalism, properly pursued, is not result-oriented, whereas much nonoriginalist writing is patently so. If evidence demonstrates that the Framers understood the commerce power, for example, to be broader than we might wish, then the originalist ethically must accept the conclusion. If evidence shows that the commerce power was to be more limited than it is permitted to be today, then the originalist can legitimately criticize governmental institutions for neglecting their constitutional duty. In either case, the originalist is called to be humble in the face of facts. The concept of the Constitution of 1787 as a good first draft in need of constant revision and updating—encapsulated in vague phrases such as the “living Constitution”—merely turns the Constitution into an unwritten charter to be developed by the contemporary values of sitting judges.

    Discerning the Founders’ original understanding is not a simple task. There are the problems of the availability of evidence; the reliability of the data; the relative weight of authority to be given to different events, personalities, and organizations of the era; the relevance of subsequent history; and the conceptual apparatus needed to interpret the data. Originalists differ among themselves on all these points and sometimes come to widely divergent conclusions. Nevertheless, the values underlying originalism do mean that the quest, as best as we can accomplish it, is a moral imperative.

    How does one go about ascertaining the original meaning of the Constitution? All originalists begin with the text of the Constitution, the words of a particular clause. In the search for the meaning of the text and its legal effect, originalist researchers variously look to the following:

    • The evident meaning of the words.
    • The meaning according to the lexicon of the times.
    • The meaning in context with other sections of the Constitution.
    • The meaning according to the words by the Framer suggesting the language.
    • The elucidation of the meaning by debate within the Constitutional Convention.
    • The historical provenance of the words, particularly their legal history.
    • The words in the context of the contemporaneous social, economic, and political events.
    • The words in the context of the revolutionary struggle.
    • The words in the context of the political philosophy shared by the Founding generation, or by the particular interlocutors at the Convention.
    • Historical, religious, and philosophical authority put forward by the Framers.
    • The commentary in the ratification debates.
    • The commentary by contemporaneous interpreters, such as Publius in The Federalist.
    • The subsequent historical practice by the Founding generation to exemplify the understood meaning (e.g., the actions of President Washington, the First Congress, and Chief Justice Marshall).
    • Early judicial interpretations.
    • Evidence of long-standing traditions that demonstrate the people’s understanding of the words.

    As passed down by William Blackstone and later summarized by Joseph Story, similar interpretive principles guided the Framing generation itself. It is the legal effect of the words in the text that matters, and its meaning is to be determined by well-known and refined rules of interpretation supplemented, where helpful, by the understanding of those who drafted the text and the legal culture within which they operated. As Chief Justice Marshall put it,

To say that the intention of the instrument must prevail; that this intention must be collected from its words; that its words are to be understood in that sense in which they are generally used by those for whom the instrument was intended; that its provisions are neither to be restricted into insignificance, nor extended to objects not comprehended in them, nor contemplated by its framers; — is to repeat what has been already said more at large, and is all that can be necessary. (Ogden v. Saunders, Marshall, C. J., dissenting, 1827)

    Marshall’s dialectical manner of parsing a text, seeking its place in the coherent context of the document, buttressed by the understanding of those who drafted it and the generally applicable legal principles of the time are exemplified by his classic opinions in Marbury v. Madison (1803), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), and Barron v. Baltimore (1833). Both Marshall’s ideological allies and enemies, such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, utilized the same method of understanding.

    Originalism does not remove controversy, or disagreement, but it does cabin it within a principled constitutional tradition that makes real the Rule of Law. Without that, we are destined, as Aristotle warned long ago, to fall into the “rule of men.”

    With its format of brief didactic essays, the work that follows does not seek to be a thorough defense of originalism against its critics, nor does it choose which strains of originalism or which authorities are to be accorded greater legitimacy than others. But it does respect the originalist endeavor. Each contributor was asked to include a description of the original understanding of the meaning of the clause, as far as it can be determined, and to note and explain any credible and differing originalist interpretations.

From the Framers’ Intention to the Present Economic and Political Disaster

The Forefathers Monument: Faith
by Dr. Marshall Foster
This is the first in a 5-part series on the Forefathers Monument.

 

    This spring, a landmark documentary, Monumental will hit theaters across America. The film, starring Kirk Cameron, centers on the rediscovery of the matrix of liberty carved into a 180 ton granite monument. The Forefathers Monument stands on a forgotten hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The central figure of the Forefathers Monument is: Faith.

 

    Faith is the heart of the monument. She is a large 36 ft., classically draped female standing with one foot on Plymouth Rock. Her right hand is pointing to heaven and her left hand holds a Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Pilgrims. This signifies that America’s forefathers had faith in the God of the Bible which was the very core of their liberty. The star on Faith’s forehead illustrates the divine light imparting biblical wisdom to every area of life. Faith was the precedent and inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.

 

    Why is Faith so important in the struggle to restore liberty and prosperity to America? It is crucial because man is inescapably religious. All cultures are built upon some form of religious faith.

 

    In comparison to biblical Christianity, what have other faiths produced throughout history? Is it true, as the multi-cultural advocates suggest that many religious faiths created the modern western world as we know it? Historian Rodney Stark gives us a realistic picture of what the world would be like if it were dominated by other religions such as the polytheistic gods of Greece or Rome, or the non-theistic gods of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He says, “Christianity created Western Civilization…without a theology committed to reason, progress, and moral equality [Christianity], today the entire world would be about where non-European societies were in, say, 1800. A world with many astrologers and alchemists but no scientists. A world of despots, lacking universities, banks, factories, eyeglasses, chimneys, and pianos. A world where most infants do not live to the age of five and many women die in childbirth – a world truly living in the dark ages.” A host of other brilliant historians agree.

 

    This is why faith is so important. As the Bible teaches, our faith determines our eternal relationship with God. It also determines whether our life will bring liberty or tyranny to men and nations. Christianity was the primary source of all of our institutions. Author Dinesh D’Souza says, referring to Europe (and the roots of America), “Slowly and surely, Christianity took this backward continent and gave it learning and order, stability and dignity…Where there was once wasteland they produced hamlets, then towns, and eventually commonwealths and cities. Through the years the savage barbarian warrior became a chivalric Christian knight, and new ideals of civility and manners and romance were formed that shape our society to this day…Christianity is responsible for the way our society is organized and for the way we currently live. So extensive is the Christian contribution to our laws, our economics, our politics, our arts, our calendar, our holidays, and our moral and cultural priorities that historian J. M. Roberts writes in The Triumph of the West, ‘We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.’”

 

    The American people’s daily choices determine their ultimate allegiance or faith. Will they choose the State as God, one of a panoply of non-Christian alternative gods, or will Americans galvanize to the right choice – the God of their ancestors, the biblical God, the only true God? That is the ultimate decision which determines the future of generations to come.

 

    The above decisions cannot be forced. If the American people, for example, determine that they want to continue down the road of secular humanism or the worship of man, then they are free to do so and face the consequences. Friedrich Nietzsche, the founder of modern Nihilism and Atheism, states that if society rejects Christianity then that will mean the end of any hope of maintaining human equality and rights. Nietzsche said, “Another Christian concept, no less crazy: the concept of equality of souls before God. This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.” The civilizing influence of Christianity brings all men equal and accountable before a loving God.

 

    Biblical Christianity is proven to be historically accurate. The Bible is inerrant. It is the only book in all of history that claims one true God. Its predictive history has been proven over thousands of years. The Bible’s structure of the institutions of the family, the church, and the state are incomparable. They bring liberty, stability, and charity like no other faith.

 

    It must be proclaimed that Biblical Christianity has blessed the world with equal rights, free enterprise prosperity, scientific discovery, inventions, etc. Most importantly it saves us from eternal separation from God through the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Stark says it well. “The modern world arose only in Christian societies. Not in Islam. Not in Asia. Not in a “secular” society – there having been none. And all the modernization that has since occurred outside Christendom was imported from the West, often brought by colonizers and missionaries.”

 

    The above statements regarding the superiority of the Christian faith to all other religions are but a drop in the ocean of historical proof that rings down to us clearly through the ages. Faith in the God of the Bible brings liberty. Those who desire to be blessed personally and nationally must first bow in Faith, and accept the first proclamation of God to Moses on Mt. Sinai, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”

 

    British historian Niall Ferguson documents the point that it is not our external enemies or the existential fears of our current malaise that are driving our culture into decline. He says. “…the real threat posed is not by the rise of China, Islam, or CO2 emissions, but by our own loss of faith in the civilization we inherited from our ancestors.”

 

    If we desire to rediscover the strategy that produced the most prosperous and free civilization in all of human history, then we must first personally commit ourselves to the Faith of our ancestors as seen in the central figure in the Forefathers Monument. As we look to God and study His infallible Word, we can expect to be given wisdom for our present day and solutions to our growing national crisis.

 

 
The Forefathers Monument: Morality
by Dr. Marshall Foster
This is the second in a 5-part series on the Forefathers Monument.

 

    There is good news in America. Our hope as a nation shining above all others is that our forefathers brought to our shores a national treasure. They unloaded this treasure at Plymouth Harbor in November of 1620. It was not in chests that could be lost at sea like a pirate’s booty. The treasure was indelibly planted into the hearts and minds of every suffering man, woman, and child who came. It enabled them to create out of a wilderness the most free and prosperous nation in human history.

 

    The value of this national treasure and the cost of losing it was described by Daniel Webster in 1820. Speaking of the Pilgrims, he said, “Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence though all their institutions, civil, political, or literary [the media of their time].”

 

    He also said, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” Could this be the reason that Americans are facing the possible loss of our freedoms and prosperity?

 

    Our ancestors left us a plan, a roadmap back to freedom and prosperity knowing that we might lose our way. They built a magnificent monument, now hidden away in a small village in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was lovingly planned and built over the course of 70 years, from 1820-1890. Yet today the Forefathers Monument stands neglected and almost forgotten.

 

    The Forefathers Monument, the largest granite monument in America, stands 86 feet high and weighs 180 tons. The center of the monument is a classically draped female entitled Faith. Her right hand is raised pointing to heaven and her left hand holds a Bible. Facing out from Faith are four smaller statues (about 20 tons each). The first of these is Morality. Morality is represented by a seated female statue holding the Ten Commandments in one hand and the scroll of Revelation in the other. These represent the standard of Morality which comes from both the Old and New Testaments. Images carved on both sides of the statue are that of a Prophet and an Evangelist. These indicate that the power of morality comes from the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

    This internal Morality, character, or virtue that is essential for liberty includes: self-government, patience, faith, diligence, courage, long-suffering, godliness, kindness, and Christian love. The noble and simple story of the Pilgrims at Plymouth portrays the true meaning of Morality and virtue.

 

    U.S. Senator George Hoar addressed the State House in Boston in 1897. He had become convinced that Pilgrim Governor William Bradford’s history Of Plymouth Plantation was “the most precious on earth” with the exception of the four gospels. In the presence of a large gathering of government representatives and rulers he said that the Bradford diary was the only authentic history of what we have a right to consider the most important political transaction that has ever taken place on the face of the earth.

    “There is nothing like it in human annals since the story of Bethlehem. These Englishmen and Englishwomen going out from their homes in beautiful Lincoln and York, wife separating from husband and mother from child in that hurried embarkation for Holland, pursued to the beach by English horsemen; the thirteen years of exile; the life at Amsterdam ‘in alley foul and lane obscure’; the dwelling at Leyden; the embarkation at Delfthaven; the farewell of Robinson; the terrible voyage across the Atlantic; the compact in the harbor; the landing on the rock; the dreadful first winter; the death roll of more than half the number; the days of suffering and of famine…the building of the State on those sure foundations which no wave or tempest has ever shaken; the breaking of the new light; the dawning of the new day; the beginning of the new life; the enjoyment of peace with liberty, – of all these things this is the original record by the hand of our beloved father and founder.”

 

    Governor Wolcott then said that the Pilgrims in Plymouth suffered greatly for a great cause, “but their noble purpose was not doomed to defeat, but was carried to perfect victory. They established what they planned. Their feeble plantation became the birthplace of religious liberty, the cradle of a free commonwealth. To them a mighty nation owns its debt…they have made the civilized world their debtor.” He then spoke of the “conscience, courage, and faith, set in the web by that little band. May God in His mercy grant that the moral impulse which founded this nation may never cease to control its destiny.”

    Today, as Christians we must help answer the above prayer. We have nearly spent this immeasurable inheritance. It is time for us as Christians to work and sacrifice for our children and grandchildren as “forefathers” did for us. There is great hope for the future if we return much of our focus to the bottom-up strategy of victory which our forefathers left us. Our founders were united in the belief that morality and virtue were absolutely essential for freedom.

 

    Our second President John Adams once stated, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice [greed], ambition, revenge… would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

 

    His cousin, Samuel Adams was the leader of the patriot revolution. He said,

   “A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. If virtue and knowledge are di used among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”

 

    “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

 

    “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”

    The bottom-up, internal to external strategy of liberty is found in the Forefathers Monument. The strategy of liberty beginning with faith, morality, and self-government is our great hope!

 

 
The Forefathers Monument: Liberty Under Law
by Dr. Marshall Foster
This is the third in a 5-part series on the Forefathers Monument.

 

    What would football be without rules? It would be mayhem and chaos. Millions of Americans know the rules/laws of football very well. But do they even know or have as much passion for the laws that affect all of their wealth, their children, and everything they do in the biggest game of all – the game of life?

 

    For centuries America’s laws were the foundation of a liberty never before known. These laws were few, just, and merciful. They were based upon what was referred to as the Divine Law, the Laws of God, the Laws of Good and Evil, the Ten Commandments, or what George Washington called the Eternal Rules of Order and Right.

 

    Our forefathers knew the historical proven truth that only a society following God’s precepts can be truly blessed. Our ancestors left us a strategy to restore our nation if we were ever to fall away from this truth. This matrix of liberty is portrayed on the Forefathers Monument in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It teaches us that a restoration of a just society under the rule of law is the only hope of maintaining liberty and avoiding tyranny.

 

    America’s liberty and lasting constitutional republic was the fruit of 1,000 years of development of Christian civil laws based upon the Scriptures. Living in the 9th century, Alfred the Great, England’s greatest King was a devout and wise believer. He wrote many of the laws of Moses beginning with the Ten Commandments and selections of the gospels as the First laws of the Common Laws of England.

 

    Three centuries later, in 1215, Magna Carta carried on this development of the rule of law based on the same Biblical foundations as the English Common Law. This document became the cornerstone of the constitution of England. It was written to limit the wicked King John and all other future rulers from controlling the church, imprisoning any of the people without due process, and taking their wealth from them through over-taxation and oppressive regulations.

 

    Four centuries later, after many struggles and much persecution, the story of liberty emerged again in England. The Bible began to be translated and distributed for all people to read. It is at this moment that the Pilgrims from Scrooby, England, entered the stage of history. They became the conduit of freedom that birthed our blessed nation of liberty under law.

 

    Coming to America in 1620, the Pilgrims followed the common law legal tradition of England. They wrote the Mayflower Compact in which they agreed to establish just laws in a new land. Their civil laws reflected their Biblical faith and were voted in by free elections of the people. The settlers who immigrated in the coming decades followed the compact theory of law of the Pilgrims. As early as 1638, the Connecticut Constitution, which was the model for the U.S. Constitution, stated, “The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people, by God’s allowance…The privilege of election…must not be exercised according to their humors [whims], but according to the blessed will and law of God.”

 

    As the colonies grew and charters and laws were written, each one of the Ten Commandments was adopted as law by 12 of the 13 original colonies. Even Rhode Island, the only exception, established the last six of the Ten Commandments in its legal structure.

 

    The Ten Commandments and the “rule of law” were the people’s choice as the foundation of law for America’s founding generation. America’s 6th president, John Quincy Adams, says, “From the day of the Declaration… they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.”

 

    The United States Constitution was also based on these unchanging principles. The Constitution derives its fundamental, world-changing concepts from the Hebrew republic and Laws of God. These Biblical principles include the three branches of government, the separation of powers, checks and balances, the right of trial by jury and equality of all people before the law. The Constitution also severely limits the power of the national government and directs almost all powers in the nation down to the states and the people.

 

    Only after the Civil War, and the founding of Harvard Law School with its first dean, Christopher Columbus Langdell, did America’s legal system begin to shift away from its Biblical foundations. Harvard jettisoned 900 years of Christian legal theory and the wisdom of William Blackstone’s Commentaries which were the standard of the age. Langdell, a devout evolutionist, applied Darwin’s theory to law, creating a new religious foundation for “justice.” He taught an ever-changing, evolutionary set of laws, adjusted by the judges to fit the whims of their own religious preference. Case law, not divine wisdom and justice, was the new plumline of truth. Judges and legislatures, especially in the 20th century, slowly began to reinterpret and pervert justice based on a new religion, secular humanism (man is god).

 

    John Jay, America’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, clearly stated the solution for our downward spiral into humanistic law and tyranny. He said, “No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion applied and accepted by all the classes. Should our republic ere forget this fundamental precept of governance, men are certain to shed their responsibilities for licentiousness and this great experiment will then surely be doomed.”

 

    We need not give up. The future is not in the hands of elite humanists or even in the hands of “the people,” our hope rests in the unstoppable force of the covenant people of God – the church – awakened and empowered by the “King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2). As Samuel Johnson said, “the hidden origin of all power, all [per]suasion, and all purpose, is the assemblage of the covenant people: the church.”

 

The Forefathers Monument: Education

by Dr. Marshall Foster
 
 

This is the fourth in a 5-part series on the Forefathers Monument.
    It has been said that an ignorant people cannot be a free people. For thousands of years everyday people throughout the world were oppressed in tyranny and had virtually no opportunity for education. An elite group of tyrants knew that knowledge was power; therefore, they kept it to themselves. Education was the sole property of the government including the class-conscience elite of Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
 
    With the coming of Christ, the stronghold of tyranny was finally broken. The cause of literacy was spearheaded by the Christians from the time of the early Church through the Middle Ages. Monasteries and schools were established and eventually the first universities were started throughout Europe for the purpose of Christian and classical training.
 
    Yet the everyday person even within Christendom was limited in his educational opportunity until the invention of the printing press. The printing press made knowledge accessible to virtually everyone. But it was the unleashing of the Bible, specifically into homes that caused a paradigm shift in education. The Bible for the first time in history could be purchased and read by the average family in their own language. This newly found biblical literacy inspired books by Shakespeare and Milton, and books on science and civil government. These books could be found in thousands of homes for the first time, being read by candlelight.
 
    Our earliest American settlers learned from the mighty braintrust in Europe and brought this love of learning with them. Harvard historian Perry Miller said, “In contrast to all other pioneers, they made no concession to the forest, but in the midst of frontier conditions, in the very throes of clearing the land and erecting shelters, they maintained schools and a college.” From this fertile intellectual soil came the world’s foremost political documents and cultural prosperity.
 
    The Bible was the fundamental textbook throughout American history, from the time of the Pilgrims. To receive a degree from a colonial college in the 17th and 18th centuries was, in essence to receive a seminary education. Early childhood education was accomplished for the most part in the home and prepared every citizen to read and think at an early age. Award-winning teacher John Gatto says, “There is abundant evidence that less than one hundred hours is sufficient for a person to become totally literate and a self-teacher.” This self-education is what took place in early America. Early Americans had far less time and money invested in institutionalized education than we do. Yet, they were prepared to think for themselves and created the greatest civilization the world had ever known.
 
    In 1800 under President Thomas Jefferson, Dupont de Nemours conducted a study on education in America. He said, “Most young Americans…can read, write, and cipher. Not more than four in a thousand are unable to write legibly – even neatly.” He compared the low rate of literacy throughout the world to the high literacy rate in the United States, England, Holland, and Switzerland. He said that “in those countries the Bible is read; it is considered a duty to read it to the children; and in that form of religion the sermons and liturgies in the language of the people tend to increase and formulate ideas of responsibility.” He said that education in America was accomplished largely in the home through fathers reading the Bible and newspapers for nearly an hour a day to their families.
 
    The Father of American Education, Noah Webster, published his Blue-Backed Speller in 1783. It sold one million copies a year for 100 years! This book taught our nation not only to read but taught a biblical worldview to Americans into the twentieth century. Christian education was synonymous with becoming civilized. As Webster himself said: “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
 
    In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many Christians were persuaded to withdraw from the “secular” world and two hundred years of educational leadership. This left a vacuum that was quickly filled by a new breed of secular intellectuals. Historian Paul Johnson explained: “With the decline of clerical power in the eighteenth century, a new kind of mentor emerged to fill the vacuum and capture the ear of society. The secular individual might be deist, skeptic, or atheist. But he was just as ready as a pontiff [priest] or presbyter [pastor/teacher] to tell mankind how to conduct its affairs.”
 
    How did this change come about? An insight comes from attorney and founder of Rutherford Institute, John Whitehead. He quotes humanist John Dunphy speaking at a teacher’s convention:
I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith…utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level – preschool day care or large statue university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new – the rotting corpse of Christianity together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism [man is God], resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will be finally achieved.
    Beginning in the nineteenth century, Horace Mann, John Dewey, and others promoted a philosophy of education that was totally opposed to that of the founding generation. Mann supported taxation for state schools; which undermined parental control and was detrimental to private schools. He, and those who followed him, de-emphasized the biblical doctrine of salvation as the basis of character development, replacing it with humanism. He encouraged group thinking and study rather than independent thinking and creativity.
 
    As Christian families forge a new millennium, we can learn so much from the study of the history of education in America. No nation on earth has the legacy of godly education that we enjoy in America. But we must confess that entire generations of our youth have suffered from the failure of a dream of education without God’s Word as its foundation. We must be able to offer the biblical alternative to secular indoctrination. The good news is that millions of adult believers are rebooting their own self-education and they are training their children in home schools and Christian schools. Here is the lasting hope of restoring true liberty under God.
 
The Forefathers Monument: The Liberty Hero
by Dr. Marshall Foster
 
This is the fifth in a 5-part series on the Forefathers Monument.
    The story of the ages is the cosmic conflict between good and evil. There are times when the conflict is so intense that it polarizes the world for all to see. At these moments a paradigm shifts takes place. Into this conflict a leader or a small minority of people step in the gap to make a difference. History reveals that while people are searching for answers, tyrants almost always step into the gap.
 
    Alexander the Great, the tyrannical Caesars, Robespierre, Napoleon, Stalin, and Mao are some who have promised world conquest but instead brought tyranny – horrific pain, misery, and cultures of death – to billions of people.
 
    But the good news is that there have been many times in history when a different kind of individual has arisen at times of crisis. Instead of using the heavy boot of tyranny, this individual has inspired lasting liberty wherever he has gone. He comes with a commission from on high as an ambassador, reconciling the world to the one true God. (2 Cor. 5) He is the Liberty Hero.
 
    The strategy of the Liberty Hero, as detailed in Scripture, is carved into the Forefathers Monument. This final statue on the monument is that of a man dressed in battle gear seated in peace with his sword sheathed. He has placed his faith in Christ and in His infallible Word. He trusts God to empower him to develop character and biblical morality beginning in his own life. He then helps create civil institutions of justice and mercy based upon God’s Word. He educates his children and others in the biblical world and life view that leads to liberty.
 
    What is his strategy? Throughout the centuries, the godly strategy for defeating evil and displacing it with good has always been a bottom-up, multi-generational, internal-to-external family plan. The liberty hero understands this plan. He is an individual whose perspective is not that of zoom lens but a wide angle, big cosmic picture. His view is not so much focused on careers and years but on generations and centuries. History is full of forgotten liberty heroes whose stories must once again be told (Ps. 78:1-11).
 
    One of the best examples of liberty heroes are the Pilgrim Fathers. The story of the English Separatists, now called Pilgrims, began with about fifty believers. In 1603 this small group gathered in Scrooby Manor, a castle-like estate, for underground worship services. As the reign of terror increased under King James they were forced to meet in secret.
 
    The strength of this small community was built upon the individual covenants, sacred agreements, of the people. These covenants were first with God, as each repented of their sins and received Christ’s forgiveness. They then elected their own church leaders from which they built their church body.
 
    They then deepened their understanding of how to structure society on a covenantal, compact structure. This structure was built upon the biblical republic of the ancient Hebrews and concepts of English common law that were based on the equality of individuals before the law. Their pastor had been part of one of the mightiest brain trusts in all of history at Cambridge University. Pastor Robinson taught the Pilgrims for over twelve years not only in spiritual things, he was also their father in practical matters and their civil affairs. The Pilgrim governor William Bradford said of his beloved pastor, “His love was great towards them, and his care was always bent for their best good, both for soul and body: for besides his singular abilities in divine things (wherein he excelled), he was also very able to give directions in civil affairs, and to foresee dangers and inconveniences; by which means he was very helpful to their outward estates, and so was in every way as a common father to them…”
 
    In 1620, because of the success of the Jamestown settlement, the second wave of English people, the Pilgrims, were authorized by King James to come and set foot on this fertile land. This new path of freedom was being blazed by the Pilgrim Fathers, through the blood, wisdom, and sacrifice of believers from the time of Christ to the time of Patrick of Ireland in the 4th century (and other Celtic missionaries to Scotland, England, and Continental Europe). The trail of freedom had been building its path of liberty all reasoned from the Bible. The Pilgrims had knowledge of Patrick’s Book of the Law of Moses, Alfred the Great’s English Common Law, Stephen Langton’s Magna Carta and Robert the Bruce’s Declaration of Arbrouth. They knew these biblical foundations for a free and blessed society. As the Pilgrims came to the New World following the strategy portrayed in the Liberty Hero, they created the world’s first government by compact in which the people ruled by elected representatives. They knew the principles of a society in which the Creator endows the people with certain unalienable rights and all people are equal before the law. All of these principles were in their hearts and minds as they boarded the Mayflower in Southampton, England in the summer of 1620.
 
    The elder leader of the Pilgrims, William Brewster had given up his manor house and his royal connections in England to become a fugitive for the gospel of Christ. But before he died in the spring of 1644, Brewster had a glimpse of the incredible fruit of freedom that had resulted after tremendous trials and sacrifices in Plymouth. Brewster was surrounded by many grandchildren and hundreds of books and Bible commentaries. He owned a beautiful estate in Duxbury, across the bay from Plymouth. This was not a rented house like he had in England. He was no longer a tenant for a lord or baron or bishop. He was truly a man at peace with God and beneath “his own vine and fig tree.”
 
    The Plymouth Colony was now 3,000 strong. Sixteen thousand persecuted Puritans and others had come on 200 ships to New England’s shores. They had followed in the footsteps of this faithful pioneer and his small band of brothers and sisters. The beachhead of liberty for the world had been established against all odds. The very gates of hell could not stand against it.
The world was forever changed. Liberty had overcome tyranny. Historian Charles Coffin describes the magnitude of their accomplishments. Speaking of the Pilgrims he says, “The new state – the new order of things – has begun.  That which the human race has struggled for through all the ages has come at last – the right of the people to rule…Self-government has begun. Take note of it, ye lords, nobles, kings, and emperors, for of this beginning there will come a new order of things in human affairs!”
 
    The Forefather’s Monument was built with gratitude to the Pilgrims, who as God’s liberty heroes, blazed the path of liberty for billions of people over the next 400 years.
 
 
America’s Answer to Socialism
World History Institute
August 16, 2012

 

    America is facing a crisis so severe that many people are beginning to compare our cultural deterioration to the fall of the mighty Roman Empire. A survey of the symptoms that led to Rome’s demise, which parallels America’s downward trends, should be a wakeup call for all of us.

 

    Rome’s decline, many scholars agree, began when the decentralized regions of the empire lost their local control to an all powerful government. Augustus Caesar declared himself to be god on earth, and every decision then flowed down from Rome from an oppressive government bureaucracy. In the empire, crushing taxes on the middle and upper classes drove them out of business and out of Rome. The empire was bankrupt.

 

    The out of control government attempted to calm the masses with an ever increasing welfare state in which the citizens survived on free bread and increasingly violent sports and entertainment in their coliseums. The monogamous family disintegrated in an empire-sanctioned orgy of sexual immorality, suicide, abortion and infanticide. With decreasing demographics, the empire increasingly imported immigrants who did not share their culture and soon became the majority.

 

    By the time that Rome was burned and her citizens plundered and raped on September 4, 476 A.D., the above depravities had drained the empire of any will to survive. But as we ponder the similarities between Rome and America we should remember one fundamental difference between the two. Rome was founded on a culture of death including false gods of manmade stone, human sacrifice and the plunder of the nations. Their ignominious, self-destructive collapse was inevitable.

 

Read more at World History Institute.

 

The Fall of Rome & Lessons for Today

Bill Federer – American Minute

September 4

    THE FALL OF ROME was a culmination of several external and internal factors.

GREAT WALL OF CHINA: By 220AD, the Later Eastern Han Dynasty had extended the Great Wall of China along its Mongolian border, which resulted in the Northern Huns attacking west instead of east. This caused a domino effect of tribes migrating west across Central Asia, and overrunning the Western Roman Empire.

OPEN BORDERS: Illegal immigrants poured across the Roman borders: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Anglos, Saxons, Alemanni, Thuringians, Rugians, Jutes, Picts, Burgundians, Lombards, Alans, Vandals, as well as African Berbers and Arab raiders.

Will and Ariel Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 366): “If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West.”

LOSS OF COMMON LANGUAGE: At first immigrants assimilated and learned the Latin language. They worked as servants with many rising to leadership. But then they came so fast they did not learn Latin, but instead created a mix of Latin with their own Germanic, Frankish and Anglo tribal tongues. The unity of the Roman Empire began to dissolve.

THE WELFARE STATE: “Bread and the Circus!” Starting in 123 BC, Emperor Caius Gracchus began appeasing citizens with welfare, a monthly hand-out of a free dole (handout) of grain.

Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 AD) described how Roman emperors controlled the masses by keeping them ignorant and obsessed with self-indulgence, so that they would be distracted and not throw them out of office, which they might do if they realized the true condition of the Empire: “Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who ONCE UPON A TIME handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, NOW restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”

 

    The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “The concentration of population and poverty in great cities may compel a government to choose between ENFEEBLING THE ECONOMY WITH A DOLE or running the risk of riot and revolution.” Welfare and government jobs exploded, as recorded in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39), one Roman commented: “Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.”

VIOLENT ENTERTAINMENT: The Circus Maximus and Coliseum were packed with crowds of Romans engrossed with violent entertainment, games, chariot races, and until 404 AD, gladiators fighting to the death.

    Gerald Simons wrote in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20): “In the causal brutality of its public spectacles, in a rampant immorality that even Christianity could not check.”

CLASS WARFARE: City centers were abandoned by the upper class, who bought up farms from rural landowners and transformed them into palatial estates.

 

    The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): “The Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families, and a proletariat without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome.”

    Inner cities were destabilized, being also plagued with lead poisoning, as water was brought in through lead pipes. (“plumb” or “plumbing” is the Latin word for “lead.”)

    The value of human life was low. Slavery and sex-trafficking abounded, especially of captured peoples from Eastern Europe. “Slavs,” which meant “glorious” came to have the inglorious meaning of a permanent servant or “slave.” (Great Ages, p. 18).

TAXES: Taxes became unbearable, as “collectors became greedy functionaries in a bureaucracy so huge and corrupt.” Tax collectors were described by the historian Salvian as “more terrible than the enemy.” (Great Ages, p. 20).

    Arther Ferrill wrote in The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation (New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1986): “The chief cause of the agricultural decline was high taxation on the marginal land, driving it out of cultivation.”

 

    There was a loss of patriotism, wealth began to flee the Empire, and with it, the spirit of liberty. President William Henry Harrison warned in his Inaugural Address, 1841: “It was the beautiful remark of a distinguished English writer that ‘in the Roman senate Octavius had a party and Antony a party, but the Commonwealth had none’…

 

    The spirit of liberty had fled, and, avoiding the abodes of civilized man, had sought protection in the wilds of Scythia or Scandinavia; and so under the operation of the same causes and influences it will fly from our Capitol and our forums.”

 

    More recently, John F. Kennedy observed, January 6, 1961: “Present tax laws may be stimulating in undue amounts the flow of American capital to industrial countries abroad.”

OUTSOURCING: Rome’s economy stagnated from a large trade deficit, as grain production was outsourced to North Africa.

Gerald Simons wrote in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39): “As conquerors of North Africa, the Vandals cut off the Empire’s grain supply at will. This created critical food shortages, which in turn curtailed Roman counterattacks.”


DEBT PRECEDED FALL: Rome was crippled by huge government bureaucracies and enormous public debt. The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “Huge bureaucratic machinery was unable to govern the empire effectively with the enormous, out-of-control debt.”

    In Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20), Gerald Simons wrote: “The Western Roman economy, already undermined by falling production of the great Roman estates and an unfavorable balance of trade that siphoned off gold to the East, had now run out of money.”

 SELF-PROMOTING & CORRUPT POLITICIANS: The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “The educated and skilled pursued business and financial success to the neglect of their involvement in politics.”

 

    Richard A. Todd wrote in “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (Eerdmans’ Handbook to the History of Christianity, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Co., 1977, p. 184): “The church, while preaching against abuses, contributed to the decline by discouraging good Christians from holding public office.”

 

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS: Roman families had fewer children. Some would sell unwanted children into slavery or, up until 374 AD, leave them outside exposed to the weather to die.

 

    The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization, Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ (Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 134): “Children were now luxuries which only the poor could afford.”

 

IMMORALITY: There was court favoritism, the patronage system, injustice in the legal system, infidelity, perverted bathhouses, sexual immorality and gymnasiums (“gym” being the Greek word for naked). 5th-Century historian Salvian wrote: “For all the lurid Roman tales of their atrocities…the barbarians displayed…a good deal more fidelity to their wives.” (Great Ages, p. 13.)

 

    Salvian continued: “O Roman people be ashamed; be ashamed of your lives. Almost no cities are free of evil dens, are altogether free of impurities, except the cities in which the barbarians have begun to live… Let nobody think otherwise, the vices of our bad lives have alone conquered us… The Goths lie, but are chaste, the Franks lie, but are generous, the Saxons are savage in cruelty…but are admirable in chastity… What hope can there be for the Romans when the barbarians are more pure than they?
 

Samuel Adams wrote to John Scollay of Boston, April 30, 1776: “The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals. ‘The Roman Empire,’ says the historian, ‘must have sunk, though the Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman virtue was sunk.'”

MILITARY CUTS: Though militarily superior and marching on advanced road systems, the highly trained Roman Legions were strained fighting conflicts from the Rhine River to the Sassanid Persian Empire. Roman borders were over-extended and the military defending them was cut back to dangerously low ranks.

 

    The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): “The new generation, having inherited world mastery, had no time or inclination to defend it; that readiness for war which had characterized the Roman landowner disappeared.”

 

TERRORIST ATTACKS: Visigothic King Alaric first sacked Rome in 410AD, followed by Vandal King Genseric in 455. Attila the Hun, “The Scourge of God,” committed terrorist attacks, wiping out entire cities, such as the city of Aquileia in Italy, which had been listed as the 9th greatest city in the world.

    Residents fled to lagoons by the sea and hammered trees into the watery mud to create ground, founding the city of Venice. Pope Leo rode out to meet Attila in 452AD, and persuaded him not to sack Rome, delaying the inevitable a few more decades.

    Finally the barbarian Chieftain Odoacer attacked, and Rome is considered to have officially fallen on SEPTEMBER 4, 476