The Democratic and Republican Primaries

The Primary season is coming to a close and some would say at not a moment too soon.

It appears at this juncture that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Billionaire mogul Donald Trump are going to be the respective nominees of their political parties.

Mrs. Clinton has been an active political actor since she served in a legal advisory council to Congress in the mid-1970s when the Watergate scandal was engulfing the Nixon Administration; she continued her rise to prominence in the late 1970s and throughout the decade of the 1980s as she worked alongside her husband (William Jefferson Clinton) as the First Lady of the state of Arkansas.

Mr. Trump inherited his father’s construction business and turned a multi-million dollar enterprise into a company with equity measured in the billions.  The Donald – as he is often called – briefly ran for President in the Reform Party back in 1999-2000.  Mr. Trump is considered to be a political novice, but often forgotten with that description is the fact that Donald Trump has been a celebrity and well-known public figure for more than 30 years.

While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump have differing political philosophies, they share one crucial similarity:  Both of these political players ignite strong passions of dislike in those who view them unfavorably.

The Gallop polling organization reminds the populace that our nation has never seen two nominees who were running for the highest office in the land with such high negative favorable vis-à-vis unfavorable ratings.

Most of the time the Democratic Party enjoys falling in love with their respective nominee while the Republican Party generally falls in line and waits for the next person or heir apparent to accept the party’s nomination.

Nevertheless, most Democrats love Senator Bernie Sanders and it is Mrs. Clinton who finished second in the Democratic race for Presidency behind then Senator Barack Obama who has now “fallen in line.”

On the other side of the political spectrum, a significant minority of Republican Party enthusiasts have given the keys to the car to a novice:  Mr. Donald J. Trump.

A question that one might ask themselves is this:  How is it in a nation of roughly 300 million people that we end up nominating two people of this caliber?

Surely there must be other men and women of sterling character, competence, charisma, and capability who would make a much better fit for the daily demands that entails occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Human Sexuality

Within the past week, the Obama Admiration has passed some new guidelines which were meant to provide guidance and clarity to School Districts dealing with making accommodations to Transgender students.

Now, anytime that you discuss “human sexuality” in any context you invite a potential for controversy and passionate argumentation.

As a Pastor and seminary trained theologian, I start with the Orthodox position that in the beginning GOD made Man male and female and in the Image of GOD (Imago Dei to quote Saint Augustine).

Nevertheless, Saint Augustine in his seminal work “The City of GOD” reminds Christian believers that they (we) inhabit two worlds or two kingdoms:  By our Spiritual Rebirth and Acceptance of JESUS CHRIST as our LORD and Savior, we are born into The Kingdom of GOD; our ultimate citizenship and loyalty is in Heaven and to The LORD that we serve.

However, while we live, play, and labor on earth we have a dual citizenship with the respective nation or nations that we are born into.  When the values, principles, and beliefs of one “City” collide with the values, principles, and beliefs of the other city there is bound to be serious conflicts.

Christians and Orthodox and/or Conservative Jews should not be surprised when they find themselves at odds or at variance with the prevailing sexual mores of their culture.

In the case with how we deal with our “transgender brethren and friends,” I would caution all of us whether we are Christian, non-Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or of no faith at all to Stop, Pause, take a time out and attempt to discuss compassionately and reverently how we handle this perplexing and perhaps volatile issue on the local and state levels.

We may vehemently disagree with each other, but we Do Not have a right to demonize one another as each and every human being is “created in the Image of GOD.”

The American Constitutional Order

As a person with a “Conservative political philosophy,” I find it troubling that a large portion of our nation has forgotten the two time-honored Constitutional principles of both (1.) Federalism and (2.) the Separation of Powers doctrine.

In High School Civics (oh, I forgot that Civics is no longer taught in many of our nation’s school districts…) teaches us that we live in a system of Federalism in which we have a National or Federal Government and we have our State Governments.

The Founders of our Country gave us these safeguards so that the American populace would not be in danger of either the President or Congress (or the least dangerous branch “the Supreme Court”) abusing their political office or powers while they are in office.

Separation of Powers means that (1.) the Legislative branch, (2.) the Executive branch, and (3.) the Judiciary all have their unique roles and separate powers and responsibilities.

Where we get into problems is when the “Legislative branch” (made up of both Democratic and Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen who all too long often abdicate their responsibilities) simply stands back and acquiesces to the will of both the Executive and the Judicial branches.

A Final Word of Exhortation

My Brothers and Sisters Do Not Despair!

Despair is a Sin, but to place your Hope and Trust In GOD is always a wise position!

Do Not Fear!

Do Not Give Up Hope!

I leave you with this encouraging Scripture penned thousands of years ago by the Prophet Zephaniah in the Old Testament [Zephaniah 3.17 (NRSVCE)]:

“The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Pastor-Kelly

It has been my privilege to have been a citizen of the great state of Georgia for nearly 35 years now.

The old adage that time files is more than a truism.

One of the things that attracted my family to the “New South” was the tremendous opportunities for growth and advancement in the Metro-Atlanta, GA area.

When my family moved down to Atlanta, GA we observed that the “spiritual climate” of this area was radically different from what we had experienced in our beloved Northeastern United States (New England and the Mid-Atlantic respectively).

People who live in the Northeast are more reserved when it comes to expressing their faith or lack thereof.

Conversely, men and women who live in the Southeast inhabit a region of the country known as the “Bible belt.”

The Bible belt is distinguished by the tremendous number of Christian Churches (Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox).  There is also a noticeable present albeit much smaller of prominent Jewish synagogues.

Religious people of all persuasions – Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or even Atheist are much quicker to share their belief system with you in the “Bible belt” than in the Northeastern United States.

Atlanta, Georgia was known as a “Southern Sleepy City” up through the early 1960s until men of Vision such as the late Coca-Cola CEO Robert Woodruff along with the great Atlanta, Mayor William B. Hartsfield worked with the Metro-Atlanta, GA Chamber of Commerce to develop a mission statement that stated that

“Atlanta A City Too Busy To Hate!”

This slogan provided a “sense of mission” – a mission statement? – that helped the city to navigate the turbulent years of the modern Civil Rights Era (1946 through 1971) and it also helped the Metro-Atlanta region transform the deep South from an economic stagnant backwards region into both and educational and industrial / information sector powerhouse.

When the Supreme Court mandated educational integration in the famous Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954, Southern states like Alabama (see Governor George Wallace) and Mississippi (Governor Ross Barnett) played to the fears of intransigent Whites who cried, “Segregation today, Segregation tomorrow, and Segregation Forever!”

The leaders of The City of Atlanta took a different approach; the city’s business leaders stressed that while they publicly endorsed legal segregation that they would not allow their political views to keep the city from moving forward economically.

Former Atlanta, GA mayor Ivan Allen (1961-69) was the only politician from the “Deep South” to endorse the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Bill which did away with legalized segregation.

(Allen previously was a strong proponent of “Jim Crow” etiquette, but his awakening took place in the early 1960s as the preaching of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. awakened him to the immorality of treating people of color as second 2nd class citizens.)

The City of Atlanta had a somewhat clandestine “power elite” that was made up of  the Clergy, Wealthy & Well-connected Whites along with their Clergy and best Educated and Business counterparts in the Negro community.

Together and behind the scenes the White and Negro “power elite” provided invaluable leadership to propel Atlanta, Georgia into its role as the Business, Political, and Spiritual capital of the “New South.”

Shortly after Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr. won the “Nobel Prize” for Peace in 1964, the Atlanta “power elite” made sure that they set up an integrated (bi-racial) gathering to honor Dr. King at the Dinkler Plaza Hotel in 1965.

This event was one of the first truly integrated events in the city’s history bringing together an unbelievably large group of 1,500 people!

The men chiefly responsible for this historic event were (this is not an exhaustive listing) “Atlanta leaders Ralph McGill, editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild of The Temple, Morehouse President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and Archbishop Paul Hallinan, came together as a committee to organize this event” [Source:  Atlanta Daybrook Internet News https://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2015-01-25/50228-ahc–mlk-jr-peace/].

Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen was an enthusiastic supporter and the Coca-Cola Patriarch Robert Woodruff lent his name and considerable support.  The then Coca-Cola President Paul Austin was proud to be a part of the Dinkler Plaza Hotel night honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

The City of Atlanta has truly been “A City Too Busy to Hate.”

Over the next couple of weeks, I would like to show some more positive aspects of this city motto along with some of the attendant problems that have accompanied the city’s endeavors to be faithful to this mission of being “A City Too Busy to Hate.”

Thank-You!

Pastor-Kelly

This morning while figuring out what I want to say today I read two posts that clicked in my mind exactly how to explain the GOP establishment.

One of them was at Instapundit and linked to a piece by Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight on Donald Trump & Polls titled One less reason to be skeptical of Trump.

He listed reasons to be skeptical of Trump success and added one that was not data driven saying he expected the GOP Establishment to do all it could to stop him:

But so far, the party isn’t doing much to stop Trump. Instead, it’s making such an effort against Cruz. Consider:

  • The governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, said he wanted Cruz defeated.
  • Bob Dole warned of “cataclysmic” losses if Cruz was the nominee, and said Trump would fare better.
  • Mitch McConnell and other Republicans senators have been decidedly unhelpful to Cruz when discussing his constitutional eligibility to be president.
  • An anti-Cruz PAC has formed, with plans to run advertisements in Iowa. (By contrast, no PAC advertising has run against Trump so far in January.)

You can find lots of other examples like these. It’s the type of coordinated, multifront action that seems right out of the “The Party Decides.” If, like me, you expected something like this to happen to Trump instead of Cruz, you have to revisit your assumptions. Thus, I’m now much less skeptical of Trump’s chances of becoming the nominee.

Now let’s look at Pastor George Kelly’s of my magnificent seven’s piece Is he or She a Conservative.  It’s the piece that precedes the one you’re reading now on this blog and notes the records of four candidates Rubio, Cruz, Trump and Carson. It’s Rubio & Cruz that I am thinking of here.

  • Senator Marco Rubio possesses a lifetime (ACU) score of 98%. One would venture to say that Mr. Rubio’s impeccable conservative credentials should be beyond dispute.

Alas, this is not the case.

Senator Rubio committed for many Immigration Hawks the unpardonable sin by supporting the GANG of 8’s Immigration Reform measures.  For this he has obtained the wrath of Boarder Security Conservatives.

Nevertheless, Mr. Rubio has been in the Senate for four (4) years and his voting record and public service testify that he is a True Conservative.

State Representative Marco Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives when he mounted a race for the US Senate and ran against former Republican Governor Charlie Crist.

Mr. Rubio ran as a Tea Party Conservative; this writer is shocked and somewhat baffled over how anyone could call Marco Rubio “an establishment Republican.”

I’ve actually wondered that myself, I think what’s cost Rubio has been his attempts to spin what he did (or rather the spin of some of his supporters) instead of just saying.  Boy I tanked that didn’t I?  Pastor Kelly continues with Ted Cruz (who I’ve endorsed)

  • A look at Senator Ted Cruz of Texas’s (ACU) scores is equally impressive: Senator Cruz has a lifetime rating of 100%!  This is an astounding voting percentage (two years of Senatorial service).

Mr. Cruz is an intellectual wonder who graduated with distinction from both Princeton and Harvard Law School.

A similarity of both Senators reminds Conservatives of how far they have come since President Obama became President:  Both of these Senators are products of “The Tea Party Movement”; and both men ran against the Republican establishment.

A brief look at the two young Senators (Rubio & Cruz) is a testimony to the Intellectual and Political transformation that has affected our nation since William F. Buckley, Jr. founded “National Review” in 1955.

As the old song states, “You’ve come a Long Way Baby!”

Both Misters Rubio and Cruz are certifiably “CONSERVATIVE!

Now lets consider one other thing.  As Mr. Silver the party establishment is going all out to destroy Ted Cruz in Iowa.  At the same time the big money superpac for THE establishment candidate Jeb Bush who is floundering in both Iowa and NH and currently running 4th in his home state of Florida has been on an advertising blitz in NH going all out attacking not Donald Trump the leader, not Ted Cruz, not John Kasich who is supported by the Sununu family one traditional Bush family allies but Marco Rubio.

This tells me one of two things.

The Establishment GOP is still looking to nominate Bush and the plan is to take out both Cruz and Rubio early so that Jeb can be the only candidate standing as an alternative to Trump, the they can go all in against him.  Cruz gets the big guns attention because of his huge hard money advantage and incredible existing grass roots ground game in half the primary states already  & Rubio is left to Jeb’s moneybags on the theory that without a strong Iowa/NH showing he’ll can’t sustain his campaign long enough to make it to florida or be a threat afterwards leaving it Jeb vs Trump once again with the full might of the GOP ready to fight on Jeb’s side.

Under no circumstances can a conservative with the voting record of either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz be allowed to be president.  Forget that both would be the first Hispanic to lead a major party ticket, forget Rubio’s gang of eight stuff.  We can’t take the chance that a tea party candidate be the head of the party particularly ones so solidly opposed to abortion.

Given the inability of anyone to land a punch on Trump (although Cruz’s latest ad is devastating) It’s possible that #1 is only Jeb plan.  After all the GOP establishment might be pragmatically thinking that they can’t stop Trump and the time to join is now while they can get something for it rather than later when it means nothing and his cooperation with their priorities will carry a higher price.

But given what I’ve seen of the GOP establishment in Washington , Massachusetts and particularly NH I think #2 is a pretty safe bet.

****************************************************************************

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The 2016 Presidential Election cycle has been anything but boring.

On the Democratic Party side, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has watched her “Presidential nomination coronation” ceremony temporarily delayed by the stubborn and persistent campaign tenacity of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator Sanders is a self-described “Democratic-Socialist.”  The term “democratic-socialist” makes for interesting political theater.

Socialism properly understood is a means of economic management in which the goods, services, manufacturing, and material output are held or possessed in common.  The key concept to remember when describing what socialism entails is to remember that it deals with “community ownership.”

Nations such as the former Soviet Union, modern Mainland China, and even Cuba would describe themselves as socialist economies.

In most socialist economic systems key businesses such as Electrical utilities, Oil refineries and Oil Distribution, and Healthcare are all nationalized (the Central Governments in these countries own and control the distribution of these resources).

Conversely, in nations such as Great Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United States economic activity is handled by the free market pricing system.  A market is simply a place where goods are bought and sold.

By a free market system, we are simply stating that the Central Governments of these nations take a minimalist approach (at least in theory) with regards to regulating, managing, and directing how goods and commodities are bought and sold.

In short, a free market economy places a higher emphasis on economic growth, wealth creation and overall efficiency.

A socialist economy places its chief concerns on the nature of fairness, equity, and egalitarianism.

Senator Bernie Sanders is running a “populist campaign” in which he states that he is championing the little guy and the forgotten middle class which is being trampled underfoot by unprincipled big banks, corrupt Walls Street financiers and by what he feels is an unjust and unresponsive campaign system which favors the “monied interests” over the poor and middle classes.

One of the primary planks in Mr. Sanders’ campaign platform is that he advocates a top marginal tax rate of 91%!

As an aside, it is interesting to note that our nation has not seen a marginal tax rate this high since 1963 (this was right before President Kennedy made a bold move to propose lowering the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%; Senator Sanders would take us back to the days of Camelot).

There was a time in America that if a politician even mentioned the fact that he or she had “socialist leanings” that he or she would almost never be considered seriously for the office of the Presidency.

Gosh, how times have changed.

What has been happening with Senator Sanders’ insurgent campaign is nothing less than fascinating.

Senator Sanders has been drawing unbelievably large crowds in the 10s of thousands.  By contrast, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has only drawn a fraction of the size of the crowds that usually attend Mr. Sanders’ passionate rallies.

In our day of polarizing politics, Senator Sanders has found a way to ignite the progressive base of the Democratic Party and bring a true excitement into the democratic primaries.

Not to be undone in Republican Party circles is the flamboyant, unorthodox, and slick marketing campaign of billionaire mogul Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is the antithesis of Bernie Sanders.

  • Senator Sanders is an unabashed Democratic-Socialist; the Donald (as he is often called) took his father’s construction company and turned a thriving business worth several hundred million dollars into a billionaire enterprise.
  • Mr. Sanders would seek to nationalize key industries in the United States; Mr. Trump proposes to shake up the business status quo by the sheer will of his personality and by his ability to negotiate shrewdly.
  • Senator Sanders is liberal – progressive in today’s political parlance – across the board. On social issues, Bernie Sanders is Pro-Choice on abortion, he supports redefinition of marriage to include Gay and Lesbian unions, and he has publicly stated that much of went forth in the name of Christianity in America was at times both racist and exclusive with its treatment of Native-Americans (Indians) and Negroes (Blacks).
  • The Donald use to be socially liberal, but today he embraces Social-Conservatism (this was not always the case with the Donald who through a good portion of his adult life has been socially liberal).
  • Finally, Senator Sanders would seek to take a hiatus from United States superpower involvement on the world scene – especially in the volatile “Middle East.”
  • Trump would revitalize and reinvent the Big Stick diplomacy of former President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and hit America’s enemies with overwhelming brute force.

(Teddy Roosevelt believed that a nation should walk softly and carry a big    stick; the Donald would “boast boldly and carry a big stick.”)

The existential question of the moment is this:  Could either man conceivably upset both the Democratic and Republican establishments and actually win their party’s respective Presidential nominations?

The answer is that only time will tell.

However, Misters Sanders and Trump have done us all a great service by running straight in the face against “political correctness”; they have forced other politicians within their parties to clarify their policy positions and say what they mean and mean what they say.  This alone may be the most endearing legacy of the two campaigns.

We, the American populace, need to understand the key choices that lay before us as the next President of the United States will inherit an abundance of national and foreign affairs problems that will require the Wisdom of Solomon to successfully navigate through and ultimately solve in a satisfactory manner.

GOD Bless You!

Update (DTG): Instalanche Thanks Sarah, A reminder Pastor George Kelly whose protestant parish is in the Atlanta area writes regularly as one of my magnificent seven on Friday evenings. Pastor Kelly He has almost no other web presence so if you like what you read you’ll just have to hit the archives. I’m sure you will I’ve known him since I was 12 & he’s one of the smartest fellows I’ve ever met.

The events that took place in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church rocked the nation this week.

Mr. Dylann Roof a young Caucasian man of only 21 years of age murdered nine parishioners – all Black – shortly after the conclusion of their Wednesday Night Bible Study Service.

Our nation finds itself asking the question: If one cannot be safe in a “House of Worship” then is there any place that we are truly safe?

This is a questions that begs an answer.

Unfortunately, our country has witnessed carnage like this before – (1.) the shootings at Columbine, Colorado in 1999;  (2.) the shootings at the Aurora Theater (Colorado); and (3.) the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

There is no place that is absolutely safe.

When we look at the violence that is engulfing our nation, we ask ourselves as Christians and Jews who believe in the Judeo-Christian value system or worldview, how do we truly restrain the evil in our midst?

There have been numerous books and commentaries – starting with the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) – and extending through the Christian Bible (what is referred to as the New Testament) that have attempted to address this subject.

Furthermore, a large litany of authors ranging from Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the Protestant Swiss Reformer John Calvin have all attempted to address the concept known as “gratuitous (gross) evil.

In an incredible act of Biblically based mercy, some of the relatives of the victims who were murdered reached out to Dylann Roof and extended the hand of Christian forgiveness and reconciliation.

Please take a moment to view this wonderful blessing of forgiveness on display:

The existential question of the moment is this: While the families of the victims of this heinous act are reaching out to Mr. Roof, what should our Government do?

The Holy Bible in both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Christian New Testament teach that one of the primary functions of government is to preserve and maintain Law & peaceful Order.

In Genesis 9.4-6, the prophet Moses was led by The Holy Spirit to write that –

4“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

6Whoever sheds human blood,

by humans shall their blood be shed;

for in the image of God

has God made mankind.”

We clearly see that “Capital Punishment” was instituted by GOD right after the events of The Flood (Genesis 6-8). GOD wiped out mankind because of the gross inhumanity of man killing man.

In Genesis 9.4-6, GOD tells Noah and his sons that they are to exact His vengeance against murderers.

Now in the case of full disclosure, I am not a proponent of “the death penalty”; however, my argument for this position is based on giving every human being a chance to “repent” and ask “JESUS CHRIST” for forgiveness.

My position is not based on the belief that the Holy Bible teaches pacifism.

I respect my Quaker, Amish, and Mennonite brethren – and in many cases my Roman Catholic brethren who are opposed to Capital punishment.

The Bible teaches us that the State or Human Government is an agent of GOD’s Wrath to stop evil doers in their path – and use FORCE WHEN NECESSARY to curtail malicious acts.

Let us look at this portion of Scared Scripture found in Romans 13.1-7:

Submission to Governing Authorities

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.

4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Wow!

Saint Paul has given us so much to contemplate and think upon.

We do not have time to visit what was written by Saint Peter, but I would encourage everyone to read what Saint Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2.11-17. The language that Saint Peter employs is remarkably similar to what is found in Romans 13:1-7.

Saint Augustine wrote that Christian believers are supposed to display the principles and values of THE CITY OF GOD in the midst of The City of Man.

How do we do this?

May I offer a few suggestions for our Prayerful contemplation and action…?

First, and foremost, WE MUST Pray that GOD sends His Mercy to the families that are going through this tremendous tragedy at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

JESUS told His disciples that “34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.JOHN 13.34-35.

The Love of Christ in our hearts is a powerful witness to a Skeptical and unbelieving world.

Secondly, WE MUST Pray for the Salvation of Mr. Dylann Roof.

The LORD that we Love  Serve is a Great and Compassionate and Merciful SAVIOR… AMEN!

I would ask us to pause to consider the implication of the following two verses of Sacred Scripture:

Ezekiel 33.11 – Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?

2 Peter 3.8-9 – But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Time and space do not allow me to address the Theological concept known as the “Total Depravity” of Mankind.

For those of you who would like to get a feel of what “Total Depravity” looks like from a Christian point of view, I would strongly urge you to read from the book of Romans chapters 1 through 3 (ROMANS 1-3).

Finally, WE MUST PRAY and ACT in ways that assist the city of Charleston, South Carolina and our nation to see that the solution to the violence in our land in NOT ULTIMATELY POLITICAL, BUT SPIRITUAL!

In 1965, two-thirds (66%) of all Americans believed that The Holy Bible was The WORD of GOD.

Today only 30 to 33% of the U.S. population believes that The Holy Bible is GOD’S Holy Word that is binding on all human actions and conduct.

Those of us who are Christian – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or of the Protestant varieties – have a lot of work on our hands with regards to “Witnessing the Love & Compassion” of Our Holy Savior to an unbelieving world.

16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Nearly 25 years ago, I stumbled upon (as a Christian I prefer to say that I was led to acquire) and purchased a copy of a book entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Dr. Stephen Covey.  This book had a profound impact on my life.

Dr. Covey put forth the idea that one should live their life based on “principled-centered living” and not by being moved and tossed about by the “tyranny of the urgent.”  Mr. Covey suggested that men and women should write down personal mission statements or “creeds” that would act as a compass and/or a “North Star” to guide them on what they deem to be the most important goals and objectives of their lives.

Well, this past week, I found myself meditating upon one of the most important documents in the history of the Christian Church:  The Apostles Creed.

Just what is The Apostles Creed?

What is a “creed?”

The word creed is a Latin term which literally means, “I believe.

The earliest believers or disciples (committed students, followers, and learners) of the risen HEBREW MESSIAH – we know Him as JESUS CHRIST –placed their faith in the reality of His Person and in His Resurrection.

The early disciples gathered together in what was known as the ekklesia; this is a Greek word– “ekklēsía which literally means (ek, “out from and to” and kaléō, “to call”) – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal or catholic (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom [Strong’s Concordance of The Holy Bible].

As time went by, these early disciples gathered together for weekly worship services in what we today call The Church.

The believers in the “Risen Messiah” realized that it was important for themselves and for future generations to commit to both their memory and lifestyle practice important truths about The Messiah they embraced and about His ongoing Life and Mission through His Church (the ekklesia or the people called out of the world and unto GOD).

One of the earliest creeds that the early church recited was known as “The Rule of Truth” or “The Rule of Faith.”  In time these two rules or creeds developed into what we have come to know as The Apostles Creed.

The traditional version of the Apostles Creed reads as follows:

I believe in God the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;

who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, dead, and buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and sitteth on the right hand of God

the Father Almighty.

From thence He shall come to judge the quick

and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Did you notice the “Trinitarian nature” of The Apostles Creed?

The word Trinity means three.

The great Church Father Tertullian used the term “tri-unity” to describe the reality of GOD The Father and GOD The Son and GOD The Holy Spirit as ONE GOD in THREE Distinct PERSONS.

The profound Christian theologian Dr. Norman Geisler teaches us that when mediating upon The Trinity that it is important to remember One What and Three Who’s.

  • The One What means that We Worship One GOD who is the same in Unity and Essence or Nature (His Divine Attributes or Perfections).
  • The Three Who’s represent GOD The Father and GOD The Son and GOD The Holy Ghost (Spirit).

As Christians (or believers in The Risen Messiah), we Do Not Worship Three Gods:  we Worship One GOD in Three Distinct Persons.

The Apostles Creed states that –

o  I believe in God the Father Almighty…

o  And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord…

o  I believe in the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit).

Over the next several weeks, we are going to review together the essential truths of the Apostles Creed;  truths that have been essential to the nourishment and growth of The Christian Church for nearly 19 centuries (since approximately the middle part of the 2nd Century A.D – approximately 140 A.D.)!

It is my prayer that GOD Almighty will bless us richly as we explore and seek to put into practice the tremendous truths about GOD The Father and GOD The Son and GOD The Holy Spirit that we will receive while we study this great and wonderful Holy Creed.

Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen!

Does Time Fly?

When I was younger, I told my Dad, that I arrived at the point that I could think through events of 5 to 10 years ago with increasing clarity.  My Dad replied that this is a good thing.  He went on to exclaim that when he reflects on events that he looks back 15, 20, 25 or 30 or more years at a time.

Wow, how time flies!

When I hear my daughter or son talk about past events in their lives, I realize that I have become like my Dad:  I am now thinking about things in 15, 20, 25, and 30 years increments.

Have I suddenly become my Father?

Is this what it means to be “middle-aged?”

I guess getting older is not so bad after all…  Smile!

How Do We Evaluate Our Presidents?

Historians tell us that it is next to impossible to fully appreciate and evaluate a President’s term while they are either (a.) still an occupant of the Oval Office; or (b.) they recently departed from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If this observation from students of the Presidency is correct, then why are news journalists and university professors so quick to say that President George W. Bush suffered through a failed Presidency and that President Barrack Obama is a very effective President?

The late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. author of  magisterial works such as “The Life and Times of Robert Kennedy” and “The Disuniting of America” once remarked that “history is argument without end.”

If this is the case, then who is to say that George W. Bush failed?  What objective criteria is being used?

How will we know that President Obama was a success?

President Bush is only seven years removed from the Presidency and we argue about his legacy.

The Economist Thomas Sowell wrote that the decisions that a President makes shapes the trajectory or our nation long after they have left office.  This is why it is so important that we wisely pray and select the people who will occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

History will judge the effectiveness or lack thereof of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack H. Obama.

Do We Pray For Our Leaders?

There is an instructive exhortation that the Prophet Jeremiah gave to the children of Judah as they were about to go into a period of 70 year slavery in Babylon:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.

 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.

 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 

Question #1:  Do we Pray fervently for the well-being of our great Country?

Question #2:  Do we realize that we should seek the Peace and Prosperity of the city [Our Nation – USA] in which we live in exile?

The Apostles Paul and Peter remind Christians that we are “pilgrims,” “strangers,” and “aliens,” and “sojourners” during our time upon this earth…

Question #3:  Do we really see ourselves as Sojourners?

Question # 4:  Or have we become too comfortable with the “cares of this world?

Does Race Still Dominate Our Discussion of Politics?

As a Christian who is a traditionalist or socially conservative / Independent, I am often grieved because too many Christians criticize politicians in ways that reveal to me that they are not in earnest Prayer for them!

When President Bush was in office, I listened too many of my Evangelical brothers and sisters who are Black [African-Americans] who had nothing good to say about his administration.

Conversely, now that President Barrack Obama is in office, much of the harsh criticism arises from many of my Evangelical brethren who are Caucasian.

Why is this the case?

Why do we as black and white Christian believers seem to embrace different political parties most of the time?

If we are truly followers of Christ, should we not find ourselves at odds with much of the political establishment of both parties?

What Would JESUS Do?

I know.

I know.

You are tired of hearing the bromide expression “What Would JESUS Do – W.W.J.D.?

Please bear with me for a few more moments…

Our LORD Jesus Christ while He walked this earth could not be placed into a “political box.”

Do we Christians allow the world to place us into political boxes based on Gender, Income, and Race?

The prophetic witness of Our LORD JESUS was so profound and pronounced that it got Him killed by the “Civil & Political Authorities” of His day.

Perhaps we who make up the called out assembly of GOD or the ekklesia a word which means, ek, “out from and to” and kaléō, “to call” properly, people called out from the world and to God need to be bold and prophetic like Our LORD and challenge the corruption in both political parties.  

A Final Exhortation Or Perhaps A Command?

The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son and protegé Timothy that believers are to engage in constant prayer (1 Timothy 2.1-8):

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

These words by the beloved Apostle need to be heeded more earnestly today than ever before as we see our culture disintegrating right before our eyes.

The great Apostle Paul wrote nearly half of what is now known as the New Testament of the Christian Holy Bible.  There are 27 books in the New Testament and most Biblical scholars attribute Pauline authorship to 12 of the 27 books.

Of particular interest to this writer is an exhortation that Saint Paul wrote to a worship fellowship located in the city of Colossae.

Although Saint Paul never visited this church – it had been founded by a man named Epaphras – he nevertheless exhorted the men and women at this church to continue to mature in their walk with their LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST with the following words:

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Colossians 2.6-7)

Wow, this is a tremendous word of edification!

Some of the hallmarks of a person who confesses that Jesus Christ is their LORD and Savior is that they

  • Walk in Him. To Walk in The LORD denotes that you have a close, personal, and intimate relationship with Him.  The term “Walk” is a term of spiritual endearment.
  • The Old Testament states that Enoch “walked with GOD” (Genesis 5.22, 24)
  • Noah was a “righteous man” who also walked with GOD (Genesis 6.8-9)
  • The great Patriarch Abraham walked with GOD as a holy man (Genesis 17.1-3)

To “Walk with The LORD” means to Love Him and to cheerfully obey Him.

  • Secondly, this passage in Colossians instructs believers to not only actualize that they “walk in JESUS,” but that to understand that they are “firmly rooted and now being built up in Him” (Christ, Jesus).
  • Our LORD instructed His Apostles in the 15th chapter of Saint John’s Gospel that HE – JESUS- is the Vine and that His disciples are the branches. Jesus instructed His followers that they must abide in Him like a branch must abide within the Vine.
  • JESUS reminded His disciples that apart from Him that they could do NOTHING!!!
  • Too often Christian believers attempt to live the Christian life with their own strength not realizing that this is a fatal error.

Successful Christian living derives its nourishment from constantly feasting on The LORD’S Presence in both His Holy Word and His Holy Liturgy.

  • As we are established in Christ in our walk with Him, we mature and the eventual fruit produced in our lives is the attribute of a life of “overflowing thanksgiving or gratitude.”

GOD Almighty places a hallmark on His Children being grateful for the bountiful blessings that He bestows upon their lives.

Please allow me to digress for a moment from this “pastoral homily.”

In the United States of America, we as a nation have been showered with blessings too numerous to count.

We have been blessed with the liberty and freedom to worship as we choose.

We have been blessed with economic output that has never ever been seen in human history

We have been blessed with peace from external enemies; the United States has only been invaded three (3) times in the last two hundred (200) years:  (1.) The War of 1812; (2.) Pearl Harbor in 1941; and (3.) September 11, 2001 – better known as 9/11

The United States has been blessed to survive the ravages of Slavery and Segregation, Genocide of many of the indigenous Indians; and Discrimination against Women.

Christian Men and Women of all stripes prophetically addressed Slavery and Segregation and forced the nation to address many of its ills.

Where did the moral conscience of this great nation come from?

Could it be that our nation forgot the “Judeo-Christian impulse” that established this nation from its very outset off of the shores of James Bay, Virginia in 1607 and off of the shores of Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts 1620 (Mayflower Compact)?

In my series on diversity, I pointed out that the early Colleges in this nation were founded as institutions based upon the Christian Faith (Harvard 1636, Yale 1701, and Brown 1764).

Even the College of William and Mary which was founded in Virginia in 1695 was started as an institution established in the Anglican Faith.

During this Memorial Holiday Weekend, let us take a moment to thank Almighty GOD for the many Men and Women who gave their lives so that we can remain a free people.

Let us personally reach out to the Men and Women who have served in the military and thank them for their ministry of protection.

Finally, let us display our thankfulness and gratitude to Almighty GOD, by endeavoring to “Submit” and “Serve” Him with greater zeal and tenacity in all that He calls us to do.

May GOD richly bless All of You!

Please have a Safe and Prosperous Memorial Holiday Weekend.

Over the last two weeks, we began looking at the concept of diversity from a multifaceted perspective.

We stated that “diversity” can take on additional components and qualities other than “race” or “gender” such as:

  • Theological Diversity
  • Philosophical Diversity
  • Geographical & Regional Diversity

In the early colonial period of 1607 to 1700, we saw the development of what has been called our current “Ivy League” level schools (Harvard and Brown Universities) and we saw how “The College of William & Mary” has now become known as a “Public Ivy League” type institution that produced outstanding Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson.

A unique diversity has played a role in the lives of two of the greatest Presidents that our nation has produced:  Harry S. Truman and Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The two Presidents mentioned above, Presidents Truman, and Reagan are each ranked as “Near-Great” by the majority of both Conservative and Liberal historians, lawyers, and political scientists.

The two former Presidents came from diverse backgrounds and from a variety of family and work experiences.

President Truman hailed from the great state of Missouri.  Mr. Truman grew up in a family that farmed.  Furthermore, Harry Truman spent considerable time in the United States military.  Mr. Truman rose to the rank of Captain during World War I where he distinguished himself with superb leadership in the European War Theater.  After the war, President Truman continued to server in the Army Reserves eventually rising to the rank of Colonel.

Mr. Truman was a former haberdasher; farmer, county judge, United States Senator and he even completed two years of law school.  Mr. Truman was the last President who did not have a college degree. (The Governor Scott Walker team should take courage as he is often assailed for not having a college degree; President Truman achieved splendid Presidential greatness – Smile!).

Harry Truman’s Presidential accomplishments were breathtaking.  He successfully navigated our nation through the end of World War II leading our nation to victory over Germany and Japan; he formulated the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – and he was the architect of The Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe.

Furthermore, even though Mr. Truman’s roots were heavily influenced by a Pro-Confederacy background – he was the first President in the modern era who saw the need to break through the crust of “racial  animus and discrimination” and treat Negroes (today we are called Black-American) with dignity and respect.  Truman desegregated the United States Military in 1948 and in 1947 he became the first sitting President to actually personally address a convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Mr. Truman was a Southern Baptist who grew and who recognized the modern state of Israel as a nation in 1948.  Men and Women who embrace Judeo-Christian values will be forever grateful to the foresight and spiritual acumen of the 33rd President of The United States.

Wow, these accomplishments are not bad for a man who never completed college.  It was said that President Truman was a self-taught man of tremendous learning and erudition.

Finally, let us look at the former “actor” who became the 40th President of the United States:  Mr. Ronald Wilson Reagan.

President Reagan was born into a modest home in the great state of Illinois.  He was a child blessed with poor eyesight, but with excellent communication skills; he was known as being somewhat shy and diffident during his formative years.

Ronald Reagan shocked his family when in the late 1920s he enrolled at Eureka College (a school founded by the Christian “Disciples-of-Christ” denomination).  At Eureka, Mr. Reagan earned three Varsity letter in football and during the summer months while at Eureka he was credited with saving as many as 77 people from drowning as he worked as a lifeguard.

In the essence of full disclosure it must be noted that Ronald Reagan voted for Franklin Roosevelt not once or twice, but 4 times in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944 respectively.  Mr. Reagan grew up as a working class New Deal Democrat.

However, Mr. Reagan’s political philosophy evolved and changed as he grew older and as he left the world of acting (he was President of the Hollywood Screen Actors guild for nine years in the 1940s) and moved on to become a corporate spokesman for General Electric (GE) in the 1950s.

It was during the “Eisenhower years” of 1953 to 1960 that Mr. Reagan began to read widely in the areas of Political Science, Economics, and American History as he traveled by train across our great country working for GE.

This writer finds it funny that Mr. Reagan’s critics often laughed at him and even used ad hominem arguments to attack his person and label him an “amiable dunce” instead of honestly addressing the policy positions that he put forth.

Ronald Reagan left the world of GE and “Death Valley” and ran for the Governorship of California in 1966.  Mr. Reagan shocked the nation by winning the Governor’s race against the very popular incumbent Governor Pat Brown.

While Governor of California, Mr. Reagan was known for growing from a relatively ineffective first term to developing a robust plan for governing that led to increased revenues for the State of California, a magnificent Welfare Reform bill signed into law in 1971.

When Governor Reagan won the Presidency in 1980 by defeating former President Jimmy Carter, he inherited a nation that had an 8% unemployment rate; an inflation rate of 13.3%; a Prime Interest Rate of 18% – and an Iranian hostage crisis which saw many men and women held in captivity for 444 days!

The confidence of the American people was shattered as in the previous ten years the country witnessed a terrible end of The Vietnam War (1973); the disgraceful resignation of an American President (Richard Nixon) after The Watergate Scandal – and a decade of stagflation (high inflation and high unemployment).

The newly installed President articulated that “Government is not the solution, but that Big Government is the Problem!”

Many of Mr. Reagan’s critics argued that President Franklin Roosevelt showed that the Keynesian economic model of Government stimulus outperformed the Classical free market economic model of Adam Smith – and most recently Dr. Milton Friedman.

President Reagan was undeterred by his critics.

The President pushed forward across the board Tax Cuts; he raised Defense Spending; he slowed down the rate of the domestic programs; it is a popular myth that President Reagan actually cut federal programs; a case in point is that President Reagan attempted to eliminate the Department of Education and merge it back with the Department of Health and Human Services as it was when it was known as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare or HEW.

(President Reagan could not get one Republican in either the House or the Senate to go along with this plan so it was scrapped.)

What were the results of President Reagan’s bold initiatives?

Here is a snapshot of some of President Reagan accomplishments as he left office in January of 1989:

  • Social conservatives were no longer marginalized; President Reagan was an articulate spokesman of the Pro-Life position;
  • Inflation was reduced to a mere 3%!
  • The unemployment rate was around 4%!
  • Real immigration reform took place in 1986 (this was the last comprehensive immigration reform embarked upon our nation).
  • The first real reduction in “nuclear weaponry” was negotiated in 1987; this is known as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

This writer guesses that perhaps more “amiable dunces” need to occupy the Executive mansion on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We, the American public, are often told that our “diversity” is our greatest strength.

The Founding Fathers of this great “American Experiment believed in the uniqueness of diversity, but they believed that “diversity” should flow out of the concept of “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin for “Out of many, one”).

Last week, I began a series on different types of “diversity” that have historically blessed our nation.

This week, I would like to briefly focus on some of the key “divergent trends and actions” that helped to shape and form the great “educational” and “spiritual roots” of our country.

Our earliest colleges, schools such as Harvard College (established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts); The College of William & Mary (established in 1695 in Virginia); and Yale College (established in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut) were originally founded as “faith-based institutions of higher learning.”

The great American Clergyman John Harvard donated his personal library for the formation of Harvard College so that Harvard would have the primary mission of educating a spiritually fit and literate clergy.

Pastor Harvard was not the founder of Harvard College, but he was its first major philanthropic benefactor.

The early American colonists (our Pilgrim & Founding Fathers) were motivated by a dual phenomenon based on their (1.) Faith in the Judeo-Christian GOD and (2.) their belief in hard work and industry by eking out their living from the farms that they owned, plowed and maintained.

If we look at Harvard, the College of William & Mary, and Brown University we notice that two of the colleges were in New England – Harvard (Massachusetts) and Brown (Rhode Island) – and that The College of William & Mary was chartered as a Royal College by The King of England (located in the Virginia colony).

These three schools demonstrate a Geographical and Theological diversity; they each possessed a unique founding and a different sense of both mission and purpose.

Harvard College was Calvinist in its orientation; the school was heavily influenced by the writings of the great Swiss Reformer & Theologian John Calvin.

Calvin is mostly noted for his work in Systematic Theology; he authored the masterpiece called The Institutes of The Christian Religion, 1536 & 1559.

Brown University – which is located in present day Rhode Island – was opened in the midst of tremendous Theological & Social controversy concerning the role of the “freedom of conscience” and the belief in the “freedom of religious liberty.”

Two of the people who helped to start the colony of Rhode Island were Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson; they both were early proponents of “Religious Liberty” and the belief in the freedom to worship absent from coercive Ecclesiastical Authority.

Williams founded the oldest “Baptist church” in the colonies;  Ms. Anne Hutchinson came from a distinguished line of “religious dissenters” (many prominent Americans trace their lineage back to Ms. Hutchinson).

Time does not permit me in this article to go through the timeline and nuances of Pastor Roger Williams’ life; however, it is sufficient to say that we remember that Williams emigrated from Great Britain to Massachusetts; the Reverend Roger Williams learned the languages of the Native-Americans as he had a desire to preach the Gospel of Christ to the Indians.

Furthermore, the Reverend Williams’ constant criticism of the Church of England (he considered The Anglican Communion to be irredeemably corrupt) eventually forced him to flee from Massachusetts and move to what was to become the “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

Mr. Williams’ help to find and discover the modern city of “Providence” Rhode Island.  He named the city Providence because he felt that his efforts were blessed by The Hand of Almighty GOD.

One might dare say that few people today realize that the word “Providence” is a theological term which denotes “GOD’s divine guidance, favor, and care.

In addition to being a friend of Native-Indians, Roger Williams started some of the first Anti-Slavery organizations in the American Colonies.

Historically, Williams is best known for his ideas concerning the –

  • Separation of Church & State;
  • The Reform of The Church of England; and for his beliefs in
  • The freedom of Religious Expression.

One wonders how a Pastor Roger Williams might feel about the need to pass legislation guaranteeing Religious Liberty in 21st century America (the controversy surrounding the various Religious Freedom & Restoration Act bills in our nation would undoubtedly unnerve him if he were alive today).

We take the concepts and beliefs that Williams & Hutchinson championed for granted because we do not realize how radical those three (3) ideas were during their lifetimes.

One could be banished and excommunicated from a colony for holding on to these radical & heretical views; both Williams and Hutchinson had to flee from Massachusetts and migrate to Rhode Island in search of deeper meaning and fulfillment of purpose.

America of 2015 is blessed with our Freedoms of Religion, Expression and Free Speech because the early American Christian colonists dared to leave England and even dared to leave the colonies that they originally settled in order to stay true to their sense of meaning and purpose.

Early colonists such as John Harvard, Roger Williams, and Anne Hutchinson dared to be different; they dared to believe that one could be and should be free to Worship, Speak, and develop places of Higher Learning without the coercion of The English Crown or abusive Colonial magistrates.

The “diversity” championed by the Christian minister John Harvard; the Pastor Roger Williams – and the “dissenter” Anne Hutchinson directly contributed to the precious Bill of Rights that was created long after they passed from the Colonial scene; today we deem that The Bill of Rights is essential and vital to our ongoing nourishment and survival as a nation.

We can all be thankful that America produces “peaceful & non-violent rebels” who prick the conscience of our nation when needed.