Independence Day 2016

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The American spirit flashed bright.  Don’t let the darkness of socialism destroy that spirit.

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.  The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them…  reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

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As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit.  One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear.

— George Washington, farewell address, 1796 A.D.

Remember the spirit of 1776.

Happy Fourth of July.

Fahrenheit 451: Burning Words

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Fahrenheit 451 is a book about burning words and ideas.  Instead of putting out fires, the Firemen in Fahrenheit 451 start fires, and burn books.

This book sizzles.  Its words crackle.  Listen:

It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.  With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.  With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black.  He strode in a swarm of fireflies…  While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.

Montag was a Fireman.  In the beginning, his face was gripped with a fiery smile.  But through interaction with someone who contemplated life, he realized his emptiness.  In his search for meaning, he began to steal and hide the very books he was supposed to burn.

His wife told him to find distraction in something fun.  That is what everyone does.  Don’t think, just have fun.  But Montag would not this time.  He wanted to hold onto his emptiness, he wanted to find meaning.

17470674Montag held possibly the last copy of the Bible in his part of the world.  And he knew if they found it, they would burn it.

He could hear Beatty’s voice.  “Sit down, Montag.  Watch.  Delicately, like the petals of a flower.  Light the first page, light the second page.  Each becomes a black butterfly.  Beautiful, eh?  Light the third page, from the second and so on, chain-smoking, chapter by chapter, all the silly things the words mean, all the false promises, all the secondhand notions and time-worn philosophies.”  There sat Beatty, perspiring gently, the floor littered with swarms of black moths that had died in a single storm.

They would burn the Bible, one page at a time they would destroy the words and ideas.

Montag brought the last physical copy of the Bible to Faber.

Faber’s hands itched on his knees.  “May I?”

“Sorry.”  Montag gave him the book.

“It’s been a long time.  I’m not a religious man.  But it’s been a long time.”  Faber turned the pages, stopping here and there to read.  “It’s as good as I remember.  Lord, how they’ve changed it in our ‘parlors’ these days.¹  Christ is one of the ‘family’ now.²  I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we’ve dressed him up, or is it dressed him down?  He’s a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn’t making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs.”  Faber sniffed the book.  “Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land?  I loved to smell them when I was a boy.  Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.”  Faber turned the pages.  “Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward.  I saw the way things were going, a long time back.  I said nothing.  I’m one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the ‘guilty,’ but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself.  And when finally they set the structure to burn the books, using the firemen, I grunted a few times and subsided, for there were no others grunting or yelling with me, by then.  Now, it’s too late.”  Faber closed the Bible.  “Well—suppose you tell me why you came here?”

“Nobody listens any more.  I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me.³  I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls.³  I just want someone to hear what I have to say.  And maybe if I talk long enough, it’ll make sense.  And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.”

¹  Parlors are TV viewing rooms.  ²  The ‘family’ are the characters on the television programs.  ³  When Montag says “walls” he means the giant interactive TVs that are the walls of the parlor.

Montag’s experience reminds me of the so-called Church Growth Movement.  Within that movement, nobody listens, nobody pays attention.  The glowing giant television transfixes.  And nobody cares what it says, it just feels good.  It makes them feel like they are doing their part to grow the Church with their attractive sugar-crystal “Jesus.”

The world is that way too.  Everyone wants to feel good, and feel like they are important, and feel like they are making a difference.  So we play video games, watch TV, take drugs, go to church, or whatever we need to get that high feeling.  Meanwhile, we trample the truth.  We trample the real Jesus, a Jesus not of sugar but of human flesh and blood.

But every once in awhile, someone wakes up.  And they start to realize something is wrong, but because we live in an age where the truth has been almost completely obliterated, we cannot quite put our finger on it.

Fahrenheit 451 continued:

Faber examined Montag’s thin, blue-jowled face.  “How did you get shaken up?  What knocked the torch out of your hands?”

“I don’t know.  We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy.  Something’s missing.  I looked around.  The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I’d burned in ten or twelve years.  So I thought books might help.”

“You’re a hopeless romantic,” said Faber.  “It would be funny if it were not serious.  It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books.  The same things could be in the ‘parlor families’ today.  The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not.  No, no, it’s not books at all you’re looking for! …  Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget.  There is nothing magical in them, at all.  The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

Faber continued by saying that books like the Bible are important because they tell the truth and the whole truth, showing even the pores and dirt.

“So now do you see why books are hated and feared?  They show the pores in the face of life.  The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.  We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam.  Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from the chemistry of the earth.  Yet somehow we think we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the cycle back to reality.”

Finally, Faber said that not only is truth important, but just as important is the time to think and ponder.  The television and the culture tell us what to think, and they do not give us time to process what they are saying.

“If you’re not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can’t think of anything else but the danger, then you’re playing some game or sitting in some room where you can’t argue with the four-wall televisor.  Why?  The televisor is ‘real.’  It is immediate, it has dimension.  It tells you what to think and blasts it in.  It must be right.  It seems so right.  It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!'”

The truth has time.  The truth is real.  The truth is not afraid.  The truth brings freedom.  (John 8:32).

That is why I love the liturgy.  Its words come from the Bible, and it gives us time to ponder, years even.  For a lifetime, the words sink in, and they change us because they are always with us.  Christ promised to be with us in his word, not the latest innovative creed, manipulative video, or man-centered motivational speech masquerading as a sermon.  The truth comes to us through his clear, pure word.

Through word and sacrament alone is how he comes to us.  Our fathers fought for this principle in the Reformation.  But now those who are trading God’s word of truth for mere emotionalism and pragmatism will receive a bowl of pottage for their inheritance.  (Genesis 25:29-34).

Montag asked,

“Where do we go from here?  Would books help us?”

“Only if the third necessary thing could be given us.  Number one, as I said, quality of information.  Number two: leisure to digest it.  And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.”

Fahrenheit 451 is about burning books and ideas.  But they do not have to burn books no one reads.  Faber admitted as much.  The Firemen were just for show.  The Firemen in Fahrenheit 451 were made possible because no one knew the truth anymore anyway.

600px-Ingsoc_logo_from_1984.svgToday, we do not burn books, instead we ignore them, or “translate” them into Ingsoc.  (Coined by George Orwell, Ingsoc is English corrupted by socialism.  An example of this corruption is the attempt to erase biological gender distinctions from the English language so that we start calling men women and women men or start saying that 2+2=5).  Ingsoc makes telling the truth impossible, and hearing the truth incomprehensible.  The purpose of deconstructing our words is not just to obscure truth, but to destroy the English language, and make it incapable of communicating the truth.

Regarding the Bible, they do not have to burn a book no one reads.  And if someone does read the Bible, they try to give us gender-confused and other Ingsoc translations to obscure the truth.  Consider for example Psalm 8:4.  The NIV (2011 version) says:

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

Why does God care for human beings?  Why is God mindful of us?  The true answer is Christ, the son of man.  (Daniel 7:13-14).  Here is the English Standard Version:

what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Christ is the son of man.  (Daniel 7:13-14).  Christ alone is the man God cares for.  He is the righteous one.  Moses and the prophets wrote of Christ; but for him they had nothing to say.  (Luke 24:44).  But these “translators” have obscured Christ, so in the end, what they leave us with is a question without an answer:  Why does God care for human beings?

The most important question is not, Who are human beings?  Who are they?  The question God wants us to ask is, why does God care for the son of man?  Who is He?

George Orwell said, “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”  (Politics and the English Language).

The translators of the NIV (2011 version) did not burn the masculine and feminine gendered books, but they are burning the idea one verse and one version at a time.  As Beatty would have had Montag burn the Bible one page at time, so also the ever-changing translations would surrender the English language, and obscure Christ one idea at a time, starting with certain gender-clear passages about Jesus in the Old Testament.

Christians must wake up, and stand against the intentional destruction of our language.  Do not let them burn words, mistranslate, or obscure Christ in any part of the Bible.

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On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave to the Church the gift of tongues and the understanding of languages.  (Acts 2).  The purpose of language is not to control minds and prop up totalitarianism, but rather to communicate the truth.  The truth sets us free.  (John 8:32).  Let us hold fast to Jesus, the Word of God, and the Truth.

Remembering September 11

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On September 11, 2001, Islamists attacked us in spectacular fashion.  They brought their 1,400-year never-ending religious war to our shores.

We had no choice but to enter their religious war.  However, we refused to recognize their religious motivations.  We insisted their beliefs were peaceful.  It would be as if our fathers had sought to defeat the Nazis without defeating Nazism.  Or if they had sought to defeat Imperial Japan without defeating Japanese Imperialism.

Because we have refused to fight against the motivations of our enemies, we are losing this war.  They have resolve.  They have goals.  They know what they want.

We, on the other hand, do not know what we are fighting against.  Our borders are wide open to invasion.  We bring hordes of people who espouse the views of our enemies to our shores en masse.  And our incompetent and cowardly leaders think we can win this war by showing how nice we are, so that our enemies will like us.

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When the Islamists took American slaves, and demanded tribute, our Founding Fathers sent ships to destroy them.  They defended our freedom.  They knew what they believed in, and they fought for it.

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Free men cannot live forever with slavers and slavery.  Sometimes, free men must fight for freedom.

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However, the idea that all cultures are equal in value has made us timid and weak.  We are afraid to stand up for freedom.  We are afraid to stand up for the foundation of freedom.  The very concept of truth is the foundation of freedom.  We are afraid to speak the truth.

The truth sets free.  (John 8:32).  Unfortunately, some powerful Americans deny that truth even exists.  The greatest threat to America is not force of arms, but rather force of nefarious ideas.  Will America succumb to lies, or again seek freedom and truth?

The sun still rises and sets.

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The sun still rises and sets.

Some things preexist the government.  The sun, the earth, humanity; these are things that neither came from the government nor do they need the permission of the government to exist.  Human families are where we came from; all of us came from an unbroken succession of one man and one woman back to the very beginning.

The sun does not ask the government’s permission to shine.  The earth is not fruitful because the state approved.  And the physical union of one man and one woman was not ordained by the U.S. Constitution.

Our right to exist, our right to life, our very lives all preexist the government.  Our lives all came from one woman and one man.  We do not ask the government for permission to live because our lives were given by God through our mothers and fathers.  Once upon a time, we knew such things, and said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men …

— U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court attempted to usurp the authority of reality by declaring a dead rock to be a “family tree.”  But reality does not and will never comport itself to the words of man.  Our words should comport with reality, not the other way around.  We play God when we attempt to shape reality through our words.

God laughs.  No child will ever be born from two-men or two-women.  No one has ever been born from two-men or two-women.  None of these so-called “marriages” will ever be consummated.  None of these so-called “marriages” will ever produce a single child.  None of these so-called “marriages” will ever experience the one-flesh-union of real marriage.

True marriage is the life-long one-flesh union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.  It is based on and flows from our human design.  Men and women are designed to be together, their bodies compliment each other.

All Justice Kennedy and the U.S. Supreme Court have succeeded in doing is playing redefinition word games.  A rose is a rose by whatever name one calls it, and so is true marriage.

The government did not create the sun.  The government did not create life.  The government did not create liberty.  And the government did not create marriage.

The sun rises.  The sun sets.  The true Lord is still in control.

‘Brave German Woman’

The title of the video is “‘Brave German Woman’ rebukes Islam’s lie.”

The Middle East used to be a Christian land.  The political arm of Islam conquered the Middle East over a thousand years ago, and almost conquered Europe a couple of times since.  Through centuries of systematic repression and organic persecution of Christians, Christianity is on the verge of disappearing from some middle eastern countries.

Will Europe and America follow through surrender?  Do we care nothing for religious freedom?  Where are the men of The West?

This video reminds me of Deborah.  God had told Barak to go, and defend his people, but he would not.  Instead, Barak said to Deborah, “‘If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.’  And she said, ‘I will surely go with you.  Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.'”  (Judges 4:8-9, ESV).  Barak and Deborah went, and God defended his people Israel so that the Lord Jesus Christ could eventually be born.

The Lord will always defend his people, but we will not always receive the full glory God wants to give to us because we do not always boldly speak the truth.  (Heaven itself is a free gift, but in heaven some will receive greater glory than others).  I don’t know where the men of Germany are, but I am grateful for the courage of one brave little German woman.

“Jesus Christus allein ist Herr.”

Jesus Christ alone is Lord.

Amen.

All Elected Officials Must Be Accountable

When an elected official declares himself beyond criticism, and demands that his handling of public matters be kept confidential, and then threatens to accuse those who criticize him of violating the Law; then that elected official has become a tyrant.  Elected officials are supposed to be servants, not overlords; and therefore, their job performances are supposed to be subject to review and even criticism by the electorate.

Luther, in the Large Catechism, teaches us to put the best construction on everything, while still telling the truth.  He also teaches that we must honor not only our mothers and fathers, but also all those in authority over us.

However, would it really be a violation of those commandments to honestly critique the job performance of Wisconsin Governor Walker?  Would it be a violation to criticize the foreign policy of President Obama?  Would it be a violation to truthfully report on, and strongly disagree publicly with Obama’s intervention in Libya?  His handling of the war in Afghanistan?  His position on abortion?

Are we allowed to say: “Obama has been doing his job incompetently”?  Do Lutherans really teach that that is inherently a violation of the Fourth and Eighth Commandments?

For now, in the United States, our elected officials do not threaten to accuse citizens of violating the law simply for reporting and criticizing.  In fact, public officials have even less protection from criticism of their job performance than private citizens.  This is because they are elected public officials, and therefore the electorate is entitled to engage in vigorous public job performance reviews.

Do not employers get to review employee job performance?

Jesus said to his disciples:

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

— Matthew 20:25-28, NIV1984.

The Apostles are among the greatest of men in the Christian Church, and yet their Servant told them to not lord it over others.

Therefore, the elected officials in the WELS are not beyond criticism.  And the elected officials in the WELS have no authority to demand that others remain silent about their inept handling of public matters.  All elected officials must be answerable and accountable to those they serve.  (Galatians 2:11-14).

The rights and principles of freedom were given by God to all people, including Christians.  All people have the right to speak truthfully about the public matters affecting their lives, including Christians.  Even more, when the gospel is at stake, all servants of the Lord must speak publicly.  (Jeremiah 20:9, Galatians 2:14 & 1 Timothy 5:20).

The elected officials in the WELS need to be open and transparent about their positions and actions (or lack thereof) regarding public matters.  Or they must publicly explain why such public matters should be handled privately.  It is not a valid excuse to say: “Handling these matters privately makes our job easier because we do not like our job performances to be subjected to criticism.”  Those who refuse to be criticized should not hold elected office.  Those who refuse to serve, should not hold the office of servant.

Drawing Mohammed and Jesus

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In the Spring of 2010 A.D., numerous advocates of free speech in America started an internet movement called “Everybody Draw Mohammed.”  It began in response to American media giants like The New York Times, Viacom, and Comedy Central self-censoring images and news about Islam and Mohammed.  There were threats that certain Americans would end up like Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered for criticizing Islam/Mohammedanism.

The idea was that if all freedom loving folk would draw Mohammed, then they could not kill us all, or at least the threat level directed at specific individuals would diminish.  However, Islam’s goal is not just to stop us from drawing Mohammed.  Islam’s ultimate goal is to dominate the world both religiously and politically.  Islam is not just a religion, it is also a system of government based on a set of ideas that are not compatible with freedom of conscience.

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These pictures are of members of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine.  They are of the sort of fellows that would like to kill you for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for being Christian, or for not being the right kind of Muslim.  Do you want to see an image of Mohammed?  Look.  Unfortunately, they are the face of Mohammed.

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There is another image of Mohammed: the word of Mohammed.

Mohammed says when they reject Allah’s word, then use the sword; (for example: fight the non-Muslims until they readily pay the protection tax.  Koran, Surah 9:29).  However, this is the word of man.  God’s word is powerful and does not need swords.  The true Prophet “Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away!'”  (John 18:11).  Then later, Jesus told the pagan governor of Palestine:

“My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.  But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king.  In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

[John 18:36-37].

God’s word does not need swords.  Jesus is the true Prophet.  His followers conquered the pagan Roman Empire without the sword.  In fact, they did not even knock over the pagan idols.

In response to the radical “reforms” of Karlstadt who sought to destroy images, Martin Luther said:

Once, when Paul came to Athens (Acts 17 [:16–32]), a mighty city, he found in the temple many ancient altars, and he went from one to the other and looked at them all, but he did not kick down a single one of them with his foot.  Rather he stood up in the middle of the market place and said they were nothing but idolatrous things and begged the people to forsake them; yet he did not destroy one of them by force.  When the Word took hold of their hearts, they forsook them of their own accord, and in consequence the thing fell of itself…  For the Word created heaven and earth and all things [Psalm 33:6]; the Word must do this thing, and not we poor sinners.

In short, I will preach it, teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion…  [God’s word] is almighty, and takes captive the hearts, and when the hearts are captured the work will fall of itself.

[Luther’s works, vol. 51: Sermons I.  III-78.  Philadelphia: Fortress Press.  (1999, c1959).  Emphasis added].

Nor did Paul resort to mere insult, but instead he reasoned with the pagans according even to their own poets.  (Acts 17:28).  (With freedom comes responsibility, and the purpose of free speech is to tell the truth.  Mere insult devoid of reason is an abuse, not a use of free speech).

God’s word created heaven and earth (Psalm 33:6), therefore, God’s word is also powerful enough to change the heart of sinful man.  True believers can trust God’s word alone.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  (Luke 21:33).  Why did Jesus say this?  Because His words are Truth.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the true God, except through Jesus.  (John 14:6).

God does not need our services, but it is our privilege to speak His word; and His word does not lose its power simply because it is in our mouths.

Many Muslims are opposed to drawing any prophet (including Jesus) or any person or animal.  The Taliban believes that photographs are a sin.  (Religion Facts.com).  But if we stop making pictures or depicting Jesus or any prophet out of fear, we will have surrendered to the Jihad.  We will have become Mohammedans, because to act like a Mohammedan is to be a Mohammedan whether the motivation is faith or fear.

The true God wants to first change our hearts with His Word, but others are more concerned with immediate earthly results.  Have faith.  God’s word is our strength.  Jesus said,

“a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.  They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.”  [John 16:2-3].

Who is the true God and the true Prophet?  The true God has a different character than Allah and Mohammed; the natural man cannot understand Him.

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“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”  (This was foretold by the prophet Isaiah 53:5, NKJV).  Jesus paid the consequences for the sins of the whole world.  Your sins have been paid for by Jesus, now treat your fellow man as Jesus has treated you.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the true God except through Jesus.  He is the one God.  (John 8:58, 14:6).

Photo credits: via PicApp.

Remembering the Victims of Communism

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell.  We should never forget why it was built and why it fell.  Remembering where we came from will tell us who we are.

The above video is an interview with author and historian Lee Edwards about the creation of the Victims of Communism Memorial dedicated to those who perished under Communist regimes between 1917 and 1989.

Fall of the Berlin Wall: the moment the barriers came down:

Approximately 2000 years ago, one man tore down another wall on a hill in Jerusalem.  That wall also separated a land of freedom from a land of slavery.  Actually, it was a curtain, and by his sacrifice he tore it in two:

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  [Matthew 27:50-51].

Remember.  And tell the good news.

Light Bulbs vs. The Nanny State

As an amateur photographer, I can attest to the inferior quality of CFL light.  They give off an unhealthy looking green glow, and have ruined many a photograph.  Compact Florescent Lights have good uses, but we should not ban beautiful incandescent lights.

If the government is going to start outlawing beautiful objects just because they allegedly consume too much energy, then there are many things government could outlaw: holiday lights, water fountains, fireworks, beautiful architecture, etc.  Banning these inventions might save energy, but what would be the effect on our quality of life?

This country needs to return to the often misunderstood and forgotten concept of freedom.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

These fireworks represent the blood and treasure our fore-fathers spent to win our freedom.

Here is an excerpt from George Washington’s Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.  The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them…  reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

‘Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.  The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government.  Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric.

Promote then as an object of primary importance, Institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.  In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit.  One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear.

— George Washington, 1796.

Our Founding Fathers worked hard to birth this nation in freedom.  They promoted virtue and morality, and they paid their debts with their own blood and treasure knowing that debtors are servants to creditors.  Today as we celebrate our own freedom and independence, consider whether we are giving the same gift of freedom to future generations.  Do we promote virtue and morality?  Are we paying our debts?  Or are we expecting future generations to pay our bills?  Are we using our trillion dollar debts to enslave future Americans?  Will we be the generation that inherits freedom and bequeaths slavery?