THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

December 22, 2017

Christmas in America

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 3:25 pm

Why is Christmas a National Holiday?

2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting

Christmas has long been celebrated regionally in America, mostly according to Old World customs imported with immigrants. It was in the 1850’s, with sectional strife and later civil war, that Christmas became a unifying repose during America’s most disunified time in her history. Christmas became a national (federal) holiday in 1870 (President U.S. Grant), along with New Year’s, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 90% of Americans say they celebrate Christmas; while 95% of Americans self-identifying as Christians say they celebrate Christmas.

How did former presidents celebrate and communicate Christmas?

American presidents, for more than 200 years, have celebrated Christmas in many ways:

*On his first Christmas Eve as our first president, George Washington (1789-1787) attended services at St. Paul’s church in New York City, our first Capital. President Washington was the only president who did not live in the White House. He was instrumental in selecting the design and location of the White House, but construction was not completed until after he left office. President Washington and his wife, Martha, were very big entertainers at Christmas. Although Christmas cards were not used until the mid 19th Century, George and Martha Washington sent many invitations during the eight Christmas seasons of Washington’s presidency, and they were often joined by relatives, friends and many prominent people of the times.

*When the second President of the United States, John Adams (1797-1801), moved into what would come to be known as the White House, the residence was cold, damp, and drafty. Sitting at the edge of a dreary swamp, the First Family had to keep 13 fireplaces lit in an effort to stay comfortable. It is in this setting that the cantankerous president held the first ever White House Christmas party in honor of his granddaughter, Susanna. It could be said that the invitations sent for this party were the very first White House Christmas cards, though in those early days, the building was referred to as the President’s Palace, Presidential Mansion, or President’s House. The affair was planned in large part by the vivacious First Lady, Abigail Adams, and was considered a great success. A small orchestra played festive music in a grand ballroom adorned with seasonal flora. After dinner, cakes and punch were served while the staff and guests caroled and played games.

*Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) was America’s third president. In 1805, six of Jefferson’s grandchildren and 100 of their friends – invited by Secretary of State James Madison’s wife, Dolley, who acted as official hostess – made for a tremendously enjoyable holiday party at which Jefferson played the violin for the dancing children. Christmas celebrations at the Jefferson White House were festive affairs where delicacies and local American foods were served.

(*From whitehousechristmascards.com)

One unique presidential correlation was made by our sixth president, John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), son of our second president. In an Independence Day address on July 4, 1837, President Adams addressed a Massachusetts audience with these words:

“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before?” (Read Luke 2:8-14 and Isaiah 11:1-10 for Adams’ Biblical context.)

John Quincy Adams, our last surviving Founding Father, blended together two celebrations: our nation’s birthday and the birth of Jesus—Christmas. America is a blessed nation because of her historic acknowledgment of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His earthly mission.

Time or space does not allow us to cover all the presidential Christmas celebrations or comments, but here are some quotes from four 20th Century presidents and our current president.

“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.
– Calvin Coolidge, 1927

“The spirit of Christmas breathes an eternal message of peace and good-will to all men. We pause therefore on this Holy Night and, laying down the burdens and the cares of life and casting aside the anxieties of the common day, rejoice that nineteen hundred years ago, heralded by angels, there came into the world One whose message was of peace, who gave to all mankind a new commandment of love. In that message of love and of peace we find the true meaning of Christmas.

And so I greet you with the greeting of the Angels on that first Christmas at Bethlehem which, resounding through centuries, still rings out with its eternal message: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will to men.’”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1935

“We mark the festival of Christmas which is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization. For nearly 2,000 years the message of Christmas, the message of peace and good will towards all men, has been the guiding star of our endeavors. This morning I had a meeting at the White House which included some of our representatives from far off countries in Africa and Asia. They were returning to their posts for the Christmas holidays. Talking with them afterwards, I was struck by the fact that in the far off continents Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, as well as Christians, pause from their labors on the 25th day of December to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace. There could be no more striking proof that Christmas is truly the universal holiday of all men. It is the day when all of us dedicate our thoughts to others; when all are reminded that mercy and compassion are the enduring virtues; when all show, by small deeds and large and by acts, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
– John F. Kennedy, 1962

“Of all the songs ever sung at Christmastime, the most wonderful of all was the song of exaltation heard by the shepherds while tending their flocks on the night of Christ’s birth. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and said: ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’ Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of voices praising the Heavenly Father and singing: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations we forget that the true meaning of Christmas was given to us by the angelic host that holy night long ago. Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, whose message would truly be one of good tidings and great joy, peace and good will. During this glorious festival let us renew our determination to follow His example.”
– Ronald Reagan, 1983

“For Christians, this is a Holy season – the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Christmas story begins 2000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son, and the most extraordinary gift of all, the gift of God’s love for all of humanity.

Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world.

Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it’s about who we are – each one of us is a child of God.

That is the true source of joy this time of the year.

That is what makes every Christmas ‘merry.’

And that is what we remember at today’s beautiful ceremony, that we are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world.”
Donald Trump, 2017 

Our Founding Fathers and successive presidents have long acknowledged God and this special celebration of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) “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.” (John 3:16)

Make it a blessed and merry Christmas 2017, America!

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August 19, 2017

On Statues and Symbols

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 10:16 pm

#charlottesville #forestparkmonument #confederateflag #tencommandmentsmonument #mtsoledadcross #columbuscircle, ad infinitum

Symbols mean something different to each of us. Statues and other art are symbols of our history—history that should not be dismantled or forgotten. The problem arises when symbols (i.e. a confederate flag or monument, statue or bust, or painting) become offensive to someone for one reason or another—ethnic, racial, cultural, political, or other reasons.

Should history be revised or edited, or censored just because it is offensive to some?

What about dictators and their symbolic flags, etc.? As deplorable as the Nazi and axis regimes were, should Hitler’s and Mussolini’s and Hirohito’s pictures and political flags and symbols be obliterated from our cultures? If history is to be remembered, and it should be, then those symbols must be reinterpreted, not as an expression of support, but as a reminder of our past and an admonition not to repeat it.

To many today, the name Margaret Sanger, or Francis Galton, or Eugene Debs, or Joseph Stalin, or Mao Zedong mean little or nothing. Should they or their symbols be erased from history?

It is the same for disdainers of Columbus, or Lincoln and Lee, or Washington and Jefferson. Do we whitewash and “sanitize” history according to our perspectives? Or do we use some common sense and discernment to view history as a teacher and we as learners; deducing how we can better live and coexist?

There are some who will try to revive these historical emblems for nefarious purposes, and that is something quite different. But culturally, I believe we need reminders of our history—reminders of the good, the bad, and the ugly—whether they be in museums or parks or other public places. We should know our history and be able to properly interpret and explain it, viewing it through the lens of God’s truth and His principles of liberty and love.

PS to my last post (“Life is Fragile…”)

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 10:14 pm

The summer of 2017 will not soon be forgotten–first, a cardiac arrest in mid-May, then a brain bleed in July.

We were half way through our vacation/conference in Kentucky when I started feeling odd. We left the conference and headed back home. As we crossed into Missouri, Leah called my cardiologist who said it was either a stroke or a brain bleed (subdural hematoma) and to go directly to the ER. After a CT scan, it was determined to be a fairly large brain bleed on the left hemisphere of my brain, which was affecting the right side of my body. The neurosurgeon told us that we would have to wait five days before any treatment because of the kind of blood thinner I was on for the cardiac arrest. Yes, the two ailments were now connected.

Two weeks after I was released from my first hospitalization, a followup visit with the cardiac arrest surgeon evaluated and then doubled one of my new medications. One week later I fainted early one morning and was rushed by ambulance to an ER close to home. They determined that I had a drop in blood pressure due to too much medication, which my cardiologist quickly reduced to the original dosage.

Five weeks later I find myself in the hospital again, taken off of a new, very powerful blood thinner and having to wait five days for it to work out of my system. I grew worse with each passing day. Day 4 and 5, I was unable to walk, my right arm was drawn up, and I could not remember my birthday. Leah related these incidents to me because I could (and do) not remember those two days before surgery, and the surgery itself on Monday. They drilled into my skull and evacuated the blood that was covering the left side and beginning to flow to the right side of my brain. They placed a drain tube in my head for the next one and a half days. Coming out of surgery, I was alert enough to greet Leah, my son, and a friend. This was the first evidence of the hope of recovery that Leah had experienced since I was admitted. Within a day I was up walking with assistance, and one more day, soloing. God was so gracious! Within a couple of hours, the rehab specialists put me through a battery of tests and determined that I did NOT even qualify for rehab! They released me two hours later! God is so good! As I shared in my previous post, “Apparently, God is not finished with me yet.” As my wonderful cardiologist shared with me at my last followup, “I believe you are immortal until God is finished with you.”

For us, this has been a summer of sifting (See Luke 22:31-32). In biblical times, wheat and chaff would be separated by tossing them into the air. The wind would blow away the light chaff and the heavier wheat would drop to the ground. In our trials, God uses the winds of adversity to sift out the sinful flesh so the spirit remains and dominates. As God conforms believers to the image of His Son, Jesus (See Romans 8:29), we decrease as Jesus increases in us, using John the Baptist’s words (See John 3:30). Willingly submitting to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, we grow more like Jesus and less like sinful self (Read Romans 6). God’s purposes prevail! (Romans 8:28 and following)

Have faith in God, He’s on His throne
Have faith in God, He watches o’er His own
He cannot fail, He must prevail
Have faith in God, Have faith in God
(©1934–B.B. McKinney)

June 26, 2017

Life is fragile–handle with care…and with prayer.

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 11:09 pm

On Tuesday, May 16, I arrived at the office and within 10 minutes I was found unconscious and not breathing at the door of my office. My wife found me, had our admin assistant call 911, and attempted CPR on me. She began calling friends and family to pray and spread the request. (More on this later.) The EMTs arrived in 5-6 minutes, applied CPR and 4 shocks before a heartbeat returned. It was “Sudden Cardiac Arrest.” I was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, about a 10 minute drive. I was told that the teamwork was amazing, the EMT team, the ER team, the cardiac cath team, the ICU team, and the step-down telemetry team. I was on life support and didn’t regain consciousness for the next three days. I was told that I was put into a hypothermic state (reduced body temperature and induced coma) for those days. The doctors listed me as critical during that time and were very concerned about brain damage due to the several minutes my heart was not beating. (Damage can start at the 3-minute mark with no oxygen to the brain.)

On Friday evening, they were able to successfully return my body temperature to normal and wait…until I awoke that evening. I remembered nothing from the collapse on Tuesday through that Friday night. I had suffered a slight stroke, but with only one symptom-double-vision-which lasted for 24 hours. This is where the story changes…

From Friday night through Saturday evening, the ICU staff and visiting family members witnessed a miracle. All the machines had been removed Friday night and by Saturday night I was alert and famished! The hospital staff testified that the recovery was remarkable.

Now back to the call for prayer. As the EMTs worked on me the previous Tuesday, my wife was calling a few friends and family to pray and spread the word. The network of prayer began to spread all around the St. Louis area, all around the country, and all around the world! From the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to Papua New Guinea and South Korea, God’s people were lifting up my name to Him in intercession. As my wife told it, she “wanted God to get tired of hearing Dan’s name!” God answered the prayers of his people, from family to high school classmates, from co-workers and friends to prayer and Bible study groups around the country. I was so, so humbled as I heard about the thousands who were praying for me, and also for the hundreds who came to or called the hospital. God is good! And I am so grateful to Him and for those who faithfully lifted me up to His throne. Another “God-thing” that happened in the hospital…God used some wonderful friends who had brought a CD player/radio on the weekend that played 24/7 in my ICU room–and which I believe also played a major role in my quick recovery. On Tuesday night just after midnight, before the implantation of a defibrillator in my chest, I awakened to a song on the radio, a song which God used mightily in my life that night. It was the right song at the right time. It spoke to my heart and spirit on so many levels, more than I can communicate here. The supernatural peace of God swept over me that night. (Here is the song if you are interested: Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise.”) I realized that whatever happened, I was “more than a conqueror (winner)” through Christ’s love expressed to me. I cannot imagine this whole hospitalization experience without the powerful presence of God, guarding my heart and mind, filling me with hope and thanksgiving. How non-believers cope with life and death issues is beyond me. God has made Himself personal through His Son, Jesus–God’s express image and expression of all He is. He truly is our (my) “rock, fortress, deliverer, my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust…” (Psalm 18:1-3)

God had delivered me back from death and restored me quickly! When I left the hospital on Thursday (a 10-day stay), I made a stop in the ICU to thank the team, and they were amazed! Their faces shone with surprise and delight. I found out that only 10-11% survive cardiac arrest, and without any loss of brain function, the percentage shrinks even more. I had been fully restored, and the doctors and nurses-to the person-expressed their surprise at how quickly and fully I had recovered! Praise the Lord. I am so grateful for His grace and mercy and for the faithfulness of God’s prayer warriors. I am truly blessed. But the story does not end there.

A couple of weeks after I had returned home, my wife and I made a visit (with homemade cookies in hand) to the Metro-West paramedics who had originally worked on me. They happened to all be there at the station. They were amazed and so joyful that they had seen a positive result to their initial work. They were amazed at my recovery. They also said that maybe one in two hundred come back to say thanks. God is so good.

Apparently, God is not finished with me yet. Many of the hospital staff spoke that word to me. Many friends and family said the same thing. I believe it. I have always preached that we are indestructible until God is ready to receive us “home.” He wasn’t ready for me, yet. It is God who lends us life, for He is life, and it is God who receives it back to Himself. Life is fragile and needs to be handled with loving-care and with prayer. The Scripture says that God’s lovingkindness is better than life (Psalm 63:3-4).

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

I believe it! And I encourage you to turn your life over to the Lord. The blessings of His faith, hope, peace and love are real and are available to all who will earnestly call upon Him. God bless you and thanks for reading my story!

March 25, 2017

Breath of Fresh Air

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:52 am

Washington D.C. can be a stuffy place. Now two months after a new administration, the air is beginning to clear. Now don’t get me wrong. “The Hill” and surrounding bureaucracy are set on edge with this new wind emanating from the White House, but nevertheless, it is crystal clear and uncompromising. Change is immanent, but it won’t come easy.

One place where that fresh breath of air is felt is four hours north in the heart of New York City, at the United Nations. Ambassador Nikki Haley has set the new tone in her work and it is being felt at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). After eight long years of politically correct, progressivist propaganda, this annual flocking of feminists has run up against a new prevailing wind of pro-life, pro-family emphases from the U.S. delegation. After the two-week conclave, heads are spinning and the pro-family forces are rejoicing. It is certainly a good feeling when progressivist ideals are turned back. But it is certainly understood that opposing forces will return with a vengeance. To become great again in the world, America must stand strong for life, liberty, and family. May God grant it.  When righteousness reigns, the people rejoice.

January 21, 2017

The Day After

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 10:24 am

The United States of America has a new President. Donald J. Trump is the 45th in a long line of peaceful transitions and successions to the highest office in the land. We wish him every success. We pray for him and his administration. He (as was true for each of his predecessors) is deserving of our prayers and respect for his high office.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. – 1 Peter 2:13-17

We are admonished to “honor all people” for we all are created in the image of God, but we are called upon to especially honor, respect, and pray for those in positions of authority (see also 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7).

I am praying this day, the day after the presidential inauguration, will be a new day–a day when opposing voices and actions are stilled, violence in the streets ceases, and citizens of all political stripes honor our time-tested and God-honoring traditions of Constitutional government. The majority has ruled. The minority has not been silenced. But civility must reign in both camps. Respect must govern our words, attitudes, and actions. The world did not fall to pieces during the last administration and neither will it the day after. As a wise, old radio preacher always opened his broadcast,

“God is on His throne, and prayer changes things.”

May we all be about the work of serving and praying.

December 26, 2016

America Needs New Years

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 8:51 am

History documents for us the successes and failures of the past. Traditionally, New Years affords us opportunity to not only reflect on the past but to resolve for better days ahead. America needs resolution.

First, America needs to remember her glory days and to reflect on how she experienced them. America giftoftimehas not heeded the lesson of history.  America has forgotten who she is, what she believes, and what she is to do. The church of Ephesus (in the second chapter of the Book of Revelation) had abandoned its “first love” and priorities and was admonished to remember from where it had fallen, repent, and return to its original status. If not, its public reputation, influence, and force for good would be removed. America must recover her sense of identity and purpose before we can forge a path of success into the future.

Then, America needs to be resolute. She must recognize the failed political and social philosophies and policies of the past, and turn around (repent) and recover those ideals that made us a successful and prosperous nation–In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum, and Liberty. We must return to those “first principles” that made us a great nation: inalienable, God-given rights; individual self-government; and limited, decentralized civil government. America must take immediate action. Americans must once again become informed, involved, and accountable, then hold its leadership accountable.

America cannot do it without you. You are America. May God bless America once again.

 

December 17, 2016

America Needs Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 2:58 am

America needs Jesus. At Christmas time, the old American Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, could not be any more appropriate for today. Phillips Brooks penned these words in 1868 following a trip to the Holy Land. After America had fought a terrible civil war, these words were like salve to a tired, war-torn nation in need of healing within and without. May these lyrics, once again, draw our hearts and minds to the very present Christ of Christmas.

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight”

o-little-town

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

November 11, 2016

Pray for America

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:03 am

pray-for-america

Election 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:00 am

I have always tried to primarily vote my values and principles, but this election cycle, more than any other, has caused me to prioritize the future of our children and grandchildren–not at the expense of values and principles, but in the best hope of preserving them.

votevoicegirl

 

October 19, 2016

Remembering Phyllis Schlafly

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 10:13 am

1924-2016

How we miss Phyllis Schlafly. A great American patriot, she was feared
by her adversaries and revered by her admirers.
Her deep and abiding faith anchored her conservative views
and impassioned her voice with grace and power.
May God bless and kindle the memory of Phyllis Schlafly.

July 21, 2016

What the MSM Missed at the RNC

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 11:05 pm

The mainstream media (MSM) have bought into the new “party line”view of the events surrounding the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH. The Main Event: Trump vs. Cruz. After all, Cruz supporters were behind all the committee amendments and floor disagreements, weren’t they?  One would think that the Trump anti-establishment/”rigged primary” forces would have distanced themselves from the party establishment and welcomed Rules Committee amendments from those wanting to decentralize RNC power and return it to the grassroots. So why the disparity? Why the strange bedfellows? These are questions the MSM should have been asking. These are the scenarios they should have been investigating. Here is part of what they missed:

1) Gen. Sherman’s “March to to the Sea” had nothing on Trump’s “March to Cleveland”
Domination was the name of the game: The final sweep of the primaries, the crushing of his opposition, the manhandling of RNC leadership, and mostly, the pillaging and silencing of the opposition.   It was Trump’s “total war” strategy that forged the responses of the Republican Right coming into and continuing throughout the convention.

2) A very unAmerican thing happened at the RNC…the minority was silenced
In American politics, the saying goes, “The majority may have its way but the minority still gets its say.” Not at this convention. Yes, a bone may have been thrown to the right with another conservative platform passed through, but the platform means virtually nothing for all intents and purposes. (It has absolutely no teeth regarding what candidates and incumbents believe.) The spoils of party control fell to the Trump team and, combined with the vitriol of the RNC establishment for the conservative right, the Rules Committee leadership ran roughshod silencing amenders from the committee floor to the convention floor. It’s one thing for the majority to legitimately outnumber the minority, but it is quite another to mute and manhandle the opposition with parliamentary gymnastics and manufactured crowd response. Trumpteam forces and party establishment forcefully landed the one-two knockout to healthy debate decorum. This display of silverback dominance may one day be regretted when Trump leaders realize that the reform of “rigged” party rules was a goal in common with dissidents and a “yuge” opportunity missed by the Trump campaign.

3) The RNC is a party convention first and a convention party last
Much of the media misunderstands this. The RNC is actually one long business meeting from Monday’s first gavel to last gavel late Thursday night. Yes there are balloons waiting to be dropped and candidates coronated with celebration. But to see this RNC as one big Trump party and to decry dissenting delegates as “party poopers” is almost tantamount to yellow journalism. Opposition to the new coalition party was almost uniformly reported as #NeverTrumpers or #UnbindDelegates, which could not be farther from the truth. (There were at least four delegate factions that had coalesced around rule changes.) Ted Cruz’s now infamous convention address was described not only as “political suicide” and “classless” but reported as crashing the party, as totally inappropriate and self-serving for a Trump-centered event. (Trump may control the RNC but he IS NOT the RNC.) Cruz was invited by Trump to address RNC delegates, Trump knowing full well in advance the content of the speech and that there would be no endorsement. There was absolutely nothing “anti-Trump” in Cruz’s speech. In fact, it was framed with congratulatory remarks and recommended priorities for a victorious campaign. How was that inappropriate and self-serving? Cruz was not promoting himself, he was promoting conservative constitutional values. He just didn’t do the PC (“Party Correctness”) thing. Media was fed the party line negativity and swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, then regurgitated it all over the airwaves.

4) Trump’s Primary Opponents: Cowards, Sore Losers, or Principled Champions?
There were 17 candidates vying for the Republican nomination. Where were they and what were they doing and saying during convention week? Some came, some commented, some commiserated. Who was courageous leadership material and who was not? Political correctness takes on a whole new facet when media due-diligence is applied here.

These are a few of opportunities missed, overlooked, or hidden by not only mainstream media but some alternative media alike. (The back story and context are so influential to reporting the facts, and not just the perceptions of events.) I certainly understand that not everyone gets everything right all the time, maybe even most of the time. But media manipulation, from within and from without, is rampant as is personal and journalistic bias. None of us are without biases. But responsible journalism seeks and shares the truth, that is, if we still believe in truth. When media misses, overlooks, or buries the truth, then society suffers and grows more apathetic or indifferent toward it. The vision, the voice and the conscience of the people are compromised. Where there is no vision (of truth) the people perish–They cast off restraint. (Proverbs 29:18)

Some reports that tell more of the real story:

CNS News Report on Cruz Speech
Cruz’s Full RNC Speech
Cruz’s Comments and Q&A on Speech
RNC Rules Committee and Floor Debate
An Interesting Take on Cruz Speech Reactions
An Interesting Take on Cruz Speech Ad Libs

July 20, 2016

A Time for Choosing

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 2:47 pm

The human soul is basically comprised of mind, will, and emotion. All are human attributes. These two weeks of political conventions display the breadth of human personality. This week, we have political partiessseen the “heady” side lay out a reasoned appeal for our support and vote in November, as well as the dark side of the week to come. Next week, we experience the “touchy-feely” side with an appeal to our emotions to react to the past week then embrace the present feel-good moment. Both perspectives are enticing because both are inherently human. Herein lies the rub: the will of each viewer will choose a side that appeals to them, based on which attribute is dominant within. Let me interject this: truth is what is most important. We must choose what is true. Without an independent basis and point of reference for what is true, either side could do. So what is the truth? How can one discern right and wrong? That is where a good conscience comes in handy to discern the difference. Consciences can be weak and also defiled and sometimes rendered untrustworthy. If that is the case then the choice of the will is a shot in the dark with no discernible direction. Let me encourage you to pray and get your bearings before you make a decision. Set your conscience according to God’s truth. In America, we have historically and traditionally called upon God and relied upon Him for His superintending power, protection, and provision. Divine Providence has always been our shield, our sword, and our strategy. I am praying in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ that it will be so again.

July 19, 2016

RNC Reform and Reflections

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 8:02 am

The makeup of the Republican National Committee of the RNC is not unlike the leadership mess we have in Congress, especially on the Senate side. The U.S. Senate and the RNSC (Republican National Senatorial Committee) love their power and position and they love using it. They will do what it takes to maintain their power structure even if it means losing an election cycle or two. The ring of power is too precious to give up. The RNC is cut from the same cloth. It, too, desperately needs reform. This year, that opportunity is passed. The Trump zealots were so blinded by their success, they literally “threw the baby out with the bathwater.” There #RNC2CLE Avatarwas grassroots reform staring them in the face and they could not see it. They were blind to it by their single-minded ambition. And the “unity” message of the RNC establishment sucked them in to their clutches.

 Last week, coalition forces of “NeverTrumpers,” lingering and former Ted Cruz supporters, and longtime grassroots organizers had banded together in the Rules Committee with a series of amendments to bring reform to the process and makeup of the RNC. The coalition was met with great resistance, but lost their bid because of the RNC establishment’s jealous and orchestrated use and abuse of parliamentary power. One could easily see the players and the strategy. Part of that reform coalition brought the fight to the main floor this week. As one could obviously see in Monday’s early business session, the establishment used the same heavy-handed tactics to dislodge any change. Then the bloodthirsty media went to work. Looking to distract and destroy, media outlets (mainstream and others) worked their spin magic laying blame for the dissension at the feet of the “NeverTrumpers.” (Just watch the interviews and how the questions were framed.) Between the RNC leadership and the media, they had their way with any reform. EVERYONE WAS PLAYED BY THE RNC.

All genuine conservatives owe a debt of gratitude for those who fought so valiantly for their cause—even if you did not share their specific cause—because the naked truth was revealed, and it revealed what it always does: power corrupts. The new and unlikely coalition of Unruh, Blackwell, Lee and Cuccinelli could be the new and emerging “fellowship of the ring” to eventually restore political power back into balance. We shall see. If traditional leaders of the conservative right would see this for what it is and swallow their pride, perhaps the coalition would grow and see victory next time.

P.S. The GOP did authorize a great new Republican Platform 2016…if they only believed and enforced it.

July 1, 2016

The Declaration of Independence: Our American Creed

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 9:05 am

IST-IS162RM-00000177-001As Americans, do we really know the importance of the Declaration of Independence? It is not simply a 240-year-old list of grievances given to the King of England, although that is part of it, but it is a declaration “to a candid world” of what we believe about humanity and government. It is our unique American Creed. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “It was intended to be an expression of the American mind…to place before mankind the common sense of the subject.” (letter to Richard Henry Lee, May 8, 1825). Six years earlier, Jefferson wrote that the Declaration of Independence was a “Declaratory Charter of our rights, and of the rights of man.” (letter to Samuel Wells, May 12, 1819). Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “charter” as:

1. A written instrument, executed with usual forms, given as evidence of a grant, contract, or whatever is done between man and man. In its more usual sense, it is the instrument of a grant conferring powers, rights and privileges, either from a king or other sovereign power, or from a private person, as a charter of exemption, that no person shall be empannelled on a jury, a charter of pardon, &c. The charters under which most of the colonies in America were settled, were given by the king of England, and incorporated certain persons, with powers to hold the lands granted, to establish a government, and make laws for their own regulation. These were called charter-governments.

2. Any instrument, executed with form and solemnity, bestowing rights or privileges.

JeffersonJefferson understood the Declaration as a pronouncement of human rights conferred. I would submit to you that the “sovereign power” conferring these rights upon us is God Almighty. In fact, God is referenced at least four times in the document from Whom man receives endowments and entitlements and to Whom man makes his appeal: Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, Our Creator, The Supreme Judge of the World, and Divine Providence. These four acknowledgments reveal the legislative, judicial, and executive nature of the Almighty. (Sound familiar? See also Isaiah 33:22 and James 4:12)

If one would strive to categorize the 27 grievances listed in the Declaration, one would see that the issues taken with the British Crown dealt with the lack of what we would call a “separation of powers” (thus the King was dubbed tyrannical). The harshest words were reserved for grievances dealing with the lack of “limited government” power, and, of course, there was the lack of “representation.” These three concepts became central to our Constitution and the new government which it organized.

I have saved the most obvious for last. Besides the observations mentioned above, there are at least 12 principles mentioned outright in the text of the Declaration of Independence (before and after the list of grievances) that show us the “American mind” of 1776 and the charter of rights to which Jefferson referred. I challenge you to read the Declaration and find them in the text. Here are the 12 principles listed in the order in which they appear in the document:

1) National Sovereignty, 2) Natural Law, 3) Self-evident Truth, 4) Human Equality, 5) Inalienable Rights, 6) the Inalienable Right to Life, 7) the Inalienable Right to Liberty, 8) the Inalienable Right to Property (characterized as the Pursuit of Happiness), 9) the Primary Purpose of Government (to secure and protect our rights), 10) Popular Sovereignty, 11) Federalism and States’ Rights, and finally, the principle of  12) Divine Providence.*

This is the American Creed. And these are the foundational principles upon which our U.S. Constitution is based. Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams, fluently and grandly spoke to this truth in an 1839 address:

Now the virtue which had been infused into the Constitution of the United States, and was to give to its vital existence, the stability and duration to which it was destined, was no other than the concretion of JQAdamsthose abstract principles which had been first proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence – namely, the self-evident truths of the natural and unalienable rights of man, of the indefeasible constituent and dissolvent sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to a rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that sovereign, constituent, and dissolvent power.

This was the platform upon which the Constitution of the United States had been erected. Its VIRTUES, its republican character, consisted in its conformity to the principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and as its administration must necessarily be always pliable to the fluctuating varieties of public opinion; its stability and duration by a like overruling and irresistible necessity, was to depend upon the stability and duration in the hearts and minds of the people of that virtue, or in other words, of those principles, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and embodied in the Constitution of the United States.  (Speech to The New York Historical Society, April 30, 1839)

Our beloved Constitution is based on the principles written into the Declaration of Independence. No wonder we celebrate July 4 and September 17! It is a celebration of what we hold dear as a nation. It is a celebration of our American Creed!

On July 4, remember our American Creed, the Declaration of Independence. Read it! Love it! Celebrate it! John Adams was our second President, father to John Quincy, and founding father to all Americans. I leave you with his reason for celebration–prophetic words which he penned in a letter to his wife, Abigail, the day following the vote on independence on July 2, 1776:

john_adamsThe second day of July, 1776, will be memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm; but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph…

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. – Psalm 33:12

*With thanks to Dr. Allen Quist

(This is an updated reprint of my July 2013 blog entry.)

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