Blessings of Liberty

10-21-2016-2-19-24-pmThe only reason one would attempt to cheat death is to escape judgment. Without a desire for a heaven to gain, and a hell to avoid, our standard of morality is without true reason. The Judeo-Christian perspective urges mankind to crave life in a way that allows man to experience heaven in the present. Death has the potential to cause torment to the point it can feel like hell on earth. To curb one’s impulse to commit a violation of natural law, there must be a consequence. A punishment ought to be comparable to the violation, but not to the grievance. Such as in the practice of law, proportionate punishment is more essential than the gratification of social justice.

10-21-2016-2-19-36-pm

One’s God-given rights are sacred institutions, and mankind is to protect and preserve those rights. The documents on which the United States of America is founded – The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights – are precepts prescribed not by man, but by God. Once violated, punishment ought to be imminent, impartial, and prudent.
The 6th Amendment grants the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury within the district where the incident occurred, and the accused is promised a rigorous defense. Regardless of the ruling, the ‘due-process’ achieved is more vital. Laws, standards, and ethics must not waver in order to gain justice.

When an accusation is inaccurate or excessive, a plea can be presented. That is the mercy; furthermore, if the conviction is unsatisfactory, one can levy an appeal.

Many ask about conviction errors. The truth is that they rarely occur in felony cases. The infrequency is so great that the margin-of-error was last calculated to be less than .03%. Within that margin, wrongful executions are calculated to be less than .1%.

Should that be ignored? No.

Is that unfortunate? Yes.

Is that just? Absolutely, and here’s why: the system did not fail, society did.

The left asserts that mankind made the society that crafted the law. They are wrong. God fashioned the law to govern a society in which man continues to fail to exercise self-control, period.

To insist that one would rather see 97 guilty murderers, rapists, and/or thieves live without reprimand in order to keep 3 innocent persons out of jail is not an argument for compassion, but is a declaration of an immoral and unjust lunacy.

Recently, California voted to allow felons to vote from prison. Leftist politicians expressed that voting is a civic right. They have chosen to ignore the unequivocal fact that once one violates the rights God gave their victims, many of their own rights are lawfully reduced or even lost.

The left argues that felons did not intend to lose certain civic rights. However, their conviction proves intent to break the law. For example, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When one drives under the influence and strikes and kills a human being, the driver is rightfully accused of killing, whether they intended to or not. The fact remains that they have deprived a person of life, when their intent was only to drive while intoxicated.

John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers, stated, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Villains and heroes alike portrayed in the Bible did not get to choose the level of suffering their sin caused. Pharaoh did not intend to lose his first born when he refused to free the Hebrews from slavery. Saul did not intend to become insane while attempting to murder David. David did not intend for his sons to assassinate one another when he killed a man to cover up his own infidelity.

Violators do not get to choose the amount of agony their act of lawlessness generates, even unto themselves. Once one infringes even one law, one will suffer judgment.

God is steadfast, and His law resolute; therefore, govern yourself justly in order to discover justice and liberty.
By: Rosemary Dewar

10-7-2016-11-57-42-amPoverty in western civilization has become a padded cell for the mind. America’s practices of capitalism and free enterprise have allowed for the greatest exposition of equal opportunity. Technology and education have never been as accessible as they are today. To ask, “Why didn’t equality happen faster?” is an unfair question. Time is a sensitive element of nature, and robbing anyone of the experience of “learning-with-time” cheapens the worth of that knowledge gained. Giving one the same chance to either fail or succeed is the greatest opportunity America has achieved throughout her history.

For many on the left, equality of outcome is valued more than experience of learning from failure. The existence of failure is unacceptable for leftists. Standards and rules are perceived as discriminatory, insurmountable hurdles. The inability to meet specific, challenging goals is seen as an injustice. The fiscal and societal costs, as well as the risk of lowering standards are rarely evaluated. For example, secondary education institutions are expected to assess diversity of origin over levels of achievement. SAT and ACT scores have been subject to man-made fairness procedures. A Princeton University study, published in 2004, revealed that minorities were receiving an average of 200+ bonus points on their score, just for identifying their ethnicity. Other ethnic groups were deducted points for the same action. The University had hoped to see a dramatic increase in minorities graduating, but the result was nearly static.

10-7-2016-11-57-56-am

Such enforcements of affirmative action are not justice. A merit earned has far more integrity than a favor frantically given. The book of Proverbs asserts, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

As ideal or seemingly utopian as society could be with zero inequality, that type of structure is unachievable. America dealt with this during its colonial infancy. Colonists experimented with communal ethics and were nearly eliminated by those ethics’ certain failure. The Jamestown, Virginia settlement was reduced by food shortages, disease, and cannibalism that resulted from dwindling community farming. Some of the same occurrences can be observed today. Most recently, Venezuela’s implementation of socialist and communist means of production has completely bankrupted the country. Citizens are hunting dogs in order to eat. Surrounding countries have opened their borders in order for Venezuelans to have access to basic goods, food, and healthcare.

Economic and moral fairness is simply never equal. It never has been. Humanity is too greatly individually diverse in order for everyone to be idyllically equal. The United States’ aim was to give the opportunity for the individual to pursue the level of achievement they were willing to muster without the violation of someone else’s opportunity to do the same. Socialism, communism, and hybrids thereof diminish that opportunity. Karl Marx believed, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need(s).” This is neither moral, nor just. However, the left continues to believe that because they recognize a disparity, they are morally superior enough to correct it themselves. To put it simply, they play God, and fail miserably.

The character Salieri, in 1984’s Amadeus, encounters Mozart’s work and loathes him for his undeniable superior gift. Salieri has status and wealth, but it is not enough. Finally fed up with God’s distribution of talent, he vows to God, “From now, we are enemies… You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy, and give me for reward only to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature as far as I am able. I will ruin Your incarnation.” The left makes the same claims about the wealthy without hesitation or proof. Money, talent, or ethnic origin does not make one evil. Insisting that someone is evil without evidence is to forcibly silence them, and that is what is evil.

Even when given the most free and equal circumstances, it is impossible to predict a level of effort one will exert. One cannot make someone obtain something they do not want for themselves. In the movie, Good Will Hunting, the character Will is a savant with a rebellious streak. He is given the opportunity to greatly succeed without actual merit, and arrogantly blows it for amusement. His best friend, Chuckie, doesn’t understand why he didn’t take it, and tells him, “No. No, no no, no. [Forget] you, you don’t owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. ‘Cuz tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be 50, and I’ll still be doin’ this [stuff]. And that’s all right. That’s fine. I mean, you’re sittin’ on a winnin’ lottery ticket… It’d be an insult to us if you’re still here in 20 years. Hangin’ around here is a […] waste of your time.” (Expletives deleted.)

America’s equal opportunity is based on a free market which is dependent upon voluntary transactions between consenting parties. As long as there is minimal government interference, the results are potentially limitless. Once a government decides they can seize from one in order to aid others who chose to earn less, they have participated in a third-party implementation of immorality.
By: Rosemary Dewar

How the Mighty Fall

9-16-2016-9-21-24-amThe greatest certainty man has attempted to avoid, aside from taxes, is death.Without realizing it, most death kills slowly as a result of self-destructive behavior. When one consistently pursues temporary gratification over long-term discipline, the person perishes little by little with every poor decision. In the movie, The Matrix, the character Mouse states, “To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.” However, there are natural impulses that ought to be resisted. A culture that yields to and enshrines impulsiveness, instead of restraint, will simply lay waste to its people.

The clearest indication of whether the culture is decaying or thriving is its art. The contrast can be seen in the art of the Dark Ages and the birth of the Renaissance.What a culture hears, watches, speaks, reads, and wears is a gauge for the level at which a society is embracing death. Many times throughout the centuries, there has been a resurgence of the gothic styling of romance, death, gloom, and high tension in art. Most recently, fictional gothic figures have made a prominent reappearance in American culture. Entertainment has made seemingly tempting depictions of vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, and ghosts. They all give the kiss of betrayal to humanity. Each characterization requires the surrender to harmful impulses that cause the death of man in order to become one of them. Once they are malformed, a blood lust manifests. The rest of man is to become unceremoniously sacrificed to an insatiable being for its hedonism to be sustained.
This is what happens to a culture that feels it is close to the edge of collapse. Society either minimizes the threat, or braces itself for impact. Now, more than ever, one can see society preparing for the apocalypse. Similar to the panic of ‘Y2K’, western culture is sensing doom, but it doesn’t look the same. The crisis is not technological; it is moral. The left indulges the damage caused by nihilistic behavior. The last fifty years of leftist policies have struck at the heart of America’s core: private ownership, capitalism, freedom of religion, preservation of God-given rights, self-determination, and protection from tyranny. A seemingly innocuous bolstering of fascistic regulations with regard toward any one of these American principles ultimately falls prey to socialism, communism, and totalitarianism.

9-16-2016-9-21-33-am

Judeo-Christian philosophy asserts its plea to value and prolong man’s life. Man is commanded to obey the principles that preserve life. Deviation results in discipline by principle. If a culture is permitted to completely disregard its pursuit of meaning, it eventually ceases to exist. The Roman Empire fell due to its overindulgence of pleasure. The fictional film, The Gladiator, conveyed it is this way:

Senator: “I think he [the Emperor] knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate; it’s the sand of the Coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it.”

Other, would-be empires of the 20thcentury were no different. Adolf Hitler wanted to build a master race while simultaneously murdering 11 million people. Joseph Stalin abandoned God to justify the murder of approximately 50 million people. Mao Tse-Tung banned God and murdered 45 million people within 4 years.

Adolf Hitler declared, “I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of a conscience, imperious, relentless, and cruel.” What a heinous notion. It is entirely opposed to what the prophet Micah in the Bible asserts, “He has shown you, oh man, what is good, and what the Lord demands of you; but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

9-16-2016-9-21-44-am

The left continues to think that man will only preserve itself in the face of catastrophe. They fear what they can’t expect of themselves. America’s thriving culture challenges one’s self-satisfaction if it comes at the expense of someone else’s liberty. Once one’s freedom is violated, those in the surrounding culture are affected by a diminished ability to thrive. To demand pleasure at the expense of liberty is a leisurely death of the pursuit of happiness. When a society or a government is willing to deny itself the pleasure of power to keep its citizens free, it will thrive. Should a government become drunk on the power it permits itself, it eventually drinks itself to death.
By: Rosemary Dewar

On These Two Hang All the Law

9-2-2016 1-28-43 PMFreedom is always the answer to a society’s preservation. The foundation upon which one builds that freedom is most essential.

The United States Constitution grants two provisions: the freedom of religious expression, and a means by which to defend it. The establishment of our liberties is based on the adoption of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which can be summed up by the two commandments that Jesus asserts: love God with your whole being, and love your neighbor. On these two, in both the political and religious spheres, hangs the law that allows for the greatest expression of liberty.

9-2-2016 1-28-55 PM

Those who sacrificed for America’s independence from Great Britain were denied the rights that are still denied to many in other countries today. The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” One’s freedom to express every idea in a civilized way is a beautiful permission.

Such a law given to the individual needs self-defense. The 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” A right not worth defending is in itself worthless.

The Founding Fathers understood what was stolen from them, and would not wish that upon another human being. King George III violated his citizens: he stole their profits, stifled their petitions, and nullified their security. How does one defend itself from a government that continues to violate God-given liberty? If a government restricts a citizen’s right to defend themselves to a level that is easily overcome, a citizen’s freedom to petition the government is no longer tenable. America’s armed opposition to Great Britain was inevitable.

King George III confiscated arms in 1774. Joseph Stalin confiscated guns in 1929. Mao Tse-Tung confiscated guns in 1935. Adolf Hitler confiscated privately owned guns in 1938. Each tyrant either held a twisted or non-existent acknowledgement of God.To assume that any other government, including the United States, would be invulnerable to the same outworking of tyranny is a dangerously naïve miscalculation.

The Founding Fathers chose the Judeo-Christian viewpoint as a foundation for the Constitution even though their individual belief systems were different. Jesus commands the adherence to an absolutely moral God in identity, character, deed, and knowledge. Every aspect of one’s life is to be a testimony of one’s relationship with God. To impede anyone’s observance would have negative social effects. Why? When a government enacts laws to oppose a moral absolute, social stability begins to fail.

Jesus went on to command “…love your neighbor, as you love yourself.” This is a tall order. One’s enjoyment of liberty as well as its protection is to extend past the family unit, and onto one’s neighbor. The Judeo-Christian God is not satisfied solely in being worshiped; the lives He says He has created must also be given due and equal security. If the protection of a right is extended to one while denied to another, the system ceases to be just.

The two commandments Jesus gives are an expansion of the 1st commandant God gives to Moses and the children of Israel. God’s first commandment states, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” This is crucial to understand. The Judeo-Christian God is one who delivers out of bondage. Therefore, the exploitation of man is a direct offence against God.

Political philosopher John Locke stated, “The end [result] of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” A law is not made to limit man, but it is enacted in order to free man from violating himself and others.

Liberty is a mutually beneficial agreement between the law giver, the law follower, and between the law followers. Once justice is violated for one, it is violated for all. Pastor Martin Niemöller, in Nazi Germany, wrote, “…Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
It is impossible to truly love what one is unwilling to defend.
By: Rosemary Dewar

8-19-2016 8-53-01 AMThe United States of America is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Such a declaration is belittled in a culture shaped by the left leaning mainstream media. Many don’t really know why America is particularly special. America, unlike many sovereign countries before her, developed a value system that allowed man to earn his success justly, even after failure. Society has grown to be impatient, and wants success and justice like it wants its popcorn- nuked to perfection. They don’t realize they are killing both.

America’s Declaration of Independence clearly expresses the condition of man. The founding fathers understood that man is inclined to suffer under tyranny rather than justify the cost of freedom. Their reference comes from the Judeo-Christian viewpoint. God made man with the ability to endure his mistakes, and with mercy, excel. Twentieth century dictators took advantage of man’s condition in order to murder millions. Socialist dictatorships regulated man’s capability to advance. When a government becomes a god with no standard for liberty, one is left with tyranny.

8-19-2016 8-53-10 AM

Secularists assert that because Americans and Christians fail, their beliefs are morally inferior. Similar to how one can’t judge a religion completely by its followers; one can’t judge a nation merely by its citizens. The fundamental beliefs and the law that governs a religion or a nation are where one should investigate.

Man is flawed. Absolute morality exists. But, an ideal theocracy is impossible. Theocracies attempt to legislate morality to the point of implosion. Secularists aim to peddle to humanity the philosophy of relative ethics, which invariably fails. The religious community can’t debate ethics independently from God, and looks unintelligent. What is to be done? Defend nature. Nature has an order, a value system that requires respect and perpetuation. When the left carelessly removes a proven element of nature from a social system, the system begins to fail. Every issue the left touches regresses.

Natural law is like a game of Jenga. Conservatives and classic Liberals (or Libertarians) want to leave the structure alone. Leftists want to play with it. They pull the blocks, and cause undue stress on the blocks below. They could just put the block back, but instead they replace it with a Lego piece. The leftists see the structure begin to fail, and they frame conservatives as bad for doing little to nothing. Conservatives just want the left to put the block back.

All of history gives reference to what will either advance or devastate a civilization. Natural law requires reason, logic, and integrity. Omission and substitution weaken the outcome. The left wants to substitute natural law with shamelessness and meaninglessness in every facet of society. They assert; man doesn’t need determination, women don’t need connection, children don’t need parents, sex doesn’t need sacredness, education doesn’t need truth, art doesn’t need talent, business doesn’t need profit, justice doesn’t need a jury, and religion doesn’t need a God.

Perhaps C.S. Lewis expressed it best when he stated in Pilgrim’s Regress, “You don’t know the difference between what nature has meant for nourishment, and what it meant for garbage.”

The Roman Empire was just short of glorious. English historian, Edward Gibbon, summed up the empire’s decay in five major arguments: breakdown of the family, paganism, high taxation, government expansion, and excess of pleasure.

Germany was the most enlightened European country in the late 19th and early 20th century. The country’s decline shows similarities to the Roman Empire’s fall: collectivism, high taxation, expansion of government, censorship of religion, and elevation of men.

The first 10 amendments of the Constitution make it nearly impossible for a central leader to strip any individual of their natural, God-given liberty.

One of our founding fathers, John Adams writes, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

For current social justice warriors to allege that the United States is fundamentally, institutionally, and systematically discriminatory would be an illogical lie. Individuals may discriminate to the point of violating others, but the system is not inferior, the individual is. Simply because an individual discriminates doesn’t mean their liberty can automatically be violated. The system corrects social/economic disorder naturally, in keeping with Nature’s law.
By: Rosemary Dewar

To The Left, To The Left

8-5-2016 11-12-36 AMRecent weeks have exposed an apex of social discontentment the left has cultivated for decades. Cultural despair has been unjustifiably magnified to represent evidence of disparity. There has not been a sub-culture, created by the left, which has gone untouched. Proponents of leftist politics have become the very victims of its regressive philosophy. It is impossible for those who live by this ideology to receive the support they have been promised.

Living under the influence of leftist-style politics is depressing. Circumstances never resolve, either because of someone else, or something else. Disparity is expressed as unavoidable and incurable, like a chronic auto-immune disease. It eventually eats itself, attacking every moral fiber from the inside-out.
Sounds like a reality TV show or a primetime teenage drama sitcom. Racism, sexism, and capitalism, oh my!

8-5-2016 11-12-51 AM

The left looks to cultivate a particular set of skills aimed to fuse cultural intolerance with conservatism. They sell the perception that conservatives do not care to help those who are facing sincere hardship. That alluring song and dance is only a seduction.

By contrast, believing the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” only strengthens the conservative narrative. The left just wants to keep handing out fish in order to keep them dependent on the system they claim we all need. Simply insert a service the left promises to give its supporters: healthcare, education, working-wage, housing, living assistance, affirmative action, etc.

How does the left plan to hand over that fish? Only by democratically stealing from those who have learned to fish for themselves. This is grim indeed.

8-5-2016 11-13-01 AM

One of the greatest examples of despair is Joseph Stalin’s Russia in the 1930’s. Stalin was systematically slaughtering his people. He was asked by an American journalist how long he expected his travesty to last. Stalin stopped and demanded one of his cooks to bring him a live chicken. He clutched the chicken tight to his side, and proceeded to wrench the feathers off the chicken while it squirmed and screeched in absolute agony. Stalin laid the bare bird on the floor, took a handful of grain from his pocket, set the feed at his feet, and the chicken hobbled to between Stalin’s legs and began to eat the gain. Stalin responded, “The people have need of many things that we are now giving them… Did you see how that chicken followed me for food, even though I had caused it such torture? People are like that chicken. If you inflict inordinate pain on them, they will follow you for food the rest of their lives.”

To expect any other result from a system that feeds on a fabricated disparity, one must be prepared for that system to feed on its followers.

Despair is different for everyone. Leftists exploit the individuality of that experience to isolate its enthusiasts. They are put in box in order to manage them, and pit them against another sub-group. Each “box label” varies from origin to proclivity. The responsibility of inequality is projected on an opposing group, and the left’s answer is to democratically take from one in order to reward the other. This progression is fundamentally immoral.

Our own government’s history holds illustrations of collectivist procedures: segregation, government assisted living, immigration incentives, environmental regulation, universal healthcare, etc. Each government action was narrated and executed by leftists. From President Woodrow Wilson to President Lyndon B. Johnson, the same destructive policies have been carried over to our current administration.

As long as the left devises ways to function as both the disease and the treatment (the problem and the solution), their philosophy will permanently fail its followers.
By: Rosemary Dewar

7-16-2016 9-35-18 AMPoliticians are often deemed the modern-day equivalent of the tax-collectors who were loathed in the Bible, and it is the religious community which is to blame. Religious revivals had political implications, specifically in our western culture. The human rights prescribed by God were, and still are, worth defining and defending.

Every week, pastors and teachers encourage their congregations to take back the culture for righteousness sake. They exclaim, “Become an artist, an entrepreneur, a doctor, or an executive!” Remarkably, the calling to rise as a politician is under-emphasized or disregarded.

Essentially they are saying, “We will pray for them, but don’t even think of becoming one.”

7-16-2016 9-35-35 AM

Grave mistake.

The God they claim to worship has given, promised, and endowed specific, irrevocable, and inalienable rights to all. This inarguable aspect of our history goes unacknowledged. The United States, from its inception, had men who jeopardized all comforts to define, defend, and die for those rights.

From the birth of Protestantism to England’s Golden Age, men fought to represent themselves before God.

From George Whitfield’s Great Awakening of Evangelism to the birth of United States of America, men fought to represent every man spiritually or socially.

Each conflict resulted in governmental reconstruction, followed by a period of persecution. The fight was both expected and welcomed. Religious freedom, self-determination, and the liberty to pursue both were paramount. Tolerance of an authoritarian rule was not an option.

What made the Charismatic religious movement different? There was no sacrifice. There was only a virtuous rebellion in response to hedonistic rebellion. The movement was devoid of political reinforcement or result. War was the buzzword of the ‘60s through the ‘80s and was culturally interpreted as the outgrowth of hatred or cruelty. The honor gained through war was lost. Having a human right worth preserving at any cost was not only diminished, it was extinguished.

The West’s religious community lost its narrative to refrain from evil, just as America lost its determination to combat acts of evil. Dehumanization became socially acceptable as long as it was self-inflicted. Political disputes ranging from collectivism to sexual liberation were then acquiesced to, and now have been surrendered as the result of a powerless, counterfeit morality.

God’s mandated standards for humanity are persistently being chipped away. The imposition of a loosely enlightened morality is created by those who in reality are closet authoritarians. They will selectively protect those who are willing to compromise their principles in order to gain a false sense of security. It must be recognized that it is impossible to protect a thing that is relinquished.

The rights of humanity have been fought for man-to-man, idea-to-idea, for centuries. The cause has been to secure what God commanded His creation to possess. Fundamentally, the struggle will never change. Americans must be willing to get back onto the battlefield of ideas and ideals. The United States of America won on that battlefield, and if it is going to survive, must be willing to risk fighting to defend those principles again.

America’s religious community knows their rights because they believe God, but they have forgotten how to defend them. God has given them a country with a decree to treat man the way God has continually, and will endlessly treat man. They are unaware of the gift that the United States truly is in comparison to every other country on Earth.

American politics was fashioned to defend religious expression. To see the Western religious community secure in its convictions is to see a government assured in its liberty. America is asking itself the question it did 240 years ago, which is, “Are you willing to live without your rights, or die with them?’’

One of our founding fathers, Samuel Adams, said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

Do you agree?

You ought to.

There is good news, other than the ‘Good News’. Pastors have heard the call. Hundreds are campaigning across the country. Offices such as city council, mayor, school board, commissioner, governor, and representative are being fought for to be filled by God-respected men and women. That is how it is done.

Godspeed, America.

You’re going to need it.
By: Rosemary Dewar

3-20-2015 9-44-07 AMIn today’s world, many teenagers center their attention on the opinions of others. They worry about whether they are too fat or too skinny or too tall or too short, and they constantly think about what people are thinking about them. While asking themselves: “What does everyone think of me?” they fail to ask themselves: “What do I think of me?”

Oftentimes, teenagers, and even adults, place tremendous pressure on each other to do this or say that or go here or wear that, which causes a person to make a choice between conforming to people’s expectations and being accepted, or standing their ground and becoming subject to the criticism that follows. When forced to make this choice, many will choose to succumb to the pressure and join the crowd. A minority, however, will hold their ground and stay true to who they are. We should strive to break the mold and join this minority.

3-20-2015 9-44-16 AM

Although I am homeschooled, I too have been faced with many of the same dilemmas as other teens. I have to choose whether to be moral or be profane. I have to make a choice not to use foul language. I have to make the decision to never use drugs or drink alcohol if I am presented with them. All of these are examples of things a teenager is often faced with. If they are leaning towards making the correct choice, others will often pressure them into making the wrong one they themselves have already made. In an effort to be accepted, that person will make the wrong choice too.

The choices a person makes early on will affect them for the rest of their life. For this reason, we should try to make the moral choice that will bring about a positive effect on our lives. Religious people like myself should seek answers in the Bible and follow God’s standards, not the world’s. God’s opinion of us and our opinion of ourselves should really be the only two opinions that matter. We should not focus on what others think of us. We should try to make ourselves and God proud, not our peers. We should respect the opinions of others, but we should not live by them.

Not everyone believes in God, however. People who do not follow the Biblical standard should rely on what they have been taught was right. It may not always be correct, but if they stick to what they have learned, then they have stayed true to themselves.

If we follow what we know is right, what our parents have taught us to be right, or what the Bible has taught us, we will be able to make better choices and be ourselves. We will not feel like we are forced to conform to everyone else’s ideas of how we should act, or what we should look like, or how we should live our lives. We will be happier if we can just be ourselves, break the mold, and be different. Being different from the status quo is a good thing! God made us all different, so we should embrace it and encourage others to be different, too.
By: Hunter Rogers

3-20-2015 9-44-30 AM 3-20-2015 9-44-41 AM

2014-04-04_14-48-37We’ve all been talking about how in today’s world kids are getting more violent because of video games, movies, music, etc. I am here to voice my opinions and I am honored that Athens Now is allowing me to do so.

The first thing I would like to address is video games. Video games are becoming a target on showing kids things they shouldn’t be seeing or doing. I believe that you as the parent should know that video games aren’t for everyone anymore like they were in the 80s. There are video games for everyone from kids to adults and they have a rating system called the ESRB. This rating system is much like that of movies. On every video game box, usually located in the bottom left corner, there’s a letter telling you what it’s rated. Also, on the back in the bottom right corner, is typically a description of why it’s rated that.

2014-04-04_14-48-45

The letters are C, E, E 10+, T, and M. C is for children and appropriate for 3 year olds. E would be like a G rated movie. E 10+ would be a PG rated movie. T would be PG-13 and M would be similar to an R-rated movie. If you wouldn’t let your kids see an R-rated movie, then you probably shouldn’t let them play an M-rated video game. For more information on the rating system, visit www.esrb.org.

The second thing I would like to address is music. Parents, please pay attention to what music your kids are listening to. In today’s music, no matter what genre, (Country, Rap, Hip-Hop, Rock, or Metal) there’s good and bad lyrics. Most bands have lyrics demonstrating how badly he/she wants to kill someone or how he/she wants to get drunk and/or high on drugs to get away from their problems, or how badly they want to have sex. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these lyrics sung in every type of music. So please pay more attention to what the bands are singing, and not just about what they sound like.

I also would like to say that none of these forms of entertainment should be fully blamed for today’s violence. If that were the case, I would like to blame the history books for teaching kids how they could be violent. Kids could get ideas on torture and whatever else from those as well. Let’s face it: there’s always going to be violence. If you want to put all the blame of today’s issues on video games, music, movies, etc., then I guess Hitler must have somehow played a violent video game, watched a movie or heard song and got the idea from that to kill the Jews. I mean come on, don’t put all of the blame on any one thing.

This leads me to the final thing I would like to address. Kids could come up with the ideas of violent behavior from their parents, brothers, sisters, friends, or people in general. How are you the dealing with your problems? People, no matter how young or classic (no likes to be called “old”), are living and basing their lives on examples that their mom and dad were/are like, what their brothers and sisters were/are like, what their home is/was like, what morals they live/lived by. Are you a violent person yourself? Are you always talking about how badly you would like to do something to someone, or how badly you would like to see someone get hurt or have their feelings hurt? Are you drinking away your problems? You might need to take a look at yourself and see what kind of example you are setting for your kids.
By: Hunter Williams

2014-04-04_14-48-57 2014-04-04_14-49-13 2014-04-04_14-49-05
2014-02-07_14-57-05

We’re Southerners. Winter or not, we would never guess that we were going to wake up to a snowstorm. Athens suffered broken pipes and frozen fingers, but, bizarrely enough, it was much worse south and east of us.

2014-02-07_14-55-19After the tornadoes came through on April 27th, 2011, some people lost the meat in their freezers, a few days of work, and the ability to refill at the local pump. Others lost their homes, their property, and many, their lives.

There is a tendency to blame someone else. There always is. Granted, it’s a little hard to blame a tornado on anyone. It happened, and while we can beg for money from the government or complain to our neighbors, it’s not exactly anyone’s fault.

2014-02-07_14-55-30

A tornado is sudden and unexpected. A snowstorm, on the other hand, lends itself to scapegoats.

Governors, mayors, weather forecasters; on every level someone was finding someone to blame. “We should have been told, we should have been warned,” people said. I guess we should have had the governor issue an ultimatum with a curfew, restraining regular citizens from their superfluous schooling and working and driving. Just in case we…what, woke up to snow?

Blogger Brian Barrett, in a post that went viral, put it best. “Waking up in Birmingham to snow,” he said, “is like waking up in New Hampshire to quicksand.”

“They took a gamble,” says Al Roker, a television personality at NBC, who – incidentally – has never lived south of the Mason-Dixon. “They didn’t want to pre-treat the roads; I don’t think they wanted to spend the money and do what they needed to.”

Which is probably correct. If he wanted to ship some trucks from New York – you know, the kind that “pre-treat” the roads (I’m Southern, I don’t even know what that means), he could have saved all those people from what turned into a horrible disaster.

2014-02-07_14-55-38

Children stuck in schools and on buses, snarled traffic, and lives put at risk is no joke. But that doesn’t mean we have to locate a target to throw rotten tomatoes at.

If mistakes are made, they need to be set right. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia took an impressive and unprecedented stand when he stated, “I’m not looking for a scapegoat. I am the governor. The buck stops with me.”

Regardless of our proven ability to blame a politician for the weather, it makes far more sense to make sure that we, personally, are prepared for when disaster strikes.

Spend the money, take the time, and make sure you have bottled water in the closet, flashlights with fresh batteries in the drawer, and extra coats and/or blankets in your car trunk.

We live in the age of the Internet. We can watch a weather radar just as well as the meteorologist on television. The question is not whether we’re informed, it’s what are we going to do with that information?
By: Melissa Kirby

2014-02-07_14-55-53