Rebuttal of pro-Common Core Flyer

Students

Students (Photo credit: Editor B)

Today many households in the state of Oklahoma received a flyer from an organization calling themselves Stand for Children Oklahoma. The flyer is in favor of Common Core education and misleads uninformed parents to think that Common Core is the best thing for their children’s education. This is the second of these flyers that has gone out.

The flyer begins with a statement encouraging parents to “join the movement to raise the bar in Oklahoma schools so our children are able to reach their full potential.” Common Core does not raise the bar. Many of the standards are diluted from previous standards. It applies a cookie cutter approach to education that focuses on the lowest common denominator of student.

Parents are told that Common Core prepares students to enter college and the workforce better than previously used curricula. In reality a student’s cognition is only one of three “competencies” that a student is required to have to excel in the 21st century. The other two are intrapersonal (within the person) and interpersonal (among people) competencies. Intrapersonal competencies focus on intellectual openness and work ethic/conscientiousness. Interpersonal competencies focus on positive care self-evaluation, teamwork and collaboration, and leadership. Actual learning and knowledge of the individual are pushed to the side: cognitive processes and strategies, knowledge, and creativity.

Public education in the United States was never intended toward an outcome based strategy. The purpose was to teach children to read, write, do basic mathematics, and about civics. If a child wanted to go further in their education, they had the ability to choose that path. Children also learned enough to go into the workforce and work their way from the bottom up or start their own business if they wanted to.

Now with progressives in charge of the legislature, children of all intelligences and skill levels are being prepared for higher education. The statistics quoted in the flyer showing 1 in 4 students as being prepared for college or a career are accurate. If one will look at the bell curve for intelligence quotients, only the top 20% of the population has the capacity to go on to higher education. The lower 80% can go to work or trade school to learn a trade that they enjoy rather than be forced to attend college where they will be miserable.

The flyer states that Common Core State Standards are a “proven pathway to ensure that each student is on track to be ready for college or career.” This is a blatant lie. When the state of Oklahoma applied for a waiver from the endless supplier of red tape – No Child Left Behind, the federal government granted the waiver on the condition that they would sign on to Race for the Top, a precursor of Common Core. They did this without knowing what the standards would be because they were not written yet. The Common Core standards have not been in place long enough to gather enough data to prove if they are effective or not.

The flyer states that choices about what to teach, how a student should learn, and choice of textbooks are left up to the parents and local school districts. This is another untruth. The Common Core standards are copyrighted by the National Governors Association, of whom Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin is the chair, and cannot be changed. The state can supplement the standards, but only an additional 15%. Nothing can be taken away from the standards. Textbook and test publishers are aligning their products with the Common Core standards. There is very little room for local control with Common Core.

The flyer then gives advice to parents on how they can help implement Common Core. They say to stay informed while most of the curriculum was written behind closed doors by businessmen rather than educators. Parents around the country are being given the cold shoulder and brush off when they inquire of their school boards and faculties about the nuts and bolts of Common Core. They say to support your child. When parents have approached teachers about frustrations that their children have about how Common Core is being taught, the teachers and administrations have told them there is nothing they can do due to the copyright issues of Common Core. It also states that when more is expected more is achieved. When our children are being socially engineered, the only achievement they will have is to be a good worker for the state.

The flyer then quotes two “conservatives” and one “liberal” about what they think about Common Core. Mike Huckabee touts Common Core as a draw for companies to come to Oklahoma. Chris Christie states falsely that teachers and districts can be innovative with Common Core. Kim Henry, former Oklahoma first lady, states that  Common Core will keep Oklahoma moving forward and help students reach their full potential. As a business owner this writer knows that employers want workers who can think for themselves which is discouraged in Common Core. As stated above innovation is limited to only 15% of the state’s curriculum, and teachers are already complaining that they do not have time to teach what is required by Common Core. Students will not ever reach their full potential if the focus is on the lowest common denominator rather than allowing teachers to cater to the needs of each student as an individual.

Common Core is a curriculum that has been modeled after the United Nations design of education as outlined in Agenda 21. It focuses on social engineering rather than actually teaching children what they need to know. The wellness portion of the curriculum dovetails with the socialized medicine of the Affordable Care Act  (Obamacare). There is data collection from each and every child that begins in Pre-K and follows that child throughout his or her life as a permanent record. Children will be given sexual education from the get go. Sensors will be placed on children to monitor their biofeedback to be sure that they fall within a “normal” range.

For more information go to www.fpeusa.org. There is much more information on that site about Common Core and the threat it poses to our children. The website for Stand for Children Oklahoma is www.expectmoreok.org.

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Can Christians in the United States Be Persecuted?

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The scripture of Luke 21:5-19 is a prophecy made by Jesus Christ that predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem which occurred in 70 AD. He then warns His disciples of false prophets and that there will be wars and many difficult times before He returns. He then tells them of the coming persecution of his followers. Many people here in the United States believe that there is no persecution of the Church in this country because of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

When preaching on this subject, many mainstream pastors will focus on the verses about the wars, earthquakes, and pestilence. They will tell their congregations that these are not necessarily signs of Jesus’ return because they happen. They have always happened, so preachers will tell us not to be worried. With this style of preaching, Christians in the United States seem to have been lulled into complacency.

These preachers will glance over verses 12-19 in this passage. Today, mainstream preachers would lead us to believe that the Church in our nation is not persecuted and that we should pray for persecuted Christians in foreign lands. They say this while children are told they cannot celebrate Easter or Christmas at school. Christians in our military are threatened with disciplinary action or dishonorable discharge for sharing their faith. Christians in Michigan and other places with growing Muslim populations are being told not to pray or display evidence of their faith so that “minority” religions and atheists are not offended.

Jesus still encourages us that He, through the Holy Spirit, will give us the words to say in Truth. He also warns us that everyone we love will turn on us. Everyone will hate us. Does this include our preachers? We in the United States are not exempt from Jesus’ prophecy. We should not be complacent simply because the First Amendment of the Constitution protects us from religious persecution from the government. Our laws have been misread and miss-taught for a generation.

We must be as prepared for persecution as the Church in China and Egypt. This persecution has already begun, and it is getting worse. As in the parable of the bridesmaids, we must always be ready for Jesus’ return. We must have our hearts, minds, and souls focused on Him as we live our lives. As Jesus said in Luke 18-19 (NIV), “But not a hair of your head will parish. By standing firm you will gain life.”

Why Islam is not a religion of peace

Islamic Center of Washington DC

Islamic Center of Washington DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The content of this blog post was written in response to an atheist stating that religion was an excuse to start wars. I hope this helps people understand where I am coming from when I condemn the “religion of peace.”

If you look at all religious wars that have been waged since the life of Mohammad, who died in 632, they have all been wars begun by Muslims. The Crusades were started when Muslims invaded the Holy Land and were trying to usurp it from the Christians and Jews. The Pope sent knights to Jerusalem to defend Europe against an Islamic invasion. Over the next few centuries from the fall of Spain in 711 to 1492, Muslims tried to invade and conquer Europe while they were conquering North Africa, the Middle East and Persian Empire, as well as Asia and the East Indies. The Christian Europeans who gave rise to our form of government here in the United States were able to hold off that invasion.

The sixth pillar of Islam, Jihad – which we learned about in world history in high school, is no longer considered to be a pillar by western textbooks. Jihad which means HOLY WAR is not the inner struggle that politically correct pundits want us to believe it to be. The goal of Jihad is world domination. The Hebrew Scriptures were hijacked to justify conversions of Christians and Jews who could not read the scriptures for themselves to Islam. The word Islam itself means submission. If you do not submit to Allah, who is actually the Arabic word for the Moon God, you have two choices: be enslaved or be killed.

Now Europe and the United States are being invaded by Islam again. Only this time it is more subtle because they are using our principles of individual choice to worship how you choose and religious freedom against us. Instead of worshiping how they wish, which is cool, they are now trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Look at Dearborn, Michigan for example. Their city council has decided to allow Sharia Law to override the United States Constitution, Michigan State Law, as well as the Municipal Ordinances of Dearborn because they don’t want the Muslim population of the city to be offended.

The point is that the reason Christianity is being persecuted while Islam is being lifted up as the new, preferred way to do things is because Islam is a religion of control. While TRUE Christianity is about individual freedom based on his or her relationship with Jesus Christ, Islam has always been a religion about war, domination, and micromanaging every aspect of a person’s life. Christianity has NEVER condoned sex with children. The Koran states that it is okay to marry six-year-olds and have sex with their child brides at the age of nine. The Koran is stated to be the word for word dictation of the Word of God to Mohammad. The Christian God who loves children because of their innocence is NOT the same god worshiped in Islam.

The definition of peace to a Muslim is total submission to Allah. There is no room for the Judeo-Christian God, the Hindu Pantheon, Shinto, Buddhism, or the belief in no god at all.

In response to his criticism of my Christianity because I do not tolerate Islam I responded with the following. This person was unsure as to why some comments on my post referred to Islam as a cult. He was also critical of the judgment of Islam based on its most radical followers and called it shortsighted.

No human on the planet is perfect. The goal of Christianity is to strive for perfection even though we fail on a daily basis.

To answer the question about the difference between religion or cult – A religion is honest with converts about what they believe. There are no hidden secrets that are only revealed to people who have joined. Islam is a cult because it hides the more extreme portions of its belief system like pedophilia and bestiality until after a person has been sucked in by the more peaceful, politically correct parts of the teachings like prayer and charity.

Only God can judge how Christian a person is or is not. You have not walked in my shoes. I do not condemn you for being an atheist. It is not my place to judge you for your beliefs. However, Christ does say that one can be discerning about people based upon their actions which is why I can look at what the Koran says is the verbatim word of God and know by what it says that it is NOT the Truth.

I also never said that all Muslims should be killed. I truly feel sorry for most of them because they are under the tyranny of Sharia Law and have no recourse because their government is the highest authority in their lives instead of God. The reason you don’t hear more moderate Muslims speaking against what the extremists in Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is because they cannot. The extremists are the ones who are the leaders in Islam.

What is short sighted is that we as a nation have been at war with Islam since its inception. We are not taught this in school anymore because it’s not politically correct, but the Barbary Pirates who the marines were fighting in Tripoli were Muslim. By the time Thomas Jefferson was president, 25% of our national budget was being paid in tribute to Islamic powers around the world for release of our navy sailors and merchant marines. The Koran that Ralph Ellison used to be sworn in to Congress belonged to Thomas Jefferson, not that Jefferson had a great appreciation for Islam, but that he wanted to read it to get to know his enemy. We have not been taught this because some Muslims might be offended by the truth.

A Christian Mission

Jesus was born and grew up under the shadow of a tyrannical government. The religion He practiced would have been persecuted by the government if there had not been a special exemption granted to the Jews in order to keep the peace in Palestine.

When Jesus’ public ministry began, the people were hungry for relief from the taxation of the Roman government. They were waiting for the prophesied Messiah, a military savior that would overthrow the tyranny of Rome.

Jesus was not the messiah the Jews were expecting. He promised an overthrow of the tyranny of sin and death. His followers saw the Truth in what He taught. When He was crucified, He had a devoted following who were committed to preaching His gospel to the world.

Since the gospel was not what the “Establishment” Jews expected, Jesus’ followers were persecuted. One man in particular struck fear into the hearts of the followers of the Way, Saul of Tarsus. He was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen. When he would arrive in a town with a budding Christian community, he would have them executed. However, God saw a purpose for Saul. He knocked him off his horse and struck him blind so that Saul would see the light. When Saul converted to Christianity, he took the name Paul. He truly believed that God called him to repent and to preach the gospel, not to the Jews but to the gentiles.

In the first century the followers of Jesus were few in number compared to the fast following that Jesus has today. Now, in the 21st century, the Christian church is again being persecuted by tyrannical governments. Even in the United States where the Constitution states that freedom of religion is protected from government interference, Christians are constantly under fire for their beliefs. Their holidays are marginalized, and the gospel can no longer be taught to children in government schools.

Saint Paul was called to preach the gospel as is this current generation. One of the last things Jesus said to his followers before He joined the Father in heaven was that we are to bring people to know Him. What is being done today? Churches are more like social clubs and networking sites rather than houses of worship. When Jesus came upon the secularism in the Temple in Jerusalem, He took a whip and drove them out.

A wise man once said that there are three criteria upon which God judges a nation: child sacrifice, worship of idols, and tolerance of homosexual behavior. One can look around and see how far our nation’s culture has strayed from God’s will for His people. Women line up in droves at abortion clinics to sacrifice their first born children to the god of convenience. Money has become god to many rather than a tool for fulfilling needs and being generous. The media is rife with content that encourages people to accept same sex relationships as normal.

One may ask, “What can be done?” Many believe that they may be in the minority. Some devout Christians have had to compromise their beliefs to remain friends with people or to be accepted by their families. Others may choose to keep silent about immorality in order to maintain their employment. We must be willing to sacrifice for Jesus. Jesus gave his life to rescue us from sin and death. Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. The founders of the United States gave up everything to fight for freedom from tyranny. The greatest generation fought against the empires of Japan and Germany to keep their tyranny from invading our shores. It is now up to this generation. Citizens must rise up and speak out against the tyranny that has been slowly creeping into our local, state, and federal governments. They must stay in contact with their elected officials to let them know what they think about what they are doing. They must not stop until the job is done.

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

Separation of Church and State v. Church as State

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Sec...

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution refers to the establishment and practice of religion in the United States. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The 14th Amendment has been interpreted as expanding the Bill of Rights to state governments. The last sentence of Amendment 14, Section 1 states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the U.S.; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Nowhere in the Constitution is it stated that there should be a separation of church from the state. It simply states that no national religion can be established and that the government cannot stop people from practicing their religion. The phrase “wall of separation between Church and State” is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists who were afraid that the government would make their denomination illegal, as had been practice in many colonies before the U.S. declared independence from Britain. Jefferson used the wall analogy to reassure them that the government would have nothing to do with religion because it is a matter of conscience between man and God. He never said that religion shall be removed from government or public life. Prayer and Christian worship services were conducted in the halls of Congress. The Christian religion was taught in public schools. There was even concern about how teaching science outside the context of God could cause students to become atheistic. Mandatory chapel attendance was a fact of life in universities like Harvard and Yale.

Fast forward to what has occurred in the last century, focusing on the last 40 years. Progressives have added interpretation to the 1st and 14th Amendments that are not there and have twisted Jefferson’s words to mean that the “separation” means that religion has no place in the public realm. This belief has led to the elimination of the Christian religion of all denominations from public schools, while the tenets of Islam are being taught openly. Pastors are prohibited from preaching on political issues because of tax laws. Teachers are prohibited from teaching Christianity in public schools which flies in the face of “free exercise” because teachers are not allowed to fulfill the Great Commission given to all Christians by Jesus in the Gospels.

History has shown how eliminating religion from the state actually mutates the state into a religion. Ancient Romans persecuted Christians because they refused to worship the Caesar as a god or any of the other state sponsored gods. Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the Nazi Third Reich in Germany are two other glaring examples of how government becomes a national religion. Religion became heavily regulated and persecuted by the State. These governments wanted their citizens to fully rely on them, not a Supreme Being.

In conclusion, laws and court rulings that limit the free practice of religion in the public realm are unconstitutional. Students in government schools are being taught that Christianity had nothing to do with how the Founding Fathers developed the fabric of our government. Christian children in many schools are not allowed to pray openly or wear clothing that reflects their beliefs because what they do may be offensive to religions that may be in a minority or non-existent in the school. Christians have to compete with atheists for the opportunity to display the story of Jesus’ birth during the Christmas season. When governments take religion from young people while telling them to question everything their parents teach them, they can manipulate these children into believing that the government is the source of all that is good, not God.

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The end of the American Dream

President Barack Obama’s administration and the Democrat Party in Congress have guaranteed the end of the American Dream in the United States. This dream in the 1800s was that anyone, no matter their financial situation could achieve wealth in business. The dream has been mutated to mean financial equality for everyone. This equality applies now to the middle and lower classes.

With the advent of Obama Care and the most recent showdown over the Continuing Resolution and the debt ceiling, the policies being proposed by the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will guarantee that no one in the middle class will move into the wealthy class.

The mandate on employers to provide health insurance for their full time employees will guarantee that small businesses will remain small. Full time has been redefined from 40 hours to 30 hours per week. This mandate also applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Now employers will move to cut full time employees to part time to avoid paying the approximately $6 thousand per employee insurance premium. Growing businesses will not hire more than 49 employees to avoid paying the premiums as well. This stifles small business growth and limits them from expanding their businesses.

The tax increases that came down the pike this time last year

The American Dream, New Jersey 1991

The American Dream, New Jersey 1991 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

with the expiration of the Bush Era tax cuts are another factor that will keep people in the middle class. According to the proposal, tax rates have gone up for all earners making more than $200 thousand per year. People in the middle class will avoid earning this much income to keep from moving into the higher tax bracket. The highest income tax bracket is 39.6%. The corporate tax rate is 20%. The estate “death” tax increased to 45% on estates with $3.5 million or more in assets. These tax rates will be devastating to small businesses, especially those who were to be passed down to future generations.

In conclusion the Progressive elite have assured that they will remain the elite and keep the middle class “in its place” with these two policies alone. People must hold their congressmen accountable if they vote on policies that kill the American Dream. We also must support our state legislatures as they work to nullify Obama Care. When the people re-elected Obama as president and did not elect a Republican majority in the Senate, they put a spade in the ground to dig the grave for the True American Dream.

On a Path to the Weimar Republic

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Photo credit: osmium)

One day when I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed I ran across the quote below. When I saw this it struck me with a bit of Truth about the path that our nation is on toward National Socialism. I shared the quote on my wall with a comment. I recorded the ensuing conversation that developed between a friend of mine from high school and me.

Catherine Brigden: “Be careful what you wish for…”

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.” – Adolf Hitler, 1935

LIBERALS following Hitler’s lead.

Friend: Wow Cathy…that’s pretty harsh!

Me: You need to read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. This administration [President Obama] is following their play book to the letter.

[I had read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich a couple of years ago during the 2008 presidential campaign and the first few months of the Obama administration.]

Friend: I have read it. My undergrad is in history, and I’m also working on a PhD in history so that I can teach when I retire from business. Seriously though, Cathy… comparing our Constitutional form of government (no matter what knucklehead or idiotic party is in the big chair) to Nazi Germany? I can’t see how that lends itself to a constructive political discussion. It’s just baiting. For the record, I don’t have a party affiliation and I don’t box myself into a convenient catchphrase like “conservative” or “liberal”. When I see things like this from both sides of the political divide, it just makes me sad that we have to continuously throw firebombs at “the other side” rather than listening to each other and finding a way to make it work for everyone.

Me: Another book I would recommend is The Roots of Obama’s Rage. D’Sousa cites the books that Obama wrote before he became president as evidence of what he’s trying to do to our government.

[I have not read Dreams from my Father nor Audacity of Hope; however based on D’Sousa’s book, they are the equivalent of Hitler’s Mein Kampf as far as outlining his philosophy and plans he has for the nation should he obtain power.]

Sometimes the rhetoric needs to be harsh to get people’s attention. The progressive movement has been working us to this point for over 100 years. They have been eroding our freedom a little at a time so we wouldn’t notice. Well, many of us are noticing, and we have had enough. There are progressives in both parties, and they all need to seek employment in the private sector. Also, in 1935 Hitler was a pretty likeable guy. He tapped into the righteous indignation that the German people had toward the rest of Europe for settling that horrible war debt on them. He was made chancellor by a popular election. He didn’t really raise his ugly head until he invaded Czechoslovakia. He always declared that he was a man of peace, even when he was invading Poland. Many times what looks good in advertising turns out to be a snake that ends up biting us in the butt.

Friend: I’m not an Obama fan by any means, but the Constitution calls for a separation of powers that is unlike anything seen in Post-Weimar Germany. In short, you are comparing apples to oranges with that analogy. If you really believe that a President, any President, is capable of affecting any type of substantive change within our government without the consent of a (currently Republican controlled) Congress, then I would ask you to read the U.S. Constitution again to better understand what a sitting President may and may not do and the powers (and lack thereof) of each branch of government. Scare tactics from either side of the fence are convenient and self-assuring but are most always intellectually lazy and show a fundamental lack of understanding of the complexities of our political realities. I’m not trying to dog you out here, Cathy; but the sooner we all engage in real debate and discussion and stop with all of the hyperbole and bull**** statements (meaning all sides) then we can go about the business of correcting our country…not as elephants or jackasses, but as Americans.

Post Script: Since I originally wrote this article, I have done additional study on the types of government that exist in the world. All governments can be boiled down to two types: oligarchy and republic. What we have in our nation today is not republican, especially since the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution which allows for the popular election of Senators to the national legislature. I have also read Shadows of Power which documents the true government of our nation, the Council on Foreign Relations. We are ruled under a fascist oligarchy that has taken advantage of the normal path that a true democracy takes which is to vote itself the people’s money. Recent events in Newtown, Conn. and Boston, Mass. have shown more examples of how the government is working to seize more power from the people by attempting to demand that they turn in their guns and stay in their homes when there is a threat to public safety.