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Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence’

Truth, Justice, Freedom, and The American Way

October 29th, 2017 No comments

Most Americans have intellectually accepted as a fact that race isn’t a reason to forcefully divide, control, or subject a people.

It took time and required struggle to get to that precious understanding.

All Truth requires Time, because all Truth is learned in stages over time.

Truth can be blurred or advanced by emotion.

Both reason and emotion are God-given, and each should be used in their best ways, and at their proper times.

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Evolutionary Understanding of God

Darwin’s theory of evolution caused some to doubt the need for a Creator that most of humanity held in some form from the earliest known histories.

Some assert that Darwin himself, as his life neared its end, became a believer.  True or not, it opens many questions, such as, does reason and faith conflict with each other?

That God exists ought to be a simple matter of reasoning and observation.

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Man and woman “fit” together. How could that reality have possibly evolved by mere accident?

A building reflects design, and that reflects intelligence guiding and forging that design. Did a building make itself?  Clearly, not.

Similarly, how could humanity exist without a guiding hand of an all-powerful, eternal Creator that brought everything else into being?

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Greek and other ancient philosophers knew thousands of years ago truths about the origin of all things – through reason – that humanity must understand and embrace again today.

The human body is so complex, how could all those complex systems have evolved together by accident so wonderfully? “I am fearfully [read awesomely], and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14) said David – the Jewish priest, prophet, and king.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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Which came first, the acorn or the oak tree?

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All such paradoxes are easily explained in the light of a sound belief in a Creator.  Science and faith ought not be separated, they ought to work together. Just as a man deprived of oxygen will result in death over time.  Some things are just better united, than divided.

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By analogy, an explosion in a print shop doesn’t produce an unabridged dictionary.

Rather, explosions produce destruction and chaos. Yet the ‘big bang’ didn’t create disorder. That theoretical big bang produced a universe with unseen but powerful laws which govern it, such as gravity.

The planets revolve around the sun, in an orderly, not random or chaotic fashion.

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Reason and Faith, Together

Reason and faith should ennoble and enlighten each other. Faith doesn’t rely on some emotion alone.  It is faith, emotion, and reason working together that helps the mature believer advance towards the fullness of Truth.

American ‘Tolerance’

There is no state imposed religion in America, but that doesn’t make America a godless nation.

America’s founders, imperfect yet motivated believers in a Creator God, felt that faith was essential for the government of the Republic.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

America is a Republic, a nation of laws.

Those laws ideally make all people equal under the law.

But that’s not to say that all beliefs are equal. Just as there are truths in math, science, professional, economic, or philosophy, so too their are truths in matters of faith.

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Skimming or jumping to conclusions often lead someone to a false conclusion.

Until the time comes that more people embrace the obvious notion that there are ultimate truths – including religious truth about God – tolerance and mutual respect is prudent.

But there should be a thirst for all truth. That includes professional and religious truth.

After all, where does business ethics find its most powerful foundation, if not in eternal truths?

Unity vs. Division

Division is not the ideal that God wants for His people.

Jesus, a Jew, prayed for Unity among believers multiple times.  He thus emphasized unity.

Jesus also recognized the sad reality of divisions. Each of those divisions find at their core some sin.

Jesus came to cast a cleansing fire upon the earth, until the divisions between people would be clarified by the clash of truth over half-truths or falsehood.

Until 500 years ago, all Christians were largely united.

As a kid riding my bike to junior high school, I stopped one day at an intersection.  There were four churches, one on each side of the corner. How could that kind of division exist? I wondered, how could such disunity among believers be?

But division does exist, in all walks of life.

Varied factors caused Martin Luther to nail his 95 theses on the church at Wittenberg, which began the splintering of Christendom.  Is it time to revisit the origins of those, and other divisions?

Almost 20 years ago, when the internet was still young, yours truly penned this article that explored those divisions through the lens of a detective Seeking the Truth.

Faith, reason, and just laws tell us to respect our fellows.

Our nation, and industry, are divided.

Truth must be our goal.  The thirst for truth requires mutual respect that seeks understanding.

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Truth is. Truth exists in all disciplines, including professional truths. The search for truth can be passionate, but it is ideally not taken in an offensive way.

At times, truth will clash with half-truths, or falsehoods.

Failure to challenge what is false is to condone it. That doesn’t mean that we have to live every moment of every day fighting a particular error.

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But when the timing is right, we should stand up for what is true, beautiful and liberating.

Only the Truth will set us Free.  Which mean that what is less than true is what causes slavery in all its sad forms. ## (Inspiration, Thought Provoking, Principles.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is one of the most popular speaker-presenters in MH. He routinely has standing -room-only crowds. 

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We the People – Memorial Day 2011 – Not on My Watch

May 27th, 2011 No comments

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:

We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.

The famous second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reads in part:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Memorial Day 2011 is upon us.

We are an Industry in crisis in a Nation in crisis.

As we remember the sacrifices of soldiers, aviators and sailors, as we think about those who protect life and limb from harm, foreign and domestic, let me invite you to consider the following.

  • Will we let freedom perish in our land? Not on my watch.
  • Will we extinguish justice in the name of security? Not on my watch.
  • Will we lose our economic prosperity to foreign powers? Not on my watch.
  • Will we allow the younger generation to be raised with less opportunity than we enjoyed? Not on my watch.
  • Will we be so busy with our own affairs that we will not take the time to understand and act as needed in American political action? Not on my watch.
  • Will we let free enterprise be regulated to death? Not on my watch.
  • Will we allow our businesses to be regulated out of existence by perhaps well meaning, but I’ll advised politicians and regulators? Not on my watch.
  • Will we forget that caring for our customers is the life blood of any business or industry? Not on my watch.

The history of the signers of the Declaration of Independence has often been embellished. We do not need a lot of hype to recognize this reality, that there is no free lunch. We all have to work for freedom. That is economic as well as political freedom. It will not be handed to us on a silver platter.

We can lose our economic and political liberties simply by doing nothing.

We cannot abuse customers, without expecting them to react.

But if we partner with our customers, if we work for their success, many in turn will work for our success.

We will not always be recognized for the good that we do or seek to do.

But we should do what is right and good, precisely because it is right and good.

We hold these truths to be self-evident. Our Industry at its best serves a purpose that no other type of housing can provide as well as we can! Our industry at its worst is fodder for negative media stereotypes.

We must strive, therefore, to be the living example of our Industry at its best.

We cannot control what the bad actors in our industry may do. But we can by example and exhortation show them why they are better off doing what is right. Nor should we defend what is wrong.

The principles of Solidarity and Subsidiarity brought renewed freedom to Eastern Europe. We are not in the shape they were in under Communism. Solidarity and subsidiarity are elements of what made America great in our founding documents, too.

Let us understand these ideals:

Solidarity

One definition from Wikipedia:

Solidarity is social cohesion based upon the dependence individuals have on each other.

The Free Dictionary says:
A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group; fellowship of responsibilities and interests: “A downtrodden class … will never be able to make an effective protest until it achieves solidarity” (H.G. Wells).

Other quotes using the ideal of solidarity:

“Unlike solidarity, which is horizontal and takes place between equals, charity is top-down, humiliating those who receive it and never challenging the implicit power relations.” – Eduardo Galeano

“Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.” – Aurora Levins Morales

Subsidiarity

Wikipedia uses this definition:

Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority.

The 10th amendment to the Constitution is an example of the principle of Subsidiarity. This quote will help express the ideal of this principle.

“Will the American people never learn that, as a principle, to expect swift response and efficiency from government is fatuous? Will we never heed the principle of subsidiarity (in which our fathers were bred), namely that no public agency should do what a private agency can do better, and that no higher-level public agency should attempt to do what a lower-level agency can do better – that to the degree the principle of subsidiarity is violated, first local government, the state government, and then federal government wax in inefficiency? Moreover, the more powers that are invested in government, and the more powers that are wielded by government, the less well does government discharge its primary responsibilities, which are (1) defense of the commonwealth, (2) protection of the rights of citizens, and (3) support of just order.” – Reid Buckley

Alexis de Toqueville wrote a book, Democracy in America. Over 150 years ago he described the principles that helped make America the freest, most productive and successful society ever known in the world. Associations were part of what de Toqueville remarked upon and extolled. Make your association(s) the best it can be by taking an active part in making it the best it can be.

Associations at their best are solidarity at work!

We may have never thought about how vital solidarity or subsidiarity truly is. We may never have thought that we must care about our neighbor as well as ourselves, or we may lose our rights and blessings as we watch the same happen to our neighbor.

Solidarity and subsidiarity are not political parties. They are ideals! If we learn and live these ideals ourselves, we can reclaim and make better than ever that which made America the best place to be in the world.

Will we let divisions and labels divide and conquer us?

Not on my watch!

Let us not posture.  Let us not merely moan, sit on our hands and do nothing.

Let us act like free people who respect each other.

Let us lead, follow or get out of the way of those willing to lead us back to brighter days.

Let us seek to understand, and come together in solidarity. Let us work for subsidiarity. When all politics are local, we can access and monitor that which exists to protect us.

When we follow these principles, we will see our business flourish.  We will see our Industry and this great country flourish anew.

Our best days need not be behind us.  If you and I set an example of doing our best, of caring for our customers and our fellows, we can reap the rewards that solidarity offers. # #

Michael F. B. Barnabas (a pen name) can be reached at michaelfbbarnabas@gmail.com.