Tag Archives: Jesus

Easter Day Musings

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day. It was also Sophie’s birthday. She is now one year old. I decided to take her on a walk at Bond Park here in Cary. It is one of our favorite places to walk and practice her training regimens. We walked about four miles including the two-mile Lake Trail that circles Bond Lake.

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As we walked, enjoying the sunshine and friendly passers-by (Sophie always garners plenty of attention), I began to ponder the Easter holiday and what it means to me. Beside eating jelly beans, I mean!

I am not sure what sparked it.

Perhaps it was the recent bit in the news about some Muslim guy claiming that Jesus was never crucified. I have heard claims such as this before. I have heard some argue that there is no proof that Jesus ever even existed  … outside from the Bible, of course.  From what I see, most of the people who make this claim never looked outside the Bible … or anywhere else for that matter!

For those who do dig a little deeper, you can find evidence from non-Christian sources that help point to who Jesus was and what happened to him. This is often held up as proof that he existed and was indeed crucified. Much of Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ, was based on evidence of this type. This non-Christian evidence is often written by those who were hostile toward the early Christians, which makes it an interesting spin on things … at least to me. And, I have looked at much of it. There are records from Roman era historians such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, or Flavius Jospehus, who are often ridiculing those early Christians and their crazy Messianic leader.

Then there are those who like to argue that these Roman historians are all liars, or that somehow their works are all some kind of forgeries … they must be part of some kind of ancient right-wing pro-Christian conspiracy I guess! I must admit it …  I find this claim by those people even more fascinating.

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Anyway, we continued on our walk and enjoying the beautiful day.  I was busy watching Sophie enjoy all the sights and smells and chasing after bumble bees, when I suddenly decided none of that really mattered much to me. What really matters is what you believe, and I do believe that one of Jesus’ primary  teachings,

Love your neighbor as yourself,

is simply a pretty darn good rule to live by. Jesus stated this very same concept several times and in several different ways throughout his journey toward his death.

To me, arguing over whether Jesus was actually the Son of God or not, or whether he was crucified or not … does not in anyway make this basic concept any less profound.

This is not a statement of faith for me.  My faith is very personal. I am not very evangelical. I will discuss my beliefs with a certain few people, but I will not argue about it with anyone. I know what I believe. You can believe what you want to believe.

But, it does seem to me that if more people followed this simple “golden” rule, life would be much better for many of us!

I remember going to a J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award ceremony some years ago (during the mid-1990’s) in Knoxville, Tennessee when I was working as an Anderson County CASA volunteer. It seems this same “Golden Rule” can be found, perhaps worded a bit differently, in every major world religion: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism (and Commonsenseism … kidding here). I found that to be really fascinating at the time.  A guest speaker read each version and stated the religion in which that version was based.

I also got to meet Jack Hanna there.  That was pretty cool to!

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So, anyway, Happy Easter to you all … from me and Sophie!

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The Left Aready “Hard at Work” Vilifying Paul Ryan!

Official portrait of Congressman .
Official portrait of Congressman . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can tell when liberals are worried!  They start arrogantly pontificating about that which scares them and proceed to attack it with all the vicious smear tactics available to them.  Look at what they did to Sarah Palin!  Judging by the vicious smear campaign waged against Governor Palin, they must really be scared to death of Paul Ryan!  Obama’s liberal media lap-dogs, left-wing blogs, Bill Maher, etc; are all jumping on the “murder Paul Ryan” bandwagon!  And … we haven’t even gotten to Joy Baher, Rosanne Barr, or the View yet!

I found this great article by Charles C.W. Cook, who writes for the National Review.  I enjoyed reading it and I believe he has a very accurate grasp of the situation at hand.  I included the article here in its entirety.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

The American songwriter and comedian Tom Lehrer once wrote that he didn’t “want to satirize George Bush,” but instead “to vaporize him.” Given Lehrer’s talent for satire, this represented something of a regression. Nonetheless, he was in good company, for, in the world of politics, “vaporization” is a popular choice.

The preference for annihilation over disapprobation has rarely been so luminously on display as during this week. Since Mitt Romney announced his nomination of Paul Ryan for the vice presidency, the House Budget Committee chairman has been metamorphosed into the devil, and a phalanx of those freshly diagnosed with Ryan Derangement Syndrome has been released into the unsuspecting public.

Chief among this merry band of hysterics is Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce. Pierce has led the charge against Ryan since Saturday morning’s disclosure, christening the congressman the “zombie-eyed granny-starver,” a “murderer of opportunity,” a “political coward,” and, sarcastically, one presumes, the “Pericles of Janesville.” As Pierce breathlessly explains, Ryan is not merely a man with a differing view of the role of the federal government and a good-faith, if controversial, plan to secure the future, but

an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn’t believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government.

As well there should be, there will be criticism as long as there is politics; and, certainly, one would not expect the Left to like Paul Ryan very much. For starters, Ryan has long had the gauche temerity to observe — in public, no less — that all is not rosy in America’s fiscal future. In doing so, he seems determined to play Senator Seneca to President Obama’s Nero, and it is for this, as much as anything else, that he has carved out his role as Enemy No. 1 of the progressive Left. Those who believe that entitlements run on good intentions will always hate men who come armed with spreadsheets, especially when those spreadsheets neatly explode the myth that all of America’s problems can be solved by increasing taxes on the rich. But Pierce’s hyperbole transcends mere disagreement, as does his dismissal of all those who dissent as “gobshites.” Instead, he seeks to remove Paul Ryan — and his ideas — from polite conversation.

Language such as this is not new, even if Pierce’s is saltier than usual. Descriptions of impending “dystopias” are trotted out every time that a long-term conservative plan is posited. Thanks to Joe Biden’s plagiarism, Neil Kinnock’s famous warning was played on both sides of the Atlantic:

If Margaret Thatcheris re-elected as prime minister on Thursday, I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain — when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance — when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty — when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay. I warn you that you will be cold — when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

As a rule, delirious warnings such as these typically represent better literature than prognostication. In reality, the tough choices made by Mrs. Thatcher in England and the Reagan/Bush administrations in the United States did not create an “economy that can’t pay,” but one that did. As a result of the tough love of conservatives in the 1980s, the very social programs that Kinnock and Biden warned were threatened with extinction were provided with the revenues on which they rely — for a time, at least. On the left, this is the truth that dare not speak its name.

For good measure, Pierce has also exploited Ryan’s lack of foreign-policy experience, deftly linking Paul Ryan to Ronald Reagan, Elliott Abrams, and other “zombie-eyed nun-killers” — all of whom, he claims, “winked at the rape and murder of American churchwomen in Central America.” Maybe, Pierce suggests,

during a break at his next foreign-policy briefing, Paul Ryan, devout Catholic, can ask his primary foreign-policy mentor whether the guy’s feelings about gunning down archbishops in the middle of mass have evolved over the years.

The not-so-subtle implication: Ryan’s Catholicism is dangerous.

Not to be outdone on the religion front, in Time, Erika Christakis spent her two cents knocking Ryan’s piety. “Jesus’ teachings regarding wealth are nowhere to be found in Ryan’s budget proposal,” she averred. Why? Because,

as near as we can tell, Jesus would advocate a tax rate somewhere between 50% (in the vein of “If you have two coats, give one to the man who has none”) and 100% (if you want to get into heaven, be poor). Mostly, he suggested giving all your money up for the benefit of others. And Jesus made no distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor; his love and generosity applied to all.

Aha! Paul Ryan believes in low taxes; ergo, Paul Ryan is not a good Christian. Theology is a complex matter, and complex matters are subject to much legitimate debate. What tax rate Jesus would have advocate eludes minds greater than Christakis’s. But it is somewhat remarkable that at no point in her piece does she cite anything Jesus said about government to back up her argument. Many Christians — Paul Ryan included — would presumably argue that they are not permitted to subcontract their personal obligations to their fellow man to the government, let alone force others to uphold such obligations. Many non-religious people would agree with this conception of virtue, too. But this is an irrelevance. The purpose of Christakis’s column is to provide a vehicle that allows her to reach her conclusion, that the Ryan plan is “not noblesse oblige,” but “cruelty.”

Over at Salon, Joan Walsh spent 1,000 words contriving an argument that, amazingly enough, concurs with her upcoming book, What’s the Matter with White People — Paul Ryan is white and hates “the other”! — and simultaneously slams Ryan for “fakery”:

The man who wants to make the world safe for swashbuckling, risk-taking capitalists hasn’t spent a day at economic risk in his entire life.

Walsh goes on to allege that Ryan is the “pampered scion of a construction empire.” To anyone familiar with Ryan’s biography, this is absurd enough on its face, but, arguendo, let’s pretend that it’s true for a moment and also take into account the corresponding complaint that Ryan has spent his entire adult life in government. Does this automatically render him incorrect on federal budgeting matters as Walsh implies? Milton Friedman used to ask members of his audiences who accused him of never having been poor whether there was anyone among them “who is going to say that you don’t want a doctor to treat you for cancer unless he himself has had cancer”? Walsh’s cheap tu quoque deserves to be dismissed to the sound of the laughter that used to greet Friedman’s rejoinder.

In fact, her whole piece does. To get an impression of how deep the derangement against Paul Ryan runs, consider that the first grievance Walsh includes is that as a young man Ryan chose to go “to Miami University of Ohio, paying twice as much tuition as an Ohio resident would have,” the problem apparently being that “the in-state University of Wisconsin system (which I attended) apparently wasn’t good enough for Ryan.” In-state tuition wasn’t good enough for President Obama either, and in-country tuition didn’t satisfy Bill Clinton, but neither of those appear to vex Walsh. Why?

At The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky interpreted the pick as evidence that he was correct about Mitt Romney being a “wimp” all along:

Paul Ryan? Really? It’s a stunning choice. A terrible one too. By making it, Mitt Romney tells America that he is not his own man and hasn’t even the remotest fleeting desire to be his own man. He is owned by the right wing. Did I write a couple of weeks ago that Romney was insecure? Well — Q.E.D.

That’s convenient, then.

If we remain on this course, the wheelchair will reach the cliff without any need for Paul Ryan’s involvement. Sure, Ryan’s plan is not the only way of dealing with the looming crisis. But, as Timothy Geithner admitted, the administration does not have one at all. “What we do know,” he told Ryan in February, “is we don’t like yours.” With this statement, Geithner confirmed what many had long suspected: The administration is terrified of reality.

Paul Ryan has volunteered himself as the face of that reality, and he is going to suffer a bright spotlight as a result, especially having been pushed even further into national prominence. The Left has evidently concluded that if it can vaporize Paul Ryan, it can vaporize his ideas. Time will tell if they are correct, but, regardless, economic gravity — and not hyperbole — will have the last laugh.

I would just ask voters to get beyond the media hype and hate-speech delivered up in heaping helpings by the progressive liberal left.

Instead … think for yourself!  Get the facts.   Do some honest research yourself!  Check voting records!  Read ObamaCare!  Actually read Ryan’s budget proposal …  it does not “murder” medicare.  It saves it.  It changes nothing for those already on Medicare!  It just gives younger folks severl options in the future … including continuing with the plan as it stands right now!  On the contrary … Obama has already cut $750 million from Medicare to fund ObamaCare.  How is he saving it?   Maintaining the status quo will certainly cause medicare and social security to fail … with no help from anyone!   Even Tim Geithner admitted Obama’s administration does not have any plan!!  They just do not like Ryan’s plan … because it preserves individual choice.

“Hope and Change” has turned into “Attack and Blame!”   Obama and his cronies live in some sort of utopian fantasy land where they live like kings while everyone else is happily living lives of mediocrity … suckling at the teat of a bloated central government! It is time for some real change … based on common sense, sound economic principles, and the ability to make the needed tough decisions … rather than pandering to bundlers and buying votes with new unsustainable entitlement programs.

Eat More Chicken? … Can I get an Amen!

All we have heard about from the liberal-left for years is the intolerance of Christians.   Really?

I know not all Christians are perfect.  In fact, some fringe churches, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, pervert the Christian faith for their own political gain or for the accumulation of power.  But, true Christians should follow the teachings of Jesus; and Jesus taught his followers to love one another.  He did not, however, teach that we would always (or even had to) agree with each other.

Jesus simply taught the following:

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith.

THOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Being a cradle-Episcopalian, this was taken from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Doesn’t sound very intolerant to me … if you actually live by these teachings.

We have also always heard how tolerant these enlightened liberals are supposed to be.  Why then, is it that, if a Christian states his or her belief, he or she is viciously attacked by liberals?  Freedom of speech is not only guaranteed to the LGBT community.  It is for everyone.  Dan Cathy did not speak disparagingly of gas, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders.  He has never refused them employment or service in his restaurants.   Several Chic-Fil-A employes have come forward and testified that there is not a better fast food employer to work for … no matter your race, religion, creed, or sexual preference.  They also serve good food.  So, what exactly was done to deserve this vicious attack?  Dan Cathy only stated his personal beliefs … beliefs he has every right to hold in this country; and that statement was given in the privacy of a Baptist gathering.  I heard no hate spew forth from his lips!

I am a conservative.  I have gay friends.  I don’t discriminate against them … or hate them.  I don’t attack them.  I try to understand their issues and the need for legal status in the community.  Acceptance, insurance issues, estate planning, hospital visitation … these are real concerns.   If I, as a conservative, can be open to calm discussion and be willing to take an introspective look at my personal beliefs, and try to understand the needs of other members of my community … you would think the “tolerant” liberal left would be able to do that as well!  It seems, however, that is not the case.  These liberals yell, “Stop the hate!”  Most of the hate I see is coming from them!

In fact, these limousine liberals are the most intolerant people I have ever seen.  The attack on Chic-Fil-A really amounts to nothing more than liberal bullying.  These oh-so-tolerant limousine liberals are essentially saying that Christians have no right to hold their beliefs, much less speak them in the privacy of their own gatherings.  If Christians, or I guess anyone, thinks or speaks anything other than the “approved” liberal politically correct soundbites … limousine liberals will attack with all the viciousness and hate they can muster.

This explains why Rosanne Barr tweeted:

Anyone who eats Sh*t-Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4 Christ.

This came after she told the restaurant chain to suck a particular  appendage she doesn’t have.  Shortly after her enlighten get-cancer tweet, Rosanne Barr  proceeded to double down (as these oh-so-enlightened liberals often seem to do), tweeting:

Off to grab a Sh*t Fil-A sandwich on my way to worshipping Christ, supporting AIPAC,  and war in Iran.

The tolerance of this enlightened, shining example of liberal exceptionalism is quite an extraordinary thing to behold!

Jon Stewart, the host of “The Daily Show”, went on a profanity laced rant against Chick-Fil-A during a taping of his cable television program. Click here to watch the video.

Open your eyes owner of Chick-Fil-A  … you’re being such an a**hole, not even Boston will tolerate you.

Raham Emanual says:

Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values!

Somehow I am not surprised that Christian values are not “Chicago” values.  Almost sounds a bit Hitler-esque to me!  Maybe that is why Emanuel has no problem alienating any Christians that happen to live there.  How long before Mayor Rahm rounds up the Christians and sends them to “re-education camps” … I wonder?

Apparently, Louis Farrakahn’s values are more in line with Emanuel’s thinking.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed an army of men from the Nation of Islam … dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to “stop the violence” in Chicago neighborhoods.  Does anybody besides me see the irony here?  You would think the LGBT community would be more afraid of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam army than Chick-Fil-A …. given the Islamic position on homosexuality.  It is something akin to kill them all.  Remember Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”  That was right after they executed two gay men ….

I understand GLAAD is telling same-sex couples to go to Chic-Fil-A locations today and take pictures of public displays of affection and post them on FaceBook.  I guess we can only hope it is just “kissing” … or, this could get pretty ugly.  I really don’t want to see gross displays of heterosexual affection while I am eating my lunch either!

Given the sheer ignorance of intolerant Christians, how could any ignorant, hateful, racist, bitter conservative write an article that could possible compete with the enlightened literary examples illustrated above.  Somehow, despite the obvious handicap;  Cal Thomas (Townhall.com) wrote an excellent article about the current Chic-Fil-A uproar and he  really hits the nail squarely on the head.  I have included his piece in its entirety in this post:

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is in hot water with the LGBT community because he committed the cardinal sin in an age of political correctness: Thou must not speak ill of anything gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders wish to do.

In an interview with the Baptist Press and later on a Christian radio program, Cathy, whose father, the philanthropist Truett Cathy, founded the company, defended marriage between a man and a woman and when asked about the company’s support of traditional marriage said, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” Cathy believes American society is rotting (and where is evidence to the contrary?) because the country has turned away from God.

That was it. Cathy did not say he would deny someone with a different view than his the right to eat in or work at any of his fast-food restaurants, which would violate the law. He did not say anything hateful about them. He simply expressed a deeply held conviction rooted in his Christian faith.

The reaction tells you everything you need to know about certain liberals who believe every sort of speech, activity and expression should be protected, except the speech, activity and expression of evangelical Christians.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would try to deny Chick-fil-A’s application for permits to open restaurants in that city. Now that’s discrimination. Menino wants to ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, not for discriminating against customers or employees, but because of its owner’s beliefs, a threat he has since backed away from. Does Boston have “thought police” who might be ordered to investigate whether other business owners already operating in the city hold similar views? I’ll bet there’s someone at Durgin-Park who holds similar views. What about a player for the Boston Red Sox? Better follow them to see if any of them go to church.

Maybe Mayor Menino would like to force business owners in the city to testify before an official panel of grand inquisitors and then deny operating licenses to anyone who believes traditional marriage should be the norm?

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.” Are Chicago values represented by the anti-Semitic firebrand Louis Farrakhan with whom Emanuel is going to partner in hopes of reducing the number of homicides in his city? Are Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic and anti-gay sentiments somehow more palatable, more of value, than Dan Cathy’s support of marriage and family?

The Weekly Standard found a video posted on the Nation of Islam’s website of a Farrakhan speech two months ago in which he blasted President Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage. Farrakhan said Obama is “the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid.” He added, “…sin is sin according to the standard of God” and “the Bible forbids it.”

That goes a lot further than Dan Cathy.

The Jim Henson Company has decided to pull its Creature Shop toys from Chick-fil-A and donate profits already made to GLAAD, the media-monitoring group that promotes the image of LGBT people. I knew Jim Henson when we both worked at the NBC-TV station in Washington in the mid-1960s. While we never discussed politics, I don’t think at the time, at least, he would have wanted his characters, which appeal to everyone, involved in a cultural and political battle.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Senator Rick Santorum, both also former presidential candidates, have called for a show of support for Cathy. They want people to eat at Chick-fil-A restaurants on August 1.

This is more than an economic battle. It is a First Amendment issue. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. Dan Cathy has a right to his opinion, so does Farrakhan, so do we all.

The real “war” in this country is not only against the supposed civil right of nontraditional marriage. It is a war against conservative Christians and a denial of the same rights the LGBT community claims for itself. Free speech is an American value. We shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Remember that Jesus stated:

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

I guess we are seeing, in the examples of these enlightened, tolerant liberals, the truth and accuracy of his words.

Justice or Vengance

David gegen Goliath
Image via Wikipedia

This Sunday also just happened to be September 11,2011 and the 10th anniversary of the attack on the world trade center in New York City.  In church I listened to a sermon by Reverend Joe Minarik that talked about forgiveness versus vengeance.  It was a well thought out sermon and I did enjoy listening to it, and it is often very true that some people mistake revenge for justice.  We all need to find forgiveness in our hearts for those people who have offended us … or how can we expect God to forgive us? 

How does that translate to September 11, 2011 and the actions this government took to punish the perpetrators of that heinous attack?  Did the U.S. seek revenge or justice.  Does forgiveness mean there is no consequences for evil actions?  Can we forgive those who do us wrong and still expect justice?

Consequences are sometimes necessary for us to learn … and I would say it was justice that most Americans sought after 9/11.  Not revenge!  Revenge would have been the indiscriminate murder of 3000 muslim innocent men, women, and children.  That did not happen.  Though we can argue about whether what we did was the right thing, anyone of sound mind and intellect should be able to accept that it was measured, restrained, and that every attempt was made to only go after Al Qaeda associates and their supporters.  We did not Nuke the Middle East.  I think my thoughts on Iraq should be clear from earlier posts, and yes, even Obama stated that Afghanistan was the “right war to be fighting” to achieve justice for the victims of the World Trade Center bombing.

Sometimes I get the feeling that some people do not mistake vengeance for justice, but instead they mistake justice for vengeance.  “vengeance is mine … saith the Lord” is often quoted by certain Christians as an exhortation to stand by and  to do nothing when horrific acts or events are playing out.   To me, Jesus’s lesson of “turning the other cheek” is not an admonition to go meekly to the slaughter … it is the defiant act of a warrior.  It clearly says, “that slap didn’t faze me … would you like to go for the other cheek as well!”  I have never bought into the Marvin Milktoast version of Jesus Christ.  Marvin Milktoast could not have survived 40 days in the desert,  run the money-changers out of the temple, faced down Satan and demons, or endured the suffering Jesus endured during his crucifixion.  Jesus was a warrior … like David or Sampson …a warrior for God … with a keen understanding of where and when not to use force or violence.

God gave us as sense of right and wrong, a free will, and a thinking mind!  The belief that “divine intervention” is the only biblically correct means to stop the evil acts of others is simply a cop-out and an excuse to avoid personal responsibility.  I am reminded of a story about a pious man sitting on his roof as the flood waters rose about him.  A truck came by and his neighbors shouted for him to climb in;  they were headed for higher ground.  He refused their help, saying that he had faith God would rescue him.  The water kept rising.  A boat came by and the rescuers hailed the man.  Again the man refused rescue saying that he was waiting for God to come and save him.  Still the water kept rising.  A helicopter flew overhead and tried to lift the man to safety.   Again the man refused, yelling that God would save him. The water continued to rise.  Sometime later the man stood at the Pearly Gates and Peter opened them to let him in.  The pious man, his faith shaken and feeling somewhat miffed, asked Peter why in Heaven’s Name God had not come and rescued him?  Why did God let him drown?  Peter looked at the man and said, “Sorry. God was sort of busy that day.  However, he did manage to find the time to send you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter.  Why did you not jump on one of those?

While violence is and should always be the last resort, the fact is that if only evil men are willing to use violence, only evil men will win.  Here are a few quotes I like:

“An unwillingness to deal forcibly with violence does not equate to moral rectitude!”

~ Mary Malmros

“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it!”

~ Pericles

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!”

~ Edmund Burke