31 March 2018

Alma 44:5 - Liberty and Loyalty from Captain Moroni

I return again to my "gleaning" from recent scripture study.
And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us— (Alma 44:5)
It seems that Moroni, who speaks here, finds that liberty binds up to our lands and country. With the recent spate of immigration away from Syria and toward Western Europe, it is a principle that we see in our own day. Where there is little liberty, there is little loyalty.

Again, It is liberty that binds us to our lands and our country. As social engineers formulate restrictions to individual, family, and group liberties in order to punish perceived racial or political wrongs, the overall loyalty to even “the American country” wanes. For example, in what was once considered only the province of the extreme fringe, secessionist movements are becoming more mainstream through a push toward increased “states’ rights” and a stronger desire for devolution of power from larger centralized parties that see people more as statistical polling numbers to be manipulated.

America itself was always and continues to be an interesting conglomeration. Neither a nation or country based on any one heritage, it could be seen as a modern attempt at a "world" government, or a system that can govern over many disparate peoples. In theory, each family can do "their own thing" and still enjoy the benefits that liberty affords them under the American umbrella. However, that liberty has be be authentic and supported for all, not enforced just for a few "oppressed" groups and denied to the socially-undeserving and "privileged" others.

Liberty for all can and should be fought for at every turn and in every place. In the United States of America, it is traditionally considered the underlying right of everyone. It was the grand principle that God established for all of this children, to facilitate our growth and development.  Let us not so piously battle to suspend universal liberty after it was so passionately enthroned by the American founding fathers and even established by our Eternal Father. Liberty is the higher road and deserves our every loyalty.

22 March 2018

Live and Let Live...I Hope.

After reading some of my posts, I'm sure some people think I am a dirty rotten bigot, a homophobe, a transphobe, racist, and a bad cook. All I can do in response is shrug. I imagine if a cross-dressing gay dude was pointing a gun at me, I would indeed be in fear of him. I do avoid folk that say I don't deserve to draw breath for one reason or another - I don't want any trouble that way. If I do have some sort of "privilege", I guess I have a trailer-trash "can't get ahead" way of not using it.  People must be pretty brilliant in comparison to me - they seem to know far more about me than I have been able to figure out about myself. Apparently, their brainpower gives them the right to legislate and police people like me or ideas like mine out of existence.  I say as I have always done - live and let live.

I have finally gotten to that settled place where I can write what I think. If I think people are being silly in public, I tend to say so these days. If someone is trying to make others miserable, I am more likely to intervene rather than just mind my own business as I commonly did when I was younger. People who express their hatred at a difference of opinion in violence and grand-standing are simply vile and deserve every molecule of disrespect they get. It pains me to see people wasting their time and money on things of no ultimate worth and I'm lately more likely to express that pain.  Unlike some of the up-and-coming generation, I don't threaten the life or liberty of a soul - people can be as silly, loud, obnoxious, and un-respectable as they wish and I will continue to wish them a long and happy life, if they can manage it.

It is a sad time when some people have to move around with security details for simply expressing opinions that others don't agree with. That seems terribly intolerant. I may disagree with you or think you are silly for what you do or think, but I am not going to get violent or threatening about it. I may say that your behavior will lead to heartache and pain, but I am not going to be the instrument to make sure that happens to you.  Life is rough enough and I see no intelligent reason or "right" for anyone to make it any rougher.  I hope my readers see that I am very likely to offer warnings and predictions.  I respect natural consequences enough to trust that I don't have to get involved. Wisdom has a lot to do with avoiding stupid behavior and I feel it is my place to simply impart whatever wisdom I might have to help my fellow travelers.  Everyone can take it or leave it and I won't be forcing people toward my way of thinking through legislation or bullying, just advice.  I hope to say what I think and you can go your own way with no real interference.

If this makes me all those nasty terms that young folks like to fling about, I guess I'm guilty. People can call me what they like with the confidence of knowing that they will have a pleasant tomorrow without having to watch their backs. I hope they are decent enough to afford me the same courtesy. Everyone has their own opinions and, for my part, the best policy available continues to be "live and let live".

23 February 2018

Parents, Consider Schooling Options for the Sake of your Children

There has been yet another school shooting and the media is hard at work to blame guns for this violence. Again, as I have said previously, one solution for these sorts of tragedies is a family decision to keep children away from systemically dangerous "targets" like schools.

Lisa and I made a choice early in our marriage to school our children ourselves as much as we could contrive. Part of our reason to live in the frontiers of New Mexico is the strong homeschooling tradition here and the "hands-off" approach the state government is forced to have about a parent's educational choices for their own children. We were able to take advantage of wonderfully "alternative" schooling opportunities, such as The Learning Center at House Schools, that we were able to find close by. We made conscious choices about the lives of our children and I feel these have paid off enormously.

Please, alongside the mass call for turning schools and communities into gun-free, prison-like "police states", consider the far more personal and responsible choices that each parent can make to better ensure a long and fruitful life for their children. Parents are supposed to put forth their best effort to rear their children into adults that can succeed, even in the dangerous world in which we live. I hope *you* put your children ahead of ideological agendas and don't ignorantly just hand the most crucial part of your child's life (and potentially the end of their lives) over to questionable institutions like public schools. For your child's sake, explore the different educational alternatives available to your family!