I recently read an article written by Sarah Palin. I know she's a pretty divisive character- those who like her really do like her, and those who don't like her REALLY DON'T like her! There is very little fence-sitting when it comes to opinions about her.
Frankly, I've always been in the first camp. She's intelligent, honest, and understands the Constitution and her duties as a leader.
Here's her article.
As Freedom Destroys Itself
All of us were horrified by the murders at
the Washington Navy Yard this week. Once again, in the aftermath of a
shooting, a new installment of the debate about gun laws has broken out.
But what we really need is a new discussion about what kind of people
we are and what kind of country we want to be.
It’s no secret
which side I’m on in any debate involving the Second Amendment (or the
whole Constitution, for that matter). We call Alaska America’s Last
Frontier, and firearms are a big part of our lifestyle here because they
are part of our frontier tradition. And, as I tell my daughters, the
ability to use a firearm responsibly and to defend yourself is also part
of our heritage as American women.
The iconic musket over the fireplace wasn’t just for the menfolk
on the frontier. Those stalwart women who crossed oceans and wilderness
to settle our country knew how to protect themselves and their families.
(One of my favorite scenes in the miniseries John Adams is
when Abigail Adams, alone with her children in besieged Massachusetts
while her husband is away at the Continental Congress, shoulders the
family musket to protect her little ones when she hears the distant
sounds of battle. That’s our heritage, ladies.)
Hunting is an
integral part of our lifestyle in the 49th state. Using guns isn’t just
recreation for us; it’s how many of us get our dinner. Granted, today,
with a grocery store on virtually every corner, there isn’t the actual
necessity to live a “subsistence lifestyle” that there was a generation
ago in Alaska when I was growing up, but my family still lives by the
motto “We eat; therefore, we hunt.” We live off the healthy organic
protein provided by Alaska’s wild fish and game.
Todd and I have
taught our kids how to handle firearms responsibly, just as my dad
taught me. In fact, we took our girls for a special hunt on Mother’s Day
this year at our cabin looking out at the distant majestic peak of Mt.
McKinley, and we had a blast teaching twelve-year-old Piper mounted
shooting in warm Montana this summer.
I’m proud of my frontier
heritage, and I’ll fight vehemently against anything that would limit
the constitutional rights of Americans. But I can certainly sympathize
with the many well-meaning Americans who desperately feel the need to
find a way to prevent these senseless killings. Who among us doesn’t
feel sadness, anger, and even despair after these tragedies?
we must remember that emotion won’t make anybody safer or protect our
rights. Beware of politicians who exploit our emotions in an attempt to
pass laws that even they admit wouldn’t have prevented the violence.
Don Lemon recently saw the light on this issue and highlighted the
Centers for Disease Control study showing that so-called military
assault rifles account for a small fraction of gun violence. The
overwhelming majority of gun-related deaths are inflicted with handguns,
but a ban on handguns is not only politically untenable; it would also
hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves
(especially Americans who live in troubled urban areas where the police
are slow to respond to emergency calls).
Instead of offering real
solutions based on facts, reactionary politicians offer us the politics
of emotion, which is the opposite of leadership. It is the manipulation
of the people by the political class for their own political ends. It is
so very self-serving, but, worse, it is destructive.
The first thing politicians ask after these tragedies is essentially: “What can we do to limit the freedom of the people?”
that is the wrong question. The question we should be asking is: “What
can we do to nurture and support a people capable of living in freedom?”
this year I spoke at the NRA convention and reminded a conscientious,
patriotic audience that our country’s Founders asked themselves that
question and knew the answer. They understood that a free people must
either nurture morality or lose their freedom. John Adams wrote, “Our
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Not coincidentally,
he wrote that to the officers of the Massachusetts militia when the
young republic was on the verge of war with France. He reminded those
officers who were charged with leading armed men that the freedoms
secured by the Constitution take for granted a decent and civil society.
isn’t just a question for American society. It’s a civilizational
question for all humanity. Margaret Thatcher spoke eloquently of this
co-dependence of freedom and morality. She said, “Freedom will destroy
itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some
body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the
Church, the family, and the school.”
I’m reminded of that quote
every time I see politicians reach for the easy answers instead of
asking the hard questions after tragedies like the one this week. When
they seek to strip away our Second Amendment rights instead of
suggesting that those who hide behind the First Amendment need to act
more responsibly, they are helping freedom destroy itself. When
Hollywood glorifies violence with its movies and music, but then
underwrites efforts to take away our rights, it is helping freedom
destroy itself. When those incorporating virtue into their lives are
criticized, mocked, and bullied while pop culture’s kingmakers elevate
and celebrate a self-centered “I’ll do what I want and consequences be
damned” mentality, those kingmakers and bullies are helping freedom
destroy itself. And when We the People shrug our shoulders and duck our
heads while society becomes more cynical and our sense of family and
community atrophies, we’re all helping freedom destroy itself.
have always had access to firearms. Guns certainly aren’t any more
pervasive now than they were back when the Minutemen were stockpiling
weapons at Lexington and Concord. But something definitely has changed
since then. It’s not the weapons. It’s us.
Instead of rushing to
find some magical legislative solution, we need to ask ourselves a few
hard questions: Are we creating a culture that can live and thrive in
freedom? Do we have bold leaders willing and able to nurture such a
culture? Do we have artists whose works reflect and inspire such a
culture? Consider the answers to these questions carefully, because, if
the answers are no, then we are in much more trouble than any new law
A decent and moral society is guided by voluntary
self-restraint. The less moral we are, the more legalistic we become.
But more laws can’t protect a civilization that has lost its way. At
most, they’re just tiny speed bumps for a runaway truck.
solutions we seek won’t be found in the halls of Congress or state
legislatures. Might I humbly suggest that we step back from the TV, take
a breath, hug our kids, reach out to friends and neighbors, and say a
Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I've always had a thing for analogies, parables, and the like. As teaching tools, they use every-day situations and ideas to explain complex principles, making those complex ideas a whole lot easier to understand. Often, they can explain ideas that would otherwise be nigh impossible to explain accurately.
Jesus Himself used parables all the time in His teaching. Sometimes this was to make the teaching of a certain principle easier. But often He didn't give an explanation. He simply allowed people to take from the "nice story" what they would- an act of mercy, given that we are each held accountable for following the doctrines we understand.
The first in this series was about ducks. The second one was about medicine.. and salvation. The third was about math class. The fourth was about engines and society. The fifth was about dirt. Number six was about my grandma's puzzles. The most recent, seven was about light- lightning vs. a flashlight.
Today, I'm gonna talk about butterflies!
A butterfly has four stages in his life cycle: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and full grown butterfly.
The egg doesn't do much beyond sitting still and growing from a fertilized egg cell into a squished-up tiny caterpillar. And to be fair, that's all he can do... and all he needs to be able to do. But there comes a point where he has to hatch and continue his progress or he dies.
So he hatches and is freed from the confines of his egg. He has legs and a mouth! And he uses both! He walks around and eats and eats and walks around... and gets bigger and fatter.
Then he hangs upside down and... just hangs there. From all appearances he's dead. But really, inside there is something marvelous happening. His whole form is changing: he is losing nearly all those legs, he is slimming down, his ravenous mouth is changing shape and function... and he is growing wings!!
A minute or two after breaking out of the confinement of the chrysalis, he is something entirely different from what he was at the beginning. He has (nearly) complete freedom of movement with those beautiful glorious wings. Instead of crunching leaves, he drinks nectar from flowers with a delicate built-in straw. He isn't even the same color anymore! He's downright amazing!
And its not offensive to the beautiful butterfly momma when that little green caterpillar declared that someday, he could be a butterfly.
So it is with us. We also have four stages to our divine life cycle- there was a stage where all we did was learn. But there came a point where we had to leave the confines of our heavenly home to continue that development.
So we came to earth. We walk around consuming information and knowledge, hopefully growing fat in wisdom.
Then one day we die. But that's when the magic happens! Our physical bodies are dead but what was inside of us making us alive becomes something so wonderful. We lose all those physical problems we had (mental illness, physical shortcomings, physical and emotional scars). Our minds are enlightened with the knowledge of who and what we really are. We are preparing to BECOME who and what we really are.
And its not blasphemy to our glorious Father when we as his mortal children declare that some day, we can be like Him!