A Review on Dr. Martin Luther’s ” Bondage of the Will”

Dr. Martin Luther’s ” The Bondage of the Will,” or ” De Servo Arbitrio,” as it was originally entitled, was written as a rebuke. As a result of increasing pressure from the papacy to condemn Luther’s writing, Erasmus wrote a book called ” The Freedom of the Will,” or ” De Libero Arbitrio,” to affirm his obedience to papal authority and to attack the Reformation that Luther launched in 1517 with his posting of the Ninety- Five Thesis at the Castle Church and his affirmation of his writings at the 1521 Diet of Worms.  Erasmus, a man of the Northern Renaissance, was a humanist who actually championed the same sorts of ecclesiastical reforms that Luther, Zwingli, the Anabaptists and others all over Europe were then currently militating for. The difference was that Erasmus wanted to move at a more conservative pace and within the boundaries placed by the Roman Curia, […]

The United States of America, An Overview

The United States of America has got to be the world’s model for the most disparate social, economic and ethnic groups working together for the good of a common homeland. Indeed, we are a nation of immigrants and those who fail to appreciate the opportunities that presents may easily find another place to live without fear of pursuit, capture and repatriation. However, for those of us who do appreciate the many blessings that this country provides, the possibilities are endless. Americans are people who descend from the earliest colonists from Britain, France and Spain, who descend from those indigenous peoples who have dwelt in this land since the dawn of history, who descend from the Great Migrations of the mid- 1800s and who descend from enslaved Africans. Americans descend from people who came out from China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam for California’s Gold Rush and as refugees from war. Americans […]

July 4

Ruminations on Independence Day

Our country turns 243 years old today. Today, I’ll celebrate Independence Day in the fashion that is most appropriate for me: I’ll consider our history and write about it’s influence on our country today. Preface In 1607, long before the American Revolution, King James I sponsored a settlement of Englishmen along the banks of a river that would later be called the James River. This settlement would become known as Jamestown, the historical starting point for all of the North American Anglosphere https://www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/jamestown. The territory claimed by ” Great Britain” ( the new name of the politically united Kingdoms of England, Wales and Scotland) north of Spanish- held Florida was named for King James’ predecessor, the ” Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I. That name was Virginia, a name still carried by a historically significant state in the American Union http://www.theus50.com/virginia/history.php. In 1620, as the English and Scottish planters and indentured servants […]

America Started It! Devolution.

It all started in the 1760s, when Great Britain decided to end its policy of ” salutary neglect” in the American Colonies at the end of the Seven Years War https://historyofmassachusetts.org/what-was-the-british-policy-of-salutary-neglect/. Now, this policy was one where the Colonial Americans pretty much had leeway to govern themselves by their own laws, while being nominally under the control of the British Crown https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Salutary_Neglect#start_entry. This idea of popular sovereignty https://www.heritage.org/american-founders/report/why-does-sovereignty-matter-america not only pushed the American Colonists to open warfare for independence, but it also serves as an inspiration today in Europe itself for separatist parties in Scotland, Wales, Brittany, the Basque Country, Catalonia,  and ( interestingly) England itself https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35559447, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/04/basque-secessionists-follow-catalans-in-push-for-independence, https://www.languagesoftheworld.info/geography/brittany-another-independence-seeking-european-region.html. The aftermath of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 sent several Highland Scots into exile and when the American Revolution broke out, some of them ( oddly, not all, or even most, but some) joined the Colonial cause with the ideals […]

Death of a Pet

When an animal who has been a literal part of your family dies, a part of you dies with him or her. The grieving process is largely the same for an animal as it is for a human: denial, bargaining, anger and acceptance. These four stages accompany the most difficult fact of life that we mortals have to deal with: the fact of death. The body is finite and mortal. It breathes, digests food, sees, hears, engages in physical activity and after a certain period of time, one of those seeds of death we have embedded in our DNA will subtly sprout up. We won’t notice it. Even the organism in question won’t really notice it, until it’s sapped every ounce of his/ her energy and they begin to wait for death. My personal belief, which is not shared by the leadership of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, is that […]

Suicide

Suicide among White Men.

It’s not easy being history’s supervillain. In fact, in recent years, suicide rates have spiked among white men between the ages of 35 and 65 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201305/white-middle-age-suicide-in-america-skyrockets . This is going to be a composition that will include our people’s history in Europe, our lines of descent and how we got to the place where we are today. It all started 45, 000 years ago, as the last ice sheets were receding and hunter- gatherers spread throughout Europe. These indigenous hunters were of swarthy complexion and many were blue eyed, as well. Around  7,000 years ago, there was a movement of people from the Middle East, who introduced farming into Europe and were apparently of fair complexion.  At last, from the steppes of Siberia, came ( to borrow a phrase from Mr. George R.R. Martin) horselords who effectively conquered Europe and introduced a patrilineal society around 4,000 years ago, with the […]

Principle 18: A Written Constitution vs. An Unwritten Common Law

This Principle, written by W. Cleon Skousen in his The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World ( pp. 217- 221) explores how the English people gradually came upon the realization that entrusting one’s rights to tradition was insufficient, especially in the wake of the Norman Conquest and in the rise of the notion of the Divine Right of Kings ( Skousen, W. Cleon. ” The 5000 Year Leap,” pp. 217-18). The Anglo- Norman nobility, of course, was the first group to directly demand certain protections and concessions from their King John, in 1215. Under some certain duress, King John signed into law the Magna Carta and ” in that same century, the ‘ Model Parliament’ came into being, which compelled the King to acknowledge the principle of no taxation withut representation” ( p.218). In truth, these were some very important concessions that the later Colonial Americans built […]

Hopes and Dreams for 2019

As 2018 sputters to a halt and the dawn of 2019 appears on the horizon, I am minded of many hopes and dreams that I have invested in the coming year. This year has been one of awakening and as a result, it’s been a year of wild discontent. What do my hopes and dreams for 2019 include? #1: Financial Security- I need a job ( a career, really) that will allow me to pay my bills and make my own way in this world. My current job as a retail associate is not only unsatisfying, but after four years of hard work and zero opportunities for advancement, it’s been emotionally heartbreaking and psychologically deadening. I need to go out and live on my own again. #2: Social Life- I love my church and my coworkers are generally pleasant to work with, but every time the day ends, I go […]

Principle # 17: Checks and Balances- Nobody likes a Busybody

KindleKindle E-Reader This essay will cover Mr. W. Cleon Skousen’s seventeenth principle as outlined in his book, The 5, 000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World ( pp. 205- 215). While James Madison and the other framers of the Constitution agreed that the powers of the government should be divided three ways ( Executive, Legislative and Judicial), they also intended that each division should have a system of checks and balances put in place to curb the powers of the other two divisions ( pp. 205- 07). These limitations that each branch of government would impose on the other two branches would function as a guarantee that no one branch would be able to interfere with the proper functions of the other two branches. When the system of checks and balances are actively enforced, this will mean that each branch will be able to perform its specified function […]

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E Unum, Pluribus

The United States of America is a fragmented society and I think this is by design. As a nation, we have been threatened before and we have persevered and survived those threats. Usually, we have been strengthened in the process. Since our involvement and defeat in Vietnam in the sixties and early seventies, it seems like our collective national pride has taken a beating both at home and abroad. Why is this? The fact that our leaders keep telling us we’re losers and that we’re incapable of thinking for ourselves may be one reason for our noted lack of national self- esteem. Our media keeps talking about the sins of the past and we’re overloaded with a sense of collective guilt might be another. Division is another distraction. Once, it was emphasized that we were all Americans together and that we were to work toward a common destiny. What changed? […]

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Rights and Duties on a Divine Scale- Principle 9

Introduction W. Cleon Skousen’s ” The 5000 Year Leap” is a wonderful book that provides 28 principles related to the rights,freedoms and responsibilities of the individual and that individual’s government as expounded by our ( American) Founding Fathers. This treatise will explore Principle 9 ( Skousen, W. Cleon. ” The 5000 Year Leap,” pp. 131- 139). The Principle under discussion The Ninth Principle explores the safeguarding of our rights.  God has revealed to us certain principles of Law through the agency of the Ten Commandments ( pp.131-2). In a nutshell, these commandments include serving and worshipping God alone, honoring our neighbor, respecting our neighbors’ situation, honoring our parents and setting aside a day of rest, worship and recommitment to the observance of the Divine Law ( pp. 132-33). Our rights and responsibilities The rights we enjoy are safeguarded by the duties that God has enjoined on each one of us […]

Principal Six: Equality of Station vs. Equality of Opportunity

” All men are created equal” is a nice sentiment, but unrealistic. Some men and women are simply more successful in a society that provides an even playing field for all its members. Others are born under more disadvantaged circumstances and so have less opportunities available for them to succeed. In the Sixth Principle discussed in Skousen’s book, ” The 5000 Year Leap” ( pp. 103-12), the idea that ” all men are created equal” is discussed. The conclusion is that all men are not created equal, but they can be treated equally in three ways: in the sight of God, under the law and in the protection of their rights ( 103). In God’s eyes, we are all His children, but we all have our distinctions, both individually and in the groups to which we happen to belong. As human beings, however, we stand before the Lord on an […]

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