Farewell Captain

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School Accused of ‘Purging’ Christian Books by Todd Starnes

It’s hard to imagine that any school would have a problem with a book about a Christian family that helped Jews escape the Holocaust.

But Springs Charter Schools in Temecula, Calif., not only had a problem with “The Hiding Place,” they also took issue with any other book that was written by a Christian author or included a Christian message.

“We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves,” Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer wrote in a letter to attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).

Why would a public charter school take issue with books written by Christians?Pacific Justice Institute is representing a parent who discovered what they called a “Christian purging” of the charter school’s library.

Pacific Justice Institute is representing a parent who discovered what they called a “Christian purging” of the charter school’s library.

“She was told by one of the library attendants that the library has been instructed to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company,” read a letter PJI sent to the public charter school. “The attendant advised that the library would no longer be carrying those books. Indeed, our client was told that the library was giving those books away, and she actually took some.”

Among the books deemed inappropriate, the PJI said, was “The Hiding Place” the biography of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned by the Germans for helping Jews escape the Holocaust.

“It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors,” said Brad Dacus, president of the religious advocacy group. “This is a major sweep by this charter school to eliminate the religious viewpoint. Libraries cannot engage in an open purging of books simply because they are of a Christian perspective.”

Dacus said the charter school must reverse “their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy.” If they fail to do so, he said, PJI is prepared to take further legal action.

So why would a public charter school take issue with books written by Christians?

I figured Superintendent Hermsmeyer would be more than willing to set the record straight and explain the book purging. It seems I figured wrong. I gave her 24 hours to return my calls, and as of this writing, she has not done so.

But she did reply to the letter she received from Pacific Justice Institute. And what she told them was a bit alarming.

“We are a public school, and as such, we are barred by law from purchasing sectarian curriculum materials with state funds,” she wrote. “We only keep on our shelves the books that we are authorized to purchase with public funds.”

I’m guessing Harry Potter is OK but Frodo is not.

Pacific Justice Institute said the charter school has violated the First Amendment. They cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that said “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’” If you’d like to read the entire case – it’s “Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico.”

Hermsmeyer denied they were discriminating against Christian authors or publishing companies.
“At no time, however, have we discriminated against Christian authors or publishing companies who create secular educational materials,” she wrote.

Heaven forbid the children find a Bible in the library.

It’s quite unfortunate that the charter school endorses the banning of books.

“Some of the greatest literature of Western civilization comes from religious authors,” Dacus said. Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?”

I oppose all book banning. If a book offends you, don’t read it.

The way I see it – book banning is just one step away from book burning. And I don’t mean to pour gasoline on the fire, but we all know what regime did that.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is “God Less America.”

Published on September 23, 2014


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Review of James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

James Madison

Lynne Cheney’s James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, a biography of the 4th President of the United States, is a comprehensive look at one of the most important yet unknown of America’s founders. The book begins with highlights from Madison’s childhood, his college days, and his battle with epilepsy. It continues with his views on the War for Independence, the writing of the Constitution, the Presidency, and the War of 1812. This is perhaps the most important recent work done on the man who had the greatest influence on the political structure of our Republic.

James Madison is a well-written, well-researched, and scholarly book. Cheney does a masterful job at presenting the subject’s views in his own words with little intrusion. That is, Cheney refrains from editorializing. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Patrick Henry, Madison’s contemporaries, were given the same platform when necessary. As a result, the reader must get a feel for the language to understand the political theory being discussed.

To his credit, and because of his own research, Madison understood the role of government and its implications better than anyone in his day and could articulate them effectively. He was able to build a consensus of his fellow Founders who had strong and differing opinions themselves, and through his work in The Federalist, he explained the importance of the republican system of government to the American people. He also had the intellectual honesty to change his mind when he thought there was a better way for the country.

Apart from his scholarly brilliance, his surprisingly warm personality, his insatiable thirst for knowledge and, most importantly, his obvious love and affection for Dolley, his wife, make this book entertaining and enjoyable. James Madison is a must-have for those interested in early American History. It is also an essential work in regards to government philosophy and political theory. Mrs. Cheney should be applauded for her efforts to make our history accessible for this and future generations. I give James Madison: A Life Reconsidered five stars.

I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

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Review of Raptor 6

Raptor 6

In Ronie Kendig’s Raptor 6 (Quiet Professionals #1), Captain Dean Watters is leading his team of Special Forces while trying to forget the haunting memories of his past. When several computers go missing that could compromise national security and put many lives at risk, Watters and Raptor 6 are given the mission to retrieve them.

Meanwhile, Zahrah Zarrik is a missionary-teacher drawn to her mother’s homeland to give Afghan girls an education and a better future. Although warned of the danger, she feels called to fulfill her God-given purpose. But when Zahrah is kidnapped by the Taliban, will she survive long enough to complete it?

Raptor 6 is the first Ronie Kendig novel I’ve read, and I was surprised at how well the author knew the U.S. military and its lingo. It is a well-written, fast-paced, heart-pounding novel. The characters are likeable, empathetic, and have depth. In particular, Kendig’s male characters are authentic in personality, speech, and tone. Raised in a military family, Kendig has a credible grasp of the masculine mentality, one of the greatest strengths of her writing. The way the Christian message is communicated has gravity and an authenticity that is sorely lacking in much of Christian fiction. There is no bad language, but the violence made some of the scenes difficult to read. It is not for the faint-hearted. I would have liked greater resolution at the end but understand the book is the first in the series.

Kendig is an excellent writer who has believable characters, authentic dialogue, and knows her subject matter well. Raptor 6 is a work of fiction, but is a reminder of the lengths our Special Forces and the American Military go to protect us, and I appreciate it.

I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

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Happy Constitution Day!

Katherine Wacker:

Thank You Founding Fathers….

Originally posted on Katherine's Chronicle:

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription

Note: The following text is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form.
Items that are hyperlinked have since been amended or superseded.

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.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the…

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The History of the Star-Spangled Banner by David Barton

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A Tribute for 9-11-01

Everyone remembers
And has a story to tell
Of where they were and what they did
The day the towers fell

The day was like any other
Tens of thousands went to work
Unafraid and unaware
Of the danger that did lurk

Suddenly in a moments time
The sky of clearest blue
Was filled with fire and billowing smoke
Of the darkest hue

The city known for towers gleaming
Watched in horrid fascination
At thousands, running, screaming
As two planes caused utter devastation

We remember police and firefighters
Running in to help
Not thinking of the danger
Or the preservation of self

They searched for souls to rescue
Not knowing what time had lapsed
Then suddenly without warning
The two buildings then collapse

Husbands lost their wives
Sisters lost their brothers
Children lost their parents
And all were friends of others

New York wasn’t the only place
Where destruction showed its face
Pennsylvania and the Pentagon also on the list
Were targeted as well and saw its ugly fist

Yet through the darkest hour
On that fateful day
There were tales of bravery
Right where ruins lay

Two men helped a woman
Down multiple flights of stairs
A woman in a wheelchair
Just because they cared

A Franciscan fire chaplain
Whose name was Michael Judge
Died while giving last rites
To one of those he loved

A Jewish man refused to leave
His Christian quadriplegic friend
So the two remained together
Until the very end

People at the Pentagon
Formed a human chain
Searching for survivors
Amidst the burning flame

A window washer from Albania
Children who will never be okay
A father dies in Pennsylvania
A husband loses his wife on his birthday

Tender loving messages
Delivered through mobile phones
Sweetheart, Darling, I love you
But I won’t be coming home

A hero named Todd Beamer
Determined to take control
Willing to sacrifice his own life
To prevent a greater toll

Suddenly the nation’s character
Once filled with shallow dross
Through tragedy became refined
In the crucible of loss

Neither Republican nor Democrat
Man nor woman, Black nor White
But all of us Americans
United in freedom’s fight

Through suffering, pain and tears
We all began to see
The bond of which we share
Was made strong through unity

We are numb with this tragedy
And the fierceness with which it was brought
Our hearts are broken still
But our determined wills are not

Prayer vigils and blood drives
All across the land
Neighbor helping neighbor
Resolved, united we stand

Countless, unnamed heroes
Doing what is right
Not shirking from the challenge
Or the fierceness of the fight

People in the shadows
Not seeking wealth or fame
But by their own example
Encourage others in the same

The greatest sort of tribute
That we could ever pay
Is to refuse the fear upon us
But not forget that day

It’s time for this generation
Not knowing what this mission entails
To preserve and protect the world
We will not tire, falter, or fail

May the great cloud of witnesses
Now gathered up above
Be remembered by our courage
Commitment, faith and love

May the heroes still among us
And those gone to eternal rest
Be forever honored
By our tribute and our best

Written 10/24/01

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