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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Acknowledging The Favor Of God

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

Houses of Congress have …requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God. (Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving, October 3, 1789)

The United States Congress Proclaims A Day Of Thanksgiving In 1783

1783

By the United States in Congress assembled.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers to put a period to the effusion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land, and these United States are not only happily rescued from the dangers distresses and calamities which they have so long and so magnanimously sustained to which they have been so long exposed, but their freedom, sovereignty and independence ultimately acknowledged by the king of Great Britain. And whereas in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every possible reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation. Impressed, therefore, with an exalted sense of the magnitude of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being, from whose goodness and bounty they are derived, the United States in Congress assembled do recommend it to the several States, to set apart the second Thursday in December next, as a day of public thanksgiving, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate with one voice grateful hearts and united voices, the praises of their Supreme and all bountiful Benefactor, for his numberless favors and mercies. That he hath been pleased to conduct us in safety through all the perils and vicissitudes of the war; that he hath given us unanimity and resolution to adhere to our just rights; that he hath raised up a powerful ally to assist us in supporting them, and hath so far crowned our united efforts with success, that in the course of the present year, hostilities have ceased, and we are left in the undisputed possession of our liberties and independence, and of the fruits of our own land, and in the free participation of the treasures of the sea; that he hath prospered the labor of our husbandmen with plentiful harvests; and above all, that he hath been pleased to continue to us the light of the blessed gospel, and secured to us in the fullest extent the rights of conscience in faith and worship. And while our hearts overflow with gratitude, and our lips set forth the praises of our great Creator, that we also offer up fervent supplications, that it may please him to pardon all our offenses, to give wisdom and unanimity to our public councils, to cement all our citizens in the bonds of affection, and to inspire them with an earnest regard for the national honor and interest, to enable them to improve the days of prosperity by every good work, and to be lovers of peace and tranquillity; that he may be pleased to bless us in our husbandry, our commerce and navigation; to smile upon our seminaries and means of education, to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish, to give peace to all nations, and to fill the world with his glory.

Done by the United States in Congress assembled, witness his Excellency Elias Boudinot, our President, this 18th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, and of the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America the eighth.

Thomas Jefferson On The Just Nation

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peal...

Thomas Jefferson

Quoting Thomas Jefferson:

We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations as with individuals our interests soundly calculated will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties, and history bears witness to the fact that a just nation is trusted on its word when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others. (Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States)

Congress And Our Money

The Black Hole of Government Theft Through Taxes

The Declaration of Independence, particularly the second sentence, provides us with a sweeping statement of individual human rights:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The implication here is that God is the source of the rights of men and thus it is wrong to violate a human being’s self-ownership. This would include forcibly taking the fruits of one man’s labor to be used by another (which makes the first man a slave to the latter). Walter E. Williams explains further:

Do farmers and businessmen have a right to congressional handouts? Does a person have a right to congressional handouts for housing, food and medical care?

First, let’s ask: Where does Congress get handout money? One thing for sure, it’s not from the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus nor is it congressmen reaching into their own pockets. The only way for Congress to give one American one dollar is to first, through the tax code, take that dollar from some other American. It must forcibly use one American to serve another American. Forcibly using one person to serve another is one way to describe slavery. As such, it violates self-ownership. . . .

Some might argue that Congress forcing us to help one another and forcing us to take care of ourselves are good ideas. But my question to you is: When congressmen and presidents take their oaths of office, is that oath to uphold and defend good ideas or the U.S. Constitution?

When the principles of self-ownership are taken into account, two-thirds to three-quarters of what Congress does violate those principles to one degree or another as well as the Constitution to which they’ve sworn to uphold and defend. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, stood on the floor of the House to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Did James Madison miss something in the Constitution?

You might answer, “He forgot the general welfare clause.” No, he had that covered, saying, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.”

Continue reading. . . .

The Pigford Settlement May Be More About Race Than Farming

Another Mouth At The Government Trough!

Republican lawmakers are warning against Congress approving a massive discrimination settlement that passed the Senate last week. The so-called Pigford settlement seems to be marred by thousands of potentially fraudulent applications.

Just before breaking for Thanksgiving recess, the Senate approved by voice vote a $4.6 billion package to settle claims against the government by black farmers and American Indians. The payments to black farmers account for $1.2 billion of that amount but have been the subject of intense criticism.

Lawmakers raising alarm about the payments say whistleblowers from the Department of Agriculture have come to them in confidence to warn that the money is going to claimants who have no connection to farming. One elected official raised the concern that this settlement has more to do with politically correct reparations than farming.

You can learn more here. . . .

The Constitution And “Benevolence”

March 4: James Madison begins the first of two...

James Madison

In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, stood on the floor of the House to object, saying:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” He later added, “(T)he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

The Democrats’ Strategy Of “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”

Quoting columnist Jeffrey Folks:

“Lenin famously described his strategy for communist domination as ‘one step forward, two steps back.’ Of course, by that he did not mean to suggest steps of equal length. The step forward was a lot more like two large steps, and the two steps back were more or less symbolic, designed to diffuse opposition. Clearly, in the past two years the United States has moved two giant steps in the direction of socialism. We have seen the redistribution of hundreds of billions of dollars, the seizure of major industries by the state, the re-emergence of a hard-core welfare state, the virtual nationalization of healthcare, takeover by regulation of the energy and financial sectors, and much more. This resurgence of state control has been accompanied by the new power of labor unions, environmental lobbyists, tort lawyers, and state bureaucracies. But now, having reached the limit of what the public will stomach, the Leninists who run the Democratic Party see that it is time for two baby-steps back. Those steps back are taking the form of a new suggestion of inclusiveness and bipartisanship (even of openness to business interests), talk of repeal of some parts of the healthcare bill, talk of making some parts of the Bush tax cuts permanent (after the election, of course), talk of a balanced budget (pay-go once again). As this list suggests, the step back is nearly all talk-talk in the midst of an election campaign designed to preserve Democratic majorities. The steps back, in other words, are not an actual retreat. They are merely talk. As soon as the election is over, the strategy of moving forward will resume — this time in the lame-duck session of Congress.”

Read more. . . .

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