K-12 public schools have surpassed funding targets, but results have not improved

(Idaho Freedom Foundation) In less than two months’ time, Idaho’s new Legislature will convene. One of its tasks will be to decide how to allocate the $330 million in ongoing funding that was earmarked for K-12 public education by Gov. Brad Little and the Legislature in September.

Voices from the establishment will clamor for the money to be distributed to public schools. Despite massive increases in spending on public schools, voices from within the system still demand more money. Spending levels are higher than they have been in decades.

Yet, increased spending on public education has not resulted in a positive return for taxpayers. Student test scores have remained stagnant or declined, and schools increasingly push corrupt ideologies into the classroom. Instead of throwing more money at a system that is not accountable for academic improvement, the $330 million increase in education spending should follow students so that families can decide how best to educate their children.

So, just how much does Idaho spend per K-12 student? Data show that funding has now surpassed recommendations from 2013.

That year, a task force commissioned by Gov. Butch Otter issued a report recommending ways to improve Idaho’s education system. One of its proposals was a “restoration of operational funding to the FY 2009 level.”  (Read More)

When Christian Leaders Capitulate On Marriage, Innocent Children Suffer

(The Federalist) Learning this month that 12 Senate Republicans had signed on with Democrats to advance the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act left many Christians stunned. Most shocking was the “yes” vote from Roy Blunt, a practicing Southern Baptist who served for three years as president of a small, private university in the theologically conservative denomination.

How, many wondered, could a political leader with such deep roots in one of the most traditional branches of evangelicalism so publicly undermine the foremost human institution created by God? Those asking must not have been paying attention to the shift that has taken place in elite evangelical circles in recent years.

One of the earliest signs that the commitment to defend biblical marriage was weakening came from Christianity Today CEO Timothy Dalrymple. In 2012, seven years before he took the helm of the publication founded by Billy Graham, he went on record arguing that it might be “time to stop opposing same-sex marriage as a matter of law.”

Dalrymple assured his readers that he’s among those who believe “it’s biblically and theologically clear that marriage was created and ordained by God for the union of male and female.” But he also encouraged them to “humbly acknowledge the limitations of our knowledge, and recognize the possibility that we are mistaken.”  (Read More)

Federal Court Blocks Joe Biden’s Mandate Trying to Force Christian Doctors to Do Abortions

(Life News) A federal appeals court has blocked Joe Biden’s controversial mandate attempting to force Christian doctors to kill babies in abortions.

Christian medical leaders raised the alarm about a new pro-abortion mandate from the Biden administration that could shut down Christian health care throughout the U.S. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials planned to revoke a Trump administration rule that protected pro-life medical workers from being forced to kill unborn babies in elective abortions.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit presenting Christian doctors challenging two Biden administration mandates. They say the mandate forces religious nonprofit and for-profit employers to pay for and perform surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments that seek to alter one’s biological sex and to do abortions — actions that violate their religious beliefs.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Biden abortion mandate on August 26, ruling that religious doctors could not be required to perform procedures like abortion that violate their beliefs.

The Biden administration had until November 25th to appeal the ruling and failed to do so — meaning the mandate is now blocked by the appellate court.  (Read More)

BARNA: 8 Ways to Reinvigorate Our Electoral Process

(Washington Stand) I encourage you to immediately embark on a healthy change. Not in your diet, although that might be valuable. And not in your spiritual regimen, although that might also be life-changing.

It is time for each of us to reconsider how we think about and engage in electoral politics.

Consider the mess we are in politically. According to recent national surveys by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, commissioned by AmericasOne, two-thirds of Americans (65%) are proud of their country. Yet, we are also wary, frustrated and even angry (73%) about our political process, and closer to nine out of 10 adults believe the country is moving in the wrong direction. Overwhelming majorities contend that our leading political parties are out-of-touch and self-serving; that elected officials in Washington are corrupt, incompetent, unduly influenced by major donors, not trustworthy — and self-serving. According to three out of every four voters our political system is not to blame; the problem is the bad actors abusing that system to advance their personal interests at the expense of the public interest.

You don’t have to dig deep to find the dysfunctions in our elections. Consider the vicious attacks between Democrats and Republicans, many of which become personal. The partisan, mainstream media continually pushes an ideological narrative under the guise of “objective news.” Megadonors exercise undue influence on voting, skirting contribution limits through PACs and other means, buying access and favors in the process. Factual reports of election cheating and abuse are widespread.  (Read More)

Enjoy The Distinctly Christian Holiday We Call Thanksgiving

(Cold-Case Christianity) The pilgrims who came over from England in 1620 were, in many ways, ordinary men and women. Some of them were members of the English Separatist Church (a Puritan sect of Christianity). These Separatists originally fled England and sailed to Holland to escape the religious intolerance and oppression of their homeland. In their day, the Church and the State of England were one, and independent congregations who desired to explore their own, differing relationship with the Christian God were unable to practice their faith independent of the State Church. Separatists had come to the conclusion membership in the Church of England violated Biblical teaching. They fled their homeland so they could pursue God in a way they considered to be truer to the teaching of the Bible. This group successfully escaped religious persecution from the Church of England, but eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life. They observed the lifestyles of those around them and believed they were in an ungodly land. So once again, they pushed on toward a new place where they could both worship the Biblical God of Christianity and live in a way honorable to this God.

The Mayflower held more than just the Separatist Puritans. The ship also contained other pilgrims who still remained loyal to the Church of England but came to the new world for economic reasons or because they sympathized with the Puritans in one way or another. But one thing was certain about everyone on the ship. Whether they were part of the Puritan group or simply along to assist them and make a new life for themselves, everyone shared a fervent and pervasive Protestant faith permeating all aspects of their lives.  (Read More)

‘Pastor Story Hour’: Ministers Take Bible-Based Picture Books To Local Libraries Amid ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ Craze

(Daily Wire) As “Drag Queen Story Hour” events sweep the nation, two ministers are exhorting fellow Christian men to bring “Pastor Story Hour” to their local public libraries.

The promotion of the LGBTQ movement among children, often through graphic strip teases and sexually explicit curricula in government schools, has recently been the center of political and social controversy. Dale Partridge of Prescott, Arizona, and Michael Foster of Batavia, Ohio, invited members of their communities to discover biblical teachings about God’s design for gender and encouraged other believers to do the same.

“Why are drag queens seemingly more interested in influencing the children in their community than pastors? Why are the lost more committed to the systematic and cultural evangelization of the public than American Christians are to evangelizing the gospel?” Partridge, who leads the digital ministry Relearn.org, commented in an interview with The Daily Wire. “These are hard questions the church needs to face. Christians need to see that Christianity is a totalizing faith, which means Christ should not be reserved only for church life, but should saturate and permeate our entire lives.”  (Read More)

The Anti-Thanksgiving Activism Dividing America Is Rooted In Ungratefulness

(The Federalist) Not all Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Indeed, corporate media have eagerly reported on the so-called “National Day of Mourning,” during which liberal activists and indigenous peoples “remember the suffering inflicted in the 1620s” and mourn “the struggles that Indigenous people continue to face today,” according to CNN. A few years ago, Salon published an article on millennials “growing weary about our collective celebration of Thanksgiving.” The author of a 2020 Vogue article declared “This year, however, I’m finally choosing not to be thankful, too.”

It’s not surprising that such protests are gaining in popularity among young Americans. An entire generation of Americans has been catechized in anti-racist political activism, their consciences malformed to constantly scrutinize every aspect of our culture for signs, however tenuous, of bigotry, colonialism, patriarchy, or white supremacy. Thanksgiving, young activists assess, seems guilty of all of the above, and thus must be defamed, dismantled, and replaced, much as innumerable other symbols of national unity have already been toppled. But is the activist narrative about Thanksgiving accurate? And if we repurpose or jettison the holidays that most effectively communicate our national identity and civil religion, what will replace it?  (Read More)

Conservatives Can’t Run And Hide From The Left Anymore. They Have To Stand And Fight

(The Federalist) One of the comforting fictions conservatives are increasingly tempted to tell themselves is that if they just move to a red state or county, the insanity of the woke left won’t affect them and their family. Ensconced in safely Republican communities, perhaps they’ll be free not just from disastrous Democrat policies but also from the pernicious sexual propaganda of the left. For conservatives with children, this is especially important.

But it’s a mirage. There is no American town or hamlet remote or red enough to prevent the infiltration of leftist ideology, which today often comes from institutions that in an earlier era would have been seen as the guardians of a decidedly Christian civic virtue. Not only are left-wing activists taking over these institutions, but they are also working to ban conservatives, and especially Christians, from the public square altogether.

There is nowhere today that conservatives can run and hide from the left. They can either surrender or stand and fight.

Consider what’s playing out in the small town of Taylor, Texas, population 16,807. Situated about 40 miles northeast of deep-blue Austin, it has long been precisely the sort of place conservative families might move to raise their children — a quiet and peaceful town full of churches in a deep-red part of the Lone Star State.  (Read More)

Biden, Democrats Moving to Ban Traditional Marriage Advocates from the Public Square

(PJ Media) America is about to learn that what liberals actually mean when they claim to support “separation of church and state” is they want to use the power of government to silence those who disagree with them on same-sex marriage.

For years, liberals have perverted the meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s “absolute wall of separation” for keeping the state out of the church to keeping those in the church who uphold the Bible’s definition of marriage out of the public square.

The occasion for this teachable moment is the “Respect for Marriage Act” now before the Senate. Democrats claim the proposal is required to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide, even though the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision in 2015 did precisely that.

The House passed a similar bill last summer, so there are some differences between the two chambers’ versions that will have to be ironed out, but that will happen quickly and President Joe Biden will sign the measure into the law.

A dozen Republican senators voted with all of the Democrats to advance the proposal. Had this dozen GOP lawmakers voted against advancing the bill, it would still be tied up in the Senate, with an excellent chance of not going any further before the 118th Congress convenes. There’s no guarantee, however, that the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives would block the proposal.  (Read More)

‘Groomed And Preyed Upon’: Young Woman Was Pressured Into Mastectomy, Testosterone As A Child — Now She Regrets It

(Daily Caller) Luka was 15 when she was first encouraged by her therapist to come out as transgender while she was hospitalized for mental health issues. A surgeon removed her breasts when she was 16 in a “gender-affirming” double mastectomy, and she went on cross-sex hormones soon after, which permanently changed her face, body and voice.

At 20 years old, Luka now regrets listening to doctors and medical professionals, whom she says misled and manipulated her into undergoing irreversible medical procedures.

“There was no stopping to question if this was the right way to deal with the discomfort I was feeling around my body,” Luka told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

At no point did doctors inform Luka that there were ways to resolve her mental health problems besides transitioning, which she now believes would have been enough to prevent her from going through with the procedures, she told the DCNF. Her doctors appear to have adopted the “gender affirmation approach” promoted by transgender activists: they encourage gender transitions rather than helping patients come to terms with their biological sex.  (Read More)

Education choice reduces wokeism in schools, new research finds

(Idaho Freedom Foundation) Despite the wishes of parents, Idaho’s K-12 public schools are decidedly advancing woke ideologies. From sexually explicit curriculum to pornographic books in school libraries or changing student pronouns without parental consent, public schools are force feeding children values against their families’ wishes.

It doesn’t have to be this way. New research shows that education choice could be the answer to reducing wokeness in the education system.

A recently released study by the Heritage Foundation empirically demonstrates that empowering parents to choose the best education for their child significantly reduces wokeness in schools.

It is reasonable to ask how education choice could reduce woke ideology given that some elite private schools and schools of choice within the public system (charter schools) are pushing the same radical agenda. Teacher training in universities and accreditation reinforces this problem. If critics are right that parental control over their children’s education makes little to no difference, then education choice policies will not solve this impending problem. Perhaps we’re experiencing market “failure” where the only solution is to further regulate the public school system through bans on critical race theory and gender ideology.  (Read More)

Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel

(Washington Stand) Every November, the United States celebrates National Adoption Month — a tradition that began in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan first instituted National Adoption Week. For generations, American adoption activists have worked to destigmatize and celebrate the beauty of growing a family through adoption. As more birth mothers consider placing their child for adoption in an increasingly abortion-free America, it is more important than ever to recognize the beauty and hope that characterize stories of adoption.

Negative perceptions of adoption in the media are often driven by a fear of the potential trauma or pain that placing a child for adoption or being adopted could cause. This is the same reason why 91% of mothers choose parenting over adoption when abortion is not an option. Birth mothers in modern America face a culture that would sooner encourage a mother to kill her child than to place him or her for adoption.

Make no mistake — it is often a good thing that biological mothers choose to parent their child. Many women are far more capable of parenthood than they may initially allow themselves to believe. However, there are some tragic situations when a woman is realistically not capable (either physically or mentally) of providing a safe or loving home for her child. In these instances, adoption can provide a lifeline for both mother and child — sparing the mother from the trauma of ending her child’s life through abortion and allowing the child to flourish in an adoptive family.  (Read More)

Proposed resolution from the Idaho School Boards Association opposes education freedom

(Idaho Freedom Foundation) The Idaho School Boards Association, or ISBA, is set to vote on a resolution opposing school choice. The resolution perpetuates several myths commonly used to defend the government monopoly. Member school districts will vote on the resolution as part of ISBA’s annual convention on Nov. 11.

This is not the first time that ISBA has shown its cards. One of its representatives testified against HB 669, a bill that would have empowered 65% of Idaho families to use part of their student’s public education funding for a customized education. ISBA also opposed an early iteration of the Strong Students grant program that would have helped families offset some of the costs of private schools.

Adopting this resolution would cement ISBA’s position of protecting the public school monopoly over the needs and desires of Idaho families who support programs like education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tax-credit scholarships.  (Read More)

Christians Are Responsible for the State of American Politics

(Townhall) The phrase “American life and politics” may seem to describe two totally different realties. But they are, in fact, one and the same. American Christians have desperately tried to believe that politics can be left to secularists who besmirch themselves with temporal concerns — as good fundamental, Bible-believing Christians, we’ll just lock ourselves in our prayer closets, cloister ourselves in our sanctified communities, and pull up the draw-bridge in front of our Christian schools.

At the risk of being branded a heretic, I must assert, good Christian, your prayers are not enough.

For far too long we’ve whistled past the graveyard, dithering about the inconsequential virtues like skirts versus pants, blind to the reality that we’ve succumbed to the same sinful myopathy that possessed medieval scholasticists, who quarreled uselessly about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

All the while, the infernal forces of tyranny have marched forward, gobbling up the entire structure of American education, the arts, entertainment, and politics.  (Read More)

Amid School Board Revolution, Dem Calls Parents’ Involvement ‘Stupid’

(Washington Stand) On Wednesday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) made headlines when he posted a comment on Twitter stating that he thought the idea of parents being in charge of their children’s education was “stupid.” The controversial statement comes in light of a sweeping movement across the nation of parents getting more involved in public education, particularly through running for and winning school board seats.

Swalwell’s comment came in reaction to a quote from Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) after he won reelection Tuesday, who said, “We are putting parents back in charge of their kids’ education.”

In response, Swalwell tweeted: “Please tell me what I’m missing here. What are we doing next? Putting parents in charge of their own surgeries? Clients in charge of their own trials? When did we stop trusting experts. This is so stupid.”

The rebuttals from advocates for parental rights were swift. “We stopped trusting ‘experts’ when they locked our kids out of classrooms, tried to force-feed them propaganda, and proved that their political agendas were more important than our kids’ wellbeing,” replied Nicki Neily, president of Parents Defending Education.  (Read More)

‘Cut-and-pasted boilerplate’: Detransitioner sues providers for approving ‘unnecessary’ mastectomy

(Just the News) A young woman who regretted her gender transition helped shut down the U.K.’s central provider of pediatric “gender affirming care” this summer through litigation that prompted more scrutiny of the National Health Service-run Tavistock clinic.

An older American detransitioner is following Keira Bell’s lead, suing mental health professionals for allegedly rushed, sloppy and categorically false evaluations that authorized her for a taxpayer-funded double mastectomy despite the red flags she presented on mental health.

Though she’s not a minor, Camille Kiefel’s lawsuit could make providers think twice about treating gender dysphoria in youth with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as surgical removal of healthy breasts and genitals for all ages.

The gender-critical Women’s Liberation Front is sponsoring Kiefel’s lawsuit. Filed in Oregon’s Multnomah County Circuit Court, it alleges malpractice, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  (Read More)

Between Left and Right, How Do You Know Which Side Isn’t Telling the Truth?

(Dennis Prager) In a recent Fireside Chat — my weekly podcast for PragerU, half of which is dedicated to my taking questions from (mostly) young people around the world — a young man in his 20s asked how he was supposed to figure out who is telling the truth and who isn’t. He was undoubtedly speaking for millions of his peers. Given the opposing positions one encounters on almost every issue, how is one supposed to figure out which position is right, and which one may not only be wrong, but a lie?

In addition to obvious suggestions — such as finding individuals and institutions whom you trust, studying both sides of issues, learning as much as possible and using common sense — I offered what may be the single most important indicator of who is more likely to be lying.

It is not a perfect indicator of who is telling the truth — there is no perfect indicator — but it comes close.

With rare exceptions, the party that calls for censorship is lying. People who tell the truth can deal with dissent and different opinions. In fact, truth-tellers welcome debate.

If this theory is correct — and I cannot imagine a valid argument against it — it means that in virtually every instance of a Left-Right difference, the Left is lying.

There is no important area of left-right difference in which the Left — not liberals; the Left — does not call for shutting down dissent.  (Read More)

Divided We Fall: The Pro-Life Movement Is Reaping the Fruit of Decades of Compromise

(Standing For Freedom Center) Pro-life ballot measures took a beating at the voting booth last Tuesday. Pro-abortion measures, however, rode a Molech-worshipping wave to victory. It was a disappointing and disheartening outcome, to say the least. To say the most, it shows how dearly so many in our nation love death.

In an article summarizing the various initiatives, and their respective outcomes, the Freedom Center noted that “Including the defeat in Kansas earlier this year, the pro-life cause has failed in six ballot amendments since Roe v. Wade was overturned.” Not good.

The five different abortion-related measures that were set forth for a vote last week ran the gamut in terms of their goals, both for good and evil.

California’s Proposition 1 enshrined the “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion” in the state’s constitution; it also left out any restrictions related to “viability,” which means abortion is now legal up until the moment of birth in the Golden State.

There was little chance of defeating such a barbaric amendment in the progressive stronghold of the Left Coast. Still, it should shock decent Americans everywhere, and Christians doubly so, that such evil (abortion through all nine months of pregnancy) has officially been declared “good” in one of the states of our great union.

The prophet Isaiah was right to call down “woe” upon such people who call evil good (Isaiah 5:20) and to warn that a fiery judgment will be their final end…  (Read More)

Loving Our Neighbors, Telling the Truth about Identity and Gender

(Breakpoint) The questions we receive more than all others have to do with how best to respond to friends, family members, and neighbors who struggle with gender dysphoria. The rational case for humans as either male or female is strong, as are arguments from history, biology, law, and theology. However, arguments that would’ve been considered obvious not that long ago often seem to go nowhere with someone desperately reaching for answers or affirmation. 

The number of Americans who report personally knowing someone who struggles with gender dysphoria now approaches 50%. Thus, Christians should be prepared, as best as we can, for these scenarios which we are now more likely to encounter than not. When unprepared, too many Christians simply go quiet, and in the process, go along with transgender ideology—not because they believe it but because rocking the boat seems too risky. Rather than truly loving our neighbors, something admittedly difficult, we instead choose the easier path of not offending and only affirming. We then name that path “love,” but it’s neither loving nor true.  

The story of Holy Scripture, in each of its four chapters, contextualizes what is true about every person, including the created reality of sexual distinction. First, that God created and values our bodies, which are made male and female for His purposes. Second, the Fall, while validating the pain and discomfort that many people feel within their own bodies, dispels the idea that what we feel should be accepted as true. In fact, it may be false, confused, and harmful.  (Read More)

Free Speech Dies Because We Stop Speaking Freely, Not The Other Way Around

(The Federalist) Newly elected House Republicans have every political reason to hold investigative hearings into government abuse of power during Covid. While these hearings should have happened long ago, they will no doubt vindicate many Americans who suffered under the capricious reign of public health officials. Central to this investigation will be an inquiry into government attempts to manipulate public opinion.

We already know that officials misrepresented opinion as fact and covertly suppressed contrary information. The pronouncements of bureaucrats, who cared more for their own celebrity and power than the truth, went largely unchallenged. This represents a failure of constitutional guarantees to free speech — a failure Republicans will be happy to broadcast as yet more evidence of an out-of-control bureaucracy.

It’s tempting to think a tyrannical bureaucracy is to blame for our embarrassing foray into censorship. But if we accept this explanation, assign blame, and move on, we ignore a cultural rot that is far more dangerous than any government overreach. It is ordinary Americans, not bureaucrats, who are most to blame for censorship, because citizens are the ultimate defense against the suppression of speech, not the government.   (Read More)

Leadership For Truth: Where Are The Voices of Truth and Liberty

(Bob Shillingstad) A couple of items popped up on my computer this last week that made me wonder where we are as a Christian community and commitment.  First I saw a local church in our community making a bold statement to their flock that said this: “…..Church will not endorse any political organization, action, demonstration, legislation, ballot measure, or candidate and we shall lovingly but firmly protect the freedom, safety, and a feeling of welcome for those within our fold to maintain and express their own individual political opinions from across the spectrum, regardless of whether they are shared by a majority of, a minority of, or any of the the others in our fold.”  An interesting statement to the congregation and I left out the name of the church for their protection but maybe we should do a survey of all churches and see where they stand.

The other item that I read that same morning was this: “The pro-abortion movement is funded by liberal billionaires and Hollywood elite who threw millions at these ballot amendments. They spent $60 million to legalize abortions up to birth in Michigan and overturn every pro-life law. You couldn’t watch television in Michigan without seeing an ad talking about how Proposition 3 would promote “women’s health care.” They dwarfed our spending in California and outspent us by big margins in Montana and Vermont and told more and more lies.In total, abortion advocates spent well over $400 million on the elections — buying ballot votes, buying House and Senate races, buying the whole election. But they’re not done. They’re already putting together more ballot amendments to legalize abortions up to birth in more states. They’re fundraising to stop or overturn abortion bans elsewhere. They’re planning more pro-abortion laws to kill more babies in abortions.”  That was an email from LifeNews, quite a contrast. How do we reconcile these two views?  Montana passed a bill that said it was ok to kill any baby that survived an abortion.  Where were the pastors and churches in Montana? Did they have a non-endorsement pledge also? Some states said you could kill the baby after it was born, where were the churches?

Romans 13 is often quoted by those who believe we should be subject to all civil authorities no matter what the issue. Obviously that is a matter for further study.  We need to remember that Paul was beheaded for going against the civil authority in Rome.  Our biblical precedent has strong foundations in the Revolutionary War against Great Britain.  The colonists read 1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority . . .,” and saw the phrase “for the Lord’s sake” as a condition for obedience. The reasoning ran thus: if the authority was unrighteous and passed unrighteous laws, then following them could not be a righteous thing. In other words, one cannot obey a wicked law “for the Lord’s sake.” The colonists saw Hebrews 11 as justification for resisting tyrants. Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah are all listed as “heroes of faith,” and they were all involved in overthrowing oppressive governments.

The “Great Awakening” prior to the Revolution united the colonies and pastors to an understanding of liberties that came from our creator and the instructions to Timothy from the apostle Paul supported this; “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fable.”  2 Timothy 4:2-5

We need pastors and priests who will be unafraid to confront the society and be like the “Black Robe Regiment” of the American Revolution.  The name came not from the colonists but from the British.  They knew that the strength of conviction came from the preaching and involvement of these men.  The rallying cry of the revolution became “No King But King Jesus”. One of the best histories of these pastors is Bringing Back The Black Robe Regiment by Dan Fisher.  This is a book every patriot should have on their bookshelf and read. Another interesting fact is that there were at least six synagogues in the colonies and some of the key supporters were from these places of worship.  Freedom to believe was the standard.

Here are some interesting facts about the revolution:  The country was not united behind the revolution.  In a country of about 3 million about 1 million supported the war, 1 million were Tories and loyal to the King and about 1 million were neutral.  The war was long, over six years of fighting and certainly not always successful. Fighting against the most powerful country in the world required endurance and a reliance on a sovereign God.  240 battles were fought but in which Washington led only 17 and we won only six of those under Washington.  Of course we won the final battle!

The signers of the Declaration of Independence put their names under the last line which read  “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”  Many of them paid that price.

Today we are a divided country, we have lost a lot of battles and more importantly we have lost the principles and values we started with. But it is not too late!  Encourage and support your pastor to speak up about marriage between one man and one woman.  Trans-gender is evil and a lie from the pit of hell.  Pornography promoting the LGBTQ agenda and drag queen performances must be stopped now.  Pastors need to step up to the plate as one voice, these are movements to destroy our families, our culture and our nation.

Or is it too late already?  Revival or bust.

“But If Not…..” God’s Hand In History As His People Seek Him

(Bob Shillingstad) I am no different than many people in our country as we look for a “red wave” to save us and turn this country around on November 8th.  As with most Americans we realize that we are at a tipping point in our country.  The Constitution, traditions, history and respect for law and civility seem to be lost to demonic forces that are intent upon a totalitarian rule.  Last week also began one of the seven “feasts” or days of remembrance that God laid down in Leviticus.  It begins with Rosh Hashanah or the “feast of trumpets” and ten days later is Yom Kippur.  The time between these two high holy days are called the “Days of Awe” and is a time of repentance. These ten days are believed by Jewish scholars to be the last chance to repent before God’s judgment is finalized for the coming year.  These feasts are a fascinating study for Christians and became a wake up call for me as we looked at a seemingly hopeless situation in our country.

Hasn’t God entered history and done miraculous wonders as he has saved his people? We have so many accounts of that.  Does repentance and acknowledging God as our only hope and turning to Him a part of that salvation?  There are so many examples in our country’s history that we could use but for some reason the Lord brought to mind Great Britain in 1940 and a seemingly hopeless situation. The British empire had over 900,000 killed just a few decades before in WWI.   Now WWII had broken out in 1939 and the fighting has started in 1940 with disastrous results for the allies.  Britain had over 400,000 troops fighting in France and now 100,000 are trapped by the Germans on the coast at Dunkirk.  Once they are gone the way is open for the Germans to take Britain.

King George in desperation fires Chamberlain and replaces Churchill as Prime Minister, there is no election. With nowhere to turn the King and Churchill called for a National Day of Prayer on Sunday, May 26th, 1940. In a national broadcast, he instructed the people to turn back to God in a spirit of repentance and plead for Divine intervention. Millions of people across the British Isles flocked into churches, praying for deliverance, and forming lines just to get into a church building.  (this is the part that was not in the movie or most history books) If you search you can see the lines of people formed outside Westminster Abbey waiting for their turn to pray..  It was said at any time of day or night there were people praying there and all across the country, many prostrate on the floor crying out to God.  Then the miracles started to happen,

Herman Goering, the head of the German Luftwaffe (air force) convinced Hitler to have the Panzers to stand down.  His airplane would finish off Britain, he didn’t count on a fog that created a low ceiling making it very difficult to carry this out.  The English Channel turned into a calm lake.  Churchill called for private boats to ferry the troops to the ships at the port of Dunkirk, the smallest of these boats were only 14 foot fishing boats.  The British high command’s optimistic projection was that maybe they could rescue 10,000 evacuees.  Within a week, over 330,000 troops were evacuated to England, many on those little boats.  Should we consider this a miracle at Dunkirk? Or could this have been just the fog of war? That might explain one part but could all three of these conditions be merely a lucky break? Or was this divine intervention?

The British people have always referred to what happened as “the miracle of Dunkirk.” Sunday June 9th was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving for the entire United Kingdom.

What do you think? Were these miracles at Dunkirk? As events were unfolding and the allied army is surrounded at Dunkirk a message is sent to a British officer asking about his situation, which was obviously dire.  His response was in three words, “But if Not.”

The people of England instantly recognized this phrase as scripture. The English were accustomed to hearing the scriptures read in church. They knew the story told in the book of Daniel when three young Hebrews were being thrown into a blazing furnace.  Those brave Jews defiantly said,Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, let it be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up (Dan. 3:17-18). The British people immediately recognized the biblical reference. Also, they realized it reflected their soldiers’ resolve to stand to the end and not surrender. News of this spread and galvanized the people of England and they knew they had to do something.

Pastor Gary Hamrick says there are three kinds of churches (and Christians) “Some will be complicit, participating in the culture without standing against it; some will be complacent, disagreeing with the culture but not actively opposing it; then there are those that will be courageous, saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done, and accepting the con
sequences without self-pity or anger.” Adding humility and repentance to our plea, But if Not!

Money and Education: Is More Money The Answer For Educations Problems?

(Bob Shillingstad) We have seen education come to the forefront in Idaho’s political debate.  First, with the passage of additional mill levies and bond issues.  Second, with the upcoming vote November 8th and the issues Reclaim Idaho has on the ballot to raise taxes and give more money to the education lobby.  Third, we have the “special session” of the legislature this past week called by the Governor to give even more money to schools.  The rhetoric is like a drum beat that never changes.  “Idaho is down at the bottom in per pupil spending and it is a disgrace.”  “Invest in the children” and “they are the future”.  Tiresome and meaningless.

According to the numbers they report Idaho is at the bottom and Wyoming spends twice as much as Idaho.  Montana spends 50% more according to their numbers.  However, when you look at testing measurements across the board Idaho is very competitive with Wyoming and Montana and often are ahead on scores like SAT and others.  But then we are told unlimited money would solve all our problems in education, and they don’t pay any attention to the results in most Charter and private schools!   Certainly they don’t compare government schools to home schooling! The secret is evident, competition for government schools reveal their failures.

I would invite/ you to go back to 1985 and look at a Federal Court Case, Missouri v. Jenkins. ( https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/the-two-billion-dollar-judge/) This case is eye-opening.  A federal judge took over the school district in Kansas City, Missouri to provide “equity” and between 1985  and 2003 spent more than $2 Billion dollars building over a dozen first class schools. Magnet schools centered around a “theme”.  Not merely science,  performing arts, and computer studies, but also classical Greek, Asian studies, agribusiness, and environmental studies. The newly constructed classical Greek high school housed an Olympic-sized pool with an underwater observation room, an indoor track, a gymnastic center, and racquetball courts.television and animation studios. A robotics lab, a 25‐ acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal were part of the package.. The student‐ teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.

Wow! What were the results of all that spending? Test scores actually dropped and parents were not happy.

What then is the recipe for a quality educational system that ends up with a great product? We know that parental engagement with children is vital and they are the key to success. As Linda State relates in her blog, “Only parents know the rhythms and subtleties of their child. You know their boundaries, their fears and the social and emotional factors that will impact learning. They’re the things a teacher of 30 students who sees them 4 hours a week could never know. Essentially, the parent engagement movement is a mind shift. It’s a move towards a stronger relationship between school and family, valuing the skills and knowledge each party has to offer.”  That is some important wisdom, however many school boards, administrators and teachers treat parents as interlopers- who don’t understand education.  Parents need a place at the table that is more important than the teacher’s union. A school board and administration should be in control of the school district with policies and decisions made by them and not the teacher’s union.  We know that having a qualified teacher in the classroom as regular as possible is critical.  As you read the labor agreement that your school has there seems to be a disconnect.

Most teachers have a calling to be in this profession and want to do the right thing, we don’t need to tie their hands to a false narrative that is schools vs. parents. The bottom line and the point of this column is that no amount of spending is going to give us success in education.  Competition has worked.  Home schooling, charter schools and private schools have had remarkable success and show it in may ways.  A move towards vouchers and away from bureaucracy and larger systems is a first step. Getting back to basics and a love of our founding principles needs to be our direction.  Tell your school and legislators to apply common sense to education, more money is not the answer- choice is.

August 30th School Vote Fact Sheet

(Bob Shillingstad) The Coeur d’Alene School District is asking the voters for $80 million over the next 10 years for a variety of projects.  Please use these facts as a basis for your vote next Tuesday:

  • The vote is scheduled about 10 weeks before the general election in November. The district could have had the vote in conjunction with the general election. This will cost the County a minimum of $60,000 to hold this vote that was designed to avoid having many of the electorate voting on the issue.
  • The District has mismanaged the Covid “pandemic” with Zoom calls, mask mandates and lost classroom time. In addition the emphasis on CRT, equity training along with transgender madness has caused parents to pull their kids out of the district. Even though our County has had tremendous growth the District had 10,258 students in 2006-07 they only had 10,242 this last year.  The district lost nearly 10% of their students in 2020-21!
  • Charter schools increased enrollment by 50% in less than five years. New schools are popping up even as we look around the County.  Christ du Coeur, a traditional, classical Catholic school will open this fall.  Hillsdale College’s Barney Program will open a traditional, classical school also in the fall of 2023 between Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene.  The two best schools in the state for SAT scores were Coeur d’Alene Charter (#1) with an average of 1295 and North Idaho Stem (#2) in Rathdrum was close behind at 1224.  Most government schools, including CDA are still recovering from much lower test scores. Where would you send your child for an education other than homeschooling?
  • For the record, you can look up expenditure per pupil from the State of Idaho for government schools and charter schools. What you will find is most Charters spend more than a $1,000 less than the so-called “public schools” per student.  The State of Idaho supports charter schools but insists that the admission to charters is on a lottery basis.  Charter schools do not get to “cherry pick” their students.

Competition works very well in the private sector and education is no different. The parents  are getting ready for another school year and many have already voted with their feet.  The voters need to exercise their right at the ballot box on August 30th.  My wife and I will vote NO on this issue of $80 million.  You need to search the facts and make up your own mind but don’t be fooled by the arguments that this “is an investment in educating the kids” or if you don’t vote YES you “hate children, are ignorant and probably are a stupid Idaho redneck.”  The IFF has created a web site that allows you to look up important statistics on each district in Idaho.  Take a look, this will help as we face the proposition, promoted by leftists to raise more money for “education” and then let us hope the legislature next January passes true choice in education.  The education lobby has controlled the outcome long enough.  Vote Tuesday!

K-12 LEAD Map

Rethinking Your Relationship with the Church

(Washington Stand) Millions of Americans believe you cannot automatically trust the federal government to do what is in your best interests. But there may be no better sign of just how crazy these times are than to realize that you cannot trust the pastors of Christian churches to consistently provide biblical guidance on basic life matters. Yet, that’s exactly what was revealed by the most recent wave of the American Worldview Inventory, the national worldview assessment survey annually conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. That wave of the research asked a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Christian pastors about their beliefs and related behavior — and the results are astonishing, heartbreaking, scary, and cautionary.

According to the research, slightly more than one out of every three pastors of Christian churches (37%) possesses a biblical worldview — i.e., adoption of the basic scriptural principles and teachings that form the filter through which we experience, interpret, and respond to the world.  (Read More)