Saturday, July 25, 2009

North Korea Murders Distributor of Bible

According to Fox News, North Korea executed a woman, in public, because she distributed a Bible. According to the news report, North Korea officially recognizes religious freedom, but the cold hard reality is that it as totalitarian dictatorship that crushes any potential opposition - including simply practicing one's religion.

America, on the other hand, is dedicated to protecting the unalienable rights of individuals. James Madison, the drafter of the Bill of Rights, put religious liberty first in the First Amendment, reflecting his belief (which was shared by Thomas Jefferson and many other Founding Fathers) that religious liberty was the most important of our unalienable rights.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day!

July 14 marks the anniversary of the assault on the great French prison, the Bastille, in 1789. Most historians and French officials consider this day to be the beginning of the French Revolution. Roughly equivalent to our battles at Concord and Lexington (remember, the "shot heard around the world"), the simmering tensions in France boiled over into violence.

In France, "Bastille Day" has officially become the equivalent of Independence Day in America. On the French "July 4th" (ironically on July 14), the French celebrate the birth of liberty, equality, and fraternity. However, what began so hopefully eventually devolved into dictatorship, political purges, massacres, the Terror, and the guillotine. All too soon, Napoleon would be crowned emperor.

Although the American Revolution was also blemished with violence and abhorrent behavior, it never approached the tragedy of the French Revolution. To the contrary, armed with the First Principles of the rule of law, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, equality, and limited government, our Founders fought off attempts to create a dictatorship or engage in deadly political purges or massacres.

The French, on the other hand, eviscerated all of the First Principles by destroying the law, violating unalienable rights (especially of free speech, free press, and the free exercise of religion), rendering asunder the Social Compact, creating class warfare, and establishing totalitarian government.

The contrasts between America and France could not be more vivid. Thank God for America.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Historic Fort Wayne

I visited historic Fort Wayne this weekend to witness a Civil War battle re-enactment. A hidden gem on the riverfront of the fair City of Detroit, it is a Civil War era "star fort" that has undergone very slow but significant renovations over the last few years. The re-enactment was excellent. But more important, it created a profound impression of the grave sacrifices that our country experienced in winning freedom for all.

Also very fitting was a memorial service at the Fort that recognized the sacrifices of all of our sacred dead, and those who are still fighting for freedom overseas. God Bless them and God Bless America.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

American History and First Principles Quiz

Check out this American history and First Principles Quiz I originally wrote for the Detroit Free Press (printed last Sunday):

Happy birthday, America! So what was all that hoopla 233 years ago about anyway?

Sharpen your No. 2 pencil and take this quiz focusing on the early history and founding principles of our country.

1. The Declaration of Independence declares that the purpose of government is to: A. Secure the unalienable rights of men, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. B. To ensure a minimum standard of living. C. Promote the general welfare. D. Take from each according to his ability and give according to his need.

2. Among the most important of the long train of abuses suffered by the colonists that sparked the American Revolution was: A. The imposition of higher tea taxes. B. That a king was in charge of the British Empire. C. Taxation without representation, sup­pression of the right to a jury trial and the dissolution of colonial legislatures. D. The prohibition of American colonists’ attempts to settle Florida.

3. The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, and its requirement that search warrants be specific, were primarily motivated by: A. The great Boston justice scandal of 1765. B. The Boston Tea Party. C. The criminal investigation following the Boston Massacre. D. England’s extensive use of “general writs of assistance” that allowed open-ended searches with no probable cause.

4. Prior to the outbreak of Revolutionary War fighting, John Adams wrote that the worst of all of England’s oppressive actions against the colonies was: A. The suppression to the right to jury trial. B. Taxation without representation. C. The Boston Massacre. D. High taxes.

5. The Declaration of Independence did not address slavery because: A. Its main writer, Thomas Jefferson, sup­ported slavery. B. Benjamin Franklin supported slavery. C. The 2nd Continental Congress stripped out Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery at the insistence of two southern states. D. The cotton gin had made slavery too lucrative to abolish.

6. Reflecting his belief that this right was the most important, James Madison listed the protection of this liberty first in the First Amendment: A. Due process of law. B. The right to bear arms. C. Free speech. D. The free exercise of religion.

7. The Declaration of Independence declares that men: A. Are given their rights by government. B. Should balance their rights with obliga­tions to their fellow man. C. Have nothing to lose except their chains. D. Are endowed by their Creator with cer­tain unalienable rights.

8. Ben Franklin did not: A. Write the Bill of Rights. B. Act as a diplomat and sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Con­stitution. C. Invent the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod and bifocals. D. Establish the University of Pennsylvania, public libraries and abolitionist societies.

9. The Tea Act and tea tax that provoked the Boston Tea Party: A. Decreased the actual cost of tea, but was opposed because it was taxation with­out representation. B. Increased the actual cost of tea, and was opposed because of its economic burden. C. Increased the actual cost of tea, but was opposed primarily because it was taxation without representation. D. Was widely supported in the colonies as a way to pay their fair share for national defense.

10. Patrick Henry crystallized the perspec­tive of the American revolutionaries when he declared: A. America’s mission was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” B. “I have not yet begun to fight!” C. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” D. “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

ANSWERS 1. A.; 2. C.; 3. D.; 4. A.; 5. C.; 6. D.; 7. D.; 8. A.; 9. A.; 10. D. HOW’ D YOU DO? 9-10 correct: Strike up the Sousa — you’re an American expert. 6-8 correct: Wave that flag with vigor. 5 or less correct: Hmm. Were you asleep during Ameri­can History 101? THE QUIZ AUTHOR This quiz was contributed by Oak­land County Circuit Judge Michael War­ren, author of “Amer­ica’s Survival Guide, How to Stop Ameri­ca’s Impending Sui­cide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History.” The book is avail­able at www .Americas Survival or

Sunday, July 5, 2009

America - the Idea

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the unique nature of "America":

"France was a land. England was a people. But America having about it still that quality of the idea, was harder to utter - it was the graves at Shiloh, and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and the country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the heart."

Let us remember that spirit, and fight with all the willingness of the heart that our forefathers and mothers have; keep their sacrifices near and dear; and honor them all by ensuring America remains a beacon of liberty in a dark world.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Nothing is more fitting than simply reading the Declaration of Independence (for the entire Declaration hit the link below):

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world. . . .

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levey war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. 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.

For the entire Declaration, view:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Independence Day - Renew the Spirit

As we approach this Independence Day, it is easy for most to lapse into comfortable celebration involving hamburgers, hotdogs, coleslaw, and fireworks. Of course, there is nothing wrong with such celebrations, but it in essence devalues the true meaning and purpose of the holiday.

The Spirit of ’76 has nearly disappeared. On July 3, 1776, just one day after independence was approved (but one day prior to the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence), John Adams presciently understood that the anniversary of Independence Day would be marked by “pomp and parade, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.” What is missing today was Adams’ conjoined expectation that “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized. . . .” We have the hamburgers and parades, but any solemnization is trite.

Likewise, most of other civic holidays have become empty gestures and excuses for an extra day off for barbeques or shopping.

The lack of solemnization is deadly – we need to renew our faith in our freedoms and liberty. Without an appropriate understanding of our founding First Principles and history, our freedom is likely to be lost.

To combat this effort, I have initiated a “Patriots Week”, beginning on September 11 and ending on September 17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution), in which schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to celebrate our founding First Principles, history, and historical figures. See or the “notes” to my Facebook page.

This Independence Day, take a few moments to celebrate the true meaning of the day. Even such small gestures as reading the Declaration of Independence with your children, examining the Bill of Rights, watching a patriotic movie, or considering the importance of the Founding Fathers are vital to preserving our freedom. God Bless America.

For more on our founding First Principles and history, visit