Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dobson on the Constitution

Dr. Dobson Helps Larry King Understand 'Separation of Church and State'
by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor
Focus founder correctly points out it's not anywhere in a foundational document.
In an interview turned history lesson, Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, helped talk-show host Larry King understand -- over his protests -- that "separation of church and state" is not found in the U.S. Constitution.
During last week's hour-long conversation on Larry King Live, King quizzed Dr. Dobson on myriad topics including O.J. Simpson's rejected book, the fall of evangelical leader Ted Haggard and Michael J. Fox's TV ad for embryonic stem-cell research. But when the discussion turned to attempts to redefine marriage -- the TV host made it an issue of separation of church and state.
KING: Why is it a state institution rather than a religious institution? Why is the state involved?
DOBSON: Well, it's both. It is both.
KING: But we have a separation of church and state.
DOBSON: Beg your pardon?
KING: We have a separation of church and state.
DOBSON: Who says?
KING: You don't believe in separation of church and state?
DOBSON: Not the way you mean it. The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. No, it's not. That is not in the Constitution.
KING: It's in the Bill of Rights.
DOBSON: It's not in the Bill of Rights. It's not anywhere in a foundational document. The only place where the so-called "wall of separation" was mentioned was in a letter written by (Thomas) Jefferson to a friend. That's the only place. It has been picked up and made to be something it was never intended to be.
What it has become is that the government is protected from the church, instead of the other way around, which is that church was designed to be protected from the government.
KING: I'm going to check my history.
And well he should, according to Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action. He said King bought into a misconception that is far too common. Many Americans continue to believe the phrase "separation of church and state" is found in the U.S. Constitution, illustrating the need for a better civics education.
"Dr. Dobson's statement regarding separation of church and state was entirely accurate," he said. "Most Americans do not realize that it wasn't until 1947 that the U.S. Supreme Court imposed that metaphor -- 'separation of church and state' -- upon the country as law."
The court actually lifted the phrase from an 1802 letter President Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut. They had asked him to help protect the rights of religious minorities. "Jefferson politely declined in his letter to use his office for such influence," Hausknecht said, "explaining that the First Amendment prohibited him from doing so because it had created a 'wall of separation of church and state.' Although it's not completely clear among historians as to the complete scope of Jefferson's meaning, because of the letter's specific historical context it's accurate to say, as Dr. Dobson did, that Jefferson felt the First Amendment protected the church from government interference -- not the opposite."
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told CitizenLink that he shares Jefferson's perspective.
"The words 'separation of church and state' are not found in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or the Articles of Confederation or any document of our history," he said. "The First Amendment to our Constitution basically embodies a concept of separation -- meaning that the state should stay out of the affairs of the church and of the relationship that men have with their God."
In modern law, he said, many use "separation of church and state" with the intent to separate God, moral values and Christian principles from the state.
"It means none of that," Moore said. "The way people use 'separation of church and state' is not historically or legally accurate. What it does mean is that the state can't interfere with the church and can't interfere with our mode of worship and our articles of faith. And that's what 'separation of church and state' means."
Jefferson and the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration and the Constitution gave recognition to God, he said. It's only been in the last few decades that God has been removed from the public square.
"Even the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist," Hausknecht said, "called 'separation' a 'metaphor based on bad history' as he urged his fellow justices to abandon its use in First Amendment Establishment Clause cases."
Instead of being reviled by the secular Left, he said, conservatives should be understood and appreciated as trying to restore the original understanding of the Constitution.
"We have let judges rewrite the First Amendment," Moore said, "to actually forbid that which it was meant to allow."
Such has become clear legally, historically and logically, he said.
"To let judges rewrite the First Amendment," Hausknecht said, "is simply to abdicate our own responsibility as citizens to ensure that the Constitution continues to say and mean what it has always said."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:For a transcript of Dr. James Dobson's appearance on Larry King, click here.
CNN has posted a few highlights of the program.
Click here to read Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists.(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content.)

Friday, November 24, 2006


It was time for Luke and Dave's birthday. Luke will be 2, Dave is 27.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I hope this Thanksgiving finds everyone in the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude toward God for life and health.
May all who visit this site today find in God their reason for existence and in their circumstances an opportunity for spiritual growth. Have a joyous and restful holiday and be blessed!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I finally got some tubs to store my fabric scraps in. I'm sorting the pieces as to what they might be used for, color, texture, length, etc.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Buck Stops Here (Actually, he got up and kept going.)

I wish I had a picture of the buck that hit me. I was just bragging about how my car looked like new again after the repair from the rear-end collision. This time I can't count on the other guy's insurance to fix it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I have reason to believe this violin is the original instrument used in the photograph of my grandfather and his friend as kids. It has two original catgut strings. I made a shadowbox of the picture-- including Herman's banjo picks found in his effects at his death and some violin pieces found in the violin case (the bow frog matches the one in the photo).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Here's the church we attended when I was a toddler. I can remember climbing the stairs.

Here's the little house where my parents brought me home from the hospital. Although the subsequent owners replaced the front porch, the little side porch is the same stoop I played on as a child. I believe the driveway is the same one my dad poured, too, although it looks like they have widened it on the sides.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Goofing Off

A young Herman Hutton and his friend Blake Litton goofing off with their dad's instruments.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Conservatives, Speak!

This is from Citizen Link:

A Liberal Congress Could Spell Disaster for Conservative Judicial Nominees
by Pete Winn, associate editor
What's at stake in the upcoming election? Plenty, if you want to see judges on the bench who respect the Constitution.
Conservative pundits and pro-family legal analysts say if liberals gain control of Congress on Tuesday, the fate of future conservative judicial nominees will hang in the balance.
With them, according to Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst of Focus on the Family Action, will hang the fates of pre-born babies, marriage and religious liberty.
"The success of the president's judicial appointments depends on conservative control of the Senate," he said. "If conservatives do not retain control, then ultraliberals like (Sens.) Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), Ted Kennedy, (D-Mass.), and Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.) will decide the type of judges the president can get confirmed."
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, is equally concerned. He said we are just one Supreme Court appointment away from the possible reversal of decisions on abortion and religious freedom.
"Right now, by most estimates, we are still down on the Supreme Court, 5-4," Bauer said on a recent Focus on the Family broadcast.
"The president did get two strong conservatives on the Court, but one of them replaced a strong conservative. So we're one vote short. And there are a couple of liberals on the court -- John Paul Stevens, 86 years old; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 73, but who has been battling a number of illnesses, including cancer -- that rumor says are considering stepping down."

Bauer said if either justice steps down and the U.S. Senate is controlled by liberal Democrats, "We will lose the last chance in this generation to stop abortion on demand and to preserve marriage as one man and one woman."
Hausknecht, meanwhile, warns that if liberals should wrest control of the Senate Judiciary Committee from conservatives, no strict-constructionist nominee will ever win confirmation.
"Right now there are 50 vacancies on the federal courts that President Bush must fill," Hausknecht said. "This election will determine whether they can be filled by men and women who interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning, or whether they must meet the liberals' definition of a mainstream judge -- that is they must swear allegiance to abortion, rewrite the Constitution whenever they feel some 'right' is missing, and prohibit any reference to God in the public square. If that's not troubling enough to get pro-family conservatives to the polls, then nothing is."
Dr. James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family Action, along with his wife, National Day of Prayer Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, asked Christians to take time to pray for the election -- then to vote on Election Day.
"To all of those values voters out there: Don't you dare sit this one out!" Dobson told his listeners. "You have an obligation to come and participate in this great representative form of government.
"Why would you not take 15 to 20 to 30 minutes to fulfill that responsibility? And if we do, I think the results will take care of themselves."
TAKE ACTION / FOR MORE INFORMATION:For a full discussion of what's at stake on Nov. 7, listen to the Oct. 31 Focus on the Family broadcast with Dr. James Dobson and his guests Gary Bauer and Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus on the Family Action.
Additionally, CitizenLink has launched an Election Web site to help you track the fate of issues and candidates.
(Paid for by Focus on the Family Action)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Voter Guides

Voter Guides are available for each state to show where candidates stand on family values. If you go to http://www.family.org/cforum/news/a0042460.cfm
the guides are clickable.

Voter Guides Available from State Family Policy Councils
by Stuart Shepard, managing editor

See what candidates think about the issues in 22 states.

Many of the independent state-level family-policy councils associated with Focus on the Family have prepared voter guides for the upcoming election and made them available online.

The purpose of the guides is to help voters make informed decisions on Election Day based on where candidates stand on important issues. They are perfectly legal to share with family, friends or fellow church members.

In addition to the following guides, Focus on the Family Action and FRCAction prepared a Vote Scorecard showing how members of the 109th Congress voted on important family issues.

Note: Some of the voter guides are in PDF format and require the free Adobe Reader to view.

Arizona voter guide prepared by the Center for Arizona Policy, (602) 424-2525.

Arkansas voter guide prepared by the Family Council, (501) 375-7000.

Florida judicial voter guide prepared by the Florida Family Policy Council, (407) 251-5130.

Idaho voter guide prepared by the Cornerstone Institute iof Idaho.

Illinois voter guide prepared by the Illinois Family Institute, (630) 790-8370. The document is in PDF format and requires the free Adobe Reader to view.

Indiana voter guide prepared by the Indiana Family Institute, (800) 269-2959.

Iowa judicial voter guide prepared by the Iowa Family Policy Center, (515) 263-3495.

Kentucky voter guide prepared by the Family Foundation of Kentucky, (859) 255-5300.

Maine voter guide prepared by the Christian Civic League of Maine, (207) 622-7634.

Maryland voter guide prepared by the Association of Maryland Families, (410) 760-9166.

Michigan voter guide prepared by the Michigan Family Forum, (517) 374-1171.

Minnesota voter guide prepared by the Minnesota Family Institute, (612) 789-8811.

Montana voter guide prepared by Montana Family Action, (406) 628-1141.

Nebraska voter guide prepared by Family First, (402) 435-3210.

New Jersey voter guide prepared by the New Jersey Family Policy Council, (973) 781-1414.

North Carolina voter guide prepared by the North Carolina Family Policy Council, (919) 807-0800.

Ohio voter guide prepared by the Citizens for Community Values, (513) 733-5775.

Oklahoma voter guide prepared by the Oklahoma Family Policy Council, (405) 787-7744.

Pennsylvania voter guide prepared by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, (717) 545-0600. The file is formatted for printing and parts will not not display right side up on your monitor. It requires the Adobe Reader to view.

South Dakota voter guide prepared by the South Dakota Family Policy Council, (605) 335-8100.

Texas voter guide prepared by the Free Market Foundation, (972) 423-8889.

Wisconsin voter guide prepared by the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, (888) 378-7395.

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content.)

(Paid for by Focus on the Family Action)

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