AFA-IN: Polling Differences w Trump; Are Conservatives Happier?

The Mixed Bag that is President Trump

We are in an era where polling results are often used to make news, and to influence views.  A case in point are the polls about support for President Trump in an era when the news about him is constantly negative.

Donald Trump is clearly the most unusual and unorthodox president of my lifetime, if not in all of US History.   He routinely says things, and does things, that probably give election and political advisors severe heartburn.   Whether his rhetoric and demeanor still connect with a majority of voters remains to be seen.  (His large rallies seem to indicate that there is a significant base of voters who do support this.)

Gallup has an interesting poll this month that reveals something the mainstream media will likely not ever tell its readers or viewers.  Donald Trump is not as popular as President Trump.   When pollsters ask if Donald Trump is popular, they get one result, and it isn’t very good.  Yet, if they dig further and ask if his presidential policies are supported, there is a very different polling outcome.

Americans are significantly more likely to approve of President Trump’s policies than they are of Donald Trump himself.   The point spread ranges from +6 to + 11 for his policies and agenda over Trump the individual.

For example, according to Gallup, 76% of Republicans support Donald Trump the man. However, 87% approve of Donald Trump’s job performance.   People who attend church weekly have a similarly large gap – 44% approve of Trump the person, whereas 54% approve of the job Trump is doing as President.   There is only one inversion in the poll.  Democrats support for Trump the person is 6% . . . their approval of him as President is 5%.    According to Gallup, (other polls have higher numbers) overall, 40% of Americans support the job Trump is doing, with only 34% approving of him personally.

Do Conservatives Have Happier Families?

More than half of all those who identify as “conservative” have happy family lives, compared to just 4 in 10 who identify as “liberal” or “moderate” according to the American Family Study conducted by YouGov.   At the same time, conservatives are more concerned about the condition of the family in America overall than are their moderate or liberal counterparts.

More than 4 in 10 conservatives report that marriages in America are weaker now than they were just two years ago. In contrast, a much smaller share of liberals (23%) say this is the case.

A vast majority (80%) of American conservatives believe that marriage is needed to create strong families, while only 1 in 3 liberals and half of moderates agree. Not surprisingly, conservatives (62%) are much more likely than liberals (39%) or moderates (46%) to be married.

Conservatives’ higher family satisfaction can be partly attributed to the fact that they are more likely than others to be married. (Married people are generally more satisfied with their family life.) Other factors, such as religion, also play a role. The study found that in a model that includes religious service attendance, family income, marital status, age, education, and race/ethnicity, being a conservative (vs. a non-conservative) increases the odds of being “completely satisfied with family life” by 23%.

Random Statistic on the Marriage Penalty

A report from American Enterprise Institute found in 2016 that more than four in ten American families receive some kind of means tested financial assistance from the Government such as Medicaid or food stamps.

One third of Americans aged 18 to 60 reported that they personally knew of someone who had not married for fear of losing a government welfare benefit.

Indiana’s Attorney General and His Accusers 

This week, Attorney General Curtis Hill and his accusers are testifying before the Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission regarding allegations that the AG inappropriately touched a Democrat legislator, and three legislative staff members, at a legislative party in March of 2018.

This is the first time that Hill’s accusers have been cross examined by Hill’s legal defense team.

News reports detailing the accusations of those testifying seem to break down to questions of whether certain actions occurred, and if so, were they actually sexual touches or misinterpreted contact in a crowded bar.

Hill’s team is expected to call witnesses, perhaps, today.  One would assume Hill will himself also testify on what he did or did not do.

At the end of the hearing, former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby will hand down a finding that may or may not include sanctions.  The highest sanction would be the disbarment of the AG, which would remove him from office and ruin his future legal career.   Previous reviews have not been conclusive or found the AG guilty of sexual misconduct.

In Their Own Words:

 “This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the ‘progressives’, have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.” – US Attorney General William Barr, speaking at Notre Dame University, October 11, 2019

Just the Facts:

Here is AFA-IN Fact Sheet from some years ago titled: “Let’s Just Live Together: Does Cohabitation Insulate Couples from Divorce?
https://tinyurl.com/y5bapffk

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AFA-IN: Two Kinds of Choice: Abortion and Vouchers

A Special Kind of Sickness
 
         The corrupting nature of abortion is something almost no one in the media, and no one in the political arena supportive of the procedure, dare discuss.   If there is anything positive at all about the bizarre story of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer it is that it pulls the sanitary veil off this horrible industry.   
 
         On Friday, 165 more bodies of aborted babies were found in a Mercedes Benz owned by the late abortionist who operated clinics in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend, Indiana.   These bodies were all from abortions that occurred in 2002.   The image of an abortionist keeping thousands of fetal remains at his home is sick enough, but driving around in his car with nearly 200 more is a special kind of sickness.   
 
         That sickness must be contagious.  An abortionist to our north, in Michigan, pleaded “no contest” two years ago to multiple felony charges that included having 14 aborted babies in his car.         
 
         Two years prior to the conviction of abortionist Michael Roth, about the same time he was arrested, another abortionist in Michigan, speaking to the National Abortion Federation callously told her audience of her suggestion about what to do with fetal remains.    Renee Chelian was caught on videosaying, “We thought we’ll give it [the fetal remains] to everybody in a gift bag, they can take it home, figure out what to do with it. It’s their pregnancy – why is this our problem? And I’m saying that in all seriousness.”
 
         The total known number of unborn children Klopfer kept for years is now up to 2,411. 
 
 

Do Those on the Left Only Support “Choice” When it Harms Children?
 
         Last week a candidate for Indiana Governor proposed ending Indiana’s school voucher program and giving the money used for vouchers to public schools to boost teacher salaries.   Democrat Josh Owens, a 34-year-old Butler University professor, also suggested using another $300 million in state reserves for teacher salaries. 
 
         Indiana is home to one of the nation’s largest school voucher programs. About 3% of Indiana students (35,000) use vouchers.  The program is designed for low-income families, giving them the ability to choose a private school that otherwise would not be an option for them. 
 
         I don’t know what Owens’ view of abortion is, but pro-life Democrats running for office are extremely rare.  (Can you name even one?)  Those who do support abortion strongly tend to also support government funding for low income women wanting to abort their child.  Yet, a low-income, single mom in Indiana wanting to choose what she believes will improve the life of her child . . . well that’s just too bad.
 
         EdChoice, a national school choice advocacy organization based in Indianapolis, said the conversation about K-12 education in Indiana should focus on finding “more options for students, not fewer.” 
 
        “Hard-working Hoosier families shouldn’t be tossed around like a political football for trying to find the right schooling option for their kids,” said Jennifer Wagner, an EdChoice spokeswoman. “Our state has a robust choice environment … That’s a thing we should celebrate, not disparage, especially when so many families are utilizing choice beyond the voucher program.”
 
        Wagner is right . . . but political footballs are now the name of the game in election politics today. . . pitting one group against another for political gain is all many candidates now know when it comes to campaigning. 
 

In Their Own Words:
 
        “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell 
 
 
 
 
         
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AFA-IN: Religion & Addiction, Marriage Inequality, Court Case

Class Warfare is Real . . . but Not How You Might Think
 
         Those on the political left often like to participate in class warfare arguments dividing the rich and the poor.  When it comes to outcomes for children there may actually be some class division going on, but the divide is not so much based upon race, or even on income, as it is based upon marriage
 
       The reason for this, according to a new study that was presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference in August, is that family structure significantly impacts the investment in time and money parents spend on children. 
 
         In recent years marriage formation has declined among the lower and middle classes, but it has stabilized among upper classes. While, 84% of children whose mothers have a bachelor’s degree or higher-level education live with married parents, only 58% of children whose mothers have a high school degree or less do so. And while 75% of white children live with married parents, just 38% of black children do so.
 
      This family structure inequality may have real consequences for children’s chances in life. Compared with children who grow up in cohabiting or single-parent families, those who grow up with stable married parents generally have better health and behavior in childhood, are more likely to complete high school and have higher incomes as adults.
 
        Families with different structures parent differently – and that can perpetuate inequality across generations. Children in the U.S. are growing up in an era of “intensive parenting,” with many childhoods filled with piano lessons and private tutors, traveling sports teams and summer camps. While costly, these activities become a form of investment by parents that can improve their children’s grades, chances of getting into a selective university and future job opportunities.
 
You can read this study here:  https://ifstudies.org/blog/a-quarter-of-us-parents-are-unmarriedand-that-changes-how-much-they-invest-in-their-kids
 
 

The Decline in Religious Faith is Having a Role in Nation’s Drug Crisis
 
         In the latest Gallup survey, only 46% of Americans think that religion can answer today’s problems, but the reality is that religion provides answers for one of today’s biggest problems—addiction.   This finding should not be a surprise.  With fewer Americans, particularly the young, affiliated with religion today, there is less experience with faith and its positive impacts. 
 
      Various research shows that youth who are spiritually active, participate in a faith community, and invest in a prayerful relationship with their God, are less likely to use or abuse drugs and alcohol. By contrast, teens who do not consider religious belief important are almost three times more likely to smoke, five times more likely to binge on alcohol, and almost eight times more likely to use marijuana.    Teens who never attended religious services at least weekly, compared with teens who regularly attended services, were two time more likely to drink, two times more likely to smoke, and more than three times more likely to use marijuana or binge on alcohol, and four times more likely to use illicit drugs.
 
        Adolescents who frequently attend religious services, who are involved in faith-based activities, and who place a high value on spirituality exhibit greater resilience when facing the stressors that can lead to the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
 
        The decline in religious activity, particularly among the young, is a remedy to those who are at the highest risk for a substance disorder.  
 
Read more about this here:  https://ifstudies.org/blog/faith-an-overlooked-tool-in-substance-abuse-prevention-and-recovery
 
 

The 5th Congressional Race Keeps Changing
 
         There is a news story stating that former State Representative Steve Braun is dropping out of the race for the Indiana Congressional seat being vacated by Susan Brooks.  The brother of US Senator Mike Braun is a top tier, formidable, candidate due to his last name, his personal experience and his financial ability.  However, an annual physical has revealed something that will, at least for a few months, sideline his campaign. 
 
         Three other names have recently emerged on the side running for the Republican nomination. Kent Abernathy is a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Chuck Dietzen is a doctor in Zionsville. Danny Niederberger is an accountant in Indianapolis.
 
         Two others have already announced for the race, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and Micah Beckwith of Noblesville. 
 
          Former Indianapolis State Representative Christina Hale, 2018 nominee Dee Thornton, and chemist Jennifer Christie are seeking the Democratic nomination.
 

Coming to Work in a Dress
 
         There was an interesting case argued before the US Supreme Court yesterday.  It involves an ACLU lawsuit against the owner of a Michigan funeral home operated by the owner’s family for a century.   
 
         The funeral home is understandably focused on a certain kind of decorum and atmosphere for families enduring the loss of a loved one.  As such, one of the requirements is that the employees dress in a proper manner.  
 
          Harris Funeral Homes had a male employee who had worked there for six years.  One day the employee gave the director a letter announcing that he, would now be wearing a dress to work identifying as a she.   The owner refused to go along with this, noting that the businesses code of conduct and dress is in place to allow its customers to focus on their grieving process and to not have employees distract from this in any way. 
 
        The owner’s refusal to allow his employee to act out in this way during his time on the job made him a target for punishment and a lawsuit.    The case has become a legal battering ram in an effort to redefine sex to include the broad and vague category of gender identity as a specially protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   Many people are watching this case as it could have wide-ranging implications for schools, businesses, athletics, and many other entities. 
 

In Their Own Words:
 
      “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” – Robert Frost  (Quote has also been attributed to G.K. Chesterton.)
 
 

Just the Facts:
 
         Thoughts on talking to your children about marijuana:  
https://tinyurl.com/yytk48mh
 
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AFA-IN: What happened in Court Today on Religious Freedom?

What Happened in Court Today?
 
            As you know from yesterday’s email, we were in the Hamilton County Superior Court to argue the constitutionality of the “RFRA fix” and several city “human rights” ordinances that can punish people of faith for their peaceably held views on marriage and sexual morality. 
 
            It is difficult for a non-attorney to explain what happened, but here are my quick observations.   
 
            The hearing began with 30 minutes of oral arguments.  Our attorney, Jim Bopp, Jr., who has argued more than a dozen times before the US Supreme Court on various free speech cases, did a very good job explaining our concerns.  He noted that the RFRA fix added to the original RFRA law one week after it was signed due to historic economic and media pressure, moved RFRA from a law that protected everyone, as a balancing test for religious freedom conflicts, to one that predetermined who would automatically lose or who could not use RFRA as a defense.  (That would be people of faith who hold to traditional values and teachings like the plaintiffs – AFA of Indiana and the Indiana Family Institute.)  Doing this violated the equal protections clause of the Indiana Constitution and raised several First Amendment problems. 
 
            He also noted how various city ordinances allowed for the government to discriminate against people of faith based solely upon our views.   
 
            He also explained how the defendant’s arguments largely rested upon a claim that we do not have standing, or a reason for a case, because we have not (yet) been punished by these laws.  He noted that those laws have had a chilling effect, limiting things we wanted to do or may do in the future in terms of events or programs in certain cities.  
 
            One note of importance is that one reason it took four years for us to have our day in court is because of those arguments on standing which we had to fight to even get to argue the merits of our concerns today.   This involved two court hearings at this level and the appellate level.  In both those, a trial and a higher review, the courts said we do have standing to proceed.  
            
            When it came to the time for the cities and the state to defend the RFRA fix and their city ordinances, each attorney was given 30 minutes.  This meant that it was a 30-minute verses a 3-hour debate.   That was difficult to endure because there were many things said which were not accurate about IFI, AFA-IN and our case in general.
 
            During their three hours, more than half of their time was spent rearguing standing claims that we should not have a case because we have not been punished by these ordinances.   (Bopp noted that one election can change the entire attitude of a government against us, or anyone.)   

           There were also arguments that several recent major cases in favor of religious freedom that we cited involving, for example, Catholic adoption agencies, wedding photographers, and Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker, were not applicable to our case. 

            When their time was done, the judge simply ended the hearing saying that he would review the documents and filings and hand down a ruling.  I certainly pray that he does look at the legal arguments made in this case affirming religious liberty and free speech, even though it is more than 300 pages. 
 
            My guess is that we will have a ruling on this in a month or two.  
 
            I want to thank all those who prayed for the hearing today, please continue to pray for the judge in this case and that the founding principles of freedom prevail in his opinion. 
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Alert: Political Correctness Invades IN Govt. 😡

Indiana Bureaucrats Bow to the gods of Political Correctness

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has once again proved that he is nobody’s puppet or doormat.   In a move that surely sent shock waves through dozens of cubicles in the state office building, AG Hill put the brakes on a politically correct effort to sneak through the creation of transgender or genderless driver’s licenses in Indiana.

In a major story that broke on Monday, Hill refused to sign off on a procedural matter that I’d suggest most political leaders in his position would have viewed as a mere formality.   Hill refused go along with a new rule proposed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to allow “Gender X” on Indiana’s driver licenses citing a lack of public input on the matter.   (This will surely cause his office to be the target of a lot of hate by the far left.)

Sources had told me that the BMV wanted this to go into effect without a lot of controversy.   They wanted it to be a done deal behind the scenes by the time the public found out about the formal change.   You may want to call the BMV state office at 888-692-6841 and politely let them know that this is bad policy.   (You can also email the BMV here: https://secure.in.gov/BMV/mybmv/Contact.aspx)

There is a good, well-balanced, news story about this written by Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette reporter Niki Kelly.  You can read it here:  https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/indiana/20190908/bmv-gender-rule-hits-roadblock

Here is one of my quotes from her article:

The entire discussion hasn’t sat well among socially conservative groups and lawmakers who believe a person should be required to keep the gender assigned at birth on official state documents.

“I think a person can appear as they choose, and freely live that lifestyle, but we need their true biological identity from birth on a driver’s license if that document is to have any credibility,” said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana.

“Otherwise, why can’t I claim the weight, height and eye color I’ve always wanted? What if a person floats between genders and may appear male one month or female another? I think their official ID should reveal their true biology from birth, not their mental beliefs.”

Another Study Finds Homosexuality is not Linked to Genes 

A massive new study conducted by Harvard and MIT scientists refutes the commonly held idea that homosexuals are “born that way.”   The study involved nearly half a million people in the US and UK.  Published in Science, the journal for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this is the largest study ever conducted on the subject.

An international team of scientists examined data from 477,522 people to see whether genetic markers in DNA could be linked to sexual behavior.  The researchers conducted a “genome-wide association study” involving anonymous subjects based upon responses to questions about sexual behaviors, sexual attraction, and sexual identity.

Andrea Ganna, the head of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Finland and an instructor at Harvard was the study’s lead author.  She concluded, “There is no gay gene that determines whether a person has same-sex partners.”

David Curtis, honorary professor at the UCL Genetics Institute at the University College in London, said, “This study clearly shows that there is no such thing as a ‘gay gene.’  There is no genetic variant in the population which has any substantial effect on sexual orientation.”

Another team member, Ben Neale, an associate professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital said, “There is no single gay gene . . . It’s effectively impossible to predict an individual’s sexual behavior from their genome.”

The study concluded that homosexual behavior is more strongly linked to outside environmental factors such as family life, friends, beliefs, and childhood development.

Two New Reports on Indiana School Performance 

Only 37% of Indiana’s students in grades 3-through-8 have passed the new statewide I-LEARN test’s math and English sections.  The I-LEARN test is the replacement for the I-STEP test given to Indiana public school students for more than two decades.  In the last year of the I-STEP nearly 60% of students passed the math section and nearly two-thirds passed the English section.

Many state education leaders had warned that test scores would likely drop with the transition to a new test, though I’d bet that many were surprised at such a large decline.

I served on the Governor’s Education Roundtable under Governors O’Bannon and Kernan, and on an I-Step review panel years ago. I believe that it is possible that there might be some problems with this new test.  If so, those problems will rise up through feedback from teachers and other testing and academic leaders.

Governor Holcomb and the Superintendent of Public Instruction have stated that these new test results will not be used to grade schools this year.

Perhaps a better overview came this week from one of the nation’s foremost school publications Education Week.  A national ranking called “Quality Counts 2019” is this publication’s 23rdannual ranking of state education systems.

The report looked at nearly two-dozen factors such as kindergarten enrollment, 4th grade reading tests, 8th grade math tests, high school graduation rates, school funding, parental employment and income.

Indiana ranked 22nd among the 50 states and DC. Indiana schools were given a C grade.  No state received above a B+ grade. Forty-four states had a C or lower.

         Education Week’s annual report card has been static for years.  They bemoan the overall difficulty of improving schools in their report.  Indiana looks fairly similar in most categories to the national average.  (Our 4th and 8th grade tests are actually higher than the national average at 40.7 vs 35.4 in 4thgrade reading and 37.8 vs 33.4 in 8th grade mathematics.)

In Their Own Words:

Without a firm moral foundation, freedom degenerates quickly into anarchy.  Then there will be freedom only for those who are stronger and more unscrupulous than the rank and file of the people.”  – President Harry Truman, April 3, 1951

Just the Facts:

AFA-IN Fact Sheet: Are People Born Gay?
Click here: https://tinyurl.com/y4prqdmg

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AFA-IN: Blaming Indiana; Polling Accuracy; New Dating Trends

More than Replacing the Landline Phone

Years ago, one might have assumed that new technology would simply replace the home telephone as a primary means of communication between the sexes.  For decades the stereotypical teenager spent hours on the family phone talking to a boyfriend or girlfriend while the parents worried about their phone bill or their own missed calls.

However, not only has technology changed communication, it has also changed how couples meet and date.

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Michael Rosenfeld, of Stanford University, compared the results of surveys conducted in 2009 and 2017, using them to track the ways people met their partners against the years in which the meetings took place.

The research found that online dating is going through the roof while the more traditional ways people meet are on the decline.

As the Institute for Family Studies observed, “It used to be that technology just helped us communicate more efficiently with our preexisting acquaintances, family, and coworkers. Now it helps us find and connect romantically with total strangers. In the 2017 survey, 90% of those who started their relationships online had no other connections to each other. Increasingly, it’s not our friends, siblings, and churches that serve as mediators between us and potential partners; apps and websites and their algorithms do.”

Research on this phenomenon is new and sparse and therefore may not yet be conclusive. However, a 2013 study, found that “marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.” A 2017 studysimilarly found that “meeting online does not predict couple breakup.”  It also found that marriages occur quicker through online dating services.

Blaming Us for Your Problems

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at Texas Senator Ted Cruz yesterday in a twitter fight after Cruz noted that twice as many people were shot in Chicago (41) over the weekend as in the mass shooting in Texas (22).   The Mayor blamed the city’s decades old crime problem on . . . (brace yourself) . . . Indiana!

“The windy city” has some of the strictest gun laws in America.  The mayor blamed Indiana because 20% of the illegal guns in her city come from Indiana. She blamed us because we, “do not have common sense gun laws” (as, I guess, Chicago does?)

Yet, if Mayor Lightfoot is correct, if it is a matter of gun laws, why doesn’t Indiana have the renowned crime problems that Chicago has had for so long? Between 2015 and 2017 there were 1,996 homicides in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people.  There were 1,325 homicides in the entire state of Indiana over those same three years. There are 6.6 million Hoosiers.

A Few Considerations Regarding Presidential Polling

You have probably heard that President Trump is losing in polling to nearly every major Democratic presidential candidate. Political polling a year ahead of the presidential election may have some momentary political implications, or derision against President Trump, but in reality, they are worthless as any kind of prediction tool.

In January of 1980, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan 62% to 33%.   Reagan won in November by 10 points.   In December of 1983, Ronald Reagan led Walter Mondale by only 1 point.  On Election Day, Reagan won by 18 points. In May of 1988 Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by 12 points.  On Election Day, Bush won by 6 points.   In March of 1992, George H.W. Bush led Bill Clinton by 19 points.  On Election Day he lost to Clinton by 6 points.  In March of 2004, John Kerry led George W. Bush by 6 points.  On Election Day, Kerry lost by 3 points.

Last week Reuters/Ipsos released a poll showing President Trump with a job approval of just 42%.  At first glance, this is not a bad number considering the media’s constant attacks on the President.

Reuters numbers are actually lower than the political reality.   The poll is made up of registered voters, but such polls are usually an under-representation.  “Likely voters” is a more accurate prediction of election outcomes.  Under those polling samples, Trump’s numbers tend to increase about 5%.

Reuters gave the Democrats 95 more survey responses than Republicans, weighting Democrats as 47% of the poll sample, compared to 38% Republicans.  This is a lopsided weighting in favor of the Democrats, giving them a 9-point advantage. In the most recent 2018 election, exit polls found that 37% of voters described themselves as Democrats and 33% as Republicans, which is only a 4-point advantage.

While President Trump could lose in the November 2020 election, any polling this far out is not a reliable predictor of this.

In Their Own Words:

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
  – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist.

Just the Facts

Next week I will add a new section to this weekly email called “Just the Facts” where I will pass along a web site link to one of our one-page “fact sheets” we have created on various issues over the years.

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AFA-IN: Was America Built on Slavery? Congressional Race Update

Media Effort Distorts True History of America

The New York Times has embarked on an effort to rewrite the history of the United States as a nation built upon slavery.  Calling it the “1619 Project,” the opening article is a whopping 7,600-word effort to look at 18th Century history through a liberal 21stcentury lens.  Joshua Lawson has written an excellent rebuttal to this effort in The Federalist.  Because much of the NYT’s ideology is already being inserted into the narrative of schools and universities, I wanted to pass along some portions of this important article for your consideration.

No, America Wasn’t Built On Slavery, But Faith That All Men Are Created Equal

The year 1619 was chosen for the Times’ “re-founding” to mark when the first slaves arrived in the English settlement of Jamestown.

Slavery was a heart-wrenching, obstacle during America’s birth, but by no objective analysis was it the central factor of the founding as the 1619 Project claims.

Slavery was and is an abomination. It is an evil part of America’s past—as well as that of nearly every nation on earth. The fact that slavery has a universal heritage does not absolve American slave owners, but it does provide a necessary historical context.

During the 17th century, slavery was, sadly, an accepted part of life throughout the world. By A.D. 1619, slavery had existed for more than 5000 years, dating back at least to Mesopotamia.

Written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the 7,600-word flagship essay of the 1619 Project asserts that “our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.”   Hannah-Jones claims, “white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for the hundreds of thousands of black people in their midst.” She provides no evidence or examples for this sweeping assertion. 

Jefferson’s original final draft of the Declaration explicitly referred to black slaves not as property but as men.    Letters written to John Jay show Alexander Hamilton hoping the Revolutionary War could lead to the emancipation of blacks and appraising them equal to whites in their abilities. Additional examples are plentiful.

The Founders were painfully aware of the cognitive dissonance of forming a nation under the proclamation that all were created equal while maintaining slavery. They also had to face the political reality that the 13 colonies could not be united in a new nation if they immediately abolished slavery.

With no other way to obtain the necessary support for unity and ratification, the Founders spitefully tolerated slavery’s existence, while also placing it on a path to extinction. Once the nation secured independence, American statesman of the Founding Era slashed away at slavery as quickly as prudence and political reality would allow.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the territory that would become the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1794, Congress barred American ships from engaging in the slave trade. Additional legislation in 1780 banned Americans from employment or investment in the international slave trade. Finally, the U.S. Congress officially banned the importation of slaves beginning on January 1, 1808, the earliest date allowed under the deal made to ratify the Constitution.

Far from the bastion of racism, hate and pro-slavery sentiment that the 1619 Project portrays, much of the United States was ahead of the world in ending the horror of slavery.  Shortly after the signing of the Declaration, northern states took the lead. By 1804, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had passed laws that immediately or gradually abolished slavery.

If the American Founding was grounded in slavery, and the Founders didn’t believe a word of the opening of the Declaration, how does one account for these actions?

According to Hannah-Jones, one of the “primary reasons” Americans declared independence was to preserve slavery, fearful of the “growing calls” to abolish the slave trade in London. However, a closer look shows the abolitionist movement didn’t have a truly organized presence in England until 1783 when the first petition was filed by Quakers. It wasn’t until 1787 that the influential Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded.

The 1619 Project is politically driven 2020 posturing dressed in the veneer of a historical “exposé.” By warping history, it hopes that dopamine hits of anger and injustice will prevent readers from engaging in objective analysis. Just in time to paint America as racist for the upcoming presidential election.

Leftists are banking that the outrage caused by the 1619 Project will provide them the political capital required to move to the next stage: a full reconfiguration of America into their image.

America does not need further tribal rhetoric tearing up what little societal cohesion remains. The nation certainly doesn’t benefit from Times writers conducting a growing chorus of anger and grievance.

Bryan Duncan In Concert

Dove and Grammy Award winning Christian artist, Bryan Duncan, is appearing in Noblesville on September 28that First Presbyterian Church.  As you may know, we have hosted Bryan for two Christmas concerts in Central and Northwest Indiana.  Proceeds of this concert go to help with addiction ministries in Hamilton County.

Bryan is an incredible talent, and a blessing to see in concert. His dozen #1 hits include: Love Me With Your Life, A Heart Like Mine, Step by Step, Love Takes Time, Traces of Heaven, You Don’t Leave Me Lonely, and Into My Heart.  You may want to learn more and purchase tickets here: https://www.fpc-noblesville.org

And Now There Are Three

Former State Representative Steve Braun has officially announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional district being vacated by Susan Brooks. Braun ran for Congress the last election cycle, but lost, many believe, due to a mail hit piece that foolishly used the term “arm and a leg” against then State Rep. Jim Baird, who lost his left arm in Viet Nam in 1971.  Baird is now the 4th District Congressman.

Braun is a formidable candidate if for no other reason than being the brother of US Senator Mike Braun and having the ability to self-fund a lot of his campaign.

Last night, a reported with WTHR tweeted that Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell will announce her entrance into the race.

Micah Beckwith, a small businessman and pastor at Northview Church is the only other candidate on the Republican side to have announced.  Beckwith recently had over 250 people at his kick-off announcement diner featuring former Congressman Marlin Stutzman. Other possible names include former State Sen Mike Delph, and State Sen. John Ruckelshaus.

In Their Own Words:

A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.” – G.K. Chesterton

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