Opinion on COVID-19 (Indiana)

Fellow Hoosiers –

Link shows various data/graphs on CV19 in Indiana updated daily.

https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/

What never seems to be discussed are the death ‘rates’ – BOTTOM LINE!! In Indiana:

51.8% or 1324 of 2555 deaths to date are age 80+; over 1/2!  48% of deaths (1220) are in Long Term Care facilities.

LESS THAN 3% OF DEATHS (74) ARE UNDER AGE 50!!!  NEGLIGIBLE FOR UNDER 20!   This is the vast majority of ‘working parents’ and their school age kids!! What is the big deal about not going back to work full time and opening schools full time (at least in Indiana? I suspect these stats would hold through most of the country.)

Less that 10% of ICU beds are CV19! Only 2.6% of ventilators in use are CV19! Hospitalizations have steadily decreased with a ‘stabilization’ (flat curve) past few weeks. NO serious ‘spike’ trend per se. Why more positive cases?  Duh! Significantly more testing!!!

Yet the ‘fear mongering’ continues! Why? – BLAME TRUMP!!!

AFA-IN: Racism is Your Fault

“Racism is Your Fault, You Just Don’t Realize It”

There are a lot of really bad ideas swirling around our culture right now.  (That headline is one of them.)

Among many bad ideas, I am concerned about the things being embraced by various people and groups in a manner that has been termed “virtue signaling.”  If you have not heard of this, think of Nike’s new commercials decrying racism, as if the whole world was eagerly waiting to know what a shoe company thinks.  After all, we all know that the shoes we wear impact how we speak and behave towards each other.   We must all think good things about Nike now. Their shoes care.

This is akin to white guilt.  It is something I also do not understand.  I have enough of my own faults to deal with in the here and now.  I do not need to take on the sins of people I never knew, people I had no impact upon, and people who did things 150 years ago that I wouldn’t ever do.  I can declare such things as evil, but I feel no need to wring my hands and apologize for the wrongs of the ancient dead.

The problem of humanity is sin, and it is universal.  Racism is a sin.  It is not a sin unique to one’s color or to this point in history, and it is certainly not unique to America.  (For starters, we did a lot wrong, but we are also one of the only nations to ever violently spill our own blood to end slavery.)   Yet, this issue has taken on almost a cultic status in some circles, including churches, as the be all and end all defining issue.

So, with the understanding that racism is wrong, how do we address it without embracing wrong ideas or ideologies?

To perhaps jump start your thinking on this . . .  I would encourage you and your family to make a point of watching the incredible thinker and speaker, Voddie Bachman, in this important talk titled, “Ethnic Gnosticism.”    I believe you will find this educational and something helpful for discussion of this within your family.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip3nV6S_fYU

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of Indiana, All rights reserved.

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AFA-IN: Racism is Your Fault

“Racism is Your Fault, You Just Don’t Realize It”

There are a lot of really bad ideas swirling around our culture right now.  (That headline is one of them.)

Among many bad ideas, I am concerned about the things being embraced by various people and groups in a manner that has been termed “virtue signaling.”  If you have not heard of this, think of Nike’s new commercials decrying racism, as if the whole world was eagerly waiting to know what a shoe company thinks.  After all, we all know that the shoes we wear impact how we speak and behave towards each other.   We must all think good things about Nike now. Their shoes care.

This is akin to white guilt.  It is something I also do not understand.  I have enough of my own faults to deal with in the here and now.  I do not need to take on the sins of people I never knew, people I had no impact upon, and people who did things 150 years ago that I wouldn’t ever do.  I can declare such things as evil, but I feel no need to wring my hands and apologize for the wrongs of the ancient dead.

The problem of humanity is sin, and it is universal.  Racism is a sin.  It is not a sin unique to one’s color or to this point in history, and it is certainly not unique to America.  (For starters, we did a lot wrong, but we are also one of the only nations to ever violently spill our own blood to end slavery.)   Yet, this issue has taken on almost a cultic status in some circles, including churches, as the be all and end all defining issue.

So, with the understanding that racism is wrong, how do we address it without embracing wrong ideas or ideologies?

To perhaps jump start your thinking on this . . .  I would encourage you and your family to make a point of watching the incredible thinker and speaker, Voddie Bachman, in this important talk titled, “Ethnic Gnosticism.”    I believe you will find this educational and something helpful for discussion of this within your family.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip3nV6S_fYU

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AFA-IN: Riots in Indiana & A True Civil Rights Leader

The Governor’s Finest Hour?

I don’t even know where to begin.  What is happening in America right now is beyond heartbreaking.   I saw a meme yesterday that said, “Did we skip the murder hornets?  It feels like we skipped the murder hornets.”  It seems like 2020 is just going from bad to worse, from one unexpected crisis, to another.

If ever our nation needed fervent prayer it is now.

News events evoke my emotions, but they rarely truly make me sad. I have a sense of sadness for America that I have not felt to this degree in several years.  My sadness really set in when I saw pictures of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Indianapolis circle spray-painted repeatedly with “BLM” – black lives matter.

First, all lives matter.  (As a Christian I believe that there is only one race, the human race, which began from one couple created by God. When injustice hurts one it hurts us as a people.)  What else on earth says black lives matter more than a civil war monument erected to remember the lives and service of 210,000 Hoosiers given to end slavery?  It sits on top of a civil war museum set up in 1918 with artifacts from Indiana’s Union soldiers.

Such ignorance of the unique goodness of our nation’s history saddens and deeply concerns me.  The hatred of America, which has offered more opportunity and fairness than any nation in history, by self-loathing Americans, is something I simply cannot understand.  (I mostly blame the indoctrination of young people in various forums in the past 30 years.  This misinformation has allowed these evil forces of left-wing, America-hating, political anarchist to hoodwink many.)

It was historian William Durant who warned, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”

I am going to say something that is taboo.  What happened to George Floyd is horrible and deserves condemnation and swift justice.  It will get both.  But is it the worst thing ever?Does it justify the worst riots and looting since the late 1960’s?   What has happened in response to one man’s death is so out of proportion that it is baffling.  Left wing anarchists are hijacking this event and making a tragedy much worse.  They are doing it for a national political agenda that has nothing to do with George Floyd.

Here is my uh oh, statement.  In 2015, 258 African Americans were killed by police officers, be it for armed robbery or any other reason, or no reason.  That same year, nearly 6,000 African Americans died on the streets of our cities at the hands of other African Americans. (Around 90% of black homicide victims are killed by black criminals.)   When will this loss of life directly impacting so many families be addressed by the media?   Does that loss not demand concern, attention, compassion and solutions from all people?

I have had several policy differences with Governor Eric Holcomb.  Yet, I have also known him for twenty years, and I personally like him.  He does many things well.

On Monday, the Governor, along with the head of the State Police and National Guard, gave a press conference that I think was one of the Governor’s finest moments to date.

In an emotional speech, Governor Holcomb spoke the feelings that I hope a vast majority of Hoosier hold.   Here are some of his comments:

“My fellow Hoosiers. What started out as an understandable and needed response to the disgusting, gross, violent and fatal injustice against Mr. George Floyd has turned into anything but a proper time of mourning.”

“Peacefully protesting and demonstrating for this cause is a noble one, rightly protected by our First Amendment. I hope the peacemakers continue to express themselves and not allow their message to be overwhelmed by the troublemakers seeking to inflict pain on the innocent.” 

“Make no mistake about it: No citizen has a right to destroy, vandalize or threaten another Hoosiers’ safety or property. Coordinated efforts to breaking in and entering, shooting at law enforcement officials and starting fires has taken on a tone of organized crime and will be responded to accordingly. Therefore, Indiana will continue assisting local communities with the needed state resources to enforce the rule of law and protect lives and property.”

“Violence in the streets makes progress on all these fronts harder and sets us back from forming that more perfect union.”
“Folks who are seeking to destroy that service and their memories are not in this to peacefully protest.”  [On the desecration of state monuments].
“I am quite frankly amazed every single time I see these women and men put this uniform on and the restraint they exhibit in walking toward danger and their attempt to diffuse it.” [On law enforcement response].
“We are seeing those peaceful demonstrations get hijacked by those who have only one goal in mind, and that’s to create chaos and destruction in their path. We have to be ready and we are.”

                                                      —-

More than anything else, our nation needs spiritual healing.  A verse you probably know gives us a model for this in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Wait, Is COVID Over Now?

Prior to our nation being on fire, I had intended to discuss the impact of COVID on young people this week.  I guess COVID is over now.  I don’t see social distancing among the rioters filling our streets or any concerns over this.

Here is a teaser from the article that I was going to pull from:

The COVID-19 lockdown is hard on everyone emotionally, but adolescents are the most psychologically vulnerable population. Many teenagers, who tend to have difficulty understanding—and perhaps regulating—negative emotions during normal times, are likely feeling emotionally confused, if not totally overwhelmed, by the current pandemic crisis.”   You can read: How to Help Teens Navigate the Disruption and Uncertainty of a Pandemic here: https://ifstudies.org/blog/how-to-help-teens-navigate-the-distruption-and-uncertainty-of-a-pandemic

Indiana Election Results

I will review and comment on yesterday’s election results next week.

A Civil Rights Leader Lays It Out

One of my heroes is Robert Woodson.  He has been a leader for decades working in inner cities on the problems of fatherlessness, crime and poverty which are all three directly linked.  I have had the honor to meet and speak with him several times to discuss family policy matters.   He was on Tucker Carlson last night.   Here is his take on these riots:  http://video.foxnews.com/v/6161247705001/

In Their Own Words:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate… Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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AFAIN: IN Unemployment Skyrockets; Marital Happiness

Indiana Hit Hard Economically by Coronavirus

Over the weekend, some staggering numbers were released in regard to the economic hit Indiana has taken from the Coronavirus shutdowns.

More than half a million Hoosiers (546,000) are now unemployed. This is a number five times as many were unemployed in April.  Indiana now has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Our 16.9% unemployment rate easily surpassed its previous high of 12.6% in 1982. The national unemployment rate for April was 14.7%.  Before the Covid-19 shutdowns, Indiana had an unemployment rate of only 3.0%.

Indiana’s unemployment level is much better than Michigan which has a 22.7% unemployment rate and about the same as Ohio (16.8%).   Illinois has a 15.4% unemployment rate.  Kentucky also has a 15.4% rate.

Howard County (Kokomo) has the highest county unemployment rate at a staggering 34.1%.  It is followed by Elkhart County at 29.3% and LaGrange County at 28.8%.  You can see a list of all 92 Indiana County unemployment rates here:  http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/docs/state/rank/2020/rankmth04.pdf

Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state could see a drop of more than $3 billion in tax revenue over the next 14 months of its current two-year $34 billion budget.  Spending cuts are expected and necessary.  More than half, 57%, of the state budget goes to education.  A state government hiring freeze has been put into place.

Nearly 2,000 Hoosiers have died from the COVID-19 virus.

To be Most Happy, You Should Marry Your Soul Mate 

During the COVID shutdown, I would bet that a lot of families watched more movies or TV series than they might have without a national quarantine.   While left on my own, I will invariably choose an old western, war movie, or police show from years ago.   But if my wife and I are watching something, and sometimes even with the kids too, we are much more likely to see a romantic comedy than exploding tanks or screaming Indians.

You may have noticed in modern movies that there is an ideal of finding one’s soulmate in romantic movies.  Modern progressive ideology of a marriage being about self-fulfillment, more than commitment, is clearly evident in our culture.

This is not to say one should marry someone whom they don’t enjoy simply because they are willing to marry.   But if marriage is about self-fulfillment and the things that two people do together, what happens when times get tough or if one partner develops dementia or a disease?  What if sailing, golf, or travel are no longer possible or no longer enjoyable together?

If marriage is about love and companionship between partners who can largely concentrate on doing fun things they like together, does this model have pitfalls, or does it make for more happier marriages as might often be seen on a sitcom or the Hallmark Channel?

The proponents of this more utilitarian approach to marriage do not deny that it will lead to more divorce as couples split when a marriage loses its usefulness for self-fulfillment, and a spouse simply moves on.  However, they argue that their approach makes for more happier marriages, the cream of the crop theory so to speak, as those who are not fulfilled separate and those who remain are the happiest.

Divorce has climbed dramatically in the US and in societies where the belief that marriage should only last as long as matrimony brings self-fulfillment.  Yet, has this truly brought happiness?

Bradford Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies has a fascinating article about this in which he notes that while divorce has increased dramatically since the early 1970’s, marital happiness has not.    About 67% of husbands and wives were “very happy” about their marriage in the early 1970s, but only about 62% of them were very happy by the late-1980s, according to the General Social Survey.

What is especially striking about this decline in marital quality is that, according to progressive logic, marital quality should have improved in the 1970s and 80’s as fewer and fewer Americans married and many supposedly second-rate marriages were dissolved.

Wilcox astutely notes, “What proponents of the progressive view did not really anticipate is this: if your parents, best friend, and sister all get divorced, your confidence in your own marriage is likely to take a hit. That’s because how we think about and approach our own union is deeply affected by what we see happening in the marriages of our friends and family members. Worries about the future of your own marriage, in turn, reduce your sense of emotional security, willingness to invest in your relationship, and happiness in your own marriage.”

In his own recent study of California women, Wilcox concludes that how one views the permanency of marriage has a big impact upon marital happiness.  He found, 82% of those who embrace an ethic of marital permanence report being satisfied in their marriages, compared to 77% of those who take the more conditional or functional view of marriage.

          Why?  Wilcox asks.  “In most marriages, knowing that you and your spouse are deeply committed to one another, come what may, fosters many other marital goods: more trust, more emotional security, more mutually beneficial investments in one another and the marriage—both financially and emotionally—more fidelity, and a clearer vision for a joint future.  All of which translate, for the average couple, into higher levels of marital quality, especially compared to couples who do not share a commitment to marriage ‘til death do us part.

Voter Guide Reminder:

Before you vote on Tuesday, you may want to look at this online voter guide:  www.ivoterguide.com

In Their Own Words:

“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity, I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”  – Alexander Hamilton

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AFAIN: Court Says “No” to Governor; Covid & Education

“There’s the Wind Up . . . the Pitch . . . a Swing and a Miss”

In a telling move, last week, Governor Eric Holcomb asked the Indiana Supreme Court to affirm his desire to name a replacement for the office of Attorney General.  This request came after the court issued a mild rebuke to Curtis Hill for an alleged incident at a legislative party in a crowded bar.

As I explained last week, the court was pretty clear that it did not want to harm the Attorney General’s career or to make this an action that could be used for political gain.  Had they wanted to remove Hill from office, and allow the Governor to name a replacement, they would have removed his license for more than 30 days and not automatically reinstated it.  (That actually was the recommendation made to the court by a former Supreme Court Justice, but the court clearly thought it was an excessive punishment.   They cut it in half and made sure it had no real effect on Hill’s ability to lead the office.)

It should have not been a surprise to anyone when on Monday the court, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, refused to say that the Governor could replace Hill.

The Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and to a lesser extent, the Governor, have been looking for ways to remove Hill from office.  Last week, the Chairman was on WOWO radio in Ft. Wayne and was asked if the party leadership would support Hill in November, (if party delegates nominate him in June).  He said it wasn’t likely.

In other words, the head of the Republican party would rather hand the office over to either of two Democrats who oppose every policy issue in the Republican Party Platform, than to help Curtis Hill win.   (Even Hill’s Republican opponents running for the convention nomination will say that he has had a strong policy record as Attorney General that they intend to follow.)  

This exemplifies a complaint I often hear from the grassroots:  Democrat party leaders are thoroughly committed ideologues.  Whereas, Republican party leaders are jetsetters in a club.   (The Democrats have a candidate in Joe Biden who undeniably, and without question, has groped multiple women on camera, and they don’t care.  They know that politics isn’t about appearances, it is about winning an ideological war. They think Biden can get the black vote that Bernie Sanders couldn’t.  They need that voting block to win so they can implement their agenda. It is that simple.)

In 2016 Curtis Hill received a record setting 1.6 million votes, winning 62% of the vote, and becoming the first African-American to serve as Attorney General in Indiana.  President Trump won Indiana with 56%. Governor Holcomb won with 51%.

A Partisan Divide is Growing Over Covid-19

The public response to the coronavirus outbreak was initially not very partisan. Americans were worried and they rallied behind leaders in Washington as the world grappled with this new threat.  However, as the crisis went from a few weeks of quarantine to two months, the crisis became increasingly controversial and views began to change.

According to daily polling by Morning Consult 73% of Democrats are currently “very” concerned about the outbreak.  This is a feeling that is 30-points higher among Democrats than Republicans, only 43% of whom are still very concerned.   In late March the gap was half what it is now between Democrats and Republicans – (76% to 61%).

Another large gap exists concerning the economic harm caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns.  While more than half (55%) of Republican say that they are now more concerned about the economic impacts than the health impacts of the outbreak, only 16% of Democrats feel this way.

Republicans are diametrically opposed on President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.  He is minus 73 for Democrat voters.  He has a 72% approval among Republicans.

Morning Consult also found that Republican voters are roughly twice as likely to say that they would feel comfortable attending a political rally in the next six months than Democrats based upon what they know about COVID-19.    Republicans and Independents are significantly more confident about the United States’ ability to handle a second wave of Coronavirus than are Democrats in terms of both economic and health impacts.

COVID’s Impact on Education Views

About 55 million students in America have been disrupted by the Coronavirus. Schools all across the nation have closed and children sent home to learn through online education tools. Some states are considering staying closed in the fall or doing a hybrid of home and brick and mortar schooling.

How has this dramatic change impacted views about education?

A new RealClear Opinion Research poll of registered voters finds a big increase in parents who might home school their children after the pandemic ends, and many more are supportive of having more educational choices.

The poll finds that 40% of families are more likely to use homeschooling or virtual school after lockdown restrictions are lifted.  Two-thirds of parents support having the choice of a public, home, or private school.

Interestingly, among those who said that they would be more likely to choose home or virtual education, 53% were Asian parents, 50% were African-American and 36% where white.

Among the 64% who support having a choice of public or private education, 75% were Republicans, and 69% lived in urban areas.  Seven-in-ten support a government funded scholarship or a tool like a voucher for school choice.

Visit Our Free Online Voter Guide

Don’t forget to check out i-voterguide before you vote by clicking here: www.ivoterguide.com

In Their Own Words:

“Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.”  – Daniel Webster, October 5, 1840

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Demand a COVID-19 Vaccine Free from Abortion

Call to Action

There is absolutely no reason why a vaccine for COVID-19 should be connected to abortion. But that is exactly what may happen in the coming months.

TAKE ACTION NOW!!
URGE ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE AN ETHICAL COVID-19 VACCINE!!

Among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies.

There is NO NEED to further exploit the bodies of aborted children.

Other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available!

In fact, they are regularly used for producing vaccines and are being used by some drug companies to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) along with leaders of many healthcare, bioethics, and pro-life organizations, is urging the Trump Administration to make sure that vaccines for COVID-19 are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.

Demand a COVID-19 Vaccine Free from Abortion

Background

The coalition letter expresses strong support for efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible, but also strongly urges the federal government to “ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited.”

To view all of the signatories and to read the full text of the letter, click here.


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AFAIN: Americans Looking to God, Why is Your Church Closed?

What Could the Corona Virus Crisis Mean for Americans?

There is an interesting poll from McLaughlin & Associates which finds that almost half (44%) of Americans believe that the deadly Coronavirus is a “wake up call for us to turn back to God.”  Nearly a third (29%) think that this could be the last days predicted in the Bible or a judgement from God.   These groups say Americans need to embrace faith and return to religion.

The poll found that 22% of self-identified non-Christian respondents and 40% of Christians said that this crisis has resulted in more interest in God and spiritual matters.

The sponsor of the poll stated, “Americans in near full lockdown are anxious, and understandably so. Yet millions are turning to God, the Bible and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time. That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.”

Many people are skeptical of polls depending upon who is surveyed and how questions are worded.  This is one poll we can hope and pray is accurate and has found a true feeling of a need for a spiritual revival in our nation.

Governor’s Order Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Last week I reported on the letter signed by half of the Indiana General Assembly sent to Governor Eric Holcomb in response to this crisis and scarce medical supplies.  The legislators specifically addressed the fact that abortion clinics are operating as usual while dental offices and other facilities have shut down.

The Governor responded with an executive order regarding non-essential surgeries.  The order was a good move, but it left open a loophole leaving abortion decisions up to the abortionist.   Predictably, the abortion industry has said that it will move forward performing abortions just as it has before the order.

A second letter has been sent to the Governor this week, asking for this loophole to be closed.  It has been signed by dozens of doctors, nurses and medical staff.

We will see if the Governor responds to this during what many say will be the worst two weeks of this pandemic in Indiana.  This is a time when scarce medical resources belong in the hands of those fighting to save lives, not those ending them.

It’s Easter, Why is Your Church Closed?

Before you answer this question, let me provide an answer.  Churches in Indiana have closed (physically, not electronically) because they care about people and their physical safety.

I would caution you not to say, or to think, that churches are closed because the Governor has asked them, or ordered them, to close.  It’s a fine line distinction, and we are called under Romans 13 to respect those in authority, but the government closing churches has as much constitutional validity as the government closing down newspapers.

The Governor has also asked abortion clinics to close. They haven’t closed because they love money.

Other Harms from this Virus and the Economic Shutdown

There is more to this crisis than just the risk of catching COVID 19. Last week, the head of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration detailed what she described as “alarming numbers” concerning mental health and addiction in the state during this crisis.

Dr. Jennifer Sullivan said during the Governor’s afternoon briefing that Indiana’s 211 hotline, which helps with mental health services, including suicide prevention, went from receiving roughly 1,000 calls a day to 25,000 calls a day. And calls to Indiana’s addiction hotlines went from an average of 20 a week to 20 per day.
Alcohol sales in Indiana have skyrocketed 55% with beer sales increasing by 62% and wine sales increasing by 42%.

It is an undeniable fact, overshadowed by the virus infection and death charts, that as unemployment climbs so do many social disruptions and problems, some of which may also lead to health declines and death.

In Their Own Words:

 “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”   – President Abraham Lincoln, 1864, upon receipt of the gift of a Bible.

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