Benjamin Franklin on Conscience

"A good conscience is a continual Christmas." – Benjamin Franklin "How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." – Benjamin Franklin


New Religions: A Small Sect Makes it to the Supreme Court

By Monte Sahlin – The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted an appeal from a religion that you probably never heard of until it hit the news yesterday. Summum is rooted in gnostic Christianity (or, at least modern understandings of gnosticism) and ancient Egyptian religion (or, at least contemporary understandings of ancient Egyptian religion). It was founded in 1975 and has its headquarters in (of all places) Utah.

The case before the Supreme Court is based on the fact that the small town in Utah has a large, stone monument in the city park of the Ten Commandments. The believers in Summum petitioned the city council to add another monument with their seven principles of good behavior. The city council refused, thereby establishing the religions of the Ten Commandments (Judaism and Christianity) over the little sect of Summum. The small religion has raised enough funds to hire attorneys and appeal their case all the way to the top court in America.

There are serious constitutional issues about religious liberty in this case even if you have a hard time taking Summum seriously. But, I want to focus on something else: The way new religions are being invented and why so many people are moving away from the large, historic faiths.


BREAKING – More Cooperation Planned between the United Nations and World Religions

By Jonathan Gallagher, Ph.D. – New York, NY, USA… [December 16, 2008] Representatives from the United Nations and religious leaders met together with non-government organizations in New York Tuesday to promote greater cooperation between the UN and religious groups worldwide. The intent in the words of the organizers is “to explore new ways and means to advance cooperation between the world's religious communities and the United Nations.”


Light rising in the darkness

Isaiah 58:10..If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.


VIDEO: 60th Anniversary – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (HRAC)

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."


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Roosevelt's or Reagan's America? A Time for Choosing

By John Marini – Imprimis – In light of the differences between the ideas and policies of Roosevelt and Reagan, it is not surprising that political debates today are so bitter. Indeed, they resemble the religious quarrels that once convulsed western society. The progressive defenders of the bureaucratic state see government as the source of benevolence, the moral embodiment of the collective desire to bring about social justice as a practical reality. They believe that only mean-spirited reactionaries can object to a government whose purpose is to bring about this good end. Defenders of the older constitutionalism, meanwhile, see the bureaucratic state as increasingly tyrannical and destructive of inalienable rights.


Fifteen years later, home-school parents say legal battle was worth it

Fifteen years later, home-school parents say legal battle was worth it

By Lorie A. Shane – Michigan Education Report – Chris DeJonge was in her second week of homeschooling when the knock on the door came. She opened it to find two employees from the local office of the Michigan Department of Social Services (now the Department of Human Services), who informed her that her children were truants and that she and her husband were breaking the law by teaching them at home.


OPINION: Obama vs. Pope Benedict (Washington Times)

"The first thing I will do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," Obama said at an address before Planned Parenthood on July 17, 2007. And if he does, it will trigger a harsh response from Pope Benedict XVI, as well as a political revolt among practicing American Catholics.


An idea lost on fanatics: Those behind the Mumbai attacks will never fathom religious liberty (LA Times)

By Tim Rutten – Los Angeles Times – The places the killers struck — luxury hotels, a railway station, a hospital for women and children, the Chabad Jewish center — are all powerfully linked in the popular mind with the modern world. As the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy has argued, the jihadis have linked anti-Americanism, anti-British sentiment (the assumption is that London is Washington's lap dog) and anti-Semitic antagonism toward Zionism into a potent new ideology. To the extent it seems to find an increasingly sympathetic hearing in some fashionable sectors of the intellectual West, including the U.S., Levy correctly labels it "the socialism of imbeciles."