Though most Americans desire peace and freedom in the world, the Founding Fathers consistently stated that wherever the principles of ordered liberty arose among other nations of the world, America would be a friend and a sympathizer, but that it should not attempt to impose these principles politically upon another country.
The Founding Fathers formed America as a republic. The interests of government were limited primarily to protecting freedom, and in those relatively few instances in which the “general welfare” was involved, the interests of government might include other duties as well. Post roads, the regulation of weights and measurements, the enactment of laws to protect copyrights and patents, a navy to protect American shores and shipping, the regulation of new territories until they could become states — these were the sorts of general welfare functions that the Constitution allowed the federal government to undertake.
America has a dismal track record in imposing its values upon the rest of the world — as demonstrated most recently during the massive eruptions in the Arab world. President Obama declared on March 3 of the Libyan dictator, “Let me be very unambiguous about this. Colonel Qaddafi needs to step down from power and leave.” Whatever moral persuasion the President assumed he had gained by genuflecting to Islam and the Muslim world, it was far too little to affect the aging dictator of the sparsely populated nation of Libya. Not only is Gadhafi not out of power, but he may succeed in the military re-conquest of the rebel parts of his land although the outcome will depend upon our decision to send military forces to oppose his old regime.
Frank W. Buckles, the last remaining U.S. veteran of the First World War, died last Sunday at the age of 110. There are now only two people alive in the world who served in the military during the conflict which was long known simply as “the Great War.” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki observed:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates complained in his February 23 speech at the National Defense University that our European NATO allies are not spending enough money on defense. These nations spend a much smaller percentage of the GDP and national budget on national defense than America does. Gate’s complaint, though, raises a more fundamental question: why is the United States still in NATO?
President Terry O’Neil (left) of the National Organization of Women announced on March 1: “The bishops have not been able to convince Catholic women to not take birth control. We know this because 98 percent of sexually active [Catholic] women take birth control at some point in their lives — just like 98 percent of sexually active non-Catholic women take birth control at some point in their lives. So the bishops have failed and the evangelical preachers that don’t want their women to take birth control — they have failed.”
The 70-year-old Rabbinical Alliance of America has called upon Republican primary voters in South Carolina to reject the candidacy of Mitt Romney. The socially conservative organization — which represents more than 850 orthodox rabbis — is asking Christians in the state to bypass the former Massachusetts Governor on the ballot because of his stance against certain traditional values, specifically his support of the homosexual lifestyle as acceptable and normal behavior.
A broad coalition of non-Catholic Christians as well as Jews has sent President Obama a letter protesting the new and narrower definition of “religious employer” for purposes of the exemption of the ObamaCare contraceptives mandate. Among the variety of organizations signing the letter were colleges, rescue missions, and religious schools — all of which would be required, under the definition now used by the Obama administration, to provide not only birth control but also abortifacient (abortion-inducing) drugs and sterilizations without a co-payment.
The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence of South Carolina is a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He has remained with that old, American Episcopal Church, which during the Revolutionary War had been the church for American patriots who, for logical reasons, could no longer belong to a church intimately connected with the British Crown, despite its many changes.
According to a study published in the Journal of Religion and Health recently, regular attendance at religious services produces a more optimistic outlook on life and a reduced inclination to depression. Those respondents to the survey who attended religious services more than once a week in the prior month were 56 percent more likely to be above the median score on a measurement for optimism than those who had not attended religious services at all. Respondents who attended weekly religious services were 22 percent less likely to be depressed than those who did not attend religious services.