You Call This Education? I Don’t Think So!

A confession before an observation: I could care less whether or not there is a Daddy-Daughter school dance in New York City public schools or anywhere else for that matter!

I am, however, very concerned our public school systems and parents are squabbling over “political correctness” and “Inclusion” while education in the public school system has become a national crisis.

Parents and American taxpayers should be infuriated over the failure of our education system to carry out their principle charge…educating America’s youth!  The disgraceful education received by our youth is one from which this nation may never recover.  America’s public-school system needs a total re-start beginning on the local level.

Let’s be real, the duty and responsibility of training and discipline begins at home and it is not the schools’ system’s duty to teach moral values, an appreciation for learning, or acceptable behavior.  The American family is in crisis.  More than 20 million children are fatherless and many more (estimate 33%) have never known the guiding hand of a father.  Too many mothers are bearing the burden of not only parenting, but also struggling and sacrificing to supply basic needs for their children.

Sadly, there is a breakdown of discipline in our schools and survival seems to be the measurement of success for students and teachers.  Administrators order teachers to promote students through the school system, giving them passing grades for nothing more than showing up for class!

No wonder America’s youth are ignorant of phonics, cannot write cursive, are unable to read, conduct simple math, and have no knowledge of history or understanding of American government.

School administrators and teachers fret over “Inclusion” and parents seem oblivious to the reality their children’s education is being sacrificed.  Politicians and liberal media beat the drum for irrational Gender-Neutral matters, while students lack textbooks of their own and have no concept of homework.  Education has been usurped by liberal indoctrination and “political correctness” and America’s youth are the losers.

Tell the students the truth…they do not and never will live in a “fair world”; the best evidence of that is what today’s public schools’ call “education”!

Copyright 2018 – Travis D. Smith

TRAGEDY STRIKES THE HEARTLAND OF AMERICA

After a 9-year assault on “white America” (I hate to use that term…I am an American!) led by the Obama Administration and gleefully embraced by liberals who hate America and Judeo-Christian values (marriage, family, and home), we now read the largest drop of life expectancy in America is among middle-age “White Americans”.

Liberal educators, politicians, and media buffoons, got their “Hope and Change” in 2008 with the election of Barack Hussein Obama and by 2016 America became a nation feeling hopeless, believing nothing would change…on the brink of spiritual, moral, and economic bankruptcy.

Only by the sovereignty and providence of God have we seen Donald Trump elected President (and no, he is not perfect) and a non-politician take the helm of state and begin to push back against a “hate ideology” that left so many Americans despondent.

Why have Americans turned to drugs, including the epidemic of opioids, alcohol, and pursued sexual depravity at the risk of their health and future?  Why is the heartland of middle America morally imploding?

Yesterday’s report in USA Today suggests, “The problem is concentrated in rural, largely white counties that have often struggled for many years with stagnant wages, unemployment, poverty and the loss of major industries that fueled local economies…”

Predictably, Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, suggests a change of policy “directed at strengthening the middle class” will be the answer.

No, Mr. Woolf, a change of policy is not what America needs.  America needs a spiritual revival.  Our nation needs to humble herself, return to God, repent of our sins, and embrace the fundamental spiritual principles that made us the greatest nation in the world.

Although addressed to Israel, I close with a verse that should be the passion of every believer.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Copyright 2018 – Travis D. Smith

The Naivety of “Taking the Knee”

I purposed to allow this blog to lie dormant except for the most pertinent concerns; however,  the continuing offense and collusion of NFL management, owners and players provoked me to offer my view (if only for my well-being).

I hope the majority of Americans recognize the “take the knee” protests practiced by NFL players is staged and encouraged by liberals promoting a socialist, anti-American ideology, using young millionaire athletes for their own ends.

The majority of professional athletes “taking a knee” are little more than young naive college graduates.   They have been the objects of praise and adulation their whole lives for no other reason than they can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than the average.  Apart from playing football and the wealth that comes with stardom, they are like the majority of young Americans…searching for purpose and core values.   Many of these bigger than life athletes have been coddled by parents, pampered by coaches and are ill-equipped for anything more than the games they play.

There are a few athletes in professional sports who have a story to tell and inspire others to rise above mediocrity and become successful, productive citizens; however, they are the exception.

The “take the knee” gang inspires nothing and no one.  They inflame prejudice, provoke division, and dispirit the downhearted.   They live in gated communities, enjoy the luxury of multi-million dollar estates, and on Sunday “take the knee” piously suggesting they identify with millions of fans who cannot afford the expense of parking at the stadium let alone the price of admission!

Who is to blame for giving naive young men the privilege of offending an American public?  

We are!  We are guilty of idolizing professional athletes, showering them with applause and adulation, and nurturing in them a misguided notion their underdeveloped thoughts and opinions deserve expression on America’s biggest stage.  We are guilty of paying taxes that build stadiums and then privilege these misguided young adults with an opportunity to offend sons, daughters, spouses, and parents whose loved ones died in the line of duty!

We are to blame for electing politicians, Democrats and Republicans, who are anti-American liberals, socialists, and marxists!  We are to blame for being silent when politicians, main stream news reporters, teachers, professors, community leaders, and professional athletes denigrate our nation, erode our Constitutional liberties, and assault America’s core-ideals with impunity!

Reflecting a Marxist ideology, liberals veil the offense of “take the knee” protests in the principle of “free speech”, but loathe those who point out their ignorance and hypocrisy.  

The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”  Americans are protected from a repressive government that would silence its citizens; however, the right of “free speech” does not extend to a private work place, whether it is a Mom and Pop Pizzeria, local McDonald’s franchise or an NFL stadium.

The hypocrisy of the NFL on this point is undeniable.   As a corporation, the NFL did not hesitate to silence the Dallas Cowboys when they wanted to display a miniscule helmet decal in support of law enforcement after five police officers were slain in the line of duty in 2016.   However, the same NFL management supports and tacitly encourages its players to “take the knee” supporting liberal, anti-American speech that offends patriotic Americans.

Wake up America!  You will not give a kid wearing a McDonald’s uniform a free pass on offensive speech.  You will not allow a police officer to disparage you and justify his actions as “free speech”.   Why then will you give the NFL and its players the right to defame America’s flag and National Anthem?

A liberal, socialist ideology is driving the dialog and young NFL players “taking the knee” are pawns of those whose goal is the denigration of American patriotism and the erosion of American Constitutional liberties.

Copyright – Travis D. Smith

“Never Trumpers”

The anarchist spirit of the “Never Trump” movement in our society is not only a challenge to our democracy, but also an act of defiance against the will of “We The People”.

The ability of real-time mass communications coupled with intrusive social media platforms gives radicals an opportunity to organize and foment a revolutionary ideology that is borderline hysteria. Pairing a spirit of rebellion with a general public’s ignorance of America’s history and our Constitutional form of government and the stage is set for an erosion of our laws and individual liberties.

Like sheep led to the slaughter, many young Americans are blindly following socialist anarchists bent on eroding the underpinnings of our republic and destroying America.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The Tragic Consequences Of Silence

* The following article is generated out of concern for the absence of pastors and Christian laypeople in the democratic process.  At a time our Constitutional liberties are under assault by the progressive, militant left, professing Christians are MIA.  Last Wednesday evening, May 15, 2017, my wife and I spoke before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, a committee that is formed every 20 years and tasked with hearing the voice of Florida citizens concerning revisions to the Florida Constitution.  The progressive left dominated the meeting in their attendance and agenda, while the presence of conservative voices was pathetically minuscule.

Deafening silence, detachment, distance, disengagement, disorganization and moral desensitization are but a few words that come to mind when I ponder how far the average American stands from the political arena.   There is an even greater lack of participation in our democracy among those who profess to be Christians .

I have attended school board meetings, city and county commissioner meetings, and political party meetings for more than a decade, and can attest that few pastors or professing Christians in Tampa Bay engage in public forums to express opinions, concerns or outrage over laws, ordinances and public policies that not only assail biblical morality and freedoms, but left unchallenged are tools to advance the erosion of our families, communities, state and nation.

Those of us who attend and participate in the democratic process have had our eyes opened to the organized forces of liberal socialists whose ideas and politics are antithetical to America’s heritage.  Many who practice liberal politics are strongly adversarial toward traditional marriage, family, morality and decency.  Their efforts are often demonstrated in forms of mob violence, attacks on free speech on college campuses, and shutting down conservative ideas in the public forum.  School boards, city and county commissioner meetings, along with political rallies have become the staging ground for militant liberals.

The enemies of Biblical morality and conservatism have taken control of our schools and institutions of higher learning, eroding the foundations of our homes and culture.  While the moral fabric of our society hangs tattered and torn, the majority of pastors and professing Christians are dismissive of those sounding the alarm warning our families, churches, schools, and society are under attack.

Christian friend, the time for political ambivalence is passed.  If we do not awaken to the imminent threat of being silenced altogether, we will be relegated to the dismal heap of irrelevance.

It is time for all who love American freedom to awaken out of sleep!  We must become active citizens for the sake of our homes, churches, schools and our beloved nation.  It is time for pastors to assail the ideology of liberal indoctrination.   It is time for Bible believers to support pastors and churches that dare to be faithful to God’s Word and stand with them in private and public forums.

Be forewarned; history will judge us harshly for failing to be stewards of liberty and defenders of biblical morality.

  • To stay informed on issues that impact your life in Tampa Bay, subscribe to Mr. Terry Kemple’s “Community Issues Council” for Christian Citizenship in Action Tampa Bay.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Standing Up for Freedom of Religion in Hillsborough County

One would think the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution is simple enough for anyone in the United States to grasp.  It reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It appears there are some employees in Hillsborough County Parks who fail to understand the fundamental right of religion because a county employee recently informed a church group they could not hold Vacation Bible School classes in a county public park unless they were willing to not use the Bible!  Fortunately, that egregious assertion that would have denied religious liberty has been addressed; however, it does not “fix” the perceived adversarial posture some employees of government have taken towards Christianity.  Because this is not the first time County Employees have taken a less than friendly position regarding religious liberties, Dr. Stacy White,  chairman of the Hillsborough County Commissioners, is proposing that Hillsborough County Park Employees undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty.

Today I spoke briefly before the County Commissioners in support of Chairman White’s proposal; however, I also asserted that the County Commissioners’ 2014 decision essentially mandating Christian  businesses (ex. – caterers, photographers, bakers, florists, musicians, printers, to name a few) will either serve the demands of the LGTBQ community (example, Gay Marriage) and capitulate their Christian convictions or be punished with crippling lawsuits, set in motion an adversarial tone against churches and Christians in the County.   The following is my brief exhortation to our County Commissioners:

May 17, 2017

I understand the issue before you this morning is to consider a vote on requiring Hillsborough County Park Employees to undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty. I am here to not only support those classes, but suggest the same be taught to all County Employees.

I find it appalling that anyone employed in Hillsborough County would undermine basic 1st Amendment Rights of Freedom of Religion; however, this is not the first time and the slights against Christianity in this county is growing…from County Park officials daring to tell a church they cannot hold a Vacation Bible School if they use the Bible, to a teacher in Riverview demanding students remove crosses in her classroom.

To assist you in finding the source of this adversarial attitude toward Christians and the free practice of their faith and convictions in this county, I suggest this board of County Commissioners look into your own misguided legislative decisions.

In October 2014, five of the sitting commissioners on this board took an adversarial posture against Christians in this County when you voted to appease the LGTBQ community and attack the free exercise of religion of Christian business owners and businesses. You demanded that every private, family owned business that embraces traditional moral values either cave to your ordinance or face the threat of crippling lawsuits for daring to not capitulate to the invasive demands of the LGTBQ community.

If you are going to take up the requirement that County Park Employees undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty, I suggest you do the same and fix your own misguided decision to demand by government fiat, that Christian businesses set aside their own religious and moral convictions.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

PRESIDENT’S DAY: A MEMORIAL TO GREATNESS VEILED IN HUMILITY

presidents-dayMORE THAN A DAY OUT OF SCHOOL OR OFF WORK…TODAY IS PRESIDENT’S DAY:  A holiday remembering the births of the father of our nation, George Washington (born February 11, 1732) and the savior of our nation, Abraham Lincoln (born February 12, 1809) [I recognize some suggest it is a day commemorating all presidents; for me, it is a celebration of these two titans of liberty].lincoln

I have often wondered how different our nation would be if Lincoln had lived to complete his second term as President of the United States.  He had known the great depth of humility a man must find in himself when he has been reduced to absolute dependence on God.  A profound politician, by the end of his life he was a man respected by friend and foe.

Had he lived, I believe Lincoln would have demanded and modeled grace and forgiveness, rather than the rancor and bitterness that were evidenced in the North’s heavy-handed treatment of the South after the Civil War.  Indeed, I am of the opinion the race provocations that continue to shadow our day were seeded in the decades following the Civil War as a result of Lincoln’s assassination.

The following is a brief quote taken from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.  For those who argue the Civil War was not about slavery, but was instead a conflict over State’s rights, Lincoln’s proposition in this excerpt might surprise you.

“One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it.  These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest.  All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war [emphasis added].  To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.  emancipationNeither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained.  Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease.  Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.  Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.  It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged.  The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully.  The Almighty has his own purposes.  “Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!”  If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?  Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.  Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” – Abraham Lincolnassassinated

I invite my readers to take an honest look at history and remember that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, while the race-haters and race-baiters of the 20th century and now the 21st century have been majority Democrats…including the leadership of the notorious KKK.

Oh that God would raise up another generation who will model the humility of men who call upon God like presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith