Guest post by Ian Parish
“I want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of America,” said the Senator from Texas on the stage of Liberty University, a university that is recognized as the largest Christian university in America. The air in the room was tense, with every hearkening to “imagine”, the room became heavier with emotion. Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, continued his speech, “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America, and that is why today I am announcing that I’m running for President of the United States.”
March the 23rd. That is the day that the first major candidate, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, announced his candidacy. He shot out of the gates, earlier then all the rest. The Road to 2016 had begun.
On June 30th, the polls were vastly different then they are today, many months into the 2016 Presidential race. The Real Clear Politics Poll shows that the polls on June 30th were: Former Governor Jeb Bush with 13.8 percent, Governor Scott Walker with 11.4 percent, Senator Marco Rubio with 11 percent, Neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 9.4 percent, Former Governor Mike Huckabee with 8.4 percent, Senator Rand Paul with 8.2 percent, Senator Ted Cruz with 5.8 percent, and business mogul Donald Trump with 4.2 percent of the vote.
Where are we now? Well, according to the Real Clear Politics Poll, everything has flipped on it’s head. Trump is now the front-runner with an overall 35.6 percent of the vote! Ted Cruz, who is now beating Trump in Iowa, has a national poll of 18.6 percent. Rubio is close on Cruz’s tail with 11.6 percent, having stayed relatively static since June 30th. Carson, after a brief spike, is back down at 9.4 percent. Governor Chris Christie is at 4.6 percent. Jeb Bush, the supposed front-runner and establishment hopeful, down to a staggering 4.4 percent. Rand Paul, with what some referred to as “hot-headedness” dropped down to 2.6 percent. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, enjoyed a brief moment of glory after the first few debates. She shone in the format, and got as high as 11.8 percent, before dropping to the current 2.2 percent.
It’s been an amazing, whirlwind political year. Donald Trump has harnessed the anger and sheer frustration of the right, and no matter what he says, he continues to rise in the polls. The firebrand Senator Cruz is steadily overtaking him, while the rest of the pack gets left behind, slowly but surely.
2015 shall be remembered by many things.
The year gay marriage became a legal definition, transgenderism became acceptable, and the fight over Obama’s executive amnesty began. The year that Republicans faltered, time and again. The year of the Black Lives matter movement. The year Kim Davis went to jail. The year of the outsider in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
It’s been a momentous year. Love it or hate it, this, in part, is how 2015 will be remembered.
My prediction for next year? Surprise, for that is all we can expect. We can expect nothing more, and nothing less. Political seasons have been turbulent since Brutus and Cassius murdered the Emperor Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, outside of Theatre of Pompey.
Upheavals happen. Races shift. The likely front-runner today might be at the bottom in three months. Only time will tell.
It is my hope and fervent prayer that this will be the year of reawakening. That this is the time when conservatives, evangelicals, the Liberty Movement, and libertarians came together to reignite the promise of this great nation. When hundreds upon thousands sought to restore this nation to it’s constitutional and Judeo-Christian roots. When the founding principles of this nation were reawakened, reignited, and restored to the pinnacle on which they so highly sat.
That is my New Year's Wish.
And with that, I wish you all a blessed and fruitful New Year.
In mid-October, everyone was preparing for the first Republican Debate hosted by Fox News. The top-tier debate, as it is known, consisted of candidates Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker.
Well, until the Governor of Ohio John Kasich announced his candidacy.
Coming into an already crowded Republican Primary, Governor Kasich unseated Rick Perry from the top tier debate and banished Perry’s campaign to oblivion. After that first debate, he was championed by the media as having a great performance. Several months into the election cycle, some still think that John Kasich is the man to help America.
I tend to disagree. Governor Kasich claims, time and time again, to be a leader with conservative, Christian principles who knows how to get stuff done. How conservative is he, really? Let’s look at his political record.
In 1994, Kasich was one of the Republican leaders in the House who agreed to a last-minute deal with then-President Bill Clinton to pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He led 42 other Republicans across party lines to vote with the Democrats to ban “assault” weapons. His support of the infamous “assault” weapons ban caused the National Rifle Association to give Kasich an “F” rating in 1994.
If this doesn’t give most Republicans a red flag, I don’t know what will. The protection of our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights are key to the values of the Republican Party. However, this isn’t the only time he’d side with liberals in his life.
As Governor, Kasich has championed the Common Core Standards and has accused most Republicans who turned against it of playing politics. Not only that, but the State of Ohio has the country’s ninth-largest achievement gap in reading, as well as the second largest achievement gap in math and the fourth largest in high school graduation.
All of this, under his watch. Is that really a conservative, or a RINO? Common Core is known for being a dumbing down of standards that many of us already have in place. Common Core math has been proven to be ridiculously convoluted. If you don’t believe me, check out the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Common Core Math Problems So Far. However, this isn’t the end of the atrocity that is Common Core. One of the books that is recommended reading for 11th and 12th graders is “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize winning author. To summarize the book, it’s a pornographic/erotic novel about rape, incest, and pedophilia. 
How can any Christian, conservative, or even decent man support these standards, with what’s entailed in them? It is appalling, and diametrically opposed to conservatism. Heck, it’s even diametrically opposed to decency!
These are just two of the liberal positions that John Kasich has held over his 36 year political career. His career alone is enough for me to oppose him, but that my friends, is a topic for another article.
In conclusion, Governor John Kasich is simply not a conservative, constitutional stalwart. He isn’t. Let us recognize him for who he is: another John McCain, Lindsey Graham, or Mitt Romney. A gutless flip-flopper, who will do anything for a vote. He is more of the same-old, same-old. More centrism. More catering to Obama and Establishment Republicans. More loss of civil liberties. John Kasich is exactly what’s wrong with the Republican Party today. He is also the reason the Republican Party might go extinct.
Let’s just hope we can save the Party before that happens.
Today the Kleins of Sweet Cakes by Melissa paid over $350,000 in fines for damages to a homosexual couple who ordered a wedding cake. The Kleins were following their religious beliefs and yet even with the First Amendment they are being persecuted for a simple religious belief.
The story of the devaluing of the First Amendment is long, but the key case was Employment Division vs. Smith, which ruled that in order to be a fundamental right, religious liberty had to be a secondary right in any claim. In order to give Religious Liberty protection again in the wake of the Smith Decision, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA required that all religious liberty cases be tried using the judicial standard of strict scrutiny. The RFRA test has five parts. These five parts can be divided into two parts: things which the individual or business has to prove and things which the government must prove. The test is as follows.
Opinon post by Peter Baergen. This post reflects the personal opinions of the author & should not be construed as the position of Freedom's Defenders.
At the peak of the 2016 race, there were 22 candidates running for President. It’s taken a while to narrow down my choices, but I’ve finally boarded the Cruz ship.
So, why Ted Cruz?
Ted Cruz is a consistent, principled conservative. He has a proven record of supporting conservative principles and not backing down when the fight gets tough. When he says he’ll do something, you can count on it. He’s not afraid to tell the truth, no matter who he’s talking to (think Mitch McConnell). When it comes to the issues, Ted Cruz stands firmly atop my list of candidates.
Ted Cruz is one of the most experienced candidates in the race. He’s worked in one capacity or another in all three branches of the federal government, whether as a Supreme Court clerk, as a Bush administration official, or now as a U.S. Senator. His time as Solicitor General of Texas gives him valuable experience defending the Constitution before the highest court in the land, and also is a state-level position, giving him a deeper first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by the states. This is a key point to remember when thinking about 10th Amendment issues.
Ted Cruz is a skilled communicator. The GOP has not done a good job of communicating their message to everyday Americans like myself. In fact, this was one of the reasons cited by former Senator Rick Santorum, Dr. Michael Farris, and others when they endorsed him for Senate in 2012. We have a presidential field this cycle with several excellent communicators running, and it would be a mistake not to pick one of them (or two!).
Now that we have established his values/principles and his qualifications/experience, as well as noted his excellent communication skills, we move to the next area of consideration for me: does the candidate have what it takes to win. Ted Cruz has a clear path to victory and the money to make it work, which is more than can be said of the overwhelming majority of the candidates in the race.
In conclusion, this is a relatively rare opportunity for conservatives to unite behind a strong principled conservative with a proven record — I would argue the strongest and most principled conservative in the race — who is among the frontrunners of the Presidential race. Let’s make the most of it.
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)
This is an opinion post by one of our team members and should not be construed as an endorsement by Freedom's Defenders. Originally posted at http://peterformichigan.com/2015/11/13/the-case-for-cruz/. Used with permission.
CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST 1: "Now that we have the majority, Congressional leadership must send an Obamacare repeal bill to the President's desk! Even if he vetoes it, we must move conservative legislation through Congress and lay the responsibility on the President for blocking it."
ENTER STAGE RIGHT: H.R. 3762
NARRATOR: "H.R. 3762 is a bill passed by both the House and Senate that takes major steps to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle Obamacare."
CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST 2: "Don't be fooled, folks! This is a useless show vote by McConnell and the RINOs so that they can say they voted to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, but they know it's just another fake show vote -- because President Obama will veto it!"
In Michigan a bill just hit the House floor that would ban all D&E abortions within the State. D&E abortions tear a living child apart limb from limb, when it is likely they can feel pain. D&E abortions are the most common abortions in the second trimester, although it is known that children can feel pain in the womb at 20 weeks, it is assumed they can feel as early as 12 weeks.
Roe vs. Wade only legalized abortion, it never specified that all types of abortions had to be legal. Indeed SCOTUS has already ruled that banning Partial Birth Abortion (D&X) was constitutional, because it was not a ban on abortion itself. Therefore it is permissible to ban types of abortion.
HB 4833 has now passed the Committee on Criminal Justice and is at the House floor.
To learn more click here.
During last week's GOP Debate, Marco Rubio stated that "welders make more money than philosophers." Many in the media took this as an opportunity to pounce on Rubio, pointing out that philosophy professors earn a higher mean wage than welders. While this is indeed true, it distracts from the point Rubio was attempting to make. For starters, it fails to take into account the vast difference in workforce size between welders and philosophy professors, and the fact that most philosophy majors don't go on to become professors in that field.
As Rubio said, vocational careers have largely been belittled by modern American society. Considering that many jobs for skilled workers offer comparable pay to those requiring bona fides from academia, this is incredibly unfortunate. Take my family's own industry, electrical construction, for example. Due to the shortage of available labor, you can find an electrician earning $80,000 a year relatively easily, and making upwards of six figures in a market such as Washington, DC is not unheard of.
In short, you are a heck of a lot more likely to find work as a skilled tradesman than trying to become a professional chin scratcher--and that was the core point of Rubio's statement. In the words of Mike Rowe, "I don’t think we need fewer philosophers. I think we need more philosophers who can weld. Or better yet, more welders who can philosophize."
Anthony DeFazio is a seventeen-year-old homeschool student from the Washington, DC area. He serves as the Communications Director of American Individualists, in addition to working in the electrical construction industry. Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthonyjdefazio
Yesterday, France became the target of one of the largest terrorist attacks in a Western nation since 9/11. ISIS has claimed responsibility, and is threatening to continue the attacks. In Washington, DC, policymakers are debating the best U.S. response.
In response, social media has been flooded with profile pictures in the colors of the French flag, words of sympathy and solidarity for the French people, and "Pray for Paris" images.
Even as I shared one of these pictures on our Facebook page, I realized how easy it is to click "share," write up a sympathetic post, and leave it at that. Spreading awareness and showing sympathy is great, but one major step was left out of that sequence I just described. Prayer.
Christians, take some time and pray for the people of Paris. Pray for those who have lost loved ones, pray for those who were wounded in the attacks. Pray that even in this time of sorrow, hearts in the City of Light would be turned to the Light of the World -- Jesus Christ. Don't settle for just sharing a meme -- we can and we must plead the case of these people before the throne of our Lord.
Pray for Paris.
This morning (Oct 29th 2015) it was announced that the House of Representatives elected a new Speaker of the House. The new Speaker is the Honorable Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) (Former republican candidate for Vice President).
It occurred to me that some of our readers might not be fully aware of what the duties, responsibilities and privileges of the office of Speaker of the House are, so I decided to write this post. I hope my readers find this helpful!
First step in understand the Speakership is understanding the House of Representatives, for this we are going straight to the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 2
“he House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen…… The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”
The House of Representatives is essentially our most accessible tier of government and the most answerable to the constituents, therefor it the leader of this house is very important and also holds the the honor of being third in line for the presidency.
house.gov defines the roll of Speaker of the House as
“Elected by the whole of the House of Representatives, the Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected member of the House. The Speaker of the House is second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President.”
While we congratulate Congressman Ryan on being selected as the new Speaker, we have every intention of making sure he live up to the conservative values he claims to espouse.
Please make sure to pray for this man as he is now under great pressure and in the third highest position in our nation (1 Tim, 2:1-2)
Congratulations Speaker Ryan!
If you've been following the events surrounding the race for Speaker of the House at all lately, you've probably heard Paul Ryan's name mentioned. A lot.
But at this point, it looks like Congressman Ryan has two major objections to entering the race for the Speaker position. For one, it appears that he feels he may be able to make more of a difference by remaining Chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means committee. Nothing unusual there -- almost any politician will make decisions based on where they can influence the most power to craft national policy. But it's the second reason that stands out.
In September, after Speaker John Boehner announced he would be retiring from Congress, Wisconsin Radio Network quoted Ryan: “This is a job where you are expected to be on the road about a hundred days a year... Our kids are 10, 12 and 13, and I’m not going to do that."
One of the rising stars in national politics, given a chance to become the most powerful man in Congress, says no -- because he wants to be able to spend time with his family.
As the Washington Post pointed out, you don't see that too often.
America needs more men like Paul Ryan. We need more men who care more about their families than they do about power, fame, and fortune.
That is why I appreciate Congressman Ryan's reservations about running for the Speaker position. I hope he continues to hold that position. I don't say this because of his politics, his policies, or because I have another Speaker candidate in mind that I'd prefer over Ryan. I say this because America needs more fathers who are there for their kids.
Congressman Ryan, I want to thank you for setting an example for dads across America -- and, if you hold to your decision, I bet your kids will too.