HERE’S WHAT THE ANTI-HOMESCHOOLING OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS DOING WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS!

     I’m sure that most of us have read about the trials and tribulations of the Romeike family who had to flee Germany and come to the United States because of their desire to homeschool their children.  A smart, intelligent, compassionate judge in Tennessee granted the asylum.  So what happens next?  The U. S. Government (the same one who apparently wants to give illegal immigrants who are vocally anti-American the path to citizenship) has decided to appeal the judge’s decision.  (This also illustrates why we need an amendment to the U. S. Constitution to guarantee that our government–judges and executive agencies included–observe U. S. law and not "amorphous"–to use the Immigration and Customs Enfocement Agency’s own word–international law.)

     In an item headlined "Homeschoolers win U.S. asylum, now face deportation: Agency seeks European precedent applied in Tennessee case" on March 22, 2010, Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily reported that U.S. immigration authorities, citing a European court ruling, are arguing in an appeal that a family that fled Germany and gained asylum in Tennessee claiming their government persecuted them for homeschooling should be returned to their home country.

     According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has lodged an appeal of Judge Lawrence Burman’s grant of asylum to the family of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike.

     WND reported in January when the federal immigration judge said in his ruling, "We can’t expect every country to follow our Constitution. The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."

     The decision in the Memphis, Tenn., hearing granted permission to Romeike and their five children to remain in the U.S., according to the Virginia-based HSLDA, which has been working on the family’s case.

     "This decision finally recognizes that German homeschoolers are a specific social group that is being persecuted by a Western democracy," Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and director of international relations for HSLDA, said at the time.

     "It is embarrassing for Germany, since a Western nation should uphold basic human rights, which include allowing parents to raise and educate their own children."

     But today, the HSLDA called it a "deeply disturbing" development for ICE to appeal Burman’s decision.

     The appeal, submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Fairfax, Va., claimed homeschoolers are too "amorphous" to be a "particular social group," the HSLDA said.

     Further, the agency claims, the U.S. "law has recognized the broad power of the state to compel school attendance and regulate curriculum and teacher certification."

     ICE sought application of the Konrad case in the European Court of Human Rights that "the public education laws of Germany do not violate basic human rights." The ruling elaborated that parents had no right to direct the education of their own children because that was a responsibility of the state.

     "In other words, it appears that ICE is arguing that U.S. judges should follow international law – rather than U.S. law," the HSLDA said in an alert.

     "American judges should use American law alone in making decisions about cases in American courts," said Michael Smith, president of the HSLDA. "Polls show that Americans by an overwhelming margin reject the idea of using international law in American courts to decide American cases. The use of international law in American courts is a threat to American justice and should be opposed."

     ICE argued that the U.S. government simply could ban all homeschooling – and that should disqualify the granting of asylum.

     "ICE further asserts that Germany’s harsh treatment of homeschoolers is mere prosecution, not persecution. ICE lawyers wrote that ‘[e]ven were such fear[s] objectively reasonable, these sanctions would only amount to prosecution,’" the HSLDA said.

     "ICE argues that the judge’s ruling is ‘speculative’ because sanctions had been applied in a ‘limited number of circumstances’ and that the Romeikes had failed to ‘make any effort to locate an acceptable alternative school.’"

     But the HSLDA said those claims had been argued in the Romeike case and shown to be false.

     Michael Donnelly, a staff attorney for the organization and director of its International Relations division, said, "It is disappointing but not surprising that ICE has appealed."

     He continued, "Judge Burman appropriately noted that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and his decision reflects U.S. law which upholds the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing their children as an enduring American tradition, entitling the family to protection from persecution.

     "ICE argues that Germany’s denial of a parent’s right to homeschool for any reason is acceptable. It is shameful that ICE, and by extension the U.S. government, supports the persecution of German homeschoolers," Donnelly said.

     ICE officials declined a WND request for comment.  (I wonder why?  Rather than letting the Romeikes find the peace they desire in this country that’s supposed to be dedicated to freedom, our government is going to spend our tax dollars in appealing the judge’s rightful decision and further persecute this family.)

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The “health care” debacle

     It is NOT health care reform.  It is certainly NOT a health care fix.  It is NOT even a health care overhaul.  It is in fact an attempted health care takeover that will in time destroy the best health care system in the world and bankrupt our nation.  However, Obama and the leftist Democrats keep pressing on in their attempt to pass, by hook or crook if necessary, the "health care" bill.  Homeschooling families will not be unaffected, as the first two items below indicate.  Many of us have been writing, e-mailing, faxing, and calling our Senators and Representatives to make our wishes known, but there is still something else that we can do, as Phyllis Schlafly suggests in the third item below.

     On Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Ken Blackwell wrote an article entitled, "Guess Who’s Coming to Your House? Hidden Dangers in Obamacare," in which he began, "It’s all supposed to be voluntary, those ‘home visits’ that are tucked into the mammoth ObamaCare bill. If you have a strong stomach, and stronger bottom, you can find home visitation on pages 568-595. That’s Section 2951 of H.R. 3590, the Senate bill that Harry Reid brought down the chimney on Christmas Eve.   All voluntary, they say, but once you ‘volunteer’ to have the oh-so-helpful folks from Social Services come in to help with your newborns, or with a number of other specified issues, will you ever be able to get rid of them?   The bill provides for federal funding and supervision for this vast expansion of government intrusion into family life. This is the Nanny State on steroids. Is your family being "targeted" for such home visitations? Let’s see if you fit into one of these very broad categories:"

     Among these, he lists the following:  "Do you home school your kids? Take care. Members of Congress who have tried to abolish home schooling are big backers of this health care bill. Do you wonder why?"

      As if to confirm Blackwell’s information, HSLDA sent out the following e-lert on Mar. 15.

Calls Needed: Government
Home Visitations in the
Health Care Reform Bill

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

March 15, 2010

     We have previously encouraged you to call your U.S. representative and urge him or her to oppose the health care reform bill that is heading toward a vote in the U.S. House. We urge you to continue your calls. It is very likely that the U.S. House will vote on the health care reform bill this week.

     HSLDA is aware of the high cost of health insurance and the problems this creates for individuals, families and businesses. HSLDA’s mission leaves us neutral on the issue of health care reform in general. However, HSLDA believes that the current health care reform legislation in Congress poses a serious threat to parental rights and homeschool freedom.

     The problem is found in Section 2951 on page 568 of this 2,074-page bill. This section is titled Maternal, Infant, And Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs, and will create a federal grant program to fund state home visitation programs. Under the terms of this program, government officials, including social workers, will be able to visit the homes of certain families "in order to promote improvements in maternal and prenatal health, infant health, child health and development, parenting related to child development outcomes, school readiness, and the socio-economic status of such families, and reductions in child abuse, neglect, and injuries."

     The home visitation program in the health care reform bill is voluntary. However, all the details of the home visitation programs are open to being politically influenced by government bureaucrats who may think that they know more about parenting than do parents. They may pressure parents to adopt child-rearing methods that are against the family’s religious beliefs. Home visitation officials may even threaten families with abuse and neglect investigations if the families do not choose to follow the official parenting education models.

     And fundamentally, HSLDA believes that the federal government has no constitutional authority to fund and oversee home visitation programs and parenting classes. Once the federal government gets a foot into the door of families’ homes, will it ever stop?

     These home visitations are the reason why HSLDA is opposing the health care reform bill.

     There is still a very strong chance that the U.S. House of Representatives may approve the Senate’s health care reform bill that was passed on Christmas Eve. We ask you to call your U.S. representative and respectfully urge him or her to oppose the health care reform bill. There is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler, because this bill will affect all Americans. You can use some or all of the following message:

     "Please oppose the health care reform bill. Congress should not force an unpopular bill upon Americans, especially one that increases the power of the federal government and increases the national debt. I am also opposed the bill’s creation of government home visitation programs. Parents, not federal or state officials, should make child rearing decisions for their young children."

     You can reach your U.S. representative by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or toll-free at 866-220-0044. You can find your U.S. representative by using HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox. 

     Is there anything left for us to do?  Please read the following item by Phyllis Schlafly.  I try not to get "too political" in my prayers (e.g., asking God to give victory to this candidate or cause that candidate to lose), but this health care debacle contains some things which are plainly immoral according to God’s word (such as funding for abortions) and is against the concepts of individual freedom and responsibility upon which our nation was founded–in other words, it’s just plain bad!   So I see nothing wrong with praying for its defeat.

A Very Special Call to Prayer from Phyllis Schlafly
 
March 16, 2010  
      
Dear Eagle Forum Members Nationwide,
     In the midst of our current battle against the looming government-takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, I would like to take a few moments to recall an inspiring story from my days fighting against the feminists’ Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Unlike our present battle, all "the powers that be" were against us back then – both houses of Congress, three Presidents (Nixon, Ford, and Carter), all of the First Ladies, all the Hollywood celebrities, 99% of the media, and even a large percentage of the American public.
     The day of the most crucial vote on ERA in the Illinois Legislature was very dramatic. We had done all we could to line up the votes, but we knew we were two votes short. As the votes lighted up on the electronic board, we all held our breath in anxiety. Then, a great shout went up from the gallery – "We won!"
     ABC put then-president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Eleanor Smeal in front of a news camera and asked her, "What happened?!" She replied, "Something very powerful was against us, and I don’t mean people."
     Eleanor Smeal didn’t know what it was, but we did. We knew that we had the truth on our side and that the good Lord had brought us the votes from the two Chicago legislators who had never voted with us before.
     And so, in the remaining days and hours before the most crucial vote the U.S. Congress will ever cast, I ask you to pray that Our Lord intercedes in this battle for the future of our nation and that the truth, once again, prevails.
Faithfully,
Phyllis Schlafly
  

Goings on in the public schools

     As we read how the public schools are being used by leftists to indoctrinate the youth of our country in an effort to achieve their goal of creating a godless  secular society, we are made so thankful that we can homeschool our children so as to instill in them godly principles and help them to be warriors for the Lord in the future.

    In an item headlined, "Battle over boy’s Jesus poster sent to Supreme Court: ‘Save the world’? No, that’s only for environmentalists, not God" on March 13, 2010, Drew Zahn of WorldNetDaily reminds us that ten years ago kindergartner Antonio Peck made a poster suggesting Jesus was the way to "save the world," but little did he know his artwork would spark a 10-year legal battle that has seen six court decisions fire back and forth only to now be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court.

     According to the original complaint filed a decade ago, Peck’s kindergarten teacher, Susan Weichert, instructed the class to create a poster with cutout pictures illustrating the children’s understanding of the environment and asking them to show ways to take care of the earth.

     Peck, a student of Catherine McNamara Elementary School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., during the 1999-2000 school year, drew a picture featuring religious figures and the words, "The only way to save the world."  But Peck’s poster was rejected because of its religious content and the school administration’s fears that when displayed with the dozens of other students’ pieces, the poster might mistakenly give some parents the impression the school was teaching on matters of faith.

     The Peck family sued the school for violating the boy’s free exercise of religion, launching a back-and-forth battle between a district judge and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with the lower court ruling against the boy three times and the higher consistently ruling in the kindergartner’s favor, until now.

     Upon the third hearing of the case, the higher court concluded Peck no longer has standing to sue, since, "He points to no policy or custom (or an equivalent) suggesting that any defendant regularly violates students’ free speech rights."

     Shocked by what it calls "a new burden of proof" upon a plaintiff who presumably now can’t sue over a rights violation unless he or she can demonstrate a pattern of such abuses, Liberty Counsel this week has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and the appeals court’s reasoning.

     "In cases such as this, in which school officials censor student work out of fear of adult misperceptions instead of concern for effects upon other students, it is particularly likely that a student will be susceptible to further censorship so long as he is under the auspices of the school district," the Liberty Counsel petition states. "The Second Circuit’s conclusion that a student can lose standing due to the passage of time is particularly troubling and would sanction the chilling of student speech any time a school official is worried that some third party observer might mistakenly believe that the school teaches religion. This would grant school districts a broad power of censorship and create the kind of ‘heckler’s veto’ that this Court has warned against."

     In 2000, New York federal Judge Norman Mordue ruled that the school was permitted to censor the poster due to "church and state" concerns. In 2001, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision 3-0 and sent the case back to the trial court.

     In 2004, Judge Mordue ruled in favor of the school district yet again. But, for a second time, he was reversed 3-0 in 2005 when the appeals court said public schools cannot censor a student’s viewpoint on permissible subjects when it is responsive to a school assignment.

     In October 2008, Judge Mordue ruled once again that the public school was permitted to censor the poster, leading to the most recent Circuit Court decision and consequent petition to the U.S. Supreme Court by Liberty Counsel.

     Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, argues it’s time for the legal battles to end with a Supreme Court decision in the boy’s favor:  "Students may present religious themes in their homework," Staver said in a statement. "After 10 years and three appeals, Antonio deserves an answer to the question of whether the school district violated his constitutional rights. The Second Circuit skirted the issue, and we are asking the Supreme Court to give Antonio the chance to get that answer."

     Then in an  item carried by One News Now headlined "Indiana student sues to stop prayer" on 3/13/2010, the Associated Press reported that the top-ranked senior at a suburban Indianapolis high school is asking a federal judge to stop a graduation prayer that the class voted to approve.

     The lawsuit by 18-year-old Eric Workman claims the prayer and the vote at Greenwood High School unconstitutionally subject religious practice to majority rule.

     The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on Workman’s behalf. It says, "He does not believe that anyone should involuntarily be subjected to prayer and religious beliefs."

     But Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, says, "Part of being an adult is learning to tolerate speech you don’t like."

     The ACLU has had a history of where they tried to drag in some bozo to file a complaint about religious speech in the public arena, particularly government-controlled schools, but experienced setbacks because courts have ruled that the people the ACLU has found to file these complaints often have no standing.

     So now they are trying to prey on brainwashed public school students to do their bidding.  As Mr. Clark observed, they want us to be tolerant of their anti-Christian, anti-religious, anti-Bible rantings and ravings whenever and wherever such things occur under "freedom of speech," but they don’t want to tolerate–students praying at a graduation!

Hate Speech, Stage 2

     Our friend Dave Pratte, a gospel preacher and homeschooling father whose children are all graduated, grown, and with families of their own, sent me the following information.

     When the US Congress passed their Hate Crimes bill last year, they  assured everyone it would not penalize speech but only violent crimes.  That was not true, but just to make sure speech against homosexuality is  clearly criminalized, homosexuals are now in stage two. Below are  excerpts from a message just sent by MassResistance about a bill in the  Massachusetts legislature S2283.

     The bill would write following into the Massachusetts General Laws:

     "Whoever publishes any false material whether written, printed,  electronic, televised, or broadcast with intent to maliciously promote hatred of any group of persons in the commonwealth because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, or disability shall be guilty of libel and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than
one year, or both."

     Note:  There is no definition of "false material."  Of course, the radical homosexual rights advocates consider any opposition to or condemnation of homosexuality to be "false" and promoting "hatred" so this would open up the door for every printed sermon, bulletin article, or tract that gives Biblical reasons against homosexuality to be called libel.  Of course, it’s not only wrong but unconstitutional, yet that’s never stopped the left from acting before!

do you trust your child’s school textbooks?

      In an item headlined "Poll: Majority of Americans Believe Their Kids’ Textbooks Place Political Correctness Above Accuracy" on Thursday, March 11, 2010, Joe Schoffstall of CNSNews.com reported that a new Rasmussen Poll shows that 60 percent of Americans with children in elementary schools say most school textbooks are more concerned with presenting information in a politically correct manner than in accuracy.
 
     In a national survey conducted March 6-7, 1,000 adults were asked: “Are most school textbooks more concerned about accurately providing information or about presenting information in a politically correct manner?”
 
     Only 28 percent thought textbooks were more concerned with presenting information accurately.
 
     Among all Americans polled, even those without children, the same percentage — 28 percent – said they believe that accuracy is paramount, while 55 percent disagreed and said most textbooks are more concerned about political correctness. Eighteen percent of those polled were undecided.
 
     Only 31 percent of the adults polled said most school history textbooks portray American history accurately, while 43 percent said they believe that most of their children’s history books are inaccurate. Twenty-six (26) percent are not sure.
 
     Those with children in elementary schools were even more hesitant in their support — only 28 percent said they believe that school textbooks portray U.S. history accurately, while almost half (49 percent) say textbooks do not accurately portray history. Twenty-eight percent (28 percent) were not sure.
 
     When asked who should have the final say on the material presented within textbooks given to children — the federal government, state government, local government, teachers or parents — 34 percent said that teachers should, while 24 percent said that parents should have the final say. Fifteen percent (15 percent) were in favor of leaving the decision on textbooks to local government, while 9 percent believe that either the federal or state governments should decide.
 
     Among those with children in school, 28 percent believe teachers should say what goes into the textbooks. Only 21 percent believe that decision should be made by the parents.
 
     When asked if parents should be able to transfer their children to another school if they disagreed with the material presented at their current schools, 61 percent said that should be allowed, while 27 percent disagreed, and 12 percent said they were not sure.
 

     Conclusion:  Yes, we should fight to see that textbooks used in public schools are accurate, simply because it’s our tax money that’s used to purchase them, but there’s one way to solve the problem when there is doubt, and that’s to homeschool where each parent can choose the textbooks based on both accuracy and godly principles.

Kervin Jennings is baaack!

     NOTE:  Several recent issues of my free e-mail homeschooling newsletter ( biblicalhomeschooling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biblicalhomeschooling/ ) have provided information on Kevin Jennings, the Obama administration’s assistant deputy education secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools or "safe-schools czar" who is openly homosexual and has spent most of his life actively seeking to implement the radical homosexual rights agenda in public schools, has been keeping a low profile of late since all the news about his sordid and shady past hit the presses.  But he recently made a rare public appearance as reported in the article from CNSNews below.  Of course, as the article points out, the Obama administration continues to defend him, but the information in the article really says it all.

Safe Schools Czar Ducks Questions on Past Statements about Homosexuality, Says Department of Education Won’t Dictate Curriculum
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

 


Kevin Jennings, former head of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, and new assistant education secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools. (AP photo)
     (CNSNews.com) – Kevin Jennings, the Obama administration’s openly gay safe-schools czar who previously ran an organization focused on normalizing homosexuality in public schools, declined Monday to directly say whether the U.S. Department of Education should promote teaching school children that homosexual behavior is morally good.
 
     Instead, he pointed out that Congress has prohibited the department from interfering in the curricula of local schools.
 
     Jennings, the assistant deputy education secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, made a rare public appearance Monday, speaking to a gathering of school teachers at the National Press Club.
 
     Jennings’ appointment to the safe-schools czar post has been controversial because of his past advocacy of teaching homosexuality in public schools, and for how he admittedly handled a 1988 incident by advising a 15-year-old boy to use a condom in his affair with an older man, rather than reporting the incident of to authorities.
 
     During Jennings’ speech Monday, he stressed that the Obama administration sought him out for the job because of his background.
 
     For a decade, he ran the organization Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), of which he was also a founding member. He described GLSEN Monday as a group that “works to make schools safe regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification.”
 
     Because of his role in promoting homosexuality in public schools, 52 House Republicans last fall signed a letter to President Barack Obama calling for Jennings to be removed from the safe schools post. Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) circulated the letter.
 
     “As the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Mr. Jennings has played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America’s schools-an agenda that runs counter to the values that many parents desire to instill in their children,” the House Republican letter said. “As evidence of this, Mr. Jennings wrote the foreword for a book titled Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue About Sexualities and Schooling.”
 
     “Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students,” the House Republican letter continued. “The totality of Mr. Jennings’ career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.”
 
     After his speech on Monday, CNSNews.com asked Jennings “about issues raised by congressional Republicans.”
 
     To that, Jennings responded, “I’m not going to talk about that. Thank you. … You can ask what you want, but I’m probably not going to answer it.”
 
     When asked if he thought the federal government should promote homosexual behavior as moral in public schools, Jennings stressed the limited authority of the Department of Education.
 
     “The federal government is not allowed to dictate any curriculum of any kind about any subject, whether it’s history, math, science, health, education, so forth and so on, because Congress has laid out very clear rules that they want curriculum decisions made at the state and local level. So the fact that the material is the federal government doesn’t do that in any area,” Jennings told CNSNews.com.
 
     In the forward to the 1999 book Queering Elementary Education, Jennings wrote, “I often find myself confronted with people who attack me for ‘bringing this issue into our schools, How laughable this statement is, I think. The reality is that this issue–anti-gay bigotry–is already in our schools. Little kids are learning to hate, and they’re learning it right now in elementary schools across America.”
 
     Asked about this forward, Jennings interrupted the question and responded, “As I said, the federal role is very clear and I don’t have anything further to say.”
 
     Jennings, a former high school history teacher, spoke to a gathering of teachers involved in the Close-Up Foundation, a program in which teachers and students attend certain events in the nation’s capital.
 
     He stressed the importance of teaching history, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Civil Rights Movement. While steering clear of any controversy during his prepared remarks, he did acknowledge that he has not been eager to make public appearances since his appointment.
 
     “This is one of the first invitations I did not have to hesitate on, because I, as a history teacher, have known about Close-Up myself for decades,” he said.
 
     Only after a teacher in the audience asked a question did Jennings acknowledge that he was the former head of GLSEN.
 
     “Any of you who have gay-straight alliances in your school or no-name-calling week, these are all program that we developed when I was at GLSEN,” Jennings said.
 
     Jennings explained that he did not seek a government appointment but that the Obama administration approached him.
 
     “President Obama got elected and they were looking for someone to run the safe schools program and since I worked to make schools safe, they asked me if I would take the job,” Jennings said.
 
     He said he was given the chance to make a difference and had to accept.
 
     “Honestly, I never ever saw myself in public office. It wasn’t an aspiration I’ve ever had,” he said. “If I was given the chance to be part of the administration to take what I’ve learned from 25 years in education and apply it to making schools safer–if I said no, that would be hypocritical.”
 
     In the widely circulated 2000 speech, Jennings recalled a 15-year-old named Brewster. “And I said, ‘Brewster, what are you doing in there asleep?’” Jennings said of the 1988 incident. “And he said, ‘Well, I’m tired.’ And I said, ‘Well, we all are tired and we all got to school today. And he said, ‘Well I was out late last night.’ 
 
     “And I said, ‘What were you doing out late on a school night.’ And he said, ‘Well, I was in Boston,’” Jennings recalled. “Boston was about 45 minutes from Concord. So I said, ‘What were you doing in Boston on a school night, Brewster?’”
 
      “He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, ‘Well, I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.’ High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say,” Jennings added.
 
     “Knew I should say something quickly, so I finally said–my best friend had just died of AIDS the week before. I looked at Brewster and said, ‘You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.’ He said to me something I will never forget, He said, ‘Why should I, my life isn’t worth saving anyway,’” Jennings said.
 
     Jennings issued a statement last October to explain the incident.
 
     “Twenty one years later I can see how I should have handled this situation differently,” Jennings said in the October statement. “I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training or guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.”
 
     Also in October, a person came forward alleging he was Brewster, and said that he was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings, which would have been the age of consent.
 
     The White House also defended Jennings last October, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, “I think there are many good people from every political persuasion that seek to serve their country and serve in government, I think it’s a sacrifice, but one that people do voluntarily because they love their country.”

Monthly Meditation

     Taken from the March, 2010, issue of Biblical Homeschooling, a free e-mail homeschooling newsletter.  If you wish to receive it, send a blank e-mail to biblicalhomeschooling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and then follow the instructions that will be e-mailed back to you, or subscribe from the web at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biblicalhomeschooling/ .

 

Monthly Meditation

2. WHO ARE GOD’S PEOPLE?

by Wayne S. Walker

     "Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, the tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed–this Mount Zion where You have dwelt" (Psalm 74:2).  God’s chosen people under the old covenant were the nation of Israel.  What we call the Old Testament, including the book of Psalms, was written to them as God’s revelation for them.  However, the Old Testament was written and preserved for us because much of it has secondary application for God’s chosen people today, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Of course, the prophetic sections bring us directly to Jesus as the Messiah.  In addition, many of the events that happened to Israel are typical and foreshadow various aspects of the church because there are similarities between God’s people of the Old Testament and His people of the New.

     Verse 2 of Psalm 74 points out three similarities.  The word "congregation" comes from a Latin word that means "to gather together."  The root word ("grex") means "flock" and is also found in our English word "gregarious," referring to a person who likes to gather together with other people and be sociable.  We most often use the word "congregation" to identify a local church, a group of God’s people in a specific place who gather together in work and worship, but it can have a broader application.  Stephen spoke of Israel as "the congregation in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38; KJV reads "church in the wilderness").  In fact, most times the word "congregation" is found in our English Bibles, it is in the Old Testament.  Since the Lord’s church is the result of the fact "that in the dispensation of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10), the universal church can be considered as "God’s congregation" today.

     The word "tribe" is defined as, "a division, class, or group of people, especially a primitive or nomadic people, usually characterized by common ancestry, leadership, customs, etc."  We often speak of American Indian tribes and native African tribes.  The people of Israel were divided into twelve tribes (Exodus 28:21).  However, sometimes the word "tribe" is also used in a broader sense.  "…And you have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).  In this sense, Israel was "God’s tribe" among all the tribes of the earth.   The book of James is addressed "to the twelve tribes scattered abroad" (James 1:1).  Some have supposed that James was writing specifically to Christians from a Jewish background, but I conclude that he is using the term figuratively, that just as God’s chosen people under the old covenant were the "twelve tribes," so God’s chosen people under the new covenant can be called "the twelve tribes," because we are "a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9).

     "Mount Zion" was originally one of the hills upon which the city of Jerusalem was built (2 Samuel 5:7).  Then it came to be used of the city of Jerusalem in its entirety (1 Kings 8:1).  Next, it came to be used figuratively for the entire nation of Israel (Psalm 69:35, 149:2).  Finally, it was used prophetically with reference to the spiritual kingdom that the Messiah would establish (Isaiah 2:2-3, Joel 2:32).  Yes, the church was established in literal Zion or Jerusalem, but these prophecies also point out that it would be from Zion (the church) that the word of the Lord would go forth and that in Zion (the church) salvation would be found.  Thus, today, we do not approach Mt. Sinai, symbolic of the Old Testament Law, but "have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:22-24).  That is who God’s people are today!