Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–See You at the Pole takes place on the fourth Wednesday in September and was begun in 1990 in the United States. Christian students of all ages meet at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer, scripture-reading and hymn-singing, during the early morning before school starts.
It has grown by word of mouth, announcements at youth rallies and churches, and the Internet and now occurs internationally.
The recitation of prayer in public schools in America was banned by the Supreme Court June 25, 1962.
The particular prayer that had been approved by the New York State Board of Regents read: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
Seven parents claimed the prayer violated their religious beliefs and practices and requiring their children to utter it violated their First Amendment rights and in their view was establishing and promoting religion.
Here’s what the men who were directly involved in the writing of our Constitution, Declaration and Bill of Rights had to say on the matter of religion.
George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President, in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and first minister of Education said: “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”
Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary said, “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”
Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution, “[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”
Fisher Ames, author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
1778 Continental Congress: “Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.”
Posted by : September 27, 2015| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
Posted by : September 20, 2015| On :
By David Webb
GUN BARREL CITY–Multiple changes in leadership on the Gun Barrel City Council, to city management and the Economic Development Corp. in recent weeks led to new Mayor Dennis Baade giving city staff a pep talk this week.
Baade, recently appointed mayor after Jim Braswell’s resignation, said he met with city staff Wednesday morning to assure them of the security of their employment and to motivate them to continue their work without interruption.
“We have to move forward,” Baade said in a telephone interview. “We have to keep our heads down and keep working.”
Baade expressed optimism that the city’s administration will move forward without interruption in the wake of multiple resignations during the last few weeks.
“We’re going to get it done,” Baade said. “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.”
Baade’s comments followed the council’s approval of a separation settlement with longtime City Manager Gerry Boren at a council meeting Sept. 15, and his immediate departure after exchanging hugs and farewells with several of his employees.
Boren served as city manager for eight years, which Baade characterized as lengthy. Most city managers only stay on assignment for a little more than two years, he said.
“It was just an agreed upon separation,” Baade said. “It was time.”
Baade said Boren had expressed interest during negotiations on the new budget to seek other employment. The details of the separation agreement are not being released publicly for another seven days, per the agreement.
The city will begin looking for a new city manager. City Secretary Christi Eckerman and Baade are expected to supervise the staff in the meantime, according to the plan explained by the mayor to reporters after the meeting.
Boren’s resignation was announced after a short executive session. The council ratified a severance agreement with Boren naming both him and his wife, Darcie, although he had no contract with the city.
Boren released a statement to the media saying, “After a lot of prayer and discussions with family, I have decided to hang up my guns and holster and tender my resignation as city manager for the City of Gun Barrel City. It is my belief that this will provide me the opportunity to focus on my family and allow the community that I love to move forward without any distractions. I have been contemplating the opportunity to pursue new endeavors and believe this is the right time.”
Prior to the council ratifying Boren’s separation agreement, the council approved the hiring of the law firm Brown & Hofmeister, LLP, to arrange the settlement with Boren. The council unanimously approved the appointment of the law firm, but Councilman Ronald Wyrick said he considered the method by which the firm was hired inappropriate, even though he voted in favor of it.
Baade said council members are restricted by law from discussing city business outside of meetings in groups that constitute a quorum, and that sometimes leads to some council members not being in the loop of conversation.
The following morning after Boren’s resignation, Councilwoman Carole Calkins sent an email to city officials and the media announcing her immediate resignation. Baade said Calkins resigned for personal reasons, although during the meeting she complained about council members being given incomplete information and updates on issues at the last minute.
Calkins said in her memo, “After considerable thought and study, I have concluded that my family and professional obligations and commitments at this time do not allow me to participate at the level that the city should expect from a city council member. Please accept this letter as my resignation from the council immediately. I do not have any city property or records in my possession of which I am aware. I wish you and the council success as you move forward.”
Baade and other council members expressed regret that Calkins resigned because of her attention to detail and extensive knowledge about financial accounting. Her position will remain open until the May 2016 election because the council appointed a new member to the council to fill a spot left vacant when Mayor Jim Braswell resigned and Baade, who was Mayor Pro Tem, took over as mayor. According to the City Charter, only one council member can be appointed to fill a vacant position between election cycles.
The council appointed Anne Mullins to fill the vacant position on the council after the only other eligible applicant, Kevin Banghart, rescinded his application when the council deadlocked in a 2-2 tie vote with Mayor Pro Tem Rob Rea and Wyrick voting for Banghart and Councilwoman Linda Rankin and Calkins voting for Mullins.
Last month, newly appointed Economic Development Corp. President David Skains resigned, citing frustration about negotiations with council members. He was replaced by Steve Schiff, who unsuccessfully campaigned for a council seat in the previous election.
In other action, the council approved a $3.3 million budget for the new fiscal year that Boren presented to the council in his final official duty as city manager.
Posted by : September 17, 2015| On :
Special to The Monitor
DALLAS–The first weekend in September, Dallas holds a 9-11 stair climb. They chose 343 fireman to climb 110 flights of stairs in full bunker gear in memory of the 343 fireman who lost their lives on 9-11!
This year, 5-year-old Karter Whittenberg, the grandson of the Eustace Fire Chief, along with his brothers Kash Khalon and Kharson went to the Dallas 9-11 stair climb to watch their father, Eustace Firefigher Robert Whittenberg, climb 110 flights.
While the boys were waiting on their father to come off the elevator, a group of firefighters who had completed the climb walked by and one bent down and handed Karter Whittenberg a fireman figure and walked off.
This man never knew Karter suffers from Nephrotic Syndrome, C1Q Nephroctomy. The Thursday before the walk, Karter’s family was told that Karter was in the ending stage of renal failure and would be put on dialysis and a transplant list beginning Oct. 3.
Karter’s mother, Christin, posted on Facebook looking for the fireman who gave Karter the action figure in hopes she would find him.
Her post was shared more than 250 times and within 24 hours the firefighter was located. Ross Escabota is a Lockheed Martin Firefighter out of Fort Worth. He agreed to meet with little Karter that night. It was a huge blessing.
He chose two kids to hand fireman figurines to out of hundreds and hundreds of kids, and picked little Karter, at random.
The who met and exchanged some very special memorabilia – a Shield commorating the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in teh 9-11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, along with a 9-11 coin. Escabota received a Eustace Fire Department T-shirt.
These two have developed a very special bond.