Religious Liberty

Adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 was a huge victory in a very, very rough struggle for religious freedom. I, for one, like my religious freedom, and I’m sure a lot of people back in that day did, too.

The first amendment guaranteed that the federal government wouldn’t interfere or meddle with religious freedom. It stated “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” So, it sounds like the Feds are going to let off, right? Everyone will have a right to their religion, yay!

So not yay.

By 1791, most state governments had already adopted the religious freedom policy, and the states that still had churches established would then dis-establish them, meaning it wouldn’t be a state church anymore. Then they would get in line for the trend of separating state and church. Then new states would follow behind in the line. Getting religious freedom had been a long battle. Since Roger Williams had taken a stand for separation of state and church in Rhode Island, things had just not been the same.

America had been pretty much expecting established religious freedom. The early Americans had realized that the presence and the practices of Christianity provided a civilized society and peaceful life. When they realized this, some had reasoned that authority should be used to force Christianity on the people. That, however, would be completely disregarding the first amendment. Time passed, and the colonists realized that genuine belief in Christ came from the heart, and not from civil authority. So they trashed the idea.

Pretty early in colonial times, state churches of colonies held different degrees of power. For example, the closest connection between church and state was in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where state religion was strictly forced on citizens. Yikes.

In New Hampshire, some churches could receive tax money. In lots of the original colonies, the Church of England, or the Anglican church, was a law establishment. In NY, North and South Carolinas, and Georgia, the Anglican church wasn’t powerful enough to force the religion on the dissenting citizens, or the citizens who refused to follow the teachings of Christianity. But in Virginia, the church was really, really powerful.

Lots of colonies offered a degree of religious freedom. Delaware and NJ never had an officially established church. Pennsylvania was originally a Quaker establishment, but William Penn granted religious freedom to anyone who claimed a belief in “one almighty God, the Creator, upholder, and Ruler of the World.”

For a while, Maryland was under the control of the Puritans, but for a lot of the colonial period, it was a haven for Roman Catholics. Eventually, the Anglican church was established, and then Catholics faced discrimination, thanks to Lord Baltimore’s Toleration Act in 1649, stating that all lands and people who blasphemed God’s name, denied the Trinity, or denied that Jesus was the Son of God would have death and confiscation brought upon them. It wasn’t exactly the right idea.

Rhode Island was an outstanding example of religious freedom for Early America. Roger Williams had made his mark for the rest of America by offering the liberty of conscience for all. He would lead all of the states to have complete religious freedom. Whoo-hoo!! Go, Roger Williams!

I’ll write about the disestablishment of religion in the early states very soon, I promise.  Look out for Religious Liberty part 2. And goodbye, all!

 

Spain’s Crusade in the New World

The pattern I’ve been seeing recently while studying events in history is when a person finds an undiscovered place, they instantly become famous and conquer the inhabitants. I put it this way: Discover & Conquer.

1. 1513, a Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon made the first Spanish landing on the mainland of North America.

2. Also in 1513, this Portuguese guy named Vasco de Balboa discovered the Pacific ocean, which made the Europeans quite upset. There was a newly discovered ocean between the New World and the treasure, spices, silk and other goodies in the Far East.

3. By the way, this is my favorite out of all of the voyages made in the history of historic voyages. It is now 1519, and Ferdinand Magellan embarks on an epic three-year voyage around the world. He sailed west across the Atlantic and south along the coast of South America, passing through a strait which now bears his name: The strait of Magellan. He continued his trip west across the Pacific. Unfortunately, Magellan died in the Philippines. However, his crew completed the journey. His expedition once and for all proved that the Earth is round. Way to go, Magellan! Nowadays, however, the Magellan you use in your car is, to tell you the truth, quite dumb.

4. By 1521, Hernando Cortes had conquered the Aztecs of Mexico. He conquered them with the help of neighboring tribes and claimed their wealth for Spain.

5.1553, Fransisco Pizarro conquered the Incas of Peru. He conquered them as Cortes did, sadly because he was a greedy man, only wanting them for their wealth and for the slaves he could put to work in the gold and silver mines of Spain.

6. Between 1528 and 1536, Hernando de Soto explores the southeastern half of the United States. In 1541, he discovers the Mississippi river.

7. 1542, and Juan Cabrillo explores the coast of California.

Then Philip the Second marches in and says, “I’ll take that,” snatching the numerous explorations and discoveries that other people had made and stuffing them into his own pocket. He now probably controlled more of the Earth’s surface than any other man in history. He wanted more. He wanted England, and his plans to gain control were thwarted more than once. It infuriated him and he wanted the English throne. Unfortunately, he wasn’t getting it.

When the Roman church responded to the Protestant Reformation with a Counter-Reformation to crush Protestantism and to bring as many souls as possible back to the Catholic fold, Philip finds his chance to attack England openly and invade.

By 1588, he was prepared, with an awesome fleet of 130 ships and about 30,000 men he called the “Invincible Armada”. His plan was that this “Invincible Armada” would sail up the English Channel, pick up some troops from the Netherlands, and invade England. If Philip had been successful in conquering England, there would be no English colonies in the New World and no United States of America.

God was faithful to his people and intervened. The Armada never made it to the Netherlands. The English fleet, with smaller, easier to maneuver ships, attacked the heavy Spanish galleons while they were still in the English Channel. The remainder of the ships attempted to escape, but that’s where God stepped in. A storm arose, smashing many of the ships to pieces on the shores of Ireland and Scotland.

The English naturally credited their victory to God, making a dedicatory medal which read, “God blew and they scattered.”

The defeat of the Invisible Armada was a place mark for the beginning of Spain’s decline as a world power. If Philip had succeeded, the whole subsequent history of Scotland and England would have been greatly affected; there would have been no Protestant North America, and no Anglo-Saxon civilization. It would have made Spain queen of the world, and that nation would have set the type of civilization in the ages which have followed.

Here are some links to find out more about all of these explorers:

King Philip the II

Juan Cabrillo

Francisco Pizarro

Hernando de Soto

Hernando Cortes

Ponce de Leon

Vasco de Balboa

Miss Hinch

Miss Hinch is an interesting mystery just waiting to be solved. Things are not always as they seem in this British setting.

The main character here, the clergyman, is fighting against Miss Hinch, a powerful mistress of disguise. He helps out an old woman who in the end proves to be Miss Hinch. A conflict in identities is revealed as Miss Hinch quietly changes from person to person.

The first clue of the old woman being Miss Hinch in disguise is that when the clergyman rushes to take care of her, he rubs off some clever wrinkles, which proves to be makeup. The “old woman” falls onto the ice and dies from a severe head injury.

At the funeral of the “old woman”, Miss Hinch has changed to yet another person, the clergyman. She is found out by a false beard and is arrested by the police. In the end, I always wonder how she did it, finding dead people and using their identities to her advantage. All in all, this is a fabulously written mystery story written by Henry Harrison. Can you crack it?

Daises and Editing

Here it is!
Here it is!

Poems

Morgan’s Acrostic

My name means Sea Lover,

Or Compassionate, Forgiving and Kind.

Roles I must accomplish though, are

Greatly left behind. (Sometimes.)

And now there are some troubles.(Since I was

Nine.)

Cloud Of Dreams

My wonderful cloud,
A catalyst for wishes,
Desires spilling out.

Gently, the cloud has
Rested its head, still full
Of dreams and thoughts, too.

I love the stories,
Coming freely to my cloud.
I gobble them up.

Like ideas to treasure,
They come willingly and free,
Floating my cloud.

It feeds on dreaming,
Chews on thoughtfulness, daydreams,
lives on fruits of heart.

My cloud, wondrously
Outpouring my thoughts and wants,
Precipitating.

Hoo’s There?

Hoo’s there?

A barn owl!

Big yellow eyes

Attentive stare,

Bird of prey

T’is all aware.

Sickening scream

Of barn owl unseen,

Feathers in thick,

Curious cream.

Fearful prey,

Plain as day,

Or should I say night?

What fruitful flight.

Meadows Of The Seasons

Meadow breeze tickles

The underside of my chin,

Violet sway their heads fro.

Oh my, they really

Make me happy and joyous

Whenever seen there.

I see spring coming,

gently passing by my house,

fall catching the wind.

Winter blowing by,

spreading summmer across

the flowering hills.

Math

Math is a very important part of life. In fact, without it, we would be practically nothing. Just think about it for a moment. We are dependent on money for our food, clothes, and shelter. The people who manufacture our food, clothes, and shelter are just as dependent on math as we are. The metric system: cm, m, mm, oz, lb, kg, g, mg, cl, l, ml ; the basics: +, -, /, x ; and even time and money.

If we were without math, we would not be able to call one period of day “day” and one “night”. We would not be on time for parties, because there would be no time, and there would not be enough food because there would be no numbers to help us count the food needed. There would not be healthy foods because we would be without the correct measurements, therefore we would not be able to measure out the correct amounts of protein, fiber. See the domino effect here?

Math, a concept so simple, and yet so complicated. It helps us to program sites. We invented the Internet, blogs, computers, tablets, and all sorts of software that we use every single day. Whether it’s algebra or it’s simple addition, math is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be thrown out as you are thrown out of school, but keep it as a treasure, and store it close to your heart, well, I should really say brain. 🙂

Saved Through Faith

Today I read about Job, and I just thought about how we are just like him in many ways. We go through troubles and misery and sorrow, but God is still there to catch us in the end. He will never let go of our hands once we have accepted His. He saves us from great troubles, like loss of a house, children, wife, friends, family, pets.

In place of those things, He puts something new to think about in our hearts. Faith. Faith that God will take care of us. Faith that no matter what, our salvation is secure. Faith that God will always love us. Going through and surviving terrible sicknesses like scarlet fever, cancer and others strengthen our faith and build up our relationship with God. Our everyday troubles cause us to pray more, to read the Word more, to exercise our faith more. That is the true way that God saves us.

Devotion for the Day

Today, I was reading my devotion, and felt convicted by God. The verse for the day was 2 Peter 1:3,  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” God doesn’t stop at giving us things we need to live our physical life, clothing, food, shelter, transportation, and every other need here on Earth. He gives us things we need for our spiritual life: strength, faithfulness, forgiveness, concern, love, and grace. We really don’t do anything to deserve it, so, I feel like I should be doing more, thanking Him by walking with him, producing fruit on the vine (God) that holds the branches (us), purple-grapes-553464_1280which, if we are spiritually healthy in Christ, displaying the attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, or, as we well know it, the fruit of the Spirit, we will produce juicy, prodigious grapes. I made the connection between the grape vine and the fruit of the Spirit in John 15:2. I know I can thank God by obeying him, worshiping Him, exercising my faith, and showing love to my neighbor and love to God, like the Golden Rule tells us.

Geography (& Hidden Disney Connections!)

I have recently been studying Europe for my geography, and have explored the Internet for information on certain regions, such as Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, and many others. A few fascinating facts crossed my path while I was researching “Frozen” late one night during my free time. It led me to some interesting discoveries.

I came across a video explaining the story arch and similar connections to many Disney movies. The video link is at the bottom, if you are interested. Here’s a couple of random details on the regions Disney has used for their settings, dress code, tradition, background, etc.

Region 1. Denmark – Setting For The Movie “Ariel” “The Little Mermaid” is a beautiful story written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen that inspired Disney to come up with “Ariel”. In Copen Hagen, Denmark, there is a statue of the little mermaid near the coast. The LEGO was invented in Denmark. Legoland and the LEGO company headquarters are located in Billund, on the Jutland peninsula. About 65% of Denmark is farmland, and 11% of it eye – catching woodlands. Denmark also proudly displays many beautiful beaches around the coastline.

Region 2. Germany – Setting For The Movie “Tangled” German style is included often in this beautiful movie, and Rapunzel’s dress is a great example. Look at this picture, And compare it to this one. See the similarities? The German fashion shown in Tangled is just another hint that it is set in Germany. Another one is the fact that Rapunzel is a German fairy tale. Germany has been home to famous composers such as Johann Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Wagner. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Germany.

Region 3. Norway – Setting For The Movie “Frozen” In the movie “Frozen”, the word “fjord” (fi – ord) is used frequently, and many scenes and takes show these deep, canyon-like inlets of the sea, created by glacier erosion. Sound familiar? How about Norway? Norway is often described as the “Land of the Midnight Sun”, because during the summer months of late May through to late July the sun never completely drops below the horizon in northern Arctic Circle areas of the country and other areas have around 20 hours of sunlight a day. However, it is the opposite in winter. Football, known as soccer in Norway, has the highest participation level of any sport in Norway, like Germany. The winter sports of biathlon and cross-country skiing are the most eagerly followed.

Here’s the link for this awesome Youtube video. 🙂 It certainly earns my thumbs up.

Hidden Disney Connections
Credit to: Science Kids Norway Science Kids Germany Science Kids Denmark

This is the little mermaid statue looking out into the sea.
This is the little mermaid statue looking out into the sea. Beautiful!
europe map
The triangle indicates Germany, setting for “Tangled”, the snowflake indicates Norway, setting for “Frozen”, and the dot indicates Denmark, setting for “Ariel”.