Art Should Reveal Uncomfortable Truths

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

by Oletta Branstiter Should art be created to make us feel comfortable? The school district in Biloxi, Mississippi recently decided to eliminate To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, from the 8th-grade reading list. The reason? “Language in the book makes some people uncomfortable.” Was the complaint based on the historical and contextual use of the word “nigger”? Or was it more insidious? Do the objections reflect the same lack of understanding that led to the banning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain?…

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National Unity Rests On Pillars Of Principle

Pillars representing five styles of architecture

by Oletta Branstiter Unity rests on the strength of our Principles. When I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to 5th and 6th graders, I create a huge graphic on a Library wall that includes metaphorical representations of our Republic. My purpose is to portray our nation’s government founded on solid ground and strong ideological support. My hope is that these lessons will inspire unity on those principles so that the next generation will work to restore our Constitutional Republic.   The bottom layer of Bedrock represents the Natural Law of our…

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Girls Just Wanna Be Scouts

Cub Scouts with the U.S. flag

by Oletta Branstiter Girls in Boy Scouts The Boy Scouts of America organization has announced that young girls will be allowed to join Cub Scout packs and are planning to accept older girls into a program to earn the Eagle rank – the highest Boy Scout award. This should come as no surprise. As far back as the late 1990’s girls have been participating in Boy Scout adventures as part of the Explorer program. My son went on a co-ed trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. He…

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Restoring National Unity Under The Rule Of Law

Courtroom gavel and law book

by Oletta Branstiter How do we restore National Unity? We the People must agree on is honoring the Rule of Law above the Rule of Man. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the United States is not a Democracy. Democracy is a system of government ruled by the majority. As we know from history (and our most recent primary Presidential election) the opinions of the general populace can often be wrong. Slavery was once accepted by the majority. That didn’t make it right. The advent and popularity of instant polls are disturbing. Citizens…

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Why Did Christopher Columbus Set Sail in 1492? Perhaps Because He Was A Jew.

by Oletta Branstiter Indigenous People’s Day Congratulations, Denver, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and dozens of other cities. You’ve jumped onto the politically correct bandwagon and replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Would these city council members have preferred that explorers just stay home? Do they wish Columbus and his entourage had stayed in Spain? By focusing on the negative narratives of “New World” discoveries, these cities are furthering a narrative that continues a history of prejudice, in more ways than one. Italian Americans have expressed their opposition to…

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Renewing National Unity By Restoring Reliance On Providence

George Washington in prayer

by Oletta Branstiter What happened To National Unity? Remember how united we were after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001? What happened? In sixteen short years – less than a generation – we’ve lost our fundamental fellowship. The first blow to our unity in the aftermath of this tragedy was the administration of Barrack Hussein Obama. He spent too much time and effort sowing and nurturing seeds of racial division. His negative pronouncements denied the very cultural achievements that procured the election of a President with African-American heritage. As…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Nine: Legislative Branch

by Oletta Branstiter   Place highlights of this information in one-third of the roof area of your graphic structure. In Article I, the framers of our Constitution described the powers and limitations to the powers of the Legislative Branch of our Republic. It contains ten sections.  Section 1 creates and grants power to a bicameral legislature – a House of Representatives and a Senate. Section 2 establishes specific rules for the House of Representatives, elected for two-year terms by the citizens of state districts. This section also includes the 3/5th…

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Will God Survive Science? Dan Brown’s Latest Novel Challenges The Creator

cover of the newest fiction from best selling author Dan Brown - "Origin"

by Oletta Branstiter “Will God survive Science?” This was the question author Dan Brown posed during an interview on a Dallas-Fort Worth radio station on the morning of October 5. He cited the fact that understanding oceanic science replaced the ancient mythology of Poseidon. Dan Brown is the renowned author who used his bestseller, “The Da Vinci Code”, to explore the idea that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalen, who bore his child, leaving a legacy of DNA from the Son of God. His latest book, released on October 3, titled…

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Restoring Unity Through Patriotism – The Values That Can Bring Us Together

graphic image combining the American flag and the Declaration of Independance

by Oletta Branstiter Facts + Principles = Opinions I teach my students that forming a strong opinion consists of filtering facts through personal principles to make an ideological conclusion. They learn that if our opinions differ, it’s because our valid personal principles differ. I impress upon my students that opinions cannot be wrong, and should be shared and accepted with respect. It has occurred to me, especially in light of recent divisive statements and protests in current events, that while opinions cannot be “wrong”, they can foment disunity. Diversity at the…

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Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Prepper, Too? Water – The Elixir Of Life

by Oletta Branstiter Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink! This is what recent victims of Texas and Florida hurricanes experienced. They were literally at risk of drowning in water too dangerous to sustain them! On Tap The first provision we should consider for emergency preparedness is water. A human can live up to three weeks without food, but only three days without this basic but precious commodity. Like most people, especially in the developed world, you probably get your water from a faucet or refrigerator dispenser. You…

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