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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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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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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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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Compulsory Patriotism – Why I Don’t Insist You Salute Or Observe Anything

1930s era photo of Nazi women saluting Swastika

by Richard Cameron   I’ve seen a lot of angry people expressing their outrage about football players kneeling during the anthem. I respect their right to their viewpoint, while at the same time, I don’t share it.  Donald Trump, predictably, got in the middle of this, seeing in it another opportunity to exploit the anger of his remaining base voters.  At a rally in Alabama, Trump juiced up the crowd with, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘Get that…

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President Trump Scores a Divisive Goal With A Literal Political Football

President Trump makes goal post sign with capable fingers

by Oletta Branstiter On September 23, 2017, President Trump gave a speech at a campaign rally for senatorial candidate Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama. In typical Trump style, the President veered off message in order to cater to his vengeful jingoistic base by declaring: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ” The next morning, he doubled down on his buffoonery by recommending that…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Eight: Introduction to the Three Branches of Government

photo image of the United States Capitol - home of the legislative branch of America's government - Congress

by Oletta Branstiter Introduction to the Three Branches of Government Now that our Five Pillars of Principles are erected, we have a sturdy support structure for the three Branches of Government. We can imagine these fitting snugly into the roof of the structure we’re building. Add a triangular roof to the top of the pillars, in order to display information on the three Branches of Government. Separation of Powers Just like loading up an attic, it’s wise to separate the heavy items and balance the weight in the rafters over…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Seven: Free Enterprise Capitalism

Store front mural of "Mr Money Bags" - the iconic character of the Monopoly Game

by Oletta Branstiter Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Seven: Free Enterprise By now, if you’ve been “building” a wall graphic or virtual computer graphic representing Our Nation’s Foundations, your picture includes the bottom layer of “Bedrock” – The Natural Law of Unalienable Rights, “Bricks” – The Rule of Law in a Republic, the first Four “Pillars” of Principle: Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, and National Security. Our final Pillar of Principle is Free Enterprise. Add another pillar and let students place summary notes on the graphic. Let’s Make a…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Six: National Security

Service Members salute flag

by Oletta Branstiter Second Purpose of Government After protecting our rights, what is the most important thing a government should do? The Constitution says that our Federal Government should spend money from taxpayers to protect our nation – especially its borders. They realized that our land has vast resources that other countries might want to take by force. So, an Army, Navy, National Guard, Air Force, and any other armed services should be well-funded to protect us and our national interests. Our fourth pillar of principle is National Security. Add…

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