Breathing Freedom

StatueOfLibertyby Deana Chadwell    11/10/14
Election night I filled my lungs with a deep breath and then exhaled for what felt like the first time in 6 long years. God does answer prayer and millions of us have been praying. Americans aren’t stupid, aren’t depraved, aren’t mindlessly dependent, and when face-to-face with tyranny, we know how to fight back.

Now, no doubt Obama will do some dastardly things out of retaliation – corner a rat and he’ll bite. We know that. But we’re grown-ups and we can handle tantrums.

We can ignore this man from now on, but he and his progressive agenda have done much damage to this country and all that must be undone, in fact, some of the last 100 years needs undoing, or we’ll be right back in this mess as soon as the nasty Obama taste is out of our mouths. But how do we do that?

We move from attack mode to teaching mode. This whole mess has been brought about through dys-education, through the resultant warping of our national worldview, through the church and its willingness to sell out to the lowest common cultural denominators, and through the mistaken idea that the press’s job is to build on the Marxist – progressive blueprint. Anti-capitalist nonsense has to be repudiated, moral responsibility and general integrity must be re-instituted as our national backbone, and respect for our history, and for the central part God played in our beginnings, needs to be reintroduced. We have to get over the self-indulgence of guilt.[pullquote]This idea that the biblical concept of charity and giving and being our brothers’ keeper is best addressed by governmentally stealing from the wealthy, spreading the money throughout a gargantuan bureaucracy, and then passing what little is left on to the poor has got to be debunked.[/pullquote]

I intend to study and learn and then to hammer away with my own limited abilities to speak truth whenever possible, and I invite all of you to do so as well. Let us saturate the national bandwidth with healthy thinking.

I see several areas that need addressing:

We need first and foremost to get back to our Christian heritage and scientifically speaking, right now is such a good time to do that. The force that has eaten away at our Christian roots – Darwinian evolution – is crumbling to dust. Microbiology has pulled the foundation out from under it, and little by little, Intelligent Design thinking is winning converts because of the sheer weight of the evidence. If matter and life are obviously the result of a super-intelligence, then we can go back to the Biblical accounts with a fresh look, and with fresh respect. I will be writing about ID and about the effects that understanding will have on our worldview. Allow me to suggest some excellent reading on this subject:

  • The Devil’s Delusion by David Berlinski
  • The Ethical Brain — Michael Gazzeninga
  • Darwin’s Black Box – Michael Behe
  • Darwin’s Doubt and Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer
  • Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells
  • A Meaningful World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt

I’ll also be writing about the problems I see in the modern church. Our national ignorance re the Bible is frightening. The Bible is the users’ manual for the human body, soul, and spirit, and for the health of nations, and we tend to bungle things up pretty badly when we get uppity and refuse to read those instructions. This idea that the biblical concept of charity and giving and being our brothers’ keeper is best addressed by governmentally stealing from the wealthy, spreading the money throughout a gargantuan bureaucracy, and then passing what little is left on to the poor has got to be debunked. I’ll be writing about that and about the benefits of absorbing a biblical economic viewpoint. Works I’ve found helpful here are:

  • The Bible  — of course
  • The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Jesus, Among other Gods by Ravi Zacharias
  • Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
  • The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

I’ll be writing about education, what’s wrong with what we’re doing now, and ways it might be corrected. Common Core, of course has to go, but so do a lot of erroneous assumptions we’ve been operating under for decades. For instance, how we ever bought the idea that education could be politically and religiously neutral is beyond me. You can’t teach kids for 12 years in a God-free environment and accomplish anything other than to convince them that God isn’t. The more our children are separated from God, the more trouble they get into, the less interested they are in learning, the less motivated they are to do something with their lives. We’ve robbed them of purpose. I’ll be drawing on over 30 years of teaching, and I’m going to look into these books:

  • The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch
  • The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School by Neil Postman

And we must really begin educating ourselves on the true history of our nation, as opposed to what’s passed for history in our hyper-liberal school systems and universities. We have several generations who suffer from the misapprehension that this nation is and always has been the cause of most of the world’s problems. This guilt-producing, narcissistic view is totally de-bunkable and we need to get started doing so. I just bought D’Souza’s latest video, America, Where would the World be Without Her? (It’s well worth the time it takes to watch.) And I’ll be referring back to books like:

  • The Five-Thousand-Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
  • The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin
  • Original Intent by David Barton

Of course there’s lots more to read and think about than what I’ve listed here, but we can’t let that overwhelm us. Every little thing we learn is a step forward, every fresh idea that breaks through our brains is progress – the real kind, not the bilge the “Progressives” have been promoting.

I’m nobody. Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Over 150 years have passed since Emily Dickinson wrote those lines, yet every time I sit down to write, I hear her voice in my head. I’m nobody. What right do I have writing about the state of our nation, about the downfall of American culture, about theology?

I have that legal right because I’m an American citizen. I have the ethical right because I have a solid education and I do my homework, and because 21st century technology allows me access to information everywhere, even though I’m tucked away in the mountains of Southern Oregon. In fact, I not only have the right to speak truth as I see it, I have the responsibility.  True, mine is only one extremely tiny voice, but if just 10% of us learned what we need to know and then started talking, writing, making movies, writing songs, we can heal this country.

The left can call us whatever mean-spirited names they wish. They can pit us against each other all they want. But this is America. Next to Jesus Christ this country is the best thing that has ever happened to this world. Let’s get her back on her feet, ready to step into a future that will allow our grandchildren to breathe freedom and all the prosperity that goes with it.

Deana Chadwell blogs at
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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23 Responses to Breathing Freedom

  1. Anniel says:

    Thank you Deanna. I have to fight the “I’m Nobody “, who could possibly want to hear what I have to say, battle every day. You give me hope and courage.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    That’s a fine list of books you’ve listed, Deana. I’ve gained a title or two from you before. I may check out “The Ethical Brain” and particularly A Meaningful World.

    Perhaps no topic separates the left and the right as the topic of “meaningfulness”…or lack thereof. Yes, a mind can be twisted by religion, especially when that religion develops and depends on mindless zealotry and utopia notions. (“There’s nothing wrong with getting a little religion as long as you don’t let it get out of hand” — John Walton.) But only bad things devolve from atheism. As Dostoevsky said, “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” And that is an operative truth. That’s the way it has always played out.

    The Insp cable channel was having a Walton’s marathon, thus the quote. Here’s another one.:

    “Grandma how can you believe?” Mary Ellen asks.

    “Because there’s nothing else.”

    There are a lot of bible-thumpers here that are more in the vein of Grandma or Olivia. And that’s fine. But I like John Walton’s take. This is one of the amazing things about the show. Nowhere amongst the Darwin-thumping atheists will you find a reasonable critique of religion. It takes a wise religious viewpoint to do so…and John Walton was often the character to voice those critiques.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    An interesting study on race relations in America is America in Black and White by the Thernstroms. Their first chapter (on Jim Crow) finally explained to me why the South had different textbooks for blacks and whites (which I had read about in C. Vann Woodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow in high school American history, and which had given me interesting thoughts about the sniper’s nest in the Texas School Book Depository).

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I intend to study and learn and then to hammer away with my own limited abilities to speak truth whenever possible, and I invite all of you to do so as well. Let us saturate the national bandwidth with healthy thinking.

    Some of the discussions I’ve been having with people I know in real life, as well as online, have been regarding this point. Let me describe the point as I would: Is beating one’s head against the Progressive wall going to change the shape of that wall or just put a dent in your head?

    As I’ve written before, I do not believe in the value of “recreational bitching.” And what I mean by that is just banging away behind the keyboard as an outlet for angst, the outgrowth of a feeling of limitation, or whatever. Too often this keyboard-banging merely masquerades as an agent for change when it isn’t really about that. When I peruse the headlines of most conservatives sites, this is often what I see. (I also see some outstanding stuff, but it is rare, and I try to collect the good stuff here, which is why you are all here.)

    Myself, I’ll likely (famous last words) have much less to say about politics, in particular, although cultural issues of all types (including movie and book reviews) will remain a main interest (I just gotta see “Interstellar”). There’s just a certain amount of walling-off one must do from the incessant insanity of Leftist/materialist culture.

    Plus, I really do think we should retake the arts. And writing is an art. I don’t mean politicize the arts. But we should be exemplars of what wise, broad, and articulate people of the right should look and sound like. We should believe very powerfully in a specific set of good things, and yet have an enormous ability to nuance the various issues, for wisdom also exists not just in the good principles but in applying them.

    We are all different and are going to have a different take on things and different ways of expressing ourselves. But I would like to emphasize the importance of being concise, clear, and conversational. That is, anything we write should not tend to ramble, not be longer than it need be (or shorter), or not be interesting to read. It is very easy to lapse into a kind of literary solipsism. Although the subjects we deal with may be esoteric, they should still be written in such a way as to invite those who are interested in the subject to want to read along.

    I don’t edit articles here (unless asked) or give advice (unless asked). I don’t have the time for it. Articles are accepted as-is or they are not accepted at all (and I’ve only ever turned down about five of them so far). I expect people to hone their skills by regularly reading good writers. That is the best way I know of to develop writing skills. And edit, edit, edit (if need be). But as someone once said (and I forget who), “I’m sorry this letter is so long for I did not have time to write a short one.” Or something like that. It’s a rough paraphrase.

    By the way, none of this is aimed at Deana or anyone in particular. Deana, for the most part, is an outstanding writer. And I say “for the most part” because we all have room to improve. And those with skills (such as she has) are the ones that should least be cut slack because they contain the most ability to improve. 🙂

    I hope all here will work to hone their skills, tighten up their content a little, reduce their ego footprint (still working on that myself), and write in a way that engages readers. I will try to do the same. In good times or bad, if we are to take this craft seriously, these should always be our goals.

    As for reversing the Leftist trend, I’m still searching for the magic words that will do that.

    • Rosalys says:

      “I’m sorry this letter is so long for I did not have time to write a short one.”

      How true! Good writing – even of a letter – takes time and thought. Writing an email or writing on a word processor has the advantage over a hand written letter in that you can reread, spell check and edit before sending it off or printing it to be sent via snail mail. Yet the hand written letter is still held up to be the ideal. So I’ve tried the rough draft and final copy method and find that even my “final,” hand written copies are full of scratch outs and insertions scribbled into the margins and between lines. There comes a point when trying to produce the perfect finished copy becomes too expensive, my efforts resulting in a big pile of wasted paper: so I settle for a less than perfect final. Whoa is me! I receive letters from friends which aren’t a mess, so I know it is possible, but it is an illusive skill which seems beyond my grasp!

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yet the hand written letter is still held up to be the ideal.

        Indeed, Rosalys. I commend the crowd here for not being of the text-messaging mentality. People write out their thoughts. Not only do I think this is a respectable art form. But I think that it helps one to form one’s thoughts. I’ve often said about myself, I don’t really know what I think about a subject until I begin to write about it (and read about it from others).

        There’s something about the act of writing that forces one to not exist only in the rarified air of unrealized and fuzzy ideas (a great place for all utopians and libertarians to stay) and to instead make those ideas concrete (and thus subject to criticism, especially self-criticism).

        One thing I don’t endorse is needless nit-picking from the peanut gallery. I want to encourage people to share their thoughts and to do so in an environment that is not free from criticism but that is relatively free from pedantic perfectionism. The thoughts that remain inside our head remain untouchable and perfect while they remain safely there. But once we actually put them down on paper, we are necessarily involved in the act of making choices and stating preferences and values.

        I encourage that. This kind of writing and interchange helps to bring a mind outside of the choking fumes of blinding idealism. No one here suffers from that. But if that is so, it is likely because so many here have had practice at sincere writing, of self-critiquing, of laying it on the line in a stated and formal opinion.

        When I started this site, I just figured there were many more people like me: Have opinion, will pontificate. But, in fact, the desire to do so with some degree of coherence and thoughtfulness — not to mention bravery — turns out to be much rarer than I thought.

        So while I’m a hard-ass on some subjects (or seem so), I also would like to encourage people to think outside the box, to sharpen their skills, to try to aim a little higher every time. And “encourage” is such a good word because it means to impart onto others courage. That is my way to breath freedom, or one of the ways.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          In fact, one thing I appreciate about this site is that I can write at a bit more length than on most blogging sites. It simply isn’t convenient to do lengthy responses in most places.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            In fact, one thing I appreciate about this site is that I can write at a bit more length than on most blogging sites.

            Well, if you’re like me, you like to hear yourself talk…err…that’s another way of saying “Writing at length.” But it is something I enjoy doing and enjoy practicing. And I find that every sentence is a new opportunity to either communicate something of interest or bore people to death with excessive navel-gazing.

            We’d all rather hear ourselves talk. It’s just human nature. And writing gives us the opportunity to do that. But at the same time, who here wouldn’t like to have the conversational tone and drawing power of, say, a Mark Twain? I’m a really lousy story teller, so I can’t do that. But I can do other things. And, as they say, practice makes perfect.

            I really don’t know how people can ever be satisfied flinging partial sentences at each other, badly spelled — grammar if you’re lucky — via text messaging. To me, it’s the difference between going to a nice 5-star restaurant for a good extended meal and going by the drive-through window and just having the fast-food server shove the French fries right down your throat.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Well, no doubt it’s a lot easier if you don’t really have a good grasp of grammar to begin with. I would find that unpleasant, given that I pretty much think in correct grammar.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Sometimes I think my grammar is worsening as I age. It doesn’t help that there are not that many political writers with panache anymore. Reading good writers is key. I know that Mr. Kung is fond of Theodore Dalrymple. And he certainly is one of the exceptions. But those of his kind are now very few and far between. Political commentary has become so democratized…blended with, and denuded by, a pop sensibility.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, I think my grammar remains about as good as it ever was, but I do feel a bit less confident about my spelling. I actually have to use spelling checkers occasionally.

  5. GHG says:

    Deana, lots of good thoughts, recommendations and positivity. I wholeheartedly agree on all but these two statement:

    Americans aren’t stupid, aren’t depraved, aren’t mindlessly dependent, – agree, but many are ill-informed, or worse, misinformed. The intended confusion works against us.


    We can ignore this man (Obama) from now on – I’m not so sure about this. It will be interesting to see where Obama’s commitment lies – to the progressive cause or to himself. Is he willing to sacrifice everything for the cause or is self preservation his first priority? (course he may not need to come to that crossroad if the GOP roles over). I’m pretty sure he’s correct when he thinks the GOP will not impeach him so he can accelerate his progressive agenda through executive action if he chooses, but to do so will further isolate him from all but the diehards and his legacy will suffer because of it. On the other hand, he can play the magnanimous leader during the lame duck session and cement his legacy as the great uniter and be in position to become very wealthy and popular when he returns to civilian life. In either case – he will not go away and be ignored.

  6. David Ray says:

    Deana has a point. You know we have an uphill fight when the University of Colorado thought it’d be a good idea to hire a malignant narcissist like Ward Chuchill.

    Though his resume’ was a fraud, his acid hatred of America was all they needed to see . . . at least until his academic misconduct caught up with him in 2007.

    Of course we just had MIT professor Jonathan Gruber blurt how they brazenly lied to pass Obamacare. (I wonder if he’s on David Horowitz’s list of 101 worst professors?)

    • Anniel says:

      When I read Gruber’s remarks this morning I thought about Rush Limbaugh saying the Left will always tell you what they’re going to do. Once they’ve done it they can’t resist preening. Narcissists one and all.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    This idea that the biblical concept of charity and giving and being our brothers’ keeper is best addressed by governmentally stealing from the wealthy, spreading the money throughout a gargantuan bureaucracy, and then passing what little is left on to the poor has got to be debunked.

    I believe this point would be a good starting point from which to proceed in our fight against the Left. It is a point that can be made by both believers and non-believers, because it is a view which does not rest upon religion, but can be supported by it.

    I look forward to your piece concentrating and expanding on this thought.

  8. Rosalys says:

    Deana, it’s good to hear an optimistic voice and I hope you are correct. I hear other voices of optimism out there. I don’t know if anyone here follows The Anonymous Conservative blog, but he too is seeing the beginnings of a shift from r to K and I hope he is correct. Trouble is I think this country is further away from God than ever before and I don’t think a real turn around is possible without a spiritual revival – that is a real moving of God the Holy Spirit.

    I also think that too many people like the stuff that the socialist state is handing out. Given the choice between God and mammon, I think too many people choose mammon.

    But preach the truth we must even if it is like talking to a brick wall. The good news is if no one listens and we slip down the slimy slope into a vile, leftist/”Utopian” tyranny it will ultimately fail because leftism always fails. In the meantime, perhaps God in His mercy will send a revival, sooner rather than later.

  9. My optimism is based on two things — Jesus Christ controls history and this last election cycle shows our system is working. Do I worry that the GOP will continue their gutless behavior? Sure. Do I think the election shows a change of attitude on the part of those on the receiving end of governmental largess? No. In fact, I was most irritated with Greg Waldon’s ads this election. He’s the only Republican Oregon has sent to Congress in a long time and he approached re-election in exactly the same way the Democrats did — I’ll bring home the bacon; I’ll side with this group; I’ll protect that group. Blah, blah, blah.

    But we’ve been granted a national reprieve, an opportunity to straighten out our thinking and behavior, a chance to teach, a chance for us all to learn. That’s always a good thing. Whether or not America will respond with a willingness to do either, is up for grabs.

    I’m also hopeful because history seems to be hurtling toward a conclusion and the only way out of that is the revival of America. I just have a sense that either we’ll pull out of this and continue (no doubt after much miserable fuss and bother) to lead this world, or the Lord will return for his people and after the Tribulation, the permanent return of Christ to this world, followed by His perfect leadership. So, all’s good, one way or the other.

    • Rosalys says:

      I too am an eternal optimist because of my belief in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Emphasis on eternal. For the short span of time I am allowed to walk this earth I’m not so sure. Having been born in the early fifties I grew up at an easier time; so maybe I am just suffering from a sense of loss. The Stuff is much better now and so remains is the ever present danger of lovin’ The Stuff too much.

      Speaking of The Stuff… In spite of the fact that I find so much of it annoying, I’m very thankful for all the electronic gadgetry which gives us the internet and with it a world of knowledge at our fingertips. A free internet is our greatest gift in this political age and the biggest threat to tyrants. We must NEVER, NEVER, EVER allow it to be taxed or regulated in anyway!

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    but I do feel a bit less confident about my spelling

    Thanks to spell checkers, Timothy, my spelling is going to hell in a hand-basket. If my grammar suffers I think it’s because the general level of writing at large (not at StubbornThings) is rather coarse. And I tend to absorb the zeitgeist (writegeist?) of what I read. That’s why a little Hawthorne or whomever is a a nice remedy from time to time. Get into some really thick, sharp, and adroit English usage. By the way, anyone seen Glenn lately? 😀

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I only use spelling checkers (to me, a spell checker is something for magicians and witches) when I’m unsure about the spelling of a word. (The fact that I do occasionally use it is what I was referring to. In my heyday I would just about never need it, and only on very unusual words. Fortunately, even now I rarely need it.)

      • Personally, I need spell-check. I spent so many years reading misspelled words that I’ve lost all ability to recognize a badly organized one. All possibilities look familiar to me. 🙁

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