Make Civics Great Again

As I begin this post on the importance of Civics, the mayor of New York City has just threatened to arrest Jewish American citizens who persist in congregating despite New York’s lockdown decree.

(My apologies to Wolf, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get the Twitter image in my media folder over here. I’m a tech dolt.)

According to the Constitution, does Mayor Bill de Blasio have the legal right to arrest citizens for congregating in public and/or private spaces, even when a supposed health danger is present?

What about the accelerating rate of citizen surveillance we see with huge tech companies like Google and Facebook? Do American citizens have a right to freely move without having government and their corporate lackeys track our movements and opinions?

What are our rights and responsibilities as citizens? Ready for the rabbit hole?

Civics Has Been Co-opted By The Left

In a traditional sense, Civics in the United States has been the study of our system of government and our individual rights and responsibilities as citizens. However, for decades progressive elements within and without our education system have redefined Civics. Look at the Dictionary.com definition of Civics:

“The study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.”

See that? “Privileges” and “Obligations” with no mention of Rights, let alone God-given rights. There are many organizations today that purport to teach and promote citizen participation in government and society. If you do a cursory dive into their organizations, however, you will most likely find they are progressive and globalist in nature.

Their ideas regarding citizenship often focus on worker rights, or the rights of immigrants and so forth. Many of these organizations are international, like Civicus.org. The word ‘civicus’, by the way, derives from the Latin and means “pertaining to the citizen.” These organizations often promote a sense of world citizenship and work closely with other groups around the world in alliances that, again, focus on progressive and globalist policies.

It is also important to note that there are American organizations that promote a form of Civics that focuses on a different understanding of citizenship than the traditional American one, and seek to promote a more diversified sense–that one can be a citizen of a neighborhood, of an ethnic community, etc. These definitions, which have some legitimacy in a certain sense, end up diffusing and changing the focus of what it means to be a citizen of the United States, with inherent, God-given rights.

Did you know that the Pew Research Center did a study in which only one third of Americans could name one of the branches of government? It’s not just children and young adults who are ignorant of our governmental structure. The lack of Civics education has been going on for decades. Here’s a fun little Pew Center quiz to test your knowledge: What do you know about the US government?

How Do We Fix This Mess?

As in most things, education is key to rectifying the ignorance and therefore danger we are in as Americans. I will be sharing resources in future posts for all ages. As parents, grandparents, citizens, we have a duty to educate ourselves and our loved ones on the rights of citizenship in the United States. We are far down the road to tyranny. The government education system is woefully inadequate and even opposed to providing a curriculum that will inform and educate.

It is up to us. Really, it has always been up to us.

The good news is that self-education and educating our loved ones, can be simple, direct, and as light or heavy as you desire. You can get the basics with a few good resources tailored to your needs, or you can go full blown autodidactic and engage with primary sources to your heart’s content. It’s up to you.

As a homeschool parent for over a decade, I was very gratified to find out that I could learn right along with my students. As long as I stayed one lesson ahead of them, we were good. The other thing that was extremely helpful to me was that it was not only OK, but A-OK as an adult to use resources geared toward students. An overview of history for middle-schoolers gave me a really helpful frame of reference. It helped me put a lot of disparate ideas I had gathered over the years into a cohesive understanding of time periods.

The goal here is to know and understand our rights as citizens, and how those rights are expressed within (and without) our governmental system. Who couldn’t use a refresher course? I know I need one.

One other tip. Be very aware of your resources. Even ones that purport to be Christian or conservative, or non-partisan have an agenda. And it’s okay to take some things and leave others. Be discerning. Disagreements, as we know here at the Q Tree, also make for learning.

Resources

For a jump start, here’s a Pocket Constitution (comes in a pack of 10). This particular one is from the National Center for Constitutional Studies, founded by a professor from Brigham Young University.

There are many versions of pocket Constitutions out there, as well as online. A really nice online resource for the Constitution and related issues is ConSource. Here’s their intro:

“The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) connects hundreds of thousands of American citizens of all ages annually to our nation’s constitutional history by creating a comprehensive, easily searchable, fully-indexed, and freely accessible digital library of historical sources related to the creation, ratification, and amendment of the United States Constitution. Our team not only curates important digital collections of historical materials, but also creates free research reports and educational resources — including downloadable lesson plans — to meet the specific needs of scholars and authors, legal practitioners and government officials, educators and students, journalists and the general public.”

Yes, they have lesson plans online!

Here’s another online source for teaching Civics to students: iCivics. This organization was founded by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Many of us like the hands-on stuff, too. I like this Spark Chart. It’s like a compact cheat sheet.

Next time I’m going to talk about the literature approach to learning Civics. You cannot believe the amount of incredible, exciting and in-depth literature resources there are in which to learn about our history, how our government was formed, and the wonderful individuals who labored to provide a system that promoted “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

I hope everyone will share their resources and ideas. We’re going to make Civics great again!

112 thoughts on “Make Civics Great Again

      1. King Christian of Denmark. When the nazis ordered all jews to wear the yellow star wore one himself.
        The leader of checkoSlovakia refused to hand over their jews. When asked why he would want dirty stinking jews he replied because you are our dirty stinking jews

        Liked by 8 people

        1. The Finns found themselves allied to Germany, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union (and, of course the Soviets had been trying to seize territory from Finland since at least 1939). But for that accident of history, Finland would have wanted nothing to do with the Nazis.

          They could troll, though! They appointed a Jew to be their military liason with Nazi Germany.

          Liked by 7 people

      1. With pride. Western civilisation has pulled us out of the animal kingdom of dog eat dog. Art, science, literature, architecture, engineering etc etc all flowfrom western civilisation. And no. All cultures AREN’T equal.

        Liked by 11 people

      2. And that’s why my wife and I homeschool. My kids have FAR better command of many subjects than I do. Part of their learning is explaining it to me. Self directed learning of that which is true, good and beautiful is always beneficial.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Yeah, I remember Civics…7th and 8th grade.

    Basic.

    Real rights and how government is “suppose” to work.

    No longer.

    That is gone from the poor, pitiful, deluded minds of our youth stolen.

    The reaping of these poison tares are going produce…are producing, bad fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the questions has a detail wrong.

      The Electoral College isn’t an “assembly,” it never gets together. Rather, the 51 groups of electors meet in their own state capitols to cast their ballots.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. As far as I know, it has ALWAYS been the state capitals, and if you think about how arduous travel was back when the Constitution was adopted, it makes sense…travel to the capital just to cast two ballots?

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Constitution-respecting judges and justices!

        Respecting Governors’ place to govern their states – but without denying citizens their Constitutional civil rights!

        Liked by 11 people

  2. Just a thought I usually share when mention of a pocket constitution ever comes up. Newt was the one that made them popular but I was always quick to point out that Bill Clinton instead carried a pocket sized version of Machiavelli’s ‘Prince’ in his pocket.

    Another note. The people who dared take the test is likely small fraction of Americans. So if you scored less 100% you are more likely in the 90% or better range.

    Liked by 10 people

            1. And one of our RAN ships are with some yank ships pissing the Chinese off mightily in the contested straights.
              We always seem to have each other’s backs when the shtf.

              Liked by 6 people

              1. And Africa and Europe and the Asian theatre. Churchill refused to release our troops fighting in Europe and Africa to defend Australia. The govt, at the time, drew up a series of defences. Around Sydney was the final line.
                We been with you in the gulf wars, nam, etc. brothers in arms

                Liked by 3 people

              2. Indeed you have!

                In the US, we’re not just deficient in Civics, we’re deficient in world history.

                I got “US History” in 8th, 9th and 11th grade, with “geography” in the 7th grade and world history in the 10th. Might not be too bad, except that it was basically the same year repeated three times.

                Liked by 4 people

              3. That we have. It’s somewhat impressive that Aussies have stood with us in all the far-flung corners of the world when there are only 26 million souls on the entire continent…..but, then, we’ve long maintained a special interest in that corner of the world.

                Liked by 3 people

              4. We are vital to the whole indo pacific region. It’s location, location location . Plus we are Anglo Saxon is hard English speaking with similar British based laws and rights.

                Liked by 2 people

    1. That said, I am reminded that in my home state – Albany, Dougherty County GA – was devastated by the Chinese Virus – so far, they have had 1493 cases and 118 deaths – mostly in the black community – and among health care workers – due to two funerals attended by busloads from two Atlanta black churches that brought the infection down with them.

      A big crowded funeral could be a petrie dish if folks aren’t careful and honest to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed.

      Liked by 10 people

  3. Great article! I used the block editor to get the tweet to show, and then I added a news image of the “congregating violators” in New York City as the header image! 😀

    I also added categories and keywords. All that stuff is accessed by clicking on the title in the block editor. Highly recommended to use that one!

    Do you have an image you still want to add in editing? If so, just grab the URL for it by right-clicking on the image in your media bucket on your blog, and you can use that URL for images on articles here, after you remove the “?resize=…..” junk at the end. Just hit the edit button here, add an image block in the right place, and pick the URL option to add the image. Paste in the URL and remove the junk at the end and hit return. BOOM – image in place!

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Been thinking on how hard it is to red pill otherwise intelligent people.
        Came across a quote that relates to every marginalised group that the democrats supposedly protect
        “Sheep spend their whole lives terrified of the wolf. But it’s the shepherd that kills and eats them”

        Liked by 9 people

        1. Excellent reminds me of a never quoted from the pulpit (that I know of) scripture…I’ll see if I can find it…

          Wow this whole passage is long but very pertinent to our times in so many ways…if you have eyes to see, ears to hear, & hearts to understand!

          Ezekiel 34 New International Version (NIV)
          The Lord Will Be Israel’s Shepherd
          34 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

          7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

          11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

          17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

          20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.

          25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

          Footnotes:
          a. Ezekiel 34:26 Or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be named in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be seen as blessed
          New International Version (NIV)
          Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

          God’s Blessings to you Ozzy! 🙂

          Liked by 7 people

  4. Well done, grandmaintexas! I appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge with us.

    Many years ago, I tried to produce a conservative newspaper and was able to attract some wonderful talent to contribute. Mike Holler is one of them.

    He wrote a book called The Constitution Made Easy. It’s a small paperback book. On the left side pages is the original text of the Constitution and on the right side is a simplified version in today’s language. He keeps the meaning in tact, but for those who find the older language too daunting, this is a great book to get people excited about the purpose of the document.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13194813-the-constitution-made-easy

    Liked by 10 people

  5. Grandma: Thank you so much for doing this. Great topic! I was blessed to have an excellent Civics Teacher, Mr. Walker! He was so on the ball. He actually showed us a film of Fidel and Raul shooting people and throwing their bodies in a pit! This was 9th Grade. None of us ever thought Fidel was a good guy!
    He would post 10 pictures a week of things happening in the World and we needed to know who, what, why, where, when.
    We were basically required to memorize much of the Declaration and the Constitution and important speeches. Washington’s Farewell, The Gettysburg Address…
    We had excellent discussions. It was a very popular class.
    I bought some good old books for my children. I’m so grateful that they are conservative and a blessing to me.

    Liked by 10 people

  6. I’m curious about the header image of the people at the rabbi’s funeral, and if they are congregated so closely because they had been told by police to get out of the street, even though streets were blocked off around the synagogue. From what I have read, they contacted the police department to make arrangements for this within minutes of the rabbi’s death to work out a plan for people to be able to watch the procession – knowing there would be crowds. These aren’t people coming in from out of town, they’re all going to leave that funeral and go back to living on top of eachother right in that neighborhood. Not saying the jewish community is faultless here – but there is more to this story.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Meanwhile, he seeds the nursing homes with COVID patients, allows the subways to become rolling flophouses, and provides 500,000 free halal meals for ramalama-ding dong. I’m sure there won’t be any crowds at those pick-up locations.

      Liked by 10 people

  7. Colorado students actually had to study the US Constitution in, I believe, 9th grade. Apparently at that time, that was unusual in the US.

    Of course the subject of “Civics” is inextricably tied with “US History” because our form of government affected our development, and in turn was affected as we developed. A lot of things a civics class would teach today is a relatively recent invention. We got through the first hundred and twenty five years of our constitution with only five amendments (after the big pile of them known as the Bill of Rights), since then we’ve passed another twelve. Two of those cancel each other out (Prohibition and its repeal), about half of the rest were profoundly bad ideas.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. True. Particularly Northern Territory beers. Come in 1 litre bottles.
        They were almost at the point of succession when they brought in national speed limit. They liked to go shopping in Darwin from hundreds of kilometres away as a day trip. Set cruise control to 180-200 km/ .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And I’ll guess the national speed limit is only two digits, right? Or maybe a whopping 110?

          Saskatchewan, Canada, as far as I know, still has an 80 KPH limit…and it’s pretty darned wide open (though nothing like your Outback).

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome, ThanQ, grandmainTexas!! As a Nonna in the northeast of our country, with dear wee lil ones, I’m thankful for the refresher and resources.

    My lil ones need a beautiful, faithful country with the rights and freedoms for which their great-great grandparents came to, LEGALLY.

    Appreciate your caring enough to share. I’ll be diving in to your resources with pen and paper handy to take plenteous notes to teach them well. (And as an added benefit, their parents, too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”

    _____________

    Turn it into something silly, and make sure you tape it, and then post it all over the Internet.

    Get a hundred (or a thousand) people to show up someplace. Wear old throwaway clothes, and everybody cover yourselves in wax or grease or something slick, from head to toe.

    Everybody brings (or gets) multiple small copies of the Constitution.

    Wait for the cops to arrive. If possible, have people recording the whole event from the safety of a window, either of a home or business, the more the better.

    When the cops arrive, somebody with a bullhorn tell the cops they’re in violation of the Constitution.

    When the cops try to arrest anyone, everybody start running, just don’t go anywhere. Just run in circles, figure-eights, etc. Make the cops chase you, and as you run, hold a copy of the Constitution behind you, like a relay runner holding a baton.

    You should hopefully have 20 or more cops, all running around chasing people who are covered in grease so the cops have a ridiculous time trying to grab anybody (and can’t grab anybody without getting themselves covered in grease), dropping copies of the Constitution all over the place.

    Get it all on video, from multiple angles.

    Set the whole thing to something like the Benny Hill theme / chase music, and you’re all set.

    Should get tens of millions of views, easy.

    Mock the tyrants into submission.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here’s a fun little Pew Center quiz to test your knowledge: What do you know about the US government?

    ______________

    7 out of 7… I was guessing on the filibuster question though, and had no idea WHICH amendment (22nd) restricted any president to two terms, just knew it was one of the Amendments, and only one answer included an ‘Amendment’.

    Liked by 1 person

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