July 3, 2019

We hear often these days that society shouldn’t have any absolute moral standards.  Imposing standards is oppressive, judgmental and outdated. Like Linus and the Great Pumpkin, it doesn’t matter what we choose to believe, as long as we’re really sincere in believing it.  Well, pardon me for pointing it out, but that’s…well, stupid (sorry, Linus!) 

There are all sorts of absolute standards to which we adhere.  A rock band might be filled with nonconformists, but they can’t each play in whatever key they feel like.  You might concede Hannibal Lecter’s sincere belief in cannibalism, but you wouldn’t go to his house for dinner.  It seems counter-intuitive, but freedom can’t work unless we all agree to abide by certain basic standards of right and wrong.  When we step outside those boundaries, chaos ensues.  That can leave a bad taste in your mouth, and I’m not still referring to Hannibal Lecter.  I like to illustrate the concept with a story from the days when my own kids were young.

When my son John Mark was only 12, he decided one day to bake a cake.  My wife Janet and I returned home and were greeted by our son, proudly offering ol’ dad the first taste.  Well, it looked good, and I was already preparing some fatherly praise as I took that first bite.  But what came out of my mouth wasn’t words.  It was the cake.  It was so awful, I had to spit it out.  My first thought was that my son was trying to kill me for the insurance.

As soon as my tongue overcame its shock, I asked John Mark if he’d used a recipe.  He said he had, and he’d followed it to the letter.  Well, except that he didn’t know what a “dash” of salt meant, so he decided a cup of salt should be enough. 

Now, my son worked hard on that cake…he had the best of intentions…and he sincerely believed he’d done a good job.  But hard work, good intentions and sincere beliefs meant nothing once he decided he could make up his own measurement standards.  That’s literally a recipe for disaster.

Freedom can’t exist in a moral vacuum.  It makes some people uncomfortable to hear this, but without clear boundaries of right and wrong, the very concept of liberty breaks down.  A person might argue that he should be free to look at pictures others find offensive.  But if it’s a photo of a child who’s being exploited, then there’s more at stake than just the liberty of the viewer.  There was a big controversy over separating children from parents who crossed the border illegally, but very few people brought up the facts that the parents chose to bring their children along as they knowingly violated federal immigration law – or that (as a pilot DNA test program proved) in many cases, those weren’t even parents but people exploiting children they weren’t even related to. 

Self-government can’t mean each of us lives by our own unique set of rules.  If that’s how you define liberty, then you’re just going to get less of it.  When people live outside the boundaries of a principled and agreed-upon moral code, it always leads to government that’s bigger and more intrusive, just to force people to do the right thing.  Not to mention creating an avalanche of lawsuits. 

If you think more lawyers and bigger government actually improve society, then I have a delicious cake recipe I’d like to sell you.  Then again, no…taking your money for that cake recipe would definitely be morally wrong. 



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Comments 1-25 of 26

  • Robert Carter

    07/06/2019 03:05 PM

    On my cake, for a cub scout meeting, although I used sugar in the icing, I'd never heard of confectioner's sugar. But, they ate it anyway!
    On principles for a civilized society, I couldn't agree with you more.

  • Jack macdonald

    07/04/2019 10:47 PM

    Not directly related to today's articles, but I want to address the concept of reparations. I believe this to be a ludicrous and unworkable concept. I believe thousands of Union soldiers (mostly white and commanded by a white President) dying to free the blacks was the first down payment. Secondly, welfare, subsidized housing and numerous other social programs have been provided to this constituency. Thirdly, numerous blacks have achieved elective positions including Supreme Court positions and President.

    Despite these efforts, I have hardly heard a whisper of gratefulness. I resent this and I bear absolutely zero responsibility for slavery and owe no one for its existence. As a taxpayer I have paid reparations my entire life. It's time to tell these ingrate race hustlers to sing another tune before I start asking for reparations.

  • Scott Schroeder

    07/04/2019 08:06 PM

    After hearing how AOC behaved at the border, I was waiting to see how mini AOC ran a satire comment. Now I hear that her family has been targeted by angry liberals and she will no longer do parodies due to death threats and hateful attacks. Appalling. I find it so cowardly that the left can call anyone associated with President Trump a Nazi, child killer or concentration camp guard, but any mild amusing push back is too much for these snowflakes. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen! What will these wallflowers do when they have to face President Trump in any kind of debate?

  • Anne Eagle

    07/04/2019 01:17 PM

    If Colin Kapernick hates America, and all it stands for he needs to move to Venezuela and catch a dose of reality. Meanwhile all patriotic Americans should let Nike know in no uncertain terms what we think of their capitulation to such a bully!

  • Marilyn Romeo

    07/04/2019 10:50 AM

    God Bless you Mike. "The only way for evil to exist is for enough good men to do nothing!"

  • John wilt

    07/04/2019 10:43 AM

    How is it possible that aoc can continue to make these type of comments with no consequence? How can Sara be refused service and drive out of a public establishment with no consequence. When will the people of this republic stand and demand an end to the injustice?


  • John Mark Tenney

    07/04/2019 09:01 AM

    Right on Huckabee.
    Keep up the good fight.

  • Toni DeFronzo

    07/03/2019 10:34 PM

    Your personal character is a great recipe, that we all need to follow very carefully:

    Common sense
    Informed opinions
    Reasonable expectations
    Moral decency
    Belief in God

    Thank you!

  • Hal Harper

    07/03/2019 10:00 PM

    John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People."

  • Norma Holmes

    07/03/2019 09:44 PM

    Thank you for that commentary and sane perspective on people and events of this day! I teally needed your light instead of the heat saturating our media Please keep writing, talking, sharing!

  • Granny Anne

    07/03/2019 09:31 PM

    I'm sorry people have given her an identity of AOC. That has given her an identity that has no meaning. I have called her Autrosity Cortez from the first time I heard her talk. She appears to want attention and probably thinks she needs it desperately. I feel sorry for her, but not enough to give her any attention or respect.

  • Dusty

    07/03/2019 09:12 PM

    Loved the story with your son we all have these experiences in different ways. Hope you and your family have a super happy 4th. Like what the Pres is doing in DC with our military and equipment and to hear the other side they are so stupid and ridiculous and maybe the majority will not be in DC to give out their negativity . They in Congress would not be where they are today if not for our military .

  • Amelia Little

    07/03/2019 08:15 PM

    One can make the argument about fleeing oppression, etc etc etc--but one must look at the NUMBERS--which have increased in the last couple of years. How many of those people were okay with where they were--until someone(s) made the effort to encourage mass migration. How many were willing to immigrate to the US legally, until they were given an incentive to come illegally? Those who tell people there is free everything for even illegals should have to be the ones to foot the bill. They should also have use their gazillion dollars to improve facilities and conditions at the border.

  • Jeanny Laurie

    07/03/2019 07:35 PM

    Perfect analogy! Just perfect! I laughed so hard out loud I started getting asthma... then you got to the crux of the matter!!!! Awesome wisdom! Thank you!!!

  • Linda Walker

    07/03/2019 07:03 PM

    I ran a testing lab along with my other jobs in an engineer capacity. I had two rules: Rule 1: Before doing a test decided what you will do if it's positive or negative. If it's the same thing, don't bother doing the test. Rule 2: You can be absolutely certain and absolutely wrong at the same time. You son demonstrated Rule 2 and luckily the worst to happen was a salt cake. LOL Loving to bake, I was frequently frustrated by vague instructions, so I feel for him in that moment long past.

  • Lowell G. Henske

    07/03/2019 07:02 PM

    An out standing presentation of what makes freedom and the right to happyness.
    Thanks for the true meaning of democracy.


    07/03/2019 06:41 PM

    Soooo tired of AOC. Retire her stupid arse from MSM for goodness sake.

  • william fuhrer

    07/03/2019 06:38 PM

    Did you see the picture of the combo water fountain and toilet

  • Elaine Romanias

    07/03/2019 05:59 PM

    God, please help our country to stand up to lies and negative comments by the Trump's our only hope!

  • Patricia Moore

    07/03/2019 05:54 PM

    This is a wonderful article. I wish everyone could/would read it. It really is just common sense, but it seems there is a big lack of that commodity these days.

  • Larry Rippere

    07/03/2019 05:47 PM

    Delicious cake, eh? I was preparing a special batch of waffles for an honored breakfast guest and ended up (bymistake!) putting 4 tbsp. of SALT in the recipe instead of SUGAR. They baked wonderfully and smelled delicious, but.... OK, we're now going out for breakfast!!!

    Good lesson!

  • Mary Curran

    07/03/2019 05:46 PM

    I’m assuming John Mark is ok with you ratting him out??


    07/03/2019 05:32 PM


  • Richard Featherstone

    07/03/2019 05:28 PM

    AOC needs to be back in New York trying to straighten out their problems. All she does is get all - including Fox News -- television to show her face on a daily basis and listen to her either lies or exaggerations. Why aren't we showing more of the Hispanic Preachers that went and DID NOT see any of the abuses she claims was going on. Why do we let Juan totally change the subject when asked a question knowing full well that he cannot answer it truthfully and maintain his liberal stance. I am so sick of hearing of these problems and seeing our do-nothing , connivers in the House and Senate live up to their name DO NOTHING.

  • Sheryl Barnes

    07/03/2019 05:05 PM

    We love your newsletters and really enjoy the humor and your way with words.