Courage Boys: No Means No

Courage Boys features stories to inspire and leave you feeling hopeful. Making a difference is not only possible, but something we’re all capable of accomplishing. These are the stories of ordinary people making the decision to be extraordinary with bravery, resilience and principle. This is Courage Boys.

No Means No

Even before God's finger had finished scratching the seventh commandment on the tablets at Sinai, it was a death sentence for Thomas. Not that Thomas had a problem with adultery. No, he was loyal to his wife Jane and then to Alice when Jane died. Loyal with his whole soul. But it was the company that he kept that would eventually put his head on the chopping block. You see, Thomas was brilliant, respected for his integrity. So naturally, or unnaturally as the times would have it, he found favor with the king.

Thomas became a personal adviser and secretary to King Henry VIII. King Henry VIII wanted a son, a man to inherit the crown upon his death. And the king was married to Katherine, and he had given up hope that she could produce for him that son.

So the powerful king petitioned the pope for an annulment of the marriage. The pope said no. He petitioned again. And again. The pope said no.

Now, Thomas was committed to his faith and the pope. But as the king's personal adviser, he was also committed to the king. This made for an uncomfortable situation, especially when the king decided to break away from the Catholic Church and proclaim himself leader of God's Church in all of England.

Thomas asked the king to allow him to resign. The king now said no. But finally out of respect for his friend, relented.

The king sought approval from the people to start his own church and many just gave it. They all signed an oath to support Henry VIII as the new head of the Church of England. To sign the oath was to live, but others did not sign. The king had them put to death, all except for his former adviser, Thomas.

By the time Thomas left his post as the king's adviser, the king had surrounded himself with "yes" men, who would sanction all of his whims and stop at nothing to increase his power. These men knew that as long as Thomas did not endorse the king as the leader of the Church of England, there would be those that would follow him. They convinced the king to force Thomas' signature. But Thomas would not. He would not lend out his credibility. He would not lend out his name, not even for the king of England.

When Thomas didn't show up at the king's second wedding, he was arrested. But even in jail, in a dank cell, living with rats and filth, bearded and dirty, Thomas would not sign.

Thomas' dear children pled with him, but he didn't sign. He understood something that they did not yet, that even when threatened by the executioner's axe, he would not sign. And his death date was set.

On the day of his execution, he walked calmly to the chopping block, even joking with the executioner. "Please don't harm my beard," he said, "it did nothing wrong."

Thomas may have made some harsh decisions in his life, but he owned them. For better or for worse, he did his entire life what he thought was right.

At peace with his life, he was at peace with his death. And Thomas Moore was beheaded. But courage, boys. The man died with integrity. And with integrity, a man outlives his body.

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

RELATED: Michael Cohen's plea deal won't lessen Trump's support. Here's why.

The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.

How long until we follow in Europe's footsteps?

JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas should be a time of happiness and celebration the world over. But in Europe, it is now the season of terror. The sounds at Europe's famous Christmas Markets of "Merry Christmas!" and laughter are rapidly being replaced with the sounds of "Allahu Ackbar!" and gunfire. Two years ago ISIS attacked a Christmas Market in Berlin, killing twelve and injuring another forty-eight. And tragically, the sound of automatic gunfire and the chant of "Allahu Ackbar!" was heard at another Christmas Market in Europe yesterday afternoon… this time in France.

Two people are dead and thirteen are battling for their lives right now in Strasbourg, France. The attacker walked into the city's Christmas Market shortly after 8pm, shouted "Allahu Ackbar" and began shooting indiscriminately. He then proceeded to battle the police in four separate locations while he fled the scene. As of this moment, he still hasn't been caught. The city of Strasbourg is on full lockdown, and France's terror level has been elevated.

RELATED: Paris pandemonium: Here's what happens when people feel ignored

A man of Middle Eastern descent has been identified as the suspect. He was already on a terror watchlist and had been deported from Germany recently with twenty criminal convictions. He's well known in Islamist circles and was reportedly radicalized after spending time in prison. Apparently he was too radical for the Germans… but not for France.

What is it going to take for progressive governments like France to wake up to their failed policies? Nearly 300 people have been killed in terror attacks in France over the past three years. 300 in three years! But despite that, the French government refuses to address immigration, they continue their open border policy and - more importantly - they refuse to listen to their people when they try and tell them that they're scared to death over this issue. Instead they get a lecture on Islamophobia… "that's the real problem."

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime.

This is one of the reasons why the Yellow Vests are tearing the country apart. The government refuses to listen to their fears on terrorism, unchecked immigration, open borders, the failing economy, high taxes and out of control spending. Wow... do these issues sound at all familiar? How many years behind France are we? Just listen to ourselves.

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime. People have lost the ability to engage in peaceful protest. Street demonstrations have turned into street brawls. Have you seen the images from places like Portland lately? European governments are losing the social contract with their people. After years of broken promises and outright lies from Washington, how long before that happens here?