American religious groups vary widely in their views of abortion

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It is always sad to read about these surveys. I wish we could do more to convince Americans that life, in the womb, is precious. In some areas we are making some progress but it isn’t enough. According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

More than four decades after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, most Americans (57%) are supportive of legal abortion, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. But a substantial minority (40%) says abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and within some U.S. denominations and religious groups, this figure is much higher. What is surprising is that among Catholics, there is a 48/47 split on the question.

For instance, most Jehovah’s Witnesses (75%) and Mormons (70%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, a survey of more than 35,000 Americans in all 50 states. The same holds true for members of some evangelical churches, including the Pentecostal denominations Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) (77%) and Assemblies of God (71%), as well as America’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (66%). Indeed, among all those who are part of the evangelical tradition, nearly twice as many say they oppose legal abortion as support it (63% to 33%).

Source: American religious groups vary widely in their views of abortion | Pew Research Center

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The Dept. Of Health And Human Services has made PRO-LIFE History

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The Department of Health and Human Services has made a very public stand for unborn Americans.

In a break from previous administrations, including when George W. Bush was in office, the HHS has indicated that life begins at conception in their new strategic plan, which will cover fiscal years 2018-2022.

As the American Center for Law and Justice explains, stating this in official public policy is huge for the pro-life cause, emphasis mine.

Starting in 2010, HHS has been required to release a strategic plan every four years. This time their plan, for the first time ever, has explicitly recognized that life begins at conception. This is a major victory for the rights and dignity of the unborn.

The HHS plan goes well beyond lip service. It incorporates this scientific principle as an integral and holistic part of its healthcare mission here at home and around the globe. Specifically, the fact that life begins at conception is included in four key components of the plan.

HHS includes protecting life “beginning at conception” as a core part of its overall mission:

HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.

HHS recognizes that respecting the “inherent dignity” of the unborn is a vital part of “global health security”:

Enhance international preparedness through medical countermeasures and community mitigation measures, respecting the inherent dignity of persons from conception to natural death.

HHS dedicates itself to protecting the right to life for all, especially those most at risk of social or economic challenges:

A core component of the HHS mission is our dedication to serve all Americans from conception to natural death, but especially those individuals and populations facing or at high risk for economic and social well-begin challenges, through effective human services.

HHS restores pro-life ethics to medical and scientific research:

The research pursued under this strategic goal is to be conducted consistent with the understanding that human subjects protection applies to all human beings from conception to natural death.

God loves babies

The government can’t legislate evil away. Jesus is the only solution!

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For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus

I am thinking about the young man who killed 17 in the school in Parkland, FL this week. The young man allow evil to enter his heart. Those evil thoughts led to a horrible, horrible murders.

The United States government can’t legislate evil away. Jesus is the only solution for evil. Jesus taught us to pray “deliver us from evil.” Jesus did not ask us to petition the government for better laws.

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4)

Again, thinking evil is the problem.

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. (Matthew 13:19)

The Kingdom of God is led by Jesus and by the evil one. If you understand the Jesus is in control, evil can’t have its way with you. Unfortunately, the young man in Florida did not understand the Kingdom and let evil have its way. We mourn for the families. We pray for the young man. It is not to late for him.

At that very time Jesus cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits.

Jesus is the solution.

And so, I pray, deliver us from evil.

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Guy Benson is a Christian, a free market advocate and a small government conservative. Oh, and he’s gay.

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Guy Benson is a Christian, a free market advocate and a small government conservative. Oh, and he’s gay.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Watch the video to see why.

This is not about religion. It is about politics. There is a perception that blacks, women, gays, Hispanics, etc. can’t be conservative. It isn’t true.

The reverse is that conservatives are universally gun loving, white supremacist homophobes who live in middle America.

Stereotypes are dangerous.

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American Christianity Is In Crisis. Is There Reason To Hope For Renewal?

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In America, the number of Christians relative to the general population has been shrinking for many years, mirroring a much more advanced state of decline in Europe, where it’s fair to say that Christianity is not only waning but dying out. If Christianity’s cultural dominance is at an end, what are the faithful supposed to think about this epochal change? How are they supposed to respond? To borrow the title of Francis Schaeffer’s 1976 documentary about the decline of Western thought and culture, how should we then live?

Source: American Christianity Is In Crisis. Is There Reason To Hope For Renewal?

Is there reason for hope for spiritual renewal in America?

Yes, Jesus will continue to be lifted up in America. The love of Jesus has not changed. The Power of the Holy Spirit has not disappeared.

Consider this about the Kingdom where Jesus is in charge!

Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased;
will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel, nor cry out;
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
“A battered reed He will not break off,
And a smoldering wick He will not put out,
Until He leads justice to victory.
And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

Source: Matthew 12:18-21

Today is Ash Wednesday. How Liturgical Are Today’s Christians?

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As always, The Barna Group has produced some really great research on Christian Church rituals. In general, I am not a great fan of a lot of rituals. A couple of exceptions are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You can tell I grew up in the Baptist Church. We used to call it “dunk and dine”.

“Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This season, along with other rituals and readings for congregational worship, are part of what is known as Christian liturgy.

“Though practiced for centuries, these traditions are mostly absent from many contemporary worship expressions today. Just how familiar are practicing Christians with the Church calendar and Christian liturgy?”

Source: How Liturgical Are Today’s Christians? – Barna Group

Enough With All The Talk

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This is so very convicting. Please read. I am working through what I should do … not think, or pray or give.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

It’s September.  “Indian summer” still, but already a few days have hinted at Fall.

The Halloween store is open and banging a business now.  School is back in session.  Football season is started.  It will be Thanxgiving and Christmas before you know it.  And the Winter cold is coming.

What will we do about these homeless folx in our streets?

What WILL Jesus do?

I am glad there is a Red Cross out there.  A Salvation Army out there.  A few soup kitchens and shelters too.  But none of these are Jesus.

You are.

You are the church, the Body of Christ.  Where two or three of you gather in his name, there he is.  Why are you leaving his work to the 501c3’s?

Don’t know where to start?

Really?

Pray on it.

But really, the clock is ticking on Winter already.  If you are having a brain fart and…

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Terrorism in Europe is more frequent than being reported

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The Gadstone Institute always has some great insight. What is going on globally is sometimes lost on us in America. Keeping our eyes on Europe, and staying one step ahead is critical.

“Terrorism is booming in Europe — even though the European Union statistics say it is not. The EU’s statistics on terrorism, simply put, confuse the issue. They are a fairy-tale.

“Since 9/11, in report after report, experts, ministers and public authorities have been saying the same thing: that in Europe (meaning the EU), Islamic terrorism is merely a marginal aberration. Nothing to be afraid of, and if you show too much interest in the matter you are probably on the far-right, aren’t you! Do you want to persecute the Muslims and make them the Jews of today’s Europe?

“As experts always do when they want to shut down a debate, they turn to statistics, preferably European statistics. Since July 1, 1999 — the date of its inception — Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) has regularly published an assessment of terrorism in the EU.

“The problem, of course, resides in the European definition of terrorism. The EU definition of terrorism, wittingly or unwittingly, confuses the issue.

It needs to be revised. Under the definition of terrorism in American law (18 U.S. Code § 2331), no act can be qualified as terrorist if there is no terror intended.”

Source: Terrorism in Europe

Christian Persecution in North Korea

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With the Olympics going on in South Korea and media obsession with ignoring the horrible conditions in North Korea, I thought the following reminder from Open Doors USA would be timely. North Korea is ranked number 1 in the world for persecution of Christians. 

Jesus warned us we would be persecuted. In North Korea it is real.

Where Persecution Comes From

“The main driver of persecution in North Korea is the state. For three generations, everything in the country focused on idolizing the leading Kim family. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society which have to be eradicated. Due to the constant indoctrination permeating the whole country, neighbors and even family members are highly watchful and report anything suspicious to the authorities. Children are especially vulnerable to the heavy indoctrination. Reports show that some children report their own parents for religious activity. Therefore, many parents prefer not to tell their children anything about their Christian faith until they’re older.

How Christians are Suffering

“If Christians are discovered, no matter if they are heirs of the Christian communities from before the Korean War or found the Christian faith in other ways – e.g. during the great famine in the 1990s (which caused tens of thousands of citizens to seek help in China) – not only are they deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot, their families will share their fate as well. Christians do not even have the slightest space in society. Meeting other Christians in order to worship is almost impossible and if some believers dare to, it has to be done in utmost secrecy. The churches shown to visitors in Pyongyang serve mere propaganda purposes.”

Source: Christian Persecution in North Korea | Open Doors USA

Toxic Masculinity: Myth That Fuels the Culture Wars

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Men are men. Women are women. God made us male and female. That is a fact and we are different. What is a man? We all probably have a pretty good answer. As we do for what is a woman? Voicing these days can be dangerous.

Consider this. Writing in New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan lamented the increasingly radicalization of the gay-rights movement, and he singled out its view of gender as a prime culprit:

Above all, they have advocated transgenderism, an ideology that goes far beyond recognizing the dignity and humanity and civil equality of trans people into a critique of gender, masculinity, femininity, and heterosexuality. “Live and let live” became: “If you don’t believe gender is nonbinary, you’re a bigot.”

Source: Toxic Masculinity: Myth That Fuels the Culture Wars | National Review

The good, the bad and the ugly of today’s theology!

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Theology has been around a long time. Some people love it, some people hate it and many don’t care because it isn’t apparent it makes a difference in their life.

Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities, seminaries, and schools of divinity.

Source: Wikipedia

Theology is important. It drives what we know as doctrine and teaching in our churches. This may widely unknown as it isn’t always apparent. As a follower of Jesus, it may be useful to know, why does the church I go to believe what it believes. Theology is the answer.

There is, however, no single, universally agreed to theology in the Christian church. There have been hundreds, if not thousands over the last 2,000 years. That is just the start of the challenge, in my opinion. Some theologies will reasonably explain why one church baptizes infants and others don’t. Is that a big deal in your mind? Maybe. Others don’t see it as a huge issue.

On the other hand, there are some theologies that may be dangerous, prone to error and false. Jesus says “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

John alerts us we should test the spirits (think theology) to see if they are from God. As a believer, this is my job and shouldn’t be delegated to someone else. Hence, as you encourage us, I should know something about theology. As the Apostle John said, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Well … any hints about some theologies to question or look at closer? Which ones should we test? This is just a short list that may or may not be useful. They are influencing what is taught in church. It could be your church. That can be dangerous.

  • Queer Theology – a theological method that has developed out of the philosophical approach of queer theory, built upon scholars such as Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Judith Butler. Queer theology begins with an assumption that gender non-conformity and gay and lesbian desire have always been present in human history, including the Bible. One of the main premises is that Jesus never married because he was gay.
  • Black theology – Black liberation theology, refers to a theological perspective which originated among African American seminarians and scholars, and in some black churches in the United States and later in other parts of the world. It contextualizes Christianity in an attempt to help those of African descent overcome oppression. It especially focuses on the injustices committed against African Americans and black South Africans during American segregation and apartheid, respectively.
  • Liberation theology – an interpretation of Christian theology that emphasizes a concern for the liberation of the oppressed. The best-known examples of liberation theology come from the Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s among individuals such as Gustavo Gutiérrez of Peru, Leonardo Boff of Brazil, Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay and Jon Sobrino of Spain, who would popularize the phrase the “preferential option for the poor”.
  • Anarchism –  is a movement in political theology that claims anarchism is inherent in Christianity and the Gospels. It is grounded in the belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable—the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus. It therefore rejects the idea that human governments have ultimate authority over human societies. Christian anarchists denounce the state, believing it is violent, deceitful and, when glorified, idolatrous.
  • Progressive theology – “post-liberal movement” within Christianity “that seeks to reform the faith via the insights of post-modernism and a reclaiming of the truth beyond the verifiable historicity and factuality of the passages in the Bible by affirming the truths within the stories that may not have actually happened.”
  • Prosperity theology – (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.
  • Emerging church – Proponents believe the movement transcends such “modernist” labels of “conservative” and “liberal,” calling the movement a “conversation” to emphasize its developing and decentralized nature, its vast range of standpoints, and its commitment to dialogue. Participants seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “postmodern” society. What those involved in the conversation mostly agree on is their disillusionment with the organized and institutional church and their support for the deconstruction of modern Christian worship, modern evangelism, and the nature of modern Christian community.
  • Feminist theology – a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women’s place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion’s sacred texts and matriarchal religion.
  • Liberal theology – Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings, symbols and scriptures. Liberal Christianity did not originate as a belief structure, and as such was not dependent upon any Church dogma or creedal doctrine. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, liberalism has no unified set of propositional beliefs. Instead, “Liberalism” from the start embraced the methodologies of Enlightenment science, including empirical evidence and the use of reason, as the basis for interpreting the Bible, life, faith and theology.
  • Narrative theology –  a theological movement which became popular in the late twentieth century. The movement’s proponents argue that the Church’s use of the Bible should focus on a narrative presentation of the Christian faith as regulative for the development of a coherent systematic theology. Thus Christianity is to be viewed as an overarching story, with its own embedded culture, grammar, and practices which can be understood only with reference to Christianity’s own internal logic
  • New Church – is the name for several historically related Christian denominations that developed as a new religious movement, informed by the writings of Swedish scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Swedenborg claimed to have received a new revelation from Jesus Christ through continuous heavenly visions which he experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years. In his writings, he predicted that God would replace the traditional Christian Church, establishing a “New Church”, which would worship God in one person: Jesus Christ. The New Church doctrine is that each person must actively cooperate in repentance, reformation, and regeneration of one’s life.
  • Personalism – school of thought searching to describe the uniqueness of 1) God as Supreme Person or 2) a human person in the world of nature, specifically in relation to animals. One of the main points of interest of personalism is human subjectivity or self-consciousness, experienced in a person’s own acts and inner happenings—in “everything in the human being that is internal, whereby each human being is an eyewitness of its own self”.
  • Process theology –  is an essential attribute of God to affect and be affected by temporal processes, contrary to the forms of theism that hold God to be in all respects non-temporal (eternal), unchanging (immutable), and unaffected by the world (impassible). Process theology does not deny that God is in some respects eternal (will never die), immutable (in the sense that God is unchangingly good), and impassible (in the sense that God’s eternal aspect is unaffected by actuality), but it contradicts the classical view by insisting that God is in some respects temporal, mutable, and passible

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~Apostle John

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The final 37 Episcopalians Remaining On Planet Vote To Stop Using Male Pronouns For God

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Great satire from the Babylon Bee as usual. Sad, but many of our churches have wandered so from the good news of Jesus, that there is nothing left.

The last surviving members of the Episcopalian religion voted last week to stop using male pronouns for God, sources at a meeting of the Diocese of Washington, D.C. confirmed.

The 37 remaining Episcopalians on Planet Earth conducted the vote in an effort to make the last three or four Episcopal churches in the country be more inclusive, in the rare case anyone actually showed up to any of their services.

“We don’t want to offend or trigger the six or seven people left in our pews,” said the writers of the resolution. “And we get literally dozens of visitors every decade—what if we scare one of them off by reading the Book of Common Prayer and forcing them to hear the words ‘He’ or ‘Him’? That’s a chance we just can’t take.”

At publishing time, fourteen of the attendees of the meeting had left the faith.

Source: 37 Episcopalians Remaining On Planet Vote To Stop Using Male Pronouns For God

Dear Pro-Choicers: Human Life Begins At Conception. Deal With It

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There is such a thing as inconvenient truth. Life is real. It is dangerous to not protect life. If you are pro-abortion, ask yourself, what if I’m wrong?

By the way, I reject this as an issue of “choice”. Who made you judge that you get to choose who lives and who dies?

Before we deal with abortion, we must deal with the facts of abortion, however unpleasant and inconvenient they may be. Those facts are these: the lives of human beings begin at conception, and abortion kills human beings.

Source: Dear Pro-Choicers: Human Life Begins At Conception. Deal With It

Republican Sen. Mike Lee’s 2018 March For Life Speech

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Abortion is killing the most precious among us and those that can’t defend themselves. God bless the faithful, who every year march for the defense of the defenseless.

Why do these citizens march, year after year?

It certainly isn’t for their health … Or for the media coverage.

No, these Americans march on behalf of those who cannot.

They march for uniquely vulnerable members of the human family. For the unborn. For those threatened by abortion. And for the countless innocent lives already

Read the rest here: Republican Sen. Mike Lee’s 2018 March For Life Speech

Defenses Of Killing Disabled People Prove Abortion Is Inhumane

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There is something I think we are still not grappling with as a society. We seemed to have slipped into our comfortable mantra’s of a partisan divide. Abortion isn’t about choice, it’s about dead babies. It gets even worse when the unborn aren’t “perfect,” according to our flawed human standard.

Every child is precious. They all deserve our protection. To do otherwise is barbaric. There will be a judgement day. Going along to get along won’t be acceptable I think. But that is up to Jesus.

Evidence of the humanity of the unborn and the inhumanity of abortion activists continues to accumulate. The most recent revelation of the latter came in the form of a tweet promoting the pro-“choice” position, declaring: “It is okay to think that every child matters however a lot of them do not hence the amnio test which should be a mandatory test and if it proves negative and the woman does not want to abort then all bills accrued after that is on her and the father … ”

And then thinking she was proving her point, the abortion advocate, using the Twitter handle @OBSIDIANSMOAK, included a screen shot of 9-year-old Sophia, a little girl who suffers from Rett syndrome, “a rare neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to eat, speak, walk and breathe [and] an unknown syndrome that has caused facial deformities.

Source: Defenses Of Killing Disabled People Prove Abortion Is Inhumane

Utah lawmakers advance ban on abortions based on Down syndrome

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I am seeing this as an issue more and more. What kind of world do we live in where this is even considered? There is a great video here about Frank Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome, slams ‘Final Solution’ of abortion.

A committee of Utah lawmakers recently pushed forward a bill that would bar doctors from performing abortions sought because the fetus has Down syndrome.

The House Judiciary committee voted to send the measure to a vote on the House floor despite concerns from some lawmakers that the proposal is likely unconstitutional and will leave the state facing a costly legal challenge.

Legislators supporting the measure, including bill sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, contend abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome are “a eugenic-like eradication” of an entire class of people.

Source: Lawmakers advance ban on abortions based on Down syndrome

Nikki Haley Destroys Mahmoud Abbas

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On January 14, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the Palestinian Central Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s second highest decision-making body. Abbas wants the White House destroyed, he says he will respond to Nikki Haley with the “heel of a shoe,” he’s told the single biggest source of funding for the Palestinian Authority (that would be the United States) to FOAD, he told the Arab world to piss off, he rewrote the history of the region, proclaimed the Oslo accords dead, and announced he would continue paying pensions to the families of terrorists.

I really appreciate the stance that America, via Nikki Haley, is taking on the United Nations.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley explains that a lack of Palestinian leadership is what prevents Peace.

The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage

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Jesus was correct about marriage. “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” Jesus knows there is a reason for marriage. After all, he and his Father designed it to be so.

The research numbers seem to tell the story. They aren’t the story but they tell the story. Marriage is vitally important in an absolute sense. It is not useful to espouse a relative morality that marriage doesn’t matter. It does. Vitally so.

Just 70 years ago, social mobility and protection from poverty were largely a factor of employment. Those who had full-time work of any kind were seldom poor. Fifty years ago, education marked the gulf separating the haves from the have-nots. For the last 20 years or more, though, marital status has increasingly become the central factor in whether our neighbors and their children rise above, remain, or descend into poverty. The research is astounding.

And consider this:

Jonathan Rauch writing in the National Journal, certainly no conservative, notes that “marriage is displacing both income and race as the great class divide of the new century.” Isabel Sawhill, a senior scholar at the center-left Brookings Institute, boldly and correctly proclaimed some years ago that “the proliferation of single-parent households accounts for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since the early 1970s.” Virtually all of the increase!

 

Source: The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage

February 1, 1960 — A movement for justice started at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C.

From one of my other blogs.

Quotes, thoughts and musings

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and you have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Matthew 23:22-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I used to love to go to Woolworth’s in Atlanta. It was always a special treat. Growing up in the south in the 1960’s was a challenge as desegregation kicked in. Anyone remember Lester Maddox? A populist Democrat, Maddox came to prominence as a staunch segregationist when he refused to serve black customers in his Atlanta restaurant, in defiance of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. In shame, I remember his ax handle.

The segregated south was a classic example of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. In God’s Kingdom, justice…

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After Killing 20-Week Abortion Ban, Democrats Resume Lecturing People About Compassion

Some sad satire from the Babylon Bee. “According to sources within the Senate, Democratic legislators took a short break from their tireless schedule of lecturing the nation about compassion Monday in order to vote against a ban on the barbaric practice of ripping helpless 20-week-old babies limb from limb and pulling them from the wombs of their mothers.

“The Democratic Caucus unanimously agreed to resume their moral lectures on the plights of such groups as foreign immigrants to the United States, the LGBT community, low-income earners, and others whom it has deemed victimized, after successfully focusing all but three of its members’ attention on perpetuating the wholesale genocide of a completely defenseless group of people by way of dismembering unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain.

“We had to hit pause on our monologues about immigrant children for a quick minute so we could ensure that women’s rights to kill their babies at any time, for any reason are preserved,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “But rest assured, we are back on our moral high horse and will proceed to posture as champions of the oppressed and the only virtuous human beings on earth, now that that task is complete.”

“At publishing time, sources confirmed that the two Republicans who sided with the Democrats to shoot down the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—had resumed acting as though they represented the values of their constituents.”

Source: After Killing 20-Week Abortion Ban, Democrats Resume Lecturing People About Compassion

12 principles for a 21st century conservatism

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If you haven’t taken some time to watch Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, I strongly encourage you to do so. He has taken YouTube by storm and is a strong conservative voice. His YouTube posts run counter to the trend for short posts. His run 1 to 2 hours long.

See here for his stats. He has 592,764 subscribers and 35,287,012 video views.

Conservatism has all-too-often found itself unable to articulate a coherent positive doctrine. By this I mean specifically that the laudable conservative tendency to preserve the best of past has too-often manifested itself in a series of “thou shalt not” statements, instead of laying out a manifesto of fundamental values that might serve to unite people around a set of common ambitions. I am attempting to rectify this problem with this statement of principles, some of which I believe might have the additional virtue of being attractive to young people, looking for mature and forthright purpose and responsibility.

I am not making the claim that the statement is perfect, comprehensive or final.

Background to the talk: I spoke at Carleton Place, a town in Lanark County, Thursday, June 15/17. I was invited by Randy Hillier, who is a Member of Provincial Parliament for Ontario (randyhilliermpp.com).

Here are Dr. Peterson’s tenets of a viable 21st century conservatism

1. The fundamental assumptions of Western civilization are valid.

2. Peaceful social being is preferable to isolation and to war. In consequence, it justly and rightly demands some sacrifice of individual impulse and idiosyncrasy.

3. Hierarchies of competence are desirable and should be promoted.

4. Borders are reasonable. Likewise, limits on immigration are reasonable. Furthermore, it should not be assumed that citizens of societies that have not evolved functional individual-rights predicated polities will hold values in keeping with such polities.

5. People should be paid so that they are able and willing to perform socially useful and desirable duties.

6. Citizens have the inalienable right to benefit from the result of their own honest labor.

7. It is more noble to teach young people about responsibilities than about rights.

8. It is better to do what everyone has always done, unless you have some extraordinarily valid reason to do otherwise.

9. Radical change should be viewed with suspicion, particularly in a time of radical change.

10. The government, local and distal, should leave people to their own devices as much as possible.

11. Intact heterosexual two-parent families constitute the necessary bedrock for a stable polity.

12. We should judge our political system in comparison to other actual political systems and not to hypothetical utopias.

Additional generally relevant links:

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jordanbpeterson
Self Authoring: http://selfauthoring.com/
Jordan Peterson Website: http://jordanbpeterson.com/
Podcast: http://jordanbpeterson.com/jordan-b-p
Reading List: http://jordanbpeterson.com/2017/03/gr
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson

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Senate Fails to Protect Babies From Abortion After 5 Months of Life in the Womb

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This is so very sad. The vote appears to be pretty partisan. You would think you could get some bi-partisan support for this. Read more: Senate Fails to Protect Babies From Abortion After 5 Months of Life in the Womb

“After more than 3 hours of debate, and by a margin of 51-46, the Senate voted Monday afternoon not to ban abortions after 20 weeks. The motion, which would have prevented a filibuster on The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, needed 60 votes to pass. The failure of cloture motion means that babies en utero are still legally allowed to be aborted in the U.S. at 5 months of gestation, making this country one of only seven in the world that allow abortion that late in a pregnancy.

“The bill itself is based on the scientific neural evidence that supports babies at that stage of gestation can feel pain, and are often injected with painkilling drugs so these types of abortions can be performed. The hashtag #TheyFeelPain began trending on Twitter before the vote and gained steam and urgency after the cloture motion failed to pass the Senate.”

What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies

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Paul, a computer programmer who is currently unemployed, is 38 years old and in the process of “detransitioning,” undoing steps towards the sex change he began a decade ago.

Taylor is a student who began transitioning at the age of 23. It started simply.

They have powerful stories to tell that are worth hearing.

Taylor’s advice to those questioning themselves is ominous: “Our physical bodies, with genitalia and chromosomes, exist in reality, and part of having a body is hating your body. You are taught to hate your body no matter who you are, male or female, and you are falling for it.”

It isn’t all rainbows and book deals. Trans teen idol Jazz Jennings speaks freely about the glamour of embracing one’s self, but little has been published on the complications regarding Jazz’s bottom surgery. His doctors said there wasn’t enough “raw material” to work with due to Jazz’s early consumption of puberty blockers, which stunted genitalia formation.

Undergoing gender reassignment is regarded as the Holy Grail for those struggling with their sex. When the potentially fatal outcomes are not adequately tracked, however, shouldn’t honesty be the priority when speaking about the lifelong effects of the transition process?

Paul’s advice to children looking to transition? “Don’t.”

Read more here: What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies

I believe that the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to the Messiah.

Moses in Genesis said  He created them male and female.” (Genesis 1:27)

Jesus said “In the original creation, God made male and female to be together.”(Mark 10:5-9)

“This is a campaign to make America white again” ~Nancy Pelosi

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This is shameful. This is sad. What is becoming of civility?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed President Donald Trump’s immigration framework, calling it part of a “campaign to make America white again.”

Trump’s proposal would offer a path to citizenship for  1.8 million so-called “DREAMers,” and call for $25 billion in funding for a border wall and security. It also calls for cracking down on chain migration and the diversity visa lottery program.

“The administration’s anti-immigrant framework is an act of staggering cowardice which attempts to hold the DREAMers hostage to a hateful anti-immigrant scheme,” Pelosi wrote in a statement on Friday. “The 50 percent cut to legal immigration in the framework and the recent announcements to end Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans and Haitians are both part of the same cruel agenda. They are part of the Trump administration’s unmistakable campaign to make America white again.”

Pelosi said “The DREAMers will not be ransomed for a hateful agenda that betrays our sacred American values.” Traditional American values have honored legal immigration. We have dug ourselves into a deep hole with tolerating illegal immigration and now have no clear resolution to the total problem of 12 million people here illegally.

Pelosi had similar criticism of the immigration reform proposal during a speech at the United States Conference of Mayors on Thursday.

Watch A.B. Stoddard weigh in on the immigration debate on “Shepard Smith Reporting” above.

Immigration – Dept of Homeland Security

Evangelicals Need To Stop Thinking Of America As ‘A Christian Nation’

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Is the United States a Christian Nation? There is a lot to unpack here but I am inclined to believe it is not and should not be as well. God’s country (aka Kingdom) is ruled by Jesus. I don’t believe in a Theocracy and don’t see a biblical basis for it.

Lots of debate on this I know. 9 of the 13 colonies had established churches, and all required officeholders to be Christians—or, in some cases, Protestants. Quaker Pennsylvania, for instance, expected officeholders to be “such as possess faith in Jesus Christ.”

This was the backdrop of our Constitution and to reinforce this point, the Founders added the First Amendment to the Constitution, which begins “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” The only specific mention of God is found in the date the Constitution was written: “in the Year of our Lord 1787.”

In 1947, Everson v. Board of Education, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which applied the Establishment Clause in the country’s Bill of Rights to State law. Prior to this decision the First Amendment words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” imposed limits only on the federal government, while many states continued to grant certain religious denominations legislative or effective privileges. This was the first Supreme Court case incorporating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as binding upon the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision in Everson marked a turning point in the interpretation and application of disestablishment law in the modern era.

Their claim that the United States is a Christian nation is not only descriptive, but prescriptive. They don’t just acknowledge Christianity’s influence in America, they assert that the United States must admit God’s sovereignty and adhere to his law—like ancient Israel, America will be especially blessed by God if it remains righteous, and face divine wrath if it is not.

Source: Evangelicals Need To Stop Thinking Of America As ‘A Christian Nation’

Americans Know Pro-Abortion Arguments Are Based In Ignorance

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In 1971 and 1972, we didn’t know a whole lot about life in the womb. Roe vs. Wade was actually decided base on fake science. We now know, rightly so, that what is in the womb is a human life. There are no trimesters, in reality.

We must continue the fight to end abortion. The final story hasn’t been written on the issue yet.

The Washington Post recently fact checked as true the White House claim that only seven countries of 198 in the world allow abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, like the United States, which allows it until birth.

Source: Americans Know Pro-Abortion Arguments Are Based In Ignorance

James Comey Starts His Interview With Robert Mueller: A Transcript

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This cracked me up and I laughed out loud!

Mueller: “Hello, Jim.”

Comey: “Robert. It is my privilege and my sacred duty to meet you in this space — the space between parties, between branches, between factions, where balance can be struck by the scales of justice, unencumbered by the dastardly thumbs of dark men with dark intentions. As the great John Stuart Mill once said –”

 Mueller: “You can call me Bob, as you usually do. Just one quick question before we –”

Comey: “Oh, and I shall answer it. With the force of a raging river of truth shall I let flow the veracities etched upon the memos of my soul and also my literal memos, scribed with a love of duty and constancy unbreaking as the line of my Pilot G2 gel roller pen.”

Mueller: “Jim, I just –”

Comey: “I hear you, Robert, and I want you to know I hear the American people and I hear the American heart beating. Listen with me — thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It quickens as we enter the arena of which Teddy once so famously spoke, where we will strive to do the deeds and spend ourselves in a worthy cause; where at the best I will know the triumph of high achievement, and at the worst, if I fail, at least fail while leaking strategically. No cold and timid souls, we, Robert.”

Mueller: “I get it, Jim. I’d like to get on with –”

Comey: “I, too, would like to get on with it. With bending the arc of history toward justice with the sheer strength of our convictions. That’s what it is we’re doing here, after all, and what I have sought to do lo these many years as a servant of the public and in the footsteps of Publius before me, making the mark of my Pilot G2 gel roller pen as indelible on the preservation of the Union as that of our Founders, who of course did not have access to the finest in modern pen technology but nonetheless spurred themselves to be equal to the task. What excuse have I, then, with all this at my disposal?

Oh, could you take a pic here? Something pensive that captures the solemnity of the moment, but also the hope that simple honest men can repair the damage done. Portrait mode, obvi.”

Mueller: “Okay, but I’m not really sure –”

Comey: “These are unsure times, Robert, and it is up to sure men to tell the world that this, the greatest country on Earth, has that handful of men willing to correct and protect against the grave wrongs of the American electorate. I mean, Russia. Russia’s wrongs. That’s of course what I mean.”

Mueller: “All done. Now, can we –”

Comey: “Thank you. Lemme check this out. Did you take a few? Great. Done, Robert? I would not say we’re done, here. We have not yet begun to fight for truth, justice and the American way! Our weapons may be different. It is true, my hand rested upon the rubberized hilt of my pen, not a sword, but it will deliver justice all the same. And, when we are truly done, everyone will know in every corner of this Earth.

“In the words of another tall, noble, unconventionally handsome patriot who was exactly what the country needed at exactly the right time, ‘This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!’”

Mueller: …

Comey: …

Mueller: “Jim, I was just going to ask if you need to use the restroom before we start the interview.”

Comey: “Oh, actually, yes. That raging river of truth thing got me. Hold my pen, will you? Don’t lose it. It’s a G2.”

Source: James Comey Starts His Interview With Robert Mueller: A Transcript

The “Anti-Hate” Group That Is a Hate Group — Southern Poverty Law Center

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The Southern Poverty Law Center bills itself as a watchdog of hate groups. But is this just a cover for its true aims? Journalist and author Karl Zinsmeister explains.

The truth is very important to know.

Shutting down people you don’t agree with is about as un-American as you can get.

Rigorous debate, honest discussion, open exchange of ideas—that’s the American way.

But free thinking and speech are threatened today by a group with a sweet-sounding name that conceals a nefarious purpose. This group is called the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC.

Originally founded as a civil-rights law firm in 1971, the SPLC reinvented itself in the mid-‘80s as a political attack group. Every year now it produces a new list of people and charities it claims are “extremists” and “haters.”

Aided by glowing coverage from the establishment media, the SPLC’s hate list has become a weapon for taking individuals and groups they disagree with and tarring them with ugly associations.

The SPLC employs a two-pronged strategy:

First,  find a handful of crazies with barely any followers, no address, and no staff, and blow them up into a dangerous movement— proof that there are neo-Nazis lurking everywhere. On their notorious “Hate Map,” the SPLC lists 917 separate hate groups in the U.S.! No one has even heard of more than a handful of them.

The second strategy of the SPLC is to undermine legitimate political voices that they oppose by associating them with extremists like the KKK.

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60,091,248 abortions later on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade (January 22, 1973)

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Abortion was legalized in the United States when the Supreme Court issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7-to-2 majority vote in favor of Roe. Justices Burger, Douglas, and Stewart filed concurring opinions, and Justice White filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice Rehnquist joined.

Since that time 60,091,248 abortions have been conducted in the United States. (according to http://www.numberofabortions.com ). This is a staggering number of children deprived of an opportunity to live. Why?

Please read the excerpt below from Dr. Richard Selzer’s book ‘Mortal Lessons: Notes On The Art Of Surgery.’

“Our garbage is collected early in the morning. Sometimes the bang of the cans and the grind of the city trucks awaken us before our time. We are resentful, mutter into our pillows, then go back to sleep. On the morning of August 6th, the people of Woodside Avenue do just that. When at last they rise from their beds, dress, eat breakfast, and leave their houses for work, they have forgotten, if they had ever known, that the garbage truck had passed earlier that morning. The event has slipped into unmemory, like a dream. They close their doors and descend to the pavement.
 
“It is midsummer. You measure the climate, decide how you feel in relation to the heat and humidity. You walk toward the bus stop. Others, your neighbors, are waiting there. It is all so familiar.
 
“All at once you step on something soft. You feel it with your foot. Even through your shoe you have the sense of something unusual, something marked by a special ‘give.’ It is a foreignness upon the pavement. Instinct pulls your foot away in an awkward little movement. You look down, and you see… a tiny naked body, its arms and legs flung apart, its head thrown back, its mouth agape, its face serious. A bird, you think, fallen from its nest. But there is no nest here on Woodside, no bird so big. It is rubber, then. A model.  A joke. Yes, that’s it, a joke. And you bend to see. Because you must. And it is no joke. Such a gray softness can be but one thing. It is a baby, and dead.
 
“You cover your mouth, your eyes. You are fixed. Horror has found its chink and crawled in, and you will never be the same as you were. Years later you will step from a sidewalk to a lawn, and you will start at its softness, and think of that upon which you have just trod. Now you look about; another man has seen it too. ‘My God,’ he whispers… There is a cry. ‘Here’s another!’ and ‘Another!’ and ‘Another.’
 
“Later, at the police station, the investigation is brisk, conclusive. It is the hospital director speaking. ‘Fetuses accidentally got mixed up with the hospital rubbish… were picked up at approximately 8:15 am by a sanitation truck. Somehow, the plastic lab bag, labeled hazardous material, fell off the back of the truck and broke open. No, it is not known how the fetuses got in the orange plastic bag labeled hazardous material. It is a freak accident.’
 
“The hospital director wants you to know that it is not an everyday occurrence. Once in a lifetime, he says. But you have seen it, and what are his words to you now? He grows affable, familiar, tells you that, by mistake, the fetuses got mixed up with the other debris. (Yes, he says other, he says debris.) He has spent the entire day, he says, trying to figure out how it happened. He wants you to know that. Somehow it matters to him. He goes on: aborted fetuses that weigh one pound or less are incinerated. Those weighing over one pound are buried at the city cemetery. He says this.
 
“Now you see. It is orderly. It is sensible. The world is not mad. This is still a civilized society… But just this once, you know it isn’t. You saw, and you know.”

I believe that life is sacred, both in the womb and outside the womb.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”(Psalm 139:13-16)

Luke said “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

God said “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17)

King Solomon said “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood.”  (Proverbs 6:16)

Biblical authors unanimously refer to the preborn as people. Job describes miscarried babies as “infants who never saw the light” (Job 3:16). Pregnant mothers are referred to throughout the New Testament as being “with child (Matthew 1:18, Luke 2:5). Of Rebekah and Abraham’s twin sons, Moses records “the children struggled together within her” (Genesis 25:22). Luke refers to Elizabeth’s baby with the exact same word, υἱὸν (Greek for “son”), both before and after his birth (Luke 1:36, 57). They’re not ambiguous “blobs of cells” or “scrambled eggs” but sons, daughters, children, infants.

Justices White and Rehnquist wrote emphatic dissenting opinions.

White wrote:

I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court

Rehnquist elaborated on several of White’s points, asserting that the Court’s historical analysis was flawed:

To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today.

Life and children

Gender Identity: Why All the Confusion? 

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Are male and female one and the same? Or are there real male-female differences rooted in biology? Ashley McGuire, author of “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female,” explains.

God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

That divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

That the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

Mass Panic Erupts As Heaven Accidentally Sends Out Rapture Alert

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Mass panic broke out Saturday morning as a Rapture alert was sent out to cell phone networks all across the world, indicating that Jesus’s return was imminent and that any unsaved persons should “get right with God” immediately.

 The alert was reportedly sent out my mistake by angelic emergency alert personnel, who quickly issued a retraction as soon as the error was discovered. Panicked citizens frantically took shelter in storm drains culverts, sewer manholes, and Baptist churches in the harrowing 38 minutes before the correction was sent out, according to sources from around the world.

Read More: Mass Panic Erupts As Heaven Accidentally Sends Out Rapture Alert

 

The Trends Shaping a Post-Truth Era and the reality of truth

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What is reality? Is there truth? Is it relative?

There is truth. It is not relative. Jesus is the truth.

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:5-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

According to the Barna Group, “the term “post-truth” is now often used to describe the current political climate in the United States, in which reality is relative and even the facts are open to interpretation. In the feature story of the new, 2018 edition of Barna Trends—an annual collection summarizing a year’s worth of Barna’s major research studies and including analysis, interviews and infographics—the Barna team and other trusted experts identify cultural and spiritual reasons the world is no longer in agreement about anything.

“Barna Trends 2018 begins with an overview of the dwindling public confidence in institutions—especially, and very notably in 2017, the media. However, three in 10 U.S. adults (31%) say the primary source of the “fake news” problem most often lies in reader error—“misinterpretation or exaggeration of actual news on social media”—not factual mistakes in reporting itself. And it would seem there are plenty of chances for these social media mistakes: When asked what kind of news media people are most likely to share, social media posts tie with traditional reporter-written articles as the top response (25% each). Though a plurality (36%) says they verify reports by comparing to multiple sources, the tendency to share social media posts as news points to a preference for more salacious, opinion-forward headlines and reporting. At the least, it allows opportunity to perpetuate it; a plurality (38%) never corrects misinformation they see on social media.”

Source: The Trends Shaping a Post-Truth Era – Barna Group Continue reading

Here’s How To Save Your Family From Technology Creep

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Because this is no easy task,  consulted some parents, asking for their advice and input on setting aside family time and pushing away devices. Here’s what some of them said.

  • “At this point we just don’t allow our kids screen time. We see no benefits for it at these ages, and definitely a ton of downsides. Occasionally there is something on an iPhone or tablet which sounds incredibly convenient (a phonics program!), but through God’s providence, that wasn’t a possibility for us. And I have been so enjoying the special one-on-one time of teaching my oldest son to read!”
  • “The best thing I’ve done when I’m at home with the kids is reduce notifications for apps, turn the volume up so I know if I’ve received a call/text, and then leave my phone in one specific place (up and away). The biggest thing to reducing my daughter’s desire to be on a screen is to reduce my own.” 
  • “None of our kids have their own iPads. We have one iPad that we let them use on airplanes and travel, along with two old-school video players. For the doctor’s office, two are now old enough to read, so I make them bring books.”
  • “My brother, who has seven kids ranging in age from 1 to 13, has this elegant solution: none of his kids have phones.”
  • “Our kids won’t get smartphones until at least eighth grade. I might get the oldest an old-fashioned flip phone when he’s in middle school and more mobile.”
  • “My husband and I try to hide our phones after 5:00 or after work stuff is done. This is very hard, but we’re improving. And they’re never out during meals.”
  • “We’ve tried to find TV shows that we like to watch together. ‘Planet Earth’ is amazing. So is ‘Finding Bigfoot.’ But we generally only have the kids watch TV once during the week and then let the kids binge watch it on Saturday mornings while we sleep in.”
  • “I have a friend who makes people put their phones in a big bucket before parties/gatherings/holidays. Particularly holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving. It is brilliant. The only downside would be photos, I suppose.”
  • “We don’t use our cell phones.  They are for back-up in the cars. That means we don’t text or have a constant alert to check for things.”

Source: Here’s How To Save Your Family From Technology Creep

KJV-Only Pastor Tests Positive For NIV

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Now this is serious and has me concerned.

“In a somber announcement, Pastor Philip Wallace confirmed to his congregation at Hartford Ave Fundamentalist Baptist Church, AV1611 Wednesday evening that he has tested positive for NIV.

“The man has pastored the congregation of seventeen people for the past thirty years, staunchly defending the purity of the Scriptures as handed down to mankind in the Authorized Version, but confessed he may have contracted NIV while “experimenting” with other translations during his college years.

“I am deeply, profoundly sorry to everyone that I’ve hurt,” Wallace said to the three regular attenders of Wednesday night Bible study. “While I publicly preached faithfulness to the original autographs of the King James Version, in private I have fooled around with other translations, and doctors have confirmed to me that I have in fact contracted NIV.”

“Congregants gasped as they heard the news, having heard of the horrors of the dreaded condition, which can cause painful dynamic equivalence to break out in one’s organs, according to medical experts. Some who have contracted NIV have even died from the virus, though researchers at Crossway have had limited success in curing the illness with their promising ESV treatment.

“Wallace announced he would be stepping down from the pastorate as he and his family try to come to grips with the devastating news, further stating his thoughts and prayers would be with the congregation as the pulpit committee searches for a new pastor for the next four to eight years.

“Please also be in prayer for my family during this difficult time,” he added before breaking into quiet sobs and leaving the building for the last time.

“At publishing time, medical records obtained by investigators confirmed that Pastor Wallace also tested positive for NASB, RSV, and even the deadly virus known only as “The Message.”

Source: KJV-Only Pastor Tests Positive For NIV

The Moment LARRY ELDER changed DAVE RUBINS Mind Forever on Systematic Racism

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In 2017 Dave Rubin was asked which moment had the highest impact in changing his mind on politics throughout his career at the rubin report. His answer was, when Larry Elder challenged him on systemic racism.

This clips shows this moment. Larry Elder (conservative radio host) joins Dave Rubin to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, systemic racism, and more.

Watch the full interview with Elder about Conservatives, Black Lives Matter, racism, Hollywood, and more, quoted under fair use: http://bit.ly/204K79F

 

Jews from a different planet

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Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story

“But why does he have to make provocations with these declarations of his?!”

I was shocked to hear this sentence come out of the mouths of my Jewish American relatives. Yes, they were referring to Trump (who they hate) and to the Jerusalem Declaration.

Trump Jerusalem Declaration

I love my relatives but they live in a completely different universe than I do.

Slowly, carefully, I explained that a declaration does not “provoke” violence. It can be an excuse for violent people to unleash violence but a statement doesn’t actually create violence.

Would anyone accept the statement that Kristallnacht was a result of Jewish provocation? Of course not! Kristallnacht was a result of Antisemitic propaganda and the government condoned environment, sending the message that violence against Jews was perfectly acceptable, even desirable… There is no difference between that and the Arab “Days of Rage”.

To state otherwise is both Jew-hating and racist against Arabs…

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The Buzz About Alcohol: America’s Views on Booze

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In a study from the Barna Group, most Americans are very comfortable with drinking alcohol. Two-thirds of adults ages 21 and older (67%) drink at least occasionally. While Elders are more likely than Millennials to affirm that they drink alcohol, Millennials who drink actually consume more than other generations (or, at least, they say they do), with an average of three drinks per week, compared to the average adult, who reports consuming two drinks a week.

Source: The Buzz About Alcohol: America’s Views on Booze – Barna Group Continue reading

The Answer: 321,284 babies

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The question is: How many babies did Planned Parenthood murder last year?

The answer: 321,384.

Think of the genocide. Think of the blood on our hands. Consider the scope and magnitude of this sin.

 

I believe that life is sacred, both in the womb and outside the womb.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”(Psalm 139:13-16)

Luke said “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

God said “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17)

King Solomon said “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood.”  (Proverbs 6:16)

Biblical authors unanimously refer to the preborn as people. Job describes miscarried babies as “infants who never saw the light” (Job 3:16). Pregnant mothers are referred to throughout the New Testament as being “with child (Matthew 1:18, Luke 2:5). Of Rebekah and Abraham’s twin sons, Moses records “the children struggled together within her” (Genesis 25:22). Luke refers to Elizabeth’s baby with the exact same word, υἱὸν (Greek for “son”), both before and after his birth (Luke 1:36, 57). They’re not ambiguous “blobs of cells” or “scrambled eggs” but sons, daughters, children, infants.

 

No, Christians Don’t Want To Discriminate Against Gay People

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Are Christians discriminating against homosexuals? That is an essence of the lawsuits winding their way through the courts, including the Supreme Court. Much, of course, has been written on both sides of this argument.

Christians have a PR problem. The media persistently report that Christian small business owners want to discriminate against homosexuals. That was in fact the key argument those prosecuting a Christian baker made to the Supreme Court this week in their case against him for choosing to not bake a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding ceremony.

But beyond just a PR problem, there is a fundamental issue at stake. Here is a great summary. Christians are not asking for the right to discriminate. They are asking not to be compelled to participate in religious ceremonies that violate their faith.

At the heart of the confusion is the subtle yet crucial distinction between persons and actions. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is directed against a person. A person’s physical and spiritual nature is such that he or she experiences certain desires. All sides agree that discrimination based on who a person is would be wrong.

What some Christian small business owners object to is participation in actions that they believe to be wrong. Most religiously conservative Christians believe it is wrong to engage in sexual activity outside a one-man-one-woman marriage. For that reason, they believe homosexual marriage ceremonies (as well as, say, heterosexual polygamous ones) celebrate an action that is wrong.

For that reason, they believe it would be wrong to participate in such ceremonies themselves. They are happy to serve homosexuals. They have no interest whatsoever in discriminating against persons. But they also wish to obey their consciences, and this means they may not participate in homosexual wedding ceremonies.

Source: No, Christians Don’t Want To Discriminate Against Gay People

War on Terror: America Misunderstands the Enemy, Needs New Strategy

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ISIS is now pretty well decimated. It hasn’t made a lot of news but they have lost about 98% of their territory in Iraq and Syria. 27,000 air strikes and 70,000 killed.

So are we really winning the war on terror? Maybe not. The challenge is the movement that is committed to our destruction not the death count in Syria and Iraq. Some call the movement “Salafi – Jihadism“. This is like an evil game of whack a mole. Defeat Al-Qaeda. Defeat ISIS.

What is next?

There will be a next.

We need a more global strategy.

The U.S. must develop a new strategy to counter the movement as a whole — not just al-Qaeda, ISIS, or even local groups that seemingly present the greatest threats. The strategic focus on only components of the movement — from al-Qaeda to ISIS to the ideology — has been misplaced. A strategy must be based on an understanding of the Salafi–jihadi movement from its ideology to its military strengths to its popular outreach and governance. It must proceed from an understanding of why the movement has gained strength recently after foundering for so many years. It must start by redefining the enemy at the most basic level.

Source: War on Terror: America Misunderstands Enemy, Needs New Strategy | National Review

Is It Really about Jerusalem?

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It is about destroying Israel completely. Palestinians could have had a 2 state solution as far back as 1947 when the U.N. created Israel. Israel accepted. Palestine didn’t.

Note this from Is It Really about Jerusalem?

  • It is worth noting that the campaign against US institutions also states that the Palestinians’ real goal is to “liberate Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.” In other words, this means that the true goal of the Palestinians is to destroy Israel.
  • Why do Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks come as a surprise? He is simply reiterating the official, long-standing policy of the Palestinian Authority. Where has the West been when Palestinian leaders have declared outright, decade after decade, that Israel has no right to exist and Jewish history is nothing more than lies?
  • Let us get things straight, finally. The Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims cannot stomach the fact that Israel exists, period. Their real problem is not with Trump’s recognition of the reality — that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Rather, they have a problem with Israel’s very existence.

America’s Religious Landscape is changing very fast

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The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages.

The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.

Now we know God is God. God has a plan. Our goal is to be faithful to get the message of Jesus to as many as we can. The harvest is plentiful. We need more workers.

Source: America’s Changing Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center

Planned Parenthood has now decided religion is a clever way to market their political and moral agenda.

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I believe in the sanctity of life, both in the womb and outside. King Solomon said “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood.”  (Proverbs 6:16)

Let us not shed innocent blood.

This is astounding, come from an agent of death.

After decades of abortion advocates demanding religion “stay out of women’s bodies,” Planned Parenthood has now decided religion is a clever way to market their political and moral agenda. In an album on social media titled: “People of Faith Support Birth Control Access,” Planned Parenthood Action, the fundraising and activist side of PP, decided to create memes for major religions, ostensibly meant to be shared by members of those faiths.

There’s a Baptist one, a Catholic one, a generic Christian one, an Episcopal one, an evangelical one, a Jewish one, a Methodist one, a Protestant one, a Muslim one, a person of faith one, and the one that brought this campaign to my attention — a Lutheran one.

Source: Planned Parenthood Pretended Christianity. Christians Will Have None

I am eviction, I am CPS, I am the check that didn’t come. I am diabetic amputation. I am cancer.

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This is an interesting tale. What do you do when the check doesn’t come and your rent is due? What do you do when it happens 6 months in a row and you now stand in eviction court? What do you say?

Poverty is real and it has real consequences. What will we say when it happens to us? What will we do?

It is way to easy to judge the poor. Get a job we say.

Jesus says ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ The point is clear, Jesus challenges us to help the poor.

And making the point again, Jesus says ‘But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

There is good news — Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.’ And Jesus says  ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

I am cancer’ by Kevin Williamson – National Review: “‘My check didn’t come.’ Eviction court is not the saddest place in the world, but if you were taking a Dantean descent through the underworld of underclass despair and dysfunction, it would be somewhere around the fourth or fifth circle. … She is not the only person whose check didn’t come. The passivity and subjectlessness of these narratives is striking, and strikingly consistent. Domestic events happen. Checks come or don’t come. (Mostly they don’t.) Husbands are sent to jail, children are taken away by the clipboard-toting minions of Authority, disease descends. The money isn’t there. And, in the end, they are evicted. Bad things just happen, and, today, I am the bad thing that is just happening to one of these luckless and unhappy children of God. I am eviction, I am CPS, I am the check that didn’t come. I am diabetic amputation. I am cancer.”

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Ohio Is Right to Ban the Abortion of Babies with Down Syndrome

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Ohio has passed a bill that which bans the selective abortion of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome. Abortion is in fact murder.

I believe that life is sacred, both in the womb and outside the womb.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Luke said “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

God said “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17)

King Solomon said “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood.”  (Proverbs 6:16)

Biblical authors unanimously refer to the preborn as people. Job describes miscarried babies as “infants who never saw the light” (Job 3:16). Pregnant mothers are referred to throughout the New Testament as being “with child (Matthew 1:18, Luke 2:5). Of Rebekah and Abraham’s twin sons, Moses records “the children struggled together within her” (Genesis 25:22). Luke refers to Elizabeth’s baby with the exact same word, υἱὸν (Greek for “son”), both before and after his birth (Luke 1:36, 57). They’re not ambiguous “blobs of cells” or “scrambled eggs” but sons, daughters, children, infants.

It is beyond heinous to test for Downs Syndrome and then abort based on the results of the test. The abortion industry and advocates are of course outraged.

This bill prevents a woman from having honest conversations about her options with her physician following a complicated medical diagnosis,” NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland explained. “This legislation callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy,” Copeland’s deputy, Jamie Miracle, added.

Planned Parenthood Ohio has campaigned vigorously against the bill, too. A Planned Parenthood release about Missouri’s own Down-syndrome abortion ban read:

Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision that must be left to women, in consultation with their families, faith, and health care providers.

The Center for Reproductive Rights called Ohio’s bill

a dangerous attempt by anti-choice politicians to pit the disability rights community against the reproductive rights community.

The ACLU of Ohio, meanwhile, believes the law is unconstitutional, and argues that it

does nothing to improve the lives of people with disabilities, nor does it increase their access to health care or other services, nor does it educate a woman and her family about having a child with a disability.

Many countries, including Iceland and France are trying to eliminate Downs Syndrome through aggressive pre-natal testing and abortion.

Ohio should be commended for its stance against these barbaric practices.

“The Dred Scott of First Amendment Law.” ~ACLU President Nadine Strossen

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There probably never has been a better time for us to stand up for religious freedom. And, it is not just for Christians. The case cited below was about the Native American Church (NAC), also known as Peyotism and Peyote Religion, is a Native American religion that teaches a combination of traditional Native American beliefs and Christianity, with sacramental use of the entheogen peyote.

Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), is a United States Supreme Court case that held that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. Although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts performed in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.

Why was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act necessary?

“The Dred Scott of First Amendment Law.” Those jarring words were offered before Congress in 1993 to explain why there was such an urgent need for passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The speaker was then-ACLU President Nadine Strossen, and the focus of her ire was the Supreme Court’s recently decided Employment Division v. Smith, the case that made RFRA so necessary.

The ACLU’s support of RFRA placed it within the mainstream of liberal groups that led to the law’s near unanimous passage. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and then-Representative Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) sponsored RFRA. The Anti-Defamation League and People for the American Way supported it. Bill Clinton signed the law surrounded by a multi-faith coalition composed of many proud liberals. Religious freedom was a constitutional right firmly embraced by progressives.

The ACLU and many of its allies on the left are now increasingly hostile to actual religious freedom, which includes the ability to exercise one’s beliefs openly in the public square and not just within the narrow confines of a place of worship.

Examples abound:

  1. The ACLU launched a lawsuit that would force most of the nation’s religious adoption agencies out of business, limiting the difficult choices facing birth mothers and forcing children into a broken government run-system. An ad campaign coinciding with the lawsuit makes no policy arguments, but instead relies on cartoonish portrayals of Christian adoption workers as violent bigots.
  2. The California legislature passed a bill (with strong ACLU support) that would require churches and faith-based charities to employ people who procure abortions. The bill was too extreme even for liberal Governor Jerry Brown, who wisely vetoed it.
  3. Democratic Senators — with well-coordinated public relations help from the ACLU — declared as unfit for government service a Catholic judicial nominee and an evangelical deputy cabinet secretary based upon beliefs that tens of millions of American Catholics and evangelicals would recognize as their own. This religious test drew criticism from even liberal legal experts. Liberals have criticized such religious tests when promoted by right-of-center figures like Alabama’s Roy Moore, and rightly so.

 

“If the Olympic committee ever recognizes rock-throwing as a legitimate sport, the Palestinian people will finally have found their national calling.” ~Kevin D. Williamson

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Once again, the rock throwing has commenced. Over what this time? Perhaps a bigger deal than on other occasions.

Is Jerusalem the capital of Israel? That has become such a charged question but it is not surprising. Jerusalem has a long history, much of it as the capital of Israel, going back to King David. During its long history, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice.

If it is not currently the capital, then why is the Israeli Knesset there? Why does the Prime Minister and President live there? Why is the Israeli Supreme Court there? Israel established West Jerusalem as its capital in 1950. The Israeli government needed to invest heavily to create employment, building new government offices, a new university, the Great Synagogue and the Knesset building. West Jerusalem became covered by the Law and Administrative Ordinance of 1948, subjecting West Jerusalem to Israeli jurisdiction.

If the Olympic committee ever recognizes rock-throwing as a legitimate sport, the Palestinian people will finally have found their national calling.” ~Kevin D. Williamson

Source: Next Year in Jerusalem?, by Kevin D. Williamson, National Review

I believe Jerusalem is in fact the capital of Israel. In 1010 BC: King David attacks and captures Jerusalem. Jerusalem becomes City of David and capital of the United Kingdom of Israel. God, in fact, established Jerusalem as the location of the Ark of the Covenant both prior to and after the Temple was built. During the construction of Solomon’s Temple, a special inner room, named Kodesh Hakodashim (Eng. Holy of Holies), was prepared to receive and house the Ark (1 Kings 6:19); and when the Temple was dedicated, the Ark—containing the original tablets of the Ten Commandments—was placed inside (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the priests emerged from the holy place after placing the Ark there, the Temple was filled with a cloud, “for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chron. 5:13, 14).

Here is some of the history (See here for much more detail)

  • 962 BC: King Solomon builds the First Temple.
  • 931–930 BC: Solomon dies, and the Golden Age of Israel ends. Jerusalem becomes the capital of the (southern) Kingdom of Judah led by Rehoboam after the split of the United Monarchy.
  • 925 BC: Egyptian Sack of Jerusalem
  • 850 BC: Jerusalem is sacked by Philistines, Arabs and Ethiopians
  • 516 BC: The Second Temple is built in the 6th year of Darius the Great.
  • 458 BC: The third wave of Babylonian returnees is Ezra’s Aliyah.
  • 445 BC: The fourth and final wave of Babylonian returnees is Nehemiah’s Aliyah. Nehemiah is the appointed governor of Judah, and rebuilds the Old City walls.
  • 410 BC: The Great Assembly is established in Jerusalem.
  • 350 BC: Jerusalem revolts against Artaxerxes III, along with other cities of the Levant and Cyprus. Artaxerxes III, retakes the city and burns it down in the process. Jews who supported the revolt are sent to Hyrcania on the Caspian Sea.
  • 63 BC: Roman Republic under Pompey the Great besieges and takes the city.
  • 19 BC: Herod expands the Temple Mount and rebuilds the Temple (Herod’s Temple), including the construction of the Western Wall.
  • 6 BC: John the Baptist is born in Ein Kerem to Zechariah and Elizabeth.
  • 12 AD: The 12-year-old Jesus travels to Jerusalem on Passover, as he did every year[30] and is found in the Temple
  • 28–30 AD: Three-year Ministry of Jesus, during which a number of key events took place in Jerusalem
  • 70 AD: Siege of Jerusalem (70) Titus, eldest son of Emperor Vespasian, ends the major portion of Great Jewish Revolt and destroys Herod’s Temple on Tisha B’Av.
  • 324–25: Emperor Constantine wins the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy (306–324) and reunites the empire. Within a few months, the First Council of Nicaea (first worldwide Christian council) confirms status of Aelia Capitolina as a patriarchate. A significant wave of Christian immigration to the city begins. This is the date on which the city is generally taken to have been renamed Jerusalem.
  • 1917: The Ottomans are defeated at the Battle of Jerusalem during the First World War. The British Army’s General Allenby enters Jerusalem on foot, in a reference to the entrance of Caliph Umar in 637. The Balfour Declaration had been issued just a month before.
  • 1948 26 July: West Jerusalem is proclaimed territory of Israel.
  • 1949: Jerusalem is proclaimed the capital of Israel. The Knesset moves to Jerusalem from Tel-Aviv. Jordan prevents access to the Western Wall and Mount Scopus, in violation of the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
  • 1966: Inauguration of new Knesset building. Israel Museum and Shrine of the Book are established.
  • 1967 5–11 June: The Six Day War.
    • 6 June: The Battle of Ammunition Hill takes place in the northern part of Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem.
    • 7 June: The Old City is captured by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
    • 10 June: The Moroccan Quarter including 135 houses and the Al-Buraq mosque is demolished, creating a plaza in front of the Western Wall.
    • 28 June: Israel declares Jerusalem unified and announces free access to holy sites of all religions.
  • 1968: Israel conquers the Jewish Quarter, confiscating 129 dunams (0.129 km2) of land which had made up the Jewish Quarter before 1948.[80] evicting 6000 residents and 437 shops.[81]
  • 1969: Denis Michael Rohan, an Australian Protestant extremist, burns a part of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • 1977: Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, visits Jerusalem and addresses the Knesset.
  • 1978: World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) headquarters moves from London to Jerusalem.
  • 1980: The Jerusalem Law is enacted leading to UN Security Council Resolution 478 (it states that the Council will not recognize this law).
  • 2000: Pope John Paul II becomes the first Latin Pope to visit Jerusalem, and prays at the Western Wall.
  • 2000: Final Agreement between Israel and Palestinian Authority is not achieved at the 2000 Camp David Summit, with the status of Jerusalem playing a central role in the breakdown of talks.
  • 2000: The Second Intifada (also known as Al-Aqsa Intifada) begins two months after the end of the Camp David Summit—Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount is reported to have been a relevant factor in the uprising.
  • 2008: Israeli Sephardic Religious Party, Shas, refuses to form part of the government without a guarantee that there will be no negotiations that will lead to a partition of Jerusalem.
  • 2017 – December: US president recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; protest ensues

“End of the Internet as we know it” ~CNN headline

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A CNN breaking news headline declared the “end of the Internet as we know it” after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday afternoon to repeal its landmark net neutrality rules.

“End of the internet as we know it,” the lead CNN.com headline read briefly after the FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to do away with its 2015 Open Internet Order that was implemented during the Obama administration.

“Trump’s FCC repeals Obama-era net neutrality regulations intended to keep the web open and fair,” read the CNN sub-headline on its home page.

Guess what? I got up this morning and my internet is still working. Just as fast and zippy as always. So much for the hysteria.

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Americans Say Religious Aspects of Christmas Are Declining in Public Life

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In a new Pew Research survey, most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – even as relatively few are bothered by this trend.

As a person of faith, I know that “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Jesus is the Son of God. Christmas should be the time of year when we humbly worship the birth of our Savior. While it is becoming more a time of “what did I get for Christmas”, that leaves plenty of room for us the spread the good news of the Messiah, how he was born, how he lived among us, his death, resurrection and ascension.

As we say in the Apostle’s Creed:

. . . I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
. . .

“Among the topics probed by the new survey, one of the most striking changes in recent years involves the share of Americans who say they believe the birth of Jesus occurred as depicted in the Bible. Today, 66% say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, down from 73% in 2014. Likewise, 68% of U.S. adults now say they believe that the wise men were guided by a star and brought gifts for baby Jesus, down from 75%. And there are similar declines in the shares of Americans who believe that Jesus’ birth was heralded by an angel of the Lord and that Jesus was laid in a manger as an infant.

“Overall, 57% of Americans now believe in all four of these elements of the Christmas story, down from 65% in 2014.”

Source: Americans Say Religious Aspects of Christmas Are Declining in Public Life

See the charts below for more detail. Continue reading

One Final Thought: Roy Moore was a flawed candidate regardless of the alleged sex accusations

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Here is the deal. Lots is now being said about who is responsible for Roy Moore’s defeat. Here is a novel idea. I think Roy Moore is responsible.

Why?

Roy Moore has run for statewide races several times before his latest failure to win the Senate seat. The last time was 2012 for the Chief Justice for the Alabama Supreme Court.

Moore was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court on November 6, 2012 winning 51.8 percent of the vote over Robert S. Vance. He previously won the Republican primary on March 13, receiving 50 percent of the vote. In a heavily Republican state, the margin of victory would have substantially higher. Later, he would be removed from office for the second time.

In 2010, Mr. Moore ran for Governor. Moore sought the Republican nomination for governor of Alabama for the second time in his career and was defeated after receiving only 19.3 percent of the vote in the primary election.

In 2006, Moore unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the governorship of Alabama and was defeated by a 2-1 margin by incumbent Bob Riley in the June primary.

So, having nothing to do with the allegations of sexual impropriety, Republicans in Alabama have not been raving supporters of Mr. Moore. The same thing just happened again.

Mo Brooks, who lost in the primary, would have probably won with about 60% of the vote. Just my opinion but I think there is good evidence for it.

Sad that the primary process got botched so badly that a candidate who would be challenged to win was selected.

For additional detail, see here.

University Refuses Research On Trans People Who Want To Go Back

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This is very interesting. The United Kingdom’s Bath Spa University turned down an application by James Caspian, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with transgender people, to conduct research on gender reassignment reversals. The university deemed the subject “potentially politically incorrect.”

Caspian’s preliminary findings suggested a growing number of young people—particularly young women transitioning to men—were having regrets. When he provided a detailed proposal to the university, he was told that it must be submitted to the ethics committee. The committee rejected his research proposal, citing concerns over potential criticism towards the university. The university is currently investigating the matter.

Source: University Refuses Research On Trans People Who Want To Go Back

You would think a University dedicated to discovering the truth, would want to consider the research and not what is politically correct.

Australia’s “60 Minutes” aired a story about a youngster who began transitioning from a boy to a girl at age 12, but now two years later, has changed his mind. From an early age, Patrick Mitchell felt uncomfortable in his own skin and didn’t feel like he fit in. He remembers first hearing about the concept of “trans” at age seven. From that point on, he wanted the doctors to make him a girl.

At age 12, he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. He begged his mother to let him transition into a girl and, with her support, began taking estrogen and presenting socially as a girl. But now, two years later, he finds his feelings have changed. As he told Australian “60 Minutes,”

I began to realise I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better. ~Patrick Mitchell

With the support of his mother, Patrick is planning to stop his transition and to have surgery to remove the breasts that developed due to the estrogen.

Ex-Judge Roy Moore’s fundamental claim that a state supreme court can ignore a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is anything but conservative.

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I don’t live in Alabama so I don’t get a vote. I do have an opinion though that Ex-Judge Roy Moore’s fundamental claim that a state supreme court can ignore a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is anything but conservative. Based on that, he is not a very good candidate to represent the Republican party as a Senator.

Perhaps given his distaste for the Republican Party, he should have run as an Independent. That, at least, would have showed a hint of integrity. Speaking of integrity, is it right to accept money from a party and trash it’s leadership at the same time?

When Mr. Moore served as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme court, he served as a Officer of the Court with a sworn obligation to obey the U. S. Supreme Court. His acts of defiance got him twice removed from his elected position. This happen in both 2003 and 2016. It was not an act of civil disobedience as a private citizen.

Moore’s fundamental claim that a state supreme court can ignore a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is anything but conservative. That question was settled by the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed in its wake, and no one who claims to be a conservative would argue otherwise. ~The Federalist

Please note Article VI, Clause 2 of the U. S. Constitution.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

If we listen and read Mr. Moore carefully, we discover his wrong-headed view that our government should function more like a theocracy than a democracy. “I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government,” Moore said this during the primary debate with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was backed by President Trump and the Republican party.

Our constitution gives Congress, the President and the Supreme Court the authority to enact laws that are un-Christian. This has been demonstrated many, many times. Some of our laws are in fact in direct violation of Christian principles. That became clear in the very first amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Notice I do not mention the controversy surrounding the recent sexual allegations. They stand on their own. I have previously written about them here and here. Even without the allegations, Mr. Moore is really unqualified as a conservative (which he is not) and a Republican.

A person who won’t follow our laws and abide by the principles of our Constitution does not belong in the Senate. ~Frances Coleman via AL.Com

Mr. Moore is not above the law and if elected, would once again take an oath of allegiance to our constitution. Having done that twice before and failed to live up to his oath, can we expect him to respect the constitution again. He has already said no. We should believe him.

It is not integrity to say and swear you will do something and then do the opposite. That demonstrates a lack of integrity not integrity. Jesus was clear when he said “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

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The Christian Baker Need Not Have Ended Up at the Supreme Court. Anti-Discrimination laws should be shields, not swords.

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Please note that, in my opinion, Congress did not make a law that created this challenge before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, misinterpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, created the mess.

That said, can states, consistent with the First Amendment, force citizens like Jack Phillips to express support for same-sex marriage through their artistic products? This is a question now for the Supreme Court to sort out since they started all this. It is one of the most important issues it will face this year. May God give the justices wisdom and insight. This one is of direct interest to all people of faith.

Of course, it didn’t have to end up there. Colorado could have been reasonable in their approach to the issue. They choose not to. Does Jack discriminate about gays and homosexuals? No, he did and currently continues to sell them bakery products. Seems like he passes the “I don’t discriminate” test. Disagreement is not discrimination. Our constitution gives all the right to disagree. It is called the First Amendment.

Colorado claims that the Court held “opposition to same-sex marriage” to be “tantamount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” In fact, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out during the Masterpiece oral arguments, the Court in Obergefell noted that belief in marriage as the union of husband and wife is held “in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.” The Court stated in its majority opinion that “many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.”

A big part of the problem is that sexual-orientation anti-discrimination laws are now being used to “punish the wicked,” in the words of Tim Gill, their biggest financial backer (to the tune of $500 million). But anti-discrimination policies should serve as shields, not swords.

This struck me as amazing. During oral arguments, Chief Justice Roberts asked the solicitor general of Colorado how the state would apply its anti-discrimination law to a pro bono Catholic legal organization for the poor that served all comers but couldn’t do legal work for same-sex couples that they would provide for husbands and wives: “So Catholic Legal Services would be put to the choice of either not providing any pro bono legal services or providing those services in connection with the same-sex marriage?” The solicitor general replied: “I think the answer is yes, your honor.”

Hopefully this will end well for all people of faith, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. We all believe, on religious grounds, that God establishes marriage between men and women.

Is it time to repeal the Johnson Amendment and let Pastors speak freely (like our Constitution guarantees)

Since 1954, the Johnson Amendment has prohibited religious leaders from supporting or opposing political candidates. The GOP tax bill approved in the House might change that.

But the biggest opponents of repealing the Johnson Amendment are the mainstream media, which tend to write about the ban as if it were part of the original Bill of Rights. The editors of the Washington Post warned that allowing pastors to speak out for or against political candidates “would permit churches, charities and foundations to engage in candidate-specific politicking and enable donors to reap tax breaks for political contributions for the first time.” The House bill, they say, would throw open “an entirely new channel for campaign money to politicize churches, charities and foundations.”

The First Amendment seems to cover this on several fronts. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Consider this background from The Federalist:

The original purpose of the Johnson Amendment wasn’t to prevent pastors from speaking out about politics from the pulpit, it was to ensure LBJ’s reelection to the U.S. Senate. After stealing his first Senate election through ballot fraud—he won by 87 votes in the 1948 Democratic runoff primary against a former Texas governor, Coke Stevenson—Johnson wanted to ensure that he handily won reelection in 1954.

In those days, Democrats dominated state politics in Texas, so winning reelection meant winning the Democratic primary. In 1954, Johnson’s primary challenger was a 30-year-old freshman state representative named Dudley Dougherty. But Dougherty, a relative nobody, wasn’t the problem. The problem was McCarthyism.

This was during the height of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s hearings and speeches about the growing threat of communism, and although Johnson had little use for McCarthy—he called him a “loudmouthed drunk” who “can’t tie his g-dd-mn shoes”—he couldn’t afford to alienate major Texas donors, mostly oilmen, who hated communism and loved McCarthy. So he muted his criticism of McCarthy along with his general view that Americans’ fear of communism was overblown.

That worked on most of the Texas oilmen, but it didn’t work on H.L. Hunt, a billionaire businessman from Dallas who started a tax-exempt foundation called Facts Forum to promote his conservative, anti-Communist views through radio, television, and the publication of books and magazines. Another group called Committee for Constitutional Government, founded by the newspaper magnate Frank Gannett, was also pumping out anti-Communist material during this time, and Johnson suspected such tax-exempt organizations were quietly supporting his primary opponent, Dougherty.

This of course incensed Johnson, and he decided to do something about it on the floor of the Senate by offering a short amendment to the IRS code for regulating 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. At the time, he said the amendment “seeks to extend the provisions of section 501 of the House bill, denying tax-exempt status to not only those people who influence legislation but also to those who intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for any public office.” There was no debate on the amendment and it was accepted on unanimous consent. 

Johnson goal was to undermine support for a political rival, not re-shape church-state relations. He likely could not have predicted—and would not have supported—the long-term ramifications. As Stephen Mansfield has noted, Johnson “does not seem to have had religion particularly in view. It doesn’t matter. Johnson’s amendment to the IRS code pertaining to 501(c)(3) organizations has meant that every tax-exempt church and ministry in America is kept from endorsing candidates or specific legislation if it would keep its tax-exempt status.”

An Arab Muslim in the Israeli Army — A compelling story that may shatter your ideas about the nation of Israel

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Why would an Arab Muslim serve in the Israeli military? Because he, like many Israeli Arabs, proudly defend the nation that has given them freedom and opportunity. Mohammad Kabiya, Israeli Air Force reservist, shares his remarkable story.

This may shatter your idea about the nation of Israel. Very compelling.

The Script

I am an Arab. I am a Muslim. And I love my country. In fact, I’m prepared to die for it. Which is why I serve in its army.

I don’t have to do this. I want to do this. Because my country is a special place, unlike any other.

Free. Diverse. Vibrant.

Yet, other countries—countries not so free, not so diverse—call for my country’s complete destruction. The moment my country lets its guard down, it will be destroyed.

Continue reading

New York Times Joins Campaign Against Catholic Judicial Nominee

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The assault on our constitutionally guaranteed rights continues.  By the constitution’s plain terms, no federal office holder or employee can be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or a federal government job. It immediately follows a clause requiring all federal and state officers to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. This clause contains the only explicit reference to religion in the original seven articles of the U.S. Constitution.

The first amendment went even further, stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

A few members of the Senate and the media want to trample our rights and are unapologetic.

“In early September, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor nominated for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Dick Durbin grilled her about her use of the term “orthodox Catholic” to describe those who try to practice the teachings of her church.

“Do you consider yourself an ‘orthodox Catholic’?” asked Durbin of Illinois, himself a Catholic, taking issue with Barrett’s use of that term to describe those who strive to align their lives fully with their church’s teachings. Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono suggested Barrett would be beholden to Catholic teaching when deciding cases.

Yesterday The New York Times continued the religious test of Amy Coney Barrett with a hit piece headlined in the style of a Donald Trump tweet:

Source: New York Times Joins Campaign Against Catholic Judicial Nominee

Our early settlers, Pilgrims and Puritans, didn’t come to America for religious liberty, they really came to avoid religious persecution

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While it is common to think of the early settlers, Pilgrims and Puritans, as coming to America for religious liberty, they really came to avoid religious persecution.

Later on, they would practice their own brand of persecution. This created a very messy background to the principles established in our constitution. Fortunately, our founders would be able to figure out a way, in the constitution and bill of rights, to create a great framework for governmental balance.

“Pilgrims and Puritans came specifically to practice religious beliefs freely and to spread the gospel. In the 1500s England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and formed its own church called the Church of England. However, the Separatists also known as the Pilgrims wanted nothing to do with that church.  And as a result they were persecuted and harassed by followers of the new Church of England and accused of being traitors of the state. Many of these people feared for their lives, so under the leadership of William Bradford the Separatist decided to leave and go to a land where they could worship freely.  In order to accomplish this new mission they sought the permission of the Virginia Company to establish their new home in this new land. Once they got permission the Pilgrims set sail in September 1620 on the Mayflower.

“Their journey was long and difficult and instead of landing in Virginia they actually landed North in Cape Cod. Because they landed in Cape Cod there was no formal written statement describing the rights and responsibilities of government.  So the Pilgrims establish their own form of government   for their colony. The agreement for the colony was to work together and consult each other to help the colony succeed.  They began to fulfill the other part of their reasoning for coming here which was to spread the gospel by converting some of the Native Americans to Christianity.

“After learning that the pilgrims started their own colony and succeed other oppressed religious groups began to follow in their footsteps. In 1630 the Puritans also left England in search of religious freedom. The puritans left England because they wanted to become pure and get rid of any evil associated with the Church of England. In England if they disobey the Church of England they would suffer serious consequences. For that reason, they left to make reforms and changes elsewhere.

“The puritans received permission to form a colony in Massachusetts Bay. The puritans wanted to base their colony on the word of God. Their main belief was that God would protect them if they obey his commandments. The Massachusetts Bay also established a government where men church members could vote for governor and representatives to the General Court. Today many of the Amish communities are descendants from early settlers.  It was also the protestant migration that paved the way for early constitutionalists to implement religious freedom into the constitution.”

Source: https://sites.google.com/a/email.cpcc.edu/desert-storm/home/escaping-religious-persecution

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Why It’s Ironic That LGBT Groups Are Complaining About Title IX

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We know that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female. That divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing. That the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

The Federalist has a great article on the irony of LGBT groups complaining about Title IX.

 

“College Pride recently released its “Shame List” of colleges that are the “absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth” in the United States. These schools supposedly discriminate against LGBTQ people and have requested federal exemptions to “perpetuate the harms of religion-based bigotry.” That’s how Campus Pride interprets schools’ desire to, say, maintain single-sex dormitories and showers, or teach that man-woman marriage is God’s design.

“Campus Pride and the LGBTQ lobby rip on private schools for opting out of provisions of Title IX that would otherwise require them to endorse sexual behavior that conflicts with their religious beliefs, although Americans have a constitutionally guaranteed right to free exercise of religion. Most ironically, LGBT lobbyists even abuse Title IX themselves by demanding legal interpretations of it that would destroy women’s higher-education advantages, which the law exists to promote.

Source: Why It’s Ironic That LGBT Groups Are Complaining About Title IX

“I am not getting paid for speaking up. I am not getting rewarded from your political opponents. What I am getting is stronger by refusing to blame myself and speaking the truth out loud.” ~Leigh Corfman

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At a campaign rally Monday, Moore said that with two weeks left until the election, “These allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women nor have I ever engaged in sexual misconduct with anyone,” ex Judge Roy Moore said.

Corfman wrote and hand-delivered the letter to AL.com Tuesday and said she was not “getting paid to speak up” or “getting rewarded” by Moore’s political opponents.

Justice will eventually be done. Jesus will decide the truth. Of course, Jesus already knows the truth.

Here’s her letter in full:

Mr. Moore,

When The Washington Post approached me about what you did to me as a child, I told them what happened, just as I had told family and friends years before. I stand by every word.

You responded by denying the truth. You told the world that you didn’t even know me. Others in recent days have had the decency to acknowledge their hurtful actions and apologize for similar behavior, but not you.

So I gave an interview on television so that people could judge for themselves whether I was telling the truth.

You sent out your spokesmen to call me a liar. Day after day.

Finally, last night, you did the dirty work yourself. You called me malicious, and you questioned my motivation in going public.

I explained my motivation on the Today show. I said that this is not political for me, this is personal. As a 14-year old, I did not deserve to have you, a 32-year old, prey on me. I sat quietly for too long, out of concern for my family. No more.

I am not getting paid for speaking up. I am not getting rewarded from your political opponents. What I am getting is stronger by refusing to blame myself and speaking the truth out loud.

The initial barrage of attacks against me voiced by your campaign spokespersons and others seemed petty so I did not respond.

But when you personally denounced me last night and called me slanderous names, I decided that I am done being silent. What you did to me when I was 14-years old should be revolting to every person of good morals. But now you are attacking my honesty and integrity. Where does your immorality end?

I demand that you stop calling me a liar and attacking my character. Your smears and false denials, and those of others who repeat and embellish them, are defamatory and damaging to me and my family.

I am telling the truth, and you should have the decency to admit it and apologize.

Leigh Corfman

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If You Have a Pulse, God Has a Plan

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“There is purpose in your pain.” What an amazing story. Thanks to Tatiana Rose Ketchum for sharing.

Holy Spirit, You are welcomed here.

I was raised going to church, so I knew who God was. In 2007, I went through a devastating tribulation of being sexually abused by the pastor at the church I was attending at the time. This pastor was very friendly to me, and looking back, more so than to anyone else and more than I realized at the time. He had a niece that I was friends with and she was spending the night at his house. She asked if I wanted to spend the night as well, and I did. I’m not going to go into intricate details of what happened that night to me.

Fast forward to church that morning, I felt uncomfortable around him. I began to feel guilty, scared and unworthy. My mom had “The Birds and the Bees” talk with me, so I felt like I couldn’t talk to her because I didn’t want…

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“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” ~~Thomas Sowell

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It seems a huge challenge at all levels of government is the lack of accountability. It is a mistaken notion that there is no price to be paid. That may appear so in the short run.

Jesus challenges us to do the right thing for God’s country. There will be justice and a day of reckoning. We will all stand before God to provide an account for our actions. None of us will be immune.

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” ~Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Frank Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome, slams ‘Final Solution’ of abortion

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Frank Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome, gave a powerful speech about the worth of his life and inherent value the Down Syndrome community adds to society.

Stephens made his emotionally stirring speech before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies which held a hearing to discuss medical research in regards to Down Syndrome.

“Whatever you learn today, please remember this: I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living,” Stephens said, eliciting a round of supportive applause.

He went on to add, “Seriously, I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence,” he added. “Is there really no place for us in the world?”

He is particularly harsh on recent trends to detect Down Syndrome in unborn children so they can be aborted. This is a horrific practice and should be condemned by every government and society.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you.”

The Trans Brigade Is Weaponizing Children Despite The Consequences

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I believe that the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to the Messiah.

Moses in Genesis said  He created them male and female.” (Genesis 1:27)

Jesus said “In the original creation, God made male and female to be together.”(Mark 10:5-9)

Here is a great analysis from  at The Federalist,  “At first, the LGBTQ craze focused on adults, but adherents have increasingly sought not only to include and recruit kids in their movement, but now to use them as their frontline combatants. For example, eight-year-old Nemis Golden, born a boy, routinely performs on stage before packed, cheering audiences as the mini drag queen Lactatia. Nemis’s mother not only encourages his performances, she even helps him dress and apply his wig and makeup. The crowds not only cheer at his performances, they also laud him as a brave young role model.

“But it isn’t just practitioners of the LGBTQ lifestyle who portray as heroes little ones who claim to be transgender. We see in ever-increasing number of stories like the following:

“Those stories generally paint a rosy view of happy, well-adjusted transgender children. But those pictures are typically snapshots, not full-length movies. “Yes, I’m happy,” the little one answers as he or she is aided in and rewarded for indulging in transgender fantasies. Those rosy answers are pretty common in act one of the movie, but I usually hear from transgenders in act two, when they’re no longer so happy, but often at their wit’s end. The fantasy that appeared so appealing early on has trapped them in a very real cycle of emotional despair and poor physical health.”

Source: The Trans Brigade Is Weaponizing Children Despite The Consequences

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

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By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war – for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted – for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us – and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

– Go: Washington

George Washington

Why Self-Esteem Is Self-Defeating

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Is having high self-esteem key to happiness? That’s what children are told.

But is it true? Or can that advice be doing more harm than good? Author and columnist Matt Walsh explains.

Jesus challenges us put him in charge. It is not about self.

And this from Jesus.

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”  ~Jesus (Matthew 16:24-26)

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What’s the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?

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Should Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude? Or should they mourn it as a day of guilt? Michael Medved, author of The American Miracle, shares the fascinating story of the first Thanksgiving.

Michael Medved always has great insights. I used to be able to listen to him on talk radio in Dallas but he has moved to another time slot now.

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Generations & Generosity: How Age Affects Giving

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The Barna Group has done their usual great work on research on Christian issues. This one is on generosity.

While there is broad agreement about the spirit of generosity, people differ when it comes to envisioning an act of generosity. “Service” (32%) and “emotional / relational support” (30%) are the two most popular responses among American Christians when asked what actions they associate with the concept of “giving to others.”

According to Barna, about one in five says giving money (22%), while fewer say “hospitality” (12%) or “gifts” (5%). Surprisingly, donating money is third on the list, and only one-fifth of adults selects it as their top expression of “giving to others.” The findings on this question reveal some interesting gaps by generation: Millennials, for example, are on par with the norm when it comes to service, emotional or relational support and gifts.

But the percentages for money (13% vs. 22% all Christians) and hospitality (21% vs. 12%) are essentially flipped: Millennials prioritize hospitality far more than money as an expression of generosity. At a different extreme are Elders, who are much more likely than the average to strongly associate service with generosity (52% vs. 32% all) and not at all likely to choose hospitality (less than 1 percent of Elder respondents chose this option).

Source: Generations & Generosity: How Age Affects Giving – Barna Group

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it

I can hear a colleague of mine, in his great raspy voice, say “Wilson, be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.” Of course, he was right.

I am not an Alabamian. I have no vote in their upcoming special election to elect a Senator to the U. S. Senate. The primaries are over and there is a Republican and Democrat on the ballot. It can’t be changed. The election will occur and one of them will win unless there is a successful write in effort.

At a high level, this article will explore 2 issues:

  1. Some have a policy problem, in that Mr. Moore has twice refused to comply with orders from the Supreme Court and was removed from position on the Alabama Supreme Court. Despite that, he was elected by Republicans to fill the vacant seat in the U. S. Senate.
  2. Besides policy differences, some are very concerned that as a Christian, Mr. Moore seems to ignore Christian values and is hiding behind a victim response.

So we have spent much of the last week, in the political world, embroiled in the Roy Moore controversy. Many of my online friends have weighed in and I have commented where I could.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter with 14-year-old Leigh Corfman when he was a 32-year-old district attorney.

The allegations: Leigh Corfman told the Washington Post that she met Moore in 1979 when she was just 14 years old. The then-district attorney offered to watch Corfman while her mother attended a custody hearing, she said, and he asked for her phone number when he was alone with her. Corfman said that days later, Moore drove her to his house and kissed her. During a second encounter, he allegedly took off her shirt and pants and touched her over her underwear and led her hands to touch him over his underwear. “I wanted it over with,” Corfman told the Post.

Moore’s response: “It never happened,” Moore said during an interview with Sean Hannity. “I don’t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated.”

The Post investigation also quoted three other accusers who said that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Five other women have since come forward with their own allegations against Moore. The former Alabama state judge has denied the allegations and his campaign has vowed to stay in the Alabama Special Senate election. Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, has also said her husband will not step down from the Senate race. That is a total of nine now, only four of them reported by the Washington Post.

All of this on top of public figures like Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, and others have been accused of sexual harassment and assault. Then this week we learned about Senator Al Franken. As you would expect, there is now a second Al Franken victim coming forward.

If nothing else, the timing of all this is horrible for Mr. Moore. There seems to a national consensus now that none of this can be tolerated any longer and that victims are to believed.

Here is a pretty good summary of the nine accusers and Mr. Moore’s responses. I know of many who believe this is a conspiracy to deny Mr. Moore the election. Mr. Moore has also stated that Mitch McConnell and Republican establishment is out to get him. Below is from Mr. Moore’s Twitter account:

Al Franken admits guilt after photographic evidence of his abuse surfaces.

Mitch: “Let’s investigate.”

In Alabama, ZERO evidence, allegations 100% rejected.

Mitch: “Moore must quit immediately or be expelled.”

— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 16, 2017

A couple of observations:

  • Before we even get to sexual assault issues, there seems to be a significant policy problem with his 2 removals from the Alabama Supreme Court. Personally I believe Mr. Moore was wrong in not upholding Supreme Court rulings. In these cases, I don’t particularly agree with the Supreme Court but the rule of law must prevail. That is what we sign up for in this country. His removal from office was justified and this should be a serious warning sign to his being elected to a Federal position in the Senate.
    • On January 15, 2001, Roy S. Moore was sworn in as chief justice of the Alabama supreme court. He promised to “support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Alabama” and to “faithfully and honestly discharge the duties” of his office. Although Moore had been elected to a six-year term, he would be removed from the bench in 2003 for failing to remove a 5,280-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the State Judicial Building that he had erected. A federal trial judge ruled that Moore violated the First Amendment’s imperative that government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”.
    • Alabama voters restored Moore to the chief justiceship in 2012, but once again he would not finish his term. This time the issue was gay marriage. Like many, including myself, Moore feels Obergefell v. Hodges was wrongly decided, but he, further, believed that the Constitution does not require Alabama to recognize same-sex unions legalized by the decision. As in his fight over the Decalogue monument, Moore thought his opinions entitled him to disregard federal court orders. This time he went even further, publicly declaring his resistance to Obergefell and instructing state probate court judges to follow suit, even after federal courts issued orders against Alabama officials. Moore again denied the authority of federal courts, and again the Alabama judicial inquiry commission cut his term short.
  • I don’t believe Mr. Moore is a victim. In his response to Leigh Corfman allegation, It never happened,” Moore said during an interview with Sean Hannity. “I don’t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated.” This is a consistent reaction. Mr. Moore, and Mr. Moore alone is responsible for his behavior. The true victims deserve to be heard just as he has a right to defend himself. Alabamians will decide if the accusations are relevant to the upcoming election.
  • Are the accusers credible? It is hard to know. There are an awful lot of them and there are very consistent themes among them. The don’t seemed to have conspired or colluded among themselves. As I mentioned earlier, we have come to understand that accusers are to be believed absent any apparent reason not to. Of course there false accusers. They are usually easily ferreted out. Consider Tawana Brawly, the Duke Lacrosse player accusers and the Rolling Stone debacle as examples.
  • Mr. Moore is a self professed follower of Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus, it is relevant to consider the higher issue of character. Without getting into quoting lots of scripture, Jesus clearly challenges us to love God, our neighbors and even our enemies. Mr. Moore is consistently demonstrating a complete lack of love for his enemies or even the slightest level of remorse for what might be legitimate misunderstandings from long ago. There is a high road, the way of Jesus, that compels us as followers of Jesus to be different. At some point it is not about politics but as followers of Jesus, are we exhibiting the love he challenges us to exhibit, even to our enemies? Jesus challenges us to be different. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Mr. Moore gets that. There are many alternatives to attacking your accusers. Here are two examples below. Agree and settle is one. Be silent is another. Loving your enemies will probable surface more ways to move forward.
    • “You don’t have to be a genius to understand these things. Just use your common sense, the kind you’d use if, while being taken to court, you decided to settle up with your accuser on the way, knowing that if the case went to the judge you’d probably go to jail and pay every last penny of the fine. That’s the kind of decision I’m asking you to make.” ~Jesus (Luke 12:57)
    • When Jesus appeared before his accusers he stayed quiet, “Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations.” (Luke 23:8-10)

This is all so very sad. It doesn’t seem like it is going to end very well for anyone. If elected, Mr. Moore will carry around this sordid badge of dishonor. The times have radically changed in the last few years. It doesn’t appear that is well understood how much so. I don’t think it is going away and none of it will favor Mr. Moore, whether he likes it or not. Victims have decided, with a great deal of courage, to speak up. Abusers are finding it difficult to count on shame and silence to win the day.

I’m afraid I and other followers of Jesus aren’t speaking up. To validate my sense of things, I called and talked to a Saint to get some insight on this. The Saint is my oldest sister. She is a mighty woman of God. I won’t go into why she is a Saint but trust me she is. She happens to live right across the border from Alabama in southwest Georgia. She tells me people of God down there believe that Mr. Moore should step down.

On a final note, if on a policy issue, you want to say that “the paramount goal of my political effort is to end the abominable human toll of abortion, and my conscience requires me to vote for the candidate who brings this country closer to that goal . . . ” well, it would be a little easier to understand.

Jim Geraghty  points out that we could argue about whether it’s the right choice, but it would at least be more logically consistent. Democratic Senate candidate in Alabama, Doug Jones – he doesn’t believe in any legal restrictions on abortion:

Jones: I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body, and I’m going to stand up for that, and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen. I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that’s what they choose to do.

Todd: You wouldn’t be in favor of legislation that said “ban abortion after 20 weeks,” or something like that?

Jones: No, I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years, it’s the position I continue to have.

Gettysburg Address anniversary — Thursday, November 19, 1863

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I can’t help but think and reflect on these great words from our first Republican President on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war’s turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen.Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee’s invasion of the North.

The two armies suffered between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties. Union casualties were 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured or missing), while Confederate casualties are more difficult to estimate. Many authors have referred to as many as 28,000 Confederate casualties, and Busey and Martin’s more recent 2005 work, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, documents 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured or missing).

Nearly a third of Lee’s general officers were killed, wounded, or captured. The casualties for both sides during the entire campaign were 57,225.

Here is Lincoln’s speech.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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When Bill Clinton Threatened to ‘End’ North Korea … sound familiar?

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Hmm, seems like I’ve heard this before.

On July 9, 1993, as the Washington Post reported at the time, Bill Clinton, amid a major swing through Asia, told the media the following of U.S. policy toward North Korea under his administration: “We would overwhelmingly retaliate if [the North Koreans] were to ever use, to develop and use nuclear weapons. It would mean the end of their country as they know it.”

Source: When Bill Clinton Threatened to ‘End’ North Korea | The American Spectator

Would you agree that “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.”

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This is telling. Is morality important in politics? Is this really how we want the world to see the followers of Jesus? Is this the witness and light Jesus wants us to show the world? What role does confession and repentance play in all of this?

In light of the Roy Moore controversy, I can see better what is going on.

So consider that …

In 2011, only 30 percent of white Evangelicals said that “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.”

In 2016, that number more than doubled to 72 percent. That’s what a PRRI/Brookings poll says.

White Evangelicals used to be the religious group that was least tolerant of immoral acts by public officials.

In the wake of Trump, they are now the demographic most tolerant of immoral acts in politicians.

At the very least, I think Jesus would ask us a lot of uncomfortable questions. Am I ready for them? Are you?

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“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget.” ~John F. Kennedy

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When the federal government has grown to a $4 trillion dollar budget, it is hard to believe a tax cut isn’t in order. Even John F. Kennedy recognized that.

“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” ~John F. Kennedy 

Did FDR End the Great Depression?

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Did FDR help end the Great Depression? Did his New Deal improve an otherwise hopeless economy? Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA and consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, explains.

From Wikipedia we learn “The depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession.[4] Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II.”

By Dorothea Lange – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsa.8b29516.

An open letter to the people of Sutherland Springs from Israel

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Excellent blog on Sutherland Springs. “I pray for your injured to be healed, for your bereaved to find comfort and that the people of America see what I see when I look to you.”

Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story

Dear people of Sutherland Springs, 

I am writing to you, from Israel, to tell you that I see you.

Halfway around the world, with enough worries of our own, it was heart-breaking to hear of the devastating shooting in your community.

We know what it means to have our loved ones ripped from us.

I see you. I see your pain. I see the children who no longer have parents. I see the parents who yearn for their children but will never again have the luxury of embracing them or reading them a bedtime story. Who will watch other children grow up, knowing that theirs should be the same age, be having similar experiences but, instead, are a memory, frozen in time.

I see the kids who want to play with friends who are no longer alive. I see cousins, uncles, grandparents, friends who are left behind, not knowing how…

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America’s Founders Radical Then and Now

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This is a great National Review article by Jay Cost. We tend to forget it took a real revolution to create America. Our form of government is really radical.

It is important to remember that as some days it is easy to give up hope. Our founders gave their lives to create this for us. It is a precious jewel to be treasured.

The first is the notion that civil liberty must be nearly absolute. The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak, to assemble, and to worship — with no caveats whatsoever. The Second Amendment empowers the people to arm themselves, as an alternative to standing armies, which had historically been tools of oppression. The remaining amendments in the Bill of Rights keep the government from abusing the rights of privacy, ensure fair and humane treatment in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, and underscore the limitations of federal authority.

The second idea is a radically republican conception of the state. “Republicanism” had long been around as a governing ideal — the notion being that government should serve the citizenry and, in some respect, reflect its views. Political philosophers had usually reckoned that the best way to accomplish this task was to blend different forms — like democracy and aristocracy — to keep the defects of any one system from undermining the whole regime. In the 1700s, European theorists such as Montesquieu and David Hume had judged the British Constitution to be the greatest realization of this idea, for it “balanced” the Commons against the House of Lords and the Crown.

“The delegates to the Constitutional Convention would have none of this. Their system of government was founded solely upon the people — with no self-appointed or hereditary authority. And we see their radicalism in the fact that they affirmed this commitment in 1787, when popular government in the United States seemed to have been foundering for many years. The national government was impotent during the 1780s, and the state governments were often no different than mob rule. But instead of seeking reconciliation with George III, or some reinstatement of mixed estates, the delegates to the Convention, as Madison put it, chartered a government that addressed the “inconveniencies of democracy” while remaining “consistent with the democratic form of government.”

Source: America’s Founders Radical Then & Now | National Review

How Segregating Kids By Age Led To Youth Culture And Broke Families

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, at The Federalist, speaks out the “Youth Culture”. Tara has worked as a child caregiver in social services, daycare, and as a nanny. She is a homemaker and mother, and serves as chair of the Dorothy Day Caucus of the American Solidarity Party in her free time. She may be followed on twitter at @TaraAnnThieke.

The big question is, should we outsource childrearing? Something to think about.

  • “Youth culture” is a benign phrase for the post-World War II phenomenon of age segregation. In truth it is a radioactive element in our society, one conveniently co-opted by the wealthy and powerful to ensure a more manageable, less rooted populace.
  • “The post-war era witnessed the culmination of efforts to standardize mass compulsive state education, a movement initiated in eighteenth-century Prussia. Propaganda not only insisted professionals would do a better job of educating, but also proclaimed a moral duty to hand children over for “socialization.” The American faith in the new bureaucratic class, which they saw as having rescued them from the Great Depression and Hitler, was so strong that they succumbed without protest.

Source: How Segregating Kids By Age Led To Youth Culture And Broke Families

How Women are Treated by Islamists and radical Jihadist

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Islamism has a huge problem with how they treat women based on Sharia law and its commitment to create a Caliphate. It is evil.

Newcastle upon Tyne is a small city in the North-East of England which, in 2017, was acclaimed the best city in the UK in which to raise children (London was the worst). Imagine, then, the shock when the city again became national news on August 9 when a trial at the Crown Court ended in the conviction of 18 people for the sexual grooming of children.

Juries “found the men guilty of a catalog of nearly 100 offences – including rape, human trafficking, conspiracy to incite prostitution and drug supply – between 2011 and 2014.”

Some great points from The Gatestone Institute:

  • “No one wants to demonize a particular community but the fact that this is happening again and again in the same circumstances and communities is a fact we cannot ignore. I think there needs to be a national approach…” — Greg Stone, Liberal Democrat party.
  • If we look at a list of 265 convictions for grooming gangs and individuals in the UK between November 1997 and January 2017 (and if we add on another 18 for the recent Newcastle gang), we will note that more than 99% are for Muslim men, mainly young men in their 20s and 30s.
  • It is, however, not just white (that is, non-Muslim) women whom Muslim men hold in such contempt. This abuse starts at home in Islamic countries in the treatment of Muslim women. Its roots lie in aspects of Islamic law and doctrine that are retained in the 21st century, despite having been formulated in the 7thcentury and later.
  • The idea that a man is not responsible for rape or other sexual assault and that women bear the blame for such a crime goes far to help explain why Muslim men in Britain and elsewhere may feel themselves justified in grooming and sexually abusing young women and girls far less well covered.

Source: How Women are Treated by Islam

Here’s Why an Unborn Baby Was Counted as a Person in the Texas Massacre

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I believe that life is sacred, both in the womb and outside the womb.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”(Psalm 139:13-16)

God said “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17)

The sheriff deputies who assessed the fatalities at the bloody crime scene at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, counted the death toll as 26 because one of the victims was a mother carrying an unborn child inside of her.

The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 recognizes unborn children as separate victims for federal and military crimes. Texas law also defines a human being to include “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth,” and recognizes an unborn baby as a potential crime victim.

“This has been a longstanding priority for us, and something we were instrumental in pushing,” said Jennifer Popik, a director for the National Right to Life, according to The New York Times. “The principle here is that there’s two victims. For a family already invested in the child, for the grandparents, this is a loss.”

Source: Here’s Why an Unborn Baby Was Counted as a Person in the Texas Massacre

Not Even Trans Apologists Can Keep Their Ideology Straight

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We are born male or female. That is about it. I believe that the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design.

Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to the Messiah.

Moses in Genesis said  He created them male and female.” (Genesis 1:27)

Jesus said “In the original creation, God made male and female to be together.” (Mark 10:5-9)

Here some thoughts from  at The Federalist for his speeches. Much of his experience comes from speaking at more liberal college campuses all around the country on different aspects of gender issues. Out of the gate, he tells audiences his belief on this subject is founded in the reality that humanity exists and is fundamentally understood as male and female, that both are wonderfully unique and they need each other.

  • “I then go on into my remarks asking if the males in the hall will raise their hands. Many do. The females? They make themselves known as well. “Are there others who don’t fit into either category?” On most campuses, I get a sprinkling of hands raised.
  • “I say to these folks the same thing you might. “Please come up afterward and introduce yourself. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting someone who isn’t male or female.” Who would pass up that opportunity, right? Each one who’s responded to the invitation over the years has only left me disappointed. Falsehood in advertising. They are always some hope-crushing variation of male or female, and often times, not that varied.

Source: Not Even Trans Apologists Can Keep Their Ideology Straight

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Jack Phillips and His Supreme Court Case on Same-Sex marriage

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From our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom here are 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Jack Phillips and His Supreme Court Case on Same-Sex weddings.

“In marriage a man becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals.” ~Jesus 

“Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”  ~Jesus

Jesus was clear that it is men and women who marry.

The recently signed Nashville Statement declares in Article One that:

“WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

“WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.”

1. Jack does not discriminate.

Jack has never discriminated against anyone, and he certainly didn’t refuse to serve the couple that filed a discrimination complaint against him. When they walked into his shop, he offered to sell them cookies, brownies, or anything pre-made from his shelves. But that was not enough. The government wants to force him to use his artistic talents to celebrate events that violate his faith.

2. Jack has turned down other cakes in the past.

There are several types of cakes that Jack will not make. For example, he won’t make cakes with alcohol in them. He won’t do Halloween cakes or lewd cakes for something like a bachelor party. In the past, he has even turned down a cake celebrating a divorce. A cake artist deciding which messages he will promote has nothing to do with the concerns behind public accommodation laws.

3. Jack has faced anti-religious bigotry as well as threats and intimidation simply because he declined to promote an event.

When Jack was first sued, he received an avalanche of hateful calls and letters. At one point, a caller made a death threat against him and his family, telling Jack that he was going to show up at their cake shop. Fearing the worst, Jack had to call the police. No one should have their peace of mind taken away from them simply because they live consistently with their beliefs.

4. Jack owns a private family business, and he doesn’t give up his rights when he sells his art.

When Jack puts the “Open” sign on his business, he does not have to abandon his constitutional rights. Just like any other American, the First Amendment protects Jack’s freedom to run his family business consistently with his faith and to decline to promote messages that violate his beliefs. That’s a principle we should all be able to get behind.

5. Jack’s shop has been called an “art gallery of cakes.”

Not only did a local reporter call Jack’s cakeshop “an art gallery of cakes,” but Jack’s cake designs were also featured on advertisements for Season 2 of TLC’s Cake Boss. When Jack receives a custom order, he pours his artistic ideas and talents into making something special for his clients. He should not have to use his creative expression to promote something that conflicts with his deeply held convictions.

6. Wedding cakes made up about 40 percent of Jack’s business.

Jack loves creating special, custom designs for weddings. Because of the state’s order requiring him to create anything for same-sex couples that he creates for opposite sex couples, Jack is no longer able to create wedding cakes. If Jack has to step out of the wedding industry permanently, his business will take a huge hit. Jack shouldn’t be barred from working in an industry he loves simply because the tenets of his faith define marriage differently than the Colorado government.

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The harsh reality of dismemberment abortion

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I believe that life is sacred, both in the womb and outside the womb.

God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”(Psalm 139:13-16)

A Texas case reveals the harsh reality of dismemberment abortion. This detail is gruesome. See here for details.

“A bizarre spectacle unfolded this week in a federal district courtroom in Austin, Texas, where a group of abortion providers argued they shouldn’t have to kill a fetus before dismembering it in its mother’s womb, and the state argued that they should.

“At issue is a state law passed earlier this year, Senate Bill 8, that would ban live dismemberment abortions. A live dismemberment abortion is exactly what it sounds like: a doctor uses forceps to tear apart a live fetus, limb by limb, and remove it from the mother’s uterus. This is usually done in the second trimester, when the fetus is too large to be suctioned out.

“The law in question wouldn’t ban such a procedure, but it would require abortion doctors in Texas to ensure that a fetus is dead before they dismember it. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Paxton, hinges on the constitutionality of the Texas law and marks the first time the merits of such a statute have been considered at a trial.

“Other states have passed similar bans of live dismemberment abortion, and some of those laws have been challenged in court without proceeding to the trial phase. Arkansas and Alabama immediately appealed temporary restraining orders against their bans, forgoing trials at the district court level. Texas did not, opting instead for a five-day trial before federal district court Judge Lee Yeakel, which concluded Wednesday. No doubt Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to build a record in anticipation of an eventual hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Dozens of abortion providers from across the state claim the Texas law effectively bans second-trimester abortions. There is simply no way, they say, to ensure the death of a fetus prior to dismemberment in a “safe and effective” way, so the law creates a substantial burden to a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

“The state claims there are a number of safe and effective means of ensuring the humane death of a fetus prior to a dismemberment abortion, and that the law in question serves legitimate state interests in reducing fetal pain, treating the unborn in a humane and dignified way, and maintaining professional standards for Texas physicians who perform abortions.

“Hence the bizarre spectacle. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued this week that there’s nothing wrong with dismembering a live fetus, while attorneys for the State of Texas have been at pains to demonstrate just how “safe and effective” it is to kill a fetus before dismembering it in utero. You can inject a chemical called digoxin into the unborn child. You can inject potassium chloride directly into the child’s heart, which causes it to stop beating within minutes. Or you can simply sever the umbilical cord and allow the child to bleed to death. It’s all rather straightforward.”

Life and children

U.S. Senators Revive Anti-Catholic Bigotry To Intimidate Religious People

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 at The Federalist makes some excellent points about anti-catholic and anti-religious bias by some in government.

Article Six of our Constitution states “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”

  • “Notre Dame professor Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee for judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was likely just as flabbergasted when several Senate Democrats, during her judicial nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, publicly asserted just that.
  • “Most vocal in confronting Barrett with highly unusual and bordering on unconstitutional “religious test” line of questioning were senators Al Franken, Dick Durbin, and Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein seemed most concerned, not about any matter of Barrett’s impeccable legal experience and qualifications, but that her Roman Catholicism is evidence enough: “that the dogma lives loudly within [her], and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”
  • “That this line of questioning, at face value, may be easily explained away as merely the ill-considered efforts of a few hyper-partisan Democratic senators to score cheap political points at Barrett’s expense, or that they came dangerously close in appearing to erect an unconstitutional “religious test” for public service, is certainly cause enough for great national concern.”

Source: U.S. Senators Revive Anti-Catholic Bigotry To Intimidate Religious People

America’s Shifting Religious Makeup Could Spell Trouble For Both Parties but an opportunity for Jesus

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Here is some interesting data from FiveThirtyEight. The data is from a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Since 2006, the proportion of Americans identifying as white evangelical Protestant, white Catholic, and white mainline Protestant have all dropped by 5 or 6 percentage points.

The median age of people who don’t identify with any religion (also called the “religiously unaffiliated”) is rising, which suggests that people who have left their faith tradition aren’t returning to the fold as they get married, start families or hit other major life milestones.

While this is being interpreted from a political point of view, I think Jesus would see this as an opportunity for the good news of God’s country (aka Kingdom). “What a huge harvest!” Jesus said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”

Here is a summary of what FiveThirtyEight had to say:

  • “This youth and diversity might seem like a gift to the Democratic Party, but it also presents a serious challenge for politicians hoping to present a compelling vision to voters who have a wide range of values and priorities. White Christians, especially white evangelical Protestants, have been a political powerhouse for the Republicans because of their enthusiasm and ideological unity. The religiously unaffiliated, according to the PRRI report, now constitute more than one-quarter of the Democratic base. “It’s really hard to find a message that speaks to someone who’s not religious at all and a devout Catholic or evangelical Protestant,” Cox said. “The danger for Democrats is that they don’t find ways to motivate all of these diverse groups, and those voters just stay home.”
  • “And the religiously unaffiliated — a plurality of whom don’t consider themselves part of any political party — are also less politically engaged than other religious groups and less likely to vote. “That’s partly because they’re younger,” Cox said, “but also because they’re not attached to formal institutions like churches.” Those institutions — especially churches — have been key for unifying voters around shared values and issues, and for motivating them to vote, according to Cox.
  • “There’s also evidence in the report that young religious voters of color in particular may feel less loyalty to the Democrats than older generations did. Only 35 percent of Hispanic Catholics under the age of 30 identify as Democrats, compared to 56 percent of Hispanic Catholic seniors. Similarly, just 58 percent of black Protestants under 30 say they’re Democrats, compared to 79 percent of black Protestants over the age of 65.”

Source: America’s Shifting Religious Makeup Could Spell Trouble For Both Parties | FiveThirtyEight

It’s Time to Call Out False Teachers Who Distort God’s Word on Abortion

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Here are some great thoughts  by Susan Wright at Red State. Jesus calls on us to speak the truth of his good news.

“It’s time for American Christians and church leaders to start publicly calling out those among their ranks that preach a gospel other than that of Christ, per Galatians 1:6-8.

“As the Apostle Paul (so rightly) wrote to the churches in Galatia:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” – Galatians 1:6-7 NIV

“It is churches that preach another gospel, that act outside of God’s direction, all for the purpose of getting butts in the pews and dollars in the offering plate, or who are under the leadership of flesh-driven frauds that are distorting the Word and keeping the American church from being a true force cutting through the darkness of this present age.

“Too many otherwise decent, Bible-believing church bodies remain silent, feeling that we can peacefully coexist, praying in those who crave the sustenance of Jesus Christ’s message delivered rightly. Meanwhile, these charlatans and workers of iniquity continue to pervert the Word, leading many astray.

“We are not here to tickle ears and make the world comfortable in its sin. We are to bring a sword and do battle, knowing some will fall, the world will hate us for it, but for those who receive the truth, they will accept Christ and be saved.”

Source: It’s Time to Call Out False Teachers Who Distort God’s Word on Abortion

Should Sex Ed Teach Abstinence? Most Americans Say Yes

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The Barna Group has looked into the issue of sex education in schools. Demonstrably missing in sex education is a discussion of abstinence. Most Americans believe that should be the approach.

“When asked whether they personally believe it’s OK for teens to have sex, assuming the sex is consensual and a contraceptive is used, 37 percent of all adults affirm such sexual activity among teens—and males much more so than females (46% and 28%, respectively). Sexual behavior is a topic on which generations predictably disagree, and Millennials really stand apart. Among Millennials, more than half (54%) feel consensual, safe sex among teens is OK.

“While seven in 10 adults (71%) believe sex education classes should primarily use practical skills to reinforce waiting for sex, a smaller majority of Millennials agree (57%). This compares to much higher rates among Gen X (74%), Boomers (75%) and Elders (85%). The other 43 percent of Millennials believe sex education should communicate that teen sex is OK, so long as young people consent and use contraception. Overall, only 29 percent of adults agree with this approach. Additionally, Millennials (38%) are more likely to say federal funding should be used to support this point of view compared to Boomers (9%) and Elders (6%).

Source: Should Sex Ed Teach Abstinence? Most Americans Say Yes – Barna Group