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Most US voters oppose body mutilating sex-change surgeries for kids but too afraid speak up: poll


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/most-american-voters-oppose-trans-surgeries-for-kids-but-afraid-to-speak-up.html/

Getty/Drew Angerer

Although most Americans oppose allowing surgeons to perform sex-change operations on children and teenagers suffering from gender dysphoria and teaching young children about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, many are afraid to speak about such hot-button issues due to fear of retribution.

Summit Ministries, in conjunction with McLaughlin & Associates, conducted a poll of 1,000 general election voters between April 22-26 and asked respondents for their views on LGBT issues, specifically the debate about body mutilation surgeries for minors and teaching matters related to sexual orientation and gender identity to young children. One question asked participants to share their “personal opinions about transgenderism,” specifically whether they

  • “believe it is a healthy human condition that should be celebrated” or
  • “do not believe it is a healthy human condition.”

Those who selected the latter option had the opportunity to clarify whether they “stay silent on the issue to not offend others” or are “willing to say so.”

A majority of respondents (56%) indicated that they do not believe transgenderism is a “healthy human condition.” Twenty-seven percent hold that view and are willing to share it in public, while 29% elect to remain silent about their true beliefs on the issue. Thirty-two percent of Americans characterized transgenderism as a “healthy condition.”

The differing responses to that question reflect the partisan divide among demographic subgroups, with majorities of liberals (61%), those who approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance (52%), Democrats (51%) and those who plan on voting for Democrats in the upcoming congressional elections (51%) viewing transgenderism as healthy, and pluralities or majorities of all other subgroups seeing it as “not healthy.”

An overwhelming majority of those surveyed (78%) told pollsters that minors suffering from gender confusion should “be required to wait until they are legal adults” before undergoing life-altering surgeries, such as removing breast tissue and genital mutilation, including removing one’s testicles (an orchidectomy) or severing the penis to create a cavity (a vaginoplasty).

By contrast, 9% said gender-confused children “should be encouraged to undergo permanent gender alteration.” Majorities of all subgroups agreed that children should have to wait until adulthood before they undergo elective, life-changing elective operations.

Requiring “medical professionals performing gender-altering procedures” to “disclose the common, long-term medical and psychological impact of such procedures” received an even higher level of support among all demographic groups. Eighty-one percent of respondents supported requiring the disclosure of side effects associated with body mutilation surgeries, while 9% opposed the idea. 

The questions about body mutilation surgeries for minors come as some states, including Arizona and Arkansas, have banned the procedures for children due to concerns about their longterm effects.

As Florida continues to face pushback from LGBT activists for enacting a law prohibiting school officials from engaging in discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade, the poll demonstrated opposition to such discussions among the American public. 

When asked to weigh in on “schools teaching about sexual identity and sexual behavior with elementary-age children,” 38% of respondents described such instruction as “inappropriate in a school setting,” while an additional 28% said it was “dangerous because it could lead to children being groomed for sexual encounters at a young age.” Slightly more than one-fourth (26%) of participants thought such material was “appropriate in a school setting.” 

Liberals are the most likely demographic subgroup to view the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity at school as “appropriate” (54%), followed by those who approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance (47%), those planning on voting Democrat in the upcoming congressional elections (46%), Democrats (44%), those who supported Biden in the 2020 presidential election (43%), those residing in urban areas (32%) and African Americans (30%). 

Besides rural Americans, pluralities of all other subgroups believe that such instruction is “inappropriate.” A plurality of those living in rural areas (40%) think teaching children about sexual orientation and gender identity is “dangerous.” 

Another question asked whether it was “possible to distinguish between men and women.”

An overwhelming majority of those surveyed (89%) answered in the affirmative, while 7% said “no.” A narrower majority of respondents (53%) disagreed with the idea that “a person’s biological sex and their gender are two separate things.” Thirty-six percent of the sample agreed with the proposition that an individual’s biological sex is different from their gender. 

Majorities of liberals (62%) planning on voting for Democrats in the upcoming election, those who voted for Biden in the 2020 presidential election (53%), Democrats (52%), and those who approve of Biden’s performance as president (52%), view biological sex and gender identity as distinct, while majorities of all other subgroups do not.

A separate poll conducted by the American Principles Project of voters in battleground states from May 2-6 yielded similar findings. The poll surveyed 1,200 likely voters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states that have competitive U.S. Senate races this year. The survey found that 56% of respondents residing in battleground states supported laws banning minors from obtaining puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and medicalized gender transition surgeries, while 31% opposed them.

The American Principles Project poll also revealed that 60% of Americans living in battleground states supported laws banning school officials from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade, while 34% opposed such laws.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

In post-Roe world, pro-lifers will be there for women and babies: Lifeline president


Posted By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/pro-life-centers-ready-to-help-women-babies-if-roe-goes.html/

A pregnant woman is seen getting an ultrasound scan. | PIXABAY

With the U.S. Supreme Court potentially poised to overturn decades of precedent making abortion a national right, national and local pregnancy resource centers are making preparations to support women and babies in a post-Roe world.

“The truth of the matter is, Lifeline [Children’s Services] and other organizations like ours, we’re ready,” Lifeline President Herbie Newell said in an interview with The Christian Post. “We’re scaled for the ability to help more women.”

Newell’s organization helps pregnant women create an adoption plan and build skills through budgeting and job training classes. Lifeline currently has just under 200 staff members working in 16 states throughout the U.S. and about 60 international partners and staff members. It is primarily funded through donor and corporate support and private grants. 

While optimism in the pro-life community builds as the nation’s high court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Newell said his organization is about as ready as they’ve ever been for the overturning or weakening of the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that interpreted abortion access as a right under the 14th Amendment. 

According to a May 2 Politico report, a leaked draft opinion shows that the court’s Republican-appointed Justices may be leaning toward reversing Roe. A statement the following day by the court verified the authenticity of the draft opinion but also said the draft does not reflect the final ruling. 

“We’ve already recruited and prepared church partners and legal partners to be able to get those women to the best places where they can be helped,” Newell said. “In the last year, we have scaled to the point where we’re ready to work with women in all 50 states and even in the states where we may not have a physical presence.”

Another organization that is ready to scale up its services in a post-Roe world is the Human Coalition, a national collective that has aided thousands of mothers through the years in making the hard choice to give birth instead of abort. The organization’s “unique” telecare services connect women to needed resources.  Human Coalition President Jeff Bradford told CP that his organization is forming partnerships with state governments — particularly pro-life states like Texas — and local pregnancy centers to connect women with supportive services. Over the last year and a half, Human Coalition has brought on specialists to connect women to employment, housing or education services. They’ve also approached pastors throughout the country and equipped them with information about the group and its partners. Human Coalition plans to launch a “pilot program” in Texas sometime this summer to help reduce infant morbidity. Bradford said Human Coalition is working with doctors to help promote healthy pregnancies and connect women with early OB/GYN care.  

“We’re looking at programs that can help women, especially those that are in vulnerable situations, socioeconomic situations that are more difficult for that,” Bradford said. “And we want to make sure that we, as the pro-life movement and the Church, can come alongside her and help.” 

Roland Warren, the president and CEO of Care Net, believes it’s a “misconception” that the only response to a potential overturn of Roe is building more pregnancy centers. Care Net provides practical support services to women and families, operating more than 1,100 affiliates throughout the country.

“You have to understand it’s not just about the woman. It’s not just about saving the baby. It’s about reaching the guy, creating a family,” he told CP. 

On March 4, the organization hosted the first pro-life men’s conference in Dallas, Texas, inviting men to participate in supporting pregnancy centers. Care Net plans to host another conference within 12 to 18 months. Care Net has also increased the number of coordinators involved in its Life Disciples Progam, recently hiring new coordinators in Florida and Texas. The program equips churches to come alongside and support women and men contemplating their pregnancy decisions. 

Warren believes that the pregnancy center model alone — care from conception to birth — is not enough in a post-Roe society. 

“The model has to be engaging guys, so he’s that support,” Warren said. “And if that’s not possible, then the Church comes in and steps in to assist.”

More than 2,000 churches have purchased and implemented the discipleship kit since Care Net began the program in 2015. According to Warren, that number has continued to grow over the years. 

Executive Director Susan Barrett of the Chicago-based Aid for Women pregnancy care centers said the organization opened two additional centers in Waukegan and Wheeling, Illinois, last year. Aid for Women has five center locations. In addition to pregnancy support services, the organization offers maternity housing — Heather’s House and Monica’s House. The organization states on its website that many women choose abortion because they “lack adequate housing or will be otherwise homeless if they choose life.”

Aid for Women recently hired three nurses and sonographers, and Barrett said there are plans to potentially implement telehealth services. But the most significant push right now is to expand the number of hours at each location, she said. 

“So, we’re definitely looking at different ways to expand and to meet the needs,” Barrett said. 

Caring Network President Kirt Wiggins, who leads a network of Illinois-based pregnancy resource centers, estimates the number of women seeking abortions in Illinois will be in the “thousands” if Roe falls. Illinois is among 16 states that have over the years enshrined abortion access into state law in case Roe is overturned. According to Illinois.gov., over 46,000 abortions took place in Illinois in 2020, and over 9,600 women traveled out of state for an abortion. 

Wiggins said that Caring Network was already strategizing about outreach efforts for the last two years before Dobbs and the leak. The possibility that Roe could be overturned added a “greater sense of urgency” to the organization’s work. Caring Network has hired three new pregnancy consultants and one marketing writer within the last few months. They’re also looking to implement a telecare clinic to serve women out of state before they travel to Illinois for an abortion.

The third measure involves building new centers in the most “strategic” locations in Illinois to reach more women.

“I feel like the Lord has helped us be ready for this,” Wiggins said. “I’m thankful we’ve been able to be thinking it through well and planning well.” 

Hedieh Mirahmadi Op-ed: Be very wary of the US thought police


Commentary By Hedieh Mirahmadi, Exclusive Columnist | Thursday, May 12, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/be-very-wary-of-the-us-thought-police.html/

It was astonishing when I first read about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board.

In my 20 years of government service fighting terrorism, the most complicated element of our work was protecting the sanctity of free speech while preventing radicalization. We watched young Americans leave their families to either marry a stranger or die in a foreign war but could do nothing about it because they had not committed a crime. They believed the persuasive pleas of the recruiters and wanted to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Civil rights groups, free speech activists, and others were very wary of our efforts. They claimed we were infringing on religious freedom and free speech by monitoring the recruiters’ activity. Back then, the social media giants wanted no part in censoring online profiles unless they advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. or encouraged acts of violence. We understood it as Americans; we are not in the business of policing ideas, however unpopular they may be.

The Supreme Court even established “an imminent threat” standard to ensure we did not regulate grossly unpopular or hateful speech. So, it was not until groups like ISIS and Al-Shabab were officially designated as foreign terrorist organizations that criminal charges could be imposed for recruitment and/or material support. 

Fast forward to today, and this new board is tasked with addressing the threat of disinformation. The repeated use of the word “threat” by DHS Secretary Mayorkas should be a cause for concern. It purposely creates connectivity between disinformation and the potential for physical harm, so there is a crime that can be investigated and eventually prosecuted.

We already have laws to address any potential harm stemming from intentionally providing false information. There are civil penalties in defamation and slander cases and criminal charges for perjury or obstruction of justice against government officials. However, the Constitution does not allow the government to punish the exaggeration of a story or having a different opinion from the cultural norm.

Look, for example, at all the controversy surrounding the Hunter Biden laptop. What was commonly touted as a wacky MAGA conspiracy was eventually demonstrated to be fact. Same with the research about the utility of masks in fighting off COVID infections and the risks associated with vaccines. Just because something may sound outlandish to some does not mean it’s false. The power of free speech is that the marketplace of ideas allows our opinions to evolve and change with new data. Isn’t that how we defeated slavery and gave women equal rights?

This recent push to criminalize “unpopular” speech started with the backlash against the parental rights movement. Passionate and angry parents at school board meetings triggered the Justice Department to issue a memo about prosecuting the “threat” to school officials. Soon after, DHS issued a National Terrorism Advisory, warning of a heightened terrorism threat caused by disinformation introduced by foreign or domestic actors. Consider the language of the bulletin very carefully:

“These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”

The alarming conclusion is this: Our leading national security agency says the most significant domestic terrorism threat today is from people who share unpopular ideas with others, which could make them angry enough to commit a crime. To address this apparent threat, they create a Disinformation Governance Board to advise the operational departments of DHS on who to investigate and possibly prosecute for these alleged crimes.

I am shocked and dismayed this is happening in the public service sector, where I dedicated most of my professional career. How is the U.S. government suddenly the arbiter of “truth?” And why is lack of public trust defined now as a potential terrorism threat?

As if the unconstitutionality of regulating truth in the public square was not bad enough, the choice to govern the Disinformation Board makes it obvious who is the intended target of this effort. Nina Jankowicz, a clearly left-leaning social activist, has already labeled opponents of CRT “disinformers” and considers gender-based harassment online to be a national security threat, equal to terrorism. 

U.S. law enforcement power should never be partisan. We saw how damaging that was during the Russian collusion debacle when corruption in senior leadership tarnished the stellar reputation of the FBI. DHS and FBI officials are also never meant to be the thought police. We pride ourselves on that as Americans. Thankfully, many legislators are voicing their objections to this partisan attempt to silence opposition.

Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee wrote to DHS that the “federal government has no place interfering with the rights of all Americans to speak publicly about their political views … In fact, the Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that this kind of ‘core political speech’ is the primary object of First Amendment protection.” Ranking Senator Rob Portman said, “I do not believe that the United States government should turn the tools that we have used to assist our allies counter foreign adversaries onto the American people.”

It is no secret that the U.S. has directly engaged in “disinformation” campaigns in countries worldwide to defeat communism, totalitarianism, and in many cases, terrorist recruitment. The American people should not tolerate its government now turning around to tell us what truth we can or should believe.

As Christians, even those who try to remain “apolitical” must realize we will be the greatest casualty of this effort. Our truth about who Jesus Christ is as God incarnate and that life begins with conception can easily be weaponized against us when the arbiter does not believe in God’s word. Look at the underwhelming response by law enforcement as the radical’s torch Christian nonprofits and harass conservative Supreme Court judges at their homes. Nothing is being done to stop those crimes as if their truths or legal rights do not matter.

There are dark days ahead of us, “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). 

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

The Supreme Court’s Decision on Overturning Roe Will Be an Inflection Point for The Nation


POSTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | MAY 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/05/10/overturning-roe-would-be-a-triumph-that-can-bring-america-back-to-life/

Ronald Reagan and Clarence Thomas

If the Supreme Court does not overturn Roe v. Wade, its legitimacy is finished, and so is the nation the Founders created. The opposite is also true.

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Just as slavery and its lingering effects scarred America for centuries, the national sin of Roe v. Wade has weighed our nation down with the shame and devastation of legalized mass murder. Just as slavery deeply challenged the patriotism of those scarred by that evil regime in America, so has the unconstitutional and morally abhorrent abortion regime in America.

Also, just as slavery plainly contradicted the philosophy and law of the American founders — who wrote “all men are created equal, and… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, [and] among these are Life” — so does Roe v. Wade, which even leftist “scholars” agree is a garbage decision. Just as slavery created a constitutional crisis that existentially threatened America, so did Roe v. Wade.

The attention on the protesters using violence and intimidation to retain a clearly unconstitutional and clearly immoral court diktat has obscured that if the Supreme Court does not overturn Roe, its legitimacy is finished. At that point, after decades of fruitlessly investing in keeping as many courts as possible closer to constitutionalism, the right will fully agree with the left that the Supreme Court is an illegitimate, utterly politicized institution, as I explained on EWTN last week. That will finish off what was left of the American republic and mark its complete conversion into something entirely different.

For it is highly politicized decisions like Roe, its companion Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and others such as those sanctioning the New Deal starting with West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, that have undermined the court’s legitimacy. The court maintains legitimacy precisely in doing its job of applying the law faithfully, instead of taking politics into consideration. Just as overturning Plessy v. Ferguson restored the Supreme Court’s legitimacy, so would the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Besides keeping the Founders’ America alive for “one more season of restraint,” fixing warped Roe v. Wade jurisprudence would also enliven the country, not just literally but also figuratively. It would breathe new life into an America that all of us should be able to admit has been on life support for some time.

Those of us who have been willing to admit what abortion is — the taking of a human life — have for decades been weighed down with the knowledge our own country has been allowing this on a mass scale, and even demanding we participate in and celebrate it. Such a regime not only delegitimizes itself but drains its own lifeblood.

The potential overturn of Roe v. Wade is a massive opportunity to overturn a horrifying evil, and therefore to do great good. The opportunity to do great good is a strong and previously unavailable motivator. It would be a huge energizer for those who have resisted the usurping regime’s massive efforts to get us to stop seeing and talking about what we have seen that regime do to our nation. It would be the fall of a great spiritual Berlin Wall inside our nation.

It would allow us to finally stop talking about “norms” and start talking about whether those norms nourish or destroy life. We could stop talking about marginal tax rates and about whose duty it is, exactly, to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. In short, we can start making the necessary bold moves to re-seed and water a culture of life. Without Roe, we can start from the beginning and move holistically, from the bottom up instead of merely tinkering around the corners of an entirely corrupt edifice.

That’s the most needed action in this moment, as the political and immoral left has become very clear about its frightening degradation into a death cult. Overturning Roe would show that major, enduring cultural victories are still possible, and that all of the nation’s institutions don’t belong to the left. Perhaps that’s why this poll showed a move to the right after people heard about the leaked majority opinion to overturn Roe.

An outpouring of creative social entrepreneurship and policy could be in the offing as states finally have the opportunity to make good on their voters’ belief that the unborn are people deserving of the best care a civilization can offer. By returning this existential policy to the people again, it could allow them to get involved in more immediate, tangible, and fruitful ways than demonstrating in the streets or on Twitter. People who want to save lives could be more able to adopt a baby now that abortion isn’t killing nearly all of the potential adoptees or help sponsor local children living with their own needy families like many churches do for children in faraway nations. It would be even less tenable to ban Christians from helping with foster care and adoption when the need for connecting children with parents increases through refusing to kill inconvenient children.

We’re so used to losing, who knows what the biggest win in generations could do to energize the American majority that remains committed to families and the rule of the real Constitution, not the murderous “living” one. But I do know that nothing is so energizing and refreshing as a baby. There’s nothing more unifying, more animating, and more lively. A baby is a life, and a baby makes a life. This is true both for us as individuals and for us as a collective.

Children are a reason to get up in the morning, to make a morning at all. Discharging our responsibilities to children is the way to make it “Morning in America” again, both in our homes and in our civic life. Caring for them is the best way forward. It is the only way. Without children, a civilization dies, both spiritually and literally. We are on the cusp of continuing to lose our babies, but there’s a chance we can get them back. And we need to, for our nation’s life is inextricable from theirs.

As every good parent learns, having a child is the way to become human again. Being human means becoming the kind of person who will sacrifice himself to benefit another. A society without enough of such persons is soon not a society at all. The Supreme Court’s decision, therefore, can either mean life or death not only for the unborn, but also for their nation. We must all hope, pray, and prepare.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

Franklin Graham delivers an Easter message from Ukraine: ‘The only hope is God’


Reported by PAUL SACCA | April 17, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/franklin-graham-delivers-an-easter-message-from-ukraine-the-only-hope-is-god/

Rev. Franklin Graham will deliver an Easter message of hope from war-torn Ukraine, where he has seen the resiliency of the Ukrainian people who are fighting back against an invasion by Russia.

“The people that you meet and talk to [in Ukraine] are strong,” Rev. Graham told Fox News. “There’s no question there’s despair and there’s fear. But they are determined they are going to fight for their land. And I just admire the [Ukrainian] people for the stand that they’re taking.”

Graham said the worst suffering has occurred in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where there is “famine and great food shortage.” The faith leader revealed that four Ukrainian people distributing food through Graham’s humanitarian aid charity Samaritan’s Purse were recently killed. The victims died “trying to help their own citizens, their own people,” Graham said.

“This may be one of the hardest countries that we have worked in,” he said of the crisis. “It’s a big country, the size of Texas. And transportation is an issue. They have trains, and trucks, and so forth, but fuel is a big issue. You can’t always get fuel.”

Samaritan’s Purse said their team of doctors and nurses has treated over 5,000 Ukrainian patients at six medical sites across Ukraine. The Christian charity has also airlifted more than 232 tons of emergency relief supplies to Ukraine, and utilized a network of over 3,200 churches to share medicine and food.

Graham said the Ukrainian “people are living in the shadow of death,” but still have the sense that God is with them.

“It’s obvious that these people have a strong faith in God,” Rev. Graham continued.

He pointed out that there are more than 5,000 churches in Ukraine, and they are “full on Sunday.”

“They’re packed. Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Baptist — they’re packed. The people’s faith is strong in Ukraine right now. Very strong,” the CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said.

“In Ukraine, there are billboards that say, ‘Our only hope is God.’ We need some billboards like that here in this country,” he added. “I hope that our nation would wake up and see the problems we’re facing and realize that the only hope is God.”

“The problem we have in the world today is a sin problem,” Rev. Graham stressed. “People have turned their back on God.”

“The only hope is God. That’s the only hope. Only God can turn [our] nation around,” he proclaimed. “This Easter, I pray that people will look to God, pray to him and ask him for his help in all that we do — and that he’ll bless the nation.”

Graham declared, “But to do that, we’ve got to repent, turn from our sins and believe on the name of his son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“We [all] need to repent and turn from our sins. And maybe God will hear us from heaven,” Graham advised. “Pray for yourself. Just examine your heart. And if something’s not right in your life, confess it to God and turn from it. We need to look at ourselves.”

“I will be sharing a message the whole world needs to hear: Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, conquered sin and death 2,000 years ago when He rose victoriously from the grave,” Graham said of his Easter message. “This good news changes everything – for individual hearts, for communities, and for entire nations.”

Previously, Graham wrote to Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requesting a ceasefire from April 15-24 in observance of the Easter holiday.

“It’s a mess. It’s going to get worse, I’m afraid,” Graham said of the conflict in Ukraine. “And what President Putin’s end game is, I don’t know. But I think we just need to pray that God can change his heart.”

“And I would recommend for people to pray for Putin. I don’t want to be misunderstood,” he clarified. “I want people to pray that God would change his heart. And turn his heart around, and that he would see the sin that he’s involved in. That he would repent and turn from it.”

He added, “And if we pray, that could happen.”

“God loves us, and Easter is about God’s love,” Graham said.

Graham’s Easter message from the Ukrainian city of Lviv airs on Fox News at 12 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Jesus Christ created 3 resurrection portals


Posted By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor | Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/jesus-christ-created-3-resurrection-portals.html/

As Christians prepare to celebrate Easter, are you aware that Jesus Christ created three resurrection portals? The first portal is rooted in history; the second is rooted inside man’s soul; and the third is rooted in Heaven. A portal is “a doorway, gate, or other entrance.” 

The first resurrection portal is the opening to the tomb Jesus exited after rising from the dead (Matthew 28:5-7). J.C. Ryle said, “The resurrection is a fact better attested than any event recorded in any history, whether ancient or modern.” 

Charles Colson said, “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead; then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world — and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

The first resurrection portal involves believing the historical fact that the crucified Savior rose from the dead. When the women “found the stone rolled away” and then walked through the portal into the empty tomb, “they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:2). Christ had risen from the dead, just as He foretold (Matthew 16:21). Do you accept this fact of history and this fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah? (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 22:1-31; Isaiah 53:1-12).

The first resurrection portal is an essential element of Christianity. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost … but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:17-18,20).

The second resurrection portal is inside man’s soul. When you receive Christ as your Savior through faith, (Ephesians 2:8,9) the God of the universe enters your body through a portal in your soul and takes up residence within you. The Apostle Paul informed believers: “Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20), and “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19). 

How does God enter the believer? Through a door; that is, a portal. Jesus said, “Be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:19-20).

“If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10). The second resurrection portal is necessary “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:19-20).

The second resurrection portal is an essential element of Christianity. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God … you must be born again” (John 3:3,7). In other words, one must be saved, forgiven, justified and redeemed through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26).

“In His great mercy God has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in Heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:3-4) and for all who have received Christ through faith (John 1:12).

The third and final resurrection portal is entered when the body of the believer dies. At that point, the person’s soul is immediately ushered through “the gates of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17; Revelation 21:21). The Christian is then “absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Believers will be given a resurrection body at the end of time “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).

Jesus told His disciples: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).

And so, you see: Jesus Christ has created three resurrection portals. The Messiah rose from the dead; Jesus is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and Christ is also the guarantor of our eternal life in Heaven. 

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26). 

The death of Christ on the cross paid for our sins, and the resurrection of Jesus from the grave guarantees everlasting life for all believers. Repent of your sins as you turn away from them. Trust that Christ died on the cross to save you, and then rose from the grave on the third day. 

“All things have been created by Christ” (Colossians 1:16), and this includes the three resurrection portals. Will you humble yourself before the Creator of all things? Will you admit you are a sinner and unable to save your soul? 

If you refuse to accept the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection (first portal), you will remain stuck in unbelief. Without faith, you cannot be forgiven and born again (second portal). And your soul will be locked out of Heaven forever (third portal) unless you “repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15) while you still have time to do so. 

If you have not yet placed your faith in Christ for salvation, will another Easter come and go while you remain spiritually dead in the tomb of your unconverted soul? Will you believe in the risen Savior who is the resurrection and the life? (John 11:25,26) “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Jason Whitlock Op-ed: Cam Newton is a ‘bad b***h’ who doesn’t know when to be quiet or how to lead


Commentary by JASON WHITLOCK | April 12, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/whitlock-cam-newton-is-a-bad-b-h-who-doesnt-know-when-to-be-quiet-or-how-to-lead/

The coroner’s report on Cam Newton’s NFL career should list “lack of self-awareness” as the cause of death, not misogyny.

Newton returned to the news cycle yesterday after media outlets circulated comments about women he made during a recent podcast interview. On the Sunday edition of the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast, Newton discussed his upbringing, his parents’ long marriage, and his philosophy on women. The latter comments provoked the ire of feminists, the matriarchy, Twitter, and beta males and cast Newton as the love child of Archie Bunker and Cardi B.

Newton said: “It’s a lot of women who are bad bit***s, and and I say ‘bit***s’ in a way not to degrade a woman but just to go off the aesthetic of what they deem as a ‘boss chick.’ A woman for me is handling your own but knowing how to cater to man’s needs. I think a lot of times when you get that aesthetic of like ‘I’m a boss bit**, I’m a this, I’m a that,’ no baby. But you can’t cook. You don’t know when to be quiet. You don’t know how to allow a man to lead.”

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote that Newton’s “outdated views regarding gender roles and obligations” will make it more difficult for Newton to land a job this off-season.

I disagree. Sans the profane language, Newton’s views on gender roles and obligations are commonplace in the NFL or among high-net-worth men. His views are standard among people, regardless of income, with a biblical worldview. Genesis 2:18 says that God created Eve as a suitable helper (helpmeet) for Adam. Newton’s views are not problematic or outside the mainstream, especially within his peer group. It’s his lack of self-awareness that’s the problem. The content of his podcast interview is a reflection of the lack of self-awareness that has undermined the success of his NFL career.

Newton never fully delivered on his seemingly endless potential because of his distorted view of himself. Talent and the coddling produced by immense athletic gifts blinded the quarterback prodigy to the harsh realities and inevitabilities of playing the most challenging position in all of sports.

Talent isn’t enough at quarterback. The intangibles of leadership, film study, technique, and persona matter as much as physical skill. Cam Newton was a rock star playing the one position in football that requires an actor. Newton was Rick James, b***h! He needed to be Denzel Washington.

Had Newton played tight end or outside linebacker, he’d likely be seen as a sure-fire Hall of Famer and a missing piece for some team’s Super Bowl dream. Instead, at age 32, the former MVP is jobless, quite possibly finished as an NFL player, and too many miles from Canton, Ohio, to hitchhike to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Rich Gannon, a journeyman, played in more Pro Bowls, won more games, and had a better career than Cam Newton. Why? Because Newton has no idea how to be a leader. You can see the shortcoming in his attitude toward women.

“You don’t know how to allow a man to lead.”

Newton doesn’t know how to lead. He fathered four kids with a woman, Kim Proctor, he refuses to marry. His relationship with Proctor ended because he fathered a fifth child with an Instagram model.

Why would a woman follow a man with five illegitimate kids? Why would a woman cater to the needs of a man who refuses to cater to her desire for monogamy, matrimony, and spiritual salvation? Why would a woman agree to be a suitable helper to a man who eschews being obedient to God’s will?

You can’t lead without sacrifice. You can’t lead without following first. In order to follow God, man must sacrifice the desires of the world.

This is at the heart of Newton’s professional underachievement. His talents convinced him he didn’t need to do all the little things that make great quarterbacks and great leaders. When it comes to relationships, wealthy men suffer the same delusion. They think finances allow them to bend the rules in their personal relationships with women.

I’ve made this mistake too many times to count.

In the podcast interview, Newton praised his dad and mom for sustaining their 38-year marriage. His parents are devout Christians. Newton said his father set a tremendous example of what a man is supposed to be. Did Cam follow his father’s blueprint? Is Cam obedient to God’s will?

Cam’s lack of self-awareness is the reason he doesn’t know when to be quiet, when to be humble, when to be reflective, and when to evaluate his own behavior rather than analyze the actions of “bad bit***s” and boss chicks.

Newton’s intentions on and off the field are positive. He wants to be a great football player. He wants to build a great family, similar to his parents. Talent and money have prevented him from taking the necessary steps to make those goals a reality.

Virtually every NFL owner, executive, and coach desires a woman who can cook, caters to his needs, knows when to be quiet, and will allow him to lead. They want the exact same thing from their players.

As a football player, Cam Newton is a lot like the “bad bit***s” he describes. Everybody eventually tires of “bad bit***s.” The NFL is tired of Cam.

Today’s TWO politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Meme – Joe Biden

A.F. BRANCO | on April 11, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-meme-joe-biden/

What happens when the village idiot is somehow elected President and then goes senile? Joe Biden?

Village Idiot as President
Political meme by A.F. Branco ©2022.

A.F.Branco Cartoon – He Has Risen

A.F. BRANCO | on April 12, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-he-has-risen/

Jesus was crucified on the cross and on the third day he rose to defeat death.

Jesus Christ Overcomes Death
Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2022.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Ryan Bomberger Op-ed: Don’t. Erase. Women


Commentary By Ryan Bomberger, Exclusive Columnist | Monday, April 04, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/dont-erase-women.html/

We’re constantly told, amusingly, by the Left to “follow the science!” When we follow actual science, we get shouted downcensoredpurged, and called terrorists. There are only two genders: male and female. I know this triggers those with progressive fragility. For anyone struggling with gender dysphoria, there is help and hope in counseling (as long as it’s still legal). There is an all-out assault on women, and it’s global. It’s a rhetorical, social and political attack intent on erasing objective truths such as what makes women beautifully and biologically different.

Modern feminists decry “the Patriarchy” that keeps women from being equal. Those same fake feminists then celebrate when “the Patriarchy” pretends to be a woman and eviscerates centuries-long efforts of equality. William “Lia” ThomasRichard “Rachel” LevineBruce “Caitlyn” JennerRoderick “Laverne” Cox. The list goes on and on of the co-optation of women.

These men can be “women,” but a white woman (e.g. Rachel Dolezal) can’t identify as a black woman? Why not?

If self-identity is reality and confers upon you all the rights and privileges of the co-opted identification, why did we bother even having confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson? Couldn’t she just “identify” as a Supreme Court Justice? How can a jurist claim, “I am a woman” and then infamously fail to offer any definition of what a woman is?

I’m not a mechanic, but I can define a car. No one needs to be a biologist to know what a boy is, what a girl is, what a man is, or what a woman is. Only progressives, who want to mangle language and deny basic science, pretend they don’t know the obvious. A judge must be able to rule on objective criteria. Judge Jackson calls herself a woman insisting there should be “meaningful numbers of women” on the Supreme Court, yet she has no objective definition for a “woman”?

The American Medical Association is “following the science” by insisting that our sex designation be removed from our public birth certificates. Why? Well, sex is “determined at birth” they say, defying over a century of scientific knowledge.

That fave mantra of the pro-abortion Left, “No uterus! No say!”, is now rendered meaningless because anyone can identify as a woman. Whoops. Sorry. I meant a “non-prostate owner.” At least that’s what Teen Vogue is preaching to young girls (or whoever reads the soft-porn mag targeting kids).

The leader of this erasure of women is the self-anointed “leading women’s healthcare provider,” Planned Parenthood. They’re super sciency of course. “Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl,” the nation’s leading abortion business falsely claims. You know, because our genitals aren’t based on our sex which is determined by our DNA at fertilization — the moment human life begins.

Years ago, Planned Parenthood Action — the political arm that is indistinguishable from its 501c3 parent organization — tweeted a classic erasure of women. “Menstruators in New York started to #TweetTheReceipt celebrating the repealed tampon tax.”

Planned Parenthood’s web pages dealing with pregnancy have purged every reference to the biological label. The abortion giant’s president, Alexis McGill Johnson, won’t even refer to women as “women.” In warning people-formerly-known-as-women of Idaho’s six-week abortion ban (which protects mothers and their unborn children), Johnson tweeted: “it will harm pregnant people and disproportionately impact marginalized communities.”

Women are now the marginalized community.

The highly political CDC also refers to women as “pregnant people.” In pushing their distorted COVID propaganda, the Centers for Dialogue Control tweeted: “Pregnant people with symptomatic COVID-19 have a 70% increased risk of death.”

You’ve got the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine wanting to use the term “chestfeeding” to be “inclusive” of “lactating people.” I’m not making this up! They claim that fathers experience “complications while chestfeeding” too. Yes. Because we don’t lactate. That would be a definite biological “complication.”

The Senate Committee on Oversight and Reform (led by Democrats) declared that “Health equity for Black birthing people is attainable.” How can (fake) equity be attainable if a simple definition of women is so escapable?

President Biden’s FY2022 budget deleted women, too, referring to mothers as “birthing people.” I’m sure he’s used that term affectionately with the First Lady (or is it First Person?), calling the mother of his children one of those pregnant people or Jill-the-birthing-person.

Don’t erase women. Just. Don’t.

Interestingly, the Left is doing what Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger accused the so-called Patriarchy of doing. She wrote in her book Women and the New Race: “Woman’s role has been that of an incubator and little more.” Well. Welcome to 2022. Where women’s biological designation is being eviscerated to appease biological men who can never share in the experience of the natural acts of pregnancy and birth.

The ACLU even changed a famous quote from the late pro-abortion Ruth Bader Ginsburg to erase the very people she was talking about. Their tweet changed the clearly offensive parts that mentioned “woman” and “her” to: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity … When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”

I’m no fan of RBG or her actual quote because the undignified act of harming or killing another innocent human being never gives anyone equality. But this global progressive campaign to erase women sees binary gender as an oppressive biological reality that must be excised from our lexicon.

So, “follow the pseudoscience” or be branded a hater. Too many Americans cower in fear of being called some form of -phobic. Who cares? Love people enough to speak the truth. When did confusion become the virtue we uphold instead of clarity and compassion?

These attacks on the dignity of women are rooted in a lie. Politicians know it. Planned Parenthood knows it. And so does a dangerously leftist judge who may tragically sit, for generations, on a Supreme Court currently made up of men and, yes, women.


Originally published at Radiance Foundation. 

Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

Why Are So Many Kids Rejecting Christianity? Look At Their Parents


COMMENTARY BY: PAMELA DANZIGER | MARCH 28, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/28/why-are-so-many-kids-rejecting-christianity-look-at-their-parents/

white church in a field

The education and scientific establishments have been co-conspirators in propagating their secular worldview and banishing the biblical one.

Author Pamela Danziger profile

PAMELA DANZIGER

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The Cultural Research Center (CRC) is out with a new study comparing the number of American parents of children under age 13 who hold a biblical Christian worldview with those who adhere to competing secular alternatives. The results are a damning indictment of Americans’ rejection of or simple indifference to a biblical worldview.

Across all parents of pre-teens, only 2 percent hold a biblical worldview, which is defined as “consistently interpreting and responding to life situations based on biblical principles and teachings.” Those with a biblical worldview believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God containing all moral truths.

Among all respondents, other measured worldviews (such as secular humanism, nihilism, postmodernism, etc.) garnered even fewer adherents. Fully 94 percent subscribed to “a blending of multiple worldviews in which no single life philosophy is dominant.”

The needle scarcely moves for all self-identified Christians (not just pre-teen parents). Only 6 percent of them look at and interpret the world through a biblical lens; that number rises to 21 percent among those attending evangelical Protestant churches.

The fact that the biblical Christian worldview has become so insignificant in the culture should be of concern to all Americans because our country, including its governing principles and legal system, was based on our founders’ biblical worldview.

All around, we see the results of our abandonment of the biblical worldview. According to CRC research, more than half of the population accepts that truth is subjective.

Without objective truth, there is no way to determine what’s real and no moral absolutes to distinguish right from wrong. So we hear the popular “my truth” refrain as the justification for any idea or behavior depending upon what feels right at the time.

Why Worldview Matters

Professor Mikael Stenmark defines worldview as “beliefs, values, and attitudes that … constitute [people’s] basic understanding of (a) who they are, what the world is like, and what their place in it is, (b) what they should do to live a good and meaningful life, and (c) what they can say, know and rationally believe about these things.”

A dividing line between a secular and a biblical worldview is the belief in how the world came to exist. Secularists hold that reality consists entirely of physical matter and forces, which can only be explained through science. For the secularist, the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution explain how all things came to be.

Those with a biblical worldview believe in an all-encompassing divine mind — i.e., God — who rules over and maintains physical matter and forces. The theistic worldview is founded on the core belief that God exists and is the creator of all things.

It is easy to see why the biblical worldview is all but extinct in the culture. Every living generation — baby boomers, Gen X, millennials, and many of the silent generation (pre-1945) — has been educated predominantly in a secular or naturalistic worldview based on the prevailing science of the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution.

Science Declares God Is Dead

The only “official” science approved to be taught in the primary grades through post-graduate education is the anti-faith naturalistic one. It’s virtually illegal to teach anything that hints at creation science or intelligent design. The National Center for Science Education proudly displays ten major court cases, including a Supreme Court ruling, that essentially ban the teaching of intelligent design.

It’s not just the education system. Mathematician and philosopher William Dembski calls the scientific establishment’s approach to intelligent design a “zero-concession policy.”

For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a statement claiming “There is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution. The current controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is not a scientific one.”

Scientists and post-graduate students who dare to challenge naturalistic-science orthodoxy are subject to professional ridicule, or loss of jobs or research funds. Peer-review journals reject their submissions, as do scientific conferences and meetings.

It’s not in support of science that the establishment defends its official position so vehemently, but to protect its secular worldview. And the American Civil Liberties Union backs them up with legal firepower a detailed statement about why students must be protected against intelligent design at all costs.

Truth Will Come Out

Not all scientists are so didactic. But the “vital few” in control have effectively kept any serious discussion of intelligent design from the rest of the scientific community. However, when they are presented with evidence supporting intelligent design, many discover truth there.

That includes scientists like astronomer Allan Sandage, who studied under Edwin Hubble and continued his work after Hubble died. Sandage’s study of astronomy and astrophysics led him to conclude there is “evidence for what can only be described as a supernatural event,” or what he called a “creation event.”

Plenty of members in the scientific community see much to challenge in Darwinian doctrine. More than 1,000 academics and scientists have signed the Dissent from Darwinism petition stating, “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The number of acclaimed scientists who challenge the establishment’s orthodoxy is growing thanks to the work of places like the Discovery Institute, the research arm of the Center for Science and Culture.

Rekindling the Discussion

The education and scientific establishments have become co-conspirators in propagating their secular worldview and banishing the biblical one. But there is hope. Belief in God “as described in the Bible” is still held by a 54 percent majority of Americans, according to a 2022 poll reported by The Federalist’s Jordan Boyd.

Noting that 72 percent of Americans agree the nation’s moral compass is “pointed in the wrong direction,” she writes, “As generations age and the push for secularism and the erasure of faith continues in American establishments such as public schools, younger people are losing spiritual influence and instruction, and with it their faith.”

That is the ultimate goal of our society’s ruling institutions, including government, education, science, medicine, and business. They are determined to wipe out faith by indoctrinating all into their secular worldview using the Big Bang and evolution as the cudgel.

So far, the scientific establishment has been successful in shutting down discussion that the Bible might be true from beginning to end. But continuing research in intelligent design and more scientists who question science’s naturalistic orthodoxy will arm the public with information to support the biblical worldview and loosen the stranglehold of the secular one on our youth and culture.

“Let there be light,” God said in Genesis 1:3. “And there was light.” Jesus said in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That day isn’t here yet, but we pray it comes quickly.


Pamela Danziger is a market researcher specializing in the study of consumer behavior and motivation. Author of ten books, she shares insights as a senior contributor on Forbes.com. And as a Christian, she is co-founder of Faith Underground. She holds an M.L.S. from University of Maryland and B.A. in English Literature from Penn State.

Stop Arguing for Religious Liberty and Start Arguing Against Religious Discrimination


COMMENTARY BY: AUGUSTE MEYRAT | MARCH 28, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/28/stop-arguing-for-religious-liberty-and-start-arguing-against-religious-discrimination/

catholic charities

For an increasingly secular populace, actions and policies must be defended on the basis of reason much more than faith.

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AUGUSTE MEYRAT

VISIT ON TWITTER@MEYRATAUGUSTE

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In a recent legal settlement, Catholic Charities West Michigan successfully challenged Michigan’s decision to bar state funds to adoption agencies that do not serve same-sex couples. The settlement forced Michigan to reimburse the charity for its legal fees and other costs. Using an argument that has now become familiar to most Americans, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a lesbian mother of two and former gay rights activist, charged Catholic adoption agencies with discriminating against same-sex couples. In response, the Catholic adoption agencies used the same logic, accusing the Michigan state government of discriminating against Catholics and effectively denying them their religious freedom.

While Christians should celebrate this recent victory, it’s nonetheless sad this appeal had to be made. When gay marriage was legalized in Obergfell v. Hodges, Christians were assured that they could practice their faith and live out their values in peace, but this was almost immediately proven wrong. As the ink of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion was drying, LGBT groups immediately went after Christian bakersfloristsphotographers, popular chicken sandwich chains, and other Christian organizations for their religious beliefs.

Defense Based on Reason not Faith

This war will continue so long as Christians keep using the religious freedom defense. Even though this argument has the best chance of winning in legal courts, it is unconvincing in the court of public opinion. As more Americans drift away from Christianity, they increasingly view this defense for denying service to same-sex couples not as a valid objection, but as a childish copout: “The Christian God doesn’t like gay people.”

Rather, it’s important to establish that most Christian churches are established on natural law (that is, moral laws based on objective truth) as much as the Bible. To be sure, faith and reason both matter enormously, but for an increasingly secular populace, actions and policies must be defended on the basis of reason much more than faith.

This has been the case with abortion, with the pro-life position steadily gaining popular support as it has adopted more reason-based arguments. The pro-life movement has grown because it has argued that unborn babies are people, and therefore abortion is murder. Although the Bible acknowledges this argument, the argument itself isn’t strictly based on the Bible.

Reasons Against Same-Sex Couples Adopting

Similarly, in issues involving marriage and children, Christians need to appeal to reason more than their faith. In the case of same-sex couples adopting, two issues need to be addressed. First, do all couples have a right to adopt a child? Second, do children have a right to a father and mother?

Concerning whether all couples have a right to adopt, the answer is that they do not. As any couple who has gone through the process of adoption understands all too well, many screenings and conditions have to be met. Someone from the adoption agency will inspect their home, rifle through their personal information, interview them and others, and then, after so many legal hurdles, possibly allow a child to live with them. Even then, the biological parent may change his or her mind and take back the child.

As painful and expensive as this process is, it is necessary because children are human beings with rights of their own, not objects a couple acquires out of boredom or simply some charitable impulse. Consequently, adoption agencies must discriminate among couples wanting to adopt, only selecting those who meet the criteria of good caretakers.

A Right to a Mother and Father?

This leads to the second issue of whether a child’s rights include having a mother and father, as opposed to two fathers or two mothers. The science on this is mixed, both because it’s a politically charged issue and because it’s a difficult thing to measure. One may say that a loving committed couple is enough, but one may contend that a loving committed heterosexual couple is necessary.

Katy Faust persuasively argues this latter view in her excellent book “Them Before Us.” She explains that men and women represent two distinct and essential supports to a child growing up; fatherhood and motherhood are not interchangeable or dispensable. Furthermore, she argues that a child does best with his or her biological parents in nearly all cases. For Faust, adoption is an alternative that should only be considered in cases of serious abuse or neglect.

Not only does Faust support her argument with a multitude of studies, but she has both a homosexual parent and an adopted child. Even though her situation would suggest that same-sex adoption should be treated the same as any other parental arrangement, her reasoning leads her to think otherwise.

Faust’s example is a good model for all Christians trying to serve their community in accordance with their values. Whatever charitable work they do — whether it is finding homes for orphans or allowing those orphans to be born in the first place — it is done for the person in need, first and foremost. This is not a political or religious issue, but a human one.

It is not a coincidence that this means they are doing God’s will in the process. Contrary to what opponents claim, Christian values are based on objective truth, not blind faith to various Bronze Age prejudices. As such, the goal is not about winning, but about making the world a better place.


Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area. He holds an MA in humanities and an MEd in educational leadership. He is the senior editor of The Everyman and has written essays for The Federalist, The American Conservative, and The Imaginative Conservative, as well as the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Follow him on Twitter.

Can former transgenders tweet truth on Twitter?


Posted By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor | Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/can-former-transgenders-tweet-truth-on-twitter.html/

Now that Twitter has taken action against The Christian Post and The Babylon Bee over their tweets calling Rachel Levine a man, will Twitter do the same thing with every former transgender who wishes to share his or her honest story with the world? Why are executives at Twitter so afraid of allowing people to hear the truth about transgenderism on their platform? Could it be that deep down, these executives realize that the truth is what sets people free from gender confusion?

I suspect that many gender-confused women would be able to relate to some of the things Laura Perry experienced early in life. Laura’s video testimony is humble, sincere and liberating. Would Laura be allowed to tweet the truth on Twitter that she has always been a female, even during the confusing period in her life when she thought she had mysteriously turned into a man? 

And what about men like Walt Heyer, who came to realize that “transitioning doesn’t fix the underlying ailments.” After pretending to be a woman for eight years, Walt says, “Had I not been misled by media stories of sex change ‘success’ and by medical practitioners who said transitioning was the answer to my problems, I wouldn’t have suffered as I have. Genetics can’t be changed. Feelings, however, can and do change … You will hear the media say, ‘Regret is rare.’ But they are not reading my inbox, which is full of messages from transgender individuals who want the life and body back that was taken from them by cross-sex hormones, surgery, and living under a new identity. After de-transitioning, I know the truth: Hormones and surgery may alter appearances, but nothing changes the immutable fact of your sex.”

Would Twitter executives allow Walt to tweet the truth about how much pain transgender propaganda has caused him? Rather than addressing his deep psychological struggles, hormone therapy and surgery simply compounded his problems exponentially. Walt said, “The reprieve I experienced through surgery was only temporary. Hidden underneath the makeup and female clothing was the little boy hurt by childhood trauma. I was once again experiencing gender dysphoria, but this time I felt like a male inside a body refashioned to look like a woman. I was living my dream, but still I was deeply suicidal.”

As I pointed out in my CP op-ed four years ago, (“Will America’s Public Grade Schools Become Transgender Mills?”), the Wall Street Journal cited the largest study of its kind concerning those who have had sex-reassignment surgery and found they are almost 20 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population. (This 30-year study in Sweden involved 324 people.)

Twitter executives have a moral responsibility to look at these suicide statistics with their eyes wide open. Why would Twitter want to keep this critical information from the public? Are they more committed to their misguided transgender ideology than to the health and well-being of gender-confused individuals? They really need to take a hard look at what is driving them to be so reckless with the truth about transgenderism and gender confusion.

“Male and female God created them” (Genesis 5:2). Biology isn’t bigotry. 

Former transgenders deserve to be heard. Justice demands that the truth be told. And if Twitter executives are too afraid of the truth about transgenderism, why don’t they just come out and tell the world about the fears they are harboring? These executives will not experience the healing they need until they address their faulty presuppositions. They must come to recognize that their fears are irrational, not to mention dangerous for anyone who experiences gender confusion. Why should the illogical and absurd fears of Twitter executives drive their platform into such a dark place? 

Unless these executives choose to have an open mind on the matter, they will likely continue charging down the perilous path of transgender misinformation. And this will certainly increase the suffering of those like Walt Heyer who made monumental decisions about his body based on the lies he was hearing from the media.

In contrast to media propaganda today, Jesus never told a single lie. “To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31,32). Jesus asked some religious leaders this important question: “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’?” (Matthew 19:4). 

Unless Twitter executives look beyond their limited and flawed perspective on transgenderism, they will never come to understand the simple truth about gender. And in that case, they may never escape their self-imposed prison of “acceptable” transgender tweets that are allowed on their platform.

The question remains: Can former transgenders tweet truth on Twitter? Time will tell. 

Let’s see if Twitter executives decide to deal with their biases, and address those malignant strongholds that develop within the human mind when lies are accepted as truth. Infectious strongholds, after all, are what lead a gender-confused individual to make extremely unwise decisions about his or her own body. And immoral strongholds compel social media executives to block transgender truth on their platform from reaching a world of people who hunger for truth, authenticity, and holistic health.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Churches near Ukraine’s border shelter refugees as 1 million flee Russian invasion


Reported By Samuel Smith, Deputy Managing Editor | Friday, March 04, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/churches-near-ukraines-border-provide-shelter-as-1-million-flee.html/

Churches in countries neighboring Ukraine have opened their doors to shelter and aid refugees as the United Nations refugee agency estimated Thursday that 1 million people have fled the Eastern European nation since the beginning of Russia’s invasion last week. 

“In just seven days, 1 million people have fled Ukraine, uprooted by this senseless war,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement. “I have worked in refugee emergencies for almost 40 years, and rarely have I seen an exodus as rapid as this one.”

Russia began its invasion last Thursday, targeting military installations in Kyiv and other major cities nationwide. Reports have indicated that the Russian military has also targeted areas with civilian populations, and hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed. 

Many of the displaced have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Slovakia and Hungary, while many more remain in Ukraine. 

Grandi said people are fleeing the violence “hour by hour” and “minute by minute” as “countless” people have also been displaced internally inside Ukraine. The U.N. official warned that “millions more are likely to be forced to flee” unless the conflict reaches an “immediate end.”

Churches in neighboring countries are among community centers and camps sheltering refugees who’ve fled from the violence, with some seeing hundreds of Ukrainians coming and going in recent days. 

As Poland has taken the brunt of the Ukrainian refugees, one church that has served as many as 400 refugees is a Baptist church in Chelm. According to the Baptist Federation of Europe, the church is “filled with life” as it has pushed its pews out of the way to make room for beds. 

“It is not tension that you feel as you enter the building but life, peace and joy,” a statement from the federation reads. “Children laugh and play while mothers prepare for onward journeys. The church piano plays a variety of tunes, none of the hymns, as the children practice their piano lessons.”

“Pews are in the pulpit and beds fill the sanctuary, the balcony and every available space,” the statement adds. “Ukrainian and Polish families work side by side, making food, receiving donations and cleaning the toilets. The laundry vibrates as the three new washing machines continue their endless 24-hour cycle. The supply rooms are full of children excitedly selecting new clothes and discovering new toys that have been donated.”

The church’s kitchen has supplied soup, snacks and hot meals for the refugees arriving while packing lunches for the refugees that depart. The church receives help from local hotels that provide clean linen for the beds. 

The Polish Baptist Union hopes to house as many as 1,000 refugees.

According to the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, Polish Baptists have established 40 shelter camps. The PBU provides the camps with bedding items, food and hygiene items, while Send Relief, IMB’s relief arm, provides funds to assist in the relief efforts. 

First Baptist Church of Gdasnk, Poland, will host one of the refugee centers, according to IMB missionary Ken Brownd.

“It’s just cool to see Polish Baptists stepping up and taking care of their neighbors. They’ve done that for a long time now, but this is a different level,” Brownd was quoted as saying in an IMB report. “Our team is trying to organize the Send Relief help … but really, this is mostly driven by Polish Baptists, so we’re not the main players in this at all. We’re helpers, and so it’s amazing.” 

A church in Poland about an hour from the border affiliated with the Shoreline Church in Austin, Texas, has put beds “in every possible place they can put one.” Shoreline Church has raised over $110,000 to support the refugees through its Caleb Foundation. 

“Your generosity is astounding, thank you for being the church in the world. It is imperative that we continue to pray and fight in the spirit,” the church told its members in a Facebook post

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Shoreline Pastor Rob Koke has preached in Kyiv numerous times. Koke told KXAN the church he and his wife, Laura, started 15 years ago in Czestochowa, Poland, has taken in over 100 refugees. Koke said that the church’s members have brought food to the border and brought refugees back to their church. 

“They were freezing cold and standing for five days,” Laura Koke told the news outlet about the refugees. “They were hungry. One little boy said, ‘I don’t have a home.’ One of the church members said, ‘this is your home’ it’s so touching.”

In Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Methodists are providing shelter to refugees in a former hotel that has been rented out and turned into a community center, according to United Methodist Church in Romania Superintendent the Rev. Rares Calugar. 

“The UMC has built a network in Cluj-Napoca and has access to numerous apartments and houses where those leaving the community center can stay to make room for new arrivals,” Calugar told UMC’s official news agency UM News

Church members have also traveled to the border to help refugees as they cross the border. 

UMC churches in Hungary, Slovakia and Poland have also provided shelter to refugees. In Slovakia, Pastor Svetlana Komives Francisti from a UMC church in Michalovce transported six African students who fled while studying in Kyiv to her church for shelter until they can reunite with families or other students, according to UM News.

Experts say the invasion is the most significant attack by a European country on another since World War II. World leaders have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to put an end to the war, and the global community has issued targeted sanctions to cut off Russia from western financing and technology.

Earlier this week, the United Nations reported that at least 227 civilians had been killed in Ukraine and over 525 injured.

A European Union executive warned Sunday that as many as 4 million Ukrainians could flee the country and as many as 7 million could be displaced internally by the conflict. 

“Inside Ukraine, our staff — and other humanitarians — are working where and when they can in frightening conditions. Our staff stay, even at great risk, because we know the needs in the country are huge,” Grandi said. 

“Despite the extraordinary pace and challenges, the response from governments and local communities in receiving these 1 million refugees has been remarkable. UNHCR staff have already moved in throughout the region and are scaling up our protection and assistance programs for refugees, in support of host governments.”

U.S.-based Christian disaster relief organizations such as World Help and Samaritan’s Purse, as well as American churches, have also sprung into action to help those displaced by the war.

Samaritan’s Purse, which evangelist Franklin Graham heads, has deployed members of its Disaster Assistance Response Team to surrounding countries to help meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees.  

Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, has sent a team of volunteers and its senior pastor to Poland to provide care and shelter to orphaned refugees from Ukraine, arriving on Thursday morning. Another team is expected to leave in two weeks, according to the church. 

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden accused Russia of targeting civilians but said it’s too early to tell if Russia had committed war crimes. However, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson told members of Parliament Wednesday that Putin should be investigated by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, citing attacks against civilians in Ukraine. 

The second round of negotiations between the two countries began on Thursday in Belarus. Ukraine said both sides had agreed to create humanitarian corridors through ceasefires that would allow civilians to evacuate and aid to be delivered. 

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told Reuters that ceasefires will exist only in areas where the “humanitarian corridors themselves will be located.”

“[I]t will be possible to cease fire for the duration of the evacuation,” he was quoted as saying.

Christian group calls on parents to pull kids out of private schools over LGBT activism


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, February 24, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/private-school-curriculum-teaching-lgbt-gender-ideology-to-kids.html/

Gender Unicorn
An image from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools of North Carolina training presentation for faculty. | keepmyncsafe.com

Christian groups are urging parents to remove their children from a group of private schools after video footage revealed an effort to teach pre-k students about LGBT ideology.

Breitbart News obtained video footage from a National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) workshop in 2020. NAIS describes itself as a “nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.”

At the training session, which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, speakers addressed how to “prepare your PK-8 Students for Their World” through “the lens of gender, identity, and sexuality education.”

NAIS lauded the workshop for enabling Belmont Day School, a private school in Belmont, Massachusetts, to share its “comprehensive, dynamic, responsive Health and Wellness curriculum with a developmentally appropriate PK-8 Gender, Identity, and Sexuality strand.”

One speaker who presented at the workshop discussed how “with the younger children starting in pre-k, we talk about their bodies, about the parts that they were born with, about penises and vaginas and whether that makes somebody a boy or a girl.” The speaker explained that students as young as pre-k are asked, “What do they feel like inside? Do they feel like a boy or a girl? What does their head say? Does (sic) their head and their heart and their body match up?”

As the woman spoke, a picture of the “Every” Body Tool appeared on the screen. The image on the left side of the screen featured a human body with icons representing the brain, heart and DNA. A key on the side of the screen had the phrase “gender identity” next to the brain icon, the phrase “sexual orientation” beside the heart icon and the word “sex” alongside the DNA icon. A star appears in the middle of the diagram to represent “gender expression,” which is implied to be a sum of an individual’s gender identity, sexual orientation and sex.

In a statement to The Christian Post, Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for education studies at the Family Research Council, explained that because “parents with children in private schools do not enjoy basic civil rights protections that are afforded in public institutions,” “their recourse is to remove their child from the school since groups like NAIS are training private school teachers and administration to promote LGBT materials even to very young students.”

“Parents of children in private schools often have a false sense of security about the intellectual safety of their children from sexualized materials we see promoted in public schools,” she added. “Whether they are teaching in public or private schools, teachers and administrators are produced by the same university system that’s obsessed with queer theory and critical race theory. The post-Obergefell world is fraught for parents seeking to protect children from sexualized content or instill a worldview based on traditional sexual ethics.”

The 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Critics of the decision expressed concern that it would have negative implications for religious liberty and lead to schools promoting same-sex relationships as equally beneficial to children as the nuclear family. 

“LGBT interest groups and advocates have significant influence in public education settings”, Kilgannon told CP. “Private institutions are the next step, to the degree some were not early adopters of sexualized identity trends in education. The HRC rating and scores for businesses can easily be applied to private schools.” 

Kilgannon warned that “LGBT activists and advocates are ready to name and shame any organization that doesn’t go along with their demands for affirmation and applause, including private schools and the organizations that are part of the private educational infrastructure, like NAIS.”

The video footage of the NAIS conference reveals that the effort to expose young children to LGBT ideology continues throughout the elementary school years. Suggested reading material for first-grade students includes the book, What Makes a Baby, characterized by Amazon as a “twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth.”

Amazon’s summary of the book notes that the work “reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition.”

The summary also states that “the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience.”

Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity is listed as recommended reading for second-graders. Second-grade students are taught about gender identity “in terms of your head and your heart and your body parts matching up” and asked, “Does that work for you?” and “What happens if it doesn’t?”

“The kids draw wonderful self-portraits … dealing with all aspects of their identity, including specifically, their gender identity,” the speaker explained. Under this curriculum, fifth-grade students are reintroduced to the “Every” Body tool and told that “hormones and chromosomes” are “something that you can only change with a whole lot of effort.”

The speaker suggested that fifth graders are told that “gender expression” is “something that you can change from day to day.”

Describing fifth grade as “our big year,” the speaker discussed the “Gender Unicorn,” where students are asked to check off their “gender identity” as either “female/woman/girl,” “male/man/boy” or “other genders.” Additionally, students have the option to check off their gender expression as “female,” “masculine” or “other,” their sex assigned at birth as “female,” “male” or “other/intersex” and indicate whether they were physically or emotionally attracted to “women,” “men” or “other gender(s).”

A Google drive account featuring “Workshop Resources” lists “Anything by Planned Parenthood, but especially their Sexuality Education Conference Series” as one of several “recommended resources” for NAIS schools looking to implement similar curriculum. Other recommended resources included the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educators Network, an LGBT advocacy group.

Five pages of recommended reading for students and parents included books promoting transgenderism, such as Jacob’s New Dress and My Princess Boy, and books that promote same-sex relationships with titles like A Tale of Two Daddies and A Tale of Two Mommies. The list also featured a book titled Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity.

Another document outlines scenarios for teachers to respond to, including one where “a male kindergarten student wants to wear a princess costume in the Halloween parade” but “his parents have communicated with the homeroom teachers that they do not under any circumstances want their son wearing a princess costume.”

In another scenario, a student comes to the teacher saying that his parents refuse to let him participate in a gay pride parade the school is spearheading and uses “homophobic and transphobic language as well as perpetuating LGBTQ+ stereotypes.”

In each scenario, teachers are encouraged to consider guiding questions asking, “Who does this impact?” “Who do we need to respond to?” “How does the approach change for different constituents?” “What would I like to do vs. what would I probably do?” “Can you use this framework with other scenarios in your school” and “How do you move or encourage others to move from an accomplice to ally?”

Breitbart’s reporting about the NAIS workshop comes as many American families increasingly turn to private schools and other alternative methods of education due to dissatisfaction with the sexually charged curriculum their children are exposed to in public schools. The inclusion of the books Gender Queer and Lawn Boy, which critics liken to child pornography and a promotion of pedophilia, in school libraries has caused particular concern. 

Illinois’ recently enacted sex education guidelines teaching children in grades as low as kindergarten about gender identity have also resulted in parental protest. Outrage over public schools’ embrace of critical race theory, “woke” ideology and sexually explicit curriculum has led to the rise of advocacy organizations such as Parents Defending Education and the 1776 Project PAC, which is working to elect school board candidates opposed to such ideology.

Breitbart credited the video footage and screenshots included in its reporting to tips from “Undercover Mother,” a group that describes itself as a “Mom Collective with children in independent schools” seeking to protect their children from “the abuse being inflicted by the schools and the cartels of the regional and National Association of Independent Schools.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Op-ed: Flynn Exposes Truth About Putin’s Real Plan – Says It’s Time to Pray


Commentary By Michael Flynn | February 24, 2022

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/breaking-flynn-exposes-truth-putins-real-plan-says-time-pray/

With the price of oil pushing above $100 per barrel, the U.S. stock market opening with heavy losses, more global economic challenges looming, the real potential for significant loss of life, and the international community in complete disarray with feeble attempts to condemn what was totally avoidable, we face the onset of another very grave and historic period of tension between competing ideologies and worse, the onset of WWIII.

This “invasion” was totally avoidable.

As one friend told me, President Joe Biden and his failed foreign policy team set the table and sent the invitation and Russian President Vladimir Putin came and spoiled the dinner party.

Clearly, there are fault lines on both sides, but for now, we must pray that those affected, without the ability to decide their fate, are able to survive this extraordinary period of world history unfolding (for many, unraveling) on the world stage. Civilians and military forces will be killed, wounded and displaced; those are the real consequences of war.

Pray that this conventional war is limited in scope, purpose and intent.

Yes, there were gross violations of previous agreements due to incompetence, arrogance and ignorance that got us to this point. Beyond this, what happens next is anyone’s guess, but Putin (and Xi — Taiwan?) just laid down a new world order marker.

That said, it is doubtful that the U.S. administration will change its failed foreign policy, and instead, it will make weak attempts to triple down on leveraging this extremely serious situation in Europe to continue to distract from problems here at home.

Given the shutting down of the Keystone pipeline and America’s energy independence while also enabling Russia and Germany (read: Europe) to reopen the Nordstream pipeline, one has to wonder about the discussions in the Oval Office that came to these conclusions.

This is the Biden administration: describing America as a systemically racist nation; appointing Marxists and other radical ideologues to positions of power; allowing millions to surge across our southern border; attempting to federalize our election systems and processes; implementing racist critical race theory in our schools, military and government; and all along, raising the national debt until it is closing in on $30 trillion — spending us toward extinction, all for left-wing causes.

Let us not forget the Afghanistan disaster, the myriad lies about COVID, a certain Biden-owned laptop, a complete refusal to investigate allegations of election irregularities … all while China gets a pass.

It is extremely difficult to trust this administration when they lie with a straight face to the American people daily.

Anyone who questions these rotten foreign and domestic policies is demonized as a racist. We see the unleashing of the federal government on citizens who are simply exercising their constitutional rights and the establishment media covers all this incompetence with a fake smile due to their own deep corruption.

Our president rarely entertains questions or takes responsibility for his tone deafness and failures. The White House ignored — even laughed at — Putin’s legitimate security concerns and ethnic unrest in the Ukraine.

We have yet to hear from the president of the United States an explanation of U.S. national security interests in the region.

Instead, we continue to demonize Russia — reminiscent of the fake Russia-collusion hysteria we now know was perpetrated against the Trump administration by elements of the Clinton campaign  and Obama administration (among others).

President Putin calculated this strategic, historic and geographic play and made the decision to move.

And he did.

All that given, there will never be justification for this invasion or any other form of invasion. However, never forget that war results when diplomacy fails.

May God watch over and protect those in harm’s way and may God continue to bless and protect the United States of America.

Michael Flynn

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn served as national security advisor to President Donald Trump. Headshot photo credit: Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images.

Phil Robertson Op-ed: Just loving America will never be enough


Commentary By Phil Robertson, Voices Contributor | Thursday, February 10, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/just-loving-america-will-never-be-enough.html/

Christian flag
Christian flag and American flag flying together | GettyImages/ sdgamez

I love America, but my hope for the future isn’t wrapped up in the American flag. If our government imploded tomorrow and all of our freedoms were jerked from our grasp, I would mourn, but I would not throw in the towel.

Some in the Christian community discuss politics as if our future depended on the outcome of every election. They say, “Our Christian freedoms are being eroded.” Many post scandalous, hateful, degrading memes about the opposition. Some advocate for a violent overthrow of the government.

For me, I’m a free man who was bought and paid for by the mercy of God. And since He owns me, I am here only to obey Him and glorify His name. When He bought me, I surrendered my old passport and voluntarily became a citizen of his kingdom. My citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20).

Did Jesus or the apostles give a hint of obsession about worldly governments? I can’t find it. The only thing Jesus said about government was, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matt. 22:21).

Wasn’t Caesar corrupt? Weren’t elections rigged? Weren’t babies killed and innocent people executed? Did the citizens of the Roman empire have a Bill of Rights? The United States can’t hold a candle to the corruption of first-century Rome, but Jesus seemed to have no obsession with the quality of a government.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t get involved and do good when we can — we should. But we are given specific instructions about how to be a leavening influence on culture, including politics.

Paul wrote, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).

He’s talking about ushering in a revolution by praying and petitioning the Almighty to bring about political change.

He wrote, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1–2).

In my opinion, there’s no ambiguity here. This passage says what it says. God is in charge.

Yes, work to change your culture, but if it becomes illegal to worship God again, should we just wait until we get the government’s approval before we can praise him? No, the advancing borders of God’s kingdom do not wait on worldly systems.

Sure, I openly speak about elections and social issues. I faithfully cast my vote. But all of my hope is in Jesus and His kingdom, not in any political system, including the United States of America.

Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).

I made the decision a long time ago to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Jesus promised that when I make his kingdom my number-one priority, God will supply all my needs, no matter how dire the political and social climate appears to be.

So far, Jesus hasn’t let me down.

The writer of Hebrews said about the persecuted saints, “They were foreigners and strangers on earth” (11:13).

Think about that. If I travel outside the United States, I don’t have the same rights as the citizens of the countries I visit. I can’t express my opinion about their government by voting in their elections. I can’t take up residence without getting permission to become a permanent resident. I am completely at the mercy of the systems that govern those countries. As a stranger in a foreign land, I often long for my humble abode on the banks of the Ouachita River.

Accepting that I’m a stranger here means I am liberated from the obligation to put my trust in anything that offers no hope beyond the here and now. It also sparks a desire to be with God in his kingdom where He wipes away every tear (Rev. 21:4).

There’s no more death, mourning, crying or pain. No corruption! No racism! No bigotry! No greed! And to top it off, our leader is a holy, righteous, perfect, all-powerful, and loving God. We will never see that in our worldly leaders. Never.

This realm in which we live is chock-full of disappointments. Sure, I experience joy and happiness here on earth, but when I look around, I can’t help but see pain and suffering: divorce, abuse, injustice, addictions, hatred, unrest, gossip, slander, discord, and other ugly sins. So, the promise to dwell with God where all that junk will be eradicated creates an intense longing to be there.

Peter wrote, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise, we are looking forward to a new Heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:11–13).

I love America. And yet, a better dwelling awaits.

When I tell people to act like a kingdom-driven follower of Christ, I am saying to be liberated from the disappointing rules of worldly systems. I’m saying not to let the temporary things of this world control your life.

You will never regret when you turn control of your life over to the one who is eternal, the one who is good. One day, you will dance with joy that you did not give your allegiance to the systems of this world.


Follow Phil on Twitter at @DuckCommanderPR and on Instagram at @officialphilrobertson.

Erica Caudill Op-ed: True feminism: An unpopular opinion


Commentary By Erica Caudill | Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/true-feminism-an-unpopular-opinion.html\

Women
Unsplash/Becca Tapert

In a seemingly never-ending sea of hot topics, gender equality is always near the forefront. Whether it’s called ‘women’s rights,’ ‘female empowerment,’ or ‘the feminist movement,’ it’s all pushing the same agenda.  According to society, if you’re not crying ‘I am woman, hear me roar,’ then you’re not supporting other women. Well, I respectfully disagree.

According to mainstream media, to be a woman who supports women, you must be: pro-choice, pro-LGBT, and celebrate all-female life choices. You must think Cardi B grinding on Megan Thee Stallion (ask yourself why that’s her stage name) on national television is sexual empowerment. You must watch your step as to not cut yourself on the remnants of the shattered ceiling of Kamala Harris becoming the first female Vice President. Meanwhile, don’t forget to cheer while Miranda Hobbs has a sexual awakening and leaves her husband for a non-binary comedian (a female named Che, formerly known as Cheryl) on the new Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

To the overly aggressive agenda-pushing media and entertainment industry, I say no. No, I will not support abortion because it is murder. I will not perpetuate the LGBT movement because there are two genders and woman was made for man and vice versa. I’m never going to celebrate someone holding public office that I fundamentally disagree with regardless of their gender. I’m never going to cheer as a family is torn apart, regardless of the circumstances. (I’m aware there are valid reasons for divorce — I’m not referring to that here.)

I will not compromise my morals under the guise of women supporting women. This does not make an anti-feminist. It means that I am rooted in my beliefs and I’m not wrong for saying such.

Every religious stand in this country, great or small, is met with a deafening outcry denouncing the cause. So, where are the Christian women? Where are the fierce, Bible-believing wives and mothers? Why is it acceptable to tolerate the outcry of every opposing thought that hits the airwaves but the conservative, family-centered matriarch is expected to sit down and shut up? If the church is not influencing our nation, then conversely, one can assume the nation is influencing the church.

God created man in His image. Then from the ribs of the man, He created woman. Genesis 2:21-24 tells us how He brought the woman out of the man and now they are one flesh. This is the nucleus of the family unit. This was God’s design. When you step back and look at the many movements concurrently running through our society, you’ll discover they all seek to destroy the Biblical family unit. If you remove gender from society, then you remove the image of God. That is the ultimate goal after all — to remove Christ and His influence from the world.

Ephesians 2:2 tells us that Satan is the prince and the power of the air meaning that he rules on the earth. He has tremendous influence and reach on the earth but that doesn’t mean that Christians are expected to sit back and endure silently.  Matthew 5:13-16 tells us that we are salt and light, and we are to let our light shine before others so that they may see the Father through us. Salt retards corruption and light outshines the darkness. We have a purpose and it’s to spread the message of Jesus Christ to a fallen world.

Truthfully, a God-fearing woman is the ultimate feminist. There is nothing more feminine and empowering than finding your God-appointed mate and creating life out of that love. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes a Godly wife and mother. The world has this distorted view of Christian women as lowly, meek pushovers who are afraid of their powerful husbands. While this might be the case for some, I assure you that is not what God intended. There is no gender priority according to God. One can simply not exist without the other. We were created with a specific design in mind. We were created uniquely and with specific responsibilities for home and for the body of Christ.

Christian friends, we need to be strong advocates for Christ and His design. The world’s effort to derail Christianity will only increase so now is the time to be rooted in our dedication to the Lord.

Ladies, be proud of being a Christ-centered woman. Love your husband unapologetically. Raise your children to know and love Jesus. Men, love and respect your wives and guide your families according to His Word. It takes strong men and women to boldly speak the truth in a dark world. Rise up and be proud of exactly who Christ created you to be.

Erica Caudill is a lifelong Christian who runs a blog. She is a married mother of two children. She can be reached at mrscaudill@me.com.

Why Accepting Child Transgenderism Will Pave the Way for Accepting Pedophilia


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 24, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/24/why-accepting-child-transgenderism-will-pave-the-way-for-accepting-pedophilia/

trans flag

The last several years can be viewed as a testament to the remarkable strategic power the woke left wields. The speed at which absurd ideas have been thrust into the limelight by vested media and a wide array of well-financed academics and non-profits is both startling and impressive. Not long ago, it would’ve been unimaginable that a seven-year-old boy’s innocent preference for Polly Pockets over Power Rangers would find its tragic end in puberty blockers, chemical castration, and 15 minutes of fame on Snapchat’s explore page. Calling this abuse doesn’t encapsulate the full extent of the damage. It is a culturally bolstered, politically incentivized mass grooming campaign with a disturbing history. Even worse, this all may be eclipsed by a much darker future should it continue unabated.

The push for childhood transgenderism is predicated on a perverse and extreme individualistic sentiment, specifically that children’s rights as individuals imply an autonomous ability to make irreversible decisions regarding their health, rather than require protection from parents and a culture that fend off all that endangers the most vulnerable. The dangerous claim that children can meaningfully consent to puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, or genital mutilation is, besides itself being deeply harmful, also leading our society down a sinister path towards accepting pedophilia. Here’s how.

A Legacy Of Abuse

Unfortunately, this isn’t speculative fear-mongering. Pedophilic child abuse has deep roots in the transgender movement. John Money, a sex researcher who paved the way for acceptance of childhood transgenderism, sexually abused his young patients and defended pedophilia. Money is infamous for the series of experiments he ran on David Reimer, the first child who was born developmentally normal yet underwent a sex-change operation. After Reimer’s botched circumcision, Money saw an opportunity to test his leftwing gender theories. He convinced Reimer’s parents to raise their son as a daughter and subject him to a sex change operation. Reimer and his twin went on to be studied and abused by Money, who according to a peer-reviewed biology encyclopedia from Arizona State University forced them to “engage in behavior resembling sexual intercourse” while he watched and took pictures. Despite this, Money failed to get Reimer to adopt a feminine identity. Reimer, who didn’t know he had been born male until the age of 14, frequently behaved in a masculine manner and resisted Money’s attempts to feminize him.

According to Reason Magazine’s Books Editor Jesse Walker, Money touted himself as a defender of sexual liberation: for the rights of gays and other sexual minorities, for legalized pornography, for breaking down social taboos.” When his abuse of the twins was exposed, he insulted his critics as “anti-feminist” bigots beholden to traditional gender roles. 

Reimer’s life eventually ended in the same tragic way that still disproportionately claims the lives of so many transgender people when he committed suicide at the age of 38. As if it wasn’t sinister enough, Reimer’s case was used to justify thousands more sex reassignment surgeries on children born with genital abnormalities. 

Transsexual Pioneer Also Supports Pedophilia

Money also used his stature as a prominent academic to defend pedophilia. The pedophilic organization North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) even references a quote from an interview with Money that explicitly endorses pedophilia in an attempt to normalize their pathology. None of these revelations have prevented academics from lauding this moral monster as a founding father of the transgender movement. Terry Goldie, the author of a biography on Money, explained that Money “didn’t search for biological evidence of transgender identity, but accepted a patient’s conviction as fact.”

Anke A. Ehrhardt, a research partner and disciple of Money, similarily noted his role in the transgender movement, calling him a “pioneer,” crediting him with the introduction of terms like “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” and pointing out his role in our culture’s departure from a biological understanding of sex.    

Erhrardt, who was directly involved in the Reimer case, still has a foothold in academia and is now the director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Heath, and The Program for the Study of LGBT Health, a project of Columbia University. The abuser is also honored with the John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, which specifically seeks out those “whose research interests concern the history, politics, and methodology of sexology and sexuality studies.” The institute is named after Alfred Kinsey, another leftwing sex researcher venerated by NAMBLA. Kinsey, who worked alongside transgender activists to normalize gender dsyphoria, also mainstreamed the concept of gender fluidity through experiments that featured the systematic sexual abuse of children and even babies as young as two months old, according to his own books. Kinsey heavily influenced both Money and Harry Benjamin, the latter of whom has been called the “father of transexualism.” 

Make no mistake, the transgender movement is predicated on a psuedo-academic legacy that’s replete with the most egregious crimes against children.

The Threat Of A Legacy Fulfilled

It isn’t hard to identify the same trend in the modern incarnations of transgenderism and adjacent movements. Here I highlighted numerous attempts to normalize pedophilia by various entities, the most pertinent being a New York Times article that referred to the serial rape of a 13-year-old homeless victim of transgender groomers as selling sex.

As children are lured into the world of transgenderism, they become open to a number of abuses beyond cross-sexual treatments. One study found that children with a recent onset of gender dysphoria (62.5 percent of whom had previously been diagnosed with “at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability”, began to isolate themselves from their families and distrust those who weren’t trans, both of which lead to further isolation.

To make matters worse, transgender figures have told children that “it’s okay to walk away from unsupportive … parents” and to exchange them for a “glitter family, your queer family,” before inviting these children to call or Skype him. And what do “supportive” families look like anyways? How many “supportive” families have encouraged their children to become trans in exchange for social media’s fleeting dopamine hits? 

The grooming has been institutionalized in American schools, with campus organizations like the Gay-Straight Alliance that seek to “train youth leaders” finding financial favor from Soro’s Open Society Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Vans, The California Endowment, and various other elite organizations. The Federalist broke news that America’s second-largest school district, which is associated with GSA, has been holding LGBT club meetings for 4-year-olds and hosted a nurse who discussed “medical transition.” The district refused to answer whether parents were required to accompany children to such meetings. 

These moneyed efforts are capitalized on by teachers who’ve used the club to groom children to become transgender under the nose of unsuspecting parents who are subsequently lambasted for not being “supportive.” 

These People Aren’t Kidding. You Shouldn’t, Either

Yes, they are coming for your children. It’s a feature, not a bug. The history of transgenderism proves this. You shouldn’t expect them to stop unless you make them through protecting your kids, coordinated activism, and community involvement. If you don’t, it likely won’t be long before it’s argued that children who can allegedly consent to sexual surgeries should also be able to consent to sexual relationships. If such a hellish future seems unimaginable, consider that any number of the outgrowths of sexual progressivism would’ve been beyond the pale only a decade ago. 

Alternatively, turn your attention to a 1977 open letter in France from 69 people that defended three pedophiles and argued for the age of consent to be lowered below 15. It also contended that 13-year-old girls, by virtue of receiving birth control pills, should have the legal right to consent to sex. One of the signers was critical theorist Michel Foucault, who would later have a sizeable impact on the field of queer theory that now dominates American society. 

Child grooming is already commonplace within the transgender movement as it has been since its inception and attempts to normalize pedophilia have already hit the mainstream.

We Can’t Accept Half Measures In The Defense Of Children

If there was ever an instance in which the right needed moral courage and a healthy dose of stubbornness, this is one of them. You can defeat this, but not alone. 

This movement is backed by an array of NGOs, elite interests, and pallets of cash. It’s pivotal that you find like-minded people in your church and community and that you employ all legal and ethical means to collectively reject the dangerous insanity that’s being foisted on your children. For all the risks this comes with, you can be certain that cowardice bears a heavier cost, both on your children and on your psyche. But here’s cause for celebration: this moment is begging to be met by those who have the courage to do so.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

North Korea no longer the worst persecutor of Christians on Open Doors’ World Watch List


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/north-korea-no-longer-worst-persecutor-of-christians-open-doors.html/

Taliban
Taliban fighters atop vehicles with Taliban flags parade along a road to celebrate after the US pulled all its troops out of Afghanistan, in Kandahar on September 1, 2021 following the Taliban’s military takeover of the country. | JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images

For the first time in over 20 years, North Korea is not listed as the worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution on watchdog Open Doors USA’s influential World Watch List.

Afghanistan has replaced North Korea as “the most dangerous place on the planet to be a Christian” on Open Doors USA’s 2022 World Watch List, released at a virtual press conference Wednesday morning. 

Open Doors CEO David Curry said that his organization, which monitors persecution in over 60 countries, takes into account “on-the-ground expert consensus about what’s happening around the world to Christians who are targeted simply for their faith.”

The World Watch List measures “pressure, intolerance and violence against the Christian faith worldwide.”

“The 2022 World Watch List reveals the most seismic changes in the history of our research,” Curry said. “For the first time ever, Afghanistan is the most dangerous place on the planet to be a Christian, coming in at No. 1 on the World Watch List. It has supplanted North Korea, which is now No. 2, for the first time in 20 years.”

Curry clarified that “North Korea has not gotten better” but rather that “Afghanistan has gotten worse.”

The ranking comes months after the Taliban Islamic radical insurgency retook control of the Central Asian country after the United States withdrew its military presence.  Curry shared the personal story of a young Afghan woman who “fled for her life and went into hiding” after the Taliban took control of the country. The woman finds herself in particular danger because she is both a female and a Christian. Curry recalled a conversation Open Doors had with her and retold it from her perspective. 

“A few years ago, the Taliban came, and they took my father away because he was a Christian. They tortured him for months and then killed him. A few months later, my brother also disappeared, and we’ve never heard from [him] again.”

“It’s no doubt that she knows where her fate is, and thus she and her mother are now on the run,” Curry said. 

The human rights advocate maintained that the Taliban’s recapturing of Afghanistan led to a global rise in Islamic extremism that extends beyond its borders.

“In September, shortly after the Taliban seized control, a list was circulated with the names of prominent Christians. Somehow, this list fell into the hands of the Taliban,” he said.

“Those listed were among the first to be hunted,” he continued. “The Taliban’s interpretation of Islam considers Christians to be traitors, enemies of the state, enemies of the tribe and community. They are infidels from Islam, and in their mind, the punishment is death.”

Curry declared that every Christian who remains in Afghanistan “is either on the run or in hiding.”

He shared testimony from another Afghan Christian Open Doors USA spoke with, asserting that “the Taliban are going door-to-door and snatching young girls and destroying … families.” 

Assessing the state of religious freedom worldwide, Curry said Open Doors’ data shows that “free societies” that protect freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are “facing a war against hatred and discrimination on two separate fronts.”

“The one battle is against tribal, religious and nationalistic extremists that’s sweeping the globe,” he described. “And there’s a second battle against authoritarian regimes who are deploying sophisticated systems of surveillance, censorship and punishment of anyone who believes or worships outside of a strictly enforced boundary.”

“Today, religious extremists and the governments they control or influence lead the World Watch List for the first time,” he said, adding that “extremism and tribalism are skyrocketing” along with “related incidents of harassment against Christians.”

“Nine of the top 10 countries on the World Watch List are run or influenced by radical Islamists or Hindu extremists,” Curry stated. 

The only exception is North Korea, which is run by a “murderous dictator with a communist ideology.”

In addition to Afghanistan and North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and India rounded out the World Watch List’s top 10 “countries where it’s most difficult to follow Jesus.”

“Our report shows that 360 million Christians globally now suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination. That’s one in seven Christians worldwide,” he lamented.

Curry emphasized that the World Watch List “also illustrates the challenges … to freedom of conscience and expression for all people, whether they have a religious faith or … consider themselves an atheist or just have different views from the majority of their culture.”

The list contains a total of 50 countries where persecution of Christians is either “extreme” or “very high.”

Open Doors USA determined that the top 10 countries on the list, as well as Saudi Arabia, have “extreme” levels of Christian persecution while the remaining 39 have a “very high” amount of persecution. While the countries on the list are primarily located in Asia and Africa, a handful of countries in the Western hemisphere made it on the list.

Mexico, located directly south of the U.S., is ranked as the 43rd most dangerous country for Christians because of “organized crime and corruption.” Cuba came in as the 37th most challenging country for Christians because of “dictatorial paranoia.”

The complete report, which contains detailed examples of religious freedom violations in each country on the list, is available on the Open Doors USA website.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Suicide is now a public health epidemic, not a personal problem


Reported By Hedieh Mirahmadi, Exclusive Columnist | Thursday, January 20, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/suicide-is-now-a-public-health-epidemic-not-a-personal-problem.html/

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Unsplash/ Just Jack

The Surgeon General recently reported that our teenagers are more at risk of suicide since the pandemic than ever before in our nation’s history. Their feelings of isolation, uncertainties about the future, substance abuse, and other problems occurring in the home have triggered soaring rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts nationwide. Young people across every socio-economic class, race, and ethnicity are affected, with 6,600 teenagers committing suicide in 2020 alone. Our children are dealing with more uncertainty than any other generation in history. The average American youth will have seen close to 200,000 violent acts on some form of media by the time they turn eighteen, and most no longer live in two-parent households that provide emotional support. Consequently, many have an over-dependence on their peers, which ends up creating greater emotional instability.

During a recent podcast episode, my husband I were surprised to learn how many people in the church were affected by the horrible tragedy of suicide. Out of a dozen live listeners, five of them had an immediate family member who either attempted or committed suicide – including myself. My husband shared how in his early twenties, he placed a loaded gun inside his mouth, having lost the will to live. Interestingly, a commercial on TV about starving kids in Africa ultimately shocked him back into the reality that his life was worth living. For another, her son’s girlfriend committed suicide right before Christmas while pregnant with his child. It shook the family to their core, but their faith in God is helping them heal. 

For myself, I deal with the powerlessness that comes from being the parent of a child who struggles with mental illness and thoughts of suicide. My faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and knowing my daughter has also accepted Christ comforts me and allows me to surrender the burden to Him. Yet, I can’t help but face the very real notion that God is ultimately in control and none of us know what life may have in store. Kay Warren, whose son took his own life in 2013, eloquently expressed the paradox in this way:

“My hope was pretty much centered around what could happen here. Rather than taking the longer view, sometimes things don’t happen the way we want them to here on Earth…Yet I can be safe and secure and even joyful with that confidence of what God is doing, ultimately.”

When anxiety about ourselves or our loved ones builds up inside, the real danger is turning away from the Lord and towards ourselves. Whether it’s money, social distancing, escapism in substance abuse, anger, or resentment against the “other,” none of these offer a real solution to the problem. In the midst of being threatened, we must realize God is our refuge. The pressure should lead us to run towards God for rest and peace rather than running away.

The threats we all face are real. People are losing their jobs, loved ones are dying, and our country is deeply divided along political lines. Suicide is now a public health epidemic, not a personal problem. We cannot treat it like something that just happens and cannot be prevented. Whether we’re health care providers, teachers, friends, or family members, we need to change our attitude towards the issue if we hope to reverse this alarming trend.

In fact, the existence of a national mental health crisis is the one issue that receives overwhelming bipartisan support. Instead of capitalizing on it, this Administration again misses the mark and decides to tackle suicide in a deeply contentious approach. Rather than creating programs to address the root causes of suicide, like improving access to mental health services or eliminating the erratic COVID restrictions, the White House strategy focuses on reducing suicide through better gun control. It is as if our government is tone-deaf, ignoring the disturbing trends in self-harm, feelings of hopelessness, and trauma from the COVID hysteria happening in cities across America. One expert refers to it as “Mask induced psychosis.” No one disputes the statistics that guns are the most common method of suicide, but shouldn’t our focus be on reducing the stressors that lead people to choose a weapon in the first place?

The past couple of years of lockdowns, financial chaos, martial pressure, and trauma for our children has taken a toll on all of us. Regardless of what the government may or may not do, the church should be a place of hope and acceptance. Survivors can be overwhelmed by feelings of anger and guilt because everyone seems to think they could’ve prevented it somehow. Yet, the reality is suicide is impossible to predict.

Having faith in the Lord does not mean we can always handle life’s unpredictability. Let us reduce the stigma of needing help for ourselves and our loved ones so we can pray and support one another. We need to provide resources for those struggling with mental illness so they do not face their demons alone.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

https://player.edifi.app/embed/index.html#/channels/Living-Fearless-Devotional/26358

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

FROM MY INBOX


January 19, 2022

Bill Connor Op-ed: Decline in Christianity among Democrats bringing steep polarization


Commentary By Bill Connor, Op-ed Contributor | Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/decline-in-christianity-among-democrats-bringing-polarization.html/

partisan divided
iStock / Getty Images Plus

A telephonic poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports has given a shock to many Republicans about the views of average Democrats regarding basic rights.  Around half of Democratic voters (48 percent) believe government should be able to imprison and/or fine those who question the efficacy of vaccines, while only 27 percent of all Americans would support such infringement of free speech.  Though 58 percent of American voters would oppose government fines on the unvaccinated, 55 percent of Democrats support such measures. Disturbingly, 59 percent of Democratic voters support confining the unvaccinated to their homes at all times, while the vast majority of American voters oppose such a draconian infringement of rights.  Almost a third of Democrats (29 percent) even support removing custody of the children of the unvaccinated, and 47 percent support forced tracking devices on the unvaccinated.

Republicans, vaccinated or not, have been shocked, while Democrats generally don’t see the problem. Most Americans are starting to wonder about the source of such divergent values and worldviews and the lack of understanding. This dangerous polarization has followed an increasingly steep trend with the Democratic Party becoming secularized in recent years.

First, the secularization of America is picking up steam and bringing profound change in values.  A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that between 2007 and 2021, the number of Americans identifying as Christian plummeted from 78 percent to only 63 percent. During that same period, the percentage of religiously unaffiliated almost doubled from 16 percent to 29 percent. In 2007, 58 percent of Americans prayed daily, and yet that number is now 45 percent, while those who hold religion as “very important” in their lives sank from 56 percent to 41 percent. The percent of Protestant Americans fell 10 percent in the past ten years to only 40 percent today. These numbers seem to be increasing, as the numbers of Americans who attend religious services at least monthly fell 2 percent (33 percent to 31 percent) last year. By some estimates, around a third of Churches will be shutting down from the start of the pandemic to today.

Though alarming, this decline in Christianity is primarily a dynamic of the Democratic Party. Pew Research finds that the number of Republicans who believe in God has remained relatively consistent at 73 percent, while Democrat believers dropped to 55 percent.  Republicans are double (58 percent to 28 percent) the number of Democrats who identify as Evangelical. The number of Republicans who attend church weekly is substantially higher than that of Democrats (44 percent to 29 percent). For those who hold religion as “very important” in their lives, Republicans outnumber Democrats 61 percent to 47 percent. Most important when it comes to the connection of religiosity to worldview about rights and values, Republicans are significantly above Democrats in two key areas.  According to the Pew polls, Republicans look to religion for moral guidance over Democrats by a whopping 44 percent to 29 percent. Further, Republicans believe in absolute standards of right and wrong at over double the numbers of Democrats (47 percent to 23 percent).    

Going back several decades, both parties showed comparative numbers of those who looked to religion as a source of moral guidance and believed in absolute standards of right and wrong. In the American experience, both parties generally agreed with the importance of individual rights as being from God or “endowed by our Creator” as we told King George III. Religion provided firm moral guidance on the respect for each individual and individual rights that political majorities should not infringe.  The Christian belief in original sin, and therefore the danger of corruption of power, has driven the value of limiting the power of government.

The more secularized the Democratic Party has become, the more Democrats appear willing to infringe on previously held sacred rights in deference to government power. The more faith they have placed in government (over God), the more willing Democrats have been to wield power against individual rights.  Republicans generally put faith in God over government and therefore put primary value in the rights of individuals. 

The way out of the polarization appears to be with the Democratic Party moving back from secularization and to the unity of values.  Alternatively, the Republican Party can begin repudiating God as a source of moral guidance, but most Americans would agree that’s the way to ruin.  Americans have a choice to make with our values. Is it government control over individual liberty? Does the value of the “collective” outweigh the value of individuals? Religion is at the root of the answers. For me, I stand with Joshua when he reasoned with his people about these issues and concluded: “as for me and my house, we choose the Lord.”

Bill Connor, a retired Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War.

Robin Schumacher Op-ed: The No. 1 worldview today is Woody Allen’s


Commentary by Robin Schumacher, Exclusive Columnist | Monday, December 27, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-number-1-worldview-today-is-woody-allens.html/

Desires and needs
[PHOTO:UNSPLASH/ALEXISFAUVET]

When filmmaker Woody Allen was publicly exposed in 1992 as having an affair with the adopted daughter of his partner Mia Farrow (Soon-Yi Previn, 34 years his junior), his defense was simply, “The heart wants what it wants.”  

In quoting a statement made in an 1862 Emily Dickinson letter, Allen perfectly sums up the rationale underpinning today’s prevailing secular worldview, which is a deadly combination of post-truth and pragmatism, and driven solely by the adherent’s heart wanting what it wants.

And so what ends up happening?

The heart wants what it wants so it elevates itself above everyone else, putting others last, thus becoming the quintessential, prideful Captain You-Planet.

The heart wants what it wants so it commits smash-and-grab, follow-home, and brazen what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it robberies, taking from others what it hasn’t earned.

The heart wants what it wants so it goes to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to end the life of a person it finds currently inconvenient.

The heart wants what it wants so it breaks its marriage vows and destroys its family all for nothing more than a muscle spasm.  

The heart wants what it wants so it refuses to work and lives off of others because it bizarrely believes it is entitled to do so.

The heart wants what it wants so it suppresses truth and rewrites history to fit a lying narrative that furthers its agenda and enriches itself.

The heart wants what it wants so it cancels disagreement and slanders others because they threaten its echo chamber’s false peace.

The heart wants what it wants so it misuses religion in order to murder, suppress, oppress, and exploit people in hopes of getting the power, position, and wealth it desires.  

The heart wants what it wants so it deliberately thinks with its feelings instead of using the mind and facts to arrive at conclusions that may be distasteful at first, but saving in the end.  

In his article for The Blaze, Jason Whitlock writes, “My problem [with today’s culture] is its aspiration to redefine every form of sin as a natural desire we should not tame. “Do what thou wilt” is the unstated overarching theme of progressive politics. “Do what thou wilt” is the primary tenet of the Thelema occult practice established by English writer Aleister Crowley, a Satanist.”

This dovetails exactly with how the Bible describes the natural, sinful heart. Scripture says that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5), that the heart is “more deceitful than all else and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9); that we are “brought forth in iniquity” (Ps. 51:5) and “he who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26); that “the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives” (Ecc. 9:3) and “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matt. 15:19).

Needless to say, it’s a terrible thing when that kind of heart gets what it wants.

What God’s heart wants

God knows the sinful heart wants what it wants and so He’s provided a cure that’s announced throughout Scripture. His Law acts as a tutor (Gal. 3:24) to bring us what we really need because, says Tim Keller, a sinful heart is one where “law only restrains the heart; it doesn’t change it.”

That being true, we find early in the Old Testament God said, “[I] will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 30:6). In the pages of the prophets, God says: “I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them” (Ez. 11:19-20), and “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it” (Jer. 31:33).

The awesome end result is a person where “the law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip” (Ps. 37:30-31) and they say, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; your Law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8).  

The miraculous change is perfectly captured in a verse from John Newton’s hymn, “We Were Once as You Are”: “Our pleasure and our duty, though opposite before; since we have seen His beauty, are joined to part no more.”

And so what ends up happening?

The heart wants what God wants so it elevates others above itself and washes others’ feet.

The heart wants what God wants so it doesn’t rob others and steal what it hasn’t earned.

The heart wants what God wants so it values the life of everyone, including the unborn.

The heart wants what God wants so it is loyal to its spouse and keeps its marriage vows.  

The heart wants what God wants so it works with its hands to support itself and is generous to others.

The heart wants what God wants so it upholds and speaks the truth in love, following the narrative of Scripture.

The heart wants what God wants so it respectfully engages dissenting voices and is in no way threatened by different opinions (Phil. 1:28).

The heart wants what God wants so it engages in pure and undefiled religion (James 1:27), serving those around it with no self-centered agenda.  

The heart wants what God wants so it is deliberately mature in its thinking (1 Cor. 14:20) and is Holy Spirit led vs. emotions driven.

Needless to say, it’s a fantastic thing when that kind of heart gets what it wants.

In truth, Woody Allen’s explanation for his actions is correct. However, the effect of “the heart wants what it wants” on culture is dependent on whether the heart in question is one that gives itself over to its natural, sinful desires or one that is born again (John 3:3) and acts under the direction of God.

Needless to say, what the world desperately needs today is the latter where everywhere society turns, it sees people who are, “a letter of Christ … written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor. 3:3).

Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master’s in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.

Carlos Garcia Op-ed: The ‘reason for the season’ is to be grateful for all the sacrifices made for us


Commentary by CARLOS GARCIA | December 25, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/christmas-reason-season-sacrifice/

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

“Remember the reason for the season!” is the sign we see all over once the holidays start popping up. What is that exactly?

It’s funny, when I was growing up, everyone knew what the reason was. Not everyone recognized or believed in the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for the sins of the world. But we lived in a culture and a country that at least knew what it was, even if some rejected it.

It’s different now.

Our culture, our nation, has splintered. There are many many reasons for this, but one of those is that we just don’t celebrate Christianity in as unified a way as we used to. People in the Western World simply don’t have as much space for any faith, much less Christianity, as we used to.

But the central reason for Christmas is still one that all people can recognize, despite their faith, or lack thereof. The reason for the season is that no man is an island, and we all have people that came before us that sacrificed in order for us to be where we are, to have what we have and be what we are. And it is good for us to stop and think about those sacrifices made for us, and be thankful, and grateful.

And this is true in every spheres of our lives.

As an American, a central part of my identity is to be grateful for all the people who sacrificed so much for this incredible nation to be created and maintained for decades until I was lucky enough to participate in it. Part of my identity is to continue that work, in whatever way I can, to preserve and maintain the institutions upon which this country is founded, and those that made it great.

Part of my identity is to recognize the sacrifices my father and my mother made to make me who I am, and to be grateful to them and respect those sacrifices by living a life they would be proud of. That extends to my own family now, I have to repay the sacrifices made for me by sacrificing for them.

Even as simply a person who was born at a time where the world has advanced to such an incredible age, I have to force myself to stop sometimes, quit taking things for granted, and look around and marvel at the awesome miracles that technology and our human inventiveness have produced for us to share and flourish. Even those are gifts from a God who planted that inventiveness into the human soul and provided the elements in creation for us to invent with.

Part of the reason I believe in Christianity is that I have so much to be grateful for. The central story, the incredible narrative at the center of the Bible is that a holy and perfect God came down to save humanity and made an unfathomable sacrifice for us, to redeem us from our sins, and draw us to Him in a way we could never do on our own. It is the highest most perfect sacrifice that encompasses all others.

As I look around at every miraculous good that God has provided to me, to all of us, I am reminded at the reason for this holy season.

Atheist activists want Bible verse scrubbed from sheriff’s office wall — but sheriff refuses to back down


Reported by DAVE URBANSKI | December 22, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/atheist-activists-want-bible-verse-scrubbed-from-sheriff-s-office-wall-but-sheriff-refuses-to-back-down-2656091967.html/

If the Freedom from Religion Foundation thinks it can pressure Sheriff Jody Greene into scrubbing a beloved Bible verse from his office wall, Greene is telling the atheist activist group that it has sorely underestimated his resolve.

“Just look at where our society is headed,” Greene wrote Monday on the Columbus County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. “It is time, past time, to stand up. So let me be clear, I will not waiver [sic] on my stance and Christian beliefs.”

FFRF representatives said “a concerned citizen” told them Greene had the verse, Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” — prominently displayed in his office in Whiteville, which is about 115 miles south of downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported.

Greene has an “obligation to provide all citizens with an environment free from religious endorsement by removing this exclusionary display,” the FFRF said in a Dec. 14 news release, the paper reported. What’s more, the FFRF is demanding the verse be taken off the wall — and is hinting at legal action if its demand isn’t met, the News & Observer said.

“The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office must serve all citizens equally, whether Christian or non-Christian,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor added in the release, the paper noted. “A blatantly Christian message in a law enforcement division sends a message of exclusion.”

In addition to telling the FFRF he won’t comply with its demands, Greene also wrote on his Facebook post that the Bible verse display “was paid for with private funds, not with county funding. The verse is one of my favorite Bible verses, and it seemed fitting for all the adversity I have had to endure. It is very motivational to me and my staff. Here at the Sheriff’s Office, we work hard in everything that we do. Before we execute a search warrant, or any service that puts our people in immediate harms [sic] way, we ALWAYS go to the Lord with a group prayer. ALWAYS!”

Image source: Columbus County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office

He added: “I was raised in church. I have been in law enforcement for over thirty years. My training taught me to value God, family, and my country. Going back to the Bible verse, I have taken many pictures with that Bible verse in the backdrop with not a single issue, but now that we are going into an election year, it is an issue. How absurd! It seems to me we have a few sheep in wolves [sic] clothing. That’s all. This is a political ploy. Some want a person that they can control. Companies spend thousands of dollars on motivational classes, to come up with motivational slogans. My motivation comes from the greatest motivational speaker of all times, Jesus Christ.”

Chris Line, an FFRF staff attorney, said he was disappointed by the sheriff’s refusal to remove the Bible verse, WECT-TV reported.

“Right on the front page of the Sheriff’s Office’s website, it says, ‘We are dedicated to protecting the innocent and safeguarding lives and property, while always respecting the constitutional rights of others,'” Line told the station.

He added to WECT that “it is a shame that the Sheriff’s Office isn’t willing to live up to that, and instead they are choosing to violate their citizens’ constitutional rights by brazenly endorsing Christianity. The Sheriff’s Office serves all citizens regardless of belief or nonbelief, and this display alienates all of Columbus County’s non-Christian residents.”

Columbus County Attorney Amanda Prince wouldn’t comment to the station in regard to the legality of the Bible verse display: “I cannot give you a legal opinion regarding this matter.”

A 2021-Wearied World Can Still Rejoice Over The Same Old ‘Thrill Of Hope’


Posted BY: KYLEE ZEMPEL | DECEMBER 20, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/12/20/a-2021-wearied-world-can-still-rejoice-over-the-same-old-thrill-of-hope/

thrill of hope at Jesus' birth, nativity scene

In your despair and weariness this tired Christmas, embrace the thrill of hope and the glorious morn it brings.

KYLEE ZEMPELVISIT ON TWITTER@KYLEEZEMPELMORE ARTICLES

Less than a week out from Christmas, we’re once again steeped in the season that compels us to marvel at the incarnation, bustle to and fro with family and friends, and radiate all the levity our hearts can muster. Yet if there’s one word that best encapsulates many dispositions as 2021 comes to a close, it’s “weary.” Although we’re closing the chapter on another year, it doesn’t feel like any of the tiring stories are ending.

Covid-19 is still with us after two grueling years, and it’s poised to be the forever pandemic. Many churches and schoolchildren remain masked and socially distant. Gas and grocery prices are up, and wallets are lighter. Afghanistan and our borders are still in shambles. Small businesses in cities such as Kenosha are still trying to rebuild in the absence of justice for senseless destruction. Family activities are less light-hearted after traumas like the Waukesha Christmas parade replaced euphoria with fear. Broken families in Middle America are picking up the pieces after tornados leveled their homes and took loved ones. Others lost their livelihoods for having a different opinion on vaccines than the president and the other people in charge.

Around every corner lurks another obstacle, driving even optimists to wonder when the next shoe will drop. Just when parents got their kids back into classrooms, they were tasked with rising up against propaganda and exposing districts that concealed sexual assault allegations. Churches were finally gathering again as God intended, yet Christians have been stuck combatting divisive and anti-gospel racial ideologies within their own ranks.

And work is exhausting — for noble educators, needlessly understaffed nurses and doctors, business owners who can’t get people to work, truck drivers, firefighters and increasingly imperiled police officers, and medically coerced airline employees, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, the news cycle is endlessly mired in woke absurdity, corruption, death, lies, elitist hubris, and soul-sucking diktats, and every time you start to think you can catch your breath, the bad news begins all over again. This is our reality, and it hangs heavily over us even when daily responsibilities or moments of leisure temporarily distract us.

But there’s another reality — a reality that’s more real than any of the multitude of concerns we shoulder and wounds we nurse — and that’s the reality of eternal joys. As Christmas calls us to remember, those eternal joys were actually embodied in a holy babe, fully God yet fully man, who arrived humbly to rescue broken people from their curse of sinfulness. He arrived to live the life we could not live and die the death we no longer have to.

The reason for this season can feel far away. The miraculous birth was in another age in a faraway place, after all. And our current struggles can make it seem inaccessible, like the realities of Christmas aren’t compatible with the realities of our troubles. How can a historical event outshine our acute despair and uncertainty?

These dual realities bring to mind the masterful imagery of C.S. Lewis, who described heavenly things with a kind of concreteness and unfading quality that mortals can hardly fathom. In 2021, as in “The Great Divorce,” everything temporal and hellbound is gossamer — it is passing vapor and fleeting ghosts — when compared to the lasting actuality of all we find in Christ, which though now is often hidden, is as real and concrete as diamonds.

Thus, although COVID despair and riot violence may seem far more tangible than the Christmas story, for instance, those things are not worth comparingwith the future glory that began with the birth of Jesus.

It’s here we stand, gazing upon the swaddled Savior of the world, who was sent to a sin-stained Earth to teach his followers about their own brokenness, about the hard-to-swallow truth that their lives and their problems are like a mist, which “appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

His path too would include temptation, loss, and eventually death. But it would also include resurrection, enabling him as the conqueror of death to pluck our helpless lives out of the pit of despair and sin, onto the Solid Rock, and into a Living Hope.

This season and these truths recall a familiar tune:

O Holy Night!

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

This winter season as we’ve endured Thanksgiving and anticipated Christmas, it’s often been difficult to overcome this weariness and embrace joy.

But deliverance is here. It came in a dark and dirty stable, amid government decrees, weary travels, first-time parenting, and stressful logistics of acquiring basic necessities such as shelter. Thousands of years later, our new birth is still secured by the same Messiah that was born of humble beginnings and hope still emerges in the dark and dismal places. In your despair and weariness, embrace the thrill of hope and the glorious morn it brings.

Repent and believe. Trade your burdens and despair for hope. This is the gospel, and it is for you.


Kylee Zempel is an assistant editor at The Federalist. She previously worked as the copy editor for the Washington Examiner magazine and as an editor and producer at National Geographic. She holds a B.S. in Communication Arts/Speech and an A.S. in Criminal Justice and writes on topics including feminism and gender issues, religious liberty, and criminal justice. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.

Elle Reynolds Op-ed: Bad News In The World Reminds Us We Still Await A Second Advent


Commentary By Elle Reynolds | DECEMBER 10, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/12/10/bad-news-in-the-world-reminds-us-we-still-await-a-second-advent/

Inflation. COVID-19. Ballooning federal debt made worse by irresponsible spending in Congress. Lost jobs from medically coercive mandates. A supply chain crisis. Racist and sexually explicit narratives flooding public schools while concerned parents are targeted as terrorists. A heartbreakingly botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. An aggressive dictatorship in China that perpetuates horrific human rights abuses. A border crisis.

Conservatives pride ourselves on our ability to see the world without the rose-tinted lenses of progressives. If men were angels, we would need no government (or government accountability), we say — but men are no angels and thus we must be skeptics.

That candid recognition of our world’s imperfection often leaves us discouraged. We are frustrated that so many naively buy the blatant lies of the corporate press and corrupt politicians, and that even basic truths like “don’t kill babies” and “boys and girls are different” meet vicious opposition.

Yet, unlike the utopian dreams of the globalist left, our goal is not and has never been the perfection of the system. Conservatives should not hope to “fix” the world — nor be despondent when it proves unfixable. While we should seek to cultivate and steward our culture and our communities, our inability to shut off the fire hose of foolishness, evil, and sin in our world today should remind us we await another one.

We Are Made to Long for the Eternal

The Advent season is a time to recall the ancient posture of a world awaiting its savior. We recall the longing of a people who had waited 400 years for the voice of God and millennia for his promised salvation.

But there is another Advent, or arrival, to which we look. We long for the day in which we will surrender our earthly failures and enjoy the presence of a heavenly God. Far from discouraging us, the shortcomings of Earth should embolden our hope. If men were angels, neither heaven nor salvation would be necessary.

For this reason, Christians should take heart at worldly turmoil. “Rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made meet for heaven,” said the great Baptist theologian Charles Haddon Spurgeon, in an evening devotional based on Job 1:9.

“You will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you,” he continues. “When you feel that as regards the present you do serve God for nought, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.”

Meanwhile, rather than withdraw from a hopeless world, Spurgeon threw himself into practical ministries as well as evangelical ones, founding an orphanage in 1867 and speaking out against the injustice of slavery. Evil in the world should not send Christians into resigned indifference — we are called to “do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

We Engage the Present Because of Our Future Hope

In today’s America, that calling might mean fighting to keep schoolchildren from being vulnerable to political agendas that push sexually explicit material in the classroom and allow rapists access to girls. It can mean speaking up for people like Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman whose livelihoods are targeted for their religious convictions, or fighting for the safety of women in prisons and shelters. It certainly means pleading the cause of the unborn.

Not all of the means by which we as Christians should seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly are political, of course. But our hope of heaven itself should not dissuade us from stewardship of our communities. We are not of the world, but we are in it.

As we anticipate Advent, our posture is one of hope. But — although church traditions vary — in one common symbolism, hope is only one of four virtues signified by the four candles lit each Sunday of the Advent season. Peace, love, and joy mark the other three, and we are called to live these out in the present even as we look with anticipation to heaven.

Because we have hope, we are to love those around us in a way that demands no return. Because we have hope, we may have peace with even dismal circumstances. Because we have hope, we can look upon a fallen world and know the fullness of joy.

God “wants [men] to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present,” C.S. Lewis said through his character Screwtape. “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered to them.”

Because of the future Advent we long for, we are not just free but emboldened with confidence, even commanded, to engage the present. We run a race, but we do not run aimlessly, or box as one beating the air. Neither need we grieve as those who have no hope.

Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.

Nativity scene held outside Supreme Court day after abortion arguments: ‘Humanity of the baby’


Reported By Nicole Alcindor, CP Reporter| Friday, December 03, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/nativity-scene-held-outside-scotus-day-after-abortion-arguments.html/

Jesus' Nativity Story
Dozens attended a live reenactment of Jesus’ nativity scene held outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. on Thursday Dec. 2 2021. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

WASHINGTON — Dozens attended a live reenactment of Jesus’ nativity scene held outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Thursday, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could alter abortion law precedent nationwide.

The annual reenactment, organized by the Christian missionary and spiritual outreach organization Faith & Liberty, was held across the street from the East Façade of the Supreme Court.

The ceremonial event consisted of a little over a dozen impersonators dressed as biblical figures like Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the three wise men, angels and more to shed light on the meaning of Christmas and spread the Gospel message. 

Jesus' Nativity Story
Dozens attend a live reenactment of Jesus’ nativity scene held outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

The reenactment of the virgin birth that occurred over 2,000 years ago came less than 24 hours after the outside of the Supreme Court Building was crowded by thousands of pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators as the nation’s high court heard arguments for and against Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.

Many believe that with the current 6-3 conservative makeup of the court, the case, Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health, has the potential to change legal precedent on abortion set in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade. 

At the nativity event, pro-lifers in attendance said it is a “blessing” that Jesus’ “unplanned” birth could be displayed the day after many pro-choice demonstrators openly proclaimed their belief that mothers should have the right to end an unplanned pregnancy.

Jesus' Nativity Story
A woman holds camel during a live nativity scene at the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. | The Christian Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

“Yesterday, the court talked about the shedding of innocent blood,” said Allan Parker, a pro-life attorney and the president of The Justice Foundation, a Christian public interest nonprofit litigation organization.

“And today, we are witnessing the reenactment of the most innocent blood in American history. Jesus shed His most innocent blood so that even murderers could be forgiven. We just have to humble ourselves and say: ‘Lord, forgive me.’”  

Parker believes that the nativity scene “is cleansing the grounds that we stand on after yesterday’s event.”

Parker reasoned that because Mary was shocked to discover that she was chosen to give birth to Jesus, her pregnancy can be viewed as “unplanned” from the worldly perspective. 

Jesus' Nativity Story
Actors reenact Jesus’ nativity scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

“Mary’s unplanned pregnancy led to the salvation of the whole world,” Parker told The Christian Post while standing outside on the stairs of the Supreme Court Building. “If Mary were alive today, Jesus might have been aborted, and then Jesus and the world would be in darkness instead of having a chance to step into the light.” 

Many others in attendance believe that Jesus’ birth was “humble” because He came into the world as an infant and a servant when He could have come to earth as a king. 

Nancy Claudio, an 81-year-old pro-life demonstrator who lives in Washington, D.C. and attended the nativity scene, said she thought the reenactment was “breathtaking and encouraging.” 

Claudio felt led to attend the event because she loves Jesus. She said Jesus has been a part of her life as far back as she can remember. She told CP about how Jesus saved and delivered her before she began many years of work as a traveling missionary. 

“I am Spirit-led and I live every day to please Jesus. And we all need to remember that Jesus came to a place that is not fancy, and He came because He loved the world and us,” Claudio said. “Events like this are so important because this happened 2,000 years ago, and we are still celebrating and living in the victory that Jesus brought us through his servant Heart. He was laid in a manger where cattle eat out of, and He came to serve, not be served.”

Judy Mcdonough attended the rally and the nativity scene in association with the Christian organization Intercessors For America. She told CP she believes it is “God’s timing” that both of the days spent at the Supreme Court are related to pregnancy. 

“It’s all about the humanity of the baby in the womb, and every child is so innocent,” Mcdonough, a devoted pro-life Christian, told CP.

“I am all about praying, and the nativity scene today is a way that we can act, pray and exercise our constitutional right. Everything about Jesus goes against what we would naturally think about ourselves and who God should be. He’s the only God who came humbly, and He asks us to respond to Him humbly. He is unique because He came humbled, and at the same time, He says [to] bow before Him.” 

Others who came to view the scene agreed that it is “necessary” to reenact the birth of Jesus in front of the Supreme Court in hopes elected officials cab develop a relationship with Jesus. 

“This showing is desperately needed because the only hope we have is through the life of Jesus, who promises peace, and we have hope for reconciliation, and we were sent to be reconciled to Him and others,” attendee Becky Lyttle said.

“These elected officials need to know that corruption is not the answer because many are corrupt. People in ruling positions need the Word of God. We all desperately need the Lord.” 

Attendees came from across the nation to view the nativity scene.

Coming from Chicago, Debra Smith, who identifies as a charismatic nondenominational Christian, said she attended the nativity scene because she felt led to pray in tongues on the premises of the Supreme Court Building. She had also prayed at the Supreme Court during the oral arguments the day before. 

“His Holy Spirit lives with me, and He is always with me. Jesus is the best because He came as a helpless baby, and there are so many other helpless babies out there that desperately need saving,” she said. 

Joel Enge traveled from Texas and is also a representative from the organization Intercessors of America. He attended both the rally and the nativity scene. 

“We have killed millions in America because we have been pro-death, and this event shows us the life that Christ offers can move us from being a nation of death to life. This is amazing,” said Enge, who attends a Baptist church and is the founder and director of a private Christian school.

“Jesus’ entry into the world is very important because the Creator of the world came to His creation. Jesus became a zygote. He developed in Mary’s womb. He went through the same process that children being terminated went through. There’s no comparison. We can’t compare.” 

Some in attendance said the scene brought them “relief” because it showed them that outward expressions of faith can still exist in similar settings. 

“It was amazing. My whole life is built around the Christian faith,” said Paul Kope from Delaware. “Our country was founded on Christian beliefs and the right to worship. It shows we still have rights that they would do this demonstration.”

Parents sue Florida school district over colluding with daughter to change her gender identity


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter| Thursday, November 11, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/parents-sue-school-district-over-affirming-kids-trans-identity.html/

Students, LGBT flag
Getty Images

Parents in Leon County, Florida, are suing the school district for holding a meeting with their teenage daughter about her chosen gender identity without their knowledge or consent. The parents have warned that the district’s LGBT policies create a “wedge” between students and their parents. 

January and Jeffrey Littlejohn filed a lawsuit against the school board, Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna and Assistant Superintendent, Equity Officer and Title IX Compliance Coordinator Kathleen Rodgers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Oct. 18. 

In the lawsuit, the Littlejohns accuse the defendants of violating their substantive due process right to direct the education and upbringing of their children under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and other rights guaranteed to them by state and federal law by excluding them from a meeting with school officials discussing their 13-year-old daughter’s gender identity. 

Vernadette Broyles of the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, a legal organization created two-and-a-half years ago “specifically to stand with and help parents who are in some way or the other … seeking to protect the well-being … of their child from gender identity ideology,” is one of the attorneys representing the Littlejohns in the litigation. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, January Littlejohn and Broyles elaborated on the lawsuit and the events that led up to it.

Littlejohn explained that her daughter, who is now a high school student, began undergoing treatment for gender confusion in the summer before the start of the 2020-’21 school year. She attributed her daughter’s gender confusion to peer pressure from her “friend group because three other children in that same friend group had come out as nonbinary or transgender within the previous six months.” 

While Littlejohn told one of her daughter’s teachers at Deer Lake Middle School that she was “seeking mental health counseling and she was experiencing distress that we weren’t affirming her at home because we didn’t feel like it was in her best interest,” she did not expect the school to begin referring to her daughter using they/them pronouns and give her the option to sleep in the same quarters as her male classmates on an overnight school field trip. 

Littlejohn only found out that the school had taken such action because her daughter revealed to her that she’d had a meeting about her “nickname,” with the concerned parent telling CP that “that’s kind of what we refer to it as.”

She said her daughter then asked, ‘“isn’t it funny that they asked me what restroom I wanted to use?”’

“My daughter has ADHD … and so to her, this seemed like the silliest thing in the world that they asked her which restroom she preferred to use. That was my first indication that the school had met with her without … notifying my husband or myself,” she said.

“I immediately called her guidance counselor. The guidance counselor said she needed to call me back. She called me back with the assistant principal on the line. So right then and there, I knew something … felt different about the situation because I had spoken to the guidance counselor multiple times in the past because of my daughter’s 504 plan … for her ADHD.”

Littlejohn accused the school of “colluding with my daughter to deceive us so that we would never have known she was going by an alternate name.”

The concerned mother also insisted that she “absolutely should have been at that meeting” and expressed disbelief that the school that she volunteered at did not partner with them. “I was volunteer of the year at that school. It wasn’t like I was an unknown parent.” 

Littlejohn recalled the detrimental impact of the school’s decision to hold meetings with her daughter about her gender identity confusion without her knowledge or consent, saying: “It created a huge wedge between our daughter and us, as her parents. We have worked very hard over the past year-and-a-half to stabilize the situation through counseling, and I do feel like she’s on a better path at this time.” 

Broyles told CP that the purpose of the lawsuit was to get the school district to “rescind the guidance … that was in place that … basically instructed school officials not to inform parents when a child begins to indicate a transgender or LGBTQ+ identity.” The attorney expressed particular concern that the guidance implied that “outing a student to their parents could be dangerous to a student’s well-being.” 

“Every time I think about this lawsuit, it really hits me: The district guidance had the message to parents that you don’t have the best interests of your child in mind. It sends the message that children need to … be protected from parents rather than by parents, and that is an earth-shattering message that cannot stand,” Broyles asserted.

Specifically, the guidance, part of the “LCS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Questioning Support Guide,” warned that “Outing a student, especially to parents, can be very dangerous to the [student’s] health and well-being” because “some students are not able to be out at home because their parents are unaccepting of LGBTQ+ people out.” 

The guidance maintains that “as many as 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ+, many of whom have been rejected by their families for being LGBTQ+,” suggesting that “outing students to their parents can literally make them homeless.” 

“We are seeking that guidance to be permanently removed and replaced with new guidance that complies with the Parents’ Bill of Rights there in Florida as well as the Florida and United States Constitution that honors the parents’ right to make decisions for their children,” Broyles added. “It’s really important to recognize that affirming a child’s discordant gender identity … involves a significant mental health decision that affects the well-being of children … and with potentially lifelong consequences.”

The lawsuit, as summarized by Broyles, is asking the school district to implement new guidance requiring school officials to notify parents whenever their child “expresses gender discordance, gender confusion, a different identity other than their physical, biological sex” and “new policies that provide public notice and a public hearing regarding the new guidance through the school board.” Additionally, the Littlejohns are seeking “some sort of monetary damages for the … pain and suffering and … the impacts this has had on their family.”

Broyles stressed that the situation facing the Littlejohns is not unique: “This violation of parental rights is driving a wedge between parents and their children by school officials. … It affects parents … all throughout the political spectrum on both political parties or independents, whether it’s Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, agnostics. … We’ve spoken to almost virtually every stripe of parent.”

The attorney maintained that the Child and Parental Rights Campaign is working on several similar cases: “We hear almost weekly from parents who have … something similar happening to them and their children.” 

“This same guidance I described to you is present on the websites of at least 11 other school districts throughout Florida,” Broyles said. She further noted that the “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Student Support Plan” included in the “LCS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Questioning Support Guide” is also on the ACLU’s website.

“A lot of these documents are already out there and school boards, based on what I’ve been told, simply adopt those and put their name on them,” Broyles added. 

“That’s why there seems to be the exact same guidance in multiple counties in the state of Florida and all over the country in all 50 states.” 

Littlejohn told CP that she’s aware of other parents in Leon County that have found themselves in the same situation as herself.

“A lot of the parents are really scared to speak out or they don’t feel like they can speak out because it would jeopardize the very fragile relationship they have with their child who’s experiencing distress related to their gender.” She added that she speaks to other families “almost weekly to try to help them understand the situation at hand and help them get resources.” 

She also pushed back on the claim that the school was conducting a “benign intervention”: “It’s the first step toward medical transitioning, which is why it is so imperative that parents be included [in] any discussion with their child that could impact the short-term and long-term mental and physical well-being of their child, whether it’s this issue or any issue. So fundamentally, this is about parental rights and what the schools can and cannot do … without their permission.”

Littlejohn emphasized that despite the harm this experience has caused to her and her family, “it’s made our faith grow” as Christians. She seconded Broyles’ assertion that “this issue affects all kinds of families” and “people of all faiths including atheists.” 

In the time since officials at Deer Lake Middle School first met with Littlejohn’s daughter to discuss her gender identity, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the Parents’ Bill of Rights into law. The measure mandates that “important information relating to a child should not be withheld, either inadvertently or purposely, from his or her parent, including information relating to the minor child’s health, well-being, and education, while the minor child is in the custody of the school district.”

Additionally, the law directs school districts to work with parents, teachers and administrators to “develop and adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the public school system.”  

Superintendent Hanna reacted to the Littlejohns’ lawsuit in a statement to news outlet WCTV: “We certainly want to include parents, and with the Parental Bill of Rights, I understand and respect that, but we also have to respect the rights of the individuals, safety of the children we care for each and every day” because “while the children are under our care we act in loco parentis, on behalf of a parent while they’re under our care.”

The lawsuit follows a year of unsuccessful efforts to convince the school district to change its policy. Littlejohn insisted that “We tried to do this without filing a lawsuit, which was never our intention.” 

While the complaint mentions that the district removed the guide from the publicly accessible portion of its website, it alleges that the district did not comply with the Littlejohns’ request to “publish on the Website a written statement that parents would be notified when their child/children express a discordant gender identity and included in meetings or discussions with their child/children regarding their gender identity.” 

The complaint contends that “there is no indication on the website or otherwise that the Guide has been rescinded, only a notation that it is being revised.” Additionally, it states that “no revised guidance regarding parental notification has been published or provided to Plaintiffs.” The website of the Leon County Schools’ Equity and Diversity Department has a section devoted to the LCS LGBTQ+ Support Guide, which informs visitors that “[the] Guide is currently being reviewed and is under revision.” 

The lawsuit against Leon County Schools comes at a time when parents have expressed an increasing amount of unease with some of the material their children are exposed to in school. In recent weeks, outraged parents and community members in several states have descended on school board meetings to condemn the inclusion of sexually explicit material in books available to students in school libraries and writing prompts in a textbook used in a college-level English class. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

‘The Gospel of Christ is at stake’: Finnish bishop facing prosecution over Christian values


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter| Thursday, November 11, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/finnish-bishop-slams-cancel-culture-the-gospel-of-christ-is-at-stake.html/

Juhana Pohjola
Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Mission Diocese of Finland, speaks at the Alliance Defending Freedom office in Washington, D.C., to discuss his prosecution for sharing a document expressing support for Christian teachings about marriage and sexuality, Nov. 10, 2021. | The Christian Post

WASHINGTON — A Finnish religious leader facing prosecution for publishing a booklet promoting Christian teachings about marriage and sexuality is warning that “the Gospel of Christ is at stake” as Western governments liken such beliefs to hate speech. 

The Rev. Juhana Pohjola, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, spoke at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty law firm, Wednesday to discuss the prosecution he faces for publishing a booklet titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity.

Paivi Rasanen, a Finnish member of parliament and medical doctor, wrote the booklet in 2004 when Finland was passing laws treating same-sex relationships as equivalent to heterosexual relationships under the law. The booklet concluded that the recognition of same-sex relationships had a detrimental effect on society. At the time of the booklet’s publication, the Finnish government was considering legislation that would enable same-sex couples to adopt children. 

In his address at Alliance Defending Freedom, Pohjola warned that his prosecution illustrates that “the Gospel of Christ is at stake” because of postmodernism and its accompanying cancel culture and hate speech laws, which he believes have been unfairly used against him: “When postmodernism first swept over Western countries, its basic core was denial of absolute truth. The only truth was that you must allow everyone to have his or her own subjective truth.”

“This hyper-individualism continues, but it has now a different tone. If you are against LGBTQ+ ideology, so-called diversity, equality and inclusiveness, you are not only considered to be old-fashioned … but rejected as morally evil. This is what the prosecutor general understands her duty to be, to protect fragile citizens and victims from the intolerant and hateful Christians.” 

After expressing concern about the development of “cancel culture” in Europe and Finland,” he said he agreed with political commentators in the U.S. about “soft totalitarianism in Western countries when all aspects of life, media, business, education, culture, courts, army and church parties are taken over by the same ideology that suppresses freedom of speech and suffocates differing opinions and viewpoints.” 

Pohjola devoted most of his speech to detailing the legal challenge he’s embroiled in. He recalled that on April 29, “the prosecutor general of Finland decided to bring charges against me and … a member of parliament, Mrs. Paivi Rasanen.” 

The indictment accused them of “incitement to hatred against a group which falls under the section of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Pohjola read aloud the description of his offense, which stated that he “made and maintained available to the public opinions and allegations defaming and insulting homosexuals as a group on the basis of their sexual orientation.” 

Previously, the Helsinki Police Department “pressed charges against me and Mrs. Rasanen arguing that the pamphlet found on our webpage was discriminatory toward homosexuals” in August 2019. While “the police in charge decided to drop the case,” it ended up on the “table of the general prosecutor’s office.” Pohjola added that on Reformation Day, Oct. 31, 2019, “the prosecutor general of Finland announced that she had ordered a preliminary investigation on the subject matter.” 

“We were suspected of being guilty of incitement to hatred against a group,” he said. The Helsinki Police Department interrogated Pohjola on Feb. 11, 2020. He noted that “the interrogation took over five hours” and described the questioning as “cordial but tough.” When asked if he was “willing to take the pamphlet away from your website in two weeks,” Pohjola said no. He told the audience that “If I had said yes, the case … probably would have been settled.”

The booklet was one of several published by Pohjola in conjunction with the Detroit-based Lutheran Heritage Foundation. Other books in the pamphlet series discussed issues such as worship, the Lord’s Supper and sanctification. While the booklet did not generate “any media interest” at the time as “it was just one booklet among the other booklets,” it received renewed attention in recent years as the Evangelical Mission Diocese faced scrutiny for declining to embrace the “ordination of women” and what he described as “other unbiblical practices.” 

“The series [of pamphlets] was later put on our webpage without any fuss,” Pohjola asserted in his remarks. “We handed out this Christian teaching on marriage even to all the members in the parliament.”

“When the prosecutor general has … publicly said that she will give special attention to the hate speech cases when she steps into the office, she, of course, wants to maintain classical Western liberal freedoms of speech and religion grounded on our constitution,” he maintained. “But she interprets these rights in the light of [the] Equality and Discrimination Act.”

Pohjola lamented that “the tendency is to interpret more broadly … vague terms like defaming and insulting speech. And the more broadly you interpret them, you do it at the expense of the freedom of speech.”

“She will take the case if needed through as many appeals through higher courts, even on European Union level, because at [the] European Union level, European Union legislation affects also the national legislation. So, we are prepared for it as well and the judgment is important due to [the] precedent that it sets for the future free speech cases.’ 

“Prosecutor general has taken out of the context one line from there and one from here,” he concluded. “In the police investigation … I tried to draw the big picture of the pamphlet, which consists of basic points of Christian teaching, which is clearly all found in this pamphlet.”

Pohjola emphasized to government officials that the booklet was based on the premises that “We are all created in the image of God, we are all equal and share the inherent equality,” “We are all part of [the] fallen human race and therefore we are all sinners, homosexuals are not greater sinners than all the others, but nevertheless it is sinful to live in a homosexual relationship according to our faith,” and “according to the Christian view, sexual life is made to be in the confines of marriage between one man and woman.”

While Pohjola stressed that “We have again and again said that we confess the God-given dignity, value and human rights of those who we identify them as homosexuals,” “we also call homosexual acts sinful and in discordance with the created order and the will of God as found in the Bible.” He believed that the prosecutor general did not accept this distinction “since sexuality is so deeply rooted in the identity of a person.”

According to the prosecutor general’s line of thinking, “If we call the homosexual living style sinful, we deny the dignity of homosexuals. In other words, to reject homosexuality is to deny their human value as human beings and thus degrading their intrinsic worth and thus insulting them and thus defaming them. If you follow this argument to its logical conclusion, the [ramifications] for Christian teaching and religious freedom are severe.”

Pohjola attributed his prosecution and the widespread acceptance of the aforementioned line of thinking to the rapid decline in religiosity that has come to define his country: “Finland is a modern, safe, clean, wealthy country but on the other hand, it is committing demographical suicide and is under enormous pressure to take more and more immigrants. It is secular and it has lost its Christian and Lutheran roots and families aren’t doing well,” he explained.

“This case is only a faint echo of the cultural eruption that is taking place in Western countries,” he explained. “Although we still have the blue cross in our flag, Finland is not a Christian nation anymore. Church attendance is about 1% and maybe less. The less people know about the basic Christian teaching, the less they understand it and tolerate Christian teaching in the public square.”

Pohjola vowed that despite the legal headwinds and consequences he may face, he would “hold on to this truth and publicly teach it no matter what the cost is not because we want to wage a cultural war in the society but to call people to repentance and through faith in Christ, receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.” 

When Pohjola finished speaking, Sean Nelson, legal counsel on ADF International’s Global Religious Freedom Team, discussed the legal implications of this case. Nelson reported that in many third-world and authoritarian countries, “We regularly see criminal prosecutions and convictions for blasphemy and so-called religious offense laws in these countries against many different religious minority groups including but not exclusive to Christians.” “What we see in many authoritarian countries [is] the use of blasphemy, apostasy and anti-conversion laws to force religious minorities to hide in the shadows in fear of fully practicing their faith,” Nelson lamented. “Dozens of countries are still regularly enforcing their blasphemy laws in favor of majority beliefs and against minorities.” He highlighted ADF’s mission to “support those charged with blasphemy” and seek “the worldwide repeal of such laws.”

Nelson characterized “hate speech laws that have gathered steam in Western countries” as “secular versions of blasphemy laws.” According to Nelson, “Both laws are justified by the alleged harm that minority views, very often religious views cause to the majority, that the offense causes emotional and societal harm, even when the speaker is only sharing their genuinely held beliefs. They both work to marginalize certain views and exclude people from government and positions of influence.”

“They both use broad, ambiguous language and definitions that make it impossible to know precisely what is prohibited and that open the door for arbitrary and biased enforcement and they’re used to coerce others to change their views so that they aren’t punished,” he added. 

“These are also terrible precedents internationally as they provide cover to dozens of authoritarian governments that say, ‘If the west has no problem criminally prosecuting controversial speech, then what’s wrong with us doing that?’” 

Pohjola’s speech at the ADF came on the same day that six Republican lawmakers wrote a letter to Nadine Maenza, the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, urging her to take the Finnish government’s actions “into consideration when recommending which countries should be added to the State Department’s Special Watch List,” which consists of countries that are hostile to religious freedom.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Chipping Away at the Future


Friday October 22 | By Dr. David Jeremiah

‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   Friday, October 22
Chipping Away at the Future

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.
Revelation 13:16
 
Maybe you’re using a smartwatch to monitor your vital signs. Good for you! We need to stay as healthy as possible. But what if a tiny chip the size of a speck of dust could be injected under your skin to do just that and more? Engineers at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science have created an injectable chip that can be inserted under your skin to monitor your temperature, blood pressure, glucose, and other health stats.

Recommended Reading:
Revelation 13:11-18 (NIV) 11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.


Technology isn’t evil and today’s innovations may lengthen our life, but what happens when an oppressive government seizes that technology to control its people? During the days of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will use every means to control the commerce and conduct of its citizens.

We shouldn’t be anxious about anything, but we should keep our eyes open to everything that may point toward the hastening of the return of Christ.
 
Citizens of the Antichrist’s empire will be distinguished by the mark of the Beast. Citizens of Christ’s kingdom are also identified by a mark: God marks believers as His very own by sending His Holy Spirit to live in them.
David Jeremiah
Read through the Bible:
Luke 3 –4

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Wallace B. Henley Op-ed: Authentic authority and the threat of raw power


Commentary By Wallace B. Henley, Exclusive Columnist | Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/authentic-authority-and-the-threat-of-raw-power.html/

Biden and UN
Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session on Sept. 21, 2001. | UN Photo/Manuel Elías

On Friday, leaders of 136 nations took actions that should send a chill up the spines of their citizens.

The representatives of those countries acted on a proposal by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish a global business tax.

After recovering from my shock, questions blasted in my mind: Who gave this organization the right to implement a global business tax? Is this an ominous step toward the establishment of other worldwide regulatory mandates? At what point do other global groups act on the precedent by extending their powers into broad facets of policy that should be the purview of sovereign nations?

President Joe Biden and Janet Yellen, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, applauded the move.

They had both the constitutional authority and the power to do so. However, in the Biden administration, as in others, the balance between authority and power is delicate.

The big issue here has to do with executive authority and power, and the importance of holding it in balance.

The Bible and the histories recorded there, reveal the differences between authentic authority and raw power:

  • Authority is granted from the higher to the lower, while raw power is seized

As Jesus stands before the Roman magistrate, Pontius Pilate, He tells him, “You have no authority over Me at all if it had not been given to you from above.”

  • Authority is granted to those under authority, but raw power is submitted only to itself

King Saul learns this the hard way. He refuses to honor the commands of Samuel, the High Priest, the representative of God Himself. Saul disobeys, coming out from under Samuel’s authority, and loses his kingdom.

·  Authority is accountable to the higher authority; raw power is accountable only to its own interests

Though Jesus Christ is God Himself, in His incarnate existence, He acknowledges His accountability to God the Father, telling even His earthly parents that He had to give priority to His “Father’s business.”

  • Authority is sustained through healthy relationship; raw power is sustained by intimidation, manipulation, condemnation and domination

A priority of Jesus was to be “with” His disciples, building and leading them through relationship

  • Authentic authority is in the style of servant leadership; raw power is in the style of tyrannical control

“The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and give His life for many,” said Jesus.

All these reveal that true leadership that has the right of power must understand that it can do so only if it respects and yields to the authority granted to it. The leader, be it a president, CEO, senior pastor, head of household — whatever — must not take authority as his or her own possession, but as a trust.

I have watched and been fascinated by the American presidency since 1952. Both national political conventions were televised for the first time that year. As an 11 year old, I sat transfixed for hours watching the drama on our 12-inch black-white TV screen.

Within two decades, I would be standing in the Oval Office as a member of the president’s staff watching the president model the balance between authority and power.

In 1969, new in office, Richard Nixon had to help school systems in 11 southern states desegregate. He brought together multi-racial citizen groups from each state and authorized them with the power to implement educational equality in their own states.

In the fall of 1970, the most sweeping desegregation in history occurred peacefully.

Nixon had the authority, and he shared the power.

Many still hate Nixon and his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson. However, both men took actions based on the careful balance between authority and power that should earn them respect in history, balancing whatever misdeeds attributed to them.

Lyndon Johnson, in 1968, was deep in the morass of the Vietnam war. Cities were burning, and destructive rioting would break out during the Democrats’ summer convention in Chicago.

Johnson, regarded by his opponents as being a thug, nevertheless sacrificed himself for the good of the nation. On March 31, 1968, on national television, Johnson declared, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”

Six years later, mired in the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon told the world, “I have never been a quitter. To leave the office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as president, I must put the interest of America first. … Therefore, I shall resign the presidency.”

Some still smirk at the very mention of Johnson or Nixon, but they were admirable in their actions. They remembered that constitutional authority is held by the people. When Johnson and Nixon faced the fact that they had lost the authorization of the people they realized they could no longer exert the powers of the Oval Office.

These were insightful, gallant actions by two men many still hate.

Is this in America’s future once more?

Does the action of an international group like the OECD mean that authority and power are gravitating to the global scale?

One hopes the Biden White House and his administration understand the nature of authentic authority and the threat of raw power.

Wallace B. Henley’s fifty-year career has spanned newspaper journalism, government in both White House and Congress, the church, and academia. He is author or co-author of more than 20 books. He is a teaching pastor at Grace Church, the Woodlands, Texas.

For media inquiries, contact:  ChristianPost@pinkston.co

But We Can Be Generous


By Dr. David Jeremiah, Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Proverbs 19:17, NIV

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)

 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, remembers how his mother would crochet doilies to raise money for missions. “My parents were…some of the most generous people I’ve ever known,” he wrote. “Their spare living and meager income did not stop them from being generous in a thousand different ways. Mother may have had only three or four dresses in her closet, but if she heard of a woman who needed one, you could be sure Mother would soon arrive at the woman’s doorstep with a dress in hand.”

The Bible tells us to be generous. That’s critical to our calling as believers. But no government can ensure that everyone has exactly the same amount of assets. Every attempt to create a level economy has pushed people into poverty with only its leaders living in luxury. Shared wealth does not bring unity. It creates envy and resentment, and ultimately causes socialism to fail.

We can’t control the governments of the world. That isn’t our job. But we can be generous!

I could have become president of the United States and [my mother] would have said the same thing: “What are you doing for the Lord?”
David Green

Father details how his young son was convinced he was a ‘transgender lesbian’


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Monday, October 11, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/father-my-young-son-was-convinced-he-was-a-transgender-lesbian.html/

Brenton Netz
Brenton Netz (L), the concerned father of a child with gender dysphoria, details how his son was convinced that he was a “transgender lesbian” at the Pray Vote Stand Summit in Leesburg, Virginia, Oct. 8, 2021. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge looks on. | Family Research Council

Leesburg, VIRGINIA — A concerned father of a child whose mother is trying to convince her autistic son that he’s a girl is warning about the dangers of “radical gender ideology,” proclaiming that “we must do everything we can to save them from the jaws of this beast.”

On the final day of the Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit, a panel of elected officials, journalists and activists addressed a crowd of social conservatives gathered at Cornerstone Chapel. They discussed the extent to which gender ideology has permeated American society. Moderated by Joseph Backholm, the senior fellow for biblical worldview at the Family Research Council, panelists included parent activist Brenton Netz from Michigan, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and The Christian Post journalist Brandon Showalter.

After Backholm mentioned the astronomical rise in the number of cases of gender dysphoria in children, Netz elaborated on his “legal battle to prevent his son from being given experimental gender transition” drugs, such as puberty blockers, against his will. Netz recalled the shock he felt upon reading notes from his then-8-year-old son’s therapy session with a gender clinician in St. Cloud, Minnesota, who asserted that “Miles reports her sexual orientation as lesbian” and “she reports her gender as transgender female.”

Netz described his son as a “vulnerable child” who was “diagnosed with autism at the age of 4” with “an obsessive personality” and “other real behavioral issues.” He criticized the therapist who treated his son, Troy Weber-Brown, for referring to his “autistic son as a girl named Miley using she/her and them/their pronouns.” Weber-Brown is a licensed family and marriage therapist who specializes in LGBTQ behavioral healthcare. 

The father condemned the “appalling way he (Weber-Brown) counsels troubled and vulnerable children,” adding “his stated goal is to re-parent them.”

“In my case, Troy set himself up as my son’s surrogate father,” Netz said. “He meticulously manipulated my son into thinking he was not only a transgender girl and lesbian, but they were also having structured discussions about irreversible hormones and surgical options.”

“There is no way my autistic little boy voluntarily self-identified as a transgender lesbian unless he was convinced of that by an adult,” he asserted.

Netz noted that during the therapy sessions, his son’s “crotch area was examined to see how much pubic hair he had to determine if he reached the beginning stages of puberty so a referral for hormone blockers could be written.”

Netz lamented that the medical establishment and family courts have been “steadily corrupted by … postmodern gender ideology.” He concluded his opening remarks with a call to action.

“Our kids are under attack,” he said. “We must do everything we can to save them from the jaws of this beast.”

Netz identified himself as “the only adult in my son’s life who is not affirming … his delusion.”

“[T]he schools are calling him Miley. … Everybody in the medical establishment treats him as a girl, calls him Miley,” he explained. 

“In our case, what has happened is there’s kind of this gridlock that happens because the medical establishment will say well, it’s a family court issue. … You can get this solved by going to the family court. Then you go to the family court, and they can’t solve it either.”

As a divorced parent, Netz has custody of his son “every other weekend plus a lot more time in the summer.”

“If anybody met my son, within the first five minutes, you would realize that … he’s incapable of coming to those conclusions.”

Backholm attempted to explain the reasons behind the increased prominence of children with gender dysphoria and the push to “affirm” children in their chosen gender identities. He cited reporting from Abigail Shrier, journalist and author of the book, Irreversible Damage. Shrier interviewed “a former Planned Parenthood employee … about the decisions … at Planned Parenthood about whether a child should receive cross-sex hormones.” The former Planned Parenthood employee told Shrier that those decisions were made by a clinic manager who had “no prior medical experience and whose former job was managing at Wendy’s.”

The former employee characterized children with gender dysphoria as “cash cows” because, in many cases, “they are kept on the hook for the foreseeable future in terms of follow-up appointments, bloodwork, meetings, etc.”

While Planned Parenthood is known for performing abortions, the former employee said that “abortions are hopefully a one-and-done situation.” By contrast, children with gender dysphoria are seen as longterm potential customers, giving the organization a financial incentive.

Netz agreed that every child is vulnerable prey for agenda-driven gender clinicians.

“They will diagnose that child with gender dysphoria. … If they can do it to my son, they can do it to any child.”

Backholm held up the SAFE Act as an example of a legislative solution to combat the harm of “radical gender ideology,” including cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. SAFE is an acronym for the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation Act. He cheered Arkansas for becoming the first state to pass the “model legislation that prohibits the gender transition procedures or chemicals being given to minors.”

Rutledge informed the audience that she was “wholeheartedly defending the SAFE Act.” Netz offered praise for the SAFE Act as “a necessary measure to protect children from this mess.”

Showalter illustrated how Netz’s situation is not unique.

“I have never heard such excruciating anguish from moms and dads who somehow manage to find my journalistic work at The Christian Post.” He added that “many of them are not even Christians, they’re not conservative. I’ve received phone calls from atheists, left-wing people who say they can’t believe they’re reading CP now.”

Showalter has engaged in several conversations with parents experiencing “off-the-charts pain and anguish as they are forced to watch the slow-motion dissociation and chemical disintegration of their own children.”

He told the story of a mother who had an 18-year-old daughter with a developmental delay. The daughter went to Planned Parenthood and was given a prescription for testosterone “based on her own self-diagnosis” within 30 minutes.

“So this mom wanted to see how easy it would be for her to get testosterone” as a 50-something, he added. “She was given testosterone within 30 minutes. All they had to do was take the blood pressure, did a finger prick (blood test), and she declared herself the opposite sex, and all she had to do was sign an informed consent document that she shared with me.”

Rutledge also commented on how illogical it was to allow children to choose their gender while not allowing them to make other significant decisions such as voting and serving in the military. She also stressed that “kids are not even taken into consideration when their parents are getting a divorce as to … which parent they want to live with.”

“Why is it OK now for these medical providers and courts to push forward and allow these children to make life-altering, permanent decisions that are irreversible?” she asked.

As The Daily Wire reported, Netz is considering filing a lawsuit against the gender clinic that has convinced his young son that he is a trans-identified lesbian. Last year, Netz successfully obtained a court order to prevent his son, who’s now 11 years old, from receiving further “gender-affirming” treatment at the clinic.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Jason Whitlock Op-ed: Whitlock: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and the Super Bowl halftime show will be a celebration of lyrical porn and the satanic race religion


Commentary by JASON WHITLOCK | October 01, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/whitlock-dr-dre-snoop-dogg-and-the-super-bowl-halftime-show-will-be-a-celebration-of-lyrical-porn-and-the-satanic-race-religion/

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are the Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt of rap music. They’re pornographers, all four of them. Hefner and Flynt dominated the visual form of pornography. Dre and Snoop earned fame and fortune dominating lyrical pornography. You’ll read that as a harsh rebuke of the Four Horsemen of Smut. But I am not a hypocrite.

I wrote for Playboy magazine. In June 2008, my name appeared on its cover alongside a lovely photo of a model, Jayde Nicole. Years ago, I attended two parties at Hefner’s mansion. I’ve socialized with women who graced the magazine’s pages.

Dr. Dre is the only celebrity who has made me feel starstruck. His mastery of music and beat amazes me. In the 1990s, I shook his hand at a Mike Tyson fight and mumbled a few words signifying astonishment and admiration.

I don’t have a problem with Dre, Snoop, Hef, or Flynt. At one time, I adored and supported their work. Even today, in all honesty, I’d have to categorize their art as an occasional guilty pleasure, sins of solitude and seclusion.

I do have a problem with Dre and Snoop performing at halftime of the Super Bowl. Pornography and pornographers are unworthy of America’s biggest stage.

Yesterday, the NFL announced that Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and R&B singer Mary J. Blige will perform at halftime of Super Bowl LVI. The announcement was greeted as a historic moment of progress, a triumphant landmark in black culture. The country’s strongest pop culture force — the NFL, the No. 1 TV show on five different networks — wrapped its arms around commercial hip-hop music. The conservative and previously traditional NFL embraced the musical genre that defines the liberal NBA.

Free at last, free at last, thank Sodom and Gomorrah, the NFL will let lyrical pornography blast!

We can only hope that censors won’t stop Dre, Snoop, Slim Shady, and Kendrick from repeatedly shouting n***a, bitch, hoe, and motherf***a in front of 100 million Americans. Or maybe a Black Lives Matter flag will fly as Dre brags about never hesitating to put a n***a on his back as gunfire blares in the background.

This is not progress. This is not a great moment in American history, NFL history, or black history. The Super Bowl halftime will be a satanic ritual, a celebration of America’s moral decay.

I’m not saying that as an outsider, as someone with a severe disdain for hip-hop music. I’m saying it as an insider. I’m saying it because I know the music quite well. I own virtually every song Dr. Dre ever produced. I know Snoop’s catalogue of music nearly as well. The same goes for Eminem. It’s a musical collection of old Playboy and Hustler magazines.

It’s hedonism, materialism, immorality, and violence in rhyme form set to music. It’s the soundtrack for a movie about Babylon.

How did this happen? How did a country founded in Judeo-Christian values come to legitimize pornography and allow pornographers to sit atop our cultural throne?

Hefner and Flynt never occupied the space Dre, Snoop, and Jay Z share. Despite their wealth, Hefner and Flynt remained outsiders. They weren’t public friends with presidents (Jay Z and Barack Obama). They weren’t center stage at major mainstream cultural events. They were kept in their lane. They were pornographers, guilty pleasures to be experienced in the shadows.

Hefner and Flynt did not have the right complexion for the connection white liberals have afforded black rappers.

The left has cleverly established race as America’s new religion of choice, replacing Christianity. Black is the highest denomination of the left’s race religion. Their doctrine argues that bowing to blackness is a righteous and responsible response to America’s history of racism.

Anything framed as black cannot be chastised, criticized, or shunned. To do so would be blasphemous and racist. Through hip-hop, pornography has been wrapped in black packaging. Through hip-hop, a self-destructive culture has been wrapped in black packaging.

Music that promotes the degradation and exploitation of black people has been framed as the salvation and glorification of black people.

No one can safely challenge this despicable orthodoxy. I watched a white female host on the NFL Network celebrate alongside Michael Irvin the announcement that Dre and Snoop would host the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime.

Has she heard Snoop rap that “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks/lick on these nuts and suck the dick”? Does she remember Dre’s lyrics on the N.W.A. song “One Less Bitch”?

We’re in the MeToo era and everyone is going to catch amnesia about Dr. Dre’s violent assault on Dee Barnes in the 1990s?

That’s the power of the race religion. Dr. Dre is black. His history of violence toward women is irrelevant. I’m all about forgiveness and people moving past their mistakes. But Dre’s 2015 album “Compton” featured Eminem rapping about making the women he rapes orgasm.

The race religion is killing America. The Alphabet Mafia — BLM-LGBTQ-CRT — has wrapped every issue in black packaging. Earlier this week, Playboy magazine promoted a bunny outfit using a young black man as the model. The gay and transgender issues have been framed as a black issue.

We’re being used to promote causes that defy God and the principles taught in the Bible.

But you go right ahead and celebrate Dre and Snoop performing at halftime of the Super Bowl. Keep being a useful idiot in the race religion.

Black power!

Eric Erickson Op-ed: The Progressive Freakout


Commentary ByErick Erickson | Sep 18, 2021 | DailyWire.com

Read more at https://www.dailywire.com/news/erickson-the-progressive-freakout/

A demonstrator holds up a banner saying "We've Only Just Begun" during the second annual Women's March in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, U.S. on Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Recent data from the Cooperative Election Study shows 20% of atheists have participated in a march or protest, compared with 6% of white evangelicals. Forty percent of atheists have contacted a public official, compared with 24% of white evangelicals. Fifty-two percent of atheists have donated to political candidates, compared with just 26% of white evangelicals. Pull back further, and the divide between progressives and conservative evangelicals shows the former, not the latter, more actively involved in protest and politics.

As progressivism secularizes, politics becomes religion. Virtue signaling replaces a Christian ichthus fish on the back of a car. Outrage becomes a signal for identifying heretics. If one is not outraged, one just might be a heretic to secular, progressive zealots.

This past weekend, college students took to stadiums across America to experience the joy of fellowship and football. Across television networks and social media, progressives decried the activity as unsafe. Outdoor festivities again became superspreader events in ways mass protests and ransacking small businesses did not during the riots and protests surrounding George Floyd’s death in summer 2020.

The Supreme Court let a Texas law stay in place because the plaintiffs in the case sued the wrong people. The Supreme Court refused to halt the law because the Court does not stop laws. The Court only stops people from enforcing the laws. When the wrong people are sued, the Court has no power to stop them. Progressives insisted, despite the dereliction of duty by the plaintiffs, that the Court should stop the law anyway. While four justices would have done so, they would have deviated from legal precedent.

Undeterred, instead of blaming the plaintiffs for their collective screw-up, progressives assailed the Supreme Court, Texas, former President Donald Trump, conservatives, and babies. They fixated on the worst-case scenario — rape. According to progressives, women who are victims of rape will have to carry their babies to term and face untold psychological trauma. They patently ignored that Texas cannot stop a woman from traveling to another state to terminate her child. Nor did they care to point out that rape accounts for, at most, 1% of abortions. To listen to the commentary on television, one would think rape and pregnancies therefrom happen constantly. Meanwhile, one doctor admitted to killing dozens of children in the run-up to the law taking effect, none because of rape, but rather because of the mothers’ convenience.

As the remains of a hurricane went up the East Coast, sending flooding with it, progressives freaked out about climate change. Never letting a crisis go to waste, politicians and supposed experts paraded onto television screens across America demanding Americans give up their way of life to stop storms. Storms will not be stopped by a battery-powered car. One would be hard-pressed to realize that from the media coverage.

Podcaster Joe Rogan received ivermectin from his doctor. The inventors of the drug received a Nobel Prize for ivermectin’s contribution to human progress. The drug has saved billions of people from blindness and parasitic infestation. It is also used in livestock, and a few people have tried to ingest dosages meant for horses. Rogan, however, got it from his doctor. Some doctors believe the well-documented anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin can help prevent or combat the so-called cytokine storm whereby COVID-19 triggers a release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines into the bloodstream. The Food and Drug Administration has discouraged ivermectin prescriptions pending further study.

Progressives freaked out about Rogan and his doctor while assailing Texas for getting between a woman and her doctor. All of the freaking out is theater. In the postmodern age, one demonstrates one’s commitment to a particular truth or cause through performance. The screaming and wailing on social media and television is performance designed to both signal one’s commitment to a supposed truth and identify the heretics who choose not to perform.

As progressives continue making secularism a religion, the ritualistic outrage will get more intense, but this will also help discredit the progressive cause. Most people don’t have time for outrage these days as they struggle to get by thanks to progressives closing schools and causing inflation with massive spending binges.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at http://www.creators.com.

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Christian college continues fight to keep single-sex dorms, showers protected from Biden’s LGBT policy


Reported By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, September 09, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-college-sues-biden-admin-to-keep-single-sex-dorms.html/

College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks | College of the Ozarks

The College of the Ozarks, a private Christian college in Point Lookout, Missouri, is continuing to fight a government policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity after a judge dismissed its lawsuit.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has agreed to expedite arguments in the case and schedule a hearing date in November. The college says the government policy is a violation of their First Amendment rights. In their complaint filed in April, officials at College of the Ozarks asked a judge to set aside a Feb. 11 memorandum from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that administers and enforces the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The college argued that “it was issued without observance of procedure required by law, and is contrary to law, arbitrary, capricious, in excess of statutory jurisdiction, and contrary to constitutional rights.” The directive, argues the college, “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and to assign them as females’ roommates.” It “imposes an immediate and binding legislative rule under the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting all regulated entities, including the College, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity both in occupancy of their dwellings and in policies governing those dwellings,” the college explains. Additionally, the rule further prevents them from telling students that they can only be placed in dorms “based on their biological sex.”

“For decades, the College has prohibited male students from living in female dormitories, and vice versa, regardless of whether those students identify with their biological sex. The College likewise separates intimate spaces such as showers and bathrooms in its dormitories,” college officials said.

“The College regularly makes statements communicating these same policies, including this month as it arranges student housing for the fall. But Defendants failed to take into consideration the College or other entities with similar student housing policies in promulgating the Directive.”

U.S. District Judge Roseann A. Ketchmark, appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama, dismissed the case in June, arguing that College of the Ozarks failed to show an actual or imminent harm that would give it standing to sue. “Plaintiff has not shown in its verified complaint that it ‘has sustained, or is in immediate danger of sustaining, a concrete and particularized harm that is actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical,’” Ketchmark wrote. 

“Plaintiff has not alleged it is being investigated, charged, or otherwise subjected to any enforcement action pursuant to the Memorandum; any application or enforcement of the FHA, HUD regulations, or the Memorandum to discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity; or the FHA, and HUD’s implementing regulations. Plaintiff has not plausibly alleged any indication that such potential situation is imminent,” she added.

The Religious Accountability Project, an activist organization that “empowers queer, trans and nonbinary students at more than 200 taxpayer-funded religious colleges and universities that actively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression,” has filed a separate lawsuit against the Department of Education challenging the Title IX exemption for religious colleges.

While Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education, the Biden administration has interpreted the statute to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a form of sex discrimination. According to Inside Higher Ed, one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit is a former student at College of the Ozarks. The student filed a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education alleging that the college’s policies and practices, including its housing policies, discriminated against LGBT students. Paul Southwick, a lawyer with the Religious Accountability Project, is calling for his case to be adjudicated. 

“We know there are transgender students right now who need the housing protection that the government has promised to provide through the Fair Housing Act,” Southwick said. “So it is ripe, and it is timely.”

Contact: leonardo.blair@christianpost.com Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

Most white regular churchgoers voted for Trump in 2020, religious “nones” backed Biden: study


Reported By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter | Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/most-white-regular-churchgoers-voted-for-trump-study.html/

Evangelicals
Supporters pray as President Donald Trump speaks during an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on Jan. 3, 2020, in Miami, Florida. | AFP via Getty Images/Jim Watson

A majority of white Americans, particularly evangelicals who attend worship services regularly, voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020, while President Joe Biden was the overwhelming favorite among religiously unaffiliated voters, especially among those who identify as atheists and agnostics, a recent analysis of 2020 validated voters by the Pew Research Center shows.

According to the analysis by Pew Research assistant Justin Nortey, overall, 59% of voters who attend worship services at least monthly voted for Trump, while 40% voted for Biden. The less voters attended church services, however, the more likely their support was for Biden. Some 58% of white voters who attend worship services just a few times a year voted for Biden, while 40% of that crowd voted for Trump.

The trend remains consistent with voting patterns in previous years which showed a strong correlation between high religious service attendance and support for the Republican candidate among white voters and low religious service attendance and support for the Democratic candidate. This pattern varied in strength based on religious tradition.

Some 85% of white evangelical voters who frequently attend religious services and 81% of those who attend less frequently voted for Trump.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden makes a victory speech from the Chase Center after the media declares him the winner of the 2020 presidential election against President Donald Trump on November 07, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

“White evangelical Protestants tend to be more religious than other Christians by a number of measures, including in their worship habits: Two-thirds of white evangelical voters attend monthly or more often, while one-third attend less frequently,” Nortey noted.

And while the correlation between religious service attendance and voting patterns among other white Christians is not as strong as it is among evangelical Protestants, the data still reflect a majority of those who frequently attend religious services voted for Trump.

“Among white non-evangelicals who attend services more frequently, the vote was almost evenly divided, with 51% favoring Trump and 48% favoring Biden. White Protestants who are not evangelical tend to attend church less frequently than their evangelical counterparts: Three-in-ten white non-evangelical Protestant validated voters say they go to church monthly or more, while nearly seven-in-ten go a few times a year or less,” Nortey wrote.

Some 63% of Catholics who attend mass at least monthly voted for Trump in 2020 while 36% voted for Biden. Among those that attended less frequently, however, the support for Trump was 53% while the support for Biden ticked up to 47%.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. | Getty Images/Joe Raedle

A similar correlation was not found among black voters who overwhelmingly supported Biden whether or not they frequently attended religious services. Some 90% of black Americans who frequently attend religious services voted for Biden in 2020 while 94% of black voters who attend church services less frequently voted for Trump.

According to the analysis, Biden made some gains in support among white Catholics, as he got 11% more support than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. His strongest support among Christians came from black Protestants. He also had a strong showing among the religiously unaffiliated.

“What Biden lacked in support from white Christians, he made up for with support from black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated,” Nortey noted.

Biden received 71% of the votes of people who identified as religiously unaffiliated.

“Biden’s support was particularly strong among voters who identify as atheist or agnostic, with 86% of voters in this category backing him over Trump,” Nortey added.

Contact: leonardo.blair@christianpost.com Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost


The Chamberlain moment and Biden’s present leadership crisis

By Wallace B. Henley, Exclusive Columnist| Monday, August 23, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-chamberlain-moment-and-the-present-leadership-crisis.html/

Is the United States, in the wake of the Afghanistan crisis, in a “Chamberlain moment”?

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain read Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and concluded that he had Hitler figured out. As Chamberlain stepped off his plane in Munich in 1938, he was certain he was going to make history by out-talking Hitler.

But it was Hitler who had sized up Neville Chamberlain. The Nazi dictator saw Chamberlain as a naïve man who somehow squeezed everything under his ever-present cozy umbrella. Hitler concluded he could promise Chamberlain anything, then do as he pleased.

So, Der Fuhrer promised not to invade more territory, Chamberlain, back home, conducted an airport press conference wherein he announced that he and Herr Hitler had negotiated “peace in our time.” But Hitler made Chamberlain look like a fool. Even as Chamberlain was proclaiming that he had tamed Hitler, Hitler’s armies were blitzing the Sudetenland.

Rather than a cheering Parliament, Chamberlain faced an angry, jeering House of Commons. Leopold Amery, of Chamberlain’s own party, rose, and, borrowing words from Oliver Cromwell in 1653 with regard to another matter, cried out to Chamberlain: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing … In the name of God, go!”

When 40 members of his party voted against Chamberlain, and another 60 abstained, Chamberlain knew he had no choice, and left the ornate chamber where the House of Commons met.

Three days later, King George VI named Winston Churchill as prime minister in that crucial age.

In 2014, I co-wrote a book, God and Churchill, with the late Jonathan Sandys, Sir Winston Churchill’s great-grandson. (Tyndale House, 2015) Watching Jonathan’s determined attitude, biting wit, quick comprehension, capacity for persuasive as well as inspiring speech, I could see characteristics that compelled King George to ask Sir Winston to lead the country through the war.

On that day in 1940, Churchill said to Walter Thompson, his bodyguard, “You know why I’ve been to Buckingham Palace.” Thompson nodded and told Churchill he knew the task ahead would be immense. “God alone knows how great it is,” replied Churchill.

Jonathan Sandys was not a professing Christian when he began research on his great-grandfather’s spirituality. But as Jonathan studied with an open mind be concluded that God had brought Sir Winston to the leadership of Great Britain and its allies to stop Hitler’s mad romp through civilization. Later, Jonathan was so energized by this new awareness of God’s hand in history through his great-grandfather that he asked for believer’s baptism, and I had the privilege of conducting that service in Houston.

Back in England, Jonathan visited Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert. Gilbert encouraged Jonathan and told him there was much material that had never been explored. The more we worked on God and Churchill, the more Jonathan and I were in awe of the Lord of history.

In some ways, the task of national leadership is even greater now than Churchill’s era. The present hour demands the strongest and sharpest of leaders. The volatile enmities across the planet are much hotter even than that of Chamberlain’s and Churchill’s day. The weaponry available now are truly doomsday devices.

There is also a principle at stake here. Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians about an evil ruler — the antichrist — who will seek to bring global chaos so he can present himself as the only hope and acknowledged as the world’s leader. A key strategy in sparking and spreading the chaos is “lawlessness.” The only reason this madness has not already consumed the world is that there is a “restrainer” who holds it back (2 Thessalonians 2: 7).

Among other things, this illustrates the principle of hegemony in foreign relations. A “hegemon” is a group or geopolitical entity that has the strength to dominate others. One type of hegemonic nation is like that which Adolf Hitler sought to establish through his Third Reich: dominance for the sake of exploitation and destruction. The second type of hegemonic state is that which has the strength to restrain potential rogue nations.

I was a junior aide in the Nixon White House in the late Cold War period. The United States had been involved in Vietnam for a long time, and Nixon sought an end to that conflict. In 1972 Nixon was re-elected by a huge majority, sparking hope that he would have even greater strength to resolve the Vietnam problem. But then came the Watergate debacle and Nixon’s decision in 1974 to resign the presidency. There were many reasons why he felt it necessary to resign. However, Nixon revealed a compelling purpose in his resignation speech:

“In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation … In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.”

Now, in 2021, the question is this: Has Joe Biden’s image been damaged so severely through the events that have occurred in Afghanistan that he has the credibility and ability to lead a powerful nation midst the chaos of our times?

As Parliament had to grapple with the Chamberlain leadership issue, so must Congress now confront the Biden leadership issue. The fate of the United States and perhaps even global security in a nuclear age may be at stake.

Wallace B. Henley’s fifty-year career has spanned newspaper journalism, government in both White House and Congress, the church, and academia. He is author or co-author of more than 20 books. He is a teaching pastor at Grace Church, the Woodlands, Texas. For media inquiries, contact:  ChristianPost@pinkston.co

The worldview of the Taliban


Reported By John StonestreetTimothy Padget

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-worldview-of-the-taliban.html/

Taliban fighters
File photo of Taliban fighters posing with weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan in this undated photo. | Reuters

After seeing the images out of Kabul in recent days, Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Muslim, said, “Barefoot Taliban conquered a palace. They believed in something and fought for nothing. I have lived with men like this in prison. It is difficult to describe just how seriously they take their cause. There is a lesson here for us in the West, if we are humble enough to see it.”

We hear the terror from Afghan women who now wonder what the lives of their daughters will be like, worried that 20 years of progress in women’s rights have disappeared overnight. We see the desperation of men so afraid of what might come next that they’re literally clinging to the wheels of American aircraft as they depart. Yet, we struggle to have a category for what they actually fear. Many Westerners don’t have the categories to understand the realities of Islamic fundamentalism.

Much of the world has long struggled to understand the worldview that is driving the Taliban conquerors today, or the ISIS fanatics from a few years ago, or the al Qaeda terrorists that struck on 9/11. These groups are driven by their own internal logic, their own worldview.

I’m not going to try to explain the entirety of radical Islam. However, there are a few key points about this worldview that can give us clarity in understanding what’s happening in Afghanistan and what we might expect in the days ahead. 

First, for radical Islam, this isn’t about this particular American president or the last American president or any particular foreign policy decision. This is seen as part of a war that’s been going on for over 1,000 years. 

In the wake of 9/11, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the second in command of al Qaeda, and in many ways the strategic planner for Osama bin Laden, spoke about his group’s goals for this war with the West. In repeated statements to the press, he referred to waging war until all Muslim lands were restored, connecting the conflict in Afghanistan and the battle for Palestine to a worldwide conflict that spans from Iraq to Spain. Yes, Spain. 

To American ears, it doesn’t make any sense. Iraq, Israel, we can follow. Palestine, sure. Spain? You see, what he knew and what many Westerners have forgotten is that the mostly Catholic country of Spain was once the heartland of the Muslim world. Centuries before the Turks or Indonesians followed Islam, Spain was the base of operations for a potential invasion of Europe. It wasn’t until 1492 that Spain was retaken for the Cross.

For radical Islam, once lands have come under the sway of Islam, it is vital that good Muslims do whatever it takes to return those regions to the House of Islam; places where Islamic law and teaching is practiced. Whether we’re talking about Catholics in Spain or Israelis in Palestine, these people are merely occupying what’s rightfully a Muslim land.

This connects to another element of this worldview that we often miss. For Islamists, the West is not the primary enemy. We’re merely in the way of where history’s headed. What they seek is the overthrow of false Muslim rulers who have been corrupted by the wiles of Western influence. These are, as Al-Zawahiri put it, the “near enemy,” and they must be cast down. Only then can true Muslims take control and implement the fullness of Sharia. 

In other words, what we’ve seen on the ground in Afghanistan and what we’ve seen in the Middle East for a long time is the working out of a worldview. None of the happenings of the last 20 years, or the last 20 days, can be understood without understanding the worldview. 

Now, every worldview answers questions. Among these questions are those that ask, what is wrong with the world, and what must be done to make it right? For Christians, the problem is sin and all of its myriad manifestations. The solution is conversion: the conversions of individuals, as well as the restoration of culture through the grace and work of Christ, and through His Church, the restoration of the goodness of His creation. 

For secularists and much of contemporary Western culture, the problem is ignorance. Through education and science, and by becoming aware of the perspectives of others, we can hope to improve the structural failings that have plagued our world. 

But the problem is seen differently in radical Islam. The problem is seen as the internal corruption of the Islamic states and the unwillingness of the rest of the world to bow to what is ultimately true. 

Here’s how Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis described it:

“For Usama bin Laden and those who share in his views, and there are many of them, the object of the struggle is the elimination of the intrusive Western power and corrupting Western influence from all the lands of Islam, and the restoration of Islamic authority in these lands. When this has been accomplished, the stage will be set for the final struggle to bring God’s message to all mankind in all the world.”

Now, I hope one of the things that you notice is that for a true Muslim, Islam is not a point of personal and private belief. Islam describes the actual condition of the world. It describes what’s happening and where history is going. And for radicals, whatever needs to be done to accomplish that mission is justified. Whatever atrocities are committed along the way will find their purpose in this overriding goal. 

For this goal, they are willing to sacrifice themselves by the thousands. Radical Islamic leaders are willing to be incredibly patient to see this goal accomplished, because they are fully assured that one day their work will indeed bear fruit. The brutality, the absolutism, and the unyielding determination that we see in radical Islam are driven by a worldview. Without a true and accurate understanding of the world, they’ll continue to pursue their ends by any means necessary. 

We are right to oppose these ideals because lives are at stake. Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas, like the bad ideas of radical Islam, have victims. How we push back on these forces will take many different forms, sometimes even force, but here’s what’s clear. We will never make headway if we fail to understand the worldview that animates the whole thing in the first place.


Originally published at BreakPoint

John Stonestreet serves as president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He’s a sought-after author and speaker on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics.  

Timothy D. Padgett (PhD) is the Managing Editor of BreakPoint.org with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His focus is on cultural engagement, living out the Christian worldview, and the way Christians argue for diverse viewpoints while sharing a common biblical foundation, particularly regarding the relationship between church and state, Christ and culture, and war and peace.

Opinion Op-ed: Fighting evil in a modern world


Commentary By Hedieh Mirahmadi, Exclusive Columnist| Thursday, August 12, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/fighting-evil-in-a-modern-world.html/

Hedieh Mirahmadi
Courtesy of Hedieh Mirahmadi

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul is writing to a church that just came out of a very depraved lifestyle, so when he gives these warnings, they relate to it. It is astonishing how these words still resonate over 2,000 years later.

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another… Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1: 24-27, 32)

The most alarming aspect of how similar we are is that “those that know the righteous decree” are either foolishly or knowingly supporting precisely the kind of immorality we are warned to avoid. Modern ideas of the “woke culture”gender fluidity, legitimizing same-sex relationships, and humanism are not biblical principles.  According to the American Humanist Association, “Religious Humanism is without a god, without a belief in the supernatural, without a belief in an afterlife, and without a belief in a “higher” source of moral values.” How then can a Christian then find common ground with such ideals?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lord also commands the church to be as one body, united in faith under one Spirit. However, unity is impossible without agreement. The Body of Christ must be unified around the ultimate truth that is contained in the Bible. Though we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s ideals, the Church should not condone immoral principles. All of humanity needs salvation, but it requires repentance from sin, the desire to turn away from it, and the acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior.

These seemingly contradictory principles leave Christians with the difficult task of reconciling the commandment to avoid evil and achieving unity within the Body of Christ. We must be wise enough to distinguish between people simply acting foolish or naive instead of espousing wickedness. Being wise is not as the culture defines it but being wise in the ways of God means following His commands. Through knowledge of God’s word and prayer, we will gain the discernment and wisdom to know the difference.   

Kids are being indoctrinated to believe that if it feels good, do it. They are being taught there is no absolute truth — not their gender, the notion of marriage only being between a man and woman, and even rejecting the founding principles of our country.  

Professors say you can’t legislate morality, but of course, you can! That is why we do not drive 100mph in a school zone, and child pornography is a crime. Morality isn’t something you invent; it comes from God. Tacit support by the Church of principles that stem from a denial of God’s law leads to the destruction of our youth, our families, and eventually the moral fabric of our country. God can and does gives such a society over to its wicked desire.

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity.” (Romans 1: 28-29)

Sometimes, believers are following trends in our culture out of ignorance. We extend grace and compassion for them until it becomes clear they are unwilling to relent in support of depravity. As God says in Jude, “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

Other times, Christians have a hero mentality, thinking they can “save” people, but we must understand that some people do not want to be saved. They are filled with unresolved trauma, anger and resentment that only the Lord can change if He so chooses.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Notice again, Paul warns that the threat will come from those claiming a “form of godliness,” but he does not say to pursue them relentlessly. We simply have to avoid them.

We should not be too proud of ourselves or so enamored with our civilization that we do not heed God’s warnings. If we accept modern principles that defy God’s law, purposely or unwittingly, it leads to a debased mind where God no longer reigns over our lives and the lives of our families and communities. Yes, we love our neighbors and pray for their salvation, but we cannot compromise the Gospel to please them.

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

US street preacher arrested in London says speaking truth is now a ‘hate crime’


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter| Saturday, August 07, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/american-evangelist-jailed-in-uk-its-getting-very-bad-here.html/

Ryan Schiavo preaching
Ryan Schiavo, an American street evangelist, preaches in England. | Ryan Schiavo

After facing arrest and detention for preaching that homosexuality is a sin, an American evangelist is warning that “things are getting very bad” in the United Kingdom and other Western countries, suggesting that the situation has deteriorated to the point where they are “becoming communist.” 

Ryan Schiavo, who describes himself as an evangelist and missionary,” was arrested in London on July 22 for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. While Schiavo is an American, he spends a considerable amount of time in London and frequently ministers to British youth and others gathered in the public square.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Schiavo recounted the events leading up to his arrest and warned about its implications for free speech and freedom of religion in the U.K. and Western civilization as a whole. 

“I was preaching the Gospel on the streets as I frequently do, but it was about a 30-minute message, and in the course of a long message I can touch on many topics that I believe are pertinent,” he said. “At one point, I talked about the issue of homosexuality and transgenderism. I said that homosexuality is a sin; I talk about how it’s destructive, and the damage the transgender agenda is doing to children right now in the schools because it’s being pushed on children at a very young age here.”

Schiavo told CP that one of the things he said while preaching was that “the churches that have rainbow flags on them” were “not real churches.” His message drew the ire of one young woman, whom he believed was a lesbian. According to Schiavo, she was “very upset at what I had said, and so she called the police and the police came.” 

Ryan Schiavo
Ryan Schiavo, an American street preacher, is arrested by Metropolitan Police for asserting that homosexuality is a sin, July 22, 2021. | Courtesy of Ryan Schiavo

As documented in a video of his arrest, Schiavo was detained for purportedly violating Section 4A of the Public Order Act, which bans people from causing “intentional harassment, alarm, or distress.”

The law declares that “a person is guilty of an offense if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm, or distress, he — (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behavior, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting.”

As Metropolitan Police officers moved in to arrest him, Schiavo declared, “It is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ.” He predicted that “God is going to judge this country so severely” because of its embrace of LGBT ideology.

“This is because I am a Christian!” he exclaimed. “That’s why this is happening.” 

Schiavo told CP that when he was taken to jail, he was “put in a cell for 10 hours and given a mental health evaluation by the National Health Service before being released in the middle of the night.” He lamented that situations like his “egregious” detention were becoming “all too common.” 

Describing the mental health evaluation to CP, Schiavo maintained that he was asked “personal questions about my family and about my work and how I was doing physically.” Schiavo cited the fact that he had to undergo a mental health evaluation as evidence that “things are getting very bad” in the U.K. regarding freedom of speech and religious expression.

“All these institutions are working together with each other; they’re anti-Christ,” he added. “It’s time for the church to wake up and to be prepared for persecution. Freedom of speech and expression are very much under attack in the Western world, and I’m concerned that many of these Western countries are becoming communist.”

Elaborating on his mental health evaluation, Schiavo recounted that he “did talk about the issue of homosexuality and transgenderism” with the man who was questioning him. “I said to him, ‘Would you call a banana a carrot?’ And the point I was making was this is what we do with people now. We call men women and women men.”

“I didn’t say that to him. I just said, ‘Would you call a banana a carrot?’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘If somebody was offended, I would.’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘I should be the one asking you the questions.’”

Schiavo contended that his mental health evaluation, which lasted for 30 minutes, was an effort to “convince me not to talk about homosexuality in public anymore.” He told CP that “he (the mental health evaluator) wanted me to affirm him and just say, ‘OK,’ and agree, and I never did.”

The evangelist attributed his hostile treatment by the police to the fact that British law enforcement officials are “so trained to hear ‘homosexuality’ or ‘Islam’ because those are the two most protected demographics in Britain right now.” He stressed that in the U.K., “you cannot speak against homosexuality or transgenderism and you can’t speak against Islam.” 

“So if they hear those words, their antennas are up because they go through all of this pro-LGBT training … in their schooling, … at every other level of society people do here, it’s being pushed on them,” he continued. “And so when they hear that word, they’re immediately thinking ‘hate crime,’ ‘hate crime.’” 

Although he wasn’t formally charged with a crime, Schiavo’s arrest puts him “in the national police records for three years.” He’s now working with the U.K.-based Christian Legal Centre to “get this overturned.” 

“I did not commit a crime,” Schiavo insisted. “It is not a crime in the U.K. to say homosexuality is a sin in public or to say that churches with rainbow flags on them are not churches. This is protected speech.” 

In a separate interview with CP, Linda Thacker, who attends church with Schiavo when he’s in the U.K. and videotaped the arrest, explained why she decided to document his interaction with law enforcement officials on camera: “I didn’t like the security guard’s attitude toward Ryan. He seemed very hostile.” 

“We wanted to make sure that there was no kind of false accusation,” she said.

Thacker characterized Schiavo’s arrest as “a bit of a wake-up call for me,” expressing concern that “the right to have free speech and to express how we feel personally about … anyone else’s lifestyle … will put you in the position of being called a domestic terrorist or some kind of hater.” Like Schiavo, Thacker fears that the U.K. is “heading toward a communist state.” 

Before his arrest, Thacker said there had been confrontations between Schiavo, his supporters and LGBT individuals that weren’t captured on camera.

“The lesbian was very threatening and kicked his drink down the road. [She] also tried to tear my husband’s Bible out of his hands, which she didn’t manage to do, but she got a leaflet out of his Bible … and flung it into the street.” 

While Schiavo did face hostility following his comments about homosexuality, he also received support, including from an atheist, who was featured in Thacker’s video. Schiavo told CP that while the man “said that he disagreed with 99% of what I said,” he nonetheless argued to the police that ‘This man has not done anything warranting … an arrest, he’s just exercising his freedom of speech.’” 

In spite of the man’s impassioned defense of Schiavo, the street evangelist lamented that the police “never even took a statement from him.” Instead, Schiavo said, “the police only took one formal statement on the street … and it was from this young girl … [who] was upset with what I said.”

“From the beginning, they weren’t interested in getting to the truth. … It was just this one girl’s testimony that they listened to.”

Thacker seconded Schiavo’s accusation that police had conducted a one-sided investigation: “All they were interested in doing was arresting him on the grounds of this lesbian that said that she had been distressed by what was said.”

Schiavo is not the only street evangelist to face legal consequences for sharing Christian teachings about marriage and homosexuality with the British public. As CP previously reported, British Pastor John Sherwood was arrested by police in April for emphasizing the biblical definition of marriage as he preached from a step ladder in the Northwest London town of Uxbridge.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Court orders ‘Save James’ boy to stay with mother who says he’s a girl, gives father limited visitation


Reported By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, August 05, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/james-younger-ordered-to-stay-with-mom-who-says-he-s-a-boy-dad-gets-limited-visits-judge.html/

James Younger with father Jeffrey
James Younger with his father, Jeffrey Younger. | Screenshot: YouTube

A court in Texas has ruled that a boy at the center of a custody battle will temporarily live with his mother, who wants to have him undergo a gender transition to look more like a girl, while the father, who opposes it, will only be allowed limited visitation.

For the past couple of years, Jeff Younger and his ex-wife, Anne Georgulas — pediatrician in Coppell, Texas, and non-biological mother of James and his twin brother, Jude — have fought over who has custody over their son, James, whom Georgulas calls “Luna” and wants to see transitioned into a girl.

In a memorandum ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Mary Brown ruled against Younger, citing his purported “unwillingness or inability to follow the order designed to serve the best interests of the children.” The court gave Georgulas various “exclusive rights on a temporary basis,” including the right to establish the children’s primary residence, the right to consent to various medical decisions, the right to determine their education, and a host of other privileges. Brown did, however, stop short of giving Georgulas the exclusive right to have James undergo experimental trans procedures such as prescribing puberty blockers or hormonal suppression “without the consent of the parents or court order.”

In addition, the court required that “Younger’s possession periods shall be continuously supervised by Forensic Counseling Services … at Mr. Younger’s sole cost and expense.”

The Facebook page “Save James” denounced the court order, saying in a statement Wednesday that it “ruled against the safety and protection of James and Jude.”

In October 2019, a Dallas jury ruled 11-1 to not give Younger sole conservatorship of his twin sons, opening to the possibility that James might undergo gender transition at the insistence of Georgulas. Georgulas filed a court petition requiring Younger to accept James as “Luna,” with her claiming that James himself has affirmed a preference to identify as female.

“When James is with me, he shows no signs of wanting to be a girl when given the choice. Even when in female company, away from me, James rejects a female gender expression,” stated Younger in an entry on the “Save James” website.

During court proceedings, Younger has argued that his son prefers to identify as a boy and reportedly threw out a bunch of dresses that his mother had bought him.

The highly publicized custody battle prompted some Texas state lawmakers to sponsor a bill that would ban the medicalized gender-transitioning of children; however, the measure died when it failed to be scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives.

Commentary: As a former Muslim, I believe in faith in the public square


Commentary By Hedieh Mirahmadi, Exclusive Columnist| Thursday, July 29, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/as-a-former-muslim-i-believe-in-faith-in-the-public-square.html/

Hedieh Mirahmadi
Courtesy of Hedieh Mirahmadi

When I first became a Christian, I looked forward to a quiet life, basking in the love and beauty of having met my Lord and Savior.

Since I spent most of my adult life deeply engrossed in political battles over one issue or another, and serving my country in ways that were quite dangerous, the prospect of serenity was quite appealing. It was not more than three months that went by before the Lord gave me the vision for my ministry so others could experience the redemptive power of Christ.

At first, I wanted to ignore the call and pretend I didn’t hear it correctly. Starting a ministry and being public with my Christian faith meant I could be attacked or even physically harmed by Muslims seeking to impose the penalty of apostasy. It meant I was going back into battle. However, the Lord was relentless.

The inspirations came to me like a flood nearly every day, and then I heard the words, “Hedieh, you are battle-tested, combat-ready.” It made me laugh out loud because it was so true. My whole life and career were preparing me for this new mission to spread the Gospel at a time when being a follower of Christ is increasingly under attack. 

I have lived and worked in places where I escaped the outbreak of civil war, was shot at in the marketplace, and nearly lost my toes from frostbite because the heating in our compound turned off.  The Lord took all the inner fortitude and discipline of my past and combined it with the courage and strength that comes from being in relationship with Him.

He was using it all so I can serve the Kingdom. Whether it is writing columns and doing radio interviews, or witnessing to my hairstylist and speaking out at a School Board meeting, my faith in Christ is at the forefront of all that I do.  I often remember the Scripture, “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops,” (Mathew 10:27).

Some would say my enthusiasm stems from being a relatively new Christian, but I beg to differ. I had the good fortune of listening to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at church last week, and he made it so clear why all Americans should think of our faith in this way.

Mr. Pompeo talked about being an openly devout Christian during his time as Secretary of State, and how it informed all he did.  Though being asked ‘how does being a Christian impact your life?’ often had a negative connotation, that was irrelevant to him.  He responds with conviction and recounts his words that are clearly meant to inspire us:

“[Our faith] impacts everything you do; it informs every action that you take. It impacts how you think about the world, how you interact with people, and every day in your work life. Our founders believed deeply this was right and that the capacity to exercise our religion freely was important, and it mattered. …My oath was to the nation, I raised my right hand and swore that I would support defend the American Constitution, but I knew that if I did that with the Lord in my heart, I’d be more successful at delivering on that very outcome.”

Whether it was President Sisi in Egypt or Chairman Kim of North Korea, world leaders respected him for it, and there is nothing un-American or unbiblical about it. In his seminal speech in Cairo, he began the remarks saying, “I’m Mike Pompeo, and I’m an evangelical Christian.” His speechwriters tried to remove it, but he insisted on keeping it in.  He knew it was essential not because he wanted to talk about Christianity in a Muslim nation, but he wanted them to understand that the believers of Christ wanted good things for people everywhere and that it’s our responsibility to be faithful, no matter where we are. There is not one line that gets him more questions or comments about even to this day. Leaders of every faith, Christians, Jews, and Muslims worldwide, say they appreciated his honesty. They appreciated that he kept faith in the public square. They admired the discipline with which he practiced his faith. They appreciated his courage to talk about his values so they could better understand how our nations could work alongside each other to deliver better lives for people across the world.

Though some US officials criticized his openness, it never deterred him. Unfortunately, many government representatives wrongly interpret that the First Amendment prohibits talking about faith, but it does not. The freedom of religion is meant to protect the rights of people of all faiths to practice their religion without encroachment from the government. In my experience, it is a lack of religious conviction in our government officials that has led to disastrous policy decisions.

I will never forget being in a closed-door meeting at the White House during the Obama Administration, where a small group of us was invited to address the President on “countering violent extremism.” After nearly an hour of our passionate pleas and recommendations for stricter policies towards state sponsors of terrorism and other stringent measures, the President says he didn’t “get religion” and would not let people drag him into a war over it. Quite frankly, this sentiment explains why he did virtually nothing about the explosion of violence in the Middle East during his tenure. Suppose many of our senior US diplomats cannot appreciate the impact religion has on the way people live their lives and determine their priorities. How then can we properly represent our country as a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values?

Secretary Pompeo went on to say, “There’s no separation between faith and country because God governs in the affairs of men. Our success depends on virtuous people. Wherever that is— volunteering in the parking lot at church or serving in government. Our faith should form our character and inform our opinions.”

Being a Christian should be part of whatever we do. It’s not proselytizing; it is a belief that whatever religion someone believes in, they should be allowed to practice it freely. Hopefully, they will find the power of Christ revealed to them.   If our faith is not public and visible, how can we call others to faith in Christ? It is not just about being a good person.

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)

I am eternally grateful for receiving salvation after practicing Islam freely in the US for decades.  I also cherish the freedom to share my new faith with others. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, forit is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,” (Romans 1:16).

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

Appeals court to review Vimeo’s ‘targeted’ deletion of ex-gay Christian’s account


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter| Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/court-to-review-vimeos-deletion-of-ex-gay-christians-account.html

Court, 2nd Circuit
A woman walks past the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, which hears cases from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, stands in Lower Manhattan, January 18, 2019 in New York City. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which supports the federal court system, is set to run out of funds on January 25, due to the partial government shutdown. Without this funding, federal courts will continue functioning, but with smaller staffs and only mission-critical operations. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The leader of a Christian nonprofit organization in California is celebrating after a federal appeals court has agreed to review a previous court decision ruling that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects social media platforms such as Vimeo from liability in censorship cases. 

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York City, has agreed to rehear the case of Pastor James Domen v. Vimeo en banc. The lawsuit comes after the streaming service Vimeo suspended the account of Jim Domen, a pastor who leads the California-based nonprofit organization Church United, for posting videos highlighting the stories of five individuals who left the LGBT community to pursue their Christian faith. 

Jim Domen
Pastor Jim Domen, who leads the nonprofit organization Church United, is suing Vimeo for terminating his account after he posted videos of people detailing how they were able to overcome their same-sex attraction. | Jim Domen

Vimeo alleges that the videos violated its terms of service, which ban content promoting the practice referred to by critics as “conversion therapy.” Domen, who is himself a former homosexual, reacted to the development in an interview with The Christian Post. “I’m grateful that the Second Appellate Court en banc has been granted,” he said. 

“Church United has a network of over 2,000 California pastors, and we’re growing nationally.”   We have representatives in other states across the nation … and … Church United … helps senior pastors engage in government, [and] engage in culture at the local, state and federal level,” said Domen, elaborating on the mission of his organization.

The announcement that the entire Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case comes four months after a three-judge panel on the appellate court sided with Vimeo, ruling that the pastor cannot sue the streaming service for terminating his account. Domen alleged that he was “canceled because of my faith,” as well as his status as a former homosexual. 

“They completely deleted our account,” he added. “It was so targeted. It was so evident that it was a direct assault on my faith … not only … my story, but all these other former LGBTQ people.” 

Domen recalled how he received an email at 5 a.m. on Black Friday 2018 informing him: “’you have 24 hours to remove all of your videos because we’re going to completely delete your account.’”

He told CP that the videos were deleted the first week of December that year, which he noted is “one of the holiest months of the year for Christians, obviously celebrating the birth of Christ.” 

“When they deleted our account, it plummeted our organization financially,” Domen explained. “That’s how we share our impact stories, our pastors sharing their stories of how Church United has helped them engage in government … stop evil [and] stand up against injustice.” 

“It took months before we could even find another place” to post the videos. He maintained that he has also faced censorship by other prominent social media platforms, including Google, YouTube and Facebook. 

Domen rejected the argument that Vimeo, as a private company, has the right to do whatever it wants, including banning certain users if it so chooses. He stressed that private companies “can’t discriminate against someone’s sexual orientation” and say, “I’m not going to hire you because you’re LGBTQ or you’re black or you’re Muslim. That’s exactly what they did to me,” he added. 

Likening his battle with Vimeo to a “David and Goliath” scenario, Domen vowed to “take this to the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” if necessary. At the same time, he expressed relief that the Second Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case en banc after a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Vimeo.

“Historically, they’ve been known to deny that and the fact that a court said ‘we want to hear your case’ shows not only how biased … the last four liberal justices have ruled, but what’s scary is how can someone, even as a judge, be as … intellectually astute and yet rule against blatant discrimination against someone’s faith and religion and against someone’s sexual orientation.”

Domen attributed the adverse treatment he’s faced to the fact that he has “a different narrative” and “they oppose that.” Describing himself as a person who “stands and does what’s right,” he proclaimed that “people shouldn’t be canceled, discriminated against or treated subhuman because they have a different worldview or a different experience than what others might perceive or believe.”

The entire case against Vimeo revolves around whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act insulates social media companies, who portray themselves as platforms instead of publishers, from the legal liability that traditional publishers like newspapers and radio stations often find themselves subject to. So far, the judicial branch has decided that social media companies are protected from such lawsuits. 

As explained in a legal memorandum filed by Domen’s legal team, Section 230 asserts that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of — any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

The memo asserted that previous court interpretations of the Communications Decency Act, which the lawsuit is seeking to overturn, “give immunity to Big Tech whenever such a company commits unconscionable discrimination in their online filtering decisions against protected classes of individuals.”

In Domen’s case, the “filtering decisions” resulted in him losing his Vimeo account as a result of five videos he uploaded to the site. 

One of the videos of concern featured testimony from Domen, who detailed how he dealt with same-sex attraction dating all the way back to junior high school. Despite his efforts to resist the temptations, he ultimately pursued the homosexual lifestyle.

“It will ruin your life. It’s devastating. It will destroy your life,” he warned.

Domen credits God for helping him avoid contracting HIV and Hepatitis C despite the fact that his partner at the time had both. In his interview with CP, Domen said his former partner died in 2006.

In 2002, three years after embracing the homosexual lifestyle, Domen began an “incredible journey of healing and restoration through the power of Jesus Christ, through the power of professional counseling and logical thought, and understanding what same-sex attraction is.”

Today, Domen is married to a woman and together they have a “4-year-old daughter, a 1-year-old son and a baby on the way.” He characterized the homosexual lifestyle as “death, destruction and disaster,” contrasting it with the “life, beauty, tranquility and peacefulness” that defines heterosexual relationships. 

Another video tells the story of Luis Ruiz, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack. The shooting took place in June 2016 at an Orlando entertainment venue frequented by the LGBT community. Ruiz recalled how he thought he was “going to die” but ultimately survived, remarking that “God showed His grace on my life.”

Ruiz also expressed confidence that his mother’s prayers played a role in his survival. He left the homosexual lifestyle after testing positive for HIV. He recounted how after calling out to God, his “desires became less and less” to the point where same-sex attraction was “no longer an issue” in his life. The video concluded with footage of a speech given by Ruiz where he characterized God as “the only man in my life that would die for me.” 

The third video that Vimeo sees as problematic is a 44-second promotion for the Freedom March in Los Angeles that took place in 2018. The event featured speeches from former members of the LGBT community, including Domen and Ruiz. 

In the fourth video, Andrew Comiskey, the founder of Desert Stream Ministries, explained that although he received encouragement from his father and his alma mater of UCLA to embrace his same-sex attraction, he quickly realized, “I didn’t like the person that I was becoming.” After engaging in reflection, Comiskey began attending a new church at UCLA. He stressed that he did not see the end goal of leaving the homosexual lifestyle as heterosexual marriage but rather “being able to walk conscientiously with our God.”

Comiskey ultimately married a woman and the two began ministering to people in West Hollywood who experienced same-sex attraction. This effort grew into a larger ministry called Living Waters, which Comiskey and his wife have run for four decades. 

In contrast to the other videos, the fifth video is a 14-minute package profiling Evan Low, an openly gay member of the California State Assembly who spearheaded the effort to ban conversion therapy in the state. Low withdrew the bill at the last minute as part of an effort to find common ground with members of the religious community. The video includes clips of Domen and others speaking in favor of conversion therapy, as well as critics deriding the practice as harmful. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Hobby Lobby under fire for July 4th ad promoting ‘One Nation Under God’; Franklin Graham defends


Reported By Emily Wood, Christian Post Reporter| Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/hobby-lobby-under-fire-for-july-4th-newspaper-ad-promoting-god.html/

hobby lobby
(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

Christian-owned arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby has been accused of “dominionism” after running a full-page ad in newspapers nationwide on the Fourth of July promoting the idea of “One Nation Under God.” The ad highlighted quotes from prominent Americans promoting God and the Bible. 

The ad featured a child running with an American flag with the words, “One Nation Under God.” Lower in the advertisement are the words of Psalm 33:12, which reads, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” 

The page also features a series of quotes from American founders and other leaders essential to the shaping of the nation, touching on the importance of God or the Bible. Among those highlighted are former presidents, Supreme Court justices and Founding Fathers. The bottom of the page offered contact information for those interested in having a relationship with Jesus. 

The ad ran in newspapers across the U.S. and was published on Hobby Lobby’s social media pages. 

Social media users slammed the ad as “unconstitutional” and “propaganda.” And the secular legal organization Freedom from Religion Foundation posted a rebuttal

“In Hobby Lobby We DON’T Trust,” the title of FFRF’s rebuttal webpage reads. The webpage includes a breakdown of each of the quotes Hobby Lobby included in the ad. “Do these quotes prove we are a Christian nation? Click them to find out,” FFRF, which advocates for strict separation of church and state, posted with an exposition of each quote. 

Critics accused Hobby Lobby of advocating for dominionism, a subset of American Christianity seeking a Christian-run nation governed by their understanding of biblical law. 

David Weissman, a former Republican Trump supporter-turned-liberal Democrat, tweeted: “As an American Jew who served in the United States Army and took an oath to defend the Constitution; I find your statement of America should be lead by Christians to be asinine and unconstitutional. Shame on you @HobbyLobby.”

Other influential users called the ad “absolutely frightening” and “dominionist propaganda.” Some used the hashtag #seperationofchurchandstate. 

A headline on the LGBT blog Joe My God reads, “Hobby Lobby Goes Full Dominionist In July 4th Ad.”

Prominent evangelical leader Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and leader of the evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, commended Hobby Lobby’s ad and thanked God for Hobby Lobby’s owners. 

“Hobby Lobby is being attacked for running some beautiful full-page newspaper ads on July 4. …,” Graham shared on Facebook. 

“I hope this exposure for their ads, even though it was intended for harm, will actually allow even more people to read the message and appreciate what Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family stand for,” Graham continued. “I thank God for the Green family, their Christian-run business, and their strong public stand for the Word of God and biblical values.”

Messianic Jewish radio host and author Michael Brown published an op-ed defending the ad’s message.

“What we do believe is that God’s ways are always best, and that’s why we advocate for biblical principles and seek to live by them personally,” Brown wrote. “In the same way, others (such as atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Muslims, or secular activists) advocate for their own particular spiritual or secular worldviews and seek to live accordingly. This is all part of the fabric of our nation.”

“In short, I do believe that the more truly Christian we are, the more blessed we will be as a nation,” he continued. “But we are not forcing this on anyone (God forbid), and we live by the rules of a Democratic Republic. Since the Hobby Lobby ad will get a lot of negative attention, let’s be prepared to affirm what we do believe and deny what we don’t.”

Hobby Lobby, a company known for its conservative, Christian values, ran a similar ad in past years on Independence Day. The company includes biblical messages in most of its holiday ads and provides a list of its prominent holiday ads since Easter 1997 on its website. Each of the ads provides a spiritual component. Holiday Messages became part of Hobby Lobby’s mission when founder David Green felt commissioned to do something more with advertisements in 1995 after noticing that newspapers failed to provide the true meaning of the advertised holidays.

Hobby Lobby ran its first newspaper ad that explained the true meaning behind Christmas in 1996. The company began “placing beautiful full-page ads celebrating the real meaning of Christmas, Easter and Independence Day in newspapers across the country” from then on, the Hobby Lobby website explains. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: emily.wood@christianpost.com

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Friday, July 2, 2021


Wallace B. Henley Op-ed: Will America still be America? The dangerous altering of America’s DNA


Commentary By Wallace B. Henley, Exclusive Columnist| Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-dangerous-altering-of-americas-dna.html/

“There is nothing exempt from the peril of mutation,” said Elizabethan sage Walter Raleigh.

Or, as an anonymous patriot of his period put it to would-be agitators in his nation: “You will chip away and chip away until nothing is left that makes Scotland Scotland.”

Wallace Henley
Wallace Henley, former Senior Associate Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Scott Belin

One looks now at the drastic alterations of America’s spiritual, psychological, social, and political DNA, and the mutating dynamics they set loose upon the nation’s very being, and wonders if America will be America for the present generation’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Scientists like Francis Collins taught us much about the human genome and the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that carries the information and genetics forming the nature of a person.

Collins led the task force that decoded the human genome. On the day of the announcement, President Clinton said: “We are learning the language in which God created life… We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.”

On this July 4th it would be a good idea for Americans everywhere to reflect on the beauty and wonder of the “DNA” that formed the best of America.

Ages ago God led Moses and his people into the Sinai wilderness and to the foot of Mount Sinai. God summoned Moses up the mountain to renew His Covenant with the people. Receiving that Covenant would give birth to the nation, Israel. God made it clear that Israel must not worship the gods of the Canaanites lest they become like the Canaanites. (See Exodus 34)

So, to worship the “gods of the land” is to take on the spiritual “DNA” of the people of the land, and to take on the identity of the people of the land is to adopt their gods.

For example, previous generations in America—including people and churches identifying as Christian—embraced slavery, in conformity with their culture.

Thomas Jefferson, a slaveholder, nevertheless could not quiet the voice of judgment within his mind and heart: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

And it did not.

A nation-rending war resulted. Succeeding generations learned little and perpetuated discrimination through officially sanctioned racism and segregation.

God warned that If Israel worshiped the “gods of the land” when it arrived in Canaan, then Israel would cease to be Israel and lose its purpose and destiny.

America is by no means the “new Israel,” but she has had remarkable blessings of liberty, prosperity, and security.

God’s aim in history is for the good news of His beautiful Kingdom to be proclaimed to all the inhabited earth. This is the business, not of the state, but of the church within the nation. For this mission to be carried out there must be freedom of religion so the church can go about its business, and have the material means to take the gospel globally.

Any nation that permits such freedom will be blessed. The health of a nation, therefore, is in direct ratio to the health of the church within the nation.

Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington explored what we refer to here as America’s “DNA” in his book, Who Are We? There he discussed the American “Creed” comprised by these and other “DNA” components:

  • Liberty
  • Equality
  • Democracy
  • Individualism
  • Human rights
  • The rule of law
  • Private property

Huntington did not shy from crediting the Judeo-Christian worldview as the source of these elements of America’s spiritual “DNA”.

If there is socio-cultural sin in our past and present it is not because these principles were corrupt but because sinful human beings of all persuasions corrupted the “DNA”. We have too often worshiped the “gods of the land” and in the process defiled the Source of our blessings, to the hurt of many and alteration of our national character.

The present struggle in American society and culture spans the past, present, and future. All the generations are at stake: We are ashamed of the sins of the past, hopeless in the conflicted present, and anxious about an uncertain future.

Therefore, this Fourth of July we must reflect on the sobering truth of what will happen as America’s “DNA” is altered. The nation will go…

  • From the conviction that God is Transcendent—above all and to Whom all must give an account, including government—to the belief that there is nothing Transcendent but ourselves and ultimately our rulers
  • From the freedom not to believe to enforced state or cultural religion
  • From churches to re-education centers
  • From schools pursuing knowledge to schools indoctrinating
  • From the Bible as God’s revelation to us and the source of our formative worldview to the displacement of the Bible from public life
  • From constitutionalism to tyrannical edict
  • From healthy individuality to collectivism
  • From a free market economy to a state-controlled economy
  • From democracy to oligarchy through the elite establishments of Information, Entertainment, Academia, Politics, Corporations
  • From mature independence to socialist dependency
  • From a healthy respect for just law to antinomianism
  • From unity to fragmentation
  • From freedom of religion to bondage to the secular humanist religion of the state
  • From nuclear family to state-determined family

If all that happens our national “DNA” will be altered so drastically that America will no longer be America.

A violent revolution will not save America. The matter at the core is spiritual and only a spiritual revolution, “great awakenings,” will save us.

Pulpits must once again reach into the depths of biblical revelation and proclaim the Kingdom of God rather than the therapeutic or prosperity “gospels”.

Congregations must learn anew the importance of going to their knees… standing in the “gap” … for their nation before God.

ABOUT THE COMMENTATOR:

Wallace B. Henley’s fifty-year career has spanned newspaper journalism, government in both White House and Congress, the church, and academia. He is author or co-author of more than 20 books. He is a teaching pastor at Grace Church, the Woodlands, Texas.

For media inquiries, contact:  ChristianPost@pinkston.co

Michael Brown Op-ed: What the IRS got remarkably right in the midst of a terribly wrong ruling


Commentary By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor| Monday, June 21, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/what-the-irs-got-remarkably-right.html/

Michael Brown
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. | Courtesy of Michael Brown

Just type the words IRS, Christian, and Bible in your search engine and you’ll get a flood of results, most of them starting with headlines like this: “IRS denies Christian nonprofit tax exemption, saying biblical values are Republican.” Or this, “IRS denies tax-exempt status to Christian nonprofit group because ‘Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party’.”

Naturally, there has been outrage among Christian conservatives over this ruling, pointing to this yet another example of the IRS’s anti-Christian, anti-conservative bias. That’s also why most of the commentary has focused on the egregious ruling itself, which is being appealed.

Yet, in the midst of this very wrong ruling, the IRS made a very right observation: by and large, the Republican Party is more aligned with biblical teaching than is the Democratic Party.

Of course, neither major party is fully aligned with God and His Word. And, without a doubt, the world of politics cannot be confused with the purity of the spiritual realm and the kingdom of God. We can also debate which party’s policies are closest to biblical values when it comes to helping the poor or the immigrant.

That’s why, on principle, even though I have voted for Republican candidates for years while not voting for a single Democrat, I am registered as an Independent. It’s just my way of saying that I cannot align myself fully with any political party.

At the same time, when it comes to important biblical values, in the great majority of cases, the Republican platform is more aligned with Scripture than is the Democratic platform, to the point of getting the backhanded recognition of the IRS.

As for the organization involved in this ruling, it is called Christians Engaged, and its stated purpose is: “to awaken, motivate, educate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to.”

Their threefold emphasis is: “Pray for our nation and elected officials regularly. Vote in every election to impact our culture. Engage our hearts in some form of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation.”

Yet when they applied for tax exempt status, they were rejected.

In the words of the official IRS ruling (I’m quoting the most relevant section), “Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations. The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican Party] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).”

Again, the mocking headlines were well deserved, including this one, from RedState: “The IRS says if you believe in God and the Bible, you are working for the GOP.”

That’s why, for good reason, the ruling is being appealed by First Liberty Institute, which has argued that the IRS ruling “errs in three ways: 1) [it] invents a nonexistent requirement that exempt organizations be neutral on public policy issues; 2) [it] incorrectly concludes that Christians Engaged primarily serves private, nonexempt purposes rather than public, exempt purposes because he thinks its beliefs overlap with the Republican Party’s policy positions; and 3) [it] violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech, and Free Exercise, and Establishment clauses by engaging in both viewpoint discrimination and religious discrimination.”

Yet in the midst of the pushback against the IRS, many have missed the biting irony of the words of the ruling where biblical teaching is associated with the Republican Party. In large measure, the IRS got this exactly right.

As noted in RedState, “The Bible, yes, IRS, the word is capitalized, is not neutral on the sanctity of life. It is not neutral on homosexuality. It is not neutral on marriage. It is not neutral on justice.”

Let’s remember that the Democrats positioned themselves as the party of the Religious “Nones” (meaning, people with no religious affiliation).

And it is the Democrats who have become increasingly radical in their pro-abortion zeal.

And the Democrats who are pushing the Equality Act, which guts religious liberties in favor of LGBT extremism.

As I noted in September 2019, “There is no question about it. There is not even a desire to hide it. The Democrat Party continues to grow spiritually darker to the point of actually proclaiming itself the party of the religiously non-affiliated. Is it any surprise?”

Or, as I pointed out in August 2020 (with regard to the Biden-Sanders “Unity Plan”), “God is never mentioned in the document. Not once.” In contrast, “the word gender occurs 22 times.

“More importantly, ‘transgender’ occurs twice, and in very specific contexts: ‘we will act expeditiously to reinstate Department of Education guidance protecting transgender students’ rights under Title IX and make clear that schools shall not discriminate based on LGBTQ status.’”

In sum, “LGBTQ” is “mentioned 17 times in the plan” while “‘religion’ is mentioned once, ‘Christian’ and ‘Jew’ and ‘God’ are not mentioned at all, but ‘LGBTQ’ is mentioned 17 times. Need I say more?”

And what of the rising, virtually unchecked tide of anti-Zionism and antisemitism within the Democratic Party?

For good reason the IRS pointed to what “the Bible says” with regard to “U.S. and Israel relations.” Here, too, the Republican Party stands much closer to Scripture than does the Democratic Party.

So, while the IRS ruled quite wrongly in denying Christians Engaged tax-exempt status, it ironically got one thing right: if you teach the Bible accurately, by and large, you’ll end up siding with the Republicans rather than the Democrats.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program.  He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 40 books.  Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

Michael Brown OP-ed: When mental health professionals recognize the healing powers of spirituality


Commentary By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor | Friday, June 18, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/when-mental-health-professionals-recognize-powers-of-spirituality.html/

Michael Brown
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

Critics of the COVID lockdowns often argued that, in the end, the lockdowns would do more harm than good, not just financially but also medically. One reason was that patients needing treatment would be less inclined to visit a doctor or hospital, increasing their health risks. Critics also pointed to the psychological aspects of the lockdowns, leading to increased loneliness, depression, and even suicide.

What about forbidding Christians (and other people of faith) from gathering for worship, prayer, and ministry? What kind of impact did this have on the overall health and wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans (along with countless others worldwide)? Or, conversely, what positive role did faith play in the overall health and wellbeing of Americans during the lockdowns?

A new article posted in the Scientific American, by David H. Rosmarin, and titled “Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God,” addressed these very questions.

According to Rosmarin, “Spirituality has historically been dismissed by psychiatrists, but results from a pilot program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts indicate that attention to it is a critical aspect of mental health care.”

He noted that, “In the past year, American mental health sank to the lowest point in history: Incidence of mental disorders increased by 50 percent, compared with before the pandemic. Alcohol and other substance abuse surged, and young adults were more than twice as likely to seriously consider suicide than they were in 2018. Yet the only group to see improvements in mental health during the past year were those who attended religious services at least weekly (virtually or in-person): 46% report ‘excellent’ mental health today versus 42 percent one year ago.”

It looks like churches and houses of worship were delivering “essential services” after all.

Unfortunately, Rosmarin explains, “Since Sigmund Freud’s characterization of religion as a ‘mass-delusion’ nearly 100 years ago, mental health professionals and scientists have eschewed the spiritual realm. Current efforts to flatten the COVID-19 mental health curve have been almost entirely secular. The American Psychological Association’s extensive set of consumer resources makes no mention of spirituality. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s only spiritual recommendation is to “connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.” Of more than 90,000 active projects presently funded by all 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health, fewer than 20 mention spirituality anywhere in the abstract, and only one project contains this term in its title.”

He continues, “This situation goes beyond separation of church and state. Health care professionals falsely disconnect common spiritual behaviors and experiences from science and clinical practice. As a result, we ignore potential spiritual solutions to our mental health crisis, even when our well-being is worse than ever before.”

Of course, God’s Word, the Bible, was quite aware of these realities, demonstrating an understanding of the connection between body, mind, spirit, and emotions, to the point of offering what could be called psychosomatic observations.

When writing my doctoral dissertation on the primary Hebrew word for healing, the root raphah, I noted that the fundamental meaning of this root was “to restore, make whole,” out of which the other meanings (including physical healing) flowed. Put another way, the concept of healing was holistic. The results of that dissertation, in a much more expanded – and hopefully, more readable! – form were published in my 1985 volume, Israel’s Divine Healer. The book has been very useful in curing insomnia. Start reading it late at night, especially focusing on the 85,000 words of endnotes, and you’ll soon be out like a light.

In my studies, I also noted how some verses in the Book of Proverbs, a treasure trove of practical, divine wisdom, directly addressed the connection of internal and external health.

For example, Proverbs 3:7-8 exhorted, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be healing to your fleshand tonic to your bones.” So, humility and godly living would lead to physical health as well.

Proverbs 14:30 observed, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” As the Jewish commentator Malbim aptly noted, “flesh and bones are only as healthy as the spirit they encase.” Indeed.

Other verses state, “What brightens the eye gladdens the heart; good news puts fat on the bones” (15:30). And, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (17:22). And, “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (18:14).

Commenting on these verses (and others), popular Christian author Elmer Josephson wrote, “Right attitudes encourage and refresh the soul and strengthen the moral spirit; actually, then the blood and the sympathetic nervous system are rejuvenated, which make for good cell construction and build healthy body tissues. Wrong relationships and attitudes depress the mind and fill the blood with alkaloid poison. The involuntary sympathetic nerve system actually causes a malformation of cell construction and tissue arrangement” (See God’s Key to Health and Happiness).

Yet Josephson made these observations back in 1976, citing medical studies to back his claims. (Whether medical professionals would agree with every one of his points or not, the overall claims are certainly true.)

It’s a shame that mental health professionals, along with other healthcare providers, have been so slow to recognize the important connection between spiritual health and mental health.

I say it’s high time for the wellbeing of those struggling that naturalistic biases and presuppositions be removed in the interest of truth and health. We are more than material beings, and that by divine design.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program.  He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 40 books.  Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

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