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Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

British Army veteran arrested for silently praying for his dead son near an abortion clinic


By: JOSEPH MACKINNON | January 23, 2023

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/british-army-veteran-arrested-for-silently-praying-for-his-dead-son-near-an-abortion-clinic/

Image source: YouTube video, ADF UK – Screenshot

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A British Army veteran was confronted by police for standing silently near an abortion clinic in Bournemouth, England. The man’s apparent crime: He was silently praying for his murdered son.

Adam Smith-Connor of Southampton is the second Briton in recent months to have been arrested, not for speech or actions, but for silent prayer — for the thoughts in his head.

Censoring silence

Smith-Connor told the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) UK, a faith-based freedom advocacy group, that “22 years ago, I drove an ex-girlfriend to a facility where I paid for her to have an abortion. Many years later, I came to realize what I had done and it has been a source of great grief to me in my life.”

“I now pray for my son and to God for forgiveness,” said Smith-Connor, adding, “I would never have imagined being in a position to risk a criminal record for praying silently.”

Don’t miss out on content from Dave Rubin free of big tech censorship. Listen to The Rubin Report now.

Smith-Connor approached a British Pregnancy Advisor Service abattoir in the English county of Dorset on Nov. 24 to pray “for my son Jacob, for other babies who have lost their lives to abortion, for their grieving families, and for abortion clinic staff.” The BPAS is the leading provider of abortions in the United Kingdom and boasts on its website that one in three U.K. women will “have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.”

The National Catholic Register reported that Smith-Connor was standing silently with his back to the facility to respect the privacy of staff and visitors, when a pair of officers confronted him, pressing him on what he was doing and why. Footage of the incident shows one of the officers ask, “What is the nature of your prayer today?”

Smith-Connor responds, “What is the nature of my prayer? I’m praying for my son.”

The female officer notes that that there is “a clause within the Public Space Protection Order around prayer and around disapproval around the activities at the clinic here.”

The Scotsman reported that in October, the abattoir in Bournemouth became the fifth in the country to get a PSPO. Accordingly, in the area around the facility, various activities such as protests are verboten. Those found in violation could incur a fine of £100 ($123.65 USD) or face a conviction at a magistrates court. Among the things that are forbidden in such a buffer zone are protests via “graphic, verbal or written means” and “holding vigils where members audible pray, recite Scripture, genuflect, sprinkle holy water on the ground or cross themselves if they perceive a service-user is passing by.”

Concerning the establishment of the no-free speech zone in Bournemouth, Councilor Bobbie Dove stated, “Whilst we acknowledge the right of anyone to conduct a peaceful protest, we had to balance this against the distress caused or likely to be caused, and the detrimental impact of behaviours experienced by those accessing medical services or doing their jobs.”

Having clarified that Smith-Connor was in the buffer zone, the female officer can be heard in the video attempting to establish whether Smith-Connor’s silent prayer may have had something to do with the abattoir.

In response to Smith-Connor’s admission that he is silently praying for his dead son, the officer says, “I’m sorry for your loss. But ultimately, I have to go along with the guidelines of the Public Space Protection Order, to say that we are in the belief that therefore you are in breach of clause 4a, which says about prayer, and also acts of disapproval around the activities at the clinic.”

“What is the nature of your prayer?” authorities interrogate army veteran youtu.be

The ADF UK reported that Smith-Connor was ultimately fined on the basis of the PSPO. He is now challenging the resultant council fine, stating, “This cannot be right in a country that values freedom.”

“Freedom of thought has to be one of the most fundamental freedoms that any human being can have,” he said. “I spent 20 years in the military including spending time in Afghanistan defending the very principle of freedom.”

“I’m not a criminal,” Smith-Connor emphasized. “I am a husband. I am a father. I’m a military veteran and I’m a Christian. But I have been censored.”

TheBlaze previously reported that a woman was similarly arrested by police over her silent prayer on Dec. 6 in Birmingham, England. Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was charged with breaching a PSPO.

“Nobody should be arrested for the thoughts they have in their own mind. The arrest and charge appears to be premised entirely on her admission that she was praying internally,” Jeremiah Igunnubole, Spruce’s legal representative, said in a statement. “The clinic was closed and she was standing, in a public space, without once engaging anyone. As a public space, she was not banned from being present there.”

Igunnubole noted that in Adam’s case, he “could now face prosecution for holding thoughts, and lifting those thoughts to God in prayer, within a censorship zone..”

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Fined for silent prayer: Adam’s story youtu.be

Wokeness Is Coming for Classical Christian Education


BY: DAVID GOODWIN | JANUARY 20, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/20/wokeness-is-coming-for-classical-christian-education/

classical christian school
Classical Christian education is not ‘racist’ or ‘misogynist.’ Its texts address the universal truths about the human condition.

Author David Goodwin profile

DAVID GOODWIN

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It’s been a good year for classical Christian education. New school starts are up threefold, a book on classical education became No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list, and on Jan. 26, Fox Nation will release season two of a popular series on classical Christian education, “The Miseducation of America.” Of course, with growth comes attention. What is unusual this time is that someone with ties to our movement — one of our own — draws focus to a growing divide.

On Jan. 12, in the online journal Current, Jessica Hooten Wilson asked, “Is White Supremacy a Bug or a Feature of Classical Christian Education? It should come as no surprise that, within her mainstream academic ecosphere as a scholar at Pepperdine University, she gets pressure. “I experience regular pushback from those who perceive [classical Christian education] as white, Western-only, and male-dominated.” She proceeds to cast aspersions on a few people and organizations — including, indirectly, mine. Her accusations become a pretext for her thesis: “If the classical Christian school movement is to survive — let alone flourish — we must oppose all forms of racism and misogyny and stand with the beauty, goodness, and truth that we hold up for our students.” I’ll take her up on that charge.

Hooten Wilson is a staccato note at the end of a new tune within our circles. Her article praises those groups she believes are taking the right steps. So far, I’ve heard no one publicly state the thesis so clearly as she does: “We should peruse the authors of the works and, if applicable, the editors or introductory writers to ensure an assortment of voices … as well as an equality of both sexes. If we look at the table of contents of a textbook or a reading list for a semester and find not a single woman or person of color in that list, then that curriculum is misrepresenting the classical Christian tradition.”

Choosing the Classical Canon

For the better part of three millennia, philosophical, theological, and literary authors labored to create the classical canon, representing countless cultural influences. Over much of this same time period, learned scholars have made lists of those that deserve “canon” status. It is unclear if there are minorities or women in Cassiodorus’ list of authors (400 A.D.), or Leonardo Bruni or Battista Guarino’s lists (humanists from the 1400s) — they don’t use those categories. Mortimer Adler and his team of about 40 renowned scholars chose the most widely recognized list of books in our time based upon their contribution to “the great conversation.” Adler’s merit-based criteria required a work to have changed the course of history and to have developed the collective Western mind. What Adler’s team did not do is look to race or sex as criteria.

The Western classical tradition has long included people of every race and sex in a particular way: The tradition deals with a body of texts that address the universal truths about the human condition, rising above our culture’s current quest to silo everyone into an intersection of identity.

Whatever your identity may be, the long journey toward Aeneus’ destiny amplifies the tension between duty and desire. The hilarity of twins unknown to each other, living in the same city, begets “A Comedy of Errors,” no matter your race or sex. Would Hooten Wilson tell the young women and minorities in our schools that they cannot fully converse with these texts because their voices are not represented in them? Shall our schools sacrifice universal human dignity on the altar of token inclusion? Hooten Wilson limits her criteria to women and minorities. Some, like Kimberle Crenshaw, will not be satisfied with this attempt to diversify our reading lists — there will always be one more disaffected group.

Duped into Old-Fashioned Racism and Sexism

By Hooten Wilson’s standard, we must scrape and scrape until we find a “fair” representation of “diverse” contributors. “I am especially excited about the number of women that we added to the Middle Ages list. … Classical schools should look through their reading lists to make sure women and persons of color are not excluded from their curriculum.” Classical Christian education should not be duped by the spirit of our age into old-fashioned racism or sexism. This spirit was cultivated not by our tradition, as Hooten Wilson claims, but rather by the Frankfurt School.

During the 1930s, a group of cultural Marxist scholars set up shop at Columbia University. The Frankfurt School set out on a mission to end the influence of Christianity in our culture. Their thickly veiled product called critical theory deliberately divides us by whispering one small lie, presented in two axioms: For a person to relate to anything, or gain from anything — in this case an intellectual tradition — it must have elements that “look like them” and match their “identity.” And, a second axiom follows: Thus, if something does not contain “diverse and inclusive” elements, it is racist or misogynist. These fruits of critical theory travel down a circuitous path from the Frankfurt School, to Hooten Wilson’s proposal, to a few classical educators who take incremental steps toward critical theory — all of this under the trendy label of “inclusiveness.”

True Liberation Through Classical Christian Education

Classical education was created to, and has, liberated the minds of countless people groups in history, and it is capable of doing the same in America today — and beyond. It has been at the forefront of the march for freedom and education; for individual rights apart from race or class or sex. If we let the very toxin that infects progressive education get into our classrooms, we’re doomed. This toxin was created and propagated by those who hate our tradition. Should we voluntarily drink it?

My daughter recently graduated from New Saint Andrews College. This is one of the institutions that those in Hooten Wilson’s camp label “misogynist.” The college seeks to uphold and respect traditional Christian femininity, which displeases feminists who seem to hate femininity. Misogyny? When my daughter brought her friends to our home over Thanksgiving, I remember listening to the conversation and thinking, “Where do these women come from? They’re strong, bright, extremely well-read, fluent in ancient languages, and honoring of Christian truth — including their God-given womanhood.” None were weak women. All seemed faithful, happy, and confident. I don’t think any of them would want Hooten Wilson’s prescription for their reading list.

Is Racism a Bug or a Feature in Classical Christian Education?

The Frankfurt School’s purpose was to deconstruct. To do so, they inserted a “bug” in our educational system: critical theory, and all of its descendent forms. Some in our movement now offer a batch of code that has this bug embedded deeply within it — in the form of reading lists. By Hooten Wilson’s reckoning, these groups are heading in the right direction. The rest of us are not. Will our institutions continue to follow her lead by adopting coded terms like “Kingdom Diversity”? Or will we recognize the code as a virus and say, “No thank you. The classical Christian tradition is above all that nonsense — and the nonsense of white nationalists, by the way. May a plague be on all your racist houses.”

If classical Christian education is to survive, it has to reject the foolishness of our age and embrace Christ’s way alone. Christ’s church favors neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free.

The humanities are great because they unite. They are universal. Women and non-Europeans are now, in our present time, contributing to classical Christian education in spades. I work so that all children can rise up and join the great conversation without barriers.

“Identity,” however, won’t fit here. Check it at the door. We are Christ’s. We are classical. Those who want to be loved by the spirit of our age will become intoxicated by it, and slowly die of its poison.


David Goodwin is the editor of The Classical Difference magazine, the president of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, and the co-author of The New York Times no. 1 best seller “Battle for the American Mind.” You can find him at Substack.

‘Amazing Grace’ and the abolition of slavery


By Jerry Newcombe, CP Op-Ed Contributor| Thursday, January 19, 2023

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/amazing-grace-and-the-abolition-of-slavery.html

Ioan Gruffudd plays William Wilberforce, the 18th-century English abolitionist. | (Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films)

This month, January 2023, marks the 250th anniversary of the classic hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

The Museum of the Bible writes: “It was January 1, 1773. John Newton led his congregation down the road from the parish church in Olney, England, to Lord Dartmouth’s Great Hall to sing … and the hymn he wrote for this day was special. It spoke of his conversion, of his self-proclaimed wretchedness, and of the saving power of God’s grace. Since then, the words of ‘Amazing Grace’ have struck a chord with millions across cultures and generations, and its popularity has never wavered.”

The museum based in D.C. now has a section dedicated to the anniversary of this amazing hymn.

In the hymn, John Newton, a former slave-trader now converted, indeed describes himself as a “wretch,” who was amazed that God would extend His grace to one such as he.

He became a minister after his conversion, and one day, a politician came to visit him for personal guidance. That man was William Wilberforce, who had recently been converted to faith in Jesus.

Everybody should know who William Wilberforce was — one of the greatest Christian statesman of all time.

He was a longtime Member of Parliament, who worked tirelessly (with a group of like-minded associates that became known as “The Clapham Sect”) to end the slave trade of the British Empire and then to free all the slaves therein. By the time of his death in 1833, Wilberforce was successful. But it took him about half a century.

Author Dr. Os Guinness once said, “When Wilberforce died, he was described as ‘the George Washington of humanity.’”

William Wilberforce was born in 1759 and inherited considerable wealth which placed him among the landed nobility of England. He was indeed a polished gentleman, and he first ran for Parliament and won at the age of 21.

But not until his conversion a few years later did he begin to take life seriously.

After committing his life to Christ, he briefly dallied with the idea of leaving politics to serve God. But John Newton counseled Wilberforce to stay and let God use him in politics. Newton declared, “The Lord has raised you up to the good of His Church and for the good of the nation.”

I shudder to think about someone like Wilberforce seeking guidance today among some modern ministers, who might easily convince him that Christians and politics shouldn’t mix. But John Calvin Coolidge, an often-overlooked president, once said, “If good men don’t hold office, bad men will.”

Soon after meeting with Rev. Newton, God put it on Wilberforce’s heart to fight against slavery. Working to uproot it was a daunting task because the slave trade brought enormous wealth to those involved.

After much prayer, Wilberforce felt that this indeed was the very voice of God speaking to him, calling him to this important mission. He was also concerned by the godless immorality of the age. In 1787, he wrote in his diary: “Almighty God has set before me two great objectives, the abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” (“Manners” would be comparable to “morals” in modern parlance.)

In an interview I once did with the late Chuck Colson, prison reformer and Wilberforce admirer, he told me: “[Wilberforce] stood up on the floor of the Parliament influenced by his new Christian conviction, took a stand that was enormously unpopular because all of the vested interest opposed him, including the government, and for 20 years he waged that battle.”

Kevin Belmonte, author of William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity, observes, “Wilberforce had to travel with an armed bodyguard.” But Wilberforce persevered — despite whatever personal cost he must pay.

Colson said, “One day in 1807 in a February snowstorm, the votes were cast to abolish the slave trade. While members of Parliament were jumping up and down for joy, they looked over and there was Wilberforce, head bowed at his desk, praying, thanking God for what He had done.”

But Wilberforce wasn’t finished. He then set out to emancipate the slaves, who, even after this vote, were still in chains throughout the British Empire. This was a battle to last for another 25 years.

Because of health problems, he had to resign in Parliament in 1825, but the movement he began to free all of the slaves in the British Empire continued without his direct involvement — and when he was already on his death bed, in 1833, he received word that the Parliament decided to free all of the 800,000 slaves throughout the British Empire.

Wilberforce is a great example of what Jesus can do through those fully committed to Him in whatever position in which He has placed them — when God’s “amazing grace” gets ahold of a life wholly committed to Him.

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air host. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). http://www.djkm.org?    @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

The dangers of theological liberalism


By William Wolfe, Op-ed contributor | Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-dangers-of-theological-liberalism.html/

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We live in an age of great compromise and confusion, especially regarding the Christian faith. In some ways, that means we live in the same sort of day and age that every Christian has lived in since Christ ascended to Heaven approximately 2,000 years ago.

The New Testament authors, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the immediate decades following the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, were acutely aware of the need to defend the pure teaching of the faith against those who would undermine its doctrine and application.

In 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul writes that “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

God knew what He was doing when He gave the Church such strong warnings.

But while there is no doubt that false teaching and heresies have always plagued the Christian Church, each era has its own battles to fight. In the early Church period, they had to deal with Gnosticism, Christological errors, and confusion about the Holy Spirit.

Thankfully, in our day and age, we have creeds and confessions, like the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, which set forward the clear, uncompromised principles of historical, orthodox Christianity. Or, if you are a Baptist, we have the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.

Still, even though we have these statements, false teaching abounds. One particularly pernicious strain of corrupted Christianity is what’s known as “theological liberalism.” The late R.C. Sproul warned that “We are living in a day when liberal theology has made deep inroads in the church.”

Even if you don’t know its name, I’m confident you’ve encountered some of its teachings — like those who deny the reality of the resurrection of Christ. So, to better equip you to spot and counter theological liberalism, let me explain what it is and why it’s dangerous.

What is theological liberalism?

In his book The Making of American Liberal Theology: Imagining Progressive Religion, 1805 – 1900, Gary Dorrien explains,

“The idea of liberal theology is nearly three centuries old. In essence, it is the idea that Christian theology can be genuinely Christian without being based upon external authority. Since the 18th century, liberal Christian thinkers have argued that religion should be modern and progressive and that the meaning of Christianity should be interpreted from the standpoint of modern knowledge and experience.”

In other words, the starting point of theological liberalism is that it trades the external, objective, God-given standard of the Bible in matters of faith for an individual’s personal, subjective opinion and experience.

This is an exact inversion of the Christian faith. We know who God is and what He wants from mankind because God speaks — and speaks first. Theological liberalism trades “Thus saith the Lord” for “So saith man.”

Summarizing Dorrien’s book, pastor and theologian Kevin DeYoung provides six other characteristics of theological liberalism along with the rejection of external authority (in addition to the one above). He says it argues that:

  1. “Christianity is a movement of social reconstruction.”
  2. “Christianity must be credible and relevant.”
  3. “Truth can be known only through changing symbols and forms.”
  4. “Theological controversy is about language, not about truth.”
  5. “The historical accuracies of biblical facts and events are not crucial, so long as we meet Jesus in the pages of Scripture.”
  6. “The true religion is the way of Christ, not any particular doctrines about Christ.”

DeYoung concludes that “Liberals believe they are making Christianity relevant, credible, beneficial, and humane. Evangelicals in the line of J. Gresham Machen believe they are making something other than Christianity. That was the dividing line a century ago, and the division persists.”

What does this look like in practice? Theological liberalism denies key doctrines like the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. They deny that the Bible is, in the words of Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, “to be received as the authoritative Word of God” and that “Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit” and serves as the final rule of faith and practice.

Because it denies the truthfulness and reliability of Scripture, it denies the historical creation account, events like the flood, the virgin birth, the miracles of Jesus, and often the resurrection of Jesus itself.

In other words, theological liberalism largely rejects the supernatural and miraculous events recorded in the Bible as fact, calling them fiction instead. Furthermore, it denies essential doctrines like original sin and the indwelling sin in all mankind, which makes the sacrifice of Christ on the cross unnecessary.

Finally, in our present moment, theological liberalism is often seen in the rejection of the creation order and biblical sexual morality.  Denominations that deny the truthfulness of God’s Word almost always end up rejecting what it teaches about sex and marriage when the world pressures it to compromise. This is why many of the major “mainline denominations,” like the Presbyterian Church of the United States (PCUSA), most United Methodist churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Baptists, and the Episcopal Church, are all LGBT-affirming.

Make no mistake about it: Once a denomination, church, pastor, or Christian leader adopts the core teachings of liberal theology, progressive (Bible-denying) political positions will be adopted as well.

Why theological liberalism is dangerous

The main reason theological liberalism is so dangerous is that it destroys the Gospel. What is the Gospel? It is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16), the message that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24), and that this salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, the “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

Liberal theology denies that man is so sinful he needs a savior. It tells us that we can’t trust the Bible as God’s Word and that Jesus might not have been anything more than a good teacher who set an example for moral living. Theological liberalism is a “religious system” that has been constructed to help sinful man feel better about himself, not show him that he is a rebel on the way to Hell and then reveal a gracious, God-sent, God-incarnate savior.

Thus, the danger of theological liberalism is that it sends people to Hell. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s a biblical fact. This is why Paul warns that false teaching is, in fact, the teaching of demons — because it comes from Hell and damns man to Hell in the final judgment.

J. Gresham Machen was a faithful theologian in the 20th century. He wrote a best-selling theology book called Christianity and Liberalism that is still well-known and well-read today. In this book, Machen warned that liberal Christianity isn’t just a compromised form of Christianity, but really another religion altogether — and a false one at that. He argues that “despite the liberal use of traditional phraseology modern liberalism not only is a different religion from Christianity but belongs in a totally different class of religions.”

In other words, it’s not Christianity — and it’s not even close to being Christian.

Sproul agreed with Machen, warning that “Liberalism stands in every generation as a flat rejection of the faith. It must not be viewed as a simple subset or denominational impulse of Christianity; it must be seen for what it is — the antithesis of Christianity based on a complete rejection of the biblical Christ and His Gospel.”

Jesus warned His followers to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13).

Theological liberalism represents the “broad gate” that ultimately leads to destruction. Why? Because it follows in the footsteps of the serpent, who, in the garden planted the deathly seed of doubt in the form of “Did God really say?”

As faithful Christians, we reject this question and confidently claim, “Yes, God really did say” — He said we are fallen, Jesus Christ is the savior, the Bible is trustworthy, men are men and women are women, marriage is between a man and woman, Heaven and Hell are real, and the only way to eternal life is to repent of our sins and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

That’s the narrow gate. It might sound fantastic — and it is. But it is the way that leads to life. So, reject theological liberalism, which is no Christianity at all, and, as the Apostle Paul admonishes us, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16).


Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center. 

William Wolfe served as a senior official in the Trump administration, both as a deputy assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon and a director of legislative affairs at the State Department. Prior to his service in the administration, Wolfe worked for Heritage Action for America, and as a congressional staffer for three different members of Congress, including the former Rep. Dave Brat. He has a B.A. in history from Covenant College, and is finishing his Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Follow William on Twitter at @William_E_Wolfe

A sanctity of human life month like no other


By Art Ally, Op-ed Contributor | Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/a-sanctity-of-human-life-month-like-no-other.html/

Demonstrators lead the way at the 2022 March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2022. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

For those of us who have been working for years on the pro-life cause, this is a very special and joyous Sanctity of Human Life Month.

It’s the first one since the Supreme Court in June 2022 struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. Instead of the latest protest against Roe’s cruelty and unconstitutionality, this month-long observance and the annual March for Life on January 20 will be celebrations.

We still have much to do to protect innocent human life from the abortion industry. The battle is underway state by state and even city by city.

But Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a game changer. The highest law of the land as interpreted by the highest court in the land is no longer hostile to the pro-life viewpoint. It’s no longer defensible to pretend that a baby in the womb is not human and is therefore disposable. Those who continue to advocate for abortion must make the immoral case that some human lives are not worth protecting. That should be a steep hill to climb in a nation with a Christian heritage.

Like slavery, abortion violates the moral law given us by our Creator. God’s law states that all human life is sacred because we are made in His image. Many of America’s founders, including Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, predicted that slavery’s inherent conflict with God-given liberties would one day end it. It took a terrible civil war, but slavery was finally abolished.

The arguments for abortion are also unsustainable. That’s why the pro-life movement has never given up. Pro-life doctors, nurses and scientists have been reminding everyone that at the moment of conception, a new human life springs into being with his or her unique genetic code.

So what if academia, Hollywood, the media and corporate America use their enormous clout to push the fiction that human life is not in fact human? Proverbs 31:8 admonishes those of us who have voices to “speak out for those who cannot speak.”

We must tell the truth, promote adoption, provide more help to mothers who keep their babies, and shore up marriage, the surest family structure in which a child can thrive.

We need to make sure that the legal system, as the enforcement arm of the representative democratic republic in which we live, is no longer abused to justify the taking of innocent human life.

This means persuading millions of our fellow Americans that abortion is not the answer to an unwanted pregnancy.  It means letting women who have had abortions know that Jesus offers forgiveness, peace, and new life.

I recall vividly the day that my wife, Bonnie, and I saw the film “Silent Scream” at a theater in Orlando around 1990. This powerful movie depicts a fetus — a tiny human being — desperately trying to avoid the abortionist. Few people can watch it and walk away unaffected.

Our growing faith and clarity about abortion were driving forces in the creation of an investment fund, in 1994, for Bible-believing Christians, Timothy Plan, which pioneered Biblically Responsible Investing.

Other powerful films have also carried the pro-life message. In 2018, Timothy Partners, Timothy Plan’s advisor, bought out a theater in Orlando to show the movie “Gosnell” to our local community. Starring Dean Cain, the film exposes the evils committed by Kermit Gosnell. He was a West Philadelphia-based doctor convicted of murdering infants who were born alive and of manslaughter for the death of a woman patient.

In March 2019, our firm bought out seven theaters in Orlando to show the movie “Unplanned.” It’s about the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who became a pro-life champion. We gifted 500 tickets that were snapped up within 24 hours. At the movie’s conclusion, we asked the audience to remain for a couple of minutes while we introduced the directors of 11 pro-life, crisis pregnancy centers that we support.

I am sharing this to encourage others to use whatever tools and influence they have to steer us toward a truly pro-life culture in which all lives are deemed sacred.

The end of Roe is a huge victory we should celebrate. It is also a clarion call to “speak out for those who cannot speak.”

Art Ally is the founder of the Timothy Plan family of Biblically Responsible Investing funds.


‘God is real’: Bills QB describes ‘spiritual awakening’ since teammate’s on-field Collapse

CORTNEY WEIL | January 16, 2023

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/god-is-real-bills-qb-describes-spiritual-awakening-since-teammate-s-on-field-collapse/

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After Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during the Bills’ Jan. 2 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, people all over the world bowed their heads in solemn prayer for his life and health. While the offer of “thoughts and prayers” for a frightening situation is commonplace, those thoughts and prayers seem to have taken root in this instance. Hamlin’s teammate, quarterback Josh Allen, opened up about a “spiritual awakening” that has occurred in his team’s locker room and in his own heart since the incident.

Allen, 26, makes a regular appearance with NFL Network co-host Kyle Brandt on the podcast “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” and on the Jan. 10 episode, the two discussed Hamlin’s continued recovery and God’s role in it.

Josh Allen talks emotional week, Damar Hamlin & Wild Card matchup | Kyle Brandt’s Basement youtu.be

“I said this in my press conference the other day,” Allen told Brandt, “[There was] just kind of a spiritual awakening really for me and … for a lot of other people that maybe didn’t have the strongest belief or wasn’t one of the biggest, strongest Christian followers.”

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The “spiritual awakening” is not surprising considering the severity of Hamlin’s medical crisis. Not only did first responders and training staff perform CPR on Hamlin right there on the field, but his uncle Dorrian Glenn later reported that Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice in the minutes and hours that followed his collapse. But despite the precariousness of his health that night, Hamlin has since made a remarkable recovery. He was discharged from the hospital within a week and is now recuperating in Buffalo.

“I’ll be the first to admit, like, I haven’t been the most devoted Christ follower in my life,” Allen admitted to Brandt. “I’ve had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas and stuff like that, but something got ahold of me there, and it was extremely powerful that, you know, I couldn’t deny it.”

The two men then discussed an event that occurred at the Bills’ next game, an event that Brandt described as “some sort of miracle.” The Sunday after Hamlin’s collapse, the Bills took the field to play against the New England Patriots for their final regular-season game. On the opening kickoff, Bills kick returner Nyheim Hines ran the ball back 96 yards for a touchdown. While the play itself was worth celebrating, fans were quick to note that it occurred exactly three years and three months after Hamlin, who wears No. 3, made the team’s last kickoff return for a touchdown.

In discussing Hines’ touchdown, Allen later told reporters: “I was just going around to my teammates saying, ‘God’s real.’ You can’t draw that one up, write that one up any better.”

Allen told Brandt that he grew up Methodist in Firebaugh, California, and attended church regularly with his family, but as he grew older, he hadn’t made practicing his faith a priority.

“It’s been so long since I’ve actually been to church. I went this last offseason one or two times, but not as much as maybe I should,” Allen added.

However, he also indicated that Hamlin’s collapse and subsequent recovery may have stirred many hearts to return to church and make Christian faith a higher priority. “I think this conversation that we’re having right now, we’ve had all these conversations in our locker room,” he said. “It’s been really cool to see how guys have been moved and touched by this whole instance and situation and to see the country come together in support for Damar and maybe having those talks.”

And Allen isn’t the only member of the Bills organization to discuss the religious component of the Bills’ and Hamlin’s recent events. Head coach Sean McDermott has openly shared his belief that God deserves the glory for Hamlin’s improvement. “Glory to God for His keeping Damar and his family in the palm of His hand over the last couple of days and His healing powers,” McDermott said on Jan. 5.

Two days earlier, football analyst Dan Orlovsky — a self-described “follower of Jesus” — prayed spontaneously for Hamlin during a live broadcast on ESPN. His fellow panelists likewise closed their eyes, folded their hands, and joined him in that prayer.

Though these examples of religiosity may be anecdotal, Allen indicated that there is hope that they could lead to a revival of faith among athletes and nonathletes alike.

“To hear some of these stories and just feelings from our guys, to be going through this situation, it’s been really cool to see that unfold in front of us,” Allen stated. “Again, I can’t chalk it down to anything else but a higher power. Yeah, I’m extremely moved. I don’t really have the words to explain it.”

Richard D. Land Op-ed: Free speech and the state of American culture


Richard D. Land, Christian Post Executive Editor | Friday, January 13, 2023

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/free-speech-and-the-state-of-american-culture.html/

In just the past few days I have been bombarded, as I am sure many of you have, by negative reports and studies about the state of American society.  There are clearly causes for great concern for our nation’s future.

We have legions of college students who have evidently drunk the woke Kool-Aid and believe that any opinion that does not coincide with their liberal, “woke” agenda is hate speech and is a legitimate target for being censored, silenced, or shut down by woke mobs exercising a “heckler’s veto.”

There is nothing “liberal” about such philosophies or the behaviors they generate. In fact, they are far more similar to, and reminiscent of, fascist mobs and McCarthyite red-scare tactics.

As I have read these reports and watched them online, I have become increasingly resolved that we must exercise our freedom of speech despite the possible consequences, or we will lose the right to that very freedom of speech.

For example, two publications I have been reading since the age of 12 (Decision, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) and the age of 18 (The New York Times) presented me with information that both thoroughly alarmed me and helped to explain our current cultural malaise at the same time. 

First, the New York Times informs us that “Most Teenagers Have Seen Online Porn, Report Says.” The report explained how social media transformed adolescents’ access to hard-core pornography.

Seventy-five percent of America’s teenagers had now viewed pornography online “by the age of 17 with the average of first exposure at age 12, according to the report by Common Cause Media.” Many of the young people surveyed did not seek out pornography, it sought them out on the internet. Many of them reported that they were at first disturbed by the images they viewed although less than 50% had discussed the issue with a parent or trusted adult. One measure of the growth of this cancer on society is the fact that in 2012 the porn business was earning $5 billion a year and today it is estimated to be a $15 billion a year blight on society.

Why such a rapid increase? The moral laxity of the culture brought on by the decline in moral clarity and intestinal fortitude of the American pulpit is one leading contributor. 

This became more clear to me as I read my copy of Decision magazine, which I first remember reading as a boy of 12 when it came to our home on a regular basis (my father had been saved at a Billy Graham Crusade in Houston in 1952 when I was 6 years old). 

The issue which arrived in my mailbox earlier this week (the January 2023 issue) contained an article, “What’s Wrong with America’s Pulpits?” by Lee Weeks. 

The article was based on “The American Worldview Inventory, 2022,” researched and published by George Barna, the director of research with the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. Barna and his team surveyed and analyzed bedrock doctrines of the Christian faith to measure the doctrinal orthodoxy of America’s Protestant Clergy, as well as the general population. 

The result of Barna’s research makes for devastating reading for Americans who are traditionally orthodox Christians. For example, Barna’s seven bedrock biblical beliefs constituting a biblical worldview were:

  • God is the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and just Creator.
  • Humans are sinful by nature.
  • Jesus Christ grants forgiveness of sin and eternal life when sinners repent and profess their faith in Him alone.
  • The Bible is true, reliable, and always relevant.
  • Absolute moral truth exists.
  • Success is defined as consistent obedience to God.
  • Life’s purpose is to know, love, and serve God with all one’s heart, mind, strength, and soul.

When Barna had sifted through the results, the portrait that emerged was chilling, and this was nowhere more true than among the clergy — the shepherds of the flock.

According to Barna’s results, only 37% of pastors of churches of all Protestant denominations have a biblical worldview. If the pastors, the shepherds of the flock, have sub-biblical doctrinal beliefs, who is going to lead the people and “teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:16-180.)

Barna’s research reveals that among Evangelical pastors 30% reject salvation by faith alone and 39% reject belief in absolute truth (some things are always right and some things are always wrong). If people are not hearing a sure, certain, and uncompromising word from the pulpits, where will they find truth in this increasingly secular milieu in which Americans live and breath.  When the pulpits are sounding forth an uncertain sound, the people are increasingly at the mercy of the roving packs of spiritual wolves on the prowl for new sheep to apostatize.

I have experienced this doctrinal confusion and spiritual apostasy in my own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).  I have had perhaps a half dozen former seminary classmates and ministry brethren who have said to me in one form or another, “I’ve decided that God permits monogamous, same-sex relationships” or “I believe a loving God won’t send anyone to hell.”

My response has been, and will continue to be, “You’ve decided!  When did you become God?” 

In His Holy Word. God has answered these questions!  In the Gospel of John Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14::6).  In the original Greek the article the is implied or assumed. When it appears it is for emphasis as it is here in the Greek New Testament text.   

Similarly, in Romans (11:24-28) and 1 Corinthians (6:9-11) God made it clear that a same-sex sexual lifestyle was rejected utterly.

As Evangelical Christians, we must face the unpleasant fact that while there has been an Evangelical revival in the last half of the 20th and the first fifth of the 21st centuries, the secularizing society has influenced Evangelicals more than the other way around.  Instead of being salt and light (Mtt. 5:13-16),  we have been salted and lit by society at large.

For America to experience the great spiritual awakening we must have, we will need a deep and lasting spiritual recommitment to the eternal truths of the Gospel.

As George Barna himself puts it,

“to see American culture transformed will require a time of Christians and
pastors devoted to repentance and the Scriptures unlike anything we have
seen in more than a century.”

May God give us the strength, devotion, and wisdom to commence that journey and to never flag or surrender until we have let God make us the salt and light Jesus commanded each of us to be.

Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); Th.M (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 until July 2021. Upon his retirement, he was honored as President Emeritus and he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Theology & Ethics. Dr. Land previously served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (1988-2013) where he was also honored as President Emeritus upon his retirement. Dr. Land has also served as an Executive Editor and columnist for The Christian Post since 2011.

Dr. Land explores many timely and critical topics in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” and in his weekly column for CP.

Howard Green Op-ed: When preachers fail to warn


Howard Green | Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/when-preachers-fail-to-warn.html/

Unsplash/Alejandro Tocornal

A high school in my area sent an email out a few days ago about a student who was involved in a single-car accident on the way to school. He passed away today. Our lives are fleeting vapors.

This life is fraught with constant uncertainty. Even in the midst of good times, heartache and tragedy may be a phone call or door knock away. Bad things happen and we all understand that they are just part of living. We take precautions and try as best we know how to insulate ourselves and loved ones from harm. The reality is that traffic accidents, natural disasters, crime, sickness, and other life-altering events are an eventuality if we live long enough.

Some things happen because of the evil intent of others while many events are accidental or natural. Regardless of the source, most of these tragedies are out of our control. Occasionally, someone does come along with a warning to prepare us for the inevitable. A skilled physician sees an anomaly during an exam. Through treatment, they are able to prevent the further spread of disease. But can you imagine the outrage if the physician failed to adequately warn the people they’re supposed to protect because they didn’t want to scare or offend patients? That is exactly what is happening as many preachers fail to warn people and the consequences are eternally tragic.

Dear Christian friend, I’m writing this article with a sense of humility and love for the Church and fellow preachers. The issue at hand is so critical, if my admonishment makes you uncomfortable, that’s a start because what I’m aiming for is a holy sense of urgency. Roughly 175,000 people die and go into eternity every day. People’s souls are literally hanging in the balance between Heaven and Hell. We don’t have a moment to waste.

As ministers, we have one primary job and that is to preach the Gospel. Unfortunately, in many churches and ministries, that isn’t happening. Instead, we have a growing number of preachers who distort the grace of God. Numerous pastors, teachers, and evangelists are consumed with selfish ambition and envy( Philippians 1:15-16). Counting members, upward mobility, and getting the surrounding community to like us causes many preachers to compromise the truth of the Gospel. The message becomes so distorted that many people who hear it will assume they are saved when they’re not. A number of years ago during a Sunday morning service, I heard a young preacher tell a large gathering essentially that they were okay and God was basically pleased with them.

No repentance, no brokenness, and no warning (Galatians 1:9-10).  

This type of preaching has no place in a Christian church. Are we so consumed with people-pleasing that we would neglect to tell people that God is a holy all-consuming fire and that apart from repentance and faith in Jesus, they will die in their sins? God forbid! You might say, “Howard, isn’t that a bit harsh?” No friend, what’s harsh is not telling people the truth about the danger they are in. Imagine knowing about the Titanic, September 11th, or the Indian Ocean Tsunami a few days before it happened. Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to warn people? You wouldn’t spend months trying to get them to know and trust you first so they see how loving you are. You would risk your dignity, reputation, and possibly even your life to warn people. It is the most Christ-like thing we can do.

The Bible is replete with examples of shepherds who fail to warn people. In fact, God is so concerned with preachers and prophets who don’t warn people to repent and turn to Him that He rebukes them (Ezekiel 3:18-21). Moreover, He says, “My anger is kindled against the shepherds.” This is because they mislead people, telling them everything is okay, God is pleased with them, and judgment won’t come (Jeremiah 14:14-15Micah 3:11). All of these examples point to the fact that God holds ministers accountable for failure to warn people.

Don’t believe the lie that you must first earn the right to share the Gospel. This is simply a worldly method to ingratiate ourselves to the community via a spiritual bait and switch with no biblical precedent. One preacher gives the following example:

“On my plane flight tomorrow, how am I supposed to earn the right to witness to that person? Am I supposed to pour his drinks for him? I have the right commanded to me by Almighty God to witness to him or her and you can be assured I will pray for that opportunity, and I will take advantage of that opportunity.” — Mark Cahill

Amid the tepid, seeker-sensitive approach to reaching the lost, Leonard Ravenhill asked preachers timely questions:

“Is soul-hot preaching a lost art? Have we conceded to impatient snack-bar sermons, spiced with humor to edge jaded spiritual appetites?”

Dear ministry friends, Let’s put aside all human craftiness, cunning, and marketing campaigns in our misguided effort to win public opinion. Instead, let’s rely on the power of the Holy Spirit through faithful Gospel preaching to save souls (Ephesians 4:14).

Look at the current state of our world and the cesspool of sin people are drowning in. Evil is called good, truth is supposedly relative, and society is imploding. Wars rage, lawlessness increases, and love is waxing cold. Please discern the times we live in and know that our redemption draws near. As we wait for redemption, lost people blindly race toward the judgment and wrath of a holy God. 

As His disciples, we have no excuse for failing to warn people. We must preach the whole truth of the Gospel and warn people about the coming judgment, repentance, and faith in Jesus. It is a loving thing to warn people. Jesus loves everyone and desires that all people come to Him (Matthew 9:36).

May God bless you as you make Him known.

Howard Green leads Concerning The Times, a Bible teaching and evangelistic ministry whose primary focus is proclaiming the Gospel to the lost and exhorting believers through End Time Bible prophecy.

Elle Purnell Op-ed: Pray For Damar Hamlin


BY: ELLE PURNELL | JANUARY 03, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/03/pray-for-damar-hamlin/

Bills players kneeling in prayer around Damar Hamlin
When faced with our mortality as Hamlin was last night, we quickly remember our constant need for mercy, and it compels us to pray.

Author Elle Purnell profile

ELLE PURNELL

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After a routine tackle during Monday night’s Bills-Bengals game, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on his back in cardiac arrest. Medical personnel administered CPR for roughly 10 minutes before an ambulance carted Hamlin off the field and to a Cincinnati hospital.

While it drove off, onlookers reported seeing Bills head coach Sean McDermott gather his players on the field for communal prayer. As both teams and staff knelt around Hamlin during those 10 minutes of CPR, individual players certainly were praying too. One Bengals fan at the game scribbled “Pray for Buffalo #3 Hamlin” on a paper sign. Minutes later, fans of both teams showed up at Hamlin’s hospital to pray. Players from around the league, fans, and others across social media offered prayers. We join them all in their prayers for his body and soul.

To watch the heart of the man beside you on the field stop beating, as Hamlin’s teammates and competitors did, is to be reminded of the Maker-meeting moment every one of us will encounter. Those reminders compel us to pray for mercy. Only the players and God know the content of the prayers offered from the field in Paycor Stadium last night, but I’d guess they prayed for the mercies of healing, comfort, and more time on this Earth, either to serve God or to encounter his grace.

For followers of Christ, prayer is a familiar weapon. It is a means by which we may approach the holy God and make our requests known to him. It is an act of intimacy and communion with our Maker and Judge, and a channel by which we offer humble repentance and receive unmerited grace. When faced with the threat of tragedy — a symptom of living in a world tainted by our own sin — we quickly remember our constant need for mercy, and it compels us to pray.

In moments like last night, however, it seems it’s not only the adopted children of God who cry out to him. Something prompts even those who, in another moment, might doubt the existence of God, to suddenly seek his mercy. Skeptics love to mock the offering of “thoughts and prayers” as useless or silly, but their quickness to turn to prayer in times of need suggests that deep down, they know its power.

Why? Our souls are created for eternity. Whether we admit it or not, moments that force us to wrestle with our own mortality are less about facing death and more about facing the reality that we are part of a judgment and redemption narrative far beyond the scope of our brief earthly pilgrimage, and which extends far beyond that pilgrimage’s end.

To repentantly welcome that redemption, recognizing our utter need for it and Christ’s exclusive worthiness to procure it, inspires worshipful gratitude. To reject it, or to indifferently ignore it, is to choose a life in which the existence of death rightly inspires fear. As we pray for Damar Hamlin’s recovery, we also pray that his brush with eternity would stir onlookers to grasp their own need for the loving mercy of God.

A few weeks ago, Hamlin spoke on “One Bills Live” about a sobering injury his teammate Dane Jackson had received.

“I can’t even describe it, but I cherish it every second that I can. Every second of every day,” Hamlin said. “We just had our prayer, our DB prayer we do every Wednesday. He was next to me and I just grabbed his hand a little bit harder just because you know, you never know when your last day could be that you get to experience something like this.”

That’s a realization that, for untold observers, Hamlin’s own scare just prompted. In addition to recalling our need for salvation, such reminders of eternity should spur us to pray more diligently and to live more gratefully. Alongside our petitions for Hamlin’s comfort and healing, we pray God would use the events of last night to compel more gratitude, prayerful vigilance, humble repentance, and joyful reception of grace, in Hamlin’s heart and in our own.


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

Mark Warren Op-ed: Only Spiritual Brotherhood Can Save Men in the Job Crisis


BY: MARK WARREN | DECEMBER 29, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/29/only-spiritual-brotherhood-can-save-men-in-the-job-crisis/

An article on the job crisis has a picture of a young man playing video games on a computer.
America’s young men are in crisis, and the answer to this problem is spiritual, not economic or political.

Author Mark Warren profile

MARK WARREN

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There’s a strange thing happening in the American economy right now — what we read in the newspaper or see on TV doesn’t match what we’re witnessing with our own eyes. Job numbers reported in the media seem wonderful. Amazingly low unemployment that hasn’t been witnessed in 50 years! Hundreds of thousands of new jobs created monthly. Yet for all these rosy numbers, when we look at the real world, we see critically understaffed businesses, long waits for repairs, and customer service in the gutter.

America’s young men are in crisis, and the answer to this problem is spiritual, not economic or political. While the media continues to trumpet good news about the economy, the reason your real-life experiences don’t match such optimism is because these reports typically only give you part of the picture. What corporate media doesn’t tell you is that about 11 million jobs remain unfilled right now.

That’s why service is lousy everywhere and you can’t get a plumber. Those jobs go unfilled because millions of young American men between the ages of 25 and 54 aren’t working. At all. As Bloomberg reports, they’ve been left behind, with a lower percentage of men between those ages working than in 1970 — a statistic that emerged before the economic disaster brought by coronavirus lockdowns.

Millions of Young Men Doing Nothing All Day

So, how can millions of men be out of work when unemployment is extremely low? Easy, if you don’t count them.

Yes, the unemployment rate hovers at a record low figure, but this number doesn’t count all unemployed people. It only includes those who don’t have a job and are actively seeking one. This cheery (and erroneous) unemployment rate doesn’t count the millions of young men who aren’t looking for a job. Young males fitting this description are often referred to as “NEETs,” an acronym originating in the U.K. that stands for “Not in Employment, Education or Training.” These fellows aren’t working and, worse, aren’t interested in work.

Of course, this was already a growing problem in the last decade. But unemployment went full supernova during the coronavirus lockdown — and finally smart people are paying attention to it. Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame recently hosted a podcast discussion on the crisis of young men not working.

To further understand the problem’s depth, Rowe interviewed economist Nicholas Eberstadt, who wrote “Men Without Work.” It explains the seriousness of this issue, documenting how the unemployment crisis goes far beyond simply not having a job. Too many men in their prime have fallen into a hollow existence. And their parents — and our tax dollars — subsidize such incredible waste.

What do such men do with their copious amounts of leisure? According to Eberstadt, they aren’t only not working. They aren’t going to church. They typically aren’t dating. They aren’t engaging in charity work or civic activities either, or even helping with housework.

Instead, they play video games, binge watch TV and movies, and, perhaps most concerningly, abuse drugs. So many young men are not only lost to our economy but lost to their families as well. They are at risk of becoming another gloomy statistic in the opioid epidemic.

Social and Spiritual Solutions

So, what is the answer? Unsurprisingly, it depends on who you ask. Eberstadt, the expert on young men dropping out of the economy, believes in secular and market-driven solutions to this crisis. He explains to Rowe on the podcast that we could use shame as a powerful motivator, much like our nation has shamed smokers to give up the habit.

But a campaign to shame men is already widespread in America — and not particularly helpful. In recent years, so many expressions of traditional male values have been labeled “toxic masculinity.” Combine this message with readily available drugs ranging from prescription opioids and fentanyl to legal marijuana in many states, and it almost feels like society is encouraging young men to disconnect from the real world and play “Call of Duty” all day.

We therefore believe the real solution to this crisis is spiritual. And we don’t mean just dragging young men away from the TV and into church. When Eberstadt’s book was first published in 2016, The New York Times highlighted it with an op-ed that made an eye-opening point about the root cause of the problem.

In the article, the journalist explored the issue via an interview with a young man who lost his job in the oil industry. He told the interviewer he feels as if America doesn’t care about him. He says he feels as if he’s “considered nothing.” This is a tragedy that likely resonates with millions of other young men not working. No shaming campaign will solve this. It will only worsen things.

Instead, these men would do well to unite. We suggest they form small groups with other men to help each other and provide non-judgmental spaces to work through life’s problems.

Form a Small Band of Brothers

I did this with several brothers a couple of decades ago — and continue to do to this day. Recently, I recounted what drove me to create such fellowship and how it’s transformed my life and so many others in the new book “Power of 4: How Christian Men Create Purposeful Lives By Not Going It Alone.”

If young men feel isolated and valueless, the answer is to bring them together in brotherhood to help them understand their worth. “Power of 4” emphasizes how much more powerful men can be when they don’t try to go it alone. When a man has three brothers to meet with regularly to work through life’s challenges, he is much better off than trying to handle his problems on his own.

Consider a hypothetical Power of 4 group comprised of men not in the workforce. They could work together to build each other up, for instance, by engaging in charity work while also collaborating on resumes and professional networking. (Simply having regular face-to-face contact with other men who are not keen on blaming themselves for their station in life will do worlds of good for young men in crisis).

An even more powerful approach to a Power of 4 group might be to mix together men with established careers with those not in the workforce. Young men who feel lost and without purpose could get unimaginable benefits from spending time with men who are on solid footing in their profession. Such successful men might even assist their Power of 4 brother by arranging an internship or introductory position.

What’s more, men currently working know just how nearly every employer is screaming out for quality employees now. That means a resume with some gaps in it won’t necessarily hold back a man who wants to better his situation. Undoubtedly, our young men in crisis can transform their lives once they realize they do have value — and even the potential for greatness. All it takes is a determination to relinquish those behaviors holding them back — whether it be drugs and alcohol or Netflix and PlayStation (or all of the above!).

Ultimately, we are deeply concerned by the crisis of young men dropping out of society. Despite so much bad news, we see many positives in the future. If men come together to support each other, this problem can and will correct itself.

With the right support system, young men can achieve tremendous personal growth. Every human has value, a fact lost on so many men for far too long. With the help of three brothers, our blueprint for the Power of 4, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, American men will return to a society that so desperately needs them.


Mark Warren is the coauthor of “Power of 4: How Christian Men Create Purposeful Lives By Not Going It Alone.”

If Your Kids Are Unhappy, Take Them to Church


BY: MARY ROSE KULCZAK | DECEMBER 28, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/28/if-your-kids-are-unhappy-take-them-to-church/

Altar boy praying in church with his rosary
A huge burden could be lifted from our children if they had a place to go each week that offered them grace and refuge from anxiety.

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It seems like every time I turn around, an editor assigns me a story related to the mental health crises of our children. Most of the health experts I speak to correlate Covid lockdowns and our children’s fragile state. Closing schools played a major role in this phenomenon, but what if other crucial factors are being overlooked?

Another story, seemingly unrelated to the mental health crisis, is making the rounds in the corporate press. Church attendance is on a rapid decline. The “nones,” survey respondents who say they have no religious affiliation, are the fastest-growing group in the United States every year. We now have a generation of adults that grew up not attending worship services weekly, and they are raising their children in a similar fashion. 

The “nones” seem to prefer a parenting style that says: “We’re fine without church and worship and religious instruction and institutions, thank you very much.” But they are not fine. Their children are not coping and managing the day-to-day stresses and inconveniences thrown at them. They are fragile and increasingly so. 

The “nones” will tell you it is because we need to better embrace children’s differences and preferences (like their pronouns) while empowering them with positive affirmations and encouraging personal acceptance through self-esteem workshops. We clutter their calendars with sports, theater, STEM clubs, and dance classes. If none of that pans out, we allow our kids to self-medicate with hours spent on social media.

Parents will do all of this, but won’t take their families to church. Yet research shows that children who attend weekly worship services have higher GPAs, score higher on standardized tests, and are less likely to be held back a grade. They also are more likely to achieve a bachelor’s degree in college.

So why aren’t parents taking their children to weekly worship?

When surveyed, parents often respond that their children and teens do not want to attend worship. This democratic approach to family decision-making only seems to apply to church attendance, however. For other important decisions like wearing a seatbelt or vaccinations, parents balk at giving their children voting privileges. A child’s vote carries more weight when it aligns with a parent’s desire to stay home in pajamas on a Sunday morning.

Why should church attendance be considered a powerful tool for parents to boost their children’s mental health? We can look to the research for the answer.

In a 2018 study, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found some surprising benefits to children and adolescents who attend weekly worship. It turns out that children and teens who attend church grow up to be young adults with higher rates of reported happiness and life satisfaction. They were less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, less likely to use illicit drugs, and less likely to engage in early sex and contract sexually transmitted infections.

In addition, these same young adults were more likely to embrace volunteering and reported feeling a sense of mission and purpose than their non-church-attending counterparts.

With all of these positive outcomes for children who attend weekly worship, should we be surprised that children who do not have a similar structure in their lives experience an inverse phenomenon? Is it any wonder that anxiety and depression among children and teens are on the rise when every day, their still-forming brains are bombarded with information about doom and destruction while they drown in a sea of gender confusion and racial animus?

We think we can combat all the negativity by telling children: “You are perfect! You are awesome! You keep being you!” We put these pithy platitudes on T-shirts and backpacks and stickers with unicorns and rainbows. At the end of a bad day, our kids know that this is no substitute for the real deal.

Each of us knows these sentiments are superficial. We are poor, miserable sinners in need of forgiveness. Where do we go with all our baggage when the church is not an option? We go to therapists and pharmacists, but trends show that the last place parents want to go is the place actually offering a solution.

What could families find at church that they won’t find anywhere else? Hopefully, something that is woefully lacking in the world around them: the truth.

Newsflash, kids! You are not perfect! You know that mean thing you did to your classmate in the cafeteria? That was a sin. And that nasty thought you had about that person? That was a sin. And the snide comment you made to your mom when you were hangry? Yep. Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Good news: you’ve come to the right place! Jesus came for sinners. As a matter of fact, the church is filled with them. Each week, they come to hear the message that even though we are sinful human beings, Jesus died for those sins. When we confess those nasty thoughts and horrible things we did, we can receive forgiveness — a clean slate! 

Will we mess up again on Monday? Of course. But that’s why we can look forward to church. Can we try harder to be better people? Kinder people? Yes, we can. Does our forgiveness depend upon what we do and how we perform each week? Nope. You are forgiven because God loves you that much, so much that he sent his son to take the punishment that should have been yours and mine.

Imagine what a burden could be lifted from our children if they had a place to go each week that offered them that grace. How much better could they cope with a bad day, knowing that each moment offers a fresh start? How much more resilient could our children become?

Parents, we put our children at a disadvantage when we do not give them the very thing they need for their mental and spiritual health. It is time to put a new priority on the family calendar every Sunday. If we won’t do it for ourselves (and we should), let’s do it for our children. The next generation depends on it.


Mary Rose Kulczak is a writer for various parent and child publications. She is a wife and mother of three sons, and currently resides in Saline, Michigan.

Kirk Cameron will hold story hours at 2 libraries after threat of legal action


By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | December 12, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-to-host-story-hour-at-libraries-that-rejected-him.html

Kirk Cameron speaks during an interview with The Christian Post in Nashville, Tennessee. | The Christian Post/Leah Klett

Christian actor Kirk Cameron said that two public libraries are working with him to host a reading of his new faith-based children’s book once Cameron indicated he was prepared to seek legal help after multiple libraries across the United States refused to host him

The actor is scheduled to speak at the Indianapolis Public Library in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Dec. 29 and at the Scarsdale Public Library in Scarsdale, New York, the following day. The two libraries, which have previously hosted drag queen story hours and other programs celebrating the diversity of opinions, initially refused to host Cameron. The libraries changed their minds after the actor and his publishing house, Brave Books, threatened to challenge the denials in court. 

“I’m happy that the two libraries changed their decision and will allow my voice to be heard and my book to be read,” the actor said in a statement published Monday by Fox News

“I hope they realized that their position of denying me a story hour reading was not only unfair and illegal but that we would all be better off if we listened to each other’s perspectives.”

The 52-year-old actor hopes that “children from Indianapolis and Scarsdale can learn something about biblical wisdom and the fruits of the Spirit from ‘As You Grow.'”

Cameron is best known for his work on the television sitcom “Growing Pains.” Earlier this month, the actor published a book titled, As You Grow, which teaches children about biblical values, such as love, joy, peace, kindness and faithfulness. 

In a Friday interview with CBN’s Faithwire, the actor and children’s book author revealed that he and his publishing house wrote a letter to libraries across the U.S. that refused to host him. They also sent a free copy of Cameron’s book for the libraries to share with their patrons.

“If they double down on their discrimination and excluding certain viewpoints just because they think that they don’t like them, well, then, I told them that I’m prepared to assert my constitutional rights in court,” Cameron said. 

“It’s not OK to say ‘yes’ to drag queen story hours and teach children one kind of value and say ‘no’ to other community members who would like to have their children taught other values in the same library, in the same room, for the same amount of time as other people are allowed.”

The “Growing Pains” star expressed surprise that libraries would hesitate to teach the values found in his book to children, emphasizing a need for the country to “get back to the Word of God.” 

In an interview with The Christian Post earlier this month promoting his film “Lifemark,” a pro-life movie about adoption, Cameron encouraged Christian parents to involve themselves in the culture after over 50 libraries refused or ignored his request to host a reading of his book. 

“We need all hands on deck. The family of faith needs to get off the defense, get on the offense, and when we do, we will join that great cloud of witnesses from the past,” Cameron assured. “We will be part of God’s loving army of compassion that cannot be stopped and the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it.”

One of the libraries that declined to host Cameron, the Rochambeau Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island, told the actor’s publisher, “No, we will pass on having you run a program in our space. We are a very queer-friendly library. Our messaging does not align.”

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: samantha.kamman@christianpost.com. Follower her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

Most Americans favor religious liberty protections for medical professionals: survey


By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | December 7, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/americans-favor-religious-liberty-for-medical-professionals-poll.html

Getty Images/Science Photo Library

WASHINGTON — A new survey reveals that most Americans support religious liberty protections for medical professionals and institutions opposed to participating in procedures that violate their beliefs and commitment to “do no harm,” even as younger Americans express more skepticism about religious liberty protections.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty unveiled the top findings of its 2022 Religious Freedom Index at its headquarters Tuesday. The fourth annual survey, conducted in conjunction with Heart and Minds Strategies, is based on responses collected from 1,004 adults in the United States from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5.  The full report is slated for release Wednesday.

As Becket Fund for Religious Liberty President and CEO Mark Rienzi explained, the Religious Freedom Index asks “the same questions year after year [to] a big number people to get a sense of how the American people are feeling about religious liberty for themselves, for other people, for people of minority faiths, [and] people of faiths that they don’t necessarily share.”

One question on the survey asked respondents to react to statements related to religious objections to assisted suicide, abortion and sex change procedures within the medical community. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed agreed that “individual physicians should be allowed to opt out of assisted suicide, elective abortion, or sex change procedures” if performing such procedures goes against their religious beliefs or their commitment to “do no harm.”

When asked if they believed that “hospitals and healthcare systems which have ethical objections or are run by religious organizations should be allowed to refuse to perform elective abortions,” 62% answered in the affirmative. Additionally, a majority (59%) of those surveyed believed that “medical students should be able to opt out of instruction regarding physician-assisted suicide, elective abortions, and sex change procedures during training.”

Only half of respondents expressed support for allowing “hospitals and healthcare systems with religious objections to assisted suicide, elective abortions, and sex change procedures” to “only employ medical professionals who agree with that position.” 

Achieving 74% support, the most popular idea introduced in the Religious Freedom Index states that “Patients and families should have access to healthcare facilities that share their beliefs about controversial procedures such as assisted suicide, elective abortion, or sex change procedures.”

The release of the 2022 Religious Freedom Index comes after the Biden administration has found itself in court over a mandate it issued forcing medical organizations to perform gender transition surgeries. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the mandate and the Biden administration did not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving the decision in place.

Last year’s survey included a question measuring support for “freedom for healthcare workers with religious objections to abortion to not participate in abortion procedures.” Seventy-five percent of respondents either completely or mostly accepted allowing healthcare workers to opt out of performing abortions if they could not do so in good conscience.

At the same time, 44% of those surveyed believed that hospitals and healthcare systems run by religious organizations should have the ability to “set policies and standards that reflect the organization’s religious beliefs.”

The questions about the conscience rights of hospitals and healthcare workers constitute a small fraction of the inquiries posed to Americans in this year’s Religious Freedom Index. As in previous years, the survey asked Americans for their views on religion and policy, religion in action, religion in society, religious pluralism, church and state and religion sharing.

Based on responses to a series of questions, Becket calculated a dimension score on a scale of 0 to 100 for each of the subcategories examined, with 0 indicating “complete opposition for the principle of religious freedom at issue” and a score of 100 demonstrating “robust support for the same principle.” The Religious Freedom Index is a composite score calculated after combining the dimension scores.

Heart and Mind Strategies CEO Dee Allsop elaborated on the dimensions examined in the Religious Freedom Index at the event Tuesday. According to Allsop, questions about religious pluralism examine respondents’ views about “freedoms to choose your religion, and to be able to pray and pursue your beliefs.” The religious sharing dimension measures Americans’ beliefs pertaining to the ability to “talk about and preach about your faith.”

Questions about church and state survey public opinion about “government being involved in religion and religion in government.” The religion in society dimension seeks to determine “whether or not religion is part of the problem or part of the solution” to societal problems.

The religion and policy dimension queries respondents for their views about marriage and whether or not religious beliefs “should be guiding the way that we vote.” The religion in action dimension is based on responses to questions about whether or not there should be “freedom for people of faith to follow their own religious beliefs when they’re at work and in their profession.”

As panelists explained at the press conference, the overall Religious Freedom Index stood at 68 this year, showing no change from 2021. However, the changes in the index dimension scores from 2021 varied widely.  

As in previous surveys, respondents demonstrated the highest level of support for religious pluralism. The dimension score for religious pluralism came in at 84 in 2022, an increase from 80 in 2021. The dimension scores for religious sharing and religion in action barely budged from 71 to 72 and 67 to 68, respectively.

On the other hand, support for religion in society, religion and policy, church and state and religion in action declined compared to last year. The dimension score for religion and policy dropped by three points from 68 to 65 between 2021 and 2022. The religion in society dimension score also decreased by three points, from 65 to 62.

Mirroring the results of previous surveys, the dimension dealing with church and state received the lowest score in 2022, dropping from 58 to 56 over the past year. 

A group of panelists, moderated by Becket Law Executive Director Montse Alvarado, discussed the findings from the Religious Freedom Index and their implications for American society as a whole at the event Tuesday. With the U.S. Supreme Court case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case in the news, Americans indicated that they “overwhelmingly support” the right of a photographer not to participate in a same-sex wedding if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are.

The 303 Creative case centers on Colorado-based website designer Lorie Smith, who is challenging Colorado anti-discrimination law out of concern that it would force her to create websites for same-sex marriages in violation of her religious convictions about marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Oral arguments in the 303 Creative case took place Monday.

One panelist, Nick Tomaino of The Wall Street Journal, expressed gratitude for “the durable support for people like Lorie,” noting that the Religious Freedom Index found “about seven in 10 people thinking that Lorie Smith and others like her should be able to practice their faith.” At the same time, he highlighted a trend from the survey revealing that “Gen Z women aren’t registering their support.”

Other panelists also cited Gen Zers’ beliefs about religious freedom issues as a cause for concern going forward. Stephanie Slade of Reason Magazine pointed to statistics illustrating “abstract” support for religious liberty among the youngest Americans that fades when respondents are presented with a specific example: “Among Gen Z, you have a very high number (86%) who say … they support freedom of people or groups to choose not to participate in actions or work that violate their sincere religious beliefs and conscience.”

“When you put a specific example to them and you ask ‘should an individual physician, for example, be able to opt out of providing, say, being involved in abortion or physician-assisted suicide’ or something like that, support drops 50% among the Gen Z cohort,” she said.

Another panelist, Josh Good, director of the Faith Angle Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, attributed the hostility toward religious liberty among younger Americans to a “blind spot when it comes to religion” in American newsrooms. Tomaino suggested that having “religious practitioners in newsrooms” could help address this “blind spot.”

Tomaino contended that “there might be a caricature that newsrooms treat religion as something of a strange species.” Alvarado lamented the Religious Freedom Index’s finding that “37% of Americans had never heard of pregnancy centers being in any way being affected by post-Roe reality,” such as vandalism and bombings, as a consequence of media bias.

Alvarado and Slade suggested that had these people known about the targeting of pro-life pregnancy centers following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which determined that the U.S. Constitution did not contain a right to abortion, they would have become more sympathetic to arguments in favor of religious liberty.

“Story selection is a form of bias,” Slade asserted. “These stories are not getting the coverage that they deserve and they are not getting the coverage they would get if … when there are, in some cases, violence or any kind of harassment or attacks on an abortion provider, for example, these same journalists would know that this is a story and it deserves coverage and it’s a big deal.”

According to Slade, “In a healthy media ecosystem, we need people who are going out and just reporting the facts that are true.” She portrayed the current state of American media as focused on “the pure outrage-inducing opinion cable news-style journalism as opposed to reporting the facts,” where journalists see themselves on an “existential mission to represent the good against the evil.”

Slade also acknowledged that the irreligiosity of Gen Z compared to other generations might also play a role in their apparent hostility toward religious liberty: “Gen Z is much less religious themselves, they’re much less likely to think that religion’s part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

“They’re much less supportive of freedom for people to run their businesses the way they want, for religious nonprofits to make employment decisions based on the tenets of their faith, which is a really important part of being a faith-based nonprofit, they’re much less likely to … support freedom to believe that certain behaviors are sinful.”  

After Slade reiterated that Gen Z has “less sympathy and understanding of the value of religion in society,” Tomaino pointed to academic influence as a reason why. “The water they swim in universities tends to be overtly hostile to the faith,” he concluded. He circled back to the role the media plays in shaping public opinion: “Having news coverage of the positive contributions that faith organizations make is especially important.”

When Tomaino clarified that “males registered slightly more sympathy to religious causes” than females, Alvarado responded, “they’re more religious themselves.” Alvarado and the other panelists repeatedly stressed the importance of religious liberty in a pluralistic society, with the Becket Fund Executive Director sharing a quote from noted theologian Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “The Tree of Liberty has religious roots and don’t think that you can sever those roots and have the Tree of Liberty survive.”

For his part, Good offered up his opinion that “People being more religious, not less religious, is the key to understanding pluralism better.”

Discussing other takeaways of the 2022 Religious Freedom Index, Allsop noted that when asked if “religion is part of the solution to the problems we face in our society or part of the problem,” respondents were split down the middle. This constituted a dramatic drop from the 61% who saw religion as a solution to societal problems in 2021.

“Catholics in particular and non-Catholic Christians overwhelmingly say that they feel completely or a good amount accepted in our society,” he said. Stressing that feelings of acceptance were “not quite the same for those that are religious, non-Christians,” he reported that “less than half of them are feeling that high level of acceptance in our society.” Additionally, 89% of Americans agree that “sacred sites and religious practices of Native American Indians ought to be protected.”

When asked about the First Amendment, “Less than half of Americans recognize that freedom of religion is one of the protected rights in the First Amendment,” Allsop added. “Most Americans, even though they can’t find it in the First Amendment, they nevertheless feel that religious freedom plays a really important role and provides an important good in our society.”

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

If Marriage Can Mean Anything, It Will Soon Mean Nothing


BY: STELLA MORABITO | NOVEMBER 29, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/29/if-marriage-can-mean-anything-it-will-soon-mean-nothing/

Sen. Cynthia Lummis speaking on the Senatea floor prior to voting on the Respect for Marriage Act
The Respect for Marriage Act lets the government establish a permanent presence in your personal life while redefining your relationships.

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No matter how you define “marriage,” there is zero respect for it in the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. You may believe it serves to federally codify the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision that rejected marriage as a male-female union. Maybe it would do so temporarily. But that’s not the endgame.

If you’re paying attention, you can see that the Senate’s recent 62-37 vote for cloture on HR 8404 puts us one step closer to abolishing state recognition of marriage entirely. That’s where this train is headed.

This will happen the same way such things always happen — through a demonization campaign that frames skeptics as bigots who are guilty of discrimination. That’s how you get Democrat-pliable Republicans such as Mitt Romney and craven Supreme Court justices like Anthony Kennedy to sign on. That’s how you manufacture a public opinion cascade, warning average Americans that they’ll be pummeled with lawsuits and ostracism if they dare think out loud.

And that’s how Democrats in Congress are likely in the not-too-distant future — via HR 8404 — to make the case that marriage actually comes with privileges that discriminate against the unmarried. Disagree? You’re a bigot who deserves to be socially ostracized! Self-censorship in the face of such accusations will pave the way, as always

Collectivists Hope to Destroy Private Life and Regulate Relationships

Once they’ve gotten to that point via HR 8404 and Republicans who supported the measure, congressional Democrats will doubtless push us to agree that marriage is a discriminatory institution. We’ll start seeing more anti-marriage initiatives supported by singles, millennials, Julias, and gen Z, all well-groomed for the moment by teacher’s unions, academia, and media.

They’ll fall for the pitch that we can all just write up domestic partnership contracts instead. “Marriage” would then become nothing but a legal relationship (a contract) between two (or more) people for any purpose at all. Bureaucrats would broker those contracts. This proposal is all mapped out in Sunstein and Thaler’s 2008 book “Nudge.” It’s also been promoted for decades by internationally acclaimed feminist legal scholar Martha Fineman who writes that a system of contracts replacing marriage will help the state “regulate all social interactions.”

Under a system that abolishes state recognition of marriage, the family could no longer exist autonomously or unmolested by the state. How could it if the state no longer recognizes marriage as the foundation of the family unit? The government would have no requirement to recognize religious rites of marriage as valid. Thus, it would meddle more deeply in religion and religious communities that recognize bonds of kinship through blood ties.

We Become Atomized Individuals in the State’s Eyes

The atomization resulting from this will have repercussions that go beyond the bill’s guarantee to treat any difference of opinion as a federal crime. If we continue on this path, the government will no longer have to recognize any biological relationships. It need not recognize any legal right you might have as the parent of your biological child. Why should it? It would have already abolished its recognition of the union that produced the child. 

Some of this process has already been completed through gender-neutral language in documents like passports, birth certificates, or the rules of the 117th Congress that do not recognize the words “mother,” “father,” “son,” or “daughter.”

Much groundwork has also been laid by surrogacy and abortion laws that treat children as chattel to buy, sell, and dispose of at will. And why would the state have to recognize any other relationships resulting from marriage if it no longer recognizes marriage? It could ignore your blood relationships to brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or any familial bond. In this scenario, you’d likely need a license to raise your own child, an old communist goal that the so-called Respect for Marriage Act conjures up.

When all there is are bureaucratized domestic partnership arrangements, the government would no longer need to recognize spousal privilege and thereby could legally coerce spouses to testify against one another in court. It could also abolish the default path of survivorship through which your inheritance goes to your spouse or next of kin. Instead, the state would be free to redistribute your nest egg at will in its great bureaucratic wisdom.

Indeed, there is no reason to doubt that the Respect for Marriage Act serves as a midwife to the radical left’s long-held goal of abolishing state recognition of marriage. It will allow the government to regulate our relationships, rendering each of us naked before its power. 

We are each being set up for a pre-arranged marriage with Big Government operating as our abusive spouse. 

Such Atomization Is a Totalitarian Necessity

The path to human atomization is the natural arc of all totalitarian systems in the making. They must always first isolate people in order to control them through terror, as Hannah Arendt noted in her work “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” Tyrants always mask their intentions by borrowing from tradition, using words like “respect for marriage,” “love,” or “equality” as they march us all into virtual solitary confinement

There’s nothing new about this trajectory. It’s a long-standing vision of all totalitarian systems, which first came into the open with the Communist Manifesto’s proclamation, “Abolish the family!” Communists referred to traditional religion as “the opiate of the people” while setting up communism as a pseudo-religion that demanded unquestioning loyalty. The resulting dependency then truly becomes the fentanyl of the people.

Such deceptions are why Schumer and company talk about marriage as though the government has some sort of litmus test for “love.” But anyone with half a brain knows that love’s got nothing to do with a functioning state’s interest in marriage. Marriage is an institution that exists to allow for a structured society and for the protection of children. 

Of course, we easily forget such facts while living in a nation that increasingly promotes infanticide, assisted suicide, recreational drug use, child pornography, and other ways to torture and kill our children. In fact, virtually all of their policy positions are tailor-made for family breakdown, community breakdown, and for hostility toward religious communities.

But maybe you like feeling lonely and alienated, like the idea of a childless and hopeless future, and are all for the state regulating your personal relationships and conversations. Well, then, you’ll like the “Respect” for Marriage Act.

But the destruction of bonds of affection and loyalty in the private spheres of life makes sense from the point of view of statists. Those loyalties get in the way of their ambitions for power and social engineering. They are invested in isolating us so that we become dependent upon them.


Stella Morabito is a senior contributor at The Federalist. She is author of “The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.” Her essays have appeared in various publications, including the Washington Examiner, American Greatness, Townhall, Public Discourse, and The Human Life Review. In her previous work as an intelligence analyst, Morabito focused on various aspects of Russian and Soviet politics, including communist media and propaganda. Follow Stella on Twitter.

Scripture engaged Americans gave more than $100B to charity in 2021: report


By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | November 30, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/scripture-engaged-americans-gave-145-billion-to-charity-in-2021-report.html/

A man reading the Bible. | Getty images

Scripture engaged Americans donated more than $100 billion to charity last year, giving more on average to churches and other charitable organizations than the other subgroups surveyed, according to a new report. 

The American Bible Society released the eighth chapter of its annual “State of the Bible” report earlier this month, which focused on the charitable giving habits of Christians and the American people as a whole. The survey found that Scripture engaged Americans, those who score the highest on a scale measuring Scripture engagement based on responses to a series of questions examining the “frequency of Bible use and the impact and centrality of [its] message” on their lives, gave a total of $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021. 

According to the report, compiled based on responses from 2,598 U.S. adults collected from Jan. 20-28, charitable giving among Scripture engaged Americans accounted for 44% of all donations given to charity last year. Additionally, Scripture engaged Americans gave an average of $2,941 to charity in 2021. Their counterparts in the “movable middle” and the Scripture disengaged, as determined by their scores on the Scripture engagement scale, gave an average of $649 and $924 to charity last year, respectively. 

On average, a majority of the donations from Scripture engaged Americans went to their church, parish or temple. With Scripture engaged Americans’ average contributions to their place of worship measured at $2,124, other top recipients of charitable giving among this subgroup included national religious charities ($344), other religious organizations ($277) and local non-religious charities ($162). 

Respondents in the “movable middle” gave an average of $335 to their place of worship, followed by $168 to other religious organizations, $85 to local non-religious charities and $43 to national religious charities. On the other hand, the Bible disengaged directed most of their charitable donations ($406) at religious organizations besides their place of worship, more than double the average amount given to places of worship ($163). 

The Bible disengaged donated an average of $285 to local non-religious charities and an average of $28 to national religious charities.

Scripture engaged Americans also had the highest proportion of givers among the three categories of respondents as determined by their scores on the Scripture engagement scale. Eighty percent of Scripture engaged Americans gave to charity in 2021, compared to 68% of those in the “movable middle” and 53% of Scripture disengaged Americans.

Among Scripture engaged Americans, a majority (58%) donated at least $210 to charity while an additional 24% gave less than $210, and the remaining 18% did not give to charity. A plurality of those in the “movable middle” (37%) gave less than $210 to charity, followed by 36% who did not donate at all and 27% who contributed more than $210. An outright majority of the Scripture disengaged (52%) did not give to charity, while the remaining 48% consisted of an even split of those who gave less than $210 and those who donated more than $210. 

Practicing Christians also donated money to charity at a higher rate than their non-practicing and non-Christian counterparts. Eighty-one percent of practicing Christians donated to charity in 2021, compared to 61% of non-practicing Christians and 52% of non-Christians. 

The latest chapter of the State of the Bible report also illustrated a correlation between the amount of money an individual gave to charity and their score on the Human Flourishing Index, developed by Harvard University to measure a person’s “happiness and life satisfaction,” “mental and physical health,” “meaning and purpose,” “character and virtue,” “close social relationships” and “financial and material stability.” Those who gave more than $210 to charity last year had an average score of 7.6 on the Human Flourishing Index’s 10-point scale. 

Individuals who gave less than $210 to charity achieved an average score of 6.9 on the Human Flourishing Index and those who gave nothing at all to charity had an average score of 6.7. On the 10-point scale specifically measuring an individual’s level of meaning and purpose, those who gave at least $210 to charity registered an average score of 7.7 in contrast to those who gave less than $210 (6.9) or those who did not donate to charity (6.7). 

John Farquhar Plake, the director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, reacted to the findings of the report in a statement. “Year after year our research shows there is a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing, suggesting that people find a sense of meaning when they give to a cause they believe in,” he said. “Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture–rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well.”

The State of the Bible report also illustrated a noticeable gap in levels of charitable giving based on age. Eighty-four percent of the elderly gave to charity in 2021, along with 73% of baby boomers, 61% of those in Generation X, 53% of millennials and exactly one-half of the youngest group of American adults that comprise Generation Z. 

The report concluded with a look at the role that Bible users, defined as those who interact with the Bible at least three to four times a year, believe that their use of the Bible plays in their amount of charitable giving. Fifty-five percent of Bible users who agreed that “as a result of using the Bible, I am more generous with my time, energy, or financial resources” gave at least $210 to charity, while 19% donated less than $210 and the remaining 26% did not give to charity.

A majority of those who agreed that “as a result of using the Bible, I show more loving behavior toward others” (54%) reported giving at least $210 to charity. An additional 26% who credited the Bible with making them more loving toward others did not give any money to charity while the remaining 20% donated less than $210. 

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

‘Deceptive’: Franklin Graham warns Christians about ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ ahead of Senate vote


By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor | November 28, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/franklin-graham-warns-christians-about-respect-for-marriage-act.html/

Courtesy Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Evangelist Franklin Graham is warning Christians that the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which is set to be voted on by the Senate Monday, is a deceptive smoke-screen that would change the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman while not protecting those who hold a traditional view of marriage.

The Respect for Marriage Act “could impact you, your family, your church, and our nation,” Graham wrote on Facebook during the weekend. “The name is a smoke-screen. Very deceptive.”

He compared it to the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act that “did nothing but increase inflation and further hurt our economy.”

“The current version of the Respect for Marriage Act being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer is designed to provide strong protections for same-sex marriage — but it fails to protect those of us who believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” explained Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

“It is dangerous legislation that would be used against individuals, churches and organizations who honor traditional marriage.”

The bill to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage into federal law cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Senate earlier this month, with critics saying that a religious freedom amendment added to the legislation doesn’t adequately protect those with deeply held beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman. Graham said Republican Sen. Mike Lee’s proposed amendment “can improve” the legislation and “bring critically-needed protection for religious liberty and rights of conscience.”

He continued, “Many say this is a long shot, but we desperately need senators to demand the Lee Amendment be added to the current version of the Respect for Marriage Act before it is finalized.”

The measure would codify the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which established a right to same-sex marriage, into federal law and formally repeal the unenforced Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman at the federal level.

Graham urged Christians to call their senators “as soon as possible and ask them to vote YES for the Lee Amendment — or to vote NO to the Respect for Marriage Act if it doesn’t have this amendment.”

He warned, “Time is short — freedom-loving people have to take action before it’s too late.”

The Respect for Marriage Act previously passed the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in July with the support of all Democrats and 47 House Republicans.

The legislation would require all states to give “full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”

Passage of the bill has become a top priority for congressional Democrats following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, determining that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t contain a right to abortion. In a concurring opinion in Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas described the substantive due process as “legal fiction,” suggesting that the justices should “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” including Obergefell

In a recent op-ed for The Christian Post, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, also warned that the bill “opens the door to American persecution.”

“As the mainstream culture moves further and further away from a Christian worldview, I’ve witnessed the hostility to moral truth creep closer to our shores,” he wrote. “The West, once the safe haven of free speech and religion, is turning cold to the foundations that made our countries thrive.”

He cited an FRC report released in July, which tracked 99 incidents of government attacks on religious freedom against Christians or Christian institutions across 14 Western countries in the last two years alone.

Trans Ideologues Who Cheer Cutting Off Healthy Genitals Shouldn’t Set Federal Medical Standards


BY: DOUGLAS WILSON | NOVEMBER 23, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/trans-ideologues-who-cheer-cutting-off-healthy-genitals-shouldnt-set-federal-medical-standards-2658771366.html/

Health and Human Services
Along the new frontier of ‘transgender health,’ destructive ‘standards of care’ are being set by ideologues — with the government’s blessing.

Author Douglas Wilson profile

DOUGLAS WILSON

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Imagine the Environmental Protection Agency decides that, instead of setting air pollution standards, it will outsource oversight to an industry group called the “Emission Standards Coalition,” which, despite its innocuous name, is funded and staffed entirely by coal companies. Or, closer to home, imagine that city councilmembers in your quiet suburb decide that henceforth all speed limits will be set by the local auto racing club. We all would promptly object, haranguing the government for abdicating its most basic responsibility to citizens. “Foxes shouldn’t guard henhouses,” we’d say. Rules meant for public health and safety shouldn’t become tools to advance special interests and profit seekers. Lifting pollution and speed limits may benefit factory and Ferrari owners, but the public at large will have to cope with the resulting damage.

Farfetched as these examples might seem, something like this is happening in health care. Along the new frontier of “transgender health,” novel and even destructive “standards of care” are being set by ideologues and billionaire-backed foundations — all with the government’s blessing.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Behind its 190-plus pages and innocent-sounding name (“Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities”) hides a radical agenda that would reshape the nation’s health care in alarming ways. HHS is proposing new national standards for what it calls “gender affirming care,” mandating that doctors provide these services and insurance plans cover them. What is “gender affirming care” exactly? HHS never really says. Its proposed rule neither defines the term nor identifies objective standards — such as age limits — that might apply. Instead, HHS incorporates guidance from medical societies and a group calling itself the “World Professional Association for Transgender Health,” or WPATH.

WPATH is not a government agency. It is a trans-activist group. Its president is Dr. Marci Bowers, a man identifying as a woman and self-described “pioneer in the field of Gender Affirmation Surgery” with her own transgender reality show, “Sex Change Hospital.” WPATH’s staff appears to be largely borrowed from Veritas, a for-profit company that does marketing and public relations for medical societies. WPATH’s funders include the Arcus Foundation (“one of the largest LGBT funders in the world”), the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations, and the Tawani Foundation, headed by transgender billionaire Jennifer Pritzker.

‘Standards’ Reflect Radical Backers

In 2018, the Tawani Foundation gave WPATH $200,000 to develop its so-called “Standards of Care,” a gift that earned Pritzker the WPATH “Philanthropy Award.” And Pritzker is heavily invested in trans causes. While the foundation has been funneling money to groups like WPATH and the National Center for Transgender Equality, its for-profit arm, Tawani Enterprises, is making financial bets on medical devices, implants, and surgical cutting tools. With the transgender surgery market expected to grow by billions of dollars over the next decade, one careful observer notes that “it is hard to avoid the impression of complementarity” here.

No surprise, then, that the WPATH standards that HHS hopes to enshrine into law reflect the radical views of its backers. On the list of WPATH “treatments” are mutilating surgeries (mastectomies, vaginectomies, penectomies), “chest binding,” “genital tucking,” “aesthetic procedures” like “body contouring” and “voice surgery,” and puberty-blocking drugs for children. There’s no minimum age requirement for these procedures. WPATH even calls for “psychotherapy” for prepubescent “gender diverse children” to “explore their gender,” with parents involved “as necessary” and excluded if their involvement is “contra-indicated.” WPATH says it’s “committed to advocacy” for “social and political climates that ensure social tolerance, equality, and the full rights of citizenship.”

This isn’t medicine. It is the destruction of healthy bodies, the indoctrination of children, and the dissolution of parental rights. It is radical sexual ideology under the guise of science.

Rest of the World Backs Away

Even to call WPATH’s guidance “standards of care” is misleading. As the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine explains, a true standard of care “is a treatment approach that all reasonable providers would use in a particular clinical situation,” but no such consensus exists for so-called “gender affirming care,” especially for kids. And the mounting damage this form of “care” is doing to both kids and adults is well-documented. It’s why countries around the world are backing away from it, even as HHS bureaucrats are strangely doubling down.

WPATH published its latest guidance in its “partner” journal, the recently renamed “International Journal of Transgender Health.” Among its authors is Susie Green, who heads the United Kingdom-based group Mermaids focused on “gender-diverse kids.” Green is not a medical professional. She spent several years as an IT consultant before famously helping her 16-year-old son undergo transgender surgery in Thailand. Another contributor to the WPATH guidance is Laura A. Jacobs, a self-described genderqueer “activist” and “heretic” whose “psychotherapy specialties” include “LGBTQIA+” adolescents, “BDSM,” “kink,” and “sexwork.”

It isn’t shocking that a bunch of well-funded activists could come together, give their glossy PDFs a veneer of academic credibility, and market their views as a new sexual orthodoxy. What is shocking is that they’ve managed to capture the federal bureaucracy. For HHS to uncritically platform WPATH, mandating shoddy science and destructive medicine as law, is an alarming development that deserves greater scrutiny.

Ultimately, this is a lawless effort. HHS has no power to override the states and the medical profession by imposing “standards of care” for the entire country. Nor can HHS force these standards on health care professionals in violation of their ethical and religious convictions. And purporting to delegate these tasks to billionaire-backed ideologues with no democratic accountability is worse yet. Just as racing enthusiasts don’t set speed limits and coal companies don’t set pollution rules, transgender activists shouldn’t be setting national medical standards.


Douglas G. Wilson Jr. is the chief executive officer of the Catholic Benefits Association and founding board member of the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance.

Former Hallmark actress claims new network ‘will keep traditional marriage at the core’


By: CORTNEY WEIL | November 15, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/former-hallmark-actress-claims-new-network-will-keep-traditional-marriage-at-the-core/

Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

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Former Hallmark star Candace Cameron Bure appears excited that the new network she has joined will offer stories with “more meaning and purpose and depth” that will still reflect her Christian values.

Back in April, Bure announced that she was leaving the Hallmark Channel after more than a dozen years and 30 movies with the network. Bure had become a fan favorite, especially in Christmas-themed movies. However, Hallmark has veered leftward in recent years, promising to include more LGBTQ content in its otherwise family-friendly movies. This year, Hallmark will even include a movie with an LGBTQ romance as its central focus. That movie, “The Holiday Sitter,” will debut on December 11.

By the time she left, Bure lamented that Hallmark had become “a completely different network” than it had been a decade earlier, and she attributed the change in network identity to a “change of leadership.”

From Hallmark, Bure, 46, moved to a new network founded by Bill Abbott, the former president and CEO of Crown Media, the parent company of Hallmark. According to Bure, this new network, Great American Family (formerly named Great American Country), will compete with Hallmark for audiences looking for more traditional, family-oriented content.

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“GAC fits my brand perfectly,” Bure stated at the time. “We share a vision of creating compelling, wholesome content for an audience who wants to watch programming for and with the whole family. Great, quality entertainment with a positive message is what my partnership with GAC is all about.”

“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure added.

Now with the holidays fast approaching and a “Great American Christmas” series set to rival Hallmark’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” programming, Bure has hinted that, unlike Hallmark, GAF will present basic Christian teaching, including marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman.

“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” Bure said, though she stopped short of promising that GAF would never feature same-sex couples.

Abbott likewise did not preclude the possibility of same-sex romance storylines in the future. “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends,” he stated. “There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.'”

Still, Bure sounds enthusiastic about the potential at GAF, especially around the holidays.

“I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel,” Bure said. “That was Christmas and those traditional holidays, so that’s what the focus is going to be. You’ve got to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”

Because Bure has embraced a network focused on “traditional holidays” and “traditional marriage,” other celebrities have since criticized her for supposed bigotry and hypocrisy.

I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy,” tweeted former “One Tree Hill” actress Hilarie Burton. “But sure. Make your money, honey.”

Burton elsewhere called Bure a “bigot” and said that Abbott and “his network are disgusting.”

There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples,” Burton, 40, asserted.

Student’s Bible torn to shreds by activists protesting Matt Walsh’s ‘What is a Woman’ screening


By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/students-bible-torn-to-shreds-by-pro-transgender-activists.html

Screenshot: Twitter/YAF

Activists protesting conservative commentator Matt Walsh’s college tour at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his documentary film “What is a Woman” was being shown, grabbed a Bible from a young man who was reading it aloud and ripped out the pages. One protester used his teeth to shred the ripped-out pages and spat them on the cement ground. 

Young America’s Foundation, which is hosting Walsh’s college tour, shared a video of the protesters desecrating the Bible, including a female with red-dyed hair who shoved pages from a torn-up Bible into her mouth. 

A young counter-protester was reading the Bible in support of the YAF event. 

In another video, protesters can be seen using megaphones to call white people “f—— racist” and saying the protest was to “collectively chase Nazis off the U-W campus,” the New York Post reported Saturday.

Speaking to the crowd, a student protestor said white people needed to realize “how hard it is every single f—— day for BIPOC people, especially at this institution,” the Daily Mail reported.

Rayna Cordon, who was part of a pro-abortion group protesting Walsh, was quoted as saying, “It’s like a double standard to allow the Nazis and the transphobes and the self-proclaimed fascists to have the mic and not give it to the actual community members that are funding your school, that are attending your classes, that are teaching your classes.”

Protesters had also vandalized Memorial Union and other locations around campus with spraypainted graffiti and messages opposing the event, according to NBC15. Despite the loud protests, about 400 people attended the screening.

“I want to thank also the leftist crybabies for the free advertising spray-painted all over campus,” Walsh told attendees.

The Daily Wire commentator also addressed the heads of the school and quoted a message the university had sent out before the event warning students that the speaker is someone whose views “we believe are harmful toward our trans community.”

“To the UW-Madison administration: you should be ashamed of yourselves,” Walsh continued. “You are disgraceful, self-debasing cowards, and you spineless, gutless clowns owe me an apology.”

“What is a Woman” is a documentary about gender and trans activist movement presented by Walsh and produced and released by The Daily Wire.

The documentary features Walsh asking, “What is a woman?” and related questions to a variety of people, including politicians, a pediatrician, a gender studies professor, a psychiatrist, a gender-affirming family and marriage therapist, a trans opponent of medical transitions for minors and a surgeon who performs body mutilating surgeries. 

In one part of the documentary, Scott (Kellie) Newgent, the trans founder of TReVoices, raises her arm to reveal her severed arm and says: “We have five children’s hospitals in the United States telling girls that they can be boys at $70,000 a pop in a surgery that has a 67 percent complication rate that will kill me from infection … that I can’t sue on. We’re butchering a generation of children because no one is willing to talk about anything. I have three kids at the age they’re doing this to kids. I’m not transphobic. I love my kids. And I love other people’s kids, and you should too. …This is wrong on so many levels. … I get infections every three to four months. … I’m probably not going to live very long.”

Hobby Lobby founder David Green: ‘We truly believe that it’s God’s business’ (Part 2)


By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/hobby-lobbys-david-green-we-truly-believe-that-its-gods.html/

David Green | The Christian Post

It’s one thing to practice servant leadership in ministry, but for Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green, that calling is also very much one of his company’s best practices.

In his new book, Leadership Not by the Book: 12 Unconventional Principles to Drive Incredible Results, Green lays out what his vision looks like for a thriving work environment, which he emphasizes never involves asking employees or prospective employees about their own deeply held beliefs.

“We don’t, we shouldn’t, and we don’t even want to,” Green told The Christian Post.

Instead, Green said he strives to create a working environment that focuses on the people who have made Hobby Lobby what it is.

“Hobby Lobby does a lot for our employees because we know they’re so important,” he said, pointing to the company’s minimum wage of $18.50 and closing stores on Sunday.

“We were open [on Sundays] at one time,” Green explained. “That was the busiest day per hour.”

Hobby Lobby also has chaplains available for any employees who request such services, something Green said is aimed at a higher calling.

“We have people that are really fighting for us, and they know they’re not building my wealth,” he said. “They’re doing things that are going to change the Kingdom, something that’s more important than something that’s temporal.”

That heavenly orientation sometimes even leads to evangelism opportunities at Hobby Lobby.

Green said one employee — who he described as “really an evangelist” — will often share the Gospel with co-managers, who are brought into the Hobby Lobby corporate office from other retailers, and even give them little pieces of paper where they can say whether they have put their trust in Jesus. Over the past several years of doing that, Green said about a hundred have received Christ for the first time, while another hundred have rededicated their lives to Him.

Green said it’s something they started about 15 years ago and continued even after his attorney warned about the potential cost of doing so.

“I think we oughta risk,” Green said. “I don’t think we should be pushy. But I think we have something that … we should tell them about. We have a Master, we have a Creator that loves us, that died for us and cares for us. Why should we not tell that story?

“We want to make sure we do that and do it in the right way.”

Doing things the right way also underscores what Green sees as the difference between inheritance and heritage, at least when it comes to his own family.

“The heritage that I want to leave my children is the heritage of serving the Lord and knowing Him, and not billions or millions of dollars. I don’t care to do that at all,” he said. “Some of my worst days are, ‘What do I do with this value and how do I not put a curse on my family?’”

Acknowledging that wealthy people often “have an awful lot of problems,” Green said he wanted to do everything he could to ensure that doesn’t happen with his family. Earlier this month, Green revealed that 100% of Hobby Lobby’s voting stock has been moved to a trust composed of all seven Green family members so stewardship of the company can continue into the future.

He shared a little more with CP about the motivation for that move, saying, “We truly believe that it’s God’s business and run it in such a way that it’s His, so the profits do not belong to us.”

“Basically, we say that God owns the company. But we don’t only just say it, then we say, what does it look like? And to make it look like that, we took all of our ownership and we put it into 1 percent,” he explained.

“So 100 percent is in 1 percent, and it’s in a trust that seven of us, seven family members all serving the Lord, come together. And that’s what guides our company. “

When it comes to his children and the family business, Green said while the family has never made a dividend “nor do we plan to,” those who do the work earn a salary, just like everyone else.

“It’s real simple in our family — you get what you earn and no more,” he said, adding that a committee decides what Green and his children who are in the business earn.

“Everybody in our family gets a salary based on what they contribute, but no one earns anything in our family that has not come alongside with the family, ‘cause that’s not what God wants for all of them,” he added.

He said he has seven grandchildren that are in some type of ministry, and “that’s OK.”

“God has a plan and we want them to find what God would have for them,” he added.

Like most Christian parents, Green said his greatest hope for his children is to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s why, Green said, he and his wife, Barbara, have been “very intentional” about providing their children and grandchildren with a Christian education, either through homeschooling or at private institutions.

“The most important thing to me is my children serve the Lord far beyond Hobby Lobby,” he said. “I would rather Hobby Lobby would never have even existed if I lost one of my children because of wealth.”

And as for Hobby Lobby’s future, Green said he hopes the retail giant will continue not just after he’s gone, but until the very end of the age.

“We have it set up to be here as long as we can, until Jesus returns,” he said. “We want to use it to tell as many people as we can about the Good News of Christ dying for us while we were yet sinners, so that’s the mission we would like to continue.”

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ian.giatti@christianpost.com

Pro-life group demands gov’t investigate covert network trafficking abortion pills into the US


By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/pro-lifers-react-to-underground-abortion-pill-network-in-mexico.html/

In this photo illustration, a person looks at an Abortion Pill (RU-486) for unintended pregnancy from Mifepristone displayed on a smartphone on May 8, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. | OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

A pro-life group is calling on Congress and drug enforcement agencies to take action amid reports that organizations in Mexico are funneling abortion pills into states that have banned their use. 

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action, the activist division of the pro-life group Students for Life of America, has demanded in a letter to members of Congress that they address the issue following a “shocking new report” about a “drug cartel at the Mexican border” that is shipping abortion-inducing pills into the U.S. The group wants Congress to instruct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate drug crimes involving abortion pills. The SFLA president called on Congress to require the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a new impact study on chemical abortions, given the widespread and sometimes illegal use of the pills.

As The Washington Post reported last week, several covert networks are running a pipeline through Mexico to deliver abortion pills to women in states that have banned abortion after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June. The abortion pill suppliers are funded anonymously, reportedly securing the drug for $1.50 a dose from international pharmacies or free via donations. An unnamed group in the U.S. then receives the pills through the mail and sends them to pregnant women seeking to abort their babies. 

Las Libres, one of the many Mexican groups involved in the illegal scheme, told The Washington Post that its organization alone is “on track to help terminate approximately 20,000 pregnancies this year in the United States.” 

“That amounts to about 20 percent of all legal abortions that took place in 2019 in the 13 states where abortion is now almost entirely banned,” The Washington Post reported.

Sandra Cardona Alanís, the leader and co-founder of Red Necesito Abortar, another Mexico-based group supplying abortion pills, said that once her group gets the pills to the U.S., “they can distribute them across the whole country.”

“As deadly as the two-pill regiment that the FDA allows can be, the chemical abortion pills sold at the border can carry an even greater risk as some will sell only one pill, saving them money but raising the risks,” Hawkins wrote in SFLA’s letter to lawmakers. 

“One need only look at other drug cartel efforts to understand the tremendous risk to women who may not be taking the drugs they think they ordered and may not survive the experience, not to mention the impact on the preborn.”

Hawkins stressed that the safety risks and the strain chemical abortions place on the U.S. healthcare system warrant a congressional response. She also cited the need for an investigation into possible environmental concerns due to the improper disposal of aborted human remains, linking to a column she wrote for The Washington Times in 2020. 

As Carole Novielli reported for the pro-life group Live Action in May, women who undergo chemical abortions typically take the pills at home and dispose of their babies’ remains themselves. The pro-life researcher noted that this likely saves abortion facilities money they would have spent hiring a waste disposal company to remove the remains. 

According to a 2015 study titled “Incidence of Emergency Room Department Visits and Complications After Abortion,” chemical abortions have a higher complication rate than surgical ones. 

The study analyzed data from 2009 and 2010 to assess the abortion complication rate for California women who had abortions through Medicaid and women who were treated at the emergency room instead of the clinic.

Researchers found that the complication rate was 5.2% for women who took the abortion pill compared to 1.3% for women who had a first-trimester surgical abortion. The major complication rate for the abortion pill was 0.31% in contrast to 0.16% for first-trimester surgical abortions.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: samantha.kamman@christianpost.com.

Detransitioners slam trans agenda in schools: ‘Children deserve better’


By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/detransitioners-warn-of-harm-posed-by-schools-transgender-agenda.html/

A sign outside a classroom taken in 2016. | REUTERS/Tami Chappell

A group of detransitioners spoke at a recent school board meeting in California amid concerns about public schools exposing students to gender ideology, warning that such content increases the likelihood that minors will rush to embrace “irreversible” decisions to their long-term detriment. 

Three young adults who formerly identified as trans spoke at a school board meeting for the Conejo Valley Unified School District in Ventura County, California, last week. Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old woman who has launched a support group for individuals who have come to regret undergoing gender transitions called Detrans United, was among three detransitioners who told their stories to the school board at a recent meeting. 

Detrans United shared their testimonies on its Twitter account Thursday, noting that the purpose of their remarks was to “voice our concerns about their policies that allow confused children to come to harm.” Cole indicated on her Twitter account that the distribution of a book introducing 8-year-olds to the word “transgender” was the primary reason she decided to call into the school board meeting. 

Cole shared screenshots of the book, titled Call Me Max, which declared that although “transgender is a long word,” it “means something simple.” The book laid out how “trans means going across” while “gender means being a boy or girl or a little of both.” Another page of the book adds, “When a baby is born, a grown-up says, ‘IT’S A BOY!’ or ‘IT’S A GIRL!’” 

Call Me Max embraced the idea that trans-identified children know that they were born in the wrong body from birth: “If a brand-new baby could talk, sometimes that baby might say, ‘NO I’M NOT!’ When a baby grows up to be transgender, it means that the grown-up who said they were a boy or a girl made a mistake.”

The school board meeting that Cole and the two other detransitioners called into was held on Oct. 11, which coincided with National Coming Out Day, an occasion that encourages LGBT youth to come forward about their sexual identities. One speaker addressed National Coming Out Day in her remarks.

“Growing up, I hated dresses and skirts. I hit puberty at 9 years old and I hated my developing breasts,” Cole recalled. “I hated growing into a woman. I didn’t identify at all with the women around me.”

Cole explained that her discomfort with her biological sex led her to decide that she “wanted to become a boy.” She began socially transitioning by adopting a boy’s name for herself, cutting her hair and wearing boys’ clothes.

“My parents were supportive but they weren’t sure what to do with me, so they sought the help of mental professionals who manipulated them into allowing me to do whatever I wanted to do with myself,” Cole said. She began to take puberty blockers at age 13, and had her breasts amputated at age 16. 

Cole lamented the lack of time between her initial referral to receive the double mastectomy and the surgery itself, which amounted to six months. “Very quickly, I was given what I wanted but it was far from what I needed. Two years later, I was still suffering from major complications,” she added. While Cole did not specify when exactly she began to regret taking significant steps to change her gender, she elaborated on the long-term consequences of her hasty decisions. 

“I will not be able to breastfeed any children I have in the future and my sexuality has permanently been affected because I was allowed to make adult decisions starting at 13, and then again at 15. This is what happens when children are sexualized and exposed to developmentally inappropriate and confusing content and ideas from a young age. This is what happens when we treat children like adults and expect them to have the mental faculties for proper long-term decision making.”

Cole concluded her testimony with a message to the school board: “You are placing children in direct harm. Children deserve better.”

A round of applause followed Cole’s remarks. After Cole finished speaking, another detransitioner, Cat Cattinson, began to outline her concerns about gender ideology in public schools in remarks delivered via telephone: “I was introduced to gender ideology when I was 13 years old. I began identifying as the opposite sex, a man, and believing this negatively affected me for the next 15 years.”

“For the record, coming out as gay is entirely different than coming out as another gender,” she suggested. Cattinson condemned surgeons who are performing mastectomies on underage girls, saying it’s an “irreversible procedure that will prevent this person from ever breastfeeding.” In addition to her status as a detransitioner, Cattinson used her experience as a molecular biologist to dismiss the central idea of gender ideology.

Cattinson added: “Humans cannot change sex. It’s impossible and trying to appear as the opposite sex comes with significant health risks such as infertility, osteoporosis and many more as well. Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries are irreversible.”

As her remarks came to a close, Cattinson contended that “there is a serious lack of quality research that any of these interventions improve mental health or prevent suicide in the long term.” Like Cole, Cattinson’s remarks drew a round of applause.

Abel Garcia, a male detransitioner, also addressed the board to speak out against “the push that they are doing right now to our children with the transgender ideology.” Garcia stressed that “we cannot expect children as young as they are right now to believe that they can change their sex with cross-sex hormones and irreversible surgeries.”

Garcia detailed how he had breast implants at age 21. Implying that he did not have the maturity to make such a decision, the detransitioner told the board: “I cannot expect a child, a high school male or elementary child, to understand the full extent of damages that will be done to their bodies if an adult like myself wasn’t able to.” 

For her part, Conejo Valley Unified School District Trustee candidate Lisa Powell insisted in a Twitter post shortly after the board meeting concluded that “CA state law requires schools to support and affirm transgender students.” “As a trustee, I will support and affirm our transgender students — not only because it’s the law, but because it’s the right thing to do,” she vowed.

CA state law requires schools to support and affirm our transgender students. As a trustee, I will support and affirm our transgender students – not only because it’s the law, but because it is the right thing to do.— Lisa Powell (@Powell4CVUSD) October 12, 2022

At the previous school board meeting on Sept. 20, a parent slammed the Conejo Valley Unified School District for its response to a seventh-grade boy masturbating in class. She attributed his inappropriate behavior to the school district’s sex education curriculum.

“It does not take an expert to figure out what happens to a 13-year-old boy when he’s staring at mostly naked girls wearing underwear to school and being exposed to concepts like oral and anal sex in seventh grade,” she said. “They let children write the dress code. The Teen Talk comprehensive sex ed is not age-appropriate and neither are supported by parents and teachers have spoken out adamantly against this.”

In a statement published Monday, the Conejo Valley Unified School District has decried what it has described as “on-going social media warfare and print disinformation campaigns” as part of an effort to “create false narratives from email snippets, social media posts, half statements made at Board meetings, and printed disinformation.” 

According to district leadership, “What was once lively discourse at our Board of Education meetings during public comments and agendized topics has escalated to a concerted and organized effort to create chaos and further narratives that are unfounded and simply have nothing to do with current action items nor Board duties and business.”

Besides noting that district officials experienced death threats, the statement did not provide specific examples of actions it found troubling. It did, however, proclaim that the “sensationalizing of rumors and months-old reported incidents must stop,” in what appeared to be a veiled reference to the remarks at the Sept. 20 board meeting regarding the in-class masturbation that took place in May. District officials suggested that “these fictitious narratives are being wrongly used to politicize incidents involving our students.”

The Conejo Valley Unified School District crafted a fact sheet, which was last updated on Oct. 14, to respond to parental concerns about the sex education curriculum. It states that parents can opt out of the curriculum if they so choose.

https://player.edifi.app/embed/index.html#/channels/Generation-Indoctrination:-Inside-the-Transgender-Battle/27801

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

Liz Truss signals support for police investigation into trans charity Mermaids


By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | October 17, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/liz-truss-signals-support-for-police-investigation-into-trans-charity-mermaids.html/

Mermaids UK

U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss signaled support for a police investigation into the trans charity Mermaids, saying it should be “properly looked at” during prime minister’s questions in the Commons Chamber. 

The Department for Education in England has stopped referring schools to the controversial charity, which promotes transgenderism to youth, amid increased scrutiny of the organization’s health recommendations for children and a scandal involving one of its trustees giving a speech for an organization that promotes resources for pedophiles.

As The Times reported Wednesday, the Charity Commission is assessing complaints against Mermaids following a report by The Daily Telegraph last week that the group sends “chest binders” to girls as young as 13 without their parents’ knowledge. Binders are often used by girls seeking to flatten their breasts to resemble a boy, and they can potentially cause breathing difficulties, damage healthy breast tissue and lead to cracked ribs.  

On Wednesday, Miriam Cates, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, asked the prime minister: “Does my right honorable friend agree that it has taken far too long for these concerns to be taken seriously and does she also agree that it is high time for a police investigation into the activities of Mermaids?”

Truss replied: “What I would say on the subject of the investigation she raises, of course those matters should be … properly looked at.”

Earlier this month, The Times also reported that Jacob Breslow, a trustee for Mermaids, resigned after it was discovered he spoke at a U.S.-based B4U-ACT event in 2011. The organization promotes resources for individuals who are sexually attracted to children. In his presentation, Breslow reportedly claimed that pedophiles are misunderstood.

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, credited parents Nigel and Sally Rowe for the Education Department’s decision to stop promoting Mermaids as a mental health resource in schools. The British charity affirms children’s gender confusion and is led by Susie Green, whose son identifies as female and was put on puberty blockers at age 12. 

Williams noted that the focus must now be directed toward the Church of England, which still utilizes Mermaids’ strategies in its “Valuing All God’s Children” (VAGC) guidance. In 2017, VAGC cited Mermaids as a model of care. While this citation was removed in 2019, the content reportedly still influenced the current trans-affirming approach, according to CLC. Over 4,000 of the Church of England’s primary schools utilize the VAGC guidelines, according to a November 2017 Daily Mail report. 

“The Church of England has over one million children under its care — will senior leaders finally listen and scrap this untenable advice?” Williams asked.

Christian Concern, the organization associated with CLC, launched a petition Tuesday that will be delivered to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, calling for the Church of England to scrap its trans-affirming policies. The petition currently has over 12,150 signatures.

In addition to instructing schools not to require students to wear uniforms that may “create difficulty for trans pupils,” VAGC discourages using faith or the Bible to justify refusals to accept a child identifying as the opposite gender.

You can’t be serious?!?! Valuing All God’s Children, supposedly a Christian organization, does not want scripture used to make the point that all this transgenderism is NOT of God. Do we really look that stupid? Jerry Broussard

Last week, the Rowes penned a letter to the archbishop, urging the Church of England to discard its VAGC policies, expressing concern that the guidance allows children as young as 5 to identify as the opposite sex. 

“In U.K. law you cannot change legal gender until you are 18 years old. Scientifically, you cannot change your biological sex,” the parents wrote.

“Furthermore, basic Christian teaching is that we are all created male or female and that the differences between the sexes are beautiful, designed and complementary, and should be respected in society. We are all created male and female (Genesis 1:27).” 

Despite opting to homeschool their children, the parents wrote that they remain concerned about the effect that the school’s policies may have on other children. According to the Rowes, much of the “confusion” and “distress” their sons experienced in school from having to refer to their friends as the opposite sex has lifted since their parents pulled them out. 

The letter follows a $24,956 (£22,000) settlement the Department of Education paid the Rowes in September for “legal costs and a commitment from the government to reform transgender policies,” according to the Christian Legal Centre. 

The CLC supported the parents’ taking legal action against the department in 2021 after the Church of England’s Portsmouth Diocesan Board of Education dismissed their complaint in 2017, citing the VAGC guidelines. One of the Church of England’s primary schools had labeled their son “transphobic” for refusing to abide by the school’s trans-affirming policies. 

The parents also raised concerns about the school allowing two 6-year-old boys in their sons’ classes to identify as girls without a psychological assessment. In opposition to the school’s policies, the Rowes decided to homeschool their children instead. 

The letter cites an August speech at the Policy Exchange by Suella Braverman, who was then the attorney general, and said there is no “absolute legal obligation” to affirm children who might be questioning their gender identity. She noted that schools sometimes allow children to use pronouns or compete on sports teams designated for the opposite sex without their parents’ knowledge. 

“Anyone who questions such an approach is accused of transphobia. In my view, this approach is not supported by the law,” Braverman said. 

The Rowes contended in their letter that this statement from the then-attorney general proves that the Church of England’s VAGC policies in schools have no legal basis. 

“We, therefore, ask you to commit to scrapping the Valuing All God’s Children guidance as a matter of urgency so that staff and children in Church of England schools are properly safeguarded and protected from harmful transgender ideology and practice,” the parents wrote.

“We also request a meeting with you to discuss these points and what the Church of England will do about them at your earliest convenience.”

In July, the Church of England responded to a question from the General Synod, the denomination’s legislative body, about its definition of a woman. The Rev. Robert Innes, the denomination’s bishop in Europe, responded that “There is no official definition, which reflects the fact that until fairly recently definitions of this kind were thought to be self-evident, as reflected in the marriage liturgy.”

Innes cited the church’s “Living in Love and Faith” project, which the church website describes as a “discerning way forward” for the church regarding “identity, sexuality, relationships, and marriage.” 

Pointing to “the marriage complexities associated with gender identity,” Innes claimed that the project “points to the need for additional care and thought to be given in understanding our commonalities and differences as people made in the image of God.”

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: samantha.kamman@christianpost.com.

‘Activist pimps’: Mom blasts school board for promoting ‘family-friendly’ Halloween drag show


By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor | October 17, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/mom-blasts-school-board-for-promoting-family-friendly-drag-show.html/

Brittany Mayer, a mom and who is from the Christian-based parental rights group Rooted Wings, speaks to the Encinitas Union School District Board in San Diego County, California. | Screenshot / Twitter

Parents are rallying behind a mother who blasted a Southern California school district for its plans to host a “family-friendly” Halloween drag show, which she said amounts to “pimping out our kids” in an already “hyper-sexualized” culture.

In a video that went viral on social media, Brittany Mayer from the Christian-based parental rights group Rooted Wings spoke at the Encinitas Union School District Board meeting in San Diego County, California, accusing them of acting as “groomers and activist pimps” for the “Boo Bash” drag queen show planned for the Saturday before Halloween, Fox News reported.

“What is it about a grown man costumed in a sparkly bra with augmented boobs busting out and wearing a miniskirt barely covering his twerking a** with duct tape on his front while spreading his fish-netted legs as he writhes on the ground, grinding his groin next to a minor, family-friendly?” she asks the board in the video.

On Twitter, Mayer revealed that the drag queen show was sponsored by a local San Francisco gender reassignment surgery center in collaboration with a popular gay nightclub. “While we have a culture that has a huge problem with child porn and with sex trafficking, Encinitas Union School District in CA, made the decision to feature an event to sexualize young children,” she wrote.

She told the board, “You all played the activist pimp for Align Surgical center and for a 21-plus gay bar. It makes you groomers and activist pimps and we won’t have those sitting on a school board that oversees the education of our children.”

Elected San Diego Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer criticized the parents, saying on Twitter that they “should be ashamed of themselves for pushing hate and intolerance on all of us.” She also said she would be taking her 3-year-old to the event.

Carrie Boller, a mother of two and a community activist, pulled her kids out of the district, ABC 10 reported. The Encinitas Union School District said it’s not hosting or sponsoring the Oct. 29 event but shared it on a community information hub called Peachjar to notify parents about opportunities for families in the district.

However, Boller said, “Our message is very clear. We don’t want strip shows, we don’t want drag shows, and definitely not sent out inviting the parents and kids in our district.”

Justin Ried, a parent of two children who is also running for school board, was quoted as saying, “We certainly want to be an inclusive community and support groups of all kinds, but the question is where do we draw the line?”

The district said the flyer had been taken down as it did not meet district approval criteria, and it has reviewed and adjusted procedures for approving fliers in the future. But parents are demanding to know who approved it for promotion and want the district to apologize.

Mayer told Fox that she and dozens of other parents showed up at the school board meeting last Tuesday to confront the leadership, which had been requested several times to stop promoting the event and issue an apology.

“We asked the board again and again to reconsider and to issue an apology and an explanation, which they didn’t, which is why we decided to show up,” she was quoted as saying.

She added that the planned show was not an isolated incident. 

“This is coming to every school across the nation,” she said, adding that “… We’re not going to play by the rules, that we’re supposed to be afraid, that we’re going to be punished if we don’t speak up now.”

Op-ed: Vote to defend faith, family, life and freedom


By James Dobson and Gary Bauer | Monday, September 26, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/vote-to-defend-faith-family-life-and-freedom.html/

Voters cast ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center on November 02, 2021 in Fairfax, Virginia. | Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

I’ve asked my colleague, Gary Bauer, to write the following letter to our constituents in these final days before the midterm elections. I consider this to be one of the most important votes in American history. It may be our last opportunity to restore a balance of power to the three branches of government in time to save us from tyranny and moral collapse. Does that sound alarmist to you? I think not. I believe the danger facing this country cannot be overstated. Read on to understand the peril we are facing and what God-fearing citizens can do to help save this nation, the greatest in the history of the world.

America is in deep trouble. Our country is experiencing skyrocketing crime, racial division, political and economic corruption, disrespect for life, failing schools, and a growing drug epidemic. Many of our problems are a reflection of growing moral relativism and the breakdown of reliable standards of right and wrong. Our founders believed that only virtuous people could remain free. We appear to be intent on testing that proposition.

The only hope for our country is for Christians to rise up and let our voices be heard. To save the country, America’s churches must boldly speak the truth to a hurting nation. Millions of individual Christians, like you, must fulfill their responsibilities of Christian citizenship.

We are blessed to live in a country where we have enjoyed a level of religious liberty that’s rare in human history. But now powerful forces in government, the universities, and mass media are threatening religious liberty as well as our other freedoms. No solutions to the American crisis are possible without the participation of millions of American Christians leading the way. We must participate in the halls of government, in the public square, and lead the national debate. It is essential that we are in the pews on Sunday and first in line to cast our votes on Election Day.

At the federal level, this election will determine who has the majority in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. At the state level, dozens of governorships and state legislatures are at stake. At the local level, new mayors, city councils, and school boards will be elected. At all three levels of government, the men and women we elect will pass laws that will determine the kind of country we pass on to our children and grandchildren.

The U.S. Senate is divided today 50 to 50. Tie-breaking votes are cast by Vice President Kamala Harris. Thirty-five of these U.S. Senators are up for election. The new Senate that takes office in January will confirm hundreds of new judges to all the federal courts during the next two years. They will also fill any Supreme Court vacancy that may occur. The sanctity of life, religious liberty, your Second Amendment rights, freedom of speech, and much more will all be at risk if a new Senate majority rejects the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of the United States. Polling indicates over a dozen of the Senate races are so close that the winner may very well be determined by only a few percentage points. Think of the impact we can have on Election Day if just a few more Christians will vote in each precinct in America.

Not all issues in an election are of equal importance. As a Christian voter, it is imperative that you zero in on those matters with a moral basis and give them the highest priority. And remember this: behind every candidate is the party platform that he or she stands on and the policies he or she will promote.

Here are three of the key issues every Christian voter must consider when supporting or opposing a candidate this November.

The right to life

After years of prayer and hard work, the Supreme Court decided this year that there is no constitutional right to abortion. This is a tremendous victory that could save countless lives. The court sent the abortion issue back to the people of each state to debate and reach a consensus.

Planned Parenthood and radical pro-abortion forces have launched an all-out multi-million-dollar campaign to defeat pro-life members of Congress, state legislators, and governors. A recent effort in Congress to make abortion on demand, without any restrictions, the law of the land actually passed the House 219 to 210. Thankfully, it failed in the Senate, as it could not clear the chamber’s 60-vote filibuster threshold.

The vote was strictly along party lines. All but two Democrats voted pro-abortion. All Republicans voted pro-life. In both cases, this reflected the position of each party’s platforms.

Religious liberty

Our fundamental right to the “free exercise of religion” in the First Amendment of the Constitution has recently come under sustained legal and political attacks. Thankfully, this year we scored another major victory in the Supreme Court when Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch, all appointed by then-President Donald Trump, voted in the majority to strengthen the guarantee of religious liberty.

The battle rages on, however. At every level of government, we must elect men and women who unambiguously support religious freedom. Because the Senate confirms nominees to the Supreme Court, it is particularly important to elect senators who strongly support this basic constitutional liberty.

Protecting children

All candidates claim they are pro-child. But the devil is in the details. There is a well-financed powerful movement dedicated to exposing America’s children in the classroom to the radical LGBT agenda, inappropriate explicit sexual education material, and transgender ideology at the earliest ages.

In some schools, so-called “critical race theory” is dividing our children by race. It teaches white children that they are genetically racist and tells minority children they are oppressed and cannot accomplish their dreams. These are unfounded and deeply damaging doctrines.

Even in more traditional, conservative areas of the country, parents have been shocked to find out their child’s school may be promoting these corrupt agendas. Make sure local school board candidates, from rural communities to Washington D.C., support parental rights in the education and upbringing of our children. Look for candidates who are also pro-school choice and support faith-based Christian schools. Elect candidates who are willing to stand with you against the transgender agenda that is deceiving and harming an increasing number of our children. Parents have the divine calling to raise their kids, not the government or some radical agency that has no regard for the welfare of our youth.

The sanctity of life, religious liberty, and protecting children are all issues that should guide the vote you cast. But there are many more policies to also consider. Our southern border is being overwhelmed with millions of people entering illegally. Among them are drug smugglers, human traffickers, and even some on the terrorist watch list. Vote for candidates who will restore the rule of law at the border. Vote for candidates who support racial unity, stand with law enforcement, and are committed to helping our veterans. Vote for candidates who support the Second Amendment and who are working against voter fraud.

Our country desperately needs Christian men and women to stand up now for faith, family, life, and freedom. Please join us in praying for a revival to sweep our land and for God to bless us with courageous leaders. And pray that millions of Christians will fulfill their civic and moral responsibility to vote on November 8th to restore our sweet land of liberty before it’s too late.

Dr. James Dobson is a celebrated psychologist, Christian leader, and founder and president of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute (JDFI), which is dedicated to preserving the biblical institutions of marriage and family by encouraging, inspiring, supporting, and leading parents and children to build their lives on God’s Word.

Gary Bauer is Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute and President of American Values, a public policy organization promoting Judeo-Christian values.

Trans care group removes age guidelines for puberty blockers, disfiguring sex change surgeries


By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | Monday, September 19, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/trans-group-removes-age-limits-for-kids-seeking-puberty-blockers.html/

A hand holds up a small transgender pride flag. The blue and pink stripes represent the colors for a boy and girl, while the white stripe represents self-declared gender identities, such as transitioning, intersex, neutral and undefined gender. | Getty Images

A leading trans health association’s latest guidelines omitted minimum age requirements for gender-confused youth to obtain puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or genital mutilating surgeries, a major change from earlier editions.  

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) released its Standards of Care 8th Edition in the International Journal of Transgender Health earlier this month. The journal published a correction on Thursday, removing sections related to “suggested minimal ages” for offering so-called “gender-affirming care” or “surgical treatment,” such as experimental puberty-blocking drugs and performing operations such as breast amputations on girls and removing boys’ genitals. 

WPATH did not respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment about the changes. 

In Chapter 6, the new guidelines claim that “chest masculinization surgery,” better known as a double mastectomy, can alleviate “chest dysphoria” in girls who are led to believe that in order to be happy, they must remove their beasts. 

The guidelines further argue that boys suffering from gender dysphoria can obtain “improved psychosocial functioning” if they allow a surgeon to perform a vaginoplasty by removing penis tissue to create a fake vagina. 

“While the sample sizes are small, these studies suggest there may be a benefit for some adolescents to having these procedures performed before the age of 18,” the new guidelines claim.

Among 20 surgeons affiliated with WPATH, more than half said they have “performed vaginoplasty [on] minors,” according to a 2017 study titled “Age is Just a Number” that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. One surgeon said he had performed the surgery on a boy as young as 16.   

The new guidelines also suggest that obtaining parental consent should not be a requirement before minors undergo disfiguring surgeries or obtain cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers that stop their natural development. 

“We recommend when gender-affirming medical or surgical treatments are indicated for adolescents, health care professionals working with transgender and gender diverse adolescents involve parent(s)/guardian(s) in the assessment and treatment process, unless their involvement is determined to be harmful to the adolescent or not feasible,” the guidelines state.

The trans health group claims that the “primary goal” is to help youth work alongside their parents or caregivers regarding “important gender care decisions.” It adds, however, that the “critical evaluation process” must determine if there are cases where parents have rejected their “child’s gender needs.”

“In these situations, youth may require the engagement of larger systems of advocacy and support to move forward with the necessary support and care,” the new guide advises.

In an opinion piece published in The Christian Post earlier this month, Brandon Showalter noted that “minors are being surgically disfigured under the banner of a non-existent “gender identity” in clinics and hospitals around the country.

He added that the corporate press that has largely supported the movement to halt puberty and give children puberty blockers will not be able to “feign ignorance” … as more and more de-transitioners who were sterilized and disfigured as minors start to raise their voices and as others around the world begin filing lawsuits against the medical institutions that harmed them.”

The Left’s War On History Is Really A War On The God Of The Bible


BY: JOSH HAWLEY | SEPTEMBER 15, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/15/the-lefts-war-on-history-is-really-a-war-on-the-god-of-the-bible/

Author Josh Hawley profile

JOSH HAWLEY

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The following remarks were given at the National Conservative Conference on Sept. 12, 2022.

It is a pleasure to be with you once again.

At the first National Conservatism conference, I spoke about the left’s goal of unmaking American culture and community. Last year, I spoke about their goal of unmaking manhood.

This year, I want to talk about their efforts to unmake history. Specifically, the history of our country and our founding — and the revolution on which both were based.

I take as my point of departure the words of John F. Kennedy at his inaugural address in 1961, when he famously reminded his generation: “We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” He meant, of course, the Revolution of 1776, which he described as grounded in the “the belief – that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

Now, that is an interesting contention. And Kennedy was not alone in making it. But where did it come from? Where did the idea that the rights of man come from God, not the generosity of the state, originate?

The answer is clear, if often and deliberately overlooked in our day: that idea came from the Bible. And that brings me to my contention to you today. We are a revolutionary nation precisely because we are the heirs of the revolution of the Bible.

This was a revolution that began with the founding of the nation of Israel at Sinai; that gathered pace with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the days of ancient Rome. This was a revolution of ideas and culture, of society and government and faith – it was truly, to quote the Bible itself, a revolution that turned the world upside down.

Let me be more specific. To a world composed of clans and tribes, the Bible introduced the very idea of the individual. To a world that valued the wealthy and well-born before all others, the Bible taught the dignity of the common man. To a world that prized order and control, the Bible spoke of liberty.

Without the Bible, there is no modernity. Without the Bible, there is no America. And now our biblical inheritance is again at the center of our politics. It is the question of the age. 

The woke left that controls today’s Democrat Party is on a campaign to remake this nation. They want us to believe this country is irredeemably racist and oppressive. They tell us our true founding came with the advent of the slave trade on this continent.

They reject our history and our traditions. They say sex is merely a social construct. That men can get pregnant. That women can be men. That the nuclear family is a repressive institution.

And their real target in all this is the inheritance of the Bible. What they particularly dislike about America is our dependence on biblical teaching and tradition. What they particularly dislike about our culture is the Bible’s influence on it. And now they want to break that influence for good. 

My argument is simple: They’re wrong.

Whatever your own beliefs, whatever your background, the revolution of the Bible is worth defending. It is worth preserving. It is the true source of the rights of man and the liberties we cherish. It has taught us what we know of dignity and equality.

The Bible has made us who we are. And it is critical to our future.

Individual Agents of God’s Purpose

Let me start with what is perhaps our most cherished ideal as Americans, the ideal of the individual.

There is a myth long loved by certain leftists that the ancient world was a free, secular place where people believed as they wanted and lived lives of their own making. We know from historians that nothing could be further from the truth. In the ancient world, the individual as such hardly existed. There was no such thing as individualism.

The ancient world was a place of hierarchy. Every thing, every person, had a place, fixed and unchanging, bound to where it was by the order of the cosmos. Some were born to rule, most were born to follow, many were born to be slaves — that was the belief.

Every family had its ancestral gods, and the family head alone had the right to rule the household in the gods’ name. Every city had its patron deity, which every citizen was bound to worship. In fact, to be a citizen was to be a member of a particular city and a worshiper of a particular god or gods.

There was no such thing as freedom of conscience in this world, no such thing as individual decision. As the nineteenth-century historian Fustel de Coulanges put it, “The human person counted for very little against that holy and almost divine authority which was called country or state.”

As for history — well, history was made by those few the “order of nature” designated to rule. Always men of social standing. Usually wealthy. The natural elite.

The Bible challenged all of this, and right from the very beginning. In Genesis 12, God calls Abraham, a nobody from nowhere — no social standing, no claim to power or rule — God calls this man to leave his father’s house and his father’s gods, to leave the markers of meaning and identity in the ancient world, and to serve him — the one true God, Scripture claims.

God calls Abraham to stand before him as an individual. God’s gaze rests on him personally.

Or as Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik writes, Abraham “could not find solace in the silent companionship of God whose image was reflected in the boundless stretches of the cosmos. Only when he met God … as Father, Brother, and Friend … did he feel redeemed.”

God tells Abraham that as an individual he — he personally — will be God’s agent of blessing and renewal for all the world. We see the same pattern repeated in the New Testament. Jesus says salvation is available to all who will come to him, and that those who follow him will be called “sons of God.”

Meaning: shapers of history. World changers. People through whom God himself will act.

And with this, the idea of the individual is born. One need not be a member of this family or that to be significant. One need not have wealth or social standing. One need only heed the call of God.

In the words of historian Larry Siedentop, “Christ reveals a God who is potentially present in every believer…. Through an act of faith in Christ, human agency can become the medium for God’s love.” Or to say it another way, every person can become an agent of God’s purpose—as an individual.

Where does this leave the old idea of fate and controlling destiny? Done away with. Where does leave the notion that one’s place in the world is fixed and cannot be changed? Abolished.

Now the individual person becomes an agent of change. Now he or she becomes a maker of history.

The Bible invents this kind of individual. And the Bible reveals the dignity of the common man.

Read the Bible through and you will find across its pages a decided preference for the common, the ordinary, the overlooked—as opposed to the elite, the wealthy, and the socially powerful. God chooses Abraham from nowhere. He famously prioritizes Jacob, who was the second son. King David, before he was king, was the least of his brothers and the least likely to rule.

This same theme finds equally pointed expression in the New Testament. The Apostle Peter preaches in his first sermon that God’s spirit — his very presence — is now available for all people, as the ancient prophets had foretold — men and women, old and young.

Then there is the Apostle Paul, who said, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

To a society that privileged wealth and status, a society that disdained workers and mothers and children and common folk, the Bible says: each has dignity. The common things of life have dignity. Motherhood. Home. Labor.

It has hard to overstate the disdain the world of Greece and Rome held for common laborers, people who worked with their hands. Not in the Bible. The patriarchs raised livestock. Jesus was a carpenter and his disciples fishermen. Paul made tents.

And the Bible emphasizes over and again the power of labor that is offered to God. Work unto God, Scripture says, and God will use that work to further his good purposes in the world. He will make the work matter. He will make it last, however common or mundane.

The ancient world honored the high and mighty. The Bible, to paraphrase the Canadian theorist Charles Taylor, affirmed the significance of ordinary life.

I have two small boys at home and I love to read to them. Among their favorites is Tolkien, who captures this theme beautifully in “The Lord of the Rings.” “Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”

There is no ideal more central to American life than the dignity of the common man. And it is an ideal given to us by the Bible. The biblical tradition also gave us a new concept of liberty.

It’s interesting: in the ancient near east, Mesopotamia, the creation stories often involved the gods founding primordial cities, and then when humans came along designating human kings to rule the cities on the gods’ behalf.

Not in the Bible. Oh God does indeed designate someone to exercise his authority and carry forward his purposes. Genesis makes much of that. But it’s not a king. It’s Adam and Eve, on behalf of all humanity. From the first, the Bible pictures individuals as capable of self-rule.

For the early Christian philosopher Tertullian, Jesus’s maxim to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” had clear political implications: offer to Caesar your money, Tertullian said, but offer “to God your self.”

The point was, individuals, as God’s image-bearers, belonged to God and to him alone, not to the emperor or some far-away king. God and God alone had the right to claim the individual’s obedience: no one else. No government. No king.

The individual deserved liberty to respond to God’s call on his or her life. It’s right there in the Exodus, the story of God calling a people to follow him by liberating them from oppression. It’s there in the Apostle Paul, who wrote that it is for liberty that we have been set free.

This is a concept of liberty virtually unknown to the ancient world. The Greeks spoke of liberty from time to time, but for them and their philosophers, liberty meant mainly life in accordance with the order of nature. Which meant hierarchy.

Plato and Aristotle, for example, both assumed “freedom” for most individuals meant obeying their moral and social betters. The Romans famously valued self-government, at least for part of their history. But they too saw the right to self-rule as confined to the small class of individuals fit by nature to be citizens. Everybody else was a dependent.

And neither Romans nor Greek recognized significant limits on government power.

But if God’s spirit can be poured out on all people, if God has called each person to be his delegate and exercise his authority, surely that has political implications. Surely that means citizenship cannot be confined to the elite. Surely it means even the common man has the right to self-rule. Surely it says even the common man has the right to liberty.

And as I once heard the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks say, surely God’s call to the individual sets a limit on the state. It draws a boundary on the exercise of government power and says, “No further.” And there we have it: Individualism, the dignity of the common person, liberty. This is our biblical inheritance.

I could go on. The Bible gave us also the idea of a state ruled by men, not by gods. It gave us the distinction between church and state. It gave us equality between men and women. And more, much more. But you get the idea.

These were revolutionary notions that upended the ancient world. And they found their purest political expression in the United States of America.

The biblical revolution is right there in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that “all men are created equal,” that we are endowed by our Creator with “unalienable” rights. These confessions would take centuries to realize in this country, but we recognized them as true from the first.

The biblical revolution is there in our Constitution, which separates powers among offices and stations to ensure the common person can rule, and no clique or elite.

It is there in the Bill of Rights that guarantees freedom to worship, to speak, to assemble, and to exercise one’s faith free from government interference.

The biblical tradition echoes in the great tent revivals of the frontier, where hardscrabble folks with little to their name heard from the itinerant preachers that they too were called by God. They too could be God’s servants. You didn’t need a fancy education or a landed estate to be God’s child. And those revivals helped spawn a populist political movement that reverberates to this day.

America as we know it, America as we love it, is the product of the revolution of the Bible. But now that biblical inheritance is under siege.

A Cultural Revolution

Today’s woke left is frantically engaged in a campaign of political nihilism. This is the sum and substance of their program. They want to level the institutions of American society—the family, schools, church and synagogue, our judicial system. They say the country is structurally warped and must be remade top to bottom. But what they reject, at bottom, is our biblical inheritance.

I mentioned in my remarks last year the mid-century thinker Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was a great advocate of the `60s-era student radicalism and of the nihilist attitude toward American society that dominates the left today. In a word, he was woke.

He was also honest. Marcuse was an atheist and a Marxist and he spent a good deal of time wondering why Marx’s long-looked-for end of history had never arrived. He decided one major reason was Christianity.

Like Marx, Marcuse believed biblical faith was an opiate, a form of false consciousness. And he worried that it saturated American society. So in a break with Marx’s economic determinism, Marcuse decided culture was king. And America’s Christian culture was preventing the Marxist revolution the world needed.

Even worse, the working class, the proletariat, embraced that culture more than anyone. 

For that reason, Marcuse concluded revolution wouldn’t come from working people. The Christian hold was too strong. Instead, he placed his faith elsewhere—and this is key. He placed his faith in the educated elite.

America needed a cultural revolution to rid itself of the Bible’s taint. And the elite were just the people to deliver it. Sound familiar? That’s today’s politics in a nutshell.

Today’s woke left is carrying out a Marcuse-style kulturkampf. They increasingly insist that individuals don’t matter. They say society isn’t composed of equal individuals standing before a sovereign God, but of warring racial and economic groups vying for power.

The woke theorists at the Smithsonian tell us that “individualism” itself is racist, nothing more than an artifact of “white culture.” In the last few years, two separate woke theorists have argued—in The Nation and The Washington Post—that Americans’ votes should be weighted on the basis of race. In the name of democracy, “one person, one vote” is out.

The woke left dislikes the notion of the common man. They reject the biblical idea that all men and women are equally valuable and equally worthy of participating in political life. They call working people “deplorables,” and they regard working culture as uncouth and backward—characterized by the sort of people who cling to “guns and religion,” as someone once said.

No, the woke think the educated elite know best. By which they mean, naturally, themselves. And they are not afraid to use power.

If the Big Tech oligarchs decide that reporting on Hunter Biden is too dangerous to their interests, they simply erase the story from the public square. If they decide questioning Anthony Fauci is too threatening to their priorities, they prevent it by their own fiat.

That’s only the beginning.

If the reigning political class decides a former president poses too much trouble to their plans, they order a raid on his house and threaten to jail him. If they conclude too many Americans are complaining online, they create a Disinformation Board to shut them down. Any disagreement is called “violence” and any dissent “insurrection.”

Marcuse pioneered the concept of “repressive tolerance”—that is, free speech for me but not for thee. He would be proud of today’s liberals.

Finally, the left rejects the biblical idea of conscience and the liberty that comes with it. Attacks on religious freedom and intellectual inquiry are commonplace now. The woke insist on targeting citizens engaged in works of mercy, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, because they have the audacity to disregard elite preferences and serve a God beyond the state.

The woke insist that nobody, and especially not parents, may ask questions about what children are being taught in schools. To do otherwise is to be a “domestic terrorist.”

To them, liberty means falling in line with the norms they prescribe. It means following the social rules they had down.

They will decide what speech is acceptable.

They will decide which religious beliefs may be acted upon, and how.

They will determine what is true and what is not, what is fact and what is “disinformation.”

They will run the country.

The left say they want to lead us to a new era. But where they would take us is no age of enlightenment. It is not someplace new at all. It is backwards, to an old age of darkness and hierarchy and repression.

And that brings us to the task before us.

The Truth Is Their Stumbling Block

The woke left now controls the commanding heights of American culture: the media, the entertainment industry, the corporations, academia, and government. They seek to marshal their combined cultural power against those who disagree.

They seek to shame us, to isolate us—to silence us, if they can. They seek to protect their power. And they can succeed—but only if we allow them.

In truth, their vision is bleak and their ideology is brittle. They do not understand the deep strength of the American people, because they do not understand the deep goodness of their character. They see only deplorables who must be re-educated.

They do not understand our history and our ideals because they do not appreciate the truths on which this nation is based. They do not realize these truths have made us good and made us strong. And truth is their problem. The woke ideology, this warmed-over cultural Marxism, is not true.

Race and class do not define all that we are. Society is not an unending struggle for power and domination. And America is not structurally defective. America is the best and freest nation in the history of the world. And it is so largely because of the biblical revolution that made us what we are.

And now we need that inheritance again. In this time of fear and despair, we need to hear again that our lives matter—that we are loved by God—that we are called by God to great purpose—and that eternity beckons. What we do now can last. What we do here can matter.

We need to hear again of the dignity of ordinary life, of work and hearth and home, of the joys of marriage and family, and the power of these things to shape the future.

I slightly misspoke earlier, in this connection, when I said God called Abraham as an individual. That much is true, but God said it was Abraham’s family he would use to change the world. Abraham became a blessing to mankind when he became a husband and father. The same is true for us and true for today. 

In the final analysis, the woke ideology has more in common with the ancient world than it does with America. And it will not prevail in the end.

Whether it prevails in our time is up to us. That will depend on our courage.

To Strike a Blow for Truth

I close with this.

In A.D. 390, a crowd of Christians gathered at a pagan temple known as the Serapeum, in the city of Alexandria. It was a shrine to the god Serapis.

A few years before, the virulently anti-Christian emperor Julian had attempted to throttle Christianity and purge Rome of Christian influence. Among other measures, he seized control of the education system and barred Christians from teaching. He demanded all students study in ways he approved. He commanded worship of the Roman gods. 

One of those gods was Serapis. And now on this day in 390, in the shadow of the state’s recent persecution, a group of Christians gathered at the temple to take a stand.

In the center of the temple was a statue of the god, clutching in his hands a three-headed serpent. The legend went that “if any impious hand should dare to violate the majesty of the god, the heavens and earth would instantly return to their original chaos.”

One soldier stepped forward, carrying an axe. His name is lost to history. All we know of him is what the historian Rufinus tells us, that he was “better protected by faith than by his weapon.”

And there, in that moment, this one man made a choice. He made a choice to live free from the powers and principalities of his age. A choice to reject the dictates of emperors. A choice to strike a blow for truth. 

The lone soldier climbed a ladder to the top of the statue and raised his battle-axe. Then, with all his might, he drove it home.

Onlookers reported that as the blow fell, the god’s jaw broke away. And as it did, thousands of rats came surging out of its rotten inside.

The woke left may seem powerful. And indeed they are.

Opposing them may cost us much. But the truth is worth any cost. And that’s what courage is, in the end. It is paying the cost, no matter how high, for the truth.

And remember the teaching of scripture, the one that runs from first to end: that though the God of the universe could have accomplished his purposes entirely on his own, he chose instead to call us. He invites us to do his work and to follow him.

And so let us count the cost, and take our stand. For when we do, we shall turn the tide.


Josh Hawley is a U.S. senator from Missouri and former Missouri attorney general.

    Christians could lose majority status in America by 2045: study


    By Leonardo Blair, Senior Features Reporter | Thursday, September 15, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-could-no-longer-be-the-majority-in-america-by-2045.html/

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    Barring any limiting event such as war or economic depression, if the pace at which Christians abandon their faith before the age of 30 were to accelerate beyond its current pace, America could no longer be a majority Christian nation by as early as 2045. And Christians wouldn’t just lose their majority status in America in this scenario. They would also be outnumbered by the religiously unaffiliated, also known as “nones,” according to the findings of a new analysis by the Pew Research Center. The findings are based on work from the Pew Research Center which projects religious composition in the United States under multiple switching scenarios for the first time, as part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project. The project analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

    In the study, Pew highlights four hypothetical scenarios out of several possibilities to demonstrate how the U.S. religious landscape might change over the next half century. The impact of younger Christian adults abandoning their faith without limitation was modeled in one of those scenarios. While the other three scenarios reflect varying degrees of religious disaffiliation, “they all show Christians continuing to shrink as a share of the U.S. population, even under the counterfactual assumption that all switching came to a complete stop in 2020.” The ranks of the unaffiliated, however, are projected to grow under all four scenarios.

    “Of course, it is possible that events outside the study’s model — such as war, economic depression, climate crisis, changing immigration patterns or religious innovations — could reverse current religious switching trends, leading to a revival of Christianity in the United States,” the researchers noted. “But there are no current switching patterns in the U.S. that can be factored into the mathematical models to project such a result.”

    Data highlighted in the research show that while Christianity remains the “stickier” religious affiliation for older Americans, among younger adults it is the religiously unaffiliated identity that is enduring. If that trend is sped up with nothing to stop it, according to projections of the third of the four main models, the number of Christian adherents in the U.S. is likely to decline at a much faster rate.

    “If the pace of switching before the age of 30 were to speed up throughout the projection period without any brakes, Christians would no longer be a majority by 2045,” Pew researchers said.

    In this model, the religiously unaffiliated would be America’s most dominant faith expression by 2055, with about 46% of the population claiming that identify. Christians would represent just a 43% share of the population. By 2070, 52% of Americans would be unaffiliated, while only 35% would be Christian.

    In 2020, the Pew Research Center estimated that about 64% of Americans, including children, were Christian. The religiously unaffiliated accounted for 30% of the U.S. population, while all other religions — including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists — totaled about 6%.

    While rising disaffiliation among younger adults “assumes there is a kind of ever-increasing momentum behind religious switching” among that cohort under 30, researchers suggested that trend isn’t plausible as “highly religious parents tend to raise highly religious children who are less likely than children of less religious parents to disaffiliate in young adulthood.”

    “As a result, there may continue to be a self-perpetuating core of committed Christians who retain their religion and raise new generations of Christians,” researchers said.

    Of the four models presented, researchers selected the second which projects that rising disaffiliation from Christianity with limits could lead to “nones” becoming the largest religious identity in America by 2070 but not the majority identity.

    The projected outcome for that model suggests that if the pace of disaffiliation before the age of 30 were to speed up initially but then hold steady, Christians would lose their majority status by 2050, when they would be 47% of the U.S. population compared to 42% for the unaffiliated. In 2070, “nones” would constitute a plurality of 48%, in this scenario while Christians would account for 39% of Americans.

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

    Being a patriotic American doesn’t make you a ‘Christian nationalist’: Dr. Richard Land weighs in on the debate


    By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, September 8, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/being-a-patriotic-american-doesnt-make-you-a-christian-nationalist.html/

    Courtesy of Mark Creech

    When it comes to history, and American history in particular, definitions matter. In 2006, before becoming the leader of the free world, former President Barack Obama famously said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation — at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

    It wouldn’t be the last time the 44th president would suggest America once held to an exclusivist Christian identity, but the claim begged a larger question: did it ever? By the end of Obama’s first term, most Evangelical leaders seemed to say “no.” A 2012 survey conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals found less than a third of American Evangelicals believed the U.S. is a “Christian nation,” though there was considerable debate over exactly what that looks like. A decade later, not much has changed.

    In a wide-ranging interview, Dr. Richard Land, executive editor of The Christian Post, urged American Christians, regardless of their political persuasion, not to allow the Left to define how they see the United States.

    According to Land, the Left-leaning American media invented the hot-button phrase “Christian nationalism” as a pejorative term that serves to undermine the fundamental relationship between Christians and this nation as defined in the U.S. Constitution. 

    “I’m not a Christian nationalist,” Land said. “I’ve read about some, but I don’t know any.”

    “I think it is a tactic by the Left and their toadies in the media to suppress patriotic beliefs and to suppress the idea that America is a unique country,” added Land.

    “They hate that, they don’t believe it themselves.”

    The notion of Christian nationalism has a contentious history, one that some commentators say stretches back at least as far as the dawn of the New Deal, when Christian leaders rallied around the Cross of Christ in response to what they saw as government encroachment.

    For others, the phrase conjures up images of Jerry Falwell Sr. and the Religious Right of the 1970s and early 1980s, or former President Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again movement — and, for some, its alleged corollary, the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which The Washington Post headlined as a “kind of Christian revolt.”

    Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry, authors of the bookTaking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States, defined the term as the belief that the “United States is and should be a Christian nation.”

    Whitehead and Perry wrote: “Christian nationalism merely uses the Bible to impose its conservative political agenda. By asserting that they are true followers of Christ in a country that is founded on Christian principles, adherents of Christian nationalism can brand their political opponents as both ungodly and un-American.”

    But Land, who also serves as president emeritus and adjunct professor of theology and ethics at Southern Evangelical Seminary,  rejects the term.

    “To be a patriotic American does not make you a Christian nationalist,” he said. “To believe God has played a unique role in our history, or that America is a unique nation, does not make us Christian nationalists.’

    “Pejoratively, they want to tie Christian nationalism to racism and to prejudice, and I reject those labels.”

    In celebration of the nation’s independence back in July, Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, told his congregation that while he doesn’t consider himself a “Christian nationalist,” he does believe the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.”

    In his message, Jeffress said that anyone listening to “left-wing” organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union or the Freedom From Religion Foundation “will come to believe that America was founded by men with a wide diversity of religious beliefs.” That couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Jeffress, who added, “that version of American history belongs in the same category as the story of George Washington and the cherry tree: it is a complete myth.”

    While Land conceded that Jeffress was making a “valid point,” he said he disagrees with him when it comes to the question of whether we were founded as a Christian nation. Instead, Land believes America is “an experiment combining Judeo-Christian values with Enlightenment ideas,” but warned that it “doesn’t work unless the majority of the people are aware of being subject to a higher authority.”

    Land said, “Jeffress and I, because we’re both Baptists, believe in separation of both Church and State, and thus believe the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution belong to everyone, regardless of their faith.”

    He further noted that the Declaration of Independence makes reference to God numerous times, perhaps most famously in its conclusion in which the Founders wrote: “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

    Still, Land said, that’s a far cry from declaring America to be a Christian nation.

    “I don’t believe we were founded as a Christian nation,” he said. “I believe we were founded by people who were Christians or were operating out of a Christian worldview. 

    “In the Declaration of Independence, they do not declare their independence from God, they’re just declaring their independence from Great Britain.”

    Twelve of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, for instance, were Presbyterian — including the sole clergyman signer, John Witherspoon — for which reason many Presbyterians today claim loyalists to King George III saw the American Revolution as a largely “Presbyterian Rebellion.”

    Witherspoon himself went on to help formalize the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution, paving the way for the birth of the U.S. federal government.

    The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “prohibits the government from making any law respecting an establishment of religion” and “government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.” It also prohibits the government from “unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.”

    More than two centuries after an 1802 letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut in which Jefferson famously described the First Amendment as “a wall of separation between Church and State,” Land and others contend that all the limitations in the First Amendment are on the State, not the people.

    The amendment was intended, Land added, to protect “the church” from “the state.”

    Two days after he sent the letter, Jefferson attended a church service conducted in the House of Representatives.

    Five years before the first Congress convened, the Capitol building was used as a church, according to the Library of Congress. The first services were held in the fall of 1800 in the north wing of the House. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson himself began attending church services at the Capitol, before he later famously created his own version of Scripture to omit fundamental tenets of the faith, including the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    In what might be the judiciary’s most overt reference to America as a Christian nation, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Brewer, writing the majority decision in the 1892 case Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, noted the observance of the Sabbath and other traditions as a “clear recognition” of faith in civic life.

    “These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation,” wrote Brewer.

    It’s that extensive confluence of Christian faith and American history that, according to Land, raises the question of defining exactly what is meant by phrases such as Christian nationalist.

    “When people who are liberal try to label a Christian nationalist as anybody who believes America has anything to do with God or that God has anything to do with America, they’re denying most of American history,” he said.

    Many of the Founding Fathers, added Land, “believed that God, for some reason, had a special interest in the United States of America.”

    John Adams, the country’s second president, who, according to Land, “had more to do with the Constitution than anybody except James Madison,” said in 1798: “We have a government designed only for a moral and religious people. It is insufficient for any other.”

    “What he meant by that was, if you’re going to have limited government … you’ve got to have a majority of the population who are voluntarily obeying the law when nobody else is around because they are aware that they are accountable to a higher authority,” Land said.

    He pointed to Puritan founder John Winthrop, who spoke about America as “a city upon a hill,” a phrase echoed over 300 years later by President Ronald Reagan.

    “Was [Winthrop] a Christian nationalist?” Land asked.

    Abraham Lincoln once called America the “last best hope of Earth,” one that “the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”

    “Was he a Christian nationalist?” again asked Land.

    As the U.S. lurched toward World War I, Woodrow Wilson, the son of a Presbyterian minister, spoke about fighting “the war to end all wars.”

    “Was he a Christian nationalist?” Land asked rhetorically.

    Pointing to John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Land said while the speech became well-known for a number of reasons, many overlook what Kennedy said was the driving force behind our nation: “For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.”

    “That’s pretty clear,” said Land.

    In fact, with a handful of exceptions, nearly every president in American history has been identified with Protestant Christianity. Yet with the exception of Trump, none of them have been historically accused of appealing to Christian nationalist ideology.

    2016 presidential election 

    When it comes to global use, the term Christian nationalism was relatively — though not completely — nonexistent for the first two decades of this millennium, seeing only slight bumps during the George W. Bush administration. Part of that, according to Google, is due to a lack of search engine data.

    Around the time of Trump’s election in November 2016, the term “white nationalism” — a much more pejorative precursor to the more narrow Christian nationalism — saw a sharp rise in searches, fueled in part by allegations of Trump’s support from white nationalist figures like David Duke and William Johnson.

    The first significant spike in searches for Christian nationalism came in August 2019 following a pair of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. But it wasn’t until the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, that both search terms were seemingly conflated and the contemporary notion of Christian nationalism seeped into the national consciousness.

    Outlets like HuffPost ran articles suggesting the events of Jan. 6 — which it described as “an episode that was permeated with the symbols of Christian nationalism” — were directly tied to the government allowing and even funding conservative Christian education in the United States.

    Even more left-leaning media sites such as Vice reported hearing from Christians around the country who “said they’ve witnessed their congregations lose focus and slide into Christian nationalism” even as churches grow “older and whiter than before.”

    During a 2021 webinar hosted by Christians Against Christian Nationalism, a coalition of faith leaders and organizations, the progressive Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, said while he believes that there are “innocent forms of Christian nationalism,” he warned of a “more virulent or dangerous kind” that involves people viewing their country as “God’s favorite.”

    “That borders on blasphemy, idolatry,” argued Curry. “That kind of nationalism is dangerous. It is dangerous to civic health; it is dangerous to the health of a Christian.”

    Progressive Christian activist and author Shane Claiborne, who is listed as one of the endorsers of Christians Against Christian Nationalism, called on churches to remove the U.S. flag from their altars or consider adding the banners of other nations following the Jan. 6 violence. 

    “To be part of the Body of Christ is to transcend nationality,” the Red Letter Christians co-founder and leading figure in the New Monasticism movement argued. “That’s part of what it means to be ‘born again.’”

    But Land said while he’s personally faced criticism for churches he’s attended where both the American and Christian flags were displayed, there’s never been any doubt about which one comes first.

    “Every church I’ve been in, we understand the pecking order: the ultimate flag is the Christian flag,” he said.

    Land recalled memories of being a young boy in Houston, Texas, and being led to recite a Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag, the Christian flag and the Bible. So, why then do we have the American flag in church when there are so many people who come from other countries to our churches?

    “The reason is, the American flag has never tried to persecute Christians,” Land said. “Almost all of the other countries in the world at some point in time, they have persecuted some kind of Christians.’ 

    “But in America, the American flag has been the symbol of the First Amendment, which is about religious freedom. And it’s the First Amendment for a reason. All the other freedoms protect the ‘first’ freedom, which is the right to worship God as we please or not to worship Him at all.’ 

    “So I have no problem with the American flag being in churches. The American flag is a symbol of soul freedom.”

    The corporate press 

    Since the events of Jan. 6, some of America’s best-known media outlets have published a number of stories referring to Christian nationalism in relatively stark headlines, including: 

    • “The Far-Right Christian Quest for Power” – The New York Times
    • “Christian nationalism is surging. It wasn’t inevitable” – The Washington Post
    • “Christian nationalism is a threat, and not just from Capitol attackers invoking Jesus” – USA Today
    • ‘Lynchburg Revival’ Activists Warn Of Rising ‘Christian Nationalism’ – NPR
    • “White Christian Nationalism is the Most Dangerous Weapon in America” – Newsweek
    • “Trump’s army of God: Doug Mastriano and the Christian nationalist attack on democracy” – Salon

    While by no means a comprehensive list, even such a relatively small sample of headlines underscore what Land described as a “Southern Poverty Law Center kind of attitude” among the American media establishment toward patriotic Christians.

    Land said the use of Christian nationalist and nationalism is merely another attempt by the political Left to “label Christians with what they see as a negative label … the same way they tried to make cisgender a negative label.”

    “Basically, if you believe in any sense that America has a unique role to play in the world, and that God in His providence has had something to do with the United States, then you’re a Christian nationalist.’ 

    “Then they start saying, ‘This is just for white people.’’”

    For Land, such a view, both secular and otherwise, is incompatible with American history.

    He recalled one episode where our first President George Washington wrote a letter to a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island, welcoming them not as guests, but as fellow Americans.  

    “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants,” Washington wrote.

    Land said that sentiment is intrinsic to the fabric of our country.

    “We believe in religious freedom,” Land said. “You’re free to have your mosque, you’re free to have your Shinto temple, you’re free to have your synagogue.”

    He pointed to a 2015 poll that found 62% of American adults believe in the notion of American exceptionalism, that God has granted America a “special role” on the world stage.

    “We are not [a] chosen nation, but America is exceptional, and God has blessed us in unique ways,” he said. “We are the recipients of divine providence, divine blessing, and blessing, by definition, is undeserved. Otherwise, it would be called a reward.’

    “No nation has been blessed by God more than the United States of America, and that incurs certain obligations.”

    For Land, understanding Christian nationalism or any other intended pejorative involving patriotism and faith should be viewed not through the lens of social media tribalism, but in its historical context.

    “On the whole, and it is on the whole that such questions must be answered, American influence in the world has been a positive influence and not a negative influence. Wherever America’s gone, there’s been more freedom, been more respect for minorities, more respect for women.’

    “That’s why so many people want to come here.”

    In fact, Land said, it’s the continued desire of people from all over the world trying to make their way to the U.S. that speaks to America’s decidedly remarkable place in history.

    “I don’t think it’s Christian nationalism to say America is a unique country,” he said. “Every other country in the world is founded on blood and soil. People of certain ethnicities, people of a certain geographic location. Not the United States.’ 

    “The United States is based upon an idea: anybody can become an American.”

    Facing opposition from ideological movements like critical race theory (CRT) — which, according to Land, seeks to “deconstruct American history and make America out to be an awful place” — Land said now more than ever, it’s important for Christians to push back against blanket descriptors like “Christian nationalism.”

    “They should reject the term and replace it with things like ‘patriotic American’ or ‘someone who understands how unique the Declaration of Independence is,’” he said. 

    “It’s not racist. Anybody can become an American, and we’ve demonstrated that by our history.”

    Prosecuting Paivi Rasanen for Quoting the Bible Is Making Her an International Star


    BY: JOY PULLMANN | AUGUST 15, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/15/prosecuting-paivi-rasanen-for-quoting-the-bible-is-making-her-an-international-star/

    Paivi Rasanen speaking at the Issues Etc. conference

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    Paivi Rasanen must make God laugh. The 27-year member of Finland’s Parliament on trial for tweeting a Bible verse confounds so many pagan slogans.

    She’s a mother of five children and grandmother of 10 who didn’t need abortion to simultaneously pull off two demanding careers: medicine and politics. An empathetic woman who eagerly shows pictures of grandbabies on her phone and expresses concern for strangers’ travel plans, Paivi (pie-EE-vee) also refuses to subjugate her reason to emotional manipulation.

    She holds fast to Christian teachings about sex as reserved exclusively for lifelong marriage between one man and one woman, for which she’s been prosecuted and investigated now for three years and will be in court again this November. Her case could affect international law and is a foreboding example of where identity politics policies are quickly heading across the world.

    “If we break the gender system and if we break the natural marriage system between one man and one woman, then we have dangerous consequences, especially to children,” Paivi told The Federalist in person this summer in Chicago.

    This woman of science also firmly believes in supernatural revelation. In her pamphlet on Christian marriage that Finland’s top prosecutor is seeking to ban as “hate speech,” Paivi writes that “Jesus’s death and resurrection is the core of the entire Christian faith. On this the Bible stands or falls. If one does not believe it, there is nothing left of Christianity. And … if I believe this, it follows logically that I must believe everything else Christ teaches in the Bible through the Apostles and Prophets.”

    Paivi speaking to a sold-out audience of Christians in Chicago, Illinois, this summer. (Joy Pullmann / The Federalist)

    Persecution Spreads the Gospel

    As it has often in history, persecution has created global opportunities for Paivi to spread Christian theology: about sex, its design for lasting human happiness, and Christianity’s warm welcome to those struggling with every kind of sin from the God “who hates nothing He has made.” The 2004 booklet “Male and Female He Created Them,” which prosecutors want to ban entirely and fine Paivi for writing, has gone from a few copies in a few conservative Lutheran churches to translated into half a dozen languages and read all over the world.

    Rasanen’s 2004 booklet, printed from the online PDF and in its new second edition distributed worldwide.

    Paivi and her husband Niilo (nee-loh) spoke this June in Budapest alongside megastar Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and his wife. Paivi said she’s seen especially strong support from Eastern European countries because many there still remember the Communists interrogating people about the Bible, as Finnish police did to Paivi three times for a total of 13 hours.

    The Rasanens flew to Chicago right after Budapest so Paivi could speak at the sold-out Christian “Issues, Etc.” conference on June 25. In pearls, a flowered dress, and silvered golden hair, the petite 62-year-old asked the American crowd to pray that her case would “allow for more chances to preach the gospel in public.”

    Rasanen’s case is on appeal in Finland and may end up in the European Court of Human Rights, developing precedents that could affect the world. If she loses in court, Paivi told a Christian outlet last year, “It will also affect religious freedom in other Western countries. LGBT groups have a very good network across national borders. They will try to achieve the same in other countries in Europe.”

    In Q&A after her talk, Paivi said Finnish Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen is expected to push the case as far as possible because Toiviainen has said identity politics is her top priority. Paivi’s legal help from Alliance Defending Freedom International has told The Federalist they are also prepared to appeal her case as far as possible should she lose.

    Paivi Rasanen speaking at the Issues Etc. conference
    Image courtesy Issues, Etc.

    Persecution Amplifies Word of God’s Mercy for Sinners

    Toiviainen claims agreeing with the Bible that sodomy is a sin is a criminal expression of hatred toward homosexuals. Paivi and her legal team have pointed out that if the court interprets the law this way, it will effectively outlaw Christianity and free speech in Finland.

    Rather than rejecting homosexuals, as she’s been accused in court, Paivi glows with happiness when relating that gay people have disclosed her “Bible trial” has brought them to faith. In speeches and court testimony, Paivi has emphasized she not only bears no animosity toward homosexuals or transsexuals, she earnestly desires them to join her Christian family by receiving the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers freely to every person.

    Paivi has been dragged into European courts and smeared in the press for years as a spewer of “hate speech.” Yet while battling severe jet lag that her husband said often gives her migraines, Paivi expressed not even a flicker of animosity toward her persecutors in Chicago.

    Instead, when The Federalist asked if her three-year-and-counting prosecution might be orchestrated by political enemies, she seemed stumped. She conferred with her husband and finally suggested she was simply an easy target as a well-known figure in Finland.

    “In all my career I have been known as a Christian and as a biblical Christian who doesn’t accept abortion and homosexual acts and so on,” Paivi told The Federalist. “And that’s why I think that perhaps it is the reason why the prosecutor has targeted just me.”

    Family Unites to Fight for Other Families

    Acknowledging the Biblical directive that only men serve as pastors has never tied Paivi to the kitchen — although perhaps she’d like to retire there given the suffering her political career has inflicted. Niilo prodded Paivi into running for office nearly three decades ago to try to stop Finland from forcing doctors like her to perform abortions, they told The Federalist.

    Niilo Rasanen is a pastor and theology professor at a Lutheran Bible college. Niilo’s widowed mother lived with the couple while their children were young, and Paivi’s parents moved nearby and “helped a lot,” Paivi said. That, with Niilo’s flexibility while earning his doctorate, allowed Paivi to enter public service without sacrificing their children’s needs, they said.

    During the five years when Niilo was writing his dissertation, “he was always at home when the children came home” from school, Paivi noted. Paivi and Niilo occasionally pulled out their phones to translate Finnish words into English or check they were using the right words, but Finns learn at least two foreign languages in school, Swedish and English.

    Niilo and Paivi Rasanen in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022. (Joy Pullmann / The Federalist)

    In response to a question from the Chicago audience, Paivi revealed threats against her family. When she campaigned against child pornography, she said, a convicted pedophile entered their front yard and threatened their children: “It was quite a difficult time because we had to keep safe our children and they were a little bit afraid many years after that.” The most violent of the recent threats include a rape threat against her son, she said.

    These external threats may have helped strengthen family bonds. Paivi and Niilo’s faces light up when they talk about their now-grown children, whom the Rasanens say are a great joy and regularly text their parents Bible verses and prayers.

    “The task is communal, we do it together,” Niilo said of their marriage and family. “It has been so busy and hard time in this politic area — very, very busy, very long days. If you are not doing it together, it will not work.”

    “I think what has been a great power in our life is that we have felt that these callings and tasks that we have, that they are common,” Paivi added.

    From Church Only at Christmas to Global Witness

    Born in 1959, Paivi grew up in a remote area near Finland’s border with Sweden, in the village of Konnunsuo. Her father was the agricultural director for a prison there. He oversaw the prisoners raising vegetables and animals to feed and support themselves. Paivi remembers as a girl watching piglets being born.

    Her parents went to church only at Christmas, she said, but she learned the Bible from Sunday School and at prison church services. Her family also hosted missionaries to the prison, and they explained Christianity to Paivi and her two younger siblings.

    A skilled student, especially in mathematics, young Paivi read all the books in her tiny village library that was open only two hours per week, she said. An adult biography of Nobel Prize-winning Polish scientist Marie Curie particularly inspired Paivi: “I admired her. I thought that I would like to be like her, to do something great.”

    At the University of Helsinki, she studied both mathematics and medicine for a half year, but it was too much. So Paivi decided to focus on medicine because “I wanted to work with people.”

    Organizing up to 70 Christian students for five years of weekly door-to-door evangelism in university deepened her faith, Paivi told The Federalist: “It was a very important time for me because there were students from different faculties and I had to defend my views, and I had to know [the] Bible because they asked difficult questions.”

    She met Niilo doing summer missionary work among immigrants in London, and they married in February 1985, a year after Paivi started working as a doctor. They welcomed their children in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996.

    Because Paivi kept organizing debates and speakers about abortion among fellow medical students and doctors, the Christian Democrat political party asked her to run for office. The Christian Democrats are a small party that focuses on faith and family. From 2011 to 2015, Paivi served as Finland’s Minister of the Interior as part of a coalition government.

    She Fights Like a Woman

    Paivi has fought steadfastly not by disposition, but by compunction. She and Niilo chuckled quietly when noting that in university, she flatly refused all public speaking offers and leadership positions.

    In person, the two Finns are true to type and their “Minnesota nice” American cousins: polite, soft-spoken, and deferential. In Chicago, Paivi and Niilo attempted for some 15 minutes to get the Uber app to work on their Finnish cell phones before they could be prevailed upon by this journalist to accept a ride.

    She would have walked the mile to the conference, Paivi assured, as they had the day before, but that morning’s rain would bedraggle her hair and dress right before her speech. After a bit of emotional discomfort at allegedly imposing, followed by a quick, rain-unaffected arrival, Paivi laughed softly, expressed thanks, and commented that this would be a good anecdote for The Federalist profile.

    Paivi Rasanen during audience Q&A in Chicago. Because English is a second language for Paivi, she was given the written questions in advance.

    Although she’s a public figure who regularly appears on TV, including a variety show that dressed her in a bear costume to sing to her grandchildren (she showed photographic evidence), Paivi habitually asks for others’ thoughts rather than discussing her own. It’s yet another contradiction to women’s mag-celebrated attributes: expressing her femininity not only doesn’t abrade Paivi’s character, it complements it.

    Paivi doesn’t assert herself as a “girl boss” who assumes masculine prosthetics, despite years of public leadership that could have taught her to do so. Her apparent emotional security in being the woman God made her bestows its own authority and charm.

    Only Men and Women Fit Perfectly Together

    That acceptance of one’s sex as a gift from God is also a foundation of the theological booklet that helped land Paivi in court indefinitely. Cultural Marxism foments a war between the sexes, but the Bible teaches that love means total self-giving: Husbands sacrifice everything to love their wives, and wives submit to their husbands as they do to God. The true war is not between the sexes, but against them, and in war clear chains of command are necessary to protect everyone.

    The 1960s feminist war fomented between the sexes has now expanded into a war on sex itself. Now even recognizing the differences between men and women and the exclusive fertility of natural marriage is heading toward being criminalized across the West, and with it the Christianity that protects and celebrates these natural realities.

    When she wrote the booklet, Paivi was already well-known as a Christian member of Parliament representing Hame, a rural Finnish province about an hour north of Helsinki. Pastor Juhana Pohjola, elected bishop of Finland’s non-state Lutheran church in 2021, had asked Rasanen to respond to proposals for government licensing of homosexual relationships. Here was a government endorsement of severing natural biological bonds between parents and children that raised both political and theological concerns.

    Rasanen’s resulting 24-page booklet is a succinct summary of Christian sexual ethics. “People who submit themselves to God’s guidance in the Bible are repeatedly amazed at how the very Bible teachings hardest to understand contain God’s deep wisdoms,” Rasanen writes in the English translation.

    “No choice of policies is ethically neutral,” she notes. “…In actuality, the acceptance of homosexual partnerships meant a more profound change in values than was willingly acknowledged at the time.” For example, she notes, in Finland, those proposing a homosexual partnerships act promised it would affect adults only. Yet immediately after the act passed, the proponents moved to make taxpayers pay for lesbians to be artificially inseminated and for homosexual couples to adopt children who could never know either a father or mother.

    The act’s proponents also promised that Finland’s state church could maintain Christianity’s historic teachings if state recognition of homosexual couples passed. Paivi’s trial today, under a law passed seven years after the booklet was published, directly refutes that claim. It also highlights how impossible it is to reconcile the hard-won natural law framework that protects everyone equally with the identity politics that provides special rights to only government-favored groups.

    Seeking an Internet Interdiction

    Writing the booklet is one of three charges Toiviainen has filed against Paivi. It forms the sole count against Pohjola, the pastor who published the booklet. The two other counts against Paivi relate to her tweet of a Bible verse at the nominally Lutheran state church for sponsoring a homosexual pride parade and comments in a public radio debate she participated in years ago.

    How can the #church ’s doctrinal foundation, the #bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of #pride ?” #lgbt #helsinkipride2019
    Finnish Christian MP under hate crime investigation for quoting scripture – Premier

    In 2019, several Finns lodged complaints against Paivi’s tweet. Police investigated, interrogating Paivi about her beliefs three times. Although the police ultimately recommended against prosecuting Paivi, prosecutors sifted through her three-decade public record. They dug up the three alleged hate crimes and charged her.

    The charges against Paivi fall under the legal category of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The prosecutors have asked for Paivi’s writings and audio clips to be completely banned from the internet and for her, Pohjola, and his church to be fined up to a third of their annual incomes, but courts could put Paivi in prison for up to six years if she’s found guilty. Pohjola could be imprisoned for up to two years.

    During Paivi and Pohjola’s trial in early 2022, thousands of Finnish supporters gathered in Helsinki outside the court. Free speech supporters in other countries rallied at Finnish embassies. The American Family Research Council sent Pastor Andrew Brunson, whom Turkey detained for two years for preaching Christianity, to give Paivi a pledge of prayers from Christians around the world. U.S. members of Congress, international human rights groups, and coalitions of religious believers have also petitioned the Finnish government to stop prosecuting Rasanen and Pohjola’s human rights to free speech and religious exercise.

    “It is important that we have the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Paivi told The Federalist in Chicago. “Freedom of speech because it is important for everyone. It is important for every minority and majority. For Christians, it is crucial because we have the commandments of Jesus to tell the good gospel to all people…”

    “Also I think that it is important to respect in society also everyone’s right to speak and argue and oppose you,” she continued. “So this is [a] fundamental issue.”

    For more on this case, read this profile of Bishop Pohjola, who spoke to The Federalist in person in November 2021.


    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.

    Iranian propaganda turning public against Evangelical Christians, religious minorities: USCIRF


    By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter | August 4, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/iran-fomenting-public-disapproval-of-evangelicals-uscirf.html/

    A stranded Iranian Christian migrant holds the Bible as he prays at dawn in front of a fence reinforced by barbed wire and a wooden barricade at the Greek-Macedonian border near to the Greek village of Idomeni November 30, 2015. | REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

    The Iranian government is actively inciting “derogatory public opinion” against Christianity and other faiths by using Iranian media outlets to spread religious propaganda, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

    A new report from the bipartisan federal advisory committee says Iran’s government uses official media, government-linked media and social media to spread “falsehoods and misconceptions” about religious minorities to turn public opinion against these communities. 

    The report “Religious Propaganda in Iran” attributes the effort to a “systematic campaign to deny freedom of religion or belief to groups that do not conform to the government’s singular interpretation of Ja’afri Shi’a Islam.”

    For instance, the government describes some Christians as belonging to an “Evangelical Zionist cult” and uses vague national security accusations to target Christian converts. 

    The phrase was referenced in the Nov. 3, 2021 ruling by Iran’s Supreme Court, declaring that promoting Christianity and establishing home churches are not crimes and do not amount to national security crimes.

    The court’s opinion used the phrase “Evangelical Zionist cult” to refer to the Christian converts whose case it was addressing. 

    Under Iran’s legal system, a ruling by a Supreme Court branch is not necessarily binding on lower courts. 

    “This misinformation campaign restricts freedom of religion or belief for religious minorities in Iran,” USCIRF Commissioner Sharon Kleinbaum told The Christian Post.

    According to USCIRF, Iranian state propaganda against Christian converts is often disguised as anti-Zionism, and Christian converts are regularly referred to as members of a “Zionist” network. 

    Officials say the reference to Zionism in this context does not refer to specific allegations of links between Christian converts in Iran and the state of Israel but rather “a broad conspiracy in which Evangelical Christians across the world promote political viewpoints that serve Zionist ideology.”

    The report also cites what USCIRF called “Iran’s misinformation campaign against Christian converts,” which officials say seeks to differentiate Christian converts from Armenians and Assyrians as recognized religious minority groups. 

    Hojjat al-Islam Kashani, a Muslim cleric who serves as the secretary of the Islam-Christianity Dialog Association, told an Iranian media outlet, “What is being promoted today as Christianity is not traditional Christianity, but rather it is Evangelical and colonial Christianity.

    “Evangelical Christianity is not a religion. It is a policy-oriented towards colonialism.”

    According to the report, Kashani accused Evangelical Christian Iranians of pursuing a political agenda of expansion designed to undermine Iran’s government.

    Those political aims of Evangelical Christians have “resulted in their alienation from other Christians, and that Iranian Armenians are opposed to Evangelical Christians,” Kashani said.

    Iran’s history is replete with examples of outside intervention by colonial powers in its domestic affairs, so this comment appeals to the sense of injustice some Iranians may feel about foreign meddling in Iranian politics, Kleinbaum said.

    “The impact on Iranian Christians is that they cannot rely on the government to uphold its obligations under international law to protect freedom of religion or belief, and are more likely to face discrimination from Iranians who internalize the government’s false messaging,” she added.

    In addition to Christian converts, the USCIRF report identifies and reviews the significant themes Iran’s government deploys against Jews, Sunni Muslims, Gonabadi Sufis and Baha’is.

    Besides providing data and analysis on religious freedom abroad, USCIRF also provides foreign policy recommendations to the president, secretary of state and U.S. Congress to fight religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. Iran is one of 10 countries recognized by the U.S. State Department as a country of particular concern for tolerating and engaging in religious freedom abuses. 

    Just one year after Iran signed a historic nuclear deal with the U.S. and other Western nations in 2015, USCIRF reported that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses.

    The report found that religious freedom conditions “continued to deteriorate,” with Christians, Baha’is and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution in the form of harassment, arrests and imprisonment.

    Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that monitors religious freedom abuses in over 60 countries, ranks Iran as the ninth-worst country regarding Christian persecution. 

    SPLC accused of pushing kids book that says kids can trans identify at age 2, sexualizes children


    By Michael Gryboski, Mainline Church Editor 

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/splc-accused-of-pushing-kids-book-that-sexualizes-children.html/

    Unsplash/Kimberly Farmer

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is facing allegations that the group is promoting a book for elementary school students that normalizes sexual behavior among children, drawing criticism from conservative Christian groups. Conservative news website Breitbart published a report last week about the SPLC’s “Learning for Justice” project, which includes an “LGBTQ Library” with a list of recommended books and practices that are controversial.

    Jeff Johnston, the culture and policy analyst for the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Focus on the Family, denounced the guide as promoting “false ideologies and damaging behaviors for children of all ages.” 

    “It promotes the false idea that there are not two sexes — male and female — but a variety of ‘gender identities,'” said Johnston in a statement emailed to The Christian Post on Monday.

    “It encourages schools to violate privacy and safety in restrooms, locker rooms and showers by allowing students who ‘identify’ as the opposite sex into those spaces. And it urges schools to use curriculums that are radical and sexualized. This is ideology masquerading as education.”

    Senior Fellow for Education Studies at the Christian conservative activist organization Family Research Council Meg Kilgannon also took issue with the guide, telling CP that the SPLC “has been in the business of sexualizing children in the name of ‘diversity’ for years.”

    Kilgannon directed CP to a 2019 paper by the FRC, updated last year, which documented examples of the SPLC’s “Learning for Justice” program engaging in controversial practices. 

    “When sexual progressives want to teach children with ‘no normative pressures around sex,’ parents should know that kind of thinking can include the idea that age restrictions on sexual behavior adults and children is a ‘normative pressure,'” she explained. 

    “SPLC isn’t interested in preserving childhood innocence when they train teachers to implement Queer Theory in classrooms in California and around the country. School systems that rely on teacher training materials from SPLC should be aware of the dangerous political and sexual ideologies SPLC’s ‘free materials’ include.” 

    One of the recommended books in the guide, which received considerable attention from Breitbart, is Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, which is aimed at younger readers. 

    “Less controversial than its title suggests, this comic book for kids includes children and families of all makeups, orientations and gender identities, providing an essential resource about bodies, gender and sexuality for young children that will help caregivers guide difficult conversations,” claims the guide.

    The comic book features an illustration of a girl having an orgasm, with its author being quoted as wanting “a world with no normative pressures around sex.”

    Elsewhere, the guide claimed that “children often know their gender as early as 2 or 3 years old” and that they “do not need to be pubescent or sexually active to ‘truly know’ their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

    CP reached out to the SPLC for a response to the book, but a response wasn’t received by press time.

    Under the category of “Classroom Culture,” the guide encouraged teachers to wear nametags indicating their chosen pronouns and encouraged the conducting of “pronoun check-ins.” “Collective pronoun check-ins help students learn peers’ pronouns without forcing nonbinary students to come out repeatedly,” the guide continued. “You may say, ‘To make sure we’re referring to each other accurately, let’s go around so everyone can share their name and pronoun.’ This process can help transgender and nonbinary students feel seen, not singled out.”

    Launched in 1991 and originally named “Teaching Tolerance,” “Learning for Justice” describes itself as an educational resource project helping schools combat discrimination and celebrate diversity.

    “Our free educational resources — articles, guides, lessons, films, webinars, frameworks and more — help foster shared learning and reflection for educators, young people, caregivers and all community members. Our engagement opportunities — conferences, workshops, and school and community partnerships — provide space where people can harness collective power and take action,” its website states.

    “Through this continual cycle of education and engagement, we hope that we can build and maintain meaningful relationships with communities and we can all move from learning for justice to creating it.”  

    A far-left civil rights group, SPLC has garnered much controversy and backlash over its labeling of several conservative Christian organizations, including FRC, as “hate groups.” This became a major point of contention in 2012 when a gay rights activist inspired by the SPLC entered FRC’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and attempted to kill the staff. The SPLC apologized to ex-Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz in June 2018 and paid him $3.3 million in a settlement after wrongfully including him in a report on anti-Muslim activity.

    In March 2019, the SPLC fired its founder, Morris Dees, in response to several allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as claims of racist behavior within the progressive group.

    Michael Gryboski released the novel “The Enigma of Father Vera Daniel.” For more information, click here.

    Massachusetts establishes constitutional rights to abortion, ‘gender-affirming’ care


    By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/mass-enshrines-right-to-abortion-gender-affirming-care.html/

    The Massachusetts State House in Boston, Massachusetts. | Wikipedia/Ajay Suresh licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has signed into law a measure establishing abortion and “gender-affirming care” as constitutional rights, a move pro-life activists contend will turn the state into an “abortion sanctuary.”

    Baker approved Bill H.4930, “an Act expanding protections for reproductive rights,” Friday. The bill’s approval follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which reversed the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

    The bill passed in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on June 29. The House voted 136-17 to advance the legislation, with 119 Democrats, 16 Republicans and an independent supporting it, while six Democrats and 11 Republicans voted in opposition to the bill. The Senate approved H.4930 in a unanimous vote of 40-0 on July 25. 

    “Access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming health care services is recognized and declared to be a right secured by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth,” the bill declares. “Interference with this right, whether or not under the color of law, is against the public policy of the commonwealth.” 

    The social conservative advocacy group Massachusetts Family Institute claims the legislation ensures the state will protect “abortionists who perform abortions out-of-state, even if they violate other states’ laws.” The group contends the bill will lower or eliminate “safety requirements for pharmacies to dispense abortion pills” and “force[s] state universities to provide the abortion pill to students.”

    The group stresses that the bill will also force insurance companies to cover abortion “even if they have religious objections” and prohibits insurance companies “from charging deductibles or copays for abortions but allows them to do so for all other pregnancy-related services.” 

    “[The bill allows] late-term abortions when a doctor deems a baby ‘incompatible with sustained life’ outside of the womb, which decision is not subject to review by any medical board,” the group stated in a statement

    “This is also an ‘intersectional’ bill, as its legal protections for abortionists extend to organizations who distribute puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, even in states where they have been criminalized for use on children. You might not have realized that Planned Parenthood was also in the transgender hormone business, but they are… aggressively so.”

    Baker signed an executive order on the day of the Dobbs decision proclaiming that the state government agencies may not assist other states seeking to impose civil or criminal liability against anyone who performs an abortion in Massachusetts. The governor cited concerns that other states would “impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanctions on health care professionals who provide and persons who seek and obtain reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth as permitted by the laws of the Commonwealth.” He maintained that “health care professionals lawfully providing and persons lawfully seeking and obtaining reproductive health services in the Commonwealth should be protected from legal liability premised on and professional sanctions issued under the laws of other States.”

    “Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” Baker said in a statement

    “The Court’s decision has major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to these services, and our administration took quick action in the hours following that decision by issuing an executive order to protect access here in the Commonwealth,” he added. “This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states.”

    H.4930 contains language stating that “no person shall be subject to discipline by the board, including the revocation, suspension or cancellation of the certificate of registration or reprimand, censure or monetary fine, for providing or assisting in the provision of reproductive health care services or gender-affirming health care services.” 

    The enactment of H.4930 occurred in the aftermath of failed efforts to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act in U.S. Congress. The bill would codify the right to abortion into federal law and limit the ability of states to implement pro-life laws. The Women’s Health Protection Act passed the Democrat-controlled House multiple times, most recently on July 15, three weeks after the Dobbs decision. However, the bill failed to gain traction in the evenly divided U.S. Senate, where most legislation requires 60 votes to pass. On May 11, 51 of 100 senators voted against invoking cloture, a procedural step that would enable debate to begin on the Women’s Health Protection Act. The Senate previously rejected the Women’s Health Protection Act in a 48-46 vote on Feb. 28. 

    Even before Baker signed Bill H.4930 into law, Massachusetts had some of the most permissive abortion laws in the U.S. In late 2020, the ROE Act became law over Baker’s veto. The law codifies the right to an abortion into state law, allows abortions to take place after 24 weeks gestation in the case of a fetal anomaly and permits minors between the ages of 16 and 17 to obtain an abortion without parental consent. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has identified Massachusetts as one of 16 states with laws protecting the right to abortion.

    Massachusetts’ establishment of a right to “gender-affirming health care” comes after a handful of states have passed laws restricting the ability of minors to obtain puberty blockers and gender transition surgeries. AlabamaArizona and Arkansas have implemented such laws while the head of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters has classified gender transition surgeries for minors as child abuse. The state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an advisory opinion saying the same. 

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

    5 factors Christians should consider when casting their vote


    By Jason Mattera, Op-ed contributor| Monday, August 01, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/5-factors-christians-should-consider-when-casting-their-vote.html/

    Voters leave a polling station after casting their votes during the U.S. presidential election in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, November 8, 2016. | Reuters/Aaron Josefczyk

    Politics can be a messy business.

    From the varied special interests wielding influence behind the scenes to the undeniable fact that we’re often left with candidates who exhibit demonstrable character defects, the idea of voting our values as Christians can seem like a daunting enterprise.

    This reality is one reason why the proverbial phrase “the lesser of two evils” has become a go-to expression each election cycle. It’s an acknowledgment that both political parties fall short of our biblical standards in some way — embodying worrying degrees of corruption, bad ideas, and problematic leadership.

    But that phrase is also an acknowledgment that Christians shouldn’t just throw up their hands in surrender, even if our choices are less than ideal. As best we can, we should pursue the application of biblical principles to every area of life, which includes the domain of politics.

    How, then, should Christians weigh upcoming elections as they assess who to support at the ballot box?

    Thanks to the recent slate of excellent Supreme Court rulings, we at least have a practical blueprint to help inform us as we make our decision.

    Here are five areas to sharpen our focus during election season.

    Ally to the pro-life community

    Protecting unborn life in the womb should be one of the primary motivating factors for any serious Christian. The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization undid the horrors of Roe v. Wadeturning the abortion battle from the national to the state level.

    Which politician, Christian or not, will be an ally to the pro-life community?

    That’s the question we must ask.

    The ones who are hostile to the pro-life community will make it obvious.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for instance, demanded that the feds shut down crisis pregnancy centers by force while her colleagues in the House blocked a congressional resolution to condemn the violence and vandalism directed at faith-based organizations in the aftermath of Dobbs.

    Meanwhile, abortion fanatic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D, ghoulishly vetoed millions of dollars from the budget that was allocated by the Michigan legislature to “encourage adoption and support pro-life pregnancy facilities.”

    Like I said, they make it obvious.

    Religious liberty

    What good is religious liberty if you can’t exercise it in a public place? Not good at all, the Supreme Court concluded in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.

    Coach Joe Kennedy, if you’ll recall, was canned by his employer, a public school district, for leading a voluntary prayer on the field after each game. The district ridiculously argued that this voluntary prayer, which players from both teams participated in, was a de facto establishment of religion by the school.

    It was not.

    It was an American citizen exercising his God-given right to praise his Creator free from government interference.

    Which politician will rigorously protect the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty and free speech?

    This question is all the more important to sort out after we witnessed megalomaniac governors and local officials exploit the coronavirus pandemic to shutter churches and limit attendance capacity for almost a year, even as they allowed abortion clinics and pot shops to remain open and accessible.

    Put differently, will the politician be a friend or foe to the Church?

    Lest you think such a query is too abstract, remember that Beto O’Rourke, who is currently running for governor in Texas, previously told a CNN townhall audience in 2019 that, if elected president, he would rescind the tax-exemption status of any Christian nonprofit that opposed same-sex marriage.

    School choice

    In Carson v. Makin, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Maine, if it is going to subsidize tuition costs for private schools, cannot freeze out faith-based schools from receiving funds as well.

    “That is discrimination against religion,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

    Three of Roberts’s colleagues objected to the decision, which means three Supreme Court justices believed that Maine was justified in explicitly barring tax dollars from going toward religious instruction even as the State made tax dollars available to other private institutions.

    “Discrimination” is the right word choice.

    For voting purposes, any program or law — charters, vouchers, home school protections — that aids Christians in removing their children from the public school system is a win.

    Government schools are not values-neutral venues for education. They are temples of worship for humanism, where a secular worldview is at the core of what is taught. If that agenda wasn’t evident already, the relentless reporting by Christopher Rufo exposing the radical gender ideology showcased in the classroom should leave no doubts.

    Separation of powers

    Civil government isn’t the only form of government, biblically speaking. It’s one form among many.

    God also instituted self-government (Proverbs 16:32), family government (Genesis 2:23-24), and church government (1 Timothy 3:1-15), along with civil government (Romans 13:1-6).

    And throughout Scripture He places different emphases and assigns different roles to each of these jurisdictions. Under this design, tyranny is averted because power is not centralized in any one form of government; it’s decentralized, or it should be anyway.

    That’s the road to freedom. But that’s not how Washington, D.C., has functioned lately.

    Americans have lost a great deal of their freedoms to unelected bureaucrats who populate the administrative state. No-name pencil pushers are imposing vast regulations on American society by decree, making a mockery of our Constitution’s commitment to “checks and balances.”

    A seismic correction, however, could be in the works, thanks to the ruling in West Virginia v. EPA. Here the Supreme Court blocked the Environmental Protection Agency, and, by extension, other government agencies, from snatching power that was never delegated to them by Congress in the first place. As Neil Gorsuch underscored in a concurring opinion, any federal agency endeavoring to regulate “‘a significant portion of the American economy’” must be given an overt mandate by the legislative body. The same determination applies if an agency is trying to “require ‘billions of dollars in spending’ by private persons or entities,” the justice added.

    It’ll now be more difficult for some Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fanboy you’ve never heard of to micromanage your life from the windowless office of his D.C. cubicle.

    While defanging the administrative state may not be as flashy as the other Supreme Court opinions handed down this term, West Virginia v. EPA is nonetheless a crucial part in upholding the biblical precept of separation of powers. Christians should be suspicious of any politician who doesn’t respect these constitutional boundaries.

    One last thing…

    This next topic wasn’t addressed in the Supreme Court’s most recent docket, but it remains an indispensable part of how Christians should assess who to back for political office. And that topic surrounds this question: What kind of people will the candidate staff his administration with?

    That question is critical because who an elected leader hires to implement his policies reflects that administration’s beliefs and priorities. It’s not a one-man operation, after all.

    Which brings us to President Joe Biden.

    He appointed a man pretending to be a woman to a key healthcare role at the White House. Admiral “Rachel” Levine, formerly known as Richard Levine, is the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. During an MSNBC interview not too long ago, Mr. Levine said he remains dedicated to empowering “trans youth” to get “gender-affirmation treatment in their state,” which is the euphemistic way of saying he supports pumping adolescents full of puberty blockers and recommending “sex” reassignment surgery if these “youth” convey discontentment about their gender.

    Any politician or party who defends mutilating children over feelings they’ll eventually grow out of has tilted the “evil” in “the lesser of two evils” balancing act unequivocally to one side of the electoral scale … which means that balancing act no longer exists.

    The Biden administration has similarly made news by hiring a guy at the Department of Energy’s nuclear waste division who shows up to work in stilettos, a dress, lipstick, and goes by the pronoun “they.” The same dude reportedly brags about his bizarre sexual fetish that involves animal role-playing. It’s called “pup-play,” if you’re interested.

    What this means in the context of voting is that we may not like the candidate at the top of the ticket and may even find his personality obnoxious, but that should not automatically be a dealbreaker.

    If the candidate is going to hire personnel who champion the unborn, who respect religious liberty and Christian education, who seek to scale back the size and scope of civil government, and who aren’t trying to subvert the biological differences between men and women and castrate kids in the process, then these are all strong factors to consider before casting a ballot.

    In other words: Personnel is policy.

    Remember that when Election Day rolls around.


    Originally published at Standing for Freedom Center. 

    Jason Mattera is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated journalist. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

    Survey says: You can’t replace dad


    By John StonestreetMaria Baer

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/survey-says-you-cant-replace-dad.html/

    Unsplash/Brett Jordan

    In 2016, psychologist Dr. Peter Langman compiled biographical data on 56 American school shooters. He found that 82% had grown up in dysfunctional family situations, usually without two biological parents at home. The trend has sadly continued. The shooter in Uvalde, Texas, hadn’t lived with his father in years. The Sandy Hook shooter hadn’t seen his father in the two years leading up to that massacre. 

    Last month, new research from the Institute for Family Studies demonstrated, once again, how important fathers are, especially for boys. For example, boys growing up without their dads are only half as likely to graduate from college as their peers who live with their dad at home. Strikingly, those numbers remain steady even after controlling for other factors such as race, income, and general IQ. Boys without a dad at home are also almost twice as likely to be “idle” in their late twenties, defined as neither working nor in school, and are significantly more likely to have been arrested or incarcerated by the time they turn 35. 

    These are only a few of the data points which demonstrate that fatherlessness is one of the most pressing crises our culture is facing. Why doesn’t our culture talk more about this? 

    One reason is that this crisis intersects other “third rails.” Our culture got to this point via the sexual revolution, which encouraged promiscuity by redefining freedom and prioritizing autonomy over responsibility. When sex outside of marriage becomes normal, it is mostly women who are left on their own to raise the resulting children. 

    There are other contributing factors as well, many of which were made possible by legislation. Divorce has been largely destigmatized, not in small part by making it legally easier. The legal demand for same-sex “marriage” brought with it the demand for same-sex parenting, which by definition asserts that kids do not need both a mother and a father. Certain forms of assisted reproduction likewise assert that children are less the fruit of a committed marriage than they are a commercial process. 

    And now here we are, with 32% of American boys growing up in homes without their biological dads. If there’s anything that we should learn from the grim outcomes of this social experiment, it is that dads aren’t replaceable. This was true from creation, but even more so in a fallen world with each of us born with a fallen human nature. We only learn to grow from socially, emotionally, and spiritually immature children into adults so that we can live together in a healthy way by seeing healthy behavior modeled and by having unhealthy behavior corrected.  

    Scripture passages affirm that mentoring in righteousness requires demonstration, as much or more than just explanation. Christ repeatedly told his followers to “do as He did.” When He washed His disciples’ feet, He offered it as an object lesson: “I give you an example, that you also should do as I did to you.” Paul told believers in Corinth and Ephesus to be “imitators” of him, just as he was an “imitator of Christ.” 

    In other places, Scripture even points to modeling and mimicry in sex-specific ways. In his letter to Titus, Paul instructed men to be “dignified” and “self-controlled” and to “urge the younger men to be self-controlled.” He also told the older women to “teach what is good” and to “train the younger women” to be “self-controlled,” “pure” and “kind.”  

    That, of course, is another cultural third rail. We are so desperate to pretend sexual difference isn’t built into our biological reality, we simply cannot abide the suggestion that our genders are critically important in parenting. But the numbers don’t lie. As Dr. Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, puts it, “[T]here is no such thing as ‘parenting.’ There is mothering, and there is fathering—children do best with both.” 

    Christians can challenge the growing public safety crisis that is fatherlessness, and we must start in the Church. We must affirm, in word and in action, that there are men and there are women and that both matter in parenting. We have to de-normalize absent dads, challenge men to take responsibility for their sexual choices and for their children and fill in the gaps whenever and however necessary. 

    No matter if our technologies and cultural dogmas pretend otherwise, every child has a father. These new statistics show, again, that every child needs their father. We have no right to deprive them of

    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.  

    The new world order and the whiff of the apocalyptic


    By Wallace B. Henley, Exclusive Columnist | July 20, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-new-world-order-and-the-whiff-of-the-apocalyptic.html/

    Unsplash/Joseph Chan

    The world under the dictatorship of the global elite… new messiahs who will try to raise up the Millennial kingdom without the King… the linkage of world economies into one tight unit so vulnerable it all could collapse in a mere hour… the raising up of an entire world order that is strictly secular: all this is almost a parody of the book of Revelation.

    The whiff of the apocalyptic is all around it.

    Maybe this scenario is a stretch, but the Great Reset is turning out to be the Great Upset, caused by government manipulation, with the encouragement of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the United Nations, and other elites who believe they have the right to steer nations and economies into a new “liberal world order” fueled by green energy policies.

    The Apostle John on Patmos would not be surprised. Things are possible on a global scale now that could not have happened when elderly John, exiled to the Isle of Patmos, was in a cave seeing the Revelation visions. For example, even in recent times, people could have sneered at the possibility of a one-hour disintegration of world commerce, but in this internet age for the first time in history it is now possible, and the vulnerability is increasing. (Revelation 18:17)

    Into this troubling panorama come the elites who want to manipulate into existence a new world order.

    To say nothing of the technologically “developed” nations, how does this play out in the dark alleys of India, dry stretches of Burkina Faso, deep jungles of Brazil, and all the other countries where people barely survive?

    Who gave President Joe Biden and the financial giants of the WEF and bureaucrats at the U.N. the authority to declare and engineer a new world order?

    The hubris of such an assumption is dizzying. It is distressing to realize that hubris is often followed by humiliation when grand reordering schemes shatter. As a former White House aide, I have seen the disastrous outcomes of the excesses of power.

    Previous generations of world orderers have tried global reordering and perished in the process as their hubristic goals collapsed on them and their citizens. I once lived in Nuremberg and drove through the ruins of the great marching field where Hitler waved at his admirers in Wagnerian triumph. I have strolled through the grandeur of Russia’s St. Petersburg but have also seen the decay left on the back streets after the communists tried to impose their new order on the world.

    Biden and his fellow world arrangers will also discover that the Great Reset depends upon a lot of manipulating of everything from fuel to food to finance and much more. Hence, the shutting down of a sizable portion of the United States’ energy-producing sector, resulting in high consumer prices, along with an increase in all other commodities that must be transported by gas-dependent vehicles.

    And from the power centers that structure the new order one can hear the promise: “Don’t worry… this is good for you.”

    Monarchs and oligarchs across history have chanted that line as they crafted their new worlds. Whether from the Right or the Left, ultimately the whiff of apocalypse slithers through it all.

    The only global system that will be a truly blessed “re-ordering” is that of the Kingdom of Heaven whose governance is on the shoulders of the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Until then, well-meaning leaders, as well as the more sinister varieties, will keep storming the Throne of the Kingdom, hoping to get a new world order in place with themselves overseeing and manipulating it all from lofty perches.

    “Now is the time when things are shifting,” President Biden told a group of elite business leaders recently. “There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it, and we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”

    Biden may not see himself as initiating the Great Reset, but he does see himself and his allies as shaping it. To do that, as the president has pointed out, the people must pay the price. Hence inflation-bound money and uncertain alliances and greater government control in every sector of society.

    So, Pete Buttigieg, secretary of Transportation in the Biden administration, voiced and celebrated the hope that higher prices at the pump will compel drivers to replace gas-guzzlers with electric vehicles.[1] Americans will have to endure pain at the pump indefinitely in the name of the “liberal world order.”

    Who gave Biden or any chief of state and his or her aides and elitists the authority to foster a new order for the entire world and establish policies that will impact other sovereign states? Is this a form of colonialism by a more acceptable label? How many more Sri Lankas will have to collapse under this load imposed through the richer nations for the sake of the green agenda?

    What kinds of systems will emerge when human leaders try to steer history by their conjured visions, blurry assumptions, hubristic presumptions, skewered world views, and shifting value-sets?

    The quest for a more livable environment for all in the present as well as the future is certainly important. However, if that means chiefs of state have the right to impose the new order globally through manipulation, then there is much about which to be concerned.

    Anyone who has read the book of Revelation might conclude that there is the whiff of the apocalyptic here.


    [1] Buttigieg Boasts Gas Prices Are Forcing Americans Towards EVs (breitbart.com)

    Wallace B. Henley is a former pastor, daily newspaper editor, White House and Congressional aide. He served 18 years as a teaching pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church. Henley is author or co-author of more than 25 books, including God and Churchill, co-authored with Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson, Jonathan Sandys. Henley’s latest  book is Who will rule the coming ‘gods’? The looming  spiritual crisis of artificial intelligence.

    Most Americans believe religious freedom is in decline; a third says Christians complain too much: poll


    Reported By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter | Friday, July 15, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/most-americans-believe-religious-freedom-is-in-decline-survey.html/

    Religious freedom supporters hold a rally to praise the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case on June 30, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

    More than half of all Americans say religious tolerance for Christians is on the decline, even as more than a third also believes Christians complain too much about how they are treated in society, a newly released Lifeway Research survey suggests.

    In a study of just over 1,000 Americans conducted last September, 54% said religious liberty in the United States is in decline, including around a quarter (24%) who strongly agree with that statement. Almost a third (32%) of respondents disagreed, while 14% said they weren’t sure.

    An even greater percentage of Americans believe religious tolerance for Christians in America is in decline, with 59% agreeing that “Christians increasingly are confronted by intolerance in America today.” Less than a quarter (24%) disagreed, and another 18% said they were unsure if intolerance for Christians is increasing in America. African Americans (68%) and white Americans (59%) were more likely to agree than people of other ethnicities (47%).

    Protestants (69%) and Catholics (59%) were most likely to agree that Christians are facing increasing intolerance. Fifty-three percent of respondents of other religions and 41% of religiously unaffiliated respondents said the same. Those who attend a worship service at least four times a month (64%) are more likely to believe religious liberty is on the decline in America than those who attend less than once a month (53%).

    The religiously unaffiliated, or “nones,” were the least likely (40%) to agree religious liberty is on the decline. 

    “Freedoms are not limitless,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “As some groups seek more freedom, it often encroaches on another’s freedom. It’s not surprising those who are more religiously active are the ones noticing reductions in religious freedom compared to those who don’t practice religion.” 

    The survey also found an interesting corollary to the perceived decline in religious liberty: more than a third (36%) of all Americans say Christians in the U.S. “complain too much about how they are treated,” including 14% who strongly agree. Nearly half (49%) of respondents disagreed, while another 15% weren’t sure. Males (40%) were more likely to agree than women (32%) that Christians complain too much about how they are treated. Respondents over 65 were the most likely to disagree that Christians complain too much (64%). The survey found that those who hold Evangelical beliefs are more likely to disagree that Christians complain too much (61%) than those who don’t have Evangelical beliefs (45%). 

    The religiously unaffiliated (53%) were more likely to agree than either Protestants (27%) or Catholics (34%) that Christians complain too much. 

    “Intolerance is about cultural pushback,” McConnell said. “In the American marketplace of ideas, not all systems of thought are welcomed. The majority of all religions notice this pushback against Christians today.”

    The survey was conducted online with over 1,005 respondents and has an error margin of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, with error margins being higher among subgroups. Quotas and slight weights were used to balance gender, age, region, ethnicity, education and religion to more accurately reflect the U.S. population.

    Ammy Lowe Op-ed: Want to raise strong, confident girls?


    By Amy Lowe, Op-ed contributor | Tuesday, July 12, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/want-to-raise-strong-confident-girls.html/

    Overcoming any fear of heights, 4 girls at WinShape Camps in Crandall, GA prepare to be raised up on the big swing. | Courtesy of WinShape Camps

    My pre-teen daughter climbed into our car one night at the end of this school year and burst into tears. She had been struggling with some friendships. On that drive back from Wednesday night church, she just finally broke down and let it all out. She cried the whole way home.

    I didn’t say much at the time, as I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is to allow your child to just get it all out before receiving any advice or opinions. What immediately came to mind, though, was how grateful I was that I would be sending her to camp in two weeks.  And not just any camp — a Christian camp — and, candidly, the one where I serve as a director.  I objectively knew she would be surrounded by young women and girls who would call out the best in her and cheer her on.

    I also marveled at how different her childhood was from my own. When I was in sixth grade, “stressed” wasn’t even part of my vocabulary. I wasn’t struggling with anxiety or depression. I wasn’t online, checking to see how many likes a photo had received. I was riding my bike and hanging out with the neighborhood kids. No doubt, things were simpler then.

    But today, over half of teen girls say they have persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, according to CDC research. In 2020 alone, the National Center for Health Statistics found that there were more than 6,600 deaths by suicide among the 10 to 24 age group. That same study also revealed that early last year, emergency department visits for suicide attempts were 51% higher for young girls.

    The widespread and disheartening effects of social media on girls have been thoroughly documented: Depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and body dysmorphia. And even when it doesn’t manifest in diagnosable disorders, our girls are saturated day in and day out with internet media that is proven to harm their emotional and mental health. In fact, a recent study found that social media largely worsens mental health during sensitive life periods, particularly for girls ages 11 to 13.

    It’s scary for young girls to have to face these sad influences — and it’s scary for me as the mom to one of those young girls, too. But I do find comfort knowing that it’s possible to still build resilient, confident girls in this day and age, albeit determination, intentionality, wisdom, grace, and a strong community are required to do so. This is why I personally send my daughter to a Christian camp every summer.

    I know that when I drop her off, she will be championed by the counselors and staff. She will be listened to and encouraged by people who genuinely care for her. She will learn to navigate the world around her from a biblical perspective. And most importantly, she will be taught that her identity and self-worth are not determined by how many “likes” she receives or how many “followers” she attains but by her Creator alone.

    This type of environment is essential to helping our girls build the spiritual, social, and emotional tools they need to stay grounded in a world that is constantly bombarding them with the message that they are not enough — but it’s rare to find these days. This is why WinShape Camps is so explicit about intentionality and purpose being the core of the camp experience.

    If we want to raise strong, healthy, confident girls, we need to provide them with opportunities to unplug. At WinShape, campers are asked to give up their phones for the duration of camp, and guess what? They gladly comply.

    Throughout the week, they are intentionally integrated into small groups of supportive peers and spend time connecting in meaningful ways. They’re reminded every day how much they are valued and are taught to recognize the value of their peers. They’re also stretched in healthy ways through choosing new hobbies to learn and activities to participate in.

    For instance, my little bookworm daughter chose to learn how to mountain bike last summer. She learned to rock climb and participated in musical theater. She stepped outside her comfort zone and was cheered on by fellow campers and her counselors as she did so. And she came home with more confidence because of it. I know firsthand that so many other summer campers have the same experience, and I’m so grateful that they do.

    The reality is that raising children isn’t just about helping them cope with their stress, anxiety, or suffering: It’s about raising them to flourish, overcome obstacles and grow because of them. It’s about raising them to see the best in others and cultivate the best in themselves. Most importantly, it’s about raising them to know that God loves them deeply, that they are precious in His sight, and that He has a purpose and a unique plan for each of their lives — despite how they may feel at times.

    No mom is ever alone in trying to raise strong, healthy girls. And no girl is ever alone in trying to grow up with self-confidence. Sometimes, we just need a summer at camp to remind us that it canhappen. 

    Amy Lowe is the director of WinShape Camps for Girls and oversees WinShape Camps for Families. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Samford University and a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Like most other moms, her hobbies include laundry, running the robot vacuum, and unloading the dishwasher.

    Jennifer Bauwens Op-ed: The ideology of relativism is unraveling


    By Jennifer Bauwens, Op-ed contributor | Monday, July 11, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-ideology-of-relativism-is-unraveling.html/

    Premature baby | Getty Images

    What is truth? This is the question that Pilate, a leader in the first century, asked Jesus. As a government leader, Pilate had authority (or at least he thought) to give consent for Jesus to be condemned or released from a death sentence. While the populace was hungry for an execution, Pilate was confronted with the reality that he could find no fault in Jesus.

    To make matters worse, his wife wakes up from a disturbing dream and demands her husband should have nothing to do with this innocent man, Jesus. Confronted with his wife and his own conscience that testified to the innocence of Jesus, he decides to ignore these witnesses, and instead, he allows the desire to be accepted by the crowd counsel him rather than the voice of truth.

    It’s here that Pilate becomes the first social constructivist by asking the question, “What is truth?” Questioning the absolute nature of truth is what allowed Pilate to violate his conscience and participate in handing Jesus off to those who would murder and torture a blameless person, God Himself. I’m sure Pilate said to himself something like, “Jesus says he’s innocent, but who is he to say what innocence really means?”

    This same question, “What is truth?” has given rise to many of our contemporary debates. Behind this age-old question lurks the ideology we currently term social constructivism or relativism.

    Relativism is the notion that reality is a result of human interactions and cultural interpretations — in other words, reality is subjective. This ideology is clearly evidenced in the debate regarding abortion and human sexuality. Truth and the debate about it is what frames the questions: What is a baby? What is a woman? What is a child? What does consent really mean?

    First, the abortion issue, which we can’t forget largely owes its commercialized nature to the 20th century American eugenics movement. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger once described her goal as reducing “the ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.” Although Sanger herself disliked abortion, her love affair with eugenics inspired those who held no qualms with the procedure. Alan Guttmacher, a subsequent president of Planned Parenthood, emphasized that “emotional, moral, and religious concepts” must be separated from abortion. In other words, truth must be separated from abortion.

    This is not to say proponents of abortion are in conscious agreement with eugenics. Rather, it is to illustrate the nefarious origins aimed at erasing certain people and human characteristics. Ultimately, the result of the abortion movement promotes parents, who are often struck by hardship or crisis, to turn away from their conscience and ask that age-old question, “What is truth?”

    Once this question has been injected into the process, the unborn child can be rebranded as just a “bunch of cells.” On the other hand, if the child is wanted by the parents, it is conveniently termed a human being. This strikes at the heart of social constructivism where the “truth” is dependent on the situation.

    Thankfully, with advances in medical science and ultrasound technology, it has become increasingly more difficult to deny the humanity of a baby inside the womb. Now, with the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we will continue to see an unraveling of the threads that have been used to weave together the social constructionist arguments for abortion which have gripped swaths of our society.

    But the abortion issue isn’t the only domain plagued by the constructivist ideology. More recently, if our children have been able to make it to full term in the womb, then proponents of gender ideology have come to legislate, teach, and counsel children into questioning the truth about their biology. The question, “What is truth?” hasn’t changed, it’s just dressed differently than with abortion proponents. Here, the ideology tells children that there’s no limit to how they can identify themselves, be it with a sex, an animal, and/or whatever aligns with their “true self.”

    As we see with the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, only the truth endures. Sometimes we must wait for truth to prevail, but in the end, the Truth isn’t just a concept — it is a person, Jesus. He outlasts every social and ideological trend. In this, we can also be assured that the Truth can set our children free who have been fed a lie.

    We can also take comfort as we watch the hold that constructivism has had on our society begin to further splinter with our highest court’s recent ruling. The Truth is winning. This is cause for celebration!


    Originally published at The Washington Stand. 

    Dr. Jennifer Bauwens serves as Director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council. In her role, she researches and advocates for policies that will best serve the health and well-being of families and communities.

    The Epidemic of Fatherless Boys Is Unraveling Our Society


    BY: TIM GOEGLEIN | JULY 07, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/07/the-epidemic-of-fatherless-boys-is-unraveling-our-society/

    boy alone in shadows facing window

    New report finds that boys who have an absent father are less likely to graduate college, more likely to idle in their 20s, and more likely to go to jail.

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    Roland Warren, the former head of the National Fatherhood Initiative, when delivering the eulogy for his late father, said about the distant relationship he had with him as a child, “I was a little boy with a hole in my soul in the shape of my dad with unhealed wounds from years of feeling neglected and less than worthy.”

    A recent research brief by Brad Wilcox and his colleagues at the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) on how the lack of an involved father impacts boys verifies the effects of that “dad-shaped” hole on boys.

    In the brief, Wilcox reports that the percentage of boys living in homes without a biological father has almost doubled since 1960 – from 17 percent to 32 percent – resulting in an estimated 12 million boys growing up without a biological dad.

    Wilcox writes, “Lacking the day-to-day involvement, guidance, and positive example of their father in the home, and the financial advantages associated with having him in the household, these boys are more likely to act up, lash out, flounder in school, and fail at work as they move into adolescence and adulthood.”

    Thus, it quickly becomes evident how big that dad-sized hole can be and that hole can have lifelong implications, and often determines whether a boy will be a success or failure in life.

    For example, Wilcox and his colleagues report that 35 percent of boys with a present biological father obtain a college degree, compared to just 14 percent of boys who do not have a present biological father.

    While obtaining a college degree is not the only way to avoid poverty, a certain level of educational attainment is required if one wants to avoid poverty. But, according to the report, many fatherless boys are even struggling to achieve the most minimal level of educational attainment – a high school degree – which allows them to enter equipped for the workforce.

    These young men are directionless, or as Wilcox and his colleagues write, “The daily life of these men is often marked by hours in front of a screen, vaping, smoking marijuana, or under the influence of some other kind of substance.” They are not contributors, but instead bystanders.

    Secondly, our society plays a tragic price. According to the IFS brief, young men who grew up without a biological father are nearly twice as likely to be idle compared to those who grew up with an actively involved dad. In addition, they have significant anger issues which leads to legal problems as fatherless boys are about twice as likely to have spent some time in jail before they reach the age of 30.

    It is not a coincidence that the tragedies of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, and Uvalde are all tied to angry young men.

    All of this is sobering enough. But there is another related problem. Growing up fatherless often makes young men poor candidates for marriage. Many women are aware of this. They can see the “holes in their soul” of the young men in their lives.

    So often we hear from women – where are the good men who have a purpose in life, who want to be successful at work and in the home? Instead, they see a lack of emotionally mature and stable men who are stuck in perpetual adolescence because they lack the role model of a biological father to guide them.

    Is it any wonder then that the average age of women getting married continues to climb as they see young men in their 20s still stumbling around directionless? It is a common lament we hear from so many young women, “I want to get married, but there are no men to marry.” 

    While not all dads are perfect, and there are some that are far from perfect, a father in the home still makes a major difference in the development of a boy into a man. A good father, in most cases, who invests in his son, ends up developing a successful man.

    As Wilcox and his colleagues write, “If we wish to revive the fortunes of today’s young men, we must help fathers teach their sons how to prepare better for adulthood, relationships, and marriage … These steps matter, not just for renewing the fortunes of young men, but also for the sake of women for good partners to love, marry, and start families in the future.”

    If we want a society of successful men who do not lash out in anger, who love and cherish their families, and are good citizens, those who are fathers must realize that it is our responsibility to pass those values on to our sons. If we are absent or distant, we do not only a disservice to these boys, but also to women, and society. If we take fatherhood seriously, we can raise a generation of boys with no “holes” in their soul and future generations will be better off for it.


    Tim Goeglein is the Vice President of Government and External Relations at Focus on the Family in Washington DC.

    Veteran-owned business announces it will cover employees’ parental leave, adoption costs


    Reported By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/veteran-owned-business-covering-employees-pregnancy-adoption-costs.html/

    Father reading a book on the sofa with his baby daughter sleeping on his lap on the sofa. | Getty Images/ pabst_ell

    After corporations across the nation announced they would cover employees’ travel expenses to get abortions in other states following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a veteran-owned business in Texas has responded by offering to pay for employees’ parental leave and adoption costs. 

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, stated that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, leaving individual states to determine its legality.

    In response, over 60 major companies stated their intentions to reimburse employees traveling for an abortion if they live in states that ban the practice, according to a list compiled by Reuters

    Instead of covering employees’ abortion-related travel expenses, Buffer Insurance announced in a June 27 post on its Facebook page that the company would provide benefits for employees who are giving birth to or adopting a baby. The company plans to cover the medical costs of childbirth or adoption and offer paid maternity or paternity leave.

    “After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, we took the opposite stance that these big corporations are making, and they’re making it easier for people to abort their babies. We want to make it easy for employees to grow their families,” Buffer Insurance President Sean Turner told The Christian Post in an interview. 

    “And then if employees want to grow their families through adoption, we want to pay towards those expenses as well,” he added. 

    Turner added that Buffer Insurance is working with “any and all” employers to help them implement the same benefits and offer them to their employees.

    “We realize that a lot of large corporations have some of these policies in place. But specifically, we’re a small and young company, so we really want to activate the majority of people who work for other small, midsize organizations,” he said. “So those are the ones that we think are going to have the most impact by implementing these types of policies of generosity in their own business.” 

    One of the ready-to-use policies Buffer Insurance promotes to other employers includes a lactation policy. Turner explained that this policy offers lactating mothers time to pump breast milk for their babies while they’re at work.

    In addition, Turner said that Buffer Insurance is working with employers to help them maximize the benefits and minimize the taxes associated with providing employees with bonuses. He explained that the idea is to offer employees resources and “avoid a lot of waste.” 

    “Let’s say, for example, an employer is saying, I want to give $5,000 to an employee’s birth. If they were just adding that to their employees’ check as a bonus, there are taxes that employers pay as well as the employee,” Turner said.

    “So maybe by the time they receive that, it’s only $4,200 or $3,200. So there are ways that we talk about in these resources to avoid those taxes, and it still is a 100% tax-deductible item for the employer.”

    “We really encourage business owners and business leaders in different communities to implement something like this that includes a lot of generosity towards their employees,” he concluded. 

    Earlier this month, The Walt Disney Co. promised in an internal memo obtained by CNBC that it would pay for employees to travel out of state for abortions. In addition to “family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions),” the coverage extends to non-pregnancy situations, including cancer treatments, transplants and rare disease treatment. 

    “Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” the memo reads. 

    Dozens of other companies, including DICK’S Sporting Goods, Goldman Sachs, Apple and Nike have also announced plans to reimburse employees traveling out of state for abortions.  

    Alan Cross Op-ed: America can — and must — be more American


    Commentary By Alan Cross| Tuesday, June 28, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/america-can-and-must-be-more-american.html/

    Activists hold a banner in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on June 18, 2020. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump’s move to rescind the DACA program that offers protections to 700,000 undocumented migrants brought to the US as children. | NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

    For the majority of my life, I held fairly traditional views on illegal immigration. It was based in my trust that America’s democratic political systems are rooted in liberty, justice, and fairness. 

    However, meeting Jose changed me. 

    Like me, Jose is a Baptist minister and fellow believer in Jesus Christ. We both were raised in America, graduated from an American education system, and have a family and community we love. Where we are different is that as a teenager, Jose became aware that he wasn’t an American citizen but instead an undocumented immigrant, limiting his opportunities and delivering uncertainty around his future in the only country he knew as home. 

    Jose exposed me to the fact that there are millions of people like him who are deemed illegal immigrants and did not choose this status when they first arrived in America at the age of 2 or even 11. In fact, many did not learn until later that they were not born in the U.S. Our society has labeled this population as “Dreamers,” and despite our American value of fairness, there is no path for them to make the right choice someone else made on their behalf. 

    Imagine celebrating your high school graduation only to be blindsided with new information that you don’t have legal government documents and there is no solution to fix it. You can’t pursue the careers you were taught to aspire to while in high school. You can’t leave the country for a mission trip overseas. You can’t get caught with a broken car light while driving to the grocery store. 

    In 2012, after years of Congress debating and failing to create an earned path to legal status for Dreamers, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was introduced as a presidential executive order. 

    This policy created a special opportunity for Jose and roughly 600,000 other individuals to work legally, pursue college, buy a house and not fear deportation. 

    But as we approach the 10-year anniversary of DACA, the limited administrative policy stopped receiving new applicants, leaving millions more in limbo, including the 100,000 Dreamers who graduated from high schools across America this past May

    DACA also continues to face legal challenges and could be struck down by the courts at any moment this year. Jose would be faced with renewed risks of deportation and removal from his church, his family, and his community. 

    Americans are faced with a moral gravity to make things right for our neighbors like Jose. But fairness and justice for this unique population can only be permanently secured by Congress. 

    Voters are calling out for it and don’t want to wait until after the midterm elections. The National Immigration Forum published a poll in February that shows 8 in 10 voters support a pathway for legal status for Dreamers coupled with border security policies and smart visa reform to deliver a reliable workforce for farmers and ranchers. 

    In my home state, I find hope in U.S. Senator Alex Padilla’s (D-CA) promotion of the “Citizenship for Essential Workers Act” and in Congressman David Valadeo’s (R-CA-21) political courage to vote for the 2021 American Dream and Promise Act. Both sides can come together and show us how to live up to our own ideals as a nation. This is the year to get the right decisions across the finish line for Dreamers and for our country. 

    Alan Cross is the pastor of Petaluma Valley Baptist Church in Petaluma, California.

    Christian football coach wins Supreme Court case over being fired for praying on field after games


    Reported By Michael Gryboski, Mainline Church Editor 

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/supreme-court-sides-with-christian-coach-punished-for-praying-after-football-games.html/

    Coach Joe Kennedy at the Bremerton High School football field. | Courtesy of First Liberty Institute

    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a Washington school district was wrong to punish a high school football coach for praying on the field after games. In a decision released Monday morning, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the Bremerton School District discriminated against Coach Joe Kennedy. 

    Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the court’s opinion, being joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. 

    “Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway,” wrote Gorsuch. 

    “Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s … The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

    In response to today’s opinion, Kennedy said, “This is just so awesome. All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I am incredibly grateful to the Supreme Court, my fantastic legal team, and everyone who has supported us. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle.”

    Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel for First Liberty, a religious liberty law firm based in Plano, Texas, which represented Kennedy, hailed the court’s decision as a “tremendous victory for Coach Kennedy and religious liberty for all Americans.”  

    “Our Constitution protects the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired,” she added. “We are grateful that the Supreme Court recognized what the Constitution and law have always said — Americans are free to live out their faith in public.”

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a dissent, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, in which she argued that “this Court consistently has recognized that school officials leading prayer is constitutionally impermissible.”

    “Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents, as embodied in both the Establishment Clause and the Free
    Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,”
    she wrote. 

    “This decision does a disservice to schools and the young citizens they serve, as well as to our Nation’s longstanding commitment to the separation of church and state.”

    Paul Cement, former U.S. Solicitor General and First Liberty network attorney who argued Kennedy’s case before the Justices, said, “After seven long years, Coach Kennedy can finally return to the place he belongs — coaching football and quietly praying by himself after the game. This is a great victory for Coach Kennedy and the First Amendment.”

    A devout Christian, Kennedy had a practice of going to the 50-yard line after high school football games and praying, often with fans and students joining him. In 2015, the school district suspended Kennedy for praying on the field after games and later decided not to renew his contract because of his refusal to stop praying on the field. Kennedy sued the school district in 2016, accusing them of violating his religious freedom. 

    Earlier this year, Shackelford said First Liberty was representing Kennedy because “No teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public.”

    A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the coach in 2017, while the Supreme Court initially refused to hear his case in 2019. In March of last year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit again ruled against Kennedy, with Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. authoring the unanimous opinion.

    “[T]here is no doubt that an objective observer, familiar with the history of Kennedy’s practice, would view his demonstrations as BSD’s endorsement of a particular faith. For that reason, BSD had adequate justification for its treatment of Kennedy,” wrote Smith.

    “BSD had a compelling state interest to avoid violating the Establishment Clause, and it tried repeatedly to work with Kennedy to develop an accommodation for him that would avoid violating the Establishment Clause while nevertheless offering him options that were narrowly tailored to protect his rights …”

    In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in the case and heard oral arguments in late April, with the justices debating whether Kennedy’s prayer practice was coercive.

    Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

    Michael Brown Op-ed: No matter what the midterms bring, it is still revival, or we die


    Commentary By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor | Monday, June 13, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/no-matter-what-the-midterms-bring-it-is-still-revival-or-we-die.html/

    Carol Braddock of Los Angeles casts a vote to take advantage of early voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in Norwalk, California October 25, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Alex Gallardo)

    Every day, there are examples of Americans pushing back against the agenda of the radical left. And every day, there are more signs that there could be a major political reaction against the leftist agenda in the midterm elections. But even with the best possible electoral outcome, without a sweeping revival in the church, America could still collapse.

    That’s because America’s greatest problems are spiritual and moral first, leading to the larger societal, political, and economic challenges we face. But unless the heart is cured, the body will die.

    One of my colleagues is an astute Christian attorney who has been on the front lines of the culture wars for decades, from the local courthouse to the Supreme Court.

    He recently tweeted this to a small group of leaders: “Unless something dramatic happens, the midterms will be a blood bath for progressives. VA was the first canary in the coal mine. The San Fran recall shows the train is picking up steam. Biden’s appearance on J Kimmel was an embarrassment, and Kimmel had to intervene to rescue him from rambling and losing his train of thought.”

    He continued, “A poll released today had his approval at 35% – lowest I’ve seen yet. If either chamber flips (and it likely will be both), it limits the harm he can do the last two years.”

    But then, the major caveat – and the real thrust behind his text.

    He wrote, “I think our biggest challenge may be communicating that a political reprieve is insufficient, and maybe even a distraction as a false sense of security; only a revival will save the nation. We’re fighting human nature. People are angry and frustrated. They will express it on Election Day and then settle back to life as usual, unaware the declining trend will continue. I’ve never seen so much focus on pride month as in this year, and the culture has largely caved into joining the celebration of sin. The election won’t do much to change that if there is not spiritual renewal.”

    I could not agree more, both in terms of his diagnosis of the problem and his warning about the danger.

    Bear in mind that this attorney has been politically active for years. In fact, I remember him speaking for our school and congregation back in the summer of 2009 when he told us about a major case that would make its way to the Supreme Court regarding same-sex “marriage.” He spoke of it as if it were a fait accompli, explaining that the deciding vote would be cast by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

    That is exactly how it played out, with Kennedy making the infamous choice to be the swing vote that redefined marriage in America.

    The organization that my colleague served for many years provides legal support for Christians and others whose rights are being challenged, helping them to fight back in their schools and places of business and churches. Their winning percentage is incredibly high, and to this day, I refer my friends to this organization when they come under attack for their religious beliefs and convictions.

    All that to say that my colleague is not encouraging political passivity. Quite the contrary.

    But he is reminding us that, even with a major shift towards the right and even with the potential of a Republican president and Congress by 2024, we will still have a massive amount of moral and cultural and spiritual rot at the core of America. Only a massive revival and awakening can turn the tide.

    That’s why, when I wrote Revival Or We Die in 2021, there was not an ounce of hyperbole in the title. (The subtitle was A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope, also without any hyperbole.)

    That’s why it is imperative that we continue to emphasize the importance of personal and corporate repentance. And the centrality of prayer. And the priority of evangelism and disciple-making and church planting. And the ongoing need to build healthy bridges of reconciliation.

    That’s why we must keep the main things the main things. Otherwise, if we take our foot off the gas pedal of spiritual urgency, we will quickly find ourselves sliding further backward.

    Put another way, and to use a medical analogy, it is true that the patient is suffering from a host of ailments and sicknesses. But unless the doctors can stop his heart from failing, he will not be long on this earth.

    First, get the heart pumping blood and out of danger. Then, address the other ailments and sicknesses.

    Or, from another angle, it’s great that the other conditions are getting better, but it will be lost if the heart fails.

    On January 4 of this year, I posted an article titled, “2022: The Year to Take Back Ground!

    Since then, I have filed scores of articles and stories detailing that very trend. Americans are saying enough is enough on many fronts, and they are pushing back.

    This is all encouraging and positive, and some of it is the direct result of men and women standing up for their spiritual and moral principles.

    But, as we move closer to the midterm elections, we do well to heed my colleague’s concerns. To that end, you might want to bookmark this article and refer back to it from time to time.

    Dr. Michael Brown(www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

    Secular intolerance of Christians’ views is leading to self-censorship, report warns


    Posted By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor | June 13, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/secular-intolerance-of-christians-is-leading-to-self-censorship-report.html/

    Getty Images

    Secular intolerance has a “chilling effect” on Christians who are having to practice “various forms of self-censorship” as they’re finding it difficult to express their faith freely in society, according to a new report detailing accounts from four countries.

    “Secular intolerance has a chilling effect on Christians, which directly affects their capacity to express their faith freely in society and is leading to various forms of self-censorship,” says the report, titled “Perceptions on Self-Censorship: Confirming and Understanding the ‘Chilling Effect,’” which includes case studies from France, Germany, Colombia and Mexico.

    “Some people do indeed fear being subjected to legal proceedings or being criminally sanctioned on charges of discrimination, while others fear being subjected to disciplinary proceedings in their work or places,” notes the study, compiled by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America and the International Institute for Religious Freedom.

    “With some exceptions, the majority chose to keep its expressions of faith or its opinions on issues related to life, marriage and the family from a Christian doctrine perspective private because they had witnessed sanctions or prosecutions to which colleagues or peers had been subjected,” it adds.

    Many incidents cited in the report might seem insignificant, the authors say, but “these many small things together cause ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

    “A few cuts do not kill you and barely hurt. But continuous small strikes eventually have an impact. We posit that the accumulation of seemingly insignificant incidents creates an environment in which Christians do not feel comfortable — to some degree — to live their faith freely. Indeed, Western Christians experience a ‘chilling effect’ resulting from perceived pressures in their cultural environment, related to widely mediatized court cases.”

    Further, the study observes, “Because of the subtle and generally non-physically violent nature of the chilling effect, it is often misunderstood or even ignored and therefore largely remains invisible.”

    “This is the main reason why the phenomenon is not recognized in religious freedom datasets such as the Pew Research Center indexes,” the authors add. 

    The report also warns this form of censorship is not only limiting people’s exercise of religion or their right to manifest their convictions, “but also that these violations to the right to religious freedom can cause the disappearance of religion in a given context.”

    Madeleine Enzelberger, executive director of OIDAC Europe, said the study “raises the legitimate question of: how is it possible in a mature, liberal democratic society that stands for tolerance, diversity, and inclusive and open discourse, that people are frightened to freely speak their minds?” according to Christian Today.

    Many Christians interviewed as part of the study did not realize they were self-censoring. In some cases, they had self-censored to the extent that they now “stop seeing the characteristics related to self-censorship as a problem.”

    As one of its conclusions, the study laments that “the Church has allowed itself to be self-censored … Christian religious leaders have more freedom to express themselves freely (but they do not always take advantage of it).”

    To remedy this form of censorship, the authors suggest there’s “an urgent need to educate policymakers, public servants (including the police) and judges about religion to increase their religious literacy.”

    “We have seen that a high degree of religious illiteracy leads to misunderstanding of how religion informs behavior in different spheres of society and what the legitimate role of religion in the public domain is. Illiteracy therefore can consequently be the cause of ‘practical intolerance’ against Christians.”

    Shane Idleman Op-ed: America — weak and woke. We need more prophets, not puppets.


    Commentary By Shane Idleman, CP Guest Contributor | Tuesday, June 07, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/america-weak-and-woke-we-need-more-prophets-not-puppets.html/

    Repentance from sin plus faith in Christ equals a new life. | Pixabay

    In a recent documentary, I discussed the rapid decline of America and the desperate need for serious prayer and fasting. To say that we are at a crossroads is an understatement — we are in the crosshairs.

    This is an urgent call to the pulpits of America. America’s lukewarm temperature is caused by a lack of fire in the pulpit and apathy in the pew. Leonard Ravenhill once lamented, “We need more prophets in our pulpits and less puppets.” That same cry goes out today. We simply cannot remain silent.   

    Is saving America the mission of the Church? 

    CNN recently released an article quoting pastor Andy Stanley who said, “saving America is not the mission of the church.” 

    I don’t know Pastor Stanley, nor do I know his heart, but he highlights a real dilemma in our nation — prophetic voices who lack humilityIn short, many bold preachers don’t weep before they whip (cf. John 2:13-16). But balancing love with anger over the condition of our nation, families, and churches is a hard balance to find. 

    People who say things such as, “Saving America is not the mission of the Church,” often use this phrase to justify their silence on important issues. Biblically speaking, it’s impossible to be non-confrontational to a culture hell-bent on rejecting God. We can’t be “unhitched” from God’s Word. 

    But Shane, can you answer the question? 

    Back to the question, “is saving America the mission of the Church?” Of course not, but shouldn’t we desire godly leaders and laws that align with God’s Word and not be shamed for it? Shouldn’t we want to protect our borders and our children without being chastised? Shouldn’t we be a voice to those who have no voice and stop the slaughtering of the innocent? 

    The dilemma Pastor Stanley and others face is that they can’t have their cake and eat it, too. They can’t avoid controversial topics in the hopes of not offending. Watering down difficult topics is exactly why America is drowning in a cesspool of moral relativism.  

    CNN quotes Stanley because, in their eyes, he supports their narrative. You won’t find secular news outlets quoting and supporting bold preachers. Why? Because bold, Christ-centered, truth elevating preaching exposes and dismantles their agenda. If secular news outlets are on your side, are you sure that you’re on the right side?

    Weak and woke won’t awaken 

    My goal isn’t to divide the Body of Christ, but to convict it. I don’t have a beef against Pastor Stanley (I’m sure he’s a great guy), but if a Christian leader says controversial things, can’t we lovingly challenge their words? This isn’t dividing the Body, rather it’s sharpening our iron (Proverbs 27:17). 

    Many of us are becoming weary of the silent pulpit that seems more comfortable slamming bold saints than confronting blatant sinners. Weak sermons from woke pastors won’t convict the sinners who need redemption. 

    A person who is considered “woke” prides themselves on being extra sensitive and aware of racial and social discrimination and injustice. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on the motive of the person using the phrase. 

    If we repent of our skin color, dislike policemen, disdain America, and support sexual perversion by our silence (all under the banner of “wokeness”), we are in deep trouble. If we won’t preach the truth because some in our audience are on the other side of the political spectrum, we aren’t pastors, we are appeasers. 

    Love of country over love of people 

    Love of country shouldn’t take precedence over love of people, but doesn’t loving people also mean loving the country in which they live? 

    What many are really saying is: If you vote for a mean-tweeting president, care about God-given freedoms, and talk about hot-button issues, you don’t love people. With all due respect, that simply is not true!

    Is it even possible for Christians to embrace a political party without hurting the feelings of the other party? No, it’s not. This is the dilemma of Pastor Stanley and other leaders. Instead of asking, “How can we not offend others?” they should be asking, “Are we offending God?” 

    There must appear a new type of preacher

    A.W. Tozer hit the nail on the head decades ago: “If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used … there must appear a new type of preacher.”

    Tozer continues, “The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.”

    He concludes, “Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.” God, give us more prophets and less puppets! 

    Appeasement — an exercise in futility 

    Those who have been called to preach will confront compromise, condemn moral digression, and powerfully denounce sin in the hope of reconciling man to God. The world despises them because they challenge the sin the world enjoys. Trying to please a Christ-rejecting world is an exercise in futility.

    Although ruffling feathers is not our goal, we will step on toes from time to time when we speak the truth. This can’t always be avoided, nor should it be. 

    Weak and woke won’t turn America around, but neither will pride and arrogance. Speaking the heart of God flows from a reservoir of brokenness and time spent with Him. How are you doing in this area? 

    Whether you’re on the Right or the Left, you must be on the right side of God’s Word. 

    We need more men like the Old Testament prophet Micaiah, who said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will speak whatever the Lord tells me” (1 Kings 22:14).

    Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. He is the author of Feasting & FastingIf My PeopleDesperate for More of God, and Help! I’m Addicted. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch. You can also follow Pastor Shane on the new free speech platform Parler https://parler.com/profile/ShaneIdleman/posts

    Virginia passes law defining religion as including ‘outward expression,’ not just ‘belief’


    Reported By Michael Gryboski | Mainline Church Editor | June 1, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/virginia-passes-law-protecting-outward-religious-expression.html/

    OWEN li | Unsplash/Owen li

    Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signed a law that legally defines religion as including actions and expressions, not just personal belief, which is viewed as a win by religious liberty advocates. Known as House Bill 1063, the legislation defines the word “religion” as meaning “any outward expression of religious faith, including adherence to religious dressing and grooming practices and the carrying or display of religious items or symbols.” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter told The Christian Post in a statement Tuesday that the legislation is a “modest step” to advance religious liberty in Virginia.

    “Governor Youngkin has a firm spiritual foundation that guides his entire life and will use every ounce of his authority to protect Virginians’ First Amendment right to freely live out their faith,” Porter said. “HB 1063 is a modest step toward preserving religious freedom in the Commonwealth and the Governor hopes to continue to build on that in the future.”

    Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that has argued religious liberty cases before the United States Supreme Court, applauded the passage of HB 1063. ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor said that the measure “provides a necessary and helpful clarification in the law to help ensure Virginians won’t face discrimination simply for outwardly expressing their religious beliefs.”

    “Virginia law forbids discrimination on the basis of religion in multiple contexts yet fails to define the actual term ‘religion,’ which can leave Virginians vulnerable to hostile reactions to expressions of their faith,” said Baylor in a statement.  

    “We commend Gov. Youngkin and the Virginia General Assembly for resolving this ambiguity so that Virginians can freely live out their faith without fear of government punishment.”

    The bill was introduced by Del. Irene Shin, a Democrat representing northern Virginia, with the aim of protecting individuals with an outward religious expression like wearing a yarmulke or cross from being discriminated against.

    In April, after the legislation passed both houses of the General Assembly in unanimous votes, Youngkin offered an amendment to HB 1063 that would have instead defined religion as “all aspects of religious observance, practice, or belief.”

    Shin denounced this change of language, claiming in a statement posted to Twitter that it “perverts the intention of this legislation and the legislative body.” After maintaining that Youngkin “hijacked my bill to push his own insidious, right-wing agenda,” Shin unveiled the hashtag #GetYourOwnDamnBill to highlight her disapproval of the amendment. 

    Last week Gov Youngkin aka Wolf in Fleece Clothing™ amended my bill HB1063.

    I’m furious he hijacked my bill to push his own insidious, right-wing agenda. Maybe I should be used to it by now but nah I’m still appalled by his recklessly divisive policies.#GetYourOwnDamnBillpic.twitter.com/f41xQgV5Ah— irene shin ???????? (@ireneshintweets) April 21, 2022

    “The practical implications of the Governor’s amendment would be to create legal protections for discriminatory and bigoted policies, acts and beliefs under the guise of religion,” she continued.

    “The fact that this Administration would co-opt a universally approved bipartisan measure designed to ensure equal protections and weaponize it to advance their agenda of discrimination and division, while sadly unsurprising, is still appalling.”

    Although the governor’s amended version of HB 1063 passed the Republican-controlled House of Delegates in a vote of 52-48 last month, it was not taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate in time for the governor’s action deadline.   

    HB 1063 was one of 23 bills Youngkin signed into law Friday, as the regular session of the 162nd Virginia General Assembly came to a close. He acknowledged that “while most of these bills were returned to me in an imperfect form, I firmly believe they offer a bipartisan path forward.”  The governor vetoed an additional seven bills sent to him by the legislature.

    Oklahoma bans most abortions throughout entire pregnancy


    Reported By Michael Gryboski, Mainline Church Editor | Thursday, May 26, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/oklahoma-bans-most-abortions-throughout-entire-pregnancy.html/

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. | Facebook/ Governor Kevin Stitt

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a new law Wednesday that bans most abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, with the measure being enforced via litigation brought by private citizens. Stitt signed House Bill 4327, which was modeled off of a Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy but uses private civil actions to enforce the legislation. While Stitt had previously signed a six-week abortion ban, this new law bars abortions through the entire length of a pregnancy, making it one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. Exceptions include rape, incest and life-threatening medical emergency for the mother.

    In a statement, Stitt said he promised to “sign every piece of pro-life legislation” that came across his desk.

    “l and I am proud to keep that promise today,” he declared. 

    “From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother,” Stitt said.

    “That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe. If other states want to pass different laws, that is their right, but in Oklahoma, we will always stand up for life.”

    The law allows for private individuals to sue abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” a woman seeking an abortion.

    The Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement that Oklahoma is the first state to enact a “citizen-enforced total ban on abortion.” A coalition of abortion providers and a “reproductive justice” organizations will imminently file a lawsuit hoping to block the law in court. 

    “Banning abortion after six weeks was not extreme enough for Oklahoma lawmakers,” Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup said in a statement. “The goal of the anti-abortion movement is to ensure no one can access abortion at any point for any reason.”

    The Oklahoma bill was denounced by the White House last week when it passed the state legislature. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called abortion a “fundamental right” and labeled HB 4327 “the most extreme effort to undo these fundamental rights we have seen to date.”

    “In addition, it adopts Texas’ absurd plan to allow private citizens to sue their neighbors for providing reproductive health care and helping women to exercise their constitutional rights,” she continued.

    “This is part of a growing effort by ultra MAGA officials across the country to roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country.”

    Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, which centers on a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks into a pregnancy. If the high court upholds Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, it could overturn or weaken the landmark 1973 opinion in Roe v. Wade, which prohibited laws restricting abortion before the unborn child attains viability.

    Earlier this month, Politico published a leaked draft opinion in the Dobbs case, which indicated that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe and allow states to decide their abortion laws. Although Politico acknowledged that the draft opinion was not final and did not necessarily mean Roe would be overturned, the report nevertheless sparked numerous protests and several acts of vandalism against churches and pro-life pregnancy resource centers. A ruling is expected by the end of June. If Roe is overturned, 21 states would either ban or severely restrict abortion, 16 states will continue to allow abortion throughout most or all of pregnancy. Existing abortion restrictions would remain in effect in 10 states. 

    Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

    The Left Has Effectively Banned Christian Kids from Public Pools, Libraries, And Summer Camps


    POSTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | MAY 23, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/05/23/the-left-has-effectively-banned-christian-kids-from-public-pools-libraries-and-summer-camps/

    girl scouts at camp

    Forcing children to sleep and undress next to kids of the opposite sex effectively puts up a ‘Christian kids need not apply’ sign on public recreation activities.

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    This spring I got an email from 4-H, a club I participated in as a child, effectively communicating that my Christian family need not apply to summer camps and other activities sponsored by the quasi-public organization. (County governments often sponsor 4-H activities.) This email was signed by a 4-H staffer who put pronouns in his signature and told me, “Youth are assigned cabins based on gender indicated on the 4-H camp application and registration,” suggesting children were roomed by gender identity rather than sex.

    Naturally, I was concerned that my tween daughter and son might be roomed overnight with an emotionally disturbed camper or counselor if I enrolled them in this camp. Based on numerous reported stories, I know that if this did happen, the camp likely would not even tell me, so I’d only hear about it after the fact from my kids. When I emailed again to confirm I was understanding this correctly, the staffer refused to answer definitively whether campers could be placed in private facilities such as bedrooms and bathrooms with transgender individuals. That’s an unacceptable risk to children’s well-being, as well as a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Given how socially contagious LGBT identification is, it’s not just about transgender issue but also exposing children to sexual information and pressures far earlier than they are ready. Hand in hand with grouping children by gender identity is forcing conversations about what that means, which pushes children earlier and earlier to declare and investigate sexual behaviors. This is destabilizing to their identity, not “affirming” it.

    Given 4-H national’s commitment to the toxic “diversity, equity, inclusion” ideology, the fact that my Christian kids now cannot equally access lots of their programming due to 4-H’s choice to sexualize their activities was no surprise. But I still wanted to see in writing that my red county in my red state was indeed giving tax breaks and other government privileges to an organization that might room children overnight with troubled people of the opposite sex against their parents’ will. The answer is yes. (Thanks, Republicans!)

    Everywhere We Go, Someone Wants to Talk Dirty to My Kids on the Public Dime

    It’s not just places kids get naked. It’s everywhere. I cannot take my children to the public library anymore, either, because the shelves are so full of pornographic and hostile books that it’s not a safe place for them. There, too, self-righteous LGBT activism has resulted in effectively banning my children from yet another public place and weaponizing my own tax dollars against my children’s safety. The shelves and displays in our library are full of books telling my children lies such as that “men can become women” and “some boys have girl brains” and “gender is a social construct.” I’m happy to have these conversations with my children when they are ready, but I know my six-year-old, and he is not ready. My eight-year-old is not ready, and neither are my 10- and 11-year-old, frankly. It’s grotesque and evil to put books at their eye level that deliberately aim to confuse them about something so deep and important. To do this is to usurp not only my parental wisdom and authority over my own children but to usurp my children’s right to an innocent, emotionally secure childhood.

    It Won’t Happen, And When It Does, You Bigots Will Deserve It

    These all prove that rapidly rewriting American laws to ignore sexual differences has effectively banned Christian families from equal participation in public facilities and activities. It’s not just Christian families, it’s any family that thinks it imprudent to lodge their sometimes-undressed daughters with an emotionally traumatized male at summer camp or to obtain swimming lessons at a public pool. This all descends from the massive bait and switch inherent to the LGBT policy agenda. We were told it was only about extending government sanction to what consenting adults do behind closed doors. We were told it was about allowing people to visit loved ones in hospice and inherit without legal difficulties. It wasn’t going to affect our families, remember?

    Anyone who raised concerns about how calling sexual activities that cannot create a family “marriage” would affect children, faith, and families was smeared as a know-nothing bigot. Anyone who wanted to logically think through how legally equating men to women in the social keystone of marriage would have a domino effect on many other laws and social arrangements was also smeared as a hateful bigot, all the way up to highly intelligent and reasoned Supreme Court dissents. It’s the same toxic play we’ve seen work ever since: Anyone with a contrary opinion or even unanswered questions is not engaged, but simply smeared.

    Men and Women Are Different, And That Matters

    The fact is that equating homosexual relationships to marriage very often requires explaining adult sexual behaviors to tiny children. Erasing the differences between the sexes in marriage also leads irrevocably to erasing the differences between the sexes everywhere else, from bathrooms to pools to summer camps. Breaking down all sexual differences also results in discrimination against religious expressions that acknowledge men and women are different, and these differences are divinely ordered.

    Thus upending the natural sexual order has resulted, not in the falsely promised “equality,” but in simply flipping which social system will rule. For what we were prevented from discussing or even seeing was the fact that these two regimes — treating the sexes as different and complementary versus seeing them as neutered and interchangeable — are mutually exclusive.

    You cannot have both transgender swimmers and single-sex sports competition. You cannot have both the sexual profligacy pushed by the dominant LGBT activist class and protect children from sexualized childhoods and predatory social situations. You must have one or the other.

    In the absence of clarity about this reality combined with effective use of power on reality’s behalf, abrasive, antisocial activists have fully taken over every public space. Any further sorties are merely tinkering around the edges of their all-encompassing kingdom.

    Children Are No Longer a Protected Class, They’re Targets for Groomers

    So instead of achieving equality, what we have really achieved is the subversion of children’s developmental needs to adult desires. Instead of equality, we have replaced legal preferences for the only sexual arrangement that produces the most stable future citizens — lifelong married biological parents — with legal preferences for sexual arrangements that harm children and send religious folk to the back of the public bus.

    Therefore, all who believe in protecting children from marinating in sexual imagery and ideas everywhere they go are the new underclass in our political regime, and in many cases no Republican officials will even recognize our legitimate concerns, let alone fight for our daughters. That’s certainly the case here in Indiana, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb won’t sign bare-minimum legislation protecting girls’ sports and nobody is even talking about making our libraries, camps, and pools safe for families (even though that’s one of the few value-added policies a state like Indiana can offer its citizens).

    Many of our major public and private institutions are making the public square completely hostile to a happy childhood and faith. Their “solution” to alleged bigotry was institutionalizing actual bigotry. “Our kind” aren’t wanted in “their” territory, you see. Maybe we would be allowed to have separate pools and summer camps funded by our own money, as long as the ACLU doesn’t sue them out of existence like they do Christian hospitals and foster care agencies.

    What we weren’t told was that letting homosexuals out of the closet would require stuffing all the children and Christians inside.


    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.

    Disney launches LGBT clothing line for kids; critics blast company for promoting ‘sexual confusion’


    Reported By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, May 19, 2022

    Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/disney-launches-new-lgbt-clothing-line-for-children.html/

    People from the Walt Disney Company participate in the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, on June 9, 2019. | DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images

    Disney has released a new “Pride Collection” clothing line for children amid controversy surrounding the corporation’s reaction to Florida’s new parental rights in education bill and reported efforts to include LGBT advocacy in its children’s programming. The family entertainment company launched the new fashion line on Monday, featuring merchandise such as sweaters, T-shirts, baby clothes and other items, all bearing the rainbow pride flag that symbolizes the LGBT movement. The collection’s launch comes two weeks before the start of so-called pride month, which LGBT activists recognize each June. 

    Many of the products also include LGBT-themed images of iconic Disney character Mickey Mouse and the company’s Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar franchises. The company is selling the items through its “shopDisney” online store, Disney retail shops and theme parks. 

    “The Disney Pride Collection was created by LGBTQIA+ employees and allies at The Walt Disney Company and is a reflection of their incredible contributions and place at the heart of the company,” the corporation wrote in a statement announcing the clothing line. “We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community everywhere.”

    In an opinion piece published by The Daily Citizen, Zachary Mettler, staff writer and communications liaison for the Christian organization Focus on the Family, contended that Disney is “targeting” children with an LGBT agenda. 

    “The new clothing line is just a part of Disney’s continued push to promote sexual confusion in children,” Mettler told The Christian Post. “Children weren’t designed to carry the weight of adult sexuality.” 

    He further suggested that Disney is trying to plant the idea into children’s heads that same-sex couples marrying is morally the same as a marriage between a man and a woman. He said the family entertainment company is attempting to teach children that gender is malleable, something he envisions will “confuse” and negatively impact them when they become young adults.

    In its announcement of the clothing line, Disney pledged to donate the entirety of the collection’s proceed’s now through June 30 to various LGBT activist organizations, including: Ali Forney Center, GLSEN, LGBTQ Center OC, Los Angeles LGBT Center, PFLAG National, SF LGBT Center, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition. 

    Mettler views this as a sign that the corporation has become more vocal about its stance on LGBT issues than in previous years.

    According to Fox Business, the corporation has produced pride-themed clothing for children every year since 2018 but previously donated only a small percentage of the profits. This year, the company also renamed the fashion line from Rainbow Disney Collection to the Disney Pride Collection.

    “I think parents especially need to be aware of the content that their children are consuming and, ideally, will proactively discuss these issues with them. Particularly topics on sexuality and gender identity, so that their children know how to navigate the content that these organizations promote,” Mettler said. 

    On March 11, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek apologized to employees via a letter for not taking a firmer stance against Florida bill HB 1557. The law prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity instruction for students in kindergarten through third grade and requires schools to notify parents about their child’s healthcare services on campus. Disney initially remained neutral about the legislation that critics derided as a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, changing its stance after criticism from LGBT employees and supporters. The company condemned the bill in a March 28 statement, declaring that it “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.” 

    A few weeks after the company first criticized the bill publicly, leaked video footage obtained by the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo showed Disney employees discussing their efforts to promote an LGBT message in the company’s children’s programming. During the meeting, Latoya Raveneau, an executive producer at Disney, praised the showrunners of the company’s “Proud Family” reboot for adhering to her “not-at-all secret gay agenda.” The spinoff of the children’s animated series features new characters, including a same-sex couple. 

    Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said Disney has

    “gone too far” in a Facebook post last month. 

    “What has happened at Disney is moral failure,” Graham insisted. “Walt Disney had a vision for wholesome family entertainment. He was committed to the family. The morals of the corporate leadership of Disney today are in the gutter, and they want to redefine family counter to God’s original design and flaunt sin.”

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