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COMMENTARY: Walmart Mass Shooter Left Behind Suicide Note – Includes 4 Words Media Doesn’t Want to Talk About


 By C. Douglas Golden | November 26, 2022

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/walmart-mass-shooter-left-behind-suicide-note-includes-4-words-media-doesnt-want-talk/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=aa-breaking&utm_campaign=can&utm_content=firefly

The way you can tell the media is going to move on from the shooting at a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart that claimed the lives of six people is that there’s absolutely no handle for them.

Race? Not a factor — accused shooter Andre Bing, who later killed himself, was black. The gun? Not an AR-15 or an associated long rifle — the handgun he used was legally purchased. His victims weren’t chosen for any other reason than that they were his coworkers at the store.

And there are four words you definitely won’t hear them talk about from the alleged shooter’s suicide note: “led by the Satan.”

The note, which Chesapeake police say they found on the phone of the 31-year-old Bing, was released in a series of tweets on Friday.

In the rambling screed, Bing said he was offended because his coworkers compared him to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Trending: Watch: CNN Anchor Watches Narrative Collapse, Left Stunned When She Finds out Colorado Shooting Suspect is ‘Non-Binary’

“I would never have killed anyone that entered my home,” he said, calling his fellow employees “idiots with low intelligence” who tormented him with what he described as “evil twisted grins.”

“Sorry God I’ve failed you, this was not your fault but my own,” he wrote. “I failed to listen to the groans of the holy spirit which made me a poor representation of You.”

“My only wish would have been to start over from scratch and that my parents would have paid closer attention to my social deficits,” he continued.

“Sorry everyone but I did not plan this, I promise things just fell in place like I was led by the Satan.”

So, guess how many times Satan was mentioned in CNN’s write-up of the suicide note? Zero.

Instead, we got this: “The note — found on his phone — talks about God, the holy spirit, and how the author felt his ‘associates’ were mocking him.”

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned how he was addressing God or talking about the Holy Spirit. One is left with the distinct impression he was inspired by God, not by the embodiment of sin and evil.

Related: Watch: CNN Anchor Watches Narrative Collapse, Left Stunned When She Finds out Colorado Shooting Suspect is ‘Non-Binary’

By ignoring Satan, the media ignores the fact very real spiritual evil exists. “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” 1 John 5:19 reads. Even a CNN reporter can look at the outlet’s own homepage and realize how true the last part of that equation is.

Focusing on that, however, would lead too many readers to ruminate on the state of our fallen world and to blame individuals — not guns, politicians or religion — for the shooting.

With the shooting at a Colorado Springs, Colorado, gay nightclub, those scapegoats were too easy. It was the fault of religion. Of Tucker Carlson and Lauren Boebert. Of the so-called “assault weapon.”

This time, four disgusting words spell out what motivated this and so many other mass murderers: “led by the Satan.”

Expect the media to do everything to avoid talking about the inconvenient fact that good and evil are real, objective things. They’re going to avoid it because they want to exist in a godless bubble where good and evil are determined by manmade standards.

Tragically, shootings like the one in Chesapeake show exactly what happens when those concepts are left to human arbiters.

C. Douglas Golden

Contributor, Commentary

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

@CillianZeal

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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/

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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.

    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.

    Barr: Public Schools Are Now So Hostile to Christians, They’re Unconstitutional


    A MUST READ AND SHARE -Jerry Broussard

    REPORTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | JUNE 27, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/27/barr-public-schools-are-now-so-hostile-to-christians-theyre-unconstitutional/

    William Barr

    Religious devotion, the keystone of ordered liberty in the West, has been under systematic assault by anti-religious forces Barr called an ‘atheocracy.’

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    The West is facing its deepest civilizational crisis since Jesus Christ resurrected, and addressing the crisis requires removing militant secularists’ monopoly on education, former U.S. attorney general William Barr told a packed Christian conference in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday.

    “We are going through a fateful crisis in western civilization. This is the deepest crisis we’ve faced in my mind since Christ,” Barr said. “That’s because our whole civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian tradition and that tradition is under sustained attack by increasingly militant secular forces.”

    In a reprise of a 2019 speech at Notre Dame University that met massive corporate media backlash, Barr told the audience U.S. public schools have become hostile to traditional religion while wresting control of American children’s upbringing from their parents. This is a threat to the entire Western order, Barr said, because the unique American system of self-government cannot exist without a citizenry that is committed to traditional religion.

    That’s because there are only two ways to restrain people from following disordered passions, Barr said: internal restraints, which are largely provided by one’s beliefs; and external restraints, which are typically provided by government. So, in order to have a limited government, Barr noted in an explicit echo of the American Founders, citizens must practice self-restraint. Such self-restraint is primarily developed through religious devotion, he said. But religious observance, the keystone of ordered liberty in the West, has been under systematic assault by anti-religious forces Barr called an “atheocracy,” his amalgam of the words “atheist theocracy.” These anti-religious forces now control the minds of American kids due to their monopoly on U.S. education institutions.

    “The threat today is not that religious people are about to establish a theocracy in the United States, it is that militant secularists are trying to establish an atheocracy,” Barr said. Barr also spoke to The Federalist about the asymmetric justice being carried out under Joe Biden by the agency he has led twice, the U.S. Department of Justice.

    In a 2021 interview with the legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, Barr said anti-religion leftists have effectively turned public schools into “secular-progressive madrassas.” In his Chicago speech on Saturday, the nation’s former top lawyer told the audience this state of affairs is likely a violation of the Constitution’s ban on government establishment of one religion over others, as well as a violation of the Free Exercise Clause that forbids the government from interfering with Americans’ religious obligations.

    “What we’re living through is not a situation where religion is intruding into the government’s rightful arena, it’s exactly the opposite: It’s that government and politics is usurping the role of religion,” Barr said.

    Barr told the sold-out Chicago audience at the 2022 conference of the Christian radio show “Issues, Etc.” that American politics now aligns with religious beliefs. The dichotomy in American life is no longer about prudential issues but religious ones: whether one acknowledges an objective, external, unchanging reality ordered by a transcendent deity or whether one insists the material world is all there is, which makes one’s god the self.

    This anti-God materialism now maps onto and fuels political leftism, Barr said:

    When a purely materialist worldview takes hold in society, it’s drawn to a messianic utopianism. Its adherents become enthralled with the idea that the meaning of life, what gives them purpose and meaning, is to be found in the quest for a perfect earthly society. The manipulation of the material world to achieve some form of nirvana here on earth. And the means used is achieving political power.

    The main obstacle to this earthly paradise is the existing structure, conventions and superstitions like religion. Any obstacle to our earthly paradise has to be torn down.

    These ideas are represented by the progressive movement in the United States. It basically is an ersatz religion that gives them a sort of truncated version of the place filled by religion in people’s lives. It also explains the bitterness in our politics today. Because once you adopt this view, then your political opponents aren’t just disagreeing with you, they’re evil. They are standing in the way of the salvation of mankind.

    …Another part of this revolutionary era and the consequences we have been witnessing over the last couple of hundred years is a worldview that boils questions of morality solely down to an individual’s internal feelings. And their interior sense of pleasure and satisfaction. That’s how we gauge acts, whether people feel internally satisfied. And anything that advances that feeling is good, and anything that constrains or restricts that feeling is bad. This is a fundamental change in the worldview of the West.

    Because the U.S. Supreme Court and other American political institutions have turned public schools from essentially Christian schools into essentially anti-Christian schools, Barr said, the U.S. school system has been erasing the faith required to sustain limited government. Multiple studies provide evidence this is true.

    Banning Christianity from education created a moral vacuum that has ultimately been filled badly with political leftism. This has not only increasingly turned younger American generations against their own faith, families, and country, it has turned public schools into indoctrination camps.

    “Personal and civic moral systems don’t just sort of hover in the air,” Barr explained. “They have to rest on an explanatory foundation, a metaphysical foundation. When people tell you to do something, you ask ‘Why?’ Why is it necessary to be good and what is it that consists of being good? So, the extent to which an education seeks to contribute to a student’s moral formation, it necessarily invades the space of religion when explaining what the moral values are and how they should be inherited.”

    Thanks to the current Supreme Court’s adherence to the original Constitution as written, Barr said he thinks this is an opportune moment for both court and legislative work to address this existential national crisis.

    “Public education was established as a melting pot that would establish a common American identity. How are the public schools doing on that front?” Barr asked, at which the audience burst into laughter. He continued: “The curriculum is now attacking the fundamental legitimacy of our form of government and our founding documents. That’s no way to bring us together as a nation.”

    The most direct way to resolve this constitutional and existential crisis in American education is to end the government monopoly over the provision of education, Barr said, with full school choice. (The form of school choice that offers the fewest opportunities for hostile bureaucrats to interfere with parent choices, by the way, is education savings accounts.)

    “The variety of American beliefs now makes a monopoly on education untenable,” Barr said. “You can’t finesse it anymore. You can’t pretend what’s being taught in schools is compatible with traditional religion, nor can you pretend schools are neutral anymore.”

    Because anti-religious public schools hold a monopoly on public education funds, Barr noted, parents are forced to fight mostly ineffectively over what public schools teach, such as transgender ideology to kindergarteners and anti-white racism. Allowing parents to take their children’s public education dollars to institutions that match their beliefs will end such culture wars, he said, as well as help families more effectively pass their republic-sustaining faith on to their children.

    This alone can’t solve the entire existential crisis of the West, Barr conceded: “It’s not a panacea, but I cannot see a way out for us and the way for Christian citizens to live in peace in this republic until we address the educational system.”


    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.

    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.

    The Left Unmasks Its Desire To Destroy Families — And The Nation — With Sexual Chaos


    REPORTED BY: CARINA BENTON | APRIL 04, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/04/the-left-unmasks-its-desire-to-destroy-families-and-the-nation-with-sexual-chaos/

    Hollywood

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis once again led the way in protecting parental rights in education last week when he signed into law a bill that prohibits age-inappropriate “classroom instruction” on “sexual orientation and gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade. The legislation also requires parental consent for any health care services offered at school, and school districts “may not prohibit or discourage parental notification of or involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.”

    Contrary to the fear-mongering, there is nothing controversial about this law. Yet it certainly does throw a spanner in the works for the radicals, neurotics, and degenerates in control of corporate America, the establishment media, and Hollywood, who are evidently on board with schools serving as platforms for perverts, predators, and groomers. The obscene obsession with hypersexualizing children that exploded about two years ago needs to be understood in the context of the left’s wider agenda to promote moral relativism and sexual deviance, a campaign they have been gaslighting Americans into accepting as “progressive.” Decades ago, Marxists ditched class warfare and economics in favor of sexual politics and culture as a vehicle for executing revolution. Ever since, they have been shrewdly redefining marriage, family, sexuality, and gender, to the point where “tolerance” and “diversity” now means foisting porn, perversion, and predators on our families. Those who won’t stand for it are cunningly condemned as bigots.

    Although the tactics have changed, the underlying objective is no different from the philosophy of their ideological forebears in Communist hellholes like the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe: the fundamental transformation of society by co-opting and perverting the nuclear family, the most influential societal unit, and the bedrock of Judeo-Christian values.

    A Nationwide Trend

    Brainwashing school-aged children as young as five into becoming transgender-affirming disruptors of the nuclear family is not just a thing happening out west in crazy CaliforniaOregonColorado, and Washington State. In VirginiaMichigan, and Texas, parents have expressed disgust and outrage over sexually explicit materials in school libraries. In Connecticut, eighth graders were given a foul school assignment asking them to share their sexual desires in the form of pizza toppings. A couple in Florida accused their 12-year-old daughter’s elementary school of covertly coaching her in gender confusion, which they believe led to her suicide attempt.

    After last year’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe learned the hard way that parents don’t want this trash for their kids. It turns out white suburban women don’t take kindly to school boards covering up the brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl by a “gender-fluid” student. Then there’s the Wisconsin teacher who apparently used a link in her email signature block to redirect students to an LGBT resource site and sex toy shop, and the Missouri teacher charged with sending dozens of nude photos and videos of himself to students, including a girl under 15.

    Against this stunning backdrop, the U.S. Senate is poised to confirm the catastrophic Biden administration’s Supreme Court nominee, a radical judge with a 25-year career history of leniency toward individuals convicted of possessing or distributing child pornography. The left-wing media was quick to normalize and defend this disturbing trend, while endeavoring to humanize the depraved pedophiles in question.

    A recent op-ed in The Hill spelled out the horrific reality behind the euphemistic phrase “child pornography.” It is the recording of violent acts of torture committed against terrified, defenseless pre-pubescent children and even infants by adult men, and distributed for the sadistic pleasure of the sickos who consume it, perpetuating a fiendish and expanding industry.

    The Shift to Cultural Marxism

    From the classroom floor to the Senate floor, none of this is a coincidence. Over the course of the 20th century, cultural Marxists realized that the class warfare narrative was never going to lure enough Americans to achieve a fundamental transformation of this nation. Despite the Soviet Union directing and subsidizing communist infiltration of U.S. government agencies, trade and teachers’ unions, and even churches and seminaries beginning in the 1930s, classical Marxism proved a flop. The left’s tactical response was two-fold:

    • Firstly, in reimagining Marxism in terms of sex and culture, they used maneuver warfare to simply attack the hill from a more advantageous position.
    • Secondly, pushing the falsehood that the Red Scare was just a conspiracy of the early 1950s deluded Americans into thinking the communist threat was a hoax when, in truth, it never went away.

    Meanwhile, whether the battleground is economics or culture, the greatest threat to the twisted Marxist ideology has always been the Christian family. Christians know, as St. Paul writes, that every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name, not from the state, or a party, or society, or some fanciful “village,” but from God the Father. Hence the repression of religious families, the laicization of schools, and the prohibition of religious education that began with the Bolsheviks. In the 1950s, under the Khrushchev regime, Nikolai Ilyachev, the chief ideologist for a reinvigorated antireligious propaganda blitz, summed it up well when he stated that “in Soviet society, a family is a cell of Communist education or a refuge of backward conceptions.” The left’s contempt for those who remain faithful to God’s commandments and the truth revealed by Christ has never changed.

    With Your Eyes Clear, Stand Up and Fight

    Resisting the soul-destroying lies being force-fed to innocent children means supporting candidates who fear God more than some punk journalist, and who are bold enough, DeSantis style, to stand up to the Marxist schemers waging this cultural revolution. The politically suicidal Republicans and moderate Democrats flirting with the idea of supporting a historically unpopular Biden administration’s pedo-lenient Supreme Court pick might want to simultaneously start researching their post-political career options. 

    Most importantly, we must return to Christ. He is the only remedy for the sickness and squalor rotting this country from within. So read the Bible, pray, catechize your children, go to church, and yank your kids out of the rainbow-parading, gender expansive-promoting indoctrination camps posing as schools.

    Every communist who has ever haunted the earth understands that to control society, you must control the family. They ironically possess a deeper, albeit disordered, appreciation of the mustard seed principle than do many Christians. The nuclear family, the smallest societal unit, has the potential for the most profound cultural influence. As Pope Leo XIII explained, family life is “the cornerstone of all society and government.” It’s time to reinvigorate our Judeo-Christian heritage and start using the Marxists’ tactics against them.


    Carina Benton is a dual citizen of Australia and Italy and a permanent resident of the United States. A recent West Coast émigré, she is now helping to repopulate the country’s interior. She holds a master’s degree in education and has taught languages, literature, and writing for many years in Catholic and Christian, as well as secular institutions. She is a practicing Catholic and a mother of two young children.

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    Christians, Let’s Spend More Time in Prayer Than on Twitter


    REPORTED BY: ELLE REYNOLDS | MARCH 02, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/02/christians-lets-spend-more-time-in-prayer-than-on-twitter/

    Ukrainians pray in town square

    There’s a lot of panicked chatter about World War III lately. Twitter is awash in propaganda from both sides of the Russia-Ukraine border. Instagram is flooded with pro-Ukraine posts and profiles are painted with the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. NPR wants to make sure you know, amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, how to self-care. Not to be outdone, Fox also has a primer on how to cope with the stress of news of war.

    Many of those reactions aren’t bad. It’s good to celebrate stories of courage and to vocally support peace. It’s also good at times to walk away from the news cycle and be present in your own daily responsibilities.

    But there is a real danger to thinking that you, as an American Christian who is not on the ground in Ukraine, can do the most good by getting sucked into the online informational meatgrinder. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with using a post or a hashtag to show support for suffering people, it would be a mistake to use such a contribution to pat ourselves on the back for “helping” — as many well-meaning Christians posted black squares on Instagram in 2020 that did little but alleviate their own sense of wanting to be able to say they did something. We all have a human desire to be in the know, and to an extent, involved, when crisis strikes. It’s why “if it bleeds, it leads” became a news industry saying and why people gossip. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve seen it in myself this week and felt convicted for it.

    Fellow Christians, have you spent as much time in prayer this week as you have refreshing headlines, sharing viral internet posts, or fretting to your friends about what’s going on in Europe? It’s worth considering.

    We are called, as the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18, to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” In Romans, he entreats us to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Specifically, we are commanded to pray for those in positions of worldly power.

    That isn’t to say that, when presented with opportunities to tangibly serve, we should sit on our hands atop our prayer mats. The Bible has plenty to say about faith without works, or being hearers of the word and not doers. The clear-eyed actions of the church in Ukraine should remind us all to reach for our Bibles before our Twitter feeds. Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, announced his plans to bring Mass to citizens huddled in bomb shelters. He was reportedly scheduled to attend a meeting of bishops in Florence but scrapped the trip to stay behind in Kyiv.

    “The church will come to the people,” he said. “Our priests will descend to the underground, they will descend to the bomb shelters, and there they will celebrate the Divine Liturgy.”

    Other Ukrainian Christians are asking for, along with prayer, more Bibles.

    A defining truth of our faith is our security in salvation that does not come from this world, and our peace that is not attainable through geopolitics. We should seek to steward this earthly life in peace, but its lack should not cause our faith to founder. If Ukrainian Christians can stalwartly bear witness of their heavenly hope from bomb shelters, surely American Christians can do our shared faith the credit of not participating in panic.

    May our unchanging concentration on our Savior at a time that makes many anxious even be a testimony pointing to his sovereign grace. He has used times of crisis to His glory before.

    The second book of Kings recounts the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib, king of Assyria. In response to his taunts and saber-rattling, we’re told, the people of Jerusalem, under the leadership of Hezekiah, “were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, ‘Do not answer him.’” Instead, Hezekiah went to the house of the Lord. The humble prayer he prayed before the Lord’s deliverance remains a worthy template for our own prayers for the protection of the church, in Ukraine and elsewhere.

    O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.


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

    Christians Stand Trial in Finland Today for Affirming Men and Women Are Different


    REPORTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 24, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/24/christians-stand-trial-in-finland-today-for-affirming-men-and-women-are-different/

    Paive Rasanen of Finland reading the Bible

    Today in Finland, two Christians will stand trial for publicly stating the theological and scientific truth that men and women are different. Finnish Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stand accused of “hate crimes” for affirming basic Christian theology and natural reality concerning the sexual differences between men and women. One of the three charges against Rasanen includes a count against her for tweeting a picture of a Bible verse in challenging the state church of Finland’s decision to sponsor an LGBT parade. Another charge attempts to criminalize her participation in a 2019 public debate.

    If the court finds them guilty, Rasanen and Pohjola could face fines or up to two years in prison. It would also set the precedent of making quoting the Bible a criminal offense in Western countries.

    In November, human rights lawyer Paul Coleman told The Federalist that these cases in Finland are a “canary in the coalmine” for freedom of speech in the Western world. Coleman works for Alliance Defending Freedom International, which is assisting the two Finns’ lawyers. “Part of the scary thing about what’s happening in Finland is that it could happen anywhere else,” Coleman said Jan. 23 on the British show GBNews. Many countries have similar hate speech laws, including states and cities in the United States.

    While accused of hate crimes, Rasanen and Pohjola emphatically affirm their love for all people as beautifully created in God’s image and deeply loved by a God who sent his own Son to die an excruciating death to atone for every sin, including all sexual sins. Their aim is not hate but love, they say, another core teaching of Christianity, which also commands its adherents to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

    Both are also charged for a booklet Rasanen wrote and Pohjola published in 2004. Pohjola told The Federalist in an exclusive in-person interview in November 2021 that he asked Rasanen to write the booklet because she was qualified, as a medical doctor and the wife of a pastor. That booklet affirms the classic understanding of sex as reserved solely for marriage, and marriage as comprising one man committed to one woman for life. In spring 2019, the two were suddenly served with criminal charges for writing and publishing this booklet decades ago, well before Finland passed its hate crimes laws on behalf of powerful special interests who dispute the differences between the sexes and their role in procreation. Rasanen and Pohjola have been summoned several times by Finnish police to be interrogated separately for hours about intricate details of their theology.

    In their interrogations, the police demanded that Rasanen and Pohjola recant their beliefs. Both refused. Both have also noted the contrast between their country’s claim to be a free and modern democracy that allows for full and open debate and the way they have been treated, as thought criminals.

    “If I’m convicted, I think that the worst consequence would not be the fine against me, or even the prison sentence, it would be the censorship,” Rasanen said in a statement ahead of her trial. “I will continue to stand for what I believe and what I have written. And I will speak and write about these things, because they are a matter of conviction, not only an opinion. I trust that we still live in a democracy, and we have our constitution and international agreements that guarantee our freedom of speech and religion,”

    Christians all over the world are praying for Pojhola and Rasanen, including corporately in their churches. On Jan. 23, free speech supporters rallied in front of the Finnish embassy in Oslo, Norway, to show support for Rasanen and Pohjola. Several of the protesters filling the street carried signs that said “Finland: Freedom of speech?”

    Several members of the U.S. Congress led by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said in a public letter that the Finnish government’s prosecutions of these Christians for their religious beliefs “raise serious questions regarding the extent of Finland’s commitment to protect religious freedom for its citizens.” Roy’s office is closely watching the trial, as are many other U.S. and international human rights organizations.

    Pohjola was recently elected the bishop of the Lutheran non-state church in Finland. He was kicked out of the state church approximately a decade ago for upholding Christian teachings on the differences between the sexes. The small non-state church in Finland is growing, while the large state church is shrinking.

    The Federalist is monitoring the trial today and will be covering its outcome.


    Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” 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.

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


    Posted BY: KYLEE ZEMPEL | DECEMBER 20, 2021

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

    thrill of hope at Jesus' birth, nativity scene

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

    KYLEE ZEMPELVISIT ON TWITTER@KYLEEZEMPELMORE ARTICLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This season and these truths recall a familiar tune:

    O Holy Night!

    The stars are brightly shining

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

    Long lay the world in sin and error pining

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

    A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

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

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

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


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

    Democrats’ Massive Entitlement Plans Include Banning Christians From Government Childcare


    Reported By Joy Pullmann | DECEMBER 13, 2021

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/12/13/democrats-massive-entitlement-plans-include-banning-christians-from-government-childcare/

    Democrats’ current proposed $3.5 trillion welfare expansion would effectively ban faithful Christians from profiting from federal subsidies for separating infants and toddlers from their families. The current text of Democrats’ massive “Build Back Better” entitlement bill contains provisions that would require religious child-care providers to disavow longstanding theology about sex in order to receive federal child-care funds under a massive new early childhood program.

    “The Democrats went out of their way to make sure and prohibit religious care providers from receiving any of these funds, and unanimously rejected an amendment to allow all child-care providers to be eligible for grants, including religious providers,” said Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, the ranking member on the House’s subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.

    Democrats’ legislation would create a new federally controlled child-care entitlement available to the majority of families in the nation. The legislation authorizes up to $20 billion in the program’s first year, $30 billion in its second, $40 billion in its third, and an unlimited amount after that. The estimated cost of this program over the next ten years is $400 billion.

    “Making faith-based providers of child-care and pre-kindergarten into recipients of federal financial assistance triggers federal compliance obligations and non-discrimination provisions,” note the leaders of several religious organizations in an opposition letter to Senate Democrats last week.

    This means potentially forcing religious organizations to deny all theology that acknowledges basic truths about human biology and reproduction. Given the state of federal “nondiscrimination” law, this could include forcing religious organizations to allow males into female bathrooms, hire transgender babysitters, and teach small children that men can turn themselves into women and that theologically condemned sex acts are in fact morally good.

    Just one-third of American children younger than five are placed in center-based care, according to federal statistics. Sixty-three percent of American kids ages five and younger are cared for by family, and 11 percent by a babysitter or nanny. Most American kids ages 0 to 5 who do have regular childcare are away from their parents only part-time. Among the minority of American families who enroll young children in full-time care, 53 percent currently choose a religious facility, according to a January 2021 survey of parents from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Family care was parents’ top preference for their children, with religious-based care the second-most preferred option in the BPC poll.

    Democrats’ bill would also likely dramatically increase the costs of childcare by increasing the licensing requirements for people the government pays to babysit tiny children. Most child care workers have low education levels, but states usually don’t raise their licensing requirements because that would reduce the availability of government-controlled child care.

    Numerous studies have found that the quality of language and interaction available to a child in infancy and early childhood is extremely important to that child’s intellectual and social development. Studies have also found that frequent one-on-one interaction between a small child and his parents benefits early language development even if the child’s parents are poorly educated. This effect disappears, however, if that poorly educated mother is employed to care for many tiny children at once instead of one of her own to whom she can fully dedicate her attention and conversation time.

    Research also resoundingly finds that living with married parents provides far bigger positive benefits to children for their entire lives than does attending an early childhood program.

    Large early childhood programs are of notoriously poor quality. The major existing such program, Head Start, has failed to improve attendees’ education and life prospects in all the quality research done on the program that has spent some $250 billion from taxpayers since it began in 1965. In fact, federal research has found that children who participated in Head Start later learned less in math and behaved worse than peers who didn’t participate.

    The research that shows any long-term benefit to children of attending early childhood programs derives such results from small-scale, boutique programs that employed teachers and support staff such as doctors who were much better educated than the typical daycare or preschool employee.

    Research also shows mass programs that separate small children from their parents decrease children’s intellectual abilities and increase their aggression, risky behavior, and later likelihood of committing crimes. They also tend to erode parenting skills. The more time a small child spends away from his mother, the worse such negative effects tend to get.

    “The amount of hours spent in day care each week during the first four years of life was the key child care predictor of behavioral problems,” writes social scientist Dr. Jenet Erickson in a review of several such studies. “In fact, the statistical effect size of the relationship between day care hours and caregiver reports of behavioral problems at age four and a half was so strong that it was comparable to the effect of poverty. Importantly, these statistical effects did not diminish as children aged.”

    High-quality studies found that children who attended Tennessee’s state-run pre-K program had worse behavior and academic outcomes than children who did not. Children who attended Quebec’s universal early childcare program were 22 percent more likely to be convicted of a crime in young adulthood compared to children who did not participate in the program. Children separated from their parents in their youngest years through Quebec’s program also demonstrated greater emotional fragility that lasted into adulthood.

    “The left is at war with religion and family-centered things. They think cradle to grave, government knows best,” Walorski said.

    Walorski has sponsored legislation that would expand tax-free savings accounts families can use to pay for their own child care, tutoring, enrichment activities such as music lessons and summer camp, and more.

    In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith


    Reported By Joy Pullmann | NOVEMBER 23, 2021

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/23/in-case-with-global-implications-finland-puts-christians-on-trial-for-their-faith/

    In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith
    Photo Image courtesy International Lutheran Council

    Meet the man who appears to be the first in the post-Soviet Union West to be brought up on criminal charges for publishing long-held Christian beliefs. Juhana Pohjola wouldn’t be cast to play his own part if Hollywood made a movie about a bishop put on trial for his faith. The Finnish pastor has inherited a place in the church of Martin Luther, but it appears none of Luther’s pugnacity or vitriol. In person, Pohjola, 49, is forthright but unassuming, and gentle. Stereotypically, the Finn is thin and tall. He often pauses while speaking to carefully consider his next words. He listens attentively to others with far less impressive resumes.

    In more than two decades as a pastor, Pohjola has ministered to congregations as small as 30. He has spent his life building a network of faithful churches across Finland, many of which started with a few people gathered for prayer, Bible study, hymn-singing—and communion, if they can get a pastor. In an in-person interview with The Federalist, Pohjola urged fellow Christian leaders to be willing to seek out “one lost sheep” instead of crowds and acclaim.

    This is the man who appears to be the first in the post-Soviet Union West to be brought up on criminal charges for preaching the Christian message as it has been established for thousands of years. Also charged in the case that goes to trial on January 24 is Pohjola’s fellow Lutheran and a Finnish member of Parliament, Paivi Rasanen. Rasanen’s alleged crimes in a country that claims to guarantee freedom of speech and religion include tweeting a picture of a Bible verse. Potential penalties if they are convicted include fines and up to two years in prison.

    Finnish Authorities: The Bible Is Hate Speech

    Rasanen and Pohjola are being charged with “hate speech” for respectively writing and publishing a 24-page 2004 booklet that explains basic Christian theology about sex and marriage, which reserves sex exclusively for within marriage, which can only consist of one man and one woman, for life. The Finnish prosecutor claims centuries-old Christian teachings about sex “incite hatred” and violate legal preferences for government-privileged identity groups.

    Writer Rod Dreher pointed out the witch hunt nature of this prosecution: “Räsänen wrote that pamphlet seven years before LGBT was added to the national hate-speech law as a protected class. She was investigated once before for the pamphlet, and cleared — but now she’s going to undergo another interrogation.”

    Rasanen and Pohjola both have adamantly affirmed “the divinely given dignity, value, and human rights of all, including all who identify with the LGBTQ community.” Christian theology teaches that all human beings are precious, as all are made in God’s image and offered eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    In advance of the trial, Rasanen and Pohjola have been interrogated by police for hours about their theology. Pohjola told me in the interrogation police treated Christian beliefs as thought crimes. In a statement, Rasanen noted that the police publicly admitted their interpretation of Finland’s law would make publishing the Bible a hate crime.

    “It is impossible for me to think that the classical Christian views and the doctrine of the majority of denominations would become illegal. The question here is about the core of Christian faith; how a person gets saved into unity with God and into everlasting life though the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus. Therefore, it is crucial to also talk about the nature of sin,” Rasanen told Dreher. “As we are living in a democratic country, we must be able to disagree and express our disagreement. We have to be able to cope with speech that we feel insults our feelings. Many questions are so debatable and contradictory that we have to have the possibility of discussing. Otherwise, the development is towards a totalitarian system, with only one correct view.”

    Major International Implications

    Humans rights lawyer Paul Coleman, who spoke to The Federalist from his Alliance Defending Freedom International office in Vienna, Austria, says Pohjola and Rasanen’s cases are a “canary in the coalmine” for freedom of speech across the West. ADF International is providing legal support for Pohjola and Rasanen’s cases.

    “Although all European countries have these hate speech laws, and these hate speech laws are increasingly being used against citizens for things that they say, this is the first time we’ve really seen Christians face criminal prosecution for explaining their biblical views,” Coleman said. “…It’s unprecedented. We’ve not seen attacks on free speech on this level in Europe, and that’s why they are extremely important cases, not just for the people of Finland and Paivi Rasanen and the bishop themselves, but for all of Europe. If this is upheld in one jurisdiction, we will no doubt see it in other jurisdictions as well.”

    Such “hate speech” laws exist in every European country and Western countries such as Canada and Australia, and descend from Soviet influence. Coleman called them “sleeper laws,” saying that in other countries “they could be used any time just like they are in Finland. People need to mobilize against these laws and overturn them.”

    Legally privileging certain sexual behavior has thus broken western countries’ promises of equality before the law for all citizens, as well as enabling government discrimination against citizens who exercise their free speech and religious liberty, as in the Baronnelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips cases in the United States.

    “Establishing standards of identity” also lets government meddle in theological controversies that are none of its business, said the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Shaw, who directs church relations for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and has known Pohjola for decades. Pohjola’s church is an international partner of the LCMS.

    From a natural law and historic Western perspective, “the government isn’t supposed to get into people’s brains and tell them what’s right and wrong to believe and say,” Shaw noted in a phone interview. “That’s not their realm. Their realm is in externals, things like protect people in their bodies, go to war when necessary, and punish criminals… This is really what’s at stake [in the Pohjola case]. Government has lost its moorings and doesn’t know its purpose.”

    From Part-Time Pastor to Bishop

    After theological study in Finland and the United States, Pohjola’s first congregation in Helsinki started with about 30 members, he says. It was only able to support him part-time at first. He remembered his wife accompanying the congregation’s hymn-singing on a piano while their firstborn daughter, a baby at the time, laid on a blanket on the floor nearby.

    Finland’s state church began openly disobeying Christian theology concerning sex differences amid the global sexual revolution of the 1960s. So, Christians alienated by the state church’s embrace of anti-Christian cultural demands sought faithful pastors like Pohjola, who are known as “confessional” for adhering to historic Christian confessions. The resulting growth of his tiny congregation gradually led to establishing a seminary, then dozens of mission churches, which grew as the theologically unfaithful state church shrank. In 2013, 25 of these new confessional congregations formed the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Finland. Today, that diocese oversees 45 congregations and missions and is training 64 pastors.

    That growth has been accompanied by suffering, including persecution first from Pohjola’s own church.

    First Persecuted By His Own Church

    In 2009, Pohjola was awarded the theological journal Gottesdienst’s Sabre of Boldness Award, which is granted “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity on behalf of the Holy Church of Christ, while engaged in the confession of His Pure Gospel in the face of hostile forces, and at the greatest personal risk.” The award honored Pohjola, with other faithful Finnish pastors, for standing firm as Finland’s state church sought civil charges against them for refusing to disobey the Bible’s commands that only men be sent to lead spiritual warfare as pastors.

    Like Luther before him, Pohjola was expelled by his own church body in 2014 for adhering to God’s word on this matter. The notice of his discharge declared Pohjola was “obviously unfit to be a pastor.” At the time, he responded with grief but also by saying that he must obey God rather than men, lamenting: “Instead of the Church being purged with God’s Word, she is being purged from God’s Word.”

    In the interview last week, Pohjola said being defrocked from “his baptismal church” grieves him to this day. On his mother’s side, Pohjola said, his family includes Lutheran pastors in that church going back to the 17th century Reformation. But he could not disobey God’s commands to retain his social status or employment.

    Division or Unity? Yes

    Pohjola’s separation from Finland’s state church also had the consequence of uniting him and his flock with other confessional Christians across the globe. The International Lutheran Council is a global network of theologically unified churches, and like the confessional churches in Finland, that network is growing.

    Mathew Block, the ILC’s communications manager, noted that the heightened contradictions between increasingly unnatural pagan practices and historic Christian teachings are causing a global “confessional realignment.” It’s forcing people to make a real decision about where they stand rather than allowing them to inhabit the increasingly nonexistent, indecisive middle. This is affecting churches all over the world. While it means divisions in some areas, it also is leading to unity in others. For example, despite other important theological differences, all the world’s largest Christian bodies agree with the doctrines for which the Finnish government is persecuting Pohjola. That allows them to speak in chorus to government leaders.

    Already many dozens of top religious leaders across the world have formally raised their concerns with Rasanen and Pohjola’s prosecution to the Finnish government and the United Nations. Several U.S. members of Congress have also asked U.S. agencies to take action against Finland for these human rights abuses.

    “I encourage Roman Catholic ecclesiastical leaders and all those who care for souls to speak up and join hands and lock arms with us as we talk about the absolute necessity of our historic Christian values of one man, one woman, marriage, and the freedom to be able to believe it, to say it, to publish books about it, and find practical ways through hospitality, education, and other social engagement to make society strong that way,” Shaw said. “All churches—one could even say all religions but in particular the Roman Catholic faith—this reflects their historic commitments as well.”

    The Shepherd Faces Wolf Attacks for the Sheep

    In August 2021, the international Lutheran church recognized Pohjola’s steadfast leadership amid persecution by supporting his election to bishop of Finland’s confessional diocese. The ILC hosted Pohjola’s November 2021 speaking tour in the United States, and is raising funds across the world to raise awareness of his case.

    “Our mission has been that, if the shepherd sees that one sheep is missing, he knows,” Pohjola said of the churches he oversees. He noted that many people coming to faithful Finnish churches are seeking love and connection from a church family as the secular world becomes increasingly isolated and family-less, in no small part because of pagan sexual behavior and beliefs.

    “People don’t go to church for social capital now. This is a serious life and they want to be serious with God. So, churches have to build communities that stand on solid Lutheran, biblical doctrine,” Pohjola says.

    While he may not share Luther’s temperament, Pohjola’s response to his own persecution by church and civil authorities does mirror Luther’s simplicity four centuries ago: “Here I stand. I can do no other.” He adds a pastoral message to Christians watching governments turn on them today.

    “We have to learn from the past, Christians who have suffered under persecution, and be prepared,” Pohjola said. “But it’s not something to be worried about, because Christ remains faithful to His church and wherever he is leading us, He will come with us. He will provide everything that is needed for the future of His Christians and His church.”

    You can hear Pohjola talk about his case and its implications during his November visit to the United States here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=413205860293995

    And watch a Federalist Radio Hour interview with Pohjola here:

    David French Joins NYT, New Yorker In Bashing Christians On Christmas


    Reported by Nathanael Blake DECEMBER 28, 2020

    So much for peace on earth and goodwill to men. America’s legacy media elites used the Sunday before Christmas for extra Christian-bashing, with white evangelicals the preferred targets.

    Writing in The New Yorker, Michael Luo complained that “white evangelical Protestants, once again, overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the election,” and that “churches, particularly conservative ones, fought lockdown orders and rebuffed public-health warnings.”

    New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed leftist pastor Jim Wallis, with the conversation quickly turning to accusations that “White evangelicalism has destroyed the ‘evangel.’” At The Dispatch, Time columnist David French concluded that much of the scorn white evangelical Christians receive is deserved. He says the world often “rejects Christians because Christians are cruel.”

    Yeah, well, merry Christmas to you too.

    To be sure, Christians should humbly accept correction if it is deserved, even when the word of reproof is delivered by pagans. But the above writers’ broad indictments against American evangelicals do not withstand scrutiny. Although each criticism has particular errors, they are united by two shared mistakes. The first is a failure to account for differences of denomination and devotion. Lumping Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and prosperity-gospel preachers together is sloppy, as is neglecting to distinguish between those who are committed churchgoers and those who are only nominally evangelical.

    It might be said that these varieties of white evangelicals have in common an overwhelming political support for Donald Trump, but this retort only highlights the second error shared by these writers: the assumption that voting for Trump was necessarily immoral.

    It is easy to pick out Trumpian words and deeds that are not compatible with the gospel. It is also easy to do the same with his Democratic opponents and their policies. Asserting that voting for Trump is a moral stain on evangelicals, without weighing the alternatives, presumes what is in question. This error is shared by each writer (and Kristof’s interview subject), but each finds some unique ways to express it.

    Luo, for instance, unfavorably compares the response of today’s Christians to the pandemic with Christians’ response to past plagues. But although he is correct that reckless churches should be rebuked, he makes no effort to distinguish between the reckless and those cautiously meeting in person, or to value preserving the gathering of believers. Nor does he quantify how many churches are foregoing precautions, or show how many of these congregations fall under the “white evangelical” category.

    He suggests that, to eliminate risk, Christians should forgo all in-person meeting, and he dismisses the religious liberty claims that have been raised against capricious government restrictions on churches. But if the casinos, strip clubs, and abortion clinics are getting better treatment than churches, then anti-Christian discrimination has replaced public health policy.

    Furthermore, even from a secular public health perspective, eliminating church services would do more harm than good, as churchgoing seems to have been essential to helping many Americans make it through the difficulties of this year. We are physical beings, not disembodied minds who can live in the cloud indefinitely.

    Meanwhile, Kristof and his interview subject Wallis presume that technocratic welfare-statism is the obvious way to care for the poor and oppressed, so they dismiss anyone who disagrees with them as bad Christians. This complacent assumption of moral and political rectitude precludes them from understanding those they condemn.

    Thus, although Kristof recently wrote a column of questions about Christians and abortion, he seems to have ignored the many responses explaining its paramount importance as a political issue for conservative Christians. His indifference is particularly notable at Christmas, because Luke’s advent narrative emphasizes the humanity of both the unborn John the Baptist and of Jesus. And if the unborn are human, then Christians cannot support the party of abortion on demand.

    Kristof and Wallis’s reflexive acceptance of the left’s shibboleths of the moment also leads to ridiculous anachronisms such as declaring Jesus a “person of color.” This conceptual colonization of first-century Israel by modern American racial concepts is odious and misleading—“person of color” makes no sense in that context.

    It is, indeed, worse than the depictions of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus (are there many of those?) that Wallis complains about. Portrayals of Jesus and other biblical figures in local style and appearance have been a common, if inaccurate, artistic practice across centuries and cultures.

    Race is also central to French’s condemnation of his fellow white evangelicals. In his telling, they are guilty of “some outright racism” but perhaps even more of being seduced by a “Christian nationalism” that “will always minimize America’s historic sins and the present legacy (and reality) of American racism.” French is, for instance, upset that more white evangelicals do not believe that racism is an “extremely” or “very serious” threat to “America and America’s future.”

    But even if white evangelicals are wrong in their assessment of the depth and danger of America’s racial problems, this is not enough to condemn them as cruel. It is, in fact, precisely the sort of issue on which Christians may reasonably disagree.

    Furthermore, the data French cites does not account for crucial factors such as whether respondents are regular churchgoers or merely culturally evangelical. In addition, French ignores education and class in his analysis, even though the study he relies on emphasizes the importance of these factors in understanding the politics of white evangelical subgroups.

    French’s article, like the others, is mostly an impressionistic interpretation of white evangelicalism in America. By their reckoning, white evangelicals have become reckless plague-bearers with no regard for the poor and oppressed, and their cruelty rightly earns them the world’s opprobrium.

    There may be some individuals who match this grim depiction, but as a general description of tens of millions of evangelicals, it is obviously untrue. Look around the country and evangelical churches are holding services with masks, distancing, and lots of hand sanitizer. Evangelicals, both individually and corporately, are caring for those in need in their communities and around the world, and treating people of all races with dignity and respect.

    In this Christmas season, French, Kristof, and Luo should stop building evangelical strawmen to burn in effigy. Instead, they, like all of us, should contemplate and rejoice in the miracle of God become man to save His people from their sins.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    Nathanael Blake is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist. He has a PhD in political theory. He lives in Missouri.

    Hope, Family, Warm Traditions, And Our Redeemer: The Meaning Of Christmas In Our Hardest Years


    Commentary by Christopher Bedford DECEMBER 23, 2020

    Hope, Family, Warm Traditions, And Our Redeemer: The Meaning Of Christmas In Our Hardest Years

    Christmas is the most wondrous day of our calendar in any year of our lives.

    The bright lights, smells, and smiles discernible even to an infant quickly grow into a sense of hope, awe, and mystery as young boys and girls crane their necks on the car ride back from papa’s house to look out the window for a sign of that bright red nose in the sky. As time moves on, our hopes turn to the company of friends and family, and our awe to the sacred mysteries of God made man for our sake.

    Our experience of Christmas changes as we grow older. While the fortunate ones spent childhood ignorant of the troubles between men and maybe even their own families, over the years our broken world comes into focus, and hopefully we come to understand that Christ came among us not to sing carols, but because we have gone astray.

    This year has been America’s worst in a long while. We’ve seen our churches boarded up by those who think God merely a hobby. Our elderly have died alone under the orders of those who think it’s better for their health this way. Our livelihoods have been shattered, and even that fleeting innocence of childhood has been taken from masked boys and girls not allowed to go to school or play on public swings.

    But for those children whose innocence is injured too early, Christmastime still can bring wonder. The smell of the tree and of mom making cookies fills many houses. Even for those in broken homes or those who don’t celebrate, Main Street and the park downtown are filled with bright lights, there are candles in windows, and sometimes still carolers and Christmas concerts in the road.

    This year was a hard one. Many of my friends suffered more hardship than I, although loneliness and anger stalked us all. And since the moment Halloween ended and All Saints Day dawned, I’ve been excited for Christmas with what feels like the hope of a young child. Christmas, and all the traditions it welcomes.

    Our best celebrations of the coming of our Lord swirl like a Christmas globe around nostalgia. It calls up the music our parents and grandparents played to ring in the season, special ornaments and decorations passed down through family, familiar hymns sung by millions before us, and those candles our ancestors lit to let Mary and Joseph know there is room in this home for the heavenly child.

    When we’re older, we have to make the cookies our mothers once made, but with some written instructions, a bit of a mess and maybe a call home, it can be done. Family might be more spread out now, but if they are our friends and neighbors can fill our tables. And even if it’s been a hard, hard year, we can remember what this life is about, surrounded by the artifacts and traditions of generations past.

    On Monday night, an older Hindu friend who’s had to work two jobs making less than he did in 2019 in order to not have to leave his adopted home told me he’d set up his Christmas tree too. “My children are American,” he said. “They love all the holidays.” We spoke of the lights, smells, and music in the air in December and January, and how they fill us with a warmth and sense of comfort much needed at the end of this year. “Soon,” he said, “it will be a new year.”

    This year, let us remember the good times we’ve had and the good times to come. Even while saying goodbye to some too soon, we’ve also welcomed new lives into our families and among our friends.

    Although for many there might be less under the tree or fewer at our table, our faith in God remains strong. And the songs, traditions, and tales passed down from those who celebrated Christmases past in trenches, basement shelters, empty homes, and sometimes without even a home, just as the Holy Family, can keep us warm wherever we find ourselves.

    “She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn,” the Gospel of Luke tells us. The child was indeed holy, the Son of God, and he saved his people from their sins. Merry Christmas.

    ABOUT THE COMMENTATOR:
    Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.

    Christians Aren’t In Existential Despair If Biden Won, Because Government Isn’t Our God


    Commentary by Elle Reynolds NOVEMBER 10, 2020

    On Election Night, I was crowded around the television with a dozen college friends in a tiny apartment above our government professor’s house. The Virginia night air seeping through the window was rescuing the feeble air conditioning unit and someone had propped up the three-legged TV with a handful of textbooks. Everyone watched the colorful maps on TV flip colors and we good-naturedly heckled CNN hosts who had been talking nonstop for the better part of two hours.

    When Trump started gaining votes in Pennsylvania, everyone glanced at the three Pennsylvanians in the room. “All the Republicans just got off work,” said one, a pastor’s son from Pittsburgh. We all laughed.

    But his joke stuck with me. I imagined that amorphous group of Pennsylvania Republicans going about their days, serving customers, trading smiles, clattering dinner plates in the kitchen. They would vote proudly and then they would move on with their daily responsibilities to the people around them.

    I can’t say for sure if those Norman Rockwell-esque voters in rural Pennsylvania exist the way I imagined, but I have been inspired and convicted by their imaginary example following the election. They cheerfully did their civic duty, and they went about their day. They didn’t drop the responsibilities and joys around them to hang all hope of salvation on a presidential candidate.

    As Christians, that’s how we should approach the electoral process — both before and after the results are announced. We should be educated and enthusiastically involved in our governing authority. We should surely fight to protect our families, our right to worship, and the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. But at the end of the day, we do all we can and then leave the results in eternal hands.

    We preach that Christ alone is the hope of our salvation. But how graciously we handle the results of this election will show those around us whether we mean it.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be rightly concerned about protecting the electoral process where there is evidence of voter fraud. It also doesn’t mean we should give up being politically involved or holding our elected officials accountable for their words and actions. Advocating for liberty and justice in the civic process is a legitimate and necessary calling.

    But it does mean we have an excellent opportunity to live out our faith by remembering that we trust in something greater than elections. “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation,” the psalmist says. “Blessed is he whose hope in is the Lord his God.”

    Because our hope is not in this world, we have no reason to be fearful. We may be disappointed and should be aware of policies that threaten our ability to live as we have been called. Yet we have no need to feel afraid, distraught, or betrayed. Any earthly idol would betray our trust.

    It is because we hope in an eternal savior that we joyfully continue our daily lives. We don’t need a week off of classes or work to mourn an election. Our daily joys have suffered no loss of meaning. We continue to enjoy fellowship with other members of the body of Christ. We keep going to work and serving those around us. We go on cooking dinner and enjoying it around the family dinner table. And we remain completely fulfilled by the daily grace of God. Because of our faith, we know that politics isn’t everything (and thank God it isn’t). Our lives shouldn’t revolve around who sits in the Oval Office.

    After all, the whole concept of government is merely a means to enable people to live well in community with each other. We cannot let the means become the end. Instead, we should continue to live full and fruitful lives with the people placed around us. Furthermore, watching other reactions to election results reminds us how dangerous and disappointing it is to place our trust in fallen human beings.

    A video of a woman screaming uncontrollably at Trump’s inauguration in 2016 became a meme because it captured the disconsolate reaction to Trump’s victory by some of his opponents. “I’m so sorry to my world,” the woman sobbed. “There’s so much potential for beauty and for devastation in this one moment, it’s just almost incomprehensible that they can exist right now.”

    Other Clinton supporters reminisced a full year after Trump’s election about how devastated they were by his victory. “It kind of just hit you,” said Trent Vanegas, explaining how he broke down in tears when the 2016 election results were announced. “One moment, there’s hope and the next moment it’s complete despair.” Another Clinton voter expressed fear that he and his wife would have to raise their newborn child under a Trump presidency.

    Even the positive reactions to Biden’s apparent victory show an obsessive and unhealthy faith in political power. Members of the media literally wept on television when they called the race for Biden. “I don’t know why I’m crying so much,” MSNBC contributor and former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill said. “I keep crying, I’m going to cry now.”

    “I’m very emotional,” CNN’s Don Lemon said. “So when you ask me how I’m feeling right now, I’m sorry, that’s all I can tell you.” CNN’s Van Jones repeatedly wiped his eyes with a tissue on camera.

    And then there was Stephen Colbert on Thursday night, in what was supposed to be a comedy routine. Because of Trump, “I’m not sitting down yet, I just don’t feel like it yet,” Colbert said. “I’m also dressed for a funeral, because Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight.”

    Two minutes into the show and without having told a single joke, Colbert hung his head and just stood awkwardly in silence. “What I didn’t know is that it would hurt so much,” he finally added. “I didn’t expect this to break my heart, for him to cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right.”

    Comedian Marc Maron led off his podcast on Monday — after about 30 seconds straight of profanity — by proclaiming “the weight has been lifted…I don’t know that people really fully understand the power, the symbolic power of the head of state that determines on some level how grounded people feel in the country.”

    “We just barely f—ing avoided real fascism, people,” he added, before calling Trump supporters “brainf—ed, brainwashed people or just people who believe that fascism is the way to go.”

    Watching these reactions, we should not make a mockery of their joy or sorrow. We should, however, be inspired to share the promise that we have. After all, we are blessed with the confidence that politics is not our final hope. And we are called to live accordingly.

    Elle Reynolds is an intern at the Federalist, and a senior at Patrick Henry College studying government and journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.

    ‘Who Do You Think You Are, God?’: Tucker Carlson Calls Gov. Cuomo ‘Stupid Governor’ Over Threat To Close Religious Services


    Reported by DAVID KRAYDEN | OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF | October 06, 20209:31 AM ET

    URL of the originating web site: https://www.conservativereview.com/who-do-you-think-you-are-god-tucker-carlson-calls-gov-cuomo-stupid-governor-over-threat-to-close-religious-services-2648115541.html/

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a “stupid governor” and is violating the First Amendment for his threat to close down religious services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Carlson asked if Cuomo believed he was “God” during “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and demanded to know the “science behind” the threat.

    “The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, decided to approve the closure of many nonessential businesses. That’s not because he’s opposed to lockdowns, he thinks the real problem is religious services.” 

    (RELATED: Chris Cuomo Has Yet To Ask Andrew Cuomo About New York Nursing Home Deaths. Here Are 9 Questions He Asked Instead)

    Carlson showed a clip of Cuomo saying, “If the religious leaders do not agree to abide by these rules then we will close the religious institutions — period.”

    “Really?” Carlson asked. “Because in the country that we lived in in January, we had a First Amendment that said government will not get in the way of your exercise of your religion. People would have laughed at that. ‘We will close the religious institutions — period?’ Who do you think you are: God? You’re not: you’re some stupid governor of a declining state.”

    Carlson noted that Cuomo is targeting services in Orthodox Jewish communities. They haven’t been playing along, to their great credit. Putting aside whether any of that is legal, what is the science behind it — the reported ‘science’ behind it?

    Critics of Cuomo say that he should not have forced state nursing homes to take in 4,500 patients with COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic, as the Associated Press reported.

    Cuomo issued the order to nursing homes and other assisted living centers March 25, according to the AP. He reversed that policy May 11. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation also discovered that New York undercounted the number of deaths in nursing homes.

    But the governor has blamed President Donald Trump for the nursing home deaths, suggesting he was following federal government guidelines on where to send nursing home residents infected with the virus. (RELATED: Andrew Cuomo Says He’s Through With Coronavirus Predictions)

    The Fox News host said that de Blasio is not always so concerned about social distancing and lockdowns.

    “What’s interesting is that just the other day, practically, Bill de Blasio said he wasn’t against mask gatherings as long as he agreed with the politics people were expressing,” Carlson continued.

    Newsom Shuts Down California Churches Indefinitely


    Reported By Mary Margaret Olohan | Published July 14, 2020 at 2:05pm

    URL of the originating web site: https://www.westernjournal.com/newsom-shuts-california-churches-indefinitely/

    “We’re going back into modification mode of our original stay at home order,” Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, according to The New York Times. “This continues to be a deadly disease.”

    The DCNF pressed both the governor’s office and the California Department of Health on when Californians may attend indoor religious services again, and what punishments Californians face if they do attempt to attend banned services. Newsom’s office referred the DCNF to the California Department of Health. CDPH referred the DCNF to a news release on the matter, noting that the order went into effect immediately and that it will remain in effect indefinitely until the State Public Health Officer decides to lift it.

    CDPH did not provide an end date.

    CDPH would not directly address what punishments Californians might face if they continue to gather for indoor religious services.

    “The Governor has consistently said that asking people to do the right thing is the most powerful enforcement tool we have,” spokeswoman Ali Bay told the DCNF.

    “We all have a shared responsibility to do the right thing to not only protect ourselves, but those around us.”

    “This is a statewide requirement and flows from the same legal authority as all of the other state orders,” she added.

    “Californians have done incredible work following those orders — saving lives in the process. We expect that will continue to be the case.”

    The new guidance comes after months of outrage from Californians who have been prevented from attending religious services. The Department of Justice intervened in May, warning the governor that California’s reopening plan discriminates against houses of worship.

    “Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights,” Eric S. Dreiband, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in May.

    Dreiband also reminded Newsom that Attorney General William Barr recently issued a statement in which Barr emphasized that “even in times of emergency … federal statutory law prohibits discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers.”

    “Government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity,” Barr said.

    “For example, if a government allows movie theaters, restaurants, concert halls, and other comparable places of assembly to remain open and unrestricted, it may not order houses of worship to close, limit their congregation size, or otherwise impede religious gatherings.”

    The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

    Texas Lt. Gov. Has Solution to Racism That Libs Will Hate Even More Than They Hate Trump


    Reported By Amalia White | Published June 5, 2020 at 8:37pm

    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that America must “turn to God” to overcome race-related problems.

    “We have racism in this country, Shannon,” Patrick told “Fox News @ Night” host Shannon Bream on Wednesday. “But it’s really an issue of love. It’s loving God. You cannot love your fellow man, if you don’t love God — and we have a country where we’ve been working really hard, particularly on the left, to kick God out.”

    “We need a culture change to address this racism. You cannot change the culture of a country until you change the character of mankind,” Patrick continued.

    Protests surrounding George Floyd, who died in police custody on May 25, have spread internationally. In some case, protests have turned violent, causing injuries and property damage.

    “The crime against George Floyd, in my view, was a crime against all black America and against humanity and we’re coming together,” Patrick said. “We’ve got a lot of healing to do and we can’t do it unless we turn to God and we need to do that now more than ever.”

    “We need a culture change to address this racism,” he explained. “You cannot change the culture of a country until you change the character of mankind. And you can’t change that unless you change the heart.

    “And for billions of us on the planet, we believe you can’t do that unless you accept Jesus Christ, unless you accept God.

    “And God has been left out of this equation,” he added, “through all of this.”

    You can watch the entire interview with the lieutenant governor here:

    Patrick also called out former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ for his recent comments about President Donald Trump. Mattis came out hard against Trump on Wednesday, releasing a statement to The Atlantic blaming him for the violence.

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” said Mattis, whom Trump asked to resign in December 2018. “Instead, he tries to divide us.”

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    The problem with asking for someone to give you a letter of resignation, which you do as a courtesy to help them save face, is that it is then harder to say you fired them. I did fire James Mattis. He was no good for Obama, who fired him also, and was no good for me!

    55.1K people are talking about this


    “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort,” he added.

    “I think the timing was terrible, Shannon,” Patrick said in regard to Mattis’ remarks. “And I think there are a lot of people speaking up now that are creating real distractions and undermining what we’re all trying to do in this country.”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Trump Signs Religious Freedom Executive Order


    Reported By Jack Davis | Published June 2, 2020 at 5:22pm

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to promote religious freedom for oppressed religious minorities around the world.

    “Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative,” the order read, according to a text posted on the White House website. “Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”

    Trump signed the order privately, without any media present.

    The president’s action came on the same day he and first lady Melania Trump visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where they laid a wreath at the statue of the former pope, according to Fox News.


    EWTN News Nightly

    @EWTNNewsNightly

    President Trump signed an executive order that seeks to promote international religious freedom and stop religious persecution overseas after visiting @JP2Shrine. One of the items in the EO calls for spending millions of dollars to assist programs that advance religious freedom.

    Embedded video

    98 people are talking about this


    Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory lashed out at the visit, which came a day after Trump visited St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House, which had been damaged Sunday by rioters.

    “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” Gregory said in a statement.

    “Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth. He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace,” Gregory said, repeating an apparently false report that protesters were tear-gassed after scuffling with police so that the president could have a photo opportunity.

    In his order, Trump said religious freedom is essential.

    “[O]ur Founders understood religious freedom not as a creation of the state, but as a gift of God to every person and a right that is fundamental for the flourishing of our society,” the order read.

    “Religious communities and organizations, and other institutions of civil society, are vital partners in United States Government efforts to advance religious freedom around the world. It is the policy of the United States to engage robustly and continually with civil society organizations — including those in foreign countries — to inform United States Government policies, programs, and activities related to international religious freedom.”

    The order requires the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to “prioritize international religious freedom in the planning and implementation of United States foreign policy and in the foreign assistance programs of the Department of State and USAID.”

    In addition, the order requires than $50 million per year be spent on programs “intended to anticipate, prevent, and respond to attacks against individuals and groups on the basis of their religion, including programs designed to help ensure that such groups can persevere as distinct communities; to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such attacks; to ensure equal rights and legal protections for individuals and groups regardless of belief; to improve the safety and security of houses of worship and public spaces for all faiths; and to protect and preserve the cultural heritages of religious communities.”

    “Yet again, President Trump is taking a decisive action to keep his promise to people of faith around the world,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of the order, according to Fox.

    “This executive order fully integrates the president’s vision – a vigorous defense of international religious freedom rights for all – into key aspects of United States foreign policy.”

    Trump’s order was praised on Twitter.


    CBN News

    @CBNNews

    “People are attacked for their faith, not just me, but Christian men and women across this country. It’s unfortunate, but I think we found a real voice in President Trump who stood for religious freedom and pro-life and [has] given us this boldness.” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2020/may/i-believe-god-put-me-in-this-place-for-a-purpose-new-wh-press-secretary-on-faith-love-of-country-and-overcoming-adversity 

    ‘I Believe God Put Me in This Place for a Purpose’: New WH Press Secretary on Faith, Love of…

    cbn.com

    73 people are talking about this

    Murad Ismael

    @murad_ismael

    We welcome President Trump’s executive order promoting global religious freedom. The United States role in supporting religious freedom is critical to fight injustice practiced today against religious minorities worldwide. https://nypost.com/2020/06/02/trump-to-sign-executive-order-promoting-global-religious-freedom/ 

    Trump to sign executive order promoting global religious freedom

    President Trump on Tuesday will sign an executive order to promote religious freedom overseas. Trump is scheduled to sign the order after a visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in

    nypost.com

    See Murad Ismael’s other Tweets


    The order calls for the State Department to work with nations that have been identified by the Commission on International Religious Freedom as those where religious freedom is either absent or under siege.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    After Schools, Leftists Try To Remove God, Atheism Becomes Largest Religion in US


    Reported By Joe Saunders | Published April 7, 2019 at 3:50pm

    URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/schools-leftists-try-remove-god-atheism-becomes-largest-religion-us/

    More than 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public schools was unconstitutional, the percentage of Americans who claim no religion is slightly higher than the two largest religious faiths. (Anna Nahabed / Shutterstock)

    The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the ACLU must be high-fiving each other.

    In a development that can’t be heartening to the millions of America’s faithful, new survey data shows the percentage of Americans who profess no religious belief is actually higher those who are part of the country’s largest faith traditions. The trends might not be looking good right now, but there’s a reason to hope.

    According to the General Social Survey, which has been tracking American social trends since 1972, Americans who claim no religion — or “nones” — now outnumber Roman Catholics and evangelicals.

    “’Nones’ have been on the march for a long time now,” Ryan P. Burge, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, told the National Catholic Reporter.

    “It’s been a constant, steady increase for 20 years now. If the trend line kept up, we knew this was going to happen.”

    According to the NCR, the percentage of American “nones” is now 23.1, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. That’s only slightly ahead of Catholics, at 23 percent, and evangelicals, which were 22.5, down from 23.9 percent in 2016. The percentage is so small, considering the millions of individuals involved, it’s probably statistically insignificant. The NCR calls the results “statistically tied.”

    But there’s no denying it represents a change in American life — and the kind that could have a direct result on the country’s politics.

    NCR cited exit polls from the 2016 elections that white evangelicals made up 26 percent of the voters even if their share of the voting population wasn’t that large.

    “Evangelicals punch way above their weight,” Burge said told NCR. “They turn out a bunch at the ballot box. That’s largely a function of the fact that they’re white and they’re old.”

    That’s one way to put it. One could also look at it like they’re patriotic, committed, intelligent and aware that — as Americans — they’re part of the rich history of a nation that’s truly exceptional in world history. In other words, they’re pretty much the opposite of the millennial America that is embodied by progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrat freshmen representatives.

    So let’s just stipulate that a future where the American electorate is made up of a lot fewer people like the voters who pushed Donald Trump over the top early on Nov. 9, 2016, and a lot more fans of AOC is likely to be a trying one for the country overall. But this has been coming for a long time. The General Social Survey numbers are almost to be expected if several factors are taken into account.

    First and foremost, public schools have for decades been in the hands of an education establishment and leftist teachers unions that scorn traditional morality.

    Secondly, our nation is saturated with an entertainment culture that celebrates individual narcissism and immorality while mocking virtually every expression of religious belief.

    Finally, America’s political culture is such that one of its two major political parties has been virtually a religion-free zone.

    Combine these factors with the lawfare practiced by the likes of the ACLU and the cranky atheists of the Freedom from Religion Foundation — which target even the most innocent endearing expressions of religious faith in public life – and it’s a wonder that numbers like this didn’t show up ages ago.

    And as Michael Knowles pointed out at The Daily Wire, it’s probably no coincidence that the country is experiencing a level of social ills that it hasn’t seen before.

    “As religiosity has declined, social ills have abounded. Nearly one in five American adults suffers from anxiety disorders, which now constitute the most common mental illness in the country,” Knowles wrote.

    “One in six Americans takes antidepressant drugs, a 65% surge over just 15 years. The problem is particularly acute among younger Americans. While depression diagnoses have increased 33% since 2013, that number is up 47% among Millennials and 63% among teenagers. Coincidentally, suicide rates among American teenagers have increased by 70% since 2006. American life expectancy declined again last year, as Americans continue to drug and kill themselves at record rates.”

    Does anyone think it’s just a coincidence that that happens when religious faith is failing? (And does anyone think it’s a coincidence that all of this happening less than 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in public schools was unconstitutional. Three generations of Americans have grown up in the world that helped create.) Now, no one can believe the members of the American Civil Liberties Union wake up in the morning wondering how they can contribute to more American suicides than they did yesterday. And no one thinks the Freedom from Religion wackos in Wisconsin are consciously setting out to increase the mental and spiritual health of their fellow citizens. (Though at Christmas time, it can be hard to tell.) And one might even be able to give the benefit of the doubt to the American education establishment (though Hollywood and the teachers unions will never deserve it).

    But even the most willfully obtuse, deliberately blind individual member of the cultural elite has to see the wreckage that’s being strewn across society by the large-scale abandonment of faith. And that might be a reason for hope.

    The numbers might not be looking good at the moment, but it’s the job of conservatives to try to turn that trend around. The election of President Donald Trump was a start in that process — and the developments it made possible, like the gradual return of sanity to the United States court system, will help.

    But this is the long fight — the longest fight there is — and conservatives have to be willing to get into it. If they are in the fight — heart and soul — a setback or two in the numbers of the faithful are largely irrelevant in the long run. Conservatives have taken on long odds before and won — the news out of the White House every day proves it. They can do it again.

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    Republican Lawmaker’s Jesus-Focused Prayer Slammed by Dems as ‘Offensive’ and Islamophobic


    Reported By Randy DeSoto | Published March 27, 2019 at 12:08pm | Modified March 27, 2019 at 9:40pm

    Pennsylvania Democrats, including the state’s governor, chastised a freshman Republican representative for an “offensive” and “Islamophobic” opening prayer at the state capitol in Harrisburg on Monday, during which she mentioned Jesus numerous times.

    In her prayer, Rep. Stephanie Borowicz — an associate pastor’s wife representing a district in the center of the Keystone State — also thanked President Donald Trump specifically for “unequivocally” supporting Israel.

    The lawmaker began the invocation, “Jesus, I thank you for this privilege Lord of letting me pray. I Jesus am your ambassador here today representing you, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. The great I am.”

    Borowicz referenced the tradition of leaders praying for the country, including George Washington at Valley Forge, Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, as well as the members of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia who “fasted and prayed for this nation to be founded on Your principles and Your words and Your truths.”

    “God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us,” she said.

    Borowicz then paraphrased the Bible passage 2 Chronicles 7:14, saying, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek Your face, and turn from their wicked ways, that you’ll heal our land.”

    The verse has often been quoted by political and religious leaders, including Ronald Reagan who had his family Bible opened to it when he was sworn as the 40th president of the United States in 1981, CBN News reported. Mike Pence used the same Bible, opened to the same passage when he took the oath as vice president.

    Borowicz further prayed, “thank you that we’re blessed because we stand by Israel,” a clear reference to the Bible’s Genesis 12:3.

    The representative concluded her invocation: “I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, the one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord, in Jesus’ name.”

    Someone, apparently a representative, yelled out as Borowicz was finishing, prompting Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai, who had looked uncomfortable at various points throughout, to nudge her arm indicating it was time to wrap it up.

    Borowicz’s prayer came before Pennsylvania’s first Muslim-American female representative, Movita Johnson-Harrell, was sworn in. Johnson-Harrell recently won a special election to fill a vacant seat for a Philadelphia district.

    Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said on Tuesday that he apologized to Johnson-Harrell for Borowicz’s prayer, Fox News reported.

    “I was horrified. I grew up in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn on the basis of freedom of conscience. I have a strong spiritual sense. This is not a reflection of the religion I grew up in.”

    Johnson-Harrell told reporters she thought pretty much the “entire invocation was offensive,” describing it as a weaponization of Jesus and the Israeli – Palestinian issue.

    “It blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people,”she added in an interview with the Pennsylvania Capital Star.

    Democratic Leader Frank Dermody called Borowicz’s invocation “beneath the dignity of this House,” The Associated Press reported.

    Majority Leader Bryan Cutler did not find fault with his Republican colleague.

    “I, for one, understand that everybody has sincerely held beliefs and I would never ask any one of us as an individual to go against that,” Cutler said.

    Borowicz was unapologetic, according to state house reporter Andrew Bahl.

    “That’s how I pray every day,” she said, adding, “Oh no, I don’t apologize ever for praying.”

    Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, said that individuals offering the opening prayers “should be free to pray as their faith and conscience dictates.” He said he would hope their words would not be censored.

    “A Christian praying out loud to Jesus and speaking his name should not be a surprise to anyone, nor viewed as offensive,” Geer said. “From the days of William Penn and Benjamin Franklin, prayer is at the centerpiece of Pennsylvania’s founding and flourishing, and we must never abandon it.”

    Harrisburg-based conservative radio talk show host Marc Scaringi agreed.

    “State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz’s prayer wasn’t offensive,” he contended. “It was a beautiful invocation for the blessings of Jesus Christ. What’s offensive is Governor’s Wolf’s apology — that he was ‘horrified’ by the prayer.

    “Strangely, Wolf invoked Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, in rebuke of Borowicz and her prayer. Yet, Penn founded Pennsylvania to be a peaceful refuge for members of all religious beliefs — and yes, that includes Christians too! Pennsylvanians should be horrified by our Governor’s apparent rebuke of the blessing of Jesus Christ.”

    Rep. Jason Dawkins, a Muslim lawmaker, opened Tuesday’s Pennsylvania House session by reading from the Quran, prompting applause in the chamber, Fox News reported.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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    Randy DeSoto is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”

    The Pope And Islam’s Most Important Imam Just Signed A Covenant That Pushes Us Much Closer To A One World Religion


    A historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday, and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it.  Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, and he arrived at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood”.  But this wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims.  According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths”…

    The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

    Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, arrived at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.

    In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering.

    According to the official Vatican website, a tremendous amount of preparation went in to the drafting of this document, and it encourages believers from all religions “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray” with one another…

    The document, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, was prepared “with much reflection and prayer”, the Pope said. The one great danger at this moment, he continued, is “destruction, war, hatred between us.” “If we believers are not able to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray, our faith will be defeated”, he said. The Pope explained that the document “is born of faith in God who is the Father of all and the Father of peace; it condemns all destruction, all terrorism, from the first terrorism in history, that of Cain.”

    There is a lot of language about peace in this document, but it goes way beyond just advocating for peace.

    Over and over again, the word “God” is used to simultaneously identify Allah and the God of Christianity.  Here is just one example…

    We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

    On top of that, the document also boldly declares that “the diversity of religions” that we see in the world was “willed by God”…

    Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

    In essence, this is saying that it is the will of God that there are hundreds of different religions in the world and that they are all acceptable in His sight.

    We know that the elite want a one world religion, but to see the most important clerics from both Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic public push for it is absolutely stunning.

    You can find the full text of the covenant that they signed on the official Vatican website.  I have also reproduced the entire document below…

    —–

    INTRODUCTION

    Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.

    This transcendental value served as the starting point for several meetings characterized by a friendly and fraternal atmosphere where we shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world. We did this by considering scientific and technical progress, therapeutic achievements, the digital era, the mass media and communications. We reflected also on the level of poverty, conflict and suffering of so many brothers and sisters in different parts of the world as a consequence of the arms race, social injustice, corruption, inequality, moral decline, terrorism, discrimination, extremism and many other causes.

    From our fraternal and open discussions, and from the meeting that expressed profound hope in a bright future for all human beings, the idea of this Document on Human Fraternity was conceived. It is a text that has been given honest and serious thought so as to be a joint declaration of good and heartfelt aspirations. It is a document that invites all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.

     

    DOCUMENT

    In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace;

    In the name of innocent human life that God has forbidden to kill, affirming that whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity, and that whoever saves a person is like one who saves the whole of humanity;

    In the name of the poor, the destitute, the marginalized and those most in need whom God has commanded us to help as a duty required of all persons, especially the wealthy and of means;

    In the name of orphans, widows, refugees and those exiled from their homes and their countries; in the name of all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; in the name of the weak, those who live in fear, prisoners of war and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction;

    In the name of peoples who have lost their security, peace, and the possibility of living together, becoming victims of destruction, calamity and war;

    In the name of human fraternity that embraces all human beings, unites them and renders them equal;

    In the name of this fraternity torn apart by policies of extremism and division, by systems of unrestrained profit or by hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and the future of men and women;

    In the name of freedom, that God has given to all human beings creating them free and distinguishing them by this gift;

    In the name of justice and mercy, the foundations of prosperity and the cornerstone of faith;

    In the name of all persons of good will present in every part of the world;

    In the name of God and of everything stated thus far; Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the Muslims of the East and West, together with the Catholic Church and the Catholics of the East and West, declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.

    We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

    We call upon intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world, to rediscover the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence in order to confirm the importance of these values as anchors of salvation for all, and to promote them everywhere.

    This Declaration, setting out from a profound consideration of our contemporary reality, valuing its successes and in solidarity with its suffering, disasters and calamities, believes firmly that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles.

    While recognizing the positive steps taken by our modern civilization in the fields of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, especially in developed countries, we wish to emphasize that, associated with such historic advancements, great and valued as they are, there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility. All this contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation leading many to fall either into a vortex of atheistic, agnostic or religious extremism, or into blind and fanatic extremism, which ultimately encourage forms of dependency and individual or collective self-destruction.

    History shows that religious extremism, national extremism and also intolerance have produced in the world, be it in the East or West, what might be referred to as signs of a “third world war being fought piecemeal”. In several parts of the world and in many tragic circumstances these signs have begun to be painfully apparent, as in those situations where the precise number of victims, widows and orphans is unknown. We see, in addition, other regions preparing to become theatres of new conflicts, with outbreaks of tension and a build-up of arms and ammunition, and all this in a global context overshadowed by uncertainty, disillusionment, fear of the future, and controlled by narrow-minded economic interests.

    We likewise affirm that major political crises, situations of injustice and lack of equitable distribution of natural resources – which only a rich minority benefit from, to the detriment of the majority of the peoples of the earth – have generated, and continue to generate, vast numbers of poor, infirm and deceased persons. This leads to catastrophic crises that various countries have fallen victim to despite their natural resources and the resourcefulness of young people which characterize these nations. In the face of such crises that result in the deaths of millions of children – wasted away from poverty and hunger – there is an unacceptable silence on the international level.

    It is clear in this context how the family as the fundamental nucleus of society and humanity is essential in bringing children into the world, raising them, educating them, and providing them with solid moral formation and domestic security. To attack the institution of the family, to regard it with contempt or to doubt its important role, is one of the most threatening evils of our era.

    We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings. In this way we can confront tendencies that are individualistic, selfish, conflicting, and also address radicalism and blind extremism in all its forms and expressions.

    The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it. He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself. Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We therefore condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion and euthanasia. We likewise condemn the policies that promote these practices.

    Moreover, we resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood. These tragic realities are the consequence of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women in order to make them act in a way that has nothing to do with the truth of religion. This is done for the purpose of achieving objectives that are political, economic, worldly and short-sighted. We thus call upon all concerned to stop using religions to incite hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism, and to refrain from using the name of God to justify acts of murder, exile, terrorism and oppression. We ask this on the basis of our common belief in God who did not create men and women to be killed or to fight one another, nor to be tortured or humiliated in their lives and circumstances. God, the Almighty, has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people.

    This Document, in accordance with previous International Documents that have emphasized the importance of the role of religions in the construction of world peace, upholds the following:

    – The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love; and to reawaken religious awareness among young people so that future generations may be protected from the realm of materialistic thinking and from dangerous policies of unbridled greed and indifference that are based on the law of force and not on the force of law;

    – Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

    – Justice based on mercy is the path to follow in order to achieve a dignified life to which every human being has a right;

    – Dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity;

    – Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions;

    – The protection of places of worship – synagogues, churches and mosques – is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack places of worship or threaten them by violent assaults, bombings or destruction, is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of international law;

    – Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism, but this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalize it. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride. This is why it is so necessary to stop supporting terrorist movements fuelled by financing, the provision of weapons and strategy, and by attempts to justify these movements even using the media. All these must be regarded as international crimes that threaten security and world peace. Such terrorism must be condemned in all its forms and expressions;

    – The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties, under which all enjoy justice. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority. Its misuse paves the way for hostility and discord; it undoes any successes and takes away the religious and civil rights of some citizens who are thus discriminated against;

    – Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue. The West can discover in the East remedies for those spiritual and religious maladies that are caused by a prevailing materialism. And the East can find in the West many elements that can help free it from weakness, division, conflict and scientific, technical and cultural decline. It is important to pay attention to religious, cultural and historical differences that are a vital component in shaping the character, culture and civilization of the East. It is likewise important to reinforce the bond of fundamental human rights in order to help ensure a dignified life for all the men and women of East and West, avoiding the politics of double standards;

    – It is an essential requirement to recognize the right of women to education and employment, and to recognize their freedom to exercise their own political rights. Moreover, efforts must be made to free women from historical and social conditioning that runs contrary to the principles of their faith and dignity. It is also necessary to protect women from sexual exploitation and from being treated as merchandise or objects of pleasure or financial gain. Accordingly, an end must be brought to all those inhuman and vulgar practices that denigrate the dignity of women. Efforts must be made to modify those laws that prevent women from fully enjoying their rights;

    – The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world. All those practices that violate the dignity and rights of children must be denounced. It is equally important to be vigilant against the dangers that they are exposed to, particularly in the digital world, and to consider as a crime the trafficking of their innocence and all violations of their youth;

    – The protection of the rights of the elderly, the weak, the disabled, and the oppressed is a religious and social obligation that must be guaranteed and defended through strict legislation and the implementation of the relevant international agreements.

    To this end, by mutual cooperation, the Catholic Church and Al-Azhar announce and pledge to convey this Document to authorities, influential leaders, persons of religion all over the world, appropriate regional and international organizations, organizations within civil society, religious institutions and leading thinkers. They further pledge to make known the principles contained in this Declaration at all regional and international levels, while requesting that these principles be translated into policies, decisions, legislative texts, courses of study and materials to be circulated.

    Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.

    In conclusion, our aspiration is that:

    this Declaration may constitute an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will;

    • this Declaration may be an appeal to every upright conscience that rejects deplorable violence and blind extremism; an appeal to those who cherish the values of tolerance and fraternity that are promoted and encouraged by religions;
    • this Declaration may be a witness to the greatness of faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul;
    • this Declaration may be a sign of the closeness between East and West, between North and South, and between all who believe that God has created us to understand one another, cooperate with one another and live as brothers and sisters who love one another.

    This is what we hope and seek to achieve with the aim of finding a universal peace that all can enjoy in this life.

    Abu Dhabi, 4 february 2019

     

    His Holiness
    Pope Francis
    The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
    Ahmad Al-Tayyeb

    Judge Jeanine Tarnishes Obama Legacy in Brutal Fashion


    Reported By Lisa Payne-Naeger | September 9, 2018 at

    12:58pm

    You’ve got to love Judge Jeanine Pirro and her common-sense plain talk. She speaks to mainstream Americans just as well as, if not better than, President Donald Trump on matters that are near and dear to their hearts, on issues that affect their lives on a daily basis.

    In her latest monologue Saturday night, Pirro brilliantly outlined why Americans rebelled against the establishment of either party to elect Trump.

    On Friday former President Barack Obama spoke at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in that speech he unloaded on the current administration with countless criticisms. Not only did he try his best to cast the Trump White House in a bad light, he tried to take credit for Trump administration successes.

    That gave Pirro all the ammunition she needed to so succinctly outline the current differences between the mindset of voters who elected the current president and their mindset when they elected him.

    And in the “Opening Statement” segment of Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” she held nothing back.

    She began: “All of you have a decision to make. It has never happened in the history of this country, an ex-president viciously attacking his successor, trashing our commander in chief, his party and all those Americans who put him in the Oval Office…

    “There is so much hatred and resentment over the success of this president that they simply cannot handle it. I’ve got news for you. It’s not going to stop. The haters aren’t going anywhere. But if you’re a patriot and you like the course America is on, just ignore them, get behind this president and vote.

    “Yesterday, with a full-throttle savage attack on the president, Barack’s message, obstruct and resist. He pontificates about the reality of racial discrimination, slavery and the quote, ‘darker aspects of America’s story’ …”

    Pirro went on to cite various instances in which Obama and his administration facilitated racial and religious division in the nation. She skillfully dissected Obama’s comments on the economy, Middle East policy, relations with Russia, money to the Clinton Foundation, antifa and the various other narratives Obama pushes to stoke his base into hatred and division.

    The list is long.

    Pirro addressed Obama directly and at length: “You ran the most corrupted administration since Harry Truman and you can’t stand it that every metric under Trump is better off than when you were in office.

    “And Donald Trump is one of the biggest threats to our democracy? How dare you? This man is the president of the United States, someone that we put in office and he is to be respected. Your attack on him as a racist and a fascist is not about making things better for us, its about you, your ego and your corrupt, deep-state power structure…

    “You desperately tried to defeat Trump and it didn’t work. And you remain in Washington to support the resistance and obstruction of a sitting American president while you stoke your racial cop -ating narrative.”

    As Pirro tied it all together, it almost seems too simple. Americans have seen through the smoke-and-mirrors version of the nation presented by the left.

    “Your version of America is not the America we want,” Pirro said, still addressing Obama. “To us, social justice is about justice for American citizens, and not illegal criminals. To us, social justice is about taking care of veterans who come back to our shores with fewer limbs than when they left. To us, social justice is not about burning our flag. It is about raising it and lifting it.

    “I’m sorry to say this, but there’s one thing that you’re going to have to live with. The only reason that we have an outsider businessman president is because of you, your lies, your policies and your divisiveness. You, Barack. You elected Donald Trump and there’s nothing you can do about the fact that he’s sitting in the Oval Office now. So I guess I should say, thank you, Barack.”

    Barack Obama should know better than to try to speak out against a sitting president, especially this one. Americans have woken up to the fact that they are better off under policies that support capitalism, less regulation and thriving economy rather than divisiveness, open boarders and socialism.

    And Judge Jeanine delivered a perfect narrative to describe what Americans are thinking, regardless of the critical narrative presented by Obama and the left. If Obama is upset at seeing his legacy go up in smoke, he has no one to blame but himself .

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.

    Leftism as a Secular Religion


    “Leftists have contempt for anyone who is guided by the Bible and its God, and substitute the heart and feelings for divine instruction,” writes Dennis Prager. (Photo: ~Userc0373230_9/Getty Images)

    One of the most important books of the 20th century—it remains a best-seller 59 years after it was first published—is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.

    Marx saw man’s primary drive as economic, and Freud saw it as sex. But Frankl believed—correctly, in my opinion—that the greatest drive of man is meaning. One can be poor and chaste and still be happy. But one cannot be bereft of meaning and be happy—no matter how rich or how sexually fulfilled one may be.

    The greatest provider of meaning for the vast majority of human beings has been religion. In the West, Christianity (and on a smaller scale, Judaism) provided nearly all people with the Bible, a divine or divinely inspired text to guide their lives; a religious community; answers to life’s fundamental questions; and, above all, meaning: A good God governs the universe; death does not end everything; and human beings were purposefully created.

    In addition, Christianity gave Christians a project: Spread the Good News, and bring the world to Christ. And Judaism gave Jews a project: Live by God’s laws of ethics and holiness and be “a light unto the nations.”

    All this has disappeared for most Westerners. The Bible is regarded as myth, silly at best, malicious at worst—there is no God, certainly not the morality-giving and judging God of the Bible; there is no afterlife; human beings are a purposeless coincidence with no more intrinsic purpose than anything else in the universe. In short: This is all there is.

    So, if the need for meaning is the greatest of all human needs and that which supplied meaning no longer does, what are millions of Westerners supposed to do?

    The answer is obvious: Find meaning elsewhere. But where? Church won’t provide it. Nor will marriage and family—increasingly, secular individuals in the West eschew marriage, and even more do not have children. It turns out, to the surprise of many, that marriage and children are religious values, not human instincts.

    In the West today, love and marriage (and children) go together like a horse and a carriage for faithful Catholics, Orthodox Jews, religious Mormons, and evangelical Protestants—not for the secular. I know many religious families with more than four children; I do not know one secular family with more than four children (and the odds are you don’t either).

    The answer to the great dearth of meaning left by the death of biblical religion in the West is secular religion. The first two great secular substitutes were communism and Nazism. The first provided hundreds of millions of people with meaning; the latter provided most Germans and Austrians with meaning.

    In particular, both ideologies provided the intellectual class with meaning. No groups believed in communism and Nazism more than intellectuals. Like everyone else, secular intellectuals need meaning, and when this need was combined with intellectuals’ love of ideas (especially new ideas—”new” is almost erotic in the power of its appeal to secular intellectuals), communism and Nazism became potent ideologies.

    With the fall of communism and the awareness of the extent of the communist mass murder (about 100 million noncombatants) and mass enslavement (virtually all individuals in communist countries—except for Communist Party leaders—are essentially enslaved), communism, or at least the word “communism,” fell into disrepute.

    So, what were secular intellectuals to do once communism became “the god that failed”?

    The answer was to create another left-wing secular religion. And that is what leftism is: a secular meaning-giver to supplant Christianity. Left-wing religious expressions include Marxism, communism, socialism, feminism, and environmentalism.

    Leftism’s guiding principles—notwithstanding the principles of those Christians and Jews who claim to be religious yet hold leftist views—are the antitheses of Judaism and Christianity’s guiding principles.

    Judaism and Christianity hold that people are not basically good. Leftism holds that people are basically good. Therefore, Judaism and Christianity believe evil comes from human nature, and leftism believes evil comes from capitalism, religion, the nation-state (i.e. nationalism), corporations, the patriarchy, and virtually every other traditional value.

    Judaism and Christianity hold that utopia on Earth is impossible—it will only come in God’s good time as a Messianic age or in the afterlife. Leftism holds that utopia is to be created here on Earth—and as soon as possible. That is why leftists find America so contemptible. They do not compare it to other nations but to a utopian ideal—a society with no inequality, no racism, no differences between the sexes (indeed, no sexes), and no greed in which everything important is obtained free.

    Judaism and Christianity believe God and the Bible are to instruct us on how to live a good life and how the heart is the last place to look for moral guidance. Leftists have contempt for anyone who is guided by the Bible and its God, and substitute the heart and feelings for divine instruction.

    There may be a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, but the biggest clash of civilizations is between the West and the left.

    Commentary By

    Portrait of Dennis Prager

    Dennis Prager is a columnist for The Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of PragerU.

     

     

    Canada’s Supreme Court Relegates Religious Beliefs to Second-Tier Status. America, Be Warned


    Reported By Emilie Kao and Spencer McCloy | July 3,

    2018 at 2:57pm

    Canada’s Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 against Trinity Western University, prioritizing sexual orientation over the free exercise of religion. This ruling should serve as a warning flag to U.S. citizens. Canada was only nine years ahead of the United States in redefining marriage. If the U.S. does not change direction, we could follow in Canada’s footsteps, sacrificing religious liberty for faux-equality and faux-diversity.

    Trinity Western University, in Langley, British Columbia, is a Christian university that hoped to establish a Christian law program. The Law Society of British Columbia refused to grant Trinity Western accreditation, claiming that the university’s community covenant agreement discriminates against LGBT students.

    The covenant establishes a Christian community that abstains from violence, acknowledges the inherent worth of every person, prohibits cheating, and bans alcohol. The offending clause in this case is Section 4, titled “Healthy Sexuality.” It states: “Further, according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond, it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.”

    The dispute over the marriage clause resulted in split rulings in Ontario and British Columbia, forcing the case to the Supreme Court, which decided that the law society possesses “an overarching interest in protecting the values of equality and human rights.”

    Although the seven judges in the majority admitted that denying Trinity Western an accredited law school because of its covenant violated its religious freedom, the judges reasoned that the school’s religious belief was of “minor significance” and that the covenant “optional” to the school’s ability to fulfill its purpose. The court decided that any student who attended Trinity Western’s proposed law school would be so influenced by the covenant that they would be rendered unfit for legal practice.

    The two dissenting judges argued that preventing Trinity Western from forming an accredited law school would undermine true diversity in the public square, contrary to the Law Society of British Columbia’s stated mission. They rightly stated, “The purpose of TWU’s admissions policy is not to exclude LGBTQ persons, or anybody else, but to establish a code of conduct which ensures the vitality of its religious community.”

    Instead of recognizing that religious liberty should protect Trinity Western’s right to build a community that reflects its religious beliefs, the Supreme Court relegated religious freedom and religious students to second-tier status.

    As Brett Harvey, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, notes, the U.S. Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are inherently different. Whereas the U.S. Constitution places religious freedom in a pre-eminent position among rights, Canada’s Charter does not secure rights at all. Instead, as Harvey points out, it merely acts as a set of “guidelines” that judges interpret, based on their preferences.

    The judges who ruled against Trinity Western did so in the name of “diversity.” In reality, the decision stifles true diversity, creating a counterfeit diversity that attacks differences of thought and religious conviction. In the name of this faux-diversity, Canada has trampled religious freedom and pushed religious believers to the outskirts of the public square unless they conform to the state’s view of sexuality.

    All citizens lose when the government restricts the number of choices in the marketplace of ideas. The practical effect of Canada’s so-called “diversity is economic discrimination against those who hold religious convictions that support marriage between one man and one woman.

    Students from Christian schools like Trinity Western who are exceptionally qualified for legal practice will be forced to choose between their dreams of practicing law or their religious beliefs. They won’t be allowed to enjoy both.

    The Trinity Western case is strikingly similar to recent cases in the U.S. court system. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission allowed Christian baker Jack Phillips to work in his chosen profession without sacrificing his beliefs.  But florists, photographers, videographers, and people who work outside the wedding industry face the same cultural tide that led to the abridgment of Trinity Western’s religious freedom.

    Lawyers in the U.S. face a similar threat. Like the Law Society of British Columbia in Canada, the American Bar Association (ABA) is the governing body that accredits law schools and sets ethics standards for practicing lawyers. Like in Canada, the ABA passed Model Rule 8.4(g) in the name of protecting equality and diversity, but it will actually function as a speech code.

    As Amy E. Swearer, a legal-policy analyst with the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, warned American law students, the rule could become a tool to discipline lawyers who disagree with the ABA’s views on sexuality and the family.

    The U.S. Constitution accords a unique status to religious freedom, but the specter of Trinity Western should give all Americans pause. Voters, legislators, and judges should heed the signal from our neighbor to the north that in the wake of marriage redefinition, religious freedom must be robustly protected to ensure that true diversity of thought flourishes in the public square.

    Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

    Spencer McCloy is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

    A version of this Op-Ed previously appeared on The Daily Signal website under the headline, “Canada’s Supreme Court Relegates Religious Beliefs to Second-Tier Status. America, Be Warned.”

    Dem Lawmakers Move To Restrict Christians’ Right To Oppose Homosexuality



    disclaimerReported By Cillian Zeal | May 29, 2018 at 11:13am

    URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/dem-lawmakers-move-to-restrict-christians-right-to-oppose-homosexuality/

    A new bill being proposed by Democrats would amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from “being used to justify discrimination against people, including gay, lesbian and transgender citizens,” The Washington Post reports, leading to fears that religious organizations could be restricted from opposing homosexuality.

    Church under attackThe new law would be called the Do No Harm Act, and its purported aim is to amend the 25-year-old RFRA so that religious injunctions on homosexuality could not be considered under it.

    “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, commonly referred to as RFRA, was popular among  lawmakers in both parties when it was enacted in 1993. Initially, it was usually referenced in cases involving practitioners of minority religions, such as Sikhs and Muslims seeking the right to wear their religious headgear in their driver’s license photos,” The Post reported last Tuesday. 

    “But in recent years, it has become a favorite law among conservative Christians, who say that it protects their rights to abstain from practices they disavow.”

    The RFRA was part of the legal argument used by Christian-based chain Hobby Lobby when it successfully argued before the Supreme Court that it should not be mandated to provide certain types of contraception to their employees in their health care plans under Obamacare.

    The same law is being used by a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple for their wedding. 

    “While our country was founded on the value of religious liberty, that freedom cannot come at the expense of others’ civil rights,” Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said in a statement.

    The bill is unlikely to pass, given that the GOP controls the House, Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania, but it gives a disturbing glimpse into how the Democrats plan to attack the First Amendment and religion in the courts.

    At least speaking as a Christian, the Bible is fairly clear on homosexuality and transgender issues. Whether or not you yourself as a believer choose to follow those strictures is your own choice, but there’s no denying that they are in there and they’re constitutionally-protected.Yes I am a Christian

    The Do No Harm Act has zero chance of passing at the moment, but it would arguably be a key initiative that the Democrats would look to pursue were they to regain power, which should worry constitutionally-minded Americans endlessly.

    The problems with the Do No Harm Act start with the very name: It is meant to do irreparable harm to religious liberty in this country. Only certain types of religious liberty are now allowed — the ones preordained as being OK by the Democrat Party. 

    Keep in mind that the RFRA already doesn’t abrogate the civil rights of any individual. In the Hobby Lobby decision, the court specifically noted that there were other alternatives available to the employees wishing to seek contraception under Obamacare. Rather, the point would be to force religious organizations to provide certain services that go against their belief systems even if other alternatives existed for those services to be fulfilled.

    This isn’t a blank check against religious liberty, but it certainly comes close. Could church organizations be forced to fund sex changes or the Catholic church to fund abortions? Could congregations be forced to perform gay weddings? Under the right set of state laws, yes, that could be seen as a legal possibility, no matter what the legitimate beliefs of the religious organization may be.

    The great irony here is that those who are proposing it decided to name it the Do No Harm Act because apparently, those who are harmed by it are non-entities in their book.

    Rainbow jihad

    The religious, inasmuch as they actually believe in their religion and practice it, have of late been met with unalloyed enmity by the Democrats. The idea seems to be that your beliefs in God are perfectly fine, just so long as they don’t get in the way of someone getting contraception in the most expedient manner possible, even if that means violating the First Amendment. 

    This is a bill that ought to scare every American, no matter what their belief in God may be.

    america are you paying attention with flagplease likeand share and leave a comment

    No Joke, College Offers “Queering The Bible” Class?!


    Reported by 

    URL of the original posting site: https://fearandblood.com/unreal/no-joke-college-offers-queering-bible-class/

    College Professor Attempts To Make The Bible More LGBTQ Friendly.

    The Bible, the holy book that guides millions of people worldwide. Many take comfort in the scripture and weekly lessons that are doled out from it via sermons. The Bible has been translated numerous times throughout the ages making the word of god more accessible to all. But now a liberal teacher, Gwynn Kessler of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, has found a way to tarnish it. The teacher plans to hold a class called “Queering the Bible.” 

    Queering the Bible is a class that will supposedly “destabilize long-held assumptions about what the bible–and religion–says about gender and sexuality.” The class will be looking at the scripture that is aimed at LGBTQ oriented people as well as reinterpreting the Bible in new ways such as this controversial statement: “If we can point out places in traditional writings where God is nurturing, forgiving, and loving,” the course description asks, “does that mean that God is feminine, or female?”

    “Queering the Bible” is scheduled for the fall of 2018. The class will cover controversial gender topics while picking apart the bible.

    Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas and a spiritual advisor to President Trump, warned about the spiritual dangers of twisting God’s word. “In suggesting that God is ‘queer’ Swarthmore College is guilty of nothing short of modern day idolatry BLASPHAMY,” Jeffress said.

    When you read the Bible you will discover that God reserved His harshest condemnation for individuals and nations that practiced idolatry – creating an imaginary god who conformed to a culture’s immorality,” Jeffress said.”

    There is nothing wrong with discussion and classes focusing on the bible. It’s the dissecting, cherrypicking, and trying to revise the Bible to be more LGBTQ friendly that’s the issue. The bible is a holy book recognized by millions it should be treated with respect as such.

    College course teaches students about ‘queering the Bible’

    Class ‘destabilizes long held assumptions’ about what’s in the Bible; university refuses to comment

    Swarthmore College is offering a course next year that will survey “queer and trans* readings of biblical texts” by using “queer and trans* theoretical approaches,” with faculty staying silent on the specifics of the course material.

    “Queering the Bible” is set to launch next fall and will be instructed by Gwynn Kessler, an associate professor of religion, according to Swarthmore’s course catalog.

    The course, which is being offered through Swarthmore’s Religion Department, promises to “[introduce] students to the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times.”

    “By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans* theoretical approaches,” the catalog advertises, “this class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the bible–and religion–says about gender and sexuality.”

    It appears that the Swarthmore Religion Department will offer no other Bible-centric courses next fall apart from this one. Out of around ten listed courses that explicitly involve Bible study at Swarthmore, “Queering the Bible” appears to be the only one taking place in fall of 2018. Only one other Bible-related course, a class teaching the grammar and vocabulary necessary to read the Old Testament in the original Hebrew, is offered during that time.

    Repeated attempts by The College Fix to learn more about the course, and whether or not any additional Bible courses would be offered at Swarthmore next year, were met with silence. Multiple emails to Gwynn Kessler and the Swarthmore Religion Department, as well as phone calls to both, were not returned.

    According to her faculty profile, Kessler’s research focuses in part on “rabbinic constructions of gender and identity.” Her work is also “situated within, and suffused with, postmodern, feminist, and queer theoretical approaches.”

    In addition to “Queering the Bible,” Swarthmore College’s religion department also offers “Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology,” a course that “examines feminist and queer writings about God, explores the tensions between feminist and queer theology, and seeks to stretch the limits of gendering-and sexing-the divine.”

    “If we can point out places in traditional writings where God is nurturing, forgiving, and loving,” the course description asks, “does that mean that God is feminine, or female?”

    New Religion In California Will Worship Man Made ‘Messiah’


    Posted By http://www.westernjournalism.com | December 11, 2017 at 4:45pm

    URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/new-religion-forming-california-worship-man-made-ai-messiah/?

    Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski has reportedly created a new religion called Way of the Future, which involves worshiping an artificial intelligence robot. The papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May state that the religion’s activities will revolve around “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software,” according to Wired.

    This also includes funding the research to create the divine AI itself.

    “What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” Levandowski told Wired. “It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?”

    The documents also say that the church will conduct workshops and educational programs throughout California’s Bay Area beginning this year, Wired reported.

    “The idea needs to spread before the technology,” he told Wired. “The church is how we spread the word, the gospel. If you believe (in it), start a conversation with someone else and help them understand the same things.”

    Similar to other religions, Way of the Future will reportedly have a gospel called “The Manual,” public worship ceremonies and a place of worship, according to Wired.

    Levandowski reportedly wants the newly created religion to ease the “inevitable” transition of computers exceeding human intelligence.

    As reported by The Daily Wire, lawyer and AI expert John Mitchell expects the church would be successful because of human compulsion to “worship supreme understanding.”

    “We (believe) there must be some higher power that causes lightning, sunsets, and crashing waves — or at least speaks to the bottom of our beings, rather than ignore them as ho-hum background,” Mitchell said.

    The new AI church doesn’t believe in supernatural powers, but instead, believes in the idea that everything can be solved with science, according to the Daily Star. They also claim that machines have rights, including the right to become “super intelligent.”

    The Way of the Future‘s website says it is important for machines to know who is friendly to their cause and who is not, so that there can be a “peaceful and respectful transition.”

    “We’d like to make sure this is not seen as silly or scary,” Levandowski told Wired. “I want to remove the stigma about having an open conversation about AI, then iterate ideas and change people’s minds.”

    He also wants the AI machine to see humans as its “beloved elders that it respects and take care of” so that it would say, “‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge,’” Wired reported.

    In response to the question of when the Way of the Future’s AI will take charge, Levandowski replied: “I personally think it will happen sooner than people expect. Not next week or next year; everyone can relax. But it’s going to happen before we go to Mars.”

    Cartel Members Starting to Worship Death in Twisted Form of Catholicism


    Reported B

    URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/mexican-criminals-religion-dark/

    Members of Mexican cartels are flocking to a new Mexican folk religion, and it puts a dark spin on Christianity. The religion involves devotion to La Santa Muerte, which translates to “Holy Death” or “Saint Death,” and can even include human sacrifice, reported Fox News.

    The popularity of the religion among drug traffickers and violent criminals in Central Texas has raised concern among authorities, prompting Texas officials and the Catholic Church to warn about the dangers of the dark creed.

    An FBI bulletin written by Robert J. Bunker, an academic and adviser to the government on security matters, noted the rise of the “criminalized and dark variant” of the Christian religion, pointing to many of its negative implications, which include “inspired and ritualistic killings.”

    The bulletin said those who worship La Santa Muerte, who is depicted as a robed skeleton carrying a scythe in one hand and a globe or scales in the other, can partake of various forms of sacrifice that include the “ritual murder and butchering of humans.”

    The report mentioned three instances where brutal killings took place in the name of Santa Muerte, killings that rival even the butchers of the Islamic State group.

    We’re seeing more and more criminals that are praying to Santa Muerte,” Robert Almonte, a former El Paso narcotics detective and former U.S. marshal, told KVUE.

    Which is the reason why citizens, especially those in law enforcement, should be aware of this dark practice.

    Almonte conducts seminars to inform law enforcement officers about the signs of the Santa Muerte cult.

    “Officers are entering homes on drug search warrants and they’re encountering elaborate Santa Muerte shrines,” an undercover Austin police officer told KVUE.

    Almonte also said that those practicing the religion believe that more intense sacrifices will earn them favor with Santa Muerte.

    It’s frightening to think that people practice this kind of “religion,” and it’s even more frightening that we are seeing evidence of it in our own cities.

    South Carolina 6th Graders Learn Five Pillars of Islam


    waving flagAuthored by Trey Sanchez

    Kids in public schools learning about the religion of Islam in great detail continues to happen in the U.S.A.

    TruthRevolt has kept a careful eye on this phenomenon, reporting on instances such as in California, Florida, Tennessee, and Minnesota where students either sang songs about Ramadan (complete with the lyrics “Allahu Akbar”), designed a Muslim prayer rug, or wrote down the five pillars of Islam, including “all people must submit to Allah.”

    The latest has occurred in Summerville, South Carolina at Alston Middle School, where 6th graders learned about the five pillars and were instructed on the “correct” interpretation of verses from the Koran.

    EAGnews.org obtained a copy of one of the worksheets that included a fill-in-the-blanks section which stated:

    “Islam is a religion of (peace). If I believe in Islam, I am called a (Muslim). In the Islamic religion, we call God (Allah). I may dress differently than other kids. I feel (bad) that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I do not believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’”Islam is NOT

    One parent told a local news station that permission should’ve been asked for before giving a lesson on religious values.

    Similar complaints have been across the country. The near-indoctrination was getting so bad in Tennessee, lawmakers introduced a bill in 2015 to curb the amount of time spent on Islamic lessons. CAIR called the move “anti-Islam” but parents across the Bible Belt state had become concerned that more time was spent covering the doctrines of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism but not Christianity. Usually, that topic was reserved for when the class studied the “Age of Exploration” and learned how Christians persecuted others in Western Europe.America Never Forget

    A district official in Summerville said the Islam worksheets are approved by the South Carolina curriculum standards and are used in part of the study of civilizations. Christianity is one of the world religions to be covered in future lessons.

    It was noted that parents can opt their children out if they contact the school.

    i-am-definitly-not-okay-with-that

    POP QUIZ: Which Religion Is SPIKING In Britain And Which One Is PLUMMETING?


    waving flagPublished on December 26, 2016

    URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2016/12/pop-quiz-religion-spiking-britain-one-plummeting/

    The percentage spike is SHOCKING… and so is the percentage drop-off. What will this mean for Britain?

    A Government report released stunning numbers relating to religion. The changes in numbers of Christians and Muslims in the country was staggering. The Casey Report states:

    Christians remain a majority, while a quarter of the population holds no religion. But the proportion of Christians fell from 70 per cent to 59 per cent…

    Among faith groups the number of people identifying themselves as Muslim grew most significantly, by 1.2m people.

    This 72 per cent increase is higher than for any other religious group and Muslims make up the largest non-Christian religious population in the UK at 2.8m in total, compared with 0.8m Hindus, 0.4m Sikhs, 0.3m Jews and 0.3m Buddhists.
    Read more: Express UK

    America are you paying attention

    Europe is changing. England isn’t as Christian as it used to be.

    The Brierley Consultancy conducted a separate study and says that Church membership in the UK has declined significantly. In 1930, membership levels were at 10.6 million which has dwindled to 5.5 million in 2010.

    The Casey Report says that of those that those who identify as Christians has plummeted from 40.2 million to 36.1 million with further losses projected. We are facing an increase in a religious ideology that has a branch that stands against Western values of freedom, tolerance, integration and equality.

    The Left will tout this as ‘Progressive’ and ‘inclusive’, failing to see the irony of their position.

    Are you surprised at the findings of the report?

    What do YOU think this means for Europe?

    America are you paying attention

    Would We Have Our ‘American Freedoms’ Without Christianity?


    waving flagBy Daniel Mann March 21, 2016

    One skeptic wrote, “The only responsible way to make law is to ignore religion, because it would be impossible to please everyone.”

    Well, it is impossible to “please everyone,” no matter what law is passed.

    However, our laws and values cannot be religion-free; they cannot be based on scientifically proven facts. This notion is entirely mistaken. Science can only tell us what is, not what should be. Therefore, our laws can never be free from anyone’s values and/or religious beliefs.

    Another equally erroneous assumption is that the First Amendment to our Constitution prohibits public religious reasoning or expression. A mere look at the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776; beginning of the second paragraph) should dispel this notion:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Our Founding Fathers recognized that our “unalienable Rights” did not originate from the passing fads and whims of governments, which could easily take back the “rights” it had granted, but upon our unchanging and merciful God who created us in His image. He therefore retains a loving interest in our welfare, punishing anyone who violates it.

    Not surprisingly, these same sentiments are reflected in the speeches and writings of our Founding Fathers. For most of them, Christianity wasn’t an optional appendage. It had to be part of the solid foundation of the new republic. In God of Liberty, historian Thomas S. Kidd writes:

    “Whether evangelical or rationalist, most Patriots assumed that Christianity would, in some sense, be the cornerstone for the preservation of the new American Republic.”

    In his 1796 Farewell Address, the beloved George Washington reiterated these broadly accepted sentiments:

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars…The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” AMEN

    These sentiments were broadly held. Kidd writes,

    “Through the era of the Civil War most Americans would continue to believe that the Christian religion should assist government in lifting people’s moral dispositions, so that they might contribute positively to the freedom of the Republic. Even the skeptical Thomas Jefferson believed that Christianity, in it original purity, ‘is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty.’”

    What a contrast to the assertions of the New Atheists that Christianity destroys everything it touches.

    Our second president, John Adams, who became a Unitarian, expressed a similar sentiment in a letter to his cousin Samuel:

    “All projects of government, founded in the supposition or expectation of extraordinary degrees of virtue [apart from Christianity], are evidently chimerical.”AMEN

    These weren’t just the sentiments of American patriots. The Frenchman, deist and lapsed Catholic, Alexis de Tocqueville, extensively traveled the States, starting in 1831, endeavoring to investigate the stability and monumental success of this new republic. In Democracy in America, he wrote, “The religious atmosphere was the first thing that struck me on arrival in the United States.” While the French Revolution had taken out its vengeance on the clergy, killing more than a hundred priests, the American Revolution embraced the Christian faith. According to Kidd, Tocqueville observed,

    The partnership of religion and liberty lay at the heart of America’s political success. To Tocqueville, the American’s Christian ethos kept democracy’s worst features in check…Freedom by itself would inexorably degenerate into rabid selfishness, but religion nurtured the purposefulness of freedom. In the American model, according to Tocqueville, ‘freedom sees religion as the companion of its struggles and triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its rights.’”

    This position is diametrically opposed to today’s secularists who want to silence and marginalize religious expressions and symbols and to reserve the public sphere for their stealth religion of secularism – moral relativism, multiculturalism, and religious pluralism. In contrast to this,

    “Tocqueville asserted that more than any other political systems, egalitarian democracies needed the ballast of religion. Equality of condition and opportunity, which was more evident in America than anywhere else in the world tended ‘to isolate men from each other so that each thinks only of himself.’ People in an egalitarian democracy naturally become consumed with selfish lusts and desires, exhibiting a greater willingness to harm those who stood in the way of their advancement. Religion, teaching the obligation of love toward God and man, created motivations essential to healthy democracy.”

    Why is religion viewed oppositely today? Perhaps, as Tocqueville had suggested, Americans have become so “consumed with selfish lusts and desires” that the teachings of the Bible are now viewed with contempt and as an impediment to our immediate self-satisfaction? Although among the Founding Fathers, there were many who were either rationalists or deists, they were positively disposed to the Christian faith:

    “Tocqueville manifested a view of religion not unlike that of several prominent founding fathers, including Jefferson…maintaining that it was essential for the masses to keep believing in Christianity—or at least in good and evil—and in the eternal rewards in the afterlife.”

    It would be wrong to assume that the separation of church and state reflected any disdain towards religion. Instead, it had been advanced by the majority of evangelicals who had been marginalized and even imprisoned by a state-supported religion. They wanted, above all else, the freedom to practice their religion without any interference from the state. Disestablishment of religion from the state would ensure this:

    “Disestablishment hardly reflected government hostility to religion, however. Under the canopy of disestablishment and religious freedom, the churches in America flourished in astounding ways. Whatever Jefferson meant by his ‘wall of separation,’ hardly anyone across the religious spectrum in America believed that separation should entail government antagonism toward religion or the elimination of religious rhetoric or symbols from the political sphere. Whatever their personal convictions about religion, Patriots typically believed that virtue sustained a republic and that religion was the most common resource that trained people in virtue.”AMEN

    While the secularism of yesterday endeavored to ensure the vitality of religion and its continual impact upon the public domain, the “secularism” of today is the very opposite. It robustly exercises religious viewpoint discrimination in favor of protecting its own politically correct orthodoxy.

    This is a secularism that seems to want to protect our “selfish lusts and desires,” at the expense of religious freedom. Tocqueville and the Founding Fathers saw in Christianity the necessary counter-balance to this self-centered freedom. We will see how it all plays out.Death of a nation Die true battle Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

    Here’s How Ted Cruz Handled Interviewer’s Question About Ben Carson’s Statement on Idea of Muslim President


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    Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) declined to support Ben Carson’s recent claim that he would not “advocate” for a Muslim president, instead citing the U.S. Constitution.

    (AP Photo, J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    “You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist,” Cruz said during an interview on Iowa public television on Sunday.

    The Texas Republican also seemed disinterested in debating the faith of President Barack Obama, which again became a topic of conversation after a man accused the president of being a Muslim at a Donald Trump rally.

    “The president’s faith is between him and God,” Cruz said. “What I’m going to focus on is his public policy record.”

    When asked about the potential of thousands of refugees settling in the U.S., Cruz said Muslim refugees could pose a terrorist threat.

    He added that “Christians are a very different circumstance because Christians are being persecuted, they are being persecuted directly for their faith and the Obama administration has abandoned Middle East Christians.”Christian Persecution

    (H/T: Mediaite)

    95b119e45c50cbea1e7a4fbfa33415f3 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

    Guess Which Causes Detroit’s Satanic Event Will Benefit


    waving flagPosted on July 27, 2015 by

    cause of death

    A self-described Satanic group held the “largest public satanic ceremony in history” on Saturday in Detroit as it unveiled a statue of the devil to a crowd of some 700 people.  The statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed version of Satan, shows the devil sitting on a throne looking all pagan and demonic as smiling children look on adoringly.

    The group behind this 1-ton bronze monstrosity is The Satanic Temple. Organizers said the 9-foot-tall statue “is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action.”

    In other words, it’s a big honking finger in the eye of Christians, which is really what Satanism is all about.

    The temple is fighting to get the hideous thing erected at the Arkansas State Capital next to a monument of the Ten Commandments.

    What’s most interesting about this event isn’t the audacity of keeping the statue at a secret location in Detroit (I wonder how many major cities have statues of the devil kept at secret locations), and it’s not that 700 people are hate-filled, deluded or psychotic enough to have paid for tickets to this event. (The temple claims 200 registered members in Detroit.)

    It’s not even the brazenness of The Satanic Temple’s ploy of positioning itself as a family-friendly cult. No, what I find most interesting are the political causes the temple proclaims support for on its own website. Leading among these are abortion (“reproductive rights”) and gay “marriage,” both of which have been in the news of late.

    The temple also makes common cause with atheist groups when it says the statue’s unveiling “will serve as a call to arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats,” meaning Christians.

    satanicTemple

    The Satanic Temple has something else in common with groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation in that they position themselves as outsiders from the religious mainstream who somehow still have religious rights that can be offended by Christians.

    Gay “marriage” and abortion are also issues where critics have long noted an anti-Christian bent among proponents, so the Satanists’ interest is clear.

    The anti-Christian movement in this country is broad and often well-disguised, being spread out over numerous cp 11institutions, groups and political issues. But the one thing they all have in common, from pro-abortionists to the outright Satanists, is a talent for lying.

    Just take a look at Planned Parenthood and its massive PR counterattack in the past two weeks as two separate videos showed PP officials negotiating the sale of fetal tissue.

    Every left-wing outlet in the mainstream media and the Internet has made a concerted effort to tell the public that Planned Parenthood is being harassed and the videos are faked, even though the doctors in the videos make themselves very clear and do not appear to be in any way coerced into talking to the actors posing as medical middlemen.how many body parts

    To the degree that videos are used regularly by people on the Left and the Right to embarrass political opponents these days, it’s remarkable how staunchly indignant the Planned Parenthood supporters are that anyone would tape their personnel speaking freely about the organization’s practices. And all the spin from the Left is intended to cast Planned Parenthood as angelic victims being picked on by the evil pro-lifers.

    The campaign is working, as Planned Parenthood’s allies in the California and federal governments are investigating the maker of the videos, even though the videos clearly contain evidence of possible crimes by the abortion organization that by rights should be investigated.

    Don’t even get me started on the homosexual rights movement or the “separation of church and state” crowd.Big Gay Hate Machine

    The Satanists planting a statue of the devil in Detroit is more than just an overt symptom of a long-festering disease in this country, it’s a crowning achievement.

    Maybe The Satanic Temple’s support for gay “marriage,” abortion and church-state separation means the devil’s finally coming out of hiding.

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    Bill of Rights’ Most Important Liberty: Religion


    waving flagWritten by Bethany Blankley

    John-Adams-Quote-Liberty-Lost1

    The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, listed non-negotiable constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in specific order, unchanged since 1791. James Madison, its chief architect, listed freedom of religion first; then speech, press, assembly, petition, right to keep and bear arms, and freedom from forced quartering of military members in one’s home.

    Freedom from civil government overreach and interference was essential to establishing sustainable civil order and a just rule of law; the first ten amendments — only 468 words — were added to protect what the founders considered “preexisting rights” from federal government “encroachment.”

    Freedom of religion was un-mistakenly listed as the first freedom of the Bill of Rights. And the term “religion” was well understood from its original context derived from the State of Virginia’s Bill of Rights. In Article 1, Section 16, Virginia’s Bill of Rights defines “religion” as “the duty which we owe to our Creator… the manner of discharging… [of which] can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”

    (Many significant words and phrases used to write the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution were selected from preexisting documents and individual state constitutions’ declaration of rights, which provided more detailed definitions.)

    Virginia’s Bill of Rights legally defined “religion” as a means to secure freedom from government coercion, which enabled a foundational protection for other freedoms. The Bill of Rights, by defining religion, allows people to believe and act by “reason or conviction” without fear of being coerced to violate their “dictates of conscience.” In this way, religion is jurisdictional– the Bill of Rights ensures that the government cannot force a citizen to violate his/her conscience.AAA02

    James Madison articulated in Memorial and Remonstrance:

    “The Religion … of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as they may indicate. This right in its nature is an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men … cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. … This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”GOD

    Madison believed that citizens were first “subject[s] of the Great Governor of the Universe,” who must first make his/her “allegiance to the Universal Sovereign” before they could consider being a “member of Civil Society.”ONE NATION

    He considered religion first and foremost “immune” from any and all civil authorities. The wording used for the First Amendment’s two religion clauses were specifically straightforward: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” All matters of religion were exempted from civil authority.

    Madison asserted:

    “In matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society, and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.”

    want_rel_liberty_rAs a legal and jurisdictional matter, Madison asserted that all men are first subject to God as an immutable fact based on the Christian worldview (Mark 12:17, Psalm 24:1). It was imperative to specify that no government could ever have authority over one’s relationship with God. Understanding that even governmental authority itself originates from God (Romans 13:1) — moral standards could not be mutually exclusive from rule of law.

    Furthermore, freedom of conscience, under the jurisdiction of freedom of religion, established the next four freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. They include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These four freedoms granted constitutional security for “residual sovereignty” of the people, not the government. The Bill of Rights ensured freedom of religion as the foundation for all other liberties. No other amendments were possible if freedom of religion had not first been guaranteed as an unalienable right.One Nation Under God

    Bethany Blankley; http://BethanyBlankley.com

    Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America. She worked on Capitol Hill for four U.S. Senators and one U.S. Congressman, for a former New York governor, and for several non-profits. She earned her masters degree in theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her bachelors degree in politics from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley & BethanyBlankley.com.049590d9aa5e45170821a5ba6f11ac12  SCOTUS Death lost forever liberty 

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    Judicial Activism From Supreme Court on Marriage. Here’s How to Respond.


    waving flagWritten by Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson Ryan T. Anderson / / June 26, 2015 /

    URL of the Original Posting Site: http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/26/judicial-activism-from-supreme-court-on-marriage-heres-how-to-respond

    U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: Jonathan Larsen/Getty Images)

    Today is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong: It should not have mandated all 50 states to redefine marriage. This is judicial activism: nothing in the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage, and the court imposed its judgment about a policy matter that should be decided by the American people and their elected representatives. The court got marriage and the Constitution wrong today just like they got abortion and the Constitution wrong 42 years ago with Roe v. Wade. Five unelected judges do not have the power to change the truth about marriage or the truth about the Constitution.

    The court summarized its ruling in this way—which highlights that they have redefined marriage, substituting their own opinion for that of the citizens:

    The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central mean­ing of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. 

    Manifest to five unelected judges that is. Not to the majority of American citizens who voted to define marriage correctly. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in dissent:

    If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

    That’s exactly right. When it comes to the majority opinion, the Constitution “had nothing to do with it.”

    We must work to restore the constitutional authority of citizens and their elected officials to make marriage policy that reflects the truth about marriage. We the people must explain what marriage is, why marriage matters, and why redefining marriage is bad for society. For marriage policy to serve the common good it must reflect the truth that marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife so that children will have both a mother and a father. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and woman are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.It HasNever Been About Marriage

    The government is not in the marriage business because it’s a sucker for adult romance. No, marriage isn’t just a private affair; marriage is a matter of public policy because marriage is society’s best way to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage acts as a powerful social norm that encourages men and women to commit to each other so they will take responsibility for any children that follow.

    Redefining marriage to make it a genderless institution fundamentally changes marriage: It makes the relationship more about the desires of adults than about the needs—or rights—of children. It teaches the lie that mothers and fathers are interchangeable.

    Because the court has inappropriately redefined marriage everywhere, there is urgent need for policy to ensure that the government never penalizes anyone for standing up for marriage. As discussed in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” we must work to protect the freedom of speech, association and religion of those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as union of man and woman.burke

    At the federal level, the First Amendment Defense Act is a good place to start. It says that the federal government cannot discriminate against people and institutions that speak and act according to their belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. States need similar policies.

    Recognizing the truth about marriage is good public policy. Today’s decision is a significant setback to achieving that goal. We must work to reverse it and recommit ourselves to building a strong marriage culture because so much of our future depends upon it.War on Christians

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon senior research fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. He’s the author of the forthcoming book, “The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty.” Read his research.

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    Romans 13, Christian Resistance, and the Coming Tyranny


    waving flagPosted on May 13, 2015 by

     

     

     

    If the Wicked

     

    If a nation is not guided by God

     

     

     

     

    Good people who don't standIn a previous article I discussed the biblical principle of Christian resistance as it relates to the upcoming Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. As was pointed out in that article, there are examples in the Bible of God’s people resisting direct commands by civil officials based on a very specific set of higher law principles.

    Christian apologist Francis A. Schaeffer wrote, “Let us not forget why the Christians were killed. They were not killed because they worshipped Jesus… Nobody cared who worshipped whom as long as the worshipper did not disrupt the unity of the state, centered in the formal worship of Caesar. The reason Christians were killed was because they were rebels”1 and placed the God of the Bible over the claim that the State and its Caesars were gods. The proof?: “they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7).burke

    This is an old story that has a modern history. King James of the King James Bible wanted a translation that countered the notes in the 1559 Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. “For example, the margin notes for Daniel 6:22 imply that the commands of kings are to be disobeyed if they conflict with the law of God: ‘For he [Daniel] disobeyed the king’s wicked commandment in order to obey God, and so he did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing by which God would be dishonored.’”2

     

    “Embarkation of the Pilgrims.”

    Alister McGrath comments:

    “Notice also how the Genevan notes  regularly use the word ‘tyrant’ to refer to kings; the King James Bible never uses this word—a fact noted with approval as much as relief by many royalists at this point.”3

    It’s no wonder that King James “authorized a fresh translation of the Bible to undermine the republican implications of the Geneva Bible.”4

    Because of its no exception tone, Romans 13 is seen as prohibiting all resistance to the law of the State: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. . . (v. 1). The apostle lists no exceptions. Peter makes a similar statement: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14). Again, no exceptions. This is the same Peter who declared, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29; cf. 4:19-20). How do we reconcile the apparent contradiction?Picture1

    Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766) states the following in his 1750 sermon “Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers”:

    “Thus, upon a careful review of the apostle’s reasoning in this passage, it appears that his arguments to enforce submission, are of such a nature, as to conclude only in favor of submission to such rulers as he himself describes; i.e., such as rule for the good of society, which is the only end of their institution. Common tyrants, and public oppressors, are not entitled to obedience from their subjects, by virtue of anything here laid down by the inspired apostle.”There are a number of places in Scripture where one verse speaks in absolute terms and other verses offer exceptions. This is not unusual. If I tell my grandchildren to go outside and play until dinner is ready, I have spoken in absolute terms. They are not to come into the house until they are called. No exceptions are given. What if it rains? What if a large dog enters the yard? Can they enter the house without violating my absolute and no exception command?

    They would not be violating my “no exception” command because there are unspoken exceptions. They are assumed to be operating without them having to be repeated each time a new command is given. They have been told on previous occasions to “come in when it’s raining” and “do not get near stray dogs that wander into the yard.”

    The Bible operates in the same manner. In one place Jesus says, “All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matt. 26:52). Does this include the civil magistrate? What about the person who strikes an assailant in self-defense? Is this not an exception to Jesus’ “no exception” statement? Since the Bible already discusses self-defense (Ex. 22:2-3; Deut. 19:21) and the role of the civil magistrate (e.g., Gen. 9:6), there is no need to repeat the exceptions since Jesus’ hearers knew He has anarchy and revolution in mind (e.g., Lev. 19:18), not the just use of the sword. Romans 13:4 explains that it is the duty of the civil magistrate to use the sword in certain specified cases. Is this a contradiction? No.Tree of Liberty 03

    So then, when we read passages like Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13-14, we must not neglect the rest of the Bible that is equally authoritative and more fully explains and qualifies these passages.

    “Many general statements of Scripture must be open to admitting exceptions even those qualifications are not immediately spelled out. Why are so many generalizations stated without qualification? Because the exact conditions restricting their applicability are not known, or because the “accidental” or providential circumstances that render them inapplicable occur so seldom as to be practically negligible, or because such qualification has already been stipulated in another inscripturated context.”5The Persecution has Begun

    In summary, we must recognize that as the State becomes more tyrannical and non-Christian in its social and political policies, conflicts between church and State will multiply. That conflict may make it necessary for Christians to say no to statist laws that will force them to violate the laws of God.freedom

    There is an additional reason why Christians must understand the limits of civil jurisdiction and the limits of resistance. Because of a desire to see the current corruption in our own nation reversed, some Christians may take it upon themselves to bring about change by revolutionary means. This is an unbiblical agenda to pursue. There is no warrant in Scripture for a revolutionary spirit.

    How Christians go about resisting is a question that needs to be answered in exacting detail. The fact that we have lesser magistrates – state governments, governors, and state constitutions – that can serve as legitimate governing authorities as a means to rebuff civil and judicial tyranny is a viable governing avenue for Christians to take.

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    ‘They Are Satan’s Church’: Famed Pastor’s Tough Message for Christian Denominations Condoning Homosexuality


    Famed pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, recently reacted to denominations that have taken more liberal approaches to gay marriage, among other issues, telling TheBlaze that “they have no allegiance to the Bible.” AMEN

    Pastor John MacArthur (Grace to You)

    MacArthur, author of “Being a Dad Who Leads,” said that these denominations — like Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which recently voted to allow same-sex nuptials — and their associated seminaries have been skirting scriptural tenets for decades. He patently described them as “false churches” that fail to teach biblical truths. “They have no allegiance to the Bible,” he said. “You go back to every one of those seminaries … for a century [they] have been deniers of biblical authority, they have no relationship to scripture, they are the apostate church, they are Satan’s church.”AMEN

    And when asked whether Christianity on the whole is on the decline, MacArthur said that one must be careful when assessing the faith, as there are major differences between “true,” “cultural” and “institutional” Christianity.

    • MacArthur said that cultural Christianity in America dates back to the founding fathers who “knew you couldn’t compel people to goodness” unless there was belief in a higher power. The preacher said that this form of Christianity, which is in decline, isn’t necessarily connected to a church or institution, but that it sets values thatare embraced by people from various groups.
      • “Cultural Christianity … is dying at a warp speed … when you have an election when the platform is sin — in the last election for the the Democratic platform was pro killing children and pro homosexuality,” MacArthur said. “The young generation has bought into the corruption and lack of ethics morals by media entertainment [and] educators.”
    • In contrast, MacArthur said that institutional Christianity takes a more physical form, comprising faith systems and houses of worship that he believes are essentially in flux and ever-changing. “Institutional churches ebb and flow, denominations ebb and flow. They are made up of true believers and false believers — the genuine and the diluted,” he said. “There is a sense in which there’s always going to be an ebb and flow in the institutional church.”

    Pastor John MacArthur (Image via John MacArthur/Facebook)

    • But “true” Christianity is a different institution entirely — one MacArthur carefully distinguished, as it is centered upon Jesus Christ and the church he believes God built. Unlike cultural Christianity, he said it will always be there and will not ebb or flow like institutional churches.Picture3

    MacArthur went on to challenge pastors, churches and Christians to stand up and be bold and he cited Romans 1 in the Bible to describe what he believes is happening culturally in America. “Romans 1 describes exactly what is happening in America … it defines the wrath as God giving them over, giving them over, giving them over,” he said.

    But the preacher noted that there is hope in God and that it’s still possible for Christians to stand up and help draw people to the Lord.

    Find out more about MacArthur here.

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    Government is Three Times More Valuable Than God?


    A friend of mine, Ron Johns – a Sunday school teacher who like myself, lives in Toledo – sent over a speech he gave over the Easter weekend in the Toledo suburb of Perrysburg. It was at a gathering of activists who were holding the “Toledo Tax Day.”

    I loved the speech and got some terrific ammunition for tax debates – especially this gem:  “For those that don’t know; tithing is Christians giving the first 10% of their income to God and anything past that becomes an offering. Taxation for the average American for their income with all levels of government sticking their hand in the cookie jar is 30%…”

    Killer! There’s a lot more in the video below. As Ron puts it; “Two things you were always told to never talk about at family gathering has  always and will always be religion and politics. Unfortunately for myself my two favorite things to discuss are religion and politics…” 

    speech

    Original article:

    http://www.ronjohnsfortoledo.com/extremely-hilarious-comparison-god-vs-government/

    ronRon Johns has lived in Toledo all his life, graduated from Maumee High School in 2010, from there moved on to The University of Toledo and graduated in 2014 majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

    At the University of Toledo Ron lead the campus’ local Young Americans for Liberty chapter as President , wrote for the local college newspaper; The Independent Collegian and for the most part went to class.

    “Lurch” Tells the World the Priorities President Obama and the State Department; Killing Christians is Okay, Banning Same Sex Marriage is NOT


    Kerry Condemns Nigeria for Ban on Same Sex Marriage Not for Slaughter of Christians

    For the past several years, Muslims have been attacking Christians in countries like Nigeria and the United States government has said nothing to condemn the slaughter.

    Like many nations in the area and in the Middle East, Nigeria is predominately Muslim.  However, there is a significant Christian population that lives in the northern regions of the African nation.  However, Nigeria’s Muslims are determined to eradicate their country of any and all Christians.

    I’ve written in the past of Christians being slaughtered in Nigeria.  In one attack, a Muslim suicide bomber attacked a Christian church during services, killing 15 and wounding 40 others.  Since many Christians attend church on Christmas Day, this has become a favorite time for Muslim attacks.  On one recent Christmas Day, Muslims bombed several Christian churches in northern Nigeria, killing at least 25 and wounding dozens more.  After these Christmas Day attacks, the Obama administration issued an impersonal short condemnation and nothing more was said or done.

    In mid-November last year, Ann Buwalda, Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign said that around 1,200 Christians had been killed in northern Nigeria.  She didn’t say how many more had been wounded in the attacks, but surely it was several thousand.  Speaking to the Christian Post, she said:

    “We documented 1,200 Nigerian Christians in the North of Nigeria who were killed, some by Boko Haram, some by Fulani herdsmen. These two types of attacks are persistent within several of the Northern Nigerian states.”

    “With our statistic of more Christians have been killed in Northern Nigeria than the rest of the world combined.”

    “Statistically, we are looking at approximately 60 percent of the world’s Christians that were killed for their faith last year was in Northern Nigeria.”

    With Nigeria being the center of Christian genocide in the world, all US Secretary of State John Kerry can condemn Nigeria for is their recent ban on same sex marriages.  After Nigeria passed its law, Kerry released an official statement through the State Department saying:

    “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.  Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians.”

    What about the freedom of Nigeria’s Christians to assemble, associate and express their faith?  When they do assemble, they always do so in fear of being attacked by members of the religion of peace, or so we are told.

    Kerry’s statement condemning Nigeria’s new law suggested that such a law was in conflict with international law.  But isn’t the intentional genocide of any group of people a violation of international law?  Shouldn’t the world community, as well as the US, be up in arms over the murder and wounding of thousands of Christians?

    Both Barack Obama and John Kerry claim to be Christians, but they are so busy protecting the sinful and abominable lifestyle of homosexuals that they can’t be bothered to protect Christians who seems to have a much stronger faith than their own.

    How many Americans would go to church on Sunday morning if they knew there was a chance that they could be the subject of a bomb attack?  I bet many of our nation’s churches would be nearly empty.  But the Christians in Nigeria hold their faith dearly and are willing to risk their lives just to worship Jesus who died for them.

    Secretary of State John Kerry’s actions and lack thereof are sickening to me as are those of President Barack Obama.  Their liberal anti-Christian agendas are more important to them than the lives of Christians.  Obviously gays mean more to them than Christians who hold to God’s Word.  What does that say about their own Christian faith?

    BEWARE the Belief Vigilantes! (It’s not about the guy with the beard)


    They created a gi-normous list of blacklisted words. (Whoopsie! DUCKS #1 BLACKLISTED glasses & words“Blacklisted” became the first offensive words to be b****listed because it implied a racist belief). The thin-skinned ones also created a rather short list of acceptable, non-offensive words. They became the “Word Gestapos,” and roamed the land to ensure that seldom was heard a discouraging . . . or offensive word.

    Then someone pointed out that words were not the problem. In fact, they had never, ever been the problem. Words were nothing more than proof positive of beliefs held by the person speaking the words. Therefore, in order to eliminate offensive words, it would be necessary to change the offensive beliefs that had caused them to be spoken.

    And so, the thin-skinned and much-too-sensitive folks re-branded themselves as The “Belief Vigilantes,” and launched a national campaign to guarantee correct and non-offensive beliefs. CHILDREN DRESSED AS HIZBOLLAH GUERRILLAS MARCH DURING PARADE TO CELEBRATE JERUSALEM DAY IN BEIRUTThey enlisted Hollywood celebrities, film industry moguls, and left-stream media and lobbied for mandatory “belief correction” classes and rehab programs (covered by government-approved health insurance) for everyone over the age of 6.

    Next, the Belief Vigilantes launched a massive PR campaign focused on correct beliefs regarding racism, sexism, feminism, same-sex marriage, birth and climate control, Judeo/Christian beliefs, the obsolete Constitution, home schooling, red or white wine, etc., etc., etc.

    But, drats and darn (the only approved words to describe disappointment), citizens continued to live their lives, using the b***klisted words, unaware of and unaffected by the Vigilantes’ correct-belief campaign.

    In became obvious that in order to capture national attention to their cause, the Belief Vigilantes needed a scapegoat.

    Shazam! Along came a magazine interview with the perfect candidate: a bearded, self-made millionaire, reality TV star, and straight-talking founder from the Duck Kingdom. DUCKS #3 rubber ducksWhen a reporter had asked for an opinion, the Bearded One responded by expressing his beliefs regarding sexual preference and various body parts.

    Whoopie Ki Yea! The Belief Vigilantes sprang into action, screaming and yelling about how his Neanderthal comments had offended them. The brouhaha became a breaking-and-non-stop story across the country. Millions of citizens, for the first time, began discussions about how, when, where, and “IF” it was appropriate to express deeply held beliefs that might differ from deeply held beliefs of others.

    The Belief Vigilantes jumped up and down in celebration and clicked together the heels of their all-natural, handmade hemp sandals. “At last, citizens are beginning to understand the importance of correct beliefs (which we determine) and correct speech (which we also determine).”

    Empowered by the prospect of a national referendum on correct beliefs, the Vigilantes lobbied the network to demand a public apology and command the Bearded One to shut the heck up and accept suspension until it was decided if he could/would/should return to his own reality show.

    However, attempts to shame and quiet the Bearded One ran off him like water on a duck’s back. He stood tall and acknowledged that he was entitled to express his beliefs whenever, wherever, and however he wanted to, and he affirmed that same right for everyone.

    Then, an unexpected phenomenon occurred. Millions of good and decent people spoke up. “You don’t want people to express beliefs that are different from yours? Well, tough beans! We have freedom of belief and freedom of speech in this country and we’ll speak our truths whether you trolls like it or not!”

    The Belief Vigilantes whined, “Your comments have offended us.”

    Pissed-off citizens responded with, “Who the duck cares?”

    And then, in a show DUCKS #4 BO & Mof support for the Bearded One and his right to speak his beliefs, millions of moms and dads and grandmothers and grandfathers and uncles and aunts bought Duck Kingdom products and began to wear camouflage hats, scarves, and fake beards.

    A duck kazoo song-and-dance routine became wildly popular, went viral and was performed spontaneously in shopping malls around the country.

    Supporters of freedom of belief and speech had won. Broken hearted and dispirited, Belief Vigilantes suspended their activities. Many of them enrolled in de-sensitivity training. Others received thick-skin transplants (covered by government-mandated health insurance). 99% of the former Vigilantes graduated from rehab and lived happily, happily, happily ever after as productive members of society.

    What about the 1% who dropped out of rehab and retained their thin-skinned attitudes? Determined to live in a country dominated by belief control, they immigrated to North Korea and lived unhappily ever after.

    The end.

    THIS JUST IN:  Friday PM:  A&E has bowed in deference to commerce and are allowing Phil to return to filming which begins in the spring. Hmmmm.

    Molli for JoeMolli Nickell, a commentator for TheBlaze, posts additional fables at her webside: www.grannyguerrillas.com.  To look inside her book, “Uncle SCAM’S Book of Politically Incorrect Fables,  CLICK HERE. This quick-read, 96-page book will entertain, educate, and amuse the patriots as well as the low-information voters in your personal universe. Pass it around! Save 25% off the cover price of $7.95 when you order through createspace (the e-commerce division of Amazon.com). Use discount code TG4NRPFB.

    Want to See How State Run Schools Look Like?


    Teacher’s 3rd grade lesson presents messianic view of Obama – literally

    Posted  by on Nov 26, 2013 in

    http://joeforamerica.com/2013/11/teachers-3rd-grade-lesson-presents-messianic-view-obama-literally/#V7kbgKZZ1YFeORUu.99

    And – surprise – it’s Common Core-aligned.

    The lesson plan and accompanying visual presentation were authored by Sherece  Bennett, and is for sale onTeachersPayTeachers.com. It’s all based on  a book titled, “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope,” by Nikki  Grimes.

    The book is read aloud in the video below.

    In one passage, a young Obama sees beggars and wonders, “Will I ever be able  to help people like these?”

    “Hope hung deep inside of him,” the book adds.

    Another excerpt from the book reads: “Before dawn each morning, Barry rose – his mother’s voice driving him from dream land. ‘Time for learning English  grammar and the Golden Rule. Be honest, be kind, be fair,’ she taught him.”

    The story continues: “One morning, he slipped on the name he’d been born  with. The name of his father, Barack. For the first time in his life, he wore it  proudly – like a coat of many colors.”

    Uh oh – another Obama-inspired Biblical reference in a government school! But  there’s no controversy here. Leftists will use God and the Bible, in instances  such as these, when it appropriately fits their propaganda purposes.

    messianicNo story about Barack Obama would be complete  without mentioning his work as a community organizer. The book describes those  days in dramatic fashion:

    “The work was grueling, with stretches of failure, and puny patches of  success. Door-to-door Barack went, early mornings, late nights, pleading and  preaching, coaxing strangers to march together, to make life better for  everyone.

    “He worked as hard as a farmer, planting the words ‘Yes, we can!’ like seeds  in spring.

    “Impatient, Barack kept wondering if those seeds would ever sprout. He  worried that the hope in him would fade away.”

    This mythical interpretation of Obama was the #1 New York Times bestselling  picture-book biography of Obama, according to Amazon.com.

    Bennett’s lesson calls for students as young as third grade to read Grimes’ book and do a number of activities, including making a collage of Obama:

    “Have students bring in magazines and photos of President Obama. Have  students create a collage about Barack Obama based on the information from the  text. The collage should represent pictures and words about Barack Obama.”

    Grimes’ book and Bennett’s lesson plan are more fitting for an authoritarian  regime in which children are taught to deify and praise their dear leader.  One can almost envision teachers in Cuba, Venezuela and Iran using similar books  and lessons.

    Thankfully, that’s not the American way, which makes these learning materials  completely unsuitable for our classrooms.

    Still, given the large number of activist teachers in the U.S., there’s a  very real possibility this is the version of Barack Obama’s history many of our  young students are learning in a school near you.

    The Mysterious Paradox of Liberal Tolerance


    http://lastresistance.com/3815/mysterious-paradox-liberal-tolerance/#xdGigXycqfe0leUE.99

    Posted By on Nov 26, 2013

    Tolerant Liberal's Car

    For many years, every time I saw a “Coexist” bumper sticker, I would get  perturbed in my spirit, and I didn’t really know why. It wasn’t that I felt  criticized. Particularly speaking, I’m an open and forgiving sort. I love  discourse and conversation, and the command to “coexist” with people who  disagreed with me didn’t seem to have any teeth. I was already doing that.

    It wasn’t until recently that I realized exactly why this bumper sticker is  so patently false in concept and sentiment. To tell others to “coexist” indicates, for one, that you do not think they are coexisting.  But, also, it is in itself an imperative, even a religious imperative.  Apparently, the people who display these bumper stickers on their cars have not  thought this out.

    This might make a good bumper sticker in response (if it weren’t so wordy of  course): “Coexist is a moral imperative. Perhaps you should learn to get  along with people without telling them what to do.” Which amounts to, “Why don’t you coexist?” Ironically, the inclusion of all  these current religious symbols indicates that various  religions already are coexisting, at least in the strictest sense of the  word. It is the very “tolerant” person driving around with a one word sermon  pasted to his bumper that feels most compelled to tell everyone else  how they should think and what they should believe.

    The very foundation of liberal tolerance is therefore a paradox, to put it  graciously. It might, perhaps more accurately, be called a “self-contradiction.” Moral philosophers have been talking about it for quite some time. Even as far  back as the nascent years of the American Republic in 1783, Ezra Stiles, then  president of Yale, preached  a sermon to the Connecticut General Assembly (But what about separation of  church and state?!), in which he criticized the so-called open-mindedness of the “Coexist” faction of his own day—the Deists. His words are worth repeating:

    I pity from my heart . . . those who are caught in the vortex, and are  captivated with the wily satirical delusory and deficient reasonings of deism.  Elevated with the pride of mental enlargement, of a supposed untrammeled  understanding, they ascend aloft above the clouds of prejudices into the Pisgah  heights, from whence they fancy that they see all religions the same,  that is, equally nothing but priestcraft and artificial error. Whereupon they  complement themselves as endowed with a superiority of discernment in morals,  with high sensibility, sentimental and liberal ideas, and charm themselves with  other fine self-applied diction, which in truth only clothes the tedium of  weariness of half-discussed unfinished inquiries; or perhaps the hope that at  worst the want of certain knowledge may pass with God, if there is any, as a  sufficient excuse for some of the doubtful levities of life.

    I’m afraid many modern skeptics may not be educated enough to realize just  how insulting that was. Let me put in plainer terms: Moral skeptics and  irreligious people are not freed from morality or religion by their skepticism  and supposed “open-mindedness.” They are in fact most to be pitied because they  are freed from the virtues of religion while still retaining its  vices—self-righteousness and hypocrisy. The modern “tolerant” liberal is only  tolerant in broad terms. When it comes to specifics, he still holds his own  version of ethics and morality to be higher and better than any other. That is  the paradox and irony of both the “coexist” bumper sticker and the immutable  modern doctrine of tolerance. In a sense, what it is saying is, “My irreligious  stance is better and more reasonable than all religions. All religious people  should therefore follow my moral and religious code. They should all  become active members in the church of me.”

    [Humans] are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that  torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the  first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door. Do what you will,  there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s  soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbors  whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote  circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real  and the benevolence largely imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming  his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is  growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the  train. Think of your man as a series of concentric circles, his will being the  innermost, his intellect coming next, and finally his fantasy. You can hardly  hope, at once, to exclude from all the circles everything that smells of the  Enemy: but you must keep on shoving all the virtues outward till they are  finally located in the circle of fantasy, and all the desirable qualities inward  into the Will. It is only in so far as they reach the will and are there  embodied in habits that the virtues are really fatal to us. (I don’t, of course,  mean what the patient mistakes for his will, the conscious fume and fret of  resolutions and clenched teeth, but the real centre, what the Enemy calls the  Heart.) All sorts of virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the  intellect or even, in some measure, loved and admired, will not keep a man from  our Father’s house: indeed they may make him more amusing when he gets  there. [Emphasis added]

    That is an apt description of liberal tolerance: it positively raves about  general love for humankind, the celebration of diversity, and the acceptance of  all differences. But when it comes to specifics, it is even more close-minded  and malicious toward diverse opinions and practices than any rabid religious  fundamentalism. Aside from making a person feel better about themselves, general  tolerance is ultimately and practically useless. I would much rather be  tolerant specifically than seem tolerant generally. General tolerance  purports to serve all of mankind. In the end, it serves only the “tolerant” person’s own ego.

    There are many historical examples of liberal tolerance faltering in  particulars, but one that is presently fresh in my mind comes  from Gone With the Wind. In it, Scarlett O’Hara muses about the  relationship of the Northern abolitionists to the Southern slaves. This is a  classic example of Screwtape humanitarianism, and this particular brand is still  alive and well actually:

    What damnably queer people Yankees are! Those women [Yankee women who had  just told Scarlett they wouldn’t trust a “negro” to be a nurse to their  children, and who had insulted Scarlett’s black chauffeur, Uncle Peter, to his  face] seemed to think that because Uncle Peter was black, he had no ears to hear  with and no feelings, as tender as their own, to be hurt. . . . They didn’t  understand negroes or the relations between the negroes and their former  masters. Yet they fought a war to free them. And having freed them, they didn’t  want to have anything to do with them, except to use them to terrorize  Southerners. They didn’t like them, didn’t trust them, didn’t understand them,  and yet their constant cry was that Southerners didn’t know how to get along  with them.

    In other words, the myth of liberal tolerance, open-mindedness, and good will  has been going on for years, and many people have been taken in by it. It is  likely that, in fact, the most deceived people of all about liberal tolerance  are liberals themselves.

    So, next time someone tells you that you’re close-minded and intolerant, and  that you need to learn to “coexist,” I hope you have the forbearance and grace  to show that person real love by attempting, as futile as the attempt may be, to  disabuse them of their self-delusions.

    The Purposed Racial Division in America


    by // http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/07/the-purposed-racial-division-in-america/#ixzz2aZBm6n00

    Since President Obama’s been president, racial division has escalated. That racial division has come from the president himself and a number of prominent racialists who are always leading the way in keeping racial divisions alive.

    If racial divisions evaporate, so do political advantages. A similar thing is going on in the Middle East. What unifies the Muslim world is a common hatred for Israel. Peace with Israel would mean Islam would have to deal with its inherent problems.

    Trayvon Martin is a racial red herring. It’s a tragedy that’s being used to mask what’s wrong with much of black culture, a culture that was in many ways created by our own government and egged on by self-appointed racialists, including the president. Consider the following:

    “If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise,” Obama said in an interview published Sunday by The New York Times. “Racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot. If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested, ” he said.

    While channel surfing, I came across The House I Live In (1945), a short film starring Frank Sinatra. Made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II, it received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946. It reminded me of where I grew up.

    While Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my hometown, is not as ethnically diverse as a city like New York, it had a similar ethnic and cultural mix. I grew up with other Italians, Irish, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, and Jewish families. When I was in the seventh grade, I got to know several black students. The high school I attended was equally diverse. While it wasn’t perfect, and neither were we, it was, as they say, the best years of our lives.

    What made our neighborhood work so well? While we did not all share the same ethnic or religious backgrounds, we did share a common moral background. The disintegration of neighborhoods, schools, and governments today is not a result of migrating ethnic groups. Rather, the disintegration is taking place through the importation of moral diversity. A generation or two ago, our ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity did not keep us apart because we shared the same moral values.

    Today, multiculturalism is more than an appreciation of varied cultural expressions; it’s part of an overall philosophy of life. As it is being framed by social engineers, school curricula, and special interest groups, multiculturalism is intimately tied to ethics. An appreciation of diverse cultures is being used as a dodge to smuggle in aberrational moral standards that have the effect of diluting the impact of biblical Christianity. Multiculturalism is a type of moral polytheism: many moral law-orders based on many gods.

    Generations ago, immigrants assimilated. They adopted a unified American culture while celebrating their ethnic and cultural heritage; and no one minded. Think of the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). Today, there are groups who don’t want to be Americans. They want Americans to acquiesce to their ethnic and moral diversity. In fact, some of them want to impose their minority status on the rest of us while they remain excluded from the mainstream. For them, politics is the way to make us conform to their way of thinking.

    In 2007, The House I Live In was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It’s a peek into another era that is a distant memory for people my age and another world for the younger set.

    Plot

    Frank Sinatra, playing himself, takes a smoking break from a recording session. He sees a group of ten boys chasing another boy and intervenes. He asks them if they’re Nazis and explains a few things about America, blood banks, World War II, and teamwork. He then tells a story how following the bombing at Pearl Harbor there was a successful American attack on an enemy warship. It was carried out by a Christian and a Jew of different religions fighting for the same cause. His main points are that we are “all” Americans because we share a set of common ideals.

    The boys take Sinatra’s words to heart as they walk down the alley. The boy being chased is welcomed into the group and shows his appreciation to Sinatra’s intervention and kind but sober words.

    See the video short, “The House I Live In”: http://youtu.be/woZVlroHqPU

     

    Case On Religious Counseling of Homosexuals Wanting Out Could Set Precedent


    by // http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/07/case-on-religious-counseling-of-homosexuals-wanting-out-could-set-precedent/#ixzz2Zths9x4d

    Even though homosexuality is becoming more acceptable in today’s hedonistic society, it still carries a stigma about it as it should.  God says it’s an abomination.  It’s a sinful lifestyle, just like stealing, lying, incest, pedophilia, lust, greed and murder.

    Gay activists believe that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.  They also encourage millions of children and teens to explore same-sex attractions.  However, it’s not okay for a homosexual to explore normal straight relationships or seek counseling to help themselves overcome their sinful lifestyle and desires.  In fact, they feel so strongly about any form of counseling or therapy that helps homosexuals leave the lifestyle that they have tried to pass laws in California banning the practice.

    Now, gay activists are filing lawsuits against religious organizations that help counsel those who want to overcome their homosexuality and lead a normal life.  One such religious group is JONAH (Jews Offer New Alternative for Healing).  Their mission statement reads:

    “JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, is a non-profit international organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions. JONAH works directly with those struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions (SSA) and with families whose loved ones are involved in homosexuality.”

    “Our Rabbinical sages explain that because mankind has been endowed by our Creator with a free will, everyone has the capacity to change. Furthermore, the Rabbis emphasize that parents, teachers and counselors have a special responsibility to educate, nurture, and provide an opportunity for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions to journey out of homosexuality.”

    “Through psychological and spiritual counseling, peer support, and self-empowerment, JONAH seeks to reunify families, to heal the wounds surrounding homosexuality, and to provide hope.”

    JONAH like most other religion based counseling groups does not go out and hunt down homosexuals and force them to convert to a straight life.  Rather they provide the counseling and support to those who seek it voluntarily.  The nearly 70 religious groups that provide counseling to help those who want help all report a number of success stories and can document that the counseling and therapy do work.

    Gay activists know that these groups are being successful and they can’t allow that to happen.  In typical liberal fashion, they attack the religious groups by claiming they are frauds and that they are hurting people.  They fear the success of groups like JONAH so much that they are now taking legal actions against them.

    A far left-wing liberal group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against JONAH, claiming they are frauds and want the courts to stop them from saving anymore people from their debauched lifestyles.  Charles LiMandri, President and Chief Counsel of Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund is representing JONAH in their court hearing that started last week.  He says that SPLC is doing their best to deprive homosexuals to their right of self-determination and religious freedom when they consider that the Torah teaches that it is a forbidden sin.

    LiMandri described the lawsuit saying:

    “The SPLC is taking the position that telling homosexuals that you can help them overcome same sex attractions is a fraud, that there’s nothing wrong with having same sex attractions and there’s nothing wrong with being involved in homosexual behavior.”

    “Because JONAH is a religiously-based organization, the idea it follows is that homosexuality is disordered.  Not because it’s a mental disease or defect, but because it’s a sinful behavior and it’s against God’s plan.”

    LiMandri was planning to ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit on constitutional grounds including the First Amendment right of freedom of religion.

    Whether you realize it or not, there is a lot riding on this lawsuit.  If SPLC wins, it will give every other gay rights group the legal precedent to challenge and stop all religious groups from trying to help those who seek help.  Homosexuals who want to change and want someone to help them overcome their sinful lifestyle will have no one left to turn to for help.  They will be left to struggle on their own and often that struggle can lead to serious consequences including suicide.  It would also mean a severe legal blow against the First Amendment rights to the freedom of religion and speech, further weakening our already crumbling Constitution.

    It Takes More Faith to Believe in Evolution that Creation


    Journalist Virginia Heffernan Admits She’s a Creationist and Drives Evolutionists Crazy

    by http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/07/journalist-virginia-heffernan-admits-shes-a-creationist-and-drives-evolutionists-crazy/#ixzz2ZFDJOQps

    In the midst of the George Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict, rioting, beatings, threats of violence, calls for “checking your white privilege,” and demands that we “give money to the Dream Defenders, to the Urban League, to the Southern Poverty Law Center … because racism is a natural disaster just like hurricanes and bombings and shootings are,” there’s a story going around about  journalist Virginia Heffernan who admits she’s a creationist.

    The liberal disdain for Virginia Heffernan is thicker than quick-drying cement. Here’s just one example, written by Laura Helmuth at Slate:

    “This is all just to say that I am trying to sympathize, I really am, with Virginia Heffernan. Heffernan is a writer for Yahoo News, formerly of the New York Times and formerly-formerly a TV critic for Slate. Last week she published an essay in which she revealed that she is a creationist. I’m not exaggerating. The essay is titled ‘Why I’m a Creationist,’ and she wrote: ‘Also, at heart, I am a creationist. There, I said it.’”

    The article drips with disdain but does not offer a single verifiable scientific fact supporting how nothing became something.

    Evolutionists can ridicule all they want (it’s all they have left), but they can’t prove that inorganic matter evolved into organic matter that evolved into the complex life forms we are and see around us. Evolutionists can’t get from atoms to people. It’s even worse for them since they can’t account for the original matter or the organized information necessary to organize the matter.

    To believe in evolution is to believe in magic — literally. At least stage and street magicians start with a deck of cards, a coin, or a rabbit. Magicians can’t really make something appear out of thin air. But that’s exactly what evolutionists claim for evolution. When I say exactly, I mean exactly. Here’s an example found in the prestigious Scientific American:

    “It is virtually impossible to imagine how a cell’s machines, which are mostly protein-based catalysts called enzymes, could have formed spontaneously as life first arose from nonliving matter around 3.7 billion years ago.”[1]

    It’s impossible to imagine because it’s impossible, but that’s what evolutionists believe. One of the first scientific truths a biology student learns is that spontaneous generation is not science, and yet in order to be an evolutionist, you must believe in it even though it’s contrary to logic, experience, and experimentation.

    Did you notice that the authors describe cells as “machines”? When has a machine ever spontaneously come into existence? Never! “But there was this time 3.7 billion years ago. . . .”

    Helmuth writes, “Whatever levels of analysis you care to use, from molecular to planetary, they all mutually reinforce the discovery that all living things evolve through a process of natural selection. Absolutely nothing in the 154 years since Origin was published has undermined the theory.” “Absolutely nothing”? Do I detect a hint of desperation and fear?

    OK, Laura, like you, I started with the molecular. Using observation (no one was around 3.7 billion years ago and no one has seen nothing become something) and experimentation (no one has been able to produce life in the lab), demonstrate to us how evolution took place. Don’t theorize. Don’t assert. Don’t propagandize. Show us. You can’t and neither can Richard Dawkins or any other evolutionist living or dead.

    Read more:

    Why I’m a creationist

    Virginia Heffernan, Yahoo News

    July 11, 2013 // http://news.yahoo.com/why-im-a-creationist-141907217.html
    In this May 2013 photo provided by Google, a giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen­Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera, a tortoise breeding center, which is managed by the Galapagos National Park Service, in Ecuador. Few have laid eyes on many of the volcanic islands of the Galapagos archipelago that remain closed to tourists. But soon the curious will be able to explore these places that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution from their computers or mobile devices. Google Maps sent crews armed with backpack-mounted Street View cameras and underwater gear to the Galapagos, and will be bringing the islands' natural wonders to the Internet. (AP Photo/Google)
    > In this May 2013 photo provided by Google, a giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin …

    As a child I fell in love with technology, but I have to admit I never fell in love with science. I kept hoping that messing around with Macs and Atari and eventually the Internet would nudge me closer to caring about the periodic table, Louis Pasteur and the double-blind studies that now seem to stand for science. As it was, I only cared about the double-blind studies that told me what I wanted to hear—that potatoes are good for you or that people of my height are generally happy—and I liked the phrase “double-blind” when it was on my side because it meant “true” and “take that.”

    I assume that other people love science and technology, since the fields are often lumped together, but I rarely meet people like that. Technology people are trippy; our minds are blown by the romance of telecom. At the same time, the people I know who consider themselves scientists by nature seem to be super-skeptical types who can be counted on to denigrate religion, fear climate change and think most people—most Americans—are dopey sheep who believe in angels and know nothing about all the gross carbon they trail, like “Pig-Pen.”

    I like most people. I don’t fear environmental apocalypse. And I don’t hate religion. Those scientists no doubt see me as a dopey sheep who believes in angels and is carbon-ignorant. I have to say that they may be right.

    In the hazy Instagram picture I have in my mind of the mechanisms that animate my ingenious smartphone—a picture that slips in and out of focus, and one I constantly revise—it might as well be angels. At the same time, I have read and heard brilliantly serpentine arguments for and against fracking, not to mention for and against cities and coal and paper (it sidelines carbon and decomposes! it is toxic industrial waste!), and I still don’t know right from wrong when it comes to carbon. All I know is one side of these debates seems maybe slightly more bloodthirsty and opportunistic than the other—but now I can’t remember which one.

    Also, at heart, I am a creationist. There, I said it. At least you, dear readers, won’t now storm out of a restaurant like the last person I admitted that to. In New York City saying you’re a creationist is like confessing you think Ahmadinejad has a couple of good points. Maybe I’m the only creationist I know.

    This is how I came to it. Like many people, I heard no end of Bible stories as a kid, but in the 1970s in New England they always came with the caveat that they were metaphors. So I read the metaphors of Genesis and Exodus and was amused and bugged and uplifted and moved by them. And then I guess I wanted to know the truth of how the world began, so I was handed the Big Bang. That wasn’t a metaphor, but it wasn’t fact either. It was something called a hypothesis. And it was only a sentence. I was amused and moved, but considerably less amused and moved by the character-free Big Bang story (“something exploded”) than by the twisted and picturesque misadventures of Eve and Adam and Cain and Abel and Abraham.

    Later I read Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” and “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, as well as probably a dozen books about evolution and atheism, from Stephen Jay Gould to Sam Harris.

    The Darwin, with good reason, stuck with me. Though it’s sometimes poetic, “The Origin of Species” has an enchantingly arid English tone to it; this somber tone was part of a deliberate effort to mark it as science and not science fiction—the “Star Trek” of its time. The book also alights on a tautology that, like all tautologies, is gloriously unimpeachable: Whatever survives survives.

    But I still wasn’t sure why a book that never directly touches on human evolution, much less the idea of God, was seen as having unseated the story of creation. In short, “The Origin of Species” is not its own creation story. And while the fact that it stints on metaphor—so as to avoid being like H.G. Wells—neither is it bedrock fact. It’s another hypothesis.

    Cut to now. I still read and read and listen and listen. And I have never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God. The evolutionary psychologists with their just-so stories for everything (“You use a portable Kindle charger because mothers in the primordial forest gathered ginseng”) have become more contradictory than Leviticus. Did you all see that ev-psych now says it’s women who are naturally not monogamous, in spite of the same folks telling us for decades that women are desperate to secure resources for their kids so they frantically sustain wedlock with a rich silverback who will keep them in cashmere?

    Sigh. When a social science, made up entirely of observations and hypotheses, tells us first that men are polygamous and women homebodies, and then that men are monogamous and women gallivanters—and, what’s more builds far-fetched protocols of dating and courtship and marriage and divorce around these notions—maybe it’s time to retire the whole approach.

    All the while, the first books of the Bible are still hanging around. I guess I don’t “believe” that the world was created in a few days, but what do I know? Seems as plausible (to me) as theoretical astrophysics, and it’s certainly a livelier tale. As “Life of Pi” author Yann Martel once put it, summarizing his page-turner novel: “1) Life is a story. 2) You can choose your story. 3) A story with God is the better story.”

    He who will not work…


    Posted by  http://joeforamerica.com/2013/07/he-who-will-not-work/

     

    This past Sunday in church it was my turn to do the Bible readings on which the sermon text was based.  I love giving the readings because there are few things to equal the majesty of reading Scripture out loud. And it was an extra pleasure because the New Testament readings were one of my favorites: 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-10

    “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

    This echoed an interesting post my friend Enola Gay recently had on her blog. Her grandfather sent her a piece called The Truth of the Welfare State, which expresses the frustration many of us feel:

    Like most folks in this country, I have a job.  I work, they pay me.  I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.  In order to get that paycheck, in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem). What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test.So, here is my question:  Shouldn’t one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet.  I do, one the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their BUTT doing drugs or whatever they want while I work.Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

    I guess we could call the program “URINE OR YOU’RE OUT”!

    This all reinforces the Great Divide in this country.  No, it’s not the Haves vs. the Have Nots.  It’s becoming the “Work” vs. the “Work Nots.”

    Please note the Bible verse says “The one who is UNWILLING to work.”  Other versions say “shall not work” or “will not work.”  This differs greatly from CANNOT work.

    People cannot work for a huge variety of reasons.  Some are too old.  Some are disabled.  Some are too young.  Some are single mothers (I distinguish between women who have been abandoned by their men versus women who crank out babies for profit).  And, especially in this economy, many are simply unable to find work, no matter how hard they try.

    This greatly differs from those who WILL NOT work.

    There are very few among us in this nation who are not willing to help those who are truly in need.  When we see people who are UNABLE to work, collectively there is a deep-seated instinct to help.  That’s one of the reasons I admire and support such organizations as the Union Gospel Mission, which takes people off the street and “teaches them to fish” rather than merely “giving” them fish (to paraphrase the old saying).  Charities such as this are privately run, efficient, and deserving of praise.

    But just as there is a deep-seated instinct among us to help those in need, there is equally a deep-seated resentment among us to have our hard-earned money forcibly removed from our pockets and “redistributed” to those who, quite often, are UNWILING to work.

    Giving money to those unwilling to work is cruel.  It destroys their incentive, ruins their work ethic, and supplies a false sense of entitlement.  It rips families apart (since the man is no longer necessary as the critical breadwinner).  It teaches children that age-old virtues are unnecessary.

    In short, giving UN-earned money may well lead, directly or indirectly, to the destruction of our nation.  It’s a chain-reaction downward spiral, apparently encouraged by our government so it has a built-in cadre of dependent voters willing to keep the entitlements coming if only they vote in the same ol’ politicians.

    I would dearly love my girls to inherit a nation worthy of them.  We are endeavoring to teach them that hard work, self-sufficiency (from government assistance), and independence are the tickets toward true freedoms.  But our government is burning these notions down around their ears.

    GIVE ME DEATH


    If Barack Obama didn’t tell Lois Lerner to target his enemies it’s because he didn’t have to. She knows who her boss is and they’re happy as hell with the job she did to help silence Tea Party, religious and conservative groups going into the 2012 election. Ms. Lerner hasn’t been charged, fired, or even had her computer unplugged. She took the Fifth and got a promotion administering ObamaCare.

    My point is the Obama Administration is more than willing to use the power of the Federal government to deny Americans their Constitutional rights. “There is no direct link to the White House…” So what? When a baseball team is in last place no one says; “There’s no direct link to the manager. He wasn’t at bat or playing the field – he had nothing to do with it…” It’s his team, just like this is Barack Obama’s team. The manager and most of the players have got to go and this President is no different, except there are probably high crimes and misdemeanors involved here.

    I care about Edward Snowden only to the extent that he’s the reason we’re talking about the NSA trolling billions of phone calls, email messages, texts, videos and other means of private communications. Apparently, the information Mr. Snowden “leaked” was already out there but other NSA whistleblowers, Bill Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe, who “did it right,” got harassed, were retaliated against, and most importantly – nothing changed at the NSA, except It got bigger and more secretive. Defenders say the programs are effective and agents can only collect the data, not actually look at it without a court order. Yeah, about that…

    In a secret Capitol Hill briefing, the NSA recently disclosed that thousands of analysts have the authority to listen to domestic phone calls. That goes for email and text messages as well. And when I say “secret” Capitol Hill briefing, I of course mean  everyone knows about it. This would be funny if the story didn’t end with me kicking someone’s ass in the gulag. In light of such clear evidence this Administration is not to be trusted with information; why would we grant them the ability to collect this ‘meta-data’? It’s insane. Do I have to list the other Obama scandals that involve secrecy, deception, obfuscation and outright lies?

    You know how it’s not cool to make a joke about a bomb when you’re at the airport? Do it and you’ll be detained for hours and be put on a list or two. Does the airport bomb-joke rule go for private conversations, emails, or texts now? Is there even such a thing as a private conversation now? If someone at the NSA finds something they deem suspicious, can they go back years and listen to everything you say to anyone – on the phone, email, text, video – whatever? What’s stopping them from investigating your friends and family using the powers granted to them to catch terrorists? Is this just a continuation of Bush policies or is it much, much bigger as Mr. Snowden claims – a Marxist conspiracy by Chicago thugs?

    My point is, do I have to watch what I say on the phone or email for fear Big Brother will become suspicious? They have all my records now and just need to get a FISA court to sign off on further intrusion. How would I know they’re investigating me and everyone I’ve ever called, emailed or texted? And what if I did something private I don’t want anyone else to see? Just to be clear: It’s none of your business. I don’t need another reason.

    Trusting government to follow the law are Boehner, Feinstein, Rogers, Saxby, McCain, Reid and others who have been collecting a government paycheck since before the Louisiana purchase. Then there’s Karl Rove who said on Fox that folks opposed to NSA programs must also be against local police forces who use the same type of intelligence gathering to solve crime. Mr. Rove – I haven’t committed a crime! I haven’t been accused of one either, and I damn sure don’t want government agents collecting my records without cause for any reason. patrick henry2

    There are people I do respect on a certain Fox News Show… let’s just say it’s on at FIVE, who say these are necessary anti-terrorist programs because if just one nuclear bomb gets through we’re all dead. I’m not going to say their names because I sincerely think they’re both solid people and great conservatives, but their initials are Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld. Question, you two: Does “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death” ring a bell? Did you miss the part where Eric Holder goes from judge to judge until he finds one to sign off on James Rosen being a co-conspirator and a flight-risk? Now we’re supposed to believe they wouldn’t do the same with a FISA court? Did the IRS petition anybody to deny Obama’s enemies their civil rights?

    Look at what this President and Congress has done over the past five years with the dollar, the military, the economy, welfare, unemployment. Talk about endangering the well-being of the country – they’ve done a million more times damage to the safety and defense of this nation than Edward Snowden ever could. It’s shocking to me that we’re even debating giving them these kind of powers after all the questions about voting irregularities in the last election. Ask anyone who escaped a place of tyranny if they think this is a good idea.

    With every phone record, text, and email of everyone in the nation at hand, a motivated administration could easily fix a national election. You don’t think they’d be on board with that? These are the same people who give automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels in order to gin up a phony gun crisis here in America to push their anti-Second Amendment crusade. They invented a crazy anti-video riot to cover-up the deaths in Benghazi. These are bad, bad, people who should not have any power at all, much less this kind. This NSA matter isn’t about terrorism, it’s about you. Controlling you. Ten years ago, I would have called myself crazy for saying that.

    2014 is right around the corner.

    A Great Message of Hope


    Tyrants, You Are Warned!

    “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”

    – Napoleon Bonaparte

    On a daily basis, America’s biblical and constitutional foundation is under hostile attack by atheist and homosexual groups that are being used as a political battering ram in an attempt to usher in communism.

    For example, an atheist group filed a brief on Feb. 15 fighting the federal government’s motion in support of a permanent shrine to Jesus in the Flathead National Forest. Outrageous!

    (I find that these groups operate on the defense rather than the offense, falling into the very holes they themselves have dug (Psalm 7:15).)

    Another example: Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has defied the Defense of Marriage Act and unilaterally issued a directive stating that the U.S. military will now extend certain benefits to unmarried domestic partners that were formerly reserved for married couples—but will only do so if the domestic partners certify in writing to the Department of Defense that they are of the same sex. Absurd!

    The question is, who has been responsible for encouraging the onslaught of attacks against America’s Christian heritage and constitutional republic? You need not look any further than Obama and his vile minions for the answer.

    Scripture comes to my aid: “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted” (Psalm 12:8).

    Barack Hussein Obama has been labeled the “Architect of a New America” by Time magazine, and Newsweek featured him as the “First Gay President.” Obama is also known as America’s most biblically hostile president. He has placed himself above We the People time and time again, as if to say we derive our rights from Obama instead of God.

    Obama has personally attacked biblical values, the bedrock of our republic, over 50 times since he took office.

    Day by day, Obama’s tyrannical measures are beginning to take shape. And what should America expect from one who is at war with God?

    It is clear to see the narcissism of this president, but just as obvious is the hypocrisy and lack of duty from the professed church and the modern government (leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, Mark 8:15). After all, leaders will only do what the people let them get away with.

    Theologian John Calvin said, “And ye, O peoples, to whom God gave the liberty 
to choose your own magistrates, 
see to it that 
ye do not forfeit this favor 
by electing to the positions of highest honor, 
rascals and enemies of God.”

    Study the Past

    At the entrance of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., you will see a monument stating, “Study the Past.”

    Why study the past? Our forefathers suggested this so we might learn from history, so it does not repeat itself.

    History has shown time and time again that when a nation departs from God, there will be a tyrant in the midst attempting to move into His position. Then follows devastation and massive loss of life. This is what God warned would happen to nations that refuse keep His commandments (Leviticus 26:21).

    God commands us to go back to the old paths “where is the good way” (Jeremiah 6:16), not to dare His justice by taking on the new paths.

    Here are ten lessons men have learned from history:

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    6.

    7.

    8.

    9.

    10.

    Nothing.

    Indeed, America is emulating those who have not learned from history. If you do not learn from the lessons history has to teach, then history will repeat itself.

    History also teaches a lesson to tyrants who are at war with God and attempt to usurp His law (Isaiah 14:13-15). What man forgets, God will not.

    What did Bonaparte say? Those who oppose God and His Word will be conquered – and that is exactly what history teaches us.

    Let me show you the little-known history of those who dared to crucify Christ, kill His apostles and behead John the Baptist. Let me also show you what happened to tyrant Mussolini, French Queen Marie Antoinette, godless Voltaire and the vain Senate of Rome: Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QskhAlKJsBE&feature=player_embedded

     

    More Christian Persecution Within the United States


    USA Trying to Deport Christian Homeschooling Family Knowing They Face Persecution

    romeike_family_2Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are Christians and the parents of six children.  When their kids attended the German public schools, they were bullied and harassed because of being Christians.  The parents began looking into the schools and what their kids were being taught.  They found a number of objectionable and inappropriate things in the textbooks that they didn’t want their kids learning.

    They strongly believed that their children would receive a better education grounded in biblical principles by being schooled at home rather than having their children indoctrinated by the German schools.  Uwe said:

    “We knew that homeschooling would not be an easy journey.”

    However, the German government had made homeschooling illegal and actively pursued Christian families who tried to homeschool their children.  In 2008, the Romeike family was ripped apart when government officials stepped in and forcibly removed the kids from the home.  The parents were fined thousands of euros.

    Their only hope was to seek political asylum in a country that allowed Christians to homeschool, so they applied to the US for asylum.  A US immigration judge ruled in 2010 that the family did face persecution from the German government and granted the Romeike family political asylum.  The family moved and settled in Tennessee.

    Remember at last month when President Obama issued his Religious Freedom Day proclamation?  He said:

    “Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace.”

    “As we observe Religious Freedom Day, let us remember the legacy of faith and independence we have inherited, and let us honor it by forever upholding our right to exercise our beliefs free from prejudice or persecution…”

    Here’s how he lives up to his statement.

    US Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Homeland Security are fighting the political asylum status.  Holder claims that the family’s fundamental rights have not been violated by Germany’s law forbidding families from homeschooling.  They have asked the courts to withdraw the family’s political asylum and have them deported back to Germany.

    The Home School legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is representing the Romeikes family and fighting to have them stay in the US.  They say that:

    “The U.S. law of asylum allows a refugee to stay in the United States permanently if he can show that he is being persecuted for one of several specific reasons. Among these are persecution for religious reasons and persecution of a ‘particular social group.’”

    “In most asylum cases, there is some guesswork necessary to figure out the government’s true motive—but not in this case. The Supreme Court of Germany declared that the purpose of the German ban on homeschooling was to ‘counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.’”

    “This sounds elegant, perhaps, but at its core it is a frightening concept. This means that the German government wants to prohibit people who think differently from the government (on religious or philosophical grounds) from growing and developing into a force in society.”

    “The Romeikes’ case is before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The case for the government is officially in the name of the Attorney General of the United States. The case is called Romeike v. Holder. Thus, the brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice is filed on behalf of the attorney general himself—although we can be reasonably certain he has not personally read it. Nonetheless, it is a statement of the position of our government at a very high level.”

    “We argued that Germany is a party to many human rights treaties that contain specific provisions that protect the right of parents to provide an education that is different from the government schools. Parents have the explicit right to give their children an education according to their own philosophy.”

    “While the United States government argued many things in their brief, there are three specific arguments that you should know about.”

    “First, they argued that there was no violation of anyone’s protected rights in a law that entirely bans homeschooling. There would only be a problem if Germany banned homeschooling for some but permitted it for others.”

    “A second argument is revealing. The U.S. government contended that the Romeikes’ case failed to show that there was any discrimination based on religion because, among other reasons, the Romeikes did not prove that all homeschoolers were religious, and that not all Christians believed they had to homeschool.”

    “This argument demonstrates another form of dangerous “group think” by our own government. The central problem here is that the U.S. government does not understand that religious freedom is an individual right. One need not be a part of any church or other religious group to be able to make a religious freedom claim. Specifically, one doesn’t have to follow the dictates of a church to claim religious freedom—one should be able to follow the dictates of God Himself.”

    “One final argument from Romeikes deserves our attention. One of the grounds for asylum is if persecution is aimed at a “particular social group.” The definition of a “particular social group” requires a showing of an “immutable” characteristic that cannot change or should not be required to be changed. We contend that German homeschoolers are a particular social group who are being persecuted by their government.”

    If they are returned to Germany, the couple could be facing more large fines, jail time and the loss of their children.  If this is not a violation of the family’s fundamental rights, then I don’t know what is.  Perhaps more importantly to all homeschoolers in America is that if Holder wins this case, there is the possibility that it could serve as a legal precedent for Obama’s efforts to outlaw homeschooling here in the US.

    What gets me really hot under the collar on this case is that Holder and the DHS are allowing nearly a million illegal aliens to remain in the US, still illegally, while trying to deport a family who only wants to homeschool their children.  When Obama penned that proclamation last month, he was lying out both sides of his mouth and had no intention of doing anything for any Christian.  He’ll leap tall buildings to defend the rights of Muslim and gays, but he’ll turn his back and walk away from Christians.  The hypocrisy of the Obama administration is enough to make me want to vomit.

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