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Religious Freedom 3: Time for Push Back, Defending Religious Freedom vs. Secularism Attacks

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Religious Freedom 3: Time for Push Back, Defending Religious Freedom vs. Secularism Attacks For anyone who has a religious faith, by far the most important part of exercising that faith is the teaching of that religion to our children. The … Continue reading

Religious Freedom 1: Judeo-Christian view of Human Nature understood by Founding Fathers

Religious Freedom 1:

Judeo-Christian view of Human Nature understood by Founding Fathers

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” ~John Adams

Bowing to political correctness, Notre Dame promptly took down this address. So I am posting it in its fulness, in three parts. Unlike phony icons of the Left, William Barr is a real statesman, a man of true integrity. This speech is long and meaty, but well worth studying, and teaching to your family. ~C.D.

William Barr Speech at Notre Dame Part 1

Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you about religious liberty in America. It’s an important priority in this Administration and for this Department of Justice.

religious freedomWe have set up a task force within the Department with different components that have equities in this area, including the Solicitor General’s Office, the Civil Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, and other offices. We have regular meetings. We keep an eye out for cases or events around the country where states are misapplying the Establishment Clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith, or cases where states adopt laws that impinge upon the free exercise of religion.

From the Founding Era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States.

The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.

James Madison

In his renowned 1785 pamphlet, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as “a right towards men” but “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty….precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

It has been over 230 years since that small group of colonial lawyers led a revolution and launched what they viewed as a great experiment, establishing a society fundamentally different than those that had gone before.

They crafted a magnificent charter of freedom – the United States Constitution – which provides for limited government, while leaving “the People” broadly at liberty to pursue our lives both as individuals and through free associations.

This quantum leap in liberty has been the mainspring of unprecedented human progress, not only for Americans, but for people around the world.

In the 20th century, our form of free society faced a severe test.

There had always been the question whether a democracy so solicitous of individual freedom could stand up against a regimented totalitarian state.

That question was answered with a resounding “yes” as the United States stood up against and defeated, first fascism, and then communism.

But in the 21st century, we face an entirely different kind of challenge.

Threat not from outside the US

American foundersThe challenge we face is precisely what the Founding Fathers foresaw would be our supreme test as a free society.

They never thought the main danger to the republic came from external foes. The central question was whether, over the long haul, we could handle freedom. The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.

By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the classical Christian tradition.

These practical statesmen understood that individuals, while having the potential for great good, also had the capacity for great evil.

Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites, and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large.

No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.

But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny.

Madison vs. tyrannyOn the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint, you end up with something equally dangerous – licentiousness – the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites at the expense of the common good. This is just another form of tyranny – where the individual is enslaved by his appetites, and the possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.

Edmund Burke summed up this point in his typically colorful language:

“Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon their appetites…. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.

Men who cannot control their passions cannot be free

 It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.

Freedom depends on the Self-Discipline and virtue of the People

Madison-self controlThey would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.

In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.

Our Government made only for a Moral and Religious People

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”~John Adams

As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:

John Adams-Constitution morality“Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”

How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?

First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.

From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.

Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as other-worldly superstition imposed by a kill-joy clergy. In fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.

They reflect the rules that are best for man, not in the by and by, but in the here and now. They are like God’s instruction manual for the best running of man and human society.

By the same token, violations of these moral laws have bad, real-world consequences for man and society. We may not pay the price immediately, but over time the harm is real.

Religion helps Train People to Do What is Right and Good

Moral Absolutes quoteReligion helps promote moral discipline within society. Because man is fallen, we don’t automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us.

But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good. It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.

In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline.

I think we all recognize that over the past 50 years religion has been under increasing attack.

On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square.

On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.

By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.

Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground.

In 1965, the illegitimacy rate was eight percent. In 1992, when I was last Attorney General, it was 25 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. In many of our large urban areas, it is around 70 percent.

Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic.

As you all know, over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses. That is more casualties in a year than we experienced during the entire Vietnam War.

Bitter Fruits of the Secular Age

moral decline graph

Only Staying above world standards is still moral decline

I will not dwell on all the bitter results of the new secular age. Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage, and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.

Among these militant secularists are many so-called “progressives.” But where is the progress?

We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?

The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.

Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion.

We hear much today about our humane values. But, in the final analysis, what undergirds these values? What commands our adherence to them?

Judeo-Christian Faith: Ben Carson Opens Trump Cabinet Meeting with Prayer at Trump’s Request

Judeo-Christian Faith:

Ben Carson Opens Trump Cabinet Meeting with Prayer at Trump’s Request

Video shows Ben Carson delivering prayer before Cabinet meeting at Trump’s request

praying men are winning menBen Carson, President Donald Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development, is widely known for being outspoken about his Christian faith. It seems fitting, then, that Trump asked Carson to pray at the beginning of a Monday cabinet meeting.

The secretary’s prayer was captured on video and published by a variety of outlets, including CNS News.

Trump opens the meeting by asking Carson to say “grace.”

“If you would, Ben, please do the honors.”

Carson’s subsequent prayer included a message of thanks and a series of requests.

He began by acknowledging God and his goodness to the United States.

“Our kind Father in Heaven, we’re so thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us in this country, and we’re thankful for the people of courage who have been here before us, who have fought hard for the rights of our country,” he said.

Watch Carson’s full prayer below.

 

 

 

 

Trump, God vs. Left wing abuseNext, the former neurosurgeon thanked God for Trump’s service and courage, alluding to the barrage of negative coverage the president has received in the establishment media and asking God to guide him as he leads the country.

“And we thank you for President Donald Trump,” Carson said, “who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism.”

“And we ask that you would give him strength to endure and the wisdom to lead, and to recognize you as the sovereign of the universe with the solution to everything.”

The secretary then broadened his prayer to include himself and other members of the Trump administration.

“And the people around the president — the vice president, the cabinet, the advisers — give us all an understanding heart and a compassionate heart. Those are the things that will keep America great.”

US Christian nationCarson also prayed that Americans would remember that “separation of church and state” does not require the government to abandon Christian virtues.

“Help us all to recognize as a nation that separation of church and state means that the church does not dominate the state, and it means the state does not dominate the church.”

“It doesn’t mean that they cannot work together to promote godly principles of loving your fellow man, of caring about your neighbor, of developing your God-given talents to the utmost so that you become valuable to the people around you and having values and principles that govern your life.”

Carson ended his prayer with optimism.

“And if we do those things, then we will always be successful,” he said. “And we thank you for hearing our prayer. In your Holy name, amen.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

 

https://www.wnd.com/2019/10/video-shows-ben-carson-delivering-prayer-cabinet-meeting-trumps-request/

History Heroes: Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles; True Conservatism Meaning returns with President Donald Trump

History Heroes:

Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles;

True Conservatism Meaning returns with President Donald Trump

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.  What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. ~Adrian Rogers

Russell Amos Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, and literary critic, known for his influence on 20th-century American conservatism. His 1953 book The Conservative Mind gave shape to the amorphous post–World War II conservative movement.Wikipedia

Born:Russell Amos Kirk, Oct 19, 1918, Plymouth, Michigan, U.S.

Died:Apr 29, 1994, Mecosta, Michigan, U.S.

Nationality:American

 

Trump with ReaganPresident Donald Trump is the first truly conservative president we’ve had since Ronald Reagan. ~C.D.

Ten Conservative Principles

Russell Kirk, a Distinguished Scholar at The Heritage Foundation.

He spoke at The Heritage Foundation on March 20, 1986.

Perhaps no words have been more abused, both in the popular press and within the Academy, t han conservatism and conservative. The New York Times, not without malice prepense, now and again refers to Stalinists within the Soviet Union as conservatives.

1. Enduring Moral Order

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

 

Trump-one big American family2. Custom, Convention, Continuity

Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire.

3. Respect the History Heroes of the Past

Third,  Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time.

4. Prudence

Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away.

5. Variety of Individualism, Not “One-size fits all”

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems.

6. Human Nature is not Perfect

Trump-PatriotSixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectibility. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent–or el s e expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things.

7. Freedom and Private Property are Closely Linked

America a businessSeventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonweal th. Economic leveling, conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.

8. Voluntary Community, Not Involuntary Collectivism

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism. Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community.

trump-not politician9. Limited Power

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human Passions.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons,.. just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host.

10. Balance of Permanence and Change

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands-that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

Welcome Home to the Russell Kirk Center

Strengthening America’s Tradition of Order, Justice & Freedom

The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal aims to recover, conserve, and enliven those enduring norms and principles that Russell Kirk (1918–1994) called the Permanent Things. Explore the Center’s programs, publications, and fellowships and join with us to continue Kirk’s work to renew our culture and redeem our time.

 

Von Mises Economics lesson: Capitalism works; Socialism fails

Dinner Topics for Thursday

keyIf we were to regard the Soviet regime as an experiment, we would have to say that the experiment has clearly demonstrated the superiority of capitalism and the inferiority of socialism.~Ludwig von Mises

 

From Wikipedia

Ludwig_von_MisesLudwig Heinrich Edler von Mises; 29 September 1881 – 10 October 1973) was a philosopher, Austrian School economist, sociologist, and classical liberal. He became a prominent figure in the Austrian School of economic thought and is best known for his work on praxeology. Fearing a Nazi takeover of Switzerland, where he was living at the time, Mises emigrated to the United States in 1940. Mises had a significant influence on the libertarian movement in the United States in the mid-20th century.

Work in the United States

In 1940 Mises and his wife fled the German advance in Europe and emigrated to New York City.[2]:xi There he became a visiting professor at New York University. He held this position from 1945 until his retirement in 1969, though he was not salaried by the university.[6] Businessman and libertarian commentator Lawrence Fertig, a member of the NYU Board of Trustees, funded Mises and his work.[12][13] For part of this period, Mises studied currency issues for the Pan-Europa movement, which was led by a fellow NYU faculty member and Austrian exile, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi.[14] In 1947, Mises became one of the founding members of the Mont Pelerin Society. Mises had an indirect role in the economic reconstruction of Europe after World War II through his professional relationships with Ludwig Erhard, Charles de Gaulle and Luigi Einaudi.[15] In 1962, von Mises received the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art for political economy[16] at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.[2]:1034

Mises’s work influenced various Americans, including Benjamin Anderson, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, Max Eastman, legal scholar Sylvester J. Petro, and novelist Ayn Rand. His American students included Israel Kirzner, Hans Sennholz, Ralph Raico, Leonard Liggio, George Reisman and Murray Rothbard.[17]

Mises received students at his home in New York.[18] He retired from teaching at the age of 87.[19] Mises died at the age of 92 in New York. He is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery, in Hartsdale, New York. Grove City College houses the 20,000 page archive of Mises papers and unpublished works.[20]

Mises wrote and lectured extensively on behalf of classical liberalism.[22] In his treatise Human Action, Mises adopted [praxeology]] as a general conceptual foundation of the social sciences and set forth his methodological approach to economics.[citation needed]

Mises criticized socialism in his 1922 work Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis:

The only certain fact about Russian affairs under the Soviet regime with regard to which all people agree is: that the standard of living of the Russian masses is much lower than that of the masses in the country which is universally considered as the paragon of capitalism, the United States of America. If we were to regard the Soviet regime as an experiment, we would have to say that the experiment has clearly demonstrated the superiority of capitalism and the inferiority of socialism.[23]

Read more about Ludwig von Mises

 

Pro-Life News: Defunding Planned Parenthood moves forward; Young Adults vs. Tolerance of LGBT

Pro-Life News:

Defunding Planned Parenthood moves forward; Young Adults vs. Tolerance of LGBT

HHS rule defunding Planned Parenthood moves forward

defund planned parenthoodSeptember 2019 – In a 3-0 opinion, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to allow implementation of a May 2018 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administrative rule that effectively deprives Planned Parenthood of $50-60 million annually in family planning grants.

Under the new directive, effective in late August 2019, abortion organizations will lose Title X funding unless family planning and abortion operations are financially separated within 180 days and physically separated within one year.

trump defunds planned parenthood“The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, “and instead, directs tax dollars to entities that provide health care to women, but do not perform abortions.”

A recent Marist poll found that 54% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. However, Congress has failed to defund Planned Parenthood of Medicaid reimbursements, the significant majority of the taxpayer dollars the organization receives.

lifenews.com, 6/20/19

Young adults grow less tolerant of LGBTs

young Adults less tolerant of LGBT graphSeptember 2019 – Young adults are typically assumed to be open-minded, but Harris Poll results released in June indicate Americans age 18-34 are growing less open to spending time with LGBT acquaintances.

According to the annual Accelerating Acceptance report, young adults who feel comfortable interacting with those who consider themselves LGBT decreased from 63% in 2016 to 53% in 2017 and 45% in 2018.

usatoday.com, 6/24/19

Slight majority favors separate bathrooms

separate gender bathroomsSeptember 2019 – Bucking the cultural trend to accept transgenderism as the new normal, a recent Gallup poll found that slightly over half of adults surveyed (51%) favored public restroom policies that distinguish between men and women according to their birth gender.

Politically, the poll showed that 78% of Republicans believe that men and women – according to their birth gender – should be required to use their respective bathroom facilities. Only 27% of Democrats deemed that distinction necessary.

However, the wide-ranging poll on LGBT issues also indicated broad support overall for pro-homosexual initiatives.

christianheadlines.com, 6/27/19

Judeo-Christian Worldview: Moral Compass Theme Quotes

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

Moral Compass Theme Quotes

Moral Compass Quotes

If we continue to teach about tolerance and intolerance instead of good and evil, we will end up with tolerance of evil. ~Dennis Prager

He that thinks absolute power purifies men’s blood and corrects the baseness of human nature, need only read history to be convinced to the contrary. ~John Locke

Courage to Stand

Christ has not called us to be nice but to be good. Nice people never confront evil, but good people do. ~Bryan Fischer

“It is a time of permissiveness, with society in general routinely disregarding and breaking the laws of God.” ~Thomas S. Monson

Always and ever, there must be an exercise of discipline—moral discipline founded on faith in God the Father and the Son and what They can achieve with us through the atoning grace of Jesus Christ. ~D. Todd Christofferson

But behold he doth not command us that we shall subject ourselves to our enemies, but that we should put our trust in him, and he will deliver us. Therefore, . . . let us resist evil. ~Alma 61: 13-14

We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization. ~John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in Lord of the Rings)

Discernment and Judgement

“We live in a time when even the wisest will be hard-pressed to distinguish truth from clever deception.” ~Henry B. Eyring

Remember: sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God! ~Russell M. Nelson

We live in an age of appeasement—the sacrificing of principle. Appeasement is not the answer. It is never the right answer. ~Ezra Taft Benson

Evolution has a lot of holes filled with Silly Putty, but the one gaping wound they cannot hide is the Moral Law. ~Keith Merrill

Judgmentthe spirit of wisdom . . . .enabling a person to discern [choose] between right and wrong, good and evil. ~Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828,

¶Beware of afalse prophets, which come to you in bsheep’s clothing, but cinwardly they are ravening dwolves.  Ye shall aknow them by their bfruits. ~Matthew 7:15-16

For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.~  2 Nephi 28:20

Therefore my people are gone into captivity because they have no knowledge.

~Isaiah 5:13

Integrity

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:8

Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few. ~Thomas S. Monson

We need to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. we need [to have] a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and [to] use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. Russell M. Nelson

“True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a onetime effort or achievement. Greatness requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions in every day choices between good and evil that Elder Boyd K Packer spoke about when he said, ‘Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.’ “Those choices will also show clearly what we are.” ~Howard W. Hunter

Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. ~Proverbs 20:7

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid. Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. ~Job 27:3-5

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams

 

Truth vs. Deception

We need [men and] women who can detect deception in all of its forms. ~Russell M. Nelson

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ~Matthew 24:24

Beware of the evil behind the smiling eyes. ~Neil L. Andersen

“The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain. … If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.” ~Thomas S. Monson

Tolerance for behavior is like a two-sided coin. Tolerance or respect is on one side of the coin, but truth is always on the other. ~ Dallin H. Oaks

Perhaps the best example [of moral relativism] is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good. ~Dennis Prager

We believe in absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments. We know that the existence of God and the existence of absolute truth are fundamental to life on this earth, whether they are believed in or not. We also know that evil exists and that some things are simply, seriously, and everlastingly wrong. ~ Dallin H. Oaks

 

 

Biblical Worldview: Pro-Life News; Georgia Heartbeat bill; Fatherhood is Sacred

Biblical Worldview:

Pro-Life News; Georgia  Heartbeat bill; Fatherhood is Sacred

Georgia fourth state to pass heartbeat bill

July 2019 – Following Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio, Georgia passed a “heartbeat bill” into law on May 7.

However, the Georgia law goes even further in protecting the unborn by defining a child in the womb as a “natural person” and a “human being” once a heartbeat is detected.

After the bill was passed by the Georgia Senate in March, several Hollywood actors threatened to boycott the state, now considered the “number one filming location in the world” according to the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. But the threats did not sway Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill into law.

“Georgia is a state that values life,” he said. “We stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

Opponents have complained that the new law virtually bans all abortions in the state, as many women do not know they are pregnant when a heartbeat becomes detectable.

Kemp said he expects a legal challenge. “But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy,” he added.

foxnews.com, 3/24/19, 5/7/19

 

Georgia fourth state to pass heartbeat bill

 

Issues@Hand

Fatherhood is Sacred: Ben Watson on importance of men in abortion fight

July 2019 – In response to New York’s passage of a law in January that effectively legalized abortion up until the moment of birth, Colorado based Focus on the Family organized and hosted “Alive from New York” at Times Square.

The May 4 event featured a sonogram of a third trimester baby, as well as a host of guest speakers. Among them was retired pro football star Benjamin Watson, who used his time to discuss the role men play in the fight against abortion. Watson called on men to quit avoiding the topic, but rather “to step up and to step into these conversations with boldness and with grace and with conviction.” Watson believes the voice of pro-life men is greatly needed in the public sphere, and he affirms that fatherhood begins
in the womb.

“There are millions of preborn children and courageous, precious mothers that are depending on us men to be men,” said Watson. “So let’s do it.”

christianpost.com, 5/5/1

Ben Watson on importance of men in abortion fight

 

Issues@Hand

Canadian court: dad may not call his daughter a girl

July 2019 – A Canadian father is facing arrest if he calls his transgender teen by the child’s birth name, uses the “wrong” pronoun, or attempts to discourage the teen from taking hormone treatments. His 14-year-old daughter wants to transition to a boy. While she is supported by her mother, the father, known in court documents by the pseudonym “Clark,” believes she may regret the treatments when reaching adulthood.

British Columbia Justice Francesca V. Marzari issued an order forbidding Clark from “attempting to persuade” his daughter “to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria.” In addition, he was ordered not to use his child’s “birth name” or refer to her “as a girl or with female pronouns.” Furthermore, Clark has been ordered not to speak to the media about the case. The order states that “disobeying this order is a criminal offense,” and Justice Marzari indicated that violating the order can result in immediate arrest.

christianheadlines.com, 5/2/1

Canadian court: dad may not call his daughter a girl

American Exceptionalism History: Founding of America based on Biblical Values

American Exceptionalism History:

Founding of America based on Biblical Values

Rediscovering America’s goodness

Rusty Benson

AFA Journal

July 2019 – Take a guess: On average, how long is the lifespan of a written national constitution? One hundred years? Fifty? Thirty?

The answer, according to three scholars at the University of Chicago Law School, may surprise you: 17 years.

While it’s the job of scholars to figure out why these governing compositions are so fragile, Americans must appreciate the durability of the U.S. Constitution, especially as the nation approaches its 232nd anniversary on September 17 and the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

Stephen McDowell (photo, right), historian and founder of Providence Foundation, is convinced that these founding documents have endured because they are based squarely on yet another document that has endured even longer: the Bible.

In “Christianity and the Constitution” (See below.), McDowell quotes a prestigious literary journal of 1867: “The American government and Constitution is the most precious possession which the world holds, or which the future can inherit. This is true – true because the American system is the political expression of Christian ideas.”

In celebration of Independence Day, McDowell spoke to AFA Journal regarding these abiding ideas expressed in the nation’s core writings.

AFA Journal: What are the underlying beliefs or ideas encompassed in the nation’s founding documents?
Stephen McDowell: The power and form of the Declaration and the Constitution are biblical. Power being the underlying ideas that are reflected, and form, the structure of how our government was set up and flows out of those ideas.

The Declaration of Independence is America’s founding covenant.

The Declaration of Independence is America’s founding covenant. It declares why we became a nation. The Constitution is the bylaws of this new nation. So you have to look at them together.

The Declaration begins by saying “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.“

Now that statement is full of biblical ideas.

Absolute Truth Exists

1) First, the founders recognized that absolute truth exists. Right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal – these emanated from a Creator.

This is a foundational idea of our nation: there is absolute truth we can know, and it comes from the Creator. The founders declared that fact to be self-evident. And from that, flows the idea that any law contrary to God’s truth is no law at all.

No One Is Above the Law

2) Another important concept in our form of government is that the rulers, as well as the people, are subject to the laws. No man is above the law. We are a self-governing republic in which power emanates from the people, who themselves are under the Creator.

Therefore, our unalienable rights come from the Creator. Thomas Jefferson summarized those as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a concept that in the modern mind means people being free to do whatever they want to do. But that’s not what the founders meant. The right to pursue happiness meant the right to be free to obey the will of God. So, if the government or other men keep us from doing God’s will, we have an obligation to change that form of government or take appropriate steps.

There are many more biblical concepts in the documents, including religious freedom, private property rights, and a just trial, to name a few.

AFAJ: How does providence fit into your understanding of America’s past, present, and future?
SM: The word providence means God’s superintendent care over His creation. God created everything. He is actively involved in His creation, in each of our individual lives, and in history. The Founding Fathers spoke about that over and over in regard to the colonies’ victory in the American Revolution. They also spoke of the Constitution as a miracle of God.

I love what historian George Bancroft said. He said the fact that God rules in the affairs of men is as certain as any truth of physical science. And that was the view of the founders when they wrote of their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”

But in that, we have a responsibility. Sowing and reaping works. However, there’s not anything that’s going to happen without God allowing or directing. John Quincy Adams put it this way. He said the duty is ours; the results are the Lord’s.

AFAJ: You say your mission is to “transform the culture for Christ.” In a pluralistic society, how do you defend that position?
SM: We live in God’s world, not in a made-up world of Karl Marx or Darwin or any other political philosopher.

God created it to function based upon a set of physical and moral laws. If we violate His laws, we suffer the consequence. The Bible teaches that, and history confirms it.

Keys to Happiness

Christianity has brought great blessing to mankind. Benjamin Rush, the third most famous Founding Father – although most people today have never heard of him – said Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in the proportion that we adopt its principles and obey its precepts, mankind will be wise and happy. And that doesn’t just apply to those who believe, but to the unbeliever also. That’s the reason that millions are trying to get into America – they want to benefit from the great fruit that was produced from the Christian faith.

But if we remove the Christian faith and its principles, then we’re going to get worse and worse fruit. That’s what’s been happening the past century.

Benjamin Franklin told Thomas Paine that people are spitting against the wind when they attack Christianity because through obeying God, we bring great freedom and liberty for all.

That’s one among many ways that I would justify the great need for ministries like ours, AFA, and others.

AFAJ: What does the American dream mean to you?
SM: The American dream is those foundational principles adhered to by the early founders. They were like seeds that produced great fruit. For example, the individual has value because he is created in the image of God.

So we need to protect man’s life, liberty, and property. We have a civil government to protect private property so that men can benefit from the fruit of their labor.

These ideas and others such as religious freedom and the right to a fair trial before a jury of our peers are unique in the history of man. These are some of the fundamental rights that make up the American dream.

AFAJ: Is it possible to restore America to a nation in which Christian ideals are dominant?
SM: Most certainly it’s possible because we can see many times in history that God has sent a great outpouring of His Holy Spirit to awaken the hearts of the people.

We Have a Role to Play in Teaching our Children the Truth of the Gospel

And yet, we have a role to play in that – teaching our children the truth of the gospel, being faithful in our biblical duties, growing in Christ-like character, participating in the Great Commission, and standing for biblical truth in our communities.

Yes, there is plenty of bad fruit and much of it is getting worse. But there is also a lot of good fruit – Christians who are being awakened, and that indicates to me that God is at work and has a plan. That gives me hope.

 

American Ignorance of History


A 2017 survey by University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center revealed that:

  • 37% of Americans could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
  • Only 26% could name all three branches of government.
  • Only 33% could name any branch of government.

AFA has published a pocket-sized booklet containing the text of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, a great resource for all citizens. Order your copy afastore.net.

Recommended articles at providencefoundation.com

Christianity and the Constitution
Christian Ideas in the Declaration of Independence

Why Young Adults need to know about Judeo-Christian Heritage and Freedom of Religion

 

faith-and-freedomYoung people who have grown up with freedom and convenience tend to take it for granted —even to be lured by tyrannical “utopian” doctrines—because they don’t know what it’s like to be without God, and without freedom.

“Ben, this is spiritual warfare—for the souls of those we love,” Rebekah said. “If we don’t teach you the truth, the world will teach you its lies. You must write about our way of life before it is lost.” Birthright Covenant Trilogy, Book 1

 

Critical thinking: Decision Making, based on Emotions, or Absolutes of God?

Critical thinking:

Decision Making, based on Emotions, or  Absolutes of God?

Dr. Joe McKeever

The Lord is not asking for feelings or wishing for greater emotions.

I cannot find any place in Scripture that places a premium on emotional exuberance.  But it’s not a sign of anything permanent. But that doesn’t seem to be what the Lord is wanting. It’s the whole life, not the emotional outskirts. ~Dr. Joe McKeever American Family Association The Daily Stand

 

Skyler Gleue

American Family Association

The Daily Stand

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity. Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either.

Absolutes of God

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal once stated, “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” Pascal’s comment suggests that we are more inclined to ‘reason’ based on emotions rather than logic, or at the most, let our deductions be clouded with our emotions.

There is tremendous truth behind this observation. However, whatever is most attractive is not always advantageous. Big businesses may benefit and capitalize on compulsive and emotion-based decision making, but when this mindset enters the church or a religious atmosphere it often conflicts with objective truth. Because of this mindset of arriving at beliefs based on what is attractive rather than absolute, many churches have become lukewarm in their teachings on difficult truths and adopted a secularized mindset.

Alongside this, many self-professing followers of Christ also tend to hold secular positions on important social issues of our day, such as abortion, separation of Church and State, and tolerance toward contradictory political views. Many Christians openly support these views on the basis of love, acceptance, and conformity. This causes an identity crisis for what Christianity absolutely stands for and against.

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity.

Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either. To stress the importance of His message, Christ offers a caution. Immediately preceding the warning by Jesus where He said “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” He issue a secondary warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Jesus instructs us to recognize false teachers, those who are part of the Church and tolerant toward anti-Biblical social issues, by their character (Matthew 7). We are further instructed to “test all things” and “hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” When we treat the Scriptures as a buffet and selectively choose what we accept and deny, we inadvertently reject Christianity as a whole. God calls such people “lukewarm” and “false prophets,” and this taints the mission of the Church, to be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). God rejects secularized Christianity, and so should we.

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