Culture Wars: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Culture Wars:

10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Lift Where You Stand: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

“I sometimes fear that we have relied too much on the Constitution to do the hard work of citizenship for us. The Constitution—including the First Amendment—was never intended to make us lazy citizens, to absolve us from the duty and imperative to be vigilant in defense of our religious rights and interests.” ~ Lance B. Wickman

D. Todd Christofferson

Knowing how to protect religious freedom can seem daunting. It might seem like you need a legal or political background to make a difference. But there are simple things you can do in your neighborhood or community that can have big effects over time. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of building trust with others so that you have relationships already established when you need to come together on complex issues. Here are some simple ways to protect religious freedom in everyday life:

1. Study up on the issues. Study the words of the living Apostles on religious freedom and moral issues. Read responsible websites, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that explore current events from a variety of perspectives, asking God to let the Spirit help you discern truth. Let your beliefs and the facts inform your views. Be ready to act. Know your rights established by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (italics added).

2. Speak up with courage and civility. Don’t be intimidated into silence by intolerant voices. Speak up! State your views with true civility and kindness (for ideas, see “7 Keys to Successful Conversations”). Speak or write calmly. Seek true understanding. Acknowledge legitimate points. And explain why the freedoms you defend are so important to you, your loved ones, and the Church—make it personal. Keep in mind that one-on-one conversations are usually more meaningful and respectful than group discussions, especially if they’re online. Stand firmly for principle while understanding that in some areas we will have to seek compromise to protect our most vital freedoms.

voter placing ballot3. Get involved in the political process. Vote in your local, state, and national elections. Support candidates who understand the proper role of religion in society and the need to protect it for everyone. Learn about how laws are made. You could also attend city council meetings, join a political party, write your representatives, and combine your efforts with others who support religious freedom.

4.Get to know people of other faiths. Talk with them about matters of shared concern. Participate in an interfaith service project. Support their religious freedom.

5.Volunteer for a charity. Help solve problems in your community by giving of your time to a local charitable or service organization. When people of faith do good, they increase their ability to convince others that religious freedom should be respected and protected.

6. Get involved in education. Participate in your local PTA. Run for the school board. Lend your voice and resources to solving problems in your school. Help preserve reasonable space for religious values in educational settings. Support the right of parents to guide their children’s education. Support values-based extracurricular activities like religious clubs or Bible-study classes.

Parenting Resources for Teaching Families to Defend Religious Freedom

7. Be part of a club, business group, or professional association. Build relationships and gain perspectives by joining with community members in a book club, a debate team, a college alumni group, a conservation effort, a Scout troop, a speech forum, or a sports team. Be where the conversations are happening. That will give you opportunities to educate others about the importance of religious freedom and challenges to it. Likewise, business groups and professional associations exert great influence on policy makers and on other business people and professionals. They need your voice in support of faith, family, and religious freedom.

8. Extend the reach of your faith. Connect ward service activities with the needs of the community where possible. Cooperation between church groups and community organizations helps build mutual trust and focuses resources on helping those in need.  Again, when people of faith do good works, others will be more likely to respect their need for religious freedom.

9. Make it a family matter and a matter of prayer. Take your children to a speech or conference on religious freedom. Watch a movie or documentary on the role and history of religious freedom in society. Conduct a lesson or activity about the United States Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other foundational documents. Invite a family of another faith into your home.

Cyrus, non-Jewish ruler who helped the Jews get their country back

Pray that our freedoms will be preserved. Pray and exercise faith that governments at home and abroad will be opened—or remain open—to the Church. As the Lord long ago “stirred” Cyrus, the King of Persia, to issue a decree allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:1), so can He stir other leaders with influence to help preserve religious freedom. Pray as you study about religious freedom that you can understand what you need to know and do. Pray for the Spirit to help direct you in conversations.

Teach your children why Religious Freedom Matters

10. Enlarge your voice through social media. Be persuasive by being civil in online conversations; the person who gets angry loses. Share appropriate links, stories, photos, articles, and personal experiences on social media. Start a blog, write an op-ed, or submit a letter to the editor. Learn from those who might disagree with you as you defend gospel standards and religious freedom. Sometimes even just sharing goodness you see in the world can help people recognize that your beliefs are about bringing peace, not contention, to the world.

Follow Western Culture Dinner Topics, Defender of Religious Freedom

 

Moral Support: Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Moral Support:

Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Dogs bark, but the wagons roll on. ~Louis L’Amour

 

Religious Freedom and Traditional Family; Defund Planned Parenthood

VP Pence Breaks Senate Tie over Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

by Dr. Susan Berry

Justice Dept. Drops Pro-Transgender Lawsuit

by Neil Munro

Good Friday: Trump Appoints Religious Liberty Defender to Head HHS Office for Civil Rights

by Dr. Susan Berry

Feds Promise to Protect Half a Million American Girls from Genital Mutilation

The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse,” the acting Assistant Attorney General of the justice department’s criminal division, Kenneth Blanco, said April 13.

POTUS Signs Repeal of Obama Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

Ancestry.com helps family of dead boy find man posing as him

 

Trump Immigration Policy Vindicated

Lansing, Michigan, Will No Longer Declare Itself a ‘Sanctuary City’

by Katherine Rodriguez

Most Americans, especially minorities, say no to sanctuary cities

Poll: Only 1 in 3 wants own community to protect illegals

http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/most-americans-especially-minorities-say-no-to-sanctuary-cities/

Ann Corcoran: Trump Effect: More Central American migrants want asylum in Mexico, not moving on to US

And, that is how asylum is supposed to work.

Anyone who meets the legal definition of a refugee*** is supposed to seek asylum in the first safe country they reach—

National Security

 

Donald Trump and Israel PM Netanyahu

Bibi Welcomes New U.S. Amb. — ‘to Jerusalem’

 

Foreign Policy: Trump Has a Strategy for Destroying Islamic State – and It’s Working

 

Trump Economic Policy, Drain the Swamp

Trump Admin Releases ‘Drain the Swamp’ Guidance

Ben Garrison

Trump Halts U.S. Funding of UN Population Fund

Trade Deficit Falls by 10% as U.S. Factories Benefit from Economic Stability

Shock Berkeley Poll: California Voters Want DemS to Work with Trump

EPA Chief Pruitt Calls for ‘Exit’ from Paris Climate Agreement

 

Culture Wars Warning! Why Religious Freedom Matters; What’s at Stake

Culture Wars Warning!

Why Religious Freedom Matters; What’s at Stake

Freedom to choose. That’s what the War in Heaven was all about. We couldn’t afford to lose agency then, and we can’t afford to lose it now. And that includes the freedom to “worship how, where, or what [we] may” (Articles of Faith 1:11). That’s why the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination [as for a Mormon]; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 345).

In addition to maintaining religious freedom as an eternal principle (even God will not remove the agency of any of His children), there are some potentially severe consequences if we lose the freedom to worship, speak, and live according to our beliefs.

  • You could lose your job or leadership positions for expressing religious beliefs—even outside of work. For instance, CEOs, newscasters, judges, teachers, doctors, professors, firefighters, Olympians, graduate students, and many others have been fired, pressured to resign, or intimidated for donating money or simply saying that they support the traditional view of marriage.
  • You might be required to hide your religion or perform tasks at work that go against your beliefs. Does it seem fair, for example, that a doctor who opposes abortion on a religious or moral basis be required to perform one even though numerous other doctors nearby are willing? Should you be forced to wear an immodest uniform when it’s not necessary for your job function?
  • You may be required to work on the Sabbath or religious holidays even when others are willing to take your shift and your employer accommodates other nonreligious interests.
  • Your children in public schools may be required to learn about sexual and gender theories that contradict basic Church teachings. Many public schools already teach sex education in a way that’s fundamentally contrary to Church teachings, and some have required reading lists with explicit content.
  • You may not be able to adopt children or become a foster parent because of your religious beliefs or views on the family.
  • As a business owner or professional, you might lose your license or be fined if you refuse to perform services that are contrary to your religious beliefs. You might even lose professional credentials if you don’t participate in certain activities, even if other coworkers are willing to perform them in your place.
  • You might not be able to create faith-based clubs on college campuses without being required to let people become club members—or even officers—who oppose the club’s religious beliefs.
  • Churches may be forced to employ people who disagree with or refuse to live core values of their faith, threatening their ability to carry out their religious missions.
  • Churches could lose their tax-exempt status by maintaining doctrines, policies, and standards that conflict with secular beliefs regarding marriage, family, gender, and sexuality, resulting in a huge increase in costs to build houses of worship or to purchase and provide goods for humanitarian aid.
  • You might lose tax exemptions for charitable donations like tithes and offerings if the Church loses its status as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.
  • Churches may not be able to access government lands for camps on equal terms with other groups, limiting youth conferences and camps.
  • Housing units, such as dorms, at religious colleges could be forced to abandon moral standards that protect privacy, modesty, and morality, denying people the right to room with those who uphold the same standards.
  • Religious schools that maintain honor codes may lose their accreditation and be denied research funds and even federal student loans and grants, diminishing the value of their degrees, undermining the quality of their education, and making it financially impossible for many students to attend.
  • There’s a lot at stake, and this is just a sampling. As society continues to move away from eternal truths and God-given commandments, we can’t predict all the consequences that may result if religious freedom and the right to act on our beliefs are taken away.
  • So we need to raise our voices to defend religious freedom. If we don’t raise them for the protection of religion now, vital religious freedoms will be lost. 
  • When we join the cause together, we can make a difference that will protect religious freedom for followers of all religions.

Teach your family why Religious Freedom Matters

 

https://www.lds.org/religious-freedom/understand/why-it-matters-whats-at-stake

Thomas Jefferson: Christian Leadership

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

The Real Thomas Jefferson, Part 1-3

The Real Thomas Jefferson, by Andrew M. Allison, Part 4-5

keyI hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man.

If the freedom of religion guaranteed to us by law in theory can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by his pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.

Notes and Quotes on the life of Thomas Jefferson, Part 4 His Presidency

This is a large book, very easy and enjoyable reading, but also packed with valuable information. I will share with you some notes and quotes, a little at a time. But don’t miss reading the entire book with your family. It belongs in every American’s home library.~C.A. Davidson

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800Jefferson’s Presidency

“Though we differ on many points, he displayed an impartiality and a freedom from prejudice that. . .were unusual. There was a mildness and amenity in his voice and manner that at once softened any of the asperities of party spirit that I felt. . .No man can be personally acquainted with Mr. Jefferson and remain his personal enemy.”  (Justice William Paterson of the Supreme Court, one of Jefferson’s most inveterate political opponents p.219)

The tone of Jefferson’s presidency was low key. Believing that American political leaders were aping European royalty too much, he led with a simple style. He never used public funds for his social gatherings.

“A Noiseless Course”

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” (p.225)

Slander

James Callender, one of the victims of the Sedition Act who was pardoned by President Jefferson, became embittered when he didn’t receive a government post he wanted. He made up a series of scandalous stories, the ugliest of which accused Jefferson of an illicit relationship with Sally Hemings, a young mulatto slave at Monticello.

Federalists, jealous of Jefferson’s popularity, took up these false accusations, creating a relentless torrent of slander. Jefferson made no public response to these unscrupulous attacks. “I should have fancied myself half guilty,” he said, “had I condescended to put pen to paper in refutation to their falsehoods, or drawn to them respect by any notice from myself.” (p230)

In the face of it all, Jefferson defended the right of his countrymen to free press. He remained silent all during the calumny and instructed his cabinet to do the same.

Under the guise of “modern scholarship”, some recent scholars have “brought forth a rash of sensational and poorly researched publications designed to discredit America’s Founding Fathers.  Many of the ‘facts’ [Callender] dished up are known to be false.” (pp231-232)

Douglass Adair, one of the most highly respected historians of our era, concluded after examining all of the evidence on this matter which has now come to light: “Today, it is possible to prove that Jefferson was innocent of Callender’s charges.”

One of the recently discovered documents to which Adair referred was a letter written by the nineteenth-century biographer Henry Randall, recounting a conversation at Monticello between himself and Jefferson’s oldest grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. In this conversation Randolph confirmed what others close to the family had already disclosed: that Sally Hemings was actually the mistress of Jefferson’s nephew, Peter Carr, and that “their connection . .  . was perfectly notorious at Monticello.” He also pointed out that “there was not the shadow of suspicion that Mr. Jefferson in this or any other instance had commerce with female slaves.” (from essays by Douglass Adair, cited by Allison on p.233)

It is virtually inconceivable that this fastidious gentleman whose devotion to his dead wife’s memory and to the happiness of his daughters and grandchildren bordered on the excessive could have carried on through a period of years a vulgar liaison which his own family could not have failed dot detect. It would be as absurd as to charge this consistently temperate man with being, through a long period, a secret drunkard. (Professor Dumas Malone, author of Pulitzer-Prize-winning six-volume biography of Jefferson p.234)

Jefferson wrote privately that he “feared no injury which any man could do me;. . .I never had done a single act or been concerned in any transaction which I feared to have fully laid open, or which could do me any hurt if truly stated.” (p234)

First Term

1801-1805—Jefferson sent American naval ships to the Mediterranean area, where they were victorious over the Barbary pirates, freeing up trade.

1802—Napoleon was threatening to establish a French empire in the Louisiana territory. Jefferson sent Robert Livingston to solve the situation diplomatically.

1803—The Louisiana Purchase. Almost one million acres were purchased for 15 million dollars, nearly doubling the physical size of the United States.

1804—Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to explore the Louisiana Territory and reach the west coast

These brilliant public achievements were overshadowed by the personal tragedy of the death of his 26-year-old daughter Mary. He deeply mourned her death, but submitted to the will of God. (He was not an atheist!)  (pp. 240-245)

Second Term

Jefferson was reelected by a large margin.

Native Americans

Jefferson was an enthusiastic student of Indian tribes and sought to provide them with instruction in agricultural and domestic arts. He had good relations with Native Americans. (pp250-253)

Aaron Burr

As Vice President in the first term, Aaron Burr often used his tie-breaking votes to favor Federalists. He was replaced as Vice President by George Clinton.

Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. There were warrants for arrest in New Jersey and New York. He lived out the last few months of his term in disgrace and exile. Burr later became involved in a plot to divide the Union. He was arrested and tried for treason.  (pp255-257)

John Marshall

Chief Justice John Marshall acquitted Burr of treason on technicalities. Federalist judges sought to consolidate all power in hands of the federal government.

Judicial Review (pp259-260)

John Marshall established the concept of “Judicial Review”, enabling the federal courts to void Congressional laws by declaring them unconstitutional.

President Jefferson warned that Judicial Review endangered the separation-of-powers principle.

The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislative and executive also in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.

Jefferson was urged by his friends to run for a third term, but he declined. He recommended an amendment to the Constitution limiting the President to two terms.

Teach your family why Religious Freedom Matters

Dinner Talk Topics

1. If our young adults are to restore the culture of liberty, why is it vital we seek truthful history from reliable sources? Watch out for Wikipedia versions of history. Its articles on Jefferson give credence to the slanderous Sally Hemings story. The Real Thomas Jefferson was recommended by Glenn Beck. You can find many sources of historical truth and helpful analysis at his web site.

2. Do you think  today’s “Judicial Review” threatens our liberty? Why?

The Real Thomas Jefferson: The True Story of America’s Philosopher of Freedom

Part 5

Andrew M. Allison

Dear Reader,

This is the final segment of my notes and quotes from this American Classic. The Real Thomas Jefferson, by Andrew M. Allison, is a character education experience that your children must not miss. Truly, Thomas Jefferson was an exemplary epic hero. Not only is this book easy and interesting reading—it is memorable. Bless your children by reading it together with them. You, and they, will be glad you did. And they will never forget it. ~C.A. Davidson

 

Notes and Quotes on the life of Thomas Jefferson, Part 4: Retirement and Closing Years

Character Education, Thomas-Jefferson-style

Awards for foot races were as follows: three pieces of dried fruit—figs, prunes, or dates—to the victor, two to the second, and one to the lagger who came in last. One of his granddaughters described his method of character education.

He talked with us freely, affectionately, and never lost an opportunity of giving a pleasure or a good lesson. He reproved without wounding us, and commended without making us vain. He took pains to correct our errors and false ideas, checked the bold, encouraged the timid, and tried to teach us to reason soundly and feel rightly. Our smaller follies he treated with good-humored raillery, our graver ones with kind and serious admonition. He was watchful over our manners, and called our attention to every violation of propriety. (Ellen Coolidge, p278-279)

In 1820 he received 1,267 letters. He wrote more letters by his own hand than any other public man that ever lived. An invention  by John Hawkins of Philadelphia called the polygraph preserved 19,000 letters by duplicating them. After 1804 he produced a file copy of almost every letter he wrote. He made several improvements on the polygraph. (p 283)

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a good friend of Jefferson, wrote to both Jefferson and John Adams, urging both men to heal a rift caused by political differences. Both of the former Presidents indicated that they wanted to put aside past disagreements and renew their friendship. Adams said, “I always loved Jefferson, and still love him.” (pp284-285)  The two renewed their friendship and wrote letters for fourteen years.

Monroe Doctrine

monroe-doctrine1823—Jefferson’s successor,  James Monroe, consulted him about European influence in Latin America, which was widely feared. Said Jefferson, “Our first and fundamental maxim should be never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. Our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs. From this emerged the Monroe Doctrine. (p287)

Missouri Question

Jefferson very reluctantly accepted Missouri’s entering the union as a slave state, because they threatened to secede.

“I can say, with conscious truth, that there is a not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach [i.e., slavery]in any practicable way.” He maintained hope to his dying day of emancipating the slaves. (p 289)

Visitors to Monticello

Jefferson was so loved that he had thousands of visitors continually for eight months of the year, from all over the world. Although Jefferson welcomed the visitors cheerfully and graciously, they often proved a burden to him and to his daughter Martha, who served as hostess. She would often have to prepare for as many as fifty overnight guests.

People even invaded the halls of his home just to get a look at him. One woman actually punched through a window with her parasol just to get a better view of him.

People would gaze at him point-blank as at a creature in the zoo. “They wanted to tell their children, and have it told to their grandchildren, that they had seen Thomas Jefferson.” (pp290-291)

The accommodation of these visitors, the social events in Washington that he paid from his own pocket, neglect of his plantations during his forty years of public service; his enormous generosity to his grandchildren, to local beggars, and to various charitable organizations, all mounted the great indebtedness he struggled with. One biographer wrote, “His contributions to religious, educational, and charitable objects through his life would have made his old age opulent!” (p 305)

University of Virginia

Jefferson spent the closing years of his life establishing a state university. “He believed that these two great purposes—‘the freedom and happiness of man’—should serve as the polestars of all educational programs throughout the Republic. (p 296)  The university opened in 1825, one year before his death.

I am a Real Christian

Another project of Jefferson was to compile in several languages all the New Testament passages which he understood to be the actual utterances of Jesus Christ. He titled this little book, “the Philosophy of Jesus.”

A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus—very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw.(p 299)

Jefferson was reticent on the subject of religion. This caused his political enemies to label him as an atheist. During his presidency, he wrote to Benjamin Rush:

My views of [the Christian religion] are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be—sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.

I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man. (pp 300-301)

Many Americans in the early nineteenth century shared the hope of a re-establishment of the Christian religion in its “original purity” in the United States.

Anticipation of the Restoration of Pure and Original Christianity

If the freedom of religion guaranteed to us by law in theory can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by his pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.

Closing scenes of a noble life

Jefferson and his old friend John Adams passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—that immortal document which he wrote.

He had desired a private interment, but crowds of neighbors and friends waited at the grave to bid farewell and a last tribute of respect and affection.  The “nation’s newspapers and lecture halls overflowed for months with eulogies to honor America’s champion of liberty.  His countrymen of that day seemed to sense, as we do now, that the world is not likely ever to produce another Thomas Jefferson.”

One American declared eloquently, “The grief that such a man is dead may be well assuaged by the proud consolation that such a man has lived.”  (pp 316-318)

Dinner Talk Topics

1. What comment by Jefferson indicated that he looked forward to a restoration of Christianity in its pure form?

2. Discuss the wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine

3. Together with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, Jefferson was appointed to draw up a proposal for the Great Seal of the United States. Although Congress later adopted a simpler design, Jefferson took this occasion to emphasize the historical influence of two earlier civilizations on the liberties of his countrymen. One side of his proposed seal depicted the Anglo-Saxon leader Hengist and Horsa, while the other side portrayed the ancient Israelites being led through the wilderness by God’s pillar of fire. (Allison, The Real Thomas Jefferson, pp. 73-74)

List principles and actions by Jefferson which exemplified, supported, and perpetuated the Judeo-Christian culture of liberty.

 

Quotes by Thomas Jefferson

Historical Note about Jefferson’s contributions to the Great Seal of the United States

Together with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, Jefferson was appointed to draw up a proposal for the Great Seal of the United States. Although Congress later adopted a simpler design, Jefferson took this occasion to emphasize the historical influence of two earlier civilizations on the liberties of his countrymen. One side of his proposed seal depicted the Anglo-Saxon leader Hengist and Horsa, while the other side portrayed the ancient Israelites being led through the wilderness by God’s pillar of fire. (Allison, The Real Thomas Jefferson, pp. 73-74)

Quotations

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

We can surely boast of having set the world a beautiful example of a government reformed by reason alone, without bloodshed. . . but the world is too far oppressed to profit by the example.

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. (Allison, p. 200)

“I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another; for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents. “

“As to the calumny of atheism, I am so broken to calumnies of every kind. . .that I entirely disregard it … It has been so impossible to contradict all their lies that I have determined to contradict none, for while I should be engaged with one they would publish twenty new ones. [My] thirty years of public  life have enabled most of those who read newspapers to judge of one for themselves.”

My views of [the Christian religion] are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be—sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.

I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man.

If the freedom of religion guaranteed to us by law in theory can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by his pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.

Critical Thinking: Defining Church and State

Critical Thinking:

Defining Church and State

C.A. Davidson

    TODAY IN OUR SOCIETY, WE HAVE PEOPLE LITERALLY GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION, because many of us do not understand the line of demarcation between church and state.

Let’s take a closer look at our topic in the First Amendment of the Constitution:

church-state3-first-amendmtCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …

I hope by the time we conclude here that you will understand more precisely what “establishment of religion” means. In 1963, the Supreme Court established the religion of atheism by banning the Bible. Congress didn’t even make that law—the Supreme Court did. How unconstitutional is that?

Today, Congress has not made laws establishing a religion, in this case Islam. Political Correctness, with the help of Barack Obama, has done that. How unconstitutional is that?

Only Congress can make laws. Congressman Trey Gowdy explains:

We make law and while you are free to stand and clap when any president comes into this hallowed chamber and promises to do it with or without you. I will never stand and clap when ANY president no matter whether it’s your president or mine, promises to make us a constitutional anomaly and an afterthought. WE MAKE LAW. 

Church Laws

Most Christian church laws deal with the moral standing of an individual. They can exile or excommunicate a member of their faith for moral transgression, which is violation of a moral law.

U.S. Laws

church-state2-madison-quote          U.S . laws are based on the biblical Ten Commandments. The Constitution guarantees protection of innocent life and property. Therefore, if a member of any religion in the United States steals or commits murder, that member must be tried and punishable by a civil court, because the person has infringed upon another’s liberties and is a threat to society. Most holy writ condemns murder. The religious books of some countries justify murder in the name of their religion. Murder is still against the law in the United States, and is not justified or protected by freedom of religion.

Jefferson and Madison were anxious that the individual states provide for equality among all religions, in order to encourage a moral fiber in society.

Before the Civil War, some states were persecuting certain religions and favoring others, even though the First Amendment of the Constitution spells out the right to freedom for all religions. After the Civil War, amendments were established so that the states could not overrule the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. Now, First Amendment rights are guaranteed on a national level to all American citizens, no matter what state they reside in.

Dallin H. Oaks, legal scholar and Christian leader, clarifies:

Jefferson’s “wall” was obviously intended only for the federal government, and the Supreme Court application of the metaphor to the states has come under severe criticism. (Dallin Oaks, 1963: The Wall Between Church and State, pp.2-3)

church-state1-reagan-quote          Under the United States Constitution,  we have freedom of religion, and anyone can worship whom, where, or what they choose, or not worship anything, if they so choose—as long as their religious opinions don’t cause them to infringe upon the liberties of others. The Constitution is the charter for a civil government, not a religious government, but it requires that the government protect our God-given rights of life, liberty, and property.

Sharia Law, on the other hand, is administered by the Islamic State, in which religion and state are inseparable. Sharia Law is diametrically opposed to the Constitutional rights of life, liberty, and property, and denies First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, and press as well. Sharia Law allows killing, stealing, and enslavement in the name of their man-made religion.

Should Church Doctrine determine National Policy?

Christians believe in being kind to the wayfaring stranger. The motives are pure, Christ-like love. Does this mean that governments should apply this doctrine on a national scale, and dispense with the vetting process for immigrants?

ImmigrationInvasionOfAmericaThe motives of Islamists, on the other hand, are to use immigration as an invasion tactic, to conquer the target nation, with no intention of assimilating into our Judeo-Christian culture and respecting our values. Obviously, for national security reasons, America can’t assume that the motives of all immigrants are pure, especially when those immigrants hold to religious doctrines that are inimical to the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian ethics upon which our nation is founded.

(See Constitution OK with Immigration Tests on Religion

Ed Vitagliano, of the American Family Association, provides some important insights into this issue:

welfare-government-charity-madisonHere is the principle: Biblically speaking, the government is not the same as the individual Christian, and it is not the same as the church. Therefore, believers must be careful not to apply to government Scriptures intended for the church.

For example, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

So, we must conclude that individual Christians are to forgive their enemies. But must we also conclude that governments should forgive their enemies? Must we demand that criminals convicted of crimes be released and not sent to prison?

The application of this principle is that individual Christians should help refugees who are in our nation. But the issue of who we allow in – and how many – is not a biblical matter. It is a political matter. (Please see this related post for additional important information:

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

 

            You decide: The line of demarcation between Church and State     

Here are some other examples. Use critical thinking to determine whether these cases deserve the protection  of freedom of religion, or whether they violate unalienable rights of life, liberty, and property,  threatening public safety, thereby being subject to prosecution and punishment by civil law.

Child Sacrifice

moloch_the_god1) In ancient times, some people worshipped a god named Moloch. These worshippers practiced human sacrifice, throwing their babies into a fiery furnace in the belly of the statue of  Moloch.

  • Should those worshipers have been granted license to destroy innocent life because it was a religious ritual for them?

Slavery and Slave Trade

2) In a bizarre digression from their latest anti-Christian tirade, the Islamic State addressed the question of black slavery, claiming that if Muslims had been in charge of Western states, the slave trade would have continued.

If Muslims rather than Christians had been running things in countries like the U.S., the Islamic State argues in the most recent issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, “the lucrative African slave trade would have continued, supporting a strong economy.”

As usual, the Islamic State supports its position with theological arguments, suggesting that Allah is pleased with slavery, as long as the slaves are infidels.

slave-trade-ISIS“Trading in black African slaves, the [Islamic] magazine notes, would not be done for racial reasons but religious ones.

(Thomas D. Williams, PhD. ‘Lucrative African Slave Trade Would Have Continued’ Breitbart.com)

  • Should Islamists be allowed to traffic in slavery and protected by freedom of religion because they do it for “religious reasons?”

Murder

3) Jihad is not a product of extremist fringes; it is a core religious doctrine of Islam today found in their Koran. Jihad requires that Islamists kill or enslave innocent people—anyone who does not convert to their religion.

MuslimWarriorTrading in black African slaves, the magazine [Dabiq] notes, would not be done for racial reasons but religious ones.

“All of this would be done, not for racism, nationalism, or political lies, but to make the word of Allah supreme. Jihad is the ultimate show of one’s love for his Creator, facing the clashing of swords and buzzing of bullets on the battlefield, seeking to slaughter his enemies – whom he hates for Allah’s hatred of them.”[1]

  • Should Islamists be protected by freedom of religion so they can “slaughter [his] enemies”, or anyone who doesn’t agree with Islam?

Critical Thinking  

  • When is freedom of religion limited?
  • What actions, even if done in the name of religion, require the perpetrator to be subject to civil law?

Related Post:

 Islamic State approves Slave Trade

 

[1]  Thomas D. Williams, PhD. ‘Lucrative African Slave Trade Would Have Continued’ (Breitbart.com)

 

Judeo-Christian Culture: Push Back Against the World

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Push Back Against the World

Dallin H. Oaks

God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures … spread throughout it. ~Richard G. Scott

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

I. Don’t reject the Word because of Fear of Man

As is traditional on such occasions, [college graduation]I will give some advice to graduates. I have titled my message “Push Back Against the World.” By pushing against “the world” I obviously do not mean all that the world has to offer in modern conveniences, prosperity, and security. When I say, “Push back against the world,” I mean push back against that part of the world’s values and practices that draw us away from the Lord’s teachings and our covenant obligations.

At the beginning of this dispensation, the Lord warned that “every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world” (D&C 1:16).

The Apostle Paul gave the same warning in one of his New Testament letters: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Those warnings not to be spoiled by the “likeness of the world” and “the tradition of men” apply to all of us. But they apply most particularly to graduates who are about to leave the protection of their alma mater, which means their nourishing mother, and venture forth into a world full of temptations and troubles.

There is nothing new in such advice to one who is just setting forth. The Lord warned the young Prophet Joseph Smith that he should not go on “in the persuasions of men” (D&C 3:6). And again, in connection with his loss of the 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon, the Lord rebuked the Prophet with these words: “And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and to yield to the persuasions of men no more” (D&C 5:21).

The cares and temptations of the world are very real to all, especially to those who have accepted the doctrines and made the covenants of the restored gospel. Prophetic teachings often run counter to the popular ideas and prejudices of the world. Church members must, therefore, take special care to avoid the mistake of James Covel, an early convert, who rejected the word and the way of the Lord because of “the fear of persecution and the cares of the world” (D&C 40:2).

II. We cannot change evil, but we can increase our power to deal with it

But as serious as all of this is, we must worry just as much about the rising tide of evil in the world around us. Though some of us may feel isolated from the physical and political threats I have just mentioned, all of us are surrounded with evil in literature, music, movies, videos—on the internet, in our schools, and in the marketplace.

I see all of these challenges as a fulfillment of Father Lehi’s prophetic teaching that there must be “an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). We cannot change the evil influences that surround and press upon us and our families, but we can increase our power to deal with them as we push back against the world. We must try to carve out personal islands of purity and serenity and strengthen our barriers against the forces that besiege us in these protected spaces.

Following the Lord’s way is not easy. The Lord has warned us again and again, directly and through His servants, that the world will hate us for being different, for doing things the Lord’s way. In the concluding days of His ministry, He told His Apostles, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).

 The good news is that when we do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way we are assured of His blessings to help us. “I will go before your face,” He has said. “I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).

III. Effective Ways to Push Back

Honor the Sabbath

One of the most effective ways we can go forward with faith and push back against the world is to observe the Sabbath day in an appropriate, positive way. The Sabbath day of worship and rest from worldly labors is the divinely appointed anchor to hold us fast in the storms of life. Properly observed, the Sabbath will help us and our families develop the spiritual strength we need to stand firm against temptation and to stay unspotted from the world.

By modern revelation the Lord has commanded that on the Sabbath we “rest from [our] labors” and “pay [our] devotions unto the Most High” and that on this day we “do none other thing” (D&C 59:10, 13). When we keep this commandment of our Creator, we qualify for His promised blessings. He who created us knows what patterns of behavior will allow us to achieve our maximum physical and spiritual performance, and He has given us commandments designed to guide us into that behavior. When we honor the Sabbath day, we separate ourselves from most of the world, but we are blessed richly for it.

Avoid Hate

Another way to push back against the world is to stand clear from the current atmosphere of hate and to refrain from participating in the contentious communications that are so common today. Partly such contentious communications result from modern technology, which fosters conflicts by expanding the audience and the speed of dissemination. Careless charges, false representations, and ugly innuendos are instantly flashed around the world, widening and intensifying the distance between different parties and different positions. I am not referring to differences in policies, which need to be debated publicly, but to the current ugliness and personal meanness of the communications.

Don’t be part of such communications. As followers of Christ, we know that all of the inhabitants of this earth are children of God. Use that knowledge to push back against the worldly prejudices that preach hate or hostility toward other nations, ethnic groups, or even political parties.

Remember our Savior’s teaching that “he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29). In our discourse, public and private, we should all follow the gospel teachings to avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. But beyond this we should remember and follow the Savior’s teaching: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Just this month President Monson taught us:

“If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with compassion and respect, showing our love in day-to-day interactions. …

“Love is the very essence of the gospel, the noblest attribute of the human soul. Love is the remedy for ailing families, ill communities, and sick nations.”1

Stand for the Right

Of course this counsel to love, to avoid contention, and to be examples of civility is not meant to discourage us from participating in discussions, debates, and even taking adversarial positions against what we believe to be wrong or inadvisable. Within the limits of our own resources of time and influence we should take a position, make it known, and in a respectful way attempt to persuade others of its merit, at least for us. Positive action is essential to our responsibility to push back against the world.

Good examples of those kinds of positions where our voices need to be heard are the importance of religion and religious freedom for all citizens, believers and nonbelievers alike.

As to the importance of religion, we can be alert to insist that its importance in the founding of this nation and the progress of our civilization is given fair treatment in our public schools. This is needed because some influential leaders and many educators have come to consider it bad taste or even illegal for public schools even to mention religious influences and motivations.

The American Textbook Council, which surveys the most widely used American and world history textbooks, gave this report two decades ago: “The strength of religion in shaping human thought and action is not often explained, and its role as a motivating agent of culture, politics, and ethics often remains under examined. … Religion in the contemporary world is discussed by region, out of context, and often in oblique and misleading ways.”2

We should push back against such incomplete and inaccurate portrayals of our histories and our people.

Under the banner of Jesus Christ, we should also go forward in coalitions of like-minded persons to protect and advance the strength of our precious freedoms of speech, conscience, and the free exercise of religion. I have spoken often on this subject, in this country and other countries. This subject is important, but not needful of further emphasis to this audience.

Keep the Commandments of God

Of course, pushing back against the world includes as one of its most important elements keeping the commandments of God. Graduates, I plead with each of you not to seek happiness in the glittering temptations and attractions of the world. As the scriptures teach, wickedness never was happiness. Those who yield to the enticing of Satan may, as the scripture says, “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25), but that kind of pleasure can never lead to lasting happiness or eternal joy. Over time, yielding to the influences of Satan will only halt eternal progress and bring feelings of darkness, anger, hate, and misery.

Push Back against Cultures that are Contrary to the Gospel

While speaking of sin, I will also speak of the dangers of some elements of national and ethnic cultures, and even family cultures, that come from the traditions and practices of men. When the practices of these cultures are contrary to gospel covenants and culture, we must push back and separate ourselves from them. We must do this with cultural practices that accommodate dishonesty or dependency or tolerate sexual relations outside marriage. The Apostle Paul warned:

 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Push Back against Dependency

We should also push back against the worldly practice that has been described as the culture of dependency—the expectation that the extended family or the community or the government will provide what you desire with a minimum of effort on your part. As required by the spiritual growth that is the purpose of the plan of salvation, the gospel teaching of self-reliance pushes back against the idea or culture of dependency.

Serving others is the gospel way of pushing back against the worldly attitudes of dependency.

Don’t be part of the worldly attitude described in the characterization of your generation as the “me generation,” interested only in “what’s in it for me.” Always be willing to cooperate and even sacrifice in cooperative efforts for the benefit of the larger community.

Push Back against Pollution of the Moral Environment

We hear much about cleaning up the physical environment—air, water, and other essentials that are being polluted in a way that is poisoning the physical environment for all of us. We may choose to join in such efforts. But we who are responsible to push back against the world should be at least equally concerned about forces that are poisoning the moral environment. I refer to such moral pollutions as pornography. I also refer to language that pollutes public communications with profanity, vulgarity, and morally degrading coarseness. Push back against these kinds of pollutions also.

In all of these efforts, we can trust in the great promises of the Lord. He has taught us, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30). He has also taught us that He does not ask anything of us except He prepares the way for us to accomplish it (see 1 Nephi 3:7). He has shown us that while He may not immediately answer our prayers for relief, He will strengthen us to bear the burdens placed upon us (see Mosiah 24:14–15).

IV. Lifelong Learning and Cultural Enrichment

Robert Schumann music room

I have been speaking about pushing back against worldly values and practices that are contrary to gospel teachings and covenants. I now conclude by urging you to practice one worldly value that is consistent with the gospel culture. It is the importance of lifelong learning, which for us is promoted and directed by eternal priorities. Beyond increasing our occupational qualifications, we should desire to learn how to become more emotionally fulfilled, more skilled in our personal relationships, and better parents and citizens. There are few things more fulfilling and fun than learning something new. Greater happiness, satisfaction, and even temporal rewards come from this.

Our education should not be limited to formal study. Lifelong learning can increase our ability to appreciate and relish the workings and beauty of the world around us. This kind of learning goes well beyond books and a selective use of new technology, such as the internet. It includes artistic endeavors. It also includes experiences with people and places: conversations with friends; travel; visits to museums, plays, and concerts; and opportunities for service.

Graduates, expand yourselves and enjoy the journey. Remember the great counsel of our dear Elder Richard G. Scott, who said: “Now [look at] the brighter side. Despite pockets of evil, the world overall is majestically beautiful, filled with many good and sincere people. God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures … spread throughout it.3

1 Thomas S. Monson, “As I Have Loved You,” Ensign, Feb. 2017, 4–5.
2 G. T. Sewell, “Religion in the classroom: What the textbooks tell us, a report of the American Textbook Council” (1995), 17. Also see M. H. Romanowaki, “Addressing Christianity in American history: Are textbooks improving?” Mid-Western Educational Researcher, (2001), 21, 23–24. (“They simply mention religion … creating the impression that religion and faith have little to do with the development of U.S. history.”)
3 Richard G. Scott, “How to Live Well amid Increasing Evil,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 100.

National Security: Christianity, Church and State Issues

National Security:

Christianity, Church and State Issues

Does Christian compassion conflict with national security?

Remember, the role of the state is to protect the citizens from terrorism by enforcing the law, so that the citizens, including Christians, can have freedom of religion to “welcome the strangerwho has been vetted and is truly in need. First Amendment rights apply to citizens only. Acts of murder, theft, and fraud are not protected by freedom of religion, but are subject to civil law. ~C.D.

Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land. ~Doctrine and Covenants 58:21

‘Welcoming the stranger’ in an age of civilizational jihad and terror

Art Moore

Does the biblical mandate to “welcome the stranger” mean that faithful Christians must support immigration policies that arguably could not only harm citizens, but also threaten the nation’s very existence?

When more than half of U.S. governors announced they wouldn’t take in any more Syrian migrants until their security concerns were addressed, President Obama responded with a moral rebuke, declaring, “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” and is “not who we are” as Americans. (Obama’s values are not American values. ~C.D.)

Church and State Defined

State Responsibility: VET incoming migrants; then, Christians can welcome those who are truly fleeing oppression

But David French, an evangelical Christian known for his National Review columns and books on Islam and terrorism, argued there is “no contradiction between personally welcoming the ‘strangers’ among us while our leaders endeavor to protect us from a genocidal terrorist force that uses refugee status as a shield and disguise to perpetrate brutal attacks against innocent civilians.”

 

Abandoning Morality

Edward J. Erler, professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, observed a moral trend that has muddled the debate over the Syrian migrants, leading to what he believes are irrational decisions regarding national security.

 

Moral Relativism of Diversity

In a speech at Hillsdale College last fall he said Americans “have abandoned the morality engendered by what the Declaration of Independence called the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.'”

Erler said progressivism has eroded that foundation, leading to a morality of value-free relativism that insists reason cannot prove that one value is superior to or more beneficial than another, leaving society only with “idiosyncratic preferences.”

“In this value-free universe, the only value that is ‘objectively’ of higher rank is tolerance. Equal toleration of all values—what is called today a commitment to diversity—is only ‘reasonable’ position,” he explained.

He noted that the “tolerance of those who are willing to tolerate you does not earn you much credit—it doesn’t require much of a commitment or sacrifice.”

This reality, according to Erler, helps explain why many Westerners, including religious believers, are so eager to take in the Muslim migrants while demonizing those who disagree with them.

“If, however, you are willing to tolerate those who are pledged to kill you and destroy your way of life, tolerance represents a genuine commitment,” Erler said. “Only such a deadly commitment signals a nation’s single-minded devotion to tolerance as the highest value by its willingness to sacrifice its sovereignty as proof of its commitment.”

Concluding his argument, he said the “common-sense citizen is forgiven for thinking this train of thought insane.”

“But what other explanation could there be for the insistence of so many of our political leaders on risking the nation’s security—in light of what we see in Europe, one might even say their willingness to commit national suicide—by admitting refugees without regard to their hostility to our way of life and their wish to destroy us as a nation?”

Erler noted that Western leaders have shown no such enthusiasm for rescuing Christian refugees from Middle Eastern violence.

“These refugees, of course, represent no danger to America. Only by admitting those who do represent a danger can we display to the world ‘who we are as a people,’ a people willing to sacrifice ourselves to vouchsafe our commitment to tolerance.”

Welfare Refugees

Daniel Greenfield, an Israel-born author in New York who focuses on radical Islam, argued the only authentic refugees are Christians and Yazidis who do not have a country to call their own in the region.  Sunnis Muslims can flee to Jordan or Turkey, and Shiite Muslims can take refuge in Lebanon.

“Talk of resettling them in the United States or Europe has nothing to do with ‘persecution,'” he wrote in a column for FrontPage Magazine.

“It’s economic migration. And economic migration in this case is a euphemism for welfare migration,” noting the refugees specifically seek out countries such as Germany and Sweden with generous welfare states.

Resisting Assimilation

But the national-security threat is not limited to keeping out Islamic terrorists.

Counter-terrorism expert Andrew C. McCarthy, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the “blind sheik” terror case, points out the threat posed by populations that develop, encourage, aid, abet and materially support terrorism.

Shariah conflicts with the Constitution

But even more significant for the long term well-being of the United States, is the civilizational threat posed by the resistance to assimilation and the promotion of a system of governance—Islamic law, or shariah—that conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.

McCarthy warned in a National Review column that highly influential Islamic leaders have embarked on a conquest strategy known as “voluntary apartheid,” meaning the establishment of shariah enclaves that would eventually merge into an Islamic state that dominates Europe and the United States.

No-Go Zones

McCarthy noted France’s problem with its unassimilated Muslim community, asking, “Why should we voluntarily replicate it here?”

He quoted the highly respected political scientist Giles Kepel, who found dozens of French neighborhoods “where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings.”

These “no-go zones” include the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, which harbored the terrorist cell that carried out the multi-pronged November 2015 attack in the French capital that killed 129 people. Of the 1.4 million who live there, 600,000 are Muslims.

Dr. Ben Carson believes creating safe zones in Syria is a better way to deal with Syrian refugees than resettling them in the United States.

Christians Ignored

While 10 percent of the Syrian population is Christian, only 56 of the 10,801 Syrians accpet to the U.S. as of last September were Christians—about one-half of 1 percent.

A Christian leader who has been kidnapped by jihadists, and who has an ISIS bounty on his head, spoke with Whistleblower about the challenge of answering the seemingly conflicting calls of welcoming the stranger and also caring for love ones and neighbors.

The England-born vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White, who now is in exile from his Baghdad congregation, has been caring for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled ISIS.

More than 1,200 people who once worshipped with him have been killed in recent years, including four boys who were beheaded because they refused to convert to Islam.

“I think our first priority as Christians is to care for our family: We have to care for the Christians,” he said. “and what America is very bad at doing is understanding the needs of persecuted Christians.”

Gallery

National Security: Islamic Invasion, Immigration Vetting Process, and Immigration Facts, Part 2

This gallery contains 3 photos.

National Security: Islamic Invasion, Immigration Vetting Process, and Immigration Facts Islamic Refugees, Rigorous Vetting and the Facts: Part 2 Mark Landsbaum   Remember, the role of the state is to protect the citizens from terrorism by enforcing the law, so … Continue reading

Moral Solutions: Freedom of Religion; Stop Persecution of Christians

Moral Solutions:

Freedom of Religion; Stop Persecution of Christians

Trump reversing ‘devastating trend,’ says Christian leader

Bob Unruhobama-rejected-a

‘Destructive Obama-era policies’ on president’s chopping block

christianquote3-ten-com-lawPresident Donald Trump called for a united effort to make America better to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, inviting all to join in restoring the nation’s economy, defense and more.

But a prominent Christian leader in attendance said what struck him was Trump’s commitment to religious freedom.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “Tonight President Trump gave encouragement to Americans of all backgrounds who have suffered the loss of their freedoms, especially religious liberty, because of destructive Obama-era policies.

Perkins said Trump “is taking his first steps to reverse the devastating trend of the government punishing those who live their life according to their deeply held beliefs.”

obama-persecute-christians“That’s why it’s no surprise that recent polling finds the most enthusiastic supporters of Trump are evangelicals, the same ones who helped deliver one of the most stunning upsets in election history,” he said. “President Trump understands that if Americans don’t have the freedom to live according to their faith – whether it’s in the home, in the workplace, or in school – then we really can’t be free. That’s why I remain confident that President Trump will sign an executive order reinstating government-wide protections for religious liberty.”

Perkins noted Trump’s comments about rebuilding the military and charged that the policies of the previous administration dealt with the troops “as a laboratory of liberal social experimentation.”

“These policies have led to chaplains being disciplined for their faith, and religious speech being censored. Religious liberty in the military needs to be reinforced with policies that reflect the law, which allows men and women to not only believe, but act on those beliefs,” he said.

“I am hopeful that tonight’s speech will provide new momentum toward fulfilling the GOP’s promise of dismantling the disastrous Obamacare law and ending the forced partnership between taxpayers and organizations like Planned Parenthood. We are committed to assisting the president and congressional leaders in repealing and replacing Obamacare with a program that is patient-centered and respects the principle that federal funding and subsidies do not go to health care plans which include abortion.

“Tonight, President Trump opened the door wider to solutions that put America back on the right track. As the president continues to fulfill his promises, I believe he will see more Americans rally to his side to join him in making freedom mean something again in America.”

The House Freedom Caucus released a statement praising Trump for laying out “a bold, forward-looking vision for the country that puts the needs of Main Street before those of Washington, D.C.”

“Since his first day in office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to keep his campaign promises: from undoing President Obama’s jobs-killing regulatory regime, to taking action to secure our nation,” the caucus said.

“As President Trump alluded to this evening, there’s much work to be done ahead. We were pleased the president reaffirmed his commitment to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-driven policy. We share his vision and will work to develop a repeal and replace strategy that does just that.”
http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/trump-reversing-devastating-trend-says-christian-leader/

 

Protecting Christians, fighting terror? Russia’s on it

Syrian priest: ‘It is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to Vladimir Putin’

Aleksandar Pavic

putin-christian-orthodoxA few years ago, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who then was Russia’s ambassador to NATO, warned that a new influence had appeared that was becoming a major threat to large segments of the world, namely, Asia, Europe and America.

“There is a new civilization emerging in the Third World that thinks that the white, Northern Hemisphere has always oppressed it and must therefore fall at its feet now. … If the northern civilization wants to protect itself, it must be united: America, the European Union and Russia. If they are not together, they will be defeated one by one,” he said.

He was primarily referring to radical Islam. And America, with its Christian foundation, Europe, with its own Judeo-Christian heritage, and even Russia, with its historic Russian Orthodox Christian church, would appear to have reason to join ranks.

So why would the American political elite be so averse to pursuing better relations with Russia, as President Donald Trump has suggested?

After all, every president in recent years has stated essentially the same goal. Remember then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “reset” under President Obama?

But opposition to Trump’s suggestions have been loud and long, despite what some have seen as extraordinary efforts on the part of Russia to protect Christians.

It was a 76-year old Flemish priest from the sixth-century Mar Yakub monastery in the Syrian city of Qara who put the issue in the context he understood best, his own life.

protect-christians“It is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power… Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. … Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.”

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

In Europe, many of the newly sprung nationalist, anti-globalist and anti-EU parties have expressed admiration for Russia’s defense of traditional values, along with European Christian intellectuals, who despair over Western Europe’s abandonment of its spiritual roots.

In the Balkans, Russia is the sole power standing up for Christians persecuted by Islamists and has refused to recognize the Western condoned secession of Kosovo from Serbia and the Muslim Albanians ISIS-like destruction of the millennial Christian Church heritage there.

And Archbishop Vsevovlod Chaplin declared, “Any fight against terrorism is moral; we can even call it a holy fight.”
The Kremlin said, “The two leaders emphasized that joining efforts in fighting the main threat – international terrorism – is a top priority. The presidents spoke out for establishing real coordination of actions between Russia and the U.S. aimed at defeating Islamic State and other terrorists groups in Syria.”

http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/protecting-christians-fighting-terror-russias-on-it/

Geert Wilders: Islam Is Not a Religion, It’s a Totalitarian Ideology

Patriotism: Reagan Quotes

Patriotism:

Reagan Quotes

Faith, Moral Character, and Liberty

culture-war3-reaganAs long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours.

 

If we ever forget that we are “One Nation under God,” then we will be a nation gone under.

 

Reagan-Quote-BThere are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what is morally right.

 

We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile, it needs protection.

 

reagannosurvive-without-GodWe must realize that no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

 

In a world wracked by hatred, economic crisis, and political tension, America remains mankind’s best hope.

 

My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.

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