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Not Everything Is Peachy In Georgia
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 11:06 AM

georgia peach coin 300x300 Not Everything Is Peachy In GeorgiaRecently, I wrote on these pages about Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia who, under pressure from the Gaystapo and their corporate allies, vetoed a bill that would have provided the barest of religious liberty protection to churches that believe in natural, biblical marriage. The legislation would have allowed clergy to refuse to perform homosexual “marriages” and would have also protected those who refuse to attend such “ceremonies.” Moreover, churches and religious groups, including Christian schools, could also have declined to serve or hire someone based upon their faith. Further, religious groups and churches would have been granted protection from renting its facilities to any organization that was contrary to its beliefs.

Last year, Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran filed a federal lawsuit against the city that employed him accusing the city of firing him because of his religious beliefs. At one time in the United States, those religious beliefs were protected by constitutional right. Chief Cochran, an evangelical Christian (which is apparently not unusual in Georgia), was terminated in January 2015 after he published a book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked,” a Bible study that covered a range of his personal religious beliefs. What outlandish things did Chief Cochran believe? Well, in one section of the book, Chief Cochran called “homosexuality” and “lesbianism” a “sexual perversion” morally equivalent to “pederasty” and “bestiality.” The Chief was first suspended from his duties after the city questioned the book’s passages regarding homosexuality as being a violation of Atlanta’s non-discrimination policy. Then several months later, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Chief Cochran. Knowing that this decision could cost Atlanta taxpayers millions of dollars in damages and legal fees, Mayor Reed shrewdly said that Chief Cochran’s firing was over his “judgment and management skills,” and that “Cochran’s personal religious beliefs are not the issue.” The Chief’s firing had the support of numerous LGBTQ+ groups, along with the Atlanta Professional Firefighters Union, which released a statement commending Mayor Reed for Chief Cochran’s firing. “Local 134 supports LGBT rights and equality among all employees.”

Then there is the very recent case of Dr. Eric Walsh, a renowned public health expert who also serves as a lay minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He recently sued the Georgia Department of Public Health after he also was fired from his job. He “alleged” that he was terminated for delivering sermons on issues ranging from homosexuality to evolution. Again, “allegedly,” the Georgia Department of Public Health assigned workers to investigate sermons and public addresses Dr. Walsh delivered on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science, and creationism. He also preached on what the Holy Bible says about homosexuality. In fact, staffers from the Department of Public Health were warned by their legal counsel twice that “under federal law, Dr. Walsh’s religious beliefs could play no role in any employment decision.” In an interview with Fox News, Dr. Walsh said, “I don’t believe I did anything wrong. This has been very painful for me. I really am a strong believer in the Constitution. But now I feel like maybe all these ideals and values that I was raised to believe – the ideals the country was founded upon – no longer exist.” Sadly, Dr. Walsh may well have an important point here.

So what lessons can we draw from what goes on in Georgia? First, we should remember that constitutional free speech rights were intended to protect unpopular opinions. Second, if you are a bi-vocational pastor or speaker, what you say from the pulpit on a Sunday morning in Georgia (and many other places as well) or write for Mere Comments, can get you fired from your government job. And third, it is outrageous that any government can force its public servants to surrender their First Amendment rights. After all, if a government can and will fire someone for their religious beliefs, then no beliefs are safe from government interference and prosecution. Georgia government bureaucrats are sending a very clear, bullying message that Christians must check their faith at the door of public service. But we have been warned: The Lord Jesus taught His disciples in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” But, just as the Apostle Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen, both Chief Cochran and Dr. Walsh are asserting their legal rights. It might even send a powerful lesson to LGBTQ+ activists and their allies that the Holy Bible, God’s Word, condemns wicked, reprobate behavior. But they may already realize that the truth shall make you free, but first, it will make you very uncomfortable.

Remembering Two Heroes From The Sinking of the Titanic
Friday, April 15, 2016, 10:05 AM

Titanic THE FINAL PLUNGE 300x200 Remembering Two Heroes From The Sinking of the Titanic

It was on this date in 1912 that RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage to New York City. She was the ultimate passenger liner, unparalleled in luxury, size, and technology, and so advanced that she was considered unsinkable. The legendary British ocean liner struck an iceberg and sank hours later in the North Atlantic. Among its technological marvels was an electrical control panel that controlled all of the fans, generators, and lighting on the ship. The panel also controlled the condensers that turned steam back into water and machines that took salt out of ocean water to make it drinkable. The Titanic also had a master clock for all of the clocks on board. The central clock was on the bridge, and as Captain Smith adjusted the time on that clock, all the clocks on the ship would register the change as the ship sailed through different time zones. A number of first-class cabins also had telephones, although those telephones could not make ship-to-shore calls. But the crowning technical glory on the Titanic was the advanced wireless communications setup for Morse code, which was considered the most powerful in use at the time.

The disaster of the Titanic is often seen as a tale of man’s hubris, social stratification, and even capitalist excess. But the truth may be considerably more sobering and less dramatic. Titanic carried 2,224 people on its maiden voyage, but could only fit 1,178 people into its lifeboats. From the moment the Titanic hit the iceberg, the casualties were clearly going to be unprecedented. And yet, Titanic was fully compliant with all marine laws. The British Board of Trade required all vessels above 10,000 metric tons to carry 16 lifeboats. The White Star Line ensured that the Titanic exceeded the requirements by four boats, but the British Board of Trade had not updated its regulations for nearly 20 years. This continues to be a disturbingly common problem. Governments find it easy to implement regulations, but struggle to update them. After all, politicians and bureaucrats gain political benefit from introducing new laws and regulations, and not from updating old laws. As a result, regulated entities tend to comply with the specifics of the regulations, and not with the goal of the regulations themselves. It is hard not to see the Titanic disaster as yet another tragic example of governmental failure.

270px Rev John Harper 223x300 Remembering Two Heroes From The Sinking of the TitanicAmong the many heroes of the Titanic tragedy, two stand out in particular. Pastor John Harper, a Baptist minister, was coming to Chicago to preach for several months at the historic Moody Church. Pastor Harper was a 39-year-old widower, who was traveling with his six-year-old daughter, Annie, and his niece, Jessie Leitch, both of whom survived the sinking. Pastor Harper had preached previously at the Moody Church during the months of November and December, 1911, and in January 1912. His revival meetings at Moody Church had been greatly blessed, and he was invited back to preach for several more months. His niece would later tell the story that on the evening of April 14, she and Pastor Harper were standing on deck admiring the sunset. Reverend Harper famously remarked to her before retiring for the night, “It will be beautiful in the morning.” After the collision, Pastor Harper awakened his daughter, wrapped her in a blanket and carried her to the A deck. There he kissed her good-bye and handed her to a crewman who placed both his daughter and niece in Lifeboat 11. As the Titanic was sinking, Pastor Harper was heard shouting, “Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!” And as the Titanic began to break in two, many persons jumped into the icy water, including Pastor Harper. Before the hypothermia became fatal, Pastor Harper swam frantically to people pleading with them to believe in the Lord Jesus so that they could be saved in accordance with Acts 16:31. Pastor Harper swam to one young man and asked him, “Are you saved?” The young man replied that he was not. Pastor Harper tried to lead the young man to Jesus Christ, but the young man was near shock. Pastor Harper then took off his life preserver and threw it to the young man, saying, “Here then, you need this more than I do!” He then swam away to other people, but several minutes later, Reverend Harper returned to the young man and succeeded in leading him to Christ’s salvation. Of the more than 1,500 persons who went into the icy waters that tragic night, only six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man, who was floating on debris. Four years later, at a Titanic survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears told how Pastor Harper had led him to Jesus Christ. He further told how Pastor Harper tried to help others, but because of the intense cold, he eventually grew too weak to swim. His last words before he sank beneath the waves were “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

Thomas byles 225x300 Remembering Two Heroes From The Sinking of the TitanicAlso on the Titanic’s crossing was Father Thomas Roussel Davids Byles, an English Catholic priest. He was sailing to New York City to officiate at the wedding of his younger brother. He said Mass on the morning of the sinking for both second- and third-class passengers in their respective lounges. His sermon that day was the need for prayer and the sacraments as our spiritual lifeboat when there are temptations that lead us to spiritual shipwreck. Father Byles was on an upper deck praying his breviary when the Titanic struck the iceberg. As the ship was sinking, he assisted many third-class passengers. Reportedly, he twice refused a place on a lifeboat. At the very end, he recited the rosary, heard confessions, and gave absolution to more than one hundred passengers who remained trapped on the stern of the ship after the lifeboats had been launched.

The Titanic’s orchestra also perished with the sinking. It is said that the last hymn they played on that tragic night was “Autumn,” which concludes with the prayer:

When temptations fierce assault me,
When my enemies I find,
Sin and guilt, and death and Satan,
All against my soul combined,
Hold me up in mighty waters
Keep my eyes on things above,
Righteousness, divine Atonement,
Peace, and everlasting Love.

Peace to the memory of Reverend John Harper and Father Byles, and the other victims of that horrific night, and may their memories be eternal!

Standing Up To The 2016 Day of Silence
Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 10:32 AM

no rainbow 300x300 Standing Up To The 2016 Day of SilenceYes, it’s that time of the year again! This coming Friday, April 15, 2016, is the next “Day of Silence” (the “DOS”). The DOS is a homosexuality-affirming event mostly held in government-run schools. It is organized by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (“GLSEN”), and on this day, as described on the GLSEN website, “hundreds of thousands of students across the world take a vow of silence.” The ostensible purpose is to raise “awareness of the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination.” So DOS will be in effect in thousands of government-run high schools and middle schools in the United States. On the DOS, students will be encouraged to wear special pro-homosexual badges, stickers, and bracelets, which will be handed out at school entrances. There will also be displays of pro-LGBTQ+ posters in the hallways, in handouts, and even at school workshops. The GLSEN website also talks about such events in elementary schools, starting as early as kindergarten. However, as I wrote recently on these pages, available here, thousands of teachers in Colorado and elsewhere are being trained to bring such propaganda to public and private preschools as well. As you can well imagine, getting younger people to identify emotionally with the overall LGBTQ+ movement is very important to homosexual and pedophile activists, who continue to claim that the DOS is organized by “students.” However, it is in fact organized behind the scenes by adults with the eager and enthusiastic cooperation of government school officials. The administrators use materials and instructions from GLSEN, which is funded by major American corporations, including AT&T, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Target, Disney ABC Television Group, Mattel, Citibank, McDonald’s, Google, Comcast, Kellogg’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Hilton Hotels, among many others. Why even the National Basketball Association is a proud sponsor of GLSEN. It should be quite shocking to us that companies that many of us patronize are using our money to subvert our children’s and grandchildren’s minds to normalize a dangerous perversion and to support destructive and addictive behavior that brings deadly diseases and grave psychological trauma. And, of course, young people are most vulnerable to this propaganda.

There are two approaches that families can take. For those who are bolder, I have seen, for example, a not-very-subtle “no rainbow” sign or sticker that can be placed on a shirt or sweater, or even on a classroom door (as a “safe space” for just regular students). It silently says that you are not buying their propaganda, and that you are not being intimidated. And wearing such a sticker on DOS may give some stress on the DOS to homosexualists and their allies. And since the GLSEN folks will be distributing their propaganda, we can pass along some important truths from the Centers for Disease Control about the much higher rates of serious disease among homosexuals, including HIV/AIDS, anal cancer, liver cancer, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and drug-resistant infections, among others. Then we can also teach about the serious mental health effects of much higher rates among homosexuals of suicide, depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, and obesity (in women). To learn more about the devastation caused by homosexuality, please read this article entitled The Darker, Dangerous Side of American Homosexuality. Ultimately, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 6:9 and elsewhere throughout the Holy Bible, homosexual practices and behaviors cannot, by definition, be harmless.

A second approach for families arises from the fact that government-run schools derive part of their funding from complex formulae dealing with student attendance on each particular day. You may want to telephone your school administrators and ask about the school’s plans for DOS. Given that there are many parents and students who strongly object to the DOS onslaught, they might just want to stay away from the whole thing. For several years, the Illinois Family Association has teamed with dozens of pro-family groups across the country to encourage parents to keep their children home from school that day. That also sends a powerful “silent” message to the schools and the activists, and it costs the local school board some state funding. Here is a link to the Illinois Family Association webpage on this topic, which I think many will find a frightening read.

Totalitarians cannot abide by any dissent, and like all authoritarian and totalitarian movements, the militant homosexualists prey on people’s societal fear of rejection and capitulation. However, if we show that we are not afraid and do not cooperate, it may make a tremendous impact. But all parents are strongly urged to contact their school administrators and object to this shameful event. Think of it as a small act of civil disobedience that may save your child’s life.

Mississippi Leaders Exhibit Moral Courage
Friday, April 8, 2016, 9:21 AM

House 300x225 Mississippi Leaders Exhibit Moral CourageI recently posted an article about Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, who vetoed legislation that would provide religious liberty protection to churches and other organizations that believe in natural, biblical marriage. That legislation would have allowed clergy to refuse to perform homosexual “marriages,” and would have also protected those who refuse to attend such “ceremonies.” In addition, churches and religious groups, including Christian schools, would have been granted protection from renting their facilities to any organization that was contrary to their beliefs. Governor Deal made this determination following threats of boycotts against Georgia by many large businesses, including the National Football League, which threatened to jeopardize Atlanta’s chance to host Super Bowl LIII in 2019 at the new $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

However, this past Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” Among this law’s provisions, which go into effect in July, prevent governmental discrimination against a wide-ranging group of people and organizations, including marriage-license clerks, adoption agencies, counselors, and more than a dozen categories of businesses that provide wedding-related services whose owners believe that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. Many applauded Mississippi’s new law because no person should be punished by the government by crippling fines, bankruptcy, and jail time simply for believing exactly what Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton said a few years ago that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. A recent poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Mississippi voters want to protect pastors, priests, churches, schools, and businesses from government punishment for their sincerely-held religious beliefs. Supporters say that such measures are necessary to protect people, such as Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were fined $13,000 after they declined to host a lesbian wedding at their Liberty Ridge Farm north of Albany, New York, in 2013.

However, the acclaim was not universal. Opponents of these religious protection measures argue they can harm states financially by discouraging major businesses from hosting events or expanding operations in places seen as hostile toward homosexual and lesbian employees and customers. As was the case in Georgia and elsewhere, Big Business and Hollywood threaten to engage in economic blackmail against Mississippi. It is with particular irony that many larger businesses seem quite happy to bully Mississippi (and Georgia), but have no moral qualms with the hypocrisy of doing business in many parts of the Islamic world where the practice of homosexuality can lead to incarceration or a death sentence. Moreover, a number of state governors have now ordered that “non-essential” travel to Mississippi be stopped. (Of course, this begs the question: if it is “non-essential” travel, why is it even taking place at taxpayer expense?)

Unlike Indiana and Georgia, Mississippi state leaders have chosen to defend the fundamental freedoms of their citizens to believe and live according to their strongly-held religious beliefs, rather than to capitulate to the economic threats of Big Business and Hollywood. Of course, the threats of Big Business and Hollywood are mostly bluster as companies seek to maximize shareholder value and the economic impact of company boycotts of states is, at best, unclear. Kellie Fiedorek, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian lawyers’ advocacy group that has backed religious-objection legislation and led numerous court fights in these disputes, recently observed, “Good and common sense bills that simply underscore or protect freedoms that we have had since the founding of our country are being attacked by large corporations seeking to thwart the democratic process.” I certainly commend Governor Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, for standing up for the fundamental freedoms of the people they represent, and for being profiles in courage. Congratulations, too, to the fine people of Mississippi for having elected them!

Coming To A Preschool Near You?
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 11:05 AM

iStock 000057174148 Small 300x200 Coming To A Preschool Near You?

The Montview Community Preschool and Kindergarten (“Montview”) in Denver, Colorado, is a parent cooperative preschool and kindergarten for children three years of age and older. The school advertises that its highly experienced staff is “committed to best practices and to excellence in early education,” and that the school is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which the school administration considers the “gold standard” in early children education. Montview states that its goal is to provide an environment for experiential learning, including “developmentally appropriate play-based learning.” As a parent cooperative, there is significant parental participation as parents are considered “partners in joyful learning.” The school advertises that it uses “engaging materials” that invite children to explore and learn with their “heads, hearts, and hands.” It also seeks to foster new ways of thinking for their students. In an article posted on its website, Lance Rushton encourages parents, “Look for books that are very different from your own family and personal experience . . . . Pick books that focus on different family structures, belief systems, cultural values and understandings, social position, historical trauma or economic circumstances. Yes, all of these examples can be found in children’s literature.” He then goes on to suggest the following dialogue as an example:

Daughter: “Dad, why do those kids have two moms?”

Dad: “The two moms are the parents of Claudia and Enrique. Some families have a mom and a dad like you have, and some have two dads or two moms. Some kids have one parent, a mom or a dad. Families come together in many different ways for many different reasons that I don’t even know.

Daughter: “I don’t know of any families that don’t have a mom and a dad.

Dad: “Actually you do. Drew has two dads, and Sonia from your class last year, has two moms. Oh, and Daren and his mom, and grandma are his family!

Daughter, “hmm, I didn’t know that.”

Dad: “Yep. Sometimes it’s hard to know what other families are like or who is in them when you only see one adult come to pick them up. Right? But they are all families who love each other just like we do.

Recently, one of Montview’s four-year-old students was expelled after her mother questioned the administration’s controversial curriculum that openly promoted homosexual behavior and transgenderism in the classroom. The child’s mother wanted an opportunity to opt her daughter out of the classroom discussions focusing on sexuality, same-sex relations, and gender issues, believing that her four-year-old is far too young to participate in sex education and related topics at school. The mother told the Denver Post, “I think, at this age, they don’t know what bias is. They could have kids from Mars and they would still play with each other.” But the mother made the foolish mistake of thinking that it is her parental right to judge when, where, and how her daughter is exposed to sensitive issues. So how did this issue even come to mom’s attention? Interestingly, mom became concerned about the sexual indoctrination program at Montview when her daughter came home from school and expressed worry that her father might not like “girls” any more. After finding out more from her daughter, she met with the school principal, Linda Mars, over concerns about the books being read in class, including ones that told the stories about same-sex couples. According to a CBN News reports, “School officials . . . . explained the stories were part of the school’s anti-bias curriculum, and because the discussions are sprinkled through the day’s activities, [the administration] told her that opting out was not possible.” However, a mere two days later, the preschooler was kicked out of the school. The school’s letter handed to mom simply stated, “[The situation is] not a good fit,” and that it was her daughter’s last day at the school. So Montview apparently could not accommodate mom’s request to protect her child.

Principal Mars then wrote another letter to the Montview community about other concerns that were expressed over the choice of books being read by students and teachers in the classroom. In an attempt to avoid further problems, Principal Mars insisted that the preschoolers and kindergarteners must learn about diversity and tolerance during classroom instructional time, and that they must become familiar with all the different languages, skin colors, cultures, and family structures in American society. In contrast, the preschooler’s mom maintained that her daughter is immersed in a community that is diverse since she is being raised in a biracial family, where she is exposed to both Western and Moslem cultures on a daily basis.

Personally, I think that her “expulsion” is a blessing. Recently, the American College of Pediatricians (“ACP”) issued a statement entitled, “Gender ideology harms children,” available here, in which they warned educators and lawmakers to resist embracing the LGBTQ+ agenda that encourages gender transitions among children. In its statement, the ACP said that the trend toward gender transitioning is tantamount to “child abuse,” and further noted, “The [ACP] urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.” Indeed. Ironically, as a culture, we have fallen far in the 75 years since publication in 1941 of Robert McCloskey’s classic and immensely popular book for young children, Make Way for Ducklings. Who even knows if such a wholesome book is read today to the children at Montview? But what is happening at Montview is only the tip of an iceberg. A Queer Endeavor, an “initiative” started in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has helped train 2,500 Colorado teachers over the past three years. In the public preschools of Boulder, Colorado, all teachers were trained this year to integrate a broader type of diversity to include gender and sexual differences, and to have “conversations” with young children. Ultimately, I would encourage my readers to find out what your children and grandchildren are being taught in their preschools and kindergarten. You might just be as surprised as was the mother of this four-year-old little girl. Is it really any wonder that millions of children are being homeschooled in the United States?

Nathan Deal: A Profile in Cowardice
Friday, April 1, 2016, 10:07 AM
iStock 7096990 SMALL 239x300 Nathan Deal: A Profile in Cowardice

State Capitol of Georgia in Atlanta.

Nathan Deal is the current governor of the American state of Georgia. He is in his second term of office having defeated Jason James Carter, the grandson of former President (and former Georgia governor) Jimmy Carter in 2014. Recently, Governor Deal vetoed H.B. 757, which would have provided the barest of religious liberty protection to churches that believe in natural, biblical marriage. (In fact, like Chancellor Bismarck’s proverbial sausage-making, the language in H.B. 757 was so weak that even the Family Research Council had a difficult time in supporting it.) In any event, this legislation would have allowed clergy to refuse to perform homosexual “marriages” and would have also protected those who refuse to attend such “ceremonies.” Churches and religious groups, including Christian schools, could also have declined to serve or hire someone based upon their faith. Further, religious groups and churches would have been granted protection from renting its facilities to any organization that was contrary to its beliefs. Homosexual groups said that the proposed legislation would have “legalized discrimination.” (Of course, the homosexual groups are correct: but the real legalized discrimination is against Christians and religious traditionalists.) I have never traveled to or through Georgia, but it appears to me that many of its residents are somewhat conservative. I also saw that evangelical Christian believers make up more than one-half of Republican primary voters, and in the recent Georgia primary election, many Christians voted for the primary winner, Donald Trump. I presume that many voted for Mr. Trump (and Senator Cruz), not unlike millions of others around the United States, because of their frustration at having voted for politicians who made promises, but then, after they entered office, supported the opposite. Apparently, Governor Deal, elected with the help of Christians throughout his state, cannot support the proposed law. (In 2014, Mr. Carter said that he supported homosexual “marriage” and lost the gubernatorial election.) In a statement at the time he vetoed this new law, Governor Deal said:

This is about the character of our state and the character of its people. Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people. Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. This is the character of Georgia. I intended to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757.

Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya. Now why would Governor Deal veto such a law? After all, it is a slap in the face to Georgia’s conservatives, evangelicals, and to the broader Christian community. A healthy cynic might reasonably suggest that Mr. Deal caved to Big Business and Hollywood, and put their agenda ahead of the interest of his voters. Mr. Deal was under great pressure from major corporations who threatened to take their business out of Georgia should he side with Georgia’s religious community in opposition to LGBTQ+ activists. Even the National Football League (“NFL”) threatened to move Super Bowl LIII from Georgia. The NFL made it clear that the passage of such a bill would jeopardize Atlanta’s chance to host the Super Bowl LIII in 2019 at the new $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, set to open next summer. (Incidentally Georgia taxpayers, including some Christian conservatives, will pay up to 30 percent of the stadium costs. But I digress.) Atlanta is competing with Miami, New Orleans, and Tampa for Super Bowl LIII. That decision will be made soon at the spring league meeting in late May. Imagine what a chump Mr. Deal will be if Atlanta doesn’t get the Super Bowl LIII! Big Business, including companies like Coca-Cola, Netflix, Apple, Time-Warner, and Marriott, demanded that Mr. Deal veto the legislation. The leftist organization, Think Progress, reported that Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Co. threatened to “take their business elsewhere” should the legislation become law.

Now it grows ever clearer that Big Business is in the hip pocket of Cultural Leftists and their homosexualist allies. But why would Big Business deliberately alienate at least one-half of their customers? Even though many NFL games are played on Sunday, I bet even some Christians enjoy NFL football games and the Super Bowl. There are businesses that I no longer frequent because once I see that business abandon my values, I abandon that business, too, based upon the principle that I am selling my money, and everyone wants my money, but not everyone wants or needs their products or services. And I suppose that I am not the only one who feels that way. Of course, there is a great irony in that Big Business is only bullying states like Georgia because they have been bullied by LGBTQ+ activists and their Cultural Leftist allies.

In an attempt to sycophantically placate Cultural Leftists, Governor Deal has managed to alienate his base voters. And in his desire to protect the Almighty Dollar rather than protecting followers of the Almighty God, it is inevitable that Mr. Deal will ultimately be scorned by the CEOs and sports leagues that he was so anxious to impress. Governor Deal has poignantly reminded all of us that the true goal of the homosexualist agenda is not “marriage” or anti-discrimination, but is the criminalization of Christian belief and practice in our country. I also suspect that Mr. Deal will need to come up with some future plans after the 2018 election because his political career is now over even though this debate is far from over.

Moslem Voters Exercise Their Political Muscle
Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 12:08 PM
pakistan 300x169 Moslem Voters Exercise Their Political Muscle

Pakistani-Christians mourn the death of a relative killed in the Easter Sunday suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan.

I hope that those among us who celebrated Easter this past Sunday had a blessed and peaceful one. However, in other parts of the world, it was a time of great tragedy and sadness. ISIS-affiliated jihadists targeted Christian women and children at a park in Lahore, Pakistan, killing many, including more than fifty children. (Sadly, notwithstanding the terrorists’ own admission, Ned Price, spokesmouth for the Obama administration, could not bring himself to mention the religious nature of the attacks or of the attackers, despite the fact that the Islamist terrorists killed twice as many in Lahore as did the Belgium terrorists. Mr. Price said, “We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed, just as our thoughts and prayers are with the many injured in the explosion. The United States stands with the people and Government of Pakistan at this difficult hour.”) Then, presently unconfirmed media reports also indicated that Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, a 56-year-old Roman Catholic priest from Egypt, was crucified by Islamic terrorists on Good Friday. He was kidnapped on March 4, 2016, when terrorists attacked a home for the elderly in Aden, in southern Yemen, killing fifteen, including a number of nuns. In a brief Easter weekend radio address, Mr. Obama admitted that entry into the United States by Syrian and Iraqi “refugees” has become a divisive issue, and that such was the case in Europe as well, but Mr. Obama made clear he has no intention to back down from his plan to admit 100,000 Moslem “refugees” to the United States this year. Declaring what he wishes is true, Mr. Obama stated, “That’s why we have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Moslem-Americans, and their enormous contributions to our country and our way of life. Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, and to our history as a nation built around the idea of religious freedom.” Pope Francis, building on Mr. Obama’s theme, urged the world in his Easter message on Sunday to use the “weapons of love” to combat the evil of “blind and brutal violence,” following the attacks in Brussels. Of course, Pope Francis said that behind the Vatican’s 50-feet high walls and tight security for the tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Recent events show that Islamists intend to conquer Europe. Those of us living in the United States can readily see our nation’s future from the recent violent incidents in Paris and Brussels. Last week, The New York Times published an interesting article entitled “Feeling G.O.P. Peril, Muslims Try to Get Out Vote.” In the article, Alan Rappeport wrote:

Organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America and the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations are encouraging mosques to turn themselves into voter registration centers before the November election so that Muslims can make their voices heard at the polls. Registration drives are expected to ramp up significantly in June, during Ramadan, when attendance at Islamic centers peaks. . . . . A Pew Research Center survey last year found that 70 percent of American Muslims identify with the Democratic Party, while just 11 percent consider themselves to be Republicans. . . . Although Muslims make up only about 1 percent of the population in the United States, [these] groups have set a goal of registering a million new voters. Efforts will be focused on swing states such as Ohio and Florida that have large Muslim populations, potentially giving the small but united voting bloc the power to tilt close elections.

Emphasis added. In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, I wrote an article entitled American Moslems Love President Obama, But Many Do Not Like American Freedoms, available here, in which I describe how Moslem voters helped to re-elect Mr. Obama:

The Moslem vote for the President was significant in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, three of the so-called swing states.  In Virginia, for instance, the margin of victory for the President was almost 116,000 votes, and Virginia has more than 200,000 Moslems.  In Florida, the President won by an estimated 52,000 votes, but there are more than 167,000 Moslems in Florida.  In Ohio, the President won by an estimated 101,000 votes, but there are more than 150,000 Moslems.

At church this past Sunday, I had an interesting conversation with a dear brother in Christ who grew up in a Moslem-majority country that is a hotbed of jihadist extremism. He mentioned how most Moslems living in the United States, despite their larger numbers compared to European countries, simply wish to live their lives quietly and do not flock to fight for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. Having lived in Europe for many years, it should be obvious that the United States has been infinitely more successful at assimilating and integrating Moslems into American society than has Western Europe. There are no Moslem ghettoes here like those in Molenbeek or the Paris banlieues, where authorities fear to go and thus, turn a blind eye to violent and antisocial behavior, and aggressive incitement by radical imams who preach jihad. Of course, in our country, we have already had heinous exceptions, such as the Tsarnaev brothers, the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, and the killers in San Bernardino. Further, many mosques in the United States have been built with funding from Saudi Arabia, which promotes its brand of Wahhabism, a particularly harsh and puritanical version of Islam. Although the number of Moslems in each of those states is much greater now, I concluded my November 2012 article as follows:

The high birth rate among Moslems living in the United States means their numbers will grow.  In addition, we can expect Obama’s policies will invite many millions of Moslems to arrive in the United States in the coming four years, and to fast-track their U.S. citizenship.

As he has promised, Mr. Obama is doing exactly that, and if anywhere close to one million new voters are registered at mosques in the coming months, it will be far more difficult to stem the tide of imposing sharia law in the United States after 2016. When that happens, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we have looked at Europe, and can more clearly see America’s future.

Supreme Court To Hear Zubik v. Burwell Today
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 10:15 AM

little sisters of the poor Supreme Court To Hear Zubik v. Burwell TodayAt our nation’s Supreme Court today, oral arguments will be heard in an important religious liberty case. This is the second “reproductive-rights” case before the Supreme Court in three weeks, and the stakes are great. The central question in Zubik v. Burwell is whether Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act improperly forces religious non-for-profit entities to compromise their beliefs by requiring them to provide employee health insurance to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients. This would cover the entire range of religious nonprofits from nursing homes, hospitals, and colleges and universities. The plaintiffs are numerous religious groups, including the Little Sisters of the Poor and Southern Nazarene University, which contend that even the simple act of signing a mandated bureaucratic form violates their core beliefs if it helps employees obtain birth control. You might think that this is a minor matter, but such is not the case at all. In fact, if the non-profits do not succeed before the Supreme Court, they will be forced to pay millions in fines annually if they fail to comply with federal regulations. Moreover, one could readily imagine a day in the not-far-distant future when mandatory health insurance coverage could be required, for example, for drugs needed for assisted suicide in those states that have legalized it, presuming that the Supreme Court does not find assisted suicide a fundamental constitutional right. On the other hand, if the religious groups prevail, one could also easily imagine that there would be challenges to laws intended to “protect” homosexuals and lesbians from discrimination by religious organizations and charities. So there is much more at stake here than simply providing birth control pills to a few employees.

Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires all employers and insurance companies to cover the costs of all forms of contraception: birth control pills, emergency contraception, hormone injections and implants, intrauterine devices and tubal ligations. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have declared that any type of birth control violates the teachings of the Catholic Church. Other religious organizations object to paying for so-called “abortifacients” that prevent fertilized eggs from implantation in the uterus, including the so-called “morning-after” pill. Thus, the religious organizations argue that by forcing them to cover birth control for their employees violates their First Amendment freedom of religion rights and their protection under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Among the plaintiffs in this case, the most prominent is the Little Sisters of the Poor, an international order of Catholic nuns that operates approximately thirty nursing homes for the very poor in the United States; another case was filed by the lead plaintiff Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. But federal appeals courts were unanimous in siding with the Obama administration. However, in September 2015, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis and encompassing seven Midwestern states, ruled in favor of the religious nonprofits. That set up what is known as a “circuit split,” forcing the Supreme Court to step in. So today, the Supreme Court will hear Zubik, which consists of seven consolidated cases, including the one brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February means that Hobby Lobby’s five-justice majority is no more. A 4–4 tie would leave the decisions of the different federal appeals courts in effect in those jurisdictions. And this raises a very important point about the upcoming presidential election in the United States. The next president is likely to nominate a number of Supreme Court justices over the next four to eight years, including the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. Presently, among the sitting justices of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83, Justice Anthony Kennedy is 79, Justice Stephen Breyer is 77, and Justice Clarence Thomas is 67. One could reasonably anticipate that one or more could retire during the next president’s term of office. And if the next president nominates some wrongful choices, then the fundamental, traditional freedoms in the United States may well disappear into history. Please pray today for God’s wisdom in the Supreme Court’s decision in Zubik v. Burwell.

Secretary John F. Kerry Offers No Hope To Middle East Christians
Friday, March 18, 2016, 2:07 PM

we are N 400x400 300x300 Secretary John F. Kerry Offers No Hope To Middle East ChristiansMany of us have been deeply saddened at the plight of Christians who have been martyred and persecuted throughout the Middle East and in parts of Africa. And we have further been frustrated and made angry by the inattention that has been paid by Obama Administration to the situation facing our Christian brothers and sisters overseas. In Syria alone, since the war began in March 2011, more than two-thirds of the 1.5 million Christians have left the country. Christians (and millions of other Syrian civilians) have left Syria to escape the ongoing civil war being waged between the government of President Bashar al-Assad, aided by Russia and Iran, various Islamic rebel groups seeking to overthrow President al-Assad, and Islamic State terrorist organization (“ISIS”), which seeks to establish its version of the caliphate.

Yesterday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that he finally came to the important conclusion that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. Secretary Kerry declared, “In my judgment, [ISIS] is responsible for genocide against groups in territory under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Moslems.” He further accused ISIS of “crimes against humanity” and “ethnic cleansing.” In making his decision, the Secretary determined that ISIS terrorists met the definition of genocide, which, according to the 1948 United Nations Convention Against Genocide, are “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.” Sadly, Secretary Kerry’s pronouncement does not obligate the United States to take any additional action against ISIS terrorists. Why? Because he urged that others join together to hold ISIS “accountable,” and called for an “independent investigation” as well as a court or tribunal to take action against ISIS. (Good luck in finding those judges.) So Secretary Kerry’s determination carries no legal implication of a guilty verdict on genocide because State Department lawyers decided that the Convention Against Genocide does not require countries to prevent genocide outside of their territory. Rather, Secretary Kerry is calling for the United Nations Security Council to appoint a commission to investigate ISIS, and then take appropriate legal action, presuming that the commission agrees with the genocide determination. (This will make the feckless Security Council “investigation” a mere paper tiger given that Russia holds a veto in the Council.)

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a resolution by a vote of 393-0 condemning ISIS atrocities as genocide. Many other international bodies, including the European Parliament and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Liberty, have previously condemned the genocide at the hands of ISIS, which has killed, raped, tortured, kidnapped, and bombed Christians, and then further destroyed religious property and monuments. In the past few years, these Christians have cried out for the world’s attention as they have been driven out of their ancient homelands. I draw your attention to a powerful and heart-breaking 278-page report by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians, available here. This well-researched and footnoted report describes in great detail the first-hand accounts of Christians suffering for their faith in the Middle East. We must continue to pray for these brothers and sisters, and then, in accordance with the teaching of Galatians 6:10, join together to support those organizations that are working in the Middle East to meet the basic needs and to provide sanctuary for our brothers and sisters in Christ. These organizations include Samaritan’s Purse, Open Doors USA, and The Voice of the Martyrs, among others. On Sunday, April 17, 2016, many churches will highlight our suffering Christian brothers and sisters in a nationwide “Stand With The Persecuted” event. It is my hope and prayer that when the Obama Administration ends 307 days from now, our government’s long pattern of paralysis and ineffectiveness in combating the genocide of Christians (and others) by radical Islamist terrorists will come to an end. May it be so, Lord Jesus.

Tennessee Parents Fight Gay-Straight Alliance in High School
Monday, March 14, 2016, 10:27 AM

FranklinCounty 300x150 Tennessee Parents Fight Gay Straight Alliance in High SchoolFranklin County, Tennessee, is named for Benjamin Franklin, is located in southern Tennessee, and has a total population of approximately 41,000 souls. However, today may be among the most important days in its history. This evening, there will be an important showdown at the county school board about whether a “Gay-Straight Alliance” (“GSA”) club at the Franklin County High School will be allowed to operate. Ostensibly, proponents of the GSA want a “safe” environment to talk about issues affecting homosexuals and lesbians, especially “bullying.” But local parents have objected to the establishment of the GSA and are now taking steps to remove it. Tonight the school board will take a vote to ban the LGBTQ+ club.

This saga began a few months ago, but now involves hundreds of persons. LGBTQ+ activists from the nearby University of the South, founded by the Episcopal Church, as well as homosexualists from other states, have converged on Franklin County to demonstrate (and some would say to intimidate) the local townspeople. A social media campaign orchestrated by homosexualists and their allies has attacked outspoken parents and students, their families, and as is the wont of homosexualists, against their businesses as well. Some homosexualist blogs and websites have obsessively written about this dispute.

The GSA club is not quite like your high school golf, debate, or engineering club, and are not student-run clubs the way most of us remember high school clubs. First, GSAs are the product of the national homosexualist activist organization Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (“GLSEN”). GLSEN is the largest homosexual and transgender activist organization working inside thousands of high schools (and some middle schools) in all 50 states. GLSEN actively promotes a wide range of psychologically penetrating homosexual and transgender programs and activities into the schools, including the annual “Day of Silence.” It also directly organizes and trains teachers to integrate its techniques throughout the curriculum. It has a large budget and is funded by corporate America, including such major companies as AT&T, IBM, Kellogg’s, HBO, Disney, McDonalds and Johnson & Johnson, among others. GLSEN’s website provides instructions and “curricula” for GSAs, and further emphasizes strategies for creating and running these clubs, as well as how to deal with recalcitrant and uncooperative school officials. You can read more here. The typical GSA clubs are first organized by activist adults, and are then supervised by homosexualist teachers. As one can well imagine, GSAs attract deeply troubled young people, and try to make them comfortable with homosexuality and transgenderism. GSAs further connect students with outside LGBTQ+ activities, where schoolchildren are introduced to homosexual behavior through adult-youth “community” gay clubs, which are run, of course, by homosexual and transgender adults. GSAs also promote the distribution of anti-Christian propaganda. Here is a sample of some publications that GLSEN chapters have distributed to students in recent months: (1) History of Saints Servius and Bacchus, which claims that these saints were homosexual lovers, (2) Catholic Theological Defense of Same-Sex Marriage, (3) the utterly blasphemous “Reading the Bible with New Eyes,” (4) Queer Spirituality, and (5) Embraced for a Spiritual Journey. I am sure that my readers can readily find these spiritual gems, but if not, please write to me at Mere Comments and I can send you links to the materials.

Since the GSA started at Franklin County High School in January and began to put up signs at the high school, some Christian students started posting “straight pride” signs. However, homosexualists and their allies demanded that these signs be taken down as “hate” speech (under the Leftist constitutional dogma of “free speech for me, but not for thee”). (Now who is bullying whom?) Anyway, we will see later tonight whether the local school board will take into consideration the wishes of this community. Some school district officials have said that, because of federal funding, they “cannot” ban the GSA. To buttress this point of view, the American (Anti-Christian?) Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) sent an infamous lawyer letter to each school principal in the county advising them that they had no legal recourse but to allow GSA clubs. The ACLU further warned that they would sue the school district if they hindered the current GSA club at the high school in any way. But the ACLU is wrong again, and the Federal Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 4071, available here, does not require equal access in the case of national GSA-like clubs. In the meantime, however, please say a prayer today for great wisdom and discernment for the school board at tonight’s meeting, and for the troubled teens involved in the GSA at not only Franklin County High School, but for all teens involved in GSAs throughout the United States.

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