Pulpit Freedom Sunday


58 years ago in 1954 Lyndon Johnson added an amendment to an appropriations bill which made it illegal for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations to speak out in political matters. This was a major intrusion on our First Amendment freedoms of religion and of speech. Since then the IRS has become the censorship board of the government. They have never actually taken any violation of this regulation to court. They have always dropped cases after essentially intimidating the churches involved. Pulpit freedom Sunday is an attempt to call their bluff: to challenge this unconstitutional law and open up freedom for our nation’s pastors once again.

Please check out the information about Pulpit Freedom Sunday on October 7, 2012. Ask your pastor to consider participating.

Remember our Fallen

Twin Towers

Twin Towers (Photo credit: wstera2)

Let’s remember our fallen heroes, victims, and their families today on the 11th year since the attacks on September 11. Let us pray for them, for our country, and for our armed services today. Let us commit to speak up and act in accordance with Christian and American principles.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NIV

Gun Control vs. Crime Control

Gun Control

Gun Control (Photo credit: cgulyas2002)

After the shooting in a crowded movie theater near Denver, Colorado, liberals want to talk about gun control again. Why don’t we shift that debate away from what the left seems to think is the answer i.e. increasing gun control. Ergo, now you can be safe in the movie theater or on an airplane or at school because no one will have guns… Does this ring true to you?  Let’s reframe this discussion. What if we advocate that more people should be carrying guns.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. –The Constitution of the United States; Amendment 2

What if those 70 shooting victims in the Aurora movie theater had been armed? Do you suppose there may have been fewer casualties? Has our society degraded to the point where we can’t trust normal law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and fight off mass shooters? Is the liberal lens such that they figure no regular people should have guns. I guess it makes it easy for the police to deal with that armed situation… Police can just shoot anybody who has a gun because they obviously should not have them….

I would be interested in some history on this point. We have the impression from movies and books that most frontier Americans carried a six shooter on their belt, or a derringer in their garter, and a rifle on their horse or in the wagon. When did this stop being commonplace? How were violent crime rates and accidental shooting death rates back then?

Here is the unfortunate situation in our modern education system:

 You are just evolved blobs of tissue.

There is no absolute right or wrong

Hmm. is it any wonder this de-volves into the social chaos which our nation seems to be heading toward. Having a gun to protect my family and property from would-be crooks seems to be becoming a necessity.

Pelosi Wants to Talk Religion at Church

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the Hous...

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the US Capitol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about the ObamaCare mandate for free sterilization services for any women of childbearing age from menarche to menopause. This includes young teens girls just starting their period. She cut off the reporter and said, “You know what, I told you before let’s go to church and talk about our religion… Right here we’re talking about public policy as it affects women…” You can read a detailed account of the exchange here. It sounds as though Pelosi believes that any point of view that is informed by religious convictions are not welcome in the public sphere. Do you believe that is what our founders intended 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.

Our freedom of religion has become quite hollow if we cannot bring up issues for debate about which we have some concerns. In this case real concerns about young teens getting sterilized were simply being voiced by a person of faith, not argued for on the basis of religion. To read a discussion on this issue check out John Stonestreet’s Breakpoint post.

Funny Post on Missing the Point

Tongue in cheek

Tongue in cheek (Photo credit: pcgn7)

Just a quick shout out to Sarah Geis on her blog Think on These Things for her tongue-in-cheek post about how to really miss the point when engaging in an online discussion. I’ll quote a few of my favorites here:

1. Foster the conviction that all with whom you disagree are personally attacking you…

3. Embrace category confusion.
Here is a time-tested example: If the argument is about economics, you may wish to respond by claiming that the author is just racist. You get bonus points here, as this tactic also functions as an ad hominem and as a red herring fallacy (look them up if you are curious)…

9. Convince yourself that evaluation of or criticism of something is reducible to hatred.
Assume that if the arguer has negative things to say about a person or thing, then the arguer is actually displaying a deep-seated, concentrated hatred of that person or thing…

Check out Sarah’s post if you need a good laugh.

Also to give credit where credit is due, I heard of Sarah’s post on John Stonestreet’s daily one minute podcast “The Point”. You might want to check his work out, too.

Freedom of Religion

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in t...

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does freedom of religion mean? Is freedom of religion a nebulous concept that must conform to the dictates of the government? Is it squishy? Can it be pushed to whatever size box the government allows for it? Obamacare includes a  mandate to provide abortifacient drugs. Many of us have problems with this from a moral point of view founded on our religion.  But we are private citizens. The HHS exemption only covers churches and some religious institutions. So has the president and his party decided that the freedom of religion of the private citizen is not important? What does our freedom of religion really mean?

 

 

It seems to me that if we can be forced to purchase medicine to initiate the murder of innocent unborn children, we have crossed a line of freedom of religion. If the intention of our founders was to consider sexual freedom on a par with religious freedom, wouldn’t we find it the first amendment? or somewhere in the Constitution? But we don’t find it because it isn’t there. The founders placed freedom of religion in a prominent location. But they didn’t raise the issue of sexual freedom. Do you suppose they didn’t have sex back then? Of course not. First of all, our founders knew that the area of sexual relations is governed by the Bible and trusted this area to the self-government of the people and the common law which is founded on the Bible. Second, sexual freedom leads to social chaos. Many of the social ills that we have in our country today can be directly linked to “sexual freedom”: 50 million Americans dead, epidemic STDs, single-parent families, poverty, crime, prison expansion, the growing welfare state.

 

 

What do you think? What should freedom of religion mean? On what do you base that meaning?

 

 

Logo of the Family Research Council.

Logo of the Family Research Council. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington D.C. we are reminded how important it is that we use our words carefully. For the past four years and longer, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage supporters have been labelled as “hate-mongers”. Simply taking a stand against so-called gay marriage is labelled as hate speech. Thankfully the shooter was stopped before anyone was seriously injured. The building manager who stopped the man sustained a gunshot to the arm, but is expected to make a full recovery. I agree with FRC president Tony Perkins that the extreme rhetoric serves to inflame issues beyond a civil discussion.

Here is the statement by the Southern Poverty Law Center denying their labeling of FRC as a hate group as problematic. Here is a video of the statement of Tony Perkins.

Chick-fil-A Follow Up

Bakersfield Chick-fil-A from the street

Bakersfield Chick-fil-A from the street

We enjoyed our chicken sandwiches and hand-spun peach milkshakes at Chick-fil-A in Bakersfield. We got there during the lunch rush and it was hard to find a seat. The server who helped us said their store had been quite a bit busier since the furor over Dan Cathy’s statement and Mike Huckabee’s support. I was glad to hear it. We stand with Cathy, Huckabee (and every state whose people have had an opportunity to vote on the issue) in supporting traditional marriage.

We’ll be going to Chick-fil-A again soon. I love those peach milkshakes!

Kudos to Chik-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A (Photo credit: Link576)

Chik-Fil-A and others who stand up for traditional marriage and the family have taken some hits in the last week but are standing their ground. They are setting a great example for the rest of us. The following is from an interview with Dan Cathy, Chik-Fil-A’s president and chief operating officer:

 

[Chik-Fil-A] invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.

“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

For full story go to Baptist Press News

Mike Huckabee has invited people to participate in “Chik-Fil-A Day” on August 1. This support has also been met with lots of support, but some angry opposition as well. My family and I are planning to dine at Chik-Fil-A twice that week. We hope you do, too.

 

Restoring Love

Downtown Dallas in the background with the Tri...

Downtown Dallas in the background with the Trinity River in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Restoring Love event in Dallas, Texas is another example of Christians taking a stand and showing what is good and attractive about being a Christian and following God’s ways. Restoring Love is an example of how Christian service, charity, and compassion can and should meet all the needs that the government attempts to fill with welfare programs. Volunteers will distribute food to the hungry, repair houses of the elderly, take part in community clean up efforts and so much more.

The catch for us Christians is that if we are not willing to step up and be the church with acts of Christian love and charity, we have no business demanding that the government get out of that area. If we in Christian love will live out our faith and put feet on our worldview, that will be a sweet and inviting fragrance to the lost. And just in case it isn’t, as in the case of people like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund are on call to defend our place in the public square.