Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

I caught a segment on The World and Everything In It recently featuring Robert Woodson. He is a black leader who was around for the Civil Rights movement and remembers Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally. He has worked for helping those in poverty improve their position through empowerment rather than subsidy.

The basic premise is to look at the poor neighborhoods. Study what the

What he said made a lot of sense. I looked him up and found links and contributions on a number of other sites.

Poverty Cure

Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

The Bob Woodson Show

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Traditional Marriage weakened by SCOTUS ruling

English: Rally for Prop 8 in Fresno, Californi...

English: Rally for Prop 8 in Fresno, California Español: Manifestación por Prop 8 en Fresno, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m disappointed that the Supreme Court partially ruled against traditional marriage in their decision today. Thankfully they didn’t make a wholesale ruling in favor of so-called same-sex marriage. They still allowed for states to define marriage for themselves.

As far as California’s Prop 8 is concerned, the Court dismissed the appeal. This seems somewhat ambiguous. Prop 8 was a majority vote for an amendment to the California state constitution in favor of traditional marriage between only one man and one woman. A federal judge declared the amendment unconstitutional. The governor refused to appeal this ruling essentially thumbing their noses at the majority popular vote. Conservative groups appealed the federal lower court ruling to the Supreme Court. This appeal was dismissed.

The basis for appealing the dismissal was lack of precedent. Apparently SCOTUS hasn’t before entertained appeals of state laws that were not being defended by the state itself.

So on one hand, SCOTUS has affirmed states to determine a definition of marriage as the state sees fit. On the other hand, the Court didn’t slap down a lower federal court for dictating to California what sort of definition of marriage would be considered constitutional… Ambivalence? I would say somewhat biased toward the redefinition of marriage side.

Hopefully this decision will galvanize further action to strengthen traditional marriage. One way to do this is to sign the Manhattan Declaration.

 

Tipping Points

Yes on 32

Yes on 32

Yes on 32

Unions in California are making a concerted effort to push a “No on 32” vote. They say that this proposition will weaken unions, take away the worker’s voice, and put us at the mercy of for-profit corporations. Unfortunately most of that is obfuscation. I wrote a post on this a few weeks ago. Prop 32 makes it so unions have to get permission from each union member before they can take dues for political uses from their paycheck. This provision actually gives the worker more power.

Currently there are a large number of “union” employees who do not agree with the political agenda of the union. For instance, in 2008 the CTA donated over $1 million to try to defeat Prop 8, our traditional marriage amendment. I give over $1000 in dues to the union every year, but I support traditional marriage. I was not sent a questionnaire asking about my stance on traditional marriage. But my money was used against me in that political battle. That is just one example of the Union taking a stance in opposition to my values.

If union organizations have to ask their members if it is okay to deduct the portion of the dues for political purposes from their paycheck this provides a fairly big incentive to those union organizations to listen and pay more attention to what the rank-and-file union member wants. Essentially we are simply making unions less compulsory, more voluntary. Yes on 32 will help to ensure that unions are representing exactly those workers who wish to be represented by that union.

Debating Poverty

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the 10/15/2012 presidential debate I thought that both candidates reached out to their bases and showed up with their debate faces on. I cannot say that either candidate was a clear winner, but Romney did a good job of keeping the his focus on setting out his plan and making the President answer for his record.

One of the most important points was made close to the end of the debate. Romney brought up the connection between poverty, education, the failing health of our nation, and marriage. Mitt Romney pointed out that a very high number of children are born to unwed mothers today. He mentioned that changing this trend would help improve life for women. Here are a couple more points I wish he had mentioned: This trend can find its roots in the “sexual revolution” of the 60s. We need to move away from that hedonistic, moral relativistic mindset. The majority of our prison populations come from fatherless homes. The majority of these young mothers quickly fall below the poverty line leaving their children living in poverty. Those mothers and children constitute a heavy weight on the American economy because so many of them end up on the welfare rolls.
What we really need here in America is a return to biblical values and commitment to marriage and righteousness in our personal lives. What we need is young men and women who are willing to deny their urges for selfishness, immoral sexual fulfillment, and useless distraction. We need young people who are strong in character that will choose to live a responsible life, marry, and lead families under God.

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.

 

Traditional Marriage on the Ballot in Minnesota

John Piper (theologian)

John Piper (theologian) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The people of Minnesota are voting on an amendment to their state constitution defining marriage as  “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” Sound familiar California? We had a similar vote about four years ago. It passed, but an activist judge struck it down. Our battle is somewhere in the appeals stage. I hope your vote goes the way it has for every state where the people have had a chance to vote. In other words, I hope traditional marriage wins out.

A sermon by John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis came to my attention this week. While he didn’t come outright in favor of the proposed marriage amendment, Dr. Piper preached a sermon directly on the Biblical basis for marriage and laid out a number of Biblical principles to help his flock think through this issue. I will include the main points of his sermon here because he sums up quite succinctly some of the best thinking on this battle of our culture war.

1. Marriage is created and defined by God in the Scriptures as the sexual and covenantal union of a man and a woman in life-long allegiance to each other alone, as husband and wife, with a view to displaying Christ’s covenant relationship to his blood-bought church.

2. There is no such thing as so-called same-sex marriage, and it would be wise not to call it that.

3. Same sex desires and same sex orientation are part of our broken and disordered sexuality owing to God’s subjection of the created order to futility because of man’s sin.

4. Therefore, same-sex intercourse, not same-sex desire is the focus of Paul’s condemnation when he threatens exclusion from the kingdom of God.

5. Therefore, it would contradict love and contradict the gospel of Jesus to approve homosexual practice, whether by silence, or by endorsing so-called same-sex marriage, or by affirming the Christian ordination of practicing homosexuals.

6. The good news of Jesus is that God saves heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners who trust Jesus, by counting them righteous because of Christ, and by helping them through his Spirit to live lives pleasing to him in their disordered brokenness.

7. Deciding what actions will be made legal or illegal through civil law is a moral activity aiming at the public good and informed by the worldview of each participant.

8. Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism. Pray that the church and her ministers would feed the flock of God with the word of God centered on the gospel of Christ crucified and risen. Expect from your shepherds not that they would rally you behind political candidates or legislative initiatives, but they would point you over and over again to God and to his word, and to the cross.

Main Points of Sermon, “‘Let Marriage be Held in Honor’ Thinking Biblically about So-called Same-sex Marriage”, John Piper, June 16, 2012.

Even though Dr. Piper says not press the church or her pastors into political activism, if more pastors would simply lay out the Biblical framework as he did, Christians would be much better informed in their values and voting. This is much closer to the Black Robed Regiment that David Barton talks about than what I hear on Sunday. If you have a chance to read or listen to the sermon, I recommend looking over point number 7 carefully. Dr. Piper puts the issue of codifying traditional marriage into very clear terms.

What do you think of John Piper’s stance? Are there other points he should cover?

Cohabitation means Poverty for Women and Children

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really appreciate what Robert Rector had to say in describing the problem of poverty stemming from unwed mothers, fathers, and cohabitation as opposed to marriage. The biggest factor in determining whether a child is raised in poverty or in security is whether or not the parents stay together. An intact family is a reliable determinant of being in a secure home with shelter and food and not on the public dole.

Listen to the WallBuilders Live! broadcast of his speech at the Pro-Family Legislators conference…

“We will take you to our annual ProFamily Legislators Conference, on today’s Wallbuilders Live!. Robert Rector, an authority on poverty and the welfare system, shares the great secret of child poverty. You may be surprised to learn that there are steps that can be taken to drastically reduce child poverty, yet these steps are not being taken. Why? Tune in, today, to learn more. You will hear from Rector as he addresses our legislators, and describes a link between child poverty and the declining state of marriage. This is a three part series, so be sure to catch each part, this week!” [quoted from WallBuilders Live! broadcast archives]