Friday, February 27, 2009

Palin Parents and Parental Rights


Governor Sarah Palin is reportedly backing a bill that would require parental consent in order for a minor to have an abortion in Alaska. The Governor is supported by Rep. John Coghill (Republican) and Sen. Donny Olson (Democrat).

Palin said, "Wherever you fall on the abortion issue, right or left, this legislation is about families and parents rights and protecting our children,"

The bill would revise the Parental Consent Act originally passed by the State Legislature in 1997. It was later overturned by Alaskan Supreme Court justices in 2007, by a 3-2 vote. The court held that the parental consent requirement was unconstitutional because it infringed on a pregnant teen's right to reproductive freedom.

Planned Parenthood had originally brought the lawsuit in 1997. The organization says it plans to sue again if this bill is signed into law. The Executive Director of Planned Parenthood had this to say:

"We support parental consent and I think that is extremely important. I fully agree that ones parents should be talking about sex and about the consequences of sex, but I don't think that once you are dealing with an unintended pregnancy is the time the state should step in and make parents and teens communicate."


It is interesting that the state legislature can declare this bill unconstitutional because it "infringes on a teen’s right to reproductive freedom." This of course is unreasonable being that it then infringes on parental rights. Besides, couldn’t all laws regarding minors be said to infringe on their personal rights in one way or another?

After all, teen girls aren’t allowed to receive Tylenol from nurses at school without parental consent. Many cities have curfew laws for teens and the government doesn’t allow teen’s to smoke because they aren’t old enough to decide for themselves yet.

So how is the case for “reproductive freedom” solid justification for a minor to make a private decision to have an abortion? What if the unborn child is a female, what about her rights? (Obviously this issue goes hand in hand with the issue of abortion)

With freedom comes responsibility. It would seem to me, the laws should include safeguards for parents to help their children make well-informed decisions. I would think that there would be support both for parents to have to give consent and be informed before such a procedure, as abortion, would be performed on underage teen girls. I understand some people don’t parent well, but that isn’t reason to remove parental rights.

As for Planned Parenthoods Executive Directors statement, I wonder when he thinks it is a good time for the state to “step in” and “make parents and teens communicate.” Would it be appropriate when a minor is contemplating undergoing an invasive medical procedure that will affect the life of another person or is it only appropriate when a minor has a headache?

I think it is very appropriate for parental notification before an abortion, just as it is for every other medical procedure.


Read Full Article Here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pro-marriage Speech Garners Professor's Profane Wrath

(Onenewsnow.com) Charlie Butts and Jody Brown

After being called a "fascist" by his professor, a Christian California student has filed suit against his college for violations of his free-speech rights.

Less than a month after voters in California decided to amend their state constitution and protect traditional marriage, Jonathan Lopez -- in a public speaking class -- shared his beliefs on faith and marriage. David French of the Alliance Defense Fund picks up the story.

"Jonathan talked about his faith -- and one of the things he talked about in context of his faith was...marriage," says French. "He read from the dictionary definition of marriage. The professor stopped the class, called him a 'fascist b_____d' -- [he] used the expletive -- [and] told the class that anyone who wanted to could leave if they were offended...."

According to an ADF press release, when no one got up to leave, the instructor simply dismissed the class, effectively ending Lopez's speech -- which violated the student's free-speech rights, adds the attorney, especially since other students made speeches on other subjects. Religious speech, notes French, apparently was excluded from the open-ended speech assignment.

"You just cannot shut down student speech like that," states French, who explains that Lopez was well within the confines of his professor's assignment, and that the professor's actions not only constitute viewpoint discrimination but also comprise "retaliation" because he disagreed with Lopez's religious beliefs.

According to the ADF attorney, the professor was not yet finished. "When [Lopez later] complained about what was an obvious act of censorship, he was threatened with expulsion by that same professor," he says.

The speech professor is identified as John Matteson of Los Angeles Community College. ADF reports that after Proposition 8 (the marriage-related constitutional amendment) was approved on November 4, Matteson told his entire class: "If you voted yes on Proposition 8, you are a fascist b_____d."

Ultimately Matteson refused to grade Lopez's November 24 speech, and wrote on the evaluation: "Ask God what your grade is."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do Roman Catholics and Muslims Worship and Believe In the Same God?

Section 841 of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following:

The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
In dialoguing with my Roman Catholic friends I have often asked them what they make of this section. Do Roman Catholics really believe that Muslims worship and believe in the same God? One of my friends responded by saying that the word "same" is not used in the section above, though I think the context clearly indicates this. Nevertheless, I felt this topic was something I needed to look at closer.

A short while after I happened to stumble across this post by TurretinFan of Alpha and Omega Ministries. It contains several quotes directly relating to this matter from the two most recent popes, John Paul II (JP2) and Benedict XVI (Ben16). These quotes show that both popes have clearly indicated that Muslims do in fact worship and believe in the same God:

"As I have often said in other meetings with Muslims, your God and ours is one and the same, and we are brothers and sisters in the faith of Abraham."

JP2 1985 (source")

"I thank you for your visit, all representatives, leaders, of the Muslim community here in Uganda. Archbishop Wamala said that you are cooperating and that in doing so, you are also accomplishing the will of God, our Creator, our Father. God has created all of us, men and women, the whole human race, to cooperate–to cooperate in order to improve the world. He, our God, committed us, the world, to being inhabited, to being used, not abused, not abused, used, and to serving the human being, human existence. It is necessary to cooperate all together, for the riches of the world are sometimes in danger and the human community is many times is in danger. It requires the cooperation of all of us who believe in the same God, the one God of Abraham, the Father who gave us his son Jesus Christ. Thank you very much for your visit."

JP2 1993 (source")


"We Christians joyfully recognize the religious values we have in common with Islam. Today I would like to repeat what I said to young Muslims some years ago in Casablanca: “We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection” (Insegnamenti, VIII/2, [1985], p. 497)."

JP2 1999 (source")
"This year is also the 40th anniversary of the conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, which has ushered in a new season of dialogue and spiritual solidarity between Jews and Christians, as well as esteem for the other great religious traditions. Islam occupies a special place among them. Its followers worship the same God and willingly refer to the Patriarch Abraham."

Ben16 2005 (source")

Personal Reflection: It should be clear to anyone who has compared the teachings of Islam with the teachings of orthodox Christianity that the two do not worship or believe in the same God. How could they? Islam and Christianity hold to contradictory, mutually exclusive beliefs about God. One example should suffice: the Trinity. One of the great doctrines Muslims hold to is that of tawhid, or God's oneness (Sura 112). To ascribe partners to God, as Muslims claim Christians do with the concept of the Trinity, is to commit shirk, the greatest sin imaginable for the Muslim. On the other hand, the doctrine of the Trinity is an essential Christian doctrine! Never mind any similarities there may be between Allah and the Christian God, it is the differences that matter.

Either God exists as a Trinity or He does not. If He does, the Trinitarians are right and the non-Trinitarians are wrong. If He does not, the non-Trinitarians are right and the Trinitarians are wrong. But under no circumstances can they both be right. To say that Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians worship or believe in the same God is to violate the fundamental laws of logic. And it is not enough to say that Muslims merely claim to worship the God of Abraham or "profess to hold the faith of Abraham." The above mentioned quotes show both popes were willing to go much further in saying that Muslims do not merely profess but do in fact worship and believe in the same God. But other groups, such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, would also claim to worship and believe in the God of Abraham. Are we now obligated to adopt religious pluralism? Though these groups may claim to worship and believe in the one true God, it should be obvious that not everyone can be right since their views of God are radically different. To reconcile these inherently contradictory views would be an impossible feat, yet this is seemingly what the Catechism, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI attempt to do in claiming Muslims worship and believe in the same God as Roman Catholics.

As I have pointed out to my Roman Catholic friends, I believe this obviously false teaching greatly undermines the authority of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The teachings contained within the Catechism are supposed to be without doctrinal error. The teaching of the "infallibility of the church" places a tremendous burden of proof on Roman Catholics. If one teaching or doctrine of Roman Catholicism can be shown to be false, the entire system of infallibility collapses. In other words, if the Catechism is wrong in one area, where else is it mistaken? This is why one of the great "solas" of the Protestant Reformation was sola scriptura. The Bible alone is God-breathed (theopneustos, 2 Tim. 3:16) and is therefore the only adequate and infallible rule of faith for the church. (As a side note, Protestants do face a similar problem when they reject biblical inerrancy, i.e. if the Bible is wrong in one area, where else is it mistaken?)

To be sure, I do not believe Roman Catholics worship a false god. Historically, orthodox Roman Catholics and Protestants have held to the same beliefs concerning the nature and character of God. At the same time, I am quite certain that Muslims do not worship the God of the Bible. That is why a teaching such as this, contained within the Roman Catholic Catechism and taught by the two most recent popes, leaves me absolutely bewildered and disturbed as to why anyone, pope or no pope, would ever try to equate Allah with the God of the Christian faith.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What a 12-year-old thinks.

Earlier this month, a young 12-year-old girl from Toronto faced some discouragement and opposition from her teachers at school. The young girl, Lia, had planned a speech for the school wide competition but was told she would be disqualified because her speech was controversial in nature. What was her speech about? Her speech was a pro-life stance on the topic of abortion. Apparently Lia, despite the pressure, presented her speech anyway.

Prior to her giving her speech at the competition, a teacher stepped down from the judging panel in protest of the speech. Afterwards, Lia was told she was in fact disqualified, despite the speech being well received by both students and teachers.

However, that decision was later revoked due to controversy among the judges that even led to the agreement that the 12-year-old deserved to win the competition. You can watch the speech in its entirety down below. After watching it, I think you will agree her presentation of the speech is deserving of a win regardless of your position on abortion. I also think Lia accurately presents compelling arguments for a child’s right to continue to live. Let me know what you think.

Read the full story here.


Monday, February 16, 2009

De-Programming Students

(Townhall.com) Thomas Sowell

Letters from parents often complain of a sense of futility in trying to argue with their own children, who have been fed a steady diet of the politically correct vision of the world, from elementary school to the university.

Some ask for suggestions of particular books that might make a dent in the know-it-all attitude of some young people who have heard only one side of the story in classrooms all their lives.

That is one way of going about trying to de-program young people. There are, for example, some good books showing what is wrong with the "global warming" crusades or showing why male-female differences in income or occupations are not automatically discrimination.

Various authors have written a lot of good books that demolish what is currently believed-- and taught to students-- on a wide range of issues. Some of those books are listed as suggested readings on my website (www.tsowell.com).

Yet trying to undo the propaganda that passes for education at too many schools and colleges, one issue at a time, may not always be the best strategy. There are too many issues on which the politically correct party line is considered to be the only way to look at things.

Given the wide range of issues on which students are indoctrinated, instead of being educated, trying to undo all of that would require a whole shelf full of books-- and somehow getting the students to read them all.

Another approach might be to respond to the dogmatic certainty of some young person, perhaps your own offspring, by asking: "Have you ever read a single book on the other side of that issue?"

Chances are, after years of being "educated," even at some of the highest-priced schools and colleges, they have not.

When the inevitable answer to your question is "No," you can simply point out how illogical it is to be so certain about anything when you have heard only one side of the story-- no matter how often you have heard that one side repeated.

Would it make sense for a jury to reach a verdict after having heard only the prosecution's case, or only the defense attorney's case, but not both?

There is no need to argue the specifics of the particular issue that has come up. You can tell your overconfident young student that you will be happy to discuss that particular issue after he or she has taken the elementary step of reading something by somebody on the other side.

Elementary as it may seem that we should hear both sides of an issue before making up our minds, that is seldom what happens on politically correct issues today in our schools and colleges. The biggest argument of the left is that there is no argument-- whether the issue is global warming, "open space" laws or whatever.

Some students may even imagine that they have already heard the other side because their teachers may have given them their version of other people's arguments or motives.

But a jury would never be impressed by having the prosecution tell them what the defendant's defense is. They would want to hear the defense attorney present that case.

Yet most students who have read and heard repeatedly about the catastrophes awaiting us unless we try to stop "global warming" have never read a book, an article or even a single word by any of the hundreds of climate scientists, in countries around the world, who have expressed opposition to that view.

These students may have been shown Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" in school, but are very unlikely to have been shown the British Channel 4 television special, "The Great Global Warming Swindle."

Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that students are being indoctrinated with the correct conclusions on current issues, that would still be irrelevant educationally. Hearing only one side does nothing to equip students with the experience to know how to sort out opposing sides of other issues they will have to confront in the future, after they have left school and need to reach their own conclusions on the issues arising later.

Yet they are the jury that will ultimately decide the fate of this nation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pro-life Pastor Prepares for Sentencing

(Onenewsnow.com) Charlie Butts

An Oakland, California, pastor could face jail time for expressing his pro-life views.

Pastor Walter Hoye ran into trouble with an abortion clinic while doing an informational picket. Dennis Howard, leader of The Movement for a Better America, believes Hoye is innocent.

"His approach was simply to carry a sign that said 'Jesus Loves You. Can We Help?' and offering those who wanted it some information about alternatives to abortion," Howard explains.

A complaint was filed and Hoye was found guilty in spite of proof to the contrary. "There was a video taken of him doing this, and it shows that he was not harassing anybody," Howard points out. "In fact, he was being harassed by escorts from the abortion clinic."

Pastor Hoye faces up to two years in jail and a $4,000 fine. Howard is calling Christians into action. "We feel that pro-life organizations around the country ought to take up this man's cause and pray and fast between now and February 19," he concludes.

That is when Hoye is due to be sentenced.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Elephant in the Room: Intimidating Critics of Islam

Politicians and citizens who raise questions about the religion are targeted.

(The Philadelphia Inquirer) Rick Santorum

We lost more than a million jobs in the past few months, the headlines remind us. So last month's story about a Dutch court's ruling that Geert Wilders was "inciting hatred and discrimination" - and that "it is in the public interest to prosecute" him - understandably didn't make the American news.

Did Wilders rip off a minority in a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme? No, he's a member of the Dutch parliament, and his precise villainy was releasing a 15-minute film. Entitled Fitna, it suggests a direct link between certain verses of the Koran and acts of terrorism.

Not to be outdone, the United Kingdom this week banned Wilders from entering the country. Its reasoning: His "presence in the U.K. would pose a genuine, present, and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society." A letter from the home secretary went on to tell Wilders that "your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security."

In 2007, Cambridge University Press destroyed unsold copies of Alms for Jihad after it was sued by Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi-Irish businessman whom the book accused of financing al-Qaeda. So much for academics standing up against book-burning.

In 2005, reporters from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten were forced into hiding after publishing a series of 12 cartoons about Muhammad. Islamic fundamentalists found the images blasphemous and threatened to bomb the paper's offices and kill its cartoonists - apparently, in certain quarters, an alternative to a letter to the editor.

Last year, at the urging of the Canadian Islamic Congress, author Mark Steyn was forced to defend himself against charges of racism and "Islamophobia" that were filed with three Canadian human-rights commissions, based on his columns in Maclean's magazine.

And, following a 2008 U.N. resolution urging nations to outlaw "defamation of religion," several nations - including Italy, the Netherlands and France - are attempting to ban "hate speech" against religious groups.

All of these incidents are calculated to intimidate critics of Islam in Europe and across the West. The message in the European Union is clear: Politicians, religious figures, and even private citizens with religiously and politically incorrect opinions will be subject not only to Muslim protest, but to criminal prosecution and violent retribution.

What publisher will print Steyn's next book if it can be labeled a hate crime and banned in most countries? "Pretty soon, your little book is looking a lot less commercially viable," Steyn has said. "At the end of the day, there'll be a lot of . . . American books that will go unpublished here in America."

In addition, these incidents deflect attention away from real - rather than trumped-up - religious discrimination. In the arena of actual persecution of religious minorities, Arab and Islamic nations are much of the problem.

Look at the U.S. State Department's 2008 Report on International Religious Freedom. Among the dozens of limitations on religious freedom in the Arab-Islamic world are the crimes of apostasy - converting from Islam to another religion - and blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad, both punishable by death under Muslim Sharia law. Coptic Christians are, at best, second-class citizens in Egypt; Baha'is are savagely persecuted in Iran; and churches and synagogues are banned in Saudi Arabia, as is any non-Muslim religious activity in public.

This is not a front- or even back-page story in the American press today. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the economy.

The gathering storm I have been warning of for years has now formed over the West. Yet instead of fighting the gradual incursion of Sharia and the demands of an intolerant, even militant Islam, Westerners are cowering and fatalistic. Last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury conceded that acceptance of some parts of Sharia in Britain seemed "unavoidable."

So how did the market do today?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free (liberal, abortion friendly, anti-Christian) Speech for All

Did you know that in Oakland, California to be "within one hundred (100) feet of the entrance of a reproductive health care facility, it shall be unlawful to willfully and knowingly approach within eight feet of any person seeking to enter such a facility, or any occupied motor vehicle seeking entry, without the consent of such person or vehicle occupant, for the purpose of counseling, harassing, or interfering with such person or vehicle occupant." Notice how they choose to define these terms: “Counseling” means engaging in conversation with, displaying signs to, and/or distributing literature to individuals seeking access to, passage from, or services within the reproductive health care facility. “Harassing” means the non-consensual and knowing approach within eight feet of another person or occupied motor vehicle for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill, to display a sign to, or engage in oral protest, education, or counseling with such other person in a public way or on a sidewalk area within one hundred (100) feet of the entrance of a reproductive health care facility. Where do they get these definitions? To see the law in it's entirely, click here.

Clearly there have been and will likely continue to be abhorrent violent crimes committed against abortion providers and even the mothers of the aborted. Evil acts like this are unjustified and are as bad or worse than the abortions they are trying to prevent. However, there are no cases where these acts were done when a pre-existing law didn't already apply. Nonetheless, due to the public outcry resulting from violence outside abortion clinics in the 80's and 90's (yet failing to mention the violence inside), President Clinton enacted FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) which makes it a federal crime to use force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction to prevent individuals from obtaining or providing. Since this act only prevents actual threats of criminal behavior, several other cities and states have passed laws virtually outlawing the free exercise of non-threatening speech and even nonverbal body language. In essence, they have criminalized speech that makes certain people feel uncomfortable. No, I'm not kidding.

This isn't just a civil offense with hefty damages paid to litigants, but has been codified as a crime against society with imprisonment and heft fines for those found guilty. Here's a terrifying story from someone living through the strict enforcement and prosecution of this law first hand. The following is the complete text from "We Will Appeal This Verdict" dated January 19, 2009 by California Catholic Daily.

The Rev. Walter Hoye, a pro-life Baptist pastor from Berkeley, faces up to two years in jail and $4000 in fines following his conviction on two counts of “unlawful approach” in violation of Oakland’s restrictive new ‘bubble law.’ His attorneys say they plan to appeal.

Hoye had initially been charged with four counts of violating the ordinance – two counts of “unlawful approach” and two counts of using “force, threat of force or physical obstruction” against ‘escorts’ at Family Planning Specialists Clinic in Oakland. The charges stemmed from two separate incidents – one on April 29, 2008 and one on May 13, 2008. Hoye was arrested on May 13 after a clinic staff member called police. He was carrying a 40-inch sign that read, "Jesus Loves You & Your Baby. Let Us Help You," and attempting to hand out pro-life literature.

A regular fixture at the clinic and an outspoken opponent of the “bubble law,” Hoye had challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance in a federal lawsuit pre-dating his arrest. He had become a top target for the clinic staff.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing dismissed one count of using “force, threat of force or physical obstruction” before the trial got under way on Jan. 5. After deliberating for about two days, the jury found Hoye guilty on Thursday, Jan. 15, of two counts of “unlawful approach,” but not guilty on the remaining “threat of force” count.

Hoye is scheduled to appear before Judge Hing on Feb. 19 for sentencing. Hoye said the judge ordered him to stay 100 yards away from the abortion clinic and have no contact with anyone associated with the clinic while he awaits sentencing. “It is my prayer that God’s name be glorified and the life of His Son Jesus Christ be revealed in me,” said Hoye.

Katie Short of Life Legal Defense Foundation and one of Hoye’s attorneys, expressed concerns over the judge’s instructions to the jury, a concern echoed by Hoye. “The jury members came back to ask to watch the videos again and asked the judge to define what constituted an ‘approach,”’ said Hoye. “There is a clear definition given by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case related to a similar law, the law the Oakland law is based on, but he wouldn’t give it to them.”

The videos to which Hoye refers were recorded outside the abortion clinic on May 13 and presented as evidence by the defense during Hoye’s trial. The tapes showed that clinic employees approached Hoye, not the other way around.

Short said that, on appeal, the constitutionality of the ordinance would be challenged. In addition, she said, the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof.

Short also cited the questionable testimony of Family Planning Specialists clinic director Jackie Barbic, who told the jury she came downstairs with a tape measure and told Hoye to back away from patients, staff and escorts. Barbic testified that Hoye then came very close to her, stared at her and made her and two escorts feel very threatened and intimidated.

“When Barbic was on the stand, she told that story, saying that Walter walked up to within a couple of feet of her, and she had to back away from him,” said Short. “Her voice actually choked with emotion as she recounted how frightened she had been. She didn’t know that Walter had someone videotaping him that day. So on cross-examination, we showed her the videotape of the incident, showing her approaching Walter, and him not moving an inch toward her. Up until then, she had detailed everything that happened at the clinic that morning. But when she saw the tape that debunked her story, she said, ‘Oh! I just remembered that there was another time later in the day when I was downstairs that he approached me.’ We have videotape of Walter from when he arrived to when he left. What a smart person would have done was look at the videotape and say, ‘Oh man, you know, I could have sworn he got closer and had a threatening look on his face.’ Instead, she still insisted that he had threatened and intimidated her, but just later in the morning. And she gave us some cock and bull story that she had the tape measure to show the escorts the zone.”

Short said she is also troubled by the interpretation of what constitutes an “approach” under the law. “The ordinance prohibits approaching within eight feet of someone entering an abortion clinic, without their consent, for the purpose of... let’s call it ‘communication,”’ Short explained. “The clinic director and escorts took this to mean that Walter could not approach them without their consent, even though they were not entering the facility and he was not trying to communicate with them.”

Hoye, who has no previous criminal record, rejected a plea bargain offered by the district attorney before trial. The deal guaranteed no jail time if Hoye pleaded guilty to one count in exchange for dismissal of the other three. “The threat of four years in jail is a potent one, but my client is more interested in getting the truth out, both on the sidewalk and in the courtroom,” commented Mike Millen, another Life Legal Defense Foundation attorney working on Hoye’s case, when the offer was turned down.

“This is a miscarriage of justice and we will appeal this verdict,” said Allison Aranda, a staff counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation, in a prepared statement following the verdict. “After speaking with several jurors after the verdict was read, it is clear that the court's failure and outright refusal to instruct the jury regarding the key elements of the crime led to the erroneous conviction of Rev. Hoye.” The verdict came at the beginning of the holiday weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr. -- an irony not lost on Rev. Hoye.

“It's Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday again and I can still hear his words in my heart: ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.’” [end of article]



I can't help but wonder why the abortionists aren't guilty of the same law when they approached Rev. Hoye with their opposing points of view. It seems they are similarly "engaging in conversation" within "100 feet" of the entrance as well. Further, why are abortion centers the only shielded zones while there is no such law prohibiting people (i.e. Prop 8 protesters in the above photo) from "counseling" or "harassing" those going to church? It sounds like Oakland wants this law only to apply to people with certain views. Instead, cities and states should allow all free expression of ideas expressed within the confines of existing laws. Why establish a special class of victim rather than treating all victims equally regardless of their opinions? As long as the government remains true to the original intent of the Constitution under the power of the people, these laws can change. As sad as this to say, check your own state and city laws before voicing your opinion near abortion centers. If you don't like what you find, tell your state or city representative. Maybe there's even an effort underway by like minded people like you. So don't dismiss yourself as quickly as they want you to by underestimating the power of the democratic process. We can have an impact!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Apologetix Rocks!

What is Apologetix? Picture this: Weird Al Yankovic meets William Lane Craig.

Well...maybe not exactly.

Apologetix is a Christian parody band with a special interest in...you guessed it...apologetics! Some good, wholesome, entertaining music so you'll "always be ready to make a song defense."

Check out their website here.

This video below is one of my favorite songs, Smooth Grandmama (a parody of Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson).

Enjoy!

video

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Infanticide Alive and Well in America

(World Net Daily) Bob Unruh

A Florida woman is suing an abortion business for forcing her to witness the "murder" of her daughter, who allegedly was "swept" into a biohazard bag to "suffocate and bleed to death."

WND reported previously on the 2006 case in Hialeah, Fla., which was sparked by an anonymous tipster who notified police of the death. The tipster later called back to prompt a police search that led to the discovery of the baby's body in the biohazard bag in a cardboard box in a closet.

The action was filed by attorneys working with the Thomas More Society and names as defendants the Miramar Woman Center, A GYN of Hialeah, Belkis Gonzalez, Siomara Senises, Frantz Bazile and others allegedly involved in the death of the baby, named Shanice Denise Osbourne.

The case is being brought on behalf of the mother, Sycloria Williams. Tom Brejcha, chief of the law society, said the goal is to establish that there was a wrongful death.

The claim was filed by prominent Miami personal injury attorney Tom Pennekamp, who was retained by the law society for the case.

The case alleges Shanice was born alive, then murdered "by defendant, abortion clinic owner, Belkis Gonzalez." The other defendants are cited for "unlicensed and unauthorized medical practice, botched abortions, evasive tactics, false medical records and the killing, hiding and disposing of the baby."

Should the case result in a determination there was a live birth and homicide, it could have national implications because of the issue of care that abortionists are required to provide to babies who survive abortions. While he was a state lawmaker, President Obama opposed such rules, arguing they imposed too great a burden on the abortionist.

The case alleges:

As a direct and proximate result of the negligent conduct of the Defendants, Plantiff Sycloria witnessed the live birth and suffering of her daughter as she struggled for life in pain, moving and breathing on the recliner. She witnessed Belkis Gonzalez enter the room and knock the live baby from the recliner seat where she had given birth to the floor. She then witnessed the murder of her daughter by Belkis Gonzalez before her eyes, as Belkis Gonzalez picked up a large pair of orange shears and cut the umbilical cord connecting mother and daughter. Belkis Gonzalez did not clamp the baby's umbilical cord allowing the baby to bleed out and also threw or by some accounts literally swept the breathing live child into a biohazard bag to suffocate and bleed to death. There are reports that Belkis Gonzalez also placed a caustic chemical in the bag with the live baby.
The case explains Shanice's mother learned she was pregnant in July 2006 and decided to have an abortion. She went to the Miramar Woman Center and was referred to abortionist Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique.

The mother, Sycloria Williams, went to the Hialeah clinic July 20, but Renelique wasn't there. In fact, the case explains, there was no one with a medical license at the business.

Even so, the clinic's receptionist gave Williams the drug Cytotec, which induces labor. She waited for five hours before giving birth to a live baby girl, the case explained.

"The baby writhed and gasped for air, still connected to Williams by the umbilical cord. Immobilized by shock, Williams watched Gonzalez run into the room, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff the baby and afterbirth into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can," the lawsuit explains.

Someone with inside information about the clinic called police about the death. When officers responded, they found medical records but not the baby's remains. Then six days later, another anonymous call said officers could find the baby's body on the business roof, but they didn't. Following a third call to police, the decomposing body was found in a cardboard box in a clinic closet. DNA confirmed it was the body of Williams' daughter.

The county medical examiner confirmed the baby had been breathing after birth and before death but blamed the death on "extreme prematury."

The Thomas More Society took an interest in the case when a local law school professor was quoted in the Miami Herald to the effect that if the baby wasn't "viable," then it "couldn't be a case of homicide."

"That opinion is dead wrong," said Brejcha. "A disabled or dying patient may not be 'viable' in the sense of being able to live very long or without help, but if you kill them, it's murder. This was a case of infanticide, and we're not going to let it go ignored or unpunished."

A pathologist retained by the law firm established "the acts and omissions of the abortionist and clinic staff were causative factors in Shanice's untimely death." The lawsuit said the clinic staff members refused to call 911 for help nor did they "seek any medical or neonatal assistance of any kind."

Further, the abortion businesses falsified records, the lawsuit contends, stating that Williams left shortly after noon, even though there were blood pressure and other medical readings in her records after that time.

Technically, the death has been "under investigation" by prosecutors for more than two years, without charges being filed.

"This case will trumpet to the world that abortion clinics are places of barbarism where mothers as well as their babies are at serious risk," said Brejcha. "Moreover, this case should put some sharp teeth into the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. As we struggle to end the scourge of legal abortion in this country, we must hold the line against infanticide!"

WND columnist Jill Stanek said the baby's brief life and her death "demonstrate the need for the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. While it was legal to kill Shanice pre-birth, it was "wrongful death" to do so after, even if she wasn't viable.

"This is exactly the age baby Barack Obama as state senator fought against giving legal personhood status," she wrote.

Obama Stuns Pro-Lifers

(WorldNetDaily) Chelsea Schilling

At the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel this morning, President Obama caught pro-life advocates off guard when he said God wouldn't condone taking the life of an innocent human being.

Obama spoke of the need for people of all religions to end persecution "in the name of perceived righteousness."

"[F]ar too often, we see faith wielded as a tool to divide us from one another as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance," he said. "There's no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same."

The president said people from various religions all have different views about how humans came to be on Earth and "where we are going next."

Obama attempted to draw similarities among the world's diverse religions.

"No matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenant is hate," he said.

"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

video

The blogosphere lit up with comments from pro-life advocates upon hearing that statement. Many referenced Obama's support of partial-birth abortion.

"It is, of course, the Golden Rule, the call to love one another, to understand one another, to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth," he continued. "Instead of driving us apart, our very beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted, to make peace where there's strife and to rebuild what is broken, to lift up those who have fallen on hard times."

Obama also announced the formation of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

"The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group of faith over another or even religious groups over secular groups," he said. "It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."

The president spoke about his professed conversion to Christianity, saying he was born into a household that was not "particularly religious."

"It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck, no matter what they looked like or where they came from or who they prayed to," he said. "It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods that I first felt God's spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose, His purpose."

Obama's agenda regarding "reproductive choice" is posted on the White House website. It states, Obama "has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration."

The Obama administration repealed a ban on U.S. taxpayer funding of foreign abortions during his first week in office.

The president has also said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," a sweeping bill that would abolish pro-life regulations across the nation.

Liberalism Attacked the Constitution

Senator DeMint (R-SC) proposed to amened the anti-religious language in the stimulus bill with the purpose of allowing "the free exercise of religion at institutions of higher education that receive funding under section 803 of division A" of the stimulus bill. What I find strange about this is not that the proposed amendment didn't pass, although that sucks. And it wasn't that the original bill has anti-religious language, although that sucks too. What I found interesting is that only one Republican voted against it. This means that every Democrat who voted on the amendment supported limited religious expression and almost all Republicans voted for protecting it. Sen. Gregg (R-NH) was one of two who didn't vote at all (terminally ill Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy being the only other). But if my theory is sound, Sen. Gregg may already be on board with the Democratic party as Obama's Secretary of Commerce nominee. If religion isn't a partisan issue, why the strict divide? Political correctness aside, I don't think we can pretend any longer that political liberalism and theological liberalism are as mutually exclusive as we tend to think.

So what about that one Republican vote against the amendment cast by Olympia Snowe (R-ME)? According to National Review magazine, Snowe is the most liberal Republican Senator in office. Her pro-abortion and gay-rights records are consistently in line with liberal philosophy. Those of us in California know what it's like to have a leader with an "R" after his name. But without the action to support the words, a liberal Republican is still a liberal.

For the moment, let's refocus our attention on the central issue. The bill contained the following clause which limits freedom of religious expression: “PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS. - No funds awarded under this section may be used for - (C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities - (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.”

On the surface, this might sound fine. Let's just keep our universities neutral. What could be wrong with that? The problem is that when it comes to religious issues, there is no such thing as being neutral. The Supreme Court ruled that atheism is a protected religious view under the first amendment in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins. If congress is to respect this ruling, and still wants to expel spirituality from universities that receive funding to repair leaking classrooms, they need to be sure no atheist worldviews are being propagated either.

Even if it were possible to avoid any inference of God, or non-belief, the practical consequences are virtually impossible to avoid. Despite allowing a less than "substantial portion" of religious function, no school will risk the legal expenses in combating even the most frivolous ACLU lawsuits that are sure to follow. But conceding the remote possibility that some colleges might push the envelope by permitting religious discussion in the formerly leaky classrooms, the fact remains that congress has made a law prohibiting the expression of religion or the free exercise thereof. Sound familiar? If not, read the first sentence of the first amendment of our Constitution. If you click that link, you can even read it from the image of the original handwritten document itself.


For further evidence of this violation of the first amendment, read President Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association regarding their concern over government restrictions on religious freedom. Clearly, Jefferson reassures them that there will be a "wall of separation" to protect the individual expression of religion without any government imposed restriction. This is the only reference to the "wall of separation" mentioned in all founding documents. By its context, the protection it promises would seem to include even a "substantial" religious use of government funded university facilities.

Congress is responsible for representing the people so I guess its possible this denial of the first amendment could reflect the view of their constituents (click here for a complete list of how each senator voted). However, I believe each senator swears an oath upon taking office that they will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Fortunately, the founders foresaw this potential conflict by establishing a separation of powers. The judicial branch is responsible for ensuring laws passed by congress fall within constitutional boundaries. Let's hope the courts have enough judges in the federal system to see the obvious injustice explicit in the stimulus bill.

Both state and private universities are experiencing the economic turmoil like everyone else. So federal funding is a welcome blessing to institutes of higher learning who are tasked with training America's next generation. This is what makes this anti-religious crusade so egregious. At a time of great need, a select group of our nation's leaders wish to exploit the opportunity by bribing educators with an anti-religious agenda. It's funding with secular strings attached. It's as if they're saying "You can have money to fix your buildings that you otherwise can't afford to repair, but you must stop talking about that religious nonsense before you get it."

My purpose for pointing out this disturbing event is not to enrage you, but to motivate you. I encourage you to keep an eye on those who represent us and to let them know how you think about their actions. It is easy to become complacent by underestimating what one person can do. At the very least, you should ask your friends who support these Senators what they think about it. Maybe they don't even know. Maybe they don't understand the issues. You can change that. Yes, even though you are only one person.

Tyra Banks: Is Gay the New Black?

(Townhall.com) Sandy Rios

The show began with a flashback of a lesbian and her mother discussing the daughter’s upcoming “marriage” on The Tyra Banks Show. The mother was sweet but broken at the thought of her daughter “marrying” another woman. There was nothing superior in her attitude … nothing remotely unkind in her tone, just the broken heart of a mother watching her daughter make a choice she felt was immoral.

On this day, they were appearing again on that same couch, this time mother, wife and wife. Had the mother, in fact, gone to the wedding? Yes … she had, but sat on the back row. The inference? Bad. The stepfather videotaped the entire wedding, but allegedly nudged his daughter away from her white-gowned partner to take a photo alone. Inference? Really bad. The parents didn’t stay for the reception—that was too was bad. As the mother wept again and declared her love for her daughter, the daughter remained the victim. How really bad for the mom to make the daughter feel “bad” in this way. If mom would just get over her own pain and convictions on the matter and accept this “marriage,” her daughter and partner could be happy.

Next segment: Sam Harris, a fabulous singer from the Star Search years, has adopted a baby girl with his male partner. His passionate and angry outburst on YouTube at the passage of Proposition 8 in California—defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman—was the next feature.

Enter the panel: A black, perfectly dressed marriage and family attorney from New York, an expert at defending the rights of homosexuals; a white lesbian, Charlene, whose partner was lost in a flash flood in Seattle and was subsequently denied the right to visit her in a coma— until it was cleared by family; the third was Sam Harris.

On the other side was a beautiful black mom of two little children from South Carolina named Karen…Mrs. Average American, chosen because she objects to homosexual marriage; Dr.Bill Meier, psychologist with Focus on the Family and me, Sandy Rios, of notable opposition to homosexual marriage and gay adoption. Dr. Meier was prepped and ready with valuable facts and information but what followed was not what we had expected.

The audience wore “gay” and “straight” t-shirts to indicate their sexual preference. An additional group in an unidentified color was of inclination unknown. The “gay” group were notably men … the “straight” mostly women.

Tyra Banks entered from the back and without introducing any of us, began the interaction.

Tyra: Sandy, is gay the new black?
[A borrowed theme from “The Advocate.”]

Sandy
: Reminds me of the old intelligence tests. This is to this as that is to that. Some similarities, but ultimately no match. Black is an intrinsic God-given characteristic that cannot change. How you have sex is a choice you make and you can change that.

Audience: Boo!!!!


Sandy
: “The Boy from Minnesota” from the recently-nominated movie “Milk” was 17 when Harvey Milk, the first openly gay city commissioner from San Francisco, befriended him. Girard Dols has now left the homosexual lifestyle and is a chaplain in Wisconsin. It is possible to change.”

Audience: More boos.


Gay man: You think I would choose this discrimination? You think I can live without sex?


Sandy: As a heterosexual female whose had to live without sex, I assure you, you can.


Then my ally, “Karen,” made a fatal mistake. She made mention of God and the Bible. Like a cross held before the blood-induced stupor of a new vampire, the rage began. The female attorney went on a tirade about how irrelevant the Bible was today. The white lesbian invoked her personal faith accusingly and relayed how she and her partner had taken communion together the week before she was drowned. “These people make their case against us solely on the Bible,” declared another.

Then a young, gay man, was recognized by Tyra. He said his father had just beaten him for being gay because the Bible had instructed him to do so. He wept uncontrollably, but it was difficult to tell if the story was genuine or if he was a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild. It must have been purely coincidental that he was seated on the end, Tyra chose him for a comment and the tears came so perfectly timed. From across the studio 50 feet away, Tyra accused me of “looking” insensitive.

The show became a free for all. The bottom line was that homosexuals are victims and the three of us—along with the mom and dad in the earlier segment—were insensitive hateful, standing in the way of full happiness for all homosexuals.

And then as abruptly as it had started, the show ended. We left the stage, the three of us, following our three “opponents.” I was struck by how fruitless the exchange had been and so I addressed them to their backs, “I wish the six of us could just sit down and talk.” The large, white lesbian spun around and declared angrily, “I don’t have anything to say to you. You have no idea what I’ve been through. I lost my lover and couldn’t even visit her in the hospital.”

“I do know something about that and I think that’s terrible,” I responded.

“You hate me!” she announced.

“You know nothing about me,” I replied.

I looked to Sam who began shouting at me for being a bigoted homophobe—just like the perpetrators of racial hatred in the civil rights era. I reached out for his elbow and he snarled, “Don’t touch me!” As he continued to yell and accuse, I asked, “Sam, why is it you can’t have a conversation? Why is it you can talk but seem unable to listen?” He moved on angrily. A few moments later, my sweet partner, Karen, the slightly plump mom from South Carolina was making her way to the bathroom when the homosexual-marriage-defending, well-put-together black attorney yelled at her that she was fat and needed to lose some weight.

Yes. Homosexuals are the victims and we are the haters. It must be true because that’s what you see on TV. You will see that clearly when the show is aired. But what you won’t see is the hatred and anger regularly doled out by homosexual activists on people who oppose their view—especially people of faith.

It is the price to be paid for speaking the truth in the hopes that some will listen—and lives will be transformed.

I don’t mind. What I do mind is that millions are deceived…gay and straight.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stimulating Atheism

The following is an article taken from the Liberty Counsel website:
The highly controversial "stimulus" package is a monolithic spending bill containing language designed to stimulate the narrow interests of extreme left-wing activist organizations. The latest political payback tucked away in the estimated 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill will prove stimulating to religious censors and anti-faith groups like the ACLU.
Both the House and Senate versions contain anti-faith language that will censor religion and force people of faith from the public square. The bill states that stimulus funds may not be used for "modernization, renovation, or repair of [certain educational] facilities – (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission."
Several members of Congress, including Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), have attacked the 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill for its anti-faith censorship. DeMint stated that the bill would "empower the ACLU with ambiguous laws that create liability for schools, universities, and student organizations."
President Obama supports the package, but he could still request that Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi stop this blatant attack on people of faith. The House version of the bill (H.R. 1) passed on January 28 with only a 56-vote margin -- 244 to188. Eleven Democrats and every Republican voted against it. The Senate version (S. 336) is expected to come up for a vote within a few days.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "The so-called stimulus bill will lead to the banning of all religious activity from public facilities by forbidding the use of funds to improve places where religious instruction or worship occurs. In order to receive stimulus money our government will have to expel Bible clubs and weekend religious meetings. People who want to speak about their faith will be unwelcome in public places. Apparently, President Obama’s idea of faith-based initiatives is to remove faith from all initiatives."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How Can a Loving God allow Evil?

(Awakengenereation.com) Sean McDowell

The Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, will never forget the tragedy of October 2nd, 2006. Charles Roberts, a non-Amish local father of three, entered the single-room Amish schoolhouse, ordered the boys to leave, and opened fire on the girls. He shot ten girls and killed five before taking his own life. The question lingering on many people’s minds was, “Why did something like this have to happen?” What does it say about God that such evil acts occur in His world? If God could prevent such a tragedy, why didn’t He? This same question lingered after 9/11 and the massacre at Virginia Tech.

In the aftermath of the Katrina floods, Dr. Billy Graham was interviewed by Newsweek. He was asked how a loving God could allow such suffering and evil. Dr. Graham’s response was simple, “I don’t know. But God has allowed it, and there is a purpose that we won’t know maybe for years to come.”1

He’s right, of course. None of us can completely know why God allows tragedies. God does not answer the “why” question in the Bible. This side of Heaven we cannot fully understand the origin of evil and the reasons God has for allowing it to continue in the present. But this does not mean, as some have surmised, that evil counts against God’s existence or that God does not have a sufficient reason for allowing it. In fact, the reality of evil may be one of the best reasons to believe that God exists.

What Is Evil?


Before attempting a Christian defense for the existence of evil, it is first important to understand the nature of evil. Evil is not something that has an independent existence of its own. Rather, evil is a perversion of good—a corruption of something that already exists. Tooth decay, for example, can only exist if the tooth first exists. Rot can exist only if the tree first exists. Simply put, evil is when things are not the way they are supposed to be.

Ironically, then, to complain about the problem of evil is to argue that there is a way the world is supposed to be (which only makes sense if God exists). You see, if evolution is true, then the world as we know it is the result of the blind forces of chance, random mutation, and time. The world just happens to be the way it is, but it was not designed to be this way. Therefore, if the world just happens to be this way, then how can someone complain that it should be another way?

Moral judgments (such as claiming that a particular act is evil) can only be made if there is an independent reference standard of good. Otherwise one is like a hiker stranded in a cloudy forest at night without a compass. There would be no way to distinguish north from south without the reference point of the compass. Similarly, there must be an independent reference point distinguishing between good and evil. If God does not exist, then there is no ultimate basis to make moral judgments. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God rather than disproves it.

Where Did Evil Come From?


The Bible makes it clear that God’s original creation “was very good” (Genesis 1:31). There was no evil, sin, death, or pain. Yet the reality of evil today is unmistakable. So, where did it come from? Scripture teaches that evil began with the God-given free choice to disobey (Genesis 3). God gave people free will and they abused it. God is not the cause evil, but He does allow it.

Some people wonder why God couldn’t create the world in such a way that we would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. If God is all-powerful, couldn’t he create such a world? If God is all-good, wouldn’t he want to create such a world? Thus, the problem of evil is often stated this way:
  1. If God is all-good, he would want to defeat evil.
  2. If God is all-powerful, he could create a world without evil.
  3. Evil is not yet defeated.
  4. Therefore, an all-good and all-powerful God must not exist.
Let’s consider each of these points in turn and see if this argument is valid, or if there are in fact reasons why God might allow evil in this world.

STATEMENT 1
says that God would want to defeat the present evil and suffering. Since God is good, must He eliminate all present pain? As a parent, I realize the value in allowing some suffering. I don’t put a bubble around my son protecting him from all harm. Sometimes pain can be a means of personal growth and ultimate good. James recognized that suffering produces perseverance (James 1:2-4). Dentists, coaches, and teachers all know that sometimes being good is not to be kind.

Sometimes suffering is a means through which God draws people to Himself. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”2

Dr. Francis Collins is one of the leading geneticists in the world. As a non-believer, he was intrigued by the peace and faith of Christians who went through seemingly unbearable suffering. With his interest peaked in spiritual things, Dr. Collins decided to investigate the evidence for the existence of God. After a thorough consideration of the evidence, he became a believer. While the evidence convinced his mind, the hope of the suffering believers attracted his heart. God used the suffering of Christians to draw this brilliant scientist to Himself.3 A good person can be good and still allow evil if he has good reason to do so.

STATEMENT 2 says that God could create a world without evil, but since evil exists God must not be all-powerful. The answer to this criticism lies in properly understanding what it means that God is all-powerful. Can God do anything imaginable?

One student asked me, “Can God make a rock so big he can’t move it?” (Bart Simpson would say, “Can God make a burrito so big he can’t eat it?) Although this seems like a tricky argument, the answer is very simple. No, he cannot! You might be thinking that this is a limitation of God, but it is not. A physical object that is so big that an all-powerful God cannot move it is a contradiction—a meaningless idea. There simply cannot be such a thing. It is like a square-circle. Philosopher Gregory Ganssle explains, “To say that God is all-powerful does not mean that God can do any task I can name in words. It means that he can do anything that is not a logical contradiction.”4 The Bible also makes it clear that God, because he is perfectly good in His character, cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2).

Just because God is all-powerful does not mean he can do impossibilities. Even God cannot make truly free beings and ensure that they always do right (if he wants them to remain free). All God can do is create the circumstances in which a person is able to make free choices and then, so to speak, stand back and let the person choose. Although we may not completely understand why, God has determined that free will is worth it. One reason often cited is the possibility of love, which cannot be programmed; it must be freely chosen. Yet in giving us the freedom to love, God also gave us the freedom not to love.

What Is God Doing About Evil?


Ultimately, the Bible records the story of God’s personal plan for the world. On one hand, God is confronting, judging, and restraining evil. And for the evil that is unaccounted for in this lifetime, God will bring final justice to the wicked and vindicate the righteous in the life to come. What promise do we have that God is working to bring justice to the world? The answer is the death and resurrection of Jesus. God inaugurated a process in the resurrection of Jesus that will one day be brought to fruition for the entire creation. God will do for the entire creation what he first did for His Son, Jesus. N.T. Wright explains:
According to early Christians, what was accomplished in Jesus’ death and resurrection is the foundation, the model and guarantee for God’s ultimate purpose, which is to rid the world of evil altogether and to establish his new creation of justice, beauty, and peace…God’s future had already broken into the present in Jesus.5
We are not called merely to understand what God is doing about evil and then to continue our lives as normal. Rather, we have been called by God to be a part of the solution. God calls us to be His agents of healing and transformation in anticipation of the final resurrection.

1
Jon Meacham, “God, Satan, and Katrina” Newsweek (March 20, 2006), p. 53.
2
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan, 1962), 93.
3
Francis S. Collins, The Language of God (New York: Free Press, 2006).
4
Gregory Ganssle, Thinking about God (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 117.
5
N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God (Downers Grove, Ill.: 2006), 102.

Why the Secular Left Despise the Christian Right

(Awakengeneration.com) Ron Carlson

Many people in the Evangelical Christian community fail to understand the true underlying cause of the Secular Left’s antagonism for the Christian Right of America. Many Christians assume it is because of our opposition to abortion, or the homosexual lifestyle, or our desire for alternative theories to evolution to be taught in the classroom; and while all of these are related to the Secular Left’s vitriol, none of them strike to the core of the matter. No, there is a much deeper and far less recognized cause for the Secular Left’s animosity for the Evangelical Christian community.

What lies at the heart of the division between the Secular Left and the Christian Right in America is a debate over the nature of truth. Evangelical Christians believe that truth is objective and universal, which means that there is absolute truth which applies to all people, in all cultures, for all times. Evangelicals recognize that this objective and absolute truth is found ultimately in the one true God of the universe and in His revelation given to us personally in Jesus Christ and in the Bible. As a result of God having revealed absolute truth to humanity, Evangelical Christians believe that lives and societies are best governed by adhering to the principles and guidelines that God has given. After all, when an omniscient (all-knowing) and loving God personally reveals Himself and the correct path for humans to follow, it only makes sense to hold fast to His guidance. And it is the Evangelical insistence on adhering to God’s absolute truth found in His word that stokes the Secular Left’s ire.

To the contrary, the Secular Left in America is guided by a far different understanding of truth. For them, truth is no more than a social construction of reality. This means that reality has no inherent structure or meaning and there is no objective truth that humanity can discover. Instead, the Secular Left in our world has adopted a postmodern view of truth that declares that individuals and societies impose their own meaning and truth onto reality. Thus, for them, truth is relative. Truth is relative to individuals, to social groups, to cultures, and to religions. And it is this postmodern view of truth that has created the wedge of animosity between the Secular Left and the Christian Right.

As a result of their denial of objective truth and their belief that truth is relative, the Secular Left has adopted a deconstructionist approach to history and traditional worldviews, and specifically towards the absolutes of Christianity. The common claim brought by the various proponents of the Secular Left’s agenda is that “Christianity” has historically led to violence, repression, and conquest; and they will list a long series of historical abuses as evidence*. As a result of these so-called “Christian” abuses towards non-Christian people and cultures, the Secular Left’s postmodern worldview has determined that we must now highlight and give preference to the historically marginalized and mistreated.

While highlighting marginalized people groups is a noble goal, the Secular Left does not stop here. Once again, as a result of their postmodern view of truth, the Secular Left makes an amazing leap at this point. They claim that not only should we recognize and highlight these historically marginalized people and cultures, but the leap that is made is that these marginalized people, cultures, lifestyles, and religions are actually equal to, or even preferable to the traditional Christian worldview. Thus, we see the Secular Left’s embrace of every non-Christian lifestyle, choice, and religion as normative: homosexual marriage, abortion on demand, even Muslim terrorists.

It all boils down to the nature of truth. The Christian Right has remained steadfast in our adherence to the objective truths and standards set forth in God’s word. Thus, we oppose homosexual marriage, we stand on the side of the unborn and we believe that Religions that promote the killing and suppression of those opposed to them are evil. Evangelicals are guided by God’s objective and absolute truths; and it is for this stance that the Secular Left despises us.

Christian brothers and sisters, we must be vigorously engaged in this cultural debate over the nature of truth. The future of our country and our world is at stake. Our engagement in this debate is a thoroughly Christian pursuit; in fact, God’s word admonishes us to contend for the faith, to contend for the truth (Jude 3). At the same time, while we debate passionately, we must do so with a Christ-like “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). The way of the Master is to stand for the truth in love. While we are right to defend the truth, point out sinfulness, and label right from wrong, we must do so with an attitude of humility and love. If we do this, we will be faithful to the truth and to the example of standing for the truth left to us by our Master, Jesus Christ.

*Everyone, even the Evangelical Christians with whom they most identify these abuses, readily acknowledges the fact that historical abuses have taken place in the name of Christianity. What they fail to recognize however, is that nowhere in God’s Word (once again, the “absolutes” for Christians) do you find the sanction for these historical abuses.