Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Mr. Beck, (Glenn Beck, stu

The media are abuzz with the story that you and Erick Erickson are working on an idea to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidential election in the Electoral College and throwing the election into the House of Representatives.

Let me just ask: Do you remember what happened four years ago when a bunch of Evangelicals stayed home because they refused to support Mitt Romney because he was a Mormon?  They gave us four more disastrous years of Obama.

You--of all people--ought to know what happens when there is disunity among Republicans: Democrats win.

I have been a died-in-the-wool Ted Cruz supporter throughout the whole campaign; and I will continue to support Senator Cruz and pray that he gets another chance in the future.  But I am now reluctantly supporting Donald Trump because the simple fact is that a vote for ANYONE else is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

I was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1992, for what should have been George H.W. Bush's second term--until Ross Perot came along and took enough votes away in the general election that Bill Clinton won with only 43% of the popular vote.

Hillary is not Bill.  The United States as we know it cannot survive a Hillary Clinton presidency.  We cannot endure the people she will bring into office with her and the people she will appoint to the Supreme Court.  It would be a presidency of unparalleled corruption and persecution of her ideological foes, the subversion of the Constitution, and truly the destruction of this once-great Republic.

If Trump loses, it will be tempting for you and other "never Trump" people to say, "See, we told you he couldn't defeat Hillary."  But it will have been a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about by those who stayed home or voted for someone else when they could have saved us from a terrible fate.

Mr. Beck, a lot of other Conservatives have been critical of you in the past, but I have continued to support you and hold you in prayer.  I implore you: Do not do this.   Do not support a third party or an electoral maneuver to throw this election to some other candidate.   I am seriously concerned that your remaining credibility among Conservatives will suffer irreparable harm if you continue to pursue this course.

As hard as it may be, get behind Donald Trump.  Become the loyal opposition, if need be, during his presidency.   Help hold him accountable.   Pray for him.  Help insure that he appoints ideologically sound justices to the Supreme Court.   (Frankly, I have more confidence in Donald Trump than I do in Mitt Romney, or any of the other names being mentioned, when it comes to appointments.)   You would be doing the country and your listeners a greater service by helping to unite Conservatives in defeating defeat Hillary Clinton.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Islamic State Killers Forced French Priest to Kneel Before Slitting His Throat

The murder of a priest and the wounding of one of his parishioners in Normandy was an act of terrorism carried out by two followers of Islamic State, the French president, François Hollande, has said.

The more details that emerge surrounding the gruesome lethal attack on a priest in northern France Tuesday, the more it appears that the attack could have been foreseen and perhaps prevented.

On Tuesday morning, two jihadists associated with the Islamic State entered the parish church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy while 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass in the company of several members of the parish. The assailants seized Father Hamel and slit his throat before taking the other members of the congregation as hostages.

A witness to the attack has described how the two men forced the 86-year-old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, to his knees, slit his throat and filmed themselves appearing to preach in Arabic at the altar.

The nun, named as Sister Danielle, was among five hostages who were taken when the men armed with knives reportedly entered the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, at 9.43am local time on Tuesday.
It turns out that the parish Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the site of the assault, was on an Islamic State hit list recovered from suspected jihadist Sid Ahmed Ghlam, in April 2015. The 24-year-old Ghlam was arrested by French police, who believe he was a terrorist planning imminent attacks in France under the direction of Islamic State leaders.
After the arrest, police discovered a list of Catholic sites to be targeted by Islamic State terrorists, which included the location of Tuesday’s attack.
The beautiful sixteenth-century church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray is a French heritage monument, to which a tower was added in the 17th century.
More importantly, the church also “happened” to be right next door to the Yahiya mosque of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, whose best-known worshiper was the notorious French jihadist executioner Maxime Hauchard.
Hauchard, who appeared in a video of the beheading of American aid worker Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian military captives in 2014, converted to Islam at the age of 17 and frequented the mosque of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a stone’s throw from the parish church.
Several years ago, Islamic State recruiters contacted and enlisted Hauchard, who became involved in the 2014 takeover of Mosul. “My personal goal is martyrdom, obviously,” Hauchard said in a television interview.
Once in Syria, Hauchard changed his name to Abu Abdallah el Faransi and announced that he wanted to help militants found an Islamic caliphate.
On leaving the church Tuesday morning, the two terrorists shouted “Allahu Akhbar” before being shot by police, according to an eyewitness identified only as “Sylvie.”
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was their soldiers who carried out the barbaric assault.

Friday, July 22, 2016

What We're Up Against

In an article entitled "Trouble in Bakersfield" Professor Carl Trueman describes an increasingly common phenomenon of ordinary people becoming the victims of exclusivity and intolerance from those who, not that long ago, were the ones pleading for inclusivity and tolerance:
Yesterday, Chad Vegas, a good friend of mine and the Reformed Baptist pastor in Bakersfield, California emailed me as follows:
As you know, CA has mandated this [school transgender policy] for the whole state.  I have served on the largest high school board in CA, and the nation, for 12 years.  I basically lead that board.  Our board voted to adopt the new law into policy.  I voted against it.  I was breaking the law for doing so. I could be personally sued and our attorney tells me the board insurance won't cover me because I am breaking the law and I am a bigot.

Anyway, I announced I would not seek reelection.  The community came unhinged when I announced that.  I remain the most popularly elected official in the history of our school board.  Thousands of parents filled our board room in protest of the law.  Thousands are pleading with me to reconsider and keep fighting.  My elders are still considering what to have me do….  [T]he board and administration, and even some leaders in the liberal teacher's union, are asking me to reconsider.
Today, he announced that he would not seek re-election in a letter to his congregation.

There you have it:  A popular, longstanding, and effective member of a schoolboard has had to stand down—not because he does not enjoy the confidence of the community, but simply because he does not accept the latest demands that every knee must bow to whatever the political taste of the moment has decided is non-negotiable.
Read the article in First Things, where there is more.

Random Thought # _

The pendulum has swung. Now we have a black Ku Klux Klan called "Black Lives Matter."  Racism and reverse racism are equally ugly.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Police Association President on Baton Rouge Shooting: Obama ‘Has Blood on His Hands’

In the aftermath of this morning's armed ambush in which three Baton Rouge police officers were murdered and three more critically wounded, Cleveland police officer and Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said President Barack Obama has “blood on his hands.” 

Loomis said,  
“The president of the Untied States validated a false narrative and the nonsense that Black Lives Matter and the media are pressing out there to the public — validated with his very divisive statements.  And now we see an escalation.  This has got to end.  We need some leadership in this country to come forward and put an end to this.  I don’t care if it’s clergy, I don’t care who it is, but somebody has got to step up and put an end to this because it’s the false narrative and very influential people that are politicizing the false narrative.  Absolutely insane that we have a president of the United States and a governor of Minnesota making the statements that they made less than one day after those police involved shootings.  And those police involved shootings, make no mistake, are what absolutely has triggered this rash of senseless murders of law enforcement officers across this country.  It is reprehensible.  And the President of the United States has blood on his hands and it will not be able to come washed off.”
Yes, President Obama has blood on his hands; and even though we are 113 days until the next presidential election and 186 days until the end of Obama's presidency, President Obama needs to resign.  He needs to resign in disgrace for what he has done to this country and to our world.

The reality is that America's experiment with its first black president has been an absolute failure--not because Obama was black.  One could name any number of African American individuals--former Secretaries of State General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Senator Tim Scott, Dr. Ben Carson, economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, to name just a few, who could have done an extremely competent job as president.

But Barack Obama, who promised to be the great uniter has, in fact, been the great divider.  His radical embrace of race politics and anti-law and order sympathies have given us the current violence against law enforcement officers.  His obvious Muslim sympathies have given the world the Islamic State and the resulting immigrant crisis in Europe, as well as a guarantee that Iran will in the not too distant future have nuclear weapons.  

This is Barack Obama's legacy.  And unless the history books are written by politically correct fools, this is what history will reflect--a weak and internally divided America and a more dangerous world--the legacy of the last seven and a half years.

There is nothing Barack Obama can do in the next 168 days to redeem this legacy.  America needs new leadership--and very different leadership--if it is going to survive.  

May God bring healing to the families of the victims in Baton Rouge--and Dallas and New York before them.  And may God bring healing to the United States of America and our troubled world.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Two Best Movies You Won't See This Year

Hollywood has learned that there is money to be made in faith-based movies.  Which makes it all the more strange that when they produce what could be a revolutionary and society-changing movie, they don't spend any money promoting it.  I watch television, so I see the movies that the studios choose to advertise; and I go to movies, which means I see previews.   But if I hadn't accidentally stumbled on trailers for these two movies on the internet, I wouldn't even know they exist.

The first one looks really interesting, and the conflict portrayed in it is so close to current events, that I would really like to see it.   But it appears I will have to wait for it on DVD, because it isn't showing anywhere I know:

God's Not Dead 2 Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe

The second film also looks very interesting, especially if it is based on a real story, as claimed.   But I would want to see more of how they treat the faith aspect before giving it a full endorsement:

Miracles from Heaven Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Jennifer Garner, John Carroll Lynch

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Al Qaeda: Kill White People So the Left Doesn’t Screw Up the Narrative

Have you noticed how the media coverage and other reactions to the Orlando tragedy seem confused?  Did Omar Marteen shoot and kill people at the Pulse nightclub because it was Islamic terrorism or because it was a hate crime?  Did he kill them because he was a Muslim who hates gays or because he was a self-loathing repressed homosexual himself?  And why have authorities taken so long and been so confused about ascribing a motive to Marteen's actions?

The answer is because what we have here is a conflict of narratives.  And when the truth gets obscured by "official" attempts to impose a narrative on events, this is what happens.  Fortunately (I am being sarcastic, in case anyone wonders) we have Al Qaeda to help clarify things for us.  Their message to would be terrorists:  "Next time kill straight white people so it will be clear you did it for Islam instead of some other motive that the Left wants to impose on the situation."  

National Review's David French had this to say on the subject:
This would be hilarious if it didn’t signify how twisted our world has become:
Lone wolf jihadists should target white Americans so no one mistakes their terror attacks for hate crimes unrelated to the cause of radical Islam, Al Qaeda writes in the latest edition of its online magazine.  In an article first reported by The Foreign Desk, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) called for more self-directed Muslim terrorists to kill in America.  But the article, titled “Inspire guide: Orlando operation,” tells terrorists to “avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found” because if gays or Latinos appear to be the targets, “the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility.” 
By attacking a gay club, Omar Mateen likely thought he’d chosen the perfect target for illustrating his jihadist motivations.  After all, ISIS and multiple other jihadist organizations are known for executing gays in particularly vile ways.  But when the Left’s narrative collides with ISIS’s, the Left’s narrative wins — so a Muslim Democrat’s attack became an expression of Christian Republican hate.  It was the most extraordinary perversion of truth that I’ve ever seen. 

Jihadists will keep attacking, but some leftists will keep excusing.  It’s a deadly race to the bottom, with each leftist excuse only postponing the day when Americans finally remember what it’s like to fight the enemy, not each other.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Elderly Anglican priest tried to shield his wife from flames as they died in massive California brush fire

There is a flag at half-mast in my heart if not on any actual flag pole.  We need to pray for all those who are being affected so terribly by the out-of-control wildfires in drought-stricken California.

From here, where there is video:
Gladys McKaig, 90, was in failing health, but her 81-year-old husband, Byron, was her constant companion and protector.  And it remained so even as they lay dying. 
The couple perished in the massive Erskine Fire that has devoured more than 46,000 acres in California and destroyed more than 200 buildings.
Their bodies were found outside the smoldering remains of their home, sprawled against a corner of their fence.
"He was like on top of her, and they were together, like he was blocking her from the fire," neighbor Bill Johnson told the Los Angeles Times.  "It made me sick because immediately I saw and knew exactly what had happened – that they were alive and ran out of this burning inferno and got stuck, and that was where they ended.
"I thought it was terrible for those people to go like that. Just horrible.  They didn't deserve it," he said.
Byron was an Anglican priest who married the church organist in July 1984.  He had come to the Lake Isabella area in the early 1980s after a divorce.
Gladys was a deeply religious woman with a fierce love of music, as was her husband.  They were a "perfect match," daughter Susan McKaig told the Bakersfield Californian.
"They were each other's half," she said.  "They loved each other very much and the family [is] taking comfort from the fact that they passed together."
The couple had two other grown daughters.
He had retired from his pastoral duties eight years ago, but was still active in the church.
"It was beautiful, his devotion to her," said Bishop Eric Menees of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.  "He cared for her up until their very last seconds."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Why Can’t the Left Distinguish Conservative Christians from Islamic Terrorists?

The title says it all.  Liberals and the media look at a tragedy like Orlando and not only can't seem to distinguish between conservative Christians and Islamic terrorists, they seem to feel as though Christians are the greater threat.

National Review's Jonah Goldberg takes a look at this disturbing trend in a piece entitled, "Why Can’t the Left Distinguish Conservative Christians from Islamic Terrorists?"

Read it all.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Legislation Attacks Religious Liberty of Christian Schools

A bill working its way through the California legislature would drastically undermine the religious liberty of Christian universities in the state.  If passed, it could become a model for attacks on Christian schools across the country.

In recent years, the government has required that educational institutions not "discriminate" against LGBT students lest they lose federal funding.  However, religious schools have been exempted from this requirement if their "religious tenets" affirmed biblical sexuality and marriage.

Now this exemption is at risk.

If California Senate Bill 1146  is enacted, the religious liberty exemption would apply only to "educational programs or activities . . . to prepare students to become ministers of the religion, to enter upon some other vocation of the religion, or to teach theological subjects pertaining to the religion."  In other words, theological seminaries might retain their religious liberty protections, but faith-based colleges and universities, and, eventually, Christian primary and secondary schools, would not.

As a statement from California's Biola University warns, the bill "functionally eliminates the religious liberty of all California faith-based colleges and universities who integrate spiritual life with the entire campus educational experience."  It would "eliminate religious liberty in California higher education as we know it and rob tens of thousands of students of their access to a distinctly faith-based higher education."

According to the Biola University statement, other consequences of the bill for faith-based institutions include:
  • Faith-based institutions in California would no longer be able to require a profession of faith of their students.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to integrate faith throughout the teaching curriculum.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to require chapel attendance for students, an integral part of the learning experience at faith-based universities.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to require core units of Bible courses.
  • Athletic teams would no longer be able to lead faith-based community service programs.
All this to fix what many observers regard as a "non-existent problem."  Students who apply and attend colleges do so voluntarily.  There are no victims here—except for the institutions who will be singled out for their countercultural religious convictions.

There's even more to the story.

The First Amendment, often called our "First Freedom," states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  However, in the past few years, observers have noticed a distinction between "freedom of religion" and "freedom of worship" in statements by political leaders such as President Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  What could happen if American society moves from protecting "freedom of religion" and instead only guarantees "freedom of worship"?

The California bill is one answer:  Schools that teach "worship" (theology and ministry training) would have some measure of religious liberty, but all other Christian schools would not.  Extending this outcome to its logical (and, in my opinion, inevitable) conclusion, pastors would be free to address issues such as same-sex marriage only in sermons delivered in worship services.  If they speak publicly on such issues in other forums, they could be accused of hate speech.  Church facilities would be tax-exempt only if they are used expressly for worship—offices, gyms, and educational spaces could be taxed.  Our personal religious convictions would be protected only when they are expressed during worship services or in private.

The California bill is just one example of this frightening trend.  If it prevails against Christian universities, will the other outcomes I have mentioned be far behind?  If it applies to LGBT "discrimination," what other religious convictions will eventually be punished?

Truly Christian schools—like churches and people—cannot separate faith from the rest of life. Our call to discipleship is clear.  As Jesus taught: "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

We need to pray for our leaders to affirm the religious liberties our forefathers died to protect.  And we need to exercise that liberty by loving and serving God every day in every dimension of life (Mark 12:30), whatever the cost.

For further analysis of S.B 1146 and its effects, read this article from the Christian Post.  And if you want a glimpse of the kind of persecution a Christian political candidate in California can experience, read this article from the L.A. Progressive.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Report: Media Give Gorilla Death 6 Times More Coverage Than ISIS Beheadings of Christians

From Breitbart, where there is more:
A new study by the indefatigable Media Research Center (MRC) has revealed that mainstream media devoted some six times as much air time to covering the recent death of Harambe the gorilla than they did to the gruesome Islamic State decapitation of 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach last year.
Read the rest.