Category Archives: America

The Truth About The American Bar Association

The American Bar Association has recently tipped its hand, showing how very partisan it has become.
Joe Palazzolo, writing at the Wall Street Journal, reports that “tensions between Senate Republicans and the bar association, the largest organization of lawyers in the nation, have escalated in recent weeks after the ABA pronounced a Nebraska lawyer unfit to serve on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

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Great Jurist, Great Writer, Great Speaker, Great American

There have been a lot of positive reviews of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s recently released book of speeches. This will be another one. What’s not to like? The speeches were selected by his son, Christopher Scalia, and a former law clerk, Edward Whelan, from the many the justice delivered over the last 30 years or so of his life. They show not only an articulate and scholarly jurist with a well thought-out and consistent view of the law, but a full-service human being, full of insights and humor about the roller-coaster we call life, which he was very good at living.

 

Those who’ve read Scalia’s opinions, especially his occasionally acerbic dissents, know he was a clear, persuasive, and amusing writer. (I lift up 2004’s Scalia Dissents — Regnery — still available.) Can you feature it? Legal opinions that one can read for pleasure. What next?

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Fire Chief Fired for expressing his faith on his own time

While many people are gearing up for Supreme Court arguments over the rights of a religious baker, a case involving the rights of a religious fire chief also remains up in the air.

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran says he was fired for his Christian faith and beliefs. The case began in 2014 after Cochran self-published a men’s devotional book he had written on his personal time. While the book does mention biblical sexual morality, attorney Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom says it was only a brief mention in the 162-page book.

“We had a hearing on whether or not the court would go ahead and decide the case without a trial or that the case would proceed to trial – it’s called a summary judgment,” says Theriot about the November 17 hearing before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

 

“[At that] hearing both sides presented arguments as to why they think that they should succeed – and what we argued, on behalf of Chief Cochran, is that the city has conceded that they considered the content of the speech and his book about his religious beliefs when they suspended him without pay and when they fired him; and because of that, that violated his constitutional rights.”


Atlanta argues that it is an inclusive city and an inclusive employer. But according to Theriot, Atlanta’s definition of inclusiveness means excluding those that disagree with the city.

“Not only did the mayor say but several of his staff [also] said Look, these were offensive to us and therefore we got rid of him,” he explains. “That clearly violates the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

A decision by the judge in Cochran v. City of Atlanta is expected in December or early next year.

( Read more here. )

China ready to depose NK troublemaker

China should pay an economic price for propping up North Korea’s regime, says a national defense analyst, while a second analyst predicts China will orchestrate regime change in the near future.

North Korea’s provocative launch of an ICBM into Japanese waters – after a flight time of 53 minutes and reaching space before re-entry – has heightened nightmare scenarios of tens of thousands dead or, worse, a nuclear exchange on the Korean peninsula.

 

“I think, if you trigger a military option, it’s going to escalate unbelievably quickly,” leaving “tens of thousands” dead, warns Kirk Lippold, a retired U.S. Navy officer who commanded the USS Cole when terrorists attacked it in 2000.

( Read the rest of this story. )

How not to respond to those who attack you

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President George W. Bush provides a good example of how to respond. You might remember that he was the target of a Gold Star mother by the name of Cindy Sheehan. Instead of opposing her or reacting to her, he allowed her to make harsh political statements and did not respond.

It is worth remembering she alleged that Bush went to war for oil. She said that Bush sent her son to die to make his oil friends rich. She even camped out near his home in Crawford, Texas to protest him. He showed character and restraint.

 

( Read the rest of this commentary. )

Sexual Harassment And The Need For Good Reporting

We all have to be aware that victims of sexual abuse, assault and harassment are legion, and that each story about a new victim or victimizer potentially impacts all survivors. We know that stories on spouses who flee domestic abuse, for example, routinely inspire other victims to seek help and shelter. That’s why careful media coverage of the recent spate of stories matters so much.

 

We also have to recall, however, that false allegations do happen. The late Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago’s Catholic Archdiocese was wrongly accused of molestation by a young man who later recanted his terrible charge. The Duke Lacrosse Team was unjustly prosecuted. Rolling Stone infamously defamed a University of Virginia fraternity over an alleged gang rape that did not happen.

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The Point: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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Charlie Brown didn’t get much right, but Charles Schulz did. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

We’ve all seen “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” in which Charlie Brown messes up the Christmas play and Linus reminds everyone what Christmas is all about.

Another of my favorites is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” Poor Chuck’s friends show up expecting a feast, but he and Snoopy serve them jelly beans and popcorn.

Thankfully, Linus is there again to tell the true story of Thanksgiving.

But it’s Marcie who reminds Charlie Brown that the Pilgrims at Plymouth didn’t come to dinner expecting to receive something. They were there to commemorate what they’d already received—life, provision, and friendship with the Wampanoags.

We’re better off today than they were, yet many of us will sit around the Thanksgiving table grumbling and fighting about politics. If Linus and Marcie were thankful for Charlie Brown’s leftover Halloween candy, can’t we take one day to thank God for our blessings?

Hopefully you won’t have jelly beans and popcorn for dinner, but I do hope you enjoy some Peanuts this Thanksgiving.

BreakPoint: Thanksgiving 2017 Squanto and the Providence of God

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Hi, I’m John Stonestreet. Today, we want to share a classic Chuck Colson BreakPoint commentary on Thanksgiving, Squanto and the providence of God.

Chuck Colson: Most of us know the story of the first Thanksgiving; at least we know the Pilgrim version. But how many of us know the Indian viewpoint?

No, I’m not talking about some revisionist, politically correct version of history. I’m talking about the amazing story of the way God used an Indian named Squanto as a special instrument of His providence.

Historical accounts of Squanto’s life vary, but historians believe that around 1608, more than a decade before the Pilgrims arrived, a group of English traders sailed to what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out to trade, the traders took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them into slavery. It was an unimaginable horror.

But God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians, a boy named Squanto.

Squanto was bought by a well-meaning Spanish monk, who treated him well and taught him the Christian faith. Squanto eventually made his way to England and worked in the stables of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn’t until 1619, ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped, that a ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto was on his way home.

But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An epidemic had wiped out Squanto’s entire village.

We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto’s mind. Why had God allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones dead?

A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and settled on the very land once occupied by Squanto’s people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the startled Pilgrims in English.

According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . He showed [us] how to plant [our] corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities . . . and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.”

When Squanto lay dying of fever, Bradford wrote that their Indian friend “desir[ed] the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the Englishmen’s God in heaven.” Squanto bequeathed his possessions to the Pilgrims “as remembrances of his love.”

Who but God could so miraculously convert a lonely Indian and then use him to save a struggling band of Englishmen? It is reminiscent of the biblical story of Joseph, who was also sold into slavery, and whom God likewise used as a special instrument for good.

Squanto’s life story is remarkable, and we ought to make sure our children learn about it. Sadly, most books about Squanto omit references to his Christian faith. But I’m delighted to say that my friend Eric Metaxas has written a wonderful children’s book called “Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.” I highly recommend it because it will teach your kids about the “special instrument sent of God,” who changed the course of American history.

How great to hear again from Chuck Colson. I know that I and my colleagues at BreakPoint are so thankful to God for all that He accomplished through Chuck’s life.

And this Thanksgiving on behalf of Chuck and Eric Metaxas, I want you, our BreakPoint listeners, to also know how thankful to God we are for you—for all the encouraging words, and prayer and financial support you’ve provided this ministry over the years. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

And before I go today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my friend Eric Metaxas wrote a great children’s book about Squanto called Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. We have it for you at the BreakPoint bookstore online.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

(This commentary originally aired November 26, 2015.)

 

Thanksgiving 2017: Squanto and the Providence of God

Get your copy of Eric’s book “Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving,” available at the online bookstore.

Resources

The Miracle of Squanto’s Path to Plymouth

  • Eric Metaxas
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  • Wall Street Journal
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  • November 25, 2015
 
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving

  • Eric Metaxas
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  • Thomas Nelson Publishers
  • August 2012

Thanksgiving Day Quiz

Read it here,  or listen to the audio of it. 

The True History Of The Holiday

The facts speak for themselves: In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated “the goodness of God” as they feasted with local Indians. In 1789 President Washington declared the first national day of Thanksgiving—asking Americans to “unite in most humbly offering our prayer and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations.”

 

So much for a secular holiday. These Americans knew to whom they were praying. ( Listen to the commentary below, or read the full commentary here. )