Category Archives: politics

The Point: Leave the Little Sisters Alone

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Leave those poor nuns alone. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

It was a big win for religious liberty when the Trump administration rolled back the infamous HHS mandate, which would have required religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide insurance covering contraceptives and abortifacients.

No doubt the Little Sisters rejoiced and felt they could start concentrating on their ministry instead of lawsuits. But that would only be in a sane world. The attorneys general of California and Pennsylvania are suing to strip the Little Sisters of that exemption. The hearing is, in fact, today.

The Becket Fund, which represents the Little Sisters, calls the move “political grandstanding.” I’d call it anti-Christian ideological tyranny.

Mother Lorraine Marie Maguire of the Little Sisters had this to say: “We just want to be able to continue our religious mission of caring for the elderly poor as we have for 175 years. We pray these state governments would leave us alone and let us do our work in peace.”

Let’s all pray the same thing for them today.

 

Resources

Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court

  • Rachel del Guidice | The Daily Signal | November 21, 2017
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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.”

( More )

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. )

BreakPoint: Communism’s Failed Promise

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This week marked a century since one of the darkest chapters in human history began, and a truly evil worldview was put into practice.

One hundred years ago, Bolshevik revolutionaries stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, the seat of the Provisional Government of Russia. They also seized post offices, train stations, and telegraphs in the dead of night. When the people of Russia’s capital city awoke, they were in what Rhodes Scholar David Satter described as “a different universe.”

That universe was a communist one. Vladimir Lenin’s so-called “October Revolution,” which took place in November on the Gregorian calendar, sought to establish the first-ever Marxist state. After a lengthy civil war, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics emerged, marking one of the greatest setbacks Western Civilization has suffered since the fall of Rome. Communism would eventually rule one-third of the planet, condemning one-and-a-half billion people to lives under brutal, totalitarian governments, and leaving behind a trail of over 100 million corpses.

So many people died because, as Satter explains in The Wall Street Journal, the communist worldview sees the state as supreme, replacing God, Himself. It’s infallible, it transcends morality, and it demands absolute loyalty from its citizens.

Karl Marx taught that only such a state, acting for its people, could break the chains of economic oppression and private property, creating a “new man.” This type of person, depicted in Soviet propaganda posters with bulging muscles and steely eyes, would work willingly for the common good, seek only to advance the interests of his comrades, and usher in a worker’s paradise.

The communist ideal was nothing short of a godless eschatology—a Heaven on earth.

What we got instead was hell on earth. Through political purges, forced population transfers, manmade famines, gulags, and a so-called “Great Leap Forward,” dictators like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot presided over some of the worst mass murders in human history, all directly motivated by the desire to bring about that communist paradise.

It wasn’t until Christmas 1991 that the darkness which had fallen on Russia in 1917 began to lift. The Soviet sickle and hammer descended over the Kremlin for the last time, quietly announcing the end of what President Reagan had dubbed the “evil empire.”

But for millions of people the world over, this godless worldview remained and remains a political reality. China’s forced abortions, Cuba’s political repression, and North Korea’s persecution of Christians are just some of the atrocities that have continued in communist countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.

And here in the United States, communist ideology enjoys a kind of immortality in our universities, where many professors openly identify as Marxists, and students sport those ever-popular Che Guevara t-shirts.

One recent survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that half of millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist country than in a capitalist democracy. More than 20 percent have a favorable view of Marx, and thirteen percent think of Joseph Stalin as a “hero.”

The only good news is that 71 percent of those surveyed couldn’t identify the correct definition of communism. They don’t understand what they’re praising.

As we look back on the aftermath of that October revolution, we should commit ourselves to teaching our kids, our friends, and whoever else will listen where communism belongs: squarely in the dustbin of history.

Perhaps the best way to commemorate communism’s 100thbirthday is to pray that we can fully and finally bury this evil worldview in our lifetimes.

 

Communism’s Failed Promise: Heaven on Earth Without God

As Eric has urged, educate your family and friends on the failed utopian promises of communism, as well as the results of its worldview on humankind. And continue to pray that the scourge of communism will end on the earth.

 

 

Resources

100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead

  • David Satter | Wall Street Journal | November 6, 2017

A messianic Jewish leader calls it an outrage that a group of Christian leaders are defending the right to boycott Israel.

According to the Christian Post, a coalition of 17 liberal Christian groups sent a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to reject a bill that would make it official U.S. policy to oppose boycotts of Israel.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to prohibit support of international state-sponsored boycotts of Israel by U.S. citizens engaged in interstate or international commerce.

 

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says the BDS movement, active now for several years, is attempting to hurt Israel economically.
“It’s an effort,” she says, “to hurt her image around the world.”

( Read the full story here. )

BP This Week: “We Don’t Have Answers; We Do Have Christ”

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John Stonestreet and Ed Stetzer mourn yet another mass shooting, this time of brothers and sisters in Christ in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Even if Christians don’t know what to say, they can offer support and hope—just like other churches in the area are doing.

John and Ed also talk about the misguided effort to kill the adoption tax credit, and the continuing fallout and revelations stemming from Harvey Weinstein scandal. How should we respond?

Images courtesy of tillsonburg at iStock by Getty Images and Google Maps. Illustration designed by Heidi Allums.

Resources

How Christians can respond to this latest church shooting

    • Ed Stetzer

 

    • CNN

 

  • November 6, 2017
  • Listen to the program here.

BreakPoint: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Wake up, Speak out, Pray

 

 

 
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More Christians are persecuted today than ever before. Which is why we need to join in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

On a sunny day last May, several families climbed onto a couple of buses, happily looking forward to visiting a monastery together.

They never made it. Instead, half of them, including ten children, were slaughtered. You see, these families were Egyptian Christians.

Islamic terrorists dressed in military fatigues stopped the buses and ordered the riders off. As one eyewitness later said, “As each pilgrim came off the bus, they were asked to renounce their Christian faith and profess belief in Islam. But all of them—even the children—refused.”  The terrorists murdered 29 Christians before fleeing.

This Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. It’s a time to focus our attention on our brothers and sisters who are being arrested, tortured, murdered, and driven out of their homeland, simply because they worship Jesus.

The attack in Egypt was just one of many around the world last spring. In Germany, a Muslim stabbed a woman to death—one who had converted from Islam to Christianity.

In Pakistan, a Christian pastor was sentenced to life in prison and tortured for blasphemy. He reportedly has been tortured many times.

In North Korea, entire families are thrown into labor camps, where they often die from torture, beatings, and starvation.

In Turkey last year, American missionary Andrew Brunson was locked up on the absurd grounds that he was a terrorist.

Islamists have also swept through Niger, setting fire to Christian churches, orphanages, schools and homes. I could go on.

According to Open Doors USA, the worst offenders are North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan. Sometimes Christians are persecuted by a hostile government, as in China. But in the majority of countries, Islamist extremists are at fault. Tragically, western governments and the United Nations are not doing enough to prevent genocidal efforts, according to the Catholic News Agency.

They should—and they must. More Christians are being persecuted today than ever before in history. Some one hundred million believers are at risk. And yet, the world press largely ignores this massive humanitarian horror.

Why, you may ask, are Christians being persecuted in such great numbers today? In part, it’s because they’re considered part of the “imperial” West. And in many countries, Christians are the ones who are speaking out against the exploitation of the poor.  Third, Christianity is spreading rapidly in predominantly Muslim countries. And totalitarian leaders hate Christians because our ultimate allegiance is always going to be to God and not to a government.

Finally, writes Laura McAlister on the blog site Ignitum Today, “the hidden reality behind all persecution” is revealed in the book of Revelation: It teaches that Satan “makes war” on “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”

Folks, we need to wake up, speak out, and urge our leaders in government to do what it can to fight atrocities committed against innocent men, women, and children around the world.

Above all, we need to pray for them fervently. Lifting them up before God’s throne is what persecuted Christians say they need most.

There are two websites I urge you to visit. First, go to opendoorsusa.org, you’ll find resources to help you and your church observe this international day of prayer for the persecuted church.  Then there’s the Voice of the Persecuted.

Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and I’ll link you to them both.

Finally, to those who are suffering for their faith, I leave you with the words of Joshua: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid . . .for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Wake up, Speak out, Pray

It’s not a cliche: We need to intercede for our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering because they proclaim the name of Christ. So pray, and get engaged with organizations that offer support for persecuted believers across the globe.

Trump’s timely evangelical appeal

There hasn’t been a time more important in recent history to clearly support traditional Christian values and unabashed American patriotism – and President Trump is stepping up. That’s why his relationship with evangelicals is growing stronger.

President Trump addressed this year’s annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC. He is the first sitting U.S. president to do so. (See related story)

The Values Voters Summit is hosted by the Family Research Council, an organization whose mission is addressing public policy and culture from a Christian point of view. My organization CURE works closely with FRC and I have been a regular speaker at this Summit for years.

Its base is largely evangelical Christians, and this is why President Trump deemed it appropriate to appear.

Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016, the highest percentage of evangelical support for any Republican in the last four presidential elections.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of the electorate self-identifies as evangelical Christian, so it’s indicative of Trump’s strong political instincts that he has gone out to actively engage this important and significant base of support.

( Read the rest  of this column by Star Parker. )

Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tim Murphy and the soul of America

The United States recently witnessed a tragic example of hypocrisy in high office on the question of the s anctity of human life.   Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tim Murphy has a voting pattern of defending the sanctity of human life and only lately was amongst those who voted to ban abortion after 20…

( Read, or listen to the commentary here. )

sin is not exclusive to one party or political persuasion. ( from Cal Thomas )

“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” (Proverbs 29:18)

Ancient wisdom from a Higher Authority, which is available to anyone who takes the time to consider it, was provided to constrain people like Harvey Weinstein from acts he has been accused of committing.

In an age when we have cast off most restraints — from restrictions on abortion, to sanctioning same-sex marriage, to normalizing the use of nudity, crude language and sex in Hollywood films, not to mention wisdom — why is anything off limits? Who decides where the limits are these days? And on what do they base their decision?

Haven’t some federal judges been eviscerating the U.S. Constitution for decades? Haven’t even some clergy made attempts to rewrite or ignore Scripture to conform to opinion polls and align themselves with contemporary trends?

 

Many Republicans and conservatives are joyfully berating and belittling Harvey Weinstein and his fellow leftists, but they should remind themselves that sin is not exclusive to one party or political persuasion. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) resigned his office last week after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obtained text messages between Murphy and his mistress in which he told her to have an abortion if she thought she might be pregnant. Murphy, who claims to be “pro-life,” co-sponsored a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.

( Billy’s thoughts – Read the rest of this spot-on column from Cal Thomas. )