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Some provisional reflections on the refugee situation

In the aftermath of the horror last weekend, a lively discussion has broken-out over the United States’s role in sheltering Syrian refugees. The issue came into focus shortly after the attacks when it was discovered that one of the Paris attackers was carrying a Syrian passport that was used to enter Europe through Greece as a refugee from Syria.

The United States has already taken in 1,800 refugees from Syria over the last few years. And President Obama intends to resettle about 10,000 more in the United States in the coming months. Just yesterday morning, President Obama reaffirmed that commitment and upbraided Senator Ted Cruz (though not by name) for suggesting a religious test for future refugees. The President insisted that our security procedures are sufficient and that the U.S. would go ahead as planned. Continue Reading →

Arise, Lord! Break the arm of the wicked man!

The news from Paris tonight is a horror. If you are struggling for the words to pray in the face of such evil, consider lifting up the words of Psalm 10:

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.

Planned Parenthood doctor admits to felony

In the most recent Planned Parenthood video, a Planned Parenthood doctor admits to committing a federal felony in her abortion practice. She describes performing partial birth abortions in an effort to prevent damage to the baby body parts that they intend to sell. Watch above. As you watch, keep in mind the federal laws in question: Continue Reading →

Throwing your money into a bureaucratic black hole

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed about Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar gift to public schools in Newark, New Jersey. What happened to the money?

The Facebook founder negotiated his gift with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and then-Mayor Cory Booker in 2010, and it flowed into Newark’s public-school system shortly thereafter. The bulk of the funds supported consultants and the salaries and pensions of teachers and administrators, so the donation only reinforced the bureaucratic and political ills that have long plagued public education in the Garden State.

Mr. Zuckerberg is not the first private donor to fail at reforming public education by working with government—and he won’t be the last.

Did you get that? One-hundred million dollars just disappeared into a bureaucratic black hole. The money ended up being spent on the very bureaucracy that is so much to blame for the problems within public school systems. The op-ed concludes:

Philanthropists will not be able to change education and improve student outcomes unless they can circumvent the bureaucracies and interest groups that are responsible for the problems they hope to solve. If they act independently, though, their money has the potential to alter the lives not only of individual students, but entire communities.

What a cautionary tale. Read the rest here.

A brief word about the ACBC conference and the protest

This week I gave a couple of talks at the annual conference of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The conference themes were transgender and homosexuality, and I gave one address on each topic. Rosaria Butterfield, Sam Allberry, Heath Lambert, Albert Mohler, Stuart Scott, Owen Strachan, and others also addressed the 2,000 people who gathered for the conference. Continue Reading →

The Obfuscation of Pope Francis

The Vatican press office has released a statement attempting to clarify the meaning of the Pope’s meeting with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. Here’s the statement in full:

The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
Continue Reading →

Early Reports Say Oregon Gunman Singled-out Christians

Ten people were killed today at an Oregon community college after a shooter went on a rampage. CBS News reports that the shooter has now been identified:

Authorities are still trying to figure out the shooter’s motive. The New York Post reports that some witnesses are saying that the shooter singled out Christians. From The New York Post: Continue Reading →

Planned Parenthood’s problems have to do with facts that are not in dispute

I watched a good bit of the testimony that Cecile Richards offered to Congress yesterday, but I suspect that most Americans did not. Most Americans will view news reports about the hearings if they hear anything at all. That means that most Americans are going to be woefully under-informed about what happened yesterday. So let me give you the bottom line about what came out in the hearings.

1. Planned Parenthood harvests organs from aborted babies and gives those organs to researchers in exchange for money. Planned Parenthood disputes the claim that they “profit” from this exchange, but they do not dispute that the exchange happens. They provide the baby parts, and the researchers (or middle men) give them money for the parts. That is the bottom line confirmed again by yesterday’s hearings, and no one disputes those facts.

2. Planned Parenthood’s revenues exceed their expenses by $127 million dollars. This exchange between Representative Mick Mulvaney and Cecile Richards is particularly revealing:

Cecile Richards says that Planned Parenthood doesn’t profit from its work. And maybe in some technical, legal sense that is true. But most Americans know what it means that an organization’s revenues exceed expenses by $127 million dollars.

Congress may want to haggle over whether we should call this situation “profit” or “reinvestment.” They may want to argue with Richards about whether the exchange of baby parts for money is a “sale” or a “reimbursement.” But these are just arguments about nomenclature that at the end of the day conceal the reality of the undisputed facts.

Planned Parenthood kills over 300,000 unborn human beings every year. Planned Parenthood receives money in exchange for providing baby parts to researchers. Planned Parenthood’s revenues exceed expenses by $127 million dollars. American taxpayers are funding about 40% of the annual budget of our nation’s leading abortion provider.

Those are the facts, and they are not in dispute. And the undisputed facts should be enough to scandalize every conscience that confronts them.

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