The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” report that identifies “940 active hate groups across the United States in 2019.” Anyone familiar with this list knows how malignantly flawed it is. It designates a number of mainstream Christian organizations as “hate groups” simply because of their beliefs about homosexuality and transgenderism. Two groups highlighted in the report are the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Family Research Council (FRC).
I know that the nation’s interest has been transfixed by the coronavirus outbreak. Nevertheless, there is another item in the news that is worth our attention. Politico reports that a congressional commission has recommended that women be required to register for the draft. From the report:
A congressionally mandated commission is recommending women should be eligible for the draft, a move that comes five years after the Pentagon opened all combat roles to women.
“This is a necessary and fair step, making it possible to draw on the talent of a unified Nation in a time of national emergency,” the commissioners wrote in the 255-page report, obtained by POLITICO.
We haven’t had the draft for many years now. If it were ever reinstated, however, the commission calls for requiring women to serve, including in combat units. Yes, you read that right. Women could be drafted to serve in forward areas where they would be required to engage in combat—sometimes hand-to-hand combat—with male enemy soldiers. Continue Reading →
“Zhang Ru Zhen, affectionately known as Mama Xue, was the first novel coronavirus casualty in Sichuan province. Before the 80-year-old took her last breath on January 29, Pastor Peng Qiang of Chengdu’s Blessings Reformed Presbyterian Church was able to share the gospel with her. The following is an excerpt of Pastor Peng Qiang’s message at a special memorial service for Mama Xue and is reproduced from their church’s WeChat account. Her son’s eulogy has also been published on our site.”
Over the weekend, I had a chance to listen to Kanye West’s new album and to watch some interviews with him. It’s an amazing thing to watch because everything I’ve seen points to a radical conversion to Jesus Christ. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last week, Kimmel asks West, “Would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now?”
West responds, “I’m just a Christian everything.”
That is certainly clear in the lyrics of West’s new album “Jesus is King.” The track “Selah” has a line that gets to the heart of West’s conversion: Continue Reading →
The woman who killed Botham Jean was sentenced to ten years in prison earlier today. During his victim impact statement, Botham Jean’s brother Brandt stunned the courtroom. You can see and hear his statement above. The Dallas Morning News reports: Continue Reading →
If you aren’t familiar with Barronelle Stutzman’s case, you need to be (watch above). Barronelle is a 74-year old grandmother and florist who was sued by Washington State and by the ACLU after she declined to participate in a gay wedding. She serves gay people in her store. She has even hired gay people to work in her store. But she is a Christian and cannot in good conscience lend her talents to help celebrate a gay wedding. So when a gay man whom she had served for nine years in her store asked her to participate in his gay wedding, she told him that she could not because of her relationship with Jesus. She was apologetic, but she nevertheless did the right thing according to her Christian conscience.
Word got out on social media about what happened, and the government and the ACLU sued her for violating anti-discrimination law. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the court ruled in her favor, vacated the Washington State court’s decision, and ordered the State court to come up with a decision that respects the constitution. The state court refused to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive and ruled against her again! Now Barronelle is making an appeal (again!) to the Supreme Court for help.
The Tri-City Herald reports:
A Southern Baptist, [Barronelle] has argued that arranging flowers is artistic expression protected under the First Amendment.
“Barronelle serves and hires people from all walks of life. What she can’t do is take part in, or create custom floral arrangements celebrating, sacred events that violate her religious beliefs,” Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom’s U.S. legal division, said in a news release Wednesday.
“Because of this, the Washington Supreme Court upheld a ruling that threatens Barronelle with personal and professional ruin,” she added.
“Regardless of what one believes about marriage, no creative professional should be forced to create art or participate in a ceremony that violates their core convictions. That’s why we have taken Barronelle’s case back to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Progressives constantly gas light Christians and claim that we are crying wolf about being mistreated for our ancient beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The next time you hear them gas light us, I want you to remember Barronelle Stutzman. Both the state and the ACLU won’t leave her alone but are trying to ruin her financially unless she agrees to violate her religious convictions and to participate in gay weddings. It’s an abhorrent, ugly thing that they are doing to her. It’s hard to believe that this is still going on after all these years (and even after a Supreme Court ruling in her favor!), and yet here we are.
I hope the Supreme Court rules once and for all on the constitutional principle at stake in Barronelle’s case. This case is about more than her. It’s about all of us who believe what the Bible teaches about marriage. If the government can coerce her to violate her conscience, then they can do it to anyone. And that’s the issue.
I’ve been enjoying Andrew Roberts’ recent biography of Winston Churchill titled Churchill: Walking with Destiny. The book includes a letter in which Churchill opines about the sinking of the Titanic and about how proud he was that the men on the ship put women and children onto the lifeboats first. Churchill said that the whole event “reflects nothing but honour upon our civilization.” His prose is grandiose but stirring:
I cannot help feeling proud of our race and its traditions as proved by this event. Boatloads of women and children tossing on the sea safe and sound — and the rest — silence. Honour to their memory. In spite of all the inequalities and artificialities of our modern life, at the bottom — tested to its foundations, our civilization is humane, Christian, and absolutely democratic. How differently Imperial Rome or Ancient Greece would have settled the problem. The swells and potentates would have gone off with their concubines and pet slaves and soldier guards, and . . . whoever could bribe the crew would have had the preference and the rest could go to hell. But such ethics could neither build Titanics with science nor lose them with honour.’
I can’t help but wonder if men in 2019 would do what those men did over one hundred years ago. Would they put the women and children into the lifeboats first? Or would the elbow their own way to safety? In any case, what an act of valor on the part of these men. Churchill is right. The whole event reflects honor on that civilization.
Thanks to two Virginia politicians and the President’s state of the union address, the country has fixed its attention on the brutality of late-term abortion. Pro-choice advocates are responding as they usually do by trying to distract everyone from the reality of abortion:
Pro-choicer: “Nothing to see here, move along.”
Casual observer: “But that really seems like a small person being killed in an abortion.”
Pro-choicer: “You sound like you’re against women’s healthcare. And also, science.”
Casual observer: “But the baby…”
Pro-choicer: “Don’t you believe your lying eyes. It’s just a clump of cells… you know, because of science and stuff.”
The problem for pro-choicers is that the later the abortion occurs, the harder it is for them to succeed with the “clump of cells” evasion. Anyone with eyes can see what is happening, and the old dodges fall a little flat.
The recent focus on political leaders who support the right to kill unborn humans at any point up until birth (and in Northam’s case, perhaps even after birth) means that they are having to come up with new evasions—the silliest of which I just read this morning. According to Axios, these are “The Facts” about abortion that should mitigate your concern about late-term abortions:
• In an interview with CNN, Barbara Levy, the vice president of health policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said, “The phrase ‘late-term abortion,’ is medically inaccurate and has no clinical meaning.”
• Jennifer Conti, a fellow with the advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Health, also told CNN: “In obstetrics, we don’t divide pregnancies into terms. ‘Late term’ is an invention of anti-abortion extremists to confuse, mislead and increase stigma.”
Did you catch the argument? It goes like this: Pro-lifers aren’t using the medically correct terms to describe late-term abortion. Therefore, you shouldn’t care that it’s legal to kill unborn human beings at any time up until the point of birth.
If that seems like a non-sequitur to you, that’s because it is. It is also one of the most pedantic and lame evasions that I have ever heard out of the pro-choice side. They are playing semantic games and hoping the casual observer will be too stupid to notice.
To all the casual observers of the abortion debate: Your eyes aren’t lying. Little people are killed in late-term abortions. Some people think it should be legal to kill those little people all the way up to the point of birth. Don’t let anyone distract you from that simple, central truth about abortion—especially those who think you are too stupid to know any better.
President Trump just finished his state of the union address moments ago. The speech was wide-ranging, but I have to say that his remarks about abortion were the most hard-hitting that I have ever heard in a state of the union address. He exposed the Democrats’ extremism on the issue by referencing their support for late-term abortion and (as in the case of the Governor of Virginia) their support for allowing some babies to die after birth.
David French is coming to Boyce College and Southern Seminary next week to deliver a series of lectures titled, “What Is Intersectionality? Understanding How Intersectionality and Identity Theory are Shaping College Campuses and the Nation.” Here is the where and the when of the event:
|Date:||February 13, 2019|
|Time:||10am – Session 1|
|11am – Session 2|
|1:30pm – Session 3|
|Place:||Heritage Hall (on SBTS campus)|
I cannot tell you how eager I am to have David on campus. He has long been one of my favorite writers and thinkers, and it is a real privilege to have him as our guest. I had the opportunity to hear David lecture on Intersectionality a few years ago, and it was phenomenal.
If you are in or around Louisville next Wednesday, I cannot recommend these talks highly enough. I hope to see you there. Continue Reading →