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Christianity First Amendment Truth

The Left’s War Against Christianity Enters Final Stages

Rod Thomson

The disturbing, coordinated attack on the Covington Catholic School kids, and the school itself, is yet another salvo in the ongoing war against Christians. It pours the footers for what is coming next — an all out attack to cripple Christian schools. That, in turn, will lay the cultural and legal foundation for breaking the organized church.

The direction is now clear. In the days before the Covington Catholic attacks, there were attacks on Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, for choosing to return to teaching at a Christian school. Both led by the media and followed on by Democrats.

What is just as real is that truth no longer matters to the political left and the media, who are the same people.

Karen Pence is a devout Christian and taught at the Christian school previously. The cudgel used in this case is that the school holds to biblical standards of homosexuality. As that is not acceptable, the attack on Pence and the school — and thus, biblical teaching — was quick and brutal, with media commentators criticizing Pence for, essentially, being a Bible-believing Christian. CNN anchor John King actually asked on air if it was right for her to have Secret Service protection and housing as that is paid for by all taxpayers.

The dust had not settled on that non-story (a Christian woman is teaching at a Christian school) when the even more non-story of the Covington Catholic kids broke. It’s worth remembering that the Pences are evangelicals, which is doctrinally quite far from Catholicism. But both are Christian, and that is what matters, and so the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and most others ran with unverified, awful journalism to attack these kids. Yes, being white played a role. Being in MAGA hats played a role. But the key, as with Pence, was that they were from a private Christian school.

Disgraceful actress Kathy Griffin tweeted: “Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f—ers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”

Reza Aslan, a liberal Muslim American TV host and author tweeted: “Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?”

And former head of the Democrat National Committee and governor of Vermont Howard Dean tweeted: “#CovingtonCatholic High School seems like a hate factory to me. Why not just close it?”

He’s reflecting a lot of the thinking on the left. Just close it. Close them all!

Of course, it was all based on a lie. The Native American went over and incited it, the media lied about it and the Democrats jumped on it — because they were white Christian males. Further, these deplorables apparently had the temerity to show up in the nation’s capital, where they most certainly are not wanted.

Ignored by the mainstream media were the lies of the Native American and the vulgar racism the Black Hebrew Israelites were spewing at the kids. But they weren’t Christians. They were free to go.

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Too much, you think? Following on the Karen Pence and Covington Catholic School attacks came this tweet from New York Times reporter Dan Levin, whose beat is “young America.”

“I’m a New York Times reporter writing about #exposechristianschools. Are you in your 20s or younger who went to a Christian school? I’d like to hear about your experience and its impact on your life. Please DM me,” wrote Dan Levin, who covers “young America” for the Times.

That hashtag was already trending in Twitter before Levin used it. This is a bigotry-against-Christians snowball rolling downhill and it is in the midst of gathering up Christian schooling as it goes.

“The media, the far left in this country, the increasing mainstream of the Democratic Party, they hate religious people, hate them with a passion,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said.

He’s right, but only partially right. Not all religious people. Just Christians (well any that hew to the Bible or traditional Christian teaching) and observant Jews. The rest are free to go.

This is not just politics and law, it is cultural. Lady Gaga interrupted a live performance to criticize President Trump for the government shut down. “There are people who live paycheck to paycheck and need their money,” said the multi-millionaire singer.

Gaga then went after the second family, saying she’s the real Christian because she is tolerant and the Pences are not because they believe the Bible’s teachings. So, yes, you can be a Christian, as long as you are a politically correct secular Christian and don’t go around talking about what Jesus actually says in the Bible.

The high priestess of cultural secular Christianity preached further:

“And to Mike Pence, who thinks it’s acceptable that his wife work at a school that bans LGBTQ, you are wrong. You say we should not discriminate against Christianity; you are the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian. I am a Christian woman and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice and everybody is welcome. So you can take all that disgrace Mr. Pence and you can look yourself in the mirror and you’ll find it right there.”

See? Karen Pence reads the Bible, terrible Christian. Lady Gaga strips on stage, great Christian!

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This is a move of progressivism, beyond American borders.

In Canada, the Battle River School Division, near Edmonton, Alberta, asked Cornerstone Christian Academy to cease using two “offensive” Bible verses in the school’s handbook. The Christian Academy is an “alternate school” and receives some government funding.

But that was not enough. The government authorities are now telling Cornerstone Christian Academy teachers and administrators that they must stop studying or reading any part of the Bible that could be considered offensive.

Presumably identifying sinful behavior could be considered offensive. Even the existence of an almighty Deity could be considered offensive. So at that point, there is no Christianity.

And that is the obvious goal.

But there’s more from up north. The Freedom Project reports:

“Recently, the provincial Department of “Education” in Alberta warned sixty private Christian schools that they are in violation of the “Safe and Caring Schools” policy adopted in 2016, Crisis magazine reported. The reason: Their materials still include references to God, the inerrant truth of scripture, the fact that God created people male and female, and so on.

“Among the officially banned phrases are:

  • “We believe men and women were created in the image of God … and therefore have transcendent, intrinsic worth.”
  • “Parents are the primary educators…”
  • “The unchangeable and infallible truth of the Word of God…”
  • “God created mankind as male and female, equal in dignity and worth…”
  • “God’s institution of marriage, a covenant between one man and one woman…”
  • “Obedience to God’s law supersedes subjection to human authority.”
  • “The above doctrines will be taught as truth in our school…”

This is where the left takes it, to the complete eradication of Christianity in any and all forms of schooling, private or public.

And then, as always, there is California.

In 2016, Senate Bill 1146 would have marked the beginning of the end for biblical Christian colleges and universities. Initial versions of this religious-freedom-stripping legislation would have cut California grant money for poor students attending Christian schools and would have allowed students to sue Christian institutions for even perceived LGBT discrimination — essentially for being biblically true. It would have been crippling.

A unified Christian opposition organized to strip the final bill of the worst portions, only requiring religious colleges to notify prospective students and staff that the institutions claim exemptions from Title IX. In a 2016 interview in the Los Angeles Times, backers said they intended to pursue legislation that mirrored his original bill.

But there are more bills constantly popping up in California, most notably, AB 888, which was sponsored by an LGBT Caucus member requiring private colleges receiving California grants to report expulsion statistics to the state — most importantly, including where LGBT students are disciplined. The bill would create an in for the state to closely monitor private religious institutions to gather up statistical ammo for use in future bills and lawsuits against Christian higher education.

Prayer was removed from public schools in the ’60s. Most Christian colleges have steadily secularized. Marriage has been redefined in opposition to biblical teaching. Private companies are compelled to provide services that violate their Christian beliefs. It’s been a steady drumbeat.

Once Christian schools have been neutered, there will be only one frontier left. The church.

Christianity, of course, will survive until the book of Revelation is fulfilled. But there are no guarantees it survives in any public way in the United States or the Western World. Consider: America could be headed towards an underground church — unless we fight back.

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Christianity Freedom of Religion History Truth

Dramatic Display Of Bipartisan, Racial Unity Over “In God We Trust” Law

Rod Thomson

For everyone wringing their hands about the lack of unity in our country, there was a shocking display of it this year — largely ignored by the media — on an issue of critical importance going forward: Exposing school children to our religious heritage

Back in March, in the waning days of the Florida Legislative session, black, female Democrat Rep. Kimberly Daniels stood to make the final pitch on a bill she co-sponsored with another black Democrat.

The bill: Require that all Florida public schools display “In God We Trust” prominently in their buildings, in a place where students will see it and perhaps want to talk about it.

In an unheard of display of unity between right and left, Republican and Democrat, male and female, black and white, Daniels rose on the House floor to speak and one by one Republican lawmakers (all of them white, male and female) went and stood behind her in support.

“Few would disagree with me that God is positive,” said Daniels. “He’s not a Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. He’s not black, and he’s not white. He is the light. And our schools need light in them like never before.”

Daniels went on, as more legislators stood behind her in support. She pointed out how we must “remind our children of the foundation of this country, which was founded on people who came for religious liberty.”

It was a powerful moment with whites and blacks, Republicans and Democrats standing together. When she concluded her remarks, she received a long standing ovation on the floor. And then the bill passed the House 97-10 vote.

And that moment got zero media coverage in a state smothered in major media outlets covering the legislative session. The law’s passage got some coverage, but not much. In fact, it was so ignored that I had to take a screenshot from the state’s C-SPAN equivalent taping the session to use with this story.

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Secular leftists have long been trying to erase America’s religious heritage, and religion itself, as part of our exceptional nation. And they have had a depressing amount of success in the past 70 years. These battles have often been focusing on the public schools, because that is where the next generation is won over.

But what happened in Florida this past year represents a sharp counterattack in this anti-religion war. While Florida is the tip of the spear, five other states — Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona — have passed laws mandating or allowing “In God We Trust” to be placed prominently in public schools. This all comes 56 years after the U.S. Supreme Court banned prayer in schools, beginning the long, deleterious march of squeezing all religious references from public education.

This move has flown under the radar largely because the media hyper-focuses on every breath of President Trump every day, and every leak and fake story regarding this or that alleged corruption or chaos, or every tell-all book. After all that nonsense coverage, there’s not much time left for actual news. And that, actually, can be a plus because we all know how this issue would generally be covered by the CNNs and New York Times of the media world.

In Florida, “In God We Trust” is also the state’s motto and is on the state seal. Of course, it’s on the nation’s currency.

Daniels’ law, passed during the Spring legislative session, has already gone into effect this school year. All of the schools have the signs up.

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Of course the ACLU is not pleased and sees it as a separation of state and church issue. But they also have not been successful in other cases involving the phrase in public places. They are “monitoring” the public schools law in Florida, which means that they probably will challenge it at some point when the right case comes. Likely, atheist parents will use their child to go to the ACLU to get the courts to overturn what is obviously a very popular move. Status quo there.

What’s worth noting here is that this is not the least bit controversial with most Floridians, or probably in other states. Just with the elitist left. The Florida House 97-10 vote came during an election year for all of those representatives. That pretty clearly shows that politicians in both parties not only support it, but expect that their voters support it.

There are some attempts to gin up outrage and opposition, but they don’t have much umph behind them. The only hope for the leftists who want to control everything is the courts. That’s where they’ve had all of their success — not from the approval of the American people. That will certainly be tried and the media will undoubtedly be all over it at that point.

But right now, a battle has been won and convincingly. “In God We Trust” signs are up in all of Florida’s 4,269 public schools, and 2.7 million school children will see them and maybe start having discussions that have not been happening in our schools for generations.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Christianity Constitution First Amendment Freedom Freedom of Religion Liberty

Supreme Court’s Christian Baker Opinion Is No Win For Freedom Of Religion

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

The U.S. Supreme Court rendered its opinion on a highly anticipated case regarding the right of a baker to refuse to design and create a wedding cake for a gay marriage ceremony based upon his religious convictions. However, for the SCOTUS, this appears not to be a case of religious freedom, but one of unjust government discrimination.  

Jack Phillips, a practicing Christian, often refused to design and create baked goods based upon his religious beliefs. His store was closed on Sundays and other Christian holidays, he refused to create or design desserts for Halloween, and he refused to make desserts that contained alcohol. Phillips did not refuse to serve the same-sex couple who later filed a complaint. He only refused to design and create a cake for their wedding. He remarked that he would be happy to design and create cookies, birthday cakes, shower cakes, or brownies — just not a wedding cake due to religious objections.

The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the commission, after several hearings, decided that Phillips violated Colorado’s public accommodation laws by refusing to create and design this wedding cake for the same-sex couple. The Colorado commission did not accept Phillip’s defense of religious conviction.

Members of the commission, on record and as justification for their decision, mocked Phillip’s beliefs and compared his religious convictions to slavery and to the Holocaust. The Supreme Court found in favor of Phillips in a 7-2 opinion, based particularly on the statements of the Colorado commissioners.

There are some very significant points that must be made to clarify this carefully written opinion.  Because of the great public anticipation over this case, there will be a tendency to make more of what was said than was actually said, and mischaracterize the magnitude of this decision.

 

  1.  Not a Matter of Freedom of Religion

The court did not render its opinion on the basis of religious freedom. They did not declare that private business owners are free to discriminate based upon religious beliefs. As a matter of fact, they said the opposite.

“It is the general rule that [religious and philosophical] objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and public services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.” (Page 9)

“Colorado law can protect gay persons, just as it can protect other classes of individuals, in acquiring whatever products and services they choose on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public.” (Page 10)

Phillips made multiple statements asserting his refusal to make the cake was based upon religious conviction. However, it seems the Court only references these objections for the purpose of condemning the Colorado commissioners’ apparent discriminatory statements voiced against Phillips. This Court never asserted that Phillips was justified in his refusal based upon his right to religious freedom.

It is not clear that this is an overall victory for private business owners or Christians to publicly maintain their convictions.

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  1.  Clergy Cannot be Compelled

The court took time to clarify that it should be “assumed” that “when it comes to weddings”, “a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform that ceremony without denial of his or her right to the free exercise of religion.”  (Page 10)

It’s interesting that the Court feels that it should be obvious and therefore not questioned that a professional clergy maintains full right to expression of their freedom of religion, but a baker does not. It would seem that the court sees the possession and expression of fundamental rights like freedom of religion as inherent in a profession rather inherent to all persons.

 

  1.  It’s Not Freedom of Religion, It’s Freedom from Discrimination

This Court did not declare that Phillips’ personal objections justified his refusal to bake this cake. Instead they took a safer and more politically correct approach by finding that the Colorado commissioners’ statements applied the Colorado public accommodation law in a discriminating and biased manner.

The Court says “the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws.” (Page 3) However, the government cannot use Phillips’ religious beliefs as the basis for the application of their laws.

Justice Kennedy points out that when commissioners on the Colorado commission made statements describing Phillips’ faith as “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use,” and equating his refusal to design and create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage to the acts of slavery and the holocaust, they began down the path of discriminating against him. In addition to these condemning statements, the Colorado commission had, at the same time, determined that three other bakers could refuse to bake cakes critical of gay marriage, contrary to their secular convictions, making clear their bias and discriminatory application of this otherwise “neutral” law.

The majority opinion determined that it was this discriminatory act by the Colorado commission that required the court to overturn this case. Again, for the majority opinion, this appears not to be a case of religious freedom of expression, but one of unjust government discrimination.

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  1.  Gay Marriage Was Not Legal Yet

The Court, almost in passing, also mentioned that Phillips’ may have been justified in his refusal to design and create this wedding cake, because Colorado had not legalized gay marriage yet. His refusal, at that time, was not only in compliance with State law, but also a refusal to participate in an illegal activity.  Perhaps Kennedy added this point of fact as a way of publicly saying to business owners in States who have legalized gay marriage, you have no argument to withhold your services if State law compels service.

 

  1.  What About Freedom of Speech?

There is one aspect of personal rights the majority opinion mentions but strangely never fleshes out: the matter of freedom of speech.

The majority court introduces the question: Is the government’s law forcing Phillips to design and create a cake contrary to his personal message, a violation of freedom of speech? But then, in what seems to be a lapse of concentration, the majority opinion never answers this question definitively. It isn’t until we get to Justice Thomas’ concurrence that we find a truly worthy discussion of this important element.

Thomas’ opinion on the matter of freedom of speech is so thorough and so supported by precedent it makes one wonder why the majority court refused to give this topic its due consideration. Justice Thomas points out that it is well within the history of the Supreme Court to support the expression of offensive beliefs in the name of freedom of speech. After all, he reminds us, if the burning of a flag or a 25-foot cross (Virginia v. Black), or designing and creating “a film featuring Klan members brandishing weapons and threatening to ‘Bury the niggers,’ (Brandenburg v. Ohio) are all protected speech, then surely designing and creating a cake ought to fit these categories as well.

By the terms laid out by Justice Thomas, this case should have absolutely been decided in favor of Phillips on the merits of freedom of speech. Why the majority court would introduce this element, and then not complete its thought on the matter is puzzling. Why the majority court would choose a single justification for their opinion when they could have had two compelling arguments is equally puzzling.

 

  1. The Dissent

One final matter worth discussing is the dissent written by Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sotomayor. Not surprisingly, Ginsburg feels that this case should have been decided in favor of the same-sex couple.  However, her argument against the majority opinion is so weak it makes clear her bias.

She does not address the fact that gay marriage was illegal at the time Phillips refused to design and create the cake. She does not even broach the freedom of speech aspect. Instead she asserts that the biased statements of a few commissioners against Phillips, during a government hearing in judgment of Phillips, do not rise to the level of “hostility” toward Phillips and therefore cannot be the justification for overturning this case.

Apparently, Ginsburg believes in a lower standard of discrimination for government than private citizens by claiming that these clear and impermissible words of hostility placed on the record by members of the commission and used as justification for their decision were not an exercise of content discrimination, yet the baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay marriage, that was currently against the law, and violated his religious beliefs, was discrimination.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the U.S. Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. She is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has an internationally popular radio and television show. Her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com. Get the book “Sovereign Duty” to learn what the designers of our Constitution wanted Americans to do when their federal government became bloated and out of control. Find this book on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Wal-Mart, and many other merchants.


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Categories
Christianity Conservatism Trump Truth

Unmasking The Error Of The Never-Trump Evangelicals

Rod Thomson

When did we who are Christians decide that we could not support a politician who was not holy enough? When did we arrive at the point where we would not support an apparent unrepentant sinner — perhaps, say, a non-Christian — even if his policies are overtly and measurably returning us at least in small part to our Judeo-Christian heritage and improving the state of the nation?

The answer? Apparently at the election of Donald Trump. This is not a hard case to make.

There are two bookends to the case.

First, evangelicals who voted for Trump in November and support Trump now are charged with being idolaters, heretics and unfaithful by prominent never-Trump evangelicals. Because we support him and his policies as president, that means we are OK with the morals in his life, including sex outside marriage with a prostitute, or his incautious language at times, including on Twitter.

But this is a fallacious position, as shown when it is flipped. If they did not vote for Trump, then by their conflation they are OK with tacitly supporting abortion and funding Planned Parenthood. If evangelical Trump voters are not allowed to separate the man from his policies, then why should they be allowed to separate not voting for Trump with the concomitant immoral policies that follow.

Second, is the standard which they hold evangelicals to with Trump the same as they hold themselves to with all of the rest of elected officials? Is this requirement of Biblical purity being applied at every level of office? Are the people they support at the city, county, state and Congressional level meeting this standard? If they are not, do these people similarly disdain and attack supporters of those people?

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The answer is self-evident. Too many of my evangelical Christian brethren, who are conservatives as I am, have moved the goal posts — or flat out changed the rules of the game — to accommodate their personal dislike of and opposition to Trump, and to ground their attacks on those of us who do support him because of his solidly conservative policies and appointments.

Those two applications of their philosophy bookend the middle problem, which is the use of straw men in their attacks. So let’s take a match to the most absurd straw man that is constantly used and undergird both bookends: By supporting Trump’s policies, Christians are turning a blind eye to his moral failures, or worse, accepting them as not a big deal.

This is false to the point of being injurious libel. Yet this is the ground that has been staked out by some prominent and angry-sounding evangelicals.

New York Times columnist and anti-Trumper Ross Douthat sums up two of these straw men approaches:

“…on the influential Gospel Coalition site, Jared Wilson described younger evangelicals as ‘basically a bunch of theological orphans,’ betrayed by older pastors who insisted on the importance of moral character and then abandoned these preachments for the sake of partisanship — revealing their own commitments as essentially idolatrous, and leaving the next generation no choice but to invent evangelicalism anew.

Wilson like the rest seems to conflate any support of Trump due to Trump policies and appointments as “abandoning” our beliefs. But would he apply the same straw man logic to himself?

If Wilson did not vote for Trump, then that means he has abandoned his morals with regard to abortion and maybe 72 genders. Because if Wilson, Douthat and the others philosophically do not allow me to separate Trump policies from Trump, then I why should I let them separate not supporting Trump from non-Trump policies — that is, Hillary Clinton?

I’ll tell you why: Because I don’t believe that of them. I don’t think they have abandoned their social morals because they did not vote for Trump. They weighed and chose one way and I have always granted conservatives that space. But they will not grant me that space, because apparently, they know I have abandoned my faith and principles — which of course, they cannot know.

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Further, what they propose in their pronounced judgement of fellow Christians is a terrible and divisive philosophy that digs the foundations of purity tests as requirements for candidate support — and Wilson and Team Anti-Trump will clearly be the arbiters of what those requirements are and when they are met.

Here’s another example from Douthat’s column:

“In a somewhat different vein, the Baylor professor Alan Jacobs responded to a question (from me) about where younger evangelical intellectual life is going by saying that “as far as I can tell, where young evangelicals are headed is simply out of evangelicalism.” Meaning that they will either go along with the drift of their elders and become church-of-American-greatness heretics, or else they will return to “older liturgical traditions,” Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican, and cease to identify with evangelicalism entirely.”

Wilson knew I had abandoned my principles because I disagree with him politically on this president. But Jacobs knows even more; that I am now a heretic. But see above why he would have to be also, if judged by the same test.

David French, one of the most prominent and loudest evangelical never-Trumpers, recently castigated in the harshest terms evangelical support for Trump:

“It’s sin, and it’s sin that is collapsing the Evangelical moral witness…all too many fellow believers have torched their credibility and exposed immense hypocrisy through fear, faithlessness, and ambition. Soon enough, the “need” to defend Trump will pass. He’ll be gone from the American scene. Then, you’ll stand in the wreckage of your own reputation and ask yourself, “Was it worth it?” The answer will be as clear then as it should be clear now. It’s not, and it never was.”

Or maybe a major threat to evangelical Christianity will be seeing prominents such as French, Douthat, Wilson, Jacobs and others viciously attack the very being of the faith of evangelicals who disagree with them politically. That is a uniquely ugly presentation of Christian unity and charity.

I will not attack these people on the logic of their horrible straw men depictions of Christian Trump supporters. Nor will I attack them on the grounds of knowing their hearts — as they clearly do with me. Dozens of Bible verses compel me otherwise. Let’s take one:

“Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2

The Lord weighs our hearts. Not anti-Trumpers. Not pro-Trumpers. They take that upon themselves at great peril.

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It is soundly unChristian to denounce the hearts of other believers over political choices. Did they do that over the Christians who supported Obama and Clinton, despite the deeply anti-Christian policies of those two? I sure don’t remember it. I did not and will not. Vigorous disagreement on the substance of issues is warranted. Condemnation is well outside the Christian pale.

These are passionate times and we all make mistakes. We are all fallen. We all sin. Pundits to presidents.

And here’s something I think they err on greatly. The emphasis on morals is right. It’s right for us before God and to teach our children. But it’s not the first thing because it is a distinctly Christian doctrine that we cannot be saved by our own works, but only through the grace offered by God. So before being moral is the need for salvation through Christ for the evangelical Christian, particularly. While my fellow Christians surely believe this, they do not sound it. They want to judge Trump — and Trump policy supporters — on morals in a way they would not allow to be turned back on them.

But what if Trump is not a Christian? Then all of their protestations are out of order, and their libel against brothers and sisters is more than unwarranted, its unloving.

I understand the dislike. But the opposition is wrong in my opinion, although I accept we can disagree without me condemning their hearts. Their attacks on evangelicals such as myself are unbecoming — and create this internecine battle among people who agree on virtually all the major political issues, and presumably on the core of the most important issue: the centrality of Christ.

I will always have an olive branch out for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are so determined to tell me I am a disgraceful idolator ruining the witness of Christ. I am also open to debating and discussing this in any civil environment. It seems as though civility should not be a prerequisite, but the anger and bitterness in some of these words suggest it needs to be.  

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Christianity College Culture Feminism Islam Progressives Truth

St. Ambrose College’s Segregated Muslim Prayer Room Is A Chilling Reality

by Rod Thomson

That St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa has opened a sex-segregated prayer room for Muslim students requires an explanation. On the surface, it seems totally bizarre. Why exactly do Muslims want to go to an explicitly Catholic college and why is that now-progressive Catholic college proudly violating normative standards of equal treatment for men and women?

The answer is found in why feminists have turned into crickets on select overt sexism when they howl outrages over only perceived slights against women. Muslims, feminists and most American progressives have a common enemy: America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, which they have been working to dismantle for generations.

This is the only way to make sense of the otherwise head-scratching alliance of religiously antagonistic progressives, feminists and devout Muslims. Their stated beliefs and goals should make them natural foes — and they are in Muslim run countries. But they are not in America. However, if you identify a common enemy, the reason for their alliance comes into focus. It also explains why these groups are so disdainful of American exceptionalism, of America’s heritage and specifically of the founding fathers and the Constitution they produced.

The hrumphing at this proposition will be loud. But it is undeniably a part of today’s Islam around the world. It is pretty easily a part of modern feminism that focuses on the demon of the patriarchy, denies differences in the genders and celebrates whatever the Bible decries. And it is patently manifest in pretty much all of the actions of modern progressives.

Judeo-Christian America is what modern feminism and progressives find to be an archaic, backward, gun-toting, Bible-clinging threat to the march of civilization — as they perceive it. And the Muslim march of civilization is basically all Muslim.

And what this decision by St. Ambrose College shows is that the college makes policy based on being progressive before being Catholic. That, it would seem, is unarguable.

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Just listen to the very-pleased-with-himself college senior who designed the prayer room, in conjunction with the Saudi Student Association — because every Catholic college needs to have an association of the women-crushing, hand-cleaving, civil-rights-denying ruling House of Saud.

“It’s uniquely Ambrosian, and it just sort of shows our commitment to all different faiths,” Matt Mahoney said of the sex-segregated worship room he designed. “It is really outstanding.”

What might the early church father St. Ambrose think of this “commitment to all different faiths” — which rather sounds like a commitment to no faiths? Let’s look at who Ambrose was.

“A zealous preacher and valiant defender of the Christian Faith, Saint Ambrose received particular renown as a Church writer. In dogmatic compositions he set forth the Orthodox teaching about the Holy Trinity, the Sacraments, and Repentance,” according to Orthodox Church in America. “Saint Ambrose, defending the unity of the Church, energetically opposed the spread of heresy.” [Emphasis added.]

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Ambrose converted many pagans to Christianity, from Germany to Persia (he lived before Mohammed founded Islam) and most famously, he showed a wayward young man named Augustine the way to God through Christ. Ambrose would most certainly have considered Muslims as pagans in need of conversion — not celebration.

It’s safe to say that Ambrose would be aghast at what was being done at a college named after him. And it’s further safe to say that when the young man said the sex-segregated Muslim prayer room is “uniquely Ambrosian” he was not referring to Ambrose the man, but the culture of the progressive college that appears to have turned its back on the legacy of St. Ambrose — and made alliance with those who actively seek to destroy the actual legacy of Ambrose.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Christianity Trump Truth

Bible Professor Knocks Down David French’s Attack On Evangelical Trump Supporters

By Darrel Cox

Writing in National Review, David French launched another attack on evangelical Christians who support President Trump, calling them out as sinful compromisers denying the supreme purpose of God in their lives.

I wholeheartedly reject French’s rebuke as valid. It is wrong biblically, philosophically and, by extension, politically.

By way of context, I became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1982 when I was 17. Due to my submission to the authority of Scripture, I likewise fall into the category of what is commonly called “evangelical” — a term that is as frequently misunderstood as it is misused. I mention these points upfront since it is people like me who sit in the audience to which French was aiming his rebuke.

It landed hollow, however, because it is fraught with nonsense arguments, non-sequiturs and self-incriminating irony that French appears to miss. Below is just a brief glance at some of the main problems with his accusation.

French began the piece by asking what the ultimate goal of a Christian’s life should be. The lead was obvious: Evangelical Christians who support Trump have strayed from God’s purpose for their lives. French was in essence invoking God’s supreme purpose in Christ as the basis for why an Evangelical should not support Trump. However, the entire argument is nonsense. Everything that follows his opening question is non sequitur to that initial question. Just because pursuing the “common good” (i.e., civil righteousness) of one’s culture is not a Christian’s ultimate goal in this age, it does not follow that it is not an incredibly important responsibility. It is silly to negate numerous areas of God-ordained responsibilities on the premise of God’s ultimate purpose. French would undoubtedly argue that support for President Trump is antithetical to what is good for a nation; but that is an altogether different issue than his main and opening premise.

Voting for Trump and continuing to support the vast majority of his subsequent policies is without question a pursuit of the “common good” of our nation and culture. The choice to vote for Hillary Clinton, or even abstain from voting because Trump is a flawed man, is arguably a choice to pursue (or passively permit) overt and vile wickedness to prevail in the life of a nation. Present space does not permit me to itemize the progressive agenda and examine it in the light of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True — virtues that are revealed supremely in the character and nature of God. Suffice it to say that God expects (and will hold accountable) all post-Fall humans to live according to how we were created. Scripture describes it as God’s “image and likeness.” Even those people groups who deny His existence have long recognized fixed, uniform, and universal moral principles that are a part of our very moral fabric.

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French has no authority to state that Evangelical Christians who voted for and support Trump are guilty of “sin.” He made no case from Scripture; it was merely a fiat judgment of his own making. Ironically, making such a judgment based solely on the basis of one’s opinion is a very serious charge. I don’t think French perceived the irony.

On the other hand, a positive case can be made, contra French, that one of the God-ordained responsibilities of a Christian is to actively oppose evil in one’s culture and promote that which is good. Again, Clinton and nearly every position she actively pursues is contrary, not only to the common good (viz., natural law), but to the very moral fabric of humans made in God’s image and likeness. While it is true that such responsibilities do not fall under the Christian’s relationship to God as Redeemer (in Christ); it is without question the duty of all human beings who relate to God as their Creator (whether they admit it or not). It is called loving your neighbor.

As already noted, French’s article made no sense. I am not stating this because I disagree with his assertions (which I do), but he demonstrates absolutely no correlation between his opinions and everything that goes before and after them. While he is certainly entitled to his own opinions, he is not entitled to determine his own facts — particularly ones that when disagreed with makes one guilty of “sin” in God’s sight.

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Interestingly, if I were to take French’s own actions as my lead, I would have to conclude that the obligation of a Christian is to scold Evangelicals who voted for Trump and publicly shame them for this “sin” — and that this would be my supreme purpose.

Darrel Cox is Professor of Biblical Studies at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va. He teaches core and upper level courses in Biblical Studies and writes curriculum for online classes. Dr. Cox lives near Winchester, Virginia, with his wife and seven children.


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Categories
Christianity Conservatism Elections Liberalism Truth

Leftists Own Every Propaganda Tool — Yet Cannot Win Over Americans

Rod Thomson

It’s stunning how thoroughly the American Left dominates every lever that moves the American culture, that shapes the broad narrative and forms public opinion — and yet it does not dominate in either the elections or in polls on self-identification.

While it is amazing Republicans can ever win in such an environment of dominant cultural institutions being leftist and Democratic, this is actually wildly good news.

It means, unbelievable enough, that Americans are still strongly resistant to the kind of collectivist, subservient mindset that is rampant in an ever-diminishing Europe. It means that while Americans are not exactly of the hearty 19th century settler style anymore, we still value our individualism and liberties and recognize America truly is an exceptional nation.

This is the only conclusion given the level of propaganda being waged.

The traditional and still dominant news media, virtually every college campus, public schools, Hollywood and the music industry are all hardcore Leftist institutions and have been for many decades. Their propaganda has driven enormously damaging trends in the country and the acceptance of self-harming activities as normal.

But even with this tsunami of public movers, Leftist core ideals seem unable to ratchet off course the basic metal of the average American. Consider, at this moment, the President of the United States is Republican, the U.S. Senate is Republican, the U.S. House is Republican, 32 state legislatures are Republican and 33 governors are Republican. At every level of government, Republicans have majorities. They may not be all that conservatives want, but they are the only party representing traditional American values and norms.

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Now, however, with new technologies, another wave of Leftist inculcation of the masses is apparent in the big social media conglomerates. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have all been more and more openly putting their fingers on the scales to favor liberal content creators. And, much more actively and effectively as a propaganda tool, they are suppressing opposing views of conservative creators.

For instance, Youtube last year began the adpocolypse, demonetizing conservative sites so no ads would show, and further, restricting their viewing. This included such mainstream conservative sites as PragerU, which is suing the giant video-sharing platform. Now, however, Youtube has gone further by actually closing accounts, in the beginning of what looks like a purge. These have been mostly alt right accounts, but they also suspended generally conservative sites, such as Steven Crowder’s.

This activity by the social media giants all falls under the rubric of “offensive speech” policies. These policies are heavily tilted toward liberal speech only. Anything anti-Muslim is offensive speech, anything anti-Christian is free speech. Opposition to normalizing gender confusion is offensive speech, pro gender confusion is free speech. You get it. Needless to say, liberal accounts are largely unaffected, which is the point of these policies.

Twitter has been doing it longer. Facebook was caught cooking its “trending” list into liberal trending, and now they and others are trying to clamp down on “fake news.” Of course, fake news is almost totally subjective. So they are using liberal dominated organizations such as Politifact, Snopes and the extremist leftist organization Southern Poverty Law Center (which considers organizations with traditional Christian beliefs as hate groups) to determine what is fake news.

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And despite this smothering level of propaganda, at every level of influence on American life, the party most closely aligned traditional, conservative ideals is dominant right now? Surely there will be a swing back toward Democrats because that is the history of the United States. But considering all, how is this even possible?

The only answer is that a strong vein of our founding truths still runs through most Americans.

Patriotic and Christian movies consistently do very well, despite being constrained by lack of capital, advertising and screen showings. American patriotism — at its best representing the unique goodness that is America, even with all her flaws — still thrives. Christianity has not yet gone the way of Europe and remains a mighty force in American life. Individual American generosity (not government grants) remains unparalleled in the world. The desire for freedom, for Americans and for others remains so strong it can lead us down wrong paths, such as nation-building. But the impetus is uniquely American, and good.

Things may yet change for the worse. As the great philosopher Yoda said, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” Yet it should be an encouragement to all who understand America, her foundations and her significance to the welfare of the world, that all has not been lost in this liberal onslaught on the culture.

Americans remain a unique people in an exceptional nation.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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Categories
Christianity Liberalism Trump Truth

VIDEO: Defending Support for Trump’s Presidency as a Christian

The Revolutionary Act’s Rod Thomson recently appeared on an ABC panel to discuss his column on how a Bible-believing Christian can support the Trump presidency.

The panel included a liberal activist theologian and a liberal professor, so time was limited and of course difficult to stay on point. It was a good if somewhat frustrating opportunity.

The article has a more full explanation of the position. You can read it here.

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Categories
Christianity Media Trump Truth

Why a Bible-Believing Christian Supports Trump

Rod Thomson

People frequently ask me how, as a committed, Bible-believing Christian, I can support President Trump. This often comes from my liberal Democrat friends — who have suddenly located a puritanical moral streak for this president after misplacing it for others — and who are just looking for a “gotcha!”

But sometimes it comes from conservative Christian friends. One whom I respect, recently asked this: Considering my Christian faith and mission commitment to Haiti, how can I reconcile supporting Trump and what he (allegedly) said about Haiti?

So I’ve decided it’s time to simply explain to the world exactly how it reconciles for me. It’s not easy or comfortable. I wish it wasn’t necessary. But it is.

The answer has three components. At the end, I’ll turn the question on my friends.

 

1) The place of the presidency in the lives of Americans

This is not a question of tastes, or manners, or language or general comportment. It’s a matter of proper expectations of the person and office.

Americans for too long have placed the president on far too high a pedestal. Many talk of the president as a father figure, as a moral leader, as the national emoter in times of tragedy (which is why they all visit areas after national catastrophes, because it is important for Americans to see the president caring), making the person into a form of our national identity. This is a wrong view, dangerously wrong, and not the one intended by the framers who envisioned the president as much more of an executive of laws, and not approaching kingly status. They were rightly wary of a powerful presidency.

The president is the chief executive and is meant to “execute” the laws of the land faithfully, make temporary appointments to help in doing so, set and carry out foreign policy and to be the commander in chief in times of war. That’s about it.

As a Christian, my hope and trust is in the Lord, not a man. All people of faith should understand clearly that the president is not our pastor, not our priest, not our rabbi, not our imam — in no way meant to be our moral guide. He or she is the chief executive.

The function of the presidency over the centuries has changed dramatically. Some was maybe inevitable with the culture of modernity. But the rest we as Americans have mistakenly placed on the president to our national detriment.

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So if you take this view, as I do, then the primary yardstick by which to judge the president is his policy and appointments. On executive branch appointments, President Trump is a bit of a mixed bag. On judicial appointments, he has been outstanding. On policy, he’s been an almost shockingly rock-ribbed conservative like I would have hoped for from a Sen. Ted Cruz presidency. (I supported Cruz and voted for him in the primary, but quickly switched to Trump in the general because…Hillary.)

So there really isn’t that much to “reconcile” because the president just is not that relevant to my personal life (and shouldn’t be) and therefore his personality and demeanor are not that relevant — particularly when on the foreign stage his conduct has been much better and, again, his policies good. Obviously this is not the way the media sees it, but I do, because the president’s policies will affect me and my children much, much more than a boorish manner. If I knew him personally as a Christian friend, I’d open up Scripture and talk about what God says on personal comportment and much more. But I don’t know him personally. And he doesn’t know me.

I’ve said over and over and over to my anti-Trump friends that I do not like his language or manner. But I do like his policies and appointments so much more than I expected, that I would vote for him over Hillary with even more ease now than I did. And I’m not alone. I know of some conservatives who did not vote for him in 2016 but are open to it in 2020 simply because of his policies and judicial appointments. I think those are the right measuring sticks.

 

2) Vulgarities and Haiti

Regarding the statement itself, I don’t use vulgarities or approve of them. As Christians, I don’t believe we’re supposed to. But in case it is not already clear, our culture is becoming more vulgar by the day and many of the people aghast at Trump’s language contribute to the basening of culture. (I.e., the pink “pussy” hat march in Washington after his inauguration or supporting a known sexual predator such as Bill Clinton.) So as far as the vulgarities, he’s not much different from most of our presidents. (See below.)

In the alleged but totally believable statement at point, I hear Trump, in his frequently careless fashion, summing up this thought: Why do we have to take unending numbers of people who are without skills or education and drive down American wages? By their very actions, these people are obviously saying they are desperate to get out of their countries, which means their countries kind of stink. Why do Americans have to suffer from increased crime and expense due to this?

Of course, Trump does it in his own verbiage. I’ve been to Haiti about 20 times and love those people and have sacrificed for them. Many are incredibly hard-working and they are some of the bravest, most faithful Christians I’ve ever met, in some terrible conditions.

But having been all over it, I can say that is one of the worst countries on earth. Ceaseless political and governmental corruption and land pillaging, persecution of Christians in many areas, and near anarchy outside a few cities. Living standards are literally Medieval. Everything is done through bribes or threats. It is a barely functioning civilization. That’s just the tragic truth of the matter.

So alleged vulgarity aside, his statement is accurate from my perspective — which has a lot of personal experience behind it, far more than those now yammering about what Trump really meant. Should we allow Haitians to immigrate? Yes, in limited numbers. If they come legally and — this really needs to apply and has not — they accept the American ideals laid out in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. This should be mandatory on all immigrants. And we should realize we cannot take all the poor of the world, or there will no longer be a shining city on a hill. That light will have gone out.

Let’s remember further that Haitians hardly thrived during the Obama or Bush or Clinton years. In fact, under Obama, it appears the Clintons coldly and despitefully enriched themselves at the expense of Haitians through the now-discredited Clinton Foundation. Considering the suffering there and the wealth of the Clintons, this is geometrically more despicable than Trump’s alleged gutter language.

 

3) The failed role of media in context

A final point on this is worth making. If the media had hyper-focused on past presidents’ personal peccadillos like they do Trump’s (and granted, Trump is of a very different mold, but also living in a different time) we would not be all aghast at much of this. Let’s just take some recent presidents.

We now know — or at least it is public information, not sure how many really know it — that beloved John F. Kennedy had a stream of drugs, prostitutes and young women in and out of the White House. One time would be bad enough. But this was regular. Wildly scandalous, but the media actively covered for him and created this Camelot fiction. Even recently, such media outlets as Esquire make light of and understand JFK and his voracious lust for “poontang.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson said to two governors on Air Force One regarding Great Society welfare giveaways: “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Johnson was well known to have a foul mouth and deep racism. But he also apparently enjoyed displaying his manhood to others in the men’s room, commenting on its size and naming it “Jumbo.”

With Nixon there was a lot to know, much of which came much later, including a foul mouth that shocked Billy Graham when he heard him on tapes.

Imagine if a sexual predator such as Clinton — who also has a foul mouth — had been covered (instead of covered for) like Trump is covered. And apparently the F-bomb amongst other foul language comes pretty easily to Obama. Obama’s official Twitter account even posted one. But the media chuckled it off as nothing.

Lastly, Robert F. Kennedy was not president, but almost assuredly would have been. In 1961 as U.S. Attorney General, he said: “I did not lie awake at night worrying about the problems of Negroes.” Kennedy later authorized wiretapping the phones and bugging the hotel rooms of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If Americans were already aware of JFK’s drugs and prostitutes, LBJ’s “n*ggers”, racism and penis infatuation, the real level of Clinton’s sexual predations (and not just as some partisan attacks, as they were reported to be) and Obama’s vulgarities, Trump’s statement about “sh*t house” countries would not be shocking or hugely newsworthy.

None of this is to approve of profane language and certainly not sexual predation. It is to provide context.  The media denied Americans’ context over decades, then lasered in on Trump as though his vulgarities are astonishingly out of the norm. What Trump is not doing is cavorting with prostitutes and interns in the White House, he’s not an overt racist. And his potty mouth is pretty much in line with a lot of recent presidents.

 

So now I’d like to ask my conservative Christian friends

Knowing that Trump is appointing originalist judges ruling much better on law (and maybe overturning the morally and judicially horrific Roe v. Wade) and that his policies are quite orthodox conservative from tax reform to regulatory reductions to, amazingly, actually keeping his promise on Jerusalem unlike Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton, and seeing how much better off average Americans are by every index, why do you still oppose him?

Is it all about his manner? Would you really rather have Hillary Clinton, who as a person seems measurably worse and far more corrupt than Trump?

I understand discomfort with his verbiage and the way he comports himself. Same here. It can be really distasteful to me. But how is that possibly more important than what he is actually doing for the country — which, frankly, has been really good.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.


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Categories
Christianity Christmas Truth

An Otherwise Uneventful Desert Evening

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

It was an evening like any other in Bethlehem. The desert was enveloped in a quiet darkness characteristic of any other night.  

But this particular evening was colossally different. Yes, there was a uniquely bright star that had settled to the east, a celestial body that was likely a comet, but this was not the reason this evening was so special. Nor was it the unusual bustle gripping the city as it struggled to accommodate Caesar Augustus’s mandate that all citizens present themselves to their hometowns to be counted.

No. This evening was special because of a birth. On this particular night, a boy was born to a couple married under suspicious circumstances, as the mother, who claimed to be a most blessed virgin, was pregnant and was so before being married.

But the boy to be born that night would grow to have a presence so monumental, so pervasive, and so immense that he could only be divine. This little, vulnerable boy would deliver a heretical message. For those who believed, he was the messiah. For those who didn’t, his presence was an existential threat to the very existence of the Jewish religion.

This boy’s message was peace and hope. He was the innocent lamb to be killed for the sins of man, and his life the quintessential example of the path to salvation.

And he would bring with him a new edict, one that would permanently transform relations between men. It was a simple command, but so difficult to execute: You shall love God with all your soul and all your might, and your neighbor as you love yourself.  

It was the latter provision that was so incredibly cutting edge, and religious authorities shuddered in disbelief upon learning of it.

“You mean to tell me that a man I have never met, a prostitute, a tax collector, a cheater, a murderer, or a thief deserves the same respect, affection, and love as my very own children? And you really expect me to offer my other cheek when that person who has become my enemy strikes me in hatred?”

Although Jesus was no politician — he spoke only to the individual — his message would transform governments. Because of him, some dared believe that every person has a direct relationship with God. Because of him, some dared believe that God loved the lowliest as much as the privileged. Because of him, some dared believe that government ought to be subject to the consent of the governed rather than the other way around. And because of this edict, great nations arose, or at least nations with the potential to achieve greatness.

But of course, evil would not recede in the presence of this infinitely beautiful man with his untiringly wonderful message. No. Instead, its instruments worked even harder to suppress the Word and destroy the message, first by having Jesus put to death by crucifixion and then by arguing that his message went against the will of God.

And when men and their governments drifted away from his edict, sometimes so perversely that they would invoke his name in so doing, the seeds of evil germinated, and death, injustice, and suffering spread. But when men complied with his message, justice would prevail, and love and charity would reign.  

Evil’s response became even more tenacious, blaming the deaths and injustices on Jesus himself.  

But every year, at about this time, we are once again given the opportunity to reflect upon the events of that otherwise inconspicuous night with the birth of a little boy, in a small little town, in the middle of the desert, who would later reveal the secrets to eternal peace, happiness, and joy.

Merry Christmas, and May God bless us all.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.