So, Bruce Springsteen declines to give a concert for people with whom he conscientiously disagrees on a matter of principle important to him and he is praised, while Barronelle Stutzman declines to provide flowers for people with whom she conscientiously disagrees on a matter of principle important to her and she is stigmatized. This is a classic case of a double standard being applied.
If the state of North Carolina were to treat Bruce’s decision the way the state of Washington is treating Barronelle’s decision it would fine him more money than he is able to pay until he agrees to perform concerts on demand for people who find his sincerely-held belief bigoted and discriminatory.
A world in which Bruce Springsteen is a hero and Barronelle Stutzman is a villain is a world turned upside down.
Contrast, if you will, two different perspectives on the recent “bathroom bill” passed by the North Carolina legislature (“HB2”).
The first is from North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, as seen and heard in this video clip (4 min, 8 sec):
The second is from North Carolina CEO Bob Page in this statement to his customers, from which this is an excerpt:
Today, I take the unusual step of sending you a personal message. Perhaps you, like millions of others, have heard that North Carolina’s recent passage of House Bill 2 – which has been called the worst anti-LGBT bill in the United States – has provoked an outpouring of public concern. Among other things, HB2 bars cities, towns, and counties from prohibiting discrimination of any kind and makes clear that LGBT people may legally be singled out for unfair treatment in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. [emphasis added]
Really? This is the “worst”?
As best I can tell, this inappropriately-hysterical perspective of Bob Page is winning the public relations battle so far. Otherwise normal people are said to be sharing his letter on FaceBook. The common sense promoted by North Carolina’s governor in the video seems to be losing out to the hysteria.
The secular mind now thinks there is something terribly wrong with wanting to protect, say, an eight-year-old girl from being confronted with sight that no occupant of the ladies’ room, regardless of age, should have to see.
This article is only for those who would like more background on the alternative (i.e. conservative) media’s role in the rise of Donald Trump about which Christian blogger Matt Walsh recently wrote (Matt Walsh on Leaders Who Disappoint). For anyone else, the article’s probably too detailed and tedious. It explains some of the dynamics at work in alternative media and how it is as susceptible to corruption as any other form of human endeavor. The liberal press has its weaknesses; so does the conservative press. Economic temptations abound for both groups
If you want to follow saints, read the Bible. Conservative media celebrities are just that: conservative media celebrities. Matt by no means condemns them all; he just suggests we all be discriminating in our consumption of news and opinion. I agree. As the old saying goes, let’s be as smart as cows: eat the hay and spit out the sticks.
The video below was recorded Thursday, February 25, 2016 at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. It was one of the sessions held at the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, this year called Proclaim 16.
Although I was familiar with most of the information presented in this hour-long panel discussion, it still struck me with great force. There were three reasons for this impact: 1) religious liberty in America has reached a twilight stage, 2) the three protagonists on the panel are such profiles in courage, and 3) it made me think of all the other tee shirt makers, pharmacists, florists, and workers from other occupations who are suffering real loss in life for the name of our Savior but about whom there are no videos.
If this issue of religious liberty has not yet touched your life, it will. I hope you will find an hour to watch this video (56:46). We can be light for the Lord in this cultural moment, but only if we understand how dark things have truly become. Please give your greatest attention to Greg Stormans (the grocery store owner from Olympia, Washington), Blaine Adamson (the tee shirt maker from Lexington, Kentucky), and Barronelle Stutzman (the florist from Richland, Washington). Also, the lawyer Kristen Waggoner speaks quite eloquently on their behalf.
Watch this video and take the measure of the Supreme Court justice we just lost: Antonin Scalia.
Given how the 2016 presidential election process is unfolding, Scalia’s insights are even more relevant than when he delivered them two and a half years ago.
Today’s proponents of socialism often appeal to Jesus as their inspiration. Yet the coercive governmental power necessary to effect socialism is utterly foreign to the ideals of individual generosity that Jesus taught His disciples.
This lecture was delivered September 6, 2013 at the chapel of the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. (This video lasts 47:25; it is roughly a 30-minute lecture followed by a 15-minute Q&A session)
An asylum is supposed to be a place of protection. Yet Muslim migrants are threatening Christian migrants in German asylum centers. Here’s an excerpt of the article:
It appears that little progress is being made in protecting the Christians, as many are still suffering brutal attacks and some have even returned to the Middle East. Daniil wrote: “Many Christians who came from the Middle East are suffering from such a strong harassment that they want to come back home, because their situation there seems to them a lesser evil as compared to the circumstances at German refugee accommodation centers.” Others, particularly converts from Islam who face an increased threat of violent attacks, have taken to sleeping outside the centres rather than access their food and shelter, he said.
Adding insult to injury, the German government apparently will not help these Christians because they are Christians but would be willing to help them if they were homosexuals:
Meanwhile a British Home Office Minister has told a Catholic Peer that the government will not discriminate on grounds of religion when helping refugees from Iraq and Syria. Lord Alton wrote to both the Home Office and the Prime Minister expressing concern over the government’s policy of taking in Muslims from “formal camps” along the border of Syria while ignoring displaced Christians — most of whom are not living in such camps thanks to the threat of persecution — and cited the government’s willingness to prioritise gay people as a vulnerable group. A “total annihilation” of Christians was underway in the region, he said. Home Office Minister Lord Bates responded to his pleas with a letter informing him that the government would not “discriminate” on the grounds of religion. The Prime Minister, meanwhile, is yet to reply.
Families have always made trips to Washington in order to learn more about our country and its history. How wonderful and appropriate that, beginning in 2017, families will be able to learn about the Bible as part of their Washington experience.
Secular ethics have displaced Judeo-Christian ethics as the dominant cultural view in America. We need to face this reality. It is not a pretty picture.
This first video clip (2:52) is taken from the Q&A section of a lecture by attorney Roberta Kaplan who argued the 2013 Windsor case in the Supreme Court, which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and paved the way for the 2015 Obergefell case which legalized same-sex “marriage.” Notice not just her remarks and demeanor, but also that of the moderator and audience – all of whom not only consider themselves entirely victorious in the culture war on this matter but also consider us to be people worthy of rejection, derision, and mocking laughter.
This second clip (14:19) is from Ryan Anderson in which he discusses his recent book on the matter. As winsome as he is, and as respectful to the other side as he is, I cannot imagine the other side accepting his proposed truce of live and let live. You’ll recall what happened with the proposed Indiana and Arkansas RFRA laws earlier this year.
In spite of all this, God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). He will judge sin and those who mock Him will be brought to shame. Though we should not withdraw from the political realm (because God expects us to be responsible citizens), we should not expect a political remedy until and unless there is a massive spiritual awakening in the country. In the absence of that (and we are certainly absent of it now), God will deliver us as individuals and families since the nation has turned its back on Him.