Nero Has Nothing on Obama

It is said that Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned.  Not to be outdone, our president has decided that while America’s enemies are on the rise, he should focus on telling everyone’s children where to go to the bathroom.

We thought we were electing the leader of the free world but instead it turns out we were electing a national hall monitor.

Today’s Headline:  Obama administration to issue guidance on transgender access to school bathrooms – CNN

What does this have to do with the kingdom of God?  When God is kept out of His own creation, the governments of men come rushing in to fill the void.  And as long as this nation clings to secularism as its national religion, there will be no end to the increase of its government.

Limited government is only possible when a citizenry has, generally speaking, subjected itself to the government of God – as was the case at America’s founding.  In the absence of God’s government, man’s government will continue to magnify itself until there is no aspect of our lives that it does not attempt to control.

Let us return to God, America; it is the only way out of this madness.

Related post:  From a Christian Nation to a Secular Nation

The American Belief About the Basis of Our Rights

Do our rights as Americans come from God or man?  Do they come from our Creator or do we grant them to each other?  Alas, we have to acknowledge that our fellow citizens seem unaware of the correct answer to this question.  You don’t have to be a Christian to be able to answer this question; you only have to be aware of basic American history – like the kind I took in the seventh grade.

This video clip (4 min, and 27 sec) is hard to watch because the two men are having a heated argument.  They are arguing about same-sex “marriage,” but that’s not my focus in this post.  The point to which I want to call your attention is when Chris Cuomo, the interviewer, says essentially this:

“Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man… That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”  (If you listen to 0:40 through 1:20, you’ll hear him start the statement, then later re-start and complete it.)

Now I readily admit that Chris Cuomo has an abrasive personality, but what he is saying on this subject represents the thinking of most Americans these days – certainly the elite Americans who are running things.  Obviously, anyone can read the Declaration of Independence and see that those who founded this country would not agree with Cuomo.  But that’s just the problem: if the answer is plain as day right in the Declaration but educated people and media spokesmen like Chris Cuomo act as if it’s not, what are you going to do?

The American belief is that our rights come from God and the purpose of government is to secure those rights.  To use the language of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men… (Source:  Archives.gov)

Chris Cuomo is a well-educated man and a credentialed lawyer.  Here’s a section of his Wikipedia bio:

Cuomo was educated at The Albany Academy, a private university preparatory day school in Albany in New York State, followed by Yale University, where he obtained an undergraduate degree, and Fordham University where he obtained his Juris Doctor. He is a licensed attorney.

That his statement in this interview never seemed to have made news confirms to us that he is expressing a view that is not controversial.  The only way that you could accept his view without controversy is if you did not know what the Declaration of Independence says or if you do not care what it says.  Therefore, either one or both of these characterizations apply to the majority of American citizens today.  They considered the references to God in our founding documents to be like powered wigs – trappings of a prior age that are to be discarded like outdated fashions.

If Americans do not use the Declaration of Independence to inform their views on basic American principles, how can we be surprised when they don’t use the Bible to inform their views on basic moral principles?

From a Christian Nation to a Secular Nation

America began as a Christian nation.  We see the signs of this even in the Declaration of Independence, which begins this way [emphasis added]:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…  (Source:  Archives.gov)

And this same Declaration ends in this way:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.  (Source:  Archives.gov)

When the Constitution was to be signed, it was dated this way [emphasis added]:

…done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…  (Source: Archives.gov)

The Bill of Rights listed as the very first of those rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…  (Source: Archives.gov)

When George Washington became the nation’s very first president in 1789, he did so by swearing an oath on the Bible.

And, of course, in the 1830’s French writer Alexis de Tocqueville famously documented the breadth and depth of the nation’s commitment to the Bible and its ideals in his book Democracy in America.

While there is much more that could be said about the Christianity of early America, let us turn our attention to the present.

In 1973, the right to an abortion was established as the law of the land by a Supreme Court opinion.  In 2015, the right of two homosexuals to marry was established as the law of the land – again by a Supreme Court ruling.  By the way, in both cases, the separation of powers, established as a founding principle of the nation, was violated as the judiciary exercised legislative power.  Yet the other two branches of government and the citizenry largely took the usurpations in stride.

On June 28, 2006, Barack Obama said:

Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.  (Source:  FactCheck.org)

And in the wake of the 2015 same-sex “marriage” ruling, President Obama had the White House lit up in rainbow colors – not to commemorate the bow that God put in the sky as a reminder of his promise to Noah and all his descendants, but rather in the symbolic colors of gay pride “to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to progress and equality.”  (Source:  USA Today)

Not one to rest on his laurels, our President is moving to make a national monument to the practice of a sin condemned in explicit terms by both the Old and New Testaments:

New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement took root, will become the first national monument honoring the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. under a proposal President Barack Obama is preparing to approve.

Designating the small swath of land will mark a major act of national recognition for gay rights advocates and their struggles over the last half-century. Since the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village, the U.S. has enacted anti-discrimination protections, allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

(Source:  Washington Post [Editorial note May 26, 2016: The Washington Post has since removed the article from which this excerpt came])

Not only has America condoned and legalized practices abhorrent to Christians from ancient times right up to the present, it has also made illegal almost every form of conscientious objection a Christian might try to exercise to these practices. From one end of the country to the other, every form of Christian resistance is being suppressed.  Even when a legislative body – whether national, state, or local – takes action to protect Christian conscience, activist courts strike down such protections.

The percentage of Americans willing to vote for an atheist as president has been rising for some time:

  • 1958 – 18%
  • 1978 – 40%
  • 1999 – 49%
  • 2012 – 54%
  • 2015 – 58%
  • (Source:  Gallup.com)

When Gallup first started asking this question about presidential preferences in 1937, the choice of “atheist” wasn’t even offered.

In a complementary development, the 2015 Gallup survey says:

…evangelical Christian candidates may suffer, in that one in four Americans say they will not vote for an evangelical Christian. Candidates of various faiths who court American evangelicals…could suffer from their association with the evangelical faithful and the social issues they take firm stances on.  (Source:  Gallup.com)

Note that it is not the religion of Christians per se that has become the problem for their fellow Americans but rather “the social issues [Christians] take firm stances on.”

Some secularists will say that we are a pluralistic nation and the secularism is just the means by which we can all get along.  Yet secularism is a religion even though its proponents won’t admit it.  To practice secularism’s ideals in the public square means to forego our own.  Therefore, the secularists dominate by saying, “You religious guys have different rules so let’s just all live by our rules.”  Thus pluralism becomes secularism’s excuse for dominance.

You may say that I’m treating all secularists as nonbelievers. I am.  I know that many secularists will say that they are believers in one religion or another, but that’s something they will say that they practice in private – at home or in a house of worship, not in the public square.  Therefore, a secularist abides by the rules of a nonbeliever.  The secularist and the nonbeliever, therefore, follow the same rules of public discourse.  Reference to God in political matters is verboten, while all that was intended by “separation of church and state” was that we wouldn’t have a national church as England did.  Our founders certainly never intended a separation of God and state.  Such an idea would have been repugnant to them…if it had even been imaginable to them.

The period from 1776 to 2016 amounts to 240 years.  People can argue how and why America transitioned from a Christian nation to a secular nation, but data points I’ve given you are enough to make clear that the difference between then and now is like day and night.  The only “progress” this denotes is from light to darkness.  My data points are merely representative samples of the respective periods.  There is so much more evidence that could be arrayed about the Christianity prevailing at America’s beginning and the secularism that prevails in her today.  The point is that comparing in the beginning point to the current point demonstrates the sharpest of contrasts.

We have to accept reality.  It’s true that we no longer live in a Christian nation.  And it’s also true while this fact portends greater troubles for the nation ahead, the majority of our fellow Americans don’t think that will be the case.  They think a secular America is a better America.  They are content to live without the light of Christ shining across the land; they prefer it.  We know better.  There is no light without Him.

Therefore, we must learn to live for Christ in a dark place, and not keep thinking about how nice it would be to live for Christ in the kind of nation our founders gave us.  Yes, it would be nice…but it’s not what we have before us.  Not by a long shot.

The Citadels of Conservatism Have Fallen

Since the time of Ronald Reagan, Christ-followers feeling the political duties of citizenship have take refuge in the strongholds of political conservatism.  In the rise of Donald Trump, however, we have learned that the citadels of conservatism are not as many nor as strong as we thought.

One obvious lesson learned from Trump’s vanquishing of 16 other contenders for the Republican nomination – many of whom had made their names as principled conservatives – is that conservatives no longer control the Republican party.  Neither do they even have enough power to veto a non-conservative nominee.

It’s also become clear that a number of radio and TV media conservatives – that is, individuals who earn a handsome living articulating conservative principles and excoriating those who pay only lip service to those principles – have turned out to be engaged only in lip service to conservatism themselves.  When it came time for their decision about whether to support conservative principles or the man who would increase their ratings, they chose the man who would increase their ratings.  Indeed, some of those who’ve spoken loudest about conservatism’s virtues have been the quietest about Trump’s lack of attachment to those virtues.

Followers of Christ, take heed.  Conservatism doesn’t dominate the country’s mindset; it doesn’t even dominate the Republican party’s mindset.  Conservatives can provide no safe haven for us.

On the contrary, we can provide safe haven for them.  Conservatism without Judeo-Christian principles has no root to nurture it.  Those who want to be fiscally conservative while socially liberal have sawed off their branch from the tree.

Let we who have the light of the Lord our God – our Creator – be a refuge to all the conservatives who’ve lost their way.  Only in the Lord are light and strength and permanence.

The citadels of conservatism have fallen, but the house of the Lord stands forever.

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

Politico is an Obama-friendly political news outlet.  Therefore, this article is not an expression of over-the-top conservative fear-mongering.  Rather, it is straightforward reporting about a course that the executive branch of the U.S. government is pursuing.

If you were expecting a respite from the culture wars because the other side has won so much recently, think again.

Excerpt:

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under federal law, sources told POLITICO.

With the Justice Department already locking horns with North Carolina over the state’s so-called bathroom bill, the administration plans to reaffirm its view that robust protections for transgender students are within the existing scope of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. Multiple agencies are expected to be involved.

It’s a step LGBT advocates have wanted the federal government to take for years…

That last sentence tells you a lot.  There are not enough T’s to have this much political clout.  It is the LGB’s that are driving the agenda.  In our environment of identity politics, what keeps a political lobby growing in power is having new victims that it can incorporate into its constituency.

What’s at the root of all this is rejection of the Creator’s design and purpose for sex.  The new morality is the old immorality.  The sexual revolution is rebellion against God’s ways.  It claims to be secular but it is anti-Creator at its heart.

(8-minute read; 1,901 words)

Source: Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools – POLITICO

The Night That the Lights Went Out in Indiana

(Yesterday the state of Indiana held its presidential primary. The results of this election have determined that now both of the major political parties have their presumptive nominees.)

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
–  Proverbs 14:34

As a nation, we disgraced ourselves in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Rather than coming to our senses and rejecting this judicial tyranny and massive-scale miscarriage of justice, we compounded our guilt with our ultimate acquiescence to Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

How did we acquiesce?  Consider that the response of citizens acros the country was generally support or else silence.  The Christian leaders and organizations that did speak up immediately pivoted to the issue of “religious liberty,” signaling that they would not resist the decision – only that they didn’t want to personally participate in the ceremonies.  Where were the leaders who stood up and said, “We will not bow!”

Thus has America rejected “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” upon which, in its Declaration of Independence, it had justified its founding.  Modern-day America has trashed what its founding fathers treasured.  What nation has ever had such a dramatic reversal of its declared allegiance?

Therefore, our Creator has left us to ourselves.  And this is how our existence works – if we reject God, He leaves us to our own devices.  The presumptive nominees for president from the two major political parties could hardly be more unworthy of the position.  After eight years of a tyrannical presidency and judiciary, we had so hoped for some relief.  Yet, in November, it won’t be so much that we have to choose between the lesser of two evils; rather, it will largely be a matter of picking our poison.  And yet we have to admit that as a nation, we are being presented with just the kind leaders we deserve.

Yet we do not trust in political leaders anyway.  Our trust is in the Lord.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.
–  Psalm 118:9

Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
–  Psalm 146:3

We must give ourselves completely to His righteousness so that we have a basis for believing that He will honor our cry for help.  His mercy is for the repentant, not for the hard-hearted.  If we truly and diligently pursue godliness, He will meet us on the way.

We do not know all that awaits us in the encroaching darkness, but we do know who will be our guiding light through it all.

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.
–  Micah 7:8

We walk in the presence of our Lord and we will not be afraid.  And even if we are afraid, we will trust Him anyway:

When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.”
–  Psalm 56:3 

The faith of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zacharias and many others from biblical times survived during the reigns of wicked kings.  By God’s grace, ours will, too.

Strengthen your faith!  Encourage each other in it!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
–  1 John 5:4

Abortion is only part of the ugliness in modern human procreation

The same spirit of secularism that is killing babies through abortion is creating them through commercial third-party reproduction.  While we’ve been focused on stopping abortion, assisted-reproductive technology (ART) has been expanding with practically no moral restraint.  It’s prostitution of the womb and it’s manufacturing babies to sell.  And, yes, it’s taking place right under our noses.

Jennifer Roback Morse helps shine some light on the madness that is ART.

(4 min read; 896 words)

Source: In An Industry That Makes People, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? | TheBlaze.com

2016 HAS To Be Disturbing…Because 2015 Was

Peggy Noonan seems to have spoken for a lot of people in her Wall Street Journal column last week.  Here’s her title with its subtext:  “That Moment When 2016 Hits You: ‘I felt a wave of sadness,’ said one friend. This year’s politics have that effect on a lot of Americans.”  Here’s how she began the column:

Have you had your 2016 Moment? I think you probably have, or will.

The Moment is that sliver of time in which you fully realize something epochal is happening in politics, that there has never been a presidential year like 2016, and suddenly you are aware of it in a new, true and personal way. It tends to involve a poignant sense of dislocation, a knowledge that our politics have changed and won’t be going back.

And here’s how she ends it:

Because my country is in trouble.

Because I felt anguish at all the estrangements.

Because some things that shouldn’t have changed have changed.

Because too much is being lost. Because the great choice in a nation of 320 million may come down to Crazy Man versus Criminal.

And yes, I know this is all personal, and not column-ish.

But that was my Moment.

You’ll feel better the next day, I promise, but you won’t be able to tell yourself that this is history as usual anymore. This is big, what we’re living through.

Noonan and others consider 2016 a big deal, but don’t they realize that 2015 with its Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision was even bigger?  That court decision struck down a definition of marriage that had been standing throughout the entirety of human civilization.  Do people think that we’re going to choose to do  something profoundly irrational in one year and then in the next year everyone’s going to go back to being rational?  Something as fundamental to the human race as the family can’t be upset without upsetting every other realm of social relations – including politics.

Am I saying the primary voters have been making their choices about candidates with a consciousness of Obergefell v. Hodges?  No.  Every candidate in both parties has either agreed with the decision or capitulated to it.  Instead, I am saying that if people’s thinking has become irrational enough to either agree with this decision or else capitulate to it then that irrationality will show up in other decisions they make.

So, if you’re dismayed by 2016, I understand.  But if you’re surprised by it, then you must have thought that 2015 was either the right decision about marriage or else that it was a wrong decision we could put behind us and return to normal.  Neither is true.

The key sentence in Peggy Noonan’s column, though she might not have realized it, was this one:

Because some things that shouldn’t have changed have changed.

We Dwell in a Fiery Furnance

We dwell in a fiery furnace, but we do not bow the knee.

Consider the story of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 3:1-30; the three having been previously mentioned in Daniel 1:1-20 and 2:48-49).  These three young men survived the fiery furnace because there stood in their midst a fourth “like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25 KJV).

There stands in our midst the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we shall not be burned…and not even the smell of smoke shall cling to our clothes (Daniel 3:27).

When the king of Babylon and his servants demand that we worship the image they have set up (Daniel 3:14-15), we respond:

“[W]e do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
–  Daniel 3:16-18

Open your eyes, O child of God, and recognize that we now live in Babylon, and that we are daily – and increasingly – being asked to worship falsehoods.  Rather, it is being demanded of us to worship falsehoods.  Yet the God of truth will be with us…if we will remain true to Him.

Though we dwell in a fiery furnace, we will not bow the knee.

We are not seeking religious liberty – we are seeking righteousness.

Christians and Christian organizations who are calling for “religious liberty” in our day are making a mistake.  It is a mistake for three reasons:

  1. Secular society is not going to grant us religious liberty.  They do not consider themselves religious and therefore they see no value in such a liberty.  Instead, they see religious liberty as a license to flaunt their secular values.  Their commitment to secular values will not allow them to grant religious liberty.  Religious liberty is a Judeo-Christian value; when society rejected Judeo-Christian values to pursue the Sexual Revolution they rejected the basis for religious liberty as well.
  2. Even if we were to be granted religious liberty on these issues, it would only open the door for government to equally support others religions – religions that sanction polygamy, beheading, and other abhorrent practices.
  3. By calling for religious liberty, we are changing the subject and putting the emphasis on our own welfare.  The problem with Obergefell v. Hodges is that it is bad public policy.  We should not be telling society, “As long as you leave us alone and don’t make us participate, we’ll shut up about it.”  We should love people enough to tell them it’s wrong even if they hate us for telling them (2 Corinthians 13:7).

Abortion is wrong.  We are not content with a religious liberty that allows us to avoid participation in an abortion (“We don’t smoke and we don’t chew, and we don’t go with boys who do”).  We will not make ourselves out to the victims because it is the babies who are the victims.  Rather, we will continue to maintain that abortion is wrong until the killing stops.  Likewise, we stand against every other practice of the Sexual Revolution, for they are all corruptions of decent human behavior and they all bring forth toxic consequences for any society that practices them – and especially societies that condone them.  (And how much more societies that celebrate them!)

I don’t say that Christians shouldn’t accept or benefit from religious liberty.  Where you can obtain it, take it.  But religious liberty is not what we seek, because that would be seeking to protect ourselves from the effects of persecution.  That is, it would be selfish of us.  Rather than seek relief for ourselves we should be seeking relief for the manifold victims of the sexual revolution, who are first and foremost children.

Eating food is pleasurable, but pleasure is not the purpose for which our Creator gave us the practice of eating.  Otherwise, bulimia would be a desirable behavior because it accepts the pleasure of eating while rejecting the nutritional purpose of eating .  Likewise, marital intimacy is pleasurable, but pleasure is not the purpose for which our Creator gave us the practice of marital intimacy.  The Sexual Revolution is an attempt to divorce the pleasures of marital relations from the responsibilities of marital relations.  What God has joined together cannot be put asunder without negative consequences.  We don’t want our government to grant us permission to skip the orgy that is the Sexual Revolution, we want them to stop promoting and celebrating it!  And we won’t be quiet until they do…regardless of the cost.

Our Lord suffered for us.  We will certainly not complain about having to suffer for Him.