Posts

cross-1367851869dD1

7 Sure Signs America Has Declared War on Our Faith

cross-1367851869dD1Is there an increasing hostility to Christian values and religious freedoms in our country today? Here are seven representative examples, all from the last few weeks. Judge for yourself.

1. The NCAA announced that it will not hold any men’s and women’s Final Four basketball events in a city that “discriminates” against anyone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In its official statement, the NCAA declared, “The board’s decision follows the recent actions of legislatures in several states, which have passed laws allowing residents to refuse to provide services to some people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. While proponents of the laws focus on how they protect religious beliefs, critics have voiced concerns that they create an environment of sanctioned discrimination.”

Not only, then, has the NCAA grossly mischaracterized these recent laws, but it is now guilty of discriminating against biblically based beliefs and declaring that no Final Four game will be held in any city that does not allow men to use women’s bathrooms or that protects a Christian photographer from being forced to shoot a same-sex “wedding.”

2. The Colorado Supreme Court has chosen not to hear the case of Christian baker Jack Phillips who was previously ordered by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission “to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, re-educate his staff, and file quarterly ‘compliance’ reports for two years.”

According to Jeremy Tedesco, Senior Counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, “We asked the Colorado Supreme Court to take this case to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living. Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he disagrees, and that freedom shouldn’t be placed in jeopardy for anyone.”

The Court declined to hear the case, meaning that the state’s Civil Rights Commission not only has the power to require a bakery to make same-sex “wedding” cakes but also to require that baker to “reeducate” his staff and file regular reports proving that he is baking those cakes.

Chairman Mao would be proud of state-mandated “reeducation” like this.

3. Dr. Eric Walsh, the highly qualified, newly hired District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health was fired because of the content of his sermons as a Seventh Day Adventist.

As expressed by Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty, which has taken on Walsh’s case, “No one in this country should be fired from their job for something that was said in a church or from a pulpit during a sermon.” And as noted by attorney David French, “Working for former president Bush and President Obama to combat AIDS, serving as a board member of the Latino Health Collaborative, and starting California’s first city-run dental clinic for low-income families dealing with HIV/AIDS wasn’t sufficient to overcome the horror at Walsh’s Christian views.”

How dare he preach what the Bible says and try to serve his country at the same time.

4. Several senators have introduced a bill that would deem “all efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity an ‘unfair or deceptive act or practice’ under the Federal Trade Commission Act.”

That’s right. It would be illegal — a form of “medical malpractice” — to counsel someone struggling with same-sex attraction or gender identify confusion, but it would be perfectly legal to encourage someone to embrace those attractions or act on that confusion.

Already in 2009, conservative journalist Matthew Cullinan Hoffman wryly observed:

A man goes to a psychologist with a problem. “Doctor,” he says, “I’m suffering terribly. I feel like a woman trapped inside the body of a man. I want to become a woman.”

The psychologist responds: “No problem. We can discuss this idea for a couple of years, and if you’re still sure you want to be a woman, we can have a surgeon remove your penis, give you hormones for breast enlargement and make other changes to your body. Problem solved.”

Gratified, the first patient leaves, followed by a second. “Doctor,” he says, “I feel terrible. I’m a man but I feel attracted to other men. I want to change my sexual preference. I want to become heterosexual.”

The psychologist responds: “Oh no, absolutely not! That would be unethical. Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic!”

Family therapist Adam Jessel offered a similar observation: “In today’s climate, if Bill tells me that he is attracted to his neighbor Fred’s young child and he wants to reduce these attractions, I, as a therapist, can try to help him. If Bill has an unwanted attraction to Fred’s wife, this too is something I am permitted to help him with. But if Bill has an unwanted attraction to Fred himself, then it’s regarded as unethical for me to help.”

If this new bill becomes law, it would not only be considered unethical to help Bill deal with his same-sex attractions, it would be illegal.

It would also be illegal to help a person get to the root of his or her gender confusion, but it would be perfectly legal for a counselor to recommend hormone blockers for a 10-year-old to stop the onset of puberty and then to prepare that child for sex-change surgery as soon as they were old enough.

Here are a few more examples, in shorter form, all from recent weeks.

5. The NBA announced that it will not hold next year’s All-Star game in Charlotte, North Carolina unless the state changes HB2, the Bathroom Privacy Act.

So, unless North Carolina agrees to let grown men use women’s locker rooms and changing facilities, and unless it removes protections for religious liberties, it will be punished.

6. The Department of Education has decided, “Religious schools that receive federal money yet obtain federal exemptions to [allegedly!] discriminate against LGBT students and employees will have their waivers posted online for public view.”

This means that any Christian institution receiving federal money and at the same time holding to biblical morality and sexuality could suffer adverse consequences.

“Led by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the lawmakers said in December, ‘We are concerned these waivers allow for discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.’”

Oh, those terrible religious freedoms!

7. As reported on Breitbart News, “A federal court sided with a transgender student who insisted that the Obama administration’s reading of federal Title IX rules would allow her to choose her own bathroom at her Virginia high school.”

According to the exultant Virginia ACLU, “With this decision, we hope that schools and legislators will finally get the message that excluding transgender kids from the restrooms is unlawful sex discrimination.”

In other words, no matter of what kind of hardship or inconvenience this puts on the rest of the students, and without any type of scientific proof that a child is actually “transgender,” the perceived needs of the one or two struggling children will be imposed on the other 1,000, and the Obama administration will come after your school if you fail to comply.

What’s scary is that I could have listed quite a few more examples, all from the month of April.

Believers in America, if somehow you are still sleeping, it is high time you woke up. (For more from the author of “7 Sure Signs America Has Declared War on Our Faith” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

VP Biden visit to Israel January 13, 2014

Why Do Pro-Choice Catholics Even Exist?

VP Biden visit to Israel January 13, 2014When a large group of highly educated people who have dedicated themselves to an organization with firm doctrines, strict rules, and stern demands — such as the Catholic Church — lose their faith in those doctrines, rules and demands, what do they do with themselves instead? Shrug and join the Unitarians? Leave their rectories or convents and go find apartments, maybe jobs as high school guidance counselors?

What do families like the Pelosis, the Kennedys or the Bidens — and millions of non-famous Irish and Italian-American clans with strong ethnic and historical connections to the Church — do with themselves when they reject its teaching authority?

The history of the Catholic left gives us the answer: Such people focused on the parts of the Church’s mission that still appealed to them, such as looking out for the poor and rebuking unjust discrimination. And of course the Church has an almost 2,000 year tradition of offering the needy education, health care, and a voice in the face of genuine oppression. Many Catholics had joined the Civil Rights movement and marched for integration.

In the 1960s, there were fresh, exciting causes available for Catholics to join which modeled themselves on the Civil Rights movement’s tactics and rhetoric, whose agendas were not so compatible with traditional Christian teaching as the noble fight against institutionalized racism had been. Feminists, homosexuals, and anti-war activists began to throng the streets and demand radical changes in American law and policy, and many Catholics with left-wing sympathies and deep roots in the Democratic Party began to exert their energies on behalf of these new movements — assuring themselves that they were acting as Jesus had when he denounced the scribes and Pharisees.

Many grandchildren of Catholic immigrants to our overwhelmingly Protestant country still clung to the pretense that they were outsiders — excluded and marginalized victims of the existing American establishment. So they felt bound to make common cause with every other “outside” group, regardless of the justice of its claims. This outsider illusion made it easy for them to be right about Civil Rights … and then poisonously wrong about feminism, gay liberation, and socialist economics.

So Catholics who’d once taken part in Freedom Rides for black Americans got swept up in a “Women’s Liberation” movement that sought to dismantle legal definitions of marriage, laws restricting abortion, and finally the traditional family itself. That movement’s greatest success was Roe v. Wade, which gave the U.S. the laxest abortion laws on earth — outside of Communist countries — and resulted in the deaths of more than a million American unborn children every year since 1973. What most people don’t know is that the Kennedy family had helped lay the groundwork for that decision a decade before. As Philip Lawler reports in The Faithful Departed:

In July 1964, several liberal theologians received invitations to the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, for a discussion of how a Catholic politician should handle the abortion issue. Notice now that abortion was not a major political issue in 1964. …

The participants in that Hyannisport meeting composed a Who’s Who of liberal theologians, most of them Jesuits… Father Robert Drinan … Father Charles Curran … Father Joseph Fuchs, a Jesuit professor at Rome’s Gregorian… Jesuits Richard McCormack, Albert Jensen, and Giles Milhaven.

For two days the theologians huddled in the Cape Cod resort town as guests of the Kennedys. Eventually they reached a consensus, which they passed along to their political patrons. Abortion, they agreed, could sometimes be morally acceptable as the lesser of two evils. Lawmakers should certainly not encourage abortion, but a blanket prohibition might be more harmful to the common good… (81).

Nine years before the fact, the financial and intellectual elite of American Catholicism were, in Lawler’s words, “waiting for Roe v. Wade.”

Similar Catholics joined Marxist-organized antiwar marches and demanded an end to the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, which had been launched in part to protect millions of South Vietnamese Christians from Communist oppression. Some Catholics even joined “gay liberation” movements, which began with attempts to stop police harassment, but quickly evolved into demands that the law make no distinction between heterosexual marriage and homosexual relationships. We have seen that movement culminate in 2015 with the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which has endangered the religious freedom of millions of American Christians.

The Left Wouldn’t Leave the Church, So the People Did

As the Catholic left developed, it became increasingly hard to distinguish from secular progressive movements, except in its use of biblical metaphors and cherry-picked quotes from Church documents to further its agenda. Instead of leaving the priesthood, convent, or bishop’s palace, far too many church leaders instead chose to hollow out the theological core of the Church’s mission, and transform it into an activist social welfare agency. Since the dissidents wouldn’t leave, many of the people did: Mass attendance plummeted, the Catholic Church began bleeding believers to outright secularism, and vibrantly doctrinal evangelical Protestant churches.

The reigns of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI saw the rise of a devoted faithful Catholic resistance to these toxic trends in the Church. Orthodox Catholic colleges were founded, home-schooling spread through Catholic circles as a means of passing along the integral faith, and the overwhelming majority of new priests and nuns were those who joined conservative orders or dioceses. Those two popes made a conscious effort to choose more reliable bishops, and the Church saw a mini-renaissance.

However, the impact of that resistance was limited in its scope to a self-selecting subculture, as progressives clung to institutional power and retained control over many dioceses and most Catholic colleges. Now with the advent of Pope Francis, that counterrevolution’s future is in question, and previous trends are reasserting themselves.

In 2015, the Pew Study reported that a shocking 41 percent of adult American Catholics leave the church at some point, most never to return:

Both the mainline and historically black Protestant traditions have lost more members than they have gained through religious switching, but within Christianity the greatest net losses, by far, have been experienced by Catholics. Nearly one-third of American adults (31.7%) say they were raised Catholic. Among that group, fully 41% no longer identify with Catholicism. This means that 12.9% of American adults are former Catholics, while just 2% of U.S. adults have converted to Catholicism from another religious tradition. No other religious group in the survey has such a lopsided ratio of losses to gains.

In other words, the American church is shrinking, and would be diminishing quickly as a share of the U.S. population, were it not for a constant influx of Catholic immigrants. According to a subsequent report by Pew:

[M]ore than a quarter of U.S. Catholic adults (27%) were born outside the country, compared with 15% of U.S. adults overall; most of these Catholic immigrants (22% of all U.S. Catholics) are from elsewhere in the Americas.

As of 2014, an additional 15% of Catholic Americans have at least one foreign-born parent. That leaves 57% of Catholics who were born in the U.S. to two native-born parents. By comparison, nearly three-quarters (74%) of American adults overall were born in the country to two U.S.-born parents….

The median age of Catholic adults in the U.S. is 49 years old – four years older than it was in 2007. Catholics are significantly older than members of non-Christian faiths (40) and people who are not affiliated with any religion (36).

Just 17% of Catholic adults are under the age of 30, compared with 22% of U.S. adults, 35% of religious “nones” and 44% of U.S. Muslims.

Without the mass influx of new Catholics who have not yet been subjected to the acid of our secular culture and the tepidness in many of our local church institutions, the Catholic Church in America would look much more like the Episcopal or Methodist church: a shrinking, aging organization with diminishing influence — and a small but dedicated orthodox protest movement.

Nor are newly imported Catholics by any means certain to continue warming our parish pews. First Things has reported (citing Pew statistics):

Roughly one-third of Catholic adults in the U.S. are Latino, but just over half (55 percent) of Latino adults here are Catholics. As recently as 2010, that figure stood at two-thirds.

Close to one in four Latinos were raised Catholic but have since become (for the most part) Protestant or unaffiliated. Among Hispanics ages eighteen to twenty-nine, just 45 percent are Catholic, and that number could keep dropping as they age: Almost four in ten of these young adults say they “could imagine leaving the Catholic Church someday.”

All these outcomes, you might think, would alarm the Vatican that the Church is shrinking and fading in the world’s most influential nation. Key papal appointments of “social justice” prelates such as Blaise Cupich to the crucial archdiocese of Chicago, and invitations to Rome for the likes of Bernie Sanders and Joseph Biden, suggest that Pope Francis has not gotten the message. (For more from the author of “Why Do Pro-Choice Catholics Even Exist?” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

14229442413_174e0e81e0_b

George Strait Reveals the Struggles That Keep His Faith in Jesus Strong

George Strait is widely recognized as the “King of Country”, but there’s a side of George Strait many have not seen.

For over twenty-five years, Strait’s sultry voice, coupled with his inspiring lyrics and killer smile, have uplifted and encouraged millions of hearts across the country.

Although the famous cowboy seems to have it all, Strait’s life tells the story of someone who’s struggled against all odds — and overcame . . .

George Strait has recorded more Number One hits than any other artist in history (including Elvis), and has sold over 70 million albums. But like many Americans of our day, Strait was raised in a broken family.

Little George Harvey Strait was only a third-grader when his parents divorced and his mother tragically left him behind. His mother moved away with his sister, Pency, while George and his older brother John, Jr. “Buddy” were raised by their father. (Read more from “George Strait Reveals the Struggles That Keep His Faith in Jesus Strong” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

New Study Finds America Is Less Religious Than Ever Before

A new study using data from the General Social Survey has found that Americans are less observant of religion than perhaps ever before.

The study was undertaken by researchers from Duke University and University College in London and found that only 18 percent of Americans under the age of 60 attend church at least once a month. In contrast, among those aged 70 and older, 41 percent attend worship services.

“The U.S. has long been considered an exception to the modern claim that religion is declining…. But if you look at the trajectory, and the generational dynamic that is producing the trajectory, we may not be an exception after all,” Mark Chaves, a professor of sociology, divinity and religion at Duke University said . . .

“These declines aren’t happening fast, but the signs are now unmistakable. It has become clear that American religiosity has been declining for decades, and the decline is driven by the same dynamic of generational change that has driven religious decline across the developed world,” Professor David Voas of University College’s Institute of Education said. (Read more from “New Study Finds America Is Less Religious Than Ever Before” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Netflix

Netflix Is Going After a New Market – Evangelical Christians

Netflix isn’t just a binge-watching paradise, but also a powerful tool for saving souls, according to televangelist Ed Young.

Young is one of four Christian pastors to have their sermons added to Netflix’s content library late last year . . .

Young, an evangelical superstar, previously had a program on E! network, in addition to publishing a handful of books and hosting a podcast.

“Jesus said that we should become fishers of men. If I’m going to catch the most fish, I’ve got to put a lot of hooks in the water,” he explained to the Gazette. “But I’m most excited about Netflix right now” . . .

Netflix’s CPO, Neil Hunt, told Business Insider that the company has seen that variations in show preferences within countries are greater than those between countries. That means that though an evangelical Christian show, like Young’s, might only appeal to a certain percentage of the US audience, it could appeal to similar niche communities in different countries throughout the world. (Read more from “Netflix Is Going After a New Market – Evangelical Christians” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

This Is the Most Godless City in America

Portland, Ore., is No. 1 on the list of metropolitan areas with the most religiously unaffiliated residents (42%), according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas, a survey of 50,000 people. Seattle and San Francisco were tied at second place (with 33%) on the list, and Denver (32%) and Phoenix (26%) were third and fourth.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nashville was the metropolitan area with the fewest people without any religious affiliation (15%), followed by Charlotte, N.C. (17%), and Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando and Pittsburgh (all with 18%). Some caveats: While many people who don’t believe in God may not attend religious services, there are (of course) faith traditions such as Unitarian Universalism that welcome and include humanists and atheists; many people who might not believe in God may just as likely go to church for spiritual reasons too, or merely because they like it . . .

“The strong religious culture in the South reflects a variety of factors, including history, cultural norms and the fact that these states have high Protestant and black populations — both of which are above average in their self-reported religious service attendance,” according to a separate Gallup survey of over 177,030 U.S. adults this year on church attendance. And 10 of the 12 states with the highest self-reported religious-service attendance are in the South, along with Utah and Oklahoma. (Utah ranked as No. 1 because of the 59% Mormon population there, and Mormons have the highest religious attendance of any major religious group in the U.S.) (Read more from “This Is the Most Godless City in America” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

This Is the Horrifying Thing a 7th-Grader Was Told When She Refused to Deny God

In a story gaining momentum since late October, a seventh-grader from Katy, Texas, was made to state “God is a myth” by her middle-school teacher. Now the student is facing startling repercussions for her refusal to back down.

It started when 12-year-old Jordan Wooley’s teacher assigned a quiz at West Memorial Junior High School asking students to label statements as “fact, assertion, or opinion.”

Statements included “America is the most free country on Earth,” and “there is a God.” Jordan said the assignment was to identify “factual claims, commonplace assertions and opinions.” She said she originally answered the statement “there is no God” in two ways, according to a local CBS News affiliate . . .

Now Jordan is experiencing fallout from her refusal to back down from her story and for standing up for her beliefs. She says she has been bullied and told to kill herself after media coverage of the incident.

Wooley’s mother, Chantel, said, “Jordan’s faith is continually being tested. She feels like she’s being made to be a liar when all that she did was tell the truth. … She was harassed at school, she was flipped off in the hallway, she was cursed at and blamed for this situation that her teacher and administration has created. She has chosen to forgive them and pray for them.” (Read more from “This Is the Horrifying Thing a 7th-Grader Was Told When She Refused to Deny God” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Are Belief in God and Christianity Really Dying in America?

What’s really happening to religion in America? Plainly stated: it’s complicated.

Perhaps the title of the latest Pew Research Center report — “U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious” — provides the most concise overview, though there’s some debate over what, exactly, is going on beneath the numbers when it comes to religious adherence and practice.

This was the second of two extensive religion reports released this year by Pew, with the data within providing a snapshot of the beliefs and practices of the American populace. In contrast, the first report titled, “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” was released in May, focusing mainly on overarching demographic changes.

The takeaway from both reports was that the American populace is becoming less religiously devout, but answering the “how” and “why” gets a bit more dicey, as pastors, faith leaders and sociologists all have theories as to what’s really happening, culturally speaking . . .

The United States remains a majority Christian country, with 70.6 percent falling under the Bible-based umbrella in 2014. This is a decrease of eight percentage points, though, from 2007 when the study found that 78.4 percent of the nation embraced Christianity. (Read more from “Are Belief in God and Christianity Really Dying in America?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Teen Runner Disqualified From State Meet — Was It the Bible Verse?

Was a high school cross country runner disqualified from a state championship meet because there was a Bible verse embroidered on his headband?

Georgia Congressman Douglas Collins seems to think so.

“Religious expression being squashed right here in the Ninth District,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted. “This is outrageous” . . .

The West Forsyth High School runner was disqualified because of a headband he was wearing – a white headband that was adorned with a Bible verse . . .

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Read more from “Teen Runner Disqualified From State Meet — Was It the Bible Verse?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Number of Americans ‘Certain’ About God Falls to a Worrisome Percentage

The proportion of Americans who say they are “absolutely certain” God exists has dropped sharply from 71 percent to less than two thirds, the Pew Research Center said Tuesday.

The share of US adults who say they believe in God declined from 92 to 89 percent over the same period, from 2007 to 2014, but is still remarkably high compared to other developed countries.

The percentage of Americans who say they pray every day, attend regular services and consider religion very important have also clocked small, but significant declines, the research center said.

The vast majority of Americans, 77 percent of adults, continue to identify with some religious faith, but a growing number are unaffiliated to a particular group, the study found.

Younger Americans are also less religious than their elders. For example, four in 10 of the youngest Millennials say they pray every day, compared to six in 10 Baby Boomers. (Read more from “Number of Americans ‘Certain’ About God Falls to a Worrisome Percentage” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.