Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’
If you’re opposed to the idolatrous cult of the Messianic Nanny State, beware…the Obama administration has you in their cross-hairs.
In a blistering letter to President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham said the IRS targeted the two non-profits he heads with an audit last year after the organizations took out ads urging people to support biblical principles on marriage and in choosing political candidates.
In the letter, dated Tuesday, Graham said in light of recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, he does not believe the audit was “a coincidence — or justifiable.” Graham, son of famed Christian evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte, N.C., and Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide relief organization headquartered in Boone.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” Graham concluded in the letter. “This is morally wrong and unethical — indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate disclosed today that he was a victim of IRS discrimination, in a revelation that adds to the growing Internal Revenue Scandal.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says he faced discrimination from the federal agency when trying to start a new group.
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Dobson is the president and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting § 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26 year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.
Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints.
She then added, “you’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.”
Dobson and Graham weren’t the only targets during the 2012 campaign:
The Biblical Recorder, the official news journal for North Carolina Southern Baptists, found itself in the same situation in March – audited for the first time since the Baptist newspaper was founded in 1833.
The newspaper garnered national attention last summer after Editor Allan Blume published an interview with Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. In reference to his support of the traditional family, Cathy said he was “guilty as charged.”
The Biblical Recorder also published the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s ads affirming traditional marriage.
And then – came the telephone call from the Internal Revenue Service.
“It raised some red flags and made me wonder why we were being targeted for an audit when we have been around since 1833 and have never been audited before,” Blume told Fox News. “Putting it all together made me wonder.”
Blume said the timing may have been coincidental – but “it didn’t seem that way.”
“There seems to be a very anti-Christian bias that has flowed into a lot of government agencies – oppression literally against Christian organizations and groups,” he said. “It makes you wonder what’s going on.
Blume said the newspaper was eventually cleared, but the audit consumed time and money.
“It was a lot of time and energy that we didn’t have,” he said. “It took some of our staff literally several weeks of doing nothing but that (the audit),” he said.
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The IRS also pressured another pro-life group about its religious activities. “The IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with ’40 Days for Life’ and ‘Life Chain’ events,” according to the law firm. “The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.”
With this much coordination against his “enemies,” there’s NO WAY Obama didn’t know about it.
Recently, the Pentagon hired a rabid, anti-Christian fanatic to advice them on how to make the military more “tolerant.” His first recommendation has been to court-martial Christians who dare to share their faith with another service member.
“Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”
Those words were recently written by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), in a column he wrote for the Huffington Post. Weinstein will be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops.
[...] Many media outlets are silent on this disturbing new alliance between fanatical secularists and leaders in the Pentagon appointed by President Barack Obama and Secretary Chuck Hagel, under which the U.S. military would officially consult with someone with such foaming-at-the-mouth passionate hostility toward traditional Christians, including Evangelicals and devout Catholics. The military—America’s most heroic and noble institution—includes countless people of faith, and this represents a radical departure from the U.S. military’s warm embrace of people of faith in its ranks.
Yet the little coverage this story is getting is positive, such as thisWashington Post column that somehow manages not to carry any of these frightening quotes from Weinstein and instead actually endorses the Pentagon’s meeting with him. Sally Quinn’s Postcolumn also approvingly quotes MRFF Advisory Board member Larry Wilkerson as saying, “Sexual assault and proselytizing, according to Wilkerson, ‘are absolutely destructive of the bonds that keep soldiers together.’”
Did you get that? They say having someone share the Christian gospel with you is akin to being raped. Weinstein makes sure there are no doubts, being quoted by the Post as adding, “This is a national security threat. What is happening [aside from sexual assault] is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs is to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.”
Now, it appears that the military is preparing to court-martial anyone who tries to share the Good News:
The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.
The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.
This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
Ironic that the very men and women who volunteered to defend liberty are now watching their most basic, unalienable rights being stripped away, all in the name of “tolerance.” Is this what they fought for?
Krauthammer Warns: Gay Marriage Case Could Lead to All-Out ‘Assault on Religion’
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Last summer, lesbian journalist and activist Masha Gessen admitted in a radio interview that the purpose of pursuing gay marriage is to destroy the institution of marriage entirely:
“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.
The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.
I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”
The end point of liberalism is a coercive secular state in which the religious have no meaningful rights. American church leaders are kidding themselves if they think the gay-marriage juggernaut is going to stop at civil marriage. It won’t. It will quickly travel past court houses to churches, demanding that all religions bless gay marriages.
Denmark casts a shadow of this future, where the gay-marriage juggernaut has smashed through church doors. Last year the country’s parliament passed a law requiring all Lutheran churches to conduct gay marriage ceremonies. “I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married,” said Manu Sareen, Denmark’s minister for gender equality. Reluctant bishops have to supply ministers to satisfy the right whether they like it or not.
Iceland and Sweden have similar arrangements. Since many of the bishops are in the tank for gay marriage anyways and since these churches are “state” churches, this pressure generates little news. But it is instructive nonetheless. Where gay marriage exists, religious freedom gradually disappears, to the point where ministers have to choose between serving as secularism’s stooges or facing societal oblivion.
In America, this pressure will take the form of “discriminatory” churches losing government grants, permits, and participation in programs. It will be the death of religious freedom by a thousand little cuts here and there: canceled speeches of religious figures at state universities, lost HHS grants, the refusal of city governments to recognize churches that don’t permit gay marriages, “hate crime” legislation that extends to opposition to gay marriage, and so on. All of this will have the effect of pressuring churches into blessing gay marriages. A law forcing priests and ministers to preside at gay marriages won’t need to be passed; the invisible law of indirect governmental pressure will do the trick.
[...] The goal of the gay-marriage juggernaut is to make Christians pariahs, as irrelevant to public life as racists. It doesn’t have to pass a Denmark-style law to force churches to conduct gay marriages; it can achieve the same end through punitive political correctness.
When was the last time a Christian strapped on a suicide bomb or flew an airplane into a building? Hmmm…..let me think…..
Oh, that’s right. NEVER!
A U.S. Army training instructor giving a training brief on “extremism” to an Army Reserve unit in Pennsylvania has labeled Evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism as examples of religious extremism right alongside Al Qaeda.
In addition to Al Qaeda, the instructor also equated Evangelical and Catholic “extremism” with that of Hamas, Sunni Muslims, the Nation of Islam, and the Ku Klux Klan.
This wasn’t an accident. The Left loves to throw out extreme positions and see what they can make stick. They’ll back down temporarily from the inevitable uproar, but they also know that Americans are forgetful and easily desensitized, so they’ll continually push a point until it is no longer considered extreme.
“We find this offensive to have Evangelical Christians and the Catholic Church to be listed among known terrorist groups,” said Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization.”
[...] The incident was made public by a soldier who attended the briefing. He asked for copies of the presentation and sent them to the Chaplain Alliance.
“He considers himself an evangelical Christian and did not appreciate being classified with terrorists,” Crews told Fox News. “There was a pervasive attitude in the presentation that anything associated with religion is an extremist.”
The Archdiocese for the Military Services was shocked to learn that the Army considered Catholicism to be an example of extremism.
“The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.
They want the Dept. of Defense to “ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”
“In the notes it was clearly stated that the presenter was not a subject matter expert, and produced the material after conducting Internet research,” Wright said.
So if the presenter was not an expert, what were they doing presenting the material, Crews asked.
He said he had a chance to speak with the officer who conducted the briefing and she told him that she got her information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Why is there such dependence upon the work of the SPLC to determine hate groups and extremist groups,” Crews said. “It appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”
If you want to talk about extremist groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center certainly qualifies. Originally founded to combat racism, now they smear any organization that doesn’t agree with their radical leftist ideology – such as Focus On The Family – as a “hate group.”
It is not a legitimate source for the military to be using to study domestic terror threats.
Obama deliberately chooses these kinds of radical, extremist religious leaders to guide his family and his faith. That tells you a lot about how radical his core beliefs really are. Obama doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a follower of the “Social Gospel,” which teaches collective salvation through good (government) works, not individual salvation by grace.
The pastor at the Washington, D.C. church where the Obama family celebrated Easter on Sunday said members of the religious right want blacks “in the back of the bus,” women “back in the kitchen” and immigrants “back on their side of the border.”
“It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back…for blacks to be back in the back of the bus…for women to be back in the kitchen…for immigrants to be back on their side of the border,” Rev. Dr. Luis Leon said in his sermon, according to the White House press pool report.
Reuters reporter Jeff Mason tweeted that Leon also said the religious right wants gays in the closet.
What a classy, uplifting sermon for Resurrection Sunday.
This isn’t the first time his nut-job pastor has said something like this, either. Where does he find these crazies? I’ve grown up in different church across the denominational spectrum all my life, and NOT ONCE have I ever a pastor give sermon that specifically bashed political opponents.
In the twisted mind of the Left (the ideology of which the United Nations is the primary propagandist), telling a woman that she can’t murder her child is the same as genitally mutilating her.
Offering a person the counseling and therapy needed to address the deep wounds at the root of same-sex attraction is equal to torturing and beating them.
You can’t even reason with someone that detached from reality and logic. Black is white, up is down, wrong is right, love is hate, night is day…and nothing you say will convince them otherwise.
A recent United Nations report on torture and mistreatment in health care systems around the world singled out lack of access to abortion as a form of “torture,” classifying it as a human rights violation on par with female genital mutilation, forced sterilizations and state-sanctioned beatings.
The report also says governments should recognize the preferred sex of ‘transgender’ individuals without regard to biology, arguing that forcing such people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to prove their case is equivalent to torture.
[...] The report calls for the “elimination of homophobia” in health care settings, calling on “all States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery … ‘reparative therapies’ or ‘conversion therapies,’ when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.”
[...] One of the main ‘protection gaps’ identified was a lack of easy access to abortion in some countries.
“The Committee against Torture has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute bans on abortion as violating the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment,” Mendez wrote.
In the densely-worded 23-page report, Mendez devotes an entire section to “Reproductive Rights Violations.” While a list of violations towards the beginning of the section includes female genital mutilation, forced abortion, and forced sterilizations, much of the text that follows is focused on abortion access.
If anyone wants to argue that the same government currently forcing religious institutions to purchase the abortion pill through ObamaCare will not eventually use civil rights violations in order to attempt to force the Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies — good luck with that.
But this would have been unthinkable five years ago.
It was just three months ago that the White House and media piled on a reverend for preaching the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality. The result was his invitation to speak at Obama’s inauguration being rescinded.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
With the election of Pope Francis, we have news anchors openly clamoring that the Church is out of step on same-sex marriage.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
Fifteen years ago, the same leftists and media assuring us today that same-sex marriage won’t be imposed on the Church were telling us that civil unions (which I’ve always supported) would never lead to gay marriage.
With all that in mind, am I really supposed to buy that, within five years (maybe five days), the left and the media won’t be incessantly asking this question: “If the Church cannot legally refuse to marry an interracial couple, how can it legally refuse same-sex couples?”
As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world — never mind Islam — will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of God’s intent.
So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.
Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.
Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.
Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.
Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.
Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.
Christians should, starting yesterday, work on a new front. While we should not stop the fight to preserve marriage, and we may be willing to compromise on civil unions, we must start fighting now for protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.
Churches, businesses, and individuals who refuse to accept gay marriage as a legitimate institution must be protected as best we can. Those protections will eventually crumble as the secular world increasingly fights the world of God, but we should institute those protections now and pray they last as long as possible.
Pope Francis: Lack Of ‘Religious Values,’ Government Control Of Education Are Traits Of ‘Totalitarianism’
From our nation’s founding until the Supreme Court ruling on Engel vs. Vitale in 1962, school children across the country began their day with a prayer like this:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
How shockingly “offensive” to ask God to bless us, huh?
Until 1963, students could voluntarily choose an elective such as “New Testament Survey,” which studied the most influential book in history (especially Western Civilization). Teachers could read from the Bible in a historical context, and teach children to recite “The Lord’s Prayer” (seeing as it’s the most well-known poem in the world).
But now, no more. American school children have no idea of where common cultural references such as “David vs. Goliath,” “The Golden Rule” or “going the extra mile” come from. The have no frame of reference for understanding why the Reformation was such a pivotal point in European history, how Henry VIII’s break away from Rome was so significant, and the reason why the Puritans and Separatists were so intent on escaping to the New World. Children today aren’t taught where Thomas Jefferson got the phrase “Nature’s God” for the Declaration of Independence, or why our founders built our nation on the idea that unalienable rights come from our Creator.
They have no idea of an absolute moral standard – a Natural Law – which no man, woman, king or president is above.
And that’s exactly how tyrants want it. If there is no recognized authority above the state, the state reigns supreme in people’s lives, and can do as it pleases with no accountability.
Pope Francis witnessed this first-hand in Argentina, and he offered this warning:
In a 2011 book, Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis, stated that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and that sometimes when the government intervenes to deprive young people of that religious element, it can produce terrible consequences, including “cases like Nazism” whereby many students were indoctrinated with views alien to those espoused their parents.
The book, in Spanish, is entitled Sobre El Cielo Y La Tierra (On Heaven and Earth), by Jorge Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka, the latter an Argentinan rabbi. The book is in interview-style and Skorka asks the cardinal a variety of questions throughout 29 chapters.
In Chapter 18, “Sobre la educacion” (On Education), the future Pope Francis says, “In the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. ‘Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms,’ it says. A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values.”
“When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, whereby children were indoctrinated with values opposite to those of their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education so it can use the water for its own mill,” said then-Cardinal Bergogolio.
I don’t take my position on any issue lightly. Especially for one who regularly expresses opinions on political and moral issues, I believe it behooves us to seriously research and consider all the facts and cornerstone moral principles before taking a position on an issue. I expect as much from those who seek to serve in public office. Sadly, it appears many politicians consider principles to be disposable things that can be discarded as soon as they are deemed inconvenient.
Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.
In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch.
“That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”
Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”
As a parent, I understand how love for one’s children can sometimes tempt us to blind ourselves to truths we’d rather not face. But it’s a temptation we must not yield to. Truth, right and wrong are not dependent on our feelings or circumstances.
Does that mean Portman should stop loving his son? Absolutely not! He should love Him unconditionally, no matter what mistakes he makes or what he’s struggling with. But loving a child doesn’t mean redefining an entire bedrock societal institution for their sake. It means embracing them for who they are, responding in grace to what they do, and remembering that all of us are sinners in need of a savior, whether gay or straight.
Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn’t be changed — but it shouldn’t hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator’s son, should it?
What if a conservative senator said, “I’m reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren’t.”
One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It’s the Oprahfication of political philosophy.
Should a conservative determine good policy this way?
To state it bluntly, Senator Portman, Christianity, the Word of God, and the proper view of homosexuality has nothing to do with you or your changing perspective. It has everything to do with the unchanging Word of God. Your attempt to cloak your opinion by distorting the Word of God is not only offensive but blasphemous. I encourage you to open your Bible and read what it says about false teachers and those who add to or take away from the Word of God.
I understand that your son is a homosexual. As a Christian you are called to love him but you cannot condone his sin and encourage others to do the same. Principles are higher than our individual circumstances. Principles do not change because the circumstances in our lives change.
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
Condoning the sin of homosexuality will not help your son to lead a “happy, meaningful” life. He cannot lead such a life in direct opposition to the Word of the Lord. You have taken the easy path and it will only lead to sin and death, error, and worse.
My prayers are with you and your family but Christians must not let your attempt to pervert the Word of God to fit your own personal life go unchallenged.
Do you know what you believe, and why? Have you actually thought through your position on certain issues, taking into consideration all the facts and core values before taking a position?
The last pope, Benedict XVI, blamed capitalism for poverty and was a staunch advocate for socialized medicine. Apparently he didn’t see the connection between that and violations of religious liberty such as the HHS mandate.
Argentina, like most of Latin America, is a hotbed of Marxist “Liberation Theology” (Obama is an adherent of the racist version, Black Liberation Theology). But does Francis I subscribe to it? Unfortunately, the reports are contradictory and somewhat cryptic.
The Guardian calls him “a champion of liberation theology.”
Catholic Online says “Bergoglio is an accomplished theologian who distanced himself from liberation theology early in his career.”
According to John L. Allen Jr. of National Catholic Reporters, the Jesuit Bergoglio has long spoken out on behalf of the world’s poor and criticized free-market economic policies.
“We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least,” Bergoglio told an assembly of Latin American bishops in 2007.
“The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”
Here’s Lynch quoting from that 2011 speech delivered by, now, Pope Francis I:
Said Cardinal Bergoglio in said speech that “The economic and social crisis and the consequent increase in poverty has its causes in ways policies inspiredneoliberalism considering profits and market laws as parameters, to the detriment of the dignity of individuals and peoples. In this context, we reiterate the conviction that the loss of the sense of justice and lack of respect for others have worsened and led us to a situation of inequity. ” Later stressed the importance of “ social justice ”, the” equal opportunity “damage” transfers of capital abroad, “which should be required” distribution of wealth ”, said the damage of economic inequalities and the need to “prevent the use of financial resources is shaped by speculation,” especially in the context of the “social debt”-which in his opinion is of eminently “moral” – is to reform “economic structures” in expressed the sense before.
Again, I may have lost something in the translation, but it appears the new Pope fails to understand markets and holds the concepts of social justice, equal opportunity and distribution of wealth, as important. Concepts which, of course, generally lead to advocacy of much government intervention and much central planning. It as though the new Pope has somehow given up on the good in people, and perhaps even in God, and has decided to replace both with a central role for the coercive state.
The Investors Business Daily editorial board, however, contends that Francis I is no friend to Big Government:
The change that swept Eastern Europe in the 1980s and fueled the collapse of the Soviet Union may find itself repeated by a new pope with similar disdain for the authoritarian governments of his region.
When Cardinal Karol Wojtyla stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s in 1978 as Pope John Paul II, Soviet communism still stood astride Eastern Europe and his native Poland.
He would be the moral force helping to lead half a continent out of the human bondage of totalitarianism.
Argentina’s 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I, is no stranger to — or compromiser with — the oppression of authoritarian government.
During his tenure as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and head of Argentina’s Conference of Bishops, the new pope had a strained relationship with the governments of President Cristina Kirchner and her late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who once called Bergoglio “a real spokesman for the opposition.”
The cardinal who eschewed limousines to ride his bicycle or take the bus, is known as a man of the poor and of the people.
He gained admiration for living in a modest apartment instead of the palace in Buenos Aires that was adjacent to the Casa Rosada where the president resides (and where Juan and Evita Peron often harangued the Argentine people).
The new pope has fought a long battle in Argentina against leftist government, Peronist anticlericalism, the spread of evangelical Protestantism and the secular temptations of modern society.
Like Pope John Paul II, he is likely to resist calls to “modernize” the church, to make it more “popular” and “appealing.”
Like Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis is a strong opponent of what is called “liberation theology,” a bizarre mix of Marxism and Catholicism often embraced by left-leaning politicians and clerics in Argentina and elsewhere in the hemisphere.
Rosendo Fraga, a well-known Argentine political analyst, told the Miami Herald’s Andres Oppenheimer that Pope Francis “is definitely bad news for the Argentine government. His homilies, as recently as two weeks ago, were very critical of economic and social conditions, and of corruption in Argentina.”
“Francis may become a critic of governments such as those in Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia, in the same way that John Paul II became a critic of communism in Eastern Europe,” says Daniel Alvarez, a professor of religious studies at Florida International University.
[T]o be sure, South American governments are, with certain exceptions, nothing like the monolithic, totalitarian USSR.
Moreover, Pope Francis I is not as young as Pope John Paul II. Nor does he have a Ronald Reagan and a Margaret Thatcher to work with.
Even so, he does provide a rallying point for a region beset by authoritarianism that badly needs one.
Who knows whether this pope will stand up against the unscriptural tenets of Socialism? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Every year, the federal government spends well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in. As a result, it has racked up seventeen trillion dollars in debt, most of it in the last decade. In seven years at current rates, the U.S. will need almost a fifth of the GDP from the rest of the world just to finance our national debt.
Just two of our federal entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, have “unfunded future liabilities” of $46.2 trillion. Total liabilities are $86.8 trillion or more. Entitlements and other mandatory spending will burden more and more of the federal budget in the coming years. At today’s burn rate, before long no realistic amount of tax revenue will be able to service the debt and fund the government’s basic functions.
We need not worry about the federal government defaulting, since, unlike U.S. states or private citizens, it can print the money it needs to pay the bills. It can and will do so if we don’t make a course correction fast. Massive monetary expansion will ultimately devalue every dollar in circulation and trigger the sort of hyperinflation that flattens entire societies in short order. That’s bad enough, but when government borrows and spends for our supposed benefit, somebody else will have to foot some or all of the bill. If our faith applies to every aspect of life, then it must have something to say about this moral outrage.
[...] In the twentieth century, more than a hundred million people were murdered by their own governments. And that was just in communist countries. History and scripture agree: because of sin, governments with too much power become propagators of evil and destruction.
This speaks directly to government debt, since deficit spending is a symptom of government doing more than it can or should. The federal government now borrows and spends with such reckless abandon that it is careening toward a global economic catastrophe. If Christians can’t muster the courage to speak out against what Rep. Paul Ryan has called “the most predictable debt crisis in history,” we won’t deserve to be taken seriously after the collapse.
Sadly, many Christians don’t know how to disciple our nation to turn the tide because they’ve never studied God’s design for economics or the Biblical role of government. They can’t teach what they don’t know. The key to real reformation, says R.C. Sproul, Jr., is for Christians to understand and work to implement Biblical economic principles:
Christian author and teacher R.C. Sproul, Jr. told CBN News Anchor Lee Webb that he believes it’s time to return to the basics when it comes to economics.
“When we’re left arguing about whether or not we should have a marginal tax rate of 45 percent or 48 percent, and the conservative is stuck arguing for the 45 percent we’ve had an insufficient reformation in our thinking,” Sproul said.
Sproul believes that reformation will happen only when we return to scripture to see what God has to say about economics. That’s why he produced a video series called “Economics for Everybody.” It’s a compelling, even entertaining approach to a topic many find boring.
[...] Sproul provides historical evidence that nations most influenced by biblical Christianity are nations that, by and large, have prospered. They are nations marked by decentralized governments and free markets.
But nations that reject God are marked by centralized power, tyranny, and no free markets. Unfortunately, he said he has observed some of those troubling trends in America now.
“The United States is not a free market. It’s an interventionist economy that’s been moving closer to socialism for over a century now,” he said. “I am not optimistic about our nation’s future economically.”
“We live in a country in which the state forbids me to hire a man unless I promise to pay him X number of dollars,” Sproul explained. “We now live in a country where I can’t hire 50 men unless I promise to buy them all health insurance, including access to abortion.”
“This is not economic liberty. This is not free markets,” he said. “We’re missing the fact that we’re the frog and the water is boiling.”
That’s why Sproul believes it’s not enough to think conservatively. We must think biblically and train our children biblically.
“It’s my conviction that education is always and everywhere religious,” he said.
“And it’s not a surprise that when 80 percent of evangelical parents have their children in the government’s schools that they’re going to embrace the religion of the government which is the worship of the state,” he said.
Sproul cautioned Christians to avoid despair. One way to do that is by returning to the beginning, to the Creation Mandate and begin to see that our work is part of worship.
If you have never watched the “Economics For Everybody” series, I highly recommend it! We cannot teach what we do not know!
Exiled from Vanderbilt: How Colleges are Driving Religious Groups off Campus
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Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”
According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
[...] Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.
“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.
Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar policies are being adopted across the country:
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy – meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.
Will your alma mater or child’s university be next? Go to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to learn more.
This afternoon, faith leaders and Oregon United for Marriage Chief Petitioner Jeana Frazzini turned in 2,000 sponsorship signatures on the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative—twice the number of signatures needed to move into the ballot title process.
“With Oregon’s help, we did it,” Frazzini said. “We held 17 events across the state, mobilized hundreds of volunteers, and doubled our goal of 1,000 sponsorship signatures to advance the measure that will make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Oregon.”
[...] Over 70 clergy and faith leaders from numerous denominations signed the sponsorship petition, representing Protestant, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Lutheran-Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, Quaker, and Buddhist faith traditions.
Self-described “faith leaders” in Oregon recently published this “Faith Leader’s Declaration of Support of the Freedom to Marry.” It declares, in part:
We are Oregon & Washington clergy and religious leaders of many faiths, traditions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities. We represent religious institutions, organizations, and movements throughout our state.
We declare that our faith calls us to affirm civil marriage equality for loving same-sex couples. We come from different political parties and philosophies and now lift our voices in unity to speak a faithful word for freedom and equality.
Our religious traditions and scriptures teach us that wherever love is present, God is also present. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is our human capacity to love one another. The ability of two people to enter into relationships and form families of love and care is one expression of this gift. It is holy and good. We therefore affirm the right of loving same-gender couples to legally enter into such relationships on an equal basis with loving heterosexual couples. [...]
“Wherever love is present, God is also present.” Actually, they have that backwards. Wherever GOD is present, true love is present, because God is love (1 John 4:8).
However, God’s definition of “love” is different than the many perversions of that word used by the world. Our culture uses the word “love” to describe everything from our favorite things, to adulation of celebrities, to outright lust. TRUE love is selfless and sacrificial. It wants God’s highest and best for the other person, and that best never includes condoning destructive and immoral behavior. True love encourages us to embrace God’s grace and forgiveness, not our sinful passions.
If they’re going to throw out God’s definition of love, and declare that sexual sins like homosexual relations constitutes “love,” why not adultery? Why fornication, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality? If “love is love,” and love is defined by sexual attraction, what’s the difference?
There is no scriptural justification for redefining love or marriage in this manner, which is why they don’t quote scripture…merely their empty, philosophical rationale. Paul warns us against this in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Sadly, these “liberal Christians” haven’t heeded the warning:
Over the past several decades, liberalism has primarily defined itself by what it is not. Its message is “We’re not like those stodgy old traditionalists-we’re hip and accepting” (as long as they’re not asked to accept unchanging morality or the truth of Scripture). Liberal Christianity rejects the core tenets of Christianity, including the belief that Jesus is God, that all of mankind is guilty of sin and condemned to hell, that God sacrificed His Son to bear the punishment for our sins, that Scripture is the absolute, unchanging, perfect Word of God, and that the only path to salvation is through believing in Christ’s sacrifice and accepting His gift of eternal life by grace through faith.
In place of these tenets, liberal Christianity embraces a series of denials: Christ is not divine, mankind is not inherently sinful, the Scriptures are not authoritative and unchanging, heaven and hell are not literal, morality and theology are not absolute, and social mores do not flow from Scripture, but are an ever-changing product of our evolutionary enlightenment.
All of these beliefs allow liberal Christians to be more “comfortable” in the culture around them. The common message of the liberal Christian is that “God is love” and we need to speak to the rest of culture in the language of loving acceptance. “Love” here is code for the conviction that there is no absolute moral standard which humankind has violated. Hence, to believe in justice, morality, sin, punishment or an unchanging God is to be “judgmental” and “unloving.”
[...] Liberal Christianity undermines the Truth that has motivated so much good work. Liberal Christians reject the core tenets of historic Christianity. They have embraced the contemporary fancies of an ever-changing culture. They have nothing to live for, nothing to die for, and nothing to work for. For them, church is just another social club, devoid of power because it is not animated by transcendent truth and accountability for living in conformity with that truth. They have no authority for faith or action. They embrace a counterfeit Christianity, a pale image of the real thing, a hollow shell, a thin gruel that offers little sustenance for its followers or the culture at large.
As religious leftists, most of the “clergy” behind the gay marriage agenda are socialists, and have therefore already rejected what the Bible teaches about envy, theft, private property, debt, inheritance, and other principles of Biblical economics. Turning their back on God’s moral standard for sexuality and marriage is just the next step. They have traded sound doctrine for that which tickles their itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3).
I’m currently reading Bonhoeffer, about the battle between the Nazi-controlled state church which called themselves “German Christians,” and the Confessing Church, which stood for Biblical truth and urged Christians in Germany to reject the poisonous lies of National Socialism. Sadly, only 20% of religious leaders in Germany partnered with Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church. 80% cooperated with Hitler, not realizing their mistake until it was far too late.
Millions of people were persecuted and killed because the German church went along with the prevailing lies of the surrounding culture instead of holding fast to the truth and being salt and light. The willful ignorance, willful blindness, apathy and inaction of much of the body of Christ is largely responsible for one of the darkest chapters in human history.
Have we learned our lesson? Sadly, it appears not. Religious leaders across America and Europe are once again allowing themselves to be guided by the culture instead of the Word, seduced by warm-and-fuzzy sounding arguments and a fear of being labeled a “bigot” if they don’t comply.
They launched the initiative on Valentine’s Day, of course.
It’s baffling to me how many clergy and religious leaders they have deceived into going along with this. They’re really going after the faith angle, twisting scripture and trotting out deceived people of faith to try and convince other believers to buy the lie.
It’s the CHURCH that needs to be turned back to its first love! How can we have walked away from such basic scriptural truth? Lord, bring your repentance and revival!
Earth to Holder: the 2nd Amendment right to armed self-defense comes from GOD, NOT from the Executive Branch or any other government office. The Constitution acknowledges and preserves this right, and no president has the power to pick and choose who can exercise it.
Attorney General Eric Holder discussed gun violence at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia on Thursday and called last week’s shootings at Price Middle School and Morehouse College both shocking and outrageous and said that they were reminders a pervasive epidemic of gun violence. While Holder attempted to say the administration was attempting to strike a balance between advocating for tougher gun regulations while preserving the gun rights of citizens, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he went on to state quite clearly that Barack Obama has asked him to “expand” the criteria of the “wrong people” getting their hands on guns.
[...] Holder went on to take questions from the audience and this is where his comments pointed to the Obama administration determining exactly who the expansion of the categories that would deny Second Amendment rights to entered the discussion.
Holder didn’t say who this might apply to specifically. He did, however, state, “A person who has a gun should be a person who is entitled to have one.”
Holder went on to say, “We have Second Amendment rights and there is nothing in what the President is trying to do that will affect those Second Amendment rights, but there’s certain people; people who have mental health issues perhaps… people who have felony records. These are all categories of people who are not entitled to carry a gun and I think that we have to make sure that that continues to be the case.”
Never mind that Holder’s own DOJ and ATF put nearly 2,500 firearms in the hands of criminal drug cartels in Mexico.
“One of the things the President has asked me to do is to look at that list, to look at those categories and see if we need to expand it to make sure that, again, the wrong people do not come into possession of guns,” Holder added.
Friends, the argument over violent felons is valid only if the law will not mete out just punishment. There was no argument over whether a person’s rights were being violated when someone was found guilty of murder, rape, kidnapping or various other crimes that warranted the death penalty. Now we don’t want to execute people for such crimes, so they “pay their debt to society,” which is not even close to justice, and then we let them back on the streets, but remove their Second Amendment rights; rights that are claimed to be unalienable and given by God. Personally, I’d rather see justice served and not argue about who is and is not entitled to what we have been told are God given rights that the government cannot take away.
Additionally, those who were determined to be mentally ill, not by the Federal government though, were relagated to institutions, but we don’t do that now because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
However, what should concern every American is just who this “expansion” of categories of those that the Obama administration deems to not be “entitled” to arms applies to. Will it be those with a particular political persuasion? ideology? theology? What will determine this and how will they attempt to enforce it?
Personally, it seems clear that any and all attempts by those in Washington at what is commonly referred to as “gun control” are nothing more than Federal infringements upon the Second Amendment and thus unlawful and unconstitutional.
Just try it and see what happens…
In a white paper dated January 4 and obtained by NRA-ILA, the deputy director of the National Institute for Justice–DOJ’s research and evaluation agency–said that the proposals before Congress are unlikely to have an effect unless they are made even more draconian. For instance, the document makes clear that the effectiveness of “universal” background checks “depends on … requiring gun registration.” On the topic of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, NIJ writes, “In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession.” As for popular semi-automatic firearms, the NIJ notes, “Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to U.S. gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. If coupled with a gun buyback and no exemptions then it could be effective.”