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Saturday, January 07, 2017

News Weakly - 1/07/2017

"We Don't Understand"
I suppose this story shouldn't be a surprise, but it is, if only because it is so candid. Michael Wear was a White House staffer for President Obama, the "former director of Barack Obama's 2012 faith-outreach efforts". He told the Atlantic that "the administration was unnecessarily antagonistic toward religious conservatives." He told the interviewer, "It's much easier to make people scared of evangelicals than trying to make an appeal to them." According to the Atlantic, "Democrats Have a Religion Problem." According to Wear, the Democratic Party does not understand Evangelicals.

As I said, not particularly surprising, unless you are surprised at the admission.

Recently the U.N. put to a vote a resolution to condemn Israeli settlement expansion on the West Bank. The U.S. carefully and resolvedly ... abstained. This just weeks after the U.S. Solicitor General declared that Israel has no claim to Jerusalem. It takes no imagination to see where this is going -- a complete pushback for Israel. And a simple veto on the part of the U.S. could have terminated this debacle at the start.

Now, I know that history isn't particularly important to a lot of people in power (think, for instance, "the definition of marriage for all time" or "humans have always been male or female" and so on) and I know without a doubt that Scripture is of less importance to these same people, but given what history says about Israel and Jerusalem and given what Scripture says about God's chosen people, I hope you can see the folly of this current direction and pray for change.

In a show of tolerance and nonjudgmentalism ...
Have you heard of Kim Burrell? Sorry, neither had I. Have you heard of Ellen DeGeneres? Okay, I've heard of her. She has one of those daytime talk show things, right? Well, Ellen is famous for her particular sexual preference for women and Kim Burrell ... is not. Turns out that Burrell is a singer and pastor. Sorry, Kim, not winning any points with me, there. Turns out that Kim Burrell was set to appear on Ellen DeGeneres's show and sing with a singer named Pharrell. Turns out that Kim Burrell preached a sermon that included the claim that homosexual behavior was perverted, "the spirit of delusion and confusion," and that it has "deceived many men and women."

Never mind that the Bible says it. Never mind that the definition of "perverted" is "that which is characterized by sexually abnormal and unacceptable practices or tendencies" and, given that something less than 5% of the population is calling itself "homosexual", that would statistically make their sexual desires and practices "abnormal". Therefore, her claim that it is perverted would agree with the definition. But it's all good because Ellen is above all that. She ... oh, wait ... nope. My mistake. The "homophobic" Burrell found herself uninvited after all ... because that is the definition of tolerance and nonjudgmentalism others demand even if they don't practice it. In responding to the event, "DeGeneres emphasized that feeling discrimination because of her sexual orientation has given her empathy when it comes to showing others love and acceptance." We must understand that "empathy when it comes to showing others love and acceptance" does not extend to those who disagree.

Burrell also lost her job as a radio talk show host. While it's perfectly within the rights of commercial entities (or even universities -- hers was a university radio talk show) to take action to prevent losses due to statements of their employees, for instance, in no sense can it be considered "embracing", "inclusive", or "open-minded" when someone loses their job because they state as true what the Bible says is true. Call it "homophobic" if you want (although that's not accurate), but if you want it gone, you'll need to ban the Bible and all who believe it.

So Help Me God
On one hand, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has written President-elect Trump to please keep prayer and "so help me God" out of Washington. Or, at least, the inauguration. On the other, it ain't gonna happen. Oh, no.

President-elect Trump has other plans. "Donald Trump's Inaugural weekend will include an interfaith prayer service at Washington's National Cathedral." The cathedral is overseen by Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde who assures us that "all faiths will be represented at (Trump's) request." Of course, that seems a bit contradictory given Trump's comments during the campaign about Muslims, but, hey, he's the president-to-be; he can do what he likes. So it will include Muslims, Jews, and, best of all, prosperity preachers Paula White and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson. Michael Horton is concerned about "Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy." I'm wondering if any Christians will be participating in the event.

Socially Devisive
According to The Washington Times, "Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a 'socially divisive' proposal hurts the state’s image." Apparently Virginia considers allowing the murder of babies older than 20 weeks old as a positive thing and protecting the youngest of the young -- the most helpless of the helpless -- as "socially divisive". The governor fears a business backlash like the one North Carolina experienced when they said, "You should use the bathroom of the gender on your birth certificate." What he is saying, not in words but in deed, is "Business -- good; babies -- not on my watch." The further logical implications are that businesses and the whims of the public determine right and wrong and that business and the public are in favor of killing babies as well.

At the same time, apparently Kentucky has introduced a similar ban which they believe will pass in Kentucky.

I would like to point out that protecting the unborn child older than 20 weeks is not a sufficient rule. It can only be thought of as "good" in the sense that it is a step in the right direction. Preventing the intentional murder of all unborn children would be sufficient. And please note that the reason for selecting 20 weeks is the claim that science indicates that babies can feel pain at 20 weeks. Apparently "feels pain" constitutes "being human" and those who feel no pain are not? Or is it perfectly acceptable to murder the very young as long as they don't feel it? What a world we live in.

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