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The Secularization of Christianity?

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In what can only be described as “completely uninformed,” a recent article submitted by Blair Scott of the American Atheists attempts to define its strategy and rationale for fighting the “secularization of Christianity.” If that phrase tripped you up, you are not alone. I had to read it twice to make sure I read it correctly. The author of the piece is not only a poor communicator, he is totally mistaken about what he is saying and the very terms he is using. One would tend to think that an atheist would be in favor of “secularizing” Christianity, but not so with this writer. He believes that when the cross and the Lord’s Prayer become common symbols in the culture, Christians will have accomplished their ultimate goal: a “theocratic” America.
Aside from the fact that theocracy means the “rule of God,” and not the “rule of Christians,” the author seems to believe that symbols made with perpendicular lines and words spoken by Jesus are such a threat to the civil and moral fabric of America that they must be fought against every time they are seen or heard. (And in the case of words spoken by Jesus he is absolutely correct, but not for the reasons that he thinks.) It is nothing short of ironic that in this situation the atheist is the one who is far more superstitious than even the most fundamentalist-minded Christian. He attributes so much power to these things, in fact, that even his atheist brethren have begun to question his motives (hence his reason for writing the article in the first place). Most Christians will not see themselves reflected in his diatribe and will simply ignore it, but this would be a mistake.
Let’s get two things perfectly clear at the outset: the First Amendment has nothing to do with this issue and, second, the “secularization” of Christianity would remove all religious connotations, thereby making Christianity (and the subsequent Christianizing) meaningless.
The first thing—the First Amendment issue—is easily enough dismissed with a refresher reading of the actual text of the relevant portion of the amendment, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” You might want to read it two or three times to remind yourself of what isn’t there. Nowhere in the First Amendment is religion itself restrained or told what it can or can’t do. Nowhere does it state anything about a “wall of separation” existing between the two. Nowhere does it say that states are restricted in what religion they can or can’t endorse. The only restriction in the First Amendment is a restriction upon Congress: “Congress shall make no law…” This simply means that the federal government (the Senate and the House make up “Congress,” which is the legislative or lawmaking branch) cannot dictate to you what religion you will be a part of, nor how you “exercise” that religion. “The Establishment of Religion Clause was designed as a protection of the states against the federal government.” [i] Note that, the clause was meant to protect the states from the federal government, not to shackle the states to the federal government. The restriction placed upon Congress is in no way applicable to the states. This means that atheistic lawyers (and article writers) are required to argue at the state-level of legislation and cannot make emotional appeals to Jefferson’s “wall of separation.”
Also notice the wording of the amendment says “an establishment of religion” and not “the establishment of religion.” Again, this is a restriction upon Congress to prevent them from preferring one religious establishment over another. This has nothing to do with restricting Congress from religion altogether (which is what “the establishment” would do), which is precisely what many atheists want us to believe. And although many states have similar language in their own state-level constitutions, the federal restriction in the First Amendment does not so limit the states from endorsing a particular “establishment” of religion.
The second thing—the so-called secularization of Christianity—is a more perplexing issue, and it is not entirely clear why an atheist would oppose this, unless he truly believes that Christian symbolism and prayer have inherent power. The secularization of anything means to divorce it from its religious meaning. Our atheist author seems to think it means the “normalization” of the object in question. Astoundingly, he makes this paradoxical statement near the end of his article: “The only reason to secularize [the Lord’s Prayer] and make it ‘generic’ is to continue to push theocracy.” What? The strategy of “theocracy-pushing” Christians is to secularize the Lord’s Prayer to the point of being generic and this will then further the goals of theocracy? He seems to think so because he continues: “If you can convince the courts that an integral part of your religion is generic or secular then you have won the right to Christianize the country with the support of the judicial branch.” So then, the strategy is to make Christian theology so generic that it gets used and promoted everywhere, which will in turn Christianize the country? Too bad food companies never got wind of this covert strategy of getting people hooked on your generic products so you can then get them to buy your brand-name products. The logic (or lack thereof) here is astounding. If this author is representative of the crack atheist legal team hoping to prevent the “Christianizing” of America, they might want to begin looking for replacements.
Aside from all of his non-argumentation though, this atheist author makes an important point. Since I am a Christian and want to see others become Christians, I would fall into the complicit party of what he calls the “theocratization of the United States.” (By the way, so are you if you believe that county council meetings can begin with the Lord’s Prayer or that fallen state troopers can be memorialized with roadside crosses.) But, what this author understands, and what most Christians do not, is that there is a war raging around us. American Atheists and Americans United for the Separation of Church of State fully understand what is at stake, while most Christians fail to see what the fuss is all about. The atheists actually believe that Christians are united and are in on the “conspiracy” to Christianize America, but the reality is far from here.
Most Christians are only too happy to let the atheists argue for them, because they have long been convinced that their First Amendment rights are actually restrictions. Most Christians would be surprised to find out that there are actually two versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament (but despite what our atheist author claims, they do not “contradict each other”). Most Christians do not believe in the power of partisan Christian prayer, so they are not bothered when they are told to not pray “in Jesus’ name.” Atheist legal groups rightly fear the power of Christ and His Church, yet most Christians don’t even recognize it. American Christians need to learn a lesson from this atheist author and begin to appreciate why legal groups are willing to invest lots of time and money to fight what they view as the Christianizing of America. Even if Christians themselves don’t think they’re organized and powerful, those who oppose us certainly do. And if they believe we are powerful, then we actually are powerful. But just imagine how much more powerful we would be if we actually believed it ourselves.

 


[i] Edwin Meese, Matthew Spalding, David Forte, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (Regnery: Washington, DC, 2005), p. 304.
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Politics

Grisham Out as White House Press Secretary, Will Now Work for First Lady

Was Jared Kushner behind the move?

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It’s fair to say that the Trump White House has had a fairly substantial turnover rate, but this is the price that one pays for working in the vicinity of a powerful resultist.

Trump doesn’t seem concerned with the path or the plan, but rather with the actual, concrete results that he sees.  This is precisely why his brash and often abrasive personality works.  When the mainstream media tries to take him off track during a press briefing, Trump pulls the attention back in, often quickly, figuratively knee-capping folks like Jim Acosta of CNN.

The result?  The press briefing is now back on track – with only minor collateral media damage caused by the outburst.

It’s this same attitude that has many within the West Wing on their toes, wondering when their job may metaphorically find itself standing on the same resultist gallows as the aforementioned Acosta.

In the case of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, her recent employment change was far less jarring than some we’ve seen in the past.

Stephanie Grisham is stepping down as White House press secretary and rejoining the first lady’s office as chief of staff and spokeswoman, touching off a reshuffling at the top tier of the White House communications shop.

A source familiar with the situation told Fox News Tuesday that the new White House communications team will include Trump campaign national spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as press secretary, Alyssa Farah as White House director of strategic communications and Ben Williamson as senior adviser for communications.

The source told Fox News that McEnany, Farah and Williamson would work “in concert” and not necessarily report to one another in terms of “chain of command.”

FLOTUS was beaming over the move.

First Lady Melania Trump announced she is “excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role,” saying Grisham “has been a mainstay and true leader in the Administration from even before day one, and I know she will excel as Chief of Staff.”

Within the White House, rumors swirled that perhaps Jared Kushner was not a fan of Grisham’s work as Press Secretary, which may have played a role in her recent role change.

 

 

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Politics

Dem Legislator Says Trump Should be Prosecuted for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

We won’t hold our breath.

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From the very onset of Donald Trump’s political career, there have been attempts to shame and label him, undoubted due to his “outsider” status.

This isn’t unexpected.  President Trump sauntered into Washington under the auspices of “draining the swamp”, knowing full well that the swamp was going to fight back…and with gusto.  This was always going to be an uphill battle for Trump, and that’s just how he likes it.

But the lengths to which some of Trump’s enemies will go in order to attack the Commander in Chief?  No one could have predicted just how out-of-control that aspect of “the resistance” would get.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski tweeted Sunday after President Trump spoke about hydroxychloroquine at his daily press briefing. The drug, normally used to treat malaria, is one of several that the president has pointed to as showing promise in the fight against COVID-19, but its effectiveness has been a subject of debate.

“I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been to The Hague. I’m making a referral for crimes against humanity tomorrow,” Galonski said. “Today’s press conference was the last straw. I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one.”

When asked to defend her comments, Galonski was reticent.

Fox News asked Rep. Galonski if there is a specific crime she is accusing Trump of committing, and how she plans on pursuing charges given the United States’ non-member status. She did not immediately respond.

And, as if you thought that this was perhaps a simple stunt by the enthusiastic Representative….

 

 

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California Governor: We Will Use Coronavirus To ‘Reimagine A Progressive Era’

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California Governor Gavin Newsom says coronavirus is an ‘opportunity for reimagining a more progressive era in American policy.’

He was asked by a Bloomberg News reporter if he saw “the potential, as some others in the [Democratic] Party do, for a new progressive era, if you want to call it that, in national politics and policy and whether there’s the opportunity for additionally progressive steps … on the national and state level.”

Newsom’s response, according to the California Globe, was that “the governor admittedly gave a long-winded answer which culminated in, ‘yes,’ admitting there is political opportunity born out of the pandemic. ‘There is opportunity for reimagining a [more] progressive era as it [relates] to capitalism,’ Gov. Newsom said. ‘So yes, absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.’”

Clip:

Longer video:

Twitter responds:

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Politics

DOJ Says AG Barr was ‘Appalled’ at Laundry List of FISA Warrant Errors and Abuses

The magnitude of the mischief is simply overwhelming.

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Amid all the uncertainty and calamity surrounding us, there is still an ongoing investigation into reports of abuse by the FBI during the 2016 presidential election.  Of course, much of this news has been buried by the apocalyptic dread concerning COVID-19, but, make no mistake, the latest developments are heavy.

It all began with the FBI in 2016, which feels like it was over a decade ago at this point.  The Bureau was, for some reason, tasked with investigating the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump on the rumors that he was somehow working with the Kremlin.  In order to gather supposed evidence of this, the FBI would need to be granted FISA warrants to spy on the campaign itself.  Their method of obtaining these warrants included citing the controversial document known as the Steele Dossier, which contains unverifiable rumors about Donald Trump’s alleged preference for unsanitary sex acts in the presence of prostitutes in Moscow.

The dossier was bankrolled by Democratic operatives, including Hillary Clinton, and the salacious rumors contained have been traced back to rumors once printed in the Wall Street Journal decades ago.

Now, as an investigation into this wildly inappropriate misuse of the FISA courts continues, both the Attorney General and the Inspector General are expressing grave concerns about the process.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. After releasing the report, Horowitz said that he would conduct a further investigation to see if the errors identified in the Page application were widespread.

Just how bad was it?

“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?” Horowitz told lawmakers during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. “Obviously, we need to do the work to understand that.”

Horowitz’s office said in a report released Tuesday that of the 29 applications — all of which involved U.S. citizens – that were pulled from “8 FBI field offices of varying sizes,” the FBI could not find Woods Files for four of the applications, while the other 25 all had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”

Apparently, Attorney General Bill Barr was no fan of the findings either.

The investigation into the FISA court abuses is ongoing.

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Politics

Infamous California Congresswoman Calls Trump ‘Incompetent Idiot’

This is not the time, Congresswoman.

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In these trying times – an era of global crisis – those who despise President Trump have ceaselessly lambasted him with anything and everything that they can muster.

The “resistance” is still in full effect during the COVID-19 global pandemic, with many of the usual suspects taking time out of there day to distract from the task at hand, in favor of scoring political points during an election year.

That’s not to say a President can’t be criticized or questioned during a time of crisis, but these heavy times require sharp critiques, not pedantic pageantry.

Maxine Waters hasn’t quite grasped this concept as of yet.

 

Waters has been an unrepentant critic of President Trump, and has even gone so far as to demand that her constituents seek out conservatives in public and make them feel “unwelcome”.

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Lindsey Graham Says Pelosi Made The ‘Most Shameful, Disgusting Statement By Any Politician In Modern History’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the “most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history,” Senator Lindsey Graham said today.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, criticized Pelosi after she railed against President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi said: “His denial at the beginning was deadly,” and as he “fiddles, people are dying” during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts held up the relief bill, and she wants to accuse President Trump?

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Politics

John Kerry Profanely Curses Lone Congressman Who Voted ‘No’ on Virus Relief

President chimed in as well, calling the publicity stunt the work of a “third rate grandstander”.

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First, the good news is that the federal government has passed an enormous, $2 trillion economic relief package aimed at helping Americans survive the coming economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  The bad news is that one of our elected officials exploited the legislative process to make a political point.

Here’s how it went down:

The House initially planned to pass the coronavirus stimulus package by unanimous consent or voice vote with a skeleton crew of legislators present in order to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus among its members. The body, under its rules, can pass legislation by unanimous consent – with no representative in the chamber objecting – or a voice vote — an exercise in which those for and against a bill yell yea or nay, and the loudest side wins.

But either method can be shut down by a “point of order” from a member who could argue a lack of quorum, meaning less than half of the House’s total members are present in the chamber. At that point, it would need at least 216 total members present to hold a recorded vote.

Massie has indicated to House leaders, despite significant efforts from Republican leadership, that he may force a recorded vote by suggesting the lack of quorum. House leadership is also concerned a handful of other members –Republicans and Democrats – might be considering taking the same action.

That threat forced several elected officials to travel back to DC in order to vote – an unnecessary risk to health and resources.

President Trump was quite unhappy with the move.

Then came John Kerry, former Secretary of State, to pile some additional shame on Massie.

“Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an a–hole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity,” Kerry tweeted. “He’s given new meaning to the term #M-sshole.”

Kerry added: “Finally, something the president and I can agree on!”

The Commander in Chief acknowledged Kerry’s take.

We should allow this brief bit of profane bipartisanship to guide us in these troubled times, because if John Kerry and Donald Trump can agree on something, then Americans can come together to defeat this dastardly COVID-19.

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