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VP Pence Delivers Important Charge to the Southern Baptist Convention

It was the SBC’s 170th annual meeting and the Vice President congratulated them on becoming the nations most important “force for good.” Truly, the SBC has become one of (if not, the) most important charity organization in the world. 

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Vice President Pence is obviously the Trump administration’s ambassador to America’s Christian community. This past week he headlined the Hispanic Prayer Breakfast  and keynoted at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual conference.

It was the SBC’s 170th annual meeting and the Vice President congratulated them on becoming the nations most important “force for good.” Truly, the SBC has become one of (if not, the) most important charity organization in the world.

And so today, on behalf of the President, I want to say thank you.  Thank you to the Southern Baptist Convention for the essential and irreplaceable role you play in America.  And I’ll make you a promise: This President, this Vice President, and our administration will always stand with you.  (Applause.)  We will.

Today, we only ask the men and women of this convention to continue in your calling with renewed energy.  Stand and go and speak.  Stand in the gap.  Because in these too-divided times, I believe that your voice, your compassion, your values, and your ministries are more needed than ever before.

This is a pivotal year in the life of our nation.  What happens in the days ahead will have a profound impact on the future of this country.

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Here’s the full speech (beginning about 25 minutes into the video):

Transcript from the White House:

Thank you, Dr. Gaines.  Thank you for that kind introduction.  I too remember that night, and I appreciated your ministry that evening as well.  Your kind words of introduction mean a great deal to me, but you know me well enough to know the one I — the introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter: I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.  (Applause.)

It is deeply humbling to be here today, to address the 161st session of the Southern Baptist Convention.  And let me begin by bringing greetings from a good friend of mine who just got back to the White House this morning.  A leader who I can tell you has been delivering every day on his promise to protect faith and restore freedom across this country.  I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

You know, it really is an honor to be here at the Southern Baptist Convention.  It’s remarkable to think that what began more than 170 years ago in First Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia has now become one of the greatest forces for good anywhere in America.

You know, the President likes to say, in his words, that we’re a nation of faith.  And the leaders gathered here at this convention and the congregations that you represent make that true every single day.

Your more than 47,000 churches minister to more than 15 million people, and millions more beyond your walls.  You can be found in all 50 states, in communities of every size, and at this very hour, you’re planting churches and planting seeds of faith in countless hearts in America and to the very ends of the Earth.

The Southern Baptist Convention has always strived to “reach the world for Christ,” and so you have throughout the decades.  And I believe with all my heart that your faith has moved mountains, and your witness changes lives every day.

And I know what I’m talking about.  You know, I was raised in a churched home; it was grace before dinner and church on Sunday morning.  But 40 years ago this spring, I heard the very message that Southern Baptists speak so faithfully across this nation every day.  I heard it fresh in my ears, as though it had been for the very first time, that “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever might believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.”  And I walked the sawdust trail that night in 1978, and gave my life to Jesus Christ, and it’s made all the difference.  (Applause.)

So thank you for carrying that timeless message everyday with such faithfulness to the American people.  The truth is, Southern Baptists have always worked to bring about renewal of America, and new beginnings.  And as I stand before you today, I believe that our nation is in the midst of a time of renewal.  And we are in the midst of a new beginning of greatness in America.  (Applause.)

You know, it’s the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President to a President who’s working every day to renew the greatness of this country.

When you look at the progress we’ve made over the last 500 days, at home and abroad — the stronger America, a stronger economy, a stronger commitment to the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution — I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment.  It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

I mean, think about it.  Think about it.  From the very beginning of this administration, we’ve been rebuilding our military, restoring the arsenal of democracy.  And as the proud father of a United States Marine, I couldn’t tell you how grateful I am that, with the support of this Congress, we are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and training they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe.  (Applause.)

We’ve been standing with the courageous men and women of law enforcement.  We’ve been securing our borders, enforcing our laws, and removing dangerous criminals, drug dealers, and gang members off our streets in record numbers.  (Applause.)

And we once again, we have a President of the United States who stands without apology as leader of the free world.  (Applause.)

We certainly saw that in high relief over the last several days, didn’t we?  Just this morning, the President returned from a historic summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.  The President went to this meeting as, in his words, “on a mission of peace,” but with eyes wide open.  And I can report, the meeting that took place was direct and honest, provocative, and productive.  It resulted in a bold first step where North Korea’s leader committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  (Applause.)

And among the agreements reached, very deeply meaningful to me as the son of a combat veteran from the Korean War, President Trump secured a commitment from North Korea to recover and repatriate the remains of more than 5,000 American MIAs who fell in the Korean War.  We are finally going to bring our boys home.  (Applause.)

Now comes “vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement,” as the President said, “as soon as possible.”  But make no mistake about it: The success of this summit, and the progress we’ve made, is a direct result of President Trump’s steadfast leadership and the courage of one American family.

From the outset of our administration, President Trump changed our policy toward North Korea, ending years of what was known as “strategic patience.”  The President brought unprecedented economic and diplomatic sanctions to bear on North Korea, and he used the kind of tough rhetoric, in South Korea and at the United Nations, that communicated America’s resolve to protect our country and stand with our allies.

The President would also, today, though, want me to give credit to the family of Otto Warmbier.  As the President said last week in the Rose Garden, Otto was a “brilliant, beautiful… young man.”  And in the words of his family’s tradition, may his memory be a blessing.

Otto’s loss was a tragedy that grieved the heart of this nation, but the courage of his parents in the wake of that loss helped bring us to this milestone.  And as the President said, “Otto did not die in vain.”  (Applause.)

The truth is, their example and the President’s stand on “peace through strength” brought us to this day, to this step.  And as we move forward with further negotiations, we now will “trust but verify.”  And as the President said, our “sanctions will remain in place” until North Korea’s nuclear weapons are “no longer a factor.”  We will not repeat the mistakes of the past.  (Applause.)

As we reflect on this moment, it is important to remember that our President has already accomplished much when it comes to North Korea.  North Korea hasn’t fired a missile test in seven months, historic inter-Korean peace summits have occurred, and three American hostages came home.  (Applause.)

I’ll never forget that night.  Karen and I joined the President and the First Lady on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base to welcome home these three extraordinary Americans who’d been held hostage in North Korea.

But what happened that night, I really didn’t expect.  It happened to the President too, and it happened to the Secretary of State.  These three men — one of whom had been in captivity for nearly two years — as they came down off the stairs, one of them pulled out of his pocket a small index card, written on the front and on the back.  They grabbed my hand vigorously, and they thanked me for my prayers.

On the front of the card, it read: “Dear Mr. Vice President, we praise the Lord who has done great things for America and for us.  We deeply appreciate your prayers and the U.S. government bringing us home.  God bless great America.”  (Applause.)

And then I flipped over the card, and looked on the back.  And they had transcribed a portion of Psalm 126.  “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy.”  (Applause.)

It’s a moment I’ll never forget.  And the card they gave to the President read about the same.

Men and women of the Southern Baptist Convention, I can tell you, we have a lot of work ahead of us.  It will be an arduous process requiring American resolve –- resolve and courage.  As the President said before he left Singapore, in his words, “anyone can make war,” it takes courage to make peace.  (Applause.)

And the President and I both know it will take one more thing.  While strong American leadership has accomplished much, he and I both know that the “effective and fervent prayers of a righteous people [can] availeth much” more.  So let’s all pray.  Let’s pray for peace for the Korean people and the world.  (Applause.)

But it hasn’t just been progress on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump has been putting America first and standing strong for America’s interests all over the world.

This President promised to take the fight to radical Islamic terrorism on our terms, on their soil.  And I’m pleased to report that, thanks to the courage of our armed forces and the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will soon drive the evil of ISIS from the face of the earth.  (Applause.)

This President has also stood up to the leading state sponsor of terrorism around the world when he withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.  (Applause.)

And unlike his predecessors, this President kept his word to the American people and to our most cherished ally, when, just a little more than a month ago, we opened the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.  (Applause.)

And from the first day of this administration, President Trump has also taken dramatic action to revive the great engine of the American economy.

We’ve cut red tape, unleashed American energy, and President Donald Trump kept his word to the American people one more time when, right before Christmas, he signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  (Applause.)

And you know, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the results have been remarkable.  Since the President and I were elected, businesses large and small have already created more than 3.4 million new jobs.  (Applause.)

The unemployment rate hasn’t been lower in nearly 50 years.  And we’ve seen the lowest unemployment rates ever for Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans.  And unemployment for women in America hasn’t been this low in 65 years.  (Applause.)

As I stand before you today, I say with confidence, jobs are back, confidence is back, and, under President Donald Trump, America is back.  And we’re just getting started.  (Applause.)

So we’re restoring American strength, at home and abroad.  But in this White House, I want to assure you, we know that America’s strength ultimately comes from the foundation of our most cherished values in this country.  And from early in this administration, I’m proud to report that President Donald Trump has stood with people of faith and for our most precious freedoms every single day.  (Applause.)

Last year, the President chose the National Day of Prayer to announce new policies to protect religious liberty of every American, regardless of their creed.

And because the President and I believe that the freedom of speech should not end at the threshold of our churches and places of worship, this President has taken action to end enforcement of the Johnson Amendment.  And we will not rest until it is repealed off the laws of this country once and for all.  (Applause.)

To protect the God-given rights enshrined in our Constitution, this President has been busy appointing strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level.  In fact, last year we set a record — with the strong support of the leadership of the Senate, we set a record for confirming the most judges to the federal courts of appeals than any President in American history.  And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States.  (Applause.)

And like all of you, the President and I have been deeply moved by the suffering of Christians and persecuted religious minorities across the wider world — especially in the Middle East, where we’ve literally seen the largest exodus of believers since the days of Moses.

Last year, at the President’s direction, I announced that the United States would stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the UN.  And for the first time, America is providing support directly to nongovernmental organizations working with Christian and persecuted communities in the Middle East.  (Applause.)

Now we’ve made progress in recent months.  Across our administration, we’ve already devoted more than $110 million to this effort.  But there’s still more work to do, and USAID is working the issue as we speak.  And Mark Green of USAID will be traveling — will be traveling to Iraq in just a few days to see to it himself.

But I want to make a promise to each and every one of you: We will not rest until we give our fellow Christians and persecuted communities across the Middle East the resources and support they need to recover, rebuild, and flourish in their ancient homeland once again.  (Applause.)

And finally, I couldn’t be more proud to stand with a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life.  (Applause.)  President Donald Trump is the most pro-life President in American history.  (Applause.)

I mean, think about it.  One of his very first acts in office, our President reinstated the Mexico City policy, denying any federal aid dollars to organizations that promote or perform abortions around the world.

We withdrew the United States from the U.N. Population Fund in order to prevent our tax dollars from supporting forced sterilization or abortion overseas.

In fact, we empowered the states to defund abortion providers.  And it was my honor, as Vice President, to cast the tie-breaking vote to allow states across America to defund Planned Parenthood.  (Applause.)

And just a few days ago, the President took action to ensure that Title X funding will not go to any programs that provide abortions.

This progress, men and women, on security and prosperity, on our most cherished values, is the result of the support of men and women like so many of you who supported our President not just in 2016, but every day since.  It comes from conservative majorities in the Congress of the United States, who’ve supported this President’s agenda every step of the way.  And it comes from the President himself and our administration, who cherish people of faith.

You know, I’ve witnessed the deep respect that our President has for this nation of faith, as he calls it.  This is a President who knows that what you do, and the ministries of your churches make an extraordinary difference in the life of our nation.

We know that what you confess with your lips is the conviction of your hearts.  We never doubt it because we see it.  We respect how you care for the most vulnerable, how you come alongside those in need each and every day with compassion and encouragement.

As the President and I have traveled around the country, we’ve seen it.  We’ve seen that when disaster strikes, it’s faith communities just like yours that are often there almost immediately with the first responders; with an outstretched hand to bind up the brokenhearted, to heal the sick.  And this President and I know that you’re the cornerstone, not just of your communities, but, in so many ways, of our country.

The Bible tells us, if the foundations crumble, how can the righteous stand?  Well, you and your ministries strengthen the foundation of character in our nation every day.

And so today, on behalf of the President, I want to say thank you.  Thank you to the Southern Baptist Convention for the essential and irreplaceable role you play in America.  And I’ll make you a promise: This President, this Vice President, and our administration will always stand with you.  (Applause.)  We will.

Today, we only ask the men and women of this convention to continue in your calling with renewed energy.  Stand and go and speak.  Stand in the gap.  Because in these too-divided times, I believe that your voice, your compassion, your values, and your ministries are more needed than ever before.

This is a pivotal year in the life of our nation.  What happens in the days ahead will have a profound impact on the future of this country.

But be assured of this: President Trump and I are going to continue to fight for what we know is right.  But you should also know that we recognize that the most important work in America doesn’t happen in the White House or anywhere in Washington, D.C. for that matter.  We know the most meaningful work, the most transformative work happens where you live, where your ministries impact: in the hearts and minds of the American people.

The truth is no podium that President Trump and I will ever stand behind will be of greater consequence than the pulpits you stand behind every Sunday morning.  (Applause.)  No policy we enact will ever be more meaningful than the ministries you lead.  And no action we take will ever be more powerful than your prayers.

As I close, let me just say that it is deeply humbling for this small-town boy to have the privilege to serve all of you as your Vice President of these United States.  And I thank you for the privilege.  (Applause.)  I do.

I’m more grateful for that privilege the more I’m in this job because over the past year-and-a-half, just like the President, I’ve done a lot traveling around this country and my admiration for the American people has only grown.  I’ve seen the compassion, and the character, and the generosity of the American people.  And I’ve seen the faith of this country writ large and put into practice.

I’ve seen that faith in the wake of hurricanes, and tornadoes, and wildfires — where men and women of faith are right there on the scene working their hearts out to help people put their lives back together.

I’ve seen it in the good Samaritans who come alongside the least fortunate in our cities and are involved every day in helping give people a second chance at life.

And I’ve seen it not far from here, in a small town called Sutherland Springs.  Like all of you, our hearts were broken last year when we learned of the horrific attack on First Baptist Church — a church that’s part of this convention family.  It was the site of the worst attack on a house of worship in American history, and we mourn with those who mourn, and grieve with those who grieve.  We still grieve the loss of lives of promise.

Just a few days after the attack though, Karen and I traveled to Texas where we joined Dr. Gaines.  We were just reflecting on it backstage before I came out.

We were there to participate in a memorial service at a nearby high school, but before we went out, we had time with the families.  As Karen and I walked through the library, we met the injured.  We met families of the fallen, still shattered by the evil of that morning.  And what we saw beyond the pain was extraordinary.

Through all the tears, in the midst of such loss, the light of the faith and the hope of the people of that church shone through.  Theirs was a small church, but their faith was not small.  And today, I’m especially honored to be here today with a great man of faith who leads that church and led them through that dark valley: the pastor of First Baptist Church, Pastor Frank Pomeroy.  (Applause.)

Pastor Pomeroy and I were just talking backstage about that day.  And here was a pastor in the midst of unspeakable loss who was there for his church.  But the work he had done, sowing in the truths of the faith, shone forth that day.

The fact is, Mr. Pomeroy and I were just talking — I saw one of the survivors just about a month ago at the White House on the National Day of Prayer.  Dave had been shot eight times that day at the church.  But when we visited him at the hospital in the week afterwards, Dave had his whole family around him.  And he was so proud to tell me that that Tuesday night, he hadn’t missed his men’s Bible study because they all came to his hospital room to have it.  (Laughter and applause.)

Dave’s doing well.  He was standing in the Rose Garden when I saw him; I barely recognized him.  And he’s on our hearts today, as all the members of that church are.  But Pastor Pomeroy just told me — he said, “Dave’s doing just fine.”  I said, “Does he still got that Bible study going?”  He said, “Actually, he’s leading three now, including several of the nurses at the hospital, who asked him to lead a Bible study after he was discharged.”  (Applause.)

You know, the faith Karen and I saw on that day will always inspire us, as does the faith that I know lives in all of you, and in all of the churches and congregations represented here.  Seeing you all here today just gives me renewed confidence — renewed confidence about our nation’s future.

And as I close, let me just urge each one of you to continue to do what each one of you do every day — preach the word, “in season and out of season.”  Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have.  (Applause.)  Keep changing lives, keep ministering to the spiritual and the practical needs of the American people, especially the most vulnerable.

And let me respectfully encourage you to do one more thing.  As the late and great Reverend Billy Graham reminded us years ago, in his words, “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get on our knees.”  So I urge you, in these challenging times of threats abroad and too much division at home, let’s pray for America, for all the people of America, and all who serve her at home and abroad.  (Applause.)

And on this one, I want to be clear, I’m not talking about praying for an agenda or for a cause.  I rather like what President Lincoln said in his time when he was asked if he thought God was on the side of the Union Army.  Our 16th President simply replied, “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”  (Applause.)

So let’s pray for America — for America matters, far beyond our shores.  And when you pray, pray with confidence.  I’ll always believe those ancient words recorded millennia ago, that Americans have clung to in much more challenging times than we face today, are still every bit as true today: That if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He will do like He’s always done through the long and storied history of this country.  He’ll hear from heaven.  He’ll heal this land — this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  (Applause.)

So thank you again for the honor to speak today.  It’s a joy to be with you all.  I know that with your support and prayers, with the strong support of leaders at every level of government, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much.  Thank you for the honor of being with you today.  God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

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Court Rules the Bible is ‘Incompatible with Human Dignity’ Over Transgender Opposition

A recent court case that ended in a ruling that Christianity is “incompatible with human dignity.”

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They are coming for your freedoms and your religion, Christians. No better example of that can be found than the recent court case that ended in a ruling that Christianity is “incompatible with human dignity.”

A British court ruled that the Christian Bible is a distinct evil because of its supposed opposition to the mental health problem that is transgenderism.

Yes, it is a British court, but do not make the mistake to imagine that radical transgender activists are not looking at this outcome and looking for a way to replicate it here in the U.S.A.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Dr. David Mackereth, a doctor in the UK National Health Service for 26 years, who was fired for the crime of refusing to call a biological man a woman.

But the court decided to go much farther than merely ruling if the Dr. has grounds and instead launched a full force attack on the Bible and the doctor’s Christian religion.

Mackereth told the court that when his administrators called him on the carpet for refusing to use the transgender person’s “correct pronoun,” he was also attacked for his Christian beliefs.

In short order, the experienced doctor was fired for standing on his religious principles.

According to Daily Wire, the doctor’s attorney, Michael Phillips, told the court, “His belief in the truth of the Bible, and in particular, the truth of Genesis 1:27: ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ It follows that every person is created by God as either male or female. A person cannot change their sex/gender at will. Any attempt at, or pretense of, doing so, is pointless, self-destructive, and sinful.”

Mackereth openly admitted that he felt transgenderism is “rebellion against God.” But he also said he has no doubt that some people sincerely feel they are trapped in the wrong body and he feels sympathy for them. Still, he added that the current trend toward pushing people into transgenderism is political, not scientific.

But the court went on the attack, Daily Wire continued:

The court’s ruling stated: “Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.” The court added. “… in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”

The doctor says that he intends to appeal the decision.

“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians – and any other NHS member of staff – to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the UK,” he said.

This is what the left wants to replicate here, folks. Do not doubt it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Religion

Court Orders Univ. of Iowa Admins to Pay Costs for Anti-Christian Discrimination Suit

Several officers of the University of Iowa have been ordered to pay out of their own pockets for discriminating against a Christain student group.

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A vice president and several other officers of the University of Iowa have been ordered to personally pay out of their own pockets for costs associated with a religious discrimination lawsuit after they tossed a Christian student group off the campus for supposedly discriminating against gays.

A federal court ruled that the officials violated the student group’s rights to religious freedom. The ruling also left open the possibility that the University’s president, Bruce Harreld, could also be held liable, according to Becket Law.

Indeed, the university didn’t just kick the Christian student group off the campus, they also eliminated student groups headed by Sikhs, Muslims, and Latter-day Saints.

The university took the actions at the behest of the transgender and LGBTQ student groups who complained that that the religious-based groups barred gays from being officers in their clubs.

The Christian club, called InterVarsity, has been on the Iowa campus for more than 25 years.

InterVarsity also operates on 77 college campuses across the country.

InterVarsity welcomes anyone as a member but requires its club officers to follow certain religious strictures. But last year, the university suddenly began taking actions against the club over its religious requirements despite 25 years of allowing the club to operate along the same rules.

The university began limiting the club’s movements on campus, then even froze the club’s bank account., and finally told students that the club was being canceled for “lack of interest,” all because it would not allow gays to take offices in the club.

But the group argued that it could not operate legitimately if it was forced to break its own beliefs.

“We must have leaders who share our faith,” said Greg Jao, Director of External Relations at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. “No group—religious or secular—could survive with leaders who reject its values. We’re grateful the court has stopped the University’s religious discrimination, and we look forward to continuing our ministry on campus for years to come.”

The student group’s lawyer celebrated the decision:

In upholding the group’s right to be on campus, the court noted that, just last January—in the related case of BLinC v. University of Iowa—it already warned the University against enforcing its policy unevenly. The court stated it “would never have expected the University to respond to that order by homing in on religious groups” like InterVarsity, while “carving out explicit exemptions for other groups. But here we are.” The court did “not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable,” since it “plainly” doubled down on the exact same conduct the court had already held unlawful. In a hearing last week, the court described the University’s conduct as “ludicrous” and “incredibly baffling.”

“It’s too bad it took twice for the University to learn its lesson,” said Daniel Blomberg, senior counsel at Becket. “There was no excuse the first time for squashing students’ First Amendment rights. University officials nationwide should now take note that religious discrimination will hit them in the pocketbook.”

This ruling is definitely a strike in favor of religious freedom against the cancel-culture leftists who want everyone to bow to the radical gay agenda.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Religion

A New Battle in Fredericksburg, Virginia

My Irish-American blood recoils whenever I hear the word “Fredericksburg.” So many young Irishmen were sent to an early death because of the slaughter there.

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By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.

My Irish-American blood recoils whenever I hear the word “Fredericksburg.” So many young Irishmen were sent to a needless early death because of the slaughter that occurred in that Virginia city 53 miles south of Washington, D. C., during the American Civil War in December 1862.

The forces of Robert E. Lee grabbed the high ground at Fredericksburg and waited. By the time the Union forces got there, the best they could do was just recklessly send wave after wave of young soldiers (including many Irishmen) to their deaths. Lee reportedly said then, “It is well that war is so terrible—otherwise we would grow too fond of it.”

Now there’s a new battle brewing in Fredericksburg. Of far less consequence, of course. This one doesn’t involve bullets and artillery, but Bibles and arguments.

There’s a retirement community in Fredericksburg that wants to evict a retired Lutheran minister (in his 80s) and his wife if he continues to hold Bible studies there, which many of the residents have asked him to do.

For my radio show, I interviewed attorney Lea Patterson of First Liberty Institute, which bills itself as the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty.

Patterson said that Ken Hauge and his wife moved into a retirement community in early 2017. Because he’s a retired minister, some of the residents asked if he could start a Bible study there. He agreed.

Patterson told me that they started out meeting in an apartment. Then they wanted to meet in the community room, which is used for baby showers, bingo games, knitting clubs, and so on. The management was reluctant to grant that request, and it took the rest of 2017 before they were able to get permission to meet in the community room.

Management initially wanted the Bible study to be called a “Book Review.” They used the room for a few months, but Patterson told me, “in July [2018], the management issued a new policy declaring that residents could not use the community room for religious purposes. Now on the same day of that policy, the management sent Ken and his wife a notice threatening to evict them if Ken continued to lead Bible study.”

First Liberty sent a letter to the retirement home and received no response. Two months later, they sent a letter  to HUD, wherein they accused the retirement home of a “pattern of religious discrimination.” This not only included trying to shut down Rev. Hauge’s Bible study, but also “penalizing and prohibiting residents from audibly saying grace at resident social dinners, and adopting a policy prohibiting residents from engaging in religious activity in Evergreens’ Community Room.”

The letter adds that “several Evergreens residents attempted to interfere with the Bible study on several occasions. At least one of these residents harassed and verbally abused Hauge and other Bible study attendees on the basis of their religious beliefs and practice. For example, this individual has confronted Hauge in the hallway and subjected him to profane rants concerning the Bible study.”

Patterson told me in the interview, “The rub seems to be that there are a few other residents who are offended by the religious content of the Bible study, and that’s where the problem seems to be coming from. I know that an apartment complex has a responsibility to balance the interests of its residents, but it has to do so in a way that conforms to the requirements of the law.”

The First Liberty letter cites chapter and verse from the law, which prohibits discrimination “against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of . . . religion”

Ironically, liberals are always saying things like, “If you don’t like the porn on TV, change the channel or turn it off.” But these Christophobes were horrified at the idea of a peaceful Bible study going on down the hall. You would think that these people who are soon going to meet their Maker and give an account for their lives might want to make peace with Him beforehand. But apparently not.

Patterson told me, “No one is forcing anybody to go [to the Bible study]. It’s open to anyone who wants to come; and if someone doesn’t want to, they don’t have to…..It just seems like the strangest sort of case…The idea of someone being threatened with losing their home [in their twilight years] because they just want to hold a Bible study with friends.”

Patterson noted that the founding fathers certainly never set out to create a “religion-free world,” but rather a free one. I certainly pray and hope that First Liberty wins the new battle in Fredericksburg.

###

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 30 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

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Religion

Farrakhan: I’m Not an Anti-Semite. I’m ‘Anti-Termite’

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“So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an antisemite — stop it! I’m anti-termite! I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.”

No violation, so says Twitter… This guy is still on tweeting away but conservatives like me get a permanently banned without a warning or a real reason and without any recourse whatsoever!

 

Breitbart:

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed a gathering in Detroit on Sunday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March, and used it as a platform to launch yet another attack on Jews, calling them “termites.”

Farrakhan posted clips of his speech to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet … I’m not mad at you, ’cause you’re so stupid,” Farrakhan said.

“So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an antisemite — stop it! I’m anti-termite! I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.”

Farrahkan also spoke out against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. More

Hot Air:

Some conservatives on Twitter are wondering why the clip below, posted by Farrakhan’s own account, isn’t grounds for being banned from the platform. Fair question. Fair enough, in fact, that Twitter HQ might end up agreeing, if only to blunt the recurring accusations of a double standard in this case. If it stays up, though, the reason is that because Farrakhan has many admirers among black Americans he qualifies as “progressive” no matter how much Goebbels-style bilge about vermin might escape his lips. There’s no other explanation for why Bill Clinton would have felt comfortable appearing onstage with him six weeks ago. If Democrats, particularly black Democrats, say Farrakhan’s okay then he’s okay. Next subject. More

 

Farrakhan and his followers have routinely referred to Jews as termites. Termites are destructive insects that bore from within and are exterminated when found. So what do you think he means? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Religion

College Offering New Class on Fitting ‘Queer Theory’ Into Christian Bible

A new course is now being offered by Pomona College in which the Bible is strained through a gay perspective so that Christianity can be turned “queer.”

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A new course is now being offered by Pomona College in which the Bible is strained through a gay perspective so that Christianity can be turned into a “queer” religion.

Pomona is offering “Queer Theory and the Bible” for the coming 2019 semester and the class reportedly falls under “Religious Studies” at the school.

The Claremont, California, college calls its class a way to “queer” the Bible saying, “This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.”

According to Campus Reform:

“Queer Theory and the Bible” will teach students how to read the Bible “through queer theory,” by examining excerpts that are “central to prohibitions on homosexuality,” as well as “discourses of heteronormativity” through which “homophobic readings of the Bible” are born.

“We will also look at the ways in which these discourses and the identities they shore up can be ‘queered,’ as well as at biblical texts that can be read as queer friendly,” the course description reads. “This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.”

The course is classified as a “Religious Studies” course and as such satisfies Pomona’s “Analyzing Difference” category of general education requirements. Students who take “Queer Theory and the Bible” will earn one credit.

Pomona student Daniel Silverman told Campus Reform that the requirement “meets a certain demand on campus.”

“The overall socio-political environment among both students and faculty at Pomona lies deep into the left of the political spectrum,” he explained. “As I see it, ‘Queer Theory and the Bible’ and other similar classes related to gender theory exist because there is a high demand among students to enroll in those courses.”

In other words, the class aims to re-write the Christian religion to push the radical gay agenda.

Interestingly, Silverman admits that our system of (mis)education has a bias against a conservative viewpoint because he noted that the class would probably be better served if it was taught with the balance of a more traditional, conservative Christian class in order to “enrich the dialogue and discussion within the course.”

However, he doubted that it would be a viable model because no one would sign up for the new course.

“I will note that if the course was co-taught with a conservative professor, I imagine that fewer Pomona students would enroll in it than otherwise, as students on campus, in general, don’t seem interested in learning from conservative professors,” Silverman wrote

But Silverman went on to celebrate that the “queering” of the Bible was a serious educational study of the Bible instead of the left-wing propaganda that it really is.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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City of Atlanta Loses: Must Pay $1.2 Million to Fire Chief Fired Over His Christian Views

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by the city in 2015 because of a book he published where he expressed his Christian views.

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Former fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by the city of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2015 because of a book he published where he expressed his Christian views. Now the city will have to pay Cochran a $1.2 million settlement.

After two years of fighting the city, a Federal District Court ruled in December 2017 that the city’s policies leading to Cochran’s firing were unconstitutional. Now, after many more months of stalling, the city has reached a settlement.

As Fox News reported:

The city of Atlanta has settled a lawsuit with a former fire chief over his firing for a book containing passages which some saw as anti-gay.

The Atlanta City Council approved a settlement agreeing to pay fired Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran $1.2 million.

In 2013, Cochran wrote a book about his Christian faith titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” for a men’s Bible study and gave it to around a dozen subordinates he said had either requested copies or shared his beliefs

The city said that the court ruling left them no choice:

A spokesperson for the City of Atlanta said that “based upon findings of the Court that could have resulted in tax payers paying millions of dollars in damages and litigation fees negotiated settlement was recommended by legal counsel.”

“Our Administration remains committed to achieving One Atlanta—a city that is fair, just and inclusive,” the spokesperson told FOX 5. “The City is developing the first LGBTQ employee resource group to support our City employees. The hiring of the City’s first-ever, full-time LGBTQ affairs coordinator, the establishment of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and the funding of the City’s first Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are also examples of our commitment to ensuring that Atlanta remains a welcoming city for all.

As CBN News reported:

Cochran’s career had been about protecting others. For 30 years, he did that as a firefighter. He served as the US Fire Administrator under President Barack Obama and led the City of Atlanta to attain the highest level of fire and rescue preparedness for the first time in its history.

But that came to an end in 2015, when the City of Atlanta fired him because he wrote a men’s devotional book in his spare time – a book that briefly mentions his views on a biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality.

As CBN News reported, the city did not approve of Chief Cochran’s book. After a 30-day suspension without pay, in order to complete “sensitivity training,” and an investigation into his conduct (which showed he had never discriminated against anyone in the fire department), his career came to an end in Atlanta.

This led Cochran to embark on a three-year legal battle that he says was never just about him.

“The government can’t force its employees to get its permission before they engage in free speech. It also can’t fire them for exercising that First Amendment freedom, causing them to lose both their freedom and their livelihoods,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot in a press release. “We are very pleased that the city is compensating Chief Cochran as it should, and we hope this will serve as a deterrent to any government that would trample upon the constitutionally protected freedoms of its public servants.”

Well, looks like Mr. Cochran is right, after all.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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German Catholic Church Accused of Covering Up Child Abuse by 1,670 Clergymen

A leaked report notes that the German Catholic Church establishment tried to cover up the child abuse allegedly committed by 1,670 clergymen.

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A leaked report notes that the German Catholic Church establishment tried to cover up the child abuse allegedly committed by 1,670 clergymen.

The report, leaked by the German media outlets Der Spiegel and Die Zeit on Sept. 12, alleges that the church covered up 3,677 cases of sexual abuse from 2014 and stretching back all the way to 1946.

According to CNSNews:

Most of the victims were younger than 14 years old. Most were boys.

In many cases, according to Der Spiegel reporter Walter Mayr, “the accused clergymen were moved to another location, without the new parish being given ‘the pertinent information’ about the abuser.”

Out of the 1,670 alleged abusers, the Church only laicized 41 priests and excommunicated 81, and only placed drastic sanctions on 7.8% of the abusers, according to LifeSiteNews.

As LifeSiteNews wrote, “The report shows that many abusing priests were simply transferred to other parishes and that only one-third of them were ever investigated by the Church.”

According to Die Zeit reporter Evelyn Finger, the Church’s chosen punishments were “less than fitting.”

Finger said that the Church “chose rather soft punishments such as early retirement, interdiction to celebrate Mass, therapy, leave of absence, reprimand, low fees, or just simply retreats.”

The German media also noted that the majority of abusive Church officials showed “no signs of repentance.”

In fact, the report claimed that up to eight percent of the clergy was found to be abusers.

The research team claimed to have investigated 38,000 members of church hierarchy.

Worse, according to LifeSite News, the German bishops sought to gain the right to forbid the release of the report and asked the German government to prevent the publication of the report.

Still, the German Church released an apology on September 25:

“Those who are guilty must be punished,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said at a news conference to launch the report in the city of Fulda.

“For too long in the church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” he added.

“All this must not remain without consequences. Those affected are entitled to justice,” Marx said, without specifying what consequences perpetrators might face.

“For all the failure, pain and suffering, I must apologize as the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference as well as personally,” he said.

“The study .. makes it clear to us that the Catholic Church has by no means overcome the issue of dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.”

The report, though is sure to continue to create questions.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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