by Michael Leaser
July 21, 2009
In the latest Mapping America, the General Social Surveys show that adults who frequently attended religious services as adolescents are less likely ever to be divorced or separated than those who did not.
In the latest Mapping America, the General Social Surveys show that adults who frequently attended religious services as adolescents are less likely ever to be divorced or separated than those who did not.
Seventy years ago on this month Paul Schneider, Germanys first Christian martyr under Nazi rule, died heroically in the concentration camp of Buchenwald. Seventy years ago from this month, Schneiders fight against the evils and wickedness of his age ended in glorious victory as he proclaimed the message of the gospel to those killing him. It is appropriate to remember such a brave man, and to be inspired by his bold stand against Nazi Germany.
Paul Schneider was born in a little town of Pherdsfeld, in northern Bavaria. His father was a Christian pastor and a loyal German citizen. Paul had great respect for his father and as a youth knew he wanted to go into the pastorate.
Paul fought for Kaiser Wilhelm II in World War I and, due to the battle wounds he received, earned the famous Iron Cross award from the military.
After the war, he attended seminary in answering the call to go into the ministry. As a young pastor, his life and the life of his country changed dramatically in 1933. That year, Adolph Hitler became the dictator of Germany.
From the beginning of the Nazi regime, Hitler targeted the German churches as a means of spreading his message and his own gospel. Unlike his fellow pastors, however, Paul Schneider refused to pollute the Gospel of Christ with the doctrines of the Nazi Party.
Schneider asked this question in a sermon to his congregation in 1934:
Where are those Christian consciences who judge righteously, who take the standard for their politics neither from National Socialism nor from socialism, but rather from the Gospel?
Despite immense pressure to stay quiet and not stand up for the truth of the gospel, Schneider became the lone vocal advocate of the Gospel and truths of Jesus Christ in his community.
He allowed only true Christians to partake of the Lords Supper and fought against incorporating the Nazi political agenda in his church.
After continuing Nazi persecution, Paul Schneider was arrested and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany.
Despite torture, beatings, humiliation, hunger, and terrible suffering, Schneiders message did not change.
He preached the Gospel from his confinement cell, and warned the Nazi guards and officers of Gods coming judgment on sin.
I must call the evil - of which I am a witness-as it really is and to make clear to the SS that they are not escaping the judgment of God, Schneider said of his protest against the Nazi guards. I am God’s messenger in this prison.
Finally Paul Schneider met his martyrdom on July 18, 1939. Schneider fell into the grip of Ding Schuler, a Nazi doctor, known as the experimental doctor. Schneider was murdered by lethal injection and his faithful wife Margarete brought his body back home for burial.
In the presence of Nazi guards, this prayer was prayed over Paul Schneiders grave:
May God grant that the witness of your Shepherd our brother remain with you and continue to impact on future generations and that it remain vital and bear fruit in the entire Christian Church.
May the life and death of Paul Schneider inspire followers of Christ here and in Europe to stand up for the timeless truths of Jesus, living out their callings in modern society.
Benjamin Scott is a summer intern at Family Research Council. He is a student at Covenant College. Benjamin Scott and his missionary family lived in Germany for eight years.
Here’s what we are reading today.
“Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering students have demonstrated a practical way to embed a patients own adult stem cells in the surgical thread that doctors use to repair serious orthopedic injuries such as ruptured tendons. The goal, the students said, is to enhance healing and reduce the likelihood of re-injury without changing the surgical procedure itself.”
“A world-renowned clinic that President Obama held up as an example of good medicine said Monday that the American people would be “losers” under the House’s health care proposal, joining the growing chorus of critics the Obama administration is trying to fend off as the debate intensifies from Capitol Hill to Main Street.”
“If you look at Alzheimer’s, it’s not the plaques and tangles that correlate best with dementia; it’s the loss of synapses - connections between neurons,” Blurton-Jones said. “The neural stem cells were helping the brain form new synapses and nursing the injured neurons back to health.”
“Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director, asked whether he was prepared to say that no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions, answered: I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. Its obviously a controversial issue, and its one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.
“The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia in conjunction with several other ally groups, late last week demanded that officials at the Rappahannock Regional Jail immediately cease censoring religious material sent to prisoners.”
As the health care debate heats up it is hard to get straightforward, understandable information on the nuts and bolts of how Obamacare will operate. Big picture, no trees, no weeds. Thats what we need. Well, there was an extremely powerful eight minute interview on Mark Levins radio show last Friday (July 17, 2009) that you must listen to. (We make it easy to do so below.)
Mark Levin interviewed Betsy McCaughey, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and the chairman and founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, about the Obama Administrations health care plan. She clearly and frighteningly describes provisions of the current House bill that will reduce care for the elderly and compel all programs to provide regimented, HMO-style care for the rest of us. (FYI, McCaughey served also as the Lt. Governor of New York from Jan. 1995 to Dec. 1998.)
If you would like to listen we are going to provide two ways to do so. First, you can click here and listen or listen below to the eight minute interview using the Family Research Council website:
We want to heartily thank The Mark Levin Show for most graciously giving FRC permission to play the audio from our website.
You can listen or download the entire Friday, July 17, 2009 program from Mark Levins website this is his Audio webpage. Once on the Audio page, do the following: 1) click on 07/17 The Mark Levin Show; and, 2) start the player at 8 minutes, 45 seconds.
I believe this audio will sharpen your focus on the key features of the health bill.
On this week’s Washington Watch radio program, FRC President Tony Perkins interviewed Senator Orrin Hatch (R - Utah) about the president’s proposed heath care overhaul.
You can find the audio of the interview here, but below is a transcript:
TONY PERKINS: Well, there is no shortage of problems with the Obama administrations bill on healthcare reform. From the massive cost to the accelerated timetable, I mean this thing is being pushed through. And this is a massive change in public policy and it is vastly expensive. And consider, this is probably about 16% or 17% of the nations economy and were talking about changing this overnight. And another concern for many Americans is the fact that this issue, if it goes through as it is presently proposed, taxpayers will be forced to fund abortion in this country for the first time in over three decades. And one of the Senators thats been leading the charge on this to make sure that Americans are not brought into the process of funding abortion is Senator Orin Hatch of Utah, who introduced an amendment last week to keep abortion out. His amendment was defeated by one vote but, he continues to bring attention to this issue and other aspects of healthcare reform. And he joins me now by phone from Capitol Hill. Senator, thanks for joining us.
SENATOR HATCH: Well, it is nice to be with you. This is a crucial time for our country because what they are trying to do on healthcare.
TONY PERKINS: Not only that but you have been involved in the hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor. I mean, you have been running back and forth. I mean they are intent on getting something out on this healthcare, are they not?
SENATOR HATCH: Well, they are. You know, they are talking about a bill in the House that will be well over a trillion dollars. Well, frankly, when you get rid of the budget gimmicks, it is one and a half trillion to two trillion dollars additional on top of the two and a half trillion dollars were already spending on healthcare in this country. And they dont seem to care about how much it is going to cost. Its just awful. And they use budget gimmicks to try to get the…, theyre trying to pretend that the costs are really lower. But theyre not lower.
TONY PERKINS: I want to get into a little of the agenda here. My guest is Senator Orrin Hatch, from the state of Utah. He is on the Health committee which has been overseeing this healthcare discussion. Its kind of been a one-sided discussion. The votes are such that the Republicans have little chance of changing anything. But you brought up something in the committee, this was expanded to include Planned Parenthood, the nations largest abortion provider. You tried to prohibit that from occurring or at least keeping clear that they could not perform abortions with tax dollars. That amendment was shot down. What, are taxpayers going to be on the hook for paying for abortion under this measure?
SENATOR HATCH: Oh, if they get their way. Now when the House committee was debating what they call the Mikulski Amendment, to expand womens health services, the author of that amendment told committee members that her amendment which would define Planned Parenthood clinics and other entities as quote essential community providers unquote would not require plans to cover abortions. My amendment simply added this language to Title I of the legislation before the committee so taxpayer dollars are not used to finance abortions except in very rare circumstances. My amendment failed by a vote of eleven to twelve in the committee. And it would have prohibited federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions unless the life of the mother was in danger or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Now essentially my amendment would have imposed the Hyde Amendment on all the health coverage options that were created through this bill. Of course this is language that Congress has included in Labor HHS appropriations bill since 1976. And it is my understanding that abortion coverage will be included in this bill because my amendment failed unless it is specifically excluded. Now more specifically based on prior administrative and legal interpretations of federal statutory law, unless abortion is specifically excluded, the Secretary of Health and Human Services could mandate coverage of abortion as both and essential health care benefit and as necessary for meeting minimum qualifying coverage.”
TONY PERKINS: And that is Kathleen Sebelius who is known, who is well known for her position, being supportive of abortion.
SENATOR HATCH: Well, it is Barack Obama. And its the whole egghead group down there at the White House as well. But Sebelius is a part of it.
TONY PERKINS: Well we know where she will come down if she has the opportunity to make this decision.
SENATOR HATCH: Thats right.
TONY PERKINS: Oh, and youre absolutely right. And thats the position weve held and we are asking our listeners, our supporters across the country to contact their senators and let them know that abortion needs to be specifically prohibited under any government plan. Our tax dollars should not go to underwrite abortion.
SENATOR HATCH: Let me tell you how bad it is, as a result of what theyre doing. Beginning in 1973, that was the year of Roe v. Wade, the federal tax payer was paying for 300,000 abortions per year until the Congress passed the Hyde Amendment in 1976, which specifically prohibited coverage of abortion. In other words, the taxpayers wouldnt have to pay for it. In the past we have always included language to prohibit taxpayers dollars to fund abortion and we did this when we were creating the CHIP Program, the Tricare, FEHBP. We also have very stringent restrictions on the funding of abortion. But when the federal Medicaid statute, just so you know how bad they are, when it was passed, nowhere in the statute did it say that abortion would be covered, but the administrators running the Medicaid program deemed abortion to be covered. And as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals explained it, quote because abortion fits within many of the mandatory care categories, including family planning, out-patient services, in-patient services and physician services, Medicaid covered medically necessary abortions between 1973 and 1976—300,000 abortions paid by the federal tax payers per year until Henry Hyde and lot of the rest of them. Well, I wasnt here at that time but they put through the Hyde Amendment, and we have maintained it ever since. So, I offered my amendment this time because I believe it is important to make it perfectly clear that the tax payer dollars will not be used to fund abortions in the new programs being created in the so called health education, labor, and pensions senate bill except in very limited circumstances, as I said the life of the mother, or the result of rape or incest. The Democrats did accept an amendment presented by Senator Tom Coburn, who has done a great job, very similar to the one that I vowed which prohibited federal dollars being spent on assisted suicide, mercy killing, or euthanasia. But they wouldnt accept our amendment. I feel very confident, in spite of the protestations that some of them said, its an effort to try to open up federal funding of abortions.
TONY PERKINS: I think youre absolutely right and thats why we appreciate the fact that you are there. You are willing to raise this issue. I know your staff has been excellent to work with on this matter. And one final question. I know you have to go Senator, and so I appreciate you joining us. This thing is being rushed through, so rapidly, I want to get your thought on this right now. What do you think is going to happen? What should the American people be doing right now?
SENATOR HATCH: Well, theyre going to try to put both the House bill through and the Senate bill through before we go on recess. Now if the Health bill in the Senate, the Senate health bill, becomes law and its a one-sided, partisan Democrat bill, every vote counted was 13 to ten, I believe it was, on an absolute partisan vote, if that health bill becomes law Americans will not only see American bureaucrat step in between them and their doctors but theyll see their health care costs rise. And theres a strong possibility they could lose their coverage.
TONY PERKINS: Its amazing that were going forward with this. I appreciate you raising these issues Senator. Well continue to do it on the outside. But well encourage people to contact their senators, their congressmen and express their concern over the lack of financial integrity in this measure but also the fact they would be forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion and other objectionable practices.
SENATOR HATCH: Can I say one other thing on the Mikulski Amendment? She said right in open forum that her amendment would not expand abortion services. But when I asked if she would add language prohibiting abortion, she said no. That says it all.
TONY PERKINS: It absolutely does. In fact if folks want to see that they can go to our website frcradio.org. Weve got that clip of you up there bringing up this issue and weve highlighted that because that tells the whole story, just like you said. Well, Senator Hatch thanks for being with us. Thanks for your leadership. We look forward to visiting with you again real soon.
SENATOR HATCH: Thanks for your leadership Tony. We appreciate the Family Research Council and people like you who really back us up and help us on these matters. Thanks a million. I hope that people listening will really get involved and raise cain about it
Youve doubtless read that the atheizers are in a snit again. They are kicking up dust and dashing into court. They dont want In God We Trust to be engraved over the entrance to the new Capitol Visitor Center. These grinches are always trying to steal Christmas. Maybe the atheizers need to pay more attention to what happened on the Moon.
Forty years ago, Americans and most of the rest of the world were transfixed by the sight of men landing on the Moon. U.S. astronauts had bravely gone where no men had gone before. It took bravery, too. At the last minute, the supremely skilled Neil Armstrong had to adjust the landing site. He put the lunar lander down with just seconds of fuel to spare. As he descended the ladder and became the first man to set foot on an alien world, he memorably said: Thats a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.
How grateful we can all be that political correctness had not yet risen up to demand that
he say a small step for a person, a giant leap for personkind. Or homo sapiens. Then, Armstrong and Aldrin planted an American flag and a plaque on the lunar surface. They are there still. The plaque reads:
Here Men from the Planet Earth
first set foot upon the Moon
July 1969 A.D.
We came in Peace for all Mankind.
Notice the date. Anno Domini. In the year of Our Lord. Buzz Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot on that world-historic Apollo XI flight. Aldrin wanted to do something special to commemorate mans first descent onto the Moon.
NASAs nervous nellies were still smarting from atheist complaints of the previous December. Then, when Apollo 8 circled the Moon but did not land on it, the three astronautsFrank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders— read from the Book of Genesis. On Christmas Eve, their strong and reassuring voices came across the hundreds of thousands of miles of inky void.
Now in the Lunar Module, Aldrin would have to be creative. Creative he was. With the NASA suits banning any overt religious displays, Aldrin consulted his own heart. He took from his personal pouch a small flask of wine, a chalice, and some wafers. He read from a printed card Jesuswords from the Gospel of John:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Forty years have passed since that moment. What have we accomplished in space since?
The Moon might have been explored and colonized. We might have found there the resources we needed to meet the much vaunted energy crisis. But we turned our backs on all of that.
The photos from Apollo 8 struck different people differently. For the intrepid astronautswhose wives had been told they had only a 50-50 chance of survivalawe and wonder, faith and courage were the response.
To many others, however, the sight of this pale blue marble must have been a shock.
Without a sturdy faith to sustain them, they began to speak of a fragile earth. Seeing those amazing photos must have chilled them, making them cling to this lifeboat Earth all the more desperately.
They say to themselves: He does not have the whole world in His hands; weve got it in ours, and were shaking so violently we may drop it. That at least is the subtext for much of the chicken littling we read in the media. Global cooling (1970s)? No. Global warming (1990s). No. Climate change (2000s) is the existential threat. Nuclear winter? No. Its rising oceans that threaten our very survival.
There are real consequences in this world to atheism. First comes loss of faith. Next, loss of courage. And finally loss of will. Our leaders seem to have lost the will to do what those brave Americans did before us. They have lost that amazing insouciance of young Jack. Kennedy. On the day before he died, J.F.K. blithely said: This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space, and we have no choice but to follow it.
The night we landed on the Moon, someone put a bouquet on John F. Kennedys grave at Arlington. His great task was accomplished: Mr. President, said the unsigned note, the Eagle has landed.
Is global warming the gateway to global governance? Before you tune me out, those are not my words. They are the words of Al Gore, the guru of global warming.
Recently in a speech in the United Kingdom, the former Vice President praised Congress for passing the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill, saying it was a step in the right direction. But he didnt stop there.
Mr. Gore went on to say, It is the awareness (of global warming) itself that will drive the change. One of the ways it will drive the change is global governance and global agreements.
His matter of fact candor belies repeated denials that embracing the proposed solutions to the global warming hype would lead to the loss of national sovereignty among other things. In the end, the effort to stop supposed global warming is about power, not people. Its a twisted view that says political power must be consolidated so that we can save the planet.
This reminds me of another group that consolidated their power to reach the heavens at the Tower of Babble. Whenever man thinks he can manage his own affairs without God, whether personally or through some form of global government or anything in between, confusion and disarray ensue just like at Babble.
For more about the global warming debate, click here to listen to the audio of our important panel discussion, Faith and Science in the Global Warming Debate. The experts on the panel were Dr. Calvin Beisner, Dr. Kenneth Chilton, Rev. Dr. Jim Ball, and Dr. Lowell Rusty Pritchard.
Links to the charts mentioned in the video:
Chart 2: House Democrats Health Care Plan
Chart 3: Heritage.org: “Surtax Would Push Income Tax Rates to More Than 50 Percent”
After a brief hiatus, Blogosphere Buzz is back with today’s focus being on health care. There is a lot of buzz on health care.
The Obama Administration is off to a lightning-fast start passing legislation on everything from financial system bailouts to corporate acquisitions. Despite criticism from many conservatives, the truth is that these bills are just modest first steps. We really wont see anything bold until the second Obama term, when the logic of the first-term ideas really takes hold. Heres a peek:
This glimpse of the future is offered as a public service with the understanding that the actual text of the bills will not be available unti1 20 years after their enactment by the totally transparent Democratic Congress expected in the year 2013.