Tag archives: Religion

Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Tony Perkins Respond to the Ban of Military-Themed Bibles

by FRC Media Office

June 15, 2012

On this week’s edition of Washington Watch Weekly, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS 1st ) joins FRC’s Tony Perkins to discuss the decision by the Department of Defense to withdraw its authorization for Bibles with military insignias.

Here are excerpts from Rep. Huelskamp’s interview:

The Department of Defense is more worried about the atheists than our real legitimate national security threats around this country

The separation of the military and government and [our Judeo-Christian heritage] will be a disaster… . It is just one of many attacks on faith coming out of this administration.

This does an incredible disservice to the men and women in the military… . It turns away something that can help men and women in the military.

Rep. Huelskamp also said that the ban comes at a time when extra spiritual help is needed to help deal with the high suicide rates in the military and the service members need our support.

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

April 30, 1789: Was President Washington Too Cute by Half?

by Robert Morrison

April 30, 2012

Last week, Congressman Todd Akin (R-Mo.) offered a prayer to open a meeting of his House Armed Services Subcommittee. It was a personal prayer in which the Congressman asked for divine guidance and for a spirit of conciliation among Members during sometimes rancorous proceedings. He closed by saying he offered the prayer in the name of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Uh oh! That was enough to excite the rancor of the atheizers. These are those self-appointed defenders of the constitutional separation of church and state who race to the microphones and into court to protest any mention of God, or parish the thought, Jesus in a public context.

They will doubtless be wounded and think themselves unjustly treated to be called atheizers. But is that not the effect of what they advocate? Do they not complain of any public expression of Christian faith? They say they are all for religious liberty, and many of them vigorously claim to be Christians themselves.

They simply want to have freedom of expression and freedom of worship confined to the home and churches. Away from public view. Just like it was guaranteed in the old Soviet Constitution.

One of the atheizers leaders is Rev. Barry Lynn. He heads something called Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Americans, it seems, were mostly united before the atheizers began their agitation. Since then, there has been no end of Americans disunited.

Rev. Lynn is not letting Mr. Akin get away with referring to You Know Who as his personal Savior. Thats too cute by half, said Mr. Lynn.

Mr. Lynn is always provocative. He got me thinking. I wonder if President Washington was also too cute by half. Its true that President Washington did not mention the name of Jesus in his Inaugural Address on this day in New York City in 1789.

Perhaps George Washington figured that since he was taking the Oath of Office as prescribed in the newly adopted Constitution, it would be unnecessary. He did add to the words prescribed in the Constitution these four wordsSo Help Me God.

Washington was acutely aware that everything he did and said would form a precedent for future presidents. He was also acutely careful to respect the traditions and beliefs of his fellow citizens of the new republic.

After taking the oath, in the presence of a cloud of witnesses, and asking Gods help in fulfilling his constitutional duties as the first president, Washington kissed the Bible.

Did you notice that part, Barry Lynn? George Washington actually kissed the Bible. On federal property. And in the middle of an official federal proceeding, not unlike a congressional hearing.

And before the atheizers come back with their rejoinderbut Washington never mentioned Jesuslets see what President Washington did next. He proceeded inside to deliver his first Inaugural Address to Members of the new federal Congress, diplomats, and invited guests in the Senate chamber.

From there, President Washington led the assembly to St. Pauls Church in Lower Manhattan, where the Chaplain of the Senate led them in a worship service. The Rev. Dr. Prevost also served as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New York.

Washington Irving, one of Americas best loved writers, then informs us so closed the inaugural ceremonies.

Imagine that, Mr. Lynn! On that day inManhattanwere assembled hundreds of those who had drafted, approved, and then ratified the new Constitution. No one, according to the historical account, jumped up to protest the oath, or the kissing of the Bible by the newly intalled president. No one seems to have run out of St.Pauls offended at hearing the name of Jesus.

Can Barry Lynn or any of the other atheizers show us where and when the Constitution that Washingtonvowed to preserve, protect, and defend has been amended to make references to God or Jesus Christ unconstitutional?

If the atheizers now believe we should banish all references to God and all mention of Jesus from public life, they have a right in this free republic to advocate for this change. They have a right to offer an amendment to the Constitution to bring about the naked public square they seem to crave. Maybe their friends in the Anti-Christian Litigation Unit will draft their amendment for them.

But until they amend George Washingtons Constitution, I believe Congressman Todd Akin was not too cute by half. I believe he was acute. Mr. Akin was as acute as George Washington was in acknowledging publicly his dependence on the Lord for guidance, and in expressing his gratitude for the blessings of liberty. Thank you, Congressman Akin.

Whittaker Chambers documentary competes at Indiewire

by Family Research Council

January 6, 2012

This month in 1950, Alger Hiss, an American lawyer and government official, and a Soviet spy, was convicted of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison. He was tried and convicted thanks to the efforts of Whittaker Chambers. A former communist himself, Chambers turned from what he later called the vision of Man without God and brought Hiss true political affiliations and allegiance to light. Chambers was one of our nations greatest anti-communists, and, as the author of Witness, has left a lasting mark on both conservatism and U.S. history.

Journalist and author Mark Judge is now teaming up with director Paul Moon to make a documentary about Chambers compelling and historic life.

Its a film that needs to be made for the same reasons that the works of Dante, St. Augustine and William F. Buckley (a friend of Chambers) need to be preserved, Judge said. Americas public schools and academia are certainly not interested in remembering the man who revealed Soviet espionage in the United States government.

Judge and Moons project, The Story of Whittaker Chambers, is currently competing for recognition and support at Indiewire.com. Each day Indiewire picks a Project of the Day to feature, and every week readers vote for one project to consult with an independent film website like SnagFilms or IndieGoGo. These Project of the Week winners compete to be the Project of the Month, and the winner gets to consult with the Sundance Institute, which runs the esteemed Sundance Film Festival. Voting is today, and its free. To support The Story of Whittaker Chambers, visit http://apps.facebook.com/my-polls/pomzh4m to vote.

And heres a poignant and applicable quote from Chambers that should resonate today: Economics is not the central problem of this century. It is a relative problem which can be solved in relative ways. Faith is the central problem of this age.

CMI on the War on Christmas

by Family Research Council

December 22, 2011

The Media Research Centers Culture and Media Institute (CMI) recently posted an article about the war on Christmas, documenting how some in the media ignore or demean attacks on Christmas as phony and fake. One of the attacks on Christmas that they list comes from JP Duffys experience at a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD.

CMI fellow Erin Brown writes, Even our tolerant Federal government is playing the Grinch card this year. According to FoxNews.com, A group of Christmas carolers was thrown out of a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD, after the post office manager told them they were not allowed to sing Christmas carols on government property.

Brown documents a long series of attacks over the last couple of years, as well as the reactions of numerous liberal media types that ignore or mock the war on Christmas.

These days, the war on Christmas is fought by the Christian right … [Catholic League President] William Donahue and Rupert Murdochs New York Post, traditional combatants in the war on Christmas, have trained their Yuletide guns on someone, not for railing out put the Christ back in Christmas, but for failing to worship Santa Claus, Keith Olbermann accused on his old MSNBC show Countdown in November of last year.

If youre not convinced that theres a war on Christmas, check out the page, and a few of the attacks it documents:

In upstate New York, one school district has declared that Christmas and Hanukkah will no longer be celebrated in classrooms. According to FOX/WROC, The Batavia City School District will no longer allow decorations for either holiday to appear in classrooms as well as teachers are discouraged from writing or saying Merry Christmas. In Fairfax County, Va., grade-schoolers are treated to winter celebration. In Texas, another school district has declared war on Christmas this time, classrooms are not allowed to celebrate Santa Claus or exchange gifts.

Some attacks on Christmas are downright weird. The Huffington Post has the Skeleton Santa story, which Brown also documents in her article.

Thankfully, this hopeful time of year isnt built on the backs of Christmas displays shimmering on lawns and in storefronts. Its founded on the birth of hope: Christ Jesus our Lord.

Start a Church Adoption Fund

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 9, 2011

November is National Adoption Month, which is why FRC today was proud to host Ryan Bomberger for his lecture, “Adoption: Be the Hope.” Ryan was himself adopted and, with his wife, has adopted two children. You can watch his moving presentation here. To learn about the pro-life, pro-adoption ministry of Ryan’s Radiance Foundation, go to www.theradiancefoundation.org.

One of the most daunting obstacles to adoption is its up-front cost, which can be as much as $40,000 per child. Although the federal adoption tax credit is very helpful, it does not cover what can be, for families of ordinary means, a great financial challenge.

It’s for that reason that the adoption ministry Lifesong (a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) has set-up a program to help churches develop adoption funds. An adoption fund is a designated line-item in a church’s budget that helps church members pay for their adoption costs, either through a direct financial gift or low-or no-interest loan. As the beneficiaries of one such fund, my wife and I are eternally grateful for the generosity and selflessness of God’s people in helping us adopt our three children.

This creative ministry is designed to fulfill one of the greatest elements of the Gospel — to love those in need for the sake of, and in the power of, Jesus Christ. No one better fits that description than orphaned children who need a loving Christian home. Lifesong provides a great way of meeting a great need.

To learn more about adoption and related ministries, go to FRC’s www.RealCompassion.org, through which you can link to many organizations helping children at home and abroad.

Jesus the Economist? Or Something Else?

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 4, 2011

Christianity asserts that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person who lived in the space-time continuum. He had a physical body, felt hunger, had full use of His senses, and worked for years as a skilled laborer.

The New Testament also claims that He was eternal God in the flesh, the Savior of the world Whose atoning death and justifying resurrection are the basis of the redemption of all who will trust in Him for forgiveness.

These propositions are striking enough without the other claims being made about Jesus in the political world, which are many. Consider some recent headlines:

Occupy London are true followers of Jesus, even if they despise religion

What Would Jesus Drive?

Best-selling socialist publication of all time remains the Bible

Jesus was a Communist” - new movie by Matthew Modine,

From Jesus Socialism to Capitalist Christianity,

Marx, Capitalism, and Jesus

What Would Jesus Hack?

Was Jesus an Early Applied Economist?

For the record: Jesus affirmed the right to own property and encouraged honest labor. Several of the disciples were in a fishing business that included ownership of several boats, indicating that they were appropriately ambitious and hard-working (Luke 5:11).

Also, it is a tribute to Jesus enduring, penetrating, and inescapable power that political philosophers, economists, and even entertainers are so eager to nab Him for their agendas.

However, my point is not to get into a discussion about Jesus and His teachings concerning business, taxes, or economics generally. Rather, it is this: Should we not summon the moral courage to deal with His overt and profound claims before we wander off into asking if He would drive a Prius, or if He would support budget reductions? At what point do such musings become trivial, even irreverent?

It is wholly honorable to consider the implications of living a Christ-filled life in contemporary times. Yet the effort to claim Jesus for an ideological agenda or to capture Him as some kind of pre-Marxian redistributionist is ludicrous in itself, and also keeps us from the main issue: Was He the God-Man, the Lord of all, filled with grace and truth, or, as one writer has put it, just a carpenter gone bad?

Shouldnt we be asking the main questions first? Remember, Jesus never said, Follow Me, and become a socialist. Rather, His question was, Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:15).

Whats your answer?

Is Marriage Even Relevant Anymore?

by Family Research Council

September 28, 2011

A recent Relevant magazine piece entitled (Almost) Everyones Doing it reveals that young adults ages 18-29 are having pre-marital sex more often than not. According to a 2009 survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 88% of all young adults have had sex before marriage. What should be shocking is that 80% of all self-identified Evangelical young adults have done the same.

Dont Christians understand the Bible on this issue? According to a Gallup poll quoted by Relevant, 76% of Evangelicals have a clear Biblical understanding on this issue. Or, to reverse the data, 24% of Evangelicals are alright with premarital sex.

Is the data really shocking though? In a world where nothing is sacred, and where what used to be considered sacred is now fodder for ridicule via every form of entertainment and media, why should the sanctity of marriage be considered any different? Young adults have grown up in an MTV world, where sexuality is glorified in television shows like Skins and where one cannot buy groceries without being confronted by magazine covers taunting chastity.

One professor quoted by Relevant says that a major sociological difference that contributes to (but does not excuse) the growing statistic of pre-marital sex is the average age of marriage. He compares Biblical arranged marriages of early adolescents to the current average ages of 28.1 for men and 26.1 for women. I posit that this temptation is not a modern one: Paul addresses it in 1 Cor. 7:8-9. Instead, it can be argued that adults ages 18-29 have grown up in an instant gratification society, where patience is no longer a virtue. This is even understood and glorified by secular society, as exemplified by the Black Eyed Peas song Now Generation with lyrics like I just cant wait, I need it immediately.

Merge the two contributing factors of an over-sexualized society, along with a generation craving instant gratification, and it is no surprise that young adults are engaging in pre-marital sex more than ever. What we need is an Evangelical culture that not only volitionally is against pre-marital sex, but practices what is preached. The church needs to restore that which is sacred, encourage young adults to stay pure, and exemplify purity to the secular world. Eighty percent of young Evangelicals is eighty percent too much.

WSJ: Britains Chief Rabbi on the Riots—Causes and Solutions

by Cathy Ruse

August 22, 2011

Here is an interesting piece from Saturdays Wall Street Journal.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks posits that it is the breakdown of the family and, even more fundamentally, a turning away from its Judeo-Christian faith, that has created a moral crisis in the West of which the London riots are a symptom.

I do not agree with everything he says (when he calls the rioters victims and says its not their fault, that is a bridge too far for me), but his broader argument for the moral reinvigoration that a return to religion can bring to society, and its necessity in bringing about a common good, is persuasive.

An interesting quote from the end of the piece:

One of our great British exports to America, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, has a fascinating passage in his recent book Civilization, in which he asks whether the West can maintain its primacy on the world stage or if it is a civilization in decline.

He quotes a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tasked with finding out what gave the West its dominance. He said: At first we thought it was your guns. Then we thought it was your political system, democracy. Then we said it was your economic system, capitalism. But for the last 20 years, we have known that it was your religion.

Book Review: The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America

by Eliza Thurston

January 31, 2011

Economists of the twentieth century looked upon the depravity surrounding them and pinpointed the source of this sin: material shortages. By promoting the development of financially profitable natural resources, progressive economists believed this sin could be erased. A century later, however, this economic religion is suffering and as Robert Nelsons The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion argues, it may well be on its way out. As environmentalist values continue to permeate public policy, economic arguments are forced to reckon with a whole new ethical framework. Nelsons new book offers a fascinating interpretation of this dilemma. By examining the fundamental tenets of both economics and environmentalism The New Holy Wars provides a fresh perspective on one of the most debated issues of our time.

The New Holy Wars proposes that at their cores, both environmentalism and Western economic theory are informed by Judeo-Christian beliefs. However, the theological underpinnings of these disciplines have been remapped to form secular versions of Christianity. Taking this a step further, Nelson argues that the clash of these two competing secular religions represents the most important religious controversy in America today. It is a startling proposition for which Nelson presents a convincing case. By framing the environmental debate in spiritual terms he makes sense of the intensity with which both sides promote their worldviews. At the same time The New Holy Wars digs beyond the rhetoric to unearth those presuppositions which are essential to understanding both sides of the debate.

Perhaps most intriguing is Nelsons treatment of environmentalism. Nelson argues what few practitioners are willing to admitthe environmentalist worldview is very much a religious one. With clarity and perception he explores the Protestant (specifically Calvinist) underpinnings of the movement. Pointing back to the writings of John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Jonathan Edwards, The New Holy Wars shows how key components of Calvinism have been transformed under the guise of environmentalism. Nelson illustrates how the movements jargon speaks volumes about its philosophical commitments. Steeped in the language of moral urgency, human depravity, individualism, and asceticism that marked much of the early reformed tradition, environmentalism is not unlike its more traditional religious counterparts. But Nelson is careful not to take the association too far. When Jonathan Edwards looked upon the Book of Nature he was awed by Gods glorious and omnipotent hand in creation. In marked contrasted, John Muir responded to the same beauty with transcendentalist adoration that bordered on pantheism. For Muir and the descendents of his preservationist movement, Nature became the ultimate recipient of their worship. And herein lies what Nelson recognizes to be a serious flaw in environmental theology: its failure to offer an adequate substitute for the loving and redeeming Christian God who had been lost.

While The New Holy Wars does not offer a solution to the economic-environmental debate, it does provide significant insight into the issue. Nelsons stimulating case for the role religion plays in the economic and environmental philosophies dominating current public policy is bound to challenge his readers. Those seeking to equip themselves for todays challenges should pay heed to Robert Nelsons work.

New Survey Shows Interesting Trends in Online Activities

by Krystle Gabele

December 21, 2010

A recent Pew Internet Project Survey focused on the online activities which each generation participates in and the changes that have occurred over time. This survey is particularly interesting, especially in the areas of using the internet to obtain religious information and donating to charity.

According to the survey, the G.I. Generation, those ages 74 and older are more than 50% likely to go online to look up religious information among other things, like email or social networking. Compared to the G.I. Generation, the other groups surveyed were less than 50% likely to go online for the same information. This demographic did not change over time either.

On the other hand, donations to charity remain at less than 50% likelihood across the generations. The statistics on giving were constant without any noticeable increases, and this can be attributed to the current economic climate.

Overall, the results from this survey are not surprising, since there is a generational shift towards social networking.

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