Those familiar with recent history will remember that one of the attack groups that got Chief Justice Roy Moore removed from office was the Southern Poverty Law Center located in Montgomery, Alabama. Richard Cohen, a lawyer for the SPLC, led the charge against Moore. After their success in getting Moore removed, the SPLC, the ACLU, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the state of Alabama to recover more than $500,000 in court costs.
Garrison Keillor, the soft-spoken, folksy host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” has shown his dark side with comments he made during a speech at Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and during his radio monologue the Saturday after the election. According to a transcript of the show, Keillor said, “I am now the chairman of a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians.
The battle over evolution is on again in Cobb County, Georgia. While it’s not quite Scopes II, the encounter is showing that even with its near educational monopoly, evolutionists have not been able to make their case to the American people. The five-member elected school board has required that public school biology textbooks, which teach evolution as an incontrovertible fact, be required to carry the following sticker: “This textbook contains material on evolution.
A single line in the first Treaty of Tripoli (ratified June 10, 1797) is often cited as incontrovertible evidence that our founders self-consciously denied any attachment to the Christian religion, and that there is a radical separation between religion and civil government. This conclusion is based upon Article 11 of the treaty that states, in part, that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
The homosexual community is seeing red. Former President Clinton is blaming Kerry’s loss on the homosexual marriage issue. After an analysis of the vote in Pennsylvania, I’ve concluded that Bush would have won the Keystone state if Arlen Specter’s conservative primary opponent had been on the ballot. Many pro-life and anti-homosexual marriage voters did not turn out to vote because they despise Specter and were upset with Bush for supporting him over Pat Toomey.
Now that moral issues have hit the liberal Left like a ton of red bricks, they are trying to figure out how to extricate themselves from the weight of the pile. They are being counseled to talk about values. Good enough. But whose values? What values? Unless they change their views on homosexuality and abortion, to name only two value-laden issues, they can only talk about values. Those on the Left value the pro-abortion position.
Fallout from the election continues. Garry Wills, author of numerous books and articles on America’s cultural mood, has entered the debate over what went wrong when most voting Americans rejected John Kerry and elected George Bush. Here’s how Wills states it in his New York Times article “The Day the Enlightenment Went Out” (Nov. 4, 2004): “Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?
One distraught voter drove to Ground Zero and killed himself after he learned that John Kerry had lost the election. He was only 25. It’s a shame that government has become a god to so many. The disillusionment that comes when your god turns out to be a well-constructed fiction can be devastating. While no editorial writers have done themselves in over the election results, many of them are grieving and writing foolish things.
In yesterday’s web article, I issued a call to action to put the brakes on Arlen Spector’s elevation to the head of the Judiciary Committee. Apparently others had the same idea. Spector has backed off his comments, even denying that he ever said them. There is a new day in Washington as the media pundits are falling all over themselves trying to figure out the “values vote.” Democrat spinners are claiming that their message needed better packaging.
Surveys conducted after the election show that morality topped the list of important issues that brought voters to the polls. This astounded the press in England. Europe no longer has a moral center. In time, if population trends continue, Eurabia will be a reality in 30 years. Islam, as twisted a religion as it is when practiced by its extreme elements, believes in moral absolutes. Muslims have a reason to live beyond the next fashion show, broadway play, celerity marriage or who’s having whose baby out of wedlock.
As I write this, Ohio, Nevada, and New Mexico are still too close to call, at least that’s what the news guys tell us and the Democrats pray is true. The numbers are against John Kerry. He should concede, walk away with dignity, and save the country another agonizing post-election fiasco. My blood pressure can’t take it. Of course, the networks love it. They want to hold everyone in suspense to keep viewership and ad revenues up.
Election day is here! I have been criss-crossing the country teaching, debating, doing radio interviews, and answering emails on the road by Christians who want to know what to do in this election. Some are pushing third-party candidates claiming that this is the only “righteous” way to vote. Why is it that these guys have to run for president? Why not run in some local races to show that they can win and govern well?
On June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin delivered a stirring speech to those at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia that struck a profound prophetic note that serves as a disturbing warning to all who would dismiss God as the sovereign authority over the nations: All of us who were engaged in the struggle [in the war for independence] must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.
For decades, Christians have been reluctant to get involved in politics. These Christians either don’t vote or when they do vote they do so in terms of what government can do for them. Government is seen as their earthly savior. They are more concerned about where their next flu shot is coming from rather than the appointment of judges who with one vote can turn the Constitution on its head.
As with most theological positions, there are a variety of interpretations of this passage: (1) The salvation of every racial/ethnic Jew. This is an impossible interpretation. Why preach the gospel to the Jews if they’re all going to be saved?" (2) the salvation of believers–racial and spiritual Jews–throughout history. This position changes the meaning of Israel, going from literal (Rom. 11:1) to spiritual (11:26). While it’s possible; it’s unlikely; (3) the salvation of a remnant of Jews at the end of history.
God established civil government to be an avenger who brings wrath upon those who practice evil. The civil government’s power to use the sword is legitimate in certain limited cases. The Bible has mandated that the power of the sword is to keep the peace, to protect those who do what is right. Civil rulers are said to be “ministers of God” similar to the way pastors are “ministers of God.
The Bible is opposed to centralism, whether it’s political (United Nations) or religious (World Council of Churches). The tower of Babel and God’s scattering of those who were involved in its design were judged because of the potential corruption that is inherent in religious and political centralism. “The tower of Babel (Gen. 11) was [a] representative pagan architectural structure. It was probably something like the Babylonian ziggurat, a tower made up of concentric circles that resembled a ladder to heaven from whatever direction an observer approached.
Can a biblically-based government (including the civil sphere) operate within the conceptual framework of pluralism? While it depends on the definition of pluralism, let me say that the modern concept of pluralism is one of the most pernicious inventions of the twentieth century designed to eliminate the Christian religion. All sorts of evil acts are done in the name of “pluralism.” Homosexuality and abortion, for example, are defended and supported on the basis of pluralism.
“When Being Wrong Was Right” The debate in Columbus' day was not over whether the Earth was flat or round. Rather, the width of the ocean was the crucial factor; the distance between continents determined the cost and feasibility of an expedition. “The issue was the width of the ocean; and therein the opposition was right."1 Columbus had underestimated the circumference of the Earth and the width of the ocean by a significant number of miles.
“Chronological Snobbery” The modern mind cannot bear the thought that people who lived far before the twentieth century could have gotten anything right about science. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica perpetuated the myth of a flat-earth cosmology: “Before Columbus proved the world was round, people thought the horizon marked its edge. Today we know better” (1961). The people of Columbus' day knew better. A 1983 textbook for fifth-graders misinformed students by reporting that Columbus “felt he would eventually reach the Indies in the East.