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Sunday, April 23, 2017

To Understand Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection, We Must Understand Sin

In one of my favorite songs—Worlds Apart by Jars of Clay—singing of the death of Jesus, the lyrics ask (at about the 2:29 mark in the linked video) “Did you really have to die for me?” The answer, of course, is a resounding “YES!”

One of the most important questions in the history of the universe is “Why did Jesus have to die?” (After beginning this piece, I discovered that The Christian Post recently published “Why Did Jesus Die?”) This is especially the case as we are in the throes of what many are referring to as the “post-truth” era, where “Everybody Wants to Rule Their World.” The late-great Oswald Chambers provides one of the best descriptions of why Jesus went to the cross:
The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin…There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God. 
The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus— He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh…” from “…He made Him…to be sin for us…” (1 Timothy 3:16 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both. 
The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience. The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there. 
The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened.
One of my favorite Scriptures that explains the death of Jesus is near the end of the first chapter of the book of Colossians. (Colossians 1:15-20 is one of my favorite pieces of Scripture. It is a great answer to the question “Who is Jesus?”) Colossians 1:19-20 reads:
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
In other words, Jesus was, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “The Perfect Penitent.” As Lewis puts it,
We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.
Christ dying for our sins is an amazing (and necessary) act of love and sacrifice, but it is not the end of the matter. Just as important as Christ dying for our sins is His resurrection. As I have noted for many years,
The physical resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. British theologian Michael Green said it well when he noted, “Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all.” Noted biblical scholar, professor, and author Wilbur M. Smith said that, “The resurrection of Christ is the very citadel of the Christian faith. This is the doctrine that turned the world upside down…”… 
C.S. Lewis notes that, “In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection,” or more accurately, a witness of the resurrected Christ. He adds that, “to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection.”
The facts of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection all are, of course, central to Christianity. For millennia, each of these events has been celebrated, studied, and sermonized. Most everyone—from the fervently faithful to the lukewarm to the “near Christian” to those outside Christianity—at least admires the loving life, work, and words of Jesus. However, for a complete understanding of the events of Jesus’ life—especially His death and resurrection—one must seek to understand sin and its sorrowful, destructive, and deadly effect upon humanity.

Unless you have a proper understanding of sin—especially the sin in your own life—you don’t really understand why Jesus came into this world, why He said the things He said, why He did the things He did, and why He died and was raised to life again. The first act of Jesus’ public ministry was His baptism by John. As Jesus came to the Jordan River, John declared (John 1:29), “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Since the first humans decided that they wanted to “be like God,” the world has been plagued—literally cursed—by sin. In the healing of the paralyzed man at Capernaum (recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke), Jesus reveals the “sickness” from which human beings are in most need of a cure. After his friends went through the difficult work of getting their paralyzed friend to the roof of a crowded house where Jesus was teaching, and after they labored to lower their friend into the room so that he could get closer to Jesus, what were the first words out of Jesus’ mouth? As the Book of Mark records, Jesus, seeing the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends, immediately declared to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

If you’re an adult and you haven’t suffered yourself, you’ve probably at least witnessed a loved one go through a difficult time with his or her health. Imagine him struggling with an injury or illness and when he visits a physician he believes can heal him, the first thing he is told is that his sins are forgiven. Unless one understands that his or her greatest need is spiritual, such a statement would probably fall very flat. Jesus spent His entire life on earth trying to get people to see what they really needed.

More so than any other human who has walked this planet, Jesus knew—and knows—what we need most. He understood perfectly the sin-sickness of humanity and that He alone had—and still has—the cure.

People don’t like hearing that things in their life need to change; that they are on the wrong path; that the things they are currently enjoying are really quite evil and deadly. (Being the father of four children—ages 8, 11, 13, and 15—I’ve experienced this often firsthand.) In other words, people don’t like being told that they need to “repent.”

As I noted several years ago, the greatest lie ever told is that there is no God. The second greatest lie ever told is that the devil does not exist. The third greatest lie ever told is that your (and my) sin is not really sin. One of the greatest debates within the church today surrounds the question of what is sin. If we can’t answer that question well and accurately, then we will fall short of understanding and appreciating all that Jesus did for us.

As Oswald Chambers reveals above, Jesus came for no other reason than to redeem us, to save us. Save us from what? From the sin that leads to death, hell, and eternal separation from God. We don’t get to come to God and accept Jesus on our own terms. It must be unconditional surrender. We must be willing to lay down everything that is an affront to God. He created us, He sustains us, and He alone can save us.

Instead of recognizing Jesus as savior, many seem to come to Him thinking He is a divine Santa Claus, there merely to give them what they want if they only go through the proper channels. Others seem to see Jesus as some sort of cosmic yes-man, there to make them feel good about any and every decision they choose to make.

Still others—believers and non-believers alike—see Jesus simply as a powerful do-gooder, one that we are to emulate. While it’s true that Jesus healed, fed, and cast out demons because of His great love for those in need, such good deeds were not the final objective for His earthly ministry. In other words, these acts alone did not save anyone. Those healed of one disease or sickness would someday die of another. Those fed would someday be hungry again. Christ’s ultimate goal was to bring people into His Kingdom.

The ministry of God—feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick—should never be separated from the message of God—to repent of our sin and believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be: the Son of God and the savior of the world. The ministry of God and the message of God—both together complete the mission of God. In other words, God became man not simply to improve us, or to help us out of a jam, or to give us what we ask for, or to make us feel better, but to make us into new creatures.

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Power of the Resurrection

At this time of year Christians celebrate Easter, or as I prefer, Resurrection Sunday. As one scans history, no other date put such a mark in time as when Jesus Christ shed His grave-clothes and departed the tomb.

Of all the religions of the world, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder. The physical resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. British theologian Michael Green said it well when he noted, “Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all.” Noted biblical scholar, professor, and author Wilbur M. Smith said that, “The resurrection of Christ is the very citadel of the Christian faith. This is the doctrine that turned the world upside down…” Indeed it did.

C.S. Lewis notes that, “In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection,” or more accurately, a witness of the resurrected Christ. He adds that, “to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection.” And preach they did.

The transformation of the disciples of Jesus is one of the greatest evidences of His resurrection. For decades following Jesus’ death and resurrection they preached His “good news.” Biblical references and strong extra-biblical sources have almost all of the disciples dying martyrs’ deaths. James, the son of Zebedee, according to Scripture was, “put to death by the sword (probably beheaded).” According to early church historians Peter was crucified in Rome, and Paul (of course not one of the original 12, but an apostle nonetheless) was beheaded there. Strong church tradition has Thomas, the “doubting” disciple, being run through with a spear.

The manner of martyrdom of the other disciples is less clear, but strong evidence suggests all, save John, died horrific deaths because of their faith. Their unwavering efforts spread the gospel to many regions of the world, including Rome, Greece, Armenia, Persia, Syria, India, Egypt, Libya, Arabia, and North Africa.

The faith of Jesus’ Apostles spread to thousands upon thousands in a relatively short period of time. As the “good news” of Jesus spread, many of the early believers suffered intense persecution. Fulton Oursler, in The Greatest Faith Ever Known, notes that “Thousands of these men and women would die themselves in the arena, burning on pitch-soaked pyres, crucified, they would die for Jesus Christ, and for the Faith, the Church that Christ founded.”

The persecution of the church continued for centuries. Nevertheless, Christianity endured, and the number of Jesus’ followers continued to multiply. After Constantine’s conversion in the year 312 the church passed from persecution to privilege. Councils were called, the Scriptures were translated into various languages, and faithful missionaries carried the gospel to ever farther reaches of the world.

The impact of the resurrection of Jesus extends far beyond religious institutions. The influence that Christianity has had on the world can be measured in practically every facet of life. Everything from the family, to science, government, medicine, art, literature, business, and so on, has felt the impact of the message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The world’s first university, birthed in 1088, was The University of Bologna in Italy. It was founded to teach canon law. The second oldest university, The University of Paris, grew out of the cathedral schools of Notre-Dame and soon became a great center for Christian orthodox studies. Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, in his book Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, points out that every college established in colonial America, except the University of Pennsylvania, was founded by some denomination of Christianity. He adds that, preceding the Civil War, 92 percent of the 182 colleges and universities in the U.S. were established by some branch of the church.

By around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg had nearly perfected his printing press. Making use of movable metal type, Gutenberg’s press became the world’s most efficient means of large-scale printing. This process of printing remained virtually unchanged for four centuries. The first major work mass-produced on Gutenberg’s press was the 42-line Bible (or “The Gutenberg Bible”). This magnificent work ushered in the age of the printed book, and the era of mass communication. Soon, millions of homes, schools, and churches had their own copies of God’s Word, and news of the resurrection of Jesus now spread faster than ever before.

Many of the greatest artists in history—Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci, Salvador Dali—were followers of Jesus. This is evident in that many of the great works they produced were scenes or characters from Scripture. Beethoven, considered by many to be the world’s greatest composer, wrote some of the most profound Christian masterpieces of history. Johann Sebastian Bach was, as one scholar put it, indeed “a Christian who lived with the Bible.”

Some of the most famous and influential founders of what is considered “modern science”—Galileo, Kepler, and Newton—were Christians who operated from a strict biblical worldview. For example, in 1595, in Kepler’s first major work, he thought that he had discovered “God’s geometrical plan for the universe.” As a Christian, Kepler believed that the universe was designed by a Creator and thus should function in a very logical fashion. He went as far as to define his view of “science” as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

Kepler had a rather strained relationship with Galileo, but they shared a belief in the Copernican model (planets rotate around the sun, and so on) of the universe. This, of course, is what placed Galileo at odds with the Catholic Church and is what many—especially those who worship at the altar of science—point to for evidence of the backwardness of those who operate from a biblical worldview.

However, just as Kepler, Galileo was a Christian who believed in the trustworthiness of the Bible. As Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher puts it, “[Galileo] was fighting against the contemporary principles of Bible interpretation which, blinded by Aristotelian philosophy, did not do justice to the biblical text.”

Isaac Newton is considered by many to be the greatest scientist who ever lived. He is most famous for his laws of motion and universal gravitation. On gravitation he noted that, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”

Recognizing that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it…” and knowing that we are merely stewards of the Creator of all things, those who follow Jesus are the most generous people on the earth. Take note of the number of influential charities inspired by Christianity. Among them are The Salvation Army, Campus Crusade, Catholic Charities, Compassion International, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, and the YMCA. Despite being only about five percent of the world’s population, through charities such as these, and through the efforts of tens-of-thousands of U.S. churches, and tens-of-millions of individual American Christians, the citizens of the United States of America account for nearly half of all charitable giving worldwide. In addition, the U.S. government gives away more resources than any other nation on earth.

Christians lead the world in caring for the sick and dying among us. As Virginia Health Information notes, “Some of the earliest hospitals existed in ancient Rome in 100 BC as important centers for the emergency care of sick and wounded soldiers. With the spread of Christianity, hospitals grew as part of the church's mission and became part of the community as they tended to health care not only for soldiers but also for all who needed it.”

The first hospital in North America, the Hospital de Jesus Nazareno (the “Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth”), was founded by Cort├ęs. With the aid of Benjamin Franklin, the first hospital in the U.S, Pennsylvania Hospital, was founded by a Quaker, Dr. Thomas Bond. The Catholic Church alone operates over 1,100 hospitals and long-term health care facilities in the U.S. What’s more, a 2010 study revealed that Christian hospitals in the U.S. outperform all others. About 25% of U.S. hospitals are Christian.

The great nation that we inhabit was founded almost exclusively by Christians and upon Christian principles. On July 4, 1837, in a speech delivered in the town of Newburyport Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, and the 6th U.S. President, proclaimed,
Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? [Independence Day] Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?
Witnessing the events of the Revolution as a boy, and no-doubt hearing from his father of the raucous debates that gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and then going on to serve his country in many various capacities, John Quincy Adams saw that Christmas and Independence Day were fundamentally linked. And of course, the “Redeemer’s mission” was not complete until He hung on the cross, died for our sins, and then left His earthly tomb. Adams understood well that the Founders took the principles that Christ brought to the world and incorporated those into civil government. This is what makes the U.S. government so distinctive, why it has been so durable, and why, to this day, we are the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Supported by the “pillars of Christianity” (see: The Miracle and Magnificence of America), the United States has become the world’s wealthiest, most powerful, most influential nation in human history. Standing for freedom and justice and operating out of love, whether through our government, military, or private citizens and institutions, the United States of America has come to the aid and rescue of billions of people around the world.

The current year is 2017. This is not 2017 years from Caesar, Buddha, or Mohammed, but from the birth of Jesus Christ. As Dan Flynn notes, “The attempt to replace Anno Domini (AD) and BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) is yet another exercise in futility. Doesn't this Common Era, after all, begin with the life of Christ?”

The impact of Christ’s resurrection can be seen in individuals and institutions, in art and entertainment, in science and industry, in calendars and carols, in tribes and in nations. All of human history—from Creation to Christmas to the Crucifixion—culminates in Jesus leaving His earthly tomb. As I implied earlier, and as history clearly reveals, the resurrection of Jesus stands aloft every other event the world has ever known. Again, virtually every facet of our lives has been impacted by the empty tomb left by Jesus. Though we may acknowledge Him on our currency, and measure our years from His birth, our only real hope is in His resurrection. In the end, the only things that will matter, the only things that will be truly lasting and good, are the things we did in His name.

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Will Liberals Stand for the “Right” to Plantation Weddings?

It seems that Jordan A. Maney is not as committed to “diversity” and “love” as she would have us believe. Recently, Ms. Maney, the black owner of a San Antonio event planning business, “All The Days Event Co.,” got a bit upset when she was asked to plan the wedding for a couple whose chosen venue contained the word “plantation.”

Here’s the exchange as reported by ATTN:

As ATTN also notes, Maney also told the inquiring customer on the receiving end of her discrimination, “You’re having a wedding at a grave-site essentially. How are you going to laugh and celebrate on so many people’s blood, and sweat, and suffering?” Of course, built in 2011, strictly for the purpose of hosting weddings, Kendall Plantation has never had anything to do with slavery. Yet, like many who are so easily offended in these sensitive times, the mere mention of “plantation” was enough to rile Ms. Maney.

Furthermore, after rejecting her plantation client, Maney went to her Facebook page, and in a post that is no longer available, declared (yes, in all caps):


Now imagine for a moment the tables were turned. At the bottom of the homepage of All The Days Events’ website is a cute little logo:

The logo, which is also a link, is an indication of an “LGBTQ-Friendly Wedding Vendor.” Additionally, the blog on Ms. Maney’s business website has a recent post entitled “Honey, Marry Whoever You Want.” (I guess, just not wherever you want.) What if Kendall Plantation wants nothing to do with planners like Maney and her “progressive” values? What if Kendall Plantation—like so many other small businesses across the U.S.—wants nothing to do with the LGBT agenda? What if they publicly declared, in all caps:


How quickly do you think the lawsuit would be filed? How long before the media caught wind and sought to make an example out of another “bigoted” Christian?

As most of us well know, many Christians—especially those in the wedding industry—have effectively declared that they refuse to participate in the immoral act of same-sex “weddings.” (My wife and I have encouraged all Christians to take a stand for biblical marriage.) As a result, the list of Christians who have been targeted by the homosexual gestapo and their allies in the Democrat Party, the media, and the judiciary is long and growing longer.

As long as same-sex “marriage” has the force of law, Christians will continue to be targets of those who seek revenge upon the defenders of biblical marriage—what used to be known simply as “marriage.” What if a photographer, a florist, or a baker in the blog of his business website declared that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman? How long would it be before a couple of lesbian or homosexual activists made them a target? As we have well seen, and as we were warned, “live and let live” is not a hallmark of the homosexual agenda. Yet, no doubt that is exactly how Ms. Maney expects to be treated.

In fact, she probably imagines her position to be the morally superior one. Someone should ask her, upon what moral code she bases her unwavering business stance. However lacking I find Ms. Maney’s moral position to be, I also think she has a clear right to make such a business decision. What is most interesting in this scenario is how liberals—ignoring the necessary hypocrisy and duplicity, which is often very easy for most of them—will defend her, if it even comes to that.

This episode has received little media attention, and I’ll be surprised if it goes much beyond that. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC)—the largest newspaper in Georgia—on Thursday, April 6, did have a sympathetic article on Ms. Maney and her decision prominently placed on the homepage of their website. The piece began, “A black San Antonio-based event planner is speaking out against the racial undertones connected with plantation weddings.” Almost certainly the aim of the piece was to cast “plantation weddings” in a bad light and Ms. Maney as the gallant crusader standing against such wickedness.

The similarities between Ms. Maney’s decision and those of Christians who’ve declined wedding services to same-sex couples seemed lost on the AJC author. Unless they are forced to see the similarities, virtually every liberal in the media, the courts, and the Democrat Party will be just as blind. The hypotheticals that wise defenders of Christian small-business owners have presented—a black baker refusing to cater for the KKK or a Jewish florist refusing to decorate for Nazis—are no longer mere hypotheticals. What say you, liberals?

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Preview of How Liberals Will React If Roe is Overturned

A Texas State University student provides us with an example of the fits of anger that often result when liberals are confronted with the truth on abortion. [WARNING: Foul language! (Which, sadly, should surprise no one familiar with these kinds of situations.)]

I wouldn't be a bit surprised that the reason this young man is so angry is because the pictures hit too close to home for him. In other words, he's likely had an up-close and personal experience with killing a child in the womb. This is one of the reasons why so many on the left are so passionate when defending the "right" to abortion. They simply can't bear the thought of what they've really done.

Also, whether or not this young man is partially responsible for the death of an unborn child, he may just be (selfishly) thinking of his future. Keeping abortion legal and as widely available as possible allows those devoted to a "theology of self" to conduct themselves as they wish in the sexual realm. As David French noted a couple of years ago, "A person who is willing to kill another person for the sake of preserving their own prosperity or emotional health is declaring that their life is supreme — their existence is at the center of all things."

Thus, we could just be witnessing a hedonistic young heathen who just wants to continue his sexual exploits as unhindered as possible. Merely seeing photographs of unborn humans—especially those who were killed in the womb—are too much for him to ponder.

And keep in mind, if the speculation about another vacancy on the Supreme Court is accurate and President Trump gets to make another appointment (and even a third one), we could soon see the end of the nation-wide "right" to an abortion. If this happens, the angry fits by those corrupted by liberalism that you see above will be commonplace and likely more violent.

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Monday, April 3, 2017

Children Have the “Right” to Weapons of Mass Imagination

Given the apprehension and suspension of the “notorious” playground “menace” Caitlin Miller for committing random acts of make-believe at her Hoke County, North Carolina school, I recently felt compelled to do a soft-target search of our home. Suspecting that our house was riddled with the same type of “weapons” that got five-year-old Caitlin in such trouble, I wanted to make sure that the minor residents with whom I share this home would not find themselves in the same situation as little Miss Miller.

Alas, the search of our home—that was cleverly dubbed “Operation Slow and Curious”—had shocking results. The ghastly evidence (“TRIGGER WARNING!”) is shown below.

Note that several of the weapons in the foreground of the above photo, like young Caitlin’s “stick gun,” are of a wooden variety. However, the wooden guns possessed by the four Thomas children shoot real projectiles (rubber bands). In addition, the plastic guns and bows shown above fire “air-soft” pellets, along with foam darts, arrows, and discs. Also note that with the use of colors such as pink and purple, some of the guns seem to be—GASP!—gender specific! And the two swords at the very front of the table appear to be of the “lightsaber” variety—the preferred weapon of the legendary Jedi.

What’s more, I also found (shown below) what appear to be elaborate battle plans (staged by toy soldiers) and detailed model designs for large ground and aerial assault vehicles. I believe our home needs a “safe space.”

But seriously, to paraphrase the immortal words of Slim Pickens, what in the wide-wide world of sports is going on in North Carolina?! It’s as if invaders from Bizarro World have taken over many of the government and academic officials in the Tar Heel State. After liberals in the city of Charlotte—predicating their moral outrage upon a cause that runs contrary to biology that a three year-old can understand, and that is championed by an unrepentant registered sex offender—launched the nation into an absurd debate about bathroom use and “transgenderism,” those deceived by liberalism in Hoke County seem to think that a five-year-old with a six-inch stick is some kind of a threat.

Upon suspending Caitlin Miller, a spokesman for the Hoke County School System declared, “Hoke County Schools will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student. Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.” I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised that those who seem unable to tell the difference between male and female anatomy would have trouble distinguishing between play and assault, or between a stick and a gun.

And again we see, liberalism corrupts. The suspension of cute little Caitlin adds to a growing list of young children across the U.S. punished by their schools for nothing more than the possession of a harmless toy. In some cases, that toy barely even resembles a gun. Last year, a seven-year-old Virginia boy was suspended 10 days for possession of a water gun and a Nerf gun (which are plentiful in the first photo of this piece). Both were brightly colored and could’ve never been confused for real guns—even by a liberal.

A little over a week ago we learned that bringing a spent .22 caliber shell casing to his preschool was just the latest in a long line of pro-gun behaviors for four-year-old Hunter Crowe. The empty casing—described by a gun-ignorant teacher at the Troy, Illinois preschool as a “shotgun bullet”—earned little Hunter a seven-day suspension.

After being found with the “bullet,” Hunter’s preschool sent his parents a letter that ominously declared that, in addition to secretly hoarding harmless shell casings, the little guy had frequently attempted “to make guns out of other toys.” The letter further warned that “guns, hunting, etc., are not subjects that are to be discussed at school,” and despite “multiple attempts to redirect” his “behaviors” toward “other activities,” Hunter continued with his gun-playing ways.

As I’ve noted before, from the time I was Hunter’s age until my mid-teens, if I was not playing with some sort of ball, I was most likely engaged in some sort of battle. Using scraps from my uncle’s woodshop—and yes, sticks from the ground—along with duct tape, electricians tape, and a few well-placed nails, very often my playmates and I would fashion excellent gun replicas. We would then spend hours in the woods and pastures around my home hiding, stalking, building forts, and blasting away at one another. Sometimes we even employed dirt-clods (grenades), and smoke bombs (tear gas). If we had possessed the likes of air-soft or paintball guns that are widely available today, my brother and I, along with our like-minded cousins and friends, would have spent much of the late 1970s and nearly all of the 1980s nursing welts.

Additionally, on the school bus during our elementary school years, my cousin Bart and I nearly drove our driver crazy making fighter-plane and machine-gun noises pretending that we were Pappy Boyington and T.J. of the Black Sheep Squadron. As our big yellow bus wound its way home, we would hold a school book on our laps and pretend we were piloting our F4U Corsair through the skies battling Japanese Zeros. Such behavior would probably get a little fella banned from the bus these days.

This anti-toy-gun foolishness—as we’ve seen in the debates over marriage, gender, life in the womb, the climate, and so on—is simply another example of liberals “struggling against reality.” Children, especially young boys, are going to engage in “battles,” and they’re going to use “guns” when they do so. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Monday, March 27, 2017

Dear GOP: Stand Strong Against the Immorality and Lunacy of the Left

In today’s political climate, few things are as certain as this: Virtually every crazy policy, corrupt courtroom ruling, or depraved piece of legislation that plagues our political climate is a product of modern liberalism. Whether killing children in the womb, killing small businesses, legally redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, legalizing and promoting a wide variety of sexual immoralities, criminalizing (or attempting to criminalize) the life-blood of American industry, criminalizing Christianity, stealing money from one group of constituents to buy votes from another, and so on, liberals and their lackeys in the Democrat Party, the mainstream media, and academia have used their political, information, and entertainment powers in manners most perverse.

To a great extent, this is why the GOP is in unprecedented territory when it comes to political power. Except for the northeast, the west coast, and most large cities, whether local, state, or federal offices, across the U.S., the GOP brand dominates. I believe this has happened not because of any special degree of governing competence held by republicans (as their recent health care failure demonstrates), but because of the special degree of incompetence and immorality possessed by today’s democrats. As Marvin Olasky put it, “Republicans cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Democrats can be trusted almost always to do the wrong thing.”

I believe most Americans—especially those voting for republicans—would agree with me: A politician is like a plunger—a tool that you would rather not be without, but one that you almost never want to have to use. Even Christ-denier Thomas Paine understood, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Ironically, and contrary to one of their highest ideals, American democrats have simply made their politics “intolerable.” And currently, the GOP is the best tool we have to fix what the democrats have wrecked.

Granted, this is a tall task, for there is much to do, and in spite of their heavy losses, democrats seem determined to continue with their radical liberal agenda. There has been little self-assessment by democrats since November 8. On the contrary, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the widespread electoral success of the GOP throughout America has led many liberals to new and greater heights of unhinged behavior and rhetoric.

Spurred on by virtually no real evidence, and because they have made a god of government (and thus, are almost completely incapable of handling political defeat), liberal pundits across the U.S. have spilled gallons of ink desperately attempting to blame Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump on some nefarious conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Because they are devoted to the “theology of self,” fragile campus snowflakes across America are suppressing—violently in some cases—any form of speech (political, religious, et al) that they find “offensive.”

Nothing illustrates the lunacy and “unhingedness” of today’s liberals better than the newest front in the perverse LGBT agenda. Modern liberalism has gone so far off the deep end that we have “progressed” from debating the climate, guns, abortion, marriage, and the like, to debating what is a male and what is a female. I’ve chronicled this a couple of times recently, but it seems every week now there is a new story where those corrupted by liberalism have allowed men to take trophies from women, or violated the sanctity of bathrooms and locker rooms—even where children are concerned—all in the name of “tolerating” madness.

Liberals have even injected the politics of gender into the current NCAA men’s basketball tournament. After Duke’s loss to South Carolina in the second round of the tournament, many observers—fans and pundits alike—blamed the loss on the state of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” (The game was played in South Carolina instead of North Carolina because the NCAA is “discriminating” against the state of North Carolina.) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski himself has called North Carolina’s common sense law against men using women’s restrooms “stupid.” Hey Coach K, the definition of “stupid:” To think that this man

is somehow now a “woman” and has the “right” to use a women’s restroom, etc.

However, the madness has only just begun. Just wait until there is consensus on real health care reform by Trump and the GOP-led U.S. Congress. Just wait until there is real tax reform. Just wait until construction on a border wall begins. Just wait until President Trump gets to appoint a second justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. And can you imagine the size of the “safe space” necessary if a conservative-led Supreme Court of the United States overturns the infamous Roe v. Wade and Obergefell rulings? If you think you’ve seen campus fires now, just wait.

As such things come to pass, the violence, riots, “nastiness,” and vile speech we’ve already witnessed will pale in comparison to what will come. We should expect nothing less from a movement that has abandoned virtually every measure of sound science and morality. So take heed, Washington republicans: be ready for attacks, protests, filibusters, lies, smears, irrational arguments, and dirty tricks of virtually every form imaginable. Be ready to defend yourself and conservative principles and policies. In other words, stand strong and be ready to fight. Whether it’s health care, tax law, foreign policy, the courts, the justice department, the military, and so on, we conservatives who voted for you want smaller, smarter, and moral government. This is exactly what republicans have been elected to do.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is Now a "Weather Skeptic"

After the latest Northeast snow storm brought less than expected (forecasted) totals to New York City at a news conference, Mayor, Bill de Blasio spoke on the "modest" snow totals seen in his city:
What we saw here is a very different than what was projected, even as of late yesterday.
He added,
This is the lesson we keep learning. The National Weather service does everything they know how to do. Mother Nature still does what it wants to do, so what we got was a storm where the numbers that were projected occurred to the north and west of us — not here, thank God so we were spared some of the worst of it.
If ONLY de Blasio and those like-minded would take such a view with the climate! One of the points I've often made when it comes to the oft-repeated doom-and-gloom forecasts perpetuated by climate alarmists of every rank is that, if the weather forecasters are sometimes very wrong predicting what's going to happen just days, or even hours, later, why in the world would anyone trust a climate forecast that purports to tell us what is going to happen years, decades, or even centuries in the future?

Think about it: How often are your local forecasts very wrong? Not very often when the days are not far away. But once one gets past a few days, the forecasts are often quite wrong and adjustments are made as those days draw closer. As I noted back in 2009, the reason there is such a devotion to dire climate forecasts by the "Warmists" is because they have, in a sense, made man-made global warming (or, "science" in general) their religion. (Sadly, the modern left has many such gods.)

And because the modern left has also made a god of government, an impending climate disaster is a convenient tool for more Big Government.

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Sunday, March 12, 2017

UW-Madison Students Display Stunning Duplicity Towards Christians

Alliance Defending Freedom was recently on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. It wasn't pretty. The corruption of liberalism was on clear display. Watch:

Remember, the duplicity and illogic witnessed above is rampant across U.S. campuses. In addition, this sort-of thinking--or rather, lack of thinking--has infected, not only our classrooms, but our state houses, court houses--even churches! In other words, as I've pointed out often, the corruption of liberalism is wide and deep. Liberals on campuses, in the media, in elected office, et al, must be made to answer these sort of questions.

However, remember, Christians shouldn't even need the protection of "religious liberty" when it comes to marriage. The Supreme Court of the United States must reverse its perverse, immoral, and unconstitutional ruling on marriage.

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Is Roy Williams' UNC Degree in "Bullsh*t"?

Dear Roy Williams: If you can't tell the difference between what is a male, and what is a female, perhaps it is you who has a "bullsh*t" problem.

In case you missed it, after their win over Miami in the quarterfinal round of the ACC basketball tournament, Williams--the head coach of the University of North Carolina's men's basketball team--was asked about the impact (on recruiting and media attention) of having the ACC tournament in a big city such as New York (the site of this year's tournament), as opposed to a city like Greensboro, North Carolina (a frequent host city).

Williams answered,
It used to be much more [important to play in a big market] than I think it is now. Now everybody has got social media, and we don't need The New York Times to find out what in the dickens is going on in our country. You know, our president tweets out more bulls--- than anybody I've ever seen. We've got social media. 
In the old days, there's no question it was the media capital of the world, but I'm not sure it is right now.
Williams (an alumnus of UNC) was already not happy about having to play the opening rounds of the tournament in Brooklyn, New York. The first two rounds of this year's ACC men's basketball were originally scheduled to be played in Greensboro. However, after North Carolina legislators passed a common sense "bathroom bill" (in response to liberals in Charlotte ignoring said common sense and sound morality), and because the NCAA is committed to the perverse LGBT agenda, the ACC men's basketball tournament--and a half a dozen other championships--were pulled from the state of North Carolina.

After the "bathroom bill" (HB2) became law in North Carolina, University of North Carolina president vowed that she would not enforce the law on the campuses of UNC. She defiantly declared,
Pending a final [court] judgment in this case, I have no intent to exercise my authority to promulgate any guidelines or regulations that require that transgender students use the restrooms consistent with their biological sex.
Williams himself called the law "ridiculous" and "stupid." In other words, the head coach of UNC men's basketball thinks its "stupid" to require men to use the men's room, and women to use the ladies' room. Now I'm no expert in the excrement of male bovines, but it seems to me if you support the notion that a human being with XY chromosomes, testicles, and a penis somehow has a "right" to use the ladies' restroom or ladies' locker room, then perhaps you are the one peddling the "bullsh*t."

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Told You Testosterone Would Make Women’s Sports More Interesting

To be fair—given the perverse transgender agenda of the modern left—my idea was that men (like Bruce—“Dude Looks Like a Lady!”—Jenner) would compete as “women.” My idea was not that female athletes who want to pretend that they are men (or boys)—and thus take athletic performance-enhancing drugs such as testosterone to help live such a deluded fantasy—would compete as females. I did not imagine this because (I thought) virtually every female athletic association would not allow such an advantage.

Of course, in most athletic associations this is the case, but at the high school level in the state of Texas, it seems there are exceptions. As has been widely reported recently, a female wrestler in Texas—Mack Beggs—has won the state championship in her division largely due to the fact that she has a significant competitive advantage: she’s taking steroids (testosterone).

Once upon a time, such behavior was widely considered cheating. In fact, some of the biggest scandals in sports history involve behavior virtually identical to the behavior of Mack Beggs. (Alex Rodriguez took testosterone.) In fact, due to the widespread problem of “doping” (taking performance-enhancing drugs) in the world of athletics, in 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency was created. Clearly (and always) on the list of banned substances: testosterone. In spite of being an endogenous (naturally occurring) anabolic androgenic (promotes male characteristics) steroid, testosterone use among athletes is prohibited if administered from outside the body.

In the modern era of sports, scandals involving performance-enhancing drugs are numerous. One of the largest examples (in terms of sheer volume of athletes and length of time) involves the Olympians of East Germany. In a tragic attempt to hide the real devastating effects of a communist government and a socialist economy, and instead to present itself as a strong, healthy nation, during the Cold War, the East German government began doping its athletes.

The primary drug administered to thousands of East German athletes as young as eight years old was Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone (CDMT)—a synthetic steroid and, as the name indicates, a synthetic “derivative of testosterone.” (This was the same drug that disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson took.) Unlike Mack Beggs and others who knowingly take performance enhancing drugs, most of the East German athletes were duped into doping. Their coaches told them they were taking “vitamins.” In terms of medals—with over 500 summer and winter Olympic medals between 1968 and 1988—the result of the doping, as in the case of Beggs (a record of 56-0), was a huge success.

However, as The Daily Mirror reported in 2015, the East German athletes paid a terrible price. As the Mirror notes,
The stars of yesterday suffered severe depression, heart conditions, degenerative bone disease and infertility. Some even changed sex because of the drugs. Many spiraled into drink and drug addictions, unable to find work.
Shot putter Heidi Krieger suffered the loss of her femininity. She had a “sex-change” operation (of course, it’s not really possible to change one’s sex) and now lives her life pretending she’s a man, “teaching youngsters the dangers of pumping steroids in a bid for sporting glory.” Concerned that the current situation with Olympic athletes in Russia mirrors that of East Germany, Ines Geipel, 55, a 1980s East German champion sprinter, warns:
It is more than 25 years ago now and yet there are so many parallels with the Russian situation and ours. It is about a state-controlled abuse. 
It carried on until 1989. We are probably talking about 10 to 15,000 athletes in total. We saw kids as young as eight being doped. They were guinea pigs and we have seen the health impact down the generations, passed from grandfather to grandchild. 
The bodies are broken, and so are the souls. Naturally there was great gynaecological damage because the women were taking men’s hormones. We have seen still births, infertility, disabled children born to former athletes.
In other words, there are significant health risks—especially for women, in taking testosterone. Of course—like the oppressive East Germans—this is secondary to the perverse sexual agenda of the modern left. What’s more, whether those struggling with their gender identity take dangerous drugs, as Dr. Paul McHugh—University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital—puts it:
The idea that one’s sex is a feeling, not a fact, has permeated our culture and is leaving casualties in its wake. Gender dysphoria should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.
And when the perverse LGBT agenda invades the world of sports, the harm extends beyond the physical and mental damage done to the athlete who’s decided to indulge his or her delusions with drugs and surgeries. Whether it’s males competing as females—as in the case of Alaska’s Nattaphon Wangyot—or, as in the case of Beggs, a female taking testosterone, the ones who will suffer competitively are the female athletes who have decided to play by the rules of sound science, morality, and the athletic associations that govern their sports.

Beggs’ case is just the latest example of this lunacy. Multiple organizations corrupted by liberalism have laid the groundwork for rendering women’s athletics a farce. As I noted last year,
Among many other crazy things, on “transgender and gender non-conforming students,” The National Center for Transgender Equality declares:
  • You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender, including your gender identity or expression, or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events [read: sports] because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
  • You have the right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate facilities. 
As early as five years ago the NCAA “Office of Inclusion” produced a document that, among many other crazy things, recommended allowing humans who were born male to compete as females. They piously and ignorantly declared that assumptions commonly made about humans born male who wish to pretend they are female “are not well founded.” 
Ignoring sound science and common sense, the June 2016 edition of the “science” magazine Cosmos concluded that, “It’s only a matter of time before trans female athletes compete in the Olympics,” and “they will not have an edge over the rest of the field.”

Given the physical advantages of men over women (as I’ve pointed out twice before—but which are obvious to those not corrupted by liberalism), male athletes will not suffer competitively in this latest cause of liberalism, where, ironically, trophies and money will be taken from women and given to men. A real feminist would fight against such an injustice, but alas, modern feminism is beholden to the sexual agenda of modern liberalism.

So beholden that, in spite of all that science and common sense reveal, prior to Beggs beginning her quest for a state championship, The Washington Post began their piece on her story with,
On Friday, Mack Beggs, an undefeated high school wrestler from Texas, will compete at the girls’ state tournament in suburban Houston. 
But unlike the rest of the teen’s female competitors, Beggs, 17, is a boy.
Pause for a moment and consider the stupendous stupidity of that last sentence. NOTHING in sound science or morality allows for that conclusion, yet one of the supposed premier news organizations in the world—the paper that helped bring down a U.S. President—printed that sentence.

Additionally, after Beggs’ story broke, “trans athlete and activist” Chris Mosier, via Twitter, ignorantly declared,
High school athletic association policies for trans athletes should allow for participation by gender identity, not by birth certificate.
So again, by this perverse logic, males “identifying” as females would be allowed to take trophies from real girls or women.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL), the governing body for public school athletics in the state of Texas, requires student athletes to compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate. With support of about 95 percent of Texas school superintendents, the wise rule change was made last year, no doubt in response to cases like that of Nattaphon Wangyot’s. Yet UIL rules also allow the use of steroids if “dispensed, prescribed, delivered and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.” Thus, the UIL and the state of Texas should have further ruled that, since “gender identity” is a disorder, and since it is not possible for a female to “transition” to a male, the “roided-up” Beggs should not have been allowed to compete in any division.

Again, these people need serious physical, mental, and spiritual help. They do not need accommodation in living a lie.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America