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Friday, July 10, 2020

What “Systemic Liberalism” Has Wrought

After another weekend of violence in Atlanta—where nearly three dozen were shot and five were killed, including an eight-year-old girl—Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said “enough is enough.” However, because her worldview is corrupted by modern liberalism—which is the case with the leadership in virtually every major U.S. city—she offered no real solutions for the recent epidemic of violence that plagues Atlanta.

As has been widely reported, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp stepped in and ordered the activation of 1,000 National Guard troops in order to “protect state property and patrol” the streets of Atlanta. In his statement, Kemp declared,

Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city. I have declared a State of Emergency and called up the Georgia Guard because the safety of our citizens comes first. This measure will allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. Enough with the tough talk. We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.

Part of the problem in Atlanta—again, like we now see in so many large, Democrat-led U.S. cities—is plummeting police morale. After the death of George Floyd, and the unjust and incorrect accusations of “systemic racism” throughout America, police all over the U.S. were made into scapegoats for what really plagues the urban areas of America. As a result, police officers have been targeted for violence and mayhem simply for wearing their uniforms and doing their jobs.

In addition, police officers have been targeted—and unjustly fired—by their superiors. This has been the case in Atlanta. As a result, a recent wave of “blue flu” has swept through the Atlanta Police Department. Almost certainly, this means dangerous areas of Atlanta are not seeing the usual police presence. Thus the need for the Georgia National Guard.

And thus we see again the sad, sorry results of the “Ferguson Effect.” The “Ferguson Effect,” a phrase coined by Heather MacDonald, says that, when police stop, or reduce, policing—because of political pressure, community pressure, department policies, and the like—criminals are emboldened and crime increases.

Because of democrats’ relentless and dishonest campaign against law enforcement, the Ferguson Effect has led to numerous U.S. cities becoming significantly more dangerous. As John Nolte put it several years ago, “The obvious and predictable result is a rise in violent crime that only hurts predominantly poor, black, inner-city neighborhoods.” Of course, the magnificently foolish calls to “defund the police” or “abolish the police” (as some school districts are now doing) will only ensure that the Ferguson Effect will continue and will result in even more death and destruction in America’s urban areas.

Whatever one’s politics on these matters, one question that often is ignored when it comes to policing and America’s cities is, why do the urban areas of America require more policing in the first place? Why is it that certain parts of America—whether cities, towns, or schools—require very little policing and see almost no crime (certainly little to no violent crime)? I believe the answer is quite simple: Wherever one sees intact, God-fearing families—families with a married mother and father who regularly attend religious services—crime is virtually non-existent.

Of course, sound morality has long revealed this to be the case, but, if you require it, multiple studies have also shown that children raised by a married mother and father are better citizens; e.g., less likely to commit crimes, more likely to perform well in school, and so on. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that religious Americans are more involved with their families, less likely to divorce, do better financially, are more likely to donate their time and other resources to their communities, and are happier and healthier than their non-religious counterparts.

Modern liberalism’s war on the family and faith has been particularly devastating to fathers, and this has been particularly devastating to America’s youth and the communities that must deal with the consequences of fatherless children. Among many other sad outcomes, fatherlessness is one of the leading predictors of future criminal activity. Children from single-parent homes (almost always without a father) are

more likely to…engage in questionable behavior, struggle academically, and become delinquent.  Problems with children from fatherless families can continue into adulthood. These children are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact families, and have the highest rates of incarceration in the United States.

Additionally, fatherlessness is the single greatest cause of poverty in the U.S. As Robert Rector pointed out years ago, “Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent.” In order to further their big government agenda, modern liberals often point to education as the answer to poverty in America. However, marriage is a far better weapon against poverty than is education. Again, as Rector points out, “being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s level of education has.” In addition, a child living in a single-parent home in which the parent is a college graduate is nearly twice as likely to live in poverty as a child living with their married parents whose highest level of education is completing high school.

Marriage provides the safest environment for children. In addition to being much more likely to live in crime-ridden communities, children born to single moms face much more danger inside the home than do children living with their married parents. As marripedia points out:

  • The rate of physical abuse is 3 times higher in the single parent family.
  • The rate of physical abuse is 4 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with the child’s biological father (unmarried).
  • The rate of physical abuse is 5 times higher if the child is living in a married step family.
  • The rate of physical abuse is 10 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend.

The rates for sexual abuse are even worse than physical abuse:

  • The rate of sexual abuse is 5 times higher in the single parent family and when both biological parents are cohabiting (i.e., unmarried).
  • The rate of sexual abuse is 8.6 times higher if the child is living in a married step family.
  • The rate of sexual abuse is 20 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend.

As tragic as the outcomes of the Ferguson Effect are, the “Fatherless Effect” is much more wide-ranging, common, and deadly in American society. Of course, systemic liberalism is responsible for both. If today’s liberals have “accomplished” anything, they have given us the destruction of the biblical family model and the removal of God from virtually every public institution in America. No amount of policing, no number of soldiers can make up for either. And neither can the racist, Marxist Black Lives Matter organization—or any of their like-minded ilk.

If America wants our city streets to be safe, if we want our communities and schools to function properly, we must abandon the “principles” of modern liberalism and fix our homes and our hearts. To do that, we must look to the One who made us and what His Word says in all of these matters.

(See this column at American Thinker.) 

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Revival Lit the Fire for the American Revolution (Taken from The Miracle and Magnificence of America.)

Between the colonial and Revolutionary periods of American history came what historians have dubbed the (first) “Great Awakening.” Near the beginning of the eighteenth century, many churches under Puritan influence were beginning to be riddled with “comfortable pews.” This does not mean that such churches were filled with comfortably padded pews that lulled congregants into a comfortable sleep, but rather these churches were, as we see in much of today’s America, lacking in passionate Christianity.

Thus began a growing concern about the secularization of New England. The lack of passionate Christianity, along with the coinciding adoption of certain liberal interpretations of Scripture and a turn toward the secular, greatly concerned ministers such as Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Prince, and William Cooper. By the 1730s, passionate and animated pleas for the souls of the lost became widespread. A common refrain was soon heard throughout the colonies: “God was an angry judge, and humans were sinners!”

The earliest principle figure of this period of spiritual revival was the brilliant and pious Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was literally born into Christian ministry. His father was a Congregationalist minister, and his mother, Esther Stoddard Edwards, was the daughter of renowned Massachusetts minister Solomon Stoddard.

Jonathan Edwards succeeded his grandfather as pastor of the church at Northampton. Later, Edwards accepted a role as pastor of a church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Jonathan Edwards loved the pulpit, and according to BJU Press, he was more teacher and preacher than pastor. In late 1734 and early 1735, revival broke out in Northampton. By the summer of 1735, it ended, but the seeds for something more lasting were planted. Enter the mighty George Whitefield.

Whitefield is generally considered “The Father of the Great Awakening.” Born in England in 1714, Whitefield entered Pembroke College at Oxford at age 17. There he joined a group called the “Holy Club,” where he befriended John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley led the group, and as a result of their “methodical” ways, critics took to calling them “Methodists.” Of course, the name stuck.

Upon graduating and receiving his BA, Whitefield was ordained at 22. He began his preaching in the British towns of Bath, Bristol, and Gloucester. However, he felt the call to join General Oglethorpe’s colony in Georgia. In 1738 Whitefield left for North America. It was not long before most of Georgia had heard of this young preacher with the booming voice and wild pulpit antics. News of Whitefield and his preaching soon spread throughout the colonies.

In 1739, after a brief return to England in hopes of securing land and funding for an orphanage in Georgia, Whitefield came back to America and would preach throughout the colonies. Jonathan Edwards invited Whitefield to preach in Northampton, Massachusetts. Whitefield’s message resonated with rich and poor, farmers and tradesmen, church-goers and sinners—virtually everyone within earshot of Whitefield, which, according to Ben Franklin, in open space, was 30,000 people!

Whitefield was not alone. Along with Edwards, men like Isaac Backus, David Brainerd, James Davenport, Samuel Davies, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Jonathan Mayhew, Shubal Stearns, the Tennent brothers (Gilbert, John, William), and others implored settlers and Natives alike to trust in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. Their message of repentance caught fire up and down the American East Coast. In the words of Brainerd, the ongoing revival was like an “irresistible force of a mighty torrent or swelling deluge.”

After the event at Pentecost as recorded in the Bible in Acts Chapter Two, and after the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, many evangelicals of the eighteenth century considered the revival that was The Great Awakening as the third extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Such spiritual power can spawn change that is felt world-wide. This was certainly the case with The First Great Awakening, for it was in the pulpits of American churches that the seeds of Revolution were sown. The British certainly thought so, as they blamed what they derisively described as the “Black Robed Regiment” for the thirst in the Colonies for American Independence. Modern historians have noted, “There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763.” The Great Awakening played no small role in helping to unite the American Colonies against the British.

For example, in 1750 the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, a Harvard graduate, Congregationalist minister, and pastor of West Church in Boston, published A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers. Out of this was born a sermon entitled “The Morning Gun of the American Revolution.” In this, Mayhew uses Romans 13 to justify throwing off the tyrannical yoke of England.

In 1765, Mayhew gave a powerful sermon railing against the evils of King George III’s hated Stamp Act. Mayhew declared,
The king is as much bound by his oath not to infringe on the legal rights of the people, as the people are bound to yield subjection to him. From whence it follows that as soon as the prince sets himself above the law, he loses the king in the tyrant.
According to historian Alice Mary Baldwin, joining Mayhew in leading the opposition to the Stamp Act were the Reverends Andrew Eliot, Charles Chauncey, and Samuel Cooper. George Whitefield accompanied Ben Franklin—whom he had befriended—to Parliament to protest the Act. Franklin revealed to Parliament that Americans would never willingly submit to the Stamp Act. A month later, in March of 1766, celebrating the repeal of the Act, Whitefield recorded in his journal, “Stamp Act repealed, Gloria Deo.”

John Witherspoon, Presbyterian minister, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton)—in 1776, on a national day of prayer and fasting, preached a sermon entitled The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men. The sermon included the following:
There can be no true religion, till there be a discovery of your lost state by nature and practice, and an unfeigned acceptance of Christ Jesus, as he is offered in the gospel. Unhappy are they who either despise his mercy, or are ashamed of his cross. Believe it, ‘There is no salvation in any other.’ ‘There is no other name under heaven given amongst men by which we must be saved.’ Unless you are united to him by a lively faith, not the resentment of a haughty monarch, the sword of divine justice hangs over you, and the fulness of divine vengeance shall speedily overtake you…

If your cause is just, you may look with confidence to the Lord, and intreat him to plead it as his own. You are all my witnesses, that this is the first time of my introducing any political subject into the pulpit. At this season, however, it is not only lawful but necessary, and I willingly embrace the opportunity of declaring my opinion without any hesitation, that the cause in which America is now in arms, is the cause of justice, of liberty, and of human nature.
Preachers and teachers like Witherspoon had a profound impact in forming the United States of America. Among his students included James Madison, future U.S. President and “Father of the Constitution,” Aaron Burr, future U.S. Vice President, twelve future Continental Congress members, forty-nine U.S. representatives, twenty-eight senators, three Supreme Court justices, and a secretary of state. As America’s Schoolmaster, Noah Webster, would later note, “The learned clergy…had great influence in founding the first genuine republican governments ever formed and which, with all the faults and defects of the men and their laws, were the best republican governments on earth.”

According to historian David Barton,
When Paul Revere set off on his famous ride, it was to the home of the Rev. [Jonas] Clark in Lexington that he rode. Patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams were lodging (as they often did) with the Rev. Clark. After learning of the approaching British forces, Hancock and Adams turned to Pastor Clark and inquired of him whether the people were ready to fight. Clark unhesitatingly replied, “I have trained them for this very hour!"
As a result of this First Great Awakening, America was beginning to unite. Americans were beginning to rediscover the Covenant Way. One nation under God became the political as well as the spiritual legacy of The Great Awakening.

Contrast the faith-filled, Spirit-led American Revolution with the godless, lawless, mindless demands for “revolution!” in today’s America. Instead of revival, the mob that’s burning, looting, assaulting, and killing their way through the U.S. are motivated by pure evil. They are more rotten fruit of the liberalism that’s so prevalent in much of America today. Thus, we again see that any “revolution” not born of the Spirit of God is doomed to disaster, destruction, death, and failure. In other words, the only way to real, lasting positive change in any family, community, or nation is the way of the cross.

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Media (Still) Trying to Hide Trump’s Success in Georgia’s Primary (an UPDATE to an earlier Facebook post):

(This is an update to a post that I placed on my website's Facebook page.)

UPDATE: I found this via the Augusta Chronicle (still nowhere to be found in the national/statewide in GA, media): With just over 80% reporting, according to the GA Sec. of State, Trump's lead over Biden is now about 155k votes (~714k to ~561k). Trump has over 40k more votes that all democrat candidates combined. If you total the votes, by percentages, Trump has 51.5% of the vote to democrats 48.5%.

To put this in perspective, in the 2016 GA Presidential Primary, Hillary/Bernie, et al totaled about 761k votes. Trump/Rubio/Cruz totaled about 1.3 million votes. Recall, that the 2016 primary election was on March 1, and it would be months before either party decided on a nominee. In other words, all GA voters had a reason to turn out in the 2016 primary election. Yet Trump will total more primary votes than 2016 democrats as well.

In the general election in 2016, Trump beat Hillary 50.5% to 45.4%. Given that voter enthusiasm is significantly in favor of President Trump--it's highly unlikely that Biden will hold all of that democrat vote, and republican voters will have even more of a reason to turn out in November--it seems that President Trump is on pace to outdo his GA results in the 2020 election.

NOTE: This is IMPORTANT to remember as you encounter general election polls that show Biden with LARGE leads over Trump. (I've already warned about this here: http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2020/01/remember-pay-little-to-no-attention-to.html ) Polls are one thing, elections are quite another. As Rush Limbaugh has often said, liberals use polling to try and influence (as opposed to merely report on) elections. The message here (to all Conservatives and ALL America-loving Americans): KEEP YOUR ELECTION ENTHUSIASM! Either for Trump, or against the America-hating left!

ORIGINAL POST: More evidence of our GARBAGE media: Try and find Trump's vote totals in Georgia’s primary election. It's not easy. Most sites (The New York Times, local NBC media in GA, etc.) are ONLY showing totals in the Democrat Primary. Here's (probably) why: According to Newsweek, running unopposed, Trump has 140k MORE votes than Biden (~770k to ~560k) and more votes than ALL democrat candidates combined. This is in spite of the fact that, with a statewide U.S. Senate primary (to challenge GOP Sen. David Perdue), Democrats had more to turn out for.

What's more, Trump's lead will probably GROW as more votes are counted. Additionally, according to Newsweek, "The president also outperformed former President Barack Obama's vote totals from the 2012 Georgia primary. Obama was running unopposed in the state and got 139,273 votes, over 500,000 fewer votes than Trump has received thus far." Just yesterday, NY Times was asking (hoping) "Is This the Year Georgia Flips?" It doesn’t look like it! 

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear America, PLEASE Heed These Powerful Black American Truth-Tellers!

Given all the evil that we are currently experiencing in this GREAT nation, I will let these powerful, beautiful black voices speak for me (this post will be updated as necessary):



 



 
 


A little language in this one: 









Larry Elder explains: "Black America Needs Fathers"




"The Myth of Systemic Racism" in America:













YES and AMEN!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

George Floyd’s Death is Not “Normal” in America [Updated]

At The Stream, Josh Shepherd notes that George Floyd is remembered as a Christian “person of peace” who helped perform baptisms on a basketball court. Christianity Today reports that Mr. Floyd “left a gospel legacy in Houston.” By many indications, Mr. Floyd’s tragic death brought to a terrible end the life of a man who spent much of his time helping others. What Mr. Floyd’s death is most certainly not is “normal.” 

[UPDATE: As time has shed more light on this ugly incident, Candace Owens--a black American--offers some powerful insight into George Floyd's life and what are the real problems of black America. And by the way, Ms. Owens VERIFIES EVERYTHING I say here, and EVERYTHING I've said in the past (I've written frequently about the foolish, ignorant views of Colin Kaepernick, and the like), on these issues.] 

After Mr. Floyd’s death, Barack Obama issued a statement. In it he declared that,
It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.

This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be “normal.” If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.
Of course, the implication is that America is rife with racism, and it was this racism that led to the death of George Floyd, and such racism is all too “normal” in America today. Few things are further from the truth than this absurd and dangerous lie. In other words—living up to his title of “America’s Chief Racial Arsonist,” as Tucker Carlson recently described him—instead of dealing with the real problems faced by black Americans, Mr. Obama gave cover to the rioters and thugs that looted, smashed, and burned their way through several American cities recently.

When it comes to America’s “racial arsonists,” Mr. Obama is far from alone. Politicians and pundits across the left helped fan the recent riotous flames burning across the U.S. As I noted recently, not long after the arrest of two men in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick, Georgia, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called the shooting “a lynching” and laid blame at the feet of President Trump. She was given voice for such foolish ignorance by the like-minded leftists at CNN.

Leftists at CNN and The New York Times also gave cover to the rioters and looters by comparing the criminal thugs to those participating in the Boston Tea Party. According to Newsbusters, “CNN Newsroom, sports journalist LZ Granderson seemed to justify the rioting, looting, and arsons happening in Minneapolis and all over the country Friday as akin to the American Revolution. Speaking to host Brooke Baldwin, Granderson compared the violence to the Boston Tea Party and claimed that was a ‘riot’ as well.”

Granderson went on to claim that violent riots are sometimes the way that things get “done” in America. He added,
And there is one other thing I would like to share. There is a lot of people that I've read over social media who say they understand why people are upset but don't agree to taking to the streets and don’t agree with the protests. The Boston Tea Party, despite its name, was not a party. It was a protest. It was a riot. What I’m saying is the very foundation of this nation is based upon what is happening right now.
The New York Times’ Charles Blow shared Granderson’s foolish sentiments.

After Mr. Floyd’s death, in an interview with TMZ—fully masked of course, because who knows what one can catch via the air waves—Democrat Representative Maxine Waters accused President Trump of “dog-whistling” to police officers in order to let them know that what happened to George Floyd was okay, and that they could “get away” with such behavior.

The idea that America’s police departments are—or our nation in general is—filled with racism and racists is one of the ugliest—and as we again see, one of the most dangerous—lies in America. Just so we’re clear, here’s the left’s narrative on the police in America: There’s widespread and institutionalized racism inside America’s law enforcement agencies, and black Americans are especially targeted. This racism has led to the deaths of a disproportionate number of innocent black Americans. In order to stop this heinous activity, we need more gun control legislation, more wealth redistribution (usually in the form of some welfare program), more job and education programs, and thus Americans need to elect more Democrats.

So far, there’s been no evidence that racism was involved in George Floyd’s death. What we do know is this: Minneapolis has LONG been controlled by the Democrat Party. At Powerline, John Hinderaker—a Minnesota resident—notes,
The City of Minneapolis has been governed exclusively by liberals for decades. The current mayor, Jacob Frey, who was quick to denounce his own police department, is a left-wing Democrat. The Minneapolis City Council consists of Democrats and Green Party members who think the Democrats are not radical enough. Under left-wing leadership, Minneapolis has been governed abysmally for a long time.
Replace “Minneapolis” with just about any other large American city, and Hinderaker’s claims are still true. Additionally, the current Minneapolis Chief of Police is a black man. He’s far from alone. Of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., 40% of them have black police chiefs (six of these are women), and another 10% have minority (white female or Hispanic) police chiefs. Thus, half of America’s 50 largest cities—including Minneapolis, Baltimore, and Chicago—have a minority in charge of the police force.

The unpopular fact is that many black Americans are much safer in the presence of law enforcement than they are in many black communities, especially when such communities—because of things like the “Ferguson Effect”—have little or no police presence. The statistics make this clear.
  • According to the CDC, the leading cause of death among black males ages 15-34 is homicide.
  • According to the FBI, the vast majority (over 90%) of black homicide victims were killed by other blacks.
  • For decades, black Americans have been more likely to be victims of violent crime (almost always at the hands of other black Americans) than are white Americans.
  • Time and again it is revealed: when police stop policing, crime increases, and black citizens suffer disproportionately.
  • The most dangerous neighborhoods in America—all with large (usually majority) black populations—are dominated by Democrats and liberal politics.
What’s more, according to Heather MacDonald, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black perpetrator than an unarmed black person is to be killed by a cop. In other words, it’s much more dangerous to be a police officer staring down a black perpetrator than it is to be an unarmed black suspect encountering a cop.

One of the reasons the deceptive liberal narrative about black lives is so doggedly defended and regularly repeated is that the truth about the very real suffering in the American black community runs counter to modern liberal dogma. The biggest reason for the rampant lawlessness and poverty that is so prevalent in many black communities is the breakdown of the family.

It has been widely reported for years now that the out-of-wedlock birth rate among American blacks is around 70 percent. Almost always, mothers are left to raise their children alone. In U.S. cities, where the violence and poverty among U.S. blacks is most pronounced, the out-of-wedlock birth rate is even worse. For example, in Chicago about 80 percent of black children are born to single mothers.

Single-parenthood (the vast majority being single mothers) is linked to a whole host of negative outcomes for children, not the least of which is poverty and crime. The absence of a father in the home is the single greatest cause of poverty in the U.S. and also strongly correlates to criminal behavior in adolescents and young adults. With its perverse LGBT agenda and devotion to the welfare state, the left in America has waged a long and tragically effective war on the family.

The destruction of the family, and all the tragic outcomes that result, is a far greater problem in the U.S. than racism. Yet, where’s the outrage? Where are the protests? Where’s the demand for change? If he were still with us, I think that George Floyd would wonder the same.

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com