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Thursday, December 24, 2015

The World’s Greatest Gift Meets Humanity’s Most Desperate Need

As the parents of four young children (ages 13, 11, 9, and 7), my wife and I have had many years of joyous celebration at Christmas time. Interestingly, we’ve done this without ever “doing” Santa Claus. In other words, we have never pretended with our children that the gifts under the tree and the goodies in their stockings were the result of the magical efforts of a jolly fat-man.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t shun Santa. As the above implies, we embrace most of the traditions surrounding Christmas. We have a Christmas tree with presents underneath. We decorate the house inside and out with wreaths, bows, Nativity scenes, and the like. We have our “stockings hung by the chimney with care.” We send and receive Christmas cards (one of our best efforts from a couple of years ago is below), and so on. We’ve taught our children that some families, even Christian families, use the Santa Claus myth as a means of enhancing the joy and fun of the Christmas season.

Have a Merry Christmas...Or Else!

Of course, we work hard at keeping Christ the center of Christmas. We’ve cautioned our children that “traditions” often can distract us from the profound Truth that Christmas presents. Those who hate the real meaning and message of Christmas will go to great lengths to keep us from this Truth. 

The unexpected death of my beloved father-in-law David earlier this year has made this Christmas season by far the most difficult that our family has faced. As an important court date looms for David’s killer just a few days following Christmas, our family is tragically reminded of the true meaning of this season.

The man who killed David has a long criminal history. He soon will stand before a judge to be sentenced for probation violations associated with the crash that took David from us. Though he will face the hard consequences of our criminal justice system in this world, because of what was given at Christmas, David’s killer, like all of us, has an amazing opportunity for eternal redemption. In other words, though he may be in prison, he could be “set free.”

As the piece from the previous link indicates, whether or not we are ever unjustly responsible for the death of another human being in this world, in one way or another, we have all “offended” the One Judge before Whom we must all give an account. In other words, we are all “criminals” desperately in need of a pardon.

In fact, there is no greater need in this world. As Charles Sell put it, 

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.”

In Christian circles, it is often told that, early in the twentieth century, The Times (UK) either invited essays on, or ran a piece entitled, “What’s wrong with the world?” Noted theologian, author, and apologist G.K. Chesterton replied,

“Dear Sir,
I am.
Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

None of us is “innocent.” We have all gone our own way and done our own thing with disastrous results. In spite of the foolish notion often portrayed by some, no nation, no culture, no individual is “basically good.” This world is filled with evil, and at one time or another, we’ve all had a hand in it. As the prophet Isaiah puts it, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah wasn’t merely painting a picture of sinful humanity. The above Scripture was a prophecy of the coming Messiah. Ultimately the world doesn’t have a poverty problem, or a crime problem, or a sexual problem, or a terrorism problem, or even (and of course) a climate problem. The world has a sin problem, and Jesus is the answer.

The most quoted portion of the Bible, John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Emphasis mine.) Less well known is the verse immediately following. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The Red Cross offers “Operation Save-A-Life.” Those wanting us to donate blood or organs do so by imploring us to “Give the gift of life.” With Christmas, God gave “the gift of life” as it has never before been given. How many dying individuals would say no to a lifesaving medical procedure made possible through the efforts or generosity of another? Yet how many reject the amazing gift of everlasting life that God offers through Jesus?

There’s no escaping this all important eternal truth: we are all in dire need of a Savior. Your life can be filled with treasures and pleasures, but if you ignore Jesus and His message, you will regret it for eternity. Your life can be riddled with poverty, sickness, and strife, yet if you repent and believe in Christ, the magnificent riches of eternal life await you. And whether rich or poor, sick or well, imprisoned or free, in good times or bad, we all need the gift that was given on that first Christmas. Merry Christmas!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We’ve All Waged a “War on Christmas” (Updated)

There are few things that reveal the hedonistic, sexually depraved sin so prevalent in our culture more than a recent display on the second floor of the Georgia Capitol. It’s even more shameful that this display was done specifically to target Christmas. As my Christmas column (available in a few days) this year notes, those who hate the real meaning and message of Christmas will go to great lengths to keep us from the Truth.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Humanity Fund, a pro-homosexual organization, was granted a petition to mount a “Gay Pride Festivus Pole” in the Georgia Capitol. (The idea of “Festivus” comes from an episode of Seinfeld.) According to its website, The Humanity Fund is “an advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of speech and religion, especially the separation of Church and State. The Humanity Fund believes in equal rights for all, with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.”

The obvious sexual innuendo of the “Festivus Pole” evidently escaped Georgia’s political leaders who occupy the Capitol. Few should’ve been surprised that those promoting homosexuality would attempt to distract us from the birth of Christ with something sinfully sexual. Chaz Stevens, the director of the pro-homosexual Humanity Fund, wasn’t shy about the pole’s meaning. In an email he said, “If anyone in the South could use an erection, it’s those Confederate flag waving lunkheads.”

Reveling in his “religious freedom victory” Stevens also gleefully exclaimed, “I officially declare victory in our gay war on Christmas.” You mean there really is a “war on Christmas?” I thought the “war on Christmas” was another right-wing myth dreamed up by Christian conservatives.

And why wage a “war on Christmas?” What’s so scary about Christmas? Is the birth of Jesus really that scary? Yes, it is. In fact, whether we would admit it or not, each of us, whether privately or publicly, at one time or another, has waged a “war on Christmas.”

What does Christmas really celebrate? An exasperated Charlie Brown wanted to know when you loudly asked, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Quoting perfectly from Luke chapter two, Linus answered Charlie Brown, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

And that is precisely why Christmas can be so scary. Christmas celebrates the birth of a savior—of the Savior. Of course, God sending His Son as a Savior implies that we need “saving.” The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Less well known, but just as important, is the very next verse. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This begs the question, “From what or whom do we need to be saved?”

In John chapter 8, Jesus says, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” What does it mean to “die in your sins?” Romans chapter 6 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, we need to be “saved” from the eternal consequences of our sin. There is eternal life with Jesus, and apart from Him, death and eternal separation from God.

This is why so many Christians are so celebratory at Christmas time. Yes, there are presents, and parties, and time off from work, but for Christians who truly understand what was done for them on that first Christmas day, nothing compares to the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Those who reject the need for salvation, or reject the miracle of Jesus, or reject their sin for what it really is, are “offended” by Christmas.

Such people don’t want to hear that Jesus came to die for their sins. They don’t want to hear of the many miracles that surround the birth of the Savior. They don’t want to hear that their greed, or lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way, thus they display “Festivus Poles.” And again, we’ve all been there. May God empower those of us who see Christmas for what it truly is, who see Jesus for who He really is, to spread His message of hope, love, peace, and salvation to all we encounter, all year-round.

Update: By "war on Christmas," I don't mean to imply that we've all openly displayed hostility to the "Christmas season" (protested Nativity scenes, shunned saying "Merry Christmas," and the like). And almost certainly most of us have not displayed a "Festivus Pole," but we've all, at one time or another, thumbed our nose at God and gone our own way. In other words, as Augustine alluded, at some point in our lives we turned our back on the City of God and firmly planted our feet in the City of Man.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, December 12, 2015

To Really “Fix Things,” We Must Pray

Early in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, admonishing his demonic protégé Wormwood on the matter of prayer, Screwtape said, “The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether.” In light of the latest round of radical Islamic terror in the U.S., it seems that many Americans burdened with a liberal worldview—especially those at the Daily News—have decided to listen to the demons whispering in their ears.

I shouldn’t be too harsh. Many of us Christians have given prayer a bad name. Too often we’ve made prayer all about ourselves—our wants, wishes, and desires—with little regard for what is really needed in the world around us. Thus too many of us often pray, “babbling like pagans,” as if we’re ordering from the worn-out menu (that we’ve practically memorized) at our favorite restaurant.
Of course, this is not to say that it’s wrong to ask for things, even for ourselves, when we pray. “The Lord’s Prayer,” which Christ used to teach us how to pray, contains more than one personal request. Three times, and significantly, to no avail, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked that “this cup be taken from me.”

Virtually every serious and significant Christian scholar throughout history has made note of the importance of prayer in the life of a believer. Prayer changes the world. More importantly, prayer changes us. As C.S. Lewis notes, “one must train the habit of Faith… That is why daily prayer and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe.” Thus prayer doesn’t so much lead us to “getting” as it does to us growing.

As Lewis also notes, prayer reveals our “bankruptcy,” or, put another way, our powerlessness. Prayer helps us understand who we really are, and who God really is. (Note how the Lord’s Prayer begins: “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name…”) And when necessary, prayer leads us up to the vital moment at which we “turn to God and say, ‘You must do this. I can’t.’”

Jesus warned us that without Him, we would accomplish nothing in this world—at least nothing of any lasting and good eternal consequence. Usually, it is only when we spend a significant deal of time with Him that we realize such. By nature, we humans are quite stubborn and full of pride. Any parent who has spent much time with their infant and toddler children knows this well!

We often think ourselves quite wise, smart, and capable. However, it is one thing for a two-year-old to demand cookies and Kool-Aid for lunch; it is quite another when a drunk 21-year-old man decides that he is sober enough to drive, or when a 30-year-old woman decides that her two children will be fine if she leaves her husband for another man, or when a 40-year-old man decides that the world owes him something and it is time to take it.

As tragic as the sinful, selfish choices of an individual adult can sometimes be, they often pale in comparison to a pastor, a politician, or a CEO who is “wise in his own eyes.” As the prophet Isaiah warned, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” In these times, much “darkness for light and light for darkness” has resulted from those who’ve ignored the eternal truths of our Creator.

As did the Israelites (noted at the end of the book of Judges), a culture “wise in its own eyes” does what is “right in its own eyes.” Currently, the disastrous results of such “wisdom” are frequently revealed throughout the United States. From the beginning of this nation, many of our founders warned us against such foolishness.

Reflecting on the victory over the British and writing on the hated Stamp Act which helped to launch the Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry noted, Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings, which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation.” (The last sentence is a direct reference to Proverbs 14:34.)

On April 30, 1789, in his Inaugural address to both Houses of Congress, President George Washington declared, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency…We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…”

Daniel Webster, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and “Defender of the Constitution,” was born just after the American victory over the British. Arguing before the Supreme Court (on behalf of the government!) that a school could not exclude the Bible, said “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God and shall respect His Commandments...we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country;...But if we and our posterity neglect religious instruction and authority; violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

Additionally, burdened with the problems and challenges that come with leadership, many of our national leaders—even political leaders—have encouraged, openly called, and themselves engaged in, prayer.

In 1787, as the Constitutional Convention was on the verge of collapse, 81-year-old Ben Franklin—considered by most a very secular-minded man—arose and gave a speech that helped changed the course of the Convention. In the speech he declared, “In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle 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. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?

“We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.”

Franklin’s rebuke and call for prayer were powerful and authoritative. Franklin was a man respected by every delegate at the Convention. Following the address, James Madison moved, and Roger Sherman seconded the motion that Franklin’s appeal for prayer be enacted. However, because the Convention had no money to pay for a minister, Franklin’s motion did not pass. However, Edmund Randolph, a delegate from Virginia, further moved “that a sermon be preached at the request of the convention on the 4th of July, the anniversary of Independence; and thenceforward prayers be used in ye Convention every morning.”

As historian David Barton notes, “As it turns out, after the Convention, and nine days after the first Constitutional Congress convened with a quorum (April 9, 1789), they implemented Franklin's recommendation. Two chaplains of different denominations were appointed, one to the House and one to the Senate, with a salary of $500 each. This practice continues today, posing no threat to the First Amendment.” (It’s also interesting to note that, as author Tim LaHaye points out, Congress has opened both houses with prayer ever since.)

President Washington issued two Thanksgiving Day Prayer Proclamations. In the first one, in 1789, he declared,

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

In September of 1862, just after the Union defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Lincoln penned his Meditation on the Divine Will (which his secretaries would later reveal were originally written for Lincoln’s eyes only):

“The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.

“I am almost ready to say that this is probably true -- that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”

On September 17, 1862, the bloodiest day in U.S. military history, Union forces defeated Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Armies at Antietam in Maryland. At the battle’s end, approximately 25,000 American men are killed, wounded, or missing. The victory held special significance for Lincoln.
A few days later, in the cabinet meeting on September 22, Lincoln announced his decision to issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The best account of the event comes from the diary of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles.

According to Welles, Lincoln “remarked that he had made a vow, a covenant, that if God gave us the victory in the approaching battle, he would consider it an indication of Divine will, and that it was his duty to move forward in the cause of emancipation. It might be thought strange, he said, that he had in this way submitted the disposal of matters when the way was not clear to his mind what he should do. God had decided this question in favor of the slaves. He was satisfied it was right, was confirmed and strengthened in his action by the vow and the results.”

Imagine that. American slaves were freed, in no small part, because the President of the United States saw it as a matter of “Divine will.” (Of course, because of their relationship with their Heavenly Father, millions of other praying Americans already well knew how God saw the matter of slavery in the United States.)

In spite of the vain and foolish protests by liberals, as even politicians throughout American history demonstrate, praying Christians are almost never do-nothing Christians. Quite the contrary, the more time we spend with our Creator, the better we get to know Him. The better we know Him, the more we trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we want to do what He says. And of course, if we want real and lasting change from the problems that afflict us, we will do as He directs us.

(See a version of this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, December 4, 2015

Straining Out Christian Gnats & Swallowing Islamic Camels

The frightening news about the San Bernardino jihadists continues to pour in. In addition to the early news about their contact with known terrorists, and their online viewing of ISIS propaganda, various news outlets today are reporting that Tashfeen Malik, the wife and murderous partner of Syed Rizwan Farook, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad.

Fox News is reporting that federal investigators are saying that there is a "very serious" possibility that Malik "radicalized" her husband. Also, disturbingly, but not surprisingly, CBS News is reporting that one of the San Bernardino terrorists passed the Department of Homeland Security’s "counterterrorism screening as part of her vetting" for a visa.

Given the perverse worldview of the current U.S. administration, no one should be surprised that Islamic terrorists are making their way through our borders and "security" checks. Just yesterday, no less than Loretta Lynch, President Obama's current Attorney General, vowed to prosecute those who use "anti-Muslim" rhetoric that "edges towards violence."

Obama himself has yet to call the San Bernardino massacre "terrorism." And when he does finally get around to uttering the word "terrorism," he almost certainly will not use the phrase "Islamic terrorism," or even "radical Islamic terrorism." His cohorts and enablers in the mainstream media will continue to parrot his silence on the role of Islam in terrorism. Contrast this with how quickly and lustfully many on the left rushed to label Robert Dear, who stormed a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility last Friday, shooting and killing three, a "white Christian terrorist."

Because they are so difficult (actually impossible) to find, the notion of "White Christian terrorists" keeps liberals across America busy. As I noted well over two years ago, there is a great deal of difference in "radical Christianity" and "radical Islam." Radical Christians build hospitals. Radical Muslims seek to fill them up. Radical Christians build schools. Radical Muslims hurl acid at the faces of young girls who merely want an education.

Radical Christians tell the truth about homosexuality so that those deceived might come to repentance. Radical Muslims execute homosexuals by throwing them from the rooftops of buildings (and leading Muslim clerics explain the justification). Radical Christians are the most generous people in the world. Nations where Islam dominate are some of the most impoverished in the world. In fact, much of the most desperate financial aid given out by the U.S. (private and government) is to counter the poverty produced by Islam.

These truths about Islam are clear and quantifiable. In spite of this, liberals--even (so-called) liberal Christians--are eager to equate Christian conservatives with violent radical Islamists. On Patheos, liberal Christian blogger Benjamin L. Corey declared that,
"Most of the anti-Sharia Christians are gross hypocrites….Conservative Christians often aren’t really anti-Sharia, they’re just anti-Islamic Sharia. They’re actually very pro-Sharia, highly engaged in trying to establish more Sharia, but instead are trying to establish Christian Sharia." (Emphasis mine.) 
To earn such slander, of course, Corey sites the "jihad" conservative Christians are waging against the homosexual agenda:
"We’ve seen this most notably in recent history with conservative Christians fighting against LGBTQ equality….Most recently, they went to the polls in Houston to vote down a bill that would have given transgender individuals the legal right to use the correct bathroom in public, instead of being forced into the humiliation of using the opposite gender bathroom. And, they won’t stop there. Between now and election day, Franklin Graham will be touring the country encouraging Christians to run for government office so they can 'turn America back to God.' Which, I can translate for you: he wants more Christians to run for office so we can make laws that reflect a very particular conservative Christian viewpoint. AKA, he wants more people to run for office so they’ll have the numbers to overturn their losses and expand Sharia law when it comes to LGBTQ individuals (and a host of other issues)….[T]hose who systematically fight agains [sic] the rights of LGBTQ citizens on the basis of their individual religious conviction, already support Sharia law. Just not that Sharia law, cause, you know, Muslims." (Emphasis mine.)
It should go without saying that, if Corey is so glaringly ignorant of his own faith, he would be ignorant of Islam as well. I wonder if he is willing to lecture Islamists so sternly on matters of "LGBTQ equality." Maybe he should plan a mission trip to the Middle East for just such a lecture.

And to top off their dangerous Islamic ignorance and Christian bias, after the San Bernardino attack, liberals mocked prayer and Christians calling for prayer, while foolishly declaring that "God's Not Fixing This." So while enabling a false religion that contains a significant number who would kill us all, liberals deride communication with the Author of truth, who, better than anyone else in the universe understands the only way to true peace.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Breastfeeding Studies: Mainstream Media Still Ignores the Obvious (Updated)

In March of this year, National Review reported on new studies that, again, reveal the "alarming rate" of breast cancer among women who have had abortions. As National Review notes, "[M]illions of women worldwide who have had abortions over the past several decades are coming down with breast cancer at alarmingly increased rates. Dozens of papers are being published that show the trend."

Also, "A 2014 meta-analysis of 36 studies from mainland China reported a 44 percent overall increase in breast-cancer risk among women who had had an abortion. But the strongest evidence comes from South Asia — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka — where the typical woman marries young, has several children and breastfeeds them all, and never drinks alcohol or smokes cigarettes. In such populations, where there is little else besides abortion to cause breast cancer, relative risks for abortion average greater than fourfold and as high as twentyfold, according to at least a dozen South Asian studies in the past five years alone."

About two weeks ago I linked to a piece from the Christian Post entitled "Women at Risk: Abortion and Breast Cancer [ABC] Linked." It reports, "Of the approximate 74 research studies conducted on the ABC link since 1973, 58 show a direct connection between increased breast cancer rates and induced abortion. All of these studies were conducted by international medical organizations. A more recent study, conducted by a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, also supports the ABC link."

Nevertheless, the liberal media, most of whom worship at the altar of their own sexual desires, along with those who profit from the killing of children in the womb, have for decades either ignored, or worse, deceived the public on, the ABC link. This is unsurprising, as abortion, like man-made global warming, the welfare state, the homosexual agenda, opposition to guns, and so on, is a tenet in the church of liberalism. How ironic that those who claim to be champions of science are so willfully ignorant when it comes to the science of the womb.

However, they've recently slipped up. No less than The New York Times, ABC News, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) have, in the last few days, reported on the benefits that breastfeeding provides mothers. In a bold headline, The New York Times declared, "Breast-Feeding Is Good for Mothers, Not Just Babies, Studies Suggest."

Most significantly, one study shows that "breast-feeding may help protect women from a particularly vicious type of breast cancer." As the AJC puts it, "Researchers found that mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer by 20 percent." 

As The Times puts it, "The study, published late last month in Annals of Oncology, found that breast-feeding reduced the risk of hormone receptor negative tumors, a very aggressive type of breast cancer, by up to 20 percent." The Times also notes, "Dr. Marisa Weiss, the paper’s senior author, said that pregnancy and lactation are important steps on the breast’s decades-long path to maturation, with lactation triggering changes in milk duct cells that make the breast more resistant to cancer.

"'The breast gland is immature and unable to do its job — which is to make milk — until it goes through the bat mitzvah of a full-term pregnancy,' Dr. Weiss said." 

Of course, it is seemingly lost on these liberals that an abortion violently, abruptly, and unnaturally interrupts all of this. What's more, none of this is new information. Over five years ago, "while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease [breast cancer]," scientists at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka found that while "breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion."

As researchers then found, the link between abortion and breast cancer "is caused by high levels of oestradiol, a hormone that stimulates breast growth during pregnancy. Its effects are minimized in women who take pregnancy to full term but it remains at dangerous levels in those who have abortions."

Over a decade ago, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, MD, testifying under oath declared:
"Induced abortion boosts breast cancer risk because it stops the normal physiological changes in the breast that occur during a full term pregnancy and that lower a mother’s breast cancer risk. A woman who has a full term pregnancy at 20 has a 90% lower risk of breast cancer than a woman who waits until age 30. 
"Breast tissue after puberty and before a term pregnancy is immature and cancer-vulnerable. Seventy five percent of this tissue is Type 1 lobules where ductal cancers start and 25 percent is Type 2 lobules where lobular cancers start. Ductal cancers account for 85% of all breast cancers while lobular cancers account for 12-15% of breast cancers. 
As soon as a woman conceives, the embryo secretes human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG, the hormone we check for in pregnancy tests. 
"HCG causes the mother’s ovaries to increase the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body resulting in a doubling of the amount of breast tissue she has; in effect, she then has more Type 1 and 2 lobules where cancers start. 
"After mid pregnancy at 20 weeks, the fetus/placenta makes hPL, another hormone that starts maturing her breast tissue so that it can make milk. It is only after 32 weeks that she has made enough of the mature Type 4 lobules that are cancer resistant so that she lowers her risk of breast cancer."
Additionally, another recent study "suggests that breast-feeding may act as a sort of 'reset' button for metabolism after pregnancy, helping women who had gestational diabetes avoid becoming lifelong diabetics." 

Also, these findings "complement earlier research showing that women who breast-feed have a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancers, Type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis."

Thus, the abortion industry and its apologists are not only responsible for the slaughter of tens-of-millions of women in the womb, but in their efforts to protect this barbaric and immoral practice, they are also responsible for the deaths of hundreds-of-thousands of their adult female customers. 

Just who is conducting the "War on Women?"


A comment on Free Republic (thanks DWW!), where this piece was linked, said the following:
"When a woman has a spontaneous miscarriage the hormones kick in the way they do after a full pregnancy when the hormones do their work to shut off the system, so to speak. 
"Now, if a woman has an abortion, these cells remain open and do not close because they are given the hormonal signal to close. When the cells remain open they have no protection from invading cancer cells. That is why breastfeeding is one of the best ways to protect the breasts from getting cancer. 
"To sum it up - an abortion keeps the breast tissue in an open position which is an invitation to cancer."
This is an important point that I neglected to address above. A "spontaneous abortion" (more commonly called a "miscarriage") is vastly different than an "induced (elective) abortion" when it comes to increased dangers of breast cancer. As Karen Malec, president and co-founder of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer notes, 
"Most miscarriages do not raise breast cancer risk because most are abnormal first trimester pregnancies without the surge in hormones that accompanies normal pregnancies. If the mother is not being overexposed to estrogen while it's in the presence of progesterone, then her cancer-susceptible lobules are not being stimulated to multiply. Her breasts aren't being stimulated to grow, and she's not growing more places for cancers to start. By contrast, most abortions are normal pregnancies which have elevated pregnancy hormone levels that stimulate breast growth. Second trimester miscarriages and early premature births before 32 weeks gestation also raise breast cancer risk."
(See a version of this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton (again) Disqualifies Herself as Commander-in-Chief

(And for that matter, any elected office whatsoever.)

As if we need even more evidence, yesterday Hillary again proved herself incompetent when it comes to dealing with issues of national security, radical Islam, or even Islam in general. In a campaign speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City yesterday, Clinton went to near comical lengths (of course, nothing about liberalism and our nation's security is very funny) to avoid mentioning "Islam" with "terror" or "terrorism."

"Let’s be clear," Clinton said, "Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism." Saying Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism is like saying the Clinton's have nothing to do with corrupt political fundraising.

According to the UK Daily Mail, she even mocked Republicans over the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism." To avoid the use of "Islam," Clinton repeatedly used the phrase "‘radical jihadism." Take note of the fact that she assumes that many of us are too stupid to link "jihadism" with Islam. What she's really doing, evidently being blind to how foolish it makes her appear (liberals can't seem to help themselves), is saying, "Look at me! I refuse to say 'Islam' when I talk about terrorism! See how tolerant I am!" And, of course, "Vote for me!"

A summary of the rest of her remarks:

Blaming ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ for vicious attacks of the sort that killed 129 people last Friday in Paris, she said, ‘isn’t just a distraction.’ Affiliating them with a religion ‘gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve.’

In the end, Clinton insisted, the Obama administration enjoyed some success by decoupling its strategy to defeat al-Qaeda from its religious underpinnings.

‘Our priority should be how to fight the enemy,’ she said. ‘In the end it didn’t matter what kind of terrorist we called [Osama] bin Laden. It mattered that we killed bin Laden.’

She also backed the president’s call for an America open to Syrian refugees, saying that the United States can’t ‘turn our backs on those in need.’

Clinton particularly warned against ‘discriminating against Muslims,’ saying that ‘many of these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists who threaten us.’
I wonder if she would say the same of Christians and Christianity. Of course, one doesn't need to wonder long. Earlier this year, to support her "radical" views on the "right" men and women have to kill children in the womb, she did not hesitate to compare pro-life republicans to terrorist groups.

Recently, Ravi Zacharias nicely summed up the propaganda offered up by Clinton and her liberal ilk when it comes to Islam and terror:

"The masquerade is on and it is deadly. We watch hundreds die. We hear speeches full of distortions; we tolerate deceit and even reward it. Some in power and in the public eye whitewash the reality while the blood of the murdered cries out from the ground. Our children and grandchildren will inherit the whirlwind because our media pundits and misguided speech-makers have sown to the wind by trading in lives for their power."
As I summarized earlier this year, there is not a greater threat to life, liberty, and happiness in the world today than liberalism and Islam. Clinton again reminds us why.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

The Roots of American Prosperity

(Another (unedited) excerpt from my forthcoming book.)

Ask most Americans what was the most important document produced in 1776 and almost no one would answer with Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (more commonly known as The Wealth of Nations). However, some would argue that Smith’s work had more of a global impact than even the Declaration of Independence.

The first edition of The Wealth of Nations sold out in six months. It would have an almost immediate impact on government financial policy, and is considered by many to be the most important treatise on economics ever written. Adam Smith is often called the “Founding Father” of capitalism.

American Founders soon recognized the importance of The Wealth of Nations when it came to economics and sound fiscal policy. Writing to John Norvell in 1807, Thomas Jefferson said that on “the subjects of money & commerce, Smith's Wealth of Nations is the best book to be read.” The Wealth of Nations is a collection of five books and is widely considered the world’s earliest, most comprehensive defense of a free-market economy.

Given the revival, and Revolution in America during the 18th century, and the given the amazing natural resources of America, the opportunity for incredible economic growth in the new United States was present from our founding. And as author W. Cleon Skousen put it in The 5,000 Year Leap, Smith’s doctrines of free-market economics “fit into the thinking and experiences of the Founders like a hand in a glove.”

As Skousen also points outs, the U.S. was the first nation on earth of any size or consequence “to undertake the structuring of a whole national economy on the basis of natural law and the free-market concept described by Adam Smith.”

Natural Law, or “[The] Law of Nature,” wrote English philosopher John Locke (who profoundly influenced our Founders), “stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions must…be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e. to the will of God…”

“True law,” as Cicero called it, is the “one eternal and unchangeable law [that] will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law…”

Blackstone declared in his presuppositional basis for law that, “These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil…This law of nature dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this…”

C.S. Lewis concludes that, “Natural Law or Traditional Morality [whatever one chooses to call it]…is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained.”

Throughout the early colonies, the incorporation of Natural (or “Divine”) Law was prevalent. As noted earlier, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (the first constitution written in America), as well as similar documents in Rhode Island and New Haven, specifically mentioned that their civil law rested upon “the rule of the word of God,” or “all those perfect and most absolute laws of His.”

References to, not vague religious babble, but specific biblical texts, such as the Ten Commandments, can be found in the civil law of every original U.S. Colony. It is a fact of history that throughout our pre-Colonial, Colonial, Revolutionary period and beyond, America’s lawmakers and laws were steeped in Natural Law.

When Jefferson wrote of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” he was borrowing from Lord Bolingbroke, of whom Jefferson was a student. In a famous letter to Alexander Pope, Bolingbroke writes, “You will find that it is the modest, not the presumptuous enquirer, who makes a real, and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths. One follows nature, and nature’s God; that is, he follows God in his works, and in his word.”

Thus we see that, belief and acceptance of Natural Law, as understood by America’s founders, is exactly in line with what Scripture reveals. As Paul writes in Romans, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Rom. 1:18-20).”

With God’s laws as the foundation for government, and with God’s law written on the hearts of so many Americans, and with a thirst for liberty, a free-market capitalistic society was simply the logical and right direction for the United States of America. In How Christianity Created Capitalism, philosopher Michael Novak writes, “It was the church more than any other agency, writes historian Randall Collins, that put in place what Weber called the preconditions of capitalism: the rule of law and a bureaucracy for resolving disputes rationally; a specialized and mobile labor force; the institutional permanence that allows for transgenerational investment and sustained intellectual and physical efforts, together with the accumulation of long-term capital; and a zest for discovery, enterprise, wealth creation, and new undertakings.”

In other words, America did not become, and for well over a century now, remain the most prosperous nation on earth merely by the blind forces of unfettered capitalism. The Christianity practiced by millions of Americans, and the Christian principles that formed the foundation of our laws and government produced a free, moral (but not perfect), and capitalistic society unlike anything the world has ever known. Thus, a prosperity like the world has never seen resulted.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The World Again Taught a Hard Lesson on Islam and Liberalism

Well over 100 are dead in Paris, France this evening as Islamic terrorists again decided to show the world the "cost of crossing the devoted." In coordinated attacks across various locations in Paris, Muslim gunmen armed with explosives and AK-47s slaughtered defenseless Paris civilians.

Just as was the case when the same such Islamic gunmen attacked the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, tragically, Parisians again get to see what results when a largely liberal, unarmed populace blindly embraces Islam.

The world is full of false religions--Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on--and deceptive ideologies--communism, socialism, secularism, liberalism, and the like. However, and again, speaking of the world at large, there's nothing today more dangerous to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than liberalism and Islam.

Ultimately, the battle here will not be won by soldiers or politicians, with guns or legislation. Of course, such things can be valuable, and should not be ignored, but as the Apostle Paul instructs us, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm."

May the love, truth, power, mercy, and grace, of the Lord Jesus Christ be revealed in this wicked tragedy.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is Bad for All Americans

Much of the left has always hated men like Ben Carson, but now that he has the lead in the Real Clear Politics polling average (as of this writing) for the republican presidential nomination, their desire to tear him down has intensified. With a recent column in Time magazine entitled Ben Carson is Terrible for Black Americans, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided to weigh in.

Sounding like a bad Elaine Benes date, Abdul-Jabbar begins his piece by asking and answering his own question—twice. He concludes that a Carson presidency would “be an unmitigated disaster.” I suppose that with record numbers of Americans on welfare, record numbers of Americans not working, accumulating more federal debt than every other U.S. president combined, a perverse redefinition of marriage, granting a “God bless you” to killers of children in the womb, promoting a culture of lawlessness, inspiring hostility toward U.S. law enforcement, encouraging the invasion through our southern border, and on top of all of that, ruining school lunches for millions of American children, for Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, the last seven years constitutes something other than an “unmitigated disaster.”

Of course, such blindness and duplicity concerning the last seven years is enough to dismiss Abdul-Jabbar’s opinion as nothing more than the ramblings of a left-wing lunatic. However, his hit-piece on Carson is filled with hare-brained liberal blather and provides us with an abundance of evidence that Kareem should stick to NBA analysis instead of presidential politics.

Abdul-Jabbar says that Carson’s “repressive, muddled and pious policies and opinions often run against our Constitution.” As so often is the case with liberals, he discusses none of Carson’s specific policies or opinions. And it’s very interesting that a follower of Islam—as is Abdul-Jabbar—is so concerned with the Constitutionality of Dr. Carson’s policies and opinions. As I noted earlier this year, few things in the world are more repressive than Islam and liberalism, yet Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is an eager devotee of both.

Next Abdul-Jabbar, who gained both fame and fortune only because he was 7’2” tall and very talented with a basketball, calls into question Dr. Carson’s thinking on matters of science. Carson, a graduate of Yale and the University of Michigan Medical School, and a world-renowned neurosurgeon, draws the wrath of liberals like Abdul-Jabbar because he doesn’t toe the progressive line when it comes to Darwinian evolution, homosexuality, global warming, and the like. (Of course, as is often the case, Abdul-Jabbar totally avoids the science of life in the womb.)

Not once, but twice Abdul-Jabbar references the totally debunked “97% scientific consensus” canard when it comes to man-made global warming. He warns that Carson’s “head-in-the-sand” thinking on the climate could prove “disastrous” when it comes to the very “survival”—“survival” mind you—of the United States and the world. Amazing.

For decades, the willful moral and scientific blindness exhibited by American liberals—in other words, “head-in-the-sand” thinking—has directly led to the wanton destruction of tens-of-millions of American (hundreds-of-millions worldwide) in the womb. Likewise, for decades liberals have ignored the clear science and morality when it comes to homosexuality, marriage, and the family. Yet Dr. Carson, and the tens-of-millions of us who largely share his worldview, are the dangerous “anti-science” theocrats America should fear.

Generations of Americans have suffered horribly as the rotten fruit of liberalism has corrupted sound sexual morality and the family model that God gave to us. None in the U.S. have suffered more under such wicked perversions than have black Americans. How tragically ironic that a so-called champion of blacks in America would turn his heart and mind from such misery. It goes to show the depths of the corrupting power of liberalism.

Abdul-Jabbar also makes time to quote the United Nations and the APA, promote Obamacare, attack President George W. Bush, and lament the “institutional racism” that’s supposedly still so prevalent in the U.S.

The last paragraph of Abdul-Jabbar’s piece contains a sentence that provides us with complete clarity when it comes to politics and the modern liberal mind. He writes, “We are always striving to do better for our people by fulfilling the promise of a democratic Eden here and now.”

There is perhaps nothing that sums up modern liberalism more clearly than its dangerous pursuit of utopia. Virtually every perverse liberal policy today—their lust to maintain the “right” to kill children in the womb, their desire to destroy marriage and the family, their lust for all things homosexual, their big government economic policies and hatred of capitalism, their lust for the environment and hatred of fossil fuels, their hatred of guns and gun rights, and so on—stems from the Darwinian notion that this life is all that we have, and everything imaginable must be done in order to fill it with as much pleasure as possible.

Ben Carson’s conservatism, or rather conservatism in general—especially Christian conservatism—stands in the way of such utopian pursuits. This is why so many liberals put so much effort and energy (and anger and deception) into elections. For the most part, the hope of liberals lies only in what they can accomplish in this world. They’ve made a god of government. “In government they trust.”

As Mark Levin wrote in Ameritopia, according to modern liberalism, “A heavenly society is said to be within reach if only the individual surrenders more of his liberty and being for the general good, meaning the good as prescribed by the state.” And we all have seen “the good” that results from the edicts put forth by godless secular regimes.

Dr. Ben Carson is not bad for black Americans; he is bad for liberalism, which is good for America. It’s the liberalism preached and promoted by likes of Abdul-Jabbar that’s bad for the country.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Good Election Night for Conservatives

Whether gubernatorial races, or ballot measures on the moral issues, last night was a very good election night for conservatives across America.

In Kentucky, by a margin of 53-44, Republican Matt Bevin easily defeated his Democrat challenger, Attorney General Jack Conway. What makes this result most interesting is that most political experts had given the TEA Party favorite Bevin little chance of winning. Conway's Real Clear Politics ending poll advantage was +3, with no polls in Bevin's favor. As WSB's Jamie Dupree notes, all of the polling trends were in Conway's favor.

Dupree attributes Bevin's win to a recent ad that tied the Democrat Conway to President Obama:

Likewise, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post notes the same video, and says that Bevin, who "wasn't a very good candidate," (Cillizza's a liberal and a regular on MSNBC) has Barack Obama to thank for his win. An interesting side note to Bevin's big win: his running mate, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, Jenean Hampton (also a TEA Party favorite), is the first black elected to statewide office in Kentucky history.

With little real opposition, Mississippi's Republican Governor Phil Bryant easily won a second term.

In a stiff rebuke to Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Republicans held onto all of their state senate seats, and maintained their senate majority. The GOP dominates the Virginia House, and McAuliffe and the Democrats spent millions attempting to turn the senate.

By a nearly two-to-one margin (65-35), Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational marijuana. 

Similarly, in liberal Houston (they have a lesbian mayor), the electorate soundly rejected the foolishly misnamed "Equal Rights Ordinance." The ordinance, which was championed by Mayor Annise Parker--did I mention that she's a lesbian?--would have allowed people to use restrooms, showers and other public accommodations based on their "gender identity," and not their biological sex. In other words, people could've simply walked into any restroom or bathhouse they so desired.

The liberals on Houston's council had, by an 11-6 vote, passed the law in May of 2014. Through the efforts of conservatives, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the law repealed or placed on the ballot. If you recall, it was this perverse law which led to Mayor Parker attempting to subpoena sermons and the like by Houston area pastors who spoke out against the law and homosexuality in general. 

As I've said beforewhatever the outcome of any election, Christians should never be too elated or too downtrodden. Politics is a realm occupied by men and women, who will almost certainly let us down. This is not to say that Christians should not be involved in, or concerned with, politics. We most certainly should. However, we must live knowing that our hope is not in any individual or institution in this world. As S.M. Lockridge put it when it comes to the One Christians serve, "You can't impeach Him, and He's not going to resign." 

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hillary Clinton and "Black Lives Matter" Deserve One Another

For most Georgians today, the Hillary Clinton speech in Atlanta was much like a Tennessee-Florida football game. It was hard to know who to most root against. The next liberal to be indicted--I mean the Democrat front-runner--was in Atlanta, speaking to what she thought was a friendly crowd. Clinton was there in order to tout her latest get out the vote operation--I mean criminal justice reform plan.

Instead of having to endure the normal liberal drivel spilled by Clinton, Georgians were exposed to a double-dose of progressive propaganda. Clinton's speech was interrupted multiple times, and at significant length, by a rather large gaggle of thug apologists--I mean "Black Lives Matter" protesters.

It is rather satisfying to witness one of the political monsters created by liberals prey upon its own. How ironic is it that two campaigns predicated upon a mountain of lies found themselves at odds with one-another? The "Black Lives Matters" (BLM) fools are putting the lives of police officers in even greater danger, and their actions have led to an increase in crime in cities across America. Obama's own FBI chief has recently complained of the "Ferguson effect" that has spread to many U.S. cities.

On top of the violence and ignorance promoted by the BLM movement, and on top of the many who already are so prominent in her life, her campaign, and her party, Hillary wants us to put more even more criminals to work. In her speech today she vowed to sign an executive order that would ban federal employers from asking job-seekers about their prior criminal convictions. Perhaps she's thinking this will make it easier for Bill to get a job in her administration?

I fully expect these two campaigns to make up. Does anyone really believe that the BLM fools and whomever is the Democrat nominee won't eventually end up on the same page when it comes to election time? I would expect nothing less from the liberal faithful.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where Are the Christian Celebrities on Marriage? (Updated)

This past Thursday evening, my undefeated (5-0) Atlanta Falcons faced their division rival, the 1-4 New Orleans Saints. The Falcons were on a bit of a roll, and despite playing on the road, were favored over the struggling Saints. Alas, turnovers and a hot Drew Brees did in the Falcons. Brees favorite receiving target that night was his tight end, the former University of Georgia stand-out Ben Watson. Watson had a career night, catching 10 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. (He had 20 catches for 136 yards all of last season.)

This is Watson’s 12th season in the NFL. He’s not a future hall-of-famer, but he’s had a long and productive football career. He’s also one of the smartest players in football. Prior to being drafted by the New England Patriots, Watson scored a 48 on the NFL’s Wonderlic Test (an intelligence test the NFL gives to prospective players). Watson’s score is tied for third highest ever in the NFL. Watson having a great night helped lessen the blow of the Falcon’s first loss for me. Lately, I’ve become even more of a fan of the former UGA Bulldog.

Watson seems to be a devoted family man. He’s married (only once it seems, which in-and-of-itself is quite unusual for today’s celebrities) to Kirsten Watson. They have five children: Grace, Naomi, Isaiah, Judah, and Eden. Note the biblical theme to the names. Watson is a Christian, and refreshingly, not a very shy one.

More than once in the past year, using white-hot current events, Watson has used his Christian worldview to present the world with the unabashed truth. After the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, in late November of last year, Watson wrote,

“I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through…his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”

After the Supreme Court’s infamous ruling on marriage, Watson declared

“Relative morality is as capricious as the wind, leaving each generation to do what is right in their own eyes, while unknowingly undermining the exact concept of “right” that they are so desperately trying to attain. Instead of shooting for the mark, we lower it, doing what is good for “us” at the time, effectually creating our own truth, which when taken to its logical conclusion is always problematic.

“We, as a nation, have continued our course into dangerous waters, shaking our fist and becoming our own gods. This individual Supreme Court ruling is not the cause, but simply evidence of how far we’ve gradually drifted. The moral decay of America is not unlike moral decay in my own life, as I continually battle against self rule. It’s a gradual decline. The tire usually doesn’t spontaneously blow out. No, it’s an aggravating slow leak, that needs constant refilling of air, until eventually, busyness takes precedence and the now unattended to tire is completely flat. Life’s proverbial morality tire responds in much the same way. It’s neglecting to read and respect the Bible. It’s listening to or watching things that aren’t uplifting. It’s allowing myself a second look. It’s removing prayer from schools and our homes. It’s legalizing the murder of babies in the womb. It’s glorifying promiscuity and reducing sex to a simple physical animalistic act. It’s objectifying woman and praising the “playa”. It’s condoning divorce. It’s standing by in silence. It’s ignoring the promptings of the Spirit. It’s Christians, myself included, not living like Christians.”

It’s those last three sentences that’s bothered me lately. There’s far too many “standing by in silence” when it comes to the significant moral issues of our time. Sadly, this is especially the case when it comes to Christian celebrities. In other words, there are far too few Ben Watson’s out there.

For example, my older three children, ages 13, 11, and 9 have recently discovered that they really enjoy musical concerts—contemporary Christian concerts. They’ve attended several this year (in the state of Georgia where we live). Each of these events contained very popular Christian artists that most everyone would recognize if I named them. Tragically, at each of these worship events, hardly any mention of marriage or family was made. And no mention was made in the context of “Our nation is in a spiritual crisis when it comes to marriage and the family.” Neither were the grave matters of sexual purity and sexual temptation given any attention. This should not be.

All Christians have a responsibility to be “salt and light” in this dark world. This is true for the secluded or isolated Christian with a small circle of influence, as well as the celebrity Christian who can gain the attention of millions, and everyone in between. Of course, the larger your sphere of influence, the more opportunity you have to widely impact the world for Jesus Christ.

Throughout history, and the world over, the union of one man and one woman is the foundation of every social institution. Strong and healthy marriages lead to strong and healthy families. Strong and healthy families lead to strong and healthy communities. Strong and healthy communities lead to strong and healthy churches, schools, businesses, governments, and so on.

What’s more, marriage is “the Crown of Creation.” It is the priority relationship within the family, with all other relationships being subordinate, and functioning subject, to it. After our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between husband and wife. The union is so profound that throughout the New Testament, God uses the analogy of the bride and bridegroom to describe the relationship between Jesus and the Church.

Of course, honoring ones "father and mother" is given specific attention in God's "top ten." I say "of course" because I assume most every American is aware of the Ten Commandments. It's not as if the Ten Commandments have been removed from our culture--oh, wait. If we take away the Ten Commandments, we shouldn't be very surprised that many Americans have decided that things like mothers and fathers are no longer very important. I suppose such Americans now find the Ten Commandments "discriminatory."

Of course, Satan is well aware of the significance of marriage. Virtually every sexual sin that plagues our culture—promiscuity, pornography, divorce, homosexuality, et al—is ultimately an attack on marriage and the family. Satan knows well that, if you want to destroy a culture, you go after the foundation.

Thus, there are very few things in the world today that deserve more attention of the followers of Jesus than does marriage. It is under attack as never before. Our witness to the eternal truth on marriage is more important now than ever. (See: The Marriage Commitment Challenge.) We must be very deliberate and opportunistic in our defense of marriage. Whenever we have the opportunity, we must speak out in defense of marriage. This is especially true of pastors, politicians, teachers, authors, and apologists.

Christian artists should produce music, movies, and other forms of entertainment that defend and glorify marriage, and whenever given a stage, Christian entertainers should vigorously defend what God gave us when it comes to marriage. Those of us who are policemen, firemen, work in an office, work in a warehouse, work on a farm, mow lawns, work in the home, and the like, must also take every opportunity to model and speak the truth on marriage.

As I’ve already noted, many Americans are going to have to make hard choices about whom they are going to obey. As we’ve already seen, such obedience will cost some of us our jobs or our businesses. For others, the loss of a job may be only the beginning of the suffering that results from standing for the truth on marriage.

As Pastor Rick Warren instructs us, we cannot be afraid to be unpopular (which is very hard for most politicians and celebrities), and we must remember that the only way to be relevant is to make sure that our words and actions align with eternal truths. We don’t need to worry if we’re on “the right side of history;” we just need to be on the “right side.”

Again, marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity—older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, October 16, 2015

Witness the Absurd Lengths Liberals Go to Guard the Killing of Children in the Womb

Two recent episodes display the ignorant, foolish, vile, and vulgar lengths to which liberals will stoop in order to safeguard abortion. At the recent Democrat Party debate, where abortion was never mentioned, MRCTV asked the head of the Democrat National Committee, Debbie Schultz, if her children were human prior to birth. Her response would be comical if not for the tragic results of the Democrats loyalty to abortion. Witness an abortion apologist at her "best:"

The CNN panelists NEVER ONCE asked the Democrat candidates about abortion or even Planned Parenthood--even after Hillary brought up the latter. I suppose they did want to make them look as foolish as Schultz does in the above video.

Also, in a horrific display of modern liberalism, Argentinian pro-abortionists, with provocative nudity and deliberate violence, recently attacked a group of young men who had gathered to pray outside the Cathedral of Mar de Plata in Argentina. The out-of-control abortion supporters hurled glass bottles and feces at the praying men, and even threatened to burn down the Cathedral. (Viewer discretion advised.)

I suppose we should be surprised at nothing from those who attempt to defend the indefensible. Nevertheless, the videos above are very telling. Change our hearts, oh God!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guns Don’t Kill People, Liberalism Does

President Obama wants us to politicize gun deaths in America. I decided to take him up on his invitation.

I hope that no one is surprised that Obama took this opportunity again to attack guns, the gun industry, and those of us who are fans of the Second Amendment. This is what a community organizing career politician does. For liberals like Obama, virtually everything is, or must be made, political. Because political problems require political solutions, and thus, when something is politicized, those in favor of empowering and growing government get to do what they do best: give speeches, call for legislation, and attempt to stir up the electorate in their favor.

Prior to the murderous rampage by Chris Harper Mercer at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, liberals across America must’ve decided that after the next mass shooting in the U.S., “time to politicize” was going to be one of the themes of their talking points. Prior to Obama’s speech on the Umpqua massacre, where he declared “this is something we should politicize,” in the largest newspaper in my home state of Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, liberal columnist Jay Bookman (at about 3:30 in the afternoon on the day of the shooting) posted an online piece entitled, Another mass shooting at college? Hell yes we should ‘politicize it.’

Liberals wouldn’t do this if it hadn’t worked for them in the past. In spite of being on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue of our time, democrats have won many elections with their shrewd political skill. However, it’s not that liberals are that much better at politics than conservatives. It’s that the deck is stacked in their favor. As I’ve pointed out before, because under liberalism the moral demands are few, politics is much easier for liberals.

Again, when you operate in the realm of fantasy, it is much easier not only to ignore the truth, but also to manufacture crises and perpetuate false injustices so as to paint oneself as the savior for what needs (or will need) fixing. Thus, “never let a crisis go to waste” is a frequent means by which political power is obtained and kept. Far too many Americans are all too willing to cast their votes for those who promise to “protect” them—from the climate, from the corporations, from the Christians, from guns, and from the consequences of their own bad decisions.

Speaking of fantasy and guns, (on this, there’s no shortage of material from liberals) in an attempt to defame the NRA and republicans, I recently encountered the following:

“Last Year” in the poster is a reference is to 2013. However, what any good liberal will neglect to point out is that of those 33,636 deaths, nearly two-thirds were suicide, with an additional several hundred the result of legal intervention. (Even Wikipedia has the numbers.) The high ratio of gun deaths by suicide has been the case for years. Nevertheless, liberals regularly report (or even incorrectly report) the 30,000-plus gun deaths in the U.S. without mentioning the number of suicides.

And notice the blood on the hands in the poster above? With nearly 60 million of the most helpless and innocent Americans killed since 1973, when it comes to bloody hands, none are more red-stained than a modern liberal’s. As I noted on the day of the Oregon shootings, given their rabid support for slaughtering the unborn, when it comes to any form of violence—or for that matter, any moral issue whatsoever—no voter should ever trust any “solution” presented by a liberal.

It’s rather telling—but not at all surprising—that so few liberals have demonstrated any shock or remorse at the recent undercover Planned Parenthood videos. Remember how the liberal media had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell? Whether the Gosnell trial, or the Planned Parenthood videos, the truth about the abortion industry has been known for decades now. What’s more, there’s no real shortage of photographic and video evidence of what really happens during an abortion. Again, much of this has been around for years.

Mother Theresa warned us years ago, “We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?” As she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Theresa declared that abortion “is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child—what is left for me to kill you and you kill me—there is nothing between.” In other words, if as a culture we’ve become comfortable killing in the womb, we shouldn’t be surprised at killings in the classroom.

In addition to making what should be one of the safest places for a human being into a killing zone, once outside the womb, the most dangerous places in America are run by liberals (i.e., democrats). According to FBI data, and as Mark Alexander noted a few months ago, “the 10 most dangerous cities in America with populations above 200,000 are all managed, top to bottom, by Democrats. They are: Detroit, Oakland, Memphis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark and Kansas City.”

As Alexander also notes, along with being extremely impoverished (the top ten most impoverished American cities are all also run by democrats), these liberal havens have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. And as Umpqua Community College again tragically demonstrated, strict gun laws—such as “gun free zones”—only work when people are willing to obey the laws.

In most cases, these dangerous and impoverished cities have been dominated by liberal politics for decades. Sadly, democrats’ most reliable constituency, black Americans, have suffered most under liberalism. Though only 12.6% of the U.S. population, blacks make up over 35% of abortions in America. Nearly 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods.

Additionally, blacks (especially young black males) comprise well over half of the 11,000+ annual gun homicides in America. Well over 90% of these murders are the result of black-on-black crime. Multiple times this year, urban America has seen the equivalent of the Umpqua massacre occur over a weekend. In Obama’s home state of Illinois, Chicago alone has had several weekends that were as violent or more violent than what we just witnessed in Oregon. Do you recall any impassioned presidential pressers as a result? Me either.

All of this, and I’ve made no mention of the devastation that liberalism has wrought upon the family, nor the crippling and enslaving economic policies practiced and preached by modern liberals. If Americans want to be safe, the truth is clear: walk with Jesus, buy a gun, and don’t vote for liberals.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World