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Monday, March 28, 2016

Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal Caves on Religious Liberty

In the light of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's veto of a very weak religious liberty bill, I have a few questions for the governor and those who support this veto. As has often been the case in the modern debate over marriage, in his remarks today defending his veto of the watered down religious liberty bill, Governor Deal mentioned "language that could give rise to state-sanctioned discrimination."

Tell us, Governor, was it "discrimination" when, in 2004, 76% of Georgia voters made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex "marriages" or civil unions? Was it "discrimination" when, by an average margin of nearly 68%, voters in over 30 other states did the same (or similar)? If not for a narrow 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that ignored the eternal truth on marriage, all of these laws would still stand. What happens if a more conservative court reverses last year's infamous decision? Is it only "discrimination" when the courts tell us that is the case?

In a seeming swipe at the Christian community, Governor Deal added, "I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask the government to confer upon them certain rights and protections. If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should heed the 'hands-off' admonition of the First Amendment to our Constitution." I wonder if then Congressman Nathan Deal found it "ironic" when, in 1993 he was voting in support of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Christian conservatives know well where our rights originate, and we're certainly not asking for new ones from the government. This is exactly what liberals do. This is exactly what happened when the U.S. Supreme Court decided it could redefine the oldest institution in the history of humanity. Christians only need government to protect us in situations like this, when liberals have conferred new-found "rights" upon a group--in this case, "rights" that went unnoticed and unrecognized for nearly two centuries in the U.S.

As I've pointed out before, it is noteworthy that the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (the Fourteenth Amendment being ratified in 1868) did nothing to prevent all 50 U.S. states, including each state that entered the union after 1868, from enacting laws against homosexual behavior. As recently as 1961, sodomy was a felony in every state in the U.S.

In other words, for nearly 200 years and without any Constitutional conflictions or any "hands-off" approach, or any serious debate, homosexual behavior in America was seen as immoral and therefore illegal. Thus, we see that the Founders--the authors of the First Amendment to which Governor Deal refers--do nothing but support the traditional (biblical) view of marriage.

Again, those behind the homosexual agenda are not looking for compromise. As they have targeted Christians and Christian-owned businesses in other states, they will eventually target para-church organizations and the church. We must have politicians with the moral conviction to stand against the perverse homosexual agenda. Of course, this means an electorate with the moral conviction to choose such politicians. And this means revival.

Again, after our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between a husband and his wife. 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 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Impact of the Empty Tomb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Americans are the most generous people on the earth. Take note of the number of influential charities inspired by Christianity. Among them are The Salvation Army, Campus Crusade, Catholic Charities, Compassion International, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, and the YMCA. Through charities such as these, and through the efforts of tens-of-thousands of U.S. churches, and tens-of-millions of U.S. Christians, Americans account for nearly half of all charitable giving worldwide. What’s more, the U.S. government gives more than any other nation on earth.

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

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

The great nation that we inhabit was founded almost exclusively by Christians and upon Christian principles. On July 4, 1837, in a speech delivered in the town of Newburyport Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, and the 6th U.S. President, proclaimed,

“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? [Independence Day] Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?”

Witnessing the events of the Revolution as a boy, and no-doubt hearing from his father of the raucous debates that gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and then going on to serve his country in many various capacities, John Quincy Adams saw that Christmas and Independence Day were fundamentally linked. And of course, the “Redeemer’s mission” was not complete until He hung on the cross, died for our sins, and then left His earthly tomb. Adams understood well that the Founders took the principles that Christ brought to the world and incorporated those into civil government. This is what makes the U.S. government so distinctive, why it has been so durable, and why, to this day, we are the greatest nation the world has ever known.

The United States has become the world’s wealthiest, most powerful, most influential nation in world history. Standing for freedom and justice and operating out of love, whether through its government or private citizens, the United States of America has come to the aid and rescue of billions of people around the world.

The current year is 2016. This is not 2016 years from Caesar, Buddha, or Mohammed, but from the birth of Jesus Christ. Dan Flynn notes that, “The attempt to replace Anno Domini (AD) and BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) is yet another exercise in futility. Doesn't this Common Era, after all, begin with the life of Christ?”

The impact of Christ’s resurrection can be seen in institutions and industries, in calendars and carols, in tribes and in nations. As I said earlier, virtually every facet of our lives has been impacted by the empty tomb left by Jesus. However, I believe that the power of Jesus is most noticeable in the lives of individuals who have surrendered to Him. Though we may acknowledge Him on our currency, and measure our years from His birth, our only real hope is in His resurrection.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ignorance and Hypocrisy Abound over Georgia’s Religious Liberty Bill

I suppose none of us should be surprised that the apologists for homosexuality are also capable of rampant and unrepentant hypocrisy. Nevertheless, the duplicity recently on display in Georgia belongs in the hypocrisy hall of fame.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Obergefell decision, and after previous efforts at a religious liberty bill failed, and in order to protect its citizens from the militant homosexual agenda, legislators in Georgia felt renewed urgency to join over 30 other U.S. states which have similar religious liberty legislation or provisions.

The debate raged for months. Throughout this period, the media in Georgia was saturated with articles and commentary on how bad such legislation would be for the state. Corporations across Georgia and the U.S., along with local sports teams were not shy about letting their voices be heard. With unsurprising unanimity, they came down on the side of the perverse homosexual agenda. And of course, the word “discrimination” was hurled around indiscriminately.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson tweeted out, “Georgia must stop discrimination in the name of religious freedom.” Yet, Virgin Group is a worldwide conglomerate and does business in places like The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and Oman. LGBT “rights” are non-existent in these Islamic nations. Both The UAE and Saudi Arabia allow for the death penalty as punishment for homosexual behavior.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc., tweeted, “I agree and proud @SecureWorks joined against Georgia Bill that Shields Discrimination Against Gays.” Dell has offices in Communist China (enough said) and Singapore. Male-on-male sexual activity is illegal in Singapore. Additionally, Singapore has no recognition whatsoever of same-sex couples.

With a tweet that included the headline, “A Georgia Bill Shields Discrimination Against Gays,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “We agree with the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce on keeping Georgia a great place to do business.” It seems that for Microsoft a “great place to do business” also includes places like Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, of Newsweek’s “Top Twelve Most Homophobic Nations,” Microsoft does business in nine of them.

Other companies such as Coca-Cola, Google, Intel, and so on, are guilty of the same kind of hypocrisy. In late February of this year, after the Georgia Senate passed what Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson called “a good bill that protects religious freedom,” he noted the “cultural cronyism” engaged in by corporate giants such as Hilton Worldwide, Marriott and InterContinental Hotels Group. As Anderson puts it, “Businesses in Georgia were always free to embrace gay marriage—to bake wedding cakes for gay marriages and make floral arrangements for same-sex nuptials—and many do, but now they want the government to force everyone in Georgia to do the same.”

Anderson also notes, “But if every Hilton, Marriott, and InterContinental hotel in Georgia already hosts receptions for newlywed same-sex couples—why can’t Georgia protect the mom-and-pop bed-and-breakfast or local Knights of Columbus hall that has a different set of beliefs about marriage? This law doesn’t harm minority rights; it protects them in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage.

“The hypocrisy of big business lobbying against the law is astounding. They want to be free to operate in Georgia according to their values, but they don’t want small-business competitors to be free to operate according to theirs. If all of the major corporations are already in favor of gay marriage, then this religious freedom law poses no threat. It merely protects the rights of those who disagree.”

The hypocrisy is even more astounding when we see that Hilton Worldwide has hotels in China, Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the like. Marriott has hotels or resorts in Algeria, China, Egypt, and India. You get the idea.

With the aid of Georgia taxpayers (most of whom are against same-sex marriage), the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons are building a fancy new stadium. This state-of-the-art stadium has helped place Georgia in the running to host a Super Bowl in the near future. Multiple stories have run in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution warning that, “If Georgia chooses to turn the ‘religious liberty’ bill into law, be prepared: Atlanta may not get a Super Bowl.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy is quoted as saying, “NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”

Along with Atlanta, other cities in the running for the next several Super Bowls are New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Miami. With its warm, sunny climate, Florida has long been a favorite Super Bowl destination for the NFL. Never mind that Florida has a Religious Freedom law, and has since 1998. What’s more, there have been five Super Bowls in Florida (in 3 different cities) since 1998. Will the NFL now hold the Sunshine State to the same standard as Georgia? Texas also has a RFRA law, and it was in place when the new Cowboys Stadium housed the Super Bowl in 2011. Will Texas (a more conservative state than GA) now hold no more Super Bowls? (Next year’s Super Bowl is in Houston.)

Additionally, as Kyle Wingfield of the AJC points out, "In fact, the history of the Super Bowl since 1997 — when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal RFRA did not apply to state and local governments — shows the vast majority of the games have been played in (or awarded to, in the case of the 2017 and 2018 games) states with similar laws on the questions of religious liberty and LGBT rights:

  • Fourteen out of the 21 were, or will be, played in states that by statute or court precedent use the “strict scrutiny” legal standard set by RFRA. The seven exceptions include the 2002 game in New Orleans, before Louisiana passed its RFRA, and the 2012 game in Indianapolis, before Indiana passed its RFRA.
  • Twelve of the 21 have no LGBT non-discrimination laws regarding employment; another four have laws affecting only public employees.
  • Sixteen of the 21 have no LGBT non-discrimination laws regarding housing.
  • Sixteen of the 21 have no LGBT non-discrimination laws regarding public accommodations."


Following passage of the legislation, all of the major professional teams in Georgia—the Atlanta Braves, Falcons, and Hawks—issued statements that sided with the homosexual agenda. The statements decried the so-called “discrimination” of the legislation and spoke of “inclusion.” It evidently escapes these organizations that professional sports teams are some of the most “discriminating” organizations in America.

In the combined 276-year history of MLB, the NFL, and the NBA, no woman has ever been a regular member of any of those leagues. For decades U.S. women have been excluded from the glory and the riches enjoyed by male professional athletes in America. Thanks to Obama and his minions, even the U.S. military has “seen the light” when it comes to women in combat. How dare these sports organizations continue to “discriminate” when it comes to women!

Of course, we all “discriminate” regularly. In fact, as I’ve pointed out before, “U.S. law itself is an instrument of comprehensive discrimination.” Though liberals never admit such, EVERY position in the marriage debate—including that of the Supreme Court—“discriminates.” You almost never hear homosexual apologists clamoring for the “rights” of the polygamous, incestuous, “throuples” (which is now promoted in a new TV show), and the like.

Nevertheless, the left’s cries of “discrimination” have been effective. Both the Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston, and Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal, capitulated to the point of using the language of the left when describing the noble efforts of Georgia legislators who wanted to protect Georgians from the tyranny of modern liberalism. Deal threatened a veto, and in a lame attempt to make his case, went so far as to use Scripture.

Thus, the “good bill” described by Ryan Anderson was gutted. Although the previous bill was already lacking, the language of the new legislation, “significantly waters down a religious freedom bill that had real force.” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council declared that “timid lawmakers caved to misinformation campaigns from the Left and threats from big business. The bill, which was never as strong as it should have been, is now a tattered fig leaf now that House Speaker David Ralston has gutted the real protections for Georgia’s men and women of faith.”

Of course, the very premise of this debate is absurd. The idea that we need to protect citizens, small businesses, or whomever, who wish to hold to the definition of marriage that has prevailed for millennia the world over is further sign of the decline (if not the death) of our culture. As modern liberalism frequently demonstrates, when one abandons eternal truth, there is virtually no limit to the extremeness, hypocrisy, and folly that will follow.

After our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between a husband and his wife. 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.

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

(See also: Governor Deal Sides with the Sodomites.)

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, March 14, 2016

Matt Drudge Pimps Anti-Cruz Propaganda

On his site today, prominently displayed in red headlines, and including an exclamation point, Matt Drudge has this:



Notice the right-hand column that deceptively reads "Video: Pastor Calls for Execution of Gays -- Then Introduces Ted Cruz at Conference!" 

If you only click on the link, you will easily see that the pastor shown, Kevin Swanson, in no way "calls for the execution of gays." When discussing homosexuals, Pastor Swanson references Romans 1:32 which says that those who engage in such things are "worthy of death" (or "deserve to die" in the English Standard translation). As is typical when reading such Scripture, the verses prior help give the proper context. Here's Romans 1:18-32:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
As any unbiased reader can see, those who "deserve to die" are those who practice any type of "ungodliness and unrighteousness." Of course, this is all of humanity since "all have sinned." And as even the most elementary observers of Christianity knows, this is why Jesus had to die for our sins. The "wages of sin" is death. Christ died so that we might live.

So thus, what we are really talking about here is sin, and that includes homosexuality. Unsurprisingly, the left and its apologists want nothing to do with calling homosexuality a "sin." We do not usually find Matt Drudge on the same side as modern liberals in such issues. However, sadly, this is the case here.

What's more, the event to which Drudge is referring is over 4 months old. It seems that Drudge, much like his cohorts at Breitbart, are so in the tank for Donald Trump that they will do and say almost anything to ensure that Trump is the GOP nominee. Mr. Trump is perhaps the most biblically ignorant hedonistic man (or woman) ever to run for the office of U.S. President. As I have often noted the last several months, Donald Trump has not proven himself trustworthy when it comes to matters important to conservatives. When it comes to marriage and sexuality (or immigration, abortion, national defense, the economy, and so on), this is certainly the case.

This is nothing more than a sad attempt to paint Ted Cruz as a religious extremist too out-of-touch for the American people. This is standard operating procedure for the left, but Mr. Drudge should know better.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, March 13, 2016

See More of What the Homosexual Agenda Has Wrought

In this case, I could refer to the crimes detailed below as the tragic consequences of the "transsexual agenda." However, whether homosexual adoptions, same-sex "marriage," or boys in girls locker rooms, each of these are the rotten fruit of the Homosexual Agenda. As this madness spreads throughout our nation, watch below and see if your town, city, or state should change their laws in order to accommodate that which, not very long ago, was seen as immoral and illegal.

This video is very tasteful and intelligently done. When it comes to supporting the so-called "rights" of men who wish to dress and act as women, the video below presents shocking evidence of what such perversion has wrought, and implores real women to "Decide For Yourselves."  Some of the details are difficult to hear. I would characterize it as "PG."



In the 1970s, one of the most famous TV shows of all-time, M.A.S.H., had a long running gag of a character (Klinger), who, otherwise normal, would dress as a women in order to try and get out of the U.S. Army. Many jokes were made at the expense of a man who would stoop to dressing as a woman.

M.A.S.H. was by no stretch of the imagination an expression of Christianity or conservatism. In other words, just a few decades ago, even the left had some idea of the abnormality of men dressing as women. Today, the left has taken up the perverse cause of a real-life former-soldier-turned-traitor, Bradley Manning. As most now well know, Manning has decided that he's a woman and want U.S. taxpayers to pay for his "transition."

It's hard to imagine what's next (rights for the polygamous and incestuous?), but make no mistake about it, modern liberals will continue to push their immoral and unnatural sexual agenda.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Writing Our Own Moral Code (Redux)

At The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (of the Southern Baptist Convention), a recent blog post details the "Six principles of a Jesus-centered moral order." The post is an excerpt from a recent book co-authored by David Kinnaman, the president of Barna Group, a Christian research and communications company.

The piece notes that, "in the twentieth century, more and more people began to see Christian morality as standing in the way of a new moral code: the morality of self-fulfillment. Throwing off burdensome traditional mores, people began to imagine life without a bothersome God standing watch." The post also reveals new research that "highlights the extent to which Americans pledge allegiance to the new moral code, which can be summed up in six guiding principles."

Barna research reveals our "New Moral Code:" 

As we sadly see, this "morality of self fulfillment," otherwise known--as I noted last August (referencing philosopher Michael Novak)--as the "theology of self," has crept into the church. As I also pointed out, this "morality of self fulfillment" or "theology of self" is nothing new. As Genesis chapter 3 reveals, the desire to "be like God" is nearly as old as humanity itself. 

What is new, at least for the United States of America, is that such a wicked philosophy has now become deeply embedded in U.S. law. To a great extent, this is the result of the corrupt and foolish efforts of American courts. 

In Lawrence vs. Texas in 2003, while declaring state laws against homosexual behavior (sodomy) unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that, "The petitioners [Lawrence and Garner] are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."

In his dissent, Justice Scalia correctly concluded that, "Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.... [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed."

On November 18, 2003, just four-and-a-half months after the Lawrence decision, the Judicial Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of legalized same-sex "marriage. Thus Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to grant marital rights to same-sex couples. In her majority decision, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts court, Margaret Marshal, referenced Lawrence: "Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code."

As I wrote in March of 2013, "mandating our own moral code" is exactly what supporters of the homosexual agenda, and others like-minded, seek to do. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, ruling in favor of the "right" to kill children in the womb (Planned Parenthood v. Casey), Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." (Thus, no one should have been surprised at his perverse ruling on marriage.)

If Kennedy's above conclusion is not "mandating our own moral code" then nothing is.

What's more, as we debate the moral issues in our culture, in their lust to ignore the eternal truths of our Creator, liberals have long bemoaned the "legislating of morality." Such a conclusion foolishly ignores the fact that, all law is rooted in someone's idea of morality. We either going to be governed by the morality of God, or the "morality of self fulfillment." Americans must simply decide, by whose morality we wished to be governed

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal Sides with the Sodomites

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has decided that the current religious liberty bill--which has already passed the Georgia Senate--before the Georgia legislature is an exercise in "discrimination."

In strong language that most any modern liberal would be proud of, Mr. Deal went to great lengths today to warn Georgia legislators away from the current version of Georgia's religious liberty bill. As modern liberals so often do (especially in debates over the moral issues) Mr. Deal made regular use of the word "discrimination." As the AJC notes,
In stark terms, the Republican said he would reject any measure that "allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith," and urged religious conservatives not to feel threatened by the ruling. He also called on his fellow Republicans pushing for the measure to take a deep breath and "recognize that the world is changing around us."
 As I have noted many times, every position in the marriage debate requires a measure of "discrimination." In fact, American law is replete with acts that "discriminate." Do Mr. Deal and his fellow homosexual apologists have the same sympathies towards the polygamous, incestuous, or "throuples?" Is Mr. Deal willing to "discriminate" when it comes to their "right" to "marry?"

With his "the world is changing around us" nonsense, it sounds as if Mr. Deal has fallen prey to one of the supreme virtues of modern liberalism: "tolerance." Of course today’s "tolerance" is little more than a self-refuting system of thought that attempts to impose liberal values onto any culture unable or unwilling to recognize the fallacy. On "tolerance," G.K. Chesterton declared: "Tolerance is a virtue of a man without convictions." What better describes a modern liberal than "a man without convictions." It's sad to see Mr. Deal align himself with such nonsense. Some things Mr. Deal have been settled for all time.

Declaring that he's a Southern Baptist who took religion courses at Mercer University, Mr. Deal even resorted to using Scripture to make his case. He declared,
"What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies' view of the world … We do not have a belief in my way of looking at religion that says we have to discriminate against anybody. If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit."
He later added:
"What that says is we have a belief in forgiveness and that we do not have to discriminate unduly against anyone on the basis of our own religious beliefs. We are not jeopardized, in my opinion, by those who believe differently from us. We are not, in my opinion, put in jeopardy by virtue of those who might hold different beliefs or who may not even agree with what our Supreme Court said the law of the land is on the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not feel threatened by the fact that people who might choose same-sex marriages pursue that route."
Liberals typically only quote Scripture when they think it might help them further their Big Government social agenda. It seems that, as he skimmed his way through the New Testament on his way to the Gospel of John and the account of the Samaritan woman at the well, Mr. Deal ignored Jesus' words on marriage and sexuality.

When heralding what Jesus had to say about forgiveness, Mr. Deal forgot to mention anything about sin and repentance. He would also do well to note what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us: "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."

Of course, any redefinition of marriage is "unjust." We should not even have to debate the idea of "religious liberty" when it comes to the issue of marriage. And I refuse to tolerate the notion that we've lost the battle when it comes to marriage because "the world is changing around us." The laws of men are often based on the foolish "wisdom" of those who are politically powerful, or the most popular. However, good government should never allow for the laws of men to run contrary to the laws of God.

After our relationship with out Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between a husband and his wife. And 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 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com