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Monday, December 25, 2017

“The Rightful King Has Landed”

We must never forget that at this time of year, we celebrate much more than a birthday. As the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how “the rightful King has landed.” When Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, just prior to going to His execution, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him, saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Of course, Jesus was not just any king; He was a king with a holy mission. He was a king who was born to die. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me.” Jesus was, and is, our Savior King. As author 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.
The “good news of great joy” that no less than the angel of the Lord reported to the shepherds was that, “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” The late-great Charles Schultz was right. The heart and soul of the Christmas story is, as Linus perfectly recited, “[B]ehold, I bring you 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.”

Of course, as did the CBS executives during Schultz’s time, those fearful of the true meaning of Christmas go to great lengths to hide the truth. Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about “Christmas Spirit” and how Christmas is about “spreading joy throughout the world” and “a time for warmth and brotherly love” (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

One author I encountered a few years ago foolishly described the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a:
festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.
Of course, peace, brotherly love, and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the “heart and soul” of Christmas. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. This is the reason for the conflict and contention that we sometimes encounter at Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek “Merry Christmas.”

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) our Savior King? 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. Christmas is a celebration of God’s greatest gift meeting humanity’s most desperate need. 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, lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way; thus, they display perverse “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. Merry Christmas!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Why the God-Haters Hate Israel

(See also: Why is Israel so Hated?)

One of the greatest evidences that there is a God—to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow—is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 —of which I have a transcript—reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl then reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron—the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood—lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome—which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son—of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows—and believes—Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael—the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs—and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob—later named Israel—fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham—initially named “Abram,” a decedent of Noah’s son, Shem—in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God—in multiple ways—will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak—Israel was in slavery when it became a nation—so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity—especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew…Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem—in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple…so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem…and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in…for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans—the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel—such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there—will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

Liberals Wrote the Book on Sexual Immorality

Perhaps the most guarded tenet of all of modern liberalism is the idea that people should be able to do whatever they wish in the sexual realm. Whether killing children in the womb, redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, fighting for the “right” of men to use women’s restrooms—and for women to cheat at sports, and for men to take trophies from womencelebrating the sexualization of children, everything else in the perverse LGBT agenda, and so on, much of what modern liberals hold dear hinges on sexual hedonism.

Thus, as others have already well noted, the sex scandals that have rocked Hollywood and Washington D.C. are some of the least shocking things to come across the news wire since learning that Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, et al, bloated their baseball stats with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. (You don’t go from this to this without a little something extra in your milk.)

In other words, seeing media reports that reveal that many Hollywood and D.C. liberals are sexual deviants is like a 60 Minutes story that reveals that fat men like fried chicken. But hey, at least in large part, the liberal perverts in politics and entertainment are not hypocrites. They’re only practicing what they preach. And preach they do.

In spite of notions to the contrary, liberalism is obsessed with sex. Of course, most liberals would have us believe that this is the case with conservatives, especially Christian conservatives. Yet it is the politics and policies of liberalism that have forced Americans to debate what was once widely rejected as immoral and even unimaginable.

Led almost exclusively by those corrupted by a liberal worldview, for decades the entertainment industry—whether big screen, small screen, print, or internet media—has saturated American culture with sexual immorality. Acts of “mere” sexual harassment have long ranked extremely low on the scale of what is sexually outrageous in the entertainment industry.

On American screens, tales of men chasing women for nothing more than sex has garnered hundreds of millions of laughs and has been used to titillate generations of young and old men alike. Additionally, what modern action or drama film or television series is devoid of depicting—as C.S. Lewis bemoaned—“four bare legs in a bed?” These days, bare legs alarm almost no one. Many supposed “mainstream” Hollywood productions are now filled with graphic nudity and sex—what used to be called “pornography.”

Adultery, fornication, pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, and virtually every other sexual immorality imaginable has long been promoted and celebrated by the modern left. Along with the entertainment, news, and political arenas, schools, corporations, and even churches are filled with, and being led by, those who are dangerously, and often tragically, sexually deceived. Thus, if not directly debasing themselves by being personally involved in these wicked sexual activities, blind to the notion that some things don’t even deserve a debate, millions of Americans have at least been misled into thinking that such behavior must be “tolerated.”

Tragically, today’s liberals are so desperate to rid the world of anyone and anything that contradicts liberal dogma on sex, they will tolerate almost anything, except even a hint of Christian teaching on sexual morality. Demonstrating the fallacy that is today’s “tolerance,” liberals want their opponents to just shut up when it comes to sex. (No doubt this was much of the motivation behind the attacks on Roy Moore.)

Refusing to remain silent themselves—and because they’ve made a god of government—liberals are looking to make political hay out of the #MeToo meme. Far from wanting to reform what their worldview has wrought, liberals are hoping to further purge politics and the culture of those who stand opposed to progressive perversions.

As they look to lead as much of the country as possible to embrace the “values” of Sodom and Gomorrah, in addition to silencing their moral enemies, many liberals also want revenge. Hence, the war on Christians—and those like-minded—and the war on morality. Along with the threat of fines and even jail time, Christians brave enough to oppose the hedonistic agenda of the modern left face the loss of their jobs or their businesses.

With little thought to the illogic and hypocrisy behind their helter-skelter approach to sexual morality, the liberal media has been predictably sloppy. Before the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment meme caught on, liberals were lecturing us on the so-called “rape culture” allegedly so prevalent in America. Of course, today’s liberals are almost as qualified to instruct us on a rape culture as they are on sexual harassment.

When magazines devoted to promoting pornography, prostitution, and the “hook-up” culture decided to “shine the light” on the supposed college campus rape culture, no one should have been surprised at the disastrous outcome. And don’t be surprised to see similar results as liberals in the media rush to smear conservatives—particularly politicians—for “sexual misconduct.”

Real glee sets in among the liberal media when they get to report on conservatives—especially Christian conservatives—who’ve been caught with their pants down. Of course, liberals in the news media vigorously hunt down these stories (because such stories are often very hard to find), while often ignoring the immoral—and often illegal—dalliances of their like-minded friends and cohorts in politics, entertainment, and the information media.

Democrat politics and Hollywood “values”—aided and abetted by like-minded news media propagandists—is a marriage made in hell. As long as their wicked sexual agenda thrives, Americans—and America—will suffer. Something that more and more of us should ponder: maybe God was right about sex.

(Read this column at American Thinker.)

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Truth behind the Deaths of “Transgenders”

In case you missed it—which, sadly, no less than the U.S. Secretary of State made difficult—November 20 was “International Transgender Day of Remembrance.” The day focuses on memorializing the world’s gender-deluded who were victims of violence. By my estimate—I didn’t count them all—the list contains about 300 people.

Likewise, many liberal outlets in the American mainstream media—redundant, I know—took the opportunity to paint violence against the gender-deluded as some sort of epidemic. The headline in the largest newspaper in my state declared, “Violence against transgender people at all-time high in Georgia, nationally.”

Evidently an annual “all-time high” when it comes to the murder of individuals in the U.S. who choose to live a gender lie is 25. After the 11th death, which occurred in May of this year, one news outlet quoted a “transgender” activist declaring, “We are facing a national epidemic of violence [against ‘transgenders’].” More American Christians were recently killed in a single day as they peacefully gathered to worship their Creator. Following this horrific event, virtually no one in the mainstream American media wanted to talk about how Christians in the U.S. are suffering an “epidemic” of violence or even that we are merely increasingly under attack.

To further the perverse LGBT agenda, the liberal American media would rather promote a lie than reveal the plight of Americans who seek the Truth. Of course, an agenda built on lies must be furthered with lies. Murder is always tragic, and leave it to liberals to use the death of murdered Americans deceptively in order to advance their preferred—and again false—narrative. What’s more, worldwide, tens of thousands of Christians are martyred every year and the liberal-led media typically—and predictably—yawns.

Throughout the stories highlighting “International Transgender Day of Remembrance” was the implication that “transgenders” are being killed as the result of hate toward those who foolishly choose to live as the opposite sex. This was certainly the case with the American media and the 25 “transgenders” killed in the United States.

Of course, an additional implication is that this hate is the result of “ignorant” and “irrational” bias against the gender-deluded from conservatives and Christians. As is often the case with liberal narratives, few things could be further from the truth.

I examined online reports of each of the 25 American individuals on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Violence Against the Transgender Community” list for 2017. I looked specifically for mainstream media accounts—such as the Chicago Tribune, The Times Picayune (more than once), The Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald, and so on. In other words, I looked for news publications that had almost every reason in the world to stick to the LGBT agenda on “transgender” deaths. Though the articles often hopefully hinted that a possible “hate criminal” was behind the murders, there was not one single person the media could definitively claim was the victim of a “hate crime.”

Quite the contrary, more than one “transgender” person died as the result of violently attacking the police. Others were involved in dangerous activities such as prostitution, gang activity, or drug use, and still others had shown themselves to be prone to violence. In other words, much—if not most—of the “violence against transgenders” is due to the poor lifestyle choices of those who reject simple science and morality.

If the mainstream media really wanted to tell the truth when it comes to death and the gender-deluded, it would do well to note the dangers of denying basic biology and the tragic results that often accompany attempting the impossible—“transitioning” from one sex to another. Instead, the media again embraces a lie and is guilty of malpractice.

Along with the dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences of mutilating an otherwise healthy body with unnecessary drugs and surgeries, those who suffer from gender delusions face a whole host of health issues that a media that truly cared should be eager to report. For example, the risk of cancer significantly increases when one’s body is subjected to gender “reorientation” drugs.

The suicide rate among the gender-deluded is far above that of the general population. A staggering number of youth who struggle with their gender engage in self harm. Worse still, many parents who’ve bought the liberal lie on gender are guilty of child abuse. Because their parents, their schools, their churches, and their media refused to tell them the truth about their gender, many older teens and young adults have found themselves scarred for life.

Death, disease, and despair do stalk the gender-deluded community, but not for the reasons most corrupted by liberalism would have us believe. Again, those struggling with their gender identity need serious physical, mental, and spiritual help. They do not need accommodation in living a lie.

(See this column at American Thinker and LifeSiteNews.)

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A History of Thanksgiving (Taken from The Miracle and Magnificence of America)

Sir Walter Raleigh’s first attempts at settling the New World were disastrous. The English, who were now trying to gain a foothold in the New World, were succumbing to the same greed that had earlier blinded the Spaniards. Starvation, disease, hostile Indians, and other hardships, including a whole colony lost (the Lost Colony of Roanoke), led to dampened enthusiasm for New World expeditions.

It would be nearly 20 years after Raleigh’s initial ventures before enough English interest could again be sparked for more New World adventure. Despite recruiting “sermons” that contained messages of evangelical outreach, and the preamble of the Company’s charter, written by King James I, which contained the words, “…propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in these parts, to human civility and to a settled and quiet government,” the lust for gold was, again, what drove European men across the Atlantic.

On May 14, 1607, headed by a seven-man council, which included John Smith, 144 men settled Jamestown. Because of their misguided efforts it was a disaster from the beginning. These men battled the elements, disease, Indians, starvation, and one another. The lone minister on the adventure, Robert Hunt, did his best to keep the others focused on God. His sermons went mostly unheeded; however, he persevered. By February of 1608 only 38 of the 144 remained alive.

The death rate did not abate with time. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel note,
For example, of the 1,200 people who went out to Virginia in 1619, only 200 were left alive by 1620. Why this horrible continuing death rate? There is no logical explanation, except one: year after year they steadfastly refused to trust God—or indeed to include Him in any of their deliberations.
The next settlers to cross the Atlantic would not make the same mistakes. They were not seeking wealth and prosperity, but a new home. They believed that America was their spiritual destiny. The Pilgrims (dubbed “Separatists” by the Church of England), and the Puritans who followed them, knew better than to undertake anything without God.

Aboard the Mayflower were 102 passengers, less than half of whom were of Pastor John Robinson’s Separatist flock. After a grueling two-month voyage, on November 11, 1620, they dropped anchor in Cape Cod, and heeding the advice and wisdom of their pastor, the Pilgrims drafted a compact that would embody the same principles of government upon which American democracy would rest. It read,
In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under-written…Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic…constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…the 11th of November…Anno Domini 1620.
John Carver, who had chartered the Mayflower, was chosen as the first governor of the colony. His was the first signature on the Mayflower Compact, which is considered by many to be the world’s first written constitution. William Bradford would soon replace Carver as governor and would serve in that capacity for 31 years. On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims settled at what would become known as Plymouth.

A replica model of the Mayflower. Created by Norbert Schnitzler.

Though their efforts were “for the glory of God,” the Pilgrims were not immune to the many hardships of an untamed America. Before long, many started dying. William Bradford’s wife Dorothy was among the casualties as she fell overboard and drowned. (Initially, while dwellings were being built, the Pilgrims lived mostly aboard the Mayflower.) Due in part to a brutal winter, dozens would die in those first few months, including 13 of 18 wives. In spite of hardships, the Pilgrims were undeterred and drew ever closer to God.

The months turned into years and saw the Pilgrims develop good relations with the local natives including Massasoit, a wise and welcoming chief of the local tribes, Samoset, and especially Tisquantum, or Squanto.

In the middle of March 1621, just as the Pilgrims were coming out of the devastatingly harsh winter, a guard alerted his comrades with the cry of “Indian coming!” Wearing only a loincloth as he walked into the Pilgrims’ camp, Samoset astonished the English onlookers with a hearty “Welcome!” Then speaking surprisingly clear English, he followed his friendly greeting with a request, “Have you got any beer?”

The Pilgrims informed their friendly guest that they were out of beer, and offered him brandy instead. After a hearty snack of brandy, biscuit, butter, cheese, pudding, and roast duck, Samoset was ready to answer questions. In spite of their difficult and deadly plight, Samoset’s words gave the Pilgrims great cause to thank God.

On March 22, 1621, Samoset returned to the Pilgrims with Squanto, who spoke even better English. Squanto’s life is an amazing tale of God’s provision that very closely resembles the account of Joseph from Genesis, chapter 37. Soon after Samoset introduced Squanto to the Pilgrims, a meeting with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag people, was arranged. Massasoit, Samoset, Squanto, and dozens of Wampanoag warriors traveled to Plymouth to meet the Pilgrims. With Samoset serving as the interpreter for Massasoit, the meeting was extremely fruitful. A peace treaty and a treaty of mutual aid were struck with Massasoit that would last for decades.

Massasoit and his party returned home, but Squanto remained with the Pilgrims. Being a man without a tribe, personally witnessing the desperation of the Pilgrims, and already having adopted their faith, Squanto took pity upon his new-found English friends and wanted to help them succeed in their New World. He taught them how to fish for eels and alewives, plant corn and pumpkins, refine maple syrup, trap beavers, hunt deer, and other skills essential to their survival.

Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the Pilgrims—so much so that, according to William Bradford, the Pilgrims considered Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Massasoit also was an amazing example of God’s providential care for the Pilgrims. Like Powhatan had been at Jamestown, Massasoit was probably the only other native chief on the northeast coast of America who would have welcomed the white man as a friend.

In early April of 1621, with supplies running dangerously low, the Captain of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones, decided he could remain in America no longer. On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower returned to England. As the ship disappeared over the horizon, almost certainly a nervous uneasiness came upon more than a few Pilgrims who remained in the New World. Their last ties to their former home were gone. They, perhaps, felt more alone than at any point of their amazing journey.

The summer of 1621 was beautiful and, thanks in no small measure to the help of Squanto, bountiful. Governor Bradford declared a day of public Thanksgiving to be held in October. Massasoit was invited. Surprising the Pilgrims, he showed up a day early with 90 of his tribe. To feed such a crowd, the Pilgrims would have to go deep into their food supply. However, Massasoit did not show up empty handed. He had instructed his braves to hunt for the occasion, and they came with several dressed dear and fat turkeys. The Thanksgiving turned into a three-day celebration filled with feasting and games.

The First Thanksgiving, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

A few weeks after the first Thanksgiving and about a year after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Fortune sailed into Plymouth on its way to Virginia. The main cargo was an additional 35 colonists and a charter granted from the New England Company. There was tremendous celebration over the new charter; however, unlike the Indians, the new colonists arrived virtually empty handed. They had no extra clothing, food, or tools. The Pilgrims would have to adjust their winter food rationing plan severely.

The winter of 1621-1622 was as difficult as feared. The Pilgrims entered what has been described as their “starving time.” Some reports reveal that at times, food rations for each person were a mere five kernels of corn per day. Miraculously, that winter not one Pilgrim died of starvation.

There was no Thanksgiving celebration in 1622. When the spring planting season of 1623 rolled around, the Pilgrims realized that to fend off further hunger and rationing, a corn harvest at least twice as large as last season was necessary. However, a lackluster work ethic prevailed among them. This was mainly because the contract entered into with their merchant sponsors in London required everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store and be shared. As Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out on his radio broadcast that celebrates Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims were languishing under socialism.

The leaders of the colony then decreed that for the additional planting, individual plots of land would be split, and the yield could be used at the planters’ discretion. Thus, as the concept of private property was introduced, the Pilgrims seemed infused and invigorated with new hope and purpose. As Marshall and Manuel point out, “The yield that year was so abundant that the Pilgrims ended up with a surplus of corn, which they were able to use in trading that winter with northern Indians, who had not had a good growing season.”

On November 29, 1623, two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation for a second day of Thanksgiving. In it Governor Bradford thanked God for their abundant harvest, bountiful game, protection from “the ravages of savages…and disease,” and for the “freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.” Well over a hundred Natives attended, bringing plenty of turkey and venison along with them.

The Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed them, had the proper perspective. As Bradford would so discernibly note, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled here has shown unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation…We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”

May the light of those first Thanksgivings never be extinguished.

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Colin Kaepernick Needs the Truth

On the same day that GQ—sometimes known as Genuflecting Quarterbacks—named Colin Kaepernick as its “Citizen of the Year,” several mainstream media outlets—including Christian websites—reported that some Christian players in the NFL who support Kaepernick’s protest of “systemic oppression and…police brutality toward black people” are frustrated at the criticism directed at Mr. Kaepernick. They are especially frustrated that the out-of-work quarterback isn’t getting more support from the Christian community within the NFL.

As ABC News reported,
Eric Reid and other Christian players who support Colin Kaepernick's social justice movement want believers on the opposite side of the controversial anthem protest to ask themselves a simple but powerful question: What would Jesus do?
Reid—then a teammate of Kaepernick—was quick to join the back-up quarterback last year in taking a knee during the National Anthem. Reid would later tell the AP that his faith was instrumental in his decision to kneel. Referencing Proverbs, Reid declared that he wanted to be a “voice for the voiceless.” He added,
We all have a love for people. The Bible tells us love your brother as yourself so that's why we're doing it. We have to speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves. My faith is ultimately what led me to start protesting and it's what continues to drive me. Faith without works is dead. I feel like the past year before we started protesting, the Lord has prepped me for this moment.
Reid—one of three NFL players who took a knee during the NFL’s Veteran’s Day celebration—expressed particular frustration with his Christian colleagues,
I do see some hypocrisy with the people that call themselves Christians. If you know Jesus, he went into the house of God and turned over the tables and was angry and said they made the house of God into a marketplace so I would say this is something that He would do.
Baltimore Ravens tight end, Ben Watson—a long-time outspoken Christian in the NFL—was also critical of Christians who put “politics above the gospel, empathy and understanding.” He added,
We talk about what Jesus would do. Let's think about that. How should I Biblically look at this situation? Is my response as an American going against what my response should be as a Christian?...Being kind is not predicated on what you can do for me. Justice is not predicated on if I experienced injustice or not. We can advocate for people who have experiences that we don't even have. True justice is blind and righteous. Christians should be about expanding and promoting the gospel. If you listen or think about the subject matter that players and people are concerned about, you could not as someone who reads scripture turn a blind eye to it.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who often raises his fist during the anthem, wants the Christian community to be more united.
As big as we are, as much influence as we have on policy and politics, if the Church ever got behind really being for equality and really being for justice, it would show up, it would come. But a lot of times we don't show the empathy, we don't take the time to listen and we're just as segregated as the world is right now.
I’m not sure about the “Christian cred” of these other professionals, but I’ve long admired and respected the words and deeds of Ben Watson. As I’ve noted before, more than once Mr. Watson has boldly and articulately stood for the truth on some of the most important moral issues of our time—namely marriage and abortion. However, I think he needs to reexamine his approach to Colin Kaepernick and his protest and get his coworkers to do the same.

For example, when it comes to “What Would Jesus Do?” in this situation, of course, I can’t say for sure how Jesus would deal with a modern-day millionaire “social justice warrior,” but from what Scripture reveals, I imagine He would begin and end with what He always did: the truth.

As He did with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus might start by asking Mr. Kaepernick about his spouse. The woman of Samaria told Jesus, “I have no husband.” Likewise, Mr. Kaepernick would have to reply that he has no wife. Yet, as was the case with the Samaritan woman, Mr. Kaepernick is steeped in an immoral (sinful) relationship.

It is well known that for several years now Kaepernick has been “dating” (often known as “living in sin” with) Nessa Diab. Ms. Diab is a “radio and TV personality.” Specifically, she is an MTV host. That alone should send shutters down the spine of any spiritually “woke” individual. As if we needed direct clarification, Diab has openly spoken of her sexual exploits with Kaepernick.

What’s more, while Kaepernick claims to be a Christian, Diab is a Muslim and a raging liberal. (While this seems very contradictory, Islam and liberalism do have much in common.) Before trying to understand his kneeling protests, maybe Mr. Watson should speak to Colin about being “unequally yoked” and the sin of fornication.

What if Diab gets pregnant? Will they kill yet another black baby? Will they bring yet another American child into the world who doesn’t have a married mother and father? In other words, instead of being part of any a solution to what really plagues the American black community, Mr. Kaepernick is part of the problem and is very likely about to make things even worse.

What if, while standing among the crowds of urban youth—where he so often finds himself—instead of talking about the myth of “systemic oppression and police brutality,” Mr. Kaepernick would speak of the importance of marriage, family, and sexual morality? And more importantly, what if he lived those truths himself?

Again, Kaepernick kneels for a lie and is living his life according to multiple lies. Instead of trying to “understand” a lie, Mr. Kaepernick’s Christian friends should tell him the truth.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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

Saturday, November 11, 2017

It’s the Worldview, Stupid

If we want to defeat or change those who are wickedly determined to take the lives of other human beings unjustly, it should go without saying that we must look far beyond the killers’ chosen instrument of death. This is why the pro-life community doesn’t put any effort into attempting to ban suction curettes or forceps—which have killed far more people in the U.S. than have guns.

Nevertheless—and seemingly inevitably—whenever a mass murderer goes on a killing spree in the U.S., those who are terrified of the notion of absolute truth (who are determined to rule their own world)—and especially terrified of the Author of truth—ignore the real problems with homicidal deviants and almost always ignorantly insist that the solution is legislation that restricts access to weapons.

This is the case even if the weapon is a truck. Again, Satan laughs. Tragically, with those corrupted by liberalism, we see this time and again. Whether the problem is poverty, hunger, bad schools, gun violence, crime in general, or even the spread of disease, the liberal answer is always the same: more government. Because most of them have made a god of government, liberals are almost always looking for a political solution to whatever ails us.

Thus, virtually everything in our culture is politicized, and the public at large is subjected to never-ending campaigns. For liberals, nearly any solution to our cultural tribulations that will drive people to vote for democrats is most preferable. Sadly, far too many people are willing to cast their votes for those who promise to “protect” them—from the climate, from corporations, criminals, Christians, disease, pregnancy, and especially from the consequences of their own bad decisions. “Pajama Boy” and “Julia” are the poster children here.

In other words—whether through legislation, executive orders, or rulings from the bench—to cure societies’ ills, liberals insist that we heed the words of “enlightened” man instead of the Word of the eternal God. This is why, after a mass shooting with multiple deaths, the idea of prayer is so offensive to liberals. Even the benign “moment of silence” or “thoughts and prayers” (you can keep your thoughts, but I’ll take your prayers!) are now so often derided, mocked, and ignored.

However, in spite of liberal trepidations, prayer brings us to the heart of the matter when dealing with the likes of Sayfullo Saipov, Devin Kelley, Omar Mateen, Dylan Roof, and so on. As C.S. Lewis taught us, 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.’”

Only the power of God can change the heart of a human. Good government should always remind us of and be rooted in the truth, but we will never be able to legislate away evil. Men like Sayfullo Saipov and Devin Kelley did what they did because they ignored God and decided truth for themselves.

Such a self-centered attitude is at the heart of liberalism. This is another reason why liberals want to focus on guns instead of what motivates men to do evil. The perverse worldview of angry atheists and murderous Islamists shares much in common with the godless worldview of modern liberalism. Again, the most common shared element is a rabid disdain for all things Christian.

Meanwhile, the search for the ever-elusive gun- and religion-clinging “Christian terrorist” continues.

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
Trevor is a mathematics teacher and the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

Friday, October 27, 2017

What is “Sacred” to the Modern Left?

I think that the most telling thing about General John Kelly’s press briefing last week was when he lamented the things no longer held “sacred” in our country today. When speaking of American soldiers dying on the battlefield, General Kelly rightly declared,
And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life—the dignity of life—is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well. 
Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought—the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.
The secular usage of “sacred” is derived from its religious meaning. In Scripture, something sacred was something “set apart” or “holy”—something like God, and apart from the world (or the “profane”). As most familiar with the English language well know, “sacred” in the secular sense—which is the usage employed by General Kelly—simply means that which is highly valued, or important, or that which is held in high esteem. As General Kelly implies, you can tell much about a person by what he or she rejects as sacred.

Women, life, religion, marriage, family, hard work, the military, et al are no longer widely held sacred in American culture because the values that demand such have largely been abandoned and attacked by the modern left. Rejecting the laws of the Law Giver, the left long ago decided it was time for human beings to write their own rules and decide for themselves what was and was not “sacred.”

Especially targeted are any values deemed “Christian.” Never mind the actual words and deeds of the Founding Fathers, and the words and deeds of the early Americans who actually lived in that era, references to God and His Word in the public square have been under assault in the U.S. for generations. Hollywood, the mainstream news media, and the kindergarten-through-university government school system in the U.S. at least ignores, and more often mocks, what is truly sacred.

Entertained by the vulgar, informed by the ignorant, and educated from a godless Darwinian worldview, it should come as little surprise that tens of millions of Americans have little to no idea what is supposed to be sacred. How can a culture that’s been taught to slaughter—or at least support the slaughter of—the most helpless and innocent among us expect to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield? What can a foolish clown of a woman who has long reliably supported “sacrificing” an unborn child in the selfish name of “choice” know about real sacrifice?

What can those who kneel for a lie understand about truth and justice? How can we trust those who have waged a relentless war on the oldest and most sacred of all human institutions to grasp what is truly holy, healthy, and good for humanity? How can we trust the precious fourth estate to individuals who rarely hesitate to lie and distort in order to keep those of like mind in power? How can we expect those who peddle goods for votes in order to maintain power to serve sacrificially and keep the nation’s best interests at heart?

Even more revealing than what one rejects as sacred are the things that a person actually holds as sacred. To find out what is sacred among today’s liberals, look no further than the “deeds of the flesh.” Whether supporting and promoting fornication, pornography, homosexuality, transgenderism—and virtually any item from the sick LGBT agenda; whether killing children in the womb and demanding that employers pay for such; whether waging war on the family, and—through judicial fiat and, again, with little to no regard for the lives of children—redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, the left has abandoned truth and taken the profane and made it “sacred.”

If you want to find out just how sacred, take a public stand against what is “set apart” by the left, or refuse to allow your business to participate in what used to be deemed perversion, or speak out—or attempt to speak out—on a college campus against modern liberalism. Do so and you might just face violence, massive fines, lose your job, lose your business, and so on.

In addition to undoing the work of our founders—often “interpreting” the U.S. Constitution beyond recognition— for decades the Democrat Party has worked hard to ensure that Americans were governed according to what modern liberals hold as “sacred.” Aided and abetted by the efforts of their like-minded allies in the media and academia, through the courts, congress, and the White House, American democrats have given legal legitimacy and political cover to the profane.

Unable to take comfort in or direction from any righteous power beyond this world, political power has been the dominant instrument by which today’s leftists have forced those unwilling into acquiescing to sacred leftist dogma. Whether a minority or a majority, American leftists have been able to implement their agenda. While constantly lamenting the “legislation of morality,” liberals have forced (especially through the courts) their immorality upon hundreds of millions of unwilling Americans. Thus, along with the pleasures of the flesh, political power is of utmost importance to contemporary leftists.

C.S. Lewis was right. In the end, there are only two kinds of people: “those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” To find out in which camp an individual currently resides, look at the things he or she finds sacred.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Harvey Weinstein Proves Why the Left Really Hates Trump

Chalk up the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal as one of the most unsurprising big media stories of the modern era. It’s like when a magazine run by liberals and devoted to promoting and encouraging the “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” lifestyle flubs a story about campus rape. (And subsequently—and quite deservedly—gets sued into near oblivion.) In other words, almost no one should be surprised that a big-time Hollywood producer and film studio executive such as Harvey Weinstein is a sexual miscreant.

If you want to find a “rape culture,” look no further than Tinseltown. Hollywood is littered with men—and women—who are sexual predators and provocateurs ready and willing to take advantage of most anyone and/or any situation in order to satisfy their lust and/or greed. Again, it should come as little surprise that an industry built on the notion that “sex sells” is filled with people who act out that perverse proverb for their personal pleasure or personal profit. People who have no qualms about filling their movies and television shows with smut are also prone to filling their personal lives with smut.

I can think of no culture, no industry, no group of people less qualified to lecture anyone—especially the culture at large—about sexual immorality than the depraved, sex-crazed deviants that permeate Hollywood, U.S.A. The smug Jimmy Kimmel—whose early claim to fame was as the co-host of Comedy Central’s trashy The Man Show—should get nowhere near a compass of any sort, but especially a “moral compass.” Likewise, most every well-known Hollywood actor, actress, producer, director, et al, has played a role in corrupting the sexual mores of America.

Thus, when these “nasty” Hollywood harlots, gigolos, pimps, perverts, and like-minded stooges in the general public (thank God, an electoral minority—for now!) don their vagina hats and Antifa masks and start howling about the sexual misconduct of President Trump—or any other politician or pundit of whom they disapprove (read: Christian, conservative, or republican)—we know that it’s not really the sexual immorality that troubles them.

In spite of the claims of Hillary Clinton and her ilk, nothing President Trump has done in the sexual realm runs afoul of the sexual standards presented by Hollywood—which, of course, are the sexual standards of liberalism. It’s not what President Trump “has said about women”—like many of us, in his worst moments he sounds like one corrupted by liberalism—that sets liberal snowflakes to melting. Rather, it’s the threat that conservatism and Christianity present to their selfish, hedonistic lifestyles that really terrifies these Hollywood hypocrites.

Craving the power that big government affords them—and with little to no qualms about any perceived (or real) hypocrisy—these liberals take every opportunity presented them to go after republican politicians—especially the President. Joy Behar recently explained this quite well when discussing Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy, from Pennsylvania and a member of the U.S. House Pro-Life Caucus, was caught encouraging his mistress to get an abortion. He is resigning next month, as well he should.

Addressing her aghast audience, Behar attempted to explain how democrats like herself don’t have a hypocrisy problem when complaining about the behavior of men like Tim Murphy. As she tellingly revealed, “the difference between me and the people who voted for [Murphy] is the Democrats are not the family of values…They’re not hypocrites — they’re just dogs. You see the difference?” Yeah, we got it. According to Behar’s liberal logic, it’s better to be a reliably immoral “dog” than a hypocrite.

Yet, whether in their TV monologues, protests, talk shows, political speeches, tweets, posts, and so on, as they attack President Trump and court the American electorate, liberals aren’t presenting themselves as “dogs.” Far from it. As they continue the Obama mission of remaking America into a nation our Founders would not recognize, the modern American left presents itself as wise, rational, reasonable, and compassionate. They brazenly tell us that they have the solutions we crave if only we would give them the power to act.

As long as President Trump acts on conservative—especially Christian conservative—principles, he is undermining the left’s agenda and reminds them that, at least to some extent, they are losing their grip on the American culture. Thus, he must be politically destroyed.

Andrew Breitbart often declared that politics is downstream from culture. If this is to be believed, then the last decade has seen the culture—at least the voting culture—slip from the hands of the modern left. In addition to the federal courts, the U.S. Presidency was the last firm grip liberals had on power in D.C., and until about 9 p.m. on November 8, 2016, they were quite sure they were going to control at least the executive branch of the U.S. government. When this was lost, an angry despair set in, one that has rarely let up since.

The more that Trump appoints sound conservative judges and officials, the more he works at repealing Obamacare and building a wall, the more tax money he keeps out of the hands of abortionists, the more religious liberty is restored—the more that the federal government operates according to the laws of the Law Giver, the more President Trump and his allies will be vilified and attacked.

(Read this column at American Thinker.)

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Christopher Columbus Deserves His Holiday (an excerpt from The Miracle and Magnificence of America)

In my research for The Miracle and Magnificence of America, I spent a good deal of time looking at the life and exploits of Christopher Columbus. In spite of what you might hear from many modern pseudo-historians and ignorant Antifa fools, Columbus is a man worthy of his recognition.

One of the most skilled mariners of his day, Christopher Columbus not only knew that the earth was a sphere, but was also extremely capable in all of the known science required to navigate an ocean. In addition, Columbus was a devoted Christian who was known to be a man of prayer and a serious student of God’s Word.

Born in late 1451 to Domenico Colombo, a poor to middle-class wool weaver, and Susanna Fontanarossa, at a young age Cristoforo (Italian for “Christ-bearer”) Colombo showed intelligence, drive, and a distinct impression of God at work in his life.

As Columbus would explain later in his life:
I have had commerce and conversation with knowledgeable people of the clergy and the laity, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many others of different religions. Our Lord has favored my occupation and has given me an intelligent mind. He has endowed me with a great talent for seamanship; sufficient ability in astrology, geometry, and arithmetic; and the mental and physical dexterity required to draw spherical maps . . . with everything in its proper place. 
During this time I have studied all kinds of texts: cosmography, histories, chronicles, philosophy, and other disciplines. Through these writings, the hand of Our Lord opened my mind to the possibility of sailing to the Indies and gave me the will to attempt the voyage. . . . Who could doubt that this flash of understanding was the work of the Holy Spirit . . . ?
With access to the personal papers of Columbus, noted sixteenth century missionary, theologian, historian, and Dominican friar Bishop Bartolomé de Las Casas was able to describe in great detail the “Divine Providence” present in Columbus’s life. In order to achieve “one of the mightiest and divine exploits” in the history of the world, Las Casas noted that when the time had come, the “divine and supreme Master” entrusted the “illustrious and great” Christopher Columbus with “virtue, mind, zeal, labours, knowledge, and wisdom.”

Las Casas also revealed the significance of Columbus’s name:
He was therefore named Cristóbal, i.e. Christum ferens, which means bringer or bearer of Christ, and so he often signed his name; for in truth he was the first to open the gates of this Ocean sea by which he brought out Saviour, Jesus Christ, to these remote lands and realms, until then unknown…His surname was Colón, which means repopulator, a name befitting one thanks to whose labour so many souls, through the preaching of the Gospel.
With prophetic accuracy, Las Casas wrote of the “Christian and happy republic” that Columbus aimed to bring to the previously unknown “remote lands and realms.” In his History of the Indies, Las Casas described Columbus as,
a gentle man of great force and spirit, of lofty thoughts and naturally inclined to undertake worthy deeds and signal enterprises; patient and longsuffering, a forgiver of injustices who wished no more than that those who offended him should recognize their errors, and that the delinquents be reconciled to him.
Most importantly, Las Casas also described the faith of the “Christ-bearer:”
In matters of Christian religion no doubt he was a Catholic and of great devotion; …He fasted with the utmost strictness when ordained by the Church; he confessed often and took Communion; he prayed at all canonical hours as do Churchmen and friars; most averse to blasphemies and oaths…he seemed to be very grateful to God for the benefits received at the Divine Hand, and so it was almost a proverb with him, which he quoted every hour, that God had shown him great favour, as to David…He was a most jealous keeper of the honour of God; eager to convert the peoples and to see the seed and faith of Jesus Christ spread everywhere…
Contrary to what many modern historians reveal, Columbus was not heading out across the vast Atlantic Ocean merely searching for gold and spices. Though there was a desire for gold, as Las Casas reveals, among other things, Columbus had a desire to fund a crusade to rid the Holy Land of its Muslim invaders. On December 26, 1492, in his personal journal, Columbus recalled that he urged King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the Spanish sovereigns, “to spend all the profits of this my enterprise on the conquest of Jerusalem.”

Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse. Also, as the result of reading of the travels of Marco Polo—where it was revealed that the Chinese monarchs expressed an interest in Christianity—and because he believed that sailing west he would land in Asia, Columbus wanted to convert the Chinese.

When it came to his quest for the “New World,” Columbus’s faith was instrumental in most everything that he did—from his initial efforts to obtain funding from European monarchs to his later expeditions into the Americas. Not everything he did was Christ-like, but as Columbus notes in his own journal,
It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies…There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures…
It is not known exactly when Columbus first conceived his plan to cross the Atlantic. It is known that by 1484 Columbus was in the exclusive business of mapmaking with his brother Bartolomeo. This experience, combined with his significant time at sea, made him as knowledgeable of the Atlantic as nearly anyone in the world. By 1484 Columbus began seeking funding for his ambitious expedition.

For eight years Columbus traveled throughout Europe seeking a sponsor. The waiting was trying for Columbus. He almost certainly began to doubt any holy calling upon his life and his quest. He sought direction and comfort from Father Juan Perez, the Prior of the monastery where Columbus had left his son Diego several years earlier when he had no means to care for him (a common practice during this time).

Perez was close to Queen Isabella, as he had at an earlier time been her confessor. He convinced Columbus to approach the queen again with his plans and obtained the explorer an audience with her. Perez also wrote a letter to her highness telling her that he was convinced that God’s hand was upon Columbus. Moreover, by late 1491 the Spanish war against the Moors was about to end, with Spain being victorious. The Spaniards were jubilant, and the king and queen were in the mood for adventure, especially one that would advance the kingdom of God.

On August 3, 1492, with three ships—the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María—Columbus and his crew set out on their journey for the New World. Heading out into the vast Atlantic Ocean without a really good idea of how long it will be before you reach land requires not only faith, but great boldness. Of course, as time passes on, boldness can turn into frustration, and frustration can breed fear and anger. With hope waning and mutiny brewing, two months after departing Spain, Columbus told the Pinzón brothers (owners of the Pinta and the Niña) that if land were not sighted in three days, they would turn about and head home.

On October 12, 1492, with less than four hours remaining on the deadline, a cry of “Tierra! Tierra!” (“Land! Land!”) rang out from the Pinta. Columbus was the first to set foot on dry land, followed by the Pinzón brothers carrying a huge white banner adorned with a large green cross and the crowned initials of Ferdinand and Isabella on either side of it. Columbus christened the island San Salvador, which meant “Holy Savior.”

Columbus and his crew later erected a large wooden cross, as they did on every island at which they stopped, to be, in his words, “a token of Jesus Christ our Lord, and in honor of the Christian faith.” Sadly, Columbus often failed miserably to live out his Christian faith. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel note, Columbus succumbed to “the three things the world prizes most: money…position…and power.”

Yet, in his journal Columbus noted his reasons for seeking “undiscovered worlds:” to “bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the heathens” and to “bring the Word of God to unknown coastlands.” In these efforts, Columbus was eager to note the presence and power of God. In March of 1493, upon returning to Europe after his initial voyage to the Americas, Columbus wrote,
Of this voyage, I observe…that it has miraculously been shown, as may be understood by this writing, by the many signal miracles that He has shown on the voyage, and for me, who for so great a time was in the court of Your Highnesses with the opposition and against the opinion of so many high personages of your household, who were all against me, alleging this undertaking to be folly, which I hope in Our Lord will be to the greater glory of Christianity, which to some extent already has happened.
In spite of all of his shortcomings, at his core, Columbus was a man of faith. Time and again he would prove himself devoted to the Great Commission of his Lord and Savior—to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the nations of the earth. In spite of frequent failures and repeated rejections, the faith, devotion, and hard work of one man would change the destiny of the world. The efforts of Columbus would lay the groundwork for even more miraculous events that would culminate in the most magnificent nation the world has ever known.

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

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hugh Hefner’s Real Legacy: Disease, Despair, and Death

A timely and stunning statistic befitting the recent death of America’s patriarch of pornography: a shocking 110 million Americans—over one-third of our population—are saddled with a sexually transmitted disease. According to The New York Times,
The incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis is increasing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 110 million Americans now are infected with a sexually transmitted disease
Chlamydia is the most common S.T.D., and the number of cases rose 4.7 percent from 2015 to 2016… Adolescents and young adult women have the highest rates of chlamydia: one survey found that 9.2 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 were infected… The rate of primary and secondary syphilis in 2016 is the highest it has been since 1993, and it increased among both men and women from 2015 to 2016. Men account for almost 90 percent of cases, and most are among men who have sex with men. 
Rates of syphilis increased in every age group and all races, and they were highest among people in their twenties.
Additionally, more than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 has genital herpes. (Thus the rise of all of the Valtrex commercials on TV.) Among many other tragic outcomes, the rampant rate of STDs in America is the real legacy of notorious sexual provocateur, Hugh Hefner. Thanks to the desire to make our own rules when it comes to sex, following the lead of Hefner and his like-minded moral deviants, we find ourselves with STD rates in the U.S. at an all-time high. According to the CDC, there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States every year. As CNN recently reported,
“STDs are out of control with enormous health implications for Americans,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. The coalition represents state, local and territorial health departments who focus on preventing STDs. 
“If not treated, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis can have serious consequences, such as infertility, neurological issues, and an increased risk for HIV,” said Harvey.
Also among the “serious consequences” of many of these STDs: cancer. In addition to cervical cancer, which is caused by certain types of the STD, Human Papilloma Virus, just days ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on (surprise!) the “anal cancer epidemic” that exists among homosexual and bisexual men. The article notes that men who engage in homosexual activity are 100 times more likely to contract anal cancer than HIV-negative men “who exclusively have sex with women.” The article also declares that, “Some in the medical community have identified anal cancer as the next big crisis among HIV-infected gay and bisexual men.” I have breaking news for the medical community: there will always be a “next big crisis” looming for men who treat the human septic canal as a vagina.

Nevertheless, and no-doubt taking their cues from perverts like Hefner, this past July, Teen Vogue—a magazine whose target audience is teenage girls—took it upon themselves to instruct their young readers on the finer points of sodomy. The article, entitled “Anal Sex: What You Need to Know” and subtitled, “How to do it the RIGHT way,” declares itself to be “anal 101, for teens, beginners, and all inquisitive folk.” The garbage piece ends with this shocking admission:

That being said, yes, you will come in contact with some fecal matter. You are entering a butthole. It is where poop comes out. Expecting to do anal play and see zero poop isn’t particularly realistic. It’s NOT a big deal. Everyone poops. Everyone has a butt.

This, from a member of the “party of science.” Forgetting to floss one’s teeth every now and then is “NOT a big deal.” Hillary’s choice of pant suits is “NOT a big deal.” Global climate change is “NOT a big deal.” Choosing to engage in sodomy—even once—can have horrific life-changing—even deadly—consequences. Of course, “anal 101” neglects to mention the rampant disease associated with such disgusting behavior. In other words, like Hefner’s Playboy magazine, Teen Vogue is an accomplice in the shocking rise of STDs among America’s youth.

In a sick attempt to justify promoting evil and dangerous sexual activity, just as they have with killing children in the womb, the left has now stooped to “normalizing” (an STD is “pretty bad*ss; it’s like a sex wound”) and even celebrating (with a “#ShoutYourStatus”) STDs. The perverse gotta pervert, I suppose. As Matt Barber concluded, political correctness needs to be declared an STD.

Of course, one need not contract an STD to suffer as a result of the plague of pornography. A 2015 UK Telegraph article on porn use among British youth contains a shocking revelation from a general practitioner (Sue):
“I’m afraid things are much worse than people suspect.” In recent years, Sue had treated growing numbers of teenage girls with internal injuries caused by frequent anal sex; not, as Sue found out, because she wanted to, or because she enjoyed it – on the contrary – but because a boy expected her to. “I’ll spare you the gruesome details,” said Sue, “but these girls are very young and slight and their bodies are simply not designed for that.”
Yeah, no one’s body is “designed for that.” The boys were “expecting” such from their young girlfriends because they had bought into one of the many lies of porn. Instead of worrying over the condition of their skin or what earrings went with their new outfit, many of the young girls Sue was treating found themselves battling incontinence. Imagine the shame of a youth—because they bought a favorite and common lie of the left (sex without consequences), the muscles of their rectum are stretched out such that they must live in daily fear of soiling themselves.

Furthermore, the porn saturation of America, along with most of the rest of the Western world, has resulted in longtime and widespread devastation that extends far beyond the physical. If you think “saturation” too strong, consider:
People watched 4,392,486,580 hours of porn on PornHub in 2015. Just to put that in perspective, that means that in one year, people around the world spent 501,425 years watching pornography—on one porn site. 
On PornHub, people watched 87,849,731,608 porn videos. As the porn site hastened to point out, that’s 12 porn videos viewed for every single person on the planet.
That, my friends, is the sad math of porn addiction. As a result, tens of millions of teens and adults worldwide have little to no idea what is a healthy sexual relationship, or, in many cases, how to have any type of a healthy relationship with those who share the gender of the objects of their sexual fantasies. Any notion of self-sacrifice and service to another is abandoned, and sex becomes an end unto itself. Regular porn consumers (especially men) literally lust after porn-like encounters in order to be sexually satisfied. In the minds of many men, porn has reduced women to a commodity to be consumed and an object to be abused (e.g., 50 Shades of Grey Dismay).

Breaking the bonds of trust between husbands and wives, porn has destroyed millions of American marriages. Porn use within a marriage leads to a long list of troubling issues. A recent study revealed that once porn enters a marriage, the chances of divorce double. Driven by lust that was born of porn consumption, millions of young adult Americans are shunning marriage in favor of the hook-up culture.

Thus, whether born out of wedlock, killed in the womb, or forced to witness the destruction of the most important human relationship in their lives, over the last six-plus decades, tens of millions of American children have suffered because of their parents’ selfish sexual desires. As I’ve noted before, if these children survive the womb, they face a wide array of difficulties.

Hugh Hefner was prince of the pimps. He was a destroyer of lives and cultures. The level of his destruction is so wide and deep that it will only be fully known in the light of eternity. If you are trapped in his world, turn and flee now. There is hope and healing, and there are those who can help.

(See this article at American Thinker.)

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Kaepernickitis is Rooted in Lies

The athletes doth protest too ignorantly, methinks. Whether foolish NFL quarterbacks (and their like-minded playmates) or double-minded NBA athletes, the affluent agitators should direct their political and social ire elsewhere. Instead, they’ve joined their Hollywood cohorts as mouthpieces for the Democrat Party. Of course, it should come as little surprise that expensive American entertainers have made themselves tools of the perverse modern left.

Take Colin Kaepernick (“PLEASE,” his agent cries!). His failed efforts at protesting during the National Anthem were predicated upon a lie. After his initial protest in the 2016 preseason, NFL Media reported,
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In other words, Kaepernick has bought the lies of Black Lives Matter, hook, line, and sinker. As I noted last year, the lie is this:
There’s widespread and institutionalized racism inside America’s law enforcement agencies, and black Americans are especially targeted. This racism has led to the deaths of a disproportionate number of innocent black Americans. In order to stop this heinous activity, we need more gun control legislation, more wealth redistribution, more job and education programs, and thus Americans need to elect more Democrats.
As has been refuted ad nauseam—most notably by Heather MacDonald—few things are further from the truth. The tragic truth is, the most dangerous place for a black American is not in the presence of a police officer. The most dangerous place for a black American—especially a young black American—is a black neighborhood. Again, as a 2016 report by the Manhattan Institute reveals:

· In 2013, homicide was the leading cause of death among African-Americans aged 15–35.
· During 1990–2008, for 93 percent of black homicide victims, the perpetrator was also black.
· In 2009, in the 75 largest U.S. counties, blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders, and 45 percent of assaults —despite constituting 15 percent of the population in those counties.
· In 2014, in New York City, blacks committed 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies, while constituting 23 percent of the population.
· During 2005–2014, blacks were also responsible for 40 percent of murders of police officers nationwide.

And perhaps the most shocking statistic of all: Black men in the U.S. are half as likely to die if they are in prison than if they are not. And why are these black neighborhoods so dangerous? Again, the breakdown of the black family.

It has been widely reported for years now that the out-of-wedlock birth rate among American blacks is over 70 percent. Almost always, mothers are left to raise their children alone. In U.S. cities, where the violence and poverty among U.S. blacks is most pronounced, the out-of-wedlock birth rate is even worse. For example, in Chicago about 80 percent of black children are born to single mothers. Today, only 17 percent of American black teenagers reach age 17 in a family with their biological parents married to each other. In no state in the U.S does black family intactness exceed 30 percent.

Among many other sad outcomes, fatherlessness is one of the leading predictors of future criminal activity. Children living with their married biological parents are the least likely to commit criminal acts. On the other hand, children from single-parent homes (almost always without a father) are
more likely to…engage in questionable behavior, struggle academically, and become delinquent. Problems with children from fatherless families can continue into adulthood. These children are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact families, and have the highest rates of incarceration in the United States.
Far more rampant than any form of racist police discrimination is the plague of fatherlessness in the black community. Yet, when it comes to this grave matter, Colin Kaepernick and his NFL ilk are virtually silent. In fact, with their sexually immoral lifestyles and lack of devoted marriages, many of them are doing nothing but perpetuating the problem. How many abortions and/or out-of-wedlock births are those kneeling on the sidelines responsible for?

The same moral ignorance pervasive in the NFL is present in the NBA (and virtually every other prominent entertainment arena) as well. After an announcement that they would vote on whether to attend the White House invitation to celebrate their NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors’ biggest star, Stephen Curry, in declaring he would vote against the visit said,
We don’t stand for basically what our president…the things that he said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right terms that we won’t stand for it. And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.
Ahhh, “tolerance.” Of course, after winning the championship in 2015, Curry and his teammates had no hesitation in visiting the Obama White House. This is particularly revealing because, like Kaepernick, Curry has long been outspoken about his Christian faith. After winning the NBA’s MVP for the 2014-2015 season, Curry said,
First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me, day in, day out. I’m his humble servant right now and I can’t say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game.
Curry’s shoe deal with Under Armour includes shoes that contain “4:13” and the quote, “I can do all things” which is a direct reference to Philippians 4:13. In spite of his demonstrative Christian faith, Curry seems to have a “blind eye” when it comes to the Democrat Party’s support of killing children in the womb, gender perversions, homosexuality, pornography, the legal redefinition of marriage, wicked climate policies, an enslaving welfare state, and so on. How “tolerant” of him.

In support of Trump’s NBA critics, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said “I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.” Do you think Silver would have issued such a statement if, after the infamous Obergefell ruling, NBA players would have blasted the Obama administration for such an egregiously mistaken sea-change in legal policy? Me neither. On the contrary, like the NFL, the NBA is an enthusiastic supporter of the foul LGBT agenda.

One of the greatest lies of the modern era is that consenting adults have the “right” to do whatever they wish in the sexual realm. This has led to many of the above perverse policies backed by the Democrat Party. Other than the NFL’s Ben Watson, I can think of no active professional athlete who stands against the sexual lies of the left (and actually lives it), and who outspokenly stands for the truth on life, marriage, and family.

Whatever a morally minded—especially a so-called Christian—person’s problem with the current President, those problems should pale in comparison to the immorality perpetrated by the modern Democrat Party. Instead of using their high-profile platform to speak against this evil, riddled with liberals, the American entertainment industry is typically an accomplice in this evil, or at best, complicity silent.

If you want to stand against something—especially in the political realm—Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Curry, look to your left.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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