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Thursday, July 2, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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

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



 



 
 


A little language in this one: 









Larry Elder explains: "Black America Needs Fathers"




"The Myth of Systemic Racism" in America:













YES and AMEN!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I’m Not Wearing a Mask because I Identify as Immune

I keep waiting—and hoping for—the parking lot television or radio interview wanting to know just how I’m dealing with the dreaded Wuhan virus—though, almost certainly they won’t use such language. I have to confess that I’ve frequently been in commercial parking lots during the “shutdown” and the subsequent “re-opening” (though, I consider what’s actually occurred as FAR from a real “re-opening”) of Georgia. And each time it’s been without a mask. Oh, my eager response to the hypothetical interview will be, “I’ve been fine because I identify as immune.”

You see, I don’t need a mask because of the simple fact that I’ve decided that I’m immune to the Wuhan virus and thus not a carrier of the disease. Therefore, I’m not a danger to myself or anyone else. Thus, I can go about all of my normal activities with no mask, no social distancing, and so on.

No, I’ve not been tested for the Wuhan virus, but because of my chosen position on the spectrum of immunology, the results of a test are irrelevant. I’m immune to the Wuhan virus because I feel that way. If you disagree with my position, just who are you to tell me that this is wrong?! After all, if biology doesn’t determine sex, then immunology doesn’t determine infection or contagion.

In other words, just as liberalism has decided that there is a “spectrum” when it comes to sex—or gender, if you prefer—then there must be a similar “spectrum” when it comes to diseases and infection. And if boys are merely allowed to identify as girls—and take trophies, scholarships, etc. from real girls—and if men are allowed to identify as women—and ascend to the level of Secretary of Health of an American state—then why can’t I identify as immune to the Wuhan virus and merely go about my business as normal?

I mean, if the person “leading the fight against COVID-19 in Pennsylvania” rejects the biology that a three year-old can comprehend, why in the world would anyone on the left object to my views on the Wuhan virus, the wearing of masks, social distancing, and the like? In other words, if someone is willing to ignore the real science of biology and sex, why not be willing to ignore the fake—or at least very suspect—science of those promoting the shutdown narrative?

Speaking of science, when it comes to face coverings, the CDC says “Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus (emphasis mine).” Thus, the CDC is not even sure masks work to prevent spreading the virus. Even if they do work, where have all the masks been during flu season? After all, the CDC also recently noted that the mortality ratio of the Wuhan virus pandemic (0.27%) is very similar to the 1957-58 flu pandemic (0.26%).

During the 1957-58 flu pandemic, because there was no widespread lockdown of the U.S., there was no significant impact on the U.S. economy. Also, there was no widespread closure of schools and churches; no nation-wide ban on other large gatherings; and no extensive use of masks, social distancing, or quarantines.

What’s more, a Wuhan virus fatality rate of 0.27% (or 0.26% if you go with this calculation) is over 12 times less than the World Health Organization’s early March estimate of 3.4% and more than seven times lower than Dr. Fauci’s estimate (2%) from late March. Again, according to the CDC, for those under 50 years of age, the Wuhan virus fatality rate is only 0.05%, and it gets lower for younger people.

In my state of Georgia, there’s been only one recorded death from the Wuhan virus of a person younger than 22 years old. In that case, the individual is listed as having a “chronic condition.” Additionally, as Hans Bader recently reported,
No child has been found to have passed coronavirus to an adult, a review of the evidence in partnership with the Royal College of Pediatrics has found.

Major studies into the impact of COVID-19 on young children suggest they “do not play a significant role” in spreading the virus and are less likely to become infected than adults

While experts insist that more evidence is needed, they note there has not been a single case of a child under 10 transmitting the virus, even in contact tracing carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Furthermore, The Spectator (UK) recently noted that, in Iceland, an analysis of Wuhan virus tests on 36,500 people by “a company called deCODE Genetics, in association with the country’s directorate of health and the national university hospital,” was performed. The analysis revealed that, “The tests identified 1801 cases of people suffering from the disease – and ten deaths. Each case was carefully tracked. In not a single case could the researchers find evidence of a child passing on the disease to their parents.”

In the U.S. from birth to age 24, there have been a total of 88 deaths from the Wuhan virus. Of these 88, there were 12 deaths that were under the age of 15. This flu season, the U.S. has seen 176 pediatric deaths alone. In the 2018-2019 flu season there were 144 pediatric deaths. In the 2017-2018 flu season there were 188 pediatric flu deaths. So, when it comes to mortality, the data reveal that children are in far more danger from influenza than from the Wuhan virus.

So, children are in relatively little danger from the Wuhan virus, and they are not passing the virus on to adults. Remind me again why the schools are shut down? Maybe it’s because schools are choosing to identify as Blockbuster Video stores.

Like the foolish and destructive notion that a man can simply decide that he is a woman (or vice versa), and all must accept and acquiesce to such evil, across the U.S., democrats—and like-minded never-Trumpers—continue to heap destruction upon the American economy by insisting that all Americans be subjected to a national shutdown. Many state and city leaders are foolishly saying that they will not fully reopen until there’s a vaccine. Leftist pundits ignorantly insist that “none of us are safe until all of us are safe.” Some (the Chinese?) are saying that “social distancing” in the U.S. must continue for years more.

Such thinking is not data driven, and it is not rooted in science, but scientism. Even more than the Wuhan virus, the shutdown is destroying lives and livelihoods. Perhaps the quickest way for this shutdown garbage to end is for fewer Americans to identify as democrats.

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