Tag Archives: Christianity

Bill Lockwood: Ocasio-Cortez Should Spend Time Reading the Bible Before She Criticizes It

by Bill Lockwood

Nothing more clearly illustrates that the ideology of Socialism is in reality a religious doctrine dressed in political clothes than the amount of vigor socialists exert to criticize the Bible. Our entire culture war is a religious one. From Barack Obama to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, socialists have felt the need to attack God’s Word. Ocasio-Cortez, for example, once again this week unleashed on biblical values. Why? Because the Bible demonstrates that totalitarian systems are wicked.

This is all very peculiar to many mistaken Christians who naively suppose that Christians have no business logging in on “political issues.” Their idea seems to be; allow atheistic socialism and communism and fascism to trample God’s Word with hobnail boots—just keep your mouth shut. Give no answer.  This evidently comes about because they cannot see divine principles behind the political machinery in America. For example,

Life, Liberty and Property

Life, liberty and property are not important values to us because they are Constitutional concepts. Instead, they are constitutional concepts because they are biblical values. This is why the Founders built our system of government upon these theological pillars.

Take the issue of life. God’s Word teaches (Psalm 139:13-16) that God gives life to an infant within the mother’s womb. But the protection of that life, the very purpose of law, Ocasio-Cortez likened to “controlling women’s sexuality.” When the state of Alabama outlawed nearly all abortion in the state in 2017, she could hardly contain herself and charged that the “religious right” only invoked religion to “punish women.”

This is the classic dodge by a hedonistic society that has thrown out God’s Word and is therefore left with a big empty hole of nothingness by which to determine what is and what is NOT life. Godless women may be sexually active—but there are consequences to that behavior, including the formulation of life. For a society to allow the murder of that unborn life so that women and men may feel no repercussions for their immorality is itself a gross violation of natural law, to say nothing of biblical values.

Consider the issue of homosexuality. Last week during a House Oversight Committee hearing on “LGBTQ Rights” Ocasio-Cortez compared religious people on the right with “white supremacists” and opined on the “long history” of people “using scripture and weaponizing and abusing scripture to justify bigotry.” “White supremacists have done it, those who justified slavery have done it, those who fought against integration have done it, and we’re seeing it today.”

What Shall We Say To These Things?

First, for one to claim biblical backing for a concept of “rights” does not mean that this is an accurate portrayal of the Bible. Some in history may have tried to “justify” racial superiority with scripture, but God’s Word cannot be blamed for every misuse which the invention of man may come up with. Ocasio-Cortez should understand this. The Bible declares that life is sacred because it is created by God (Gen. 1:27), even in the mother’s womb (Psalm 139). Yet, that does not stop liberals from demanding the murder of the unborn as a “right.”

Second, the legal standards historically established by our society have been biblically-based, including the outlawing of homosexuality. The New Testament is emphatically clear that homosexuality is a behavior-driven malpractice that results from a free choice that people make. Romans chapter one even points out that this grievous sin occurs in society only after that society has repudiated God.

If the absolute standard of God’s Word be no longer valid, then what would be wrong with being a “white supremacist” or a “black supremacist?” Can Ocasio-Cortez tell us? What standard condemns these ideologies? Regarding slavery, what would be wrong with slavery to begin with, if there is not an absolute standard by which to measure? Why would “bigotry” be an ugly thing, Ocasio-Cortez? What criminality or injustice would there be in being prejudiced and intolerant of others?

The natural parameters of Republican principles of government come from the Bible—including public morality. All the residents of a community are subject to these standards approved of by the majority. If not, government itself would be impossible. Ocasio-Cortez may rail against the “theology” of what she calls “religious fundamentalists,” but the only thing she has to offer in its place is a “theology” of atheistic hedonism which turns society into cesspool of wickedness and violence in which “every man does that which is right in his own eyes.”

Alex Newman: Good Public-School Teachers Under Siege

by Alex Newman

Public schools do hold good teachers who want to follow the best education practices and who object to the indoctrination of the LBGTQ agenda, but they are being penalized.

When the National Education Association (NEA) partnered with a radical homosexual and transgender group known as the “Human Rights Campaign” to create “welcoming schools,” a lot of public-school teachers felt uncomfortable, if not outraged. But when the groups sent out a mass e-mail encouraging teachers to ask young children what “pronouns” they prefer — he, she, they, z, tree, and so on — that was a bridge too far for many.

In a video produced as part of the campaign, two transgender children discuss their preferred pronouns with each other. One of the children prefers the plural pronoun “they,” while the other, who claims not to be a boy or a girl, prefers “zee.” Seriously. After that, the two children discuss the alleged need to “educate” their own teachers, especially substitutes, on the supposed importance of using the newly invented pronouns that students choose for themselves.

If that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Teachers are already finding themselves in hot water for refusing to play along with the madness. Indeed, teachers such as Peter Vlaming at West Point High School in Virginia have already been fired from their jobs for refusing to refer to girls using male pronouns, and vice-versa. In California, teachers say they are required to submit to the gender madness or be fired, too.

Polling data reveal that the number of Americans who recognize that children are being harmed by the government-school system is growing. Indeed, about seven out of 10 parents would prefer not to send their children to government schools at all. But it is important to recognize that it’s not just children who are victims of the education establishment. Increasingly, public-school teachers are being ordered to tolerate, aid, or perpetrate evil — or leave. And many good teachers are being driven out.

In interviews with The New American, almost a dozen current and former public-school teachers expressed serious concerns about the changes taking place in “education.” Some had already been ordered by superiors to violate their conscience and common sense in order to comply with outlandish statutes, regulations, or policies. Others know full well that the day is fast approaching when they will have to choose: Obey the system, or obey God and their conscience.

Transgender Locker Rooms

At Chasco Middle School in Pasco County, Florida, it was a day just like any other day for physical education teacher Rob Oppedisano — at least until his principal walked into the locker room, shut the door, and asked to have a chat. “There is a girl identifying as a boy who is going to be in here, changing and showering,” Oppedisano recalls the principal saying, adding that he was told he would have to be in there supervising it all.

Naturally, Oppedisano, a Christian, told his boss that there was no way he could stand in there and watch a minor girl get undressed. He explained that it would be inappropriate to subject the boys in his class to that, too — especially without even notifying their parents. “I told him, ‘I just can’t do that,’” Oppedisano told The New American in a phone interview. “He came back and said to me, ‘Rob, I don’t want you to lose your job over this. Why don’t you just think about it, and we can talk later.’”

Still, Oppedisano resisted, noting that there was no written policy on this, while asking that the school district get involved. Eventually, the district sent over an attorney, who held a two-hour meeting advising Oppedisano to comply — or else. The lawyer also claimed, falsely, that Oppedisano was the only one who had a problem with the idea of a girl changing and showering in the boys’ locker room.

The attorney said parents would not be notified and that the district was not at all concerned about lawsuits, Oppedisano recalled. “He said we are the largest employer in Pasco County and that we get sued all the time anyway,” the PE teacher said.

Then, the lawyer from the district offered a transfer, which Oppedisano declined. “What good would that do if the policy is the same?” he asked. The district operative then warned Oppedisano that he could lose his job and even his teaching certificate, meaning “I would never be able teach in Florida again,” Oppedisano recalled about that meeting. “I said ‘No, I don’t want to lose my job, but I’m not going to quit on these kids, and their parents need to know.’” The union representative, instead of standing up for teachers, also urged Oppedisano to surrender.

Then, the big day came. “She came in, just walked right by us, and the boys ran out half dressed, and said, ‘Coach, we have a problem, there’s a girl in the boys’ locker room!’” Oppedisano recalled about that day. “But there was nothing we could do. After that, throughout the whole semester, my principal or assistant principal would take the girl in the locker room with the boys, and I’d just sit in the hallway.”

Obeying God, or Men

And now, that is one of the issues the superintendent is upset about — he felt Oppedisano’s job duties required him to watch the underage girl undress, something that just a few years ago would have landed him in prison, and for good reason. Without the non-profit Christian legal group Liberty Counsel representing him, Oppedisano believes he already would have been fired.

While that gender-confused student has moved on, the unwritten “policy” remains firmly in place. So Oppedisano is just waiting until the next “transgender” student comes along to make similar demands, and for the administration to retaliate. He does not hold it against his boss, though, knowing full well that the demands came not from the school administration, but from “above their heads.” There have been claims of “federal mandates,” but Obama’s bizarre and flagrantly unconstitutional rules on the subject were promptly repealed when President Trump took office.

Either way, Oppedisano cannot watch a girl undress. “Between the morals and the safety issues, being a follower of Jesus Christ — and remember, innocent kids are being put in a really bad situation here — I wanted no part of that,” Oppedisano said, getting emotional. “I fought for the parents too. They should have been involved. This is a serious situation. And it wasn’t just the boys. What about the girl, being put in there with a bunch of boys? It is bad for the staff too. Any way you look at it it’s a bad situation. It’s just terrible policy.”

And girls in the boys’ locker rooms is just one part of the problem. “It’s all coming in,” he said. “More and more of the LGBT agenda is being put out there. I also teach a health class, and they are starting to present the LGBT stuff in a positive manner. It’s definitely coming. I don’t know why it’s happening or where it’s coming from or how it got started. All I know is these policies — we’re supposed to call children by the name they prefer, then we are supposed to try to hide it when their parents come in. It’s happening here, and in other places.” Most parents still have no idea, Oppedisano added.

For Christians and other faculty members of faith, the situation is looking increasingly grim. “If a policy is going to force you to go against what you believe in, you’re not going to have too many choices,” he said. “They wanted to put me out of work and they refused to tolerate my beliefs. If you’re a Christian and you stand up for something, you can rest assured that that would be looked upon as behavior that’s not going to be tolerated. That puts a lot of pressure on us — either we suppress our faith and give in, or we stand up and live by what we believe.”

Blatant Discrimination Against Christian Teachers

The hostility and discrimination against teachers in public schools is now a nationwide problem. When teacher Roxie Hunter decided to become the sponsor for the Christian club at her public school in Phoenix, Arizona, for instance, she never could have imagined the persecution that would be unleashed against her and her students. From trying to prevent them from wearing Christian T-shirts to seeking to ban Bibles on campus, government education officials went wild in the effort to suppress the Christian student club.

“We were discriminated against in many instances,” Hunter told The New American in Phoenix in an on-camera interview about the group, known as “Lions for Christ.” While teachers could actively participate in other student groups, including highly controversial ones, Hunter was barred from doing anything at all with her Christian students. “They said it was against the Constitution,” Hunter explained when asked what the school administration used as a pretext to persecute the Christian club.

Hunter was not buying it. “I explained to them that it was against the Constitution in the USSR, but not in the United States of America,” she said. “They also said the courts had ruled that we couldn’t do certain things. So I had to do the research, and I found that many of the things that were said were basically rumors that had been passed along.”

In reality, courts have consistently upheld the right of students and teachers to do precisely what Lions for Christ was trying to do. “Students have the right to assemble, they have the right to pray, and they have the right to bring their Bibles to school,” she said, adding that many of her students had been told they were not allowed to do those things by school officials.

Quackery Must Be Used, or Else

Aside from ordering teachers to violate their conscience, the education establishment is also forcing teachers to teach in ways that go against what they know is best for their students. In interviews with The New American, numerous teachers expressed serious concerns. Some left the public-school system altogether to avoid becoming complicit in harming children, while others are still fighting.

Kim Pendleton, who has been involved in education for over 15 years, saw firsthand the carnage being unleashed on children and educators by the Obama-backed national standards known as Common Core. “Many teachers feel the creators of Common Core were idiots who knew nothing about education and child development,” she told The New American, giving examples of the wildly inappropriate standards used to ensure that children fail to learn properly. “I know in my heart this is not true. The powers that be knew everything about child development and created a system for failure, frustration and illiteracy.”

After seeing firsthand the damage being wrought on children, Pendleton knew she had to get out. She now teaches at Freedom Project Academy. “The only reason that public education has not completely crumbled yet is one thing: educators who know better,” Pendleton explained. “I am acquainted with many of them, and they are priceless. However, they are leaving, either through retirement or abandonment. Their mental health is taking a toll. I am not sure how long it will be before it all collapses, but if we continue on this path, it will happen.”

Pendleton often felt conflicted between doing what was right, and doing what the system demanded — especially in reading and writing. The curriculum used for reading and writing, for instance, was a disaster. “The lessons were convoluted and were more akin to pep talks as opposed to actually teaching good writing and reading,” she explained, adding that Common Core and the dysfunctional sex-ed were not helping children at all. “The ones who did well usually had an educated family and had been ‘taught’ fundamentals long before they arrived at school.” Even experts involved in the writing of Common Core have warned that it does not reflect reality in terms of how students learn to read.

The modern classroom environment is also totally out of control, Pendleton explained, noting that student misbehavior consumes an enormous amount of classroom time and is getting worse. “I was often dealing with that as opposed to teaching,” she recalled. “I was sworn at by third and fourth graders and punched one year. There were little consequences for students, and when they figured that out, the behavior escalated.”

And when teachers go against the harmful system, they face retaliation, Pendleton said. Among other tactics, such teachers are given poor evaluations. Many of them are scared to speak out, too, because their salary and their retirement is at stake, forcing many teachers to remain silent even though they know all of this is wrong.

Getting Worse

Aaron Potsick has been teaching for almost two decades. During that time, he has seen things go downhill, fast. “There is much less value placed on quality teaching and more value placed on the newest pedagogy put forth by the state and curriculum companies — and it changes every year,” he told The New American. “It’s more of how well can you parrot what you’re told. Each year the newest ‘best practice’ is shown, and countless professional developments are given on how to teach better. Everything from the last month or year’s ‘best practice’ is thrown out the window. Teachers are constantly having to learn new curriculum and teaching strategies and leave behind proven models.”

Even the teaching of actual subjects is low on the priority list unless it is being tested, Potsick said. “The way to ‘perform’ is to get the testing topics covered and adhere strictly to those topics,” he explained, adding that which material is taught or not taught is controlled in this way. “Any additional information that the district or the state doesn’t deem as ‘important’ is not taught. To teach outside the guidelines means you are falling behind the others you are ‘competing’ against and then your class will not perform as well.”

“This all clearly leads to all of our students’ learning being a ‘mile wide and an inch deep,’” continued Potsick, who taught middle-school history in his final years in a public school before going on to teach through private alternatives, mostly online. “As you know, teaching something as intricate and important as Civics without context is to not really teach it at all. If there is no foundation for why, then there is no understanding, which leads to our students being easily politically misled and influenced — just what our country needs!”

The teacher training was often suspect, too. “There was always the underlying liberal mindset that was encouraged,” he explained. “The underlying idea of America as being characterized by slavery and Native American devastation was regularly covered as an underlying element of lesson ideas. This was clearly accepted by the vast majority…. At my school, we regularly had teachers telling the students how horrible Trump was and condemning his actions without anything close to the full story.”

Potsick also noted that there have been a number of things he was ordered to teach and do that made him uncomfortable. In history, for instance, he had a mandated textbook that included an entire factually challenged chapter on supposed “American Imperialism,” demonizing America and Americanism.

And then more recently, the system began pushing “Social and Emotional Learning” (SEL) that really made him uncomfortable. During his last two years, it even had “mandated SEL time in all classrooms,” he explained. “It started innocent enough: learning conflict resolution skills, dealing with anger, being a good friend, and so on. But then, it began overtly pushing ideology.” Indeed, teachers were even ordered to show videos glorifying homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, and more. As a Christian, Potsick refused, but the school had not yet worked out a system to check on every class to ensure the LGBT propaganda was being foisted on students.

Even though he has witnessed the rapid deterioration of education since the beginning of the 21st century, Potsick also said very few teachers are willing to go against the status quo in a meaningful way. “The whole system from college classes in education to get your degree, to teacher training, to many administrators’ expectations; it’s such a monolith that not many challengers get through,” he said. “When they do, they usually just leave because they get worn down.”

Eventually, Potsick left, too. “I left because teaching became less about what I could bring to the table as a teacher and more about the extra stuff that was meaningless to a real education,” he said. Other concerns included not being able to give children the failing grades they deserved, having to deal with outrageous behavior including threats and flagrant disobedience only to have children lie about the teacher, and so on.

“Schools are developing more and more mindless, entitled future citizens that expect to get things their way, without any hard work, because that’s what they get at public schools!” he continued.

Teachers Not Valued, Scared to Speak Out

As an elected member of his local school board, teacher Ted Lamb has a unique vantage point from which to consider the “many problems” he sees plaguing the government education system. Being a teacher today “can be very challenging,” he told The New American after attending a “Rescuing Our Children” talk by this writer this summer. “The bureaucracy of mandates, policy, and standardized curriculum with assessments has destroyed many things in education.”

Like Potsick, Lamb has felt conflicted between doing what is right — and doing what the system demands. “Giving grades that students did not deserve has been the big one,” he said, pointing to decisions made by administrators that he knew would cause “significant issues.” Other problems include “the lack of teaching critical skills,” the “overkill of bureaucracy,” and the endless “unnecessary mandates” that represent an enormous burden. Another concern is Common Core and controversial sex-education programs, which Lamb said “absolutely” do not benefit students.

Teachers and their knowledge and experience are not valued by the system, either. “We are not asked about key and important policies,” he said. “Many times teachers are treated as though they are replaceable.”

But again, echoing a constant theme heard throughout The New American’s conversations with teachers across America, Lamb said teachers were scared to speak out about all the problems they see. “Teachers are scared to speak out across the nation because of perception of what has happened to their colleagues,” he said, noting that there can be “retaliation” when a teacher goes against or even questions certain policies. “If you do not agree with the policy of the district or division then you are ‘blackballed’ many times.”

Teachers Under Siege

Despite several generations of indoctrination and dumbing down — especially in colleges of education across America — there is still a large number of amazing teachers and administrators working in the public-school system. There are, for instance, still teachers who risk the ire of the education establishment or worse by ignoring Common Core mandates and secretly teaching children how to read using systematic, intensive phonics instruction. There are also those who ignore the mandates and teach their students real American history, including the Christian history of the United States and the fact that America’s Founders were fighting for God-given rights.

Unfortunately, the system is increasingly turning against those great educators, working to force them into submission or early retirement. Countless teachers, faced with those grim alternatives, have already left the system. Many more will be leaving in the years ahead as the system gets better at weeding out dissenters. While it is indeed true that there are still great men and women inside the system, it is also true that they are severely limited in what they can do.

Americans should encourage and pray for the brave teachers who are still holding the line, but no more children should be sacrificed to the false idol of government schools. To survive as a free society over the long term, the rest of America should follow the lead of public-school teachers who are far more likely than parents as a whole to educate their children in private schools or at home, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Knowledge Networks for the journal Education Next. That is because they know what is going on.

TNA: https://www.thenewamerican.com/print-magazine/item/34254-good-public-school-teachers-under-siege


Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook

Bill Lockwood: Islam, Christianity, and Roman Catholicism

by Bill Lockwood

Julia Ioffe, writing in Foreignpolicy.com, makes a classic mistake in an article entitled “If Islam is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity” (6-14-2016). Apparently miffed that the general populace draws such conclusions as that “Islam is bad and Christianity is good” in the wake of mass shootings in America, Ioffe says it is a “hateful hypocrisy” to “single out Islam.”

She overtly blares out “I am tired of hearing, from Bill Maher and from Donald Trump, that Islam is inherently violent. “I am even more tired of hearing that Christianity is inherently peaceful.”

And how does she demonstrate that Christianity can be a “religion of violence”, and that Islam can be peaceful? She slogs through history, recent and ancient, to show atrocities committed by those who claimed to follow Christ, such as the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. On the other hand, she gives illustrations of peace-loving Muslims. “Islam, as it was practiced in medieval Span, was beautiful and peaceful, too.”

Since Ioffe’s investigative method is flawed, she erroneously concludes, “No religion is inherently peaceful or violent, nor is it inherently other than what its followers make it out to be.”

What About These Things?

While it is true that observers of religious people judge and asses the religion itself by the examples that people live before them, this does not explain the religion itself, nor the formative teachings of that religion. This methodology is about as thin as seeking to determine the official Democratic Party platform by asking Democrats on the street what are their feelings about the issues of the day.

This is clumsiness, to say the least. Many atheists have used this same flawed principle in defending atheism. Many atheists live admirable lives, they tell us. No argument here—but their morality does not derive from their atheism. It is bootlegged straight out of Christianity.

Severed branches of trees have enough sap left to keep the leaves green for a while. So also, atheists have enough “moral sap” leftover to keep them moral–but neither humanism nor atheism provide in and of themselves any moral substance.

This illustration now sets us up to examine Ioffe’s assertions.

Christianity

How should one assess a religious standard? How should one examine what that religion teaches? How can one determine what a religion “inherently is?” Ioffe condemns that Christianity can be violent. How so? She uses the illustration of Dylan Roof, who killed nine people in the middle of a Bible study in Charleston, S.C. but who declared allegiance to “the white supremacist cause” and “pointing to the Council of Conservative Citizens” which claims to “adhere to ‘Christian beliefs and values.’”

Christianity cannot be accurately assessed by examining people who did not live up to the standard set by Christ in the New Testament, regardless of the institutions to which they belong. The Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, taught completely the opposite of what Roof practiced, including love your neighbor as yourself.

The same is true regarding the endless pointing to the Middle Age Roman Catholic Church and its atrocities, which Ioffe does in her article. She does this to point to bloodletting committed by Catholics in the “name of Christ.” She is not alone here—men such as Bill Maher do the same thing.

The American people need desperately to learn that the Roman Catholic Church is not a representative of Christ upon the earth, nor is it the church about which one reads on the pages of the New Testament, regardless of what the papacy asserts, and regardless of what name is invoked while perpetrating crime.

The Roman Catholic Church is the direct result of a brazen apostasy from the New Testament over the ages. Read the New Testament yourself and see that there is no pope, no papal infallibility, no Vatican State, no infant baptism, no baptism of desire, no baptism of blood, no rule of celibacy, no monasticism, no inherited sin, no immaculate conception, no bodily assumption of Mary, no praying to the saints, no rosary, no purgatory, no indulgences, no canonized saints, no veneration of saints, no sacraments, no lent, etc.

Official Roman Catechism’s and Encyclopedia’s admit that these doctrines “developed over the centuries.” The Roman Church through the ages simply adopted myriads of foreign doctrines, then wedded itself to a state apparatus and became a mixture of “church and state” which even sent armies into the field to shed blood on behalf of the Vatican!

Yet, this is what Ioffe uses to say that “Christianity” can be violent. It is interesting that journalists are supposed to go original sources. But not in this case. She wants us all to assess the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ by means of Rome. We are not so easily misled.

Islam

Here we come to something entirely different. Muslims as a group, behave in different ways, depending upon how many of them occupy a territory or nation. As percentages to population rises, so does violence. Why is this? Once again—go back to the original source, Ioffe. What do you find?

The one perfect Muslim was Mohammed. What did he do? How did he behave? Multiple verses in the Koran command the use of the sword (Surah 9:5; 9:73; 47:4, etc.). Islam, in its inception, waged war on all who did not accept Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Mohammed was a war-lord of the Middle Ages style who led his followers in numerous battles. Violence is not an “apostasy” from a peace-loving Mohammed, but an imitation of him and his “inspired” commands from Allah.

When Mohammed died, not one person on the entire peninsula of Arabia disagreed with the man. This is not explained on the basis of freedom. His dying words were to carry on to “fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Surah 9:29).

Note the choices the founder of Islam gives to conquered peoples. One, Accept Islam. Two, pay the jizya (poll-tax on non-Muslims). This is the cornerstone of the entire system of humiliating regulations that institutionalize inferior status for non-Muslims in Islamic law. Three, prepare to war with Muslims.

Peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society, of which Ioffe writes, is not one of the choices.

Does any of this sound anything like what was taught by the Savior of the world? No, Julia Ioffe. The religions of the world are inherently what their founders actually taught, not what later followers may or may not do. It is interesting that Ms. Ioffe did not once reference Christ Himself or His teaching when cross-examining Him. Nor did she look to see what Mohammed actually taught. Both are easily referenced.

It is something for which we ought to be thankful that not all Muslims faithfully carry out Mohammed’s “inspired” orders. But this is only because they do not live down to the standard set by their founder. On the other hand, it is sad that many professed Christians do not live up to the standards set by the Lord Jesus Christ found on the pages of the New Testament.

Bill Lockwood: Does Family Matter to the State of Texas?

by Bill Lockwood

LifeSiteNews.com has picked up a story from Texas Homeschool Coalition which is said to be the “most significant parental rights case” in Texas history. The Texas Supreme Court is set this week to hear oral arguments in a parental rights case “that could shape up to be truly groundbreaking.”

The case centers around a father who is battling in the courts against a non-relative for custody of his four-year-old daughter. The non-relative was the boyfriend of the daughter’s now deceased mother. Most remarkable, all parties in the case openly acknowledge that the father is an entirely fit parent. Nevertheless, the boyfriend of the deceased mother argues he should be allowed custody rights as well.

The child’s mother died in a tragic car accident in 2018. At the time, she and the child’s father were already divorced and sharing a 50/50 custody of the girl. During the last 11 months of her life, the mother was “living with” her boyfriend. Courts have amazingly ordered “partial custody” to this live-in boyfriend. “In fact,” according to LifeSiteNews, “the judge agreed with the boyfriend’s argument that he should be allowed to come before the court on an equal footing with the actual father. The judge concurred that there should be no presumption in favor of the father’s having sole custody of his own daughter.”

“What makes this case so disturbing is that a non-parent was not simply given custody of another man’s daughter — he was given custody on the grounds that the biological father had no greater right to custody of his own daughter than did a virtual stranger.”

LifeSiteNews properly laments that horrible damage could be done to the constitutional rights of parents to raise their own children, if this case goes in the direction of awarding joint custody to a live-in boyfriend.

But I am going to add another shocking result that is already occurring and perhaps will be set in stone. It is this. The basic God-given unit of society—the FAMILY, consisting of Mom, Dad, and the Kids—is by implication considered by law as nothing worth protecting.

Christians have already witnessed “no fault divorce” in the 1970’s—encouraging the rise in divorce rates; the Obama Reorientation of what constitutes a family with the legalization of homosexual “marriage”; and now, as a matter of course, not only will biological parents have no presumption of legal custody over children which will later lead to the “state ownership of offspring”—but marriage itself will be relegated to absolute nothingness but a burden to be thrown off by a hedonistic society.

Should a “live-in boyfriend” have as much custody as a biological father? If so, this means that we are equating co-habitation with marriage in the eyes of the law. So much for the family.
Pray that the Texas Supreme Court will do the right thing—even at this late hour.

Bill Lockwood: Illegal Immigration and Christianity

by Bill Lockwood

I worship with a church that supports a missionary family in Cape Town, South Africa. Several churches of Christ in the United States have pooled their resources to finance the work there, which includes feeding the poor in a soup kitchen, providing shelter to those who live in cardboard boxes, and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. The giving of our finances in the church is, of course, strictly voluntary.

What do Americans think of my preaching that we all need to assist the poor in foreign countries and “preach good tidings” to them? Obviously, they recognize that is my right. Most would probably agree that such works need be funded by American dollars.

But it is also their right to reject that work. They may prefer works closer to home than South Africa. What then if, in reaction to their rejection, I would then insist that all MUST give to this specific work or be counted as unchristian and hard-hearted? I could add some biblical warnings about assisting others in need and threatening the judgment of God if they did not.

Some may answer—“look here, we support other works that are just as charitable. Why do you insist that we participate in the specific work you and your church are engaged in?” That itself would be a charitable answer seeing the approach I had taken. Others would probably ignore me. Still others would rightly question my ability to think clearly.

Let’s take it one step further. Suppose I have influence through powerful lobbyists in the legislature of the State of Texas. Because of my frustration with my fellows for their “lack of compassion” to those in South Africa, I work through these lobbying influences until legislation is passed in the State that mandates portions of public tax dollars to the South Africa work. Now everyone WILL support the work that I have been preaching!

What Has Occurred?

First, no one could classify the money that comes because of legal action as “charitable giving.” Legislative action does not spawn charity. The very reason “legislation” is passed is to compel compliance. Money may flow and people may benefit—but charity it is not. It is redistribution by force. The socialists dream. Not only so, but no one in their right mind would consider forcible redistribution a part of the “charitable giving” of the Congressmen who so legislated. They will not write this off on their tax returns.

Second, the legislative action has a deleterious effect on real avenues of giving. As long as the government compels from me more money to apply to one specific work that bureaucrats have selected, my ability to give to other needs that I personally would rather support has depleted. And how many charitable works are there that the government demands I sponsor? As many as there are legislators. That being the case, how much of my own money do I have remaining with which to support works that I select? Other works are just as fine as supporting missionary work in South Africa, but they will have to do with less.

Third, are those who oppose the legislation that FORCES tax money to flow to South Africa “unchristian?” Are they “uncharitable?” Shall I go about bellowing how “unchristian” my fellows are because they oppose that specific piece of legislation? Since it is not charity to begin with, it hardly is logical to say that those who oppose it are stingy, greedy, unchristian Scrooges. Common sense and even-handed reasoning recognizes that many people support many different causes and if you do not support the cause which I prefer it does not make you unchristian.

The Border

Now look at the southern border. Border states have been crying for as long as I have been alive for the federal government to do its job and curtail illegal crossings. But no politician has been brave enough—or desirous enough– to get that job done–until President Trump. President Obama even single-handedly, without constitutional authorization, negated some of our own laws in order to allow more foreigners to pour into America.

Now we are told we need to assist these foreigners from poor countries because that is our Christian duty! Translation: this is the charitable work that the liberal intelligentsia has selected for you to participate in, and money will be forced from your pocketbook to sponsor it. Not only so, but these poverty-stricken people that beg to come in will be housed in your neighborhoods at your expense. If you have misgivings about it, you are unchristian. Christian duty demands open borders, so the story goes.

Here are some questions. If it is Christianity to force Americans to pull down our border fences, is it not also Christian duty to allow the poor to camp in your front yard? Does ‘Love your Neighbor’ mean pull down the fence? Why are all of those who preach “open borders” shored up behind walled communities and housing area, normally in white middle-class neighborhoods? Is it not hypocritical to demand your neighbors to care for the poor, while we do very little? Why have front doors on our homes?

Shall American families be required to sponsor various families from south of the border? If so, should these families be forced to adopt-a-family by bringing them inside your homes? If not, why not?

If one selects some other charity work instead of the “open borders” program, is that less charitable? Is it necessary to follow the government’s agenda in order to be charitable? What if, as a Christian, I am for closing the border completely and funneling my resources to care for the poor among us?

Would it not be better just to GO to the country of origin of many of these people and do voluntary charity work there?

If I do NOT give charitably, should the government take control of my finances to make me be more charitable? Would that be charity at all?

Bill Lockwood: “The Glory of God” Emphasized by President Trump in State of Union

by Bill Lockwood

House speaker Nancy Pelosi theatrically tore up the copy of Trump’s speech as soon as he concluded on Tuesday night. Why? Perhaps it is in the fact that our president emphasized that which should cause Christians everywhere to celebrate.
Religious Freedom, The Glory of God, and the Celebration of the Life of the Unborn—these were major themes of the State of the Union on Tuesday night.
The News Division of Pulpitandpen.org wrote, “In what was quite possibly the most Christian-affirming State of the Union in history, President Donald Trump defended Freedom of Religion, denounced anti-religion ‘cancel culture’ and lauded the glory of God.”
“My administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the constitutional right to pray in the public schools.” He added, “In America, we don’t punish prayer. We don’t tear down crosses. We don’t ban symbols of faith. We don’t muzzle preachers and pastors.”
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday morning that “faith drives the Trump administration’s policy proposals, arguing that ‘the principles of our faith are being manifest” under the president’s watch (RNS News).
Apparently, however, belonging to the Democrat Party “trumps” religious considerations and moral principles, for Democrat Russell Moore, who chairs The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention, has offered “no accolades to Trump for his remarks about religious liberty.” Instead, pulpitandpen.org notes, “the ERLC research fellows began a new round of attacks against Trump in social media.”
This freedom is why Nancy Pelosi demonstratively tore up the speech as soon as the final word was spoken. Cut liberty — especially religious liberty.

Bill Lockwood: Methodist Church Asks the Elderly to Leave the Congregation

 

by Bill Lockwood

This headline appeared last week in The Washington Post. The Cottage Grove United Methodist Church on the outskirts of Minneapolis-St. Paul, is a small dwindling church of about 30 members that has put in place a new “strategic plan” for church growth among “younger people” such as Millennials. A major part of that plan, which one 70-year-old member calls “age discrimination,” is to ask the elderly to leave and worship elsewhere.

After this news went national, Dan Wetterstrom, the “head pastor” of the church, claimed that these allegations of “age discrimination unfairly represented the strategy for a church that has been on the decline for two decades.”

Instead, he explained, the church’s services are “being cancelled” and will re-open after a major refurbishing of the building, its staff, and its worship services, including replacing the traditional hymnals. A church memo also recommended that “current members stay away for two years, then consult with the pastor about reapplying.” That is according to the local news outlet, the Pioneer Press.

“The plan is to shut down the church in June and reopen later this year with a new pastor, new programming and building updates ‘aimed at engaging more members of a growing community.’” “While older members will not be physically barred from attending, the expectation is that they will not.” Wetterstrom added, “We are asking them to let this happen. For this to be truly new, we can’t have the core group of 30 people.”

So, it is technically not “disinviting” the elderly. They are only “physically shutting the doors” and the current elderly membership must “re-apply” to get back in after a recommended two-year absence.

Bruce Ough, the Methodist “bishop” of the Dakotas-Minnesota region and provides oversight to congregations, defended the strategy as part of a “relaunch effort” that has been “successful in other parts of the region.”

It is difficult to know where to begin to comment on such items as this. It does give a frightening insight into the mindset of many Americans which sees the elderly as a hindrance instead of an opportunity to serve. No wonder many churches have completely capitulated to a godless culture that demands the ceasing of preaching against sin.

 

Bill Lockwood: “Bring on the Lions!” — Homosexual Agenda Seeks to Destroy Christianity

by Bill Lockwood

Several years ago a relative of mine was in a major northeastern city for a short visit and it so happened that a “Gay Pride” parade was occurring. Shocking as it seems, some of the marchers were carrying signs that read: “Bring on the Lions!” That, of course, referred to the extermination of Christians after the order of the ancient bloody Roman Empire and presented a completely different picture of the Homosexual Goal for America than the MSM would like for you to see.

The entire political & cultural battle today may be boiled down to a War on God by the political left, which is being driven by the Homosexual Agenda. Nothing can be clearer than this. Even Islam joins with homosexuals—for now–in this same goal of eradication of Christianity. Read the text of the Democratic Party’s so-called Equality Act (H.R. 5) and be in the dark no more. It completely eradicates The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), originally passed in 1993, let alone respect the First Amendment which promised that the federal government is FORBIDDEN to touch religious speech and freedom.

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et. seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application of enforcement of a covered title.”

The RFRA began as a reaction following a 1990 Supreme Court decision (Employment Division v. Smith) which concerned Christians that religious liberty might be threatened. This resulted in a huge national movement of Christians to protect their God-given rights.

How does this link to the Homosexual Agenda? GrasstopsUSA re-published a portion of homosexual activist Michael Swift’s Manifesto from 1987. For a real stomach-turner, read the entire text on Fordham University’s website entitled, “Michael Swift, ‘Gay Revolutionary,’” reprinted from the Congressional Record itself.

We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity … Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding … All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men… There will be no compromises … All churches who condemn us will be closed … All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice … Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.

As Grassroots correctly stated, “Disguised as a measure to extend civil rights protections” to homosexuals and “transgendered individuals,” H.R. 5 actually “forces every man, women and child in the United States to not simply accept anti-biblical behaviors but to actively affirm them under penalty of law.”

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo, a homosexual Opinion Writer for USA Today and who wishes to “outlaw” “conversion therapy”, while claiming to be “libertarian,” headlines the following, “Gay Conservative: Equality Act would crush religious freedom. Trump is right to oppose it.”

Polumbo calls the “Equality Act,” “the landmark LGBT rights bill.” “From my vantage point as a gay conservative, I can see that the Equality Act goes too far for any level-headed gay rights advocate to support, and its blatant disregard for the basic right to religious freedom is appalling.”

The bill purports to protect LGBT Americans like me by prohibiting discrimination ‘based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit and the jury system.’ On the surface, this sounds unobjectionable—after all, no one deserves to face discrimination. Yet the bill defined ‘public accommodations’ so loosely and called for regulations so sweeping that it would crush religious freedom and radically reshape American society.

Polumbo warns that “The Equality Act could potentially see houses of worship deemed ‘public accommodations’ and subjected to anti-discrimination law. It would also declare any hospital or establishment providing medical services a ‘public accommodation,’ which would include religious organization and hospitals.”

Steve Warren

Homosexual activist Steven Warren issued in 1987 a “Warning to homophobes.” In it he stated that homosexuality will be spoken of in your churches and synagogues as an “honorable estate” and “you can either let us marry people of the same sex, or better yet abolish marriage altogether.”

Throwing down the gauntlet to Christianity, he warned, “You will be expected to offer ceremonies that bless our sexual arrangements” and you will “instruct your people in homosexual as well as heterosexual behavior, and you will go out of your way to make certain that homosexual youths are allowed to date, attend religious functions together, openly display affection, and enjoy each others’ sexuality without embarrassment or guilt.”

If the older people object “you will deal with them sternly, making certain they renounce their ugly and ignorant homophobia or suffer public humiliation.” “Finally, we will in all likelihood, want to expunge a number of passages from your Scriptures and rewrite others …”

The final warning: “If all these things do not come to pass quickly, we will subject Orthodox Jews and Christians to the most sustained hatred and vilification in recent memory.”

Bring on the Lions.

Bill Lockwood: The American War on God & the First Amendment

by Bill Lockwood

American leaders have been hostile to God for over a century. Our cultural landscape has been re-shaped because of it. One of the most recent battles involves a High School in West Virginia.

The Rutherford Institute, led by John Whitehead, has a press release this week which once again shows the depth and nature of this war against Christianity. A high school student-led club called Youth Alive in Weston, West Virginia has practiced posting sticky notes with inspirational messages to encourage each other on a bulletin board in one of the hallways. It is student-led, featuring Young Republicans, Young Democrats, Youth Alive, and other groups–all which use the board.

The trouble apparently came when students began posting Bible verses of a self-help nature on the board. That was too much for the Lewis County High School administration, which promptly shut down the bulletin board completely. No Bible allowed. It probably would have still been in use had students posted a quote from Karl Marx such as “Workers of the World, Unite!”

The nature of the America’s struggle is here seen. It is The Bible that is under assault. With concerns over a non-constitutional measure called “Separation of church and state,” the Lewis County High School actually has capitulated to the onslaught of secular forces in America.

John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney, comments, “What a missed opportunity to support young people in their efforts to find positive, constructive methods of engaging with fellow students who might be struggling with feelings of depression, unhappiness and stress.”

Whitehead has been fighting this secular onslaught for forty years. “Not only is the removal of these inspirational notes a clear act of censorship that violates the First Amendment,” he said, “but it also sends the disheartening message to young people that school officials care more about doing what is politically correct than doing what is right.”

The Rutherford Institute is leading the legal fight for liberty in Lewis County, demanding the Youth Alive be allowed to re-post inspirational notes, including selections from Bible verses. Students need faith, encouragement and forgiveness in a world where people are broken-hearted, alone, insecure, stressed and confused. The Lewis County High School has actually violated the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act, a federal statute that guarantees religious and political clubs equal rights in public schools.

First Amendment?

Two things here. One, the First Amendment is designed to forbid government from endorsing or supporting one particular church in the Christian world—nothing to do with removing Bible, Christianity, or godly principles from the public square. The forbidding of “establishment of religion” in the First Amendment simply refers to a “National Denomination” in the sense that America was to have a State Church supported by public taxes.

As a matter of fact, Fisher Ames was the Founding Father who offered the final wording of the First Amendment. From his own writing it is clear that “religion” means “single Christian denomination.” The original version of the amendment, proposed in the Senate on Sep. 3, 1789, stated, “Congress will not make any law establishing any religious denomination.” The second version read, “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination.” The third version reads similarly.

Note that the word “religion” is interchangeable with “denomination.” The founders were unanimous that the First Amendment merely forbade the establishment of a National Church. It had nothing to do with excluding God from the public square, least of all from schools. But what do secularists care about original intent?

Second, Dr. Samuel Mitcham, Jr., a military historian who has authored the recent It Wasn’t About Slavery: Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War, stated in a recent interview on the American Liberty with Bill Lockwood radio show, that which we term “political correctness” is actually nothing less than Cultural Marxism. Everything has a place in the market-place of ideas—except the Bible.

Dr. Mitcham knows whereof he speaks. A college professor for over twenty years and author of more than 40 books on military history and the culture, Dr. Mitcham is right on target. Who would have guessed that none the less than Karl Marx would have been the dominant force in American political “correctness” within two hundred-fifty years of his Manifesto?

 

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