Tag Archives: God

Bill Lockwood: Biden, The Second Amendment, and God’s Gift of Life

by Bill Lockwood

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden made a campaign stop this week at an auto factory in Michigan. When asked about “eroding” the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, Biden exploded and told the worker he was “full of ___.” The former VP was at the same time “shushing” his handlers who saw he was going off into the danger zone and were trying to stop him.

Elitist Biden then referred to the AR-15 as an “AR-14” and claims he supports the 2nd Amendment. Then he said the “AR-14” is a “machine gun” and declared it illegal in the United States and questioned why anyone wanted 100 rounds of ammunition.

There are so many things wrong with Biden’s position, it is difficult to summarize within a short piece.

First, the 2nd Amendment states to the federal government: “Shall not infringe.” The entire Bill of Rights is a ban on the federal government from touching the rights which Americans consider sacred. Really, the Bill of Rights is really not a “declaration of rights” at all. Instead, it is a specific list of prohibitions against the Federal Government. The Founders believed, and rightly so, that federal intrusions into the affairs of the people were the most ominous threats to the happiness and welfare of society. Therefore, regardless of the “wisdom” that elitist Biden thinks he may have if elected President, the Founders already barred him from touching the right of the people to keep and bear arms—whatever those arms may be.

Secondly, the 2nd Amendment includes every American, not simply a “national guard.” Modern liberals, who apparently know nothing of the real history of America and the Constitution, all claim that the 2nd Amendment applies only to the organized “National Guard.” Anyone who cares to actually read what the Framers of the Constitution themselves said on the topic will recognize at once this mistake.

Richard Henry Lee stated that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” The men who crafted the Bill of Rights spoke with one accord regarding what they meant by “militia.” Samuel Adams observed, “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to … prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Another, Patrick Henry, was quite adamant. “The great object is that every man be armed … Everyone who is able may have a gun.”

It is sheer nonsense to suppose that the 2nd Amendment authorized only an organized “national guard.’ A United States Senate Subcommittee in 1982, after thoroughly examining the founders’ intent on the Second Amendment, concluded: “The framers of the Bill of Rights consistently use the words ‘right of the people’ to reflect individual rights… the ‘militia’ itself referred to a concept of universally armed people, not to any specifically organized unit.”

Further, to prove that the National Guard is NOT the “militia” referred to in the 2nd Amendment, the subcommittee stated boldly that “Congress has organized the National Guard under its power to ‘raise and support armies’ … The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction recognized by 10 U.S.C. #311 (a).” Thus, even the United States code recognizes that the “militia” does not refer to the National Guard, but to all the people.

Third, the 2nd Amendment is tantamount to valuation of life and liberty. Jeffrey Snyder is an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. In a publication entitled The Public Interest, under “Nation of Cowards,” Snyder makes the following observations regarding the right to keep and bear arms enjoyed by Americans.

“Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA.”

“Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e. exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social ‘re-education’ is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s famous characterization of gun owners as ‘hunters who drink beer, don’t vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend.”

Snyder points out too that the late Sen. Kennedy characterized gun owners as the “pusher’s best friend.” And who can forget Barak Obama’s picture of the ignorant masses who cling to their “bibles and their guns.”

In the end, Snyder observes that gun controllers routinely are those who devalue life, and we might add, liberty. The notion that defending oneself with lethal force is not somehow “civilized” “arises from the view that violence is always wrong, or the view that each human being is of such intrinsic worth that it is wrong to kill anyone under any circumstances. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending.”

The above explains why the left not only do not wish for Americans to defend themselves against tyrannical governments, but are happily for the murder of the unborn. Life has little value to them. “One who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God’s gift of life …”

The same can be said regarding our ability to defend against tyranny and God’s gift of freedom. Biden does not value life nor liberty.

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: “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: Good-bye American Heritage?

by Bill Lockwood

The inspiring ideals enshrined in the founding documents of our nation include a limited government that allows maximum personal freedom, equality of opportunity, and equal justice under the law. These are founded upon the pillars of inalienable rights, including the fact that all men are created by God as equal. But we have gone about “as far left” as socialist policies can take us if the Democratic debates are an indication of where America will be tomorrow.

“Our job,” Bernie Sanders spouted in the Iowa debate, “is to build the United Nations.” Not surprising from a socialist who has been photographed enjoying toasts with the leader of the old Soviet Union’s gulag communistic state. But frightening that he maintains substantial support in the Democratic Party.

The United Nations has been from its inception a design for socialistic world government. In its most recent COP 25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain, Executive Director Stuart Scott called for the UN to implement drastic population-control policies and “family planning” such as control the Chinese. Other plans include a massive transfer of wealth from “western countries” (read, “United States”) to third world poorer nations in the form of “climate reparations.” The UN is a world dictators’ dream. This is what Bernie Sanders favors. National Socialism is not brave enough—we need International socialism.

It is inescapable, however, that we have already lost so many of our freedoms that have made America the envy of the world. Whether due to taxes, to regulations on our businesses, farms, homes, cars, to our activities, to our speech, and to our abilities to exercise without government interference our religious liberty—our American heritage has dwindled.

So the issue is whether we will preserve even the semblance of our once-cherished ideals of limited government, the sovereignty of the States, the protection of life and property that is so nobly enshrined in our founding documents? Will we maintain any semblance of our freedom over our own health care or will we capitulate to the totalitarian proposals of the Democrats by which the government becomes a monopoly funded 100% by the American taxpayer? Will we continue the path to a more limited government under president Donald Trump or listen to the siren song of socialists?

Samuel Padover edited Thomas Jefferson’s letters in Thomas Jefferson on Democracy. He refers to Jefferson as “the St. Paul of American democracy.” Padover completes his introduction;

“The modern trend is in the direction of greater concentration of power in the hands of government. The problem of individual freedom within the framework of a more or less regulated economy will have to be fought out in our age, just as the question of political liberty and the free market were the issues in Jefferson’s day. … Jefferson felt that without liberty, life was not worth living. …In the difficult years that undoubtedly lie ahead, Americans will have to gather all their moral forces for the preservation of their way of life, their liberties, and their opportunities.”

These words were written in 1939.

Bill Lockwood: Irreconcilable Differences

by Bill Lockwood

A recent article in Market Watch by Shawn Langlois highlights a frightening prospect for America’s future. A new survey released by the non-profit Victims of Communism in Washington, D.C., 36% of millennials say they approve of communism, which is up about 10 percentage points from a year ago. Added to that is that 70% of millennials say they are “likely to vote” for a socialist candidate. Further, 22% of the same age bracket say that “private property ought to be abolished.”

This is not merely about lack of education of the youth. It is about mal-education, specifically at the collegiate level, although High Schools and Junior Highs are preparing children for that brainwashing via the doctrine of Climate Change. As these young people begin assuming leadership roles in America, our society will be completely turned up-side down. This is the case precisely because socialism is not simply about economics, but is about a “cultural change.”

Charles Scaliger, in a recent article in The New American print magazine, explains. Socialism is “first and foremost… a social movement, not an economic one. The primary objective of socialism is to destroy the social and moral fabric of society, using economic control as a major tool.”

But this cultural change traces to a different view of human nature than that upon which western civilization has been built. This foundation is a biblical concept of man, nature, and society. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and life itself is a gift from God. Ideas of limited government, liberty and private property are by-products of this religious heritage.

For this reason, our Founders with one accord referred to this as a Christian nation. On the other hand, all forms of socialism reject this concept of human nature, and consequently, our free society forged by the Bible.

Socialism and Communism

Socialism and communism are two peas in the same pod, as seen from the Victims of Communism poll. Communism is merely a form of socialism. Both seek to overturn society, one by the bullet and the other by the ballot. Both trace their heritage to the philosophy of Karl Marx and his atheistic view of human nature and both therefore fervently reject the concept of human nature as presented by Moses in Genesis. Marx’s view in brief is that man’s nature is created solely by the economic system and one’s relationship to it. Society is therefore changed by altering the economic system.

That both socialism and communism are the same philosophy, consider also the fact that the Labour Party, the Socialist Party in Britain, put out in 1948 a Centennial Edition of The Manifesto of the Communist Party with an introduction written by a fellow socialist, Harold Laski. In 1961 the Socialist Party in America listed The Manifesto on its reading list as a socialist classic. Norman Thomas, who was known in yesteryear America as “Mr. Socialist,” said that the Manifesto was the first formulation of socialism.

Socialism and Fascism

Fascism is also another form of socialism. Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, in his excellent treatment of the entire topic in The Problem with Socialism, points out, for example, that Benito Mussolini was always a socialist. Fascism is merely national socialism as opposed to international socialism. National socialism, or fascism, is content to allow private business to survive as long as they are directed by government subsidies and policies—which is exactly where America is today.

View of Human Nature

Without suggesting that socialists follow Marx in everything, it is the case that all these views—socialism, communism, fascism– explicitly or implicitly accept the view of human nature that Karl Marx set forward. College students today are feasting at Marx’s table which eventually influences them adopt his world-view and specifically his view of human nature. This is why the differences today between the Left and Right are irreconcilable. These views begin at a different place regarding God, nature, and humanity. In reality, socialism itself is atheistic.

See how the atheistic view of human nature lies at the bottom. Mussolini wrote that “The Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State….It is opposed to classic liberalism … [which] denied the State in the name of the individual.” (Quoted by DiLorenzo, 68).

The fact is is that Mussolini wanted the individual is to be subsumed into the State. What is the difference between this and the current proposals of the Democratic Party? State redistribution of wealth, income taxes, reparations, minimum wages, universal socialized medicine, guaranteed living income, and more make up the panoply of old socialist ideas pushed by the Democrats. All for the state, very little individual liberty. This is why the Democrats in America are always, and have always been, on a collision course with biblical values.

Vergilius Ferm, in his Encyclopedia of Religion, explains the depth of the conflict between Christianity and socialism:

“American socialism is heir to the tradition of materialism and atheism. It relies on the growth of automatic perfection, not indeed by virtue of the given natural faculties of man, but as the product of causally inevitable economic changes. The result is parallel to that of the liberal utopia, a self-contained world of man, individualistic here, collectivist there, and redeemed from evil, once and for all, by the economic process, much as this requires men conscious of their opportunity. This is an overtly anti-Christian doctrine.”

The social and moral fabric of American society must be remade, per the socialists, aka Democrats. This is also why the war in America occurring now is not simply about politics, left or right. It is all about biblical values and whether we will honor them.

 

Bill Lockwood: The Name of God

by Bill Lockwood

Alfred Edersheim, the Jewish commentator who became a Christian, explains why Matthew’s gospel (3:2) will use the phraseology ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ while ‘Kingdom of God,’ appears elsewhere (e.g. Mark 1:4).

According to the Rabbinic views of the time, the terms ‘Kingdom of heaven,’ and ‘Kingdom of God’ … were equivalent. In fact, the word ‘heaven’ was very often used instead of ‘God,’ so as to avoid unduly familiarizing the ear with the Sacred Name. This probably accounts for the exclusive use of the expression ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ in the Gospel by Matthew.

I was raised by a godly Christian mother who explained to me when very young that the Jews took such care when even writing the name of God in copies of the Scriptures that they washed their hands before putting pen to parchment to write it. I never heard her speak of God except in sober tones.

Kimberly Burnham, in the website ReformJudaism.org, posted an article entitled “Writing the Torah and Honoring the Name of God.” In it she interviewed Rabbi Kevin Hale who “talked about going to the river near his house to wash himself in a mikveh (ritual bath) before writing the name of God in the Torah scroll he worked on.

The reason there are very few errors is the intentionality that goes into the writing of the name of God …‘Every letter is sung out as you write, and there is an acute awareness of begin in the presence of something great,’ Hale said, noting that the name of God is written with a unique quill using special ink, a 2,000-year-old recipe.

The third commandment of the Decalogue forbids “taking the name of the Lord in vain.” Vain means empty, nothing, worthless. Writer Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, asks this pointed question: “How did ‘watch your mouth’ make the top ten?” The answer is simple: God wants us to revere His name.

That being said, how has it come to pass that Christians, who ought of all people, to honor the name of God, have allowed a hedonistic godless blasphemous culture to influence our manner of speaking and thinking in that “O my G_____ ”, or equivalent expressions have become the norm?

DeYoung reflects on light-hearted “nicknames” that people use to refer to one another. Then he comments,

“But funny nicknames given to us is one thing; irreverent use of God’s name is another. Everywhere in Scripture the name of the Lord is exalted in the highest possible terms. ‘O Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!’ (Psa. 8:1). ‘Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name’ (Psa. 29:2). The first petition of the Lord’s prayer is ‘Hallowed be your name’ (Matt. 6:9). The apostles proclaim that ‘there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). Paul assured the Romans that ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Rom. 10:13). And the culminating event in all of creation is when, ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of god the Father’ (Phil. 2:10-11). The Bible does not want us to forget the holy importance of the divine name.

Nothing marks the godlessness of a culture as much as dishonoring the name of God.

Bill Lockwood: Why Do Christians Support Donald Trump?

by Bill Lockwood

Not presuming to speak for all Christians, I do, however, wish to offer a few observations regarding the general support of Donald J. Trump by Christians and Constitutionalists. This is timely seeing that so many on the socialistic/Democratic side of the political spectrum love to harangue Trump-supporting Christians about the past personal behavior of Trump. They seem to delight in pointing out his multiple marriages, his infidelities, his foul language, or other personal indiscretions, always with a view to shaming Christians for their support.

What Shall We Say to These Things?

First, no Christian of which I am aware excuses Trump’s personal sins. But this is a far cry from an elected official such as Bill Clinton using his powerful position as the chief executive to assault women in the oval office. On a broader scale, if an angry press would devote itself to scouring all public officials with the scrutiny they have applied to Donald Trump, I doubt there would be many officials to escape unscathed. So, what does this mean? Stop participating in the election process because those whom we elect have soiled lives? I suspect that is what the left really desires.

Second, I readily confess that the ideal is as stated by John Adams. “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries the most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”

Thomas Jefferson agreed. “For promoting the public happiness, those persons whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue … should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens …” But where are we as a society?

It is needless to point out here that our entire culture for the past 75 years has been more reflective of Sodom and Gomorrah than the “shining city on a hill” that John Winthrop paraphrased from the words of our Savior. There is without question a deep-dyed wickedness in the populace that is corroding the nation’s soul. Finding a virtuous and godly person that will fill the position of a “natural aristocracy,” as Jefferson worded it, and willing to put themselves into the grinding mill of the political arena, is nearly an impossible task.

Third, with the above in mind, many Christians primarily have relied upon the simple principle of how best to secure our God-given liberties? Since the entire history of civilization is nothing but the story of suffering peoples at the hands of their own governments, which candidate will support the kinds of Constitutional principles that more positively reflect that? Or, more pointedly, do Donald Trump’s policies lessen the vice-grip of government, or do the Democratic policies? To ask the question is to answer it.

One must recognize that political power always, without fail, gravitates toward centralization and that this movement always erodes and destroys the liberty of people by removing the decision-making processes and transferring them to that central government. Christians therefore, have wisely resisted the growth of government. And it is only Donald J. Trump, even with his brass-knuckle less-than-genteel approach, who can drain the swamp that threatens to drown us all.

An Illustration

The Jews in the time of Christ did not enjoy even a modicum of the liberty that we now have as Christians in America. As a matter of fact, Israel’s sovereignty had been removed from the period of the Assyrian Empire in the Old Testament (8th century B.C.) and was never regained. The mighty Roman empire controlled Palestine during the birth of our Lord, and the Jewish people suffered beneath the local rule of one wicked Procurator after another.

So, when a Quirinius, the Legate of Syria (Luke 2:1-3), would order a census in Palestine with a view to taxation, the Jews submitted even though despising it. So also other governors of Syria such as Coponius, Marcus Ambivius, and Valerius Gratus, who followed Quirinius. Other various fiscal oppressions of a grievous sort were practiced by Romans against the Jewish people. All of these the Jews loathed, but tolerated.

This was because these governors generally respected the religious feelings of the Jews and gave wide latitude to Jewish practices and scruples. We know, for example, that they removed the image of the Emperor from the standards of Roman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as to avoid the appearance of a cultus of the Caesars (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. I, p. 242).

But all of that was far different from a Pontius Pilate who forced the hated emblem on the Jews and defied all of their most sacred feelings.

Today

This is not unlike the political scene today. A secular society continues to dominate our culture, which Christians decry. Christians tolerate, probably too much, the unconstitutional and ungodly measures in our country. But this is completely different from a Democratic leader such as Barack Obama who publicly mocks the Bible, engineers the redefinition of marriage, rubs Christian noses in the murder of the unborn, and parades to the world that we are not a Christian nation.

Added to that is the fact that in the end, not only has President Trump boldly stood for a more biblical stance in public policy, but has sought to massively de-regulate the unconstitutional super-state in which we live. A report by the Council of Economic Advisors in June, 2019 estimates that after 5-10 years of the new de-regulatory approach of the Federal Government household incomes will have been raised by $3,100 per household per year.

Casey Mulligan, the chief economist for the CEA, explained that “The deregulatory efforts of the Trump Administration have … removed mandates from employers, especially smaller businesses, and have removed burdens that would have eliminated many small bank lenders from the marketplace. These deregulatory actions are raising real incomes by increasing competition, productivity, and wages.”

In the end, however, it is not merely economic prosperity that many Christians desire. It is to secure our God-given liberties by rolling back the unconstitutional government in which we live. Donald J. Trump seems to be the only person with enough back-bone to attempt this daunting task. I suspect that the radical left realizes this fact which explains their mindless hatred and opposition.

Bill Lockwood: Why Should Christians be Interested in Opposing Socialism?

by Bill Lockwood

Modern America has been trained to compartmentalize their lives by placing “religion” and worshipping in the church-house or privacy of the home as separate and distinct from “politics.” “Politics” is thought to be what one does when going to the ballot box. Never should these two ideas meet. So is the conventional wisdom.

It is further supposed that ideas such as socialism, communism, statism, collectivism or their variants are merely “political theories” that have no bearing on religious teaching, or more than that—that biblical teaching does not touch such ideas.

This is all very shallow and without any serious thought into what the biblical view of the world includes. Let’s begin with the Bible. Christian truth is one organism. It has a unity and coherence the parts of which cannot be arbitrarily removed without doing violence to the whole. In the words of the great Christian writer James Orr,

“He who with his whole heart believes in Jesus as the Son of God is thereby committed to much else besides. He is committed to a view of God, to a view of man, to a view of sin, to a view of Redemption, to a view of the purpose of God in creation and history, found only in Christianity. This forms a Weltanschauung, or “Christian view of the world” which stands in marked contrast with theories wrought out from purely philosophical or scientific viewpoint.” 1

This is why there is deep antagonism between Bible believers and scientific theories of the origin of the world and mankind. The schism cannot be papered over by simply saying, “I believe in God and the general theory of evolution.” The naturalistic view of the world begins with this sign: “NO MIRACLES ALLOWED.” The Christian view of the world begins with this: “In the beginning GOD CREATED the heavens and the earth.” There is no middle ground.

Socialism

The same is true regarding socialism. Oscar Jaszi was a noted Hungarian social scientist, historian, and politician of the 19th century. Jaszi found himself in the middle of socialist revolutions in Europe during the formative years of communism/socialism, labor parties, and liberal democratic movements. Later, teaching at Oberlin College in Ohio, he authored works published by the University of Chicago Press. He wrote the entry under Socialism in 1934 for the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, a multi-volume scholarly work. In his lengthy article on “Socialism” for the Encyclopedia, Jaszi summarizes six points which are characteristic of all collectivist movements. They are as follows:

  1. A condemnation of the existing political and social order as unjust
  2. An advocacy of a new order consistent with moral values
  3. A belief that this ideal is realizable
  4. A conviction that the immorality of the established order is traceable not to a fixed world order or to the unchanging nature of man but to corrupt institutions
  5. A program of action leading to the ideal through fundamental remolding of human nature or of institutions or both
  6. A revolutionary will to carry out this program.

Jaszi then issues this warning. “The fact can scarcely be overemphasized that no true socialist is satisfied with merely economic reforms but advocates also a distinct educational, ethical, and aesthetic policy.”

At the heart of all socialistic ideas, including communism, Nazism, statism, and fascism, is an atheistic view of man. That is, mankind is solely determined by physical, social, and/or economic factors. This is directly at variance with the biblical view of man, which teaches that the problem with mankind is sin, a rebellion against God (Rom. 3:10-12).

To teach that God Exists sets one at war with atheism which says there is no God. To teach that there is One God (Deut. 6:4) is to oppose polytheism which says there are many gods. It is also to oppose the pagan worldview which believes that deity is somehow embodied in the earth. And to teach that God created man in his own image—a freewill being whose problem is SIN, is to be at variance with the socialistic creed that preaches the problems of mankind arise from the environment and that by reforming social institutions problems will be solved.

It is simple. Belief in the biblical view of God opposes atheism and the biblical view of man opposes socialism. Further, since politics is defined as the principles by which society should be governed, should not Christians be engaged in combatting socialistic ideas that engraft themselves into a culture—even if they are in the political arena?

1 The Christian View of God and the World, p. 4.

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