Politics, Religion, and Globalism

By Dr. Mike Spaulding – June 21, 2019

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again[1]

And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many … for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. Mark 13:5-6, 22-23 NASB

There is an eight hundred pound gorilla on the world stage and nearly every political leader in the world, save Trump, Ader of Hungary, and Duda of Poland, plus a few more, refuse to acknowledge its presence. It is getting really awkward for Macron, Merkel, and May. The atrocities that they have allowed to be committed against their citizenry by this gorilla deny reason. Can open revolt In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom be too far off?

Stated simply, world leaders who advocate for the continued freedom of this gorilla to behave in any way it desires are either deceived or being paid to downplay what is clearly a war against Western civilization. I believe it is some of both but mostly deception. Somehow, Western leaders believe they can contain the cancer that is Islam.

What kind of blindness is this? How can political leaders who rise through the cesspool of maneuvering to reach national prominence not understand what Islam is? The message of Islam is simple: convert or die. There is no ambiguity within Islam. This is why I say that the world and especially the leaders of the world’s nations, save a few, are completely deceived. This deception is satanic. Let me explain.

Jesus warned against being deceived. He said, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name.” The context is that the time will come when people will attempt to mislead you by advocating for false Christ’s. There have been many people over the years that have done exactly that. They have all been proven to be liars and frauds. The most dangerous deception concerning Jesus – the false Jesus – is found in Islam.

Satan, who is known as Allah to Muslims, has constructed a masterful deception and named it Islam. Christians of all people should know better than to believe the lies of Islam but unfortunately that is not the case. This is to their shame and potentially to their destruction. How does Islam present the most clear and present danger to Christians and indeed the world? If you want to understand the barbarity of Islam and why Islamists are blood-thirsty savages, then you must understand their eschatology. Islam has a theology of the end times.

Would it surprise you if I told you that Jesus plays a significant role in Islamic end time’s theology? Of course, when I say Jesus, I’m talking about the Islamic Jesus. There is a difference between the biblical Jesus and the Jesus of Islam and you must understand this pivotal point.

Islam recognizes Jesus as a great prophet. But Islam states that Mohammed is greater. In fact the 12th Imam or Mahdi of Islam is even greater. The Islamic Jesus is a great prophet but:

  • He is not the Son of God.

  • He was not born of a virgin.

  • He was not crucified for the sins of the world.

  • He did not die on a cross.

  • Because He didn’t die He was not resurrected.

  • He was taken to heaven just like Elijah and Mohammed.

  • He is standing with Allah waiting for Allah to allow Him to return to the earth.

Now, some Christians get excited over that last point: Muslims believe Jesus will return to the earth. In their excitement they rush to an ignorant conclusion: We can use that as a starting place for interfaith dialogue.

As Lee Corso likes to say: Not so fast my friends! In Islam, Jesus returns to assist the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah-Savior figure with several necessary activities. The Islamic Jesus will, according to Islam:

  • Jesus returns as a radicalized Muslim and

  • Jesus will implement Sharia Law across the entire world.

  • Jesus’ testimony as a Muslim will lead many Christians to convert to Islam.

  • Jesus will testify against those Christians who refuse to convert on the Day of Judgment.

  • Jesus will abolish Christianity.

  • Jesus will destroy every cross.

  • Jesus will kill all swine.

  • Jesus will kill the Muslim antichrist and his followers, which in Islamic theology are the Jews.

  • Jesus will marry, have children, and die.

The Islamic Jesus is the exact opposite of the biblical Jesus. In fact, the Islamic Jesus is a near perfect representation of the biblical false prophet. Yet, we have mindless Christians that believe we can dialogue with Islamists and find a common ground.

Let’s consider the Islamic messiah-savior figure, the Mahdi, sometimes referred to as the 12thImam. The name “Mahdi” means “the Guided One.” The Mahdi is also called Sahib Al-Zaman or Al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, which translated mean “the Lord of the age” and “the Awaited Savior.” The Mahdi is Islam’s savior.

The appearance of the Mahdi on the world stage is to Muslims the equivalent of the return of Jesus Christ to Christians. The Mahdi is:

  • A descendant of Mohammed.

  • The final and longed for Caliph who will establish the Islamic worldwide Caliphate.

  • He will rule the world through a series of holy wars.

  • His rise to power is preceded by an army of black flag carrying warriors.

The black flags these warriors carry are inscribed with the words “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Messenger” in Arabic. The Mahdi will lead the black flagged warriors to conquer Israel and will reign from the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Muslims believe the Mahdi will be loved by the entire world.

The reason Muslims believe the entire world will love the Mahdi is because they believe the Mahdi will establish world peace. He will negotiate a peace treaty between the Arabs and the Romans, by which is meant Christians.

Let’s contrast what Islam reaches about the Mahdi with whom the Bible says accomplishes these things. The Bible teaches that the antichrist will arrive on the world stage as a political savior. He will bring peace to the world through a treaty between Israel and the Muslim world. The antichrist will appear to be a spiritual leader for the entire world and he will make use of the one world religion.

The biblical antichrist attempts to destroy Jews and Christians. In fact, the biblical antichrist breaks treaty with Israel, demands he be worshipped, and seeks to attack and conquer Jerusalem and establish his headquarters there.

Readers that are even vaguely familiar with the Bible see clearly that the Islamic savior, the Mahdi, is the biblical antichrist. The Islamic Jesus is the biblical false prophet.

Islam is Satanic. It is thoroughly demonic in origin and practice. Indeed, it manifests the spirit of antichrist right before the eyes of the world and yet world leaders turn a blind eye to the horrific evil being unleashed on innocent people.

Jesus warned of the day when false Christs would come onto the world scene, and I remind you of one such passage in Mark.

And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many … for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. Mark 13:5-6, 22-23

Those days are upon us. Here are characteristics of the spirit of antichrist:

  • and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 1 John 4:3
  • Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23
  • For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ ascoming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7

The spirit of antichrist deceives people, and is a liar. Those consumed by the spirit of antichrist deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of Israel and the world; they deny the Father and the Son and therefore the Trinity; they deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, and therefore the incarnation.

Yet, people want to say that the God of the Bible is Allah, that Jesus is revered within Islam, and that if we just keep dialoguing with the Muslims then we can achieve a peaceful co-existence with them. Neville Chamberlain lives again as every modern imbecile who believes Islam is about co-existing.

Those that are pushing a globalist Chrislam one-world religion harlotry should be denounced and shamed. People that want to have conversations for better understanding with jihadi Imams should be denounced in the strongest possible terms.

You want to have a conversation with Islamists? Tell them to confess their sins and receive God’s free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Tell them to renounce the demonic lies of Islam and live as a disciple of Jesus.

Wake up church!

Pastor Mike Spaulding

www.drmikelive.com

www.soarngeagleradio.com

www.thetransformingword.com

www.drmikespaulding.com

[1] The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again, written by Pete Townsend. From the 1971 album Who’s Next.

 

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Do We Really want to Eliminate “So Help Me God” from our Oaths?

By Michael Bresciani – June 2, 2019

 

Journalist Calvin Freiburger writing for Life Site News says:

“Democrats try to cut ‘so help you God’ from committee witness oath, backtrack after outcry.”

The oath is:

“Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God”

Reportedly, the democrats were also poised to discontinue the use of gender specific pronouns such as “his” and “her.” House Republican Chair Liz Cheney said:

“They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”

How well we remember, the outcry to remove all references to God from the 2012 Democratic National Convention platform.

Have the democrats become the party of atheism? They stand behind taking the lives of the un-born at a rate of almost 4,000 per day, while vapidly supporting every nascent perversion that sparks out from the LGBT – They are hardly the new myrmidons of social magnanimity.

Shunning all exclusivity and bigotry, are democrats now progressivism’s pompous proud perverts of preference? Do they think God need not show his presence in their hallowed halls unless he is served with a subpoena?

Let’s see – does the Bible say that God will help people to tell the truth?

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” (Joh 16: 13)

Should we want to prevaricate and lie like a rug another verse stands in stark contrast?

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Joh 8: 44)

If we don’t want God in the committee room we must remember that there is still someone who is willing to help.

Must we tell the democrats that the ignoble pursuit of removing God and or all reference to God from the country’s political scenery is to deny everything about America from its founding to the present?

According to the bible God can and will be very accommodating if we persist.

By means of a theological inversion of scripture this is easily ascertained. In the epistle of James we read:

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4: 8)

It follows that if we want to draw away from God, he will also want to draw away from us.

God knocks on the door, but we never read that he breaks down the door to get to us.

In fact, the dem’s don’t much care whether an oath is administered or not. They are very selective about what they see as truth.

They have had two years to prove that Donald Trump is a Russian agent now that it has been proven that he is not – they refuse to accept that as truth. They have had as many years to accept the truth that there is a crisis on our borders, in spite of tens of thousands of illegals pouring over the border with diseases, ill intentions and criminal backgrounds they refuse the truth that says it is a national crisis.

We should not bounce the oath, but rather we should bounce the democrats in the election of 2020.

Original here


A Virginia pastor prayed for Trump — Here’s what the backlash tells us about the church

June 7, 2019 By Daniel Ritchie

By now, many of us have seen and heard about what played out during the 1 p.m. worship service at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. last Sunday.

For those who may be unfamiliar, here’s the short of it: President Trump played a round of golf at Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, VA. After finishing his golf outing, the president decided to stop by Mclean Bible Church — one of the largest evangelical churches in the D.C. Metro area — to visit with Pastor David Platt and to pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach.

CHRISTIANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY CALL ON FAITH LEADERS TO PRAY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP

McLean Bible Church and Platt had little notice of the visit. In fact, Platt had just finished his sermon and had stepped backstage for a few moments to prepare for the church to take the Lord’s Supper.

It was in those quiet few moments that he found out that the president of the United States was just minutes away from being at the church.

Dr. Platt was faced with a tough decision. He in no way wanted to endorse the president, his party or his policies as a man who is responsible to shepherd God’s church. Yet, he also did not want to bypass an opportunity to pray for one of the most prominent men on the planet.

In those moments of internal wrestling, a passage from 2 Timothy 1 came to his mind:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

As he reflected on this text, Platt knew the best thing to do was to pray for the president, which is exactly what he did. He clearly presented the Gospel to the president both backstage and in the prayer.

He prayed that God would give Mr. Trump wisdom, grace, and mercy. He prayed that the president would know of God’s promised love for him. He prayed that President Trump would lead and make decisions with justice and equity for all in mind.

With that, the prayer ended and Mr. Trump stepped off the stage without making any public remarks.

And with that, the backlash began.

Many people were hurt because he brought a public official into the pulpit of his church. The criticism was strong enough that he penned a letter to his church in which he explained the Gospel-centered “why” behind his decision to bring the President on stage.

There were others, like Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., who criticized Platt for writing that letter; Falwell deemed it as a cowardly apology and attacked Platt’s male fortitude.

The backlash has left one apparent truth in its wake: there’s a worldview problem in the church.

Scripture describes that when someone trusts Jesus as Lord, they are a new person. They begin to have new tastes, new affections and a new way to see the world. They do not view things as they always have; they now view everything that they take in on a daily basis through the lens of Scripture. Through the lens of God’s grace-giving Gospel.

There are some, plainly evidenced in this situation, that view Gospel truths through a political lens first. But that is not how the church needs to view the world. We have to view every situation through a Gospel lens.

As we begin to process realities like Platt’s prayer or the pro-life debate or even voting itself through a political lens first and foremost, then we lack a true biblical worldview.

If our first response to political deliberation and conversation is, “How would my political party perceive this?” then we have a functional political idol.

For the Christian, politics as the fundamental way to view the world is destined for failure and strife. The Gospel and Scripture ought to be the funnel that we pour everything through. The things we learn, what we talk about, how we vote and even how we parent are meant to be seen through the lens of the Gospel. We see everything through a Scripture-shaped lens first and that is what a Christian worldview looks like.

As we view the world through a Gospel lens, we begin to see where our allegiance needs to be: God first in all things. Much as was the heart of Platt’s prayer that we would: “aim for God’s glory, align with God’s purpose, and yield to God’s sovereignty.”

In every thought. In every conversation. In every debate. Let that be the way we see the world.

 

VIDEO A Call to Prayer for our President! June 2nd, 2019

May 31, 2019 by Gabriel Etzel

This past week, Franklin Graham called for a special day of prayer for President Trump to be held on Sunday, June 2.

The billygraham.org website explains the initiative by stating, “The only one who can fix our country’s problems is God Himself, and we pray that God will bless our president and our nation for His glory.” The website also includes a list of numerous religious leaders supporting the special day including Jerry Falwell, Jack Graham, David Jeremiah, Jentezen Franklin, and Alan Keyes.

I realize this call to prayer is received in various ways; however, praying for one’s leaders is not a blue or red decision; it is an opportunity for Christians to come together. We participate in electing a President and other government officials and can have disagreements on policies, but praying for our country and our leaders is our responsibility whether or not our candidate wins. When I disagree with policies or decisions, I am unfortunately too quick to complain and I seek to argue my perspective. Perhaps if I turned to prayer as a first response instead of a last resort, I would see that the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5)

FRANKLIN GRAHAM, 250 CHRISTIAN LEADERS CALL FOR ‘DAY OF PRAYER’ FOR TRUMP

As you process through Franklin Graham’s request to pray for our President, consider the following:

First, there is power in prayer. The Billy Graham Evangelist Association explains prayer as a “spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.” When God’s people pray, they are conversing with the God of the universe, and Scripture speaks to the importance of prayer within the life of the individual. AND, prayer is also where we can listen to God’s voice. Prayer speaks to God’s heart, but it also speaks to our hearts. Specifically, Philippians 4 instructs us to, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer is not only a way to present our requests to God, it provides a posture for his followers to be formed and comforted by our heavenly Father.

Second, calling for special times of prayer is a common occurrence throughout the Scriptures. Prayer is a regular part of the lives of God’s people, and prayer is also part of some of the most important events throughout the Bible. Abraham prays for an heir in Genesis 15. Samuel’s mother Hannah prays for her son in 1 Samuel 2.

There is a special time of prayer at the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 1 Kings 8. Daniel prays regularly and is used by God to influence world leaders. Nehemiah prayed for his nation before receiving permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Matthew 6), and he had a dedicated time of prayer with his disciples prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Prayer is woven throughout the fabric of the Bible, and is an important element within the life of God’s people.

Third, we are commanded in Scripture to pray for our leaders. First, Timothy 2:1-2 indicates we are to pray for all people, but also specifically notes national leaders. The text reads, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Scripture affirms the power of God to direct governing authorities and structures. From the humble beginnings of the nation of Israel to the establishment of kings over the nation of Israel, even to the future reign of Jesus over all creation, we see God’s sovereign hand at work. As his people, we are to faithfully serve him and regularly pray for those in authority over us.

Considering the power of prayer, the special times of prayer within Scripture, and the command for us to pray for our leaders, I hope you will make a special attempt to pray for our President this Sunday, it is both a privilege and responsible we bear as citizens of this nation and children of the King.


A Call to Prayer for our President! June 2nd, 2019

VIDEO Godly Christian Living in Evil Times

June 14, 2016 BY AMERICAN COUNCIL OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

 

Few will deny that we are living in evil times. The enemy has “come in like a flood.” Every perversion imaginable to sinful man is now promoted as “good” or “normal.” Basic standards of morality and decency, which once prevailed in the United States, now have been largely abandoned. Sadly, as our society’s culture has sunk further into the swamp of moral degeneracy, a love for the world has eroded the standards of many Christians, which were once grounded upon the teachings of God’s Word. Selections of music, entertainment, clothing, and other choices necessary to godly living have become more similar to and less distinct from those of the lusts of the world.  Many of God’s people lack a zeal for putting a cultural difference between the clean and the unclean (Lev. 20:22-26).

The true child of God must reject and resist such worldliness.  The Bible warns that the world in which we live is in an important sense the domain of the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). What God has ordained for life in this world, Satan has sought to corrupt.  For this reason, Paul warns in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

1 John 2:15-17 commands us to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”  To love the world in this sense is to fail to love the Father.  To conform to the cultural norms produced by this lack of love for the Father is to communicate a similar lack of love for Him.

Some justify a greater conformity to the world by divorcing what is in the heart of a Christian from his outward appearance and actions. God indeed told Samuel: “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). However, what is in the heart will always manifest itself outwardly. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” (Luke 6:45). Paul is concerned with both the transformation of the mind and the consecration of the body to holiness (Rom. 12:2).  Matthew Henry, in commenting on the holy behavior of older Christian women in Titus 2:3, says that Christians should have “an inward principle and habit of holiness, influencing and ordering the outward conduct at all times.”

God has commanded us: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). The Scripture is clear about the fruit of true holiness in the child of God: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23). This fruitful holiness produced by God’s Spirit is antithetical to worldliness, the works of a flesh that produces both sinful desires and a wicked walk (Gal. 5:16-21).  Cultural choices are included among the works of the flesh.  Any music, clothing, entertainment, speech, or other cultural choice promoting fruitful holiness must not be conformed to styles developed to promote the worldliness of 1 John 2:15-17. This mandate applies equally to our personal lives and our corporate worship.  Our love for the Father provides powerful motivation for careful conservatism that draws a clear line well-removed from the gray of compromise in this regard.

Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches, at its 71st Annual Convention, October 23-25, 2012, in the Cedar View Independent Methodist Church, Kingsport, Tennessee, affirms the need for all Bible-believing churches and individual Christians to separate from conformity to the cultural norms produced by this world’s love for possessions, pleasures, and pride.  As children determined to love our heavenly Father faithfully, we commit ourselves to the promotion and practice of consistently conservative, godly Christian living, regulated by cultural standards that demonstrate the distinctiveness of our calling as pilgrims and strangers in a world ruled by “the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience.”  It is our desire that in every area of our lives, the change that has called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” would be seen plainly by others in a way that will “glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:9-12).

Picture: https://pixabay.com/en/hills-flowering-desert-flowers-960106/

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Psalm 91:1-66

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …


Derek Prince – Evil Forces At the End Time


New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers

Under Trump, federal policy keeps shifting away from abortion rights in favor of religious conscience protections.

May 3, 2019 by KATE SHELLNUTT

 

New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers

 

Update (May 2): A year after establishing a new division to safeguard health care workers’ freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, the Trump Administration has formalized protections for those who decline to participate in certain medical treatments like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide due to their faith or moral convictions.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed the new rule last January (see below) and issued a final version in a 440-page document on Thursday. The policy is meant to provide stronger protections and more guidance around enforcing conscience protections passed by Congress, according to HHS.

“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights and former legal council with the religious liberty group Becket Fund. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.”

This updated policy represents a major religious freedom victory, particularly for pro-life evangelicals who fear being forced to violate their conscience on the issue of abortion.

In a Barna Group survey released last month, the issue of “religious hospitals being required to perform abortions and other services they deem to violate their religious convictions” was US faith leaders’ top religious freedom concern (71% deeming it a “major or extreme” threat). A majority also worried about “religious organizations being required to provide healthcare options they object to” (64%) and “religious owners of businesses being required to provide healthcare options they object to” (61%).

—–

Original post (“New HHS Division Defends Pro-Life Health Care Workers,” January 18, 2018): Ahead of Friday’s annual March for Life, pro-life Christians celebrated new federal protections for health care workers who decline to administer procedures such as abortion, sterilization, or euthanasia on religious or moral grounds.

The Trump administration announced a new division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dedicated to hearing complaints from those who face discrimination for refusal to accommodate services that violate their beliefs.

The new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the existing Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces existing laws designed to protect conscience rights, including new provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that specifically allow providers and insurers to decline abortions and assisted suicide.

Thursday’s announcement continues the administration’s efforts to beef up federal protections for religious liberty, as President Trump laid out in a May 2017 executive order. In contrast, the Obama administration had rescinded conscience protections for health care workers, despite pushback from religious leaders.

“President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom,” said acting HHS secretary Eric Hargan. “That promise is being kept today. The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”

Evangelicals fighting for religious liberty have tried to resist efforts to confine expressions of faith to within church walls, and have pushed for greater protections for their beliefs in the workplace and public life—particularly when it comes to increasingly unpopular ones around LGBT and life issues.

“It’s not the ability to have a religion and practice it in your house of worship; it’s the ability to have a faith and practice your faith wherever you are,” said Sen. James Lankford, a Baptist from Oklahoma who introduced a 2017 bill defending conscience protections.

“There is a long tradition of providing this protection—especially in the abortion context—and that tradition was, until very recently, a bipartisan one,” according to Richard W. Garnett, professor at Notre Dame Law School.

“To me, there should be nothing particularly surprising or troubling about an administration—this one or any other—deciding that the civil rights should allocate resources to make those protections meaningful.”

OCR is already tasked with enforcing several nondiscrimination and conscience protection statutes, including the Church, Coats-Snowe, and Weldon amendments. But the new division indicates that such cases will take greater priority under Trump.

“Unlike the administration’s useless gestures around the Johnson Amendment, these regulations signal meaningful enforcement of existing protections for religious liberty,” said John Inazu, a law professor at Washington University and a First Amendment expert.

“But it’s important to remember that this emphasis is merely executive branch policy that can—and in all likelihood, will—be narrowed or reversed by a subsequent administration.”

Already, the conscience division has drawn criticism from civil groups concerned that the protections will be used as a license to discriminate, particularly against gay or transgender patients, as well as from abortion rights groups.

Everett Piper—the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, which sued the federal government over the ACA birth control mandate—and Montse Alvarado—executive director of Becket, a leading religious liberty law firm which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in their contraceptive fight—spoke at the HHS announcement and applauded the new office, as did Jewish and Muslim representatives.

“I just want to say how good it is to be here thanking [HHS and OCR] rather than suing them,” Piper quipped.

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, also applauded the move.

“I am thankful that HHS recognizes how imperiled conscience rights have been in recent years in this arena, and is actively working and leading to turn the tide in the other direction,” he said in a statement. “Health care professionals should be freed up to care for the bodies and minds of their patients, not tied up by having their own consciences bound.”

In recent years, Christian pharmacists have fought in court for their right to decline to dispense emergency contraception. A 2015 case in Washington ruled against pharmacists who refused to carry the drugs; however, state law allows that “an individual pharmacist with religious objections may refuse to fill the prescription if another pharmacist working for the pharmacy does so.”

Prior to the new division, the Trump administration had appointed multiple pro-life advocates to positions of leadership within HHS, including former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest and former National Right to Life lobbyist Teresa Manning, who reportedly stepped down last week.

 

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America’s Founders on National Day of Prayer

April 29, 2019 by Chuck Norris

This Thursday, May 2, is the 67th Annual National Day of Prayer. The theme this year is “Love One Another,” which couldn’t be a better one when it comes to praying for others.

The National Day of Prayer has been an annual observance since 1952, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation and world. It was created by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and annually observed by presidents ever since on the first Thursday of May. Its approval flew through the Congress almost seven decades ago as a way to help separate America as a country with a godly heritage and to aid her success against atheistic communism. (In 1956, the motto “In God We Trust” was also universally printed on all U.S. currency for the same basic reasons.)

Despite that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of state legislatures to open their sessions with prayer in the case of Marsh vs. Chambers (1983), critics try to oppose the National Day of Prayer’s constitutionality by saying it didn’t exist prior to 1952 as a national observance. But all one must do is go back to the founders and framers of the Constitution to understand that, whether one looks at Creator-language in such pivotal documents as the Declaration of Independence or the role religion played in establishing ethics and morality even in political arenas, not one justice or government official back then would oppose a national day of prayer. In fact, they would be advocates for it.

The NDP website explained, “The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history. …”

Recently I read another excellent article by historian David Barton at the Wallbuilders website, titled, “Founding Fathers on Prayer.” In it, Barton details many of our founders’ ponderings and passions about prayer. Let me give you a small sample.

In 1789, after being urged by Congress on the same day they finished drafting the First Amendment, President Washington issued a thanksgiving proclamation stating, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

President John Adams declared that America’s independence “ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

Benjamin Franklin was particularly eloquent on the power of prayer in government, as he addressed those who attended the Constitutional Convention:

In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engaged in the struggle, must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, That God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. … I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.

Franklin’s question still needs to ring from the corridors of Congress to the halls of our public schools and homes: “And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?”

James Madison, the so-called father of the Bill of Rights as the drafter of the ratified ten amendments, agreed: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in [America’s founding] a finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.”

Even Thomas Jefferson, who is often pitched by progressives as the secularist among the founders, said in 1808 near the end of his second term as president: “Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.”

(To understand more about our founders’ views on everything – especially their often-overlooked or misunderstood religious views and practices – and to keep up to date on current trends and culture wars, I highly encourage you to check out the resources at Wallbuilders. In addition, listen regularly to Wallbuilders Live, an excellent historical and political commentary show hosted by former Texas State Representative and constitutional expert and educator Rick Green and historian David Barton, who interview great patriots and culture warriors every week.)

The NDP website gives these “fun facts” about prayer and politics:

  1. There have been 146 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the president of the United States (1789-2017).
  2. There have been 69 presidential proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952-2017). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989-91), Barack H. Obama (2012), and Donald J. Trump (2017) are the only U.S. presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
  3. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
  4. Thirty-five of the 45 U.S. presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two presidents, not included in the count – William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding – signed Proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
  5. Records indicate there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

The NDP website added, “In 1988, the law [for a national day of prayer] was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.”

The NDP website also explained the significance of this Thursday this way:

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, [the National Day of Prayer] has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Every year, local, state, and federal observances were held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that over two million people attended more than 30,000 observances – organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.

For all the above reasons, I urge every American to locate and join a group in your local community on this National Day of Prayer, and bow your head in prayer with millions across the country, beseeching God to protect, forgive and heal our land, as well as submit us to His rule and reign as our founders did. You can find a local NDP event in your area here. Also, click here for NDP promotional tools or to livestream the National Observance in Washington, D.C.

Again in the words of President George Washington, let us remind everyone we know with our words and actions: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

https://www.wnd.com/2019/04/americas-founders-on-national-day-of-prayer/

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