Coming out of the recent pandemic that saw a near complete shutdown of our society along with critical shortages of many essential items, I am struck by the things we now seem to have an abundance of.
Anger comes to mind as something we have in abundance. And hatred, let’s not forget the overflow of hatred in America. Oh, and I don’t want to forget one other thing we have in great abundance today; finger pointing. Can’t forget that now, can I?
Almost beyond belief, it would seem that the cataclysmic virus that had doomed us all to certain death really wasn’t the apocalyptic event prophesied by the media after all. How could it be, when hundreds of thousands are marching side by side not wearing a mask? Imagine that would you?
Things were so bad that we were strictly forbidden to go to church for fear of spreading this death defying virus, yet somehow or another congregating in crowds of tens of thousands doesn’t pose any health risks at all.
I mean, who knew?
Honestly, I’m thinking the wrong crowds are filling the streets of America. I’m thinking we awful, disease spreading, unenlightened Christians ought to be the ones pouring out into the streets of America to protest the theft of our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship. 
Speaking of pouring out into the streets, I have lived on this earth for just over 65 years, and in that time I have seen many instances where people took to the streets out of frustration and anger over issues beyond their control.
I was just a boy of eight years of age when Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
I was thirteen when the infamous “Chicago Seven” were arrested for their anti war activities during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Just two years later when I was a 15 year old, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd of Vietnam War protestors, killing four and wounding nine. Living just a couple of hours from Kent State University, it seemed like it was in my backyard.
Since those tumultuous times of decades past, there have been several other noteworthy examples of citizens taking to the streets to protest for one reason or another. Abortion, LBGTQ, Environment, Guns, Women’s rights, Anti-war, and the Million man and Million woman marches have all made their mark on the fabric of American society.
Today, as our nation once again seethes with anger in the wake of the brutal, heinous murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, millions are again taking to the streets in a show of indignation and defiance of the status quo.
Of course, the violence that has erupted during the peaceful marches is the result of a well planned and well funded attempt to destroy the fabric of American society from within. There is only one word that most aptly describes what is being played out before our eyes: EVIL.
We can dress it up any way we like to, but it’s still EVIL. We can call it racism or bigotry or any number of other names, but it’s still EVIL. And this is what those marching and protesting in the streets do not understand. This is NOT an issue of race. It is an issue of EVIL. Even those violent criminals that have been unleashed upon our society are completely misguided. The issue here is not one group hating another. It goes much, much deeper than that.
What we’re dealing with here is of the spiritual nature. Don’t believe that? Read what the Apostle Paul had to say about the subject of EVIL.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (emphasis mine)
Did you understand what Paul meant? Our battle, your battle, is not with mankind. It is NOT with your neighbor who is of a different skin color than yours. It is NOT with those whose belief system differs from your own. No, the battle is against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In other words, the battle is against the spiritual forces of darkness that exist in high places. Who is leading the charge of these forces of darkness at play in our society? Why, it’s none other than Satan himself. That’s right, and every person storming the streets today is being played by the devil. Not a popular sentiment, is it?
Why do you suppose racism still exists at the level it does today? Why haven’t supposedly educated, enlightened individuals been able to come up with a permanent cure for racism? The answer is so simple that its almost too simple. The reason racism still exists at its current level is because the cure for racism is the love of God, and the world has largely rejected the Source of this love.
It’s like the old adage about taking a knife into a gunfight. You can be the very best at using a knife, but against a gun you have virtually zero chance of success against your adversary. Fighting systemic racism by protests, even violent protests does nothing to address the root of the problem! To be sure, these marches have gotten the attention of the entire world. They have no doubt spawned new discussions (or soon will) on how best to deal with the problem.
But not one thing is being done to address the root of the problem: we have forsaken God.
And that, dear readers, is not something that can be corrected by marching down Main Street USA. It can only be corrected at an altar.
Have a blessed day,
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1
Throughout the Trump presidency but with increased frequency in the days and weeks following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, the term “Christian nationalism” has littered newsfeeds, and “Christian nationalist” has become a ubiquitous insult hurled broadly at those on the religious right.
We can’t say Christian nationalism doesn’t exist; it does. But what does it mean? Who are the Christian nationalists? Much like the irony of the racism label, when religious folks fight the Christian nationalist tag, their foes seem to take that resistance as further proof that they are indeed Christian nationalists.
Part of the problem with the label is that it is ill-defined, meaning it’s hard to know what exactly Christian nationalism is, how to identify it, and thus hard to counteract or refute it. This makes it a convenient and effective rhetorical grenade to launch at faithful Christians.
Rachel S. Mikva, writing in USA Today, seems to think Christian nationalists are “Christians who plan to take the country for Jesus,” while Amanda Tyler, writing in Religion News Service, describes the phenomenon as “Christianity wrapped in an American flag.” It’s “a fusion of God and country,” explained Jack Jenkins in the same pages.
The Rev. William E. Swing, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, defines Christian nationalism as “those who believe that God is partial to Christians, that Christians are God’s chosen people in this country. They are convinced that America has always been a Christian nation and always will be.”
While Christian nationalism predates the Trump era — critics hurled the same accusations against George W. Bush for his policies — some authors have fused this idea with the 45th president, saying “the most extreme corners of support for Mr. Trump have become inextricable from some parts of white evangelical power in America,” as Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham wrote in the New York Times.
In The New Republic, Matthew Avery Sutton takes it a step further, claiming that “fear, anger, and anxiety remained as central to the lives of evangelicals as any practices of forgiveness, love, understanding, or compassion,” and that Trump “stoked evangelicals’ terror of state power and brought their deep-seated racism and sexism to the surface.”
Christian Nationalism Defined
David French zooms away from Trump to help articulate a clear explanation, which he takes from Thomas Kidd quoting Matthew McCullough: Christian nationalism is “an understanding of American identity and significance held by Christians wherein the nation is a central actor in the world-historical purposes of the Christian God.” It offers an “exaggerated transcendent meaning to American history” and can “undergird American militarism.”
The first part of French’s analysis is spot-on. He notes that this problematic worldview is ahistoric and anti-biblical, and thus can lead to dangerous applications. So-called Christians who believe their identity as Americans is equal to their religious identity and that their earthly citizenship is central to God’s divine plan and promises do so at the expense of scripture. Patriotism is not the central message of the gospel.
French is also right that “the pervasiveness of Christian nationalism as an academic or theological concept is greatly exaggerated.” Even most patriotic pastors believe Christians must devote themselves to God above nation.
Also, contrary to how corporate media actors have crafted the riot narrative, the number of “religious” people who forced their way into the Capitol on Jan. 6, allegedly taking it over “in Jesus’s name,” was numerically insignificant compared to the number of Christians who rallied peacefully in the capital city that day, concerned for their country and the integrity of our institutions.
Most of French’s subsequent analysis, however — which also wades into anti-American 1619 absurdity and white guilt — is instructive about the myriad ways opponents of Christian Trump supporters (and of Christianity generally) use this label to smear Christ-followers trying to faithfully live out their beliefs. French’s NeverTrumpism taints his analysis of patriotic white Protestants and shines through in his knee-jerk disdain for anything resembling an America-first outlook.
It’s the same sentiments you can find in The New York Times and The New Republic, but unlike most corporate writers spouting off about religion, French, as a Christian himself, has all the right language to effectively smear the faithful believers whose voting records and civic engagement he finds distasteful. In his world, Christians who love their country differently than French loves it run the risk of being tossed into the “Christian nationalist” basket.
When Love Becomes Militant
French rightly notes that an incorrect view of God and his purposes for America can lead to militarism, which he seems to believe is what’s wrong with white, Christian freedom-lovers and Trump voters now. But he fails to note that even a correct love of God and country can lead to aggression.
Of a virtuous love for country — which includes love of home, familiarity, and family — French quotes C.S. Lewis, saying: “Of course patriotism of this kind is not in the least aggressive. It asks only to be let alone. It becomes militant only to protect what it loves.”
His argument is self-defeating, however, because it ignores our present reality. What does righteous patriotism become, then, when people are not “let alone” and when their institutions begin to directly attack what they love? Lewis said it right there: It becomes militant.
The pandemic offers a fresh example. Citizens aren’t being “let alone” when they are subjected to sweeping and partisan orders that dictate how they must cover their faces and whom they are permitted to allow inside their own homes. When government authorities qualify worship as nonessential and dangerous, fracturing church bodies into rotating services or relegating them to internet “fellowship,” that surely qualifies as an attack on “what they love.” Therefore even in keeping with so-called pure patriotism, aggression becomes warranted.
This seems to be a popular sentiment among left-wing media and politicos, that Christians ought to be polite, silent, and unconcerned with the affairs of government. Any peep out of them, even when their rights are violated, amounts to extremism and a desire for theocracy.
Oh, you Christians don’t want gender propaganda forced on your kids in schools? You’re a bigot who wants religion written into law. You want Supreme Court justices who value life even in the womb? You’re a hateful theocrat. You think Big Tech and bureaucrats rigged an election that will result in your rights being infringed, so you fly to D.C. with your family and your flags? You’re a Christian nationalist.
The Gospel According To…
The fact is all people have some sort of religious belief to which they passionately cling. As the late novelist David Foster Wallace noted, “In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
For some people, it’s Black Lives Matter or so-called reproductive rights, and for others it’s climate activism. For some, it’s nationalism parading around as orthodoxy, and for others it’s biblical Christianity.
Each has a certain moral code, a requirement for repentance, some method of worship, and leaders that they follow. BLM disciples hosting struggle sessions and following the teachings of Ibram X. Kendi while they praise the doctrine of “equity” have the same religious fervor as true Christians. Elevating Kamala Harris, the social justice warrior and “equity” preacher, to the vice presidency is evidence that followers of that secular religion want their beliefs written into law as much as Christians want to be free to follow their own.
The laws and policies in our country aren’t neutral; they reflect someone’s “religious” beliefs. When lawless actors set fire to a courthouse or vandalize a national monument in the name of Black Lives Matter or Antifa, it doesn’t differ much from a rioter wielding a cross and a Bible as he storms the Capitol. Both could be considered religious extremists; they just worship different gods — neither one the true God. Violence and tribalism are the natural result of false religions that prize the temporal over the eternal.
It’s here we must realize that when patriotism becomes violent nationalism — when it elevates country to the same status as God and believes America, rather than Christ himself, to be central to God’s plan — there’s nothing “Christian” about it.
True Christians condemn idol worship. They hold fast to what is good. They expect to be persecuted strangers and exiles. They believe vengeance and judgment belong to God alone, not to vigilantes bearing cross necklaces and flags. Rogues who invoked Jesus’s name while smashing windows and barging into the Capitol did so in vain. That isn’t what following Jesus looks like.
Bullied into Apathy
None of this is to say Christians ought to embrace apathy or be pacifists. The anti-religious newsrooms pushing cover stories about so-called Christian nationalism would love nothing more than to shame and bully faithful disciples into sitting down and shutting up.
The Capitol riot was a convenient hook for their narrative, but they don’t just believe the people who showed up in Washington that day were religious extremists. They think all Christians are. It isn’t that they don’t want you in Statuary Hall. It’s that they don’t want you on the school board, in journalism, or on campus. They want to chase you out of churches, out of public office, and even out of political conversations.
Believers, however, know faith without works is dead and that our faith isn’t confined to Sunday morning services. What we believe about God and man and redemption ought to affect every decision we make, including our civic engagement.
If we love God, love our neighbor, and wish to steward our resources and lead our families well, sitting on the sidelines of the political and culture wars is really not an option. Contrary to French’s assessment, it isn’t about making ourselves more culturally comfortable; it’s about being consistent in our beliefs and doing what’s right.
As long we remain on this Earth, Christians will be assailed as bigots and nationalists. This evergreen dynamic of Christians being not “of the world,” but striving to be faithful while they’re “in it,” is way bigger than Jan. 6, Donald Trump, David French, or America. Don’t confuse true believers who rightly fight for both faith and freedom as Christian nationalists. They’re just Christians.
Kylee Zempel is an assistant editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.Photo Pikist
Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, but is this holiday becoming so politically incorrect that one day it will be doomed to be sent down the “memory hole”?
There is a war on American history. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Antifa and other leftwing groups toppled more historical statues. Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media (11/28/20) describes the extent of this vandalism, which included the spray-painting of anti-Thanksgiving messages and statues torn down in Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and Spokane.
Statues that were toppled or defaced included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and William McKinley.
It is interesting to note, during these anti-Thanksgiving melees, that George Washington was the first president to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday—a time for the nation to thank God for us having been able to create the Constitution. And Lincoln was the first president to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday.
This weekend’s vandalism, of course, comes a few months after the toppling of all sorts of American historical statues, including Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and even abolitionist Frederick Douglas. The war on America as founded continues unabated.
One of the emphases on last week’s new spate of American history-bashing seemed to focus on a grievance of some Native Americans. There was a push for what they called “a national decolonial day of action” and what they called “land back.”
O’Neil explains: “’Land back’ seemingly refers to The LANDBACK campaign, a Native American movement supposedly fighting ‘white supremacy.’ The campaign calls for the dismantling of the ‘white supremacy structures’ supposedly responsible for removing Native Americans from their lands.”
America has never been perfect. Injustices have been done. On the other hand, we have made great strides to address many of these past sins. Meanwhile, notes O’Neil, “the nefarious message of Marxist critical race theory suggests we should upend society in order to satisfy historical grievances in the name of racial justice. This toxic vision undermines the very real progress America has made in terms of establishing civil rights regardless of race and in terms of securing broad prosperity through a free market economy.”
Recently, I spoke with a Native American pastor to get his thoughts on the Pilgrims and American history for a television documentary. Rev. Billy Falling, author of My Cherokee Roots, does not agree with those who denigrate the founding of America for all the bad things that did indeed happen—later—to Native Americans.
For example, Rev. Falling said of the Pilgrims, in whose honor we celebrate Thanksgiving: “The Pilgrims did have good relations with the Indians. The Pilgrims were kind to the Indians. They showed them love. They showed them compassion. They showed them the godly way to live.”
Falling added, “As a Native American, I thank God for the Europeans that brought us the Gospel and brought us Western Civilization.” He said that the Indians need the Gospel as much as any group of people: “We owe everything to those who brought us civilization and brought us out of the cannibalism and out of all of the sins of the flesh that were practiced in the day just like the heathen of the world. It’s hard today to find a ‘sweat’ where you can go as a Native American and go inside and ‘smoke out your sins,’ but it’s easy to find Native Americans in any congregation in the United States, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ because of the Europeans. And I thank God for that.”
The war on American history does not bode well for our future. Tens of millions of young Americans are brainwashed into thinking America is evil and always was evil.
In his nightmare vision of a totalitarian future, “1984,” novelist George Orwell speaks of history constantly being rewritten by the state in order to satisfy those in charge. That history which was no longer acceptable to the Party was sent down the “memory holes” where it was to be burned away in “the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.”
Orwell adds, “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, once noted, “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”
Those of us who appreciate what God has done in the creation of America have a lot of work on our hands to try and convince a lot of young Americans who have been brainwashed by Marxist assaults on American history in our schools that our history, flawed as it is, is worth preserving. Abolish Thanksgiving? No thanks.
2020 is now in our rearview mirrors and it can’t leave fast enough. What a year it was.
The year of the coronavirus pandemic, shutdowns and quarantine.
The year of political upheaval, riots and protests.
2020 seemed to bring out both the best and worst in people. As Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That seems like a good summary of this year. Despite the chaos of 2020, I have hope for 2021.
Here’s an acronym to help us understand hope: holding on with patient expectation (HOPE).
First of all, let me tell you where I am not putting my hope: political solutions. Politics have their place of course, and they have a significant effect on our lives. But true hope that transcends circumstances and human emotions comes from somewhere else. It comes from God. Perhaps you find yourself filled with fear as you enter this new year. I read the most searched for and bookmarked Bible verse of 2020 was Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).
It’s been said the phrase “fear not” is found in the Bible 365 times. That’s one “fear not” for every day of the year. But those promises can be a lot like the gift cards we may have received this Christmas. They are often forgotten and left unused. In fact, approximately $3 billion worth of gift cards were not redeemed in 2019.
Like those gift cards, God’s promises won’t have any effect on our lives if we don’t “cash them in.” And the way to “cash in” a promise from God is simply to trust him to keep them.
One of my favorite promises in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (NKJV).
I love how God says, “The thoughts I think toward you.”
The fact that almighty God would have even a fleeting thought about me is overwhelming. But God does not say, “I know the singular fleeting thought I had for a moment about you.” Rather, he says, “I know the thoughts I think toward you.”
How many are those thoughts? According to Scripture, they are more than the sands at the beach. (Psalm 139:18)
But what kinds of thoughts is God thinking about me?
God assures us these are “thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Years ago, when my son Christopher was a little boy, I took him to a toy store. We went to the “Star Wars” aisle — this was when the film was out for the first time — and I told him he could pick out anything he wanted. Christopher was looking at “Star Wars” figures and simply could not decide.
Then he turned to me and said, “Why don’t you choose for me, Dad?”
His words warmed my heart. I chose the massive Millennium Falcon toy to go with the Han Solo figure he had been admiring. It was my pleasure to give my son the very best and I think he trusted I would pick something better for him than he would have chosen for himself.
Sometimes, we feel apprehensive about saying something like that to God. That’s because we may think that God is harsh, stingy and out to ruin our lives when the very opposite is true. God is not mad at us, he is mad about us. He loves us and he has a plan for us that is better than our plans for ourselves.
Perhaps this is the year we say to God, “Why don’t you choose for me, Dad?”
I don’t know what 2021 holds, but I know who holds 2021. Corrie ten Boom was right when she said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
I’ve read the last page of the Bible. All is well in the end because God has a future and a hope for us.
We have just come through one of the most divisive presidential election seasons I have seen. There was possibly a more contentious election presidential election in 1864.
President Trump and President Lincoln had fallen into the same horrendous situation – becoming victims to the dramatic refusal of American Democrats to accept their Republican Presidents. (1) Both found a way to communicate directly with the people. Both found innovative ways to address current situations. Both served in the White House during very contentious and volatile times: Lincoln had the War Between the States; and Trump has the current riots, looting, and property destruction by well supplied organized groups. (2)
While Trump has waged a war of words with the media and would undoubtedly like to silence his fiercest critics, Lincoln actually did. Faced with an armed Rebellion by eleven Southern states, he desperately needed to keep in the Union the four border states where slavery was legal [Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and Delaware]. The first federal troops who marched through Baltimore on their way to Washington were attacked by rioters who supported Confederate independence. Lincoln reacted by taking bold steps including empowering military commanders to arrest and imprison civilians who were advocating the Rebel cause and suspending habeas corpus [the right to have a judge determine whether an arrest and detention is lawful]. The press was not exempt. (3)
It takes hard work by many people working together to make changes in our society, whether it be by election, protest or riots. It also takes people individually and together in groups to Defuse or not Feed Into the narrative
“A New York lawyer went duck hunting in the mountains of East Tennessee recently. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of the fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.
“I shot this duck, and it fell in this field, and now I’m going in to retrieve it.”
“This is my property,” the old farmer replied. “And you are not coming over here.”
“I’m one of the best trial lawyers in New York,” said the lawyer. “And if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”
“Apparently, you don’t know how we do things in these parts of Tennessee,” said the farmer. “We settle disagreements like this with the Tennessee three-kick rule.”
“And just what is the Tennessee three-kick rule?”
“Well, first I kick you three times, and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up.”
The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old-timer. He agreed to the local custom. The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city slicker. His first kick planted the steel toe of his heavy work boot in the lawyer’s shin. The man fell to his knees. His second kick nearly put a hole in the man’s stomach. The old man then quickly delivered the third kick to the side of the attorney’s head. Slowly, the disoriented lawyer managed to get to his feet.
“OK, you old codger,” he said, “Now it’s my turn.”
The farmer smiled and said “Naw, I give up. You can have the duck”
I certainly don’t condone violence to settle a dispute, but the above example shows how the farmer chose to end the conflict by giving up and walking away.” (4)
For years we have drifted apart from knowing our neighbors. At one we knew our neighbors and their families, today many would not know them if they passed by their neighbor in the store.
The damage already done to our communities is not just what you see by driving by the burnt out buildings, boarded up stores, and empty lots where food stores and jobs once stood.
We may not know for years how many heart attacks, still births, psychotic breaks, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depressed people and suicides could have ether been prevented or help given had the riots not taken place.
We must rebuild our neighborhoods and knit them more strongly together than they have been. The community will need to work hard together to repair the damage done. We will have to become Community Strong (5)
The barbarians are at the gates. Actually, the barbarians are inside the gates and on the streets. They are tearing down statues left and right.
As we celebrate our national birthday this week, the Fourth of July, it doesn’t feel like a celebration.
Harvard professor Dr. Cornel West says that America is basically a failure. After the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, West noted, “I think we are witnessing America as a failed social experiment…What I mean by that is that the history of black people for over 200 and some years in America has been looking at America’s failure, its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver in such a way people can live lives of decency. The nation-state, it’s criminal justice system, it’s legal system could not generate protection of rights and liberties.”
So, is America a “failed social experiment”? Martin Luther King made a great point: America has not lived up to its creed, that all men are created equal (perhaps the single most important statement in the Declaration of Independence). But the creed itself is good.
Dr. King’s work was based on a godly foundation. Take away God, and America will crumble, for everyone, black or white. No God, no rights.
Kelly Shackelford, the founder/director of First Liberty Institute, which fights for religious liberty, says: “If you lose religious freedom, you’ll lose all your freedoms.”
When you wipe away the foundation of God, you remove human rights with it. I am positive that neither you nor I nor Professor West would want to live in some future “utopia” where God-given rights no longer prevail. If you doubt that, look to the fate of millions in Marxist countries that have falsely promised foundationless “equality.” Imagine living in fear all the time of the notorious knock on the door at night.
For all its faults and shortcomings, America stands for three things:
•One nation under God,
•the rule of law (based ultimately on “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” i.e., natural law), •the consent of the governed.
One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the document we celebrate each Fourth of July, was James Wilson of Pennsylvania. He also signed the Constitution and was a Supreme Court Justice, appointed by George Washington.
Wilson put America in the context of world history, stating, “After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibited to the world the first instance…of a nation …assembling voluntarily…and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they…and their posterity should live.”
Shamefully, blacks and Native-Americans were not initially included in that system. But the founders set the framework so that they could be included one day, and it was that framework to which Dr. King and the civil rights movement successfully and movingly appealed.
Ronald Reagan observed that ours was “the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in world’s history…Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another. But here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man, a little group of the men, the founding fathers—for the first time—established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God given right and ability to determine our own destiny.”
We are not perfect, but there is lot to celebrate on the Fourth of July. Radical rhetoric aside, no nation has ever provided more freedom and prosperity for more people—regardless of skin colors.
Dr. Walter Williams, economics professor at George Mason University, says we should remember the great improvements America has made, even in in the lives of African-Americans. He told me in a recent interview: “In 1865, neither a slave nor a slave owner would’ve believed that kind of progress was possible in just a little over a century….That kind of achievement could not have been achieved anywhere on the face of this earth except in United States of America.”
Adding the caveat “we still have a long way to go,” Williams concludes that that America has a uniquely high level of potential for upward mobility: “Just because you know where a person ended up in life, you can’t be sure about where he started. That is, there is so much mobility, economic mobility in our country that …some of the nation’s richest people started at middle class or either poor and they just moved up the economic ladder. That’s not true anywhere else in the world except the United States.”
God-given liberty makes the pursuit of happiness a real possibility. And that possibility exists for people of all backgrounds in America, which, despite all its flaws, is not a failed experiment. In contrast, the Marxist experiments have failed everywhere, every time…spectacularly. So happy birthday, America.
This isn’t a rant. It’s just a few thoughts I (Jason) jotted down on Facebook this morning as I tried to make sense of the craziness I saw in the streets of America last night.
This also isn’t about how broken I felt for George Floyd and his family. I posted my thoughts on that the day after he died. I still can’t stop thinking about how he called for his momma moments before he passed. Gut-wrenching. So if you wanna un-friend me because I’m writing about the riots please be my guest. But read my last paragraph before you go.
My brain can’t handle all the big words and articulate arguments I see on TV, so I have to boil things down very simply before I can understand stuff.
What I saw in the streets last night was not just a clash between angry people and the police – it was a clash of worldviews. What I know from studying history is that the only way one worldview can overthrow another is for two things to happen:
1. History must be rewritten
2. Words must be redefined
Neither of these are good, but they are strategies used in effort to topple truth throughout the centuries.
Socrates said, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”
If he were alive today, his response to these riots would first require us to define some terms. So I’m gonna give this a stab.
Emotion is an impulse to act.
Anger is an emotion with a purpose.
Anger’s purpose is to see that justice is done.
Justice means “to make right.”
You cannot have justice without first defining what is “right.”
You can’t define what’s right w/out a basis for truth.
Today, we see people fighting for “justice” who have different definitions of what’s “right” because they don’t agree on the standard of truth.
One side says, “Truth is what I want it to be.”
The other side says, “Truth is defined by a higher power (God).”
Separating the two schools of thought is one very important word – ACCOUNTABILITY.
For those in the first camp, they’re accountable to themselves to help themselves….to whatever they want.
For those in the second camp, they’re accountable to God to help others.
Problem – so many people today were taught that truth is relative (there’s no real right or wrong). But when they live out this worldview on the streets they seek for justice by destroying things. This, in their minds, will make “right” what happened to George Floyd.
But for there to be true, lasting change – the kind of change we’d all like to see – we have to first agree on the standard of truth (God), let Him define for us what is right, and operate our lives by His power so we can control our emotions.
Then, when something evil happens – like what happened to George Floyd – our anger will cause us to RESPOND in love with a heart of compassion rather than REACT in hate with a heart of destruction. This compassion will move us to action so we can help the people who are being mistreated.
This was lived out in the 60’s when you saw the difference between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Both men were just as angry and emotional about the racial inequities in culture, but their responses were vastly different. Why? Because they had different standards of truth.
MLK held a Bible. MX held a Quran.
I’ll let you guess which one’s worldview was better. If you’re not sure, it’s the one who has streets all over the country and a Holiday named after him.
We can make things right. But it will require us to first do business with God. As Dr. Tony Evans posted, “This is a time for a national reset…based on a spiritual foundation influenced by a repentant, obedient, and unified church…Pray for peace. Pray for unity. Speak truth, in love, but still speak. Then, act. Together, we can effectuate positive change if we pursue it with wisdom, tenacity, and strength.”
Oh, and one more thing. For those who are going on an “unfriend” rampage, it’s time to move out of the 7th grade and jump onto a field where ideas can clash and hearts unite at the same time. If you’ve ever been married for longer than a year you’ll know this is entirely possible, but only when you control your emotions and operate out of….wait for it….a heart of love.👩❤️💋👨
(Natural News) After toppling, beheading and vandalizing the statues and icons of historical figures said to be associated with colonialism and slavery, rioters affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement and other similar anti-establishment groups such as Antifa have moved on to new targets: churches, religious monuments and statues.
This development was first documented in Washington, D.C., where protesters, for the second time, vandalized and defaced St. John’s Episcopal Church – their way of scoring revenge against Episcopalian slave owners, according to a report by the Washington Examiner. Coincidentally, this was the same church where President Donald Trump held up a copy of the Holy Bible just minutes after dispersing a crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The toppling of the Serra statue, which San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordeleone described as “an act of sacrilege” and “an act of the Evil One,” has led people from different Christian communities to air fears that the attacks on Christian monuments and symbols will continue unabated.
“Statues of Jesus are next. It won’t end. Pray for the USA,” Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, said in a tweet.
Statues of Jesus are next. It won't end. Pray for the USA
Shaun King, an author, Leftist civil rights activist and a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, further fanned the flames of speculation and panic among Christian communities after tweeting that taking down statues of Jesus would be acceptable — especially if these statues and icons depict Jesus as white
Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.
They are a form of white supremacy.
Always have been.
In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?
“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” King tweeted, adding that such depictions of Jesus are nothing more than propaganda that promotes the idea of “white supremacy.” (Related: Anti-Christian Left calls for toppling of Jesus statues.)
King failed to mention in his tweets, however, that depictions of Jesus and the saints often vary from culture to culture, with each artistic depiction taking on characteristics and visual cues from the societies it was made in.
As a response to these incidents, as well as the previous removal of Confederate statues and other historical monuments that have been deemed “racist” by radical Leftists, President Trump signed an executive order granting federal protection to public monuments and other statues of historical figures.
“They’re looking at Jesus Christ, they’re looking at George Washington, they’re looking at Abraham Lincoln, they’re looking at Thomas Jefferson,” Trump said during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the White House’s Rose Garden, vowing to stop the toppling of monuments and statues carried out by rioters.
The order, which was signed by the President on June 27, not only mandates the prosecution of people who have been proven to have rendered damages to federal monuments, but also, the potential withholding of federal funding from state and local governments in case they fail to protect any public monument and statue within their jurisdictions.
The Church of England, for instance, which has more than 16,000 churches and 42 cathedrals, noted that following the resurgence of the global Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd, monuments celebrating people who were involved in the “discrimination or exploitation based on race” during their lifetimes could be removed.
“We acknowledge that dialogue alone is not sufficient and must have real outcomes. These may include the alteration or removal of monuments,” Becky Clark, the church’s Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings, said.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, meanwhile, said that their review of the histories of the individuals depicted in the statues and monuments will be conducted “very carefully” to assess if they should be retained in their places or not.
Clark stressed, however, that the removal or alteration of “problematic” statues and monuments must be done in a safe and legal manner, a reference to the violent dismantling of statues that happened across America and in some places in Europe within the past few weeks.
“Dialogue has to be open and honest. Churches and cathedrals are considering how they can address the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement and which demonstrations and direct action have brought into such sharp relief,“ Clark noted.
“Anti-Christian violence rooted in Marxist ideas”
Nathan Stone, in a column for The Federalist, stated that the current trend of anti-Christian violence and iconoclasm exhibited by rioters is rooted in Marxist thought and ideology.
“The reason for the attacks becomes clearer when considering that Black Lives Matter and Antifa are Marxist organizations and [that] Marxism is an enemy of Christianity,” Stone said, noting that atheist ideologies such as Marxism often consider transcendent religions like Christianity as “the enemy.”
Another reason, Stone said, for the current spate of anti-Christian violence manifesting in America, is the hatred that Marxism holds for the evils that Western Civilization has committed against the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, Marxism’s reaction to the wrongs committed by the Western world is not rooted in the latter’s reform, but rather, its total obliteration.
“Marxism assumes that because the windows are dirty and cracked, the entire house must be demolished,” Stone said, adding that if the current trend of violence against Christianity and other religions is not stopped, the United States may soon bear witness to church burnings like the ones committed during the French Reign of Terror.
Authorities decry “modern-day persecution” of Christians
Despite calls for calm and temperance, several individuals have adopted a more militant stance in response to what they say is modern-day persecution of Christians.
“If they try to cancel Christianity, if they try to force me to apologize or recant my Faith, I will not bend, I will not waver, I will not break,” Jenna Ellis, a constitutional law attorney and senior legal advisor to the Trump 2020 campaign, said in a tweet, in reference to the torture of Christian martyrs during the days of the Roman Empire.
I’m going on record now:
If they try to cancel Christianity, if they try to force me to apologize or recant my Faith, I will not bend, I will not waver, I will not break.
Ordained minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, believes the current spate of hate and violence toward religious iconography would only serve to strengthen the Christian faith.
According to Huckabee, while rioters and protesters can take down the images and art depicting Jesus, they can never take “the true spirit of Jesus Christ” out of the lives of His followers.
Rioting social justice warriors are remaking the world as they see fit, consistent with what they’ve been taught from K-12 to the highest echelons of learning.
By Inez Feltscher Stepman
The past fire-lit weeks in America’s cities have made clear that the protests, and the riots that attend them, have little to do with the condemnable alleged murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.
Even in the non-violent demonstrations, protesters can be seen burning the American flag, an act that just 30 years ago engendered such outrage it spurred Congress to pass an unconstitutional law, but doesn’t even warrant coverage today. In broad daylight, protesters have defaced and toppled statues dedicated to any and all figures of America’s history.
Lest anyone think the mob’s Year Zero behavior stopped with the slaveholding Confederacy, in Boston a monument to the 54th Massachusetts, an all-black Union regiment during the Civil War, was among those vandalized. Matthias Baldwin, an early abolitionist, got the same treatment in Philadelphia, as did the lesser-known Rotary Club founder Paul Harris, whose plaque in Washington D.C. was marked simply with an ignorance-acknowledging “probably a racist.” The monument to the author of the Emancipation Proclamation on the National Mall was likely spared only because of the protection of the National Guard.
As John Daniel Davidson has noted, toppling statues is not a good sign for the future of the republic; it looks a lot less like a policy conversation about police reform than it does regime change and revolution.
Nor are revolutionary sentiments limited to the youthful protesters. Much as they have in newsrooms and corporate boardrooms, the cultural revolutionaries find only willing kneelers among their elders in the Democratic Party.
After presiding over several nights of free-for-all looting, beatings, and police deaths, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said “400 years of American racism” excused the violence and social distancing violations. In Fairfax, Virginia, known as a moderate county, the Democratic Party put out a tweet praising rioting as an “integral part of this country’s march towards progress.”
Teaching Americans to Hate Their Country
At the heart of the unrest is the belief that the United States is a uniquely bad country, instead of an exceptionally free, prosperous, and powerful one. It’s the same message that the Pulitzer Committee endorsed when it crowned The New York Times’ 1619 Project: the United States is, always has been, and likely always will be, a deeply racist society.
Ibram Kendi, a leading promoter of what is euphemistically termed “anti-racism,” suggests as a solution to America’s alleged systematic racism an amendment that would gut the Constitution and its commitment to equality under the law and freedom of speech. “Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principles: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials.”
It should be clear from Kendi’s view, which replaces the equality of individuals based on natural right with “equality” of collective racial groups, that what the left innocuously now terms “anti-racism” requires the total destruction of the American system.
The narrative that systematic racism has been embedded in America’s DNA from her founding is a dangerous lie. Escaped slave turned statesman Fredrick Douglass, no stranger to harsh and righteous criticism of his country, called it “a slander upon [the framers’] memory.”
America Is Not Systemically Racist
No one denies America’s original sin of slavery, including the Founders. But slavery and racism are not at the heart of the American experiment or its documents and institutions.
Injustice, unfairness, and bigotry are, indeed, an ineradicable part of life. But America is not a systemically racist society. Far from being fruit of a rotten tree, America’s founding principles form the best recipe for racial harmony, and rebuke to inequality, yet devised by man.
Where does this poisonous anti-American idea, acceptance of which seems to be toppling institution after institution, come from, especially after the United States has advanced so far in living up to the promises of its birth?
As many of us warned years ago, the radical ideas born on campus have already metastasized across society. Today, K-12 public schools across the country increasingly teach some version of the lie.
The error-ridden, America-hating 1619 Project, and its associated Pulitzer-endorsed, Common Core-compliant lesson materials, is already being taught in more than 3,500 schools across the country. Anecdotally, ever more superintendents are responding to the current unrest by promising to adopt the 1619 curriculum. The problem will get worse before it gets better.
Most ‘Educational’ Institutions Indoctrinate
Well before protesters spilled into the streets in 2020, the largest national teachers’ union gave its official stamp of approval to Black Lives Matter and to indoctrinating teachers with the concept of “white fragility” and its supposed cause, “white supremacy culture,” as part of professional development. The effort to re-educate the nation’s teachers in the left’s radical image will also likely be accelerated due to the protests.
The same national union runs a division solely dedicated to advancing Black Lives Matter and encouraging identity politics in schools. During that same meeting, the National Education Association failed to pass a resolution pledging to “re-dedicate [the union] to the pursuit of increased student learning,” ostensibly its purpose for existence.
Out of the 100 largest school districts, precisely none have the words “America” or “patriotism” in their mission statements. This fact is even more shocking when one considers the public school system was originally created to teach American citizens how to preserve the republic they had been bequeathed.
Noah Webster, one of the country’s earliest textbook publishers and education advocates, wrote of a future American public school system: “begin with the infant in the cradle, let the first word he lisps be ‘Washington.’” Now the public school system teaches students to view the “indispensable man” as, foremost and unforgivably, a slaveholder.
Marxist College Grads Descend Upon Society
If elementary and secondary schools lay the foundation, colleges and universities, now attended by 40 percent of young Americans, provide the activist training to turn passive beliefs into action. The cultural revolutionaries produced by our education system then advance into corporations, tech startups, Hollywood, sports, and of course, media.
If conservatives ever believed the canard that safe-space social justice warriors would implode on impact with the “real world,” now’s the time to forget that happy notion. They’re not John Mayer, waiting on the world to change; they’re remaking the world as they see fit, consistent with what they’ve been taught from K-12 to the highest echelons of learning.
Where the right finds itself today is a direct consequence of its appalling failure to take culture, and the institutions that shape it, at least as seriously as it takes tax cuts, deregulation, and economic growth.
Is it any surprise that we’re now seeing 1619 in the streets? The anti-American ideas of the radical left have already won nearly everywhere else.
Where the right finds itself today is a direct consequence of its appalling failure to take culture, and the institutions that shape it, at least as seriously as it takes tax cuts, deregulation, and economic growth. I like taking home more of my paycheck as much as the next person, but minor economic reforms will not change the overall trajectory of the country if its schools and academies continue to preach disunion instead of e pluribus unum.
Two thirds of millennials believe that America is a racist and sexist country and close to 40 percent think the United States is “among the most unequal societies in the world.” Not just racist and sexist, but uniquely so: this is the historically-illiterate worldview of the graduates of our nation’s education system.
Some Americans might comfort themselves with the notion that this is a passing madness, but it is instead the inescapable consequence of what is being taught from kindergarten through graduate school. A nation that teaches its children to hate their country cannot endure. A nation that pays out $700 billion a year, and trillions in taxpayer-financed student loans, to train future citizens to see their country as hopelessly and irreparably racist cannot continue.
If the justice at the heart of the American project is no longer taught in the education system, there will be no peace.
Inez Feltscher Stepman is a senior contributor at The Federalist. She is also a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum and the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a women’s newsletter. Find her on Twitter @inezfeltscher.