Conservative Culture Options: Fight Back or Hope for Endangered Species Listing

Readers may be totally unfamiliar with the term ‘David French–ism.’ That doesn’t mean you can ignore it. David French–ism and its proponents are one of the reasons conservatives and Christianity have been almost routed from the pubic square. David French–ism is the failure of corporate and think–tank conservatism that resulted in a revolt of the rank–and–file and the election of Donald Trump.

New York Post writer Sohrab Ahmari coined the term in an article titled: “Against David French–ism.” Naturally, French took umbrage. Last week the Institute of Human Ecology sponsored a face–off in Washington, DC.

Ahmari defined David French–ism as, “A program for negotiating Christian retreat into a safe private sphere.” It’s his belief, “Too much intellectual firepower has been devoted to lawyers. There are cultural battles that can’t be fought in the courtroom, but must be fought anyway.”

Ahmari’s problem at the debate was a mirror image of French’s. He was all strategy with no tactics. And French was all tactics and no strategy.

It would have been useful for Ahmari if he’d spent some time mapping out steps conservatives could take to begin the outside–the–courtroom offensive. What Ahmari offered instead was a passionate, sincere warning about our “5–alarm culture fire.”

In contrast, French was smug, superior, condescending and worst of all lawyerly. In this current age lawyers are our gnostic rulers. French revels in his command of special wisdom and jealously guards it. French is doubly gnostic because he also has the secrets of “classical liberalism,” a term that means nothing to most of conservative America.

When Ahmari discussed particulars, French responded with the big picture. When Ahmari focused on the big picture, French got particular. It might be a great media debate technique, but it just made French look slippery and disingenuous.

Much of the evening revolved around Drag Queen Story Hour. This is an unholy event where deviants are brought into a public library to expose very small children to the joys of the alphabet lifestyle. Drag queens entertaining children was Ahmari’s cultural fire alarm, while French couldn’t be bothered.

He pooh–poohed Ahmari’s concern. “That’s the threat? I just don’t see it. It’s one of the choices people make in a free society.”

As he dismissed the example of deviants being celebrated by government at the expense of children I was reminded of something R. R. Reno wrote regarding “our fifty-year-long celebration of transgression. We have removed the moral guardrails in our society. It’s no surprise that more and more people are skidding off the road.”

Ahmari would like to replace the guardrails.

French contends conservatives should do everything in their power to preserve “viewpoint neutrality”, which is the welcome mat for drag queens. It’s the legal doctrine he’s used to win court cases requiring government to allow Christian organizations to use some abandoned storeroom for a Bible study.

Ahmari feels French–ism’s piecemeal gains “are not proportionate to the reverses we’ve suffered.” While French is impervious to the fact that 50 years ago Christians had the entire building.

Mark Bauerlein agrees with Ahmari, “David French’s commentary on the Oberlin College penalty pinpoints exactly the problem. Conservatives have lost battle after battle in higher education for 50 years, and when we get the rare pushback against leftist tyranny, establishment conservatives hail it as a game-changer. They have been proven wrong again and again.”

Besides libraries already exercise viewpoint discrimination. That’s the reason you don’t find Huster magazine in the periodical rack.

Ahmari likened French’s drag queen disinterest to his previous failure to recognize the impact of homosexual marriage in 2006. French later admitted that his laissez-faire attitude to a disaster for Christians was wrong. French ignored him.

He is a proceduralist who’s learned nothing. French is always on the deck of the battleship Missouri fighting for better surrender terms while the ruins of the culture smolder behind him. That’s why he’s still working to defeat Trump in 2020. The conservative judges Trump appointed are irrelevant.

When a lawyer in the audience said, “you spilled a lot of words talking about due process” but due process is at the mercy of judges. “When you have lawless judges on the courts nobody has due process.”

French airily dismissed her, “I reject the notion that everything stands or falls any given four years of judicial appointments.”

And there is smug, superior French–ism in all its glory. It’s why voters rejected it in 2016 even before Ahmari decided it was worth rejecting.

French’s hands remain pure, unsullied by any Trump support. He’s already negotiated his small comfy perch. The rest of you should do likewise.

Besides the central tenant of French–ism is: In the long run, we’re all dead.

Pastor Pete Delivers Another Homily

The Opposition Media and other leftist cultural arbiters have finally found a ‘Christian’ presidential candidate with whom they are not embarrassed to be seen in public. This religious token is Pete Buttigieg whose day job is Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com

It’s not that these leftist stenographers posing as journalists have become more open to the Christian message. They’re as ignorant of the Bible and elementary Christian beliefs as they’ve always been. Reading an OpMedia journo’s take on basic theology is like listening to Ann Coulter discuss quinceañera preparations with Vicente Fox.

That doesn’t really matter though, for as the Atlantic says, “Democrats who are drawn to him are embracing him not because of his faith but because of his liberalism. They’re willing to indulge the former so long as it advances the latter. For many Democrats, faith is an instrumentality.” In Buttigieg’s case the instrumentality is part of his niche marking effort.

As CNN described his appearance at its town hall, “Pete Buttigieg opened up about his faith Monday night, expressing confidence that he will be able to unite many different groups of people because ‘God does not have a political party.’”

I predict a sweep of Unitarians, dissident Methodists, squishy Presbyterians and his own heretical Episcopalians.

And there’s Pastor Pete’s problem. He’s a Burger King Christian who wants to have the Bible his way. Pete’s another mainline Protestant who failed to realize as his church became more ‘relevant’ the membership became more absent.

Buttigieg won’t appeal to any church attendee who’s not already voting Democrat. The portions of his bio that are so appealing to the left are what disqualify him with believers. Pastor Pete is an alphabet apostate who is married to a man.

The Godless media can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Trump is a serial adulterer who refuses to turn the other cheek and has never bought into the theory of a kind word turns away wrath — while Pastor Pete is a low–key Rhodes Scholar who talks about compassion and never talks about cheating on his husband.

So, what’s not to like?

Buttigieg theology for starters. During the town hall, he offered to meet those close–minded bigots who think marriage is one–man–one–woman halfway when he opined, “I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it.”

I would go so far to say people who are different might try to soft–pedal or ignore inconvenient Scripture, but that’s my limit. The Bible isn’t a Magic 8–ball providing enigmatic answers when shaken. The centuries old theological basis for sex and marriage is not up for grabs.

Pastor Pete doesn’t even like to use the ‘C’ word. On CNN he was a “person of faith” who told the audience, “And part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us.”

A “faith tradition” is Baptists refusing to dance or Lutheran’s strange attachment to hot dish dinners. The clear prohibition against homosexuality and limiting marriage to one man and one woman is a foundational belief, not a “tradition.”

My advice is to keep that bit of self–righteous boasting about “the least” in mind when Buttigieg finally releases his tax returns. If he’s part of the hypocritical one–percent–to–charity club Pastor Pete is going to have to explain why he leaves the collection plate empty.

Buttigieg also lines up with the rest of the Democrats on the wrong side of the second great moral issue that has faced this country, abortion.

Here he’s biblical, but only in the sense he’s channeling Pontius Pilate. On Meet the Press Pastor Pete just washed his hands, “But in my view, [abortion] is a question that is almost unknowable. This is a moral question that’s not going to be settled by science.”

Buttigieg is just as relentless in harvesting the souls of the unborn as is the governor of Virginia, Ralph ‘Blackface’ Northam. I would venture that most of his supporters on the left like him in spite of his diluted ‘Christianity.’

An authentic Christian writer named Rod Dreher has looked at Pastor Pete and devised an excellent question that will really test the depth of Buttigieg’s belief in the Christ of the Bible, “I hope some journalist asks Buttigieg to talk about an instance in which his faith caused him to break with the progressive consensus in a meaningful way.”

In the unlikely event it happens, I predict the articulate Pastor Pete will suddenly fall silent.

Methodists Decide to Believe the Bible

Recently the United Methodist Church held a denomination meeting in St. Louis and the outcome for Christians was almost as momentous as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683. The threat to Christendom at Vienna was external. An Islamic army of Ottoman Turks was knocking on the door to Central Europe until the attack was broken by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

For the Methodists, the threat was internal. A coalition of alphabet–apostates thought they were on the cusp of overturning thousands of years of instruction regarding homosexuality. The goal was to have the United Methodist Church endorse homosexual marriage and practicing homosexual pastors.

Delegates voted on three options. The ‘Simple Plan’ was essentially let it all hang out. Any language in the Methodist Book of Discipline that reflected the Bible’s clear instruction on homosexuality (the Washington Post reporter called it “exclusionary language”) was to be removed and let the good times roll!

The “One Church Plan” was endorsed by craven Methodist denominational ‘leadership’ and a grab–bag of therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of theology. This hypocritical approach let church leaders continue to ignore congregations violating the Book of Discipline. As long as the money keeps flowing into HQ, the ‘leadership’ was fine with these hotbeds of heresy.

The last option was the ‘Traditional Plan.’ That choice would return the Methodists to faithfully following Jesus and Scripture as regards homosexuality.

It looked as bad for the Methodists as it did for the Viennese.

In a supreme irony, the alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates used a message to persuade delegates that was biblically based. They asked the same question that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden, namely “Did God really say that?”

The Methodist delegates answered, “yes.”

There are a number of ways the media could report on this surprising development. One would to follow the headline of this column: “In an upset, the United Methodist Church Decides to Believe the Bible.” That covers the element of surprise and the Methodist’s return to their foundational belief regarding homosexuality.

Or the reporter could have focused on demographics and how African churches provided the votes to carry the Traditional Plan and what this means for the direction of the denomination in the future.

Instead the Washington Post choose ‘Christian bullies pick on innocent homosexuals.’ Only one person was interviewed who wasn’t part of the alphabet army and he was asked about statistics. Other interviewees were ‘victims of intolerance.’

That’s false because Christians aren’t singling out the consonant crusaders with ‘hate’ and rejection. How can one explain the vote to the irreligious chroniclers of ‘what’s happen’n’ now at the WoePost?

How about this? WoePost owner Jeff Bezos decides to go to church. He has three options, two of which would meet with disapproval.

If lover boy shows up at the sanctuary with his adulterous squeeze instead of his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. If Bezos shows up with the squeeze and his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. But if Jeff appears with only his wife, the congregation will assume they’re working on the marriage and accept them both.

Christian churches don’t encourage anyone who demonstrates an open rebellion against God while in the pew.

This entire effort on the part of the alternate–lifestyle, alternate–Bible cabal was entirely political and not religious. As Kermit Rainman explains, “…homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won.”

Rewriting the Bible is a project of the left and it is purely secular and wholly selfish. St. Louis Heretics were easy to spot with their rainbow bandanas, Black Lives Matter t–shirts, “Justice for All” buttons, feminist slogans and their raised fists when the vote didn’t go their way.

Fortunately, Methodist delegates voted to return to following Christ and stop following the culture.

Shortest Letter in the Bible Solves Illegal Immigration Problem

The New York Times found a vaguely Christian church that merits approval. This is harder than it seems. While the Times sets a low bar for approving mosques — no exploding members in the last six months — standards for Christian approval are much more stringent.

Happily Philadelphia’s Arch Street United Methodist Church is a “reconciling” church, which evidently means reconciling the Bible to embrace leftist cultural fads, rather than changing culture to reconcile with the Bible.

pay-american-maidArch Street is an eager participant in the left wing conspiracy to subvert immigration law. It has joined the “Sanctuary Movement” that harbors illegal aliens on church property. Arch Street’s sanctuary program is starting small. It’s getting its feet wet — is that a slur when writing about Mexicans? — by hosting one illegal: Javier Flores who’s been sleeping on a cot in the basement for the last six weeks.

Secular journalists like nothing better than using the Bible against believers and when pastors are enthusiastic helpers, so much the better.

Rev. Robin Hynicka justifies his rebellion by citing Matthew 25: 34 – 36 and explaining “Jesus said we are to provide hospitality to the stranger.” But Flores has evidently made himself quite at home since he arrived in 1997. He’s been arrested nine times, served a felony prison sentence and was wearing an ankle bracelet when Hynicka offered asylum. Evidently the good reverend offers a no–fault, no–judgment, no–salvation ministry, because Flores’ family isn’t burdened by any marriage obligations.

Immigration? Fornication? It’s all fine with Rev. Hynicka.

Hynicka’s politically motivated reading of the Bible makes perfect sense to ignorant reporters, but it’s important Christians know how wrong he is. Hynicka is a heretic for three important reasons:

  1. The Lord does not reward a criminal class for breaking the law. Eventually judgment always comes.
  2. In the Old Testament when Jews took in strangers they had to obey to all Torah law or they had to leave.
  3. Most important, Hynicka ignores the one book in the New Testament that applies most directly to illegal immigration, because Paul’s solution doesn’t conform to trendy leftist politics.

Cultural Christians like Hynicka and the media both suffer from Mistaken Lazarus Syndrome. The only Lazarus in the Bible was a friend of Jesus that He raised from the dead. Emma Lazarus is not found in the New Testament, although she is frequently disinterred to support obstructing immigration law.

Even that isn’t relevant since “Give me your tired, your poor” was written in reference to a statue not a statute and has no bearing on case law or Commandments.

Paul’s Letter to Philemon makes Hynicka uncomfortable because Paul demonstrates Christians are required to follow the path of truth. The letter concerns Onesimus; a runaway slave who stole from his master and fled to Rome while Paul was imprisoned there.

In contrast to Hynicka’s “come and sin some more” philosophy, Paul converted Onesimus. He repented under Paul’s guidance and became a new man. Then came the hard part. Paul loved Onesimus and, like the freelance landscapers in the 7/11 parking lot, he was useful around the house.

Paul recognized that like all Christians he has personal and public obligations. He fulfilled his personal obligation to Onesimus by introducing him to Christ, changing his life and making him part of his household. Paul’s public obligation was harder. He was required to “render unto Caesar” and obey the law.

Instead of offering Onesimus sanctuary, Paul sent him back to his master, Philemon, with the letter that forms the book. Onesimus faced a penalty much worse than an ankle bracelet and a bus ride. Under Roman law both theft by a slave and running away merited the death penalty. Fortunately, Philemon was a friend and fellow Christian.

The letter acknowledges the violation of the law and the consequent requirement for restitution or recompense. Paul personally offers to pay any damages or compensation owed by Onesimus. Then he asks Philemon as a fellow Christian to greet the returning slave as a brother and to free him.

The request for freedom adheres to God’s law and the decision to grant or not grant it is in accordance with Caesar’s law.

Hynicka’s publicity–seeking solution is true to neither.

The Christian approach to illegal aliens is to personally care for immediate physical needs and then help the illegal to return to their country or put them in contact with immigration authorities. Christians who disagree with immigration law are free to petition the government and vote for politicians who share their views. They are not free to contribute to a growing disrespect for the rule of law.

It’s a course of action that won’t get a fawning profile in the New York Times, but it will put you in accord with the Bible.

Chastity Backlash Breaks Out Among Christians

Evidently there’s a significant subset of the female population angry and resentful because they didn’t have more opportunity to be exposed to STDs in their younger years.

Lyz Lenz, in particular, moans she “still has a stain” on her heart because she remained a virgin until she married. I would have thought that beat worrying about stains on your clothes when mom met you at the door after a date, but that does not appear to be the case here.

I came across Lenz complaint in the “Acts of Faith” section of the Washington Post, which as far as orthodox believers are concerned is the Alex Jones of faith aggregators.

pepperfridge-farm-std_o_1317663Lenz and her posse appear to believe chastity, or at least striving for chastity, has left them “crippled” with an overwhelming feeling of “fear” when it comes to their bodies and sex. On the Sojourners website she wails, “I’m only now coming to grips with — damaging expectations of myself, men, and sexuality — beliefs that have cost me love, friendship, and given me a life of shame.”

Making me wonder if Lenz ran any of this by her husband before she opened up to the world?

The proximate cause of this angst is a 1997 book by 21–year–old Joshua Harris called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” In the book Harris urged both men and women to remain virgins until marriage, something Lenz, for reasons that are unclear, appears to believe causes rape and domestic violence.

Personally, I prefer not to take theology advice from men barely in their twenties. If Jesus could wait until he was 30 to begin his ministry, where’s the fire for Harris? The book was a big hit for the author and the message made an equally big impression on youth ministers across the evangelical world.

Lenz terms the movement that grew from the book the “purity culture,” which appears to be something desirable in yoghurt, but not sex. Some of the charges Lenz lays at the feet of purity culture include: men who molest, men who rape and men who abuse; sex is only for procreation; sex is to keep your husband happy; women are purely sexual objects; sex is shameful; failure to sexually stereotype minority women; failure to command homosexuals to stay pure; failure to consult homosexual pastors; and too many fusty Bible rules about sex.

As you can see, there’s a problem with logic in this indictment. I think the real problem for Lenz is she hung around with too many heathens while she was getting her Masters of Fine Arts degree. Any time you see the prefix “cis” in a story, there’s a leftist hiding somewhere.

We are supposed to be set apart. As Wesley Pruden says, you could look it up. Practicing Christians will always be out–of–step with the secular culture. If Lenz lets higher education set the benchmark for a complete life, she is going to be seething in the pew or a Unitarian.

Some knuckle–head youth pastor could well have told her that any sex before marriage left a woman forever ruined. That only makes him as big a heretic as Gene Robinson. We all fall short of the Glory of God and the gift of Grace means redemption is available for all. No one is permanently soiled, unless by choice.

In all things human it’s a matter of degree. It’s quite a gulf between the young man or woman whose hormones got the best of them on the way to the altar and the women who now claim to be proud members of the No Shame Movement.

When CBS reports new data from the Centers for Disease Control showing cases of antibiotic–resistant cases of gonorrhea have quadrupled, my first reaction is not “give me some of that!”

What sort of alternative did Lenz miss? Hook–ups? Campus coma culture? Friends with benefits? Shacking up?

The sexual revolution that Lenz conscientiously objected to was not a Woodstock idyll with indoor plumbing. If Lenz is interested in seeing where the alternate choice leads, instead of relying on faculty lounge fantasies of sexual fulfillment, she should spend some time among unmarried mothers.

There the abuse is physical, not mental and the casualties of the sexual revolution, young and old, litter the landscape. She might just decide her heterosexual life “with two small children and a husband I deeply love” wasn’t such a bad choice after all.

Kim Davis’ Problems Are Just Beginning. Wait Until She Tries to Buy Flowers

Kim Davis Mug ShotLast week’s column concerning Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis did generate a strong response from readers and much of it, as predicted, was negative. The majority felt Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples because it violated God’s law was a principled exercise of civil disobedience.

Unfortunately the definition of civil disobedience does not support the argument. Civil disobedience is when a civilian, hence the “civil,” refuses to obey a law or regulation the individual believes violates the Constitution, the Bible or the Da Vinci Code. (Civil disobedience doesn’t have to make sense, but coherence helps if you want to start a GoFundMe.com account.)

Davis is a government official, not a civilian. When the government ignores or disobeys a law the correct term is not civil disobedience, it’s the “Obama Administration.” What Davis did gave homosexual advocates a priceless gift: Until Davis same–sex fanatics had to perform all sorts of unnatural intellectual gymnastics to characterize same–same marriage as a civil rights issue.

After the Supremes ruled sexual orientation is just an adjective and not a noun in marriage, Davis’ refusal to follow the law IS a civil rights violation and an unequal application of the law as written by five unelected judges.

That’s why Davis spent six days in jail for contempt of court and got to meet Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

Please don’t tell me the sentence was not fair. Of course it wasn’t fair, that’s the intention. Rachel Alexander and Michael Brown have pointed out the Left defies the law with impunity. San Francisco Mayor and adulterer Gavin Newsom ordered his clerks to issue homosexual marriage licenses in defiance of the law. He’s now California Lt. governor.

The Washington, DC police chief and California sheriffs refuse to issue concealed weapon permits, defying the judiciary, and they’re still in office.

Mayors announce they will defy immigration law and good sense, making their jurisdictions sanctuary cities for other lawbreakers. None of them went to jail or had so much as an investigation by the US Injustice Dept.

Virginia AG Mark Herring —the accomplished campaign liar in Commonwealth history — refused to defend laws limiting marriage to heterosexuals because he felt the law was unconstitutional. Exactly the same type of feelings–based interpretation Kim Davis used.

Davis, however, didn’t do herself any favors when she stopped issuing marriage licenses to hetero and homosexual couples, thereby punishing the innocent along with the indignant.

The culture and the media are at war with God and his believers, which puts us at a disadvantage since we don’t believe the end justifies the means, a philosophy the Left embraces with gusto.

We can formulate an effective strategy by going back to the fundamental issue. Same–sex marriage is a visible rebellion against God and the created order. What gives Christian’s some leverage, if used correctly, is the obvious fact same–sex marriage is a parody of real marriage. That’s why homosexuals demand both tolerance and at least tacit approval.

This means Christian government officials can keep their jobs while making a real parody of the ceremony.

Let’s start by giving Kim Davis options. The judge demands she sign and issue marriage certificates. In many offices the certificates are printed on demand. So when homosexuals demand a license print it on a brown paper bag.

If that’s not feasible, Davis can sign using finger paint in a parody of a signature. She can misspell the name of the groom and groom or bride and bride as the case may be. She can sign “Kim Davis Under Duress” or “Kim Davis Romans 1: 26–27.”

[“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”]

Will the judge jail her over penmanship or typos?

The Oregon judge currently under investigation for refusing can adopt the same technique. He can perform the ceremony dressed like the grand marshal of a Pride Parade. He can wear a button reading “Adam & Eve; Not Adam & Steve” or “Romans 1: 26–27.” The good judge could even sing the ceremony or mumble like Mr. Bean.

He’s not in court so judicial decorum doesn’t apply.

In this instance turn–about is fair play. Homosexual agitators have zero qualms regarding destroying the integrity of an institution that’s thousands of years old, why should we hesitate to rain on a parade that started yesterday?

Flavor Is a Human Right, Too.

Flavor is not a choice. What bigot would deny this man his rights?

Flavor is not a choice. What bigot would deny this man his rights?

The biggest problem Christians and conservatives have in making the case for marriage to the younger generation is we don’t speak the same language, and I’m not referring to the number of ‘likes’ inserted into each sentence that replace thought. Our frame of reference has only a tangential connection with that of the younger generation.

The default authority for Christians when explaining their opposition to homosexual marriage is the Bible. But it’s not for the generation born after 1980. The Washington Times reports, “More Americans are doubting the infallibility of the Bible, treating it as a guidebook rather than the actual words of God, according to a survey released Wednesday.”

This belief (no pun intended) puts that generation in agreement with Episcopalians, Methodists and Unitarians who also don’t understand what the big deal is when Rev. Adam and his wife, Steve shake hands with the faithful as they leave the sanctuary on Sunday.

This finding was part of a survey conducted on behalf of the American Bible Society. In the Times its president, Roy Peterson explained, “I think young people have always questioned their parents, questioned the church…Today the skeptics are saying, ‘It’s just like any other piece of literature, and it’s no different from that.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when a Christian references the Bible, the youngster counters with, “You may like the Bible, but I’m partial to the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, if there was a modern language translation, the Egyptian Book of the Dead also has some value for those who want to increase their spirituality quotient.”

This declining interest is an indication there’s a real chance the Bible may lose it’s spot as the perennial number one best–seller, although this is not sufficient cause for Ellen to hope her bio will take its place.

The importance of the Bible for moral instruction has also declined. In 2013 almost a third of respondents “blamed a lack of Bible reading as the problem” behind a decline in American morals. This year it’s only 26 percent, but that decrease may be explained by the corresponding number of Americans who purchased 70” TVs in the intervening months.

So how does one explain opposition to homosexual marriage in terms the young can grasp? How does one put in context the aggressive demand that Christians conform to an unprecedented definition of marriage that didn’t exist even 25 years ago and flies in the face of all of human history?

How can they relate to our rejection of this absurd definition of marriage that completely upends an accepted way of life in the interest of pleasing an intolerant minority and its cheering section.

There are essentially no sexual taboos today, so approaching the problem from a Biblical angle is like expressing your opposition to the healing power of crystals by using the Physicians Desk Reference, when your audience hasn’t read either one.

Fortunately in today’s brave new culture food taboos have replaced sex taboos and it is here Christians can make our case in a way that duplicates the situation we encountered with homosexual marriage and is simultaneously understandable by the younger generation.

My analogy works regardless of whether you’re locked in debate with a smug and superior homosexual marriage supporter or you’re simply answering a question from one of those ‘love and let love’ types unable to understand why we feel so strongly about the issue.

The demand that Christians completely redefine marriage and accept a radical new definition that institutionalizes and affirms a form sexual practice the Bible specifically forbids, is the exact equivalent of pork lovers demanding that vegan restaurants serve bacon.

If America’s homosexuals can demand “marriage equality” then bacon lovers can demand “flavor equality.”

A vegan’s unconstitutional exclusion of bacon is simply elevating personal preference over a fundamental human right to have food that tastes good. And even diners who aren’t eating bacon because of an irrational fear of being attacked by their heart, can still feel the pain and humiliation of being ostracized.

Just try wearing an Arkansas Razorbacks’ Hog Head hat into your nearest Busboys & Poets restaurant if you want to see how a real second–class citizen is treated by kale bigots.

And who says vegans get to define what qualifies to be labeled as “vegan?” Flavor is flavor, people. Just as we’ve been told “love is love.” You may like the slimy feel and hay–infusion aftertaste of tofu, but I like the crunch of crispy, fried bacon and how can that be so wrong?

One doesn’t choose to love bacon any more than one chooses whom to love. It’s fried into my DNA.

I should be able to go into Sweet & Natural bakery and ask them to whomp up a delicious quiche Lorraine and not get a bunch of sanctimonious static about beliefs, animal rights and cholesterol.

Who are these Pharisees to tell me I can’t eat pork?

And the same goes for the photographer who refused to document my family’s annual fall hog butchering reunion and hoe down. If she/he (I think the photographer was undergoing some sort of transformation) is open for business to the public, then the photographer should not be allowed to discriminate based on unscientific belief and superstition. Go down that path and the next stop is Montgomery and Bull Connor.

Separate but equal is inherently unequal. If Western Sizzlin’ can offer food for vegans then its only fair that Arugula ‘R We be forced to offer a BLT.

World Vision’s Secular Myopia

Even better than having 'Vision' in your name is having it in your brain.

Even better than having ‘Vision’ in your name is having it in your brain.

Maybe it was a Mexican divorce.

Last Monday World Vision President Richard Stearns walks hand–in–hand down the aisle pledging fealty to homosexual marriage until death do they part. This is big news, because World Vision is a Christian charity and the nation’s 10th largest.

Then, only 48 hours later, the happy couple is fighting over who gets to keep the china as Stearns backpedals furiously.

And through all the uproar Stearns has this slightly baffled aspect, as if he’d just spent the last two days selling flowers in Terminal A for the Moonies, and now his parents have whisked him back home where he decides joining the Jaycees isn’t that bad after all.

For those who missed the controversy, in Christianity Today World Vision announced it“will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman” — an implied endorsement of homosexual marriage.

Stearns characterized this surrender as a “very narrow policy change.” Yet AP described it as “a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups.”

During an interview Stearns became defensive, “We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope…This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues.”

Which makes one grateful World Vision didn’t have any members of Westboro Baptist on the board.

Still you can’t help but wonder what version of the Bible Stearns and the board is consulting. “This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture. People can say, ‘Scripture is very clear on this issue,’ and my answer is, ‘Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.”

This is sophistry. Bart Ehrman is James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the UNC and a best–selling author, yet he denies the divinity of Christ, which at the time this is written World Vision still supports. Evidently Stearns and the board pick–and–choose among theologians as they pick–and–choose among Bible verses.

Then demonstrating his utter cluelessness regarding fundamental issues of church doctrine and how the secular world views the faithful, Stearns remarked, “I don’t want to predict the reaction we will get. I think we’ve got a very persuasive series of reasons for why we’re doing this, and it’s my hope that all of our donors and partners will understand it, and will agree with our exhortation to unite around what unites us.”

I suppose this type of reasoning makes sense when your reading matter is limited to The New York Times and Sojourners.

But in the Evangelical Christian world his “persuasive series of reasons” produced a stunning backlash. In the ensuing 48 hours World Vision lost money, support and credibility. Approximately 5,000 individual sponsors and contributors canceled, costing the organization upwards of $2.1 million. 60 church partners called the office to withdraw their support. And a number of employees at headquarters resigned. Some in protest, some because of the stress of dealing with the fallout from Stearns’ colossal stupidity.

Wednesday a chastened Stearns and board chairman Jim Beré signed a contrite letter that read, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

Later in a conference call with reporters, Stearns elaborated, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness” and if he “could have a do-over on one thing, I would have done much more consultation with Christian leaders.”

But he just ran out of time, what will all the meetings with The New York Times editorial board, the Human Rights Campaign and the cast of The Laramie Project.

The rapid retraction is a good first step, but the fact remains World Vision’s current leadership is unfit to run the organization.

In a post–divorce interview with Religion News Service, Stearns is taken aback by the notion he bears any responsibility. “No, there have been no serious requests for my resignation. I would certainly under- stand if the board wanted to make a decision around that. Some of the board members have asked the question about their own resignation. Right now, our feeling is we were all in this together. We made certainly, in retrospect, a bad decision, but we did it with the right motivations.”

Here we agree. Stearns and the board are all in it together and they should all take the honorable path and resign.

Here’s just a brief rundown of the unnecessary havoc these morally blind people have caused:

  1. Seriously damaged a reputation in the Evangelical community it took 63 years to build.
  2. Proved themselves totally unfit to manage the reputation and public relations of a billion dollar organization by demonstrating a basic failure to understand the culture and media.
  3. Potentially endangered employees working in Africa where governments are passing laws criminalizing homosexual conduct.
  4. Cost the organization millions of dollars.
  5. Opened World Vision up to scrutiny and attack from militant homosexual organizations and a hostile Obama administration.
  6. Distracted the staff from the mission of serving the world’s poor.

Any one of these offenses is enough, but all are an indictment that only resignation, reflection and repentance will answer.

Naturally many Christian leaders are welcoming World Vision’s return to the fold and urging Christians to resume financial and prayer support. But as for me, if I want to make a contribution to an organization run by leadership that is this slippery and disingenuous, I’ll send a check to Congress.

Duck Dynasty Doesn’t Duck & Cover

You watch duck dynastyThese redneck duck assassins may have the number one reality show on cable TV, but the Robertson family has proven to be completely ignorant of what elite cultural arbiters demand of backwoods celebrities when they violate trendy cultural taboos.

Instead of abjectly apologizing and disowning the Bible and his beliefs when criticized by the militant homosexual lobby, Phil Robertson is unapologetic, unbowed and unafraid, which is not following the approved script.

For example: When Chick–fil–A President Dan Cathy commented, “We are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit…and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” a firestorm ensued as hysterical homosexuals cried “hate.”

Chick–fil–A customers then set a single–day sales record for the restaurant to show their support, but it made no impression on Cathy as he immediately went into bunker mode and canceled all remaining public appearances for the year. (Details here and here.)

A few months later the Rev. Louie Giglio was invited to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Obama supporters were suspicious since he was an evangelical Christian, heterosexual and male. Any one of which would be cause for concern, but all three set off alarm bells throughout the secular left.

Sure enough, lavender lobby researchers found a sermon from the mid–90’s where Giglio said, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community…That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”

Giglio’s statement was prophetic, orthodox and true. But truth does not grant immunity against attacks from the left. Courage — as Robertson proved — is a defense but evidently not one available to Giglio. Instead the reverend apologized and withdrew from the event saying, “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean. (Complete details here.)

By not following the docile, slightly–ashamed–of–his–outdated–views template, Robertson has broken the mold. He is not apologizing for repeating what the Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament.

Before we delve any deeper, I would like to point out the blow–up should never have happened. One of my specialties is crisis prevention — an option A&E evidently doesn’t offer its stars.

Phil Robertson had no business giving an in–depth interview to GQ magazine and the A&E network representative who was present should have known better. The superficial metrosexuals that comprise GQ’s subscriber base couldn’t distinguish a duck call from a whoopee cushion.

The only hunting they do is in fashion stores. What’s more, reporters for GQ and its ilk define mainstream media arrogance and cultural elitism. They hold the people who love Duck Dynasty in utter contempt.

The only conceivable method of getting GQ readers to watch the show would be if the cast of Downton Abby joined for an episode or the Robertsons pledged to go vegan. So why give a potentially dangerous interview to a publication that will do little if anything to increase the show’s ratings?

It makes more sense to limit interviews to reporters who can prove they have a Walmart credit card.

I’m not on the PR roster for Duck Commander, but here is a free list of publications to avoid in the future: Maxim, Playboy, Details, Out, The Advocate, Pink Magazine, Harpers, Cosmo and the GLEE employee newsletter. Rule of thumb: If the magazine has ads for Glad Wrap you’re probably safe, but if the ads are for GLAAD say no.

Another problem with the interview is that Phil is evidently a graduate of the Rep. Todd Akin Academy of Anatomical Description. His language was crude and overly explicit and I doubt he would use the same terms discussing the issue at his family’s dinner table, so why regale a nationwide audience with the same language?

Once the rectum was out of the bag, A&E had to weigh in with its 2 cents. The obvious move would have been to express dismay with Phil’s language — an amorphous term that could mean either particular words or particular sentiments — and explain that Duck Dynasty is a ‘reality show’ and although what Phil said does not express the A&E corporate position, they will not censor his views.

That way the network pours KY on troubled waters, keeps the most popular reality show in history on the air and none of the A&E staff members have to remove those quaint blue and yellow equal signs from their Prius’ bumpers.

But A&E corporate misjudged the Robertson family. The meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t build dynasties. Not only did Phil not apologize, backtrack or ask to be grand marshal of the next ‘pride parade’ on the calendar, the rest of the family said no Phil, no film.

Which is a fine kettle of fish indeed, but so far the damage was confined to A&E. Then the great minds at Cracker Barrel corporate decided they wanted to alienate their customer base, too. The chain of hillbilly restaurants announced it was removing “selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” from all company gift shops. In effect any item with Phil’s photo on it was seized.

This is the commercial equivalent of volunteering to be collateral damage in a drone strike.

But what prompted the pile on? Was the San Francisco Cracker Barrel the subject of repeated attacks by cupcake–hurling alternate lifestyle advocates? Or maybe the Times Square Cracker Barrel feared a sit–in by demonstrators chanting, “Nobody Wants to Ate Your Hate!”

But that can’t be it. Cracker Barrel doesn’t have a single location in California or in New York City. The vast majority of Cracker Barrels are located south of the Mason Dixon line, a section of the country where Duck Dynasty is most popular. So Cracker corporate decided to offend the majority of its customers to keep from offending the odd homosexual who might wander into a restaurant while on his way to Key West.

The next day Cracker corp. apologized for being caught offending while trying not to offend. Then over the weekend A&E crumbled and grabbed the nearest available fig leaf. It reinstated Phil Robertson after issuing a classic in corporate pander–speak that implied the family’s acknowledgement of the coarse language used meant they were in complete agreement with the spineless appeasers at the network.

The novel outcome of the controversy provided an interesting contrast. When presented with a choice between God and mammon, the Robertsons opted for God. A&E on the other hand chose mammon over GLAAD.

The best part is during a time when Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace a family of orthodox believers took on a secular culture that celebrates sin and won, because the family was strong and united. Lets hope other high profile Christians take note.

Evangelicals Swing Both Ways on Social Issues

Obama Show PapersA significant proportion of the US population feels marginalized and suffers from perceived widespread disrespect. Their desires are discounted and in some instances actively discouraged by state, federal and local government. Families are either split or prevented from coming together, which results in children who are denied the benefits of a two–parent family. Circumstances beyond the control of these individuals have put them in the shadows, outside the mainstream of American society and at the mercy of an often cruel and heartless public.

And that’s why Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Public Policy Center have both come out in support of homosexual marriage. As Daly said in an interview with Christianity Today, “What are the solutions to help get these families together, get them in a lawful state, one that can be recognized, and then move forward? I think that is a healthy situation for the country. Let’s get behind this, not play politics with it left or right and not fearmonger with it. These are people that need dignity. Even though in some cases they’ve broken the law, there’s always that heartfelt story out there where you just tear up looking at what they’re facing now. We need to do what’s humane.”

No wait. That’s the quote Daly used in support of amnesty for illegal aliens. As of the time this post was written Focus and the Southern Baptists still oppose homosexual marriage. But can someone point out to me why their reasoning on illegal aliens doesn’t apply to homosexuals, too? Both groups have been in an unlawful relationship for a number of years and they want to either escape worldly consequences in one case and Biblical responsibility in the other.

I know the Bible says welcome the stranger and not welcome the sodomite, but when you base your theology on feelings instead of Truth, there is no difference in the two situations. A plain reading of the Bible shows marriage is one man to one woman and homosexuality is prohibited — occasionally by fire and brimstone. And strangers are to be welcomed as individuals by individuals, but nowhere does it say stealth invasions in violation of the law are to be encouraged. In fact, I would challenge anyone to show me where in the Bible a law breaker or sinner is rewarded for his or her transgression?

Or for that matter, where people are encouraged to emulate a class of law breakers in the future?

The situation is simply not there. Illegals aren’t mentioned by name in either testament, but if we can’t apply observations or analogous situations from the Bible to modern life, then the book is dead and useless.

Look at how similar both situations are. Both population groups feel put upon. Homosexuals and illegals want to come out of the shadows and gain the stamp of approval from government and society at large: A marriage license in one case and documentos de ciudadanía in the other.

If Daly and my own Southern Baptist governing body are to be consistent, then they have to either support both or oppose both.

Prior to the Supreme Court decision that branded people like me who oppose the perversion of God’s institution of marriage as hate–filled bigots, Daly and Focus helped to produce an e–book that contained five questions and answers about same sex marriage that outlined their opposition. The irony is the same questions and answers apply to illegal aliens, but they support legalizing them.

Here are the questions and answers with the marriage–related in regular text and the illegal–related in boldface.

1. Why does marriage matter to the government? Why do borders matter to the government?

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage ensures the well-being of children…Government recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for having and raising children. Borders protect citizens from the incursions of lawbreakers great and small and it makes sure the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship go to people who have earned it. Defending the borders is one of the principle responsibilities of government.

2. What are the consequences of redefining marriage? What are the consequences of redefining citizenship?

Redefining marriage would hurt children. Decades of social science-including very recent and robust studies-show that children do better when raised by a married mom and dad.

Redefining marriage would further separate marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. Redefining citizenship would hurt the rule of law. Separating citizenship from the responsibility to obey the law only encourages future disrespect for the law and future illegal immigration. Ideally law–abiding individuals make better citizens.

3. Why do you want to interfere with love? Why can’t we just live and let live? Why do you want to interfere with ambition?

Marriage laws don’t ban anything; they define marriage. Immigration law doesn’t ban ambition, it only defines where one is allowed to be ambitious.

4. Isn’t denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry the same as a ban on interracial marriage? Aren’t immigration law supporters just using the law as an excuse for bigotry?

No. Racism kept the races apart, and that is a bad thing. Marriage unites the two sexes, and that is a good thing. Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind. No. Immigration law is color–blind, but it cannot be geography–blind. The fact that most illegal border crossers come from countries adjacent to the US does not make the enforcement of the law biased, no more than spraying for mosquitoes means you oppose flying.

5. Why doesn’t government just get out of the marriage business altogether? Why doesn’t government get out of the employment verification business altogether?

Marriage is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life…A study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found that, between 1970 and 1996, $229 billion in welfare expenditures could be attributed to social problems related to the breakdown of marriage. A good job is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Illegal immigrants are exploited by employers and compete unfairly with low–income workers. Americans would be happy to do the work now taken by illegals if the pay rates were not distorted and artificially depressed by law–breakers. Employers who circumvent the market and rig the system against the people who need the jobs the most, create unemployment which increases stress on families and marriages.

There is no intellectual consistency in Daly’s or the SBC’s position on illegal immigration and homosexual marriage. Daly contends, “When you look at it, the immigration issue is not just a legal issue. We respect what needs to be done there and hopefully we can strengthen laws, enforce laws and do all the things that we need to do in that way, because it’s important for a country to establish its borders and maintain its borders. But when you look at the family impact now and the stories we’ve received over the past year or two, it’s pretty tragic what’s occurring.”

Illegal immigration breaks at least three of the Ten Commandments. Illegals often steal the identity of citizens to get papers. They lie about their status in the country. And the motivation that brought them here in the first place was coveting a lifestyle they didn’t have.

And what’s occurring is all self–induced. Would Daly advocate keeping a drug addict supplied with heroin so he won’t feel compelled to steal and possibly break up his family if he’s sent to jail? How about telling a wife to put up with infidelity if it keeps the family together and the children aren’t upset?

Daly and the SBC are busy undermining their credibility and authority. It’s a shame. I expected better.