After Growing in Office, He Was Too Big for His Britches

If there was ever a meeting in a church parking lot where incumbent politicians wish the state police had been there to photograph license plates and discourage attendance it was the 5th District Republican Convention held at the Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg, VA.

That was the location where Virginia conservatives won a small victory and defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman by denying him re–nomination. Bob Good — a former fundraiser for Liberty University — won a unique China Flu drive–thru convention where 3,500 delegates cast votes from within their cars. After he defeat Riggleman considered it a drive–by.

Rick McKee

Riggleman served only a single term, but that was enough for 5th District voters. Most politicians who campaign as conservatives become cocktail conservatives in Congress. They use the word ‘fighting’, sprinkle a few ‘conservative values’ in news releases and mouth meaningless clichés in C–SPAN speeches.

They accomplish nothing for their conservative base.

Riggleman was silent while Gov. Ralph ‘Blackface’ Northam instituted his erratic Flu Manchu lockdown on Virginia. And Riggleman didn’t defend the rule of law while BLM protesters were “mostly peacefully” burning down cities.

That’s not what defeated him. Incumbent political cowards are usually a lock to win renomination. What beat Riggleman was a calculated insult to his conservative base. He performed a same–pronoun marriage for two of his campaign volunteers.

His defense of that insult to Bible–believing voters could have been written by any of the consonant crusading NGOs. He told the WoePost, “My real belief is that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, but if it is, everybody has to be treated equally before the law. And that is part of our Republican creed. And it also comes down to love is love. I’m happy to join two people together who obviously love each other.”

Voters should have seen this coming. Riggleman is a Libertarian on social issues. Libertarian infiltration of the Republican party is responsible for many if not all of the regular betrayals of the base in Washington. The conservatives who supported fusionism and welcomed libertarians into the fold clasped a viper to their breast.

Libertarianism is the strange belief that a stable, limited, rule–of–law respecting government can be built on a foundation of people with the personal moral practices of Woodstock attendees.

Libertarians support all the social pathologies currently facilitating our cultural decline. Their policy on drug use, abortion, alternate lifestyles, immigration and amnesty is let it all hang out — just keep your cotton pickin’ hands off my money.

In actual practice, just as the personal becomes the political; the personal also undermines the fiscal, which is why Libertarianism can never succeed and Libertarians are never true conservatives. They are collaborators with the left on all the social issues important to the base. They take base votes while rejecting base beliefs.

Riggleman’s defeat means one down and about 200 more to go.

There are three key lessons in the demise of Denver Riggleman. Conventions are the best way to defeat incumbents for renomination. Unless the conservative insurgent is independently wealthy, the challenger is always going to be outspent in a primary. It’s a fact of life and you must plan your strategy accordingly.

It’s cheaper to run a successful convention campaign because recruiting and persuading delegates is retail politics. It rewards hard work on the part of the challenger. A primary plays to the strength of the incumbent and his budget. It’s expensive to buy media, produce ads, run a vote–by–mail absentee program, harvest votes and hire lawyers to bail you out. Challengers never have enough money, which is why genuine conservatives are routinely betrayed without consequence by the country club conservatives that supposedly represent us in Congress.

Riggleman spent $1.3 million in his losing campaign. Good spent approximately a tenth of that with a total of $151,821. In a primary Good probably would have lost. At a convention that meager amount was enough to pass the threshold of credibility and give him a 58 percent victory.

The second lesson is if you want to defeat a collaborationist conservative, coalesce behind a single candidate. That way voters who are unhappy with the incumbent concentrate their vote in a single alternative. Multiple challengers split the discontented vote and allow the incumbent to skate through with a plurality because his vote isn’t split.

The only exception to this rule is a state with runoffs, which Virginia does not have. Incumbents forced into a runoff are very vulnerable.

The third lesson is for incumbents who feel the need to grow in office and expand their base. While your hand is reaching out, make sure your thumb doesn’t hit the eye of those rubes who originally elected you.

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.

A Heretic Offers Surrender Terms to Christians

Julie Rodgers, described by the Washington Post as “a writer, speaker and advocate for LGBTQ people in faith communities”, has offered a “compromise” proposal to Christians designed to end the cultural war between believers and alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates.

It rivals Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s surrender terms at Fort Donaldson in its lack of generosity and sweeping demands.

In 1862 the commander of Fort Donaldson asked Gen. Grant for terms. Grant replied, “no terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.”

Christians haven’t asked for surrender terms from lifestyle heretics even though the church has been under ceaseless attack from leftists who would outlaw all religion, joined by therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of biblical doctrine.

Lack of interest didn’t prevent Rodgers from offering to “bridge this divide.”  Peace will reign if Christians agree to submit to any and all “affirming” demands from the Legions of License. This submission includes every realm of life outside the church; and Rodgers gives the impression there are plans for the future there, too.

Once Christians toe the line, Julie and her allies won’t move immediately on churches’ tax–exempt status.

Frankly, I’m not ready to sell my Christian birthright for a mess of tax breaks, even if Rodgers could be trusted to keep her end of the bargain.

Julie’s dishonesty is evident only 66 words into her manifesto. She refers to believers who adhere to biblical doctrine with a 2,000 year old pedigree as “conservative Christians.” Her intent is to marginalize the great majority of believers and characterize them as out of the mainstream and possibly Republican.

The correct term for congregations who believe God opposes sexual deviancy and considers the bond of marriage to be limited to one man and one woman, is ‘Christian.’

The accurate term for those who hold opposing beliefs is ‘heretic.’

In Rodgers eyes Christians are doubly guilty because of what they believe and their attempt to live their faith — which hurts the feelings of the heretics.  This means I have bad news for Julie. God doesn’t care about your sexual orientation celebration. He cares about your soul’s ultimate salvation.

Julie has written that the Bible needs to keep up with the times. “Both sides are sincere Christians and view the Bible as authoritative––they just differ on how the Bible, which was written in a patriarchal context in the 1st century, should apply to empowered women in the 21st century.” Translated, this means Jesus would approve of alphabet lifestyles in the church and homosexual marriage if He just had access to all the facts, like Julie does.

The heretics want to divide the Body of Christ by using the pejorative term ‘conservative’ for mainstream believers, while at the same time dividing the Apostles by making Paul a TEA Party Republican. That way it’s easier to ignore his obvious instruction on marriage and homosexual practice.

Julie, who’ll be marrying another woman any day now, is confused by Christian reluctance to jettison orthodox biblical belief on her sayso, “It became hard for me to understand what exactly was driving traditional teaching on marriage if it was not fear of change––a very particular kind of fear that’s often expressed through homophobia.”

But which side is the aggressor here? Are Baptists suing florists who provide centerpieces for same–sex weddings? How about bakers who put two men on the top of the wedding cake? Or photographers who memorialize the ceremony?

The question answers itself. The alphabet–apostates are not demanding to be left alone so they may live their lives as they wish. They are demanding Christians live their lives according to the demands of those in rebellion against God’s word.

Rodger’s writes, “It’s not hard to understand why LGBTQ people don’t trust conservative Christians enough to work toward a compromise.” But what Julie offers isn’t a compromise, it’s a demand for submission.

Christian churches don’t single out the consonant crusaders. Churches are opposed to obvious and flagrant adulterers, incest practitioners, polygamists and couples shacking up, assuming the churches are aware of the transgressions.

Julie’s allies make it a point to be flagrant and then object to the predictable consequences. Her disingenuous ‘peace’ proposal is a demand Christians stop following Christ and start following the culture.

Rodgers assures us becoming party to her apostasy will be painless, “The most conservative Christians can joyfully provide services to people they think are sinful without violating the spirit of Scripture.”

Which is true. I cheerfully provide personal services to a sinner when I brush my teeth at night. What I believe Christians won’t provide, joyfully or otherwise, is validation and celebration of practices that purposely insult the God we worship and the faith we practice.

Virginia Baptist Leaders Busy Betraying Their Base

When North Korea sentences a juche follower to a re–education camp at least the ride is free, but when the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia urges members to enter a re–education camp the charge is $79.00.

church-of-uncertainIn the past BGAV’s Disaster Response teams performed a valuable service and Christian witness. During my training session we were told BGAV sent mobile kitchens during Baltimore’s unrest to prepare meals for police and National Guardsmen.

I’m not sure that will be the emphasis in the future. Judging by the BGAV’s latest outreach partner, the next time mobile kitchens head for Charm City it will be to feed the rioters.

In March Virginia’s supposedly conservative, orthodox Baptist leadership is sponsoring the Mid–Atlantic Regional Justice Conference: Motto — “Be the Change.”

Jesus was notorious for demanding his disciples change everything, including names. But I seriously doubt Evangelicals who voted 81 percent for Trump are going to be willing to change allegiance to George Soros on the say–so of the hard–left cadre staffing the conference.

I’m trying to picture the church ladies who attended my disaster–training enjoying these conference sessions:

  • “God’s Word on Immigration” — Dr. John W. Herbst
  • “A Biblical Framework to Approach Immigration — Dawnielle Miller
  • “Race Coded America: Exploring Ways the Church Can Lead in Decoding a Race–Driven Society” — Antipas Harris
  • “Beyond White Guilt: Strategies for Talking With White Christians About Race” — Daniel Willson
  • “Set the Prisoners Free: Mobilizing the Church to End Mass Incarceration” — Shawn Casselberry

On the plus side, after sitting through those harangues attendees will have enough personal guilt to convert to Catholicism, if they remain Christians at all.

If this were a Unitarian or Unite conference it would make perfect sense, but Baptists? The agenda, Biblical beliefs and political orientation of the conference apparatchiks are completely at odds with every Southern Baptist church I’ve attended.

In many instances what these practitioners believe is heresy in any mainline Baptist church.

I have a strong suspicion the one word Dr. Herbst thinks God speaks on immigration is “amnesty,” particularly since he’s a religion professor that evidently doesn’t believe the unborn have a “God–given right to life.” Amnesty is also pretty much a sure thing for Miller who writes for G92.org. Slogan: “Immigrants Aren’t Illegals.”

Harris has a surprise in store for law–and–order conservatives since it’s his belief there’s a strong link between support for capital punishment and lynching. Even being opposed doesn’t let white Baptists off the hook for a hanging judge like Harris. He contends, “…generations of white privilege and black under-privilege have shaped society such that whites are often numb to the reality of their disproportionate privilege to blacks.”

So take that, white Obama voters.

Something tells me Willson isn’t really quite ready to go “beyond white guilt.” His Facebook page reveals an aggressive leftist who despises Trump supporters. He contends, “The rise of evangelical support for Donald Trump reveals, quite visibly…the dearth of compassion among American Christians.”

If Willson ever gets tired of the church, he can always minister to “Occupy.” He’s described as a “Red Letter Christian” and red is right. Willson is “pro–choice,” supports homosexual “marriage” and is active in the anti–police Black Lives Matter movement.

Casselberry is another leftist eager to start the ball rolling on after–election reconciliation. His poem “American Delusion” says it all:

The American dream is an illusion

Land of opportunity?

a Trumped up delusion

A legacy of terror we still refuse to see

Land of the free?

Home of the slave and the lynching tree.”

Officially sponsoring a conference where devoted, church–going Baptists will be dropped into a cauldron of seething leftists is so unbelievable I thought maybe the decision to join this collection of cultural Marxists was the action of a young staffer who didn’t know better and had to justify the “COEXIST” sticker on her car.

So I repeatedly called BGAV Exec. Director John Upton to find out if sponsorship was simply a failure to do basic research. Unfortunately Upton has fallen victim to the form of pride that says since I’m doing God’s work, there is no need to observe minor social niceties. Upton refused to speak with me and explain BGAV thinking.

The official BGAV sponsorship of a divisive, anti–American, heresy–spouting group of propagandists is an insult to the believing Baptists who fill the pews each Sunday and donate to missions.

Believers typically assume denomination leadership reflects the Bible as it’s written and the wishes of the membership. That’s not always the case. In Virginia it’s time to stop being as innocent as doves and start being as wise as serpents. A good place to begin would be by withholding personal and their churches’ financial contributions to the BGAV.

How Kim Davis’ Refusal to Issue Marriage Licenses Helps Same–Sex Marriage

Marriage BillboardGod bless Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis a devout, if confused, Christian who decided her belief in God prevents her from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

Davis fails to understand when one works for Caesar one is required to follow Caesar’s rules. Since she can’t follow that rule, the right and Christian course is to resign her position in protest.

But she refuses to resign and refuses to obey a local court order.

Davis appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay and it landed on the desk of the morally bankrupt Justice Elena Kagan who long before the court considered homosexual marriage presided over a same–sex wedding and then refused to recuse herself from deliberations this year.

Her appeal was rejected when it didn’t gain the support of four justices.

Now Davis has run the race, made the public aware and now should resign.

As an Evangelical Christian I’m beginning to feel my view is in the minority, but that doesn’t make me wrong. A Twitter acquaintance said, “I am positive the state is required to make an accommodation if feasible, which it certainly is.” Fellow columnist Terrance Jeffery writes, “Can a Christian be a county clerk in the United States?…Can a Christian be a doctor? A nurse? A public-school teacher?”

The answer is maybe, yes, yes and maybe. Both Jeffery and my Twitter pal are making the same category error by refusing to issue marriage licenses that homosexuals made when they demanded licenses.

Homosexuals were always free to get married as long as they agreed with the definition: One man joined to one woman. But that’s not what the same–sex activists wanted. They demanded a relationship of their design that is not and never has been a marriage. Then they wanted the government and society to approve and ratify this drastic redefinition of a centuries–old institution.

Davis’ supporters claim she is entitled to accommodation for belief under religious freedom laws. The go–to example is the Moslem woman being allowed to wear a headscarf on the job. Yes, that’s allowed. What’s not allowed is permitting the Moslem woman to refuse to deal with Jews.

Then there’s the Costco employee who refused to work in the fast–food kitchen because he didn’t want to handle pork, but Davis isn’t refusing to make pigs–in–a–blanket, she’s refusing to let people share a blanket.

Government official Kim Davis acting on her personal belief and refusing marriage licenses is no different from IRS enforcer Lois Lerner acting on her personal belief and conspiring to deny tax exempt status to Tea Party organizations. Sure one is passive aggressive and the other is aggressive aggressive, but bottom line is both are aggressive.

EEOC regulations don’t support Davis. The law requires accommodating: “…an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.” Refusing to issue marriage licenses defines “undue hardship.”

This case has even driven me to agree with an ACLU lawyer that told the Courier–Journal “government officials must carry out the duties of public office.” If she doesn’t resign, Davis single–handedly gives homosexual activists the Holy Grail they’ve been seeking for decades: A legitimate denial of their civil rights.

Before the Supremes’ unGodly decision the civil rights argument was risible. Now it isn’t. A Kentucky clerk refusing to issue a marriage license to a qualified couple in 2015 is exactly equivalent to a Kentucky registrar refusing to allow blacks to vote in 1962.

Jeffery contends nothing prevents homosexual couples from driving to another Kentucky county and get a marriage license from some heathen clerk — just as nothing prevented our 1962 blacks from moving to New York and registering to vote, proving this is ground on which believers don’t want to fight.

If Davis ran a bakery and refused to make a cake for a homosexual wedding, then she would be in the right and I would contribute to her legal fund. The same goes for being a photographer, caterer or valet parking firm. But continuing to resist as a government official only helps create sympathy for homosexual marriage and undermines the Christian cause.

One final note: Davis, like all of us, is a flawed Christian. She worked 26 years in the clerk’s office before winning the job last November, possibly explaining her reluctance to resign the position now. Nothing however, can explain Davis winning as a Democrat, which is where her confusion becomes painfully evident. How can a Christian run for office as the standard bearer of a party that’s made a sacrament of abortion?

I can only assume that so far no one has asked her to sharpen a scalpel.

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.

Obama’s Trickle–Down Lawlessness

Virginia's new AG is following in the footsteps of America's #1 Constitution burner.

Virginia’s new AG is following in the footsteps of America’s #1 Constitution burner.

What Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) refers to as Obama’s “pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat” has trickled down to the new Democrat administration in Virginia.

On Saturday, January 11th Democrat Mark Herring was sworn in as attorney general of the Commonwealth. During the ceremony Herring recited his oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as attorney general according to the best of my ability (so help me God).”

Then Herring proved he was a fast Obama study by violating that oath before he had completed his second week in office.

Instead of defending the Virginia Constitution, Herring began actively working to undermine it. He declared on the 23rd that he would not defend Virginia’s constitutional ban on homosexual marriage. “It’s time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” he proclaimed.

Then Herring compounded the offense by joining the case of the plaintiffs suing the state to overturn the ban. This is breathtakingly unethical. It’s like Zimmerman’s defense lawyer deciding George violated neighborhood watch guidelines and asking to join the prosecution team. An honorable man when presented with the choice of doing his job and defending the Constitution or “being on the right side of history” would have resigned his office, but we’re talking about Mark Herring.

By way of background the Virginia homosexual marriage ban is an amendment to the Constitution passed in 2006 by a favorable vote of 57 percent. Herring was in the Virginia Senate at the time and he voted in favor of the amendment. But you can’t hold that against him because he ‘evolved.’

But now Herring says he is relying on the precedent set by former AG Ken Cuccinelli. Except the situations are entirely different. Cuccinelli did not defend a newly passed law that allowed the state to take over failing schools, because it violated Virginia’s Constitution. Herring is saying the Constitution of Virginia is unconstitutional because it violates the Democrat party platform and makes Ellen DeGeneres sad.

In an interview posted on TheDailyPress.com, Herring explained, “What you have to do is look at the facts and precedents and ask yourself — If this went before the Supreme Court, how do I think they would rule?” But Virginia voters didn’t elect Herring to choose the winning side in a court case. They elected him to do a job he appears unwilling to perform.

By contrast North Carolina’s Attorney General is also a Democrat who supported homosexual marriage, but he is defending his state’s law. Cooper issued a statement that said, “North Carolina should change its laws to allow marriage equality, and I believe basic fairness eventually will prevail. However, when legal arguments exist to defend a law, it is the duty of the Office of the Attorney General under North Carolina law to make those arguments in court.”

As Sen. Cruz pointed out in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one [or group] …is above the law.”

Herring’s legal operating theory is no different from jurisprudence and law in Venezuela or Mexico, where the question is not do you know the law? But rather whom do you know? The law under Democrats like Eric Holder, Barack Obama and Mark Herring is now a respecter of persons. Once feelings and fads replace the law and procedure we enter uncharted territory.

Naturally the Washington Post editorial page supports Herring’s switch. “We broadly agree with Mr. Herring’s reading of the law. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection cannot be reconciled with denying, on logically flimsy grounds, equal access to civil marriage for a group that has for centuries been singled out for discrimination.”

But the same ‘logic’ applies to other formerly acknowledged taboos including polygamy and incest. “Love is love” is a justification that can overturn almost every sexual prohibition.

The WaPost also claims that Herring is not abandoning his client because the two county clerks being sued have their own attorneys. Under this remarkable doctrine there is no need to expect the fire department to show up when your house is burning if a neighbor has already stepped in with his water hose.

To demonstrate Herring’s utter moral bankruptcy we will close with a look at his message during last year’s campaign. Herring repeatedly promised to “take politics out of the office” and he assured voters that he would not be an activist AG like Ken Cuccinelli.

That promise lasted exactly 12 days. Now he’s the newest member of Obama, Holder & Herring the law firm that specializes in picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to enforce.

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.