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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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January 2014

Confronting Liberalism


A year and a half ago, I posted a link on Facebook to an article of interest to social Conservatives.  According to Gallup, the percentage of those supporting abortion on demand had dropped to record lows.  To introduce the article, I typed this small blurb:

If people vote morality as the number one issue, America’s looking at an Administration change in November.

A couple of people clicked “Like,” hundreds of others ignored my post or thought to themselves politely, “Here Bryan goes again.”  One typed the following response:

I disagree with that statement.  People interpret morality differently.  President Obama actually embodies my moral priorities more than any of the opposing candidates.

In my humble opinion, the philosophy “people interpret morality differently” reeks of relativism, but instead of responding in that manner I countered with:

“You’ve got to be kidding me….He’s the most pro-abortion candidate of all time.  He supports homosexual marriage.  And according to a 2004 interview, he defines sin as ‘being out of alignment with his own values.’  God sets the standards for what is and is not sin.”

And a bit later I added,

“And lastly, our President made the following statement in a speech recently, ‘You’re the tie-breaker.  You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this Country goes.’  Have any guesses who he was addressing?  He was delivering a speech to Hollywood celebrities at a $40,000 per plate fundraiser.  We want Hollywood to dictate the direction of this Country?  If so, may God have mercy on our souls.”

Let’s take a look at the definition of arbiter.  First, it’s a person empowered to decide matters or issues; judge; umpire.  Secondly, it’s a person who has the sole or absolute power of judging or determining.  I find it difficult to turn over America’s reins to Hollywood celebrities in hopes that they hold the key to a brighter future.  Erika Johnsen from Hotair.com writes,

“These wealthy Hollywood types seem to dearly love their Occupy-Solidarity and their “war on women” and their extreme environmentalism, issues which most Americans don’t care at all.”

If Hollywood only understood the dangerous path our President hopes to drag America down, but instead of investigating the dire outcome of a socialist nation, they rub shoulders around lavish banquet tables, toasting their “make believe” clout over the average American citizen.

Lastly, these supposed morals our President espouses wander greatly from the Word of God.  Remember the day that Mr. Obama announced a press conference to herald his “evolving” view on same sex marriage?  Do you recall how he consulted with his wife and kids about his decision?  I found that odd at the time, especially involving his daughters in such a controversial matter.  A short time later, that huddled family conference made more sense.  I stumbled across an article in which the First Family shared some personal insights about their television viewing.  Mrs. Obama and the girls described themselves as “Card Carrying Modern Family Addicts.”  That’s quite possibly where the girls adopted their positive opinion of homosexual marriage.

Focus on the Family shares the following on “Plugged In,” a Christian’s guide to all things media:

Mitchell and Cameron (gay cohabitants and parents of a child on the show), then, are now just part of the landscape.  And that says a lot not just about how TV has changed, but also how it – by presenting shows like Modern Family –  has helped normalize homosexuality.

What the Bible clearly defines as sin, our society chooses to call an alternative lifestyle.  Those who embrace this lie, slap God squarely on the face.

Commissioning the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker to shoulder the responsibility of deciding America’s course frightens me.  Tree hugging and saving the endangered Swamp Shrew won’t right America’s ship.  Focusing on God and the principles of our Founders’ holds the key to our Country’s greatness, not $40,000 dollar plates in the home of a “Sex and the City” Diva.

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Applause for Abortion


The Bing Dictionary defines applause in the following manner:

“the clapping of hands as a sign of welcome, enjoyment, appreciation or approval”

We applaud for a variety of reasons.  We clap our hands to express appreciation for a moving concert.  We jump to our feet in wild applause as the Home team trounces the visiting rival.  Depending upon denomination, some clap to honor God in weekly worship services.  But then….there’s applause for abortion?

Most, if not all, know the undeniable satisfaction of being applauded.  Even though many of you deny celebrity status, think back to your youth.  Did you ever play on a sports team, participate in a concert, or walk across the stage at graduation?  Even if the only people clapping were your parents, their rousing applause functioned as a hearty “slap on the back” or a bear hug from afar.  And, though people utilize applause for enthusiastic praise, sometimes people applaud behaviors that break the heart of God.

Last year, a select group of liberal bloggers and abortion activists served on a panel at a Netroots Nation event.   Melissa Clouthier, a conservative pro-life blogger attended the event for reporting purposes.  Instead of summarizing, I’ll share her experience in her own written words:

In an act of public bullying, one of the three speakers, Darcy Burner of Washington (the others being Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono), asked women who had had an abortion to stand up in front of the other attendees.  It was difficult to estimate the number of women as they were sprinkled through out the audience.  They stood alone while Burner admonished the attendees to hold their applause.

Then Burner asked the others seated in the audience to stand and give these women a standing ovation.  The audience complied enthusiastically.  I sat during this spectacle.

Burner said, “If you are a woman in this room, and statistically this is true of about 1/3 of women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up.

Nearly every woman stood and applauded those who chose to terminate pregnancies.

Obviously, those who insist liberal desire abortion be,

“Safe, legal, and rare”

shy away from explaining standing ovations for women who choose to terminate pregnancies.  One woman even proclaimed that a Planned Parenthood ought to occupy every street corner in America…..So much for rare…..

The Bible references instances when God clapped.  On certain occasions, clapping expressed disgust and anger.  In Ezekiel 22:12 God says,

“I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust and at the blood you have shed in your midst.”

One only wonders that while women stood flaunting a godless decision, others lavishing enthusiastic applause for their “choice”…..one wonders if God struck His hands together in one thunderous clap as well.

Being Gay Isn’t Heroic


As a youngster, I watched shows like “The Lone Ranger.”  Clayton Moore played a masked man committed to righting the wrongs of the world.  Tonto and the Masked Man galloped around the countryside, serving those unable to protect themselves.  I remember pretending to be the Lone Ranger, riding my broomstick horse, Silver.  I defeated the bad guys and rode off into the sunset, a hero of my own making.  Today, heroes are harder to come by.  Not because they don’t exist, but because our culture labels heroic acts in a much looser fashion.  In fact, our culture’s adept at placing people on a pedestal that have not earned that distinction.  A few months ago, NBA player Jason Collin fell into that category.

Many youngsters idolize the stars of professional sports teams.   At any sporting event, kids don jerseys of their favorite players and hope for a much sought after autograph.  Collins, though an NBA player, spends more time riding the pine than playing on the court.  In other words, kids don’t snatch up his jersey at sports shops.  His claim to fame comes from a recent public announcement.  In an article written in first person, Collins shared he lives the homosexual lifestyle.  Social media exploded with the news.  Main stream media outlets became giddy.  News outlets bestowed the mantle of heroism upon Collins’ shoulders.

Now, there’s Michael Sam.

Mr. Sam attended the University of Missouri, playing on the Tigers football team.  About a year ago, he announced to his teammates he was gay.  His comrades on the gridiron accepted his sexuality and life resumed as normal.  In February of this year, Sam shared his homosexuality with the world, opening up about his lifestyle on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”  Recently, the St. Louis Rams drafted Sam in the 7th round.  ESPN broadcast Mr. Sam’s jubilant reaction, including the congratulatory kiss from his boyfriend.  Those who found the affection offensive took to Twitter.  A Dolphins player, tweeting negatively about the kiss, is barred from team activities until he attends sensitivity training,

Sensitivity training?!?!?  What about sensitivity training demanded of those who belittle Christians for choosing to adhere to the teachings found in the Bible concerning homosexuality?

President Obama weighed in on both the Collins and Sam coming out party.  He called Jason Collins, telling the athlete “he was impressed by his courage.”  The USA Today reported remarks released in a White House Statement concerning Michael Sam:

“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove every day you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”

Our society tends to idolize those living outside the will of God.  In fact, America models a life the prophet Isaiah warned about:

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

Anytime an individual congratulates another for living outside the will of God, that person’s calling “evil…good.”  Glorification of evil breaks the heart of God.

Certainly some consider this post as intolerant or homophobic but it applies with all sin.  Imagine the following scenario:

A man addresses the nation, beginning his speech with the words, “I am an adulterer.  And I plan to stay an adulterer the rest of my life, because that’s who I am.  I was born this way…”  A handful might support the man’s freedom to sleep around on his wife, but most agree that we wouldn’t encourage that alley cat type of behavior.  And never would we consider bestowing the term “hero” on this potential home wrecker.  Congratulating a homosexual for coming out of the closet falls into the same category.  Both adultery and homosexuality are condemned by God, sexual sins from which we ask God for forgiveness…not a free pass, kudos, and a book deal.

 

 

 

Be Where You’re Supposed to Be


It’s important to be where you’re supposed to be.

That’s a simple enough truth.  Most understand the necessity of occupational attendance.  Many know the importance of quality family time.  If a friend trusts you to be on time, it’s important to live up to that expectation.  Yes, it’s important to be where you’re supposed to be.  Two famous people from history drive that point home, both failing, and reaping tragic consequences.  The first is King David.

As the curtain opens on II Samuel chapter Eleven we find:

1Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem…

We find that King David stepped out onto his balcony, noted a beautiful woman, and the rest is history.  The “man after God’s own heart” committed adultery and then murder to cover up his sin.  If readers found David on the battlefield instead of the balcony, we wouldn’t be reading about his transgression.

Ever heard of John Frederick Parker?  Parker became  one of Washington D.C.’s original policemen when the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia was created in 1861.  Even though his service record was less than stellar, Parker was chosen to serve as one of four men to personally guard Abraham Lincoln.  On April 14, 1865, Parker served as security for the President and Mrs. Lincoln as they attended Ford’s Theatre.  At some point during the production, Parker vacated his post to throw back a few drinks at the tavern next door.  Shortly after, John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

How might history be different had Parker remained vigilant outside the President’s box?

In November of 2016, voters return to the polls to cast ballots for politicians vying for the White House.  At the last Presidential election, some Conservatives shirked off their patriotic duty to vote, staying home because they didn’t want a Mormon President….so instead, America elected a man hell-bent on destroying the Country our brave men and women fight to keep free.

We must not let this happen again.

In 2016, Conservatives need to band together to defeat the presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, or we face another one to two terms of liberal devastation.  Sadly, sometimes the choice of presidential candidates is not voting for someone but against someone, choosing the lesser of two evils.

So, in November of 2016, be where you’re supposed to be.  Cast a ballot for a future America, not another socialist third world country.

Do Republicans Hate the Poor?


When people find out I’m a Conservative and tend to vote for the Republican running for office, they accuse me of hating the poor.  That aspersion irks me.  I know I don’t hate those living in poverty, but does my voting record tell a different story?  I decided to research the answer to the burning question,

“Do Republicans hate the poor?”

Studies prove Conservatives give more generously than Liberals.  In 2006, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University published, “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.”  Shocked at his discovery, Brooks spent countless hours poring over the research a second time to confirm his findings.  The facts never lie.  Conservatives are more liberal givers.

Here are some of his data findings:

–          On average, liberals earn 6% more than conservatives make.  However, conservatives donate 30% more to charities than liberals.

–          Conservatives donate more time and blood.  In fact, according to Professor Brooks,

“If Liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump 45%.”

–          In his race against John Kerry, George W. Bush won 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above the average.

–          In the states where G.W. won more than 60% of the vote, the average charitable gift was 3.5%; in the states where Bush received less than 40% of the vote, giving dropped to 1.9%

–          People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.  (George Will, Real Clear Politics)

What Dictates a Conservative Giving More?

The most significant factor in whether a person practices altruism is religion.  According to Brooks’ book, the number of Democrats who check the “no religious affiliation” box has quadrupled since the 1970’s.  People actively plugged into church tend to give more out of gratitude for God’s goodness and grace in their lives.

Do Republicans Want to Kick Everyone Off of Welfare?

When Mitt Romney tapped Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Liberal pundits chorused the mantra

“Republicans want to throw granny off the cliff.”

Of course this isn’t so.  Those conservatives “clinging to their religion” avow God’s Word, understanding the importance of caring for “widows and orphans.” (James 1:27)

However, Conservatives understand the United States cannot support big government without driving America over the proverbial fiscal cliff.  Our three largest entitlements, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security threaten to bankrupt the Country.  Crafting an enormous social safety net promises to trap future generations beneath the crushing financial obligation.  So, Republicans note the need to reform, knowing the current policies are not fiscally sustainable.  Instead of hand-outs, Republicans desire to offer a hand-up, equipping people with the proper tools to return to the work force, enabling them to provide for their own families.

A familiar quote comes to mind:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

So, what do you think, do Republicans hate the poor?

Character and Morals Matter


Every couple of years, politicians with aspirations of holding public office, vie for the favor of America’s citizens.  Commercials flood the networks, one party explaining how the current office holder failed and the other trashing the credentials of the contender.  Both Republican and Democrat parties have diehards, people who scoff at voting for a person of a different political persuasion.  Some claim to be Independent, voting for the person best suited for the position.    However, in 2008, something unique happened.  An African American campaigned for office…and won.   After the election and Mr. Obama’s victory, pollsters suggested some people cast their votes for Obama to usher in a significant moment of history.  Ignoring his radical ideology and personal associations, many Americans marked the ballot for Obama to prove race didn’t matter.  With charisma, President Obama charmed the world, and the voting public believed he offered a welcomed “hope and change.”

As voting precincts closed in November of 2008, it soon became clear that Barack Obama would serve as the 44th President of the United States.  Instead of voting to promote Capitalism and American Exceptionalism, the populace swooned over an up and coming “rock star” in the Democrat party.  Swooning and “tingling legs” make for warm fuzzy stories by the main stream media, but poor reasons to elect a man to the highest office in the land.  People often ignore the fact that character and morals matter.

Centuries ago, the nation of Israel learned a tough lesson in crowning a King.  God served as Israel’s King until the Israelite children decided it was time to “keep up with the Joneses’,” mimicking the ruling system of neighboring nations.  God instructed Samuel to let the people have what they asked for, but to warn them of the pending consequences.  God enumerates the repercussions in I Samuel 8:

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[a] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

In verse 19, readers note that the people refused to listen, demanding to be like all the other nations.

Chapter nine opens with a description of the future king of Israel.  Verse two states:

Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

Gill’s Bible Commentary explains,

“It was usual with the eastern people, and so with the Greeks and Romans, to choose persons to the highest office of magistracy that made a personable appearance superior to others, and is what they often take notice of, as a recommendation of them as princes.”

Good looks and a towering stature met the criteria for one to wear the royal crown.  Unfortunately, the children of Israel failed to understand, “Man looks at the outward appearance but God sees the heart.”

In a few months, people once again vote for Congressmen.  With the once expected “hope and change” now spiraling America into an abysmal state, people need to decide if this Country needs to slam on the brakes and make a hard right turn.

Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis said it best at the Republican National Convention in 2008,

“Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with Styrofoam Greek columns an artificial smoke typically don’t end well.”

Attractive flashy smiles, well-coiffed appearances, and articulate speeches should never be the clinching factor in an election.  Take time to pore over the issues.  Carefully parse the speeches, ideology, and previous experiences of the candidate, including partnerships and educational and social influences.  Then, after weighing all the pros and con, pray about the selection.  As a Christian, ask yourself the question, “Would Jesus vote for this person?”  If not….don’t!

Contrary to the belief systems of some, character and integrity trumps “tingling legs.”

Character and morals matter.

Democrats and Christians….Oxymorons?


History often repeats itself.

Maybe not with exact precision, but occasionally snippets of past historical events re-emerge, triggering memories of days gone by.  Fads come…go…and come again.  For instance, fashion to a certain extent, functions in this cyclical manner.   Even Biblical history repeats itself.   Last year, an occurrence at the Democratic National Convention shared something in common with an account in the lives of Jesus and the Apostle Peter.  No…no one walked on water or turned water into wine.  But a significant percentage of the party delegates played the role of Peter in one of his most notorious moments, the occasion of his thrice denial of Christ.

After the arrest of Jesus, Peter milled around the courtyard awaiting the fate of Christ.  Noting Peter’s presence, the crowd asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ followers.  Peter refuted having any relationship with Jesus, voicing these denials three times.   When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered Jesus’ words,

“”Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”  Matthew 26:34

So, how does the aforementioned Biblical account apply to the Democratic National Convention?  In the Fall of last year, abandoning language from previous gatherings, the DNC presented a platform without the mention of “God” and without the designation of “Jerusalem” as the Capitol of Israel.  These head scratching omissions ignited a firestorm.  Social media disseminated the news that the Democrats could now be categorized as “Godless.”  Within a few hours, a delegate presented a resolution to amend the platform, re-inserting both “God” and “Jerusalem” in the document.  Aiming to right the “oversight,” DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa announced the party required a 2/3 vote to amend the party platform.  Calling for a voice vote of “ayes” and “nays,” the Party Chair squirmed as the volume of affirmative and negative votes sounded identical.  After three separate votes, he unilaterally passed the amendment as those opposed booed the correction.

Three times he called for a vote and three times at least half of the delegates chorused contempt for God and Jerusalem.  There’s no doubt Party leaders, possibly including the President, ordered Mr. Villaraigosa,

“No matter the vote, pass the amendment.”

At the DNC, a political party chair resorted to cheating to acknowledge God’s Providence, a truly sad commentary on the spiritual state of America.

A few months ago, the Missouri Baptist newspaper, “The Pathway” shared the following results from a Gallup poll:

“Most Democrats, 52 percent, say they seldom or never go to church.  Twenty percent said they go to church nearly weekly or monthly.  Thirty-eight percent of Republicans said they seldom or never go to church, while 21 percent said they go to church nearly weekly or monthly.  When asked what their religious denomination was, 19 percent of Democrats said they had none, while 9 percent of Republicans said they belonged to no denomination.

Recently a friend of a friend said,

“Democrats have no hope of going to Heaven.”

I do not endorse his remarks.

“Man sees the outward appearance, God sees the heart.”

However, the poll answers some questions about the liberals’ stance on social issues, particularly abortion and homosexuality.  If a majority of democrats steer clear of church, then the odds of adopting a biblical worldview seem slim.  Without a biblical worldview it becomes easy for “man to do what seems right in his own eyes….”

No wonder they booed God.

God and Dr. Seuss Agree


In the early Spring of 2012, my wife and I lost a baby.  At 17 weeks of pregnancy, nurses listened for a heartbeat and found none.  It’s possible our baby passed as early as the 15th week, but our loss was discovered at the 17th because of a scheduled appointment and check-up.

Two days after the identified miscarriage, my wife and walked somberly hand-in-hand into labor and delivery, knowing this baby already rested in the arms of Jesus.  The hospital staff administered compassionate care and packaged a small take-home memory box, a memorial tribute to our little one.  Nurses tucked a copy of Baby’s footprints into a tiny cap.  Barely the size of a nickel, those feet now run and skip on golden streets.

Shortly after this ordeal, several of the teens at church viewed October Baby, a pro-life film.  At the close of the movie, a teenager posed the following:

“Why do some people say abortion’s fine because it’s not really a baby and others say they’re having a baby and are excited?”

That’s a great question.

I explained that organizations promoting abortion soften the controversial procedure by classifying the growth a “clump of cells” or by using the impersonal term “fetus.”  However, God’s Word contradicts our culture’s ideology.  Psalm 139:13-14 says,

“For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”

After the teenager posed the question, I swallowed a gathering lump in my throat, and promised to bring a picture of the tiny foot prints, proving we’re talking about a human life and not a burdensome “growth.”

I seldom reference Dr. Seuss books for theology, but in this case I can’t help but quote from Horton Hears a Who,

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Favorite Ronald Reagan Quotes


The first President to exercise measurable impact on my life was Ronald Reagan.  American elected Reagan when I was 9 years old and he served through my senior year in High School.  Now at 42, I still consider him as my favorite President and today I want to share some of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotes.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

“If we ever forget we are ‘One Nation Under God,’ then we will be a nation gone under.”

“Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty”

“Man is not free unless government is limited.”

“There are no easy answers but there are simple answers.  We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

“I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the United States Congress.”

“Without God, democracy will not an cannot long endure.”

“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all problems men face.”

“Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done.  We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.”

I miss him.  How about you?

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