Thursday, June 23, 2016

House Gun Control Sit-In Gets Fiery as Republicans Grow Weary of 'Anti 2nd Amendment Jihad'

Democrats are nuts ... not to mention taking a playbook from Occupy Thugs movement.

A sit-in on the House floor staged by Democrats to press gun control votes grew fiery overnight, with angry Republicans telling their liberal counterparts as they headed for recess that their efforts were little more than a publicity stunt that would fall on deaf majority ears.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, for instance, wrapped a heated discussion with Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown by telling her, with raised voice, NBC News reported: "Radical Islam killed these people and you know it."

Gohmert was speaking of the 49 killed and 53 injured by Omar Mateen at an Orlando gay club, Pulse, all while making an emergency 9-1-1 call to pledge his allegiance to an ISIS chief.

Rep. Steve King, meanwhile, tweeted out this blunt message around 3 a.m. about the sit-in that started about 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, and continued through the night: "I've had it with the gun grabbing Democrats and their sit in anti 2nd amendment jihad. I'm going to go home and buy a new gun."

Hashtags on Twitter underscored the parties' division, with Democrats using the #NoBillNoBreak tag and Republicans, the #StopTheStunt label.

And while Speaker Paul Ryan called for a formal Fourth of July recess, Democrats – drowning out the recess announcement with their own rendition of "We Shall Overcome" that used the words "We shall pass a bill, someday" – vowed to keep on sitting. More than a dozen were still occupying the floor by 4:30 or so Thursday morning, NBC News reported.

Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee tweeted: "Your adjournment will not silence our voice. #NoBillNoBreak #NotOneMore #EnoughIsEnough."

And Democrat Rep. John Lewis, known for his civil rights leadership in the 1960s in the South, compared the gun control battle to desegregation during Jim Crow years.

"A little more than 50 years ago, I crossed a bridge not just one time, but it took us three times to make it all the way from Selma to Montgomery," he said, shortly after Ryan announced the House adjournment, NBC News reported. "We havee other bridges to cross."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took advantage of the sit-in to fundraise, sending out an email signed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that read, in part: "This is an historically important moment. John Lewis has been leading a sit-in on the House floor for 11 long hours now. We're fighting to prevent gun violence. The Republicans refuse to lift a finger. It's shameful. I need your help to defeat them once and for all."

The message, sent in various forms several times during the sit-in, then asks for 6,000 donations between the amounts of $1 and $250.

The sit-in grabbed the attention of even those on the West Coast. As NBC News noted, reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian tweeted: "After Orlando, Congress hasn't done anything and now they're going on vacation. I say #NoBillNoBreak."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Senate Republicans Poised to Defy NRA on 'No Fly, No Buy' Gun Control

Why are Republicans following the Democrats' playbook on gun control???

Thanks in large part to Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who leans centrist, GOPers in the Senate seem set to go against the caveats of the National Rifle Association and consider a bill that would block those on government-compiled terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns – a provision loosely known as "no fly, no buy."

The Collins bill specifies two terror watch lists, but the NRA and other Second Amendment groups have warned such regulations could prove backdoor dings at gun rights. The line of argument is that since bureaucrats are the ones in charge of making and overseeing the lists, the opportunity presents for these same bureaucrats to exercise a little gun control outside the arena of proper legislation.

As WND has previously reported, mistakes can be made with these lists, as well. Now-deceased Sen. Ted Kennedy was once on the list; so was Fox News contributor and Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes.

On top of that, some in the legal world warn taking gun rights absent the judicial branch is a government overreach that is unconstitutional.

Republican presumptive presidential pick Donald Trump has said he's supportive of certain "no fly, no buy" provisions. And sources in both parties said the Collins bill is gaining steam in part because the idea of doing nothing in the face of Orlando – where Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 and wounded 53 in an act that's becoming increasingly clear was aligned with radical Islam – is untenable.

"I think you're seeing in real time the vice grip of the NRA loosening in this place," said Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, speaking of the aftermath of this week's Senate rejection of four other gun control bills, including his own, to the Hill. "This is a watershed moment whether this gets to the finish line or not. You have Republicans scrambling to try to find a way to remedy their no votes [on the other four bills]."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to walk the line between controlling his chamber and readying his vulnerable colleagues for a new election in November, and has reportedly adopted a more conciliatory attitude over gun bills.

"He will not be dictated to," said one Capitol Hill members, speaking of the NRA's pressure on McConnell, the news outlet reported.

Meanwhile, up to 10 Republicans in the Senate have reportedly jumped aboard Collins' bill, with more, like Sen. Marco Rubio, the Hill reported, considering a co-sponsorship.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who's already cosponsored, said this, the news outlet reported: "I hope we get a strong bipartisan showing. Here's what you're betting as a politician. If somebody on this no-fly list goes out and buys a gun tomorrow and kills a bunch of people, you're in a world of hurt if you vote against this."

And fellow Republican Sen. David Purdue expressed similarly: "We all want to preclude terrorists from getting guns. From what I've seen so far, I might very well be able to vote for it."

A vote on the bill, which lets the attorney general halt sales of guns for those on the no-fly list or on the selectee list, could come as soon as Thursday.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, Dodges Questions of Bias Against Conservatives

A shareholder at the most recent meeting of Facebook executives said he tried to ask CEO Mark Zuckerberg for further explanation about his social media site's perceived bias against conservatives, but got the cold shoulder.

The question, from National Center Free Enterprise Project director Justin Danhof to Zuckerberg: "Whether you're willing to admit the company has a bias problem or if you think bias is merely a matter of perception, the face is that perception is very often reality. Facebook has an extra duty to overcome this problem now that the company ha[s] been called out by former employees for targeting conservatives. My question is this: what affirmative steps are in place to increase transparency regarding Facebook's news section and its removal of pages and posts?"

Danhof also asked for Zuckerberg to issue a statement to those conservative groups and individuals who've been "harmed" by Facebook's "bias actions," he said, according to a written statement from the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Zuckerberg's response?

As Danhof said: nothing.

"When I confronted Zuckerberg over Facebook's mistreatment of conservatives, he sat mute and deferred to another company executive," Danhof said. "That gentleman claimed that Facebook's own internal investigation had exonerated the company, saying that there is no bias against conservatives on the company's platforms. In his next breath, though, he admitted that Facebook is making changes to its trending news platforms. Why is Facebook making the change [if] there is nothing wrong?"

Danhof also described the shareholders' meeting as lacking in professionalism.

"It was amateur hour as chaos and disorganization ruled the day," he said, telling how the investors had been handed a book at the outset of the gathering outlining the rules of conduct for speaking, but that Facebook managers then completely disregarded their own policy. "From the beginning, when the meeting didn't even start on time, to the company's inability to follow its own guidelines and agenda for the meeting, it was clear that Facebook's management team had little respect for its investors in attendance. And the company's continued denial that it has ever been biased against conservatives flies in the face of reality."

He also slammed Zuckerberg taking an "elitist" approach to his business.

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly moves in an elitist Silicon Valley circle in which conservative thought and opinion is verboten. While it's totally fine for him to engage in extreme left-wing politics and public policy issues in his personal life, as the CEO of a company whose role in the media landscape is growing, he should be aware that his personal actions are often applied to Facebook's brand," Danhof said.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New York City Spends $265,000 on Pro-Transgender Ads for Open Bathrooms

A new New York City ad campaign valued at about  $265,000 of taxpayer dollars is aimed at reminding residents and visitors alike: Biology aside, our bathrooms are open to those of either sex.

Called "Look Past Pink and Blue," the ads tell readers to "use the restroom consistent with who you are," regardless of birth "gender," Breitbart reported.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a statement announcing the new campaign, said the open-door bathroom policy is basically a right, and that the city was taking the lead in the nation to show proper LGBT regard and respect.

"While other cities and states are legislating intolerance and taking away individuals' rights to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, we are proudly standing with our transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers," he said.

The campaign consists of strategically placed posters and advertising images around the city, including spots on subways, bus stops, and social media, that show models described as transgender in nature.

The ads come even as the city faces significant financial pressure, including a projected $3.8 billion budget shortfall by 2019, according to the city controller's estimates.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Nancy Pelosi: Steve Jobs Didn't Invent iPhone -- the Federal Government Did

More attacks on American ingenuity -- more bolstering of government as great, as the problem-solver, and the individual as needy and woefully inadequate. (It's government, not the individual -- as infused by God -- with all the knowledge, power, authority, talent, etc.)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a Democratic National Convention Platform-gathered crowd in Washington, D.C., that unbenownst to most, it was the federal government – and not Steve Jobs – that invented the iPhone.

"Anybody here have a smartphone?" she said, holding up her own iPhone and waving it toward the audience, Tech Worm reported. "In this smartphone, almost everything came from federal investments in research. GPS came from military, flatscreen, digital camera, digital data compression, voice recognition ... The list goes on and on. If you want to learn more, look at the Association for the Advancement of Science in America, and they have a full list."

She then spoke directly to the idea that Jobs, as commonly regarded, invented the iPhone – the technological device that triggered the whole smartphone movement – and scoffed: He was little more than an assembler, she said.

"They say Steve Jobs did a good idea designing it and putting it together," she said. "Federal research invented it."

A spokesperson for Pelosi also said the California lawmaker considered herself a friend of Jobs and wasn't trying to disrespect him.

"But the point she was making is a valid one," Drew Hammill said to CNET. "Leader Pelosi believes that Steve Jobs and his colleagues at Apple deserve enormous credit for taking federally-backed innovations off the shelf, refining them, commercializing them and turning them into a beautiful device that changed the world."

Jobs may not have designed all the components that made the iPhone, but his  company did design, develop and assemble both the hardware and software that goes into the phone, and maintain all the IP rights to it, Tech Worm reported.

Pelosi's comments are similar to notions touted by President Obama, who in 2012 said from the campaign trail in Roanoke, Virginia: "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelieveable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

Former vice president Al Gore fielded political fire for comments he made in March 1999 during an interview on CNN about his presidential aspirations and how he differed from his Democratic primary challenger, Sen. Bill Bradley. Then, he told host Wolf Blitzer that had it not been for his own work and efforts, the Internet may not have been invented when it was.

The question that fueled this claim, from Blitzer, went like this, Christian Science Monitor reported: "Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley?"

And Gore replied: "I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection."






Thursday, June 9, 2016

'God's Not Dead' Movie Studio Sued for Allegedly Stealing Plot From Screenplay Writers

A couple of screenwriters have launched a lawsuit against Pure Flix, the Christian-based movie studio known for producing the hit "God's Not Dead," alleging the company stole "creative elements" of their own play and used them as the basis for the 2014 film.

Kelly Kullberg and Michael Landon Jr. said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in California that their "Rise" screenplay, which hasn't yet been made into a movie, was actually the source of "the most creative elements" of "God's Not Dead," and that the 2014 release of that movie "destroyed [their] prospects for producing a motion picture based on their 'Rise' screenplay," Law Newz reported.

Kullberg helped write the book, "Finding God at Harvard," and also founded the Veritas Forum, a global nonprofit that assists with the production of college campus events aimed at fostering discussion of moral and philosophical questions, from a Christian viewpoint. The court complaint alleges "Rise" was "borrowed from [her own] experiences as a Christian standing up for her faith."

"God's Not Dead" starred Kevin Sorbo as a college professor who's atheism forces him into a conflict with a Christian student. Sorbo's character ultimately requires the student to prove the existence of God, else face a failing grade.

Kullberg and Landon allege they shared "Rise" with Ted Baehr, the chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and that Baehr in turn shared specific plots with Pure Flix co-founder David White, who's named as a defendant in the suit.

According to the complaint, the suspiciously similar plot elements include this, Law Newz reported: "A young college student who has to debate a popular and charming atheist professor over the course of three debates, who struggles in the first debate, but succeeds in the next two after support and encouragement from characters including an unmarried local pastor, a rural married couple, the atheist professor's wife who is also the professor's former student (a lapsed Christian doing her own soul-searching) and an international student ally, and manages to persuade many others, including the professor, that God does exist."

Lawsuit herehttp://www.mediaite.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/031123634509.pdf


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Washington State Adds ‘Transgenderism’ to School Curriculum – For Kindgergartners

Evil, evil, evil ....

Students as young as five years old – kindergartners – are going to be taught about the ins and outs of “transgenderism” in all public schools in Washington, beginning in the fall 2017 semester.

That’s according to the Daily Caller, which reported on the state’s new health-education learning standards, which have been broadened to include “gender expression” as a mandatory teaching.

The curriculum states that children as young as age five will be taught to “understand there are many ways to express gender,” all as part of the “self-identify” sex education classes that are mandatory for public schools, GOP USA reported.

Among the course training: “Gender is no longer determined by a person’s biological characteristics at birth,” as GOP USA put it. And further, “teachers will inform children through the curriculum that gender expression is now subjective to individual preference, and not limited to one’s actual sex,” the news site continued.

By the time a child in Washington’s public schools enters third grade, he or she will have to be able to “explain that gender roles can vary considerably,” according to the course outline.

The course comes on the heels of the open door bathroom and dressing room policy put forth by President Obama, through his Justice Department and Department of Education, that said public schools have to allow students to ability to visit whichever restroom they choose, based on their thoughts about their own sex that day, or else face loss of federal funding.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick orders schools to defy Obama's transgender bathroom plan

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told superintendents of all public schools in the state via letter that they should defy President Obama's unilaterally issued demands to open all bathroom doors to transgenders – that he will support them in any legal fight that might brew.

"This fight is just beginning," Patrick said, the Statesman reported.

His letter specifically stated "we will be there to support" districts that violate this federally pressed plan.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Patrick announced the letters to superintendents during a press conference in Austin, where he also said he was looking into the legalities of the Fort Worth Independent School District's decision to implement these Obama bathroom policies for transgenders without first holding hearings for parents to comment.

Recently, Fort Worth's superintendent, Kent Paredes Scribner, told all schools in the district to open bathrooms so transgenders could choose which to use. Patrick said he's now asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to issue a determination about the legalities of Scribner's move, which was made "unilaterally" and without allowing parents to comment, he said, Breitbart reported.

"You have to ask the question, 'Why did this [Fort Worth] policy come out of nowhere when there seemed to be nothing to create it? I said at the time because it was directly linked to the Obama policies in Washington," Patrick said, Breitbart reported.

Texas, along with several other states, have launched lawsuits against Obama's directive to public schools, challenging the idea of the executive branch possessing the legal authority to withhold federal funding if transgenders aren't allowed to choose whichever bathroom they most identify with and enter accordingly. Critics say opening boys' bathrooms to girls and girls' bathrooms to boys will create havoc and place students' and staffers' privacies in danger and safety at risk.

Stand for Fort Worth, a group that opposes the district's new transgender bathroom and locker room policies, put out a statement that predicted a massive legal clash.

"It is now inevitable that this transgender policy will be struck down, whether it be through legal remedies or by the action of the Fort Worth ISD," the group said, Breitbart reported. "We certainly hope for the latter as we do not wish to see any more valuable district resources wasted here. Superintendent Scribner should listen to the thousands of constituents calling for immediate repeal. We are pleased that Lt. Gov. Patrick and AG Paxton continue to show strong support for our position. If our local officials would lend a similar ear to the parents and taxpayers, our city would not be facing this crisis."

Monday, May 30, 2016

Transgender Madness Not About Equal Rights -- It's About Destroying Traditional, Biblical Family

Wrote this a couple weeks ago for WND, but -- sadly -- it's still pertinent ...
It’s good that dozens of members of Congress have penned and signed a letter to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, pressing for explanation about President Obama’s carrot-stick demand for schools to open all bathrooms to both sexes, else face loss of federal funding.

Among their requests for clarity: Address what happens to teachers, administrators and others who don’t comply and explain whether feds will also “accommodate rights of conscience and privacy in an individual’s or institution’s non-compliance,” the letter states.

But their letter doesn’t cut to the chase of all that’s wrong with the transgender madness sweeping America right now – and that’s the subtle drive to destroy the traditional family.

Look at this, from Riki Wilchins, who’s undergone sex-change surgery and who penned “We’ll Win the Bathroom Battle When the Binary Burns” for gay-rights magazine The Advocate. Wilchins wrote, in part: “What really needs to be contested here is not just our right to use bathrooms with dignity (which would personally be very welcome), but the entire underlying hetero-binary structuring of the world queers must inhabit. This is the real struggle, and queer activists have been talking about it at least since the 1970s of Gay Liberation.”

Wilchins then spoke of a 20-year-old transgender who explained to President Obama during a recent town hall meeting in London the proper reference to those undergoing a shift in sex is non-binary – not “he” or “she” but rather “hir” and “ze.”

“Think about that,” Wilchins continued. “[N]ot as a boi, or one of the girls, or as transmale or transfemale, but Off the Freakin’ Binary. … Gay and transgender rights advocates have been quietly dodging the issue of binary heteronormativity, but that sound you hear is the other shoe finally dropping … hard.”

Yes, think about that, as Wilchins advised – and then think about this: Selling the people on a lie about what constitutes gender is a dangerous step in the obliteration of God’s creations, both male and female, then marriage and family.

And what happens after the lie is complete, after the once-obvious definition of male and female have been trashed and replaced with other, fuzzier definitions – ones that leave the interpretation open to the whims of society at-large? Society’s definition of humanity crumbles, and so, too the bulwarks of society, the family unit.

Here’s how Stella Morabito, a senior contributor to the Federalist, put it to LifeSiteNews: “What we are really talking about [with transgender movement] is the abolition of sex. And it is sex that the trans project is serving to abolish legally, under the guise of something called the ‘gender binary.’ Its endgame is a society in which everyone is legally de-sexed. No longer legally male or female.”
So in this world, who’s mom, who’s dad?

Well, government decides.

Morabito warned of an America “in which there can be no legal ‘mother’ or ‘father’ or ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ or ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ without permission from the State,” and pointed out that “government documents are already erasing the terms.” So in the end, what we get is a “sexless society” and “totalitarian society” that “erases in law the most basic human relationships,” including but not limited to the “mother-child bond,” Morabito said.

Never happen, you say?

Change the language – boy to “boi,” she to “ze” – and you can change the course of the conversation. Change the schools and force open bathroom doors to both sexes, and you can change the coming generations. Change the domain of gender from God to mankind, and watch as all kinds of evils and deceits take root.

Then there’s this, from the Charlotte Observer’s editorial board: “Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that is was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.”

The propaganda blitz is here and now, and it’s crossing well beyond the special-rights movement, into the highest halls of politics, and throughout all kinds of media. Either we fight it, or face a future where family becomes whatever the whim of the time – a whim, no doubt, that will ignore all things biblically based.

First appeared at WNDhttp://www.wnd.com/2016/05/transgender-madness-is-about-destroying-family/

Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal editor, says GOP voters need to learn 'lesson' on Donald Trump

This is just breath-takingly elitist ... "Oh, yes, please teach me, Mr. Stephens, how to be a better Republican ... how to toe the party line."

Bret Stephens, the deputy editorial page editor for the Wall Street Journal, took to CNN television to send a clear message about Donald Trump that included this subtle warning: He must be stopped at all costs and his supporters must be schooled in what's good for the party.

His words, as captured by Breitbart: "I most certainly will not vote for Donald Trump. I will vote for the least left-wing opponent to Donald Trump and I want to make a vote to make sure that he has – that he is the biggest loser in presidential history since, I don't know, Alf Landon or going back further."

Landon served as the governor of Kansas in the 1930s, first taking office in 1932 then winning reelection in 1934. In 1936, the Republican Party chose him as the candidate to beat Franklin D. Roosevelt. But he lost by a huge margin, with Roosevelt taking nearly 28 million votes to Landon's near-17 million.

Stephens continued, telling host Fareed Zakaria he'd like Trump to lose by such a margin, and in the process, remind GOP voters they shouldn't back someone who goes against the party's grain.

"It's important that Donald Trump and what he represents – this kind of ethnic, quote, 'conservatism,' or populism, be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party, the Republican voters, will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form," he said. "So they have to learn a lesson in the way perhaps Democrats learned from [George] McGovern in '72. George Will said let's have him lose in 50 states. Why not Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, too?"

One of Trump's major draws with voters, aside from his views on immigration and the need to tighten border controls, has been his outsider status and his perceived bucking of establishment and elitist Republican Party conventions.




Friday, May 20, 2016

Oklahoma lawmakers declare state of 'emergency' over transgender bathroom fight brought by Obama

Lawmakers in Oklahoma, alarmed by the chaos that's been generated from President Obama's pressure on schools to open bathrooms to both sexes – else face loss of federal funding – have introduced a bill that declares the matter an "emergency" and allows the state's attorney general to provide legal representation for those who come under fire from the U.S. Department of Justice for failures to comply.

Senate Bill 1619 is described as "an act relating to schools; providing definition; authorizing certain persons to request religious accommodations under certain circumstances; directing a board of education to respond to certain request; prohibiting use of certain facility for compliance; providing for private right of action for certain violation; authorizing the attorney general to represent certain persons under certain circumstances ... and declaring an emergency."

The bill makes clear that students, parents or legal guardians all hold the power to request a religious accommodation from schools in order to obtain access to bathroom facilities that are exclusive to one sex over another.

"The accommodation [requested] shall be for the use of restrooms, athletic changing facilities or showers designated for the exclusive use of that student's sex," the act states.

The act also makes the attorney general of the state available to fight off federal challenges to its provisions.

"The Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma is hereby authorized to represent a school district or employee in a legal challenge to any federal regulation or mandate [to open bathrooms to both sexes]," the bill states. "The Attorney General is further authorized to intervene in any legal proceeding for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this act."

The bill, if passed, would take effect July 1.

And Section 3 states: "It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval."

So far, the bill has 12 cosponsors, all Republican.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Iowa pastor swears off NFL over Georgia religious liberty veto: 'Begun to throw away my NFL gear already'

Love this ... taking a stand on principle and for Jesus, regardless of how small to the human eye it might seem. No doubt, such goes over big in Heaven.

An Iowa pastor watching with alarm a governor's veto of a religious liberty bill in Georgia – a veto that came in part because of the NFL's thinly veiled threat to remove the state from its list of potentials to host an upcoming Super Bowl – has now fired back with a campaign of his own: He's sworn off one of his favorite fall-time past-times, watching football on television.

And he's hoping his NFL boycott carries weight with his congregation and beyond, and sparks others to do similarly.

"I have begun to throw away my NFL gear already," said Ray Peters, pastor of Harvest Alliance Church in Minden, in one of several emails, sent after reading WND coverage of the matter.

In another email, he wrote: "It is time for Christians to take a stand where they are and say no to the world where they can. Maybe we can use our time wiser than sitting around for three hours watching men playing a game and making far more money than the president."

His protest comes on the heels of Gov. Nathan Deal's refusal to sign into law a bill aimed at hampering lawsuits against certain faith-based organizations, like churches, that were asked to do businesses with those who violated the "sincerely held religious beliefs" of the owners or managers. The bill was intended to shield Georgia groups from suffering the same sorts of legal challenges that have erupted in recent months around the country that have pitted gay activists against Christian business owners. In 2013, for instance, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled photographers couldn't use a religious freedom argument to refuse to snap pictures at a gay wedding, and in 2015, Christian bakers were forced to pay $135,000 in fines for turning down a lesbian couple's request to make them a cake for their wedding.

The Georgia bill, which passed both sides of the Republican-controlled General Assembly in record time, was criticized by gay rights' groups and some businesses, like Disney, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Google – and by the NFL.

As various media reported, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in the days after the legislature advanced the bill: "NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites."

Atlanta was one of the cities that made the final round of NFL consideration for Super Bowl hosting duties in 2019 or 2020.

Deal ultimately vetoed the measure in late March, upsetting both those in the legislature that saw it simply as an underscore of what's already contained in the Constitution and in the First Amendment, and those in the faith community who saw it as a necessary precaution in the face of an advancing and vocal gay rights movement.

Peters, meanwhile, put his protestations to paper and penned a letter to his congregants, church leadership and family asking they join him in his boycott of all things NFL.

"Not much, I know, but it has to begin somewhere," he wrote in an email.

In his letter, titled "No More NFL, he wrote how "in the past, I played football and coached football and followed it for decades," even watching on television both professional and college play most days of the week – but the time has come to "make a stand" on principle.

"It seems that not only does the NFL own a day of the week," Peters wrote, "it owns many people's time and pocketbooks. ... However, the NFL has overstepped its bounds and in good conscience, I cannot continue to support or watch any more NFL games."

He then cited Georgia's religious liberty bill and how Deal's veto, under pressure from various groups and businesses, showcases the "unraveling of our society on a grand scale," when looked at through the lens of the Bible.

"The Bible very clearly warns that nation Israel and any other nation when wickedness takes over," Peters wrote, citing Isaiah and its caution against calling "evil good and good evil," as well as its caveat against relying on human wisdom.

"Yet there is nothing new under the sun and everyone is doing right in their own eyes," he wrote. "At the same time, there is something I can do on a personal level and that is to discontinue viewing NFL games and purchasing NFL merchandise. Though I cannot do much financial damage or change the NFL, it is imperative that something is done on my end and done immediately. If I do not take a stand now, then when? And if I do not begin to stand, then I fail to honor my God and Savior."

He then wrapped: "It may not be significant in the big picture, but it does make a difference in my personal faith walk. No longer can I support that which openly condones sin in the realm of this increasingly pervasive issue. ... The United States was founded on a Constitution that was based upon the morals of the Bible. And now we are going against two of our founding documents of this great nation. However, going against the morals of the Bible will result in catastrophic results. Let us pray for our nation with greater regularity than we ever have."

Peters added in yet another email that giving up football, as easy as it may sound to some, is actually a significant personal sacrifice.

"I believe King David said he would not sacrifice that which costs him nothing," Peters said. "It may sound lame but giving up watching NFL and taking my time back will be challenging when fall comes.  But right now I am at perfect peace with it."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bernie Sanders effect? College once led by wife closes -- due to crushing debt

Awkward! ...

A college once run by self-declared socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane Sanders, has been crushed by debt and will close at the end of the month, the dean of operations said in a statement.

The debt came in large part from a $10 million real estate deal put into place under Sanders in 2010, when she served as Burlington College president.

"These hurdles are insurmountable at this time," said Coralee Holm, the dean of operations and advancement, in a statement. "It is with a great sense of loss to the educational community that Burlington College's progressive and unique educational model will no longer be available to students."

Current president Carol Moore said students currently attending classes could transfer their credits at nearby colleges.

"[This brings a] deep sense of loss and sadness," Moore said, of the closing, NBC News reported.

Jane Sanders didn't issue any immediate comment, and when NBC asked the senator's presidential campaign for comment, the reply from communications director Michael Brigges was this: "No." Sen. Sanders, meanwhile, has advocated on the campaign trail for free higher education for all Americans.

Jane Sanders pushed in 2010 for the college to buy a 32-acre parcel of land by Lake Champlain from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington in order to increase student enrollment by 2020 from 200 to 400. She left the college in 2011, having served as its president since 2004.

By 2014, the college was suffering under massive debt from the land purchase and placed on probation by its accrediting agency for lacking resources. In desperation, college officials turned to a developer to buy the parcel, at a loss, for $7.65 million. Just last month, however, the school was informed by its lender that its line of credit was being shuttered. The Board of Trustees, in response, announced the only way out of the crushing debt was to close the school.

Burlington College was operational for 44 years.




Friday, May 13, 2016

Fox News host Todd Starnes poses: Should Christians vote for Donald Trump?

Todd Starnes, Fox News & Commentary host and author of "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values," took on the leading evangelical question about the ongoing race to the White House – whether or not Christians ought to vote for Donald Trump or sit on the sidelines – and concluded, after interviewing several of faith in leadership roles: Not voting is actually a vote, in and of itself.

Starnes wrote: "For many Christians – Donald Trump is like a bucket of store-bought chicken at a Wednesday night church supper. It may be a culinary heresy – but folks will still eat it. That's the best case scenario for the Trump campaign as they try to woo wary Evangelical Christians. Many are still not convinced that the man who has had more wives than there are letters to the Corinthians shares their view from the pew. It's not just the #NeverTrump crowd that is causing the campaign to worry. It's the unknown number of Evangelicals who may stay home on Election Day."

Starnes then cited a quote from one of the leading pastors studied by Christians, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who said: "Of two evils choose none."

But as Starnes asked: Is that the only option for Christians this campaign season?

"The idea of not voting, you're sacrificing your Christian worldview on the altar of political expediency," said Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, to Fox News. "It is silly to talk about not voting for either candidate. Every single Christian should vote."

Starnes also referred to Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, who's currently making a nationwide tour to speak to Christians about the political election and need for them to get more involved in the day-to-day, from a godly perspective.

"You don't just stay home and not vote," Graham said, to Starnes. "You vote. ... You may have to hold your nose and choose of the two."

Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary, said similarly.

"Can a Christian vote for Donald Trump running against Hillary Clinton? I would say yes," he said.

And from Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and recent candidate for president, who served as a pastor before he went into politics, this: "I'm not going to try and suggest that Donald Trump is in any way the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. But he's been very open to not only dialogue with, but listen to and understand where many people in the faith community are coming from. Donald Trump could well be a great president for those of us who are Evangelicals."

Land also said Trump could help his cause among Christians by picking an Evangelical as his vice president, or by vowing to nominate Sen. Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court seat previously held by Justice Antonin Scalia.

Starnes wrapped: "To be honest, though, Donald Trump could walk the aisle at a Billy Graham Crusade, while waving a King James Bible and singing 'Amazing Grace' and it still wouldn't be enough to convince the holier-than-thou club. And for all you folks quoting Spurgeon – I would offer this rebuttal: not to vote is to vote."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Obama tells grads that success is all in the luck: 'It wasn't nothing you did'

This is just extraordinary for a U.S. president to say ... especially the skewing of what constitutes a blessing from God. Is he really trying to say luck and God are one and the same thing?

President Obama told the graduating class of Howard University that success is based more on luck, not hard work, and those who achieve great things do so because the fates have shined brightly upon them.

Successful people are "just lucky," Obama said, Breitbart reported. "It wasn't nothing you did."

Obama also praised Beyonce as an example of how far blacks have come since the era of civil rights' struggles. But he then blasted the U.S. justice system as unfair and discriminatory.

"We can't just lock up a low-level dealer without asking why this boy, barely out of childhood, felt he had no other options," Obama said, Breitbart reported. "We have cousins and uncles and brothers and sisters who we remember were just as smart and just as talented as we were, but somehow got ground down by structures that are unfair and unjust."

He went on, speaking about the nature of success: "And that means we have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African Americans who haven't been so lucky – because yes, you've worked hard, but you've also been lucky."

Obama then characterized those who credit their success to hard work, rather than luck, as one of his pet peeves.

"That's a pet peeve of mine – people who have been successful and don't realize they've been lucky," he said. "That God may have blessed them; it wasn't nothing you did. So don't have an attitude."

The characterization was akin to his 2012 statement when he said those who achieved great success in business did so based on outside factors – that they "didn't build that" business on their own, but rather on the back of government support.