Archives For Politics

From Mollie Hemingway over at The Federalist:

Here are six other Grahams you’d probably rather see run for the highest office in the land before Lindsey Graham.

Heather Graham: She was great as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights but also as Daisy in the satire Bowfinger. She’s a children’s rights activist and a sex symbol.

Franklin Graham: This evangelist and missionary is president of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. He’s also Billy Graham’s son.

Alexander Graham Bell: Technically not eligible to run for president on account of only being a naturalized citizen and also on account of being dead, he invented the telephone. He was an out and proud eugenicist, but so is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so he might be able to pick up her supporters.

The telegram: A message or communication sent by telegraph may be outdated, yes, but it is still far more useful than Lindsey Graham.

Read the rest.

If Britain was to leave the European Union and join the US, it would be poorer than all of the other states in America apart from Mississippi, new figures suggest.

The figures, produced by Fraser Nelson, the Editor of The Spectator, also said that without the South-east, Britain could be considered worse off than America’s most-deprived state as well.

Nelson said that Britain would rank 50th out of 51 states based on the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita figures and cost of living.

Read it all.

Also, Forbes Magazine ran the numbers and put Britain behind every State.

 

Nicholas OkohQ:  What has the Anglican Communion done on the spate of attacks on Christians in the North by Boko Haram?
A:  We are, indeed, suffering in those areas. Our diocese in Damaturu has been closed down, the Bishop has relocated to Jos; the clergy is just being paid to keep it on.

Q:  Only Damaturu?
A:  Yes; our church in Maiduguri is miraculously on but the churches are being attacked here and there.  The Bishop has escaped so many attacks, but he is still there; so what we are doing is to find a way to support the Bishop to support his members. The Bishop is there to ensure that the church does not die; recently the Archbishops of the Church of Nigeria visited Maiduguri and met with the governor, the Shehu of Borno and our members to tell them that this is a passing phase in our history; it will not be permanent.

Let me say that evil will not win this battle no matter how long it takes.  We are aware that some people are behind it all, because it is not just the poor Boko Haram person who is perpetrating this evil; there are people behind it who bring the money, who bring the ideology and use these poor boys as canon fodder. By the grace of God, the evil will be defeated.

Q:  Why do you think it has it been pretty difficult for government to understand the mystery of Boko Haram?
A:  I think government should know. I don’t know whether it knows, but I think it should know that there are insiders in government, in the military, in the police, in the in system that there are Boko Haram loyalists. They are the people who are expanding the coast of Boko Haram, internationalising their issues, giving them resources because if they don’t have strong resources, they will not have lasted this long. I have been a military man and I know that you need logistics to fight a battle, so who is supplying Boko Haram logistics?

Read the rest.

The Statue of Bigotry

January 25, 2014

ramirez-cuomo

AKowbeidu“So, what do think of Kowbeidu running for Town Council?”  It’s been the most asked question I’ve had this fall.  In a sentence, I think it’s great.

It was just about a year ago when Anthony came seeking my blessing to run for Town Council.  “Why in the world would you want to do that?”, I asked.  And he began to tell me not only of his gratitude for the many blessings of living in this town but also of his concern that the everyday citizen of Mt. Pleasant has been distanced from the decisions being made on their behalf.    I was impressed. I gave him my blessing.

I’ve been more impressed this past year watching the seriousness and the work Anthony has done talking to citizens and educating himself on the various issues that face our town.  I believe Mt. Pleasant would be well-served by Anthony’s election and here are a few reasons why:

  • Anthony is one of the best-educated candidates running for office.  He holds a doctorate from the University of the South. 
  • Anthony is the only educator running for office.  We all know that one of the greatest challenges facing Mt. Pleasant is the over-crowding of our schools.  As adjunct faculty at both the Citadel and the Art Institute of Charleston, Anthony knows first-hand the challenges of overcrowded classrooms and the environment necessary for effective education.
  • Anthony has the most unique perspective of any candidate running for office.  From the bush of Africa to Sullivans Island, Sewanee, West Ashley and Dunes West, Anthony has seen life – has lived life – in a way few of us have.  These experiences make for a richer understanding for him to draw against as he makes decisions on behalf of our diverse citizenry.
  • Anthony probably has the best real-world experience of any candidate running for office.  Very few people have the insight and exposure to the joys and tragedies of life afforded clergy.  We are there when your children are born, when the promotion comes through and when life is sweet.  We are also there when your marriage struggles, when it’s hard to pay the bills, and when tragedy strikes.  The simple fact is, being deeply involved in the human condition gives one a heart-knowledge, not just head-knowledge, to draw against when making decisions that affect the daily lives of real people. 
  • Anthony is a team-builder and a team-leader.  When he joined the staff at SAMP 9 years ago he was tasked with the responsibility of developing our Domestic and International Missions work.  Under his leadership several hundred people have involved themselves in our mission work and over $8,000,000 has been raised and distributed.
  • Anthony is approachable and listens well to diverse points-of-view.  As a clergyman on the staff of a large church Anthony interacts daily with members from every socio-economic segment of society.
  • Anthony would be a breath of fresh air.  Mt. Pleasant has grown to a town of 73,000 citizens.  Anthony is a part of that growth and brings a new perspective to address the needs of our growing town.
  • Finally, Anthony knows and loves the Lord.  I have watched closely the way in which God’s Word has shaped and formed Anthony’s manner of life and his attitudes and I can say that his actions are consistent with his profession of faith.

Please keep Anthony and his family in your prayers.  It is a vulnerable thing to offer yourself for office.  And, regardless of how you plan on voting, please do vote next Tuesday.  It is a high privilege we enjoy as citizens of this great country.

From here:

Soon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced an assault weapons ban would not be part of a gun control bill, a new CBS News poll shows support for stricter gun control laws overall has dropped since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Currently, support for stricter gun control laws stands at 47 percent today, down from a high of 57 percent just after the shootings. Thirty-nine percent want those laws kept as they are, and another 11 percent want them made less strict.

From Albert Mohler:

Taken together, these cases threaten nothing less than the redefinition of the most basic and essential institution of human society—any society. Marriage stands at the center of human culture and life, forming the necessary network of relationships upon which society depends. Every society in human history has found its way to the establishment of marriage as the centering institution of all social order. Its exclusively heterosexual character has been challenged only in very recent years and only in a few nations. Now, this institution that has preserved the context for intimacy, procreation, and the raising of children is threatened with a redefinition that would render the state’s conception of marriage at odds with millennia of human wisdom, putting human flourishing at risk.

. . . .

The very fact that the march for same-sex marriage has reached this point is telling. It reveals a fundamental confusion at the very heart of our society. The ideological support for same-sex marriage is deeply embedded in a host of ideas that are driving our society to the point of moral breakdown.

The U.S. Supreme Court may well decide the future of marriage as a legal institution, but the church must hold to marriage as far more, but not less than, a legal reality. Marriage is one of God’s most gracious gifts to humanity. It will be the Church’s responsibility to honor marriage, no matter what the Court may decide.

Read the rest.

From Reformation21:

Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge” (Acts 4:19).

It is possible that historians will look back on 2013 as a watershed in the relationship of Christianity to American culture. I say this because, while Christians have always needed to face what we might call “soft persecution” in the form of social and career consequences, it seems that starting this year we may experience official and legal persecution for upholding basic Christian values in the face of intolerant government demands. If this is true, it is essential that Christians not shrink back from facing this affliction. If the time has come for believers to accept the kind of persecution experienced elsewhere in the world – China, the Middle East, and Africa – then true disciples of Christ must embrace this challenge with courage, conviction, and prayer.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits Congress from passing any law that infringes the free exercise of religion. The question today is whether or not this freedom will still be permitted when it comes to the public life of Christians. The conflict is arising over the matter of contraceptives in health care plans. The Roman Catholic Church holds that all contraceptives are immoral. Most Evangelical Christians do not forbid all contraceptives, but hold that abortifacient contraceptives are sinful. (These are contraceptives that destroy a fertilized embryo, which we regard as destroying a human life.) The current issue is the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as “Obamacare”) for businesses, including those owned by Christians and formed to uphold Christian values, to provide abortifacient contraceptives in the insurance plans of their employees.

There are two things happening in this conflict for Christians to be aware. First, we should be praying for Christian businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Domino’s Pizza, who are seeking legal protection from the demands of Obamacare. These are private businesses whose Christian owners refuse to obey a federal requirement that they believe violates God’s law. They are joined by religious-based colleges such as Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey and Evangelical Wheaton College, who are also seeking legal protection through lawsuits. Christians should be praying that our courts will uphold the freedom of Christian organizations not to engage in actions they regard as sinful. (At present, churches are exempt from providing contraceptives in our insurance.) If the courts decide against these Christian cases, then legal precedent in America will permit the federal government to enforce laws that require Christian organizations to violate God’s law.

Second, starting on January 1, Christian businesses have faced heavy government fines for refusing to obey the Obamacare mandate. Hobby Lobby, for instance, faces $1.3 million per day for refusing to provide abortifacient contraceptives to its 13,000 employees. These and legions of other Christians organizations, including seminaries, book publishers, and Christian schools, may be forced out of business, with thousands of jobs lost, by the government fines.

In my view, it is important for Christians to realize the grave nature of this new threat. What is at stake is our freedom to participate in the public life of our nation while upholding our religious convictions and our fidelity to Jesus Christ.  The book of Revelation speaks of the “mark of the beast” without which “no one can buy or sell” (Rev. 13:17). This mark was given to those who bowed and worshiped the image of Caesar, and those who received it are judged by God (Rev. 14:11). I would not say that the Affordable Care Act is the mark of the beast, nor that our government leaders are intending to serve the Antichrist. Yet the principle informs Christians that we must not obey civil leaders who command us to disobey Christ, whether they intend this or not, at the expense of our jobs and businesses.  With this in mind, Christians should be praying not only for the Christian lawsuits seeking protection of our religious liberty, but also that business leaders like David Green of Hobby Lobby would not give in when their companies are threatened. If the time has come for Christians to prove our faith by suffering for our convictions, then let us pray that Christ would give us the strength so that our generation would receive a witness of Christian fidelity and courage.

It is also important for Christians not to over-react. I know of no evidence for instance, that the purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to deny Christians their freedoms or that President Obama is bent on persecuting Christians. Rather, he and others believe that contraception is essential to women’s liberty. Once they have argued that health care is a basic human right and that contraception is a woman’s basic liberty, they put this together to insist that all employers provide for these. In their view, it seems, Christians are imposing our views on others in such a way as to deny their basic rights. This shows that there are complicated pieces in this situation.  What does it mean that health care is a right?  Is contraception necessary for women’s freedom, and what kind of contraception? Do business owners have a moral obligation to provide health care? Does the federal government have the right to dictate these matters to private organizations? These are among the issues debated in this situation.

Read the rest.

Leadership with Authority for the Governance of the People

We were pleased to welcome The Rev’d Dr. John Guest as our guest preacher on Sunday morning. Born and raised in Oxford, England, John responded to God’s call after hearing the American evangelist, Billy Graham, in London, in 1954. Author of ten books, he co-founded Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and was a participant in the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelism and a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

John preached on the same verses (1 Peter 2.13-25; Matthew 5.1-16; Acts 4; Romans 13.1; Colossians 1.15-16) at both our 9.00 am and 10.45 am service.  However, the presentation changed a bit from one service to the next. Those present at both services (i.e., clergy and worship team members) thought you may enjoy having both available.  So, we decided to link to the 9.00 am audio below and the 10.45 am video.

Download this episode (right click and save)

From NPR:

After a series of attacks by vandals on Christian holy sites in Israel, normally tight-lipped Roman Catholic officials are beginning to speak out, publicly appealing to authorities to take a stronger stand against the violence.

The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, one of the church’s top officials in the Holy Land, said he is worried about relations between Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. He believes the blame can go all around.

“I think the main atmosphere is ignorance,” Pizzaballa told The Associated Press in an interview.

Because the local Christian population is tiny, “we do not exist for the majority … They have other priorities,” he said. “On the other side, we as a minority maybe didn’t invest enough energy and initiatives” to reach out to Israeli Jews.

That may be changing following this month’s attack on a well-known Trappist Monastery in Latrun, outside Jerusalem. Vandals burned a door and spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on the century-old building with the words “Jesus is a monkey.” Suspicion has fallen on extremist Jewish West Bank settlers or their supporters . . .

In recent months, two other monasteries and a Baptist church were vandalized. It is not clear why the vandals have targeted Christian sites. For years, Christian clergymen also have been spat at by ultra-Orthodox seminary students in Jerusalem’s Old City . . .

Read the rest.