Respecting the proper role of crisis pregnancy centres

Ruling for opponents of abortion on free speech grounds, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that the State of California may not require religiously oriented “crisis pregnancy centers” to supply women with information about how to end their pregnancies…

Michael P. Farris, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the centers, said he welcomed the ruling.

“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion,” he said. “In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs.”

Quote source

Liptak, A. (2018). Supreme Court Backs Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers in Free Speech Case. New York Times. Available https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-crisis-pregnancy-center-abortion.html. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.

Advertisements

If you can’t beat them, leave them!

In the 1980s and 1990s, a growing number of religious conservatives not only pulled their children out of public schools, but out of schools altogether, as the ranks of the homeschooled grew precipitously. In 1985, there were about 250,000 homeschooled children. By 1999, well over one million American children were schooled at home. An estimated 90 percent of those who homeschooled their children were evangelicals, who increasingly believed they were commanded by the Bible to educate their own children.

The upshot of this considerable movement out of the public schools was that, whereas the de facto national curriculum remained liberal—a product of the progressive reforms that were enshrined during the 1960s—a shrinking percentage of the nation’s schoolchildren were exposed to it. In this way, the Christian Right ultimately reduced the impact of secular schools, not by changing them to reflect their values, but by abandoning them altogether.

Quote source

Hartman, A. (2015). The Historical Ironies of the Right-Wing Movement Against Common Core. History News Network. Available https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/160421. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.

Nonexistent cakes thwart the sodomite agenda

In a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court delivered justice for Jack Phillips. The High Court reversed the government’s decision to punish Jack for living and working consistently with his faith…

For the past six years, all he wanted was the freedom to live and work consistently with his beliefs. Instead, the State of Colorado treated his faith with disgust. One commissioner characterized Jack’s plea for religious freedom as “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use.”…

Jack simply declined to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex marriage because that message conflicts with his deeply held beliefs. This is exactly the same way that Jack has responded to requests for custom cakes celebrating divorce or Halloween—he must stay true to his faith.

The only intolerance in this case was how the government treated Jack. Thankfully, the Supreme Court chose to set the record straight and protect Jack’s religious freedom. In doing so, the Court made a strong statement that religious hostility has no place in a diverse society like ours.

Jack’s victory at the Supreme Court is the eighth victory at the Supreme Court that you’ve helped us secure in the last seven years! God is using you in mighty ways—thank you. Now, we must keep the momentum moving forward and continue to defend the freedom to live and work consistently with our beliefs without fear of government punishment.

Quote source

Mayer, M. (2018). Jack Phillips Won at the Supreme Court… What Happens Now? Alliance Defending Freedom. Available https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2018/06/05/jack-phillips-won-at-the-supreme-court-what-happens-now. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.

Revealing the anthropocentric assumptions of ‘freethinkers’

According to Jim Ashby, a self-described “freethinker”:

Natural disasters are proof of nature’s power, not God’s (assuming he exists at all). They are also proof that nature is amoral (neither moral or immoral)…

If you accept that God gave us free will, then the wrongs we do are our own fault. But the indiscriminate pain and suffering caused by disease, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters are not our own fault. If God is omnipotent then we suffer without moral cause when victimized by ‘acts of God’.

Sure, free will. I get it. But why would God create a world with disease-carrying mosquitos, hurricanes and earthquakes if he is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent? It is NOT good to cause injustice.

So, to answer your question, yes, natural disasters are proof that God (if he exists) is not benevolent.

That’s self-serving conclusion, and not really convincing. I find this quote from R.J. Rushdoony more convincing—and expository of Ashby:

Men are ready to believe that history and the universe are purposeless and mindless, and that disasters, deaths, earthquakes, and plagues are unrelated to any mind or will. The idea that a mind could be behind these events they find offensive. Why? The reason commonly cited through the centuries is that it is offensive to believe that a supreme mind and power, God, could permit such catastrophes or show such heartless wrath. Better a mindless disaster than a mindful one. This position, of course, insists that antipathetic events are inescapably wrong for God to indulge in, a major assumption and a thoroughly anthropocentric one.

Quote sources

  1. Ashby, J. (2015). Are natural disasters proof that if there is an omnipotent God, he is not benevolent? Quora. Available https://www.quora.com/Are-natural-disasters-proof-that-if-there-is-an-omnipotent-God-he-is-not-benevolent/answer/Jim-Ashby. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1969). The Biblical Philosophy of History [ebook]. Ross House Books, Vallecito, Location 1054 of 2407

Churches protected from tax grabs

The advancement of religion has been recognised as a charitable purpose in the common law since at least 1601. Australian federal law expressly affirms this. But Victoria’s Sex/Reason [political] Party disagrees.

In an Australian first, Fiona Patten MLC of the Sex/Reason Party has sought to remove the advancement of religion as a charitable purpose, in [the state of] Victoria, by her Charities Amendment Bill 2018…

The bill would implement Patten’s passion to tax the churches. The artful exemption that she gives in clause 12 [of the Bill] , exempting “a place used exclusively as a place of public worship” from land tax, is no protection at all. Jennifer Huppert of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, commenting on the bill, said that shuls would be affected because “by its very nature a synagogue is a community centre.”

Similarly, suburban churches are regularly used for community groups and events. However, it is clear from clause 12 that using a church for any purpose apart from worship would result in land tax being applied…

It is welcome news that Patten’s attempt to remove the “advancement of religion” as a charitable cause has failed dismally. The government and opposition have combined to see that the church and other faith communities will not be taxed out of existence.

Quote source

Flynn, D. (2018). An unprecedented attack on faith and freedom defeated. The Spectator. Available https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/05/an-unprecedented-attack-on-faith-and-freedom-defeated/. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.

18 million times over—growth in Christ

The first church assembly, recorded in Acts 1 and 2, started with 120 people in the upper room (Acts 1:13–15, 2:1). Now, one of the most respected research organizations in the United States has documented that Christianity has the most adherents of any religion in the world today. The Pew Research Center notes: “As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth.” This means that Jesus’ Church has grown by a factor of more than 18,000,000 times over the last two thousand years.

Quote source

Swanson, K. (2017). Taking the World for Jesus: The Remarkable Story of the Greatest Commission [ebook]. Master Books, Green Forest, location 159 of 5786

Ten Commandments in Alabama: time for restoration

Residents in Alabama will vote this November on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would expressly allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings and schools.

The Alabama House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved S.B. 181 on Thursday 66 to 19 after the measure likewise cleared the House last month with a strongly supportive vote of 23-3.

As previously reported, the bill, presented by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, allows the Ten Commandments to be displayed if desired but does not require it, and mandates that the display be done in what is deemed a constitutional manner.

Quote source

Clark, H. (2018). Alabama Residents to Vote on Ten Commandments Amendment After Proposal Approved by Lawmakers. Christian News Network. Available http://christiannews.net/2018/03/23/alabama-residents-to-vote-on-ten-commandments-amendment-after-proposal-approved-by-lawmakers/. Last accessed 26th Mar 2018