FRC Blog

This is the Lord’s Doing” Appomattox April 9, 1865

by Robert Morrison

April 9, 2015

One hundred and fifty years ago today we saw the greatest victory in American history. Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on this date in the crossroads village of Appomattox Courthouse. Gen. Lee was dressed in his finest gray uniform. He wore a gold sash and a jeweled ceremonial sword.

Ulysses S. Grant was the commanding general of all Union armies. He arrived late at the home of Wilmer McLean to receive the surrender of Lee’s army. Although there were yet Confederate forces in the field (notably Gen. Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina and Gen. Kirby Smith’s in Texas), everyone knew that Lee’s surrender marked the effective end of four bloody years of America’s terrible Civil War. We had lost 630,000 young men in battle.

In Washington, the commissioner of public buildings, Benjamin Brown French, strung a huge banner across the face of the Capitol. The Capitol’s dome had just recently been completed. President Lincoln had pressed to finish the work. It would symbolize the enduring nature of our sacred Union, he thought.

Lighted at night, the banner read:

This is the Lord’s Doing; It is Marvelous in our Eyes

Most Americans at the time would have recognized the Bible reference. It is from 118th Psalm, verse 23. It is hard to imagine that a similar Scripture passage could be used on a public building today. The atheizers would cry out that it was a violation of the First Amendment. They would demand equal time for their own messages of doubt and disbelief. As my colleague, FRC’s distinguished Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell, has written, “The fanatical authoritarianism of the political left is plunging this country headlong into a very dark place from which many nations never return.”

That dark place was far away from the “stillness at Appomattox.” The fierce struggles that had gone on for days came to a sudden halt. Young soldiers had been killed as recently as that Sunday morning. But as the two West Pointers—Lee and Grant—met in the front parlor of the McLean House, all was silent and subdued.

Gen. Grant had been suffering a blinding headache for more than a day prior to meeting Lee, but he would later recall that as soon as Lee’s written message came to him on the road, his headache departed. An expert horseman, Grant rode swiftly to meet the Southern commanding general. Grant could have been shot at almost any point along the way by a Southern sharpshooter, or even killed by “friendly fire” in the confusion of the opposing lines in these last hours of combat.

For their historic encounter, Grant wore a private’s uniform jacket with his general’s stars pinned on the shoulder. His uniform was still spattered with spring mud. Lee, taller, and immaculately attired, had told his lieutenants he might become Grant’s prisoner by the end of the day and should appear at his best.

He was not to be Grant’s prisoner. Nor were any of the remaining thousands of the starving rebel host made prisoners. When he was informed that many of these Confederate scarecrows had not eaten in days, Grant ordered generous provisions for them all. Many of those rations were even supplied by Grant’s black soldiers.

With Lee, Grant agreed to let the rebel officers keep their horses and to allow any enlisted man who claimed a horse or mule to take his animal home for spring planting. “This will have a most beneficial effect upon my men,” said Lee.

It would help also to reconcile the bleeding nation. Grant was following President Lincoln’s orders to the letter. Lincoln had never used the word “enemy” or “foe” in any public address. At his Second Inaugural, just a month prior, he had spoken of the need to “bind up the nation’s wounds.”  In an important shipboard conference with Generals Grant and Sherman and Admiral Porter, the President had urged his commanders to “let `em up easy.” It was a wrestler’s term for being gracious to a defeated opponent.

When Gen. Grant returned from his meeting with Gen. Lee, his troops began shouts of acclamation and his powerful artillery commenced a One-Hundred Gun salute to the Union victory. Grant immediately ordered a cease fire. “The rebels are our countrymen once again,” he said, and he would permit no word or gesture to humiliate them.

Instead, Grant designated his heroic subordinate, Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of Maine, to oversee the formal surrender of Confederate flags and weapons. Chamberlain was a good choice. He had been the one to stand with his Twentieth Maine volunteers at Little Round Top at Gettysburg nearly two years earlier. His regiment of fishermen and lumberjacks had held at a critical moment in that crucial thee-day battle.

As these ragged Southern soldiers laid down their weapons and their rebel flags, Chamberlain saluted his opposite number, Gen. John Bell Gordon. Gordon, in the spirit of the day, tapped his horse’s flanks with his spurs and executed a most graceful bow in return. Both men would carry the wounds of war to their graves.

Americans are now in a great controversy over life, marriage, religious freedom, and civil rights. We even see a clash over the teaching of America’s past. Spurred by the advocate of a so-called Common Core, some of our brightest history students will be taught of our history with hardly a mention of Appomattox.

So much of our nation’s exceptional character can be seen in that “Stillness at Appomattox.” It represented the best of America. Gen. Grant would later write that he had to honor the valor and devotion of his opponents—even though he thought their “Lost Cause” was “one of the worst that men ever fought for.”

In this, Grant reflected the deep convictions of his Commander-in-Chief.  Abraham Lincoln’s long battle against slavery was finally culminating in that dreadful institution’s alleviation from American soil. 

Yet despite, their mutual antipathy for the central cause of the horrors of four years of war, both Lincoln and Grant wanted to welcome, not indemnify, their erring brothers back into the union.  o other country in the Nineteenth Century dealt with a massive rebellion with such leniency, such compassion, “with malice toward none.” In neighboring Canada, the British hanged rebels who demanded no more than a government by consent of the governed. In Mexico, the French-backed “Emperor” Maximilian would be put up against a wall and shot by nationalist forces. In France, just a few years after Appomattox, thousands of Paris “Communards” were shot by the forces of the born-in-blood Third Republic.

Americans need the Appomattox story today. President Reagan said it in his Farewell Message: “If we forget what we have done, we will forget who we are.” Remembering Appomattox—the Lord’s doing—is an important way of remembering who we are.

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The Dead End of Sexual Sin

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 9, 2015

Rosaria Butterfield is one of the bravest people I know. Her profound transformation in Christ after a life of lesbianism has subjected her to public attacks and harsh comments, to which she responds with kindness, humility, and truth. Rosaria is also “a former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University. After her conversion to Christianity in 1999, she developed a ministry to college students. She has taught and ministered at Geneva College, is a full-time mother and pastor’s wife, and is author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (2012) and Openness, Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ (2015).”

Rosaria has written a powerful piece on transformation in Christ in her new “Desiring God” article, “The Dead End of Sexual Sin.” It is copied below in its entirety as it is one of the most potent and life-giving pieces I’ve read in a long time. Read, be challenged, and be blessed:


The Dead End of Sexual Sin

Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same-sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all.

I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late twenties, I met my first lesbian-lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part.

I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship, and the contours of their/our body. I favored the nesting, the setting up of house and home, and the building of lesbian community.

As an unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and poststructuralism, and an opponent of all totalizing meta-narratives (like Christianity, I would have added back in the day), I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create.

Conversion and Confusion

It was only after I met my risen Lord that I ever felt shame in my sin, with my sexual attractions, and with my sexual history.

Conversion brought with it a train wreck of contradictory feelings, ranging from liberty to shame. Conversion also left me confused. While it was clear that God forbade sex outside of biblical marriage, it was not clear to me what I should do with the complex matrix of desires and attractions, sensibilities and senses of self that churned within and still defined me.

What is the sin of sexual transgression? The sex? The identity? How deep was repentance to go?

Meeting John Owen

In these newfound struggles, a friend recommended that I read an old, seventeenth-century theologian named John Owen, in a trio of his books (now brought together under the title Overcoming Sin and Temptation).

At first, I was offended to realize that what I called “who I am,” John Owen called “indwelling sin.” But I hung in there with him. Owen taught me that sin in the life of a believer manifests itself in three ways: distortion by original sin, distraction of actual day-to-day sin, and discouragement by the daily residence of indwelling sin.

Eventually, the concept of indwelling sin provided a window to see how God intended to replace my shame with hope. Indeed, John Owen’s understanding of indwelling sin is the missing link in our current cultural confusion about what sexual sin is — and what to do about it.

As believers, we lament with the apostle Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:19–20). But after we lament, what should we do? How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?

Owen explained with four responses.

1. Starve It

Indwelling sin is a parasite, and it eats what you do. God’s word is poison to sin when embraced by a heart made new by the Holy Spirit. You starve indwelling sin by feeding yourself deeply on his word. Sin cannot abide in his word. So, fill your hearts and minds with Scripture.

One way that I do that is singing the Psalms. Psalm-singing, for me, is a powerful devotional practice as it helps me to melt my will into God’s and memorize his word in the process. We starve our indwelling sin by reading Scripture comprehensively, in big chunks, and by whole books at a time. This allows us to see God’s providence at work in big-picture ways.

2. Call Sin What It Is

Now that it is in the house, don’t buy it a collar and a leash and give it a sweet name. Don’t “admit” sin as a harmless (but un-housebroken) pet. Instead, confess it as an evil offense and put it out! Even if you love it! You can’t domesticate sin by welcoming it into your home.

Don’t make a false peace. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get sentimental about sin. Don’t play the victim. Don’t live by excuse-righteousness. If you bring the baby tiger into your house and name it Fluffy, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and Fluffy is eating you alive. That is how sin works, and Fluffy knows her job. Sometimes sin lurks and festers for decades, deceiving the sinner that he really has it all under control, until it unleashes itself on everything you built, cherished, and loved.

Be wise about your choice sins and don’t coddle them. And remember that sin is not ever “who you are” if you are in Christ. In Christ, you are a son or daughter of the King; you are royalty. You do battle with sin because it distorts your real identity; you do not define yourself by these sins that are original with your consciousness and daily present in your life.

3. Extinguish Indwelling Sin by Killing It

Sin is not only an enemy, says Owen. Sin is at enmity with God. Enemies can be reconciled, but there is no hope for reconciliation for anything at enmity with God. Anything at enmity with God must be put to death. Our battles with sin draw us closer in union with Christ. Repentance is a new doorway into God’s presence and joy.

Indeed, our identity comes from being crucified and resurrected with Christ:

We have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:4–6)

Satan will use our indwelling sin as blackmail, declaring that we cannot be in Christ and sin in heart or body like this. In those moments, we remind him that he is right about one thing only: our sin is indeed sin. It is indeed transgression against God and nothing else.

But Satan is dead wrong about the most important matter. In repentance, we stand in the risen Christ. And the sin that we have committed (and will commit) is covered by his righteousness. But fight we must. To leave sin alone, says Owen, is to let sin grow — “not to conquer it is to be conquered by it.”

4. Daily Cultivate Your New Life in Christ

God does not leave us alone to fight the battle in shame and isolation. Instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the soul of each believer is “vivified.” “To vivicate” means to animate, or to give life to. Vivification complements mortification (to put to death), and by so doing, it allows us to see the wide angle of sanctification, which includes two aspects:

1) Deliverance from the desire of those choice sins, experienced when the grace of obedience gives us the “expulsive power of a new affection” (to quote Thomas Chalmers).

2) Humility over the fact that we daily need God’s constant flow of grace from heaven, and that no matter how sin tries to delude us, hiding our sin is never the answer. Indeed, the desire to be strong enough in ourselves, so that we can live independently of God, is the first sin, the essence of sin, and the mother of all sin.

Owen’s missing link is for believers only. He says, “Unless a man be regenerate (born again), unless he be a believer, all attempts that he can make for mortification [of sin] … are to no purpose. In vain he shall use many remedies, [but] he shall not be healed.”

What then should an unbeliever do? Cry out to God for the Holy Spirit to give him a new heart and convert his soul: “mortification [of sin] is not the present business of unregenerate men. God calls them not to it as yet; conversion is their work — the conversion of the whole soul — not the mortification of this or that particular lust.”

Freed for Joy

In the writings of John Owen, I was shown how and why the promises of sexual fulfillment on my own terms were the antithesis of what I had once fervently believed. Instead of liberty, my sexual sin was enslavement. This seventeenth-century Puritan revealed to me how my lesbian desires and sensibilities were dead-end joy-killers.

Today, I now stand in a long line of godly women — the Mary Magdalene line. The gospel came with grace, but demanded irreconcilable war. Somewhere on this bloody battlefield, God gave me an uncanny desire to become a godly woman, covered by God, hedged in by his word and his will. This desire bled into another one: to become, if the Lord willed, the godly wife of a godly husband.

And then I noticed it.

Union with the risen Christ meant that everything else was nailed to the cross. I couldn’t get my former life back if I wanted it. At first, this was terrifying, but when I peered deep into the abyss of my terror, I found peace.

With peace, I found that the gospel is always ahead of you. Home is forward. Today, by God’s amazing grace alone, I am a chosen part of God’s family, where God cares about the details of my day, the math lessons and the spilled macaroni and cheese, and most of all, for the people, the image-bearers of his precious grace, the man who calls me beloved, and the children who call me mother.

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Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News April 9, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 9, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Recently, the news has been tough for Christians here at home and abroad. Some of what’s been taking place is simply horrific: Islamist terrorists mass-murdering Christians in Kenya, for example. Other stories involve the erosion of religious liberty in America, as in the failure in Indiana to protect the rights of business persons who don’t wish to participate in same-sex weddings.

Religious liberty, same-sex “marriage” and “LGBT rights,” and the sanctity of life are requiring more and more of our attention. But there’s also good news about these very matters; here’s a sampling:

  • After activists threatened the family that runs a pizza shop declining to cater same-sex weddings, an Indiana lesbian contributed to a fund for the family. “As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild,” wrote Courtney Hoffman. In total, Memories Pizza received more than $840,000 in on-line donations (most of which it will donate to charities) and, reports say, is planning to re-open.
  • In a recent interview on the outstanding Podcast, “Michael Easley: In Context,” former practicing homosexual Matt Moore tells of his journey from what he calls “a hopeless way of life” and says he now “greatly desires, through his writing, to help the gay community see the world and themselves from a biblical perspective and to know the hope that is available to them in Christ.” Matt now attends a seminary and hopes to serve as a pastor. He also has begun a serious relationship with a young Christian woman.
  • The Oklahoma Senate has approved a 72-hour waiting period before a woman seeking an abortion can receive one. Wisconsin’s attorney general is working to reverse a court ruling against laws designed to protect women’s health and safety in abortion clinics. And long-time pro-life champion Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has enacted legislation to limit late-term abortions in his state.

We don’t know the final chapter of any of these stories. Or of our country’s future. Or of our own lives. But there’s One Who does. He’s worth serving, His truth is worth upholding, and His grace is worth sharing. Knowing these things are sure, let’s not grow weary in advancing and defending faith, family, and freedom.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. In The Christian Post, FRC President Tony Perkins and I make our case against a New York Times op-ed implying support for anti-Christian fascism. And don’t miss our April 22 panel discussion, “The Supreme Court and Marriage: What Happens after the Decision?” Join us in person or watch (at no registration fee) online live.

P.S.S. The Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Travis Weber, has just published two new analyses concerning same-sex marriage and the courts: “State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs): What are they and why are they needed?” and “How are clergy protected from being forced to perform same-sex marriages?” Download and distribute at no charge.


Education

 

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Assisted Suicide

Bioethics

 

Marriage & Family

Economy and the family

Homosexuality and Gender Issues

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

Religious Liberty and Persecution

Domestic

International

Religion in Public Life

 

Other Stories of Note

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Standing with my friend, Curt Smith

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 7, 2015

In early 1991, Curt Smith hired me to serve in the press office of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).  He was my boss for more than three years, working in harness for one of the finest men to serve in the Senate in recent memory.

Curt is a gracious, soft-spoken man who has a deep love for people.  He was patient with me as I grew in my role and has been a friend for, now, nearly a quarter of a century.

He is also a committed follower of Jesus Christ  who, while working for the prestigious law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, also served as head of the Indiana Family Institute.  Now, due to his support for Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s original religious liberty bill, Curt has lost his job.  As Indianapolis’s WISH-TV tells it:

Until last week Smith was the director of public policy at the Taft Law firm. One of its biggest clients is Cummins, the Columbus based engine manufacturer that was a leading opponent of the religious freedom law. Something had to give … (By) last week Smith was in the middle of a professional transition. As recently as Monday morning his Linkedin page showed him working at Taft Law. But an email sent to his law firm address came back with a message saying that he left Taft to join the Family Institute as President, even though his bio at the Family Institute website points out that he has actually held that position for 11 years. A spokesman for the law firm said that the purpose of the Family Institute didn’t match the purpose of the law firm but that it was Smith’s decision to leave … The Taft law firm, according the spokesman, has a principle of inclusiveness, and the when the Religious Freedom law was perceived to allow discrimination against gays and lesbians, that apparently posed an additional problem.

A “principle of inclusiveness?”  Really?  So inclusive that they part ways with the former state director of a sitting U.S. Senator who simply endorsed a bill signed by the democratically elected governor of one of the nation’s largest states?  A bill that mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), signed into law by Bill Clinton and sponsored by then-Sen. Ted Kennedy?

It is a sad day for Indiana and for American law when a man as principled and talented as Curt Smith is de facto forced to leave his role with his employer because he believes that coercion and repression are not Hoosier values.  The moral cowardice of the leadership of Taft and its clients (including Cummins, about whose generous federal contracts I wrote myriad news releases when working for Sen. Coats) is repulsive. 

Curt Smith has the assurance of a loving God and the respect of many friends.  What do Taft, Cummins, and their compeers have?  Gaining the world at the cost of one’s soul is, according to Jesus, a bad bargain.  They might consider that a bit.

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No, Redefining Marriage Will Not Help the Economy

by Peter Sprigg

April 2, 2015

In coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will be flooded with “amicus curiae” (“friend-of-the-court”) briefs detailing the specialized arguments of a variety of interests on whether they should redefine marriage to include same-sex couples in all fifty states.

One of the strangest arguments was submitted on March 5 by “379 employers and organizations representing employers.” It boiled down to this: the Supreme Court should force genderless marriage on every state — in order to save us same paperwork.

You see, many corporations now give benefits, such as health insurance, to the same-sex “domestic partners” of their homosexual employees. If those employees are not legally married, however, the benefits are treated differently for tax purposes, which complicates the accounting.

For this, we are supposed to change the definition of our most fundamental social institution.

The employers’ brief includes other arguments as well — although they are even more nebulous. For example, they claim that “discrimination impairs an employer’s ability to compete for the best workforce.” If this is true, however, you would think companies with internal nondiscrimination policies and domestic partner benefits would want to retain that competitive advantage — rather than demanding that the courts forcibly level the playing field.

The brief claims that homosexual employees will not want to relocate to states where they cannot legally “marry” a same-sex partner. If this were such an important factor in being able to obtain “the best workforce,” however, you would think it would show up in macroeconomic data.

For example, growth in jobs, personal income, and population are some key measures of a state’s economic health. We can also gauge a state’s commitment to the natural marriage of one man and one woman or to the genderless redefinition of marriage by the results of the democratic process there. There are thirty states in which the people voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their state constitutions. There are ten states which did not adopt such a limitation, but which instead changed the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples via the democratic process (either a legislative vote, popular referendum, or both), not through a  court order.

If the theory that redefining marriage aids economic competitiveness is correct, then we would expect the ten states that voluntarily redefined marriage to be disproportionately represented in the fastest growing states, while the thirty that acted to defend natural marriage should suffer.

The data show the exact opposite. The top ten states in personal income growth between the second and third quarters of 2014, as reported by the Department of Commerce in December, did include three of the states that freely chose to redefine marriage — New York (at #6), Washington (7), and Hawaii (with an amendment that prevented the courts, but not the legislature, from redefining marriage) at number 9. However, four of the top five states in personal income growth were marriage amendment states — Texas (1), Utah (3), Arizona (4), and Nevada (5).

Among the top ten states in population growth from the 2010 census to July 1, 2014, two (Washington at #6, and Hawaii at #9) were marriage-redefining states. However, all eight others, including all of the top five (North Dakota, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona) were marriage amendment states.

Finally, among the top ten states in job growth, according to June 2014 projections by Kiplinger, all ten were marriage amendment states (North Dakota, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Oregon, Georgia, and South Dakota). If anything, these data suggest that redefining marriage may hinder economic growth, not help it.

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VIOLENT OR NON-VIOLENT, AT HOME OR ABROAD, IT’S STILL PERSECUTION

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 2, 2015

As I write, militants from the Islamist Al-Shabab terrorist organization are holding Christian students hostage at a university in Kenya.  They are reported to have killed about 20 people so far.  Here’s a link to this breaking story: Al Shabab militants target Christians in Kenya university attack.

The violent persecution of Christians around the world is one of the crises of our time.  Doubt it?  Consider the following headlines from the past 10 days or so:

Suicide bombers kill 15 people outside Pakistani churches, mob attacks suspects in aftermathU.S. News and World Report

New Evidence of War Crimes, Genocide against Iraqi Christians, Yazidis – Christianity Today

China jails Christian pastor for protesting cross removal – Fox News

Strangers In Their Own Land’: Dilemma Of The Christian Populace In India – CounterCurrents

Christians in the Middle East May Disappear Within Two Years: Lebanese Leader – Assyrian International News Agency

Red Cross: ISIS Cutting Off Water Supply to Christians, Kurds as War Tactic – Breitbart

Here at home?  Consider this story, published this morning, about a restaurant in Indiana:

A small-town pizza shop in Indiana has closed its doors after the owners’ support of the state’s “religious freedom” law and pronouncement they would not cater a gay wedding brought fierce backlash. Kevin O’Connor, 61, who owns Memories Pizza with his two children in Walkerton, Ind., has closed the shop’s doors in hopes the furor will die down, but the family fears it will never reopen … O’Connor’s daughter, Crystal, says the family is considering leaving the state. On Tuesday, WBND Channel 57 interviewed members of the O’Connor family, who said they agreed with Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The family said the pizzeria is a “Christian establishment.” “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor said. “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.” The family said it would serve gays or a non-Christian couple in the restaurant.

Brutal physical attack, imprisonment, and cutting-off water are persecution of a different type than that experienced by the Hoosiers described above.  But the O’Connors are being non-violently persecuted for their commitment to living-out their faith.

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Microaggressions,” Racism, and Plain Stupidity

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 1, 2015

Microaggressions are defined by an article carried by the American Psychological Association as “racism is so subtle that neither victim nor perpetrator may entirely understand what is going on — which may be especially toxic for people of color.”

I’m not sure they’re so subtle. Consider what follows.

A number of Fordham University students have developed a project in which they display signs with offensive things said to them, such as:

** A biracial woman who has been asked, “What are you?” (Her response: “Human”)

** An African-American man who has been told, “You don’t act like a normal black person, ya know?”

** A black student: “You’re really pretty for a dark-skinned girl.”

Full disclosure: My children are multi-racial, so I’m especially alert to comments like this. They smack of racism or at least insensitivity of a nature so pronounced that it reeks like a rotting egg.

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Some Evangelicals I Know

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 30, 2015

Today, among urban Americans and Europeans, ‘evangelical Christian’ is sometimes a synonym for ‘rube.’ In liberal circles, evangelicals constitute one of the few groups that it’s safe to mock openly. Yet the liberal caricature of evangelicals is incomplete and unfair.” So writes Nicholas Kristof in the March 29th New York Times as he begins a narration of the ministry of Dr. Stephen Foster, a medical missionary who has brought hope and healing to thousands on behalf of the love of Christ.

Dr. Foster is but one of countless Evangelical Protestants whose devotion to their Lord has animated a life of anonymous service, often at great sacrifice. There is no way to capture the many believers whose dedication to the good news of Jesus Christ has driven them to give up virtually all the world has to offer in exchange for an as-yet unknown city (Hebrews 11:10-16). In this short piece, I thought I’d note just three of those I know personally.

K.K. Deveraj, Bombay Teen Challenge, Mumbai, India

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Taxpayers Shouldn’t Pay for Pornography

by Nathan Oppman

March 26, 2015

H.R. 5628, the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act, would prohibit government employees from accessing pornography on the job.  This Act passed out of committee this week and might seem unnecessary. 

Wouldn’t that kind of activity get you fired?  Not in the world of the Federal Government.  An EPA employee who watched as much as six hours a day of explicit content was still on the government payroll a year after being caught.  It is sad that our government has become so bloated that it can’t hold employees responsible for dereliction of their duties. 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) sponsored the bill to fix this problem.  Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the dime for something so harmful to society.  Let’s hope Rep. Meadows’ bill reaches the President’s desk.  For more information on the effects of pornography, please see the work done by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  

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