An Open Letter to the Christian Community

November 14, 2007

From Harry R. Jackson, Jr. and Townhall.com.

“This past year I have spent countless hours writing about problem of the government encroaching upon our religious liberties. I have been shocked that many Christians just don’t seem to grasp the fact that we are in very sophisticated power struggle. We don’t seem to want accept that there is an all-out assault against Christians being waged in the legislature, teamed with the mainstream media. Let me trace four major attempts to thwart faith in the U.S.

Attack No.1 – New Federal Hate Crimes Legislation

Last spring, a move to change hate crimes to include special protection for gays, lesbians, and a litany of other groups began to suddenly build steam. The Congress took HR 1592 from subcommittee to law vote in less than three weeks. Many Christians were not aware as the law was being rushed through Congress and passed in early May. Congressional offices refused to talk realistically about the legislations – calling major Christian ministries (Concerned Women for America, Traditional Values Coalition, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, High Impact Leadership Coalition and a host of other organizations) “alarmists” and “liars.”

Although similar laws are being enforced around the world with a disturbing anti-Christian bias, voters were told they had nothing to fear. Yet, the bias has already begun in America. In Philadelphia (in 2004) an incident occurred during a legally arranged, protest rally at a gay convention. A 75-year old grandmother of three was arrested, jailed, and charged under existing state hate crimes law for attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ironically, the rally did not result in any gays being hurt, wounded, or even intimidated by their actions. If anything, law enforcement officials were the ones who sent the citizens of their state a clear message – “Gays can protest, intimidate and harass anyone anywhere- but Christians had better not speak.”

Attack No. 2 – The Fairness Doctrine

Several attempts have recently been made to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” This doctrine is an antiquated, currently defunct regulation of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which was in effect for several decades until August 1987.

The policy required broadcast licensees to present controversial issues in an equal and balanced manner. On the surface this sounds good. In the best of all worlds it could mean that the little guys get a chance to let their voices be heard. Unfortunately, such doctrines are not easy to implement. In addition, these policies create a chilling affect upon the average broadcaster.

In the current broadcasting environment, the fairness doctrine could be used to mute the voice of Christian and conservative talk shows that are having a major impact on the nation. They would not be allowed to present their biblical or moral views on issues without censorship. On the other hand, liberal talk radio has not been able to get traction in terms of listeners, advertisers, or financial viability. This kind of legislation, if passed, would make it possible for anti–Christian policy advocates to piggy back upon the powerful Christian media network which is much more grassroots than the mainstream media.

Attack No. 3 – ENDA (The Employment Non Discrimination Act)

Despite the efforts of many Christian organizations, Congress passed HR 3685 last week. Again, in concept, ENDA sounds like a positive step to end discrimination in the workplace. However, this legislation has five problems which are highlighted below:

1. ENDA would overturn the historical basis of protected class status by adding “actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
2. ENDA expands civil rights protections on the vague basis of perception.
3. ENDA infringes on the religious liberties of Christian lay people.
4. ENDA puts the integrity of our ministries in jeopardy.
5. ENDA is a direct attack on our freedom of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment.

This bill can still be stopped in the Senate if the Church and conservatives hurry to respond.

Attack No. 4 – Senator Grassley’s Request for Financial Records of Six Media Ministries

Last week marked the absolute lowest ebb of political improprieties when Senator Grassley sent letters to six large media ministries desiring to address financial procedures within these ministries. Grassley claims that he is simply following up on concerns of his constituents. Grassley also stated that he may not stop with these ministries. This statement should be a red flag to all Christian major media ministries. Grassley’s inquires are not warranted for three important reasons:
1. This area should be IRS territory. Proper legal protocol has not been followed. A Senate committee should not be involved in this type of action.
2. There will be a presumption of guilt concerning these ministries that may follow them for years to come, which will affect their positive effect on our culture.
3. Responding to these inquiries will cost these ministries hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees during the next few months, funds which are needed to produce their impactful programming.

Most ministries broadcasting on radio and television are evangelical and conservative. This move could signal them to back away from public involvement in the political arena. Most Christians are not aware of the numerous IRS inquiries and investigations which have already been targeted against politically active ministries during the last few years. The Senate does not need to supercede what the IRS is already doing.

Having outlined these four attacks, we need to know what we can do to make a difference. Four things come to mind.

1. Join millions of other Christians this Thanksgiving season in praying five minutes a day for our nation.
2. Contact Senator Grassley’s office to voice our disapproval of his actions.
3. Contact the office of the President and ask him to keep his promise to veto both the Hate Crimes and the ENDA legislation.
4. In the 2008 election, let’s vote for candidates that hold our values in every office – from president, to congressmen, and down to school board members.

Finally, let’s keep the faith!”

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition as well as author of The Warriors Heart: Rules of Engagement for the Spiritual War Zone.


Talk of the Towns…

August 3, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Calling all of our friends in the greater Dallas, Texas area! Join me this Friday evening as I deliver the keynote address at the Advocacy and Pregnancy Center gala in Lewisville at the Lakeland Baptist Church, 397 South Stemmons Freeway. The banquet kicks off with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and my presentation at 7 p.m. A limited number of seats are still available! For more information, call (972) 436-2273 or (214) 538-0093. Here in Washington, D.C., Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, will be delivering his own address tomorrow at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) on a timely topic–moral coherence in an age of situational ethics. The program begins at Georgetown University’s Healy Building in Gaston Hall at 10 a.m. Founded 40 years ago, TFAS helps to instill in young people an appreciation for American government and free enterprise. “


Hindu opens U.S. Senate with prayer

July 18, 2007

From Gary Randall and the Faith and Freedom Network.

“Last week a Hindu chaplain from Reno, Nevada gave the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate.

Rajan Zed told the Las Vegas Sun that in his prayer he would likely include references to the ancient Hindu scriptures. And he delivered. (See CNN Video).

Thousands of calls, letters and email to the Senate leadership asking them to reconsider were ignored. Protestors were escorted from the chamber as the first Hindu prayer was offered – the first ever at the Senate since it was formed in 1789.

David Barton, the leading Christian historian in America, is questioning why the U.S. Government is seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god. Barton points out that since Hindus worship multiple gods; the prayer was completely outside the American paradigm, flying in the face of the American motto, “One nation under God.”

You have to wonder what Harry Reid and the Democratic Senate leadership were thinking. Barton says, given the fact that Hindus represent a very tiny constituency of the American public, you must ask what was the message and why is that message needed?

He said, “This is not a religion that has produced great things in the world. You look at India, you look at Nepal – there’s persecution going on in both of these countries that is gendered by the religious belief that is present there, and Hindu dominates in both of those countries.”

Barton also said that he knows of at least seven cases where Christians have lost their bid to express their own faith in a public prayer.

I find it interesting that under our First Amendment Zed enjoys freedom in this country that Christians do not enjoy in his home country. Why does Harry Reid and the Senate leadership find it necessary to offer a prayer to the myriad gods of Hinduism, when the God of the Bible has blessed America in such generous ways?

Prayer to the God of the Bible began on June 28, 1787 when the Constitutional Convention was at a standstill. Eighty-one-year-old Benjamin Franklin stood and said,

“I’ve lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs
I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot
fall to the ground without His notice, is it probably that an empire can rise
without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord
build the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I
also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political
building no better than the builders of Babel.”

No one can legitimately challenge the fact that the God America refers to in the pledge, our national motto and other places is the monotheistic God of the Jewish and Christian faith, yet the present leadership in our legislature once again is attempting to lead us away from this God and His principles that have provided blessing and prosperity for this country.

God help us.”


Senate could vote on the “hate crimes” bill as early as today

July 18, 2007

From the American Family Association.

Urgent: Your phone call to your senators needed today!

The Senate will be voting, as early as today, on S.1105, the so-called “hate crimes” bill. Under S.1105, acts of crime committed against members of certain protected classes – including those who identify themselves by their “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” – would warrant more intense prosecution and greater penalties than the very same acts committed against heterosexuals.

It would establish homosexuals as a special class of people and give them special rights.

It is no stretch to argue that S. 1105, if enacted, will embody a national policy that will likely lead to the criminalization and civil sanction of the biblical view of homosexuality.

Read these two stories – The tragic story of Jesse Dirkhising and Woman’s death at hands of ‘gay’ her fault, says lawyer – to see how homosexuals murdered heterosexuals but were not charged with a hate crime. Had the roles been reversed – the victims homosexual and the perpetrators heterosexual – they could have been charged. Under S.1105, homosexuals are a “protected class” while heterosexuals are not. 

It is vitally important for you to call your two senators today and tell them to vote against S.1105, the “hate crimes” bill.

Take Action

Click the link below to be shown the phone number for your Senator’s office and an appropriate suggested message (talking points) in opposition to S.1105, the “hate crimes” bill. This is urgent — please act today!

Please forward this to your friends and family, and especially your pastor.

 

Click Here for Your Senator’s Phone Number Now!


Oregon Protects Free Speech

July 18, 2007

From Jason Rantz and Family Security Matters.

“The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) reports this week that the great hippie state of Oregon has joined the fight to protect students from free speech assaults by clueless, hypersensitive college and high school administrations. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, signed House Bill 3279 into law Friday the 13th (perhaps an ominous message to administrators interested in using ideology to punish students for engaging in constitutionally protected speech).

The vote was 16-14 in the state Senate and 29-16 in the House of Representatives.

According to the SPLC, House Bill 3279 “will become the first state law that protects both high school and college student publications under a single statute and the first measure enacted since 1995 that protects the free press rights of high school students.” The summary of the Bill applies the protections to “school-sponsored media” and further gives students or their guardians the right to file a civil cause of action against the college or high school. “

To read more click here


Dignity, Equality, and Limited Government: The Christian Contribution to America

July 17, 2007

From Luke Sheahan and Family Security Matters.

“The worth of the person, the equality of all men before the judgment-seat of God, the limitations upon all earthly authority—such Christian convictions as these would shape the American Republic.” – Russell Kirk, The Roots of American Order

“If T.S. Eliot is right, and if culture comes from the cult—society grows out of its deepest held convictions—then Christianity is the most profound influence on the American Republic. This is not to say that the American Republic explicitly incorporated Christian doctrines; no one is required by constitutional diktat to recite the Apostles’ Creed. Rather it was understood at the Founding that Christian teachings were objectively true and American government was designed accordingly. Russell Kirk writes in The Roots of American Order:

American politics is not a matter of national party conventions or of presidential elections and all the other contrivances of American practical politics are means for implementing a body of beliefs about the human condition.  Those beliefs are not Christian only, but they are Christian in very large part. (27)

Christianity articulated the human condition, the Jewish idea of fallen man, and offered redemption, but it was to redeem the eternal soul of man, not his present political condition.  The Christian popularization of the Original Sin doctrine had a profound influence on the American Order.  St. Augustine’s writings on the state described an imperfect institution run by imperfect men.  It could cause much evil, but was itself a necessary evil, as it would restrain the more destructive passions of fallen man. Augustine dismissed notions of utopia articulating a realist position on political affairs.  Man’s duty was to search out the least of the evils and survive. (20) To say that political order would never be perfect was not the same as saying that some orders were superior to others. In politics man could hope to discover an order that restrained evil and encouraged what was good while always maintaining that life and civil government could never be perfect.”

To read more click here.


Who Persecutes Religion the Most?

July 15, 2007

From Mark D. Tooley and Front Page Magazine.

“The greatest persecutors of religion are Islamist and communist regimes, according to a just released report from the Hudson Institute’s Center on Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C.   Regimes that respect religious freedom also have more civil liberties, more prosperity, better health for their people, and less militarized societies.

Hudson is publishing “Religious Freedom in the World 2007 later this year but released preliminary results at a conference early this week.

All of the most religiously free countries are democracies, almost all of them culturally Christian in background.  The non Christian exceptions are Shintoist Japan, Buddhist Thailand and Mongolia, Jewish Israel, and Islamic Mali and Senegal.

The most religiously repressive include communist regimes such as Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Islamist regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and former Soviet republic such as Belarus, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the later two of which are predominantly Islamic.

Hungary, Ireland, Estonia and the United States are ranked as the most religiously free.

But there are some surprises.”

To read more click here.