Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Religion

Harvard Unanimously Names Atheist as Chief Chaplain

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 27, 2021: 

Harvard University has completed the circle. Founded as a religious educational institution in 1636 (and named for Pastor John Harvard), the school trained its students to become pastors with a Puritan perspective. The school’s original motto was, “Truth for Christ and the Church.”

On Thursday, the school discarded any remaining links to that past by unanimously naming Greg Epstein as chief chaplain, who will oversee 30 other chaplains of various disciplines and traditions.

Epstein received his ordination as a Humanist Rabbi from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2005. He also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

The author of Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, Epstein describes his role: “I combine Jewish culture with the belief that this [observable] world is all we have.” Because so many incoming students hold the same view — about 40 percent of them consider themselves as either agnostic (not sure about God) or atheist (sure that He doesn’t exist) — Epstein’s role is to “minister” and “converse” with them about how to become a good person without recognizing the role of the Creator:

There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support around what it means to be a good human and live an ethical life.

He told the New York Times that “we don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.”

That means that in his role as counselor without God, he (according to the Times) “frequently meets individually with students who are struggling with issues both personal and theological, counseling them on managing anxiety about summer jobs, family feuds, the pressures of social media and the turbulence endemic to college life.” He does this through his “positive belief in tolerance, community, morality, and good without having to rely on the guidance of a higher being, according to the flyleaf of his book ‘Good Without God.’”

How is that working out? Ask U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was removed from a panel by the “tolerant” university for her views on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Or consider the petition Harvard students have presented to ban any Trump administration alumni from speaking or teaching at the school.

In this sinful and declining world, Epstein is looking in all the wrong places for answers to questions such as these. The Apostle Paul explained in his letter to the Romans (Chapter 3):

For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

 

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.

He added that every individual is a sinner, without exception:

Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

 

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

 

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

 

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

 

Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

 

Their feet are swift to shed blood:

 

Destruction and misery are in their ways:

 

And the way of peace have they not known:

 

There is no fear of God before their eyes….

 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

That understanding undergirded the beliefs of our nation’s Founders as they strove to build a limited government that would allow maximum freedom for citizens whom they considered to be sovereign, instead of government. “Our Constitution,” wrote President John Adams, “was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any another.”

In his Farewell Address, President George Washington was clear:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports….

 

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

 

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure [a “humanist rabbi”?], reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It may fairly be stated, then, that any deliberate intentional removal of God as creator of the universe from the instruction of young minds is an attack on the very foundations of the American Republic. King David asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

David provided the answer: God will not long be mocked by those posing as chaplains without acknowledging Him:

The LORD is in His holy temple.

The LORD is on His heavenly throne.

 

His eyes are watching closely;

 

they examine the sons of men.

 

The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked;

 

His soul hates the lover of violence.

 

On the wicked He will rain down fiery coals and sulfur;

 

a scorching wind will be their portion.

 

For the LORD is righteous; He loves justice.

 

The upright will see His face.

“Chaplain” Epstein, when he comes face to face with his Creator, is going to have some serious explaining to do.

Appeals Court: Colorado Can Both Compel and Prohibit Speech

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 28, 2021:  

A three-member panel of Colorado’s 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Monday that Lorie Smith, a Denver website developer, cannot refuse to create websites celebrating same-sex marriages. The panel also ruled that she cannot express her religious beliefs in explaining why she won’t.

Smith is being assisted by the public-interest law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and ADF’s Senior Counsel John Bursch, summed up the case:

The government should never force creative professionals to promote a message or cause with which they disagree. That is quintessential free speech and artistic freedom.

 

Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips has been harassed for years; Washington floral artist Barronelle Stutzman stands to lose nearly everything she owns; and now Lorie Smith is being told that she must speak views she opposes and can’t post about her beliefs on her own business website.

 

How many more creative professionals will have to suffer before they receive recognition of their constitutionally protected freedoms — the rights they have always had in this country? Lorie is happy to design websites for all people; she simply objects to being forced to pour her heart, imagination, and talents into messages that violate her conscience.

The dispute dates back to 2016, when Smith first filed suit claiming that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) would, if enforced, violate her First Amendment-protected right to free speech and free exercise of religion. This is the same law that Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission used to harass Phillips — a case that went to the Supreme Court, which narrowly ruled in Phillips’ favor.

The court ruled on Monday that the commission could force Smith to create messages celebrating same-sex weddings, but issued a “gag” order preventing her from publishing her dissenting reasons on her business website, 303Creative.com. This is what she wanted to publish:

These same religious convictions that motivate me also prevent me from creating websites promoting and celebrating ideas or messages that violate my beliefs.

 

So I will not be able to create websites for same-sex marriages or any other marriage that is not between one man and one woman. Doing that would compromise my Christian witness and tell a story about marriage that contradicts God’s true story of marriage — the very story He is calling me to promote.

The two-judge majority on the panel put Colorado’s law ahead of the U.S. Constitution:

We agree with [Smith] that “the protection of minority viewpoints is not only essential to protecting free speech and self-governance but also good in and of itself.”

 

Yet, we must also consider the grave harms caused when public accommodations [such as Smith’s] discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Combatting such discrimination is … “essential” to our democratic ideals.

 

And we agree with [Smith] that a diversity of faiths and religious exercise … “enriches” our society. Yet, a faith that enriches society in one way might also damage society in another, particularly when that faith would exclude others from unique goods or services.

 

In short, [Smith’s] Free Speech and Free Exercise rights are, of course, compelling. But so too is Colorado’s interest in protecting its citizens from the harms of discrimination.

Chief Justice Timothy Tymkovich dissented, calling this ruling “remarkable” and “novel”:

The majority takes the remarkable — and novel — stance that the government may force Ms. Smith to produce messages that violate her conscience.… [It] concludes … that Colorado has a compelling interest in forcing Ms. Smith to speak a government-approved message against her religious beliefs.

 

No case has ever gone so far.

The majority’s ruling, wrote Tymkovich, ushers in “a brave new world”:

The Constitution is a shield against CADA’s discriminatory treatment of Ms. Smith’s sincerely held religious beliefs … [but] the majority ushers forth a brave new world when it acknowledges both speech and silence — yet finds this intrusion constitutionally permissible.

 

CADA [according to the panel’s ruling] forces Ms. Smith to violate her faith on pain of sanction both by prohibiting religious-based business practices and by penalizing her if she does speak out on these matters in ways Colorado finds “unwelcome” or “undesirable.”

ADF intends on filing an appeal to the Supreme Court. Wrote ADF’s Maureen Collins: “No one should be banished from the marketplace simply for living and working consistently with their religious beliefs. Not a cake artist. Not a floral artist. Not a web designer. That’s why ADF will appeal this decision to the U. S. Supreme Court on Lorie’s behalf.”

Newsom Must Pay $1.35 Million to Harvest Rock Church

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 27, 2021:  

In his final judgment in the case Harvest Rock Church v. Gavin Newsom, U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal ordered Newsom to pay the church’s legal fees and related expenses, totaling $1.35 million.

Of course, since the complaint charged Newsom with unconstitutional restrictions against California churches in his “official capacity” as governor, he won’t pay a dime. The citizens of California will.

In November, California voters will likely remember this, along with a very long list of other grievances, when they vote to oust Newsom.

More importantly, however, is what else the ruling accomplished. As Bernal wrote:

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Small Christian College Sues Biden Administration Over Campus-housing Rules

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 26, 2021:  

The College of the Ozarks, a small Christian college, has sued the Biden administration over its demand that, following an outrageous ruling by the Supreme Court, colleges must allow male and female students in the same bathrooms, dorm rooms, and dormitories.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is assisting the college in its fight to retain its right to follow its religious tenets. The suit declares that the Biden administration, through its administrative agency Housing and Urban Development (HUD), now suddenly “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and assign them as females’ roommates.”

The president of the college, Dr. Jerry Davis, said the move is just part of the escalating attack on religious freedom in the United States: “Religious freedom is under attack in America, and we won’t stand on the sidelines and watch.”

He added,

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Federal Court: College Officials Deliberately Discriminated Against Campus Christian Group

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 6, 2021:  

The ruling issued on Monday vindicating charges that Wayne State University’s board members and administrators intentionally discriminated against InterVarsity Fellowship’s campus chapter is a small victory in the long and accelerating war against Christians and their faith.

Judge Robert H. Cleland, a senior federal judge appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1990 by then-President George H. W. Bush, wrote

that [Wayne State University board members and administrators] violated [InterVarsity Fellowship’s local chapter]’s rights to internal management, free speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and free exercise….

 

Defendants also violated the Establishment Clause [First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, to wit: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

He also dismissed any claims that the board members or administrators had immunity from sanctions over the case, allowing those sanctions to apply to them personally as well as professionally.

InterVarsity Fellowship/USA (IVF) has more than 600 chapters on college campuses in the United States and its chapter at Detroit’s Wayne State University (WSU) has been present there for 75 years.

But when board member Ricardo Villarosa decided to stretch the school’s anti-discrimination policy in order to prevent the group from having its usual access to campus facilities and events, the chapter enlisted the assistance of the Becket Fund and filed a discrimination lawsuit.

Wayne State University’s efforts to be all things to all people all the time are incorporated in its non-discrimination policy:

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Trump, Guns, and Racism Motivated Atlanta Shooter, Say Leftists

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 18, 2021:

It took leftist commentators less than 24 hours to conclude that gun culture, racism, and former president Donald Trump were to blame for the horrific attacks that took place in and near Atlanta on Tuesday evening.

First was former president Barack Obama, not wanting to let the moment go to waste. He tweeted:

Even as we’ve battled the pandemic, we’ve continued to neglect the longer-lasting epidemic of gun violence in America.

If that wasn’t clear enough he added another tweet:

Yesterday’s shootings are another tragic reminder that we have far more work to do to put in place commonsense gun safety laws and root out the pervasive pattern of hatred and violence.

Xenophobia was to blame, according to the former Democrat president: “The identity of the victims underscores an alarming rise in anti-Asia violence that must end.”

It didn’t matter that the alleged shooter had just undergone a background check to purchase the handgun he used in the murders. It didn’t matter that the shooter said race had nothing to do with his attacks.

It certainly didn’t matter to Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). He blamed Trump, tweeting:

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Top-rated News Anchor Quits Over Media Bias

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 4, 2021:  

After 22 years of anchoring Phoenix’s FOX 10 News programs at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., Kari Lake is walking away. She and her co-host John Hook leapt to the top of the charts almost immediately and stayed there, a remarkable achievement.

She took a family leave of absence the first of the year but was forced to explain her absence publicly as rumors and innuendoes escalated about her absence. She did so on Rumble:

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Catholic Bishop: Biden “Should Stop Defining Himself as a Devout Catholic”

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 18, 2021:  

In an interview last week at the online Catholic World Report, Archbishop Joseph R. Naumann was asked, “Mr. Biden professes to be a devout Catholic yet is 100% pro-choice on abortion. How do you think America’s bishops ought to respond to this situation?”

Naumann, chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, declared:

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In Defiance of Court Ruling, California Churches Declaring Themselves Strip Clubs

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 4, 2020:  

When senior pastor Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Ventura County, California, learned of former governor Mike Huckabee’s half-serious suggestion that churches declare themselves to be strip clubs in order to circumvent a ruling by a court, he took it to heart. That ruling by the San Diego Superior Court instructed the county to allow strip clubs to reopen while leaving in place state restrictions on indoor church services.

A YouTube video of McCoy’s defiance, during which he opened services with raucous music and his removal of his coat and tie, overnight gained more than 70,000 views with some other pastors following his lead.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee decried the double standard:

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SCOTUS Hears Arguments Over Discrimination Against Catholic Social Services

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 5, 2020: 

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments in an important religious discrimination case on Wednesday that has been festering since 2018: Sharonell Fulton et. al. v. City of Philadelphia.

Back in 2018, the liberal Philadelphia Inquirer discovered that two religiously based foster-care agencies — Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services (CSS) — wouldn’t place foster children in LGBT homes.

Initially, Bethany said,

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“MAGA Nuns” Who Attended Trump Rally Explain Why

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 30, 2020:

Three nuns from the Children of Mary in Cincinnati who sat behind President Trump at his rally in Circleville, Ohio, on Saturday became instant celebrities, and targets. Known now as the “MAGA Nuns” — each wore a mask with Trump’s favorite expression on them — they were immediately asked why they were there expressing their support for the president’s reelection.

They responded in a statement published by LifeSite News:

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California Pastor Sues County After Being Fined $220K for Holding Services

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 12, 2020: 

When Pastor Mike McClure of San Jose’s Calvary Chapel agreed to open his church on Pentecost Sunday (May 31), he joined with more than 3,000 other churches defying California Governor Gavin Newsom’s shutdown orders. He said, “We’re called to be together. Man doesn’t have the right to close the doors. God doesn’t want us to isolate ourselves. All of us need to be in the sanctuary.”

And then he added a warning to Newsom:

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ADF Sues Virginia AG Over New Law Forcing Ministries To Violate Their Convictions or Pay Huge Fines

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 1, 2020: 

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian non-profit law firm, sued Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Tuesday over a new law adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected categories in the state’s Human Rights Act. The simple addition of those fluid, subjective, and amorphous terms jeopardizes Christian ministries’ ability to, among other things, hire employees who support those ministries.

This lawsuit was predicted by Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation just days after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed it into law:

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John McCain’s Widow Endorses Biden, Says He’s “Good and Decent.”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 23, 2020:  

Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow, formally endorsed Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States on Tuesday. Although admitting that she and Biden didn’t always agree on issues, at bottom she said, “he is a good and decent man.”

No, he is not. A “good and decent” man wouldn’t lie, and then lie again after the lie was exposed. A “good and decent” man wouldn’t twist history for his personal aggrandizement. A “good and decent” man wouldn’t deny his faith in order to be politically correct and acceptable.

Yet Biden has done all of these, and more.

Some current lies include Biden’s claim that he called for a government shutdown one week before Trump. There is no evidence whatsoever that he made a statement like that of any kind. On the contrary, he is on record as vocally opposing Trump’s early travel ban on China.

Biden claims that he has no recollection of his alleged sexual assault on his former staffer Tara Reade, and yet has moved Heaven and Earth to block the University of Delaware from releasing his Senate papers at the time of the alleged assault that would prove his innocence.

He recently told audiences that after leaving the White House, “I became a teacher. I became a professor.” No, he didn’t. He got paid for making some speeches at the University of Pennsylvania, but he never taught a single student.

He has a long history of lying. He boasted about his “arrest” in South Africa for supposedly attempting to visit Nelson Mandela, for which Mandela later thanked him. None of that is true: not the arrest, not the attempted visit, and not the “thank you” note he supposedly received from Mandela.

He destroyed his first run for the presidency in 1987 when he was caught in a lie about being the first person in his family to attend college.

Said Biden at the time:

Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?

That was nearly a direct quote from a British Labor leader, Neil Kinnock, who said: “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is Glenys [his wife] the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?”

He lied about his accomplishments as a student:

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California Mega-church Defies Latest Court Order Prohibiting Indoor Worship Services

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 14, 2020:  

When the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, John MacArthur, opened services on Sunday, he said:

The question has come up a number of times about why Grace Church does not just comply with the orders that have been laid down for churches, and I thought it might be helpful to give you a list of the things that are required of us as a church, so that you understand how utterly impossible that would be.

He then ran through the list of restrictions Los Angeles County Health Officer Buntu Davis placed on the church in order for it to be able to hold services. It was a long list, and MacArthur was interrupted several times with laughter from his congregation.

Before moving on to the service itself, MacArthur added: “Obviously, this is not constitutional, but more importantly, it goes against the will of the Lord of the church, Who calls us together.”

That is the core issue: whether the county can prohibit the church from holding services indoors, claiming the right to do so in the name of public health, or whether such an order exceeds the state’s authority in light of both the Federal and California constitutions.

And that is the issue that Mitchell Beckloff, the Superior Court Judge, skirted in his 22-page ruling against the church on Thursday.

He danced around it, claiming that his order against the church was merely a temporary restraining order and not a ruling on the merits:

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Los Angeles Cancels Lease on Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 31, 2020: 

In a staggering show of vindictiveness, Los Angeles County served notice this weekend on Pastor John MacArthur that it was canceling his church’s lease on County property. The land the church sits on belongs to the county, and they want it back. They also want revenge.

Four times the county has tried to shut down MacArthur’s Grace Community Church over its refusal to follow COVID edicts against indoor church services, and four times it has been rebuffed.

When Jenna Ellis, the lead attorney from the Thomas More Society  which is helping defend the church against the onslaught from the county, learned about it, she called it out for what it was: government tyranny through retaliation. Ellis remarked,

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Barna Group President: One-fifth of All Churches Could Close Over Next 18 Months Due to COVID

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 27, 2020:  

In an interview on NPR’s “Here & Now” earlier this week, David Kinnaman, the president of the research and polling company Barna Group, said that based on trends both before and after the COVID-19 outbreak, American churches will look a lot different after the crisis has passed, and one in five of them could close for good.

Said Kinnaman:

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California Court Tosses Fourth Attempt by LA County to Shut Down Church

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 27, 2020:  

Los Angeles Health Official Muntu Davis tried again for the fourth time to shut down Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in the Sun Valley suburb. And for the fourth time, Davis was rebuffed.

California Superior Court Judge Mitchel Beckloff ruled that

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California Threatens Fines and Incarceration for Preachers AND WORSHIPPERS Who Defy COVID Mandates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 20, 2020:  

Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, isn’t the only mega-church defying Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-inspired edicts and mandates against worship services being held indoors.

Following Newsom’s edict on July 13 moving most of the state back to Phase 1 — a complete ban on businesses and churches from operating indoors — Greg Fairrington, pastor of Destiny Church in Rocklin, video-taped his response. He said,

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California Mega-church Defies Appeals Court Override, Opens Unmasked Without Social Distancing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 17, 2020: 

On condition that his congregation wear masks and follow social-distancing guidelines, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, was prepared to hold indoor services on Sunday.

Those were the conditions set by a lower court on Friday, which turned aside Los Angeles County’s demand to close the church to inside services altogether. MacArthur said he’d be willing to follow those guidelines as a gesture of good will, in anticipation of a full hearing on the matter on September 4.

But that wasn’t good enough for Los Angeles County and its health official. Late Friday night, they appealed the decision to the Second Appellate District’s Court of Appeals, asking it to set aside the lower court’s agreement with the church.

On Saturday, a three-judge panel of that court tossed that lower court’s ruling and agreement and said that the county could continue to ban indoor services at Grace Community Church.

The panel said they couldn’t decide the issue instantly, that the issues were too involved, and consequently the county’s demands must remain in place:

Keep reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann