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

Red-state Voters Opposed to “Respect for Marriage Act”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 29, 2022:  

In response to what Democrats perceived as a potential threat to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which ruled that there is a fundamental right somewhere in the Constitution guaranteeing that two people of the same sex can legally be married, they crafted and are about to pass a bill “codifying” that alleged right into law.

The bill about to be voted on, perhaps as early as today, H.R. 8404, is a simple bill with a nasty and potentially devastating paragraph: Anyone who violates the new law may be sued.

Here’s the language:

No person acting under color of State law may deny “full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals”….


Any person who is harmed by a violation of [this section of the law] may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court against the person who violated such subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief.

The Heritage Foundation asked voters in states represented by the five Republicans who allowed this bill to move forward what they really thought about the bill. The sell-out Republican Senators were Todd Young of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

The foundation asked 2,000 voters from those five Republican states how they felt about the bill. Wes Anderson, who ran the poll, wrote:

The results show that conservative voters’ support for the questionably named Respect for Marriage Act is significantly lower than the national media coverage would have you believe. On top of this, when voters are given more information of the impacts of the bill, support slips even further.

Initially, 47 percent opposed the bill while just 42 percent favored it. But when Anderson asked the questions based upon how the bill is likely to impact Christian churches, groups, and charities, the support faded away.

Here are the questions:

  1. This law would allow religious organizations to be sued for refusing to perform gay marriages, forcing them to defend their First Amendment rights in court, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars;
  2. This bill would punish faith-based organizations. For example, religious adoption agencies could lose their non-profit status and be forced to close if they refuse to recognize same sex marriage in their operations; and
  3. This bill could weaponize the IRS against faith-based organizations, including religious schools, by threatening their nonprofit status for not recognizing same sex marriage.

Support for the bill dropped to 18 percent, 20 percent, and 22 percent, respectively.

Anderson concluded:

These results show that voters’ opinions of the Respect for Marriage Act in these five states is not what is being reported.


Voters in these conservative states oppose the bill and this opposition only grows when more information is given.


It is clear that it will take more than a naming misdirect [that is: falsely name the bill as “respecting” the institution of marriage] to convince the GOP base that this bill is not a threat to their religious liberty.

Utah’s other Republican senator, Mike Lee, has presented an amendment to the bill to make certain that these possibilities don’t become reality. In an opinion piece in Fox News, Lee wrote that “there is a legitimate risk that, without robust protections in place, federal recognition of same-sex marriage could … inflict harm on those who, for reasons rooted in sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction, do not embrace same-sex marriage.”

His amendment would prohibit the federal government from retaliating against any person or group for adhering to those beliefs or convictions. Accordingly, wrote Lee, “my amendment should be a no-brainer.”

Lee’s amendment will be voted on prior to a vote on the bill itself.

Policewoman Sues to Stop Union From Taking Dues From Her Paycheck

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 25, 2022:  

When Melodie DePierro joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2006, she agreed to let its union, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, take her dues automatically from her paycheck.

When she resigned from the union in 2020, she informed them that she was quitting and to stop taking the dues from her paycheck. The union refused, claiming that under a newly crafted and approved contract she only had 20 days — from October 1 to October 20 — to order the union to stop. Since she missed “the window,” the union continued deducting its dues from her paycheck.

She sued to get her money back. Lower courts held for the union. The case was picked up by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed a request for the Supreme Court — a “petition for writ of certiorari,” in legalese — to consider her case.

Why is this case important? Because DePierro’s claims are based on a Supreme Court ruling from 2018, Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), in which the high court ruled that the taking of such fees without written consent violates a citizen’s First Amendment right to free speech.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion in Janus that such action violates “the free speech rights of nonmembers [of public unions] by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”

This is a modern-day restatement of the principle voiced by Thomas Jefferson: “To compel a man [or woman] to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he [or she] disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

In Janus, the high court referred to the right to free speech as a “fixed star”:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. [Emphasis in original.]

DePierro’s attorneys built on that idea:

That fixed star shines throughout the year — not only for a few days. [Quoting Janus]: “Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command.”

They maintained that “this case is exceptionally important,” as a decision would affect all public employees, active or retired, represented by unions who are reacting to Janus by installing such “window periods” in their contracts.

A favorable decision in this case would add an additional bulwark to the complaints bound to follow passage of the odious “Respect for Marriage Act” expected next week. Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee makes the case that the way that law is written, it can and will be used to bludgeon into submission any groups (churches, charities, even states) that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage — upon threat of losing their precious federal funding or tax-exempt status.

Those complaints should remind the courts of the statement from Janus, above, that “no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” (Emphasis added.)

The petition for policewoman Melodie DePierro was filed with the Supreme Court on November 21. A decision to accept it won’t be made for at least several months.

Colorado Free-speech Case Headed for Supreme Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 18, 2022:  

Denver-based website creator Lorie Smith, owner of 303Creative.com, will, after six long years, finally get her day in court. On December 5, oral arguments begin on a case that should never have been filed, on an issue that should never have been raised. At issue: Smith’s right to conduct her business as she sees fit, according to her own values and beliefs.

When Colorado’s leftist legislators passed the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, or CADA, Smith immediately saw the potential threat to her business and filed a preemptive lawsuit. If the new law were allowed to stand, her business would be a prime target: She declared that, according to her Christian beliefs, she would not build a website for a marriage that conflicted with those beliefs.

She makes that clear on her website:

As a Christian who believes that God gave me the creative gifts that are expressed through this business, I have always strived to honor Him in how I operate it….


Because of my faith … I am selective about the messages that I create or promote — while I will serve anyone I am always careful to avoid communicating ideas or messages, or promoting events, products, services, or organizations, that are inconsistent with my religious beliefs.

To the anti-Christian liberals at Colorado’s civil-rights commission, this is anathema. Courts ruled in their favor, and Smith appealed. Last February, the Supreme Court agreed to take the case, limiting the issue to this: “Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent, contrary to the artist’s sincerely held religious beliefs, violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.”

According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the public-interest law firm that is representing Smith, the lower court “astonishingly concluded that the government may, based upon content and viewpoint, force Lorie to convey messages that violate her religious beliefs and restrict her from explaining her faith [on her website].”

There was one voice of common sense in that lower court’s ruling, expressed by the Tenth Circuit’s Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich:

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.”

Not surprisingly, the ACLU has lined up on the side of the commission. ACLU national legal director David Cole is worried that the Supreme Court might not only rule in favor of Lorie Smith, but also broaden its narrow ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2018. In that ruling, the high court avoided the free-speech issue and ruled instead that the civil rights commission “failed to act in a manner neutral to religion” and thus violated baker Jack Phillips’ First Amendment-protected rights.

Wrote Cole, “If 303 Creative prevails here, then any business that can be characterized as expressive, and that’s a lot of businesses, can start putting up signs saying no Jews served, no Christians served, no Blacks served.”

This could be a “landmark” case, said the ADF:

No one should be banished from the marketplace simply for living and speaking consistently with their religious beliefs. This could be a landmark case for the freedom of speech, religious liberty, and artistic freedom.


We look forward to representing Lorie before the high court.

Church Sues New York State Over Law Prohibiting Worshipers From Carrying Firearms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 9, 2022:  

Eight days after the Supreme Court ruled in June against New York in its Bruen decision that the state’s restrictions on concealed carry permits were unconstitutional, and declared further that all citizens, including New Yorkers, had the constitutional right to carry firearms outside their homes for self-protection, the Democrat-controlled state Legislature enacted a “work-around” law to circumvent Bruen.

The law — S51001 — declares a total ban on the carrying of firearms in “any place of worship or religious observation.”

In a lawsuit brought by First Liberty Institute (FLI) on behalf of Pastor Micheal Spencer and his church, His Tabernacle Family Church, with locations in Horseheads and Ithaca, New York, the complaint states that

It is thus now a felony in New York to carry a firearm in a place of worship, regardless of whether one has a license to carry a firearm and regardless of whether the place of worship expressly authorizes — or even encourages — the carrying of firearms on its property.

Pastor Spencer and a number of his parishioners have shown skill at arms and, until passage of the law defying Bruen, regularly carried firearms during church services to protect the flock.

What makes the new law especially pernicious is its flagrant disregard of the Bruen decision. It specifically targets churches, as the law allows other property owners to give permission to their visitors or customers to carry on site.

The complaint refers not only to Bruen as precedent, but also to another Supreme Court decision — Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo — that was decided in 2020 that struck down then-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Covid occupancy” requirements which unfairly applied to churches.

Wrote the lawyers from FLI:

Those decisions should have taught New York to proceed with extreme caution where First or Second Amendment rights are at stake going forward.


Instead, the state recently doubled down on its rights-denying tendencies — by infringing two fundamental liberties at the same time.


New York now puts houses of worship and religious adherents to an impossible choice: forfeit your First Amendment right to religious worship or forfeit your Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense.

The complaint focuses on Democrats’ deliberate intention to single out churches in its attempt to circumvent Bruen:

New York’s attempt to force houses of worship and their parishioners to choose between their First Amendment rights and their Second — an outlier policy shared by no other state in the Nation — stands as an act of defiance to the Supreme Court’s recent and emphatic holdings protecting both.


First, by prohibiting the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right in places of worship while permitting its exercise on a wide variety of other private property, and denying to religious leaders the authority it gives other private property owners to decide whether to permit the carrying of firearms, the state discriminates on the basis of religious status, singles out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment, and treats comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.


Additionally, S51001 runs into the Establishment Clause by entrenching on core matters of internal church governance.


The state may have power to dictate many things, but how worshippers should conduct themselves at worship services on church property is not one of them.

Attorneys from FLI pointed out that the legislation passed within days of the Bruen decision had been carefully crafted months earlier, in anticipation of the ruling:

While Bruen and Roman Catholic Diocese should make New York [Democrats] particularly sensitive to protecting … citizens’ First and Second Amendment rights, they seem to have prompted exactly the opposite reaction.


Barely before the ink on Bruen could dry, New York embarked on a campaign “to offset the impact of the court’s decision” — a campaign that also tramples First Amendment rights….


Of course, New York was able to move so quickly because it began preparing legislation to undercut any eventual Supreme Court decision before it was even handed down and regardless of what it might say about the Constitution’s demands….


New York officials have made abundantly clear both their contempt for Bruen and their intention to vigorously enforce all aspects of S51001 notwithstanding the constitutional rights upon which it tramples.

The “workaround” law puts Pastor Spencer and his church — and all other churches in New York — at greater risk than before:

Pastor Spencer believes that someone planning to harm or kill his flock will not be deterred by S51001, and may in fact by emboldened by it since it leaves [all] houses of worship defenseless against those bent on doing violence to people of faith.

The complaint filed on behalf of Pastor Spencer and his church concludes that what New York Democrats have done is deliberately attack not only their church (and all other churches in the state), but also the constitutional basis upon which all religious institutions in the state and the nation operate:

It is therefore a constitutional vice, not a virtue, that New York has disarmed all religious people all at once, whether they kneel in prayer or stand in worship.


In short, S51001 is a compendium of constitutional infirmities, infringing in one fell swoop on Pastor Spencer’s and the Church’s rights to freely engage in religious exercise, to exercise autonomy over the Church’s internal affairs, and to carry firearms to ensure the safety of all persons on the Church’s premises.

The complaint exposes the agenda of New York Democrats: not only their complete and total disregard for and antipathy toward the Supreme Court’s decisions relating to this case, but their vicious animosity toward religion in general. The complaint exposes the real culture war: the church versus the state.

Pastor Spencer and his church are demanding a trial by jury to hear their complaint.

Newport News Pastor “Under Investigation” for Talking Politics From the Pulpit

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 3, 2022:  

After promoting his own campaign from the pulpit for a seat on the City Council of Newport News, Virginia, Pastor Willard Maxwell of New Beech Grove Baptist Church found himself under investigation by local authorities.

A woman familiar with Maxwell’s alleged breach of federal law reported him to local authorities. She included a video of his remarks with her complaint. In that two-minute video, Maxwell said, “We have signs out there. If you want to take a sign to your house that would be great. Anytime you want to donate $5, $25 — it doesn’t matter. Or get other people to donate. I would really appreciate it.”

He then addressed the constraint put upon such activities by the Internal Revenue Service: “Now I know a lot of people say you can’t use certain things or say stuff at church…. Republicans and Democrats alike have been trying to tell me I can’t say nothing. Man, if I can’t say nothing, you can’t say nothing.”

On October 17, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn responded to the complaint: “The video that you sent is very disturbing. Please be assured that this matter is under investigation and is being taken very seriously.”

It’s far from clear exactly what local, municipal, or state violations might be involved here. If the violations relate to the Johnson Amendment — the part of the IRS code that infringes on the freedom of pastors to speak on political issues from their pulpits under pain of losing 501(c)(3) status — it’s unclear just how Gwynn would be involved in enforcing that federal law.

That federal law passed in 1954 with nary a peep from any of the American pastors whose right to speak freely from their pulpits was being restricted. The Johnson Amendment is named for then-Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson, one of the most notoriously corrupt politicians of the day. Johnson’s litany of illegal activities had been exposed by local pastors, and in retaliation Johnson proposed the amendment.

The offending language from the IRS code reads:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.


Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.


Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

When he was informed of the investigation by local authorities, Pastor Maxwell responded that he has for years let various political candidates come to speak at his church: “I let Democrats come. I let Republicans come. The individual who is running against me [for City Council] even came and spoke from my pulpit. The rule is: whatever you do for one, you gotta let him do for all.”

He went further:

Anytime anyone wants to come to the church and speak about their campaign, whether I agree with them or not, I let them say whatever they need to say, and garner whatever support they need.


They pass out their literature, they pass out their signs, they say whatever they need to say. And I’ve done that forever.

Whether this molehill turns into a mountain remains to be seen. What popular Christian writer and speaker Eric Metaxas can’t abide is why American pastors let this Johnson Amendment slide into a bill to become federal law in the first place. Writing in his latest book, Letter to the American Church, Metaxas said:

It was in 1954 that then-Senator Lyndon Johnson introduced an amendment to the U.S. tax code prohibiting churches — and any other nonprofit organizations — from taking a public stand on political candidates. If anyone from a pulpit dared to endorse a candidate, that church’s [tax] exemption would be repealed.


It is astonishing that pastors in American allowed this wild idea to go uncontested. In this they behaved rather like many of the submissive pastors in Germany two decades earlier.


Of course, for American pastors meekly to submit to anything like this is far more shocking, given our own history of religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Metaxas then added ominously, “If the churches in America are not free to speak on any topic and in any way that they choose — and if they voluntarily go along with this view — then no one in America is truly free, and America itself has effectively ceased to exist.”

Average American’s Cultural Values Shifting From the Bible to “Feelings” and “Government”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 2, 2022:  

In the latest America’s Values Study by the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University (ACU), nearly 4,000 American adults were asked: “Regardless of your religious faith, America’s foundation for determining right and wrong should be (choose one): the Bible, what you feel in your heart, or majority rule.” Four out of ten chose “feelings,” while just 29 percent said the Bible. The other 29 percent said they’d just go along with what everyone else thinks is right and proper.

Two-thirds of the segment that identified itself as “SAGE Cons” — Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservative Christians — told the CRC that the Bible was their primary source for their moral foundation. Among those who attend “an evangelical church” the Bible is the firm foundation for just 62%, while for those attending a “mainline Protestant church,” the Bible drops to 36% as their arbiter of morality.

Among those who attend a Catholic church, 46 percent think it’s “what you feel in your heart” that’s determinative of what’s right and wrong.

The nine moral values making up what the CRC calls “traditional American Values” are integrity, justice, kindness, non-discrimination, trustworthiness, freedom of expression, private property ownership, the opportunity for individual growth, and self-control.

Pollster George Barna, who heads up the study for ACU, lamented:

If you consider the list of factors that are gaining acceptance as “traditional moral values,” with the public unlikely to turn to churches or the Bible to define values such as integrity and justice, that responsibility is likely to fall on the shoulders of government.


Given how government leaders have been aggressively redefining other terms and concepts in recent years, recasting previously unthinkable behaviors as normative, one can barely imagine what our future moral code will look like with the government leading that redefinition process.

In other words, left to his own devices, mankind will shortly descend into a vast cultural wasteland ruled by a tyrannical government. Noted Barna, “Americans have become comfortable with the idea of being the arbiters of [their own] morality.” This is reflected in the current belief system being taught in public education: truth is relative to time, place, and circumstance; and one’s “truth” will vary from another’s, with each being equally acceptable.

Although more than 70 percent of those polled say they support those traditional moral values, that’s misleading. Substantially less than half of them claim that “Biblical morality” is one of their core values. They are, wrote CRC president Len Munsil, “running on just the fumes” of the values expressed as absolute in the Bible. He added that “people are now more likely to take their moral cues from government laws and policies than from church teachings about Biblical principles.”

The CRC’s vision for America’s future is surprisingly hopeful:

America seems to be in a freefall — morally, politically, culturally — our founding values and the biblical worldview seemingly fading forever.


But at the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, we believe there’s hope — that cultural transformation is possible.

They’re doing something about that “freefall”:

Our mission starts with educating ACU students with the biblical worldview, so they understand and live according to God’s truth.


We believe the next generation, transformed and equipped, can influence every area of culture: business and education, government and politics, information and news media, science and technology, arts and entertainment, churches and families.

The school boasts a current enrollment of more than 900 students from 40 states and 25 countries, who are taking advantage of 18 academic programs encompassing more than 40 areas of study. It is ranked the No. 1 university in Arizona by College Consensus, and ranked a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report.

Latest America’s Values Survey: Good News and Bad News

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 21, 2022:  

The good news from the latest America’s Values Study undertaken by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University is that nearly all of the nearly 4,000 citizens polled not only think that inflation is going to influence greatly how they vote on November 8, but that their vote will likely reflect their belief that the Democrats are primarily responsible for it.

The bad news is that more and more of those 4,000 are looking to government and not to God for help.

Six in ten of those polled say that inflation, the rising cost of living, food prices and shortages, and oil and gasoline prices will influence how they vote in the midterm elections by “a lot.”

George Barna, the lead pollster, wrote:

Many of the most influential issues in this election are those that highlight publicly perceived failures by the Democrats. The highest-impact issues — specifically, inflation, the cost of food and related shortages, and policies and prices related to gas and oil — all highlight turns for the worse over the past two years, when Democrats have held the White House and both chambers of Congress.


If historical patterns hold true, voters will hold Democrats responsible for those failures. Some four out of five incumbents in the U.S. House and Senate are typically re-elected.


However, there may yet be substantial change in the two federal legislative bodies given the confluence of anger with the condition of America, the historical tendency to replace the prevailing party in mid-term elections, the unusually large number of incumbents not seeking re-election, and the fact that the issues of greatest importance to voters underscore public dissatisfaction with Democrat rule.

But when it comes to issues like morality, the right to life, and the threats to religious liberty by the government, those polled scarcely mentioned them at all. As Barna noted,

Even among the most deeply religious Americans, regardless of their faith of choice, a greater emphasis was placed upon the personal impact of governance choices and public policies. That focus on self, to the exclusion of the community, is a reflection of their syncretistic worldview and the decline of spiritual commitment in America.

Barna holds that that “syncretistic” view held by most Americans — including those who call themselves Christians — is made up from a vast buffet-like array of religious positions rather than the singular Christian faith that informed the Founders of the nation.

Len Munsil, president of Arizona Christian University, noted the resultant decline in morality exposed by the survey:

Religious segments such as born-again Christians and people who regularly attend evangelical churches did not include issues such as abortion, national morals and values, [or] religious freedom in their top-five lists [of influences].

Lindsey Jensen, a brand ambassador for Turning Point USA, noted the trend away from traditional Christianity two years ago:

Without the belief in God or the natural rights given to us by God, the Constitution wouldn’t exist nor could it be upheld….


As Christianity declines, we see that more people in our nation look favorably on the idea of more government involvement. Instead of turning to God or the church, they want the government to solve their problems.

She notes the primary problem — people who call themselves Christians don’t act like it:

Our nation is feeling the repercussions of Christians who “check the box” and attend church but don’t actually want the Word of God to inform their daily life and change the way they live.


Our nation needs the kind of people that reflect Christ in all they do.

This is precisely the point made by America’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge:

The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.

The good news is that there is likely to be substantial change in Washington following the midterm elections. The bad news is that the necessary cultural shift away from secularism and the “weak Gospel” toward rebuilding a culture based upon historical Biblical Christianity, self-reliance, and individual responsibility remains elusive.

Pro-murder Guttmacher Institute Whines About Reduction of Abortions Following Dobbs Decision

This article appeared online at  TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 6, 2022:  

The Guttmacher Institute, formerly a branch of the abortuary Planned Parenthood, issued a whiny report on Thursday, 100 days after the Supreme Court’s life-affirming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That decision overturned the ghastly Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the high court affirmed Roe).

The institute found

that 100 days after the June 24 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, 66 clinics across 15 states have been forced to stop offering abortions.


Prior to June 24, these 15 states had a total of 79 clinics that provided abortion care [sic]. As of October 2, that number dropped to 13….


That means there are no providers currently offering abortions in 14 or 15 states.

Guttmacher researchers focused on the 15 states that were enforcing either total or six-week abortion bans as of October 2, and complained:

In the 13 states that had implemented total abortion bans as of October 2, all clinics were forced to stop offering abortions. In two other states, Wisconsin and Georgia, the situation is precarious.

From the point of view of the institute, that situation is going to become much more precarious: “Our state legislative tracking predicts that a total of 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion within a year of Roe being overturned.”

This, in their eyes, is an unmitigated disaster:

The 14 states where abortion is currently unavailable accounted for 125,780 abortions in 2020.


Individuals who can no longer obtain an abortion from a clinic in these states are now forced to travel to another state for abortion care (facing additional direct and indirect costs associated with travel logistics, child care and time off work), self-manage their abortion or continue their pregnancy (and accept the significant associated health risks).

And this is just the beginning:

Much more research will need to be conducted to grasp the full extent of the chaos, confusion, and harm that the US Supreme Court has unleashed on people needing abortions, but the picture that is starting to emerge should alarm anyone who supports reproductive freedom and the right to bodily autonomy.

On the other hand, pro-life supporters are celebrating the lives that are being saved in those 15 states. Said the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, those present and expected bans against abortion murder “are estimated to protect as many as 200,000 unborn children annually.”

This is a long way from the more than 900,000 babies being murdered in their mothers’ wombs across the country every year, but it’s a good start. Complained one abortionist in Indiana: “It is precarious from a medical standpoint and certainly from a business standpoint. It’s difficult to keep the doors open and the lights on when you don’t know if you’re going to be a felon tomorrow.”

California Pastor Blasts Newsom’s “Blasphemous” Promotion of Abortion

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 30, 2022:  

Certain of his reelection as governor of California in November, Gavin Newsom is spending some of his $24 million in campaign funds to buy billboard space in seven pro-life states promoting abortion.

One of those ads reads:

Need an abortion? California is ready to help.


Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these — Mark 12:31

This immediately elicited outrage from believers, including Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference:

It is unconscionable that these ads distort Scripture to support abortion, specifically in states that have already dramatically limited abortion in favor of supporting life.

Chris Check, president of the California-based apologetics ministry Catholic Answers, said Newsom’s ads “commit blasphemy by co-opting Sacred Scripture in service of abortion.”

But the letter from John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church (and the target of much of Newsom’s wrath during the Covid “crisis”), expanded on Newsom’s blasphemy:

Almighty God says in His Word, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Scripture also teaches that it is the chief duty of any civic leader to reward those who do well and to punish evildoers (Romans 13:1–7). You have not only failed in that responsibility; you routinely turn it on its head, rewarding evildoers and punishing the righteous.

MacArthur called Newsom rebellious, wicked, and reprehensible for the ads:

In mid-September, you revealed to the entire nation how thoroughly rebellious against God you are when you sponsored billboards across America promoting the slaughter of children, whom He creates in the womb (Psalm 139:13–16; Isaiah 45:9–12).


You further compounded the wickedness of that murderous campaign with a reprehensible act of gross blasphemy, quoting the very words of Jesus from Mark 12:31 as if you could somehow twist His meaning and arrogate His name in favor of butchering unborn infants.


You used the name and the words of Christ to promote the credo of Molech (Leviticus 20:1–5). It would be hard to imagine a greater sacrilege.

In that Scripture, God warned anyone burning his child in a sacrifice to the Canaanite god Molech:

I will set My face against that man, and I will cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy Name.

MacArthur called out Newsom’s hypocrisy — he calls himself an “Irish Catholic” — with this:

Furthermore, you chose words from the lips of Jesus without admitting that in the same moment He gave the greatest commandment: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).


You cannot love God as He commands while aiding in the murder of His image-bearers.

MacArthur ended his letter telling Newsom that, despite his grievous sins against God and man by promoting the murder of unborn children,

Our church, and countless Christians nationwide, are praying for your full repentance. Please respond to the gospel, forsake the path of wickedness you have pursued all your life, turn to Christ, ask for forgiveness, and use your office to advance the cause of righteousness (as is your duty) instead of undermining it (as has been your pattern).

Eric Metaxas no doubt is pleased to learn that MacArthur is willing to take the fight to the enemy. Regarding his new book Letter to the American Church, Metaxas said he wrote it “calling the American Church to actually be God’s church, with all that entails, so that we might avoid the mistakes of the German church in the 1930s, and those direst consequences we know to have been the result.”

Metaxas must also be asking, where are the other pastors protesting Newsom’s blatant opposition to the Lord of Life?

Barna Polls Reveal Many of America’s Foundations Remain in Place

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 29, 2022:  

The results of two polls conducted under the auspices of pollster George Barna reveal that, despite decades of withering and deliberate attacks, many if not most of America’s most cherished values remain in place.

Barna, who heads up the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University (ACU), wrote:

Recent national surveys have reported that Americans no longer trust most politicians or either of the major political parties, and believe the media are fanning the flames of division.


Americans also believe the country is moving in the wrong direction and fear for the future of the nation’s democracy [sic].


Add the ravages of inflation and the threat of a recession to the political chaos, and what’s left is a nation wondering if we will find our way back to solidarity and unity.

The two polls, conducted online in July and involving nearly 4,000 respondents, offered four dozen different value statements and learned that topping the list of values Americans cherish the most is family. The study ranked just how strongly respondents felt about each category, including “fight to/die for,” “sacrifice resources for,” “argue in support of,” “do not feel strongly about,” and “would not defend.”

Eighty percent of those quizzed said that family was worth fighting or dying for, or sacrificing resources to preserve and strengthen. Other values respondents strongly supported were justice, integrity, character, and the ownership of private property.

The values offered by the Left through movies, TV, talk shows, and mainstream media — such as unconstrained sex, unrestrained entertainment, public recognition of fame, and strong government — were among the least appealing to the respondents.

As Barna noted:

Despite the nation’s progressive elites constantly pushing for permissiveness, tolerance, indulgence, and pervasive equality, a minority of Americans place significant value on the likes of universal empowerment, cultural diversity, economic equality, and tolerance.

He added:

When we consider the values on which America was built, it is encouraging to find that a handful of the values embraced by early Americans remains intact: family, financial cautiousness, hard work, humility, and moderation.


That speaks to the foundational nature of those attributes in the continuity of our republic.

Those “foundational” values have been under attack by communists and their sympathizers ever since the publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848. In Chapter Two of that book, for instance, one finds this:

Abolition of the family!…


The bourgeois [middle-class] family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of [the private ownership of] capital.

The communists won’t be satisfied until they have destroyed everything of value, including Truth itself.

Cid Lazarou, writing for The Epoch Times, notes just how important those traditional American values are to the survival of the Republic:

It’s no accident that communists vehemently oppose family and parenting.


The importance of these social institutions can’t be overstated, serving as an essential foundation for the nurturing and protection of children that foments a stable, healthy society. Such values are a direct threat to communist hegemony.


As a parent, I can attest to the unconditional love one feels for one’s children. It’s something most parents can relate to. It creates unsurpassed altruism and loyalty within the family unit—a powerful bond that further threatens the collective obedience demanded by totalitarian ideologies such as communism.


It’s for this reason that communists oppose the family, seeking to not only destroy it, but to also usurp the role that parents play in raising children. By doing this, they can then build their new society from the old, as a new order is created out of their chaos.

One of the communist front groups most exalted and hailed as righteous by the pro-communist mainstream media is Black Lives Matter. BLM founder Patrisse Cullors has publicly and proudly announced that she and co-founder Alicia Garza are “trained Marxists.” On BLM’s website (until it was “scrubbed”) appeared this:

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another….

One of those directly involved in conducting the surveys in July is Marc Nuttle, who noted: “The authority of the family as the essential foundational element that secures the stability of society in the United States is the essence of what defines us as Americans.”

That “authority” is found in the Holy Scriptures, the foundational document upon which the Founders relied in creating the American constitutional Republic:

  • Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
  • Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD God is giving you.”
  • Psalm 127:3-5: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”

Barna concluded his review of the polls with these words of encouragement to those actively involved in the fight against tyranny and for the restoration of the Republic: “Rather than deny the existence of those long-cherished, proven core values, wise leaders will seize those as foundation stones for the future of the nation that connects us with our history.”

Sovereign citizens of the American Republic have the opportunity next month to select and put in place “wise leaders,” whose commitment is to their oath of office and to the amazing country that sprang out of the wilderness with these foundational truths as part of its nascent culture.

Christian Pastor Says He Will Not Back Down on School’s Policy Concerning Biblical Sexuality

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 22, 2022:  

Barry McKeen, a pastor and school administrator of Grace Christian School in Valrico, Florida, has been under attack ever since NBC News learned of an email he sent to parents in June. McKeen has remained strong and stalwart in the face of those attacks.

Grace Christian School, located about 14 miles east of Tampa, offers a strong Christian education to students from pre-K through 12th grade. In June, McKeen sent an email to parents planning on enrolling their children for the upcoming fall semester. The email was titled “Important School Policy Point of Emphasis … Please Read,” and included these statements:

We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity.


Therefore, one’s biological sex must be affirmed and no attempts should be made to physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s biological gender — including, but not limited to, elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary gender fluid acts of conduct (Genesis 1:26-28).


Students in school will be referred to by the gender on their birth certificate and be referenced in name in the same fashion.


We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgender identity/lifestyle, self-identification, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful in the sight of God and the church (Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; I Corinthians 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:2-7).


Students who are found participating in these lifestyles will be asked to leave the school immediately.

While the policy is not new, it must be understood and accepted completely, the email said, adding that parents would “have to agree to all policies and procedures before your student may start school in August.”

This was enough to light the fire of indignation among those who don’t follow Christ. In the days immediately after NBC reported on the email, the school came under withering attack, with threats of violence and death threats against McKeen, his family, and his staff.

The Epoch Times reached out to pastor/administrator McKeen on Monday to learn that he remains fixed in his policies and in his determination to keep the school grounded on its purpose:

To help every student to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:17);


To encourage all students to “love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind, and to love their neighbor as themselves.” (Matthew 22:37-39); and


To give Christ the pre-eminence in all things. (Colossians 1:18).

The Times asked if the tidal wave of indignation and threats had subsided. Said McKeen:

The backlash for about a day and a half was very severe, a lot of death threats, burn-my-house-down threats. And then after about a day and a half, most of our commentary turned positive, because some of the more, I guess you could say, conservative outlets started picking up the story.

In the last two weeks, thanks to those “conservative outlets picking up the story,” Grace Christian School has received more than 7,000 emails, with 80 percent of them positive, and many letters of encouragement, some of them enclosing checks.

Those letters and checks came from around the world, with the school receiving more than $45,000 in unexpected donations. Said McKeen, “One guy gave $5,000. I’ve never met him. He’s never been to our church or school. But he read about the story and said, ‘I believe what you’re standing for, and here’s some money.’”

The small school now has a waiting list of more than 100 potential students hoping to gain acceptance for the fall term.

McKeen expressed surprise and dismay that his email had generated so much reaction. Following the NBC story, he told Fox News:

If I backed down from something like this, I’m abandoning what God has said is the truth.


I [asked] how is this hard for people to understand? This is what God said. This is one of the many reasons we have a Christian school, and we’re not going to abandon this policy. God has spoken on these issues.

Review of “Letter to the American Church” by Eric Metaxas

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 20, 2022:  

Author Eric Metaxas, used his #1 best-selling book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy as the basis for his latest one, Letter to the American Church. Released Tuesday, September 20, Metaxas’ book reveals parallel after parallel between events in the 1930s and events now. He warns that unless the American church awakens from its slumber and its focus on just the Gospel and nothing else, the destruction of America is imminent.

His target: pastors who offer “cheap grace,” i.e., the mental assent that Jesus Christ died for their sins, but leaving out the part about following Him through a totally changed life. He wrote:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer … called the German church to be the church in their time, and as I hope to make clear, his voice to them is his voice to us today, calling the American Church to actually be God’s church, with all that entails, so that we might avoid the mistakes of the German church in in the 1930s, and those direst consequences we know to have been their result….


I have written this book because I am convinced the American Church is at an impossibly — and almost unbearably — important inflection point.


The parallels to where the German Church was in the 1930s are unavoidable and grim.


So the only question … is whether we might understand those parallels, and thereby avoid the fatal mistakes the German Church made during that time, and their superlatively catastrophic results.


If we do not, I am convinced we will reap a whirlwind greater even than the one they did.


The church folded like an accordion in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, angered that local Texas churches called him out for his egregious sins, offered a bill granting tax exemptions to churches provided they don’t get political. It was passed into law and is now called the “Johnson Amendment.”

The parallel:

Pastors in the eighteenth century spoke boldly from their pulpits against the tyranny of King George III, and opposed him by name….


[But in the 1950s] it is astonishing that pastors in America allowed this wild idea to go uncontested. In this they behaved rather like many of the submissive pastors in Germany two decades earlier.


When we think of the death camps and the murder of so many millions … we need to understand that in the beginning [German citizens and their pastors] had no idea where it was leading, and had no idea there were facing nothing less than the forces of anti-Christ.


We are now facing those same forces [but] in different guises … those forces … have an agenda … that is globalist.


Part of this may be traced back to the 1960s, when the U.S. Supreme Court took prayer out of the public schools … part of a general trend down a path that was fundamentally mistaken in its views of [Thomas] Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation” between church and state.


Rather than protecting people of faith from government intrusion, as the Founders intended … the judiciary began to interpret it to mean that the public square should be stripped of faith entirely….


Because the American people did not see the dangers … and because Christian leaders did not speak out boldly, the drift toward an unconstitutional and secular view began to be enshrined in our laws and in our culture.

The Covid parallel:

What the Nazis did first, a mere four weeks into Hitler’s [takeover], was to use the incident of the Reichstag Fire — in which a Dutch madman set fire to the German Parliament building — to enact sweeping emergency decrees….


It was a stunning erasure of [legitimate] German government, with blitzkrieg swiftness….


[The Nazis used the incident] to demonize their enemies … and to crush dissent by instilling fear in anyone who wished to object.

Wayne Grudem, professor of theology at Phoenix Seminary and author of the massive and highly regarded Systematic Theology, was moved to say this about Metaxas’ effort:

[It is] bold and insightful.… Metaxas calls for pastors (and other Christian leaders) who … will be courageous enough to speak unambiguously against the massive anti-Christian forces that now threaten to permanently transform American society and bring to an end America’s role as a beacon of freedom for the world.

Court Beats Back New York State From Forcing Christian Adoption Agency to Allow Same-sex Parents to Adopt Their Kids

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 12, 2022:  

The same court that originally upheld New York state in its determination to force New Hope Family Services — a privately-funded Christian adoption agency that has placed more than 1,000 children with traditional parents since its founding in 1965 — to comply with a new state law demanding placement of children with unmarried or same-sex parents was forced to reverse that decision last week.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Mae A. D’Agostino found cogent reasons to reverse her previous ruling, thanks to demands from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that she do so.

Initially she upheld the complaint of New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) against New Hope that the Christian agency — by refusing to place children with unmarried and/or same-sex couples, according to their Christian beliefs — violated the state’s new law. She found that New Hope’s policy was “discriminatory and impermissible” under that law.

For years New York prohibited adoption by any couple other than a heterosexual, married couple. In 2010, however, the state — reflecting the continued erosion of Christian, traditional values and their consequent replacement with secular, non-Christian values — reversed. It rewrote the law, allowing — not demanding — adoption agencies to place children with unmarried or same-sex parents.

Later, that law was turned into a demand. When the agency turned its attention and its new anti-Christian-religion animus toward New Hope, demanding that the agency change its policy, the agency sued.

They lost. But on appeal, they won. With the assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit law firm focused on providing legal assistance in cases like this one, the appeals court demanded that Judge D’Agostino reverse her previous decision.

Which she did, in spades:

“‘At the heart of the First Amendment’ is the principle ‘that each person should decide for himself or herself the ideas and beliefs deserving of expression, consideration, and adherence.’”…


“Consistent with this principle, freedom of speech means that the ‘government may not prohibit the expression of an idea,’ even one that society finds ‘offensive or disagreeable.’”…


“For much the same reason, [the] government also cannot tell people that there are things ‘they must say.’”…


“Thus, when [the] government ‘direct[ly] regulat[es] … speech’ by mandating that persons explicitly agree with government policy on a particular matter, it ‘plainly violate[s] the First Amendment.’”…

She concluded:

New Hope has demonstrated that it is entitled to a permanent injunction prohibiting the State of New York from requiring New Hope to provide adoption services to unmarried or same-sex couples.


First, New Hope has succeeded on the merits of its First Amendment claim against OCFS, as detailed above.


Second, “[t]he loss of First Amendment freedoms, even for minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.” [From Elrod v. Burns, 1976.]

As Douglass Dowty noted on Syracuse.com:

D’Agostino this week ruled in favor of New Hope after the higher court’s decision. She found that New Hope had a First Amendment right [after all] to deny adoptions to same-sex or unmarried couples.

The appeals court sending the case back to D’Agostino uncovered a “suspicion of religious animosity” by the state’s commission given the way it used the law as a bludgeon to force New Hope to violate its First Amendment rights. The court wrote:

It is plainly a serious step to order an authorized adoption agency such as New Hope — operating without complaint for 50 years, taking no government funding, successfully placing approximately 1,000 children, and with adoptions pending or being supervised — to close all its adoption operations.

ADF senior counsel Roger Brooks celebrated the legal victory:

The court’s decision is great news for children waiting to be adopted and for the parents partnering with New Hope Family Services to provide loving, stable homes.


New Hope is a private religious ministry that doesn’t take a dime from the government. Shutting down an adoption provider for its religious beliefs—needlessly and unconstitutionally reducing the number of agencies willing to help—benefits no one—certainly not children.


New Hope’s faith-guided services don’t coerce anyone and do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers who have different beliefs about family and the best interests of children.


The decision from the court simply allows New Hope to continue serving the community so that more kids find permanent homes, more adoptive parents welcome a new child, and more birth parents enjoy the exceptional support that New Hope has offered for decades.


The state’s attempt to shutter New Hope did nothing other than violate core rights protected by the First Amendment—the freedom to speak what you believe and the freedom to practice the teachings of your faith.

The victory is just one in the long, sustained, and accelerating battle between atheists and Christ and His followers. The office violating New Hope’s First Amendment rights said it was “deeply disappointed with the decision and maintains that discrimination on any basis should not be tolerated. We’re reviewing our options for next steps.”

Christian Flag Will Fly Tomorrow in Boston

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 2, 2022:  

Following the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, Camp Constitution will fly its Christian flag on one of the three flagpoles outside Boston City Hall on Wednesday morning.

It will be the last time any such flag will fly there, as Boston has changed its rules, thanks to the Supreme Court decision.

The implications are immense, and reach further than many expected. The city declined Camp Constitution’s initial request five years ago for fear that it would somehow violate the faux “separation of church and state” mantra adopted by anti-Christian forces.

Simply put, the faux reasoning is based on a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a religious group. There was no other basis for thinking that the Founders meant to keep Christianity from having an influence in American culture. There is no phrase “separation of church and state” in the Constitution, nor can it be found elsewhere in America’s founding documents.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled that Boston’s defense was faulty, and that the city violated Camp Constitution’s right to free speech when it denied its request to fly the Christian flag from that flagpole five years ago.

The ruling forced Boston to change its rules. It is also forcing numerous towns, cities, and municipalities to reconsider their own rules, in favor of free speech, and away from concerns over violating the nebulous but dangerous “separation of church and state” thought to be part of the Constitution.

Since 1971, the Supreme Court used something called the “Lemon Test” to handle the cases that came their way: the government (local, state, or federal) violated the Constitution unless it met the Lemon Test criteria:

  1. Did it have a secular, or non-religious, purpose?;
  2. Did it advance or inhibit a religion?;
  3. Did it promote an “extreme entanglement” with religion on the government’s part?

As Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurrence in Shurtleff:

This dispute arose only because of a government official’s mistaken understanding of the Establishment Clause.


A Boston official believed that the City would violate the Establishment Clause if it allowed a religious flag to briefly fly outside of City Hall as part of the flag-raising program that the City had opened to the public.


So Boston granted requests to fly a variety of secular flags, but denied a request to fly a religious flag.


As this Court has repeatedly made clear, however, a government does not violate the Establishment Clause merely because it treats religious persons, organizations, and speech equally with secular persons, organizations, and speech in public programs, benefits, facilities, and the like.


On the contrary, a government violates the Constitution when (as here) it excludes religious persons, organizations, or speech because of religion from public programs, benefits, facilities, and the like.


Under the Constitution, a government may not treat religious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, in his concurring opinion, made it even clearer:

Lemon sought to devise a one-size-fits-all test for resolving Establishment Clause disputes. That project bypassed any inquiry into the Clause’s original meaning. It ignored longstanding precedents. And instead of bringing clarity to the area, Lemon produced only chaos.


In time, this Court came to recognize these problems, abandoned Lemon, and returned to a more humble jurisprudence centered on the Constitution’s original meaning.


Yet in this case, the city chose to follow Lemon anyway. It proved a costly decision, and Boston’s travails supply a cautionary tale for other localities and lower courts.

The attack on Christianity continues, despite the high court’s shift to originalism. Wrote Gorsuch:

This is why some still invoke Lemon today. It reflects poorly on us all.


Through history, the suppression of unpopular religious speech and exercise has been among the favorite tools of petty tyrants.


Our forebears resolved that this Nation would be different. Here, they resolved, each individual would enjoy the right to make sense of his relationship with the divine, speak freely about man’s place in creation, and have his religious practices treated with respect.

The day governments in this country forage for ways to abandon these foundational promises is a dark day for the cause of individual freedom.

The high court has abandoned the Lemon test, to the benefit of all who cherish religious freedom. In recent cases it ruled that a football coach shouldn’t have lost his job merely because he prayed on the football field after a game. It also ruled that religious schools in Maine must be allowed to participate in the state’s voucher system.

The “separation of church and state” canard, promoted for so long by so many opposed to the impact Christianity has on American culture, is now on the wane at the highest court in the land.

And all because of its return to “originalism” — restoring the understanding of the Constitution as its writers originally intended. That’s what makes tomorrow’s flag raising in Boston so important.

Highland Park Shooting: Calls for More Gun Control Miss the Point

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 5, 2022:  

The shooting began at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, July 4 — Independence Day in Highland Park, Illinois. The lone gunman, using what police called “a high-powered rifle,” killed six parade watchers and wounded at least 30 others, was captured eight hours later.

On cue anti-gunners polished their scripts. First was Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park:

Obviously, we have a problem in this country if we have weekly mass shootings involving these weapons of war, and it’s important for us to talk about how to provide … protection on a broader scale, whether it’s statewide … whether it’s nationally.

Right behind Rotering was Illinois Governor JP Pritzker:

If you’re angry today, I’m here to tell you, be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. And I’m furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today.


I’m furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I’m furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I’m furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen.

Pritzker then zeroed in on guns:

There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns.


I’m telling you, there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now.


It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine.

Behind Pritzker was the current occupant of the Oval Office whose staff posted a statement over his name on the shooting:

I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives.


But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.

The most telling and relevant of all statements came from an attendee of the parade who survived the shooting. Said Angela Sendick: “It’s just crazy [that] no one can figure out how to put a stop to all this.”

More gun laws certainly aren’t the answer. Highland Park is a gun free zone that bans “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines.

Illinois, according to Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety, is the state with the most stringent gun laws in the country. It has a red flag law, a waiting period to buy a gun, a law requiring gun owner licensing, “open carry” limitations, among others.

Just purchasing a firearm in Illinois involves the following process:

• Buyer must possess a valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card;

• Buyer must show knowledge of local firearm ordinance requirements;

• Buyer must display a valid FOID card to FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer prior to handling firearm;

• Buyer must complete Federal Form ATF 4473;

• FFL notifies the Illinois State Police (ISP) to perform a background check in accordance with state and federal laws;

• FFL receives an “Approval” from the ISP to transfer the firearm;

• Buyer must abide by the State of Illinois waiting period before taking possession of the firearm (the waiting period for a long gun is 24 hours and 72 hours for a handgun);

• Upon taking possession of the firearm, the firearm must be unloaded and enclosed in a case to transport.

Police have reported that the shooter obtained his firearm legally.

Conservative Christian radio host Erick Erickson nailed it:

Evil is the absence of God. God does not cause evil. Evil is just that state wherein there is no God of all Creation. Mankind, left to his own devices, is evil….


Another young man, white, young, no real family life, lots of warning signs — another in the ongoing pattern of collapsed nuclear families and societal failures — takes a gun and fires into a crowd killing many….

In the absence of any internal moral compass or restraint, says Erickson, “the solution is to take guns away, of course, or whatever fits the political agenda of the loudest voices on television — it’s always guns, never anything else.”

The Founders knew the true nature of man. John Adams said that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

James Madison, the primary author of that document, concurred with Adams:

[Our Constitution requires] sufficient virtue among men for self-government. [Otherwise] nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.

Those chains are continuously being forged following every incident like this one. Without an internal moral compass or restraint the state will apply them externally, and the people will happily trade their former freedom for their newfound security. Princeton professor Robert George, who is also senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, put it well: :

People lacking in virtue could be counted on to trade liberty for protection, for financial or personal security, for being looked after, for being taken care of, for having their problems solved quickly. There will always be people occupying or standing for public office who will be happy to offer the deal.

Unless the foundations that originally rested upon individual responsibility and internal moral restraints are restored, then it’s just a matter of time before external tyranny replaces internal restraint.

Football Coach Has First Amendment Right to Pray, Rules the Supreme Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 28, 2022:  

In its ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District released on Monday, the Supreme Court not only upheld the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to free speech and the exercise of religion, but it also challenged, for the first time, the canard that the Establishment Clause creates the illusion of “separation of church and state.”

Bremerton School District bought the canard and refused to renew football coach Joe Kennedy’s contract when he persisted in praying on the 50-yard line at the conclusion of each game. The district thought it was avoiding a lawsuit.

Instead it brought on an eight-year-long series of lawsuits that could have been avoided if the district had simply issued a statement that Kennedy wasn’t speaking for the school when he prayed.

Supreme Court Justice Neal Gorsuch reamed the district for not only punishing Kennedy by not renewing his contract, but for deliberately and intentionally making his religious expression its target.

Wrote Gorsuch:

The Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect an individual engaging in a personal religious observance from government reprisal; the Constitution neither mandates nor permits the government to suppress such religious expression.

At issue was Kennedy’s kneeling and praying in public view after each game. This was, in the district’s view, a violation of the separation of church and state. Such view has been pushed for decades, using Thomas Jefferson’s private letter to the Danbury Baptists as the battering ram to remove all religious expression from the culture.

Gorsuch explained:

The contested exercise here does not involve leading prayers with the team; the District disciplined Mr. Kennedy only for his decision to persist in praying quietly without his students after three games in October 2015.


In forbidding Mr. Kennedy’s brief prayer, the District’s challenged policies were neither neutral nor generally applicable.


By its own admission, the District sought to restrict Mr. Kennedy’s actions at least in part because of their religious character.


Prohibiting a religious practice was thus the District’s unquestioned “object.”

Gorsuch concluded:

Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic.


Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a personal religious observance, based on a mistaken view that it has a duty to suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. [Emphasis added]


The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination. Mr. Kennedy is entitled to summary judgment on his religious exercise and free speech claims.

Nowhere in the 75-page ruling does the phrase “separation of church and state” appear. But Rachel Laser, the president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented Bremerton, saw the threat clearly enough. In anticipation of the ruling Laser said:

[I]f we lose this case, it would be a radical departure from decades of well-established law protecting students’ religious freedom.


We think it would open the door that could be kicked in, in particular in this climate where there’s a real escalation in religious extremists across our country, to allow teachers and coaches to be able to pray again and pressure students to pray in school.

Without this writer commenting on her claim of the “real escalation of religious extremists” except to say that it is highly welcome and timely, Gorsuch answered her charge that those former freedoms to pray in school might be in jeopardy in future court rulings: “That the First Amendment doubly protects religious speech is no accident. It is the natural outgrowth of the framers’ distrust of government attempts to regulate religion and suppress dissent.”

As for Coach Kennedy, it has been a long and difficult eight years. But in his letter to Fox News, he wrote:

No one should be fired from their job just because [he or she] can be seen engaged in private prayer….


I hope [the ruling] means that our public school teachers and coaches don’t have to hide their faith from view….


Win or lose, when the whistle blows and everyone shakes hands, you’ll find me at the 50-yard line on a knee in private prayer.

Supreme Court Rules Maine’s Discrimination Against Religious Schools Unconstitutional

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 22, 2022: 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Maine’s practice of forbidding parents from choosing religious schooling for their children when paid for with public funds is unconstitutional. Wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority:

Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.


Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise.

Some 5,000 of Maine’s 180,000 school-age children live in areas where there is no public school. The state has for decades offered tuition assistance to them, allowing their parents to select a nearby school — school choice, in other words — for their kids.

For years, the state has prohibited those parents from selecting a school that teaches religious values. The parents of children discriminated against brought suit — Carson v. Makin — claiming discrimination under the First Amendment.

Having lost their case in lower courts, the parents appealed to the Supreme Court. It took the case, heard the oral arguments in January, and reversed lower courts in their ruling.

While this appears to be a minor skirmish in the war against religion, it is fraught with great significance in the overall battle. For years Thomas Jefferson’s infamous letter to the Danbury Baptists, in which he used the phrase “separation of church and state,” has been used as a hammer by atheists and socialists to discriminate against and ultimately abolish all religious influence in the culture.

In explaining the historic importance of a proper understanding of the Founding Fathers’ intentions, Wallbuilders’ David Barton noted, “The First Amendment was intended to keep government out of regulating religion, but it did not keep religion out of government or the public square.”

In the 6-3 decision Justice Sonia Sotomayor recognized immediately the threat of such high court decisions to remove that hammer from atheists and socialists, falsely claiming, “This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers sought to build.”

The Wall Street Journal decried the decision, recognizing that threat, referring to the decision as “the latest … by a conservative majority [who are] skeptical of precedents that draw a bright line between church and state.”

The Journal is referring to two recent high court decisions that reflect the Founders’ original intent, including Trinity Lutheran v. Comer and Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue.

In Trinity Lutheran, money granted by the state of Missouri for playground resurfacing excluded those owned or controlled by a church. Writing for the majority in that case, Chief Justice Roberts said:

The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution … and cannot stand.

In Espinoza, Roberts wrote again for the majority:

A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, saw the mounting threat to the Left’s continuous and deliberate misinterpretation of Jefferson’s phrase, claiming on Twitter that “’Separation of church and state’ is a vanishing concept at the Supreme Court.”

The ACLU also recognized the continuing threat to the false narrative by declaring that “The Supreme Court’s decision today undermines our Constitution’s promise of separation between government and religion.”

Of course, as Barton pointed out, “The phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ cannot be found in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. In fact, it is not found in any of our nation’s founding documents.”

The most egregious attempt to reframe yesterday’s decision came from American Atheists’ attorney Geoffrey Blackwell:

With this decision, the Supreme Court has betrayed our nation’s founding principle that the government should not fund religion, including a religion like Christianity.


This court is destroying the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which protects all Americans — especially atheists and members of minority religions.

Other officials with American Atheists expanded on what they perceived as a threat to the Founders’ intentions. Alison Gill, AA vice president, said:

The religious conservative majority on the Supreme Court is intent on placing the interests of Christians above all others, including individuals’ fundamental rights.


These justices will keep working at breakneck speed to undermine nondiscrimination protections, replace public education with a discriminatory religious “education,” and force Americans to fund conservative Christianity and other religions. This will harm countless Americans, especially children.

Of course, a proper reading of the Founders’ original intent reveals no such thing. But the rant from AA by its president, Nick Fish, continued the group’s fabrication:

Extremists are weakening our democracy. Calls to reform and expand the Court to limit the impact of its dangerous Christian nationalist wing will only grow louder, as the Supreme Court tries to establish what can only be described as a theocracy.

Fish did get one part correct:

Today’s decision is appalling, but it isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

As the war against the nation’s culture includes an attack on its religious freedom, yesterday’s proper ruling in Carson v. Makin is comforting.

Sports Illustrated: SCOTUS Ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District Will Unleash “White Christian Nationalism”

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 14, 2022:  

Days before the Supreme Court is likely to issue its ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School DistrictSports Illustrated offered its criticism of it in advance. After reviewing “more than 1,000 pages of documents related to the lawsuit and [having] met several times … with [football coach Joseph] Kennedy and his legal team,” author Greg Bishop was ready to make his own ruling in the case: If the high court rules in favor of Kennedy, that ruling will be “a sledgehammer aimed at a bedrock of democracy: the separation of church and state.”

Even worse, such a decision will unleash a wave of “white Christian nationalism” on the nation. Wrote Bishop, “They believe America was created by a preeminence of people like themselves [“white Christian slavers”] and should always have laws in place that reflect America’s origins.”

He quoted Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represents Bremerton: “That’s what this case is about.… [it’s] a movement that is so determined they are not willing to stop. They are willing to destroy our democracy to achieve their ends.”

She claims that those groups supporting Kennedy through amicus briefs represent a “who’s who of religious extremists in this country.”

It’s all part of a master plan, wrote Bishop, to “redefine church and state.” Previous court rulings prohibiting the teaching of creationism and prayer in schools are likely to be threatened as part of that master plan. Under recent rulings “God,” he complained, “can remain in the Pledge of Allegiance … the federal government can give money to faith-based schools, and … religious groups can discriminate based on their beliefs when hiring.”

“It’s really,” wrote Bishop, “whether church and state should be separated — and where that line of separation should be drawn. Or redrawn. Or removed.”

Kennedy himself is the unlikely “hero” in the drama. For seven years he coached Bremerton High School’s JV football team and helped with the varsity. For years he prayed by himself after each game on the 50-yard-line.

And for seven years, nobody minded. Nobody said anything. Nobody sued. Nobody even threatened to sue.

But when a school administrator paid a public compliment to how the coach was positively impacting the lives of his players, the school board told Kennedy to stop. When he didn’t, the board decided not to renew his contract.

In 2015, he sued to get his job back. That’s when First Liberty entered the fray. Since then, the lawsuit wended its way through the judicial system until it finally was taken on appeal by the Supreme Court in January.

Oral arguments were heard in April and the ruling is expected at any moment.

The ruling is likely to disappoint Bishop. The court has limited itself to answering just two questions:

(1) Whether a public-school employee who says a brief, quiet prayer by himself while at school and visible to students is engaged in government speech that lacks any First Amendment protection; and

(2) Whether, assuming that such religious expression is private and protected by the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses, the Establishment Clause nevertheless compels public schools to prohibit it.

The high court will not visit the issue of the alleged “separation of church and state.” David Barton, founder of Wallbuilders, clarifies that issue:

The early colonists who came to America … made sure that the government, or the State, could not control or limit religious beliefs or activities. This was their understanding of the separation of Church and State….


The phrase “separation of Church and State” cannot be found in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. In fact, it is not found in any of our nation’s founding documents. Related to government, the phrase first appeared in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut in 1801….


The Danbury Baptists wrote Thomas Jefferson expressing their concern that the government might try to regulate their religious expression. In response, Jefferson wrote his now famous letter, using the phrase “Separation of Church and State” to reassure the Danbury Baptists that the First Amendment prohibited the government from trying to control religious expression.


In short, the First Amendment was intended to keep government out of regulating religion, but it did not keep religion out of government or the public square.

That is what frightens Bishop and groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Supreme Court originalists may some day restore the original understanding of the relationship between church and state, demanding that tyrants and atheists cease using the government to regulate religion into oblivion via an intentional misreading of Jefferson’s phrase.

Barna: Fewer Than Four in 10 Pastors Hold a Biblical Worldview

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 9, 2022:  

The results of a survey of 1,000 Christian pastors by the Cultural Research Center (affiliated with Arizona Christian University) were published last month, revealing that just 37 percent of them hold a Biblical worldview.

George Barna, who headed up the study, defined “Biblical worldview” as believing that

Absolute moral truth exists;


The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;


Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic;


A person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works;


Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and


God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

After engaging those 1,000 pastors in phone or online interviews, asking them 54 questions related to their theological worldview, Barna and his associates found the results “shocking.” The survey “shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a Biblical worldview.”

Among senior pastors the results are only slightly better, with 41 percent holding a Biblical worldview. Among youth and children’s pastors, however, the results were much worse: Only 12 percent, or one in eight, of them hold a Biblical worldview.

This was most troubling to Barna:

Keep in mind, a person’s worldview primarily develops before the age of 13, then goes through a period of refinement during their teens and twenties.


From a worldview perspective, a church’s most important ministers are the Children’s Pastor and the Youth Pastor.


Discovering that seven out of every eight of those pastors lack a Biblical worldview helps to explain why so few people in the nation’s youngest generations are developing a heart and mind for Biblical principles and ways of life, and why our society seems to have run wild over the last decade, in particular.

If a majority of so-called Christian pastors don’t hold to a Biblical worldview, what do they believe? Said Barna:

Instead, their prevailing worldview is best described as Syncretism, the blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences.


More than six out of 10 pastors (62%) have a predominantly syncretistic worldview.

Syncretism is a hodge-podge of beliefs taken from various non-Christian sources, a “disparate, irreconcilable collections of beliefs and behaviors … a cut-and-paste approach to making sense of, and responding to, life.”

It’s similar to a salad bar: Take a little here, leave the rest — whatever you’re comfortable with or looks most attractive at the moment.

Specifically, syncretism is an unhappy and illogical blending of secular humanism, postmodernism, Marxism, eastern or “new age” mysticism, and nihilism. Barna calls such a blending as an “impure, unrecognizable worldview” compared to a Biblical worldview.

In another study by the Cultural Research Center of 2,000 adults last year, syncretism is the “religion of choice” of almost 90 percent of the American population. At the time Barna wrote that those

Americans embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable or seem most convenient. Those beliefs and behaviors are often inconsistent, or even contradictory, but few Americans seem troubled by those failings.

There is a ray of light buried in the pastors’ survey:

One group within the general public that is more likely to possess a Biblical worldview than pastors are SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservative Christians).


The American Worldview Inventory 2021 showed that 46% of SAGE Cons have a biblical worldview, a full nine percentage points higher than the incidence among pastors.

SAGE Cons are individuals who are believers in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, active in their pursuit of a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, and passionate about the current state of the culture’s social, political, and moral decline.

The good news is that there are more SAGE Cons than Biblical pastors:

Given that SAGE Cons constitute about 8% of the national adult population and pastors of Christian churches are less than 1% of the general public, SAGE Cons with a biblical worldview are roughly 10 times as numerous as Christian pastors with a biblical worldview.

Exposing the Counterfeit Theology of Progressive Christianity

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 2, 2022:  

Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan’s Purse, took on the deceptive progressive theology posing as Christianity in an article published on Wednesday at Decision magazine. He called it “the Eternal Peril,” accurately portraying it as Satan’s lie dating from the serpent’s confrontation with Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The lie, he wrote, “has cropped up in the halls of seminaries, infiltrated the pulpits of thousands of churches, and been propagated by a godless liberal media. It is bent on casting doubt and undermining the foundational principles of God’s Word.”

The counterfeit theology attacks the basic foundational structure of Biblical Christianity at every point, seeking to destroy it and then replace it with a man-centered worldview. On gender identity, Graham writes:

Although Scripture clearly says that marriage is between one man and one woman, proponents of progressive Christianity twist and distort the truth of God’s Word on sexuality, focusing on such nonsensical trends as gender identity.


They deny God’s distinction of the sexes, and instead invent their own misguided standards, unguided by the Word of God.

Progressive Christianity rejects God’s plan and replaces it by affirming same-sex marriage. It accepts the use of pornography, one-night stands, and same-sex encounters — virtually any sexual activity as long as it reflects a “concern for each other’s flourishing,” according to promoter Nadia Bolz-Weber.

It accepts Satan’s assurance to Adam and Even in the garden:

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” — Genesis 3:4-5

The fruit was enticing, the promise was enthralling, and the invitation to assert her own independence from God was overwhelming. Her sin was not in itself eating the fruit of the tree; it was her decision to deny God, His warning, and especially His sovereignty.

When she ate and didn’t immediately die, Adam fell for the lie as well, thus fatally infecting their progeny right up to the present day.

From there, Progressive Christianity goes downhill. The Bible isn’t the infallible Word of God, but merely an ancient travelogue, a wonderful work of literature that reflects only what people believed about Him when the words were written thousands of years ago.

It denies Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning, God”) and replaces it with the lie of evolution. As progressive authors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy wrote:

Far from being fallen creatures trying to return to a mythical Eden, human beings are emerging as a species from more primal and baser instincts to become more responsible and mature beings.

It denies the deity of Christ as the only son of God, and instead considers Him as just a good example to follow, more of a “big brother” than the Creator of the universe “Who made us, and not we ourselves.” (Psalm 100:3).

It denies the crucifixion’s purpose as the only possible redemption for sinners and instead declares that it reveals God as a monster inflicting unspeakable abuse on His own Son. It asks, as did one proponent: “Who originated the Cross? If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner.”

It reinterprets the resurrection (which it cannot deny) as an example “to show us,” writes believer Alisa Childers, “how to forgive our enemies by allowing Himself to be crucified by an angry mob.”

It denies the total depravity of man, ignoring Biblical revelations such as these:

  • Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9);
  • Man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5);
  • Man loves sin (John 3:19; John 8:34);
  • And therefore, he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11);
  • Because he loves the darkness (John 3:19);
  • The depraved lifestyle embraced by Progressive Christianity reflects the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18);
  • Because it is unable to accept it (Romans 8:7).

The deception of Progressive Christianity is fueled by its attractiveness, seeming to many as an option to the true faith — more acceptable, more likeable, more palatable in an increasingly sinful and declining world. Progressive Christianity is, as Will Vining noted in The Christian Post, is “most deceiving when it looks and feels like the Truth.”

Graham ended his post with this reminder from the apostle Paul’s letter to his protégé, Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2-5):

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

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