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Thread: The End of Christian America

  1. #161
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America


    ‘The Bible Belt is Collapsing’


    August 17, 2013

    A fascinating interview in the Wall Street Journal with Russell Moore, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. This influential position was held previously by Richard Land, who became a well known face on the cable nets and Sunday shows.

    Moore says, in essence, that the culture war has been lost:

    ‘The Bible Belt is collapsing,” says Russell Moore. Oddly, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission doesn’t seem upset. In a recent visit to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Moore explains that he thinks the Bible Belt’s decline may be “bad for America, but it’s good for the church.”

    Why? Because “we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority.”

    The phrase is arresting coming from such a prominent religious leader—akin to a general who says the Army has shrunk to the point it can no longer fight two wars. A youthful 41, Mr. Moore is among the leaders of a new generation who think that evangelicals need to recognize that their values no longer define mainstream American culture the way they did 50 or even 20 years ago.

    On gay marriage, abortion, even on basic religious affiliation, the culture has moved away. So evangelicals need a new way of thinking—a new strategy, if you will—to attract and keep believers, as well as to influence American politics.

    The easy days of mobilizing a ready-made majority are gone. By “prophetic minority,” he means that Christians must return to the days when they were a moral example and vanguard—defenders of belief in a larger unbelieving culture. He views this less as a defeat than as an opportunity.

    [...]

    He is definitely pushing a new tone for this generation of evangelicals. “This is the end of ‘slouching toward Gomorrah,’ ” he says. Not only is the doomsaying not winning Christians any popularity contests, but he doesn’t think it’s religiously appropriate either. “We were never promised that the culture would embrace us.”

    He also questions the political approach of what was once called “the religious right.” Though his boyish looks bring to mind the former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, Mr. Moore is decidedly not a fan of the “values voter checklists” the group employs. “There is no Christian position on the line-item veto,” Mr. Moore says. “There is no Christian position on the balanced-budget amendment.”

    Which is not to say that Mr. Moore wants evangelicals to “turn inward” and reject the larger U.S. culture. Rather, he wants to refocus the movement on serving as a religious example battling in the public square on “three core issues”—life, marriage and religious liberty.

    Politically, the evangelical right isn’t going anywhere. They will still play a large role in Republican Party politics, and will still be indispensable to the campaigns of dozens of Republicans in many districts.

    But to a secularist like me, Mr. Moore’s words sound like a welcome dose of pragmatism. Achieve what is doable, accept the world not for what you would have it be, but for what it is. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be an effort — a war, if you will — to fight on many issues. But perhaps the battles will be fought on a different kind of battlefield — one where moral authority is gleaned not from numbers or political power, but from the light of example.

    Read the whole interview for some fascinating insights.

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    Veterans Affairs forced chaplains from program for quoting Scripture, praying in the name of Jesus, suit alleges

    By Todd Starnes
    Todd's American Dispatch
    FoxNews.com


    Reuters


    Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus.

    When the men objected to those demands, they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.

    The Conservative Baptist Association of America is suing Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki; the group’s suit alleges two of its chaplains were openly ridiculed by the leader of the San Diego-based VA-DOD Clinical Pastoral Education Center program.

    'Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment.'

    - Attorney John Wells

    “Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment,” said John Wells, an attorney representing the Colorado-based denomination.

    “No American choosing to serve in the armed forces should be openly ridiculed for his Christian faith,” he said, calling it one of the most blatant cases of religious discrimination he has ever seen.

    Lt. Commander Dan Klender, a Navy chaplain, and Maj. Steven Firtko, a retired Army chaplain, had enrolled in the VA’s Clinical Pastoral Education Center program in San Diego last year.

    The one-year training program is required for anyone wanting to work as a chaplain in a VA hospital. VA chaplains differ from other military chaplains in that they are limited to working in VA hospitals.

    The program, which has affiliates around the nation, is open to chaplains of all religious faiths. However, applicants must have completed master-level seminary work.

    There were seven chaplains enrolled in the San Diego program led by Nancy Dietsch, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee with a history of antagonistic behavior toward evangelicals, Wells said.

    “She’s been very, very critical of Christians,” Wells said in a telephone interview. “Instead of teaching anything dealing with faith issues, she’s dealing with a holistic, humanistic approach. It’s the idea that the spirit comes from within.”

    The VA did not return telephone calls, but they did release a statement to NBC San Diego. The VA said the two men were “bullying other classmates and refusing to honor other faith groups.”

    Wells said the chaplains were subjected to anti-Christian bigotry.

    “And that would be putting it mildly,” he said. “A lot of these so-called liberals are very liberal with their own ideas, but when it comes to somebody else’s ideas, they don’t want to hear it.

    Among the allegations listed in the lawsuit:

    1. Dietsch told the chaplains that it was the policy of the VA in general and her in particular that chaplains should not pray in the name of Jesus.

    2. During a classroom discussion on faith, Firtko said “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Dietsch told the chaplain he was not allowed to quote from the Bible in her classroom.

    3. In October 2012, Dietsch told the class she believes God could be either man or woman. When Firtko referred to “The Lord’s Prayer,” she “angrily pounded her fist on the table and shouted, ‘Do not quote Scripture in this class.’”

    4. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Klender mentioned during a group discussion on counseling that he would tell a parent that “there
    is evil in the world.” Dietsch retorted, “You don’t actually believe that do you?”

    5. In January 2013, she told the chaplains “there is no room in the program for those who believe they are right and everybody else is wrong.”

    6. Later that month she told students that there are many ways to heaven and that one religion cannot be right, while others are wrong. Firtko objected to that statement by quoting Jesus who said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” Dietsch told him to stop quoting from the Bible, then stated, “If you believe your beliefs are right, and everyone else’s is wrong, you do not belong in this program.”

    The harassment had become so bad by February that Klender withdrew from the program. A week later, Firtko received a letter notifying him that he’d been dismissed from the program.

    In July, the pair filed a formal complaint against Dietsch for religious discrimination and violating the Association of Pastoral Continuing Education Standards.

    Attorney Wells said it appears the government is trying to establish “a secular humanist-based religion free from any influence of Christian dogma.”

    “The most egregious part is the VA supervisor told two chaplains that they were not allowed to pray in the name of Jesus and they could not quote Scripture,” he said.

    Wells feared that unless changes are made, Christian chaplains are going to be discouraged from serving in the military.

    “Christian chaplains are under a lot of pressure right now and facing a lot of challenges,” he said.

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  3. #163
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Obama Removes ‘GOD’ from Gettysburg Address



    One nation under God? Under President Obama, maybe not so much.


    As first reported on WMAL’s Chris Plante Show Tuesday, the Commander-in-Chief joined a cast of 61 other noted lawmakers, politicians, news anchors and celebrities, including every living President, in reciting the Gettysburg Address, which President Abraham Lincoln delivered on November 19, 1863.


    The dignitaries all delivered the address as Lincoln had written it, including the phrase, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” (Click to listen). Curiously, however, in his version of the address, President Obama omitted the words “under God.”




    Filmmaker Ken Burns gathered the celebrities' speeches as part of a PBS documentary. Burns edited the individual speeches into one final mashup that is available on his website, learntheaddress.org, as well as each celebrity's individual rendition.
    Copyright 2013 WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. (Photo: AP)

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We値l so weaken your
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    until you値l
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  4. #164
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Because, well... Obama is a dick. Simple.

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    No, because people would have noticed had he put in "Allah Ahkbar"
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    True. They might have blown it off as sudden jihad syndrome though. Considering his color and all.

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Air Force drops 'So Help Me God' from oaths

    By Todd Starnes
    Todd's American Dispatch
    FoxNews.com



    The Air Force Academy has admitted they removed the phrase “so help me God” from three oaths in the 2012 edition of their official cadet handbook, Fox News has learned.

    The revelation came after more than two dozen members of Congress sent a letter to Academy Supt. Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson demanding that she explain why the phrase was removed.

    The lawmakers contend the 2012 edition of the Contrails Cadet Handbook excludes the phrase ‘so help me God’ in the Cadet’s Oath of allegiance, the Oath of Office for Officers and the Oath of Enlistment.

    Air Force Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal told me the omission was a simple mistake.
    “The Constitution does not require that this phrase be scrubbed from the oath,” read the letter drafted by Rep. Jim Bridenstein (R-Okla.) and signed by 28 lawmakers. “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion’ however, the inclusion of the phrase ‘so help me God’ in an oath of service does not rise to this level.”

    Bridenstein said “editing the oath for all Academy students is extreme and unnecessary, and does a disservice to the countless individuals who wish to include the phrase as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and country.”

    Air Force Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal told me the omission was a simple mistake.

    “It was an editorial oversight,” he said. “We learned within the last few weeks there was a problem.”

    Vidal said there was no reasoning behind the omission and there was no forethought.

    “Whoever was doing the editing didn’t catch it,” he said.

    He said next year’s edition of the Contrails Cadet Handbook will be revised and will include the phrase “so help me God.”

    Last month, the Air Force Academy was embroiled in another controversy involving “so help me God” after they decided to make it an optional part of the Honor Oath. The revision was made following a complained from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

    The lawmakers directed Johnson to provide information on why changes were made to the Honor Oath and why a poster bearing the words “so help me God” was removed from the Academy.

    MRFF President Mikey Weinstein had filed a complaint about the poster. Approximately 68 minutes after he complained, Johnson ordered the art work removed. That decision did not set well with lawmakers.

    “We ask that you restore the poster bearing the oath in full to its original location as an honorable reflection of the oath of service,” the lawmakers wrote.

    After the Honor Oath was revised, Johnson released a statement affirming the right of Airmen to “freely practice and exercise their religious preference – or not.”

    “Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect,” she stated.

    Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said he’s received calls from concerned parents of cadets – lamenting the change in the oaths.

    “This phrase is a deeply-rooted American tradition – begun by George Washington as the first president of the United States and now stated by many who take an oath of service to our country,” Crews said. “The removal of this phrase is a disservice to the countless men and women who wish to include this phrase as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and their country.”

    And while Crews said he respects the right of cadets not to say the word ‘so help me God’, he pointed out the law requires that the words remain part of the oath.

    If that’s the case – why were they removed and who gave the order?

    Let’s hope these lawmakers can root out the anti-religious forces that have infiltrated the Air Force Academy. It’s high time someone put a stop to the religious cleansing of the Armed Forces.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We値l so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  8. #168
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    "Curiously, however, in his version of the address, President Obama omitted the words “under God.”"

    It's ok, I can handle open enemies, avowed atheists and agnostics. It's those sons of Judas Iscariot who are alleged Apostles of Our Lord who betray the Son of Man with a kiss, who are harder to deal with.

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    Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics


    People crowd St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on occasion of the celebration of the Easter mass Sunday, March 31, 2013. Pope Francis is celebrating his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Square, which is packed by joyous pilgrims, tourists and Romans. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    By Cheryl K. Chumley

    -

    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America's facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

    It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

    Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.

    “That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”

    Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.

    Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

    “It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.

    Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move “an unmistakable slap in the face” that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.

    And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.”

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We値l so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  10. #170
    Senior Member Avvakum's Avatar
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics


    People crowd St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on occasion of the celebration of the Easter mass Sunday, March 31, 2013. Pope Francis is celebrating his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Square, which is packed by joyous pilgrims, tourists and Romans. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    By Cheryl K. Chumley

    -

    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America's facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

    It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

    Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.

    “That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”

    Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.

    Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

    “It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.

    Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move “an unmistakable slap in the face” that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.

    And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.”
    Oh it's a 'smokescreen' all right, don't make too much of this, and it won't effect Roman Catholic voting patterns here in the USA, solid Democrat. This is the more important story that Americans catholic or otherwise will no doubt miss;







    • More





    Russia

    Pope Francis, Putin Discuss Syria Solution in Vatican


    Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a private audience at the Vatican, November 25, 2013
    ゥ RIA Novosti. Mikhail Klimentiev



    22:05 26/11/2013
    Originally posted at 00:10

    Tags: Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin, Vatican, Russia
    Related News



    VATICAN, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis met in the Vatican on Monday for one-on-one talks that focused on finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
    During the pope's "cordial and constructive" meeting with Putin, "special attention was given to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and to the serious situation in Syria," said Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.
    The two men agreed that a solution to the conflict should "involve the various ethnic and religious elements, recognizing their essential role in society." They also discussed "the urgency of stopping the violence and bringing the necessary humanitarian assistance to the (Syrian) population."
    Putin said Tuesday that in particular they discussed the protection of the rights and interests of Christians in the Middle East.
    Putin's spokesman said the one-on-one talks in the Apostolic Palace lasted twice as long as planned.
    Putin and the pontiff exchanged gifts, and the pope asked the Russian leader to send his regards to Patriarch Kirill, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church.
    Thaddeus Jones, an official with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said Putin's meeting with the pope signaled the acknowledgement of Russia's role on the international arena.
    He said the Vatican and Italy expressed deep gratitude for Russia's efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict through multilateral negotiations and without an escalation of violence.
    The two did not discuss ecumenical issues, Catholicnews.com reported.
    Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches have been strained by a few issues that have prevented the churches' leaders from meeting. The Moscow Patriarchate has in particular accused the Vatican of trying to lead its believers away from the Russian Church - an accusation the Catholic Church has denied.
    After the audience, Putin had dinner with his old friend former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and held closed-door talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace. Putin traveled to Trieste on Tuesday to meet with Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta to discuss bilateral cooperation, and economic and international issues including Syria.
    Russian Patriarch Kirill said Tuesday that collaboration between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle East peace effort was especially important ahead of the Geneva-2 conference on Syria.
    At a meeting with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Russian patriarch praised the Vatican's position on the Syrian civil war, saying Pope Francis' September 4 message to Putin with a call on G20 countries to avoid a strike on Syria was of special significance.
    The United Nations said Monday that the long-delayed Geneva-2 international peace conference, dedicated to ending the conflict in Syria, would be held on January 22 in Geneva.
    More than 100,000 people have been killed and 9 million people displaced since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, according to the UN.
    Updated to add Putin and Patriarch Kirill reaction
    Last edited by Avvakum; November 28th, 2013 at 16:40.

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    The power to tax is the power to destroy.


    Secular Victory: Religious Income Tax Exemption Ruled Unconstitutional

    November 23, 2013

    In a victory for secular Americans, a federal court has ruled a religious income tax exemption that allows “a minister of the gospel” to not pay income tax on a portion of their compensation to be unconstitutional.

    On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb for the Western District of Wisconsin issued a strong, 43-page decision declaring unconstitutional the 1954 “parish exemption” that allows “a minister of the gospel” to not pay income tax on a specific portion of their compensation.

    About her decision Crabb wrote: “Some might view a rule against preferential treatment as exhibiting hostility toward religion, but equality should never be mistaken for hostility. It is important to remember that the establishment clause protects the religious and nonreligious alike.”

    The decision could have far-reaching financial ramifications for pastors, who currently can use the untaxed income to pay rental housing costs or the costs of homeownership, including mortgage payments and property taxes.

    The unconstitutional law, passed by Congress in 1954, allows a clergy member to use the untaxed income to purchase a home, and then, in a practice known as “double dipping,” deduct interest paid on the mortgage and property taxes.

    The 1954 bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peter Mack, argued ministers should be rewarded for “carrying on such a courageous fight against this (godless and anti-religious world movement).”

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which brought the lawsuit along with their co-presidents, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, consider the ruling a significant victory with far-reaching ramifications. Gaylor called the lawsuit “a sleeper,” saying it has received little media attention and may not be widely known by religious organizations. That will no doubt change with this win, she said. Given the dollar figures at stake, she expects clergy members to pressure the White House to appeal the decision to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

    “The Court’s decision does not evince hostility to religion — nor should it even seem controversial,” commented Richard L. Bolton, FFRF’s attorney in the case. “The Court has simply recognized the reality that a tax free housing allowance available only to ministers is a significant benefit from the government unconstitutionally provided on the basis of religion.”

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Liberals discuss the need to end 'Christian privilege' in the name of religious freedom

    By JOEL GEHRKE | DECEMBER 12, 2013 AT 6:26 PM

    Topics: Beltway Confidential Center for American Progress Abortion First Amendment Religion ACLU Contraception HHS
    That was the consensus Thursday at a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for American Progress in Washington.

    "People [are] using the term 'liberty' when they really mean 'my liberty, your slavery,'" the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said during the discussion. He made the statement while arguing that liberals' view of religious liberty springs from a true, originalist reading of the Constitution that was once universally understood. Unfortunately, he said, the American people have become "confused" about this question because of misleading claims made by the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops.
    "You have the Catholic bishops advocating for 'religious freedom,' which doesn't look anything like what religious freedom is in the Constitution," Gaddy said. "Unless we do those kind of dramatic actions [such as the ACLU suing the USCCB] in order to get us back to what the foundation of religious freedom has been all the time, it's going to get worse and worse, with people using the term 'liberty' when they really mean 'my liberty, your slavery.'"

    The audience received a similar narrative of religious beliefs functioning as a Trojan horse for discrimination from ACLU senior counsel Eunice Rho, who denounced attempts to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in various states.

    "These are very dangerous because they can allow religion to be used to harm others," Rho said.

    Gaddy compared Christian florists who don't want to provide service for gay weddings to employers who posted "whites only" signs in their windows.

    "I don't think we don't want to go down that road again," he said.

    The low level of discourse was disappointing because the panel had plenty of opportunities. "It sets up a false equation of 'my religious liberty versus same-sex marriage, reproductive rights' — as if those two are inherently opposed and you've got to choose one versus the other," said Sally Steenland, director of CAP's Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative. "And we, as we'll talk about later in the panel, know that's not the case."

    That's a very interesting claim that happens to be at odds with the position of Chai Feldblum, whom President Obama appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    "There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all casesthe sexual liberty should win because that's the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner," Feldblum said in 2006.

    Unfortunately, the panelists never explained why Feldblum was wrong or articulated a judicable principle that reconciled the apparent tension between the sexual liberty of gay couples wanting to marry and the religious liberty of Christian-conservative business owners who don't want to service their weddings.

    Instead, the audience heard cliched comparisons between such Christians and people who oppose interracial marriages.

    "We don't tolerate that type of behavior," the Human Rights Campaign's Sarah Wurbelow said, without a hint of irony. "Serving a client through a contract is not the same thing as putting your imprimatur on it, saying, 'I agree with this particular marriage.'"

    NARAL deputy policy council Lissy Moskowitz made another interesting comment while discussing the Hobby Lobby lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court, in which business owners argue that they ought not be required to pay for their employees' contraception given their own religious beliefs.

    "That's the concern, that if the court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, the concern is that, well, in this context, it's birth control, but what's not to stop another boss from saying, 'Well, I don't want to cover vaccines, mental health, blood transfusions' — I mean, the list goes on and on, and it's really worrisome," Moskowitz said.

    That's an interesting problem that I don't know how to resolve. Will the panel of lawyers, policy experts and religious leaders address this thorny topic? Do they even know it's thorny?

    Moskowitz's comment could have been the beginning of a conversation about questions of religious liberty, state mandates, how the public interest can be at odds with or reconciled to individual consciences, and others. At CAP headquarters Thursday, it was an argument-ender.

    Why have substantive discussions of constitutional law and American jurisprudence when you can denounce conservative "theocracy" to a liberal audience?

    "See, I grew up in a part of the country where we really believed in religious liberty but we really enforced bondage on everyone else, and it was because we were Christians and we had the Bible," Gaddy said.

    He followed that remark by saying that interpretations of the Bible "ought never threaten the federal government and the way people are ruled by law ... an interpretation of the Bible is of little consequence to the guarantee of the Constitution."

    Later in the talk, Gaddy agreed with an interlocutor who asked if liberals "need to start educating, and calling out, Christians for trying to exercise 'Christian privilege.'"

    "As a Christian" — a big part of Gaddy's rhetorical power seemed to derive from the fact that he could speak as a Christian and a former Southern Baptist who could thus ratify all of the CAP audience's view of the people with whom they disagreed — "I think Christians ought to start calling each other out, because I think you're exactly right," he said.

    So, this religious liberty issue is a pretty simple one at the Center for American Progress: Hidebound conservative Christians — who hold positions that, Steenland admitted, were very common in American society not very long ago (an observation that ought to engender a charitable view of her opponents' positions, although popular opinion certainly doesn't mean that some position or law is necessarily right or just) — fear change, dislike people who differ from them, and use "religious liberty" to justify their discriminatory views.

    "Many people have sincerely held religious beliefs that are different and are held across the spectrum and, for a florist or a bakery, nobody is trying to change what you believe or what you say, but in terms of fulfilling a contract ... you have a license, you've opened your doors to serve the public," said Steenland.

    "And, to turn certain people away based on who they are, it doesn't feel like a particularly American thing to do," she concluded.
    So, the discussion began with a statement of fear about the influence of Roman Catholic bishops on American constitutional debates and ended with a panel moderator saying that an individual following his or her conscience "doesn't feel like a particularly American thing to do."

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    'Anti-Gay': Entertainment Weekly Attacks 'Duck Dynasty' Star's Christian Faith



    One of the most sinister movements in the mainstream media is the labeling of Christian beliefs as de facto bigotry, or anti-gay. It is baseless, it is anti-Christian bigotry disguised as tolerance, it is a smear, and it is a form of McCarthyism. And this is exactly what Entertainment Weekly is doing to one of the stars of the wildly popular (and Christian-themed) "Duck Dynasty."


    Absolutely nothing "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson said here even comes close to bigotry, unless you want to claim that he is also bigoted against heterosexuals:

    “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” Robertson then paraphrased Corinthians from the Bible: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

    And if that wasn’t explicit enough, the “Duck Commander” added: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

    Had the "Duck Dynasty" star singled out homosexuals, EW might be able to make its case for the absurd charge that he made "anti-gay comments." But as you can read with your own eyes, Robertson did not single out gays, he appropriately listed heterosexual sexual sin, such as adultery and sleeping around.

    The sexuality bar for Christianity is pretty high for everyone, and relating that fact is not bigotry, it is spreading the Gospel.

    Robertson is also talking about homosexual sexual behavior, not homosexuals as human beings. That is all the difference in the world.

    Moreover, Robertson also lists "the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers" as those who will not "inherit the kingdom of God."

    It is quite obvious that Robertson is only guilty of being anti-sin, not anti-gay.


    As far as Robertson's vagina/anus talk, apparently in our highly sexualized culture (which EW celebrates and promotes) it is only Christian heterosexuals who are no longer allowed to be explicit about their likes, dislikes, and hang ups. Had a gay man said the opposite, EW would celebrate it as "brave" and the government would give him a grant to take the show on the road.


    Nothing Robertson said even comes close to being anti-gay, but the entire premise of EW's attack is nothing but Christian-bashing. This is the mainstream media attacking our very faith as bigoted and playing the homophobe card to try and intimidate us into shutting up about our beliefs....

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson skips Barbara Walters interview to duck hunt




    Barbara Walters famously called out Katy Perry for making her wait last year. This time around she may be calling out a 'Duck Dynasty' star. You'd think these celebs would show Babs some respect after she chose them as most fascinating people!on.aol.com

    December 17, 2013

    Barbara Walters recently taped an interview with the Robertson family from “Duck Dynasty” for her “Most Fascinating People of the Year” television special. According to a December 17 article on The Christian Post, the family patriarch and inventor of the duck call that started it all, Phil Robertson, skipped the interview to go duck hunting. Barbara Walters was very perplexed by the elder Robertson’s actions:
    He would rather shoot ducks than talk to us, yes?
    Miss Kay Robertson responded in her normal good-natured way. She explained that she knows better than to die during duck season because Phil might miss her funeral.


    The family explained that it is not unusual for their father to miss family events because of his obsession with duck hunting. He was in a duck blind when his son Jase was born. Of course, his loyal wife defended his behavior as being due to youth and immaturity. The Robertsons have always been quick to point out that Robertson changed greatly after his conversion experience. When the couple renewed their wedding vows in an earlier episode, Miss Kay honestly stated that Phil had not always being as nice as he is now.


    It is no secret that the Duck Commander, as he and his signature duck call are known, is not so enthralled with the showbiz angle of “Duck Dynasty.” Rumors have circulated that this may be his last season on the show. You can read more about Phil's possible departure from the show here.

    Barbara Walters shouldn't be so surprised that Phil Robertson missed an interview with an Emmy winning journalist to go duck hunting. He gave up the chance of a promising football career because it interfered with duck hunting season.

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    I heard A&E has banned Phil....

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    A&E has put him on "infinate hiatus" from future filming of the show. Which sucks. I like A&E, I like the show.

    What I'm dissappointed with is he was asked a hot-button loaded question and he's penalized for answering honestly. They may as well have asked him about abortion as well. He's a religious man. Very religious. He responded exactly as you would expect. He gave his honest opinion which is based in his faith. Homosexuality is a sin. This isn't exactly a novel concept in religion. He didn't pussy foot around the question, he didn't give a non-answer, he didn't give the politically correct media friendly answer. He was asked a hot button question and he gave a straight forward answer.

    A&E penalizing him for being honest and true to himself is bullshit.

    What I like though is after this blew up he was supposed to sit down for an interview with Barbra Walters and said Fuck it. Went duck hunting.
    (True story - http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment...to-go-hunting/ )

    I LOLed hard at that. Love it!

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Well, he's a DUCK HUNTER. lol

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    The fact is he's being punished for a thought crime.

    You are not allowed to dislike homosexuals.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    What he is REALLY being punished for is answering a stupid, Political Correctness question.

    Here's some bits and pieces of what he said, based on questions he was asked. What isn't shown are the questions.

    The reason Duck Dynasty is so popular is people are not buying into this new Cultural Revolutionary ideology. They know it is not true. They know it will not promote the common good.


    Robertson described in the interview how sin is becoming acceptable in America and that the country needs to turn back to its Christian values. "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men," Robertson told GQ. "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers-they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right." The patriarch of the Robertson family said just putting one's faith in Jesus will help problems be solved.


    WEST MONROE, La. (CBS Houston) — “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson has been suspended from filming the A&E reality series following his remarks about gay people where he called homosexuality illogical in a recent interview with GQ magazine.


    “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson stated. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

    Robertson described in the interview how sin is becoming acceptable in America and that the country needs to turn back to its Christian values.
    “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” Robertson told GQ. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”


    The patriarch of the Robertson family said just putting one’s faith in Jesus will help problems be solved.


    ““If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then,” Robertson said.


    Despite his beliefs, the 67-year-old says he doesn’t judge others.


    “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” Robertson told GQ. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later.”


    GLAAD slammed Robertson’s comments, calling them “vile.”


    “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said in a statement. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”


    Robertson also revealed in the interview he only sees the family doing the popular show for another five years.


    “Let’s face it. Three, four, five years, we’re out of here,” Robertson told GQ. “You know what I’m saying? It’s a TV show. This thing ain’t gonna last forever. No way.”


    “Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings juggernaut for A&E, averaging 14 million viewers an episode. The latest “Duck Dynasty” season begins Jan. 15. A representative for A&E stated that he would be appearing in some episodes of the upcoming fifth season that have already been completed at the time of his suspension.

    Looks to me like "GLADD" is pushing some pretty extreme stereotypes as well as disdain for Christians....

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    God bless Phil for standing up for what he fervently believes. Mark my words, his reward shall not come in this life but in a place where moth and rust will not destroy.

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