Fired for preaching April 20, 2016Posted by JP in Discussion.
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The following article by Todd Starnes is another example showing that our constitutional right to Freedom OF Religion is being eroded away piece by piece. In several instances which I have posted here we have seen that the State has persecuted Christians for exercising their biblical based spiritual and religious beliefs.
Bakers have been fined for refusing to make wedding cakes for gay weddings, children have been suspended and expelled for wearing crosses to school, or praying during their lunch breaks. A group of Mom’s providing free lunches and a bit of Jesus to children, off school property, have been harassed by school officials (read Jesus Lunch), and now this Doctor fired for his Sunday sermons among numerous other examples of religious discrimination.
With the strong push to enforce LGBT rights I spoke to the idea that their rights will supersede the rights of Christians to hold and express their biblical beliefs, and I have spoken to the very real idea that soon, with the legalization of gay marriage throughout our nation, it will become illegal for churches and ministers to refuse to conduct wedding ceremonies for gay couples. Let me reiterate what I stated:
I am a born again Christian, and an ordained Minister, my fear is that eventually this wave of LGBT rights trumping all other rights will put Ministers and churches in danger of the same governmental coercion that Christian business owners are now facing. My fear is that our right to freely practice our religion will be taken away in lieu of another’s demands that we conform to anti-biblical desires by trying to force Ministers to perform same-sex marriages. This coercion will come under threat of prosecution and/or legal or civic sanctions.
It will be the case, sooner rather than later, that our right to practice our religion free of government influence will be eliminated completely.
Bi-vocational pastors be warned – what you say from the pulpit on Sunday could get you fired from your public sector job on Monday.
Dr. Eric Walsh, a renowned public health expert who also serves as a lay minister, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Public Health alleging he was terminated for delivering sermons on issues ranging from homosexuality to evolution.
“No one in this country should be fired from their job for something that was said in a church or from a pulpit during a sermon,” said First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys.
First Liberty, one of the nation’s largest law firms defending religious liberty, is representing the Seventh Day Adventist lay minister.
They contend that the Georgia Department of Public Health assigned workers to investigate sermons Dr. Walsh delivered on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science and creationism. He also preached on what the Bible says about homosexuality.
“He was fired for something he said in a sermon,” Dys told me. “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”
First Liberty has accused the government agency of religious discrimination and retaliation.
“I don’t believe I did anything wrong,” Dr. Walsh told me in an exclusive interview. “This has been very painful for me. I really am a strong believer in the Constitution. But now I feel like maybe all these ideals and values that I was raised to believe – the ideals they country was founded upon – no longer exist.”
A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) did not return telephone calls nor did they respond to email inquiries.
First Liberty said Walsh was hired as a district health director on May 7, 2014. A few days later, DPH officers and other government workers began investigating his religious activities.
“DPH officers and other employees spent hours reviewing these and other of Dr. Walsh’s sermons and other public addresses available online, analyzing and taking notes on his religious beliefs and viewpoints on social, cultural and other matters of public concern as expressed in the sermons and other public addresses,” the lawsuit states.
The behavior of the DPH was so egregious that its own counsel twice warned them on May 15 that “under federal law Dr. Walsh’s religious beliefs could play no role in any employment decision by DPH.”
But on May 16, the DPH announced it had rescinded the job offer that Dr. Walsh had already accepted.
“Today’s action by the department follows a thorough examination of Dr. Walsh’s credentials and background as well as consultation with the six local boards of health which comprise the district,” spokesman Ryan Deal said in a news release.
And the Department of Public Health wasn’t the only organization concerned about the pastor’s sermons.
The Georgia Voice reported that the Health Initiative, an Atlanta-based group committed to LGBT health issues, strongly opposed Welsh’s hiring.
“Dr. Walsh’s public displays of anti-gay propaganda and religious rhetoric will become symbols of the department and will further isolate an already vulnerable population. We believe this hire is detrimental to the wellbeing of our community, as well as to the effectiveness of the Department to conduct meaningful outreach to LGBT Georgians,” Executive Director Ellis told the publication.
Based on documents First Liberty obtained through a FOIA request, it is clear there was some internal concerns about how Dr. Walsh had been treated.
In spite of the DPH’s internal witch hunt against Dr. Walsh, at least one unnamed staffer wrote a memo warning that the entire controversy had been blown “impossibly out of proportion.”
“Not only is there no smoking gun, there is every reason to believe, even from his detractors own words, that he is the excellent health director we believed he would be,” the staffer wrote in a document obtained by First Liberty through a FOIA request.
“If we do not hire this applicant on the basis of the evidence of job performance and disqualify him on the basis of discrimination by those who seek to advance their own agenda and do him harm, I believe we are no better than they are,” the staffer concluded.
The unnamed staffer’s concerns were ignored and Dr. Walsh was terminated.
Dr. Walsh was catapulted into the national spotlight earlier in 2014 when he was invited to deliver the commencement address at Pasadena City College in California.
Walsh, who was then the director of the city’s public health department, came under fierce scrutiny from LGBT activists and students. He backed out of the speaking engagement. But critics persisted and he was forced to resign his post – after reaching a financial settlement with the city.
Dys tells me that what happened to Dr. Walsh should give every American the chills.
“The idea of those government employees dividing up the sermons is unthinkable,” he said. “Religious liberty means we should be able to find sanctuary in our own sanctuary.”
In recent days, the state of Georgia has become a battleground over religious liberty.
Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, vetoed legislation that would have provided protection for pastors and other faith-based organizations from attacks by LGBT activists. The veto was levied under fierce pressure from big business bullies like Disney and Coca-Cola.
It’s unclear whether such a law would have protected Dr. Walsh.
“Any law a state passes that helps protect religious liberty – especially a law that allows pastors the right to preach and not lose their jobs – is a law we would certainly apply in this case,” Dys said.
It’s becoming clear to me that people of faith – people like Dr. Walsh — will not find safe refuge in the state of Georgia.
First, they silenced the sheep – and now they are trying to silence the shepherds.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.
America, a nation of ‘makers’ no more April 14, 2016Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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America used to be known as a nation of ‘makers’. Production was the lynch pin of our economy and our place as the largest producer (of anything) in the world was the envy of the world. Sadly, this in no longer the case and our nation’s economy is built on a foundation of cards rather than stone.
No longer are we a nation of makers, we are a nation of service providers, and as a nation if we continue to base our economic future on buying and selling goods we do not produce we hand that future over as hostage to those that do produce.
At the turn of the century, factories employed more workers than education and health care combined or professional and business services. Nowadays the latter two groups of industries both employ millions more Americans than those making things.
While many positions in education, health care and professional and business services pay well, those often require a college or advanced degree or expensive specialized training beyond high school, and nowadays girls do better in school than boys. And the grimy environment of many factories was appealing to men, a lot of jobs in the abovementioned sectors are as attractive or even more appealing to women.
Hence it is no surprise that as the fortunes of women have been improving—the feminist revolution and rise in female labor force participation notwithstanding—and the nation now confronts a crisis of despondent men.
Nearly 7 million men, between the ages of 25 and 54, are neither employed nor looking for work
Manufacturing has been a victim of its own success—productivity growth in manufacturing has outstripped other sectors of the economy creating a natural migration of job opportunities from factories to service—but international and domestic policies pursued by presidents dating back to Kennedy have exacerbated the plight of men without a college degree.
Free trade agreements have been advertised as jobs creators but the facts simply belie that claim. Whereas exports create jobs, imports destroy even more of them. The United States has a trade deficit on goods and services combined exceeding $500 billion. That kills 4 million jobs directly and at least another 2 million including from lost spending of workers initially displaced.
Manufacturing accounts for the lion’s share of the trade gap—especially goods from China and elsewhere in Asia that are often subsidized by national governments and benefit from artificially undervalued currencies. Presidents Bush and Obama have talked about fixing those practices, but the trade agreements they bring home only make matters worse.
The South Korea Free Trade Agreement implemented on Obama’s watch has increased the trade deficit by more than $15 billion dollars and killed about 120,000 jobs—mostly in manufacturing.
Similarly, Washington has largely left assisting manufacturing to the states, which have fewer resources, while it has ramped up subsidies and shifted job opportunities to education and health care.
Peter Morici served as Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission from 1993 to 1995. He is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a widely published columnist. He is the five time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. Follow him on Twitter @PMorici1.
Minimum Wage Stupidity April 5, 2016Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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I believe everyone should be able to earn a living wage, but this deal is stupidity incarnate.
It is also rather disgusting that the families of many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are surviving on public assistance while some people will make more money each month working part-time and spending the rest of their day playing video games and smoking weed.
Today California passed the first $15 an hour minimum wage law in the nation. It assures that the people serving you fries, can have a “livable wage.” I didn’t hear the same politicians discuss the wages of our men an women in uniform. An Army E1 soldier is paid $8.84 per hour. Do you believe a fast food worker “deserves” to be paid almost twice as much? No offense to fast food workers, but it was never meant to be a career to support a family. Share this image if you agree that we need to get our priorities straight.
Cruz is the only way to stop Trump and beat Hillary. March 17, 2016Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics.
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Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared on The Resurgent website.
This is the moment of reality vs. The Land of Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda
The reality is that Donald Trump leads in delegates for the Republican nomination, but still has a difficult path forward to secure the nomination outright.
The reality is that John Kasich has no mathematical path forward to win the Republican nomination.
The reality is that if Donald Trump has the most delegates, though not 1,237, all the people saying Trump can still be stopped are fooling themselves.
The reality is that the only person now able to stop Trump from getting a majority or plurality of delegates is Ted Cruz.
In the land of shoulda-coulda-woulda, had Marco Rubio not competed in Texas, Cruz would have gotten all the delegates. Had Cruz not competed elsewhere, Rubio could have done well. Had Rubio dropped out after last Tuesday, it might have been enough to change dynamics elsewhere.
We can argue about all that stuff, but it is in the past. It is in the land of shoulda-coulda-woulda.
In reality, Donald Trump is still headed toward the Republican nomination. He must be stopped.
The past fights have to be set aside and everyone must focus on the future fight ahead. That requires, in reality, that Cruz and Rubio align and donors pressure Kasich to shut down.
It may mean that guys like me who were opposed to Kasich and even, at one point preferred Trump to Kasich, must also come to terms with reality that Kasich may have a role to play, though not be the Presidential nominee.
At this point, if we are all in this to stop Trump, we must get Cruz to win. That is reality.
Justification Through Faith March 11, 2016Posted by JP in Discussion, Faith, Scripture.
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[I went on to say] Although we ourselves (you and I) are Jews by birth and not Gentile (heathen) sinners, Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God). [Ps. 143:2.] But if, in our desire and endeavor to be justified in Christ [to be declared righteous and put in right standing with God wholly and solely through Christ], we have shown ourselves sinners also and convicted of sin, does that make Christ a minister (a party and contributor) to our sin? Banish the thought! [Of course not!] For if I [or any others who have taught that the observance of the Law of Moses is not essential to being justified by God should now by word or practice teach or intimate that it is essential to] build up again what I tore down, I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the Law [under the operation of the curse of the Law] have [in Christ’s death for me] myself died to the Law and all the Law’s demands upon me, so that I may [henceforth] live to and for God. I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. [Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God. For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character]. But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.] Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ]. Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.
Grace March 7, 2016Posted by JP in Scripture.
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For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character]. But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,