This data is good for everybody!!
Before we moved to Nashville seven years ago, we lived five years in what I still believe is the greatest city in the world—New York, New York. I am indebted to NYC, and to the church I served for that season, for much of who I am as a minister today. Although I am still a work in process, this great city and thoughtful church broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of what it means to follow the whole Jesus and the whole Scripture, into the whole world, the whole time. As my former NYC church’s motto states, “The gospel changes everything.”
The gospel changed ME in NYC, in part by helping me understand more fully the moral imperative to do justly and love mercy, to give witness to your love for God by loving your neighbor as yourself. It was at my NYC church that the Lord opened my eyes more widely to the notion that “pro life” must always be a comprehensive position, never merely selective. We preached that according to Scripture, human life begins at conception and ends at death. Therefore, an unborn child and, say, my mother who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s, are due as much honor and dignity and advocacy and fierce protection as an asylum seeker or refugee, a victim of racism or trafficking, or for that matter a film star, a Pulitzer winning author, or a United States President. Being pro-life is never less than pro-infant…yet it is also much more.
Any self-proclaimed “pro-lifer” who speaks for the unborn but stands indifferent toward the desperate conditions that tempt many women to consider desperate decisions, is only partially pro-life. Like the New Testament Pharisees, she or he will place burdens on others’ backs, but won’t lift a finger to help bear the burden.
That’s not pro-life.
Last week, the state of New York decided in the name of “freedom” and “choice” and women’s empowerment to make sanctioned, and in some circles even celebrated and cheered, decisions that have the effect of (a) stripping some infants of their ability to continue living, and (b) permit medical professionals to perform acts of lethal, bone-breaking, skull-crushing, blood-gushing violence against said infants. (I am tempted to replace that last sentence with something more gentle and less graphic…but should I?).
Read more here.
Good melancholy for a nice winter day…
In Illinois, the Satanic Temple of Chicago got permission this year to erect a sculpture stepping on Christmas. Placed near a Nativity, a Christmas tree and a Menorah in the Illinois Capitol’s rotunda, the edifice depicts a snake wrapped around a woman’s hand as she holds an apple. It makes Satan the hero for promising that if Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, it would render them “like gods, knowing good and evil.”
Also in the rotunda is a sign that says “religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” That would be news to the Christians who led the fight against slavery, fought for civil rights, ended child labor, founded hospitals and advanced the concept of mercy in a very cold world.
Since this kind of detail is absent from most school history books, the results of the Grinnell survey should not come as a surprise, nor the official acceptance of a Satanic sculpture as morally equivalent to a creche.
The good news is that despite all their best efforts to snuff them out, the lights sparkling in commercial splendor and on front lawns all across America still point to a baby born 2,000 years ago who brought God’s love for humanity into startlingly bright focus.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “A Nation Worth Saving: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom” (djkm.org/nation, 2018).
Today’s cultural vandals can look back for inspiration to the 20th century. In the atheist Soviet Union, the Communists got rid of St. Nicholas and replaced him with the secular “Grandfather Frost.” In 1938, when Germany’s Nazis annexed Austria, one of the first things they did was to ban Christmas observances in public schools. As Maria Trapp of “The Sound of Music” fame recounts one of her children saying, “In school we are not permitted to sing any religious songs with the name of Christ or Christmas. We can hardly sing any Bach for that reason.”
Some of the pressure to downplay Christmas in America comes from Grinchly atheists, but some of it’s the work of liberals terrified of offending immigrants from predominantly Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist countries. Where else in the world do countries willingly shed their cultural heritage so that newcomers won’t be offended? Well, OK, Europe. That continent is trying to live down its Christian past so that, as Mark Steyn has chronicled, Eurabia can rise in its place.
Even though Islamic doctrine opposes much of the liberal social agenda, progressives have elevated it and other religions as a wedge against their real foe, Christianity.
“For example, the arrival of a small Muslim group in a large Christian-populated town allows Democrats to argue that religious equality requires the cultural visibility of Christianity be reduced to the same level as Islam,” Breitbart’s Neil Munro explains in an article about the Grinnell findings.
Following public backlashes in California and Virginia over the introduction of Islamic concepts in public schools, defenders of the practice insisted that a well-rounded education include comparative religion. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s not the same as honestly teaching the importance of the Bible and Christianity to America’s history and government structure. You can’t really understand America without it.
All too often, offering “comparative religion” has meant pretending that all religions teach the same thing. In Georgia, for instance, in 2015, a sample classroom guide said that Islam, Christianity and Judaism share the “same God,” which is patently false.
In Staunton, Virginia, a high school session on comparative religion had students copy in calligraphy the Shahada, the Islamic statement of faith, which says, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.”
More to come.