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What follows is an article by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.  It was published by Dr. Morse and MercatorNet,  (2/9/2012) and reprinted with permission (see below).  Ezerwoman believes there is no need to try to write what someone else has written so well.

How Hedonism Became America’s Official Religion

An edict from the Obama administration has ended the American experiment in religious liberty.

No, I’m not exaggerating. The American experiment in religious liberty is officially over. The First Amendment provided institutional structures that allow different religions to peacefully coexist. All groups agree to not try to capture governmental structures for the benefit of their own particular denomination.

But the Obama administration has ended that truce. The administration made a decision to require all employers to provide contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization. The administration offers no religious exemption for people who have the audacity to believe that pregnancy is not an illness that needs to be always and everywhere prevented.

In effect, we have a new state religion, a new Established Church of the United States of America, with Barack Obama as its head. It is the religion of Secular Hedonism, the worldview that sex is a sterile recreational activity, with babies thrown in as an afterthought, an optional extra, for people with quirky life-style preferences. The contraceptive mandate uses the full might of the US government to scrub the public square clean of any competing religious voices that dissent from the new orthodoxy.

But because this worldview is fundamentally irrational, it cannot stand on its own two feet. Some sexual activity does result in babies. Not everyone wants their government acting as if the highest goal is that pleasure is to be sought. Not everyone believes that the purpose of the government is to allow people to indulge themselves sexually, without a live baby ever resulting.

The Catholic Church for instance, famously opposes every precept of Secular Hedonism. As a matter of fact, so did all of the Christian churches, right up until five minutes ago. The ancient Christian teaching is that marriage is the proper context for sexual activity and for child-bearing, for the good of children, women, and men alike, as well as society as a whole.

The government believes that this dissenting voice cannot be tolerated. It must be crushed. And, of course, from their point of view, they are perfectly correct. They have an established religion that says that every sexual act is intrinsically meaningless except for the meaning we might happen to assign it. They simply can’t allow someone to go around saying that each and every sexual act is sacred, and endowed by our Creator with inalienable significance. From the point of view of Secular Hedonism, Catholicism must be crushed.

And of course, anyone else who dissents from the new orthodoxy must be crushed as well. That is why so many other faith traditions have joined in criticizing the Obama administration’s usurpation of power from civil society. The National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews have all criticized the administration’s attack on religious liberty. These religious bodies know that their religious liberties are at stake as well.

The religious truce is officially over. The Established Church of Secular Hedonism has declared war on the rest of us, enlisting the might of the United States government on their side. We will respond using nothing but peaceful means.

We used to refrain from making religious arguments in the public square. We thought it was our duty. We thought it was good strategy. The Ruth Institute has specialized in defending the ancient Christian teachings, using non-religious arguments. This no longer makes sense. The arguments are still good arguments. But there is no longer any reason to hold back from proclaiming our faith. Our position deserves respect, not simply because it is our “deeply held religious belief”. Our position deserves respect because it is grounded in reason and evidence, and in a far deeper understanding of the human person, and the human good. The ancient Christian teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality are superior to the teachings of the Established Church of Secular Hedonism.

If we don’t respond firmly, the Obama Administration will assume they can get away with ending religious liberty. This website, StopHHS.org will become a clearing house of info about the insurance mandate. Go sign their petition.

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage.

This article by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, was originally published on MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons Licence. If you enjoyed this article, visit MercatorNet.com for more.

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My husband and I believe in exercising our minds while enjoying a meal.  If at home, Paul grills.  I steam veggies, broil some garlic bread, and mix a salad.  Plates in hand, we settle by a window overlooking a forest of hickory and oak.  Or, on a less humid day, we move out onto the deck.  We discuss matters of family, theology, and culture.  At some point, we slip on our worldview glasses.  There are only two pair: God’s — and any other.

Family, theology and culture take on a different perspective depending upon one’s worldview.  The same is true with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This Saturday is the Iowa Straw Poll.  I plan to go, not so much to cast a vote, but to meander through the crowd.  To listen.  Watch.  Learn which pair of glasses the people have chosen to wear.   Most eyes are focused on the economy.  But, my worldview tells me that our economic problems have deep moral roots.  America may be collapsing on itself because its worldview of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is hopeless.

Life.  Abortion fails to see the value of life created by God and redeemed at high price.  Abortion is about “me.”  “My” fears.  “My” needs.  It sees no future.  It acts in desperation.  Legalized abortion is a root cause of our social security and health care woes.  I have long been concerned that the babyboomers who ushered in abortion will be ushered out by euthanasia.

Liberty.  To worship at the altar of sexual freedom is to eventually loose religious freedom.  “Righteous” folk who “tell me” that I have no “right to liberated” behavior, but must instead practice self-control, are “bigoted” and “must be silenced”.

Pursuit of happiness.  Some Americans think we are entitled to happiness or the right to instant gratification.  But, wearing his worldview glasses, former Senator Rick Santorum disagrees.  We are, he says, “gifted with the pursuit of happiness.”

Santorum, speaking in my town earlier this week, asked, “What is the pursuit of happiness?  Is it doing what we want, or doing . . . .”  He paused, waiting for someone to finish the sentence.  From my place in the back of the room, I did so:  It’s doing “what we should (ought).”  Correct answer.  I think many in the audience agreed.  But, as citizens, have we correctly pursued happiness?

America has given its citizens the freedom to pursue happiness.  But, believing happiness to be “my right to do whatever I want,” leads us to pursue wrongly.  Selfishly.  Dangerously.  Right down a slippery slope into despair.

So, my husband and I remind each other to polish our worldview glasses.  Clarify hope and change.  Look for leaders who pursue not what they can, but what they should.  And, correct our own pursuit of happiness.

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Rep. James Lankford (OK) and Rep. Tim Scott (SC) are Christians who unashamedly discuss their faith — in the home, on the job and against political odds.  Both are in their 40s.  Both were raised in less than perfect homes but with God’s Word.  The book of Nehemiah convinced Rep. Lankford to take the path to Capitol Hill.  Biblical mentors encouraged Rep. Scott to work his way toward Congress.

Both Reps. Lankford and Scott are fully aware of the ideological and spiritual battles in Washington, D.C.  Rep. Scott is pro-life, a faithful pray-er, and a defender of Biblical values.  He has sponsored legislation that prevents unions from demanding mandatory dues; thus halting the devastating effects that unions have imposed on the federal budget and socially conservative values.  Unions spend hundreds of millions to undermine marriage, the sanctity of human life, parent’s rights, and other values that are cherished by the very members who pay the dues, but have no say on how the money is spent.

Rep. Lankford says he is grounded by the wisdom of Proverbs.  “How do we handle debt as a nation?” he asks.  “A wise man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.  We [are spending] the inheritance of our children’s children.  So, how do we correct that?  How are we able to honor the poor . . . promote justice . . . [practice] what is right and just?”

He continues, “I don’t know of another generation of leaders that has said, ‘Times are tough.  I’m going to make it tougher on my kids to make it easier for me.’  As weird as it may sound . . . debt is the moral issue of the day.”

“At the heart of many of the problems facing our country stands an institution under siege,” Lankford proclaims.  “That institution is the American family.  The best way to ensure a strong nation is to have strong families.”  The U.S. Department of Justice announced on February 24 that it would no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.  Lankford took to the House floor to call out the hypocrisy.  “Many in this chamber are aware of my . . . Biblical worldview.  I am unashamed of my personal faith in Jesus Christ . . . I believe words have meaning . . . the meaning of marriage is the union between a man and a woman.  The Defense of Marriage Act codified that definition into law . . . this issue is well beyond faith . . . or social or political issue.  Marriage is now not only the center of a national social debate, but also a constitutional debate.”

Scriptural warnings, said Lankford, are clear for politicians and for the church.  “We have a first responsibility to take care of those in poverty.  To take care of our own families.  To take care of the needs around us.  The more that the church backs up from that, the more the government engages in it . . . [T]he more the nation and the family break down, the more social services are needed.  But, the more strong families you have, the less government you have . . . so we have this endless cycle that we have got to pull out of.  The only way to pull out is [to have] churches engaging in [preserving the] family.”

Are we raising sons and daughters with a Biblical worldview so that they can be morally upright citizens?  Marry and start a family?  Use their skills through honest labor?  Become involved parents?  Not be burdened by our failure to invest in the future?

Lankford says it’s not about what you do, but whom you follow, that should define you: “My calling is first and foremost not to an occupation.  It is to follow a person.  My calling is to follow Christ.”

Rep. Scott agrees.  He tries to surround himself with believers that “keep me accountable.”  There is “peace and direction for me in my leadership role,” he says, quoting Psalm 23 and Luke 6:38.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want . . . He restores my soul . . . I will fear no evil . . .

Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Excerpts from CITIZEN, August/September 2011

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“All the people care about is the economy.”

“The people aren’t interested in ‘social issues’ like abortion, homosexuality or gay marriage.”

“There they go again,” reports MSNBC and others.  “The ‘radical right’ is working abortion and marriage into the conversation.”

Rightly so.  Social issues, as they are called, are moral issues.  The legalized killing of preborn human children is a moral issue.  Re-defining marriage is a moral issue.  Teaching our children that homosexuality is just a choice on the “sexual menu” is a moral issue.

Everything has a moral component.  The government has a moral obligation to protect “life and liberty,” to maintain a strong military, and to live within its means.  It should encourage responsible, orderly behavior and a good work ethic.  It should protect families from drug cartels, terrorists, and enemies from within and without.

Anyone running for office should have moral integrity.  Moral character.  Moral and ethical fiber.  It’s not just my opinion, but God’s mandate that people who rule a nation should respect the life that He creates.  Anyone who compromises on issues such as abortion, infanticide, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia has lost (or never had) a moral compass.

Those who seek to experiment with marriage and family float rumors.  They say that Americans don’t really care about same-sex “marriage.”  They add: If someone is against gay “marriage,” then they must be against homosexuals.  Not true.  People who believe they are homosexual are persons, too.  They are  people loved by God.  But, God is the Creator of marriage and, therefore, He alone defines it.  God created marriage for one man and one woman because it’s the best environment for children, it connects children to their biological origins, and it brings two opposites — male and female — together to mentor boys and girls in the way God intends for them to go.

Moral integrity is practiced — or not practiced — on Wall Street and in every business.  In education.  In health care.  In courts of law.  In the military.  In homes.  And during election cycles.

My eyes have seen that men and women who defend the sanctity of human life generally have a moral compass not only in place but in operation.  Leaders — in the home, community, church, and government — who value the life that God creates and redeems in Jesus Christ are imperfect leaders to be sure, but they are accountable to someone other than themselves.  Their God determines right and wrong.  Their neighbors matter.  Their choices reflect hope for a new generation.

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GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) has been awarded an annually renewable grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This will allow GLSEN to “partner with 20 targeted school districts across the country” and to reach “14,500 school personnel and 4 million students.”

So, at taxpayer expense, homosexual activism may be coming to a school near me… or you.

How will GLSEN use the grant money (up to $285,000 per year)?  It plans to start “internal Implementation Teams” and training programs based on their Safe Space Kit.  Here’s a “quick review” offered by Candi Cushman (CitizenLink 6-23-11).  The Kit:

  • Promotes GLSEN’s controversial book list for schools
  • Encourages teachers to display homosexual-themed materials from “LGBT organizations” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender).
  • Recommends that schools “celebrate LGBT events” and incorporate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender themes into curriculum and school literature.  “Whenever possible,” the guide tells educators to give examples of “same-sex couples” and “LBGT parents.”
  • Gives teachers an “LGBT-Inclusive School Checklist” to see if their school has a “gender-neutral dress code” and “gender-neutral” bathrooms.

Cushman explains that GLSEN wants educators to avoid using words like “husband,” “wife,” or gender-specific pronouns in the classroom.  The Kit includes a vocabulary sheet that includes “zie” rather than “he” or “she” and “hir” rather than “him” or “her.”

Is GLSEN’s goal to render meaningless the concept of “male?”  “Female?”  Traditional marriage?  Basic English pronouns?

This doesn’t have to happen.  GLSEN doesn’t have to prevail.  Why?  Because God says that children are entrusted to their parents.  Parents have both the right and obligation to raise sons and daughters in a moral, healthy, and God-pleasing way.  The homosexual lifestyle brings nothing good.  Right.  Or true.  It is empty self-gratification.  It brings confusion.  Heartbreak.  Disease.  Hopelessness.  Separation from God.   A parent’s duty is to lead sons and daughters away from danger.  And, if a son or daughter is tempted into harm’s way, a parent is to rescue.  Love unconditionally.  Patiently re-connect to God’s Word for male and female.  Exodus International is one of several ministries helping parents do just that.

Parents, not the government, are to raise children.  The government may express controversial opinions and even fund those opinions with taxpayer money.  But, parents still have a voice.  They must use that voice.  Be a voice of reason.  Unite voices.   And, if their voice is not heard, they need to seek other school choices if possible.

Resources for parents are offered from Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, The American Family Association, Vision Forum, and The Alliance Defense Fund.

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